Capturing Gabriel on NetGalley


October is Capturing Gabriel ‘s month on NetGalley. If you would like to read it for FREE, click this link and sign in on NetGalley. Capturing Gabriel

If you enjoy the read, please consider posting a review on NG, Amazon, Goodreads or anywhere you prefer. Reviews are an author’s bread and butter. They can really boost sales. Besides, I love getting your opinion!

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Book Blurb:

What’s a handsome Colombian psychic with super-hero-power to do with a spirited Navajo beauty who invades his territory? Why, kidnap her of course.

Chopper pilot Josie Tseda served in Afghanistan. She can take care of herself. But when she vows to find Gabriel Valdez, a Guardian of Danu, and deliver him to a gathering of Guardians, she’s in for a rough ride. She didn’t count on ending up his prisoner – or on falling for him.

Battling vicious drug lords and seeking revenge for his mother’s murder, Gabriel doesn’t trust the feisty American female who wants to fly him off to the U.S. Yet, he can’t help wanting her. Will he allow her to capture his heart or will the secret power he wields ultimately drive her away?

Book Excerpt:

His lips crooked into a half-smile. “Now you step down, Señorita Tseda.”

Josie frowned. “I can’t. My hands and feet are numb from being tied so tight.”

He glowered at Javier, who sat silently observing, and reprimanded him for binding her too tightly. The other man lowered his head and muttered a reply.

Valdez turned his attention back to Josie. “Javier should have been careful not to cut off your circulation. Perhaps if you had not fought so hard –”

“Hey! You’d fight too, if somebody tried to hogtie you.”

Arching black eyebrows, he said, “I do not know this hogtie and I think I do not wish to know. Come down now. I will help you.” He grasped her by the waist and lifted her off the mule, trying to be gentle, she could tell, but even so she uttered a strangled cry and collapsed against him. Her feet and hands tingled painfully with the returning flow of blood, but what really hurt was the raw flesh along her inner thighs and private places. Pride was the only thing that prevented her from whimpering like a child.

Valdez scooped her up, drawing a surprised gasp from her lips. He issued an order to his men and they dismounted while he carried her to a spot at the side of the trail. Pausing, he called to Berto and added a few curt words. A moment later the young man trotted over with a folded blanket and laid it on the ground where his boss indicated.

Josie didn’t know exactly when her arms had circled Valdez’s neck, but she was very aware of his male scent and the hard wall of his chest against her side. When he lowered her onto the blanket, she experienced a sense of loss as he separated from her.

Crazy woman! He’s an arrogant bully who kidnapped you. You can’t let yourself feel anything but anger toward him.

He stood and walked to his horse, returning shortly with a canteen. Uncapping it, he bent and handed it to her. She nodded, disturbed by her unwanted reaction to him and unable to speak. Leaving her to rest and drink her fill, he sauntered over to the other men, several of whom had taken the opportunity to sprawl in the shade.

Covertly watching him from beneath the screen of her lashes, Josie couldn’t help admiring his tall, sinewy build and fluid grace. He sat near Javier and Berto, leaning against the trunk of a convenient palm tree with his long legs crossed at the ankles. Removing his hat, he raked a hand through his rumpled black hair and replaced the hat. . . .

Valdez only allowed them a few minutes’ rest. As the men mounted up, he strode over to where she sat. Wondering how she was going to survive the rest of the day in the saddle, she struggled to her feet and bent stiffly to retrieve the blanket.

“Let me have that,” Valdez said, taking the blanket from her. “Come, I will make you as comfortable as possible.” He held out his hand and waited for her to take it. When she hesitantly placed her much smaller hand in his, he didn’t lead her to the mule, her beast of torture. Instead, he steered her toward his sleek bay gelding, which looked to be at least sixteen hands high.

“Wait, I can’t ride him,” Josie said, hanging back, trying to tug her hand free. “He’s too tall.”

Chuckling, he refused to let go. “Do not worry, señorita, I will not let you fall off Cezar’s back.”

“What? Are you saying I’m to ride with you?” She shook her head in disbelief.

“That is precisely what I am saying. It will be far more comfortable for you than bumping along on that wretched creature.” He tilted his head toward the mule. “Do you not think so?”

“No! I don’t think any such thing. I’m not riding with you.” She tossed her head indignantly and stuck out her hand. “Give me the blanket. I’ll pad my saddle with it and I’ll be fine.”

A muscle ticked along his square jaw. “You are stubborn and full of pride, but you will not win this battle, chiquita.”

If you’d like to see the other books in this series, as well as my western historical romances, find them all on my Amazon author page:  http://amzn.to/Y3aotC  

 

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Carving Dead Trees Into Public Art


Amazing, imaginative sculptures!

ALK3R

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Trees have long life spans, but eventually they too die of old age or succumb to diseases or get damaged in thunderstorms and hurricanes. When trees in urban spaces die and show signs of toppling over or breaking off, the city might decide to remove them for the safety of those around. The remaining stumps then provide a wonderful opportunity for wood carvers to showcase their talent and liven up the neighborhood at the same time.

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Special Guest: Sally Cronin, The Odd Jobs Gal – Swashbuckle and Romance


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About Sally Cronin

sally wedding day 1980

My name is Sally Cronin and after working in a number of industries for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that I had always been fascinated with. I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998. Over the last 18 years I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition.

I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released ten others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories.

My thanks to Lyn for kindly inviting me to share this post in the Odd Jobs and Characters series on her wonderful site.

Odd Jobs and Characters – Hotel Assistant Manager – Swashbuckle and Romance.

Last week I wrote about my cross country journey of many hours by train, to reach a hotel in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. My time there was filled with adventures, and in this post I would like to introduce you to a couple of memorable guests. To spice things up a little, and since I am the guest of an award-winning romance author, I have included a little love interest.

Snodonia National Park, Wales

Snowdonia National Park; wikipedia creative commons; photo by Mike Peel

The hotel boasted an award winning restaurant which overlooked the Mawddach estuary. In the summer months in particular, guests could eat outside on sunny days and evenings, enjoying the spectacular mountains that dominated the landscape. This attracted international visitors as well as those closer to home, as well as the rich and famous. This included Denis Thatcher, husband to the newly appointed prime minister, Maggie Thatcher, and several actors and BBC television presenters who used our hotel as a base when filming in the area.

One lunch in particular stands out in my mind as it involved the head of one of the most prestigious Champagne houses.

One of my boss’s best friends was an importer and businessman in the area, and he would frequently drop in for lunch with his clients. Normally when my boss and his friends had lunch there was a fair amount of alcohol involved, and I would be kept busy bringing bottles of wine and spirits out to the table on the terrace. The guest that day was the head of one of the largest Champagne houses who was on a business trip to Wales. He had brought some bottles of the really good stuff with him. Pre-chilled and stored in a special case in the trunk of his car.

Wine flowed and the trio enjoyed lunch which included our specialty lobster dish. Our French guest left the table for about 5 minutes and arrived back with a sword in a very ornate scabbard. He asked me to line up the remaining two full Champagne bottles on the stone balustrade of the terrace. Bearing in mind the amount of alcohol consumed by this time, it was with some trepidation that I did as requested, and then stood back; well out of the way.

With a great deal of flourish, the sword was removed from the scabbard, and the hilt was clasped in two hands. It was announced that any further champagne would be drunk from bottles opened in the traditional way. With that the sword swept through the air missing the first bottle completely. Without missing a beat, a stance was taken again and silence fell upon the watchers as there was another wide sweep of the weapon. This time the neck of the bottle was removed and champagne cascaded all over the gravelled balcony. I do believe there was about half a bottle left to be consumed by the admiring lunch guests.

However, other guests made their mark in a more permanent manner. An Irishman booked a room by telephone, arriving a week later and was given the key to room 40. He caught the eye of more than one member of staff due to his good looks and his lovely accent, but apart from booking meeting rooms and business lunches or dinners, he kept mainly to himself. It was therefore quite a surprise on his last night when he asked me to join him for a drink when I finished for the evening. He apparently knew that I was off the next day and asked me out to lunch and then dinner. We did a lot of talking and perhaps a kiss or two! He was due to leave the next morning and came down to my flat to say goodbye; or so I thought. Instead he asked me to marry him.

I didn’t hesitate and said yes and we were married five weeks later in the small registry office in the nearby town. Just my parents and his parents attended and we had a small reception with lunch and champagne of course. However, swords were kept in their scabbards. As they have been for every anniversary since for the last thirty-seven years.

Huge thanks again to Lyn for hosting this post today and I hope you have enjoyed. The characters that I met working in the hotel have definitely found their way into my stories.

Wow! What a swashbuckling, romantic story, Sally! Thanks for sharing.

To enjoy more of Sally’s adventures in this series, click the following link where you will find links to each post. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-odd-jobs-and-characters/

Now here is Sally’s latest book: What’s In A Name? – Volume Two 

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Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters. Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.

 Sally’s other books

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All books are available on Sally’s Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

You can connect to Sally here:

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

 

Ghosts in the night…


Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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From the archive:

The dog, who had managed to do a very good impression of being really ill while there was chicken and crackling sent by my son to boost her failing health, was charging round the room in true setter fashion with a stuffed hedgehog dangling from her mouth. Looking at her, you wouldn’t think for a moment there was a thing wrong with her. Odd that.

If Ani is feeling unwell, which is thankfully rare, she retreats under the sofa cushions and doesn’t come out. You get to know her moods and emotions just as clearly as if she could speak. You may not know what exactly is wrong, but that something is not right somewhere is very obvious.

In the same way if I am feeling under the weather, sad or upset for any reason, Ani knows and is always there, cheering me up or just quietly…

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How a Copywriter Would Write a Book Description to Hook Readers…

How a Copywriter Would Write a Book Description to Hook Readers…


Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By Lisa Brown  on The Just Publishing Advice site:

A book description is probably one of the most important sections of a book because a book buyer will read the book description before decide if the book is worth buying.

It is why you should pay extra attention to this if you want to up the sales of a book. If you are a writer who is writing a book description for someone else, you want to give the best service by acing the job.

It is a unique skill because it takes a very good writer to summarize an entire book. Perhaps it seems easier than it really is, but you are going to have to grab the attention of potential customers from your opening line.

Typing a manuscript is one thing. Understanding and communicating the contents of a book is something else. Copywriters are usually good at doing…

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Look Who Came to Play Today~


Playful dolphins!


Swimming free in the sea,

the way they are meant to be.


There were many hundreds of Pacific white-sided dolphins in this pod, fishing cooperatively, and playing.


It is such a thrill to be amidst a massive pod of these intelligent creatures.

The ocean color differentiation you see below, is a result of the dolphins getting curious, and swimming closer to the boat to check us out.

The dolphins were joined by sea lions,


who were fishing too,

and just as curious about the humans in the boat!

Cheers to you from California’s splendidly free marine mammals~

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Magical Man at the Dawn of Science – The Silent Eye


Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

The Elizabethan age considered itself scientific, indeed the word ‘science’ was used to mean ‘knowledge’. The so called Age of Reason was a much later term applied by historians of science to broad-brush the slow ascent of experimental-based knowledge. What we now call science originated from the attempts to separate the observer from the method of experiment; a method that would employ only the intellectual functions to arrive at a repeatable conclusion, backed up by numbers – the mathematics of quantity.

In so doing, the kind of knowledge that became ‘science’ cut itself off from any intimacy, religious or otherwise, that mankind had felt towards the cosmos – his home – for thousands of years. It is said that the average Elizabethan farmworker would have known the heavens much more intimately than most of us do, today. For them, it was life and death, planting and reaping – and…

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