Be My Guest: Susan Horsnell


I’m delighted to welcome Aussie author Susan Horsnell to my corner of the world today. She’s here to tell us about her new book WHEN EAGLES SOAR.

When Eagles Soar

BLURB

My name is Kyan Miller and I have the ability to change into an Eagle and soar above the Earth.

Yep, you heard right – an Eagle.

A curse placed on the family in 1626 resulted in all the male members of my family having this unusual ability from the age of sixteen.

I work for the Government in Covert Operations. I can obtain information other operatives cannot. This mission is one of my most dangerous to date. The US is being flooded by Cocaine from South America and the Governments of these two countries are working together to put a stop to it. They have been receiving valuable intel from two US operatives. Until …. one operative is found dead. The other is missing – Analia Rogers has neither been seen nor heard from for three days, we don’t know if she is dead or alive. I have been sent into the Alvarez family’s drug compound to find answers.

I’m on an inflexible deadline, in three days’ time, the compound will be blown to smithereens but there are details the Governments aren’t aware of which could place their forces in danger. Can I get the word out in time to prevent them from being slaughtered?

What I find inside the compound has my anger soaring to nuclear levels.

Am I in time?

Is there anything I can do?

And, who has betrayed us?

https://alsimpson79.wordpress.com/when-eagles-soar/

BUY LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Amazon CA

Paperback

FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Eagle Full

EXCERPT

The small café is located on a side street away from the center of town and prying eyes. A bell tinkles as I step through the door from the bright exterior to the dimly lit interior. I give my eyes a moment to adjust and spot my friend and handler seated at a table tucked away in the back corner.

“Señor?” (Sir) A pretty girl with flowing black hair and piercing blue eyes greets me.

“Do you speak English?” My Spanish is perfect as is my Russian, French, Mandarin and German but I prefer to converse in my native language.

“Yes.”

“Excellent. I have a friend waiting here.” I indicate the back table. “Can you please bring me a black coffee and the menu for lunch?”

“Si, Señor.”

The girl hurried away, and I weaved through the tables toward my handler. He stood, and we shook hands before sitting.

“As prompt as ever, Kyan.”

“Would you accept me any other way, Carson?”

Carson remains quiet while a coffee is placed in front of me and the girl hands us each a menu. It takes only moments for us both to request the Paella and the girl again leaves us alone. I sip at my steaming hot brew.

“Did you look through the folder?” Carson inquires.

“Yes, and I headed up this morning to check the area. I had another look at the information before coming here. I’m guessing you want me inside the compound?”

“Yes, but not for the reasons you think.” Carson hands me a USB which I tuck into the pocket of my jeans. “This one will be tricky but I know you have the ability to pull it off. In fact, you’re the only one who can.”

“You have me intrigued.” I sip at my coffee and lean back as a plate of Paella is placed on the table in front of me. Taking the fork in my hand, I scoop up a generous amount and transfer it into my mouth. The food, as always in these South American countries, is superb. Carson is studying me closely.

“What?”

He places his fork down, wipes his mouth on the snowy white napkin and sits back in his chair. “I’m worried about this one, Kyan.”

Carson Vaughan, my friend and handler for the past six years is a tall, distinguished looking gentleman in his early sixties. He’s been at his job for over thirty years and if he says he’s worried about a job, operatives should be scared shitless, which is what I am now. I have never known the man to show the slightest concern, let alone worry. He was Dad’s handler before he became mine and my father insists Carson is the best and coolest-headed man in the business. I lay down my fork and sit back in the chair, my appetite is now non-existent.

“Fuck.”

“Fuck, indeed.”

“Tell me what is going on, Carson.”

He indicates my pocket. “It’s all on there. You know I can’t force you to accept a job, but if you don’t take this one, we’re up shit creek with no boat – feed for the Caiman’s and I lose two operatives.” Carson stands and I rise with him.

We shake hands and he strides from the café. I sit back down and proceed to play with my food, deep in thought, gut pinching and nauseous.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New author photo

My name is Susan Horsnell and I write Sweet Western Historical Romance under my own name and Hot Contemporary Romance, M/M and BDSM under my pen name – A.L. Simpson.

 

I grew up in Sydney and moved to Queensland as an adult. I am married with two sons. Apart from writing, Critters are my passion. We have one Jack Russell Terrier called Caellagh (Kelly) and a very opinionated 26-yr-old Cockatiel.

Travel, walks, and the beach are my three most favorite things to do. My hope is for readers to enjoy what I have written as much as I enjoy writing it.

SOCIAL LINKS

https://alsimpson79.wordpress.com/  Website

https://alandvixen.wordpress.com/  Blog

https://www.facebook.com/alsimpsonauthor/  Facebook Author Page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1709862079031253/  Facebook Street Team

https://www.amazon.com/A.L.-Simpson/e/B01AFF3D44/  Amazon Author Page

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7746982.A_L_Simpson  Goodreads

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New Release from A.L. Simpson


Release Date: Feb 26, 2017 

broken-bastard

Romance Genre: Contemporary, M/M (non-erotic) 

Pages/Words: 176/48,624 

Goodreads Link: https://alsimpson79.wordpress.com/broken-bastard/

Blurb: 

Present Day 

My name is Tyler Maxwell Alexander. I’m twenty-eight years old. A few months ago, I had it all. An executive job in a prestigious investment firm owned by my father. Ha! Yeah, right – father. I’ll explain about that later. I lived in a waterfront apartment overlooking the harbor and drove a Mercedes convertible. 

Then, in the blink of an eye, it was gone. All of it. Everything, except the clothes on my back. I was broken. A bastard. Did I mention, I’m gay? No? Oh well, I have now. 

This is the story of how my fairytale life turned to shit in the blink of an eye….. 

Buy Links:  

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VV92CV8

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06VV92CV8 

Amazon AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06VV92CV8  

Amazon CA – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06VV92CV8  

Barnes and Noble – http://bit.ly/2lfvbKv  

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1205555410  

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/broken-bastard  

Social Media Links: 

Website: https://alsimpson79.wordpress.com/  

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/A.L.-Simpson/e/B01AFF3D44/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1462860962&sr=1-2-ent 

Blog: https://alandvixen.wordpress.com/ 

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010789387976  

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7746982.A_L_Simpson  

Monday Author Meetup: Sylvia McDaniel


My guest this week is Sylvia McDaniel, best-selling, award-winning author of western historical romance and contemporary romance novels.

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Sylvia McDaniel is a best-selling, award-winning author of western historical romance and contemporary romance novels. Known for her sweet, funny, family-oriented romances, Sylvia is the author of The Burnett Brides a historical western series, The Cuvier Widows, a Louisiana historical series, Lipstick and Lead, a western historical series and several short contemporary romances.

Welcome Sylvia! Please tell us how you began writing

When I was in grade school I liked to write, but never even considered I would ever grow up to be a writer. But I always read. I’ve been reading books since the second grade when my mother took me the library and I was like, wow! In high school I read gothic romance and then I foundThe Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodwiess and I never looked back. Loved her books for many years and will still occasionally read one. In my twenties, I picked up a historical romance, I don’t remember the author’s name, but the thought entered my head that I could do better. So I sat down and started writing. I still have that first manuscript…it was HORRIBLE. I quickly learned it was much harder than it appeared. There was a class that Laree Bryant taught at a local school, it was a one day class and from there I learned about Romance Writers of America. I joined, starting attending the local chapter and it has grown from there. Now almost 25 years later, I wish I had more books written.

Describe your favorite place to write.

When I’m in the middle of a completing a novel, I spend eight to ten hours a day behind the computer, mostly in my office. But I do enjoy taking my laptop and writing out in my backyard, where the dogs can play. We have a new puppy and while he’s really cute, he doesn’t do well stuck in an office all day.

Over the years I’ve learned to write just about anywhere. I’ve written on planes, in the car with a kid hanging over my shoulder asking me what I’m doing, or sitting outside on the balcony watching the waves roll in. I don’t need absolute quiet, but I can’t write with music playing or I start singing along to the music and I need all my brain cells focused on the words on the page.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Why?

I tried being a pantser and it takes me twice as long and more rewrites, so I use a storyboard. For me, it’s my map. My highway has hills and valleys and major curves along the way and occasionally a detour. Does that mean I know everything that’s going to happen while I’m writing? No and in fact, that’s where the detours come in. But if I know the external, then I’m free to focus more on the internal plot, which is always way more difficult for me.

Are your books published by a large publishing house or small press? Or are you self-published? If so, what made you choose this route?

Years ago I was published by a major New York house. I wrote nine books for them and after 9/11 never sold another story. For awhile I gave up writing until my husband told me I was happier when I was spending time creating stories. So when the eBook revolution came along, I already had twelve stories to put out and now I’ve written another eight, with six more planned this year.

Are your books professionally edited?

Since I’m now writing what I love without an editor, I hire cover artists, formatters, editors and I have beta readers. All of my work is professionally edited by an English professor since I focus more on the story and not so much on the grammar. I’ve never thought of myself as a great writer, but a very good storyteller. As a storyteller, I need professionals to make me look like a professional writer. So before I sell the first book, I’ve already committed a thousand dollars to the story.

What project(s) are you working on now?

Over the years I’ve learned that I really don’t write erotica well, so this year I made the decision to write kickass heroines who take charge. Yes, they’re in the old west, but there were women who took charge of their lives and made things happen. This is the kind of women I want to write. Currently in my Lipstick and Lead series, my girls are bounty hunters. In Annabelle’s book, Dangerous, she is the sister who stayed home to take care of the farm and she longs for adventure. While in town she sees a wanted man and goes after him by herself. She not only gets adventure, but she falls in love with her outlaw.

Now here’s an exciting look at Sylvia’s newest release:

Dangerous

Dangerous final

Book Blurb:

Annabelle McKenzie stays at home and takes care of the farm and the bookkeeping for their family bounty hunting business while her two sisters take all the risks. Except that she’s grown bored and longs for adventure. The chance to show her sisters that she’s just as capable of bringing a man to justice and collecting a bounty as they are. When opportunity bumps into her at the bank, she recklessly follows her prey out of town. Only she soon realizes she’s chosen the wrong man to hunt.

Beau Samuels has a dark secret that goes beyond the price on his head. And now there’s a wanted poster with his face plastered in every small Texas sheriff’s office.  As if things couldn’t get worse, now he has a novice in a skirt brandishing a gun and determined to collect his reward. Could he get away from the blonde spitfire with his heart intact?

When Annabelle unlocks the secrets to his heart and reveals the true man behind the wanted poster, can she lay aside her scruples and allow herself to love an outlaw?

Book Excerpt:

Slap her silly, but she was done! Annabelle McKenzie strode down the wooden sidewalk on her way to the bank. Done with raising chickens, feeding cows and goats, and shoveling manure. She wanted to go with her sisters to hunt for bad men. She wanted to be a bounty hunter.

Deep in thought about how she would explain to her sisters how she craved adventure and longed for excitement, she rounded the corner to enter the bank and slammed into the hard chest muscles of a large dark-haired man. The scent of soap and campfire spiraled straight to her center.

This was a manly man, and Lord knew, they were scarce in Zenith, Texas. Where had this specimen come from?

His hat was pulled low over his face, and he grabbed her by the arms, halting her progress. Her head fit just below his chin. She looked up at his strong, rugged jaw and serious face.

Long black lashes blinked over emerald eyes as he gripped her arms. “Slow down,” he said in a deep husky drawl. He kept his head down, barely looking at her. “There’s still plenty of cash left in the bank.”

What a condescending, egotistical, handsome renegade. Not an “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me”, but rather a crass remark about the money in the bank. “Maybe you should watch where you’re going.”

She tilted her head and stared into his handsome rugged features. There was something about him that seemed familiar, yet she couldn’t place him. Somewhere she’d seen his face. She gazed at him. “You’re tall enough you should be able to see a woman coming.”

He nodded, and she gawked at the way his shirt fit his strong shoulders and muscled arms. His lips were full and tempting, made for kissing.

“You’re right, ma’am. I should see a small package like you, barreling around a blind corner. Maybe I need to replace my spectacles with a pair that can see through walls,” he said, releasing her arms.

“Maybe you do.” The oversized giant was smarting off to her; he wasn’t wearing spectacles.

Where had she seen him before? “What’s your name?”

A sly smile turned up the corners of his full, luscious lips. “Why? You plan on having me arrested for running into you?”

The man had an ornery mouth, and she was just the woman to give it right back.

“Maybe,” she said. “I know the sheriff well. It would serve you right for being belligerent and disrespectful.”

He smiled a wickedly sly grin that sent tingles through her. “You have a really nice day.”

His voice was dripping with sweet sarcasm that made her feel like she’d eaten too many cookies. Tipping his black hat at her, he sauntered out the door.

Like a kick from a bull, it hit her.

His face was on one of the wanted posters she had out in her saddlebags.

Amazon   iBooks   B&N   Kobo   Google

Lipstick and Lead Series:

 Desperate & Deadly combo Desperate                               Deadly

Daring – April 2015

Determined – June 2015

Deceived—September 2015

Western Historicals

A Hero’s Heart

The Burnett Brides Series

The Rancher Takes a Bride

The Outlaw Takes a Bride

The Marshal Takes A Bride

The Christmas Bride

Boxed Set The Burnett Brides

Southern Historical Romance

A Scarlet Bride

The Cuvier Women

Wronged

Betrayed

Bequiled

Boxed Set The Cuvier Women

Sign up for Sylvia’s newsletter at www.SylviaMcDaniel.com

Visit Sylvia’s website at www.SylviaMcDaniel.com

Follow Sylvia on twitter at www.twitter.com/SylviaJMcDaniel

Join Sylvia on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SylviaMcDanielAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150774.Sylvia_McDaniel

Look for her the first Tuesday of every month at the Plotting Princesses blogspot http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com/

Monday Author Meetup: Kit Morgan


My guest today is best selling author of sweet historical romance Kit Morgan.

Kit Morgan

About the author: A consistent Top 100 lists bestseller, Kit Morgan, aka Geralyn Beauchamp, has been writing for fun all of her life. When writing as Geralyn Beauchamp, her books are epic, adventurous, romantic fantasy at its best. When writing as Kit Morgan they are whimsical, fun, inspirational sweet stories that depict a strong sense of family and community.

Welcome Kit! Let’s begin with you describing your favorite place to write.

I live in a log cabin on twenty acres with a creek. I like writing on a bench down by the creek. I also have chairs set up around the property where I can go sit and write. I use voice recognition software a lot, and many times just walk the property while I write.

Do you ever wear your PJs or nightgown all day while writing?

Haven’t done it … yet…

LOL There’s always a first time. I don’t suppose you ever write naked either, right?

Egads! People do that?!?!?!?!

Winking smile So I hear. Getting serious, have you ever written a book together with another author?

Yes, kinda sort of. Cassie Hayes, Kirsten Osbourne and I wrote a trilogy of sorts. We each took one of three identical triplet brothers, and wrote their story which was taking place at the same time the other brother’s stories are taking place. Was quite the chore coordinating scenes with each other and having that particular scene be told from our character’s viewpoint.

That does sound challenging. What project(s) are you working on now?

Book 11 of my Holiday Mail Order Bride Series (book one is The Christmas Mail Order Bride and is a freebie on amazon if one hasn’t discovered the series yet), and another trilogy book.

A freebie, oh goodie! Mind telling us how you unwind and relax when not writing?

Ironically by reading! I’ve also gotten into listening to audio books lately which are a lot of fun!

Do you play any sports? What about hobbies?

I’m a hiker, and love a good trail! Also a flute player (I was an opera major with a flute minor in college) and of course biking!

Opera, wow! You are very versatile! Back to writing, are you a plotter or a pantser? Why?

Definite panster! Though I might have a slim outline just so I know kinda sort what direction I’m going, it often still takes a turn and I’m writing wildly along! But the story always turns out great!

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release is book ten of The Holiday Mail Order Bride Series: His Mail-Order Valentine. I love creating towns and their quirky, odd residents. Independence is no exception. Readers are first introduced to this town in Love In Independence, where one is introduced to the antics of Mercy, Martha, and Maude, three matrons of trouble! And they create plenty when they order a mail-order bride for the new town pastor, and fail to tell him! You can start this particular series with The Christmas Mail-Order Bride, or start in with Love in Independence and go from there. The books can be found on amazon:

         TheChristmasMailOrderBride_1400px      KitMorgan_HisMailOrderValentine_1400px      KitMorgan_TheCowboysMailOrderBride_1400px

The Christmas Mail Order Bride http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FVGRX9O

Love in Independence: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L83QEHG

His Mail Order Valentine: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SZNUM20

And if you’re interested in the trilogy you can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R0PZEEK

KitMorgan_LoveInIndependence_1400px

Book Blurb for Love in Independence:

They say love covers a multitude of sins, and for matchmakers Mercy, Martha, and Maude, it’s a good thing! Fearing the town’s new pastor is lonely, they decide to take matters into their own hands, and order him a mail order bride! Imagine his surprise when he finds out? Only he doesn’t! Mercy, Martha, and Maude see to that!

Winnie Longfellow has spent years caring for her sick mother, and now that she’s passed, has nowhere to go but her Aunt Eugina’s. But her aunt has other things on her mind, other problems to deal with, and so Winnie accepts a proposal from a pastor out west looking for a mail order bride. Little did she know, he was looking for so much more, anything more! He had no idea he’d sent for one! Now Winnie finds herself at the mercy of three madcap matrons, determined that love will find a way. Despite multiple misunderstandings, a horrid bully/gossip, and a woman she’s sure her intended will marry instead of her, Winnie discovers some things about herself, and finds that love really does find its way …

Excerpt:

“More tea, Mrs. Vander?” Betsy the cook/maid asked.

“Why, thank you, Betsy. Don’t mind if I do.” Betsy poured her another cup before she moved on to the guests.

“I think we should write the young lady back and accept,” suggested Martha.

“Let’s not be too hasty. What about other applicants?” asked Maude. “Has anyone else written?”

“No, Mrs. Ridgley sent a note along with the letter,” Mercy told her. “It says Miss Longfellow is the only bride available. If we reject this one, who knows how long we’d have to wait for another to come along.”

Maude set down her teacup and sighed. “Very well, then. Martha, take a letter.”

“Why do I have to take a letter? I wrote the last one.”

“Betsy dear?” Mercy asked. “Would you mind?”

“No, ma’am.” Betsy set down the teapot and went to a small desk near the fireplace. She took out a piece of stationery, picked up a pen, dipped it in an inkpot, and turned to her employer.

“Isn’t she a dear?” Mercy asked her friends. “I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

Betsy fought the urge to roll her eyes.

Maude turned to her. “Dear Miss Longfellow,” she dictated. “I think you’d make me a very happy man …”

“Should he sound so eager?” interrupted Martha. “The word ‘happy’ makes him sound too eager.”

“A man out here ought to be eager for a wife,” countered Mercy. “Any wife!”

“She’s going to make him happy, and what woman wants to marry a grump?” added Maude.

Betsy sat and stared at the three, her mind racing to decipher who the women were talking about. If she were a man, she’d think twice before letting a group of old biddies attend to something as private as his personal love life. What idiot let himself get talked into allowing them the task of obtaining a mail-order bride?

“Betsy,” her employer called across the room. “Leave in the word ‘happy’.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Betsy scribbled it down.

“My dear Miss Longfellow,” Maude began again. “Ah, let’s see, a happy man, yes … ah ha! And I think we shall be very happy together. You’ll be a fine addition to the church and community.”

Mercy stared at her. “That’s not very romantic.”

Betsy shook with suppressed laughter. The poor sap they’d suckered was even letting them answer his bride’s letter for him? Was he off his rocker? Who was this man?

“Romance is irrelevant at this point,” Maude snapped. “The important thing is to have her delivered … I mean, shipped out … brought here …”

“We all know what you meant,” Martha stated as she reached for her cup. “Which of us is she going to stay with when she arrives? We can’t just spring her on the poor man.”

“Why not?” asked Mercy.

Betsy’s mouth dropped open as her eyebrows rose in amusement. Was she saying what she thought she was saying?

“Pastor Luke has a lot on his plate – we have to be considerate of that,” added Maude.

Betsy snorted with laughter and almost fell out of her chair. All three heads turned to her as she quickly righted herself and resumed her position.

“She can stay with us,” added Maude. “If need be, we can rotate until Pastor Luke and this Miss Longfellow marry.”

Betsy could stand it no longer. “What are you talking about? Can’t Pastor Luke send for this woman himself? He’s not that busy!”

“Oh no, that would never do!” Mercy exclaimed. “You see, he doesn’t …” She quickly glanced at her counterparts. They sat as stoically as ever. “That is to say … he can’t be bothered.”

Betsy stood. “Mrs. Vander?” she began, then looked at all three faces in turn. “Has Pastor Luke given his consent for you to do this for him?”

The matrons glanced at one another with fleeting looks. “Well …,” Mercy replied haltingly. “Like I said, he can’t be bothered with such trivial things right now.”

“Trivial? A bride is trivial?!” Betsy gasped.

“I must say, Mercy, your hired help’s respect is sadly lacking,” huffed Maude.

“Now, Betsy,” Mercy began in a panicked voice. “Promise us you won’t breathe a word about this to anyone? Especially Pastor Luke!”

Betsy was about to comment when Maude cut her off. “If you do, we’ll see you fired!”

“You’ll do no such thing!” Mercy squeaked indignantly. “Why, Betsy’s been with us since we came west from St. Louis!”

“Dock her pay, then!” countered Maude. “We’ve got to get this settled and done with. Who’s in charge of the train and stage tickets?”

“I am,” answered Martha. “I’ll go down to the station first thing tomorrow morning and purchase them.”

“It’s settled, then,” said Maude. “Betsy, sign that letter, Pastor Luke Adams.”

Betsy could only stare. “You three are some kind of trouble, and you’re gonna be in a heap of it if your husbands find out.”

“They aren’t going to find out, are they?” Maude said with her eyes narrowed to slits.

“Don’t look at me,” said Betsy. “I ain’t gonna be the one to tell them. Besides, they’ll find out just as soon as that mail-order bride steps off the stage and goes looking for poor Pastor Luke!”

“Then we’ll just have to make sure one of us is there to meet her so that doesn’t happen,” said Martha.

Betsy shook her head. “You do that, and good luck. Because once Pastor Luke finds out what you three have been up to …” She sighed. “… he’s gonna be preaching nothing but fire and brimstone every Sunday for a month!”

Find a complete list of Kit’s books on her website, as well as links to her Facebook page and twitter. You can also sign up for her newsletter and link to her alter ego, Geralyn Beauchamp’s website.

Kit Morgan | Bestselling Author of Sweet Historical Romance

Monday Author Meetup: Kirsten Osbourne


My special guest today is best-selling author Kirsten Osbourne. I had the pleasure of meeting Kirsten at a recent authors retreat and I can tell you she is a very dedicated writer as well as a fun lady. She also co-hosts the Pioneer Hearts group on Facebook, popular with readers and authors. As a change of pace today, I’m skipping the usual interview and headlining Kirsten’s new book. If you like this streamlined format, please let me know.

Kirsten Osbourne

About the author: Kirsten Osbourne hails from the state of Wisconsin, but has lived in Texas for almost thirty years. She is a mother, a writer, and a wife. Married to the love of her life for fifteen years, she knows that true love exists and wants to share her vision of love with the world. Writing is something she has always loved and plans on doing for a long time into the future. As Kirsten Osbourne, she writes contemporary romance as well as historical. As Morganna Mayfair, she ventures into the realm of paranormal romance. She invites you to join her in her world of fantasy and make believe where there is always a happily ever after at the end.

Welcome Kirsten! I’m delighted to spotlight your latest release: Violet

Violet (1)

Violet (Suitors of Seattle Book 7) – Kindle edition by Kirsten Osbourne. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Blurb:

At the age of twenty, Violet Sullivan is on her way to having everything she’s ever wanted. Her first art show was a success, and despite a slight altercation with the gallery owner, she knows that she is going to go places. A husband and children aren’t on her horizon. She can’t have a career and a family, can she?

The only thing Jonas Smith can concentrate on is justice. His sister and brother-in-law have been murdered, and he won’t be able to rest until he sees their killer brought to justice. He only wishes he could stop thinking about Violet Sullivan. Will the two of them be able to see past their differences to find the passion lurking inside? Will they find love before it’s too late?

Excerpt:

The woman that entered the room left them both speechless.  Her hair was pure white, and she couldn’t have been a day under seventy.  She practically bounced into the room and sat down beside Violet.  “I’m here to apply for the job of traveling companion.”

Violet looked at the other woman and immediately noticed the twinkle in her eyes behind her huge spectacles.  “Why do you want to be a traveling companion, Miss Blue?”

“Oh, honey, you can call me Edna.  I’m old.  I think you can see that if you have eyes in your head, and you do appear to have eyes.  I’m old, and I’ve been making hats for fifty years.  Do you know what it’s like to do the same thing day in and day out for fifty years?  Of course you don’t.  You’re young.”  She reached into the pocket of her dress and took out a silver flask, taking a deep swig of whatever was in it before tucking it back into her pocket.  “Well, now that I’m old, I realize that I haven’t done some of the things I put on my list when I was a girl.”  She turned to Violet.  “Do you have a list?  All of my friends and I, when we were very young, made lists of what we wanted to do before we died.  I wanted to marry, and I almost did, but poor Harry died before we had a chance to reach that pinnacle of love that’s expressed in a physical way.”  She shook her head.  “Anyway, on my list was to ride on a train and to see New York City.”  She looked over at Jonas.  “So will you have me?”

Jonas blinked a few times, not sure he’d caught exactly what she was talking about, and what on earth was in her flask?  “Do you like children?”

“Of course I like children.  What kind of question is that?”  She looked at Violet.  “Are you with child?  Is that why we’re going to New York? I’ll either help you take care of it, or we’ll find a nice family who will adopt it.  Either way, my lips will be sworn to secrecy about your bastard child!”

Violet bit her lip to control her urge to giggle.  “I’m not having a bastard child, Miss Blue…I mean Edna, but I thank you for being willing to protect my reputation.  I’d love to have you go with me.”  Suddenly she could see herself sitting beside this woman on a train bound for New York.  She would be laughing the entire time.

Jonas stared at the woman for a moment.  “The child is my nephew.  He’s three, and he’ll be traveling with us.  While we’re there, I need to pack up my sister’s house and decide what to keep and what to donate.  She died a few months ago.”

“Oh, Mr. Smith!  I’m so sorry for your loss.  I’ll be happy to help with your sister’s child too.  He’s not a bastard, is he?”  She peered at Jonas expectantly as she waited for his answer.

“No, he’s not a bastard.  Does that matter?”

“Oh no, sir.  I love bastard children just as much as the regular legitimate tots.  More probably.  They need more love, don’t you think?”

Jonas didn’t feel at all qualified to answer her question about whether bastard children needed more love, and he still wanted to know what was in her flask.  “What’s in the flask, Miss Blue?”

She pulled the container out of her pocket again and took another swig after unscrewing the lid.  “Oh this?  This is my cough tonic.”  She put it back in her pocket and looked at Jonas expectantly.

“Cough tonic?  I haven’t heard you cough even once.”

“See?  My tonic works!  Would you like some?”  She pulled it out of her pocket to offer him a drink.

Jonas held one hand up to refuse the tonic, but couldn’t help but notice that Violet was giggling uncontrollably.  Why…Violet was turning violet she was laughing so hard.  “No, thank you.”  He looked between the two women, wondering if Edna Blue was really the kind of woman they needed on their trip.  After a moment he shrugged.  “If you’ll excuse us for a moment, I’ll let you know our decision.”

Jonas turned to Violet wishing that Edna had closed the door behind her.  “Do you think that Edna would be a good companion for you?”

Violet grinned.  “Oh yes.  She will keep me entertained when nothing else possibly could.  Please, may we take her with us?”  Now that she’d met Edna, she wanted no one else to go on their trip with them.  Edna was the only choice as far as she was concerned.

Jonas sighed heavily.  “Do I have a choice?”

“No, I don’t believe you do.”  She was thrilled to have the option of taking the sweet old woman who was just a bit off her rocker with her.  “I love her, Mr. Smith!”

Jonas shook his head.  “I can see you do.  All right.  And please, call me Jonas.  We’re going to be spending a great deal of time together.  There’s no need to continue to be so formal.”

“All right, Jonas.  I think Edna is the perfect solution to our dilemma.”

Jonas decided to hold his tongue over the kind of solution he thought Edna was.  “Miss Blue?” he called out loudly.

Edna popped back into the room, her frizzy white hair bobbing wildly.  “Yes?”

“We’d like you to go to New York with us, if you’re willing to accept the job.”  Jonas knew as soon as he said the words they were a mistake.  He felt a huge sense of foreboding, but it was too late.  He’d made the offer, and he was a man of his word.

Jonas shook his head, wondering what he’d gotten himself into.  Edna was definitely not the type of woman he’d wanted to take with him to New York.  She was going to be a handful.  There was no doubt about it.

Edna smiled radiantly at Violet, her face lighting up at the girl’s words.  “I won’t let you do anything you oughtn’t do.  I promise! When do we leave?  I need to pack my things!”

“We’ll leave one week from today.  I’ll send word after I buy the tickets about what time we’ll need to go.”

Edna nodded.  “That will be wonderful.  I will see you then.”  She rushed from the room mumbling about all the things that she needed to do to be ready for the big adventure.

Jonas watched her go and leaned back in his chair.  “Did that really just happen?  Is that crazy woman going to New York with us?”

Monday couldn’t come soon enough.

Visit Kirsten on these sites:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Kirsten.Os

website: http://www.kirstenandmorganna.com/

Monday Author Meetup: Peggy L Henderson


Visiting me today is best selling author of western historical and time travel romance, Peggy Henderson. Please make her welcome.

Peggy Henderson

About the author:

Peggy says, I never thought I’d be a writer, much less publish a book some day. I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I guess life just had other plans for me. When my husband and I decided to start a family, vet school pretty much went out the window. I used to work with a vet who had three children while going through vet school. To this day, she is my hero.

I live with my husband and two teenage sons in southern California. I have a Welsh pony and a miniature horse (down-sized from a barn of six horses). A crazy Labrador retriever who is a food vacuum, three cats, two parakeets, four bearded dragons (my compromise with my sons when they wanted a snake), and a small flock of chickens complete our menagerie of critters. I can’t imagine my life without my animals. My dream is to live in Montana some day.

Four years ago, I began writing a story that, for whatever reason, was stuck in my head for almost a year. I have been an avid romance reader for a long time, and the idea took hold to – why not? – write my own! What a simple idea, right?

It has been a long and difficult journey from my first sentence to a completed, and hopefully polished, manuscript. Today, I have a completed series of 5 books and a novella in what I called The Yellowstone Romance Series, a first book in my new Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, and I am currently working on the final book in a trilogy set in the Grand Tetons.

Life does have a way of changing our plans. What about your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser? And please tell us why.

I am an absolute panster. I start with a blip of an idea, and I just start writing. I’ve tried plotting before, but the ideas simply don’t come to me when I try and write an outline. I’ll jot down ideas for specific scenes, but that’s as far as my “plotting” goes. I usually don’t know the ending to my story until I’m about two-thirds of the way done, and sometimes not even then.

Do you have critique partners and/or beta readers?

I started out with my critique partner back in early 2011 after I wanted some feedback on a story I had written (Yellowstone Heart Song). Since I published the book in January of 2012, I’ve added several beta readers to my team. I’ve had a few other writers critique some chapters in other books here and there, and I have about ten beta readers on my current WIP.

Do you play any sports? What about hobbies?

I’ve never been an athlete. The closest to sports I’ve done has been horseback riding (specifically dressage) which, if you are a serious rider, is definitely cardiovascular in nature, and I don’t mean the increased heart rate because you’re sitting on, and are under the illusion that you are in control, of a 1000 pound living creature with a mind of its own.

For hobbies, I go hiking and camping with my husband. I also enjoy drawing and painting. I used to sell pet portraits professionally.

Hiking and camping sound athletic to me, and dressage? Wow! That’s fantastic. If money was no object, what extravagant thing would you do or buy? (I bet I can guess your answer.)

LOL! You probably can, Lyn. If money was no object, I would buy (after I buy a log cabin with acreage somewhere outside of Yellowstone National Park) a Grand Prix level dressage horse. Years ago, I rode dressage in the “western town” I lived in, and was laughed at by all the cowboys next door on their roping horses, chasing their cows around. I never had the money for a “fancy” horse, only my little off-the-track Running Quarter Horse. I trained him and took him as far as his physical abilities could take him in dressage. To this day, I would love to ride (much less own) a world-class, finished dressage horse.

I guessed the Yellowstone location, and I hope you get your “fancy” horse. Quick change of subject: Do you prefer writing and reading books in a series, or “stand alone” books?

Well, the first book I ever wrote, Yellowstone Heart Song, was supposed to be the only book I ever wrote. I never expected to write another book, and it was written as a stand-alone. I did have an epilogue that actually opened the door for a sequel, and so that’s what I decided to write when my critique partner asked me what I was writing next (after Heart Song was done). Well, the sequel turned into a trilogy, which turned into a five-book plus a novella (to date) series. And I’m currently working on the last book in another trilogy, and the second book in an open-ended series.

As a reader, I love reading series, or books that are connected, because when I enjoy a story, it’s nice to see the characters again in other books, or to see the story continue. I inject that into my writing, as well. I love to revisit the characters I’ve created in previous books.

We have that in common. Do you hear from your readers? If so, please quote your favorite fan letter.

It was difficult to pick my favorite, but here’s one from a reader who is now one of my beta readers.

“What did I do this Labor Day weekend? Finished one of the best romance/historical series I have read in a long time! I zipped through all five books in a week, they were so good, I just couldn’t put them down (although, now I am sad I read them so fast since there aren’t any more!) Terrific job! 
I really love all the characters, the description of how they lived and the beautiful place where they lived, the realistic dialog…everything was just spot on. The heat in the love scenes was good and I especially appreciated that the characters were actually in LOVE with each other first! 
These characters sure stay with you. I hesitate to start another series right away, since I’m still thinking about this family.”

What a wonderful compliment from your fan! I’m sure she loves beta reading for you. Can you tell us what aspect of writing makes you happiest? And what frustrates you most about writing?

What makes me happiest about writing is when I get feedback from readers of how my stories have impacted them in a good way. It always amazes me when readers tell me they really want to go visit Yellowstone after reading my books.

The most frustrating thing about writing is when the words don’t flow or come together on screen the way I see them in my head.

I so agree with you! What project(s) are you working on now?

I am currently working on Book 2 in the Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, and the final book in the Teton Romance Trilogy. After that, I’ve got something top secret up my sleeve, then the third book in the Second Chances Series, and I’m mulling over a series of historical western romance novellas as well.

Top secret? Ooh, I can’t wait to find out what that is! Now, I’m sure my readers would love to sample one of your books if you’d like to share.

I’d love to. Here’s a little taste of YELLOWSTONE HEART SONG (Book 1 Yellowstone Romance Series)

Peggy's Ad

Blurb:

Passion ignites when the past meets the present in the wilderness we now know as Yellowstone National Park. Aimee Donovan, a modern-day nurse and avid outdoor adventurer unexpectedly travels back in time to encounter the ruggedly handsome mountain man, Daniel Osborne. Can their love endure the test of time, or will untold secrets tear them apart?

Excerpt:

Daniel wasted no time and sprinted across the camp. With a vicious roar, he lunged at Françoise, just as Aimee hit the ground. His body collided with the Frenchman. The impact sent them both to the ground. They rolled in the dirt, and Françoise frantically struggled to gain the upper hand. Daniel threw his full weight against the Frenchman. He straddled the man’s hips. Francoise stabbed wildly in the air with his knife.

“No man touches her and lives,” Daniel snarled. Françoise’s eyes widened in terror. His knife made contact with Daniel’s upper arm. Daniel grabbed hold of the man’s wrist and squeezed. The Frenchman’s sweat-soaked face turned red from strain. His arm trembled.  Turning Francoise’s wrist so that the knife now pointed downward, Daniel pushed the man’s arm until the sharp weapon plunged deep into Francoise’s chest. The Frenchman looked up in surprise for a split second before his face froze. His body went limp.

Daniel pushed himself up off the ground, and caught his breath for a moment, hands on his knees. He swiped his arm across his forehead, then looked around to where Aimee had been thrown to the ground. She had pulled herself to a sitting position and watched with wide, fearful eyes. He approached her slowly. Had he been too late? His beautiful, brave little wildcat had once again amazed him with her quick thinking and actions.

“Aimee,” he said softly. He dropped to his knees in front of her. She wordlessly held out her hands to show him her bound wrists. Cursing, he pulled his knife from its sheath, and with one quick move, sliced through the leather ropes binding her hands. Like a coiled spring that had been released, she threw herself at Daniel and wound her arms tightly around his neck. The impact almost knocked him off balance. With an anguished sigh, he wrapped his arms around her, and crushed her against his chest.

Her body shook in his embrace and she sobbed into his chest. Silently, he held her and let her cry. He gently stroked her back, and combed his fingers through her loose hair. His mind reeled from one emotion to the next. Anger, fear, joy, love.

He wanted to kill those two bastards over and over again for what they had done to her. He reveled in the joy of holding her close to him, knowing she trusted him. He feared what might have already happened before he found her. Consumed by a burning love for this woman he held in his arms, he suddenly realized he couldn’t let her go. The thought of losing her today had tested his strength and endurance to the limit. Daniel knew he would do it all over again if he had to.

After what seemed like hours, Aimee stirred in his arms. She sniffed and wiped her nose and face on her sleeve, and raised her head from his shoulder. He cradled her dirty, tear-streaked face in his hands while his thumbs caressed her cheeks. His eyes devoured her.

“You came for me.” Her voice was a mere whisper.

“I would follow you to the ends of the world if I had to,” Daniel said in a sultry tone.

Aimee smiled weakly and touched a trembling hand to his cheek.

Daniel cleared his throat, and slowly rose to his feet. “I’m afraid my legs are numb from kneeling so long,” he said with a tentative smile. He held out his hand to help her up. She placed her small hand in his, her eyes on his face. He pulled her to her feet, and she cried out. Her knees gave out, and she sank back to the ground. Startled, he reacted purely by reflex. With one arm under her knees and the other at her waist, he scooped her up and held her close.

“What is it?” He searched her face for answers. What had those animals done to her?

“My legs are so sore, I can barely stand,” she answered with a weak smile.

“Did those bastards . . .” he hissed, unable to finish his question, dreading her answer. Aimee shook her head.

“No, they didn’t . . . not in that way.” Her words alleviated his fear. His tense muscles relaxed. “I haven’t ridden on a horse in years, and muscles that I didn’t know existed are protesting.” Aimee gave him a reassuring smile.

Daniel set her feet down on the ground gently, but held her at the waist. She sucked in a deep breath, and her hands reached out to hold on to his shoulders for support. His gaze locked intently with hers. “No man will ever touch you again.” Then, in a whisper, he added, “No man but me.”

His hand reached up to gently cup the side of her face. His thumb stroked her satiny cheek, tracing where a bruise appeared from being struck by the Frenchmen.

“Daniel . . .” She breathed his name. Slowly, he lowered his face to hers. He hesitated for a moment. Searching her face, he waited for her to tell him to stop, waited for her stiffen. When she did neither, his lips brushed hers gently, and Aimee let out a soft moan. Her arms crept up around his neck, and she leaned into him. His heart pounded in his chest. Daniel deepened the kiss, and wrapped one arm around her waist to draw her closer to him. His fingers caressed her cheek, her eyelids, her forehead, and finally entwined in her hair, then he cradled the back of her head. He groaned as Aimee returned his kiss with equal passion. The hunger for her that had been building in him for weeks threatened to overtake him again, but he remained in control of his emotions this time.

He savored her mouth, nipping, tasting, cherishing. When he could bear no more, he pulled back. He was not going to take advantage of her. And he would be taking advantage. The way she clung to him and kissed him back was almost more than he could stand. He trailed a few more light kisses along the side of her mouth, her cheek, and down her neck before pulling his face several inches from hers.

How often had he dreamed of holding her, kissing her, making love to her? He cursed himself for the timing. He released his hold at her waist, and took a step back. With a heavy sigh, he said, “We should get away from here. I know where we can make camp and you can rest for the night.”

Aimee grabbed his upper arm. “Daniel.” Her eyes turned large and round, the deep blue pools shimmering with need. “Daniel . . . I . . . I want to be with you.”

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Monday Author Meetup: Caroline Clemmons


Visiting this week is multi-published, award winning author Caroline Clemmons.

Caroline Clemmons - Dreamin in Dallas - 4-1-11About the Author:

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her most recent novel, BLUEBONNET BRIDE, is a poignant tale of tender redemption. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline is a member of Romance Writers of America, Dallas Area Romance Authors, Yellow Rose Romance Writers, and Hearts Through History Romance Writers. Her latest publications are the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain series: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and BLUEBONNET BRIDE.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Hi, Caroline. I’m so glad you could join me today.

I’m happy to be here, Lyn.

Please tell us about your typical writing day. What’s your best time of day to write? On average, how many hour a day do you write?

I do most of my marketing and social media early in the morning. I write most of the day, but I do my best work between seven pm and one am. I am at my computer from five to twelve hours a day.

Those are some long days. I often work late into the night too. Do you prefer quiet or do you listen to music while you write?

I write to classical music from Pandora online radio. Classical music keeps me from being distracted by the lyrics. I believe it also helps the rhythm of my writing. When I’m involved with online marketing/promotion, I listen to an eclectic mix of artists like Carole King, Ella Fitzgerald, Rascal Flatts, Maroon Five, and many more.

I love your mix of music! You’ve also had a mix of publishers, I understand. Please share your experiences if you don’t mind.

I don’t mind a bit. I began with Kensington (bad experience) for three books and a novella. After a period of discouragement, I moved to a small press, The Wild Rose Press (wonderful people!). Due to the opportunity to increase my royalties, I am now self-published and love it. I still have one contemporary western romance and one historical novella with The Wild Rose Press, but the rights will revert to me this fall.

Higher royalties are a big incentive to self-publish, I agree. Does your significant other and/or family support your writing career?

I’m very lucky. My husband is unbelievably supportive and even helps with covers and uploading book to the various vendors. Both our daughters are encouraging and helpful.

Yes, you’re very lucky. Do you have critique partners and/or beta readers?

I have the world’s best critique partners who encourage and support me. They are strong in my weak areas and definitely make my writing better. They also hold me accountable so I don’t goof off. ☺ Our critique sessions also involve a little group therapy.

LOL! I know what you mean. I’m curious, do you prefer writing and reading books in a series, or “stand alone” books?

I love writing and reading books in a series. Since I love my characters, I hate to let them go. I enjoy revisiting them to update what has transpired in their lives.

Do you hear from your readers? If so, please quote your favorite fan letter.

My favorite is a note from a fan about BRAZOS BRIDE: “This was soooooo good. I love this book so much I’ve read it about twenty times.”

Wow, what a compliment! I’m sure your fans eagerly await your next book. What project(s) are you working on now?

I’m writing the third book in the historical Kincaid series. The hero is Storm Kincaid and the title is THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP. As with all but one of my books, it’s set in Texas. I expect to release it in September. I also plan a Christmas novella in the Stone Mountain series, CHRISTMAS ON STONE MOUNTAIN, to be released early November. This novella will feature Sheriff “Buster” Parrish. Maybe we’ll learn his real first name.

Sounds like you’re super busy. How about a blurb from your latest release?

Sure. This blurb is for Tabitha’s Journey. front cover

Would you become a mail-order bride?

Tabitha Masterson is certain whatever awaits her in Radford Springs, Texas will be better than what her brother and that awful William have in mind in Boston. After her father’s death, her brother has become a tyrant. She escapes to begin her new life in Texas, but trouble can’t be far behind. She believes if she’s married when trouble arrives, she’ll be safe. But her fiancé is reluctant to accept her as a substitute for the mail-order bride he’d courted.

Bear Baldwin is crushed when he receives a wire notifying him that the woman with whom he has corresponded for almost a year has passed him off to her friend. Do the two women believe he’s like an old shirt to be handed down? His mother urges him to give the substitute fiancée a chance, but his pride is stung and he hasn’t decided.

Excerpt:

Tabitha sat in the Witt family’s parlor and wiped tears from her face. “I’ve never been so miserable. Prissy, what am I going to do?”

“Are you certain he’d send you to an asylum if you resist?”

“Yes, but I don’t know which would be worse—being married to William or being locked away. The man gives me shivers in the worst way.”

“Me, too.” Priscilla paused and smoothed the folds of her yellow and black plaid taffeta skirt. “I-I’ve had another letter from Tobias.”

Her attention captured and anger deflected, Tabitha leaned toward her friend intent on hearing the missive’s contents. “Did her send for you?”

“Yes.” Suddenly, Priscilla’s face puckered as if she, too, might cry. “Oh, I don’t know what to do.”

“Prissy?” She leaned back to stare at her friend. “What do you mean? I thought you’d accepted his proposal.”

Tabitha was half in love with Tobias Baldwin herself. Already she knew they shared many interests. Priscilla had shared each of his letters, and Tabitha had assisted Priscilla in answering them. Assisted so much, the writing became Tabitha’s heartfelt missives to him.

“I was all set to leave, just as I said. But…oh, Tabbie, Virgil Allsup has finally spoken to Papa for me. If only Virgil had come forward sooner I never would have answered that mail order bride agency’s advertisement.” She sniffed and dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief. “You know I’ve yearned for Virgil ever so long. By now I thought he didn’t want me.”

“What are you going to do?” Tabitha knew what she’d do. In her way of thinking, a man who dragged his feet as Virgil had all these years couldn’t begin to measure up to Tobias as a husband.

“That’s just it. I-I accepted Virgil’s proposal.” She sobbed into her handkerchief.

Tabitha couldn’t help her own tear-filled eyes widening in surprise. “You’re engaged to two men? Prissy, that’s—“

“Unethical? I know.” Priscilla waved her handkerchief. “I think it’s even illegal. Breach of contract or something.” Priscilla met Tabitha’s gaze. “But don’t you see? This could be a solution for your problem.”

Tabitha sighed and shook her head. “I don’t think mine has a solution.”

“Since you hate living with David and Bertha, and you always thought so much of Tobias, maybe you’d like to take my place.” She chewed at her lip as she glanced at Tabitha.

“Me? Go to Texas and marry Tobias?” Incredulous as the idea sounded, already Tabitha’s mind considered the option.