Something to Brag About!


As some of you may recall, I have a neuro-muscular disability called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, CMT for short. My daughter also has it. For that reason, my husband and I belong to the CMT Association, which is leading the race for a cure. Each year, we take part in the annual Walk 4 CMT in September to raise funds for critical research.

2017 group walk 4 CMTA

Dallas Walk 4 CMT 2017

Yesterday, I received an email from our branch leader announcing the results:

THANK YOU all for being a part of the Dallas Walk 4 CMT 2017! Each of you are an integral part of our success. . . .

YOU helped make the Dallas Walk 4 CMT a tremendous achievement. This year, a record 110 people took part in the festivities at South Lakes Park and together we raised over $9,600 for the CMTA towards ending CMT! We could not have done it without you. Cheers!

Nationally, the Walk has raised close to $160,000, and still growing. Hooray!

If you would like to find out more about CMT, go here:

https://www.cmtausa.org/understanding-cmt/what-is-cmt/

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


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About Sally Cronin

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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

 

Raise Your Amazon Book Rank


I’ve tried lots of ways to boost my book’s rank on Amazon. The best way I’ve found is to submit my book to Ereader News Today’s Bargain and Free Books. When I placed RESCUING LARA (Romancing the Guardians, Book One) on ENT it shot up from in the dumps to in the 1,000 top book ranks. I was thrilled!

Why I didn’t follow up with book 2, I don’t know. Life probably distracted me. Then I actually forgot which book promotion site worked so well. Aarg!

Well, one day last week I was going through my files, cleaning out some clutter, when I ran across a note to myself about the excellent results from ENT for Rescuing Lara. Wasting no time, I submitted BEGUILING DELILAH (RTG Book 6) to ENT. The book was accepted and is running today on ENT. http://ereadernewstoday.com/more-bargain-and-free-books-for-8-6-17/

Cover & Cote d'Azur

Once again, sales are zooming  up. You can bet I will be submitting my other books to ENT soon! I highly recommend their site for other authors who need to boost their Amazon rankings.

To clarify, you must make your book FREE or price it low on the day it runs on ENT’s Bargain and Free Books page. But believe me, it’s worth knocking your price down if  you have to in order to push your book up the ranks so it will be noticed by readers on Amazon.

 

Be My Guest: Caroline Clemmons


Please welcome my guest, Caroline Clemmons, a wonderful writer I’m happy to have on my liCaroline Clemmons - Dreamin in Dallas - 4-1-11ttle corner of the net. Welcome, Caroline.

Hi, Lyn Thanks for having me as your guest today.

I’m excited to announce my latest historical western title, SNARE HIS HEART, is now available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B073ZN4CCG for only $1.99. This is number 5 in my Loving A Rancher Series for Debra Holland’s Montana Skies Series for Kindle World. Whew! That sounds a lot more complicated than it is.

Montana Sky Series

Caroline, before we talk more about your beautiful new book, please tell us a little about your family and growing up.

My parents lived in North Central Texas when I was born but moved to Oildale, California when I was a baby. (Imagine my surprise when I learned one of my recent signed-paperback winners also lived in Oildale near the same time and had attended the same elementary school.) Just before I was eight, we moved back to Texas, but to West Texas and I grew up in Lubbock. That’s where I met my Hero. Now we live in North Central Texas with our menagerie of rescued pets. Our two lovely daughters are grown but, fortunately for us, live nearby.

When did you start writing?

I’m not certain, but I remember writing and illustrating stories as a child. My father taught me to read and write early. I joke that he taught me to read because he tired of reading the comic page to me each evening (I was crazy about Bugs Bunny) but actually Daddy placed a high value on education. I took journalism in school and for many years, I wrote newspaper stories. My mother-in-law loved reading romances and told me I should write one judging from the long letters I wrote. I did and in 1998 Kensington published my first romance book.

Are you traditionally or self-published?

I am very happily self-published. Not only do I make more money than I ever did with a traditional publisher, I get to write what I wish, when I wish. This freedom is wonderful and being self-employed at home is—as the ad says—priceless. I have only a few steps’ commute to work each day and there’s no dress code. I do write each day, some days more than others.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Even though the story lines are fiction, they show characters overcoming obstacles. I hope readers go away from my books having been uplifted and entertained and having forgotten for a while any problems or stressors they may have.

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” By M. Ghandi

What are your plans for the future?

To keep writing, of course. Next month I will publish the conclusion to my Bride Brigade series, PRUDENCE. After that, I have a long schedule of books planned. If I live to be two hundred, I might get them all written. ☺

I admire your talent and prolific writing! Now tell us about your new release.

Glad too! SNARE HIS HEART is set in 1887 in and near Sweetwater Springs, Montana Territory. Those of you who read Debra Holland’s books will recognize many of her characters in this story. My book’s main characters are Forrest Clanahan and Addie Ryan, with Forrest’s stepbrother Ethan Campbell playing a large role.

Here’s the summary:

How can Adeline “Addie” Ryan deal with pity and sly remarks after her fiancé leaves her at the altar and elopes with her bridesmaid? Usually optimistic, Addie suspects this event will taint her socially as long as she remains in Atlanta. At her sister’s suggestion, she visits a matrimonial consultant. One man’s letter touches her heart, but can she travel to Montana Territory and marry a stranger?

Forrest Clanahan carries scars on half of his upper body that he received when he tried but failed to rescue his late wife from their burning home. Her death left a hole in his heart that won’t allow him to love again—but his children need a woman’s guidance and he needs a wife. He offers kindness and consideration—but not love. Never love.

Addie and Forrest unite against threats but can they develop a loving relationship?

Snare His Heart large

Yes, this is another mail-order bride story. I love reading and writing about women who believe becoming a mail-order bride is the best or only opportunity left for them. Would I want to have been one? No! But, who knows what we’d do if faced with difficult choices?

The Civil War decimated the male population. Later, when many eligible men moved west, a surplus of marriage-age women were left behind. At that time in history, there were few options left for a gently-bred woman who didn’t marry. She could become a companion for an elderly relative, become a governess if she was educated enough, or teach school (which required she remain single). Doing anything else lowered her social standing—if she had any.

I’ve read true stories of women who ventured across the country to marry a stranger they knew only by mail. Brides in some of these situations had tragic tales while others were happy—or at least contented. If you’re interested, Chris Enss published HEARTS WEST about several of these real-life mail-order brides.

I hope you’ll read and enjoy SNARE HIS HEART and that you’ll love Addie and Forrest as much as I do. If you do, please leave a review!

Excerpt:

“Shall we go?” Then, maneuvering so he kept his good side to her, he guided her down the aisle.

The children and men followed.

Before they left the sanctuary, Mrs. Norton indicated a large basket on the back pew. “I always prepare our brides a basket of food. A woman shouldn’t have to cook on her wedding day.”

Her groom accepted the container, which appeared heavy. “Appreciate your kindness.”

Addie gave the minister’s wife a brief hug. “Thank you for everything, Mrs. Norton.”

The kindly woman smiled.

Reverend Norton stood beside his wife. “We hope to see you folks again soon.”

Addie hurried to keep pace with her new husband. She still hadn’t seen the scarred side of his face. Surely she would now and she braced herself so she wouldn’t cringe or display shock. Better to get that over with than prolong her tension.

He set the basket in the wagon bed. When he turned back to help her, she touched his unblemished jaw and turned his head so she could see his full face. He flinched and his hands fisted at his side.

He resembled a harlequin with half of his face perfect and handsome and the other half scarred, red, and horribly puckered. The combination created a ghoulish sight that would frighten anyone not prepared. Forcing herself not to outwardly react to his frightening appearance, she looked into his dark blue eyes.

“You said you wanted a wife who could look you in the face but you haven’t given me an opportunity.”

In the sanctuary, his voice had been soft and hushed. Now he spoke with a pleasant baritone, “Thank you for not screaming. I want neither pity nor rejection but only to be treated as I deserve.”

Not flinching had taken every ounce of her self-control. She ached for the pain he must have endured. Was there even a doctor in this area? How had he survived?

Montana Sky Series

In addition to SNARE HIS HEART, eight other Montana Skies Series books are now released.

TANGLED BLOOM is by Dallis Adams

SAVING THE OUTLAW is by Linnea Alexis

HEARTS RHYTHM is by Linda Carroll-Bradd

THE SCOUNDREL’S INCONVENIENT BRIDE is by Crystal Green

GIFTS OF LOVE is by Kit Morgan

REDEMPTION ROSE is by Louella Nelson

WHEN THE HEART HEALS is by Judy Pennell

LEGACY is by Lynn Winchester

You can see the covers and purchase each book on Debra Holland’s website at http://www.debraholland.com/kindle-worlds.html

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Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

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 family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.

Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a Free novella of Happy Is Bride.

Now, please go to Caroline’s blog at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com to read about Lyn Horner as her guest.

Be My Guest: Charlene Raddon


The Birth of a Story

You learn the darnedest facts while researching a book. Sometimes, what you find can throw your story completely off-kilter and send you searching for a new storyline. Other times, it can change a story from good to fantastic.

RideForBride_CVR 72

This is what happened to me with my newest book, Ride for a Bride in Wyoming, from the series Rocky Mountain Romances.

I already had the story—New York society spinster whose passion is protecting animals from cruelty meets a Wyoming rancher who raises bulls for the budding rodeo business and rides a buffalo in horse races.

And I had the characters—Annora Lee Bostwick, a member of the new American  Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who moves to Sheridan, Wyoming to open a new branch; and Birch Struthers, also known as Buffalo Birch Struthers, a rancher involved in the beginnings of the rodeo. Burke has recently taken over the family ranch after his father’s death, but if he wants to hang onto the property, he must marry and soon, or lose it to a man he hates.

My problem was how to get them together. Neither wants to marry, and they seem like total opposites. That’s when I read about the Ride for a Bride race that took place in Sheridan, Wyoming as part of their first official rodeo in 1909. Harry Lewis, the groom, won the hand of Hazel Foster, and they were married that very day.

light bulb moment

What a grand solution to my dilemma!

Of course, Annora and Birch don’t fall in love at first sight. Far from it. Annora accuses Birch of mistreating his buffalo and the bulls he uses in the ranch competition. Birch sees her as a spoiled, stuck-up New York Society spinster unfit for life on a Wyoming ranch.

Birch agrees to be the groom for the Ride for a Bride race to follow the competition because of his father’s will demanding that he marry within a year. Annora, however, is blackmailed into participating.

And, so the fun began.

I loved writing this novella, and hope readers like it as well as I do.

EXCERPT

Her hair was a light red. Not strawberry blond, nor the usual carrot red. Birch never would’ve thought of a color like red being mellow or calm, but that’s how he saw it.

She had freckles to go with the hair, and intense, green eyes with a hint of stubbornness as if she wouldn’t give an inch even if you set her skirts on fire. That glimpse of obstinacy matched the tilt of her chin and the stiff way she held herself. An uppity New York spinster no doubt hoping to snag what she’d failed to catch back home—a husband.

“She’s my cousin,” Lissette told the mayor, an arm around Miss Bostwick’s waist.

“And my bride-to-be,” Jenks asserted.

“That is impossible,” Miss Bostwick stated with emphasis.

Great thunder! Even her voice sounded pretty, like a meadowlark at dusk.

“I’m afraid this is my fault,” Lissette said. “You see, Annora’s mother wrote, asking me to help Annora find a husband. She gave me to understand that is why Annora decided to relocate here. When I saw the notice about the race, it seemed the perfect answer.”

“Why didn’t you ask me if I considered it perfect?” Miss Bostwick pulled the cat from her shoulder. “I’ve no need for a husband. I like being a spinster.”

Birch swallowed a laugh at that.

“Oh, but, Annora, I… I only want to see you happy.” Looking stricken, Lissette glanced around at their audience. “Please, can we discuss this later?”

“Good idea,” Mayor Sythes said. “I think we’ve strayed from the topic, folks.”

“Yes. Remove my name as the Ride for a Bride bride,” Miss Bostwick told him.

Lissette’s face paled. “Annora, you can’t.”

“I’d like to know why not.”

“Ladies. Ladies.” Sythes tried to get the situation under control.

Birch felt he ought to be rooting for one of the women, but didn’t know which. Miss Bostwick had a right to be angry at her cousin for putting her in such an awkward situation.

“But, Mayor,” Jenks whined, “I have a right to take my bride over to the church and get hitched. I won the race.”

Lissette’s skirts rustled as she whirled to face him. “No one expected that to happen. Birch and Hezzie always win.”

“That doesn’t change the fact that I won this time,” he retorted.

“Which means nothing to me,” Miss Bostwick said.

Birch raised his hands. “Hold on. Can I get a word in here?”

“Go ahead,” Mayor Sythes gestured him forward. “Speak up, Birch.”

“First, I had no knowledge about Miss Westbrook coming here—”

“Bostwick,” the redhead corrected, preventing the calico kitten from climbing to her shoulder again.

“—or being the designated bride for the race. In fact, I didn’t think any bride had volunteered yet.”

“I can verify when the race is to take place.” Mayor Sythes pulled a paper out of his vest pocket. “I have the competition rules and schedule with me.” Putting on his spectacles, he read, “The Ride for a Bride Race shall commence on the day following the conclusion of the ranch competition. That means the race is to be held July 30.”

“Let me see that.” Jenks snatched the paper away.

Lissette clapped her hands in delight. “This means you still have a chance to win Annora’s hand, Birch. Isn’t that marvelous?”

He wanted to puke.

Horshoe, cactus, stetson & horse divider

Ride for a Bride in Wyoming is currently available for pre-order, and will be released July 22. Find it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071XDTV9G

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The Rocky Mountain Romances series is made up of seven books by seven great authors to be released one each week, beginning with Utah Sunrise by Amelia C Adams, released this week and available NOW.

Check out all the books at https://www.facebook.com/RockyMountainRomances/.

Charlene Raddon Headshot-2

Charlene is multi-published, award-winning author of American historical romance noels. Originally published by Kensington Books, she is now self-published. She loves traveling, writing, reading, spoiling her grandchildren, and hearing from readers. She is also a graphics artist and has her own business creating book covers for authors at http://silversagebookcovers.com

 

 

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Charlene-Raddon/e/B000APG1P8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

https://twitter.com/craddon

http://www.facebook.com/CharleneRaddon

http://charleneraddon.com

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1232154.Charlene_Raddon

4th of July Surprise


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Woohoo! I woke up to discover Rescuing Lara is now on NetGalley. I’m thrilled it was accepted for this BIG reading and reviewing site.

Bastille Day Release


At last! Beguiling Delila (Romancing the Guardians, Book 6) will be released on July 14, Bastille Day – France’s equivalent to the US Independence Day. Why? Because most of the book is set in France. Opening in Paris, the story takes Delilah Moreau, the French Guardian, and Leon Tseda, her hero, on a life-and-death race across the country to Nice on the breathtaking Côte d’Azur, before they take flight to America.

Cover & Cote d'Azur

Leon is one of my favorite characters from the series. He’s no spring chicken, and neither is Delilah, but they’re not too old for a second chance at love. Their journey is fraught with danger, excitement and steamy, mature romance.

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Now, in case you missed any of the earlier books in this epic series, here is a quick overview. First, there are seven Guardians, each sworn to protect a precious scroll containing a secret prophecy handed down from ancient seers. Not to be revealed until mankind is ready to listen, the prophesies are in danger of being seized by vicious “Hellhounds” who want to use them to gain power and wealth.

Rescuing Lara, winner in the 2015 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Awards, stars Lara Spenser, a psychic heroine who’s running for her life, and Connor O’Shea, a hunky ex-Special Forces hero Lara hires as her bodyguard. Irish folklore, an ancient prophesy, murderous villains, and steamy romance make this a wild ride.

US: Amazon    UK: Amazon     CA: Amazon     AU: Amazon

Decoding Michaela features a heroine who can read minds. Michaela Peterson is stunned by news that her revered leader, the High Guardian, has been murdered. She’s attracted to Dev Medina, the handsome messenger, but fears he may be out to steal the scroll she guards. Can Dev win her trust and unlock her heart before the Hellhounds capture her?

US: Amazon     UK: Amazon     CA: Amazon     AU: Amazon

Capturing Gabriel is set in the mountains of Colombia. When Gabriel Valdez is tracked down by a feisty Navajo beauty intent on convincing him to go to the United States with her, he instead takes her prisoner. Josie doesn’t count on falling for him. Gabriel doesn’t intend to trust her with his secrets or his love, but the heart has a mind of its own.

US: Amazon     UK: Amazon     CA: Amazon     AU: Amazon

Touching Charlotte Introduces Charlotte Dixon, an empathic Guardian, and Tristan Jameson, an ex-NYC cop burdened by hidden pain. He needs healing and love, but how can a man romance a woman who can’t stand to be touched? Getting past Charlotte’s barriers while protecting her from Hellhounds proves the ultimate challenge.

US Amazon     UK Amazon     CA Amazon     AU: Amazon

Profiling Nathan is a chilling murder mystery/sexy romance. Guardian and ex-con Nathan Maguire just wants to make a living inking tattoos, but FBI profiler Talia Werner turns his life upside down. To save her pretty neck, he must help catch a serial killer. His deadly psychic gift may come in handy.

US: Amazon     UK: Amazon     CA: Amazon    AU: Amazon

Romancing the Guardians Series * Part One (1st 4 books)

US     UK     CA     AU

Lyn Horner is a multi-published, award-winning author of western historical romance and romantic suspense novels, all spiced with paranormal elements. She is a former fashion illustrator and art instructor who resides in Fort Worth, Texas – “Where the West Begins” – with her husband and a gaggle of very spoiled cats. As well as crafting passionate love stories, Lyn enjoys reading, gardening, visiting with family and friends, and cuddling her furry, four-legged children.

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/Y3aotC

Lyn’s Romance Gazette http://eepurl.com/bMYkeX

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Sweethearts of the West