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Monthly Archives: November 2011

What to Read Wednesday

Welcome to WHAT TO READ WEDNESDAY!

Today we’re all in for a wonderful treat.  I’d like to welcome Carolyn Arnold.

Hi Carolyn.  Thank you so much for visiting today!  I’m so excited to learn about your newest release.  From the teasers I’ve read, it sounds like it’ll be a wonderful book and something that will prove to be a thought-provoking read.

Before we get started, can you please share a little bit about yourself so we can get to know you?

I have been faithfully committed to the writing craft for the past four plus years.  As a teenager I used to write, but things in life changed and my passion for writing was pushed to the background.

I was born in Picton, Ontario in 1976 and am married to my best friend.  I love dogs, and have two beagles who are my children.  As some people phrase it, I’m a furry baby momma.

I’m a furry baby momma too, as well as a mom to the furless variety :)  Since 2011 is winding down, did you set any goals for yourself that you accomplished?  Any that are still a WIP?

When I started this year, I had no idea I was going to go the self-publishing route.  In fact if you asked me in January I would have told you I’m still holding out for traditional.  But again, things in life changed.

I had an agent interested in my debut novel TIES THAT BIND, but they requested a change I didn’t agree with.  I’m blessed to have a terrific online network and thought I’d try the self-pub route.  I haven’t regretted that decision at all.

In fact, I plan on self-publishing all my novels.

As for a current WIP, I’ve been doing a lot of edits recently trying to get a couple books ready for launch.  ELEVEN which just released this month, and the second in the Madison Knight series JUSTIFIED is set to release in December.  I’ve written a few words in a new novel and will commit to the project in the New Year.

I have met several other self-pubbed authors and they’ve all be wonderful…a great network of people.  Now back to some serious issues.  lol 

 

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Vanilla.

Favorite season of the year and why?

Winter, and for one reason, the snow is so beautiful to watch coming down from inside a warm house. LOL

You’ve got that right!  Lol  What genre(s) do you write?

Mystery, thriller and suspense.  I have also written one Romantic Suspense and have ideas for other romance novels but my heart’s into writing M/T/S right now.

Where do you write?

In my office.

Would you say you research before you write or while you’re writing?

A combination actually.  I like to have a bit of foreknowledge – saves time in the editing process later on.  I’ve read the advice to mark places where research is needed in a manuscript with an asterisk (*) and go back after you’ve finished the first draft to do your research.  I have found this advice to be wise.  It allows me to keep the flow of the story without getting sidetracked with research.

I love the fact that your title ELEVEN released on 11/11/11…I just had to comment!

Thank you :)  Honestly the book, the title and that date was the final push I needed to choose the self-publishing route.  Traditionally it never would have been turned around that quickly.

Tell us about your latest release.

Brandon Fisher always wanted to be FBI, and at the age of twenty-eight has made Special Agent.  Transferred from his hometown of Sarasota, Florida to Quantico, Virginia he is teamed up under the lead of Veteran Special Agent Jack Harper of the Behavioural Analysis Unit.  With a temper normally close to the surface, Brandon has to learn to keep it under control because Jack tests his limits at every possible moment.  And with the first case taking them to Salt Lick, Kentucky and the discovery of underground burial chambers, Brandon must confront one of his greatest fears – claustrophobia.

Here’s the book blurb:

Eleven Rooms. Ten Bodies. One Empty Grave.

Brandon Fisher never expected this when he signed up as a Special Agent for the FBI. Working in the shadow of Supervisory Special Agent Jack Harper of the Behavioral Analysis Unit his career seemed set.  But when the team is called to a small rural town where the remains of ten victims are found in an underground bunker, buried in an unusual way, Brandon knows he’ll never return to his normal life.

With one empty grave, and the case touching close to home, he fears he’s become the target of a psychotic serial killer who wants to make him number eleven.  Only thing is, everything Brandon thinks he knows is far from the truth.

If you have a minute, you can watch the book trailer for ELEVEN and have 11 seconds leftover.  Here’s the link.

What character in your story do you identify with the most and why?

In ELEVEN, that’s a hard question to answer, or in any of my novels for that matter.  They all have characteristics that pull from human emotions, and they all have justifications for their actions and thought patterns.

What was the easiest part of writing this book?  The hardest?

I would have to say the easiest part was getting into Brandon’s mind. 

The hardest was allowing myself to push past the dark elements in the book – the multiple murders and torture.

Would you share an excerpt of your book with us?

I have a few but they contain spoilers.  However, here is one passage I’m rather proud of.  It follows the discovery of the room where the victims were killed:

An ominous silence enveloped the room as if we were all absorbed in contemplating our mortality.  The human reaction to death and uncertainty, of wanting to know but not wanting the answers, of sympathy for those lost yet relief that it wasn’t us.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I love the show “Criminal Minds”, and was also inspired by my favorite authors David Baldacci and Sandra Brown, wanted to write something “darker” than I normally would.

As far as where the inspiration actually came from, there’s this small rundown house on the outskirts of the city where I live.  It’s been abandoned for years and it just got my imagination going.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on the final edit round of JUSTIFIED, the second in Madison Knight series.  It’s set to release the beginning of December.

Where do you hope to see your writing career in three years?

Ideally, I would love to see it supporting me as a living.  I derive such pleasure from writing and it is only increased by knowing people are reading and enjoying my work.

And finally, Carolyn, where can we find you?

Amazon Author Page

Website

Blog

Twitter  @Carolyn_Arnold


Facebook page 
Goodreads

Email

Thank you for stopping by Carolyn.  It’s been great learning a bit more about you and your books.  Can’t wait to read them all, but especially Eleven.  Just your book trailer alone had me hooked. 

And thank you everyone for joining us.  Happy Reading!!!

 

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Six Sentence Sunday 11/27/2011

Hi!  Please feel free to browse my blog and if you like what you see, sign up for email updates on the left or scroll down to follow through the networked blogs icon!  (Thanks to my lovely daughter for adding that)

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday!  Thanks for taking the time to visit.  I love reading comments, so please let me know what you think of my snippet.  Each week I will post another six from a work in progress or a finished manuscript.  All you have to do is read and enjoy.  That’s it!

Since starting Six Sentence Sunday I’ve been posting from Some Like it in Handcuffs which is being released on March 23, 2012 by The Wild Rose Press…but as of last week I’ve put that story away until it’s closer to release date and will now post from my current wip, Some Like it on the Run, which features Derek Kennedy, brother to Sunny, the heroine from Some Like it in Handcuffs.

Quick setup:  Last week you met Derek and saw his reaction to seeing Kelly, a woman from his past.  This scene is in Kelly’s pov.

Double damn.

Kelly choked mid bubble-blow when Derek limped down from the driver’s seat of his big black truck and made his way toward her.  She hadn’t seen him in months, since she’d played maid of honor to his best man at Sunny and Judson’s wedding.  But her heart still flipped and his presence affected her to the point where her mind stumbled to recall her own name.  So much for getting over him.

When she’d called Sunny in a panic, and had been reassured someone would be sent to help her, she hadn’t expected her friend to send numero uno hunky brother.

I hope you enjoyed these six.  For more great previews from other authors please click on SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY. Or join next week with six of your own.

Happy Reading!

One more plug…I have a forum on my blog every Wednesday titled What to Read Wednesday where I feature an author and one of their books.  If you have a book that you’d like to promote, please send me an email to set up a date to appear for an interview @ christine.warner@yahoo.com.  I’m accepting bookings for February and beyond :)  Thanks!

 

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Friday Fun Facts

Hi and welcome to Friday Fun Facts!  Come play along and learn something new about me, and I’ll learn something new about you.

Each Friday I will post a question (something fun, maybe a bit quirky, it’s Friday after all) and include my answer.  You can join the fun and post your own answer by clicking the comment button below!

Well, Thanksgiving 2011 is officially over…another year past!  Fun with family and friends…great eats, good times and hopefully some laughs has ended…at least for the month of November.

Now the serious stuff is about to start.  That’s right….

BLACK FRIDAY!

I’m not sure if this is a world-wide phenomenon, of if this is something that only happens in the States.

But I do know several people that started planning and plotting their routes, counting their cash, searching for coupons, pre-shopping online and in flyers before the Turkey day dishes were cleared from the table!

I have a confession to make here.  I used to love shopping.  LOVED IT!  But as my life became busier, I married, had children, and juggled this all with working…I just found it to be another chore.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love to find things for my loved ones that I know they’ll enjoy, but I’m more the type to know what I’m looking for, get in and get out.  I don’t want to browse and shop and spend hours combing the malls looking for something that I have no clue as to what it is.  :)  Most of the time I start shopping months ahead and put things away, so that when this time of year rolls around, I’m basically finished.  I might need one or two things, or a few stocking stuffers, but that’s about it.  And I like it.

But every year I’d hear the hype about BLACK FRIDAY and wonder if maybe I was missing something.  Friends would tell me about some awesome deals they’d find, share some funny stories of people they encountered while waiting in line for the next best thing that only two stores in the whole city had 3 of, or share how they witnessed some shopper become overwhelmed with the good sales that they’d faint, an ambulance would be called—oh you get what I’m saying.  The drama of it all.  Lol

So, a few years back my sister and I decided to blaze a trail down the crowded highways in bumper to bumper traffic and make our way into the busy shopping district to see what awesome deals we could find.  Or maybe just witness something really amazing like two ladies duking it out for the last iPod-bedazzled-touchscreen-sony playstation-3D-handheld gadget that holds up to 15 gazillion ebooks in 23 foreign languages and does it all with unlimited hours.  UGH!

So what did we do…we got up before it should be legal to do so, showered and prepped for a day of running the stores then made our way into town.  LOL…okay, I have to admit I was already finished shopping so wasn’t in a huge rush to plow someone over to get the last of anything, but I did find a dvd player for $10…bought 3…and got this incredible electric griddle for $15.  Score!!!

But I wasn’t so overwhelmed that I felt it necessary to do again.  Oh sure, last year we talked about it, in a nostalgic way, even toyed with the idea of doing a repeat.  But we never did.

Which brings me to….Drum roll please!   Today’s Friday Fun Facts question…

This is a two-parter, so get ready!  Do you hit the pavement on Black Friday decked out in running shoes and your debit or credit card squeezed in your grasp so tight it has the potential to snap?  If so, what’s the best deal you’ve gotten?

Can’t wait to hear your comments!

 
 

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What to Read Wednesday

Welcome to WHAT TO READ WEDNESDAY!

Each Wednesday I will feature a different author and they will share a bit with us about themselves and one of their books.  So let’s get started.

Today I’d like to welcome Callie Hutton.

Hi Callie, I’m excited to have you here and congrats on your new release!  You’re actually a busy lady and have a Historical releasing today titled A RUN FOR LOVE and then on December 1st you have another historical coming out titled A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS.

And just a little plug here, at the end of this interview, find out how you have 3 chances to win a digital copy of either A RUN FOR LOVE or A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS.

Before you tell us about your new book, can you tell today’s readers a bit about yourself?

I live in Oklahoma with my husband and two children – well hardly children, since they’re 19 and 21. We have two dogs and a new kitten. I’ve been writing for years, but only last summer decided to write a romance novel, something I’d been telling myself for years I would do.

Coffee or tea?

Depends. Mostly coffee, but I’ve been known to enjoy a spot of tea from time to time.

A good book or a good movie?  Why?

A good book, although I do enjoy movies. I don’t like sitting still for long periods of time, and when I’m reading, I usually hop up and down every couple of chapters. Other people in the movies don’t generally appreciate that.  Strange.

I can certainly understand the need to stay seated.  Lol  Tell us your favorite type of book to read and why?

Romance. I love happy endings. My favorite type of romance is humorous. I mostly read historical, but I read contemporary every once in a while when something appeals to me.

Nothing like a romance that gives you a chuckle.  What genres do you write in?

Historical romance—usually western. I have one contemporary novella due to be released next year with The Wild Rose Press.

If you could’ve written any book, which book would you choose and why?

Gone With the Wind. I loved Scarlett. Although that didn’t have a happy ending. But I’ve read it seventeen times.

I’ve never read the book, but loved the movie.  Does that count…lol.  Is there something you do as a ritual when writing?  For instance do you need to wear a pair of lucky socks, drink a certain beverage, have certain music playing?

Nope. I write anywhere I can carry my laptop.

Finish this sentence for me….If I had to sum up what A Run For Love is about…

I would say it’s about never giving up on someone you love.

Why a A Run For Love?  Where did your inspiration for this story come from?

I was a History major in college, hence my love of historical romance. A Run For Love begins with the Oklahoma Territory Land Run in 1889.  I had not heard the story of the land run until I moved to Oklahoma. It totally fascinated me, and I just had to write a love story surrounding it.

Can you tell us two things you love about your hero?

I love his strength of character and his tenacity.

Your heroine?

I love how independent she is, but learns by the end of the story to rely on others when she needs to.

If your book was made into a movie, which actor would you choose to play your hero?

Jake Gyllenhaal

Your heroine?

Emma Watson

Will you share an excerpt of A Run For Love with us?

Annoyance stalled her steps when she saw the man from the woods yesterday washing dishes in the creek. With the hundreds of people getting ready for the race at noon, the only empty space remained next to him. Tori knelt and wet her washcloth, averting her gaze. Her heart thudded, hoping he wouldn’t notice her.

 “Still here, are you?”

She clenched her jaw at the sound of that voice. He stood over her, a grin on his face. Now that she saw him without shadows, it irritated her when her heart sped up.

Lord save me from another handsome face and charming smile.

“Yes, I’m still here.” Her voice rose. “And I plan to spend tonight camped on my own lot.”

 “Easy honey, I’m not the enemy.” He put his hands up in surrender.

 “Don’t call me honey!”

 “Sorry.”  His smile contradicted his apology.  “A woman alone dragging a wagon and a passel of kids will most likely spend the night right outside Arkansas City pushing on her horse’s rump.”

This man had all the nerve in the world. “I will get my lot in town, sir. And I will make a life for myself and my family. Believe it or not, I’ll even do it without anyone’s help.” She raised one eyebrow and flicked her fingers at him. “Now I’ll thank you to leave me in peace and mind your own business.” She turned back and mumbled, “And your manners.” She splashed her face with such vigor that water went up her nose, causing her to cough and choke.

I love his humor and she sounds like a strong heroine.  What was the easiest part of your book to write?

The Ladies League for Decency march.

The hardest?

The Land Run. It was important to get all the historical facts correct.

What’s the best advice you received on your journey to publication?

Write, write, write. Read, read, read.

Great advice.  What can we expect next from Callie Hutton?

A sequel to A Run For Love, featuring Ellie Henderson (the youngest niece, all grown up). A Wife By Christmas will be released from Soul Mate Publishing on December 1st.

Can you share an excerpt with us for A Wife By Christmas?

            High School Principal Max Colbert needs to get rid of that pesky History teacher, Ellie Henderson. Getting her married off is the perfect solution, except everyone he introduces her to doesn’t seem right.

            In 1906 Guthrie, Oklahoma, History teacher, Ellie Henderson, has been a thorn in High School Principal Max Colbert’s side ever since he took over three months ago. When she’s not flying by his office, late for her class, with books and papers jumbled in her arms, she’s attending Suffragettes meetings against his orders.

            Because of her family connections, he can’t fire her, but he can certainly find someone to marry her, and keep her busy in the kitchen. And far away from his school. Max soon finds that what seemed like a good idea can turn into disaster when Miss Ellie Henderson is involved. The woman is a master at getting into trouble.

            With the Christmas season in full swing, he has many opportunities to introduce her to prospective husbands. However, the uncomfortable feeling is growing that no one is worthy of the minx…

I have to tell you that both of your covers are G O R G E O U S !!!

And finally Callie, where can we find you and your books? My website www.calliehutton.com. And Soul Mate Publishing.  Hope to see you there!

Click here to view the beautiful book trailer for A Run For Love!  You’ll love it :)

As promised above, Callie is giving away one download of either A RUN FOR LOVE  on Friday November 25th, or A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS on it’s release date of December 1st to one lucky winner.

All you need to do is leave a comment with your email address either here, on Callie’s blog or Calisa Rhose’s blog where Callie kicked off her tour yesterday.  Leave one comment on any blog and you’re entered one time, but if you visit all three blogs and comment on each one, you’ll be entered for three chances to WIN!!!

Callie will announce the winner on Friday, November 25th on each blog!  GOOD LUCK!

 

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Six Sentence Sunday 11/20/2011

Hi!  Please feel free to browse my blog and if you like what you see, sign up for email updates on the left or scroll down to follow through the networked blogs icon!  (Thanks to my lovely daughter for adding that) :)

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday!  Thanks for taking the time to visit.  I love reading comments, so please let me know what you think of my snippet.  Each week I will post another six from a work in progress or a finished manuscript.  All you have to do is read and enjoy.  That’s it!

Since starting Six Sentence Sunday I’ve been posting from Some Like it in Handcuffs which is being released on March 23, 2012 by The Wild Rose Press…but I’ve decided to put that story away until it’s closer to release date and will now post from my current wip, Some Like it on the Run, which features Derek Kennedy, brother to Sunny, the heroine from Some Like it in Handcuffs.  (whew, that was a confusing to say…lol)

Quick set up…Sunny has called her brother Derek to help one of her friends who’s in trouble and also just happens to be his one time girlfriend.  The girl that got away…

He pounded the steering with his fist as he rounded the last curve inside the parking ramp.  His heart thudded against his ribs as he spotted Sunny’s late night emergency.

Kelly Hartford stood leaning against her notice-me red car.  Her trademark blood red lipsticked mouth puckered and she blew a pink bubble which covered the lower half of her face.  Their gazes met and held over the curved edge of the billowy bubble.  Some things never changed, like Kelly’s love of bubble gum along with the tower high stilettos strapped to her feet, which caused her legs to stretch to the moon and then some.

I hope you enjoyed these six.  For more great previews from other authors please click on SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY. Or join next week with six of your own. :)

Happy Reading!

 

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Friday Fun Facts

Hi and welcome to Friday Fun Facts!  Come play along and learn something new about me, and I’ll learn something new about you.

Each Friday I will post a question (something fun, maybe a bit quirky, it’s Friday after all) and include my answer.  You can join the fun and post your own answer by clicking the comment button below!

Since we’re in the midst of November…Turkey Month, I have continued to gear my questions and comments with the Thanksgiving theme!  YUM!

Every year about this time family and friends are in the middle of making traveling plans, organizing menus and looking forward to spending time relaxing with those special to them.

To me Thanksgiving isn’t just about spending time with family and friends…football (if that’s your thing), food, laughs, maybe a day off from work and a nap after dinner if you’re lucky…lol…but a time of reflection.

A time to look back over the last 12 months…good or bad.

Even if you’ve had a rough year and have had more down times than up, I truly believe everyone has had something special happen in their lives in the last twelve months.  An event to celebrate…either professionally or personally, maybe a new friendship, an addition to the family, a chance to change careers or advance in a current one….oh there are so many possibilities!

For me, top priority is always that I’m thankful for my friends and family, their health and mine and for all that we have.  But I have another more selfish thing to be thankful for…

I’m thankful for all the new friends I’ve met from following a path that I’ve wanted to take for years.  Ever since I was small I wrote, as I grew I won some awards and always had the thought that someday I’d like to write a book.  A romance book preferably.  But life gets busy and dreams get pushed aside.  After awhile and a few more conversations beginning with “I wish I could…” my sister nudged me along and suggested that I should ‘go for it’.  So I am!  And I’m thankful for the opportunity, but…

On my journey I’ve met some wonderful people and have made some amazing friendships…all over the internet basically.

So, to all of you wonderful people that I have met along the way.  That I’ve laughed with, and those that have helped me laugh at myself.  To the special people that have encouraged me when I’ve wanted to give up.  To my wonderful cp’s, the other authors I’ve met through various avenues of social media and all the readers who’ve taken the time to share with all the writers out there their thoughts and comments about their work…I just want to say—

THANK YOU!

I can’t express how thankful I am to have met each and every one of you.  My hope is that as we all continue to learn, grow and travel on our writing journey, that we also continue to support and help each other.  This is an awesome community.

Okay, so I know this was a bit more serious than my normal FFF, but I just had to thank all of you and this is the perfect month to do it.

Which brings me to….Drum roll please!   Today’s Friday Fun Facts question…

As mentioned above we are all thankful for those ‘normal’ things like family, friends everyone’s health…but what is something else in your life that you’re thankful for?  Big or small, selfish or not…old or new…

Can’t wait to hear your comments!

 

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What to Read Wednesday

Welcome to a new forum on my blog!

What to Read Wednesdays! 

Each Wednesday I will feature a different author and they will share a bit with us about themselves and one of their books.  So let’s get started.

Today I’d like to welcome Christine Wolfer.  Hi Christina, I’m excited to have you here :)

Thanks, Christine. I’m excited to be here and to be your first author for What to Read Wednesdays.

Christina, please tell us five random things about yourself.

I love photography and want to do a photo book of farm life one day

I eat a lot of chicken

I’m a horse enthusiast and compete in barrel racing.

I have a sunflower tattoo. I like all things sunflower.

I put hot sauce on everything

Cake or pie?

Birthday style cake with whipped icing.

Whipped topping is the best…wise choice :)  How about a favorite movie?  Book?

Since I don’t have a favorite book, I’m going to pick two movies. I hope that is okay. Dances with Wolves and Coyote Ugly. Coyote Ugly is just one of those movies I can watch over and over. I’m leaning toward feeling the same about Burlesque. In my former life or maybe my future life, I think I was/will be a dancer.

More good choices Christina!  This summer I was actually in South Dakota and visited the area where they filmed Dances with Wolves.  It was beautiful country.  Have you always wanted to be an author or what made you become an author?

Yep, pretty much and I have journals to prove it, along with a collection of short stories I wrote and illustrated when I was ten. I’ve always enjoyed writing.

What is a typical writing day for you?

Since I have to work a day job, my writing usually happens in the evening and on the weekends. I sit on the couch with my laptop on my lap, the television on and type away. I’m pretty good at tuning things out when a story is flowing.

Thankfully, my husband is very encouraging. Grant it, he became much more enthusiastic when I signed a contract and he knew I was going to get some money for my time and effort.

It’s wonderful to have support.  What genre or genres do you write? Do you see yourself trying another one in the future and if so which one?

I write romantic suspense and contemporary romance. I have a draft of a childrens book I might one day try and I definitely can see myself going into the murder/mystery genre.

Tell us about your newest release?

I have two fairly new releases. My debut novel, Two Brothers, came out August 1st. And my novella, Undercover, was release November 1st.

But for now, we’ll focus on Two Brothers.

Amanda got her heart broke at eighteen by Jacob, but then she made the biggest mistake of her life – she ran off and married his younger brother. But that was ten years ago. She’s divorced now and coming back to her small hometown. She’s made a name for herself in the cutting horse industry. That should count for something, right? But Jacob isn’t so willing to forgive her decade old mistakes, despite the feelings developing between them.  

When you were writing your story, what character did you connect with the most and why?

I was very connected to Amanda. She is someone I felt close to, partly because I wanted to be her and because I spent so much time with her – writing, editing and rewriting the story.

Now let’s play LUCKY SEVEN….Pick seven words to describe your book.

Seven really is my lucky number, by the way:

Emotional, intense, sexy, small-town, horses, redemption, triumph  

Oooohhh…now those seven intrigue me  :)  If your book was made into a movie, who would you choose to play the hero?  The heroine?

The hero: Matthew Fox

The heroine: Megan Fox

It’s just a coincidence that they have the same last name, but they look the way I imagine Jacob and Amanda in my head. And Megan Fox actually looks like the model on the cover of Two Brothers.

Most authors seem to have a ‘to be read pile’…if you do, what’s on the top of the pile?

Renee Vincent’s Mac Liam, Book Two of the Emerald Isle Trilogy and Nora Robert’s The Next Always, Book one of the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy.

What inspired you to write your latest story?

The story of Two Brothers’ hit me out of the blue while waiting in an airport. I’ve written four other books, a short story and novella since and I don’t think I can pinpoint any one thing that inspired them other then life happening all around me.

A scene will pop in my head (Undercover) or even one verse of a song (Emotional Warfare) and I’m compelled to write a story around it. The scene or the verse doesn’t usually end up in the book, but it triggers the story.

Please share an excerpt of your book!

Amanda Riley slammed out of the compact rental car, hit the lock button on her key and made a half-block mad dash to the church. The wedding march had already started. Canon in D floated like a soft breeze through the organ flues and out the rafters.

“Geez,” she muttered, taking the steps to the entrance of the old Catholic church two at time. She’d never hear the end of it. Her sheep’s wool couldn’t get any blacker with the last white hair plucked from her hide years ago. But all the same, she hated to give them cause.

It was the perfect country white church, really, the kind women dream of getting married in. It stood in the heart of the community as a symbol of the small farming town’s love for family, neighbor and God. The steeple peeked above the century-old trees that flanked both sides of the entrance to the church like guardian angels. Magnificent stained glass windows stood four feet tall and ran the length of the old building, each window inscribed in loving memory of a deceased member of the congregation.

The large double wood doors stood open to welcome all. Amanda hesitated there as if expecting lightening to strike. Pulling air deep into her lungs and then letting it out with controlled ease, she stepped just inside the entrance. She flexed her hands, gave herself a mental shake and approached the back pew. She motioned with her hand to the silver-haired man sitting there, asking without words if she could sit beside him. He frowned, the lines cutting deeper around his pursed lips, but he slid down the glossy wood pew to accommodate her late arrival. Out of habit, she genuflected and then took a seat.

She shifted her focus to the front of the church. Her little sister, Emily, dressed in a full Southern belle white dress, stood beside her soon-to-be husband, Todd, decked out in a long-tailed black tux. Behind them, candles sparkled like diamonds and white orchids adorned every available space on the altar. The priest, with his long, silk green-and-white robe, made the sign of the cross over the couple and blessed them. The cloud of incense hung above the congregation like a spicy perfume applied with a generous hand. 

Amanda’s sister had dreamt of and wished for this day since she’d been a little girl. What woman didn’t? If anyone deserved a day like this, Emily did. She’d done everything right. She’d gotten her nursing degree, worked for a year after graduation and dated the same guy through it all. It didn’t hurt that she’d picked the right guy.

Not that Amanda knew anything about that. She straightened the yellow gingham blouse she wore tucked into snug fitted Wranglers, along with her scuffed boots. Her clothes weren’t appropriate for a wedding, even in a backwoods town like Bedinford, Ohio. Her chin lifted a notch and she squared her shoulders. Let them talk. Let them speculate.

They couldn’t possibly say anything her father hadn’t already said about her. Amanda leaned out into the aisle. Peeking around the sea of bodies, she caught sight of her father’s head of dark hair, now sprinkled with gray. Daniel Riley’s tall, lean, muscled build had softened some over the years, but he remained unyielding, in more ways than one, for a man who would see sixty-five by the end of the year.

Thirty-some years ago, he’d been something of a town hero when he opened the only dentist office within miles of the community. Most people had given up going to the dentist altogether rather than drive thirty miles out of town. But her father had a way with people and his reputation for having a gentle touch spread like gossip. Now he had a loyal following, old and young alike. Even the opening of two other dentist offices over the last five years had done little to affect his bottom line.

Everyone loved him, Amanda thought, as she dropped to her knees along with rest of the congregation. The traditions came back to her with ease even though she hadn’t attended mass in years. She stood when everyone stood, knelt when they knelt, however, when it came time to receive communion she did not partake. She caught glimpses of other family members as they filed out of their pews, took the host and then circled back to their seats.

Her brother, Matt, held his three-year-old daughter, Tabitha, who squirmed and pushed in her effort to get down. Her behavior drew looks of disapproval from the older generation who already believed their descendants didn’t have a clue how to discipline their children. Matt’s wife, Natalie, whose belly bulged like an overinflated beach ball with their second child, sent a stern look at the little girl. Tabitha responded with an equally stern look then buried her face in her daddy’s neck.

After communion, everyone sat in silent prayer. Amanda watched Tabitha pull and tug until she stood at the end of the pew, one foot strategically placed in the center aisle. She made faces at anyone willing to make eye contact. Several times she tried to step further into the aisle but Matt’s firm hand stopped her. Then she spotted Amanda watching her and her squeal pierced the reverent silence. People jumped, startled from prayer, and heads turned in the direction of the commotion.

The outburst caught Matt off guard, giving Tabitha the chance to break free and tear down the aisle. The yellow and white ruffled dress she wore bounced around her chubby legs. “A’mda,” she squealed again. Everyone watched the little girl’s progress into Amanda’s open arms.

Heat leapt into Amanda’s cheeks as she latched onto her niece and lifted her with shaky arms like a shield against the stares aimed in their direction. She glanced up to apologize for the interruption and her eyes collided with those of Jacob Henderson.

A bolt of lightening couldn’t have delivered a more jarring effect on her heart. She swallowed past the sudden dryness in her throat and tore her eyes free from the disturbing blue of his. Holy moly, from the look Jacob had just given her, one would think she was the devil herself caught in the act of snatching soul’s right from under his nose.

The priest stood, cleared his throat to gain everyone’s attention, and then continued with the wedding mass.

Amanda let out the breath she hadn’t been aware of holding. “Thanks a lot,” she whispered to Tabitha and kissed her ruby little cheek.

“Oooh, necklace.” Tabitha’s round, tiny fingers touched the silver cross, then wrapped around the thin chain circling Amanda’s neck. With her niece distracted, Amanda’s eyes drifted back to Jacob.

He looked good. Tall and solid with his dress shirt pulled snug over the breadth of his squared shoulders. Working the land his entire life kept him fit and strong. At six-two, he was an impressive sight. His thick, almost black hair hadn’t lost its natural wave despite the close cut he maintained.

She closed her eyes and, for a moment, remembered his smile. The way his full lips tipped shyly at an angle, softening the hard angles of his face. How his eyes sparkled like the sun reflecting off water when his smile reached his eyes. She remembered the feel of his mouth against hers, the mix of soft and hard, the taste. Oh God, how she remembered the taste of him.

Her eyes flew open as she jerked back from the thoughts and memories. Her ex-brother-in-law wouldn’t appreciate her keen observation of his fine looks or the memory of his kiss. If anything, he’d find it offensive that the thoughts even entered her mind. After all, they sat in the house of the Lord, not to mention she’d been married to his younger brother.

Shame on me.

What’s your current WIP?

The Daughter is currently with my editor. This novel is due out January 2012. This story is about a woman who doesn’t know anything about family or love, but when a man she has never met commits suicide, he will change her life forever.

I’m so excited. I just got word that my third novel, Emotional Warfare, originally scheduled for September is now scheduled for release the week of July 29, 2012. This is Dana’s journey, which includes an old love and fighting international crime. 

Congratulations Christina!  That is exciting news.  Do you have any wise words to share with anyone out there on the road to publication?

Never give up. It’s that simple or difficult. Submit, submit, submit. It’s the only way you will ever find the editor/agent that loves what you write.

And finally Christina where can we find you and your book?

My books are available in print at: CreateSpace, Amazon.com, Turquoise Morning Press bookstore and Barnes and Noble.

Available in digital formats at: Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, All Romance e-books and Smashwords.

All Bets Are On! – Available now (Kentucky Derby Anthology – short story)

Two Brothers – Available now

Undercover – Available now (novella)

The Daughter – Coming January 2012

Emotional Warfare – Coming July/August 2012

You can find me at the following places:

Website – www.christinawolfer.com

Blog – www.christinawolfer.blogspot.com

Twitter – @christinawolfer

Or e-mail me at Christina.wolfer@yahoo.com

One commenter will win their choice of Two Brothers or Undercover (digital copy).

Thank you again Christina for joining us on What to Read Wednesdays!  I’m excited to read your books and wish you much success :)

 
 

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