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What to Read Wednesday with Madelyn Hill author of Highland Hope ~ #giveaway

I’m so excited you can join me and author Madelyn Hill for What to Read Wednesday! Madelyn is talking about learning the craft of writing and has some useful information to share. She’s also talking about her book Highland Hope which will release on August 31st with Soulmate Publishing. But don’t worry, after you read the excerpt and blurb you’ll want to pre-order your copy today … so go for it!

Afterward, don’t forget to enter her fabulous giveaway. The link is at the end of the post:)

Take it away Madelyn …

Constantly Learning the Craft

 

As a writer, I feel you need to constantly work on your craft. There are numerous ways to do this and each author works differently, however here are a few of my methods for being a life-long learner.

 

Listen to your editor: For my first novel Wolf’s Castle, I accepted ALL of the comments, grammar, and structure recommendations. With Heather In The Mist, there were more plot points and character adjustments. For Highland Hope, there weren’t as many line edits, however more of plot questions from the editor in order to make my plot stronger and characters engaging. In my opinion, the comments from the editor helped me re-evaluate what I had written and with a cold eye I cut those darlings.

 

Read, read, and read some more: A writer has to be a reader. I know some authors who do not read any books in the genre they write. I can see the logic behind this. I, however, read everything and anything. This includes books, magazines, and newspaper (online and the old fashion paper ones) articles. You never know where inspiration will strike. Although I am a historical writer, a contemporary situation may influence my story, something I can tweak to make it historically relevant.

 

Craft Articles: As a tech geek, I decided there has to be a better way to search out craft articles, so now I use the RSS feed to have articles funnel to my Twitter feed. Now I can look at articles from several writing blogs. Here are some of the articles I recently read:

 

There are so many intelligent voices out there in blog land and I like the various topics that range from conflict to characterization to social networking for authors. All tools to add to my writer toolbox!

 

What do you do to keep perfecting your craft?

 

 

Enter to Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card

 

HIGHLAND HOPE
The Wild Thistle Trilogy #1
Madelyn Hill
Releasing August 31st, 2016
Soul Mate Publishing
Remember, lasses. Through Hope,
Faith and Honor, ye can rule
,” were the last words Lady Laird Hope
MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every
action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan is second
nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love.
Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.
She is beautiful, strong, and quick
to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the Lairdship flee his
mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Laird MacAlister, Aidan is
determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of
Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his
right as laird and prove despite their differences, he loves Hope.
The enemy refuses to back down and
continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only
together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

EXCERPT

She sighed and set her free hand at her waist. “We need to find my sister, not stand her havering.”

Sadness and worry flitted in her gaze. Heartache over her mother he assumed and mayhap a wayward sister. The grief seemed to consume her as they walked and Aidan loathed to see a sad woman—even if it was Laird Hope MacAlister. If she started crying he’d certain flee, for nothing was worse than consoling a woman in tears. But he doubted she’d show such vulnerability to him.

She glanced toward the other caves and then back toward the keep. She gave a frustrated sigh.  Her face soft with desperation to find her sister. She was worried and inside she was fretting and he knew only one way to take a woman’s mind off her troubles.

He stepped toward her and swept her in his arms. Her eyes widened as he descended, slowly so not to make her skittish, but with enough purpose she knew his desire. Her lips parted and her tongue darted out quickly to wet the plump surface. His lips brushed against hers with a soft caress. She gripped his arms and pushed. He kissed her again, slanting his mouth over hers. She stiffened, then her fingers dug into his biceps as her lips relented, accepted his kiss. As a moan escaped her lips, masculine triumph flared and he delved deeper. A sizzling leap of lust cursed through him. God, she felt good in his arms. Aidan ripped his mouth from hers and narrowed his gaze. His chest heaved. His blood sang. Through hooded eyes, he watched her and inhaled the womanly scent about her. Hope’s face was flushed, her eyes glazed. Aidan reached for her again.

 

 

PRE-ORDER NOW

 

 

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she
could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her
textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she
proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer
for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with
Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier!
 
A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to
another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They have 3 children and
keep busy cooking, avid movie goers, and of course reading!

 

 
 

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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday with Jessica Lemmon author of The Billionaire Bachelor ~ #giveaway

I’m so glad you decided to drop in on this week’s What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome author Jessica Lemmon to the hot seat today:) Jessica is talking about her hero Reese Crane from her newest release The Billionaire Bachelor. After you read what she has to say, I know you’ll be jumping right over to the BUY link to grab your copy of this book.

Also, don’t forget to enter her fabulous giveaway! The link to enter is at the end of the post:)

Take it away Jessica …

TOP 5 THINGS THAT MAKE THE MAN: REESE CRANE

 

 

Curious about what makes Reese Crane, billionaire bachelor, the man? Lucky for us, I was able to get my latest (stubborn) hero to open up about 5 things that make him, well, him.

 

#5 ~ Beard trimmer. Reese is never without a sexy amount of stubble on his jaw and chin (see book cover) and this bit of dishevelment throws our heroine, Merina right off course. Reese maintains his look, never clean-faced, and never too beardy. Can you say control?

#4 ~ Scotch. Reese prefers it on the rocks, and as he tells Merina on their date one evening, “It’s always what I expect.”

#3 ~ Yacht. In case of temporary nuptials, climb aboard and hide out! But not for long. Sunrise on the deck isn’t optional for Reese—he and Merina need reporters to see them together after the wedding.

#2 ~ Sharp wit. I’m not sure whose banter is more infectious, Merina’s or Reese’s. But I promise you this: when they’re together, they are on fire!

#1 ~ The tie. Merina becomes obsessed with loosening Reese’s ever-present tie, much to the reader’s delight. As she puts it, she likes to see him come undone.

 

As do I, Mer. As do I.😉

 

 

 

 

Indecent Proposal…

 

 

Indecent
Proposal
 
Manwhore. That’s what the board of
directors-and the tabloids-thinks of billionaire bachelor Reese Crane.
Ordinarily he couldn’t care less, but his playboy past is preventing the board
from naming him CEO of Crane Hotels. Nothing-and no one-will keep him from his
life’s legacy. They want a settled man to lead the company? Then that’s exactly
what he’ll give them.
Merina Van Heusen will do anything
to get her parents’ funky boutique hotel back-even marry
cold-as-ice-but-sexy-as-hell Reese Crane. It’s a simple business contract-six
months of marriage, absolute secrecy, and the Van Heusen is all hers again. But
when sparks fly between them, their passion quickly moves from the boardroom to
the bedroom. And soon Merina is living her worst nightmare: falling in love
with her husband . . .

EXCERPT

Even with her nostrils flared, Merina forced a smile. There was only one way past this gatekeeper. She called up an ounce of poise—an ounce being the most she could access at the moment. “Merina Van Heusen to see Reese Crane.”

“Ms. Van Heusen,” the woman said, her tone flat, her eyes going to the doorknob in Merina’s hand. “You’re here regarding the changes to the hotel, I presume.”

“You got it,” Merina said, barely harnessing her anger. How come everyone was so damn calm about dismantling a town landmark?

“Have a seat.” Crane’s bulldog gestured one manicured hand at a group of cushy white chairs, her mouth frowning in disgust as she took in Merina’s dishevelment. “Perhaps I could fetch you a towel first.”

“I won’t be sitting.” She wasn’t about to be put in her place by Reese’s underling. Then her prayers were answered as the set of gleaming wooden doors behind the secretary’s desk parted like the Red Sea.

Jackpot.

Merina barreled forward as the woman at the desk barked, “Excuse me!”

Merina ignored her. She wouldn’t be delayed another second…or so she thought. She stopped short when a woman in a very tight red dress, the neckline plunging into plentiful cleavage, her heels even higher and potentially more expensive than Merina’s Louboutins, swept out of the office and gave her a slow, mascaraed blink back. Then she sashayed around Merina, past the bulldog, and left behind a plume of perfume.

Interesting.

Reese’s latest date? An escort? If Merina believed the local tabloids, one and the same. Paying for dates certainly wasn’t above his pay grade.

Before the doors closed, she slipped into Reese’s office.

“Ms. Van Heusen!” came a bark behind her, but Reese, who stood facing the windows and looking out upon downtown, said three words that instantly shut his secretary up.

“She’s fine, Bobbie.”

Merina smirked back at the sour-faced, coal-eyed secretary as Reese’s office doors whooshed shut.

“Merina, I presume.” Reese still hadn’t turned. His posture was straight, jacket and slacks impeccably tailored to his muscular, perfectly proportioned body. Shark or not, the man could wear a suit. She’d seen the photos of him in the Trib as well as Luxury Stays, the hotel industry’s leading trade magazine, and like every other woman in Chicago, she hadn’t missed the gossip about him online. Like his more professional photos, his hands were sunk into his pant pockets, and his wavy, dark hair was styled and perfect.

Clearly the woman who had just left was here on other business…or past business. If something more clandestine was going on, Reese would appear more mussed. Then again, he probably didn’t muss his hair during sex. From what she gleaned about him via the media, Reese probably didn’t allow his hair to muss.

The snarky thought paired with a vision of him out of that suit, stalking naked and primed, golden muscles shifting with each long-legged step. Sharp, navy eyes focused only on her…

He turned to face her and she snapped out of her imaginings and blinked at the stubble covering a perfectly angled jaw. What was it about that hint of dishevelment on his otherwise perfect visage that made her breath catch?

Thick dark brows jumped slightly as his eyes zoomed in on her chest.

She sneered before venturing a glance down at her sodden silk shirt. Where she saw the perfect outline of both nipples. A tinge of heat lit her cheeks, and she crossed her arms haughtily, glaring at him as best she could while battling embarrassment.

“Seems this April morning is colder than you anticipated,” he drawled.

 
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Pre-Order the other very sexy Crane Brothers…

 

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio
with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently
gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy
heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and
eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a
purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

 

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Posted by on July 6, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday INTERVIEW with Susan Grant author of The Champion of Baresh ~ #giveaway

Thank you for coming back for another round of What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome Susan Grant, author of The Champion of Baresh. Susan has agreed to answer a few questions about herself and her writing, and I think you’ll enjoy our chat.

Afterward grab your copy of her latest book and don’t forget to enter her awesome giveaway!

Let’s get started …

What 3 words best describe you?

Adventurous. Persistent. Mom.

Great description! When did you first know you wanted to become an author?

I always loved creative writing, but it wasn’t until I was in my late 30s that I thought about writing a book. It’s a huge leap mentally—similar, I think, to running a marathon would be physically.

When you saw the cover for The Champion of Barésh what was your first thought?

It took my breath away. I’m obsessed with her gorgeous eye!

It’s an awesome cover:) Do you have a writing ritual … as in do you need music playing, have a certain snack at arm’s length, or wear a lucky pair of socks?

Nope. I’m so not a ritual or routine person. I can write anywhere—at 30,000 feet while on break at work, or outside on the deck if the weather is nice. Really, anywhere. If I need to focus extra hard, I’ll go to my desk and sit there. It tells my muse I mean business.

I love naming my characters. How did you go about naming the characters in The Champion of Barésh?

Me, too! Most of the names just pop into my head. It was how the hero’s name, Klark, arrived, many books ago. But his last name, the clan name, is a waypoint in the Northern Pacific near Russia. The charts we use for flying are a goldmine for alien names! Jemm came to me because I had been watching Sons of Anarchy and liked the name Gemma. I gave it a twist and wound up with Jemm. Her last name means bird, which is a theme in the book.

I love that! And t he name Jemm is beautiful. Sex scenes…do you love writing them, struggle a little, or it depends on the characters?

Definitely depends. Sometimes I sketch them out to move on with the book then return to expand. Sometimes they just flow. Sometimes the characters decide to have a sex scene all on their own, without asking me! (those are often the best). But usually by the time I’m writing intimate scenes in the story, I feel something for the characters, and it’s a great experience creatively. Some of my stories have lots of sex. Some very little. The characters and story determine how much or little. I would hate writing if I felt I had to adhere to a “template”. I love that each story is a bit different with the heat level. And I hope readers do, too.

Would you like to share what you’re working on next?

Now that I’m indie, I’m having the time of my life writing because I can go in any direction I want. I’m working on a short for a fun project with some of the other authors from the Sci-Fi Romance Brigade. The collection is called Pets in Space, and that pretty much sums up the stories. Mine will take place in the Star Series/Star World Frontier world, a royal alien, a commoner Earthling, and the pet who brings them together. I’m also working on the next Star World Frontier book, and also the first installment in an alien abduction trilogy. Very exciting.

 

 

RANDOM QUESTIONS : FINISH THIS SENTENCE …

 

Someday I’m going to try Tai Chi

I never leave the house without my cell phone

The most money I’ve found in the laundry is five bucks

My purse is new! I love it, a little black Brighton bag

The last book I read was Trapped, by Alison Aimes

Chocolate over kettle chips? Never!

 

An all-new, stand-alone tale of two improbable lovers, their daring secret, 
and the gamble destined to alter the course of their worlds forever!

 

The
Champion of Barésh

Star World Frontier #1
By: Susan Grant
Released May 26, 2016
RITA-winner
Susan Grant is back with an all-new, stand-alone tale of two improbable lovers,
their daring secret, and the gamble destined to alter the course of their
worlds forever!
She was playing with fire…
Jemm Aves battles to keep her dreams
alive on a dead-end world. Working for the mines by day, she’s a successful
bajha player at night, disguised as a male to be allowed to compete in the colony’s
dangerous underworld where club owners will go to extremes to retain the best
players. Every win puts her one small step closer to her goal: saving enough to
escape Barésh with her family. When a nobleman from one of the galaxy’s elite
families recruits her to be a star player for his team, it’s because he doesn’t
know her secret. Her ruse proves to be her most perilous game yet when it puts
both their lives—and her heart—at risk.
Prince Charming he was not…
Prince Klark is eager to reverse his
reputation as the black sheep of the Vedla clan, a family as famous for its
wealth and power as it is for being a bastion of male-dominated tradition. If
his bajha team can win the galactic title it would go a long way toward
restoring the family honor that his misdeeds tarnished. He travels to Barésh to
track down an amateur who’s risen to the top of the seedy world of street
bajha, offering the commoner a chance of a lifetime: a way off that reeking
space rock for good. But his new player comes with a scandalous secret that
turns his plans and his beliefs upside down. He sets out to win a very
different prize—his champion’s reluctant heart.

EXCERPT

As soon as Kes left the locker room, Klark turned to the wall and slapped his hands against the cold, tiled wall, keeping them pressed there, fingers spread, willing his hands to serve as anchors to prevent him from going after her.

Sea Kestrel, a female.

A woman!

No mere woman, either. He remembered her as Jemm, the errant Nico’s alleged girlfriend: her long, strong, lean body and the graceful way she moved; that swaying, tempting bottom as she walked away; her wavy hair wild and loose—all but begging for his fingers to be tangled in it as he made love to her.

Damnation. The mental image alone made his body react and his blood run hot. Yet, this same female to which he was so attracted played bajha far better than he ever could. He had come to respect her as an unbelievably talented athlete, had let down his guard around her as a friend, and now she was a beautiful woman, as well? In his world, such disparate qualities could not apply to any one person. Yet, together, they added up to Jemm.

 
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Susan
Grant
 is a New York Times bestselling author who enjoys being able to
indulge her love of travel and adventure by piloting jumbo jets around the
globe. Her careers as a commercial pilot and air force pilot have provided
endless inspiration for her books. Susan is the author of The Star King, launch
book of her popular Star series about a spacefaring Earth family, as well as
the RITA-winning novel Contact. Her new series debuts in 2016 with The Champion
of Barésh. Susan and her family live in the scenic foothills of northern
California.
Love to
arm-chair travel? Sit down, strap in, and visit Susan’s Come Fly With Me blog
at her website
 

 

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Posted by on June 15, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday with Sara Jane Stone author of Stirring Attraction ~ Giveaway

Thank you for joining me on the blog today! I love What to Read Wednesday and hope you do, too!!! Please help me welcome author Sara Jane Stone to the hot seat. She is talking about rules for writing love scenes and I think you’ll have fun with her post:)

Afterward check out her release STIRRING ATTRACTION and then enter her awesome giveaway!

Take it away Sara …

 

Sara Jane Stone’s Rule for Writing Sex Scenes

(Warning: They might surprise you. And make you giggle:) )

 

Hi! I’m Sara Jane Stone and I write super-sexy contemporary romance. To date, I’ve penned thirteen full-length stories and one super short (and free!) teaser novella, Running Wild. And I’ve never—not once—slammed the bedroom door on my readers. Quite the opposite in fact.

 

In many of my stories, the bedroom scenes are an important part of the character development. The intimate moments often drive the plot. And they don’t always happen in the bedroom! I wrote a series of steamy scenes set in an old barn with a mechanical bull in Running Wild (Second Shots Prequel) and Serving Trouble (Second Shot #1). Stirring Attraction features a wild scene on a coffee table, and another in the back room of a bar.

 

After writing countless sex scenes, you would think I’d have a method, a tried-and-true approach. Umm . . . not exactly. But I do have a few rules for crafting those intimate moments.

 

  • Never write a sex scene on an airplane. I made this mistake while writing Caught in the Act (Independence Falls #2). On a flight to Vegas for a bachelorette party, I pulled out my laptop and picked up the story where I’d left off—in the bedroom. And then I spent the rest of the flight with a nosy businessman peeking over my shoulder to catch a glimpse at my screen.

 

  • Make sure you know when and how the clothes came off. There’s nothing worse than reaching that critical moment and realizing the hero never took off his underwear.

 

  • Never write a sex scene on a train. Murphy’s Law states that the minute your characters lose their clothes someone will claim the seat next to you on the train. It doesn’t matter if there are fifteen other seats available. And they will read over your shoulder and your characters will grow increasingly shy. They might even get dressed and leave the scene.

 

  • If someone asks if you test out your sex scenes first with your husband simply smile and say My characters drive the sex scenes. Failure to follow this rule may lead to your husband confiscating your laptop . . .

 

I followed these rules (mostly) while writing Stirring Attraction’s red-hot sections. And I can’t wait to hear what you think of Dominic and Lily’s story!

 

 

Enter to Win a $25.00 eGift Card

 

STIRRING ATTRACTION
Second Shot #2
Sara Jane Stone
Releasing June 7th, 2016
Avon Impulse
The
second, sizzling book in Sara Jane Stone’s Second Shots series…
When Dominic Fairmore left Oregon to
be all he could be as an Army Ranger, he always knew he’d come back to claim
Lily Greene. But after six years away and three career-ending bullets, Dominic
is battered, broken, and nobody’s hero—so he stays away. Until he learns Lily
has been the victim of a seemingly random attack. He’ll do anything to keep her
safe . . . even go home.
Lily is starting to find a life
without Dominic when suddenly her wounded warrior is home and playing
bodyguard—though all she really wants is for him to take her. But she refuses
to play the part of a damsel in distress, no matter how much she misses his
tempting touch. He’ll leave as soon as she’s safe and Lily knows her heart will
never heal.
But as attraction stirs to so much
more, danger closes in. With more than Lily’s heart at stake, Dominic can no
longer draw a line between protecting Lily and loving her . . .

EXCERPT

Prologue

“You painted your toenails pink.”

Dominic Fairmore stared at Lily’s bumble-gum colored nails. He didn’t trust himself to look up. Downstairs, his dad’s dogs made the familiar trip to the water bowl and back, probably stopping to sniff the bag of Chinese take-out he’d abandoned on the kitchen table. The animals’ nails tapped against the hardwood floors, but otherwise silence filled the farmhouse. His little sister was at the beach and his dad was pulling a double at Forever, Oregon’s woefully understaffed police station. And yeah, he kept track of their locations because at twenty-two he still lived at home.

Lily raised one perfect eyebrow. “I have two hours before my mom expects me home and you’re looking at my toenails?”

Her ironic tone pushed him damn close to his breaking point. He’d take her. Here. Now. Against the wall, pictures falling to the floor. Because he knew she reserved her humor for him. The rest of Forever saw a blond-haired, blue-eyed woman who charmed a room full of five-year olds day after day. A girl who’d been born here, grown up here, and put herself through the local university while still living at home to care for her wheelchair-bound mother and alcoholic father.

But Dominic saw the only girl he’d ever loved. If he closed his eyes, he could still picture her, walking down the halls of their high school. She’d been one year ahead of him. She’d graced the dreary high school halls with her sunshine smile and confidence. And yeah, her short skirts.

He’d memorized the way her cheerleaders outfit teased her thighs while she led the squad her senior year. He’d been a junior, but already shepherding the football team to one victory after another. And sometimes it felt like he busted his ass on the field and won the game just to see her smile . . .

But he couldn’t close his eyes and block out the way Lily looked right now.  His gaze drifted up her calves. Every inch of bare skin wrapped around his heart like a noose. He took in the curve of her thighs and tried to go slow. His jaw tightened and his eyes disobeyed.

Fuck slow.

His gaze locked on the slip of fabric disappearing between her legs.

“Your panties match your toenails,” he growled. There wasn’t a hint of humor in his voice. He couldn’t picture laughing now. In two days, he’d wreck her heart. He would shatter their love and leave her with nothing but memories and the promise that he’d come back.

I swear I’ll come back for her.

But so much could change while he was on the other side of the country training to be all he could be. And later, once he deployed, on the other side of the world.

Two more days. Two more nights. How many times could he make love to this woman before they ran out of time?

“Are you sure they match?” she teased. Her fingers brushed the waistband of her panties and then her thumbs slipped beneath the pink fabric.

His hands formed tight fists at his sides, watching as she drew her underwear down to her toes. Her upper body stole away his view of the blond curls, instead offering the sight of her full, bare breasts hovering in front of her legs. Long locks of blonde hair drifted down as she compared the color of her underwear to her nail polish.

“Lily,” he growled and stepped closer.

She glanced up at him and slowly, as if she knew every movement of her body turned him on and pushed him closer to that place where he lost control. But hell, after six years together, Lily Greene damn well knew how to drive him crazy with lust and longing.

“My nails are a light pink. I think the bottle said ‘Ballet Slipper.’ But my underwear is closer to fuchsia.” She tossed her panties at him. “See?”

Years of training on the football field kicked in and he caught the slip of fabric in his right hand. “You’re right,” he said and he took a step forward. He threw her underwear down to the carpet without bothering to study them.

“You need to be home in two hours?” he asked.

Her teasing smile faded at the reminder of the reality beyond the bedroom walls. “You know I do.”

“We might not have time for the Chinese food.” He momentarily blocked his view as he drew his ‘Go Army!’ T-shirt over his head. He discarded the reminder of where he was heading in two days’ time. He wanted to leave this town and the dead-end future it promised, but not Lily.

“I hate Chinese,” she said.

She reached forward and grabbed onto the belt buckle his father had given him after he won the state championship with his high school football team. He pressed his palms flat against the wall, one on either side of her head. He couldn’t touch her. Not yet.

“I know.” He allowed her to pull him close, her fingers working to free his belt and undo his jeans. “I didn’t want to run the risk that you would want to eat first.”

She smiled as her hands won the battle with his belt. Drawing his zipper down, she leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “Smart man.” Her hands pushed his pants over his hips and then went in search of their target.

“Lily,” he gasped as her fingers wrapped around the part of his body that thought ‘slow’ spelled disaster. Hell, it just might. He wanted her so damn much he might come in her hand. “Careful,” he added. “Or I’ll be about as useful as I was the first time. In the front seat of my truck.”

“Have as much self-control now as you did at seventeen?” she challenged, her hand moving up and down now.

“You know it.” He took his right hand off the wall and cupped her jaw. Angling her lips up to meet his, he kissed her. He knew her mouth. He’d memorized the way she liked his tongue to tease hers.

His hand moved down her neck and over her shoulder. His fingers froze, hovering on her collarbone. He knew the feel of her soft skin as well as he knew his own. But dammit, he couldn’t take the weight of her breast in his hand, her nipple brushing against his palm, and still maintain control.

She broke the kiss. “Don’t hold back, Dominic,” she whispered. “You never have before. Don’t start now. You know how to touch me. You’re the only one—”

His growl cut off her hushed words. He was the only one who knew the color of her panties. The only man in her bed. The only one who heard her sly humor. And yeah, the only man in Forever, Oregon who loved her.

For now . . .

 
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After
several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane
Stone
 bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing
romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very
supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat.
Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about
contests, giveaways, and more! Visit http://www.sarajanestone.com and look for her
newsletter entry form.
 

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Posted by on June 8, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday ~ Guest #2 Melissa West author of Silent Hearts ~ giveaway

I’m so glad you can join me on the blog today:) Please help me welcome our second author for What to Read Wednesday:) Author Melissa West is visiting and sharing how she names her characters:) Afterward check out her gorgeous cover for her book SILENT HEARTS, enjoy the excerpt and grab a copy.

And don’t forget to enter her giveaway!!!!

Take it away Melissa …

Hi there! Thank you for letting me stop by today!

 

To tell you a little about me, I write Southern romance with a dash of spice, and I love nothing more than meeting readers and book lovers, so stop by my Facebook page and say hi sometime!

 

As for my characters and how I name them, this is a tricky question, because it tends to vary by the book.

 

There are some books where the characters almost name themselves. They FEEL like a Jackson or a Trip or a Preston. The name comes to me as soon as I envision the character.

 

Other times, I will research word/name meanings and choose the name based upon how closely its meaning reflects my character’s personality.

 

But for the majority of my books, I put in a filler name as I begin drafting the book. Perhaps that name is “Anna” or “Ed” or whatever. Once I’m several chapters into the book and truly feel that I understand who the character is on a deeper level, I take to baby name sites. I then start perusing until I find a few names that I like and I test them in scenes. The right name always shows itself. And then once I have a first name, I actually research the last name based upon that character’s family heritage.

 

So that is how I come up with character names!

 

 

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SILENT HEARTS
Hamilton Stables #3
Melissa West
Released May 10th, 2016
Lyrical Shine
 
The
Hamilton brothers have horse racing in their blood, and their sprawling
Kentucky farm is the family’s pride and joy. But they’ve got plenty of passion
to spare…
 
Nick Hamilton has always known he’d
take the reins of the family business when his father died, but that doesn’t
make it any easier when the time comes. Especially with his two siblings
tempted by a shrewd offer from a huge corporation to buy Hamilton Industries.
Needing advice, Nick turns to his sensible childhood friend, Becca Stark—and
finds her suddenly grown-up beauty ignites brand-new confusion, and crystal
clear desire…
Becca has loved Nick for as far back
as she can remember, but she decided long ago that telling him would be a
mistake. Stubborn, strong Nick doesn’t see her as anything but the tomboy she
used to be—or does he? As she helps him untangle his feelings about the ranch’s
future, the familiar bond between them heats into an explosive attraction—and
the kind of love that just might take the lead…

EXCERPT

Becca closed the freezer and then, missing its wonder, she fanned herself with her tank top. “It’s time I reconsider a move up north, but then snow and driving in snow.”

“Yeah, that’d be pretty dangerous with your track record.”

She continued to fan herself. “What? It was one mailbox, not the whole street.”

“Two mailboxes.”

“All right, fine. Two. But I bought them replacements.” She grabbed a flyer from her stack of mail, folded it in half, and used it as a makeshift fan. “Ahhh.”

“What are you, menopausal or something?”

She pointed at him. “Watch your mouth, boy.” He laughed, the sound so glorious she almost closed her eyes again so she could bask in it, but then that would be all sorts of awkward, and Becca tried to maintain her cool around her best friend. Even if right now she was anything but cool in every sense of the word.

“Now spill it.”

Becca pulled out a bottle of water and leaned a hip against the counter.

“You could at least drink with me.”

“It’s five thirty. I like to keep my alcoholic tendencies for nighttime hours.”

“It’s P.M. That stands for nighttime.”

“Wow. Is that what that Ivy League education of yours taught you? ‘Cause you might want to ask for a refund. At least a partial, right? Because night starts with an N, not a P, and time starts with a T, not an M. And, in fact, P.M. stands for post meridiem, so you can send me that money they give you for the refund.”

“All right.” Nick pulled out his wallet, counted out several bills, and tossed them onto the counter. “Now go turn on the damn A/C. It’s hot in here.”

With a loud, long, and drawn-out sigh, Becca pushed the money back toward him. “You know I’m not taking that.”

“Well, I’m not taking it back, so take it or burn it.” He shrugged. “It’s nothing to me.”

“See that right there? That’s why you can’t get a solid date. No girl wants a guy who burns money. I mean seriously. Not only is that six shades of insane, but hello, fire hazard, right?”

He cracked a smile and she grinned back, lost in those amazing blue eyes, crystal clear even through his glasses. Years and years around him and she still couldn’t pinpoint the exact shade. They were sky blue with flecks of navy and turquoise. They were perfect…he was perfect.

And now she’d drifted into lala land again.

 
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Melissa West writes heartfelt
Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who
doesn’t like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA, with her husband and
two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her
coffee addiction. 
 
For sneak
peeks at upcoming works, prizes, and more, join Mel’s Madhouse: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MelsMadhouse

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GR 

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What to Read Wednesday with Patricia Yager Delagrange author of Passing Through Brandiss ~ giveaway

I’m so glad you’re joining me for What to Read Wednesday. I’m excited to meet our guest author today and I think you will be too. Please help me welcome Patricia Yager Delagrange to the blog. Patricia is sharing her very personal journey regarding the adoption of her daughter, which ties in with her release Passing Through Brandiss. I think you’ll enjoy what she has to share.

Afterward, don’t forget to check out her book and enter her giveaway!

Take it away Patricia …

A major part of Passing Through Brandiss is that Allessandra wants to give her unborn child up for adoption immediately after she gives birth. She’s selected Annie, the woman she’s befriended and works for, to be her baby’s adoptive parent.  Annie must make an extremely difficult decision because she has a biological son, Rafe, who has been her focus for ten years. She doesn’t want Rafe to feel neglected and she won’t adopt a baby without her son’s approval. When finally the two of them decide to adopt Allessandra’s child, both Annie and Rafe are happy about their decision.

 

But the adoption doesn’t go as planned and the result is devastating to both Annie and Rafe.

 

My husband and I adopted our daughter which is why I wanted to write about this subject. I’d given birth to our son and when he turned four, my husband and I wanted another child. Then I found out I was peri-menopausal and the likelihood of getting pregnant again was very small. So instead of trying in vitro fertilization, we decided to adopt. We found an attorney who handled only open adoptions.

 

When we first met with the attorney both of us were uncomfortable with an open adoption. We didn’t want to have contact with the birth mother after the adoption. I think our feelings stemmed from possessiveness. We wanted to feel the child was only “ours” and we didn’t want any interference with the birth mother. But the attorney explained that the amount of connection between us and the birth mother was our decision so we decided to give it a shot.

 

After creating our “family brochure” we waited. But we didn’t have to wait for long. Within about four months we were notified that Kim wanted to meet us. We were so excited, hoping it would go well. We drove two hours to meet up with her and spent the afternoon with her at a group home for pregnant mothers. She invited us to stay for dinner so that we could get to know each other. Also, she wanted her friends’ ‘opinions of us. We actually didn’t feel as if we were under a microscope because we, too, were deciding whether we felt comfortable with Kim.

The evening went so well and we had so many laughs and fun together that at the end of the night Kim asked if we would like to adopt her baby. We all cried happy tears.

Kim went into labor a few weeks early and we were not prepared. We had no baby clothes, except what we had saved from our son. My husband was at work and had to finish up the job before he could leave. We arrived at the hospital about two hours after Kim gave birth and my husband gave our new baby her first bottle. We hung out with Kim all evening in her hospital room and the next day picked up our daughter and drove away. I’ll never forget looking out the back window, watching Kim wave goodbye to us. We could see she was crying and distraught but we knew she believed she was doing the right thing. And we agreed with her.

 

I only have positive things to say about our daughter’s adoption. Everything was handled legally and we didn’t have to wait very long either. We expected the possibility of waiting for years and are so glad that didn’t happen. Of course, we couldn’t predict how we’d feel about our adopted daughter but it didn’t take long to fall in love with her.

 

And that’s never changed.

 

 

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PASSING THROUGH BRANDISS
Patricia Yager Delagrange
Releasing May 20, 2016
Ravenswood Publishing
After the tragic loss of her
husband, Annie and her young son search for a new life full of meaning and
hope. Fate nudges Annie into the arms of a man whose wife disappeared with his
child years ago. 


Annie’s life spins out of control when first the pregnant
teenager she hires to help her with her garden asks Annie to adopt her baby and
shortly afterwards the long-lost wife of the man Annie loves reappears. 
 
Riddled
with grief and heartache, the experiences demonstrate how, even in the face of
overwhelming sorrow, opening her heart and home to those most in need of love
has reaped unexpected joy for Annie and her son.

EXCERPT

A cream-colored blanket covered him from the waist down, a white sheet folded over at the edge. Gauze shielded the top part of his head and a black accordion tube snaked out of his mouth.  Machines surrounded his bed, blinking and beeping, the rhythm oddly calming.

He was alive.

Annie laced her fingers with his and squeezed, willing her energy to pass through him, as if her touch could keep him more alive than the contraptions. She leaned over the side of the bed, kissed his cheek, inhaling the sickeningly sweet scent of Betadine.

Suddenly the beeps burst to life, louder, more insistent and irritating. A thin blue line, straight and flat, slid across the black screen on the monitor above his bed.

Firm hands grasped Annie’s shoulders and pulled her away from his bedside.

“What are you doing? Stop! What’s happening?”

A nurse tugged on Annie’s arm and led her through the doorway. “Mrs. Davidson. You have to leave the room. Now.”

Annie glanced back at Cam before passing the room’s threshold, shuffled backward into the hallway and banged against the wall. Doctors and nurses raced from all directions and funneled to Cam’s bedside.

She stared at the closed door to Cameron’s room, her eyes burning. “Please, God, save him. I need him. Rafe needs him. Don’t let him die.” No matter how busy God was, helping other people in the world, perhaps Annie’s personal plea would reach Him.

She envisioned a happy scenario. Cam was going to pull through. She knew it.

The door swung open. Dr. Tsao walked out slowly, eyes and head angled down until she reached the middle of the wide hallway. Annie pushed away from the wall. Their eyes met.

The doctor didn’t have to say a word. The downward twist of her lips, the flat glaze of her eyes. Annie knew Dr. Tsao wouldn’t be uttering the words she hoped to hear.

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Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area,
Patricia attended St. Mary’s College, studied her junior year at the University
of Madrid, received a B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get a
Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. She lives with her
husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco,
along with two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and Jack. Her Friesian
horse Maximus lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.

 

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Posted by on May 18, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday with Annie Rains author of Welcome Home, Cowboy ~ Giveaway

Please help me welcome Annie Rains to the blog today:) She’s talking about Cowboys, Marines, and mixing them in the same bowl~ YUM! Afterward, check out her release Welcome Home, Cowboy and ogle her gorgeous cover. 

Don’t forget to enter her giveaway!

Take it away Annie …

Why a Cowboy Marine is the Best of Both Worlds

  1. Cowboy Marines can rope cattle and fight for their country (while also roping their gal and fighting to keep her)
  2. A Cowboy Marine looks sexy in combat andcowboy boots.
  3. The cowboy hat is oh, so sexy! But take it off and that military buzzed hair has you dying to run your fingers through it.
  4. Cowboys can ride for hours, and hours, and hours, and … Then again, Marines never give up until the mission is complete—no matter how long it takes *wink-wink* Just imagine all the fun you could have with a Cowboy Marine!
  5. Both cowboys and Marines are honorable, strong, and seemingly impenetrable (except to that one woman who wins their hearts). They’re both sexy as the day is long. Why choose between them when you can mix the two into one delicious hybrid?

 

And in WELCOME HOME, COWBOY that hybrid is Lawson Phillips! Welcome Home, Cowboy is available April 26, 2016!

 

Enter to Win a $25.00 Amazon eGift Card
 
WELCOME HOME, COWBOY
A Hero’s Welcome Book Two
Annie Rains
Releasing April 26th, 2016
Loveswept
With its thriving military
base, Seaside, North Carolina, is teeming with heroes of all stripes. But, as
the Hero’s Welcome series from Annie Rains continues, it takes a cowboy to
rescue the town’s newest resident from heartache.
After a bad breakup leaves Julie Chandler
completely devastated, she comes to Seaside seeking a fresh start. A talented,
compassionate yoga teacher, she has developed a program to help alleviate the
effects of PTSD, but getting a bunch of bullheaded Marines into downward facing
dog might be impossible. So Julie’s shocked when one of her first students
dives in headfirst—and almost tempts her to take down her walls with his easy smile
and electrifying touch.

 

Ever since Texas cowboy turned Marine pilot
Lawson Phillips lost a crew member in a helicopter accident, he hasn’t been
able to fly. When a psychologist orders him to attend, of all things, a yoga
class, Lawson’s outraged—until he finds out Julie is the instructor. She’s
beautiful, graceful, and completely guarded when it comes to his advances, but
he’s determined to find out what makes her tick. Because underneath Julie’s
hard shell is a woman Lawson knows he could fall for—and he’s not ready for the
ride to end.


EXCERPT

“Come ride with me anytime,” he said, helping her dismount from the horse when they were back at the barn. He didn’t place his hands on her ass this time, which was both regrettable and a relief. Instead, he steadied her waist with his hands. She turned to face him after he helped her to the ground, and was surprised to find how close they were standing. Close enough that the brim of his hat on her head nearly touched his chin.

“This belongs to you.” She took off the hat and went up on her tiptoes to put it back where it belonged. Their eyes locked as the movement brought them even closer together. Her heart bucked again, like a wild horse ready to bolt.

Returning to flat feet, she started to step away. Needed to step away. Too bad Bon-Bon was still behind her, blocking her escape.

“Julie?” he said, making her feet pause and her heart stutter. She liked the sound of her name on his lips. Low, deep.

“Yes?” she asked breathlessly.

He reached out his hand to tame a strand of her hair brushing against her cheek. “You have what I call hat-hair.” He took his time smoothing the hair around her ear, awakening every nerve in her body. Then he slowly dipped, keeping his blue-as-the-ocean eyes on hers, and kissed her.

She melted into him instead of stepping away. The side of his cheek on hers was warm and inviting, intoxicating. His tongue tapped softly against hers, just once, as he swept his hand behind her neck, pulling her gently toward him.

A soft moan escaped her throat, betraying her. She parted her lips for him, inviting him in, begging him to stay, which he did for just a moment longer. Then he broke it off, keeping it sweet. The kiss had threatened to be more, though. It had threatened to take her inside that barn, lay her down on a blanket of hay, and be a whole hell of a lot more.

“See you later, Lawson,” she said, forcing herself to step away from him, away from the horse and the barn. She turned toward her car and didn’t look back. Otherwise, her hormones were going to win and drag this cowboy into the barn and slam the stall doors behind them.

“See you later, Julie,” he called after her.

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& N
 | iTunes | Kobo
Annie Rains is a contemporary romance
author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast
of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities,
Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting
for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing,
she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one
of her favorite authors. Represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary
Agency (NYLA).


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Don’t Miss any of the Hero’s Welcome Series

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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