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Friday, November 28, 2014

Interview of Author Jacquie Biggar

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Jacquie Biggar.

GIVEAWAY ALERT: See information at end of interview.

Latest Book: Tidal Falls
Buy Link: http://authl.it/22y?d

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czbs7q7qQ80&feature=youtu.be

BIO:
From the time I was twelve years old, I knew I wanted to be a writer. That year I wrote a short story called Count Daffodil after spending countless hours searching for ideas. The story garnered me an A and was read aloud through the school's loudspeaker system. Needless to say, after that I was hooked.

I grew up, got married, raised a family and left my writing urges to simmer in the background unattended.

I later owned and operated a successful diner in my hometown for a number of wonderful years. And now I'm ready to take up the writing reins and see how far I can travel.

Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: Dinner with my family.

Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: Every day is different for me. Last night I couldn’t sleep so I was up at 1:00 a.m. writing. I envy others who say they routinely write two or three thousand words a day.

Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first
A: started writing? Social media. I think you have to have a presence on Facebook and Twitter in order to succeed.


Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: I fell in love with Jared Martin in Tidal Falls. He’s annoying and aggravating, but funny and loyal also. I’m writing his book now.


Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: I prefer silence. Guess I’m not a multi-tasker.

Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: I’ve only had one done so far, Tidal falls, by Kim Killion Group. Love, Love those guys.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Accept advice, join a critique group.


Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: In Tidal Falls I use the setting of my own restaurant as a basis for Grits and Grace, the town’s main watering hole.

Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
A: I’d have to say the beginning, when I’m still deciding and building my world. My favorite is the middle, everything gets exciting there!

Q: Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?
A: This is from book two in my Wounded Hearts Series, Jared.

Jared settled into a light doze—pictures of complex data mixing with cute blondes wearing lab coats, and not much else, twirling inside his overtired brain.

He’s a character, for sure, J

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Christmas. I love having all my family together. We open presents in the morning, then I make a big breakfast of French toast, Pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham. In the afternoon the turkey goes in and fills the house with the scent of rosemary, sage, poultry seasoning, and allspice. The kids play with their new toys while the adults laugh and visit. It’s perfect.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I have a serious case of claustrophobia, can’t stand anything near my face. I love horses, always dreamed of having my very own black Arabian, like Walter Farley’s Black Stallion.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Surprisingly enough, an author,

Q: Favorite food.
A: Chinese, love the stir fried veggies.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: That’s tough, I’ve had many blessings in my life. I guess my favorite would be the day my daughter was born. Happiest day of my life.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: Coffee, strong and black.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Chilly winter nights spent with my DH and a warm fire.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: To see Italy one day.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: To have mind control. I know, creepy right?

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
I’m always happy to chat with people. You can catch me on:
Website: http://jacquiebiggar.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/jacqbiggar
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jacqbiggar
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jacqcool
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101723987676850115568/posts
Amazon Author Page

BLURB:
Sara Reed is on the run from an abusive ex with ties to organized crime. Mistakenly thinking her and her daughter would be safer if she had some kind of leverage, she takes a copy of some valuable files. Files that make her a target.

Nick Kelley is an ex-marine trying to find his place now that his career is over due to injuries suffered from an IED. When the two of them meet in the pretty little town of Tidal Falls, the experience is explosive.

EXCERPT:
Sara Sheridan waited with nervous anticipation, and when her husband turned away to network with the senator and his wife, she made her move. Excusing herself from her half-hearted discussion on the state of the economy with old Judge Perkins, she edged out of the dining room and hurried down the dimly lit hallway, ignoring the condescending stares from Tom’s ancestors lining the walls in their expensive frames.

Knees quaking now she’d in fact committed to her plan, Sara slid the key borrowed from his nightstand into the lock, entered his office and pulled the heavy oak door closed. Flipping on the lights she froze as his mahogany desk loomed out of the darkness. Forcing her stiff limbs to move across the room, the pungent scent of his tobacco violated her nostrils. She wanted nothing more than to run, fast and far. But couldn’t, not yet. Rolling his heavy leather chair out of the way, she slid her fingers across the keypad to wake his computer. Password protected, she’d expected that. Pulling a list from her pocket, she started at the top, working her way

Nothing. Please, please, plea…

The screen changed, signaling success.

Her eyes slid shut in a brief moment of gratitude. Knowing she had to hurry Sara grasped the thumb drive Fiona had smuggled in to her and plugged it in. A quick search brought no results.

Now what?

Frustrated, she entered random words from the password list.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Crap.

Covert stuff wasn’t her forte. Sweaty hand sticky on the mouse, her ragged breathing loud in the otherwise silent room, she keyed in one last word.

Phoenix.

The screen switched and a list of names, dates and times appeared. She’d done it. Excitement skittered up her spine. The download took the longest minute of her life. When it was done she shut everything down, replaced his chair and turned to leave. Then a muffled thud out in the hall just about stopped her heart. She wasted precious seconds staring at the closed door wishing herself invisible, before frantically searching for a place to hide. There were heavy velvet drapes covering the windows, they’d have to do. Praying her dust allergies wouldn’t give her away, she hid between the folds, clenching the edges of the fabric in her hands. Kicking herself seven ways to Sunday for leaving the key in the outer lock, she held her breath when the door opened.


Anything else you’d like to add?
GIVEAWAY ALERT
I’d like to offer an e-copy of my book, Tidal Falls to one lucky commenter. How about you, what’s your favorite super power?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving by Janice Seagraves

Happy Thanksgiving.


Hope everyone has a great day, where ever you live.

We have a full house and I'm cooking a twenty-two pound bird. My hubby likes lots of leftovers when it comes to turkey, and I love the smell of turkey cooking. This year my daughter told me to wake her early, so she can help and learn how to cook the bird. 

What do you like about Thanksgiving?

I don't have a story about Thanksgiving, but I do have a Christmas story or two. 

My new eBook, Matrix Crystal Christmas, which follows, Matrix Crystal Hunters, is now available: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GJCNBAY
Matrix Crystal Christmas is made up of two short stories (one erotic and one sweet) for the fans of my novel, Matrix Crystal Hunters, who told me that they wanted to know what happened next.

In Crystal Flower Christmas: Vach and Maya are on a mission to undam the Laonooco River for the drought stricken region. As heartache fractures their marriage, will the gift of a crystal flower mend their relationship or break it beyond repair?

In Crystal Clear Christmas: Plague has struck the village of Zama and the citizens blame the only human left on Zenevieva, Maya. Will Vach make the ultimate sacrifice to save his wife?
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***************************************************

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Traditions - The Makings of a Wonderful Holiday Season

Every year, about this time, I ponder what makes the season special. I suspect a lot of people do that, so I’m not unique. But my perspective on the season is unique. As is yours. I’m not one of those people who looks to the past a lot. But this time of year seems to be the exception. For me, Scrooge-like, the magic of the season is enhanced by Christmas past. I move through my day with one part of my brain tied to fond, seasonal memories. The way the tree looked surrounded by all those pretty packages on Christmas morning when I was a kid; the memory of singing in the church choir at candlelight services when I got a little older; people we've lost along the way and past gifts given and received that were special…for whatever reason.
It’s hard to pinpoint why I love Christmas so much. Despite the rush of added tasks and projects, the extra work involved in getting or making gifts, the pull of emotion the season engenders, I can’t help feeling its magic. Maybe I like it so much because it brings out the best in me.
As a creative person, I think my perception of this time of year has been formed by creative things--baking, movies, music, books. Every year my daughters and I bake cookies to send to family across the country, just to let them know we're thinking about them. It's a special time in so many ways and I cherish every minute of it.
We also love going to Christmas themed movies. This year my hero and I are looking forward to the new Night at the Museum movie, which has become one of our favorite movie series, and the fact that they always release around Christmas time makes them a special part of our tradition. 
Every year I buy a new Christmas ornament and add it to my collection of treasured ornaments from family and friends, giving me a nice mix of old and new. And each Christmas I look for a new Christmas music CD. This year I bought a truly gorgeous mix of tunes from an outrageously talented A Cappella Band named Pentatonix:

Don't you just LOVE the Bass in this? Wow! 

In addition to my tradition of seeking out and surrounding myself with creative things at Christmas time, I always find myself inspired to write something having to do with Christmas. This year I wrote HoHo Honeybun, Book 5 in my Honeybun Fever romantic suspense series. If you're looking for a fun and fast paced book to get you in the Christmas/holiday spirit, this might be just the thing!
Happy Holidays, Everybody!
He just wants her to take life a little more seriously. She’s decided he could have a point. Especially now that somebody wants her dead.
Dolfe Honeybun broke up with Blaise Runa because her party girl ways were driving him to distraction. Unfortunately, out of sight does NOT mean out of mind. And when his favorite party girl sees something she shouldn’t and finds herself being chased by a cold blooded killer… reason shuts down and Dolfe’s heart takes over. If only he can get to her in time!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Interview with Freelance Editor Leah Wohlfarth


According to RB4U's own Marianne Stephens, Leah Wohlfarth is new, fresh, eager, and does an amazing job. Authors always need a great editor, and we like to have a few extra names just in case our usual editor is unavailable. I’m delighted to interview Leah here today. Let's see how she approaches the process of editing works written by her clients.

 

BIO: Hello! My name is Leah Wohlfarth, and I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Humanities, which really just means world literature. I love to read, and proof read. I was always editing papers for my friends, and classmates, during college which was a lot of fun for me. I live in Colorado Springs with my adorable dog, Combo, and my boyfriend, Brian, who is in the Air Force. I love to watch movies, go hiking, and crochet. I also speak German, so it is so much fun to add German fairy tales to my reading list!


Q: Describe your job, please. How do you go about your day?

A:  As an editor, I read over written work for spelling and grammatical errors, as well as inconsistencies, awkward sentences, and works that just don’t fit. It is my job to make sure the work flows correctly, and to fine tune the piece to amplify the author’s vision.

Q:  What’s one important thing you’ve learned about your job as you became more involved with it?

A:  I’ve learned that when you are editing, you need to understand the author’s voice. Every word carries a lot of meaning, so putting it in the right place is tricky, but important for amplifying the author’s vision, and voice.

Q:  How do you handle complaints/negative feedback from readers/authors?

A:  I have to take it as constructive criticism. They put their time, effort, and passion into the piece that I got to edit. I need to understand what they want, and take their feedback seriously to make their piece perfect for them. It can be hard, but it’s a necessary part of growing, and becoming better.

Q:  E-books or print. Do you read both? If you read e-books, what reader device do you have?

A: I read both. I prefer print, because there is nothing like the smell and feel of a new book, but I do have a kindle that I use. When I was in college, I used my Kindle for my fun books, that were not related to my classes so I could escape a little. 



Q:  What do you consider the best way for an author to do promos?

A:  In my opinion, the best way to do promos is through social media, and blogs. When I worked at a publishing company in Kansas City, one of my jobs was to search through, and compile a list, of blogs. Those lists were used for advertising, and even for recruiting authors. Blogs are a great way to put yourself out there, show your skills, advertise, and even network.

Q:  Conferences and conventions. Do you attend any and how do you decide which ones to go to?

A:  I unfortunately have not had the opportunity to attend any conferences or conventions. I would love to in the future, and would decide by looking into what is offered at the convention and consider what I would be able to learn.

Q:  What’s one of the most common mistakes you find over and over again, that you can bring to the attention of authors?

A:  It's mostly punctuation, or awkward sentences. When you write, and read through, what you've written so much you can easily overlook those simple things. Also when an author reads their work, they can read what they meant to write, instead of what was written.

Q:  Is there a common misconception authors tend to have about your specialized field or any unrealistic expectations authors have about what you can do?

A:  I haven't encountered any unrealistic expectations, but a misconception is that I will be offended if you don't chose to use a correction, or suggestion, that I made. It's my job to edit, and give another point of view, but it is ultimately the author's book, and the author's choice.

Q:  What’s the one most important thing a reader/author should know about your business?

A:  I am just starting out but I LOVE what I do, and I always have. When I look at a written work it is looking at a tile floor, and I can see when one thing is out of place, so I will do a great job for you.

Q:  What are your guidelines for a writer/author to submit a book/manuscript for an edit?

A:  I just need to know what kind of edit they want. Some people don't want anything changed as far as sentence structure, because it is important to their voice as an author, so I just look through and make sure everything is correct. Others want another point of view, and their content edited. It is just important that you communicate what you want from me. 
Q:  Can you tell us about the cost of using your editing services?

A:  Yes. Here’s a snapshot of my editing fees, which can also be found on my website.

Proofread: $2 a page. A proof read would include, checking for spelling, grammatical errors, punctuation, and typos. This will include one round of edits.

Copy Edit: $3 a page. A copy edit will not only include checking for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors, but will also include checking for tense, flow of the words, plot inconsistencies, formatting, awkward sentences, and overused words. This will include two rounds of edits.

Q:  Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Where do you appear?

A:  I have both a Facebook, and a twitter that I am active with.



Q:  Let’s get personal. Tell us a little about yourself… astrology sign, favorite food, drink, movie? A place you have visited that you’d like to return to? Favorite season? Do you prefer mountains or beaches, deserts or forests? Three items in your refrigerator right now are… and last but not least, name two things you wouldn’t want to be without if you were stranded on a desert island.

A:  I am a Scorpio. My favorite food is pasta, of any kind, any sauce, don't matter! My favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption (also a great book). I studied abroad in Germany, and everyone around me knows I cannot wait to go back! I definitely prefer the beach, but I live in the mountains of Colorado. Three things in my refrigerator: Dr Pepper, a LOT of strawberries, and almond milk. If I was stranded on a desert island, I would HAVE to have a toothbrush, and a great book.

Website: http://leahwedit.weebly.com/
Blog: located on my website
Email: leahw09@aol.com
 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Season of Magic




Season of Magic

Christmas is truly a season of magic for most of us. It’s also the title of a boxed set I’m in with four talented authors. I’m honored to be part of this collection of fun, flirty stories of couples finding love during the holidays.

Christmas changes as we grow older. As children, it’s the magic of Santa Claus, the anticipation of Christmas, then Christmas morning, waking our sleep-deprived parents at dawn, running down the stairs to behold the wonder of toys and gifts under the tree.

Then as teens and young adults it’s all about holiday parties and boyfriends. Once we have our own families, we become the sleep-deprived parents, up late Christmas Eve putting together toys and wrapping gifts.


Many of us become grandparents, and that puts the holiday on a whole new level. In my case, my husband and I aren’t grandparents yet. As empty nesters with our son living 2500 miles away, our Christmas day has changed drastically. At first, I felt a little sad with just the two of us home alone to celebrate Christmas. Now, I love my new Christmas. Weeks before the holiday, I scour my recipe books for tasty appetizers to make. My husband and I spend the day in front of the TV eating appetizers, drinking wine and binge watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Then I make a special dinner. Last year it was filet mignon. Before you feel sorry for me, we visit our son at least once a year (twice this year), and spent Christmas with him a few years ago. But we don’t like to travel during the holidays.

As I grow older, things will change again. But through it all, I’m sure Christmas will always be magical. What are your special Christmas memories? And how have your holidays changed?


The Season of Magic anthology is an Amazon bestseller. Five fun holiday romances guaranteed to warm your heart. And there is a recipe at the end of each story. All this for only 99 cents!

Hopes and wishes. And holiday kisses...the Season of Magic.
            Wrap yourself in the holiday spirit with five romantic stories filled with fun and forever after.



Noel Noel Noel by Merry Holly
Dumped and lonely, is it possible to find love at the local mall? Noelle thinks not, but a chance encounter with Chase Clayborne while Christmas shopping has her rethinking her rigid set of rules, as sparks flare between them.

A Cinderella Christmas by Cara Marsi
Jessica Gallo no longer believed in fairy tales or happy endings. And she certainly didn’t believe she’d find her Prince Charming at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her Fairy Godmother thought differently.

Matchmaker Matchmaker by Bobbi Lerman
With Chanukah around the corner, is there enough magic left for a matchmaker to bring Molly's cynical heart back to life.

Holiday Disaster by Vicki Batman
The week before Christmas and all is in disarray when a librarian experiences horrible plumbing issues and a Mr. Maintenance Man who isn’t nearly as jolly as Santa Clause. This Christmas is a disaster.

Yuletide Bride by Gerri Brousseau
The Dowager Duchess’s decree that her grandson must marry before Twelfth Night or relinquish his title and fortune sends him into a tail spin. Without any prospects and with only two weeks until Christmas will Stuart Nelson find himself destitute or will he find The Yuletide Bride.

Here are the buy links:



A merry and romance-filled holiday to everyone!




Sunday, November 23, 2014

Interview of Author Petie McCarty

Today it's my pleasure to introduce romance author Petie McCarty.

Latest Book: No Going Back -- Print release March 2014; E-book release April 2013
Buy Links:
Amazon
B&N

Video Link: Author Video, not a book trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BycMOtKkqa4

BIO:
Petie spent a large part of her career working as a biologist at Walt Disney World -- "The Most Magical Place on Earth" -- where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night. She eventually said good-bye to her "day" job in order to write her stories full-time.

Petie is a member of Romance Writers of America, and she shares homes in Tennessee and Florida with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

Thank you for allowing me to spend time today with your Romance Books 4 Us readers! I'm Petie McCarty, and I write contemporary romances tinged with action-adventure, suspense, or paranormal elements.

Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: My story ideas fall into one of the three groups: 1) New Ideas/General -- which could be anything from a contemporary to a western; 2) Mystery Angel Romances -- a series of love stories each with an angel hidden in the plot waiting for readers to figure out who; two already published -- No Going Back and Angel to the Rescue -- with a third scheduled for April 2015; and 3) Cinderella Romances… Fall in love with the fairy tale all over again -- each story has a different time and locale and its own Cinderella, Prince Charming, and a Wicked Step-In-The-Way to ruin things; stories with endless possibilities.

New story ideas go onto a sheet of paper and get tucked into one of the three folders, and all three folders are chubby and waiting. I have plenty to do.

Q: Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?
A: This is an easy pick for my novel, Everglades. When I wrote the hero and heroine, I saw Ardeth Bay -- the Medjai chieftain from The Mummy movie -- for Skye Landers, and for the heroine Kayli Heddon, I saw Kate Hudson, fiery with plenty of humor.

Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: So far I have only tucked real life incidents into my novel Everglades. I'm an aquatic biologist by profession and education, and I spent two years of my career surveying Florida lakes, streams, and wetlands by airboat. So when I sent my heroine into the Everglades on an airboat safari, I dove into my memory trove for ideas. Everything that happens to Kayli on her safari -- the midge storm, swimming with a gator, snake encounters, the leeches, the heart-stopping airboat maneuvers -- happened to me at some time in my career. Everything, that is, except getting stranded overnight with a sexy airboat guide.

Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: This question is the perfect follow-up to the last question. My favorite character is Skye Landers, the hero in Everglades. Through the years of conducting aquatic plant surveys in Florida waterways, I never had the fun of going with a "hunky" airboat driver, so in Everglades, I decided to create my own. And what fun that was! Who did I see when I wrote Skye Landers you might ask? I saw Ardeth Bay, the Medjai chieftain from the movie, The Mummy. So sexy. Oded Fehr is the actual actor's name, and I have a picture of him posted in my web site photo gallery at http://www.petiemccarty.com/

Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: Yes, I did. I wish I could change the cover for Catch of the Day. No people appear in the picture, and the cover doesn't show the depth of the story's excitement and suspense. Catch of the Day is my absolute favorite of all the books I've written thus far, for I fell in love with all the characters in my story. So much so they all felt real, even to me.

Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: Rather than hide parts or all of my personality in my characters, I stole the feel of individual emotions and their cumulative impacts: jealousy, fear, anger, tenderness, panic, etc. I also tried to match opposing combos, i.e. the worst personality to handle a particular plot situation. Like teaming a female prissy-pants in a suspense plot, where she's guaranteed to get "down and dirty" and also guaranteed to flounder. Or put a tough, take-charge woman in a girly, frilly plot situation. Taking characters out of their comfort zone and dumping them out of their element in an opposing plot device only ratchets up the angst level for character and reader alike.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: A large part of the excitement that goes with being an author is the ability to create characters for your story and to make them do what you want -- or in some cases, do what they want. Another joy is the right to name your characters. As for my characters, a few first or last names were given as a special nod to family members or friends. Kayli Heddon in Everglades was named after my niece Kayli who was born while I was writing the story. Rachel Kelly and Jill Henry from Angel to the Rescue were named for my first-born and second-born nieces.

The majority of my characters select their own names. Now, lest you think I have gone off the deep end, allow me to explain. When I write, I see movies running in my head. I also see characters -- my hero, heroine, villain et al -- in these movies. As each character makes their debut in the story, he or she arrives with physical traits that bring a name to my mind. I can't really explain it any better than that. It's like when you see a guy walking down the street, and he looks like a Fred to you, or a Jack or a Percy. I see characters in my scenes like that. The heroine in my WIP is Corinna Rigatero, who goes by the nickname of Cory. When she was born in my imagination, she only needed to be Italian to fit into the story. When I saw her the very first time -- silky brown hair, tomboyish, determined, courageous -- I saw a Cory. How did I pick her last name? Rigatero was Italian and fun to say. Sometimes it's as simple as that.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: Westerns have held my fancy since childhood. I grew up watching Roy Rogers, Rowdy Yates from Rawhide, Trampas from The Virginian, and of course, the Bonanza boys. Hard as it may be to believe, John Wayne is still my favorite all-time movie star. There will never be another big-screen actor quite like him. So, yes, I would love to write a western. Now, I just have to figure out how to worm an angel or a Cinderella into the story.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Here is the one tip that kept me going as a newbie writer and helped me get published: Never give up. The advice originally comes from the great Stephen King who said, "The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is the published writer never gave up."

Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
A: With every story I write, I get what I call "climax block." Now doesn't that sound scary? The story reaches the big climactic scene at the end of the book, and I can't seem to get the scene onto the page. I know what must happen and even which characters should participate, but I can't seem to get the action sequences to appear on the page. Therein lies my panic. My "climax block" can hold me back for as much as a week or two before the initial action sequence in the climax finally starts to run like a movie in my head. Thankfully, the movie has always shown up, but the shreds of panic always reside in the background waiting for the next climactic sequence.

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Favorite holiday is Christmas -- hands down. I love to buy and give Christmas gifts, and I adore the Christmas lights -- anybody's lights. Two outstanding places to visit during the Christmas season for spectacular light displays are Calloway Gardens for their Fantasy in Lights show in Pine Mountain, Georgia and also downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Both are awesome. And of course, there is always the spectacular light displays in the Walt Disney World theme parks, but I'm used to those -- like the lights at my home -- since I worked there for so many years.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: The first surprise is I'm a preacher's kid -- there were seven of us -- and lest you mention preacher's kids are the worst, I'll counter by saying we learned everything we know from the deacon's kids.

The second surprise is that I spent most of my career working as a biologist for the Walt Disney World Resort until I left this year to write full-time. There is no better company in America to work for than the Walt Disney Company. If you have kids graduating high school, go online and find out about their wonderful college program.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a zookeeper -- never wavered in my determination. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology, which wasn't all bad since I ended up as an aquatic biologist and was able to use most of what I learned, especially the invertebrate zoology and limnology. I was hip deep --okay neck deep -- in my career before I gave the first thought to writing.

Q: Favorite food.
A: Ice cream novelties -- you know… ice cream sandwiches, drumsticks (to die for), fudgesicles, Snicker bars. I could go on and on.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: My first date with my darling husband/lifelong sweetheart would probably be my happiest memory, or maybe the funniest. I'd made it to the ripe old age of twenty-six without ever having been to a Chinese restaurant, and so that's where he decided to take me for our very first date. We were seated at a table for four, and my cutie patootie ordered for us -- three courses, starting with soup.

Once we had finished the soup, my sweetheart said, "Now we have to change seats." I gaped at him, wide-eyed, and he added, "So the waiter can get the settings ready for the next course." Well, it was our first date, and I did think he was adorable cute, and I did want to impress him, so we got up and moved. The waitress returned and just stared at us -- like we were crazy. Our little seat shift was repeated once again after the egg rolls were delivered and consumed, and when the waitress returned with our entrees, she finally protested, "Why you move? Stop that."

My sweetheart started laughing, and I knew I'd been had, but he was adorable so I didn't care. In fact, I married him because he made me laugh all the time -- among other things. *wink* And he still pulls tricks on me whenever he can get away with it.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: Caramel Apple Martinis at Ruby Tuesday -- more dessert than drink by far, and you'll want to lick the caramel trails from your glass.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Since I live in Florida, it would have to be chilly winter nights, which we almost never get here. A good reason why we are relocating to our second home in Tennessee.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Top thing is to visit the Scottish Highlands. I love the Outlander series and any and all Highland romances, especially Monica McCarty's Highland Guard series, her Spec Ops in kilts. (No relation, darn it.)

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: I'd like to fly like Superman. Think of the places you could visit in a day.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.petiemccarty.com/
https://www.facebook.com/petie.mccarty
https://twitter.com/petiemccarty
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/petiemccarty/
Desert Breeze Publishing: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/mccarty-petie/

BLURB:
Kellen Brand's inheritance turns out to be a whopper -- one dilapidated farm in West Virginia and one guardian angel! Since Kellen is convinced no sane woman would choose to live in Riverside, she vows to sell her farm and quick.

Her handsome and reclusive neighbor Luke Kenyon must block the farm sale or risk exposure of his family's secrets. While Kellen has located one potential buyer, she faces a town full of objectors. Someone is trying to frighten her off, and Luke is forced to step in and rescue her more than once.

Unfortunately, Kellen can't seem to stay out of trouble. She stumbles onto a clandestine hazardous-waste-dumping operation next to her farm, and she prays Luke has one more rescue up his sleeve. It's her only hope of staying alive.

Unless her mother really did leave her a guardian angel…

EXCERPT:
Without warning, a gunshot sounded, and the bullet ricocheted off a tree about twenty feet away. The Appaloosa jerked hard at the gunshot and then reared. The reins ripped from Kellen's grasp. She grabbed the saddle horn with both hands and concentrated only on staying in the saddle. The frightened Appaloosa reared a second time and bolted for open ground. Kellen could do little more than hang on for dear life.

Two leaping strides and the Appaloosa surged to a full gallop, streaking for the grassy hills. Thundering hooves sounded behind them, and Luke shouted for Kellen to stop. She was helpless, too scared to even glance back at him. The reins trailed beneath the Appaloosa's pounding hooves as the mare continued her panicked race to nowhere. If the mare's feet tangled in the dragging reins, they would both go down.

A fallen tree appeared directly in the mare's path, and Kellen let loose a scream as the sure-footed horse gamely cleared the tree trunk like a thoroughbred jumper. Kellen slipped to the right side of the saddle when the mare landed, and they galloped on across the open field, one leg still straddling the saddle and the other leg dangling precariously between the matched pairs of pounding hooves. She heaved her leg up tight as she could to the mare's belly and prayed it didn't get tangled with the horse's legs, but her muscles weakened with every stride and bounce she sustained. And still the Appaloosa galloped, sheer adrenaline keeping the mare out in front of Luke's mighty stallion.

Bred for endurance, the mare focused on putting as much distance between her and the gunshot as possible; the powerful hooves pounded across the open pasture. Kellen's arms and legs ached, and she didn't know how much longer she could maintain her balance. If she slipped off the mare, she would be trampled to death the second she hit the ground.

As the thought flashed through her brain, the Appaloosa hit a gully and waggled her stride enough to send Kellen further off-kilter. Her knuckles turned white from the pressure of her death grip on the saddle horn, and her legs had nothing left to give. She prayed that if she slipped further, she could muster hidden strength to push off and roll away from the thundering hooves.

The mare aimed for a small copse of trees perched on the side of a hill, and a fresh wave of terror slammed through Kellen. Low hanging limbs would tear her from the horse. Suddenly, Luke appeared alongside. His long arm snaked around her waist and yanked her from the panicked Appaloosa. He slowed Windsor with each stride until he could pull the stallion to a stop and gently lower Kellen to the ground. Her legs gave way the second her feet touched solid ground, and she crumpled to the grass in a heap.

Before she could take a full breath, two strong arms lifted her up, and Luke pulled her tight to his chest. She could feel his heart pounding out its rhythm, as Windsor's hooves had moments before. A single sob erupted when she tried to draw a breath, and she clung to him with what little strength she had left. Her muscles quivered, and she didn't care. For once in her life, she didn't want to be tough. She just wanted this big, strong man to hold on tight.

Long moments passed. She felt him pull away, and a wave of disappointment rushed over her. She looked up at him, and he took her face in his hands and gently brushed his lips against hers, as though asking permission. Whether it was her close call with death or the way Luke had looked when he said her mother was wonderful -- Kellen didn't know and didn't care -- she threw her arms tight around his neck and pressed her lips to his. His muscles flexed hard and crushed her to his chest. His fingers threaded into her curls and then closed into a fist to hold tight.

She grew light-headed, and yet he kissed her as though he would never stop. His mouth tasted and searched hers, first gently and then passionately and then gently yet again, keeping her off-balance. This sometime-frightening, sometime-charismatic man seduced desires from deep within her soul where she kept them under lock and key. She knew she should pull away, but she couldn't -- wouldn't. She felt his muscles flex beneath her hands, and a ripple of excitement sent fresh waves of giddying hunger rifling up her spine.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Nothing other than a big thank you to the Romance Books 4 Us reviewers and readers for allowing me to spend time with you today.

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