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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Follow Your Cowboy Heart by Janice Seagraves



Hi, my name is Janice Seagraves, one of the authors in the anthology, Roping the Cowboy.
It is now on preorder at Amazon.
My story is called Follow Your Cowboy Heart.
Its a sweet, one pepper.

This story is inspired by some of the Ag students I knew in HS, and my husband who handed over his paycheck to help his family.

Max the hero is based loosely on a good looking senior (when I was a sophomore) who lost his mom, but in my story he had lost his dad. He wore nice western wear and a cowboy hat. He had black hair he kept short. In my story Max can't afford a hair cut and wears his black hair long and in a ponytail. He doesn't have a lot of nice clothes, but wears his one nice outfit to look for work.

The story is told through Max's POV.

Linda the heroine is based loosely on someone I knew who had became the Barn Queen, but in my story she had been the Homecoming Queen. Her father owns a dairy.

Both Linda and Max are twenty years old in my story, and bump into each other two years after graduation, when Max is looking for a full time job.

Max is from a family of psychics, each with their own particular talent, and Max's talent is animals.

Blurb:
Max struggles daily to hide his psychic gift with animals. Being a hired hand at a local dairy probably wasn't his best idea, but his mom needs the money he brings in. And there's the dairy owner's sexy daughter he can't stop thinking about. Will he ever have anything other than himself to offer her?


Excerpt:
Linda pressed him against the fence and kissed him, hard. Surprise had him opening his mouth, but it also gave her entrance. Her tongue skimmed across his, and he was lost. He invaded her mouth, pursuing her. His placed his arms around her and pulled her against him, flattening her breasts against his chest. Desire spiraled through him.
She slowly pulled back and snuggled against his chest. “Wow. I always wondered what kissing you would be like.”
Rubbing her back, he noticed a little black bird in the tree limb above them. He whistled, and it cocked its head. He continued to mimic bird song, until the starling flew down and perched on his extended finger.
“How did you do that?” whispered Linda.
“It must be used to humans,” he lied. “Did you know starlings are better mimics then mocking birds?”
“No, I didn’t.” She smiled.
“What do you think of Linda?” he asked the bird. Forming what he wanted the starling to do in his mind.
It did a wolf whistle. Linda giggled.


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Monday, September 26, 2016

That’s What Friends Are For




Being a writer is an often solitary existence. We lock ourselves in a room or office, immersed in our stories, and we emerge hours (days? weeks?) later. Our families are usually supportive, throwing snacks and fluids through the threshold in the hopes we might survive.

As wonderful as all that “in person” support is, one of the things that sustains me most are the connections and friendships I’ve forged with other authors. Fellow authors provide a kind of support non-writers in my life just can’t. They understand the struggle and rewards of the writing process. They know exactly what you mean when you say you’re stuck on a scene or your muse is being a jerk. They know the pain of writing a blurb or getting a bad review. More than just empathy, my writer friends know how to commiserate and how to help.

Over the years, I’ve met many writers. Through serendipity, I ended up in a private Yahoo group with some talented writers who’ve become some of the best friends I’ve never met. One of those friends, the incredible and sweet Rose Anderson, even brought me to RB4U where I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many other wonderful people—and I’m even going to be in the next RB4U anthology with several of them.

Through social media, shared publishers, and other projects, I’ve made other friends. We’ve vented to each other, provided a sympathetic shoulder, and supported each other’s writing efforts.

I treasure my readers. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. But I prize the friendships I’ve forged with my fellow authors. Roping the Cowboy is our RB4U anthology, and Bear Country is my contribution.




Blurb:
Gavin, a bear shifter who left his clan to follow his dream to be a rancher, has nursed a crush on Mallory for years. With the death of her aunt—his boss—the ranch came to them both, and that’s when trouble started. She wants to sell, and he doesn’t.

Tasked with scattering the ashes of her beloved aunt at the source of the Big Bear River high in the mountains, Mallory must swallow her pride and ask Gavin, a laconic, sexy ranch hand, to guide her through the unfamiliar terrain.

Excerpt:
Mallory spotted Gavin at the other end of the bar. Sitting on a stool and taking a swig from his beer mug, he seemed to be alone. Mallory took a seat on the opposite side and asked the bartender to send another beer to Gavin. The more alcohol in him, the more likely he would be to agree to be her guide so that she could fulfill Aunt Abbey’s final wish.

She watched Gavin exchange a few words with the barkeep, and then he looked down at her end of the bar, pushed his Stetson back, and raised his glass. The woman sitting next to Mallory, an attractive blonde, smiled back and blew a kiss.

Mallory wasn’t sure whether that was a good sign. She’d hoped to foster goodwill with her gesture and to also get him a little plastered.  As much as she didn’t want that goodwill to go to the woman sitting next to her, Mallory couldn’t help but think she’d dodged a bullet.
Then the barkeep pointed again. Gavin spit the beer he’d just swigged into his mug and pushed it away. He got up and turned away, and she knew he planned to leave, so she hurried to the other end of the bar and put her hand on his arm. “Gavin—”

“No.”

“But you—”

“No.”

“At least hear me out.”

“I heard you out. There’s nothing more I want to hear from you.”

“But—”

“No.” He turned to face her, and she felt the undiminished force of his hatred. “Get the hell away from me.”


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Roping the Cowboy - 9 Romances on the Range from the Authors of @RB4U #99Cents #BoxedSet



The Authors from Romance Books ‘4’ Us bring you...
This sweet through sizzling collection of love stories includes contemporary, period, and historical romance, otherworldly romance, and romance with a touch of magic by Award-winning and Bestselling Authors: Janice Seagraves, Nicole Morgan, Rose Anderson, Denyse Bridger, Gemma Juliana, Michele Zurlo, Tina Donahue, Krista Ames, and Suz deMello. 

Pre-order today for only 99 cents!




Saturday, September 24, 2016

Humorous Punctuation Errors



Today, September 24, is National Punctuation Day. I remember those nuns teaching punctuation rules, over and over. Much of it stuck. Just because we text and email now doesn’t mean we can throw good punctuation out the window with the typewriter.

I’m a stickler for good punctuation (thank you, Nuns), but that doesn’t mean I always get it right. I’ve read many books lately, both indie and from major publishers, with punctuation errors, mostly comma errors. One thing that really bothers me is when there isn’t a comma before a person’s proper name: as in, “Hi Mary.” There needs to be a comma before Mary. I’ve been seeing this a lot. And I don't like it.




I scoured the internet for examples of how punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence. Here are some humorous ones.

This first one is correct:

Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy–will you let me be yours?

This is what happens to the same statement when it’s not punctuated correctly:

Dear John,
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?

More examples:

Woman without her man is nothing.
Woman, without her, man is nothing.

Let’s eat Grandpa.
Let’s eat, Grandpa.

All those out there who like to cook and eat my wife made a new blog.
All those out there who like to cook and eat, my wife made a new blog.

Can you figure out where the commas go in this one?
Attention: Toilet only for disabled elderly pregnant children.

This magazine cover with Rachel Ray says it all.



Or this one:













See how a comma can change these two below?

Most of the time, travelers worry about their luggage.
Most of the time travelers worry about their luggage.

Are there any punctuation errors that bother you? I’d love to hear them.

New Release, from the Amazon bestselling Season series, now available for pre-order.

Season of Promises Holiday Box Set.

My contribution is Bad Luck Partners. I can’t promise there aren’t any punctuation errors, but I worked hard to be sure it’s punctuated correctly.

Bad Luck Partners:

In Sin City, a couple unlucky in love gamble on each other. Win or lose?
Holidays have never brought Las Vegas hotel concierge Laney Sikora anything but bad luck in the romance department. The worst was her fiancĂ© dumping her on Valentine’s Day. Via text. She’s determined to spend New Year's Eve alone with no romantic entanglements. But when her hunky new neighbor locks himself out of his apartment, she can’t leave him standing in the hallway. What's a girl to do?
 
Las Vegas is just a pit stop for Chicago native and radio personality Chance Carlisle while he waits for his agent to land him something bigger in L.A. But in the meantime, he keeps bumping into—literally—his adorable, but accident-prone, neighbor. Their private New Year’s Eve celebration leads to a plan: they’ll become the Bad Luck Partners, dating only on holidays and special events, avoiding holiday heartbreaks and matchmaking mamas.
 
But Fate might have something else in mind for the klutzy cutie and the hotshot talk show host. Can their temporary partnership become a forever deal? 

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

















Friday, September 23, 2016

My Obsession with Handbags, Books, and Jeeps with Author @VickiBatman #Romance #RB4U


Yep, I do love all three. And regularly, handbags, books, and Jeeps appear in my works. But how did it begin? Let me take you back....

As a youngster, I loved to read and often, I’ll say reading is my best friend. Once a librarian admonished me by saying I couldn’t read the stack of books I’d selected and wanted me to put some back. My mom saw my face and instantly knew something was wrong. I explained. She marched us back to the check-out counter and told the librarian to “let her check all of them out. She’ll read these in a week and probably the ones her sisters check out too.” (I have three sisters.)

I always have several books going and a lot of them in the mystery genre. I fell into romance when Mom introduced me to Emilie Loring and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Thank you, Mom!

As for handbags... I have a funny story here. I have small feet for a gal my size-five foot, eight, size seven narrow. Finding shoes is difficult. But finding handbags? That’s a joy!! I actually have a handbag from high school, lots of vintage beauties, some delightful new ones. I’m thinking -- *finger to cheek* -- about a hundred-ish. And yes, I do give some away. If I find I’m not using a bag anymore, I make a donation. Some of my favs include: Kate Spade, Hobo, Mary Frances, Enid Collins.

And what about a Jeep? When I graduated from college, I needed to find a ride. My parents had lent me a Type 3 Volkswagen station wagon and I loved it! However, I have three sisters and they were driving too. Dad asked what kind of vehicle I was interested in and I said a Jeep. He told me I couldn’t have one. Killjoy! Which kinda pissed me off. I wanted to drive the car I liked. He wanted me to have a grandma-mobile to keep me safe. LOL. I found a nice Ford sedan.

When I had my boys, Handsome and I found we needed a family-style vehicle. As mini-vans were in their infancy and too rich for our blood back then, we found a used Jeep Cherokee. I was in heaven. Maybe it was the utilitarian style. Maybe it was how it was always fashionable. Maybe it was the extra room or how easily it drove. I just loved it and since, our family has bought five more. I have a 1999 Wrangler (long story there) and now drive a Patriot.
So all this stuff—why is it important to my writing? I give my heroines my love for handbags, they drive Jeeps, and love to read. I guess that’s my way of saying each of them carry a part of me.



My romantic comedy mystery, Temporarily Insane!

Bad job. Wrong love. And Murder. 

Hattie Cooks is still searching for her dream job and one might be available...in the Big Apple, far from friends, family, and Allan Wellborn, the man who still makes her heart race. In the meantime, she finds temporary employment at an accounting firm where two auditor friends turn up dead.

Detective Allan Wellborn dropped Hattie for Blonde Bimbo who, coincidentally, is employed at NLB where fishy things are taking place. When Allan interviews Hattie, he must determine why all signs point to her as a suspect.

Can Hattie discover why Allan dumped her and who is murdering auditors before death strikes again?


Author bio: Award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, Vicki Batman, has sold many romantic comedy works to the True magazines, several publishers, and most recently, a romantic comedy mystery to The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and several writing groups. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Cat fancier. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

Find Author Vicki Batman at:
LinkedIn: Email: vlmbatman@hotmail.com

Buy links for Temporarily Insane:




So are you handbag obsessed like me? A big reader? Or drive the car of your dreams?



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Were they really Bedroom Eyes?

This is a revision of an earlier work of a story I have been in love with since the day I sat dow to write it. It has a personal connection to me, so I hope you all will fall in love with it, too.

Leave a comment. Winner gets a $5 GC/

Blurb:
Bridget Reilly hides what she sees as a deformity behind a pair of dark glasses. Fortunately, they also hide her lust for the gorgeous Navy SEAL living next door. When a masked ball provides an opportunity to enjoy a glorious night of anonymous erotic sex with the hottie of her dreams, she’s all over that. She soon realizes she's replaced one disguise with another and revealing the truth is not an option.



Excerpt:
Bridget knew Clay was a SEAL, often deployed on missions for weeks at a time. He’d bought the house for the same reason she’d purchased hers—to have some permanence and stability in his life. Bridget figured she’d probably never have a home of her own otherwise and apartment living had just gotten too old for her. Clay said he wanted a place to unwind that was all his. A place where he could put down roots. Do whatever he wanted.
Every so often she’d see a woman in the backyard with him, or sitting beside him in his car as he backed out of the driveway. Tall, leggy brunettes and redheads, with typically classic good looks. The sound of their intimate laughter was a knife straight to her heart, because she knew she’d never share those kinds of moments with him. She dreaded the day he brought a wife home with him and she was forced to watch them wrapped in a haze of happiness and sexual satisfaction.

“Well.” She wiped her suddenly damp palms on her shorts. “I’d better go in.”
“Me, too. Big night tomorrow night.” But he made a faced as he said it.
“You don’t look like it’s too big. Or that you’re too happy about it.”
He shrugged. “My team captain happens to live in San Antonio, too, just by coincidence, and his wife is involved in some big charitable ball that’s going down tomorrow night. The one that kicks off Fiesta. He made everyone on the team who lives around here buy a ticket. Not only that, he insists that we have to go.”
And of course he’ll be going with a gorgeous piece of arm-candy.
“Surely your date will keep you from being too miserable.” There. That was the right casual tone, wasn’t it?
“No date.” He ran a palm over his hair. “No one I could ask to rent a costume and dress up for a masquerade. Bad enough I have to do it myself.”
“No gorgeous babe hanging around these days?” She hated herself for asking the question, no matter how casual she tried to make it.”
His laugh was humorless. “Not lately. Must be losing my charm. Or maybe it’s just that I’m starting to lose interest in all show and no go. I’ll just guts it out.”
Bridget nodded but both her mind and her heart were racing. She knew all about the Masquerade. Joni’s boss was also on the committee and Joni had been pestering Bridget for weeks to buy a ticket. The cheapest ones were a hundred bucks, though, and not something Bridget wanted to dig into her stash to buy.
But Clay was going without a date. Well, well, well. An outrageous idea was percolating wildly in her brain.
“So I guess you’ve got your costume then?”
“Yeah.” Lines of displeasure grooved his cheeks. “Thank god at least most of my face will be covered so there’s no chance anyone will recognize me.”
Bridget cocked her head, all kinds of possibilities suddenly speed-racing through her brain. “You have a full face mask?”
He nodded. “In a manner of speaking. I’m going as a pirate. Figured that wasn’t too embarrassing. Got a scarf thing to wrap over my head and a big black mask that matches it over my eyes.”
A pirate. Bridget filed that piece of information away in her mind.
“Women love pirates.” She hoped her tone was casual enough. “They’ll probably be hanging all over you.”
Clay snorted. “I doubt it. The women who show up at these things seldom come alone and the ones that do aren’t worth the price of a drink.”
“Maybe tomorrow night you’ll be surprised.” She wet her lips. “Tell you what. I’ll make a bet with you.”
“A bet?”
“Uh-huh. I predict you’ll meet a mysterious woman. She won’t even tell you her real name. She’ll tempt you and tease you and make you want to sweep her off her feet.”
Clay’s mouth kicked up in a grin. “That right? You guaranteeing it?”
“I said I’d bet with you, didn’t I?” She shoved her hands in the pockets of her shorts, waiting tensely for his answer. “Well? You gonna put your money where your mouth is?”
He laughed. “Okay. A bet. Loser buys dinner.”
“You’re on.” She held out her hand.
Clay’s grip was firm and warm. Bridget had expected that, but she hadn’t been prepared for the jolt of electricity that sizzled up her arm and through her body. She pulled her hand back quickly, doing her best to ignore the gleam of mischief in Clay’s eyes.
“I certainly hope so,” he teased.
Bridget’s cheeks turned hot. This was just harmless flirting, something Clay probably did as naturally as he breathed. But for her this was a scarce commodity. Once men got a look at her eyes all flirting was off the table.
“I-I have to go.” She hurried up the driveway, calling over her shoulder, “Good luck. And I expect a full report.”
“If it turns out the way you predict,” he answered, “don’t look for too many details.”
If only this works.
”Confession time day after tomorrow, okay? We’ll meet over the fence.”
“Only long enough so I can tell you where I want you to take me for dinner. Get ready for an expensive meal.”
“We’ll see. “Night, now.”

She nearly ran into the house, her mind racing. She might never realize her goal of introducing herself in public as a published author but she at least had the possibility of one night with the man who filled her dreams. And one night was better than none.

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

KOBO

ITUNES



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Real Love... Beyond Price with @Adele_Downs #Contemporary #Romance #RB4U


I’ve always been attracted to blond, blue-eyed, muscular men with sun-streaked hair and golden tans. Whether he’s on the beach in a lifeguard stand, wearing low slung cutoffs and work boots on a construction site, or dressed for business in a suit and tie, a blue-eyed blond will make my heart beat faster, every time.

I like blonds so much, I married one, and many of the heroes in my books have blue eyes like my husband and our son. The hero of my new release Luxury Model Wife, Steve Carlson, is the embodiment of the rugged, blue-eyed blond archetype who wears jeans, a t-shirt and work boots, and could be a model for a home improvement store. He’s also an Afghanistan war hero and a successful businessman who owns an upscale antiques shop catering to the country club set. When he meets the beautiful dark-haired, brown-eyed young widow of his best customer, Steve begins the most challenging journey of his life…on the road to happily ever after.

LUXURY MODEL WIFE by Adele Downs
Antiques expert Steve Carlson must face the mistakes of his past to discover a treasure he never imagined: the heart of a vulnerable yet determined widow.

TRUE RICHES
Twenty-eight-year-old Victoria Van Orr just lost everything. With the death of her billionaire husband went his mature patience and warm encouragement; and the veneer of acceptance from everyone else. His friends and colleagues now ignore Victoria, and if his son succeeds she just might be forced back to the streets upon which she was raised. But money was never her goal. All she wants is love. Real love.
Antiques expert Steve Carlson knows the value of everything. Pain and betrayal? Those he gave away--and now they're coming back. His worst mistakes were all with one man: an old friend, the son of a father figure, now the stepchild of a beautiful young widow who wants Steve to help her auction off the family estate. To help Victoria, Steve must face his past and become a better man. To find true love, he will discover her surprisingly pure heart, vulnerable yet determined. And beyond price.

Adele Downs is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than 20 romance titles, including those written under another pen name, and a former journalist with hundreds of articles to her credit. When not writing in her home office in rural Pennsylvania, she can be found reading a book on the nearest beach, taking photographs, or riding in her convertible.

Find books by Adele Downs on Amazon!
Buy direct from Boroughs Publishing Group: http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/luxury-model-wife
Visit Adele Downs on her website http://adeledowns.com
Subscribe to Adele’s blog https://adeledowns.wordpress.com
Like Adele Downs on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/authoradeledowns
Follow @Adele_Downs on Twitter!  https://twitter.com/Adele_Downs


Monday, September 19, 2016

COLLABORATION: The Unclassified "C" Word!

By Author Sharon Hamilton

I think every author who wants to grow and get better learns that working with other authors can be not only fun and profitable, but it can also be a huge teaching opportunity.

I've had the fortunate experience to be in about ten boxed sets, several Kindle Worlds, and numerous joint cooperative ventures for name recognition and for cross-promotion. As good as I am, and I'm not claiming to be the best of the best, I just don't reach everyone. Especially not today, when FB and other social media outlets trim or control some of the "stickiness" and interfere with reaching out to the masses. They seem motivated to sell advertising, or boosting. How their algorhythms work is a great mystery and gurus and social media pundits have guessed at the many secrets.

Who knows?

But one thing I've discovered is that by working with other authors, I learn from them. I learn where they market, how they promote, where their advertising dollars are best spent, what genres they write, how long they write, what their fans say and how many of those fans like my books as well. We call this the great crossover effect.

No one knows how long it lasts, or when we have to stop and start working with new people and "give fresh blood" to new groups. But I think the bottom line is we always have to change.

I said never again to Boxed Sets and Kindle Worlds. I think I even wrote an article for this blog "I'm Boxed Out."Hitting lists is great. Making money is great. Learning new things is priceless. And I've made some of my very best friends this way, too.

So here are two new collaborations I'd like you to check out:

Duty, Honor & Love

Anyone’s happily-ever-after is never a given…it must be earned--something these military heroes have learned the hard way. 

Sink into this sexy collection of binge-worthy reads from eleven of your favorite New York Times, USA Today, and a few new-to-you authors. 

All proceeds will benefit the Semper Fi Fund (https://semperfifund.org), a non-profit organization that assists post-9/11 wounded and critically ill vets from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.


This set is now live, and was originally going to come out on Veteran's Day. But why wait? We released it early. We did this set not for fame and fortune, but to give back to those who sacrificed, and continue to do so, so we can have the lifestyle we now have. So I can be a crazy writer.

St. Helena Vineyards Kindle World

Marina Adair, Wall Street Journal and #1 worldwide Contemporary Romance author, asked me to be part of her Kindle World: St. Helena Vineyards. I am finishing up my novella for the launch happening October 5th.

What makes this really exciting is the fact that her novel, Autumn In The Vineyard, was made into a Hallmark movie, and it debuts the same time as our launch, on October 8, on the Hallmark Channel. Marina got to go on set with the actors, watch several scenes being shot, and even meet "Larry The Llama", who wandered around the set and affectionally sought out hugs from the cast and crew when he could get away with it.

Today is my day to host the FB page, so stop by and say hello. You can learn all about the World and the other stories in this fun Small Town romance, featuring some of the most famous wineries in the world. What a lovely spot to fall in love, right?

My novella is entitled, Love Me Tender, Love Me Hard. Here's the blurb: 

His leg is the reason he’s off the SEAL Teams, but it’s his heart that hurts the most.

Derek Farley has a lot of time on his hands now, but what he really wants is to get into trouble. If he could just show Remy he didn’t need her he could perhaps walk away a free man. So what else does a bad-ass former Navy SEAL explosives expert do? Enroll in culinary school in St. Helena! He might make a great pastry chef, if he can get that arrow out of his chest.

Remington Bolt is a crack shot at lethally wounding every man who’s ever tried to tie her down. But her almost forever man comes back, stirring up the pot of sweet tasting memories and mouth-watering fantasies. He’s got her oven stoked. If she’s not careful she’ll be dessert.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/StHelenaVineyardKindleWorld/
And here you thought summer was winding down. With what I have in store for the rest of the year, I'm just getting started!


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