Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Heat up Your Summer Reading

What's better on a hot summer day than reading a story set in the cold world of a winter ski season?  Well, it might just be a HOT story set on the cold wintery slopes. Either way, you're bound to enjoy the reading.  This week's guest in My Writing Corner is author Stacy Gold and her story, Just Friends. 

Taya Monroe is trying to pick up the pieces of her failed writing career and broken life after walking out on her cheating fiance. The last thing she needs is a serious relationship. The last thing she wants is a fling. Then she runs into an old friend and ski partner--the one man she always wanted who never wanted her. 

Ski Patroller Jordan Wiley is a single dad with zero time or energy for dating. When he reconnects with Taya, his attraction to her is even stronger than before she left him behind for a career in the city. But with a young son to think about, he's determined to ignore his feelings. Again. 

After a magical day on the slopes, a snow storm traps them in an avalanche of chemistry neither can deny. Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?


 Well, of course these two characters caught my interest so I wanted a chance to question them personally. Let's hear more from Taya and Jordan:

Taya , it sounds as though you’ve been going through a rough period.   What would make you happiest at the moment?


Honestly, at this point it wouldn’t take much. A new job. A new friend. A sense that maybe I haven’t totally screwed up my life and career. Little things, you know?
All I wanted today was a fun day skiing in the mountains with my family. One day when I could forget about rebuilding my career and my life, and how much I owed my sister and her husband for taking me in. Unfortunately, my ski day was cut short abruptly when my brother-in-law injured his knee.

Then again, if Dan hadn’t gotten injured, I wouldn’t have run into my old friend, Jordan Wiley.

What about this sudden re-connection with your old friend, Jordan? 

I’ve been through a lot lately, between leaving my ex, and moving across the country and into my sister’s basement. I needed to make those changes, but it’s been a lonely journey. I could really use a good friend.

Jordan was a great friend when we both lived in Jackson Hole. We skied countless days together, and stayed up late talking about everything under the sun. We shot pool, cooked dinner, and enjoyed each other’s company.

Of course, when I saw him again, the connection between us still buzzed in me like high-tension power lines. Same as always. So powerful I couldn’t understand how, or why, he never felt it too.
Even if he did, which I doubt, Jordan isn’t some random hot guy I can use as a rebound.

Not that I want one of those either. And crushing on any guy is a distraction I don’t need.
I compartmentalized my visceral attraction to him back then. I can do it again now. Tomorrow is going to be an awesome day skiing with a good friend. Nothing more. And that’s enough.

Do you ever hope to fall in love again?

Again? I’m not sure I’ve ever really been in love. I thought I was in love with my Gabe. But it’s been six months since I left him, and I can’t even remember why I was attracted to him in the first place. Though I definitely remember why I left.
If I ever do fall in love, I don’t expect fireworks and a princess dress. I just want to something real. I want to like and respect them as much as I love them, and I need to know they feel the same about me.

What kind of man would you like?

Right now, I don’t know what I want… Other than to spend time getting to know myself, and getting my life back on track.

But if there’s one thing I learned in my last relationship, I’m never dating another man who doesn’t ski or snowboard. Being in the mountains, floating through powder with nothing but the sound of my skis sliding through the snow, laughing on the chairlift with friends—that is a critical part of who I am, and I ignored it for too long because of my ex.

I won’t make that mistake again. Not with skiing, or anything else that’s important to me.

Let's find out more about Jordan. Tell us a little about your life since you last saw Taya?

Let’s see…About six months after Taya left Jackson Hole, I decided it was time for me to move back to Washington, where I’m from.

I spent a couple seasons on ski patrol full time at Emerald Mountain. Then I had a kid, and things changed. I married his mom and moved back to Tacoma. Got a job as a firefighter. Got divorced.
These days I’m a single dad, full-time firefighter. And I volunteer part-time on ski patrol at Emerald, for free season passes—plus free lessons for Peyton. I don’t have much time for a social life, but he’s an amazing kid, so it’s worth it.

How did it feel to meet up with Taya again? Wow. I don’t know. Amazing. Crazy. Awesome. Confusing. I hadn’t heard from Taya Monroe since she left Jackson eight years ago. But the sound of her voice still made my heart clench. And the sight of her round ass still made me hard.
Not that I have any right to think about Taya that way. I’m not twenty-four any more. And Taya isn’t some ski bum college girl I can screw then never see again. We’re friends. And that’s all we’d ever be. That’s all that makes sense.

Back in our Jackson Hole days, I would’ve loved to have been more. Except I’d been smart enough to know Taya was special and I was a mess after Lexi and I broke up. So I’d been a good boy. Done the honorable thing. Then watched her walk right out of my life. Like a f’ing idiot.
I’m not stupid enough to lose her again, though. That’s why I invited her skiing tomorrow.

Do you hope you’ll see Taya again after tomorrow?  Sure. I’d like it if we could be friends again, ski together, maybe meet up for a beer. It’s been a long time since I spent quality time with another adult outside of work. As much as I love Peyton, a man can only take so much Bob the Builder.
I need a friend, and Taya was a great friend. Game for anything. She always supported me, saw the best parts of me, even when I didn’t.

Would you like your friendship to become something more? 
No. Yes. Maybe.
No. I don’t have time for relationships, and I’m not the kind of guy a woman like her goes for anyway. She’s smart. A writer. Went to college. She’s not interested in a guy like me. With no career. No education.

If I make a move and she rejects me, our friendship will be toast. Not to mention my ego. I couldn’t take either of those. Plus, I have to think about Peyton. He doesn’t need to get attached to someone who might not stick around. Or see me heartbroken and depressed. It’s better, easier, if we’re just friends.

Want to read more? I know I do!  Visit Stacy and her characters at 


Thank you, Stacy, for bringing us Taya and Jordan to make our hot summer days even hotter! We've heard from the characters, now do you have any comments or questions for Stacy?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cool Summer Reading and Research

The first blast of summer heat really hit this week in Colorado and much as it may get me down, it also brought new energy for writing and for reading. Growing up in a small town on the Colorado plains before every house had air conditioning meant we were always looking for the coolest place we could find. Often that turned out to be the downtown library, so I spent at least one afternoon a week there getting fresh reading material or just sitting in the cool air before the long walk home.


This past weekend took me on a research trip to southern Colorado and while the heat was crushing, the experience was uplifting and invigorating because it included a stop at one of my favorite places -- an old library. Learning about family roots, the Wild West, ranching, the world of cowboys and the like is always a fun experience, but doing it in the cool of a library while the temperature is rising outside makes for an even sweeter experience. When you spend so much time inside writing, it can be fun to also do it in a place where research is quickly at hand.
       My research was also very interesting and I will soon be putting that into a book I am working on.  Imagine the story of a young sheepherder of the 1870s who is suddenly confronted with this hyper visitor from the 2000s? Quite a complication, right?  And imagine that person from the present suddenly having to deal with that summer heat in Southern Colorado without air conditioning or all the modern tools of today.  I won't go beyond that with my story idea, but it's something I've wanted to write for a while.

I love setting stories along the plains of southern Colorado or northern New Mexico. One of my first romances, Home Fires Burning, was set in the area not too far from where I was visiting, and we had time to take a drive through that area while we were there.  If you're looking for a fun summer read, you might try the romantic story of Bonita and her cowboy, Max.

"I'm going to marry that boy someday."
Little Bonita Dominguez made that pledge the first time she saw Max Cameron. Now it's about to happen, but nothing is going the way she once dreamed. Carrying a secret she has kept since she left the family ranch ten years ago, she would prefer to be back in California where she has built a new life--a life that doesn't include Max. 

Now a chic, sophisticated entrepreneur, Bonita certain isn't the same playful girl Max remembers from his past. For the past ten years he has devoted his life to his ranch. Does he have room in his heart for Bonita? Does she have the courage to admit the truth about her life to him
Buy link:

Enjoy your reading! And don't forget those libraries for a cool way to spend the day with any book you might want to read or use for research!


                                                                         


  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fun Stories for Summer Reading

This summer has started off too quickly for me. There are so many things going on, and already I have a summer trip coming up. Of course that means I need some good reading material for either sitting around the pool or while I am waiting for transportation. Enter an anthology that grabbed my interest immediately... on so many levels. The title, Hunks to the Rescue, had me wanting to start reading right away, even before my trip.

Fantasizing about being rescued by a red-hot hunk? Indulge in this box set of alpha rescuers with a delicious talent for romance. 18 stand-alone novellas from New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors will steam up your nights and leave you begging for more. Whether the hunk you lust for is military, a firefighter, first responder, undercover agent, cowboy, bad boy mafioso, or that sexy, everyday guy who plucks you from danger only to kiss you senseless, this bundle has your hero.

18 hunks. 18 heart-pounding rescues. Brand-new stories. 

I don't know about you, but I am more than ready to dive in! 
One of the authors in the anthology, Katie O'Sullivan, has been a guest in My Writing Corner before so knew I was in for some good storytelling.  Katie is a recovering English major who lives on Cape Cod. She says living in the area near the Atlantic influences everything she writes. She specializes in romances and adventure for young adults, but sometimes, like so many of us, she likes to spread her wings and try other genres.

And that brings us to her story in Hunks: Breaking the Rules. 

Jake Campbell hates rules. Undercover to stop a drug ring at a posh Cape Cod resort, he can’t resist the fiery head chef, Abbie Duncan. She may be on the suspect list, but he can’t keep his hands to himself. With a rising body count, he must keep Abbie safe…but can he trust her with his jaded heart?

Let's get a quick excerpt:

Recognition jolted through Abbie like an electrical surge. Whatever she was about to say to the captain evaporated from her mind while she stared into the most gorgeous blue eyes she’d ever seen.
What w as the hot blond god from the bar doing in her boss’s office?
Her first thought was that he’d tracked her down, but she quickly dismissed the idea. They hadn’t even spoken last night, something she’d regretted all the way home. She cleared her throat and was about to introduce herself when Captain Nickerson interrupted.
“Abbie, I didn’t realize you’d already met my, uh, nephew. He’s on Cape looking for a job. We were discussing the possibilities with John.”
She furrowed her brow and dragged her eyes away from the depths of the blue pools. “I didn’t know you had any nephews besides my brother, Uncle Charlie.”
Nickerson chuckled and twisted his silver watch band. “Jake’s dad is an old family friend, just like your dad and me, Abigail. When the boy needed to get out of Boston for the summer, his dad requested my help.”
Her eyes slid back over to Jake, appraising him. He looked like he was about her age, give or take a few years. Strong jawline, sculpted lips, wide shoulders, capable looking hands… she drank him in from top to bottom, every nerve ending in her body kicking into overdrive. Well-dressed and clean shaven, he certainly didn’t look like some punk kid whose father needed to call in favors to find him a job. And those eyes… she dared another glance at his face and found him looking straight at her, amusement twinkling within that sea of blue. She could happily drown in eyes like those. She wondered whether he was seeing anyone. Not that she’d had much time to date recently but for the right guy she could make time. Maybe. Her gaze slid along angular cheekbones to the scruff on his jawline… yeah, she should definitely carve out some time to get to know this guy.
She wondered what those sculpted lips would taste like, how they would feel on the sensitive skin along her neck… her cheeks blazed anew at the sudden and intimate direction of her thoughts. Nerves jangling, heart suddenly beating faster, she almost missed the rest of what Uncle Charlie was saying.
“…and at least now he’s learned his lesson about making time with the owner’s daughter. Unfortunately, come to find out the man has unsavory connections so we all felt it would be safer for Jake to make himself scarce for a few months. Thanks for offering him a position in the kitchen, John.”

Her eyes widened as she processed the meaning behind the words. “Wait a sec, Uncle Charlie. Let me get this straight. You want to hide a playboy who can’t keep it in his pants at work… hide him from the mob… and put him on my kitchen staff?” 

If you are as ready to buy as I am, Hunks has just been released and here is the website with lots of nice offers as well as the Buy Links:

https://hunkstotherescue.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hunks-Rescue-Contemporary-Romance-Novellas-ebook/dp/B06XNQ583Y
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hunks-to-the-rescue-margo-bond-collins/1125960767?ean=2940154259252
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hunks-to-the-rescue

24symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=2049791

Thanks, Katie, for telling us about your new story and introducing the anthology. Any comments or questions?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Summer Romance from the Past

Summer is on its way and there is nothing like a good romance to heat up the days even more!  This week we travel to the highlands of Scotland for a romance that introduces two wonderful characters. The guest in My Writing Corner today is Jean M. Grant.

She is a scientist, part-time education director and a mom. Currently living in Massachusetts, she says she draws from her interests in history, science, the outdoors and her family for inspiration. She also enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines and has an aspiration to write children's books in addition to her novels.

In 2008, she visited Scotland, the land of her daydreams and she found it breathtaking so it is no surprise that she has set her latest book there. The title is A Hundred Kisses, and it has just been released by The Wild Rose Press.

Two wedding nights. Two dead husbands.
Deirdre MacCoinneach wishes to understand her unusual ability to sense others’ lifeblood energies…and vows to discover if her gift killed the men she married. Her father’s search for a new and unsuspecting suitor for Deirdre becomes complicated when rumors of witchcraft abound.


Under the fa├žade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a Claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A ruthless baron hunts him and a dark past haunts him, leaving little room for alliances with a Highland laird or his tempting daughter. Awestruck when she realizes that her unlikely travel companion is the man from her visions, a man whose thickly veiled emotions are buried beneath his burning lifeblood, Deirdre wonders if he, too, will die in her bed if she follows her father’s orders. Amidst magic, superstition, and ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses…

Naturally I wanted to interview these fascinating characters.
Deirdre, please tell us about your life and your past.

Well, my past…my mother died when I was young. My father keeps arranging marriages for me and my husbands, well…I’d rather not say. I just pity the man he chooses next.

What is your unusual “gift” and what frightens you about it?

Just between us because I could be cast out as a witch and my father’s lands taken away from him, our clan ruined…but I can feel the lifebloods of people. The lifeblood is a person’s aura, their essence, their emotions. As much as Da pretends I don’t have this power, he uses it to his own advantage when the unscrupulous come to Hall.

How has it helped you or hurt you?

I fear that my ability to sense life has the opposite effect on my lovers, my husbands. I feel cursed. It has helped me weed out the righteous from the unjust though. I know who to steer clear from. In fact, there is a lifeblood so evil, so cold and deathly that emanates from an evil Scottish baron; it incapacitates me.

What do you wish most for in your life now?

I yearn to travel to the isle of Uist to learn more about my ability from my mother’s people, the Ancients of the isles. (sigh) And to find out why my husbands keep dying.

What are your feelings about this strange new man who has come into your life?

This man has a red hot lifeblood unlike any I’ve felt before. He baffles me. I sense there is more to his past than he lets on, but I find myself unable to escape his touch, his kisses, his presence…

Thank you, and now, Alasdair,  what about your past and what you want in life? 

I’d rather not talk about my past. My mother’s dead. Died at the stake due to my father’s delusions and fears. Can we just move on to the next question?

What about this new woman who has appeared in your life?

She’s enchanting. There’s just something about her that mystifies me. She’s feisty, determined, and I feel this pull to her that almost seems surreal or predestined. She’s unlike the ladies I’ve met in court.

What draws you to her or frightens you about her?

She seems to know more about things and people than she lets on. It’s like she has this extra sense to know or feel things. It perplexes and scares me. Like I am under a witch’s spell or something. But I don’t believe in such nonsense

Thank you both! We'll have to read the final answers in A Hundred Kisses.
Here are the buy links:
Links on TWRP:


And here is how you can reach Jean:
Twitter: @JeanGrant05

Thank you, Jean, for introducing us to these great characters.  Any comments or questions for Jean?


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Start Summer Reading with a Ghostly Romance

June has always been the beginning of my summer reading. When I was in school I always spent my summer days with a book, often romance. Sometimes I delved into spy novels or I let a book carry me off into space. At least one day a week I would walk to the library and check out two to three books. Vacations always meant I got to buy a couple of paperbacks to take with me. Those summer reading habits haven't changed much. Every summer I seem to read more so I am always on the look out for new books and new authors to sample.

Today the author guest in My Writing Corner is Sandra Tilley who has a new book out from The Wild Rose Press. It has all all the promise of those summer romances I love to read. Sandra is a former teacher turned writer who says she is a Southern girl who loves living near the white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and she likes writing stories set there.

Beach side romances sound like a good way to start my summer reading, especially when you add in ghosts and intrigue, so let's get the details on her latest release, The Ghost and Mrs. Miller.

Libby Miller is a good Southern girl and good Southern girls know the rules. But Fate has no rules.  On her nineteenth wedding anniversary, fate whips up a tornado of turmoil when Libby finds her husband Neil in the arms of his assistant. But the storm's not over. Neil flips his BMW, and Libby comes home to find his ghost in the dining room. How is Libby supposed to grieve and move on with Neil's ever-present, meddling ethereal presence in her life?  With her twentieth high school reunion looming, Libby finds herself torn between two men from her past. One man promises passion and a new beginning, and the other wants to pick up where they left off. Neil stirs up a maelstrom of mischief, making it almost impossible for Libby to sort through the rubble. Libby anticipates a confrontation between her two suitors--not a shadowy stalker who choose the reunion as his setting for a showdown.   

In Libby's quest for independence, she rejects the one man who can save here. Can she compromise the price of her freedom, or will it cost her a second chance at love and put her life in danger?

Now that sounds like a great story to start off my summer reading!

Buy Links:

Available on Amazon and The Wild Rose Press

Contact Sandra at:

http://www.sandratilley.com/

Thanks you, Sandra, for introducing us to The Ghost and Mrs. Miller.