Tag Archives: #amblogging #AuthorPromo

#SundaySnippet 12.9.18 An oldie, goodie, and 0n-sale!

So today’s snippet is another oldie ( like, 2017!) but a goodie that’s currently on sale.

A SHOT AT LOVE was the second book in the Will Cook For Love trilogy from Lyrical/Shine and features photographer Gemma Laine and FBI agent Kyros Papandreos. Both are alphas, have fiery tempers – altho Kyros can keep his in check better – and both can’t deny the attraction they feel for one another. I loved this book because Gemma was my first kick-ass heroine!!

Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .
With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .

“Miss Laine?”

She tucked the phone into her back pocket.

“I’m Special Agent Pappandreos. I need to speak with you about what you saw.”

“Special Agent?” Those delicate brows furrowed under her bangs. “Like, FBI?”

Jesus, where does a woman get a voice like that? Whiskey laced with honey and rolled into one smooth pitch.

“Yes. I understand you witnessed the shooting? You photographed it?”

She nodded. “I was working when it all started. I took a series of shots while it was happening.”

His gaze flicked to the camera she held in one hand.
“I need to see those pictures.”

His first impression of her height had been correct. She was maybe three or four inches shorter than his six-foot-one frame. As she moved closer, the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight at attention. She smelled as good as she looked and his nostrils flared from the scent of sweet cherries blended with some hot exotic spice.

“It all went down so fast,” she said. “But I got some good shots.” Handing him the camera, she added, “Press this button to advance.”

The first few pictures showed his witness ambling along the sidewalk, hands in his pockets. There was a smug, satisfied smile on his face as he was flanked by the two agents assigned to protect him. Ky pressed the button a few times. Another series of pictures showed the impact of the bullets as they pierced one of his agents, the next detailing the second man as a single shot impaled the center of his forehead. Shock, horror and stark fear replaced the smile on his witness’s face as he bent forward and appeared to run from the bullets. The next few photos showed him struck and then felled by several shots, all clustered in his chest. Ky depressed the advance button again. The photographer had moved to view a black van with no windows on the sides nor any identifiable markings on the body. He wanted to curse when he saw it, thinking the van would be a dead end, when he flipped the advance button again to see she’d zoomed in on the license plate.

Elated, he glanced up and found her eyes trained on him.
“I need you to come with me.” He grabbed her arm.

“Where?” She stretched across him and tried to take back her camera.

Ky held it up and away from her reach.
“My office. I need a written statement from you about what you saw. It’s better to do it now, right away, so you don’t forget any details, anything of importance.”

“I never forget details,” she said, reaching across him again. “Can I please have my camera? I don’t like anyone carrying it but me.”

“This piece of equipment is the only link to finding out who killed my men. It’s not leaving my hands.”

She stopped and tried to pull her arm out of his grip. Ky tightened his grasp.

“Look, Agent PappaJohn—”

“Pappandreos,” he corrected. It was a common mistake, one he’d heard a number of times in his career, but hearing her say it, wrapping the syllables around those pouty lips with that husky voice, for some reason charmed him.

“Whatever.” She swiped her free hand in the air. “I want my camera.”

“You’ll get it back, I assure you.” He started walking, giving her no choice but to follow.

Before she could protest again, he stopped.

“Jon?” His partner turned from the interview he was conducting with a restaurant waiter. “Can you have someone escort Miss Laine back to the office? She needs to have her statement written up.”

“Sure, Papps.”

“Wait a second,” Gemma said, wrenching her arm from his grip. The smooth, natural warmth in her voice had turned to frosted ice. “I’ll be happy to give you a statement, but I want my camera. Now.”

“I won’t break it, Miss Laine, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Then stop holding it like it’s a cheap piece of tin! Give it back to me. I’ll hold it.”

“This is digital, right?” Jon Winters stepped between them and asked.

“Yes, and it’s very expensive,” Gemma said, still trying to take it from Ky’s hand.

“We really only need the SD card then, Papps, not the camera.”

“True.” Ky examined the device, found the button to expel the memory card and depressed it. He took the card and slipped it into his pocket. “Here.” He handed the camera back to her.

“Wait a minute.” She clutched it to her chest as if she were protecting a child from a threat. “You can’t keep the card. All my work is on it.”

“We won’t erase anything you need,” Ky told her. “Or let anything happen to it.”

“This is ridiculous.” Gemma blew at her bangs. “How do I know you won’t keep it as some kind of evidence? I haven’t uploaded the pictures I took today. I need those shots.”

“I told you you’d get the card back,” Ky said, his patience wavering. “Now we’re wasting time. Jon?” Dismissing them, he walked away and over to the scene of the shooting.

And look for all the books this holiday season – they are currently all on sale!

    

Find me, here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, The Laine Women

#CyberMonday, #romanceBooks, and #shoppingfromHome

It’s amazing how nowadays we have labels, tags, and names for everything, including the days we shop for holiday presents! This is the world we live in, peeps. Accept it and move on.

So, CYBER MONDAY. The day where the people in the know state the majority of on-line sales for the holidays are completed. And, like any good little writing entrepreneur, I’m blogging about the day!! Or more specifically, how to order my books on-line.

I’ve become quite the little marketing/ad designer these days. Thank you, Jesus for Canva!! Hee hee.

Anyhoo. You probably already know you can order my books from most of the on-line book retailers out there. With the exception of the anthologies I am part of and the two books that were digital only, all my other books are available in print or e-reader copy, so you can buy them for yourself or gift them to the romance reader on your shopping list this year.

 

I’m still a big believer in the brick and mortar store way of shopping, but since my books are classified as Digital first/POD ( Print on Demand) the only place they are available is in my home town in my local independent bookstore, so if you live in, say,  Kalamazoo,  Kentucky, or Kensington Palace, it just makes sense to order them on-line.

So, do a sistah a solid and put a little romance under your own tree – or the romance reader in your life’s tree – this year!

And don’t forget – several of my titles are now available on AUDIO from AUDIBLE, so if your romance reader is really a romance listener, you’ve got options for gifts. Love that!!

And, as always, #blessyou!

on-line retailers that carry my books: the Wild Rose Press//Amazon //Barnes and Noble//Kobo//I-tunes(Apple)//GooglePlay//Books-a-Million// BookGorilla//AUDIBLE

Brick and Mortar store that carries my print copy books: THE TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 3 Wishes, A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, A Match Made in Heaven, audiobooks, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Dearly Beloved, Deerbourne Inn, Foodie, Hope's Dream, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Introducing #author Sadira Stone

 

 

In the past few weeks, I’ve introduced you to a number of new-to-me authors from the WILD ROSE PRESS. Today I’ve got another  new writing sistah with me, Sadira Stone. Sadira has a new book that’s just dropped titled THROUGH THE RED DOOR and it looks like a goodie! She dropped by recently to talk a little about the inspiration behind the story. Sit back and get to know this rising author.

Inspiration for the book:

Until last year, I was one of those readers–you know, literary snobs who look down their noses at romance for the usual stupid reasons: too corny, too predictable, too fluffy. After finishing another (as yet unpublished) mystery manuscript, I read a few online articles about how fun and lucrative writing erotica can be. I thought, what the heck? Let’s try.

I have never had so much fun with a writing project! It nearly wrote itself, though it damned sure didn’t edit itself. And now, my first contemporary romance Through the Red Door is out from The Wild Rose Press! I’ve totally immersed myself in the world of romance, gobbling books like popcorn, filling my ears with romance podcasts, and joining the Romance Writers of America. I find this genre excellent psychic self-defense against the current political poop-storm. At least in these stories someone will have a happy ending.

Why set the series in a bookshop? Ever since I was a wee lass, I dreamed of owning one. Add to that my fascination with historical erotic art and literature, and you’ve got the Book Nirvana series, set in an indie bookshop with an extensive erotica collection behind a locked red door.

I love stories in which a couple’s powerful physical attraction leads them to consider a partner outside their usual M.O.—one who just might turn out to be their perfect match. That’s how it happened for my husband and me, and my romance fiction contains that element.

I sort of pulled the setting out of a hat. I live in Washington State, and wanted to set my series in a college town. I’ve heard that Eugene, Oregon is a great one with a lively arts scene and a continuing counterculture legacy from the hippie era. After touring the city via online research, correspondence, and Google Earth, I finally made the trip. Eugene is even lovelier than I’d imagined. Kate Rock, a resident author, kindly shared her knowledge of the city’s history and the flavor of the different neighborhoods. I look forward to many return trips.

 

 Letting him inside could be her salvation…or her undoing.

Blurb:

Clara Martelli clings to Book Nirvana, the Oregon bookshop she and her late husband Jared built together. When rising rents and corporate competition threaten its survival, her best hope is their extensive erotica collection, locked behind a red door. In dreams and signs, her dead husband tells her it’s time to open that door and move on. When a dark and handsome stranger’s powerful magnetism jolts her back to life and he wants a look at the treasures of that secret room, she can’t help but want to show him more.

Professor Nick Papadopoulos is looking for historical erotica. Book Nirvana’s collection surpasses his wildest dreams, and so does its lovely owner. A widower, he understands Clara’s battle with guilt, but their searing chemistry is too strong to resist. Besides, he will only be in town for two weeks, not long enough for her to see beyond the scandal that haunts his past.

 Excerpt:

The amber flecks in his eyes danced in the candlelight. Their glow drew the truth out of her like a magnet tugging metal. Deep breath. Just ask. He won’t bite.

“Nick, how did you know when it was time?”

“Time?”

“To move on. To let someone in.”

He shifted away, but the saggy sofa cushion slid him back against her thigh. “Can’t fight gravity.” He chuckled and draped his arm across her shoulders. “Honestly, my body was ready before my heart was. Even if the heart is withered, nearly dead, the body goes on—eating, breathing, feeling, wanting.” He fingered a strand of her hair, his gaze far away. “A friend saw how closed off I’d become, and she…helped me.”

“How?”

“By seducing me. There was wine involved, and music. She wouldn’t take no for an answer.” He cupped her shoulder. “And I’m so glad she didn’t.”

Avoiding his penetrating gaze, Clara focused on the flickering candles. “Did you love her?”

“Not really. And yet—yes, very much.”

“Huh?”

“You see, I’ll never love anyone the way I loved Diana. She was unique in all the world. But she wouldn’t want me to spend the rest of my life pining for her, miserable, alone. My friend helped me see it’s okay to enjoy my life. She helped me realize that one day I might even love again. She told me it’s not something you can rush, but it will come in time if you relax and open your heart.”

Buy links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N 

A little about SADIRA STONE:

Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. But it wasn’t until her 50s that she tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books.

You can Visit Sadira  here:

website // Facebook // Twitter

 

Peggy here: Sadira, thanks so much for stopping by. Any story that has a bookstore as its setting is a book I want to read! Be well and happy writing.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Meet #author Denise Carbo….

 

Today, I’ve got another one of my new Wild Rose Press sistahs, Denise Carbo, visiting me. She’s got quite the tale to tell. If you’re a lover of paranormal stories, witches, and fantasy, this is one interview and book excerpt you don’t want to miss!

Sit back and let’s learn a little more about this versatile writer.

Denise,  The Writer 

What drives you to write?   

I’ve made up stories in my head for as long as I can remember. It’s a part of me, simply who I am and what I do. And it’s fun!

What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?    

The supernatural and anything out of the ordinary has always fascinated me, thereby leading me to write Paranormal. Suspense because I love solving mysteries and figuring out the details and motivations behind them. I write Contemporary for the emotional journey.

What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?                                                        

All of them! It depends on my current mood.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?

I write every weekday my kids are in school. Their schedule runs the household.

Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

I am fortunate enough to have a dedicated office, so I can close the door and immerse myself in whatever manuscript I’m working on. Of course the kids, the dog, and cat all like to follow me in there.

Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?                

Typically, I prefer the quiet but if the muse is in a demanding mood I’m capable of ignoring everyone and everything.

Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

No, I love music, but I get distracted by stories forming in my head to coincide with the lyrics rather than my current WIP.

. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

I’ve always been interested in witches and what it would be like to have magical abilities. What would happen if a seemingly normal woman suddenly discovered she was a witch and magic was real? How would she learn to control her powers? How would it affect the people around her and her relationships with them? What other witches existed? Are they good or evil?

Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?     

Plot. An idea/sentence/line of dialogue pops into my head and then I start weaving the story from there. The characters naturally develop after the initial idea.

What 3 words describe you, the writer?    Plotter, introvert, dreamer ( Peggy here: Love that!!!)

Denise, the Gal

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!  Okay, I turn bright red if I eat anything with vinegar in it. Amuses my kids because I simply have to have ketchup with my fries which of course my face will match the color of.

Who was your first love and what age were you?    My husband. We’ve been together since I was 16.

If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. One particular day sticks out in my mind here, Christmas Eve 2011 because the point of the movie is to change it, right? My Dad was in a car accident that day which he was never able to recover from and passed away six months later. I would make sure he never got in the car.

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?   Boxer briefs

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Frizz Ease hair serum. Humidity is not my friend. (Peggy here: I Hear ya, sistah! Curly, kinky hair here, too!)

What three words describe you, the person?   Mother, Wife, Writer

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?   Oh Lord, I cannot hold a tune, but if I could “Unstoppable” by Sia.

If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?       Ooh, interesting, just one? Let’s see, Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s dark hunter series because he’s a god and can do pretty much anything. I would see all the exotic places I dream of visiting.

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

Favorite sound       My child’s laughter

Least favorite sound       Nails on a chalkboard

Best song every written     Because you loved me by Celine Dion

Favorite actor and actress       Meryl Streep and Hugh Jackman because they possess that rare ability to portray the character rather than just a version of themselves in a role.

Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)  The Queen of England because who wouldn’t want to be Queen for a day?

What turns you on?       sense of humor

What turns you off?       arrogance

Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)   “I don’t dislike you.”

What’s your version of a perfect day? A sunny Spring day with a gentle breeze and flowers blooming. My husband’s and sons’ laughter filling the air as we spend a happy, fun filled day together.

Here’s Denise’s new book for a little look-see

Legacy of Magic

Divorced, jobless, and homeless, Cory Bishop moves to Connecticut to begin anew. She gets lost along the way and causes a car accident which does not bode well for the next chapter in her life. The reconnection with her great aunt provides her with direction and purpose. While solving a mysterious family secret, she is pursued by a charming lawyer and her exasperating neighbor who thinks arguing is a form of foreplay. But those circumstances are the least of her problem

Cory soon discovers she is a witch and must learn to control her new-found powers. An ally, a confidant, and a surprise supporter guide her, but she is almost out of time. An immortal evil wants her powers for his own and will stop at nothing to obtain them. When the battle lines are drawn, Cory must choose who is friend and who is enemy. Will love save her or endanger her even more?

Excerpt

His normal blue jeans were replaced with black. The customarily tight T-shirt was now a blue, button down shirt opened at the throat. Damn, it matched his eyes.

Eyes that were making a very slow, thorough, perusal of her before meeting her gaze. “Must admit, I thought you might stand me up.”

Now why hadn’t that occurred to her?

“The thought never crossed my mind. I follow through when I say I’m going to do something. Although, technically I don’t think I actually accepted your invitation.”

“Sure, you did. You said 6:15. That implied acceptance.”

Cory rolled her eyes. “We both know if Aunt Addy hadn’t been there, I would’ve said no very clearly.”

“Maybe, but then we’d both be left wondering what the two of us together might be like. Personally, I prefer a more direct approach.”

Her foot began to tap. “Oh really? Maneuvering me into a date is direct? And for the record, I wouldn’t be wondering about anything. You and I are not going to get together.” Her hand waved back and forth between them. “We can’t even be in the same room for a few minutes without arguing.”

Finn laughed. “This isn’t arguing.”

“Oh really, what would you call it?”

He leaned toward her and whispered, “Foreplay.”

 Buy Links

Amazon // B&N // iBooks //  Wild Rose Press 

A little more about Denise

 

Denise Carbo writes Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Contemporary Romance. She is a voracious reader, loves to travel, is fascinated by the supernatural, and enjoys figuring out the culprit of books and movies before the ending is revealed.

She lives in a small, picturesque New England town with her high school sweetheart and their three amazing sons.

You can connect with Denise here:

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Bookbub // Amazon // Goodreads  

 

 

18 Comments

Filed under WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with YA author Christine Grabowski

Today I’m so pleased to welcome debut YA author and Wild Rose Press sistah, Christine Grabowski.

Christine’s debut YA Novel, Dickensen Academy, is out and doing fabulously with readers and reviewers alike.

 

Today, she’s brought along two of her characters from the book, Autumn and Ben,  for a sit-down to get to know them – and the book – better.  Let’s eavesdrop on their interviews for some insight into these two and the mysterious Dickenson Academy…

Tell us a bit about yourself, Autumn.

My name is Autumn Mattison. I’m from Seattle, and I just started my freshman year of high school at Dickensen Academy.

Why did you choose to attend Dickensen Academy?

Who wouldn’t? Almost no one gets in the place. So when I got in, it shocked us all. And it made my dad so proud. It’s got this great writing program, which I’m really excited about. And the art classes sound fun too. And I’ve got it admit, it was great to move out of the house. My dad is a control freak and sometimes I feel like I can barely breath around him.

What do you like about boarding school so far?

It’s so amazing to be off on my own. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks, and I’ve already made four really good friends. My roommate, Aditi, is so sweet. And then there’s Hannah, this girl I run cross country with. Ben and Ryan usually hang out with us too.

What about the classes?

I’m really liking school so far. The classes are small, and the teachers are super-passionate. Especially Mr. Robbins. He teaches Creative Core which is this art class that is supposed to be the backbone of the fine arts program. To me, it just seems like drawing and art. But the faculty says it’s much more than that.

Anything you don’t like?

Well…there’s something weird about this place that sometimes gives me the creeps. It’s almost like I’ve been here before. I keep having these déjà vu moments. But it’s probably all my imagination. My dad would say I have too much of that. But there are also all these rules. Like freshmen can’t leave campus until Thanksgiving, and we can’t hang out with the upperclassmen. There’s even this huge fence hidden in the woods. It feels like we’re locked in. But the teachers say it’s because up here in the mountains there are lots of wild animals. But it seems a bit overkill to me.

Do you have any goals for the year?

I’m hoping to get good grades. I don’t think my dad believes I can hack it on my own. But I want to prove him wrong. No way will I ever do as well as my brother, Josh. But hopefully I can do well enough to get my dad off my back.

Anything you’d like to add?

Well, there’s this guy, Ben. He’s really cute. We hang out a lot, but usually in a group. Aditi thinks he likes me. He even dreamed about me before we got in. Weird, right? But I doubt he’s interested in me. I’m sure he’ll end up with someone more like Hannah, who is model gorgeous.

(Peggy here: Mmmm… something a little creepy, eh? Sounds intriguing!) Christine sent along a picture of Dickenson Academy to share. 

All those tall trees surrounding it and the way the mist eerily is winding around them and the buildings…..wow!

And now, let’s listen in on the other student Christine has brought along with her…

Tell us a bit about yourself, Ben

My name is Ben Coleman. I’m a freshmen here at Dickensen and turn fifteen next month. My family lives in Seattle.

Why did you choose to attend Dickensen Academy?

This place has a great reputation for academics and fine arts. I’m a focused student and like the challenge. But I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to leave home. I’m really tight with my family, especially my mom. It was just the two of us for years until Jim came along. And then there’s my brother, Calvin. He’d just five. The kid looks up to me like crazy, and I do a lot with him, so my mom can get stuff done. I was worried about leaving them alone, especially because my brother has some medical issues. But then I had this vivid dream where my family was at Dickensen Academy, and I woke up feeling I needed to accept and that everything would work out.

What do you like about boarding school so far?

It’s great. I’ve got an awesome roommate named Ryan. He’s a bit of a goofball. But he gets me to let loose—something I couldn’t do much of at home when I always had to be responsible. Then there’s this girl, Autumn. We have the deepest conversations. But as I’ve gotten to know her, I realize she is beautiful in this I-don’t-even-try sort of way, always wearing jeans and hoodies. But I’m sure she sees me as just a friend, and I’m not really looking for a girlfriend right now.

What about your classes?

Love them. The teachers are fantastic. Most are really strict which I actually like. I’m here to learn. But then there’s Robbins. He teaches Creative Core which is this art class that is highly praised. He’s super laid back, so we get to chat with our friends while we work. It’s a nice break from the academics.

Anything you don’t like?

The rules. I’ve made some friends with some of the older guys playing sports after school. I’d like to hang out with them after practice, but supposedly we’re not allowed to “fraternize” with the upperclassman. What kind of a dumb rule is that? I’ve talked to this sophomore, Gabe. He basically said we could be friends later in the year, but not now. I feel like there’s something big they are hiding from us freshmen. Autumn gets the same vibe as me. She suggested it might be some form of hazing. But I don’t know. It feels bigger than that. Ryan tells me I’m paranoid, so I’m trying to let it go. But sometimes I really wonder if this school is more than it seems.

Do you have any goals for the year?

Good grades. Make friends. Just the normal stuff.

Anything you’d like to add?

Can’t think of anything.

(Peggy here- I can relate, Ben. I hate rules, too!)

 

Dickenson Academy by Christine Grabowski

This secluded high school may be her dream come true…or her worst nightmare.

Blurb

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

Excerpt 

“I feel like there’s something big we don’t know about. Something those students were protecting. I mean, really, why are we here?”

I thought it was just me who was confused. “Well…the recruiters said we’re creative and focused.”

“Yeah, that’s what Principal Locke said too.”

“And we have the right personality.”

Ben looked up at the sky, sighed then turned toward the forest. “What did he say…something about how it will soon become clear why we’re here, and there’s some ultimate purpose for our creativity?”

“I know. That whole creativity part was a bit bizarre.”

He shrugged. “It seems everyone is going with the flow. But I have so many questions.” Then he touched my arm to stop me, so I turned toward him. “I’m thinking they’re isolating us for some special reason,” he admitted in an embarrassed tone.

I tried not to laugh—he was acting paranoid. But I didn’t know Ben well. Maybe he was joking, trying to freak me out. Or was he hitting on me? The flutter in my chest moved to my stomach. I was already anxious about being away from home and whether or not I could hack the academics. I didn’t need to obsess about anything else. But I still had to know about Ben’s dream.

“So…I also had a dream about Dickensen before I accepted the offer.”

Ben’s head snapped toward me. “You did?”

Buy/Book Links:

Amazon // B&N // Apple // The Wild Rose Press  // GooglePlay // Kobo

A little about Christine Grabowsk

Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

You can visit Christine here:

website // goodreads // BookBub // FaceBook //Instagram // Twitter // Amazon //

 

* Book Trailer:

(Peggy here – Christine, thanks so much for dropping by today and bringing Autumn and Ben with you. I have to say, Dickenson Academy sounds like the kind of place I’d definitely want to visit.)

4 Comments

Filed under WIld Rose Press AUthor

Pups4Vets -Veterans and Dogs. A winning Two-some.

Today I am pleased, privileged, and delighted to host my Wild Rose Press sistah Claire Marti. She’s got a new addition to her award winning FINDING FOREVER IN LAGUNA series, titled SUNSET IN LAGUNA, and she’s dealing with two of my favorite topics to read about: Veterans and Dogs.  Claire is a huge supporter of rescue dogs and service dogs, and in Sunset in Laguna, she writes about how one dog, Olive, helps a veteran with PSTD find his way again. Here’s Claire, in her own words, explain how she came up with the idea.

In SUNSET IN LAGUNA, Christian Wolfe, the hero, is an Army Special Forces veteran who resigns his commission after four tours in the Middle East. He returns home to Laguna Beach, California, and opens Vines, a wine bar. On the surface, he’s reserved and seemingly aloof, but on the inside he’s battling PTSD and is desperate to find something to stop the nightmares and panic attacks.

Unaware of his struggles, Kelly Prescott invites the tall, dark, and dreamy Christian along when she visits a non-profit rescue group that provides service dogs for veterans. Olive, the rescue pug, latches onto Christian and he ends up confessing to Kelly he has PTSD. Olive and dogs like her are trained to help veterans manage their symptoms and nightmares. Pugs are excellent at helping people cope with anxiety and emotional stress.

I was inspired to create the Pups-4-Vets non-profit in SUNSET IN LAGUNA by a group based in Denver, Colorado, where we were lucky enough to adopt our dog. Josie had a tragic past: she was left tied up to a tree to starve to death when another rescue group saved her. They contacted Freedom Service Dogs who evaluated her as a potential service dog candidate. Sweet, gentle, and kind, she was a perfect fit. Unfortunately, it turned out she has severe hip dysplasia and couldn’t finish her training in the case she developed symptoms once she was placed. So, we lucked out and were able to adopt her. I’m happy to report her hips are just fine four years later.

These organizations are incredible, not just for providing this much needed service to these brave men and women who served our country, but also by giving these animals a second lease on life after tough beginnings. I loved being able to highlight this type of organization and also share how Olive is an integral part of Christian’s path to regaining his health. Plus, Olive is really funny!

Claire sent along pictures of her fav pups. First is Ollie, her friend’s cute pug and the inspiration for Olive. Then we have Claire’s beloved Josie.

 

SUNSET IN LAGUNA 

 Returning to Laguna Beach after four tours in the Middle East, Christian Wolfe leaves the military behind and buys a wine bar, vowing to keep his life simple. He fights to keep his devastating PTSD a secret and refuses to burden anyone else with his baggage. When stunning Kelly Prescott and her red stilettos saunter into town, she drives him past the bonds of his self-control.

Successful in her father’s stuffy law firm, Kelly’s too compassionate to survive in the cutthroat world of corporate litigation. Leaving behind both family and courtroom drama, she moves to Laguna to become general counsel for a nonprofit veterans’ organization.

She didn’t bargain on a gorgeous modern-day Heathcliff, and in Christian, she sees another kind of challenge—one she can’t resist.

Buy Links:

Amazon // B&N // iBooks // Kobo // The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT from SUNSET IN LAGUNA

“Scared? Of this? No.” Still, he didn’t bend down to pet the alien-looking object. He didn’t want to encourage her attentions.

Kelly leaned in to pet Olive, and her hand brushed his denim-clad leg. Even through the heavy material, a spark of heat ignited and shot straight up his thigh. Damn. Maybe the dog was safer?

Olive shifted her attention to his other leg and began dancing a little jig. What the hell was wrong with it?

“Come on, Christian. Just pick her up. Poor thing seems to be half in love with you.” Kelly laughed again. “Oh fine.” He leaned down and grasped the little beast by its plump midsection. “What is it? Not really a dog, right?”
He held the ten pounds of fur aloft, and it locked its bug eyes onto his. Was she grinning at him? Her pink tongue lolled out of the right side of her mouth.

“Give her a little hug. Don’t just hold her out there.” Melinda’s brisk tone brooked no argument.

Geez. Fine. He snuggled the dog against his shoulder, and he could have sworn she sighed in ecstasy. She laid her head on his shoulder and gazed up at him. Even he could see the worship in her eyes. Figures this ugly little creature would latch onto him. He gave a few gentle pats to the rolls of fat on her back and set her down.

“There. Are you happy?” He glanced at Kelly, who was grinning, looking incredibly gorgeous. He’d much rather snuggle her sexy little body into his shoulder.

“Are you sure it’s a dog? And how could it help a disabled vet?” He directed his gaze at Melinda. Weren’t service dogs usually Labs or other large breeds who could provide physical assistance if needed?

“I’ll tell you. Come on. We’ll let Olive and Howard finish training while we continue the tour.” Melinda headed back toward the metal gate, and they trailed behind her.

Before they could exit the pen, Olive darted out and slammed against his ankles. He peered down, and sure enough she was gazing up at him with stars in her Bette Davis eyes. She hopped and yipped, apparently wanting to be carried. Some service dog.

“Olive, go back to Howard,” Melinda commanded.

“We’re about done, so she can follow along with you on the tour,” Howard called with a smirk on his freckled face.

“Great,” he muttered. Olive looked up at him in triumph and marched next to him. He’d probably trip over her and break his neck.

A little about CLAIRE MARTI : 

Claire  started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.

Find Claire here:

Amazon //    Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads  

 

9 Comments

Filed under The Wild Rose Press

Why I write about strong women….

Most people who either know me professionally or who have seen my tagline anywhere, know that I write about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. That’s my writing style in a nutshell.

But…why strong women? I mean, as opposed to just regular, hardworking women? Or weak women? Or down-on-their luck women? I could go on, but really…you get the idea.

The reason is easy: strong women speak to me.

I’ve read too many books – romance and general fiction – where the woman was a doormat who let everyone in her realm wipe their feet all over her, said “thank you” when they did, and then went on to live a hum-drum life. Not me.

I’ve read too many books about weak women who cry if you look at them crooked, can’t get a bead on their emotional immaturity, and play the victim for attention. Never me.

I’ve read too many books about women who go through life complaining, bitching, and moaning in a whoa-is-me voice who never take responsibility for themselves, their problems, or their lives. Nope. Not me.

I’ve read too many books where the women were entitled, self centered, narcissistic biatches who felt the world should drop at their feet simply because they are: beautiful, rich, talented, etc. So not me!!

You get the idea. I’ve read a lot of books about women who simply didn’t speak to me.

Strong women do.

A strong women will fight for what she wants. She won’t let people or the world in general beat her down. She knows what she wants and she goes after it.

A strong woman can’t be stopped when she’s on a trek – be it of discovery or for a purpose – try though people might. She moves forward, through the muck, through the dark, to find the light of desires and wishes.

A strong woman doesn’t rely on a man to take care of her, pay her bills, or fix her problems. She does that all on her own. That’s not to say she doesn’t want a man in her life. It’s simply that she doesn’t NEED one. Get the difference? Yeah, I figured you would! heehee.

So. Strong women. Love them. Be them. Raise them.

And in the words of Destiny’s Child, (who were speaking of Independent women, but you can simply substitute STRONG for Independent):

I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings
Try to control me, boy, you get dismissed
Pay my own fun, oh, and I pay my own bills
Always fifty fifty in relationships
The shoes on my feet, I’ve bought it
The clothes I’m wearing, I’ve bought it
The rock I’m rockin’, I’ve bought it
‘Cause I depend on me if I want it
The watch I’m wearin’, I’ve bought it
The house I live in, I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving, I’ve bought it
I depend on me
‘Nuff said.
#BeAStrongWoman.

Leave a comment

Filed under Strong Women

Social Media and the Quest for Name Recognition…

That’s a wordy title, but it’s an accurate one for what I’ve been mulling over lately.

I’m a household name. In MY household…no other. This is tantamount to the Kiss of Death for a writer, because no one is going to read your books if they don’t know who the heck you are.

True ‘dat, right?

In the past, publishers have had entire teams of people who diligently took steps to make sure their writers’ names were recognized easily. Marketing campaigns, publicity tours, multi-city book signings. Any and every effort the team could get the author’s name to be recognized by the general book reading public was made. With the advent of less traditional publishing avenues, most of the tried and true publishers now are only moving their advertising dollars toward their already recognizable, big-name, authors.

What’s the relatively unknown writer to do?

I’m traditionally published by two presses, Kensington/Lyrical Shine and The Wild Rose Press. Both love their authors, make no mistake about that. They are in the business of selling books and they need authors to  achieve their goal. But taking a chance on a relatively new author  – and by chance I mean throwing advertising and marketing dollars  behind them to promote them – is something both of them are reluctant to do. In the WRP case, they do minimal to no marketing for their authors – the authors and the other writers associated with the company do the bulk share of getting the word out  about a new book release. Lyrical Shine has a marketing department, but with so many authors on their docket, those dollars are stretched thin.

So, what’s an author like me – unknown, no advertising or marketing background – to do, you ask?
Well, of course I’ll tell ya.

When my first book was scheduled for publication I frantically tried to learn whatever I could about marketing and how to promote myself on a nearly non-existent budget. It was hard, peeps. Real hard.

I joined TWITTER, had my best friend set-up my WEBSITE, and made a Facebook Professional Page. I didn’t go out and employ any book-tour companies via the web because I didn’t know they existed back then!!! I garnered several hundred new followers from all this, but it wasn’t enough to make me more well known as an author ( and you know that ultimately means – no sales!)

When the second and third books rolled around and were ready to be published, I had discovered on-line book tours, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM, and Goodreads.

I got even more followers and saw a tiny uptick in sales, so a good thing, but still, my name is not showing up on any bestseller lists, or on any “Watch for the next book from this fab author” lists.

By the time I got my Lyrical contract, I had joined Triberr, BookBub,  and  Google + and started entering more and more contests. My thought was if I finaled in any of them, that will introduce my name to more people. If I, GOD-PLEASE! – won any of them,  my name and my work would be more accessible and known.

Haven’t won any yet, but have finaled in a bunch, so that’s a positive thing, right?

My first book was published in 2015. Since then, 3 years later, I’ve got 2,260 Twitter followers, 1343 people on my FB author account, on Triberr I have a personal reach of 183K and on BookBub I have 281 followers.

Now, those numbers are…okay. But they need to be waaaaaaaaaaay more to have any kind of impact on the romance reading world.

So…

I have a favor to ask ( you saw that coming, didn’t you?!)

If you aren’t already following me across my media, please take this opportunity to do so. At the end of most of my blog pieces I usually list all my Social Media sites and beg, er, ask you to find me. Well, please continue to do that, but could you also please follow me? Here’s the list:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

And if you are already following me across my SM sites – #BLESSYOU and #ILOVEYOU

It’s so humbling to beg!

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press

A first for me….

Recently, I penned my very first Sweet romance. ( I hate the new industry term clean romance because it makes all the others sound  a little….dirty. Just saying. ) Can I just tell you how hard ( no pun!) it was for me to write that story, sans sex? And it wasn’t only the lack of sex that was difficult to leave out. It was the fact I couldn’t curse, and had to convey desire in ways that didn’t detail any kind of sexual physical reaction. You know: nipples hardening ( and other things!).

I have to admit it wasn’t easy. But it was a great exercise in writing because I had to figure out other ways to show the h/h were falling in love.

In the June 2018 edition of Romance Writers Report, Stacey Donovan, the director of Hallmark Publishing ( yes, that Hallmark!) and Rhonda Merwarth, a freelance acquisitions editor for Hallmark, wrote a detailed and valuable article titled,  Fifty Ways to Show the Spark Without the heat about how to show chemistry between your characters while keeping it “chaste.”

Some of the best tips mentioned were:

1.Finding a quirk or flaw that endears one character to another. I love this tip because we all know there are weird and quirky things about our lovers that we simply adore.

2.An increased heart rate. This can be described or shown in so many ways, that I can’t believe it isn’t one of my regualr go-tos!

3.Disclosing something private or vulnerable to another. Lovelovelove this!! Can you see how valuable this is in building trust and allowing someone “in?”

4.taking extra care with grooming before meeting someone. Again, the heroine changes 16 times before she meets the hero for — whatever! The hero realizes his hair is in bad need of a barber. Clothing selection is key, too.

5. A grand gesture to demonstrate love. Le sigh. Don’t we all simply adore a grand gesture?? Think about the guy in the movie LOVE ACTUALLY who showed up at Kiera Knightly’s door and was holding all the cur cards. Or John Cusak with a boom box over his head.

6.Flushed cheeks/mouth going dry/ prolonged eye contact without words. All signify desire and want without throbbing, pulsing, or lengthening descriptions.

7. A brush of fingers, accidental at first, then purposeful. Can we just say, Pride and Prejudice?

You may think these things sound trite, but believe me, when you’re used to writing about body parts thrumming, cores quaking, and certain areas of the body growing….damp, these little examples are gems.

I actually had to dig deep and remember what it felt like to fall in love. Hey, what can I say: it’s been a while. I’ve known and loved my husband for 2/3 of my life and my memory isn’t what it used to be, peeps. When I explored the way I FELT  falling in love with him, it was easier to picture any and all of the sensations mentioned in the article happening. And if I could experience it, so could my characters.

It will be interesting to see if my readers appreciate this physically scaled-down version of my romance writing. I’ll keep you posted once the book is released into the world.

Until then, you can find me here, where I’ll be writing about body parts doing…interesting things once again.Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

A new day…a busy week…a hectic life

My life has been a bit…on the constant go…of late. A new book release, a new audio book release, edits for my Christmas release, an author appearance, and two virtual book tours. All in the past 2 weeks. Plus, all the social media promotion involved in each and every one of those things so I can get the word out my work and, you know….make a living! HeeHee. Add in the book reviews I need to get done for Netgalley and then the 3 personal friend reviews I’ve been asked to do for soon-to-be-released books AND the judging I need to get done for a romance writing contest I’m involved in, and…Yikes!!

When I set out to write full time three years ago after the publication of my first book, I thought I’d spend my days happily inventing new characters and situations that would bring them together, pull them apart, and then reconnect them for their HEA. And I have done that, don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved every millisecond of being able to devote myself to writing.

But….

It’s all the OTHER stuff that goes along with wanting to be a published author that’s starting to make my life a little harried. Strained. Busy. Swamped. You get the idea.

 

The social media stuff alone is mind boggling at times. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m actually grateful for my menopause insomnia because I’m typically awake and out of bed by 3:30 every morning. From the moment after I get myself situated with a cup of tea, I’m at my desk, posting my SM stuff for the day through the scheduling app HOOTSUITE. There’s even a group of other insomniac writers like me on Twitter  with the Hashtag (#) 5amwritersclub. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone when the rest of the nation is still slumbering!

If I was a million-seller author by now, I’d have a publicist and a media consultant do all this for me. Can you imagine how much writing work I could done in those 3 hours in the middle of the night every day? I can tell you how much: my first book was written between the hours of 1 am and 3 am for 3 solid months when I first hit menopause and was afflicted with this sleeping disturbance. Now that I’m a seasoned writer and edit as I go, I could turn out another book every 45 days just by writing during the hours I am usually doing the media stuff! Mind boggling!

There’s an old saying that, if you want to get something done in a hurry, give it to a busy person. While that may be true more times than not, it also makes the busy person feel overwhelmed, stressed, and – in my case – sleep deprived.

And I just realized how this sounds like I’m a whining 3 year old. I’m not ( well, maybe just a titch!) Before the advent of social media ruling the world, I really wonder how authors did it. How did they get the word out effectively about their work? How did they get new readers? Who helped them?

All questions that will, for now, remain unanswered, as I need to go and schedule today’s posts.

And if you’re looking for me, here’s where I am ( see? I told you I was busy!! Heehee)

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges