Tag Archives: #authorpromo #bookpromo

#Author Donna Simonetta on #writing series Romance…


 

Recently, I wrote a blog about my favorite one-click authors.   I’ve actually done several, and one name is consistently on that author list: DONNA SIMONETTA, who’s visiting me today.  I “met” Donna through our mutual publisher, the Wild Rose Press , and from the first book of her’s that I read, I was hooked as a reader. I’m so proud to know her and call her a friend, but I’m really blown away by the fact that she calls me one!

Donna’s got a new entry in her RIVERS BEND series that she’s talking about today. I have the book uploaded on my Kindle and I’m starting it tonight!!!! Who wants to bet I’ll be getting even less sleep than I usually do tonight? heehee.

Here’s Donna…

My new release, What Was I Thinking, is the final installment of my Rivers Bend Trilogy. To celebrate, Peggy Jaeger invited me to visit her blog and talk a little about writing a series. Since Peggy has written so many series I loveloveLOVE, Will Cook for Love, San Valentino Family, The MacQuire Women, DotComGirls, and A Match Made in Heaven sound familiar? I think I got all of your series, didn’t I, Peg? ; ) My point is––Peggy is a queen of series romance, so having little ole me write about it on her blog feels a little bit like bringing coals to Newcastle. But here goes…

My Rivers Bend books are set in a fictional small town on the Virginia-Maryland border. The river in question is the Potomac, which flows through the town. And the series follows the romantic adventures of the Braden family. Oldest brother Jeff is a former NFL player, and favorite son of the tiny town. He runs the Retreat at Rivers Bend, a corporate retreat facility, and is raising his tween daughter on his own, since her mom passed away when she was just a baby. He’s happily single…or so he thinks! He may just have met his match in newcomer to town, librarian Magda Horvath, a Yankee transplant, who blows into town with her one-eyed shih-tzu rescue dog and turns Jeff’s world upside down. Their story is told in book one of the series, A Sweeter Spot. Which is coming out as an audiobook very soon!

 

Jeff’s sister Heather is featured in book two in the trilogy––Love is Lovelier. She works for Jeff at the Retreat, and is seriously unhappy with her brother when he hires her first love to work at the Retreat, in a job that should be hers. To be fair, Jeff didn’t know about Heather and Mick’s history. But now that Mick is living in town, old passions flare, and maybe they’ll get a second chance at their first love in Rivers Bend.

What Was I Thinking wraps up the trilogy with youngest brother, Jason Braden. He’s the romantic wild child of the family…never settling down with one woman. But when Lily Davis moves to town to take care of her niece Hadley (Jeff’s daughters’ BFF, and featured in the previous books), sparks fly between Jason and Lily. At first, they are sparks of mutual antagonism, but a wild Vegas fling changed them to sparks of attraction, and maybe by the end of the series, these two opposites will find their happy-ever-after in Rivers Bend.

This little town has begun to feel real to me. I’ve been so immersed in it for the last few years, while I’ve been writing these stories. I can picture the town green, with its’ gazebo on the river, the old brick library where Magda works, and would love to get a cup of coffee at the Nosh Pit, or a slice of pizza at Mancini’s. I’ve been walking its’ streets in my own mind for so long, I’m going to miss it now that the Rivers Bend trilogy is complete. The Braden family, and all the quirky secondary characters who reside in the Bend have become old friends to me. And while I’m proud to have finished the series, and excited for all of you to read the third book in the trilogy, it’s a bittersweet moment for me. I don’t know if I’m ready to leave Rivers Bend yet. Mick’s little brother moved to town, and he’s just crying out for his own HEA, and maybe the next generation of Bradens, oldest sister’s Deidre’s college age twins, will need their stories told too. Never say never.

In the meantime, I’m polishing up an unrelated novel, about ghost hunting brothers in Richmond, VA, which has the potential to become a series too, and I’ve had the idea for a spin-off of the Rivers Bend series nagging at me for a while. It’s set in my current hometown of Baltimore, and features Lily’s best friend Roni, and Heather’s musician friend, Chase. But right now, their story is just a twinkle in my eye.

I hope all of you enjoy visiting Rivers Bend, as much as I enjoyed creating it, and all my old friends in the small town become new friends of yours, as you read the series.

 

 

A Vegas fling never leads to love…does it?

Blurb:

A wild Vegas fling isn’t the traditional Thanksgiving celebration, and Lily and Jason have been like oil and water since they met. Blaming their steamy hook-up on too many shots at the bar, they head home.

Back in the real world, Jason wonders if he’s ready to give up his crown as the Playboy King of Rivers Bend to be with just one woman. And Lily has enough on her plate right now without adding Jason Braden to the mix, even if their attraction is crazy-strong.

But life is good at throwing curveballs, and a lot can happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Maybe even enough to lead these two polar opposites home to each other in Rivers Bend.

Excerpt:

“I think about a lot of things.”

She felt him stiffen up behind her, and Jason’s tone of voice was defensive. She hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings. “I know you do; I didn’t mean anything by it. We poke at each other”—she shrugged—“it’s kind of our thing.”

His grip on her hand loosened, and then he took control of the dance, by twirling her until her back was pressed to his front, and he began to move sinuously in time to the rhythm. His breath tickled her ear, as he spoke right in it to be heard over the music. “We’ve got a thing, Moonbeam?”

Jason had ditched the tie and suit jacket after the wedding, and his body heat scorched her through his crisp white dress shirt. And man-oh-Maneschewitz, his lean, hard body felt good. Really good. The Marine might be bulked up, but Jason’s body felt like it had been made for hers, which given their mutual antagonism, seemed like proof Fate was enjoying a good laugh at her expense. Against Lily’s better judgment, her body melted into his warmth and began to move with his.

“Sure, we’ve got a thing,” she said over her shoulder, and was irritated to hear a trace of breathlessness in her voice. She cleared her throat and continued, “Like that—you calling me Moonbeam, because you know it bugs me.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: // Barnes & Noble:// Kobo //  Google play //Books-a-million

A little about Donna:

Donna Simonetta writes the kind of books she loves to read–contemporary romances with heart, humor, and heat. The kind of books that help you escape the real world for a little while. Writing is Donna’s third career. She toiled in the business world, and when she decided being an Account Executive wasn’t for her went back to school to get her MLS degree. Next, she worked in a school library for many years. But, Donna dreamed of being an author since she was a little girl, and began to squeeze writing into her day. After the publication of her second book, Donna decided to leave the library and become a full-time author. It can be a solitary job, so she loves to connect with her readers–you can find her online Here:

FaceBook // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon // BookBub // Instagram// Wild Rose Press//

Donna lives in Maryland with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Peggy here: for the record – Donna is amazing at series romance, herself, so don’t let her fool ya!!! I’ve reviewed the previous books in her Rivers Bend series and am so looking forward to reading WHAT WHAT I THINKING?? 

My reviews:
Love is Lovelier

Love Calls You Home

A Sweeter Spot

Happy reading, peeps.

Until next time ~ Peg

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

#WeeklyWrapup 1.19.2020 I’ve been busy!!!

I’ve been all over the place this week, on my tour, but also visiting other writers on their home blogs. Here’s a recap on any stops ou may have missed- don’t forget to visit and enter the rafflecopter!!

I visited fellow WRP sistah Rebecca Grace on 1.17.2020 

Love Romance Reads had a great interview with Rick Bannerman on 1.14.20

Kari Lemor gave my book a shout out on her blog on 1.13.20

I have an interview over on Silver Dagger tours where I start my tour for A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK on 1.13.20

I’m featured on NNLights New Year Book fete on 1.13.20

I’ve got another full week ahead of me on the Silver Dagger tour, so stay tuned. Here are the upcoming tour stops for the week, staring today:

Jan 19

Sylv.net

Craving Lovely Books

Jan 20

Mythical Books

Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed

Jan 21

Anna del C. Dye official page

Maiden of the Pages

Jan 22

Breaking Genre

Luv Saving Money

Jan 23

The Pulp and Mystery Shelf  

Book Corner News and Reviews

Jan 24

Tammy L. Bailey Author Blog

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!

Jan 25

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Insane Books

Jan 26

Book-Lover

Midnight Book Reader

Like I said, BUSY!!!

Until next time, peers ~ Peg

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Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense

Long and Short Reviews Weekly Blogging Challenge 1.15.20

Week two of the year long challenge peeps! Today’s topic is BOOKS I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IN 2020.

Yowza!!! These are just the ones releasing in January!!!! 4 books from 4 of my absolutely favorite authors.

FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective DD Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. And when a disturbing piece of evidence comes to light, they decide to bring in Flora Dane who has personal experience of being imprisoned by Ness.

Their investigations take them to a small town deep in the hills of Georgia where something seems to be deeply wrong.

What at first seems like a Gothic eeriness soon hardens into something much more sinister as they discover that for all the evil Jacob committed while alive, his worst secret is still to be revealed.

Quincy and DD must summon their considerable skills and experience to crack the most disturbing case of their careers – and Flora must face her own past directly in the hope of saving others

 

Forty years ago in the small town of Fogg Lake, “The Incident” occurred: an explosion in the cave system that released unknown gases, causing peculiar effects on its residents, such as strange visions and ominous voices. Not wanting the government to get involved, they chalked it up to the hallucinogenic effects of mushrooms. Little did they know these effects would linger through the generations….

Residents Catalina Lark and Olivia Dayton have been best friends for years and own an investigation firm together, using what they call the “other sight” to help with their business. When Olivia goes missing, Cat frantically begins the search for her alone when the town does nothing about it. When scientist Slate Trevelyan shows up, she has no choice but to accept his help even though there’s something about him she just can’t trust. The duo discovers someone is hunting the two witnesses of a murder in Fogg Lake fourteen years ago—the very one Cat and Olivia witnessed as teens, one that they couldn’t prove happened. Cat and Slate’s search for Olivia takes them down a rabbit hole that is far more dangerous and mysterious than they ever expected, and with a killer in their midst, neither of them can foresee who will come out alive.

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother—announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey.

But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?

Everything has a price…

Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything—or anyone—is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife—and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he’s determined to have her. But the beautiful and quick-witted Cassandra is equally determined to marry for love—the one thing he can’t give.

Everything except her…

Severin is the most compelling and attractive man Cassandra has ever met, even if his heart is frozen. But she has no interest in living in the fast-paced world of a ruthless man who always plays to win.

When a newfound enemy nearly destroys Cassandra’s reputation, Severin seizes the opportunity he’s been waiting for. As always, he gets what he wants—or does he? There’s one lesson Tom Severin has yet to learn from his new bride:

Never underestimate a Ravenel.

The chase for Cassandra’s hand may be over. But the chase for her heart has only just begun…

These 4 will keep me occupied for january, hee hee.

In March, the highly anticipated next chapter in Kari Lemor’s Storms of New England book, TRUE DREAMS releases and I can not wait!

True “TJ” Bannister, haunted by his past, abandons the world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll to live a peaceful life as a bookstore owner on Cape Cod. The reformed bad boy thinks no “nice” girl will ever see beyond his tormented soul.

Innocent Sara Storm barges into TJ’s shop, and his life, with her sunshine personality. Her dream is to be a singer—she’s come to Cape Cod to further her goal at a local concert venue and escape comparisons with her successful siblings.TJ and Sarah are drawn to each other, but will his past and desire for a calmer life and her aspirations as a recording artist doom their romance before the last note is sung?

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this blog want to read in 2020: L&SR

And don’t forget, if you like MY books and I’m on your reading list for 2020, first, THANK YOU!! hee hee.

Second, A PRIDE OF BROTHERS:RICK released on 1.13.20

Elite bodyguard and P.I. Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. He doesn’t get emotional with his clients, but when a woman from his past is threatened, his next job becomes personal.

Family lawyer Abigail Laine is the target of a client’s vengeful husband, but refuses Rick’s offer of protection. He walked away from her four years ago, and she swore to forget him.

Now her reluctance to accept his help could cost Abby her life.

You can get your copy here in print or ereader copy:

Amazon // B&N // i-books // Books-a-million

Until next week, peeps ~ Peg

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Filed under Long and SHort Reviews, Romance Books, romantic suspense

#SundaySnippet First one of 2020~ 1.5.20 ; A PRIDE OF BROTHERS:RICK

It’s a little hard for me to believe 2020 is here already. It seems like just yesterday it was 1.1.19.

Oh well….

I have a brand new ROMANTIC SUSPENSE series starting this year titled A PRIDE OF BROTHERS and the very first book, RICK is dropping on 1.13.20 so it seems apropos I post my very first Sunday Snippet of 2020 with a little scene from the book.

Blurb:

Elite bodyguard and P.I. Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. He doesn’t get emotional with his clients, but when a woman from his past is threatened, his next job becomes personal.

Family lawyer Abigail Laine is the target of a client’s vengeful husband, but refuses Rick’s offer of protection. He walked away from her four years ago, and she swore to forget him.

Now her reluctance to accept his help could cost Abby her life.

As she reached out to clutch the table for support, a pair of firm hands seized her upper arms from behind.

“Easy there, Abigail.”

Abby’s entire body stilled. In a heartbeat, she went from tipsy to stone-cold sober as the smooth, deep timbre of that voice washed over her.

“Reception hasn’t started yet. Wouldn’t do for one of Kandy’s minions to go down before the band even warms up.”

When her arms were freed a moment later, Abby whirled around to find a pair of chocolate-drop-colored eyes trained on her from a face hand carved by the gods of gorgeous. Hair as dark as unprocessed coal was cut military short. Dark, thick lashes framed his almond- shaped eyes, and his mouth was pulled into a totally charming smirk that she wanted to kiss off his chiseled face.

Why did simply looking at him make her stomach act like a roller coaster spiraling downward and back to the station?

“Minions? Really, Bannerman?”

He had the nerve to grin. “Well, you are required to blindly follow and do everything Kandy tells you to without argument, aren’t you? Sounds pretty accurate to me.”

“You’re wearing a tuxedo. Does that make you one of Josh’s minions?” She raked a finger up and down his ridiculously well-cut black lapel.

A free and easy laugh kicked her square in her already shaking stomach. “Not in this lifetime.” His eyes crinkled at the corners. “He’s got two brothers who can more than fill the bill. I’m merely a humble wedding guest.”

Humble was hardly the word she’d use to describe him. At six two and a solid, muscular two hundred pounds, Rick Bannerman was cocky, sinfully sexy, and a total player. Exactly the kind of man she knew she shouldn’t be drawn to, but God help her, was.

Intrigued? You can preorder your copy here and have it as soon as it’s released on 1.13.20:

Amazon // B&N // i-books // Books-a-million

 

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Filed under Romance Books, romantic suspense, Uncategorized

I’m visiting #author Jean Grant & talking abt …stuff!

WIld rose Press sistah JEAN GRANT is hosting me today and we’re talking about Publishing, Writing, and my new Romantic Suspense A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK. Join us here: JEAN GRANT

 

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MY word for 2020 : PERSISTENCE

No it isn’t a lonely western town between Devil’s Head and Snake Canyon! It’s my word of 2020. The one that is going to take me to new levels in my career and my personal life.

2019’s word was FOCUS and I did just that for the entire year. I wrote 4 books, blogged 5-6 times a week, and sold more books than I had for any previous year. Can I support myself yet, financially? No. But it’s coming and it’s certainly a closer concept than it was in 2018.

This year I’m taking that focus that  I honed so well in my writing career and adding to my personal life and mixing in a huge does of PERSISTENCE.

persistence | pərˈsistəns | noun

firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition; the continued or prolonged existence of something: the persistence of huge environmental problems.

I LOVE this definition. OBSTINATE continuance in a course of action IN SPITE OF difficulty or opposition. That definition could have been hand written by the gods of words for me! Hee Hee.

In case you  missed it earlier in the week, these are my goals for 2020:

  • Write a minimum of 1000 words before I start my actual day – what this means is that while I’m still in jammies, I write. Once 1000 words is achieved I get to get dressed, and do the adulting things I need to – like gym, laundry, etc. When they are done, I can write more.
  • Finish 3-4 complete manuscripts in 2020; self-pub one of them. A lofty goal.
  • Gym 6-7 times per week. No excuses. I’ve got a wedding I need to be camera ready for in May 2020.
  • Eat better, and by better I mean, cut out the crap!! All of it.
  • Double my book sales this year through organic exposure. More about this in 2020 blogs!

It’s going to take a great deal of PERSISTENCE to do those things, so, once again, I think this is the perfect word for me to live my life by in 2020!

Thoughts, peeps?

Until next time ~ Peg

And if you’re looking for me in 2020, I’m usually here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me

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Filed under Romance, Romance Books, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A brand new release from #author Barbara Bettis…

I have a special treat today for lovers or romance, medieval times, and historical books. My dear writing friend, Barbara Bettis, has just released a brand new KNIGHTS OF DESTINY novella, titled A WINTER KNIGHT and she graciously gave me a sample to share with all of you! So sit back and enjoy!

A Winter Knight (A Knights of Destiny Novella)

 

Blurb:

He’s running from his past; she’s running from her future. But on a snowy winter night, they find each other and the surprising gift of love.

Sir Nicholas has given up on marriage. These days he’s content to captain his friend’s troops and avoid entanglements—until one winter night when he rescues a half-frozen woman from a snowstorm. Her irrepressible spirit and kindness to others reminds him that all ladies aren’t like his former intended, who wed his brother while Nick was on crusade. But he can’t open his heart to Lady Clare. She’s bound to another, and Nick won’t forfeit his honor. Even if she were free, he has nothing to offer but love, and this lady deserves everything.

Lady Clare’s dying grandfather has arranged her betrothal, but the arrival of the man she’s to wed sends her fleeing into a snowstorm. Injured when her horse stumbles, she’s rescued by a mysterious knight. She recovers at his run-down manor, safe at last—until her betrothed tracks her down two days before Christmas. Trapped at home with the wedding imminent, she longs for the winter knight she’s come to love.

Only a miracle can bring Clare and Nick together. But at Christmas, anything is possible.

Get your copy here: AMAZON: https://amzn.to/356xovq

 

EXCERPT

Who was she? And why in Satan’s name was she out here alone? Maybe she’d lost her wits and took flight in a disordered panic. He’d seen women—men too—lose their reason and go wild with grief. Or loneliness. Had she been confined to the same place for weeks on end, with no voice to hear but her own? Had she finally set out alone to find someone—anyone— else alive in the world? His shoulders stiffened. Where in Hades did that thought come from?

He glanced at the soft bundle he held and tightened his arms. Answers would have to wait until she woke. Giving Solomon a touch of heel to pick up the gait, Nick followed his earlier tracks and made it back to the manor quickly.

“Send for the healer,” he called to the guard as he rode through the gate.

“Don’t got one,” came the answer.

Of course not. Someone sure as Hades was needed to care for this unwanted guest.

Tom waited at the stable door.

“Take care of Solomon, then come to the hall. I have an errand for you.” Surely a woman lived somewhere close and could help out on the morrow. Provided the lady lived so long.

# # #

Sound came to Clare first. Why was there such noise? Her eyes ached behind closed lids, and her head pounded like a kitchen mallet on boar’s meat. She was so cold. Except, her fingers burned—and tingled, as if a score of needles stuck there. Her toes—she didn’t feel them. Where were her toes?

The noises increased and she tried to turn her head to escape the din, but she couldn’t seem to move. Where was she? The loud clatter settled into voices. Deep voices. Men. Panic clogged her throat. Sweet Mother Mary, he’d found her and brought her home.

She’d failed.

A little about Barbara: 

Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math. Through careers as a newspaper reporter and editor, then a college journalism and English professor, she’s retained her fascination with history. Give her a research book and a pot of tea, and she’s happy for hours. But what really makes her smile is working on a new story. Now retired, she lives in Missouri where she edits for others and spins her own tales of heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.

 

Find Barb Here:

Amazon // Bookbub // Twitter // Facebook // BLog/Website

 

 

 

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#LongandShortReviews #WednesdayBloggingChallenge 11.27.19

The day before Thanksgiving and as I get the bread and cookies ready for tomorrow’s feast, I’m pondering on today’s topic: BOOKS THAT INFLUENCED MY LIFE. I’m wondering if this can be a positive influence and/or a negative one.  Hmmmm….

I’m gonna go with the positive.

  1. THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD.  I know I’ve stated at least a million times in previous blog posts that this is one of my favorite books of all time. The reason it is is also the same reason it has influenced my life. Self Motivation, positive affirmations, and believing in yourself are major concepts in my daily life. This book is the best example of all three of those traits rolled into one message: that little engine believed in himself enough to take on a monumental task, armed with just determination and self-belief, and accomplished his goal. As a child that was a profound message that I could do anything I set my mind to. As an adult, the message broadened: I could accomplish anything I not only set my mind to, but if I truly believed in myself, nothing was impossible in life. To a shy, introverted, bookworm, that concept was and is huge.
  • Under the Banner of Heaven.I read this book in less than 2 days which, believe me, I never do for a non-fiction work. But the story and the way it is told was so compelling, I had to finish it. This extraordinary piece of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities. At the core of the book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief. I was changed forever in my view of how religious fanaticism can influence people to do evil things in the name of God.
  • Pride and Prejudice. This is a no-brainer because from the very first time I read it I knew one day I wanted to write a romance novel. This book opened up an entire new world for me – romantic literature/fiction – and I’ve never looked back.
  • Naked In Death.The very first Eve Dallas/Roarke novel. This book -and the subsequent 49 – changed the way I wrote. In the past, I’d penned one standalone novel at a time. Reading this series taught me the benefits of writing series romance and how to keep readers invested in the characters from story to story.

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this blog challenge have to say about the books that have influenced them: L&SR

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, peeps.

Until next time ~ Peg

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A #booksale plus a #newrelease by Julie Howard

My Wild Rose Press sistah, Julie Howard, is having a busy week. She’s having a 99cent book sale on one of her fabulous mysteries, and also has a brand new release out in the book reading world. She stopped by recently to chat about her “happy place” in life.

Julie….

Choosing my happy place

Okay, this is going to sound terrible. I’ll say it anyway. My happy place is dark and dreadful, filled with people who lie and cheat, and do almost anything – including murder. Only on paper though, and only fictional people. In real life, I’m terribly nice, with a wonderful family and a small dog at my side. I’m a good driver, say please and thank you, and visit my parents often. But when I sit down at my computer, my imagination takes off and my fingers obey.

I love writing a good mystery and they don’t necessarily all include murder. For me, the puzzle is what’s important. I’m a crossword puzzle fan and also enjoy “seek-and-find” games where you have to discover pictures hidden in plain sight. In crosswords, coming up with a word is easy, but that’s only the first step. There’s a strategy in where you lay down a word –trapping a competitor into making the wrong move can make the difference in win or lose. Oh, the satisfaction when they fall for it! Similarly, in those seek-and-find games, I love how an item can be so very obvious, but the artist has drawn the scene in such a manner that my eyes can’t at first recognize it for what it is.

Creating a mystery is comparable. I must lay clues, but not so obvious or difficult the reader gets bored or frustrated after the first few chapters. The motivation and strategy of a criminal must be evident but not too much so. There must be the perfect challenge.

There are other elements I enjoy in a mystery too. The characters are paramount. I do tend to care about all the “people” I create, especially my heroines. By the very nature of the genre, they fall into danger and I work my very hardest to save them. The women I write about feel like real people to me – with flaws, hopes, fears and strengths. I enjoy developing their strengths as a story progresses – and if my heroine is in a series, I develop her character’s depths more through each book. Like real people, my heroines must fight their own internal battles along with story’s villains. Often, my characters save themselves.

My latest release, coming December 4, finishes the story of Meredith Lowe, an abused woman who fantasizes about killing her husband. The first book, Crime and Paradise, is on sale this week for 99 cents. The latest book, Wild Crime, explores her past as she seeks to unveil a family mystery, and stumbles across a possible murder. Through all three books is a slow-burning romance.

Mystery, murder, romance? Yes, this is my happy place.

 

Blurb for Crime and Paradise:

Meredith has been uprooted to the middle of nowhere with two kids and an abusive husband. After she fantasizes about ways to kill him, he ends up dead. Despite all the evidence pointing to her, Meredith finds an unlikely supporter and friend in the county sheriff. Together, they uncover some ugly truths about her husband and this small, isolated town.

Can Meredith make this place a new home for her family, or will the real secret behind her husband’s death send her away for good?

Buy links for Crime and Paradise (now 99 cents for a limited time)

Amazon // Apple // B&N 

 

 

Blurb for Wild Crime:

“I’m a murderer. I’m a murderer. I’m a murderer.”

Those three repeated words discovered in an old letter propel Meredith Lowe in a cross-country pursuit to unveil her mother’s murky past. Danger stalks Meredith back to Hay City, Idaho as she peels apart the mystery: who is her father, and did her mother kill him? In finding the answer, will a growing love slip through her fingers?

Past merges with the present as the story races to its stunning conclusion.

 

Excerpt:

Her hair fell below her waist, ripped free of its ties and weighed down by the warm, lashing rain. The sky-blue dress, so carefully chosen for this night and tried on so many times in her bedroom, was ruined. One strap had torn from her shoulder and dangled down her back. Mud splattered the hem. Sweet Cantaloupe lipstick, a lovely coral that heightened the green in her eyes, was smeared like a bruise on one cheek. She ran.

The high school gym behind her, decorated in crepe paper and curtains, vibrated with electric guitars and teen-aged hormones. Couples gyrated on the dance floor and then disappeared into dark corners. It was late and the Spring Dance was in full throttle. No one would miss her for hours.

Before her, trees dripped moss, barely visible in the darkness. She envisioned the moss brushing her shoulders, low branches snagging in her hair, the possibility of snakes both at her feet and above; this made her hesitate. It would take one scream, one gasp, and he would find her.

Buy links for Wild Crime:

Amazon //iBooks //B&N 

Author bio:

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild, editor of the Potato Soup Journal, and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at juliemhoward.com.

Social media links:

Website // Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter 

 

 

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Something new for me: A Wild Rose Press BROTHER!

I usually promote all my sistahs from the WRP, but today I’m pleased to introduce to a new member of the Rose Garden – a brother! 

Robert Herold has just released his first book w/WRP and he very graciously dropped by to tell us all about it – and all about him, too! Sit back and learn about  the writer of THE EIDOLA PROJECT.

 

Robert, The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write?

It’s a blast. I started writing television pilots a few years ago and won some notoriety, but things weren’t going any further, so a mentor suggested I try writing a novel. I love it! The Eidola Project is my first novel. My second is at the editor, and I’m 100 pages into writing number three.

  1. What genre(s) do your write, and why?

Paranormal/horror. I don’t strictly write romance, but there are definitely romantic elements (sometimes steamy) in my books. Supernatural tales have always held a fascination with me. (See my bio.)

  1. What genre(s) do you read, and why?

I read broadly, not strictly romance, but I feel it is a key to the success of most fiction books, films, and television. I am in awe of many romance writers. They have their chops together and know how to engage their readers.

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

My day job is a middle school history/social studies teacher, hence the historical setting (the 19th Century) for The Eidola Project. Teaching is pretty demanding and I play music (sax & flute) with at least one group in the Seattle area, so I grab writing time whenever I can manage it during the week, and especially on weekends and holidays.

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

I have a lair downstairs in the basement filled with kitschy collectables and lots of books! I also write on the main floor when I want a view of the outside.

  1. 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?

I’m able to filter out a good bit of distraction, which is necessary given my chihuahua (Jangles, The Wonder Dog) is always barking. I think he’s making editorial suggestions!

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

I used to do so, quite a bit, mostly jazz and classical, but lately I haven’t. Jangles’ barks are music to my ears (not)!

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

I’m currently working on two books. I am at the editing stage with the second book in the Eidola Project series. It involves the paranormal investigators going to Virginia (it’s 1885) to investigate a series of deaths being attributed to a werewolf. The book is titled Moonlight Becomes You.

I’m also writing the first draft of Totem of Terror. Here, the Eidola Project team travel across 1885 America to the very NW point on the Washington Territorial Coast. They are investigating a deadly shape-shifting being who is killing the local people. I came up with the plot after taking a college course on Northwest Coastal Indians and studying their myths and legends. I wrote the story for another college course on writing for publication, but the story lay dormant for many years until I decided to incorporate it into my Eidola Project series.

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

Well, I have my team of characters who, assuming they survive, will populate the books of the series. Before writing, however, I always come up with an ending first. Years ago I used to plot every beat of a script, but I found the actual writing to be a lot less fun. Now, I know were I want to end up, then I turn my characters loose and see what happens. It’s a lot more fun.

  1. What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Creative, engaging, cinematic.(Peggy here: I can truthfully tell you no one has ever described themself as CINEMATIC here before! Bravo!)

Robert, The Guy

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!

I wanted to be a werewolf as a child. It’s probably why I have a beard!

2. Who was your first love and what age were you?

I was in love with Patty Duke, the actress, who had a television show at the time. I was eight years old and wrote her a love letter:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

You look the cutest

And I love you.

My parents got a kick out of it and helped me post my love letter. To my delight, Patty Duke wrote back! She sent me an autographed photo of her holding a telephone to her ear, sitting on a cushy chair, with one of her feet in the air. The picture was signed, “Thanks for watching! Love and kisses, Patty Duke.”

I was in heaven. I would kiss the photo goodnight and sleep with it under my pillow. Needless to say, it soon started to look a little ragged.

Then heartbreak struck: A new toy store opened at a local mall and I discovered that they carried a new line of Patty Duke dolls. In each package was the exact same photo, with the exact same inscription, written in the exact same way. It had been mass-produced.

It took me years to recover.

3. 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….

Well, the premise of the film was that Bill Murray’s character needed to relive it repeatedly until he got it right. I believe I got it right in marrying my wife, Ruth. I proposed after a month of dating, and we’ve been married for 38 years!

4. What’s one thing you love about your significant other?

Ruth is smart, sexy, funny, and caring. I can’t place one of these above the other. If I need to pick one thing, I’d say her as a whole!

5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it item, what would it be?

Fried oysters. I love ‘em.

6. What three words describe you, the person?

Caring, creative, fun-loving.

7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?

The Monster Mash

8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time, who would it be, why, and what would you do together?

I tend to fall in love with many of the women I read about. So, I guess it would be the female protagonist in whatever I’m reading.

What would we do together? Well, let’s just say, don’t tell my wife.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound. An amazing jazz solo or jazz vocalist.
  2. Least favorite sound. My chihuahua’s barking!
  3. Best song ever written. “It’s Crazy, But I’m In Love,” performed by Sarah Vaughn & Clifford Brown
  4. Worst song ever written. MacArthur Park
  5. Favorite actor and actress. Jimmy Stewart & Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead) Shakespeare. I’d like to share a bit of his genius.
  7. What turns you on? My wife.
  8. What turns you off? Mean people.
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “I just wanna be friends.”
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Making love with my wife, walking the dog, my book is announced as a best-seller, writing a new chapter for my latest book, having a delicious dinner, seeing an outstanding play or musical in the evening with my wife.

And now, as promised, here’s a little sneak peek at THE EIDOLA PROJECT

 

It’s 1885 and a drunk and rage-filled Nigel Pickford breaks up a phony medium’s séance. A strange twist of fate soon finds him part of a team investigating the afterlife.

The Eidola Project is an intrepid group of explorers dedicated to bringing the light of science to that which has been feared, misunderstood, and often manipulated by charlatans. They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a sideshow medium, and now a derelict, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses.

Called to the brooding Hutchinson Estate to investigate rumored hauntings, they encounter deadly supernatural forces and a young woman driven to the brink of madness.

Will any of them survive?

Excerpt:

Sarah retrieved the lamp and twisted the peg. The outhouse door swung open on its own, and she gasped.

“Momma?” Sarah asked as she held out her lantern.

No. A ruined version of Molly stood in the doorway. Before her disappearance, people often commented on the sixteen-year-old’s beauty, but in the last twenty-eight days birds pecked out her pretty blue eyes, and maggots now swam in the sockets. Molly’s head hung to the left at an odd angle. Her skin looked mottled with patches of gray, blue, and black. A beetle crawled out of Molly’s half-opened mouth and darted back in.

Sarah’s heart leaped to her throat, and she jumped back. She lost her footing, fell onto the outhouse seat, and dropped the lantern to the floor. She bent to retrieve it; thankful the glass globe did not break. Sarah looked up and saw an empty doorway.

Impossible, she told herself. Must’ve dozed off, had a nightmare, and woke up when I dropped the lamp.

Her heart still pounded in her chest, and Sarah took a deep breath to calm herself.

Holding the lamp before her once more, she crept out…

Buy Links:

Amazon // B&N //  Kobo 

A little more about Robert…

The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since my mother refused to allow me, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)

As a child, fresh snow provided me the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with my fingers as far as I could stretch. I would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)

I have pursued many interests over the years, but the supernatural always called to me. You could say I was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call, I wrote The Eidola Project, based on a germ of an idea I had as a teenager.

Ultimately, I hope my book gives you the creeps, and I mean that in the best way possible.

You can connect with Robert here:

Website // goodreads// facebook // youtube //twitter //instagram // pinterest 

One more word from Robert before we say goodbye:

I’m really pleased with my 16-second animated book trailer. Please check it out at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZovJ-MZQ5Y

Peggy here: Robert, thanks for stopping by to give a little preview of The EIDOLA PROJECT and a little glimpse into your life. Be well.

 

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