Tag Archives: #TWRP #WRPBks

#SundaySnippet 10.14.18

Here’s a little more insight to the developing relationship between Hope and Tyler.

“Enough about me,” she said, shaking her head. She speared an asparagus stalk and pointed it at him. “Tell me about you. Aside from the fact where you’re from, I know nothing about you. Out with the details, New York.”

“What would you like to know?” Tyler immediately wished he’d phrased the question differently. He couldn’t take the chance of her recognizing the name of his firm if she asked where he worked. Not yet.

Despite his plan to tell her tonight who he was and why he was in Willow Springs, he continued to keep his identity a secret, craving a few more precious hours of her company instead. Sitting across from Hope, enchanted with the way the tea light on the table bounced little flickers of light off her face and beautiful hair, listening to the sad story of her parents’ accident, and watching an entire series of emotions play across her guileless face and eyes, Tyler wanted to pretend they were simply a couple, out enjoying one another’s company.

The more Hope opened up to him, the happier he felt. From her mother’s behavior, he got the impression Hope didn’t date much and he liked knowing that, liked the thought she was doing something special with him, giving up some of her precious free time to spend it with him.

As she’d related the details of her father’s dismissal from his family, Tyler could feel the anguish and frustration oozing from her on behalf of the man she loved and adored. He hadn’t been told of the attempted payoff to Casey Kildaire. Sloan had to have known since he’d been the family solicitor for decades, yet he hadn’t mentioned it when he’d given Tyler a brief history of the family before he sent him to Vermont. Nor had he related the extent of Casey’s injuries following the crash and the severe financial problems they were still undergoing. He’d simply ordered Tyler to obtain Hope’s signature, nothing more.

He’d pushed her at dinner to answer his question and from the baffled look on her face knew she thought it an odd one. In her mind there was no way she could go back to school and take care of her mother at the same time. He should have told her right then the reason he was in Willow Springs, the subterfuge he’d used to meet her, and handed her the documents he’d brought with him. Tyler fully believed if she knew how easy her life could be with a simple swipe of her name across a legal document, she’d jump at the chance to make their lives better, pay off all their medical bills once and for all, and allow her to get back to fulfilling her dream instead of sublimating it.

“Well, for starters, what do you do?” she asked.

Best to go with the truth at this point. “I’m a lawyer.”

“Surprise, surprise.” She rolled her eyes and gave him the most delightful smirk. “I’d have bet on that without even a thought.”

“What gave me away?”

“The fact you don’t let a question go is one thing.” Her grin turned lopsided, and he got the distinct impression she was flirting with him. “Your penetrating death stare, like you’re grilling a witness on the stand, is another.”

Okay, maybe she wasn’t flirting because that was in no way a compliment.

“Anything else?”

She bent her elbow on the table and cupped her chin into it as she regarded him. “You already told me you’re not a writer, but your word skills are exceptional, so it makes me think you do write stuff. Like briefs, and whatever else they’re called.” She waved her free hand carelessly. “Plus…”

“Plus?” His breath caught when her cheeks colored.

“Well…” She squinched up her nose, her lips pursed at an angle. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I was imagining what you looked like in a suit and the first thing that popped into my head was like a lawyer.”

This definitely sounded like flirting, but…

“What do you mean, don’t take it the wrong way?”

“I meant about the imagining part.” The red color in her cheeks blossomed and grew to cover her neck. She shook her head and dropped her gaze. “I shouldn’t have told you that.”

What would she have done if he’d told her he’d had a fantasy-filled night thinking about her in nothing at all?

Buy Links for Hope’s Dream

 

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Nook // iTunes

And if  you’re looking for me, I’m here:

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

 

 

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By Reservation Only, by Barbara Edwards #WildRosePress #DeerbourneInn


 

          The Deerbourne Inn. New kitchen, new owner, new future–all rooted in three hundred years of history.

I am so stoked that the first book – the origination novella – for the Deerbourne Inn series from the Wild Rose Press has been released! I’ve got the blurb and an excerpt from the writer of  BY RESERVATION ONLY, Barbara Edwards, below. Sit back and read about this exciting new series that takes place in the lovely New England town of Willow Springs, VT. From now until the end of 2019 there will be additions to the series – some contemporary, some historical, some even paranormal ( yes, the Inn is haunted!) and all of them wonderful! And to celebrate the release of the series, The Wild Rose Press-powers-that-be are having a wonderful giveaway of prizes! The link to the rafflecopter is below. Click on when you’re finished reading about the Inn and enter!

Here’s book 1 BY RESERVATION ONLY

 

Blurb:

It’s the grand opening of The Deerbourne Inn! Award-winning Chef Nathan Harte has worked long and hard to restore this historic property in Willow Spring, Vermont. He’s ready to greet his guests with fine cuisine, comfortable rooms, and maybe even a ghost or two. 

He’s escaping the rat-race of the city for a slower more rewarding life, but is he ready to deal with a broken arm, a quirky arsonist, and a long-ago mystery? And what might he find up in the 300-yr-old attics?

Excerpt:

Since the inn was quiet, Emily pulled on a long t-shirt and opened the door. Her heart fluttered. She was disappointed Nate wasn’t waiting for her in the dark passage. She blew out a frustrated breath and opened one of the bedroom windows to let the fresh breeze blow in. A whip-poor-will called from the hill.

The comfortable bed beckoned her. Flowery potpourri scented the bedroom air. She lay on top of the handmade quilt and stared at the ceiling. Sleep eluded her. She lost count of the times she turned over, punched the pillow, yawned.

An owl hooted from the nearby woods. The call of the whip-poor-will sounded closer. The curtain flapped and the scent of smoke tainted the air. Her watch claimed it was only twelve thirty, not nearing dawn. She swore and rolled over again.

Someone knocked on Nate’s door and called his name. Emily pulled on her pants and sneakers before she opened her door.

“What’s happening?” Her pulse raced. Smoke, she smelled smoke.

Buy links:

Amazon //WildRose Press // Kobo 

About the author

I’m Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. I’m a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.
I lived in Florida for several years

You can connect with Barbara here:

website // Blog // Amazon // Facebook // Google + // Pinterest 

*** Click the following link for a the WRP rafflectoper for By Reservation Only

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#SundaySnippet 10.7.18 HOPE’S DREAM ( A Deerbourne Inn Novella)

Here’s another little sumthin’ sumthin’ from the upcoming 11.5.18 release of HOPE’S DREAM (A Deerbourne Inn Novella) This little snippet is a very telling one about the relationship between Hope and her mother, Casey.

Hope had had every intention of telling Tyler she was busy again tonight when he’d asked her to dinner, and if weren’t for her mother’s quick butt-in response, she would have. Instead she’d been forced to agree because she couldn’t come up with a legitimate excuse not to fast enough.

Okay, that wasn’t true either, because she’d been torn between wanting to have dinner with him and afraid of what might happen if she did. It had been so long since Hope went on anything resembling a date she wasn’t prepared for the anxiety pouring through her.

That unease had grown when she considered what she should wear. Her choices were limited since most of her clothes were ski related or T-shirts and jeans for working at the tavern. It had been Casey’s idea to tug the long forgotten sweater set from the back of the closet, bought when Hope was in college, and wear it with a pair of dress trousers she’d purchased ages ago.

Since she hardly ever wore makeup, she’d thought to leave her face clean and clear, her hair pulled back in a casual ponytail. Casey nixed both those ideas, insisting her daughter style her beautiful tresses and at least wave some mascara across her pale eyelashes.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like to reconsider and go instead of me?” Hope asked, hands fisted on her hips. “You’re more excited about this dinner than I am.”

Casey’s smile was animated and bright—two things Hope hadn’t seen for quite some time. If for no other reason than the look on her mother’s face, she was glad she’d acquiesced to dinner.

“I’m excited for you.” Casey rummaged through Hope’s bag of slim makeup choices. “He’s handsome, pleasant, and it’s no secret he’s into you.”

“Mom.” Hope shook her head and tossed a puzzled glare at her mother. “How do you even know what that means?”

From her seat in the wheelchair, Casey straightened her spine and regarded her daughter with a haughty glare. “What do you think I do all day while you’re at work? I watch enough celebrity news shows and daytime talk shows to be up on millennial-speak. I know who’s hooking up with whom in Hollywood, and what housewife is currently under investigation. I’m a treasure trove of up-to-the minute gossip and hot topics of the day.”

Hope pulled the mascara wand away from her face, stared down at her mother with her mouth open, and then blinked. “Millennial-speak?”

Casey’s superior look turned regal. “You know what I mean. And it’s been way too long, Hope, since you did something other than work and take care of me.”

“I like doing those things.”

“Well, you deserve to have some fun, too. Be spoiled. Be treated like you’re special. This man obviously likes you.”

“He liked the way I skied. And I can’t believe you’re okay with me going out with him when I don’t know anything about him.”

Not necessarily true, her head countered. You know he kisses like a dream, makes your insides feel like they’re free-falling off a mountain ledge, and when he looks at you with such focus and concentration, a sensation of being the only girl on the planet washes through you.

“The definition of what dating is,” Casey said. “To find out about the other person you’re attracted to.”

“I’m not attracted to Tyler.”

Liar .

“I’m not going to even dignify that with a response.” Casey rolled her wheelchair to Hope’s closet. “Now. What are you going to wear on your feet?”

With her outfit decided, Hope kissed her mother’s cheek and promised she’d be back early.

“Don’t cut the date short on my account,” Casey had told her, practically shoving her out the door.

Preorder links:

Amazon  // The Wild Rose Press // Barnes and Noble // Apple

And look for the Origination story to the Deerbourne Inn, BY RESERVATION ONLY  by Barbara Edwards, releasing 10.8.18

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Filed under author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Deerbourne Inn, Hope's Dream, Romance, The Wild Rose Press

#preorder available for DEARLY BELOVED, bk 1 in A Match Made in Heaven

I’m over the moon because preorders are now available for DEARLY BELOVED, book 1 in a MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN.

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

Here are the links: – these are for ebooks only right now. As soon as I have the print order form I’ll post it!

Amazon // The WIld Rose Press // Barnes and Nobel

And because I’m such a nerd when it comes to things that are my book related, here are my Pinterest Board links for the O’Dowds so you can get a feel for how I picture the characters and the town of Heaven, NH

Maureen’s Aprons

Izzy’s Shower

Nanny Fee

O’dowd family and town

Sunday Snippets 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Family Saga, love, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Author Maria Imbalzano on Persistence, or Stubbornness?

Today, one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs, Maria Imbalzano, is joining me and we’re talking about the impetus behind her new series and the first book in it, SWORN TO FORGET, which released into the book-reading world in July 2018. Sit back and listen to how she came up with idea for her new series. It’s pretty cool!

Persistence or Stubbornness – Is there a difference?

Book 1 of my Sworn Sisters Series entitled Sworn to Forget  was released in July, 2018. However, the idea for this story/series began in 2001, a mere 17 years ago.

During that year, I began a manuscript about four high school girlfriends who were now in their early 30s. The manuscript was titled “Weekend Diaries” and the main story was about Samantha Winslow, a divorce lawyer in NYC, who learned her husband was cheating on her. Forced to take a leave of absence from work due to her mental state, she retreated to the Jersey Shore town of Crescent Beach for the summer. Her best friends helped her through the devastation of her separation and divorce from her husband and also encouraged her to open her heart to a new possibility – the local prosecutor who had also been Sam’s high school crush.

“Weekend Diaries” was very ambitious in that it also delved into the lives of each of Sam’s girlfriends and their life issues. I thought this manuscript was going to be my entrée into the publishing world. I had won the New Jersey Romance Writers’ Put Your Heart In a Book Contest in October of 2003 and Kristin Hannah was one of the judges! Soon thereafter, I obtained an agent who was excited about the story. All was right with the world.

Until it wasn’t. Two years later, I parted with my agent who hadn’t done much in the way of sending my manuscript out and I felt like I was starting all over. I wrote another book and then another book, which was actually my first published novel – “Unchained Memories.” After my second book was published – “Dancing in the Sand— I went back to “Weekend Diaries.” After all, it was the story of my heart and I couldn’t just stick in a drawer with my other unpublished manuscripts.

Revisiting Sam’s story in 2015, I decided to turn it into a series, giving each of the women their own story. I always thought Sam’s story would be the first of the series, but after writing Nicki’s story, that became the first (Sworn to Forget).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t send either of those books to my publisher until I had completed the first draft of the third and fourth books—just in case I changed something about one of the characters—which I did.

It wasn’t until November of 2017, that I finally submitted Book 1 of the Sworn Sisters Series to my editor and it was accepted. I can happily say that Sam’s story, Book 2 of the Sworn Sisters Series, entitled “Sworn to Remember” is currently under contract and with my editor.

These unfortunate women, Sam, Nicki, Alyssa and Denise, have waited 17 years to meet my readers – although they have not aged a day during that time.

My persistence, or some might say my stubbornness, has paid off. Readers are loving “Sworn to Forget” and I’m loving that these Sworn Sisters have made it out into the world.

Blurb for “Sworn to Forget”

By all appearances, Nicki Reading is a star. PR director at a major music label, Nicki is sharp, successful, independent and confidently calls the shots. She dates whom she wants, when she wants, with no strings attached.  But beneath that shine, loneliness flickers.  Events from her past prove love leads only to pain. Commitment is not an option.

Until Dex Hanover, a classy, principled, and prosperous CPA, enters the picture. Undeterred by his unhappy childhood, he has an amazing capacity to be both caring and generous; giving his free time as a mentor for a child from the projects. Dex wears his paternal yearnings on his sleeve and he is at a point in his life where commitment is the only option.

Despite their opposing views, Nicki and Dex ignite each other. But will events from their pasts ruin their challenging relationship and prevent them from experiencing everlasting love?

Excerpt:

“How did the seminar go?”

“Slowly.” His libido kicked up a notch as he raked his eyes over Nicki’s attire— black leather pants and a red silky halter top. He arched his brow. “What is your plan for us today?”

“I have options.” She took his arm, drawing him into her living room. “There’s an art show at the Third Eye Gallery. Ed Kolsky’s work. He’s kind of edgy, vibrant. I thought it would be fun. Or we can go to The Philadelphia Museum of Art. There’s a Picasso exhibit.”

She eyed him, awaiting his choice.

“At this moment, only one option seems preferable, and it’s not on your list.” He didn’t want some paintings to get in the way of other, more carnal possibilities.

She seized his tie and tugged him closer, giving him a sensuous kiss, proving she was game for his plan.

“Nice,” he whispered.

He tenderly traced a line from her temple to her collarbone, then boldly dipped his hand beneath the fabric of her top, caressing her breast. Her breath hitched, causing pure desire to roll through him.

He covered her mouth with his, pulling her into him, embracing her curves. Nicki’s hands roamed up his chest and over his shoulders, sliding his suit jacket off, then tossing it onto the couch. Next, she worked the knot of his tie until it slipped from around his neck and onto the floor in a snake-like coil.

Amusement tinged by desire flashed through Dex. “This is much more fun than analyzing art work. Although you look pretty close to a masterpiece to me.” His palm skimmed her arm, sending a promise of much more.

Buy Links for SWORN TO FORGET

B&N // Amazon // I-tunes // The Wild Rose Press // Kobo

A little about Maria:

I  was born in Trenton, NJ , in the heart of Chambersburg, the Italian section of town. My father was a barber and my mother, a State employee, who also taught me to jitterbug at the tender age of four. We loved to dance in the living room while watching American Bandstand. Hardly star material, but I was driven nonetheless. The product of a Catholic School education, I learned the basics, and took for granted I would be successful doing something, even if it entailed cutting hair. I attended Rutgers University as a psychology major, but after three years decided I liked political science better. My first job led me to Manhattan where I worked as a paralegal for four years before attending Fordham University School of Law. There I learned to think like a lawyer, write like a lawyer, and speak like a lawyer, all while living like a pauper in the city of my dreams. Living in New York City, albeit on a tight budget, allowed me to indulge my love of ballet, art museums, and theater. Did you know you could walk into a theater after intermission and no one checks your ticket? I enjoyed the second half of many plays as well as ballets.

My love of reading dates back to my childhood when I would borrow at least four books from the library every week. During the summer, I would sit in the house and read, until my mother, totally frustrated, would send me outside to play and lock me out. I always found my way back in. However, I must confess, I hated to write. In every English and writing class throughout college, I dreaded trying to be creative. As a friend from law school so aptly put it, “The reason why we’re here is because we don’t have a creative bone in our bodies.” I agreed.

Despite my dislike of creative writing back then, I embraced legal writing, and was first published in Volume 5 of the Fordham International Law Journal. My article was entitled “In re Mackin: Is the Application of the Political Offense Exception an Extradition Issue for the Judicial or Executive Branch?” I would advise you against reading it, for you will surely fall asleep.

Following law school, I returned to central New Jersey and took a job at a local law firm where I have been a partner for many years. My area of practice is divorce, and while emotions run high and clients are living through the worst time of their lives, I find the practice very satisfying. In addition to litigation, I have added mediation and collaborative divorce to my repertoire, which are much more civil ways of dealing with issues in family law cases.

In addition to practicing law and raising two daughters, I’ve been working towards my second career. Memoranda of Law and Legal Briefs, although fascinating, pale in comparison to writing romance/women’s fiction. So how does one transition from divorce lawyer by day to romance writer by night? That’s the beauty of having two distinct passions

You can find and follow Maria here:

Facebook // Twitter // Blog // Website //  Goodreads // Book Bub // Instagram //Amazon // Newsletter Signup Form

Peggy here: Maria, thanks for visiting today and for introducing us all to your new series!!! It was worth the 17 year wait, for sure!!!!

 

 

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N.N.Lights Book Heaven #Bookathon, part II

Hey hey hey!!! I’m one of the featured authors today on  NNLights Book Heaven Bookathon. Stop by and leave me a little love! There’s a rafflecopter and you all know I love me a good chance to win sumthin!!!

Rafflecopter link: giveaway

Open internationally
Runs September 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on October 1.

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Family Saga, love, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Sunday Snippet 9.2.18

I had so much fun posting something from the soon-to-be-released DEARLY BELOVED last Sunday, I figured I do another this week.

Blurb first, so you know what you’re reading ( heehee)

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in their hometown of Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with her demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s starting to feel she may never find her Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him that life is better if you’re single and unencumbered. But Slade loves his sister and he’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. One thing he doesn’t plan on when he signs the checks is losing his heart to his sister’s smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen is forced to choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

And now, a little sumthin’ sumthin:

“You’re early,” a familiar voice said from behind me.

How was it possible for anyone to look so damn good all the time? Slade was leaning against the doorjamb, arms crossed over his chest. He’d obviously just finished his run, evidenced by the steam gusting off his sweating body. His hair was plastered to his head, the ends spikey with perspiration. A saturated blue T-shirt molded and outlined every curve and bend of muscle in his torso and abdomen.

Every. Single. One.

The sweatpants dropping down his long, long legs rode low on his hips. Like the shirt, they clung to his thick, muscular thighs and did nothing to hide their power and bulging firmness.

Mother of God.

A ball of instant lust bounced through me, and I started to drool—drool! I swallowed, my neck muscles tight and rigid against the movement.

“Game day,” I managed to say. Okay, it was really more of a toad-like croak, but I couldn’t help it. The man turned every fiber of my being, every system in my body, every nerve ending, to the on position.

He smiled and my toes curled up inside my pumps.

“So this is your, what?” He moved toward me, stealthily, predatory, his hands dropping to his sides, flexing and extending his fingers as he walked. His lips lifted a bit. “Game day uniform?”

He stopped right in front of me. The surrounding air went up a good ten degrees around me from the heat sluicing off him, but my body responded as if it had been slapped with an icepack. My nipples pulled to two painful points inside my lace bra, and my skin prickled with goosebumps, precisely the way it had when he’d kissed me right before leaving my house several hours before. My nostrils flared, filled with the fragrance of the autumn woods he’d run through, mixed together with his natural, earthy, manly scent. Desire drenched me.

Slade reached out and pinched the lapel of my suit jacket. “This color is gorgeous on you.” His voice dropped to a sexy, just-out-of-bed timbre that made my knees wobble. “What’s it called?”

“Aub-aubergine. You know? Like eggplant?”

His left eyebrow lifted, and his eyes twinkled with mirth.

“It’s more like an autumn plum, and since Isabella wanted a fall color scheme, I thought this would be a good way to blend in when I’m running around and making sure things go as planned.” I swallowed again. “I don’t like standing out or drawing attention to myself when I’m working. I want people focused on the bride and the groom, so”—I shrugged—“this seemed like the ideal color for blending. So, yeah. Um…aubergine.”

I really needed to get some kind of therapy to correct this nervous babbling Tourette’s.

Slade’s grin turned wicked, his eyes filling with heat. His fingers clenched my lapel and pulled me in closer with a simple tug. My senses were quite completely filled with the very essence of him. “Am I making you nervous?”

“You’re making me insane,” I blurted. Lowering my voice, I added, “Do you know how incredibly hot you are right now, all sweaty and perfect and—” I waved my hand in front of his body, in lieu of finding the right way to describe what he looked like.

Is orgasmalicious a word?

That wicked mouth widened, and I knew exactly how Red Riding Hood felt when the Wolf grinned at her—like she was about to be devoured. Whole.

A breath later, I was.

Slade’s kiss sent an erotic shudder down my spine so powerful, my heart stopped then kicked back in at twice the normal rate. The only part of his body in contact with mine was his mouth, but he had me in a stronghold I couldn’t move out of. Not that I wanted to. Ever.

With innate mastery, his tongue parted my lips and feasted. He cupped my chin to hold me in place and tilted my head back a bit. The angle allowed him full power over the kiss, which I willingly gave up. I couldn’t have fought for control even if I wanted to, which—believe me—I didn’t.

Did I call him a master at the art of the kiss? What’s higher than a master? A prefect? A god? Whatever it was, Slade was so far up the scale, he made his own title.

He kept his body separated from mine, and I instinctively knew it was because I was dressed for the long day ahead of us while he was still in sweaty running clothes and needed a shower. I had an overpowering urge to step into him, wrap my arms around his trim waist, and forget everything. One of us needed to be the stronger person here, and I’m so glad it was Slade because if he’d even shifted a whisper closer to me, I would have put my yearning into action.

All too soon he pulled back. It took me a few moments to open my eyes and focus. When I did, he was grinning down at me again, his head titled to one side and his fists back on his hips.

“Insane, huh?” He shook his head. “Now you know what I feel like every time we’re in the same room and I can’t touch you. Insane describes it perfectly.”

A lump formed in the back of my throat. If I opened my mouth the frog brigade would croak again, so I took a few calming breaths instead.

“Colleen.”

My name had never sounded so sweet. A million tiny fluttering butterflies beat against my spandex-free tummy muscles. There was something hidden in the way he said my name. Something…promising.

Slade shook his head and stared down at the floor for a second, before pulling his gaze back to mine. A long, deep exhale filled with resignation blew passed his crooked grin. “Not the right time,” he murmured, almost more to himself, than to me. “I’ve gotta go grab a shower, get some breakfast. You’ll be around?”

“I’m taking Isabella and the girls to the beauty salon in a bit. As soon as we get back, it’ll be time for her to get dressed and ready.”

Was that regret in his eyes?

“Charity and Kolby will be here, though, if you need anything. Maureen’s available, too. Just ask.”

Slade took a step closer to me again. “I wish this day was over already.” His voice was soft and low, and a firestorm of need flamed low in my belly. “I wish I was back in your bed, this day behind us. I’d be able to take my time with you, knowing I had all the time in world. All the time to make you”—he leaned a little closer, dropped his voice to a caress—“scream my name over and over.”

What would it have cost me to admit to him I wanted that, too? Too much, at the moment. “Don’t say that.” I took his hand in mine. “Don’t wish your sister’s day away. She deserves an entire day filled with wonderful, lifelong memories. Don’t wish it away for her.”

He covered my hand with his free one, sandwiching mine between them. “I’m not. I want Izzy to have her moment, I do. I just want you, too.” A thin line spread between his brows. “I-it’s just…”

“What?” I squeezed his hand. “Tell me.

His breath was deep and if I had to hazard a guess, troubled. With another shake of his head, he said, “Nothing. Sorry. I’m in a mood. I’ve been thinking about potential parental drama. Today is the first time Janelle and my father have seen one another in a while. I’m not anticipating a happy reunion. For me, either.”

Why didn’t I believe seeing his father was the root of his unease?

Before I could probe further, he stepped back. “Listen. I’m gonna go get cleaned up. I know you’re going to be busy all day, but remember your promise.” That penetrating gaze of his seared right thought me. “I’m collecting at the reception, and you’re not gonna worm out of it.”

Like I would? Please. My parents didn’t raise an idiot, just a nervous twitterer. “I always keep my promises,” I told him.

“I’m betting on it.” He kissed my cheek and left me.

Something was up with him, weighing on his mind. While he might be a little anxious about how his father and ex-stepmom would behave was probably true, I’d wager the secret stash of chocolate covered peppermint candies hidden in my office drawer for emotional emergencies, that wasn’t all that was bothering him.

Tentative publication date is November 14, but I’ll be keeping you updated, peeps!

Find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

 

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Do I have a backlist?

At RWA 2018 I attended a workshop about making the most of your backlist, and by making the most the presenter meant sales. So, this is good question for a writer to be asking him or herself.

So, what is a backlist? Well, it’s a publisher’s list of older books still in print. The definitive word in that sentence is older. But what constitutes older? How many years or even decades is considered enough for a book to be truly defined as backlisted? 

I’m asking this because I had my very first book published in 2015. That’s only 3 years ago. (Sometimes, it seems like 300, but that’s just me!) Now, in no one’s mind would 3 years past be considered old. But, believe it or not, in the publishing industry, it is. The reasons vary, but if you’ve ever heard this phrase: You’re only as good as your last book – you’ll know it’s true, because each time a writer releases a new book, that becomes the yardstick readers measure you by because it’s the most current, and available in the here and now.

I realize what I just wrote may be a little convoluted, so let me ‘esplain.

Most well-known writers put out a book a year, maybe 2, or if you’re Jill Shalvis or Nora Roberts, 4 or more! I’m not either, but since 2015 I’ve averaged 3 a year. This year it’ll be four, which is giving me agita even as I write this.

But I digress…

Since most authors have a lag period of about 6-12 months between releases, they don’t have much to promote while they are writing/editing/editing some more/ their coming soon book. Here’s where the back list comes in. I’m going  use myself here s an example because it’s easier. My first book, Skater’s Waltz, released in March 2015.

It was promoted heavily for a few months until my second book came out. Same scenario until my third book released. By the time the 4th and 5th books went out into the world, no one was  hearing about Book 1 which started the entire 5 book series.

So. With each new addition to the series, I tweeted/facebooked/instagrammed – you get the picture: I used my social media sites – to REMIND people about the first book, the one that started the series ( and my new life!) and put all the buy links up with each promo. I was lucky enough that each time I had a new book come out, I also had people buying the previous books because of that promo. I’ve written my series as stand alone books, which means you don’t need to read the one before the newest one to know what’s going on, but readers still went ahead and purchased those previous books.

In essence, this was me promoting my backlist.

Another way to get readers to read the books that came before your soon to be released one and utilize your back list effectively is to have a sale. Each time my newest book was a month or so from release date, I asked my publisher(s) to put the previous book I released on sale and then promoted the sale to try and garner new readers. It worked.

This holiday season I have a new San Valentino Christmas story coming out called CHRISTMAS and CANOLLIS. I don’t have the exact release date yet, but when I do I’ll be having a sale of my previous San Valentino Christmas Story A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS to try and get people interested in the new book.

The theory if you like this one, you’re sure to like that one, is the prompt for this. BTW – just a little side note: I’m having a cover reveal of Christmas and Canollis soon, so stay tuned!!!

Get the idea now of why a backlist is important to promote if you’re an author? And it doesn’t matter if your backlist is from 1 year ago and has 2 books on it, or 10 years ago with 30. ALL your books should be promoted as frequently as you’re comfortable doing.

Backlists. They’re a good thing for a writer.

When I’m not pushing, er promoting my backlist, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

 

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Sunday Snippet – Dearly Beloved 8.26.18

From my upcoming DEARLY BELOVED, Book 1 in the Match Made in Heaven series.

Chapter One

“9-1-1! Colleen, I’ve got a 9-1-1 in the Bawl Room!”

I cringed at the crisis call blaring through my earpiece. I hated emergency calls, especially when everything was about to start. To pull off the perfect wedding, just like when invading an enemy country during wartime, you have to run on a strict, unbendable time schedule. There was no room for deviation. A 9-1-1 call was the equivalent of a ticking time bomb, set to blow up the whole operation.

“On my way,” I said. “Any bloodshed?”

“None so far,” my assistant Charity Quinlan replied, her small voice breathless with urgency. “But it’s coming. Get here. I don’t know how much longer I can keep them from killing one another.”

I shot from my command post at the back of my hometown church in Heaven, New Hampshire, and sprinted down the long corridor toward the kid’s section, affectionately known as the Bawl Room, which was the staging area for the soon-to-start wedding I was in charge of. The small space was given this moniker because it was where parents of unruly children shuttled their little miscreants when their behavior disrupted the congregation during Mass. My sisters and I had been banished to the room every Sunday of our childhood.

I took a calming breath in front of the closed door—a door that did nothing to muffle raised, angry, and shrill voices—and ran a hand across my quaking abdominal muscles. They’d been throbbing and pulsing like a precision quartz timepiece from the confining, belly-flattening, spandex undergarment I wore to mask the extra eight pounds I’d recently packed on.

I said a silent prayer to St. Gabriel, the patron saint of strength. “Breathe,” I whispered, making it a plea. “Just breathe.”

Placing a broad smile across my face, I pushed through the door and entered into a tempest I regarded as the tenth circle of Hell: ex-wives.

Two lavishly dressed women—one in her fifties, the other ten years younger, and both trying desperately to look in their thirties—stood, dyed stiletto to dyed stiletto, glaring at one another. Both had fisted hands planted on their hips, shoulders hunched, perfectly coiffed heads bent, ready to do battle.

“Who do you think you are?” one screeched at the other. “You’re not her mother. You’re nobody in this wedding, just my ex’s current squeeze of the second, so back the hell off. Now!”

The woman being shrilled at, all six foot of her in icepick heels, leaned forward and pulled her outlined, lipstick-enhanced mouth back into a perfect teeth-baring snarl. She jabbed one of her french-manicured tips at her aggressor and ground out, “I’ve been married to him longer than you were, bitch, and you know it, so who you calling squeeze of the second, because from where I’m standing, you were more like a mistake who got knocked up than a wife any day of the week.”

The elder of the two was set to pounce, aiming for her rival’s perfect camera-ready face so I did a quick little jog and insinuated myself between them.

“Ladies.” My gaze ping-ponged from one to the other. “Please. The wedding is about to begin. We can’t have this kind of behavior.”

“She started it,” the actual mother of the bride, Mary Ann Stively said, pointing at her ex-husband’s current wife. “She says she should go down the aisle after me because she’s married to my loser ex—”

“Who’s the father of the bride,” JoEllen, wife number two, said. She turned her back on wife one and faced me. “You’re the wedding planner, Colleen. You know proper protocol says I should go down the aisle right before the party, since I’m married to the father of the bride. I looked it up, read all about wedding etiquette and procedures.”

“In what? Your current edition from slut-of-the-month book club?” Mary Ann spat.

JoEllen’s eyes slitted under penciled eyebrows standing stationary on her unlined and unmoving forehead, a paralytic effect—I surmised—from years of Botox injections.

“Why, you—” She inched forward and tried to reach by me, but eight years of track in school and four more in college gave me a decided advantage in swiftness. I blocked her, my arms splaying out at my sides so she couldn’t go around me.

My left eye started to twitch—never a good sign—and I knew I had to set this situation to rights. Now. The wedding was scheduled to begin in less than ten minutes.

“Mrs. Stively.” Both women stared at me. “Um, the current Mrs. Stively.”

JoEllen pulled herself up to her towering height and gave her paid-for breasts a good forward thrust. “What?”

“I know you feel you deserve to walk down right before the wedding party—”

“I do.”

“—but I’m sorry. Whatever you’ve read stating that was the correct procession is incorrect. The actual mother of the bride is the one who immediately precedes the party. Unless, of course she’s not present or deceased. Then it would be proper for a stepmother to be the last person down the aisle before the attendants and bride.”

JoEllen slanted a deathly glare at Mary Ann. I swear I could hear her brain running through scenarios on how to commit murder in the next five minutes.

“Now, I need you both to take your places so we can get this wedding started. Stop arguing and let’s go.”

I’d dealt with these two overbearing women many times in the past few months and knew neither would give an inch, or relinquish control, of their own accord. Since they continued to stand rock-still, daggers zipping between them, I did what I always do in situations like this and got physical.

I grabbed the first Mrs. Stively firmly by the forearm and gave her a good yank while motioning to Charity, who’d been cowering behind a pew, to do the same to Stively spouse number two.

Charity, at a spit above five foot, was no match for the lengthy, stilettoed second wife, but what she lacked in height, she more than made up for in determination. With a firm hand draped along JoEllen’s back, Charity began walking, propelling the woman forward.

“Can you believe that bitch?” Mary Ann asked as I escorted her down the long hallway to the back of the church where the procession stood, waiting. I continued to hold her forearm in a grip of steel in the event she planned to escape and go back to punch her replacement.

“Forget JoEllen,” I commanded. “It’s your daughter’s day. Focus on her. You don’t want Annie to remember this day filled with problems or fights. You want her to have the most wonderful memories of her wedding, don’t you?”

Before she could reply, I steamrolled right over her. “Of course you do. Fighting with JoEllen serves no purpose and will only upset Annie. Take a quick, deep breath if she annoys you again and ignore her. Believe me, you’ll feel better for it.”

I knew I was telling a bald-faced lie.

Mary Ann and JoEllen both wanted to scratch the other’s eyes out, and today’s incident was another in a long line of antagonistic outbreaks since Annie had retained me as her wedding planner. The two Stively wives despised one another for various and obvious reasons. Their only compatible redeeming value was their mutual unconditional love for the bride-to-be.

In the vestibule, the melodic strings of a Mozart concerto serenaded the waiting congregation.

Annie Stively’s parents had spared no expense on their cherished only daughter. From a twenty-thousand-dollar, custom-made, hand-stitched, lace and satin gown complete with a five-thousand-dollar tiara and train, to the five-hundred-dollar-an-hour stretch limousine waiting outside the church entrance, prepared to whisk the happy couple off to their reception a mere five minutes away, Dr. and the two Mrs. Stivelys set out to give their little princess everything she desired in a wedding.

With my help, they had.

“Mom? JoEllen? What’s going on?” The bride glanced from her mother to her stepmother, concern creasing her flawless brow.

“A few last-minute details we needed to go over,” I answered before either woman could. “They wanted everything to be perfect for you. It’s all settled now, correct, ladies?” With an arched and determined glare, I all but dared them to contradict me.

Both women, with uncharacteristic placidity, nodded.

“Good. Now, let’s get you all lined up, and we can get this beautiful girl married.”

I went into command mode, corralled the wedding party into their appropriate places, and gave the all-start command. “Let’s roll.”

Once the bridal party, including the two warring Mrs. Stivelys, were all seated, the soft, haunting strings of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D drifted through the air.

I stood behind one door, Charity the other. On my count, we threw open the doors wide at the same time. A collective wave of sighs blew through the church as the first view of the stunning bride broke through. While she floated up the aisle on her father’s arm, my photographer darted ahead of them, filming, as they slowly made their way to the altar. Charity and I closed the doors behind us and slipped into the last pew to watch the wedding.

At the front of the church, Dr. Stively stopped, lifted his daughter’s veil, and then kissed her cheek. I could hear dueling sniffling from the front pew, Mom and Stepmother each trying to outdo the other in the waterworks department. Once Dr. Stively took his seat between his first and second wives, the congregation sat as a unit.

“Did you check to make sure the best man has the rings?” I asked Charity, looking toward the stable of tuxedoed ushers at the altar. The groom’s younger brother looked as if last night’s bachelor party had been a rousing success, evidenced by the pasty tinge to his skin, the railroad track redness covering the whites of his eyes, and the none-too-subtle tremor in his hands.

“He does,” Charity replied.

“Did Devon bring the basket with the bird seed?”

“He did.”

Off to one side of the altar, I spied my trusty and talented photographer being as unobtrusive as possible while he captured the happy event through his lens.

“Kolby has everything he needs?”

“He does.”

When I slanted her a look, Charity grinned. “And before you ask, I already called the inn. Everything is ready. The champagne is chilling, and the band is warming up. Maureen told me to tell you not to fret. She’s got it all covered. No worries.”

Two of the most overused and least accurate words in the English language, especially when speaking about a wedding.

With as deep a breath as I could manage (I really was going to throw in the towel with this pseudo-girdle and cut back on the carbs instead), I sat back and watched the ceremony I’d put together, and prayed the rest of the day would go on without any further problems or arguments between warring family factions.

What’s that old saying? Man makes plans and God laughs?

Yeah…the story of my life.

 

DEARLY BELOVED, coming November, 2018. Buy links coming soon!

 

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A sit-down interview with author Mary Morgan and Rory MacGregor

You all know by now that I lovelovelove when one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs comes for a visit. Today I have award winning author MARY MORGAN visiting and she’s brought along her hero in her newest book OATH OF A WARRIOR, Rory MacGregor with her for a little sit down tete-a-tete.

Let’s get right to it!

“Morning, Mary. ‘Morning, Rory.

Hello Peggy! Thanks for allowing us to visit your lovely blog. Rory MacGregor has graciously agreed to be here today. Though he can’t stay long (terms set forth from the Fae realm), I am confident he can share some insight into his story and the Fae realm.

Peggy: Since you’ve been on our earth for thousands of years, can you share with us how old you are?

Rory: (He arches an eyebrow in amusement) Old is a term for the weathered foliage in our kingdom. I am considered ancient by your standard of years.

Peggy: When Prince Conn sent you back in time to heal your wounds, were you prepared to do so, or did you have an alternate plan?

Rory: At the time, I was standing on the abyss of darkness. My soul was entering what we call the Realm of Shadows. It is a desolate, bleak, and tortured existence with no hope of returning. The prince was unwise in sending me back in time in my condition. Regardless, I am fortunate that the circumstances proved to be in our favor—mine and Erina’s. I will be forever grateful that the Fates granted us this second chance.

Peggy: Can you share what drew you to Erina?

Rory: (Leaning back, he smiles) Her soul called out to mine, and I accepted. Furthermore, it was her great love of the land and animals. Endearing qualities, I admire.

Peggy: What is one word that best describes you?

Rory: It would depend on whom ye asked. Since my brother, Liam, is not here to offer a protest, I would say honorable.

Peggy: Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Rory: Aye, she kens me well, and I am sorry for causing her so much angst in writing this tale.

Peggy: What is your greatest fear?

Rory: To speak a fear out loud is to encourage its existence. I’d rather not bring misfortune to our life.

Peggy: What is the perfect romantic date in the Fae realm?

Rory: Holding Erina in my arms spread out among the heather and foxglove on a warm summer night as we watch the stars near the Waterfall of Life.

Peggy: What is your favorite color?

Rory: The rose blush that begins on my lovely wife’s face, and then continues to deepen the more I trail kisses over her skin.

Peggy: What is your favorite drink?

Rory: Honeyed ambrosia, especially procured from the Fae Pleasure Gardens.

Peggy: What is your favorite dessert?

Rory: (A slow sensuous smile appears) My wife, Erina.

Peggy: Is your book part of a series? What does the future hold for the readers of the series?

Rory: Aye, ’tis a series. My brother, Liam’s story is next. ’Tis called, Trial of a Warrior. In addition, I believe the author is planning a fourth book on our mentor and one of the greatest Fenian Warriors in the Fae realm, Aidan Kerrigan. His story is called, Destiny of a Warrior.

Peggy: I’m in serious love right now, folks!!! Le Swoon!!!!!!! Thanks, Mary, for bringing the delicious Rory for a visit today!

 Can a timeline be rewritten for love?

Blurb:

“You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!”

Fenian Warrior, Rory MacGregor’s love conquests are legendary, but he has never spoken of the one mortal female who captured his heart. After his dark secret is finally revealed, he is ordered to return and seal the wounds left open by her death. Yet, he finds the timeline altered and swears an oath to rewrite fate, even if it brings about his own death.

Erina MacIntyre is known for her healing herbs and love charms. Determined to aid others, she refuses to listen to the whispers that call her a witch. When a Highlander steps forth into her path, he ignites a thread of strange familiarity and sparks a flame of desire she is unable to control.

Can the destiny of two lovers find love once more among the ashes of death and betrayal? Or will history repeat itself, leaving a scorching path of destruction for both mortals and Fae alike?

Excerpt:

“Erina, mo ghrá,” he groaned, taking her mouth with savage intensity. She tasted of honey and spices, filling him completely and easing the torment that continually plagued him.

Breaking free, he placed his hands on either side of the door. Giving her all of him required something more from Erina. Without the assurance of accepting him for what he was, Rory would be a lost man.

“Are ye certain ye want to ken all of me? I want ye as sure as the sun rises and sets over the land each day, but ken this, Erina—there is more to me than a simple bedding. There are things about me that might frighten ye. What I’m about to share with ye may cause ye to question my existence, or worse, my sanity.”

Her laugh was seductive and soothing as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “From the moment ye stepped through those trees that first day, I realized ye were not like any man I had encountered. It was as if the trees parted and ye came forth from inside them.” She brushed her fingers along his brow. “For one, ye have the most mesmerizing eyes and they shift colors.”

“And the second?”

Her face turned a rosy glow, yet, she held his gaze. “I thought your body chiseled from the old Gods, especially with all the markings on your back and arms.”

His gaze swept over hers. “I am nae God, Erina, though some would call me a demon.”

She traced a finger down along his arm and shook her head. “Ye are not a monster, but I am nae fool. Ye are not like other men, Rory. I have seen the markings on your body elsewhere.” Her finger curved around his shoulder and he trembled. “They are similar to the ones on the standing stones carved by the ancients.”

Rory fought the tide of emotions sweeping through him. She had come to the conclusion all on her own. “And ye would not flee if I told ye I was one of those ancients? One where the bards wove tales of giants who lived thousands of years ago among your own people? Others would call the story incredulous and filled with heathen words.” He held his breath, fearing her reply.

The smile she gave him speared straight to his soul. “Nae. I would not flee.”

Buy Links: Amazon // Nook // iBooks // The Wild Rose Press //

A wee bit about Mary Morgan:

Award-winning Celtic paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to retur

Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stori

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

You can connect with Mary here:

Website //Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Amazon // Pinterest // Instagram // BookBub

 

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