Tag Archives: Visiting author

A visit with author NANCY FRASER…and a new book release!

One of my favorite people on the planet – and fellow author, Nancy Fraser, is visiting me today to talk about her new book HER TIMELESS GAMBLE…

 

When Matthew McAlister pulls a nearly-drowned woman from the mucky waters of the Mississippi, he has no idea what’s in store for him. Or, how easily he’ll willingly give up his carefree, love-em-and-leave-em lifestyle for a chance at real happiness.

Kathryn (Kate) Lowell can’t believe her bad luck. Or the fact she’s somehow been transported from the twenty-first century back to the post Civil War south. Worse yet, into the arms of the one man she grew up hating. The man she blames for her father’s recent demise.

Can these two off-kilter and infinitely stubborn individuals fight their mutual attraction? Or, will they give in to the inevitable? And, when the time comes, will Kate choose to stay with Matt in the past, or return to her former life?

Kate shifted the neon green tote bag higher on her shoulder. The added weight of the strongbox containing her father’s few possessions made the short walk to the end of the pier more difficult than it should have been. Behind her, the sun beat down mercilessly, its searing rays reflecting off the water and heating the dock’s wooden planks, until Kate could feel their warmth through the soles of her canvas shoes.

Less than a dozen feet separated her from the ghostly remains of the devil her father had chased for the majority of his life. The only visible signs of the Lucky Lady’s existence were the tarnished hull and splintered railings that shone as she listed on her side in an unforgiving river.

She stopped at the end of the dock and surveyed her surroundings. The waters of the Mississippi River were a sickening muddy brown, their banks strewn with broken bottles and empty fast-food containers. Graffiti covered the retaining walls, scribbled in vibrant shades of red, black and orange, a painter’s palate of obscenities intensified by the bright sunlight.

Kate lowered her head, intent on one last moment of reflection, one last farewell. She rummaged inside her pocket for the envelope of flower petals she planned to scatter across her father’s watery grave, encountering instead the cool surface of her father’s silver dollar. A treasure from the early 1860s and Joseph Lowell’s second most prized possession, the coin had been found at the water’s edge by the coast guard recovery team and given to Kate when she arrived to settle her father’s affairs.

Clutching the large coin tightly in her hand, she whispered, “Why daddy? Why didn’t you get off the boat while you still could? I wish I knew where you were.” Kate tucked the coin in her pocket, and drew a deep breath for strength. “I wish I had one more chance to tell you how much I love you.”

Come back, my love.”

The voice…the one from her dreams…echoed around her, through her. Kate spun quickly, bracing herself for a face-to-face encounter. The weight of the tote bag threw her off balance. She did her best to compensate, stretching her arms out at her sides for balance and dropping her purse in the process.

Too late she realized how close she’d wandered to the edge of the dock. With barely enough time to draw a breath, Kate fell backward into the water, the rock-like weight of the strongbox dragging her deeper, the murky water of the Mississippi River swallowing her whole.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: // Apple: // Kobo://B&N/Nook: // Universal: //Custom Link: // BookBub://

 

NANCY FRASERJumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Nancy has published over thirty-five books in full-length, novella, and short format.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

You can connect with Nancy here:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Bookbub ~ Instagram

Amazon Author Page ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest ~ YouTube ~ Newsletter

Trailer Link:

Puzzle Link: HTG Jigsaw Puzzle

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WILD CARD UNDERCOVER – A re-release of a favorite book by KARI LEMOR

I read my favorite books more than once – and author Kari Lemor’s books are some I’ve read even more than that! She’s re-releasing her  LOVE ON THE LINE series in 2021 with new covers and added material.  3 new books  are in the collection ( later in the year) and today, the first in the series – WILD CARD UNDERCOVER – comes out. Read all about it:

Some gambles are worth the risk . . .

Trapped in the nightmare of Miami’s illicit underworld, Meg O’Hara has no choice but work for a high-stakes criminal to repay a debt. Freedom is a pipe dream, until FBI agent Christopher Shaunessy offers her a way out. It won’t be easy, especially playing the role of lover to the charismatic agent. Getting the goods on her boss could mean her life, a risk she’ll take to be rid of the rat’s vulgar advances.

Chris Shaunessy doesn’t break rules, but working with Meg is pushing even his well-honed control to the limit. Personal involvement should never mix in the sordid world of organized crime. They’re playing a perilous game. Giving into temptation could be his biggest mistake because the kisses they share might be more dangerous than the case…

Heat level/warnings: some cursing, sensual scenes (PG 13) sexual chemistry, some violence

Reviews:

RT Book Reviews says: “Wild Card Undercover will capture your heart with its humor and witty characters. A knight in shining armor rescuing a damsel in distress while infiltrating the mob is no small task. Kudos to Lemor who has gracefully mixed a femme fatale with a dash of The Godfather and tossed it together with romance and laughter.”

“Intriguing and dangerous- when it comes to the take down- Kari Lemor kept the pace fast and heart wrenching. Sweet and laced with sexy banter- the entire story was emotional and Chris and Meg were a dynamic couple.”

“The story was suspenseful and fast paced, and the chemistry between the characters was sizzling.”

 

Excerpt:

She finished chewing the piece of cantaloupe she’d been devouring and said, “Juice would be great. Thanks. I didn’t mean to sleep so late, but the bed was amazingly comfortable. I don’t think you’re ever going to be able to get me out of here now.”

He poured juice into a glass and sat opposite her. “Glad you enjoyed it. Not everyone sleeps well in a new bed. Obviously, it didn’t affect you.”

She looked up, sheepish, taking a big bite of the cinnamon muffin in her hand. “I’m so tired after work, I could probably sleep on the side of the road.”

“I wouldn’t suggest trying that around here. You’re more than welcome to keep using the bed.”

As she grabbed a juicy, red strawberry, she rolled her eyes. When was the last time she’d eaten? He’d have to make sure to get some good food in here for her. She needed to be full strength. Hopefully, she liked home cooking, since room service hadn’t been part of the deal with the hotel.

He was sure she was a strong one, considering what she’d been through the last year or so. She’d have to be to continue day after day on her feet, then go home to that shithole of a room. Her determination in keeping her family safe was admirable.

“So, what are the plans for today?” she asked as she shoved the rest of the muffin into her mouth.

He faked a pensive look. “Well, I was thinking I’d hang out by the pool and work on my tan.”

He laughed at her exasperated glare. “It’s all part of the undercover assignment, sweetie. You can’t go running around sticking your nose in people’s business. You have to ease yourself in, slowly, so they don’t suspect anything.”

“Sweetie?” Her eyebrow raised, her tone derisive.

He threw her a crooked smile. “All part of the undercover assignment, sweetie.”

She groaned. “Do I have to call you some stupid, sappy nickname, too?”

“Only if you want to. You could make it something to show what you think of me. You know, like Stud, Hotcakes, or how about Big Daddy?”

She looked like she didn’t know whether to laugh or throw up at his suggestions.

“I know.” Her eyes gleamed. “How about Cuddlebunny?”

Was she serious? “Nah, Chris is fine.”

“Chris Martin, though, right? Shaunessy is your real name?”

“It’s actually Christopher Martin Shaunessy. It’s easier to keep things simple when undercover if you can.”

“I picked Katie for a similar reason. One of my brothers calls me Maggie Kate, and I figured I would respond to it. Harrington, O’Hara, close enough. It’s worked for me so far.”

“It’ll continue to work, until we can put Moreno behind bars

Get your copy, and Read the first chapters on many of these sites:

Amazon US   // Amazon CA   // Amazon Au   Amazon UK  // Amazon DE //  Amazon IN // B&N  //iBooks //  Google //  Kobo //  Books2Read //

Follow Kari on social media:

Website  // FB // Twitter  //Instagram //  BookBub //  Goodreads //

 

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A little something new…Guest Hostess Karen C. Whalen

Today, something a little different. I’m turning my blog over to one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs, Karen C. Whalen, for the day. Karen has new book out in her culinary cozy mystery series, the dinner club murder mysteries, titled  NOT ACCORDING TO FLAN. As a writer, Karen is going to talk to you today about that wonderful thing every writer needs to establish in their stories and between their characters: CONFLICT.

She’s also giving you a litte sumthin’ sumthin from her book, so stayed tuned to the end!

Please welcome, Karen C. Whalen.

Conflict has been called the most important element in fiction, an essential crafting tool every writer must master. Novels demand conflict and tension to compel readers to keep turning the pages.

Adding conflict was the subject of a writing exercise in a workshop I attended a few years ago. The first step was to jump to the middle of our WIP (work in progress). My middle was at page one-hundred. Then, we were instructed to add conflict on that very page by having the characters argue. They were not to have a nice, gentlemanly disagreement, no. The characters had to insult each other and call one another names. The instructor required a knock-down fight of the blow-out variety, not a puny squabble. When I started the assignment I wondered how in the world my main characters could argue. They were friends in a cozy gourmet dinner club in a cozy murder mystery. How was I going to toss in the kind of verbal exchange that would endure to a final draft?

I started reading the scene on page one hundred. Even before I finished the page, an argument popped into my corrupt and depraved mind. I let it all hang out, the taunting and the mud-slinging, all of it. The scene was much improved. The conflict added depth to the dialogue, enhanced the theme of the book, and brought the characters to life. Even I wanted to read to the end to see how the characters resolved their issues.

Why? Because in real life friends do not talk to each other that way. Friends don’t insult each other; they don’t call each other names. Friendships, in reality, are fragile. But friends think those angry thoughts, they just don’t say them out loud. Not if they want to stay friends. Admit it, you’ve played such an argument out on the pages of your imagination many times. The reader’s fantasy is fulfilled in the conflict on the written page.

Not only do readers crave the conflict, they need a satisfactory resolution as well. End results are impossible to control in real life, but the creator of the characters can control the outcome. At the end of my new and improved scene, the first character apologized to the second character who said, “No, I totally see your point of view.” Not every clash of character is going to resolve this way, nor would we want it to. At least not every time. But, hey, wouldn’t our lives be wonderful if we could resolve our arguments so happily?

That’s not reality. That’s why it’s called fiction.

Like everybody else I had a best friend growing up. We were best buds from grade school to high school to college. We swore we’d always be best friends. And you can guess what happened. She said I said something that hurt her feelings. I don’t even remember saying what she said I said. As I said, friendships are fragile. And how I would like to rewrite that dialogue!

And I can.

I can create my own comfy world in my own cozy murder mysteries. My characters are friends, good friends. When they argue, they kiss and make up (usually) and the reader keeps turning those pages to make sure.

In the last part of the writing exercise, we were instructed to examine every page of our WIP, every single page, not just every scene, and add conflict to each page, to create a page-turner, can’t-put-it-down novel.

When I heard that, I wanted to punch out that instructor. Not really, because he was so right. And besides, I live in reality where people restrain themselves most of the time. But in fiction, there are endless opportunities for confrontation and clash…and conflict.

Blurb: NOT ACCORDING TO FLAN

Jane Marsh wants to shake off the empty nest syndrome, plus the notoriety of the death of her first and second husbands, by starting over in a new place. She sells her family home to move to a far northern suburb of Denver. At the same time, Jane’s dinner club is undergoing a transformation, and a new man—a gourmet chef—enters her life. But, things turn sour when, on the day Jane moves into her new home, she discovers a dead body. She cannot feel at home in this town where she’s surrounded by cowboys, horse pastures, and suspects. Not to mention where a murder was committed practically on her doorstep. How can she focus on romance and dinner clubs when one of her new friends—or maybe even her old ones—might be a murderer?

Excerpt :

Slam! Chink. The brown packing box fell off the dolly with the tinkling sound of glass on glass. Jane sighed as the mover stacked the box labeled “kitchen” back on the dolly and thumped down the basement stairs with it.

Never mind. She’d sort it out later. She slipped outside into the warmth of the early September, blue-sky, Colorado day to check on her puppies sniffing around their new territory in the backyard. Leaning over the deck railing facing the lot to the east, she gazed into the bottom of an open excavation where a basement was being poured. Someone had parked a tractor down in the dirt, and near it a white cowboy hat lay on the ground. A man’s hand stretched toward the hat’s brim. Had someone fallen into the pit?

Jane bounded down the deck stairs and out the wooden gate, only stopping for a moment to secure the latch. She rounded the corner of her new house and rushed to the adjoining lot, pausing near the edge of the concrete that formed the basement’s foundation.

A man was shoved against the corner of the foundation wall. His torso and legs were partly covered with dirt. The cowboy hat concealed the top of his head. His left hand almost touched the brim, as if he were about to take off his hat and say “Howdy do.” A large manila envelope lay a foot or so away from his other outstretched hand.

On the envelope tall, block letters spelled out: “Jane Marsh—welcome to your new home.”

Jane’s hands flew to her throat. “Ethan,” she breathed.

Her eyes took in the three cement walls rising out of the dirt floor and at the rear, a crumbling slope of dirt spilling into the pit. Starting toward the back slope, she hesitated. The soil might not be stable. She lifted two planks, plunked the long ends of the boards into the pit, and climbed down.

The smell of turned earth filled her nose as she skirted the tractor, a small, front-end loader. Falling to her knees, she lifted the cowboy hat, then dropped it. She felt the man’s wrist for a pulse. It wasn’t there. Then her hand moved toward the envelope with her name on it, but she drew back.

After yanking a cell phone out of the back pocket of her worn jeans, she punched in 9-1-1. “A man fell into a construction pit… I’m pretty sure he’s dead…no, he’s beyond help.” The dispatcher asked for the address, and she gave it to him in a shaky voice. “Yes, I’ll stay on the line.” The makeshift bridge was harder to get back up than it was to get down. After making it to the top, she crossed the lot and rushed through her front door.

“Caleb!”

“Yeah? Whatzup, Mom?” Her grown son appeared from the kitchen. He was almost a foot taller than she, but with the same slim build and a cap of the same rich brown hair.

“Ethan Valrod. The construction manager for the builder. He fell into the basement pit next door. He’s dead.” Breathless, she took a deeper breath to stop her ears buzzing and her heart pounding.

“What the?” Caleb’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.

“Ethan Valrod’s dead. I’ve called 9-1-1 already and they told me to stay on the line.” Jane lifted the phone to her ear, but the operator was silent. Legs shaking, she led the way, and Caleb followed her out the door.

Her son stationed himself on top of the foundation, hands clenched to his sides, while taking in the sight below. She plucked at his sleeve. “Are you going down to look?”

He nodded his head and descended the plank. In only a few moments he was back, dragging her by the elbow over to the concrete curb where they sat together facing the street.

After hearing a voice spluttering from the phone, Jane spoke into it. “I’m all right. I’ve got my son here with me now. We’ll wait together.” She hit the mute button and shifted the phone from her right hand to her left.

Caleb slid a folded piece of paper out of his tight jean pocket and handed it to her. “I forgot to give you this.”

In a tremulous voice, she read out loud, “Mrs. Marsh, I stopped by to give you a welcome packet with the keys. I’ll come back later.” Ethan Valrod’s signature was scrawled across the bottom. She gazed into the distance for a moment.

Caleb lifted his hands, palms up. “It was on the counter when I got here. The movers set a box on top of the note, and I didn’t want it to get lost, so I put it in my pocket.”

“Okay, thanks.” Swallowing hard, she darted a quick glance over her shoulder, but no one else was around. “It looked like someone used the tractor to cover the body with dirt.”

“I noticed. And there were marks on the ground, like someone rolled his body into the corner first.”

“Did you see the blood on the tractor bucket?”

“Yeah.” Caleb gave his mother a pop-eyed stare and she returned the look.

Her ears seemed sharper than usual. The dogs barked from the other side of the fence. A plane’s engine droned from overhead. Police sirens approached from the next block.

Buy links:

Book 1: Everything Bundt the Truth

Wild Rose Press // Amazon // B&N 

Book 2: Not According to Flan

Wild Rose Press // Amazon // B&N

A little about Karen:

Karen C. Whalen is the author of a culinary cozy series, the “dinner club murder mysteries.” The first three in the series are: Everything Bundt the Truth, Not According to Flan, and No Grater Evil. Her books are similar to those written by cozy authors Jessica Beck and Joanne Fluke. She worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado and has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She believes that it’s never too late to try something new. She loves to host dinner clubs, entertain friends, ride bicycles, hike in the mountains, and read cozy murder mysteries.

You can connect with Karen here:

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

 

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