Monday, September 22, 2014
Until I was in the fourth grade, I’d never had access to a library. That year, I attended school Morton, Texas. To my delight, the city or county bookmobile came to the school and our class was able to check out books on alternate weeks. That was when I was introduced to Nancy Drew.
For several years, I read every Nancy Drew novel I could find. After my family moved to Lubbock, Texas, my best friend Karen and I spent hours pretending we were girl detectives and were certain we would go on to open our own detective agency once we graduated from school.
I’m certain that we drove our parents crazy by seeing crimes where there were none. We were suspicious of everyone except our own families. You’ve heard the story of the boy who cried wolf, right?
One day when Karen’s parents were gone somewhere for the day, we were babysitting her bratty sister. We had strict instructions to stay inside her house. We were listening to the television or radio, I don’t remember which, when we heard the news flash that there had been a robbery only a few blocks from her house and the robber may have been shot by the store owner.
Being overly dramatic teens (barely) we locked the doors and peered out windows. That soon grew boring until we heard a huge bang against the wall separating her living room and the garage. Now comes the scary part.
Karen and I crept out the front door to see what made the noise, but we could see nothing—except a few drops of blood on the garage floor. The cleaning lady for Karen’s next door neighbor asked us what we were doing making so much noise when her parents were gone. She told us to go back in the house where we were supposed to be.
We couldn’t decide, though. We wanted to climb the ladder attached to the side of the garage and look in the attic, but neither of us wanted to be the one to do so. After dithering for five or ten minutes, we pulled down the heavy garage door and went back inside. Of course, we didn’t consider the typical door from the garage to the outside.
We cowered inside, hoping Karen’s parents would return soon. The minute her parents walked in the door, we barraged them with our story. Needless to say, her parents paid us no attention. Finally, we convinced her dad to just check out the garage so we’d hush.
When he looked, the blood was dried but added to our claim. He climbed the ladder to the attic, he found a fresh half-eaten loaf of bread and an empty bottle of Coca-Cola.
That scared us and, probably, her parents. I know her mom came to talk to my mom. I’ve often wondered what would have happened had we chosen to look in the attic. Nothing good, I’m sure.
Our life as girl detectives was over. I abandoned Nancy Drew and moved on to Louisa Mae Alcott.
Friday, September 19, 2014
WRONG BRIDE is Geri Foster’s latest in her Accidental Pleasures series of sexy novellas and releases on September 20th. (Fans of her Falcon series should not worry as Ms Foster is currently working on the next Falcon book, OUT OF THE DEPTHS.)
Misty Walker is a professional wedding consultant who has been dealing with a genuine Bridezilla. Misty hasn’t met the groom, but she believes if he’s anything like his kind mom, then Mitch Collins doesn’t deserve a fate like Priscilla McFadden, aka the bride from hell.
When Misty overhears Priscilla and her lover plotting to kill Mitch on the honeymoon, she decides to warn him—wearing a disguise so he won’t recognize her at the rehearsal and wedding.
Is there a flaw in this plan? Oh, yes, several. Fortunately for readers, they all make for fast-paced, fun reading.
Here’s a blurb:
Misty Walker has agreed to be the wedding coordinator for the bride from hell, literally. When she overhears the future bride discussing how she and the lover plan to off the groom on the honeymoon, Misty decides she must warn the unsuspecting Mitch Collins.
Mitch arrives in the Dallas area drenched in doubts about marrying the wrong woman and wondering if he made a mistake. While waiting for the wedding date, a mysterious woman shows up at his place and after spending the night together, he realizes the wedding must be stopped.
The bride-to-be isn’t happy with the turn of events and takes matters into her own hands. Can Misty and Mitch both learn how important it is to find the right life partner?
Will love win in this crazy and comical situation?
You can find this book on Amazon at http://amzn.com/B00NOZMNSU as well as at other online retailers.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I’m sharing nostalgia today. I mostly grew up in Lubbock, Texas, known to residents as the Hub of the Plains. The city is located on the Caprock Escarpment called Llano Estacado, or Staked Plain, by the Spanish. Eleven thousand years ago, this was the home of Native Americans who killed the Bronze Columbian mammoth and short faced bear. As those animals died out, the land became home to bison and other mammals including mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, less ferocious smaller mammals, snakes, and red ants. There are a lot of varmints, especially in Yellow House Canyon at the edge of Lubbock.
Growing up, I was not allowed to run wild in the canyon (or anywhere else), but many boys played in the canyon, my husband-to-be included. They searched for and found spear points and arrowheads. I was so jealous. My husband had a perfect Clovis knife. He and I still love visiting prehistoric sites of Native Americans in the Southwest. And we enjoy going back to visit the Lubbock Lake Landmark Site near where my husband used to hunt spear points and arrowheads. Although we weren’t aware of the formal site until about twenty years ago, this year the Landmark Site will celebrate 75 years of discovery that began with the accidental unearthing of a Folsom point in 1936, and continues to the present day.
For thousands of years, across hundreds of generations, people have come to Lubbock Lake. Hunter-gatherers, the Apache and Comanche nations, and the founding of a modern city are each a part of the history of this National Historic Landmark that is one of the premier archaeological and natural history sites in North America. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a designated National Historic and State Archeological Landmark. It is managed by the museum of Texas Tech University with excavations conducted under a Texas Antiquities Committee permit. (And I love the Ranching Heritage Museum behind the formal Texas Tech Museum.)
I love visiting the area where I can imagine Comanche roaming in pursuit of buffalo. Not that I would have wanted to encounter Comanches in real life, mind you, but the adventurous side of my nature thrills at the thought of riding along the plains with them. Not killing or butchering the animals. Ugh! No, when romance writers visualize the past, we tend to cull the unpleasant and dwell on the more exciting and interesting parts of history. Hey, we’re the story creators, so we get to call the content, right?
Life in modern Lubbock has become pretty much like any other Texas city. Lubbock is home to two universities, Texas Tech and Lubbock Christian. There are more churches per capita in Lubbock than any other place I know. Celebrities who found their start in Lubbock include Buddy Holly and his band The Crickets (alleged to be the model for the Beatles), Mac Davis, Tommy Hancock, Waylon Jennings, and Ralna English (formerly on Lawrence Welk’s show). Wind turbine farms are popping up in the area, especially in nearby Garza County.
Lubbock still has sandstorms and dust storms, but not as frequently as when I grew up, due partly to soil conservation and planting trees.
For those who don’t know, there is quite a difference between a sandstorm and a dust storm. A sandstorm picks up bits of gravel and abrasive sand that can actually damage paint--and bare skin. The sky appears almost rosy on the horizon before a sandstorm. Dust storms are comprised of powdery dust that chokes humans and animals. It can sift in through the most air-tight window and door. The sky may appear any color from gray, to brown, to almost black as the dust approaches.
I remember a dust storm the first year my parents and I were back in Texas from California. The house we lived in a few miles north of Lubbock belonged to the cotton gin my dad managed and was not that well built. After a horrible dust storm that lasted all one day and night, my parents waked up and my mom laughed at my dad. He was covered with a fine layer of dust and, when he sat up, his outline was easily defined on the pillow. He looked at her and told her she’d better look in the mirror before she laughed. When she hurried in to check on me, she looked as if she were wearing gray makeup with powdered hair. Everything in the house was covered in a layer of fine, dark gray, powdery dust--except for my room. Since I was puny and asthmatic, Mother had hung wet sheets at my windows to catch the dust so precious little moi wouldn’t have to breathe so much of it. Good mom, right?
That was the worst dust storm I’d encountered until 1997, when we were visiting my mother-in-law. The dust storm that hit was so dark the sky looked black. We had to leave several hours early because I couldn’t breathe, and I considered that a definite disadvantage. That’s not a part of West Texas I miss! I used an ordinary sandstorm in my book, HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME because that type of weather is a part of life for that area. So are lightning storms and tornadoes. Let’s face it, the weather in West Texas is terrible, but the sky is wonderful. It truly lives up to its reputation as the Land of the High Sky. And sunsets are unbelievable!
Friday, September 12, 2014
We PROMISE you
Breaking His Rules
by Alison Packard
ALISON WILL BE AWARDING A $25 GIFT CARD TO ONE COMMENTER ON THIS TOUR.
BREAKING HIS RULES Blurb:
Losing fifty pounds is an incredible achievement. But for Melissa Atherton, progress doesn’t come with praise—a scathing comment from an evil cousin at a bridal shower threatens to crush her new self-esteem. Who will she bring to the upcoming wedding? Showing up without a date would be humiliating. It just isn’t an option.
Personal trainer Jake Sawyer was attracted to Melissa before she lost weight, but her progress has him floored. When she admits she plans to hire a male escort—and why—his heart all but breaks. Melissa’s come too far to be knocked down, especially by her own family. He’ll go as her date…and figure out a way to keep his hands to himself.
But when a steamy hotel room encounter takes them both by surprise, Jake balks. He’s sworn never to date one of his clients, not again. And Melissa can’t bear to be just friends with the man who treated her so tenderly, even if it was only for a weekend. Jake’s helped her see she’s strong enough to stand up for herself, but will she find the strength to pursue the only man who’s ever seen the real her?
Excerpt from BREAKING HIS RULES:
“I went to my cousin’s bridal shower earlier today.” Jake looked up, relieved to find that she hadn’t appeared to notice him staring at her breasts. Good. Now he just had to remind himself not to do it again. He shouldn’t be thinking anything other than professional thoughts about her. Friend or not, Melissa was his client and therefore strictly off-limits. “She’s getting married next month at Pebble Beach.”
He let out a low whistle. “Beautiful, but from what I know of that area, pricey.”
“My aunt and uncle are very well off.” Melissa pushed her cup to the side and folded her arms on the table. “You know how I told you she always made fun of my weight when we were kids?”
Jake nodded, remembering their conversation of a few months ago. “She sounds like a witch.”
“She is.” Melissa sighed. “I overheard her and her friend talking about me in the ladies’ room.” She gave him a wan smile. “And you know what they say about eavesdroppers never hearing good of themselves. Well, it’s true.”
“What did she say?”
“That I was too fat to be a bridesmaid and that even if I’m able to get a date to her wedding, it’ll probably be with some loser.”
Jake tamped down his anger. He’d struggled with his weight when he was younger and knew only too well how cruel some people could be. Leaning forward, he reached across the table and put his hand on Melissa’s arm. He tried not to notice the satiny smoothness of her skin but failed and quickly withdrew before the warmth of her skin could tempt him to linger. “Don’t let her get to you, Melissa. She’s not worth it.”
“That’s what I told Paige when she suggested we sabotage the wedding ceremony.”
Jake couldn’t help but laugh. “I’ve only met your sister twice, but that’s exactly what I’d expect her to suggest.”
Melissa smiled, then quickly sobered and gave him a determined look. “I’m going to that wedding even though it’s the last thing on earth I want to do.”
“Do you have a date?” he asked, more interested in Melissa’s private life than he should be. She’d never mentioned a boyfriend, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t seeing someone. Even at her heaviest—as she’d been when he’d met her—she was an attractive woman.
“No. But I have this off the wall—” She stopped mid-sentence, stared at him for several seconds, then she shook her head and laughed. She had a good laugh—melodic and sexy at the same time. “Never mind.”
“Never mind what?” he asked as he leaned back.
“It wasn’t important.” She tucked a loose tendril of hair behind her ear. Her cheeks turned pink under his scrutiny. “Okay. Okay. I was thinking about hiring an escort for the wedding. Someone super-hot. That would shut my cousin up for good.”
“Hire an escort?” Jake asked, surprised she’d go to such lengths—especially when she didn’t need to. He grinned as the perfect solution to her problem materialized in his head. It was the least he could do for a friend. “I have a much better idea and it won’t cost you any money.”
One delicately arched brow rose. “What’s your idea?” she asked, with a hint of trepidation.
“Not what. Who.” He pointed to his chest. “Me. I’ll be your date for the wedding.”
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-His-Rules-Feeling-Heat-ebook/dp/B00KV5Z7KC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409599925&sr=1-1&keywords=breaking+his+rules+alison
|Alison Packard, Author|
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she’s still getting used to the blistering summers and the slot machines in every grocery store.
When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head, and supports her book and chocolate habits, Alison spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding winner's choice of an eBook from Lachesis Publishing to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please click the banner to see a list of other stops on the tour.
NOTE: THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE FREE EVERYWHERE IT'S SOLD! Why not pick up your copy today?
The author will be awarding winner's choice of an eBook from Lachesis Publishing to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
After her favorite aunt is found dead and an alarming box is mysteriously left on the doorstep of her aunt’s house now legally hers, Lavinia Esposito wants explanations. But, having cleared the package of explosives, the local cops are dumbounded by the precious stones which came without an explanation, just an address─her Aunt Livvy’s. Frustrated by the cops’ refusal to share their theories, criminal justice instructor Lavinia Esposito, a.k.a. Vinnie, takes investigation matters into her own hands. Vinnie is soon dragged into situations beyond her control, finding herself in hot water with the law, the crooks, and her Italian father. Willing to put her life at risk to find out what really happened to her beloved Aunt Livvy, and why jewels would be addressed to her aunt, Vinnie plunges ahead with her usual tenacity, bravery, and keen wits to solve and survive this mystery.
Now enjoy an excerpt:
The front door knocker rapped twice after the door bell rang. I hustled from the rear deck of the gargantuan house to answer the summons. Someone seemed impatient, and I was curious as to who it was. My watch read just after eight o’ clock. I swung the heavy door open to find my prospective visitor absent.
It was so quiet, the town ghostly in its seemingly deserted state. Sundays were always lazy days in Scituate, once church was over. With a glance up and down the street of the small historic Rhode Island village, neat colonial homes stretched along the sides of the road in both directions. No one came into view. On the doorstep, a package addressed to my recently deceased Aunt Livvy sat wrapped in brown paper. Again, I gawked up and down the street, but only empty sidewalks and barren roadway appeared in the waning light. The idea of a jaunt along the main drag entered my mind. I figured it would be senseless since the street was visible for about two hundred yards in either direction. Whoever had left the package was gone, long gone.
An eternity passed, or so it seemed, while my gaze locked onto the square, little box. Reluctant to touch it, I decided to call the local fire company to come take a gander. Call me paranoid, but as a criminal justice instructor, a recent audit of a class on bomb components remained fresh in my mind.
I quickly stepped to the living room and grabbed the phone. I dialed the private number of the fire station up the street. A grunt came across the phone line that could only be Bill MacNert.
“Hey Nerd, its Vinnie,” I said. “A package was just left on my doorstep, could you come down and check it out for me?”
“Sure, you got a secret admirer or somethin’?” He cackled, as only senior men can.
“Not likely, but you never know. This package is addressed to Lavinia Ciano, not Lavinia Esposito and is wrapped in brown paper. Nobody’s here to accompany this little surprise either.”
“I’ll be right down, Vinnie, don’t touch it.” He warned.
Anxious, I paced back and forth across gleaming hard wood floors in the spacious living room of my newly acquired colonial. My fingernails tapped the enamel on my teeth as I wandered to and fro. As irrational as it seemed, I finally leaned against the door jamb inside the entry to wait for MacNert to arrive.
|J. M. Griffin, Author|
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, September 08, 2014
Too late she realizes Kersey has a dark and murderous past...
Publication Date: August 23, 2014
Genre: Historical Romance
Lucinda holds fast to her dream of becoming a doctor and apprentices to Dr. Mitchell Kersey. She falls under his spell, and too late she realizes Kersey has a dark and murderous past that has followed him to California. The danger she finds herself enmeshed in may end her dreams before they have even begun.
Based on historical events of 1850 Sacramento, Gold Rush Deluge is riveting and romantic.
|Suzanne Lilly, Author|
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Friday, September 05, 2014
On Facebook, several people have been naming ten favorite books that meant something in your life. Narrowing my preference down to only ten would be impossible. And what each meant depended on where I was at that stage of life. Although I’ve been an avid reader as long as I can remember, I’ll skip the school years and move on to after I became an adult. I’ll also skip the classics and go for popular fiction.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, by Harper Lee. Okay, so it’s a classic now. Who didn’t love that one? I kept waiting for another book from Harper Lee (as did a lot of others). I thought Scout’s story was wonderful. I saw the film starring Gregory Peck and in which Robert Duvall had his first role. This is one of the few times I enjoyed a movie as much as the book.
THE HELP BY Katherine Stockett. Didn’t we love the way the heroine obtained justice for her friends? I didn’t like the movie because so much had to be changed. This is why books are better than movies—you get the main characters’ internal thoughts and motivation in a book. Usually impossible for a movie.
THE GUENSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. How sad that Ms Schaffer died before she learned how successful her wonderful book had become. Thank goodness her niece Ms Barrows finished editing the manuscript. I have to admit my knowledge of the Isle of Guernsey was nil, but this story uplifted my spirit even though it dealt with Nazi occupation.
MR. CHURCHILL’S SECRETARY by Susan Elia Macneal. This is another World War II setting, but Maggie Hope brings just that. I love this series and will save them to reread. FALLON by Louis L’Amour. Any of his, really. What a great writer. He captured history and people and painted the West in words. I’ve read each of his books and will never tire of rereading them.
FOR THE ROSES by Julie Garwood. This was a wonderful saga about lost boys and the baby girl they rescued as they moved from New York to the West. Family and redemption are themes I love.
PRINCE CHARMING by Julie Garwood. Probably my all-time favorite book, I love the subtle humor the author introduces into the story and the developing love and adventure. I loved so many things about this book: the scene where we learn who stole Lucas’ knife, where we see Taylor shooting rabbits, where Taylor covers Lucas’ friend with a blanket, and so many more.
THE PROMISE OF JENNY JONES by Maggie Osborne. Jenny had only one thing and that’s her word. She keeps her promise through unbelievably difficult conditions and triumphs. My first time to read a book with a six-foot, redheaded, muleskinner heroine. In a speech once, I heard Ms Osborne say this was the traditional governess story turned on its ear. ☺
SLIGHTLY SHADY by Amanda Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz). This is the first of the Lavinia Lake and Tobias March trilogy and I loved each one. This first was probably my favorite. However, this woman cannot write a bad book under any name. I think I have each of her books by each of her names. The historical romances are my favorites.
MONTANA SKY by Nora Roberts. This is one of my favorites by Ms Roberts (although THE WITNESS may tie). I liked the three half-sisters learning to work together on a ranch and learning to be family. Family is a wonderful theme.
TO KISS A TEXAN by Jodi Thomas. Wes McClain is my favorite member of his family and his rescue of the captive woman Allie,who salves his wounded heart, is amazing. Theirs is a memorable romance that has stayed with me for years.
FALLON by Louis L'Amour, along with each of his other historical works. What a creative genius this man was. He once told a group of writers that he could write while sitting in a folding chair in the center of Hollywood and Vine with a typewriter balanced on his knees. I know he was the master of setting and characterization. I chose FALLON as my favorite of his books because it's the story of a man who is much better than he believes, a story of redemption. But L'Amour wrote only great books. Hero and I save them and reread them from time to time. I practically know FALLON by heart, yet it still calls to me.
I have deliberately not mentioned any of the books of personal friends. To do so would be insane. I’d be certain to overlook someone and then be in the dog house forever. And there simply is not enough space or time to list all my favorites. There are huge numbers of wonderful writers whose books I’ve enjoyed and saved. And I continue discovering new writers whose works I love. Someday maybe I’ll quit writing and just read.
Naw, this is too great a job. Why would I ever give up a job where I can work at home in my jammies?
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