Wednesday, November 29, 2017


So much has been happening in the past six weeks! In addition to a couple of rounds of the seasonal crud that resulted in bronchitis for Hero and me, we’ve had two rounds of lovely house guests, and one funeral. Putting that aside, let me share the items of big news!

First is my new release, CAPTURE HER HEART, Loving A Rancher book 6, in the Montana Skies Series Kindle World. This book will be released Thursday, November 30 and I'll update this blog with a link as soon as I have one. Here’s the blurb:

Vanessa Worthington didn’t know her late husband had lost their home until the notice came to vacate within six hours. Desperate for a place for her and her children, she travels from Atlanta to Montana Territory as a mail-order bride. She hopes to find a protective and kind man to help parent her children. One thing she’s certain—she will never again trust a man.

Travis Boyd has overcome horrific difficulties and carved out a ranch for himself. His two cowboy hands are like family, but he’s lonely. He longs for a loving wife and children to make his house a home. He’s eager for his bride to arrive and looking forward to home-cooked meals and a tidy house.

When Travis learns Vanessa has always had servants and doesn’t know how to cook, do laundry, or any other household chores, he is disappointed but decides to make the best of the situation. He meant his marriage vows. Vanessa can’t believe he won’t soon lose patience with her and change from kind to domineering like the other men in her life had been.

The other big news regarding Kindle Worlds is that ALL Kindle world titles are now in Kindle Unlimited. That should be great for all you KU subscribers. Of course, the titles are a bargain at $1.99 for those not in KU.

My final big news you can see in the blog header above. I am having an Advent Special on my blog, “Christmas Past and Christmas Presents” from—naturally—December 1 to 24. Twenty two other authors are joining me and there will be a post each day rather than my usual three times a week. I’ll lead on December 1 and conclude on December 24. Each post will include an interview, a latest release, may include a favorite recipe, and may include a daily giveaway. Check every day to find out.

On Christmas Eve I'll wrap up the event by randomly choosing one person from those who’ve commented during Advent to win a 16G Kindle Fire 7. This could be a nice Christmas gift for someone. This is one of my size Kindles and I love it more than my tablet because it slips into my purse so easily I can take it everywhere.

If you love Christmas stories, please keep in mind my three: ANGEL FOR CHRISTMAS, MISTLETOE MISTAKE, and STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS. Each is available on Amazon for $2.99.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Thriller / Suspense / Action / Romance
Date Published: November 1, 2017
Publisher: Regis Books

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Colonel Aleksandr Talanov – the “ice man” – is married to a woman he wishes he could love. But he can’t, and it’s an ugly consequence of his training with the KGB. Even so, no one should have to experience what Talanov experiences: the brutal murder of his wife in front of his eyes.

Wracked with guilt and suspected of plotting her death, Talanov spirals downward on a path of self-destruction. He should have been killed, not her. He was the one whose violent past would not leave them alone. Months tick by and Talanov hits rock bottom on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where he meets a hooker named Larisa, who drugs and robs him.

But in the seedy world of human trafficking ruled by the Russian mafia, Larisa made the mistake of stealing the ice man’s wallet. In it was Talanov’s sole possession of value: his wedding photo. Talanov tracks Larisa down to get that photo because it reminds him of everything that should have been but never was, and never would be because an assassin’s bullet had mistakenly killed his wife. Or was it a mistake?

The answer lies in Greco’s Game, a chess match played in 1619 that is famous for its queen sacrifice and checkmate in only eight moves. In an unusual alliance, Talanov and Larisa team up to begin unraveling the mystery of what Talanov’s old KGB chess instructor regarded as the most brilliant example of how to trap and kill an opponent. The question is: who was the target?


Talanov took another calming breath. This one was not as effective. “I’m not looking for trouble,” he began.

“Then get the hell out of here. Or trouble is going to find you.” According to Gunner, the choice was simple. Leave voluntarily or leave forcibly. And it didn’t seem to matter to Gunner which choice Talanov made.

For Talanov the choice was like-wise simple. Was his wallet worth a fight? Logic told him to either forget the wallet or try and work things out peacefully.

He opted for option number two. After all, Gunner was a big guy. He was also twenty, maybe twenty-five years younger. Besides, what were the odds that Tash was inside? His wallet had had nearly two thousand dollars in it. More than likely, Tash was partying someplace else.

Talanov looked at the other bouncer, who was staring at him with unfriendly eyes. The groupies were also watching. Everybody was waiting to see what the old guy was going to do. “Don’t make this worse than it is,” he said. “Ten minutes. Then I’m gone.”

There was a long moment of silence, almost like a vacuum. Nobody seemed to breathe. Then Gunner’s arms shot forward, the heels of his hands like battering rams aimed straight for Talanov’s chest. It was a preemptive two-handed blow designed to knock the wind out of Talanov and send him flying into the bushes. A lesson about who was boss.

But Gunner had made the mistake of broadcasting his intentions with a number of subliminal signals. Flaring of the nostrils, tightening of the lips, setting of the jaw, the drawing in of a breath and holding it. So when Gunner’s hands shot out, Talanov stepped to the side, grabbed Gunner’s wrist and twisted it down and back. This forced Gunner to compensate by straightening his arm and bending left in an effort to pull away. That allowed Talanov to twist the outstretched arm behind Gunner. He then used Gunner’s momentum to drive him facedown to the sidewalk in one smooth motion. The whole maneuver took less than four seconds.

Kneeling on Gunner’s back, Talanov lifted the arm in a direction that could easily pop it from the socket. Gunner cried out and Talanov eased off.

“I asked you not to make this worse than it is,” Talanov said, glancing at Gunner then up at Daz. “What’s it going to be?” Daz glared angrily down at Talanov but knew better than to try anything with Gunner’s arms bent backward like that.

Talanov raised an eyebrow expectantly.

Ten minutes,” growled Daz. “But if you cause anyone any trouble – and I mean, anyone – I guarantee you won’t be leaving in one piece.”

Releasing Gunner’s arm, Talanov glanced at Tracy and stood. And with a hint of a smile, he disappeared inside.

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About the Author

James Houston Turner is the bestselling author of the Aleksandr Talanov thriller series, as well as numerous other books and articles. Talanov the fictional character was inspired by the actual KGB agent who once leaked word out of Moscow that James was on a KGB watch-list for his smuggling activities behind the old Iron Curtain. James Houston Turner’s debut thriller, DEPARTMENT THIRTEEN, was voted “Best Thriller” by USA Book News, after which it won gold medals in the Independent Publisher (“IPPY”) Book Awards and the Indie Book Awards. His novel, GRECO'S GAME has just been optioned for film. A cancer survivor of more than twenty-five years, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Baker University and a master’s degree from the University of Houston (Clear Lake). After twenty years in Australia, he and his wife, Wendy, author of THE RECIPE GAL COOKBOOK, now live in Austin, Texas.

Contact Links

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Special Delivery

Mill Pond #6
Judi Lynn
Contemporary Romance

Mill Pond, Indiana, neighbors always look out for each other. And
even though tourists are drawn to the small town’s charms, it’s
the locals who fill it with warmth . . .
nurse Karli Redding doesn’t have many fond memories of her aging
grandfather, Axel—or of Mill Pond. But with Axel’s health in
decline and Karli on a month’s hiatus between jobs, she volunteers
to set him up with the help he needs. The house and her grandfather
could both use some TLC. Good thing Keagan Monroe, the very
attractive mailman next door, is always ready to lend a hand…
a lot slips by a mailman, and Keagan appreciates Karli’s dogged
attempts to spruce up the neglected property. Painting, fixing the
sagging porch, delivering a constant stream of casseroles from caring
neighbors—he’ll help however he can, all while keeping his
feelings under wraps. A short-term fling just doesn’t fit into his
schedule. But with each passing day, Karli’s bond with the town
grows a little deeper. Has fate sent her exactly where she needs to
be? Karli’s willing to find out, and the first step is figuring out
the perfect route to Keagan’s heart…


She was eating at the wooden table in the kitchen with the oven on, soaking in the heat, when a mouse ran over her foot.
“Holy crap!” She wouldn’t let herself jump on a chair. She was a grown woman, and she wouldn’t scream over a mouse. But she wanted to.
“You okay?” Words she never thought she’d hear Axel utter.
“A mouse just ran over my foot.”
He grunted. “Yeah, they come in about this time of year when it gets cold outside.”
She walked to the door to talk to him. “How do you catch them?”
“There are some traps in the broom closet.”
She wrinkled her nose. “I’m not going around the house to collect little dead bodies.”
“Suit yourself.”
She frowned at him. “There must be something else.”
“Mice leave when there’s a cat in a house, but when you leave, you take the damned thing with you.”
“I don’t want a cat.”
“Then kill the mice or start naming them.”
She glowered toward Kurt. “Mice are a man’s job. He should deal with them.”
Kurt finished a beer and swiped at his mouth with the back of his hand. “They don’t bother me.”
“They’re disgusting. They spread disease and multiply faster than rabbits.”
He shrugged. “They don’t eat that much. Put some cheese out for them.”
She turned and stalked back to the kitchen. The idiots! She wasn’t about to start every day by sweeping away mouse turds.


In my sixth romance, SPECIAL DELIVERY, Karli Redding, a travelling nurse, volunteers to go to Mill Pond to arrange health care for her grandfather. My daughter’s a travelling nurse, so it was fun making Karli one, too. My daughter’s dealt with many an uncooperative patient, and I could hear her bantering with Axel.

Mill Pond’s mailman, Keagan Monroe—who’s easy on the eyes--let Karli’s mother know that Axel shouldn’t live alone anymore. Keagan’s been dropping off cottage cheese, Ensure, and applesauce and keeping an eye on him, but he’s found the stove on three times when he stops by. The problem is that Axel is of sound mind and as spiteful as ever, so refuses to cooperate with any fixes Karli finds for him. He keeps telling her that one or more of his twelve children will come to care for him, hoping he’ll croak soon and leave them all of his money.

Karli has a month off between nursing jobs, so she decides to stay with him until someone shows up. Working in a hospital is not like living with a patient. Axel can be a real pain. I loved both of my grandmothers, but they didn’t grow warm and fuzzy when they got old. They got more demanding. Karli cooks for Axel and tries to get him to move more to build up strength. That’s when she learns that Axel…and the hunky mailman she begins to lust over…can both be had with food. There’s a lot of food in this book. A reviewer warned not to read this when you’re hungry. Probably because I love to cook for friends and family.

I also have a love of old houses, and Axel’s house has great bones, but no one’s taken care of it for decades. Karli can’t stand seeing such a beautiful house in such bad shape. If she has to look at it every day, she might as well clean it. And once she does that, she decides to paint some of the rooms. Keagan loves the house, too, and pitches in. The old house and the old man start to shape up. And Karli realizes, the more she works on the house, the more Keagan’s underfoot. A win/win ☺

Judi Lynn
received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary
school teacher after attending the IPFW campus.  She taught 1st,
2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters.
She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.

the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Friday, November 24, 2017


The Highlander's Princess Bride
Improper Princesses Book 3
Vanessa Kelly

Historical Romance

Vanessa Kelly’s enchanting series, three young women descended from
royalty overcome their scandalous beginnings to win the hearts of
most eligible men . . .

The illegitimate daughter of the Prince Regent might be expected to
pursue various dubious professions. Actress, perhaps, or artist’s
model. Even courtesan. Victoria Knight, however, has become a
governess—a respectable choice, until she travels to Scotland to
meet her new charges. The younger brothers of Nicholas Kendrick, Earl
of Arnprior, aren’t children at all. They’re brawny, wild
Highland men. As for the Earl, he’s handsome, guarded, and far too
compelling . . . especially for a woman hiding a dark secret.
Nick needs a proper teacher to transform his unmarriageable brothers—and
a sensible, 
wife for himself. Miss Knight seems to fit the bill on both counts.
But he soon discovers there is more to Victoria than he thought. It’s
not just her notorious origins, or the danger that’s followed her
all the way to Scotland. It’s the fiery loyalty beneath that sedate
façade. This, the real Victoria, is the woman Nick is starting to
desire so desperately. And what an earl wants, he’ll use every
seductive means to get . . .

THE HIGHLANDER'S PRINCESS BRIDE Excerpt: New Year’s Eve in Scotland:

“Bloody hell, you two,” Royal said. “It’s almost time. Best get a move on or we’ll miss it.”
“Miss what?” Victoria asked.
Nick pulled out his pocket watch. Only a minute or so until midnight.
“First Foot,” he said, escorting her up the wide stone steps to the front door.
“I’ve heard of it,” she said. “It’s an old Scottish tradition.”
“The first person to enter the home traditionally brings good luck for the rest of the year—if the appropriate conditions are met.”
“Appropriate conditions?” she asked.
“That it be a dark-haired male,” Royal said. “Nick usually does it, when he’s home.”
“And I’ll be doing it from now on,” Nick said. “You have the coal?”
Royal held up a small lump.
“Good heavens,” Victoria said with a laugh.
“Another tradition,” Royal said. “Angus would kill us if we didn’t carry in a piece of coal.”

When the bells of midnight began to chime all over the city, Nick pulled out the small purse of gold sovereigns he’d stowed in his greatcoat pocket before leaving the house. Then he rapped on the door. It swung open, revealing his family and most of the servants, lined up awaiting their arrival.
He stepped over the threshold. “A Happy New Year and Good Tidings to you and yours.”
Representing the household, Angus bustled forward. “Happy New Year, lad,” he said gruffly, giving him a quick hug.
“Happy New Year, Grandda.” Nick handed over the purse. “Make sure all the servants get one.”
Angus nodded. “And Good New Year to ye both,” he said to Victoria and Royal. He took a glass of whisky from one of the footmen and handed it to Nick. Another footman distributed small glasses to everyone else crowded in the hall.
Nick held up his glass. “Slainte, and Happy New Year.”
They cheered and toasted him back.
After the glasses were drained, they all began hugging and slapping one another on the back. When Kade tried to sneak an extra dram from the footman, Nick plucked the glass from his hand.
“That’s enough for you, laddie boy,” he said with mock severity.
“Spoilsport,” Kade said, then he threw his arms around Nick’s waist and gave him a fierce hug. “Happy New Year, Nick. I’m so glad we’re all here together.”
“Except for the twins,” said Braden, also coming up to give Nick a hug. “I suppose they had better things to do.”
“Such as flirt with pretty girls and enjoy themselves?” Victoria replied with a smile. “What shocking activities for young men.”
Braden rolled his eyes. “I know you think I’m an old stick-in-the mud, but I truly would rather be with my family.”
“I think you’re splendid,” Victoria said, giving him a hug. “But I also think you work too hard.”
Since coming to Glasgow, she’d been on a campaign to get the lad to ease up on his studies. But Braden was determined to gain admittance to medical school as soon as possible. He was the most disciplined, serious person Nick had ever known.
“Someone in this household has to earn his keep,” Royal said. “God knows the rest of us spend our days lazing about.”
“Speak for yourself,” Kade said, poking him in the arm. “I work very hard, as does Miss Knight.”
“True,” Royal said, ruffling his little brother’s hair.
Nick didn’t miss the bitter twist to his brother’s smile. Royal still hadn’t a clue what to do with his life.
“How about another wee dram in the drawing room?” Angus said.
“Yes, please,” said Kade. “I want to hear all about the party.”
Nick frowned. “It’s getting late, and you must be tired.”
When Kade started to protest, Victoria smoothly intervened. “I think we can make an exception. After all, it’s New Year’s.”
“So there.” Kade stuck his tongue out at Nick.
They all laughed and the family followed Angus into the drawing room. Nick held Victoria back. “Are you sure the boy’s not wearing himself out? He’s looking a little peaked to me.”
“He’s looking no such thing,” she said firmly. “The doctor said just yesterday how pleased he is with Kade’s progress. Stop worrying so much. I’m sure it’s not good for you.”
“Do you fear for my health, Madam Governess? If I fall ill and take to my bed, you’ll have to join me there. To personally attend to all my needs, of course.”
“Sir, I cannot imagine what you’re talking about.”
“Lass, you know exactly what I’m talking about,” he murmured, leaning in close. She smelled delicious, like peppermints and sweet tea.
Her lips twitched. “You are incorrigible,” she said before marching past him.

read as a standalone!**


                             THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS                    MY FAIR PRINCESS

by Booklist as one of the “New Stars of Historical
Romance,” USA Today bestselling author
Vanessa Kelly’s
books have been nominated for awards in a number of contests. She is
also the recipient of the prestigious Maggie Medallion for historical
romance. With a Master’s Degree in English Literature, Vanessa is
known for developing vibrant Regency settings, appealing characters,
and witty storylines that captivate readers. You can visit her on the
web at

the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


If I Want You

by Rachel Brimble

GENRE: Romantic Suspense


When local journalist, Tori Peterson, fails to prevent a child abduction outside her niece’s school, her horror and guilt sparks a vow to do whatever it takes to get little Abby Brady home to her parents.

While Tori battles the vile memories of her own kidnapping as a child, she accepts the help of widowed father, Mark Bolton. As he and Tori join forces with the local police, their attraction and intimacy grows…along with their fears for Abby.

Links are uncovered between Abby’s disappearance and Tori’s kidnapping, and Tori is forced to accept the monster who held her captive is back. But this time, Tori is all grown up, and there is no way she will let him hurt another little girl.

IF I WANT YOU Excerpt:

It wasn’t the just the smell of fresh air and sandalwood that alerted Tori to the fact Mark had joined them. It was the way his shadow fell over her as though covering her body with his wide, deep and potentially dangerous protectiveness.

She didn’t bother to look at him...even though her Cally was seriously looking. Tori lifted her hand in a half-hearted wave. “Take a seat, superhero.”

“I will.” He sat beside her. “Thank you.”

Every now and then, when she was alone at home, she’d picked up a book. And every now and then, Tori would toss the book across the room whenever she read the words, “the air crackled between them.” Well, whatever instantly plagued the atmosphere between her and Mark as she forced her gaze to his, she was loath to call it crackling. Maybe humming… screaming… burning… but definitely not crackling.

She swallowed. “What are you doing here?”

“Olivia’s staying at a friend’s. I was at a loose end.”

Despite her best efforts to fight her smile, it was ruthless and broke through her barriers like they were made of sugar paper. “Loose end, my ass. You were no doubt pacing around the house and doing everything you could not to get in the car and go get her.”

He smiled and put a glass on the table. “Merlot, right?”


Rachel, please tell us about growing up. Siblings? Locale?

I grew up in the outskirts of the British maritime city of Bristol. I lived with my parents, older brother and much-loved Norwegian Buhund called Butch, who I’ll never forget as he was my first dog. I now live in a small town close to the famous Georgian city of Bath with my husband of nineteen years and our two teenage daughters. My constant companion and latest dog is a chocolate Labrador called Tyler – unfortunately, I lost my beloved Maxie (a black Lab) in 2015.


As a kid, I was very much a tomboy and loved nothing more than playing in the fields, climbing rocks and trees and generally getting dirty. My mum used to despair of me whenever we had to dress up and I had to expose my bruised and cut knees beneath the hem of a dress I hated wearing, lol! These days, I’d say I’m somewhere in between tomboy and grown woman. I still live in jeans and flats day to day, but also love to dress up in dresses and high heels. A balance has been found!

Brimble Family

When I’m not working, I love spending time with family and friends – spending far too much walking for miles only to stop in a country pub for lunch and not leave until hours later, lol! I’m also a keen knitter and TV watcher. The two go hand-in-hand as I can’t do one without the other.

Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

My favorite authors are Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Philippa Gregory and Alex Grecian – I read a lot of romantic suspense, mainstream romance, historical (including biographies of past British kings and queens) and crime. I am a voracious reader with (I imagine!) a collection of over 400 books spread throughout my house…including the attic.

How long have you been writing?

I used to write stories as a child and bind them with ribbon, but stopped around ten or eleven and didn’t start again for many years. When I decided I wanted to write for a career around 2000, I started with short stories and articles and was thrilled when my work started to be published. It wasn’t until 2005 and both my daughters were in school that I embarked on my first novel. The Wild Rose Press published SEARCHING FOR SOPHIE in 2007 and the rest is history!

Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

I am lucky enough to have a home office which I absolutely love – I work on a laptop on a huge white desk with two corkboards on the wall in front of me. On one board is the book I’m writing, and on the other is usually for the one I’m plotting – I concentrate on the one I’m writing most of the time, but use the plotting board for anything that comes to mind so it’s there when I come to work on the next book.

When I’m writing, I need complete silence but can work with background noise…usually my daughters…when I’m editing or working on promotion, interviews etc.

Are you a plotter or a panzer?

A total plotter! I start each book by searching the internet for pics of my hero, heroine and villain if I have one – I then complete character sketches for each. The sketches usually reveal the main characters’ goals, motivations and conflicts. I then write a chapter plan detailing a summary of the action and any significant character development. With that done, it’s (usually) fairly easy to write a 3-4 page synopsis.

Then the writing starts! I usually write the first draft from start to finish without looking back – the hard part comes with battling the initial draft into some sort of shape during the following drafts.

Do you do your research before you begin a new project, or as you go along?

With my contemporary books, I tend to research any questions that come up as I go along. For my romantic suspense, I have a fabulous police detective contact who I use A LOT when I have investigative procedures etc. to check on. My daughter is currently at university studying policing, so hopefully I’ll soon have a police contact under the same roof which will be fabulous!
For my historical work, I tend to do quite a bit of research around the issue I’m tackling and/or the setting at the time the book is taking place before I begin writing. Anything else that comes up, I tackle as and when, usually making use of my vast collection of reference books, the internet or local library.

Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?

I am lucky enough to write full-time with one day off a week when I visit my parents – the rest of the week I treat my writing as I would any other job and work from 8.30am to 5.30pm with two dog walks and a short lunch break in between. The weekends are strictly reserved for family and/or friends unless I have a deadline looming.

My usual daily word goal is around 2,000 words, if I’m not editing or promoting a new release.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers.

How about a couple of things?? One, is that my family and I were rescued by helicopter from a hotel roof during the 2010 French floods and the other is…I haven’t had my hair professionally cut since my wedding day in 1998. It’s so curly, I can get away with my husband or one of my daughters giving it a quick trim with the kitchen scissors!

I remember the story of your rescue. What an exciting and frightening event! What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Ooh, great question! I suppose I like to think, as I write romance, that it brings them escapism and hope in a world that is looking ever more hopeless and scary. In addition to that, I hope I bring positive thoughts, laughter and belief that there’s someone out there for everyone.

What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Write, write and write some more! Practice is key – also enroll in some affordable online courses. This was how I started, and they were invaluable in teaching me the technical side of writing. Find courses on point of view, setting, characterization etc. and apply everything you learn. Also, read. A lot…and not just in the genre you want to write.

Finally, when you begin writing a book, commit to finishing it until the very end. A lot of aspiring writers start project after project and never finish a piece of work. Lastly, the best piece of advice I EVER received was ‘give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft’. This changed my output beyond belief!

You can always edit it later ☺

Rachel Brimble, Author
Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eighth coming in Feb 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Facebook Street Team - Rachel's Readers

Amazon Author Page:


Rachel Brimble will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Friday, November 17, 2017


Today I’m pleased to have as my guest Laurean Brooks. She was brave enough to let me interview her. Here’s the result:

Please tell us about growing up.

I was terribly shy and a bit of a tomboy as a child. My siblings and I swung on a Tarzan-type rope hung high up in the giant oak tree, and rolled one another down the hill in a barrel. When the teacher called on me to answer a question, my face burned. The other kids turned to stare as if they'd never seen a beet-red face.

I grew up on a Tennessee farm, the fourth of seven children. We were given responsibilities at an early age. Taking care of livestock, cutting firewood, raising three gardens and 10 acres of corn (which we planted, hoed, and harvested) were a few outdoor chores we performed.

My sister and I were given assigned cooking, making the family's beds and helping Mama on wash day. We hung clothes on the wire lines Daddy had strung from post to post in the backyard, while Mama ran the clothes through the wringer washing machine.

Having few material things forced my siblings and me to be creative. My sister, Jewell, and I cut children models from the Sears catalog for our paper dolls. We spent countless hours putting on play productions, using them as our cast.

She and I would also select a book then take turns picking out 10 words from which to create a funny story. I guess this was how my love of writing began. And I still include humor in all my stories.

My brother Ralph, a few years older, had a gift for carpentry. When he was 14, he nailed together a sled from scrap lumber. It was too heavy to slide on soft snow the first winter, but when the snow became deep and packed the following winter, it sailed. A tree root halfway down the hill in our woods became a launching ramp. When the sled struck the root and it became airborne, we would hang on for dear life.It would end up sometimes in the creek at the foot of the hill.

Ralph would also take the younger ones on long walks through the woods. One day he took us to an old deserted two-story house. He told us it might be haunted, and to slip in quietly. My sister and younger brother did as told. We entered the kitchen. Inside was a table, an old wood cook stove and a few dishes, as if someone might be living there. In the corner sat a trunk. We opened the lid and found stacks of pictures inside. After we became bored, it was time to investigate the upstairs.

With Ralph in front we started ascending. About halfway up the stairs, we heard a rush. Ralph turned around and frowned, “What was that?”

Two seconds later, a slew of bats flew down the stairs, over our heads. We tore out of that house as fast as our legs would carry us and never went returned.

Married, single? Children?

Today, I have been married to a flea-market loving, auction-hopping man for 28 years. The biggest part of our vacations are spent at yard sales or inside antique/junk stores. We collectively have three children. All are grown and married. My husband has 4 grandchildren and I have one granddaughter.

Tux has cat-itude!

When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

We are Daddy and Mama to two Labrador Retrievers and a black cat. I take daily walks with the dogs and cat, weather permitting. The cat tags along, depending on his mood on that particular day. He has a cat-itude at times.



How long have you been writing?

I've been published 8 years, writing since I was 10. My first essay in 5th grade got me in trouble. Miss Mary did not appreciate my version of Columbus's expedition to the New World. I read it to the class. They went into hysterics over the scene where the natives stuffed Columbus into a cannon then shot him back across the ocean. But Miss Mary did not see the humor in it. She demanded a “more realistic” rewrite. I did the rewrite, but my classmates' eyes glazed over as I read it aloud.

Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

I need solitude and quiet. Soft music seems to help. Sometimes I write from my computer desk. But when on a deadline, I take my laptop into the bedroom, close the door, get comfortable in the recliner, and write from there.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A pantser who wants to become a plotser (a cross between the two.) I don't want a strict outline, since my story tends to take off in a different direction than I mentally planned. But I have seriously considered jotting down a loose outline that will change as I get into the story. The outline would start me at point A (the beginning), and take me to point Z (the planned ending). But B through Y (and everything in between) need to be flexible because my characters tend to take me in unpredictable directions.

Do you do your research before you begin a new project, or as you go along?

Both. Beforehand and as I go along. During research, I might find something of historical interest that will add flavor to the story.

Who is the most interesting secondary character you've written, and why?

Oscar Ellwood, III in JOURNEY TO FORGIVENESS was a spoiled, Mama's boy, lanky and skinny, buck-toothed and wore Coke-bottle thick glasses. Oscar was an intellectual know-it-all who pursued my heroine until my hero nipped it in the bud. The guy was hilarious. You never knew what he would do or say next. And when during the mission trip his teddy bear fell out of his bag... Well, I'll just quote what a reader said, “That Oscar was a hoot.”

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers.

By now you can tell I'm talkative and a people person. I love meeting people, learning about them as long as it's in a public setting. But I have a private side that demands I spend time alone. It is those times at home or during walks in the woods that ideas form for my next book.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

I would like my stories to entertain, to pull my readers into a different world. I want to take them on an emotional journey, make them cry and/or make them laugh. If the reader feels something and learns a life lesson from the story, it is worth the sweat and tears I've put into it.

What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Do not get discouraged. If you have a story in you, write it. Stay away from dream stealers as much as possible. Surround yourself with upbeat people who have the same goals—preferably fellow writers. Study the craft of writing. Online creative writing courses helped encourage me. Once your manuscript is completed, let a friend who scored high in grammar proof it. Then send it to a qualified editor.

What has helped you in your writing career? Did you have a mentor?

I've had fellow writers who would not let me give up. At mid-point while writing my first book, I laid it aside for months. My friend, Deb, who I met on an online writing course, kept after me to pick it up again. I finally did a year later and finished the last half of the book in weeks. Deb is still an inspiration to me.

Seeking the Lord helps me stay centered. I ask for guidance each time I start a new book. “Lord, I'm writing for You. Let every story I write honor You, and anoint my words to help those struggling with similar problems to those of my characters.

Tell us about your latest release.


When Carrie Franklin's struggle with a drunk leaves him unconscious or perhaps dead, she flees. Forgetting the promise she made to her deceased mother, she catches the train to Abilene, leaving her feckless brother behind.

Carrie shares a seat with a young woman who confides she's a mail order bride en route to meet her fiancé. Molly's friend had also planned to be part of this adventure. But without warning Katy Davis changed her mind.

When Carrie mentions she will disembark in Abilene, Molly asks a favor. “Please explain Katy's absence to the man Katy promised to wed. It would be awful if he waited at the depot for hours.”

Wrought through a misunderstanding and her empty purse, Carrie finds herself headed toward the Kramer Ranch with Josh Kramer under the assumed name Katy Davis.

When Carrie learns through Josh's aunt that he believes she's the domestic help, Carrie realizes she had dug herself into a pit. Aunt Em will suffer if she reveals her identity.

Suspicious of Katy, Josh still finds himself falling in love. Burned once, he's sworn, “Never again.” Then he sees Katy in a moonlight conversation with his new ranch hand and suspects the worst. Are they scheming to take the Kramer ranch?

If Carrie reveals her true identity it could destroy any feelings Josh may have for her. Can Josh ever forgive her? Did Carrie kill the drunk? Is a posse trailing her? Only through God's grace can bring forgiveness and ensure a future for Carrie and Josh.


          The drunk fingered a lock of Carrie's hair. “Treat Big Jim nice and he'll show you a night you'll not likely forgit.”

He traced her jawline with a callused thumb. “Smooth as silk. Mmm, Mmm, you sure are a cute little thang. How about a little kiss for a lonely ol' man?”

Carrie flung his hand from her face. She'd never been mauled by a man and didn't aim for this to be the first time.

Big Jim dragged her closer. “You're a feisty one. What's wrong, Big Jim ain't good enough fer ya?” His hairy arm snaked around her waist, yanking her closer, and smashing her face into his sweaty shirt. If she quit struggling, maybe he would loosen his grip. Carrie paused to catch her breath and to plan her next move.

Big Jim mistook her pause for surrender. “That's more like it, gal. Just relax and give Big Jim that kiss he's been wantin'.” He slackened his hold and lowered his head. The coarse stubble of his beard stung Carrie's cheek.

Anger and adrenaline raced through her. She pushed against him, then raised her foot and kicked him in the shin.

“Ow-w-w!” He let go and hopped around on one foot, cursing under his breath. “You little wench! You'll pay!”

The menacing gleam in his eye told Carrie it was now or never. Before he could grab her again, she shoved against him. The big oaf stumbled backward to the edge of the boardwalk, flailing his arms as he hit the ground with a thud.

Carrie clenched onto the support post, a hand pressed to her pounding heart. Big Jim lay spread-eagle, flat on his back in the dusty street. A rock lay beneath his head under the dim street light. He was not moving.

How can readers learn more about you?

Laurean Brooks, Author

The link to my author page, where readers can view all my books is:

My blog: Laurean's Lore:   

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Gothic Romance
Date Published: 10/31/17

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Centuries ago, his ancestor fell in love with a woman cursed by a jealous witch. No one believed him until it was too late. Eric Fontalvo was determined to prove one thing... that a family curse didn't cause his father's death.

The plan was working until the day he found her...again. Suddenly his life changes forever, and he is forced to question everything he believes.

Moving into an old plantation house was just what Tandie Harrison needed to recover from tragedy. So she writes a book, a story based on a man in her dreams. There's only one problem though... the characters from her novel keep showing up on her doorstep.

And then she finds a diary written hundreds of years ago.

As if that isn't strange enough, she meets him...the man from her dream, someone who reawakens her psychic power along with something else from long ago.

Can Eric and Tandie's love destroy the force keeping them apart? Or will darkness win again?

Hacienda Moon is a new classic tale of two lovers crossing time. A seductive tale of one woman's journey to confront the demons of her past and to find the courage to face her future. It is a mesmerizing novel that explores the deepest depths of human nature, and the characters will hold and haunt you long after you have read the final chapter.


“Wow, it’s so hot out here today.” I stretched my arms, lifting my tee-shirt up until my belly button was exposed, basking in the warmth of the late summer sun. Eric’s mouth fell open. Success! That move totally stole Mr. Intense's attention. Tucking my lips, I made a move toward an even more creative tease, bending over to pick up one of the three paint brushes I’d dropped.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“What does it look like? I dropped my paintbrushes.” I shrugged and waved the brush between us.

“Did I not use the proper technique for bending over and picking it up?”

He gave me a boyishly wide big grin and moved closer to where I stood beside the house. Glancing down at the brushes beside my feet, he said, “They do look somewhat dirty. You sure you can handle that task? You strike me as somewhat of a nice girl. With that much paint and dirt all in the heads, you have to get a little rough with cleaning them.” His gaze bore into mine, smoldering me under a hazel brown sugary-colored look this time.

I held his gaze. “Oh, believe me. I have plenty of ways to clean dirty things.”

There was about a foot of space between us now. “Is that right?”

“Oh yeah,” I answered, hoping that the pulse line on my neck didn’t show the way my heart thumped inside my chest.

His gaze drifted from my eyes down to my lips and finally ended at my left shoulder. “Then why don’t you start by cleaning that big red spider off your shoulder?” An amused smile spread across his lips, but a scream shrilled out of mine.

Eric slammed his hands over his ears. “Damn it, Tandie.”

Adrenaline spiked through me. He might as well have said my breasts were hanging out. He would’ve gotten less of a response than he did with the spider statement. “Get it off me! Do you see it? Is it still there? Get it!” I shrieked, jumping around and spinning in half circles.

“I won’t help you until you stop trying to burst my eardrums,” he said, still half-way smiling. He came over and put his arms around me, pulling me into his embrace. “Calm down, Tandie. It’s gone, all right?”

Vowing to never tease Eric ever again, I waited for my breathing to normalize and for my trembling limbs to steady as I was pressed against his chest.

About the Author

Author of the Bestelling Lost Immortals Saga, Pathseekers and Musical Interlude Series, KaSonndra Leigh is also a mother, blogazine owner, reader, gardener, home renovator, and a slayer of undead Egyptian mummies in Tomb Raider. She believes in karma, coffee, and seriously wishes that the producers of Xena would bring back her favorite show ever.

Strange things about KaSonndra: Everything. She’s weird, odd, unusual, and generally tends to make people think she swooped down from another planet. Maybe she did. Who knows? She’s also a member of the #zombiesurvivalcrew on twitter. So if you need protection from the upcoming apocalypse, don’t hesitate to call on KayLeigh and crew!

KaSonndra was born in the race-car city of Charlotte, NC, and now live in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, NC, when she’s not hanging out in Bardonia (Lost Immortals Saga setting). Most of her characters are based on people that she has met throughout her travels and adventures. People tend to stop and start conversations with KaSonndra as if she has known them her entire life. Does this freak her out? Not really. Her mom says that one day she’ll get kidnapped by one of these folks. KaSonndra’s response? She told her mom that if it weren’t for these lovely people, then she wouldn’t be able to create such fabulously romantic stories.

A few other tidbits about KaSonndra… She has watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun almost 200 times. This is her explanation regarding her obsession. She figures that if she keeps watching the film enough times, then suddenly the house that Diane Lane lives in will magically appear in her backyard. Yes! KaSonndra has a huge imagination!

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