An Unlikely Mother by Danica Favorite

Hi Cindy’s readers! I’m so thankful Cindy agreed to have me on her blog. I’ve written a couple drafts of my post, and to be honest, I didn’t like any of them. There is so much I want to say about An Unlikely Mother, because it captured my heart in so many ways. So I’m going to give you a brief rundown of the three characters I love the most.

Flora is the heroine. I didn’t want to like Flora. After all, why should the most hated girl in town get a happily ever after? But I realized a couple of things. One, I fully believe that no one is beyond redemption. People can learn and grow. Two, in a lot of ways, we’re all like Flora. Maybe we weren’t the town gossip, but we all have flaws. Some greater than others. And so, for me, Flora is a symbol of the hope that no matter how far any of us fall, we can always get back up again and be something greater.

George is the hero. I’ll admit that even though I live in the mountains with no television reception, if I’m somewhere where I can watch Undercover Boss, I do. I love the idea of a boss taking the time to become one of the employees to learn what’s really going on. I’d like to think that brings lasting change to the boss and how he or she views the people around them. I know it did for George, and it’s a really good reminder for me to think about what the world likes like from perspectives different from mine.

Pierre is the darling little boy they help. How can you not love a little boy? For me, though, the most fun was that I finally got to use all those years of French! I’ve been sad that I spent so long studying it in school, and I’ve never used it. I was also very proud of myself, because I had a couple of French experts read those parts, and they said I did great.

So that’s the brief rundown of my characters. A lot of different pieces, but I enjoyed finding ways to fit them all together. I hope you enjoyed getting to know the characters I love. I’d love to hear about the kinds of characters you love and why you love them.

About Danica:

A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado.  Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.

You can connect with Danica at the following places:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Danica-Favorite/e/B00KRP0IFU

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/danica-favorite

Website: http://www.danicafavorite.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/danicafavorite
Instagram: https://instagram.com/danicafavorite/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanicaFavoriteAuthor

 

Book links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Unlikely-Mother-Love-Inspired-Historical-ebook/dp/B01M9C3M1G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498799660&sr=8-1

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-unlikely-mother-danica-favorite/1124880608?ean=9780373425242

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/an-unlikely-mother/id1173001759?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/an-unlikely-mother

A Rancher’s Request by E. Ayers

Note from Cindy: I love E’s cover for this book. It’s one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen in a long time.

It’s always exciting to be here on Cynthia’s blog. It’s especially exciting because my newest western is on pre-order for 99c, and once it releases, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, the price will go up. Okay, 99c is dirt cheap, but why even consider it, if you don’t know who I am? Lots of great reasons!

I love writing historically accurate westerns. I never dreamed the day would come that I would say this, but I really do enjoy digging for information. This one was no exception. Using two local places as hometowns for the hero and heroine meant I had to do some local research.

A Rancher’s Request seesaws between Franklin, Virginia and Creed’s Crossing, Wyoming. So how did such a situation occur? Quite simply, it was not uncommon. In fact, it was rather normal. We love reading about mail order brides going west to meet someone they did not know. They were the exceptions, and now there are more mail-order bride stories then there were mail-order brides. Most of the young women going west to marry actually had some sort of tie to the young men they were about to marry. Frequently, the couple knew each other before he left. Many times the arrangements were made because the parents knew each other or someone knew both young people.

Arranged marriages were extremely common and had been for hundreds of years. The only difference, during Victorian times, was that women could reject the suitor without upsetting the parent who made the arrangement. It also wasn’t unusual for her to go to her father and ask for him to arrange a marriage to a particular man. Arrangements allowed the couple to get to know each other. If he was nearby, he could court his bride-to-be. Long distances usually meant letter writing.

Zadie Larkford wasn’t exactly typical of women her age. She was educated. Her father, as the town’s doctor was a college grad. She graduated from what is now known as Longwood College. (Today it is co-ed, but it has a very long history of being a college for women. It’s a beautiful old school tucked in the rolling hills of Virginia.) But a small town girl with a college education wasn’t exactly marriage material for poor farm boys, or local sawmill workers. She had rejected every suitor and had also failed, according to her father, to find a meaningful job. Zadie was an artist and perfectly content to spend her life painting, while wrapped in the comfort of home.

Duncan was one of Reginald Lorde’s sons. The problem was he didn’t like what his father and older brothers did for a living. He didn’t like being on a boat or even the idea of running a fish packinghouse. He found a job on a nearby farm and discovered he enjoyed it. So when the opportunity came to go west and homestead, he did.

These two young people had fathers who were childhood friends. Life had put some distance between the older men, and the children never got to know each other. When Duncan had settled into his land in Wyoming, he began to realize he needed more than his horse, Rocky, to keep him company. He wrote to his father for a wife. It didn’t take much for that father to turn to his old friend who had a daughter.

When Zadie Larkford discovers what her father has arranged for her, she is furious. She is forced to learn to cook, clean, and do all the chores relegated to the woman of the house. Her mother’s assurances that the Lordes were good people did little to soothe Zadie’s ire.

Maybe the best way to get out of this arranged marriage was to make Duncan Lorde change his mind about wanting a bride.

***

Enjoy this excerpt from

A Rancher’s Request

 

“If my daughter keeps baking all those delicious things, I’ll have to buy new clothes. I do hope that young man of hers appreciates a good meal.” He took a sip of the tea and then reached in his coat pocket. “Here’s another letter for you.”

Zadie’s breath hitched as she took the envelope. “Excuse, me. I want to return to my painting.”

As she stepped outside, she heard her father say, “You only want to read that letter where no one will see you blush.”

She giggled as she opened the note, then called back to her dad, “He doesn’t write such things.” Well, maybe.

Quickly, she read through the letter and knew she’d reread it several times until she had absorbed everything. This one was serious as he wrote about his life, his family, and living in the west. He had enclosed several tidy sketches of floor plans for a house. She looked at them, and then continued to read.

Since I don’t have a picture of myself to send to you, I figured I could show off my artistic skills and draw my image for you. This is Rocky and I. I hope you know which is which.

Zadie grinned as she looked at his sketch. Oh, Duncan, you look a little long in the face, and I didn’t realize that living in the west would cause your hair to grow so far down your neck. I’ll have to ask him if Rocky has a frown or a mustache. She folded his letter and returned it to the envelope. You are asking for it this time. Just how ugly can I make myself? You’re going to think twice before accepting me as a bride.

Why (and How) I Write Medical Fiction by Jacqueline Diamond

From the moment a cave man, gored by a mastodon, gazed up adoringly at the cave woman rubbing his wound with medicinal frog slime, love has flourished in medical settings.

 Handsome men in white coats (or blue scrubs). Sharp-eyed women who wield a scalpel with a steady hand. Life-and-death issues and babies on the way, whether long-sought or unexpected—these are the stuff of riveting romantic drama.
 
My interest in medical fiction grew in part from personal experiences. My father spent many years as a small-town doctor, and delivered my brother and me at home. Later, as a reporter for a newspaper and the Associated Press, I was drawn to stories about medical discoveries and developments.
 
When my husband and I got ready to start a family, we ran into problems. Like it or not, I was researching the latest fertility techniques in person. I’m happy to report that, ultimately, I gave birth to two healthy sons and a number of romance novels about fertility treatments, babies, couples, and the hopes and dreams that bind them.
 
In writing medical romance, research is vital. The Internet has been tremendously helpful, as has the wealth of books by doctors, nurses and other professionals. I’m fortunate to have several friends who fact-check my books, including an obstetrical nurse. Another friend, forensics expert D.P. Lyle, M.D. (author of Forensics for Dummies), answers my questions in detail.
 
In addition to romances, I write medical mysteries. I rely upon my years as a police reporter, on considerable research, and on another friend who’s a retired sheriff’s investigator.
 
Although I had written about doctors and nurses previously, my longest series is Safe Harbor Medical®. It began with a three-book proposal for Harlequin about a California hospital remodeled to focus on women’s issues and fertility treatments. With each novel featuring a different couple falling in love, the series grew to encompass 17 books plus a spin-off mystery series, which I’m self-publishing.
 
I’m currently reissuing some of the romances as ebooks, and am happy to put the first of the series, The Would-Be Mommy, on sale for 99 cents this month. Plus, I recently published the second Safe Harbor Medical Mystery, The Case of the Surly Surrogate.
 
My characters and settings have become so real to me, I sometimes forget that I made them up. I hope you’ll find them real, too!
 
 
Blurb for The Would-Be Mommy:
 
Babies, babies, everywhere! When journalist Ian Martin stirs up trouble with his story about a hospital welcoming abandoned babies, the roguish reporter accidentally ignites a firestorm around public relations director Jennifer Serra. Now she faces losing her heart to a baby she can’t keep, and losing her job because of a scandalous secret. Cataromance.com called this a “brilliantly moving story.”
 
Excerpt from The Would-Be Mommy:
 
He located Jennifer Serra outside the auditorium. Dark hair tumbled appealingly from a knot atop her head, and the exotic tilt to her dark eyes intrigued him, as did a hint of sadness that made him wonder what secrets she harbored. But although he was known as much for digging into personalities as for rooting out facts, Ms. Serra wasn’t his target tonight. Too bad.
“Mr. Martin!” Her full mouth perked into a smile. “We’re almost ready to start the press conference.”
“Actually, I’d like to talk to someone first.”
“Who?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”
Her chin came up. “Anything I can do to help, I’d be glad to.”
She shouldn’t make tempting offers like that, Ian reflected. On the other hand, being helpful was her job. “Who’s the most ticked-off doctor at this hospital?”
“I’m sorry?” Her expression turned wary.
“The one who makes trouble.” Kind of like I do.
She swallowed. He’d scored a direct hit, Ian could tell. “We’re a team here,” she responded gamely.
“And it’s your duty to say so. But we both know better.” He stretched out an arm and leaned against the wall, deliberately fencing her in. She’d either have to retreat or duck beneath his arm to escape. “A giant corporation buys a community hospital and turns it into a money-making machine. That’s got to rub somebody the wrong way.”
His peripheral vision caught his photographer’s approach. Jennifer’s face tightened at the sight of the camera, but with what must have been considerable effort, she relaxed into another smile. “If anyone’s unhappy, you can hardly expect her to show up at an event like this.”
“Her?” So there was someone.
Jennifer adjusted the short, fitted jacket she wore over a figure-skimming dress. Ian assumed that bought her a moment to regain control and find the appropriate glib answer. Sure enough, here it came: “Mr. Martin, this is a wonderful facility that brings hope to couples struggling to start a family.”
“Of course it does.” He filed a mental note to sniff out the disgruntled doctor later, but tonight he needed another angle. “Do you have children?”
“No, not yet.” There it was again, that trace of sadness.
 
 
Author Bio:
USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond has published 102 books, including romantic comedies, medical romances, Regency romances and mysteries. A former Associated Press reporter, Jackie has been honored with a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and is a two-time Rita Award finalist. She and her husband live in Southern California. You can learn more about her at www.jacquelinediamond.com and visit her on Facebook at Jacquelinediamondauthor.
 
Also available on B&N, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords.

Hope’s Wonder by M. L. Prescott

Thank you, thank you, Cindy for welcoming me once again to highlight the fifth book in the Morgan’s Run Romances series, Hope’s Wonder , available for pre-order on Amazon now and debuting on June 5, 2017!

My last blog post was about juggling three popular series so I thought, in addition to highlighting , Hope’s Wonder and it’s beautiful cover (my favorite yet!),  I’d write this time about keeping up with all the settings, characters and details in one series, in this case Morgan’s Run– yikes! Fortunately my amazing copyeditor keeps track and provides me with really helpful and detailed summaries.

These books are set in the southwest, where an “orographic effect” has created a fertile valley ringed by mountains and desert. Sexy romances, the books tell the story of the Morgan family, as well as their neighbors and friends. Each clan has taken a role as the stories of this close, vibrant community continue to unfold. As I said in my last blog, these books practically write themselves as I always love returning to the Valley!

The challenges I face are keeping track and continuing to write while working at another full-time job that I love (college professor). I have not yet been able to make the decision to leave my students and colleagues. So hard. Like many of you, I hear from readers all the time wanting to know when the next book in the series will be out. Last fall, in the midst of a very busy semester, I sat myself down and vowed, “no major writing until summer 2017, period, end of story.” Then I read a slew of reader messages and by January, I had broken my vow and was halfway through draft one of Hope’s Wonder in a semester that is even busier than last! I also have my beloved grandchildren and they always come first.

So… keeping things straight…hmm… My best advice is to stay organized, know your characters inside and out (my readers often know them better than me, which can be disconcerting…) and leave LOTS of time for revising. I actually enjoy revising. For me, the emotional wallop happens during revisions. Under the gun, the character bios, setting bios and graphic organizers are hugely important. However one uses these tools – virtually or plastered on every wall (my method)– they are invaluable in keeping people, animals (every horse on the ranch has a bio!), places and things straight. BUT bios and summaries aside, during revisions, the real magic is that wallop as I switch to the reader role. I believe that if I don’t love my characters then, my readers won’t either. If I expect people to laugh, cry, and live through my stories, I’d better be there right along with them! Make sense? I hope so!

Warm wishes to all. I hope we meet some day!

Cheers,

Lee

EXCERPT

Hope’s Wonder

Book 5: Morgan’s Run Romances

              

Chapter 1

Ten miles from Morgan’s Run, Hope Seymour wondered if she was making a huge mistake inflicting her misery on her friend, Beth Morgan and her family. The hell of the past year dominated her thoughts as she drove, oblivious to the landscape surrounding her. Bruce’s death still hurt and the death of his baby at her hands haunted her dreams as well as almost every waking moment. She still saw his face when he discovered what she had done. Heartbroken, he had scooped her off the floor and drove her to the hospital. “Incomplete abortion,” the physician said as they wheeled her into surgery.

Infection and hemorrhaging necessitated a hysterectomy to save her life. Bruce had taken leave and stayed by her side until she recovered, even as she knew it was painful for him to be around her. When her body was finally healed, he came to her one morning, “I’m going back to work. It’s undercover below the border so you won’t hear from me for a while.” A border patrol agent, Bruce spoke fluent Spanish and had taken the dangerous assignment in Mexico that he never would have touched before.

“No, you can’t!” she had pleaded. “This is wrong. Please, don’t do this, Bruce!”

He leaned over and kissed her forehead. “It’s done, buddy.”

The pregnancy had been a foolish mistake, the result of a night of lovemaking when they’d both been lonely and between partners. She loved Bruce, but she was not in love with him. She knew he felt the same, but also knew that he wanted children more than anything in the world. His strong Catholic faith would never have condoned an abortion. “I’m sorry,” she had said, holding onto his arm, eyes pleading one last time.

“Why?” he said, softly, then turned and walked out of her life forever. For the rest of her life, Hope would wonder if her dearest friend had accepted the assignment because of her, because his heart and soul had died along with his child. Two months later they found his body in the desert. He had been tortured for days before his death.

Now she was headed to nanny for Beth’s baby who was due any day. “Are you crazy?” is what her mother had said when she announced her intention to spend four or five months in Saguaro Valley. “It’s beautiful up there, sweetie, but are you ready to be around a baby?”

“I’m fine,” Hope had responded. It was a lie, but she knew that being with friends would be healing. Beth and she had met through a hiking group organized by Beth’s former boyfriend, Bill Sampson. Hope occasionally ran into Bill, but she had dropped out of the group when she moved back to TinTown, a suburb of Tucson.

In truth, she didn’t know Beth all that well, but she liked her. She was warm and level-headed, qualities Hope very much appreciated. Beth had visited her several times after the abortion, then again when Bruce died. Her steady presence had been such a precious gift that Hope could never repay. When the offer to nanny arose during one of their weekly phone conversations, Hope had surprised herself and Beth by saying, “yes!” So, here she was, a few miles from Morgan’s Ranch with no clue if this a wise decision or if her mom was right, she really was crazy.

On her few visits to the ranch, she had fallen in love with the loving, raucous Morgan family with its two daughters and four gorgeous sons. There had been memorable moments for Hope at the ranch, dancing with Beth’s brother, Robbie at her friend’s wedding, riding in the foothills and meadows of the valley, and hours talking by the fire. Beth’s dad was the father she always wished she had. Her own father, Tom Seymour, had abandoned his young family when Hope was a baby. By all accounts, he was a bastard to his wife and sons. Her mom was now on her third husband, Ralph and had finally found a nice guy, stable and financially secure. Will I ever find that? Hope wondered as she turned off the Gila Highway.

AUTHOR WEBPAGE AND NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

Connect with M. Lee Prescott

WEBSITE                                            AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE                               GOODREADS

BUY LINKS (please note: Hope’s Wonder is only available on Amazon until June, but I included the other links to the previous book in the series, Rose’s Choice). Feel free to delete if not useful!

AMAZON                                           KOBO                                  NOOK                                  APPLE

Come Dance with Me! by Sylvia McDaniel

Thanks Cynthia for having me on your blog today. As a writer, I love hearing about new stories, different kinds of plots and characters. My husband and I go to the movies a couple of times a month just to see what filmmakers are doing. Of course I don’t enjoy blow up/shoot-em up, save the world kind of storires, unless they’re done well. Sorry, I’m not a Marvel Comics fan. This year we saw some really good movies: Hidden Figures, La La Land, Arrival, Passengers, Rogue One, The Jungle Book, The Nice Guys, Sully, The Accountant, Star Trek Beyond, Deepwater Horizon, and Snowden.

 To me the one thing these films all had in common was a great character. Real life stories are my favorites and this year there were four fantastic ones. Hidden Figures, Sully, Deep Water Horizon and even Snowden made you stop and think about how he reacted to his circumstances.

 The movie Snowden, Passengers and The Accountant showed you the dark side of humanity and how far people go and yet you learned why they acted the way they did and while you didn’t agree with their actions, you understood and were intriqued.

 Authors struggle to find a great plot, with a strong, vibrant character who has to change and grow throughout the novel and in the end receive their reward. Whether that be the gold, the land or the heroine/hero Whatever they’re seeking, they must first fight a battle, overcome something in themselves before they achieve their goal.

 For me, this is the hardest part of plotting. Figuring out what the character needs to learn and what the reward is at the end. I’m just starting a new novel and about eighty percent of my plot is worked out and suddenly it’ dawned on me what’s his goal besides the heroine? What is he striving for? How is this person different in the end?

 When I plot, I always leave a few empty scenes because usually something dawns on me while I’m writing. It’s the aw ha moment and you know it needs to go in there.

 Now, I’m a fluffy writer. I want to laugh. I want to have fun. I want the people I create to find a happily ever after. But I also want them to struggle and realize they have a weakness and with the help of the hero/heroine, overcome their flaw and find happiness.

 If you’re a writer…go to the movies. Watch the character development on screen. If you love to read, go to the movies and let them take you to another world, another dimension or experience landing a plane on the Hudson. Or experience being an intelligent woman who can’t use the main bathroom because she’s black, but knows how to put our rocket into orbit. Or a CIA agent who learns the government is listening. Or an accountant who is a genius with no personnal skills and works as a forensic accountant, who catches the bad guys.

 Character…what keeps me enthralled with the movies, turning pages as I read and trying to replicate in my own stories. My characters will never be as serious as some of the ones in films, but hopefully you’ll still fall in love with them.

 If you’re looking for a book that will keep you laughing with quirky characters, come dance naked around the Cupid Fountain and find your true love.

Amazon Link:   http://amzn.to/2lTQsqR

Winter Writing by Min Edwards

Thanks, Cynthia, for having me today. It’s such a pleasure to be here and talk about writing.

As the title suggests, today I’m blogging about writing in winter. I live in Maine on the shore of Cobscook Bay which is an offshoot of the Bay of Fundy. And right now it’s February and of course cold… and dark. This impacts my writing in ways that when I lived in my previous home in Austin, Texas I couldn’t imagine.

So why is my writing different in the winter? First, it’s cold. Second my house is old and very drafty. Third, there’s little daylight, almost like the arctic with the sun going down right after 3 in the afternoon. And fourth, it’s cold. I imagine you see where I’m going with this.

By way of contrast, let me back-track to our lovely summer when the sun rises before 5am and doesn’t set until after 9pm. That’s a long day in which to get things accomplished—19 hours of pure productivity. Well, not every day of course. Some days I just kick back and watch the butterflies and birds flittering around and take my big, old, black dog, Zach, on long walks down to my beach. A wonderful excursion for both us, but still, there are a lot of hours in which to be writing or thinking about writing. And summer these past few years has very gently morphed into a lovely fall. However, I find myself doing more work outside in the fall… no bugs. We have enormous mosquitoes during our summers. Anyway, my writing schedule is a bit curtailed during the fall.

Then comes winter, which usually starts after Thanksgiving and goes through March. However, with climate change… and if you don’t believe this is happening then you should be up here to experience our increasing storms and unusual fluctuating temperatures. The winters for the past three years have been variable, sometimes wildly so. In 2015 we had 15 feet of snow. In 2016 the winter seemed normal with snow falling at appropriate times, but this year January temps varied from the 30s to the 50s and little to no snow at all. February is making up for lost time though with a foot on the ground then a fierce blizzard that dropped another 2 feet with 50 mph winds as well. Another milder blizzard followed a few days later. And a sneak overnight snowstorm piled on another six inches. God knows what the rest of February and March will bring. So I’ve experienced climate change from the trenches I guess you could say. Not so much a warming trend although January felt that way, but increasingly harsh storms and gale force winds.

Changing temperature and the increasing incidence of strong storms including tornadoes is the reason I left Texas. I thought nothing would get me out of there, but after so many summers with growing numbers of days over 100 degrees and a decade of drought when the lake view from my front yard dwindled from lake to caliche cliffs, I packed up and left the first of August almost 6 years ago. The drought has eased since, but the storms there are worsening and it isn’t getting any cooler. That probably means I won’t move back however much I’d like to. Adapting myself to Maine winters is a must.

Over the last 5 years since I’ve been writing, I’ve noticed that my writing schedule as well as writing style change drastically season by season particularly in the winter.

Frankly, I become a hermit. I hardly ever go out of the house except to walk the dog and get the mail. My son does all my grocery shopping and errands. I sit at home in my tights, baggy sweat shirt and thick socks and spend most of my day in front of the computer in the kitchen… where it’s warm… and I write.

The winter view from my office/kitchen window

And in the winter my writing seems to adjust its themes with the available daylight hours. The books I write in the summer include some light-hearted banter and tongue-in-cheek attitude to match the gorgeous light outside my office that is almost like Alaska’s midnight sun. Not quite, but close to 24/7 daylight. In the winter I write about dark emotions, passionate encounters, lots of instances of mayhem because, well, it’s dark outside almost all the time. Then I use the early spring to lighten those when I edit them just so I won’t scare my readers away. Seasons works for me in unexpected ways it seems.

And my winter themes this year are… Russia on the cusp of revolution, cyber-hacking, black-market artifact sales, a re-telling of The Little Match Girl and you all know how that story turns out, and finally sharks, human trafficking and pirates. Fun stuff. But the spring cometh! My editor and I can interject some levity into the final versions, at least my Little Match Girl won’t die in the snow… I hope. And I’m leaving my light-hearted anthology of wedding stories for this summer when I’m in a better mood. But my writing in the winter is necessary particularly when it mediates Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, a very good description of the condition). Without removing myself from my real surroundings into a make-believe world, I’d be a mess. So, I thank you winter and my novels thank you as well. I have a lot more hours trapped indoors to think up stories.

Happy reading!

Min

The following is a snippet from Precious Stone, my current publication, which came out in November (but was begun in the winter of 2015… the Russian mob and lots of mayhem occur). Enjoy.

Precious Stone, Book 4 in the High Tide Suspense series, available now:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fM6a85 to purchase

and

ePub Universal link: https://www.books2read.com/u/bP1Gk7 to buy at ePub retailers such as iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and others.

A gift of thanks to a young girl from the Tsar more than 100 years ago… and now the Russians want it back.

Collee McCullough, the owner of The Bakery in Stone Bay, Maine, has a perfect life until early one morning men in suits come calling. She has something someone dangerous wants. Something that her Russian great-grandmother, Natasha took when she fled Russia in 1913. Too bad Buka never told her family what she had or where she left it.

Jake Elsmore, visiting Stone Bay to sell his mother’s house, walks into The Bakery for a cup of Earl Grey tea, but gets more. There she is. Collee McCullough, stepping out from behind the Chief of Police, a lovely, fiery-haired fairy toting a shotgun while two men lay insensate on the floor of her shop. Looks like that tea will have to wait.

Bio

About the Author:

 

Min Edwards is the pen name of Author, Archaeologist, Book Designer, and owner of A Thirsty Mind Publishing and Design, Pam Headrick.

She has lived in many countries in her life—England, the Philippines, Cuba, Texas (yes, Texas thinks of itself as a separate country)—gathering experiences for her writing along the way. She earned Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees from Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin in Anthropology with minors in Art, Geology and Geography, and she spent her early professional career as an Archaeological Illustrator and staff historical archaeologist at the University of Texas – Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory.

In 2012, after participating in a round table discussion on self-publishing at a writers’ conference she was inspired to began writing down the stories that had filled her head for decades and now works from a small office in her 180 year old Greek Revival farmhouse at Pheasant Cove Farm near the village of Lubec, Maine, the most eastern spot in the U.S. In the summer she walks on her private beach every day, listening to the song of the pebbles being washed back and forth in the tide. It’s a musical and inspiring sound. In the winter though, she’d rather the beach be sand and maybe transported to someplace warmer… Tahiti seems to be most often on her mind.

Her first novel, STONE BAY, a Contemporary Romance, was published in March of 2014. It was followed by a new Romantic Suspense series, Hide Tide Suspense, bringing danger to the small village of Stone Bay, Maine. Out now in the series are STONE COLD, STONE HEART, STONE FALL and PRECIOUS STONE. Finally for the conclusion of the series, THE RUSSIAN PHOENIX, a women’s fiction historical and the prequel to PRECIOUS STONE is coming soon. These books can be found on her Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bHJ1kb

You may also find all of her published books at sites such as iBooks, B&N and Kobo through Books2Read.com

Stone Bay: https://books2read.com/u/bw8gDG

Stone Cold: https://books2read.com/u/49x5y8

Stone Heart: https://books2read.com/u/b6QP9J

Stone Fall: https://books2read.com/u/mgK8V6

Precious Stone: https://www.books2read.com/u/bP1Gk7

Drop in on her alter-ego at the business website at www.athirstymind.com where you can learn all about the book design business, and visit with Min at www.MinEdwards.com where you can learn about her writing life.

You can also find her on:

her blog for all things technical:

www.athirstyblog.com

and on her website blog page for her writing thoughts:

www.MinEdwards.com

Twitter @MEdwardsAuthor

twitter.com/MEdwardsAuthor

Min’s Facebook:

www.facebook.com/AuthorMinEdwards

Personal Pinterest:

www.pinterest.com/athirstymind

Min’s Pinterest Page:

www.pinterest.com/minedwards

Writing about the Old West is fun! by E. Ayers

Waving a big hello to everyone! Cynthia has invited me to visit, and I’m always thrilled to be here. As many of you know, I love to write history in a story form. And what’s a story without a wonderful hero and a heroine worthy of him? Being I’m a totally hopeless romantic, how could I not write a story with love tangled into it? Writing about the frontier days of the American West is a time in history that appeals to men and women. But since we’ve never figured out how to travel backwards in time, a book will transport us there. My job is to make certain your experience is as real as possible.

My research turns up information that was never taught in schools. Often I wind up spending hours on information that I will never use, and I’m fascinated by all of it. When I started down this path of historical westerns, I had to research everything. I like knowing that what I’ve written is historically correct.

I’ve always admired and enjoyed reading another author, a European history professor Roberta Gellis. She wrote historical novels of old Europe and England. One of the things I liked about her books was the history that she put in the stories. Not just the clothing, but how the people actually lived, paid their taxes, and how those taxes were recorded on sticks. My feeling was why didn’t they teach us this stuff in school? I learned more reading her books than I ever did in a classroom. She showed me that history doesn’t have to be boring.

When I started working on my first historical story, I wanted to bring the same sort of accuracy to my work. Unfortunately, I didn’t have Ms. Gellis’ learned background. I began to research, checking, and double-checking resources. Often I chased my tail, and that can be frustrating. There’s plenty of misinformation, and it’s perpetuated in other places.

I thought the railroad went from point A to point C. No such luck! That section of track between points B and C should have been built by then, but it wasn’t completed for another twenty years. That’s a serious amount of time when writing a story. Yet that completed track between points B and C appears on more than a dozen maps! It was a railroad company historian, who gave me the correct information. I had to toss about 10 pages from a novel I was writing, rewrite those pages, and fix several other pages.

I’ve also had to make some strange decisions, especially when it comes to word choices. There were three very distinct divisions in spoken English. The educated people spoke a very formal form of English. Many recent immigrants tended to speak a broken form of English that also bled over to their children. And then there were those who spoke a regional dialect that almost sounds like gibberish to those unfamiliar with it. As a result, if I wrote exactly as each person spoke, it would make reading very difficult, so I tend to not be as stringent with keeping everything historically correct when it comes to speech. I do use dialects occasionally because it adds flavor, immediately identifies a character, and helps with the setting. I believe that the reader needs to be comfortable reading, therefore I keep such things to a minimum.

Nothing is worse than being yanked from a story over words that you don’t understand or an odd sentence structure. Our language is a mix of several languages and has settled into some speech patterns that we never think about until we study a foreign one. That’s when we discover that our yellow bus is bus yellow in another language because they place the adjectives behind the noun instead of in front of it. If I wrote the way a certain character spoke, it would become a difficult read. But wait, I do that occasionally. Then I read it a million times to be certain that the character’s spoken words are easily understood. A little can go a long way, but constantly deciphering sentences can be distracting. A Rancher’s Woman is sprinkled with such speech patterns, as is A Rancher’s Dream, but most people comprehend the German word Ja and Spanish word Si for our word yes.

The other odd situation arises when attempting to write spoken words by our native tribe members. I haven’t looked closely at all the tribes, but the ones that I am using in my stories often struggled with our English language. It’s a fine line because I don’t want to portray them as being less intelligent. They weren’t. They lived, worked, played, hunted, married, and raised their children within their community. If they stepped outside that community, they were faced with people who spoke a different language.

Some did learn our language and very quickly! But to expect all of them to know and be fluent in our language is as ludicrous as saying everyone who lives in the states that border our Latino neighbors must know Spanish. Depending on the amount of contact with those people, they might or might not. There are also those who might understand what someone is saying, but can’t respond beyond a few words.

And remember when I said there are patterns in our language? We automatically use the past, future, and present tense, but what if there is no past, future, or present tense? It’s implied, depending on the situation. Such is the case with our many tribal languages. Anyone who has studied our American Sign Language instantly discovers that it, too, lacks those tenses.

The more contact between people, the more each learns. So an American Indian might have virtually no knowledge of English until his or her contact is continuous. In my fictional town of Creed’s Crossing, Wyoming, there are several instances where families are fluent in Crow or Lakota and the English language. But learning a new language can be a struggle for adults, yet amazingly children learn so quickly.

In the beginning of A Rancher’s Woman, the hero Many Feathers, barely speaks our language. But it doesn’t take him long to learn because he’s completely surrounded with English speaking people, and he wants to learn. By the end of that story, he’s fluent in English and can read and write it.

Rose who is also a Crow, had no command of English, nor any need to be trained. Then Malene, the heroine, came to visit. The only thing the women had in common was the fact that they were women and understood cooking, cleaning, and babies. I’m certain it didn’t take them long to learn each other’s language once Malene remained on the reservation. The bonds of friendship would encourage the need to converse.

That situation is still true today. My husband’s family spent a little over two years in Naples, Italy, when the US Navy stationed my father-in-law there. My husband, as a teen, came home fluent in Italian. His father never spoke a word of it because he was constantly with other Americans on base, and they lived in a military community. My mother-in-law did slightly better because she had grown up in a French Canadian family and spoke French, therefore she often understood the Italians, but again her contact was limited mostly to shopping in the area, and what she did learn pertained to food names, ingredients, and cooking. But my husband embraced the opportunity to be in a foreign country and learn another language. Outgoing, fun loving, and quick to make friends, he mixed with the local young people. Since he spoke French, he had no problem learning another romance language. By the time he returned home, he was fluent.

Our native people were not stupid even though they often were portrayed as such in old TV shows or movies. They didn’t wander around grunting words like ugg. And anyone who has ever been around a man with a wrench on a rusted lug nut has heard plenty of uggs, grunts, and quite often more colorful words. So it’s easy to see how these people were portrayed when they did hard manual labor. But what we fail to realize is that many of them not only spoke their language, but the languages of neighboring tribes, French because of the number of French trappers that dealt with the tribes for years before the English began to settle there, and then some English because they were placed on reservations and had to cope with English speaking agents who knew no other language and many times had no desire to learn.

Portraying our tribal, or any group of people, accurately and keeping the reader flowing through the story becomes a balancing act for the author and sometimes an editor. Many authors avoid the problem completely by pretending these people did not exist, or by showing them as completely fluent in English. Add one more piece into the puzzle – keeping things politically correct according to today’s standards. Huh? Not in what I write! I refuse to whitewash the truth.

Sometimes I get to giggling over reviews where my readers say my language is so clean, meaning no foul words, but it’s not unusual for my characters to curse. The difference is today we think nothing of the word darn, but in the late 1800’s, darn was not a polite word and tarnation was even worse! Although it was not on a par with the worst of the curse words today, it was still shocking. (One of the worst and most blasphemous was Dad!) And that brings up the question about some of today’s vulgar language. Did those words exist back then? Yes, but they were not in general use. There are several words today that are considered quite vulgar. But in the late 1800’s, they weren’t. If they were used, it was in normal conversation, and had to do with cattle breeding. It’s an interesting study. But foul words have almost always existed throughout time. And the curse words a man might utter back then when things went awry don’t raise an eyebrow today. That makes reading some novels rather funny when they use today’s curse words.

I will do my best to show things as they were and not as we’d like to think they were. I refuse to ignore the truth. I walk a thin line while writing. The desire to keep everything accurate, while allowing for comfortable reading, makes writing dialog a little challenging.

Today’s foul words were never used then as intensifiers. But I wonder what words will be tomorrow’s foul ones? What’s your favorite word when things go wrong?

New Year means Carnival Season in Louisiana -Cherie Claire

When the New Year rolls around, thoughts turn to diets and making resolutions.

In Louisiana, we start partying.

January 6 marks the Twelfth Night of Christmas, otherwise known as the Epiphany, when the Three Wise Men brought gifts to the baby Jesus. In Europe, Louisiana and parts of the Gulf South, it signals the beginning of Carnival season, which concludes on Mardi Gras, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the onset of Lent. This year, Mardi Gras will be Feb. 28.

In a sense — although most people will laugh at this reference — it’s a religious holiday.

“The Catholic Church licensed Carnival, which means ‘farewell to flesh,’ as a period of feasting before the fasting of Lent,” writes Arthur Hardy in his annual “Mardi Gras Guide.” “The Church also established the set date for the start of the Carnival season — Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany — and the fluctuating date of Mardi Gras.”

In Louisiana and parts of the Gulf Coast, we celebrate the Epiphany by enjoying King Cakes with tiny babies inside. The person who gets the baby in their piece of cake must purchase the next king cake and so it goes until Mardi Gras day. (Talk about forgoing diets!)

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Carnival organizations called krewes host balls during the Carnival season with royalty and revelry, then later parade through the streets throwing beads and trinkets. There are even krewes for canines, the Krewe des Chiens Parade for Dogs in Lafayette, for instance, and the Krewe of Barkus in New Orleans.

If you want to get in the Carnival mood, try my short novella “Carnival Confessions.” It’s only 99 cents to download at online bookstores and free if you sign up for my newsletter on my website: http://www.cherieclaire.net/.

Here’s the description of “Carnival Confessions: A Mardi Gras Novella:”

Attorney Cameron Reed is not too pleased to be paired off in a court case with Stephanie Bertrand, a New Orleans socialite whose privileged background is vastly different from Cameron’s bayou upbringing. But when Cameron overhears Stephanie’s boyfriend asking another woman out, he feels it his duty to tell her of her financé’s betrayal.

Wearing a mask and sneaking into a Mardi Gras ball, Cameron plans to inform Stephanie of her boyfriend’s tryst but never gets a chance. Instead, a tipsy Stephanie delivers a confession. Not only is she not dating the man in question, she is secretly enamored with Cameron. And because Cameron does not return the feelings, she plans to take a job in an Atlanta law firm.

Like the wild Mardi Gras festivities, Cameron’s world turns upside down at the news. But how can he make amends to the woman he nicknamed “Deb” for debutante, and convince her to remain in New Orleans — and hopefully in his arms.

BOOK DETAILS

  • Contemporary romance
  • Set in New Orleans during Carnival
  • A novella of approximately 7,500 words
  • PG-rated content: No steamy love scenes.

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/carnival-confessions-cherie-claire/1125279955?ean=2940156736249

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Carnival-Confessions-Mardi-Gras-Novella-ebook/dp/B01NBFEMQD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480960333&sr=8-1&keywords=carnival+confessions

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/carnival-confessions-a-mardi-gras-novella

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/carnival-confessions-mardi/id1181713486?mt=11

About Cherie Claire

Cherie Claire is the award-winning author of several Louisiana romances.

Originally published with Kensington, the “Cajun Series” of historical romance follows a family of Acadians (Cajuns) who travel to South Louisiana and start anew after being exiled from their Nova Scotia home. The first three books (“Emilie,” “Rose,” “Gabrielle,”) follow the Gallant sisters as they attempt to reunite with their father (and find love) in the wilds of Louisiana and “Delphine” (Book Four) takes place during Louisiana’s role in the American Revolution. The Dugas family saga continues into the 19th century with “A Cajun Dream” (Book Five) and “The Letter” (Book Six).

Cherie is also the author of “The Cajun Embassy” series of contemporary romances – “Ticket to Paradise,” “Damn Yankees” and “Gone Pecan.” What happens when several Columbia journalism coeds homesick for Louisiana find comfort in a bowl of Cajun gumbo? They become lifelong friends. Because love — and a good gumbo — changes everything.

Cherie’s spring 2017 novel, “A Ghost of a Chance,” begins a paranormal mystery series featuring New Orleans travel writer and ghost sleuth Viola Valentine.

Cherie lives in South Louisiana where she works as a travel and food writer when not indulging in Cajun culture. Visit her website at www.cherieclaire.net and write to her at CajunRomances@Yahoo.com.

The Viscount’s Salvation and what I learned by Vikki Vaught

Thank you, Cynthia for having me on your blog today. I have long been a fan of your historical romances. I always know I’m in for a treat when I read one of your books. I recently released The Viscount’s Salvation, Book 3 in my Honorable Rogue series. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the research for this book, and I thought I would share some of it with your readers.

The Viscount’s Salvation has been another exciting journey for me. While this book is set in 1803, a time when the medical profession did not understand or have a name for PTSD, Cortland, my hero, suffers from it. There were no methods of treatment, and the men and women who suffered from PTSD hid their affliction for fear of their own families placing them in insane asylums.

Thank goodness, today, society has some understanding of mental disorders. My heart goes out to all individuals who live with this disorder or suffer from other forms of mental illness. The medical profession still has a lot to learn about the workings of the mind. Much of the treatments that exist, are found by trial and error, even today.

There are two young French children in my novel. I enjoyed researching the French countryside and the language. Thank goodness for Google Translate, it helped immensely with short phrases to add flavor for the children and to help the setting in the beginning of this book.

One of the things I enjoy most when writing historical romance is the research. I’ve loved history from childhood. My mother read historical fiction, and I devoured many of her books during my teen years. I especially enjoyed her Frank Yerby novels. I would sneak them into my bedroom at night and read for hours. The reason I had to sneak them in was because they were quite risqué for a teenager!

The love of history and reading were two things, among many, I shared with my mother. While she passed away at the end of 2011, just as my writing career was beginning, she was there to celebrate my first book, Lost Pleasures Found, when it was published in January 2011. She was so proud of my accomplishment. I’m sure she is looking down upon me and smiling her gentle smile as I travel this road as an author.

My Honorable Rogue series started with the award-winning novel Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey. I have quite a few other characters clambering for me to write their stories. The next book in the series is supposed to be John’s story, but Lord Renwick from Miss Kathleen’s Scandalous Baron, Book 2, is shouting the loudest, so his story may very well be next. One those books will definitely come out in 2017.

While each book has some characters in common, The Viscount’s Salvation can be read as a stand-alone, but I hope you’ll decide to read them in order to fully grow to love my characters as much as I do. Happy reading!

Book Description:

Vikki Vaught’s Honorable Rogue series started with the award-winning novel, Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey. The Viscount’s Salvation, Book 3, brings you her brother’s story. A historical romance of high suspense and sensuality. Buy this book now to find out how he survived his ordeal in war-torn France.

Captain Cortland Wallingford returns a broken man, plagued by horrific nightmares. While attending a ball, Cortland meets Lady Mary, an Earl’s daughter. Her calm demeanor brings him a peace that has evaded him since his imprisonment.

Lady Mary learns of her father’s diabolical plan, one that threatens her life. She’s desperate to find a way out of marriage to a notorious marquess, more than twice her age. When Cortland discovers the danger Mary faces, he offers her an escape from the earl’s evil intent.

Can Mary chase away his nightmares, or will the person who wants him dead achieve their goal before she has a chance?

Excerpt:

Lady Mary hummed as she thumbed through the bookshelf on the upper level of her father’s library in his Grosvenor Square townhouse. As she looked for a novel to read before bed, she heard the door open. She blew out her candle as she ducked behind the drapes concealing the window seat. Her father would be livid if he found her at this time of night…and in her nightclothes. The Earl of Melton believed in strict discipline and did not spare the rod, especially with his nineteen-year-old daughter. Mary held her breath, praying he had not seen the light nor heard her when he entered.

She listened as he began speaking. “Please take a seat. I’m surprised by your visit this late. What do you want, Worthington?”

Mary shrank further into her hiding place. The marquess was one of the men her father brought to the house for his vile, debauched parties. The man had cornered her on more than one occasion, and she had barely escaped with her virtue intact the last time.

Why did her father sound so disturbed? Normally, he was on good terms with the marquess. She wanted to sneak to the railing and peek over it, but she dared not risk it.

“You know why I am here, Melton,” the marquess sneered. “I demand you honor your marker.”

Her father blustered, “I need another month, or…perhaps we can work something out. I have seen the way you look at my daughter. She would make you a fine wife. I would be happy to give her to you if we can come to terms.”

Mary’s heart dropped to her feet. Worthington was a notorious rake and more than twice her age. Surely her father could not be serious.

Author Bio:

Vikki Vaught started her writing career when a story invaded her mind and would not leave. Ever since then, the stories keep coming and writing is now her passion. Over the last five years, she has written almost a dozen romances and is presently working on her next, while fighting off the other future characters shouting my turn!

Vikki lives in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with her husband, Jim, who is a saint for putting up with her when she is in a writing frenzy. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her curled up in a comfortable chair reading, lost in a good book with a cup of tea at her side. She also enjoys walking her little dog, Marlee who has captured her heart!

 

Buy Link:

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01M5IMWKO

Author Links:

Website: http://www.vikkivaught.com/home.html

Email: mailto:vvaught512@aol.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VikkiVaught?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vvaught512

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+VikkiMcCombie/posts

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vaughtmccombie/

Amazon Author Page: http://smile.amazon.com/Vikki-Vaught/e/B008EE7TG2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1433778387&sr=1-2-ent

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5208041.Vikki_Vaught

 

 

The Star Survivor by Veronica Scott

Thank you Veronica for being my first guest for 2017.

Thanks for having me as your guest and I’m honored to kick off 2017 here at your blog!

My latest science fiction romance novel is Star Survivor and has actually been the sequel most often requested by my readers. It’s a wonderful compliment to be asked for sequels but I also wanted to be sure I got it right and did justice to the two characters my readers were intrigued by.

Twilka and Khevan were secondary characters in Wreck of the Nebula Dream, the book I wrote based on the sinking of the Titanic, but set in the far future on an interstellar spaceliner. People definitely wanted to know what happened to them next. This new book is a standalone story but having read Wreck first might enhance the reader enjoyment a bit. It’s not a spoiler to say Twilka, the heroine in this new book, is definitely a survivor, not only of the wreck, but also of other events in her life. She’s stronger than she ever understood.

It took me a while to work out what the future would have held for Khevan and Twilka once they finally escaped the dying ship in the first book. I came up with a couple of romantic suspense type plots but nothing seemed right and I kept setting the project aside. So in mid-2016, I took a step back to reconsider. One of my jumping off points for this story was the realization that a person will probably only ever have one “Titanic” type of event in their entire life. (Certain real crew members of the Titanic were an exception to the general rule but that’s another story for sure). Life goes on and although the person has undoubtedly been shaped and altered by what they lived through on the fateful night, he or she still has to finish living out an ordinary human existence.

So I thought about what changes surviving the catastrophic wreck of the Nebula Dream would have made to someone like Twilka – rich, carefree and previously sheltered from consequences – and then how she’d go on afterward. I looked into the stories of real Titanic First Class passengers who survived the sinking and what they did next, which was interesting and illuminating, as far as choices for Twilka. You asked me about one of my character’s strengths and one of her weaknesses – Twilka is extremely strong as a person and refuses to ever accept defeat. She keeps fighting. Her father is a “generational billionaire” with many children by a number of wives, and I think the reader can infer Twilka has always had to fight to be ‘seen’ and to get her share of attention, time and resources. Her original weakness in Wreck of the Nebula Dream was expecting her social status and riches to solve any problem. Now that she knows better, her weakness is her lingering love for Khevan. Needless to say, things did not go smoothly for them as a couple after the end of Wreck. Or we’d have no story to tell!

The hero in this book is Khevan, the D’nvannae Brother – he’s sworn to serve an alien goddess, as either a bodyguard or a deadly assassin, at the whim of his Red Lady. At the end of Wreck, he and Twilka were together…but again, I had to consider what might have happened to him after the first few weeks of relief at surviving. His weakness is that he can only think of protecting Twilka, no matter the cost to himself, and so he makes decisions without her input on matters that very much affect her. It’s not that he doesn’t respect her or think highly of her abilities. He’s been so shaped by his responsibilities and experiences as a D’nvannae Brother that he can only see one path in any situation. His strength is that he’s a highly trained killer and no one is going to assassinate Twilka while he’s on the job.

One of your standard questions for guests is about what’s most difficult to write – characters, conflict or emotions. Star Survivor has all three elements of course, but for me the characters themselves are the bedrock foundation of any story and their emotions will then direct how the conflicts get resolved. I tend to write an external conflict underlying the plot which puts my characters in a situation where they have to make choices and take action – a lot of action! I’m not a plotter, by which I mean I start off knowing who my characters are, the beginning and the ending of the book, and a few major scenes along the way. Nothing more than that. Then I dive into the writing and let the characters tell me the details of what happens next as I go along. Sometimes the twists and turns will surprise even me!

Here’s the story of Star Survivor:

The survivors of a terrible wreck meet again—but this time only one can survive.

They survived an iconic spaceship wreck together. She never expected to see him again … especially not armed to kill her.

Twilka Zabour is an interstellar celebrity. She built on her notoriety as a carefree Socialite who survived the terrible wreck of the Nebula Dream, and launched a successful design house. But now the man who gave meaning to her life, then left her, is back–this time for the worst of reasons. Will he kill her … or help her survive?

D’nvannae Brother Khevan survived the Nebula Dream in the company of a lovely, warm woman, only to be pulled away from her, back into his solitary life in the service of the Red Lady.  Now Twilka’s within his reach again–for all the wrong reasons. Khevan will do everything within his power to discover why Twilka has been targeted for assassination, and to save her.

But Khevan is not Twilka’s only pursuer. Will allies Nick and Mara Jameson arrive in time to aid the couple, or will Khevan and Twilka’s ingenuity be all that stands between them and death?

And a very short excerpt for you:

The dreams she couldn’t escape for long were especially bad tonight. Twilka tossed and turned on the huge bed in the city’s most luxurious hotel, more than a little afraid to seek more sleep. She’d clawed her way out of the nightmare where she was surrounded by laughing, faceless drunks, intent on living their last few hours of life aboard the Nebula Dream by passing her around among themselves. In the dream, there was no help coming, no rescue, and she woke screaming. Heart pounding, she lay still for a moment before reaching for the glass of water at the bedside. Should she take the meds her doctor had given her to suppress the memories?

No, the prescription stuff made her into a robot who’d sleepwalk through tomorrow’s activities, and she needed all her wits about her in the negotiations. Taking the glass, she kicked her way free of the covers and strolled barefoot to the private terrace, high above the planet’s surface. Inhaling a deep breath of the flower-scented air, she took one tentative step onto the balcony, clutching the door handle with her free hand. Acrophobia was a bitch. As she sipped the water, she reflected on the irony that she, of all people, was reluctant to take a drug to quell the nightmares. “A legal one no less,” she muttered to herself. After years of enjoying all the feelgoods all the time with no regard for consequences.

The view of the city was breathtaking, all colorful twinkly lights at this hour. Raising her eyes to the plateau, she took a deep breath. The Red Lady’s oversize temple dominated the horizon, glowing ruby like a baleful eye. Shivering, wishing she’d put on her robe, Twilka pivoted to re-enter the room. With a stifled scream, she saw a dark shadow standing beside the bed. Breaking the water glass on the door frame and holding the jagged base fragment as a weapon, she said, “I’ve activated my personal panic button. The hotel’s security detail will be here in a minute. Leave now and I won’t press charges.”

He stepped into the moonlight. “We need to talk. Cancel the alarm.”

Khevan. She sagged against the balcony door, allowing the broken glass to roll from her hand onto the carpet. “I told you, we have nothing left to discuss. Anything between us died a long time ago.”

There was pounding on the door. “Miss Zabour?”

He didn’t even glance at the portal, intent on her. “Send them away.”

What’s next for me? I’m currently writing the sequel to Star Cruise: Stowaway, which was a novella that appeared in the Pets In Space anthology. Then I haven’t decided what next, although I will say more sequel ideas for Twilka and Khevan keep coming to me now!

Author Bio and Links:

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl

 Star Survivor Buy Links:

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