Category Archives: Contests
Nutrition is Crucial~ NaNo Day 5- #nanowrimo2017 #mfrwauthor #NaNotips #dontforgettoeat
Still hanging in there? Awesome!!!
Ready for more Silver James NaNo inspiration? Are you borrowing her badges too? She said it’s ok. 😉 So, Day 5. Her badge makes me remember I forgot to eat lunch, so I guess nutrition is a good tip for today.
Good thing hubby made me breakfast early this morning. But a midday snack never hurts progress at the keyboard, which I totally spaced on today. Do you have a “writing treat” you must have when pounding the keys?
In case you missed my hint the other day, I keep Hot Tamale candies close at hand most days to nibble on, and sometimes a Milky Way Simply Caramel mini bar, those two bite sized ones in a pack of 6. Hubby gets half of those. 🙂 I also have either water, coffee or Dr. Pepper at the ready.
I’m not a total junk-food-junkie, I also try to keep something protein at hand.
Okay, on to NaNo word count.
Day 5- Two sentences or about 23 words.
Not great by a long shot, my characters are giving me a bit of a hard time. Then it’s my turn to make them suffer. <evil grin>
But a wise woman said today, “Even if you only write 5 words, 500 words, 5000 words, or 50,000 words, it’s a win because 1) new words, but more importantly, 2) YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT WRITING!!!” ~ Silver James
She doesn’t even know I’m quoting her. I prefer to think I’m “sharing her wisdom”! 😆 I believe that’s what counts in the end though.
Of course, she also went on to say she’d gotten almost 3000 words yesterday… Some people just make it look too easy. LOL
If you are struggling with keeping up a steady 1667 words per day with NaNo (I am), it’s ok, and it’s ok to tell yourself it’s ok. If I don’t finish Nano…well, hell. I’ve already done better this year than I did in 2016, which I dropped on day 2 because I had a lot of stress going on in my personal life and I couldn’t handle my world, much less a fantasy one.
This year is different. This year is the first I’ve wanted to write in four years! Oh, I wrote here and there, but not always on the same WIP, which doesn’t get me very far on any one. But 2017 is MY year to make a comeback and I’m thrilled you are here for the ride!
Glad you stopped by! Tune in Monday for a new NaNo post and UnCover Monday will also go live at midnight tonight.
THE WINNER IS……. The Nay-Sayer #pnshortstory #SnarkologyHalloweenbloghop2015 #mfrwauthor
AND THE WINNER IS……… SANDY BRUNY! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Send me a message and I’ll get your prize to you Wednesday. 🙂
I super appreciate everyone who joined in the Blog Hop fun this year!
Welcome to this years’ spook-a-licious Snarkology Halloween blog hop running from October 26-31 with lots of prizes to be won from participating authors! Just click to follow this Linky to find all the participating blogs and fun. Be sure to join our Grand Prize Drawing for a chance to win one of FOUR grand prizes! Read to the bottom for my special giveaway right here on the Ranch. 😀
Dust covered everything and her nose itched with the musty scent of age. Silence, eerie, but for the creaking shift of the wood and foundation. Winter-bare branches of the oak trees scratched against grimy windows from somewhere outside, echoing through the abandoned mansion. Elise Crane’s underactive imagination went into sudden overdrive and envisioned a witch’s needle sharp claws screeching against the cold glass. Coming for her. The intruder.
This was a stupid idea. She knew haunted houses were a figment of imagination derived from situations just like this. Spooky house. According to stories she’d heard during interviews with townsfolk before she got to the house, no one entered Bramm House uninvited. Apparently, no one lived to share their story if they did. Not even other Bramms. Look what happened to the latest Bramm to perish. So young, so dead, while walking around in this very house two years ago.
Elise craned her neck, swiveled and double-stepped to regain lost balance the awkward spin caused, then aimed her light to gawk at the upper level. It was open from the ground floor view with nothing but spindly rails as protection to anyone on the other side. What had the news story said? He’d fallen, Brandon Bramm had…from up there…
One rumor suggested he might have been pushed to his death. Had he? By whom? Everyone thought the house was haunted by the many Bramms who’d died there. Others believed those restless spirits resented the living and forced all away who dared enter.
“Well, I don’t even believe in you—ghosts. I’m not afraid.” Creeped out a little, maybe. Okay, a lot. She added an audible “hrumph” as punctuation to the bravely murmured declaration. “The only reason I’m here is because my twittle-brained boss is hell bent on a “real” ghost story to publish for Halloween.” Air quotes emphasized her non-belief of apparitions, paranormal, supernatural, or any other name slapped on them. She guessed that was why Rick had chosen her for this assignment. Insurance of a story with a no nonsense approach to add credibility. And possibly for Elise’s degree in psychological disorders, also deemed by her boss as devious mind digging. He probably expected her to do a session on one of the ghosts reportedly living here. Her lungs resisted the hard dusty breath, she coughed and sighed. She desperately needed a new job.
A cold breeze crept over her left arm—only—as if in challenge, and she flicked the tiny flashlight around. Nothing. Of course. Just the stale, chill air of the mausoleum-like building that she’d disturbed.
A sharp crack sounded from behind her. In the next instant she felt her blood cease to flow, or maybe her brain was just stalling in her fear. Whirling around the opposite direction, the light wobbling in her shaky hand, she fought for breath. It was more difficult to explain the tall door swinging open stiffly across the foyer. An invitation to enter? Or some…one—thing—coming out?
A dark leg stepped through the opening, and a masculine hand wrapped on the jamb. Elise backed a step and screamed…before all went dark.
Mason Deen scrubbed his hand through already unruly hair and stared at the young woman he’d laid on the dusty-sheet covered sofa. Who was she? More importantly, what was the tiny blonde doing inside Bramm House? She was brave going in alone, if rumors were true, and she was alone. A quick search of the area had assured him of that, no footprints beside hers and his on the dusty floor.
Rome wouldn’t be happy when he learned the location had been contaminated. Damn it.
A soft moan carried in the still room, lit only by the halogen lamps he’d set up in the library, which would be base during PRU’s investigation during the next forty-eight hours. According to Paul Bramm, current and sole owner, it was the only room that had very little, if any, activity.
Go figure. Even ghosts didn’t want to hang out in a dreary book room. Mason returned to the couch to check on the new complication lying in the sepia shadows behind the lights. What was he supposed to do about her?
Mason was still unsure why Paul had allowed the team go into his family home at last. He’d said he wanted to sell the old place to the city to turn into a museum and be done with it. But just when they’d almost given up gaining entry, he’d said yes. Rome had been trying for a year to get inside, with no luck. Until now, on the verge of its eminent sale to a city who’d already said there would be no “ghost hunts” once it sold. Their fear being that it would make a mockery of their town’s history, instead of embracing the paranormal explosion most towns would jump at.
Pulling the covered wing-back chair near the sofa, Mason sat, elbows propped on knees and studied the woman. He chuckled softly. She’d fainted. He must have really scared her to pass out like that. Served her right for illegally trespassing. Ah well, he supposed he should try to wake her and get her out of location ASAP, then see what damage she might have done before Rome and the team arrived in, he flicked a glance at his watch, an hour. Damn it all, he hadn’t even gotten things set up yet and time was running low.
He touched her shoulder. “Hey, Sleeping Beauty, wakey-wakey.” Nothing but a shrug from her. “Come on, now, it’s time to get up and out of here.”
A small hand flung to her head and she groaned. He knew she hadn’t hit hard since he’d leaped the distance between them and caught her just as she slumped to the wood floor. The hand dragged restlessly over her face as her eyes opened and met his. Coal black. Her eyes looked black as a demon’s in the dim room, relieved only by the whites as her gaze grew huge. Then she was sitting up. Not really sitting, he corrected, but on all fours scooching along the couch seat like a crayfish.
“Wh-what are you?”
What was—? “What do you think I am? I’m Mason Deen, equipment technician for PRU. Who are you?” He bit his cheek until he tasted blood, his belly ached with barely contained laughter.
“What are you doing here? I was told nobody is allowed here.” Her accusatory tone raised his hackles.
“Exactly, so how did you get in?” Tit for tat.
Ah. He stood to go open the door and glanced around the exterior wall with a flashlight and nodded in understanding before taking his seat once more. “You found the broken window and snuck in. Now I know the how, why don’t you tell me the who?”
Elise nibbled her lip until it hurt. He had already revealed himself, turnabout was only fair. “Elise Crane, journalist for Unnatural E’zine. I’m here for a story. What is RUP?” She crawled forward, still at a safe distance, and faced Mason.
“P.R.U, Paranormal Research Unit. We have permission to be here. Do you?”
His tone said he knew she didn’t, so no sense lying when she was no good at it anyway. “Not so much, um… No.”
“Right.” He’d heard of journalists who did whatever it took to get their story. Sorry, sister, not this time. “You have to go before Rome gets here or he’ll toss you out on that cute ass.”
He considered her butt cute? Well, well. She could use that little crumb. “I’m not leaving. I can’t or…I’ll lose my job.” Not that she wanted it, but she did need it, no matter how crummy Rick treated her.
“You can’t stay. This is an investigation site for the next two days. But, after we’re done you can come back and—”
Two days? “I have to be home in two days with a story for the ’zine, or I’m out of a job.” Then his previous words struck her. “Wait…you’re part of a paranormal group. Maybe we can help each other. Look, you investigate, what, ghosts? I need a “real” ghost story for our Halloween issue to make my boss happy. What if you do your thing, I’ll stay out of your way and get my story?”
Her train of thought shifted fast enough to cause whiplash, but Mason seemed to go on high alert just as quickly. “I don’t think so. Rome doesn’t allow any interference on his sites, and you are definitely a distraction.” One Mason clearly didn’t want either.
“‘Unnatural’ has a mega-reach with thousands of readers. I’ll spotlight your team in my story, you get widespread publicity and I get to keep my job at the end of the day.”
He dragged air into his lungs and puffed out his already-impressive chest and began to shake his head slowly.
“It’s a win-win. You can’t say no.” Or she hoped he couldn’t.
With a final shake, he stood and turned as if to leave but, instead, tugged a cell phone from a noticeably tight back pocket and punched buttons. He walked across the room to speak softly for several minutes, then his taut shoulders visibly gave, as if he’d lost a battle. Mason disconnected the call and returned stare at her.
“Rome’ll speak to you when he gets here. No promises, other than he’ll tell Paul you’re with us if he asks so you don’t get in trouble for trespassing. That does not mean you get to stay. Only that he’ll talk to you.” Mason swung away and began unpacking electronics as she watched from a distance, itching to ask questions.
Two hours into the investigation, in which very little had happened, her obvious curiosity finally won out. Elise peered over Mason’s shoulder as he studied the monitors in front of him and Kevin, the secondary tech and team historian.
“So…do you really believe in ghosts? Spirits? Apparitions, whatever you call them?”
Her body heat warmed his shoulder and her sweet scent surrounded him. He stiffened his resolve, then shot a glance at her and shrugged. “If you’ve seen the things I have, you learn to have an open mind about a lot of things.”
“What, you’ve seen ghosts? Really?”
“Really.” Not necessarily since he’d joined PRU, but definitely when he was younger. Yes, he’d seen things. Those combined experiences were the reason he was here now. “Hear that, Kev?” Mason leaned close and stared into the screen then lifted a walkie-talkie to his face. “Rome, I’m hearing sounds near you.”
The voice crackled back and Elise sat beside Mason to listen and take notes in a small pad she seemed to carry everywhere. She studied the images on the screen and no doubt heard what sounded like someone approaching the area where his boss stood.
“Someone else is there. Maybe they heard the noise,” Elise whispered, pressing closer against his arm.
“Footsteps. Is Jule there? Maybe she heard it.”
The image in the monitor walked to the doorway. “I’m alone.”
“I just heard what sounded like someone walking close to your room.” He glanced at Elise and Kevin, both nodded. “Elise and Kev heard it too.”
“Ohmygurdohmygurd— Oh. My. Gurdle!”
When Elise whispered the phrase in an odd voice Mason jerked his gaze to her. She pointed above the monitors at the closed door directly in front of them. “Wha-what is that? Is that some kind of trick?”
Mason followed the direction she was pointing. Just that quick the air he breathed became paste. The room grew narrow and out of proportion, and very cold. A light mist grew before their eyes, quickly gaining opacity and form.
His feet wouldn’t obey the command to get out, or to go anywhere. Something he couldn’t begin to name creeped up his spine and he had a sudden mental image of a hundred tiny teeth about to snack on his back bone. Too many damn alien movies as a kid. His eyes ached and he struggled to breathe, as if the air in the room had thickened to sludge. He couldn’t speak.
But he had to.
He huffed air in and keyed the walkie, then spoke slow and low for all to hear. “Lady and gents, we have one…in here…with us.”
At that precise moment all electronics lost power.
Total darkness and silence ensued…
Chances Are– You’re never alone…
What are the chances of finding love on another plane? Go on a spirit walk with Romeo and Juliet.
It’s not your mother’s ghost story.
And remember to hop in for more fun at www.thesnarkology.com/snarkology-halloween-hop-oct-26-31st/ and enter: http://goo.gl/forms/e1BlpY69bj for a chance to win:
(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
Winners to be drawn Nov. 1.
Now for the EXCLUSIVE OFFER FOR MY VISITORS:
Did you enjoy this sneak peek into the prequel for my Chances Are duet (in progress)? Let me know in comments! I’m gifting a $5 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter, to be chosen and contacted** November 1. Since I’ll be traveling the 3-4th I’ll announce/award the winner on the 5th. All you have to do to enter is, sometime during the hop (Oct. 26-31), tell me what you think happens next to sassy nay-sayer, Elise Crane. Do you think she will become a believer, or will her logical mind win?
And for fun; do you think Elise and Mason would make a good couple, or should each get their own story (btw- Mason is a sexy Irishman!)?
Be sure to leave your email in a comment so I can contact the winner, or check back** to see if you’ve won.
Also available from:
Love, like life, is not without risk.
Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps.
Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…whom he believes no woman is good enough for. Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv–and himself–enough to play the possibilities?
Happy Halloween! Thank you for stopping by to read my contribution in the Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015! Many thanks to Melissa Snark for putting this Hop together. Remember to leave your email and a comment for a chance to win this week!
** Winner will have 48 hrs to claim your prize- CHECK BACK HERE if you don’t leave an email for me to contact you, or RESPOND BACK to my prize alert email when I contact you. After 48 hrs I’ll draw a new winner with RANDOM.org.
Tuesday Round Up and Calisa Rhose presents ~ J.C. McKenzie #mfrwauthor #carpedemon
Title: Carpe Demon
Series Name: Carus Series, Book Three
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Editor: Lara Parker
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor of DCA Graphics
Theme(s): Shapeshifters, Vampires, Witches, Demons
SubGenre(s): Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Rating: Spicy (PG13)
As an ambassador with the Supernatural Regulatory Division, Andy McNeilly is responsible for acting as the Liaison for the Vancouver Vampire horde. The problem? She detests the Vampire Master, and the SRD can’t discover the beast she keeps locked inside.
After a menacing Demon throws an important Vampire event into chaos, Andy finds herself sniffing out crime scenes to identify and locate the mystery fiend from the nether realm. What she learns chills her bones.
Threatened by the Master Vampire to deal with the Demon, Andy’s complicated personal life doesn’t make things easier. She’s willing to risk her life and pride to keep loved ones safe. But how can she make a choice that will break one heart…and complete another?
The Demon’s grin widened. Standing a foot away from him with no room to maneuver and nothing to separate us, the serrated details of his shiny enamel glared at me.
My fingertips tingled as I started to shift.
Not fast enough.
The Demon lunged. His long nimble fingers closed around my neck as I shot my hands out, inside his arms, and dug my claws into his face. My elbows pushed against the insides of his arms. His hold should’ve weakened, but this Demon possessed uncanny strength. His frame stretched, growing to almost eight feet in height and giving his body an emaciated appearance. He pulled me close, his nose touching mine. I wrenched to the side, but my toes dangled above the floor.
“Bola sends his regards,” he said, his breath hitting my face.
My gums stung as fangs protruded and I hissed at him, ready to make the full change and get my fight on. I yanked on the mountain lion and spurred her into action.
“By all means, little nugget, shift into one of your animals.” He gnashed his sharp teeth together. “I love to rend the flesh of livestock, to mutilate the bodies of creatures, and to smash the bones of beasts.”
All Romance Ebooks: www.allromanceebooks.com/product-carpedemon-1781134-140.html
Wild Rose Press: www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6221
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/j.c.mckenzie.author
Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/JC_McKenzie
The Wild Rose Press: www.wildrosepublishing.com
J.C. is doing a Rafflecopter, so get in on the fun here:
Calisa Rhose at TRR’s 4th Anniversary Party today! #MFRWAuthor #prizesgalore
I just wanted to put out a reminder that if you haven’t gone to The Romance Review’s 4th anniversary party yet, today’s a great day to go. It’s the day my question is up with a chance to win a copy of Risk Factors. I hope to see you there!
ON another note. I also promised to give quarterly reminders about my 2nd annual “Comment to Win” contest that runs throughout the year. I blogged all about how to enter and win here. The more you comment, the greater your chance to win a prize pack in January 2016. All you have to do is comment on all the posts you can between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. Yes, back post comments count so go back and read and comment on them all! 🙂
Don’t forget to share posts to help others join the fun. 😀
Calisa Rhose ~The Romance Review’s 4th Anniversary Party in March 2015! #MFRWAuthor #Freebooks #TRRParty
Isn’t that a lovely banner up there? I’ve joined in the fangirldom of TRR’s annual Anniversary Party since year one and had a blast playing the games, meeting new or new-to-me writers and winning prizes with little effort. You may have joined games that make you jump through hoops and in the end you might get away with one ebook for your time suck waste. I love TRR simply because it’s fun and not a lot of time is needed to participate. You can get in on the winnings by visiting a few author sites and answering quiz questions that the answers are made almost obvious for you. I’ve found some great books by playing.
I’ve met friends and supported friends just by playing one or two days throughout the month of March. How cool is that? Now, for the first time, I am joining in the fun on the other side. I’ve entered the Anniversary party this year and will be gifting one copy of Risk Factors to some lucky, randomly drawn contestant. I won’t be drawing the name, TRR’s site will generate a winner for me. Love that! lol
So, from today through March 31, let’s play. On your mark. Get set. GO!!!!! http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php
Play every day for one or two minutes, or play once a week or whenever you have time, but play! Support the participating authors and win, win, win! There are daily prizes and a grand prize in the form of a $100 gift card, all awarded at the end of the party.
There are more than 350 participants, which means more than 350 prizes to be had plus a grand prize! Some might as well be won by YOU!!!
**Please note, you’ll need to register and be logged in at TRR before you can play the game. They (TRR) need you to register to play to keep track of your points before you can win any prizes. The more you play, the greater your chance of winning multiple daily or the grand prize. Registration is free and easy.
It’s my first time to participate, so I hope you’ll come play on my quiz day, March 19th. I’ll be tweeting and FBing the event reminders all month. Come on by and play! Don’t forget to share this post with the easy buttons I’ve provided below. Thank you for dropping by!
Calisa Rhose presents ~ Love, Lattes and Mutants by Sandra Cox #YAFantasy #MFRWAUthors
LOVE, LATTES, AND MUTANTS
Blurb: Finding love is hard, even when you aren’t a mutant.
Like most seventeen-year-olds, Piper Dunn wants to blend in with the crowd. Having a blowhole is a definite handicap. A product of a lab-engineered mother with dolphin DNA, Piper spends her school days hiding her brilliant ocean-colored eyes and sea siren voice behind baggy clothing and ugly glasses. When Tyler, the new boy in school, zeroes in on her, ignoring every other girl vying for his attention, no one, including Piper, understands why…
Then Piper is captured on one of her secret missions rescuing endangered sea creatures and ends up in the same test center where her mother was engineered. There she discovers she isn’t the only one of her kind. Joel is someone she doesn’t have to hide from, and she finds herself drawn to the dolph-boy who shares her secrets. Talking to him is almost as easy as escaping from the lab. Deciding which boy has captured her heart is another story…
Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-lattes-and-mutants-sandra-cox/1120791624?ean=9781616506063
A Piper-approved necklace and $10 Starbuck Card
A Piper-approved bracelet
For readers to enter for these great prizes: a Rafflecopter giveaway
For any visiting hosts to enter for this great prize: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Calisa Rhose presents ~ End of Lonely Street by Alicia Dean – Plus an Awesome Giveaway #TWRP #MFRWAuthor #ElvisPresley
I’m turning the round pen over to friend and fellow TWRP author, Alicia Dean to share her new release and much more. Who doesn’t love Elvis Presley? Mostly those of us from the 50s, 60s and 70s grew up listening to his smooth, sensual and sexy voice and swooned. I still can see my older sister planted in front of the radio, chin in hands, during one Christmas when I was eleven as Elvis sang White Christmas as if he were singing a love song just to her. She was a big fan. 🙂
I have one very dear friend who, having been born in the 40s, literally grew up listening to and watching Elvis and to this day she’s a huge fan. She could probably rival Alicia in that respect. I was there several years ago when my friend’s husband gifted her with a hand gun with Elvis’s likeness and signature engraved into the pearl handle! Even though I grew up with his heavenly Christmas and love songs, I’m not even close to the fangirldom as that of my talented guest, Alicia Dean.
She can take you inside that fangirl world, and does on her own blog. Have a question about this crooner? You might find an answer here. In the meantime, she’s written a book titled after one of Elvis’s most famous songs. I’ll be reading this one for sure!
Take it away, Alicia! 🙂
I’m excited to share my latest release from The Wild Rose Press on what would have been Elvis’ eightieth birthday. ‘End of Lonely Street’ is a Vintage Romance Short Story set in 1957, in the era when Elvis first burst on the scene. Like my heroine in the story, I am a diehard Elvis fan. (As you probably figured out, I took the title from a line in Heartbreak Hotel, which was Elvis’ first million selling record).
Check out End of Lonely Street and enter to win GREAT prizes…
GIVEAWAY: – Entries accepted from January 8, 2015 through noon on January 22, 2015
Three prizes –
Elvis Gift Basket including DVD, CD, plus more
$25 Amazon Gift Card
$10 Amazon Gift Card
First place winner has first choice, second place winner has second choice, third place winner receives remaining prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B00QQO3BK0
Can she let go of the past, before it destroys her future?
All Toby Lawson wanted was to go to college to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and the painful memories of finding her and the guy Toby loved kissing. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away, helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, and even though she knows her mother initiated the kiss, and that he didn’t kiss her back, she can‘t seem to get past what happened. He soon realizes that the true problem lies in Toby’s belief that she’s not good enough for him and in her fear that she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?
Mapleton, Tennessee, November, 1957
Toby Lawson closed her eyes and shut out all sounds of the diner, except for Elvis Presley’s voice. He was crooning about how she was the only one for him…no matter where he went or what he did… he’d spend his whole life loving her…
Rough hands landed on her waist and shattered the fantasy. She caught a whiff of hair tonic and too much cologne, and she snapped her eyes open. Wes Markham’s hateful face replaced the image of Elvis’ beautiful, crooked smile and smoldering blue eyes.
“Let me go.” She gritted her teeth, keeping her voice low. If her boss, Mr. Winstead, knew there was trouble on account of her, he’d explode. He’d barely let her have the job in the first place. Everyone in Mapleton knew the Lawson women were trouble.
Toby gripped his right wrist with one hand, tightening her hold on the utensils she held in the other. “I said let me go. Now!”
She shoved against him, but he didn’t budge.
He pulled her tighter. “Your momma’s a whole lot friendlier than you are. They say the apple don’t fall far from the tree, so how’s about you cut the pretense and we go someplace quiet? Winstead won’t miss you for a few minutes.”
Her cheeks heated. She didn’t dare look around. No doubt the customers were watching, listening. Elvis had stopped singing and everyone in the place could hear what he’d said about her mother. It wasn’t like they didn’t all know, though. Constance Lawson hadn’t exactly kept her escapades a secret.
Toby clenched her teeth and brandished the utensils. She spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. “Release me this instant, or I swear, you’ll be pulling this steak knife out of your eyeball.”
He held her gaze for a split second, then gave a laugh that was somewhere between nervous and furious. “Sure, sure. Okay.” He released her and stepped back. “I was just foolin’ around anyway. I got better things to do with my time than waste it on a used up chick like you.”
Muffled laughter rose around her. Oh God, she could crawl into a hole.
“How about you apologize to the lady, then beat it?”
Toby whirled at the male voice. Noah Rivers stood behind her, looking handsome and sharp in his police uniform—even with his dark hair in the military buzz cut. Her knees weakened, and tingles swept over her skin. She swallowed against the sudden dryness in her throat. She’d heard he was back, but hadn’t seen him until now. And what a time to have a reunion.
*** 10% of all of Alicia Dean’s net royalties for End of Lonely Street will go to
The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation ( http://www.graceland.com/epcf/ ) ***
Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
Find Alicia here:
Geez… What a scene. 🙂 Be sure to do the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!
Thanks, Alicia. Many wishes for ultimate success with your release!
Calisa Rhose ~ Happy Holidays Blog Hop! #update #MFRWAuthor #HHBH
And the winner is…
Hop on over to see who Random.org selected to receive a copy of Risk Factors!
I was invited by the lovely Terri Rochenski to participate in what is, technically, my second ever blog hop! Do I know what I’m doing? Let’s pretend I do. 😆 While we’re at it, let’s have some fun!
Up for grabs is a copy of my contemporary romance ebook Risk Factors!
Title: Risk Factors
Publisher: Kensington-Lyrical Press
Editor: Piper Denna
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Steamy sensual
Publication: Re-released March 2014
Cover artist: Valerie Tibbs
Love, like life, is not without risk. Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps. Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.
Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv–and himself–enough to play the possibilities?
So what do you have to do? It’s simple. Join in the Holiday fun! Leave a comment here, don’t forget your email so I can contact you if you aren’t a regular poster on the Ranch, so I can get your book to you if you win! Then click these links to the other participating bloggers for chances to win more prizes!
Go here to meet Terri Rochenski, host of this Happy Holidays Blog Hop
Not only will I gift one commentor with my ebook, I’ll throw in a second copy if individual commentors reach over twenty! 🙂 Winners to be determined by Random.org
From The Ranch here on Pen of the Dreamer to all of you, GOOD LUCK and have a HAPPY HOLIDAY! Dodadagohvi~
Calisa Rhose welcomes J.C. McKenzie to Tuesday Round-Up #LobsterCove #MFRWauthor #TWRP
Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.
I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, J.C. McKenzie, who is sharing her book, The Shucker’s Booktique- of TWRP’s new Lobster Cove series- with us!
Please show J.C. some real Ranch love!
Thank you very much for having me Calisa! It’s always a treat to join a fellow author on their blog and meet their readers.
Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
Oh, that sounds heavenly, J.C!
Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones.
Though I actually have a detached two-story “shed” that the lower floor will eventually be my office, for now my writing area is my recliner in a corner in the living room. What does your writing space look like?
My writing space is currently in the spare room. I have a secretary style desk that’s a bit of a pain to write on, but I manage. My laptop is over six years old, and I got it for free for resigning on with the local telephone/tv/internet provider. The best part of my “office” is the coffee warmer my husband got me and the pictures I have of my son and husband.
It’s easier for my father in-law to reach me if I’m in the house writing, but I can’t wait to move into my office some day. For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?
I think I might be a hybrid. Sometimes the title and the names come naturally to me. Other times, it’s like hitting my head against a brick wall repeatedly. What I do know, either way, once I figure out the title or names it *feels* right.
I think I must be a hybrid too then. 🙂 What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?
Don’t do it? No, no. Just kidding. It takes some serious thick skin and I’m still trying to toughen mine up. But my advice, is to ignore all the critics and negativity. Focus on the positive, be your biggest fan and write the book you’d like to read. Don’t get stuck trying to follow trends.
Don’t do it. You’re too funny! 😆 I agree about ignoring critics. Everyone has opinions- good or bad- and I try not to let them influence me negatively. The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?
Perseverance. Also, I touched on it a bit in the comment above: I think writing a book that you’re happy with and one you’d like to read is the key. Even if the current trend isn’t what you wrote, it will be again at some point. I don’t write fast enough to write to the trend. By the time I’d finish the book, the trend would change, so I don’t try to do that.
I also see a huge shift in publishing toward self-publishing, but I think at this point, it’s like stating the obvious.
Another trend-rejecter! I like it. 🙂 Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?
Patricia Briggs. She’s one of my favorite UF authors.
It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆
Favorite animal? Mountain Lion
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Spring
Favorite food? Greek
Mountain lion? That’s one I haven’t heard yet. Well done! 🙂
Okay, Flash four. Ready? What are you working on now?
I’m working of the edits for the third installment of my Carus Series to get it submission ready and writing the fourth installment.
What are you sharing today?
The Shucker’s Booktique, my short story paranormal romance in the Lobster Cove series. Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt:
After her fiancé dumps her and her beloved Aunt Jenny goes missing, Willa Eklund travels to Lobster Cove with a broken heart to search for Jenny while running her bookstore. When a mysterious man visits the Shucker’s Booktique on a stormy night drenched in rain and covered in mud, Willa’s heart melts under his stormy gaze. She wants Lon and the answers he may have, but he also has a secret. Can Willa trust him?
Lon Devlin is a Tempest, a water sprite who can only take a human form during stormy nights. He rides the waves, lives by the tides, and nothing can hold him down, not even a beautiful woman. When he visits his mortal friend, he discovers she’s missing and her intriguing niece has taken her place. He wants Willa, but he also wants answers. What happened to Jenny?
Thump! Thump! Thump!
No! She gasped. It couldn’t be. The banging on the front door of the booktique had to be a figment of her imagination. She couldn’t will Lon into existence. Why would he come back? Especially if he was involved. Unless…cold ice prickled up her spine…unless he needed to eliminate her to take care of loose ends.
No. Crazy thoughts, Willa. He could’ve taken care of her the night before. No, her heart hammered against her chest for a different reason. But it didn’t matter. The knocking on the door wouldn’t, couldn’t be him.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Could it? She clutched her hot mug in both hands and turned toward the doorway leading to the bookstore. From the kitchen in the back room, she had a clear view through the store to the front door, but not who stood on the other side.
“Willa!” Lon growled. “Wake up and let me in!”
Willa gasped and almost dropped her cup. The tea sloshed around and some spilled over her hands. It burned, but she didn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. Somehow the air got trapped inside her throat. Why was he here? What did he want?
Oh God, let it be me!
I, for one, LOVE this cover! Where can we find you and your books?
J.C. McKenzie’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | The Wild Rose Press | Amazon
Where will you be next?
Tomorrow, October 22nd I’m on five different blogs either doing a spotlight or an interview. Come check them out:
- Rebecca Grace’s Blog (http://rebecca-grace.blogspot.com)
- Eliza March’s Blog (http://elizamarch.com/Page_5.html)
- Katherine Grey’s Thought For The Day (http://Katherinegrey.blogspot.com)
- Jessie Clever’s Blog (http://jessieclever.com/blog/)
- Mia Downing’s Blog (http://miadowning.blogspot.com)
For a list of all my appearances and giveaway opportunities, you can visit my website at: http://www.jcmckenzie.ca/appearances.html
Also, I’m currently offering a giveaway! Enter below for your chance to win one of five (5) ebooks of The Shucker’s Booktique, one of three (3) copies of Shift Happens or one $25 Gift Card to Amazon.com
Or just pick up your copy now at:
Thank you so much for playing along J.C. McKenzie! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.
Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure.
2014 Blog Year in Review and Calisa Rhose’s 2nd annual COMMENT TO WIN! contest #MFRWAuthor #contest #justcomment
Posted by Calisa Rhose
Osiyo~ Cherokee for “Hello”
Another year has passed. Really?! Where did it go, I ask you? I’m sitting here wondering where in the world it went. That old adage Time Flies is so true for me this year! 😆
Some of you may remember I posted a contest last year, that you can review here:
Basically the contest rules stated that I will award gifts for the most commented on post in 2014 and the five top commenters on posts for the year, all winners determined according to the following WordPress annual report. Unexpectedly, it was my own Writing Plan For 2014-15 post the first week of January (here: https://calisarhose.com/2014/01/07/my-writing-plan-for-2014-2015-by-calisa-rhose/ ) that got the most comments this year…and I can give myself anything, any time–so it won’t count in the contest. LOL Because of this, I will gift the most commented on guest post author instead. 😀
Read on to see who WP monkeys and I have chosen for the winners’ circle in 2014!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
Click here to see the complete report.
The most comments on a blog award goes to my guest and her post on January 23. This post follows several of my own with higher numbers, but which also don’t count. You can view her great post here: https://calisarhose.com/2014/01/23/calisa-rhose-presents-jm-stewart-with-her-knight-in-shining-leather
†With 19 total comments, JM Stewart’s talent for being an exemplary guest and an awesome comment responder is what made her my 2014 guest post winner.
The five super supporters for over all comments, chosen by WP monkeys this year are:
†1. Mae Clair – Rockin’ it with 23 comments
†2. Gemma Brocato – 15
†3. Alicia Dean – 13
†4. Jessi Gage – 12
†5. Cd Brennan – 10
Congratulations to all six of my winners!!! Here’s your rose wreath!
If you ladies will email me from here https://calisarhose.com/say-hey with your snail mail addresses I’ll get your prizes out to you by the end of February.
I have to admit the low numbers on all posts and lack of guest or personal posts is my fault this year. Many of you know I was forced to take three months off from anything writing related, which affected my blog, as well, unfortunately. I had also said I would post reminders throughout the year, which I failed to remember myself to do. 😦 My apologies for slipping.
This all just goes to prove a point though. We all know we can’t control how many views or comments any given post will get, or we’d top the charts each and every time we blogged. Right? Or can we?
We have to blog (whether personally or by inviting guests) to keep our names out there constantly. We have to visit other blogs as guests or commenters to keep our names/faces in those bloggers’ and commenters views so they will in turn visit our blog, and therefore, hopefully, comment. We HAVE to respond to commenters on our own/guests posts and interact with all who take even a nano second to say ‘hi’ to us, or our guests. If we don’t have time for visitors and other bloggers, how can we expect that same turn around for ourselves?
I guess, in a way, this year was a good, if unplanned, experiment. I involuntarily dropped my own activity on my and others’ blogs when I suffered a short burnout this summer, and look how the numbers dropped from last year. Take special notice of the “Attractions in 2013” and “Who Were They” sections comment numbers (the winners) compared to this year (the winners above).
So I want to thank these six for sticking by me the most during the low times and the high ones. Two of my winners were also on last year’s list! Congrats to Mae and Alicia aka Ally Robertson for your awesome support! I love and appreciate you all!!!!!! 😀
And now- we begin again for 2015! Who will be my winners next year? All you have to do is comment your fingers off all through the year so WordPress’s helper monkeys will notice you! Start with a comment today, this week, this year on this post! On past posts too, on any or ALL posts!!!!!!!!
JUST COMMENT TO WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Good luck to everyone who chooses to play the 2015 Comment Contest! 🙂
Click image to visit the Timberlake Rose Rock Museum where I get my rocks. While there you can learn more about the rocks and the husband-wife sculptors who create these beauties. Beware- the store link doesn’t work, but I will go by and let the owners know as soon as I can.
I expect to keep up better myself this year and to actually post reminders at least quarterly throughout 2015. Later, maybe midyear, I’ll post a picture of the goodies I’ll offer this year’s winners’. They will include, among other items, my author-brand Oklahoma Rose Rock like this one (r) from my personal collection. They stand no more than two inches tall and are positively gorgeous!
**How did I do with my writing goals in 2014? What will I do different this next year? Look for my new “2015 Writing Goals” post coming soon!
Dodadagohvi~ Cherokee for “Until we meet again”
†Frame of Roses image around winners’ pics courtesy of Teeratas at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Posted in awards, Blogs, Contests, inspirations, Life As We Know It, Pen of the Dreamer
Tags: 2014, 2015, Alicia Dean, Calisa Rhose, Cd Brennan, Comment to Win Contest, Frame of Roses image around winners' pics courtesy of Teeratas at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Roses frame- Teeratas, Gemma Brocato, giveaway, Jessi Gage, JM Stewart, Mae Clair, Pen of the Dreamer, winners