Blog Archives

Fender-Bender Interview! ~ Calisa Rhose


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, Niecey Roy, who is sharing her book Fender Bender Blues with us!

Please show Niecey Roy some real Ranch love!JanniceHeadshotAboutMe                

Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, we’d like to know a bit about you, the person wearing the writer’s hat.

I became a writer at a young age, but my moment of enlightenment came after watching the movie You’ve Got Mail.  It was then that I realized my place in life and I happily parked my butt on romance.  My dream was to create sexy vixens, hunky, half naked heroes, and above all, romance; lots and lots of butterflies in the belly, breathless first kisses and happily-ever-afters.

(For more about Niecey visit this link. You won’t regret it. 😉 )

My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room. What does your writing space look like?

I’m one of those writers who prefers to write in bed. I’m just more relaxed there. I have a really beautiful office desk, but when I’m at that desk, it feels like work. So I write in bed, with the TV volume low and the lamp on. And if I’m not at home writing, I’m with my laptop at a little coffee shop called Barista’s. I recently thought I should explain to them that I’m an author because last week I was sitting in the chair, typing away on my laptop and giggling at the scene I was writing. After a few months of coming in giggling to myself, I thought an explanation was in order 🙂

Better to explain to them than those guys standing in corners with the lovely white jacket, I s’pose 😛

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?

Titles, they usually come to me right away. With Fender Bender Blues, I knew the moment I started writing the story that that was the name. I never thought of it as anything else and I was thrilled I didn’t have to change it in order to publish it. I never even though to Google and make sure the name wasn’t taken! Not until after Wild Rose Press offered me a contract, ha! The book I’m writing now I’ve named Woes of the Fabricated Relationship. Whether the publisher lets it stay that way, we’ll see. I like it, even if it’s a bit long. Character names, however, that’s a whole different story. With girl names, they seem to fly off my fingertips and onto the computer screen. With male names, I spend weeks trying to find the right one! 

Have you considered asking the men what their name is? It’s the only way I get their names. LOL

What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

My advice is simple–never give up! You have a dream, a passion to write, so stick with it. And write, that’s the most important thing; every day if you can. And read a lot.

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?

There was a time (and this wasn’t long ago, maybe six years ago) when the idea of ebooks disgusted me. I mean, what??? Why would anyone want to read from a screen??? Madness, I tell you! I was really offended by it because I LOVE my paperback and hardback books. I love my collection of books, the smell of the pages…everything about them! But then I realized times were changing and we’ve become a digital world. I didn’t fall into it gracefully, but last year I downloaded the Kindle app on my phone. I LOVED it! If I forgot my book, I could whip out my phone and read anywhere! What an amazing discovery. 🙂 I realized I really love digital books (though I’ll never love them as much as the physical book, call me old fashioned). I purchased an iPad and never leave home without it. So, after that long-winded comment, a successful author has to be open-minded, even if your old fashioned sensibilities resist.  

LOL You could be talking about me there, Niecey. All my friends were going digital, eyes wide open, but not me, not until I was offered a chance to write Home–specifically for an epublisher.

Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?

I want to meet author Patricia Cornwell. Yes, yes, I know, you are thinking, “But you’re a contemporary romance author! You write funny scenes, about love! Cornwell writes crime fiction.” But, I’m a reader of EVERYTHING, and she is one of my favorite authors. I was in high school when I fell in love with her Scarpetta series. I collect them to this day. She has such a brilliant mind! Her grasp on forensics is just amazing.

It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆

Favorite animal? Cat

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Spring

Favorite food? Pizza

Spring for me too. Well done! 🙂

Okay, Flash four. Ready? (answer these with as long or short answers as you want to)

What are you working on now?

A humorous contemporary romance, currently titled Woes of the Fabricated Relationship.

What are you sharing today?FenderBenderBlues_NieceyRoyFENDER BENDER BLUES 

Her life took a wrong turn. He’s driven by success. They didn’t count on crashing into love…

Rachel Bennett loved her job until the day she finds herself doubting her choices.  Now she’s hunting for a new career, but starting over isn’t easy.  Her plan is simple—no distractions until she finds her dream job.  She didn’t plan on fate throwing her a curveball in the form of a fender bender with a sexy guy in an expensive suit.

Craig Larsen is a wealthy, successful business owner with a plan of his own: survive his current PR nightmare and stay away from his overly determined ex-girlfriend.  His need for control and personal success is turned upside down when he meets Rach, a sassy redhead who can’t drive.

Soon they find themselves battling with Rach’s grumpy old neighbor, toilet-papering the trees of a high school nemesis, and fighting over the last slice of pizza.  Can two very different people plus one fender bender equal a chance at forever?


“Now what?”

“Nothing.”Rach sniffed.

Craig shifted to eye her warily. “Since when do you answer me with single words?”

“Since I decided I’m not talking to you,” she answered with a shrug, crumpling up the white paper wrapper from her sub.  

Craig leaned his face in close to her neck and enjoyed the startled jerk of her shoulders. Her eyes opened wide in surprise. His breath shifted a few strands of hair at the nape of her neck as he whispered, “Why, because you want me?”

“You’re incorrigible,” she said, breathless, her cheeks flushed.

She’s enjoying this. The thought pleased him. Rach was on her back beside him now, her eyes closed. He glanced around the park to see if anyone was watching. No one was. He could swoop in for a kiss and no one would catch him. No one would care, he told himself. She won’t mind

“I can feel you staring.”

Craig smiled down at her. “So what.”

She peeked at him with one green eye. “So stop it.”

“And if I don’t?” Maybe she’d tackle him, push him down on the blanket and…

She didn’t. She promptly closed her eye and went back to pretending indifference. “I’ll hit you, that’s what.”

“Not if I do this, you won’t.”

He’d only meant it to be a short kiss, but the pleasure of touching his lips to hers kept him there longer. Her tongue was velvet soft and warm against his and the slow mating of their mouths quickened his heartbeat even as he told himself, It’s no big deal, just a kiss.

She nipped his bottom lip and sent heat sliding through his body. The woman could kiss.

She whispered soft against his lips, “Now why don’t you admit that it’s you who wants me.”

Where can we find you and your books?

My book will be for sale exclusively through Amazon digital next week, January 30, 2013. If you’re on Facebook, join me for the Fender Bender Blues Facebook Release Party   The buy link for Fender Bender Blues will be posted all throughout the day during the release party. Or you can visit my website at, or join me on Twitter @NieceyRoy   You can also visit Amazon itself for more information and to purchase Fender Bender Blues.

Where will you be next?

Next, I’ll be at my Fender Bender Blues Facebook Release Party  I would LOVE it if you showed up. We’ll be giving away prizes. You won’t want to miss it! 🙂

For anyone who comments today, they’ll be entered into a drawing. I’ll be giving away a digital copy of an author friend’s book, How Hard Can It Be? as an Amazon gift.  

Thank you so much for playing along Niecey! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.


Buy the Book presents ~ The Gaze by Javier A Robayo


The Ranch has joined  with Buy the Book virtual tour company, so once a month I will offer a slot to a tour guest on whichever day they need a hostess for. Please grab a seat and a drink and have fun with me.

The Gaze by Javier A. Robayo

The Gaze Book Trailer

Javier A Robayo

Javier A. Robayo is the author of THE GAZE and THE NEXT CHAPTER. He immigrated to the United States in 1988 at the age of 12 from Quito, Ecuador. He began writing as a way of learning English throughout his high school years, and studied at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. He lives in Connecticut, with his wife, and two daughters, where he is currently at work on his next novel.
BLURB:As a sophomore in college, Samantha Reddick meets Tony Amaya, a brokenhearted young man, whose written words she keeps as a memento of a weekend long affair. The words, written on the back of a paper placemat, become her only solid ground during a tumultuous decade that nearly destroys her, leaving her searching for answers at the bottom of the bottle. Haunted by guilt and the constant menace from a man she once loved, Samantha searches for Tony and inserts herself into his life through an online friend request to his wife, Gwen. Mutual curiosity opens the door to an unexpected friendship that becomes the catalyst of an inner battle between the better woman Samantha longs to be, and the Samantha who despises her own gaze.Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Smoldering Nights…with Pee Wee Herman?


I have one hot book to share today! My guest has brought her new Ellora’s Cave release for us to drool over. *Calisa hands out towels as she remembers the need for one last week*

Welcome Lisa Carlisle!!

What is your writing routine?

I put on some music, grab a coffee if it’s morning or something stronger if it’s late, and sit down with my Netbook with a slow Internet connection. It keeps me from going online and getting distracted because it’s painfully slow. I love to write at cafes, but after a day at work, I usually end up writing on the sofa in the living room.

Who are some of your must-read authors and why?

I loved Robert B. Parker’s Spenser books and have read every one. I also loved Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and The Witching Hour. Today, I’m reading Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series and P.C. and Kristin Cast’s House of Night series. For short, hot stories to escape into for a little while, I check out my publisher’s site, Ellora’s Cave.

I’ve read most of the House of Night series and got behind when my own debut book sold last year. I need to catch up again.  🙂

Where in the world would you want to visit (all in the name of research, of course) and why?

I lived in Paris in my early 20s and thought I would write all these stories there. Every time I tried, I turned to my journal or a letter instead as there were so many things I wanted to share about what I saw and experienced. I’d love to go back to Paris and London to write. Now that I’m more grounded (I hope), maybe I won’t be so distracted. 😉

Oh to go to Paris and write… *sigh*

What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are, and what advice do you have for anyone in a similar situation?

Well, I served in the Marines when I was younger, which I joke trained me to become a writer! You might be rejected or attacked many times, but don’t take it personally. Believe in yourself and never give up. It takes a lot of persistence and a little luck.

True and sound advice, Lisa.

What did you enjoy most about writing your latest work?

Although I’ve struggled with finishing some stories, writing my last book, Fiery Nights, was so much fun I didn’t want it to end. I LOVED the characters and kept going back to write new scenes. I’d be riding on my bike and certain lines would come to me and I couldn’t wait to get home to work on the book. The final manuscript was over twice as long as I originally intended as the characters took shape. I was on the edge of my seat rereading the manuscript, feeling for my characters—even though I knew what was going to happen since I wrote it!

Some optional fun:

Favorite movie and why?

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Great story, great characters, and so entertaining.

Who or what would you walk over hot coals, climb a mountain, or swim an ocean to get to and why?

My husband. Because he possesses every characteristic I’ve ever wanted in a partner.  

Salty, sweet, or both?

Salty. My weakness is tortilla chips with guacamole. I hate having them around because I’ll eat them. But then I’ll curse when we don’t have them because I want them. 😉

Smoldering Nights

Nike loves visiting the goth club Vamps—she can exchange her firefighter uniform for a slinky fantasy outfit. There she runs into the man she’d been admiring from afar at a rock climbing gym. He’s been the star of all her sexual fantasies, so is it any wonder they end up in his private room upstairs? Just when things begin to heat up, Michel’s enemies appear.

Only Michel isn’t an ordinary mortal. And someone from his past is on the hunt for vengeance. Michel and Nike are forced on the run and hide out in a coastal cottage in Maine. They can’t resist their attraction and spend the nights exploring each others’ bodies while trying to sort out how they feel about each other. Can they overcome their differences to be together? And how will they evade the predators who are chasing them?


We squeezed through dancers to make our way to the darkly lit bar guarded by more stone gargoyles on each end. Just as we made it to the other side of the dance floor, I felt someone watching me.

It was him.

Oh my God. He was here.

In all the times I’d come here, dressed in all kinds of tight, miniscule outfits, never had I felt so exposed. I wished I wasn’t wearing a laced-up black leather dress that exposed a lot of cleavage and was tight enough to show a pimple on my ass.

He was sitting on one of the dark-red leather stools, facing the crowd. I looked up at him twice and caught his eye quickly both times before I looked away. Those ice-blue eyes were so penetrating. Each time I’d caught his eye at the rock climbing gym, I’d have the same reaction—I’d look away quickly.

Why didn’t I have the guts to say hi? He was just another guy. So why did he have that effect upon me? There were tons of hot guys with jacked bodies at the gym. This one—only this one—made me react this way, like a zombie unable to speak.

My palms were beginning to heat up and I was painfully aware of the sound of my heartbeat despite the reverberation of the pounding bass around us.

“I know you from the gym, don’t I?”

Oh God. He was speaking to me. Whenever I heard that sultry voice and the French accent, I trembled slightly inside. Was there anything sexier than a French accent? During my brief semester in the south of France my junior year of college, I was in a constant state of sexual arousal with sounds of the French language all around me. Especially when purred by hot French men.

I opened my mouth to answer, but nothing came out. Maya elbowed me.

“Ye-yes,” I stammered, trying to sound nonchalant. “I go to Rock Hard Climbing.” That’s where he worked. “I’ve-uh-seen you there.”

Maya said, “I’ll catch up with you later.”

He nodded at her before she moved down to an empty spot at the other end of the red and black marbled bar.

Damn it. How could she leave me alone with him? She must have figured out he was the guy I often drooled about, when she saw me clam up like an idiot.

I stared at Maya as she scanned the crowd on the dance floor, shooting invisible daggers at her back. I’m going to kill her later.

In all those months fantasizing about this guy, never did I think it would start as awkward as this. Perhaps he’d smile at me first or nod hello at the gym. Then one day he’d ask if I needed a hand with something. Maybe compliment me somehow. I would appear a bit aloof. Each time I went to the gym after that, things would progress nice and slow. We’d gradually talk a bit more until he finally asked me out.

He snapped me out of my thoughts when he said, “I thought I recognized you. You look—” he paused, “different.”

Never, NEVER, did I think our first conversation would be in some underground club with my breasts pushed up against a leather laced up bodice, accentuated by a brooch with a silhouetted skull.

* * *

About Lisa Carlisle

I’ve loved the vampire myth since I was in third grade and had a crush on Dracula (rivaled only by my eternal love for Darth Vader). When I was younger, I served in the Marine Corps and backpacked around Europe on my own, which has provided me enough settings and characters for a lifetime of writing. Now I live in the Boston area with my fantastic, supportive husband and two kids. I’m very happy to be a multi-published, award-winning author writing in different genres.

Disclaimer: I go bat-shit crazy before Halloween and start decorating my house on October 1st. You can never have enough gargoyles.

Author site:
Buy links~
Ellora’s Cave:

Thank you for bringing two awesome books to the Ranch, Lisa!

So what about ya’ll? Do you go bat-shit crazy over Halloween?


Telling Secrets of Donna Shields


Before we get to the fun I need to offer up a prayer that all goes well with my oldest daughter’s laser back surgery this morning.

God keep my baby safe and allow the doctor to operate successfully and heal her pain-filled back with this surgery, I pray. Amen

I am so very excited to have my critique partner, and an awesome writer, back on the Ranch! She’s here to share the grueling story behind her new release (it comes available tomorrow, June 6th!!!), Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.

Talk about a nightmare to publication! This books been through the wringers. J But it was well worth it by the wonderful end results. Beautiful cover, awesome premise and a breathtaking story!

I’ll let her take it from here, so please give a huge Ranch welcome to romantic suspense, and Soul Mate Publisher, author Donna Shields!

To begin, I want to thank Calisa for having me here today!

It’s my pleasure, Donna. Tell us the story behind the story. 🙂

Secrets of Jenkins Bridge is my baby. My first book I’d written. The one shelved for three years. How did it come about? I’ll start at the beginning.

In the Fall of 2006, I had just begun Pre-Med at the University of South Carolina Upstate after transferring from Greenville Tech (I had put in three years here on and off full time). I was so excited. My goal was to become a Pediatric Oncologist and had my sights set on the Medical University down in Charleston. Then, the first slam came. My daughter was expelled from school. With no family here, no true friends (they were back in CT), and really no one I could rely on to help, I had to quit going to school. (And yes I wanted to kick her butt. This wasn’t the first time).

Then, the second slam came. When I thought I could possibly go back, I was told by Financial Aid I had hit my limit on receiving loans (didn’t realize they had this). If I wanted to go back, I’d have to get a personal loan. (Fat chance of that happening).

I’ve always wanted to write a book, but really never had the time to sit down and do it. Since I had to stay home with my daughter (and yes, I tortured her with school work), I gave it a shot.

Fast forward to early 2008. I had finished the manuscript and edited it. I titled it Second Chance and got working on the query letter. I had one goal – to have it published with Harlequin for their Intrigue line. After all, they were like the top romance publishing company (as far as I was concerned).  And I read so many Intrigues, I thought I kind of knew what they were looking for. I sent out the query letter and within two weeks I had a response: they wanted the full manuscript. So, off I sent it practically hysterical someone wanted to read it.

Along came the third and fourth slams. I was rejected. And it killed me inside. I was crushed big time. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I went to Connecticut that summer as my aunt was dying only to come back to huge marital issues. I packed and returned to Connecticut for a full year. We reconciled and I returned to South Carolina. During that year, I didn’t touch my writing. Not knowing what I wanted to do or which direction my life should head in, I pulled Second Chance back out and reread the rejection letter. After all, it was detailed at least. And after reading over my manuscript, I realized the editor was completely right.

I began ripping it apart with the help of my newly found critique partners and discovered a diamond in the rough so to speak. I worked on it little by little as I worked on another book, The Swan Cove Murders, which was published by Soul Mate Publishing. Thanks to my critique partners, I renamed it Secret of Jenkins Bridge. I sent it to my editor and within two weeks said she loved it, wanted it, and sent me a contract for it.

Then, came the wait on the edits. First round went okay. Again, this was my baby so I was having some trouble with changes. Second round was even more excruciating. We had set a release date for December 18th and then January 25th. I couldn’t get the edits finished in time for both dates as I was working a full time job, with Christmas, more marital issues, and then the grandbaby (now 7 months old) and the daughter moved back in with us. Can you say UGH? (And yes, this is the same daughter).

Fast forward … My editor and I weren’t seeing eye to eye on the last couple of chapters. I had to stop editing and step back. I concentrated on my third book for a while. But, I knew my edits weren’t going to go away. I had to face it and put on my big girl’s pants. And I realized she was right. I set out and made the changes, rewriting the last couple of chapters per her suggestions. And guess what I found out? My editor rocks! Because the ending came out awesome.

And finally we have a release date! As a matter of fact, it’s tomorrow! And I’m so stinking excited that I’m giving away 2 copies to randomly drawn winners from the comments posted here today! You’ll receive a free copy of Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.


Hunting down a dangerous mob boss has brought FBI agent Mitchell Donovan home, reawakening an old flame, resurrecting a dead best friend, and discovering fatherhood. As if those aren’t enough, his new case will push everything else aside: finding the kidnappers who took the daughter he never knew he had.

Katherine Delaney never forgot the heartbreak Mitchell had caused with his abrupt departure all those years ago. With her dead ex-husband accused of murder and her daughter kidnapped, she will place her trust in the one man who could trample her heart again if she gets too close.  But, will the resurrection of Katherine’s ex-husband and Mitchell’s chase for a killer destroy their second chance at love and happiness?


Donna Shields grew up on romance and scary stories. With her love for suspense and the slightly unusual, she enjoys tying these elements together to create stories full of love, danger and the paranormal.

She lives in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina with her husband, her children, and some great haunts. She’s a mom, a ‘gramma’, a wife, a friend, an avid reader and writer. When she’s not occupied with all that, she loves traveling to Playa del Carmen and Jamaica.

Here’s where you can find Donna and her books:

AVAILABLE NOW from Soul Mate Publishing: The Swan Cove Murders: Where the dead speak to her, danger finds her, and love saves her.
COMING JUNE 6TH: Secrets of Jenkins Bridge
Soul Mate Publishing
Soul Mate Authors Group Blog:

And there you have it! What a harrowing tale in itself. Lol But being one of those lucky critique partners Donna mentioned—I can readily vouch for this book. I enjoyed it from the first time I read it. Not only that one, but you’ll want to check out her Swan Cove Murders! Both from Soulmate Publishing and (as of tomorrow) both available now! Leave a comment for your chance to own a copy of Secrets of Jenkins Bridge!


Happy New Year and the end of the official tour


It’s January 1, 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


Today ends the countdown to my New Year’s release party for my first book publication. I’m sure many of you have heard a LOT about HOME from The Wild Rose Press during this last week if you’ve been following the tour. Blurbs, interviews and tidbits about me have been plastered all over the world via the internet thanks to my wonderful, gracious friends who have hosted my week-long blog tour. I have to take this time now to thank you all! YOU. ARE. AWESOME!!!!!

Second order of business- if you missed any of those blogs you should hop over now and leave a comment before ten o’clock (GMT) tonight. Why? Because tomorrow I will be drawing a winner for a FREE copy of HOME!!! The more times you comment the greater your chances to win so hurry and get those last minute names in the drawing.

To make it easy for you, here are those links:

26th- Anna K. Lanier

27th- Silver James 

28th- RELEASE DAY– Vonnie Davis AND AJ Nuest!!!

29th- W. Lynn Chantale

30th- Maeve Greyson

31st- Authors By Moonlight

What are you waiting for? GO!

I want to tell you what this week has been like for me. To do that I’m going back a year and a half. I’ll even include some pictures to please the eye. 😉

When Alicia Dean first brought this project to Oklahoma Romance Writers I was hesitant to get involved in a series. I mean, I wasn’t even published on my own yet, how could I possibly pull off writing one book in a series? But I did it anyway. It was an experience and we had fun. As of this post there are six books in the Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll series under contract. It was decided that how much the doll played in the books would be determined by each individual author according to their story. Some feature the doll very heavily, as the main theme of the story. I contemplated how much it would feature in HOME and had all sorts of ideas. Unfortunately (not in a bad way I don’t think, so maybe I should say fortunately), it didn’t turn out the way I first imagined as a pantser.

[image deleted]

Sam Callahan seemed to have a greater story to tell than that of a doll his mother was obsessed with. A war veteran who loved the town that raised him, idolized him, had suddenly turned its back on their one-time football star and future doctor. That became the story to a certain degree. Moreover, how he dealt with those horrible nightmares of the war became the story. I let him have his way.

How did he cope? With the courage and strength of a gypsy girl who had lived with stigmas all her life. What was alien to him was a way of life for Poppy Tippen. He learned to shuck the opinions of others by her steadfast, if not graceful, example. Popeye’s mantra became Sam’s unintentionally; I am who I am, and that’s all I can be.

[image deleted]

Witchy voodoo curses and all that mumbo-jumbo belief and such were more wive’s tales in those days than actual curses and acceptable black magic. Yes, there were witches and such—at least according to my witchy aunt–it just wasn’t readily acknowledged as that in those days. So the doll took a back seat in my story. But for my time period (Vietnam 1967) that worked.

But I still hadn’t really thought as I wrote my story that HOME would sell. Have I mentioned that I’m a tad insecure? Lol When I finally felt ready to submit I got a wonderful editor in Nancy Swanson. She requested to buy it within three weeks of receiving my manuscript! To say I was shocked is a gross understatement. J But I was so excited. Then the excitement waned over the next month. A little. When I got the email with my cover attached it ramped up again. Again when I got my fifteen minutes worth of revisions. Yes, it took me that long to make changes she asked for. What can I say? I worked on this story, had fellow Okie Outlaws read and crit, until it was a clean ms. Then I sent it in before I could screw it up by over editing! Lol Round two revisions was a matter of basically accepting a few punctuation changes the proofreader suggested, the tap of a button and I was finished. Do I expect revisions on my next ms to be so easy? Hells NO! I wish, but I’m realistic enough to know better.

So back to this week. Most know my release date coincided with my own birthday so that was my favorite gift this year, though my lovely daughters competed very well and I will smell nice for a long while! Of course, any gift from my husband and partner of twenty-eight years will trump anything in my life so I won’t count him now. He is a gift I can’t beat if I sell a hundred books that become best sellers! But this week I’ve been up so high that next week will be boring for sure! I’ve been riding high on friends and family buying MY book! My creation. That’s a feeling impossible to explain. Incredible, scary, wonderful! And I already have a four and a five star review on Amazon! How cool is that? When I wrote HOME I worried I wouldn’t quite hit the emotional mark the Vietnam war left on so many since I was born two years into it, no more than eleven when it ended in 1973 (officially the final troops and POWs were brought out in ’75 just before Watergate took over the news airways). I remember my dad calling it the Eleven-Year-War, saying it was the longest and deadliest war in the history of the USA. I think that length has possibly been beaten more recently beginning with Desert Storm in 1991, but I haven’t researched that yet.


But I digress. I was sure no one would “get” the story, what I was trying to convey. Was I able to get across what was deep inside of me? The fears and recovery a soldier must go through, that he has to face those fears head on to conquer them? What about the era itself?

[image deleted]

Did I portray it correctly? Does the love and growth of my characters show?

After all, this is pretty much the extent of my memories of that time. I was almost five when this picture was taken. We lived in the middle of alfalfa fields like this one on a race horse ranch. I remember the horses more than I recall the strains of that war my uncle and cousins fought in (they came home). And, even though both Mommy and Daddy are gone now, they both knew I wrote way back when I was a teen, and I know they are smiling on my success today, partying in heaven for me!

I had my doubts until a few days ago. Read those reviews and you’ll see how wrong I was again. My family knows I hate being wrong, or admitting if I am, but in this process I’ve been wrong about a few things I’m happy to admit to!

HOME is out and available NOW at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon. If you don’t win here today I sure hope you’ll feel inclined to go buy it.

Now, to end this tour, here’s one last brand new peek from HOME to make you smile.


Hearing Sam laugh did crazy things to Poppy’s insides. But she hadn’t forgotten the last time she’d said something to make him laugh. She’d avoided him in the days since. It had been dumb luck that she was out now instead of at work. Mother had sent her on an errand, and she was heading back to the shop.

Seeing Sam sitting at the stop sign had made her cringe. He’d looked like he was in another land, and she couldn’t help speaking up. Maybe he had been. It had startled and surprised her that he pulled over, since he was angry at her the last time she saw him.

She hadn’t forgotten the hurtful words he shouted under the big trees. “So what are you doing? Hiding from Mrs. C. again, I imagine.”

“Something like that. What about you? Can I offer you a ride?”

“You can offer, but I’m going right there.” Sam turned to look where she pointed, across the street to her mother’s doll shop.

He stared, for what seemed to Poppy a long time, before he swiveled back to her. “I’ll walk you over.”

“Yeah? Why?”

“To look at a doll. What else would a guy do in a doll shop?”

Poppy gauged his response and noticed the twinkle in his eyes. He was up to something fishy, but dang it if she knew what. Shrugging, she moved to cross the street. “Fine, soldier. Walk me across the street like a good Boy Scout.”

As she stepped off the curb, she felt his hand touch her elbow and she glanced up at him. “I am a good Boy Scout. Remember that.”

“Yeah? Prove it.” She had no idea why she said that. How did a grown man go about proving he was a Boy Scout? Not her best line, she admitted, and smiled as she softly whistled her favorite song, “He’s So Fine.”

“Why do you always whistle that song? There are a lot that are better and make more sense.”

Poppy stopped in the middle of the street to stare at Sam. “Are you serious? No one is better than the Chiffons! They say exactly what a girl wants to. You take that back, Sammie.”

Sam took her hand and led her from the street and into the nearest building’s shade, out of the August heat. She stood back against the brick and stared up, waiting for him to take back what he’d said.

“Do the Chiffons say what you’d like to say, Poppy? Why do you think of that tune around me?”

She thought she’d choke as she gulped air and looked away in embarrassment. How had she stuck her foot in so deep? Did he know what she’d been so diligent in hiding from him? “Just, they are a great group, is all.”

His eyes bored into hers for a fast count of fifteen before he raised his gaze to look out over her head at the street. “Hmm.”

“Hmm, what? What are you thinking, Sam Callahan?” Did she really want to know?

His eyes fell on her again and he leaned against the wall, one hand propping him to block her view of anything around them. He leaned close. She felt his warm breath on her cheek, could smell butterscotch on his breath. He’d been eating those cream candies Dr. C. used to give out. Now she knew where he’d been before finding her. Maybe he was getting ready to take over his dad’s practice. Holy Joe, he’d be her doctor!

“I’m thinking we need to visit the woods again, soon.”

“The woods? Why?”

He chuckled and leaned closer, so close his mouth almost brushed her hair. “I’d like to fix something that I can’t fix here on Main Street.”

Poppy forced her eyes to look at him so near, to gaze into his almost purple eyes. Her chest pounded with each breath punched out as she whispered, “What?”

Sam slid his lips across hers before backing away to a respectable distance, then smiled lazily. “That.”

Oh, my golly! It didn’t seem to matter how he’d hurt her, when he stood so close she could smell his shower soap. Poppy shivered and looked away from his intense gaze. “I don’t… We can’t…”

“Relax, Poppen. Let’s go look at dolls.”

What? Just like that he turned off the heated charm that left her legs feeling soft and gushy like chewed gum in sunshine and her head spinning out of control. It wasn’t fair he should be able to make her feel like heaven was touchable and then just walk away.

Dumbly, she followed him around the corner to her mother’s store. He opened the door and held it for her to enter ahead of him. Poppy knew she wouldn’t sleep soundly until she discovered the heart of Sam’s charm, why he was so easily able to heat her blood so thoroughly with a word, a kiss.

Maybe he was trying to charm her. But…why?

She was nothing more than a gypsy’s daughter, a doll store owner, a “bad” girl—the wrong girl, from the wrong side of the tracks. What could Sam want with her?

Ok, I’m gonna offer MORE chances to win! Tweet this post, Facebook– with the buttons below this post– RT it, and then tell me that you’ve done these. I’ll take your word for it. Just tell me which you did in a comment and I’ll add your name an extra time into the drawing for each thing you do. That’s three plus more chances!!!

Until tomorrow-


PS- don’t forget to check my schedule in the news>blogging news tab at the top of the page to see where I’ll be through January and February. You might have more chances to win a copy of HOME if you don’t get one now.

HOME For Love!!!


I’m so SO excited to announce today is the day I kick off my HOME for Love blog tour!!! Here’s the next week’s schedule to make it easy for you to follow along for a chance to win a FREE ecopy!!!!!!!!

26th- Anna K. Lanier

27th- Silver James and Smut Writers Soap Box (this one I’ll be at all week but it’s not inc. in the contest)

28th- RELEASE DAY– Vonnie Davis AND AJ Nuest!!!

29th- W. Lynn Chantale

30th- Maeve Greyson

31st- Authors By Moonlight

January 2012-


Come HOME to party right here on The Ranch!!! Where I will announce the first winner of a PDF copy of HOME!!!! 

 I hope to see all my friends, and of course, my new friends-to-be, at each stop!