Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Have You Met Jean?

So far, I’ve been introducing you to people I know, love, and love to read. This week is no exception! Jean Brashear is one of those authors I love, love, love!

When I asked if I could talk to her about where she writes, she was more than happy to comply. (Thank you, Jean!)

Me: Do you always write in your office? If not, where else do you write.

 Jean: I just about never write in my office, nor do I do my first drafts on my computer. 🙂 I wander, thanks to my old-school Alphasmart.

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Jean: The rocker where I often sit to re-read drafts and wield my red pen. (Behind me, the first 4 shelves are copies of my published books in various languages…the 4th shelf with Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars series in front of me, as it should be.:)

Me: Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever written?

 Jean: My back deck under the live oaks, sitting in a cushion-y wicker rocker.

 

Me: Ooh, that sounds like a great place to be, writing or not! Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever written?

 Jean: No physical place that weird. I save the weird for inside my head. 😉

Me: Do you do anything before you write? Light a candle? Put on music?

 Jean: Can’t write to music! Don’t want to influence where the story goes—I’m too busy feeling the characters and can’t afford to interfere with feeling the music.

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Jean: And while we’re living in the Land of Make Believe, here I am, pretending that I actually write at my desk.;)

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And this is her favorite part of her office. Can’t say that I blame her!

Me: Do you write every day?

Jean: Weekdays, yes. I save weekends for my honey.;)

Me: Did I mention she writes romance? No wonder! What’s the atmosphere in your office?

Jean: Not good for writing—though I have photos of my beloved, a comfy rocking chair and a dog I love. Too many reminders of business, otherwise, though!

Me: If you could have your dream office, what would it be?

Jean: I like mine fine, though a separate little writing shack might be fun. On the other hand, I get up and wander a lot in between scenes, and a lot of a book forms in my head during my rambles, so not sure one little building would work.

Wait—a tree house! Wow…I might need that. 😉

Me: How did you get started writing?

 Jean: My husband and I were having one of those “what do we want to do with the rest of our lives?” conversations when our last child was about to graduate. As an avid reader since childhood, I said “I’ve always thought it would be amazing to see my name on the spine of a book.” My honey, Mr. Pragmatic, basically said “What’s stopping you?” and proceeding to support me in every possible way as I took the leap into a dream I’d never imagined possible (and if I’d understood publishing better—don’t know I’d have had the courage! LOL)

Me: Are there any how-to books you recommend for writers?

Jean: How-tos just freeze me up. I SO wish I were a writer who could plan and follow the plan, but the reality is that I dive into the story and just feel my way through, however impossibly inefficient that might be. (And trust me…it is.:( )

Me: What’s your process for starting a new book?

Jean: We’re supposed to have a process?? (You’d think, after 40+ books, that I would, but truthfully, I have a few snippets of ideas rolling around, and most of it is just finding a scene that grabs me—and readers, I hope—and diving in.)

plotsJean: Here is the wall I recently created, thinking I could actually change myself and my process aka Jean Pretends She Will Actually Plot:

Me: Did you struggle as a new writer or were you blessed with sales from the word go?

Jean: I wasn’t one of those “I sold my first book” luckies, no. Got the rejection letters to prove it!

Me: Do you write in more than one genre? Ever write under another name?

Jean: I have written romantic suspense, women’s fiction and paranormal romantic suspense, but no other name.

Me:  What piece of advice do you have for a newbie struggling writer?

Jean: These days, though indie publishing is an option and one I’m loving, I would still urge a new writer to write more than one book before publishing any. And get help from experts—all of us need editing!

For one thing, things we think are on the page may not be—with the story so alive in our heads, we may not realize that we know things that aren’t coming across. I don’t mean endless details—readers don’t need to know all we have to know about our characters—but that what we think we conveyed may indeed not be what’s there.

We need objective eyes, and we have all seen our words way too many times to trust that we truly know what’s there!

I will say that the few times I’ve been able to let a story sit for at least a few months (a luxury I never had when writing for a traditional publisher) I never cease to see new things I could do with it to make it better.

Ergo my advice above: don’t publish your first effort. You will learn with each one and get better. All of us get better—or we’re doing something wrong if we’re not—over time.

Let that first effort sit and ripen while you write something else. Then go back and see what you think, see if fresh eyes helps you make the story stronger and better.

That said, your story is your story, and only you know what it should be. Get professional eyes on your work, but never be afraid to stick up for your vision of what your story really is.

Me: What are your latest books?

Jeans: I’m releasing my first-ever serial, a 3-part story (with a surprise connection to my Texas Heroes Sweetgrass Springs books) called The Book Babes.

Part One, Texas Ties, released on 3/15, Part Two, Texas Troubles, releases on 3/26, and Part Three will wrap up the story on 4/9. All are available for order/preorder at all retailers, and here are the links plus an excerpt: http://jeanbrashear.com/texas-heroes-series/the-book-babes/

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Me: Do you have anything in the works?

Jean: I’m starting the next Sweetgrass Springs story—which totally changed, in the wake of the Book Babes and its surprise connection that I never saw coming.;) Hey, I like surprises, too!

Me: Thank you so much for letting us visit your office, Jean! That was fun!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Behind the scenes with . . .

better-meme Me! (Yikes!) As you can see, I’m not good at taking selfies. 😀 Here’s a tiny corner of my office. I especially like the thingy with all the drawers, because a dear friend gave it to me not too long before her death. deskish But I don’t write in my office anymore. Most of the time I write in my recliner in the family room. When I look up, I see this picture. viewI won this picture and I love it, because it reminds me of my Small Town World. (Funny how that works.) When I got my new hip, I wrote here– writers-couchand if you can see above the couch, those are my kiddos looking on. My first desk that I claimed all for myself was this one– 2nd-deskIf you think it looks like an old vanity table that’s lost it’s mirror, you’re right. Back then it didn’t have the game boards or the kids book on it, but it did have a big monitor and keyboard. Not an ideal place to write, but I learned a lot on that mini-desk. (Thank you, Grandma Reeves!) While I wrote there, I read through Deb Dixon’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict several times. And I still keep it handy. Now I want to introduce you to my muse. I don’t think any of the women I’ve interviewed have mentioned their muses yet, so maybe I’m the only writer with one. My sisters gave me Minerva for my birthday the month before we lost our mom. museMinerva is an Attic Baby. She’s wearing a housecoat and slippers and in her basket she has cleaning equipment and a mop and tucked in one corner is a Romance Novel called True Romance. I love her! Once in a while, Minerva just takes over and writes for me. muse-writesThat’s okay, too. 🙂 IMG_0724When the weather’s right and it gets light early enough, I like to take my laptop outside. And yes, Linda, I have that “Oh! A Squirrel!” problem, too. I’m trying to get over it. When I’m outside here’s my view– lakeWe live on Keystone Lake, and this is the prettiest part! So, the questions I make everyone else answer. (I’ve probably answered them already, but just in case . . .) Question: Do you write in your office? If not, where else do you write.

Me: Never.

Question: Why not?

Me: Don’t ask. It’s not pretty.

Question-Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever written?

 Me: We had a retreat once at a place on Grand Lake and I loved writing there. I don’t know why, either. I might have been because I was with other writers, it might have been because our speaker did a fantastic job, or it might have been because each time we had a few free moments, my roomie went straight to her computer and went to work. So I did, too.

Question-Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever written?

Me: I don’t think there is a weird place to write. I haven’t written at work (really! I haven’t!!!) and I’ve never written anything during a funeral, but I usually have stories going on in my head. I’m afraid I’ll never have time to write all of them.

Question-Do you do anything before you write? Light a candle? Talk to Minerva?

Me: I write best in the early morning, so I make coffee before I write. Wish I did something more interesting.

Question-Do you write every day?

Me: As much as possible, unless I oversleep. I have more time on weekends, so I love writing then. Sometimes I take Christmas off.

Question-What’s the atmosphere in your office?

Me: Easy going. The kitchen’s right over my left shoulder, so I refill my coffee as often as possible. My writing partner sometimes interrupts to go outside, then to come back in. But until G-Man wakes up, it’s pretty quiet.

Writing Partner

Bossy Writing Partner

Question: Do you play music while you write? If so, how do you choose the music?

 Me: I tried to. But I found myself singing along with the music instead of writing. Silence is best for me.

Question-If you could have your dream office, what would it be?

Me: I used to think I wanted an office off by itself, but I know better now. I’d never go out there to write. And I don’t play the guitar to get my juices flowing. (Wish I could, though.) Since the kids are all married and living somewhere else, I have the entire house to write in. So my dream office is where ever me and my laptop are.

Question- How did you get started writing?

 Me: Well, it’s not because I made straight A’s in English. The truth is, I’m a huge reader. If I don’t have something to read, I’ll go nuts. And when I can’t read, I’ve always made up stories in my head to entertain myself. I found out writing them down is even more fun than just thinking them, because you get to find out how the story ends. Good stuff!

Question- Are there any how-to books you recommend for writers?

 Me: Deb Dixon’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict and just about any of James Scott Bell’s how-to books.

Question- What’s your process for starting a new book?

Me: I wish I could say, I do this and this and this, but sadly, I can’t. Sometimes I play the What If game and sometimes a character takes shape in my head and won’t leave me alone until I write her story. That’s what’s happening to me this time. I wish I knew where this story was going, but I don’t. I do think it’s a Christian Suspense, though.  Maybe.

Question- Did you struggle as a new writer or were you blessed with sales from the word go?

Me: I wish you hadn’t asked that question. The truth is, I struggled. And I’m still struggling. I sold lots of short stories, but I can’t tell you how many novels I learned on before I started selling.

Question- I know you write in more than one genre. Can you tell us a little about that?

Me: My first book was To School a Cowboy, a straight romance. The second one was Blind Sight, romantic suspense, and the third one was Make Me Howl, which is a werewolf story. Those three were published by The Wild Rose Press and under my name, Susan Shay. I just finished a manuscript called Jordan Valley that I call Christian Women’s Fiction. The new one I’m working on is also set in Jordan Valley and is (hopefully) going to be a suspense. I plan to write those as either Susan Spess or Susan Spess Shay, unless someone changes my mind for me.

Question- What piece of advice do you have for a newbie struggling writer?

Me: The best advice I can give anyone is stick with it. Find a good critique group. And read. I met a guy once who had written a long, long book he wanted to get published, so I asked him what he liked to read. He told me he didn’t read. I was shocked. Writers read. Maybe not all the time, and maybe not in the genre they write, but if a person doesn’t like to read, why would he want to write? And don’t take yourself too seriously. Look for the glee in life and laugh as often as possible, especially at yourself. After all, you know the inside story. You know how funny you really are.


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Sweet Little Wild Child

Today I’m reintroducing you to a friend of mine with a ton of guts– Ashlynn Pearce. She’s a young-in-years writer who’s lived a lot of life! On the day her first book, Rough Edges, came out, she had a stroke.

Remember, from back in January?

Even though she thought she’d never write again, she’s made her way back and is now burning up the process. I thought I’d see how and where she does it!

I love this girl, so be sure you stop by the comments section and ask a question or just say hi!

Me: Do you always write in your office?

Ashlynn: Most the time, but not always. I have a Mac laptop hooked up to a large screen with full size keyboard- but sometimes I need a change. So I’ll take it into the living room with me. Especially if I’m doing edits.

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Me: Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever written?

 Ashlynn: I’d have to say my office. It’s a cool place.

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Me: Hm. Okay, where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever written?

 Ashlynn: Years ago, I would go to Panera Bread or Barnes and Noble and write there. I really enjoyed that. Since I’m not allowed to drive any further than the bank, which is two minutes away, I don’t do that anymore.

Me: Do you do anything before you write? Light a candle? Dance around the house?

Ashlynn: I kinda have a pattern. I do email, blogs, social media first and then hit writing.

Me: Do you write every day?

 Ashlynn: My goal is to write every day during the week but because of health issues, that doesn’t always happen. And life can sometimes get in the way. Laundry doesn’t wash itself. I don’t usually try on weekends. Family time and whatnot.

Me: So tell us about the atmosphere in your office.

 Ashlynn: It’s colorful. Bright pinks, blues and purples decorate my office. Hubs won’t let me paint the walls a crazy color, so I do it with nick-knacks, a very colorful rug and bright pink curtains.

That said, I love to write when its raining. It’s my favorite writing weather and I like my office dim. I realize that’s a complete contradiction, but it’s no secret I’m a li’l odd.

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Me: You listen to music while you write. How do you choose the music?

 Ashlynn: I have playlists for every book I write. And the music depends on the story. But I always have music playing. I can’t write without it.

If you want to listen to the music that inspired my books, you can follow all my playlists on Spotify here 12169150219. There is a wide range of music and it all depends on the characters.

Me: If you could have your dream office, what would it be?

Ashlynn: You know, this is going to sound weird, but I have it. There are two large windows in my office that face our waterfall and pond. I can’t see it, but I can hear it if I open the windows. I have my favorite gargoyle licking a pen on my desk.

I have a stuffed dog my son got me when I had my stroke and it went everywhere with me. It’s had MRI’s and all sorts of tests done on it. A picture of my hubs and the kids when they were little. A pen holder in the shape of a pink tulip. A replica time-turner from Harry Potter.

Me: So how did you come by this magical writing space?

 Ashlynn: This room was originally supposed to be a very open formal dining room. But, it was very important to my Hubs that it was closed in and double French doors put in before we even moved in.

That he made it so important, makes me love this room that much more.

Those things make it my dream office. 😀

Me: How did you get started writing?

Ashlynn: How did I get started? A dream. No, literally, I dreamed a story. And thought, why not? So I bought a good pen and a notebook and started writing.

I didn’t know anything about computers back then. I didn’t know what program you used to write or that there was a format that you needed to use.

All I knew was I’d read thousands (and I mean thousands-I started reading them when I was 13 and would read no less than 2 a week from there on out) and this story dream wouldn’t leave me alone. No, that one isn’t published, but I plan on releasing it one day.

Then I joined this amazing writers group. They taught me, encouraged me, pushed me and I absorbed as much as I could from them. (Ms. Susan is one of them, btw) I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without them.

I still love every single one of them. They were, and still are, super supportive. Even if they would laugh at my lack of grammar abilities. (still suck at grammar-but I keep trying and I have an editor— know your weaknesses!)

Me: I laughed because your grammar abilities are so much like mine!

What books to you keep close at hand while you’re writing?

Ashlynn: Writers books I use regularly— The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (AWESOME book! Helps you really dig into showing the emotion and not telling), The Writers Digest Character-Naming Sourcebook by Sherilyn Kenyon (I love original names) and Thesaurus online. (I have a habit of getting stuck on one word and using it a lot. It helps me switch it up. Do NOT use it to find words no one has every heard of… Just a tip)

Me: Click on the title to check out those books!

What do you see when you look out that window?

The windows face the front of the house and I see the backside rock of the small waterfall, that leads into a short creek, which falls off into a bigger waterfall and large pond. There is a small bridge you have to walk across to get to our front door, so thats in my view.

In every season but winter there are all kinds of birds and squirrels that love to play in the creek and eat from the bird feeder. They are so fun to watch.

My puppies hang out with me in my office and they like to bird and squirrel watch, too.

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Me: What piece of advice do you have for a newbie struggling writer?

 Ashlynn: #1-The first draft of anything is crap. The second draft of anything is crap. If you can accept that and realize the editing and polishing are what make it a good story, you will quit worrying if you’re any good.

#2- You can’t edit a blank page. And I do know that blank page staring at you with the little cursor blinking at you is the most intimidating thing in the world. (I face it every time I start a new story) Grit your teeth, hunker down in your chair and just write.

#3-Don’t get caught up in the “right” way to do it. Not when you start out. Refer to step number two.

And the last thing, probably the most important, find one or two critique partners you trust. Not family if you can help it. People you can bounce ideas off of and read your stuff when your stuck. Believe me, they are worth their weight in gold.

Me: Do you have any advice for people who find themselves struggling through bad things that happen in life, such as your stroke?

Ashlynn: Life is short. Really, really short. So chase that dream, whatever it is. Make time for it. Don’t put it off. You never know when your number is up or when the ability might be snatched from you. Take it from someone who thought I’d never be able to write again after suffering a stroke. Don’t waste time worrying about what other people think or might say. Just do it. It’s your life and you only get one. Do it your way.

Thank you for sharing, Ashlynn! BTW all y’all–you can follow Ashlynn on Facebook , her website, and Twitter @ashlynn_pearce .

She has a new series called Dirtslap and the first book in that series is called Fuel (click the link to purchase) and another coming on May 7th called Wreck.

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Linda’s HOPE

Hey, y’all! I have a real treat for you. My good friend, Linda Trout’s new book, Last Hope Alaska, is being published today. (I’m so excited, I could SCREAM!!!) And guess what! As busy as she is (busier than a cranberry merchant taking inventory) she kindly agreed to an interview.

Linda Trout, Author

Linda Trout, Author (OWFI 2014)

My nephew, Grant Sparks, knew Linda before I did, and I think he’d agree she’s a true romantic at heart. Linda lives with her Real Life Hero and various dogs and cats in right here in northeastern Oklahoma. They own ten acres of semi-wooded land, where the “wild” keeps creeping forward at a pace faster than they can keep up with.

Getting lost in a good book is one of her favorite pastimes as well as riding alongside her hubby on their Harleys.

1- Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Linda. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a shy, quiet, unassuming woman (Susan: Shy? Quiet? Unassuming??? Clears throat. LOL) who loves to talk to anyone who’ll listen, visit Just About Anywhere, Alaska, and ride my motorcycle full bore down the open highway. Retired from the corporate world, I love spending days with my fur babies and my hubby, who pushes me to write faster.

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2- Are you a writer only or do you like to read, too? (I’ve said for years that all writers should learn to read at some point.)

I love to read! I like a variety of genres but tend to gravitate toward suspense. I love to experience the dangers the characters face without leaving the comfort of home. (I should have added on #1 that I’m a wuss. LOL)

3- Who are a few of your favorite authors? (No pressure here.)

That’s easy. You. 🙂 Marilyn Pappano, Jodi Thomas, B.J. Daniels, Julia Quinn, Colleen Thompson, Lenora Worth, Gail Barrett, Beth Cornelison. I could go on but we don’t have enough time or space. LOL

4- When did you first start seriously writing?

When I turned 50 I gave myself permission to try. Sounds weird, but that’s what I had to do to get me going. I took classes on writing and eventually began attending conferences and workshops to learn the craft.

5- I know this sounds like almost the same question, but a lot of people dream about writing and never actually do it. When did you first think about wanting to write for publication?

I got serious about writing for publication after I joined a romance writers group. They showed me that I actually had something worthwhile to say.

6- Your new book is called Last Hope Alaska. Can you tell us a little about how you got the idea for that book.

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My husband and I love to visit the state. On one trip I left him to hike the Chilkoot Trail and I came back home. On the way to the airport, the taxi driver asked me where I was from with that accent. Right then and there, Last Hope Alaska was conceived. That’s also why my hero drives a taxi part time. I had to be true to the roots of the story.

Okay, when I tell that story, I’m going to say he was a really HOT taxi driver, and if you hadn’t just seen your husband . . . . (Just to make it a little more interesting. *wink* )

7- How many times have you visited Alaska? And what do you like best there?

Oh, I’ve probably been there 8 times over the years, finding a new place to visit every time. I love the laid back lifestyle and the people. I think it takes a special type of person to live in the Last Frontier…to be able to put up with 6 months of almost constant daylight, followed by 6 months of almost total darkness. Not sure I could handle that.

8- What’s your favorite part of your new book?

Gee. Ask me something hard, why don’t you? LOL Besides the ending, I think my favorite part of the book is when they first meet, then he sees just how tough she really is. She doesn’t think of herself as a survivor, but proves she has what it takes.

9- What’s your best advice for someone who wants to be a writer?

I think my best advice is to sit down and write. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, just write. Then find a group of people who write the same genre as you. I know I wouldn’t be as far along in my writing if I hadn’t found a group of romance authors to help cheer me on. You need to associate with others who also have multiple characters living in their heads. Also, like I said in question #4, learn the craft before you throw yourself out there unprepared. The wolves will eat you alive. Seriously. It isn’t pretty.

Supportive writers at OWFI

Some of Linda’s support group at OWFI. (And some of the people Linda supports.)

10- Can you share a little of the book with us? (Because, yes, that’s why you are here. Right?)

I’d love to share some of my book with you!

Excerpt from Last Hope Alaska

“Hey, this looks great.” The screen door slammed behind Sam. “Molly’s sure getting her money’s worth.”

Emily turned toward him and burst out laughing. “What in the world happened to you?” He was covered in so much dirt he looked as if he’d been rolling downhill all morning.

“Being used as slave labor. Remind me to never agree to help that woman again.” He slapped at his pants legs, sending dust flying everywhere.

“Hey! Stop that! I just swept the floor.”

“You don’t look so clean yourself, sugar.” He closed the space between them and began flipping cobwebs out of her hair.

“Sam…” His intimate touch turned her legs to jelly. Then he reached up to wipe dirt from her nose, right before he gripped her chin and raised her face to his. He lowered his gaze to her lips. Cotton balls formed in her mouth. She licked her lips. Her eyelids drifted closed.

“What’s keeping you?” Molly called from outside the back door, breaking the spell.

*  *  *

Thank you for having me on Small Town World, Susan. I’ve really enjoyed being here!

Linda, I love you (and your books) more than my shoes! I loved having you here in my World. (BTW–You almost let the truth about who inhabits my Small Town World slip out when you were talking about characters living in your head. Gotta be careful.) 😀

Seriously, guys, check out Linda’s new book. I think you’ll enjoy as much as I did! 

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Links:

Click here to find Linda’s book at The Wild Rose Press

Click here to go to Last Hope Alaska on Amazon.

And if you’re a Kindle Fan (like me!) click here to download the digital version of LHA.

BTW: This is the link to Linda’s website. Drop by there and say hi.  

And Linda’s having a party on Facebook Friday night. This is your invitation! (Tell her you came with me. You’ll get special treatment. 🙂 And she’ll love me.

Ps: I got up early this morning and bought my copy. Go there from here and get yours!  🙂

 


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♥ The Best ♥

I don’t know if it’s my sex, what my parents taught me or my age (we’re not going there!) but for some reason, it’s much easier to crow about a friends’ books than it is my own.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I have a couple of friends with books coming out in the very near future and I’m so excited, I’m dancing on my toes!

Today, I want to tell you about Marilyn Pappano.

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Yes, I really know this famous author (honest!) and she’s not only a fantastic writer, she’s nice. Oh,  and she’s a great friend! She has a series of books about people in the military (talk about writing what you know) and their loves. (Did I mention most of my friends write romance?)

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Marilyn gets the most beautiful covers! (Perfect for her books.) Here’s a little bit about this book from the page on Amazon–

A LOVE TO CALL HER OWN

It’s been two years since Jessy Lawrence lost her husband in Afghanistan, and she’s never fully recovered. Drowning her sorrows didn’t help, and neither did the job she’d hoped would give her a sense of purpose. Now trying to rebuild her life, she finds solace in her best friends, fellow military wives who understand what it’s like to love-and lose-a man in uniform . . . and the memory of one stolen night that makes her dream of a second chance at love.

Dalton Smith has known more than his fair share of grief. Since his wife’s death, he revels in the solitude of his cattle ranch. But try as he might, he can’t stop thinking about the stunning redhead and the reckless, passionate night they shared. He wasn’t ready before, but Dalton sees now that Jessy is the only woman who can mend his broken heart. So how will he convince her to take a chance on him?

We met Jessy in the first two books, and I really liked her. She was sassy, sexy and mouthy and standing on her own two feet when she really wanted to crumble in a heap and grieve. What’s not to like? 😀

From my heart: I’ve read most of Marilyn’s books, and from the first one to the last, they’re beautiful. (There’s no other way to describe them.) A glimpse into the heart of a kind and loving woman.

Her books let us live (and relive) that emotional, conflicted, bumpy, exciting glide into love.

Maybe I can get Marilyn to come over and tell us a little about her new book. We’ll see. (She’s one busy woman!)

Since her book doesn’t come out until the 26th of this month, you can read the first two books in this series. (Although it’s not necessary since they’re all stand alone books.)

A Hero to Come Home To

A Man to Hold On To

In case you’re wondering, this isn’t a paid announcement. Marilyn doesn’t even know I’m writing it. She didn’t give me an ARC. (Advance Reading Copy.) I download my own copy of her books on my Kindle to keep forever. 🙂

Check Marilyn out. She’s the best!

 


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What If You Had Only One Last Hope?

 

I don’t know if it’s my sex, what my parents taught me or my age (we’re not going there!) but for some reason, it’s much easier to crow about a friends’ books than it is my own. So I’m going to do it!

I have two friends with books coming out this month! I’m so thrilled, I’m tap dancing on my rooftop.

The first one coming out is LAST HOPE ALASKA, by Linda Trout. In fact, I think it’s available now! (Woohoo!)

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Here’s a little about the book from Amazon–

Emily Redfern’s ex-fiancé learned to kill on the back streets of New York. Now, she is his target. Broke, exhausted, and a step ahead of the man she once loved, she clings to one last hope: the wilds of Alaska. The quiet safety of her hide-a-way becomes addictive as she grows to care for the man who offers her refuge.

Released from prison after a wrongful conviction, native Alaskan Sam Tarkington is determined to regain his business, repair his reputation, and rebuild his life. But when he meets a desperate and vulnerable woman, guarding secrets of her own, she tugs at his heart. She’s a distraction he can’t afford. Sam must choose Emily or achieving his dreams. Like Emily’s life, the peacefulness of the wilderness is an illusion as danger lurks in the distance.

Does Sam hold the key to her survival or will her past cost them everything?

Alaska is one of Linda’s favorite places to vacation, so her descriptions are bone chillingly accurate. (Yes, I’ve read most of this book. Linda’s one of my favorite critique partners.)

Linda Trout, Author

I’ve known Linda through two books, a novella and three writers’ groups. 😉 She’s sincere, a wonderful friend and a hard working writer. I’m thrilled and excited about her book coming out. (Can you tell?)

BTW: This is a suspense, so you’ll be reading into the night because it’s a page turner. It’s worth every moment of sleep you miss. This book is great!

Linda is going to have a Book Release Party on Facebook 8/22/14 and I’m inviting YOU.   Pop over and tell her you’re coming.  Hey, tell her I invited you, please. (I’m making points.) 😀

I’ll see if I can get Linda to answer a few questions about her book in the next few days.

Oh, you might want to know about her other books–

Grave Secrets (I was there from the first spark of an idea for this one.)

Romance–the Spice of Life (Hers is a novella called SHATTERED PROMISES.)

Linda’s a real sweetie. If you get the chance to meet her, give her a hug from me. She’s a doll!

 


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Blind Sight–

So I noticed this morning I haven’t told all y’all about my books. (Check up there under My Books. It’s changing!)

On July 24, I did a signing with my BIL Noel Nation, author of THE EDUCATION OF A TEACHER: LESSONS A SMALL TOWN TAUGHT A TEACHER  at the annual IEC meeting, and I noticed something.

My book, BLIND SIGHT, sells best of all my books, and I’m not sure why.

blind sight

I’ll let you read an excerpt. Maybe you can tell me why.

Back cover: Cassie Reynolds is channeling the dreams of a serial killer. But without the resources to stop him—if she’s able to discover who he is—how can she succeed? Only cynical Keegan Flynn, who believes in nothing and no one, has the tools needed to complete her gift. Will Cassie be able to make Keegan believe in time, or will Christmas this year be murder?

There are a couple of funny/weird things about this book.

WT #1–I wrote the manuscript, then set it aside while I started my next book. Then I decided to reread BS before sending it to my editor, and the antagonist surprised me! LOL.

door-to-our-room

WT #2– When I was nearly finished writing Blind Sight, Marilyn Pappano (critique partner and fantastic author) handed me a book by Kay Hooper. I’d never heard of Kay, nor had I read any of her books. But the book was about a touch psychic (like my book) named Cassandra (My heroine’s name is Cassaundra) who gets tangled up with a serial killer (same in my book.) Really weird, huh?

But if you read her book and mine, you’ll see those are the only similarities. Kay is an over-the-top fantastic author!

Want to read a little bit?

“Oh, I can find my way around her. In my hands, this baby will be very happy.” Gingerly caressing the leather-covered steering wheel, he glanced at Cassie in the semi-darkness to see her mouth drop open. While he hadn’t intended to give the words a sexy spin, seeing her face after she took the phrase the wrong way—eyes at half-mast, cheeks pinking, and her glistening bottom lip caught between her teeth—made him wish he could do it again.

“That’s right. You owned a Volkswagen in college, didn’t you?” Her voice rasped slightly as she buckled her seatbelt, then leaned away from him to angle her back against the door. In a play of shadow and light, the simple red dress she wore made her body look perfect, touchable, kissable. When she finally turned her head to look at him, the heat in her gaze stole the air from his lungs.

Without breath, he couldn’t speak or think, so he nodded. It didn’t matter what she’d asked. Whatever it was, he’d do it. Or find it. Or climb it. Or build it. For the woman gazing at him with eyes that could heat his very marrow, he’d do anything at all. Even take on a monster, if need be.

 

Hm. I might have to go back and read this book again. 😉