August is coming!

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It’s gonna be one of those months – non-stop.

So what’s going on?

Well, I have new release (one of my small town romances – think billionaire’s baby) Mac’s Family coming out August 10. There will be a release party with the Rafflecopter to win a copy or two of the new release or a gift card from Amazon.  Macs Family-Flat

And it’s Rebel Ink’s birthday so for the whole month of August, Wraith’s Heart will be on sale for 99¢ at Amazon.  See the sale here!  See the video here – Wraith’s Heart  WraithsHeart_finalCover

Then there’s the Giveaway on Goodreads, giving away three copies of Alien Embrace, so please sign up August 1 – I’ll add the link when it goes live.

And because August is one of my favorite months (La Daughter was born then!) on August 15, I’ll be giving away some copies of Alien Embrace, just because!

Alien Embrace Cover 5 copy

Cover Reveal – Mac’s Family

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Macs Family-Flat

When Mac is injured and returns to the states, it’s to find his Grandfather gone and the business in his hands. But what has his attention is the female in distress he rescues his first night home.

Win one of 3 .pdf copies of the book – leave a comment!

Excerpt –

It was late and Mac was exhausted and no longer able to stand completely upright, but he couldn’t sleep. He hadn’t checked in with the VA, but with all the antibiotics they’d fed him, he wasn’t worried about infection. The problem was he had no business being out alone like this. Kevin would have stayed with him. Alone didn’t feel right, but Kevin wasn’t the right person. Becky certainly wasn’t.

Was he upset that Becky and Kevin had hooked up while he was gone? They’d said nothing but he knew. Maybe when he was no longer emotionally numb, he would be angry. She’d been with him when he left. Right now he didn’t care.

The sound of running feet caught his attention. He shouldn’t be alone near the construction site this time of night. He could have waited for daylight to check it out. Hell, this place was probably more dangerous than Afghanistan anyway.

There were more people running than he could take on in his current state so he slid behind a dumpster to wait for them to pass him. He was barely settled when someone small slipped in with him.

She, yes definitely a she, bumped into him and he felt her ready herself to scream before his hand clamped over her mouth and he pulled her further into the shadows with him. Two, no three men ran by. Were they searching for this girl?

He needed to get both of them out of here quick.

“Keep quiet or they’ll find us,” he breathed into her ear. She froze for an instant then nodded.

He removed his hand from her mouth and she didn’t scream. A point for her. He took her hand and they cautiously moved out into the alley. She stayed close and kept quiet as he picked his way out of the debris around the dumpster and into the construction yard proper.

Together they hurried to the trailer at the back of the site. He was already fingering the keys as they moved. Being careful not to jingle anything, he unlocked the door and pulled it silently closed behind them. He relocked it and took a deep breath.

“You okay?”

He felt her nod more than saw it. It was dark in here and he didn’t want to turn on a light yet.

The idiocy of the whole thing hit him then. He’d brought a stranger into the trailer. The people chasing her could have been cops. No, they would have announced themselves. But that didn’t make her one of the good guys.

Had he learned nothing during his deployment?

Father’s Day

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Since I had the best Father in the world, I know how important these things are. I grew up with the security he emanated, as well as his calm when everything else seemed to be chaos.  daddy

Then my children grew up with a pretty damn good daddy of their own. (I know how to pick ‘em). But I wondered first if they’d ever have children, and then how would they be at it? My son became a father earlier this year. It’s a strange feeling – I had to wonder if he’d be too impatient, if he’d leave the baby to her all the time, if he’d really be engaged.

Wow – I have been so impressed. My grandson has an incredible mother who adores him and looks after him so well, but my son is right there with her. Nothing is beneath him – diapers, walking, bathing, just hanging out with him. I couldn’t be happier (yes, they have an angel of a kid) and dang impressed.

Thanks New Daddy for making me a grandma and being the kind of father I always dreamed you would be.

Loving some baby on the boat                the boys sleeping 042015

 

 

Writing Groups

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I’ve had several people ask me if I’m in any writing groups. I don’t get together with someone and sit in the same room and write, usually, though it sounds like fun. My group is HCRW – Hearts of the Carolina Romance Writers in Raleigh, NC.  HCRW

I’m still on the lurking side there, though I was secretary of the chapter one year. It’s the people that draw me to it. Yes, sitting in a room with women who are New York Times bestsellers is really cool. The fact that they know my name is even cooler. But that’s not it.

I do learn craft, plotting (I’m a pantser myself so that really helps), marketing, even self-publishing information. It’s all there with a lot of experience behind it. We have speakers come in – editors, publishers, other authors to give us different perspectives and ideas. This month we had Laura Stone, Editor at Entangled Publishing and she was fabulous. Last month was New York Times Best Selling Author Virginia Kantra, author of the Dare Island Series. And it doesn’t stop. But the big thing—

It’s the energy in the room. That’s the only way I know to describe it. When these writers surround me it’s not unlike magic. More than once I’ve been sitting there listening and the idea for a story, or a character, appears. You should see my notes from these meetings – half on topic and half whatever occurred to me on the side. And those ideas have turned into books. These people aren’t talking about what I write about or the character that’s popped into my head, so it has to be inspiration from the sheer amount of energy they put out. And I’ll take it.

Check out some of that inspiration – my first self-pubbed book – Alien Embrace

Alien Embrace Cover 5 copy

Self-Publishing

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It’s a good thing I did retire. There’s a lot of work that I never saw coming for self-publishing. I did it mostly myself – help with the cover (Thanks Wyndell!) but the formatting and uploading and creating accounts was all on me.  Alien Embrace Cover 5 copy

To be honest the actual formatting of the book was the easiest part. Setting up the accounts with everyone was the hassle – kudos to Amazon and Barnes and Noble for being the most user friendly IMHO. Face it, if I had a staff, I wouldn’t think about these things, but the staff is in the future. CreateSpace is still beyond me, but I haven’t given up. It’s one of the main reasons I did retire while I have some brain cells still firing (despite what Hubby says).

The formatting actually makes sense and now I use it automatically while I type – I desperately wanted my first self-pub to be clean as well as a good story. Had it edited and beta’d extensively because I’ve seen some really good stories out there that turned me off with the misspellings and missing words. Not that I don’t have them (Nora has them on occasion!), but most of them can be fixed. Hey, if you spot any in Alien Embrace – let me know asap!

If has been a great learning experience. Being an old dog, I’m sure I staved off some short-term memory loss for at least seven minutes with all the brain exercises I’ve been doing. Fortunately I have friends (especially Nancy!) who have survived this experience and like all the writers I’ve met through RWA and HCRW have been incredibly supportive and helpful. This is a great thing – I’ve worked with many women in the real world, and these writers have given me hope again for women supporting women.

Now if I can just get a handle on that marketing thing . . .

And Mac’s Family is coming out through Rebel Ink this summer – I’m gonna take a break and just write!

Very Special Release Day – Alien Embrace

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I’ve been writing professionally for over three years now (Many, many thanks Rebel Ink Press!) and today I’m trying something new – becoming a hybrid writer. Alien Embrace is available today at most eBook retailers.

Amazon,  Barnes & Noble,  SmashwordsAlien Embrace Cover 5 copy

Alien Embrace is a story I’ve thought about for a long time, written and added to off and on for ages. With retirement I was able to give it the attention it deserved, and I’m finally ready to share it.

First my thanks to Wyndell Earles, who helped me immensely with the cover – took him about twenty minutes to do what I had struggled with for several days. I bow to his expertise! And to my trusty beta readers (you know who you are), my editor and my model for the cover. Yes, I know I bugged the crap out of all of you, but hopefully you still love me and will do it again next time.

To avoid spoilers, I’m giving you a small excerpt and hope it drags you in…

Excerpt–

The door opened, the sound waking Lori. She opened her eyes a slit, not remembering when she had returned to this room. She must have drifted off while they ran their tests. They must have returned her here, and left her to sleep. Had she slept through the night? What day was it? She had been in a long tube, and there had been that awful sound.

This man was younger and something about him caused her pulse rate to increase. Did she know him? He did seem familiar. He was taller than the previous man, and a lot younger, with more hair—thick and dark and flopping over his forehead. His body was much more attractive as well, no paunch hanging over his belt like the other doctor. This man had muscles, broad shoulders and a flat abdomen. At least her short-term memory seemed to be working if she could remember things like that.

He looked like the kind of man she would want to know, if that meant anything at this point. Yes, he was very attractive physically, but he also seemed kind and caring. Of course that was nonsense. She had no idea what he was like.

****

Mark Greene stopped short of the bed, not wanting to wake the woman. Dr. Jacobi had asked him for a consult on an amnesia patient. There’d probably been no need to come in today, but he didn’t have plans until this evening. Dr. Jacobi had said ‘young lady’, which didn’t mean a lot. That could be anyone from twelve to thirty.

What the man hadn’t said was “beautiful woman”. She was apparently tall, judging from where her feet tented the sheets. Her hands were graceful with long, slender fingers. His eyes moved up her body. The well-washed hospital gown molded to her full breasts, and left her graceful throat and neck bare except where her hair fell.

Her hair was long and pulled back in a low ponytail. The color was brunette, but not merely brown. Dozens of shades of brown wove through with some strands of red and even gold blended in. His eyes continued to move up, taking in her full and luscious lips. She was wearing no makeup, but her lashes lay long and dark on her cheeks. He startled when her eyes opened, then stepped forward involuntarily. Her eyes were teal—not blue, not green, but a combination of both with a hint of gold at the edge of the iris. He’d never seen eyes like hers.

He forced control on himself, but was stunned at the depth of his interest in this woman. He had never seen anyone like her, but he was an adult and a professional. Where was this, hell, this desire, coming from? Still, he could not deny his attraction to her. He could do a quick consult, and then have her assigned to another psychiatrist, if treatment was indicated. That would be the correct way to handle this.

 

I’d love to get the ball rolling, so I’ll be giving away three (3) copies – just share this (Facebook, Twitter, wherever) and let me know about it with a comment.  Thanks guys!

 

Armed Services Day

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First, my thanks to everyone in the Armed Services.  Welcome Home cover

I grew up with veterans, WWII seemed to be the main topic of conversation around every meal I had with the extended family (Thanksgivings, Christmases, Easters, etc.). Certainly came in handy for history class. But I loved my veterans, still do.

Then came my war and they weren’t so beloved, but thankfully the tide has turned again and people once more appreciate the sacrifices of our too young men, having to grow up way too fast and make split-second decisions in situations where I couldn’t decide after a month of studying it.

These men and women are real heroes and I’m delighted to be able to weave them into stories as my way of saying thank you. I actually hadn’t realized how many times I had chosen them as my fictional heroes but they so easily fit my idea of the wounded warrior, whether or not any injury shows. I wish them all health and happiness today.

If you want to visit any of my heroes, please stop by – Dance Partner, Wraith’s Heart, Red Shoes, Welcome Home, and Nowhere for Christmas, and coming soon Mac’s Family