Cover Reveal for Baked Goods

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My new paranormal romance series  – Unknown Tasks – drops January 4 with Baked Goods, now available for pre-order.

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Check out the lovely cover by Leslie Ray –


She’s worked alone since she graduated, but the task before her now is different, long-term and complicated. Is this a promotion or a test? And why is the object of her task so . . . male. There’s never been attraction before, everything about this task is different.

Excerpt –

Brandy Carter drove her small SUV into the parking lot of a chain motel and plucked an overnight bag out of the back seat. No need to open the trunk for her large suitcase. She wouldn’t be here more than overnight. She took a room on the second floor and, using the card, let herself inside. Identical to so many rooms she had stayed in, it held the obligatory pastel landscape bolted to the wall, white puffy cover over the bed. One chair, a desk, and a TV stand. The tiny fridge and even tinier coffeemaker sat outside the bath. The room was clean and as always, temporary.

Her assignment tonight was a simple one. She’d need very little, and as usual, no one would remember she had been here when she was gone.

She trotted down the stairs and out the side door to head to the small restaurant adjacent to the motel. An easy walk, and the weather was finally cooling as the day ended.

Stopping just inside the door, Brandy let her eyes sweep the place. The woman she’d come to help wasn’t in sight, but Brandy could pick up her essence close by. Brandy no longer dwelled on how her employers knew these things. She went where she was needed and asked no questions. Most of the people she helped never knew of her involvement, or even that they had been assisted. That’s the way those that assigned her tasks wanted things.

Nice place, friendly, warm atmosphere. Brandy wasn’t familiar with Tennessee, maybe every place was like this. She’d been in Minnesota for her last job and to be honest, with this heat and humidity she wished it had been the other way around. Still, she didn’t question what she referred to as her tasks, and she went where she was needed.

She chose a two-person table at the back of the restaurant and took the seat facing the door. She wasn’t armed, not in any traditional sense, but she’d learned to be aware, to always observe what was going on around her.

Shortly after taking her chair, Brandy spotted the young woman she’d been watching for enter the dining area from the back of the restaurant. She was younger than Brandy expected but looked a little worn. The waitress glanced around, spied Brandy and headed toward her table.

“Good evening. What would you like?”

Brandy looked at the laminated menu on the table. “What’s your favorite?”

The waitress smiled and that lightened the tired look in her eyes. “The pulled pork barbeque.”

“I’ll have that then.”

“It comes with slaw and hushpuppies, but you can substitute fries.”

“No, the original sounds find. And ice water, please.” She glanced at the pocket on the waitress’s uniform, “Jen.”

“It’ll be right up.” Jen smiled and made her way to the counter, speaking to several people, probably regulars.

The food was delicious when Jen brought it. This type of barbeque was different than what Brandy had eaten before. The vinegar taste was quite good and added another new sensation for her to absorb. Her head lifted when the door to the restaurant opened and the essence of wrong wafted in. That was followed closely by a young man with a scowl on his face darker than the scruff covering his chin. He looked rough, in need of a shower at least. Yeah, this was him.

As Brandy observed from the far side of the room, he moved toward Jen. She saw the young woman tense and surreptitiously look around. Escape or protection? This was the man who had put those bruises on Jen’s arms. The man didn’t touch her here in public but backed her up to the counter. He spoke low so none of the others in the restaurant would be able to hear, but Brandy had no trouble listening in, even at this distance. Some people had looked up, then away, not getting involved. This guy was well-known and not popular.

“How much have you got in tips?”

“Not much, it’s early.”

“Damn it, hand it over.”

“Keith—”

“Now, I need to get moving.”

Jen reached into her apron pocket and withdrew a few bills. He snatched them, looking around to ensure no one was paying close attention. He didn’t focus on Brandy, no one ever did.

“This is for shit.”

“It’s early,” she repeated.

“Lotta good that does me. You’re off work at nine. I expect you inside the house by ten after.”

“Do you want me to bring some food?”

“Not from this dump. I’m tired of everything they burn here.”

“It will take me longer if I stop somewhere else,” she pointed out.

“Fine, a burger. Don’t you be late.”

Brandy recognized that as her cue. Wouldn’t be good for him to leave until she had the opportunity to act. She rose from her table and picked up the empty ketchup bottle. She approached the couple and Jen glanced over at her. Jen’s eyes were wide and seemed to be trying to warn her.

“Could I have a little more ketchup?” Brandy asked, moving closer to her target, Keith. Yes, waves of bad rolled off him and now that he saw her, his eyes were assessing her closely. He seemed to like what he saw.

“Oh, yeah sure.” Jen quickly reached behind the counter and snatched a fresh bottle, almost thrusting the container at her. She obviously wanted to get Brandy out of the line of fire as soon as possible. “Sorry about that.”

“No problem.” Brandy turned and allowed her hand to brush Keith’s arm. For an instant his expression lost focus, not long enough for anyone else to notice and Brandy continued to her table.

“Give me what you’ve got,” he hissed at Jen, Brandy already forgotten.

“I did. That’s all I have.”

He looked down at the bills in his hand. “Shit.”

“I’ll have more later.”

“You’d better.” He looked around again, then headed outside. Brandy listened to an engine rev, probably annoying everyone around him, and then his vehicle peeled out.

She returned to her meal, relaxing. People came and went. Due to the heat, she ordered the cobbler with ice cream for dessert. Then she watched and waited.

Valista by B Lynn Harris

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Check out this new YA Fantasy – first in a new series!

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Stolen from her desert tribe, sixteen-year-old empath Adanya is cursed to fatten a predatory witch who feeds on fear. Adanya’s torment becomes the witch’s meal of choice.

Seventeen-year-old Prince Regin’s glorious destiny is to lead his father’s forces and annihilate the desert tribes. But when he finds Adanya in the clutches of the witch and they fall in love, Regin realizes he must defy his father’s command.

The only one who covets the imminent war more than Regin’s father is the witch, who will feast on the suffering it elicits. To save their homelands, Adanya and Regin must journey to Valista, a world where their fears take life-threatening forms and battling them mitigates the witch’s curse. Their bond is tested, and a new truth emerges—there’s more to the witch’s interest in Adanya than merely as a meal.

 

Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let’s jump right in. When did you begin writing and why? I began writing about 11 years ago. I wanted a book for my then teen-aged son that explained what I believed in spiritually but couldn’t find anything. So I decided to write one. Little did I know it would take until he was 24 to get it published.

Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write? I love romance books. Started reading “bodice rippers” in the 70s and have never stopped. The young adult fantasy I just published has a strong romance B-story, so it satisfied my need for romance in all books I read or write.

Do certain themes and ideas tend to capture your writer’s imagination and fascinate you? All romance books have the theme “Love conquers all” but that is especially important in this book. But in this case, it isn’t romantic love that takes precedence, but instead the love of humanity.

How do you balance long-term thinking vs. being nimble in today’s market? I write what calls to my heart and let the market decide if it likes it. I can’t write to the market.

How do you find readers in today’s market? I’ve had great success with Kindle Unlimited.

Do you come up with the hook first, or do you create characters first and then dig through until you find a hook? Characters always come first for me. I can hear them chatter in my head, and they tell me their stories.

How do you create your characters? As I said before, they talk to me and tell me their stories. Sometimes I have written interviews with them to nail down the specifics.

What’s on the top of your TBR pile right now? I love motorcycle club romance and I’m working my way through about 20 from an author on Kindle Unlimited.

Tell me a little about the characters in Valista. Valista is a young adult fantasy and a coming-of-age story. The main characters are 16 and 17, which is the age of adulthood in their societies, but they still have some of their youthful naiveté. Their societies are on the brink of war, but even in the face of that, they fall in love. Think of it as Romeo and Juliet meets a genocide.

Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story? Setting is everything in the story. It takes place in a desert (based on southern Arizona), a temperate climate (based on Bavaria in Germany), and a tropical rain forest (based on Costa Rica’s rain forest). Each of these locations have influenced how the culture has developed there, and therefore, how the characters developed.

If you had to write your memoir in five words, what would you write? I lived my truth.

How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae? I think about my stories a lot. I can remember making notes on a napkin at a stoplight once!

What do readers have to look forward to in the future from you? Valista is the first book in a trilogy. I will be finishing the other two books as soon as I can.

Since B. Lynn Harris was a small child, she’s told herself stories at night to slow her brain and allow sleep to come. So, when, later in adulthood, she started hearing voices in her head, she was aware that some would direct her to a psychiatrist, but she knew it was merely a character who wanted to be expressed. Putting fingers to keyboard, she wrote her first novel. She’s been writing ever since.

B. Lynn Harris lives in her beloved North Carolina with a husband, son, and two cats who hate each other. Feeding time is very special, with swats and hissing to accompany the kibbles.

 

 

Updating the System

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You guys know I’m not truly tech savvy. Several million upgrades ago I was the IT guy for the bank I worked at, but that was in the last century. Regardless, I’m not afraid to push buttons. So, when I received the notice that I needed to upgrade my system, I hit install update. This was around 1 p.m. in the afternoon.

It started to download, and I checked the time remaining, expecting up to 20 minutes. 2 days. No kidding, it said 2 days! I figured it would drop from that quickly and went on with some non-computer work around the house. Checked back after an hour or so and it was up to 1.3 of 13.1 to upgrade and still said 2 days for completion.

I let it continue, I was able to check email and I don’t play games or watch videos on my laptop, it’s just for writing and I didn’t have time for that right then. Kind of forgot about it, just let it run (with power plugged in). Around bedtime I checked again – up to 4.6 of 13.1 and still 2 days. Unbelieveable. Against my normal practices I left my laptop plugged in and running and went to bed. At 6:20 this morning it was up to 9.6 of 13.1 and down to 9 more hours.

Okay, had I been had? I got on chat with Apple and was told it was legit and did take some time to download but that seemed excessive even to them. Power down and let them know when it was off. So, I powered down and immediately lost the chat. Now that’s on me – I was stupid, but I was chatting on the laptop…duh! I got back into chat and got a female tech that time (an aside, I highly recommend female geeks. I personally get much better service, but I digress). Anyway, she had me take down the chat number (which I hadn’t done before) and took my email address so I could be reached on my phone, and just made me feel slightly less stupid. Thank you for that.

Then I reset our modem for the house wireless. It came back on in minutes and I restarted the download. It finished in about 5 minutes, so something had gotten ‘stuck’ for lack of a better word. Then of course it had to upload everything. Now I was getting nervous because I have a zoom exercise class starting at 8:30. I can see the time dwindling but start my exercise 20 minutes before class starts (which is my normal practice to warm up). The zoom starts, I let the instructor know I’m having computer issues and might vanish, but I’ll do what I can. At 8:30, not 8:29 or 8:31, it restarts, saying it will be “several minutes”.

Sigh – it’s up and running smoothly now and I’m up-to-date on my software. I’ll get some more exercise in sometime today…

Cover Reveal – Christmas Business

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Coming November 2 (pre-order October 15) – Christmas Business

This year’s Christmas novella, a fake relationship story, Christmas Business introduces you to Jessica and Max –

Jessica’s Christmas isn’t looking too bright this year. Her parents are off with their new families, and she’s stuck at work finishing a report since she had “nothing else to do”. When her computer dies, her last hope is sunk. Until the hunky IT man shows up to fix her computer and her holiday.

Max was ready to leave for the gathering at his parents’ house when the phone call came from upstairs. Who the heck was still here? Reluctantly he checks and finds an answer to his Christmas problem and maybe a lot more.

Meet Linda Sedgwick!

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You are going to be new to many of my readers. Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in a traditional Midwest home. My childhood wish was to be a librarian or an art teacher. Neither career would be in the stars. After graduating from University of Cincinnati Design Architecture and Art, life through a curveball into my well-ordered plans. Instead I moved to the Hudson River Valley where I raised my son, working as a bartender, waitress, house painter, medical office assistant…. anything to keep tus financially afloat.

It was in Cold Spring on the Hudson that I fell in love with the small-town flavor and it’s denizens. Many of the latter would become templates for the lovable, quirky characters in the “Voyage of the SunRunner”.

Fast forward a number of years. A move to Davidson, North Carolina brought me to a ten-year study of metaphysics. I became an intuitive reader and remain so today.

I like to think that all those life experience hats I wore, helped me write my first novel. Now I live in Mooresville North Carolina and is working on a dystopian young adult novel.

* Tell us about the book that’s just come out.

Voyage of the SunRunner is my first novel. It is a combination science fiction, adventure, romance with a dash of world concerns, and a sprinkling of the metaphysical. There is just about something for everyone in this book.

* What started you on your love of writing?

My love of writing definitely started with a love of reading. Although I’ve been a visual artist for many years, there has never been a time when I was not also reading a book…or two….or three.

* Do you write in more than one genre – tell us a little about each one and the books you’re working on in each?

Working on a YA right now!

* Have you attended any writing conference or classes? Tell us about some that and some that have been especially helpful.

Prior to the pandemic, I attended a writing group under the tutelage of PE Calvert. Calvert is not only a publisher but spent many years as a Hollywood screen writer.

* How attached do you get to your characters? Do you know what happens after the book ends?

When I write I definitely see my characters as if they were in a movie.

* Could you tell us the one question you wish people would ask about your writing… and don’t forget the answer.

I would gladly answer any questions directed my way about those authors who have influenced my writing. That would be Maeve Binchy, Frank Herbert, Anne McCaffrey and Isaac Asimov. Of course, there are many others, but those four, and their novels, stick out in my mind.

Contact her at  sedgwick.talltales@gmail.com

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It’s THAT Month

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You know the month I’m talking about, with the scary movies on TV and time to read the spooky stuff. It made me look to see which books of mine fill the bill. Seems like I lean in that direction – LOL!

Check some of them out, if you’re not familiar with my stuff, it’s a good month to start.

Ghost story, check – Wraith’s Heart

Reincarnation story, check – Before You

Psychics, check – Learning Trust, Hazardous to the Trust, Small Changes

Aliens, check – Alien Embrace

Shifters, check – The Conall Clan series

Yep – I found what I was looking for. Enjoy!!

   

   

 

Enjoy and have some candy while you’re reading…

Golden Hours Book 2 – Spring Ahead

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Available NOW Book Two in the Golden Hours Series

Golden Hours Book 2: Spring Ahead

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Getting shot hurts…a lot. But it’s nothing compared to the pain of finding your soulmate and losing her in a sudden accident.

Calder Reade, a USN medic training to be a Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman, gets shot in a 21st century Florida hospital ER. Thanks to the surgical skill of his supervising doctor, he lives. But there are some serious complications when he awakens to find himself in the middle of dinner with his family, only the dining room is in nineteenth century England. Convincing himself to make the most of it, he pursues the only thing he knows he’s good at, medicine.

However, when he loses the great love of his life to a riding accident, he is forced to reassess the direction of his life. Maybe he made a huge mistake in striving to be a physician-surgeon to the middle and upper classes of London society. Perhaps, he should have pursued a career more in keeping with what he’d been trained to do in the twenty-first century.

Heartbroken, Calder joins the Royal Navy as a ship’s surgeon to treat men wounded by battle, or those suffering serious injury from daily service in His Majesty’s Navy. He has no expectation his service will cure his broken heart, until he is shot again and awakens in the same modern ER and staring into the eyes of an ICU nurse, a woman he never hoped to see again.

The fight of his life is not to heal from a gunshot wound but to make his soulmate recognize their connection. This time he will not, must not fail, and he will take any and all help he can get. Even if it means consulting a long-deceased sorceress for the means of re-awakening the love of the woman his heart refuses to let go.

Visit Cyn here!!!

Book One – Fall Back is available here