Friday, July 24, 2020

Guest Post: Trust Me by Nancy Fraser

Please welcome Nancy Fraser to my blog to day to talk about her new release: Trust Me






Tell us a little about yourself.


Well, let’s see ... 

I’ve been writing since the early 1990s and published my first book in 1996. Since then I’ve published over 30 romance novels, novellas, and short stories.

In my “real” life, I’m a lucky grandmother to five witty and talented grandchildren. I live on the east coast of Canada and—isolation aside—I love to travel (preferably to Las Vegas).

What do like the most and the least about writing?

Most? The idea of creating something new and unique and then being able to share it with readers who appreciate the hard work that goes into creating a compelling book.

Least? Editing when it’s too late in the day to drink coffee. Thank goodness for Baileys!

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

Tax consultant Katherine Weller isn't ready for a relationship after a divorce that left her empty. But when her best friend suggests she set up a sex-only date through Lusty Liaisons, a unique and exclusive dating service, she's uncertain but intrigued.

Maybe a hot romp with a sexy, younger man is exactly what she needs to take that confident first step into her new life as a single woman.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

Trust Me is the second short story in a planned five-story set, so at the moment I’m waiting on edits for #3 – Teach Me and writing #4 – Thrill Me in the meantime.
I’m also venturing into my first crack at self-publishing. My ultra-spicy novella, D*mn Near Perfect will be out at the end of August.


Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Yes, of course. I’m a grandma and full of great advice and suggestions! First off, I want to tell the readers exactly how much we appreciate them. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t keep writing. I also want to impress on them that one of the most important things they can do, as readers, is to share their love of a good book in the form of a review. Also...don’t be afraid to try new authors and new romance genres. There are so many good books out there at the moment. You wouldn’t want to miss a thing.

Except: 

Monday came and went. Tuesday...nothing. By Wednesday, Katherine wanted nothing more than to bury herself beneath a mound of blankets and stay there until her death. Or her eightieth birthday, whichever came first. By then, she’d be over the embarrassment of not being chosen for a night of uncomplicated, albeit hot, sex.

Lillie’s daily request for a progress report wasn’t helping matters.

Katherine’s cell dinged—a sure sign Lillie was sending her another message of encouragement. After pouring herself a second glass of Cakebread Chardonnay, Katherine picked up her phone, ran her fingertips across the lock screen, and stabbed the blinking icon.

You have a request.

Katherine double checked the sender’s name. Lusty Liaisons.

Damn! Hands shaking, she opened the email.

You’ve made a sexy match!

A request for contact was received from Aaron Blake. Mr. Blake is offering a fun-filled night at the Hudson Inn, Somerville, for this coming Saturday beginning at eight in the evening. If you decide to accept, please respond to this email. We will make the arrangements and confirm within twenty-four hours.

Click the link below to read Aaron’s profile.

She re-read the email twice before finally clicking on the profile link.

Aaron Blake, age thirty-two. Six-foot-two, two-hundred ten pounds. Occupation: government contractor. Sexual preferences: almost anything goes, although not into bondage.

Her gaze shot back to the top of the profile as it had at least a dozen times. Aaron Blake’s  photo stared back at her. His crooked smile taunted her, as if daring her to ignore him. A thin scar ran from the corner of his right eye and down the side of his face, yet it wasn’t disfiguring in the least. If anything, it drew her attention to his deep-set, brown eyes and long lashes. His dark hair was peppered with a touch of gray. A hint of stubble shadowed his square jaw.

All-in-all, he was gorgeous. And no doubt able to get any woman he wanted. What could he possibly want with a woman ten years his senior?

Before she could lose her nerve, she pressed the reply key, checked the box that said “accept,” and hit the send button.




Monday, June 22, 2020

New Release: Risky Proposal by Marie Tuhart

I'm so thrilled today to have a new release available.



Risky Proposal was a call from The Wild Rose Press based on a small town in Vermont and the Deerbourne Inn.  You don't have to read the other books in the series, but I encourage you to. This is a standalone book and I had a lot of fun writing the book. Plus if you read Red Club Temptation Jessie and Caleb make an appearance.

Blurb:

IT specialist Claire Holmes begins her stay at Deerbourne Inn to rejuvenate after her sister's tragic death. In a week, she'll start her dream job and embark on a whole new journey. But a leaky pipe leads to an unexpected reunion with the sexy plumber she had a blind date with a year ago. His dominant air calls to her slumbering submissive side. Vowing to be bold, she invites him to lunch...in hopes of maybe a little more.

Dominant Josh Hawkins has it all—a successful hardware store and the beginnings of a new BDSM club. He doesn't realize he's missing someone to share it with until Claire bursts into his world and shows him that her submissive tendencies are just what he needs in his life, even if for only a week. His risky proposal to explore the spark between them could ignite an inferno that neither can quench…




Except:

The door opened, and Josh almost took a step back. He blinked. The woman standing there made his libido stand up and take notice. Her brown hair spread over her shoulders, and her blue eyes were slumberous, her T-shirt rumpled.

“Hi.” She blinked a couple of times.

“This is Josh; he’s going to take a look at the sink,” Liz said.

“Oh good.” She stared at him. “I know you from somewhere.” Her voice was husky. She had the look of a woman who’d been woken up. There was something familiar about her as well.

“If you’ll excuse me, I have to go check on my kids,” Liz said. “Josh, you okay?”

“Yep, got it. Go take care of your rug rats. I know where the shut-off valve is.” Josh stepped into the bathroom. He fiddled with the faucet, then stepped out.

Ms. I-know-you-from-somewhere stood by the dresser. Damn, she was a fine woman. Those jeans molded to her hips, and her T-shirt cupped her breasts. A woman who had meat on her body. His hands itched to touch her. Hold it, buddy. You’re here to work.

He cleared his throat. “I need to run and get supplies to fix it. It will take me about twenty
minutes.”

“Okay. I’m not going anywhere.” She grinned at him, her blue eyes sparkling.

His dick swelled, taking him by surprise. He couldn’t recall a time when a single glance from a sexy woman had sent hot flares of lust straight to his pants. She claimed he looked familiar, maybe after he fixed the sink, he’d check her out.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Guest Post: To Heal a Heart by Jana Richards

Today I get to welcome Jana Richards talking about her new release To Heal a Heart.




Tell us a little about yourself:

I write primarily contemporary romance, though I have written romantic suspense and historicals set during World War Two as well. Lately, I’ve been gravitating toward small town romance. That’s probably because I come from a rural and small town background and I feel like I understand the people who live there.

I work part-time as a bookkeeper for a veterinary medical association, which is a dog-friendly office. Back in the good old days (pre-pandemic) I looked forward to seeing my colleagues and their dogs. I live in western Canada with my husband Warren, and we have two grown daughters.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I love creating worlds, right down to the little details, and then creating characters to live in those worlds. That’s the fun part, even though it’s hard work and takes a lot of time. My least favorite thing about writing is the marketing I need to do so that readers can learn about my work; I can write the best book in the world, but if no one knows about it, it won’t get read. Like most writers, I’d rather be writing than marketing. But I know it’s a necessary part of the job. I’m trying to change my mindset about marketing so that I view it as a creative endeavor rather than unwelcome work. We’ll see if I succeed at that!

Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

My new book, TO HEAL A HEART, released on June 15, 2020. It’s book 2 in my Masonville series of small-town romances. 

Here’s the blurb:
Garrett Saunders' world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.

Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett's rescue horse and he'll help with repairs around her farm.
Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she's hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett's love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I’m currently working on book 3 in the series, which I’m calling “Unexpected”. Blair’s brother Ben moves to Masonville with his two stepdaughters to get out of the city and be closer to family. But mostly he’s trying to run away from the threat of losing his children when their grandparents sue for custody. Jamie Garven wants a family and children and marrying Ben may be her only chance. Ben believes that the children’s grandparents will be more willing to let him raise them if they have both a mother and a father. Will their gamble pay off or will falling love ruin everything?

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

I’d like to tell readers that I’d love to connect with them. Subscribe to my newsletter to find out about new releases, sales, and contests, along with what I’m writing now and things going on in my life. Every once in a while I’ll hold a contest exclusively for newsletter subscribers. Join here: https://www.janarichards.com/contact.html#newsletter


Excerpt:

“Do you remember the last summer I saw you, just before I joined the Marines? Your brothers were both working for the summer, so you came out to your grandparents’ farm on your own.”

Blair’s face grew hot at the memory. She pulled his shirt from his jeans and laid her palm against the warm, hard muscles of his abdomen. “You mean the summer I threw myself at you and you totally rejected me? No, I barely remember that at all.”

He chuckled as he pushed her shirt off her shoulders. “I was sorely tempted that summer. There you were, prancing around in your short shorts and bikini top, working in your grandmother’s garden while I mowed the lawns. You must have known you were driving me crazy.”

Actually, she hadn’t known. He’d done a great job of ignoring her and making her believe she was nothing but a nuisance. She looked up at him, tilting her head to one side. “If you were so tempted, why did you tell me to take a hike when I tried to seduce you?”

“You were fifteen, Blair. Three years younger than me and just a kid. If you’d known what I wanted to do with you…” His unfinished sentence shimmered between them.

He was such an honorable man. He hadn’t wanted to take advantage of a young girl with a case of raging hormones and too little sense. A girl who believed her only worth was in what her body could give to a boy.

“Perhaps you can show me now.” Blair slowly lowered the zipper of his pants. “I’m not a kid anymore.”











Thursday, June 4, 2020

Guest Blog: Sea Salt Lavender for Aphrodite by Julie Howard

Today my guest is Julie Howard talking about her newest release: Sea Salt Lavender for Aphrodite (PS. I love the dog on the cover)




Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve always been a writer. My day job was as a journalist, a career I thoroughly enjoyed as it allowed me to write nearly every single day. I learned a lot about people in this job and some of that informs my fiction. I was fortunate enough to leave my day job to write fiction full time several years ago, and I’ve never looked back. Sea Salt Lavender for Aphrodite is my sixth book with The Wild Rose Press, and I have several more books in various stages of development.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

Oh, I love almost everything about writing! I suppose the best part is diving into other worlds, ones I get to create. It’s the same reason, really, that I love to read. I enjoy learning about other places and people through the books I read; writing is very similar.

I suppose the least favorite is on the marketing side. I am very grateful that readers enjoy my books, but I don’t enjoy wearing a “saleswoman” hat.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

Rosella Rivers enjoys the perfect life, loving her new ice cream food truck business featuring exotic flavors. But her beach view parking space is not so lovable when she finds an acquaintance stabbed to death in the boardwalk bathroom.

Detective Mark Pruitt knows murder is bad for small-town Olympus Bay. He must find the suspect before he strikes again. When he first sets eyes on Rosella, the only witness, he is smitten. However, there's no time for romance when danger lurks. 

Together he and the lovely ice cream maker must discover the killer before he turns his sight on Rosella.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

My current work in progress is the third book in my Spirited Quest mysteries. These books center around ghost blogger Jillian Winchester, who travels the world seeking out ghosts and then writing about them. This third book will catapult Jillian back in time to the 1870s. Not only does she have to figure out a way to return to the present, but she discovers she has been brought to the past for a particular reason. She has to solve this mystery before she will be able to return.

I’ve always wanted to write a time travel book and I really love how this one is shaping up!

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

As I said above, I am so very grateful readers enjoy my books. It makes my day when I see a new review pop up – and, yes, I read and appreciate all of them. Readers spend their money and time on my novels and my goal is to sweep them away into another world. I want them to feel what I experience when I read a really good book.


Excerpt:

The echo of a drip-drip-drip resonated from within. Rosella glanced around, wishing a man would pass by, someone she could send inside on her behalf. On this side of the structure, though, the beachfront was hidden from view and the building backed by sand dunes. Unless someone needed to use the facilities, they wouldn’t approach. 


“Mick?” 


A distant chime from the town clock made her heart sink. Ten a.m. Opening time. She had to get back to her truck. A fresh round of anxious yips sounded. She 
scooted to the corner of the building and peeked toward 
her truck. Aphrodite stood at attention, straining at the 
leash. The dog barked twice at spotting her and renewed efforts to break free of the tether.

She returned to the doorway. “Mick, I’m just going 
to step inside since I’m a little bit worried, just to make sure you’re okay. Let me know if I shouldn’t come in.” No response sounded. “All right, coming in.”

The odor hit her first. Heavy, sweet, sickening. Then her eyes registered the scene. Mick lay face down in the middle of the tile floor, a steady stream of deep red blood winding its way toward a drain. 




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Monday, May 18, 2020

Guest Post: Love, Art and Other Obstacles by Sadira Stone

Today I'm very happy to welcome Sadira Stone to my blog. Her new release: Love, Art and Other Obstacles is the 3rd book in her  Nivana series. And the new release is on sale in e-book format for $2.99 from May 18th until May 29th. (My plug - the book is really good, I love Elmer.)



Tell us a little about yourself:

After a long teaching career in Germany, working with the kids of U.S. military members stationed there, I moved to Washington State. Now I spend my days in my little home office writing steamy contemporary romance. I’m loving my new chapter in life! The writers I’ve met, in person and online, are the most supportive group of friends you could ask for. When I’m not writing or reading, you’ll find me walking around Tacoma, playing darts (I’m getting better), playing ukulele and guitar with Hubs, family, and friends, or cooking up a storm. When this horrible virus finally subsides, I look forward to exploring the Pacific Northwest and hosting parties again!

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I’m a weirdo—I actually enjoy editing more than I enjoy writing the first draft, which can be a slog. Once I have words on paper, I can shape them into a satisfying story. Finding ways to promote my work can also be a slog. I look forward to the days when I have enough writing income to hire someone else to handle promo.

Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

Rejected by her family for her bisexuality, graphic artist Margot DuPont yearns for a life with no fences, no limits, and no family ties. Between college, work at Book Nirvana, and an art competition, she barely has time for her part-time girlfriend, much less a flirtation with her competitor.

Dumped into the foster system at a young age, ceramics artist Elmer Byrne craves a big, loving family of the heart. His artist family almost fills that need, but something is missing...until Margot. But when he offers his heart, her thorny defenses shatter him.

Thrown together in an art competition that could jump-start one artist's career, but not both, their irresistible attraction forces them to reconsider the meaning of success.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I have a steamy romance novella coming this summer, set in a Washington beach town, and I’m working on a romance series set in a bar in Tacoma.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

I hope you’ll enjoy the Book Nirvana series, steamy contemporary romance set in a quirky bookshop in Eugene, Oregon. What sets this shop apart is its extensive erotica collection, kept behind a locked red door. Every couple in the series has their turn exploring the sensual delights hidden in the back of the shop!

Book One, Through the Red Door, features Clara Martelli, the bookshop’s widowed owner, who reluctantly ventures into the dating world a year after losing her husband. Two enticing men want her, one suave and risky, the other soothing and safe.

Book Two, Runaway Love Story, features Laurel Jepsen, a new employee who makes a detour to Eugene to help her elderly great-aunt and finds unexpected love on the running trails beside the Willamette River. The trouble is, he can’t leave Eugene, and she’s only passing through.

Excerpt from “Meet Cute” scene: 

That fuzzy, flame-colored beard of his must tickle. What would it feel like brushing against her breasts, over her belly, between her thighs?

She bit her lip hard. Too much time in the red room.  

The guy turned toward her and grinned. Was it just her imagination, or did his eyes flash when they met hers? Warm hazel eyes, thickly lashed and sparkling with playful energy. 
A happy little vibration rose from her belly and twitched the corners of her mouth upward—until she recognized him. 

Oh, yuck. This guy. She’d seen him hanging around the shop, flirting with Laurel, all swaggering, macho bullshit. She remembered how Doug, Laurel’s boyfriend, had tensed like an angry stork and glared at the shorter, buffer man. 

Maxie waved. “Margot, you remember Elmer? He gave me a ride.” She nudged him with her bony elbow. “Isn’t he cute?”

Real cute. And he knows it. 

“How’s it going, Margot?” His grin widened as his gaze flicked down her body and back up.

Creep.

No way to avoid his extended hand without offending Maxie, so she took it. Warm, calloused, his grip firm but not too tight. A tattoo of a foaming beer mug adorned the back of his hand. Beneath the copper hair on his forearm, pretty muscles flexed.  

Feet on the ground, DuPont. You’ve got no time for flirtatious fuzz-beards.

Maxie’s merry gaze flicked from Elmer to Margot. “He’s exhibiting at the Rainbow Center on Saturday.” She grinned up at Elmer. “Margot helped Laurel design that poster for the art show.”

His eyebrows rose. “That’s your work? Really nice.”

She shook her head. “It’s Laurel’s work. I just helped her with the graphic design software.”

“Graphic design? Like ads and words and stuff?”

She curled her lip and prepared for battle with yet another snooty artist who looked down his precious nose at graphic arts, like nothing with words or photos could ever count as real art. “I make stuff everyone sees, not just rich people in art galleries.” She stepped closer, glaring up into his startled face while she ticked off on her fingers. “Posters for community events, book covers, the logo for this shop, and its website and signage and—”

He raised both hands and backed off a few steps. “Relax, angry elf. I wasn’t putting down your work, okay? I said I liked the poster. Jeesh.”

Maxie’s painted-on auburn brows rumpled. “Margot, I’m surprised at you.”

That stung. She lowered her gaze and shuffled her boots. “Yeah, well, I’m sick of snobby artists.”
He crossed athletic arms over his impressive pecs. “I’m not one of them.”

Her cheeks flushed hot. “Okay, cool. Sorry. So, um, what are you exhibiting at the show?”

“Ceramics. Beer steins, mostly. Donated a dozen to the Rainbow Arts Center.” He winked, her dig seemingly forgotten. “If someone likes my stuff, maybe they’ll order a complete set.”

Beer mugs. Definitely not snooty. Embarrassment drilled deeper into her skull.

The pretty potter smooched Maxie’s cheek. “Well, gotta shove off. Max, I’ll pick you up at ten on Saturday. Ladies.” He pantomimed lifting a hat brim, then ambled toward the door.

Maxie prodded Margot’s boot with her cane. “Why’d you bite his head off? He’s a nice boy. You should ask him out.”

She rolled her eyes. “Max, I’m not looking to date right now. Especially not that guy.”

“What’s wrong with Elmer?”

“I’ve seen him in action. He flirts for sport. I’m not gonna be anyone’s plaything.”

The doorway bell tinkled as Elmer strolled through. Laurel looked up from wiping the counter. “You want to wait in the cafĂ©, Aunt Maxie? I’ll be done in fifteen minutes.”

“Of course, doll.” Maxie tottered toward the coffee shop next door.

Margot moved behind the counter and watched through the plate-glass window as Elmer crossed the street and unlocked his rust-bucket pickup. “Pain in the ass, isn’t he?” Nice ass, though. Firm and crunchy.

Laurel chuckled. “Oh, he’s not so bad. I think he just flirts out of habit, like some people nibble their nails or twiddle their hair.” She turned away to straighten a pile of flyers. “Margot, do you—um…”

“What?”

“Do you date guys?”

Her eyes narrowed. “Sometimes. Why?”

“On his way out, he asked about you.”

“Oh, so I should date him, get him off your back?” She scrubbed her fingers through her hair. “No thanks.”

“Well, I hope you’ll come to the art show anyway. I’m running the race at ten, but I’ll help with the set-up beforehand.” She cracked a crooked smile. “I’ll do my best to corral Elmer. Gotta warn you, though—if he sets his mind on you, he’s persistent.”

“Don’t worry.” She shoved a hand through her spiky hair. “I can handle pushy guys. I know how to push back.”

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Thank you for being here today, Sadira. 




Wednesday, April 22, 2020

New Release from Marie Tuhart - Tempt

It's been a while since I've posted a new release - not that I haven't had some, I've just been so busy with writing I forgot.

I'm super excited about my new release, it kicks off a new series for me.


Wicked Sanctuary...surrender your inhibitions

Blurb:

Escaping her ex-boyfriend’s horror-themed campout, Sierra Blake stumbles into a world she never imagined. Curious and spirited, but with a history of picking the wrong man, she must learn to trust her instincts and find her inner strength to become the woman she is meant to be.

Max Preston has shut himself off from women, until Sierra crashes into his life. An intense attraction ignites inside him, and he’s determined to make her his.

Discovering a new confidence under Max’s protection, Sierra finds herself falling for him. But when his too-perfect ex-wife triggers old insecurities, she runs--smack into her own past. Can she rise above old scars and fight for true love?

Excerpt:

“What the...?”

Sierra fought the urge to take a step back at the rough male voice. Blinking the rain out of her eyes, she stared at the bare male chest. Her heart pounded as she allowed her gaze to travel up the sculpted pecs, to unsmiling lips, stormy hazel eyes, straight, medium length black hair and a pair of red devil horns on his head. The man was tall, over six feet.

She swallowed. “Sorry to bother you. If I could borrow your phone, I need to call someone to pick me up.”

The man made a noise in the back of his throat. “Ralph,” he said over his shoulder, “towels please, and lots of them.” 

His husky voice sent a shiver down her spine. Must be the rain. He was staring down at her. 
“Get in here before you catch a cold.”

“But the floors…” She was dripping water from everywhere.

He reached out and took her by the elbow before pulling her into the foyer and slamming the door shut behind them. “Floors can be cleaned. You’re shivering.” He glanced down at her. “May I?” He gestured to her feet.

She nodded without thinking. He was right; she was soaked and cold. Her gaze shifted as he knelt down and unlaced her boots. 

He was wearing dark, well-worn, loose pants and a pair of soft black shoes. Okay, maybe he was afraid she’d stomp on his toes. 

“I’m sorry to disturb your party.” She ignored the zing of arousal shooting down her spine as his fingers curved around her ankle after removing her boots.
“Party?”

“The horns.” She waved toward his head.

He grinned, and her breath caught in her throat.

“Ah, yes. Saints and Sinners party.”



Thursday, April 9, 2020

Guest Post: Rock House Grill by D.V. Stone

Today my guest is D.V. Stone talking about her new release: Rock House Grill




Tell us a little about yourself. 

Hi, my name is D. V. Stone. I’m a multi-genre author and blogger. I also work full-time in a medical office but have a retirement countdown app in my phone. Camping in my RV is one of my favorite things to do. My husband, Pete, dog Hali, and I have had, and look forward to many adventures.

I went to twelve different schools and graduated high school in an alternative education program. From living on a dairy farm in Minnesota, I can milk a cow or a goat. Delivered calves and lost a boot in a pile of manure. 

Through my life I’ve had a wide and varied career path ranging from waiting tables, hotel maid, dump-truck driver, Emergency Medical Technician, manager in an animal emergency hospital, restaurant, and coffee shop owner. I even worked in a State Prison for many years.
Sounds like I’m pretty old, and sometime feel it but I’m not your average grandma.


What do like the most and the least about writing?

I love discovering new characters and naming them. I particularly love how they reveal themselves as the writing process moves forward.

Least? I think I’m in a big company when I say marketing. Figuring out how to get my books in front of readers.

Blurb: 

Rock House Grill

One man’s choices—One woman’s impact

Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He's rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?

What’s next on the writing horizon for you? 

There are several things in my to-do pile. Jazz House, the second Impact book is moving along nicely. I have a second fantasy-romance also in the works. Hopefully, when I retire, things will ease up and I can work faster.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

All my books are about hope. I’m going to let a minor character named John from Rock House Grill give you a line which I try to live by…

“Circumstances change us. We can curse them and let them control us. Or, we allow whatever happens to make us better.”

Except: 

“Easy, you’re going to be okay.” A soft voice eased through the chaos around him. The owner of the voice grabbed his arms and held them in a firm but gentle grip. “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.” 

“Can hardly m-move.” His voice slurred. “C-can’t see anything.” 

“You’ve been in an accident. I’m an EMT with the ambulance squad,” the velvety voice calmly explained. “You can’t see well because we’re under a tarp. Hold still, okay?” 

“‘K.” A small light flickered at the edge of his vision. It shone into a bag next to him. Penlight. 

“You’re restrained to a board. It’s to keep your head from moving and causing more injury.” She continued to talk to him. The voice reached down somewhere inside him, calming and peaceful, so he focused on it. A glow from spotlights on the outside lit whatever covered them. The shadow gave the woman the appearance of a halo—like an angel.

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