Monday, February 17, 2020

Guest Post: A Matter of Manners by Terry Graham

I'm pleased to have Terry Graham on my blog to day talking about her latest book.






Tell us a little about yourself:

I grew up in the Adirondack mountains, in a tiny town of about 200 residents. The third child of six total, I was always a bit of a loner and would lose myself in books as often as not. My mom was a nurse, and my dad an outside electrician, and both came from large families, so education was considered important. Luckily, I was gifted with a healthy amount of intelligence and enjoyed school. My dad spent large amounts of time laid off, so I wanted a stable profession and became a chemist. I did that for twenty years, then went into IT until I retired three years ago.

What do like the most and the least about writing? 

I love the rush I get when I write a scene that works, especially the sex scenes, and the endorphins that are created. I’d say it’s better than actual sex, but that would only be true if I specified ‘bad sex’. I hate the marketing, mostly because I’m not a social person and so much of it revolves around engaging with strangers, but also because it takes away from the time I could use to write. 


Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

In A Matter of Manners, Jeremy Wyles is a duke who believes himself sterile. He's also a sadist and fears no lady would agree to marry him. When a woman shows up on his doorstep, pregnant and claiming to be his wife, he glimpses a chance to have the family he’s always wanted. A loveless marriage in name only seems the perfect solution, except for two problems – the lady resists the idea and he’s not sure he can resist his wicked urges.

Irish rebel Kathleen "Katy" Brennan only seeks recompense from the husband whose cousin married her by proxy and left her with child. She has no knowledge of how to be a duchess and her rebel past has a rather traitorous secret. Submitting to the duke jeopardizes all she holds dear but resisting proves equally daunting. The duke offers everything she’s ever wanted, except for a real marriage.

Can Jeremy and Katy trust each other and open their hearts or will the sins of the past destroy all hope of redemption?

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I’m currently working on a rewrite of the first story I ever wrote. It’s the first in a Scottish Highlander series I call Tartan Threads. Set in the seventeenth century, the series is considerably less steamy than my Shades of Sin series and revolves around a laird and his closest friends. Wild Rose Press has already contracted the second in the series, but they want to publish MacGregor’s Promise before MacIan’s Curse. (Titles are still tentative.) While less erotic, the Tartan Threads series delivers an emotional rush just as intense and adds a touch of paranormal into the mix. In MacGregor’s Promise the hero’s sixth sense lends a bit of tension to the story, and in MacIan’s Curse an ancestral ghost enjoys teasing our our hero and heroine when she isn’t safeguarding our characters.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Follow your dreams, even when you aren’t sure they’re headed where you expected them to end up. Some of our best dreams are the ones that follow a path we didn’t see or wouldn’t choose for ourselves.

Excerpt:

A marriage of convenience...or could it be more?

“Bollocks!” The expletive burst out, unbidden. He had to stop using the word before it slipped out in the wrong setting.

At least it got her attention. Her moss-colored eyes widened, and her lips parted in surprise.
Another flicker of want paralyzed him.

“I should go.” With a grace that took his breath away, she rose and turned toward the door. This time, though, her feet inched forward.

“Stop!” Try as he might, it came out as a command.

She dropped into the chair, her porcelain skin fading to the pasty white color it had taken on when she vomited.

He raked his fingers through his hair. What was happening? Besides him losing control?

“You’ve done nothing wrong,” he explained. “It’s George I wish to thrash.”

To his surprise, she harrumphed in a very unladylike manner. “Might I watch?”

Her hand flew up and covered her mouth. Wide, emerald eyes with thick, long lashes stared at him, half horrified. Then she lifted her chin in defiance.

Damn, she was pretty. Dark cherries and clotted cream pretty.

Footsteps echoed from the hallway, drawing her attention, but Jeremy continued to stare. He didn’t care who entered. He wanted to ogle her for a few minutes.

“Speak of the devil,” her luscious lips muttered.
















Thursday, February 6, 2020

Guest Post: That April in Santa Monica by Melody DeBlois




Tell us a little about yourself:

My husband and I live in Sacramento, California for six months and in Chandler, Arizona for the other half of the year. My family is the most important part of my life. My friends come in a close second. I have been writing for years, but it wasn’t until I buckled down and studied the markets and tried my darndest to sell, that things began to happen. I love writing for The Wild Rose Press. All the authors are not only friends but like family. Everyday I learn something new about writing and marketing. I can’t picture being published with anyone else.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I love writing when it all clicks together and I am able to see it like a movie. It’s like I am just recording it as fast as I am able to write it down. I also love seeing the characters changing and learning the things that will improve them. What I don’t like is I am so very slow at getting to the process where the story all snaps together. The road to the book being ready to publish is rocky and full of detours and dead ends. I wish I could wake up in the morning and work all the way through to when I go to bed. But, as with all jobs, life gets in the way.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

Madison receives acclaim for running a talent agency for people with disabilities, but she doesn't know how to take care of herself. When her altruism becomes life-threatening, she joins a reality TV show that pairs her with hot, raven-haired Brandon. He is witty, sexy, and her teacher. That makes him off limits.

Brandon focuses on his work as TV's most noted health teacher. He has one fast rule—never fall for a student. But when he meets Madison, their chemistry is combustible. There's no hiding their conflict or their attraction, especially when it's all caught on film.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

My next book is called Undercover in Venice Beach, book 2. I am on the final draft of page 200 as of today. I’m loving this book. Here’s a sneak peek at a blurb:

Struggling business owner Audrey Powell has just lost her mother. She’s returned to Venice Beach to take over the tea house her mother made so special. She’s determined to keep Mama’s spirit of helping others alive. But she has no one to help her run things…until enter Liam James, the hunky chef who works miracles with food.

Liam James is a spy with British Intelligence. He sets up surveillance in the tea house where secrets are being leaked that threaten national security. To fit in with the clientele, he must work under the guise of a chef. Never has he allowed a woman to get in the way of a mission, until he meets Audrey. Trouble is, she isn’t who she claims to be.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

My wish for all my readers is that they enjoy the Love is a Beach Series like their best vacation.

Excerpt:

Madison hadn’t slept well. Her dreams were like trying to see through a dark sheet of glass. She awoke to thirst and wandered downstairs for a drink of filtered water. She’d fallen asleep in her clothes. She ran her fingers through her disheveled hair. 

She discovered Brandon slouching in the easy chair and did a double take. He didn’t have a candle before him, nor was his body in the lotus position. He simply appeared to be thinking, his eyes distant as he stared past her. 

She snapped her fingers in front of his face. “Brandon, are you okay?” He didn’t look well. In the lamplight, she could see the shadows under his eyes as if he hadn’t had any sleep. 

“Hi there,” he said, “I could ask the same of you. You left in quite a huff last night. Were you able to work through your anger?” 

“It’s our last day together, our last morning.” You donkey, don’t you get it? Talk about clueless; he took the cake. 

“I know,” he said and hung his head. “People get used to routine.” 

“That’s right. It takes three weeks to form a habit.” 

There was so much they were not saying, so much left undone. 

His eyes were bloodshot, and he closed them as if not wanting her to see he looked like he’d been up the entire night drinking whiskey and shooting pool. “You probably are feeling a little afraid, Madison.” 

“Big-time.” Her own voice sounded small, but then there was that knot in her throat…I want you to stay!

 He slapped the arm of the chair. “I’ve got an idea.” He motioned to her, his face filled with that boyish wonder she’d come to cherish. “Let’s go watch the sunrise.” 

“I’m game.” She followed him into the gunmetal darkness where the air didn’t stir, and the only sounds were of the ocean roaring in the distance. Harley had lumbered out behind her, licking her heels. 

He said, “There’s a certain kind of freshness in the air. Do you feel it, do you smell it—tell me.” 
She walked with him. “Always the instructor, even to the end.” 

She was so close to him her thigh scraped against his, close enough to inhale that male testosterone that was exclusively Brandon Kennedy. Their fingers touched, sending a surge of electricity throughout her, making her miss a step. As if it were instinctual, he took her hand in his. She noted the texture of his rough palm against hers. No eyeballing cameras had snuck behind them to their destination. She had him all to herself. Imagine that? What she could do, if he let her. 

They had front row seats, their backs to the misty waves. Harley, never a morning dog, rolled over in the sand and went back to sleep. 

They took stock of the light show just getting ready to start. She shivered in the chilly morning air. Seeing her, he wrapped his arms around her, and she thought she’d do something dumb like tell him how much she cared. She couldn’t help laying her head on his mighty shoulder. It felt good to cuddle with him, natural and intimate.
 
He said, “The first thirty minutes of sunrise and the last thirty minutes of sunset, it is safe to look straight at the sun.” 

“They’re always telling people not to take in the sun with the naked eye.” 

“And it’s true, but the first and last half hour won’t hurt you. In fact, it’s the great healer of the mind and the body. Don’t you feel the sun’s energy balancing and healing you?” 

What Madison felt was Brandon’s body heat radiating through her, tightening her muscles, skimming up her spine. That kind of warmth should come with a warning—exposure might cause side effects. Maybe she could have blamed it on chemistry or like attracting like—called it a lethal injection. She was dying for want of him. 

She managed to say, “I see a halo around the sun.” 

“Feel it vibrate?” he asked, turning to look at her, and his eyes turned molten-blue. Somehow, she didn’t think watching the sky had anything to do with it. 

The heat had gathered at the sweet place between her legs—another side effect of her being close to him. If this didn’t end up in a kiss, she didn’t think she’d be able to bear it. 

Drawing in a long shaky breath, she said, “I do feel the vibration.” Oh, did she! 

“Being out in the middle of nature, with the birds and the sea creatures, it does something to a person, don’t you think?” 

“Amen to Mother Earth,” she said dreamily. 

“There’s harmony in the sounds.” His breath seemed to have caught in his throat. 

“Yes, a more beautiful melody could not exist.” 

“Do you feel your eyes blur? It’s the sun cleansing you.” 

Cleansing? Try heating up as if some crazy so-and-so had switched on the gas. She moaned, “My eyes have become pools of marvel.” No, that wasn’t right. They were pools of longing, no mistaking it.



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