I can’t believe that it’s been six months since my dear mom passed away. Time moved on, I guess, even though my world stopped for a while. I want to post a few more of Mom’s paintings. It’s my way of honoring her. I apologize for the slightly off-kilter photos. The images of Mom’s paintings were originally taken for cataloging purposes rather than showcasing.
15 Mar 2015 Leave a comment
11 Mar 2015 Leave a comment
in About my novel, Stubborn Hearts Tags: 1900's, Beth, blacksmith, Carol Ritten Smith, Christmas, fear, fiction, historical, historical romance, love, school, school teacher, Stubborn Hearts, Tom, trust
My, how the world has changed! With today’s technologies, we can be connected with friends from all over the world practically in an instant. I remember my grandfather telling me many years ago that the world was changing so fast, he could barely keep up. And that was before the personal computer saw the light of day. But I understand how he felt, because some days I feel I can’t keep up either. Maybe I have an old soul.
A hundred years ago, pioneers could only connect with others by one type of social media. It was called getting together and talking, face to face. People worked hard in those days–not that I’m saying we work any less–but they made time to connect with their neighbors, family and friends. They didn’t Skype, or have Face Time. They couldn’t email, or even phone someone. They simply hitched a team of horses to a wagon or sleigh and traveled to a neighbor’s farm for a visit. They appreciated their friends and took time to nurture their relationships.
As well as visiting, they also organized group events to keep in touch. The box social was a major function held in the fall after the harvest was finished. It gathered friends and family from the four corners of the district together in one place, usually in the one-room schoolhouse. At the same time they raised money for the upcoming Christmas Concert.
A box social was a simple concept. The women packed a lunch, wrapped it in some creative manner, and secretly took it to the social. The men would bid on the boxed lunches, and the woman who prepared the lunch would share it with the winning gentleman. More often than not, a husband knew which lunch was his wife’s, but there was usually a prankster in the group who loved to mix things up. Sometimes the outcome was good, sometimes not.
In my recently re-released book, Stubborn Hearts, the young school teacher has packed a lovely lunch for the box social. She wonders who will be the winning bidder. Will he be the blue-eyed Norwegian she rather fancies, or perhaps a father of one of her students? Or will he be that interfering, insufferable blacksmith she so despises? And who is that man funding the most hapless bachelor in the district? But no matter who buys the teacher’s lunch, he’ll be treated to some interesting conversation and delicious food.
Maybe the pioneers had the best means of communication after all.
06 Mar 2015 2 Comments
I recently said goodbye to Mom, a wonderful, artistic and courageous woman. She was a great influence on me and I miss her. It helps to know she is in Heaven, happy and free from pain and worries. Writers are well aware of the saying “write what you know?” Well, my Mom built what she knew and loved. Widowed at a young age, she started a very successful art supply and picture framing shop. You see, Mom was a passionate artists. That’s what she knew. She began to paint when she was fourteen and her love of painting lasted until she could no longer hold up a paintbrush. That’s a lot of years to put paint on canvas and paper. She created oil paintings, watercolors, a few batiks and even some collage work, but Mom’s favorite medium was acrylic. The Group of Seven strongly influenced her work, possibly because one of the famous members taught her at the Banff School of Fine Arts during two summers. His name was A.Y. Jackson. If you don’t know who he is, look him up. Quite the artist. Quite the group. Over the years Mom compiled photos of every painting she made. All were categorized and cataloged. (Someday, I’m going to count how many there were, but it will take some time.) When she sold a painting, she penned a tiny ‘s’ in the corner of the corresponding photo. No big “SOLD” written across the picture, just something nearly imperceptible. That was Mom. She never boasted about her abilities, though she’d sold hundreds of pieces of art over her lifetime. Any awards she won over the years at the Calgary Exhibitions or numerous other shows and competitions, she merely tucked away in an unassuming box. I wish I had taken more interest in Mom’s art. I wish I’d asked her what inspired her to paint that picture, or why she chose that particular medium or those colors. But I didn’t. You see, I grew up watching her paint in her small art studio next to the furnace. That’s what she did. She also cooked, cleaned and did a million other things. It wasn’t until I was in school that I realized not all mothers painted. And older yet when I understood that Mom possessed a wonderful talent. When we packed up her things, we put over 250 paintings into storage. What a wonderful legacy for her children, grandchildren and descendents yet to be born. But no artist wants their work hidden. They want it to be shared. And so that is what I plan to do. I hope you will indulge me because I’m going to post some of Mom’s paintings from time to time. I’m very proud of her, for so many reasons…one of which is her art. I think you’ll see why. Here are two of her paintings.
02 Jan 2015 6 Comments
Until today, I have never had the opportunity to interview co-authors before. As a writer I can’t imagine collaborating with another author on a book. Sure it’s nice to have someone to toss ideas back and forth, but to write as one member of a team seems insurmountable to me. Yet these two gracious ladies have managed to publish several fantastic time travel books under the pen name, Morgan O’Neill. Let me introduce you to them.
A chance meeting at a writers’ conference brought Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes together, two award-winning authors who connected because of a mutual love of time travel fiction. Collaboration ensued, the search for a pen name the first step in their working relationship. Their maiden names provided the solution – and “Morgan O’Neill” was born.
Cary and Deborah’s backgrounds are uniquely suited to writing stories steeped in atmosphere and history: Deborah has a Master’s Degree in history and is a dedicated genealogist; Cary is a talented linguist in French and is currently a student of Latin. They’ve traveled to Europe’s ancient and medieval sites many times, with Cary living on the Continent for five years.
The Morgan O’Neill time travel novels have received a number of literary awards, including two finalist wins in the Booksellers’ Best Awards, two semifinalist wins in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, first, second, and third place wins for the Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category of the Golden Rose Contest, a top ten finalist award in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference Zola Awards Literary Contest, and a top ten finalist win in the Orange Rose Contest.
That’s an amazing list of awards for your time travel books. Well done, ladies!
No one ever knew what really happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon back in 1945. He simply disappeared from a London pub, leaving behind an unsolved mystery and his fiancée—Anne Howard’s grandmother. Seventy years later, Anne herself is haunted by the strange tale, along with inexplicable hallucinations straight out of Elizabethan England. Including a scarred, handsome man whose deep blue eyes seem to touch her very soul…
Anne wonders if there isn’t something more to the story. Is it even possible that Jonathan disappeared into England’s dark past? And why does Anne keep hearing him whisper her name? Because now she too feels the inexorable pull of the past, not to mention an undeniable attraction for a man she doesn’t even know.
It’s just a matter of time before Anne will step back into history, and face a destiny―and a love―beyond imagining…
And here’s an exciting excerpt to encourage you to want to read more of The Thornless Rose, an Elizabethan Time Travel novel, by Morgan O’Neill.
In this scene, time travelers Anne Howard and Dr. Jonathan Brandon are thrown together for the first time.
Anne felt a tingling, a creeping of skin on the back of her neck and arms. She closed her eyes, suddenly feeling faint, when the air stilled beyond anything she had ever experienced.
What the––? From darkening shadows, she gazed out. Oddly, the chapel was brilliantly lit by dozens of candles. Black-clad monks knelt on wooden misericords, praying.
Their soft, collective droning was a counterpoint to her heart’s fierce drumming.
“Wh—what just happened?” Anne stammered, trying to keep the shrill edge out of her voice. “Where’d you come from?”
The monks turned. To a man, their gazes cut through her, sharp and deeply suspicious.
She swallowed in fear. “Where am I? There were tourists. What happened to them?”
Eyes widening, a young monk held up his crucifix. “Woman,” he said, straining to see Anne, “why dost thou speak gibberish? Hast thou no wits?”
“But this is Westminster Abbey, isn’t it?”
“Aye. But if thou seeketh absolution, thou must find the bishop, for we are at prayer.”
Anne took a deep breath and crossed into the light. Gasps exploded from the monks as they gaped at her shorts and bare legs.
“Strumpet! For shame!” a monk shouted.
“Princess of Sodom!” cried another. “Get thee gone!”
Anne backed up, anxious to escape, and quickly turned to avoid the royal tomb directly behind her. She stopped and stared. The place looked nothing like before. Instead of a marble sarcophagus, there was a pile of broken stones heaped on the floor.
She spun toward the monks, still frozen against their misericords. “Where’s the tomb? Queen Elizabeth’s tomb?” she croaked.
“Elizabeth?” The young monk rose to his feet. “Would that the foul heretic were dead! There,” he pointed to the heap of stones, “rests our true Catholic queen, Mary Tudor. God rest her soul.”
“Brother Daniel, silence!” shouted another monk. “If the queen’s men hear thy words of sedition…”
But the young monk, Daniel, shook his head, eyes blazing. “Witch, I’ll send thee back to hell!” He lunged at Anne.
Instinctively, she put up her arms, covering her face in a defensive posture. Then, in disbelief, she realized she felt nothing, no contact with her attacker. She turned just as Brother Daniel tumbled behind her onto Mary Tudor’s grave.
Anne looked down at herself, realizing for the first time she was fading away. Her body looked transparent! “Oh, help!” she shouted, panicked. “Help me!”
She started, blinked, and stared. The monks had vanished, the crowd of tourists surrounding the queens’ tomb the same as before. She held out a trembling hand. Her skin looked as it’d always been—she was whole again.
It took her a moment to get her bearings, to steady herself, but then a voice brought her fully around.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” a woman said. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Anne muttered, even though she knew she wasn’t. Shocked, she looked at her shaky hands, again solid, part of the here and now. She shoved them into her pockets and walked on. What just happened?
She picked up her pace, intent on leaving. She shouldn’t have had that shandy on an empty stomach.
The lights suddenly dimmed, the atmosphere hushed, expectant. Just like before!
She halted in her tracks. Flickering candlelight and deep shadows, no tourists. The Abbey was even darker than it had been when she’d seen the monks.
What the hell is going on?
Stunned, she turned. A man in costume ran toward her.
“Go back,” he shouted, “back where it’s safe!”
She stood transfixed. As he came closer, she recognized him—his eyes, the scar.
He halted and pulled her tight against him. “I love you, Anne,” he whispered into her hair, “but you have to go with him. Save yourself.”
He stilled her confusion with a tender brush of his lips, and she responded instinctively, their kiss deepening as her body arched against his, her blood ablaze with sudden desire, until the rest of the world seemed very far away.
When he finally drew back, he stared into her eyes, and Anne’s heart seized when she saw his pain, the sheer desperation in his gaze.
The feeling was apparently mutual, because he pulled her close and swore under his breath, “Bloody hell, the bastard will pay for this.”
I don’t understand.
He opened his eyes and stared at something in the distance. “Anne, go now,” his voice cracked, “because I can face anything if I know you’re safe.”
His fingers gently cupped her chin, his touch unleashing more heat. He lifted her face for another kiss, and then—nothing. He was gone. She fought for control, her breathing erratic, her legs threatening to crumble. She touched her lips, still feeling his caress, his soft breath on her skin, but he was gone.
The lights flashed on, the tourists once again milling about, unaware.
“Mummy, they were kissing!”
A small boy pointed at her, but his mother paid no attention.
He saw us! Anne plastered a fake smile on her face until the boy disappeared into the crowd. He saw us, and that means I wasn’t hallucinating. But how? How could Dr. Brandon be here? She touched her lips once more. The way he’d held her, spoken to her, whispered her name, made her believe he was real—and he…
He knew me. But how? A chill enveloped her as the memory of the monk’s stare supplanted Brandon’s.
Trembling, she left the Abbey.
Cripes! I know how terrified and confused I’d be if I landed smack dab in the middle of another time and place. I look forward to reading A Thornless Rose to learn how Anne handles the situation. Plus I love a good romance!
Okay, everyone. Listen up. Right now the publisher, Entangled, has The Thornless Rose on sale. You can get this marvelous book at its introductory $0.99 price. But this sale will soon end! So hurry on over to your favorite eBook store and get your copy now.
Thanks so much, Deborah and Cary, for allowing me to showcase you both and this wonderful book. I know that you have a hectic writing schedule so I appreciate sharing this time with me. Here’s to many more successes with your books!
There are numerous ways to find these authors (at least in this life and time). They have kindly supplied a list.
Website – www.morganoneill.com
Newsletter – https://madmimi.com/signups/125219/join
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorMONeill
15 Dec 2014 2 Comments
We all know Christmas is a time for giving, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. What do you buy older people who don’t have room for trinkets? And what do you get those doing well who buy what they want throughout the year? I find it tricky. I wander aimlessly around the malls, trying to find that perfect gift to show how much I love and appreciate my family and friends.
But here’s the thing. If I’ve been living my life correctly, they should they already know how I feel about them. I hope I’ve demonstrated many times through the year that they are a very important part of my life. Giving them something they really don’t need seems like a waste of good money. I know my hard-earned cash could be used more wisely.
This year I donated approximately what I would have spent on their gifts to a charity they support. I’m pretty certain they’d be delighted to know that because I love them, I donated enough money to buy an eco stove for a person in Nicaragua or a goat for a family in Uganda. I know my family won’t miss another throw for their couch or a bottle of wine or whatever else I might buy them.
And it feels great to know I’ve helped a person that desperately needs a hand up. You might want to try giving to a charity in someone’s name this year, too.
If you’re not sure where to find charities to buy such things, here’s the one I used. My husband has gone with them to third world countries and seen first hand the good things they do.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
30 Nov 2014 Leave a comment
Hi, friends. It’s been a while since I’ve last added a post. Sorry about that. Life got a little too hectic for a while.
I want to let you know that until Dec 1, 2014, my short story, Christmas Charisma is FREE. It’s about a young widowed mother who hopes to get through this Christmas without too much pain for herself or her little boy. It’s a heart-warming Christmas story that I think you’ll enjoy. Please take the time to download it and, if your upcoming Christmas season isn’t too busy, maybe you could “gift” me with me with some stars or even a quick review. Thanks!
And in case you’re reading this too late, Christmas Charisma will also be FREE DECEMBER 12 AND 13.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I wish you all the best in 2015!
16 Aug 2014 6 Comments
Today, Dawn Luedecke, is stopping by to meet you and to introduce you to her latest book, The Lighthouse Anthology, several love stories about light keepers. I ask you, have you ever read even one story about a lighthouse keeper, let alone four? I haven’t. But soon will. The LIGHTHOUSE ANTHOLOGY should be a great read!
Here is Dawn’s biography:
A country girl born and bred, Dawn Luedecke has spent most of her life surrounded by horses, country folk, and the wild terrain of Nevada, Idaho and Montana. As a child, she would spend many afternoons reading books, watching western classics, and Rogers and Hammerstein movies. When she grew up she decided to leave the quiet country life for a chance to find adventure by serving a successful tour in the United States Coast Guard. During that time, she found her soul mate (and alpha male) and started a family and writing career. She enjoys writing historical and paranormal romance and spends as much time as she can working on her current manuscript. For more information visit http://www.dawnluedecke.com.
THE LIGHTHOUSE ANTHOLOGY Blurb
When violent ocean forces become too strong, the keepers are watching. They are strong, determined, and afraid of nothing. They will risk their lives to save others, and risk their chance at love to serve their country. Can love overcome the obstacles thrown in their path and shine the light in their hearts? They are the ladies of the Lighthouse Service and men of the Life Saving Service. Those who have vowed to watch and protect.
They are…the keepers.
*** And those keepers have saved the lives of many men and women over the years. Such an invaluable service!
Here are blurbs for Dawn’s stories in the Lighthouse Anthology:
Beacon of the Night Alone in the world, Sylvia single handedly runs the Destruction Island Lighthouse. Courageously, she puts her life in danger to save shipwrecked sailors. When she rescues a man during a storm, she learns that this notoriously handsome Captain has a notorious secret.
I Heard the Bells Ever since she was young, Abigail has been infatuated with her brother’s best friend Gavin Walker. She is the lighthouse keeper’s niece, and not at all inclined to join in the deadly ocean rescues. He is a local hero and second in command at the Lifesaving Station in Cape Disappointment. A place known to many as ‘The Graveyard of the Pacific’. Can Gavin help Abbie save her brother, and nurse her uncle back to health before Christmas?
The Ghost ships Cry Wade Alston is keeper of the Little Island Life Saving Station. He is haunted by his past, and the spine-chilling cry of the ghost ship that lies just outside the shoreline. To top it off, a crewman from the wreck is missing, and the man’s wife and daughter, Laura, continue to plague his life with a request that is not only against the rules, but downright dangerous.Laura asks him to attend her father’s wake, and Wade becomes the victim of deception. During which, he finally gets the courage to tell her how he has felt for years. But will her desperation to find her father jeopardize any future they may have together?
Burning Light Within Vanessa has taken on the task of Dry Tortuga Island’s lighthouse keeper in place of her late husband. As keeper, “Nessa” rescues those who find trouble in the warm Florida Key waters. The brave young woman is challenged by a man she saves from the water — a man from her past. Will he raise the longing she once felt, or will she be reminded of a past that once was but is no more?
*** Dawn has kindly offered us more than one excerpt! Yeah!
Excerpt from ‘Ghost Ships Cry’ Laura scooted closer to the edge of her seat so her mother could enter the carriage without mishap. She waited until the door closed before bringing up the subject that bothered her since its inception. “Are you sure it will work?”
“It has to,” Parthena said. She settled in and fluffed her large, full skirt. “We need him, and we know he’s there. So there is no other option, if you want to see him again.”
Laura pulled her lips into a thin line. The plan they hatched was dicey—at best. There were so many ‘ifs’, that it made her uncomfortable. The carriage jerked and she bounced in the seat. She snuggled deeper into the bench cushions to draw out as much warmth as possible. “I just don’t like it, Mama. He is such a nice man, and I’ve known him since school. Isn’t there any other way we can do it?”
“Well…have the couple of times you pleaded with him worked?”
“Then there is your answer. There is no other way. It has to be like this, and it has to be now.”
Excerpt from Beacon of the Night Washington Coast, October 1895
The sea looked dark, a catalyst for the abyss and the final resting place of the brave men surrounded by the dark waters. Davie Jones called to them, beckoned his crew to the afterlife of a sailor. He was the only one left, clutching the floating plank of his ship and desperate for survival. He would live to get his revenge on the bloodthirsty pirate who did this to his beautiful ship, The Justice.
The sea grew angry, driven mad by the deadly storm that dominated the sky. Alex watched the waves, each one a wall of water as it reached to heights of up to sixteen feet, and the water cold enough to slow his body. He looked up and saw the land and flashing light of the lighthouse, a beacon of the night. They were close to shore when the storm—and the pirate—hit. Alex could see the dark outline of the land he needed to reach; his only hope for survival.
He clung to the wood, buoyant against the raging ocean force. He kicked his feet and swam against the current, with no effect. He tried to reach the light. He struggled to keep his head up, his gaze on the horizon, and swim with all the energy he had left. His strength drained rapidly as the ocean temperature and physical exertion took its toll. No matter how hard he tried, it didn’t seem to work. The land stayed out of reach, and taunted him with its closeness.
There is a breaking point in every man. He saw it on many occasions with his crew, but never thought he would experience it. Now he knew differently—this was his. Mere moments after he hit the ice-cold water, he wanted to give up and let God take him.
He loosened his grip on the wooden plank and let his body sink. The water slid up to his waist, then chest, neck, and face. Just as his head sank below the water’s surface, he felt a sharp scrape against his back and he was pulled against the water’s current. Against his will, he reached the surface and glided across, to land with a thud against a wooden boat.
These stories sound fantastic and even though they all involve a light keeper, each has a completely different plot. I really enjoy anthologies like this because I get a complete story without staying up half the night to finish it. Of course there are those times when I end up reading the entire anthology at once! So buyer beware, because all the stories sound intriguing.
Thanks, so much Dawn for being my current guest on my blog. I wish you all the best with this anthology and your writing career.
Social media links:
Youtube Book trailer http://youtu.be/nhBEPCsswTs
07 Aug 2014 10 Comments
A friend and BTGN author has kindly agreed to be a guest on my blog today. Here’s her bio:
Angela Ford originates from Nova Scotia…Canada’s Ocean Playground! Her love of the ocean and sunsets are always in her heart and give her inspiration. Her love sequel. Between two jobs, being a mom with a home always filled with teenagers and rather interesting stories; she is lucky to have one very patient and understanding man. But it is the furry family members who rule the house – a Puggle, two loveable cats and two unique Guinea Pigs. Every possible quiet moment she finds, she treasures and just writes about the moments to come. Angela is an avid reader of romance, a member of the RWA and thrilled to be part of her new family BTGN.
My goodness, Angela is one busy woman! Let’s read the blurb for Forbidden which was published on June 22, 2014
She continues to deliver spine-chilling seminars to parents about cyber safety. One seminar introduces her to Tiffany Bennett’s parents who are quite concerned for their daughter’s safety from an Internet Predator. Jess leads the team to protect Tiffany and discovers that the past can creep back into your life.
Excerpt from Forbidden
Startled from her thoughts, Jess turned and saw Tom in the doorway with a concerned look on his face. He walked closer to her and set a cup of tea on her desk.
“I thought you might need this.”
“Thanks Tom. You always know what I need. I love you so much.” She smiled and reached for his hand. Just his presence in the room warmed her from the cold chill she felt.
“I love you too.” He leaned down and kissed the top of her head.
“Now spill it Jess. I know that look.”
She laughed at his remark. He knows me so well.
“I feel like I’m reading about Trevor stalking me. This girl is in trouble, Tom. She’s being stalked. I feel it in my gut.” Jess took a sip of her tea. The warmth and sweetness of that Earl Grey Cream was exactly what she needed to calm her.
“That look worries the heck out of me. But I learned a long time ago I can’t stop you.” Tom picked up her phone from the desk and handed it to her. “Call Mr. Bennett.”
“At this time of night?” Jess looked at her watch.
“If he’s as concerned as you believe, Jess, he’ll be awake.” Tom kissed her forehead and smiled.
Sounds like a timely story considering all the creepy predators on-line!
Thanks, Angela for being a guest on Carol Presents. It’s always a pleasure getting to know more about our author acquaintances. I look forward to reading more of your books.
Here’s how you can reach Angela:
Social Media Links
Blog – Romantic Escapes http://angelafordauthor. com
Stumble Upon http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/afor dauthor
Books to Go Now www.bookstogonow.com
03 Aug 2014 7 Comments
Becky Lower has joined me today on Carol Presents with her book, The Road To Comfort. I’m particularly interested in her book because it’s about a cowboy with a broken heart. Don’t ask me why I have a thing for cowboys because I’ve never really had a chance to get to know one personally and as much as I love the look of horses, I’m terrified to get on one. I do remember thinking that I would marry this one cowboy because he looked like my little stuffed monkey (they both had the same grin and the cowboy had a twinkle in his eye) plus he was gentle with his animals…but mostly it was the monkey-face. Hey, I was only five at the time!
Wow, talk about getting off topic. Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about Becky Lower. Becky has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it present day middle America or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. Contemporary and historical romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and a member of the Northeast Ohio chapter of RWA. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at http://www.beckylowerauthor.com
Note to self: I must remember to ask Becky about her connection to cowboys.
Juliette St.James has only done two impetuous things in her life, and the first resulted in her becoming a single parent at age 18. Now, she’s embarking on a cross-country trip to celebrate becoming an empty-nester. Not sure of what she will do now that she’s flying solo, she comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare—a cowboy.
Cyclone Kelley is a former rodeo cowboy who has broken one too many body parts to continue on the rodeo circuit. But the one body part that can’t be fixed by putting it into a cast is his heart, which was broken when his wife died. He wasn’t home to save her, and feels he’s unworthy for any kind of lasting relationship with a woman, so his life has been a meaningless string of one-nighters.
One broken car and an equally broken cowboy later, they are forced to decide if love is worth gambling on what could be. Or if tornadoes, and Cyclones, are better left alone.
And now the excerpt:
Lightning flashed in the distance, and the rain splattering on the windshield became more intense. Juliette raised her eyes from the book, her concentration interrupted. The storm was rolling in quickly, and grayish-black clouds now darkened the entire sky in front of her. Great. Now she’d have to fend off the corn children in the dead of night. Uneasiness threatened to turn into panic as it settled in, big-time. She jumped out of the backseat and climbed behind the wheel. She didn’t care if it seemed stupid, she turned the key once more, praying for a miracle. Nothing. She pummeled the steering wheel with her Cheeto-ed fingers as she assessed her situation. She was in a broken-down car on the side of the road, in Kansas, Nebraska, or Oklahoma with monster children about to emerge from the surrounding fields. Oh, and yes, a storm was rolling in. Could things get any worse?
A steady clip-clopping sound broke into her tormented thoughts. She glanced into the rearview mirror and spied a horse and rider coming up the side of the road behind her car. You’ve got to be kidding. Help had finally arrived, but it was in the form of a cowboy, wearing a black hat and a duster coat? And he was on a horse. Oh, yeah, she was a long way from civilized Ohio. The sun burst forth behind him in a last hurrah as the dark clouds raced toward them. Terrific. Evidently, things could get worse. Much worse.
The cowboy comes to the rescue. Yes! You can always count on a cowboy unless he’s in a country western song. Those guys will break your heart.
Well, Becky, it’s been a pleasure having you on my blog. I wish you the very best in your writing career. Looks like you’re well on your way!
Here’s the link to check out the Road to Comfort.
28 Jul 2014 8 Comments
This time I have Nancy Weeks on my Carol Presents Series. Hello, Nancy. Thank you for agreeing to be my guest today.
Hello Carol, I’m so pleased to be visiting with you today to share the news about my latest novel, In the Shadow of Pride. Pride is the fourth book in my In the Shadows series and I am so very happy with the way everything turned out.
How exciting it must be to have written your fourth in a series. Good for you! And I understand it was released only one week ago and is being well received. That doesn’t surprise me, you’re a talented writer!
Okay, readers, I know you want to know more about Nancy’s story, but please read Nancy’s short yet sweet bio first.
Nancy C. Weeks lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she loves spending her days on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company.
Would you tell us a little about In the Shadow of Pride?
In this story, you will meet the third McNeil brother, Luke ‘Mac’ McNeil. Mac has a tough job as a FBI Special-Agent-In-Charge. One of the most heart wrenching experiences he had to live through was losing his best friend and fellow agent, Rico Trevena. Rico was on an undercover operation and Mac was his handler. The unthinkable happens and Rico gives his life to save Mac’s younger brother, Jason [from In the Shadow of Greed]. Rico’s last words to Mac, “Promise me you’ll take care of Lexie!”
Rico’s wife, Lexie Trevena has made that promise almost impossible to keep because she hates everything about the FBI and despises Mac. When Lexie’s life is ripped out from under her once again, she has a choice to make; accept Mac’s help or lose everything, including her two year old son, Gabriel.
Sounds like a great story. I enjoy reading romantic suspense. Was it difficult to write?
From the very beginning of this story, Pride captured my mind, my heart, and wouldn’t let go. It was joy to write. If you would like to see who I envisioned while writing this story, please drop by my WEBSITE. While you are there, check out the three free chapters: In the Shadow of Pride Google Preview.
Ooh, free reads are always good! I’ll check it out.
So…have questions? I would love to answer them. Feel free to ask me anything. Here is a question to help get you started. Have you ever disliked someone, but over time, began to see this person in a different light? Did you ever become friends? I would love to give away a free digital copy to one lucky commenter so please leave an email with your answer. Carol, you get to do the drawing.
I can do the draw, no problem. But I want to be the first to leave an answer. (Don’t worry. I won’t be in the draw.)
I left a blurb and a short excerpt.
I hope you enjoy In the Shadow of Pride as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for hosting me. ((Hugs to all))
You are most welcome, Nancy. Good luck with your release! And congratulations!
Lexie Trevena buried her murdered husband, discovered he had cheated on her, and signed to adopt his newborn son—all before noon. Now she just wants to raise her child in the loving, supportive home she never had. The last thing she needs is another man to complicate her life, but her best friends feel differently. Their matchmaking meddling accidentally places Lexie smack in the path of a terrorist who intends to use her as his pawn.
The only person who can help her is the FBI agent she holds responsible for her husband’s death.
Special-Agent-In-Charge Luke “Mac” McNeil watched his best friend and partner marry a woman he knew was too good for him, but he did nothing to stop the wedding. He stood by as Lexie adopted the cheating jerk’s son. But when someone goes to great lengths to make it appear that Lexie is responsible for launching a drone into the home of a prominent Texas senator, Mac’s conscience finally speaks up, and he fights for Lexie’s freedom … even though all the evidence leads to her door, and she has never given him a reason to trust her.
Can Lexie and Mac find the courage to forgive and trust, or will their pride stand in the way of love, allowing terrorists to bring another devastating attack onto United States soil? Sensuality Level: Sensual
And the excerpt of In the Shadow of Pride:
Lexie leaned her back against the cool stone and made herself release Mac’s hand. She then took a breath of fresh, clean air and tried to hide the shakiness in her voice. “Now what?”
“I’m going to drop down to the roof. You will kneel on the ledge and, using the window to balance, turn so your legs hang over the edge. Let go of the ledge, and I’ll catch you.”
“Are you crazy? I can’t—”
“Lexie, look behind you.”
She turned her head slowly toward the open window. Flames appeared under the door and the small office was completely filled with smoke. One word escaped her lips. “Trapped.”
“Once we get down onto the roof, there’s a fire escape ladder to the street.” He reached for her hand. “Gabriel needs you. We can do this together.”
Finding her voice, she whispered, “Not fair using Gabriel.” She bit down on her lower lip and dredged up an ounce of courage. “Mac, do what you have to do.”
With the grace of a trained athlete, he lowered himself over the side until only the tips of his fingers were on the ledge. An instant later, he dropped, landing on his feet.
“Tag, you’re it, Lexie. Just drop and I’ll catch you. Trust me.”
Lexie’s heart pounded like she had just run the 100-yard dash. After a quick glance into the office, she knelt, and holding onto the window, rolled onto her stomach.
“That’s it. Now just ease your legs over the ledge.”
The instant her feet hit empty space, panic ripped through her and she swung a leg back onto the ledge as her fingers dug into the window frame. God, she couldn’t do this. It was freaking crazy.
“You have to let go of the window frame. I’m right under you.”
“This isn’t the time to be nice to me, Mac.”
“Okay, then how’s this? I’m loving the view of the sexiest red panties I have ever seen that barely cover an ass that will live in my dreams for years to―”
Lexie dropped. Before she could get out the ear-piercing, girly scream that roared in her head, she landed in Mac’s arms. The impact crushed the air from her lungs.
“You’re okay,” he whispered. “I’ve got you.”
Wrapping her arms around his neck, she allowed his strength and his herbal all-male scent to soothe her. He eased her legs back on solid ground, but she didn’t let go. She couldn’t remember a time in her life when she felt so safe, protected.
She raised her chin and met his amused stare. Of all stupid days to wear a skirt to work. As soon as she got out of this mess, it was going to Goodwill.
Heat spread up her neck and her chest tightened. “This one time, I’m going to let that go.”
“Let what go, Lexie?” Mac’s hand moved slowly down her back to her waist and pressed her tightly against him.
His touch sent a flash of need that had been dormant for too long into her gut. Lexie swallowed but couldn’t look him in the face. “That wasn’t my best moment on that ledge. You shouldn’t have looked.”
“You told me not to be nice. I was saving your life.”
All right! What a fantastic excerpt! In the Shadow of Pride is going onto my to-read shelf right away!
Everyone, you can find Nancy at:
Look for In the Shadow of Pride at: Crimson Romance ebooks | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | BAM
AND…The first book In the Shadow series, In the Shadow of Greed is available only for a brief time in a bundle of wonderful authors.
The thrills—both in and out of the bedroom—never stop coming between these pages. Crank up your adrenaline while running from danger, standing strong in the face of evil, and staying one step ahead of the bad guys in these 10 fast-paced suspense stories by rising stars.