Carol Presents: Nancy Weeks … In the Shadow of Pride

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 profile pictureNancy 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 suspenseWas 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.

Wonderful!

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!

9781440580321Now, here’s the blurb for In the Shadow of Pride: 

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: 

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

GOODREADS

PINTEREST

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.

Racing Hearts Romantic Suspense bundle 9781440583247RACING HEARTS: 10 THRILLING ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVELSONLY 99 CENTS!!!

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.

 

Amazon  | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

Carol Presents: Susanne Mathews … Echos of the Past

Today on Carol Presents we’ve switched things up a bit. Susanne Mathews kindly answers the question (one that most authors get asked sometime in their career) … where did you get your idea for this story? But first let’s learn a little bit more about my guest, Susanne.

me

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. As a retired educator, she gets to spend her time writing, so she can share new adventures with her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

 

 

 

Let’s see what prompted Ms Mathews to write her story.

Echoes of the Past: Where Do Story Ideas Come From?

People often ask me where I get the ideas for new stories. Well, they come from hundreds of different places. The idea for my newest book, Echoes of the Past came to me when I visited The Lake of the Mountain Resort in Prince Edward County, Ontario, last September. The lake is a geological conundrum, a source of fresh water, seemingly bottomless in the center, constantly emptying via a small waterfall that tumbles almost 200 feet into Lake Ontario, but the lake’s water level never changes, and no one can figure exactly where the water in it comes from.

While I found that interesting, the legends associated with the lake sparked my interest. There are two. The first talks about a monster of the Loch Ness variety—interesting but probably nothing more than a large sturgeon. The second touched my soul. It was a Mohawk legend, a tragic story of lovers, forced apart by hatred and doomed to be kept apart in death until the Mohawk spirits felt sorry for them. That’s the story I used as the underlying love story for Echoes of the Past.

Before I left, I got permission from the owners to set my novel there. I brought in a new component as well when I crafted my heroine after my daughter’s best friend. Amazingly enough, the cover created by the publisher, Secret Cravings Publishing actually looks like the real Michelle.

***

So there we have it, the story behind the beginning of this story, Echoes of the Past. For writers, inspiration can happen anywhere, anytime. The key is to pay attention. That’s what Susanne did.

Here’s her book blurb:

EchoesofthePast_MEDBorn Mohawk, raised white, forensic pathologist, Michelle Thomas is trapped between two worlds—this one and the spirit world where the ghosts of those who’ve drowned speak to her. Haunted by crippling nightmares of her own drowning death and erotic dreams of a phantom lover, she strives to make sense of her life. When two suspicious deaths occur at the Lake of the Mountain Resort, she’s sent to investigate. She’ll face the greatest challenge of her career when her past and her present collide. One of these men is her future, but which one—the rich and powerful Mayor Ron Davies, or Tony Steele, the hydrology professor who may be responsible for his students’ deaths? Charged by the spirits of her Mohawk ancestors to atone for her previous sins by protecting Lake of the Gods, can Michelle solve the murders, save the sacred waters, and fulfil her destiny?

 

And the excerpt:

Tony wandered out onto the screened-in porch and looked out at the lake. The strong night winds whipped it into a frenzy as if the water boiled with anger. He checked his watch. Two in the morning again. He needed to break this habit. These unusually vivid dreams had started the first night he’d arrived at the resort. Most of them, exquisite, erotic fantasies, left him dissatisfied, but tonight’s dream had transitioned into a flight for his life. From personal research, he knew a dream’s meaning rarely had anything to do with its contents. This research project into the source of the water in the lake meant everything to him personally and professionally. He was afraid something would happen to ruin it. That explained being chased, but it didn’t explain the sexual fantasies. Those he understood easily enough.

He recognized the woman in his dreams as the shawl-wrapped stranger who walked along the beach every now and then. Beautiful and exotic, something about her called to his soul. He preferred women who didn’t look like carbon copies of others, and this one intrigued him. He thought about her now.

He’d noticed her the night he’d arrived. He never slept well in a new bed. Unable to settle, he’d stepped out onto the porch and noticed someone else apparently suffering from insomnia. A woman, a blanket wrapped around herself, her hair in a long braid down her back, strolled along the edge of the sandy beach. She’d moved southeast toward the edge of the lookout. He’d stepped outside to get a better look at her, but she’d vanished.

The next night, his imagination and libido had taken over, and in his dreams, she’d entered his leafy grotto, and they’d had mind-blowing sex. The things they’d done to one another. Thank God he’d awakened before his body had finished responding to his fantasy.

He’d gotten up, frustrated as old hell, and had gone downstairs. Standing in the screened-in porch, he’d looked out at the lake. Unlike tonight, the water had resembled a mirror reflecting the stars on its surface, and he’d been suspended between the water and the sky—everything brighter, crisper, and clearer than he’d expected. Animals scurried in the brush nearby. Bats swooped overhead. An owl hooted, and he’d shivered. Didn’t some of the Native American tribes believe death followed the cries of an owl?

He’d turned to go back inside when he’d glimpsed his mystery woman coming along the beach from the marshy area to the north. He’d called out to her. She’d turned at the sound of his voice and stopped. In the moonlight, he’d seen the sparkle of silver tears on her cheeks. Naked, he’d hurried into the kitchen, grabbed his damp swimsuit off the drying rack, and rushed out, but she’d disappeared.

He blinked, and the memory passed. He’d never seen a storm as vicious as tonight’s. The rain came down in sheets. Thank God the kids had made it back safely. He turned to go inside when a flash of lightning, the first he’d noticed tonight, illuminated the beach.

What the hell?

The woman, wrapped in her blanket, walked along the beach as if all hell wasn’t breaking loose around her. He ran to the door and raced across the short expanse of grass. He stopped at the edge of the water. Where had she gone? As she’d done every time he’d tried to catch her, she’d vanished. Wet through, he hurried back inside. He saw the light go out in Jackson’s room.

Tony entered the cabin, stripped off his wet clothes, and tossed them in the kitchen sink. Naked and shivering, he climbed the stairs and went into the bathroom. He took a hot shower and then dried his shoulder-length hair. He needed to get it cut. He grabbed a clean t-shirt and a pair of boxers out of the drawer. Exhausted, he fell into bed hoping for sleep.

***

Okay, you’ve got my attention. I’m hoping that Tony gets a chance to live out this dream with the mysterious woman. And since this is a romance, the chances are good. A sexy romance and a mystery. Yum!  Thanks, Susanne for being my guest.

Thank you, Carol for having me on today. I appreciate this opportunity to reach a new audience and make new friends.

You can find out where to purchase Echoes of the Past by visiting http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/

Follow Susanne on her: Website   Blog    Facebook page   Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page   and   Goodreads author page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Presents… Kelly Ann Jacobson … Dreamweaver Road

 

1469948_10152525757833383_3501563226682596871_nAllow me to introduce you to Kelly Ann Jacobson. She is a fiction writer and poet who lives in Falls Church, Virginia. She recently received her MA in Fiction at Johns Hopkins University, and she is the Poetry Editor for Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine. Kelly is the author of the literary fiction novel Cairo in White and the young adult trilogy The Zaniyah Trilogy, as well as the editor of the book of essays Answers I’ll Accept. Her work, including her published poems, fiction, and nonfiction, can be found at www.kellyannjacobson.com.

 

Yes, indeed, those are some impressive credentials, but what always impresses me is the imaginations of fantasy authors. Kelly’s book, Dreamweaver Road, is chock full of wizardry, witchcraft and other things that go bump in the night!

 

 

Here’s the blurb for Dreamweaver Road:

Though Zoey, a sixteen year old farm girl with magical powers, does not know the extent of her abilities or how she got them, when her best friend is kidnapped by a wizard named Danger, she runs away from home and begins a quest to find him. On the way, she meets Angela, a witch who can see the future through dreams; Mother Shipton, her loyal cat sidekick; Will, a man who claims to be immortal; and Red, a dragon with a grudge. Zoey’s friends help her discover the rest of her powers, as well as the forgotten past that earned her such a dangerous enemy.

DreamweaverRoad 500x750***

And here’s the excerpt of Dreamweaver Road:

“You’re playing with fire, Zoey, and if you go after Danger, you’ll get burned.”

“Burned like this?” I ask, then put my right palm face up on the table and tap the center with my left middle finger. A strand of fire emerges from the place where I tapped, sticky like honey between my hands, and I stretch the flame up like a magician pulling a scarf from his sleeve. Both Angela and Mother Shipton watch, mesmerized, as I solidify the fire in a pillar and then use both of my hands to spin it like turning an hour glass upside-down.

A few years ago my pa took the whole family to the circus, a rare treat for a family who never left the farm, and we watched a beautiful young fire-breather turn a stick with flames on either side in the same way until the flames became a blur against the blackening sky. The fire reflected in their eyes looks the same way now, pinpricks of orange and red that turn to blue as I twist and twist, and when I can no longer tell the individual flame from the rave, I pull my hands apart and the whole sphere disappears.

 ***
Wow! This sounds like such a cool book! I believe this is written for middle school readers, but I have a feeling everyone will get a charge out of it.

I want to thank you, Kelly, for guest posting on Carol Presents! Best wishes with your writing career!

www.kellyannjacobson.com

www.twitter.com/KAnnJacobson

www.facebook.com/WriterKellyAnnJacobson

 

 

Carol Presents: Jackie Marilla …Love Those Hula Hips

This time on Carol Presents is the lovely Jackie Marilla. I had the opportunity to read her Love Those Hula Hips and I quite enjoyed it. Not only do you get a great romance set in the beautiful Kona, you also get a taste of the local history and lifestyle.

jackie marillaHere’s her Bio:

Jackie Marilla lives on a macadamia nut farm in Hawai’i with her supportive husband, several feral cats and a flock of hodgepodge chickens. She writes contemporary romance set on the Big Island and places beyond.

When she’s not at her desk writing, Jackie loves to visit family in the Pacific Northwest, read, sew, and make lamp work glass beads. In a past life, she was an elementary school teacher.

Jackie is a member of the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America and the Contemporary Romance Writers.

 

 

 

Book Blurb, Love Those Hula Hips:

With the imminent threat of foreclosure of their beloved Kona Breezeway Inn, the Kawelu family is forced to take on an investor. In exchange, mainlander James Westerman takes control of the daily operations.

James craves one thing—a lucrative investment property that affords him the opportunity to earn his father’s respect. When he invests in the Kona Breezeway Inn, he is confident that as the general manager he will turn a profit within three years. His plans quickly start to unravel when he falls for Hokulani Kawelu, the owner’s hula dancing daughter.

Hokulani is committed to her family’s legacy to preserve and share the Hawaiian culture. She is determined to maintain the spirit of aloha at the Breezeway, despite James’s mainland business approach and his emphasis on the bottom-line.

James is certain that his fascination with Hokulani will not distract him from his business goals. He soon discovers that the bottom-line is a choice between business, as he knows it, and love.

Love those Hula HipsExcerpt from Love Those Hula Hips:

The music slowed and the emcee crooned, “And now, ladies and gentlemen, a tribute to all those in love, performed by our very own Ho-ku-lani.”

At first, James thought he was seeing things. The woman from the lobby moved across the stage in such a fluid motion, he thought she might be an apparition. She positioned herself not more than six feet from him. He leaned back in his chair and stared at this dark-haired beauty. She seemed to acknowledge his gaze with a slight nod and a sly smile, and then began her dance. “Ho-ku-lani,” he repeated to himself.

Mesmerized by Hokulani’s onyx hair and matching dark eyes, he tracked her flowing mane to her undulating hips and gaped when she stood in front of him. Her smile was magnetic and her hands delicate, but the way she moved her hips captivated her the most. He needed to know more about her.

 

****

Now doesn’t that make you want to see what James does to catch Hokulani’s attention? I know what he does, but I don’t do spoilers!

I want to thank Jackie for being my guest on Carol Presents. It’s been a pleasure having you.

Links:

jackiemarilla.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/jackiemarilla

http://www.amazon.com/Jackie-Marilla/e/B00J2N46VU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1403504889&sr=8-1