How Do You Connect?

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.

 

 

My Christmas Story is free

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!

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Charisma-Carol-Ritten-Smith-ebook/dp/B00PKE097A/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417370462&sr=1-1&keywords=Christmas+Charisma

Carol Presents: Becky Lower … The Road To Comfort

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 beckylowerauthor@gmail.com. Visit her website at http://www.beckylowerauthor.com

***

Note to self: I must remember to ask Becky about her connection to cowboys.

 

Road to Comfort by Becky LowerHere’s the book blurb for The Road To Comfort

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.

http://amzn.to/1ofOSuI

 

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: Alexia Adams … An Inconvenient Love

I feel very fortunate to have Alexia Adams and her brand new book,  An Inconvenient Love, which released June 23, featured on my blog today.

Here’s her short bio:
Alexia once traveled the world, meeting new people, experiencing new sights and tastes. She’s lived in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, and France, as well as spent time in Panama and Russia. When life demanded that she stay rooted in one place, she took to vicarious voyages through the characters she created in her romance novels. Her stories reflect her love of travel and feature locations as diverse as the wind-swept prairies of Canada to hot and humid cities in Asia.

*****

Right about now there are a bunch of readers who are envious of your travels, including me, Alexia. At least we can visit those wonderful places in you stories.

*****

Now here is her book info for: An Inconvenient Love
An Inconvenient Love CoverBlurb:
Neither wanted love in their marriage. But you don’t always get what you want.
Sophia Stevens is tired of struggling to pay the rent and help her brother through college. After seven years on her own, she is no farther ahead than the day she walked out on her old life and started again. So when super-sexy Italian property developer Luca Castellioni proposes a marriage of convenience, she’s intrigued. Financial security and life in a beautiful Italian villa in exchange for attending a few business functions and typing some letters seems very convenient. Until she breaks the most definite term of their arrangement: she falls in love with her husband.
Luca Castellioni lives for his job restoring beautiful buildings to their former glory. When his business expansion plans are hampered by the need for an English-speaking secretary and a wife, he does what any efficient businessman would do—he combines his requirements and selects and English administrative assistant as his bride. But when his fascination with his wife distracts him from business, he wishes there was more marriage and not so much convenience in their agreement. Too bad his wife has reconstructed her own life, without him.
When their respective lives pull them in opposite directions, they must decide: will they continue to put their businesses first, or allow love to overcome the obstacles between them?

And now the excerpt:
The following scene takes place in St. James’s Park in London, England. It’s the third meeting between the hero, Luca and the heroine, Sophia. She thinks he’s about to offer her a job. Listen in…

“I am pleased to see you again.” Perhaps it was her imagination, but his accent seemed thicker today.
He was immaculate, not a hair out of place, his suit undoubtedly costing more than she made all month. He was way beyond her league. What else could he want except a receptionist?

“You said you had a job opportunity to discuss with me.” She moved her arm away so they no longer touched. What was he playing at? Did he think because she’d slipped her hand into his at the party that she was available for an affair? Well, if so, he’d find out soon enough she wasn’t going to sleep with him just because he was rich, and powerful, and gorgeous.

“An opportunity, yes. As you know, I own a property development and restoration company in the north of Italy, based in Milan.” His low voice, so close, sounded like they were sharing an illicit secret. “I am now in a position to sign some large contracts with British and American companies, like Chet Wilkins. However, my secretary, who is very good, does not speak fluent English. I cannot afford to have misunderstandings.”

Excitement raced through her. It was a job offer. And from the sound of it, based in Italy. She was tired of London. Tired of working two, sometimes three, jobs just to make ends meet, never getting ahead. A move to Italy would be the change she longed for, a chance to escape the constant reminders of her horrific past. Before she could respond however, he continued.

“I need more than just an English-speaking secretary. I have reached a point in my life where all my business associates are married, and new clients are always asking about my personal life. It seems to disconcert them when I say I am unmarried, and it is becoming a hindrance to my success. Family is very important in Italy. It is seen as a sign of stability. However, my entire focus at the moment is on building my business. I do not have the time now, or in the foreseeable future, to romance a woman. Besides, a wife who loved me would expect me to be home every night and probably feel neglected with the amount of time I spend working.”

Sophia struggled to keep her face neutral and not let her puzzlement show. Why was he talking about his need for a wife?

“Last night at the party you proved to me you are able to read a situation and act appropriately. I also believe you are good at your job. Walter is an astute man; he would not have kept you employed if you were not a hard worker.” He leaned toward her. His voice had dropped even more, and she wondered where he was going with this so-called opportunity.

“I think, therefore, that I should align my requirements and seek an English wife. One who would be able to assist me in my business, and also provide the home life expected of a man in my position. Are you interested?” He turned to her, his eyes sweeping over her face, awaiting her response. His smile held a hint of warmth, but his eyes were guarded, as though there was something he wasn’t telling. Something that prompted him to ask her, of all people.

This was it. She’d finally snapped. Her brain had imploded from worry and boredom, and as a result she was fantasizing about marriage proposals and being swept away to live in a castle in Italy. At this point she should reach into her pocket and pull out the other glass slipper. Except the only thing in her pocket was lint. And the only romance in her life was in the books she read. Maybe Luca was the one having a meltdown? She searched his face for some sign of insanity.

He looked serious.

What would you do in Sophia’s shoes?

 

*****

Good question, Alexia. That was quite the job offer she received. I’m anxious to learn what Sophia does. Thanks so much for joining me on Carol Presents.

And thank you, Carol, for hosting me on your blog today.

You’re very welcome. Best wishes with your writing career!

*****

Social Media Links:
Website: http://alexia-adams.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexiaAdamsAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexiaAdamsAuth
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/alexiaadamsauth/
Tumblr: http://alexia-adams-author.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068526.Alexia_Adams?from_search=true

An Inconvenient Love is available from:
Crimson Romance: http://www.crimsonromance.com/?s=An+Inconvenient+Love&submit=
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Inconvenient-Love-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1402283152&sr=8-3&keywords=an+inconvenient+love
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inconvenient-Love-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHK/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1402283264&sr=8-8&keywords=an+inconvenient+love
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/Inconvenient-Love-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHK/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1402283264&sr=8-8&keywords=an+inconvenient+love
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Inconvenient-Love-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHK/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1402283264&sr=8-8&keywords=an+inconvenient+love
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnobel.com/w/an-inconvenient-love-alexia-adams/1119589486?ean=9781440583315
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/an-inconvenient-love/id881624938?mt=11
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/an-inconvenient-loveGoogle Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Alexia_Adams_An_Inconvenient_Love?id=726fAwAAQBAJ

 

Carol Presents: Lexie Stewart–Too Many Suitors

Today on Carol Presents, I am showcasing Lexie Stewart and her short story, Too Many Suitors. If you’re looking for a fun, fast read, this may be the short story for you.

Here’s Lexie’s bio:

Ever since I learned to read, I could always be found with my nose in a book–even when I was supposed to be doing something else!
I love the magic of stories, love following the twists and turns, love getting to know the strange and wonderful characters and experiencing their stories with them.
I remember a poster stuck to my bedroom wall when I was a kid. A wizard in splendid, purple robes was summoning a dragon in an explosion of red and gold flames. In a way, writers are wizards, summoning stories and souls from the wilderness of their imagination.
I live in Australia where I write and read and marvel at the blueness of the sky.

Too Many Suitors cover

Here’s the blurb:
Jessica finds herself trying to choose between three men. She’s an up front, pro-active sort of woman. So instead of staying home alone or attempting to see each of her suitors behind the backs of the other two, she invites out the three men. Gym-junkie Brad, workaholic Saul and BFF Jimmy. She explains the problem of her conflicted heart and she tells them what her solution is.
She’ll date all three!

And here’s an excerpt of TOO MANY SUITORS.

He held hand out to me. “May I have this dance?” he asked.
Cheek to cheek with Saul on the dance floor I forgot all about my problems. All I knew was the bliss of swaying slowly in the arms of the man I–
The shrill cry of a mobile phone split through the music like a lightning bolt.
The sound was coming from our table. It was Saul’s phone, of course.
I groaned. I couldn’t help it.
“I’m, I’m sorry, Jessica,” Saul stammered and hurried to his phone like a servant hurrying to their master.
The phone call turned out to be quite a long one and I was left standing there alone on the dance floor with couples dancing around me until embarrassment drove me back to my chair.
When Saul finally returned to the table we settled into conversation.
I pretended not to notice how often he checked his watch or did something with his mobile phone. He was like an alcoholic hiding a bottle of brandy under the table and taking quick sips when he thought no one was watching.
My poor father has high blood pressure and despite the doctors warnings he doesn’t do much
towards improving his health. It’s been a great strain on the rest of the family trying to get him to change his diet and cut down on stress.
I started to tell Saul about this- he had asked after all- and I felt my voice going croaky with emotion.
Saul rubbed my hands and nodded as I poured my heart out to him.
And then his phone rang.
A look of pain came to Saul’s face.
We stared at each other.
The phone kept ringing.
“I have to get this. I’m sorry,” said Saul.
I felt a flush of anger burning my face. I felt so foolish! I’d just been opening up to this man, sharing my life with him and leaving myself vulnerable and the simple truth of it was that Saul’s work was more important to him.
I glared, not at Saul, but at the phone held to his ear. I think I was jealous of it.
I sat patiently as the phone call stretched to the five minute mark. And then I snapped.
In one sudden movement I grabbed the phone out of Saul’s hand and dropped it in a bowl of soup on the table next to ours.
“Jessica,” gasped Saul. “What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with me?” I nearly yelled. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Jessica, lower your voice. People are staring.”
“I swear you’ve spent more time speaking to that lump of plastic than you have to me!”
“I’m sorry, it’s work-”
“And work comes first! I get it.” I couldn’t stop now. Everything that had been bottled up came bursting to the surface, like corked champagne. “I don’t know why I’m wasting my time on you! There’s no room in your life for a relationship. No woman could be anything other than a mistress to you because you’re already married to the job!”
“Jessica, this isn’t fair! Why can’t you understand that I’m just trying to make something of myself?”
“What are you trying to make? A robot? Mission accomplished!”

****

So will Jessica choose Saul or will it be Brad or Jimmy? Sorry, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. You’ll have to read the story to find out.
And here’s where you can buy an eBook version:
http://www.amazon.com/Too-Many-Suitors-ebook/dp/B0067LGQ4A

Thanks, Lexie, for being a guest on Carol Presents! I look forward to reading your next short story!

Carol Presents: Peggy Bird … Sparked by Love

I am very pleased to introduce you to another excellent author, Peggy Bird, author of Sparked by Love, plus many other wonderful books. I’ll let Peggy tell you a little about herself.

Born in Philadelphia, I’ve spent most of my adult life in the Pacific Northwest where I have happily grown webs between my toes and moss behind my ears. Over my adult life, I pursued a number of careers—nurse, legislative staffer, lobbyist, public affairs consultant, non-profit association executive, workshop teacher, oh, and mother and wife—before deciding to leave it all for what I’ve loved through every stage of life—writing.

But instead of the intricately plotted mysteries and deeply moving memoir pieces I assumed I’d write, the characters in every piece of fiction I started wanted their love stories told. Even when I had many of them hanging around questionable people or involved in murder, intrigue and general mayhem.

That’s how my Crimson Romances were born. All the stories are set in some of my favorite places in the country—Portland, Oregon, the Puget Sound, Philadelphia. My second series, A Holiday For Romance, will be released beginning in June of 2014 and will focus on some of my favorite times of the year—Independence Day, Halloween, New Year’s Eve and a few more.

Still not mysteries but I’m working on it. I’m working on it.

Sparked by Love cover
Blurb:
Artist Leo Wilson has been awarded a grant to install glass fireworks at the Fourth of July celebration at Fort Vancouver, Washington where thousands of people will see his work. It’s the chance of a lifetime for him. All he has to do is get a few permits from the city and he’ll be set. But the crabby bureaucrat who answers his phone calls is making it impossible for him to get what he needs.

Shannon Morgan is responsible for organizing the huge annual celebration of Independence Day on the grounds of the Historic Reserve, one of the most significant pieces of real estate in the region. The only part of the job she hates is dealing with some fussy artist who thinks it’s all about him. He’s just like a couple of other men she’s known—her mostly absent father, her disappearing ex-boyfriend—who cared more about themselves than they did about her.

When Leo decides to confront the cause of his trouble in person he discovers a beautiful young woman who is as surprised by him as he is by her. A walk through the parade grounds where the event will take place settles their differences and sparks a mutual interest between them. Dinner, a movie and a few torrid kisses take it from spark to flame.

But then the father she has always wanted in her life appears—with her ex-boyfriend. Shannon faces a dilemma—how far is she willing to go to have her father around? And why is he hanging out with her ex? Are they hiding something from her? A lot rides on Shannon finding the answers to those questions.

If she makes the right decisions, she and Leo will create fireworks that rival the pyrotechnics that light up the sky on July Fourth. Privately.

Excerpt:
About fifteen minutes later, Leo returned, barefoot with his shirtsleeves rolled up and a necktie in his hand. “Ready?”

“Sure. Where’re we going?”


“I’m going to put this over your eyes so you can’t see and … ”


“Is the surprise some kinky sex thing?”


“Damn. I never thought about a kinky sex thing. I’ll have to remember that for another time. You’ll have to settle for what I put together tonight.” He motioned for her to stand. “Close your eyes.” He tied the tie around her head so her eyes were mostly covered. “Too tight? Or uncomfortable?”

“No, it’s fine. Now what?”

“Now I’m going to take you to the surprise.” From behind, he gently guided her in the direction he wanted her to go. When he stopped, she smelled something flowery, sweet. And she could hear soft instrumental music, the kind played in spas or as background for meditation.

He slipped the tie down around her neck and said, “Voila.”

While he undid the knot and removed the tie, she blinked so she could focus. He’d led her to the bathroom, not the bedroom. The overhead light was off. In the huge claw foot tub she’d never used, opting for the stall shower, he had drawn a bath and filled it with bubbles. Around the room, on the shelf above the sink and the windowsill, on the radiator and the back of the toilet, were candles—maybe a dozen of them—each one in a glass vessel, cup or vase of some sort so the light from the candles glowed through the glass in jewel-like colors. Looking more closely at several vessels, Shannon could see the candles didn’t quite match the elegance of the candleholders but it hardly mattered.

“Oh, Leo, it’s beautiful.”

***
Wonderful excerpt, Peggy! I gotta say I love romantic guys like Leo. How sweet of him to prepare such a luxurious bath for her… or maybe it’s for the both of them. Hmm, the possiblities!
Thank you so much for letting us get to know you a bit better, Peggy, and of course for sharing a snippet of SPARKED BY LOVE. I look forward to reading it!

Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/Sparked-Love-Holiday-Romance-Crimson-ebook/dp/B00KI2EYHA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400910345&sr=1-1&keywords=Sparked+by+Love

http://www.crimsonromance.com/crimson-romance-ebooks/crimson-romance-book-genres/contemporary-romance-novels/sparked-by-love/

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/Search?Query=Sparked+By+Love+by+Peggy+Bird

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sparked-by-love-peggy-bird/1119589485?ean=9781440570391

Gotta Love Febuary’s $1.99 Crimson Romance Sale

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day

If you’ve been thinking about love, you’re in the right month. Not just because this is the month to give Valentines, but because this is the month that love is for sale–er, that didn’t sound quite right! What I mean to say is that for the month of February, you can buy a whole stack of e-book romances for a $1.99 each. Yup. Crimson Romance’s are on sale!

Whether you like sweet, spicy or something in between; historical or contemporary; time travel or paranormal; werewolves or vampires; or a combination of several genres, there is probably a book –likely more than one–that would satisfy your reading needs.

So it’s time to stock up on some great books at great prices. And that’s not all! If you phone in within three minutes you will receive, absolutely free, a …. oops I was going to include a hot hunk for your entertainment, but the shipping would be too much. Sorry. But I’m sure you can find someone on your own. 😉

If you’re not sure where to begin you can always start with my historical novel, Stubborn Hearts. It’s sweet, but a little sexy. You can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Stubborn-Hearts-Crimson-Romance-Ritten-ebook/dp/B008O8JYY8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391308225&sr=8-1&keywords=stubborn+hearts

or you can go to http://amzn.to/1hOhqY2 to see all the books.  Happy reading!

Image

Old Fashioned Christmas

Sometimes I think it would be wonderful to travel back 100 years and celebrate Christmas the way it used to be. It was less about shopping and more about a baby boy born in a manger. On Christmas Eve, people bundled up in heavy coats with scarves, mitts and blankets. They placed foot warmers in the sleigh and enjoyed a nippy sleigh ride to the little white church with the tall steeple for the candle lit service. The church walls seemed to expand with sounds of Christmas Carols. The pews were packed with families. These were the people you’d known throughout the year: the ones you visited with in the general store, the neighbors you helped during the harvest, the ones you invited to share a meal and the ones who welcomed you into their homes.

Can you feel it–the warmth and love shared by friends and loved ones? Can you feel it–the hope for the world delivered with the birth of a child?

My wish for you is to experience an old-fashioned, Christ-filled Christmas this year. Spend time with those you love. Share with those less fortunate. And give thanks for The Savior born in a manger. May your upcoming year be filled with blessings.

The premise

Can the love of an honorable man be enough to forgive a woman’s one felonious act? Should that woman risk everything to find out?

When Tom Carver, Whistle Creek’s blacksmith, tackles a youth prowling in his barn, he certainly doesn’t expect that youth to be the recently-hired school teacher, Beth Patterson. Her feeble excuses invite his suspicion, so for the next few weeks, he devises “chance” encounters with her so he can watch her every move.

Hiding from the law, Beth had hopes of starting afresh in the town of Whistle Creek. But with one brother obsessed with stealing a horse, and the other younger one befriending the town’s intrusive blacksmith, she fears her ugly past will be uncovered.

Tom’s deliberate encounters with Beth reveal she is a deeply devoted sister, and a beautiful, loving woman. Soon desire expels his distrust and he purposely courts her romantically. Denying her own yearnings, Beth knows she must reject his advances for the sake of her small family.

Surely Tom, a decent and respected man, would condemn her for her one tragic deed. Wouldn’t he?