Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Halloween! Welcome to the Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop. With over 60 authors participating, there are plenty of opportunities to win prizes, including one of the grand prizes.  

Enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post for a chance to win the hop-wide grand prize.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win an e-book copy of my first novel, Flowers for Megan, which was re-released in September by Salt Run Publishing and includes a bonus chapter and a very Halloween-worthy new cover. I'll be drawing for the winner Halloween night.

Interested in winning a cute little owl-shaped Scentsy burner plug-in and an autumn-scented scent bar? Just like my Facebook page. When I reach 200 followers, I'll be drawing a winner. Here's the link

I envy bloggers who can just think up things to talk about. I am not one of them. I open my blog, and I write ten sentences - well, I write one and delete it, write another and delete it, etc., ten times. That's ten sentences, right?

I'm a writer, so you would  think it would be easy for me to write a brief blog post or short story, publish it to my blog, and go about my business. You would think that, but you would be wrong.
Writing a full length book isn't as difficult for me as trying to come up with a topic for a blog post and write about it.

It would make sense this time of year for me to write about autumn, which just so happens to be my favorite season. You would think I could find a few words to say about my favorite foods being in season this time of year, particularly mustard greens. You would think I could write about the smells, which aren't limited to cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. (Although I appear to be in the minority, I'm of the firm belief not everything needs to smell or taste like pumpkin pie.)

You would think I could write about pumpkins, one of my favorite things in the entire universe, or my favorite color - orange- which is the autumnal color. You would think I could find the words to describe the cooler, crisper air - yes, even in Florida, the air changes this time of year - or the excitement of seeing all the holiday decorations lining the shelves of the stores. You may even think I should be able to discuss how totally okay I am with Jack-o-Lantern, Tom the Turkey, and Santa all sharing the same space on store shelves.

You would think the words would just flow from me like water from a well, filling up this blog with my in-depth knowledge and opinions of all things "Fall". But, of course, you would be wrong.


Twelve years ago, Megan Hardy came home from school to find most of her family brutally murdered. Now she is leading a peaceful and contented life helping others cope with grief. Until she begins having nightmares that bring her closer and closer to seeing the face of a killer...
Twelve years ago, Will Kincaid was Megan's closest friend. Unable to deal with his and Megan's shared agony after her family's murders, he left town intending never to return. Now he has no choice but to go back and face the terrible memories, and the girl he left behind...

Will's arrival in town stirs forgotten emotions, long dormant memories, and awakens the evil that stalked them that summer day twelve years before. Suddenly, people Megan cares about are turning up murdered, and with each victim, the killer sends her a message.

In her mind, the pieces are falling into place. She knows she recognized the face inside the killer's mask, but will her fractured memory piece itself together before it's too late? As the killer closes in, Megan and Will must face the fact that the love they once had for each other still simmers between them—before Megan becomes the final victim.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Coming Soon...

Even though the official release date for Broken Ties isn't November 14, 2014, the pre-order information showed up on Amazon this week! 

I've always dreamed of the day I'd walk in a bookstore and see my books on the shelves. So far, that hasn't happened in the solid, brick and mortar world, but it's still thrilling when it happens in the digital world!

The next few weeks are going to be busy. I'm participating in the Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop all next week. Come back Monday to learn about chances to win great prizes and learn about some great authors on the blog hop!

Then, to celebrate the release of  Broken Ties, I'll be taking a blog tour. I'll be doing a few contests for free books and things during the tour so follow along.

As the holidays approach, I'm looking forward to some other opportunities to get out and meet and greet readers. 

Come back or like me on Facebook 
to keep track of what's coming up. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cowboy Up with Guest Author Andrea Downing

A big welcome to Andrea Downing, author of Lawless LoveLoveland and the soon-to-be-released Dearest Darling


With my first book, Loveland, currently on sale until 26th September,  it’s rather a reflective period for me.  I remember the research trip to Colorado and Wyoming I did—the first of several—and the pile of memoirs I consulted to get the language and characters correct.  Other facts I had to research for Loveland were the household products in use in the 1880s, as well as the foods they consumed.  Perhaps the most famous of these for cowpunchers was Arbuckles’ Coffee.  

Right up through the Civil War, coffee was primarily sold ‘green’ to be roasted by the consumer.  This was done in a skillet over the campfire on the range or in a wood burning stove at home in small batches:  while green coffee beans could be stored indefinitely, roasted beans could be rancid within a couple of weeks.  Furthermore, such individual roasting was inconsistent, and one burnt bean could ruin an entire batch. Beans sold by grocers pre-roasted were subject to not only this inconsistency but also to mixed quality and to the vagaries of the grocers’ scales.  

In 1871, the Arbuckles Bros. Co. was formed.  The Arbuckles’ innovation was to pack roasted coffee beans, ready for the customer.  John Arbuckle then went on to invent an egg and sugar glaze that “closes the pores of the coffee, and thereby all the original strength and aroma are retained.” (from the back of an Arbuckles’ trade card, circa 1890s). In its l lb. packages, the coffee was an instant hit and Arbuckles’ Ariosa Coffee was born.  By the 1880s, Arbuckles’ was the largest coffee importer in the world.

Part of their success was due to their marketing innovations.  The bags of coffee were packed in sturdy crates, which eventually found their use in grocery store shelving and other impromptu uses such as repairing homes for the Navajo in AZ.  Now collectible, one crate that survived intact recently sold at auction for $300.  The bags themselves had an attractive, bright red and yellow label and contained a peppermint stick; this proved to be a means by which Cookie could bribe cowboys to grind the beans.  Arbuckles’ was also the first, in 1873, to advertise coffee on a full color handbill.  And best promotions of all were the coupons along with trade cards.  The trade cards were works of art in themselves, and the different series included all the US states, countries of the world, humorous sketches, patriotic scenes, and maps.  The reverse side could be anything from an ordinary postcard backing to advertising slogans, recipes, or a picture of the factory. Now collectors’ items, they are often available on eBay, and a cookbook of the recipes has also been released.

  Although the company changed hands several times, it has recently been resurrected and so, you can ‘Cowboy Up’ with a cup of Arbuckles’ and settle down to read Loveland.  And when you’ve finished that, you might just go on to Dearest Darling, coming out October 8th.

Thanks so much for having me here today, Gloria.  Much appreciated!


LOVELAND is on sale from 12-26 September. 

LOVELAND  by Andrea Downing

Genre:  western historical romance
Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press

When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life...

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.

Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?


The light was failing and the birds were settling with their evening calls. Somewhere in the pasture a horse nickered. She sensed Jesse was there, watching, but she never turned as he stood at the fence. She heard him climb over and ease up behind her. He took the coiled rope from her in his left hand and slid his right hand over hers on the swing end, almost forcing her backward into his arms.

She thought of paintings and statues she had seen, imagining his naked arms now, how the muscles would form them into long oblique curves, how he probably had soft downy fair hair on his forearms, how his muscle would slightly bulge as he bent his arm. His voice was soft in her ear, and she could feel his breath on her neck like a whispered secret.

“Gentle-like, right to left, right to left to widen the noose, keep your eye on the post—are you watchin’ where we’re goin’?”

He made the throw and pulled in the rope to tighten the noose. Alex stood there, his hand still entwined with hers and, for a moment, she wished they could stand like that forever. Then she took her hand away and faced him. For a second he rested his chin on the top of her head, then straightened again and went to get the noose off the post while coiling in the rope. She looked up at him in the fading light and saw nothing but kindness in his face, simplicity and gentleness that was most inviting. A smile spread across her face as he handed her the coiled rope and sauntered away, turning once to look back at her before he opened the gate. Emptiness filled her like a poisoned vapor seeking every corner of her being, and she stood with the rope in her hand listening to the ring of his spurs as his footsteps retreated.  

About Andrea:

Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born,  instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK.   She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 20 ranches throughout the west.  Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards.  Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards.   Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, and comes (came?) out Oct. 8th and Dances of the Heart, another full length novel, comes out in the next few months.

Links to social media/website/etc.:   



Twitter:  @andidowning




Buy Links for LOVELAND:  

Amazon:  (print)

Barnes and Noble: (ebook)

The Wild Rose Press:

Review snippets:

"… Secondary characters are especially well developed and distinct. Love scenes are sensual. Loveland appears to be Downing's first published novel, which makes it an even more remarkable achievement.  This is one of those rare occasions when I'd go higher than five stars and the author truly deserves it."

Melissa Snark, Snarkology

"…Great storytelling! Even though the happy ending is a given, the journey was much more satisfying because of the snappy dialogue, the pivotal plotting, and the realistic progression of Alex and Jesse's emotional connection. I'm happy to give this book Five Stars!

Lynda Coker, Between the Pages


 Be sure to get your copy of Dearest Darling beginning on October 8, 2014.

 Stuck in a life of servitude to her penny-pinching brother, Emily Darling longs for a more exciting existence. When a packet with travel tickets, meant for one Ethel Darton, accidentally lands on her doormat, Emily sees a chance for escape. Having turned down the dreary suitors that have come her way, is it possible a new existence also offers a different kind of man?

Daniel Saunders has carved out a life for himself in Wyoming—a life missing one thing: a wife. Having scrimped and saved to bring his mail-order bride from New York, he is outraged to find in her stead a runaway fraud. Even worse, the impostor is the sister of his old enemy.

But people are not always as they seem, and sometimes the heart knows more than the hea

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Romance Review is having a Fall Into Love Party this month with daily chances to win free books and other prizes. I'm giving away an ebook of The Butterfly Game on September 5th. Just click on the link below the announcement to be taken there.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Spotlight on Author J.C. McKenzie and Shift Happens

    I think I've said this before, and you may have already realized it, but I'll say it again: I'm the worst blogger in the universe. I'm terrible at keeping my blog up-to-date, and half the time, I forget I have guests on the calendar. That being said, I'd like to thank my guest today, J.C. McKenzie for putting up with my scattered brain and letting me spotlight her book, Shift Happens.

      So, without further ado, I'm turning the spotlight toward J.C. and Shift Happens:  




Andrea McNeilly's job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire's human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can't afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

Wick's job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.


A large black wolf trotted into the clearing to confront me. He had a white-tipped snout, white boots and mitts and would have looked cute had he not been the most intimidating Werewolf I’d ever seen. Standing tall and solid, power rolled off of his body. His eyes bore into mine. I sniffed the air. The strong Werewolf scent of rosemary swirled around me, strong and seductive, laced with sugar. A weird fuzzy sensation spread out from my chest. Whoa.


My other form growled low, demanding release, straining against my skin. The energy of the wolves built—layers upon layers of excitement and impatience. The air pulsated with anticipation. They could sense the imminent kill.

Let me out! My other form repeated, throwing her power against my built up walls, howling in defiance.

When the energy of the Werewolves surged, I finally released her. My wolf form flowed out fast, wiping out the feline in little more than a heartbeat. Smaller, weaker and the size of a natural wolf, a Shifter in this form was no match for a Werewolf, especially a dominant one. I had time to meet the eyes of the Alpha for only an instant before the pack leapt forward. My limbs shook. It went against every instinct ingrained within me, but I rolled onto my back—submissive.

Buy Links:

About the Author:

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Contact Information:

July/Aug Giveaway Rafflecopter Code: (July 16-Aug13)
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Big Easy Blog Tour

Better late than never, right? I hope so. It's my week to appear on the Big Easy Blog Tour, but with my scattered brain and Memorial Day combined, I missed posting on Monday. So I'm doing it today. 

Author Sharon Drane invited me to participate. Visit her blog to read her post for the tour and to see the beautiful cover of her upcoming release, Touch the Sky. Go backwards from there, and like a family tree, you can trace the roots of this tour as close to its beginnings as you'd like. 

Since the purpose of this tour is to discuss our writing process in the hopes of helping other aspiring writers,  I was instructed to answer four questions as part of this tour. Here they are, along with my answers

1) What am I working on?

I just finished the first round of edits on Broken Ties, which will be released just in time for Christmas this year. I'm also working on edits for the re-release of my first book, Flowers for Megan. It should be available in the next few months. As far as new projects, I always have several works in progress. The one I'm working on most regularly right now is one I have titled Deceptive Cadence. It has a beginning, middle and end and is fully fleshed out, but I can't quite get it to where it needs to be and I'm having a rather hard time pinpointing why. When I get to the point where I can't beat my head against that wall any longer, I work on my historical inspirational romance, The Stonecarver's Bride, for a while. 

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That's a hard question to answer. I guess my best answer would be that it's mine. No two writers are going to write the same, regardless of whether they write in the same genre. I firmly believe two writers could be given the exact same parameters of a novel, and even be told the story step by step, but when they sat down to write it, the two stories would be told in completely different ways, because each of our voices is shaped by our own experiences, personalities, etc. That's why we readers continue to read the same basic story line over and over again - because each author's voice makes it a totally new experience. 

3) Why do I write what I do?

Because I absolutely love it. I've loved romance since the very first time I heard the story of Cinderella, or maybe even before. I love every moment from Once Upon a Time to Happily Ever After, and I love creating all those moments in between! I am a firm believer in hope and love and happiness, and I want my hero and heroine to know all of those - after a few people die, of course. 

4) How does my writing process work?

I don't know. I just write. I was more of a pantster before I worked full-time outside my home. Then, I had the ability to just be absorbed in the story so that it was all kind of happening and I was writing it down as it unfolded in my head. Now, I have to have a bit more of an idea where it might go. Although it rarely goes exactly where I think it will, it helps me to have some idea of it before I start so I can get all my ducks in a row. So I'm not really a pantster or a plotter. I'm more like a duck herder. (Who kills people.)

The only thing I know for certain at the start of a book is there will be a happy ending. And just for the record, I mean a definite happy ending. The heroine or hero in my book is never going to get hit by a bus or a logging truck, murdered, or know any other horrible death. None of my stories are going to end with a "happy despite his or her bitter grief" moment for the hero or heroine. At least, not if I can help it. I despise that in movies, and I get even more caught up in books, so reading that kind of ending is even more devastating. I won't do it to my readers. No way. No how. Although I'm fairly certain I'm now going to get a wonderful idea for a tearjerker that ends just that way. (I have a long list of things I swore wouldn't happen and they did anyway.) 

Following me on the blog tour next week are: 

Joyce Scarbrough 
is a Southern woman weary of seeing herself and her peers portrayed in books and movies as either post-antebellum debutantes or barefoot hillbillies รก la Daisy Duke, so all her heroines are smart, unpretentious women who refuse to be anyone but themselves. Joyce has three published novels and also has short stories featured in several anthologies. She writes both adult and YA fiction and has lived all her life in beautiful LA (lower Alabama). Her blog is called Blue Attitude and you can find it here

Shirley McCann Shirley’s fiction has appeared in Woman’s World, Alfred Hitchcock, and numerous other magazines. Her first contracted novel with The Wild Rose Press, Anonymously Yours, is now available exclusively through Kindle at Anonymously Yours

Please be sure to visit their blogs!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Serenade with Savannah Young

Author Savannah Young is here to share her Wilde Brother Series and serenade us with the music of singer/songwriter Dan Patrick Fulton, whose lyrics can be found in all the Wilde Brother books. Enjoy the following video from Dan Patrick Fulton and read on for more about WILDE RIDERS, including an excerpt...




WILDE RIDERS is the first novel in a spicy new contemporary romance series about four sexy brothers, their small-town bar and their local country band. WILDE RIDERS can be read as a STAND ALONE NOVEL or as part of the SERIES. 

Cooper Wilde spent his entire adolescence counting the days until he could escape rural northwest New Jersey. Now at 26, he can't believe he's coming back. But his late father's bar, Haymakers, is in financial trouble and his older brother, Jake, has asked for Cooper's help. 

Riley Smith, 25, is fresh out of her Ivy League MBA program and wants to make an impression on her employer, H & C Bank. Her first solo assignment is a fraud investigation on a business loan they made to Haymakers. Even though Old Town is less than 90 minutes from New York City, Riley feels like she's stepped into another world in this remote, one-bar town. Riley can't wait to do her business and get back to the city as quickly as her sports car will take her...until she meets Cooper Wilde. He's not like the other guys in this rural town and Riley feels inexplicably attracted to him. 

If you like your trucks loud, your beer cold and your men'll love WILDE RIDERS.


“There’s plenty of room in my closest. I don’t wear a lot of dress clothes. Mostly just T-shirts and jeans. But I’ll empty out the top drawer of the dresser for you.”

She walks over to the closet and opens it. There are just a few miscellaneous dress shirts hanging there, along with some spring jackets. The rest of the closet is empty except for my guitar cases.

Like a magnet, she’s immediately attracted to the guitars. “Do you play?”

“Not very well.”

“You don’t own a lot of stuff but you’ve got two guitars. It must be something that’s important to you.”

“My brothers and I have a band. Wilde Riders. We play at the bar on Friday and Saturday nights when there’s not another band in town.”

When she glances back at me she has a glimmer of admiration in her eyes. I don’t think she’ll be quite as impressed when she actually hears me play.

“Will you play for me? After I get everything put away?”

“I’m not much of a performer. I leave that to Jake and Cooper, who really front the band.”

She raises an eyebrow. “I bet you’re a lot better than you give yourself credit for.”

“Put your stuff away and then we’ll see how good you think I am.”

She quickly puts all of her new clothes in the closet and dresser and then sits on the bed as if she’s waiting for me to perform for her.

Few things make me nervous. I’m rarely nervous on stage. But seeing her sitting there, just waiting for me to play, my heart feels like it’s going to jump right out of my chest.

I remove my acoustic guitar from its case and sit down on the bed next to Gracie. I strum a few chords and then begin to play ROAD SONG by Dan Patrick Fulton. It’s a new song we’ll be playing this weekend. I’m not a great singer but I do my best with the lyrics.

Five hundred miles of highway stretch before me,
It takes so long to get to where I go,
Five hundred miles, I don't know which end home is,
But Lord I'm feeling right at home out on the road
'Cause that old song is playing on the radio,
And that old song is singing out my creed,
That old guitar will bring me such sweet comfort,
And on the road that old guitar is all I need
When everything is changing,
And I can't seem to find my place,
When my life keeps rearranging,
That change blows cold against my face
Five hundred miles, awash in mass confusion,
And thing's ain't clear as each one passes by,
And it's too hard to see through life's illusions,
But I know I've got nothing left to do but try
 When everything is changing,
And I can't seem to find my place,
When my life keeps rearranging,
That change blows cold against my face
When nothing stays the way it is, and nothing turns out like I wished,
When nothing feels the way it should, and I’m not feeling quite as good,
And when I travel all alone, that southern music saves my soul,
When all I love has passed me by, that southern music makes me fly
'Cause that old song is easing all my worry,
And that old song is heaven as I ride,
Five hundred miles, but I ain't got no hurry,
'Cause when I reach the end I'll miss the other side.

When I finish singing, I notice Gracie is staring at me with a glimmer in her eyes. “You’re really good.”

“Jake’s the singer in the family.” I lay my guitar back in its case.

“If he’s even half as good as you, he must be amazing,” she says.

I frown. “Now I know you’re just trying to make me feel good.”

“I’m not,” she insists. “You are really good.”

“I get by.”

*  *  *  *  * 

Learn more about the author at: 

Learn more about Dan Patrick Fulton at his website