Thursday, November 29, 2012

Author spotlight - Susan Noble

I am proud to welcome Texas fantasy author Susan Noble into the author spotlight today!

Here's a little bit of what Susan says about herself. "Ever since I was young, I have always liked to read. It seemed natural that I also liked to write. Given my love for dragons and magic, it was not hard for me to decide to become the author of fantasy novels. Of course, being a cat lover, I decided to throw a telepathic cat into the mix and thus started my trilogy called The Elemental."

Susan's brand new release is entitled, The Search, which will be free through Amazon Nov. 29th to Dec. 1st.

Book Blurb

For over a thousand years, telepathic cats known as STACs have faithfully searched for those with power over the elements looking for the one foretold to save the Land. None have questioned their duty to fulfill this ancient task.

But when Tosh’s latest charge is murdered because of his Elemental powers, Tosh considers abandoning The Search. Will a glimpse of the future destruction be enough to change his mind?

Book Excerpt

Tosh spent the rest of the afternoon jumping from branch to branch. The wolves patiently followed him. Then he heard a roaring sound. If he remembered his geography well enough, the Bowen River should be nearby. Two trees later, he saw the edge of the gorge. After a hop to the next tree, he could see the water rushing by. The wolves circled around the base of the tree.

Tosh surveyed the area. The tree he sat in was at the very edge of the gorge. Below him was a steep incline of about fifteen feet to the water. It was too far to the other side to jump. The water was certainly too fast for him to swim even if he could find a way down to the river. Then he spied a fallen log a few hundred feet upstream. It was a perfect bridge for him to cross the gorge, but he would have to time his crossing just perfectly as he would surely have the wolves on his heels.

He continued leaping from branch to branch until he was as near to the fallen log as he could get. He studied it wondering how much weight it would support. It should easily hold his weight but if the wolves followed him, he feared it might break. He glanced down at the waiting wolves. He sat, tapping his tail on the branch, as he thought of a way to distract them. He wondered what would happen if he spoke to the wolves. He had never used the mind connection with anyone other than another STAC or an Elemental. He wasn’t sure it was even possible, but it might at least shock them and give him just a few seconds head start.

He climbed down the branches until he was on one of the lowest ones. The wolves’ ears perked up, and they excitedly circled the tree.

Run! Get out of here!

The wolves jumped and whimpered, looking for the source of the voice. Tosh didn’t hesitate. He dropped to the ground and ran toward the log. He was halfway across it when he heard a noise behind him. He glanced back. The young wolf that had originally chased him was following him. The log rocked slightly. Tosh hurried. He was almost to the other side. The cracking of the log echoed across the gorge. Tosh didn’t have time to jump as the log collapsed into the water below taking him and the wolf with it.
You can contact Susan at:

Buy link for The Search -

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fall First Paragraph Party - Day Two


I have some great clips for you today from a variety of new books, so get yourself a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy!

The full moon was reflecting on the shimmering water of the lake. An owl hooting in the distance broke the quiet of the evening and startled the young woman. Momentarily, she was yanked back into an awareness of her surroundings.

A single coherent thought flashed through her mind; what in the hell are you doing out here Angel?

Her vision was pulled once more into darkened oblivion. Her thin night gown swayed against her lithe, supple body as she walked in the pale moon light. Goose bumps raised on her arms as each step carried her closer to the red glow in the grass. Something she couldn't understand or break the hold of was drawing her closer.
Kneeling down she reached into the dew laden tuft of grass. Tendrils of red light reached out and wrapped around her hand. Levitating out of the grass the crystal floated to just above... – from LITURGY by Brian Bigelow

This will also be in a short story compilation coming up soon.


Finally found the missing eighteen dollars, Angela said to herself as she balanced her checkbook in her Money program. I can go to bed now. When she heard her cell phone playing Heard it Through the Grapevine, she saw on the Caller ID it was QTEE. Haven’t heard from you in over a month. Can’t you remember we’re three hours later here in Raleigh than you are in Vegas? She clicked the phone on and said, “Hello Laura,” expecting her friend’s usual “Hello Beautiful,” but a male voice responded.
"Ms. Angela, this is Carlton, Laura’s son. She would have wanted me to tell you. She died last month.”

Angela gasped. “NO. What happened?”

“You probably know she had heart trouble. I went to check on her that day, and she had died in her sleep.” – from TELL THEM I DIED by Sarah Gordon Weathersby

Buy link:

“What is it that every girl has that every guy wants?” Cicely asked her three cousins, Karen, Brook and Dawn.

They all playfully shrugged. Then Cicely twisted her hips around and wagged her backside to reveal the answer.

“You are so nasty,” Karen said to her.

“But it is so true,” Cicely replied. “It’s like my momma always said, ‘You have to use what you’ve got to get what you want from a man.’”

Of course her mother never really said those words to her directly. Surely that is not something a mother would tell her 12-year-old daughter. Besides, how many 12-year-old girls would know the meaning of that phrase if they happened to hear it? - from "AN ODE FOR ORCHIDS by James Fant

Patricia laid her lime green Gucci bag on the table. Sitting her car keys next to the bag on the table in the foyer, Patricia began to riffle through the stack of letters that she had gotten out of the mailbox. The fourth letter drew her interest and immediate attention. Written in a rushed and somehow distantly familiar handwriting, was her name and address and at the top where the return address should have been it was blank. However, she saw that the postmark was from Atlanta. She never received any mail from Atlanta here at the house, it was always sent to her Post Office Box, so her curiosity was aroused. Tossing the other letters down next to her purse, she sat on the chair next to the table and slipped one Orange Opal manicured fingernail under the envelope’s seal to begin opening it. – from REFLECTIONS OF PROMISES by C. Michelle Ramsey

Buy link:


White capped waves rocked the sides of the boat. He stumbled forward. He’d only been on a ship once. He and his brother had once been Londoners, shifties who longed for the wilds of Africa. Together they’d boarded a slave ship, taking jobs in the slave trade with no intention of capturing and taking slaves back to work for the rich. It had been their ticket to freedom, a chance to live the life they craved. A life in the wild. The life of a lion. – from UNCAGED by Alisha Page


Sometimes, in relationships, we don’t always know the right way to go, but, in my opinion, when one has made up her mind to do something, it’s best to let it be. In the end, somebody always ends up getting hurt, but I’m choosing not to be the fool. In this case, I have to stay on top of it all.
When that b@#*h showed up at my door, all kinds of s#*t went through my head. Trying to be the bigger woman probably made me look like a damn fool in her eyes. The heart tends to beat to another tune when love is involved, but I wasn’t ready to face the music. I listened to the lies, shed my silent tears. In the end, I am still a winner in my eyes. Destiny played all of her cards until she was down to the last one— me! – from DESTINY IS ALL I NEED by EbonyNicole

AND orders may be placed at

Willow’s phone went off in the folds of her black gown. The dread washed into her from all sides. Not now, she thought. Kyle dabbed at his mouth with the white linen napkin and his gaze dropped to the table surface. Willow fought the urge to cover her phone with her hands, as if he could see the thing through the butter cream tablecloth. From NATURE OF THE BEAST by Stephanie Freeman

Buy links:


I was born into bondage, she thought, just because I was born a girl. She stared at the ceiling, tears pooling in her eyes. First my parents controlled my life. Then came college, which was only an illusion of freedom. Every decision I made was really my parent's decision, an amalgam of their choices pre-made for me through eighteen years of brainwashing my psyche. I was mindlessly programmed to choose for myself the things my parents had already chosen for me. Like marriage-the tightest shackle with the shortest chain. She turned over and glared at her husband's side of the bed, now empty. Squeezing her eyes shut, she pictured a rich teak box lined with pink silk and wondered if that would be her final prison, or the gateway to the only freedom she would ever know. A kaleidoscope of white dresses with blood-red stains danced through her thoughts like the prequel to a horrifying nightmare and she burrowed deeper under the covers, willing sleep to come. – from The Complete Lily Lansing by Bastian Caldwell

Buy links:


Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Party Time!

Welcome to the Fall First Paragraph Party!

I love sharing the work of other authors, and I really appreciate those authors that dropped by over the past month to feature their books. Since I still have about nine days, before Ain’t Too Proud to Beg releases, I will be sharing the opening paragraphs to some amazing books. The clips are short and are provided to whet your reading appetites. If you click on the links, you’ll be able to read more about each book.

Who knows? You just might find the perfect Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift


“This is the last time I wear this dress.”

“Oh, please, Ebony,” Yasmine, my best friend and roommate, yelled in my ear.

The music pounding out of the nightclub’s speakers made it nearly impossible to hear her.

“Stop fidgeting. You look uncomfortable,” she added, winking at the bartender who handed us our drinks.

No matter how many times I adjusted the hem of my dress, it was impossible to ignore the warm air tickling the backs of my thighs as people pushed past me in the crowded bar. It would take more fabric to keep my shapely derriere from involuntary exposure.

“Thanks.” I slipped money into the bartender’s tip jar, and he rewarded me with a gorgeous smile. “For the record, I am uncomfortable.” I turned to face Yasmine. “Freakum dresses are your thing, not mine.”

Yasmine laughed. “True, true, everyone’s not blessed blessed with a body like mine.”



"I up and left him for another man, so what on God's green earth would make him want to take me back?" Deborah had been asking herself this question the entire drive to the book signing. And now, as she parked outside of the Barnes and Noble on 356 in Pickerington, Ohio, she still had no answer. Dreadfully, she knew her answer lay inside that one-level bookstore, in which the smell of flavored caffeine from the little Starbucks in the front corner of the store would assault her nose from the moment she stepped inside. - from THE SUNDAY ONLY CHRISTIAN by E. N. Joy


I sat on my front porch and closed my eyes as the warm rays of the sun bathed my face. I smiled. It was a small smile, but it was a smile nonetheless. Freedom. That’s what the sun felt like. Freedom. For so many years, I’d coveted it, craved it. Now, I had it and I honestly dd not know what to do with it. – from See Me by Adrienne Thompson

Kindle and paperback:


Stop back on Wednesday to read some more clips!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What I learned from writing this book

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg finally went to the editor last Sunday. This was the tenth book I’ve written, the sixth to be published, but it was the hardest one for me to write. I learned some lessons while writing this book.

Yesterday, I searched the entries here to try to figure out when I started the story, and discovered it was back in February! On March 9th I posted an entry that said I was only three chapters in and was experiencing all kinds of distractions. Well, those distractions continued, and the final manuscript didn’t go to my editor until November 18th. That’s an awfully long time for me to complete a book.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about this, and I’ve realized the three major issues that stood in my way of reaching The End.

  • My first realization was that I desperately miss my critique group.

We disbanded around the first of the year because all of us are now published, and  nobody has the time to do line-by-line critiques for five other members. Over the past six years, those ladies read every single word I wrote. They let me know what they liked and disliked, what wasn’t working and how I could improve the story. They were invaluable to me.

  • The second roadblock was that ATPTB was the first manuscript I’ve written using my new laptop. Previously, I did most of my first drafts on an Alphasmart. I love the convenience of having the laptop, especially being able to switch from Word to Google or as I write, but the laptop is both a blessing and a curse.

Since I have the attention span of a gnat, more often than not, the temptation to stay offline check my e-mail, read Tweets and Facebook posts, look at the pretty pictures on Pinterest, etc. was just too great for me to withstand. I don’t know how many hours I lost sitting at the laptop doing stuff that had nothing to do with writing.

·        This was the first manuscript for which I didn’t do an extensive outline and a storyboard. 
     The total outline amounted to only five pages, less than half of what I usually have, which meant I had to do twice as much work on the page. Thankfully, the story developed into what it was supposed to be, but not with the ease I normally experience during the creation of a novel. The most important thing I discovered during the past ten months is that I am a true plotter. No more pantsing for this sister. Ever.

Other than moving to a cave to write my next book, I’m trying to figure out how to remedy these issues. It would be wonderful to have another critique group, but it would have to be with other published authors. Most of the authors I know well enough to ask are already too busy just writing and promoting.

Of course, I could go back to writing on my Alphie, but I’ve been too spoiled by the laptop. Now I consider that gadget merely a backup to be used in case of emergency. (See author Penelope Marzec’s great post  about writing in the dark after Superstorm Sandy.
My spring 2013 release will be You Make Me Feel Brand New, a novelette that was published early this year in an anthology from WG2E. At least I’m ahead on the plotting the next novel though. Already I have eleven pages outlined on the next book, which is tentatively titled, A Woman’s Worth.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving thanks

I am so thankful to God for my life, my health, my freedom, my church, my family, my friends, my gift to write, my writing friends, and my readers. Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm cooking today then working on promo stuff for the release of Ain't Too Proud to Beg so I can be ahead of the game when I get it back from my editor.

Just wanted to share my two favorite Thanksgiving videos with you. These turkeys do M.C. Hammer and Gloria Gaynor proud!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Author spotlight - Bettye Griffin

Today author Bettye Griffin stops by to talk about her latest eBook release, Something Real, joined by her three lead female characters.

First, a little about Bettye: Her first romance was published in 1998. She went on to have a total of 10 contemporary romances and 6 works of women’s fiction traditionally published over the next dozen years. In 2009, while still under contract to a publisher, Bettye started her own publishing outlet, Bunderful Books. She now indie publishes all her work through this outlet. Her latest eBook, Something Real, has just gone on sale.

Chicki: Hi, Bettye. Can you tell me a little about Something Real?

Bettye: Hi, Chicki! Thanks for inviting me to your blog for a chat. Something Real is a sequel to Save The Best For Last, the story centering around the two best friends of the heroine of that book. Like Isn’t She Lovely? before it, Something Real is more of a mainstream romance than a traditional single title romance. Two romances are covered with near-equal amounts of words, only one of which progresses to the HEA (that’s “happily ever after”) by the end. Some other things occur that you wouldn’t see in a traditionally published romance, but I can’t go into those without giving away too much of the story. Also, the book has a somewhat unusual structure, spanning a four-year period, which allows for a peek into that happily ever after.

Now, for the interview:

Chicki: Bettye has chosen to stay in the background and let her characters take questions instead, so I’m talking with New Yorkers Francesca Perry, “Cesca” to her family and friends; Olivia Oliveira, known as “Livvy” to her oldest friends and just “Liv” to newer ones; and Genevieve Gray, known as Gen, except to her husband Dexter, who calls her Jenny.

The name of the book is Something Real. According to Bettye, all I have to do is ask one question and the three of you will take it from there, so let me ask…Whose story is this?

Cesca and Liv [simultaneously]: Mine!

Gen: I’m not in it a whole lot, but I already got my own story…my story. I didn’t have to share it with anybody, even though my friends were in a couple of scenes. It was called Save The Best For Last. You’ll want to read it, if you haven’t already. Bettye has made it free on Smashwords, where you can get it formatted for any eReader device.

Cesca: This is both Livvy’s story and mine, I guess. But my story with Terrence is complete. Livvy’s and Brian’s isn’t.

Liv: That’s all right. I’ll be the star of the next book, and like Gen, I won’t have to share it with anybody…except for the man of my heart, of course. Bettye’s working on it now, and she plans to have it out by the spring. Besides, I’m the reason Bettye wrote this book in the first place. You see, I also showed up in another book of hers called The Heat of Heat. I was only in it for a couple of pages, but readers were intrigued and told Bettye they wanted to know what the deal was with magazine publisher Brian Price and me, so she wrote this story to show readers why our relationship was so strained, as well as what happened afterward. Part I takes place the following spring after Save The Best For Last ends. Part II takes place after The Heat of Heat ends. Bettye said she had a hell of a time structuring this story and keeping the timelines straight.

Gen: It’s definitely not your typical romance, which often unfold over the course of a couple of months.

Liv: That Bettye doesn’t do anything typical. Now that she’s indie publishing you never know what she’s going to come up with. She’s really making me work to get to my happy ending. I can’t believe the wrench she put in my plotline.

Gen: Bettye says that sometimes relationships don’t line up neatly in a row like so many dominoes, with each character falling in love neatly when it’s their turn. She says that love doesn’t work like an assembly line and is often messy. And I’m not just talking about sex. But speaking of sex, you guys do have a pretty fair amount of that going on. That didn’t happen with Dexter and me in our book. He spent most of the story trying to get me in the sack. [dreamy grin] But oh, what a chase it was! And when it finally did happen, we didn’t even make it to the bed.

Liv: [making a face] Too much information, Gen.

Gen: You must not have read the book.

Bettye: Of course she didn’t read the book. You guys are all characters…remember? You only know what happens in the scenes you’re in.

Liv: Well, there are some twists in Something Real that you just won’t see coming, in both Cesca’s relationship with Terrence and mine with Brian, let me tell you.

Cesca: And let me tell you, Livvy, that Bettye decided to write Something Real about Terrence and me. In Gen’s book (Save The Best For Last), she let readers know that I hate police because of how they mistreated me and my family members. Then she had Gen encounter a sexy police officer named Terrence Gulliver after an escaping thief knocked her down. I’m not privy to Bettye’s reasons for including this scene—Gen has no cause to fear the police, as far as I know—but Bettye decided at that moment to write a book that would pair me with Terrence because she knew there’d be fireworks…and something truly horrifying happened in the interim between the two books that made me hate cops even more. So I was the original inspiration for Something Real, not you. She didn’t think about adding you to the mix until a year later, while she was writing The Heat of Heat and decided to put you in it for a hot minute.

Liv: Oh, you think you’re so smart [glares at Cesca].

Cesca: Do I have to remind you that that’s Terrence and me on the cover? I don’t see you or Brian anywhere, not even in the book summary [smiles triumphantly]. Gen: Can’t we all just get along?

Liv: You guys know I love y’all, even when you get on my last nerve.

Cesca: Yeah, well, that’s about all we know. You’re so secretive about everything else. Liv: I can’t help it; Bettye wrote me that way. She said girlfriends in books are always confiding in each other, and she wanted me to be different. Besides, you guys wouldn’t understand the way I feel about certain things. Both your parents had money. The only reason I lived on the Upper East Side was because my parents were the supers of the building we lived in. Our apartment was on the first floor, next to the laundry room. We heard washers agitating and dryers tumbling all day and all night.

Gen: Sometimes I wish you’d try confiding in us, Liv. We’ve been friends since we were fifteen years old. When Something Real starts we’re…hey Bettye, how old were we again? [Bettye is heard answering.] Oh, that’s right. Twenty-eight. So we’ve known each other for over a dozen years.

Cesca: We’re well off, or at least our parents were. That doesn’t mean we’re from another planet.

Liv: Nothing personal, but sometimes it’s good to keep things to yourself. I’ll be you have secrets.

Cesca: My life’s an open book.

Gen: [nervously chews her lower lip].

Liv: Gen? You okay?

Gen: [too quickly] Fine.

Liv: Hmm. I’m getting the distinct feeling there’s something you don’t want Cesca and me to know.

Gen: Never mind about me. Something Real is your story, remember?

Cesca: It’s more my story.

Gen: [throws hands up] This is where I came in.

Chicki: Something Real is available now for Kindle, for Nook, and on Smashwords.

Cesca: It’s a wonderful story, and it’s about me.

Liv: No, it’s about me.

Gen: Can we just say it’s sexy?

Chicki: Thanks, ladies. It’s been…

Cesca, Liv, and Gen [simultaneously]: Real!

Bettye: As in Something Real. It’s now available, so download yours today! And as for Liv being sure that the concluding story will be exclusively hers…well, I wouldn’t bet the brownstone on it. Things have a way of changing when I’m writing a story, and I’ve decided that Gen, who is keeping a secret from her friends, is going to have a few anxious moments before it’s all over, as well as the roadblocks in store for Liv as she stumbles toward her ultimate happy ending…the final book, Man of Her Heart, will be out February or March of 2013. Thanks, Chicki!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Author Spotlight - Special Offer from Carmen DeSousa

Did you know that you are able to buy now and gift later?

Yep! Take advantage of this special pricing on the romantic-suspense bestseller, She Belongs to Me, for yourself, and buy one to deliver to your avid-reader friends for Christmas.

She Belongs to Me by Carmen DeSousa has sat alongside such writing greats as Nicholas Sparks and J.D. Robb, and this weekend it’s only $0.99 cents, so don’t miss the savings!

Book Description:

After secrets and a mysterious background leave a wife’s life hanging by a thread, a husband must look for answers in the only place he knows—the past.

When wealthy construction company owner and Charlotte detective, Jordan Monroe, meets Jaynee for the first time he is awestruck and determines to make her his wife. Jaynee, however, has a history she cannot easily overcome and is fearful to submit to love. Jordan succeeds in making her his wife, but five years into their marriage, he realizes she is keeping secrets.  Before he can decipher her duplicity, he discovers her unconscious in their home from a gunshot wound only hours after giving her an ultimatum concerning their relationship.

With Jaynee’s life hanging in the balance, the mystery of her past drives Jordan to investigate. But what appears to be an attempted suicide turns out to be something far darker. Is someone from her past stalking her? Or worse, is someone close to Jordan trying to kill them both? As Jordan edges closer to the truth, it may be deadlier than he could ever have imagined.

What readers are saying:

A passionate romantic-suspense of love, betrayal, and obsession, She Belongs to Me will have you falling in love and wondering who you can trust right up to the last page.

"You'll be swept off your feet along with Jaynee as she discovers the man of her dreams. You'll be drawn into the drama. And you'll flip the pages fast as Jordan must desperately figure out the truth in time. I was and did!" — New York Times bestselling author Jaime Rush

“Carmen DeSousa has written an incredibly stunning book, full of spot on visuals that put you in the midst of the conversations, like a ghostly guest that spies on a romantic dinner date.” — International bestselling author Ashley Fontainne

“If you love a romance read with a dash of danger, intrigue and suspense sprinkled in, this is the book for you.” — Bestselling Author and The Examiner's "Top 12 Fiction Books of 2011" Carolyn Arnold

Download She Belongs to Me:

A writer of modern-day fairytales, Carmen DeSousa’s stories overflow with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy. After all, what would a fairytale be without a tragic event setting the stage? All of her novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic and will hopefully make you cry, laugh, love, and hope.

Carmen loves talking about all things books, so please connect with her via one of the links below.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Author spotlight - Ednah Walters

Multi-published romance author, Ednah Walters is basking in the author spotlight today! I've known Ednah for years, and she, in fact, was one of my critique partners. Here's a little bit about her background.

Ednah grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She finished her PhD in chemistry, married the love of her life, and decided to be a stay-at-home mother. She now lives in a picturesque valley in Utah with her husband, five children and two American short-hair cats. When she is not writing, you can find her doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.

Ednah writes adult romance under the pseudonym E. B. Walters. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series.

Book 2, MINE UNTIL DAWN, was released in July 2011.

KISS ME CRAZY, book 3 in the series followed three months later. Book 4,

DANGEROUS LOVE was released end of January 2012. FOREVER HERS was released October 15th. Ednah is presently working on the next book, Lex’s story.

When she is not writing adult romance, Ednah writes YA fantasy books. Her YA fantasy series, The Guardian Legacy, is book about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012. Book 3, HUNTED, which will be released April 2013. She’s working on book 4, FORGOTTEN.

You can visit her online at,, or She’s also on Facebook, twitter and Google-plus.


Hoping not to wake up the housekeeper, Eddie tried to be quiet as he entered the house. Kara had informed the housekeeper to expect him. He’d leave her note on the kitchen table that he’d arrived late, so she wouldn’t freak out in the morning.

Closing the door and softly turning the lock, he froze at the tell-tale sound of a gun cocking. Then a glaring light filled the foyer. Not the overhead light. The intensity indicated it was a flashlight.

“Drop the bag, open the door and get the hell out of my house before I start shooting,” a female ordered.

Eddie hands shot up. “Ma’am—”

“Don’t ma’am me, you son of a bitch. Open the goddamn door and get moving.”

The voice was smoky and low with an eastern lilt. It stroked his senses, the effect on him unexpected. He bit off a curse. Hadn’t his cousin said the woman was about sixty years old? Either he now had a thing for cougars or he liked being subjugated by a gun-wielding woman, which was unlikely. He wasn’t into bondage.

“My name is Eddie Fitzgerald. Baron, the owner of this house, is my cousin.”

She scoffed. “If you think dropping the Fitzgerald name is going to convince me of anything, think again.”

“I used a key to get inside the house,” Eddie ground out through clenched teeth, letting the keys dangle on his forefinger. “Where could I have gotten it unless they were given to me by the owners of this house?”

“Show me an ID or I’m shooting.”

Eddie relaxed. People who threatened to shoot most often weren’t shooters.

“Fine. I’m going to reach inside my back pocket for my wallet.” He shifted slowly so he could see her but the glare from the flashlight made that impossible.

“Don’t turn around. Get out of the house first then show it to me from across the threshold.”

Eddie opened the door.

“Leave the stolen goodies behind,” she ordered.

He lowered his left arm and the straps slipped off his shoulder. The bag landed with a thud. As he stepped outside, he caught her reflection on the glass window bordering the rotunda foyer. He couldn’t see her face, but he noticed something that gave him a pause. Her hands were crossed at the wrists, the bottom hand gripping the flash light at a right angle and supporting the one holding the gun. Only cops held guns and flashlights like that when confronting a criminal. She also kept a safe distance from him, making it hard to rush her and disarm her, another precautionary move he learned at the Academy.

“Are you a—?”

The door slammed shut behind him and the locks clicked. The patio light came on at the same time as the ones inside the house, then muffled sounds followed as though she was running away.

Eddie frowned. He might not appreciate being ordered around but he understood the woman’s vigilance. It couldn’t be easy living alone when a burglar was on the loose in your neighborhood. It also took guts to pull a gun on him. Many thugs had tried and lived to regret it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Author spotlight - Dana Taylor

My special guest today is another of my online writing buddies, Dana Taylor.

She is one of the most energetic women I've ever met, and she is very involved with promoting other authors. Here's a little bit about her:

Dana Taylor has had articles published in the Ladies Home Journal and various Christian magazines, hosted her Internet radio show, Definitely Dana! at and won several awards in the Romance Writers of America, including Best First Book from the Desert Quill Awards. Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance was on the Movers and Shakers List in 2012.Her published works include Ain’t Love Grand?, Hope for the Holidays, Royal Rebel, and Jaguar Jack.  Her latest release reflects her interest in energy healing—Ever-Flowing Streams. Her blog sites are and


Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance

By Dana Taylor

Welcome to the mystical town of Beaver Cove, Arkansas where country ghosts offer homey advice and the moon makes lovers of total strangers! Maddie Harris left Boston in humiliation.  She hopes the job as assistant principal in a small Arkansas town will keep her too busy to notice the hole where her heart used to be. Phil Wilcox, divorced former NFL star, returns to his hometown as the new football coach.  He hopes to repair the tattered relationship with his eleven-year-old daughter, despite his thorny ex-wife. Maddie is neat and color coordinated; Phil takes “casual” to its limits. Neither is seeking romance, but a mischievous moon and a friendly spirit have other ideas. “Round Table Review” says “Devil Moon is a lovely romance full of whimsy, comedy and bittersweet twists.”

The set up:

Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance is a comedy set in the Ozarks. Maddie is the uptight high school assistant principal.  Phil is the new high school football coach. This scene is toward the end of the book. Maddie has been warned off Phil by his ex-wife who has threatened to take Phil’s daughter out of his life unless Maddie gives him up. (Maddie occasionally gets advice from her dead Grandmother.)

Setting:  Maddie’s kitchen

Maddie sat up straight. She'd been wishing the interminable breakfast would simply end. And now he appeared on the verge of proposing marriage.

She put a hand on his arm. "Don't say it, Phil."

"Now you don't even know what I'm going to say. See, we're good for each other." He covered her hand and looked at her with the innocence of a puppy. "I love you. I've known it for a good little while. You make me happy and I think we'd make a great team. We need each other. We're right together. Oh, hell, Maddie, either shoot me and put me out of my misery or marry me." He released a deep breath. "There, I said it. I think we should get married. What do you say?"

He looked so happy, she wanted to throw up. Her voice came out hoarse. "I can't marry you, Phil. It just wouldn't work."

An expression of shocked pain flashed across his face before it quickly changed to anger. "Oh, I get it. It's one thing to have a roll in the sheets with the football jock, but you wouldn't want to marry him."

"No, no, it's not like that."

"Then what is it? Explain it to me."

Oh God, she wasn't ready for this. She hadn't rehearsed a speech. She crossed her legs and tried to assume an elegant air. "Well, you're from one world and I'm from another and I don't think we're compatible. You're much too messy. I wouldn't want to be picking up your socks and picking out your clothes." Oh yes she would, she really would.

Phil stood up. "Okay, sweetheart, you're too good for me. I get it. An alcoholic, has-been football player isn't your idea of husband material. Well, let me tell you something, babe. You're passing up a good deal."

She knew that. She knew he was the best thing that had ever come along in her whole life. "It wouldn't be a suitable match, that's all. I think you have many fine qualities, but you're just not my type. I hope we can be friends, for the baby's sake."

He grabbed her chin and forced her to look in his face. "This is so much baloney. You came onto me the other night like it was for keeps. You didn't say it, but I could feel it in your body, see it on your face. You love me, goddamn it! You look me straight in the eye and deny it. Say it. Say 'Phil, I don't love you.' I don't think you can."

Maddie swallowed and dug deep down to a well of strength she didn't know she possessed. She had to make the lie seem true. In a calm and measured voice she said, "Phil…I…don't… love you."

He released her as if he'd been burned, turned on his heel and rushed for the door. She flinched at the slam and closed her eyes. Taking a breath, she opened them again and surveyed the incredible mess he'd made making one small meal.

Standing before the sink was the see-through figure of Grammy Harris. "Pitiful, simply pitiful. You've set the Harris womenfolk back 'bout a hundred years."

 Available at Amazon

Friday, November 2, 2012

Author spotlight - J. D. Faver

The author spotlight is shining on J.D. Faver who is excited announce the release of BAD VIBES, the third novel in her romantic thriller series: THE EDGE OF TEXAS.  BAD MEDICINE was the first of THE EDGE OF TEXAS romantic thrillers and it’s FREE today. I hope everyone has a chance to download it. 

BAD MEDICINE is followed by BAD KARMA, and BAD VIBES picks right up where BAD KARMA leaves off, plunging one of the most charming characters into danger. My readers kept asking for a book featuring Deputy Darla Calhoun. In Bad Vibes, she is carrying on, even though her husband betrayed her financially and committed suicide six months previously. She is lonely as well as angry, but she has to hold her head high for the sake of her twin 4-year-old sons and also because she is a member of the tight-knit law-enforcement team under the leadership of Sheriff Rafael Solis. (Hero of BAD MEDICINE)

Darla arrests a vagrant, hanging around the marina, but after he’s cleaned up, she discovers a hunky, hard-body with a smoldering gaze hidden beneath the filthy rags. He turns out to be a federal agent working undercover. He’s after a gang of human traffickers using the Intracoastal Waterway to bring sex slaves into the United States from Mexico. Rafael assigns Darla as liaison officer to work with the feds, bringing her face-to-face with the “Iceman”, Mike Burke, the undercover agent she arrested. Darla, Mike and his partner tear up and down the Intracoastal Waterway in pursuit of the human traffickers, but when two local women disappear, the search becomes personal.

The following excerpt takes place when Mike has come ashore to pick up the sheriff’s liaison officer. He’s not that fond of working with local law enforcement, thinking they’re territorial.


That evening Senior Agent Grunwald met with Rafael at the sheriff’s office. They chatted for a few minutes, exchanging pleasantries while waiting for their respective employees to assemble for the briefing.

The John Doe, who had been arrested by Darla earlier in the week, entered the office, nodded at Ida and gave her a wink. Wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt and a cocky attitude, he strolled over to where Grunwald stood waiting. He didn’t seem to be in any particular hurry, and with his hands thrust into the pockets of his cargo shorts, he appeared to be completely at ease in the presence of his superior.

“Sheriff Solis, this is Special Agent Mike Burke. He’s on loan to us from the Department of the Interior.”

Rafael extended his hand. “I’ve had the pleasure.”

Mike shook his hand, grinning. “Likewise, Sheriff.”

Grunwald looked at his watch and frowned. “It’s straight up nine. Where is this man of yours, Sheriff? We need to get under way.”

Rafael glanced at his own watch. “My man should be here right about now.” He pointed to the front door as Darla entered with two green duffle bags and an M-14. The high powered rifle was slung over her shoulder. “This is Deputy Darla Calhoun. She’s one of my best men and the deputy best suited to your mission. She knows everyone in the county and all the boats registered here.” Rafael couldn’t suppress a grin as he watched the two agent’s astonished expressions. “She’s a qualified sniper and a cool head under fire, an attribute to which I believe you can attest, Agent Burke.”

Mike appeared to be stunned. His cocky grin had evaporated. “You!”

Darla looked him over, a slow smile spreading across her face. “You.”


The order of this series is:

BAD DREAMS <Under Construction>

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