So, imagine a world without COVID, or with COVID conquered… Is there a place you’ve yearned to travel? Whether it’s somewhere you’ve been and wish to visit again, or some dream-location you’ve promised yourself that one day you’ll go there… Imagine that day is tomorrow.
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, solve the puzzle then share where that dream journey would lead you!
It’s Friday! I don’t know why I’m excited. Every day could be Friday, and it wouldn’t make a difference to what I do during the day. Still, it’s kind of ingrained after so many years of working for “the man”.
I love Fridays. It’s filled with possibilities. Friday is followed by Saturday, which is a “lighter” day of work for me. Then there’s Sunday, when I review my work plan and imagine a week where I actually get everything done. I’m a planner at heart and by profession, so Sundays are special to me.
So, this weekend, I’ll be doing some housecleaning in addition to trying to make pages. My dd and the kids will be back on Monday, so I can’t let her see how much I let things go…
For a chance to win your choice of a download from among my many published books, tell me what you’re doing this weekend!
We have another new SEALS in Paradise story! The latest release is by my good friend, Cynthia D’Alba! All buy links are below!
Hot SEAL, Sweet & Spicy
She’s hankering for some happiness. He’s facing his fate alone. Together, can they find forever on the menu?
Addison Treadway needs time to heal. With her loveless marriage finally demolished by her breast cancer diagnosis, the talk-show host never expected to also lose her job. And since her weekend as a bridesmaid is her last before chemo, the thirty-three-year-old resolves to put her perky girls to good use… and the groom’s hunky brother is the perfect choice to kiss them goodbye.
Without orders to fulfill, Eli Miller feels aimless. With the former Navy SEAL’s duties now turned towards the family farm, he’s confused about what his future holds. And before he can
figure out his next move, he finds the supposedly single woman he regretfully slept with at his brother’s wedding is staying in his parents’ apartment.
Grateful to have acquaintances offer their home for her recovery from reconstructive surgery, Addison is floored when the sexy guy who ghosted her walks through the door. But when Eli uncovers the truth and sparks fly again, he starts cooking up something he’s sure she’s going to love.
Can they get past their awkward introduction and serve up a sizzling happily ever after?
Hot SEAL, Sweet and Spicy is a sweltering standalone contemporary romance in the SEALs in Paradise series. If you like characters confronting change, laughter-filled confusion, and red-hot passion, then you’ll adore Cynthia D’Alba’s dish of desire.
Buy Hot SEAL, Sweet and Spicy to order up some tasty satisfaction today!
I’ve talked about scents on this blog before. Favorite scents. Mine is the scent of oranges. It always makes me happy and energizes me. Now, I want to talk about scents that invoke a memory because, you know, your brain uses scent to anchor memories.
One of my earliest scent-memories is the aroma of a certain vintage perfume, “Evening in Paris.” My father gave my mother a gift of a set of “Evening in Paris” perfume and cologne as a wedding gift, and she used it only sparingly because it was dear to her. They didn’t have much money then, so every gift he gave her was something she treasured. And he was a romantic at heart—he never forgot an anniversary or Valentine’s Day (except once, but that’s a story for another day). No matter how strapped they were for cash, or how far apart (he had many tours of duty during the Viet Nam War), he always managed to find something she would love, even if it was only flowers and chocolate.
I’m sure Mom’s “Evening in Paris” would have survived the length of their marriage (sixty years), except for the fact they had a nosy, sneaky daughter—me. I loved opening the precious bottle and just rubbing the cap on my wrists so I could enjoy that smell.
For one of her last Christmases, I found a store that specialized in vintage, popular perfumes and bought her a bottle of “Evening In Paris.” Of course, I had to open it first and draw in that scent. So many memories came pouring through my mind of me when I was a kid, of sneaking it from her dresser to anoint my wrists. She had to have known, it’s a strong and distinct scent, but she never chastised me. I still wonder why.
Share a scent-memory for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
I love my Montana Bounty Hunters. I really try hard to make each of them individual rather than cookie-cutter characters with different names. I also love to dream up unique takedowns for your reading pleasure and to showcase who these men are. One of my favorite scenes was “Animal chasing the bear”, which is part of the Montana Bounty Hunters’ cable TV series lore now. You know what I mean if you’ve read the books! Anyway, I’m sharing that scene today. It’s not long. Enjoy!
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
A rough-around-the-edges bounty hunter takes a nature photographer on a wild ride.
Former SEAL, Russell “Animal” Hathcoat, retreated to a remote mountain cabin after leaving the Navy. Haunted by horrific images that replay in his nightmares of his last mission with his SEAL brothers, he intends to renovate the dilapidated cabin as penance and therapy, and to avoid rejoining the world around him. But then, someone who understands what he needs better than he does arrives to offer him a job.
Allie Travers loves the freedom and solitude of being a nature photographer and journalist—until the day she stares through her lens at a charging black bear. With her heart in her throat, she can only stand watching in horror, knowing she’ll never escape in time. But rescue comes in the form of a wild man who risks his life to frighten away the animal.
Once the danger is past, she’s told by his team of bounty hunters that she has more to fear than any animal in the woods. A felon is on the loose, and she has to accompany them to safety. Seeing an opportunity, Allie shadows the team as they hunt their prey deep in a national forest. Much to Animal’s dismay, more than just his protective instincts are aroused by the pretty photojournalist.
Are you all caught up reading the Montana Bounty Hunters?
For a chance to win a download of one of the stories you may have missed
(I’ll pick three winners!), tell me this:
What profession other than bounty hunters would you like to see in future Montana Bounty Hunters—Dead Horse branch, and beyond—stories?
Here are all the Bear Lodge Montana Bounty Hunters!
The moment Taco lowered his nose to the ground, following Tibbets’s trail from the camper’s metal steps, they’d realized the man had headed straight into the woods, afoot, rather than driving out.
They’d left Dagger, Lacey, and Cochise behind to watch for any movement in town, and to keep an eye out for any of his relatives who looked ready to head north with supplies to help him out. The rest of the team members grabbed their gear from their vehicles and began tracking Tibbets into Flathead National Forest.
Animal didn’t mind the rough conditions. He was accustomed to long marches and sleeping on the ground. None of the hunters, even Carly Stenberg, complained about the conditions, even after they’d endured a chilly rain the previous day. They’d dried their clothes beside a fire last night, reasonably assured they were still a day’s hike from catching up to Tibbets. Conversation had flowed around him, but he hadn’t felt the need to try to contribute.
This was a tight, well-trained crew, and they knew each other well. But they seemed to understand he wasn’t the chatty type. He rather liked the fact they let him be.
They came to the edge of the woods. A large meadow stretched before them, mountains in the background. The meadow was broken on one side by ridges of exposed rock.
“We got company,” Reaper said quietly. They all held back, remaining hidden in the brush. Reaper lifted an arm and pointed.
Animal pulled out his tactical telescope and followed Reaper’s direction, at last spotting a slender figure standing beside an outcropping. Not their mark. A woman. She stood in front of a tripod and peered into a camera. She had wheat-colored hair drawn back into a messy braid. She wore a red plaid shirt and a khaki vest over blue jeans and boots.
Suddenly, she jerked back her head, giving him a glimpse of her profile. Her eyebrows were lowered, her mouth dropping as she stared down the hill.
He turned his telescope toward whatever had caught her attention and immediately understood her concern.
A baby black bear ambled into the clearing, heading upward toward her location.
“Where’s mama?” he whispered.
As though answering his question, a loud bellow sounded from the forest farther down the tree line. A large bear ran out, huffing and bellowing, heading toward the woman.
He didn’t have even a millisecond to think through a better plan. Animal dumped his pack and ran into the clearing, tearing at his shirt. When he’d ripped off the buttons down the front, he flapped the edges, trying to make himself look bigger. “Ha! Ha!” he yelled as loud as he could to draw the bear’s attention away from the woman.
Mama bear bounced on her front paws and spun toward him.
“Don’t shoot unless you have to!” Animal tossed over his shoulder to Reaper.
“Don’t get in my line of fire!” Reaper shouted back.
“Don’t shoot her!” the woman screamed.
“You shut up!” Animal yelled, still running, still flapping. Didn’t she realize he was trying to draw the bear’s attention away from her?
The bear’s head moved from Animal, to Reaper behind him, and again to the woman, likely trying to decide who was the biggest danger to her cub.
Animal roared and flapped and moved a little closer.
The baby bear squalled and changed direction, running for his mama.
Just when Animal feared the bear would charge, she spun and ran into the woods, her cub running right behind her.
Animal halted, breathing hard. He gave another flap of his shirt. “Ha! Ha!” he shouted, hoping she’d been startled bad enough not to turn around.
Then he heard a whirring sound, coming from up the rise. He turned his head toward the woman. The sound came from her camera. Animal gave her a fierce glare then began to stalk up the rise.
When he reached her, she straightened and flashed him a wide smile. “Thanks for that. Thought for a second there I was going to be lunch.”
“What the hell!” he bellowed, anger shot through him. Didn’t she have a clue how close to being “lunch” he’d been, trying to rescue her? And all she’d thought about was taking her damn pictures?
Her eyebrows shot upward, and she stood still.
Behind him, he heard more of his team stomping up the hill. He should have turned and walked away. Should have let Reaper handle getting her packed up and off the mountain. Away from him.
Instead, anger vibrated through him. He glanced at the gear strewn around her feet. “Who the hell comes out to the wilderness without a goddamn gun?”
“The only shots I plan to take are with my camera,” she said icily, lifting her chin.
He ground his teeth as his face heated.
“Wish I’d been shooting video though,” she said. “The footage would’ve gone viral. Do you chase bears often?”
The start of school in my district looms in the very near future, and I’m trying to transition from Summer mentality to Subbing mode. Amazingly enough, this year will be my fourth year as a Substitute Teacher…an anniversary shared with my career as an author/illustrator of children’s picture books.
In truth, the latter exists solely because of the former.
Before I became a Substitute Teacher, I’d already been a published author of Sci-fi Romance with two novels under my belt. I was working diligently to establish my brand and promote my books. I carried business cards with me everywhere, but I also special-ordered a phone case with my first book cover on it. What better way to begin a conversation about my romance books than to have someone notice my phone case!
Unfortunately, the only people who noticed my sexy phone case were elementary students I was substitute teaching. Ack! Big-time F****-Up! I depended on my phone’s alarm to keep me mindful of subject transitions, recess, lunchtimes, etc. And thought nothing of the instrument of my timekeeping…until kiddos started to comment.
A few “that man’s neck is really long,” “I can see that man’s chest,” and “Who is Ava Cuvay and why is she on your phone” was all it took. I snatched a little story bobbing around my head and wrote it down, then I drew pictures to go with it. I ended up with Slow Squirrels for Old Dog, a sweet first-grade level book to honor my 14-year-old dog who had passed away. Not the most cheerful idea for a book, but it was a cathartic step in my personal grief, and the death of a beloved pet is something any owner deals with at some point. Loss isn’t something we can or should pretend never happens, and I’ve found young children are, for the most part, resilient and pragmatic on the topic.
So! Children’s book published and new, school-age-appropriate phone cover in place, I thought I could leave it at that and get back to my Romance books. But the interest and enthusiasm from the students kept pulling me back to make more. This last June, I published my third children’s book, Soaposaurus Rex Versus Poop Ninja. A special request for a friend’s 7-year old son, it’s an action-packed, humorous story to encourage handwashing.
When I attend author signings, my three children’s books are as popular as my romance novels. When I substitute teach, they are a great starting point to talk about writing and drawing and encouraging students to pursue their dreams.
Four years later, I’m so grateful I F****’d Up and neglected to consider what was on my phone case that first year of Subbing!
Because we’re talking children’s books, comment with your favorite children’s book for a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card!
About the Author
Ava Cuvay w/a Tippi Hickey: Tippi lives in central Indiana with her hubby, kiddos, kitties, and a love of all pets furry, fuzzy, feathery, and scaly!
The kids are away for the next week or so, and I have HUGE plans to write up a storm. I worked on clearing my desk this morning. Later, I’ll vacuum and dust—just to tame the distractions. I have a book due mid-August and haven’t yet written a word!!!!!