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Archive for May, 2018

Victoria Pinder: Bad girls can grow up (Contest)
Friday, May 18th, 2018

My newest release, Forbidden Monsieur, takes the reader to wine country in the South of France and eventually to Paris and features a character from the series, Chelsea Bright, who has done some not mature things against her sister and a man she thought she’d marry when she was twenty-two and fresh out of college. Her sister sent her to Paris for a year to let her mature on her own, and when she returned to Avce, Chelsea slowly accepted her fate.

Once her nephew is born though, Chelsea realizes it would be nice to have a family and not just marry. However, she doesn’t feel she has much of a choice. Her father gambles and puts the family in debt, again. Her mother is a shopaholic who expects Chelsea to marry a rich noble. And unlike her sister, she has no best friend who was an earl and rich to fall in love with. Chelsea checks out all the available nobles and doesn’t see anyone she’d ever want to marry. However, her mother claims to have met the perfect match for Chelsea in Paris. So she agrees to go and impress this Duc.

However her car crashes on a vineyard, and the sexy, Frenchman, Alexandre Travers, who grows wine for a living. He’s not rich or titled, but he lives and believes that anyone can be whatever they want to be. He even believes she should follow her art and not her parents’ wishes. She’s never kissed anyone like him. If she really had a choice, she’d choose Alex.

If you can help me spread the news about my newest release you might win a kindle! The link to the giveaway is on my page or at the end of the page.


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First Kiss Excerpt:

He nodded and twirled her in beat with the song. He let out a sigh. “Chelsea, you’re different than what I thought. I’m sorry your father is sick.”

And she was sorry she couldn’t forget everything and stay right here, with him, forever. She could imagine herself painting outside, setting up a small store to sell arts and crafts to travelers, and perhaps even help Alex find more people to contract his wine with. She shrugged off the fantasy. “You didn’t bet him.”

“Neither did you.” As if that reminder was supposed to help? They stayed moving when the song ended waiting until the next began. The people around them changed places but all she saw was him. “If you didn’t have to marry this Duc, what would you do for yourself?”

Paint. Maybe be brave enough to take Sheena, her old friend from college, up on that offer to show her paintings at local shows in Paris or wherever she wanted. Chelsea stayed in the dance, accepting that her wants were trumped by need. “Doesn’t matter. I have to marry. Thinking about what if doesn’t help.”

He motioned up to the moon and spun her, so she’d get a better view of the bright orb in the sky. “Under the moonlight you can admit your secret dreams. Would you paint?”

A smile graced her lips. Nobody before now had ever seen into her heart and the headiness made her laugh. She ignored how her pulse raced. “I’d love to paint but that’s not happening. I had a chance to have my own showing in Paris next month, but I said no.”

Alex’s expression seemed caring, but that was impossible. How could he? The tone in his voice made her believe in the impossible as he said, “Because of your father?”

Right. Dancing under the moonlight was but a dream. “Because I am going to take care of my family and not talk about this to my sister.”

His gaze narrowed. “Why not? If I had a brother or sister-”

“You don’t get it,” she interrupted. Clarity returned to her mind. “I let Cassidy pay for college and my life until now. She should be done with taking care of any of us. It’s time I step up and do my part. I will ensure my parents are fine and that I’m financially secure without my sister’s money.”

His calloused hands on hers made her more aware of him, even after her declaration. He leaned close. “I wish I could help you.”

Her heart sped up. Alex’s presence made her feel…different. She glanced up at him again and stumbled into him. “Just hold me. Tonight, for once, my problems seem far away and don’t matter. Let’s just have that feeling drive.”

He closed his eyes, going with the flow of the song. The rough of his skin against her made her ache and she went up on her tiptoes.

Then his lips met hers and she was launched into heaven itself. Maybe it was the moonlight or his strong embrace or just his kiss itself, but something inside her set off and she longed to stay just like this, forever.


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Roxanne D. Howard: Sonnet Coupled (Contest)
Thursday, May 17th, 2018

ER nurse Sonnet Mendoza’s new housemate Griffith Parker proves there is more to a man than meets the eye, and shows her there’s more to life than just her career.

Sonnet Coupled

Sheltered and cosseted, Sonnet Mendoza abided by her papi’s wishes her whole life: no boys, studies first and always. Now an ER nurse in a busy Chicago hospital, medical school is so close Sonnet can taste it. Just like her father always wanted. Just like she can taste all the things she wants—like Griffith Parker, the man of her dreams and her new housemate.

Working “graves” in a large hospital as a security guard while attending the police academy during the day doesn’t leave ex-Marine Griffith Parker any personal time, but after meeting the beautiful Sonnet Mendoza, business as usual is anything but. Sassy, smart…and interested in him, too? Except, she’s made an art of keeping her distance, and she’s been clear that her plans don’t include him. But the heart wants what the heart wants. His wants Sonnet. He’ll put it on the line to win her.

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Sonnet put water in the K-Carafe and listened to the hiss and gurgle of the brew as she got some organic eggs and soy milk out to scramble. She decided to make Griffith breakfast, too, even if it had to wait for him in the fridge. It was nice to have someone to look after again.

Hell, after yesterday, he deserved it. She knew she shouldn’t entertain starting something with him with medical school on the horizon, but after spending time with him, a great weight had been lifted off her shoulders, and she was ready to start fresh and tackle her workweek. She sang a little, opened the fridge, and bent to retrieve the bacon from the bottom shelf. A sharp intake of breath filled the silence from a few feet away.

From under her arm she saw Griff, half naked in black sweat bottoms with the Police Academy logo. Her eyes drifted to the hard planes of his abs, a sculpted eight pack most men would give their left nut for. His stacked chest rose and fell, and his fists clenched. Like a current in the air, she could feel him trying to keep it together.

Her gaze trailed past his ribs and flat stomach, down the sharp V of his hip flexors, to the promise of what lay beneath.

Finally, her brain kicked in and she realized her bikini thong was on display with the globes of her ass cheeks parted and raised in the air, like she was waiting for him to grab hold and ride. Her hair chose the wrong moment to slide over her shoulder and into her face, and he let out a strangled moan.

Oh, God.

She stood and yanked the hem of her shirt down. “Jeez, I’m so sorry. I didn’t think you were up. I was just about to make breakfast before I got changed.”

He gulped. Her eyes flicked to the hardened bulge of his cock, which tented against his sweats. He looked like he wanted to devour her. “I…need to use the bathroom,” he growled tightly, then marched down the hall and slammed the bathroom door.

She looked at the exposed bottom half of her panties, and rolled her eyes. “Great, Sonnet. Just great.” She turned off the stove, abandoned the breakfast food, and made her way to her bedroom. A stifled moan escaped from behind the closed bathroom door as she passed, and stopped her in her tracks.

In any other circumstance she wouldn’t give it a second thought—people moaned all the time because they were tired or relieved—but she listened. It was a certain kind of moan, one she made the first night she’d met him when she touched herself.

She heard a distinctive rhythmic thwacking of flesh upon flesh, a series of muffled pants, a grunt, and soft thud against the wall, and her pussy throbbed. She clenched her thighs together and put her palm over her mouth.


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About the Author

Roxanne D. Howard is a U.S. Army veteran who has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.

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Jana Richards: My Favorite Secondary Characters in the Love at Solace Lake Series
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

I love secondary characters. They can provide comic relief or be the villain of the story. They are trusted friends, someone the main character can confide in and use as a sounding board. They can do or say outrageous things that the main characters may not be able to.

And they are necessary to the story. I believe secondary characters help give color and depth to a story. Just as in real life, our fictional main characters don’t want to live in the world alone. They too have family and friends they love and depend on.

I recently released my Love at Solace Lake series about three sisters who inherit their grandfather’s decaying fishing lodge in Minnesota. They work together to try to bring it back to life. There are several secondary characters in the three books; some appear in all three books and some in only one. Here are three of my favorite characters.

Abby Hanson first appears in LIES AND SOLACE, book 1 of the series. She’s also an important character in book 2 (SECRETS AND SOLACE) and book 3 (TRUTH AND SOLACE). Abby was best friends with the Lindquist sisters’ deceased mother, and she’s always been someone the sisters have trusted and confided in. But Abby has secrets. She knows things, things she’s kept from Harper, Scarlet and Maggie. When she finally divulges her secrets, she’ll shake their world.

The kitchen was sunny and warm, though not terribly big. While Abby put the kettle on to boil, Harper took off her jacket and hung it over the back of her chair.

“What made you and Reese decide to come back to Minnewasta?”

Abby placed a couple of teabags into a pot. “It was time to come home. This is where we belong.”

Harper blinked at her enigmatic answer. What did ‘it was time’ mean? Time for what?

Tessa Hainstock also appears in all three books, but we learn a lot about her and her relationship with her father in book 2, SECRETS AND SOLACE. Tessa is the five-year-old daughter of Cameron Hainstock, the hero of book 2. Tessa is sunny and bright, and Cameron would do anything for her. Through her, we discover that tough-guy Cameron has a big, kind heart, even when some of the things he says might make us, and Scarlet, think otherwise. Tessa is also important in showing Scarlet that she really could love a child and be a mother, something she never thought possible.

He scooped Tessa into his arms and held her securely against his shoulder with one arm. She woke, her eyes at half-mast. “Love you, Daddy. To the moon and back.”

He kissed her forehead and repeated the mantra they used every night she spent with him. “To the moon and back, pumpkin.”

She went back to sleep, once more as limp as a ragdoll.

Phyllis Carlsson was a hoot to write. She appears only in book 3, TRUTH AND SOLACE, Maggie Lindquist and Luke Carlsson’s story. She’s Luke Carlsson’s grandmother and Abby Hanson’s mother. She can come out with funny, sometimes irreverent things that make Luke want to laugh. Or cry. Phyllis has been Luke’s rock since childhood and she continues to support him through the difficult times he’s facing now. But Phyllis is no pushover; if she thinks Luke needs to do better, you can believe she’ll let him know.

“Your mother says you haven’t been to see her in a couple of days.”

The wrench slipped and clanked against the copper pipe. Luke had no answer for her. The truth was he’d been hiding, either at the lodge or with chores at his grandmother’s house. He couldn’t make himself go to her.

“I know it hurts. I know you feel powerless because I feel that way myself. And I’m angry, angrier than I’ve ever been in my life. I’m so angry that Abby is leaving me that I want to spit. I want to hit someone. I want to break something. It’s not supposed to be this way.”

Luke’s heart thumped painfully in his chest. He didn’t want to hear about his grandmother’s pain. His own grief tore at him like a wild animal, consuming him piece by piece. He couldn’t deal with her grief as well. He fitted the wrench carefully on the pipe once more.

“But you know what, Luke? Every day I put on my big girl panties, and I suck it up to walk the two blocks to my daughter’s house. I help her wash her hair or take a bath, and I make tea and chat. Whatever she needs. But I always make sure I share a laugh with her. Because right now, it’s not about me and my suffering. It’s about Abby.”

Secondary characters are a necessary part of romance fiction. They add color and life, provide reality checks for the main characters, and offer a shoulder to lean on. And they are definitely fun to write. Who are some of your favorite secondary characters from favorite books and movies?

Love at Solace Lake Series

Love is worth the risk…

When their grandfather dies, the Lindquist sisters, Harper, Scarlet and Maggie, inherit the northern Minnesota fishing lodge that had been in their family for three generations. The inheritance is bittersweet. They were raised at the lodge by their grandparents. The natural beauty of the place hasn’t changed, but the building itself is crumbling and desperately in need of repair. The lodge also reminds them of what they lost.

Twenty-two years previously, their parents died there in what was ruled a murder/suicide.
As the sisters struggle to breathe new life into the failing lodge, old fears and questions rise to the surface even as new love presents itself. Why did their father murder their mother? What truths did their grandparents keep from them? The sisters must fight to keep the wounds of the past from putting their futures, and their fledgling relationships, in jeopardy.

Book 1 – Lies and Solace

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She can’t live with one more lie. He can’t tell the truth.

Harper Lindquist is convinced she’s found the answer to her financial prayers. Unless she pours cash into crumbling Solace Lake Lodge, she’ll lose her family’s legacy. Her would-be savior arrives in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard and she’s determined to prove to her reluctant, and trapped, financier the lodge is a sound investment. But Harper isn’t completely honest with him. And she has no idea the lake is hiding secrets of its own.

Ethan James is a liar, but his money is very real. He isn’t convinced a broken-down inn is a smart investment opportunity. But the more he understands Harper’s dreams and desires, the more he wants to be the man to make them come true. The trauma in both their pasts means neither can fully trust the other. They must find the courage to love, to trust, and to accept, or yesterday’s sorrows will keep them apart.

Excerpt, Lies and Solace:

As she stared into his dark eyes she realized how much she trusted him, and relied on him. That was something rare for her. The only people she trusted as much were her sisters.

I’m in love with him.

The thought blasted through her brain with the force of a tsunami. The tension of the last few weeks, the insecurity, the mistrust, the fear, slipped easily from her shoulders. For the first time, her mind was clear. She was in love with Ethan and she didn’t want to wait anymore. She wanted him. She wanted him to be her first, her last.

Finding courage she didn’t know she possessed, Harper slid off the stool and walked around the island. She plucked the wine glass from his hand and set it on the counter, then placed his hand on her breast. “Make love with me, Ethan.”

A fire lit in his eyes, telling her he wanted her, too. But there was a question there, a hesitation. “Are you sure?”

She’d never been more sure of anything in her life. “Yes.”


“Shhh. Let’s not talk anymore.” She placed one finger over his lips, then stood on her tiptoes and kissed him.

Ethan’s reaction was lightning swift. He wrapped his arms around her and brought her close, his mouth descending on hers in a wild, warm kiss. Their tongues tangled, slid over each other. She’d missed his touch, his taste. She moaned, and in the sound she heard thirty-two years of longing.

For this. For him.

Book 2 – Secrets and Solace

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No matter how deeply buried, secrets rise to the surface.

Scarlet Lindquist has agreed to help her sisters rebuild the dilapidated fishing lodge in Minnesota they inherited from their grandparents. Although the lengthy restoration is bringing the three sisters closer together, Scarlet’s support is temporary. Her leave of absence from her job in Chicago is temporary and she has no intention of staying at Solace Lake Lodge, where the lake holds dark secrets. When frightening childhood memories resurface, they are tempered by her fascination with an irritating contractor. If only she could trust her feelings for him. If only he could trust her.

Cameron Hainstock meets Scarlet at his brother’s wedding to her sister and their attraction is instantaneous. But Cam avoids the beautiful marketing executive. All his efforts are aimed at battling for custody of his only child. When the unimaginable happens and Cam faces the biggest challenge of his life, he’s reluctant to accept help to halt his downward spiral. Can they learn to trust each other and fight for a future together or will they go their separate ways?

Excerpt, Secrets and Solace:

The shock on Scarlet’s face, the disbelief and grief, made him wish he’d kept his mouth shut. The last thing he wanted was to inflict her with the same hell he was going through. He turned away from her, pushing her hand from his arm. “Go home, Scarlet.”

“I’m not going anywhere.” She grabbed his arm again, preventing him from picking up the axe, the tool he’d used to keep himself from reaching for a bottle. “I won’t leave you alone.”

Ignoring the sweat and dirt, she wrapped her arms around his waist and held him tightly, resting her head against his chest. His body stirred to life at her touch, disgusting him. His world was crumbling around him and all he could think was that he wanted to bury himself inside her until she screamed his name.

“Go,” he said roughly. If she was smart, she’d run away and never look back. He was a bad-tempered, recovering alcoholic with nothing to offer her. He wasn’t worth the risk.

She looked up at him, her blue eyes clear and steady. “No. I won’t leave you.”

He pushed her up against the wall of the workshop, not sure if he was trying scare her away or make her stay. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

She shook her head. “You won’t.”

Cam closed his eyes and groaned. He wrapped his arms around her in a vice-like grip, unable to resist her any longer.

God, he needed her.

He lowered his head and kissed her. There was no subtlety in the kiss, no gentleness or finesse. Only passion and raw need. But she stayed with him, returning his passion, giving solace. He greedily lapped it up, taking everything she had to give.

But he wanted, needed more. He lifted her and she wrapped her long, slender legs around his waist. He buried his face against her soft, sweet-smelling neck, inhaling her clean, floral scent. At the same time, he snaked his hand up her thigh and began to pull down her panties.

“Tell me to stop,” he rasped. “Tell me now while I still can.”

Book 3 – Truth and Solace

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The truth could destroy them. Or set them free.

Maggie Lindquist left Solace Lake determined never to return. Circumstances have pulled her back and she’s helping to restore her family’s dilapidated fishing lodge. When she agreed to the plan she didn’t expect to have to work side by side with the man who abandoned her ten years earlier. She didn’t expect to like him, or want him ever again. But can she trust him as she once did?

Luke Carlsson rushes home to tend to his ailing mother. Her lengthy illness means he needs to stay, at least temporarily. And to stay, he needs to work. Solace Lake Lodge offers him a job and an opportunity to work with the woman he’s never stopped loving. But the restoration is unleashing secrets hidden for decades and no one is left unscathed. Especially not Maggie and Luke, whose love needs to be resilient enough to forgive, and strong enough to build a future together.

Excerpt, Truth and Solace:

“Luke?” Maggie’s voice was husky with sleep.

“It’s all right, baby. Go back to sleep.”

The sheets rustled and the bedside lamp snapped on, creating a small pool of light that illuminated her tense face. “You’re leaving?”

He heard the disappointment in her voice, saw it in her dark eyes, even in the dim light.

“If I don’t leave now, my grandmother will know I’ve been with you all night. Harper and Ethan will see my truck here in the morning, and they’ll know we slept together.”

“Harper and Ethan are staying in Minneapolis tonight, but even if they were home, it wouldn’t matter. I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks, not even my family. We’re grownups now. We don’t have to sneak around to be together like we did when we were kids.” She lowered her gaze, her hands clutching the sheet to her breasts. “Unless you don’t want anyone to know. Unless you’d rather not be here.”


“It’s okay, really.” She looked away and shrugged a small shoulder. “It’s no big deal.”

He couldn’t leave her like this. He sat on the bed beside her and stroked her hair. “It’s a big deal to me. There’s nothing I want more than to stay, but it wouldn’t be fair to you.”

Her eyes flashed in disbelief. “Wouldn’t be fair to me? What are you talking about?”

“In a few weeks, after my mother is…gone, I’ll go back to my job in California. And you’ll be here.”

“And never the twain shall meet?”

“It’s not what I want, but it’s reality.”

“What about what I want, right here, right now? Maybe we don’t have forever. Nobody does. If I’ve learned anything from your mother’s illness, it’s that we can’t take anything for granted. We can’t let uncertainty and fear stop us. If we only have a short time together, so be it. At least, we’ll have had that time. I won’t regret it.”

She was amazing. She was still the strong, forthright, vibrant girl he’d fallen in love with that summer.

And he had loved her. Deeply. They’d been far too young to sustain a lasting relationship. But that didn’t mean he hadn’t loved her.

I still love her. I never stopped.

The sudden insight rocked him.

About Jana Richards

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist. In 2015 “Always a Bridesmaid” was nominated for a Rone Award in the Steamy Contemporary category, and though it didn’t make the finals, it was an honor to be nominated. “Always a Bridesmaid” did, however, receive Best Opening Hook from Trans Canada Writers in their Maple Leaf Awards.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with an elderly Pug/Terrier cross named Lou. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

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Royal Mania
Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

I’m a wee bit embarrassed to admit, because I’m not a silly-frilly girl, but I’m gaga over the upcoming royal nuptials.

I’ve always thought Harry was cute and funny, and I remember that sad little boy who followed his mama’s coffin down the streets. I want him happy.

Then there’s Megan… She’s American and so poised and friendly—and can I say that I’m beyond thrilled she’s biracial? It says so much about Harry that he’s going for her, against all tradition. I can’t help but hope they are fabulous together as a couple.

So, my dd has been very patient with me as I wiggle and squirm all the way to next Saturday when the big event happens. In fact, she’s throwing a “high tea” party—with “tea and crumpets” and pink kiddy tiaras for the whole family—starting at 5:00 in the morning, because we’ll all be up and planted in front of the TV to watch the spectacle!

How about you? Are you excited? Are you planning to watch? Are you crazy like us and throwing a party? What element are you most excited to see? The kiss? THE DRESS? Their happy faces?

Elf Ahearn: A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing
Monday, May 14th, 2018

In a recent issue of Romance Writers Report, there appeared an article about authors with attention deficit disorder. A primary requirement for many of these unfortunate souls is absolute silence before they can jot down a word. This revelation has led me to believe I’ve got a burning case of ADD.

When I’m not being distracted from writing by pine cones falling, trucks passing, or the thump of my cat as she dismounts from her favorite chair, I tutor. One student meets me at a small library in New York State, which is run by the world’s loudest librarians. These ladies treat the place like it’s their private social club; they talk at full volume, shout across the room, and chatter like parakeets behind the checkout desk. The ringleader is a tall, thin thing with half orange, half white hair, which she parts so not a single orange strand mingles with a single white strand. Plus, she wears horn-rimmed glasses and is nasty.

One time, my student and I arrived to find her and another librarian gossiping in the study room we’d grown accustomed to using. Very politely, I asked if they’d be in there much longer. “What are you, a tutor?” she asked, emphasizing “tutor” as if it were slang for poop. “Tutors aren’t allowed in here. You can use one of those tables.” She waved at a few knee-high structures in the Children’s Section.

We slunk into the tiny chairs and tried to get through the lesson. As she and her compatriots bellowed above our heads, I thanked fate for not making me a citizen of this besieged township. Libraries, after all, are typically a refuge for those of us with an anchovy’s attention span.

A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing

In Lord Hugh Davenport’s opinion, women of the tonperpetually hide behind a mask of deception. That’s hard for Ellie Albright, the daughter of an earl, to swallow—especially since she’s disguised herself as a stable hand to get back the prized stallion her father sold to Hugh to pay a debt. If Hugh learns her true identity she’ll lose the horse and her family will go bankrupt. Somehow, though, losing Hugh’s affection is beginning to seem even worse…

Already only a step away from being snagged in her own web of lies, Ellie’s deceit threatens to spin out of control when Hugh’s mother invites Ellie and her sisters to a house party. Now Ellie has to scramble to keep Hugh from knowing she’s the stable girl he wants to marry, while simultaneously trying to win his trust as herself. Can she keep her costumes straight long enough to save her family? And even if she does, will it be worth losing his love?

Get your copy here!

EXCERPT from A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing

Ellie took a few limping steps after him. “I’ll need your assistance.” He came back and eyed her suspiciously. “Your arm, in fact,” she told him.

His lips hardened, but he looped her arm through his. As they passed a row of seated grande dams, every eye watched with envy.

At an alcove, Hugh stopped to let her pass. “In here,” he said.

“I can’t go in there alone with you.”

“Did you see a free chair on the floor?” he said. “Because what I saw was a row of plump sugar plums, and none of them likely to abandon her seat.”

“People will say I’ve been compromised.”

“Nonsense. I couldn’t possibly compromise anyone in an alcove shielded by a simple palm tree. A young lady compromised in such a manner either wants to be or wants to pretend she was. Which one are you?”

“Neither,” snapped Ellie.

“Then sit.” He whacked back the palm revealing a gilded bench by the wall. “Besides,” he continued, following her into the alcove, “your reputation will swell in direct correlation to the amount of time spent in my company.”

As she sat, she rolled her eyes. “La, what an extraordinary view of oneself.”

BUY LINKS for A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing and The Secret Life of Lords A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing: Book 1 in the Albright Sisters series The Secret Life of Lords: Book 2 in the Albright Sisters series

Elf Ahearn
“Regency romance with a Gothic twist.”
The Albright Sisters Series: A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing, The Secret Life of Lords

Diana Cosby: Advantages of Selling Your Novel to A Publisher Later in your Career (Contest)
Sunday, May 13th, 2018

Diana Cosby ©2018

When I began writing, I remember sending out my first partial, smiling, telling everyone the manuscript’s title, and that my book was going to sell. Then how, months later, I received a rejection letter. I was devastated. How could a publisher not want the book of my heart? And the rejection letter, Dear Author . . ., it could have been written to anyone!

Over the years I discovered that I had a deft skill for acquiring rejections. I remember one day my oldest son, who has now served a tour in the Marine Corps, carrying in a manila envelope saying, “Hey, Mom, you received another rejection.” 😊 Gotta love kids. After 100 rejections, I quit counting. I decided I knew how to acquire a rejection.

Throughout the years, regardless of the frustrations and doubt, I never gave up. Not only is it important to never give up, but I believe it’s essential for you to RECOGNIZE that with each passing year, you’re growing more knowledgeable in the craft, plus, you’re connecting with fellow authors and industry professionals, which is networking. Once you sell, your experience and contacts will prove invaluable. I never realized until looking back, the benefits of selling later in my writing career.

I feel passionate about this topic, because I wish someone would have sat me down and said, “That you write is well and good, but let’s say you sold, what’s your plan?” Plan? Why to write of course. It’s critical that after we sell that we keep on writing, but it’s also important to build a readership along with a list of reviewers. The hard reality is that unless you sell a book through a high visibility venue, few people will know who you are, much less buy your book. So, if you’re a new writer, don’t worry over about rejections, they’re a part of writer’s life, but plan for the day when you sell. Use your time accrued to your benefit, your success is no accident.

What is your exact goal? Define it. Plan not only make it, but make it a success. So, what can you do? My thoughts:

-If you have a website, great. If not, place it on top of your priority list. Let it reflect the target market you are writing for and will eventually sell to. If you’re going to blog, great, but stagnant blogs turn away readers.

-A Brand. What tag to do you feel is the essence of what you write, regardless of the line, era? My tag is, “Romance Edged With Danger.”

-Business Cards. Keep them professional. I have two different business cards, those I hand out to readers that have my website and e-mail, but not my home address and contact information. The other business card has all of my contact information, which I give to industry professionals.

-Bookmarks. I think bookmarks are one of the single best marketing tools a writer can have. I always say that if someone takes one and really doesn’t want it, odds are they’ll leave my bookmark somewhere – to be found by a reader who’ll scoop it up. Also, I send bookmarks to conferences, booksellers, venues that feature the type of book I write such as medieval gatherings, and anywhere I feel it’s beneficial.

-On-line social media pages.

-Conferences: Keep networking!

-Marketing. I’ll give you two bits of advice, choose what you LOVE DOING, and what’s within your budget.

After 9 1/2 years of writing, I sold. I found that in addition to writing an intense, multi-layer story, came the challenge of fitting in time for promotion. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. This is where preparing early in your career for success comes into play. Your well-planned foundation won’t add time onto your day, but it will give you a significant edge as you work hard to help your career take off.

As I look back, I’m thankful I didn’t sell early on in my career. After 9 1/2 years of writing I thought I was ready for the challenges after I sold; in essence, I was clueless. The years accrued before I sold gave me time to strengthen my writing, meet industry professionals, and to make friends who were a not only a bedrock in the enormous transition of becoming published, but who are truly a blessing in my life. So, next time you receive a rejection letter, set it aside, and focus on building your career. Last, always believe in yourself! I wish each and every one of you every success!

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author

Author of:
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
Forbidden Series: Forbidden Legacy/Forbidden Knight/Forbidden Vow–May 15th, 2018/Forbidden Alliance TBA/Forbidden Realm TBA


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Happy Mother’s Day!
Saturday, May 12th, 2018

So, my dd is my shopper. What I don’t buy online, I send her to purchase. Well, last-minute-Nelly here needed flowers and a card for my mom for mother’s day. I sent her to the store.

The garden goose is what she bought for my mom. Love it! Perfect! And she returned with my flowers and card…and a story…

Well, she said it was hilarious trying to muscle her way into the card aisle. Every husband in town was doing his shopping at O-dark-thirty. And a big red-headed guy seemed to be following her around from aisle to aisle. When she stared at him, he said he wasn’t following, but he was stuck for what to buy. In the clearance aisle, he glanced at mini-trampoline.

My daughter shook her head. “No. Just no.”

He said, “But she could use it.”

She said, giving him the “uh-huh” head-shake, “You’re telling her she’s fat.”

His eyes got really big, and he headed back over to the flowers.

Hope you didn’t get a mini-trampoline. 🙂