Archive for February, 2019
Thursday, February 21st, 2019
I’m late posting! It’s been a busy couple of days. Dad came home from the hospital yesterday! He’s doing better, although we have many issues to follow up with his doctors. But he’s home, so we’re breathing a big sigh of relief.
I don’t feel much like writing right now. I wrote a sex scene today, so I’m all “worded-out”. Thought you’d enjoy playing with one of my favorite personal photos…
Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
My dog Lou is a pug/terrier cross and she’s almost sixteen and a half years old. She came into our lives fifteen years ago when she was about a year and half old, but even at that young age our vet was sure she’d already had at least one litter of puppies. When we got her, she looked a little rough. Patches of fur were missing from her tail, and she smelled terrible. We were told she lived mostly outside, which is horrifying to me considering the kind of winters we have in Manitoba. But with love and good food, which she didn’t have to hoard anymore, her coat grew sleek and she gained weight. Boy, did she gain weight!
In those early years, she was a bundle of energy. She loved to walk or even run, so we went out every day, in all kinds of weather. She was affectionate and funny.
These days, in her elderly state, she’s still affectionate, but she doesn’t have much energy. We still go outside together in all kinds of weather, though our walks are very slow and don’t cover much distance. At this point we don’t know how much longer we’ll have her. All we can do in the time we have left with her is love her and care for her.
I didn’t know how much I loved dogs until we got Lou. I had dogs on the farm as a kid, but they were outside dogs that lived in the barn; my mom didn’t believe dogs and cats should live in the house. For years before we got Lou we had cats, and I loved them, but hands-down, Lou is my favorite pet ever.
Lou has inspired me to include dogs as characters in some of my books. In my latest release, CHILD OF MINE, Brady is Cole’s Golden Retriever. He’s even on the cover of the book, which makes me very happy. When Cole and Lauren marry and she moves in, Brady falls head over heels in love with Lauren and is her constant companion.
Another dog that ended up on one of my covers, albeit in cartoon form, is Spike in CHILL OUT. Spike is a Mastiff rescued by the hero of the story. He was inspired by my friend Michelle’s dog Indy, also a rescued Mastiff. When Michelle worked in my office, she regularly brought Indy to work with her and I got to know this gentle giant. In real life, Indy (a girl, by the way), wasn’t as big as I made Spike in the book. Like Brady, Spike totally falls for the heroine. Both dogs have very good taste!
The fictional dog most inspired by Lou is Stanley in TAKE A CHANCE ON ME. This book may have my favorite cover of all my books because it features Stanley in all his adorableness. There are definite differences between Stanley and Lou; for starters, Stanley is a male dog. He’s also a pure-bred pug and Lou is a cross. But in attitude, and in shedding prowess, Stanley is all Lou. When Lou is gone, I’ll look at that cover and fondly remember my little buddy.
Do you have a pet? Do you like to read about fictional pets in romance novels?
Child of Mine
Is Lauren’s love for Cole stronger than her fear of scandal in her hometown?
Lauren didn’t intend to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband’s funeral. But now that she is pregnant, she’s not sorry. Cole’s given her a baby, a long-wished-for miracle. He’s been her friend forever, though she never told him or anyone else how unhappy her marriage to his cheating brother was. And she’s afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn’t his.
Cole’s been in love with Lauren since he was sixteen. It kills him that everyone believes the baby is his dead brother’s. All he wants is to claim the baby, and Lauren, as his own. Though she marries him, will Lauren’s heart ever be his?
Lauren must tell the truth or risk losing Cole. Is her newly-discovered love for him greater than her fear of scandal in her hometown?
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6519-child-of-mine.html
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Child-Mine-Masonville-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07MBVK9LY
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/child-of-mine-jana-richards/1130197427?ean=2940161413616
Cole wrapped her in his arms. He held her securely, whispering reassurances. “It’s all right, Lauren. Don’t cry. It’s going to be okay, sweetheart.”
She clung to him, her face buried against his neck. How wonderful to be held, to be touched. It had been so long—
What was she doing? This was Cole, her friend. She pulled away from him. “I’m sorry.”
“You don’t have anything to apologize for.”
She turned away and tried to wipe the tears from her face. After she got her tears under control, she made herself smile at him. “Do you remember the homecoming dance? The time I tripped in my new high heels and sprained my ankle?”
“Of course I do. You couldn’t walk, so I carried you from the school gym to Billy’s car, and he drove you home. I remember you were a lot heavier than you looked.”
She swatted his shoulder, hiccupping laughter mixing with her tears. “Very funny. I was trying to make a point.”
He wiped the tears from her cheek with the pad of his thumb, his dark eyes full of tenderness. “So what was your point?”
“You’re a good friend. You’ve always been there every time I’ve needed you, and here you are again. Thank you.” He stared into her eyes, but said nothing. She couldn’t look away. He continued to stroke her cheek with his thumb, the tiny caress acting like a balm to her battered heart. She placed her hand on his cheek.
They reached for each other in mutual need. He pulled her against his chest, his mouth descending on hers in a hungry, urgent kiss. She sighed against his mouth, and he brought her closer. He wants me. It had been so long since someone had wanted her. Only her.
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About the Author
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 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 named cross Lou. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com
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Tuesday, February 19th, 2019
This has been one helluva month.
With everything happening on the home front, I haven’t been able to get pages written, so the release of the book I promised this month, Big Sky Wedding, is delayed. So, what’s going on? Too many things, family-related, to go into, but the big thing is my dad’s deteriorating health.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that he broke his hip last year and went through surgery and rehab. He has other health-related issues—heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes, etc.—so, any new issues are always exacerbated. While in rehab, he developed ulcers on his feet. Since November, he’s been treated by a wound doctor and has had to remain off his feet, which hasn’t helped his hip surgery recovery. My dd and I have pitched in to clean and wrap his feet daily. Everyone’s pitched in to get him to his appointments. Sometimes, he’s on a walker, sometimes in wheelchair, when we take him to dialysis or his many appointments. Well, recently, he complained that he couldn’t breathe. Yes, too much fluid in his chest and around his heart. We’re pretty sure this is it. The fact he’s lived so long—he’s in his 80’s—has been a testament to his stubbornness. Right now, he’s back in the hospital, and my mom and aunt are staying nearby (the hospital is an hour-and-a-half away). I’m holding down the fort at home and preparing for them coming back soon, we hope. Anyway, that’s where we are with all of that, which has put me in a state of flux so far as work is concerned.
I have edits due on a story I wrote for Entangled. I have edits due back on two other authors’ projects. I have that book to write and a new collection to edit now that I’ve made the selections of the stories that will go into the volume. And that’s really what I’d like to take about now…
In case you didn’t see the notice I posted on my Collections website, I am pleased to announce the final lineup of authors who will be part of the Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology! Congratulations go out to:
A.C. Dawn – The Kiss of a Stranger’s Flame
A.J. Harris – Shelter From the Storm
Ara Geller – Reviving Artemis
Delilah Devlin – Quincy Down Under
Kenzie Mathews – Hourglass
Kimberly Dean – Out of This World
Kimberly Lithe – Burning Stars
Lucrecia Christina – Switching Call
Melanie Jayne – A Change of Predicament
Michal Scott – Put It in a Book
N.J. Walters – Undercover Lover
Sam Heathers – Too Deep
Sukie Chapin – Going Down
This comes out in April 2019! Mark your calendars! And you can pre-order the volume here! It’s just $0.99! Reserve your copy here!
Soon, the authors will be visiting the Collections site, and we’ll be talking more about the stories in this volume, so consider subscribing to that other blog (see the sign up on the right of that website’s home page). There will be contests, free reads, and plenty of juicy excerpts! You won’t want to miss any of the fun!
Monday, February 18th, 2019
It’s February and we’re in the midst of a snowstorm in Ontario, Canada! I thought I’d share a spring-like recipe to try to nudge Mother Nature into giving us warmer temperatures. Everyone think spring!!
Soften 1 package of gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water for 1-2 minutes. Then stir over low heat until dissolved.
Add: 1 Tbsp. lemon rind
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup white sugar
Stir in 2/3 cup plain yogurt OR Greek vanilla yogurt 0% fat.
Whip 1 cup whipping cream with ½ cup sugar and fold into above. Chill 3-4 hours. Serves 4.
I’m excited to share a little bit about the fourth book of my In the Game Hockey Romance series. It’s a stand-alone story and was one of my favourites to write. Jordan’s “spirited” aunt pops in for a visit to give Jordan some much needed moral support. I believe that our loved ones are always looking out for us as our guardian angels. And Jordan could definitely use the nudge in her love life!
Before the Whistle
(In the Game Hockey Romance series, Book 4)
Jordyn Kendra is a talented designer and savvy businesswoman. Spending eighteen hours a day establishing and running a successful business doesn’t leave much time for pursuing a relationship, and frankly she hasn’t really missed it. But when an invitation arrives that could help her fulfill her career dreams, she has to make a decision. What’s harder: going to a gala without a date or finding someone to ask?
Ben Matthews, head athletic therapist for the wildly popular Clarington Quakes hockey team, tends to stand out in a crowd. When Jordyn doesn’t recognize him, it puts a dent in his ego, but he catches her attention when he jumps in to save a life.
She’s a queasy bystander, cowering at the sight of blood, and he’s cool, calm, and confident, which she finds irresistible. With a little prodding from her spirited aunt, Jordyn realizes that she and Ben might be the perfect mismatch.
Before the Whistle – when cool and calm in an emergency is totally hot.
The man who’d walked in as she’d come out of the pool – and wasn’t he gorgeous? – glanced over at the teenagers and then stepped in front of her, blocking their view. “Hi. You’re Jordyn, right? Danni’s friend?”
Jordyn stumbled to a stop. The top of her head came level with the middle of his bare chest. There were only a few advantages to being short. Being eye level with that view – sculpted muscle, smooth skin, broad shoulders – was definitely one of them. She swept her gaze up to his face. He looked familiar, but she couldn’t place him.
“Ben Matthews. I work with the Quakes.” He took the towel from around his neck and handed it to her.
She took it without thinking. “Of course.” He was the head athletic therapist for the Clarington Quakes, the professional hockey team in town. She’d met him a couple of times at team events when she’d accompanied her friend, Dr. Danni Angelo, who was one of the team physicians. She hadn’t realized that impressive physique was under the loose team jacket he usually wore. “Hi, Ben. Yes, I’m Jordyn Kendra. Nice to see you.” She held up the towel. “Ah, thanks, but I don’t really need to take yours. I left one on the chair over there.” She pointed to the lounger at the end of the pool.
He nodded. “That’s okay. I can get another. You go ahead – it’s a bit chilly in here.”
Jordyn tilted her head. Really? The water was cool, but the air felt like a balmy summer day. She shrugged and wrapped the towel around herself. “I didn’t know you lived in this condo.”
He smiled. “Just moved in last month. I had an apartment close to the rink, but when something opened up with a view of the river, I jumped at it.”
“You can’t beat it. You’ll love it here. I’m sure you’re busy with the team, but it really is convenient having the pool, squash courts, and weight room in the building.”
“I’m certainly enjoying the view.” His eyes lit with amusement.
Jordyn nodded. “Well, I should get going. It was good to see you. Maybe we’ll see more of each other.”
He chuckled. “Maybe.”
That was funny? She didn’t get it. “Thanks for the towel.”
She walked toward the change room and glanced back as Ben dove into the water. Hmm. Perfect form and hardly a splash. For a huge guy, he was pretty graceful. It looked like he’d done that before. She fleetingly wondered if he ever had trouble with shrinking bathing trunks.
She headed inside and fiddled with the combination of the lock to her locker. She’d rather shower upstairs in her condo, but she’d brought a cover to wear in the elevator. She unwrapped the towel, threw it on the bench, and glanced at her reflection in the mirror across the room. Her heart pounded in shock.
Her bathing suit was completely see-through. Her eyes widened. It left absolutely nothing to the imagination. She groaned and covered her cheeks with her hands. No wonder the teenagers had been so interested.
She shook her head and laughed in embarrassment.
About the Author
Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, sexy romances – with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA
Newsletter Sign up: http://www.lindaoconnor.net/contact/
Sunday, February 17th, 2019
Deerbourne Inn (book 4)
Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.
Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves.
Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?
Erica leaned up and combed her fingers through her hair. “I’ve never made love outside before. It’s a surreal experience.”
“We can do it wherever you want. In an elevator, in an alley, in my car. I’m game anywhere and everywhere for as long as you want me.”
“I want you so much it hurts.”
Dylan thumbed her knuckles and hoped she meant that. “I don’t know how you feel about labels, but I haven’t had a girlfriend in years. I’ve just had flings, but I want more than that with you. I want us to be with each other and no one else. I want a relationship with you.”
Tears welled in her eyes. “I feel divided in two. A part of me thinks we’re moving too fast, but another part says to jump in with both feet. I want something real with you too. I don’t want to feel dirty after we fool around. Just make me happy. Will you do that, Dylan?”
Her soft, pain-filled words struck Dylan like a dagger in his gut, and he bit the insides of his cheeks to steady his features.
Her ex-boyfriend had probably called her names and degraded her after they would find release in each other’s body, and the bastard likely never cared if she reached climax at all.
“I understand, Erica. I promise to treat you with nothing but respect, and I will do my very best to make you happy. I swear you will always scream your head off in pleasure every time I touch you. I’m not the sort of man to get my jollies off and leave my girl hanging.”
Her lips twitched up in a grin. “That’s good to hear.”
“So are you my girl?”
“Yeah, I’m your girl.” Erica giggled and tapped her fingers on his chest. “How could I not be? You make a very compelling argument, but I will have to hold you to it. I’m definitely looking forward to screaming every time you touch me.”
“Let’s rest, and then we’ll play again. The night’s early, and I’ve only just begun.”
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43225610-lyrical-embrace
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2ChIhNT
Barnes and Noble – https://bit.ly/2ChIhgR
iTunes – https://apple.co/2M3T9mW
The Wild Rose Press store – https://bit.ly/2AIkSFk
Books2Read – http://books2read.com/u/m0MYaV
About the Author
Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.
Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at http://www.amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com.
Social Media Links:
Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author
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The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton
Saturday, February 16th, 2019
UPDATE: The winner is…Ronda Barnes!
Yes, I’m late posting! I spent the day binge-watching Outlander with my dd and her hubby who was home from the police academy. Now, we’re all caught up! Loved Ian’s ending. I actually wish the story would follow him now! Can I admit that last season was a bit long and boring? Is that sacrilege?
Anyways, so I’m late. Here’s a puzzle. It’s a picture for something I think would be lovely on a short story cover. Tell me what you think that story should be about—however brief!—and you’ll be entered to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Friday, February 15th, 2019
Born in 1956, I’m a product of the “Say it loud I’m Black and I’m Proud” sixties and have always loved learning of the achievements of African-Americans. Many years ago I was pleasantly surprised to come across a box of flash cards of thirty-six famous African Americans. Martin Luther King Jr was prominently displayed on the cover, but I recognized miniatures of Marian Anderson and Mary McLeod Bethune. I bought it at once and hurried home with my prize. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and discovered only six of the thirty-six were women! I was expecting half the cards to be dedicated to women. After all we are the other half the human race, right? I might have grudgingly settled for twelve, but six? I appreciated the six represented different firsts like Shirley Chisholm and Marian Anderson, historical champions like Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, and two well-known in the Black community if not as well known in the larger society like Mary McLeod Bethune and Phillis Wheatley. But this collection was sending an unfortunate subliminal message, i.e. women don’t contribute equally to “the Race.” That disappointment sent me on a crusade.
I began collecting images of Black women whenever I came across them. Postcards, books, magazines, you name it. If it had an African-American woman on or in it, I bought it. I framed the images in dollar store box frames and put them on the walls of my apartment. My collection grew to over three hundred images, multiples of those who are household names like Billie Holiday, but the majority who were famous in their time like Ada Overton Walker. Born in 1880, she and her husband George Walker became well-known for their interpretation of the cakewalk.
Soon, I just started collecting images of any black woman or girl I found and framed those too. Even though nameless, they deserve to be noticed, too. So in honor of all the African-American women you’ve encountered over the years, please share their names so I can find their images and add them to my collection.
One Breath Away
Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. She’s never been courted, cuddled or spooned, and now no man could want her, not when sexual satisfaction comes only with the thought of asphyxiation. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.
Wealthy, freeborn-Black, Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing the mysteriously exotic woman is his mate foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.
Hope ignites along with lust until the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…
“Will you let me help you?” He extended his hand, waited for permission.
She took his hand as he had taken hers and pressed his fingers to her wounded flesh. Pain, quick and sharp, flashed through her mind. She gasped and tugged his hand away, but it wouldn’t budge.
“Don’t fight it.” He stayed close, stroked his thumb soothingly where the scar stretched beneath her ear. “Your fear gives it strength.”
The rhythm of his strokes calmed her fears, relaxed her body. She had no energy, no desire to resist. Her hands slipped from his wrist. Her arms hung limp at her sides. She closed her eyes.
“I—I’ve got to sit down or I’ll fall down.”
“Then fall.” His gaze held the assurance she needed. “I’ve caught you before. I’ll catch you again.”
On cue her knees buckled and she collapsed. He swept her into his arms with the ease of pushing a swinging door. She buried her face in his chest, wheezed, shuddered, wheezed again.
“Relax,” he cooed. “Relax. It’s your fear. Nothing more.”
She blinked, fought for breath through gritted teeth. “Bu—but my response is not nothing. It’s real fear.”
“Yes, it’s real, but not permanent. Your fear can be controlled and finally conquered.”
“Controlled?” She panted. Disbelief huffed out on each breath. “How?”
“With time…if you’re willing.” His mouth hovered a hair above hers. The warmth of his words whispered between her parted lips. “Are you willing?”
“I—I’m not sure.”
“Let me convince you.” He closed the gap between their mouths.
A hint of peppermint tooth powder boosted rather than masked the natural earthy taste of tooth and saliva. Each swipe of his tongue strengthened her spirit. God, she had heaven in her mouth.
She drowned in the moans vibrating from her throat. In her mind she surfaced for air, for relief, but the need for more pulled her back under. She wrapped her arms around his neck, invited him to plunge deeper, take her deeper. Desire warred with fear. In her heart she prayed.
God, please let desire win this time.
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