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Dee S. Knight: Communicating the Right Words… (Excerpt)
Friday, August 16th, 2019

As writers, we’re totally consumed with words—the style, the quality, the grammatical correctness, the tense, the appropriateness, the number, the… ACK!! Before you know it, you’re curled up in a corner with a glazed look in your eyes, mumbling verses like:

I write them short
I write them long,
But still can’t weave
An author’s song.
My keyboard’s hot
But still no words
That sound much more
Than worthless turds.

Been there, done that. No matter how hard it is to write and re-write, words are our business and their importance can’t be overlooked. Here’s an example of how vital communicating the right word can be.

It was a hot Saturday evening in the summer of 1964 and Fred had a date with Peggy Sue. He arrived at her house and rang the bell.

“Oh, come on in!” Peggy Sue’s mother said as she welcomed Fred. “Would you like something to drink? Lemonade? Iced tea?”

“Iced tea, please,” Fred said.

“So, what are you and Peggy planning to do tonight?” Peggy Sue’s mom asked when she brought the drinks.

“Oh, probably catch a movie, and then maybe grab a bite to eat at the malt shop, maybe take a walk on the beach…”

“Peggy likes to screw, you know,” Mom confided.

“Really?” Fred raised his eyebrows.

“Oh yes,” she continued. “When she goes out with her friends, that’s all they do!”

“Is that so?” asked Fred, incredulously.

“Yes. As a matter of fact, she’d screw all night if we’d let her!”

“Well, thanks for the tip!” Fred said as he began thinking about alternate plans for the evening.

A moment later, Peggy Sue came down the stairs looking pretty as a picture, wearing a pink sweater set and a pleated skirt, and with her hair tied back in a bouncy ponytail. She greeted Fred.

“Have fun, kids!” her mother said as they left.

Half an hour later, a completely disheveled Peggy Sue burst into the house and slammed the front door. “The Twist, Mom!” she yelled to her mother in the kitchen. “The damn dance is called the Twist!”

Poor Peggy Sue. Poor Fred.

So, how can we tell if we’re communicating the right words? Well, there are a few of ways I use. I won’t kid you, they’re all difficult as heck, but they work most of the time.

1. Find overused words like really, that and just and only. I use two ways to do this and both are good.

a. Use the Search feature. Each time one of those words is found, read the sentence and make sure the word is required for the meaning you’re trying to convey. If not, cut!! Yes, really!

b. Read your work out loud. Yes, all of your work, even those hotter than blazes sex scenes. If you have to take a flashlight into the closet to be alone, I can’t emphasize enough how helpful this can be, and for more than finding unneeded words.

2. Reading aloud helps you notice words repeated in close proximity.

*He wore a serious expression.

“We’re in serious trouble,” she said.

“Yes,” he answered, “I’ve hardly ever been in such a serious position.”*

And that’s before they got into bed.

3. Unneeded words bog down your writing. Pay particular attention to the ending of sentences and words immediately after verbs.

*He shrugged his shoulders before answering.* What else would he shrug? his shoulders is not needed.

*“Get out,” she said to her.* If there’re only two people present, to her is not needed.

*Her heart pounded in her chest.* Well, yeah.

*I must get out, she thought to herself.* Yes, if she’s thinking, she’s doing it to herself. No need to say it.

4. Turn your work over to someone else to read. The trick here is to find someone you trust. It’s okay if they like you, but it’s not a necessity.  As long as they’ll be honest about what they read and help you make your work as powerful as possible—meaning with the right words used in the right way—you’re okay. The sad truth is, the same way you easily see errors in someone else’s work, your critique partner will see them in yours. Damn it.

5. Think about what you want each scene to mean. Does each sentence, each paragraph help you accomplish your goal? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to cut words I really, really loved because they didn’t help the scene get where it needed to go. The same goes for scenes within chapters. This is tough to get used to, but if you read your work and you’re into 2-3 pages of narrative, take a step back and make sure you can’t turn that into dialogue or action. Readers have short attention spans and often don’t appreciate your genius in narrative. What’s a writer to do? Cut!

6. And of course (which are unnecessary words, but hey…), make sure the word you’ve used is the word you meant to use. As shown above, there’s a big difference between screwing and twisting!

Only a Good Man Will Do

Seriously ambitious man seeks woman to encourage his goals, support his (hopeful) position as Headmaster of Westover Academy, and be purer than Caesar’s wife. Good luck with that!

Daniel Goodman is a man on a mission. He aims to become headmaster of Westover Academy. For that he needs a particular, special woman to help him set high standards. Into his cut and dried life of moral and upright behavior, comes Eve Star, formerly one of Europe’s foremost exotic dancers. Her life is anything but cut and dried, black and white. Daniel is drawn to her like a kid to chocolate. Nothing good can come of this attraction. Or can it? He is after all, a good man.

Buy links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2q7ovi4
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1129630612?ean=2940161770603
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/898008
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/only-a-good-man-will-do

Excerpt:

Daniel took his seat in the Academy dining room with a few of the boys from his dormitory. Each table sat six, with a permanent place for a dorm master or table monitor. Each month, the boys rotated tables, assuring they spent casual dining time with their dorm master and others, and learned proper table manners. Usually, Daniel enjoyed meals with his young charges. They were more willing than the older students to talk about what happened during the day, and he often picked up on budding problems by listening to their conversations. For this reason, even though late afternoon-early evening was the part of the day he had free, he usually liked to attend dinner.

However, he’d changed his calls to Eve from four-thirty to after dinner, and now Daniel counted the minutes until the evening meal ended. He urged the boys not to tarry after dessert and then cursed the fact he had to walk sedately rather than sprint back to the dorm. Once there, he made sure to lock the doors and get comfortable before punching her number on the telephone face. A minor dorm crisis requiring both him and his assistant had prevented their saying much more than hello yesterday, and today, though he’d just eaten, he felt like a starving man.

“Nothing a little sugar won’t cure,” he muttered, using Southern slang for kisses.

At the same moment, a deep, male voice answered. “Well, honey, you ain’t gettin’ it from me.” The man laughed. “Hey, doc. Eve told me to tell you she had to go out, and if she missed you, she’d call back as soon as possible.”

“Hi, Jed.” Of course Eve shouldn’t be hanging around waiting for his calls, but he couldn’t help the disappointment that hit like a sledgehammer. “Say, why’d you call me doc?”

Jed laughed. “Ask Eve.”

“I’ll do that. Thanks.” Well. Daniel set the phone back on the side table. All dressed up and nowhere to go. He looked at the remaining term papers he had to grade, but reading the opinions of high school boys on any subject, much less Romeo and Juliet, a love story that ended tragically, didn’t appeal. What he wanted was to hear the voice of the woman who’d ridden him hard and put him away wet on Tuesday evening.

About the Author


A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex. Writing was so much fun Dee decided to keep at it. That’s how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she’s lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. For romance ranging from sweet to historical, contemporary to paranormal and more join Dee on Nomad Authors. Contact Dee at dsknight@deesknight.com.

Author links:
Website: https://nomadauthors.com
Blog: http://nomadauthors.com/blog
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DeeSKnight
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeeSKnight2018
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/265222.Dee_S_Knight
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B079BGZNDN
Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h8t2y6
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/dee-s-knight-0500749

Desiree Holt: SEAL Undercover (Excerpt)
Thursday, August 15th, 2019

The enemy was hiding in plain sight…

SEAL Undercover
Dedicated to the SEALs who continue to fight for America’s safety and honor

SEAL Undercover is part of the Suspense Sisters Silver SEALs series.

I hope you will check out all the books. ~Desiree

Max DiSalvo gave his entire life to the SEALs. He would have married—he certainly enjoyed women—but he never could find one who understood his dedication to the Teams, even though many of his team members married happily. It takes a certain caliber of woman to be a SEAL wife and Max just never found one that fit with him. Now, at 48, he is out of the SEALs, running his own commercial fishing company in Maine where he grew up, and waiting for his assignments from DHS.

Regan Shaw, a SEAL widow, is an Intelligence Operations Specialist with DHS, and a woman who Max is drawn to from first sight. Part of her job is analyzing information to assess threats and she’s discovered a doozy—there is a secret group of very wealthy people who, in partnership with a powerful cartel, are using the border with Mexico to smuggle terrorists from the Middle East into the country. And word has come down that a high-level member of the government is clearing the way with them for everything.

The group is about to have one of its executive meetings at an exclusive resort in Texas and that’s where DHS is sending the two of them. Credentials have been arranged that would make him attractive to the group. A story has been set and there is backup for him should he need it. Regan, who has all the information on this operation, will go with him as his wife.

As they uncover more and more of the operation, they realize just how dangerous this group really is. When someone betrays them, and Regan is kidnapped, Max goes into war mode, because in Regan Shaw he’s found the woman he’s waited for all his life and he doesn’t intend to lose her now. But he will need every bit of the skills that he learned as a SEAL to rescue her and bring down this very dirty conspiracy.

Excerpt:

“And what does he get out of it.”

“He thinks he’s getting a free pass on prison and will have the opportunity to live out his life on some island in luxury.”

“He thinks? And what’s really going to happen.”

“That’s above my pay grade.” He walked over to Max. “Anyway, as soon as I saw the picture and heard the name, I knew we had to get you into this. You’ve got all the necessary skills. If you say yes, you’ve got five days to learn everything you need to know to become Max Ferron.”

“What happens then?”

“Their next very private, very secret meeting I told you about? It’s taking place at a lodge hidden away from the world. We believe it’s the final get-together before July 4th. We want you to go in there as Max Ferren and get every bit of information available to bring them down.”

Max gave a hard laugh. “You don’t want much, do you.”

“Listen. You’re our only chance. There’s no one else we can insert. We’ll give you all the protection we can. But, in the end, it may be up to you.” He sighed. “Will you do it, Max? I know this is a cheesy line, but like I said earlier, your country needs you.”

Max stared out the window for a long time. He knew this was risky. He might even get killed. But for the first time since he’d been shot, his blood was stirring and his pulse racing. He had a purpose. This was what he lived for. To serve his country in any way he could.

“Well?” Si prodded.

Max turned. “You knew I’d do it, or you’d never have come here. But I need the morning to get things organized with the boat crews and put someone in charge while I’m away.”

“No problem.”

“Fourth of July, huh? They picked a symbolic day to do this. On purpose, I’m sure.”

“No shit. The assholes. I’d like to take them apart myself.” He paused. “There’s one more thing. I haven’t discussed it with anyone except my boss and Regan.”

“Yeah? What’s that?”

“Part of their attack could include biological weapons.”

Max’s blood chilled, and he had trouble breathing. “Bioterrorism? Are you kidding me?”

“I hope so. We haven’t picked up any chatter about it, but you know it is a favorite of the terrorists in the Middle East.”

Max knew that very well. The possibility of it on missions was always there in the background, which was why they carried special gear.

“Fuck, Si. We need to shut this damn thing down before it goes any further.”

Si nodded. “That we do. Okay, I’ll have the chopper pick us up at one tomorrow. That do it for you?”

“The chopper?” Max chuckled. “Yeah, that’ll be fine, but we’d better do it somewhere away from here or the townspeople will be gossiping twenty/four seven.”

“Gotcha. Oh, and there’s a bonus with this. You’ll have a wife with you.”

“A wife?” Max stared at his friend.

“Yeah. Max Ferron was recently married. No one in the group has met her, but we had Bernardo vouch for her along with his brother.”

“They can’t be too happy about all this.”

Si nodded. “They’re not. But Bernardo’s been a driving force in this group. His arms and munitions are the key to pulling this off. He’s had to reach out to others to gather the quantity he needs, which means they’re no doubt already setting up the beginning of their worldwide network.”

Max stared at the other man. “And who is this woman who’s my supposed wife?”

“She works for DHS as an Intelligence Operations Specialist. Analyzes chatter coming in. She’s the one who first picked up on this. When she did, she was moved onto the Bone Frog staff so we could keep the people in the loop as few as possible. She’s been thoroughly briefed ln everything and will be a big help.”

Right. Some computer analyst who probably thought this would be a walk in the park.

Preorder here:

https://www.amazon.com/SEAL-Undercover-Silver-SEALs-Book-ebook/dp/B07SV4ZDX1/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=SEAL+Undercover&qid=1564088815&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Then come join us here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DesireesDarlings/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

You can email me here: authordesireeholt@gmail.com

Caroline Clemmons: An Agent for Magdala (Contest, FREE Read, & Excerpt)
Monday, August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Delilah, for hosting me as your guest.

Hello Readers, I’m Caroline Clemmons and I write western romance. That sounds a bit like I’m at an anti-addiction meeting, doesn’t it? Well, writing is an addiction—but I’m not trying to recover. I love being a writer. Of course, I’m a reader, too.

My husband and I live in North Central Texas where we are staff to three cats and a dog. Other than being with my husband and children, my happy place is in my little office that I call my pink cave. Surrounded by books and memorabilia, I create stories I love on my desktop computer. I hope readers love them, too. My intention is that readers are uplifted and entertained by my stories.

Usually, I write historical romances, but I also author contemporaries, time travels, and mysteries set in the west. So far, I’ve written fifty-two titles and I’ve plans for many more. No matter how many times I write the same time period, each book requires specific research. For my latest release, AN AGENT FOR MAGDALA, Pinkerton Matchmaker Series book 37, I searched for the land route from Denver to San Antonio, Texas in 1871. I was astonished to learn that not only were there no rail lines where I needed them to be, there were very few roads a passenger stagecoach would travel—rough terrain, little water, lots of Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache made travel difficult.

My two Pinkerton agents are assigned a case in San Antonio, Texas and must travel there from Denver. At that time San Antonio had a little over eight thousand people. This community had been a trade center beginning in the eighteenth century with the Spanish. They established five missions there: the Alamo, Concepción, San Jose, San Juan, and Estrada. Even people who are not from Texas have probably heard of the Alamo. I was surprised to learn that at the time of the famous battle in 1836, the Alamo had a flat roof and not the arched one added during restoration.

A large portion of AN AGENT FOR MAGDALA takes place in The Menger Hotel. The Menger has been an important San Antonio destination since 1859. When the hotel opened, Mary and William Menger were so successful that they immediately added more rooms. Through its life the hotel has been remodeled as new conveniences became available and has remained popular with travelers. There is a rumor that ghosts reside in the Menger but when our youngest daughter stayed there she did not encounter one. Frankly, she was a little disappointed even though she enjoyed the hotel’s accommodations.

AN AGENT FOR MAGDALA

She craves adventure, but this may be too much…
His job means the world to him…
Capturing jewel thieves will test them…

Magdala leaps at the opportunity to become a Pinkerton agent. Learning the position requires a paper marriage shocks but doesn’t deter her. She plans to get an annulment before her unusual family learns of the situation. She’s determined to prove she has the grit to be an excellent investigator. But, why does she have to be partnered with the one man who has been rude to her?
Douglas “Cloud” Ryan loves being a Pinkerton agent. Otherwise, he’d never go along with his boss’ crazy plan to marry him to a female agent. He’s certain women have no business dealing with criminals. After enduring the stagecoach trip from Denver to San Antonio, Maggie needs to stay in the background and let him solve the case. He has reasons to distrust women, especially women like Maggie.
Can Maggie and Cloud catch the jewel thieves plaguing an historic San Antonio hotel without becoming victims? Will they take a chance on the love growing between them?

Here’s an excerpt from their first full day in the Menger Hotel where they’re pretending to be Princess Magdala of Bayergrovenia and her husband, the Duke of Montpelier:

He’d learned that Maggie was cheerful when she first woke. He envied her because he needed an hour or two before he could appreciate people. There he went again. Concentrate on the case instead of thinking about her habits and moods.

Instead of the voluminous coat she’d had with her on the trip, today she wore a fur jacket. He had to admit that in a green dress that looked very expensive and wearing a fur, no one would doubt she was a princess. Her jewelry was less spectacular than she’d worn last night, but still eye-catching.

After breakfast, Cloud pulled out his pocket watch. “Perfect timing. Shall we meet the McMillans?”

He held her chair while she stood then she put her hand on his arm. Man, she was good at looking regal. If he didn’t know differently, he’d believe she really was a princess.

But, apparently people thought he was a duke. Even though the admission cost his pride, he had to confess he and Maggie made a good pair. They looked and acted—at least in public—their parts of a happily married royal couple who had plenty of money and time to spend it.

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Agent-Magdala-Pinkerton-Matchmaker-Book-ebook/dp/B07V3G4QHY/

Contest

To thank you for reading this far, I’m giving a $10 Amazon gift card to one person who leaves a comment on this post telling me their favorite fictional hero or heroine.

I love to stay in touch with readers:
Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a FREE novella
Follow me on my Amazon Author Page where all my books are shown: https://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Clemmons/e/B001K8CXZ6/
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Join my Facebook Readers Group – Caroline’s Cuties https://www.facebook.com/groups/277082053015947/
My website is http://www.carolineclemmons.com

Once more, Delilah, thank you for sharing your blog with me.

Linda O’Connor: Hockey & Table Settings (Excerpt)
Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Thanks so much for welcoming to your blog, Delilah. I always enjoy visiting! I’d like to share the spotlight with Sarah, the heroine from Between the Pipes.

Hi everyone, Sarah here! I thought I’d pop in and introduce myself. From nine to five, I’m a family doctor, and two evenings a week I run a mobile clinic —essentially, I bring the clinic to teens living on the street.

Working at the mobile clinic is the best part of my week. It’s something I founded when I moved to Clarington after graduating, and I’m extremely proud of it. I’ve been in Clarington for 4 years now and share a lot of adventures with my three friends — Danni Angelo, Kelly Danali, and Jordyn Kendra.

I love Clarington, but I have a bit of a confession. I don’t like hockey. I mean, I really don’t like hockey. I know, shh. I think I’m the only one in all of Clarington who isn’t crazy about the hometown team, the Clarington Quakes. But frankly, if I never step foot in an arena, I wouldn’t miss it. But that’s okay. I’ve lived very happily and pretty easily under the radar — so far (despite my best friend being the team doctor!)

My favourite hobby when I’m not working is setting tables. I like to entertain, and I enjoy the creative process of creating a lovely tablescape. Funny — when I visit other people I’m happy to eat off paper plates if they want to make a meal for me. But when I invite someone over, I get just as much enjoyment from setting the table as I do sharing the meal. Here are a few of my favourites. (I have a lot of dishes 🙂 )

Between the Pipes
(In the Game Hockey Romance, Book 1)

In the Game Hockey Romance series
Medical Romantic Comedy
Sports romance – hockey

Sarah Jain is a family doctor in a hockey-crazy town. She hates hockey. She hasn’t gone anywhere near a rink in years, until her friend, the team doctor, calls in a favour. Mike Wallace is the starting goalie for the Clarington Quakes, the local professional hockey team. He’s not about to let an injury slow him down or a rookie doctor call the shots.

Sarah and Mike don’t respect each other’s jobs. When they have to work together, sparks fly and ice melts. Can they play a game they both can win?

Amazon Link:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078SHLX8T/

Excerpt

She’d love any excuse to spend time with him. It’d be so easy to say yes. But going for coffee together veered into the realm of personal. If she could keep their relationship professional, it wouldn’t be a problem, but she was already attracted to him. Much as she wanted to say yes, her conscience said no. First, he was a patient, and second, how could she think about getting involved with a hockey player? Passion for hockey was the last thing they’d ever share. As tempting as it was, she needed to give this one a miss.

“I’m sorry. Unfortunately, I can’t.”

“You sure?” Mike smiled slowly. “I could spring for a jelly donut.”

She laughed. He didn’t have to sweeten the invitation. He was eye-candy enough. “Tempting, but…”

“Too much sugar? How ’bout an apple fritter? Sounds a little healthier.”

It really was too bad. “Ah well, I was going to go for a bike ride.” That was good. Sounded athletic…she had plans. Nothing personal.

“On your own?”

She nodded reluctantly.

“You know, I have the day off. I could come along and prove that my ribs are okay. If I can cycle, then I can play.”

His eyes looked so hopeful. She felt awful, but she needed to dissuade him. “I don’t go very fast.” Sarah winced silently. He potentially had a rib fracture. He needed slow.

“I don’t mind.”

“It might rain.” She scowled at the beautiful blue skies, without a trace of clouds.

Mike laughed. “I don’t mind getting wet. Why don’t I grab a picnic lunch, and we can meet at the South Lock parking lot in an hour? We can cycle along the river, break for lunch, and come back. How does that sound?”

Perfect, she thought glumly. For a bad idea, it sounded perfect.

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.

Website: http://www.lindaoconnor.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA
Newsletter Sign up: http://www.lindaoconnor.net/contact/

Anna Hague: For the love of Furbabies…
Friday, August 9th, 2019

I find I can watch movies where scores of people are offed in sometimes the most dreadful fashion, but if an animal is treated poorly, or God forbid dies, I go to pieces. In fact, I havent’ watched a movie involving animals since the hugely touted “great family movie” March of the Penguins. I understand the Circle of Life. I don’t need to see it in high definition.

Now, someone has created a web site to give a heads up about whether an animal dies in a movie and/or book. The site is www.doesthedogdie.com, and you can search titles and the results gives you a brief summary and a tally of contributors who have listed “yes“ or “no” on dying. Now, the site needs work. It’s not very aesthetically appealing. It looks rather thrown together, but for all practical purposes, I got the answers I wanted and not one yielded a movie I could watch or book I could read about a dog. A Dog’s Purpose, Marley and Me, The Art of Racing in the Rain all were best-selling books and likely wonderful movies I can never watch.

Additionally, the site has over sixty other categories for possible emotional triggers.

I think because I’m getting older, the much shorter lifespans of those with fur and feathers seems so unfair. How much better is our day when we know someone at home is will be over the moon to see us when we walk through the door? We want those days to last as long as we do. When I come home, I have three parrots calling my name and two dogs with wild wiggling butts (they’re Mini Australian Shepherds so they don’t have much of a tail). Five days into a vacation, we were ready to come home because we missed our babies.

And as I write this, I have one dog shoving a ball in my lap, another pawing my arm, and from the living room all three parrots are in their morning jam session of chatter. Some days, I get few words down because of the interruptions. I used to get annoyed until I realized, my husband and I have this whole world of places to go, things to see and do, and family and friends to visit. But to my pets, we are their whole world. Nearly everything in their lives revolves around us. I can’t even remember the last time I was alone in the bathroom.

Lucy is the emotional, sensitive and responsible one. Just days after we brought her home, Lucy realized our very old dog Lily was blind and immediately became her self-appointed guide dog even though Lily had been blind for well over a year and didn’t need guiding. But when Lily crossed the rainbow bridge earlier in the year, Lucy was heart-broken and still sits for a time at Lily’s grave every day. We got Raven to be a companion for Lucy. And despite the fact, they are the same breed, two more different dogs were never born. In human form, Raven is the sixteen-year-old girl who sneaks out of the house and then lies about it with a completely straight face. No apologies or shame.

They are good companions for each other and my husband and I. They are cheap entertainment, but more importantly, our dogs make us better people. We care more others and think about ourselves less.

When I wrote my debut novel, Captured Hearts, I inserted Spencer, a lab/retriever mix into the story initially as a random thing. However, as the story evolved, he became a very important character; because this dog became a support and healing entity for my heroine. Without Spencer, Allee wouldn’t have come close to working through her problems.

Dogs can do amazing things to our hearts and lives. When a dog comes into your life, an unbreakable bond is created and will never break, even in the afterlife. Movies often do a great job of showing such a bond. Unfortunately, for me, I will never see most of them.

Anna Hague
https://www.annahague.com/books

Cate Tayler: Summertime on Uncle Lou’s Beach
Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Summertime makes me nostalgic. So many of my childhood memories involve searching for perfect sea glass and exploring the rocky outcroppings that separated the private beaches from the public one. And now that I’m a mother, I watch my own children exploring the creeks and trees of their neighborhood (alas, no nearby beach) and it brings back so much. Setting most of my stories on the coast (Mystic Point, my main series, takes place in a fictional coastal Connecticut town and my upcoming cozy mystery series is set on the Northern California coast) is one way I indulge my nostalgia.

The other way is through music, one genre in particular: Yacht Rock.

I am ADDICTED to this station. I’ve managed to fine tune it (banned all Michael McDonald, who took The Doobie Brothers from Rock Stars to Lounge Lizards; marked almost all of America’s songs as favorites) and here I sit, writing and listening to the music that makes me feel like I’m five again and hanging out on my Uncle Lou’s beach.

This is the music my mother listened to, back when she looked like Twiggy and wore halter tops and bell-bottoms. Back when I was this adorable, dark-skinned, curly-headed little girl who romped around the beach and charmed Uncle Lou into letting me play in his rowboat. (Without a life jacket, I used to row out a few meters from shore to the nearest sand bar by myself. Can you imagine letting your kids do that now? I don’t even let mine in the 1-foot-deep kiddie pool without supervision!) I listen to Seals & Croft and I can smell the honeysuckle and Coppertone mingling with the salt in the air from Long Island Sound. When Christopher Cross begins to play, I’m transported to a time when our main source of decor was macramé. Ambrosia plays and my world turns avocado green and sunflower orange.

Someday, I’ll be a coastal chick again. For now, I’ll just have to conjure up those beachy feelings from a simpler time, basking in the sun listening to Peaches and Herbs (Reunited and it feels so good!) and The Pina Colada Song, just like my mom and I used to so many years ago. (I’ll let you do the math as to how long ago that was.) The only difference is that instead of slathering myself with suntan lotion I now use sunscreen, and instead of drinking those Hugs barrels, I can relax with an actual Pina Colada while my children burnish their own summer memories in their minds.

What invokes your summer memories?

Mystic Point

Cate Tayler is a beach baby, born and raised on the Connecticut coastline. She met the love of her life while serving in the US Air Force, and after extensive overseas travel, they are now raising their four children in the wild suburbs of Maryland.

Her latest release is the Mystic Point Box Set – Volume 1. It includes the first 4 books of her steamy contemporary romance series PLUS a bonus Mystic Night novella never before sold!

https://books2read.com/MPvol1/

Love Me Once More
Lainie has spent the past year in a solitary confinement of her own making. She once had everything—a successful career, a home in a big city, and the man of her dreams. But she took it for granted and ended up losing it all. Now she’s been given one last shot at redemption, one last chance to show Ethan she never betrayed him, one last time to convince him their marriage is worth fighting for.

Love Me Now
Feisty and determined, Calista will do anything to save her family’s restaurant. After a devastating storm nearly wipes out their beloved Greek diner, it’s up to Calista to put her dreams on hold to keep the business afloat. But with a land developer lurking around, she needs nothing short of a miracle.

And Miles could be the miracle she’s hoped for all along…

Love Me Like You Do
Haley knows the darker side of love. She’ll never give anyone power over her heart. Will has seen the beauty and healing power of love. He must prove love isn’t just another four-letter word and his kind of love is what she needs. But as she begins opening herself to the idea of a future with him, ghosts from the past return and present-day secrets threaten their fragile relationship.

Love Me Harder
Juliet earned her saltiness. The sassy chef made a fresh start in Mystic Point after divorcing her cheating bastard of a husband. Now the renowned head chef of the local French bistro is living the free life she wants, surrounded by good friends and the occasional casual fling. Until one tempting night with a scrumptious cowboy gives her a taste of what she’s missing.

Reana Malori: Empty Nest a Blessing in Disguise
Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

I want to first thank Delilah for welcoming me onto her blog. I’m so excited to share my thoughts and inner musings with you.

Less than a week ago, my dear husband and I took our youngest son to college, changing our lives forever. A little context. We have two sons, one 27 and the other 19. When our oldest moved out, it took a while for us to adjust. We still wanted him to be at home with us so we’d know he was safe and sound. Five years later, we’ve gotten better, yet we still wish he was here with us. He lives about thirty miles up the road, but even that seems too far. For his first year of college, he stayed home with us, giving us an extra year. For his sophomore year, he decided he’d had enough. It was time for him to leave the nest and spread his wings.

For my husband and me, it was a defining moment. We’d always heard others talk about the Empty Nest Syndrome. The overwhelming feeling of grief. The questioning of ourselves and our parenting skills. And finally, the sadness of realizing our kids, our babies, have moved on with their lives.

Then I had an epiphany.

Our children were our lives, but their leaving home is not THE END of our lives. It’s the beginning of the next phase. With no other kids in the house, dear husband and I now have FREEDOM! We could focus on the things we wanted to do, but with each other and on our own. Hobbies we wished to pursue could be explored. I could take my writing to another level. And with that realization, the joy returned.

From that moment, I began to plan out my writing schedule for the next year. It took a moment, but I identified which new books I would publish, which already published books I would refresh, edit, and reintroduce to readers, and outlined the #AuthorGoals I want to accomplish in the next year. The enhanced focus on my writing is something I haven’t had in many years, and I’m so excited about my planned projects. At least ten stories will be coming out in the twelve months, and I can’t wait for everyone to read what I have in store.

When your children move on and begin their own lives without you, it can be difficult to adjust. That’s not to say they won’t be back to ask for help with groceries, cell phone bills, or car payments, but that’s a different type of dependency.

The transition for parents will include feelings of sadness, doubt, and fear. While all those feelings still exist, I’m choosing to use this new normal to grow my writing career into something more. Something exceptional that will make me proud of my accomplishments, while also focusing on the reasons I began writing in the first place:

  1. My love of reading.
  2. The joy of reading a book that featured women who look like me.
  3. Getting lost in a world where anything is possible.
  4. Feeling the tears on my face when I read a book so emotional, I can’t help but cry.
  5. Books open people up to learning about new worlds, cultures, and celebrating love in all its forms.

My desire to bring stories like this to the world is why I published my first novella, To Love a Marine, in May 2009. After ten years and 30+ novels, novellas, and short stories, I’ve fulfilled that need. I can only imagine what will happen in the next ten years, but I’m glad for the journey ahead.

Ciao!
Reana Malori

PS – My latest release, Tangled Lies, formerly included in Crossroads, a USA Today Bestselling book. The book is Now Available as a single release.

Tangled Lies

What’s done in the dark, will always come to light.

Tristan Lucarelli’s life was irrevocably altered the moment his parents were killed. Under the tutelage of his favorite uncle, he entered a world of violence, death, power, and loyalty to family above anything else. Now a man to be reckoned with, no one dared get in his way without paying the price.

Camille Sperry could never be described as an average woman. Hellbent on creating her own path in the world, she didn’t apologize for who she was, or how she lived her life. Often misunderstood and underestimated, her no-holds-barred approach allowed her to create a life well-lived. She was happy and fulfilled. Or so she thought.

From the outside looking in, Tristan and Camille didn’t belong together. They didn’t fit, and their lives were too different. The challenges involved in trying to make a relationship work would be too difficult. Then again, Tristan and Camille have never played by the rules.

Get your copy here!

About the Author

Reana Malori is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Multicultural / Interracial Contemporary Romance. She writes romance stories full of romance, love, and steam that pull the reader into her world. Her heroes are the kind of men you want to run away with and live happily-ever-after. The heroines are the type of ladies with whom you want to have a glass of wine. She began her writing journey in 2009, releasing her first novella, To Love a Marine. Since then, she has published more than 30 novels and novellas of varying length, to include Weekend Fling, Finding Faith, Conall, and Wicked Nights.

Website: www.reanamalori.com
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Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/Reana.Malori.Author
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Amazon Buy Page: amazon.com/author/reanamalori
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