Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog. Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meet the Cast of Tasting New York by Kimmie Easley

It's confession time. I am a reader at heart. Yes, I am an author. I plot even when I'm sleeping! However, my first love is reading. That being said, something I like to see as a reader is a good round of 'Meet the Cast'. It always intrigues me to have some insight into an author's thought process when it comes to his/her characters. 


So let's get started! 

Meet the cast of Tasting New York, the second installment of the Tasting series. 

My main character, Hope Fairbanks, is a young, inexperienced beauty from an affluent, controlling family. 
Of course, the cover says it all where Hope is concerned. 
 Perfect dirty blonde!  Eyebrows are a bit too dark, but if I ever dye my hair back to my natural color, maybe it wouldn't be so bad if it looked like this.

Next, we get to meet Jonah Dempsey. Jonah was easy for me. Many romance novels look to big, brawny muscle men as their hero (nothing wrong with that, yum). I tend to fall on the side of the sultry, sexy side. Jonah is a NYC artist, and everything that entails. He resides in a loft, works all night, and could care less what other people think. He also carries a heavy burden, a secret. 
Johnny Depp - I wish my college art partner looked like this. No offense Dave, you were always no. 1!

"If you love two people at the same time, choose the second one. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn't have fallen for the second." Johnny Depp
There always has to be trouble maker. Tasting New York has a couple. Here, we meet Kym Yoshida. She's a jealous, Kym. Gorgeous, but green with envy. 

Fredrik Eklund from MDLNYMoving on to the next trouble maker, Perry. He was a fun character to play with. I don't know why I enjoy writing the characters that everyone loves to hate, but alas, I do. Perry needs to pack up his Bentley and move on with Brittney, or Becky, or Bethany... whatever her name is. ;-) 


When reading Tasting New York, you'll find that Hope has difficulty cutting the daddy strings. Meet Mr. Fairbanks, the tyrant of Fairbanks International. 
Finally, who couldn't use a good dose of a controlling, belittling mother? The answer is Hope...  I introduce you to the nagging Claudia Fairbanks. 

The cast of Tasting New York is an emotional, heart felt, and sexy ensemble. It is live right now in The Hot Summer Nights anthology, along with nine other stories for a mere .99 cents! 

Tasting New York / Hot Summer Nights on: AMAZON

  

You can also read Tasting Texas (the Tasting series book one) and get to know Beth Garrett, Eric Alexander (who also makes in appearance in Tasting New York), and the redneck romeo Wren! You won't be disappointed! 

Tasting Texas on: AMAZON

Feel free to touch base with me on my website and check in for future projects and musings: http://www.kimmieeasley.com/




Monday, July 28, 2014

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

When I first took up writing historical romance with an all-out passion, I knew absolutely nothing about the genre, or the business of writing. No notion of the massive journey that lay ahead. I was as unwitting as a newly hatched duckling, and thought I could embark on this quest and sail along. 

I remember the first contest I entered, assuming I would, of course, win. I was mentally planning my award acceptance speech when I received my scores. Not good, would you believe. I was stunned. One judge tossed me a bone. 'You have talent,' she assured me, 'as evidenced in your flair for description.'

Another bemused judge observed, 'You broke every rule.'

'Rules?' I mused. 'There's rules?'
I mean, who knew?

After a three day pout, I resumed the journey.

Somewhere along this rugged uphill climb, a kind soul directed me to RWA. I can't imagine how I would have grasped the rudiments without them and other writing groups. Always before me lay a new turn in the path, another hurdle to master, and onward ho I went like a sled dog through blinding snow, uncertain where shelter lay. Quitting might have been threatened, but was never a real option. No one ever achieves success by abandoning the quest. I knew that. Still do. So, wherever you are in the process, whether reveling in your stardom, or just undertaking this life changing journey, keep going. Though heavily veiled, it's a well worn path and there are kindly guides along the way.

My basic thinking about writing is that stuff's gotta happen in the story or you lose the reader's attention. 


Some wise quotes for inspiration:

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy


Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O'Brien

 
I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener



Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth



The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895


Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~Author Unknown


A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ~W. Somerset Maugham 



Writing comes more easily if you have something to say. ~Sholem Asch



I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. ~Peter De Vries



Publication — is the auction of the Mind of Man. ~Emily Dickinson



Friday, July 25, 2014

What Does a Writer Do Between Books? by Vonnie Davis

Have you ever wondered what a writer does between books? I ask that because I'm at that stage right now. If you were to ask twenty authors, you'd get twenty answers. We're all different. Some young and energetic. Some charmed by other hobbies. Some dividing their time between outside jobs and children.

But I'm retired. I literally live, breathe and eat writing. It's like a compulsion. I can't not write. And, yes, I know that was a double negative, but I've been known to bend writing rules a tad.

I am at my laptop from 9 am until 1 am, either doing promo or writing. I am contracted to write 4 books a year--2 for Loveswept Random House and 2 for HarperImpulse. And depending on the mood of the day, I will either tell you I am terribly blessed or bore you to death with my whining.

Last Friday, I completed my first draft of book two of my Scottish paranormal romance series for Loveswept. The contract called for a minimum of 80,000 words. I ended up with 86.600. It's got some loose threads I need to delete. I also want to eliminate some repetition and deepen the emotion. So I've put it away for 2 weeks, giving my mind time enough to think of anything new I might want to add or major parts to delete. Then I'll drag it out and begin reading it all over again, hoping I can make it stronger.

When I finish writing a book, my brain is so tired I can't speak a coherent sentence, much less write one. I haven't always been this way, but I've been pushing it hard. I started writing seriously in June of 2010. For a few years, I'd type "The End," open a new document and write "Chapter One." I never took a break.

Then the migraines hit and I came to a complete halt. Now, I have enough sense to take a bit of a break. For example, after finishing this last book, I slept for two days, including the afternoon matinee Calvin and I went to. I snoozed during parts of a meal at our favorite Chinese restaurant. I even fell asleep in Walmart, leaning against the shopping cart waiting for the pharmacy to fill a prescription.

Those two weeks of much planned rest were also meant to spoil Calvin a little. He's so good about my writing. I mean, the man even mops the kitchen floors and cleans the oven. We are, in essence, a writing team. I write; he supports me in any way he can.

I'd also planned to wash my living room curtains, clean our master closet and clean the scientific experiments out of our refrigerator. But I was starting to miss writing. Three whole days had passed. I hurried to complete my list of non-writing tasks.

Then I read our niece's post on facebook about our nephew letting their two dogs outside one last time before going to bed. Both had been sprayed by a skunk. She went on to say how her husband had researched online and found feminine douche to be safe and effective in removing skunk odor.

I envisioned him charging into a drug store and scooping all the douche products off the shelf into a shopping cart. Once I stopped laughing, an opening scene came to mind. Would it work for book two of my firemen and marine rescue team in Clearwater, Florida? You know, the moment when the heroine and hero meet. So, I opened a new document and formatted it. Not that I was going to write anything, mind you. I was just getting things ready...after all, I was taking some time off....well, somehow before I could help myself, this rough draft appeared... It's a compulsion, I tell you!

“Quick! What aisle are the douches in? I’ve got three bitches at the beach cottage and they all stink to high heaven.” The broad shoulders of the harried man were tense under his faded t-shirt worn inside out and backwards. His whiskered stubble, bleached by the sun, was pulled tight by his clenched jaw and narrowed lips. The customer practically vibrated with frustration. “I can’t let them in bed with me smelling like that.” His fingertips tapped a beat of annoyance on the check-out counter. “What is it with females, anyway? Ain’t got the good sense God gave them.”
Molly Devon’s temper flared. Oh, yeah, as if you men are the sharpest knives on humanity’s chopping block.
He scratched his neck, his fingers getting tangled in the worn tag. Realizing he had it on backwards and wrong side out, he muttered a curse. “Sorry, I grabbed the first shirt I could find and just yanked it on. He reached back with one hand and jerked it off, trying to set it to rights.
Molly’s Colorado born-and-bred gaze took a skiing trip over the mountains of his hardened pecs and skied down the ridges of his abs. Along his downhill masculine slope, she noticed other things. A tribal tattoo over his shoulder and down his arm to his wrist. Skin tanned dark. Blond chest hair thick enough to grasp in a fit of passion. The waistband of his raggedy jeans barely hanging onto the V indent at his hipline.
Firm biceps flexed as he slipped the faded t-shirt, advertising boogie boards, over his torso, tugging it down and shifting his wide shoulders. “Sorry, about that. But, believe me, I’d sooner be home, hammering away.”
His crass remark jerked her drooling attention to his overconfident square jaw. Yeah, just give me a hammer, buddy, I’ll pound some sense into your arrogant sex-addicted head.
He leaned toward her. “Well?”
The stranger’s bark startled her. With her nerves on edge with her mother’s recent passing, her father’s increasing dementia and her ex-fiancĂ©’s threats after she broke off their engagement, any perceived threat, no matter how minor or brief, set her insides to trembling. Molly tussled with her stresses, scrambling for internal control.
“Ah…” She lifted her index finger to indicate she needed a second or two as she scanned the overhead signs listing the items stocked in each aisle. Where had she seen the feminine products during her brief new-hire orientation two days ago? Another deep breath and calmness returned, her mind finally chugging into gear.
The customer lifted his blue ball cap with some kind of marine rescue emblem on it, forked his long fingers through sun-bleached hair and resettled the hat. “You do carry Massengill, don’t you? That’s the best brand, according to my research.”
“Ah…” My God, what kind of man researches douches? A man who goes to bed with three women, Molly. Now concentrate.
Two broad hands clasped the edge of the counter. His index finger had a nasty red-rimmed cut at its base. An appealing mixture of sawdust, sunshine and male musk snagged her attention and, when the man cleared his throat, her gaze snapped upward to lock on a pair of surf green eyes flecked with brown tones. “Is my question too difficult for you to answer…” he glanced at her nametag, “Molly?”
Oh, this guy has a good tongue lashing coming. Molly sucked in a breath, pulled together a string of insults to hurl at him and then changed her mind. Better to smile while she enjoyed her private opinions of this man-whore, especially since she was saving every penny to replace the laptop her dad had misplaced, along with his wallet and a suitcase of her clothes.
Finally the product’s location slipped into place. “You’ll find them in aisle six, on the right.”
The knuckles of his fisted hand rapped once on the counter before he charged off.
Big feeling, demanding jerk.
Molly was shoving packs of cigarettes into racks behind the register when someone thunked items onto the check-out counter. She pasted on a smile, did a quick pivot and sighed as the grin slid off. Douche-man was back with twelve double packs of Massengill disposables.
“You only had two boxes of the mixable kind.” He read the printing on the box he held, never once sparing her a glance. He tapped the second carton resting on the counter with his cut finger. “Would you mind checking your inventory in the back? I’ll need more.”
“I’m not allowed to leave the register, but I’ll be happy to page our stock boy.”
Douche-man grunted and flipped the package around. “It’s gonna take at least two boxes for Lola. She’s big. Got wide hips. Skinny legs though. Kinda like a twenty-gallon tank on toothpicks.”
What an ass, talking about his girlfriend like that! Molly sneered and depressed the button on the store’s intercom. “Cruz, could you check our supply of mixable douche powder? I have a man who needs three or four boxes.”
“Make it five or six. God, I don’t know which one smells the worst.”
Well, quit putting your nose in their hootchies. “Make that six boxes of douche powder.” A few snickers floated over from aisle two.
“I can see I’m gonna have a rough night ahead. Maggie Mae hates when I give her a good scrubbing, especially if I get soap in her beady eyes or get too rough with her tits.” He pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index finger and sighed like a man greatly imposed upon. “God, I hate a whiny bitch.”
Oh, I am so going to belt you.
“Caroline handles her bath pretty well. She likes it rough, especially when I hold her head under the faucet.” He had the audacity to chuckle. “She tries to drink the water, but then she’ll drink most anything.”
She’d have to be drunk to put up with you, buster. You need some serious help.
Cruz hurried to the register, his arms full of boxes. “Here you go, Molly.” He shot the customer a curious glance.
“Thanks. Would you do me one more favor, please?”
The pimply-faced teen’s head bobbed. “Sure.”
“Our customer needs a bottle of peroxide and Neosporin for the cut on his finger. It’s showing signs of infection.” Cruz nodded and hurried back to aisle four.
Douche-man glimpsed at his hand. “Thanks. Been too preoccupied with work to take care of it. Ain’t nothing but an infected splinter. Can’t seem to dig deep enough to get to it.”
Oh, give me a machete. I’ll show you how deep a good woman can cut.
 He slid his fingertips into the front pocket of jeans buttery soft with age and tugged out folded bills secured with a silver fire truck money clip. “What’s the damage?”
To your wallet or the self-esteem of those poor women?
After totaling his purchases, Molly handed him his change and six plastic bags. “Hope you get them cleaned up.” And I hope they give you a good dose of payback.
He grunted again. “Sure as hell hope so. Don’t know if I can sleep without the girls laying all over me.”
Oh, puh-lease.
He headed for the exit, untied high-top sneaks clunking the tile floor.
Molly glared at his retreating form. What a piece of macho jerk.
He snapped his fingers and returned. “Where’s the dog toys? They’ll be expecting a treat after I scrub the skunk smell off.”
“Dogs? Dogs!” Had he been talking about dogs all this time?
Douche-man nodded, his five o’clock shadow was more an eight o’clock sexy scruff. “Yeah. An overweight Black Lab, a beady-eyed Chihuahua and a Collie mix. I’m kinda partial to my girls, but not when they chase skunks and get a good spraying.”
“Skunks? Spraying?” God, I sound like an echo.
“Used to wash them down with tomato juice after being sprayed, but Caroline would lap at the juice and get terrible gas.” He shook his head once. “No one could stand to be around her for days.” He grinned and dimples slashed his cheeks. “So, I researched online and found out about bathing animals in Massengill after encounters with skunks.”
Boy, talk about a miscommunication.
He studied the bags in his hands for a beat and then raised his gaze. “I’m sorry for storming in here earlier and ranting about my dogs, calling them bitches, but they had me so damn mad.” He winced. “Sorry. After a long day of tearing out kitchen cabinets and installing new ones, the last thing I want to do tonight is to scrub down three dogs.”
His gaze flicked over her hand before his green-eyed perusal once more settled on her face. Had he just checked for a ring? “Could I interest you in a cup of coffee after work?” He peeked at his watch. “Store closes in fifteen minutes.”
She hadn’t expected this. “Sorry, I don’t meet strange men for coffee.”
A wide smile spread, exposing straight white teeth with a chip broken off the corner of his left front one. Those deep dimples and chipped tooth added a boyish charm to his male persona, a charismatic contrast to the arrogant sternness he’d exhibited earlier. He set his bags in front of her on the checkout counter before tilting a hip against it and crossing his arms, obviously settling in for a chat neither she nor her boss wanted. She was on the clock, after all.
His eyebrows were furrowed as if he’d been studying her and he cleared his throat. “You know, I really do owe you an apology for my previous temper.” He managed to make his grin almost unsure, as if he’d suddenly lost his confidence. How many times had he practiced this technique—and how many times had a female fallen for it? “A coffee and a piece of pie couldn’t hurt, could it?”
“I repeat, I don’t know you.” She motioned him aside so she could ring-up another customer’s purchases.
She hoped Douche-man would take the hint but, no, he patiently hovered nearby while she waited on two customers, his male aura slowly swirling around her like testosterone fog. Turning to him, she scowled. “What part of I don’t spend time with strange men don’t you get?”
He extended his hand, his charming smile increasing another dangerous notch. “Barclay Gray. Fireman, marine rescue diver, dog lover and pie connoisseur. ” He waggled his eyebrows.
            The man certainly knew how to pour on the charm, she'd give him that.

Of course he's talking about his 3 dogs and she mistakenly thinks he's talking about women. It's rough, I know, but inspiration comes from many places...and I'd been three days without writing. I was starting to get the writer shakes. Read more about my writing at www.vonniedavis.com. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE DARK SIDE OF RESEARCH

witches and bats clip art
By Brenda Daniels

I did a dumb thing. Not that this is unique, but I should have known better.  My current work in progress is about a witch. And Merlin.

The first few chapters were going pretty well, then I realized most of what I know about the subject came from old episodes of "Bewitched,"  "Charmed" and the movie Excalibur

Uh oh. Time for research.

Since I once worked in a public library, research should be a piece of cake. Knowing that I would want to keep my information handy, I trotted to the local book store. (Yes, there are still a couple left in my neighborhood.)

I made a bee line for the Occult section.  Thumbing through some very scary titles, I pulled a few possibilities out and stacked them on a table with the intention of leisurely looking through them for the best choices. The table was close to the children's section and one parent gave me the 'mommy stink eye' and pulled her daughter over to the Religious section.

Maybe the book with a sneering demon on the cover bothered her.

Finally, I found one on Witchcraft and Practical Magic that seemed be what I needed. By this time, the area around my table was strangely bereft of other shoppers.  Okay, some of those books were pretty gruesome. Naked dancers and a devil standing over a nude woman are a bit outrageous. My witch is going to be nice and funny, so those books were not helpful. 

Normally, I would have returned the unwanted books back to the shelf. Remember, I did work in a library. However, that corner was now inhabited by a frizzy haired woman with tattoos covering both arms. Tattoos aside, the black lipstick gave me second thoughts.

A little embarrassed, I held my book to my chest like Hester Prynne covering that scarlet letter and made my way to the check out. Of course, the clerk was a grandmotherly type who raised one eyebrow and curled her upper lip. I could see her thinking her church circle needed to pay me a visit.

Never again will I start another book that requires this type research. I can't wait until my family notices the books on witchcraft and magic sitting on my desk.

 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

GHOSTWRITING AND MORE WITH KAREN BONCELA

Our guest today is not your typical author. She’s a ghostwriter as well as writing books under her name. Have you wondered how ghostwriting works? Karen Boncela is here to share her experience with you.



By Karen Boncela

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Not the first time that this has happened for me since I began my Writing Career about 5 years ago!

To my delight last year, I fell into a wonderful opportunity to work as a GHOSTWRITER. I happened to meet a prominent oral surgeon in my area. He had actually done some dental work for my husband. My husband (Eddie) is my biggest fan and he loves to brag about the fact that I’m published. As he was escorted out of the dental office, drooling a bit with his mouth shoved full of cotton, I managed to understand him when he asked me to give the nurse my business card.  

Word got around the very large dental practice that I was a published author. When Eddie went back for a follow up appointment, Dr. Stone asked first about me and whether Eddie thought that I might consider writing “HIS Story.”

The thought of a project like this had crossed my mind but I wasn't sure if I could do it. Dr. Stone and I emailed back and forth a discussion of the possibility.  I conveyed to him that this would be my first go at this kind of a job. After doing some research online, I drew up an agreement between the two of us with some guide lines to be followed as far as how and when the writing would develop and what my fees would be.

We agreed on a price and a time limit of how long I predicted that the project would take. Once the contract was signed, the doctor handed me a huge box stuffed full of documents; doctor reports, police reports, journals, emails, court documents, lawyers letters, etc. I have to say it was a bit overwhelming! I combed through all that information and started to create a story line of sorts; with all the incidents in chronological order. As I did so, dozens of questions popped into my head about the particulars behind all the facts. I wrote them all down and then set up an interview time with the doctor.

We sat down together in my dining room about five times through this process and spoke for a few hours each time as he poured his heart out to me with all the details about his struggle. There was at least one time during that project that I thought that maybe I’d bitten off more than I could chew, but I just told myself, “Just dig in your heels Karen, you can do this!” And you know what? I did!



About ten months later, ONE FATHER’S LOVE was the end result. I must say that both the doctor and I are very happy with the outcome! ONE FATHER’S LOVE is an awesome story of courage and determination. Daniel Stone is the perfect example of a loving father who puts all his needs aside in order to protect his precious sons from the person who should have cared about them most.

I love everything about my Writing Career and I try to put myself out there every chance I get because you just never know what opportunity might present itself to you at the most unexpected time! New possibilities around every corner!

Have you got a story to tell?

Have you ever wished that you could put it into book form?

As your GHOSTWRITER, I could make that happen for you! Whether you want to keep it as your personal memoir or if you want to share it with the world, I can help you to create that!

In fact, we can discuss any writing job that you need done. No job too big or too small. I can consider all.

You can email me with QUESTIONS and FEE INQUIRIES at kared8111@hotmail.com

***In addition to ghostwriting, Karen has two other books published. Here’s what she says about getting out of an abusive 32-year marriage and meeting her current husband, Eddie.

I was so inspired when I met Eddie in 2008. Our relationship was so romantic; it was like out of a movie. I never knew that love like ours existed. I didn’t want to forget a single detail, so I started writing things down; a journal of sorts. One day I sat down at my computer and started to put the notes all together into story form. I surprised myself when I read back what I was writing and laughed about the possibility of publishing. The more I thought about it, the more compelled I felt to share our story of love and gratitude.
That story became my first book, WORDS TO LOVE BY.



My third book, DARK SECRETS NO MORE just debuted on Amazon in April. It’s the Prequel to my first book. There was such a great emotional response from my readers after they had read WORDS TO LOVE BY, that I felt compelled to tell the whole story to make readers understand why I have such a feeling of gratitude in my life now.

So many of my readers have found WORDS TO LOVE BY so helpful and inspirational. Because of that, I felt like I had no choice but to share the whole story.

Once you’ve read DARK SECRETS NO MORE, you will understand why I wake every morning and go to bed every single day with a feeling of gratitude and joy.

DARK SECRETS NO MORE is my real life story, before Eddie.

For thirty two years my life revolved around my spouse. He demanded no less. I never had the privilege of putting my needs first. According to him, my feelings were insignificant and stupid. 
I felt like a hostage for many years with no way out.

DARK SECRETS NO MORE is the story of my journey out of that dark tunnel, which had become my life. It’s the story of the painstaking changes that I made, which led me to my freedom from the shackles of abuse.


Excerpt from DARK SECRETS NO MORE:

As I walked through the front door of the hospital and into the lobby, the volunteer at the front desk greeted me with a smile and a question, “Can I help you find your way?”

“No thanks” I said. “I know where I’m going,” which was a funny thing for me to say really, because I felt so lost and alone.

I was so used to pretending that I was okay. I was accustomed to putting on a brave face when in fact, I would have liked to just crawl up into a ball and hide from the reality of my life.

I’m passionate about spreading the word through my stories that nobody controls the happiness in your life except YOU! No matter what your situation, you can be happy through the choices that you make. Another important message is to take chances in life. Listen to your inner voices. Break out of your comfort zone. 

You have to try something different, if you want your life to change.

You can find all my books at this LINK. Reviews are there as well. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=karen+l+boncela

Please LIKE my FB Author Page here. https://www.facebook.com/WordsToLoveBy.KLB?ref=hl

Visit my BLOG here. www.karenlboncela.com

Karen, thanks for sharing with readers today.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

How Many Books?

By Geri Foster

How many books does an author have to write before you become a fan? I ask this question because there has been a great deal of discussion lately about how many books there must be in a series before readers really become fans. The magic number seems to be seven, however, that isn't written in stone.

I've enjoyed many series that were only three books long and found this very fulfilling. Several authors have written twelve to fifteen books in the same series, and the readers come pouring in to stay up with the latest installment.

I think if you're reading about a family or a place, the stories can go on as long as the writer wants to write in that series. As long as they aren't dragging people out of the woodwork to come up with a new story. It all has to be come organically from the series. We're not really interested in a distant cousin that shows up out of the blue. We want to read stories about people we've been following. At least, that's my take on series. What about you?

That's why many readers will ask an author, "When are you going to write so and so's story. I've been hoping your next book would be about this secondary character that's been showing up since you started the series. I can't wait to read the story of the guy you just introduced in your last book."



Recently at a book signing a reader came up to me and ask me to never run out of Falcon agents. She loved them all and looked forward to reading stories of the agents I've already introduced. Of course, that's exactly what a writer wants to hear. I asked her how many books she needed to read in a series to get hooked, she said as little as two. She's obviously willing to wait for that next book in the series to come out.

How about you?

Friday, July 18, 2014

A NEW BOOK OR MY SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION





I'm excited to share the release of my first historical novella on Amazon, KATIE AND THE IRISH TEXAN, The Texas Code Series, The McTiernans. It tells the story of the Katie O'Donnell Gilhooley and Dermot McTiernan and their beginnings in Dallas,Texas, in 1873.  



The following is a brief introduction to my story. 

Blurb:

Dermot McTiernan is determined to move on with his life after losing his one and only love to another man. He decides to try his hand at ranching in North Central Texas with his friend, Ian Benning. He figures if that doesn't work out, there are many other opportunities in the booming post-war state. When the luscious red-head from County Cork, Ireland shows up in Dallas, can he retain the courage of his convictions and move on without her?

Kathleen O'Donnell made a monumental mistake marrying, Kelsey Gilhooley. Her decision for entering the union, no matter how honorable, had made her life a living hell. Even though still married, she holds out hope for finding the man of her dreams. When she comes across her tall, dark-eyed Irishman in Dallas, Texas, will she be able to abandon happiness and walk away a second time?

          Excerpt:

Dermot looked around the room and its many patrons. Most were men dressed in black business suits. He noticed two women serving food and drinks, one a tall brunette, the other had red hair worn in a long single braid down the center of her back. He sincerely hoped the brunette served them because he wanted nothing else to remind him of Katie O'Donnell What-ever-her-married-name-was.
He closed his eyes to the memory and swore he caught a whiff of her scent. His imagination was playing a cruel trick. He thought to get up and leave, but before he could tell Ian he'd changed his mind about eating, a female voice whispered in a familiar brogue. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph."

Kathleen O'Donnell Gilhooley almost swallowed her tongue. The very moment she'd prayed for since the day she'd left Ireland a year ago had materialized, yet she wanted to run as far and as fast as she could. She'd hoped to meet Dermot McTiernan dressed in her best, but obviously the saints had other plans.
Hands shaking, she smoothed the humidity-laden curls back from around her face, and blotted the perspiration from her forehead with the hem of her apron. Trying her best to hide her nervousness, she stepped forward, shoulders squared. "Dermot, is it really you?"
"It would appear so, wouldn't it?" He stared past her to the window apparently fascinated by the activity on the street.
 There was no way she could've known how he'd react to seeing her for the first time in almost ten years, but his tone took her aback none-the-less.  She wondered if he'd gotten her letter explaining the circumstances surrounding her union with Kelsey Gilhooley.  From his reaction this morning, she guessed he hadn't. Either that or it hadn't made a difference.
Well, that was okay. They were here now and, hopefully, with time on her side, she could make him understand. "How many eggs for ye?"
Dermot's friend and the taller of the two by a couple of inches, spoke up first. "I'll have four, please."
Kathleen waited patiently for Dermot to speak. He took so long, she wondered if he'd gone mute in the last minute and a half.
Finally, he lifted his head, looked her straight in the eye but spoke to his companion, "Ian Benning, this is Katie O'Donnell."
"Pleased to meet you, ma'am." The man stood, offered his hand in greeting.
She shook his hand, correcting her name, "Kathleen Gilhooley, 'tis my pleasure." She directed her attention back to Dermot. "Will ye be havin' four eggs, as well?"
"Sure."
After turning in the order, she checked on the pan of biscuits she'd left cooking in the oven. She'd placed them in to bake just before going out to help Sarah take orders. Normally she liked to help out in the dining room instead of being cooped up in the over-heated kitchen. This morning, however, turned out to be a different story.
Following what just happened in the dining room, she certainly questioned her decision to leave her homeland. She might've expected anger when they met, discomfort to be sure. What he'd exhibited had been much different. He'd been distant and sullen. That scared her more than any outburst.
She put two biscuits on each plate and took them to the table. The man introduced to her as Ian, thanked her. Dermot said nothing until she grabbed the pot and poured each of them a cup of coffee. The hurt and betrayal in his eyes wounded her far more than any physical injury she'd endured in her marriage to that drunken monster Gilhooley.
As she turned to walk away, he grabbed her hand demanding, "What're ye doin' here?"
His tone set her off and, while she knew it wasn't rational, that he was trying to defend himself by making the first strike. But she'd learned to protect herself, too, and rose to the bait. "'Tis a free country and I can be here if I want." She backed away in an effort to pull her hand from his grasp, but he only tightened his grip.
"I want to know why you're here," he demanded through clenched jaws. "How could ye've done such a thing to me?"
Ian stood. "McTiernan, calm down and let her go."
"I'll let her go when she gives me a good answer."
Kathleen looked about the large room in a panic. Every one of the café's patrons watched the scene with interest including the owner, Mr. Browder, who was walking in their direction. She feared what Dermot might say and she needed this job to keep her room above the establishment.
"Can we talk outside?" she pleaded. With one last great tug, she wrenched her hand loose but the motion sent her reeling backwards into the table behind her where she sat in a plate of fried eggs and a bowl of strawberry jam. A couple of gentlemen, their mouths agape, helped her stand, after which they returned to their seats. Her face heated with humiliation, she straightened to face her boss.
"Mrs. Gilhooley, please return to the kitchen. I'll handle the situation from here." He turned to Dermot and Ian. "I apologize for the interruption to your meal. Let Sarah or me know if there's anything else you require."
Kathleen entered through the kitchen door, as Mr. Browder aided the diner who'd lost his eggs to her backside. The whole incident had been embarrassing enough without having to sashay through the dining room with bright yellow yolks streaming down her green skirts.
Mrs. Browder waited for her with a wet soapy rag. "What in the world caused all that commotion?"
"A reunion with an old friend that didn't go as well as I'd hoped."
"I see."
Sarah came into the kitchen carrying the customer's empty plate. Her look was one of wary amusement. "Mr. Browder said to replace Mr. Smith's breakfast right away."
 Kathleen took the egg soaked rag from Mrs. Browder and, while the older woman fussed over cooking the gentleman's eggs, she found she didn't care if her dress could be saved. She really didn't even care if she lost her job.

The only thing that mattered to her more than her livelihood or a place to lay her head at night was Dermot. She had to talk to him and make him understand she'd married to ensure a good future for her parents. After that, well, she didn't know yet but, being the optimist she was, something was bound to turn up. 

KATIE AND THE IRISH TEXAN, The McTiernans, ia available on Amazon in ebook and print.    http://tinyurl.com/qg8wssx


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