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.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Can you handle it? By Kimmie Easley

Holy sunshine, Batman! 

Image result for sunshine


Living in Texas can be a real hit or miss when it comes to weather, but I actually considered building an ark for a while there. Rain is a beautiful thing, but even it should be in moderation. Needless to say, my muse felt stifled, but NO LONGER ...

With the sunshine comes inspiration! 

Image result for inspiration muse

The muse is alive and well. And it's a good thing because there are a lot of amazing things in store this year. My publishing schedule is already filling up for 2016 as well. Exciting!


*** HOTNESS ALERT *** 

NOW LIVE! I have received so much amazing feedback for the Tasting series that I decided to offer the first three Tasting novellas in one boxed set. And get this - for only 0.99 CENTS!

 Tasting Series Boxed Set on Amazon



*** MARK YOUR CALENDARS ***

There's an awesome new set coming out with ELEVEN romance authors for only 0.99 CENTS. The set is Spring Into Love (from sensual to spicy) and preorders will start in April with a release date of May 5th. Be sure to pick it up, since it's only out for a LIMITED TIME!


*** GIVEAWAY NEWS ***

There's always a lot going on in my ever changing world. Keep up with me and all my news by subscribing to my NEWSLETTER. There's a $25 MONTHLY DRAWING! Go to my website at www.kimmieeasley.com , scroll to the bottom and fill out the tiny form. No spam! Just monthly giveaways and exciting news! 



Saturday, March 28, 2015

Need a Little Whimsy? The Scottish Bluebell Fairy



Our resident fairy expert, my ten-year-old niece, Cailin, has an inherent knowledge of fairies. However, it doesn't include Scottish bluebells (we're from Virginia). Cailin hung over my shoulder when I originally did the research for this post, and said the info rang true to her.


The Scottish Bluebells (Campanula rotundifolia) are known by various names, most commonly harebell, also Scottish bellflower and fairies thimble, as it was widely thought fairies live among the flowers. I don’t make this stuff up; these fascinating tidbits are from: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1615/

“These lovely flowers have been around for centuries. Legend has it that fairies live among them and humans should be wary of disturbing them.”



"The name, Harebell, has its roots in magic. The name came from the fact that Scottish Bluebells are found growing in meadows frequented by hares. Some would argue, the name Harebell was given this flower due to the fact that witches were known to turn themselves into hares and hide among them. Both are interesting stories, one for the non-believer and believer alike." 

The flower is a favorite among poets. Two famous examples listed on the site:
Sir Walter Scott mentioned it in his 1810 poem, “Lady of the Lake;” “A foot more light, a step more true, Ne’er from the heath-flower dashed the dew; E’en the slight harebell raised its head…”

Emily Bronte wrote, “I lingered round them, under the benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth.” in her book, “Wuthering Heights,” published in 1847.”



"Another name for bluebells is Dead Man’s bells. This is due to the fact that fairies were believed to cast spells on those who dare to pick or damage the beautiful, delicate flowers. The people of Scotland are fond enough of the flower to continue this tradition in the hopes of protecting the little flower.”



Apparently, when meandering through drifts of bluebells, it’s wise to stick to the path, or you may stir up the wrath of fairies and release the spells trapped in the blooms. Never a good idea, and one echoed by Cailin, who warns us never to step into a circle of flowers (a ring of toadstools is also off limits) or go anywhere without the fairies permission. They will get very upset, and you do not want an upset fairy, or fairies, on your hands. Particularly the furious wind fairies, but that’s another story.

For more on me, visit my blog at: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Do You Finish Every Book You Start?

I'm one of those kids who became addicted to the school library in the second grade. After high school, there were mail book clubs, then yard sales and book stores, both used and new. I never met a book I couldn't finish. Some I felt a loss when I reached the end. I'd never read about these people again or experience the emotions the author pulled from me with her well-crafted sentences and created worlds. For a while these make believe people had become my friends. I couldn't wait to get my chores and homework done so I could open the book again.

 
 
Over the years, writing styles have changed. But two things remain important: a well-written story and characters we can identify with and like.
 
There's something else I'm noticing more and more. I can no longer finish every book I start. Some lack imagination. It's as if I've read parts of them before as these unimaginative segments are juxtaposed with cliché after cliché, in an attempt to cover up plot holes. 
 
I've found heroines too self-centered and smart-mouthed to care about. And men who talk to ladies the first time they meet them as if they are whores. There is no journey from attraction to deep caring to love. Just a hop from lust to the "wild fandango." The stories lack depth.
 
So, now you see some of the challenges before me, as a writer. To keep my storylines fairly fresh, the plot holes closed, the heroines likable and the heroes swoon-worthy. And to hope my readers finish my books.
 
On April 7th, book two of my Highlander's Beloved series, The Highlander's Passion,, releases. A story of a second chance at love, a little girl who wants a mommy and secrets revealed that change the lives of many.
 
 
“Packed with red hot passion, mystical suspense, and snicker-inducing humor, this heart-tugging kilted romance entertains and satisfies from beginning to end. Well done, Ms. Davis.”—Mackenzie Crowne, RONE Award–winning author of A Song for Sophie
 
 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

PUSHING THE ENVELOPE TO REFRESH YOUR INNER MUSE

OK, this is a bit of a stretch, but as a writer, we sometimes take liberties. What does a day at a Korean spa have to do with writing?

Don't know about you, but sitting in front of a computer all day makes me tense. When I'm tense, I have to fight for inspiration. So, when my niece got a special coupon to use at a Korean spa, I gave in and agreed to go. I needed to get out of my comfort zone, I told myself. Now, this is the niece who has no inhibitions and loved hanging out at Hippie Hollow near Austin. That's a nude beach on a lake.

But, my brain was fried and in a weak moment, I envisioned a wonderful day of pampering and relaxation. She did warn me that there would be nudity, but only in protected areas. Coed areas required suits. So, I stuffed my extra large granny bathing suite in a bag and hopped in her jeep. Besides, I loved Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes and her "Tawanda!" attitude.

We entered a large building with a pair of gigantic ceramic lions on either side of the doors. The place seemed very crowded, but there is a water park for children attached. I was reassured to see several non-Korean customers scattered around. Some with children. I'm feeling more reassured.

Removing our shoes, we picked up our bracelets with locker key and a disc that can be scanned when you purchase something. Food, extra services or drinks. There is a list of massages, facials, manicures and such posted with outrageous prices. All I'm interested in is the swim up bar.

Then, horror of horrors, we are in the women's locker room. No turning back. I'm surrounded by naked women in all shapes, sizes and ages. We are required to shower before entering the room holding several hot tub pools. I don't know where to look. Boobs everywhere and nothing, I mean nothing is covered. None of us have on anything but a small towel clutched to our fronts and the bracelet.

Head down and hands holding a tiny orange towel, I plunged into a variety of boiling hot pools, then showered. Again. I gratefully stuffed myself into my bathing suit and joined a crowd of people in another set of pools with water jettisoned out of pipes that bubbled, fizzed or pounded down on you. One power jet shot me clear across the pool.

We grabbed lunch, then it was back in the locker room with naked ladies, We shower. Again.  Now it's time to don baggy t-shirts and shorts. We're ready to silently meditate in several little domed ovens (sauna rooms) that look like Hobbit houses. I last about two minutes. It was hot in there and you had to sit on the floor. I prayed I could get up again and not have to crawl out. This is the only area that allows cell phones and I didn't want to see myself on YouTube.

At last, I see rows of easy chairs for those exhausted from all the "pampering." I tried to nap but a Korean lady somewhere behind me talked non-stop. There is another restaurant and a counter where some industrious clients are using their laptops. Hey, I'm thinking this might be a good place to work. When I get tired or blocked, I can just whip off the clothes and jump in a heated herbal pool. Or, maybe not.

I did get less twitchy about being naked. Nobody cared and there were worse bodies than mine. I am usually a very modest person so this was a huge challenge. Still, I'm not getting any younger why not try something new.

So, I came home refreshed, beaten, boiled and extremely clean. After that experience, working on my historical should be a piece of cake. Who knows, I could use it in a book. Tawanda!







Sunday, March 22, 2015

An Oregon Trail Historical Romance


 map drawn by my daughter when she was at Oregon State

There are certain historic events that take on mythic qualities. In America, some of those have had lasting consequences, others not so much: Boston Tea Party; Revolutionary War; Lewis and Clark Expedition; Indian Battles; Pony Express; Building of the Railroads; Civil War; and on any list, the westward migration across the American continent.

When the United States government wanted to consolidate its power over this nation, the answer was to give away land. One such act was the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850:
"Arguably the most generous federal land sale to the public in American history, the law legitimized the 640-acre claims provided in 1843 under the Provisional Government, with the proviso that white male citizens were entitled to 320 acres and their wives were eligible for 320 acres. For citizens arriving after 1850, the acreage limitation was halved, so a married couple could receive a total of 320 acres. To gain legal title to property, claimants had to reside and make improvements on the land for four years."

"The Donation Land Law was significant in shaping the course of Oregon history. By the time the law expired in 1855, approximately 30,000 white immigrants had entered Oregon Territory, with some 7,000 individuals making claims to 2.5 million acres of land. The overwhelming majority of the claims were west of the Cascade Mountains. Oregon’s population increased from 11,873 in 1850 to some 60,000 by 1860." William G. Robbins in Oregon Encyclopedia
These giveaways attracted people from all walks of life. Mostly they were neither unusually rich nor poor. I’ve read it cost around $1000 to acquire all needed to make the 2200 mile journey from Independence, Missouri to the Willamette Valley. For a family of four, that meant wagon, clothing, tent, bedding, livestock, 600 pounds of flour, 400 pounds of bacon (packed in barrels of bran), 100 pounds of sugar, 60 pounds of coffee and 200 pounds of lard. Add to that sacks of bean, rice, dried fruit, salt, vinegar and molasses. Eggs packed into cornmeal were then used to make bread.
 photo of pioneers at Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Baker City, OR

If they brought a milk cow, butter was made by putting the morning's milk in buckets that churned it during the day’s travel (which illustrates how enjoyable riding in that wagon would be). They waited for the grass to green up in the spring and then hoped to beat the snows before they went over the last mountain ranges. The road west was littered with graves, which for the Oregon Trail wasn’t so much from Indian attacks as cholera and accidents.

Fortunately, for our understanding what they went through, some of the pioneers kept journals. We can read past the cold facts of the journey, to their own words, which tell of the sacrifices and difficulties they faced for the hope of a better life in Oregon.
“Then cholera took my oldest boy. His sister Isabel fell beneath the wagon And was crushed beneath the wheels.” from Overland 1852

 “The children and myself are shivering round and in the wagons, nothing for fires in these parts, and the weather is very disagreeable.” Amelia Stewart Knight, 1853

“This is the ninth case of death by violence on the route, three of whom were executed, the others were murdered. This route is the greatest one for wrangling, discord and abuse of any other place in the world, I am certain.”   Abigail Scott Duniway
It was into this saga, of hope and loss, sacrifice and danger, struggle and victory, that I set my first Oregon historical romance, Round the Bend. To do all the research required, write the story of an epic journey, and set it into a tumultuous romance, it helped to have a hero and heroine who not only inspired me but always stayed true to their character.


At seventeen, Amelia Stevens, having grown up in a nurturing environment, is full of dreams and the many books she’s read. When her best friend, since childhood, Matthew Kane lets her know he has feelings for her, she pushes him away. He's ruining everything.

At almost twenty-one, Matt has already seen too much of the hard side of life. He holds few illusions about the trip or his own future. His family is as different from hers as darkness to light. Even if Amy changed her mind, it really couldn't work. She deserves someone more like the handsome wagon train's scout, Adam Stone.

Round the Bend, book one in what will be a series of four, tells of the purest of love and the most driven of hate. It is the story of the westward march of pioneers. Most of all, it is the story of how a man’s highest ideals can change his life and that of others. Heat level (with 1 least and 5 most) is ♥♥♥♥.



Friday, March 20, 2015

Details, Details, Details

By Sandra Nachlinger

We’ve all heard “God is in the details,” and I believe that’s particularly true for writers.  Descriptions are so much more interesting when specifics are used, rather than broad general terms. For example:


BORING: His blue eyes were cold.

The description Joan Reeves writes in APRIL FOOL BRIDE says so much more. 
     Jake’s eyes had always made her think of the deepest part of the ocean. They still reminded her of the ocean. The one around Antarctica. No warmth or friendliness shone in their dark blue depths.

HO-HUM: He propped his feet on her desk.

In TASTING TEXAS, Kimmie Easley's description lets us know just how big Wren's feet are! 

     Wren took the smile as an invite as he slunk down in a chair across from her desk and propped his size fourteens up on a stack of invoices.

BLAH: Her hair was a mess.

Elly’s appearance in BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY isn't exactly what she wished it had been when Derek dropped by. 

     She wore not a smidgen of makeup, not even lipstick. She’d pulled her hair back into a ponytail and tied it with a shoelace hours before, and she knew it probably stuck out like a bouquet of thistles by now.

I hope you enjoyed the examples I’ve given here and will find more details to enjoy in the next book you read (or write!)


Find these books on Amazon and from other booksellers:
APRIL FOOL BRIDE (All Brides Are Beautiful Book 1) by Joan Reeves
TASTING TEXAS (The Tasting Series Book 1) by Kimmie Easley
BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY by Sandra Nachlinger

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Women's History Month - Leaders in Texas Government


It's Women's History Month so I thought I'd talk about several women who've made strides in government to help shape our future in the state of Texas and the world

Sarah Cockrell



 I've spoken before about Sarah Cockrell (1819-1892), a business woman who built the first iron bridge over the Trinity River in Dallas in 1872. She thought big and invested wisely and set up her own corporations. When she died in 1892, her properties were so extensive that her will had to be published in pamphlet form.







Molly Goodnight (1839-1926) established the first ranch household in the Texas Panhandle in 1877. She rescued orphaned buffaloes, had her own cattle brand, the Flying T and helped establish the Goodnight College in 1898.
Mollie Goodnight



Elizabet Ney

Elizabet Ney (1833-1907) was a renowned sculptor from Bavaria. She
moved to Texas with her husband in 1872. She secured a commission to create statues of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston for the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. She became the outspoken advocate of the teaching of fine arts in the state's schools and was instrumental in the founding of the Texas Fine Arts Association.






Minnie Fisher Cunningham
Minnie Fisher Cunningham (1882-1964) was President of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association from 1915 to 1920 and became the first executive secretary of the National League of Women Voters. She was an important leader in the campaign for votes for women on the state and national levels. Graduating in 1901, she was one of the first women in Texas to receive a pharmacy degree from the University of Texas medical school. She ran for but lost races for the U.S. Senate in 1928 and for governor in 1944.







Sarah T. Hughes
Sarah T. Hughes was an attorney, legislator, women's rights activist, United Nations supporter, and Texas' first female state and federal judge. A member of a Dallas law firm from 1923 to 1935. she was elected to her first term in the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat on 1930 and voted "Most Valuable Member" her second term. In 1935, she became Texas' first female district judge and was reelected seven times. She was Dallas County co-chair of the Kennedy-Johnson campaign in 1960, and in the following year, President John F. Kennedy appointed her Texas' first female federal judge. After Kennedy's assassination in 1963, she administered the Presidential oath of office to Lyndon B. Johnson.


These are but a few of the many women who have influenced me and I hope by reading about these women, you'll be inspired to read more about them or look up other influential women in our state of Texas and other states in our great nation.

Thank you for stopping by today. I love seeing y'all here on Smart Girls Read Romance.

Hugs, Carra

  Carra Copelin WebsiteCarra's Blog , Carra's FB page , Carra's Twitter Page
   

Monday, March 16, 2015

Love Means ...Finishing a Book By Joan Reeves

Cinderella Blue: Love means never having to say, "You're under arrest."

For me, love means finishing a book. This book. Cinderella Blue. At long last, I have finished Cinderella Blue, the contemporary romance I began in 2013. Actually, I was updating the book which had been published about ten years ago.

Updating the book and bringing it back to its original length, which had been cut by the editor all those years ago, should have been easy, but completing this romance novel saw more stops and starts than a freeway gridlock.

No sooner had I started it in 2013 than I had to stop to get our house ready for sale. That was just the first of many starts and stops.

I should have taken that as an omen of things to come. Then I wouldn't have been so frustrated every time I had to put the work aside to take care of some life "stuff."

Ah, The Writing Life

That's the way it is with most women writers unless one has reached the level where the writing income is greater than the husband's or partner's income. We less than 6-7 figure authors shoehorn our writing into our personal lives, not the other way around.

Although it doesn't surprise authors, I suppose it may come as a surprise to readers that life interferes with authors and their best writing intentions.

Escape from Life Stuff

Entering the Fictional World is often an escape for the author. Indeed, sometimes when the problems we face every day threaten to overwhelm us, it is a respite to enter a world where we control the universe. How delightful it is to solve all problems and give characters a happily ever after when in the real world problems are often insurmountable.

Cinderella Blue

Love means never having to say, "You're under arrest."

In Cinderella Blue, I've done a bit of a flip-flop with character cliches. In most stories involving a cop hero, the cop avoids commitment at all costs. In Cinderella Blue, Detective Bruce Benton, first introduced in Nobody's Cinderella, is commitment phobic, but so is Detective Andrea Luft.

I had fun solving Andie's problems stemming out of her emotional baggage. That's where everyone's problems come from. Fictional and real people. Cinderella Blue is on sale for only 99 cents during the pre-order period. The book releases March 31 so I hope you'll take advantage of the chance to graba copy before the price rises to $3.99.

In the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt.

Excerpt, Cinderella Blue

Heat shimmered in waves above the pavement. Across the street, Bruce Benton saw a cluster of shops that created one-stop shopping for women looking to drop a few grand on a pretentious wedding. He crossed the street and headed to the flower shop. As he passed the glass storefront of a photographer's studio, he saw a woman inside. A nano second later, he stopped abruptly. The heat must be frying his brain. He retraced his steps, casually glancing in again. The woman wore a wedding dress, but instead of a bridal bouquet, she held a handgun.

Bruce drew his Glock and eased the door open. A bell over the door jingled. He cringed as he slipped inside. Maybe she was deaf. The woman whirled. Nope. Not deaf. She held her gun in the same shooter's stance as he. "Take it easy, lady. Maybe the photographer took some lousy pictures of you. That's no reason to shoot him."

"That's funny." The blonde suddenly grinned, but her gun never wavered. "You're cute. Anyone ever tell you that you look kind of like Karl Urban?"

"Let's not talk about some Aussie actor. Let's talk about you. Why would a sweet thing like you have a gun?"

"Sweet thing?" Irritation replaced her grin. "Lower your gun. Lay it on the floor."

"I'm afraid I can't do that. You see I'm a--"

Everything happened at once. A man rushed from behind her, slammed into her, and sent her flying into Bruce. They went down in a tangle of arms, legs, and miles of white satin. She came up snarling.

Bruce leaped up, gun in hand. "Freeze!"

He grinned and pulled out his handcuffs. "I always wanted to say that. Just like a TV cop. You lost your gun, sweet thing."

He stepped toward her. With a snarl, she whirled. He saw a white blur and felt agony in his hand. A roundhouse kick to his solar plexus cut off his gasp of pain. He hit the floor. Wheezing, he tried to rise, but the blonde stood over him with her gun--and his--pointed at him.

"Uh uh, sweet thing. You stay right where you are."

Bruce groaned. Not from pain so much as humiliation. Crap. He'd never live this down.

Cinderella Blue publishes March 31. Only 99 cents during this pre-order period.

March Giveaway

I'm giving away a Goodie Bag to one winner in the Continental U.S. or an Online Gift Card if the winner lives outside the lower 48 states.

To be eligible to win, just leave a comment with your email address. To receive another entry in the Giveaway, just post a short review of Cinderella Blue and email me the link. (Joan at JoanReeves dot com. Put Real Live Person in the Subject Box.)

Have a wonderful week!

(Joan Reeves writes Sassy, Sexy Contemporary Romance. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers with audio editions available at Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free newsletter for writers, and WordPlay, a free newsletter for readers published on a haphazard schedule determined by life's craziness. Find Joan online: Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. Joan lives her happily ever after with her hero, and she encourages you to believe that: It’s never too late to live happily ever after!)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Changes in Reading and Writing



I don’t know about everyone else, but self-publishing and self-published authors promoting their books have drastically changed reading for me.

It used to be that I had a set of authors whose writing I consistently enjoyed, thus I always bought or borrowed their books and was perfectly happy reading in my comfort zone.

Now, every time I turn around, some author is touting a *free* book. And because many of my faves write only one book per year and because I’m cheap, like every other human on the planet, I download a lot of those free books onto my Kindle. So now I have such a mish-mash, I can’t decide what to try to read next. I’ve never had so many books I've started, but will never finish.

This experience has been a journey of discovery for me.….. Of the plethora of books I’ve downloaded, I’ve discovered a couple of authors whose free book I enjoyed, so I bought the second in a series or another book by the same author. Nine times out of ten, that has been a mistake because a lot of the time, the story falls apart in Book #2 and I'm disappointed.

I can see that it's a challenge to carry on an interesting story involving only two 2 characters (hero & heroine) throughout a three or even five-book series. I’m in the process of writing a trilogy myself and I am glad I didn’t choose to make it only about 2 characters. I’m glad I have a story arc that begins in Book #1 and ends in Book #3 because I don’t think I could pull it off if I just had the hero and heroine to work with.

Another vehicle I’ve discovered self-pubs using is to publish books that amount to short stories and end them with cliff hangers so that I’ll have to go on and buy the next book if I want to read the whole story. All I can say is that makes me feel cheated. And after disrespecting my intelligence as a reader in that way, an author would have to be telling a heck of story to make me buy Book #2.

And speaking of shorts, I’m close to finishing up a novella. But I’m clearly labeling it as a "novella" so that nobody will be expecting a 100,000-word book if they buy it. In the beginning, it was going to be an erotic novella, but after reading at least two, maybe three dozen erotic books, I’m not sure it’s erotic. It’s hot, with explicit steamy sex, but it’s not kinky. So I’m still undecided if I’m going to try to market it as “erotica.” 

Let me know what you think of the cover:


It does have a cliff-hanger ending, but it’s also a stand-alone story. A reader shouldn’t be disappointed if he or she doesn't read the next book. ….. Oh, and I might change the title. ..... Can anyone say “make up your mind?”

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Steamy Action Adventure by Paty Jager #actionadventure #romanticsuspense

I don’t write the traditional Romantic Suspense. My action adventure books have romance tossed in to make it interesting. Think Romancing the Stone, Indiana Jones, or more recently Sherlock Holmes. There are bad people, good people, and different cultures mixed into a tale that is fast-paced, action-packed, and sizzles with romantic chemistry.

The first book, Secrets of a Mayan Moon, takes place in a Guatemala Jungle. Researching for this book was fun and daunting. Not only did I need to learn about life in current day Guatemala, but I also had to read up on the Mayan culture since my heroine is an anthropologist who specializes in Native American cultures.
To learn about the modern day culture, I found a Guatemalan blogger who had lived in the U.S. I asked her if she would be willing to help me keep my book authentic and she agreed. Once that hurdle was accomplished, I bought the books about the Maya with the best reviews and a book about archaeological digs.
 
The next item I needed to know was the underbelly of the country. I wanted a DEA agent out for revenge to come in contact with my heroine. I found him in Augustino Constantine, a Venezuelan who’s family had to flee Chavez's dictatorship and reinvent themselves in the U.S. However, when his father, mother, and brother were on a visit to South America while he was in college, they were gunned down over a remote landing strip owned by a drug lord. Having his family brought down in such a senseless way, sent Tino on a mission of revenge. Tino joins the Drug Enforcement Agency to fight against the drug lords and to get himself close to the man who ordered his family's plane be shot down. While undercover as a jungle guide, he also scouts out the routes the drug dealers are using in the jungle. I read online newspaper stories about the drug trade and corruption in Central America, also the growing artifact trafficking trade along with human organ trade. Using all this information, I put together a story that kept me typing at a frantic pace to keep up with my characters.

But of all the information needed to bring the characters and story to life, the most daunting part was having a genius level character when I am an average intelligence gal. I hope Doctor Isabella Mumphrey displays a genius IQ when I haven’t the foggiest notion what it would feel like.

Blurb for Secrets of a Mayan Moon:
Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.

DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.

Excerpt
She deposited her backpack on the floor at her feet. The horn handle of a twelve inch Guatemalan blade protruded from the side pocket. Tino’s curiosity spiked another notch.
“I have a reservation. Dr. Isabella Mumphrey.”
Tino snapped the paper down and stared even harder at the woman. This was the frumpy, old anthropologist he was to guide? His gaze scanned the length of her one more time while tuning in the conversation.
“Ahh, Dr. Mumphrey, Dr. Martin said you were to get the finest room, no?” The clerk acted like a simpering fool giving the doctor her key and expounding on all the wonders of the hotel.
Gracias. May I borrow a paper and pencil? I need to make a list for the taxi driver.”
The clerk handed her the items. She stepped to the side of the counter and began writing.
Why would she make a list for a taxi driver? Curious, Tino folded the paper and strolled to a spot beside her. So intent on her list, she didn’t even acknowledge his presence as he leaned, reading the items. Army knife, candle, braided fishing line, hooks, swivels, 24 gauge snare wire…
“You are planning a trip into the jungle, no?”
She started at his voice. Deep green eyes rimmed in gold stared at him from behind wire-rimmed lenses. She blinked, focused on him, and narrowed her eyes.
“Didn’t your mother teach you manners? You don’t look over people’s shoulders to see what they’re doing.” She picked up her list and held it to her damp shirt.
Mi mamá did teach me manners, no? I am Tino Kosta, your guide to the dig at Ch’ujuña.” He held out his hand waiting for her to shake.
Her gaze traveled from his extended hand up his arm to his face. She squinted her eyes and glared at him.
“You’re not of Mesoamerican descent, so you can’t possibly be my guide. Are you in cahoots with the disgusting little man who stole my property?” She bent toward her backpack, giving him a good view down the front of her blouse.
Si, she didn’t wear a bra. The nipples peaking through her clingy shirt sat atop a palm-sized mound. Now, being a man who liked his hands filled to overflowing when it came to handling a woman—

¡Carajo!” The pointed end of the large knife that had been tucked in the doctor’s backpack waved inches from his nose. “What is this about?” A woman who ran around without undergarments shouldn’t be offended by a man viewing her body.

Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at Windtree Press, Kindle, Nook  Kobo 
Other books in the series:
Secrets of an Aztec Temple
Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

WELCOME NEW MEMBER SUSAN SHEEHEY!

By Caroline Clemmons

Susan Sheehey is the newest member of Smart Girls Read Romance and will be posting on the 10th of each month. Right now she is under tight deadline and can't post her first article until April. So, I thought I'd introduce her to readers.

Susan Sheehey is an author of contemporary romance & romantic suspense novels.  The first in her romantic suspense trilogy, Prince of Solanais available now on Amazon, B&N, and most e-book retailers.



Her debut novel, Audrey’s Promise, was published in November 2013, also available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and other e-retailers. 



She’s still abiding by the most beneficial piece of advice she ever received – keep writing forward.

After spending six years in the corporate world, she realized her true passion wouldn’t let go.

Susan loves to read romances (shocking!), including both contemporary and historical, with a particular affinity for American, Scottish and Irish Historicals.  Her all time favorite novel is A ROSE IN WINTER by the late Kathleen Woodiwiss.  Other author inspirations are Sylvia Day and Julie Kagawa.  She aspires to the writing of Kristin Hannah, Tawny Weber & Christine Feehan.

She is eager to add more to her list of favorites with the massive volumes of unread romances waiting in her night stand and in her Kindle. Which may have to wait between writing her own stories, of course!


SheeheySigning


Susan is a french vanilla coffee addict, and lives and laughs in Texas with her husband and two sons.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SusanSheehey