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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Tuesday Tales – Hard, Rough and Dirty

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Hello, everyone and welcome to Tuesday Tales!  The word prompts for today came from a challenge – could we use the words hard, rough and dirty together?  Preferably without it being about sex?  Challenge accepted! 

My excerpt comes from Trial By Fire (Black Irish #4).  This is hopefully the last excerpt from that tale.  Next week I hope to introduce you to a new hero, Gideon, as we take a step back to Victorian Steampunk England.

And please don’t forget to stop and enjoy the other excerpts from the very talented Tuesday Tale authors!!

building deck

Abbey clenched the warm coffee mug in her hands as she pushed the back door of her parents’ house open with her hip and stepped out into the cool spring morning.  She roused Ame and Ethan out of bed specifically for this trip to Grandpa and Grandma’s.  It wasn’t anything earth shattering by any means.  But she wasn’t going to miss it for the world.

Sloan was not your typical man.  He intimidated anyone who came near him.  He was a Greek god with an Irish bent.  He played rugby.  He worked out.  He swam daily.  No one compared to him in creativity.  But she never actually saw him do any sort of manual labor.  Not that she doubted he could.  Sloan could do anything he set his mind to.  But, coming from a small rural town where manual labor was the norm, watching him actually work intrigued her.

She smiled slyly at the piles of lumber that were stacked across the back lawn.  The boys were all mulling around, a couple rather grumpily for being waken up so early on a Saturday morning.  They were all there to help Gordon build the deck that her Mom had wanted since they moved to Minneapolis.  Liam was even awake and ready to build.  Abbey giggled.  Bet he didn’t think he was doing this when he visited from Belfast.  Her brow knitted in confusion as Logan appeared from around the garage.  How’d he get roped into this?  The glare Logan shot Sloan answered that question.  Another chuckle erupted from her throat. 

 Sloan picked up a four by four in his large, gloved hands and inspected it.  “Hmm,” he hummed to himself as he slapped the wood against his palm, breaking free some of the residual dirt that clung to it. “Rough…Hard…Dirty.”  His gaze met hers, his ice blue eyes twinkling.  Abbey could read the message they said.  Her husband may have been talking about the board in his grip, but his thoughts were far from it.  She felt her face flush hot as her mouth went dry.

 “Don’t you need the boards to be clean?” she squeaked out in protest.

 Robert shot her a glare.  “It’s a footing, Abbey.  We’re about to sink it into concrete.  Plus it’s going to be exposed to the elements.  So, no.  Are you planning on playing supervisor this morning?  Where are your kids?”

“Maybe I am.  The kids are watching cartoons with their Grandma.  Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” Abbey quipped back.

 Robert snarled at her before he returned the pile of lumber he was sorting.  Abbey grinned as her husband winked at her in victory.  She settled into a lawn chair to watch construction begin. 

Don’t forget to check out the other excerpts from Tuesday Tales!!

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Come Visit Me On SSLY’s Blog Today!

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Come visit me at SSLY’s blog today!!  http://wp.me/p38Iym-170

Sitting down with Julie Shelton

wine and chocolate

Happy Wednesday, everyone!!  Today I have Julie Shelton, author of the newly released (and when I say newly released I mean TODAY!!) novel Owning Sarah, a sequel to Loving Sarah.  Who better to hear about the new release than from Julie herself and her hero, Jesse Colter!  Hey guys!  Thanks for joining me! 

And three lucky readers of my blog will win a signed copy of Owning Sarah! Just leave a comment below showing Julie and Jesse some love!!

So let’s get started on these questions.  Julie, tell me a little about yourself.

I am a former children’s librarian and professional storyteller/puppeteer.  For nearly thirty years I did story times with puppets at day care centers, elementary schools, birthday parties, holiday parties, and at the Puppetry Arts Center of the Palm Beaches.  Now I write erotic romances, thus following the basic “children’s-performer-to-erotica-author” career arc previously taken by so many of my fellow authors 🙂

How about you, Jesse?  Tell me a little about you.

My mother abandoned me, my father used me as his punchin’ bag—when he was sober enough to actually throw a punch.  I was small for my age until I was around fourteen.  That was the last time my father hit me.  I left home at fifteen—made a place for myself in the attic of my cousins’ farmhouse.  Worked on cars and motorcycles to earn money for food.  When I was nineteen I took a summer job as gardener’s assistant at the Marshall estate.  That’s when I met Sarah.  She was thirteen and about to fall thirty feet out of a tree.  I’d never climbed a tree so fast in my life!  By the time I showed up for work the next summer she had hit puberty  She was so gorgeous she made my hands shake and my heart beat so fast I thought I was havin’ a heart attack.  The things she was makin’ me feel terrified me.  I was bad news and I knew I had to stay away from her before I completely destroyed her future.  The last time I saw her was the day of her eighteenth birthday.  I pulled a potential rapist off of her, then practically took her myself.  I left town that night and joined the Navy, where I served as a SEAL for eight years.

Wow.  Jesse, let’s stay with you.  Who is the most important person in your life?

Sarah is by far the most important person in my life.  That summer I rescued her from fallin’ outta that tree, I didn’t know what to make of her.  I was full of my own teen-aged crap, but even then I knew she was someone truly special.  I’d never met anyone like her.  She was only thirteen, but she was the smartest person I’d ever met.  She kept after me and kept after me until I finally gave in and read all her favorite books.  Thank God I did.  She turned me into a reader.  She talked like a little adult, and she actually sought out my opinion.  It was the first time in my life I had been…valued.  Even though she was raised in the lap of luxury, her childhood was just as devoid of love as mine.  Her father was a judge worked all the time and who paid no attention to her, so she was basically raised by tutors and nannies.  She was…magical, and that summer we were inseparable.

Sarah seems incredible.  Julie, back to you.  Where do you find the inspiration for your books?

Everywhere.  Years ago, after seeing a blue gown on a background character minor character in the movie, Becket, the entire plot of a novel set in the Middle Ages sprang into my mind.  I couldn’t write it down fast enough.  I wrote the entire thing on 3 x 5 index cards—still have it.  It’s in two shoeboxes on top of my bookcase, along with three shoeboxes of research notes on the Middle Ages, also written on 3 x 5 index cards.  Of course, all this happened before computers.

Now, Julie, this might be a question Jesse would be interested in coming from you.  Do you carefully plot out what you are about to write or do you just go for it?

I have a general idea of where I’m going when I start a book, but I don’t have all the details.  When I started my first book, Loving Sarah I thought I knew where it was going.  But when I was more than halfway through, my characters took over and took me in a completely different direction.  I had the choice of sticking to my guns, or following where they led, which meant I would have to eliminate several very good scenes.  I dithered a long time over this sudden unexpected turn of events.  I finally decided to follow my characters, realizing that I could use the discarded scenes in a sequel, which ultimately made both books much more exciting!  So, in answer to your question, I just go with the flow.

I think most authors do actually.  Jesse, what do you do for a living?

I’m the Chief of Police of Marshall’s Creek, Virginia, both Sarah’s and my home town.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning, Jesse?

I tighten my arms around Sarah, bury my face in that sweet spot where her neck meets her shoulder and just breathe her in.  Then Adam and I torment her until she’s screaming with pleasure.

Lucky girl!!  And before you fall asleep at night?

Exactly the same thing, except in reverse.  This is usually after a nice long session in the Play Room, followed by more fun and games in the shower.

Very lucky girl!!  Julie, how do you get prepared to write?  Do you make a pot of coffee?  Listen to music?

Well, I don’t drink coffee, so that’s out.  And I don’t put on music, because when I’m playing music I find myself actually listening to it.  If it’s a song, I’m singing along and bopping around in my chair, if it’s classical, movie soundtrack, or some other instrumental, I’m still humming along with it.  So, I roll out of bed, open up the laptop and pick up where I left off the day before.  I go until I get hungry.

Jesse, describe yourself to my readers.  It’s not fair Julie and I hog the eye candy.

I’m tall, 6’3”, and, thanks to my Native American DNA, I have the straight black hair, aquiline nose, and high cheekbones of my heritage.  I now wear my hair short, but it used to come down to my shoulders.  Bein’ a SEAL for eight years helped me hone my body so that I’m muscular, but not muscle-bound like a body builder.  My eyes are dark brown, nearly black.  I’ve been told I look like a cross between Jason Momoa and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  Could be worse, I suppose.  I could look like a cross between Fred Mertz and Barney Fife.  Not a good look for a super-macho, bad-ass, alpha-male commando-type (as Sarah likes to call me).

Ok, final question for both of you.  Jesse, what do you think of your author?

I love that woman.  A few years ago, I knew she was lookin’ for a story to write and I knew she’d do justice to my story.  I kinda sprung Adam on her—my best friend, Adam Sinclair.  She wasn’t expectin’ us to wind up in a menage relationship.  And I kinda surprised her by bein’ a Dom, but she kept up, bless her heart, and did a superb job of tellin’ our story.

And Julie – what do you think of Jesse?

I am totally, 100%, head over heels in love with Jesse Colter.  I don’t think I could have told his story if I hadn’t fallen in love with him.

Thank you to both of you for being on my blog today.  I really appreciate it.  It was fun chatting with you!  Now, let’s take a look at that new novel coming out today, Owning Sarah!

owning sarah

Blurb:

It’s been a month since Sarah Marshall was kidnapped and held at knife-point by her ex-fiance.  But Jesse Colter and Adam Sinclair, her two loving Doms, know that there is an even deadlier threat still out there—Ryder Malone.

He blames both Sarah and Jesse for sending him to prison eight years ago for attempted rape, and he’s determined to make them pay.  So, he begins a systematic campaign of terror and intimidation against them.  But the danger he poses doesn’t end there.

Set against the deepening love and commitment between Sarah, Jesse, and Adam, Owning Sarah is more than just a sexy, sensual, BDSM love story.  It is a harrowing race against time for Jesse, Adam, and a team of former SEALs to stop one of the biggest arms-for-drugs deals in U.S. history.  And to rescue Sarah before Malone sells her to a human trafficker and she’s lost to her men forever.

Excerpt:

Maggie reached out to grab the check, but a quelling look from Jesse had her drawing back her hand. “I see what you mean,” she murmured as they were getting back into the car. “Definitely bossy.”

Sarah giggled. “Oh, God, you don’t know the half of it.”

“Does he bite?”

“Um…”Sarah’s cheeks flamed, and it was Cassie and Maggie’s turn to giggle.

Jesse ahemed loudly. “If you ladies are finished assassinatin’ my character, may I ask where we’re goin’?”

“Oh, right. We’re meeting Lisa and Heather in an hour at the bridal salon in Williamsburg.” Sarah gave him the name and address of the store, watching him enter it into his Onstar before merging onto I-64 and heading east.

Lisa and Heather were already there when Jesse finally pulled into a parking spot right in front of the historic old building that housed the salon. For the next three hours the five women bonded over a veritable flurry of gorgeous gowns and dresses. Although, initially, Lisa’s goth looks drew a few stares and more than one raised eyebrow from the shop’s other patrons, she was still a giggly girl at heart and threw herself wholeheartedly into the spirit of the occasion. Despite their widely disparate backgrounds, the women found they had a lot in common, not the least of which was their love and admiration for Sarah Marshall.

Adam and Jesse stood back, arms folded across their chests, watching the goings-on in mild amusement. The first four gowns Sarah tried on and modeled for them were lovely, but nothing special in their opinion. Not nearly special enough for the love of their life, although they assured her she looked spectacular in each one. It wasn’t until she walked slowly out of the dressing room wearing the fifth gown that their hearts plummeted to the floor before jerking back up and spinning like yo-yos. As soon as they saw the beatific smile on her face, they knew she’d found the gown of her dreams. It was a strapless, close-fitting, ivory peau de soie that hugged all her curves before flaring slightly below the hips to fall gracefully to the floor. It was beaded all over in a simple, subtle pattern of vines and flowers. Instead of a veil she wore a coronet of silk freesias, orange blossoms, stephanotis, and daisies, Sarah’s favorite flower.

Not that Jesse and Adam knew any of that. Nor did they care. All they cared about was that she looked so exquisite, so elegant, so ethereal standing there looking up at them hesitantly, neither man could control the emotions tightening their chests, nor the sting of sudden tears in their eyes.

Fighting the lump in his throat, Jesse dropped his arms and strode over to her, pulling her gently, almost reverently into his arms. “God, sugar, I love you so much. I’ve never seen anythin’ more beautiful in my life than you in this dress. I can’t wait to see you walkin’ down the aisle toward me,” he whispered. Lifting a hand to wipe the tear from her cheek with his thumb, he threaded his fingers through her hair and palmed the side of her face. After staring at her for what seemed like forever, he lowered his head, barely touching his lips to hers in a kiss that sank deep into her soul, robbing her of her ability to think. A kiss that went on and on, holding everyone else in the salon in thrall, as if a binding spell had been cast upon them.

When he finally lifted his head, the room seemed to sigh as he stepped aside to let Adam take his place. His kiss was just as reverent, just as arousing, just as adoring as Jesse’s, and as it lengthened, one of the bridal consultants, whose name tag said Debbie, poked her elbow into Maggie’s side. “Where do I get me one of those?” she asked out of the side of her mouth.

“Wish I knew,” Maggie replied.

“So, which one is she marrying?” the other consultant whispered curiously, neither of them taking their eyes off of the kissing couple, both pairs of eyes widening as Jesse stepped up behind Sarah and put his arms around her, sandwiching her between them.

A chorus of feminine “Oo-o-o-hs ” soughed around the room.

“Both.”

“Well, that’s hardly fair.” Debbie said, sounding a bit miffed.

Maggie grimaced. “Tell me about it.”

Finally, Adam raised his head and grinned down at the lovely woman looking at him with a dazed expression. Her lips were kiss-swollen and slightly parted as her breaths came in short, trembling sighs. Applause broke out all around the salon, along with a few wolf whistles. “We seem to be attracting attention, sweet pea,” Adam said, lifting his head to glance around the room.

“Huh?” It was all she was capable of. Her ability to form words into sentences, something she had excelled at not twenty minutes earlier, seemed to have deserted her.

Adam laughed and both men released her. “Looks like you’ve found your weddin’ gown, baby,” Jesse said.

“You really like it?” she asked, although she knew the answer. She’d known the minute she’d seen the looks on their faces as she’d walked toward them wearing this gown. She was just fishing for compliments. A gal could never get too many compliments.

“The only thing we’ll like better than seein’ you in that dress on our weddin’ day,” Jesse murmured softly, “is takin’ you out of it on our weddin’ night.”

“Another thing to look forward to,” Adam added with a wicked grin.

Where to Buy Owning Sarah:  http://www.sirenpublishing.com

Tuesday Tales – Fall Scene

Badge for TT - very smallHey everyone!!  Welcome to Tuesday Tales!  We are working with the picture prompt below.  Today I am taking an avenue I haven’t so far on Tuesday Tales.  My excerpt isn’t from The Thirteenth Knight or Breaking the Cycle.  Today’s excerpt would be the first seen from the next in the Black Irish series I will be starting – Trial By Fire (Black Irish #4).  Incidentally, The Troubles (Black Irish #3) comes out in November 2013.

Please don’t forget to check out the incredible blogs of my very talented Tuesday Tales friends!

fall scene

Abbey wrapped her arms tight around herself as she walked along the plank-covered path alongside the lake.  She gazed at the wildfire of brilliant leaves that blazed along the path.  The vibrant crimsons, oranges and golds were beautiful.

She loved this path that circled the lake behind the house.  The neighbors all around the lake took full advantage of it.  For Abbey it was the rare retreat Sloan and she shared.  There weren’t too many occasions that they were without Ame and Ethan.  But when the chance came that someone else was watching their children, they would find their way to the trail.  They would walk the entirety of it, their fingers intertwined.  They wouldn’t talk much.  They would just enjoy being together.  Sloan would stop and pull her to him just to hold her in his arms.  Between their company and his past there was no such thing as peace.  Here there was at least the illusion of it.

She hugged herself tighter as she closed her eyes, her long brown hair blowing in the cool breeze.  She could feel Sloan’s presence wrapped around her – strong and warm.  She could feel his breath on her cheek, his lips pressed against her skin.  Even though he was thousands of miles away locked in a Belfast prison, she could still feel him there.

She jolted at the vibration of her cell phone.  “Hello?”

“Hello, lass,” Liam greeted.

“What have you found out, Liam?” Abbey begged.

“I think I have a plan.  But it requires you, lass, to be here in Belfast.  And for you to do some very questionable things.”

“Will it free my husband?”

“I believe so, yes.”

“Then consider it done.  When do you need me?”

“As soon as possible.  And bring Maggie and your mother.  You are going to need a team.”

“All right.  I’ll let you know when our flight will be.”

“Very good, lass.  See you soon.”

Abbey end the call on her phone.  With a sigh she jogged along the planks back to her house.

Don’t forget to check out the other excerpts from the Tuesday Tales writers!

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The 100th Sunday Snog!!

sloanandabbey

Welcome to the 100th Sunday Snog!  I am very excited to be part of this blog hop – and who doesn’t love kissing??  I myself am a fan!!

**To celebrate The 100th Sunday Snog, I will be giving an e-book copy of both Black Irish and Heartland to one lucky commenter below!!**

BlackIrish_LRG       Heartland_LRG

When thinking of kissing and all the characters I’ve written, one stood out above the rest.  That one would be the first kiss between Abbey Wright and Sloan O’Riley in Black Irish.  Why would this be so singular?  First it was their wedding day.  Second – well, the blurb for Black Irish explains it all…

the-hero-gets-the-girlBlurb for Black Irish:

Abbey couldn’t believe he was gay. She nearly ran away from her dreams of being a children’s book writer when she was introduced to her illustrator Sloan O’Riley, a dark, sensual Irishman with incredible blue eyes. He certainly couldn’t be good for Abbey’s relationship with her boyfriend back in Iowa. How could she stay in New York and work with the sinfully sexy Sloan even if he was gay? And when Sloan is threatened to be deported, how far would Abbey go to keep him in the US?

Sloan was forced to tell a little white lie. He had no choice. He couldn’t let the sweet, beautiful, Abbey Wright flee from his life – not without a chance to explore the sudden desire he felt for her. But what would Abbey do if she ever discovered the truth about Sloan’s sexuality – or learned the deeper, darker secret he’s been hiding?

Yep, Abbey thought her new husband was gay!  So how great could their first kiss really be?  She was in for a surprise…

danielstarkphotography-com-1Sloan led Abbey through the corridors of the courthouse, followed by Robert and Gordon. Pushing open a dark-stained door with a frosted glass window, he motioned her in.

Inside sat a man huddled over a stack of papers on a desk of the same dark-stained wood as the door. His salt and pepper hair was combed over his balding head. The freshly pressed robe he wore draped down from his shoulders. He looked up at them through the spectacles on his nose then smiled and stood to greet them.

The justice shook Sloan’s hand emphatically as he quipped about some recent city legislation they had both been part of—legislation that Sloan’s influence had swung in Judge Goldstein’s favor. Abbey stared at Sloan, puzzled. She knew he had money. She knew he had an immense artistic talent. But he has political power too? What deep, dark secrets does he have?

Judge Goldstein turned back to his desk to retrieve a book then turned and faced them again. Abbey’s heart caught in her throat. This was it—her wedding day. True, it wasn’t a real wedding with the big, white dress, the five-tiered cake, and hundreds of guests. In fact, her soon-to-be husband was gay. But at the end of this, she would be Mrs. Sloan O’Riley. She glanced around the cold chambers then back to Sloan.

Instead of her heart clenching in regret, it fluttered rapidly in excitement. She wrapped her arm around his, hugging it to her. He looked down to her, his ice blue eyes shining brightly as he beamed at her. Then, he softly nudged her, turning her attention to the justice.

“Ms. Wright?” Judge Goldstein questioned.

“Ummm…yes?”

”Do you take Mr. O’Riley as your husband?”

Abbey’s eyes shot from him to Sloan as she felt her face flush hot. She didn’t want to know what shade of red her cheeks now were. “I do.” she squeaked.

“And Sloan, do you take Ms. Wright as your wedded wife?”

Sloan’s gaze was soft and gentle. “Oh, yes. I absolutely do.”

“Do you have rings to exchange?”

Sloan reached into his slacks pocket. After a few moments of digging within the cloth, his hand returned with the simple gold bands. He gave the larger of the two to Abbey and kept the smaller for himself.

Abbey was oblivious to the justice’s words as she pushed the ring onto Sloan’s finger. She let go a tiny squeal of excitement as she watched him slide her band into place against one Michael had already given her. Sloan clasped her hand in his as he chuckled at her reaction.

“By the power invested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride,” Judge Goldstein announced.

Her eyes locked onto Sloan’s mouth as he gathered her into his arms. She felt an ache deep in every nerve to know what his kiss would feel like. A wave of disappointment hit her. It will only be a quick peck. He is gay after all.

As Sloan’s lips engulfed hers, Abbey quickly discovered how wrong she was. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she sank into his kiss. She let out a sigh as he pried her mouth apart and dove deeper. His warm breath, the softness of his lips, the sensation of his large, powerful hands holding her close—it all made her dizzy and giddy at the same time. She clung to him as they finally parted.

Steadying her, Sloan smiled, a sweet, seductive glimmer sparkling in his eyes. “Shall we go to lunch to celebrate, Mrs. O’Riley?”

Abbey giggled. “Of course.”

They paraded arm in arm through the courthouse all the way to the curb, where Gordon had the Hummer waiting. Sloan opened the car door, waving both Gordon and Robert away, then offered his hand to Abbey. Once she was settled in her seat, Sloan climbed in beside her. He took the hand smoothing the white satin of her skirt and held it tight in his as they pulled into the busy downtown traffic.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog!  Don’t forget to comment below to enter to win e-books of Black Irish and Heartland.

And PLEASE remember to stop back at the 100th Sunday Snog Blog and check out the other amazing kisses from the other amazing blogs.  Click Here To Jump Back to the 100th Sunday Snog!

Tuesday Tales – Glass

Badge for TT - very smallHappy Tuesday and Welcome to Tuesday Tales!  I have exciting news.  I have signed a contract with Secret Cravings Publishing to publish The Thirteenth Knight!  However the bad news is that I think this will be my second to last post for The Thirteenth Knight.

Don’t forget to stop by and check out incredible excerpts of the other authors of Tuesday Tales!!

tavernThe tavern was dark and dank.  The only light was an amber glow from the fire in the hearth.  The only thing the grimy glass windows let through was the scent of the salty sea air.  Thatcher growled as he clenched his large, powerful hands around the mug full of ale.  He couldn’t believe what a fool he had been.  Miranda had betrayed him from the start with her pleas to become his wife.

Had I only known then what a harlot she is.

He glanced up at the beautiful, buxom, blonde barwench as she sashayed by.  And the women.  Women all over the kingdom threw themselves at him, vying for a spot in the bed of one of King’s valiant knights. Thatcher never gave them a second glance.  His heart belonged solely to Miranda.  The viper.

The barwench smiled at him and giggled, her tongue lingering a second longer on her lower lip than it needed to.  Thatcher stared at her ruby lips.  He wondered how they would taste.  He wondered how her soft curves would feel pressed against his body.  He pushed the ale away.  He wouldn’t drown his broken heart in drink tonight.  He would drown it in her.  And tomorrow morning he would take the first ship that would get him far away from this kingdom.  And Miranda’s lying mouth.

He stood on command as the blonde scrunched her finger, beckoning him to her.  A weathered hand clamped down on his shoulder and forced him back on his stool.

“Lad, you want none of that,” a deep, cracked voice behind him scolded.  An old man slumped on the seat next to him, his gray eyes peering at Thatcher through dirty glasses.

“I most certainly do,” Thatcher barked.  “What makes you think I do not?”

“Because if you do, you will break the heart of the woman who loves you, the woman who needs you to return to the palace to rescue her.”

Don’t forget to stop by the blogs of the other incredible writers of Tuesday Tales!

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Innocent til Proven Guilty – The Backstory Part One

Innocent 'til Proven Guilty Cover
I am very excited to be writing my free weekly sweet serial with Sweet Cravings Publishing.  If you haven’t read it, click here to have a read!

The story is set in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the 1940s.  While the characters and the plot line are fictional, the setting and locations are very real.  So, what better than to learn the back story here on my blog!!

cr 1940This is a postcard of Cedar Rapids in the 1940’s.  This is a close-up of the Federal Courthouse.  The City Hall/Veterans Colosseum  is in the background.

cr nowThis is Cedar Rapids today.  The Federal Courthouse is the small building just off the right of the center.  The City Hall/Veterans Colosseum is split in half on the far right.  The city has grown quite a bit in seventy years.

Now, the question many people would ask is – why Cedar Rapids?  What possessed me to write my story here?  Well, the answer is simple.  I was born and raised here.  My husband was born and raised here.  All our children were born here.  Nearly all our extended family lives here.  And we pass this skyline every day.

And the Hotel Montrose?  The building that now resides where the hotel stood…is where he and I first met.

So next week we will be exploring the grand Hotel Montrose!

Meet Sandy Sullivan, Author of Healing A Cowboy’s Heart!

Happy Saturday Everyone!  Today I am hosting the first guest on my blog and I am hosting none other than the incredible Sandy Sullivan!   We will be talking about her new release, Healing a Cowboy’s Heart.  And one lucky winner today will win a copy of Healing a Cowboy’s Heart!  Just leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy!

daf298a7526df5efc1b52fbb147da001.image.266x400Blurb:

Jeffery Young is tired of women and their games. His son’s mother did enough damage to his heart to last a lifetime. Now, he had to deal with the architect helping the land developers tear up the local ranches for their houses. Not on his watch. Terri Kennedy had her own plans. As the architect for a large land development in Bandera Texas, the deal would put her business on the map, but dealing with the stubborn, bullheaded male from the local ranch didn’t come with her job description. Maybe staying on their guest ranch would give her some clues as how to handle Mr. Stubborn Jackass. Will the secrets she’s harboring keep him from getting close? Can he learn to trust women again or should be play the game to find out what’s she’s up to?

My Review:

Wow!  I started reading Healing a Cowboy’s Heart and could not put it down until I was finished.  I loved the complexity of the characters.  Watching Jeff and Terri go from enemies to lovers was incredible (and their time as lovers was hot!!).  The descriptions of the life around the ranch was so vivid – I could see and feel everything going on.  I fell in love with Ben.  I am normally not a cowboy romance fan but after reading Healing a Cowboy’s Heart I am going to have to read the rest of the series – and recommend it to everyone!!

My rating (out of five shamrocks): shamrock rating 5

Where you can buy Healing A Cowboy’s Heart:

Secret Cravings Publishing

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

All Romance Ebooks

Bookstrand

Meet Sandy!sandysullivanauthorpicture

Sandy Sullivan is a romance author, who, when not writing, spends her time with her husband Shaun on their farm in middle Tennessee. She loves to ride her horses, play with their dogs and relax on the porch, enjoying the rolling hills of her home south of Nashville. County music is a passion of hers and she loves to listen to it while she writes.

She is an avid reader of romance novels and enjoys reading Nora Roberts, Jude Deveraux and Susan Wiggs. Finding new authors and delving into something different helps feed the need for literature. A registered nurse by education, she loves to help people and spread the enjoyment of romance to those around her with her novels. She loves cowboys so you’ll find many of her novels have sexy men in tight jeans and cowboy boots.

Stop by and Tell Sandy Hi at:

http://romancestorytime.com/

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Tuesday Tales – Building

Badge for TT - very smallHappy Tuesday and welcome to another Tuesday Tales!  Our word prompt today is “building”.  We are back with Thatcher and Miranda in The Thirteenth Knight.  Again this section was preceeded by one I wrote a while back:  Tuesday Tales – Silver

Please make sure you stop by and check out the blogs of the other incredibly talented authors of Tuesday Tales!

castle wallMiranda had hardly changed from her courtier’s clothes to her crimson gown trimmed in gold before she was summoned to Brunon again.  She did not have to ask why.  The sounds of battle outside the palace echoed throughout the halls.  The building itself shook with the sounds of war.

Brunon greeted Miranda in the entrance hall, an evil smile wisping across his gaunt face.  “Come, my beloved,” he crooned as he beckoned to her with thin fingers.  “I have a simple task for you.”

Miranda lowered her head.  “Yes, Brunon?”

He motioned to the wall that surrounded the palace.  “I want you to stand on the wall.  I want you to address the king’s army.  And I want you to tell Thatcher you never loved him.”

Tears filled Miranda’s eyes as she shook her head.  “I cannot do that.”

Brunon pressed his lips into a thin line as he pulled free the vial in his hand.  He clasped his skeletal fingers around it and closed his eyes.  The thick crimson liquid began to bubble.  Above the building sounds of battle, Miranda could hear Thatcher’s anguished roar.

“Stop!” Miranda begged.

Brunon released the vial.  “Will you obey me?”

Miranda couldn’t speak.  She could only nod as she fought back her sobs.  Brunon gestured towards the door that led to the wall.

Miranda’s sudden appearance silenced the fighting.  She closed her eyes as she heard Thatcher call her name.  She took a deep breath.  “I’ve come out to speak to you, Sir Thatcher.”

“My love, hide yourself.  The war…”

“There is no need to fight.  I am marrying Count Brunon.  I love him.

“Miranda, you are speaking nonsense.”

“I have never spoken truer in my life.  The lie I told was to you when I said I loved you.  I never have.  I never will.  You do not possess my heart.  Those were sweet words I spoke to trick you.”

“Miranda…”  Thatcher’s voice was low and dangerous.

 “I only agreed to marry you so I would not die alone.  You were a better option than the townspeople feeling pity for me.”

Miranda finally forced herself to look in Thatcher’s eyes.  The deep blue pools were full of hurt, anger and betrayal.  She swallowed back a whimper.  “So fare thee well, Sir Thatcher.  Return to the putrid little hovel you came from.  I will remain here in royalty with my one true love.”

 Thatcher spun on his toe and stormed towards the woods.  His cold, hate filled glare was the last image of him for Miranda before he disappeared.  She rushed into the palace, getting inside the door before she collapsed in sobs.

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