Friday, October 31, 2014

Favorite Hero Friday with Andrea Downing -- 5 Things about Daniel Saunders, hero from Dearest Darling

Hey everybody! I have Andrea Downing today, sharing her hero, Daniel Saunders, from her western historical romance, Dearest Darling. Welcome Andrea!


  1. Daniel is educated, but not as educated as he would have liked to be.
  2. He likes solitude but not loneliness, cold weather but a warm bed.
  3. Daniel believes his word is his bond but isn't interested in bondage.
  4. He knows revenge is a dish best eaten cold but loves a good, hot, home-cooked meal. 
  5. His Dearest Darling is truly the dearest Darling.


Stuck in a life of servitude to her penny-pinching brother, Emily Darling longs for a more exciting existence. When a packet with travel tickets, meant for one Ethel Darton, accidentally lands on her doormat, Emily sees a chance for escape. Having turned down the dreary suitors that have come her way, is it possible a new existence also offers a different kind of man?

Daniel Saunders has carved out a life for himself in Wyoming—a life missing one thing: a wife. Having scrimped and saved to bring his mail-order bride from New York, he is outraged to find in her stead a runaway fraud. Even worse, the impostor is the sister of his old enemy.
But people are not always as they seem, and sometimes the heart knows more than the head.
Emily liked the sound of his voice, low but not husky, a slight twang he had cultivated, but not pretentiously so. When he spoke, she envisaged melting caramel, something delicious, the way it could be so appealing as she stirred, with a shine and slow drip from the spoon, before it gradually solidified. Soothing. A liquid velvet.
But he hadn’t spoken today. Not since first thing when he’d told her to get ready. Not through breakfast, or as he helped clear dishes, or gave her a hand up into the wagon.
“You haven’t seen her. You didn’t see her picture, did you?” The questions came sudden, yet without malice.
Emily straightened, alert. “No. No, I didn’t.” Would I understand better? Is that what he meant?
“I keep it with me.” Daniel began to fish in his pocket. “Would you like to see it?”
“No. No, you keep it, please. It won’t change anything.” Emily panicked. She would be beautiful, the other, that would be the answer. So stunningly beautiful that just her photograph had enthralled him, mesmerized him into loving her. Emily couldn’t bear to look, didn’t want to know the answer. Didn’t wish to torture herself further. “And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for reading the letters.” A rush of words, they flowed out of her. “I should never have done that. It’s not like me. But you...well, you understand it seems—”
“You’re probably wondering what I see in her. Or what she sees in me. As for that, what she sees in me, I have no idea. Maybe, like you, she wishes to get away.”
Emily studied his profile, the planes and contours of his face, the eyes set straight ahead, the slouch hat low on his brow. He gave nothing away, was a man in control of his emotions, thinking, maybe still wondering how he had won that woman. Or maybe set on keeping the answer to himself.
Overhead, clouds scudded, scoured the sky, leached the blue, threatened.
“Did you ever ask her? Why you?”
“I did. She never answered. I’m thinking what she sees in me is husband material. I guess. She tells me about her day, the people she knows, what she does. As you read.”
“She just seems outgoing, very social to ever want this life. I found it difficult to believe.” She jutted her chin out, then turned to him, waiting.
He gave the reins a sharp shake. “I don’t know. I never asked if she knew what she was getting into. I described it. I assumed if she wanted to stop the correspondence there, she would have. I was pretty damn amazed and happy she’d wanted to come, written back even though I described the cabin to her, the isolation.” His gaze slid toward her.
“And you think she’ll make you a perfect wife, do you? Be happy living here? Cook your meals, mend your clothes, keep your cabin, have your babies?” Exasperated, she tried to make him think, think of what he was letting himself in for, how long a marriage like that could go on, how it could end up being even lonelier than he was now. Emily would seem to him to be trying to win him over rather than making him see the truth, but push him she must, save him, stop him. She knew those sorts of women, the debutantes, the socialites. Not a one would last out here, not for a single day.
His head snapped around to stare at her. “She’s been writing. She hasn’t stopped.”

Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born,  instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK.   She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 20 ranches throughout the west.  Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards.  Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards.   Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, and comes out Oct. 8th and Dances of the Heart, another full length novel, comes out in the next few months.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Snarkology #Halloween Blog Hop

Welcome to the Snarkology's Halloween Blog Hop. We have 60 author blogs participating this year so there are many opportunities to enter to win one of the hopwide grand prizes. Most blogs are offering individual prizes also. Follow the Linked List at the bottom of this post! 

I'm offering a digital copy of my latest release, Risking It All, and there's a hop-wide grand prize. Enter both via the Rafflecopters below!

What do you think of when you think of Halloween? When I think of this holiday, I think of my kids. My two boys are too grown up now to participate. My oldest is 19. He’s got a full time job and my youngest just started high school. He has no interest in Halloween anymore. 

But man the fun we had with those boys. My husband was always the one who took the boys out and me and our late German Shepherd, Ruby, would answer the door. Ruby would greet every single kid. She loved them and they always seemed to love her.

Miss Ruby Jewels. We miss her.
This year, we’ll be turning out the lights. Without our own little munchkins to get excited for, we’ve sort of lost our spark for it. We’ve also got two “door attackers.” Our ferocious duo, Misty the Lab and Tiger the Chihuahua. Any time someone comes to the door, Misty goes running, growling and barking. She’s not a very big dog, on the small side for a Lab, but she’s got a mean-sounding bark. She’s stopped people in their tracks four feet from the door. I don’t have the heart to tell them that should they actually come INside, she’d run the other direction. lol

Tiger barks because Misty barks, but her bark is an ear-piercer. Yeah, we’ve got one of those yappy little dogs. She’s cute, though. And fearless. Tiger will actually chase people down the street. Not to bite them, mind. She'll stand in front of them, wag her tail and bark. If you reach out to her, just like Misty, she runs in the opposite direction. lol

But I have to admit the idea of having to deal with that every time the doorbell rings gives me a headache. So, we’re closing up shop and eating our candy! lol I know, bah-humbug, right?

But we had fun, back in the day. I remember when my boys were so little they were afraid to go trick-or-treating. Matthew, the 19 year old, would cry and/or out and out refuse to go up to some houses. You know, I miss those days.

Of course, once they got to be around 10 or so, the real fun began. Picking out costumes. Of course, with boys, it was scary stuff and ninjas. Adam was usually some form of a ninja and Matthew loved trying to scare people. My husband even got into one year. What started out as an inside joke ended up with him wearing a costume as he took the boys out. Scared some little kids that night I heard later. Some parents, too. lol 

Scary dad!
What was I for Halloween when I was a kid? Usually a witch. It was easy and cheap and I liked being something I wasn’t.

What about you? What are some of your favorite Halloween memories?

My giveaway--

Winner will be drawn Nov 1 and announced here. 

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Winner will be chosen by Melissa Snark at The Snarkology

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Favorite Hero Friday: 5 Things about Kyle Morgan @JMStewartWriter #IARTG #FRWST

So, I’ve been very lazy with my blogging in the last few months. I’ve been scrambling to get the series I’m writing finished. It just so happens, I don’t have an author scheduled for today’s Favorite Hero Friday, so I thought I’d share a hero of my own. Kyle Morgan, from Risking It All.

1: Family’s important. Kyle is the most “at home” with his family. He has two older brothers and a younger sister, and they grew up relying on each other. They’re all very close and try to get together once a week for dinner.

2: He’s good with kids. ;) He often plays “babysitter” to his siblings’ kids, and he’s more than happy to hang out with the “munchkins.”  

3: He started out as a very “beta” hero. The quintessential best friend. Mild mannered. Polite. Always there for the heroine. He still is, but over the course of doing the revisions for my editor and answering all her small plot questions, I discovered he had a very alpha streak to him. He can be very “take charge” when he feels it’s necessary.

4: He’s extremely protective of the people he loves, and he’ll do anything for them.

5: He’s a goofball. At heart, Kyle’s just a great big kid. It’s how he relaxes, lets off steam.


She’s everything he wants…

For years, Kyle Morgan has hidden his true feelings from the gorgeous girl next door that he grew up loving and protecting. But when she shows up at his apartment in the middle of the night, desperately needing comfort and support, his iron will begins to waver…

…and the only thing he can’t bear to lose.

Kyle was always the big brother Cecelia Anton never had, but suddenly her goofy best friend has become a sexy man she can’t keep her thoughts—or hands—off of. As their deep connection melts into uncontrollable desire, Ceci is willing to put it all on the line for a shot at true love. Only Kyle is keeping a terrible secret about Ceci’s past that could destroy not only their lifelong friendship but their happily-ever-after…

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Emotional challenges of being an author

How do I handle the emotional challenges of being an author?

I came across this question and it made me stop and think. You know, way back when I published my first book, I honestly hadn’t a clue. I just thought it was cool. Somebody actually thought enough of my little book to want to publish it. How awesome is that? Self promotion you say? Wait…what is that? Ohhhh, you mean I have to put myself out there now. As in talk to people. Pimp myself. Ruh-oh, Raggy.

So for me, the biggest emotional challenge…is self promotion. I’m my own worst enemy. There’s a little voice inside of me that says, on a constant basis, “You’re a nobody and you’ll always be a nobody.” And no, I’m not saying that to gain sympathy, but just to show you how I get from where I am to where I end up.

I’ll fully admit I’m flying blind with self promotion. I’m a shy introvert in a social world. Give me a good book or a sappy movie and a cup of tea and I’m happy. As an author and a writer, I spend 90% of my day alone, and you know what? I’m perfectly content with that. I was an only child to a single mother, who had to work sometimes 60 hours a week to barely make ends meet. I spent a LOT of time alone as a kid. I was what they used to call a “latchkey kid.” I’d come home from school, let myself in, and stay alone until my mother got home at 7. She could barely afford rent, let alone daycare, and we didn’t live near family.

Spending all that time alone makes me my own best friend. I really don’t mind being alone. I actually have to force myself to be social or you’ll find me holding up a wall somewhere. But being social does not come easily for me. The hardest thing I’ve encountered as an author? Is not letting those negative self-doubts eat me alive. It can be a killer. I tend toward depression and a single not-so-glowing review can sink me for days.

So how do I deal with the emotional challenges of this job? Honestly? I let myself feel the pain for a couple of hours, because I’m one of those who holds stuff in until it’s no longer healthy. So, I let myself feel it. That’s not easy, by the way. It’s far easier for me to deny the emotion, shove it down, and let it eat away at me.

Then I get back up and dust myself off. Because above all things, I am a survivor. I can do anything, and the only person stopping me is ME. So, I let whatever it is that’s got me down (lack of sales, currently) fuel me. It fuels that desire to keep trucking forward. You see, I have a dream. I know where I’m going and I know I’ll get there one day. So that emotional challenge ends up giving me a great big kick in the keester.

And yes. I am one of those annoying positive people. At least, I try to be. And only because I’ve seen the darkness that is depression. I have swirled that dark drain and clawed my way out of it, and I’ll never go there again. Ever. Staying positive helps. It means people roll their eyes at me, though. ;)

What about you. How do you deal with emotional challenges? 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Favorite #Hero Friday with @JC_McKenzie --5 Things about Lon Devlin, from The Shucker’s Booktique

TGIF everybody! Today I have fellow Wild Rose Press author J.C. McKenzie with me, introducing the hero of her latest release. 

Today, I’m introducing you to Lon Devlin, the hero from my paranormal short story, The Shucker’s Booktique.

1) Lon is a Tempest—a water sprite created by the God of the Sea to ride the waves and live by the tides. Tempests exist in simplicity without malice, yet they can be fierce when protecting their identity, the ocean, or loved ones.

2) Lon’s incorporeal form is vaguely human in shape, but thin as a reed and wisp-like as smoke. As a Tempest, he bends, elongates and curls with each roll and wave of the ocean.

3) Lon’s human form, the form he can only take during a thunderstorm, is tall and muscular. He has ink black hair and pale, almost translucent skin. It’s his eyes that give away his “otherness.” They’re swirls of grey, changing from blue to silver to green, like the changing colors of the ocean.

4) Lon hides his human clothes under the rocks off the shore so he doesn’t have to walk far naked.

5) “Lon” and “Devlin” are both names that mean “fierce.”



After her fiancé dumps her and her beloved Aunt Jenny goes missing, Willa Eklund travels to Lobster Cove with a broken heart to search for Jenny while running her bookstore. When a mysterious man visits the Shucker's Booktique on a stormy night drenched in rain and covered in mud, Willa's heart melts under his stormy gaze. She wants Lon and the answers he may have, but he also has a secret. Can Willa trust him?

Lon Devlin is a Tempest, a water sprite who can only take a human form during stormy nights. He rides the waves, lives by the tides, and nothing can hold him down, not even a beautiful woman. When he visits his mortal friend, he discovers she's missing and her intriguing niece has taken her place. He wants Willa, but he also wants answers. What happened to Jenny?


Thump! Thump! Thump!

No! She gasped. It couldn’t be. The banging on the front door of the booktique had to be a figment of her imagination. She couldn’t will Lon into existence. Why would he come back? Especially if he was involved. Unless…cold ice prickled up her spine…unless he needed to eliminate her to take care of loose ends.

No. Crazy thoughts, Willa. He could’ve taken care of her the night before. No, her heart hammered against her chest for a different reason. But it didn’t matter. The knocking on the door wouldn’t, couldn’t be him.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

Could it? She clutched her hot mug in both hands and turned toward the doorway leading to the bookstore. From the kitchen in the back room, she had a clear view through the store to the front door, but not who stood on the other side.

“Willa!” Lon growled. “Wake up and let me in!”

Willa gasped and almost dropped her cup. The tea sloshed around and some spilled over her hands. It burned, but she didn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. Somehow the air got trapped inside her throat. Why was he here? What did he want?

Oh God, let it be me!

About the Author:
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. 

Giveaway (October 15-22 only):

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