Friday, April 26, 2013

Book blurb blitz tour stop for The Difference a Day Makes by Barbara Longley

Today is a virtual book blurb blitz tour stop for Barbara Longley and her novel The Difference a Day Makes

Barbara will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to 2 lucky commentors during her tour. So leave an e-mail address with your comment below to be entered for a chance to win. And if you'd like to increase your chances, visit other stops and leave comments there.

Blurb about The Difference a Day Makes:
Ryan Malloy has lost it all. After his fiancĂ©e dies in a tragic accident, he enlists in the army, only to lose his best friend in a roadside bombing. Wracked with guilt and grief, Ryan finds life unbearable—until a job offer from his former commander gives him a glimmer of hope. And in the tiny town of Perfect, Indiana, the man who thought he had nothing left to live for meets the only woman who can tempt him into risking his battered heart one last time...

Paige Langford has it all: wealth, beauty, and ambition. But when her boyfriend’s betrayal leads to the loss of her job and her reputation, she retreats to her brother’s rural Indiana home to regroup. There she meets Ryan Malloy, a gruff, hard-drinking loner whose surly temper can’t hide the haunted misery in his eyes. He is everything Paige never wanted, yet he may be exactly what she needs—if only they can overcome their personal demons to forge a love strong enough to save them both.

Excerpt from The Difference a Day Makes:
Throwing her shoulders back, Paige knocked on Mr. Weil’s door.

“Come in,” he barked from inside.

Smoothing her face into a professional mien, she opened the door and strode in. One look at his expression, and she faltered. He looked serious. Seriously unhappy. What the hell?

“Have a seat, Langford.” He moved a pile of folders aside.

She took one of the chairs in front of his huge, imposing desk. “You wanted to see me?”

“Hmmm.” He scowled her way. “Meyer Construction needed our bid five business days ago. They never got it. They’ve gone with another supplier.”

An adrenaline shock hit her system, and her heart leaped to her throat. She gripped the arms of the chair. “That’s impossible! I sent that bid with a same-day courier two days before it was due.”

“Like I said—they never got it.” He leaned back in his expensive leather chair and fixed her with a baleful scowl. “I’ve also had two other accounts you handled complain that their bids were late, holding them up and delaying their contractors. If it weren’t for Anthony Rutger’s intervention, we would’ve lost those accounts as well.”

“Anthony’s…intervention?” Her mind spun with the implications. Anthony?

Her mind flew back to the day the courier had come to the lobby for the Meyer bid. She’d been in the middle of a phone call, and Anthony had offered to take the envelope down to the lobby for her. At the time, she’d thought it was sweet. Come to think of it, he’d also offered to put a few of her bids into the office’s outgoing mail bin for her. No, he wouldn’t purposefully sabotage her. Would he? They were a couple.

Heat filled her face. “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

“Damn straight it won’t. You’re fired.”

“Oh, no. There’s been a mistake. I had somebody else put the bids in the mail for me. They must’ve forgotten, or…” Shit. Shit. Shit. She glanced around the office as the reality of Anthony’s betrayal sank in. “I won’t let it happen again, Mr. Weil. I’ll get the Meyer account back somehow.” She sucked in a breath. “From now on, I will personally put things in the out bin myself, and—”

“Miss Langford, you’re done here.”

Author information:
As a child, Barbara Longley moved frequently, learning early on how to entertain herself with stories. Adulthood didn’t tame her peripatetic ways: she has lived on an Appalachian commune, taught on an Indian reservation, and traveled the country from coast to coast. After having children of her own, she decided to try staying put, choosing Minnesota as her home. By day, she puts her master’s degree in special education to use teaching elementary school. By night, she explores all things mythical, paranormal, and newsworthy, channeling what she learns into her writing.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Super book blast tour stop for Fate: Timeless Trilogy - Book 1 by Tallulah Grace

Today I'm just one of 50 virtual super book blast tour stops for Tallulah Grace and her romantic suspense novel Fate: Timeless Trilogy - Book One

Tallulah will be awarding winner's choice of a backlist e-book to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, so make sure to leave an e-mail address with a comment below if you want to be entered to win (she needs a way to contact you!) And you can visit her other tour stops today and comment for more chances to win.

Death stalks Kris in dreams and in reality. The target of a cunning serial killer, Kris must defend her life and her love. Visions prepare her for what’s coming, but is knowledge enough to change the future? Or will demented mania claim victory over fated love?

The good things in life are coming together for Kristina Collins. She’s found her ideal home, her career is on track for mega success and the man of her dreams has finally come back into her life.

In Fate, the first installment of the Timeless Trilogy, Kris Collins discovers the benefits and risks of having precognitive visions while being stalked by a serial killer. Her friends can’t help her, the FBI can’t save her; she must save herself.

The Timeless Trilogy heroines, Kristina, Veronica and Cassandra, each deal with paranormal abilities as they discover and rediscover eternal love.

The edge of the blade felt like ice against her skin. One breath too deep, one movement—ever so slight—would give the knife a taste of her blood. It’s a part of the nightmare, she thought, even as she felt the breath of her attacker lightly touch her face.
The nightmares that had been plaguing her for weeks warned of this moment. Images, too terrifying to be real, flashed quickly across her mind’s eye in an instant replay of her recent night terrors. Running down a long, empty hallway, filled with doorways on either side, chased by some unknown monster that knew her deepest fears. Running towards a movie, scrolling incessantly with images of those she loved most trapped in a fiery hell. Sepia-toned faces, twisted in pain, were a stark contrast to the blue, red and yellow of the flames engulfing them. The echoes of their screams filled the dark, never-ending hallway. She couldn’t look away and she couldn’t stop running; her only escape was straight ahead, towards the horror show. 
 So far, the nightmares ended with her sitting straight up in bed, breathing hard in a cold sweat. He hadn’t caught her yet.
The all too real feeling of cold steel pressed against her neck gave the nightmare an alternate ending. Kris tried to control her breathing so her attacker would think she slept. Her mind raced as she tried to think of a way to reach the loaded SIG waiting beneath the extra pillow beside her. She didn’t always keep a gun so handy, but recent events, including the dreams, made it a necessity.
“Wake up, Sleeping Beauty.” The familiar voice spoke the words softly in her ear.
Author bio and links:
Tallulah Grace is an aficionado of anything paranormal, loves to read a good thriller and creates characters that become friends. Tallulah was born and raised in a small southern town located in the foothills of the vibrant Blue Ridge Mountains. When she's not developing characters and weaving stories, Tallulah enjoys antiquing and bead-weaving.

Personal Links: 

Book Links:

Remember: Tallulah will be awarding winner's choice of a backlist e-book to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, so make sure to leave an e-mail address with a comment below if you want to be entered to win (she needs a way to contact you!) And you can visit her other tour stops today and comment for more chances to win.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Interview with debut thriller novelist Merit Clark

Today’s guest is debut thriller author Merit Clark. She’s here to introduce herself and tell us a bit about Killing Streak.

Thanks for having me here today, Lisa!

Oh, it's my pleasure, Merit. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a native New Yorker but now write from the Rocky Mountains.

Writing was my first love but several other careers—plus that pesky need to earn a living—got in the way. I’ve been a software developer, and a contractor with the Department of Defense and Los Alamos National Lab. I was also a partner in a startup in the 1990s in the mechanical services industry.

I’m kind of a late bloomer where writing is concerned, and my dream is to be able to finally quit my day job and write full time!

Please tell us about your current release.
Killing Streak is the first in a series featuring Denver homicide Detective Jack Fariel.

In this thriller, Evan Markham is a successful entrepreneur with a dark past. He’s got it all—money, status, a beautiful wife—until someone kills a man in Evan’s guest house and everything starts to unravel.

Evan’s wife, Corie, calls 911 when she finds her friend murdered, not realizing that she’s putting her husband at risk. Everyone has a past, and no one is what they seem. Detective Jack Fariel has a past, too . . . with Corie Markham. Plus, Jack has just returned from medical leave and is fighting cancer.

One reviewer on Amazon wrote that “the reader will end up sympathizing with the hunter as well as the hunted.” I think that’s true. No one’s motives are simple or pure—not even the detective’s.

Killing Streak is a dark, psychological thriller that shows both the destructive and redemptive aspects of love.

Here's a recent review from Publishers Weekly Review:

Evan Markham has it all -- beautiful wife, a new house in a “neighborhood of million-dollar homes,” and a successful consulting business. Or is he a Jekyll and Hyde figure who, as his wife, Corie, may come to find out, is into deadly “sex games.” The first crack in Evan’s carefully crafted and controlled life comes with the murder of Brice Shaughnessy, one of Corie's friends. From here, the author crafts a suspenseful thriller that begins with homicide Detective Jack Fariel’s investigation into Brice’s murder, which leads him to Corie -- his former high school crush. As Jack gets closer to finding the answers needed to solve the case, he also becomes aware of unsolved murders that coincided with Evan’s constant travel, revealing that he was not focused solely on business while on the road. A web of deceit, murder, lost love, and regret, coupled with more than a few surprising twists, and sprinkled with a psycho killer or two, make for a better than average serial-killer thriller.

What inspired you to write this book?
I get this question a lot—what made you want to write mysteries? But the truth is there wasn’t one specific moment when I knew. I’ve always written but it was more along the lines of technical documentation for work, and when I wrote fiction, plays and short stories. My fiction interests were literary, not genre.

I first had the idea for Killing Streak about fifteen years ago when I was living in this small town south of Denver called Palmer Lake. In the original drafts the story was from Corie’s perspective, but that was kind of boring to me—it was all about things happening to her, and her responses. Very passive. I set the book aside for a few years and when I started working on it again I found it much more fun to write from the perspective of the detective. Jack does stuff!

I was intimidated because I had no law enforcement background or experience. But once I started writing from Jack Fariel’s POV I was really energized and inspired. Corie is still a major character in the book and several chapters are from her POV. I tried hard to make her less passive and less of a victim.


Evan put the truck into gear and drove through the makeshift gate. Behind them the other man replaced the chain. He noticed she was shaking. Good. Evan hadn’t been here in a long time but he knew the road well and navigated confidently, avoiding ruts and boulders. In the dusty yellow glow of the headlights, the road deteriorated even further and became increasingly steep.

“Not that much further.” Evan spoke as if to himself and, for once, she didn’t answer.

The old pickup had no shocks, and when Vangie put out a hand to brace herself, the glint of a chunky gold bracelet caught his eye. She must have snatched the jewelry from the hotel. He’d have to make sure he got all of it back.

When Evan ground to a stop in front of an old building, Vangie took in the weathered siding, the sagging front porch, the rusting propane tank, and practically sobbed with disappointment.

“Where are we?”

Evan stared at the cabin, lost in thought. “It’s a place I use to get away.”

“Why did we come here? Why couldn’t we stay at the hotel? The hotel was much nicer.”

It was as if she was insulting an old friend. Evan snapped out of his reverie. “God, I am sick of your whining.” The truck door squealed as he jerked it open.

Uneven, weathered floorboards creaked under his weight as he strode to the front door. He didn’t really care if she followed or not. A wave of sadness washed over him as he pulled on the metal hasp of the padlock securing the front door.

“Evan, I’m scared.”

The unmistakable cabin smell hit him: mustiness, cedar, mothballs.

Her voice rose to a high-pitched, childish whine. “I can’t shoot Bambi. I can’t.”

He turned and looked at her. She clung to the newel post at the bottom of the front porch steps, standing on her tiptoes, as if she didn’t trust the ground to support her. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“I know you came up here to go hunting.”

Evan gave a bark of laughter.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am working on book two in the Jack Fariel series. It involves some pretty twisted individuals as well as something that seems to be a theme with me: evil women and what made them that way. The new book centers on solving the mystery of an old kidnapping, touches on the tragedy of human trafficking, and of course there are a couple of murders and a little sex thrown in!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It feels like I have always written. Writing is what helped me make sense of what was happening to me, and how I felt about things.

One specific moment I remember is that when I was ten years old my Aunt Marie gave me a diary. You know, one of those cheesy vinyl books we all had with the little flap that folded over the edge so you could lock it with a tiny key. I started writing every day and in my case, more often than not wrote about how I felt about what was happening, rather than recording the who-what-where. It seems that I have never stopped writing, even though a lot of life events and other careers got in the way.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Oh, how I wish I could write full-time! It’s a constant challenge finding time to write. I’m not one of those incredibly disciplined individuals who write at the same time every day. I do find I like to write in the afternoons, though, so many days I will write from 5-7, although that’s not a hard and fast rule.

My husband and I have a signal so that he knows when I’m writing and not to disturb me. I have an actual alligator head from a trip to Louisiana years ago. I will put that on the table outside my office door. It’s really funny because if someone calls on the phone he’ll say, ‘sorry, she’s got the alligator out.’  (oh, my, that's great!)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m actually a really squeamish person ‘in real life.’ But as a mystery writer, if I have a chance to go to a crime scene or visit the medical examiner, I’m really excited. I have never actually watched an autopsy live, so to speak, and I wonder if I could deal with it, although I have watched presentations (over dinner) that included autopsy photos.

There’s also an excitement I feel about crime that’s really misplaced. I’ve talked to a lot of other mystery writers and they say the same thing. One writer I know was going to interview a detective when they were called to a murder. She asked if she could tag along and they let her. She was really excited and giddy and had to keep reminding herself that someone had died. When she told me that story I was jealous! We’re a strange bunch.  (you're so right, Merit)

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. Although, for someone who always knew what she wanted to do, I sure let a lot of other stuff get in the way. It’s one of the major frustrations of my life. That’s why I’m so motivated to find ways to write now.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
That it’s never too late. If you have a dream or goal you’ve put on hold go for it, no matter how old you are.

There’s so much emphasis on youthful accomplishment in our culture—all of those ‘thirty under thirty’ type contests and articles. I think there should be more celebration of older people finally following their delayed dreams. It’s terrific to do great things when you’re thirty, but I think it’s even more of an accomplishment when you’re fifty or sixty or seventy!

Along with my website, readers can find me on Twitter and Facebook. I'd love to connect.

Thanks for visiting, Merit! I really love the alligator as a writer-is-working Do Not Disturb sign. That's priceless - and incredibly creative!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Live chat w/professional freelance manuscript editor Don McNair tonight

The Writer's Chatroom presents author professional freelance manuscript editor Don McNair.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eastern USA Time.....7-9 PM

Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are?


The Writers Chatroom at:

Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Sign In. No password needed.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Interview with historical romance author Alison Stuart

Today’s guest is historical romance author Alison Stuart as she tours her newest novel, Secrets in Time.

Alison will be awarding e-copies of her two previously published books The King’s Man and the award-winning By the Sword, which are set in the same period as this story, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave an e-mail address with your comment below. And for more chances to win, visit other stops Alison is making and leave comments there.

Alison Stuart is an award winning Australian writer of historicals with heart. Whether duelling with dashing cavaliers or waywards ghosts, her books provide a reader with a meaty plot and characters who have to strive against adversity, always with the promise of happiness together. Alison is a lapsed lawyer who has worked in the military and fire service, which may explain a predisposition to soldier heroes. She lives with her own personal hero and two needy cats and likes nothing more than a stiff gin and tonic and a walk along the sea front of her home town. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Her latest book, Secrets in Time, is a romantic historical time travel with a done of those dashing cavaliers, a thoroughly modern doctor and a splash of witchcraft.

Welcome, Alison. Please tell us about your current release.
Hi Lisa, thanks for having me here.

In a departure from my darker stories, Secrets in Time is all about romance – a 42,000 word time travel featuring a dashing cavalier, a thoroughly modern doctor and a hint of witchcraft.

What inspired you to write this book?
I have always wanted to write a time travel and this story began as a writing exercise for a writing group I was involved. It lingered in the cyber sock drawer for a few years and I came upon it by accident. I have a passion for the English Civil War so it was the perfect story to play with my favourite period in history and an experiment in time travel.

Alan and I went through his clothing but found nothing that gave any indication of his identity, either in this century or the seventeenth. The only hint was the finely wrought initials NP in the guard of his sword.

“NP, Nathaniel Preston,” Alan said.

“It doesn’t prove anything. He has a sword with initials that match the name he gave us.” I traced the intricate fretwork on the hilt of the sword with my finger. “What do you know about the seventeenth century Nathaniel Preston?”

“He’s dead,” Alan replied with a wry smile. I pulled a face at him and Alan shrugged. “At the start of the war he formed his own local regiment and declared for the king. He fought at Edgehill but spent most of the rest of the war in local defense of this area. A few days before Naseby, he was instrumental in deflecting the parliamentary advance at the battle of Chesham Bridge.” He stopped. “I am not sure going to Heatherhill Hall is such a great idea.”


“Because he may not like what he finds out.” Alan looked into the depths of his coffee mug.

“Like what? That he’s dead? I think even he may have worked that out.”

Alan looked up at me. “That he died at the battle of Chesham Bridge.”

“Oh.” A cold shiver ran down my spine. Even I knew the date of the battle of Chesham Bridge--12 June, 1645--its anniversary would be in nine days time. I tried not to think what it would be like to know the exact date of your death.

What exciting story are you working on next?
That’s a surprisingly hard question! I have two stories out in submission land at the moment – one a Regency murder mystery and the other an English Civil War romance. The next cab off the rank is a little series I am working on – a “cosy” detective story set in Singapore in 1910. I think I am turning to crime!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I dislocated a shoulder in a skiing accident and found myself stuck in a ski chalet with nothing but a notebook computer for company. With a view of snow gums and crystal white snow, I started writing the book that is By the Sword. As the desire to finish it gripped me, I knew then that this was what I wanted to do.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wrote full time for a year after finding myself unexpectedly thrown off the corporate treadmill. I went from being a senior executive to a full time writer and I loved it, but I have decided I am better with a bit of discipline in my life (and a bit of regular income is nice) so I work for about 2 days a week as a Company Secretary for a “not for profit” organisation. I love it. I travel quite a bit and I do find the “business” of writing and life in general very distracting so finding time to actually write is a problematical! However last time I travelled I put “writer” on my immigration form and found it provokes interesting discussions (of the positive kind) with customs officials.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My computers are set up on a large (much battered) Victorian cedar writing desk that I have had since I was 16. It fails every test for being ergonomic but I love it and can’t imagine myself writing in any other space. It comes complete with a large furry nuisance of a cat, called Oliver Kat, who likes to park himself between the keyboard and the screen, shedding fur everywhere and nipping at my mouse hand. Sigh…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I desperately wanted to be an archaeologist…and a writer (that one goes back a long, long way!). The one thing I definitely didn’t want to be was a lawyer. Strange where life takes you.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you want to be a writer then be prepared to work at your craft -- join writing organizations, enter competitions, submit to respected publishers and agents and learn from your rejections.

Thanks, Alison!

Readers, don’t forget that Alison will be awarding e-copies of her two previously published books The King’s Man and the award-winning By the Sword, which are set in the same period as this story, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave an e-mail address with your comment below. And for more chances to win, visit other stops Alison is making and leave comments there.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Book promo tour stop for I Don't Sing Anymore by April Williams

I Don't Sing Anymore
by April Williams

About The Author:

April Williams was born in Bainbridge, Georgia in August of 1974. The fourth child born to her mother, a fieldworker and a father, a brick mason. When she was just a toddler, her mother relocated the family to Florida and settled in the All-American city of South Miami. April attended all the local schools including Miami-Dade Community College.

April was an active volunteer in her community. For years working on programs including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Celebrations, and many South Miami Community Outreach Gospel Programs. Along with her writing, singing she has always been a passion. She was one of the founding members for the Miracle Voice Ensemble.

Many years ago, her pen was her way of escaping some of the hard times she has faced. She discovered that she could live victoriously and help others by writing about her experiences, triumphs and pains. April’s writing brings concrete reality to the issues within the 21st Century world. She exhorts and motivates her readers to remain constant and dedicated to their passions.

Publsiher: Self-Published at CreateSpace
Release Date: July 29, 2012

Book Description:

Josie Gibbs is a young woman who works in the cotton fields of Fowlstown, Georgia. She has had three failed relationships all producing offspring.  She only now wants to concentrate on finding a better life for her young family. But her circumstances quickly change when Keith Anderson, May’s father, result to terrifying acts of violence. She is now forced to leave and find a new life in the big city of Miami, Florida.

Keith Anderson is a war veteran who vows to be with Josie at all cost. But the demons of war he has in his mind continue to haunt him. He hasn’t had a peaceful night of sleep in spite of his addiction. His life spirals out of control when his dreams manifest to reality and will cost him everything.

May Gibbs is their daughter who will struggle with the effects of physical and sexual abuse. The path she walks is full of pain and leads her to live a joyless life. What can be done to save this creature that seemed to be doomed from the day she was born?

I Don’t Sing Anymore is a story of a family who battle through all of life’s circumstances. We don’t always know our path in life but we do have a say in how we get to live it. A heartbreaking tale drenched with every kind of emotion you can imagine.

Excerpt: Chapter Eleven

Josie was so excited that John was going to be stopping by before he headed back up to the base. She chose to put on a white sundress that draped so beautifully below her shoulders. She had her hair up in a ponytail that made her look younger. The children were outback playing with Peeps. Josie was excited when she heard the knock on the door. She opened the door to find John standing there in his uniform. The first thing John did was to pick her up in a strong bear hug and plant a nice big kiss on her lips. John was excited just to hold her again. Josie moved away from John as Mrs. Freda appeared in the living room. “Mom, this is Mr. John Flenn. Mrs. Freda did not hesitate to shake his hand. She walked over to her rocking chair and picked up the snuff can. She used to spit out her tobacco. Mrs. Freda sat quiet for a moment before she decided to ask John some questions.
“So, Mr. Flenn where are your people from?” she asked.
Well, we are originally from Attapulgus, but my father lived in Tennessee for a while.
What does he do now?” she asked
He is a retired Lieutenant from the Air Force.” He said.
Are most of the men in your family military?” she asked
Yes, we can trace our history back to the Civil War” he said.
Well, I think that is just fine.” Mrs. Freda said,
Thank you, my father was part of the Tuskegee Airmen.,” he said.
Is that right?” she said.
Josie gave John a great big smile. She did not know he had a long line of military men in his family. John picked up her hand to hold in his hand.  He wanted to hold her so much, right now.
Mr. Flenn would you like some sweet tea?” Mrs. Freda asked.
That would be just great Mrs. Gibbs.,” he said.
As soon as she got up out of rocking chair a loud knock on the door. Josie got up to open the door. She was shocked to see the man standing there in a Sunday morning suit.
Hello, Josie.” Keith said.
Josie just did not know what to do. She did not know whether to slam the door or just say come in. Mrs. Freda recognized the voice right away. Keith stepped inside the door without an invite. Josie nervously closed the door behind him. John stood up to shake Keith’s hand. The smirk Keith had on his face faded quickly as he shook John’s hand. Josie made the introductions.
Keith, this is my friend Private John Flenn.,” she said as her voice cracked.
Afternoon” Keith said.
Mrs. Freda returned from the kitchen with the glass of ice tea. She could feel the mood of the room shift, quickly.
John this is Keith, he is May’s father,” she said.
Josie rushed from the room to wake May so that Keith would be able to hold her. Mrs. Freda’s eyes became fixated on him. She could see the vein popping out of his neck. It was obvious to her that he was furious to see Josie there with another man.
Keith would you like some sweet tea?” she asked him.
No, thank you.” he said with a great deal of restraint.
Josie appeared from the back and placed May in Keith’s arm. He had not seen her since the night she was born. She was big baby now. May started crying soon as Josie put her in his arms. This only infuriated Keith even more. Keith could not take it anymore. And before anyone knew it, he jumped with the baby in his arms and headed for the door.
Where are you going with my baby?” Josie asked
Move out of my way you whore!” he screamed.
John jumped to his feet to protect Josie and the baby.
“You are not leaving with the child.” He said.
John was careful as he grabbed Keith’s free arm.
You better get your damn hands off me.” Keith said.
Mrs. Freda moved towards Keith and said give me the baby. You don’t want that kind of trouble.
Keith stared at the baby for a second and handed her to Mrs. Freda. John followed him out of the door.
You ain’t nobody.” Keith shouted at John.
Josie stood at the side of her man. She was wishing that he just get in his truck and drive away. Keith did not intend to leave quietly.
You ain’t nothing but a punk!” he continued to shout.
John did not utter a word because he did not want another confrontation. But that quickly changed when he began to curse Josie.
Witch” he said.
John had left Josie’s side before she could call his name. Even if she had it was too late. The two men were now in a fistfight. Both men matched blow_ for_ blow. Keith being a marine had more skill. Josie could see the fight turning in favor of Keith. She was almost frozen and not knowing what to do. Mrs. Freda appeared with her shotgun and fired off one around. The two men stopped in their tracks. The children came screaming and hollering from the back. Now Mrs. Freda had her sight on Keith.
You had better get off my property,” she said.
Keith straightened himself up and walked over to his truck. He spit on the ground just before leaving. Josie rushed to John’s side. She could see how upset he was.
John are you O.K.?” she asked.
I’m fine!” he snapped.
Mrs. Freda did not like the way he said this.
Young man, I think you better be leaving now, because Keith is crazy enough to comeback,” she said.
ohn walked over to his car and Josie followed with her head down. She was so embarrassed by the entire incident. John turned around to look at her in the eyes. He lifted her chin. “Haven’t I told you not to hide your beautiful eyes from me.” he said. Josie managed to give his a slight smile.
Don’t worry it is not your fault.” he said.
He leaned forward and kissed her good-bye. Josie stood on the porch alone, retreating inside.
John was listening to music as he drove down highway 309. He was trying to calm down while listening to music. Then he noticed a truck driving up fast and close to his bumper. John began to speed up to try to get away from the truck. He kept checking his rearview mirror and finally realized that it was Keith. John felt it as Keith rammed the back of his car with the truck. John slid off the road into a ditch. He was a little bit dazed but he soon saw Keith running towards his car. Keith had lit a bottle of vodka that he had in his truck. John saw the flames gushing from the white rag. He knew he had to move quickly. John managed to get out the passenger seat window. Just as he did, he heard the bottle crash against the car. Keith realized that John had escaped the car. He ran back towards his truck to get his rifle. By the time he returned he could no longer see John in the rows of cotton that never seemed to end.
Keith spit on the ground as John’s car went up in flames. He was so proud of the fact that he had taken something from him. John stopped running somewhere in the middle of the field. He had a watchful eye as he headed back towards the road. He took off his military jacket and started walking back towards Josie’s house. He was only about six miles away and it would not take him that long. John walked at a rapid pace as he continued to look over his shoulder.


3 Signed Paperbacks

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Live chat/interview with mystery author Judy Alter tonight

The Writer's Chatroom presents mystery author Judy Alter.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Eastern USA Time.....7-9 PM

Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are?


The Writers Chatroom at:

Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Sign In. No password needed.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Interview with writer Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Nancy Sathre-Vogel is in the house today to tell us a bit about her travel memoir, Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World.

Nancy will be giving away 5 e-copies of her book during the tour. If you’d like a chance to win, use the form below the interview to enter. To learn more about Nancy and to enter for more chances to win, visit other tour stops.

Nancy Sathre-Vogel is a 21-year classroom veteran who made the decision to leave her teaching career behind to travel the world on a bicycle. Together with her husband and twin sons, she cycled 27,000 miles throughout the Americas, including traveling from Alaska to Argentina. Now she lives in Idaho, pursuing her passions of writing and beadwork.

Welcome, Nancy. Please tell us about your book.
What would you do if you were not afraid?

Changing Gears is the true story of one woman asking herself that very question. What followed was a family journey of epic proportions – a journey of physical challenge, emotional endurance, teamwork, perseverance, and tremendous learning opportunities. It was a discovery of self, of priorities, of accepting hardships, of appreciating blessings, and of contrasting a comfortable past life with the extreme hardship and poverty of those they met.

Would the journey be a dream come true – or a mother’s worst nightmare?

The Vogel family’s bicycle journey from Alaska to Argentina – a 3-year, 17,000-mile expedition through 15 countries – will encourage you to rethink what’s possible.

What inspired you to write this book?
While cycling from Alaska to Argentina, I had a lot of time to think. And write.

Judging from the response I got from my website, I figured there were people out there interested in my story. I also feel it’s a story that can inspire and encourage others to get out of their comfort zone and reach for the stars.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on two books: one about homeschooling your children while traveling, and another about how to dream big and make those dreams happen.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I came to this fairly late in life. I’ve always enjoyed writing when I had something interesting to say, but considered myself a schoolteacher, not a writer. In 2006, we took off together as a family to ride our bikes around the USA and Mexico and I blogged about our journey. In 2007 I wrote a book about our experiences. I think that’s when I started thinking of myself as a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No. I am a writer and bead artist. I try to write (or edit) every day, but also make time for my beadwork. You can see my beadwork here:

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I do my best writing on my bike. I think there is something about the rhythmic nature of it that allows me to think. I compose my essay on the bike, revise it in my head, then simply have to put the words on paper when I finish my ride.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly, I have no idea. I don’t remember wanting to do anything, and don’t remember any stories told by my parents. In fact, I don’t think I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was about 25.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If I could get one message out, it would be that you can do more than you think you can. If *I*, a normal, ordinary mother of twins could ride my bike from Alaska to Argentina, then what can you do? What would you do if you were not afraid?

Thanks for stopping by, Nancy.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Interview with historical novelist Meggan Connors

Today’s guest is historical novelist Meggan Connors as she promotes her newest book, a western steampunk romance called Jessie’s War (Civil War Steam).

Meggan will be awarding a silver pocket watch pendant and a cameo choker, and a signed paperback copy of The Marker, her historical romance to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US/CANADA ONLY) Make sure to leave an e-mail addy with a comment below for a chance to win. And if you’d like to increase your odds of winning, stop by and comment at Meggan’s other tour stops.

Meggan Connors is a wife, mother, teacher and award-winning author who writes primarily historical and steampunk romances. As a history buff with a love of all things historical, she enjoys visiting both major and obscure museums, and reading the histories of the Old West and the British Isles. She makes her home in the Wild West with her lawman husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets. When she's not writing, she can usually be found hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow, or with her nose in a book. Favorite vacation destinations include the sun-kissed hills of California, any place with a castle or a ghost (and both is perfect!), and the windswept Oregon coast.

Welcome, Meggan. Please tell us about your current release.
Set against the backdrop of a prolonged American Civil War, Jessie’s War is about a woman who needs to learn to trust again after a long-ago betrayal and hard years of living as an outcast.

She's about to become a pawn in a brutal game between nations...

The American Civil War has raged for more than ten years. The outcast daughter of a famous inventor, Jessica White has struggled to salvage what little remains of her life. Then, one cold winter night, the lover she'd given up for dead returns, claiming the Union Army bought the plans for her father's last invention. But he's not the only one who lays claim to the device, for the Confederacy wants the invention as well. Both sides will kill to have it.

...And only he can save her.

As an agent for the Union Army, Luke Bradshaw is a man who will use whomever and whatever is at his disposal in order to complete his mission. An attack by Confederate soldiers ensures that Jessie will turn to him for help, but Luke can't help but wonder about the secrets she keeps--and if those secrets will ultimately prove fatal.

What inspired you to write this book?
Since I started writing, I’ve been writing westerns. One day, I was looking at a map of the mines underneath Virginia City, Nevada. Beneath the city is a warren of mineshafts—the map was even color-coded to help you keep the shafts straight. As I was looking at it, I thought to myself: “Wow, what a great place for a mad scientist.” I had visions of zombies, mad geniuses, and magical aether.

While none of those things actually show up in Jessie’s War (we have scientists and inventors, but none of them are precisely mad), the story did develop from that small kernel of an idea!

Someone knocked, and Muha’s tentative barking turned hysterical.
Taking her revolving shotgun back down, she crept to the lever that would pull down the shutters and arm the Gatling gun mounted to the rooftop.
Go home, sheriff. Not talking to you today.”
“It’s not the sheriff.”
Her hand froze and the shotgun clattered to the floor. Gooseflesh dotted her arms and her pulse quickened, a frantic rat-a-tat-tat like a hail of bullets, as her body recognized what her logical mind denied.
The room went quiet. Muha sat with her ears pricked up, her tail thumping cautiously against the worn pine floor. The wolf recognized the gravelly voice, too.
The knock became more insistent, sharper. “Please open the door, Jessie.”
It was a dead man’s voice.
She struggled to fill her lungs with air as the pine door shook beneath her visitor’s heavy fists. Those hands would be big and strong and ridged with calluses. Her heart twisted painfully in her chest, and she tried not to think about them. Or their owner.
She’d gotten over his loss just like she’d gotten over all the others.
With trembling hands, Jessie picked up her shotgun and rested it against the wall. Her legs leaden, she walked to the door and put her hand on the knob, but hesitated.
She’d dreamed of this moment for years, of this man walking back into her life.
Now she couldn’t bring herself to let him in.
“Please. It’s freezing out here.”
She turned the knob, and Luke Bradshaw stood in her doorway, the brim of his hat heavy with snow, and small flakes clung to the dark lashes fringing his silver eyes.
He was as tall as she remembered, towering over her as he stood on her sagging front porch, bringing with him the scent of smoke and sulfur and snow. A black slouch hat covered his head and rested low over his eyes, and a black duster swirled around his bright-spurred boots. The silver six-shooter on his left hip glittered in the low light, and a large, black satchel was strapped to his broad back.
Muha pushed her head past the door.
Luke gave her a lopsided smile and took off his hat. “Hi, Jess.” A scar she didn’t remember ran through his right eyebrow, and another creased his chin. He held his hand out to Muha and scratched behind her grizzled ears, the way he always used to greet her. He handed her a piece of jerky, and despite the long years, a friendship was immediately rekindled. “There’s a girl.”
“Luke.” Jessie reached out to touch his cheek. The stubble of his unshaven jaw was rough beneath her palm, and his skin was cold. Her fingers trembled as she traced his lips, his breath warm against them.
He kissed her fingertips.
Dead men didn’t breathe or kiss a girl’s fingers. Dead men didn’t leave as boys and come back as men. Dead men didn’t come home with new scars or shiver with cold.
“You’re alive,” she whispered.
His sweet, boyish smile melted her heart, and something inside her, denied for far too long, splintered and howled in despair.
She slapped him.
The crack echoed in the empty, snow-lit darkness behind him. Jessie stepped back to slam the door on this would-be ghost who had the gall to walk back into her life and act as if he’d never left.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Right now, I’m working on a follow up to Highland Sons, my historical novel. It’s tentatively called Highland Deception. After that, I think I’m going to go back to steampunk and work on a follow up to Jessie’s War called Belle of Baton Rouge.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A real writer? I don’t know if I do, even after three published books. For as long as I can remember, I’ve written—stories, tortured poetry, novels, you name it. It wasn’t until I really started pursuing publication that I started telling people that, in my free time, I write. So, I guess that was about three years ago.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full-time, which might be why I don’t consider myself a “real writer.” I do have the “dreaded day job,” which I really do enjoy (I’m lucky that way). So, because I teach during the day, my work day looks something like this:
6:00: Wake up, roll over, get the phone, and check e-mail. Do a promotional Twitter thing if the mood strikes me.
6:30: Get out of bed, get in the shower. By this time, I’m usually feeling a little less old.
7:00: Wake up the kids, if they’re not already up. The small one is always up, but I usually have to find him some socks and tell him to put his shoes on the right feet. The sock gnomes don’t often visit my household to sort socks, so we have a sock basket. Need socks? Go to the sock basket and find two that go together. None of them match? Well, I hear it’s trendy to wear mismatched socks.
7:30-7:45: Pack lunches for everyone. Do the dishes if we didn’t do them the night before. And have coffee. Need coffee. (Thank heaven for Husband. He’s always made the coffee by the time I get downstairs)
8:00: Load everyone into the car and leave for work.
8:15: Get to work (Yay! A short commute!)
4:30 or 5:00: Leave work, take Thing One and/or Thing Two to whatever sporting event they may need to go to. If we have two at the same time, Husband will go to one, I will go to the other.
6:00-6:30 Home. Make dinner. (This can often mean that I stop by the store, get a rotisserie chicken and a bag salad, or it could mean fast food. If I’ve been good, I assembled the meal in the crockpot the night before, or at least have something ready to go into the oven sitting in the fridge. Alas, I am not perfect.)
7:00: Homework checks/piano practice
7:30: Showers for everyone (because, by this time, everyone smells like a wet dog). Husband will either do the dishes or a load of laundry, depending on what we need done.
8:00 Bedtime for kids. I start writing.
10:00: Bad writing night? I go to bed.
12:00: Good writing night? I go to bed.  

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I will struggle with a story until I’ve assigned a song to it. Once I’ve found the song that captures the tone of the story, the story seems to almost write itself. For instance, for Jessie’s War, the song(s) I assigned to it were: This is Why We Fight by The Decemberists, and Dead Letter and the Infinite Yes by Wintersleep.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What didn’t I want to be? Shucks, I wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, an archeologist, a scientist (probably a mad one, if we’re being honest), an author, a teacher, a marine biologist (alas, the sea sickness go the better of me on this one), a botanist (the realization that I can’t keep plants alive took the fire out of this idea), a mom, and an investigator.

I’ve done three of those. I guess those aren’t bad odds.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
It’s crazy, but I have this recurring nightmare where I’m back in high school and, in the middle of Advanced Algebra class, I turn into a giant hamburger. I’ve had this dream since I was actually in that Advanced Algebra class. I still haven’t decided what it means...

Ways to get in touch:

Thanks for having me! This has been fun!

Definitely my pleasure, Meggan (really got a kick out of your schedule). Happy touring!

Readers, remember the giveaways: Meggan will be awarding a silver pocket watch pendant and a cameo choker, and a signed paperback copy of The Marker, her historical romance to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US/CANADA ONLY) Make sure to leave an e-mail addy with a comment below for a chance to win.