Friday, December 29, 2017

New Release: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren


Finn rubbed a hand over the spot where his scar was in what looked like an absentminded gesture. “I signed up for a gun-safety course as soon as I healed so I could deal with the fear.”

Liv rubbed the chill bumps from her arms. “That must’ve been ridiculously hard.”

He gave a humorless laugh. “The first few weeks, all I could do was sit there and watch other people do target practice. Listen to the sounds. Let the panic come and force myself not to run. It sucked. But then I met this cop who offered to help me. She pushed me, and I started to get used to handling the gun and began to train.” He focused on a spot somewhere over her shoulder like he was seeing the memory play out on a screen. “She taught me how to switch off the emotion of it. It’s going to sound ridiculous, but it became like football used to be for me. One mission. No emotion attached to it. Get the ball into the end zone. But this time it was hit the target. It was the only thing that helped.”

“Jumping into the fire.”

“Yeah. But it was the best thing I could’ve done. Learning from Eileen, the officer I met, seeing how confident and dedicated she was, made me want to do the same thing. When I eventually went into the academy, I was ready. I had to go through simulations where people would attack me or come at me with a weapon over and over again, in a hundred different ways. It diluted the power of my fears because now I had the skills to protect myself and the people around me.”

She leaned back against the headboard, impressed and a little awed. “So no one is going to catch you off your game again.”

His lips kicked up at the corners, some of that old arrogance breaking through. “Let’s just say it’s probably not going to go well for them if they try.”

She laughed, his playful smirk helping some of her jittery feelings dissipate. “Now I see it. I couldn’t picture you with a badge, but there it is. Cocky Finn does law enforcement.”

“What? Afraid I couldn’t pull it off?” He lifted an eyebrow, his face stern. “Ma’am, can you please step out of the vehicle? Hands where I can see them.”

She bit her lip. Of course with his authoritative tone, her mind put him in a uniform and some aviators. She’d never had a particular fetish for men in uniform, especially after her own run-in with the police. But the thought of Finn wearing a uniform and manhandling her a bit had her reconsidering. She would definitely get out of the vehicle. Maybe even let him cuff her. And as inappropriate as the thought was, considering the circumstances, it was a welcome respite from her nightmare. She cleared her throat. “I think you pull it off just fine.”

His dimple appeared beneath the stubble. “You’re blushing, Arias.”

“I am not.” She tipped up her chin. “I’m just…still flushed from all the adrenaline.”

“Uh-huh. Or you’ve got a secret cop fetish.”

“Stop flirting.” She pointed a finger at him.

“Am I flirting?” he asked innocently.

“Yes. And that’s not allowed. You yourself said that kiss was a mistake. So don’t come prancing around here half dressed with your Batman abs and talking about where to put my hands. No one likes a tease, Dorsey.”

His grin turned roguish. “I said that kiss was a mistake, not a regret.”

Finn.

“And Batman abs?” He grabbed the lapels of the robe like he was going to open it and check. “These old things?”

She stretched out her leg and kicked his thigh. “Stop it. You’re terrible.”

He lifted his palms in surrender and laughed. “At least you’re smiling now.”

“Yeah, well, there’s that.”

Even after all the years that had passed, Finn still seemed able to get her mind off things. When her mom was going through chemo and everything was doom and gloom at home, Finn could somehow figure out ways not just to make her laugh, but to do so in a way that didn’t make her feel guilty for feeling a moment of happiness.

She leaned forward, bracing herself on one hand, and planted a kiss on his cheek. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

She looked up, meeting his gaze, and realized how close she still was. Close enough to see the flecks of gray in his green eyes, close enough to kiss him. She wet her lips. “Being you. I’ve missed that guy.”

His Adam’s apple bobbed, his attention flicking to her mouth before sliding upward again. Her heart picked up speed, and his hand closed around her upper arm. “Liv…”

“I…” Whatever she was going to say died on her lips, because the way he was looking at her made her forget her words. There was want in those green depths—lust—but there was something else. Something that made her breath stall. Need mixed with something more dangerous. A wildness.
A curl of heat went up her spine, twining with unease. So much of her wanted to give in to it, to see what exactly was simmering between them. Just grab him and say to hell with it all and make the sheets even sweatier than they already were. But as much as he was drawing her in with that look, he was also warning her off. She didn’t know how she got that sense, but it was there, loud and clear. Push me away. Run. He wanted her to stop this.

He’d told her outside what he had to offer—nothing but a one-night stand. And though right now that sounded all kinds of enticing, she wasn’t going to go there. He didn’t want this. Plus, even sober, it would be too close to how she’d handled her anxiety in college. She didn’t need to chase away her nightmare with a hookup she’d regret in the morning. She wasn’t that girl anymore.

“Finn.” The word was strained.

“Yes?”

She swallowed past the dryness in her throat. “We should get my stuff moved. It’s late.”


He stared at her for a moment, and then his grip on her arm softened. His breath tickled her hair. 

“Right. Of course.”

Thursday, December 28, 2017

COLLISION COURSE by Marie Harte: Spotlight & #Giveaway!

 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Enter to win a Marie Harte prize pack!




COLLISION COURSE by Marie Harte


He's always had a way with the ladies

She won't give him the time of day

Sparks fly when two hearts in motion collide.

Florist Joey Reeves is working overtime to stay away from Lou Cortez, the ace mechanic with a reputation for irresistible charm. She's a single mom with enough on her plate—the last thing she needs is entanglement with the hottest guy in town…


BUY LINKS:

EXCERPT:
Determined to start over again, she dug into her orders and updated delivery times, getting in touch with their new delivery guy, a cute twenty-year old who’d no doubt soon be rolling in tips.
“Well, hello there.”
She glanced up from the counter and froze.
“You work here?” A large grin creased a face she’d tried hard to forget.
The man who’d been haunting her sleep, who’d dogged her through a wedding and sizzled her already frazzled nerves, looked even better in the hard light of day.
“H-hello.” She coughed, trying to hide the fact that her voice shook. When she could breathe without hyperventilating, she said, “Sorry. What can I do for you today?”
The look he shot her had her ovaries doing somersaults and her brain shutting clean off.
The first time she’d seen him had been on a visit to her first wedding client ever, and she’d been floored. The guys who worked at Webster’s Garage all looked larger than life, covered in tattoos, muscles, and that indefinable sense of danger they wore like a second skin. But it had been this guy, the tall, Latin lover with dark brown eyes and lips made for kissing, who had snared her.
He had a way of raising one brow in question or command that turned her entire body into his personal cheering section.
“…for some flowers. I dunno. Something that looks like I put thought into it?”
Focus, Joey. Be professional. This isn’t personal. Don’t get all gooey on the man. “Ah, budget?”
He sighed. “For Stella, it has to be decent. Girl is like a human calculator when it comes to anything with value. If I skimp, she’ll know,” he said, still grinning. He took the binder she slid to him and leafed through the floral selections. “I’m Lou Cortez, by the way.”
“I remember.” He’d only introduced himself once, months ago in the garage while she’d been going over flower choices with his boss. But Joey had never forgotten those broad shoulders, chiseled chin, or bright white smile. Talk about too handsome for her own good.
She’d kept her distance, or at least tried to. She’d been invited to the wedding, having become friends with the bride. Of course, all the woman’s employees had been invited as well. Joey had done her best to steer clear of the man women seemed to drool over. Talk about trouble she didn’t need.
She realized he’d stopped looking through the binder and stared straight at her. More like through her. Wow. How did he do that? Bring so much concentration and intensity she felt as if his gaze reached out and wrapped around her, holding her still?
And why, when confronted with all that masculinity, did she want to stammer and obey any darn thing he said? She had to force herself to be strong, to speak. But she just stared, mute, at so much male prettiness.
His smile deepened. “And your name would be…?” God, a dimple appeared on his left cheek.
A dimple. Kill me now. Breathe, dummy. You can handle this. It’s business. “Oh, right. I’m Joey.”
“You don’t look like a Joey,” he murmured.
Her heart raced, and she forced herself to maintain eye contact. “Short for Josephine. So the flowers. Did you find anything you like?”
A loaded question, because his slow grin widened as he looked her over.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Exciting News for 2018 from Shana Galen

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited about 2018. I have two books coming from Sourcebooks--one in March and one in July. No Earls Allowed will be out in March and if you're a reviewer of blogger, you can now request it on NetGalley. Here's the lovely cover!





Have you read Third Son's a Charm? That's the first in the series. You can win it on my website, along with these other books of mine. Enter HERE.

And join my mailing list to keep up with all my news, plus get a free short story.


Have a happy, happy new year!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Is it better to give than receive?

Psychologists have discovered that if you receive a gift it makes you happy. If you give a gift, it makes you happier. As someone who has suffered from occasional bouts of depression, I can tell you that sometimes the only way to break out of it is to do or give something nice. That may not surprise you. It feels good to give.

Is there such a thing as too much giving? I think there is... When it's  painful instead of pleasurable. Some people ruin their holidays by rushing around, doing too much for too many. So what if you can't find the perfect gift for Uncle Ed? He'll survive. In fact, he'd probably rather you not go into debt or get into an accident driving around in an ice storm for his present.

This year, instead of Christmas cards I sent the money I would have spent on the cards and postage to one of my pet charities. The Arbor Day Foundation. Because of the many recent wild fires, a lot of reforestation will need to take place.


A gift of $15 will plant two trees. This year, I was able to send $150. That's 20 trees. It may not seem like a lot considering the thousands of acres that burned, but it makes me feel better to know that I've made a contribution. The amount wasn't painful, and it's a step in the right direction.  https://www.arborday.org/

Now, if only I could smack the people who don't crush out their cigarettes, or leave a campfire unattended, I'd feel even better. (evil grin.) Sorry--sometimes a well placed snarky remark makes me feel better too. That's why I always have a character who can get away with those quips in my books. Either they're someone who can't be touched--like a ghost, or someone with a lot of power and confidence, or someone who just doesn't care what people think. It's refreshing to have a character who can say what the rest of us are thinking.

So, if you like snarky humor, I guess my books are for you! I'm delighted to let everyone know that Sourcebooks contracted another spin-off series, and it begins this March! Hooked on a Phoenix is ready for preorders on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. And--as always the gorgeous cover is a terrific gift to me!

LOCKED IN A BANK VAULT TOGETHER...
THEY MIGHT REDEFINE THE MEANING OF 'SAFE' SEX


Misty Carlisle works as a bank teller in Boston's financial district. She's had more rotten luck in her life than most, except when her childhood crush shows up to cash his paycheck. Then her heart races and her mouth goes dry.

Gabe Fierro is a firefighter—and a phoenix. Like his brothers, his biggest challenge is finding a woman open-minded enough to accept a shapeshifter into her life. When his boyhood friend asks him to watch over his little sister Misty, he reluctantly agrees. But when the bank where she works gets held up, Gabe does everything he can to protect her. The two of them end up locked in the bank's vault...where things get steamier than either of them ever imagined.

Readers love Ashlyn Chase's Boston Dragons:
"This story has it all, laughter, tears, magic and sizzling heat."—Night Owl Reviews, 5 Stars, Top Pick!
"Snarky dialogue and sizzling heat."—Booklist

 To make it even easier to find your favorite online store, I've made a universal link. I think you'll enjoy the book. http://www.books2read.com/HookedonaPhoenix



Did you give to any charities this Christmas? Or maybe you did something special for someone?  Tell us about it! Make us all feel good.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas from Sourcebooks Casablanca Authors


Wishing all of our readers a wonderful New Year!
Shana Galen

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Gina Conkle :-)

*  *  *  *



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our wonderful readers! 
Alyson McLayne



I hope your holidays are splendid!    
Jane Ashford
***
Happy Christmas!! Hope you all made the nice list!
With love from Juliet Lyons xxxx


Friday, December 22, 2017

Kim Redford Enjoys “Christmas in the Park” at the Choctaw Nation Capitol


What fun it is to enjoy “Christmas in the Park” on the original Choctaw Nation Capitol grounds at Tuskahoma, Oklahoma, with all the colorful lights and inspirational displays that celebrate the season.

For the nightly drive-through, enter at the main gate near the two-story Council House built in 1884 and follow the trail outlined by traffic cones and barriers along a path through brightly lit arches to leaping buffalo, glowing reindeer, gingerbread houses, and all manner of other holiday delights.



The Choctaw Nation Cultural Events program plans and installs the Christmas displays, but many other employees volunteer to make this seasonal light extravaganza a much anticipated success every year. The tour is always free and open to the public from dusk to 9 p.m. through New Year’s Eve.






Kim Redford is an acclaimed bestselling author of Western romance novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at Kim Redford.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

My Top 4 Holiday Movies

I don’t get nostalgic for very many things, but I make an exception for holiday movies. It’s probably because of my annual tradition of saving all my present-wrapping for the very last minute. For weeks, I ignore all holiday warning signs and realize, around today’s date, that I have about 10,000 presents to be sorted and wrapped.

Hence my annual movie marathon.

In a few short hours, I will retreat into my office with this year’s load of goods, lock the door, and cue up several holiday movies to get me through the paper-and-ribbon slog. (Don’t worry – I take breaks for snacks.)

Although the assortment of movies changes year-to-year, you’ll almost always find some combination of my Christmas movie top four.

While You Were Sleeping

I can pretty much recite this movie from start to finish (“These mashed potatoes are so creamy.”), and I always take a moment to pause when the newspaper boy bites it during his routine delivery. Even though I never, in my wildest dreams, pictured Bill Pullman as hero material, this movie is the ultimate rom-com and a thing I strive to achieve with every book I write.

Little Women

Little Women isn’t technically a Christmas movie, I know, but it starts with the March ladies celebrating the holidays, so I always tend to watch it this time of year. I’ve tried valiantly to get my daughter interested in watching it with me, but she hates all things historical romance. Waaaah!

Fiddler on the Roof

The tradition of watching this for the holidays started about ten years ago, when one of the movie channels (TMC or AMC or something) showed a Jewish-themed movie marathon on Christmas Day. My in-laws had it on in the background, and as Fiddler on the Roof happens to be one of my favorite musicals of all time, we sat down and watched it. It’s now become a tradition for me, and I don’t feel complete until I’ve seen Tevye dancing about.

Jingle All the Way

I’m not going to say that Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes from this movie are the ringtone for my phone, but, um, Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes from this movie are the ringtone for my phone. ‘Nuff said.

“Put that cookie down. NOW!”

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
Tamara Morgan is a contemporary comedy romance author. Ninety-nine percent of her information comes from television, movies, books, and all other pop culture activities that limit the amount of time she has to spend in polite company.

Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them. She lives with her husband and daughter in the Inland Northwest, where the summers are hot, the winters are cold, and coffee is available on every street corner.


Visit Tamara online at:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

All I Want For Christmas…Is A Hot Scot!

By: Alyson McLayne



Ah…Christmas. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

  1. I love the confusion every year as I put the three pieces of our Christmas tree together and can NEVER remember which cord plugs in where to light up the whole tree.
  2. I love decorating the tree to beautiful Christmas music playing in the background—and by music I mean the tinkling of glass bulbs as they smash to the floor and the screeching of kids as they fight over the ornaments.
  3. I love the hours spent decorating sugar cookies when I’m determined to stay on my diet—and I can no longer lick the extra icing off my fingers.
  4. I love getting up in the wee hours of the morning because I’ve forgotten to change the placement of the elves who are watching the kids by day and flying back to report to Santa at night.  ;)
  5. I love the seemingly, never-ending line-up to take pictures with Santa every year because once you start, you can never stop. 
  6. I love shopping with my 5-year-old who wants to buy her dad things that are pretty, pink and sparkly—and then has a meltdown in the aisle when I say no.
  7. I  love the continual running of my credit card through a machine that eats my money like a middle-aged, carb-addicted mommy eats through a bag of Oreo cookies (not that I’d know anything about that).
  8. I love the nail-breaking, finger-ripping work required to release the kids’ toys from their hermetically sealed plastic packaging that would make NASA proud.
  9. I love cooking Christmas dinner and worrying every year that the turkey’s undercooked, and I will wipe out my entire family in one fell swoop.
  10. I love putting the stuffing inside the turkey despite all the experts telling me not to and then worrying I’ll wipe out my entire family in a second fell swoop.
  11. And most of all, I just LOVE Christmas…for reals. 
You've worked hard this holiday season! Pour yourself a drink and curl up on the couch with a Hot Scot—I'm thinking Darach MacKenzie from HIGHLAND PROMISE will do.


 AMAZON.COM  |  BARNES & NOBLE  |  iBOOKS

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and an Amazing New Year!
Take care,

Alyson McLayne




Monday, December 18, 2017

Visions of Sugar Plums... by Abbie Roads

Visions of Sugar Plums...
by 
Abbie Roads


What's your favorite part of the holidays? 

I love all the baking! 

This seems to be the only time of year when I can get away with being a crazy cookie baker! 
So far this Holiday season I've made Texas sheet cake cookies, pumpkin cookies with brown butter frosting, chocolate chip/dried cranberry cookies, crushed candy cane cookies, turtle cookies, and today I baked one of my favorite family recipes... 

Sugar Plum Surprise Cookies!


I love these cookies for a few reasons...

1. They are simple to make.
2. You can load the whole batch on one cookie sheet to bake 
(which saves a ton of time).
3. And the best part...There's a surprise inside each one!

Here's the recipe:


Sugar Plum Surprise Cookies
(Preheat oven 325 degrees)

1c. soft butter
1/2c. powdered sugar
1 1/2t. vanilla
2c. flour
1/2t. salt
1c. oatmeal
36 candies--I use candied cherries, all flavors of Hershey kisses, caramels, and Andes mints. But you can use whatever you think sounds good.

Beat butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Add dry ingredients. Stir in oatmeal. Dough will be stiff. Shape a heaping teaspoon of dough around the candy to form a ball. Load them all onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 20 minutes. While warm roll them in powdered sugar. Then enjoy! Every cookie is a surprise!



Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels, but always gives her characters a happy ending... After torturing them for three hundred pages. 
You can find her here:




Sunday, December 17, 2017

99 Cent Sale on 10 of My Books! Wolves and Jaguars Rule! Upcoming Releases

Image may contain: 4 people, text

Merry Christmas!!!!!

https://terrylspear.wordpress.com/werewolves/
https://terrylspear.wordpress.com/jaguar-shifters/

 

Heart of the Wolf 10th anniversary cover
January 2018
Heart of the Wolf–Re-release 10th Anniversary
New Novella added: Night of the Wolf
B&N

Flight of the White Wolf
Flight of the White Wolf cover
May 1, 2018
Sexy, hot Arctic wolf, private investigator Gavin Summerfield, is on a mission: learn if an heiress’s husband is cheating on her, but he doesn’t expect to meet up with the woman who tased him some years earlier, who is now…an Arctic wolf like him. Her mission: Keep her secrets from the former cop who could be her undoing…but when the wolf instincts take over, watch out!
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alls-Fair-Love-Wolf-Silver/dp/1492655813
BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Alls-Fair-Love-Wolf/Terry-Spear/9781492655817?id=7079882685730
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alls-fair-in-love-and-wolf-terry-spear/1127125943?ean=9781492655817
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Terry_Spear_Flight_of_the_White_Wolf?id=S0o5DwAAQBAJ
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/flight-of-the-white-wolf/id1295142713?mt=11
Kobo:


All’s Fair in Love and Wolf
All's Fair in Love and War
Amazon: https: //www.amazon.com/Alls-Fair-Love-Wolf-Silver-ebook/dp/B077Y5HB11
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alls-fair-in-love-and-wolf-terry-spear/1127125943?ean=9781492655817#/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Terry_Spear_All_s_Fair_in_Love_and_Wolf?id=r6ZBDwAAQBAJ
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/alls-fair-in-love-and-wolf/id1321676949?m

Billionaire Wolf Christmas
October 2918


Woohoo, Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas was:
Readers Selection
Fresh Pick!!
#SupernaturalHoliday
#ChristmasWolfShifter
Thanks to Annetta Sweetko and Mandy Owen for such beautiful reviews!
“This Christmas theme paranormal will warm your heart.” Fresh Fiction Review
Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas
Terry Spear
Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko
Posted October 3, 2017
Romance Paranormal
http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=63834
I was excited when I read that author Terry Spear was starting a new paranormal series — White Wolf and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. DREAMING OF A WHITE WOLF CHRISTMAS is everything fans expect in her books and much more.
******
“An enchanting tale of kismet — werewolf style!”–Fresh Fiction Review
Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas
Terry Spear
Reviewed by Miranda Owen
Posted October 10, 2017
Romance Paranormal
http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=63891
DREAMING OF A WHITE WOLF CHRISTMAS is book one in Terry Spear’s “White Wolf” series. For me, this book is reminiscent of and has much of what I love about, Terry Spear’s “Silver Town” series. Little does Clara Hart know that when a cute Arctic wolf pup bites her, that it would lead to finding love. When Clara and Owen Nottingham lock eyes, while in their wolf forms it’s kismet. Two years after Clara’s bite and that anonymous, yet enchanted encounter with Owen, fate brings the two of them together again. Although this is the first book in a spin-off series, readers might want to check out LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF. LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF is about Owen’s pack members Faith and Cameron.
http://freshfiction.com/book.php?id=90205
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Off to create the print cover for My Highlander, if I can. Baby is here and running over me and the puppies in her walker.
Have a lovely day!!!


Merry Christmas!!!


Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/u63qP
Follow Me for new releases and book deals: www.bookbub.com/authors/terry-spear
signature line email Seal Wolf Undercover, Cougar Undercover, Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas, My Highlander 300 x120

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cold-Water Rescue Diving (or C'mon! It'll Be Fun!)


Cold water is scary. Really cold water with ice on top is extra scary.

Once you’ve fallen through the ice, and the water has you in its grip, it quickly robs you of your ability to fight. In a few short minutes, it makes you clumsy and slow and sleepy and disorientated, until you can’t even try to save yourself. It’s a predator that makes you calmly accept your death.

For as long as I could remember, one of my top fears—a break-out-in-a-cold-sweat-even-thinking-about-it fears—was getting trapped under the ice. The idea of pounding on an unbreakable frozen layer while not being able to breathe… That’s the stuff of nightmares.

So why, exactly, was I standing on a frozen reservoir, just feet from a hole cut in the ice, preparing to jump into thirty-two-and-a-half-degree water?

Sadly, I have a tendency to believe people when they say, “C’mon! This’ll be fun!” I’ve gotten suckered into countless chores (“Let’s all spring-clean the boarding stable. It’ll be fun! It won’t be an all-day hell of grime and drudgery.”), activities I should have avoided for my own safety (“Let’s leave the main, well-marked path and go on this narrow, rutted trail to nowhere. You won’t flip your ATV and escape injury only by flinging yourself off in an emergency dismount learned from riding horses. It’ll be fun!”), and hours of discomfort (“Want to volunteer to help with SWAT training? It’ll be fun! You’ll get stuck crouching in a dirty back bedroom surrounded by dead Asian beetles and rat traps because it’s the only spot in the house with enough cell reception to allow you to text with the negotiator.”) (Okay, oddly enough, that one really was fun).

I believe this is part of the reason I was at the reservoir with the dive team, shivering with nerves, dressed in a very unflattering dry suit (no, I do not have pictures. Did I mention the “very unflattering” part? All photographic evidence has been deleted and/or burned), about to face my lifelong fear. Someone had mentioned the phrase that is my kryptonite: “C’mon! It’ll be fun!”

“Everyone in the water!” the chief bellowed.


So I jumped.

Want to read a story about ice rescue divers?

HOLD YOUR BREATH (Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Book #1)

Free Now at Amazon and iBooks!

 Hold Your Breath

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ponder, Plot & Plan…and a Highland Conquest GIVEAWAY!

It’s December already, and alas, my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) goals died with a pathetic whimper about mid-way through November—the best laid plans… 

Which was the problem, really, because in terms of my writing process, I’m what is called a plotter (as opposed to a pantster) and by the time I’d finished HIGHLAND BETRAYAL, book 3 in The Sons Of Gregor MacLeod series, I didn’t have time to plan book 4, HIGHLAND CAPTURE, before NaNo started.

My process looks something like this: first I mull on the story and let it percolate—I may look through Pinterest and find images for characters and settings that appeal to me or tap notes into my phone when they come to me in the middle of the night. Then I work on character profiles, interspersing those with writing down scenes in random order. And at some point I pull out my plot graph, which I use for every book. This graph comes from writing guru Michael Hauge, although his version is much more detailed:



I begin by inserting scenes where they fit on the graph. The most important scenes are on the bottom row and they are called Turning Points—specific scenes that turn the story in a new direction.

For example, in HIGHLAND CONQUEST (out February 6/18) the second turning point—called Change of Plans—is when my heroine, Amber, blackmails my hero, Lachlan, into becoming her clan’s new laird. This is after Lachlan invades her clan in an attempt to catch and kill the previous laird, who murdered Lachlan’s brother.

The third Turning Point—called the Point of No Return—is when Amber is attacked by the villain and almost killed. It happens at the midpoint of the book and increases the romantic stakes between the hero and heroine because of Amber's close call, as well as increases the danger stakes when the hunt for the villain intensifies.

In my current book, HIGHLAND CAPTURE, the Change of Plans is when my hero, Gavin, decides to kidnap my heroine, Deirdre, and take her back to his castle. (I love a good kidnapping story!!)

Often I start writing the story before I have my graph/outline complete, but I make sure I know the Turning Points. It’s like having a roadmap to your destination and each Turning Point in the story is a major turn on the drive—if you miss your exit, you’re going to meander aimlessly (and boringly) and never arrive at your Happily Ever After.

But no need to worry, HIGHLAND CONQUEST will get you to your romantic destination on time!

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And if you want to find out how HIGHLAND CONQUEST ends, Goodreads is having a Giveaway!!!



Here are the pre-order links for HIGHLAND CONQUEST in case you’d rather go straight to buying the book:


Barnes & Noble:
https://goo.gl/ijG3xG
 
Chapters/Indigo:
https://goo.gl/LMRY5z
 
Google Play: 
https://goo.gl/BjkKDV

Take care everyone,

Alyson McLayne