Category Archives: Romance

Ranchers, Rustlers, and Romance: “A Photograph of Love” is Live

This past few weeks have been crazy trying to keep up with all the social media for other author’s books that have been released in the various series or collectives I’m part of. Some days I don’t know if I’m coming or going.

Hell Yeah

The most recent group I was asked to write for was Sable Hunter’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World series. Sable created her characters and world several years ago and began asking authors to join her world. The only rule was we had to tie in characters from her original world. Last fall I was asked to join the Hell Yeah! KindleWorld, and “A Photograph of Love” was created. I tied Presley Love Saucier and her husband Zane. I also brought in a couple more characters.

A Photograph of Love

But the main characters in my book are Lincoln Phister and Trudy Selucas. When Lincoln’s parents died while he was in college, he left school to keep up their family ranch and raise his younger siblings. His dream of becoming a photojournalist, along with his camera and photos were buried in his past. Now, ten years later, his heart not in ranching, his siblings are ready to take over and give Link the chance to pursue his dream. But at this point in his life, he’s not sure he is able to do this.

Trudy Selucas has worked as a home hospice nurse for too long. Burned out from helping people pass on, she’s ready for a much needed vacation. So when her college friend, Presley, invites her to visit Texas and spend time taking pictures, she jumps at the chance.

Trespassing and a chance encounter with a snake, bring Trudy and Link together – even though he thinks she’s a city slicker and she thinks he’s a bitter, angry man. Both are wrong. Can they find their own “Photograph of Love?”

Buy Link: Amazon: http://a.co/1VdSkfZ

Tag: Can an angry rancher and a burned-out hospice nurse find their own photograph of love while searching for cattle rustlers?

Excerpt:  “Who are you?” She scooted away, then stopped and looked down at her exposed torso. “What the hell did you do to me?”

“I didn’t do anything except kill that rattler snoozing beneath your . . . um . . .” He pointed to her ass, before turning his back and stepping away. “You may want to cover yourself.”

A pile of equipment lay a few steps away. He knew what he’d find. Like all the others who came out here, she was probably taking pictures. He toed the backpack. Sure enough. Sitting beside the bag was a camera and tri-pod. A shiver of irritation slid through him.

Must be nice to be able to wander around and take pictures all day. He’d love to be able to do that, but since he’d inherited the ranch and younger siblings when his parents died ten years ago, there’d been no time. Maybe she was on vacation. Vacations, kids, and ranching didn’t go hand-in-hand. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had more than a few hours off.

“Ugh. I’m covered in . . .” She paused a moment. “…snake guts?”

“’Fraid so.” Her face was red. Embarrassment or sunburn? Both?

“Can you hand me a towel from my backpack?”

With a deep sigh, he unzipped the bag. Three small canisters of film rolled to the ground. Huh. A purist. Someone who still took photos the old-fashioned way. His hand touched something hard. Huh. He pulled out another digital camera. He recognized the brand name and whistled between his teeth. Must be nice to be able to afford two cameras. He glanced at the one on the ground. Two expensive cameras. He dug further into the backpack. And lenses to go with them. If he had the time and money . . .

“It’s in the other pocket.”

With reluctance, he replaced the camera, opened the larger pouch, and found a small piece of white fabric.

“You call this a towel?” he said, keeping his back to her, tossing the cloth over his shoulder, hoping he’d sent it in the right direction.

****

Trudy caught the towel he’d pitched over his shoulder one handed. Could she simply crawl under a flower and die? Wait, that’s what almost happened. It was coming back to her now. The damn rattler. But how had this man found her? She didn’t seem hurt anywhere, so he hadn’t done anything to her except kill that damn rattler.

“I use it to shade my lens against sunlight.”

Now she was covered in blood and guts. But at least she was alive. She hadn’t been sure how much longer her legs would have held up if he hadn’t come along. They’d been getting shakier and the damn rattler more upset.

She cleaned herself off the best she could. There would be no more pictures taken today. As soon as she got back to Presley’s, she’d take a shower and throw away every stitch of clothing she wore.

“I’m decent now.” While wiping off the blood, she couldn’t help but notice his broad shoulders beneath a long-sleeved, chambray shirt tucked into well-worn jeans. Dark brown hair hung to his shoulders beneath a well-used, sweat-stained, gray cowboy hat. But when he faced her and tipped his hat back, she got a good look at his features.

Her breath caught. If Tom Selleck had a twin brother, it would be this man. Dark eyebrows, a bushy mustache, light brown eyes, a dent in his chin, and she’d bet her bottom dollar he’d have dimples if he smiled.

Scarred, brown leather chaps encased slim hips and muscular thighs. She was not, no she wasn’t, going to look at his crotch, but, damn, in her mind, chaps were meant to highlight a man’s goods. Instead she drew her eyes from the hunk in front of her and took in the snake carnage littering the ground.

“I guess I should thank you for saving my life. I’m not sure how much longer my legs would have held out.” She closed her eyes to the mess. “Every time I so much as flexed a muscle the damn rattler started shaking its tail.”

The man didn’t say anything, just kept his arms folded over his chest and stared.

Trudy took a step toward him and reached out her hand. “I’m Trudy Selucas.” When he didn’t offer his hand, she wiped her palms on her shorts. “Well, anyway, thanks.”

“You’re trespassing, you know.”

Shit. She’d been warned to stay off private property, but in her interest in the landscape, she must have missed any posted signs. Maybe there weren’t any. “I didn’t see any signs.”

He yanked his hat back down, shading his features. “Well, they’re there. Not to mention the barbwire fence you had to have climbed over, or under, to get on my property.”

“I saw a fence, but it was cut, so I thought it was all right to go through.”

A Photograph of Love Promo

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Filed under Hell Yeah!, Mystery, Photography, Romance

Whoohoo – Looky-Loo What I Got Today!!!!

What a week this has been. On Monday I found out “Riding for Love” went to paperback on Amazon. Last night I found out it was also on Barnes and Noble. Then today, when I got home, this is what I found on my doorstep: IMG_8683

Thank goodness the delivery person had the sense to put the boxes in a large plastic bag or they would have all been wet from all the rain. Now it’s the tears on my face that may make them wet. I’m sooooo excited. My hands are shaking. I keep giggling. I’ve done several jigs. And I do believe I kissed the first copy I took out of the box!

me and my book

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Filed under Mystery, Publishing, Reading, Romance, Uncategorized

Thursday Threads – Debut Release for Anne B. Cole

SoulsEntwined_805x1275Souls Entwined
A Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Scheduled to Release April 30, 2014
By Soul Mate Publishing
Heat Level: Sweet Romance

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Souls-Entwined-Anne-B-Cole-ebook/dp/B00K0W80JQ/

Souls Entwined is Anne B. Cole’s debut release, combining sweet romantic suspense, time travel, and paranormal elements in a New Adult novel attractive to a wide range of readers.
In addition to writing, Anne teaches preschool and is raising three very active teenagers with her husband of twenty-two years. Her love for making fresh baked goodies, running, hiking, historical fiction, and her three pet cats continue to be her inspiration while she pens the sequel to Souls Entwined.

Blurb
When a cursed family heirloom sends Gretta Dobbs back in time, a hunky construction worker, Sam Daggett, suddenly finds himself love struck and joins her adventure. Their souls entwine within the bodies of young lovers on a Greek island in 1829, where they begin to unravel the mysteries behind Gretta’s ring all while avoiding a bloodthirsty pirate who is determined to seek revenge. Gretta and Sam must find the secrets needed to save her and her relatives from an afterlife in purgatory and return to their own lives—or risk becoming prisoners of the past, continuing the evil cycle of the ring’s curse.

Excerpt
From Chapter Two

Not a sound was heard as Sam’s eyes snapped open. Under the branches of the downed tree, Purple Shorts began to stir.

“Sorry, are you okay?” Sam gently lifted his weight off her.
“I think so,” she replied faintly. Sam released his hold on her shoulder, amazed her face wasn’t scratched. He wondered how bad he appeared.

“Do you think you can stand?”

She nodded. Together they rose to their feet, easily stepping out from the tangle of branches. Eyes growing wide, she began to sway.

“Sit,” Sam commanded, steadying her.

“No, look!” She pointed.

Sam gazed over his shoulder. His mouth fell open. Beneath the tree, their bodies lay, motionless.

“Are we . . .” Purple Shorts began, but Sam shook his head slowly.

Before she could say more, he interrupted, “I don’t know. Do you feel—”

“Dead?”

He scanned the area for help. Everything around them was still, as if they were watching a movie and someone hit ‘pause.’ No wind, no sound, no movement. He flinched when cold fingers clutched his hand.
Squeezing gently, he lifted her hand in front of their faces. “Can you feel this?”

Purple Shorts nodded.

“I don’t think we’re dead,” Sam whispered, gazing into her blue eyes.

Connect With Anne

To follow Anne’s publishing journey and connect with her, check out her blog site and find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Blog: http://annebrocole.wordpress.com/

Twitter

Facebook

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Filed under Paranormal, Publishing, Romance, Soul Mate Authors, Thursday Threads, Uncategorized

Thursday Threads – Char Chaffin’s New Release

Yesterday was the release day for Char Chaffin’s new book, Jesse’s Girl. This will be put on my ‘to be read list’ for sure. Congratulations, Char.

JessesGirlTitle: Jesse’s Girl
Heat Rating: Sweetly Sensual
Genre: Nostalgia Romance
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Jesses-Girl-Char-Chaffin-ebook/dp/B00JK0DUD0/

Blurb:

In 1965, Tim O’Malley returns to his home town of Skitter Lake, Ohio, to clear his name and get the girl: Dorothy Whitaker, the love of his life since eighth grade. Blamed for a destructive fire he didn’t set, only Tim and Dorothy know the truth; that Jesse Prescott, Tim’s best friend and Dorothy’s boyfriend, did the deed that changed an entire town. But Jesse died in that tragedy and seven years later, Skitter Lake still honors him as a hero, rather than Tim, the boy from the seedy side of town whose father was a drunk . . . and whose quick actions saved six people from perishing in that horrendous fire.

In trying to set the record straight and finally claim Dorothy as his own, Tim—and Dorothy, too—will discover that in some small towns the legend often outweighs the truth . . . and their family and friends will forever see Dorothy as “Jesse’s girl.”

Excerpt:

Dorothy Whitaker. Good Lord, almighty.

Tim had almost crashed his car when he saw her, sitting in the sun with her ice-cream cone. Of all the people in Skitter Lake he figured he’d see, she was at the top of his ‘hope to run into’ list. He’d had to pull over right on the side of the road and look his fill, before summoning enough courage to step out of his car and approach her.

She hadn’t changed a bit. Still the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen, and that included all the California girls he’d met after he moved from Skitter Lake.

In grade school, they’d been inseparable. They’d played together during recess, spun on the merry-go-round, paired off on the seesaw. Dorothy was the first girl he’d held hands with, the first girl he’d ever taken to a Saturday matinee, back in seventh grade. They’d stuffed themselves on popcorn and thrilled to the adventures of Peter Pan. He’d walked her home, shyly brushed her mouth with the briefest touch of his lips. And trembled, needing more. He dreamed that night, how someday they’d be old enough and when they were, he’d kiss her the way a boy kisses his girlfriend
.
But by eighth grade, Jesse had noticed Dorothy, and after that, Tim didn’t stand a chance.
Well, that was then, and Jesse no longer stood between them.

“You let your cone get away from you.” Was that his voice, hoarse and deep? He cleared his throat, offering the damp towel. Slowly, her hand reached out, and her fingers touched his. The spark between them seemed immediate and powerful, at least to him.

“Thanks.” She wadded the towel and wiped at the stain on her dress. Her downcast face couldn’t hide the flush that rode high on her cheeks. Dorothy had always been a blusher, her creamy skin revealing every emotion. A coil of loose, silky hair slipped over her shoulder as she worked at the smear of chocolate. If anything, the color had deepened over the years. ‘Strawberry blonde,’ he’d heard it called in California, but back in school she’d simply had the loveliest hair he’d ever seen.

Silence stretched between them as he waited for her to raise her head and she seemed hell-bent on fussing with her damp skirt. Finally, nothing remained for her to clean, and she had to look up. She laid the towel on the picnic table behind her, started to speak, hesitated, then her lips curved into a sweet smile. “It’s good to see you, Tim. When did you get to town?”

“About two hours ago. I’ve just been driving around.” He couldn’t take his eyes off her. He had to shove his hands in the pockets of his pants to keep from touching her. “I wasn’t sure I’d see you. Guess I thought you’d have left by now, moved somewhere else.”

She shrugged. “No, I decided to stay. After my dad died, Mom’s health problems got worse. And I work at the bank now. It’s pretty good money.”

Yeah, and it doesn’t hurt that Bob Prescott owns the bank and still thinks of you as his honorary daughter-in-law. The thought tasted bitter to Tim, even after seven years and moving a dozen states away.

As if she could read his mind, Dorothy’s face flamed brighter and she looked away, out over the lake. He didn’t know what the hell to say to her, which infuriated him. Once, a lifetime ago, words flowed between them so easily. Even after Jesse had claimed her, Tim still had these incredible conversations with Dorothy about music, movies, books, dreams. He could tell her about how boxed-in he felt, living on the rougher edge of the blue-collar side of town with a father who thought the world owed him a living, and a mother who silently endured her unhappy marriage.

In turn, she confided the difficulties of life as the daughter of Preacher Whitaker, professional Bible-thumper. Tim knew she’d loved her father fiercely. He also knew her childhood had been knotted up in Christian duty, an often heavy burden for a kid.

Now, Dorothy released a quiet sigh and picked up the soiled bar towel. “Well, I should be going, I suppose—”

“Stay.” He laid his palm on her shoulder, fought a losing battle with the need to caress her baby-soft skin, and ran careful fingers along her slender forearm. When she didn’t move away, he took at as a good sign, and murmured, “It’s been seven long years, Dorothy. We were friends once.” He watched the emotion flicker over her face. “I missed you, a lot.”

She released a broken little sigh. “I missed you, too. But I wasn’t the one who moved away, Tim. I wasn’t the one who left.”

“I didn’t have a choice, you know that.” He bit back the familiar frustration, a feeling he’d thought had finally left him after years away from this town. “I paid the price for leaving. Everyone still blames me. Don’t they?” He caught her fingers, which trembled in his grip. “I paid, and it wasn’t my fault.”

Tears formed in her pretty hazel eyes, and even his instant remorse at hurting her yet again couldn’t keep him silent a second longer. “It wasn’t my fault,” he repeated. “You know it. Hell, Bob Prescott knows it, too.”

“What’re you talking about? What are you saying?” Now her hand pressed against his, holding him steady when he would have turned from her. “What’s Mr. Prescott got to do with anything?”

“Ask him, Dorothy.” Tim gently disengaged her hand and gave it a quick squeeze before he let her go. “I’m in town for a while.” He paused, his gaze roaming over her with a yearning he didn’t attempt to hide. “I’m staying at the boardinghouse. I’d really like to see you.”

He could feel her eyes on him as he headed to his car.

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Filed under Publishing, Reading, Romance, Soul Mate Authors, Thursday Threads, Uncategorized

Swag for the Romantic Times Convention

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since the last Romantic Times Convention and almost a year since Riding for Love was released at the convention. What a year! Yet here I am, starting to prepare for this exciting week.

Several of us Soul Mate Authors are holding a Reader Appreciation Activity. One of the many things we’re doing is preparing 100 goody bags for the first 100 participants. The bags will hold CDs of our books and swag from the authors. If you don’t know what Swag is, it’s all that “stuff” people bring home from conventions, fairs, open houses, etc.

Choosing Swag, for me anyway, was nerve-racking. I’ve come home from the convention with more pens than I’ll ever use in a lifetime, bookmarks, rulers, lip balm, hand lotion, candy, gum, and so on. When I started thinking about what I wanted for my swag, I decided I didn’t want anything that people would eat, put on their lips or take home and throw away. Once something is used up, the author’s information is gone.

I asked the gals from my writers’ group, people at work, and friends what they thought. When I picked out a few items and gave the choices to people, the decision was unanimous. The letter openers finally arrived yesterday.

Swag

Before I attended my first RT Convention, I had this image of sedate lovers of romance casually going through books, looking over tables of goodies, removing only those items they wanted to take home. Instead, lines for events form long before the event starts. Readers, writers and librarians swarm to tables grabbing what they can, shoving them in their bags. I’ve seen many women lugging their over-full bags down hallways, their faces showing their exhaustion. I must say I’m no better when it comes to free books – and we get a lot of them. I understand the bags we get this year will have wheels. Yay!

So, it’ll be interesting to see how fast our 100 bags disappear and whether we’ll get stampeded in the process.

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Filed under Reading, Reflection, Romance, Soul Mate Authors, Uncategorized, Writer's Conventions/Conferences