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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Woo Hoo! Katie's Rock Has Got Legs!

Well, folks, today’s the day.  I finally have my first full-length novel out on, for sale in paperback format and I am happy dancing across the pasture!  For those of you who have electronic readers, I will be working on making it available in the electronic formats and will let you know as soon as those are available.  It will probably be mid to late August for those, as I am scheduled to be out of town for a conference in early August and I am frantically trying to get ready for that.  I’m hoping for another photo-op with a cover model.  Oh yeah!  (Did I say that out loud?)

Well, this is my stunning cover, thanks to my friend Carol Webb of Bella Media Management.  As you may have read in previous blogs, the woman is a saint and a damn good cover designer.  Trust me, this cover did NOT start out looking anywhere near this good in my head!  She’s a freaking miracle worker!

Here’s the back cover blurb…

Katie Schaffer is a single mother who slings drinks for a living.  Her parents are gone, leaving her alone to care for her four year old son and a cocker spaniel with more energy than brains.  When she meets Arizona ranchers Jake and David McAllister, the two handsome brothers both go into a full-court-press to win Katie’s affections.  She quickly chooses Jake, but soon finds the road to love is a whole lot rockier than she expected.  Jake is still raw from his divorce and is struggling with the pain of having his family torn apart.  If she loses Jake, Katie stands to lose the entire McAllister family.  Not only has she come to love them very much, but this would be the second family Katie has lost. 

Will Jake commit to Katie?
Did Katie choose the wrong McAllister brother?
If she loses Jake, can Katie survive losing her second family in three years?

I want to thank you all so very much for your love and support.  I am thrilled to have made this milestone and I could not have done it without the people around me believing in me and telling me I could!  Without your support and encouragement, I’d probably be in the nuthouse by now making finger puppets and racing my electric scooter through the hallways, honking at old men.  Wait a minute…that doesn’t sound half bad.  LOL  Seriously…thank you!
So here's the link to where you can get your copy.  I would be forever grateful to anyone who would be willing to leave a review on after reading it.  Email me and let me know you left a review and I will send you a free electronic copy of my short story, Midnight On The Double-B.  
That’s my story, fantastic and fantabulous, and I’m stickin’ to it.  Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!

Love ya,


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Winter in July with Giveaways

July 28th – Winter in July Blog Hop
Today is our final stop on our Winter in July Blog Hop! We want to thank Happily Ever After Thoughts and all our other sponsors for hosting us and allowing us to share our winter stories with you. Thank YOU as well for following along with us and for all the comments you’ve left!
For our final day, we decided to share a small snippet of each of our stories. We hope you like them as much as we loved writing them! We’ve also added a buy link just in case you’re so intrigued you just HAVE to have one of the books now!

Lisa Fox- Santa’s Sleeping Beauty-

Finally, thankfully, after an eternity, Jordan had her coffee. She turned from the counter and sighed heavily, seeing nothing but a rolling sea of people and nary an empty seat in the place.
“The fun never ends,” she grumbled as she tread through the tables, trying not to hear the screaming children, the frustrated grunts, the whining complaints, the sappy Christmas Muzak.
And then she saw it. Off in a far corner, an empty seat. Jordan could almost hear the heavenly choir sing as she traversed the distance, entirely focused on that plastic vision of sublime relief.
The chair appeared to belong to a table where a man sat with his head bowed over a steaming cup of coffee. He wore the lower half of a Santa costume and a white t-shirt. His hat, beard and jacket rested off to the side. A bright red shopping bag sat at his feet. She wondered for an instant if he was the Macy’s Santa, but quickly realized there was no way they’d let him sit half-dressed in the cafe if he were.
“Excuse me?” she asked, hovering over him. “Is that seat taken?”
His head came up at the sound of her voice, and Jordan involuntarily gasped. He was gorgeous! Like unbelievably, seen-only-in-magazines gorgeous. Messy dark-brown hair framed his handsome face, and a spark of good-natured humor shone from the depths of his ice-blue eyes. The barest shadow of a beard highlighted the sharp angle of his jaw and outlined his very luscious lips. The t-shirt hugged his arms and fit snugly against the hard contours of his chest. She knew that Santa Claus should not be inspiring the wicked, wicked thoughts that instantly popped into her head, and yet she couldn’t help but gaze at his full lower lip and wonder what his kiss might taste like.

Catherine Peace’s This Time Next Year
A rustling to her left alarmed her. The door to the bedroom opened, revealing the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. A pang of remembrance speared her heart, but she didn’t know him. Maybe a foot taller than she, he had a slender build, broad shoulders, lean legs, strong arms. He possessed an old Hollywood appeal, like someone had ripped him from the 1920s and crow-barred him into a dark pair of jeans and fitted black T-shirt. He wore his dark hair slicked back from his sculpted square-shaped face; stubble lined a strong jaw that could probably cut diamonds. But his eyes, deep-set and lined with dark lashes, demanded her attention. Despite the dimness of the room, they almost…glowed.
She licked her lips. Heat spread through her and pooled uncomfortably between her thighs. Christ, how long had it been since she’d even been aroused?
He stepped into the full light of the candles, the shadows dancing across his face, providing a kiss of warmth to his fair skin.
No, not fair. Pale.
Deathly pale.

Alexa Bourne’s Simple Treasures

The announcer spoke on, but the words jumbled together in Joanna’s ears. Her heartbeat thumped against her ribs. The teacup rattled on its saucer.
Staring at her from the television screen was a picture of the victim on the train.
“Colin!” Joanna’s heart pounded faster. She set the saucer on the bedside table and scrambled to the foot of the bed, as if sitting closer to the television would give her more insight. Listening to the announcer list details and stats of the missing man, she prayed she remembered them correctly.
When the water turned off in the bathroom, she hurried to the door, and knocked. “Hey, we’ve got something!”
No response.
Too keyed up to sit, she paced across the room. Finally, she’d be able to do something for the missing man. She had more proof she wasn’t crazy. Soon, she could enjoy the holiday as she’d planned.
The bathroom door flew open. “What is it?”
When she pivoted by the round table, she jolted to a stop. Her jaw dropped. Colin stood in the hallway with only a white towel wrapped around his trim waist.
She’d expected him to be fit since he was a professional bodyguard, but all the visions in her head could not compare to the real sight. Not quite a six-pack of abs, but damn close. A thin layer of hair coated his chest, with the majority of it under his belly button and leading to—
She blinked her way back to the present. “On TV. It’s the victim from the train. He’s missing.” As she scrambled across the mattress to grab the remote, he walked toward the foot of the bed. She focused on switching the channel to another news show.
He propped his hands on his hips—which loosened the towel.

Taryn Kincaid’s Frost
“I’m Maxwell Raines.”
Yeah. No kidding. Who else could a guy so hot, so studly, possibly be?
She told herself not to swoon. Ordered herself not to swoon. But, Goddess, that rumbling voice. More potent than a train barreling over the tracks. And he smelled so good. Sinfully masculine. A bit of musk, a bite of pine, an essence of dark, smoky nights. Sexy scents. Reminiscent of tangled satin sheets that had been given a good work-out.
Her legs turned to rubber, and she doubted they’d support her on their own. She’d be mortified if he’d have to scrape her puddled body up again. But he hadn’t yet relaxed his grip. Could she bullshit her way through the meeting without collapsing? “You’re late,” she said.
“I’m never late.”
Buy: Amazon 

Taryn Kincaid’s Blizzard

Mandy glanced up, startled by the deep, rumbling baritone that echoed loudly in the fairly quiet building. And even more startled by the tall, gorgeous hunk of manhood bundled into a down parka standing next to her table.
I could totally jump him. Right here. Right now.
From nowhere, steamy erotic images of what she wanted to do with the man leaped unbidden into her head. Beneath her sweater, her breasts swelled, her nipples hardening with need. She’d never felt such instant attraction to anyone, such a frantic desire to get naked and get fucked.
Buy:  Amazon

Eva Lefoy’s Steal My Heart
The figure reclined in the tub was a woman. A naked woman. His balls contracted automatically. His gaze took in her long blonde hair, the wine bottle, and the pile of black clothes. He couldn’t see her feet, but he’d bet money those skis were her size. She appeared to have fallen asleep. He ventured onto the patio and cleared his throat. “Excuse me.”
She thrashed awake, sending water over the tub’s lip. “Wha-what?” She caught sight of him and blanched. “Who are you?”
He shrugged a shoulder. “Just the owner. I live here.”
Her jaw fell open. “You do?” She seemed to look him over anew. “I mean, you do? Wow.” She shook her head. “That doesn’t make sense.”
He walked a few steps forward and grabbed the wine bottle off the deck. “It helps if you read the name on the mailbox.”
Her eyes flashed fear and she jumped out. “Don’t come any closer. I’m armed. I’ll … I’ll…”
He watched her glance desperately around looking for a weapon. “Hit me with a ski pole?” He smiled and pointed at the scar on his head she probably couldn’t see. “Already happened. And besides, you left them in the mudroom.” He took a look at the bottle in his hand. Woods Riesling 2008. A tasty vintage. She had good taste as well as good sense. Except for the breaking and entering. Because she was now standing on the edge of his hot tub completely naked, steam rising off her moist skin, trying to cover her breasts with her arms and crossing her legs in an attempt to conceal her pussy. His cock went harder than a frozen steak…

Emily Cale’s Two is Twice as Nice
"Why are you sitting so far away from me?" He patted the space on the couch between them. "I know you have a wonderfully large couch, but I was kind of hoping you would at least sit close enough for me to put my arm around you."
The lump in her throat kept her from speaking; instead, she slid down the couch to his open arm. As soon as she was near him, he pulled her toward him. The heat from his body engulfed her, running through her veins until every inch of her skin tingled.
Between his fingers dancing over her knee and the sensation of his hip pressing against hers, it took every bit of effort she could muster to pretend to be watching the movie, let alone actually know what was going on. Leaning forward, she placed her mug down on the coffee table. The alcohol in it had sufficiently warmed her insides, and she was afraid if she kept drinking, her judgment might be compromised. Of course, one look at his dimples and her sanity would leave her, and a little impaired reaction would lead to a morning of regret.
Buy: Amazon

All right! So, are you interested in finding out more about any of these hot, hot books? Or all of them? Leave us a comment (with your email address) and you’ll be in the running for one of our awesome SIX prizes! We will be choosing 1 winner from each day of the blog hop and the person who comments the most during the blog hop will also win a prize! AND….if you want to see what else we’re up to or to leave comments on other days, here’s the list of our locations for this blog hop:
July 24th- Sara Brookes' blog- :
July 25th- The Literary Lagniappe-
July 26th- Get Lost in a Story Blog-
July 27th- Pink Fluffy Hearts Blog-
July 28th- Happily Ever After Thoughts blog-
Winners will be announced in the comment section after midnight EST on Sunday 7/28.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hell’s Highway—Let Me Stab Myself In The Forehead With A Fork!

Hey, guys, here we are again.  Good to see ya…it’s been a bit stressful and lonely out here on Hell’s Highway.  So, let me update you on what’s happened since last we talked.

Remember when you were a kid at the County Fair, running from ride to ride with a string of tickets in your hand?  Every time you got on a ride, your heart soared as your hair blew back, your lips flapped in the wind, and you screamed your tonsils out.  Then the ride ended, and it was always too soon.  Remember complaining to your friends that you got gypped on the price of the ticket because your ride should have lasted twice as long?  Yeah, me too.  And I suspect this Hell’s Highway ride is my penance for complaining back then.  The powers that be have taken it in their hands to make sure I get my money’s worth out of this ride…and then some.  In fact, this is like a merry-go-round in hell. The damn thing won’t stop or even slow down long enough to let me jump.  So I sit here, knuckles white as I grip the rails and watch the world speed by like a jet breaking the sound barrier.  My heart is pounding while I wait for the ride to come to a stop.  But unlike when we were kids, this ride never seems to end.  So the pounding in my heart (and head) escalates until I think my head will explode.  I’d stab myself in the forehead with a fork to make it stop hurting but the ride is moving so darn fast, I can’t get good aim.  My luck, I’d only manage to put out an eye.  Then where would I be?  Stuck on the Hell’s Highway with one good eye and a fork in the other.  Really!
This is installment #2 on my journey down Hell’s Highway.

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the rewrites and the edits, about the cover builds and the rebuilds.  Well, now you’ll get to hear about the re-do’s of the rewrites and edits and the rebuilds of the cover rebuilds.  For those of you who have ever indie-published, none of this will be a surprise.  However, those of you who are not writers will think I’m making this up or exaggerating.  I swear, this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth!  I have become convinced that the publishing industry was birthed somewhere along Hell’s Highway and the midwife on that particular night must have been The Joker.

In the last tale, I left off where my cover designer Carol ( was sobering up and airing out her living room after my changes forced her to drink herself into a stupor and set my picture on fire in her living room, while awaiting the results of her nomination for sainthood.  Well, if you know Carol, please send her your condolences because I’m still her client and still changing my stinking mind.  LOL  In my defense, there was no choice.  (My story…I’m tellin’ it my way.)

What happened was that Carol uploaded the gorgeous cover she’d created for me to CreateSpace, I uploaded my 27th and final version of my manuscript, and I hit the button on PROOF.  What that does is it starts the internal review at Create Space where they look at your book, make sure it meets their standards, and they print a PROOF copy and mail it to you.  In my case, I’d screwed around with this project long enough with all my rewrites, edits, and cover changes that I opted to pay the increased shipping fee to get it to me faster.  Remember, my goal is to have print books in hand by August 7th so I can take them with me to the RNC Convention in Las Vegas (

I am freaking running out of time!!!

So the big day comes and the box finally arrives.  I’ve been sick with a throat infection, so I get up off my deathbed and open the box.  It’s gorgeous!  It’s spectacular!  It’s the best book ever!  It’s not quite right.  HUH?  Houston, we have a problem.  Problem?  I don’t have time for problems.  It has to be perfect.  Nope, it’s not.  I get to looking at it and I realize part of the front cover is blurry…really blurry.  Not just I can live with it blurry, but we gotta redo it blurry.


I text Carol in a panic, trying to figure out how the hell Create Space screwed that up.  Well, as I’m sure you’ve already surmised, Create Space had done nothing wrong—and neither had we.  Remember that search I told you about in Part 1 of the saga…the one where you search for hours to find the perfect picture and you get your heart set on it, only to find it’s out of your price range?  Yeah, that $200 picture…that’s the one.  So what we did was choose a much cheaper version of the picture with fewer pixels.  We put it all together and it truly was gorgeous.  Looked great at this end.  Even when we blew it up to 100%, it was only VERY slightly blurry but should have worked for this part of the cover because we wanted it to look like it was off in the distance.  No big deal…we’re golden.

But what we learned is that when it goes to print at Create Space, any weakness that might have existed (even one you cannot see) will look like it’s been put under a magnifying glass and had big red circles drawn around it when it comes out the other end.  In our case, instead of the print matching the electronic version and looking slightly blurred and distant (which we wanted), the end result was that every image in the picture had a faint white line around it about 1/16th of an inch away from the image itself.  It was like ghost images, and the edges of the images were pixelated.  Well, ya live and ya learn.  What we learned is that the print process is much less forgiving than electronic viewing.

So now we are back to the drawing board.  We have spent hours more searching and finally came up with another picture that will work, and Carol (a.k.a., the saint) has lovingly reproduced for me the most gorgeous cover that I think I love even more than the first.  We’ve also fixed a couple other issues…like my typo in the back cover blurb where I ended a sentence with a comma instead of a period.  Holy cow, who knew that was there until the proof book arrived?

Now, while Carol was reworking the cover, I began my review on the PROOF to make sure everything inside the book looked good.  The first thing I noticed was a spelling error.  Yikes!    That was then followed by a spot where my heroine calls my hero by his brother’s name.  Double yikes!  That’s a big faux pas in any relationship, so it’s a careful slog through the electronic master looking for any repeats…of course, there was another one.  How did that slip through on editing?  I’ll have to have a talk with my editor (me) on that one!!!  I’d rewritten an entire chapter where the heroine is stuck in the wilderness with the hero and decided to have her stuck with the hero’s brother instead.  Now, that’s enough of a relationship test in itself…don’t make the mistake of not cleaning up your mess properly and have her calling him by his brother’s name!  No self-respecting hero would put up with that and could very easily turn my romance story into a murder mystery.  What was I thinking?

So now I am continuing the slow, methodical slog through a manuscript I’d hoped never to have to look at ever again because the first 437 times were enough for me, but apparently not enough for the editing process.  But it’s a necessary evil and you published writers out there who all tried to warn me…remember, that fog of expectation had plugged up my ears.  I couldn’t freaking HEAR YOU!  But I hear you now.  Oh yeah, loud and clear.  And while I still dream of a Kayce Lassiter manuscript on every coffee table or hearth in America, that whole pig farming in Montana in the dead of winter thing is starting to have some appeal too.

Well, folks, this ride ain’t over yet.  I still have to get this manuscript re-edited, re-uploaded and re-proofed in time to get twenty copies printed and delivered to take with me to the convention in less than two weeks.  Where’s that fork? Maybe I can trade it in for a wand because I’m gonna need something to make the impossible happen here!  Stay tuned and I’ll give you an update on whether I make it to the conference with or without books.  If not, you will find me at the bar drinking heavily and flirting like mad with cover models.  Hell, who am I kidding?  You’ll find me doing that with or without the darn books!

That’s my story, freakish and frustrating, and I’m stickin’ to it.
Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!

Love ya,