#MFRWhooks ~ A Teaser From The Phoenix Syndrome ~ #MFRWauthor

Celebrating a brand-new cover for THE PHOENIX SYDNROME – A Rock Star Second Chance Romance!

Turning forty, for Lannie Marvin, is rough. Her cheating husband announces he’s leaving her, and at the lab where she works, a crazed mouse brutally bites her. Lannie snaps. She kidnaps her sister-in-law and heads off to chase her newest crush–the drummer of a heavy metal band.

Drummer Tristan Allard holds this benefit concert every year in memory of his late wife. It’s been five years and he’s getting pretty damned lonely. So when the sexually charged Lannie literally plows into him at the backstage reception, Tristan is more than ready to learn more about her–and her long-buried love of musical composition.

They head off for a wild weekend until reality catches them. Tristan is scheduled to return to the UK to audition his latest album. And Lannie learns an elevated libido isn’t the only side effect of the drug the mice were being treated with…

Here’s a sneak peek from the opening chapters of THE PHOENIX SYNDROME:

That’s when I raised my head and got a look at him for the first time. He was tall—really tall, because I’m five-ten and I was eye-level with his pecs. Above a pair of baggy plaid sleep pants he wore a faded U2 tee shirt. All I could think was, Yeah, U2. Jon Schmidt did one of their songs, braiding it in with a Pachelbal. Slowly, my gaze traveled up to his shoulders, then along his square jawline, where dark tendrils of hair clung to the stubble.

Ooh, mama.

That’s when my babble button kicked on again. “Nice shirt. I mean, U2. Good band. Excuse me, please.” I stepped to one side before realizing one step wouldn’t get me around him. His upper body was twice as broad as mine.

Now he was pissing me off. “Um, can I get by please?” I lifted my gaze to his face then. Deep, dark eyes with black lashes so long they looked fake.

But he wasn’t looking at my eyes. The perv was staring at my nipples, which were straining embarrassingly against the flimsy front of my sleep shirt.

“I like your shirt too, ma’am.” He read the words scrolled among scattered notes and treble clefs on my shirt, aloud. “Take Note. Make Music, Not War.” A slow smile spread across his face. “I think we might be kindred spirits.”

There was something about his rich, deep voice that made my insides shiver, though I couldn’t really tell if it was annoyance, fear, or . . . something else. Something much, much more pleasant.

But ma’am? Really?

And this was ridiculous. I was half asleep, half-naked, and had to get out of there fast. So I tipped my chin up and waited until he finally, finally tore his eyes from my tits and met my gaze. “Maybe so, but if you don’t want to be wearing this coffee all over your U2, you’d better get the hell out of my way.”

~~~

KU Subscribers can read for Free! Find the book on Amazon HERE.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Advertisements

#MFRWAuthor – The Home Stretch – Electricity is Nearing Completion! #MFRWhooks


After months–hell, it’s been over a year since I last released a novel–ELECTRICITY is coming down the home stretch. These last 25,000 words have been literally bleeding out of my fingertips onto the keyboard. What a great feeling to have gotten back my author mojo!

Since I still like to take breaks about every 5000 words or so, I’ve gotten busy designing my cover (sneak preview coming soon!), writing my blurb, and searching for the elements of a book trailer. I’m THAT CLOSE.

I’m shooting for a release date of June 8th–that’s my grandson’s birthday, and I always release a book on a special day 🙂

In the meantime, stay tuned for news of a box-set–yes, you heard me right. Haunted Voices Vol. I will be a box set of all three of the previous novels in this series (One related by genre only. They are not sequential and can read in any order). That would be HEARTS UNLOCHED, SPIRITS OF THE HEART, AND CIVIL HEARTS, all together in box set.

Check out all my books on Amazonhttp://www.emotionalcontemporaryromance.com
https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=290987

New Release by Amber Daulton: Lyrical Embrace

Today I’m pleased to welcome romantic suspense author, Amber Daulton, to my blog to give us a sneak peek at her new release, Lyrical Embrace. This is Book 4 in the Deerbourne Inn Series, and I can’t wait to learn more about it!

Lyrical Embrace

Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.

Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves.

Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?

~~~

Read more about Lyrical Embrace on Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43225610-lyrical-embrace

 Buy Links

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2ChIhNT

Barnes and Noble – https://bit.ly/2ChIhgR

iTunes – https://apple.co/2M3T9mW

Kobo – TBA

Google Play – TBA

The Wild Rose Press store – https://bit.ly/2AIkSFk

Books2Read – http://books2read.com/u/m0MYaV

And now, a little more about Amber!

Amber Daulton

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at http://www.amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com.

Social Media Links

Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

Amazon Author Page – http://amzn.to/14JoZff

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amberdaultonauthor/

Book Bub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amber-daulton

Book Gorilla – https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B00ALQITWY/amber-daulton/kcc

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/amberdaulton

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-daulton/87/538/368

Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AmberDaulton

The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton

As a special treat, Amber has shared an excerpt. Enjoy!

Erica leaned up and combed her fingers through her hair. “I’ve never made love outside before. It’s a surreal experience.”

“We can do it wherever you want. In an elevator, in an alley, in my car. I’m game anywhere and everywhere for as long as you want me.”

“I want you so much it hurts.”

Dylan thumbed her knuckles and hoped she meant that. “I don’t know how you feel about labels, but I haven’t had a girlfriend in years. I’ve just had flings, but I want more than that with you. I want us to be with each other and no one else. I want a relationship with you.”

Tears welled in her eyes. “I feel divided in two. A part of me thinks we’re moving too fast, but another part says to jump in with both feet. I want something real with you too. I don’t want to feel dirty after we fool around. Just make me happy. Will you do that, Dylan?”

Her soft, pain-filled words struck Dylan like a dagger in his gut, and he bit the insides of his cheeks to steady his features.

Her ex-boyfriend had probably called her names and degraded her after they would find release in each other’s body, and the bastard likely never cared if she reached climax at all.

“I understand, Erica. I promise to treat you with nothing but respect, and I will do my very best to make you happy. I swear you will always scream your head off in pleasure every time I touch you. I’m not the sort of man to get my jollies off and leave my girl hanging.”

Her lips twitched up in a grin. “That’s good to hear.”

“So are you my girl?”

“Yeah, I’m your girl.” Erica giggled and tapped her fingers on his chest. “How could I not be? You make a very compelling argument, but I will have to hold you to it. I’m definitely looking forward to screaming every time you touch me.”

“Let’s rest, and then we’ll play again. The night’s early, and I’ve only just begun.”

~~~

Thank you for being my guest today, Amber, and best of luck with this very exciting love story!

 

 

 

#BookReview – Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

BetweenSisters
Meghann and Claire are sisters – well, half-sisters, more or less abandoned by their fame-seeking actress mother when they were just kids. When the food ran out and Meghann, the older, feared “the system” would come in and take them away, she calls Claire’s father. Turns out poor Sam didn’t even know their mother was pregnant when they split years ago. But Sam takes them both in, even though nobody knows who Meghann’s father is.

The arrangement doesn’t last long, because Meghann feels like an outsider, is jealous that Claire has a “real dad,” and is a rebellious teen. She leaves her sister and strikes out on her own. Now, twenty-five years later, the two rarely speak. Claire doesn’t understand what she did to make Meghann leave, and Meghann can’t face the guilt that haunts her to this day.

An eloquently written family saga, “Between Sisters” touches on issues many families deal with, but few like to talk about. The self-centered mother who cares less about her children than her own career and fame; the adult older sister who, having been burned by family and love, cynically wonders why her life is so empty. The younger sister who, an unwed mother, has struggled to be a better mother to her daughter than their own mother was for them. Poignant stuff, well-written.

The shortcoming of this novel lies in the extremes that border on the cliche and unrealistic. Ellie, the girl’s mom, is a cartoon character with a fake Southern accent and outrageous behavior that’s way over the top. Claire’s meeting of her soulmate – a true “love at first sight moment” – in a country bar also stretches the limits of believable. The story, however, is engrossing and once Ms. Hannah gets the reader’s heart on board, she doesn’t let go.

I listened to the Audible version of this book and was very impressed with the talent of the narrator to differentiate character voices and instill emotion into the narration. Great job!

A Furry Muse

img_2407

I’m well aware of the fact that in fiction, dogs rule. Way over cats. Stories involving dogs score much higher readership than those with no pets, or with cats. I understand that. My husband is not a big cat person. He’s a dog person.

But I am what I am what I am. And there’s no doubt, folks. I’m a cat person.

I used to raise them. Persians, for show. For over 10 years, the “Gempaw” empire ruled. I had a number of Regional and one National winner in CFA, the fancy’s elite group. But I had to make a choice, because breeding cats is a big commitment. If I wanted time left to write after my full-time day job, something had to go. My horse hobby, along with my cat breeding hobby, bit the dust.

Plus, I work for a school of veterinary medicine. We encounter the ravages of discarded strays all the time. How could I justify breeding, i.e., bringing more animals into a world-intentionally–where many do not have homes?

I have been cat-less for almost 5 years. In the last year, my husband’s beloved Boston Terrier, Chopper, passed in his sleep, leaving an aching hole in the family’s heart (my husband is definitely a dog person). We adopted a new baby Boston, Rudy, who has quickly become part of our family.

img_2844

Still, the hole in my heart remained. I wanted a cat. That’s what I asked for for Christmas. The ONLY thing.

Several weeks before the holiday, with the recommendations of two of my old-time breeder friends here in New England, I found Leo. He seems to be everything I was looking for: a high-white Persian, male, great breed traits and within my budget. When my grandson saw the pics of Leo from when I went to visit him, he said, “Oh, Grandma, he looks like Boss Baby.” Thus, the name: Pearly Pond Boss Baby Leo.

img_2351

 

For the record, Persians don’t really qualify as cats. They are a breed apart. They act more like dogs, yet in a superior kind of way. Are they snooty? Oh yeah. Can they live without you, like most cats? Maybe not, but they will die before they admit it.

I brought Leo home two weeks before Christmas. He is everything I wanted, and more. Beautiful, cuddly, feisty. He’s good for his weekly bath and tolerates the twice-daily face washing routine with grace. Leo will debut at his first show—a CFA event—next weekend. I have no expectations. I am just looking forward to showing off my purring love and re-communing with cat show friends from years past.

Leo sits on my desk while I write, or purrs in my lap. He has become quite the terror in the office, though, and has more than once been found trying to type on my keyboard or laying on it—which my computer simply does not comprehend!

He may cost me a keyboard at some point. Oh well. What the hell?

img_2412

This baby cat has filled a hole in my heart I really wasn’t aware existed. But now that it’s filled, I know I simply couldn’t go on without him. Leo’s future is not to procreate. I’m done with the breeding end of the business. I intend for him, as a neuter, to remain my muse for the foreseeable future.

Welcome, Boss Baby Leo.

 

A Different Kind of Reunion – A New Release by Joanne Guidoccio

Today we’re celebrating Joanne Guidoccio’s release of her newest novel, A Different Kind of Reunion with an interview and a Rafflecoptor Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Click the link to enter!

The blurb for this story really has me intrigued:

ADifferentKindofReunion_w12053_750 (2)

While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive.

 Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first cooperative and willing, their camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust.

 Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?

Check out the Book Trailer here.

You can buy this exciting new release here:

Amazon (Canada):  https://is.gd/vR5Sxn

Amazon (United States): https://is.gd/lU0qw7

Kobo: https://is.gd/5MMKWF

Indigo: https://is.gd/11GpVs

Barnes & Noble: https://is.gd/ckNfhx

iTunes: https://is.gd/oPe0RD

The Wild Rose Press: https://is.gd/nQ2ZjT

And now let’s get to know Joanne a little better . . .

Guidoccio 001

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I would want Lorraine Bracco to play the part of Gilda Greco. A long-time fan, I enjoyed watching her play Dr. Jennifer Melfi in The Sopranos, a role she had to actually request. The producers had originally asked her to audition for the role of Carmela, but Lorraine felt compelled to stretch herself in the role of the psychiatrist.

Carlo Fantin – Colin Firth

Leo Mulligan – Woody Harrelson

Cassandra Coburn – Anna Kendrick

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I think of myself as a linear pantser. Once I get the spark of an idea, I let it percolate. While driving or doing routine tasks, I imagine characters and come up with a title. Before starting to write, I plan the first three chapters and the ending. As for the rest of the storyline, I let it flow as I write.

Do your read your reviews?

I read all my reviews at least once. On “blue” days, I reread the excellent reviews. While reading the less-than-stellar reviews, I look for common themes. For example, several readers commented on the number of characters introduced in the first chapter of A Season for Killing Blondes. I kept that comment in mind while writing Too Many Women in the Room and A Different Kind of Reunion.

Describe your process for naming your characters?

When I first started writing, I paid little attention to name selection. Whenever I introduced a new character, I would use the first name that popped into my head and then become very attached to that name. That resulted in repetition and confusion. In A Season for Killing Blondes, Book 1 in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, I used Paolo, Paula, and Pauline for three of the characters. Thankfully, one of my beta readers pointed out the repetition. Later (after publication), I noticed the same problem with Mel and Melly Grace; Jean and Jenny Marie.

With Books 2 and 3 of the series, I have been more careful with name selection. I write out all the character names beforehand and spend several days getting comfortable with them. Anything that sounds confusing or repetitive is replaced.

When did you realize you wanted to write novels?

While sitting in Sister Maris Stella’s Grade 13 English class (circa 1973), I dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. I followed the conventional advice of the times and pursued a career in teaching, but in my heart of hearts, I knew that someday I would resurrect that writing dream. In 2008, I took advantage of early retirement and devoted my second act to writing.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

It would be wonderful if I could fly at will. Whenever I felt the need to travel, I would pack my bags, stand at the doorway, and visualize my intended destination. Within seconds, I would be transported to a five-star hotel room in that particular city. This superpower would also come in handy during lengthy meetings and sticky situations.

Wow, if you figure out how to get that superpower, please share! It sounds like one I’d definitely like to have as well!

More about Joanne:

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio:

Website: http://joanneguidoccio.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio

Check out Joanne’s other books HERE. Thanks for joining me on Emotional Journeys today, Joanne, and best of luck with your new release!

~~~

Claire Gem writes contemporary romance and supernatural suspense. You can find out more about her at her Website or Amazon Author Page.

NewSigBar2018

A Guest From Outside the Box

Today I have a very special guest with me on Emotional Journeys. Author John McKenna, who sometimes goes by the name Garritt O’Dwaine, writes nonfiction, crime fiction, and is also the mastermind behind the review website, Mysterious Book Report.

NC-front-cover-web-211x300

John, along with my husband, Clark, grew up in the small town of Grahamsville, N.Y. He is here today to share some personal insight about his writing process, et al. Take it away, John!

John: First I’d like to thank Claire for stepping outside the romance genre to interview a crime fiction author and reviewer.
Claire: You’re welcome, John. I’m thrilled to have you with us here today. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a keyboard addict or do you write the words out the old fashioned way?
John: My process of writing is to write everything longhand with a pencil because it’s easier to correct mistakes and I have lost my ability to type because of an injury.  My assistant types everything and whips it all into shape.
Claire: Oh, I don’t know whether to admire you, or feel sorry for you! I am a keyboard addict. I can type faster than I can talk (and ask my husband, that’s not an easy feat!).
Tell us about a book you love, one you wish you could have written.
John: The book I wish I would have written is LA Confidential by James Ellroy, it is one of the finest examples of noir fiction ever written.
Claire: How do you choose character names for your books?
John: Names are important in books because I feel that they are the doors to ideas, and indications of character.  One of the best examples of this is Charles Dickens’s undertaker, Uriah Heep.  I keep lists of names I have gathered from many different sources including antique newspapers’ obituaries and graveyard registrations.  I have books full of them.
Claire: Ooh, being a big fan of graveyards, and an author of ghostly stories, I would LOVE to get my hands on your records!
Tell us, what advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?
John: The advice I have for other aspiring writers is persist.  Never give up. Never quit.  Never stop trying.  Write every day.
Claire: Agreed. It’s never an easy road, but if you’re dedicated it will definitely pay off.
What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
John: My least favorite part is editing and re-writing.
Claire: I hear you there! I get so I think I could recite my book by memory. So, your most recent release. Tell us about it.
Colorado Noir cropped
John: Colorado Noir is my 3rd and most award-winning book.  The others are Neversink Chronicles and The Whim-Wham Manboth of which are award winners.
Claire: My husband has read the Neversink Chronicles and, having grown up in that part of the world, he found it fascinating. To me, just the idea of a town disappearing entirely under water–on–purpose, is chilling. But the Neversink Reservoir is now a major supplier of water to the Big Apple, NYC.
Tell me, What are you working on now?
John: My next project is turning a short story called Mischief of Rats into a novel and I am also working on a historical mystery entitled Unforsaken, set in the year 1901, which features a women’s search for her missing brother and a determined but conflicted Texas Ranger who is 20 years older than her, widowed, and fatally attracted.
Claire: John, thanks so much for visiting with me today. I’m going to share with my readers a sample of your upcoming novel, Unforsaken, to whet their appetites! Be sure to update us on release dates and any future events.
~~~

1901

It was an almost perfect early spring morning . . . the thermometer was still in the mid-eighties, a slight breeze rustled the leaves in the live oaks lining the thoroughfare, and the sun stood low in a cloudless, cerulean blue sky that looked as fragile as Chinese porcelain and spread to the farthest edges of the world.  That’s when a man came up East Second Street in Cleburne, Texas.  He was driving a black doctor’s buggy with red wheels and seat, and pulled by a small Appaloosa mare.  He was looking for Featherston Lane, and a certain gray house with a green tin roof and white gingerbread trim.  When he found it, he nosed the mare to the curb, half-hitched the reins to the dash rail and backed out on the short step.  Once down, he checked his surroundings, opened the picket gate and strode up the flagstone walk like he owned the place.

The woman who lived there saw him come to her front door.  She was watching from the parlor, where she’d just placed a bowl of pink and yellow roses, fresh-cut from the bushes at the corner of her porch.  The man, who was tall and thin, had on a white shirt, black wool suit, black tie and gray waistcoat, and moved with the insouciance, grace and confidence of a feral cat on the prowl.  She noted the cant of his curled brim Stetson, the scuffed, dusty boots and tied-down Colt pistol at his right hip.  She shivered at the sight of his drooping, heavy black mustache.  Then he was at the door knocking.

She smoothed her apron and tucked a wisp of hair behind her ear before she went to answer it. “Yes,” she said, “may I help you?”

The stranger took off his hat, held it in his left hand and said, “Mornin’ ma’am.  My name is Boyd Pirtle.   I’m a Texas Ranger.   Are you the  Mrs.  Stringfellow who’s been runnin’ the advertisement in the newspaper, lookin’ for her brother?”

“It’s Miss, not Mrs., and yes, I am she.  Do you know of his whereabouts?”  She saw the creases in his sun-baked face, the gray creeping into his hair, and all the sadness and steel in a pair of pale blue eyes that looked as faded as old denim. Gun-fighters eyes, her father would’ve said . . . the eyes of a long and hard campaigner.  She added, “I’m willing to pay for information if you can help me find him.”  And Please God, she thought at the same time, don’t let this one be another crackpot, full of lies and a spinner of tall tales.

The stranger in the rumpled suit with the worn cuffs looked off to his left before turning back and gazing straight into her eyes.  “No ma’am.  I don’t.  I haven’t any news for yuh, but I do have a proposal that I believe can help both of us . . . if y’all’d care to listen.”

“You say you’re a Ranger.  Do you have any proof?  There’s been many who’ve come around looking for the reward money, but none of them had any validity.  No disrespect, but why should I believe you?”

“That’s a fair enough question,” he said as he pulled back his lapel with his left hand to display a five-pointed star, convex in shape, hand-hammered and filed from a single silver dollar with the words TEXAS RANGER etched into it.  “Here’s my badge, and you can wire Captain Wiley Newton at Division Headquarters down in Austin.  He’ll provide my bona fides for you.  And, as you can see, he’s the one who signed this here letter of introduction,” Pirtle added, and pulled an envelope with the Texas Ranger insignia on it from his inside coat pocket.  He removed the enclosed document and handed it to her.

She unlatched the door and took the missive, scanned it with care and handed it back to its owner.  She said, “Special Agent.  I’m impressed.  But what’s that got to do with finding my twin brother?”

“I’ll get to that.  It’s part of my proposal to you.”

She thought for a moment about asking him to leave.  But after a second or two of hesitation, she said instead, “When’s the last time you ate anything Mr. Pirtle?”

He looked down and said, “Yesterday mornin’, I guess.  Some jerky and a couple of corn dodgers.”

“Corn dodgers, huh.  Haven’t heard that expression for a while.  Were you in the war?”

“Yes’m.  I was.  Signed up with John Bell Hood and the Texas Brigade right after Shiloh.”

“Oh my . . . you must be brave.”

    ~~~

More about John McKenna, aka Garritt O’Dwaine: John Press photo

John Dwaine McKenna is an award-winning author, reviewer, commentator, publisher and lecturer living in southern Colorado.  His weekly column:  The Mysterious Book Report, appears in the Tri-Valley Townsman, a tabloid-sized regional newspaper published 49 times per year in Sullivan County, New York;  online at: Mysteriousbookreport.com, and Johndwainemckenna.com, as well as on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.  He has three prize-winning crime-fiction works to his credit: The Neversink Chronicles, The Whim-Wham Man, and Colorado Noir.  Currently, he’s working on his latest, a historical fiction crime novel entitled Unforsaken set in the year 1901 which features a woman named Ella Stringfellow, who’s searching for her missing brother and a determined, but conflicted Texas Ranger. He’s  20 years older than her, widowed, and fatally attracted.  He is also working, at the same time, on a crime-fiction thriller featuring serial character Jake McKern, a hard-boiled CSPD detective born and raised working in Colorado Springs.

~~~

Claire Gem writes contemporary romance and supernatural suspense. You can find out more about her and her work at her Amazon Author Page or her Website.

A Movie Review: Love Comes Softly

200px-Love_comes_softly

I am not one to watch television, but my husband loves movies, particularly westerns. Last evening, he stumbled across on oldie but goodie: Love Comes Softly, directed by Michael Landon, Jr. The film originally aired in 2003 on the Hallmark channel, and is based on a Christian series written back in the 90s by Janette Oke.

As I said, I’m not one to watch TV. But the movie was worth staying up for.

This, my friends, is what I consider a true romance. A young couple, Marty & Aaron, head out west to start their new life together, but the dream is not meant to be. Before they can even set up camp, Aaron goes after one of their horses who wandered off and dies in a tragic fall. Marty is pregnant, alone, and winter is coming.

A local widower, Clark, proposes to Marty on the day she buries her husband. He offers her a solution: marry him, help him over the winter to raise his 9-year old daughter, Missie, who desperately needs a woman’s influence. In the spring, he will provide passage for Marty to go back east, along with the baby he discovers she’s carrying. With no options, Marty accepts.

The couple are married in name only, and live in separate quarters. Missie resents Marty’s presence, and her efforts to coax the girl to act more like a girl. But gradually, Marty finds a way to earn Missie’s trust. The grieving faux family show signs of becoming a real one.

As an author of romance novels, I read and listen to hundreds of titles every year. I seek out what’s popular, what’s selling, trying to figure out what today’s romance audience wants. This movie had no sex, no foul language, no violence, no dead bodies (except for Marty’s husband at the beginning). Yet the story captured my attention from the first minutes and kept me riveted to the very end, where the first kiss between Marty and Clark represents the start of their new love.

It’s true, there is a minor religious element–it was, after all, a Christian novel. But there is certainly no Bible thumping or prosyletizing. A subtle reference to Clark’s God, in one scene, is the extent of the Christian element. Other than the absence of graphic love scenes or bloody violence.

This, my friends, is romance. By the end of the movie I was smiling with tears streaming down my face. This is, ultimately, the kind of love story I love–the kind of emotional experience I’d love to provide for my readers.

Am I alone? I know I’m older, but . . . Has this kind of pure romance–without all the sex and language and violence–really gone out of style? Is there still an audience for stories like Love Comes Softly?

heart-3147976_1280

Please share your thoughts in comments.

~~~

Claire Gem writes contemporary romance and supernatural suspense. And is strongly considering drifting over to the Inspirational side . . . visit her Amazon Author Page.

SigBar2018

A Real-Life Regency Era Scandal

Today I’m pleased to welcome historical author, Kryssie Fortune, to my blog to talk about her latest release Wickedly Used.

Picture1While he is no stranger to pleasurable company from ladies of the night, Major Richard Rothbury of the royal dragoons is not the kind of man who will stand idly by as a woman is taken against her will, and when he witnesses a disreputable cad attempting to force himself on a girl in a back alley, he does not hesitate to intervene.

But after the grateful young woman offers herself to Rothbury, he is shocked to discover that not only was she no harlot, she was a maiden and he has deflowered her. Furious at the girl’s scandalous behavior and her carelessness with her own safety, Rothbury chastises her soundly.

Though she is due to inherit one of the largest fortunes in England, the fact that she cannot touch the money until she marries or turns thirty has kept Elizabeth completely at the mercy of her cruel uncle, and for years she has been treated as if she were a servant. Her encounter with Lord Rothbury is by far the most exciting thing that has ever happened to her, but while he shows great concern for her safety, he refuses to believe that she is anything more than a serving girl.

Despite having made it clear that he doesn’t consider a match between them to be possible, when Elizabeth disobeys him Rothbury proves more than ready to strip her bare, punish her harshly, and then enjoy her beautiful body in the most shameful of ways. But can she dare to hope that he will one day make her his wife, or is she destined to spend her life being wickedly used?

Buy links:

Amazon USA     Amazon UK     Amazon Canada    Amazon Australia

Publisher’s Note: Wickedly Used: A Dark Regency Romance includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Kryssie, tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write Wickedly Used.

Lord Uxbridge, later Marquis of Anglesey in North Wales, almost came through the battle of Waterloo unscathed. An old-fashioned hero, he had eight horses shot from beneath him but always returned to the fray.Picture2

Even the Duke of Wellington praised his courage. As the battle died down, a cannon shot rang out.

Uxbridge turned to the Iron Duke and said, “By God Sir, I’ve lost my leg.”

Wellesley stared down his long nose and replied, “By God Sir, so you have.”

It all sounds very polite and terribly British, but that veneer hid their darker feelings. A little research showed me why.

(Photo Credit: {{PD-1923}} – published anywhere before 1923 & public domain in the U.S.)

In 1790 at the age of 22, Uxbridge raised a regiment of foot soldiers, the Staffordshire Volunteers, from his father’s tenantry.

Five years later, when he was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 16th Light Dragoons, he married the daughter of the Earl of Jersey, and they had eight children.  He led Sir John Moore’s cavalry in the battle of Corunna in 1809.

Enter Lady Charlotte Wellesley, sister-in-law to the Duke of Wellington. Uxbridge’s liaison with her Wellington’s sister prevented him from serving with Wellington again until Waterloo.

Married to Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley, she’d already birthed four children. Uxbridge become infatuated with her. In 1809 he persuaded her to elope with him. Afterword, he fought a duel with Wellington’s brother, Baron Cowley. Fortunately, neither man was hurt.

Henry Wellesley divorced his wife. Uxbridge’s wife divorced him for adultery. Before he could wed, a court ruled Uxbridge must pay £24,000 settlement to Wellington’s brother. Once wed, he and Charlotte went on to have ten children.

In times when divorce was unheard of the ensuing scandal must have been the talk of society.

Uxbridge commanded the cavalry and led a charge which helped rout the French at Waterloo.

Given their history, I don’t imagine much love was lost between Wellington and Uxbridge, no matter how much courage either showed on the battle field.

I loved researching the people and places associated with Waterloo for my dark Regency Romance, Wickedly Used.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today, Kryssie, and best of luck with Wickedly Used.

7mpSocial Media Links for Kryssie Fortune

Website      http://kryssiefortune.wixsite.com/kryssie

Blog            http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter         https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/KryssiesFortune

Pinterest      http://bit.ly/1OGFnjc

Goodreads     http://bit.ly/2kxqabJ

Amazon Author Page  http://amzn.to/2hA0ZVO