Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: The 10 commandments of Fiction Writing - Session 4:


7.) Be Critical of your work: You know others will be so you need to be too. The editing process (not the writing process - while in that process you just write) is where you have to use a critical eye to look at your work. Look at every scene and make sure it moves the story along. Make sure the words you’re using are the best ones to say what you want it to say. Does it flow properly? Are your words concise? Are your Characters likable? Is your villain strong? Is it three dimensional? Are you using all the senses? And the questions keep going...


8.) Develop Thick Skin: The writing world is filled with rejection. Editors will do it. So will readers and reviewers. If you don’t develop a thick skin some of those not so kind words will hurt and make you question your talent. People will cut down your work and sometimes is doesn't make sense. I once got a rejection letter from a publisher that was addressed to my husband. They took the name off the mailing label, totally ignoring the cover letter and cover sheet on the partial I mailed in. I've had not so nice reviews as well. Do they bother me, sure, but everyone is allowed their opinion and I try not to let them get to me.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Welcome My Newest Guest: Chris Redding!

I want to welcome Chris Redding. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I’m a published author of romantic suspense and romantic comedy.

Tell us about your latest release.

A View to a Nerd
Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day. When a wise-cracking interior decorator wants to put her past behind her, the dead body of the mayor’s son makes it pretty clear that won’t happen too easily. A conservative former computer geek for the FBI is holding on too tightly to his past. His wife died under suspicious circumstances and he believes the decorator has the information to solve the case. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t talking… until a series of events convinces her she needs protection, especially when her biggest secret threatens to destroy both their lives.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

Lisa Gardner wrote a book called The Perfect Husband. The so called perfect husband is such a great villain that if I were to say his name many years after I’ve read it, it would still give me chills. No, I am not naming him.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

I think Miriam in A View to a Nerd. She is most like me.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Mostly I write romantic suspense. I kept trying to write straight romance and people kept getting killed. I think it chose me. All those Agatha Christie books I read as a kid.

4.) What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on book one of a trilogy set on a winery. Three brothers in inherit a winery, but have to work there part of a year before they can do anything with their inheritance. Each brother gets a book and he has to find his place at the winery. Of course they will each find love.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I’ve been writing so long that I can’t remember that.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere. I work part time at a winery so that’s where I got the idea for the winery trilogy.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

That I can talk. A lot. My writing tends to be sparse so it does not reflect my personality.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I say what everyone in the room is thinking, but is unwilling to say.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Write every day. I did not believe it until I began doing it and it really does work.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Julia Child. I’d have her teach me how to debone a chicken.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Not sure there is just one song. Sorry.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?


A house cat. No one expects them to do anything, but sleep.



Blurb:


Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day. When a wise-cracking interior decorator wants to put her past behind her, the dead body of the mayor’s son makes her realize that won’t happen too easily. A conservative former computer geek for the FBI is holding on too tightly to his past. His wife died under suspicious circumstances and he believes the decorator has the information to solve the case. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t speaking until a series of events convinces her she needs protection, especially when her biggest secret threatens to destroy both of their lives. This was originally published as A View to a Kilt.

Excerpt:

“I just got a call from the Commissioner. He talked to the Mayor. If you weren’t finished, you would be now.”
The detective grumbled, but obeyed the order, turning off the recorder.
The Lieutenant shook his head as he ushered Miriam out of interrogation and down the hall to his office. “I’m sorry, Mim.  He’s a little overzealous. He’s new at this.”
“I’m sure he’s just doing his job, and considering what the situation looks like, I understand his position. By the way, someone hit me on the head.”
Bob stopped to examine her. “Guess the killer wanted you out for the count. I’ll get someone to take you to the hospital to get checked out.” He paused. They both stopped to face each other in the drab gray hallway. No pictures adorned the walls. He shuffled his feet then looked at her. “May I ask what your relationship with Joe Waltney was?”
She stared up at him. His eyes found a spot on the wall behind her to look at then the floor.
“I’ve given you no reason to believe you have the right to be jealous. Haven’t I made things clear? I’m only interested in friendship.”
They stared at each other for a moment before he nodded his head as if in agreement.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Release by Katya Armock - Monica's Match

Blurb:

Monica has the ability to see a guy’s aura light up the first time he touches his soul mate, but she’s kept it a secret since her parents shamed her as a child. Still, she decides to start her own matchmaking company—even if she doesn’t advertise her unique ability. Business is so-so until she gets a call to find matches for the singles of the small town of Perry Grove. She’s not looking for love herself but has an immediate attraction to one of her clients. Too bad another woman lit up his aura.

Hunky dairy farmer Jeremiah wants nothing to do with his grandpa’s hare-brained matchmaking scheme but agrees to play along to appease the man who raised him.  But when he meets the sexy matchmaker, he starts to rethink his single status. Too bad she’s intent on pairing him up with another woman. If there’s one thing he knows, though, it’s how to be stubborn.

Buy links:





Excerpt:

Monica Morgan slammed the door of her red Camry and kicked the offending tire for good measure. “Ow. Darn it!” Her sensible black flats were no match for the doughnut wheel. Smooth move, Sherlock. Get your head in the game. You need this job or your business is toast.
She took a moment for one deep breath then hurried to the entrance of the Perry Grove United Methodist Church. Before she reached the double door, it swung open and Ed Thompson greeted her with a kind smile. His white hair was a bit shaggier around the edges than when they’d met in person seven weeks ago. She’d spent that afternoon in Perry Grove meeting with only the town council, as she had a strict rule that she couldn’t come into contact with any potential bachelors or bachelorettes in public.
That edict had raised a few eyebrows, but in the end she had sold them on her “process” with no mention of the true reason for the rules. No one needed to know she saw a guy’s aura light up the first time he made physical contact with his soul mate. In a public setting, even one as small as Perry Grove, she ran the risk that more than one woman or man could brush against a man at the same time and mess up Monica’s aura-reading mojo. So she insisted on one-on-one intake interviews with each client early on. Then she oversaw each potential couple’s first contact with no other parties in the room under the guise of wanting to see their first impressions of each other in a closed environment.
Now that she was here for her extended stay, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson would be her hosts for the next month.
Mr. Thompson held the door for her. “Glad to see you made it in one piece. Lucky you were close enough you could make it on a doughnut, but now that you’re here, Sherman’ll get it fixed right up for you. He already ordered the tire. It’ll be in tomorrow.”
Pasting on her best professional smile, she headed down the walkway, hoping he hadn’t witnessed her meltdown. “Glad to be here and to see you again, Mr. Thompson.”
The crinkle around his cornflower-blue eyes deepened with his smile. “At your service. And I told you before to call me Ed. Now let’s get you settled. We have the bachelorettes from the dating pool in the fellowship hall downstairs and the bachelor in an adjacent room, as you requested. Pat Staley—she’s the church secretary in case you don’t remember her—called all the men for today to let them know the appointments have been pushed back a few hours.”
She did remember meeting Pat briefly, as she had made a point of recording everyone’s name, occupation, and relationships in the town. “Thank you for taking care of that, Mr. Thompson. I apologize again—”
He waved a dismissive hand as they reached the stairs. “Ed. And there’s nothing you can do about a flat tire except deal with it.”
She rolled her shoulders to ease some of her tension. She hated being late. “So your grandson is still up first, correct?” An involuntary shiver echoed through her just thinking about her first client’s dimpled smile and the striking blue eyes that stared at her from the photo she’d received along with his profile information—and how inappropriate that thought was. No dating clients.
“Don’t look so glum, girl. No one blames you for being late. Although, I should warn you that Jeremiah isn’t too excited to use your services. I have to admit I strong-armed him a bit, and he’s been stuck in the Sunday school room for a few hours. I was afraid if I let him leave, I’d never get him back, if you know what I mean.” He laughed and winked conspiratorially.
Well, that explained why he was one of the few clients for this job who hadn’t made the time to come meet with her at her office in Grand Rapids. This day just kept getting better and better. She focused on the steps. Grace wasn’t her strong suit, which was the main reason she wore flats for business and not heels. Not that she hadn’t tripped in flats before.
Mr. Thompson paused at the door to the fellowship hall. “Now, I don’t mean to scare you. He’ll behave himself. My wife and I are getting older, and we just want to see him settled and happy.”
Looking into his kind eyes, it was obvious how much he loved his grandson. The desire to help people find their happily ever after was why she was here—well, that and the money. With that pragmatic thought, her eyes lost their momentary mistiness. “I best get started. Point me in the right direction.”
He opened the door and ushered her in. She smiled politely at the single women and returned the wave from Edna Murray and Bea Walters, who were manning the refreshment station. She’d met the two older women during her planning session with the town council. Edna and her husband Gary owned the hardware store in town. Bea was a retired schoolteacher who’d appointed herself the town social coordinator and was Monica’s main contact for the biweekly social dances scheduled throughout her stay.
Ed also waved to Edna and Bea, then pointed to his right. “Down that hall. First door on the right.”
“Thank you.” She put on her practiced confident smile as she set off down the hall, her shoes making a quiet susurration on the threadbare, brownish carpeting. This was by far the most complex job she’d undertaken in the eight months she’d been in the matchmaking business, and she didn’t want to disappoint Ed or the other town council members. Everyone was so excited and hopeful that she’d find matches for their singles before any more of the younger generation gave up and moved away.
At the door, she paused and took a deep breath. She disliked the unknown of the meeting-the-client part of her job. Some had unrealistic expectations; others had no idea what they wanted. Some treated her like a therapist, and still others were just plain whacked. She’d yet to meet someone who had been coerced into the process as Jeremiah had. This was going to be fun.
Yeah, right.
She put her hand on the doorknob but paused again when she heard the murmuring of voices. Jeremiah should be alone, so she wondered if he was talking to himself. In different voices? Maybe he would fall into the whacked category after all. Or…
She flung the door open to see him seated on a table next to a buxom blonde with ridiculously high heels and an equally ridiculous low-cut top. Monica’s ire flared. “You didn’t follow instructions. I was clear that each client could not meet his or her potential dates until I was present.”
He didn’t flinch. Not a hint of remorse on his handsome face. “Monica, I presume? You were supposed to be here hours ago.”






About the Author

I like books that are funny and fun to read, but also make me think or look at the world in a new way. These days you’ll find me living my happily ever after in the Midwestern U.S. with my husband, dog and cats. I love to hear from readers, so please come find me on the Internet.

                    Website: http://katyaarmock.com/
                    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katyaarmock

                    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KatyaArmock

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

I decided to keep this holiday clear from my interviews. Don't worry they'll start right back up next weekend, but I knew I was having family in town and trying to unload an interview while they were here would be a little beyond me.

I did want to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Easter. I'm so glad spring is finally here. I've had enough of the snow and I don't live in the north where they got far too much.

Enjoy the day. Try not to eat too much candy. Hey, I know. I did the same thing.

Last thing, try to write tonight...


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: The 10 Commandments of Fiction Writing Session 3

Sorry I have been so sporadic. I'm hoping everything will calm down so I can get back to posting these great handout I have.

5.) Read – a lot: I agree with this. The one thing I find helps me with my writing is editing for another publisher. Most of what I read isn’t published books anymore because of my editing job, but boy has it made me a better writer. So read as much as you can. Everything and anything. Don’t just stick to one genre switch them out every once in a while.


6.) Stick to a Schedule: I can be a pretty good procrastinator. I think most of us are in one fashion or another. If you find you get sidetracked easily then you should set aside a certain amount of time to write every day. Try to do it at the same time each day. I know some authors who get up early to write, others write at night. And you don’t have to set a lot of time aside. Just fifteen minutes will do. You’ll find some days that fifteen minutes is all you’ll do, but other days that fifteen minutes will turn into several hours. Personally I start my writing around 8 p.m. and try to write until I go to bed. I get interrupted by my family but that is part of my routine and it works for me. Find something that works for you.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Meet my latest Guest! J.L.Sheppard

I want to welcome J.L. Shappard! First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I’m J.L. Sheppard.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release, Awaiting Fate, will be released March 27, 2015. It’s the first book of a spin-off series to my original series, Elemental Sisters. Awaiting Fate is the love story between Cain and Olivia. Cain is a demon warrior and Olivia is the princess to the Waden werewolf pack. This is a series, but like my original series, it is a standalone.

Here’s the blurb:

Cain Thaler’s lived more than four hundred years fighting rogue immortals, avenging the family he’d lost. It’s all he’s needed, all he’s wanted. That changes the fateful day he lays eyes on his fated mate. Olivia Waden, a werewolf princess, is nothing like him. Unwilling to give her up, he sets a plan into motion: ignoring his need to claim her, he befriends her.

Despite Cain’s best efforts at friendship, Olivia has fallen hard for him. It is him she dreams of, him she wants as her fated mate. But she is sure he doesn’t feel the same way. In way over her head, she has no option but to run away from the only man she’s ever loved.

Will Cain find Olivia before it’s too late or will their differences tear them apart?

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

I don’t have one in books. As far as television shows, I’d have to say the Reaper (George Foyet) from Criminal Minds.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

Cain is my favorite character. When I started writing, I had the idea of writing a series about sisters with extraordinary abilities, abilities that don’t evolve until they meet their fated mates. I titled the series Elemental Sisters. In the first book, Demon King’s Desire, I created Cain as a secondary character. He’s a warrior, second in command to the demon king, Lucas who is the hero. I never thought Cain would have his own book, but as I wrote Elemental Sisters II then III, I fell more and more in love with him (with his carefree, lightheartedness) and decided he needed his happy ending too.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I started writing paranormal romance because that’s what I liked to read the most. I have since branched out and started writing contemporary romance. I’ve completed two contemporary romance novels and I’m writing the third now, although none of those are published as of yet. Hopefully, within the next year, the first will be contracted. 

4.) What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a different series, a contemporary romance series.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I loved to read. I always wanted to write (even as a little girl). One day, I thought ‘if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it.’ So I did.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

My ideas come spur of the moment and usually at the most inopportune times.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

Since I write romance, I’d say the fact that I love crime shows and watch them over and over again would surprise people.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Sadly, no.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Ignore reviews. Everyone has an opinion and not everyone is going to like what you write. It’s hard to keep that in mind when you spent so much time imaging, writing, editing and promoting your book, but for the sake of keeping my sanity, I’ve made it stick.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Well, this will sound odd, so I’ll preface it by saying criminology intrigues me. Literally, the channel Identification Discovery is on at all times of the day in my house. If the television isn’t on ID, then that’s because Criminal Minds is on (which will be changing very soon as my baby boy turns into a toddler). That said, I’d like to talk to the Zodiac Killer, just because I want to know who he is.  

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

It would depend on the time in my life. I’d say a lot of songs hit home. There are certain songs that I hear every now and then that take me back to certain times in my life. For example, Good Riddance by Green Day reminds me of my high school graduation. I have no idea why, considering it wasn’t our class song. The Fray’s album How to Save a Life reminds me of my junior year in college. I used to listen to that whole album in entirety over and over again. LOL. That’s the way I am with music though. When I like a song or album, I listen it on replay.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

Dolphin because they always look so free and happy.


Will Cain find Olivia before it's too late or will their differences tear them apart?
Blurb:

Cain Thaler’s lived more than four hundred years fighting rogue immortals, avenging the family he’d lost. It’s all he’s needed, all he’s wanted. That changes the fateful day he lays eyes on his fated mate. Olivia Waden, a werewolf princess, is nothing like him. Unwilling to give her up, he sets a plan into motion: ignoring his need to claim her, he befriends her.
Despite Cain's best efforts at friendship, Olivia has fallen hard for him. It is him she dreams of, him she wants as her fated mate. But she is sure he doesn't feel the same way. In way over her head, she has no option but to run away from the only man she's ever loved.
Will Cain find Olivia before it's too late or will their differences tear them apart?
Excerpt:

“What?” She managed the strength to mumble.
He drew closer, pressing his chest against hers. The heat of his body caressing hers, she grew warm with craving. Helplessly, her gaze drifted to his thick full lips. Her mind wandered. What she’d give for a kiss, a single mind-blowing kiss?
Cheeks flushing, her gaze darted toward his again. “Why are you…” Her body’s desires overwhelming her, she gasped for breath.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were leaving?”
He wasn’t just angry. He was livid, and he was livid with her because she’d left.
She didn’t know what to say, had no excuse, not one she could tell him anyway.
Shutting his eyes firmly, his anger intensified, coiling rapidly against her until she not only felt it but tasted it. Still, she wasn’t afraid. With each passing moment, all she felt was heat, his and hers, and how badly she wanted him.

“Answer me,” he demanded harshly. “Tell me why you left without telling me!”
His tone startling her, she jolted against him, her body rubbing his. A desire so powerful rippled through her and spiraled inside her, pooling liquid between her legs. It clouded her every thought and every action, so as she stared straight into his eyes, she couldn’t remember what he’d said.
Clenching his jaw, he ground his teeth in anger, so close to losing it. “Olivia, tell me!”

BIO:

J.L. Sheppard was born and raised in Miami, Florida where she still lives with her husband and son.
As a child, her greatest aspiration was to become a writer. She read often, kept a journal and wrote countless poems. She attended Florida International University and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelors in Communications. During her senior year, she interned at NBC Miami, WTVJ. Following the internship, she was hired and worked in the News Department for three years.

It wasn’t until 2011 that she set her heart and mind into writing her first completed novel, Demon King’s Desire, which was published in January of 2013.

Besides reading and writing, she enjoys traveling and spending quality time with family and friends.
Previous Releases:

Demon King’s Desire, Elemental Sisters I: January 2013
Burdened by Desire, Elemental Sisters II: January 2014
Heavenly Desire, Elemental Sisters III: September 2014
Contact:



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Please Welcome My Newest Guest Jacquie Biggar!

I want to welcome Jacquie Biggar! First, I’d love you to introduce yourself.

From the time I was twelve years old, I knew I wanted to be a writer.

I grew up, got married, raised a family and left my writing urges to simmer in the background unattended.

I owned and operated a successful diner in my hometown for a number of wonderful years before deciding to live my dream of becoming an author.

My first book, Tidal Falls, a romantic suspense novel about second chances, released September of 2014.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release, The Rebel’s Redemption, is the story of Jared Martin and Annie Campbell. Jared first shows up in Tidal Falls and insisted on his own book. What choice did I have? <g>

Annie Campbell has made a good life for her and her young son in the mountain town of Tidal Falls. She’s dating the sheriff, owns a successful business, and has the support of the community.

So why isn’t it quite enough?

Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth, and now, after eight years in the military, he returns a bitter, disillusioned man.

Then he finds out he’s a father.

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew, or will it be too late?

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

I’d have to say Red from The Blacklist on TV. He’s irreverent, immoral, and sometimes violent. But yet, to those he cares about, he’ll do anything in his power to protect and cherish them. He’s the perfect anti-hero.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

Definitely Jared from The Rebel’s Redemption. He’s sarcastic, smart, loyal, and a little screwed up. His character just leaps off the page and grabs your heart.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Romantic suspense. I’ve always gravitated to books where the suspense has a strong part of the plotline. The hero and heroine have to overcome seemingly overwhelming odds to achieve a HEA in the end.

4.) What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the third book in The Wounded Hearts series, Twilight Theatre. This is Ty Garrett’s story. Ty is an old friend of Jared’s. He stayed in Tidal Falls, their hometown, and made a career for himself in the restoration business. He’s hired to renovate the old Twilight Theatre for his ex-girlfriend’s upcoming wedding. When she turns up in town early, emotions get out of hand. Then accidents begin happening on the jobsite. Can Ty contain his feelings long enough to get the job done? And who is trying to sabotage his work?

5.) What got you to start writing?

I began back in grade school with an English assignment. I couldn’t come up with any ideas and time was running out for turning it in, I was desperate. My mom had this vase of daffodils sitting on the table and all the sudden I came up with my story, Count Daffodil. It received the highest mark in my grade and was read out to the school through the loudspeaker. Needless to say, I was hooked.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

My ideas come from current events I’ve heard or read about. Something will catch my eye and then the what ifs begin, and so the storyline forms.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

Hmm, good question. Maybe that I’m a grandma who has a lead foot. My DH recently bought me my dream car, a 5.0 Mustang. It’s shiny and black and goes like Jack the bear, I love it!

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Rose gardening. I love roses and currently have about fifty different varieties growing in my yard.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Be social. You need to gain a following on Social Media if you want to sell books. But don’t fall into the trap of being a door-to-door salesman. No one likes to have things shoved in their face. Be friendly, be thoughtful, be funny. The rest will fall into place.

10.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A cat. They’re fiercely independent, yet when they love, it’s a gift.





The Rebel”s Redemption:

Annie Campbell's predictable and cozy life gets turned on its side when her son's prodigal father returns to town. Then an old enemy shows up and the outcome will not only place her in danger, but their son as well.

Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth, and has seen his share of violence in the eight years he’s served Uncle Sam. Floundering, he returns to his hometown to regain his bearings, bitter and disillusioned.
Then he finds out he’s a father.

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew, or will it be too late?

Excerpt:

Jared stepped off the back deck and crunched through the newly fallen leaves, whistling for Jake. All that answered him was the rasping hiss of an old barn owl disturbed from his perch. Where the hell? He shook his head and started down the sidewalk, hoping he hadn’t gotten too far. Jared had already learned Jake had a mind of his own earlier in the day when they’d gone for a walk. They’d started out with Jake practically dancing with excitement, stopping to sniff out every other bush. But when Jared turned north at the end of the block intending to stop by his old friend, Ty Garrett’s place, Jake balked and headed off in the opposite direction.

“When Nick gets back, I’m having a little chat with him. Puppy obedience school mean anything to you?”
As they neared the end of the next block he suddenly got an idea of where Jake might be heading in such an all-fired hurry. Sure enough, the dog detoured into the next alley and headed straight for the back door of the Grits and Grace CafĂ©. Damn. Jared had planned to let his mother know he was back in town. He just hadn’t had a chance yet. He could just imagine her surprise. He’d stayed away for years, now here he was back for the second time after only a few months.

The smell of fried onions and bacon had his stomach rumbling. Jake stood at attention, eyes trained on the screen door where they could hear the sizzle and hiss of frying and the faint sounds of the morning crowd waiting to chow down. His tail began wagging a second before the back door slammed back on its hinges and out came his mom’s best friend and long-time employee, Susan. She held a large ham bone in one hand while the other reached for a pack of smokes from inside her shirt. “Good morning, Jake. I thought I heard you out here. Look what Grace saved for you, lucky boy.” She held it out and the contrary mutt wrapped gentle teeth around the hank and sank to the ground to feast.

Susan caught sight of Jared and let out a squeal he was pretty sure could be heard three states over, before rushing to throw herself into his arms. The remembered scents of coffee, fryer, and smoke from her graying hair made his arms clench her tight.

“Jared Matthew Martin, what in the world are you doing hiding out in back alleys? Does your momma know you’re here? She never made a single peep about it. I can’t believe you’re back in town. You look good, a little thin, but good. Your mom’s cooking will fix that soon enough. Well come on, what do you have to say for yourself, cat got your tongue?”

He laughed and tightened his arms around her skinny ribs once more before setting her back to get a good look at her. “How can I get a word in edgewise with you blathering on like that?” He ducked and grinned when she gave him a cuff on the shoulder. She looked just the same, a few more lines at the edges of her eyes, maybe a couple of age spots he didn’t recall, but otherwise just the same.

“When are you going to let me take you out on the town, Sue. We’d show ‘em how to have a good ol’ time.”

“You haven’t changed a bit, you rascal. Still the handsomest devil I know. Biggest charmer too,” she quipped. Her eyes shone with mirth, obviously not buying his blarney. “So really, what are you doing back in our neck of the woods? And why do you have Nick Kelley’s dog, Jake?”

Hearing his name, Jake’s ears perked and he looked from one to the other of them as if to say, “See, aren’t you glad I brought you here?”

Jared explained he was dog-sitting, and gazed enviously as Sue lit one up before offering him the pack.

He shook his head regretfully. “Those things are going to kill you, you know.”

She rolled her eyes in reply.

“I just arrived yesterday, and haven’t had time yet to call Ma. So no, she wasn’t keeping any secrets from you.” He leaned a little closer and inhaled as her smoke billowed into the air.

“Well, you’d better go in and see her now. It won’t be long before she knows you’re here. You know this town.” She winked and gave him a little nudge.

Yeah, he did. That was one of the reasons he’d left.

Suddenly Jake stood, his focus back on the screen door of the diner. With a joyful yelp he took off running just as two young children came tumbling out the back door. “Susan,” a little tow-headed girl called, “Grace says you better get back in there before she blows a gasket. A big crowd of high school kids just came in.”

It was Jessica Sheridan, Sara’s daughter. A young boy followed close behind. Jared remembered her from his trip with Frank to Tidal Falls last spring. When they caught sight of Jake, both kids started chattering like a couple of magpies. “Jake, what are you doing here, boy? Look, Chris, it’s Jake.” Jessica threw her arms around her beloved pet as the boy, Chris, looked on with a wistful smile.

“I see that, silly. Hi, Jake. Hi, boy. How you doing, Jake?” He tentatively held out his hand. Jake gave him a big sloppy lick, and a spontaneous giggle erupted from the kid.

Jared squinted, and took a closer look at the child. That laugh, it sounded familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it. He stood a little shorter than Sara’s daughter, sturdy with reddish-brown hair and a splatter of freckles across his cheeks and nose. When the kid realized there was someone on the other end of Jake’s leash and looked up at him, Jared sucked in a harsh breath. Those eyes. He knew someone with that exact shade of fern green eyes. That giggle…suddenly all the dots connected and his guts tightened up like he’d been sucker-punched.

Annie.    


and buy link for the book: http://bit.ly/14PHxfM

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shameless Promoting: Hidden Desire is out!

I am doing the happy dance! How wants to dance with me?  Book 8 of the Vespian Way has been released in multiformat e-book as well as trade paperback! It's now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and ARe ... all the normal places:

Phaze Books:
http://www.phaze.com/book.php?title=Hidden+Desire

Here's the ARe link - and it;s on sale!
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hiddendesire-1765602-340.html

And it's now at B&N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1121476346?ean=2940151550048

And Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Desire-Vespian-Way-Book-ebook/dp/B00UY0PTTI/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1426810361&sr=1-2

Oh and for those of you who participated in the RHA Cafe blog hop - I haven't picked my winner yet so now you have a chance to win this brand spanking new book as well.  I hope to pick a winner by the weekend...


I also did a blog at ARe about what drove me to write the series
http://www.arecafe.com/cafe-news/barbara-donlon-bradley-writing-the-vespian-way-series/

Anyway, here is the cover again...


And here is the blurb and excerpt...

Blurb:
Heather wants to fight beside her people, not watch from a safe distance. So when her brother comes up with a way to disguise her she jumps at the chance. Now she can try out for an elite team to help defeat Reasta, who has a stronghold on their planet. No one knows who she is, including her mate, who has also been disguised. They must find each other, qualify for the team and help rescue the elders without being found out.

Excerpt:
Heather had been dropped off near one of the security outposts, where she had been told by Kuarto to sign in, then was directed to the large cave nearby. She saw about eighty other soldiers with her. This small a crowd should make it easy for her to find her mate, if he had been dropped off at the same place. Looking around, she didn’t see anyone who fit his build and height right away. She’d have to search for him later. The meeting was about to start.
Fridon’s image stood in front of them, waiting for everyone to gather and quiet down. “All of you are here because of your records. I am looking to put together several more elite teams to infiltrate our enemies’ stronghold. Our war is a private one, not sanctioned by the council. They have been compromised and can’t help us right now, so we need to help them.”

Soldiers around her murmured amongst themselves.

“As with any elite team, you must be tested. Once you leave this cave you will find out what your destination is. You’ll have two days to get there. That is all.”

As they filed out, they were given a handheld that contained all the information they needed to get to their destination. Heather looked at hers as she followed the people in front of her. Interesting. She had two days to get to the target that normally took three days to travel on foot if they followed the basic paths, and they weren’t allowed to use any sort of transportation because it could be traced. She grinned. This was going to be fun.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

My Newest Guest: Jan Meredith!

I want to welcome Jan Meredith. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Thank you so much for having me here today! Hey, everyone! My name is Jan Meredith. I’m married to my high school sweet heart, have two grown sons, both of whom chose the same original career as me—registered nurse. I’m a true Southern gal and live eight miles from Mammoth Cave National Park, in Kentucky. And now, I’m an author!

Tell us about your latest release.

PLAYING DOCTOR is my debut release with Entangled Publishing’s super sexy imprint, Brazen, about Dr. Gabe North, who has spent the past two years dealing with over his wife’s death and is now ready to move on and Beth Roberts, RN, a survivor of domestic violence. After meeting at a wedding, they have a one-night-stand which turns into so much more.

I’m happy to say that the book has been the recipient of the 2014 HOLT Medallion Award of Merit for Best First Book and Best Romance Novella.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why

Loki, because you never know what he’s going to do, and you can’t help but love him no matter what he does.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

While I totally love Dr. Gabriel North from PLAYING DOCTOR, I have to say that Eve, from the follow up book, EDUCATING EVE is my favorite at the moment. First there’s her personality—she’s a bit eccentric, but that’s because she’s a writer. She’s very straight forward, has an awesome sense of humor that tends to drive the hero, Ian, a bit nuts, but doesn’t stop him from coming back for more. She’s loyal to the bone and has absolutely no time for drama.

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I write sexy contemporary romance. While I love reading paranormal and historical romance, I find that writing in present time works best for me.


4.) What are you working on now?

I’m working on the follow up book after PLAYING DOCTOR, a friends-to-lovers romance about the secondary characters, Eve Winters and Ian Montgomery, titled, EDUCATING EVE. Ian is a Navy SEAL home on leave to attend his brother’s wedding and let his injuries heal from his last mission while deciding where he wants to go with his military career. Eve is an erotic romance author, but due to her less than satisfying love life, is having problems penning her love scenes. I think you can see where things go from here!

5.) What got you to start writing?

I’ve been a lover of romance novels since my teens, but I didn’t really get into them until the 80’s with the introduction of the sexier Silhouette Desire and Loveswept imprints. I couldn’t stop reading them and one day decided to try my hand at writing one. It’s tucked away in a boot box with a whole bunch of red mark-ups from my “unofficial” agent at the time. One day, I plan to pull it out, dust it off and give it a rewrite and make it a part of a series I plan to write.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Oh, gosh, so many places. I love music and have written entire scenes based on a song. I’m very visual, also, and a photograph can inspire anything from a scene to an idea for an entire book.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

That I met and fell in love with my husband when I was in the second grade when I saw him laughing on the school bus. We were high school sweethearts with an on-again/off-again/on-again romance that lasted through his stint in the Army…and is still going.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I’m a total right brain person and constantly look for creative outlets. I quilt, not just by the block, but with all those pretty swirly designs. I decorate cakes, sew and make my own beaded shepherd’s hook and thong bookmarkers. I love my Photoshop Elements software, and totally enjoy making book teasers and covers.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

When I first began writing, I had this awesome story in mind, but struggled with trying to bend it to fit a particular publisher’s guidelines—very strict ones, and spent the majority of my time between constantly referring back to the list of “dos and don’ts” and staring at the blinking cursor in fear that what I wanted to write wouldn’t fit into their mold. It drove me crazy.

I received very valuable advice from several writers, both aspiring and published that really helped, but still found myself unable to get my story down. Finally, my eldest son stepped up and said, “Stop writing for a faceless publisher, forget the guidelines and tell your story the way you need to tell it, then work it out with your editor after you sell the book. The main thing is to write it.” He was absolutely right. Yes, the edits were extensive, but between myself, Heather Howland, Tahra Seplowin and Kerri-Leigh Grady, we did it, and came away with an award winning book.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

I would love to sit down with the late John F. Kennedy, to see what he has to say about the state of the world now and how he would attempt to make it better.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Wow, tough question. As a lover of pop, rock and metal, there are too many choices to settle on just one. I do have a habit of greeting the mid-shift doctor in the ER with, “Follow me into the jungle,” so I guess it would be, Jamie N. Commons and X Ambassadors, JUNGLE. Plus, I just like the song!

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A bird. They’re free, depend on no one and best of all, they can fly.




Blurb:

One night with a sexy stranger is just what the doctor ordered...

When a fellow RN predicts Beth Roberts will meet a tall, ripped, and totally lick-o-licious stranger who will fulfill her deepest desires, she laughs it off. Given her tragic love life, Beth has no desire to become involved again. But who could have predicted the doctor with the mischievous smile she meets at a wedding, or the chemistry sparking between them that threatens to break through her defenses?

Dr. Gabriel North spent two years blaming himself for his wife’s death. Having finally battled through the guilt and overcome his demons, he’s ready to move on. When he meets a sexy nurse at his friend’s wedding, the attraction is swift and strong, and he wastes no time in pressing his advantage. One night with the woman who makes him feel alive again isn’t enough, but gaining Beth’s trust is going to take more than seduction…


Excerpt: PLAYING DOCTOR

Taking advantage of the quiet moment and the opportunity to get off her feet, Beth chose a table under one of the huge white reception tents and took a seat, then immediately wished she had stopped at the bar for a bottle of water. She pulled the band from her ponytail and gave her hair a quick finger-comb as she glanced around, hoping to catch one of the wait staff. Instead, she saw Dr. North, his long legs quickly eating up the distance between them with a sexy, loose-hipped stride that made her mouth water and start up a whole different kind of thirst.

He had a drink in each hand and an expression of pure male determination on a face that was melt-your-thong handsome, and yes, a faint cleft bisected his chin, as if his maker had reached out and gently tapped him with a let him be a hottie finger.

He stopped at her table and grinned, the same sex-you-up grin he’d given her earlier that shifted her hormones into high gear all over again.

Beth bit back a groan. Ground, just open up and swallow me whole. What in the world had she been thinking, doing that eye flirty-thingy with him? It was just a game, payback for the sizzling once-over he’d given her earlier. He wasn’t supposed to follow up on it for crying out loud, and he definitely had a follow up on it look in his eye. There had been no time for embarrassment while working on Albert, but now here he stood, larger than life and twice as sexy.

Without waiting for an invitation, Gabe dropped onto the chair beside Beth and slid one of the tall, sweating glasses in front of her. “Now that we have Albert squared away and his family reassured, let’s say we start over? Hi, I’m Gabriel North.”

Gabriel, huh? Earlier, while working over Albert, it had been Gabe. Now it was Gabriel. Bet he used that on all the girls, and ten-to-one, it worked every time. Beth managed to tear her gaze away from the most gorgeous pair of brown eyes she’d ever seen and looked down at the hand he held out to her. She slid her palm over his, totally unprepared for the frisson of heat that moved over her skin when his fingers closed around hers.

“Beth Roberts,” she replied around what felt like a bale of cotton in her mouth. She pulled her hand from his and reached for her glass, the condensation a cool shock against fingers still sizzling from his touch.

Beneath the table, his thigh brushed hers and then lingered, igniting a shimmer of warmth under her skin. A flicker of apprehension coursed through her, then quickly faded and she relaxed. In the four years since being subjected to Jamie’s abuse, she’d gotten past shying away from men in general. She no longer flinched at a sudden move or expected to be shoved out of the way during times of unexpected close proximity. She didn’t know Gabriel, but felt oddly at ease with him, sensing nothing threatening or presumptuous in his actions. It was as though he simply…belonged. Working alongside someone, fighting to pull life back into another human formed a common bond between people—even if those people had been heavily eye-flirting only moments before, she thought grimly.

“Thank you for the drink.” She picked up the glass, took a cautious sip.

“Water and lemon. I didn’t know your preference, and it seemed the safest choice.”

Beth watched as he lifted his glass to his mouth and drank deeply. She swallowed as if the cool liquid was sluicing down her own suddenly parched throat and wondered how the simple act of water sliding past his lips could appear so erotic. And the way he licked it from his lips—not a regular old dart-and-swish, mind you, but a leisurely swipe of his tongue, and she could almost feel the rasp of it along the seam of her…

Heat, dark and rich, infused her sex. She shifted in her chair and tipped her hips down in attempt to relieve the ache building there, only to find it heightened the sensation.

“It’s not very comfortable, is it?”

Blinking, Beth watched Gabe’s mouth curl into a slight smile. When she looked up, a glint of amused hunger brightened his eyes.

He knows. He knows what he’s doing to me. How freaking embarrassing! And how incredibly hot.

She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry?” Was that her voice, all breathy and sultry?

He paused, studied her for a moment, and then said, “The chair…it’s not very comfortable.”

Relief washed over her, quickly followed by a touch of disappointment. Had she misread him? “No, no it isn’t.” To prove it, Beth shifted again and crossed her legs. She groaned inwardly when the change of position rubbed her thighs and the needy territory between them together, intensifying her little problem.

“Sometimes,” Gabe started thoughtfully, turning his glass in small half circles on the tabletop and drawing her attention there. His broad thumb streaked the condensation on the glass and then paused to slowly circle one small area. Beth scrunched down a little and squeezed her thighs together. 
“Sometimes, you have to find just the right…spot.”

Clench!

“Yes, well,” Beth clamped her fingers around her glass. Her toes curled inside her shoes. She shifted slightly, dragging her gaze up from the motion of his thumb on the glass. Warm, observant eyes looked back at her, full of promise and possibilities. Well. Maybe she hadn’t misread him after all. “Fortunately, I won’t be sitting on it for long.”

“Fortunately,” he agreed solemnly.

Beth’s eyes narrowed. Were his lips twitching? Frowning, she willed her body to behave. Easier said than done, with that hard length of muscled thigh pressing against hers each time either of them moved. “You were saying?”


Web page: http://www.janmeredithauthor.com/  [has buy links]