Sunday, June 11, 2017

From the Critique Corral: Barbara Bettis!!!

The Lady of the Forest

By Barbara Bettis


He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart? When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty. Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate's past catches her. When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.

 Excerpt: He was a fine specimen of a knight. Pity he had to die. Lady Katherine, late of Stonehill Castle, straddled a low-slung branch and watched the intruder work toward her. Closer he came, guiding his black gelding in a careful walk as he searched the October leaves mounding the forest floor. Late-afternoon sun reflected off his arm, and she bit back a curse. The traitor wore chain mail beneath his deep green surcoat. Of course. Why would her task be easy? At least his coif lay folded back to expose his head. She could strike there. Sharp, thick bark bit through Kate’s rough hose. She ignored the discomfort and leaned forward for a better look. Another sunbeam touched the rider’s rich chestnut hair. A strand drooped across his forehead. He shoved it back with a ruthless jab, revealing a wide brow and strong nose. From her vantage point, he looked to be a fearsome warrior. Pray God he didn’t glance up. The ancient oak’s few tenacious leaves didn’t provide nearly enough cover. But his attention never wavered. One step, then another brought him nearer. She curled in her lips to cushion her teeth and gripped the knife between them. Breath by shallow, silent breath, she eased into a crouch. Balanced on her toes. Blanked her mind. And waited. He stopped. Right beneath her perch.  Praise God. Kate slid the knife into her hand and jumped.

 Buy Link:

BIO for Barbara Bettis
Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math. Through careers as a reporter, editor and, later, a college journalism and English professor, she’s retained her fascination with history. Give her a research book and a pot of tea, and she’s happy for hours. But what really makes her smile is working on a new story. She now lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a mild-mannered English teacher and by night she spins tales of heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Author Round-up presents Rachel Jones

Taking a Chance on Love
From childhood, Virginia Manning has planned for a career as a concert clarinetist. Blindsided by family circumstances, her plans are interrupted, taking her down a path she would never have chosen. As a music teacher, Virginia’s relationship with the football coach goes from problematic to romantic. After Blake’s brush with death, a scared Virginia runs away looking for the contentment music has always brought to her life. Blake Oliver has experienced disappointment and pain, so he opts for a fresh start in a small New England town. Accepting the position of football coach, he isn’t looking for love when it finds him. When Virginia leaves to pursue a performance career, Blake realizes it’s not where you live but having someone to love that matters. His only problem is making her understand that as well.


Blake was awake when Virginia entered the ICU cubicle. She pushed a chair against the hospital bed so she could hold his hand.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” he said.
Virginia looked at the tiny lines etched on his face. She wished she had magical powers and could erase them and all the pain he had endured the last few days since the accident. “The nurse said I could sit with you. Where’s your father?”
“Stephen took him home to sleep for a while. He’ll be back later.” Blake shifted toward her and released a groan.
“I hate to see you hurting.”
“My nurse was just here asking if I wanted pain medicine. He’s coming back. I would have waited to take the pain killer if I had known a beautiful woman would be stopping by to visit.”
“Good,” she said. “I’m glad you’re not one of those macho men who think it’s not masculine to take pain medicine when you need it.”
“Normally I wouldn’t. But since I’ve had surgery on my leg and I’m dealing with cracked ribs, a punctured lung, and a ruptured diaphragm, I’m willing to compromise my macho image and take the pain killers.”
Virginia frowned at the reminder of what he had been through. The nurse returned with a syringe in his hand. He scanned Blake’s armband and the barcode on the syringe then made a few clicks at the bedside computer.
As he pushed the medication into Blake’s IV line, he said, “Mr. Oliver, this will help with the pain, but it will make you drowsy. Sleep’s not a bad thing since your body needs rest to heal.”
Virginia smiled, knowing he would be escaping from his pain if only for a while. “I’m going to sit here and hold your hand until they throw me out.”
Blake’s eyes flickered open and shut a few times then remained closed. She whispered a prayer for strength, to help her be strong for him. The beeps of the heart monitor became rapid and other alarms sounded. Blake’s nurse rushed into the cubicle. He hit the red button on the wall and shouted, “I need help in here. He’s in V-fib.”
Virginia jumped up from her chair as the space filled with hospital personnel. She was pushed back and then outside. Leaning against the full-length window to support her trembling legs, she was aware of the dampness of her skin. Terror gripped her heart as she watched the surreal scene through the glass partition. The nurse performed chest compressions and in the dream state dominating her consciousness, she wondered if Blake’s chest would hurt later from the contact. Unable to move, her mind became mesmerized by the organized events unfolding in front of her.
A man with neatly combed hair in a white coat said, “Give Amiodarone, three hundred milligrams.”
Someone echoed, “Pushing Amiodarone, three hundred milligrams.”
Another set of hands gave the man paddles attached to the defibrillator on the crash cart. “Set to two hundred joules. Clear,” he said as placed the paddles on Blake’s chest and discharged the shock, causing his body to jump. Virginia watched as everyone paused and then someone uttered the words, ‘sinus rhythm,’ which brought a collective sigh of relief. Most everyone dispersed leaving only a few people at the bedside.
Blake’s nurse came to her and said, “He’s stable, but he’ll be sleeping for awhile. We’ll be watching him closely.”
Virginia brushed at the tears on her cheek. The nurse took a box of tissue from the counter and pushed it toward her. “I know this was a harsh thing to witness. You should go, try to rest and you can come back later.”
“Will he be all right? Could this happen again?”
“Mr. Oliver’s body has been through a lot. But he’s young and healthy. I’m sorry, but I need to get back inside.”
“Please, take care of him.” These were the same words she uttered as she passed the nurses’ station after each visit. But this time, the words were a special plea after witnessing how precarious his medical situation was. If she stayed, her heart would once again be vulnerable as in the past.
Virginia turned and walked away, trying to process what had happened as she moved toward the waiting room to call Blake’s father. The pain in her heart was genuine. An intense pain that went beyond her heart and stirred her soul. Was this what it felt like to lose someone who had become so entwined in your life? She wasn’t sure she would want to go on living if Blake didn’t survive his injuries.
A registered nurse by night and a writer by day sums up Rachel’s present life. She loves composing stories about strong women and sweet romance. Her books reflect her love of the performing arts. A career in healthcare has influenced the threads of medical drama woven into her storylines.
When she’s not working or writing, Rachel loves traveling, sewing and making music. She lives in Kennesaw, Georgia with her husband of thirty-nine years. They have three grown children and a spoiled Labrador retriever. Rachel is a member of Georgia Writers Association, Heart of Dixie Romance Writers, Georgia Romance Writers and is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Wyatt's Bounty coming April 12th, 2017!!!!! Here is an excerpt!

Wyatt's Bounty Excerpt!

                "I loved you...long before Israel died." The confession rocked her thoughts. She had loved Israel, but she had longed for Wyatt years before Israel had died. It had been wrong and there were times it made her feel like she hadn’t done right by her deceased husband. She weaved her fingers into Wyatt’s, touching with tenderness where the fracture had been. “I did, right or wrong. I mean...I loved Israel, we had so much in common with his study of science and plants and my study of medicine, but I was guilty of dreaming for you long before...he died."
                His smile was tender as he lifted her chin. “I’ve known that for a long time, Doc. And I can’t count how many nights I lay awake, wishing I were holding you.”
                She held tighter to him. “And when you left Cheyenne, it was all my fault. I knew I had made a mistake. I wasn’t even myself without you. It was as if I kept falling and falling, never hitting the ground to land anywhere.”
                With that he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her. “I’ll always be here to catch you, Doc, always.”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Less than a month now!!

Its been an exciting year since the March 18, 2016 release of Sawyer's Rose. And as I now wait not so patiently for the release of book two in the McCades of Cheyenne series...WYATT'S BOUNTY I can only smile. Dreams do in fact come true as always in my case with hard work, perserverance, determination and even prayer.

I was thinking back to when I started writing Sawyer's Rose. I had recently joined RWA and GRW and with what I had learned in a short few meetings, I realized the stories I had been working on didn't fit in the "romance box" of what was required to possibly get published. So I started over on a whim...I set out to write inside that box about some kind of mail-order-bride meets sherrif story to learn the ropes so to speak.

Well, what I learned was that I had done better at the process of writing though I still had a lot to learn and still do but somehow I hadnt written a story that fell fully into the romancs box. And so for those folks aspring to write...I rewrote Sawyer's Rose nine times with three major story changes on three of those writes. What I did finally figure out is while I wrote western historical romance, I didnt write enough western to identify myself in the category of westerns, i.e. my cowboys carry revolvers but I often do not describe exactly what kind. And for those true romance readers sometimes the cowboy stuff and family drama are not what they were looking for though many gave the story good ratings.

So I do think I have something going here but the biggest thing is you just have to keep writing what you write. I know I have likeable characters and romance and family saga and the old west all wrapped up in a story that still doesn't fall into that romance box but seems to leave readers waiting on the next story. And its been very humbling to have people I don't even know tell me they loved this story or that character or they cant wait for the next book. Wow...people are really reading.

And so as I anxiously await the April 12th release of Wyatt's Bounty I am excited and nervous at the same time. Will people like the story and will it sell as well as Sawyer's Rose has? The one thing that surprised me was the pressure I put on myself in finding the next story so hard to write. And now as I am working on the third installment Dawson's Haven...its just the same. It is hard to write the next story with the excitement of the one before and the pressures that go along with..."will this story stand alone", "will people like it", "am I giving the characters what they deserve as well as the readers"...and the list goes on.

It seems in the writing world everyone has advice, the good and the bad and the ugly. But every writer's journey is different and while I have asked questions and paid attention to what others are saying and doing...this is my journey to take and I have had to be careful not to let the ideas if others crush what I am accomplishing along my path. While there are those that support and congratulate...there are also those that think their journey is far better and you can not possibly understand whats on their level. I've let that kind of negativity pass by me and not deter me because there are good people in writing who will share ideas and boost you and those are the ones to follow.

The good thing was after nine rewrites of that first story and all that went into making it better while working with a very cool editor... I learned a lot. This second story was better written and so I would say I rewrote it twice and with only one major story change. If I wasn't such a panster it might be I wouldn't hit these road blocks. But hey, whats the fun in plotting it all out. I like to see where the cowboys in my stories are gonna take me when I type along with a general idea and they get crazy.

Writing is hard work. If it wasn't everyone would do it. So as I trudge along working on the third story, ignoring my chores and sometimes my family...sorry gang...I have to smile that I set out to seek publication and did it. It wasn't easy and these days in the writing world I take nothing for granted like getting that next contract. Yes it can be a scary thing. But I worked hard and things happened and yes I am proud and celebrate the small and large victories that go with it.

So as this journey continues I would like to encourage others aspiring to write for publication to never give up. Keep writing. Keep going to meetings and learning. Enter the contests for the feedback, find critique partners who encourage you to write your best. But most of all finish the book...and it will happen!!!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Author Roundup...look what Debbie Herbert has going on!!!

Debbie Herbert, A USA Today best-selling author, writes paranormal romance novels reflecting her belief that love, like magic, casts its own spell of enchantment. She is traditionally published through Harlequin, as well as Indie published. Married and living in Alabama, she roots for the Crimson Tide football team (Roll Tide!). Debbie enjoys recumbent bicycling and jet skiing with her husband. She has two grown sons and the oldest has autism. Characters with autism frequently land in her works, even when she doesn't plan on it! 

For more information, and to sign up for her newsletter, visit Or connect with her on social media:
Amazon Author Page:

Bayou Wolf blurb and buy links:
The taming of the shrew… 
Tallulah Silver is tough. She has to be—because she's the Choctaw tribe's only female shadow hunter, and because she doesn't know how else to survive the loss that almost destroyed her. Payton Rodgers has devoted his life to protecting his pack. But when mauled bodies start to pile up in the bayou, Payton begins to wonder if Tallulah might be right about werewolves deserving the blame. As darkness gathers around them, Tallulah will have to decide if she can risk opening herself up to love again. And Payton will have to determine where his true loyalties lie.

Charmed by the Salem Witch blurb and buy link:
Freshman Year can be deadly in Salem . . . At the Women’s College of Salem, Sarah hopes to meet like-minded students of The Craft. But after joining a coven, the other girls seem to have it in for her and she can’t figure out why . . . . . . until Tanner, the new, cute IT guy, helps uncover her family’s dark secret. Sarah will have to learn to trust Tanner if she’s to survive a killer freshman year. And Tanner must accept his paranormal powers to save Sarah when the blood moon rises at Samhain, the witch’s Halloween