Sunday, August 13, 2017

Say Hello to Charlene Raddon!!! Author Roundup!

Danger stalks Maisy Macoubrie. At fourteen she saw the man she foolishly loved murder her father. She would have been next if she hadn’t run. Fourteen years later, she’s still running. If only she could provide a safe home for her and her son, but she’ll never get rich dealing faro in saloons… not with a cold-blooded killer on her trail. The Preacher never meant to become a gunman. Sometimes life interferes and forces a man down a path he doesn’t care to follow. Always alone, always hunted, he dreams of all he’s been denied — peace, family, love. The moment Maisy and The Preacher meet, their lives change once more. United in battle against a powerful enemy, they fight side by side, but can they beat the odds they face? Is love worth the biggest gamble man has ever known?

Divine Gamble has been a long time coming I began the story in the ‘90s, but my editor wanted something different, a widow with children and a drifter. That resulted in To Have and To Hold. But I always liked Divine Gamble, so I picked it up again from time to time, finally finishing the book a few years ago. Then began the revisions. Other books were written and published, and Gamble still waited. Now, at last, it will have its turn at bat. 

It is available for pre-order on Amazon at .99 until release on August 20.

A gritty historical western romance, I debated the level of sensuality, and settled for “sensual but behind closed doors.” I hope my readers like it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Here’s an excerpt:

Danger rode a howling wind into Pandora, Colorado, that autumn night. A gleeful desperado, the gale scoured the town's nooks, alleys, and yards. It iced window panes and froze puddles.

            Maisy Macoubrie stood on the boarding house stoop, watching trash blow down the street, her faro bag held in front of her like a shield. She enjoyed a good storm, but tonight, her mood seemed as ragged and tense as the weather. Blessed Saints, but her back ached. Thank heaven the gambling season would be over soon, and she could go home.

            Thoughts of home brought images of her son, Danny. How she missed him. He'd be fourteen next month. She’d bet he’d grown another inch since she saw him in August. If only she dared to have him with her.

            The eight o'clock stage slogged past the boarding house and slid to a muddy halt in front of The Pandora House. Half a dozen men on horseback followed. Passengers bolted from the still-rocking coach into the well-lighted building. The others did the same. Once they'd all warmed up and filled their bellies, they'd want a pleasant way to pass the evening, such as gambling.

            Maisy sighed. Time to go to work at the Bloated Goat Saloon.

            Something darted under her skirts. She swallowed a screech and yanked up her hems.

            "Soda!" Crouching, she petted the grumpy looking calico cat. "Oh, you're wet."

            Maisy stood. "Come on, I'll let you in, and give you something to eat."

            The cat darted inside the second she opened the door and dashed up the stairs. Leaving her faro bag beside the door, Maisy followed and let the cat into her room. "Stay off the bed until you've cleaned yourself."  The calico padded over to her special rug under the window and set to work licking her fur. Maisy fetched Soda's food from the storage space in the washstand.

            "Here you are." She put several pieces of chopped, dried beef on the floor. "I have to go to work." Maisy bent and put her hand beside the cat's right front leg. "Come on, shake with me like I taught you."

            She almost chuckled at the look of disgust on Soda's face, but the cat raised her paw. "Good girl. I'll see you later."

            She'd no sooner stepped back out on the front porch than Lenny Goodman dashed up the steps. "’Evening, Miss Maisy."

            "Good evening, Lenny. Did Nose send you?" In the light from his lantern, his face looked older than fourteen years. His eyes displayed a sort of wisdom and disillusionment in their depths that aged him. His chin showed the promise of a beard he would soon have to start shaving. It wouldn't be long before Danny would be doing the same.

            "Yep. Said it was too dark for you to have to find your way to the saloon without a lantern." He took her bag from her as she descended the steps to the boards laid over the muddy road in drier weather—her landlord's idea of a boardwalk.

            Lenny held up the light while Maisy maneuvered the makeshift pathway. Before reaching the boardwalk that fronted the stores, the rain had soaked her cloak and skirt hems.

            "I stepped in a deep mud puddle back there," Lenny said, joining her in front of the Sims CafĂ© and Bakery. "Need to scrape it off." He went to work, using the edge of the porch to relieve him of the gunk. "You want to take the lantern with you and go on?"

            Maisy glanced toward the Bloated Goat Saloon. Light from the windows showed on the boardwalk. "No, I'll be all right, Lenny. Thank you."

            She took her bag from him and went on. Storm doors kept the weather out of The Goat, but they also blocked the light the shorter, swinging doors would have allowed to escape. Maisy peered over her shoulder to check on the boy and walked into something solid and unmovable.

Charlene Raddon began her career on a whim. An avid reader, she never planned to be a writer. A vivid dream changed that. She dragged out a portable typewriter and began to put her dream on paper. That book waits to be published still. Originally published by Kensington Books in the 1990s, Charlene is now an Indie author. Her first published book, Tender Touch, was a Golden Heart Finalist. All her books have received high accolades, contest wins, and awards. When not writing, she designs book covers at her site, where she specializes in historical covers, mainly westerns. She loves to hear from readers and communicate with other authors.

Charlene’s website:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Smoke & Embers - Cover Reveal

Hi Everyone,

A quick reminder about the upcoming Smoke & Embers cover reveal party on Facebook this Friday, August 11th from 2 PM - 10 PM CT.  I hope you will be able to join me to help Taylor Anne celebrate the Cover release of her new book.

Click here for a link to the event on Facebook.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Romance Writers of America (RWA) 2017 Fun!

Well, I didn't quite go all out for this event very well this year. I stayed at a cheaper hotel and only attended two days as I think it was more important to make some memories. My family and I went together to Downtown Disney and shopped a bit and had dinner a Bongos. Cuban food at it's best. We then spent a full day a Universal Studios where I rode every ride until Harry Potter nearly made me lose my biscuits. I was so looking forward to that ride but my motion sickness said NOPE. We spent the next day at Magic Kingdom which reminded me how much my girls have grown. With no interest in characters on the princesses, we rode a whole lot in the wonderful heat index of 107. But it was still fun and we did make some memories that will last. I left the family for Thursday and Friday to attend RWA and cheer on friends that were finalists in the Golden Heart and Ritas. It's always a lot of fun catching up with old friend and meeting new ones. Writing is often lonely until we have our conference and events and then it just way cool to hang out with people who get us!!!

Check out some of the fun we had in these photos.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Questions I Get Asked…

It has been a while since I have posted a new blog entry.  There has been a lot going on this year, which I talk more about later in the post.  To kick off what I hope will be a new series of posts, I am having a giveaway at the end of August for one lucky blog follower.  Be sure to follow my blog if you have not done so already.  Now, on to the Questions I Get Asked.

I am sure authors get tons of questions over the years but since I am fairly new at this writing world, it surprises me the questions people do ask. One of the most frequent questions I get is:

“Where do you find the time to write all you do?”
I think these questions come to me because I work as a full time Registered Nurse Quality Analyst for a hospital and I have children, daughters aged 12 and 9. I am not sure I always have the right answer for this because I tend to say it and people give me the ‘deer in the headlights’ look. My usual answer is that if you want something bad enough, you will find the time to do it. I started writing with the goal of publication in 2011. I can be very determined and do not give up easily. I wrote even when those around me thought I had lost my mind. There are things you give up in writing, like I no longer have a long list of television series I stay glued to. I do have a few but only here and there. Or I catch up on them by binging in between writing deadlines. Other things that happen are the dishes pile up in the sink, the laundry stays behind and my husband has become a ‘Mr. Mom’ of sorts to allow me time to write. I delegate things like the grocery shopping list and send my husband on that route too. I take my laptop everywhere I go even to soccer practice, gymnastics and any other event I might attend. And when I do not have my laptop, I have a Galaxy Note phone and can type away at a scene or jot down my ideas. And while there can be a little mommy guilt here and there I keep writing, because I cam showing my daughters that it is possible to go out and make your dreams come true.

“Where do you get your ideas?”
I have always loved reading historical novels. I think I love to escape back to a time that doesn’t exist anymore. I love highlanders, Dukes, and Pirates, but have always had an unquenched thirst where it come to the old west and the civil war era. So when I started writing, I knew I had to go for cowboys because you gotta write what you know and still you gotta research and make sure you are right. My ideas start running through my head while I drive or while I daydream of idea. I am a pantser for the most part that does very little plotting. My plots seem to evolve as I get to know my hero and heroine and begin writing. I have a general idea of where we are headed, but I often change the plan as I write when some better idea hits me and takes me and the character to something new. What the heck is the fun in planning it all out ahead of time? So my ideas come from all the westerns I have watched or read. I grew up on Little House on the Prairie and Gunsmoke. I am usually first in line for any western movie that comes out and I love Hell on Wheels, Christie, Deadwood, and me and my girls are on our third watching of the entire Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman series. Right now I am also reading the whole Longmire series, and even though it isn’t historical, it is excellent! So my ideas come from a lot of places, but most often from letting my characters take over.

“How long does it take you to write a complete story?”
It can take me more than six months to belt out a first draft, but my stories are over 100,000 words where most romances are by far under that word count. This first draft can also depend on what is going on in my life and how much time I am spending on editing a work already submitted. Once I have a rough draft, then it needs about two more edits by me before I start getting it out to critique partners and beta readers. It sounds like a long time but about a year if I want to make sure the story is what I was looking for. If I didn’t have a full time job, it might be that I would be able to do everything much faster, but to do service to my series and stay on track to make it all fall together, time is needed.

“How do you map out your stories and series?”
I usually have most of it in my head but I do storyboarding sometimes. I think it helps to have a visual in front of you as you think about where the characters are taking you. I sometimes just jot down ideas or scenes and eventually pull them together, but most often I just start at chapter one and keep going. I keep a ‘book bible’ so to speak, where I write down all the characters in a series and it lists things like their hair and eye color, their quirks and specifics about them. I add quotes I like from them and pictures and maps of the area they live. I plot a little there so I can make better order of the scenes, but I do not have a specific rule about how and where black moments come and when this or that should happen. I let my characters tell the story and so far it’s working.

“What are you writing now?”
Well, I am writing the third story in the McCades of Cheyenne called Dawson’s Haven. I am a bit more than half done but I am pushing hard to get that into my editor this year. I got a little side tracked as this has been a difficult year with losing my father in law, taking in my mother in law, changing jobs for the first time after twenty-seven years and deciding to dust off a contemporary novel I wrote in 2013. I am hoping to have this story turned into my editor within the month so I can get back to Dawson. I think it will be a nice surprise for my readers to be able to read something contemporary from me as well, but no worries, it’s all about a cowboy and the woman he loves….

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.”