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I’m excited to share my latest release from The Wild Rose Press on what would have been Elvis’ eightieth birthday. ‘End of Lonely Street’ is a Vintage Romance Short Story set in 1957, in the era when Elvis first burst on the scene. Like my heroine in the story, I am a diehard Elvis fan. (As you probably figured out, I took the title from a line in Heartbreak Hotel, which was Elvis’ first million selling record).
Check out End of Lonely Street and enter to win GREAT prizes…
GIVEAWAY: – Entries accepted from January 8, 2015 through noon on January 22, 2015
Three prizes –
Elvis Gift Basket including DVD, CD, plus more
$25 Amazon Gift Card
$10 Amazon Gift Card
First place winner has first choice, second place winner has second choice, third place winner receives remaining prize.
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B00QQO3BK0
Can she let go of the past, before it destroys her future?
All Toby Lawson wanted was to go to college to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and the painful memories of finding her and the guy Toby loved kissing. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away, helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, and even though she knows her mother initiated the kiss, and that he didn’t kiss her back, she can‘t seem to get past what happened. He soon realizes that the true problem lies in Toby’s belief that she’s not good enough for him and in her fear that she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?
Mapleton, Tennessee, November, 1957
Toby Lawson closed her eyes and shut out all sounds of the diner, except for Elvis Presley’s voice. He was crooning about how she was the only one for him…no matter where he went or what he did… he’d spend his whole life loving her…
Rough hands landed on her waist and shattered the fantasy. She caught a whiff of hair tonic and too much cologne, and she snapped her eyes open. Wes Markham’s hateful face replaced the image of Elvis’ beautiful, crooked smile and smoldering blue eyes.
“Let me go.” She gritted her teeth, keeping her voice low. If her boss, Mr. Winstead, knew there was trouble on account of her, he’d explode. He’d barely let her have the job in the first place. Everyone in Mapleton knew the Lawson women were trouble.
Toby gripped his right wrist with one hand, tightening her hold on the utensils she held in the other. “I said let me go. Now!”
She shoved against him, but he didn’t budge.
He pulled her tighter. “Your momma’s a whole lot friendlier than you are. They say the apple don’t fall far from the tree, so how’s about you cut the pretense and we go someplace quiet? Winstead won’t miss you for a few minutes.”
Her cheeks heated. She didn’t dare look around. No doubt the customers were watching, listening. Elvis had stopped singing and everyone in the place could hear what he’d said about her mother. It wasn’t like they didn’t all know, though. Constance Lawson hadn’t exactly kept her escapades a secret.
Toby clenched her teeth and brandished the utensils. She spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. “Release me this instant, or I swear, you’ll be pulling this steak knife out of your eyeball.”
He held her gaze for a split second, then gave a laugh that was somewhere between nervous and furious. “Sure, sure. Okay.” He released her and stepped back. “I was just foolin’ around anyway. I got better things to do with my time than waste it on a used up chick like you.”
Muffled laughter rose around her. Oh God, she could crawl into a hole.
“How about you apologize to the lady, then beat it?”
Toby whirled at the male voice. Noah Rivers stood behind her, looking handsome and sharp in his police uniform—even with his dark hair in the military buzz cut. Her knees weakened, and tingles swept over her skin. She swallowed against the sudden dryness in her throat. She’d heard he was back, but hadn’t seen him until now. And what a time to have a reunion.
*** 10% of all of Alicia Dean’s net royalties for End of Lonely Street will go to
The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation http://www.graceland.com/epcf/ ***
Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
Find Alicia here:
Like to read and express your honest opinion? Then Choosy Bookworm and I have a deal for you! Right now Sunset Beach Sizzle, my erotic romance set in Hawaii, is available for request. Simply go here: http://choosybookworm.com/product/sunset-beach-sizzle/ and request a copy of my book. First twenty five (yes, that’s 25!) readers to choose it get a free copy to read and review.
After working cases with Cisco for months, Julia craves her ex-brother in law and a red-hot fling. Cisco is most definitely on board and sees more in their future than a week of Hawaiian heat. But when complications send her running, it’ll take every wily move this divorce lawyer’s got to overrule Julia’s list of objections and prove to her that true love can last.
A Paranormal Romance from
The Wild Rose Press
Available on December 22, 2014
Hope Doesn’t Know If The Man She Can Touch Is A Dream Come True, Or A Nightmare Just Beginning.
Hope only wants to find out if her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with her touch makes her the devil’s spawn, or his exterminator. But when the woman who raised her is murdered by something not human, she loses the only family she knew and discovers one she might wish she hadn’t.
Drawn back to the hometown she vowed never to return to, her ability is seen as an asset to everyone but Hope, and she doesn’t know who to trust. Her family wants her to help them overcome an enemy oppressing the human population, while the man of her dreams is courting her for the Underworld.
Time is running out, and Hope’s choice may be made for her, as she discovers she’s a pawn in a bigger game played by a merciless ruler who doesn’t lose.
I strained to release my arm from Griffith’s vise-like grip while scanning the surrounding trees, trying to determine which was less of a threat, the beast of a man holding me or those who might be waiting for me in the woods.
“You will come inside, now.” Griffith spoke slowly and deliberately as if I were a small child.
I batted at the hand Griffith placed on my head. “I’m not a puppy, quit petting me.”
“I will protect you.” Griffith’s warm breath caressed my ear. “If for no other reason, to find out what I’m giving up and why she wants you so badly.”
I inhaled his masculine scent, like musky earth. It washed over my face, and the tension in my jaw released. I stopped struggling. “Are you the devil?” My tongue was thick and heavy so the words came out slurred.
“Not even close.” His words soothed and comforted, like having a weighted blanket cocoon me. Each movement was an effort. It wasn’t the same as the thing in the woods. This was more like the feeling after a long massage or bubble bath.
“It’s not safe.” Griffith wrapped his arms around me, and I rested against his broad chest.
“It’s not safe.” I nodded. My muscles relaxed and my eyelids grew heavy.
“It’s cold. We’re going inside.” Griffith kept his arm supporting me as he steered me toward the house.
“We’re going inside.” I parroted and walked up the steps, leaning heavily on him.
Out of the corner of my eye, something was cautiously moving at the edge of the woods. Branches snapped as whatever was observing us crept closer.
Growing up with four siblings had Maureen familiar with escaping into a good book, or the recesses of her mind. She realized later in life everyone didn’t have characters telling stories in their heads, or weren’t envisioning magic and mayhem within the everyday. This, and long walks in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania spawned a love of writing.
Since her desire to become a Solid Gold Dancer was thwarted when the show was discontinued, Maureen opted to pursue other paths. Attempting to conquer new endeavors proved fruitful with her first novella, while other attempts, such as challenging a fear of heights with parasailing, were unsuccessful.
Therefore she’s chased other interests, though none-the-less-daring, but closer to the ground, such as belly-dancing, becoming a self-proclaimed tequila connoisseur, fulfilling her role as biker babe to her alpha hubby and surviving motherhood to twins (so far).
Penning stories boasting laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world.
I confess…I can’t NOT edit as I write.
That’s right. I used a double negative, on purpose.
Decades of typing and self-edit backspace/re-type actions have rendered me unable to leave the uglies on the page and move forward. I’m not talking about the typos and missing commas, the usual flubs.
During NaNoWriMo¹ one year, one suggestion was to not even correct bad sentences, but simply continue on and write them another way, leaving the bad sentence there to pad word count. I couldn’t do it. It made me feel so uncomfortable that it actually slowed down my productivity.
If my brain supplies a better verb, a stronger metaphor, a more accurate descriptor, I’ve got to insert it right then. Otherwise, I worry about forgetting that better word and lose my overall objective for the piece I’m writing. I can’t leave XXX as a placeholder and fix it during edits after the story has been told. My mind fixates on that XXX. I have to go figure out what XXX is. Is it the hero’s car, the heroine’s favorite drink, the name of a business? For me, every detail such as that factors into the story.
If the hero drives a mint condition vintage Mustang, he’s likely a very different guy than one who drives a battered old ranch truck. Every piece of information about him gives me (and the reader) a more accurate picture of his essence.
Is the heroine’s favorite drink a pomegranate martini or two fingers of scotch, neat? Is the business name whimsical, like say, The Panty Shanty, or is it stuffy, as in Berdorf, Mauer and Smith? You see what I mean? Details matter.
Recently, I read an article by Valerie Comer on her blog, How To Write A Story where she talked about plotting methods. Pantsers and plotters are terms bandied about frequently, but this piece dealt with five methods of how the writer gets words on the page:
- Headlighter and
Well, hello! In ten years of writing, I hadn’t heard about those last two methods of plotting. When others talked about dirty first drafts with an outline or vomiting on the page, the descriptions made me cringe. I figured I was mostly a pantser, but not exactly, so probably a Tweener.
The way I write, I’m constantly correcting and editing as I go. Sure, we all do that to some extent, correcting typos and such, but I rephrase, question the length of sentences and watch to make sure I’ve not started six sentences in a row with the same pronoun (or used some superfluous word, like “really,” 1000 times).
For me, putting a book together is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. A 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle. There are many elements and they all must fit together to create the whole. When I sit down to write, I re-read the last scene or even a couple of chapters so that what I create after it flows well with what is already there. During the read, I’m looking to make sure everything is still working, that my characters sound like themselves, that I haven’t gone off on a tangent or forgotten the intent of a scene while writing it. I correct and tweak a word, a sentence, or punctuation here and there.
Valerie said this about Polishing:
It’s doubtless the slowest method of getting to the end of a first draft but, in theory, subsequent drafts are quick and relatively painfree.
Finally. I feel like I just clicked the last piece of that jigsaw into place and now I have a whole picture.
If you’re a writer, do you know what method of plotting you use? Have you heard of five methods, or just the first three?
If you’re a reader, do you even care about what method a writer uses to get to the end product–a book for you to read? Does it interest you to learn about the process?
A librarian, a mechanic, and a psychotic ex. What could go wrong?
When her marriage came to a devastating end, Janice Meyers moved to Montana to try to escape her past and get a fresh start. She’s sworn off men, but she didn’t anticipate meeting Chris.
After the death of his wife, Chris Jamisen focused all his time and energy on running his auto repair shop and raising his children. He’s not looking for love, and when he first meets Janice, the town’s new librarian, he never imagines they might embark on a relationship. Sure, he’ll admit he finds the smart, sexy blonde attractive, but the frustrating woman expects miracles from him. Her vehicle is practically beyond repair, but she insists he has to keep it running.
As Chris gets to know Janice, he begins to develop feelings for her, but he’s reluctant to pursue a relationship. He’s Native American, and he worries about the complications of a biracial relationship. He’s experienced prejudice first hand, so he knows how difficult it can be.
When Janice’s ex-husband shows up seeking revenge, things could reach a horrible end. Will Chris save Janice in time? And will he and Janice be able to set aside their painful pasts and give their relationship a chance?
Content Warning: contains some sexual content
Janice had butterflies in her stomach as five o’clock came and Chris arrived at the library.
“Hi, Chris,” Janice said.
“Hello. What’s this all about?” he asked pensively.
“I wanted to take you downstairs to the basement and show you something,” she said.
They walked down the stairs, Chris following Janice. When she turned on the light a rat slithered across the floor, and she let out a shriek. Chris looked around the room.
“We have all these books here,” Janice said. She lifted one of the old books and opened it to the pages and within where some were eaten away. “The vermin and bugs have been attacking these, and in some cases, the books have disintegrated. See here? This is a book about Colstrip back in the 1800s and we can’t even open the book to read it because it has totally disintegrated inside. Some of these books are real gems. This is one of a first edition, Samuel Clemens, do you know of him?”
“His pen name is Mark Twain. He wrote Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.”
“Oh,” Chris replied.
“Look at his book. It’s totally destroyed, and it would have been worth a lot of money now, if it had survived.”
Janice went over to the ladder and stepped up on it to show Chris the books on the top shelf. The ladder gave way, and she came crashing down. Chris caught her before she fell to the floor.
“Are you okay?” he asked, concern in his tone.
“Um, yeah, I think so.” She put her feet on the floor and turned, facing Chris, her breasts against his chest. His arms were around her waist, holding her tightly. His breath mingled with hers, and he was looking down at her lips.
Oh, she wanted him to kiss her. Please, please kiss me. The sweet, intoxicating musk of his body overwhelmed her. He bent slightly toward her, and his lips touched hers softly. She kissed him back, lingering, savoring every moment. She felt the kiss all the way through her body as she put her arms around him. A loud rustling noise broke their kiss with a start.
Chris looked around and saw that there were rats in the corner rattling paper. He turned back to her. “Are we finished here?”
“Yes, I think we are.” Janice hoped she had convinced him that there was work to be done in the basement.
When they went upstairs, he turned around and asked her huskily, “What was the purpose of our little meeting, Janice?”
Janice thought about how she should answer the question then said, “I submitted the request to the mayor’s office for several things, and I heard that you would probably be the one person that would oppose spending any money for the project I’m suggesting, so I wanted to show you the benefit of my proposal and the problems we are faced with currently.”
Chris had a gentle smile on his face as he looked at her. “Good persuasion, Janice. Does that include the kiss too?”
Janice looked down at her feet, embarrassed. “No, the kiss was not part of the persuasion. At least, not on my part.”
Also by Constance Bretes:
Delayed Justice: Can two former lovers set aside their differences and work together to bring a criminal to justice?
The Last Dig: Bones, Bodies and Love Rekindled
Love Songs: Separated by fame, reunited through music
(a contemporary romance novel)
She was the incubator, nothing more
until the parents died tragically
Now she’s having
For Kate Morissey, becoming a surrogate seems like a great way to refill her tuition account and get the education she’s always wanted. After putting her life on hold to raise and educate her two brothers, she’s desperate for freedom and a college degree that will secure her future. Weeks away from realizing her dreams, a freak accident threatens everything.
Adopted as a boy into the safety of the Hawthorne family, Rio swore he’d never become a father. He won’t pass along his cruel legacy of abuse. When he inherits the last Hawthorne heir, obligation and duty dictates he abandon the challenges of guiding safari’s and become a parent. Convincing Kate to teach him infant care was the easy part. Proving his love isn’t her prison may be the hardest thing he’s ever done.
Nobody’s Baby released on Thanksgiving Day. My last book release of the year! I’m feeling pretty great about having released 5 e-books and 2 in print in 2014. They are (in order of release date):
A Suitable Wife, e-book
Her Unexpected Family, e-book
A Suitable Wife, print
Her Unexpected Family, print
Sunset Beach Sizzle, e-book
Heart 2 Heart, e-book
Nobody’s Baby, e-book
Check them all out here:
To thank my readers and interested parties, I’m giving away three prizes to three winners just before the Christmas holidays:
a $15 iTunes gift certificate
a $10 Amazon gift certificate
a $10 Barnes & Noble gift certificate
One prize per winner, but you can enter multiple times to increase your chances of winning and tweet every day! Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter:
Dec 14 – only 6 more days to enter. Are you feeling lucky?
Prize 1: 1 $10 gift certificate
Prize 2: An E-copy of Heart 2 Heart, my short story collection
I’m feeling so thankful, I just may offer a fourth prize, so when you get to the party site, click on my name in the left sidebar and see all my posts for the party.
Christmas in the Cotswolds
by Jenny Kane (@JennyKaneAuthor)
Izzie Spencer-Harris, owner of the Cotswold Art and Crafts Centre, is due to host the prestigious Cotswold Choir’s annual Christmas carol concert in her beautiful converted church. Or at least she was, until a storm smashed a hole right through the chancel roof.
Days from Christmas, Izzie suddenly finds herself up to her neck in DIY, with her last dodgy workman having walked off the job. She does the only thing she can … calls in her best friend Megan to help.
Leaving Peggy and Scott to run Pickwicks Café in her absence, Megan heads to the Cotswolds for Christmas. Within minutes of her arrival, she finds herself hunting down anyone willing to take on extra work so close to Christmas. It seems the only person available to help is Joseph Parker – a carpenter who, while admittedly gorgeous, seems to have ulterior motives for everything he does …
With Izzie’s bossy mother, Lady Spencer-Harris, causing her problems at every turn, an accident at work causing yet more delays, and the date for the concert drawing ever nearer, it’s going to take a lot more than Mrs Vickers’ powerful mulled wine to make sure everything is all right on the night …
Izzie closed her eyes and counted to ten as the door of the Cotswold Arts Centre slammed shut.
There was no point in panicking. She simply didn’t have time for such luxuries if her converted church was going to be ready to host a Christmas carol concert by the renowned Cotswold Choir in nine days’ time.
Bored of being propositioned by men who weren’t remotely interested in her until they discovered she was a daughter of the gentry, Izzie had ejected the carpenter through her front door before he’d quite had time to work out just how insulting her rejection of his latest lurid suggestion was.
Now, her hasty tongue having deprived her of a desperately needed pair of tradesman’s hands, Izzie sat with a heavy thump onto the nearest pew. She knew she had to find fresh help, and fast. A task that wouldn’t be easy so close to Christmas.
‘Although,’ Izzie addressed the image of Noah, who smiled benevolently at her from his stained-glass window, as if grateful he hadn’t been smashed to pieces by the tree branch that had come through the top of the chancel and caused so much seasonal inconvenience, ‘I’m damn sure I’m not asking my mother to help out ever again!’
Reaching for the offending package of invitations that had arrived by courier first thing that morning, Izzie emptied it onto the table. The invitations were supposed to have been posted by now. As soon as she’d seen them, Izzie understood why her mother had left them to the last minute.
Unfussy, cost-effective, and with a medieval Christmas flavour in keeping with the spirit of the converted fourteenth-century church where the concert was to be held. That’s what she’d asked for.
What she’d got was decadent Victorian-style gold-edged invitations which weighed so much, Izzie was sure that posting them alone would break the bank. And if that wasn’t bad enough, her mother had done the one thing that she had expressively forbidden. She’d put Izzie’s full name on the invitations.
Lady Perdita Spencer-Harris had been unable to comprehend why her daughter didn’t want to use the family name to help sales. She simply didn’t understand that Izzie wanted people to come to hear the choir for its own sake, or because they wanted to see what she’d done in her art centre; not because she was a young and single female member of the landed gentry.
Miss Isadora Spencer-Harris
cordially invites you to a magical festive evening at
The Cotswold Arts Centre, Chipping Swinton
to hear the renowned Cotswold Choir’s
Christmas Carol Concert
Saturday 21st December
7 p.m. for 7.30 p.m. start
£25 per ticket
RSVP by 18th December to Harris Park
Wrapping her stripy woollen scarf more tightly around her neck, Izzie breathed warm air over her cold fingers. Deciding it wasn’t cost effective to heat the church this late at night just for her, she gathered up the invitations, and with one last check that the polythene sheeting would keep the rest of her chancel roof in place overnight, Izzie headed home.
Izzie scooped up three Christmas cards from her doormat. A smile replaced her frown as she opened the first envelope to see a cartoon robin wishing her a Merry Christmas. Inside, beneath the seasonal greeting, her friend Megan had written Must meet up SOON! I’d love to see your new art centre.
‘Should I?’ Izzie was sure her dearest friend from college would help. Megan always helped. Izzie addressed the picture of the robin, ‘But won’t she be hugely busy at Pickwicks café this close to Christmas?’
Switching on her laptop, Izzie started to hunt for a replacement tradesman to help repair her church roof. Half an hour of searching later, and her quest was looking increasingly hopeless by the minute.
It was no good, if she wasn’t going to be forced to ask her parents to bail her out – which was an ‘over her dead body’ situation as far as Izzie was concerned – she needed alternative assistance. Izzie picked up her mobile before guilt at disturbing her friend’s life at Christmas overtook her.
‘Megan, thank goodness you’re there! How can I put this … help!’
With a background in history and archaeology, Jenny Kane should really be sat in a dusty university library translating Medieval Latin criminal records, before writing research documents that hardly anyone would want to read. Instead, tucked away in the South West of England, Jenny Kane writes stories with one hand, while working for a Distance Learning Company with the other.
Jenny spends a large part of her time in the local coffee shops, where she creates her stories, including the novels Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and the novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013) and Christmas in the Cotswolds, (Accent Press, 2014)
Jenny’s next full length novel, Abi’s House, will be published by Accent Press in 2015.
Jenny Kane is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Joe’s Letter (Coming soon from Hushpuppy)
Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.
Twitter – @JennyKaneAuthor
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance
Jenny Kane also writes erotica as Kay Jaybee. (www.kayjaybee.me.uk)