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Friday, June 25, 2010

Hangin' with Sarah Simas

It's Friday!!!! (I survived the first few days of summer vacation--whew!) Anyway, I'm still celebrating the release of Wild Texas Wind and those great reviews.  Today I'm hanging with the always sweet, always adorable Sarah Simas over at The Lovestruck Novice.  She asked if I'd say a few words about writing to different genres and writing to please yourself.

Drop by and say hi and share your thoughts!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Reviews Are In!

And it's.... four spurs  from Love Western Romances!!!!

Read the fabulous review here!

Thank you hugs to reviewer Kathryn from Love Western Romances for "getting" my story and for her thoughtful and insightful review.

And.... four books from Long and Short Reviews. Thank you hugs to Camellia from LASR for her amazing review!!!

Woo hoo--you ladies sure know how to make an author's day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday on Writing: Speical Guest Paty Jager

It's my pleasure to have my long-time friend and critique partner Paty Jager here visiting with us today.  Paty is a multi published author of historical western romance--and how do you like that! We're each other's blog guests today!  So after reading this, mosey on over to Paty's Blog and  settle in for a visit!


Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.


I'm an Oregonian and proud of it. My husband and I farm/ranch 350
acres in central and eastern Oregon. We're empty nesters with children
and grand children coming and going faster than the change of weather.

I enjoy writing historical westerns because it is a time when the
women thought legally not treat equal, they were equals in the day to
day living with the men. They had to be for the families to survive.
It was a time when everything was wild and raw. Which makes for great
scenes and fun dialogue.



 How long have you been writing?

To be published? Probably twenty years. I started out writing mysteries and floundered unable to find a support group. Then I read LaVyrle Spencer's Hummingbird and tried my hand at historical western romance. I also found RWA(Romance Writers of America) and learned I had a lot to learn about writing a romance. But I did well in contests and found a wonderful critique partner and I learned to write. I became published four years ago with Wild Rose Press.

 Where do you get your ideas?



My ideas can come from song lyrics, a newspaper article, or something I read while I'm researching for a book. I even had an idea come from something I heard on the radio. My ideas are open to anything!


Describe your typical writing day.

Lately, my typical day is getting my dh out the door to work but 6:30 am. Then I'm queuing the music for the current WIP and writing. I've made a pact with myself that I can't get on the internet until I've written 2000 words. Once I've hit that mark I can check e-mails, visit blogs,and work on promotion. Then after that if I don't have outside or inside chores that need done, I'll write some more on the WIP until I have to make dinner.

Now if I'm at our place that's three hours away. I wake up at 6 am and
change pipes.  Have breakfast, then I write until I can't stand to sit
any longer and go outside for a walk. Then I come in and write more
until I need to move and then I eat dinner and go out to change pipes
again. Then I watch a movie and go to bed.




What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?


I was a senior in high school. We were given the assignment to write about a figure in history. We researched the character and then wrote the story. I wrote about Joan of Arc burning at the stake in her POV.  I still remember the teacher reading my story aloud in class and the quiet that followed when she finished. Even the class clown didn't have a joke.  That was when I truly realized the power of the written word even though I'd been an avid reader and traveled many continents and emotions through my reading.





If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?


I think I would have like to work in advertising if I'd had the opportunity to fully explore all occupations when I was in school.



Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?


Knock on wood. That rarely happens to me, but when it does it is
usually because I've written myself into a hole or trying to make a
character do something out of character. Or I've had some negative
feedback on my writing and that throws me for a loop. Then I just look
at the books I have published and read the good reviews and get myself
back in the game. So far, I'm never at a loss for things to write
about or characters to take on a journey.






 Tell us a little bit about Doctor in Petticoats (coming June 25 from The Wild Rose Press)

Doctor in Petticoats is the fourth book in the Halsey brother series.
Clay finds himself blind after an accident and his older brothers
decide the best thing for him is to learn how to deal with his
blindness and send him to a blind school across the state. While there
he learns a lot about himself and falls for an independent female
doctor in charge of the students at the blind school.

At writer workshops you're always hearing your book will only work if
there is no one else in the world who will compliment your characters
but each other. I think I did that with this book.



After a life-altering accident and a failed relationship, Dr. Rachel
Tarkiel gave up on love and settled for a life healing others as the
physician at a School for the Blind.  She's happy in her
vocation--until handsome Clay Halsey shows up and inspires her to want
more.

Blinded by a person he considered a friend, Clay curses his
circumstances and his limitations.  Intriguing Dr. Tarkiel shows him
no pity, though.  To her, he's as much a man as he ever was.

Can these two wounded souls conquer outside obstacles, as well as
their own internal fears, and find love?



“I’m going to look in your other eye now.” She, again, placed a hand
on his face and opened the eyelids, stilling her fluttering heart as
she pressed close. His clean-shaven face had a couple small nicks on
the edges of his angular cheeks. The spice of his shave soap lingered
on his skin.

She resisted the urge to run her cheek against his. The heat of his
face under her palm and his breath moving wisps of wayward hair caused
her to close her eyes and pretend for a few seconds he could be her
husband. A man who loved her and wouldn’t be threatened by her
occupation or sickened by her hideous scar.

His breathing quickened. A hand settled on her waist, slid around to
her back, and drew her forward. Her hand, holding the lens, dropped to
his shoulder, and she opened her eyes. This behavior on both their
parts was unconscionable, but her constricted throat wouldn’t allow
her to utter the rebuke.

Clay sensed the moment the doctor slid from professional to aroused
woman. The hand on his cheek caressed rather than held, her breathing
quickened, and her scent invaded his senses like a warm summer rain.


Wow!! That's a great excerpt!   Anything else in the works you can share with us? 



My first attempt at historical paranormal will be released in August. It's a book set among the Nez Perce Indians in the 1700's. The hero is an Indian spirit. And I have contracted a contemporary western that is waiting for a release date. It's the story of an ER nurse and a bareback bronc rider. For a glimpse at these you can go to my website. http://www.patyjager.net

This week I'm starting a ten day blog tour and giving away an
autographed copy of Doctor in Petticoats, a $25 B&N gift card, and a
summer tote full of goodies. to enter the contest just follow my blog
tour and leave a comment. The person who comments on the most blogs
will win. To find out where I'll be go to my blog:
http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com

Thanks for visiting with us today, Paty!  We'll see you back in late summer to tell us more about Spirit of the Mountain!

Monday, June 21, 2010

And the winner is....

The winner of last weekend's celebration drawing is.....

Susan Macatee!

Congratulations, Susan!! There's an e-copy of WTW on the way to you!

If you didn't win, there's still a chance! Stop by Darah's Lace's blog anytime today and leave a comment for a chance to win !

Nic

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Here!!!!


With all that's gone on this week, I nearly forgot that today was release day--so it's a little like Christmas Morning to wake up and realize it's here!

I've "introduced" you to Raz, and posted a scene with both Raz and Arden--but today I'd like to post a scene from Arden's perspective.

I'll be celebrating all weekend, and will be giving away a free download from the commenter's, so if you stop by, be sure to leave me a comment! Stop back Monday morning to find out who the winner is!

~~~


Arden couldn’t be certain the exact moment she realized the approaching rider was watching her. But the chill crawling up her spine was the doing of the man lying unconscious beneath her. He’d deliberately tried to frighten her.
And for the moment, she was stuck. Her chin hovered mere inches from his chest. No matter how she struggled she couldn’t free her hair from beneath his dead weight.
“Wake up.” She tried to squirm free, to kick him—anything. She reached awkwardly around to slap at his cheek, but to no avail. He didn’t stir. Only the steady rise and fall of his chest assured her she hadn’t killed him.
The rider moved closer, slowing his pace to take in the scene before him. It was too late to play dead. She had a funny feeling it wouldn’t have done much good anyway.
The metal of the .44 grew warm against her palm, but her hand, pinned awkwardly between her body and the man she lie upon, was numb and tingly from lack of circulation. The rider stopped a few feet away and dismounted. He walked closer, then stopped, studying her with a smug expression. When the corners of his mouth turned up, she had the oddest feeling he considered himself the cat to her mouse. Every instinct screamed the truth. This was the killer.
In one grand attempt to remain alive, she rolled to one side, ignoring the sting of her scalp, and freed her arm. Cocking the hammer with her thumb, she trained the gun on him. “Don’t come any cl—”
A hand on the back of her neck slammed her face down on the ground. Her finger was squeezed tight against the trigger as he—the arrogant ass she’d been unable to rouse a moment ago—closed his hand over hers. Three shots rang out almost simultaneously, the kick from the gun lurching her arm as it fired. Something warm buzzed past her ear, like the hum of a bumble bee but much too fast and much too hot. She opened her mouth to scream but inhaled a mouthful of dust and dirt instead.
Silence reigned for only a second before he rolled off her, one hand pressed to his head where she’d struck him. “Son of a bitch.”
Sputtering, Arden sat up and wiped an arm across her mouth. The rider lay slumped at an odd angle in the dirt. She turned to the suddenly-conscious stranger “You killed him.”
He stood, hand still on his head. “You’re welcome.” With a motion of his finger, he wordlessly told her to stay put. Gun in hand, he approached the dead man, then nudged him with the toe of his boot. He bent to press two fingers to the side of the man’s neck. “He’s dead.”
“So I gathered.” She noted the precision of the two holes, one square in the chest, the other right between the eyes. Either would have been a lethal shot. Another chill slithered down her spine despite the sun’s merciless heat. Who was this man with such deadly aim?
“Do you know him?”
The sight of the corpse, already taking on a chalky hue, began to sour her empty stomach. She drew her knees up to her chin, shaking her head in answer to his question. “Do you?”
He glanced down at the man’s face, cocked his head as if considering. “By reputation only. At least I think it’s him.” He rose, reloaded, and holstered the .44. with a smooth motion that told her he did it often and without thought.
“Why did you kill him?”
“What?”
“Why didn’t you just shoot him in the hand or the leg or something?”
“Are you out of your goddamned mind?”
“Anyone who can shoot as accurately as you could have disarmed him without killing him.”
“Hell, yeah. I could have invited him to tea, too.” He stepped a few feet away to retrieve the other man’s revolver from where it had landed. “But I have a bad habit, sweetheart. It’s called breathing. And I’m kinda partial to doing it.”
As he approached her, she reached for the extra gun he carried. “I’ll take that.”
“The hell you will.”
“I feel the need to protect myself.”
“And you’re doing a half-assed job of it, from the looks of things.” He knelt down in front of her. “Are you all right?”
She had to admit, his concern was somewhat touching. The memory of him throwing himself over her, shielding her with his body, caused a warm flush of gratitude. “I’m fine. Thank you.”
“Good. I got ten grand riding on your well being.” He glanced back at the other man. “Who wants you dead, Miss O’Hara?”
“No one.”
Raz shifted his gaze back toward her. Something in her voice wasn’t quite right. “You sure about that?”
“Who would want to kill me?”
“Anyone who has known you more than five minutes.”
Hurt flashed in those big green eyes before she pushed to her feet. “I’m leaving.”
“That’s a good idea,” he agreed. “Whoever wants to kill you will try again when he doesn’t come back.”
“I assure you, no one wants me dead.”
“That remains to be seen.” He left her to rummage through the dead man’s pockets, looking for anything that might identify him. But he didn’t need a name to know what Arden O’Hara would have suffered before he killed her. Finding nothing of use, he hoisted the body over his shoulder and draped it across the back of the extra horse.
“We’d better head to the nearest town and find the sheriff.” He didn’t bother to add there would probably be a reward.
“We?”
“Yes, we.” he repeated. “Don’t you want to know the identity of the one person in the whole world who wanted to kill you?”
She stared at the corpse as if it would bite her. “I told you, I don’t know him.”
“Whoever hired him knows you.”
She briskly rubbed her arms as though to ward off a chill. “Look, Mister—”
“Colt. Raz Colt.”
“Fine. Colt,” she repeated. “I think a terrible mistake has been made here. I’m quite certain this man never meant to harm me. I think he was probably trying to scare me.”
“Men like this don’t play games, darlin’. They kill.”
“You speak as though you have personal experience.”
He shrugged. “I don’t make apologies for what I am.”
“What are you?”
“A law-abiding citizen.”
She raised a brow in his direction before dropping her gaze pointedly to his guns. He wasn’t about to explain his lifestyle to her. He was a hired gun; it wasn’t something he was proud of but it was what he knew, what he was good at. And he liked to think he provided a service to the local law enforcement. Any low-life he took off the streets was one less gun the sheriff would have to face down.
Still, her decided lack of fear in all of this nagged at him. Sure she was a little green around the gills from staring at the dead guy, but not once had she come close to panicking; not before he’d entered the little shack, not when he approached her and not now, when she’d damn near met her maker.
He removed tobacco and paper from his shirt pocket and calmly rolled a cigarillo. “Mind telling me why you’re ‘quite certain’ this man wouldn’t harm you?”
She sighed dramatically. “It’s a long story.”
“I’ve got time before he starts to rot.”
“I’m sorry you were dragged into this, but I was not kidnapped, at least not really.” She began to pace, moving away from him.
The cigarillo complete, he scraped a match on the heel of his boot. “I’m listening.”
She walked toward a nearby rock and took a seat, resting her elbows on her knees, chin in her palms. Another sigh. “I wanted Geoffrey to rescue me.”
He inhaled, held the smoke in his lungs, and willed himself to stay calm. A million different responses came to mind, most of them more colorful than what she’d spouted earlier. At last he allowed a stream of smoke to slowly leave his nostrils. “Why?”
She sprang to her feet and resumed pacing. “I needed to know if he cared about me or if it was the money. I didn’t want Daddy involved, I knew he’d worry.”
“That doesn’t explain our friend over there attracting flies.”
“The men I hired would never have sent a man like that, not even to scare me.”
“The men you hired?”
“Yes. I think we need to assume this man was after you rather than me. A man like you most certainly has enemies.”
“Not alive.” He threw the cigarillo aside and stalked toward her, thoughts of killing her himself running wild. “Are you saying I damn near took a bullet for someone who staged her own kidnapping?”
She shrugged, almost childlike. “I’m sorry.”
“You’re sorry?”
“Yes. I’m sure Daddy will still pay—”
“You’re sorry?”
“Mister Colt, you’re doing that repeating thing again.”
For the second time that morning, Raz hoisted her over his shoulder, this time taking care to remove his guns. He pressed one against her ribs, partly for effect, partly from anger. “Not half as sorry as you’re gonna be.”
As expected, she kicked and thrashed, pummeling him with her fists, screeching like a banshee.
He deposited her onto the back of his horse, pinned her arms together while he retrieved a length of rope from his saddlebag. Before she could free herself, he wound it tight about her wrists, then secured it to the saddle horn and mounted behind her.
“What are you doing?” she asked, sounding more annoyed than afraid. She tugged at the ropes and let out a child-like shriek when they didn’t loosen.
“Taking you home.”
But not until he taught her a damned good lesson.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Countdown Begins!!!


One week from today is the release date for Wild Texas Wind!!! I'm torn between wanting to shout it from the rooftops--and wanting to pull it so I can fix all the things I imagine are "wrong" with it. Yipes!

As promised all those weeks ago, before the ol' Lifus Inerruptus got hold of me and kept me from blogging, I told you I'd be posting excerpts. If you just can't wait to get your hands on a copy, it's available in print format as an early bird special. But for the e-version, you'll have to wait til next week.

So without further adieu.... here we go! One of my faves, this is where the hero and heroine first meet.



“You call this crap food?” Raz Colt listened patiently to the tirade coming from the line shack he’d discovered late last night.
“I wouldn’t slop hogs with it!”
A sound suspiciously like a pot hitting a wall echoed in the calm morning air.
He shifted position. He’d been lying on the dusty ground below the window since last night. With the promise of H.H. O’Hara’s reward still fresh in his mind, he would spend an entire damn week this way if he had to. The sagebrush provided shelter from both the sun and any lookouts who might be around. He hoped to hell the men he’d leaned on for information and the trail he’d followed had led him to the right place.
A shriek of female fury pierced the quiet, echoed around him and bounced off the canyon walls. “I told you I needed a firmer bed. My back is killing me!”
“No, no, señorita.” Something banged against the wall, followed by shattering glass.
“I expect to be cared for better than this!”
Raz rolled his eyes at the stream of expletives that followed. She cursed her male companion, his mother, his future children, the entire country. Christ, she knew words even he didn’t say out loud.
This couldn’t be the “baby” H.H. O’Hara was so convinced “might just wither up and die” if she wasn’t treated “delicate like.”
He resisted the urge to have a look inside. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to recognize Arden O’Hara from her father’s description; the big man had been blubbering so hard the other night he’d been almost incoherent. Guilt was a powerful thing, Raz supposed. H.H. had refused to meet the kidnappers’ demands and hadn’t heard from them a second time. The rancher feared he’d done the wrong thing and would never again see his daughter. Averse to paying the “hooligans” who had taken her, he was more than willing to pay someone else to find her and bring her home.
The cabin door burst open; a man dashed out, holding his hat to his head.
“I said I wanted a bath, you incompetent jackass!”
A pitcher and bowl flew past, narrowly missing the man’s head. He bent to pick up the shattered pieces, mumbling to himself in Spanish about the ungrateful señorita breaking his wife’s good pitcher.
Raz made his move. With speed born of practice, his gun met his hand. Swiftly yet silently he crept closer. The other man started, then reached for his gun.
“Save it. You’ll be dead before you clear leather.”
The man glanced from the Peacemaker in Raz’s hand to the one strapped low on his hip then raised his gaze to size up his rival. His arms went up in surrender. “Señor. Did El Hombre send you?”
The man? What the hell was that supposed to mean? He adopted a loose-hipped stance, leaning one shoulder against the shack. May as well play along, see what he could find out “Yeah. He sent me.”
“Bueno. Better you than me. She is a handful, but I could never kill a woman. No matter how unpleasant she is.”
Raz digested that in silence. He wasn’t surprised the kidnappers intended to kill her, had half expected to find her already dead. Now that her daddy had refused their ransom demands, they would have no use for the girl. Except one. And with a temper like that, she’d only make it more fun for them.
“That does not bother you?”
Something thumped against the floor of the shack. “What the hell is going on out there?”
Raising a lazy brow, Raz sneered. “Do I look like it’s gonna bother me?”
The man gave a slight shake of his head. “She is like a tiger. She will not go down without a fight.”
With deliberate movements, Raz removed tobacco from his shirt pocket. Bracing one foot against the door, he calmly rolled a cigarillo. It was pure luck he’d arrived before the real killer, but he wished this little fellow would be on his way. Just once he’d like to have a job gosmoothly. No bloodshed, no fist fights. Nice and easy.
“Where is my goddamned bath water?”
The man adjusted his dusty, battered hat. “Good luck, amigo.” His relieved grin told Raz he’d probably need it.
He pulled a drag on the cigarillo as the other man mounted his horse and watched until he rode out of sight. With a light-hearted sigh, he turned toward the shack. It appeared all he had to do was return Arden O’Hara to her daddy, collect his reward, and not risk his neck doing it.
Visions of how he’d spend the money swam in his brain. Well, just one vision. Land. Lots of it. He’d always dreamed of being a man of property. Maybe then he could hang up his holster, change his name, and live a quiet, peaceable life.
“Do I smell cigarettes out there? Are you heating my bath water or lazing about smoking?”
He tossed aside the cigarillo and pushed open the door. And ducked as an object came flying at his head. It missed him by inches and flew out the open door. He glanced toward the enamel coffee pot, then back inside. The interior was dim, stuffy. It took a few seconds for his eyes to adjust to the change in light.
“Great, another one.”
Raz blinked.
“Did you bring my bath water?”
From his conversation with H.H. O’Hara, he’d been expecting a much younger girl. His gaze fell to the way she was dressed. A man’s shirt, tucked into slim-fitting trousers that hugged every curve. This was no child. Her hands rested on either hip. One small, booted foot patted the ground impatiently.
“Leave something on me, or I might catch cold.”
If life was fair, she’d have the face of a hag to match that heavenly body. Reluctantly, he pulled his attention upward. Damn the luck.

Monday Morning Musing: A Shot of Adrenaline

I found the review below on Facebook last week when someone posted it about Northern Temptress, and it lifted my spirits considerably. Last ...