Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Guest Post: Felice by D.V. Stone

My guest today is D.V. Stone talking about her book: Felice

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, my name is D. V. Stone.  I’m am an independent author with two books available and one contracted with Wild Rose Press to be released probably later this year. All different genres call to me as a reader, and that’s reflected in my writing. Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar is a fantasy/romance and Agent Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake is mid-grade paranormal. Rock House Grill is a contemporary romance.

I work full-time in a medical office and looking forward to retirement in about a year and a half. I’m a lover of memes, emojis, and goofy pictures. What else do I love? My husband, definitely. My son and lovely daughter-in-law who have given me the best grands a woman could ask for. My mom, sister, and brothers. My dog, Hali. I tolerate the cat (just kidding, get a grip).

I enjoy camping, though some call it glamping. This body is too old to sleep on the ground and not have a bathroom. Fires in my chiminea or at the campgrounds we visit are high on my list. Sitting on the deck, watching birds and butterflies. Walking the above-mentioned dog. Music in its many forms. Classic Rock, Southern Rock, and Blues are interchangeable for my top spot. Oh, and Big band is way up there too. The Great American Songbook.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I love creating characters and then learning about them while drafting the story. I love how the story often takes on its own life leading me where it wants to go. For instance, the first book I wrote, still a work in progress, went from the main characters being three sisters down to one, Haana, who embodied the three.

Editing used to be a chore. However, I’ve come to embrace it as a means of getting a great book. But on about the fifth round, it gets tedious.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

One foolish thought. One brutal act. Instead of a peaceful alliance–war.

From the shifter nation of Dar, Felice carries a peace accord. A treaty will bind her sister to Abelard, Prince of Argatha–a human–and forge an alliance between Dar and Argatha. An attack by rogue soldiers sets off a chain of events, binding Felice to Abelard her sister’s betrothed. While her new Shield-Mate chips away at the walls around her heart, Felice struggles to maintain control over her life–something she and her inner Panther have fought hard to attain. Responsibility for the dying Emissary lies heavy on Abelard’s shoulders. Abelard is a good soldier, but not, he realizes a good man. Felice is the catalyst that brings him purpose. War comes, but not the one expected. An invasion from an old enemy, thrusts shifters and humans together–they must unite, or each may fall. Amid treachery and chaos, love blooms and Abelard and Felice must come to terms with the past if their love is to survive.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I mentioned earlier Wild Rose Press contracted my contemporary romance, Rock House Grill.  While Rock House is going through the process, I’m working on Jazz House, the second book in the Impact series. I also have other works in various stages of completion.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Though my work is considered Sweet Romance. I do deal with some difficult situations in most of my writing. Circumstances have damaged Felice, but what I try to convey is we all need help sometimes and need to make the choice to accept it.  There is always hope.


Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar

Thick fog muffled the horses' hoof beats on the final leg of their journey toward Sorota. The normal sound of city life was absent. An unnerving silence blanketed them as Felice’s bay mare followed behind Nolan’s dapple grey. There was no noise coming from the city. The hair on Felice’s neck stood up. “Lord Nolan, do you feel something amiss?”

He looked over his shoulder, a bland, patient expression on his face and said, “Princess Felice, we do not act on feelings. We act on learning and knowledge. Feelings should never enter into diplomacy.”

When they arrived in Sorota, humans escorted them down the narrow, cobbled street, toward the Overseer’s dwelling. Through the thick fog, gas lamps cast shuttered houses and shops along the street in an eerie yellow glow. Other than the soldiers who escorted them, there were no other signs of the population.

Outwardly she assumed a placid demeanor, but she couldn’t tamp down her instincts. The Panther in her hadn’t emerged yet, but Felice’s nerves clawed at her insides. Glancing from side to side, she kept a close eye on the men of Sorota. A bead of sweat rolled down the nearest, though the day was cool and damp. She could smell the anxiety in some of them.

Felice fidgeted, on edge. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to go wrong. Her mare pranced sideways and snorted. Whirls of vapor rose from the horse’s nose into the chilled air.

Nolan glared over his shoulder at her. “Control your emotions, Felice. They are affecting your horse.”

She sat straight in her saddle, focusing her eyes ahead and pushed down the worry. Felice tried to soothe the mare by stroking her neck. The horse’s ear twitched when she leaned forward and whispered, “Easy, Arundel, I feel it too. We will keep our eyes open.”

Nolan, who acted under the security of the king’s authority, never questioned the large contingent of guards when they entered the cavernous hall of Overseer Gedeon. The arrogance of Nolan’s position was their downfall. Not until they were behind the large, barred doors, did his brow furrow in concern. Still, he said nothing. But Felice loosened the strap on her knife and reached behind under her cloak to slacken her sword leather.

After being more herded, rather than led, Felice and Nolan were pushed through a door into the Sorotan’s meeting room.

“That is not Gedeon, but his brother Dunbar,” Nolan whispered into her ear. “Be careful, he is a very dangerous man.”

“Seize them!” Dunbar ordered, and before the Darrians could respond, Nolan was struck down. Several knives pierced his body. Regret was replaced with the glaze of death, and he muttered, “I am sorry, my lady.”

The men in the room turned to her. Their cruel eyes revealed no regard for her tender age when they moved toward her with raised weapons. Shortly after her torment began, Felice’s Panter erupted, and her life changed forever.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Guest Post: His Magic Touch by Debby Grahl

Today my guest is Debby Grahl talking to us about her latest book: His Magic Touch

Tell us about yourself:

Along with my husband, David, I live on beautiful Hilton Head Island in SC. Besides writing, I like to listen to classic murder mysteries, bike ride, walk on the beach, visit England and have a glass of wine at sun set.

I was born with a disease of the retina called Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes gradual vision loss. I lost the ability to read in my early twenties, but even when I had sight, seeing the printed word was always difficult for me. Reading a book would take me twice as long as  a person with normal sight. I became frustrated with this and  began to make up my own stories. It wasn’t until the invention of computers and wonderful screen reading software that I was able to put my stories into words.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

The one thing that thrills me the most is when someone tells me how much they enjoyed my book. If the words I write can bring pleasure, even if it’s for a short  time, I can’t express how fulfilling that is to me as a writer.

Marketing is the one thing about writing I like the least. The number of hours I have to spend on this when I’d rather be writing makes me crazy.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

His Magic Touch

The night before Jared Dupre's wedding, a specter warns him the demonic witch, Adam Montief, has kidnapped his brother in a centuries-old vendetta unknown to Jared. A powerful witch himself, Jared tracks Adam from New Orleans to a remote island off the coast of Connecticut where he's given no choice. He must rescue his brother and break his engagement to Kendra O'Connell, or they both die. After complying, Jared engages in a sword fight and believes he has vanquished his foe, but when he returns to New Orleans, he finds evil still threatens all he loves. Kendra, not knowing why Jared broke their engagement, devastated, finds solace in another's arms. With help from an ancestor's spirit, can Jared defeat the dark magic descending over the Big Easy while winning back the woman he loves?

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I’m beginning a contemporary series set in the South. The first is titled Mountain Blaze, the second Island Heat, and the third Low Country Boil.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

I’d like to thank all those who have taken the time to read my books. I so appreciate your accompanying me on my writing journey. And I’d like to welcome those who are new to my writing and hope you’ll take a peek at one of my books.


In the stifling heat, Angelique Montief flicked her wrist and set the bamboo ceiling fan spinning. Kneeling on a woven mat with sweat coating her body, she lifted a small wooden brass-bound casket from the bottom of a large trunk, inserted a gold key, and opened the lid. Inside two objects lay wrapped in thick cloth. She carefully unwrapped the smaller bundle to reveal a pentagonal mirror, a gift handed down to her by her grandmother, its ancient oak frame carved with tiny pentacles.

She glanced over her shoulder at her locked bedroom door, then stared into the mirror and whispered, “Show him to me.” When the glass remained blank, fear clutched at her chest. Again, she said the words, and the image of a plantation house engulfed in flames appeared. “No, please, he can’t be dead. ”Tears blurred her vision. The fiery image changed to reveal a human form lying beneath flowering bougainvillea. “Show me his face.”

She saw his indigo blue eyes blink open.

“I’m coming, my love.”

She re-wrapped the mirror and placed it into the smaller casket among cloth bags of herbs and potion-filled vials. Re-locking the lid, she hung the key on a chain around her neck, dropped a jeweled dagger into her pocket, and tucked the casket under her arm.

Augustus had locked her in, placing what he thought would be an impenetrable shield across both doors. Her husband’s biggest mistake was underestimating her.

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Debby Grahl lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with her husband, David. Besides writing, she enjoys biking, walking on the beach and a glass of wine at sunset. Her favorite places to visit are New Orleans, New York City, Captiva Island in Florida, the Cotswolds of England, and her home state of Michigan. She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel, and, of course, romance. Visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books.

Her first published book, The Silver Crescent, won the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice award. Her second book, Rue Toulouse, a contemporary romance set in New Orleans, was a finalist in the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award and was selected as a May, 2016, ‘local read’ by Hilton Head Monthly.

Decorated to Death is a holiday mystery cozy. She also has stories in three anthologies, The Haunted West, Never Fear/Christmas Terrors; and Ebb and Flow from the local Island Writers’ Network.

Debby was featured in the January, 2016, Hilton Head Monthly article ‘Intriguing People of the Lowcountry’. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Florida Romance Writers, and First Coast Romance Writers.

Her latest book, His Magic Touch, was released December 5, 2018, by Wild Rose Press.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Guest post: Scent of Betrayal by Denise Carbo

Today let's welcome Denise Carbo talking about her book Scent of Betrayal

Tell us a little about yourself.

My husband and three sons are my life. I love to travel when I can, bake, garden, and read when I’m not writing.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I love creating characters, plot, and setting and then seeing where they will take me. 

I don’t love the editing process because after a while I get sick of reading my own words, but I do like that editing means the story is done and the end is near.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

Wolf shifter, Davis Campbell is on a mission. His job is to babysit a woman from a rival clan. He believes all he has to do is get her back to Scotland. What he doesn't figure on is her possibly being his mate.

Bethany Leitner, an owl shifter, has been betrayed, attacked, framed, and left for dead. Trust in herself and others is hard to find. So when her self-appointed guardian begins to bark orders, she is ready to show her talons.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

My WIP (work-in-progress) is Legacy of Destruction, the second in my witch series and the sequel to Legacy of Magic.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Scent of Betrayal is the second book in the Shifters of Rishard series and the sequel to Bloodlines. For more information on my books and to be the first to see cover reveals and be notified of sales sign up for my newsletter at 


Davis snorted. “Yeah, well, the little peacemaker tried to get rid of me when I didn’t kowtow to Aaron and the adviser. I don’t think she fully realizes the precarious position she and her clan are in right now.”

“On the contrary, I am quite aware, which is why I don’t see the need to make the matter worse by
antagonizing everyone around me.”

Davis slowly swiveled his head to meet Bethany’s glare. 

She stood in the open doorway to the bathroom with her arms wrapped tightly around her waist. Her dark gaze pinned on him. She’d changed into a blue dress. It accentuated her tiny waist, skimming just below her knees, allowing him an appreciative view of her trim legs. Her pursed lips only accentuated the pink little bow of her mouth. He couldn’t help but imagine what it might be like to grab a taste.

An amused chuckle sounded in his ear. “She doesn’t sound very happy with you, Davis. Are you
sure you want to stay?”

“Yeah, I’m sure.”

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Guest post: Heart Healer by Leslie Bowes

Today my guest is Leslie Bowes talking about her book: Heart Healer

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in southern Maryland. When I was thirteen, I moved to Summerville, South Carolina where I fell in love with the Lowcountry culture and history. South Carolina was my inspiration for my book Heart Healer. Recently I moved to central Virginia, and now I am enjoying the beauty and history of this area. The rolling hills and pastoral views will surely inspire ideas for future stories

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I Love that I can take readers somewhere they have never gone before. I hate that sometimes I get writers block and it sometimes takes me forever to get back on track.


Catherine Andrews is an English woman living in the 1800's. Her father sells her to Blake Von-Clyer to be his wife to pay off debts owed to Mr. Von-Clyer. Catherine soon finds out Blake is a cruel and horrible man.

On their wedding night, to escape his cruelty, she throws herself into the river. Death is better than marriage to a beast.

Christopher King is living in 2014 doing his best to raise his young son Ryan after his wife left him. One night, Christopher finds a woman in the river unconscious and barely breathing. She is also wearing old fashioned clothes. Christopher does everything in his power to help the young women. When Catherine regains consciousness, she finds herself in a strange and unbelievable situation. Terrified, she does her best to keep her guard up against Christopher. But as she gets to know him, she can't help but fall for the man who saved her life. When Catherine's dangerous past comes back to haunt her, it has Catherine and Christopher fighting for each other and their love.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I am working on book 2 in the Heart Healer sires called The Choices for Love.


“That’s true, but I don’t need a servant. I need a wife.” 

Catherine dropped the spoon as her whole body shook. What was her father planning to do? Hard work? A wife? What was going on? She was not her father’s slave to trade as he wished. She was his daughter. Too nervous to turn around, Catherine prayed that she heard wrong. 

“What did you say?” her father asked, shocked. 

“You heard me.” Mr. Von-Clyer laughed. “You had no problem selling her to me as a servant Mr. Andrews, but now that I want her for my wife your conscience haunts you. What’s the difference? Either way your debt to me is paid.” 

“Catherine, get over here now!” her father yelled drunkenly. The longer she stared at the vein in her father’s neck; she realized that she was making him angrier than Catherine had ever seen before. She slowly walked over to the table and stood in front of her father. Her heart was pounding in her chest as she watched him drink his last bit of wine. “You will be Mr. Von-Clyer’s wife to pay off my debt.”

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Never give on your dreams if you work at it. It will come true.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Guest Post: Cairo Connection by Carol Henry

My guest today is Carol Henry talking about her book Cairo Connection

Tell us a little about yourself.

Carol Henry, is a #1 best-selling author who writes award-winning, 5-STAR reviewed Romantic Suspense Adventures (Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone), as well as American historical, holiday, and contemporary novels. A world traveler, Carol has written for several major cruise lines’ deluxe in-cabin books, and Porthole Cruise Magazine, but also takes great pleasure in weaving her own adventures with her ‘characters’ in her novels. Her ‘Connection’ series includes: Amazon Connection, Shanghai Connection, Rio Connection, and her latest Cairo Connection. Although her more contemporary novels, such as her Lobster Cove series (Juelle’s Legacy, Breakfast with Santa, and Nora’s Redemption), has a few snippets from her travels, as well. 

Carol teaches creative writing workshops, has been a speaker at various venues, is a member of Romance Writers of America®, and is a member of Published Authors Network. She is also a member and past president of RWA’s chapter STAR—Southern Tier Authors of Romance (NY), a member of Sisters in Crime, and is the president of her local Write Now Writers’ Group. Visit Carol’s website at

What do like the most and the least about writing?

Getting the what I like ‘least about writing’ over with, it’s coming up with a blurb, writing the synopsis, and coming up with names to fit the characters.

As for what I like about writing? I’m a huge plotter, and although I like to work at figuring out my characters’ story line, I really enjoy the editing, where I can go in and work with something that is already done, and the meat of the matter is laid out for me. Then, I can change what my characters say to each other, what they’re really thinking, feeling, and how they should act accordingly, depending on the situation. I love searching for what I call ‘word choices’. As I’m writing, or re-reading (several times) I highlight words that need to be clearer, need to say what I really meant to say (or, my characters meant to say), and look for words that help with the pacing. I’m old school, so I prefer to print out my work, and with pencil in hand, sit down to enjoy the rewriting process.

Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

Megan Holloway is startled when Professor Jordan Kaine informs her she must travel with him to Cairo to collaborate on a proposed contract for the Egyptian Agricultural Ministry. Sole provider for her ill mother, Megan can’t leave her side. But Megan’s probationary period at Wild and Wonderful Corp is up in two weeks.  She can't afford to refuse the attractive Professor’s request and risk her job. Jordan Kaine, up for tenure, MUST win the Cairo contract. He doesn’t want his growing affections for Megan to jeopardize his career. But when a student who filed bogus sexual harassment charges against him shows up at the Cairo conference vying for the contract and him, chances of obtaining tenure becomes tenuous. With unexplained mishaps, smuggling rumors, and a dead body linked to his father’s dig in Luxor, will Jordan and Megan make their own Cairo connection?

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

Just submitted my novella to The Wild Rose Press for their Deerbourne Inn Series entitled Ciara’s Homecoming Christmas. But I have a couple more Connection Novels waiting to be written. Right now the hard part is trying to figure out which country I want to use for my setting, although my final Connection book will be in France.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

When writing my Connection novels, I always try to find something that is pertinent and currently happening in the country that I’ve visited, and incorporate it, and my experiences, into my characters’ adventures. I’m not a brave person (although many think I am), I always want to incorporate a scene that includes, at least for me, a hair-raising adventure. For example, I always wanted to take a hot air balloon ride but didn’t have the nerve. I’m not a fan of flying, even though planes get me where I want to go. So when I had the opportunity, and my husband twisted my arm, while we were in Egypt, I couldn’t resist ballooning over the Nile—in awe.  When I learned of the Ballooning accident that took place the year after we were there, I couldn’t resist including it in my Cairo Connection novel, although we did land safe and sound on the ground, unlike my character’s experience (see excerpt below).

I’ve hunted alligators in the back of beyond at midnight in Amazon Connection, wandered the mysterious hutongs in Shanghai Connection, and made my way up to Christ the Redeemer in Rio Connection. Again, thankfully, all my adventures were without incident, unlike my characters’.


Without warning, the drone flew directly into the ropes connecting the hot air balloon and the basket filled with passengers. The jarring impact sent everyone tumbling sideways in shock. Megan fell against Jordan. Jordan’s arms circled her protectively, catching her before she fell over the edge.

“What the hell!” Jordan exclaimed. The mid-sized drone’s spinnerets were cutting through the ropes at a frenzied pace. The basket rocked, and then tilted again. The man at the controls adjusted the flames shooting upward into the balloon—the basket took an immediate dive. The ropes caught fire, and were immediately thrown over the side of the basket as they descended. Two of the passengers clung precariously to the edge while others screamed, and hung on tight.

“Hang on,” Jordan ordered. “Sit on my lap and tuck your head against my chest. Keep your arms and legs inside.”

Megan didn’t question him; if there was half a chance she’d get out of this alive, it would be thanks to Jordan’s level-headedness.

The basket swayed, bobbed, and continued its rapid descent. Passengers were tossed about, screaming for their lives, while the couple clinging to the edge of the basket was flung overboard.  The drone sounded like a buzz saw as it continued to eat away at the burning ropes. 

Megan closed her eyes and sent up a silent prayer for the couple’s safety. She held her breath and clung to Jordan.  Holy Mary, Mother of God. They were about to plummet to their deaths.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Guest post: The Rebound Effect by Linda Griffin

My guest today is Linda Griffin talking about her book: The Rebound Effect

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a native of San Diego and have a BA in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. I retired as fiction librarian for the San Diego Public Library to spend more time on my writing. My stories have been published in numerous literary journals, including The Binnacle , Eclectica, Orbis, and The Nassau Review, and The Rebound Effect is my second romance from The Wild Rose Press.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I love it when the glimmers are flowing and my characters talk to me. I also enjoy the editing process and working with my wonderful editor, Nancy Swanson, at the Wild Rose Press. 

I’m not good at promotion and sometimes feel as if my head is spinning with all the details to keep track of. 

Give us a peek into your latest published work?
In the small town of Cougar, struggling single mother and veterinary assistant Teresa Lansing is still bruised from a failed relationship when Frank McAllister sweeps her off her feet. 

Frank is a big-city SWAT officer who moved to Cougar only four months ago. He's handsome, charming, forceful, very sexy, and a bit mysterious. He had his eye on Teresa even before they met and is pushing for a serious relationship right away. 

Teresa finds his intense courtship flattering, and the sex is fabulous, but she doesn't want her deaf six-year-old son to be hurt again. Her former fiancĂ© cheated on her when he got drunk after being unjustly fired, but he loves her and her son, and the whirlwind romance is complicated by his efforts to win Teresa back. And then there's the matter of the bodies buried at Big Devil Creek…

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I hope it will be Guilty Knowledge, a police procedural/interracial romance. 

Is there anything you want to tell readers?
Although The Rebound Effect is entirely fictional, Teresa is more like me than of my other characters, from her T-shirts to her religious philosophy. Frank is named after a real person, but in such a roundabout way that I don’t think anybody will guess. All of the scenes on the coast are based on places on the Oregon Coat that I visited while writing it. I had great fun renaming them, the most obvious being fictionalizing Florence as Genoa. 


She reached inside the robe to rub his shoulders. She was feeling something new now, something tender, loving, intimate, possessive. She kissed him. She wanted to give in to this sense of well-being, of the inevitability of a future together, of love, but wasn’t it too soon? 

“Teresa,” he said, again as if her name was a special endearment. “I want to sleep with you. I want to hold you all night.” 

“It sounds very romantic,” she said, “but what if I snore? What if I need you to let me breathe a little?”

“Breathing is overrated. I never want to let go of you again.” He kissed her, and then he lifted her in his arms. It had never happened to her before—Gene hadn’t even carried her across the threshold on their wedding night. 

“Frank!” she cried, laughing, but a little scared—what if he dropped her? He was strong, but she wasn’t very light. He didn’t drop her—or he did, but deliberately, from about an inch above the cool, clean sheets of his bed. They were both laughing, and he started kissing her randomly, here and there. This can be a lot of fun, she told herself. Enjoy it while it lasts. “Remember when you asked if it was too soon for me to date?” she asked.

“Yeah, and you said it depended on the definition.”

“It turns out it was too soon,” she said, “and now it’s too late.” 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Guest blog: Quarterback Blitz by Frances Stockton

Giveaway & Book Release for Quarterback Blitz by Frances Stockton


Quarterback Blitz
Alexandria Griffins, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance


All Anna James wants for her fortieth birthday is a ladies’ night out, her plans stalled when she ends up stuck in her griffin costume. As the mascot for the Alexandria Griffins, she never expects to be rescued by the star of her midnight fantasies, quarterback Kyran Black. Dubbed “The Rebel” by the press because of his long hair, tattoos, and playboy stats off the field, he’s everything she should avoid…but still craves and Anna agrees to celebrate her birthday with him.

Certain she’s too old for him, she intends to guard her heart, but he blitzes her defenses, proving to be so much more than a legendary athlete with a media-driven reputation. But when their romantic weekend evolves into love, a blast from his bad boy past returns with a vengeance, threatening to tear their worlds apart.

Can their love overcome the pressures of living in the spotlight, or will they lose the future they’ve only begun to build? 


Checking his phone, he noticed a text from Dallas letting him know the coast was clear. Good, one less thing to worry about. Sending a text asking his friend to bring his duffel bag to the hallway outside the women’s locker room, he hoped he wouldn’t need to go into an explanation. When he got an okay emoji in response, he relaxed and put the phone next to Anna’s purse.
He’d just withdrawn his hand when a terrible scream sent him running toward the shower room that wasn’t much different than the men’s.
“Anna,” he called out over the sound of water, steam flooding the whole room, her yips and yelps making his heart race like a jackrabbit. Sliding to a halt when he reached the last stall, he slid open the curtain only to panic when he realized he couldn’t even see her.
“No, don’t come in here. It’s too hot and I can’t reach the faucet to shut off the water.”
“Fuck that,” he growled, charging forward, the water pelting his shoulders making him hiss. “Shit!”
At last, he found the knob, requiring three turns before the water shut off. Waving at the steam, he found Anna sitting in the corner of the stall, hugging herself, her head bowed, the skin on her shoulders bright pink. Hating to see her that way, he sat down next to her, his back against the wall, his knees bent.
“Go home, Kyran, I’m sure you’ve a thousand things to do after a game.” “The only thing I need to take care of right now is you,” he assured, meaning it. “Can I get you anything, first aid cream, aloe? I’m an excellent masseuse.”
“That’s kind of you, but unnecessary. It was weird, you know? The warm water suddenly went cold and when I tried to turn the knob, it became way too hot and I panicked. I’m sorry to have frightened you.”
“That is weird and I’m going to take it up with stadium management ASAP. That should not happen, Anna.”
“You can’t do that.”
“Why not?”
“Because they’ll ask how you knew about the hot water mix up.”“Trust me, I can inform them of the fault in the plumbing without bringing your name into it. I sure as hell can’t let anyone else use this shower until it’s been checked. Come on, let me see if you’ve been burned.”
“Um, I’m naked.”
“That’s okay, most people take showers without clothes on.” “And, there’s still shampoo in my hair. This was the last straw in a day from hell and all I want is to curl up in bed, watch a movie that’ll make me cry, and eat a gallon of rocky road ice cream,” she grumbled, her panicked breaths muffled when she dropped her head onto her forearm and cried.
“Don’t cry. Please don’t, that’ll kill me,” he urged, getting nowhere. Didn’t matter that his ass was sitting in water that was still too hot for comfort. All he could do was turn to her, take her elbow and tug, next thing he knew, she’d crawled onto his lap, snuggling up against him. God have mercy, she was the sweetest thing he’d ever known, felt. His need for her more than physical, it was down deep, refusing to let him so much as look at another woman since they’d met.

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My love for storytelling began when I created my first fictional characters in kindergarten, convincing my family and friends that Red Henry and Green Henry were identical twin brothers in my school. They were mischievous, rarely did their homework, and even had girlfriends! Years later, I started to write, completing my first manuscript in middle school. I confess the heroine was a cross between a contemporary Laura Ingalls Wilder and Nancy Drew, who’d been dating one of the Hardy Boys, but when I wrote “the end” I’d known I had more stories to tell.

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Guest post: Seneca Lake by Emily Heebner

Today my guest is Emily Heebner and she's is talking about her newest release Seneca Lake

Tell us a little about yourself.

Emily Heebner is a fiction writer, university lecturer and theatre professional. A graduate of  Cornell University, she worked extensively as an actor for many years, then wrote documentary scripts for such dvds as "The Hours," "Tuck Everlasting," "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Passion of the Christ." Her YA novel Seneca Lake was inspired by her mother's growing up in the rural Finger Lakes during WWII. When they aren't teaching, she and her film professor husband live on top of a mountain with their adopted dog and two cats.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

What I love about writing is the research process as well as the creativity that happens as I type. Once in the zone, writing appears that I didn't anticipate! I love revising, too. After getting a scene going on the page, I enjoy taking a walk, making a cup o' tea, then sitting back down to fiddle around with the text. Computers make that so easy! I remember the days of typewriters and carbon paper, so I appreciate the freedom to move text around, to park early drafts until I really trust that the new writing is better, such a luxury. I often check early drafts and discover a few gems that are worth slipping back in. Sharing the development of work with other writers, especially in a trusted critique group, is so helpful and fun because it's social!

The down side of writing is sitting in a chair for too long. Also, it can get to be quite solitary.

Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

It's 1944, and high school senior Meg Michaels has always obeyed her grandparents' wishes, till now. They're urging her to give up her dream of Cornell University and accept a ring from wealthy Hank Wickham before he deploys overseas. But Meg has studied hard and yearns for something better than life in the rural Finger Lakes. Plus Meg's suddenly fascinated with her childhood friend, Arthur Young, a handsome Seneca Indian farm worker. When Meg and Arthur nurse a sick puppy to health, their friendship transforms into love. But locals look down on "injuns" and resent the fact that Arthur's farm job exempts him from military duty. While the war rages in Europe, Meg and Arthur must fight their own battles at home…

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I'm finishing a new adult novella. And I'd like to write the sequel to Seneca Lake.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

The story is fiction but takes place in real locations that will seem familiar to those who know the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. As I said, I based the heroine on my mother who died early so writing the book was a way for me to spend time with her in my imagination.  The hero is a Seneca Indian farm worker and readers may be interested to learn about the prejudice against Native Americans during WWII. Seneca Lake itself is named after the people who were the keepers of the Iroquois nation's "Western Door" before Washington's army forced them to relocate. The area was also the birthplace of the women's movement and a stop on the Underground Railroad. There are numerous colleges and universities in the area, including Cornell University where my mom was a student. The Finger Lakes region is a scenic vacation spot with wineries, restaurants and historic homes, now bed and breakfasts. We recently stayed at one called The Fox and Grapes - fabulous!
Please include an excerpt to your book here:

When she looked up, Arthur stood close by, watching her, buttoning his shirt over his overalls. She blushed. Neither of them spoke.

They wandered among the trees toward home. White butterflies danced above the wild strawberries where the bees had been and the scent of skunk still lingered.

“You shouldn’t come out here alone,” Arthur said. “You can’t be sure what you might see.”

“Maybe you ought to wear a bathing suit.” She glanced at him but he watched the path ahead. He didn’t care that she’d seen him without his clothes on, she knew that.

“Where’d you get the welts?”

“Fell. Wrestling Ol’ Pete.”

He gently took her hand. Crickets chirruped.

Sunlight brightened the woods’ canopy as they neared the Lees’ property line. He paused.

“I’ll wait a while,” he said, letting go of her hand. “You leave first.”

She looked up. Why after so many years of thinking of him as a brother, as a pesky brother even, why suddenly did she feel so differently standing near him? She knew Gram was waiting. But she suddenly loathed the Wickhams and she couldn’t tell anyone why.

She touched a top button on his shirt. His chest rose and fell with soft breaths. She tucked a strand of wet hair behind his ear. Their foreheads pressed together, his hair falling forward around their faces. Their noses touched. Then their lips. She dangled her arms at her sides so she wouldn’t bump his sores.

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