Fantastic Romance Giveaway

I’ve teamed up with some fantastic authors to bring you this amazing giveaway. Enter below to win 1 of 2 Kindle Fires and discover some awesome new series.

Be sure to stop by Love Books’ Facebook page as they’re also giving away ecopies of books from all of these authors.


Soulmate Series by Kelli McCracken




99c


Lost Coast Harbor Series by Lily Danes and Eve Kincaid



FREE


Doctors of Rittenhouse Square by Jill Blake

99c

The Tempered Steel Series by Maggie Adams

FREE


Great Plains Romance Series by Corrissa James

FREE

The Love Me Series by C.C. Cartwright 


99c

The Jungle Eyes Trilogy by Lindsay Marie Miller

FREE

The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod by Tracy Ellen

FREE

Love on Tour Series by Kay Harris

99c


Decadence After Dark Book Series by M Never


$1.99

Up In Flames Series by Em Petrova

FREE

Highland Wolf Clan by A.K. Michaels 

FREE

The Masterpiece Trilogy by Nikki Lynn Barrett

99c
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Eve’n Steven by Suzie Jay

Let’s start the week off with a wonderful new release by Suzie Jay called Eve’n Steven. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this story and if you like small town HEA romances, you have to check this book out.

Suzie Jay Eve'n Steven

The Story

Eve Taylor decides it’s time to move on from the past. After all, she has a wonderful boyfriend who came with two great children. She has a fantastic career and has achieved all her personal goals and dreams.

To cut all ties to the past, she must return to the small rural town where she grew up and sell her parents’ farm—a job she’s been putting off for a long time. She has no desire to go there, not when her boyfriend Grayson is spending time with the world’s most gorgeous movie star.

Then there’s Steven. Everyone says they were destined to be together, but Eve didn’t love him that way. She’s been avoiding him and his feelings for her for years. But when Grayson unexpectedly dumps her over the phone, Eve reconsiders. Could Steven really be her destiny? Can he fix her parents’ crumbling farm and mend Eve’s broken heart too?

Eve’n Steven is a super fun read (read my review on Goodreads—no spoilers!), so check it out. And I’d love to hear whether you’re Team Grayson or Team Steven. Drop me a line in the comments, pretty please. 🙂

SJay photo

About the Author

Suzie Jay is a mum of 6 who lives in Adelaide, Australia with her husband and children. She has a Diploma in Child Psychology and owned her own baking and cake decorating business. She is also a school teacher, but escaped and now intends on torturing the world by sharing what’s inside her head.

Connect with Suzie

Twitter          Facebook          Website 

Gimme all the Books #Giveaway

GimmeBooks

Do you want the chance to win some wonderful books from incredibly talented authors? We’re talking actual books here, ones you can hold in your hands and and inhale that “just printed” smell as you read them, books that will line your bookshelves beautifully and ensure that you can enjoy an excellent story (or 20!!) for weeks and months to come.

Jane Harvey-Berrick                    Cassie Leigh                         Bibi Paterson
E.S. Carter                                      Zeia Jameson                       Loriana Cappello
Donna Alam                                    K. A. Sterritt                         Yessi Smith
K. J. Farnham                                 Anne Conley                        C. A. Ellis
K. D. Kimberly Carrillo                Roisin Black                          Calista Smith
Paige Peacock Horne                   Morgan Reeves                   Corrissa James (me!)
Melissa Christopherson               Megan Green

Here’s the link to take part:

https://goo.gl/forms/DjDSLlmmTH7dKsvB2

And don’t forget: Refer a friend for double entry!

The winner will be chosen by random, and each author will send them a signed paperback.

Celebrate Jules Dixon’s Latest: Whips

Today we are celebrating the latest release by Jules Dixon, who writes romance full of sizzle and humor. Tell us about Whips, which is the third book in the Cherry County Cowboy series (Note to readers: The first two are Spurs and Chaps. All three are standalone books). 

Whips was definitely a step outside my comfort zone. It is darker, more suspenseful, and definitely with…um…erotica-style sex. There’s even “a wizard behind the curtain”: Silas Bramston.

Whips by Jules Dixon

Whips is the story of a Mason LaFleur, who thought he was answering an internet call to become a “real” cowboy. Ultimately, he becomes a play toy for Silas. When Mason runs away, he ends up stepping in front of Dune Wexley’s truck while Dune’s out for a Sunday drive.

Dune has his own history with Silas, who killed Dune’s father in a “hunting accident.” In the process of trying to get justice as a law enforcement officer, Dune was stripped of his badge. Since then, he’s lived a secluded life, except for the Taylor family (as in Grayson/Valerie/Dewey Taylor from Spurs/Chaps), who keep trying to include him. Inside, he appreciates this, but he’s learned that a hard exterior is better for keeping people away. Dune falls fast and hard for Mason, and after finding a connection between the sheets in a very fast and furious kind of way, he examines whether letting someone in could really be that bad.

After Mason is kidnapped by Silas and his henchmen, he is taken to an underground bunker, where Silas is also holding Jolene, a local hairdresser who’s known as a town-favorite sweetheart. Mason takes care of Jolene, protecting her, like Dune took care of him when he was hurt. As Mason regains his self-confidence, he takes on some of the henchmen and eventually takes on Silas himself. Meanwhile, Dune and his buddy from the State Patrol are carrying out their plan to take on Silas. Mason’s at his end of badassery when Dune shows up and saves him again.

And just a quick note for Cherry County Cowboy readers, Dewey Taylor shows up in Whips and reveals a big “eeeep” at the end about Izaac (Grayson’s love from Spurs) and where he’s at that day…let’s just say there’s gonna be a wedding soon!

Grab Whips now from Amazon or Evernight Publishing

Whew! That sounds like a heck of a wild ride!!! What was your favorite part while writing Whips

When Dune gives Mason shoes. The shoes come to mean so much to Mason. It’s so innocent, but it’s a point when Dune drops a wall and we know he’s not going to turn back.

Whips-Be-Damned

I love those kinds of meaningful connections. What’s next in the pipeline for you?

The Cowgirls of Cherry County—Red Boots. It’s the story of Kaelan and Rik, which is a story readers have been asking for. I’ll also be writing Reins, the next book (and possibly last) in the Cherry County Cowboys series while I’m vacationing in Valentine, Nebraska—the one and only inspiration for this series.

Ah, Valentine! “Small town, big adventure” truly sums the area up nicely—and it sounds like you’ve taken that to heart in the Cherry County Cowboys series.

Find out more about Jules’ books and novellas on her website, follow her on Facebook, and send her tweet on Twitter

**GIVEAWAY**

So let’s do a giveaway of Whips (Kindle edition): Sign up for Jules Dixon’s newsletter on her website, then come back and leave a comment. (Sign up for my newsletter for a double entry!). Giveaway ends 11:59 p.m. CST on June 15, 2016.

June Firsts Free for All

firsts free for all49 Romance Authors are offering
51 Books for FREE!

Don’t miss this event running from Monday, June 6th through Thursday, June 9th.

Sign up to receive the link to this awesome event.

Click one, click them ALL for FREE on Amazon. Then settle in for some happy reading.

This event is proudly hosted by Love Kissed Book Bargains.

(I’m mentioning this so you don’t delete the email with the link to the event, which would be devastating.)

A.M. Manay’s Compassionate Vampire

Today I’m turning the reins over to A. M. Manay in celebration of the release of her second book in the November Snow series, She Lights Up the Dark. A.M. Manay is a former Oakland teacher who is inspired by her students and her multiracial family to write fiction that includes a multicultural cast of characters.  She writes intelligent paranormal fantasy featuring strong women and fascinating villains.   
AMManayMost people probably don’t think that a vampire novel is a good place to go for examples of compassion or ethical behavior, but I like to think that what I write isn’t your typical vampire novel.  I write fun, escapist fantasy, but I like for it to have some redeeming social value and to send some positive messages to my readers.  Does that mean my characters don’t make mistakes?  Of course not,  If they were perfect, they wouldn’t be anything like real people.  But what my “good guy” characters do is strive for a better world, even if they make mistakes.

The main character in my series, November, strives to be compassionate and ethical even though the world seems to conspire against her.  She is plagued by visions of the past and the future, and she is haunted by the knowledge that she can’t save everyone.  Thus, she withdraws from the people around her until one day, she is pulled into the world of supernatural creatures who not only believe her power is real, but also wish to use it for their own ends.  This situation occupies much of the first book, She Dies at the End.

AM Manay banner

On several occasions, November is deeply hurt by the actions of the people around her, but she stands up for herself, refusing to accept mistreatment, and she doesn’t let her own pain and anger deter her from trying to help protect the innocent from harm.  She doesn’t let it stop her from having empathy for the powerful and magical creatures she meets, even though their lives are so different from her own. She doesn’t let her pain stop her from having compassion for the suffering of her enemies, either.

It is November’s ability to hold onto her own values even in the midst of suffering that leads to her own salvation.  Even though she knows that she is, essentially, doomed, she is able to come to terms with the fact that her destiny is to use her gift to bend the world toward justice, even though there will be mistakes and setbacks.

She Lightstwitter release (3)

In the sequel, She Lights Up the Dark, released this week, she fears that she is condemned to become a monster now that she is no longer human.  She could choose to give up, to give in, to accept living a life of selfish violence. She could become discouraged by the power of her enemy and accept that she can do nothing to help protect people from him and his plans. That would be by far the easiest path.  You will find, if you read my work, that she works to resist this temptation. Instead, she perseveres, even when there are setbacks, even when victory seems impossible, even when she makes mistakes, or when her actions have unintended consequences.

I think that November’s compassion and perseverance are qualities we could all stand to emulate a little more. Take a chance on reading my books, and let me know if you agree. 🙂

Connect with A.M. Manay

Okay, me again…to get you started in the November Snow universe, let’s do another drawing for She Sees In Her Sleep (a collection of three short stories) and She Dies at the End.  

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Catnip: My secret weapon in the garden (+ giveaways!)

Hello and welcome! I am so excited to be part of  the 5th Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop. Thanks for stopping by to visit little ole me out here in the Great Plains of the US.

Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015

I write contemporary western romance…basically, smart women meet yummy cowboys and sexy fun ensues. Some of the stories are romantic comedies, others involve sizzling forbidden loves, and my Christmas novella is a sweet, clean romance. All of my novels involve life on the prairie, where people are outdoors all the time (whether they’re riding horses or skinny dipping).

My favorite part of the Great Plains is all the vibrant plant life that Mother Nature bestows on us, sprinkling purple chicory along the roadsides, red and white clover through the fields, elderberry in the ditches, and every color of coneflower imaginable wherever there’s even a smidge of dirt and a hint of rain. I’m particularly fond of the majestic goldenrod and the purple loosestrife…just thinking about the vibrant fields of color makes me smile.

But with Mother Nature putting on such a spectacular show, my own garden quite honestly pales in comparison. Plus, all the luscious flowers attract deer, rabbits, woodchucks, skunks, squirrels, possum, mice, and birds (birds galore!), who line up for the free buffet line that I call my garden.

So what’s a gal to do?

I take a cue from Mother Nature herself and incorporate a variety of herbs in and around my garden. I surround my garden area with catnip to ward off mice and other creepy crawlies (like skeeters!). I love the lemony smell when I walk through the bushes (which can grow well above the knees if left to their own devices), and my cats love me when I return to the house. I always harvest a bit for the kitties before the catnip gets too mature and dry the leaves to help alleviate any boredom among my three felines. One healthy catnip plant usually provides enough dried catnip to last through the winter, and I bag up any extra for my friends’ kitties.

But catnip is great for humans as well. A cup of catnip tea before bed helps me sleep through the night. The tea and leaves can also help with headaches as well as flushing toxins from the body. There’s a whole host of benefits from this hardy plant that is covered with white flowers once mature.

The thing is, just like everything thing out here on the plains, catnip serves many purposes. It keeps critters away (some say it is as much as 10 times stronger than DEET), helps entertain my cats, and provides health benefits for the humans. The plant gives off a pleasantly fresh smell and is pretty darn easy to grow, even for someone like me (whose thumb leans more to the black than the green).

Of course, a few caveats: I am not a medical professional, so please do your own research before using/ingesting catnip. Also, be careful re-introducing yourself to your kitties if you’ve been out in the catnip. Some of my felines have been known to attach themselves to my legs the minute I walk in the door. Make sure you protect yourself from kitties easily excited by catnip (they really can’t help themselves, you know…and they don’t mean to latch on so tightly with their teeny tiny claws ::shudder::).

My other favorite plant in the wild is nettles, but I’ll have to save that post for next year. 😉

If you think you might enjoy my romance stories, I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter and enter the giveaway for my latest book, So Wills the Heart (read more about this book as well as reviews). Although all my stories are set in the same small towns, they are standalone books (and psst…you can nab the first e-book in the series, Vibrant Heart, free at your favorite retailer).

Once again, thanks for stopping by to visit, and now—on to the goodies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to enter the blog hop’s GRAND PRIZE drawing for a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a 2nd prize of a $25 gift card.

To enter, leave a comment (and include your contact email in case you win) below. Only those visitors who visit EACH and EVERY stop are eligible to win. Eligibility will be verified by hop’s end. Winners will be posted on both the first (Dianne Venetta) and last (BloominThyme) websites.


Martini glasses

Martinis & Pretzels

I sat at the island-themed bar. “I don’t suppose the kitchen’s still open,” I said when the bartender asked me what I wanted. He shook his head. “Pretzels it is,” I said, pawing at the bowl and ordering a martini to wash them down. I’d been at the resort for nearly a week, but being Kadeja’s maid of honor hadn’t left much time to enjoy the island—or my vacation.

The bartender placed the martini in front of me. “Compliments of an admirer.” He nodded over my shoulder.

When I turned to look, my breath caught in my throat. Kadeja’s cousin Kyle Hardison offered a sexy half-smile that made my toes curl.

He made his way to the bar, the subtle swagger in his hips making my cheeks flush. “Ms. Shaw,” he said in a voice that was a smooth as bourbon and just as intoxicating. I’d been hearing it all week, but my reaction to it hadn’t mellowed any. He slid onto the stool next to me. “Finally, a moment alone.”

“Well, alone together.” I tried to drown out the stupidity of that answer with gulps of my drink.

He leaned closer. “Alone. My kind of party.”

I forced a small smile. What the heck did that mean?

He signaled the bartender. “Two more.”

“No thanks.” I held up a hand. “One’s my limit. Early flight tomorrow morning.” I took another pretzel from the bowl. “Can’t oversleep the alarm.”

Kyle chuckled. “As if you’re going to be sleeping tonight.”

My hand froze halfway to my mouth, the pretzel dangling between my thumb and forefinger. Clearly Kyle didn’t understand the fine line between self-confidence and cockiness. He pulled my hand to his mouth and darted his tongue out to suck the pretzel into his mouth. Horrified, I watched as his tongue reappeared to slather saliva-covered pretzel crumbs over my finger.

The bartender interrupted this show to set down the drinks. I mouthed “thank you” to him and jerked my hand back. I took a healthy swig of my drink, then excused myself to race to the bathroom, where I scrubbed my hand clean. I took several deep breaths to clear my head before heading back to the bar, determined to end this night immediately.

I blinked at the empty bar stools.

“He left you a message,” the bartender said. He held out a key card. “He’ll be waiting to—and I quote—‘rock your world’ in his room.”

I snorted in a most unladylike fashion.

The bartender smiled and dropped the card in the trash. “Thank God. I was going to give up on the human race altogether if that line worked on you.”

“Oh, I don’t know. After that whole pretzel bit, I was putty in his hands.”

The bartender laughed. “Jesus, what was that, anyway?” He shook his head. “I’ve seen a lot of things in this job, but…” He shuddered in disgust.

“Yeah, well, you weren’t on the receiving end of that bit.” I held up my drink in a mock toast, then finished it off and slammed the empty glass onto the bar. I held out my hand. “Name’s Annie, by the way.”

He eyed my hand. “You did wash that thing, right?”

“Like seventeen times!”

He studied it a few more seconds before finally reaching out to shake it. “Nice to meet you, Annie. I’m Jake.”

“Jake. Now that’s a manly name.” I hiccupped, then slapped a hand over my mouth. When I was sure I wouldn’t hiccup again, I said, “Oops, sorry. I really shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach.”

Jake leaned both elbows on the counter. “If you can manage another thirty minutes or so until I close up here, there’s a mom-and-pop place just around the corner that sells the best island food you will ever taste.”

“Considering that I haven’t had any island food all week—”

“You’re kidding!” When I shrugged, he stood up and called out to the few patrons still in the bar. “Closing time, everybody. Pay up and get out.”

“Can you do that?” I whispered.

He winked at me. “I just did.”

The food was just as amazing as he promised, and the cook was all too happy to bring out dish after dish for me to sample, each one more delicious than the last. When he offered dessert, I begged off, so he and his wife brought a bottle of wine and joined us at the table, sharing stories about their fifty-plus years on the island.

The sun was peeking over the horizon when Jake and I said our thanks and made our way back to the hotel. We walked quietly, enjoying the early morning.

At the hotel’s entrance, Jake pulled me to a stop. “How soon’s your flight?”

I glanced at my watch and winced. “The airport shuttle leaves in twenty minutes.”

He grabbed my hand and pulled it to his mouth, lightly brushing the back of my hand with his lips. “Thank you, my sweet Annie, for a night I will never forget.”

“I’m sure you say that to all the girls with pretzel-covered fingers.”

He held my hand at arm’s length, feigning mock disgust, but he couldn’t keep up the act and soon we were both laughing.

We stopped when someone cleared his throat loudly. Kyle stood a few feet from us, frowning. “A night with me would’ve changed your life, girl.” His smooth voice was now snide and ugly, like crushed glass.

I gave Jake a sidelong glance. “I’m perfectly happy with my life right now.” I looked back to Kyle. “But thanks for the offer.” I hooked my arm through Jake’s and led him into the hotel. “Maybe I should extend my vacation for a few more days, actually tour the island. What do you think?”

He shifted to put his arm around my shoulders and leaned in to whisper, “Can I be your private tour guide?”

“Absolutely.”

He squeezed my shoulder. “Absolutely.”

 

***

This story originally appeared on Romance Novels in Color Love Bites 4 prompt.

"Encaustic Palette"
“Encaustic Palette”

Damn Those Kisses

Jessica set up her easel along the trail at the top of Goat Rock. She knew Chad hiked past this very spot every Saturday morning. It was oddly incompetent of any reputable operative to have such a predictable schedule. She always, always staggered her errands and habits so that no one could hunt her.

She mushed the brush against the canvas, trying her hand at abstract art. It was a mess, but hopefully no one else would figure that out. Just then, she noticed Chad, and his strong thighs, as he came up the trail from the beach. His blue eyes nearly pierced her. It was then Jessica realized Chad’s predictability may have meant that he wanted to be found – and he was expecting her.

Chad studied the vibrant explosion on the canvas. “You’ll never make it in this biz.” He slid the paintbrush from her hand to blend an errant splash of red into the rainbow of colors.

“I thought I pulled off the artist disguise quite well.” Jessica chastised herself for letting disappointment creep into her voice.

He handed the paintbrush back to her, leaning in for a quick peck on the cheek. “You’re too gullible, love.”

“And you’re too predictable, dear.” Jessica twisted her paintbrush, sending a plume of powder into Chad’s face, causing him to cough. “Sorry. Just business.”

“But you love me,” Chad said between coughs. He doubled over as spasms wracked his body.

Jessica smiled like a blushing bride. “All part of the job.” She sighed. She’d miss his kisses. He could make her toes curls with those kisses.

Chad straightened, his coughs morphing into chuckles. “Looks like we both had the same assignment.”

Jessica scowled at the poison-laden paintbrush still in her hand.

“Yeah, I discovered your stash.” He bounced lightly on his toes, like a schoolboy trying to keep a secret. He leaned in to whisper, “It’s in the paint.”

Horrified, Jessica stared at the yellow, orange, and purple splotches covering her hands and arms. The poison would be burning into her skin like acid.

“Cheer up, love.” Chad cupped her chin. “Your art will have some value now.”

Jessica sunk to the ground as Chad carried the canvas back down the trail. Damn those kisses.

***

This story originally appeared on Indies Unlimited’s flash fiction challenge “switched opportunity.” Initial text in orange served as the prompt, as provided by Indies Unlimited.

“Encaustic Palette” by Artotem via
Encaustic Palette
used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Shadow Swinging
“Shadow Swinging”

Should Have Been

Her laugh broke the silence of the predawn morning, during those few moments when the crickets and moths scurry to find hiding places before the robins awake, eager to break their overnight fast. But Leti’s laugh, like water dancing along the streambed, made the crickets and the moths and the robins all forget their morning rituals. Even the sun seemed to pause as it peeked above the horizon, looking for the source of that melodic twittering.

Leticia Hernandez leaned against my shoulder while stretching one golden leg out to press her toes against the floorboards and rock the porch swing gently. Her other leg was tucked under her on the swing, and as she snuggled against me, a wave of jealousy crashed over me. How I longed to be that leg, her bare foot nestled into the moist warmth between her legs. I sighed and slid my arm around her. If I was ever lucky enough to enter her Eden, I knew I would become her prisoner.

“You smell nice, Gusi.”

She was the only one who would ever get away with calling me that. Then again, I’d let her call me anything just to hear the honeyed notes of her voice.

“I smell like I haven’t showered in twenty-four hours.” My chuckle grated on my ears.

She stretched up to smell my neck, making a production of her scrutiny. I got a whiff of mint and berries and wondered what shampoo she used.

“Mmm. Faded Drakkar Noir with a hint of dried sweat and a touch of horse.” She snuggled back against my shoulder. “Manly.” She sighed, then giggled once again.

We watched the sun surge over the horizon, and I was grateful she wasn’t looking at my five o’clock shadow and bloodshot eyes. I was a man who liked my sleep and tended to become quite growly when I didn’t get enough, but Leti hadn’t wanted to be alone. She’d called and I’d pushed my old ’78 F-150 to its limits to race over to her. She’d met me on the porch and we’d waited out the darkness, talking about everything except why she didn’t want to be alone.

I certainly wasn’t going to bring it up and risk losing the feeling of her breast pressed into my side.

The robins were awake, adding their morning song to that of the swallows and orioles. We sat listening to the symphony, rocking in the swing as Leti’s breast created a heat in my side that was spreading to other, more dangerous parts of my body.

“You working today?” Her voice had thickened, and I imagined her eyes drooping. I blinked several times as my own eyelids felt weighted down.

“Yup.”

“Be careful the horses don’t buck you.” She giggled. Her laugh was going to be the death of me.

“Buck me?” I asked, feigning disbelief. I dropped my hand from her shoulder, letting my fingers graze her side just under her arm.

She reacted on instinct, pressing closer to me to escape the tickling fingers. I paused in my assault to bite back a groan, my jeans now uncomfortably tight. Leti saw her opening and attacked my side with both hands. When she didn’t get the reaction she wanted, she slid her hands under my old t-shirt, her nails flickering over my skin.

“Leticia,” I growled in warning, which only made her try harder. I jumped up from the swing and walked to the edge of the porch, forcing my body to forget the feel of her fingers on my skin. My body rumbled in protest.

I glanced over my shoulder to see Leti affecting an overdramatic pout. My body rumbled louder, screaming at me to turn back to her, sweep her up in my arms, and make love to her right here on the porch, with the birds serenading us.

The rumbling grew until my feet were vibrating against the porch’s floorboards.

“Finally,” Leti squealed. She pushed herself off the swing and raced down the steps to meet the Harley that pulled into the drive.

The leather-clad figure was barely off the motorcycle before Leti was launching herself into his arms and covering his face with kisses.

Kisses that should have been mine.

I squinted into the sun, trying to burn the image of Leti kissing another man from my memory. I stared at the giant orb until my eyes watered, but the image would not go away.

Then Leti was leading him up the porch stairs, their arms wrapped around one another.

“Gustavo, man, thanks for this.”

I shrugged off his gratitude.

Leti pulled away from him, but her hand still held his, as if they were inseparable now. She stood on her tiptoes and balanced herself against my chest to kiss my cheek. “You’re the best brother-in-law a girl could ask for.”

My brother clasped my shoulder. “I owe you one, man.”

“Get on day shifts.” I pushed past them and headed for the steps to my escape.

“That’s what I keep telling him,” Leti called out to me. To her husband she said, “I would spend the nights showing you just how grateful I am to have you home.”

I gritted my teeth and walked faster to my truck, desperate not to hear anything else, desperate to get home and take an ice-cold shower, and desperate to forget that I was in love with Leti.

***

This story originally appeared on Romance Novels in Color Love Bites 2 prompt.

“Shadow Swinging” by Tim Samoff  via https://www.flickr.com/photos/timsamoff/51177780/in/album-453832/
used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Three Guests to the Acreage Have a Message for Me

A trio of turkey vultures have moved into the trees on the acreage, which is not unusual. At different times during the year I have hawks, owls, and vultures. The birds seems to change with the seasons.

Turkey vulture
Turkey Vulture, by Tim Sackton via https://www.flickr.com/photos/sackton/4006794051 used under CC BY-SA 2.0/ Lightened from original

But this trio, who are fairly young juveniles, are also quite sociable. Every time I go outside to get the mail or play with the dog, the giant birds swoop down to see what I am up to. They follow me (not the dog) out the mailbox, usually at about the height of a telephone wire. Yes, quite low, and truth be told a little creepy (although that could be because I am already in the Halloween mood and have been reading Edgar Allen Poe lately).

According to Spirit Animal Totems, when a vulture crosses one’s path, it suggests the following:

Use all of your resources combined with your past experience to approach the problem from a different angle. Know that you are always free to choose your own path but be flexible while moving forward. Allow yourself to use all of your senses to navigate through this situation for your highest benefit.

I guess three vultures are really stressing the point that I need to be Flexible (with a capital F). That’s never a bad message for a writer.

Now that I think about it, I really hope they are just being curious and sociable and not scoping out a potential future meal.

Being Inspired by Place by Author Mira Day

I’m so excited to welcome my first guest blogger—and just in time! Mira Day, who releases her debut novel on Tuesday, September 1, writes about settings that are vastly different from the Great Plains, so I asked her to share some of her inspirations for the setting of her new release.  Take it away, Mira! 

Somewhere in Charlotte there’s a man whoHi everyone! My novel Playing House is set in Charlotte, North Carolina, for many reasons.

I’d like to say it’s as simple as it’s where I was living when I started the story, but it’s so much more than that. First off, I love Charlotte. There’s so much to do and so much personality running through the city. There’s a ton of small neighborhoods that connect to make the city what it is. NoDa, South End, Dilworth, University… each one is unique in some way. And I’m not one for city skylines, but the Charlotte one takes my breath away. Every time I see it, I smile. I feel a weird calm settle around me. I can’t explain it, but it’s there.

Other than the sights and sounds of Charlotte, it holds a deeper meaning which is an underlying theme in Playing House. Charlotte represents me taking chances in my own life.

Years ago, I was living in Wilmington, North Carolina (on the coast). It’s my hometown and one I’m proud of, but I was so unhappy there. I hated my job. My love life sucked. The only thing holding me there was my family. One of my best friends had moved to Charlotte and was sick of me threatening to burn down my place of work every weekend (seriously, I said this every weekend). She told me to move. She had a job for me and encouraged me to really think about it. And I did. I decided that it was the right thing for me. As much as I’d miss my family and friends, I had to make something change. So I packed up my crappy little car (which broke down on the way there!) and moved to Charlotte.

It was far from easy. I lived off $75 a week for a while with no working car. I had to borrow money on more occasions than I’d like to admit. But I kept at it. I had an amazing support system from the moment I got there. I met people who would change my life and who gave me chances beyond what the normal person should.

Charlotte is where I grew and realized the potential I have. Charlotte is where I struggled to make a change for myself. Charlotte is my city.

It broke my heart to leave there 2 years ago, but I know I’ll be back. Another opportunity was staring me in the face, and I had to try. Because Charlotte made me.

Mira DayBorn in the Carolinas, Mira Day is a new adult romance writer with a passion for food. She loves the outdoors, NFL football, and exclamation points! You’ll usually find her working, writing, or catching up with Friends on Netflix. She has published two holiday-themed novellas and is working on her second novel, due out in 2016.

Psst, me again. If you want to learn more about Mira’s writing, check out her blog at www.MiraMichelleDay.com and be one of the first people to nab a copy of Playing House at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, or iBooks.

Author4Author July Blog Hop: Opening Lines

Welcome to the first #Author4Author Blog Hop! We’re a group of multi-genre, multi-level authors who support, advise, and encourage each other. Every month Author-4-Author members come together for different projects, including a themed blog hop. July’s theme is Opening Lines.

My opening lines come from Heart So Sweet, which follows the story of Susannah and Tate. With four older brothers, rancher Susannah is used to dealing with men and getting them out of trouble. But when her childhood crush returns as sheriff of Harrington County, Susannah must decide whether to save her brothers yet again, even if means losing the man she loves.

Susannah Clark sat fuming in the back of the sheriff’s SUV. In all her twenty-two years she’d never been inside a police car, never had any of her own legal issues, and now she was being escorted home by the new sheriff after witnessing the attempted murder of Dalton James and his new bride, Trish. Susannah had tried to stop Trish’s ex from firing on the couple as they rode back to their ranch house and, luckily, Dalton had only been grazed by the bullet, but she knew she wouldn’t get out of this situation unscathed. Sooner or later the questions would start, and something about this lawman told her he wouldn’t just let it go.

“You okay back there?” His deep voice startled her, making her heart jump.

“I’ll be better when you let me out of this car.”

He turned away, muffling a noise that Susannah recognized. He was laughing at her!

HeartSoSweetWant to read more? To celebrate the blog hop, Heart So Sweet is just 99 cents on Amazon (or free with Kindle Unlimited).

About the Author

Corrissa James didn’t realize she was meant to live in the country until she returned to her roots in Nebraska, where she discovered the beauty of the fields around her (even if she was allergic to them) and the intensity of Mother Nature (who sure packs a wallop!). Today she writes contemporary western romance novellas, offering afternoon reads focused on strong women and the men they choose (never without some struggles along the way).

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Interested in becoming an Author-4-Author member? Find us on Facebook!

Celebrating #IndieBooksBeSeen

There’s a whole slew of authors out there writing and publishing incredible books every day. Go forth, explore, and discover new fascinating stories using the hashtag #IndieBooksBeSeen (and then come back here and leave a comment on the amazing indie authors you find so we can all share in the bonanza!)

Proud to be indie

For more information, visit the website IndieBooksBeSeen.com