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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free For All Friday! Meet Author A J Nuest!!

Welcome! Today we're talking with Wild Rose Press author, AJ Nuest! Her first novel with TWRP is JEZEBEL'S WISH, a contemporary romance will be out April 15th, 2011 -- so you have something to spend your tax refund on;)
AJ's website is under construction right now -- hope she's got some hot guys in hardhats doing the work;) -- but please visit AJ's blog: http://www.ajbooks.blogspot.com/

Meanwhile, here's a little teaser from JEZEBEL'S WISH:

Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she's stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.

Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can't she?
 Excerpt:

Jezzy stopped. “I thought I was having a riding lesson.”
“You are.” He nodded toward the empty paddock. “Go in.”
“Go in?” Jezzy propped a hand on her hip. “You sure you know what you’re doing? Because it was my understanding that an actual horse is needed for a riding lesson.”
“Don’t you think it would be wise at this juncture to leave the understanding up to the professionals?”
Jezzy rolled her eyes. “You’re making this way too easy. Professionals? Please. Don’t get me started.”
“Why not? Getting you started is exactly what I’m here for.”
Jezzy’s jaw dropped. She didn’t quite know how to interpret that remark.
He held out the rope. “Now go in. And take this lead line with you.”
Steely blue determination glinted in his eyes. There was no way he was going to give in.
Jezzy snatched the lead line from his hand and stormed through the gate, then turned when he closed it behind her.
He put a foot on the bottom railing and rested against the gate, facing the horizon. “Take the chair to the center of the paddock and sit down.”
“And just exactly how is that supposed to teach me to ride?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “You want out of the deal?”
Jezzy’s fist clenched tight around the lead line. What she wanted was to march back to the fence and smack his face.

**
Sounds like a great read, AJ. I can't wait until April. I hope you'll come back and be my guest then.  :)
And now, here's a great article AJ has penned for those of us contemplating our New Year's resolution.

Are You Gaining From Your Gaps?

Happy New Year! Please pause from your goal setting and story plotting, and collectively raise your glass to toast the places we’ve reached in our writing careers, thus far. Congratulations to all of us for the great strides we’ve taken in 2010!
If you’re anything like me, the week between Christmas and the New Year is a time to reflect. I look at the changes in my children and shake my head in wonder. I study the laugh lines near my eyes and try to figure out where in the world the time has gone. I ponder all the things I had hoped to accomplish over the past twelve months, sigh, and then add them once again to my ever-growing list of resolutions for the upcoming year.
This will be the year I finally secure an agent. I will stop being so persnickety about my website, quit procrastinating and get it up and running, already. I will write that NYTimes Best Seller I have waiting inside to touch the hearts and minds of millions (and in the process present my husband the opportunity to get that private pilot’s license he’s always dreamed of having). I will be a more attentive wife and have endless patience with my children (no more shouting). I will pray daily and let go all those little things I’m quite aware I have no control over. I will be a better friend, a better listener, a devoted daughter and sister. I will become more involved in my community, get more exercise and finally lose those pesky ten pounds I’ve been carrying around the last fifteen years.
I will bask in my victories, and even more importantly, I will gain from my gaps–those ever-elusive spaces between reaching my ultimate goal, and the times when I fall short.
A writer’s path to publication is a perilous journey fraught with flat tires and muddy potholes. In fact, (and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), I can’t think of one other industry where a person hands off a “finished” product to another, just so that product can be judged and told it’s unworthy, actually NOT finished, or even worse yet, belongs in the wastebasket. During the submission process, the achievement of our goals are ultimately left in another’s hands, and then usually followed by a rejection letter, or constructive criticism, or even the occasional downright rude comment–all obstacles thrown in the path of our goals.
I faced many of these “gaps” during the past year, but the important thing is the distance I gained in the process. And trust me, I know how hard it is to set aside the tissue box and step back from the third “not at this time” letter in order to dissect the information and take away something of value.
For me, 2010 contained a deep learning curve. And based on the many articles I’ve read regarding the future of e-books, self-publishing, shrinkage of stand-alone book sellers and the dynamically changing market, I’ll learn many new things this next year, as well. But I’ll stay focused and keep hitting the keys, because that’s where my passion lies.
Will I reach all my goals for 2011? Gosh, I sure hope so. But either way, what I learn from my gaps along the way is what’s important. I need to remember that not every step I take will ultimately end in success…well, at least not the first time, but as long as I keep moving forward I’ll eventually get there.
So, as I sit down with pen in hand to make a list of my goals for the upcoming year, I draw a line down the center of the page and make a list of my gaps, as well. I mark a little asterisk beside each and ask myself what I learned, and how I can shorten that gap in 2011. Then even more importantly, I measure the width of that gap since 2009, recognize how much I’ve gained, and realize that I’m closer now than I was before. I celebrate the distance I’ve traveled, the shortening of my gap, and see tangible proof that success is nearer at hand.   
I would challenge each of us to make a record of our gaps in 2011. But not so we can wallow in them. So we can use them to our advantage. Whether personally or professionally, these gaps can help motivate, educate, and springboard each of us toward a more successful life.
So, what have you recently gained from your gaps?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Witty, Wacky Wednesday!

You Know You've Been Drinking Way Too Much Coffee When.....

  • Juan Valdez named his donkey after you. 
  •  
  • You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.
  • The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.
  •  
  • You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it's not plugged in. 
  •  
  • Charles Manson thinks you need to calm down
  •  
  • You channel surf faster without a remote. 
  •  
  • You name your cats "Cream" and "Sugar."
  • You can outlast the Energizer bunny. 
  •  
  • You short out motion detectors. 
  •  
  • Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.
  • You help your dog chase its tail. 
  •  
  • You're up to four heart attacks a day.
  • Your coffee mug is insured by Lloyd's of London.
  • You think CPR stands for "Coffee Provides Resuscitation." 
  •  
  • Your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee with an I.V. hookup.
  • You're passing everybody on the freeway when you suddenly realize: you left your car at home!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

AND THE WINNER IS.......!

J.D.  !!!!!!! *confetti - whistles*
Congrats, J.D.! I'll contact you with your gift certificate for an e-book!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Free For All Friday!! - Free e-Book

Who was your favorite 007?
James and I go way back. My mom and dad were both big fans, so I've been there for every gadget, every cool car, every bikini-clad Bond girl - and I've loved every covert minute;)
But since we're talking favorites............I have to choose Pierce Brosnan. Yes, Sean Connery has a suave-ness like no other, Roger Moore has a mocking wit, Daniel Craig has a dark side that appeals to the writer in me, but Pierce, ah, Pierce.............I've loved him since he played Remington Steele.

So tell me who your favorite 007 is -- or even your favorite James Bond movie and I'll enter you in a drawing for a gift certificate for a free e-book from The Wild Rose Press!
And next week................get ready to drool!! Every day will be Man Candy Monday!! *Just a little something to make your holiday hotter*

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Witty, Wacky, Wild Wednesday!

You Know You're Having a Bad Day When...


  • Your horn sticks on the freeway behind 32 Hell's Angels motorcyclists.


  • You've been at work 3 hours before you notice that your blouse unbuttoned.


  • Your twin sister forgets your birthday.


  • Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.


  • You call the suicide prevention hotline and they put you on hold.


  • You have to sit down to brush your teeth in the morning.


  • Your income tax refund check bounces.


  • The bird singing outside your window is a vulture.


  • Your blind date turns out to be your ex-wife/husband.


  • You put both contacts into the same eye.


  • Your mother approves of the person you're dating.


  • Your doctor tells you that you're allergic to chocolate.


  • You have to borrow from your Visa card to pay your Mastercard.


  • You invite the peeping Tom in... and he says no.


  • People think that you're 40 and you're only 25.


  • You call your spouse and tell them that you'd like to eat out tonight and when you get home, your find a sandwich on the front porch.


  • You start to put on the clothes that you wore home from the party last night...... and there aren't any.


  • It costs more to fill up your car than it did to buy it.

  • Friday, December 10, 2010

    .......BREAKING NEWS!!! ..........

    I just got my cover for RAFE'S REDEMPTION! I love it!

    What do you think?

    Free For All Friday - Meet Author Cindy Green!

    Hello everyone! Today I'm talking with fellow Wild Rose Press author, Cindy Green!

    Cindy is one of those talented authors who can write in many genres and so them all justice! She is one busy lady :) Please stop by her website, www.cindykgreen.com, to find out how to purchase her fabulous Christmas story, and then come back and get to know Cindy!

    1. When did you start writing?  What made you want to be a writer?
    Growing up, I always wanted to be a writer. I’m the oldest of five kids in our family and so I wrote stories for my younger siblings as far back as I can remember. I still have a folder full of my scribblings between the ages of 12 and 18. My favorite authors were Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen and LM Montgomery. They were great inspirations to me. Once I got into college, my focus changed and I started writing serious history. I even won a couple awards for my scholarship. It was about six years ago when we moved from CA to NC and I found myself a stay at home mom that I started writing again. It began as something cathartic for myself and eventually I sought publication. My first book released at Christmas time in 2006.

    2. Tell us about your genre.
    Let’s see, where do I begin…Whenever I’m asked this question I seriously have to make out a list. And I make no excuses for it. I love skipping from genre to genre, stretching my writer’s legs or fingers—or to be more precise my imagination and my writer’s niche. It keeps the writing fresh and exciting. My subgenres of romance include: Inspirational, Young Adult, Historical, Historical Western, Mainstream Contemporary, and Romantic Suspense. I’ve even written a high fantasy. I told you it was a lot.
    3. Do you have a critique partner(s)?
    I do have a critique partner. I started out in a whole critiquing group but that kind of fizzled out. Then I met my current cp. We write for the same publisher and our writing style and view of the world is similar. She’s really helped me grow as an author. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone to talk to who knows what it’s like being an author—the trials and tribulations, the frustrations and the joys. We’ve become very close over the years.

    4. Tell us about your WIP.
    I’m just finishing up a romantic suspense/romantic comedy called Nora Sleuths the Detective. It’s a first person humorously written novel. Nora is in a major financial crunch—bills she just can’t pay. She’s about to be canned from the temp agency because she’s had so many mishaps and as a last resort she’s sent to a private detective’s office. Poor Nora has a whole lot going on and then she’s sent into a situation of intrigue and excitement. And of course on her first day of work, she discovers the dead body of one of their clients and is later captured and tied up in a closet with her attractive boss. It’s great fun!

    5. Who was your writing influence?
    Without a doubt—Jane Austen. She’s been a favorite since I first read Pride in Prejudice as a twelve year old girl (Although her novel Persuasion is now my favorite.). Through the years I’ve come to appreciate and love her writing. Miss Austen had a special gift, a talent if you will, not just in writing but in knowing people. Think about it. Here is this prim and proper (though some would argue this point) Regency era woman, unmarried, and coming from the middle of the social pool—and she has this uncanny ability to write the most terrific characters. She wrote characters to hate, laugh at, and fall in love with. Some of the other greats of classic literature also had this remarkable ability—Dickens for instance and Shakespeare. Think of their casts of characters that once read will never be forgotten.
    A modern day author who inspires me is Janet Evanovich. Her characters crack me up. I’d love to write like her too. Meg Cabot also for the YA author in me. I love to laugh and make others laugh.
    6. Do you have a new release?
    Yes I do. All I Want for Christmas is a best friend’s romance, an office romance. My heroine, Kathryn, hates Christmas and there is a history of why behind it. She’s a magazine writer who would love to get into some serious journalism instead of writing puff pieces all the time. Her co-worker and friend, Nick, loves Christmas and decides to improve Kathryn’s Christmas spirit by sending her gifts from a Secret Santa during the 12 days before Christmas. It’s a romance, a holiday story, it’s fun and humorous and touching too. For Kathryn, she has a lot of growing to do by the end of the story.

    Here is an excerpt from All I Want for Christmas:
    Halfway through the film, Nick’s fingers brushed over Kathryn’s wrist and a surge whipped through her like an electrical charge. His hand ended up on her knee, and he leaned over close to her ear. “You have any more of those Milkduds?”

    “Huh?” Oh, candy. He just wanted more snacks. Well, of course, what other reason would he have for touching her like that?

    “Here,” she whispered and held out the container to him.

    His face remained close to hers, his warm hand still molded to the shape of her knee. She accidentally moved in too close and her forehead bumped his cheek. Looking up at him, Kathryn saw he wasn’t smiling. His eyes had grown serious and all thoughts of candy dissipated. His attention dropped to her mouth and suddenly Kathryn couldn’t swallow. Could he possibly be considering kissing her? Just then, he turned his attention back to the movie and lifted his hand from her knee.


    An unexplainable inclination took over as Kathryn pushed his hand back to her knee. His face whipped back to her. Questions filled his features. His chest moved up and then down. He smoothed his hand over her pants from her knee to her thigh and back again. Her skin pebbled under the material at his touch. This was soon followed by heat tingling from her stomach to the tips of her toes.

    She leaned in towards him and he met her halfway. And just like that their lips met. Giddiness spun through Kathryn’s head with sparks tingling her skin. The kiss was light and sweet yet searing all at once. Lucidity began to return to her the next moment. What was she doing? Oh, right, she was kissing Nick Pringle. She was kissing a co-worker. Worse yet, she was making out with her best friend. What was she thinking? She had to stop and yet it was the last thing she wanted to do.


    The whole idea was ludicrous. An outrageous act and yet somehow her body’s sole response was that it wanted more. Whoa! Had it been that long since she’d had a date? Time to reign in those annoying hormones which threatened to take over her sanity.

    She broke off the kiss and rested her hand against his chest. She could feel his heart speeding at the rate of a train. A train wreck is more like it. Ay-yi-yi! How was she going to get herself out of this one?

    Available at Champagne Books (just reduced to 2.99), All Romance e-books and Amazon.


    (Join my Newsletter this month as I’m sending out a FREE READ Prequel to All I Want for Christmas. How Kat & Nick first met.)

    Stop by my website to learn more about my Christmas Contest.

    Thanks for having me today, Jennifer.


    ****
    Cindy K. Green is a multi-published author with degrees in History and Education. Previously a middle school English & History teacher, she now homeschools her own children and writes in several genres: Inspirational, Contemporary, YA, Suspense and Historical romance. Find out more about Cindy and her books at www.cindykgreen.com. You can also visit her on her Blog. In addition, she has a Homeschooling Blog and a Teen Fiction Blog. She can be reached by email at cindy@cindykgreen.com. She’s on Myspace Facebook Twitter and Twitter for her YA friends. And she has a Newsletter.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Wild, Witty, Wacky Wednesday!

    10 Signs You've Joined A Cheap HMO!

    10.Staff physicians include Dr. Who, Dr. Kevorkian and Dr. Demento.

    9.Tongue depressors taste faintly of Fudgesicle.

    8.Annual breast exam conducted at Hooters.

    7.With your last HMO, your birth control pills didn't come in different colors with little "M's" on them.

    6.Your "primary care physician" is wearing the pants you gave to Goodwill last month.

    5. Directions to your doctor's office include: "Take a left when you enter the trailer park."

    4. Your kidney transplant surgery is held up while your surgeon awaits his arraignment for grave robbing.

    3. The only expense covered 100% is embalming.

    2. Only proctologist in the plan is "Gus" from Roto-Rooter.

    1. You ask for Viagra. You get a Popsicle stick and duct tape.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Free For All Friday -- Meet Author Alison Henderson!

    By now all of you know how much I love hosting my "western" girls! Today I'm pleased to have Alison Henderson as my guest. She shares my love for old Westerns - a common trait for those of us writing the genre;)

    Alison is published with The Wild Rose Press. Her wonderful story, HARVEST OF DREAMS, is available now, http://www.thewildrosepress.com/, and her next novel, A MAN LIKE THAT, is coming soon!

    You can visit Alison at: www.alisonhenderson.com, then come on back and we'll talk with Alison about my favorite topic, western heroes;)

    Take it away, Alison!

    My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

    I grew up watching cowboys on TV.  That might date me, but why try to hide it?  When I was growing up, my siblings and I watched Roy Rogers every Saturday morning at my grandmother’s house.  It was a huge treat for us (and for my mother, although I didn’t recognize it at the time).  For years, we never missed an episode of Bonanza.  Maverick?  The Rifleman?  Rawhide?  I loved them all.  To this day, I have a friend who still idolizes Paladin of Have Gun, Will Travel (you know who you are, Liz).  Something about those Western heroes resonated with me as a young girl and still does.

    The concept of “The West” has stirred the American imagination since we first became a nation.  The West was a wide open place full of limitless possibilities—a place where a person could invent, or reinvent, himself.  For better or worse, the realities of life on the frontier stripped away the veneer of civilization and exposed a man for who he really was.

    The icon of the West in nineteenth century journalism and literature was the cowboy—lawmen and outlaws are just variations.  These men were portrayed as stalwart, courageous, and true to their own code of honor, whether that code fell within the law or not.  They were taciturn and independent to a fault.  What a challenge for a strong woman!

    Hollywood has brought us some of the best examples of the Western hero, but to appreciate the archetype you have to look back before the anti-hero of recent Western movies to the golden era of the ‘forties and ‘fifties.  When you think “Western hero”, most people think of John Wayne, and many film critics have rated The Searchers as the greatest Western of all time. 

    But I never cared for the tortured character of Ethan Edwards.  I much prefer the Duke in an earlier, lesser known film, Angel and the Badman, in which he plays a gunslinger who is nursed back to health by a Quaker girl and is ultimately forced to choose between the violence of his old life and his burgeoning love for her.  It’s definitely the stuff of which great romance novels are made.    

    However, my nomination for the ultimate Western hero is Gary Cooper as Sheriff Will Kane in High Noon.  A man who has vowed to kill Kane is scheduled to arrive on the noon train.  Tension mounts as Sheriff Kane tries to find someone in town to stand up with him against the outlaw, but one after another the townspeople fail him.  Everyone tries to convince him to run away, including his lovely bride, Amy (played by Grace Kelly), but Kane refuses.  We see the sheriff’s growing fear as the hours count down toward noon, but he refuses to give in.  Will Kane is the embodiment of true courage—not the lack of fear but standing resolute in the face of it.  And in the end, he’s saved by the courage of the woman who loves him.   Amy conquers her own fears and acts against deeply held beliefs to save her man.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.        

    Real Western heroes are strong, brave, and selfless.  They’re grown-ups.  Now I love charming rogues as much as the next woman, but when it comes to a hero, isn’t that what we really want?  Whether your hero is a vampire, a cop, or a spy, there are few things sexier than a man doing what a man’s got to do.

    What do you look for in a hero?

    My latest release, Harvest of Dreams, explores many of these themes, and I think my hero can hold his own with the best of them.  Here’s a brief blurb:

    Alone on her farm in the middle of a blizzard, young widow Lisa McAllister labors to give birth to her first child.  Help arrives in the strong hands of a stranger wearing a six-gun.  Lisa has no reason to trust this man who makes a living by violence, even if he is on the right side of the law.  Men and their guns have already claimed the lives of her father, brother, and husband, and she’s determined to protect her son at any cost. 

    Jared Tanner, a security agent for the stagecoach, has been on his own since he was twelve.  Against his better judgment, his feelings of protectiveness toward Lisa and her baby turn to something deeper, and he is tempted by the possibility of a family of his own. Can their tender new love survive when an act of ultimate violence threatens to tear them apart?

    Thanks for joining me today, and I invite you to visit me on the web at www.alisonhenderson.com

    # # #
    Alison grew up in Kansas City on the edge of the prairie.  One of her favorite memories is of the fringed turquoise cowgirl outfit she received for her fifth Christmas.  She went off to New York to study art history at Vassar College but never lost her admiration for the fortitude of the pioneers who settled the American West.  She began writing when her daughter entered pre-school and was quickly captivated by the creative process.

    Although she has traveled the world from Japan to Tunisia, Alison has never strayed far from her Midwestern roots.  She and her husband are empty-nesters living in Minnesota, and their daughter is a graduate student in Chicago.
     
    Thanks so much for being my guest today, Alison!