Saturday, November 23, 2013

NaNoWriMo excerpt

I've been busy with my book for National Novel Writing Month and am making great progress. The fact is, I think I might succeed this year. I have the last two chapters sort of plotted, but I;m afraid it will come to an end before I can reach the 50,000 words. I do have a few short chapters that I may be able to insert a few scenes into though. Anyway, I thought I would post a short excerpt today. If you know my writing, you know I write romantic suspense, so you can expect a little heat in the excerpt. Actually, because this is a kid friendly type of site, I removed a few sentences to tone down the scene.

Here is the blurb to familiarize yourself with my book, "A Mountain of Deception."

 Tessa Cooper has taken a year long sabbatical from teaching English at a university to go to the mountains of Tennessee to write a novel. She didn't intend to fall in love with the handyman while there or to find herself caught in the middle of some illegal activities, but there she was.
From all outward appearances, Silas Newberry is a man with secrets, including being involved in some bad things. Inadvertently, he has brought Tessa into the middle of them. In his heart, he cares deeply for her, but to keep her safe, he may have to end it, even if she doesn't want to let go. 






Excerpt:

Silas walked over next to Tessa. "Damn right, I'm jealous. He's blonde, blue-eyed, tanned, tall, and muscle bound. Isn't that what women swoon over?"
She finished washing the glass, dried her hands, and stood in front of him. "You have nothing to worry about." She touched his long hair. "I love running my fingers through your long brown hair." She touched his cheek ever so lightly. "And, a rugged, slightly bristled face with dark brown eyes. As for tanned skin, well if you remember, when we first met in August, you had very tanned skin from working outside so much and then, there are those muscles." She ran her hands down his upper arms. "Every time I see you in one of your t-shirts that hug your muscles, I want to rip that shirt off with my teeth." She placed her arms around his neck and kissed him. He drew her in closer.
When the kiss ended, she made her final claim, forehead to forehead, "Most importantly, you love me and I love you. So, like I said, you have nothing to worry about."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's National Novel Writing Month


It's that time of year again, National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, starts tomorrow. For those unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo is an annual project for participants to write a 50,000 word rough draft of a novel during the 30 days of November. The emphasis is on the word rough here. Can't be done, you say? Yes, it can and has. Thousands of writers around the world complete that task every year.

Me? Well, I've participated every year since 2002 and have never been able to make it to the 50,000 word mark. But, that's okay. I use NaNo as a jump start to a new novel every year. As I mentioned in a previous post on here, four out of my five published novels were my NaNo project books.

I'm really excited about my project this year and have spent most of October plotting, outlining, and creating my characters for my book this year. In that previous post, you can read the blurb for this year's book. Am I going to succeed this year and hit that 50,000 word mark? I'm going to do my best, but if I don't, well I'll have a darn good start on my next novel. Wish me luck.

Carol

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hot Apple Cider

Fall is finally here. It's my favorite time of the year. If I could live in Fall year round, I would be one happy camper. It's comfortable during the day, no air conditioning needed and cook at night, but no heat needed. There's nothing better than to curl up on the couch with a good book and cup of hot apple cider. What do you think? Sound good? If so, I've included my favorite recipe for it below. A word of warning though, it is addicting. One cup and you can't stop. Enjoy.


Hot Apple Cider

1/2 gallon apple cider
1 C. orange juice
1 C. cranberry juice
12 oz. apricot nectar
1 C. sugar
cinnamon sticks

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a crock pot. Heat to desired temperature and serve.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My NaNoWriMo Book

Next month, I'll be again participating in the National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write a 50,000 word rough draft in 30 days. I've participated since 2002, but have never achieved the 50,000 words in 30 days. However, four out of my five published books were started as NaNo books, so I count that as a success. This year's book is titled, "A Mountain of Deception." Hopefully, it will be available by next summer.
 


 Tessa Cooper has taken a year long sabbatical from teaching English at a university to go to the mountains of Tennessee to write a novel. She didn't intend to fall in love with the handyman while there or to find herself caught in the middle of some illegal activities, but there she was.
From all outward appearances, Silas Newberry is a man with secrets, including being involved in some bad things. Inadvertently, he has brought Tessa into the middle of them. In his heart, he cares deeply for her, but to keep her safe, he may have to end it, even if she doesn't want to let go.


Wish me luck.
Carol

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Murphy's Law Strikes Again

If you're read a the past few of my blog posts, you know that I'm kind of a space nerd. My husband and I like to sit out in our driveway and look at the night sky. He has a great telescope for that and earlier this summer, I finally got to see the rings of Saturn. Pretty cool.

One thing my husband likes to do is look for comets. He's a member of an online group of comets hunters. If you find a new one, you get to name it and a few of his fellow members have been able to do that. So, we spent a lot of time watching the sky. This weekend, we went on a family camping trip on his sister's property. We were out in the middle of the country, no lights and a perfect sky. Yes, we took the telescope. However, the dew fell so early and so thick that we had to keep wiping the dew from the lens. It was a failing effort, so we gave up and headed to bed early.

This is where Murphy's Law comes in. On Friday night, there was a fireball over Ohio, a meteor burning up in the atmosphere. My husband's nephew was getting off work at and on his way to the campout at around 11:30 pm when the sky light up like daytime and we're in southern Indiana! We had gone to bed around an hour before that happened and missed it. It never fails. Below is a NASA video of how the fireball looked from space. It's a continuous loop showing it over several times.





Sunday, September 15, 2013

ACHOO!!!


The temperatures have finally cooled, but my allergies are still in full summer mode. Just now, I nearly sneezed myself silly. I've always heard that living in my part of the country (southern Indiana) is a terrible place for people with allergies. I've had friends that have been completely allergy-free prior to moving here and then, BAM. It hits them.

So, it looks like I will still be adding an allergy medication to my grocery list again. I think I only have a couple pills left. Bring on the snow, because that may be the only thing that will save me. I love winter, by the way.

Carol

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Spiders - eeeewwww

Spiders fascinate me, but the ones in our house right now are trying to tell us that it's their house, not ours. Last week, the weather was a little cooler and I was watching a football game on television. I had shorts on  and was getting cold, so I grabbed the cozy blanket that we keep next to the chair and gave it a shake to spread it out on top of me. My husband jumped off of the couch and started pounding on something across the room from me. It was a big spider that I had shook out of the blanket. The spider below is one that built her web on our porch this week.


Then, last night I went bed early so I could watch Sherlock on our other television. this morning, my husband tells me he was sitting on the couch last night and saw something big running around on our desks. He thought it was a mouse, but when he went to see, he found it was a HUGE spider. When we start seeing spiders as big as mice, I think it's time to bug bomb the house.

Carol

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I'm Such a Space Nerd

Yes, I'm a Space Nerd. One of my favorite activities is to go out at night and sit in our yard and look at the stars. If there's no moonlight, it can amazing to see all of the stars. There's so many things out there to see, the moon, stars, comets. meteors, planets, satellites, the International Space Station, and yeah a bunch of air planes. It pretty neat to look up in the sky and be able to identify what you're looking at. So far, I've seen five planets, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, and Saturn. The first four, I was able to see without the use of a telescope. Saturn, by far, has been my favorite. I have always wanted to see its rings and about a week ago, my husband said Saturn would be up and he would set his telescope up to see the rings. I actually could see Saturn without the telescope, but to see the rings, a telescope was required. It was so cool!

Last night, I gave my first try at astro-photography. My exposures were a little too long for the star shots, but it's a trial and error process. Below is my photo of the Milky Way. My husband was able to identify at least two constellations in that photo.


I absolutely love my photo of the Big Dipper. I felt like a kid when I saw it.


The real purpose for my venture outside last night was to see the International Space Station (ISS) fly over. I subscribe to the NASA's web site Spot the Station and receive email alerts when the ISS is going to fly over and I always try to be out there to view it. Last night, I wanted to try and photograph it going over. I did a lot of research to see how to program the settings of my camera and once I had the camera programed, I attached it to the tripod and out to the field we went. I did a couple of test shots to make sure I had the focus and settings right. I could have done better, but I'm pleased with the results. Below is my 30-second exposure of the ISS flying over my house.


My next challenge to attach my camera to my husband's telescope and see what I can capture then. Later this fall, the comet Ison will come so close to the earth that they say you'll be able to see it in the daylight. I can't wait for that. Just imagine if you can see it in the daylight, how it will look at night.

Carol


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I got thrown out of a hotel

My friend and fellow author, Marian Allen posted on her blog about her, T. Lee Harris and Ginny Flemming's recent stay at The Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky while they attended Fandom Fest. Their exploit reminded me of my last trip to The Galt House, which was when I was in high school a LONG time ago.

I always tell people that my claim to fame is that I was once thrown out of the Galt House. Yep, me. It really happened, I was thrown out of The Galt House, that ritzy five-star hotel that is so overly priced that I could never afford to stay there.

Here's what happened. When I was in high school, I took an acting and a stage production class. One of the highlights of taking those classes was a trip to Actor's Theater of Louisville to see a production. We saw "A Christmas Carol." and it was so good. Back then, the school recruited parents to drive for field trips. There were no school bus trips for things like seeing a play. My mom was one of the drivers since she knew how to drive around Louisville. We arrive early, way too early to get into the theater, so we decided to go over to The Galt House. It was close to Christmas and the hotel would be decorated so pretty.

Apparently, the other schools attending that also arrived early had the same idea, except that the other kids were elementary age children. You know, the ones that are told to be quiet, keep to themselves, and not cause problems, but can't. Yeah, those kids. We were juniors in high school and did know how to act in public, especially in a hotel as nice as The Galt House. However, with hundreds of kids (I'm sure it was hundreds) running around the hotel, the staff was getting a little frustrated.

The next thing we knew, WE were being asked to leave the hotel immediately. We tried to explain it wasn't us, but you know, we were the teenagers so we got the blame. Out the door we went. Fortunately, our teacher and the parents with us knew it wasn't us, so we didn't get into any trouble. But, as soon as we got back to the school, news traveled fast that we were thrown out of The Galt House and there was a little explaining to do to our principal, thanks to the teacher and our parents, he was convinced we did no wrong, but that was a running joke for us the rest of the school year.

If you're interested in reading about Marian's stay at The Galt House, which is probably more interesting than my story, check out Marian Allen's blog.

Carol

p.s, if you're interesting in reading about my Fandom Fest experience, scroll down.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Adventure at Fandom Fest 2013


Saturday, I embarked to Louisville, Kentucky to attend Fandom Fest and what a day I had. The last time I was there, was two years ago and I had an absolute blast. This year, not so much.

Let's start with the bad stuff. The line to get in, or what I was told was the line to get in. The web site said the doors opened on Saturday at 9:00 am. I arrived at 8:30 am and went to Will Call to get my ticket. The wait there was about 30 minutes. I was okay with that. Once I got my ticket, I had no idea where to go. I finally found a hall with a long line in it, so I got in it. A security guy came by saying it was the line to get in and that the 9 am time was for the VIP tickets only. The door for the General Admission tickets would open at 10:00 am. That was the first thing that made everyone mad. The web site had not said that.

Then, they decided the line needed to be in the room where the tickets were sold, so they moved us all back into that larger room. After the 10:00 came and went and we hadn't moved in the line, frustrations and tempers were beginning to get hot. Then, a different security guy came by and said if anyone had purchased a ticket for a photo op, to follow him. We asked for clarification of what the line was for that we were in. He said, general admission. I asked about the Literary Panels because the first one had just started and I was still in line. He said I was in the correct line.

Between 10:00 and 11:00, our line moved twice and finally I was across the hallway from door to get in. At that point, we could see people going in and out at will. At 11:30, I finally made it into the vendor room on the first floor. It was that point that I realized that the line I was in for autographs from an actor in the Walking Dead TV show. I had already missed the first two sessions of Literary Panels and my legs were going numb from standing for so long. The whole time, I had been in the wrong line, even though we had asked numerous times was our line was for.

I walked through the vendor room on the bottom floor and didn't see any of my friends, so I headed out and up to the second floor where all the action was. Wild looking people in character costumes filled the room. I found my friends at the Hydra Publications booth and was very happy when owner, Frank Hall asked me if I wanted to sit down. (Thank you, Frank!) As result of a surgery I had some time ago, I cannot stand for more than 20 minutes without my legs going numb. Normally, I can sit for a few minutes and then I'm good to go. I had stood in line for 3 1/2 hours, so you can only imagine how my legs felt. After sitting for a few minutes, the numbness did not go away. In fact, when I went to bed Saturday night, they were still numb. These folks that are running Fandom Fest have got to get their act together. They had some wonderful celebrities in attendance, but the attendees were not happy with out things were run. I saw numerous complaints on Twitter and Facebook, not to mention talking with many people in attendance. I also noticed even a few tweets from some of the celebrities about some problems they encountered.

Okay, so now for the good stuff. Besides attending the Literary Panels, the other goals I had was to find my publisher, Sandy Sullivan of Secret Craving Publishing. She was there representing, Grimoire Books, a subsidiary of Secret Cravings. I found Sandy, as you can see below.


My second and main goal was to meet Grant Wilson, formerly of the SyFy network's show, Ghost Hunters. Grant left the show a few seasons ago to pursue some other ventures. So, when I got to Fandom Fest and found my friends, we went in search for Grant. We found his booth, but he wasn't there at the time. We walked a little more looking at the other celebrities there, most of which I didn't know because I didn't watch their shows. I never did see William Shatner, Gillian Anderson, or Stan Lee. After walking around a little more and being able to sit for an hour in one of the Literary Panels, I was back in search. Yes, he was there and the line wasn't too long. I had tweeting Grant the night before asking if he would sign my Ghost Hunters book that he co-wrote and he answered saying he would sign almost anything. Not only was I able to get my book signed, but he also a signed 8x10 photo for me too. Below is "me and Grant." Yes, I know that is not grammatically correct, but if you're a fan of the earlier seasons of Ghost Hunters, you might remember Jason Hawes always saying, "Me and Grant," when referring to them doing something. I think it took two seasons before someone told Jason to say "Grant and I." So, that's always been a little joke in between my husband and I when referring to either of the gentlemen.


One last thing, my trip home was memorable too. The brakes went out on my car as I was leaving Louisville. Not completely, but pretty bad. I was able to make it home with no problem. Luckily, after getting out of Louisville, my drive was by interstate highway all the way home. Will I go back to Fandom Fest next year? Probably not. Unless they can get Nathan Fillion there, I'll just sit at home and watch the local news stories about it.

If you have read this far, I thank you. This is probably the longest blog post I've ever written.

Carol

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Lone Ranger: a review


One word, whimsical. It was your typical Johnny Depp movie, weird, comical, not serious at all movie. Don't get me wrong, I really liked it. Johnny Depp was great as Tonto and I really liked Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger. My favorite part was the playing of the William Tell Overture. That has always been one of my favorite songs. I was so glad the orchestra used the original version. I wouldn't mind seeing this again and I will definitely be buying the DVD when it comes out.

I think the one thing that helped me with this movie is that my brother had told me it was kind of funny, so I went into the movie not expecting a serious drama and it wasn't. It also helped that I'm a big Johnny Depp fan.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Carol

Congratulations to the winner

Congratulations to Zippy, zipstersclue04@gmail.com for winning a pdf copy of my western novella, "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love."

Zippy, check your email for your prize.

Thanks everyone who participated.

Carol

Friday, July 12, 2013

Craving Cowboys!


Thanks for visiting my blog for the Secret Cravings Western Romance Blog Hop. My publisher, Secret Cravings Publishing is sponsoring the Hop with so many of their authors of western romance participating. Please check out the Secret Cravings Publishing blog for a list and links for all participating authors.

If you love sexy cowboys, you'll love "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love," a contemporary western novella and my first in that genre. The last person Grace Taylor wanted to see was her old boyfriend, Andy Granger, but that's exactly who was standing in front of her on the porch of the ranch. To make matters worse, he was her trail guide. When an unexpected spring storm strands them in a secluded mountain cabin, memories and old feelings emerge. Can Grace keep the secret she'd kept for eight years while at the same time keep Andy at a distance?

Interested in winning a .pdf copy of "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love?" Leave me a comment below, along with your email address and I'll randomly pick a winner on Sunday night around 8 p.m. EDT. Winner will be notified by email and announced here on my blog.


Grace walked out and sat down in one of the wooden rocking chairs. The spring day couldn't have been better for riding—sunny and cool with a light breeze. She remembered days like this when she, Cindy and Andy used to clean the stables at the Carver's ranch down the road. She had the best memories from working there.
"Miss Taylor?" a male voice called from the end of the porch.
She rose from the chair and turned to find Andy Granger waiting for her. "Andy?"  She rose from the chair and turned to find Andy Granger waiting for her. Her high school boyfriend was the last person she had hoped to run into, but now that he was in front of her, she felt her knees go a little weak. He took off his cowboy hat and wiped the sweat from his brow with his sleeve. His clingy shirt and tight jeans sent her heart into palpitations. She had to take a deep breath to calm herself.
He stepped upon the porch. "Gracie, what are you doing here?"
"I'm here for riding lessons."
"I'm your trail guide."
"No! No way am I going out on a ride with you. Get me another guide," she demanded.
"I'm the only one available.”
Grace turned and went back into the main office followed by Andy. With the young lady gone, Mr. Watkins now stood behind the counter.
"Hello, Grace. Ready for your ride?" He glanced at Andy.
"Mr. Watkins, are there any other guides available, other than Andy?"
"What's wrong with Andy?"
"Remember, he and I used to date in high school and then we broke up?"
"But, that was eight years ago. Don't you think you've both put your past behind you?"
"I would really prefer a different guide."
Mr. Watkins scratched his head. "Well, honey, I'm really sorry, but all the other guides are already out for the day."
Grace looked at Andy.
"It's me or nothing," he said.
"Fine!" She stomped out of the building, her boots clacking on the hardwood floor as she did.
Andy followed her out. "Gracie, wait." He grabbed her arm.
"Don't call me that." She jerked her arm out of his grasp.
"I always called you that."
"Not any more. That was a long time ago. Let's just stick to Grace."

"Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love" is available in several e-book formats on Secret Cravings's web site, or for Kindle on Amazon's web site, on Barnes &Noble for Nook and on All Romance E-books

Thanks,
Carol

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day


 
Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July holiday.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Enchanted Forest

A couple weeks ago, I got home from work and my husband told me that we lived in the freaking enchanted forest. He then explained that he stood at the front door and watched a squirrel play with a rabbit in our front yard. He said they chased each other and jumped at each other. Too bad he didn't get a photo of that. Since that day, we have caught several different wildlife in our yard.

On the left, is our tom cat getting ready to pounce on a small rabbit. Fortunately for the rabbit, he got away.






Last week, I was walking by our front door and looked out to see a momma deer and her two fawns standing in our front yard. I thought she was going to step up on our porch she was so close at one point. In this photo, the other fawn was just out of the picture to the left.







Everyday, I like to take walk down our driveway with my camera to see if I can find anything new to photograph. Each time, I see a squirrel jumping around in the trees. It always seems to elude me. I could tell it did not want me taking its picture. Then, one day this little guy just sat there and posed for me. Believe me, I was just a little worried he'd jump on me.




It's always been my goal to get a picture of a wild turkey. (The two-legged kind for you drinkers out there.) We see them all the time in the fields around our house. Finally, one day I saw this one our in our yard. Turkeys are smarter than you think. If they see the slightest movement, they're gone. I had to take this picture through our window, which is why it's not quite as sharp.





Lastly, on Sunday I saw this groundhog our in our yard munching on grass and clover. I grabbed my camera and got a couple shots of him. Knowing that a groundhog can pretty much eat all of a garden, I put my camera away and went for my shotgun. He must have known, because he was gone when I got back to the door. Lucky, for him. I text my husband at work and told him what I had seen and his reply back to me was, "Shoot him! And not with a camera." My husband knew what my first thought would be.


 A few other types of wildlife that I didn't get a picture of are snakes, chipmunks, hummingbirds, mice, moles, raccoons, and opossums. Oh, and several years ago we came home one day to find a peacock sitting on top of our house. Maybe we do live in the Enchanted Forest.

Carol

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Photography

Recently, I have rekindled my interest in photography. It probably has to do with the fact that I bought a new camera about a month ago. I can't believe how many buttons and settings it has on it. But, it's been fun learning how to take photo again. My favorite type of photography is nature photography. Below is a shot I was able to take this past week of a mother deer and her fawn. She actually had twin fawns, but the other was just out of the shot on the left. They were in our front yard and I had to take the picture through our window.


Another favorite subject are my cats. I can almost always count on them to be out and ready for a picture. This one I caught when I saw our tom cat stalking a rabbit a few weeks ago. I couldn't believe I was able to get as close as I did. Fortunately for the rabbit, our cat didn't get his prey.






Lastly, weather pictures are also fun to take, as long as you can do it safely. I was driving home the other day and watched the thunderhead in the photo below grow and grow. I kept looking for a good spot to take a picture of it when I got to the lake close to home. I stopped at a picnic area and got this picture. Unfortunately, I didn't have my new camera with me and used my point and shoot camera, but I think it came out pretty good anyway.



I have lots more ideas for photo subjects and periodically will post some of my pictures here. If you're interested in following me more often. I participate in a project where you are supposed to take a photo everyday. I did this for a while last year before taking a break from it, but I've started up again. I don't always get a photo everyday, but I try. You can find my photo page at the 365Project. You can view the photos in a larger format on there.

Carol

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review: "Dead Heat" by Katheen Brooks

Dead HeatDead Heat by Kathleen Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Bluegrass Series and I was not disappointed. Ms. Brooks continues with the same characters that I loved and in the same locale. The mystery and suspense were wonderful and kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn't want to stop reading and even had to sneak a few chapters in a work during down times.

One of the reason I enjoyed the series so much is that I'm familiar with the region of Kentucky that she writes about, but even if you aren't, you'd still enjoy it. She paints a perfect picture of the Bluegrass State and it was so easy to visualize main street where much of the action takes place.

She write fantastic characters; so believable that you just want to hug your favorites and slap the villains.

I highly recommend this author's books and I will continue reading her next series.



View all my reviews

Friday, May 31, 2013

Back List Blog Hop


Welcome to my post for the BackList Blog Hop. Below you'll find descriptions of all of my books. They're all romance novels, with the exception of the last book on the list, which is a book of recipes and stories. Read through the blurbs and if you see something you like, there's a link to my amazon page at the end where you can find all of my books. Finally, at the very bottom, you will find a list of my fellow authors that are also participating in this Blog Hop, please visit them and enjoy their books as well.

Today, I'm giving away a pdf copy of my book, "Compromised." Please leave a comment and your email address below to be entered. I'll award the prize on Sunday evening, assuming we don't have the storms predicted and I can get on the computer.

Thanks,
Carol

"Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love"
The last person Grace Taylor wanted to see was her old boyfriend, Andy Granger, but that's exactly who was standing in front of her on the porch of the ranch. To make matters worse, he was her trail guide. When an unexpected spring storm strands them in a secluded mountain cabin, memories and old feelings emerge. Can Grace keep the secret she'd kept for eight years while at the same time keep Andy at a distance?

"A Kitchen Affair"
Take one personal chef, add one handsome millionaire bachelor and mix well. Simmer together for three dinner parties and see what cooks up.
With Jenny Marshall struggling to pay her tuition at culinary school, she decides to become a Personal Chef to make ends meet. Derek James, owner of the James Corporation, has a crisis. His cook quit two days before his Thanksgiving dinner party, so he hires Jenny to prepare the food.
The prospects of a relationship between Derek and Jenny begin to look good until Colleen Michaels, a manager at his company, sets her sights on Derek. She convinces Jenny that she's all wrong for Derek, coming from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak.
Everyone thinks Colleen is the perfect match for Derek; everyone that is, except Derek. He's fallen for Jenny and desperately wants her in his life. However, Colleen has other plans to keep that from happening. What lengths will she go to in order to keep Derek and Jenny apart?

"Saved by the Sheriff"
New York City writer, Jaime Wilson wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story, and what could be better than a 30-year old unsolved murder in a small town.
When Jaime visits Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon finds that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved and she becomes a target. After an arrest for trespassing and an attempt on her life, Sheriff Ben Hunter lets her stay at his place where he can keep an eye on her while she continues to work on her story.
She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe. Finally, when she finishes her story, she has to make her choice whether to stay with Ben or go back to New York.

"Compromised" 
What was supposed to be a routine assignment, protecting a journalist that over heard the sale of classified documents, turns out to be the most difficult of CIA officer Ethan Young’s career when he discovers the reporter is Cally Hunt, his former fiancĂ©e. Ethan tries not to let his personal feelings for Cally interfere with his assignment, but finds that task nearly impossible.He can't tell her who he really works for, but keeping her safe from the terrorists proves difficult, as they always seem to find her. Can Ethan protect her without compromising his assignment?

You can find all of my books, e-books and paperback, on my Amazon page.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Writing Romance (When You're Not a Romance Writer)

I want to welcome Katina French to my blog today. Kat is a good friend and a wonderfully talented writer. I highly recommend any of her books and you can find a link to them at the end of this post. She also has a story in an upcoming anthology that I can't wait to get. I'll now turn it over to Kat.

****

I have a confession to make. I really envy Carol, and everyone who can comfortably write the romance genre. Truthfully, I'm a romantic soul, myself. I love a good romantic comedy. I get sucked into the "will they or won't they" subplots of even my favorite mysteries over the years (Castle, Moonlighting, Remington Steele are three of my favorite shows ever, for that reason). 

Enjoying romance is one thing. Writing it well? That's a whole other ballgame. 

I write speculative fiction, in other words science fiction and fantasy, with the occasional mystery. That's my comfort zone. World building? Got that covered. Plot twists and esoteric technology? Sure, bring it on. Bad guys who want to take over the world, and plucky heroes or heroines who have to thwart them with the medieval version of a paperclip and some chewing gum? ALL DAY, BABY. 

But as Jonathan Coulton will tell you, even a supervillain gets lonely. Even a high-tech code monkey wants somebody to love. Writing spec fic doesn't mean you don't have to deal with people falling in love. Whether it's a medieval fantasy or a futuristic sci-fi, people every where, in every time, fall in love. 

If you don't write romance as a genre, it can be pretty intimidating writing romantic scenes for your other works. Dialogue is tricky enough in general, but writing scenes where characters are professing their undying love for each other can be ridiculously hard to pull off. How much detail is enough when writing about physical affection? What are the romantic and sexual mores of your setting? All these questions and more have to be addressed. 

I had to deal with this when I was writing Bitter Cold for the upcoming anthology Once Upon a Clockwork Tale. It's a steampunk retelling of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen." For me, the key was to stay true to my characters, and be honest about their internal struggle to show how they feel about each other.

The relationship between the main characters Kit and Greta is the driving force of the plot. Yes, there is a doomsday device. Yes, there's an evil genius who has to be stopped. But the core of the story is really about these two kids who have grown up as best friends, fallen in love without really admitting it, and now have to face their feelings. Ultimately, it's about getting over your fear of falling for someone you think is so amazing they couldn't possibly love you back. 

Well, that and stopping an evil genius from destroying the world. 
**************
Katina French is a wife, mom and writer from southern Indiana. She writes speculative fiction, including steampunk, modern fantasy and science fiction. She has four short stories published in eBook format, available on her Amazon Author page (http://amazon.com/author/katinafrench). Her first novella length work, Bitter Cold, will be released as part of Once Upon a Clockwork Tale, a collection of steampunk retellings of classic fairy tales. It will be available in paperback and ebook from Echelon Press in June 2013. Find out more at www.katinafrench.com

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.





Saturday, May 18, 2013


Welcome to the Secret Cravings Publishing Contemporary Blog Hop, featuring the wonderful SCP authors and their contemporary novels. I feel very fortunate to have signed with Secret Cravings a few years ago and hope to stay with them for a long time. The book I'm featuring today is my contemporary romantic suspense, Saved by the Sheriff.



New York City writer, Jaime Wilson wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story, and what could be better than a 30-year old unsolved murder in a small town.

When Jaime visits Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon finds that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved and she becomes a target. After an arrest for trespassing and an attempt on her life, Sheriff Ben Hunter lets her stay at his place where he can keep an eye on her while she continues to work on her story.

She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe. Finally, when she finishes her story, she has to make her choice whether to stay with Ben or go back to New York.

Excerpt:
Jaime carefully walked up to the old house that stood near a newer home with a barn between the two. She took a few pictures through the windows. The inside of the house looked like no one had been there in years. Perhaps left just the way it was when the Murdock's had last been there. She stood at the front door and couldn't resist trying the knob. The door opened.

"I don't think that's a good idea," he warned.

"I'll just take one picture of the inside and then we'll go." She took one step into the house.

"I don't think that's a good idea," he related again.

"You should listen to the boy," a deep voice echoed from behind them.
She knew that voice.

"Come on out."

Jaime turned to see Ben standing at the corner of the old house, handcuffing Bobby behind his back. "What are you doing?" she asked, walking over to them.

"Arresting him for trespassing. You're next."

"What!"

"Didn't you see the No Trespassing sign?" Ben asked.

"Yes, but..."

"Then you should have turned back. Now, turn around."

Jaime put her camera on the porch and turned around for Ben to handcuff her. "This isn't exactly what I had in mind when I thought of you handcuffing me," she mumbled to him.

He didn't answer, but instead picked up her camera and led them through the trees to his police car that was parked in front of the other house. She assumed it belonged to the Cook family. A woman in a housedress stood on the front porch.

"They won't be back out here again, Mrs. Cook," Ben called to the lady.

"Thanks, Sheriff."

He opened the back door of his car and Bobby got in. Before Jaime got in, she looked up at Ben. "I'm sorry."

He didn't answer, but put his hand on top of her head so she wouldn't bump it as he guided her into the car.

You can find Saved by the Sheriff in several different e-book formats on the SCP web site at http://bit.ly/ScpPre or in paperback and for Kindles at http://amzn.to/dMglpd or for your Nook at http://bit.ly/y72Po8

Thanks for visiting and don't forget to visit the other SCP authors. You can start at the Secret Cravings Publishing Blog.

Carol


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Contest Winner

Congratulations to Shadow, who won a pdf copy of my book, "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love" in my Caliente Blog Hop post below.

Shadow, I'll be emailing your prize to you soon.

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Carol

Monday, May 6, 2013

Caliente Cowboys!

Welcome to my post for the Caliente Blog Hop, where all things are hot. The host for this blog hop is giving away a great prize, so make sure you click on the link above and see what to do to enter. For my blog, I'm giving away a pdf copy of my e-book "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love." Leave a comment, along with your email address and you'll be entered.



The last person Grace Taylor wanted to see was her old boyfriend, Andy Granger, but that's exactly who was standing in front of her on the porch of the ranch. To make matters worse, he was her trail guide. When an unexpected spring storm strands them in a secluded mountain cabin, memories and old feelings emerge. Can Grace keep the secret she'd kept for eight years while at the same time keep Andy at a distance?

Since my book is about a hot, sexy cowboy in Colorado, I wanted to list my favorite caliente cowboys from television and movies. 


1. Tom Selleck and 2. Sam Elliott. Both played brothers in The Shadow Riders, a 1982 television movie. I don't think there is any cowboy any sexier than those two in that movie. The third brother in the movie was played by Jeff Osterhage. The Shadow Riders was based upon the Louis L'Amour book of the same name. Prior to The Shadow Riders, Selleck, Elliott and Osterhage played brothers in The Sacketts, based on two of L'Amour's books called "The Daybreakers" and "Sackett."


3. Bruce Campbell in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. Airing on television in 1993-1994, Brisco was a western with just a touch of science fiction. Set in 1893, Brisco County Jr was hired by the members of the Westerfield Club to track and re-capture the notorious John Bly, who killed Brisco's father, Brisco County Sr. The show was full of the traditional train robberies and gunfights, but with a mix of fantasy and technology. Campbell went through five auditions before being hired to play Brisco. I can't imagine anyone else playing the quirky cowboy other than Bruce Campbell.



4. Clint Eastwood. How can you talk about hot cowboys and not include Clint Eastwood. I think he's made around fourteen westerns and was great in everyone of them, but my favorite is Pale Rider. Made in 1985, the title Pale Rider referenced the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the book of Revelation, "I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death."


5. James Garner as Bret Maverick. I'm dating myself, but I remember the TV series, Maverick when it was in black and white. The series ran from 1957 through 1962 and let me preface this by saying I was not even born yet when this show started so maybe I remember the reruns in black and white. Maverick was a gambler from Texas that traveled all over the American west and Mississippi riverboats seeking his fortune, but usually getting into trouble. Maverick loved to compare his situations with old saying from his "pappy." In 1994, James Garner appeared in the movie remake of Maverick by playing Marshal Zane Cooper to Mel Gibson's Bret Maverick.


6. Robert Conrad as Secret Service Agent James West. The Wild Wild West aired on CBS for four seasons starting in 1965. It was one of the first steampunk shows, although I don't think anyone knew what steampunk was back then. Who could forget Robert Conrad in all of those fights scenes where those tight pants. That was definitely caliente back in those times. West lived in a railroad car and traveled all over the west solving crimes for the government with his partner, Artimus Gordon, played by Ross Martin. I watch reruns of The Wild Wild West on Saturday afternoons.




7. Nathan Fillion as Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds. Firefly is considered a space western and Mal is the sexiest captain on this side of the star system. Mal and his crew traveled the galaxy in the spaceship, Serenity. Firefly lasted only one season on the FOX network and was cancelled after only eleven episodes. Due to it's cult following, sales of the series DVD have done very well and Nathan Fillion's appearances at Comic-Con have an increased attendance every year.




So, there you have my list of favorite sexy, Caliente Cowboys. Now, it's your turn. Tell me who your favorite cowboys are and why. Don't forget, leaving a comment and email address will enter you into my contest for a pdf copy of my novella, "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love." I'll announce the winner on May 12 here on the blog.

Carol

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Excerpt from "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love"

The cover is posted all over this blog, so I'll not post it again. Here is an excerpt from my current release, "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love." You can find the e-book novella on my publisher's web site in several formats at http://ow.ly/kcWYH  It should be available within the next few weeks on Amazon and Barnes & Noble sites.

Thanks,
Carol


"Tell us about your boyfriend, Grace," Maria teased. "You did have a high school sweetheart, didn't you?"
"Well, yes."
"What did he look like?" Silvia inquired.
"He was just an average guy."
Lucy's drink was served and she took a gulp. "Next question, how old were you when you lost your virginity?"
As Grace opened her mouth, someone behind her spoke. "She was sixteen."
She recognized that voice and turned to find Andy standing behind her.
"What are you doing here?"
"Grace, aren't you going to introduce us?" Lucy said, standing.
"He's not worth an introduction." She turned back to the table.
"I'm Lucy Marlow and you are?" She extended her hand and took his.
"Andy Granger, Grace's high school sweetheart."
"And, apparently the man she lost her virginity to," Lucy said, still holding his hand. "Would you like to join us? We'd love to hear stories about our Grace."
"No, he wouldn't." Grace stared at Andy.
He apparently got the message. "No, I can't. I just wanted to stop by and say hello." He pulled away from Lucy's grasp and walked back to the bar where he joined his buddies.
"Pity," Lucy said, watching him walk away. "Grace, he's hot as hell. Was he that good-looking as a teenager?"
"We parted on bad terms, so I'd just as soon not talk about him."
"We understand," Silvia said.
"Now wait a minute. So, you have no interest in him?" Lucy asked.
"None."
"Then, you wouldn't mind if I went over and talked to him?"
Grace knew that meant Lucy would do everything she could to get him into bed tonight. But, what could she do? She had no claim to him, and, as soon as this weekend was over, she didn't plan on ever seeing him again. "Not at all. Talk to him all you want."
That's all Lucy needed to hear. She jumped up and sauntered over to the bar where Andy sat with his buddies.
"I can't believe you let her do that," Maria said. "You know what she has in mind."
"I have no feelings for him."
"That's not how it looked when you heard his voice behind you just now."
Grace looked over at Andy. Lucy already had her paws on him, rubbing his thigh, and his buddies looked like they were ready to pounce on her if given the chance. As she was turning her attention back to the table, she glanced at the door. "Look, James is here."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Now Available!


"Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love" is now available on the Secret Cravings Publishing web site in several e-book formats. 

The last person Grace Taylor wanted to see was her old boyfriend, Andy Granger, but that's exactly who was standing in front of her on the porch of the ranch. To make matters worse, he was her trail guide. When an unexpected spring storm strands them in a secluded mountain cabin, memories and old feelings emerge. Can Grace keep the secret she'd kept for eight years while at the same time keep Andy at a distance?

 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Release Date April 19

My next book, "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love" is scheduled for an April 19, 2013 release in e-book format on the Secret Cravings Publishing web site. This is my first novella and I'm excited that it will soon be out.

Carol


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Excerpt from "Compromised"

Below is an excerpt from my romantic suspense novel, Compromised. It's available in both e-book and paperback at http://amzn.to/15YT8Tz

Thanks,
Carol

     "The table looks beautiful."
     Ethan had set the table with water goblets, wineglasses, candles, and fresh flowers decorated the table. Soft music played on the stereo and the lights were dimmed.
     "You didn't have to do all of this," she said.
     "You approve?"
     "I approve. Where did the flowers come from?" she asked, as he seated her at the table. The arrangement contained a mixture of brightly colored spring flowers.
     "I called a florist today and asked to have them delivered here. They came while you were in the shower," he said. He went into the kitchen and came back out placing two plates with lobster, vegetables, and rice on the table and sat down, too.
     "This looks and smells wonderful," she said, while Ethan poured her a glass of wine. "When did you get the wine?"
     "While you were working in the studio I left to picked up a bottle." Ethan smiled the whole time he talked. He felt very happy with his accomplishment.
     "You didn't have to go to all the trouble with such an extravagant meal for me."
     "Yes, I did." Suddenly, his smile disappeared and he became very serious. He leaned over and placed his hand on her cheek brushing his lips against hers so gently.
     After the kiss, she looked down.
     "Cally, are you okay?" he asked.
     "That kiss brought back a lot of memories," she finally said.
     "Good memories, I hope."
     "Some good, some bad." She looked at him, staring into those hazel eyes. "We're different people now than we were in college. I don't even know anything about you and you won't even talk to me about your life."
     "I know I haven’t talked much about myself. Most people wouldn’t understand my life. There are a lot of secrets, a lot of lies, and a lot of loneliness."
     Before Cally could say anything, her phone rang. She went into the living room answer it and came back to the table. Her voice became very excited as she talked to the person on the other end of the line. "Oh thank you! Thank you so much."
     Hanging up the phone, she looked at Ethan. A smile spread across her face. "That was Victoria. I have great news. Our station got approval to do an interview with the Royal Prince of England and Victoria wants me to do it. I'm going to London!"
     Ethan just sat there showing no expression.
     "Isn't this great news? Aren't you happy for me?"
     He looked up at her. "You can't go."
     Stunned, her eyes widened. "What do you mean, I can't go?" 
 




Sunday, March 17, 2013

2013 Author's Fair

This weekend, I participated in the Third Annual That Book Place Author's Fair in Madison, Indiana. What a wonderful time I had. It was so great getting to see old friends and meeting new ones, not to mention I sold a bunch of books.


I shared a table with Molly Daniels (middle) and Kayelle McClive (left). I think we were the only romance authors at the fair, but not positive.

The Author's Fair actually started the night before with Filk music and then discussion panels. I sat on the "So You Want to be a Writer" panel. The audience had some great questions. 

The threat of rain was imminent at the beginning of the day, but it held off and we had mostly cloudy skies all day. I think the most exciting part of the day was when the wind decided that we didn't need to be under a tent and blew it up and over the tables behind us, landing on the other side of the parking lot. Needless to say, it was very windy. For everyone's safety, most of the tents were taken down after that.

Frank and Kim Hall, owners of That Book Place, and their staff were wonderful and took very good care of us all day, always coming around to see if we needed anything. They also made sure we were well fed too. The turnout was great and my guess is that hundreds of people attended.

I can't wait until it all happens again next year.

Carol

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New Book Cover

Below is the cover for my next book, Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love. It's a novella that will tentatively be released in April 2013 from Secret Cravings Publishing.




The last person Grace Taylor wanted to see was her old boyfriend, Andy Granger, but that's exactly who was standing in front of her on the porch of the ranch. To make matters worse, he was her trail guide. When an unexpected spring storm strands them in a secluded mountain cabin, memories and old feelings emerge. Can Grace keep the secret she'd kept for eight years while at the same time keep Andy at a distance?

Friday, March 15, 2013

That Book Place Third Annual Author's Fair


 Tomorrow, you can find me at the That Book Place Third Annual Author's Fair signing copies of my books, "Saved by the Sheriff" and "Compromised." I'll also have lots of swag to give away.

 That Book Place bookstore is located at 337 Clifty Drive, Madison, Indiana, next to KFC. Click on the link above and find out about all the activities and authors attending. If you're in the area, make sure you stop by.

Carol




Monday, March 11, 2013

Blog Hop Winner

Congratulations to Melissa Keir, winner of a pdf copy of my book, "A Kitchen Affair." Thanks to everyone who visited and commented.

Look for my next book, "Spring Forward, Fall Back in Love," tentatively scheduled for an April release.

Carol

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Just Desserts Blog Event


The authors with my publisher, Secret Cravings Publishing are holding a Just Desserts Blog Hop this weekend. On each of their own blogs, you will find information about their books and many will be sharing a delicious dessert recipe. You can also find so many giveaways. Check out the Secret Cravings Publishing Blog for a complete list of participants.

I really think my current release. "A Kitchen Affair" fits this blog hop better than any other hop I've participated in. The heroine is a personal chef and she prepares scrumptious dishes throughout the book. If you've followed me on my guest appearances on other blogs, you've see some of my recipes already. However, I have left my best and favorite recipe for this posting. It's the first dessert that Jenny serves to Derek in the book and is probably responsible for winning him over from the start. At the bottom of this post, you can see how to enter my giveaway for a .pdf copy of "A Kitchen Affair."



Toffee Cheesecake
1 3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. melted butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 t. vanilla
6 eggs
3 Heath Candy Bars
1 c. sour cream
1 c. powdered sugar

Crust: Mix together graham cracker crumbs, butter and 1/4 c. sugar. Press into a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.

Filling: With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, 1 1/4 c. sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well and pour over crust. Top with Heath Bars that have been chopped into pieces. Back at 350° f for 60-70 minutes. Served cooled. Option: after cheesecake has cooled, it may be topped with mixture of sour cream and powdered sugar.

Now for the giveaway. Leave a comment in this post telling me what your favorite dessert is and you'll be entered. Make sure you include your email address so I can contact you. I'll announce the winner here on Monday. Thanks and don't forget to visit the other blogs in the Hop.

Carol