My Books!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Elizabeth Lane's Rules For Lovers


Elizabeth: Hello, Nikki, today is our last day hosting Elaine's blog.

Nikki: Oh, I know, and I'm going to miss coming here.

Elizabeth: You can still come by and visit.

Nikki: Yeah, I know.

Elizabeth: Let's leave the readers with a list of the ten most important rules to follow to have a great relationship with your sweetie.

Nikki: More lists! Is that all you ever do? Still, I like the sound of this one. Let me go first.

Elizabeth: Okay, what do you think is the number one rule?

Nikki: Easy. Laugh together. Tommy and I laugh all the time.

Elizabeth: (giggling) That's because you're so funny. My number one rule is don't be afraid to forgive.

Nikki: That's a good one. How about this? Be kind to each other.

Elizabeth: Oh, I love that one. And you should say I love you every day.

Nikki: Tommy does that too. Say, did you know I got a new cover for The Best Selling Toy Of The Season? The publisher Midnight Showcase closed its doors, so the book will now be published by Melange Books.

Elizabeth: No, I didn't know about your book. Where can people go to find it?

Nikki: www.melange-books.com. The grand opening is tomorrow.

Elizabeth: Okay, let's finish our list of rules. How about treat each other's relatives with courtesy?

Nikki: (snickers) Yeah, with your in-laws that's a good one. They're all awfully high strung. I think it's important to encourage each other.

Elizabeth: Sure is! Also,show respect to each other.

Nikki: Good one! And really listen to what the other person is saying.

Elizabeth: You should accept each other's differences too.

Nikki: You said a mouthful there! Tommy and I are as different as night from day. I don't know how in the world he ever brought himself to go out with me in the first place. Do you remember what happened on our first date? Michael...

Elizabeth: Nikki, we did an excerpt with that in it.

Nikki: Oh, yeah. Are we to the last rule yet? I think it doesn't hurt to say a little prayer for each other.

Elizabeth: I think you're right. Okay, readers, there you have it. Nikki and Elizabeth's ten most important rules for lovers. We've enjoyed spending the month of December with you. Elaine will be back next week, and I know she'll have something good lined up.

Nikki: Don't forget about our books. Mine is with Melange now, and you can get Return Engagement at http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com

Elizabeth: Bye now. I hope everyone has a wonderful and prosperous 2011.

Nikki: And that goes double for me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Purple Heart


Elizabeth: The month of December is almost over, Nikki, so our time at Elaine's blog is limited.

Nikki: That's right, so what should we do today?

Elizabeth: I think maybe we should share an excerpt from one of Elaine's books.

Nikki: Which one?

Elizabeth: Let's do Purple Heart. Everyone loved that book.

Nikki: What did the reviewers say about it?

Elizabeth: Fallen Angel Reviews gave it 5 out of 5 angels.

Nikki: Wow, that's impressive!

Elizabeth: I think so. Here's what the review said: Elaine Cantrell writes stories that consume me. I am always moved by her storytelling and Purple Heart is no exception. This is one poignant story I could read again and again. The plot is ingenuous, with Jenna being from a country where Mike has been fighting. When Ms. Cantrell throws in the secondary characters, where some wish to create a little tension, the read is more of a page-turner. As I read the story of Jenna and Mike, I must admit it makes me think about accepting another person’s lifestyle and culture. Even though I haven’t been in a fighting zone, I can see how believable Mike’s actions are; he truly shows how someone could not wish to be around a person of a different culture. This story is amazing in every way and one that I will not forget.

Nikki: Can we read an excerpt?

Elizabeth: Sure can! Purple Heart is available at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/purple-heart-p-404.html

Excerpt: In this excerpt, Mike Hightower has returned from fighting in Iraq where his best friend was killed. He has rented an apartment that is owned by a woman from Lebanon. He isn't too fond of her.

Mike moved in the next day. His mother had given
him her old sofa, the one stored in the basement, and his
brother, David, had given him a bedroom suite. He went
to Super Mart, the local discount store, to buy some
lamps, a TV, some dishes, and a few towels, and he was
ready to start housekeeping. He needed a few more
things, but they’d have to wait until he got paid.

David had volunteered to help with the move into the
duplex, and he liked the apartment. “It’s plenty big
enough, and everything looks new.”

“Yeah, it’s close to work too. The only problem is the
landlady.”

“What’s wrong with her? Did she hit on you?” Both
Mike and David got that a lot. They’d been told it was
because their blond hair and beautiful blue eyes were
irresistible. Whatever it was, they drew women like flies
to honey.

Mike just snorted. “She’s one of the people who killed
Ramirez.”

“What?”

“You know; Middle Eastern.”

David looked shocked. “Mike, she’s probably a nice
woman. I know that Ramirez was your friend, but you
can’t blame an entire race of people for what happened
over there. If you don’t let go of this anger it’s going to eat
you up.”

Mike didn’t argue because David had willingly given
up his Saturday to help, but he’d blame anyone he wanted
to, and that included Jenna West.

They finished their work around lunchtime, and after
David went home, Mike made a grocery list. He had
almost finished when someone knocked on the door. That
surprised him. He hadn’t expected company so soon.

He opened the door, and frowned when he saw Jenna
West. “Can I help you?” He hoped she wouldn’t make a
habit of bothering him. If she did he’d have to move to the
Botany Arms, and he didn’t like that at all.

The woman gave him a big, sunny smile. “I know you
probably haven’t had time to go to the grocery store, so I
thought I’d offer you some lunch.” She held out a casserole
dish. “I hope you enjoy it.”

How dare she try to be nice to him. He didn’t want or
need her charity, but if he didn’t take it, he’d seem like a
jerk. “Thank you. I’ll return your dish,” he grumbled.
“You’re welcome. I was glad to do it.”

Mike watched her sprint back to her own half of the
duplex, and tried to decide what to do with the casserole.
He was starving, and it smelled great, but he didn’t really
want to eat something that she had cooked. She might be
dirty.

His stomach growled, and he actually took a plate out
of the cabinet before he decided that he wouldn’t risk it.
He dumped the whole thing into the garbage and ran
some water into the dish. Boy, it had smelled good.

With an exclamation of disgust, he grabbed his
grocery list and pulled on his coat. He didn’t have a bite to
eat in the whole house.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Like Free Stuff?


Hello, readers. The month of December is almost over, so I'll soon get my blog back. Until then, I hope my characters are keeping you entertained.

Nikki: Hey, Elizabeth, what did you get for Christmas?

Elizabeth: A blue diamond ring.

Nikki: Let me look. Say, that's pretty.

Elizabeth: Richard's always had good taste in jewelry. What did Tommy give you?

Nikki: A trip to Hawaii. That's where we went on our honeymoon, remember?

Elizabeth: Yes, I do remember. You'll have loads of fun.

Nikki: (snickering) I'm counting on it. Now, tell me what's going on at Elaine's blog?

Elizabeth: Elaine decided to give her readers a gift. For the next twenty four hours, anyone who'd like a free copy of her novel Grandfather's Legacy can have it. All they have to do is leave their email in the comment section of the blog, or they can email her at elainecsc@aol.com

Nikki: I haven't read that one yet.

Elizabeth: Well, it was the second book Elaine wrote. It isn't quite as polished as her writing is now, but it's a really good story and got great reviews. The Romance Studio gave it 4 and 1/2 hearts.

Nikki: That's good enough for me. 4 1/2 hearts is a great review. I'm going right now to email Elaine.

Elizabeth: This is a nice opportunity, readers. I hope you'll take advantage of it and enjoy the book. Don't forget; you have 24 hours to request your book.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Retro Christmas






During the month of December my blog has been taken over by my characters. Elizabeth Lane is the heroine of Return Engagement, and Nikki Lane is the heroine of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.

Elizabeth: Welcome to Elaine’s blog, readers! Are you ready for Christmas?

Nikki: My Christmas shopping is finally done!

Elizabeth: What did you get Tommy? You were having a hard time deciding.

Nikki: Oh, I found him a leather bag for his computer. He’ll just love it! Now, tell me what we’re doing today.

Elizabeth: Today we’re talking about decorating a themed Christmas tree.

Nikki: I don’t ever do a theme tree. The kids make most of our ornaments.

Elizabeth: Elaine always has two trees. This year she put her theme tree in the dining room, and the family tree is in the living room.

Nikki: I guess her theme trees are pretty. What’s the theme this year?

Elizabeth: A Retro Christmas.

Nikki: Wow, that’s cool! Where’d she find the retro ornaments?

Elizabeth: Estate sales are a good source for retro ornaments. So are little junk and antique stores.

Nikki: What about Ebay? I just love Ebay. Yesterday I was bidding on an antique pie safe, and I thought I had the winning bid, but at the last minute I lost it. Those last minute bids ought to be outlawed! I had already picked out the place for the pie safe, and I was even going to put a pie in it. Tommy likes pumpkin pie, but I don’t know if that….

Elizabeth: Yes, Ebay is a wonderful source for retro ornaments. That’s where Elaine bought most of hers.

Nikki: What keywords did she use?

Elizabeth: Vintage Christmas ornaments.

Nikki: So how old are the ones she bought?

Elizabeth: She has some from the 1930’s, some from the 1940’s, and a couple from the 1970’s, but most of them are from the fifties or sixties.

Nikki: You should show the readers a few pictures.

Elizabeth: I intend to.

Nikki: What kind of tree did she use? Before I married Tommy I always had an artificial tree, but it couldn’t be too big because our trailer was only a single wide. Tommy always wants a live tree though. Of course, people with allergies might not want a real tree. I’m having one this year I think, but…

Elizabeth: Elaine used an artifical tree because she wanted to put it up so early, but if she really wanted to be authentic she would have put up a cedar tree. They were very popular in the South.

Nikki: Better be careful with her lights if they’re old too.

Elizabeth: Elaine has authentic lights from the 1950's, but they gave out so much heat she decided to buy some LCD lights that are the same size as the real, retro lights. she said they looked okay.

Nikki: Since Elaine's tree is in the dining room she should find a retro tablecloth.

Elizabeth: She looked at the retro tablecloths but decided to buy a new one made in a vintage design.

Nikki: I didn’t know you could find those. Not that I want one, but someday I might.

Elizabeth: They’re easy to find. A lot of people love the retro look now.

Nikki: Okay, you’ve convinced me. Next year I’m doing a theme tree too. I know! I’ll do a tropical theme. Wouldn’t it be cute to put Santa hats on flamingos?

Elizabeth: Yes, I really think it would.

Nikki: Do we have a contest today?

Elizabeth: Of course. All the readers have to do is leave a comment suggesting themes for Elaine to do next year. The winner gets an electronic copy of my story, Return Engagement.

Nikki: Merry Christmas, raders, er.. I mean readers. Hope Santa is good to you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Elizabeth Lane's Last Minute Shopping Ideas



My characters have taken over my blog during the month of December. I hope everything goes okay. Drop me an email if they get too far out of control.

Elizabeth: Are you finished with your Christmas shopping, Nikki?

Nikki: All excerpt for a couple of things I want to get for Rachel's kids. Who knows what to buy a teenage girl?

Elizabeth: I do.

Nikki: (rolling her eyes) Oh, yeah? What do you recommend?

Elizabeth: Several things actually. First, I saw a little pendant at Kmart in the shape of a cat. Would you like to see the picture of it?

Nikki: (laughing) Right. You're a Hollywood actress, and you're married to one of the richest men in the country and you're shopping at Kmart. Really, where did it come from?

Elizabeth: It came from Kmart. Nikki, it doesn't matter where you find things that you like.

Nikki: Oh, I get it. Kmart's paying you to promote their product.

Elizabeth: Nope. I just saw it and liked it.

Nikki: We'll post a picture of it. What else do you like?

Elizbeth: A bling hangit.

Nikki: Bling, I get, but what's a hangit?

Elizabeth: You can hang a tremendous amount of jewelry on it and hang it almost anywhere, even in a closet. I found it when I was buying a book at Amazon.

Nikki: Post a picture of it. Anything else?

Elizabeth: Those are my two favorites, although personalizing a calendar with family photos would be a close third.

Nikki: They do that online at lots of places. Not a bad idea really.

Elizabeth: Thank you! Now who won that last contest, the one for the recipes?

Nikki: I don't know her name, but I have her email, and I've already asked her for her address.

Elizabeth: Good. Readers we'll see you next time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Welcome Sandy Nicks


During the month of December my blog has been taken over by my characters. I have no idea what they're going to do next! Your hostess is Elizabeth Lane heroine of Return Engagement. Her assistant is her cousin Nikki Lane who is the heroine of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.

Elizabeth: Nikki, we have another guest today. This is Sandy Nicks.

Nikki: Hi, Sandy. Are you an author too?

Sandy: I sure am. I've got a book I'd like to tell you about too.

Nikki: Sounds good to me! I'm giving people books for Christmas, and I need one more.

Elizabeth: Sandy, could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your writing?

Sandy: Thank you for having me, Elaine, Elizabeth, and Nikki! I write romantic comedy and time travel romance for Vanilla Heart Publishing. My first novel, Falling for Autumn, was published in 2009. It’s the first book in the series Sisters for All Seasons. Book two, Crazy Days of Summer, will be released in early 2011. My time travel romance, Circle of Eternity, was released in February 2010.

I live near the Jersey Shore with my husband, four kids and nine spoiled pets. When I’m not writing, I like to read, go to the beach in Belmar, and hang out with my family.

Elizabeth: I love romantic comedy! My new movie that's coming out next summer is a romantic comedy.

Nikki: Sandy, Elizabeth is an actress, but I guess you knew that. Everyone knows her especially after Elaine told her story in Return Engagement.

Sandy: Everyone's heard of Elizabeth Lane!

Elizabeth: Can you tell us about your latest release, Sandy?

Sandy: The release date for Crazy Days of Summer has changed to early 2011. It’s about the middle sister, Summer. I had a lot of fun writing it and look forward to its release. It takes place in Hollywood and Belmar, NJ. Autumn makes an appearance as well as their beloved and fun mother Daisy. Spring, the youngest sister, whose book will be out late next year, also makes an appearance. Summer works for a movie star and things get hot and crazy…that’s all I’ll say for now : -)

Elizabeth: Wow, working for a movie star! I hope it's a nice star. Where did you get your idea for the book?

Sandy: The idea started with Falling for Autumn. Her family plays an important part in her life and in the story. I fell in love with all of them and wanted each sister to have her own story. I admit there are always pieces from real life woven into my stories. However, ideas can and do strike randomly and I always keep a notebook with me to write them down.

Nikki: Which is your favorite of all your books? Why?

Sandy: I honestly can’t pick one because I love all of my characters and their adventures. It’s also hard to choose because I write both contemporary and time travel romance. I love writing about the present day just as much as I do writing about the twelfth century. They also have a common theme that love and a sense of humor going hand-in-hand. I want my readers to laugh just as much as I want them to be sent on an adventure and fall in love.

Nikki: Elaine says shehas a hard time picking favorites too, but I bet my book is really her favorite. What are your plans for Christmas?

Sandy: We’ll be spending Christmas Eve at my sister-in-law’s house. In addition to my five year old nephew, we have a new nephew who’s just six months old so I’m really looking forward to being with them. When we get home that night, it’s a tradition for me, my husband and our children to watch the movie Christmas Vacation! On Christmas Day, we’ll be home opening presents, hanging out and eating lots of goodies!

Elizabeth: That sounds lovely to me, Sandy. We’d love to have a blurb and excerpt from your latest book. Be sure to include a buy link.

Sandy: Since the release for Crazy Days of Summer has been changed, I’ll just give you the blurb. If readers would like to read excerpts from Falling for Autumn and Circle of Eternity, they can be found on my web site: www.sandynicks.com.


Crazy Days of Summer blurb:
Crazy Happens.
Summer Winters is used to having a hectic life. She has no choice. She works long hours for a famous movie star, she’s planning her beach wedding in New Jersey from her office in California, and her mother calls ten times a day to discuss ideas for the ceremony that include mermaid ice sculptures, fish bowl centerpieces and having the bridal party jump in the ocean.

Bret Hartford is handsome, wealthy and famous. With a recent string of box office successes, he’s rocketing to A-list status. He throws lavish parties, attends red carpet events and is always flocked by a bevy of beauties hoping to win his heart.
Like violent waves stirred by a coastal storm, Summer and Bret are suddenly hit with lies and betrayal. Summer’s wedding plans quickly unravel when her fiancĂ© becomes distant and her mother falls ill. Bret’s future takes a hit when he becomes embroiled in a scandal that threatens his career. While Summer tries to mend her broken heart and care for her mother, Bret is relying on her to help him uncover the truth.

When Summer and Bret join forces to get their lives back in order, their working relationship turns like the tide. From low to high, they soon find their friendship is changing to something more intense.
Can this heated passion endure the crazy days of summer?

All my books are available in print and a variety of e-book formats – including Kindle, Nook, Sony, iPad and more. They can be purchased at Amazon and B&N. To learn more about me and my books, please visit: www.sandynicks.com.

Thanks again, ladies, for having me!

Elizabeth: Thanks for coming, Sandy. And I do know Bret Hartford.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Red in the Flower Bed



During the month of December my characters have taken over my blog. Elizabeth Lane heroine of Return Engagement is in charge, and her cousin, Nikki Lane, the heroine of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season is her helper.

Nikki: What are you reading, Elizabeth? I’ve spoken to you twice now.

Elizabeth: Oh, sorry. Look at this little book, Nikki.

Nikki: (Looking at the book cover) Red In The Flower Bed. What’s it about?

Elizabeth: It’s so cool! The book is written by Andrea Nepa who adopted a Vietnamese girl called Leah. In 2001, Adoptions from the Heart assisted with the international adoption. Andrea dedicated her book to her daughter: "For my dear Leah, whose journey in her young life has already taken her to far away and unexpected places." In 2006, Leah was diagnosed with cancer, but she is currently in remission. Andrea lives with Leah and her husband, David, in Haddonfield, New Jersey. She’s a registered dietitian for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Nikki: Oh thank goodness the little girl is okay!

Elizabeth: You’re right! The book is lovely. Ms. Nepa compares adoption to a poppy seed which is sent away by the poppy flower so that it can grow and thrive in a new garden, and in that new garden the red poppy completes the garden and becomes the red centerpiece.

Nikki: It would make a nice gift for anyone who’s adopted or ever considered adoption. Can we read an excerpt for it?

Elizabeth: Yes, you can read that at http://www.tribute-books.com/redfirst10.pdf
Nikki: Maybe she has a book video we can watch.

Elizabeth: Your wish is my command. Here it is.


Nikki: That’s awesome! Do you have a link where we can buy the book?

Elizabeth: Sure do. Go to http://tribute-books.com/shop.html#children4

Nikki: Do you have other links for the book?

Elizabeth: Yes, here they are.


Book web site:
http://www.redintheflowerbed.com

Andrea Nepa Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1664060822

Tribute Books website:
http://www.tribute-books.com

Tribute Books Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/ Archbald-PA/Tribute-Books/ 171628704176

Tribute Books Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/ TributeBooks

Nikki: Thanks for sharing the book with me, Elizabeth. It’s really very heartwarming.

Elizabeth: Any time, Nikki. Readers, do check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Contest Winners and a Recipe. And a Contest.



During the month of December my blog has been taken over by my characters. I have no idea what they'll get into, but if they get too wild please send me an email.

Elaine

Hey, Readers, Nikki Lane here. Remember me? Elaine told my story in The Best Selling Toy Of The Season. You really ought to get my book. It's a great story. If you read it though, you have to promise not to fall for my hunky Tommy. I admit that's hard because he's so wonderful, but back off, ladies. He's mine.

Elizabeth isn't coming today. She had some party she had to go to in Washington. She's an actress, but she's married to Senator Henry Lovinggood's son, Richard. They do a lot of networking in Washington because Senator Lovinggood wants Richard to be the president one day.

So, I'm here to announce some contest winners. Sherry Gloag, you won a copy of the my wonderful book. I'll be sending it to you shortly. Judy, you won those earrings. Better send Elaine your address at elainecsc@aol.com. If she doesn't hear from you in a week she's going to pick a new winner.

Elizabeth didn't say I could do anything but announce the contest winners, but since she isn't here... Okay, here's the deal. Let's have another contest. I'm gonna share one of my favorite Christmas recipes with the group. I make it every year, and everyone just loves it. Leave a comment and share one of your favorite recipes, and I'll get Elaine to draw one name out of a hat to win... er, what would be a good prize? I know! An ornament for your Christmas tree. I'd show a picture of it, but I just thought it up and haven't bought the ornament yet. Don't worry. It'll be great. Now, here's one of my favorite recipes.


White Delight

1 8oz. pack cream cheese
½ cup lemon juice
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 large can fruit cocktail (about 20oz. well drained)
1 cup pecans
8 oz. cool whip
shredded coconut

Mix everything together and sprinkle the coconut on top


Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you about the picture. Elaine likes the retro look so I found a picture of a 1950's Christmas card for you to look at. It is kinda cool.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Elizabeth and Richard's Favorite Christmas Quotes


Elizabeth: Welcome to Elaine’s blog, readers. I'm Elizabeth Lane, Elaine's heroine in Return Engagement, and my assistant is Nikki Lane, heroine of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season. We've taken over Elaine's blog for the month of December. Elaine, I hope you're having a nice vacation. Christmas is so exciting, isn’t it?

Nikki: Exciting, yes, but I’m frazzled. So much to do, and I don’t have Tommy’s present yet.

Elizabeth: You’ll think of something. Would you like to read my Christmas quotes?

Nikki: You made up quotes about Christmas?

Elizabeth: No, Richard and I made a list of our favorite Christmas quotes.

Nikki: You and Richard do some weird things. Tommy and I don’t sit around doing stuff like that. Are you going to share the list with the readers?

Elizabeth: Yes, I am, and it wouldn’t hurt you and Tommy to think a little more about Christmas and what it means to you.

Nikki: Well, I don't guess I need to write down quotes to...

Elizabeth: Readers, here are Richard and my favorite Christmas quotes. Leave a comment telling me which one you like best and why. Or, you can list your own favorite quote. If I draw your name from the hat Elaine will send you a cute pair of hand made Christmas earrings. Don’t forget to leave your email address so she can contact the winner.

Nikki: Goody, another contest. Which earrings are you giving away?

Elizabeth: Turquoise beads trimmed in black. Okay, here we go.

1.I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. - Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol

2.I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
- Longfellow

3.Jennifer Bofinger, media spokeswoman for the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said despite the shabby treatment of deer in general, her organization has not received any complaints about how Santa Claus treats his reindeer. - Los Angeles (LA) Times

4.Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. - Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

5.Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. - Laura Ingalls Wilder

6.The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. - Burton Hillis (Better Homes and Gardens)

7.And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, Which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." - Luke 2:10-12

8.Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.
- Lenore Hershey

9.Love came down at Christmas; love all lovely, love divine; love was born at Christmas, stars and angels gave the sign. Christina G. Rossetti

10."At Christmas, all roads lead home." ~ Marjorie Holmes

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Elizabeth: Welcome to Elaine's blog readers! My name is Elizabeth Lane, and my assistant is my cousin Nikki Lane. Elaine told my story in her novel Return Engagement, and...

Nikki: Hold on a minute! You're not the only one whose story Elaine told. She talked about me in The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.

Elizabeth: I know that, Nikki. I was about to say so when you interrupted me.

Nikki: Oh.

Elizabeth: We have a nice surprise for you, readers. Today I'm interviewing Joselyn Vaughn.

Nikki: Who's that?

Elizabeth: Oh, she's an author.

Nikki: Yeah? Where is she?

Elizabeth: Um, she's right behind you.

Nikki: Oh, hey, Joselyn.

Joselyn: Hey, Nikki. Elizabeth, it's so nice to meet you! I've never talked to an A list Hollywood actress. For that matter, you're the first actress of any kind that I ever met.

Nikki: See, readers? It's always like that! She gets all the attention because she's an actress.

Elizabeth: (giggling) Nikki, you're so funny. I offered to put you in one of my movies, and you turned me down flat. Now, be quiet and let me talk to Joselyn.
Joselyn, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?


Joselyn: I'd love to, Elizabeth. I’m a stay at home mom to three kids with two and a half in diapers. We are in the midst of potty training the twins; my son is catching on, my daughter is not. When not busy with the kids, I like to sleep. Occasionally I’m not busy with them during waking hours, then I like to go thrift store shopping or running. Once someone told me I looked like I was running really fast. I told them I was fleeing.

Nikki: Fleeing? That is so funny! That's how I feel sometimes with my kids. Michael and Teddy are a handful to say the least.

Elizabeth: Go on Joselyn. What else?

Joselyn: Before being a stay at home mom, I was a librarian at our local library and got to order books for the collection. Spending other people’s money on books you will get to use is an awesome perk.

Nikki: On the average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Joselyn: CEOs Don’t Cry and Courting Sparks each took about a year from rough draft to a version I felt comfortable sending out. My last work in progress took over a year and a half, probably because I was pregnant while writing it and didn’t have the energy to work on it. I wish I could write faster, but I can’t seem to find more hours for the day. I wish there was an iPhone app for that. Maybe the iPad will have something.

Elizabeth: That's so funny!

Nikki: Yeah, but I know what she means. Think, Elizabeth! She has twins to look after as well as her other child. She needs 25 hours a day at least!

Elizabeth: Do heroes and heroines always have to be good looking, Joselyn? Why or why not?

Joselyn: Not at all. No one is ever going to agree on who is good looking and who is not. A lot of my friends think Johnny Depp is hot and I think he looks like he could bathe more often. Of course, they may not agree with me that Hugh Jackman should be the lifetime winner of People’s Sexiest Man Alive Award. To me, it’s more important that the hero or heroine be attractive to each other and have qualities that the reader can identify with and care about.

Nikki: Well said! Still though, my hunky Tommy is every woman's dream man.

Elizabeth: He isn't mine. Richard is my dream man.

Nikki: I don't like blondes, and Richard is blonde.

Elizabeth: Joselyn, you are a hundred percent correct. Every woman has her own criteria to define sexy. Which author would you most like to meet and why?

Joselyn: I would love to meet Jane Austen, but I’m not really into sĂ©ances, so for a living author, I think would be cool to chat with Julia Quinn. I love her characters and their dialogue. They crack me up. I’ve heard she’s as much fun in person.

Nikki: I went to a seance one time and...

Elizabeth: Hush, Nikki. She doesn't have all day to chat with us. Joselyn, what are you most passionate about outside of writing?

Joselyn: Probably my family. Outside of writing, they are what I’m busy with most and while they exhaust me in every way possible, I find it very hard to give up time with them. My twins are old enough to really communicate what they are thinking and it’s fun to see their thought processes. My son recently told me he couldn’t play with the pee in his potty because “it was decoration” – their label for anything they aren’t allowed to play with.

Elizabeth: LOL. Would you share your links with us?

Joselyn: I'd love to.
http://joselynvaughn.com
http://joselynvaughn.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000088818448

Nikki: Hey, Joselyn, we’d love to read an excerpt. Be sure to give us a buy link so I can order it.

Joselyn: Thanks, Nikki. Here's that link http://www.amazon.com/Joselyn-Vaughn/e/B002I28GUO/ref=sr_tc_img_2_0?qid=1283449922&sr=1-2-ent


Sandalwood and a touch of wood smoke.
The scents drifted from behind her and Daphne knew the man was sexy. She closed her eyes as she stood on the corner of the dance floor and breathed deeply. Maybe passing out candy bars for the Dollar Dance wasn’t such a bad thing. Her Magic Eight Ball could be right. For once.

She tried to adjust the neckline of her fuchsia bridesmaid dress to enhance her cleavage, but the double-sided tape holding the mermaid-style dress in place wouldn’t budge.

Sure, when you want the dress to come off, it sticks firmly in place. She sighed. She spun on her bare feet to greet the dream date behind her and stopped so abruptly her basket of candy bars tipped over, spilling chocolate at his feet.
“Noah?” she gasped.

A light blue madras shirt covered his broad shoulders. His dark hair still damp from his shower. She looked at him like she’d never seen him before.
And she saw him almost every day. He was the athletic director and she was an English teacher and the cross-country coach. She was in and out of his office with student eligibility reports and questions about the team schedule. Besides all that, they’d been friends since second grade. She’d never had this reaction to him before. What was different?

Noah bent to pick up the candy. His shirt pulled across his muscular shoulders as he reached for the scattered bars. Daphne continued to stare at him. Water droplets clung to the hair on the back of his neck and she itched to brush them away. She extended the basket for him to dump the bars.

“Fire call?” she said, trying to cover her stunned silence and hoping he didn’t notice her blushed skin.

“Yeah. Out at The Willows. Could have been really bad, but we were able to contain it. Do I still smell smoky?”

Daphne leaned closer and breathed deeply. His sandalwood cologne flooded her nose again. A touch of smoke lingered behind it. She forgot to breathe out.
This was Noah, she told herself. Not George Clooney. Get a grip.

“Your cologne covers it. How much burned?” she asked, stepping away to put some fresh air between them.

Noah shrugged. “The flames kept smoldering in this heat. Hot spots were flaring up all afternoon. Most of the trees are singed. I’m not sure they’ll come back.” He tugged at the front of his shirt as if he still felt the high temperatures.

“I can’t believe The Willows is gone. No more hidden trysts out there. Where will the teens go to make out now?”

“They’ll find some place. They always do. There’s that place by the river, but the landowner is pretty adamant about kicking them out once a month.”

She hugged the candy basket to her chest. Bittersweet memories of The Willows haunted her, now that Aaron was no longer in her life. They’d gone there to do all the things teens do in the shaded alcoves of the draping willow trees. The fire was a relief in a way, another reminder of him gone.

“Was Miranda angry I wasn’t here?” Noah asked.

She glanced at the bride twirling on the dance floor and pushed away the gloomy thoughts. Good ol’ Noah. He could always divert her depressing thoughts. “I think she’ll forgive you.” Daphne bumped him with her basket of chocolate. “Not to dash your ego, but she didn’t notice. She was so nervous before the ceremony, she peed every fifteen minutes. I’m glad I didn’t pull bathroom duty this time.”

Noah laughed, the tone soft and deep. “I don’t want to know. Anything else happen?

“If you’re asking if Max fainted, you owe me ten bucks. He turned green during the solo, but his knees never buckled.”

Elizabeth: Joselyn, it sounds wonderful. I'm going to order a copy too. I hope you and your beautiful family have a safe and merry holiday season.

Joselyn: Thanks Elizabeth. Uh, would you mind if I got your autograph?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blog For Your Book


During the month of December my blog has been taken over by the characters in my books. Elizabeth Lane the heroine of Return Engagement is in charge so check back often to see what she and her cousin Nikki have planned for you.

Nikki: Pstt. Elizabeth!

Elizabeth: What is it, Nikki?

Nikki: There's a guy over there who said that Elaine told him he could guest blog today.

Elizabeth: Yes, that's right. She did line up a guest blogger.

Nikki: What's he going to blog about?

Elizabeth: Blogging.

Nikki: Huh?

Elizabeth: (giggling) Never mind, Nikki. Let's let Mr. Stern talk to us about blogging.

Edward Stern is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online degrees for the Guide to Online Schools.

Many authors look down upon blogging. The blogosphere is a new creation, whereas literature has a storied history; anybody can blog and say anything they want, while only the best authors get published; and publishing a work takes time, even years, but bloggers can bang out posts in a matter of minutes without the care or precision of a skilled writer working for a living.

All these things are true, but published authors should still blog. Why? Because blogging is the ultimate promotional tool -- and it's free, or costs very little compared to any other kind of PR campaign. Blogs keep fans updated on news, and can allow them even greater insight into an author. Here are some reasons why you should -- actually, why you need to -- blog for your book.

• One-stop shop for updates: Keep fans informed on all your latest news through quick, concise, informative blog posts. For book tours, new projects, radio or television appearances, etc. advertise them on your blog. It will help get the word out, and hopefully boost attendance at your events.

• Show your talents: For those writers looking for agents or publishers, a blog can be a great way to show off your writing talents. Create thoughtful, well-written posts, and people will take notice -- because really, in the blogosphere, good writing is rare.

• Build an audience: Publishers only want to invest in projects they know are going to sell. Prove you have an audience by building one through your blog. Having a substantial following proves people are connecting with your words, and coming back for more of them regularly. That's really what the publishing industry is all about: promoting authors who people will follow, and keep spending their money on.

• Prove your expertise: If working on a research novel or theoretical work of some kind, it is essential that you prove you are an expert in the field you are writing about. Well written, thoughtful, and informed blog posts can be a great way to do so. Write on current events in your field, discuss past projects, or critique someone else's work.

• Get readers involved in the creation of a text: Use your blog to supplement your project. People love to see "making of's" of their favorite films; why not do one for your book? Don't give everything away, but talk about maybe interviews conducted for your work, how you found inspiration for a particular scene, anything to give your readership more insight into the creative process. Doing so helps build a stronger connection with your audience, and will help pique interest in your work.

• Demonstrate your promotional skills: In this day and age, having an author who can help promote the book independently is essential for publishers operating under tight publicity budgets. Help yourself out by proving you understand social media. Use your blog to build a following, and incorporate Facebook, Twitter, and similar services to further make connections and prove your expertise. Show that you are personable and more than willing to talk with fans -- publishers will like this for in-store signings or interviews on television or radio.

Elizabeth: Thanks for your good advice, Mr. Stern. Do come back and see us again.

Nikki: Pstt. Readers! Did you notice that Christmas tree Elizabeth put on the blog? She's already got her house decorated too! I tell you that woman does love Christmas.

Blog For Your Book

During the month of December my blog has been taken over by the characters in my books. Elizabeth Lane the heroine of Return Engagement is in charge so check back often to see what she and her cousin Nikki have planned for you.

Nikki: Pstt. Elizabeth!

Elizabeth: What is it, Nikki?

Nikki: There's a guy over there who said that Elaine told him he could guest blog today.

Elizabeth: Yes, that's right. She did line up a guest blogger.

Nikki: What's he going to blog about?

Elizabeth: Blogging.

Nikki: Huh?

Elizabeth: (giggling) Never mind, Nikki. Let's let Mr. Stern talk to us about blogging.

Edward Stern is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online degrees for the Guide to Online Schools.

Many authors look down upon blogging. The blogosphere is a new creation, whereas literature has a storied history; anybody can blog and say anything they want, while only the best authors get published; and publishing a work takes time, even years, but bloggers can bang out posts in a matter of minutes without the care or precision of a skilled writer working for a living.

All these things are true, but published authors should still blog. Why? Because blogging is the ultimate promotional tool -- and it's free, or costs very little compared to any other kind of PR campaign. Blogs keep fans updated on news, and can allow them even greater insight into an author. Here are some reasons why you should -- actually, why you need to -- blog for your book.

• One-stop shop for updates: Keep fans informed on all your latest news through quick, concise, informative blog posts. For book tours, new projects, radio or television appearances, etc. advertise them on your blog. It will help get the word out, and hopefully boost attendance at your events.

• Show your talents: For those writers looking for agents or publishers, a blog can be a great way to show off your writing talents. Create thoughtful, well-written posts, and people will take notice -- because really, in the blogosphere, good writing is rare.

• Build an audience: Publishers only want to invest in projects they know are going to sell. Prove you have an audience by building one through your blog. Having a substantial following proves people are connecting with your words, and coming back for more of them regularly. That's really what the publishing industry is all about: promoting authors who people will follow, and keep spending their money on.

• Prove your expertise: If working on a research novel or theoretical work of some kind, it is essential that you prove you are an expert in the field you are writing about. Well written, thoughtful, and informed blog posts can be a great way to do so. Write on current events in your field, discuss past projects, or critique someone else's work.

• Get readers involved in the creation of a text: Use your blog to supplement your project. People love to see "making of's" of their favorite films; why not do one for your book? Don't give everything away, but talk about maybe interviews conducted for your work, how you found inspiration for a particular scene, anything to give your readership more insight into the creative process. Doing so helps build a stronger connection with your audience, and will help pique interest in your work.

• Demonstrate your promotional skills: In this day and age, having an author who can help promote the book independently is essential for publishers operating under tight publicity budgets. Help yourself out by proving you understand social media. Use your blog to build a following, and incorporate Facebook, Twitter, and similar services to further make connections and prove your expertise. Show that you are personable and more than willing to talk with fans -- publishers will like this for in-store signings or interviews on television or radio.

Elizabeth: Thanks for your good advice, Mr. Stern. Do come back and see us again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Blog's Been Hijacked!


I knew I'd regret creating such strong characters in my books! They told me in no uncertain terms that the blog belonged to them during the month of December, and that I should go away and not worry about it until the new year. I tried to talk them out of it, but I just wasted my breath. I finally agreed to let Elizabeth Lane, my heroine in Return Engagement, be in charge of organizing everything. She agreed and asked her cousin Nikki Lane (The Best Selling Toy OF The Season) to help her. I don't know what all they have planned, but Elizabeth said it'll be good so check back often to see what they are up to. See you in January, I guess.

Elizabeth: You have fun, Elaine. We’ll take care of things for you. It’ll be so much fun to share my Christmas with all of your readers. Nikki, say hello to the readers.

Nikki: Hello.

Elizabeth: You’ll have to excuse Nikki. She’s a little overwhelmed right now because she’s never been on a blog before.

Nikki: That’s right! I don’t know why I agreed to this.

Elizabeth: Because I asked you to, of course. Buck up. We’ll have fun.

Nikki: That’s easy for you to say! You’re an actress. You’re always in the public eye. I don’t know how you can stand it either. I mean, you never have any privacy. Why, just the other day you told me that Richard threw a fit when you went out to eat and the paparazzi wouldn’t leave you alone. I’m not surprised because you’re a major star, but he probably overreacted. He has a bad temper, and …

Elizabeth: Nikki does tend to run on when she gets wound up.

Nikki: I do not! How can you even say such a thing on a blog? I’ve a good mind to go home and …

Elizabeth: Yes, you do run on. Be quiet now, and let me tell the folks what we’re doing today.

Nikki: What are we doing today? You never told me either.

Elizabeth: Today we’re going to share something from the book Elaine wrote about you. Then we’re offering a contest.

Nikki: A contest! I just love contests! What do we have to do? Can I enter it?

Elizabeth: No, of course you can’t enter it. All the readers have to do is read the excerpt and then answer this question: What did Tommy break?

Nikki: Oh, okay. What’s the prize?

Elizabeth: An electronic copy of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.

Nikki: Oh, wow, that’s so cool!

Elizabeth: I thought so. Readers, don’t forget to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win. Thanks for stopping by and come back soon. We have a lot planned for the month of December.

Excerpt: In this excerpt, Tommy, Elaine's hero in the Best Selling Toy, stops by a discount store to buy a gag gift to take to a Christmas party. That’s where he and Nikki met.

Tommy glanced at his watch; he was going to be late. He hurried to the checkout line, and there time stood still. Every register had an enormous line, and it took forever to check out even one customer.

Finally, his turn came. He thankfully paid for his gag gift and joined the throngs of people either going out or coming in. He saw Bill English and lifted his hand to wave goodbye, but he didn’t see the woman in front of him until he plowed into her. Both he and the young woman who had helped him find his gift went sprawling to the floor. Something in her bag broke with a loud crash when Tommy’s knee smashed into it.

All the Super Mart employees in the vicinity came running, including Bill English. “Are you guys okay?”

“I’m fine,” Tommy assured him as visions of lawsuits danced in his head. “Ma’am, are you okay?”

To his horror, the young woman burst into tears. “You’ve ruined everything! Teddy and Michael are going to be so disappointed, and I guess they’ll stop believing in Santa Claus, but you don’t care.”

She jerked her bag toward her and held out two broken toys for Tommy to see. “These robots are all that my boys asked for this year. I put them on layaway back in September, and I finished paying for them today. They’re the best selling toy of the season. You can’t find them anywhere, and now you’ve broken mine.”

She shot Tommy a look of bitter enmity. Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she scrambled to her feet and stalked out of the store.

“Be ashamed,” lectured one of the customers. “You ruined her boys’ Christmas.”

“Yeah,” a man in the crowd contributed. “You could at least have offered to pay for it.”

The Super Mart employee nodded their agreement. “Look at the way he’s dressed. He’s got money to burn. He won’t even pay for Nikki’s loss, and it was all his fault.”

The crowd drifted away, and Bill picked up Tommy’s bag and handed it to him. “It was an accident, Tommy. I know you didn’t mean to do it.”

“Who was that woman? I’ll go back to the toy department and buy two more robots to replace the ones I broke. Give me her name and address, and I’ll have them sent to her tonight.”

Bill shook his head. “She told you the truth. Everybody’s sold out of those little robots. You can’t buy them anywhere.”

A look of determination came to rest on Tommy’s face. If Bill had ever seen Tommy in court, he would have recognized it immediately. Many of Tommy’s legal opponents shivered when this expression crossed his face, for as one of them put it, ‘A Rottweiller would turn a steak loose quicker than he’d give up when he looks like that.’

“You let me worry about finding the toys. What’s her name and address?”

“Her name is Nikki Lane, and she lives in trailer number five in Higgins Court.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sweet Sacrifices


Welcome to the blog, Gloria. Tell us a little bit about you.

I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. I married my high school sweetheart two days after graduation (my parents said I had to graduate first). We have three children and one grandson. I work part-time as a legal assistant.

Nothing like those grandchildren. Has being a writer changed you in any way?

Yes, in some ways it has. It takes some confidence in my “talent” to send my work to publishers and allow others to read it. I am my own worst critic and have never been loaded with confidence, but I guess it has helped me gain some.

Which genre appeals least to you? Why?

I don’t really read anything that doesn’t have a romance involved. Of the romance subgenres, I don’t really like western romances much, and I don’t love “chick lit” type romances. I have no idea why.

I don't like chick lit either. What does your family think about having an author in the family?

They seem to like it. They are much better at pitching my books than I am.

What is your favorite book? That you wrote, I mean.

I like them all for different reasons. I really love my first book, Flowers for Megan, so it is probably my favorite, but a lot of readers like the others better. I know I’ve become a better writer, technically speaking, with each one, so I like the last one, Sweet Sacrifices, best for that reason.

Would you share your links with us?

My website is www.gloriamarlow.net The publisher for my first three books is www.authorsinkbooks. And the publisher for my latest release, Sweet Sacrifices is www.thewildrosepress.com.

We’d love to read an excerpt from your December release. Don’t forget to add a buy link.

Sweet Sacrifices is already available in print at www.thewildrosepress.com/sweet-sacrifices-paperback-p-4356.html?zenid=1c16e4835fa76ea1140048dba523e798 . The ebook is scheduled to be released on December 17, 2010.

Here’s an excerpt:

“You’ve got to get it together, Kendall,” Luke said when she opened her bedroom door to his knock later that night. “You can’t freeze up every time someone asks you a question about us.”

“I’m sorry, Luke. I’ve never been any good at lying.”

“Then you’d better get good at it, Sweetheart, because you’re going to be lying for a long, long time.”

She went cold at the realization that she had agreed to a never-ending lie. She hadn’t let herself think about how long the lies would continue. Brady would grow up with Luke as his father, and she would go to her grave with the secret she harbored.
If the truth ever came out, Luke would look like a fool, cuckolded by his twin brother and his own wife. The magnitude of what she’d done hit her hard, and she dropped to the edge of the bed.

“You never even thought of that, did you?” Luke asked. “What did you think, Kendall? That this would be a convenient solution to all your woes? Did you think it was a temporary thing?”

“I didn’t really think about it. I mean, I realized it would be a lie, but I didn’t think about it being forever.”

He knelt in front of her, his eyes boring into hers.

“Don’t think I’ll let you leave, Kendall. You’re my wife. I’ve accepted your child as mine. That means, in the eyes of the law, you’re entitled to a part of everything I own if we divorce. So hear this, Sweetheart. If you ever leave me, if you ever even attempt to divorce me, I’ll make damn sure you won’t leave with our son.”

Oh, I like the sound of this one. Good luck with it, Gloria. Come back and see us soon.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And The Winner Is


Danielle Thorne, your name came out of the hat, so you win a copy of Return Engagement for the comment you left after you watched my new trailer. I'll send you your copy as soon as you give me your email address. You can email it to me at elainecsc@aol.com or leave it here in a comment. Thanks everybody who looked at the trailer.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Welcome Clare Dargin


Today's special guest is Clare Dargin. Clare is an author of science fiction and science fiction romance books. Her newest work “Speculative Sky” is available from Red Rose Publishing.

Clare, welcome to the blog. As a science fiction fan myself I'm really interested in your book. Can you tell us what inspired you to write Speculative Sky?

Well, ever since I was a child I always wanted to be a writer. It was a dream of mine to be published and to write stories that everyone could enjoy. Speculative Sky was created because I’ve always had a fascination with stories about Extra-Terrestrial Life and S.E.T.I. and I wanted to integrate such a story with a female character as a strong and intelligent lead.

Heard that! I love stories with a strong female character. Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes I do but I am not sure what to call it. When people read my work I want them to feel as if they are right there in the midst of it all. I want them to be able to hear, taste, smell and see the action as if it is happening all around them. I also tend to write tight stories with quick pacing. It's what I like to read and consequently how I write.

That's exactly the kind of stories I like to read. How did you come up with your title?

To be honest I’ve always been attracted and fascinated by the abstract and the symbolic. I wanted the title to be symbolic of what April Mullen, the main character, has to deal with as an Astronomer and all that came with her assignment.

What is Speculative Sky about?

It is about a woman who takes a chance and leaves for an assignment on a science colony far away from Earth. As an astronomer it is her job to monitor the stars at night and to record her findings. Nothing more than that. But when she arrives, she notices that her new home is a bit odd, and that though there is evidence of life out there… they don’t want her to either acknowledge it or do anything about it. She of course finds this troubling.

Oh, I bet I see where that's gonna go. What books have most influenced your life most?

To be honest, in fiction category, it would have to be the old star wars books that came out in the eighties after Return of the Jedi. The expanded universe books taught me more about atmospheric and expanded universe development then any book I know! I read them over and over again and learned about non-human creature development, planetary science fiction and description of space travel and not to mention how to write a cool leading man. I still read them!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Douglas Preston and/or Lincoln Child. They write incredibly compelling books of which I generally can't put down.

What book are you reading now?

To be honest and I am almost finished with “Book of the Dead” with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I'll be going through their back list very soon in order to get caught up.

I haven't read either of those, but I'll check them out. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Last night I was thinking about the Friday House about D. K. Gaston and how it's a compelling story about assassins who have no memory of their being programmed and stuff. I think it's cool. And several books on the military scifi romance front that I have recently heard about. I write in a tiny subgenre so it's nice to see what other authors are doing in it. That way I don't get lonely!

What are your current projects?

Presently I am finishing up the final editing for “Ice and Peace” the sequel to Cold Warriors. As well as having another expanded universe book in the works. Not to mention, two futuristic romances that are completely different from my military fiction.

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

The Motown Creative Writers Group-- they helped get on the road to being published. And not to mention the many groups in the Romance community. They really pointed me in the right direction. I'm grateful for that.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes! One day I hope to do it full time.

So do I. It would be nice. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Yeah that's why I have to hurry up and get it out of my hands cause I keep changing it!

LOL. I do that too. It drives editors crazy. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

As a child my father used to encourage it. I used to write stories for my family and give it to them and they would say “Maybe one day you could get this published!” I was like five.... and then when I was in middle school I found out that S. E. Hinton had been published at sixteen-- I became truly determined then.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yea, getting through the first draft!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Just get the first draft down on paper and don't be afraid to make stupid mistakes and have dumb lines on paper cause it's the first draft and you are allowing the characters to come alive. Later on you can fix and micro manage but don't try to do it the first time through cause it will stifle your creativity.

That's exactly what I've said! Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don't give up on being published! Try every avenue! There is a way for you!

That's great advice, Clare, and now it's excerpt time. Please share an excerpt with us.

Excerpt: Speculative Sky

“I’m sure that’s the case but how can I not be excited over this? It’s the find of a lifetime,” she said reveling in the thought of making contact with extra-terrestrial life.

“You don‘t have to try to impress us. Just do you your work and you‘ll be fine.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means you don’t worry about it. There is plenty of research to be done. You could spend your entire lifetime studying the Jugis Star Cluster alone.”

“Haven’t you ever looked up in the sky and wondered if there was anyone else out there?”

“Of course I have. And if anyone back home asks, tell them it’s just us,” he said finishing off his drink.

Clare, thank you so much for coming today. Speculative Sky sounds just wonderful. Readers, think about giving books for the readers on your list. If they like science fiction I think they'd love this one.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stacey Has A New Book
























Have you met Stacey Kennedy? Stacey has a new book out that she'd love to tell you about, but before we do that, Stacey tell us a little bit about you and your work.

My novels are lighthearted fantasy, heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. My journey as a writer began as a way to keep my brain alive since being a stay at home mom can be a little let’s say―numbing. It was an escape from screaming kids, dirty diapers and plain old mom duty. It started as a hobby, but as the stories progressed it became a passion. Now, I indulge at nap time, especially the juicy bits! Every mom needs a good thrill!

We sure do! LOL. What's An Everlasting Bite about? Share a blurb with us.

Blurb of An Everlasting Bite:

Love is born between strangers, yet built upon a bond soul deep―one Alpha’s vow to protect his mate from looming danger, all the while, mending her soul and stirring her wolfish desires.


A vicious werewolf attack in Plymouth, Minnesota leaves a young woman violated, bitten and now, transformed into werewolf. But Rynn Murphy doesn’t have to face this transformation alone—she has her mate by her side. And the charming Briggs―Beta to the Patriarch, Valor―is eager to ease her into this new life and mend her battered soul.

With only weeks to adjust to her new fur, Rynn, follows Briggs while he assists in locating the daughter of the Montana’s Alpha, who was abducted from her home. But this journey is not without danger. And soon, they discover the ones who have taken this young wolf do not want her found and will stop at nothing to keep her hidden. Or so it may seem, as bodies begin to drop around them, the murderous attempts start to appear more as a hit than a smoke screen—leaving only one question, who is the intended target…

It sounds like fun, Stacey. Where can we find the book?

That link is http://www.staceykennedy.com/books/blue-blood-series/an-everlasting-bite/

Okay, could you give us your links so we can find you on the web?

Website - www.staceykennedy.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=100000956942180
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3473046.Stacey_Kennedy
Twitter - http://twitter.com/Stacey_Kennedy

Your work has gotten some really good reviews. Would you mind sharing a few of them with us?

Not at all.

PRAISE FOR THE WILLOW
RT Book Reviews
“…Kennedy has created a world that readers will want to visit again and again!”

Dawn Crowne
PRAISE FOR THE WICKED
Bitten by Paranormal Romance
“Do you love magic, dominant men, adventure, humor, evil villains and a talking cat? Well here is an excellent book for you to try.” Laurie

PRAISE OF A DEADLY WHISPER
Happily Ever After Reviews
The readers will find themselves snickering and crying with the characters. I highly recommend this book. Read it, go get it right away. ” Hunter

Stacey, thanks for coming by and good luck with your book. Come back and see us again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Best Selling Toy Of The Season Excerpt 2


On November 7 I posted part 1 of Chapter 1 in my Christmas novel The Best Selling Toy Of The Season. Today, I'd like to post part 2. If you like the book, it's available at http://www.midnightshowcase.com

For a minute Tommy couldn't remember what he wanted.

“Cat got your tongue?” the young woman cheerfully inquired. “You look familiar. Do I know you?”

“I…don’t know, I mean, I don’t think so,” Tommy floundered, mentally kicking himself for allowing a beautiful woman to reduce him to the level of a gauche freshman.

“Well, what do you want? I’m too busy to just stand here and talk. You aren’t trying to pick me up are you? You’re tall, dark, and handsome as they say, but I’ve sworn off men. Every time I get involved with one it turns out bad. Your hair is as black as can be. You don’t dye it, do you?”

“Uh, no, I don’t dye it.”

“You won’t tell me what you want, so I’ll have to guess. You look like you might be an athlete, so I expect you want sporting goods. Follow this red line on the floor, and it’ll take you where you want to go.”

“No,” Tommy replied hastily. “That isn’t it. I want a gag gift.”

“Let me think.”

Tommy waited in silence for a moment or two. “I know just the thing,” she assured him. Follow me.”

She led Tommy to the lingerie department that didn’t please him at all. It embarrassed him to look at underwear with a beautiful woman.

She went down aisle five and selected a box from the shelf. “Here you go. This is a perfect gag gift unless you’re going to a church party. It might be a little over the top for church. Not that I think it’s bad myself, but ministers might. What do you think?”

“I don’t know what it is so it’s hard to have an opinion,” Tommy pointed out.

The girl handed him the box. “It’s a passion meter. You hold the round glass part in your hand, and your body heat causes the red liquid to rise in this little tube. You know; like mercury in a thermometer, but see on the side here? It tells you what kind of lover you are based on how far your body heat makes the liquid rise. Take it
out of the box and try it.”

“I don’t need to do that.”

“Oh, you might as well. Don’t you want to know?”

Well…

The woman removed the device from the box and handed it to him. “Wrap your hand around the glass bulb.”

Tommy did as she instructed. Suddenly the liquid boiled and shot
straight to the top of the glass tube.

“Look at you,” the woman laughed. “You measured red hot super
stud.”

Tommy’s face turned a color very similar to the red liquid, and a
fit of laughter so intense that she had to hold the shelf for support
seized his lovely companion. “You’re awfully shy, aren’t you? I guess you weren’t trying to pick me up after all. Is there anything more that I can show you?”

“No, but thank you for helping me.” Why did she have to laugh at him? No man wanted a beautiful woman to make fun of him.

“Merry Christmas,” she said and bustled away.

Tommy glanced at his watch; he was going to be late. He hurried to the checkout line, and there time stood still. Every register had an enormous line, and it took forever to check out even one customer.

Finally, his turn came. He thankfully paid for his gag gift and joined the throngs of people either going out or coming in. He saw Bill English and lifted his hand to wave goodbye, but he didn’t see the woman in front of him until he plowed into her. Both he and the young woman who had helped him find his gift went sprawling to the
floor. Something in her bag broke with a loud crash when Tommy’s
knee smashed into it.

All the Super Mart employees in the vicinity came running, including Bill English. “Are you guys okay?”

“I’m fine,” Tommy assured him as visions of lawsuits danced in his head. “Ma’am, are you okay?”

To his horror, the young woman burst into tears. “You’ve ruined everything! Teddy and Michael are going to be so disappointed, and I guess they’ll stop believing in Santa Claus, but you don’t care.”

She jerked her bag toward her and held out two broken toys for Tommy to see. “These robots are all that my boys asked for this year. I put them on layaway back in September, and I finished paying for them today. They’re the best selling toy of the season. You can’t find them anywhere, and now you’ve broken mine.”

She shot Tommy a look of bitter enmity. Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she scrambled to her feet and stalked out of the store.

“Be ashamed,” lectured one of the customers. “You ruined her boys’ Christmas.”

“Yeah,” a man in the crowd contributed. “You could at least have offered to pay for it.”

The Super Mart employee nodded their agreement. “Look at the way he’s dressed. He’s got money to burn. He won’t even pay for Nikki’s loss, and it was all his fault.”

The crowd drifted away, and Bill picked up Tommy’s bag and handed it to him. “It was an accident, Tommy. I know you didn’t mean to do it.”

“Who was that woman? I’ll go back to the toy department and buy two more robots to replace the ones I broke. Give me her name and address, and I’ll have them sent to her tonight.”

Bill shook his head. “She told you the truth. Everybody’s sold out of those little robots. You can’t buy them anywhere.”

A look of determination came to rest on Tommy’s face. If Bill had ever seen Tommy in court, he would have recognized it immediately. Many of Tommy’s legal opponents shivered when this expression crossed his face, for as one of them put it, ‘A rottweiller would turn a steak loose quicker than he’d give up when he looks like
that.’

“You let me worry about finding the toys. What’s her name and address?”

“Her name is Nikki Lane, and she lives in trailer number five in Higgins Court.”

“Nikki Lane. Isn’t she Dan Wakefield’s cousin?”

“Yeah, she is.”

“I thought so. Dan trains my horse, and he asked me to get her no account boyfriend to pay child support. Did they ever get married?”

Bill laughed shortly. “No, not hardly. He pays Nikki because he knows that he has to, but he doesn’t want anything to do with her or the boys.”

“Why not? Is he blind? She’s drop dead gorgeous.”

“Oh, you should have seen her six months ago. She dyed her hair brassy blonde and frizzed it all over her head, she wore enough makeup for three people, and her clothes made her look like a…well, you know.”

“What happened to her?”

“Her cousin came to visit and gave her a few pointers.”

“Oh. Could you write down the name of the toy for me?”

“Sure, but don’t hold your breath. I don’t think you can find them anywhere.”

Bill took his pen out and found a piece of paper. He scribbled down the name and manufacturer of the robots and handed it to Tommy. “Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.”

“Thanks. I will.”

Tommy took his leave of Bill and hurried outside. The snow fell heavily now, and his car felt icy. He turned on the heater and took out his cell phone. “Hurry up and answer,” he impatiently muttered.

“Hello?” Uh oh. Cherie sounded annoyed.

“Cherie, it’s Tommy.”

“Where are you, Tommy? We’re going to be late, and this is important to me.” Yes, he had ticked her off.

“Well, that’s what I’m calling about. I’m in the middle of a crisis, and I can’t make it tonight.”

“What!”

“Look, I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you later, but I have something to do that just can’t wait.” He hadn’t lied either. If he could help it, those little boys wouldn’t be disappointed on Christmas morning.

“Oh, all right! I’ll call Mark Masters to escort me. I’m sure that he won’t turn me down.”

“Thanks, Cherie. I appreciate it. I’ve got to go. I’ll see you later.”

He tossed the phone into the console of his car and carefully entered the stream of traffic. It took a little longer than usual to reach home because of the weather, and he sighed in relief as his car came to a halt in the garage. He never had liked driving in the snow.

He wished he hadn’t knocked the woman over, but he felt so thankful to avoid that party. He threw his coat and gag gift onto the sofa as he passed through his living room and immediately seated himself at his computer to start his search for the elusive robots.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Welcome Cate Masters


Hi, Cate. Welcome to my blog. Could you tell the readers a little bit about you and your work?

Thanks so much for having me, Elaine! My writing reflects my reading tastes – eclectic! I love reading any compelling, well-written story, and I love writing them too –contemporary, historical, paranormal/fantasy/speculative, mainstream and erotic, from flash to novel length. I’m really excited this year to have four stories finaling in the 2011 EPIC competition. The Pearl S. Buck Foundation awarded my short story first place this year, too, so I’m also excited about that.

I'd be excited too! That's a fantastic record. Congratulations to you. What are you working on now?

About a dozen stories! I’ve been switching between three recently – a historical, a contemporary fantasy and an urban fantasy.

I like to switch back and forth too. Keeps you from getting bored. What’s the hardest part of writing for you? The easiest?

I have so many story ideas at once, finishing is the greatest challenge, lol. My muse is very impatient, and tosses a little too much inspiration at me sometimes. So ideas are easiest, if somewhat frustrating – I have many notebooks filled with them.

Me too. I bet all authors do. Would you dare to tell us five things that no one would know about you?

I wish I could come up with something interesting, like I used to be a spy! But I’m fairly boring, except for a dark sense of humor. It runs in my family, so I can’t help it, lol. Some might be surprised at the wide range of jobs I’ve worked: deputy press secretary, research assistant, secretary, cashier – it’s all story fodder!

You're right. Story fodder can easily be found in the workplace. Please share your links with us so we can find you on the web. Thanks, I’d love for you to visit my sites:

Web site: http://www.catemasters.com

Blog: http://catemasters.blogspot.com

Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CateMasters

We’d love to read an excerpt from one of your books. Don’t forget to give us a buy link so we can get it.

Surfacing, about a down and out indie rocker and a mermaid, was a really fun book to write. It’s available in ebook and print from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=824

Here’s the trailer:




Excerpt:
Her fingers on the strings, she strummed an awful sound. Frowning, she laughed. “Eww. Ow.” She looked at her fingertips.

“It takes awhile to get used to the strings. See?” He held out his calloused fingers.

She ran a light touch across them, sending a thrill down his spine and through his stomach.

A breeze rippled through her hair. She lifted her face to his, then scanned the stars. “I have to go soon.”

“No.” He pressed toward her, unable to hold back. Still as a rock, her eyes widened, but not with fear. With something like pleasure. Her smile teased. “I’ll come back.”

He reached toward her, let his fingers drift near her arm. “When? I’m off tomorrow, maybe…”

Her gaze followed the movement of his hand. Her full voice softened. “I’m not supposed to come up during daylight.” Her pinkie lifted toward his fingers.

An invitation. His heart thudded against his ribs, expanded his chest to bursting.
He let his fingers hover near hers. When their fingers connected, prickles shot past his callouses and up his arm. “But today—”

Mischief infused her smile. “I said I’m not supposed to. They say it’s dangerous.” She entwined her fingers through his.

Her palm against his ignited the prickles to liquid fire. “But you disagree.” He liked a girl who thought for herself.

She squeezed his hand. “Yes. I like to observe people. Try to learn about them.”

He would love to teach her everything he knew. And she could teach him, too. He inched closer.

“I could come back tomorrow night,” she offered.

His brain screamed for him to make her promise, pledge on her life she would return. She owed him nothing. He owed her everything. “Thanks for saving me today.”

She tilted her head, as if awaiting his kiss. “I couldn’t let an alligator devour such a talented singer.”

It took all he had not to cup her face in his hands, press his mouth against hers. He began to speak, to call her name, then realized he didn’t know it. “What’s your name?”

“Cassiopeia.” She said it as if it were a curse.

“Like the constellation.” Her eyes were a constellation in themselves. “I’m AJ.”

“AJ. What is that for?”

Oh, he wished she hadn’t asked. How he hated his full name. “Andrew James.”

With a half-frown, half-smile, she repeated, “Andrew. Like the saint?”

He grinned. “Lots of people would argue against that.” How did she know about saints?

She lifted the guitar toward him. “Tomorrow night, then. Another lesson.”

“Yes.” Whatever she wanted. He took the guitar from her. She laid her palm against his cheek, and his body went fluid at her warm touch. He let out a long breath.
As if gliding, she moved into the water, and looked back at him once before slipping into the sea.

His legs shot him toward her, stumbling over the rocks. “Hurry back.”

The waves lapped against the rocks, stars glimmered overhead.
Tomorrow night. The wait would be an eternity.

I can't wait to see how this turns out. Thanks for coming and sharing with us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Hello, readers. Today's guest blogger is Kathy Otten who's going to talk to us about the US Marshalls in history. Kathy's new book Lost Hearts which is coming out tomorrow at http://www.thewildrosepress.com is about a marshall. Kathy, thanks for coming.

You're welcome, Elaine. Thanks for inviting me. In my new historical western novel, Lost Hearts, my hero, Richard Bennick is a U.S. Deputy Marshal for the famous “Hanging Judge,” Isaac Parker. In 1875 when Parker was appointed to the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas, the system was corrupt and Indian Territory overrun with more horse thieves, whiskey peddlers and robbers per square mile than any other place in the United States.

Immediately Parker hired 200 deputies then he reopened investigations, issued arrest warrants for the most notorious criminals, and told his deputies, “Bring them in alive—or dead!”

Through 74,000 square miles of Indian Territory, Parker’s deputies fanned out on the greatest manhunt in history.

They rode in teams of four or five. Each team brought with it extra mules and horses, a prison wagon and a wagon equipped to serve as office, arsenal, and kitchen. The driver of the prison wagon sat on a high spring seat, unarmed to prevent prisoners in the wagon from getting any ideas. Guards were picked up as needed along the way. They rode on horseback; their only duty was to make sure the prisoners did not escape. Sometimes the wagons carried a cook. If he rode in the wagon, he was unarmed. At night he helped serve as camp guard.

While some teams were sent out on special missions most were “…on the scout,” searching for stills, looking for stolen horses, and investigating suspicious people in rough prairie towns. When people saw a “tumbleweed wagon” they drew close to see who the deputies had captured. Sometime the deputies exchanged news, or asked about certain men.

These criminals both hated and feared the deputies. From mountain peaks or knolls, evolved a system of flashing signals and beacon lights, relayed from one knoll to another, warning fugitives miles away of approaching deputies.

At that time the maximum punishment for resisting arrest was only a year in jail. Since the odds of beating the deputy were much higher than beating Judge Parker, a deputy could expect a shoot-out when he served a warrant. If he was lucky he survived with only powder burns or a flesh wound. Neither the deputy’s guard nor cook was under any obligation to help in the capture of criminals, and most didn’t.

Deputies never shot to kill. Every man brought back for trial was worth an arrest fee of $2.00 and deputies received nothing for corpses.

If an outlaw was killed by a deputy marshal, the incident was thoroughly investigated. Judge Parker did not tolerate cold-blooded by outlaw or lawman and a few deputies did serve time in prison for unjust killings.

Because criminals easily changed their names deputies identified their quarry from the descriptions included on the warrant. With each arrest the deputy took possession of the prisoner’s property and issued a receipt. The property was later turned over to the jailer at Fort Smith. The prosecution also needed evidence to convict, and deputies were expected to collect it.

The guards would hold several prisoners in camp, until the deputy served all his warrants and made his arrests. Then he still had transport his prisoners to Fort Smith over distances of 200-300 miles in weather ranging from stifling heat to bitter cold. They traveled by wagon and horseback. Wounded prisoners were permitted to ride in the wagon chained to the side boards; the healthy ones were marched alongside at the point of a gun. With no bridges across the streams and no paths or roads, their progress was slow.

On a routine tour of duty a 4-5 man team averaged a haul of perhaps 20 prisoners. The deputy had to live with these men, often for months, camping under the stars with his Winchester across his knees, watching his prisoners every move while trying to read their thoughts. The sheer number of prisoners could overwhelm the best deputy in an instant if he was careless. Often a whiskey peddler was more dangerous than a murderer. Frequently the deputies were ambushed by criminal gangs which sometimes resulted in the death of the officer and the escape of the prisoners.

In camp the prisoners wore leg irons. Each prison wagon was equipped with a long, heavy chain. At night the prisoners were shackled in pairs, and the shackles passed through a ring in the chain. One end was fastened to a tree, securing the prisoners like fish on a line. If there were no trees, the chain was locked around the rear axle of the wagon.

After he was captured, the first thing a prisoner wanted to do was gamble, but no guard or cook was allowed to gamble with the prisoners for fear they would lose their guns. Instead, prisoners were put to work. They peeled potatoes, chopped firewood and washed the tin ware. If they grumbled they didn’t eat.

To expedite trials in Fort Smith, deputies picked up witnesses at the scene who were often reluctant to make the long trip and even if they came along willingly it wasn’t easy to keep them safe if a gun fight erupted.

When the deputies reached Fort Smith, huge crowds gathered at the docks to gawk as the wagons were ferried across the river then rolled down Garrison Avenue as the deputies and their prisoners entered the gates of the abandoned fort.

The wagons stopped before a two story brick barracks building that served as a court room, jury room, and offices for clerks, attorneys and the United States Marshal. The basement, served as a jail, where guards took over as the new prisoners were marched inside and the main gate close.

But arresting criminals was only part of a deputy’s work. He had to be present throughout the long court trial. Witnesses often failed to report and a deputy had to be ready at a moment’s notice to ride out and bring them in.

If he summoned one without subpoena he was held responsible for the fees. He must have seen the witness by whom he expected to sustain the charge before he was allowed the writ.

This rule was strictly observed by Judge Parker as protection to the citizens from unnecessary arrest, protection to the Government against useless expense, and protection to the deputy marshals whose accounts were disallowed if the prosecution was shown to have been frivolous.

While none of his deputies were angels, Judge Parker had nothing but the highest respect for these men, particularly the 65 men who gave their lives during his term at Fort Smith. “Without these men,” Parker said time and time again, “I could not hold court a single day.”



Blurb:

Trapped in a life of violence and abuse, Johnny Bodine disguises her femininity and dreams of a family who loves her.

Haunted by flashbacks he can't remember, from a war he wants desperately to
forget, U.S. Deputy Marshal Richard Bennick arrives in Indian Territory with warrants for a notorious outlaw and his feisty, irreverent son, Johnny.

As they journey through the dangerous Choctaw Nation, Richard and Johnny must learn to trust each other in order to survive, forming a unique bond of love between outlaw and lawman that can only be broken by Richard's oath to uphold the law, and by the justice of the hangman's noose.




Excerpt:

Steady rain woke everyone well before sunrise. Rain ponchos of India rubber were thrown on and plates of cold beans passed around for breakfast.

Miserable without rain gear of her own, Johnny stood at the end of the chuck wagon, beneath an open-sided, water proofed canvas tent, washing the breakfast dishes while the cook packed up the camp.

The tension that had twisted her stomach muscles into a knot when the one-armed deputy rode out last night, eased when she saw him ride up alongside the wagon. Beyond the circle of lantern light, he was nothing more than a black silhouette against a backdrop of dark gray sky. He dismounted, leaving his horse ground tied, then grabbed one of the lanterns hanging from a pole and strode past her on his way to the front of the wagon. It tipped to the left when he climbed inside.

A moment later, the large, burly man who’d been hired to drive the prison wagon, brushed by. “Don’t I get a gun?” he asked from outside the wagon.

“I thought you drove a prison wagon before,” the deputy snapped as his silhouette bent and shifted behind the canvas.
“Sure, I rode a few posses an’ such, but I always had me a weapon.”
There was a slam, hollow and solid, like the lid on a wooden box. The wagon lurched again. The deputy swung his legs over the seat and jumped to the ground.

“The driver for the prison wagon never carries. It’s too dangerous.”
The glow from the lanterns reflected off his black poncho and rain dripped from the brim of his dark hat. The low light deepened the circles which underscored his red rimmed eyes. She doubted the man’s surly mood would improve during the day.

“Come on, Deputy, can’t I even have me a little pig sticker tucked in my boot for comfort?”

“No. You were told no weapons. That’s the rule.”

“Can’t ya bend the rules? That Bodine’s a dangerous man.”

“Look, Hobbs, is it? I don’t bend rules for anyone. Ever. And because Bodine is dangerous is precisely the reason you are not to carry a weapon.”

“I guarantee the only way Bodine will get it is to kill me first.”

“Then he’ll still have it won’t he?”

“But—”

“No weapons. You don’t like it, get your gear and get the hell out of here.” The deputy swung around and slammed into Johnny. “What do you want?” His broad hand clamped onto her shoulder, then he spun her around, and shoved her toward the back of the prison wagon where Brady had the other prisoners lined up.

Afraid of what might happen if she were trapped with her father and his men all day, Johnny veered off toward the horses and her big paint, Jack.

“Hold it!” Brady yelled. “Where are you going?”

She lifted her manacled hands and pointed toward the horses. The wet sleeves of her duster stuck to the tops of her hands. She’d rather be soaking wet all day than ride one minute in that dry wagon. “To fetch Jack.”

“Sorry kid, everybody’s in the wagon today.”
She stiffened. “I done tolt ya, I ain’t no outlaw.” She hoped her father hadn’t discerned the trace of panic in her voice.

The one-armed deputy moved up and stepped between them. “It doesn’t matter what you claim, kid. We still have a warrant for your arrest.”

Looking beyond the deputy’s shoulder, she saw Brady raise the barrel of his rifle. Her heart pounded and her mouth went dry.