Monday, July 31, 2017

RITA FINALIST SUSAN FOX "gets lost"

FLY AWAY WITH ME
Blue Moon Harbor #1

Known for its rugged beauty and eccentric residents, tiny Blue Moon Harbor is big on love...

For busy lawyer Eden Blaine, a trip to a Pacific Northwest island she’s never even heard of is far from a vacation. Eden’s ailing mother has tasked her with finding her long-lost aunt, who once had ties to a commune on the island.  Still reeling from a breakup with her longtime boyfriend, romance is the last thing Eden is looking for. But her gorgeous seaplane pilot has her wondering if a carefree rebound fling is exactly what she needs…

Aaron Gabriel has no illusions about happily ever after. His troubled childhood made sure of that. But he does appreciate a pretty woman’s company, and Eden is the exact combination of smart and sexy that turns him on. Still, as he helps her search for her missing aunt, the casual relationship he imagined quickly becomes something much more passionate—and much harder to give up. Can two people determined to ignore romance recognize that their heated connection is the kind of love destined to last?


SUSAN FOX is a Pacific Northwester with homes in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. She has degrees in law and psychology, and has had a variety of careers, including perennial student, computer consultant, and legal editor. Fiction writer is by far her favorite, giving her an outlet to demonstrate her belief in the power of love, friendship, and a sense of humor.
Susan’s "Love Somebody Like You" was a 2016 finalist for Romance Writers of America®’s prestigious RITA® award. Her books have won the National Readers’ Choice Award, the HOLT Medallion, the Booksellers Best Award, the Book Buyers Best Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Aspen Gold Readers Choice, the Golden Quill, the More Than Magic, the Lories, the Beacon, and the Laurel Wreath. "Sex Drive" was a Cosmopolitan Red-Hot Read.


THE Q&A
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
SUSAN: As a reader, every day, more than once. I’ve been addicted to fiction since I was a tiny kid. I’m an only child and books were my wonderful companions as well as my ticket to adventure, emotion, and insights. Some writers read analytically, dissecting how a great author does what she does, or why a mediocre book doesn’t really work. Not me. I read for pure pleasure. I love it when the author carries me away into the world of her characters and story. I hate it when things jar me out of the story – like inconsistencies or typos. As an author, I also get lost in my own story sometimes when I’m writing. That’s when it’s the most fun: when I’m not consciously thinking about it, just feeling it flow through my fingers on the keyboard.

ANGI: Favorite date night…fancy or at home?
SUSAN:  I choose fancy, and at home. Is that allowed? I don’t want to have to drive or walk to or from the venue. But nor do I want to do any work! I also don’t want anyone else around, just the two of us with complete privacy. Am I picky, or what? LOL. So, here’s the plan. Someone will come in and clean the house and prepare a fantastic meal, they’ll disappear while we enjoy excellent food and wine, and then they’ll quietly sneak back into the kitchen and clean up the mess while we put on some music and dance in the front room, or perhaps wander down to the beach for a moonlight stroll.

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
SUSAN:  Snoopy from Peanuts. He invented the happy dance, didn’t he? And he does it better than anyone else. Besides, I love the image of him on the roof of his doghouse, with his typewriter, starting another “It was a dark and stormy night” story. He’s my cartoon soulmate!

ANGI: What’s your favorite thing about your book’s hero?
SUSAN:  In the beginning, it’s how totally devoted Aaron is to his younger sister Miranda (a single mom) and her little girl. They had a horrendous upbringing, first with a mom who was a drug addict and prostitute, then (after she died) with her parents, who made it entirely clear the grandchildren weren’t welcome or loved. All through everything, Aaron has protected Miranda – even though she’s a proud young woman who hates accepting assistance and frequently butts heads with him. But he loves her, and he persists, and he’s always there for her and little Ariana. So, even though Aaron’s cynical enough to believe that love is not in the cards for him, and he acts like a carefree confirmed bachelor, he’s a guy who is capable of long-term commitment and is deserving of love. I also like the way that, as his and Eden’s feelings for each other develop way past the short-term holiday fling they both intended, he pushes past his deeply ingrained fears and goes after the girl!

ANGI: High Heels or Hiking Boots?
SUSAN:  Neither! Comfort, all the way, and as little confinement as possible for my feet. High heels kill my feet (not to mention my fragile back and hips). Hiking boots are way too heavy and make me feel lead-footed. If I’m going to walk, I like my airy little Skechers or a pair of Merrill or Teva walking sandals. For dressy wear, I’ve been known to don a pair of heels and I admit I like how they look, and the fact that they add a couple of inches to my 5'2", but you can bet I’ll be kicking them off at the first opportunity.

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
SUSAN:  I love “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I’d been crazy about the book before I saw the movie, and I think they did a really good job with the movie, of doing justice to the book. I love the characters and story, and I’m crazy about both Atticus Finch and Gregory Peck. I think Atticus is an excellent model for a hero, and in fact he’s the basic inspiration for my heroes. And I suppose, in a way, both he and Scout inspire my heroines as well. I don’t like bold, alpha-type heroes or heroines. I like flawed human beings who have strong values, who stand up for what they believe in, who struggle to be better people – and who do it in a quiet, understated, but highly effective way.

ANGI: What’s your perfect day?
SUSAN:  Great weather – warm and sunny – and beautiful scenery. Probably by the ocean. A villa in Greece would be nice. LOL. Getting up early to greet the fresh morning, having a long, lazy, delicious breakfast outside as I enjoy the scenery, smell the flowers, and read a good book. Then a long walk, a little photography, a relaxed lunch with a good friend, also outside, with wine and interesting conversation. In the afternoon, some time at my computer working on my latest story – and being in that zone where I’m lost in the story. Where the characters are talking to me, directing the action, and I’m happily typing along. Later on, a relaxed dinner (outside – with wine – are you sensing a theme?) with my guy. Afterward, maybe sitting outside and reading and/or going for a stroll on the beach. Going to bed fairly early, with the windows open to let in a gentle breeze scented with flowers and the ocean.

ANGI: Salad or soup?
SUSAN:  Salad in summer; soup in winter. I actually mostly eat salad for lunch all year round, because it’s so easy to make. I’m lazy about making soup, and I don’t care for most of the tinned or packaged ones. But there’s nothing better on a chilly day than a lovely bowl of home-made soup paired with fresh bread!
 
ANGI: Champagne or Soda?
SUSAN:  Champagne, totally. I love bubbles. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be champagne. Non-French bubbly, Prosecco, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, anything like that will make me very happy. In fact, my way of celebrating small successes (like completing a manuscript, or getting a fabulous review) is by drinking a mini bottle of Henkell Trocken. At lunch!

ANGI: Geek or Jock?
SUSAN:  Dreamer. The one with her head in a good novel, not paying the slightest bit of attention to either the geeks or the jocks.

ANGI: Favorite inspiration
SUSAN: For my writing, my best inspiration is my characters. In the beginning, I’m inspired to get to know them, and then once I know them pretty well I let them inspire what happens next in the book. As for inspiration in life, I guess it’s people like Atticus Finch, doing their best to be decent human beings and to do their small bit to make the world a better place. I hope I do that myself, by writing stories that feature diverse characters and complex issues. Stories that, hopefully, not only entertain but inspire emotion and sometimes even insights and revelations. I love it when a reader tells me that one of my books has helped her figure out a problem in her life or find the courage to take a bold step forward. Or when someone says how much she loves reading about a heroine who is like her (e.g., has an illness like bipolar disorder or multiple sclerosis, and still finds the love of her life). 

ANGI: The most daring thing you’ve ever done… Care to share?

SUSAN:  I’d say it’s the first time I volunteered to make a public presentation. I’m an introvert and when I was younger, I was terrified about speaking in front of a group of people. But I had a job that kind of expected it of me, so I forced myself to do it. Fortunately, I had a good buddy who was going through the same thing, so we offered each other support – and then we went out afterwards and had several drinks! I can’t say we were fabulous at those first presentations, but we faced the fear and we survived. Now, I’ve presented numerous workshops and done other public speaking, and it certainly gets easier with practice.

ANGI’s GOTTA ASK:  What’s your favorite pair of shoes & why?

SUSAN’S GOTTA ANSWER:  I’m a summer girl and I’d live barefoot if I possibly could. Failing that, my favorite shoes are the lightest and most comfortable ones. So I’ll choose these Teva sandals. I love the multicolored straps!

  
UP NEXT for SUSAN
CHRISTMAS KISSES
An anthology with Fern Michaels, Jules Bennett & Leah Marie Brown
Read a little, Buy the book
 
SUSAN’S PREVIOUS RELEASES
on her website including the beginning of her award-winning
CARIBOU CROSSING series

SUSAN is giving away an autographed print copy of Fly Away With Me
IF MAILING: North America ONLY or International ??

Get Lost on Facebook   @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories
AND OUR NEW Facebook Group: The Readers’ Spot
SUSAN WANTS TO KNOW:  I’ve talked a bit about what makes someone heroic in my eyes. Now I’d like to know what all of you find heroic – both in fiction and in real life. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

E.E. Burke's Best of the West: Special Promotion


Purchase for only 99 cents
A five-star romance in a bestselling series, only 99 cents. 

When all else fails, try seduction.

Ross Hardt must marry a proper lady to reclaim his inheritance. Among the few remaining prospects is a beautiful, sassy widow who has tantalized him from the day they first met--the same day she slapped his face.

Susannah Braddock journeyed west on The Bride Train in search of a good father for her young son, but on the lawless frontier few candidates meet her requirements, least of all the arrogant, demanding, unfeeling railroad agent.

As Fate—and Ross’s scheming—draws them closer, Susannah glimpses unexpected tenderness beneath his harsh exterior, and she’s tempted by the fiery passion that flares between them. But when a secret comes out that threatens to destroy their budding relationship, passion isn’t enough. Only love can weather the oncoming storm.

Here's an excerpt:

Ross stood to stretch his legs. Needing to move, he crossed to the large picture window, which had been shipped in by railroad for a dress shop that had failed to materialize. The previous land agent used the glass for the land office instead. Ross enjoyed being able to see outside. He hated to be cooped up in a dark room.
A petite woman walking briskly from the corner arrested his gaze.
Susannah Braddock.
He’d recognize her curvaceous form anywhere—or his body would, at any rate. Inconvenient, this strong attraction he had to a woman who despised him.
Talk about first impressions. She’d made a hell of an impression the day she’d arrived in town, smacked his face so hard his ears rang. Granted, he had it coming after losing his patience and embarrassing her. Since then, he’d tried to find the right time and place to apologize, even stooping so low as to seek her out at church and sit beside her, hoping to speak to her afterwards. She’d shooed him away in front of the entire congregation. He ought to call it a draw and let her be, but he couldn’t.
“Ross, there’s something I need to tell you.” Val’s solemn tone drew Ross’s attention. Why the look of concern?
“Is Mrs. Valentine ill?”
“No, she’s very well, thank you. She’s shopping. Rose won’t have time to stop by, but she sends her regards.” Val didn’t bat an eye or indicate he still struggled with jealousy.
Ross had a slight bump on the bridge of his nose as a reminder. “Give her my regards in return, and tell her thank you.”
“For what?”
“For not coming by to see me and tempting you to punch me in the nose again.” Ross’s smile faded when his friend didn’t respond to the dig. He’d never been interested in Rose Muldoon beyond a sort of brotherly affection. Surely Val realized that by now. “What’s the trouble? You appear concerned.”
“I am concerned. For you.”
Ross released a laugh that sounded rusty. He hadn’t found many things amusing lately, but this was a good joke. Val must’ve looked out the window and seen the feisty widow approaching, and couldn’t resist returning a jab. He’d been witness to the face-slapping incident. “Aside from being a bantam, I don’t believe she’s dangerous.”
“Mrs. Braddock?” Val rose from his chair and joined Ross at the window. “Ah. I disagree. A determined woman can be very dangerous."

Grab your copy of Seducing Susannah for only 99 cents this weekend:

AmazonUS |  iBooks | B&N | KoboGoogle



Books in The Bride Train series
Four women answer a railroad advertisement seeking single young ladies as brides for settlers on the Western frontier. The Bride Train takes them to a land plagued by violence and unrest, a place where passion rules and only a woman's touch can tame it into love.



Seducing Susannah introduces the founders of the Double H Ranch. Their descendants are featured in the series Texas Hardts. Out now is Book 1, Maybe Baby.




If you were to go back in time, would you become a mail-order bride? What kind of groom would you be looking for?


Enter the raffle for your chance to win a Kindle Gift Card

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Jacqui Nelson has a story for YOU!













It’s been seven years since I had the good fortune to win the 2010 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® award. Many lucky events have happened since. A few are...

2013: I became a Golden Heart double finalist and that autumn I self-published my first book, Adella’s Enemy. The best part about entering the publishing world was doing so with a group project (the Passion’s Prize anthology) and fellow Golden Hearts finalists Elisabeth Burke and Jennifer Jakes.
 
2014 - 16: I published two of my Golden Heart nominated books plus a couple of others which made my total published book count come to five. I’m not a fast writer but I’m tenacious, or some might say stubborn J

Then 2017 rolled around and I thought, hey I should write a free read for my newsletter subscribers. For some reason this story (even though it’s fairly short) took as long to write as a story with double the word count. I’m still happy I wrote it, because I always fall in love with my characters and my favorite story is always the one I’m writing. Now I’m thrilled to have the chance to join Get Lost in a Story and say, Choosing Bravery is done and ready to be shared!

Some highlights from Choosing Bravery are: a bear, a mountain cave with volcanic origins, an impatient Frenchman searching for a grand discovery, a legendary but traumatized fugitive tracker from the Far North named Lachlan Bravery, an equally legendary (at least on her mountain) wilderness guide named Élodie Rousseau, and a mystery involving a lost mentor, goldmine thieves and a vengeful spirit walker.

CHOOSING BRAVERY
Cascade Mountains, Oregon – 1868

When legends collide, will the sparks ignite their love or drive them apart?

After her parents vanished in the wilderness, Élodie Rousseau found a home with an Osage warrior and a logging camp schoolmistress who joined forces to return Élodie’s beloved spirit horse. With them as her teachers, she became the legendary mountain guide, Yellow Feather. She knows everything about surviving and thriving in the wild, but something is missing.

Brave the wild. Bury the past. Choose your destiny.

READ A LITTLE OF THE STORY:
from Chapter 1 when Élodie and Lachlan first meet:

“Trust me,” Élodie urged. “Open your eyes. I’m not your enemy.”

A tortured grimace sealed his eyes even tighter.

“We don’t have time for this.” She tamped down the impatience hardening her voice and strove for a sweeter tone. “I can help you. Ask any of the locals. They’ll tell you I’m a first-rate guide, a steadfast friend.” She stifled her sigh.

They’d also say she was dangerously impulsive, to herself and to him. If she hadn’t charged blindly to the rescue, she wouldn’t be wasting precious seconds scrambling to gain his trust before he died.

The pressure of his rifle against her eased. His strength was fading.

Her mind sped through the steps to save him: stitch his wounds, splint his leg, and drag him down the mountain to the nearest settlement.

On the long trail westward, Auntie Hannah had saved Uncle Paden’s life using a travois. This man shared Paden’s sturdy size. A small concern. Hannah had shown that a man’s weight was no match for a woman’s determination.

The snow would help. She could build a sled from fir branches and cheat the reaper as well—if this man let her.

“Lay down your weapon and we can help each other. Together we’re stronger.”

“Lies. All lies!” His words exploded with surprising strength.

The click of his rifle being cocked said the rest. Disbelief shook her like a deer realizing too late she’d run up against a wolf. She’d die here after all.


WANT TO READ WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Choosing Bravery is book 3 in my Lonesome Hearts series, but you don’t need to read book 1 or 2 in order to jump into this story. It’s a standalone read and, as I said above, it’s free!

Sign-up for my newsletter on my website and get your free copy of Choosing Bravery today.

CONNECT WITH JACQUI…
Facebook | Twitter @Jacqui_Nelson  | Amazon | Goodreads  | BookBub 




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Join the Circle with Judith Ashley!

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Judith Ashley to the blog!  I met Judith at the Desert Dreams conference in Phoenix this year, and we hit it off.  Judith is the author of the Sacred Women's Circle series, and she's giving away a copy of Book 1 today!  Let's get to know Judith!

Judith has been a part of sacred women’s circles for over twenty years and knows first-hand how important spirituality is when dealing with life’s challenges. One day the stories that make up The Sacred Women’s Circle series flooded through her in daydreams, lucid dreams and conversations so real at times she wondered about her sanity. It was a compelling experience! An experience that catapulted her on this journey to tell these stories. Seeing them published is a dream come true.

Judith’s prayer for you:
May your dreams manifest in “right time” and May you know the peace of unconditional acceptance, support and unconditional love.


Thanks Lara for the invitation and opportunity to join you today here at “Get Lost in the Story.”
I love the premise of your blog and can certainly relate to the “lost in the story” part. Growing up my family had to jiggle my shoulder to bring me back from the castles or cabins, the Scottish Highlands or the Wild West of the United States or wherever I happened to be at the time. The books children have to read today are much different than those I read in the forties and fifties where women were not portrayed in the many roles we are today.

Like so many readers, different things draw me into a story. Setting and characters to be sure but also the central problem to be overcome. And, the stories I’m drawn to are the stories I want to write.
I was compelled to write the stories of the seven women who created a sacred women’s circle where they are unconditionally accepted, unconditionally supported and unconditionally loved. These women showed up in my dreams and in visions, their chattering in my head as they talked to each other and to me continued over many months until I sat down at my computer and put their stories in concrete form.

Readers tell me they love the strength of the relationships between these women as well as the reality of the problems they face: infidelity, domestic violence, divorce, death, single parenting, breast cancer, working mothers, overcoming childhood trauma. And for some, it is their spirituality. In this sacred women’s circle they’ve created their own spirituality that combines many different practices. And, each woman has her own spiritual practice that sustains her as she finds her way to her HEA.
I love a story where I’m so immersed in the journey the characters take that I learn something about myself or about how other people experience life’s lessons. When you read The Sacred Women’s Circle stories you have the opportunity to experience what it is like to be unconditionally accepted, unconditionally supported and unconditionally loved.

And, when you read the series from Lily to Sophia, you have a basic framework for creating your own sacred women’s circle — and I’m just an email away.


On my own “To Be Read” list are books 4, 5, 6 in Paty Jager’s Shandra Higheagle series, Sarah Raplee’s Blindsight and I’ve planned a trip to the book store to find a few Grace Burrowes books I’ve yet to read. I saw that one of my all-time favorite authors, Jo Beverley has a new posthumous novel out. A must read for me. Also I have Lara Lacombe’s Dr. Do or Die nearby.

Please check out my website: http://JudithAshleyRomance.com
I also blog every Monday at http://JudithAshley.blogspot.com  and the first Friday of the month at http://RomancingTheGenres.blogspot.com

Learn more about the first and last books in the series!

Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl
Terror ratchets up Lily’s PTSD symptoms. Hypervigilance during in the light. Nightmares in the dark. If she doesn’t do something different, she’ll lose her mind and maybe even her son.
What happens to us when we blame ourselves for choices we made that turn out to haunt us? How can we trust ourselves to make the right decision now? Where can we find the strength and support we need to confront our past and seek our future?
You can learn more about The Creation of Lily here. And where did The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl come from? Your hint: Lily has always been sensitive to the vibrations around her, especially from the land. Her gift is her ability to visualize the protective energy of the land on which she stands.
Sophia: Every Ending Is A Beginning
Having loved and lost once in her life, Sophia guards her heart. But even though Fremont Police Captain Cam Mitchell is surrounded in darkness, she sees a glimmer of light and she is attracted to him.
When you’ve personal knowledge of the pain of the death of a loved one, how do you put your heart on the line again?
Ever heard of the ‘blue bird of happiness’? Sophia’s personal totem is the blue bird. Happiness seems beyond her when a longtime friend dies. Nothing brings her the joy she so easily manifested even a few months earlier. In my work with the elderly I’ve been with some of my clients as they drew their last breaths. Sophia might follow the Wheel of Life but that is much different than risking her heart in a relationship with someone whose very profession courts death.



Leave a comment with your email address and I’ll send you a link to download the first book in the series: Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl. This link takes you to the story behind the story!

Thanks for joining us today, Judith!