3/29/2019

Through My Lens: Blast from the Past


Visiting Locations Makes ALL the Difference
 Originally appeared on Just Romantic Suspense
Additional Pictures and Giveaway

I just mentioned to my husband that I was ready to spend the night under a gazillion stars again. I’ve never seen as many as when we traveled to West Texas to research Protecting Their Child. Thank goodness we did. There were so many details I was able to add because of that trip. AND it inspired three more books in that area: The West Texas Watchmen. Oh my gosh, the nights were so beautiful…there was so little light pollution that you could see trillions of stars. It was one of the most amazing things I’d ever seen.

I loved hiking through the Davis National Park. I don’t know why. At first glance it looks desolate, desert-like. And beautiful at the same time. But the isolation struck deep inside me as well. Sometimes it took hours to get around the mountains–a very scary thing when you’re running out of gas. The visit helped me create Kate McCrea. One of the strongest heroines I’ve been able to write about.

Where did the actual story come from? Well, about twenty-five years ago I had friends who lost a child… It’s such a sad moment. They stayed together to have two more children, but many couples don’t ever get over the loss. 

Here’s a nice video someone made of the area to give you an idea.

This Excerpt from PROTECTING THEIR CHILD 
is when Cord & Kate are escaping over the mountains:

“Do you think I should go first?” he asked, uncertain if it were safer to climb in front and check the path or behind her in case she fell.
She threw her gloved hands in the air. “I’m moving as fast as I can,” she said, the frustration of talking to him plain in her voice.
“That’s not why I asked.”
“Oh. Well, I don’t think there’s a good—or safe way to accomplish this, Cord.”
He looked back to the Jeep as he had every two minutes. A car dome light flickered on and off. “They found the car.”
“We should get moving. Any idea where we’re heading? Especially without our cells?”
“We couldn’t use them without being found, babe.” The familiar endearment slipped out before he caught himself.
“There’s nothing on the other side other than the state park and observatory.”
“Then that’s where we head. The observatory has satellites. People equal phones and they have a field for a helicopter to land.”
“Good grief, do you know how far that is? What’s wrong with hitching a ride to the highway?” She rolled her shoulders, swung her arms back and forth as if she was warming up for her workout video.
“Not safe. We don’t know who’s in the car—driving or holding a gun to the back of their head.”
She shared a deflated long sigh. “You’re right. I don’t want anyone else hurt. But you know we’re headed to the highest point in the mountains and there isn’t anything between here and there. No ranches, no Ranger stations and we have no cell phones.”
The heavy mist that would have eventually soaked them, turned into bigger plops on their jackets. Kate got hit in the face. All she had was that old crocheted thing she’d made with her mother many years ago. When he’d ‘borrowed’ his jeans and shirt, he should have found Kate a suitable brim to keep the rain off her.
“Better get after it, then. Wait.” He placed his favorite hat on top of her worn cap. She gave him a genuine smile with lots of white, straight teeth and didn’t argue.
Kate set a steady, careful pace. Easy for him to follow and keep watch for men who might be following. So far there weren’t any lights flashing around below. Their mud-caked boots—neither pair made for hiking—contributed to the consistent slipping, adding another layer of danger to their journey.
Within minutes they were soaked. The temperature had to be just above freezing. Cord glanced at his watch again. They’d been climbing forty-five minutes with very limited headway. Kate slowed for another short catch-her-breath minute. They’d taken several and his back was more thankful than his lungs.
“There’s too much rain to locate our position,” he shared. “Think we should use a compass?”
Even at the slow pace she’d maintained, Kate huffed a couple of times before answering. “At this point, using a compass is pointless. There’s really only one path—even though I use that term very loosely.” She put her head down to avoid the pelting rain and took another step, falling to her knee, then waving him off. “I’m okay. Better get used to it. A scraped knee will soon be the least of our worries.”
She pointed to the rock face just above them. This little trek wouldn’t get them over that. They’d have to climb.
 God help him, but how had things come to this? He was the one putting his wife in harm’s way now. Ex-wife. The shrink’s voice popped into his head. Shes forever tied to me now, his own voice replied. Family. He could think of his child and his child’s mother as family.
“We can’t attempt to climb in this weather. I don’t think anyone’s following, they probably haven’t been since they didn’t know which direction we’d taken off.”
“And this isn’t the logical choice.”
“Nope.” He pointed ahead. “There enough trail to make it to the bottom? Might find a bit of an overhang for protection. If we stop here, we’re fairly exposed to the elements.”
“I can make it, Cord. Don’t worry about me.” She turned and got going.
From the looks of things, they had at least another hour and a half before hitting the base. He stretched his back, swung his arms a bit slower than Kate had. The pain shot up his spine with the first step.
“I know you can make it, superwoman,” he mumbled to himself. “It’s me I have doubts about.”

If you haven’t read The Marine’s Last Defense…I hope you’ll give it a try.
 Here’s what a couple of readers thought
"If you love super-hot cowboys that kick butt and don't take numbers, this is a book for you. I enjoyed the story and re-connection of the relationship over the course of the drama. Cord and Kate touched my heart. Their story was one of heartbreak and learning to move beyond the pain. Look forward to more stories by Angi Morgan in the future..” ~Read-a-Holic

“Be prepared, because this book will keep you up late into the night reading. From the beginning to the end Cord, a Texas Ranger, and his ex-wife Kate are running for their lives. But there is another life to consider as Kate is five months pregnant and Cord is determined to keep them safe at any cost. But a drug lord wanted them dead, and Cord was haunted by his inability to protect his family in the past. Love had never been the problem between Cord and Kate, but they definitely needed to work on their communication.


In this story, Angi uses her magic of writing characters that make you care. With each obstacle and danger she throws at Kate and Cord, you wonder how in the world they will survive. Even with bullets flying, a winter storm, and being forced to climb the West Texas mountains, it may be their unspoken words that cause the most danger to their hearts. This is a must read for all those who love a good Intrigue.” ~Brenda R.



~ ~ ~
USA Today Bestselling author ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publishers Weekly best-seller. She drags her dogs –and husband– around Texas for research road trips so she can write off her camera. They now have a map with highlighted roads they’ve traveled. Every detour somehow makes it into a book.

Website   Facebook   FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr     
Check out my newsletter or follow me on Amazon or BookBub

~ ~ ~
DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
by leaving a comment for the $5.00 gift card.
This giveaway ends Sunday, March 31st. Don’t forget to check back to see who won!

Do you like series stories?

3/28/2019

Jacqui Nelson’s North of the Border with guest Marion Ann Berry



Who’s next on my North of the Border guest blog series? Today we have Marion Ann Berry, author Behind the Kitchen Doors!

Where does Marion Ann get her inspiration? How is Canada part of her inspiration? Read on and see...

~  * ~

I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am an east coaster at heart. I am also an only child which I contribute to my overactive imagination. If my friends and I couldn’t get together I would create stories to keep me company. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories to keep me entertained. I knew I wanted to write and one day I would share my stories.


When I was growing up in the late 1980s my source of social entertainment and information was CBC. Much Music and Video Hits introduced me to one of my favorite Canadian singer/songwriters, Sarah McLachlan. Also, from Halifax, I was in awe of Sarah. Her debut album, Touch, struck a cord within me. Here was a woman from the same place I was from and she was living her dreams. She was doing what she was meant to be doing. Making music to share with us. Her music was and still provides me with comfort and a sense of connection to mind, body and spirit.



As I ventured off to Lake Louise, Alberta, to work for a luxury hotel chain in the Canadian Rockies, Sarah was with me. Listening to Elsewhere while staring at the Victoria Glacier on Lefroy Mountain was inspirational. I knew that being in the mountains was no accident. I loved living by the ocean, but there was something magical about the mountains that I was exploring. During the summers I would hike as often as I could and when the snow fell, I would change my hiking boots for cross-country skies and glide along the freshly fallen snow. I loved being outside in nature. When my family lived in Ontario, we would visit my grandparents' farm as often as possible. I remember my family and I snowmobiling from my dad’s childhood farmhouse to the Lake nearby and having a snowy lunch picnic by a fire pit. Hot chocolate, marshmallows and lightly falling snow into my Thermos cup make for great memories.


I knew I would write about my time in the Canadian Rockies, but I wasn’t sure what I would write about. As I moved from one hotel to another, I started to recognize my talents as a hotelier and knew that I wanted to share my experiences about working in hotels, but not just the “business” side, but what it was like to be an employee.

Like a songwriter, I am writing about experiences that people can relate to. Sarah McLachlan songs are about love, breaking up, being a mother, friend and lover. Like Sarah, my stories are about life experiences in the hotel world and everything in-between. Try serving an anniversary dinner to a couple when you are going through a break-up and your ex is serving in the next section. It wasn’t easy, but I kept my permanent, fake-it-until-I-make smile on through the whole experience. Like songwriting, writing a novel is connected to creativity, as the ocean and mountains are connected to one another.

GIVEAWAY

Interested in finding out what is BEHIND THE KITCHEN DOORS at a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies? You could win an e-copy of my debut memoir to find out.

I will be randomly drawing a name of one person who has shared below who their favourite Canadian Singer-Songwriter/Artist is and why. The random draw will be sometime in the morning of Sunday, March 31, 2019.

I would love to connect with you and I’m really easy to connect with. You can follow me on Amazon, Goodreads and Instagram. For news on my next book and recipes (because when I’m not writing, I’m cooking) please sign up for my Newsletter for more adventures in the hotel life.

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Marion Ann

Find Behind The Kitchen Doors on Amazon US | Amazon CA | Goodreads | BookBub

~ * ~ 

BEHIND THE KITCHEN DOORS

If you liked, Kitchen Confidential and The Grand Budapest Hotel, you will enjoy this eye-opening life experience of one employee's journey of working for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

When Marion Ann step on the plane for Alberta to work for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, she never thought her life would change. Sure, her first job was in the food service industry at McDonald’s, but the Golden Arches had nothing on the Chateau Lake Louise. A mountain resort where employees came to either experience a good time away from home, or to hide from secrets. Marion Ann was living both lives. She needed some time to heal from a broken love triangle and the secret of her not being the shy little girl she had been labeled for most of her youth.

When she was faced with a platter of cocaine during her first few weeks of working at the resort, she knew life wasn’t going to be the same.

Intimate and truthful, Behind The Kitchen Doors is a coming of age for one employee who found out that working atop of a beautiful mountain came with a price.

~ * ~ 

Marion Ann Berry was born and raised in Nova Scotia, but one summer she ventured to Alberta to work for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. That first summer sparked the love of hospitality within Marion Ann. Through her experiences, her first memoir about the hotel world emerged. She continues to welcome visitors from all over the world at a hotel she calls home.

Amazon | Goodreads | BookBub

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Newsletter


~ All pictures (except for the 1st) are supplied by today’s guest with their assurance of usage rights.

3/27/2019

Through My Lens: Coronado, California







Our visit to Coronado, California 2008

























Amazon | B&N | Google | iBooks | Kobo | Walmart
~ ~ ~
USA Today Bestselling author ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publishers Weekly best-seller. She drags her dogs –and husband– around Texas for research road trips so she can write off her camera. They now have a map with highlighted roads they’ve traveled. Every detour somehow makes it into a book.
Website   Facebook   FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr     
Check out my newsletter or follow me on Amazon or BookBub
~ ~ ~
Have you been to Southern California?

3/26/2019

E.E. Burke's Best of the West: New from USA Today Bestselling Author Rosanne Bittner


Two worlds in conflict. Two hearts intertwined. One love worth fighting for.

Wealthy Englishwoman Lady Elizabeth Baylor longs for adventure. She leaves for America full of hope, only to lose everything to a villain hiding treachery behind his smile. Lost in this strange and lawless land, Elizabeth vows to track down the man who did her wrong, but she can’t do it alone. What she needs is someone hardened by the west and unflinching toward its dangers: notorious bounty hunter Logan Best.

Ill-mannered and seemingly ruthless, Logan exorcises his dark past by throwing himself into his vengeful profession – hunting wanted men. There is nothing about the pampered Englishwoman that should call to him, and yet as their adventure takes them across the wild and treacherous west, he realizes he’ll do anything to keep her safe … and defend his Lady to his final breath.

EXCERPT FROM LOGAN’S LADY:

“You’re late,” she told him.
Logan hardened a little at her snippy attitude. “What?”
“I asked you to come right away, Mister Best.”
Logan glanced at the sheriff, who shrugged. “I told you to hurry it up,” White said.
Logan looked back at Elizabeth. “Ma’am, I’m not a man who takes orders. And I was on the trail several days before I came here and—I might remind you—helped you. I was damn tired last night, so I slept in.”
“You probably drank too much and slept with one of those awful painted women. I know about men like you. I’ve read about them in penny dreadfuls.”
Logan could hardly keep from bursting out laughing. “In what?”
“Penny dreadfuls. I’ve learned here in America they are called dime novels.”
Logan couldn’t control a little gasp of laughter. “You believe those things?”
“Was I wrong about where you were last night?” she replied.
Never in his life had Logan struggled so hard to stifle a true guffaw. “No, ma’am, you were not wrong, but life out here isn’t always like what you read in those little books. I’ve heard about them and they’re food for a lot of jokes among men like us. Believe me, there aren’t many heroic cowboys or lawmen out here.”
“Have you ever read one of those little books?”
“No, ma’am.”
Do you read, Mister Best?”
Logan still felt sorry for this poor young lady, but already he wasn’t fond of her as a person. The “princess” from London had an air about her he did not like at all.



BOOKLIST (Jenna Friebel)  – “This immersive romance set in the lawless Old West is packed with action and adventure, including murder. Bittner has created an unlikely couple worth cheering for, and she sure knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats.”


PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY – “Bittner makes an implausible premise feel absolutely real, showing how two very different characters can make compromises and find love. Fast-paced, touching, and sensual, this historical is not to be missed.”


Purchase Logan's Lady from these retailers



First published in 1983, Rosanne Bittner is a USA TODAY best-selling author of 68 novels involving American history, from the French & Indian wars through the settling of America’s Great West. Dubbed an “emotional powerhouse” for her memorable love stories, 95% of Rosanne’s realistic, gritty westerns have garnered 5-star reviews on Amazon. She lives in S.W. Michigan, but has traveled the West for 30 years and has visited most of the locations in her books.


E.E.: Do you often "get lost" in a book?
Rosanne:  I don’t often get lost in a book I am reading, probably because the book I am writing myself at the time is always on my mind. However, I do get lost in every story I write because my characters mean so much to me. I fall in love with the hero and identify with the heroine, and as I write the story I learn more and more about both characters and flesh them out to the point of feeling as though they are real. Their spirits visit me from the past and ask me to write their story. It’s as though I am writing real history.

E.E.: What is the first book you remember reading?
Rosanne: The first book I remember reading is THE SECRET CLOCK, A Nancy Drew mystery. But the first book I read that really stuck with me and made me want to write about pioneer women is A LANTERN IN HER HAND, by Bess Streeter Aldrich. It is a wonderful story about the loneliness of living on the Nebraska prairie with no neighbors – and showing how the heroine’s dreams for herself were realized through her children. Great story. You need Kleenex beside you when you read it.

E.E.: Have you ever met a real life hero?
Rosanne: A real-life hero I’ve met is Dee Brown (a man, in case you aren’t sure), who authored BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. After reading that book, I knew I had to write the truth about our Native American history.

E.E.: What sound do you love?
Rosanne: I absolutely love the sound of birds in the spring, and I love watching them. I have lots of bird feeders, and our back yard is full of big pine trees. Birds love to nest in them.

E.E.: What is your favorite movie?
Rosanne: My favorite movie of all time? That’s a hard one, but it would probably be LAST OF THE MOHICANS. But I also love PALE RIDER, HANG ‘EM HIGH and THE SHOOTIST. All were so realistic, and you can’t beat Clint Eastwood and John Wayne in westerns. THE SHOOTIST makes me cry every time because it’s about an ageing gunfighter dying of cancer, and at the time John Wayne had cancer. It was his last movie. What a perfect ending for him and for his movie career. I also love (for a contemporary) Clint Eastwood in GRAND TORINO. Fabulous movie – and such a good lesson in cultural differences in this country.

E.E.: Do you put yourself in heroine's roles while writing?
Rosanne:  YOU BET!!! Who wouldn’t want to be held by such great heroes?

E.E.:  Do you write while listening to music?
Rosanne: Yes, I ALWAYS write to music – all the theme songs from some of the greatest westerns, especially LONESOME DOVE and THE BIG COUNTRY.

E.E.: Which hero would you most like to invite to dinner? 
Rosanne: JAKE HARKNER (From my Outlaw Hearts series)

E.E.: What drives your hero crazy? 
Rosanne: In LOGAN’S LADY, the one thing that drives the hero crazy is the heroine’s haughty attitude and her advanced education. The hero can’t even read.  The one thing that drives the heroine crazy is the hero’s lack of “proper” manners and the fact that he can’t read and is always making fun of her use of big words he doesn’t even understand.  She considers him an uneducated, crude “cowboy.”

E.E.: Describe an absolutely perfect day.
Rosanne:  An absolutely perfect day for me is for it to be warm enough to go outside early in the morning with a cup of coffee and listen to the birds and watch the baby rabbits in my garden – then do a little gardening myself – then go inside and write for a while – then enjoy another cup of coffee in my garden at noon – then take a short nap – then write more – then work outside a little more.

E.E.:  What has been your most rewarding publishing moment?
Rosanne: My most rewarding publishing moment was when my Sourcebooks editor asked me to write a sequel to OUTLAW HEARTS, a book I wrote in 1993 and always wanted to continue with a sequel. It took over 20 years to finally find an editor who wanted that sequel. Those two books led to two more and became my Outlaw Hearts series about my beloved “bad man with a good heart” – Jake Harkner. I am hoping to write a fifth book. It is already written “in my head.”


Enter the drawing for some fantastic prizes from Rosanne!

First prize – Signed copy of LOGAN’S LADY plus a copy of my NEXT TWO NEW BOOKS  as soon as I get my copies – CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE in an anthology called LONGING FOR A COWBOY CHRISTMAS – coming in September. And RIDE THE HIGH LONESOME, my first “Outlaw Trail” book coming in November. Plus  a surprise gift and other goodies.

Second prize – Autographed copy of LOGAN’S LADY plus autographed copies of all four of my “Outlaw Hearts” books – OUTLAW HEARTS, DO NOT FORSAKE ME, LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE and THE LAST OUTLAW. Plus some misc. goodies.

Third prize – Autographed copy of LOGAN’S LADY plus some misc. goodies.

Answer Rosanne's question and leave a comment to be entered. Don't forget your email address so we can contact you.

My editor says there have been several books written about Americans going to England and getting caught up in English culture, but not many about the English coming here and landing in our rough and rugged cowboy culture. That is the basis for my book, LOGAN’S LADY. Would you like to see more books about this? It is food for humor and culture clash and it was fun to write!

a Rafflecopter giveaway