5/23/2019

Jacqui Nelson’s North of the Border with guest Kathryn Jane


Who’s next on my North of the Border guest blog series? Today we have Kathryn Jane, author of the Intrepid Women series.

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

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Hi, I’m Kathryn Jane, and I’m happy to be here chatting with you about some amazing writing inspiration.

In 2007, after a lifetime spent in the urban sprawl of Vancouver, the 3rd largest city in Canada, we pulled up stakes and moved to the country…or should I say to the wilderness of south, central British Columbia.

Home was no longer a tidy little house on a residential street only ten minutes from the heart of downtown. Nope, it was suddenly an ancient log house with a small modern add-on that gave us indoor plumbing and a lovely big living room to try and heat (with two woodstoves ­čśŐ )


There was one neighbor across the valley, and one over the hill. Town was less than ten miles away and consisted of a grocery store, a drug store, a liquor store, two banks, a post office, a library, an ice arena, and another handful of businesses.


I quickly learned the value of preparation because when you only have yourselves to depend on, (especially when you are knee-deep in snow for eight months of the year), thinking ahead is what life is all about. Yep much of what I learned the hard way shows up in my books.
What also shows up are the mountain trails, and the stunning views.


Oh yeah, there were lots of animals too!




On this working horse ranch, beautiful thoroughbreds were of the central theme.


But we also had cattle, goats, and even a llama for entertainment. And yep, they’ve also found their way into the hearts of my readers. Like these two white renegades.


Our stay at the ranch was an incredible experience and the memories will always be vivid not only because of all the photos I took, but I wrote several books while there. Lots I experienced while riding in the mountains shows up in Cassandra’s great adventure, in Do Not Tell Me No, which you can pick up for free at most retailers.

Do Not Tell Me No

Do Not Tell Me No - book coverDo Not Tell Me No is the standalone opener for the Intrepid Women Series. (Book 2, Touch Me, is on sale right now for just 99 cents!)

From a reader: “Romantic Adventure/Suspense at its finest! I love this series!”

When a kick-ass woman decides she will find her missing family, the special agent assigned to keep her safe is in for the ride of his life.

Cassandra is exceptionally smart, but every now and then, her stubborn streak and sense of adventure get her into trouble. Deciding to ride into the mountains in search of a runaway horse might not be her brightest idea, but there’s always Plan B.

Ten years with Special Forces set Gage up perfectly to join his family’s security company. Trained to the nth degree, he doesn’t do failure. But for the first time ever he’s screwed up a mission and can’t seem to get a handle on the frustrating woman he’s supposed to be keeping out of trouble.

FREE! Grab it now at Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Nook   

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Giveaway

One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Into The Sunrise, a standalone love story spanning over 15 years. 

From shattered dreams to incredible joy. 

Soul-destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self in a foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

Chase is a gifted horseman with deep respect for his heritage. He knows who he is, and why. And he knows he shouldn’t dare to make a life with a woman who was once forbidden territory.

"If you love stories about women who pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and get on with living no matter what the universe tosses in their path, this book is for you.


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Kathryn Jane - author photoKathryn Jane writes Romantic Suspense, Women’s Fiction and Contemporary Romance all with one thing in common... Kickass women and the men who dare to love them.

When Kat isn’t writing, she’s busy rescuing feral cats, painting rocks, and memorializing people’s pets on tiny stones.

Learn more about Kathryn Jane’s wild adventurous life on her website KathrynJane.com 


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

5/21/2019

The June 2019 Intrigues



INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE

Together, can they find the Twilight Killer…
Before he finds them?


Special Agent Ethan Barrow’s father was the most brilliant FBI profiler of all time. Now he’s in a psychiatric ward, committed for the very crimes he cased. But new evidence leads Ethan straight to Detective Adaline Kinsella—the woman he had a past with ten years earlier. Addie can trust evidence…even if she can’t trust the emotions Ethan elicits. Can she now put the past aside to bring the real Twilight Killer to justice?


Read a Little   Purchase


WYOMING COWBOY RANGER

He reminds her of a past she’s spent a long time trying to forget…

Jen Delaney kept her romance with Tyler Carson secret—along with her broken heart after he left Bent. Now the army ranger is back and convinced a madman is targeting Jen to get to him. When the stubborn woman doesn’t heed his warnings, Ty is forced to take extreme measures. But nothing he does seems to deter their dangerous stalker, and time is running out…


Read a Little    Purchase

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DESPERATE MEASURES

Their mission to catch a killer
may make them his next victims


Jake Lamont needs evidence to finally catch his twin sister’s killer, and blog reporter Monica Wright is the only person who can help him. Monica’s motive for justice may be different than Jake’s, but they both want the serial killer off the streets. As the stakes grow higher, Jake knows he needs to stay focused. Because letting down his guard may cost him the life of another woman he loves.

Read a little   Purchase


WITHIN RANGE

If the detective was going to protect her,
He’d have to get her to let her guard down first.


Helen Boyd had thought she and her son were safe from her abusive ex-husband. Then she finds a dead woman in her house—a woman who looks a lot like her. Detective Seth Renner suspects that Helen was the intended victim, but soon learns Helen has many secrets… He doesn’t know what to believe, except that this woman and child need care and, right now, protection.

Read a Little   Purchase


REINING IN TROUBLE

Guarded hearts.
Unspeakable danger.


Detective Caleb Nash’s childhood kidnapper has never been caught, and not even reuniting with his family has healed the scars. Then he meets guarded, beautiful Nina Drake. Damaged by her own past and living in self-imposed isolation, Nina tries to keep her distance from the cowboy lawman. But when she’s the target of mysterious attacks, only Caleb can keep her safe. Will his vow to protect resurrect his own childhood torments?

Read a Little   Purchase


IDENTICAL STRANGER

A woman identical to her is missing.
Will she be next?


Private investigator Jackson Travers swears he’s located his best friend’s missing wife, but Sophie Sparrow is not Sabrina Cromwell, even if she looks identical to the woman in Jack’s photo. When Sophie is nearly killed, Jack wonders if it’s a case of mistaken identity. Can he uncover the truth before Sophie—and her missing doppelg┼ánger—end up dead?

Read a Little   Purchase







Your host, Angi Morgan
Get Lost on Facebook   @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories
AND OUR Facebook Group: The Readers’ Spot

QUESTION?



5/20/2019

Amanda hosts #storiesoftheheart-Hildie McQueen


I was raised by my Mama and Scarlett O’Hara… 
a summary of who Hildie McQueen is.


My mother was most independent for a housewife with little education and without knowing the English language.  She constantly held three jobs, kept up
with five children and a drunk for a husband. Always positive, she was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known.

You are an American City, she often told us when we complained. She couldn’t pronounce citizen, but that was fine with me.  Who doesn’t feel important being an American City!

From my mother, I learned that it can always be worse.  Whenever she would sit on the couch and rub Bengay onto her sore legs, she’d tell us stories of how hard her life had been in Mexico, she took me to events in life that I couldn’t even imagine.  In other words…don’t complain.  Instead find a way to make things better.  Her mantra was “You have so many opportunities here in the United States.  Don’t waste them.”  I heard this so many times, I would repeat them at the same time she did.  Sometimes she’d throw a shoe at me.

Growing up poor and not fitting in was confusing. When we moved to California from Mexico I was about six. I wore two braids every day, so I didn’t look like any of the others at school. The kids thought my sister and I were Native Americans and would jump around pretending to do rain dances.  In Mexico, the natives are Mayans and Aztecs so we didn’t quite understand what they were doing.  I did know they were being mean.

So, I became lost in books at an early age.  My favorite books were of Dorrie the Little Witch, by Patricia Coombs.  Not sure if any of you ever read them. Dorrie didn’t quite fit in with the other witches and her socks never matched.  I was so excited that I could be like Dorrie.  Remember my mother always working and me having four siblings?  Yep, my socks rarely matched.

At about twelve, my parents started having major problems, our house burned down and my father’s drinking was getting pretty bad. So, we moved into the barrio in Southern San Diego. There we became part of a lively community.  It was a blast for those few years.  Everyone spoke Spanish and the kids were more like me

When I was about twelve, I stumbled upon a book titled Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  I read it over and over, marveling over this young girl who lived alone on a deserted island.  She didn’t have anything and was so strong.  Like me, she didn’t have anything, no money, no toys for Christmas and certainly not much to eat. 

So I could definitely relate to Karana and she helped be stay strong and find the positive in every day. If she could find a way to survive on a deserted island, I certainly could handle my life.

When I got to High School, things grew progressively worse and my parents finally separated.  I remember the day all five of us kids stood up to my father when he hit Mom. It was a crazy night and we ended up taken to a hotel by a social worker.  My poor mother cried all night while my siblings and I had a party.  We were excited to spend time in a hotel.  To us the Holiday Inn was super fancy.

It was my junior year in High School when Gone with the Wind’s Scarlet O’Hara found me and walked me through the next twenty-five years.  I read the book nine times my senior year. Scarlett was there when I didn’t get asked to prom. Held my hand when I joined the Army and was away from home for the first time ever and she went with me when I got stationed overseas.

Scarlet survived the Civil War and had to find ways to feed all those who depended on her at only seventeen.  At eighteen, I had to support my mother and four siblings. 

Scarlet married for financial gain and to help those who depended on her. I married my first husband because I wanted to live in a house and it would allow me to send more money home. Despite many red flags we got married even though I am pretty sure we’d both changed our minds right before the wedding ceremony. That darn Scarlet!

When I ended up a single mom in the rough streets of LA, It wasn’t that bad when considering Scarlet went through having to deal with the Yankee soldiers ravaging Tara. Crips, Yankees, same thing right?
Then when I finally met the man I loved, thank goodness, I learned from Scarlet’s mistakes and unlike her, I made sure not to lose my Rhett Butler.

I think I was destined to be a writer, it took me forty-five years to find the courage to step out and finally fulfill it. Why Romance?  Because I am in love with love.  Who doesn’t want to waltz across a ballroom with a handsome Duke, or ride the high seas with a dreamy pirate?  There aren’t many women who wouldn’t love to travel the Highlands of Scotland and find their own Jamie Fraser. 

That feeling you get when the hero and heroine finally kiss for the first time never gets old and it doesn’t hurt that the lovemaking is always quite satisfying. In the romance genre, there is always a happy ending and when you turn the last page, you do so with that expectation. 

So maybe you are not a reader, but let me tell you something.  It is through the art of literature that we can walk in someone else’s shoes, see distant places, travel in time and more than anything find yourself lost in a story when you need to escape.  I am not sure where I’d be if not for Dorrie, Karana and Scarlett.

Thank God for those authors, the stories and characters that guided me through life.  I am so thankful to have always been a reader, because otherwise I’m not sure how my life would have turned out.

So, I end with this.

Every single person reading this has a destiny to fulfill. Don’t cheat yourself by settling.  Like my Mama always said.  “You live in a country of opportunities, Don’t waste them.”   

What if today you decide to be Scarlet O’Hara? 


Hildie McQueen is a USA Today Bestselling Author of American Western Historical, Medieval Highlander and Contemporary Romance.










5/16/2019

Jacqui Nelson’s North of the Border with guest Kathleen Lawless


Who’s next on my North of the Border guest blog series? Today we have Kathleen Lawless, author of the upcoming Seven Brides for Seven Brothers series!

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

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Island Life @kathleenlawless


Victoria, B.C. has always been home to me, as it has to my parents and grandparents, all born here.  I forget how old I was when I learned I live on an island, but my world expanded quite a bit with that discovery.  A visit to the mainland where one could drive for weeks or months without getting on a ferry was a novelty.  
Seaside with heron flying

Because of our deeply-rooted family history here, it seemed natural to take stories from my grandmother about early Victoria, add some research of my own, and craft a historical romance (currently out of print) set in my home town.  At the time, selling a book set outside of the USA to a New York publisher was challenging, but as the series had been pre-sold to Walmart the publisher was more open to different settings for their romances. 

I know that growing up in the Northwest has definitely shaped my writing and given it local color.  A lot of my stories are set on or near the coast.  And in case anyone is not aware, logging has always played an important part in our economy.  West coast beaches are littered with sun-bleached logs that have settled on shore after escaping from log booms.  

Beach with logs

I’d never seen a beach without logs until I visited Cape Cod.  To this day, a beach with no log to sit on or lean against seems all wrong to me.  I’m lucky to live a stone’s throw from a beach and find a lot of inspiration and story ideas just sitting and listening to the waves, watching the sunlight play upon the water.  
Beach with logs

Not all my books have coastal settings.  As a child I spent many an hour watching Rawhide, Bonanza and Maverick, enamored with cowboys.  I became fascinated with the settling of the west, a time when the area was as wide open as the opportunities for brave settlers willing to uproot from everything they knew and start over in search of a better life.  No doubt my ancestors felt the same way when they left Ireland for Canada.  

I love writing western historicals.  My books feature heroines who are strong and independent, a stance I imagine would have been easier to pull off in the untamed west over a more established society with stricter rules.

Brody's Bride & Before the Brides - book covers

I’m having fun right now preparing to launch a new western historical series, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  I expect to release BRODY’S BRIDE, Book 1, in June.  

For anyone who signs up for my reader’s list to receive updates and news of special fan pricing sales, you can also download the series Prequel, Before the Brides, which I don’t plan to offer for sale.  http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1
  
Meanwhile, here is an unedited snippet from BRODY’S BRIDE 
Copyright Kathleen Lawless, 2019

A week passed during which Brody never left the ranch, using a multitude of excuses to stick close.  Never far from mind was the ridiculous task he’d been set.  Damn short straw!
What did he know about wooing a woman?  
He tried to stop his mind from going down that dark pathway to the last time he saw Laura.  Or the first.  
He’d known right from the start that she was out of his league, but his ego got the better of him; made sure she was intrigued by his eighteen-year-old swagger and confidence.   And much as he tried to deny it, he’d never managed to forget her.  Her touch.  Her scent.  Her taste.
He heaved a sigh.  Maybe this little adventure ahead would shake off those cobwebbed memories once and for all.  
He took his time getting ready, shaved, slicked down his hair, put on his best shirt and polished his boots.  Without a word to anyone, he saddled up and made his way to town.
The schoolhouse stood off to one side, shiny as a new pin.  He tilted back his head and studied the exterior of the schoolhouse.  It looked nicer than the one in Yuma.  Cleaner too.      
Slowly Brody dismounted and tied Phoenix to the hitching post out front.  Feeling like he was facing his executioner, he made his way up two steps to the front door, only to find it locked tight.   His heart lightened, feeling a reprieve.  His steps were lighter, too, as he made his way back down to his horse.  He’d barely touched the reins, when he heard a voice behind him.  
“Brody.  Brody is that you?”
Slowly he turned.  Laura stood before him like a vision from the past.  One he wasn’t sure was real or imagined.  All the pain and confusion from ten years ago rushed through him, filling his head with so much chatter he couldn’t hear a word.  

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GIVEAWAY

I’ll be randomly selecting a winner from those who comment on this blog to receive a copy of  ANORA’S PRIDE, Under the Covers Reader Choice Award for BEST WESTERN HISTORICAL!  

Fall in Love with Jesse Quantrill, “a hero who steams into every woman’s heart with his bad-boy-turned-hero machismo.”  Romantic Times

(If you’ve already read this one, I’ll send you a different book of your choice)

Anora's Pride - book cover

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Kathleen Lawless author photoKathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys.  Historical or contemporary, cowboys continue to resonate with her today.  

One of her heroes, Steele, is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was dating on-line and met a man called Steel—   Well, he’s not a cowboy but his is an alpha male and her forever hero.  Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.

Not that she can ever stick to just one genre.  So many stories to tell—never enough time.  With close to 30 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, erotic romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and stories for young adults.      
   
Sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter to receive updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers.    http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1
Amazon: www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Lawless/e/B001IXS2SA
BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/kathleen-lawless

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