Summer is Upon Us–Guest Author Linda Bradley

Today’s guest author, Linda Bradley, talks about summer.

Maggie Abernathy and I have a few things in common so our feelings about the summer months are quite similar. Maggie Abernathy is a school teacher and so am I. We both love summer days! It’s the time to rejuvenate, hide-away, and spend the days enjoying the summer sun. Summer is her favorite season. It’s my favorite season, too.

Maggie Abernathy lives in the suburb of Grosse Pointe in Michigan. It’s a charming place with a quaint village where one can shop, visit the library, or get a bite to eat. Maggie is lucky enough to live near the lake. It’s a place I know well, as it was my home for many years.

GP Park Landscape

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For Maggie, she spends quite some time tending her garden. She loves peonies, lilacs, and her tomatoes.

Peonies

She becomes quite fond of the pooch that her mother left on her doorstep. Bones can be a rascal, but he’s lovable.

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Maggie’s pastime is taking photographs. After she develops them, she paints them, something that she dreams about publishing someday. She loves cows.

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Maggie Abernathy is a cancer survivor and so am I. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, I put my blinders on, went through two surgeries, and radiation. It prodded me to write Maggie’s story.  I’ve been cancer-free for three years and I suspect Maggie will not have another bout of this trying disease. Several readers wanted to know if my debut novel, Maggie’s Way was autobiographical. Not really. Although we shared the experience of cancer and the same occupation, everything else is fictional. So I imagine, if I were to meet Maggie on a summer day at the beach, our conversation might sound something like this:

Me: May I pet your dog?

Maggie: (Smiles.) Absolutely, but I wouldn’t ask him to tend your garden.

Me: (With a chuckle.) Why is that?

Maggie: Let’s just say he likes tomatoes.

Me: I love his floppy jowls.

Maggie: He is kind of cute. My mom gave him to me. I suspect as a lesson. (Peers out over the lake and watches a young girl splash at the shore. The girl’s feet are covered with sand and her hair is damp.) Guess she didn’t want me to go through cancer alone.

Me: I’m sorry to here that. Been there done that and it sucked. I hate my tattoos.

Maggie: (With a grin) Sure does, but I’ll be okay. (Young girl runs over to where we stand and peers up at us.) Hi Chloe.

Chloe: Hi Maggie. I see Bones is behaving today. Good dog! (She pats his head and nuzzles her face close to his.)

Maggie: Yes, it’s a good day.

Me: It’s a great day with the sun. Summer is my favorite season.

Maggie: It’s my favorite season, too. My name is Maggie Abernathy.

Me: I’m Linda Bradley. Nice to meet you.

Chloe: I’m Chloe. Maggie’s not my mother, but I wish she was. She lives next door to me. I’m kind of like that kid that’s always around.

Maggie: (Smiles at Chloe.)

Me: You too must be good friends.

Chloe: (Shades her eyes and squints into the sun as she stares at Maggie.) I think we are. Are we good friends Maggie?

Maggie: Yes, we’re good friends.

Chloe: When do you think that happened cause I thought maybe you thought I was too much of a pest.

Maggie: Not sure, kiddo. Friendships are like magic. Sometimes they just happen.

Me: Kind of like a midnight wish on the wings of a summer fairy sprinkling her fairy dust over the people that love summer the most.

Maggie: (Smile grows bigger.)

Me: You do believe in fairies, don’t you?

Maggie and Chloe: (In unison) I do. (They share a quiet giggle and Chloe reaches up to hold her hand.)

Me: It was nice meeting you two. Enjoy the day. (I bend down and pat Bones’ knobby head.)

Maggie: (Nods) You, too.

Me: See you around. (I wave and walk away.)

Chloe: (Her voice trails into the breeze) She was nice. Remind me to make a wish on the summer moon tonight.

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Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments, thus creating avenues for readers to connect with her characters.

Linda has an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled, The Hunter for her Master’s Degree. Linda is a member of RWA, as well as the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA.

Linda has two grown sons, lives with her husband, and rescue dog in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Follow Linda on social media:

 

How to Keep Your Characters from Getting Bored

July is National Anti-Boredom month. I recently asked author Carole Ann Moleti what her characters do to fight boredom.

Liz and Mike Keeny are far from bored during the summer months. The Historic Barrett Inn is full of guests. Liz and her beloved housekeeper Mae are busy attending to them-as well as to little Eddie. Mike is fisherman, so he takes full advantage of the warmer days to nab some striped bass and flounder for the local restaurants.

On top of that, the ghosts haunting the Inn are always more riled up in the summer months and the painful anniversaries of their traumatic last years have the specters buzzing and their hosts struggling to contain them. And this year, they have Category 5 Hurricane Edward on the way. Is it just coincidence he’s named after sea captain Edward Barrett? Mike and Liz don’t think so. When the evacuation order comes, do they stay or do they go?

Breakwater Beach: Book One in the Unfinished Business Series

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Available in e-book, print coming Fall 2016  http://amzn.to/1VfwnZR

Blurb:

Liz Levine is convinced her recently deceased husband is engineering the sequence of events that propels her into a new life. But it’s sea captain Edward Barrett, the husband that died over a century ago, who has returned to complete their unfinished business. Edward’s lingering presence complicates all her plans and jeopardizes a new relationship that reawakens her passion for life and love. What are Captain Barrett’s plans for his wife, and for the man who is the new object of her affections?

Excerpt:

Mike tipped his hand in salute and went out to his truck. “Morning,” he said to Mae who was getting out of her van.

“Good morning’ to ya, too,” she replied, looking at him askance. “Come along, lassies, still plenty to do.”

Mae looked at Liz standing in the doorway wearing Mike’s sweatshirt. Her eyes traveled from Liz’s hair, still damp and caked with mud and sand, all the way down to her bare feet.

“Ehh . . . a change in plans, girls. We’ll start downstairs today. First, polish the woodwork and then clean all the fixtures. Then upstairs, after the missus has time to get dressed.”

Mae herded them out of the foyer then followed Liz upstairs, smiling like she was about to solve the crime of the century. “From the looks of ya, that was one wild night on the beach. Now ya best be hoppin’ into the tub after passin’ me the nightie. I’ll soak it and get that mud out before it’s ruined. I’ll freshen the big guy’s sweatshirt, too.”

“It was nothing like that, Mae.” Liz couldn’t bear the thought of having to explain this to another person she knew from another life.

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not passin’ any judgment. To be honest, I’m relieved. Ya took my advice. There’s nothin’ wrong with livin’, Liz.”

Also available in ebook and print: http://amzn.to/1RNz7ce

The Widow’s Walk: Book Two in the Unfinished Business Series

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Mike and Liz Keeny are newlyweds, new parents, and the proprietors of the Barrett Inn, an 1875 Victorian on Cape Cod, which just happens to be haunted. By their own ghosts. The Inn had become an annex of Purgatory, putting Mike, Liz, and their infant son in danger. Selling the historic seaside bed and breakfast was the only answer, one that Liz and her own tortured specter refused to consider. Were they doomed to follow the same path that led to disaster in their previous lives? Was getting out, getting away, enough?

Coming in 2017: Storm Watch 

Read more at  http://bit.ly/1Pr1y1x

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Blurb:

Mike and Liz thought they’d gotten control of the specters haunting the Barrett Inn. But things get very complicated when they’re the ghosts from your past life. The Category Five Hurricane bearing down on Cape Cod appears to be headed directly for them–or has it been spawned from inside them?

Excerpt:

Either it was age or too much on his mind, but forgetting your morning routine was like getting lost in your own back yard. Mike was in the parking lot before he realized he’d forgotten to stop for tea. There was some water and soda aboard the Whaler-warm of course-some stale snacks too. The sun peeked through a bank of puffy white clouds, giving the hint of a beautiful day to come. But to the west, a dark expanse rolled over itself like a giant octopus, its tentacles undulating, slapping the shit out of the cottony sky. “Damn ghosts.”

 Bio

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Carole Ann Moleti lives and works as a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her nonfiction focuses on health care, politics, and women’s issues. But her first love is writing science fiction and fantasy because walking through walls is less painful than running into them.

Books One and Two in the Unfinished Business series, Carole’s Cape Cod paranormal romance novels, Breakwater Beach and The Widow’s Walk, were published by Soulmate. Book Three, Storm Watch, is expected in 2017.

Urban fantasies set in the world of Carole’s novels have been featured in Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, and Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires. Her award winning non-fiction, which ranges from the sweet and sentimental to edgy and irreverent has been published in a variety of literary venues.

Links

Subscribe to Carole’s Newsletter and get a free ebook:  http://eepurl.com/bfNver

Amazon author Page: http://amazon.com/author/carolemoleti

Twitter: http://Twitter.com/Cmoleti

Website: http://caroleannmoleti.com

Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/CaroleAnnMoletiAuthor/

Google Plus: plus.google.com/103609323247390103301

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomCmoleti

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/caroleannmoleti/

 

 

National Smile Power Day with Author Ryan Jo Summers

Today is National Smile Day. The significance of that got me to thinking.

A smile can be one of the most quickly observed feature on a person, alongside eyes and hair (according to studies and polls). Personally, I’ve always been self-conscious of my smile. All my school pictures show more of a forced grimace as the photographer tried in vain to get me to flash my pearlys. There are few photos in existence that show me truly grinning. Blame it on years of coffee and tea or blame it on my malformed choppers, it’s just not something people will notice about me immediately. Well, perhaps the lack of a big, beaming smile.

That being said, how does it transcend to my characters? Writing romance, there has to be a quick, initial attraction and eyes and hair only go so far. I tend to believe the heroines will notice a smile—or lack of a smile—before they can tell what the hero ate for breakfast or shampoo he showered with.

With few exceptions, my heroines are strong, independent women. They are successful business owners and career gals. They don’t need no stinkin’ man! They might, however, want one if he has a pleasant, heart-racing smile. My heroes are normal guys. They tend to come from blue collar occupations, are devoted to family and their lady love, and oftentimes are lower than the heroine in the pay scale. So what does he have to offer her?

Well, himself of course! Some of my ladies find themselves stuck in some precarious situations and the hero comes riding to the rescue, armed with a disarming smile to quickly earn her trust. Some ladies are content in their station in live and when ‘this guy’ shows up to interrupt her status quo, his charming and polite smile can melt her defenses.

Of course, there are also the other kind of smiles, you know the kind: sardonic, strained, mocking and others. I am guilty of using those in both real life and print, because I tend to be sarcastic and stressed a fair bit of the time. (No, really, it’s true) And I enjoy using a less-than-adoring smile between characters (not necessarily the main h/ h) to create some cool tension.

Used properly, a smile can irritate, upset, cause dread, warm the heart, establish trust, and cement bonds or a host of other emotions. Smiles are a catalyst to create an emotion—positive or negative. Think about that next time you meet someone and flash ‘em a grin.

**

Tossed together by happenstance, fleeing for their lives and falling in love under the Caribbean sun as paradise turns deadly.

Upon The Tide Final

New York Fashion designer, Piper Kincaid, just wanted a pleasant visit with her cousin down in Florida. That was before she and handsome beach bum, Kade Wyatt, become the targets of a
gang of robbers and killers.
     Kade simply wanted some fish for his pet seagull. Now he and the lovely exec from out of town are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. He’s busy concentrating on Piper when he should be focusing on keeping them alive. 
     Fleeing for their lives aboard Kade’s houseboat, ‘The Hightide’, they experience risk, surprises, mystery and romance during the Great Caribbean Boat Chase. However, the biggest surprises are waiting for them back at port.
Upon the Tide now available at Amazon.
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Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.

 

Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants (50 ish and growing), poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.
More about Ryan Jo can be discovered at:

National Wine Day with Author Claire Gem

The Character of Grapes

And no, we’re not talking Gilbert Grape here….

Wine is one of my favorite fruits. No, really. If given the choice between orange, cranberry, or apple juice, I’ll take grape. The fermented kind. Unless the orange juice is diluted with champagne, or the cranberry has a splash of vodka.

In my novels, most of my characters drink alcoholic beverages. It makes them real. I’m sure there are lots of folks who won’t touch the stuff, but I grew up in an Italian family. So having my characters enjoy a libation, particularly a glass of wine, makes them real to me. On Sundays, my father used to slice fresh peaches and soak them in Chianti. That was our after-the-big-pasta-dinner dessert.

Even when I was six years old. Took a hell of nap on Sunday afternoons.

But if I had to say what kind of wine my characters would be, well, that raises an entirely new set of questions. Wines, like people, come from different families (of grape), and each has its own unique characteristics. Just like my characters.

Let’s start with Chianti, since that was my initial introduction to the world of wine. Chianti is a classic, dry red wine named after the region where it is made: Tuscany, Italy. This area produces the Sangiovese grapes – deep purple, almost black fruit. The wine is dark, rich, and earthy. Being high in tannins (which dries your mouth out) and acidic, it goes well with food – a natural choice for food-loving Italians.

If the hero in my new release, Marco Lareci, were a wine, he would definitely be a Chianti. Italian, rich, and dark. But instead of drying your mouth out, he might be more inclined to make it water.

My heroine, Kate Bardach prefers drinking Pinot Grigio, the Italian version of what the French call Pinot Gris. These wines, although pale yellow itself, come from grapes that range from brownish-pink to grayish-blue in color. Pinot Gris actually means “gray grape,” and is a sweeter, fruitier wine than its Italian cousin, Pinot Grigio. Kate is definitely not fruity and sweet, which is, I guess, why she prefers Pinot Grigio, the dryer, more acidic, Italian version of this varietal.

And ah, are we surprised Kate prefers Italian wine to French? Not once we see her reaction to dark-haired, sexy Marco.

So, if the characters of Hearts Unloched appeared on a wine list, they would be under entirely different sections: Robust Reds and Semi-Dry Whites. Would you prefer a glass of Marco Lareci to go with that lasagna? Or may I suggest a carafe of Kate Bardach to accompany your chicken piccata?

Opposites, right? Perhaps. But as we all know, opposites attract. Cheers!

About the book:

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A psychic interior designer reluctantly agrees to renovate a sexy investor’s abandoned hotel on a lake rumored to have once been the mob’s body dumping ground.

Interior designer Kate Bardach loves her single girl’s lifestyle—living in Manhattan and spending weekends at her lake house. She’s passionate about her career, reinventing old buildings. But there are some projects she can’t take on because of the spirits trapped there. Kate is psychic—she sees dead people.

Marco Lareci is one of Wall Street’s most successful investment brokers who’s achieved all of his life’s goals—except for finding his soulmate.  His latest project, an abandoned resort on Loch Sheldrake, needs a savvy designer to transform the crumbling complex into a boutique hotel. When Marco meets Kate, he can’t believe his luck. She’s the perfect match for his business and his heart.

Marco’s body excites Kate even more than does his renovation project. But the haunting there, a bonafide poltergeist, affects her on an intensely personal level. Kate’s aunt disappeared from the place fifty years ago.

Will the spirit doom Kate and Marco’s love, or drive them closer together?

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Book Trailer

Amazon Link

About the author:

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Claire Gem writes intensely emotional romantic novels. Her vision is to transport her readers into another place and time, creating characters so real, readers miss them when the book is closed.

Always fascinated by the paranormal, she holds a Certificate in Paranormal Studies from Duke University’s Rhine’s Research Center. When she ran out of paranormal romance novels to read, she decided to start writing her own.

Claire also writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction under the Claire Gem Contemporary line. If you are looking for an intensely romantic novel, with or without ghosts or paranormal elements, you’ll love Claire Gem.

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Blood Pressure Awareness with Author Brynley Bush

May is National Blood Pressure month, and Roman Castile, the dark and dangerous heartthrob from The Power Games, is a prime candidate for high blood pressure.  When a person’s in a stressful situation, their body produces a surge of hormones which temporarily increases their blood pressure by causing their heart to beat faster and their blood vessels to narrow.  Although he’s young—not quite thirty—this successful internet entrepreneur has plenty of stress in his life.  Not only does he run his own company, but he’s a contestant on The Power Games, a sexy “Survivor Meets Hunger Games” reality show that’s designed to promote Club Helix, an over-the-top, no-expense-spared, sophisticated, BDSM-themed resort where guests can indulge their darkest fantasies in Sin City.
 
The competition to stay in the games is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure, but Roman’s partner for the games, the reserved but beautiful Ava Summers, ups the ante.  Talk about causing a surge of hormones! The sparks fly when these two are together, and Roman wants nothing more than to break down Ava’s reserves and make her his.  But to win the title of the Club Helix Dom and sub and take home the one-million-dollar cash prize, Ava’s got to learn to trust Roman, and Roman has to break down the walls Ava’s erected around her emotions and earn her trust. 
Roman’s blood pressure won’t be going down anytime soon, because Ava’s hiding something.  She’s got ulterior motives for being on the show.  And she isn’t submissive.  But Roman won’t settle for anything less than all of the dark-haired beauty he’s starting to fall for. 
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For the last two years, I’ve lived a life of lies and deceit.
Now I’m about to live the ultimate lie—pretending to be a submissive on a BDSM reality show to take down the man who stole everything from me.
Then I meet him.
A sadistic Dominant who gets his pleasure from my pain, he’s the only man who can help me.
But first I’ll have to give him everything.
The Power Games is available at Loose Id.
You can also purchase it a Amazon.
Brynley Bush has had a lifelong love affair with words.  She earned her degree in English and Creative Writing and wrote magazine feature stories for years before turning to writing fiction.  She writes the kind of books she likes to read: steamy contemporary romances featuring smart, sassy heroines with a sense of humor and strong, dominant alpha males who love their women a little feisty.  When she’s not writing, she loves to read, spend time with her family, and travel. 
Follow Brynley on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon