Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday - Hooking Heart Throb MFRWHooks #MFRWauthor #Medical romance

Heart Throb

When she saw the man on the steps leading to the apartment level, she sucked in a breath.  Neighbor or mover?  Married or single?  A rush of excitement rose.  Wouldn’t take much to learn his status.
            Denim cutoffs provided a view of tanned muscular legs.  Her gaze traveled to appraise flat abs, broad shoulders and a well-developed chest.  A slow smile changed his features from merely handsome to rugged and fascinating.  The streak of white in his jet hair looked like a lightning bolt had seared a path.
            Brilliant blue eyes captured her gaze.  Steam flowed through her veins.  No attached man sent those kind of signals unless he was out for a fling.  In that case, she’d pass.  Only the unattached need apply.  She didn’t do married or engaged.  She saw no wedding band, but these days, the absence meant nothing.  Still her plans for a quiet evening began to change.  She started up the steps.  He followed.
            “Hello, neighbor.”
            His deep voice acted like a jolt from the cardiac conversion paddles and sent her imagination into overdrive.  How would his sensuous lips taste?  And those strong hands and long fingers.  How would they feel on her flesh?  “Welcome to Rivertown.”  She paused at her door, turned and smiled.
            He reached for her hand.  “Damon.”
            “Magda.”  She liked the laugh lines around his eyes.  Must be about my age.  Perfect.
            His thumb stroked the back of her hand.  More than perfect, she thought.  Life had taken a turn in the right direction.  Her nipples contracted.  She glanced down.  The bulge beneath his fly seemed to swell.  Attraction -- mutual -- instant.  “So nice to meet my new neighbors.”
            “Neighbor,”  he said.  “I live alone.”
            “Same here.”  Her tongue played along her lower lip. 

Magda Malone likes men and has no desire to marry. She’s been there, done that and got burned. She’s happy with her position as coordinator of the cardiac unit at the hospital. A new neighbor promises many nights of steamy sex. Damon also has no desire for marriage. He had too many steps as a child and sees marriage as a serial sort of game. He doesn’t want to play. When Magda learns he’s a cardiologist, she blows him off. The problem is Damon has fallen in love and he must convince Magda there’s more between them than sex.

Buy Marks:
Heart Throb

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Time and Scene Length #MFRWauthor #Writing #Scenes

How long should a scene be? That's a question that involves maybe words or page length. There are other factors. Scenes have a number of uses. One is to give information. A second is to define the characters? A third is to advance the plot. But time works on two levels. One is literal and the other is emotional.

Think of this. When you're waiting in the doctor's office for an appointment, that twenty minutes can seem like hours. When you're excited about something the same amount of time can seem to be seconds. In your book this holds true.

A love scene may take pages to bring from the beginning to the end. I once read in a friend's book, a single kiss lasting a chapter of about thirty pages. Too long or too short. You as the writer has to decide how you're going to employ time. A sentence or a paragraph can cover years.

Why? Nothing of emotional importance happened during that time. There was nothing to do with any of the functions of a scene.

So the answer I've always heard from other writers and teachers of writing is "A scene takes as long as it must." Sort of vague but when you decide how much emotional impact the scene will have, the length usually seems right. Stopping a scene before all the emotional impact is gone will leave the reader wondering and if carried too far, the reader might become bored. It's all a matter of timing and purpose of the scene.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #corn silk #writing

Meander 1 - Poem - Man's Inhumanity

Let us sing a song today
Of man's inhumanity to man.
Let us raise our voices high
In praise of violence and fear.
We must accept these murder ways
For we never speak against them.
With eager curiosity we gaze upon the sights
Of napalm hurning children and
Murdered athlets row on row
Of slaughter done by automobile
And other haunted sights.
So let us sing a song today
And make it a mournful tune.

Meander 2 - Corn Silk - This is the season of summer meals where corn on the cob is the star. Unfortunately when one has corn on the cob, there is corn silk. Thin strands usually light yellow and sometimes dark. If any is left on the cob it finds a nesting place between your teeth. Corn silk seems to multiply with each ear you husk. The darned stuff clings to your fingers, spreads over your clothes. When the corn silk season ends I won't be sorry. Unfortunately I know if will be with me next year and next and next.

Meander 3 _ Writing - I'm working on Murder and Sweet Tea. Third draft and there aretwo more drafts to go. I've hit the middle of this draft with writing since I do this with pen and paper. Typing is a bit behind but I will catch up one of these days. I'm not tired of the twists and turns of the story yet and that's good. When I am, the book will be done and I'll be off on another project.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday's Book - Rekindled Dreams #MFRWauthor #contemporary #romance

Rekindled Dreams (Moon Child)

on October 8, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

I hoped this spicy novel would end happily for Simon and Dana in spite of threats made to Dana concerning the 
on October 9, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

on July 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition

Can Simon Parker right the wrong and pain he caused Dana Collins? When he drives her to the hospital to deliver her baby, the attraction is still there between them. Can Dana learn to trust Simon again? Will her ex husband’s twin sister complicate their lives? If I say more I’ll give away the entire book. Ms. Walters weaves a tale of a dysfunctional wealthy family, compassion, and love.custody of her daughter.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday's Blurbs - featuring Books by Barbara White Daille #MFRWauthor #romance #cowboys

Since I was asked to share three books, I mixed things up a bit and chose a book from each of my series. As I said in my post yesterday, all my books, even in series, are standalones.
The latest release:
The Rancher’s Baby Proposal – The Hitching Post Hotel, Book Six
Her Secret Cowboy Crush
Ally Martinez has always been known as a fun and flirty kind of gal. But deep down she’s never forgotten the cowboy who left town. When her crush Reagan Chase comes home after a five-year absence, Ally knows this is her big chance. The guy I’ve always wanted. Only Reagan has something different in mind…
Still reeling from his last relationship, Reagan needs a babysitter for his month-old son. With Ally’s help, he can get his family’s ranch ready for sale and get out of Cowboy Creek. The problem? Ally is one seriously cute distraction. But Reagan will do whatever it takes to keep his heart safe. Even if it means losing the only place—and the only woman—he can call home.

A Rancher’s Pride - Flagman’s Folly, Book One
His Whole World Is In Her Hands
Sam Robertson’s life just changed. In one short day, he found out that he’s a daddy; that his beautiful little girl, Becky, is deaf; and that her aunt, sign language teacher Kayla Ward, intends to fight him for custody.
There are plenty of reasons Sam shouldn’t fall for Kayla. A city girl like her has no place on his ranch, particularly when she’s his ex-wife’s gorgeous sister. But thanks to the judge’s orders, Sam’s spending a lot of time with Kayla, trying to give Becky the stable home she’s never known.
Despite their ongoing custody battle, Sam and Kayla’s love for Becky brings them closer than they ever expected, and Sam knows that no matter who wins in court, he could still lose—Kayla or his daughter.

Snowbound with Mr. Wrong – Snowflake Valley, Book One
Worst. Day. Ever. After Lyssa Barnett’s sister tricks her into reprising her role at Snowflake Valley's annual children's party, she doesn’t think anything can be worse than squeezing into her too-small elf costume. Then tall, dark, and way too handsome Nick Tavlock shows up to play Santa…and an unexpected storm leaves them snowbound in the isolated lodge.
The last thing Nick wants is to spend a cozy Christmas Eve with a trio of kids and the woman who dumped him. But as much as Lyssa frustrates him, he can't stop thinking about her. And soon, he's fighting very un-Santa-like thoughts of kissing a certain sexy Miss Elf under the mistletoe. As Nick starts to fall for Lyssa all over again, he knows it will take nothing short of a miracle to have Lyssa in his arms on Christmas Day.
Amazon Australia:  
Amazon Canada:
Amazon UK:   
Barnes & Noble:    

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday's Guest - Barbara White Daille Who She Was Before #MFRWauthor #contemporary romance #smalltown

1. What were you in life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?

Before I started writing, I was a kindergarten and grammar-school student, which definitely influenced my writing. All my early reading from The Bobbsey Twins and Encyclopedia Brown to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys led me to write mysteries. The first “published” short story—hand-printed with an illustrated cover—released when I was in the fourth grade. I wrote my first novel in the eighth grade and by then had graduated to mysteries with romantic elements.
2. Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.

Right now, I’m genre-specific, writing contemporary category romance on the sweeter side for Harlequin and Entangled, because that’s my favorite type of romance to read. My books are all small-town, family stories—some with cowboys and some without.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?

Absolutely. When I went on to write that mystery-with-romance mentioned above, I fell in love with the relationship that developed through the book. Originally, I gravitated toward romantic suspense, and while that’s still a big love of mine, I found my writing home in contemporary romance.

4. What's your latest release?

The Rancher’s Baby Proposal, Book Six in the Hitching Post Hotel series. I’ll be sharing the blurb for that book tomorrow. And I always like to add that all my books, even in series, stand alone as far as each hero and heroine resolving their conflicts and making a commitment to each other by the end of their story. 

5. What are you working on now? 

I’m working on two additional books in my Snowflake Valley series, which began close to the holidays last year with Snowbound with Mr. Wrong. I’m also working on a brand-new series with cowboys.

6. Where can we find you? 

Thanks for asking!  I have a website and am on Facebook and Twitter and love to chat. Also, readers can sign up for my newsletter if they’d like to get the latest news on my writing life. Here are a few places they can find me and more info about my books:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday's Second Scene - Shattered Dreams #MFRWauthor #Romance #medical

“Manon!” Rafe Marshall leaped from the examining table in time to catch her before she hit the floor. He cradled her against his chest. “Didn’t mean to scare you,” he whispered. Why did she think he was dead? He knew news of his accident had been kept quiet because the police believed he’d been deliberately forced off the road. Who had told her? Had the informant been the driver of the dark car his rescuer had seen speeding from the scene?
The citrus aroma of her shampoo brought memories of years ago when he had buried his face in her sunlit hair before they made love. His body responded to her presence and the sensual recollections. Thank heavens the gown was cloth. The urgent rise of his cock would have punctured paper.
Carefully, he placed her on the table. He stroked her face with his fingers and brushed his lips over hers. Any anger remaining from the past vanished beneath the heat of desire.
Manon was beautiful and his. The knowledge rang true. Even if she wouldn’t admit the strength of the bond, he knew. How could he explain why he’d taken so long to find her? Would she believe that any trace of her had vanished in Europe three years after she’d begun touring with her father?
He stepped back from the table. He had many things to tell her. Some of the revelations would cause anger, denial and pain. At this moment, he didn’t know where to begin. She wasn’t the teenage girl who had loved him. Had her love morphed into hate? He could handle that but not indifference.
Why hadn’t she answered the letters he’d written after the amnesia had cleared enough for him to remember her? Those notes had been sent months after her eighteenth birthday. Had she received the messages? That was one question he intended to ask. He needed to clear the past so he could move forward.
He had to tell her about the accident, the multiple injuries, the surgeries and the months of rehab. He wanted her to know though he’d left on their prom night, he’d decided to come for her after her eighteenth birthday.
Those days after the accident had been filled with frustration, especially after he remembered who he was and why he’d left Fern Lake. After discharge from rehab, he’d stayed for several months in his step-grandmother’s house and then her vacation cottage. No one had known he was in town. The suspicions surrounding the accident had forced him and Gran to keep news of the accident a secret. Besides, Manon had left for Europe. He wondered how she had escaped her father’s plans for her life.
Manon opened her eyes. Blue-gray like the waters of the lake on a cloudy day. As she sat up, a flush spread across her face reminding him of a younger Manon.
Rafe watched her slide from the table. Her dark blue skirt slid over her thighs. He held in a groan of regret. Shame to cover those incredible legs. A moment of memory of her legs wrapped around his hips flared. He couldn’t repress a groan.
“Did you hurt yourself catching me?”
“I’m fine. That wasn’t the way I intended to greet you. I should have had your nurse warn you.”
Manon shrugged. “She must have had reasons for keeping quiet. She didn’t put your name on the intake sheet. A warning wouldn’t have helped.”
Rafe stared at the way her chest moved when she took a deep breath. Was she reacting to his presence the way he reacted to hers? There was no way to learn. Her lab coat acted as a barrier.
“Told her not to mention my name.” He looked away. “Maybe next time.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” She reached for the chart. “She’ll hear from me.”
“Don’t blame her. Told her I was an old friend you haven’t seen for years and wanted to surprise you.”
“You did that. Why are you here?”
He grinned. “After losing track of your existence, I heard you were in town. I always though you’d found someone in Europe and married. You disappeared.” He met her gaze. “Where’s your father?”
“He died in January.” She turned away. “I stayed on the concert tour for three years. Those were the most miserable of my life.”
“How did you escape?”
“On my twenty-first birthday, I gained control of the money my mother left me. I came back to the states and enrolled in college using her maiden name.” She strode to the counter and opened the folder. “Enough about me. I would like the nurse practitioner at Employee’s Health to do your physical and for you to find another physician. I’ll give you several names.”
“How can you ask that?”
Thoughts of her hands on his body sent a rush of blood to his groin. “Wouldn’t embarrass me. You’ve seen me in the raw.”
Her face flamed. Her shoulders straightened. “That was in the past and will stay there.”
“We need to talk about that time. There are facts you should know.”
She turned toward the door. “There’s nothing you can tell me I don’t know.” She glared. “What job are you applying for? Maintenance?”
Rafe laughed. “I start tomorrow as CNO, better known as director of nursing. Actually, I’ll be working with Gran Ruth, uh, Mrs. Patton until September.”
Her reaction startled him. “Men can be nurses just as women can be doctors.”
“I know that. What made you decide to become a nurse?”
“An accident. Happened the night I left.” Did she believe he had remained that teenager more in tune with motorcycles than with people? “Gran plans to retire and she recommended me. Since I was finishing my doctorate and a consulting job, I had a Skype interview and was hired.”
Manon whirled. “Haven’t you heard?”
“About what?”
“This morning Mrs. Patton was admitted with angina. We’re monitoring her condition and ordering tests.”
He slid from the table. “How is she? Is this an emergency?”
“She’s stable.”
“Why wasn’t I notified? I’m her emergency contact.” He had been since he’d come to live with her on the day his mother had left.
Manon frowned. “I was busy stabilizing her. I’m sure one of the nurses made the call. Emma said all her attempts to reach you to change your appointment went to voice mail.”
He reached for his jeans and extracted the phone. “Damn. Forgot to charge. Are you sure she’s stable?”
Manon leaned against the door. “I wouldn’t be here if she wasn’t. She’ll be undergoing a few tests so we can determine what’s going on. Why don’t I give you the list of doctors and notify the nurse practitioner you’ll be in tomorrow for the physical. Get dressed and I’ll handle matters.”
Though he wanted to see Gran Ruth, her illness changed matters. Tomorrow he had to be ready to work. He returned to the table. “I need to be cleared for tomorrow.”
“Check with the nurse practitioner. If anything she’ll come back to do the exam.”
“Why bother her when I’m here? One thing I remember is the physical must be completed before starting to work.”
Manon scowled. She closed the door and walked to the counter. “I’ll do an EKG, the EENT exam, check your blood pressure and your lungs. If I discover any problems I’ll have to refer you.”
“Whatever works.” Thoughts of having her near stirred his cock. The flush on her face convinced him she had noticed. Though she acted like an ice maiden, he believed with luck he could warm her.
Her gray-blue eyes flashed with anger. “Why did you return?”
“For a job.”
“Is that the only reason or are you back to show everyone you’ve become a responsible adult?”
“I’m here so Gran can retire and not worry about what happens at the hospital.”
He had another goal. Until he and Manon discussed the false reports of his death and his reasons for leaving so abruptly, he couldn’t tell her why he’d returned. He wanted her in his life. He wanted to know why she hadn’t answered his letters or if she had even received them. Though he ached to kiss and pleasure her until she cried his name, he would wait.
Manon stepped toward the table. “I’ll make this quick since I think you should head to the hospital. I’m sure Mrs. Patton is worried about your non-appearance.”
“After the exam I’ll visit Gran and come back for you.” He smiled. “We’ll ride to Fern Lake and recapture memories.”
“In your dreams.”
Her scent flowed toward him. He tamped the urge to kiss her, this time with desire. He would show her his need to possess her and find the future they deserved. Before that happened, she needed to know why he’d left. The story might cause anger and denial but he had to speak.

Manon approached. He braced not to react to the sensations evoked by her scent of her hands on his skin.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday - Hook Code Blue ##MFRWHooks #MFRWauthor #suspense #medical

Guilt over her earlier anger warred with fear. She stepped closer. "Oh God!"

The streak of red on the practical's white uniform spoke of violence. Susan had seen death many times, but never like this. A soundless scream reverberated in her thoughts. Who had done this and why? She stared at Barbara's battered head and face and fought the need to flee.

Code Blue

In the medical suspense Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters, published by Books We Love and previously published as Obsessions, nurse Susan finds the body of the hospital’s “gossip queen” in the orthopedic storage room. She doesn’t realize this is the first of a series of murders involving her colleagues or that her life is in danger. She is a widow and is exploring a new romantic relationship that promises love but she fears the man she is falling for is as controlling as her dead husband. The arrival of courtship gifts, at first, seen as innocuous soon takes on a sinister note.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Character's reaction #MFRWauthor #writing #characters

For the character's reaction to the stimuli work, the writer needs to know the characters. Think of it this way, a bully doesn't become kind and helpful, unless there's a reason. Now a character who has been bullied by one other of the characters had better suspect something is afoot when the bully acts out of character. His reaction to this stimuli from the bully would have a subtle difference from a time when the bully is acting in character.

Knowing your characters makes this stimuli reaction sequence an important tool for the writer.  Any reaction must mean something. If it doesn't there's no reason for that to be the reaction. As a writer, there are times when I fail to make this stimuli-reaction-action sequence work. This means a lot of rewriting.

The reaction must be timely. To have a reaction come hours or days later may be what happens in real life. There are those times when we think I should have done or said this or that. The characters in your story can't do this. They need to react and act with immediacy.

Their action or reaction needs to be in character and be part of their motive for the scene and the story. This can be tricky but it done right the reader is pulled along. This is because the stimuli=reaction-action sequence works out in a reasonable way. Once this is learned, the writing becomes easier.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Poetry #amwriting

Meander 1 - Poem - Good Housekeeping Seal

I have my Good House Keeping Seal of Approval.
How about you? Do you have yours, too?
My whole life is house, husband, children.
How about you> Is this your life, too?
I have together...togetherness.
How about you? Do you stay together, too?
My husband is twined in my loving embrace.
How about you? Is yours there, too?
I'm accomplished in the kitchen, inventive in the bed/
How about you? Are you like this, too?'
Why then, how then,why then this...
Is life empty, vague, dead.
How about you? Is your life dead, too?

Meander 2 - Dialysis. - My husband goes to dialysis three days a week. Yesterday, he told me he called the doctor to ask why he's so wiped out when the treatment finishes he can hardly sit straight, and even walking is hard. He sees other elderly people receiving dialysis and they walk in and walk out after treatment seemingly just as strong as they were before. Some even drive themselves to and from the treatment. I hope he receives an answer he can live with. According to his cardiologist, his heart si strong so that's not the reason for the weakness.

Meander 3 Writing - I'm working hard on Murder and Sweet Tea. I'm partially through with another draft and I believe it's going well. When this is done, I have two projects on my plate. Both are to finish the Opposites in Love series. That means two of the groupings I've been workingon recently will be finished. Then there's the last of the Fyre group to do.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday's Book - Shattered Dreams #MFRWauthor #Romance #medical

Shattered Dreams (Moonchild)

Torn apart years ago by lies and threats, Rafe Marshall returns to town and confronts Manon Lockley. She has been told he died on the night he stood her up for their senior prom. When she faints, Rafe catches her and realizes he hasn’t stopped loving her. Manon carries anger and now grief that wasn’t real. Rafe wants her in his life, but she doesn’t want to talk about what happened in the past. She can’t be sure if her father or someone else told lies about Rafe and she doesn’t want to know. Can Rafe persuade her to listen? Not without a battle.

on December 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Patricia Layne #MFRWauthor #mystery

The Marquesa's Necklace, Book One of the Oak Grove Series. On Sale for 99¢

Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.

But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.

Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.

Because it might.

Buy Links

Her Ladyship's Ring,  Book 2 of the Oak Grove Mysteries


Harmony Duprie is back, and so is trouble in Oak Grove.

When a man is murdered in the back yard of the old Victorian house she is remodeling, Harmony is determined to locate his next-of-kin so he can be put to rest properly. But with her ex-boyfriend Jake out of prison, back in town and one of the suspects in the murder, she takes on the challenge of solving the crime.

With Eli, her current love interest, in Florida and Jake close by, old emotions come back to haunt her. Can Harmony clear Jake's name and solve the mystery of her own heart?

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The Baron's Cufflinks

The Baron's Cufflinks is the third book in the Oak Grove Mysteries, and Harmony Duprie is up to her usual antics.


What starts as Girl's Night Out ends in murder, and Harmony Duprie is a suspect.

She's innocent, of course, but with no alibi, the sheriff's department won't remove her from the list of suspects. It doesn't help when a waitress from the bar gets beaten up and the only clue is a slip of paper with Harmony's name on it. Throw in a rookie deputy dead set on building his reputation and Harmony must tread carefully.

But caution isn't Harmony's middle name and she plunges head first into danger to defend her honor.

What she finds is a web of half-truths and suspicions implicating several law enforcement agencies, with Jake, her ex-lover, stuck in the middle of it all.

Can Harmony rescue Jake and find the real culprit before she becomes the next victim?

Buy Links

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday's Guest Patricia Layne - Who She Was Before #MFRWauthor #writing #paranormal #mysteries

1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?

            In some ways, it's fair to say I've been a writer since grade school. I wrote a historical essay in sixth grade that won a local award. The first short story I wrote was in eighth grade. In high school, I began my love affair with poetry. I wrote poetry until a few years ago, when, after a long dry spell, I turned to fiction.
            None of my writing has been enough to support me, however. I've been a waitress, a camp counselor, worked for some youth agencies, and I'm currently working in IT. What's the one thing they all have in common? Interaction with people. The more people I talk to, the wider range of characteristics I have to draw my characters from.
            However, I will confess that my heroes might be a bit geekier than is normal. I do work in IT, after all.

2. Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.

            My writing seems to skirt the boundaries of genres. The Free Wolves series is close to paranormal romance but the books have a lot less sex and the themes may be slightly unexpected. The Oak Grove Mysteries are close to being cozy mysteries, but don't quite fit all the major criteria. I write what the stories demand. One thing all my stories have in common are strong female characters.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?

            I actually avoid reading books from the genre I'm writing in. I want to keep my stories true to the characters and not be influenced by someone else. Other than that, I read a wide range of books, everything from bibliographies to science fiction and romance. My favorite books (fantasy/science fiction) aren't even in the genre I write.

4. What's your latest release?
            The Baron's Cufflinks, book 3 of the Oak Grove Mysteries. Harmony Duprie, one of my favorite characters, is up to her usual antics. This time she's a person of interest in a murder and has to prove her innocence, while, at the same time, keep her ex-lover out of big trouble. It's probably the most complicated plot I've tackled, but I'm happy with the way the story turned out. Harmony and I had a major argument about the storyline in this one, but we compromised and I think it turned out pretty darn good.

5. What are you working on now?

            I'm working on two projects. The first is a 10,000 word story for a compilation with other authors. It's tentatively titled “Love on the Dunes” and is a followup to the story “Love on the Rocks.” The other is “Wolves Gambit” the third book in the Free Wolves story. I've got the first draft completed, but it needs a lot of editing before it's ready to release. A few chapters in, the plot changed from what I planned so I need to make sure I don't miss anything as far as the story line goes.

6. Where can we find you?

You can reach me at many of the usual places.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday's Second Scene - Lines of Fire #MFRWauthor #fantasy #paranormal

Chapter 1

The challenge match had lasted longer than Alric thought possible. His opponent, one of the desert riders, had been chosen by his clan for the duel. Only one man could win. If Alric bested the other fighter, the local farmers would be spared raids on their crops and herds by the nomad band comprised of rebels against the laws of Investia. If he lost the raids would continue until another patrol arrived. Alric concentrated on the lines of fire flowing over the other man’s skin.
The younger man was agile and talented with the sword and knife. His hair, bleached by the sun, shone red-gold in the morning light. The lines flowed in changing scarlet patterns over his arms and bare chest.

Alric’s opponent’s quick responses to each move made him believe the young man read the lines, too. Someone had to make a mistake before they collapsed.

Sweat coated Alric’s skin. An occasional droplet stung his eyes and blurred his vision. The desert rider showed the same physical reactions. Exhaustion threatened Alric’s control. Then he found an opening. The lines of fire on the younger man’s sword hand faltered.

Alric lunged and caught the other sword sending the blade sailing through the air. He followed with a sweep of his leg. The desert rider sprawled on the ground. Alric pressed his knife against the man’s pulsing neck vein.

“Yield,” he demanded.

“Yielded.” The young man grinned. “Good fight. I’m Jens.”


Jens turned to the gathered clansmen and the crowd of cheering farmers. “Trade is good unless you try to cheat. We have wool, silver, gold, some gemstones, herbs and spices. We need grain, produce, honey and beer.”

“Do you have salt among the spices?” a man asked.

“We do.”

Moments later someone tapped a keg of beer. Alric opted for a mug of water. Once the formalities ended he searched the crowd for his current bondmate. Before he found her, Jens beckoned. They drew apart from the celebrating clan and villagers.

“I gather you see the lines of fire,” Jens said.

Alric glanced around to make sure no one stood close enough to hear. “It is said only those who are heart bound can see them. Among the Defenders I do not speak of my ability to anyone other than those I trust.”

“Why? I have no bondmate and my friends know of my ability. That’s why I’m chosen for these duels. You’re my first loss.”

Alric moved further from the celebration. “Seeing the lines is one of the reasons our forefathers used the mists to come to this land. Sorcerers sought to use their talents for evil.”

“An old wives’ tale I’ve often heard from the elderly riders.”

“Perhaps. I’m a Defender as I promised my father I would become. I believe what he told me when I was growing up.”

Jens frowned. “How fortunate to have known your father. As a small child I lived in the Defenders Hall. My mother died so I was fostered to a shepherd’s family when I was three. Soon as I could I ran. A penned life isn’t for me.”

Alric swallowed. “Did you have a sister?”

Jens shrugged. “My memories of the Defenders Hall are poor. What I remember is a tall man dragging me away and riding with him for days.”

Alric wished the younger man had more memories but he feared he would never know if this young man was his lost brother. “You might consider coming with our patrol. Though you’re older than most of the trainees, your skill would let you advance rapidly.”

Jens laughed. “You could leave the Defenders behind and join this clan of riders. We would welcome a man with your skills. You and I could be invincible as a team at the games.”

Alric studied the ground. There were times when he dreamed of leaving the Defenders. Some of the twelve years hadn’t been pleasant, especially when the leader placed obstacles in his way. He’d leaped over those stumbling blocks and succeeded. The promise he’d made to his father ruled his life.
Alric turned away and saw his bondmate waving. “I must go. Good riding and successful dueling.”

When Alric strode away from the younger man he scowled. The connection to Jens had been deeper than usual. Though the younger man had no memories of the past, he could be one of the missing sibs. In an instant Alric decided when he returned to the Hall he would search the Archives to see if the records held any information about his family.

His bondmate led him away from the crowd. “Where is the rest of the patrol?” he asked.

“I told them to head out and you would catch up.”

She wore no bracelet. A groan rumbled from his gut. Bracelets meant the bonding between mates stood. Since she had removed hers, that meant he’d been twice rejected. Once more and he would be banished from the Defenders. He opened the clasp on the brass one he wore.

“Seeks you won’t be returning with me.”

She stared at the ground. “I never wanted to be a Defender. I wanted to exchange bracelets with my childhood sweetheart. He’s here and wears no bracelet.”

With his thumbs, Alric tilted her head to see her expression. Though her decision was right for her, sadness shrouded his thoughts. “I wish you happiness.” He dropped the bracelet she had clasped on his wrist during the bonding ceremony into her hand. “Here’s your price.”

She shook her head. “I don’t want you to pay the fine. I never tried to see if our bond could last.”

“Neither did I.”

“You could have forced me to unite with you.”

Alric grimaced. “I wasn’t raised to grab what I wasn’t offered.”

“What will you do?” she asked.

“The patrol has finished the rounds of the southern sector of Investia. The Day of Ingathering for the returning patrols is just weeks away. I’ll ride to the Defenders Hall and choose another mate.”

“I wish you luck.”

Alric walked away. He touched the bracelet hidden beneath his shirt. His father had given him the unique piece just before his death. Perhaps this time he would find his heart bound mate.