Names

July 29, 2014

I love names and I love naming my characters. I’ve often wondered if we become our names? If you name a child Rose, do they grow up to be sweet pretty things? What about Lily? Will she be sweet and pure, or the harbinger of death?

But what about names like Phoenix? Are they impossible to keep down? Dofile0001668306671 you put those Phoenix children down for naps and they rise up refusing to take  one? There are lots of names that are virtually genderless. I’ve seen plenty of Shawns that were girls, and now Michel or Michael. Then those with names of cities and places, Paris, Dallas, Asia, and London. We have a few Houstons in our family but it’s pronounced house-ton and it was the last name of some distant relative and is used now as a middle name.

Then there are the names that make me giggle because no one asked about the spelling. One that I often see is Francis instead of Frances for a girl and Beverly for a girl when the feminine form is Beverley. There are the states of mind: Hope, Faith, Free, etc. The nature nouns: Brook, Ocean, Rock, River, Desert, Forest, Snow, Rain, Oak, Daisy, Tulip, Pebble. Would you really name your child Pebble? Is he or she a chip off the old block? Maybe Chip is, but Pebble?

The updated and converted spellings of names; Leroy is now Leroi – it’s much more regal. The soundex generated ones: Jaimai, Ladancia, Sharazza, Lamonda. The medical terms, which I won’t even bother to mention. I’ve barely scratched the surface of names and naming. And how did we get nicknames like Muffy?

The USA is a huge melting pot of people from all over the world with lots of ethnic names. Names change and evolve. When our west was settling, many of the people who went there were escaping criminal charges in eastern cities, some just wanted to get away from the life they had, others just didn’t like the opportunities in the east and wanted something different. Names changed. Throughout history, the last name was often the occupation. And it happened in the west. The young cowboy from the French family that joined the cattle drive as a cook  in Phoenix, became Phoenix Cook and that probably evolved again into Nick Cook.

Ellis Island file000166703835

Ellis Island Today

People who came to America from other places wanted to be accepted as Americans.  So hard to pronounce last names were changed to things like Brown, Black, Smith, Jones.  Then thanks to people working in places like Ellis Island, more names were changed as these new arrivals were registered. Overworked and understaffed, the workers didn’t have time to decipher what people were saying. A friend’s grandfather came from northern Europe and when asked his name he gave it, then began to spell it, C-first then a… The worker wrote Seafirst. So the new immigrant immediately wrote his family and said when you come to America, your name is Seafirst. He had a new American name to go with his new status as an American.

The BIA, Bureau of Indian Affairs, stepped in and wanted all the American Indians to have English sounding names to make the paperwork easier and as a way to “civilize” these people. Of course, many of these natives ignored the names, others accepted them. There’s a long story as to why Bia became the last name for so many, but it’s not hard to figure out. I used that information in  A Rancher’s Woman when Many Feathers was given the English name Mark Hunter and how his friend became Robert Hunter.

Names clue readers to backgrounds. If I say Bianca Valdez, you probably just pictured a beautiful dark-haired Latina. But she could be a lovely blue-eyed blonde from Panama. Lydia Schwartz could be from a Pacific Rim country. We’re not the only melting pot!

But I like to use names as clues or as surprises.  In my River City novels, Tess Martinez is a petite blue-eyed blonde who is married to a man from Mexico. Amy Schulster married Berto who is from Mexico. And in Campaign, Kathryn “Ryn” Demary has South American roots, but her family has been here for several generations. When you read my River City books you will discover that the city is filled with people from all over, and in many ways, resembles quite a few cities near me where there is a very diverse population. With it, comes unusual names.

And like many cities, people from different backgrounds wind up living in areas where there are others from the same places. Maybe not as pronounced as Chinatown, but the pockets exist. If you see an Asian grocery store you know there is a high population of Asians nearby.

Along the way, we have gained and lost names. Some names just have a good ring to them. When I come across one, I often write it down. The problem is, if I’m not at the computer, I’ll write it on anything handy. Six months later, I discover the name on a piece of paper and wonder who or what.  Was that the name of the guy I was talking to when my Internet connection went down? Or is it just a name.

Names are a way of not only identifying characters but making them stand chinese-street-foodout. It allows diversity as I write. We’re not an all-European nation and never have been. Heroines come in all sizes and colors as do heroes. Walk into any of our Chinese buffet-style restaurants around here and you’re apt to find kimchi, sitting next to lumpia, tacos, and pizza slices. There’s macaroni salad, bourbon chicken, pulled pork with Carolina BBQ sauce (it’s not what you are thinking if you think it’s that sweet sticky sauce), next to the kung pao chicken, and hunan beef, and collard greens, mashed potatoes, tofu, and ham with pineapple. Add a little food from the Midddle East, and every imaginable kind of seafood. I’m just waiting for the day I find sauerbraten! Just as all the foods are different, our characters should be, too!

Naming our children can be harder than naming our characters. When we name our children, we are giving them a piece of us. When we name our characters, we are giving them a background and a point of focus/reference for our readers. If our children become their names, then maybe our characters names must become them. The name needs to reflect who they are.

There’s a whole world filled with names. Make your characters unique and allow them to stand out in your readers’ minds. Set your heroes apart for the crowd and give them some individuality then do the same with the heroines. But choose wisely. I don’t see too many men with the name Simon Diamondstein signing onto a cattle drive. That young man would drop his first name in favor of a nickname and only keep half of his last name. “Hi, I’m Buck Diamond.”

When my heroine in A Challenge discovered she was pregnant, she referred to the child she was carrying as PeeWee. As her due date approached, she knew she had to have a name for the baby. She and Ari quickly settled on the name Pamela Wendy. And PeeWee? It’s a pet name for their daughter.

Enjoy picking just the right names for your characters, because there’s a whole lot more to name than just being a name. And that includes all the minor characters within our stories.


My Taste in Music

July 25, 2014

My taste in music is as varied as my moods. I can enjoy Janis Joplin, Mozart, the big bands, a little Motown, toss in a little Kingston Trio, The Beetles, Mick Jagger, Arlo Guthrie and Willy Nelson, Ella Fitzgerald, Abba, Maurice Jarre, Yanni, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, today’s country, a little Spanish guitar, a piano, and the clear tones of a flute, New Age, and even elevator music. Actually the list of songs and artists I enjoy is too long to name. I’d say I like everything, but that’s not true. Every genre of music has its great sounds, and there ones that sound like fingernails on the blackboard to me within that genre. Music is very individual, but I’m always open to listening to something new.

Friends who know me will often send me something from YouTube with a you-got-to-hear-this message. Which usually sets me down the path of listening to music for hours. It was in the course of one of those off-the- beaten-path musical ventures that I stumbled into Cesar Espinoza playing Unchained Melody.  I sent his video to friend whose musical taste is a strange as mine. In return, she sent me the link to Leo Rojas.

I’ll admit both men are easy on the eyes, and both are worth taking the time to listen to their music. The only way to describe it is hauntingly beautiful. And you can’t beat a handsome man playing it!

Leo won a Supertalent 2011 (similar to America’s Got Talent) in Germany, and he has a website there. I have no idea how someone from Ecuador wound up in Germany. Maybe one of those of you who understands German can tell me. Hope you’ve brushed up on your German.

Fortunately Cesar Espinoza’s website is in English and he lives in the USA. When you get there can view a video of him playing and his links to where you can buy his music. That link also give you a chance to listen to various clips of his songs on his albums. I’ve already chosen four that I want!

From Wikipedia’s site on pan flutes

Now, let me back up and try to explain a pan flute. It’s a series of reeds, stuck together in a long curve, and the bottom of each reed is closed. So I think it’s like blowing into the top of a soda bottle, except these are perfectly tuned. I guess I first heard a pan flute years ago when Gheorghe Zamfir had a whole album done with a pan flute.

I happen to like the sound of a flute. You’re all thinking about that tinny sound from your years in band, right? Think again. When my girls were young, I lived in a townhouse and when a young family moved in, the mother said she played the flute and liked to practice after her husband and children left in the morning. She wanted to make sure it didn’t bother me.  I told her no problem, the entire neighborhood was empty by about 9 a.m., and the townhouses were very soundproof. Turns out, if I stood in my walk-in closet, I could hear her.  I think I stood there for 15 minutes listening to her. Then I ran downstairs grabbed a cup of coffee and knocked on her door! Every morning for an hour, I had my very own serenade. She played pure classical as she was a concert flutist with a sterling silver flute. To be in the same room, made my skin tingle. Awesome!

(One of my granddaughters took flute in school and made first chair. I promise she never sounded like my neighbor or any of the men who I have mentioned here.)

And who hasn’t bought their child one of those wooden six-holed flutes? Yes, you really can play music on them. My dad wanted to strangle my mom when she bought me a reed flute from a “trinket” store, as we drove through a reservation when I was a child. Mom actually taught me the basics of music during that month-long road trip. (Thanks for putting up with so much, Dad! And thanks, Mom, for the music lessons.)

Flutes seem to be a common folk instrument no matter where you visit in the world. With the American Indians, we normally think of drums and the repetitive vocals. Their flute playing seemed limited to courtship and healing, but also for fun. People like Mary Youngblood and the 1960’s interest in folk music brought these traditional Am. Indian songs to light with the general population and she won a Grammy for it.

I’m a listener. I can barely find the notes to play the piano, I had some ability with a guitar, a mandolin, and I’m the proud owner of a balalaika. I tried so hard to learn the play that thing and never did manage to do much with it other than wear out my fingertips.  But my husband could play it. (But if he had a instrument in his hands,  he could play it in a matter of minutes and actually sound good!) Back to being a listener… I just know when I like something and apparently what is being played now as native songs have been “modernized” and has what many call a New Age sound to it.

How do you modernize music? I have no clue, but I’ll assume it’s a little like what Hooked on Classics did for classical music and Chip Davis did with Christmas songs (Mannheim Steamroller) And the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO)  has done to bring classic to a new level of rock.

I was lucky to grow up knowing Leonard Bernstein and going to many of his concerts. In a way, he probably expanded my enjoyment of music. Not that I sat and had long discussions with him – I was a kid! But being dragged to concerts meant I heard live  performances and garnered an appreciation of music.

Today with so many school budget cuts, children are not being exposed to the arts. I’ll save that for another day and another post. But the Internet has opened the world to us and with it, its music. Take a few minutes and click the links on the names Cesar, Leo, and Mary and treat yourself to some new sounds. You just might discover some new music that you enjoy.

And I’ve emailed Cesar and asked him to stop by. I’ll cross my fingers and hope that he comes to say hello. Maybe he can explain this new interest in the pan flute and other native flutes. I know I’d love for him to do a guest post on ethnic flutes.

I do believe I have another western coming with a hero or heroine who plays the flute. I have already written one story about a school teacher who plays the flute, in Ask Me Again. It’s a sexy little novella!

Rob Miller’s life is on overload. His business is thriving and his life is in fast forward, until he’s called home to deal with a family crisis. The last thing on his mind is romance, but when he bumps into Torrey Timberlake, a face from his past, he’s forced to re-evaluate his priorities. Could she possibly be the best thing that ever happened to him at the worst of times?

Yeah, I think I have another flute player coming. Maybe this one will be playing the pan flute and it won’t be Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals he’s playing. It’s been an interesting journey and I hope you explore these traditional sounds, too!


Pay attention. I am talking!

July 21, 2014

Did you know there are probably 300,000 people in the USA who are mute? Really! The problem is the numbers my not be accurate. No where does anyone fill in a government form that says I’m mute! So the numbers are complied from several sources and it’s believed that 300,000 is on the low side.

Deafness and muteness often go together. Mainly because if someone doesn’t hear, they usually don’t do much talking.

I’ve been lucky to been blessed with friends who have had disabilities. To see a deaf-mute couple, raise two normal children and play with their normal grandchildren, is wonderful. I remember when my daughter was selling Girl Scout cookies. I made her go to the door of the deaf-mute couple. Just as many other people are afraid to approach and speak to a deaf-mute, so was she. I explained that they had a doorbell that flashes a light. Just hand them the forms. I practically threatened her. I can still remember her standing on their doorstep begging me not to do it.

She gathered her courage and pushed the button. When the woman answered, my daughter handed over the forms. The woman waved to me. What seemed like a lifetime later, my daughter emerged, grinning from ear to ear. They hadn’t had those cookies since their daughter was little. They showed my daughter everything from the TV with words on the screen (a big deal back then) to their special phone, etc. That was it, my daughter was hooked, and they adored her.

My daughter took her friends to see all the gizmos in that house. If I lost her in the neighborhood, the odds were I’d find her bike parked by their door. The woman made lemonade from scratch! She’d even let my daughter squeeze the lemons.

The woman told me later that because my daughter would come visit, the neighbors suddenly began to wave and say hello. The neighborhood no longer treated them as though they didn’t exist. The woman could speak, although it was very flat and not always easy to understand. She worked for a law office and was a paralegal. He was an engineer. People who knew them accepted their disabilities. Those who didn’t would back away.

In my newest book, Campaign, A River City Novel, the heroine is mute from a riding accident as a child. She’s coping in a vocal world. Her mother barely knows how to sign and her father never really learned. She went to a school for children with disabilities, then went to college, only to return with her teaching certificate to teach where she had once been a student. Through her dorm mate from college, she’s introduced to Brad Shoemaker. Their online dating became a strong friendship, and he invited her to visit with the idea of taking the friendship to the next level. And that’s where the story starts, except no one told him she was mute.

Don’t think it could happen? I know someone who is married to a deaf mute. They met at college. ASL or American Sign Language is often taught as a language in high schools and college. The woman I know figured it was easier than taking a foreign language. The professor told the class about a special “silent” dinner where no talking was allowed but they could use sign language. He offered them extra credit if they went. Considering she was a typical student who hated to study, she figured she needed the extra credit. So she went. There was this gorgeous guy at another table. She drooled her way through the meal and went the next time they had such a dinner, and the next, and the next, and the next until she finally caught his eye.  They started to sign to each other and he asked her out.  She figured he was there for extra credit, too. Imagine her surprise when she discovered he was deaf and mute!  Seriously she’s a beautiful young woman who probably could have had any guy based on her looks alone. She fell in love and they are happily married.

In Campaign, Brad Shoemaker has political aspirations. He wanted a wife who could help him along the way. He may have fallen in love with Ryn before actually meeting her, but her muteness tosses a different light on his goals. Ryn has her own problems which includes depression. She’s making her way in a world that doesn’t understand disabilities. But it’s a constant battle for acceptance.

Here’s a snippet where Ryn meets Brad’s family for the first time.

Ryn looked at Brad and spelled tea.

“I doubt that. Do you know what sweet tea is?”

Ryn nodded.

“Okay. Are you sure you don’t want coffee?”

She shook her head and spelled, “Ice?”

Brad grabbed a glass and filled it with ice from the large stainless steel refrigerator that looked out of place in the older kitchen.

“Don’t be so shy and don’t let him boss you around.” Mrs. Shoemaker fixed several more glasses of sweet tea.

Ryn smiled as a silent giggle shook in her chest. No man was going to run over her under any circumstances.

“Mom. I’m not bossing her around.” He handed Ryn her tea.

The cold, super-sweet liquid cooled her throat. She wondered how long it would take before they realized she was mute.

Brad’s mom turned a knob on the old stove and peeked under a pot’s lid. “Just a second and I’ll show you the deck we built this spring. We did it ourselves. Bought the plans and the lumber. It wasn’t very difficult, except Brad’s dad wouldn’t let me use any of the power tools. I held, and he screwed everything together.” She wiped her hands on a towel and headed for the back door. “Stay here and talk to your father. I’ll show Ryn our handiwork.”

Ryn looked at Brad, and he shrugged. She followed the woman into the backyard. The huge deck took up most of the yard, and what was left was mostly rose gardens. The honey-spiced scent of roses made her inhale deeply and follow her nose to the containers filled with yellow roses. Sun Sprinkles. She signed, “My favorite.”

Mrs. Shoemaker stared at her and Ryn smiled back. She’ll figure it out. Another spicy scent hit her nose and she spotted the Cheddar Pink Carnations. It seemed as if every flower was grown for its beauty and fragrance. Ryn grinned. Then admired the deck and gave Mrs. Shoemaker a thumbs-up sign.

 

“Honey, I don’t bite. You don’t have to be afraid to talk to me.”B&R

Ryn smiled. Pay attention. I am talking. She signed, “I am mute.”

The woman cocked her head and furrowed her brow.

“I am mute.”

“You’re dumb?”

Ryn closed her eyes. Hatred for being called dumb crawled up the back of her neck. She was an intelligent woman. She opened her eyes and shook her head. Slowly she spelled mute.

The woman turned and went back inside.

Ryn stood on the deck. She knew the woman meant no harm, and her reaction wasn’t at all surprising, but Ryn wasn’t expecting it, at least not from Brad’s parents. She had two choices, she could follow Mrs. Shoemaker back inside or she could give Brad a few minutes with his parents. Giving Brad a chance to straighten out the situation was fine with her.

She ducked as a pair of young male hummingbirds whizzed by her and then fought over the feeder that hung from a shepherd’s hook next to the deck. The tiny yard was alive with birds and bees. The edge of the deck was a perfect place to sit and admire the peaceful beauty that surrounded her.

When she heard the back door open, she turned expecting to see Brad, but instead she saw his dad. He sat beside her and wrung his hands.

“My wife’s in there crying. She’s afraid you won’t like us or our son.”

“Why?” she signed.

The man looked at her so she took his hand and wrote in his palm, “Why?”

“We didn’t know. Thought the cat got your tongue.”

“It’s ok,” she wrote in his palm.

“He said you had a computer that you used to communicate, but it got lost the other night.”

She nodded.

“I’m sorry. From what he said it’ll turn up. No one in that crowd would steal it.”

She patted the deck and gave him a thumbs-up sign.

“Took us five weekends to build it. My wife’s real proud of it.”

Ryn grinned and pointed to the gardens.

“It’s our hobby.”

Ryn sniffed and then signed, “Sun Sprinkles.”

He took a pen and folded piece of paper from a pocket. “Want to write?”

She grinned and took the proffered items. “Sun Sprinkles.”

“You know about roses?”

She shook her head and pointed to her words on the page. “Sun Sprinkles.”

“Yes, that’s what they are.” He stood and offered her his hand. “I know what you need.”

She followed him inside. He took a dry erase board from the side of the refrigerator and handed it to her.

“How’s that?”

“Perfect!”

Brad was standing by his mom and an older couple was sitting at the table.

“These are my grandparents.”

Ryn shook hands with both of them.

“Pleased to meet you, young lady,” the man almost hollered.

“Granddad, she can hear. She just can’t talk.”

I have Campaign specially priced at 99 cents for a few days for my loyal readers. So grab it quick before the price goes to its regular price. Just as all my River City novels have strong mainstream elements so does this, but I promise there’s the happily-ever-after that you want in a romance. It’s available at Amazon only! If that’s a problem, let me know and I’ll send you a copy in whatever format you need. I want to keep all my readers happy!

http://amzn.com/B00LYWD668

 


How do you autograph an ebook?

July 13, 2014

It’s not easy, but I figured out a way to do it.

The easiest way is to use authorgraph.

http://www.authorgraph.com/

The reader can look up a favorite author and have them autograph the book. The sad thing is that what the reader gets is a separate page.

I figured out a way to give an autographed copy. I make a jgp of the book cover ( 500×800 pixels), and I autograph it using the text feature in my jpg creator.  As for my signature, I can’t do that with a mouse.  My signature using a mouse looks as though I taught a chicken cursive. To get around that, I wrote my name on paper and scanned it in as a jpg. Then I added it to my jpg. Now I can write in the jpg using the text feature 2Brandiand personalize the jpg to the reader. (This is an actual jpg of what I gave to a fan inside the ebook.)

After it is completed I save it and add it to the front of my book while the book is still a MS Word doc file. (Insert jpg onto a blank page) I save the whole document as a html (web page). That I send to Calibre and convert it to a mobi, epub, or pdf. Now I have an autographed copy that I can give to someone.

It’s quite time consuming but its doable. I happen to think it’s a nice way to personalize a book for a reader.

I will say that many authors have problems with using Calibre and that’s because Calibre requires a very clean copy that doesn’t have a lot of extra stuff tucked in the pages.  I’ve never had a problem with it.  It’s a free piece of software and easy to use.

http://calibre-ebook.com/

The other thing that can be done is to put the book on a CD/DVD  and sign the disk.  There are also plenty of fun things such as business cards and postal cards up to rack-sized cards that can be made and handed or snail mailed to someone. Check out places such as VistaPrint for great deals.

http://www.vistaprint.com

That brings me to my next problem. I’m looking for ways to support my local libraries through Friends of the Library.  Check with your local library to see if they have such a thing. Friends of the Library are usually OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAresponsible for brings books to people who have no access to them, they open the doors for children to explore, and help to keep the libraries’ doors open. Especially now with funding being so tight, more people than ever rely on the library and the libraries are suffering under budget cuts.

From movies to audio books, your local library has it. They are also bringing in ebooks. The library has served me, and my family, well over the years. If I’m in a position to give back to them, I will.

I’m not sure what I will be doing but I think I will be giving the Friends of the Library several signed copies of my ebooks.


Just a Goldfish Dreaming of Success

July 7, 2014

There are probably over a million authors out there, and each has penned a book for a different reason. Some don’t care about great financial success or even name recognition. For some it’s just a hobby, a way of staying occupied and something fun to do in their free time.

Some don’t want the money, not really, they are just looking for that name recognition. Some want to preserve family history and make it interesting for future generations. Or they think they can somehow help others who have been in similar situations. Some enjoy scaring people or making them laugh. Other people dream of writing books, spinning tales of fantasy or about of their life, but they never do it

About those million authors with books – some will never sell a single book. But they can call themselves an author because they wrote a book. Some barely get a book off the starting block and they hit outrageous fame. Others will buy theirfile000251775835 alt way to the top of the charts. It’s nothing new, it’s been going on for years. The playbook has changed and the way they do it has changed. Got some money to toss around? There are plenty of places to advertise and get your book selling huge quantities. Or do it the old-fashioned way, buy the book for 99 cents and that author promises to send you a $5 gift certificate to your favorite fast-food joint.

But when I look around at my favorite authors over the years, I wonder how many books they actually sold in their lifetime.  Have I surpassed them? A few years ago the average ebook was lucky to sell 250 copies.  I’ve seen five times that number on a single title in one month on Amazon alone. I was lucky enough to watch the sale of a single title selling at almost 2 books per minute before this past Christmas. OMG! That was a pinch me situation!

I have several titles which have sold around 50,000 copies. That’s not really huge, but in a way it is. They sold one book at a time. One here , four there, three here and another six. It counts ufish tankp and soon it’s selling 1000 a month.

I’m still a lowly little goldfish in the big fish tank of authors. But those of us who are serious full-time authors, we are an elite group of people. We’ve learned to craft a book and not just tell a story. We’ve worked hard to get where we are today.

I took a break the other week from my normal edits and writing. I needed a few hours to unwind. So I scoffed up several free books. Many authors use a free book as a way to gain fans and get people reading the rest of their books, or they are totally new and want to stick their toes in the writing world to see what will happen. I picked names I didn’t know.

Luck of the draw? Maybe. There wasn’t a decent book in the bunch. Most were so poorly written that it was pitiful. I don’t think I managed to get past the twelfth page on any of them. To say I was disappointed, is an understatement. But what really bothered me more than anything was that people could publish such stuff and call themselves an author. There are no quality controls, anyone can put words into virtual paper and call it a book. But it’s that junk that makes the rest of us look bad.

The vast majority of us lowly goldfish have put in hundreds of dollars on goldfisheach book just getting it ready for publication. We’ve put in our time with online classes and hands-on workshops, learning how to write. We’ve been critiqued and we’ve critiqued, we’ve been judges of contests, we’ve been members of professional writing organizations such as the RWA, we’ve attended conferences or even been the organizers behind them, and we’ve gone back to college specifically to take classes on English grammar or creative writing. We know what we are doing. We know how to spin a tale and keep the reader engaged.

One little sale at a time gains a fan. Do I dream of great success? Of course! Do I want to be a household name? Naturally! My odds of ever obtaining the fame of people such as Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts aren’t very good, but I’ll never know unless I keep trying. And so I keep working hard to bring high quality books to my readers. Word of mouth is still the best advertising.

Probably my biggest supporter is my nephew who happens to think I’m wonderful because I’m not just dreaming, I’m making it happen.


Sizzling Summer Sale 99 cents

June 24, 2014

We’re going to start this summer off with a BANG! I have gathered several different-genre authors (with different heat-levels – but NO erotic, don’t worry!) who have all priced their books at 99 cents for this Sizzling Summer Sale! This promo goes from June 24th to the 28th.

If you find a book you enjoy, we hope you will take the time to give the author a nice review and maybe check out their other books.

 

Bella Notte (YA Paranormal)  www.jessekimmelfreeman.com/blog.html
BellaNotteCoverby Jesse Kimmel Freeman

Vampires? Check. Werewolves? Check. Death prophecy to hang over your head? Double check. Seventeen year old Emma Hutchinson struggles to find her place in the world she has been born to as she tries to decide whether she should be with Michael, the boy she has been dreaming about since she was three or if she belongs with Dominic, her betrothed.
DISCOUNT – $0.99 (Regular price $3.99) Click to buy on Kindle

 

 

 

The Sweetest Kiss (Regency Sweet Romance)
thesweetestkissamazon http://mariehiggins84302.blogspot.com 
by Marie Higgins

Lord Trey Worthington isn’t about to give his heart to a woman. He does not want a marriage like his parents. But when his mother brings a childhood acquaintance into the home to sponsor into society, Trey has to get Miss Faraday trained properly. The more he gets to know Judith, the more he yearns for something he doesn’t dare reach for. Judith is after a faithful husband—something Trey has been convinced most of his life he’ll never become.

 

Judith Faraday is only after one thing—to marry her Naval Officer and enjoy a life full of love. She’s doubtful her dream will ever come true while living as the ward to the dowager duchess. However, the longer Judith is with the dowager’s son, Trey, an attraction blossoms. Judith now wonders if God has different plans for her life, because Trey doesn’t believe in the sanctity of marriage…the very thing Judith cannot do without.

DISCOUNT  – $0.99  (regular price $3.99)   click to buy on Kindle

 

Waiting For You (Ghost story / Time-travel Sweet romance) Waitingforyou_Amazon (2)http://mariehiggins84302.blogspot.com
by Marie Higgins

When a beautiful woman claiming to be a ghost from 1912 appears in Nick Marshal’s new office and begs for help in solving her murder, he’s intrigued enough to consider her plea. A scandal that rocked Hollywood almost destroyed his law practice, so taking on a client who insists she’s dead seems a good way to refresh his career. The more history he uncovers, the deeper he falls for the ghost. Abigail Carlisle believes Nick is her heart’s true desire, but how can happily ever after happen when she’s already dead?

DISCOUNT – $0.99  (regular price $3.99) click to buy on Kindle

 

Marry Me for Money (Contemporary Romance)
Marry Me For Money Cover (1)by Mia Kayla  www.miakayla.blogspot.com
Leaving her small town behind, Bethany Casse moves to Chicago in search of a new life. Working at a top financial bank brings her into contact with two men who are as different as night and day.
Kent Plack, heir to Plack Industries, has no interest in being with a woman for longer than one night. A spoiled and lazy man-whore, he is completely content with his playboy lifestyle, and Beth is surprised when they form an unlikely friendship.
Brian Burcham, a finance banker, is gorgeous and respectful. A man plucked from Beth’s dreams, he is definite husband material. Unfortunately, Beth has a hard rule against dating coworkers, but Brian is determined to change her mind.
When a deadbeat mother and money problems follow her to Chicago, Beth is offered a solution that could fix everything. Marrying for money seems simple enough, but when lines become blurred, Beth faces difficult choices, making her realize that the easy way out just made her life even harder than before.
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Cornered / Ocean Mist Book Two (Young Adult)
CoverCorneredby Brenda Maxfield  www.brendamaxfield.wordpress.com

Seventeen-year-old Courtney Phillips is striving to earn an internship to escape from her unhappy home. But when her mother becomes ill, Courtney is stuck caring for her rebellious sister, Tiffany, and her little brother—until Tiffany runs off to live with their dead-beat dad.

Track star Keegan Hank’s current girlfriend is cheating on him, but having fallen for him herself, Courtney is afraid to tell her best friend the truth. When Keegan discovers that Courtney withheld the facts about his girlfriend, he rejects her apologies.

Courtney finally lands an interview for her dream internship, but mysterious calls from Tiffany spell trouble. Courtney must now find a way to win Keegan’s love and rescue her sister without jeopardizing her own future.
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The Return / Ocean Mist Book Three (Young Adult)
CoverTheReturnby Brenda Maxfield  www.brendamaxfield.wordpress.com

Following her mother’s death, Tiffany’s missing father reappears intending to take control of both her and her brother. Tough and rebellious, Tiffany doesn’t take kindly to meddling jerks and insists that neither she nor her little brother needs help, especially from the likes of him.

Tiffany plots her escape, but her plans become tangled when Jason, a new student whose past is shrouded in rumors, moves to Ocean Mist. Despite her intention to remain aloof, Tiffany falls for him and is driven to discover his secret.

When Tiffany’s brother sides with their father, Tiffany decides to run. But where can she go? Can she desert both her brother and Jason?

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A Little Trouble in Big Sky (sweet romance)
BigSky_Amazonby Stacey Coverstone  http://www.staceycoverstone.com

Taylor doesn’t expect her reluctant homecoming to include a murder, a ghost…and romance with the ranch foreman.

Photographer Taylor Young fled to L.A. following her sister’s betrayal six years ago. Now Jamie’s dead, Mama has broken a hip in a drunken fall, and Taylor’s stepfather has begged her to return to her family’s Montana ranch to make amends.

After a bitter divorce, Brett Austin, foreman of the Slash Y Ranch, believes horses are more of a sure thing than women. But undeniable chemistry with the boss’s daughter convinces him it’s time to take another chance at love.

When Taylor’s mother insists Jamie’s death was not suicide-a theory confirmed by Jamie’s ghost-Taylor wonders who could have wanted her sister dead. With a list of suspects as long as her camera strap, she needs an ally. Could that person be a tall drink of water in a cowboy hat?  DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $2.99)    Buy on Kindle

 

Hearts on the Run (sweet romance)
by Stacey Coverstone  HeartsontheRun_Amazon http://www.staceycoverstone.com

You can run, but you can’t hide from love…

Cole Roberts has been unlucky in love–twice–and he’s sworn not to get involved again. Renovating the New Mexico family horse business into a guest ranch is a good distraction, until the ranch’s new masseuse arrives. Captivating but secretive, the brown-eyed beauty intrigues him.

Three years ago, Lindy Grainger testified against a murderer and landed in witness protection. Her latest identity is masseuse at a guest ranch, but how long before she must reinvent herself–again? She can’t get involved with anyone, no matter how big-hearted and charming he is.

Cole’s heart can’t take another rejection. Lindy has to steer clear of relationships. But as their attraction grows, a murderer bent on revenge closes in, and Lindy must trust Cole with her secret or lose him. Will the truth set her free, or tear them apart?

 

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Still the One (Romantic Comedy)
joanby Joan Reeves  http://SlingWords.blogspot.com
Burke Winslow needed a wife–but he didn’t have his ex in mind for the job. This funny, sexy romp proves when there’s love, passion never dies, it just smolders away until you toss some gasoline on it. Burke and Ally provide that gasoline when they find themselves locked in a marriage of–inconvenience.

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Champion of the Heart (Medieval Romance)
LaurelODonnell_TheChampionoftheHeart_300x456by Laurel O’Donnell  www.laurel-odonnell.com
Fox Mercer vows revenge on those who unjustly stripped his father of his knighthood and his lands, including the Lady Jordan Ruvane whom he once called friend. Forced to abandon his rightful place in society, Fox becomes an outcast known as the Black Fox. He steals what he needs to live, hiding in the decaying ruins of a haunted castle he once called home, determined to one day regain what is rightfully his.
Lady Jordan Ruvane is the protector of the orphaned children of her village. When she loses one of her children because the Black Fox steals the medicinal herbs that would have saved the child, Jordan vows to capture her old childhood friend and bring him to justice.
In a twist of fate, Jordan is the one who becomes the captive. Old flames are ignited and an undeniable firestorm of buried passion is unleashed. But sinister secrets from their childhood are also revealed, threatening their future. Can Fox conquer the dark mystery of the past and truly become the champion of his lady’s heart?
Champion of the Heart is an exciting medieval romance filled with dark secrets and haunted castles, villainous betrayal and heartbreaking tragedy, honor and family loyalty — and a love that conquers all.
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Fool’s Gold (Time-travel Romance)
Foolsgoldfront (1)by Melissa Lynne Blue  www.melissalynneblue.com
Does a future exist for a man out of time?
Charleston 1870…
In far too deep with a dangerous man, Jacob Langston has twenty-four hours to repay hefty gambling debts or his family will be harmed. Desperate for funds, Jacob goes in search of the lost Confederate bullion rumored to be buried in the woods outside of Charleston. Trapped in a wicked storm, he soon realizes the fool’s errand he’s embarked upon. Before he can escape the woods he is caught in a bizarre cascade of events that throws him 150 years into the future. There he is given aide by the warm-hearted Sage Martin… a woman as lovely as she is kind. Jacob can’t help but be drawn to the idea of a future in her future. However, he is plagued by the threats made against his brothers, and knows he could never embrace a life in which those he loved were left to suffer because of his weakness. Though he longs to stay with Sage, Jacob remains driven to return to his own time and rectify his wrongs, whatever the personal cost.
After a lifetime chasing after fool’s gold can he finally grasp the treasure his lonely heart has been searching for? Or is he doomed to pay the ultimate price for the foolishness of youth?
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Edge of Time (Time-travel Romance)
EdgeOfTime_850by Melissa Lynne Blue  www.melissalynneblue.com
Jilted by her fiancé, Marissa is done with men until fate steps in and she finds that Craig Langston may be more man than she can resist.
Marissa is a high energy independent career woman of the 21st century who finds herself on a collision course with destiny when she is thrown 144 years into the past. Confederate Officer Dr. Craig Langston is an enticing man that any woman would long to fall in love with, and now Marissa is torn between rampant desire, for the man ignites her very soul, and a longing to return home.
Can she find it within herself to embrace a new life in the arms of her Confederate officer or will more sinister forces intervene before she can discover what may be the greatest love of all time?
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Disappear (Romantic Suspense)
disappear2_SMALL (4)by Mary Martinez  http://marysbooksblogger.blogspot.com/

After two years undercover as an FBI agent to infiltrate a crime organization and discover the identity of a hit man, Tyler Beckett’s cover is blown. Tyler’s new assignment is to protect the only witness who can identify the mysterious killer. If only he didn’t find her so attractive. Each day it becomes harder to keep his objective, especially since he knows the interest is mutual.

Keira Cavanaugh is the only witness to a hit ordered by a crime boss.  The safe house is compromised and the same hit man shoots Tyler. Fearing Tyler is dead, Keira plans revenge on the crime organization. She must fake her own suicide in order to survive.

When Tyler discovers what Keira plans, he realizes he must stop her before he loses her for good.
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Three Brides and a Dress (Women’s Fiction)
ThreebridesandadressARERevby Mary Martinez  http://marysbooksblogger.blogspot.com/

Hi, my name is Bella and I’m one of Heidi by Design signature creations. I’m a wedding dress. Someday I’ll find a young bride with stars in her eyes and dreams of a future with her groom. I can imagine it now. The groom standing at the altar waiting, his gaze fixed to the door where his bride will appear and then walk toward him. I’ll hug her curves and she’ll shimmer and shine with the promise of what their life will be.

It all sounds simple and easy, doesn’t it?

Wrong…

My journey is more of a zig zag than a top stitch along a straight seam as I search for the perfect bride who is my soul mate.

DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.99′   Buy on  Kindle  Barnes & Noble iTunes  Coffee Time Romance Kobo   Smashwords

 

Bareback for Cowboy (Sensual Romance)
cowboyby Lawna Mackie  www.lawnamackie.ca

Champion Steer Wrestler, Cade Galloway has no time for women, and certainly no time for babysitting the ugly duckling he remembers from his youth. His mother assures him the young lady has grown up since he last saw her, but he doesn’t hear. He needs to put all his energy into winning the competition at the Calgary Stampede.
Sophia Randall, strikingly gorgeous in a small black dress and stilettos departs the plane from Paris looking for her childhood crush. The cowboy who used to babysit her is to again watch out for her during this visit. She hopes the short vacation will ease the pain of losing her mother. Confident and independent, she has only one weakness. Cade. Knowing this might be her only chance with him, she throws caution to the wind.
The explosive brilliance of the nightly fireworks can’t compare to the sexual sparks between them. But life calls, leaving each on a different continent. Are the hot sexy nights and days spent together enough to melt the rugged cowboy’s heart or has Sophia just added more pain to injury?  DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.72)  Buy on Kindle

 

Enchantment (Fantasy Romance)
enchantmente-bookB&Nby Lawna Mackie  www.lawnamackie.ca
Stumbling into the world of Enchantment brought Meeka everything she’d been searching for. Peace. Magic. A gorgeous knight in shining armor.
Kerrigan knows he should banish her from Enchantment, it’s his duty as the dragon-shifting Enforcer. But one thing stands in the way…his overwhelming desire for Meeka.
Can Kerrigan keep Meeka safe as his enemies strive to turn her into a weapon that will destroy all he is bound to protect?
Or will their passion override duty?
DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.81)
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Redeemed / The Evolution Series (Historical Romance)
Redeemed528x792by Jill Hughey www.jillhughey.com

Can a quiet widow help a damaged, secretive man find redemption?

Doeg has only two requirements in a wife and upon meeting Philantha he knows she is the one who will fulfill them. However, she has a requirement of her own that tests and eventually breaks the barriers Doeg has maintained around himself for decades. They struggle during the day to revitalize his estate while the night-time awakening of their passion leads to binding love and redemption beyond their wildest imaginings. When an unexpected threat to Philantha emerges, Doeg rises to the challenge, throwing off the shackles of his past once and for all.

Travel to Bavaria in 834 where Redeemed combines the best elements of historical romance with an exciting new setting. Book Two in the Evolution Series

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Creator of Worlds / Paranormal Fantasy
CreatorofWorlds_Amazonby Ryan Murphy
Dr. Shirley Gallagher and her team of astronomers and analysts make the most astonishing discovery in human history. While on her way to brief the President of the United States, Shirley’s life is cut short in a horrific accident. Her death only marks the beginning of a much greater journey.
Born into her new life as a spirit, all of Shirley’s questions regarding the afterlife are answered, but they’re far from what she expected. Furthermore, she finds herself completely unprepared to learn of her purpose in this new world.
Thrust into a war with the Angeli, beings who helped create the human spirit, she learns that her spirit body has evolved, making her the only one physically capable of stopping the invading force. She must race through the heavens against time, a powerful evil spirit, alien beings, and demons to save the earth, the human race, and every human spirit from annihilation. DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $2.99) Buy on Kindle

 

The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley (Regency Romance)
incorrigible2014 244x350by Aileen Fish  http://aileenfish.com/blog
Stubborn. Hard-headed. Single-minded. The qualities that make David Lumley a successful horse breeder are put to work befriending Lady Joanna Hurst with less than noble intentions. He’s tenacious in his pursuit of the answers he seeks.
Lady Joanna falls fast and hard for the handsome, witty and charming Mr. Lumley after her brother’s ultimatum to find a husband by the end of the Season. He is everything she imagined a husband could be, and more. Blissfully unaware of the conflict between their fathers, she believes he’ll declare his love soon. Then she overhears a conversation between Mr. Lumley and her brother, and all of Mr. Lumley’s tenacity will be needed if he’s to win back her heart.
DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $2.99)  Buy on Kindle  and Barnes & Noble  iTunes

 

With This Ring (Contemporary Romance)
With This Ring 500 x800by E. Ayers http://www.ayersbooks.com   http://authorsofmainstreet.wordpress.com
http://ayersbooks.wordpress.com
DeeDee Drayden doesn’t believe in a happily ever after, even though her passion is designing wedding gowns. Cody Montgomery, heir to a fortune, is hiding in a small town raising seven children after two failed marriages. With his hands full, he’s sworn off women. But when Cody ends up being a silent partner and CFO of DeeDee’s fledgling bridal business, his eyes are on more than the bottom line. Do they dare mix business with pleasure to find their own happily ever after?
DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular $3.99)  Buy on US Kindle   UK Kindle


I’m at Leanne’s

June 23, 2014

Talking about wedding dresses and all the wedding books. http://t.co/VGMqljMT3h From pre Queen Victoria to Grace Kelly to Kate Middleton. Stop by and say Hi!


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