Fun Friday with the Brothers of Mayhem from #contemporary #romance #author Carla Swafford #bikergang #motorcycle #brotherhood #fiction

I have a special treat for you all for Fun Friday! Carla Swafford is sharing her special guys, the Brothers of Mayhem. I’ve had the pleasure of reading these gritty stories of family, loyalty, and love. But I’ll let Carla tell you all more about her stories.


Thank you, Betty, you’re a sweetheart for letting authors come to your blog and talk about our books. Though I’m supposed to have one character to say what he/she does for fun, I decided to let the three heroes of my Brothers of Mayhem series speak out.

First, let me introduce the fellows: Thorn (Hidden Heat) and Wolf Savalas (Naked Heat) are brothers, and Storm Ryder (Full Heat) is the brother-in-law to Thorn. They each are different as Thorn is the cop, serious and has a white knight syndrome. Wolf is the player, loves women, a big flirt, so laid back, and has always wanted to be part of the MC (motorcycle club). Then there is Storm, the youngest MC chapter president. The man has deep issues and is sensitive though he keeps it well hidden.

Me: “Fellows, you are here today to talk about what you do for fun. Let’s start with you, Thorn.”

Thorn: “Let’s see. I mostly have fun playing with my kids. The oldest, Bryan, loves to hold the wrenches while I work on a 1966 LeMans I’m restoring.” He inhales on the stub of his cigarette and then flicks it off into the gravel nearby. Thorn and Wolf sit on picnic tables outside the Skull and Bones Bar and Grill. Storm fiddles with his Harley a few feet away. He wipes a soft cloth over the chrome and groans when he sees a dent or scratch.

Wolf: “Yeah, kiss ass to the author, Thorndyke. She’s not about to write another book about you.” He winks at me and laughs.

Thorn: “You’re full of it, bro. It’s a classier version of a GTO. Has nothing to do with being the first car she’d own.”

Storm: “What you need is another Harley. Even since you started driving a cage twenty-four/seven, you’ve become an old man. You’re making my sister old too. Have you not heard of birth control? Four kids. You’re outnumbered.”

Thorn: “Stay out of it. Not that you have room to talk. Didn’t I hear that Mary Jane is expecting number three?”

Storm: His grin widens and then disappears. “Probably another boy, her mom is telling us. I’m hoping for a girl. One like her mother.”

Me: “Fellows, back on the subject. What do you do for fun? And no sex talk.”

Wolf: “Ha! She got you two there. Me and Sofia took care of our family in one fell swoop. The twins are enough. They can share a room for a couple more years. So meanwhile, we’re working on remodeling the kitchen and master bath. All of it is a pain, but I love making that woman happy.”

Thorn: Coughs. “Pussy whip.” He coughs again.

Wolf: “So f**king original.” He turns to me. “Oops! Sorry. Tell Betty I’m sorry. A problem being around the MC, a lot of military guys who talk like they’re still in service. Anyway, making the old family homestead into the home Sofia wants is fun to me. I love to surprise her and hear her giggle.”

The brothers turn toward Storm. Silence reigns since it’s Sunday morning and the bar is closed. Storm looks up and glances at me and then checks on Thorn and Wolf. He sighs and tosses the cloth over the handlebars. 

Storm: “Like you mentioned in your book. I love painting designs and pictures on gas tanks for motorcycles. Since then I’ve learned how to do the same on truck and car hoods. People love flames and skulls. Make decent money doing it and make my own hours. Mary Jane and I help out at the commune. We teach classes on arts and crafts and other stuff with her parents. They’re good people.” He stops and looks around, noticing the shocked looks of Wolf and Thorn. “What’s your problem?”

Wolf: “I don’t know about Thorn, but that’s the most I’ve ever heard you say at one time, and I’m supposed to be your best friend.”

Storm: “Maybe it’s because you never shut the fu—” He inhales deeply, regaining control of his temper. “You haven’t been to visit in a while. I’m more talkative. Even Mary Jane says so.”

Wolf: “I have to say, brother, you need to take it back what you called me. Storm has become the king of puss—” Storm charges Wolf and takes him down into the gravel and dirt. They roll, stir up dust, pounding each other, while Thorn roars with laughter.

Me: I glare at Thorn. “Stop encouraging them.” I shake my head. “Well, I guess that’s what my characters from the Brothers of Mayhem series do for fun. Ah, fellows, stop it. You’re going to get hurt and then the ladies will be mad at me and never let me interview them.”

For one lucky commenter, a chance to win a copy of NAKED HEAT in ebook. Winner will be announced on Labor Day! Thank you for commenting! Thank you again, Betty!  Hope everyone will give my books a try.

NAKED HEAT CoverWolf Savalas has a good reason for kidnapping Sofia Cruz, the favorite cousin to the leader of Thirty-Second gang. His MC plans to hit the leader’s home and sweet Sofia will be in the crossfire.

Sofia had stopped meeting the handsome biker for coffee after he admitted to being a deadly Mayhem Brother. So why is she now handcuffed to the sexy biker? And why is she not sure if she wants to be set free?

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carla headshotCarla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies, and men, and her books reflect that. And that’s not all, she’s crazy about hockey, and thankfully, no one has made her turn in her Southern Belle card. In 2015, Carla received RWA’s PRO Mentor of the Year Award. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.

WEBSITE (CarlaSwafford.com) https://carlaswafford.com/

FACEBOOK:  (Carla Swafford, Author) https://www.facebook.com/CarlaSwaffordAuthor

INSTAGRAM: (@carlaswafford)  https://www.instagram.com/carlaswafford/

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TWITTER: (@carlaswafford) https://twitter.com/carlaswafford/


If you enjoy a good romance with some tough and fierce bad guys as the heroes, you’ll love this series! But then I am a bit biased, as Carla has been a friend for a long time and I adore her as a person as well as an author.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Naked Heat! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

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Between the Lines: Into a Cycle Shop #motorcycle #bikerchick #research #PNR #paranormal #psychic #romance #fiction

One thing I’ve never done is ride a motorcycle. Well, not really. My brother had a bike when I was a teenager that I tried to sit on and nearly fell over with it. I don’t think that counts! So when Mitch Sawyer rode into Roseville on his Harley, and Beth took an interest in both the bike and the man, I had to do some research.

What would a “biker chick” wear? Where would she shop for it? How much selection would there be in a real live motorcycle store? These were my burning questions. Of course, the only way for me to know was to leave the comfort of my office and venture to the closest bike shop.

Only the shop I went to didn’t carry much clothing at all. Helmets and gloves, jackets and chaps. But nothing feminine for a woman wanting to ride with her guy. The experience of being in the cycle gear shop left me with several impressions: the smell of oil and rubber was strong; the lady clerk said hello but otherwise didn’t try to sell me anything—probably because she could tell I’m not a biker chick, but that’s another story; and the store did not cater to women bikers. Obviously, I’d have to find a bigger store, and luckily a few days later I had reason to drive by the local Harley store.

This store was much bigger and had a larger selection of merchandise. Walking in the front door I was surprised—though in hind sight I shouldn’t have been—to see rows of motorcycles flanking the aisle stretching toward the back of the store. The sales staff desks were lined up against the left hand windows, behind one row of bikes. To the right was the clothing and accessories merchandise, including a section for women which I perused with interest.

The other surprise that greeted me as I made my way toward the clothing was the big popcorn cart with hot buttered popcorn for shoppers. I had not expected the smell of popcorn, let me tell ya! The staff at this store must have either been trained to not approach customers or they took one look at this 50-something, graying woman and new there’d be no sale. Either way, I wandered around drinking in the layout and the ambiance until I had what I needed for my story and characters.

Then I went home and the next day tweaked my scene to reflect the reality but also added in a few imaginative touches to distinguish the fictional bike store from the real one I visited. I want my readers to experience the story setting as close to the real life situation as I possibly can. Here’s what I ended up with, as a sneak peek at the story:

The aroma of popcorn and motorcycles greeted Beth as she stepped into the store. She inhaled deeply, drawing the intoxicating mix inside. Beth scanned the large, bright expanse of merchandise. She detected the pungent aroma of tanned leather which triggered images of adventure and daring. Western saddles used by the rodeo riders when the annual rodeo came to town. English saddles used by the huntsmen chasing after a fox over rolling hills and fences surrounding Roseville. Vests worn by men on motorcycles, like Mitch, as they roared down mountain roads.

 

One day, very soon, she’d be riding with Mitch on his bike. Her heart soared with eagerness to experience the wind in her hair and the rumble of the motor between her legs. Her hands on Mitch’s waist as they navigated the back roads and highway. Warmth flooded her cheeks, making her breath catch as she forced herself to focus on the store’s layout and not her wayward thoughts.

 

Roxie stopped beside her to get her bearings. Round racks of blouses and tops stood shoulder to shoulder with low tables of pants across the right half of the store, women’s to the back, men’s up front. She spotted wall racks filled with an amazing variety of jackets and helmets. A section in the middle displayed belts and gloves and other small items.

 

“This should be interesting.” Roxie let out a long breath and shook her head. “Never thought I’d be helping you become a biker chick.”

 

“Two weeks ago I’d have to agree with you. But I do think it’s fun.” Beth chuckled as she moved slowly toward the tops. “I’m thinking a tank top or something similar, to give me freedom of movement should the need arise.”

 

Roxie stopped her with a hand on her forearm. “I thought you said not to worry? That you’re just playacting to be a biker chick.”

 

Beth laid her hand on top of her sister’s and gave it a squeeze. “I’ll be fine.”

I hope you enjoy Veiled Visions of Love. Beth and Mitch’s story was a challenge to tell but so much fun, too. Thanks!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

His search for a home led him straight to her heart…

Veiled_Visions_of_Love_600x900Psychic Beth Golden longs to live the life of a heroine in a suspense novel but knows she’ll die of boredom working in the bookstore in the small town of Roseville. Until a pilot rolls into town on his motorcycle with a secret mission. When he introduces her to a whole new world of daring and romance, she’s captivated by a lifestyle filled with unexpected and dangerous surprises.

Major Mitch Sawyer, currently serving in the Reserves, has lived all over the world and wants nothing more than to have his own home with a wife and family. Forced to complete one more airplane repo job before he can afford to resign his commission and make his dream a reality, he entices a sexy book lover to help him by becoming an undercover biker chick. Only Beth’s hunger for excitement endangers both herself and an innocent bystander. Can he protect them—and his heart—before it’s too late?

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Fun Friday with Angelina Sprint from To the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman #library #knitting #quilting #fiction

Today on Fun Friday let me introduce Angelina Sprint who discovers a love of quilting and knitting during one eventful summer in Romalyn Tilghman’s debut novel To the Stars Through Difficulties. Take it away, Angelina!


Hi, I’m Angelina Sprint, one of the voices in Romalyn’s debut novel. I’ve come back to New Hope, Kansas, my father’s hometown, to finish my PhD on Carnegie libraries. I’ve been working on this challenge for almost a decade, but I simply won’t give up despite the obstacles of a difficult professor. Luckily, I have a breakthrough when I find my grandmother’s journal and realize it was the local women who made the libraries happen, as much as Andrew Carnegie himself. I’m pretty much addicted to spreading the word about the 1500 Carnegie libraries built in this country, and so I drop snippets of knowledge about them wherever I can.

IMG_2256Much of my summer is spent at the Carnegie Arts Center, the renovated library, where the No Guilt Quilt Guild meet to do handiwork … and solve many of the community’s problems as well as their own. This gives me a glimpse of how powerful women are when they come together. Traci, the artist-in-residence, leads the charge in focusing the energy of spirited teenagers as well the “ordinary women”. She’s masterful at making art out of castoffs. Together, the teens and the quilters, inspired by our foremothers, find a way to build a cultural center in Prairie Hill, the community that was demolished by a tornado.

Over the summer, I learn to do simple patchwork as well as knit and purl. I’m particularly proud of a blanket I made from discarded blue jeans and a scarf I knit out of yarn dyed by Amanda Hope. (Amanda was my grandmother’s name; New Hope her town.) We read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn aloud to each other while we work, just as Carnegie’s father read in the weaving mills of Scotland. On my own, I enjoy “gentle reads” about books, such as the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and 84, Charing Cross Road. I gather a dozen recipes for Jello and even more for casseroles, and I worry about weight gain from all the potlucks. I learn to treasure the Kansas landscape and Midwest work ethic.

My summer doesn’t turn out the way I expected, but you probably guessed that. I learn to love surprises! May your life be full of fun ones too!

aRomalyn_w stickers v3Andrew Carnegie funded fifty-nine public libraries in Kansas in the early 20th century―but it was frontier women who organized waffle suppers, minstrel shows, and women’s baseball games to buy books to fill them. Now, a century later, Angelina returns to her father’s hometown of New Hope to complete her dissertation on the Carnegie libraries, just as Traci and Gayle arrive in town―Traci as an artist-in-residence at the renovated Carnegie Arts Center and Gayle as a refugee whose neighboring town, Prairie Hill, has just been destroyed by a tornado.

The discovery of an old journal inspires the women to create a library and arts center as the first act of rebuilding Prairie Hill after the tornado. As they work together to raise money for the center, Traci reveals her enormous heart, Angelina discovers that problem-solving is more valuable than her PhD, and Gayle demonstrates that courage is not about waiting out a storm but building a future. Full of Kansas history―from pioneer homesteaders to Carrie Nation to orphan trains―To the Stars through Difficulties is a contemporary story of women changing their world, and finding their own voices, powers, and self-esteem in the process.

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About Romalyn Tilghman

Romalyn Steps 3 Closeup ColorStraight out of graduate school, Romalyn Tilghman was hired as Executive Director of the Association of Community Arts Councils of Kansas and was lucky enough to work with rural arts councils throughout the state. She saw first-hand how groups of (mostly) women encouraged culture on the Plains. From there, she went on to work for the National Endowment for the Arts as Regional Representative, eventually serving a territory that stretched over the Dateline, over the Equator, and over the Arctic Circle. She has worked as a free-lance consultant in the arts – conducting strategic planning, initiating audience engagement projects, and assessing grant programs for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private foundations. She has served on the boards of Americans for the Arts, Association of California Symphony Orchestras, International Performing Arts for Youth, and Western Arts Alliance, as well as on numerous national panels. To the Stars through Difficulties is her first novel.

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That sounds like a great story! I want to listen in on their conversation and the books, too. Thanks for sharing!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Between the Lines: Observing a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Class #JiuJitsu #BJJ #research #PNR #romance

After interviewing the owner and black belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, I was invited to go to the Maverick Training Center to observe a class in action. I admit I’m somewhat of a chicken when it comes to sports, so I made it clear I didn’t want to participate but merely watch. (I was afraid I’d hurt myself if I donned a Gi and let someone sweep my feet out from under me, rubber mats or not.) Honestly, watching how the members of the class interacted was far more useful for my purposes.

The gym is very clean and organized, and has rules posted for acceptable conduct. I was impressed by the folded Gi hanging over the chin-up bar, something Suzanna Ramsden, the owner, had told me helped develop hand strength as well as arm strength when they did their chin-ups.

The class members went through a series of stretches to warm up for the actual session. One of the most surprising exercises they did was a modified push up, where they stood and dropped to a push up, then hopped their feet up to their ears and stood up and did it again, all the way across the mats.

The professor, Suzanne Ramsden, then demonstrated a new technique. How to grip, how to maneuver, and then ultimately how to hold their opponents.

 

Then the class practiced…

I was impressed by the dedication and commitment each of the class members demonstrated as they worked to help each other improve their individual techniques.

I used a lot of what I observed at the session in my story, Veiled Visions of Love, when Beth Golden decides to take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and ends up taking classes from a lady black belt, Jocasta Walsh, or Jo. After I’d finished writing my book, Suzanne graciously reviewed the BJJ related scenes for accuracy. She tweaked some terminology for me—I learned they don’t use “pinned” but “held” or “controlled”—but otherwise paid me the compliment that I’d nailed the descriptions and attitudes in those scenes. I still smile at how surprised she seemed that I had gleaned as much as I had from simply observing. But then, that’s what makes me pretty good at what I do, being aware of my surroundings and the people in them.

P.S. Veiled Visions of Love releases soon, on Labor Day, September 3, 2018. It’s available for pre-order now, though, so grab your copy and have it in your inbox on release day. Thanks!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Veiled_Visions_of_Love_600x900His search for a home led him straight to her heart…

Psychic Beth Golden longs to live the life of a heroine in a suspense novel but knows she’ll die of boredom working in the bookstore in the small town of Roseville. Until a pilot rolls into town on his motorcycle with a secret mission. When he introduces her to a whole new world of daring and romance, she’s captivated by a lifestyle filled with unexpected and dangerous surprises.

Major Mitch Sawyer, currently serving in the Reserves, has lived all over the world and wants nothing more than to have his own home with a wife and family. Forced to complete one more airplane repo job before he can afford to resign his commission and make his dream a reality, he entices a sexy book lover to help him by becoming an undercover biker chick. Only Beth’s hunger for excitement endangers both herself and an innocent bystander. Can he protect them—and his heart—before it’s too late?

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Fun Friday with Maggie Blaine from Overkill by Sherry Fowler Chancellor #murder #mystery #romance #fiction

Another Fun Friday is upon us and this time Sherry Fowler Chancellor shares Maggie Blaine’s love of scrapbooking and a contest! Don’t forget to enter to win the prize… Okay, Sherry, take it away!


Thanks to Betty for letting me visit and introduce you to the heroine of the book Overkill and her hobby.

Maggie Blaine is a homicide detective who was called to the scene of a brutal death. What she didn’t expect was the victim was a former friend of hers who hurt her deeply. The victim went from backstabbing best friend (figuratively) to being literally backstabbed and dying on the grass in front of her office.

When the two of them were friends, they engaged in a couple of hobbies together. They would travel to fun spots like New York City, the Bahamas, and even took a trip or two to Europe. They both loved to try new foods and places and tour cities.

Upon returning home from their travels, they had marathon sessions where they’d create scrapbooks about their adventures. Maggie wasn’t picky about how artistic and perfect her creations were. She just loved spending time cutting and pasting. It relaxed her and kept her mind off her stressful job. Her former friend, on the other hand, was a perfectionist and would never allow a crooked photo or ink blot to stay on her pages.

Maggie hasn’t scrapbooked since she and the victim parted ways. It’s too painful for her to try to separate how the victim betrayed her and their friendship from her love of paper and glue. She still likes to travel, but the photos sit on her computer or in plain albums now.

Someday, she’ll rediscover her love for crafting. Perhaps when she solves this murder, she can finally lay to rest any bad feelings she has toward the former friend who didn’t know the definition of loyalty. But first…it’s time to work.

CONTEST! Overkill by Sherry Fowler Chancellor is available at all e-book retailers and published by Black Opal Books. For the chance to win an e-book copy, leave me a comment about your favorite place to travel. Either that you’ve been to or you want to visit.

overkillNo one liked Drusilla Isaacs. She spent a lifetime alienating people, as if making the most enemies was a personal goal. Now she’s dead. Shot, stabbed, and her neck broken…and that’s what the coroner can tell from a first look. It’s up to Maggie Blaine—former friend and one-time victim of the odious Drusilla—and Maggie’s partner, Jacob Brown, to figure out who, out of a seemingly endless list of suspects, would carry out such heinous acts. Their choices are varied. From Drusilla’s husbands—the former and the current—to the women in her life—her secretary, the mother of her husband’s son, or the new wife of her ex-husband. There’s also another option. A serial killer who randomly appears to insert himself into the mix. A tale of murder, gems, drugs, illicit sex, and a cast of villains who all have one thing in common—their hatred of Drusilla Isaacs.

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Head shot0037 (2)Sherry Fowler Chancellor is a lawyer living on the gulf coast of Florida- a little piece of paradise. She started writing fiction for escape from the day job- a way to decompress from the rigors of contracts and legalese.  After all, how much more fun is it to write exciting romances than dry legal pleadings?

When she’s not practicing law or writing fiction, she can be found spending time with her family, taking trips for inspiration or playing around with her other love, photography.

Sherry loves to hear from readers. Contact her at:

http://sherryfowlerchancellor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sherryfowlerchancellor-writer-571383902943755/

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Between the Lines: Interview with a Black Belt #JiuJitsu #BJJ #research #PNR #romance

No matter what time period my story takes place in, I always make every effort to ensure I am factually accurate. More than that, though, I try to make the reader’s experience as authentic as in real life. So when Beth Golden, the heroine in my upcoming release, Veiled Visions of Love (Secrets of Roseville #4), decided she needed to learn not only self-defense but Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I had to go on a hunt for more information.

I confess that I have never taken any kind of martial arts training. The closest I’ve come is watching demos and of course The Karate Kid. I know, right? So I asked around and found a friend or two who could point me in the right direction. Learn about the basic differences and such between the disciplines.

But then…the instructor turned out to be a woman with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. More digging to find out what she’d need to know, how long it takes to get that far, and much more. In my search I came across the Maverick Training Center in Huntsville, AL, and surprise…the owner/instructor is a woman with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I immediately contacted the Center to request an interview, and before long Suzanne Ramsden herself emailed me to accept. Much to my further surprise, the Center is located near to my house. The house where I just moved last year. Coincidence? Hmm…

A few days later we met for morning coffee at a local diner. Now, I had seen photos of her at the Center’s website, so I had an idea of who I was looking for. When she walked in, I recognized her immediately but was again surprised that she was rather petite, slim, and very muscular. She strode over to the table and ordered black coffee. Just like me. That’s where the similarities end though.

I had brought my list of questions and we chatted our way down the page, with me taking brief memory-jogging notes so I could write up my observations as well as her answers when I returned home to my office.

A few of the interesting tidbits she shared:

  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is dominated by men. There are only a few women who participate and even fewer who earned a black belt like Suzanne.
  • Because Brazil is known for surfers and is located on the ocean, the sport attracts “macho men” and people who tend toward an outdoorsy mentality.
  • She was inspired by Bruce Lee and his philosophy of maximum efficiency in the smallest movements.
  • She had to overcome many challenges to succeed in reaching her goals. Just being a woman made the very macho men resent her presence let alone her achievements. Some coaches wouldn’t stand on the podium with her when one of her students did well, for instance.

I used my observations of her and the background information she shared to create two characters. First, Beth Golden and her struggles and successes with learning the sport. Second, black belt instructor and owner of Phoenix Training Center, Jo Walsh who has her own problems to overcome.

I learned a lot about the amount of time, effort, and dedication it takes to move up the ranks in Jiu-Jitsu. Next time I’ll talk about what I learned about the sport by watching a session for myself. Have you tried a martial art discipline? Or are you proficient in one? Any surprises you’ve encountered along the way that you’d like to share?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Veiled_Visions_of_Love_600x900His search for a home led him straight to her heart…

Psychic Beth Golden longs to live the life of a heroine in a suspense novel but knows she’ll die of boredom working in the bookstore in the small town of Roseville. Until a pilot rolls into town on his motorcycle with a secret mission. When he introduces her to a whole new world of daring and romance, she’s captivated by a life style filled with unexpected and dangerous surprises.

Major Mitch Sawyer, currently serving in the Reserves, has lived all over the world and wants nothing more than to have his own home with a wife and family. Forced to complete one more airplane repo job before he can afford to resign his commission and make his dream a reality, he entices a sexy book lover to help him by becoming an undercover biker chick. Only Beth’s hunger for excitement endangers both herself and an innocent bystander. Can he protect them—and his heart—before it’s too late?

Books2Read universal book link: http://books2read.com/u/mBP5yN

Amazon: http://bit.ly/VeiledVisionsofLove

Fun Friday with Jim O’Flannery from The Wild Mountain Thyme by Kathryn Scarborough #Irish #football #leprechaun #reporter #romance

Please help me welcome Jim O’Flannery to my Fun Fridays series. He is featured in Kathryn Scarborough’s The Wild Mountain Thyme. Take it away, Jim!

Hello Betty, my name is Jim O’Flannery, and I’m the main man, (Seamus, eat your heart out!) in Kathy’s new book, The Wild Mountain Thyme.  Kathy told me you’d like to know what I do for fun.  I am a big Patriots fan, the Patriots and Tom Brady.  I play at least one game of touch football a week, unless the snow or the mud is up to my ‘nether regions,’ (ladies present).  I really get into listening to the oldies, music from the 70s and 80s, like Eric Clapton, Cream, The Righteous Brothers, and hiking, especially around the Adirondack Mountains.

I’m a Boston Globe investigative reporter and even though that might sound ‘wicked good’, hey, I’m from Boston!, it’s no glamor job.  I have to put up with my editor, a total intimidating grouch, but he did send me on this trip to Ireland and I met the love of my life,  Megan Kennedy.  She is a rare woman, beautiful, and a damn fine journalist.  We’re running around the old Emerald Isle tracking down a serial killer who’s only after Americans, Irish-Americans.  Great!  And then, you’re not going to believe this, a pesky leprechaun nagging me to marry Megan.  He says he’s my guardian angel, not sure I believe that one!  Who ever heard of an angel drinking beer, interrupting my passionate kisses to Megan, and quoting poetry at every turn.

That’s it in a nutshell, I’m just a simple guy writing the best story he can, and kissing Megan whenever Seamus lets up on the “there’ll be no paddy fingers if you please!”  Thanks for letting Kathy get her 2 cents in on your blog.

 

perf5.000x8.000.inddThere’s a serial killer murdering Irish-American tourists all over Ireland.  Jim O’Flannery of the Boston Globe and Megan Kennedy of the Irish Times, are teamed up to report on the killings.  They want to work together, but stay clear of each other emotionally; there was A LOT of trouble with the opposite sex in the past.  But, Jim’s guardian angel appears, as a leprechaun, to pester and cajole Jim into getting involved with Megan.  Jim can see Seamus, Megan can’t.

Jim and Megan trail the murderer to the west coast of Ireland, piecing together his motivation and where he may strike next.

An attempt is made on their lives, and only Jim’s quick wits saves the two.  Megan disappears.  Has the killer kidnapped her?  Can Jim, with Seamus’s help, save her from mortal danger?

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3860 Kathy Noyes Personal Branding Images Terrence Jones PhotographyThe Wild Mountain Thyme is the title of an Irish folk song (the Scots will say it’s theirs, but I suppose they all came from the same place).  Seamus sings the song in the book along with some other pieces. Seamus can whip an Irish harp out of the air to accompany himself.  My high school heart throbs, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem sing it on this YouTube rendition.  Check it out. “T’will make ‘ya teary-eyed,’ as Seamus would say.

Liam Clancy – Wild Mountain Thyme – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM7_rHdLZEk

Drop me a line!

Kathryn

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Twitter: @kathy60snc

Don’t Say That! Colorful terms in #historical #fiction #wordplay #amwriting #amediting #mustread #histfic

Color me a tad sad as today I’m wrapping up my Don’t Say That! series with one final post about words related to color: ecru, hue, luminescent, multicolor, and vibrant. Do any of those words surprise you as not entering English until after the 18th century?

I’ll start with one of my favorite words for a soft off-white color, ecru. I imagined Emily wearing an ecru colored night shift. Only, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the word didn’t enter English until 1869. Can you picture the color? The definition is “the name of a color; the color of unbleached linen.” Something lighter than eggshell but not white. It’s of French origin, so it does surprise me that it didn’t get picked up by Americans earlier than the middle of the 19th century.

The next one is a tricky one. The word “hue” has been around almost forever. It’s from Old English and meaning “form, shape, figure; appearance, aspect; species” first cited in 900 A.D. However, meaning “color” it had a bit of an interruption in use. The OED says, “Down to the 16th c. app. exactly synonymous with ‘colour’; but it appears to have become archaic in prose use about 1600.” The citation dates reflect the interruption: 971, 1050, 1225, 1375, 1450, 1576, 1616, 1694, 1791, 1808, etc. Archaic doesn’t mean it was never used, but given my A More Perfect Union series takes place in America in 1782-83, I had to consider whether my characters were likely to have picked up on it. I wrestled with this decision…but finally chose to use a different word. I’m certain beyond a doubt that most readers wouldn’t know the difference, but I would and that was enough of a reason for me to steer clear of “hue.”

But what about “luminescent”? Couldn’t the candlelight be such? Actually, no. Mainly because the OED defines it as “a. Emitting light, or having the property of emitting light, otherwise than as a result of incandescence. b. Pertaining to luminescence.” The citation is dated in 1889, a full century after my stories. And since it’s definition relies up production of light “otherwise than as a result of incandescence”—which by the way didn’t enter our language until 1794—I chose to describe the light in other terms. Keep in mind that my stories took place when light was produced by candles, oil, tallow, etc. No lightbulbs yet!

So what about a “multicolored” quilt? I’ve seen them in historic homes and displays of traditional quilt making. They exist. However, the word did not. The OED doesn’t include this word for some unknown reason, but my Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary does. According to Webster, the word “multicolor” became a word in 1840-50 as a back formation from “multicolored” which entered English in 1835-45. So again, I had to describe the quilt as having many colors, perhaps I even stated what they were.

Couldn’t my characters have a vibrant personality? Or wear vibrant clothing? Not by a long shot! The word has existed since the 16th century but meaning “Agitated with anger or emotion” or even “Brandishing, flourishing.” But as applied to colors that usage of “vivid, exotic. Also applied to other visual attributes, and to objects with an appearance suggestive in some way of vitality or the exotic” not until 1971. After I was born for goodness sake! So again, no to using that word in my historicals.

What all of this word sleuthing has taught me is first and foremost how to better describe what is happening, where it’s happening, and how it’s happening so I don’t rely on a single term to encompass the action or visual. My intent is to write a story that employs all of the senses so the reader can virtually experience the story playing in my imagination.

I’ve come to the end of my Don’t Say That! series, so next week I’ll start another round of Between the Lines posts where I share some interesting tidbits I’ve picked up while researching my stories, whether historical or contemporary. In fact, I’ll start with the research I did for my next paranormal/supernatural romance, Veiled Visions of Love, which will be available next month. More about that book next week. Until then!

Betty

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Emily's Vow Finalist SealEmily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Despite her half-hearted protests, her father insists Frank Thomson is the perfect man for both her protection from the vengeful British and as a husband. Frank always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns Emily’s been imprisoned for her father’s privateering, he risks his own neck to free his love.

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Fun Friday with Sophie Dubois from The Pirate’s Bride by Cathy Skendrovich #sailing #pirates #historical #fiction #romance

Today I’m kicking off a new series I call Fun Fridays, where guest authors will share the cool and fun adventures of their characters with you. Starting the series, is Cathy Skendrovich with some sailing fun from her book, The Pirate’s Bride. Take the helm, Cathy!

“I want to become a pirate. My father was a pirate captain under your leadership. I want to replace him. There is nothing left for me at home, thanks to my father’s death, my husband’s desertion, and my lack of children. I repeat, I want my own ship.”

So states one of my favorite heroines I ever created, Captain Sophie Dubois, from my historical romantic adventure, The Pirate’s Bride. Sophie has always wanted to sail ships more than marry “advantageously.” In my book, she gets that chance, through a “series of unfortunate events,” to quote a famous kids’ author. She also becomes a female pirate.

2014-08-08 08.47.40                I love the ocean. I love looking at it, walking along the shore, and yes, sailing on it. In a very large vessel, mind you. You see, I’m also afraid of the water. But large boats, or ships? They’re okay.

I took my love of the ocean and gave it to Sophie. The wind streaming through her hair, the bright sunlight dancing on the waves, even the thrill from the gentle bobbing of her ship beneath her; all that came directly from me. Sailing over the waves, looking back at where I’ve been and forward to where I want to go, there’s nothing better. Add no seasickness, and you can see why my husband nicknamed me “Captain Jack,” for a certain pirate we all are familiar with.

One vacation, we took the ferry out of Seattle (the faster one, without cars) to go to Victoria, B. C. My husband downed some Dramamine and lolled about in his seat for most of the trip, while I gambled and took nothing. I’d never had motion sickness before, I reasoned.

I didn’t need any drug. Once we hit the open water, lots of people began visiting the restroom. Not me. I went out on deck and embraced the speed, the salt spray, the breeze. I walked the ship, enjoying every moment of the three-and-a-half hours it took across the ocean to get to our destination.

Sophie compares sailing a ship to freedom, and I think she’s right. Isn’t that why we like to drive our own cars, after all? But streets have rules, while the ocean, especially back in the days of pirates, had no rules except to stay afloat.

Sophie’s in charge of her own destiny when she sails a ship, and that was unheard of in the 1700s for a woman. She doesn’t want to rely on a man, and for good reason, which you’ll have to read the book to find out. Sailing gives her that escape and empowerment that I think we all crave, and she embraces it.

I tried like heck to bring out this love affair I have with the ocean in the book. I researched and researched, as well as relied upon my own experience. Pirating was only one facet of Sophie’s story. Becoming a strong, free woman who could protect herself and make her own decisions was so much more important to me. And it all started with a love for the sea.

Here is an excerpt from The Pirate’s Bride, the scene when Sophie’s pirate father-in-law finally gives her the helm of her ship. Read her reaction. I hope it makes you want to read more. Enjoy!

Finally, the reward was nigh on hand, and she would be sailing the ship out into the open ocean at last.

 

The next day it really was everything she’d dreamed of, and more. With the wind blowing her hair free from its plait and drying the tears straight out of her eyes, standing at the helm was heaven on earth. Louis Dubois actually steered the ship, but she was close enough to feel the freedom, the power of being in command.

 

The old pirate appeared to enjoy the sail as much as she did. He pointed out places of interest along the rapidly disappearing coastline, jabbering away at her. Soon only sun-drenched, sparkling swells surrounded them.

 

 “Take her.”

 

Her gaze snapped to his. “Now? Really?”

 

At his nod, she gingerly placed her hands on the smooth spokes of the helm, felt the ship shudder and sway as if alive and sensing her trepidation. She snatched her hands back and stared at Dubois. “It…it feels alive.”

 

He hooted. “Of course it does, girl. Isn’t the ocean a living thing? Now, get your hands on it and keep us at a southerly direction. Tell the crew what you want done, sail straight ahead until the sun hits the horizon, then drop anchor. Philippe and I will be below, wishing not to be disturbed during our card game. Unless, of course, we come under attack.”

 

He paused in his departure, looking over his shoulder at Sophie. “Oh, and Captain Dubois?” Was he talking to her? He must be. He continued, “Figure out on my charts where we are when you drop anchor, and come tell me. Now, ‘Ta.” He strolled away.

PB CoverFollowing a disastrous Coming Out season, Sophie Bellard vows never to become intimate with any man, preferring to sail the seas like her father before her. But an arranged marriage to a dangerous pirate changes her course forever.

Captain Andre Dubois enjoys pillaging, plundering, and seducing women. Settling down and producing an heir to continue his lineage in the Confederation of Pirates has never been important to him. Only when his inheritance is threatened does he reluctantly take a wife, a dark-haired beauty hiding a disheartening secret.

After a ruinous wedding night, Andre and Sophie spurn the attraction that ignites between them and go their separate ways, seeking the lifestyles they each gave up, and making enemies along the way. But, in a twist of pirate fate, their paths cross again, and they rediscover that spark, only to have it threatened by someone from Andre’s past. Can they fight off a murderous adversary, and rekindle an attraction too strong to be extinguished by time? Or, has it, and luck, run out for these two pirates?

Literary Wanderlust

Amazon

2018 headshotCathy Skendrovich has always loved a good story, and spent her formative years scribbling what is now called Fan Fiction. The current heartthrob of the time featured heavily in all her stories. Unfortunately, once she went to college, her writing took the form of term papers, written on typewriters instead of computer keyboards.

Upon graduation, Cathy took a job as an English teacher in a middle school. Along the way, she married her husband of now thirty-three years, had two sons, and moved to southern Orange County, California. She chose to work part-time in the school system there.

Now she has returned to writing. Prisoner of Love is her first published novel, followed closely by The Pirate’s Bride. The sequel to The Pirate’s Bride, The Pirate Bride’s Holiday Masquerade, came out Oct. 1, 2017. Undercover with the Nanny, came out on April 23, 2018.

She likes writing romance because she feels it’s lacking in today’s technological world. While she enjoys writing contemporary stories, creating romance in bygone times fascinates her. She hopes her ability to write in both genres will be the beginning of a long and satisfying writing career.

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