Fun Friday with Maximus and Lucius St. Albans from When the Marquess Returns by #author Alanna Lucas #histrom #mustread #fiction

Let’s travel to London for Fun Friday and meet Maximus and Lucius St. Albans from When the Marquess Returns by Alanna Lucas. Take it away, Alanna!


Thank you, Betty, for having me today! I’m excited to share When the Marquess Returns with you today. Although I’m supposed to do a post about what one of my characters does for fun, the hero is an identical twin with a rather jealous brother, so you get two for one!

Allow me to introduce identical twins Maximus and Lucius St. Albans. They’re the missing grandsons of the Duke of Warrington, who were stolen as infants. Prior to being discovered as the missing heirs, the twins enjoyed traveling the continent on the Grand Tour, while expanding their minds (although Lucius would add other *delights* to the list), and spending time with their adoptive family near Plymouth. Maximus has always enjoyed the quiet country life, finding pleasure in horseback riding, reading, and sketching plans for buildings he one day hoped to build, but Fate had a different plan.

Once the boys were discovered to be the lost heirs, London was abuzz with excitement. Every lady in Town vied for their attention, hoping to catch their eye, and an illustrious title. Maximus and Lucius’s days are now filled with endless lessons on how to be a proper heir to a dukedom and learning about their family ancestry.

However, Lucius being Lucius decided those lessons were not exciting and added frequent visits to one of London’s notorious gaming hells to his list of fun, leaving Maximus to clean up his brother’s messes. But despite Lucius’s propensity for trouble and the endless etiquette lessons, Maximus does find time to enjoy the simple things in life—reading, taking long walks, and trying to win the heart of the Cursed Heiress.

One guess which brother has more fun causing trouble?

Contest!! For a chance to win an ebook from my backlist leave a comment about what you enjoy doing for fun!

AL-eBook (1)A Marquess in Waiting and the Cursed Heiress…

The ton is abuzz and mamas are lining up their daughters; identical twins Maximus and Lucius St. Albans are making their entry into society. But they’re not just eligible―they’re the missing grandsons of the Duke of Warrington, stolen as infants.

However, Maximus doesn’t relish the battle with his cocky, reprobate brother to be the next Marquess. And he has no time for the simpering misses now vying for his attention. Only Miss Sabina Teverton has his interest.

She was resigned to life as a spinster but from the moment Sabina meets Lord Maximus, her heart is torn. She dreams of a match with him―but how can that be when she’s been branded as cursed…and she knows secrets of that night long ago when Maximus and his twin were snatched from their cradles?

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side headshotAlanna Lucas grew up in Southern California, but always dreamed of distant lands and bygone eras. From an early age she took interest in art, history, and travel, and enjoys incorporating those diversions into her writing. Alanna makes her home in California where she spends her time writing historical romances, dreaming of her next travel destination, and spending time with family.

Get to know Alanna at her website www.alannalucas.com or follow her at Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Author Page, or BookBub.

Wow, that would be quite something to find out your heir to the throne and all that would entail. What a great story, Alanna!

Remember to leave a comment below to have a chance to win a copy of this tantalizing story!

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: Custom Perfumes #research #perfume #scents #PNR #paranormal #mustread #supernatural #romance #fiction

One of the quirks in my hero, Mitch Sawyer, in Veiled Visions of Love, is that he has a highly developed sense of smell. In fact, his family runs a perfumery which they hope he’ll become part of at some point in his life. A career path he’s resisting. His olfactory sense makes him both vulnerable to strong odors and aromas, which give him a migraine, but also able to match the perfect scents to a person.

When he meets Beth Golden for the first time, he’s accosted by her too-sweet perfume. He doesn’t believe she should wear such a sweet floral scent and eventually he takes her shopping for “her” perfume. An intimate gift from him to her, something to remind her of him even when he’s not nearby.

I should admit at this point that I don’t know much about perfumes. I’ve worn the same scent for decades and don’t really have any intention of changing. For Beth, I knew I wanted the scent to be more subtle but alluring, probably with some vanilla which I think of as a warm and comforting scent. But what do I know? So I had to do some digging as to what perfumes Mitch might suggest and why.

Over at the Perfume Review Guide site, I struck paydirt—er, the perfect scent based on the description. Turns out I was close when I said vanilla is comforting. According to two separate polls, “men prefer scents that remind them of comforting situations” and vanilla came in a close second on the list of scents that “drive them wild.”

After reading the descriptions on the Perfume Review Guide’s list of top vanilla based perfumes, I decided to go with the Novella Vaniglia by Santa Maria Novella. Here’s how they describe the scent:

Novella VanigliaThis scent is dark, smoky, and boozy, but is neither harsh nor sweet. The top notes fade fast and the perfume develops into a lush and rich woodsy fragrance that wears well in both the winter and summer. Another scent that is labeled for either men or women, it combines a non-sweet base of vanilla with light floral and warm spice fragrances.

Given that Beth is longing to be adventurous and daring, this seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Something that sexy and strong Mitch would love to inhale and easy to detect should the need arise. Which it does…

Subtle details like this are aimed at adding layers of meaning and sensuality to my stories. I hope you enjoy Veiled Visions of Love. Thanks for reading!

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 Maud Somerset from Lady Soldier by #romance #author Jillian Chantal #histrom #regency #fiction #books #tomboy

Another Fun Friday has arrived! Bringing with it the feisty Matilda “Maud” Somerset from Jillian Chantal’s historical romance, Lady Soldier. I’ll let Jillian introduce her to you…


I’m super excited that Betty invited me to come by and introduce the heroine of Lady Soldier and yak about what she likes to do for fun.

Matilda “Maud” Somerset is not your standard Regency era girl. She’s what we modern women would call a tomboy. It’s not her fault. In fact, her mother places the blame squarely on the shoulders of Maud’s father, Richard Somerset, one of the younger brothers of the Duke of Beaufort. Lord James was a soldier in his younger years. In fact, he was a crack shot and served king and country as a sharpshooter.

Maud had a brother who was a year older than her. Their father was sure his son would follow in his footsteps and enlist in the army. He was resolved to train the boy in all the arts of war and he began this early in the boy’s life. The mistake he made that causes his wife no end of shame and worry? He allowed Maud to tag along. And now his daughter would rather shoot at targets, ride astride and fire arrows into bales of hay than sit in a parlor entertaining suitable beaus or doing needlepoint.

Her mother despairs of Maud ever making a suitable match. Maud isn’t interested at all in being the wife of a nobleman. She wants to continue in all the unladylike pursuits as they make her happy and feel useful. Not that she really has anything against playing the pianoforte. She’s just better at hitting a bullseye than hitting a high note while singing.

She knows she will eventually have to marry and settle down to a life of dull domesticity, but in the meantime, she’ll continue to thwart her mother. She and her horse are inseparable and she spends a lot of time riding and out in the sun which also makes her mother crazy as Maud’s skin isn’t as white and soft as is fashionable for young ladies. Maud promises to wear hats to shade her face, but somehow, they keep getting lost. Alas. And let’s not even mention the state her hair ribbons can manage to find themselves in.

Maud swears she truly isn’t trying to send her mother to an early grave, but a girl has to be true to herself, doesn’t she?

To enter to win an ebook copy of Lady Soldier, share a tidbit with me. What did you do to drive your mother crazy as a kid/teen? I’ll start. My mom despaired of me when I was a kid as I stayed dirty riding my bike and could go through 2-3 sets of clothes a day when she wanted me to change and stay tidy long enough to go out for dinner or shopping. Oh, and I could never find my shoes. I could lose those suckers in the back seat of the car between home and the restaurant.

Jill-ebook (2)Matilda “Maud” Somerset is a disaster. Her parents and uncle, the Duke of Beaufort, want her to make a spectacular match to a suitable beau. Maud is more interested in galloping across the fields on her stallion, Khan, and shooting arrows at targets. Her mother despairs of her and her father bears the brunt of his wife’s and the Duke’s anger for allowing the girl to learn all the arts of war when he was teaching them to his now-deceased older son.

When Maud’s father is recalled to the Army to fight Napoleon in the Peninsular Wars, Maud sneaks off to join his regiment in his place. His vision isn’t what it used to be, and fearing for his life if he fights, she disguises herself as a man and leaves before dawn. She’s determined to uphold the family honor, even at the cost of her own reputation.

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Head shot0037 (2) (1)Jillian Chantal is multi-published in the romance genre. She’s a lawyer by day and writer, amateur photographer, and history buff by night. Jillian lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Florida and loves her little slice of paradise. But not too much to enjoy world-wide travel every chance she gets. After all, a writer and photographer needs new and exciting places to go and capture in order to stay fresh, right? And there’s nothing quite like seeing historical places in person, is there?

Jillian loves to hear from readers. She can be found at her website www.JillianChantal.com or  http://www.facebook.com/jillian.chantal or

https://twitter.com/JillianChantal

Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Jillian, it’s funny you’d ask what I did that drove my mom crazy! I distinctly remember her asking me repeatedly why I had to analyze everything. I asked the “why” question so often, about everything that people did and said until she’d shake her head at me. I think that’s what makes me a good writer, though, noticing the details and finding out the motivation behind actions and words. Striving to understand…

Remember to leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of this intriguing book. Thanks, Jillian, for introducing us to Maud!

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: Visiting an Air Show #research #aviation #PNR #paranormal #psychic #supernatural #romance #fiction

Let’s talk about the Tuscaloosa Airshow. I’ve been to airshows before, but it had been a long time. In fact the fondest memory I have surrounding one was a ride in an open cockpit airplane several decades ago with a longtime family friend of my in-laws. What a rush!

Anyway, when my character, Beth Golden, in Veiled Visions of Love decided to get involved in airplane repossession with Mitch Sawyer, the Air Force pilot who rolls into town on his Harley, I had to brush up on what little I knew about planes and airshows. So I found out that a show was coming to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in April 2018. Hubby went with me, of course, because of three reasons: 1) we enjoy traveling together; 2) he knows far more about aircraft than I do; and 3) he likes to help me with my research. So off we went on a day trip!

We were fortunate that the rain that had descended earlier in the week had stopped before the day of the show we went to. But that didn’t mean the ground wasn’t sloppy with mud. Trust me on that! We had to pick our way around the field surrounding the runways and taxiways and buildings. I kept all my senses on alert, trying to absorb the atmosphere, the sights, the sounds, and of course the smells.

An area had been set up to one side where the food vendors were selling all kinds of food and beverages. Everything from hot dogs to barbecue chicken and corn on the cob, desserts like cotton candy and ice cream, and everything you can imagine at a fair or carnival. The onslaught of aromas created quite a heady mix.

We watched a couple of planes climb straight up into the sky, trailing white smoke so it made it easier to follow their movements against the white puffy clouds and blue sky above. Then stood and watched some other aerobatic planes perform with the accompanying roar of the engines and reverberation in the air which I felt in my chest. A pulsation from the sound waves, I guess?

The Blue Angels were going to perform at the show but I was more interested in talking to one of the pilots if I could. I needed to know whether two people could fly in an F-18 fighter jet or not. Luckily, as hubby and I strolled around, discussing what we were seeing, I spotted an Air Force pilot talking to a group in front of us. I waited until they’d finished their conversation and then I approached the pilot, who in fact turned out to be with the Blue Angels. Yay! I was able to ascertain that they have a trainer FA-18 that they use to ferry a pilot to his F-18, which only seats one pilot. So yes, there could be two people in the trainer fighter jet. I was elated to have that piece of the puzzle in place for the story arc of Veiled Visions of Love. Perfect!

IMG_0682
The F-18s used by the Air Force Blue Angels.

We sauntered around the large area of taxiways in front of several buildings used, we assumed, for maintenance and storage. We didn’t go so far as to walk down there, but we did wander among the planes on display and open for tours.

We went into one smaller jet, and I took a few pictures of the cockpit as reference. However, that plane didn’t end up in my book because I wanted something a bit more posh.

By the time we left midafternoon, ready to drive the 2.5 hours home, we were hot and tired and thirsty. But I’d gotten the details I needed to make my story scenes come alive with accurate details and observations at a real major airshow. I hope you enjoy Veiled Visions of Love. Thanks for reading!

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…

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 Elizabeth Brenner from #author Judy Mollen Walters’ The Natural Order of Things #women #fiction #WF #books

Ready for some quiet fun today? Judy Mollen Walters shares how Elizabeth Brenner plays on today’s Fun Friday post. Take it away, Judy!


Elizabeth Brenner could spend every day just playing with her 4-year-old daughter, Lotty. In fact, she does. Lotty and Elizabeth do everything together from sunup to sundown—from baking to library runs to StoryTime to shopping for their dinner to meeting new people who shape their lives in ways Elizabeth can’t really imagine they will. At night they put their pajamas on early and watch movies and TV—sometimes TV you wouldn’t think interesting for a 4-year-old, like Wheel of Fortune and, in the mornings, Good Morning America. They love their solitude and quiet, but when Elizabeth gets a job on the library’s Bookmobile, which she and Lotty can do together, they discover how much they like to go out for lunch or visiting. It all sounds sort of quiet, but Elizabeth’s new friends are going to tell her their most private secrets, and Elizabeth will reveal some of her own.

ebook cover (1)When 22-year-old Elizabeth Brenner lands in New Jersey with her 15-month-old daughter, Lotty, she doesn’t know a soul. And she prefers it that way. She’s struggling with her own demons—her family in Utah, who essentially threw her out, her ex-boyfriend Evan and father of her baby, and just enough money so that she won’t have to work for a little while. Three-and-a-half years later Elizabeth is running out of money and needs a job. But what can she do without an education or any real work experience? When a job opening for a Bookmobile driver at her local library appears, she applies and gets the job. Now she begins to make friends: Estelle, a 95-year-old woman with a 70-year-old secret, Harper, a 16-year-old high school drop-out who isn’t homeless but might as well be, and Sabrina, a pregnant mother whose secret is so big that she won’t even tell her husband. As Elizabeth juggles all of her new friends’ needs, she meets her neighbor Jeff, and then she finds herself doing something she swore she would never do again….. Full of surprising people with surprising stories, The Natural Order of Things will make you laugh and cry, ponder and hope.

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judyauthor2After my stint as an editor in nonfiction book publishing, I became a Stay-at-Home Mother to my two daughters nineteen years ago. I always wanted to be a writer and finally became a published author when my first book, Child of Mine, came out in 2013. In 2014, I published The Opposite of Normal, which became an Amazon best seller, and in 2015, I followed that up with The Place to Say Goodbye, about an autistic young man whose thoughts only the readers are privy to.  In 2016, I published Start at the Beginning, featuring best friends who have to make an agonizing choice. In 2017, I published A Million Ordinary Days, the story of an independent woman who fights her Multiple Sclerosis to maintain her career and take care of her daughter.

Website: judymollenwalters.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/judy.m.walters.9


Being a single parent is never easy but apparently has its own rewards. This story does sound intriguing, doesn’t it? Thanks, Judy, for sharing a bit about Elizabeth and Lotty’s sweet relationship and the quirky friends they make. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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: Airplane Repo #research #aviation #PNR #paranormal #psychic #supernatural #romance #fiction

Veiled Visions of Love is now available everywhere! It’s release day for my latest book and I’m excited to share Beth and Mitch’s story with everyone. (If you could see me now, you’d see me doing a happy little jig in my office as I’m writing this!)

The genesis for the hero of this story started with a question I asked on Facebook. I wanted to know what jobs or careers hadn’t been written about very much. One answer surprised me enough to have me go look into what it is and how it’s done: airplane repossession agent. Turns out it’s a highly dangerous job, too. Mainly because you can’t hook up a tow truck and take back the plane; you have to make sure it’s airworthy and then fly it out without being stopped by the person who defaulted on the mortgage. A typically macho male person who is never happy with his plane being taken.

The more I delved into the job description, the more excited I became because the guy who would do such a job was the perfect match for Beth Golden and her longing for excitement and adventure. Thus the character of Mitch Sawyer sprung into my mind.

IMG_0846The person who suggested the job to me also mentioned there is a reality TV series based on airplane repo, by that name even. So I found it and watched as many episodes as I could, taking notes all the while. The situations the repo agents find themselves in were indeed scary and pointed out the kinds of training, education, self-defense, and protection the agents need to have. This is why Beth decides to take Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and learn to shoot a pistol, so she can help a reluctant Mitch in his work.

One episode, in particular, provided the idea for a tailored situation in Veiled Visions of Love. In the TV episode, the repo agent pretends to be taking a flying lesson as a gift from his female coworker so he can take the plane up and then take control of the plane to repossess it. You’ll find a similar setup in my story, with Beth acting like she’s paying for Mitch’s first flying lesson when he is actually an Air Force fighter jet pilot. He knows what he’s doing, in other words. I loved the idea of the couple working together to repo the plane and give Beth a taste of the thrill of the chase and capture of the plane. The problem is she becomes addicted to the thrill, much to Mitch’s dismay.

Watching the shows also gave me the idea of having an airshow in the story. I’ve been to small airshows in the past but it had been a long time. So I went looking for one close to where I live in Alabama. Next week I’ll talk about the airshow hubby and I went to for research for my story.

I hope you enjoy Veiled Visions of Love. Thanks for reading!

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 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/

TUMBLR: (Carla Swafford) http://carlaswafford.tumblr.com/

PINTEREST: ( https://www.pinterest.com/carlaswafford/

GOOGLE+: (Carla Swafford) https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CarlaSwafford

YOUTUBE: (Carla Swafford) https://www.youtube.com/user/CarlaSwafford

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!

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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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