Friday, August 30, 2013

Romance Authors

It’s funny the looks you get when you tell some people that you’re a romance author. Some smile and ask what you’ve written, looking interested. Then you get the ones that roll their eyes and say “You write that crap?” That really just makes me steam over.
Romance novels are one of the biggest selling genres out there, but we still get the stigma of writing romance hoopla so to speak. I would like for one of those that roll their eyes to come on over and sit in one of our shoes for an hour of editing. They’d be saying, hey, I get it. It’s not that easy.
Writing is an art. Either you have it or you don’t. I’ve noticed over the years different writers come and go. They give under the stress of promotion and sales flucuations. It’s definitely not a get rich quick scheme, so if that’s what you’re in it for, you might want to move on to the next thing on your list.
As for me, I enjoy writing romance. It just excites me to get into a good romantic tale and to see where it can go. I have the control over that ending. I can take it in any direction I want to. I’m not a control freak by no means, but when it comes to where my stories go, my characters have to stand up and pay attention or they’ll get killed off in a nasty punch of the delete key. :)
In honor of romance authors, my friend Rosie Amber from the UK and I are teaming up to do a blog tour. It is Romancing September Across The World. We have 30 authors in 30 days. Rosie starts each day off in her time zone with a Q & A and then when the sun rises over Georgia I ask them a question and give them a plug for their latest book.
We have a great lineup of authors. I will have a list of the authors on my home page and Rosie will too. I will put a link to Rosie’s page below so that you can go over and check it out.
As always good writing and May God Bless You…

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Behind the Books

As a reader you don’t know what goes into the books you read. You walk in a book store or browse through the lists of books on your computer, but have you ever thought about what happens behind the scenes to make that book that you hold in your hand possible. Well, let me enlighten you.
As a writer I can tell you there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make that book real. It’s a work in process, it’s the heart of the writer, and it’s the work of usually more than one person.
Steps to the birth of a book:
1: The inspiration – Without the idea or inspiration for the storyline, there’s no book. The author’s ideas, memories, or just inspirational thought puts the story together. If no idea comes about, how could you have a book. 
2: Now for me, the next step is the outline. Some authors don’t outline their work, but I have to do an outline as soon as the inspiration hits. For me storylines comes in huges waves. Most of them I know the beginning and the ending, but have to fill in the middle. Some come in a rush of completeness. 
3: Now is the time to put words to work. Fill in the outline. Make the story flow and ebb with the emotions, characters and time that it takes to make a story come alive. This process is the longest part to me. The inspiration can come in an instant, but to put it to play takes a little bit of time. Some writers could take years to put a story to paper and others on a mere week or two.
4: So your story is on it’s way to birth, but it needs something else. It needs a name. Wow, that’s a hard one sometimes. A couple of my books were named before the story was written, but most of the time the name comes well into the books pregnancy. But when it hits you, it’s automatic. You just know, yeah, that’s it. But at sometimes you struggle with the name. This is a big selling point of your book.
5: Ok, so you’ve got the story, the outline, the name, but what else is there. What about a cover? Every book needs a cover. Some covers are simple, yet expressive, some are extraordinarily elaborate. Your cover is what can stop a reader in their browse for a book. When I browse through a book store, more than anything, the first thing that grabs me is the cover. I’ll stop and check it out if the cover entices me, draws me in.
6: Well, the cover draws you in, but the description can make you say yes. This is the hardest step to me. How do you put a 300 page book into 400 words, give or take? It’s almost impossible. I have sat for hours working on this very thing. It impacts the sale of your work so you have to make it just right. I’ve actually published a book and then six months down the road went back in and rewrote the description. It actually started selling after the change. Amazing…
7: Well, now you think, you’re ready for publishing. No! A huge, wopping, No! It’s time for editing. Not just your read over, get someone else, maybe two or three others and preferrable people that are critical. This is very important. If the words don’t flow right, maybe you don’t see it, but someone not familiar with the story can. This is your baby, don’t you want it to be the best it can be. Don’t take constructive criticism to heart, but use it for good. It can make the difference between selling 5 or 500.
8: Well, it’s polished up and so shiny it gleams. What now? Well now it’s time to publish. Whether you go with a traditional publisher or you self publish, it’s a big step. 
9: Here we go, it’s time to advertise. This is a hard thing to do when you have to keep your name active on social media and everywhere a reader could find you. But during this time you’re trying to write other books and most of us work a full time job, run a household and do everything else that comes with life. A writer’s life is very busy. Remember that when you send fanmail and don’t immediately get an answer. That author may be shoulder deep in edits, stories or advertising.
10: Final step, not hardly, but the final one for this blog. Sit back, drink a cup of coffee and enjoy the glow of having a finished novel.
Maybe you have a few more steps to add. Hope this helps if you’re new to writing or even a veteran. Just enjoy the process.
As always, good writing, and May God Bless You…

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Victoria, Official Release September 15th

Well, it’s official, Victoria will be released September 15th. It will be available for preorder on Smashwords.com, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and couple of other sites after September 1st. 
I’m really excited about this one. I’ll be doing a giveaway on Goodreads in the next two weeks ahead of the release. Also, will be doing a ebook giveaway, but those details will be released before the end of this week. Keep watching.
If you like historical romance, I hope you like this one. I’ve had it in the works for a while and am feeling a little release of breath as the release date is official. Finishing the final edits this week. 
As far as other releases, the first edition of my newsletter was released yesterday. If you want to get on board for September, please message me. So far so good.
But back to my release. I’ll keep you updated on the upcoming events tied to the release. 
Don’t forget to keep your eyes open starting September 1 for the start of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. Go over to Rosie’s page and check out her part of the tour also at 
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How do you handle writer's block?

It’s a mystery that doesn’t have a rhyme or reason. As a writer it’s devastating to say the least. The symptoms can vary from staring into space with fingers poised over keyboard, the sudden appetite for social media, and even in some instances headache with slight nausea (usually this is when deadlines loom over your head).
I remember in high school needing to write a paper on my favorite movie, Gone With The Wind. I thought great, I know this movie inside out. This will be a piece of cake. Of course I procratinated and wait until the last couple of days to do the work. I sat down with pen and paper, then it hit, writer’s block. What? I knew this movie, how could I not figure out what to write? This should be simple. But writer’s block has no mercy. I finally finished the paper at the last minute, but it wasn’t my best work. My teacher was disappointed because she knew how much I loved the movie. 
It’s the same with authors. We know the story that needs to be written, but the words just won’t come. I had that problem last week. I’m working on “Victoria” and it’s a historical romance. I started this book last year and I knew exactly what I wanted it to be about. 
Well, as writer’s block doesn’t pick and choose, it started off really well, but around 5000 words in, bam nothing. Then I picked it back up over the summer and got to almost 30,000 words and here it was. Like a monster in the closet, looming there, threatening my concentration. Amazing.
I’ve often talked about using outlines. I have one for this book. It was no help as the block was too thick. I listened to my writing music. I watched historical romances to help spur me on, but nothing helped. The headache loomed, the pressure between my eyes, it was terrible. I could see the story in my mind, but to put it in words, nothing. 
I struggled, I dreamed about it, I worried. Well, after a lot of surfing social media, staring out the window at nothing, it finally hit me. I’d been working so hard to finish it before the end of August, that I’d blocked myself. Meaning I’d pressured my brain into overdrive. What with work, home, everything in life, I’d put too much pressure on the story. 
I knew what I had to do. I had to step back, take a breath. That’s when I did what I said I’d not do. I put the manuscript to the side and worked on something else. Well, when I put it out of sight and mostly out of my brain, I was able to cleanse myself of the writer’s block. It worked. I was only away from it a couple of days when it all flooded in and took over. 
WIth a sigh of relief I’m almost completely done with the first run. It’s funny, all of my books have meant something to me, but this one means something different. It’s like a renewal of spirit. I have a great feeling about this one. The planned release is September 15th. It should be available for preorder around the end of August or first of September. I’ll put out the specific date as soon as it’s available.
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Too much emotion in your writing?


Can you put too much emotion in your writing? I’ve heard some writers say they thought that they’d showed too much emotion from their main characters. But in my opinion, the emotion is what draws readers in. Recently I sent out an excerpt from one of my works in process, “Faith Through the Tears”. Several people came in and said the emotional pull was what drew the in.

The excerpt was a very powerful part of the book where the main characters wife dies of cancer. It’s detailing the emotions that both were going through in her last hours together. It’s an emotional time, how on earth do you pull back on that? 
I thought about several classic books and if the writer had pulled back on the emotions. It would have screwed up the whole story.
Take Gone With The Wind for instance. When she does the pivotal scene where she falls face down in the garden and eats raw vegetables, then stands up and makes that famous speech about “Never being hungry again.” The emotion is strong, but if Margaret Mitchell had pulled back and Scarlett had just stood there without putting her fist in the air and speaking in a strong tone it wouldn’t have had the same affect.
Emotion is an integral part of our writing and passion includes emotion. So keep the emotion in and make it strong. Go for it, cry a little, laugh a lot and never slack up on the emotion. 
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back To School Book Post

Good Friday morning. It’s another rainy, dreary morning here in Georgia. Makes me want to go back to bed with a good book and another cup of coffee or at least Earl Grey tea. But alas, work beckons me to the office. It’s Friday and payroll is due out for several clients so…
I’ve decided to do a Back to School book sale for the rest of August. It’s already up on Amazon and soon to be on allromanceebooks.com and Smashwords.com which will put it on Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, Apple and so on. Am I committing earnings suicide, well maybe, but it’s a hard month finance wide for lots of people. What with school supplies, school clothes, dorm supplies, and all the other school related purchases. So maybe this will help and give someone out there a chance to sit back and read a minute or two.
As for everything else going on, well let’s just say, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’m trying to finish up my newsletter for submission next week to my subscribers. It’s not too late to subscribe. All you need to do is message me here or through my email. 
The other big story is the upcoming blog tour with my friend from across the pond, Rosie Amber. We’ve joined forces to do a blog tour from both sides of the Atlantic. It’s called Romancing September Across the World Blog Tour. We still have a couple of openings but they’re going fast. IF you write romance or put in romance elements in your writing join us for this exciting tour. We’ve already got some great response. Just send me a message and I’ll send you the info. Also put including link below.
Hope everyone has a good Friday. It’s almost the weekend!
As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…

Thursday, August 15, 2013

If your cover could talk…


As a writer sometimes the cover comes before the writing. Odd, but true. Does your cover truly express the heart of the book inside? Does it totally blow the plot? Does it give away too much?
Have you ever picked up a book and wanted it just for the cover. Guilty as charged. I’ve seen a cover and just fell in love with the concept. It just inspired me to want to hear the story. I did that just recently and here’s what happened.
I was scanning through some of the books on Amazon. I do that from time to time to get ideas on cover design changes, fonts, etc. I come upon this book and the cover totally blew me away. I immediately purchased the book. I couldn’t wait until I had time that night to dig into it.
It was one of those moments when I put the book I’ve been reading aside and pick this one up. Well, I shuffled it around on my Kindle. The cover have a handsome cowboy and his trusty horse, but the background around it was just inspiring. The problem started when I read the first couple of pages. 
It wasn’t that the writing was bad, but it wasn’t following what I thought would be a cowboy romance. No ranch, no horses, no cowboy, nothing about this at all. I thought, well maybe it takes getting into the story to get to that part. Most of the book was about a businessman and woman. It was based in the city and not the country. Ok, well, maybe they are going there soon. Kept reading and nope. Close to the last couple of chapters they visited a ranch and then went back to the city. What??? That was it. 
The point to me telling you this is make sure that your cover tells the story. If it has a cowboy and his horse on it, then that’s what the reader is expecting. You know me, I love a good cowboy romance and I was left unsteady and very confused. I knew then that I’d been duped into this with my eyes. I should have read the blurb on the back. 
Make sure your cover gives a little mystery. If your character is going to go through a love triangle, maybe include all three involved, but don’t give away which the character will pick.  Leave a bone for the reader. Don’t leave a dinosaur though. If it’s such a mystery that you get to the end and say “WHAT?”
So, think about your cover long and hard. Maybe even design two slightly different and put them on your blog. Let your friends and readers vote. That’s always a fun concept.
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Winner Is Love - All Romance Ebooks

The Winner Is Love - All Romance Ebooks
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Romance and a Cowboy...

Romance and a cowboy…

Has anyone noticed lately that you’re seeing a lot more cowboys on covers of romance novels? Yeah, I know, they’re on the cover of almost all of mine, but I mean outside of my little world. It’s amazing.
I was going through one of the book sites where my books are listed and I started to notice less vampire activity and more cowboys. That’s a good thing since I mostly write about cowboys. It’s really no mystery to me.
My point is this. Here are some of the many things that make cowboys stand out (well maybe to just me, but I think others see it too.)
1: They usually have a horse. Great selling point to me. 
2: Most cowboys have a truck, whether it’s a old and rundown, or it’s a new Chevy with plenty of pulling power. How else would they pull the horse trailer or hay bales around.
3: The ever present Stetson perched on their head. Oh yes, all my cowboys own a Stetson. Even the one’s I can touch have a Stetson or two. (Meaning real people not those that come from inside me head.)
4: Boots. Yep they’ve usually got a couple of pair. One pair is polished to a high shine for that special outing, then you have the not so great pair that’s seen it’s better day, but still keeps out the water, oh and then there’s that pair that is almost sole bare and let’s water in like a sifter. Nothing like a pair of cowboy boots to dress up an outfit.
5: The hands. Usually a cowboy has rough, work worn hands. No doubt a cowboy works hard and long hours. 
6: The eyes. Most of the cowboys I know have this look in their eyes. It’s as though they can see forever. The older cowboys have the nice little crinkle wrinkles around the corners of their eyes from the many hours of squinting in the sun. 
7: Jeans. They’re a staple of the cowboy attire. Of course it’s like the boots. They have the good pair for outings, but then you have the pair that’s ok for just riding on the range, and then you have that pair that’s got more holes than swiss cheese, but are good enough for mucking out stalls and slinging hay.
Well, that’s just a couple of things that make cowboys special. Maybe that’s why so many authors choose them as their manly figures. Cowboys are very manly and they make great heros. I mean you can’t have a business man in a suit ride in on his white stallion and save the day. That’s just not right :)
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday Excitement and a Little Snippet

It’s Tuesday and I’m really excited about a couple of things. Well, first off the Romancing September Across The World that I’m co sponsoring with Rosie Amber over at 
http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/ is going great. We’ve almost filled all the spots. So if you’re a romance author or your book has some romance elements message us quick. 
2nd, my newsletter is going smoothly. I’m to the point of getting with some of those that messaged me wanting to subscribe and the ones that wanted free exposure. If you’ve already subscribed it’s only a little bit before it’s out. If you haven’t subscribed please message me.
Well, the snippet part is from the book I’ve been working on for a while. I’ve been totally engrossed in this one. It’s a historical romance Saga. “Victoria” is the first book in The Women Of Magnolia Hill Saga. It’s already almost 30,000 words and not quite halfway completed. Deadline is end of this month sooooooo…. Here is a little snippet, hope you like it. Remember it’s a work in progress so no editing yet.
“I meant what I said to Joseph. I do want to make you happy.” When she turned to look at him he held up his hand. “I want to apologize for the way I handled the engagement. I felt pushed in a corner. When I first saw you I thought you were the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. Then you were so nice. I just didn’t want to lose you.”
“Thanks for being honest. That means a lot to me. You seem genuine in your apology so I accept it. We’ll just take things one day at a time.” She turned back to watch the moon.
“Thanks for that.” He walked to the rail and looked in the direction she was looking. “What a beautiful sight. The moon coming through the magnolia is gorgeous.”
“That magnolia has been here since this house was built by my grandfather. He planted it as a wedding present to my grandmother. Then he named this house Magnolia Hill. It was such a romantic gesture.” She was in deep remembrance. Her heart wanted the love her grandparents and parents had. She’d always wanted that. Could she have it with Zane? When she looked into his eyes she saw something that made her shiver, but not from fear but excitement.
“I wondered why it was called that. That’s a nice story.” His mind started working on a wedding gift for her. He wanted it to be special enough to make her look like this when thinking on it.
“My grandparents were special people. They met just like we did. Her father brought in my grandfather for her to marry. She didn’t want to marry him, but her father insisted. My parents were introduced the same way. I guess its part of the ritual.” She shrugged her shoulders as she watched the moon go over the top of the magnolia tree.
“Your father loves you a lot. I can see it in the way he is with you. You’re a lucky woman.”
“I think I’ll go to bed too. Thanks for telling me the truth. I feel better about things now.” She slowly walked to the door.
“I hope you have sweet dreams. Good night Tori.” He watched her smile as she walked through the door.
When she had closed the door he leaned on the post. Taking out a cheroot he lit it and watched the moon. He felt better getting that off his chest. It was the gift that flooded his mind now. As he watched the moon light twinkle on the polished leaves of the old magnolia a grin came across his face. He knew exactly what he’d give her. He finished his smoke and went up to bed.
Hope you liked it. I think this little tidbit makes you wonder what happened before and what the gift is. It’s a sweet story which lots of dramatic elements, war torn elements and loss. I’m really excited about finishing this first installment.
I will be announcing a giveaway in the next week or so. Keep watching for it. 
As always, good writing and May God Bless YOU….

Monday, August 12, 2013

Special Guest Author - Marin Thomas

Today my guest author is Marin Thomas. If you haven’t checked her out, well you’ve missed out. As most of you know, I love cowboy romance, well, yep you guessed it, she writes a lot of cowboy romance, mostly through Harlequin’s American Romance series.
I met Marin through another friend on Facebook and have enjoyed our talks and shares. Now I’m a fan. She has a way with words and cowboys. So, without further ado here’s Marin Thomas.

Stephanie, thank you for having me on your blog today!
I became infatuated with cowboys when I was sixteen and my family took a vacation to Colorado and Arizona.  While in Colorado I went to my first rodeo and became mesmerized by all the cowboy hats, boots and leather chaps!  Not only do I write about cowboy heroes in my Harlequin American Romance books but I blog about them at All My Heroes are Cowboys where you’ll find this on my page…..
“America needs the cowboy both to remind us of how far we have come and to bring us back to the simplicity of the values he represents.  He is also needed because he is a piece of who we are as a country. He represents a lifestyle and a time period that is a cherished part of our history.  Little boys want to grow up to be him and little girls want to grow up to marry him.” ~CowboyCrew.com


The Cowboy Next Door
              July 2013
Book 1 in a six-book series called The Cash Brothers (Harlequin American Romance.)
Six brothers all named after country and western legends by their eccentric mother whose lifelong search for her soul mate left each of her sons with a different father….
Johnny Cash (July 2013), Conway Twitty Cash (Oct 2013), Willie Nelson Cash (Feb 2014) Buck Owens Cash (May 2014), Merle Haggard Cash (Aug 2014) and Porter Wagoner Cash (TBA).
Be sure to check out #TheCashBrothersStampede …4 weeks of contests & giveaways!
Back Cover Blurb
 Hard-working cowboy Johnny Cash has always been a protector to his little sister’s best friend, sweet but tough cowgirl Shannon Douglas. It’s pretty crazy for girls to ride bulls-yet it’s her life to live. Then he realizes he’s got some purely male instincts toward her, too. But absolutely no way can he fall for his boss’s daughter-if he loses his job, there’ll be hell to pay at home….
Shannon was raised to be strong and independent. She wants a national title so bad she can taste it-and she needs Johnny’s help. His protectiveness drives her crazy…the same way his kisses do. But she’s not about to hang up her bull rope because of him! Her heart says he’s the one-but her own stubborn streak might push away the only man who might actually understand her
Excerpt
On a hot, mid-August Saturday Johnny Cash stood in the cowboy ready area of the Butterfield Stage Days Parade and Rodeo in Gila Bend, Arizona, and watched the fireworks display between lady bull rider Shannon Douglas and all-around rodeo cowboy C.J. Rodriguez.
The hand gesturing and boot stomping drew a lot of notice and Johnny edged closer, ready to intervene if the argument quickly went south.
“You’re supposed to be my man not Veronica’s,” Shannon said.
No surprise that the notorious buckle bunny Veronica Patriot had sunk her claws into another cowboy. The woman was hell on boot heels and took what she wanted—mostly cowboys in committed relationships. If that was the case, and Rodriguez had cheated on Shannon, then Johnny felt bad for her.
Shannon was his sister’s best friend and Johnny had known her most of his life. Nine years her senior, he’d been a big brother to the little girl who’d spent countless afternoons playing at the Cash pecan farm or trailing after him at her father’s spread where Johnny worked as a seasonal ranch hand.
Rodriguez jabbed his finger in the air. “I can’t help it if I attract women everywhere I go.”
Hands fisted, Shannon stood her ground. “You’re ticked off that I won last week.”
“You didn’t beat me.” Rodriguez glanced at his competitors, who pretended not to listen.
Shannon laughed. “You’re sore because fans are finding out you’re not the superstar you claim to be.”
The feuding couples’ audience showed no signs of intervening. Pretty soon the rodeo officials and cameramen would notice the confrontation playing out behind the chutes and broadcast the lovers’ spat on the JumboTron.
“Shannon.” Johnny stepped from the shadows and touched a finger to the brim of his black cattleman’s Stetson.
She flashed him a grateful smile.
“Well if it ain’t the Man in Black.” Rodriguez snickered.
Johnny’s hackles rose. What the hell had his mother been thinking when she’d named him and his brothers after country-and-western singers? It had been bad enough that they’d all been fathered by different men. From the day Johnny entered kindergarten, he’d been teased—not that his mother had cared.
When his biological father, Charlie Smith, had split after Johnny’s birth, Aimee Cash had become an absentee mom, gallivanting across the southwest, searching for the next Mr. Right. She hadn’t been there when Johnny had come home from school with his first black eye—Grandma Ada had hugged him and insisted there was room in the world for two Johnny Cashes. Eventually he might have learned to turn the other cheek, but every year or two, another brother had been born and saddled with a moniker that needed defending until he grew old enough to fight his own battles. And Johnny had made his fair share of trips to the principal’s office during his school career.
“Back off, Rodriguez.” He leveled a sober stare at the cowboy.
“This is nuts.” Rodriguez threw his gear bag over his shoulder and stomped off. The onlookers dispersed.
“You okay?” he asked Shannon.
“Yeah. C.J.’s just frustrated with his riding, that’s all.” She rolled a clump of dirt beneath her boot.
Johnny noticed she wore Dynasty Boots. He glanced at her gear bag—that, too, sported the Dynasty Boots logo. The last he’d heard, Wrangler Jeans was promoting Shannon and Rodriguez’s cross-country tour, highlighting women’s bull riding. He motioned to the boot stitched on her shirt. “I thought Wrangler sponsored you.”
“They did.” She watched the rodeo helpers load a bull into a nearby chute. “Dynasty Boots offered me and C.J. a better deal and bought out our contract with Wrangler.”
“What kind of better deal?”
“If C.J. and I continue to compete against each other and keep up our sham of a romance—fans love that we’re a couple,” she said, rolling her eyes, “we—”
“You’re not a couple?”
“Not anymore.” She shrugged. “Anyway, whoever has the most wins after the Tucson rodeo in January earns a fifty-thousand-dollar bonus.”
Johnny whistled between his teeth. “Where does the score stand between you two?”
“Dead even.”
“No kidding?”
“Did you think because C.J.’s a man he’d be ahead of me in the competition?”
“No…I…” Johnny shrugged. In truth, he believed bull riding was best left to cowboys, but if there was ever a cowgirl who could go the distance with the men, Shannon Douglas was that girl.
“If I want to win the title of Cowgirl of the Year, I need to beat C.J.” She shifted her weight from one foot to the other, clearly agitated. The hotshot cowboy had rattled her.
“You sure you’re okay?” His gaze roamed over her body.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Rodriguez must be blind.”
Her cheeks flushed pink. Even though Shannon was a tomboy, the subtle signs of a pretty woman were evident. Her turbulent green eyes, fringed with thick black lashes, glowed with a vibrant, determined spirit. Then there was her mouth, plump lips that begged a man to… Startled by his train of thought, he cleared his throat. What the heck was he doing—cataloging his sister’s friend’s body parts? At least he’d stopped before he’d checked out her—
“I got to the rodeo late. Did you ride this afternoon?” she asked.
“Sandpiper tossed me on my keister.”
“Did any of your brothers compete?”
“The rest of the gang stayed behind to work on the bunkhouse.”
“I heard Dixie threw all of you out of the farmhouse after she and Gavin married.”
“You heard right.” He nodded at C.J. “Was that your normal warm-up routine?”
“Hardly.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to kick off the men’s bull riding event, but first, we have a special treat for you.” Applause and whistles filled the arena. When the noise died down, the announcer continued. “Shannon Douglas is about to show us that cowgirls are as tough as cowboys when it comes to bull riding!”
The crowd noise was deafening. Johnny had no idea Shannon had become so popular on the circuit. “You sure you’re okay?” She shot him a dark look, so he said, “Good luck,” and moved aside. He didn’t stray far—in case Rodriguez got it in his head to pick another fight with her. After she put on her Kevlar vest, protective face mask and riding glove, she climbed the chute rails while the announcer finished his spiel.
“Shannon Douglas hails from the Triple D Ranch near Stagecoach. She’s been competing in roughstock events since high school and you won’t find a tougher cowgirl in the whole state of Arizona!” The JumboTron displayed a close-up of her as she waved to the fans. “This cowgirl’s about to tangle with Boomerang, a veteran bull known for his tight spins.”
Shannon stretched a leg over the bull and settled onto his back. She wrapped then rewrapped the rope around her gloved hand and Johnny worried that she was thinking about her quarrel with Rodriguez.
He spotted her partner inching toward the chute and stepped into the man’s path. He wasn’t letting the rodeo playboy taunt Shannon. Only after the gate opened and Boomerang sprang free, did Johnny turn to the action inside the arena.
Shannon hung on through three spins. As the seconds ticked off the clock, the bullfighters moved into position, ready to help if needed.
Six…seven…
The buzzer sounded and Shannon hung on, waiting for an opening to dismount. Boomerang chose for her. The bull kicked out at the same time he twisted his back end and she catapulted through the air. She hit the ground and skidded several feet across the dirt. His heart stalled when Boomerang turned on Shannon as she struggled to stand.
Head down, the bull charged and a collective gasp rippled through the stands. The bullfighters made a valiant attempt to intervene, but the beast was fixated on his rider.
Move, Shannon, move!
She must have felt the ground shake, because she rolled sideways in the nick of time and the bull’s horns missed her by inches. Scrambling to her feet, she stumbled toward the rails as the rodeo helpers guided Boomerang to the bull pen.
When Shannon’s boot hit the bottom rung, Johnny held out his hand and her green eyes flashed with relief. Adrenaline pumped through his blood and he yanked her too hard over the rails, her momentum carrying him backward. They tumbled to the ground in a tangle of arms and legs, Shannon sprawled on top of him. Damned if he couldn’t feel the soft mounds of her breasts through her Kevlar vest. His arms tightened around her and the first thought that popped into his head was how good she felt pressed against him.
“There you have it, folks!” the announcer bellowed. “Shannon Douglas has bested Boomerang!” The announcer’s voice startled them and Shannon rolled off of Johnny. Another cowboy offered his hand and helped her to her feet. Her competitors congratulated her with fist pumps, high fives and hearty pats on the back. By the time Johnny stood, she was no longer smiling.
ISBN-13: 978-0373754632
By: Marin Thomas
Imprint and Series: Harlequin American
Copyright ©: 2013
By: Marin Thomas
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to http://www.eHarlequin.com
Connect with Marin on the web!
Now if this doesn’t get you even a little intrigued about cowboys, I’m going to have a talk with you. Thanks Marin for your time and the wonderful excerpt. Yep, I’m hooked on the Cash Brothers. To even further get you hooked, Marin is giving away a paperback copy of  ”The Cowboy Next Door”, so message me to get in the drawing and we will pick tomorrow. This is open to US citizens only, so get those entry comments in.



Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday and deep in history

Saturday and deep in history!

Good afternoon friends. It’s been a crazy couple of days. Last week I told you about my assistant (Niece) leaving for college. Well, she left this morning :( We went to lunch together yesterday and it was sad, but I’m so proud of her. THis week in the office has been so lonely. I’m starting to get used to her not being there, but it’s hard.
Then Rosie Amber and I have started this blog tour for September. I’ve written a post on it also, but I’m going to remind you. If you’re a romance author then come on over and email me or Rosie to get in line. We are posting a new author every day of September. It’s called Romancing September Across the World. Rosie will post a interview with the author during her time zone and then I’ll follow when it’s daylight here with a blog post also. Rosie’s blog address is 
http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/ and her email is rosieamber7@gmail.com. So get with us and get in line before it’s too late.
Also, yep, I’m still going. My newsletter is going along smoothly. If you’d like to receive it via email, just send me a message at hurtsbusiness@att.net. 
On top of all of this I’m finishing up “Victoria” the first book in the Women of Magnolia Hill Saga. I’m really excited about this. It’s my first historical romance and I’m up to my elbows in outlines and historical timelines. I’ve learned more during the process of writing this one than with any of my other books.
So, how’s your Saturday going?
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Romance September Across The World Blog Tour



Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour

Join us for Romancing September Across the World. We are looking for romance authors who want to promote their work on both sides of the Atlantic during the month of September. Romance author Stephanie Hurt from Georgia (USA)
And Author Rosie Amber from Hampshire UK are joining forces in a double blogging event.

On each Romance Author’s selected day there will be a book specific interview about one of their chosen books and book promotion posted in the UK from Rosie, then a few hours later when the sun reaches Georgia the author will get to share their views on “Writing romance in today’s society” from Stephanie.

Authors will need to send in jpeg photos of themselves and the cover of the book being featured.

Rosie and Stephanie will allocate the promotional days and will contact the authors to agree on the material to be used in advance of their designated day. We encourage authors to re-blog, tweet, Facebook, etc. the posts for this free promotion of their work. If any of the authors in the tour are planning a price drop, competition or ‘free weekend’ during September for their work, we’ll gladly add that to the posts.

Hurry and message either Rosie at Rosie Amber rosieamber7@gmail.com or Stephanie Hurt at hurtsbusiness@att.net to get your name on the list. Remember there are only 30 days in September so time’s ticking away.

Check out both our websites at:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Growing as a Writer...

As a writer you have to learn from your mistakes. I’ve changed my writing quite a bit since the first published book. I’ve started to slow down the process a little. Now I actually go back every so many pages and edit. Not every time, but some of the time.
I’ve learned to write from my heart and not to try to please everyone. It’s hard to please all the wants of your readers. Sometimes I add a couple of elements that readers request. I even made some changes to one of my older publications to please a couple of readers requests. They just wanted a little extra information on the characters out of curiosity.
It’s been a wild ride this writing gig. I’ve started several blogs and Twitter pages. So, I guess I’ve grown in social media. As I’ve said many times, I’ve never been a social media butterfly. My blog posts have evolved also. I’ve listened to readers and gained a lot of friends and followers through it. 
I’ve realized that not everyone is going to like your writing and not everyone is going to like cowboys. Why I don’t know, but that’s ok.
Have you grown as a writer? Do you learn from your mistakes? 
As always good writing and May God Bless You…

Monday, August 5, 2013

Call All Authors...

This post is about a newsletter that I’ve started.
It’s going to be called “Fresh From The Book” and is sponsored by my publishing service company Horseshoe Publishing. The newsletter will consist of a author interview. With the interview the author can showcase one book and a synopsis. Then we will be showcasing 3 books from different authors. They can be in any genre. Also in the newsletter I will be choosing different writing oriented subjects to weigh in on. May throw in some polls on subjects that you my followers and friends can weigh in on.
I’m hoping to start this in August, but I need your help. I need authors to interview and authors for the book showcase. If you’re interested in participating and/or receiving the email through email, please message me with your email address. Some of you I have the email address, but I want to make sure. 
I think it will be an exciting way to spread the word about other authors and also to have a voice in this crazy world of writing. I’m really excited about this project. At the moment the newsletter will be once a month, but if I get a good response I will up it to either every other week or even every week.
But the choice is yours. It’s free advertisement at it’s best. Come on over and join us for some fun.
Email me at stephaniehurt4@gmail.com or horseshoepublishing@gmail.com with your email address and to let me know if you want to be featured.
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…