Welcome Iuliana! #romance #fantasy #paranormal #paranormalromance

Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, author Iuliana Foos, lives with her husband in San Antonio, Texas.

When she doesn’t daydream or write, she enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee and playing online multi-player games, hoping one day to have a white-sanded beach as her backyard.

Becoming a traditionally published author has been a life-long dream turned reality.

Since she visited for the first time ‘Dracula’s castle’, many years ago, a story started to take shape in the vivid imagination of a teenager. Fast forward a little over thirty years, and that story evolved into a trilogy and eventually made it on paper. For more information on Iuliana and her novels you may visit her WEBSITE or other social media.

A prestigious bloodline, alien descent and love blend and ignite war in the secret vampiric world.

Determined to turn her fantasy into reality, Ana starts her journey to become a vampire. Along the way, she learns the truth about their secret society, discovers her prestigious bloodline, and falls in love.

Not all vampires are accepting of humans and war looms in the shadows. An ancient tome reveals the vampires’ alien descent and sparks war.

An army bent on eradicating her coven’s existence threatens her new world. Survival or annihilation will be in Ana’s hands.

 

“There will be two ceremonial daggers, sharp, with our names engraved on them. You will use the one—”

“Use? Are you telling me that I have to cut you in a room—an underground room—in the presence of hundreds of vampires? Are you for real? Are you—?”

Andree laughed and held her closer to him.

She could appreciate his gesture, but it didn’t help her feel better. It was bad enough she stood in that room the other night, under the scrutinizing glares. Adding blood to the equation wasn’t something to look forward to.

“You will cut your initial in the palm of my hand, here,” he explained, indicating a spot on his palm, right under his thumb. “I will do the same, and you will not feel a thing. Daniel will be right there with his spray. It will be quick and painless.”

“But what about the blood? I mean—”

“Nobody will attack you or me, guaranteed. It is part of the ceremony.”

“I’m not sure about it. You guys in general go crazy when you see or smell blood.”

“Ana, tasting my blood is a symbol. I am giving you my life, just as you will give me yours. It is what will bind us for eternity.” He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her palm, sending tingles, as if a million tiny ants marched through her veins. “As I already told you, the ceremony is short, but every word we say, every gesture, symbolizes something.”

“Can’t we do all that without the blood part?” With the tingles melted away, and a nervous energy replacing them, she dared to gaze at him.

“We are vampires, Ana. Blood is life.”

 

 

 

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One Contemporary in a Sea of Historicals #sweetandspicyromance #romance #contemporary #BoraBora

I’ve often been asked why I chose to break from the historical romance sub-genre for my fifth novel, The Parking Space.

Honestly, the reason is I just wanted a break. Historical romance novels take a lot of time and research and having just come off writing four of them—one of which was extremely difficult . . . cough, When the Black Roses Grow, cough . . . set during the Salem Witch Trials—I just needed a break. I needed easy.

For the most part, this book was a breeze to write. Yes, I still have to do research when it came to veterinary medicine and accurately describing the islands of Bora Bora. However, it wasn’t near what I had to do for the other novels and was a nice break.

I have to say that while I still prefer the historical sub genre of romance, writing a contemporary or chick lit every now and then would probably be fun for me. I have a few ideas for other stories in mind. Unfortunately, for them, they always seem to get pushed down the list. Perhaps after another number of historicals, I’ll find that I need easy once again and they will get their chance in the sun. I guess we shall see.

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Welcome Carrie! #paranormal #romance #amreading #paranormalromance

Carrie Pulkinen is a paranormal romance author who has always been fascinated with things that go bump in the night.

Of course, when you grow up next door to a cemetery, the dead (and the undead) are hard to ignore. Pair that with her passion for writing and her love of a good happily-ever-after, and becoming a paranormal romance author seems like the only logical career choice.

Before she decided to turn her love of the written word into a career, Carrie spent the first part of her professional life as a high school journalism and yearbook teacher.

She loves red wine and chocolate, and in her free time, she likes to read, take pictures, and spend time with her family.

For more information on Carrie and her available titles, visit her WEBSITE or other social media outlets. To Catch a Spirit (Spirit Chasers Book 1), To Stop a Shadow (Spirit Chasers Book 2).

A second-chance romance where the past isn’t the only thing that’s haunting…

Paranormal investigator and IT genius Gage Dawson sucks at dating. Ten times out of ten, his relationships don’t make it past dinner. But when his childhood best friend comes back into his life, he’s determined to take her all the way to breakfast. He never told her he loved her in high school. Hopefully he won’t make that mistake again.

Psychic medium Erica Miller is struggling to make her haunted community theater a success. She’s never had a problem with ghosts before, but when black-outs, confusion, and headaches plague her rehearsals, she’ll need the help of a certain paranormal investigator to find the culprit.

Erica hasn’t seen Gage since high school, and the nerdy boy-next-door she once called her best friend has grown into a mouth-watering specimen of a man. Will sparks fly between them, or will the spirits drive them apart?

“This is me.” She pointed to a dark gray Saturn. “I better get home.” She opened the door, but hesitated to get in. Instead, she turned and pulled him into a hug. “It was good talking with you again.”

Damn, she felt good pressed against him. “Yeah, it was.”

She touched her lips to his cheek, a friendly gesture she’d done many times when they were kids. But this time, she didn’t pull away. Her mouth lingered near his jaw, her breath warming his skin. She pulled back ever-so-slowly, her nose brushing against his cheek as her lips neared his own.

His heart pounded in his chest. She glanced into his eyes and lowered her gaze to his mouth. Leaning toward him, she brushed her lips to his. Softly. Cautiously, as if she wasn’t sure kissing him was the right thing to do. She pulled back slightly to catch his gaze, and then, cupping his face in her hands, she kissed him again, this time, like she meant it.

The taste of lime on her lips made his head spin, and he fought the urge to crush his body to hers and kiss her harder. He’d let her take the lead for now. Rushing her into something she wasn’t sure she wanted was bound to backfire.

She inhaled deeply and pulled away, a smile curving her lips as she looked into his eyes. “Hmm.” She lowered her gaze and blinked up at him. “That was nice.”

“Yeah.”

She slid into the driver’s seat. “I hope I’ll see you again soon.”

“Me too.”

She closed the door and waved as she drove away.

Gage shoved his hands in his pockets and watched until her car disappeared around the corner. What had happened there? Had she really kissed him? He played the moment over in his mind. The way her breath felt against his skin. The softness of her lips brushing his. That had been way more than a friendly kiss.

“So, you and Erica hit it off.” Lindsay grinned at him from the sidewalk, pulling him from his thoughts.

He sauntered toward her. “We’re just friends from high school.”

“Just friends don’t kiss each other on the mouth.”

He chuckled. “No, I guess they don’t.”

It’s all about keeping it personal . . . #sweetandspicyromance #romance #contemporary #humor #cat #amreadingromance

I get asked a lot if I ever put personal information or stories in my novels. Well, the answer to that is “of course”! I love putting personal touches in my writing. It makes it extra fun when friends and family notice and send me messages about it too.

So what is an example of this? Well, actually here are two.

In my novel, The Parking Space, Helen shares a story about her orange tabby cat named Charlie with Rick. Not only do I own a fat, orange tabby named Charlie, but the funny story Helen shares actually happened to my late cat Tuffy.

I still remember that night like it was yesterday. My husband and I laid in bed laughing for at least 30 minutes before going to look for him. So what’s the story?

“Is there anything cuter than a kitten?”

“I don’t think there is.” He picked up a Siamese colored one and cradled it in his hand. “How old was Charlie when you got him?”

“Seven or eight weeks.” Memories of my fat cat as a rambunctious kitten stirred in my mind. Times when he’d use my furniture as trees or go running through my kitchen, his claws slipping on the linoleum so badly he actually wouldn’t move an inch no matter how hard he tried.

I couldn’t help but laugh to myself.

“What’s so funny?”

“I remember this one time I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep. Everything was dark, I mean pitch black, and I couldn’t see anything. I could hear Charlie running through the apartment. Up over the couch, through the living, through the dining room, I could hear his claws in the carpet. Finally, he ran into my bedroom and through the bathroom door. I heard him on the tile and then all of a sudden there was this huge splash.” I paused, clutching my chest, barely able to speak through my laughter. “I had forgotten to put the toilet seat lid down.”

“Oh no.” Rick slapped his hand over his mouth then jerked his head back with laughter.

“I couldn’t stop laughing and must have laid there for at least ten minutes before I went looking for him.”

“That’s hilarious.”

“It was. It really was. Gross. But so funny.”

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Welcome Gwen! #romance #amreading #amreadingromance #contemporary

Born and raised near the Puget Sound in Washington State, Gwen and her family now live in Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Prior to that Gwen lived in Los Angeles and had careers in directing, acting, and singing while performing at the piano. After years in academia, writing one research article followed by another, Gwen turned her talents toward writing fiction and found she happily could not stop.

In addition to writing romance, Gwen also has two published non-fiction books on the work she does in conjunction with her business, Expressive Voice Dynamics: Soul of Voice and Soul of My Voice.

When she’s not reading, writing, or playing with her two black pugs, Buster Keaton and Emmett Kelly, Gwen works in the theatre, teaches college students how to muster the courage to follow their dreams, or assists psychotherapy clients in discovering more joy and meaning in their lives.

Keep up with Gwen by visiting her websites at www.gwenoverland.com and www.cunigundavalentine.com or other social media.

Bailey Anderssohn, one-time international opera star, inherits the family ranch near Salmon Run, Washington. Seeking a creative outlet, she jumps at the chance to ghost-write the autobiography of a retiring German soccer star.

It’s a difficult few months for Bailey, since the young man’s widowed father, Bastien Steinholz, is not only rude, but also refuses to divulge needed information about the family’s past. Still, the attraction between them slowly dispels their initial apprehensions about each other.

Can these two seemingly unsuited people escape their loneliness and into one another’s hearts? Will they find a way to trust each other enough to fall in love again? And if they do, how will they manage living continents away from each other?

 

As soon as the ovation had subsided, Paul leapt up onto the platform where the grand piano and his father stood.

“Thank you, father. As always, that was beautiful—one of my favorites, as you well know,” Paul said, placing his hand on his father’s shoulder. “Ladies and Gentlemen, friends,” he continued. “I have a bit of a surprise for all of you. Our dear Bailey Rogers has not always been a writer but has had a notable career in the past as a soubrette. Many of you may have known her as Bailey Anderssohn. Her sister Sonja Anderssohn is the celebrated mezzo at the New York Met. It may be an imposition, but would you be so kind, Bailey, as to favor us with an offering this evening?”

Oh shit! How do I get out of this?!

Bailey face froze into a grimace. She loved Paul and his family, but to come out of retirement on such short notice was nothing short of torture. And she would have said no thank you or something else to beg off, but then she saw a glint of joyful comeuppance surface on Bastien Steinholz’s half-smiling face. That did it! No way was she going to give that old fart a minute’s enjoyment at her discomfort.

Bailey softened her expression and stood. “I would be delighted.  Although it has been some years since I performed, I accept your request, but only if the illustrious Herr Steinholz will accompany me on the piano.” The crowd clapped in unison and sang out, “Bailey! Bailey! Bailey!” And then “Bastien! Bastien! Bastien!”

Touché!

She had Mr. Grumpy Pants right where she wanted him. And from the look on Bastien’s face, he knew it.

“It would be my pleasure, Fräulein.” He nodded and smiled. Well not exactly smiled, but allowed the corners of his mouth to rise ever so slightly as his forehead furrowed, and his feet made a strange and unfamiliar motion.

He didn’t actually just click his heels, did he?

Bailey tried not to laugh but as usual had little success at squelching her sense of humor.

Paul met Bailey at the edge of the small stage and assisted her onto it. The women that evening had all dressed in their finest ball gowns, and Bailey was no exception. She was short and muscular, but the floor length pale blue dress gave her the illusion of being much taller than she actually was. That and the neckline which did not fail to show off her best physical feature—two full round breasts. Standing between the two Steinholz men made her more aware of her figure than she’d been in several years, particularly since it was obvious to her that Herr Steinholz senior was having difficulty keeping his gaze up and forward.

“Herr Steinholz, …” she began.

“Bastien, please!” he interrupted.

“Bastien, might I trouble you to accompany me on “The Laughing Song” from Die Fledermaus? Somehow I feel the aria is most appropriate for this auspicious occasion.”

Bastien lifted his left eyebrow and took a step toward her. As he bent to place his mouth close to her ear, her body responded with a small shudder.

What the hell is this all about? I don’t even like the man, let alone feel attracted to him. Do I?

“Fraulein Rogers,” he whispered, “are you sure you want to choose that particular aria? It isn’t the easiest thing to pull off if you are no longer concertizing.”

Bailey placed her hand on his arm. The man’s body warmed hers. “I was going to ask you the same question, Bastien. And by the way, my name is Bailey. Bailey, Bastien. Bastien, Bailey.”

Bastien immediately stood up straight. It was obvious to Bailey that he was trying his damnedest not to look down her dress. And if she wasn’t mistaken, he was aware that she knew his blush had more to do with his desire to take in her womanly charms than her most recent reprimand.

“Yes, Bailey, I am quite aware of your name as well as my own. And so, Adele’s “Laughing Song”, as you wish!”

He turned and seated himself in front of the keyboard. He knew this aria backwards and forwards and so did not need the music in front of him. Bastien had trained himself over the years to watch every movement and nuance of his singers so as to support their performances as professionally and as personally as he could. Bailey would be no exception.

As Bailey internally prepared for her performance, Bastien could not help but stare at her standing alone in the curve of the piano. She was beautiful, he had to admit, in an American sort of way—independent, strong, self-assured. Except then he saw the slight twitch of her fingers—a sure sign of nerves—and his heart leapt into his throat. She was vulnerable after all, and not the nosey brassy busy-body American he had initially thought her to be. A world of discovery was held in those fragile, child-like fingers of hers. Bastien knew the woman to be in her early thirties, if not a few years older, but in that moment Bailey seemed more like a lost child in search of a loving adult to love and be loved by. He could only imagine what she would feel like curled up on his lap hidden in the strength his arms.

Bastien shook his head in an effort to dismiss whatever his brain was doing to his male parts. He wasn’t ready to fall in love again, for love meant but one thing—loss. And in his experience loss only brought self-reproach and pain. And he had had enough of that to last a lifetime. Bastien’s only recourse was to push the woman away before he had the chance to destroy the two of them.

“Bastien?”

Huh?

“Bastien?” She softly called to him a second time and nodded to let him know that she was at last to perform the aria. Which he now wished he had not challenged her to do.

Gott in Himmel, get your head out of your ass and stop embarrassing yourself!

Once he got a hold of his bearings, Bastien’s fingers flew across the keyboard as he skillfully played the introduction. Bailey came alive as she stepped into the character of the saucy maid, teasing then scolding her aristocratic master for misinterpreting her behavior.

It had been years since Bailey had performed this aria, let alone performed. For the first time in years she felt a freedom that she had not experienced since before the death of her child and her subsequent nasty divorce. It didn’t take her more than a few measures to understand why. This audience had no expectations of her, nor did they demand perfection. They merely wanted to experience yet another facet of the woman who had written about their beloved native son.  They were listening not only for their pleasure, but for hers.

As Bastien played, Bailey danced around him, pretending he was the opera’s Marquis. She teased him, provoked him, and sensually invited his attention to her womanly virtues. When she leaned in behind him allowing her breasts to push against his back, she sensed his sexual response as his breathing became more rapid.

The laughter in the aria brought Bailey around to the front of the piano once again.

“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!”

Then as the end neared, Bailey seductively leaned forward over the keys. When she took his face in her hands, he grinned at her in return.

That rare smile momentarily caught her off guard. For a moment she actually slipped out of character, oddly shaken by the Baron’s obvious attention. In that brief moment she felt as through the two of them had connected in such a way that they saw each other for the first time as who they truly were. Battered but not beaten survivors of great loss and pain. Instead of scaring her, that lightning bolt realization felt good, perfect. As if it was meant to feel when one meets the love of their life. The electricity in that nanosecond felt eternal—as if it had always been and would always remain.

I must be losing my mind. If that isn’t the corniest thing I’ve ever …

The sound of applause broke Bailey’s attention. She inhaled sharply and spun out to face her audience. As if on autopilot she executed a deep curtsy. She then motioned for Bastien to stand and take a bow. Later when he tried to recall this moment, absolutely nothing came to his mind.

And Bailey was no better off. She immediately recognized the connection between her and her host and fought against allowing herself to go there. Tomorrow she would be leaving Schloss Steinholz and Germany all together, probably never to return given her duties at the ranch. Especially now that her father had gone on to be with her mother. This whatever it was should not be happening now!

Before she knew what was happening Bastien pulled her into his arms. “You are something, Ms Bailey Rogers,” he whispered. “And not at all what I had earlier assumed. Please accept my apology for any rudeness you may have felt.”

He let her go, looking down her dress as he did. And damn, if he didn’t again smile, this time with his entire face.

Welcome Jeri! #romance #YA #author #amreadingromance #amreadingYA

Jeri is a native Californian that found her storytelling voice while walking home from elementary school. Long walks with a hyper imagination led to all sorts of wild ideas. Her debut novel, Wildflower, finally came to fruition after she was laid off from her full time job as Human Resources Manager.

She now works part time as a substitute High School teacher, which is a constant source of fabulous material. She lives in Orange County, California with her husband of 28 years, her teenage son, their dog Sam, and cats Sparky and Lilly. The whole time missing her daughter who’s away at college. Jeri does her best writing still while walking, but now Sam goes as well.

 When not writing she is an avid reader, of course. She also is an equally avid tennis fan and can be found watching the Tennis Channel most nights. Definitely, do not bother her during Grand Slam tournaments. She is currently working on several Romantic Suspense novels, plus another Young Adult book is brewing. Stay tuned she’s just getting started.

For more information on Jeri and her writing you can visit her WEBSITE or other social media.

I wrote this book because teenagers have to deal with so many heavy issues in life. I wanted them to read this and know that they do have control over there own lives even if their home life is chaotic. I wanted them to have hope and understand that they are not responsible for their parents actions. They can be successful if they stay focused on the good things like doing good in school and by doing good I don’t mean having to get A’s. Instead its just being present and trying by connecting and reaching out to teachers, counselors whoever is present in their lives. People want to help you just have to be brave and reach out.

Jesse learned early not to trust a soul, but what if he was her soul mate?

Senior year of high school should be about friendship, boyfriends and graduation, but for seventeen-year-old, Jesse Barnes, it’s about escaping the shame of life with an alcoholic mother.

Jesse’s goals are clear, keep a roof over her head, avoid the revolving door of leering men her mother brings home, graduate from high school, and do everything possible to keep her home life secret. Friends, boyfriends, not an option. Who would understand?

Then, perfect, popular Derek Aames, sits with Jesse at lunch. How can she discourage him? How can she keep him from intruding on her life and discovering her secret? And most of all how can she keep him out of her heart?

Will his persistence finally break down her walls, or just break her?

Women of the Klondike #sweetandspicyromance #romance #historicalromance #amreadingromance #writing #Klondike

I remember reading a review for my novel IN THE LAND OF GOLD once that stated that a woman couldn’t have made it up the Klondike trail during the gold rush—especially living through the unbelievable and harsh conditions that I unrealistically created for my character. Women just didn’t do those types of things back then.

I gotta say, that review actually made me laugh.

Not only did I use actual events that happened to people back then as events in my novel (more on that at a later date), but apparently, this reviewer doesn’t know about women like Kathleen Rockwell (best known as “Klondike Kate”), Mollie Brackett, Kate Carmack, Belinda Mulrooney, Ethel Bush Berry, Mary Evelyn Hitchcock, Edith Van Buren, and Marie Riedeselle, just to name a few.

These women not only trekked the Klondike trail, but they mined for gold, owned hotels and restaurants, wrote novels, as well as built several other businesses, both alone and with their husbands.

Say what? Women actually lived and worked up in the Klondike?

Yes, they did. And it wasn’t just the ones I named. History is full of wives who followed their husbands up the trail, some of them finding out they were pregnant along the way, or some even giving birth in the trees and campsites, and others who dragged their already born children along with them, children that ranged in ages from a few months to several years. These women shared the same harsh living and working conditions, overcoming the sam hardships. They hiked the Chilkoot Trail. They prepared food over fires. They all faced sub-zero temperatures, sleeping in wool blankets or animal hides with only a layer of spruce boughs between them and the frozen ground.

And it wasn’t just the married women who did this.

Single women, both alone and with friends also made the journey. Most for the gold, wanting to make their own way and their own money in life. Women who didn’t want to live by the rules a man gave them. Some even did so because they were widowed and wanted the adventure.

Stories about these women are often ignored, and most of the ones that are told, were either about dance-hall girls, prostitutes, or nuns. Unfortunately, because of this, we have missed countless accounts from the women themselves. Stories of how some faced difficulties that the men didn’t like hiking in high-heeled boots, corsets, bloomers, ankle-length skirts, blouses, and jackets. Of course, some ditched such impractical apparel and dressed like the men.

It was in these stories that I found my novel and I found my heroine Cora. I have to say that I can’t wait to get my rights back to the story so I can add to it, and perhaps, even publish the sequel idea that I can’t seem to shake from my head.

I can’t wait to share the new story . . . or stories with all of you!

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Ah, the luck of the Irish #sweetandspicyromance #romance #historicalromance #amreadingromance #amreading

One particular question that keeps being asked about my hero, Flynn O’Neil, in my novel IN THE LAND OF GOLD is why did I make him Irish.

Honestly? I did it because I love the accent.

Yep, that’s why. It’s just that simple.

I actually have a few accents that I love to listen to and quite frankly, I can’t between the Irish, Scottish, Australian, and New Zealand accents, tell you which is my favorite. I love them all and can listen to both men and women talk in those accents all day long.

Of course, it wasn’t until I sat down and started putting him in the story that his nationality and accent came out, but once it did, that was it. I was hooked. The heroine was hooked. We all were hooked. He was an Irishman. Period.

The bartender set a shot glass in front of me and filled it, spilling a few drops. I grasped the glass and downed the whiskey in one gulp.

“So wat’re yeh hidin’ from?” A deep voice with a heavy Irish accent, from behind me somewhere, invaded my thoughts.

“I beg your pardon?” Turning to face the speaker, I spun a little too far in the chair, and the room pitched and rolled.

The unshaved ruggedness of the stranger’s chiseled jaw line exaggerated his perfect, broad smile. In my whiskey-induced haze, his devilish grin nearly knocked me off my stool. With piercing, dark brown eyes, and black messy hair, his utter deliciousness captivated me.

“Wat’re ye hidin’ from?”

Not in the mood for casual conversation, I desired nothing more than to tell him to leave me alone. To shout at him for approaching a woman he didn’t know and asking such a ridiculous, personal question, but the coy, seduction in his voice stopped me. He left me breathless, and for a brief second, the absurd thought of kissing him crossed my mind—annoying me even more.

“What sort of a question is that?” I asked.

“Apparently, one ye don’ want t’ answer,” the Irishman laughed as he sat on the barstool next to mine. “Only two kinds of women walk int’a a bar and get drunk in the first five minutes. One, be lookin’ for male company,” he paused and gave me a wink. “And the other be hidin’ from somethin’ she don’ wish t’ face.”

“I’m not drunk,” I snapped. “And, I’m not the sort of woman who is looking for male company.”

He laughed again. “No, I didn’t think ye were.” He leaned in to whisper the last word, and the gentle roll in his voice over the letter ‘r’ sent a chill down my spine.

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It’s time to give the book blurb some lovin’ #writing #amwriting #romance #fantasy #paranormal

Nothing. I repeat NOTHING is more hated in the career of being an author than writing the synopsis and the book blurb. Nothing. Well, perhaps writer’s block, but some of the authors I’ve talked to say they’d take writers block any day over having to write their book blurb.

Why is it so hated?

Several reasons that I believe are best described in the book “How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis“, which if you haven’t purchased and read this book you should! Trust me. It will help you.

For some it’s a loss of those utterly and deliciously poetic flowing sentences that capture the essence of our writer voice. Short, choppy, and to the point is not how one writes a novel. Well, perhaps, a children’s book, but not a ‘what you hope is going to be a New York Times Best Seller’! For others it can feel like we aren’t the authors at all, but more like the pictured image of the used car salesman complete with Elvis hair, a banana yellow suit he bought from 1970, and gold chains around his neck. ‘Buy this book! Ain’t no better book then this here book. She reads like a beauty and hasn’t given me a lick of trouble.’ Instead of feeling like the author, you feel like someone trying to convince someone else to buy a product you have nothing to do with, you just want the paycheck. And lastly, for some, there is no point A to point Z in a blurb. We cut major plot lines, delete important dialogue, and gloss over world details.

OUCH! But that’s all the important stuff!!

Let’s face it, authors don’t like cutting our hard work and the book blurb is just that: our work cut up like a piece of paper when a kid is trying to make a snowflake.

So what is an author supposed to do? Well, for starters go read that book. Then take what you’ve learned and get to writing your blurb. While I won’t go into detail about the steps learned, I will give you two examples of what it taught me and how my blurbs have improved. Are they perfect now? Probably not. But they sure are a lot better then they were. It’s no wonder that they weren’t selling. I wouldn’t have bought them either.

Old

After her fiancé leaves her at the altar and a blind date stands her up, Helen Wright is done with love. Married to her real estate career instead, the only thought on her mind is selling a top listed house in San Francisco so she can finally afford the home of her dreams.

After her wealthiest client fires her, Helen’s vision of moving away from her cramped apartment and the person stealing her parking space vanishes. Her professional life is now feeling just as pathetic as her love life. So when her best friend, Lisa, informs her that she’s getting married in Bora Bora, Helen packs her bags for a much-needed vacation and boards a place with the excitement of leaving all her Mr. Wrongs behind.

A new practice and a new place to live, those are the only two things that veterinarian Rick Stark needs after finding out his fiancée cheated on him. With his trust in women shattered, he jumps at the chance for the perfect job, leaving San Francisco in the dust. However, while visiting his possible new boss on the islands of Bora Bora, he finds himself in the company of a familiar face—the attractive owner of a patient who he once thought he wasn’t interested in.

Could it be that maybe he was wrong about her? And if so, what’s he supposed to do when her old flame falls into the picture wanting to rekindle what they once had?

New

Real Estate Agent Helen Wright is done with love. Left at the altar then stood up by a blind date, her only ‘significant other’ is her her fat, orange tabby, Charlie. When her wealthiest client fires her then bad mouths her all over the city, Helen’s professional life becomes just as pathetic as her love life.In need of a vacation, she packs her bags and heads to Bora Bora to attend her best friend’s wedding.

Single again, veterinarian Rick Stark needs only three things: a new practice, a new city, and a new place to live. He’s desperate to move on from his cheating ex-fiancée. Tired of sleeping on a friend’s couch, he jumps at the opportunity to apply for the perfect job on the beautiful islands of Bora Bora.

Both alone, Rick and Helen find themselves oddly determined to help each other have fun and crazy vacations.

Could both of them been wrong about finding love again? And if so, what will happen when her old flame pops back into the picture wanting to reignite the engagement he once ended?

So what exactly was wrong with the old one? Well for starters, I had the same word start the first paragraph and the second paragraph. HELLO! Second off, I had way too much detail about the plot. Remember the old saying: K.I.S.S ~ Keep It Simple Stupid. Did I really need to name her best friend? No. Did I really need to tell the reader her dream about selling a top listed house to buy her own? No. Did I need to tell the reader she was excited to go on vacation? No. Did I put in way too much unneeded details? YES.

And as if I’m not embarrassed enough by that one, here is another.

Old

Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day the stock market crashed, and the day Evelyn Ford will never forget.

With the untimely death of her parents and the loss of their only income, Evelyn, and her brother, Frank flee to a make-shift hovel built in Central Park. After Frank mysteriously goes missing, bare cupboards force Evelyn to seek employment anywhere she can find work, even if that means working at a burlesque theater.

Catching the attention of Don Vincent Giovanni, a Kingpin in the New York mafia, Evelyn discovers that Frank is serving time in prison for running hooch and he owes Vincent a lot of money. In order to pay off her brother’s debt, Evelyn is thrown into the world of mobsters and bootlegging.

Between running hooch all over the city of New York and trying to save her brother, Evelyn finds herself drawn to Max Catalano, Vincent’s Consigliere. Even with secrets of his own, he’s the only one she can trust when she entangles herself in the middle of the New York mafia crime wars.

New

Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day the stock market crashed. And the day Evelyn Ford will never forget.

With the untimely death of her parents and the mysterious disappearance of her brother, bare cupboards force Evelyn to seek employment anywhere she can get it—even if that means becoming a bootlegger and illegally running hooch. Too bad her new boss ends up being none other than Don Vincent Giovanni, a Kingpin in the city of New York. Thrown into the world of the mob, she finds herself drawn to Max Catalano, the only man she believes she can trust.

Unfortunately, the family’s Consigliere has secrets of his own. Secrets that could get him and those he’s protecting killed. The last thing he needs is a beautiful young woman messing with his well-laid plans—especially when her foolish choices get her entangled in the middle of the mafia crime wars.

Can he keep her safe? Or will both of their deceptions catch up with them in the end?

Again, what is the problem with the first one: details! Less is more, Angela. Less. Is. More. Did I really need to name her brother? No. Did I really need to tell the reader that they lived in a hovel in Central Park? No. Did I really need to tell the reader about her brother’s debt problems? No. Actually really no, because that is kind of a plot twist that I spoiled. Yay, me. Ugh.

So with sharing my bonehead moments, I say go forth, read the book I mentioned above, and finally enjoy writing your book blurbs!

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How to share your Amazon buy link #writing #amwriting #romance #fantasy #paranormal

Wait . . . what is the reason for this blog post? You mean there is a right and wrong way to share my Amazon buy link?

Yes. The answer is yes.

Have you ever logged on to Author Central and noticed one of your novels was missing a review? Well, besides a multitude of reasons (which never are explained by Amazon itself), it could be that you shared the wrong link. And when you do it wrong, you are sending the information to Amazon that YOU shared the link. A message that flags the reviews because then they believe you paid for them.

If I were to go onto Amazon right now and look up one of my titles, say A Road Paved in Copper, the link the address bar would look like this: (I know I’m missing the https://)

http://www.amazon.com/Paved-Copper-Angela-Christina-Archer-ebook/dp/B0713N8T3V/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515588185&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Road+Paved+in+Copper

Now, if I were to go through my Author Central account to the book, then the link might look like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Paved-Copper-Angela-Christina-Archer-ebook/dp/B0713N8T3V/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

And here is where the problem is. Everything past the book code, B0713N8T3V, signals to Amazon that someone else looked up the book, meaning it was shared and that the particular person now coming to this page didn’t look the book up for themselves, but was sent there by someone. There first idea who? The author.

Warning! Warning! Warning! Red Alert! Red Alert! They’ve paid for a review. We must deny it!

So what is an author to do?

The link you should share is everything prior to the book code, plus the https://

http://www.amazon.com/Paved-Copper-Angela-Christina-Archer-ebook/dp/B0713N8T3V

That is your link and the safe link to share.

If you don’t understand this, here is a video that explains it by showing you.

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A Writer’s Life as told by Phoebe Buffay #writing #amwriting #romance #fantasy #paranormal

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post called A Writer’s Life as told by Joey Tribbiani from the hit TV show Friends. About nine months later, I did another one called A Writer’s Life as told by Ross Geller, and a few months after that,  I did A Writer’s Life as told by Chandler Bing. They were so much fun to put together, that of course, I couldn’t let the boys have all the fun. So I asked and you answered.

Which Friend should I do next? Well, the votes are in and Phoebe Buffay was the winner, so . . .

When you think of an amazing plot twist . . .

When you’re trying to come up with a good sex scene . . .

When you’re trying to get past your writer’s block . . .

And then when your author friends brag about good writing days while you have writer’s block . . .

When your character does something you didn’t plan on . . . and it’s not good . . .

When someone asks you if your novel is done and it’s not . . .

When you first open up the notes from your editor . . .

And you read through them . . .

Only to discover that your editor wants you to make changes that cause massive rewrites . . .

When someone asks you how your edits are going . . .

When you finally finish those massive rewrites . . . and go out to celebrate drinking . . .

And dancing . . .

When you get a rejection letter from a publisher or agent . . .

And they say that they can’t market or sell your novel . . .

When someone asks you what you’re going to do next . . .

But in the end, you decide all you can do is keep moving forward . . .

Want free access to updates, sales, exclusive excerpts and short stories, plus awesome book suggestions? Subscribe to my NEWSLETTER today!

MidWinters Eve Blog Hop #romance #giveaway #rodanandfields #Klondike #historical

Yes, I’m about to go there.

I’m about to remind you that you have less than a week to finish your Christmas shopping—5 days, in fact. Ha!

I’m sorry, and yet, I’m not sorry. For those who haven’t finished, I feel your pain. I haven’t finished either.

So with that, I think I wrote this more as a punishment to myself. It’s masochistic, I know, but I guess we need to be a little now and then to help us get our butts in gear.

 

While the tasks of Christmas shopping, mailing cards, hanging lights and decorating the house, and all the holiday baking stress out some, it doesn’t really stress me out. Sure, I have moments where I can feel overwhelmed, but for the most part, I try to soak in the experience rather than dread it.

Growing up, my parents never let me believe in Santa Claus. I never really knew why, and I’ve never asked, but I knew that when I had kids, I wanted to do that different…or at least, a little differently. Of course, in our house will still believe, talk about, and focus on the birth of Jesus Christ during the Christmas season. However, with that said, I’m also one of those parents who allows the belief in Santa Claus until they decide they don’t want to believe anymore.

I know that some would scoff at that, but I don’t really care.

For me, Christmas is holiday season to spend with my family. Even if as I type this my kids are driving me insane. Sure, I get to spend every day with them, but there is just something different about the holidays. I think it’s because of the traditions.

From throwing glitter and oats in the snow for the reindeer, to putting sprinkles and frosting on Cherrios…er, I mean Elf donuts for the Elves, to reading T’was the Night Before Christmas—all the little touches to every year that renew a sense of peace, hope, and love.

It’s the joy of the Christmas stress….

So what do I have for you on this stop of the Mid Winters Eve Blog Hop hosted by Bookhounds?

A free eBook copy of my novel In the Land of Gold set during the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cora Colton can’t believe she even doubts saying yes to Christopher Payton’s proposal. From a good family, wealthy, and charming, Christopher is perfect for her. However, seeing his band of gold and diamonds, she hesitates. Something is missing, something is wrong, but she just doesn’t know what that something is.

After her father’s sudden death, Cora travels to Tacoma and learns that she is now the owner of his gold claim in Dawson City, Canada. Throwing caution to the wind, she leaves her engagement ring on the table, and departs for Canada and the adventure of a lifetime.

Arriving in the canvas tent town of Skagway on the Klondike trail, Coral catches the attention of Flynn O’Neill, an Irishman who has lived on the trail, guiding stampeeders for a few years. A bond thrusts them together, but their pasts could be what tears them apart—if they can survive the hardships and death on the trail to the land of gold.

“So what’re yeh hiding from?” A deep voice with a heavy Irish accent, from behind me somewhere, invaded my thoughts.

“I beg your pardon?” Turning to face the speaker, I spun a little too far in the chair, and the room pitched and rolled.

The unshaved ruggedness of the stranger’s chiseled jaw line exaggerated his perfect, broad smile. In my whiskey-induced haze, his devilish grin nearly knocked me off my stool.

With piercing, dark brown eyes, and black messy hair, his utter deliciousness captivated me.

“What’re yeh hiding from?”

Not in the mood for casual conversation, I desired nothing more than to tell him to leave me alone. To shout at him for approaching a woman he didn’t know and asking such a ridiculous, personal question, but the coy, seduction in his voice stopped me. He left me breathless, and for a brief second, the absurd thought of kissing him crossed my mind—annoying me even more.

What is wrong with me? I can’t kiss a stranger. I’m a betrothed woman.

“What sort of a question is that?” I asked.

“Apparently, one yeh don’t want to answer,” the Irishman laughed as he sat on the barstool next to mine. “Only two different types of women walk into a bar and get drunk within the first five minutes. One type is looking for male company,” he paused and gave me a wink. “And the other is hiding from something she doesn’t want to face.”

“I’m not drunk,” I snapped. “And, I’m not the sort of woman who is looking for male company.”

He laughed again. “No, I didn’t think yeh were.” He leaned in to whisper the last word, and the gentle roll in his voice over the letter ‘r’ sent a chill down my spine.

“I’m an engaged woman.”

“Are yeh now? Well he’s a fortunate lad, then. Isn’t he?” the Irishman glanced over one shoulder and then the other. “I’d love to meet him.”

I cleared my throat. “He’s not here.”

“And, here I thought most men wouldn’t be too keen on their fiancée coming into a bar late at night all by herself.”

“He doesn’t know I’m here.”

My cheeks flushed, burning with embarrassment.

Why on earth did I just say that?

The Irishman smirked and glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. His expression amused.

“So, what’re yeh hiding from?”

Don’t forget to check out all the fabulous blogs on this hop!

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway #sweetandspicyromance #romance #bloghop #amreading #giveaway

It’s nearing Christmas and I’m so excited! I’ve been in that “magical time of year” haze. Especially since putting up our Christmas tree.

For those of you who don’t know my most favorite thing to do during the holidays is writing by the light of my Christmas tree.

Each morning in December, I get up really early while everyone is asleep, turn on the tree lights, and nestle in my couch with a cup of hot chocolate—laced with a peppermint stick, of course—in my hand and my computer in lap.

It’s such a blissful time.

December is the most favorite time I spend with my craft, a time like no other, no matter the month, season, or holiday. I don’t know how to explain it, but there is just something different about sitting in the shadows of such a timeless symbol and elegant reminder of the innocence of Christmas.

The red, blue, green, and yellow lights reflecting off the tinsel brings, not only an inner peace I don’t know if I could justify with simple words, but memories of Christmas’s long since passed. Unwrapping gifts as a child from family and friends, decorating the tree year after year, and now watching the spirit and magic of Christmas in the eyes of my daughters.

Merry-merry-christmas-kraucik83-17692146-1024-768With each passing year, more and more homemade ornaments fill the pine scented branches of our yearly tree, bringing more memories that will last throughout the years just as much as the ones they join. Nearly all of the ornaments on my tree are the same ones I put on the each of the trees growing up. Old Hallmark ones with the years 1988 and 1989 written on them. Handmade ones my Grandmother stitched and stuffed when my mom was a child and money was tight. Ones I made as a young child in school, and now ones my daughter has made. It’s funny how a badly painted ball by a two year old or a Styrofoam star covered in glitter can melt your heart.

In less than a couple of weeks, I will take each of the ornaments down, boxing them up for another year. I will miss them as I am not ready to let go of Christmas just yet. I feel this way every year, and this year is no different. Of course with the end of Christmas comes the last holiday of this season. Our time to celebrate 2018 is just around the corner—another year of everyday life and another year of counting down the days until I can write by the soft glow again.

So what do I have for you on this stop of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by Stuck in Books?

A free eBook copy of my novel In the Land of Gold set during the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cora Colton can’t believe she even doubts saying yes to Christopher Payton’s proposal. From a good family, wealthy, and charming, Christopher is perfect for her. However, seeing his band of gold and diamonds, she hesitates. Something is missing, something is wrong, but she just doesn’t know what that something is.

After her father’s sudden death, Cora travels to Tacoma and learns that she is now the owner of his gold claim in Dawson City, Canada. Throwing caution to the wind, she leaves her engagement ring on the table, and departs for Canada and the adventure of a lifetime.

Arriving in the canvas tent town of Skagway on the Klondike trail, Coral catches the attention of Flynn O’Neill, an Irishman who has lived on the trail, guiding stampeeders for a few years. A bond thrusts them together, but their pasts could be what tears them apart—if they can survive the hardships and death on the trail to the land of gold.

“So what’re yeh hiding from?” A deep voice with a heavy Irish accent, from behind me somewhere, invaded my thoughts.

“I beg your pardon?” Turning to face the speaker, I spun a little too far in the chair, and the room pitched and rolled.

The unshaved ruggedness of the stranger’s chiseled jaw line exaggerated his perfect, broad smile. In my whiskey-induced haze, his devilish grin nearly knocked me off my stool.

With piercing, dark brown eyes, and black messy hair, his utter deliciousness captivated me.

“What’re yeh hiding from?”

Not in the mood for casual conversation, I desired nothing more than to tell him to leave me alone. To shout at him for approaching a woman he didn’t know and asking such a ridiculous, personal question, but the coy, seduction in his voice stopped me. He left me breathless, and for a brief second, the absurd thought of kissing him crossed my mind—annoying me even more.

What is wrong with me? I can’t kiss a stranger. I’m a betrothed woman.

“What sort of a question is that?” I asked.

“Apparently, one yeh don’t want to answer,” the Irishman laughed as he sat on the barstool next to mine. “Only two different types of women walk into a bar and get drunk within the first five minutes. One type is looking for male company,” he paused and gave me a wink. “And the other is hiding from something she doesn’t want to face.”

“I’m not drunk,” I snapped. “And, I’m not the sort of woman who is looking for male company.”

He laughed again. “No, I didn’t think yeh were.” He leaned in to whisper the last word, and the gentle roll in his voice over the letter ‘r’ sent a chill down my spine.

“I’m an engaged woman.”

“Are yeh now? Well he’s a fortunate lad, then. Isn’t he?” the Irishman glanced over one shoulder and then the other. “I’d love to meet him.”

I cleared my throat. “He’s not here.”

“And, here I thought most men wouldn’t be too keen on their fiancée coming into a bar late at night all by herself.”

“He doesn’t know I’m here.”

My cheeks flushed, burning with embarrassment.

Why on earth did I just say that?

The Irishman smirked and glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. His expression amused.

“So, what’re yeh hiding from?”

Don’t forget to check out all the fabulous blogs on this hop!

Debut Novel, Take Two #sweetandspicyromance #writing #amwriting #romance #historicalromance

I started my debut novel, The Woman on the Painted Horse, on September 18, 2009 (Wow, eight years? Where has the time gone?), and while I still have three years left in my contract with Soul Mate Publishing for it, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I wasn’t already thinking about what to do with it when the day comes that I get my rights back.

Will I pull it from the market completely? Will I republish it without any changes? Or will I give it a overhaul including another round of revisions, added chapters, more to the ending, and another couple of rounds with an editor?

I have to admit that the first thought has crossed my mind a few times. Why I don’t know. I still love the story and the characters and I think there is a place for it in this world—even if a few bad reviews say otherwise. However, by the time I get my rights back, the novel will be six years old.

But is that as really old as I think it is? Perhaps with a new coat of fresh paint (a new cover) and some remodeling and redecorating (revisions and edits), I could have a second edition that would outshine the first. Wouldn’t that be great?

Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to add to the novel: a few more chapters about the slave running and a better climax ending are just the start. I also know of a few problems the novel has and that need fixing, bad habits that I’ve overcome since the time I was a newbie, as well as cliché endings to chapters that need to go. Along with those, I know that a few plot points need to be flushed out a bit more too.

I suppose to think of pulling it completely was a foolish idea. I don’t really want to do that. I want it out there for people to love (and even hate, I suppose). And I know I don’t want to just republish it as it is. I know it needs work. So I guess on that note, I’m going to revise and republish. I have to say that I’m really growing excited about diving back into this novel and creating something better for it. I worked on it for four long years and I’ve learned so much since then.

I still have three years (although, I suppose in six short months it will be down to two years) before I get my rights back, so I have until March 19, 2020 to execute what I have planned. Since I’m already stretched for writing time, I guess I better get on the ball! Peace out, darling followers!

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Gratitude Giveaway #sweetandspicyromance #bloghop #romance #rodanandfields #historical #amreading

Welcome to my stop on the Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by Bookhounds!

This year, and every year, I am thankful for not only my family and friends, but for all of you who follow and support me! Thank you so much!

So, up for grabs on my stop on this hop is a free eBook copy of my novel and a 2017 Winner of a Crowned Heart of Excellence Award from InD’tale Magazine, As the Liquor Flows.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops after entering the giveaway! The list is posted below.


Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929,

the day the stock market crashed,

and the day Evelyn Ford will never forget.

With the untimely death of her parents and the loss of their only income, Evelyn, and her brother, Frank flee to a make-shift hovel built in Central Park.

After Frank mysteriously goes missing, bare cupboards force Evelyn to seek employment anywhere she can find work, even if that means working at a burlesque theater.

Catching the attention of Don Vincent Giovanni, a Kingpin in the New York mafia, Evelyn discovers that Frank is serving time in prison for running hooch and he owes Vincent a lot of money. In order to pay off her brother’s debt, Evelyn is thrown into the world of mobsters and bootlegging.

Between running hooch all over the city of New York and trying to save her brother, Evelyn finds herself drawn to Max Catalano, Vincent’s Consigliere. Even with secrets of his own, he’s the only one she can trust when she entangles herself in the middle of the New York mafia crime wars.

I opened the box and a circle of sparkling diamonds glistened in the dim light of the hallway. A perfect necklace of crystal-clear jewels the size of peas with a centered diamond the size of a peanut. Fortune in a box that now trembled in my hand.

“Oooh.” The sound proved more of a gasp from my lips than an actual word.

“Turn around,” Max whispered as he grasped the box from me. The intense coffee color in his eyes caught my breath, calming, and yet, unnerving my mind.

I slowly spun away from him and closed my eyes.

Pop.

The sound from the box slapping shut caused me to flinch, and I opened my eyes as his hands lowered in front of me, draping the necklace against my skin.

His fingers tickled the back of my neck while he fastened the clasp. His touch shocked through me and as he stood mere inches behind me, his hot breath breezed across my bare shoulders.

My heart fluttered while the necklace lay against my collarbone. The gold and diamonds hung with an unexpected heaviness.

Max moved around me. “They look stunning on you.”

“Thank you.”

“But then again, I suppose anything would. You’ve been quite the topic downstairs. Everyone wants to know who the mysterious young lady is that Vincent is parading around on his arm.” He paused and clicked his tongue against his lips. “Don’t say that I blame them. I’d want to know, too.”

“Mysterious? No one has ever thought of me as mysterious.”

“I do.”

“Well I have no idea why you would.”

“Is it not obvious to you?”

“What?”

“Not one woman has ever rebuffed Vinny’s affections. They fall to his feet. They desire him because of his clout or because of his money. They are excited when in his company. They love when other women envy them. They’re thrilled, they’re in love, and they gush. And you don’t do any of that.”

A soft laugh snorted through my nose. “Sounds like I’m foolish, instead of mysterious.”

“I’m trained to read people like books.” He heaved a deep sigh. “But with you . . . you’re just like no other book.”

Don’t forget to check out the other wonderful stops on this blog hop!