New Release: “Must Have Faith”

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO
MUST HAVE FAITH!

Must Have Faith – A Darling Cove Novel
by Deborah Garland
 

It’s easy to think the jilted groom is probably a jerk.
But what if he’s not? MustHaveFaith_cvrWhat if he’s the good guy?
 

Faith Copeland has moved back home to the North Fork, where she has to live with stares and
whispers behind her back. In Darling Cove, she’ll only ever be Greg Mallory’s runaway bride. 


Darling Cove Police Officer, Gregory Mallory has been living with the scars and shame of
being left at the altar. Since Faith took off, he’s not wanted to settle down, putting the Mallory name in jeopardy.

When his runaway bride returns, Greg’s tough façade begins to wear away. 

Can Greg and Faith deny the attraction still burning inside them after so long? Will they survive this time around if it doesn’t work out?

Roane Publishing – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Smashwords – iTunes

EXCERPT:
 
Plastic, metal and breasts.
Greg mentally inventoried everything he felt against his skin. His bare skin. It’d taken several seconds to process that he was standing in his underwear. With Faith’s body pressed into his chest, his arms around her shoulders prevented her from falling. His Faith. Her fingers twisted around the camera to secure it, causing long fingernails to scrape against his stomach.
“I have it,” Faith whispered as the pressure of her body against his began to wane.
Not so fast.
His fingers settled under her elbows holding her in place. The bottom of his chin brushed against the top of her head. All these years of imagining what he would say if they were in same room was lost to him at that moment.
Her head tipped back to meet his gaze. Months of distant glances all crashed down into a full-on eye locking stare. Smokey colored eye shadow swept across the beautiful blue eyes he’d gazed at for so many years. Pink lips she’d sunk her teeth into while watching him walk around his house as a young man had driven him to distraction. Her mouth…what he’d done with that mouth. Before…and after he took her virginity.
But one day, uncontrollable tears fell from those eyes. The astonishing words that had tumbled from her lips and mouth still burned in his memory after all these years: Greg, I can’t marry you.
He’d been too proud to beg and was brought up that a gentleman doesn’t raise his voice to a lady. There were so many restless nights he’d lie in bed speculating if Faith’s strange behavior a few weeks before the wedding shouldn’t have been dismissed as jitters.
The white-hot anger had melted away years ago, and even the mild taste of bitterness diminished. All he was left with was burning curiosity. He knew why she left. It was how she could leave that left him bewildered. An assignment in Iraq had come up. It’d been scheduled to leave two days before the wedding. She had sheepishly asked if they could postpone. Although he was quite annoyed, he’d been polite enough to hear her out. Until she dropped the bomb that it was a three-year assignment!
That topic however didn’t seem appropriate at the moment as he held her in that small office.
Greg was ready to speak, but Skye stood in the doorway with wide eyes and an open mouth.
“I’ll be out in a minute,” he repeated, but this time over Faith’s shoulder.
It forced her to spin around. “Oh my God.” She broke away to pull the camera strap over her head and took a giant step towards the door. “I just came in here for water.”
“A big tall glass of it I see.” Skye smirked with her arms crossed.
“What’s taking so long? Son of a—” Gwen rushed into the room as well.
It was enough to have a breakdown over! He was standing in tight boxer briefs in front of his two sisters and the woman he almost married. He dropped his hands to cover the nervous erection that liked to pop up at such inopportune times.
“My father’s getting too many calls, we have to get this moving.” Andrew came up behind Gwen and glanced at Greg. The panic he felt must have been all over his face. Andrew took immediate charge of the situation. “Ladies, let the man get dressed. Come on. Out. You too,” he said to his wife tapping her on the behind.
That’s my sister.
Andrew closed the door but stayed inside the room. He walked to the garment bag hanging on the coat rack. “I’ll give you a hand.” The man ran fashion shows and was used to seeing both men and women in all stages of undress.
Still, it was a little unnerving to have him there while Greg was battling his emotions. “I know how to put a suit on.”
“Prada suits can feel awkward at first. I wish you would have given me your exact measurements. I could have had it altered for you.”
“That’s not necessary. I doubt I’ll wear it again,” he said quickly, then inwardly choked, realizing that may have been an insult to the man’s livelihood.
While Greg had been quietly admiring Andrew’s sleek sophisticated look, he preferred jeans, flannel shirts and work boots. And a Glock tucked into his waistband. But he suspected Gwen didn’t want him packing heat in her engagement photos.
“Gwen filled me in on what happened with uh…that woman.” Andrew handed him a tan dress shirt, breaking the awkward silence. “I’m sorry. That must have been difficult.”
Greg had been ready to respond with a touch of sarcasm. Except Andrew had been widowed before he met Gwen. “Yeah. Well. Shit happens.” He tugged the dress pants to get them to fit over his thighs.
Andrew smirked touching his chin. “I have the same problem with Prada’s slacks.”
Greg turned toward the mirror. The fabric stretched tight across his butt. But the waist fit nicely, and the length was perfect. He buttoned up the shirt and stuffed it into the pants. His eyes rolled at the tie. “Purple?”
Andrew opened his arms. “Your sister made me wear a lavender shirt. You’re lucky you only have to wear the tie.” He smoothed his own, bright sapphire blue to match Gwen’s eyes.
A knock pounded on the door and it opened. “Seriously we have to… Oh my God!” Gwen squealed as her hands flew up to her face. “Greg! You look so handsome.”
Considering a former model was standing next to him, Greg took that as a huge compliment.
 
ABOUT DEBORAH GARLAND:
 
Deborah GarlandDeborah Garland is a former computer and sports journalist, turned romance and women’s fiction author. She likes to write about love and the struggles of complicated relationships. Her heroines are strong, and the heroes fall hard for them. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and when she’s not writing, she’s either in the gym, or reading, cuddled up with their two pugs, Zoe and Harley.
FIND THE AUTHOR
at her website, on FaceBook, and at Twitter

 

Interviewing author Deryn Pittar

deryn-croppedI asked Deryn Pittar, author of this week’s featured new release Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South, to share her thoughts on her writing with us.

 

Deryn, tell us about the first book you had published.
Love’s Bright Star was published by Secret Cravings in 2012. It was a huge thrill and from that experience I learned about the editing process, prior to publication.  They also published the following four books in the Future Movers series; but unfortunately Secret Cravings closed down in 2015. These futuristic romances are being republished over a six weeks’ time span in June/July this year with Junction Publishing. I am reading through them again (yet another editing process) and I’m delighted that I don’t have the desire to change anything. Because they are set in the future, luckily, nothing has dated!

Six years later, with their republishing, I will have had published a total of eight novels, with a ninth one coming out in October. But I have had many short stories and poems published in between times, in a variety of genre.

Was ‘Love’s Bright Star’ the first novel you’d written?
I’d love to be able to say ‘yes’ but in truth it was about the fourth. One of them I rewrote five times and it still sits in my files. (I can’t bear to delete 70 thousand words. I might need a bit of it one day.) I tried to write for Mills and Boon to begin with, but my mind refuses to stick to a formula; this is probably why I often set my stories in the future, where there are no restrictions on my imagination. However, I consider all those original unpublished manuscripts as a learning curve I had to travel, and not one word was a wasted effort.

Do you write today in the same genre as your first published novel?
Sometimes, but I jump about. I’ve written and had published a few contemporary romance novellas and lots of short stories, some sci.fi., some a comment on a serious subject and a few light romances. I tried to write horror (with a friend) and we ended up with a black comedy. I like to put a twist at the end of my short fiction. I’ve also dabbled in haiku and other forms of poetry, plus I love a writing challenge. Often a contest’s premise is a good reason to try another genre.

What authors have  influenced your choice of genre?
Asimov’s science fiction novels gripped my imagination as a teenager, opening up the possibilities available to a writer. Then Anne MacCaffrey came along with her Dragons of Pern series, which introduced dragons instead of robots.

LutapoliiHow long did it take from when you began Lutapolii’s manuscript to launch date?
I wrote Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South quite quickly, over a few months, about two years ago. He grew from a short story, which became chapter one. He took on a personality and had a life plan I simply had to follow. Once told, his story lurked in my files for a year as I searched for a cover, then Junction Publishing said they’d like to take him and they found his picture. I had to change one scene to fit in with his final appearance, but he’s such a magnificent fellow I didn’t mind at all. I’m thrilled with the response to his story. It’s not often you get to read a story written by the dragon himself. It’s written for adults, but it fits just as well into the Young Adult classification. There is a mating scene in it, but that’s all noise, smoke and frightened sea birds. I don’t know how dragons mate and Lutapolii refused to tell me.

What is your latest project – or projects?
I recently co-wrote a novella with Meg Buchanan, about an angel who falls in love with a soldier. It centres on Halloween, her brother’s plans for that night and the soldier’s decision to prevent her being harmed. Angelfire is a quirky love story and was fun to write. I had a short story which became the premise for the story. We shared further plot lines and wrote the scenes we each had ideas for; then shuttled the manuscript back and forth to be read, changed and added to until it all hung together. This will be released in October this year, with promotion beginning in September. Perhaps when Meg has time in her busy publishing schedule we will write a sequel.

I have just finished a novella for a winter anthology submission call for Roane Publishing. I called it Thunder Makes Me Cry and I’m hoping it will get accepted. I wrote it with a winter theme, just for their submission call. Heaven knows what I’ll do with it if they don’t want it. They are releasing another novella of mine, Escorts for Hire….Heartaches Free, in their summer anthology in August.

What question do you always wish an interview would ask you?
You often hear writers moan about ‘writer’s block’ (no ideas) or the editing process and how they hate cutting out words and scenes; and how dreadful it all is. Yet no one actually asks them if they enjoy it!

I‘m asking you now. Do you enjoy being an author?
Yes, I love it. Sometimes I run out of ideas, but I never panic. Eventually something will pop into my mind; a kernel that grows into a scene, which might develop into a novel. I love the craft of tightening a story, getting rid of extra words, paring it down to say as much as possible with as few words as you can. Of being able to give the readers a time, place and setting that will drag them into the story and, best of all, hold them there.

Through writing I’ve met a wide group of people I can correspond with, and share work and ideas with. To know there are like-minded people out there, tapping away, feeding their mind-pictures onto the page is a comfort because writing can be a solitary hobby – if you let it. I don’t.

What are you currently reading?
I belong to two book clubs, so often have to read a book that is not of my choice. This doesn’t do me any harm and often leads me to discover new authors. I’ve just read The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons. It is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, with beautiful language. At page 30, I decided I was reading too fast, so I began again and took my time to savour every page.

Daniel O’Malley has written two fabulous science fiction/fantasy novels: The Rook and Silhouette. I’m waiting for his next novel. I also enjoy Robert Galbraith’s series (JK Rowling) and I’m waiting for Lethal White to be released. I think the lady at the library is tired of me asking if they have it yet.

Thanks, Deryn, for giving us this time. I’ve learned more about you than I knew!

 

Interviewing author G P Gadbois

crop-soft-portrait_G D Gadbois

G P kindly spoke about herself after the launch of her latest novel, Trust Me, released on Monday. She is shown here reviewing her earlier novel Caught Between Worlds.

What made you choose to write in the romance genre?
The idea for my first novel came from a reoccurring dream I had a few years back. At first, I thought I’d purchase a dream analyser book to find out what the dream meant. Instead, as I wrote down the highlights, and shared my dream with family and friends – it became clear, I had to write the story. So, the genre kind of chose me.
Like many women I work full time, so when I read I want to relax and escape.  Although I enjoy suspense and mysteries, I love a story with a happy ending.

In what other genres have you written / or can you see yourself writing in the future, and why?
Many, many moons ago, I wrote a weekly column, in the French newspaper of my hometown, describing the highlights of my high school. On my Facebook author page, I write and post a monthly short family story. It is nonfiction; however, my children have questioned some of the details…
One day, perhaps when I retire from my day job, I might try my hand at short thrillers or write a novel based on true story – I’ve started gathering information.

Of the two books you have had published, which would you most like adapting to see on screen? How would you adapt it?
I find this question amusing. When I finished the first draft of my first novel, Caught Between Worlds, I asked my youngest son to proofread it. I even bribed him; but when he saw the stack of papers I held, he said, “Mom, I’m sure it’s good, but I’ll wait and see it in the theatres.” – I told him not to hold his breath.
I have no idea how I’d adapt my story; however, I’d be willing to review the manuscript as suggested by the experts in that field. I’d also ask my son to be my date on opening night and he’d say, “I told you so.”

Tell us about an exciting, surprising or stressful aspect of the lead-up to or after your first book launch.
I stress over the unknown. Until the first book launch in 2016, my mind had a field day. I worried about everything, including the release blitz and reviews. I still do today, but at least I know what to expect. On this note, I enjoy hearing from readers, whether good or bad. I am after all a novice, and the feedback helps me improve.

Who is your writing hero/heroine (author)? Why?
Nora Roberts and Kathy Reichs. I love their characters and the stories. They make me laugh, they make me sad and they keep me interested.

What are you currently reading?
Your questions. 😉
Before I tackled the final round of edits for Trust Me, the last book I read was my own, Caught Between Worlds. I wanted to make sure my main characters had remained the same.

What is your latest project?
Book 3 of the series ‘A Moment in Time’. This one will be the story of Wendy, and I challenge you to guess who her happy ever after partner will be? 

What question have you always wished an interviewer had asked you? And, please answer it.
I have never given it any thought, but I’ll be creative:
Q: Which actor would you like to see as your main character?
A: A young Richard Gere. ❤


You can find Ms Gadbois at FacebookTwitter, and her publisher’s site


9aa15-trustme_slideshowimage

“Lutapolii – white dragon of the south”, by Deryn Pittar

LutapoliiA credible fantasy for adult and YA readers, featuring dragons in a new light. Don’t expect knights on a mission. The story’s lead is a dragon on a mission – to live a life of peace and lead his own Flight.

Lutapolii has fled his northern matriarchal flight’s malicious bullying and teasing – even from his mother.

 

Living alone deep in the south, he discovers a haven in which to shelter and feed through the winter as he develops new skills for life on, above, and in the island’s seas.cave_Lutapolii
Strengthened by the island’s environment, he returns home to find he has been declared officially dead.

 

“What absolute madness. He might be officially dead but he wasn’t stupid enough to become really dead. In the winner-takes-all stakes of the mating game, truly dead is what happened to the challengers that lost.”

With nothing to lose, Lutapolii goes about his plan despite being pursued and battled, eventually building a new Flight in the richly resourced southern part of the world. Not easy, given the cold, new creatures, and the ongoing drive of the old matriarch and his mother.

deryn-cropped

Author introduction:
I write futuristic and fantasy fiction, spiced with romance and adventure. This allows my imagination to run free, to create interesting characters caught in unusual circumstances and events. Sometimes I have the pleasure of watching science and technology catch up with my imagination.

I also write Young Adult, short stories and flash fiction; articles on writing and I am published in these genre. I self-published a children’s rhyming book and once won a prize for a short screen script.
I’m a published poet and I endeavour to put my poetry skills into my fiction writing to enhance the word pictures I create.
I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand which lives up to its name. I belong to the Romance Writers of N.Z., Tauranga Writers, and Spec.Fic.NZ (speculative fiction NZ).

 Facebook                          Twitter

Published in ebook and print by Junction Publishing, Lutapolii is available at Amazon

 

Eye on the Ball, by Francine BEATON

What would prove stronger? Love or Loyalty?Rugby player in a blue uniform on a stadium.

Top professional rugby player Jakes du Plessis desperately wants to keep his team’s vow of celibacy in order to win the new International Rugby Club Competition, but he didn’t count on meeting ethereal artist Angie Summers.  Even a promise to his friends and teammates, demons from his past, and a distance of more than 9000 miles, could not stop Jakes from falling in love with Ange.  In the end, it took teamwork, perseverance and a whole lot of grovelling from Jakes’ side for them to overcome these obstacles, and find their Happily Ever After.

#1 of Series – Playing for Glory
by Francine Beaton

A Contemporary Romance Novel, Published by Roane Publishing,
Released 19th March, 2018


Purchase Links
Amazon – Print & eBook      SmashWords       Kobo
Barnes & Noble – Nook      !ndigo
Roane Publishing Author Page


About the author:

portrait_Francine BEATONBorn and brought up in Pretoria, South Africa, Francine had no choice but to fall in love with rugby at a young age. With three older, rugby-playing brothers and a father who was a fanatic supporter of the local team and the Springboks, Francine adopted the motto, If you can’t beat them, join them. After trying to play one game, Francine gave up the idea to play rugby. She opted to watch the boys from the side.

At the tender age of ten, she discovered the romance section in the local library and that was it. She was a fan. By fourteen, she had read all the ones in the Afrikaans section and switched to the English section. There was a time when Francine briefly abandoned her favourite genre to lose herself in crime novels, but as they say: you never forget your first love.

Rugby, romance and writing is not all that keep Francine busy. If she does not spent time with her Scottish husband and teenage daughter either at home or travelling, Francine loves to read, or dabbles in photography and painting.

She is a member of the Romance Writers Association of South Africa (ROSA).

FRANCINE CAN BE FOUND AT HER WEBSITE, AND ON FACEBOOK

Trust, by Avery WOODS

cover_Trust Why does society treat you as an outcast when you’re single? Is it not bad enough that I have my two best friends pressuring me to date every chance they get. It’s probably because I still haven’t told them the reason I’ve avoided dating: The fact that I am HIV positive. It’s this dirty little secret I’ve been keeping to myself for the last two years. I’ve tried telling my friends and family numerous times, but something always gets in my way. At least that’s what I tell myself. Don’t worry, I’m ninety percent sure you can find my picture under the word cynical in the dictionary.
Since my ex-boyfriend basically called me a walking disease, I’ve lost a bit of my self confidence you could say. I mean, how am I suppose to tell my friends and family? I guess writing a letter to my parents won’t cut it.
More importantly, how is Travis, the new guy I like going to take the news? He is perfect, and I am far from it. I have to trust him, but trusting someone is easier said than done.
If dealing with HIV wasn’t enough, the bombshell my mom decided to invoke on my sister and I sure takes the cake. At least that’s what I thought, until I attended Lauren’s birthday party. Who knew that would be a night I would never forget.
Who would have thought ripping off a band aid would be the most painful route to take?


Available at…
Roane Publishing;     Amazon;     Amazon UK;
Barnes & Noble;      Kobo;      Smashwords;
iTunes;      Bookstrand


Excerpt:

This isn’t good. She knows, damn it. I can’t even lie to her and tell her I take the medications for a different reason. She knows what the medications are for. I completely forgot I had my medications in my purse when I gave her permission to go into it to grab the tampon. I mean, I wasn’t thinking. I was half asleep. I don’t know what to say. She’s caught me off guard. I stay silent.

“The medications are anti-retroviral medications. They are used to treat HIV.”

Cori gasps, completely shocked. She looks at me, but I turn my head. I can’t look at her. “Do you have HIV?” she asks.

I stand up to clear my plate. I’ve lost my appetite. What am I supposed to say?
“Those aren’t mine.”

Brennley stands up. “Hayden, I saw your name on them.”

I get defensive. This is my worst case scenario. I wanted to be the one to tell them on my own accord, so Brennley finding out this way? It’s awful.
“Maybe I took them out under my name for someone else, did you ever think of that? Maybe someone who’s ashamed of having to go to the pharmacy to buy them, worried they will be judged? Did you ever think of that?” Okay, that was a horrible lie, but I’m feeling cornered.

Brennley blows out a breath, and scratches her head. “No, I didn’t. I wasn’t accusing you of anything. I was just stating what I saw.”

I’m angry, but only because they found out like this. “Well, don’t jump to conclusions.”
I look over at Cori and I can see tears forming in her blue eyes.

“Hayden, just be honest with us. Whose medications are those?”

I squeeze my eyes shut. I will not cry. “No one’s!” I shout.

I look over and see tears now forming in Brennley’s eyes. I can’t do this. There are too many emotions floating throughout this room. I’m sad, hurt, angry, devastated, frustrated, and feeling very, very guilty.

“They aren’t mine,” I sob. My shoulders begin to shake.

Cori comes over and lifts my hands away from my face and wraps me in a hug.
“Hayden, it’s okay if they are yours, just be honest with us. We don’t care if they are yours.”

You know the feeling you get when you are about to cry and someone asks you if you are alright and, it’s them saying that, that makes you ultimately cry? That’s what I’m feeling right now. I release Cori’s grip on me and gently push her away. I turn and walk to the other side of the kitchen. I turn to face them. I wipe the tears that have spilled down my cheeks. I shake out my hands. My heart is hammering in my chest. My chest feels tight, like an elephant is sitting on it. I feel a bit dizzy, like the room is moving and I’m having trouble seeing straight. I take a deep breath until both of them come back into focus.

I decide it’s time for the truth to come out. Although when I tell them I can’t look at them. I’m scared to see their reaction.

“Alright, I give up. Those pills are mine.” I cry. “Because in fact, I am  HIV positive.”

eBook Release: Vicki Arnott’s “The Crystal Bluebird”

cover_ARNOTT V_The Crystal Bluebird

While Mary was exploring the old house she and her family had inherited, she discovered a crystal necklace and an old book telling the story of a sad Queen trapped in her castle.

When she and her brother and sister drew pictures on the story map, they never dreamed they would soon be transported into the fantasy world of Brigitha, where their pictures had become real, and were causing problems! They were soon enlisted by a grumpy Queen’s Guardsman who insisted that they must undo the damage they had caused, and help to free the Queen.

This is a story for children aged ten and above. Teenagers and adults who enjoy fantasy adventure will also love this book.

Exclusive Excerpt…

Arthur raised his fist to knock on the door, but just as he did so, it swung open with a crash. Inside the doorway stood a short, plump woman wearing a pair of bright green dungarees over a bold floral print shirt. Her face was round and her cheeks were rosy pink. Her eyes were as bright and green as her dungarees and seemed to shoot sparks at Arthur. On her head a small cap perched precariously on top of a mass of curls which spilled in an orange riot around her face. She stood with her feet apart and her hands on her hips.

“So,” she shot at Arthur. “You’re finally back. Where is it that you’ve been all this time?”

Arthur straightened himself up to his full height, squared his shoulders and replied with quiet dignity. “I’ve been on the queen’s business, as you well know.”

The woman remained standing rigidly in the doorway. “The queen’s business! Sixty years, Arthur. You’ve been gone sixty years! You’re lucky I’m a resourceful woman, with plenty to do with my time, otherwise I might be pretty angry with you right now.” She glared at him fiercely, her right foot tapping.

Arthur cleared his throat.

“Wynda, I know. I’m sorry. I was trapped and there was no way to let you know what had happened. Let’s go inside and I will tell you all about it.” He turned to the children. He gave a slight bow and his voice became formal, “Allow me to introduce you to my wife, Wynda.”

ISBN eBook: ISBN: 9781311312785

Smashwords link
Click Logo to Buy

 


About Vicki Arnott

Born in Foxton, New Zealand, and raised in the Manawatu area,File 19-02-18, 3 30 46 PM
Vicki now lives in a rural community near Rotorua, in the Bay of Plenty, surrounded by views of Mt Tarawera, forest, and farm paddocks.

Vicki writes fantasy adventure and science fiction for early teens and young adults. Her love of writing began at primary school and she has always dreamed of becoming a writer. She got serious about her dream in 2015, when she reduced her hours of work as a school teacher to work on her first novel The Crystal Bluebird, a fantasy adventure for children and adults.

She is currently working on her second novel Children of the White Dragon, a science-fiction adventure, and her third novel, also science-fiction and as yet untitled.

Other genre that interest Vicki are romantic comedy and magical, heart-warming Christmas stories. She’d like to write screenplays in those genre, in addition to science fiction and fantasy.

Vicki’s goals include: get better at writing, continue to write and publish, write screenplays and be involved in the production of movies.

Her interests include walking, ceroc dancing and an occasional game of golf. She also likes painting and drama, and has organised many school productions in addition to her involvement in amateur theatre productions with the Rainbow Entertainers Drama club. She recently realised another dream when she planted her first rose garden.  She spends her spare time watching movies, and steals early-morning hours to read because she is so undisciplined when it comes to books, that once a book is started it doesn’t get put down until it’s finished.

Vicki can be found at this site

 

 

Gail W Olmsted – Author Interview

portrait Gail Ward OlmstedInterviewing Gail Olmsted, author of Second Guessing

  • What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
    • I love to read!! I enjoy contemporary romance, popular fiction, chick lit, mysteries and thrillers. My favorite authors are Dennis Lehane, Elin Hilderbrand, Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben. I honestly don’t pattern myself after any authors in particular, but after reading Claire Cook’s The Wildwater Walking Club several years ago, I remember thinking…I can write a book. I can finish this story that I’ve been telling myself for several years. And I did!
  • Tell us a little about all the books you have written so far…
    • My first book JEEP TOUR was self-published in 2014. It is the story of Jackie Sullivan and her search for a happy ever after. Recently divorced, she loses her job and after a chance meeting with a sexy tour guide, decides to start over among the red rocks of Sedona, AZ. The first time I travelled to Sedona on a family vacation, I remember thinking- ‘Wow, if you ever needed a do-over, this would be the place to do it.’ Jackie faces some bumps along the way but ultimately finds more than she ever dared to dream in her new life.
      Guessing at Normal was my second book published by Booktrope in 2015. Jill Griffin is working behind the front desk of a seedy motel when up and coming rocker James Sheridan and his band check in while on tour. There is an immediate connection between Jill and James and within a few weeks, she joins the tour. Building a ‘normal’ life together under the glare of the media is challenging and further complicated by constant touring, groupies, James’ partying and the mixed signals Jill gets from James’ twin brother Alex. When Jill’s poems and journal ramblings become the songs on James’ best-selling solo album, she has to step out of her comfort zone and figure out how to live her life in a spotlight all her own. As her professional success threatens her relationship with James, Jill questions whether she can make a living writing love songs without the love of her life.
      My third book Driving on the Left was published in 2016. I had never planned to write a sequel to JEEP TOUR. Shortly after it was released, my daughter and I took a trip to Ireland to celebrate her college graduation. For part of our trip, we took a guided tour off the beaten track with a small group of other tourists. When the topic of my book came up, our tour guide jokingly suggested that I write a sequel featuring a sexy Irish tour guide. My first thought was ‘no way’ but the idea took hold and soon I was writing Driving, a standalone novel featuring JT’s Jackie Sullivan as the mother of a young woman experiencing the joys and heartbreak of first love.
  • What do you think of your first book JEEP TOUR now?
    • I still love the story and the main characters very much. I think that everyone deserves a second, or even a third chance, at a happy life. When I was writing it, I really wasn’t sure till I was 2/3 of the way through before I figured out the ending- would Jackie be with Rick-the hot tour guide or Rob- the ex-husband who she still loved or someone new? Or would she be blissfully single? As soon as I knew how it had to end, the rest of the story just poured out. The ending rocks! That being said, I could easily go through the entire manuscript and tweak and edit like crazy. I’ve learned so much since I wrote JT.
  • Which was the most challenging to write; then again, which was the most fun to write?
    • Driving on the Left was the most challenging for me. It is told from two points of view- Jackie, a mature mom facing a crisis back home and her 21 year old daughter Becca who is deep in the throes of her first true love. Barbara, one of my wonderful betas, read the first draft and put me on the spot. She read me a passage from the manuscript and asked- who’s speaking- Jackie or Becca? I had to guess and I was wrong! It was a real wakeup call for me. I rewrote the entire book several times until I was certain that I had created two distinct characters, each with their own voice. I’ve received a good amount of positive feedback on the dual POV.
      Second Guessing was the most fun to write. I was thrilled to provide songwriter Jill Griffin with another chance at a happy ever after. I just adore her love interest Ben! He’s vacating his role as lead singer of a world famous boy band in search of a solo career and he’s got a secret from his past that he would prefer stays hidden. He’s perfect for Jill, but it takes her a little while to realize it for herself!
  • We’re featuring Second Guessing – may you explain how it relates to Guessing at Normal?
    • I wrote Second Guessing as a standalone novel, however Jill Griffin, the main charater, was first introduced in Guessing at Normal back in 2015. Jill is now a successful songwriter and single mom to a teenage daughter. She has just about given up hope for a love story of her own, when she meets Ben. He’s determined to win over Jill, but she’s got trust issues and wonders if Ben is just too good to be true!
  • What part/s of Second Guessing were the most delightful to write?
    • First off, let me say that I love Jill and was delighted to see her head over heels in love with pop star Ben, who is 14 years her junior. But naturally, there are complications in their path! Jill’s been burned by the media before and wants to keep their relationship a secret until after the tribute concert featuring her late husband’s platinum selling album. News that the ‘rock widow’ is involved with the young headliner of the charity event could negatively impact ticket sales and the future of the record label. On the personal front, Jill is fairly certain that her 18 year old daughter will be less than thrilled that her mom is sleeping with the former boy band singer that she had a major fan crush on just a few years earlier. Add in a crazed stalker fan and a tabloid journalist determined to expose their romance as well as secrets from Ben’s past and you’ve got a love story that may not be able to go the distance. I think readers will enjoy the snappy dialogue, plot twists and the sizzling chemistry between Jill and Ben!!

Readers can find out more on my website: www.GailOlmsted.com
on my Amazon page: www.Amazon.com/author/gailolmsted
by following me on Facebook www.facebook.com/gsilolmstedauthor
or Twitter @gwolmsted
or Instagram: gwolmsted
Plus, I can be reached at gwolmsted@gmail.com

Exclusive Excerpt – “It’s Complicated”

28d0e-itscomplicated_cvr_ebook“My daughter’s being taught to hate me.”

The widening of Maggie Lapage’s incredible blue-green eyes told Tom his words came as a shock, and he reminded himself this was about Hailey, not him. He didn’t need to delve into his own fears and frustrations.

“How about you sit back down and tell me what’s going on, Mr. O’Shay.”

He returned to the chair and sat, even though his instincts screamed for him to get the hell out of there. He didn’t need some nosy social worker-type offering sympathy and advice, telling him how to raise his own daughter. Especially not some young thing like the one facing him. To say she was attractive would be an understatement. Her long dark red hair flowed like liquid fire, and with her classic bone structure, full sensuous lips and tall slender figure, she could’ve been mistaken for a catwalk model rather than a children’s counselor.

He rubbed his fingers into his eyes. Who was he kidding? If he didn’t get some help, and fast, he might lose his daughter completely, and he’d walk through hell before he’d allow that to happen.

“I want to help, Mr. O’Shay, I really do.” Her voice was soft and full of compassion. And it made his jaw ache. “But first you have to help me. Please, explain the circumstances that brought you here.”

He drew in a deep breath and held it for a moment before slowly exhaling. “My lawyer told me I needed counseling for my daughter. If I don’t do this, I could lose custody. She mentioned something about Family Justice Counselors. Your agency’s on the list she gave me, so I assume you’re qualified?”

“I’m a licensed mediator, yes. I can work with the courts in high-conflict custody disputes, if that’s needed.” A perplexed frown wrinkled her forehead. “Excuse my confusion, Mr. O’Shay, but did you not say your wife had died?”

“She has.” It took real effort not to come off as frustrated and bitter. “My wife and I had been divorced for about a year before she died. She had full custody of Hailey and I had visitation.” Tom recognized the quick flash of consternation crossing Maggie Lapage’s face, and he rushed to clarify. “It was simply easier that way, not because I’m not a good dad.”

Easier for Deirdre, at any rate. He didn’t get a lot of say in the matter, and he didn’t have the money to fight her at the time. Just as he didn’t have the money to fight her parents now.

The counselor’s inquiring gaze clearly said she needed more information. He heaved his shoulders up and back and tried to formulate a logical explanation that didn’t reveal quite what a fool he’d been.

Roane Black on White
Buy Here

Releasing “It’s Complicated”

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO 
IT’S COMPLICATED!
28d0e-itscomplicated_cvr_ebook
It’s Complicated
Contemporary Romance
by Joyce M. Holmes

Release date: December 4, 2017

 

He wants a real relationship, she’s afraid to love. It’s complicated, but is it impossible?
She’s a children’s counselor devoted to helping others; he’s a stubborn client reluctant to accept her assistance. He wants a warm and loving relationship; she prefers to keep things physical. Professional boundaries dictate neither of them can have what they want.

Having grown up with no one but herself to count on, Maggie Lapage carefully guards her feelings. Professionally, she goes above and beyond to give others the support she wishes she’d had as a child. When she develops a forbidden attraction to a client’s father, she does what she thinks is necessary, to save his family, and to protect her own heart.
 

Tom O’Shay finds his life caught in a nightmare when he risks losing custody of his daughter. It goes against his character to seek help, but he doesn’t have a choice. That doesn’t mean he has to like it. Everything changes when he falls hard for his daughter’s counselor, and he suddenly has two fights on his hands. One for his daughter, and another for the woman he loves.

It’s complicated, but is it impossible?

 
 
~~~oOo~~~
 
EXCERPT:
“That’s a big gallery, with lots of people going through it. Just think of the exposure your work would get.”
Tom did take a moment to consider it. The Langquest Art Gallery was highly reputable, and the show Tom had done with them had been a sell-out. But to have Maggie go on his behalf to seek out representation, that was too much.
 “What makes you think I want or need to sell my pieces in his gallery?”
“Because, excuse me if I’m wrong, but I had the impression you could use a little financial help at the moment.” The sympathetic look in her eyes made him squirm. No bloody way did he want her wasting any sympathy on him.
“The offer of support is nice, but seriously, my professional life, at least, is doing fine. You don’t have to fix it for me.” Which was the honest, if optimistic, truth. Business was passably good. It could always be better, but it wasn’t on life support yet, and he sure didn’t need Maggie out there drumming up customers for him.
She threw a hand up. “Look, maybe I’m interfering and you didn’t ask for help, but,” she hurried on, gaining speed as she went, “I spoke to this man with the best of intentions. You have lawyer fees and counseling fees, and heaven only knows what else with this court case. They can start to add up—”
“Okay, just stop. You’re making my head hurt.” He folded his arms across his chest. He had no intention of discussing the precariousness of his financial situation with Maggie. “This conversation is over.”
Her eyes sparkled with the love of combat. “Not if I keep talking, it isn’t.”
He glared at her, making it clear he didn’t appreciate her interference. She met his accusing gaze without flinching. “Know what your problem is?” she asked, after
an uncomfortably long stare-down.
“I only have one?”
She reached out and clutched at his hand, those long slender, talon-tipped fingers curling themselves around his, distracting him with their touch. Then she started yapping again, effectively killing the moment.
“You put on a good show, and sometimes I think you even believe it yourself, but you’re not invincible. You can use a helping hand once in a while.”
He shook his hand free and swung away from her, pacing off his frustration. “Contrary to what you believe, I’m not a charity case requiring someone to rescue me. I’ve always maintained if you’re looking for a helping hand, check the end of your own wrist first. I don’t need your pity.”
She moved in front of him, forcing him to stop, returning his impatient glare with an impressively irate one of her own. “It’s not pity, damn it. And it’s not charity. It’s a practical solution to your financial situation. Excuse me for caring.” Both arms flew into the air. “Excuse me for trying to help you out. For going out of my way to come up with
some creative ideas to increase your income. This is a winning proposition for you, one that can pay dividends for years to come. Why are you so stubbornly against it?”
Her logic was infuriating, and it fueled his temper that he didn’t have a reasonable comeback. “Please, just shut up already.”
“Come on. We both know I can’t do that.”
He threw his head back and laughed, more out of exasperation than amusement. “You really can’t, can you?”
“I was only trying to help.” Her tone contained a pout, but her expression remained fierce.
“I don’t want your help. I didn’t ask for your help. Anyone ever tell you how maddening you can be, Maggie Lapage?” 
The force of his words didn’t make her retreat. She stood her ground in front of him and poked a finger into his chest. “And you’re the most pig-headed man I’ve ever met.”
He smiled. “Thank you.”
“That was not a compliment.”
“Sure it was.” Even though he was still pissed off, it wasn’t hard to let the smile stretch into a smirk. She looked so damn exasperated, and for some perverse reason he found it amusing. 
“You’re infuriating!” she yelled and wheeled away from him, flailing her arms in the air again. “Why can’t you see my intentions were good?”
He let his smile twist cynically. “Have you heard about the road to hell?”
“I…give…up.” She emphasized the words by drawing them out slowly.
“Wish I could believe that.”

~~~oOo~~~

 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she’s not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.
 
Links:
 
~~~oOo~~~
 
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