Awesome Authors Highlight Constance Bretes

Blue as Sapphires

by Constance Bretes

Constance Bretes hot new release, Blue As Sapphires, an R-rated  contemporary romance brings to spousal abuse front and center in this tender love story.

About Connie

Connie began her career as a secretary in 1977 for the State of Michigan as a civil servant. She retired from the Michigan Department of Transportation after 38 years as the department’s forms analyst. She has an MBA in Business Administration – Leadership Studies, and a BA in Business Management.

She has six books published, with five more on the way.

Connie spends most of her time behind her computer, writing, editing and researching for her next story. When she’s not there, she can be found checking out ghost towns, sapphire mining, and gold panning with her best friend and husband, Jim. Her other hobbies consists of basket weaving, and jewelry making.

She is a member of RWA’s From The Heart Romance Writers, and Kiss of Death Romance Writers, and lives in Basin, Montana.

Blue As Sapphires by Constance Bretes

For a chance to win a free copy of Blue As Sapphires, stop by here: 

http://www.constancebretes.com/news–things.html  

National Statistics. On average, nearly twenty people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States…one in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

Statistics – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Blue As Sapphires was born from my love of sapphire digging, and gold panning in the beautiful Gem Mountains and Rock Creek River that runs through Philipsburg, Montana. Another issue that I’m passionate about is doing away with domestic abuse. I took the two subjects and combined them into a story that made Marissa determined to survive and overcome her ex-husband’s physical and emotional abuse, and the sheriff, Riley McCade, who is determined to love and protect her.

Blurp:

Escaping from her abusive ex-husband, Marissa Simpson came back to her hometown to start over. She had no intention of getting involved with another man, or with the community she left behind all those years ago. That is, until Riley McCade showed up.

Riley was the Sheriff of Granite County and he commanded a work force of fifteen deputies. He loved his community and went out of his way to protect and serve. When he met up with Marissa, he was bound and determined to get to know her even though she said she wasn’t interested.

The more he got to know her, the more he learned of her past. Could he protect her and earn her love?

Snippet:

Marissa laid back and wrapped her arms around Riley’s neck. She brought her lips to within an inch of his. She stared into his eyes and noticed how tender they looked. She moved in a little more, and her lips met his. He moved his mouth over hers, devouring it. While the fireworks were going off in the sky, Marissa felt her own fireworks. His kiss sent a shock wave through her entire body. Riley guided Marissa so she was on her back and he was partially on her. His Stetson concealed their faces. They continued to kiss and touch, looking lovingly at each other, and then kiss again.

The fireworks lasted for fifteen minutes, and suddenly a flashlight shone on them and voices interrupted them. Three firefighters stood in front of them singing a line from Burning Love.

Riley and Marissa quickly broke apart.

“What the hell?” Riley said. A hint of irritation laced his voice. He abruptly stood up, grabbed Marissa’s hand, and pulled her up.

“We were told that there was sparks on the ground, and we were asked to put it out,” Mitch said, laughing.

“Just who the hell told you that?” Riley asked.

“Heidi,” John, second firefighter, said with an amused smile on his face.

Riley and Marissa shot Heidi a glance.

“We can see that the sparks have been put out so we’ll head back to the truck.” Mitch smiled even wider.

Dave and Cindy stood off to the side chuckling. Someone from the crowd that had gathered around them asked, “Hey, Sheriff, got a new girlfriend?” Ripples of laughter rang through the crowd.

Marissa continued to glare at Heidi. She couldn’t believe her friend would do something like that. As the party broke up, Marissa said to Heidi, “We will talk later.”

Find Connie Bretes:

Website: www.constancebretes.com

Blog: http://www.constancebretes.com/connies-blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConnieBretes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Connie-Bretes-385409614906182/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7737457.Constance_Bretes

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-as-Sapphires-Constance-Bretes-ebook/dp/B06WRTGRCB/

http://beachwalkpress.com/blue-as-sapphires/

 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blue-as-sapphires-constance-bretes/1125799265?ean=2940157442330

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Live your Dreams

Are You Devoted To One or Love the One…

Writing Can Be Like Dating

Barbara Bettis

Are your devoted to one or love the one you're withIn the past few weeks I’ve had an issue with my WIP. When I hit a major obstacle, I thought I’d try what several fellow authors do so successfully—work on another book to divert my thoughts and move back and forth between the two stories.

Some of my friends always have two books going at once, usually in different genres. It works for them beautifully, they say.

Well, I undertook beginnig another story. And learned that for me, writing is a lot like dating was when I was younger. I’m a one-boyfriend-at-a time kind ’a gal. And I learned it the hard way.


My roommates successfully juggled boyfriends with no problem. Surely I could do the same, I thought. So I found myself dating more than one guy—no serious relationships mind, just casual dates here and there. They were delightful boys, very different, and I liked them all.

Until they unexpectedly showed up to visit, all on the same night. To give them credit, they were perfect gentlemen and when each arrived a few minutes after the other, they all sat down to talk. My roommates saw what was happening and joined us to ease the tension. The third and last one brought ice cream. I did what any good hostess would do—I served it to everyone.


Later, my roommates thought it was all hilarious. I did not. I was stressed, I felt guilty and conflicted. I felt like a horrible person. And right then, my dating rules solidified. One at a time, no matter how casual.

That story does have a happy ending. All three guys called to ask me out again and I did date one throughout the summer until college started again in the fall.

Barb’s Best Tips

So how does that apply to writing more than one book at a time? I found myself getting completely wrapped up in the new story to the point I couldn’t concentrate on the first one. Which would take precedence? This switching back and forth didn’t work for me—when I was deep in the medieval mindset, getting back into the Regency rhythm took forever. When I was immersed in the Regency period, my medieval knights sounded way too sophisticated. And anachronistic. And I became conflicted.barb bettis

For those who can juggle more than one book at a time successfully, I have nothing but respect and awe. But I don’t see how you do it.

Barb’s latest is a medieval

THE LADY OF THE FOREST

Barb Bettis

Blurb:

He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?

When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.

Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate’s past catches her.

When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.

Buy link:

http://amzn.to/2lIUfZK

Find Barbara:

www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor

www.twitter.com/barbarabettis

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Rebecca Grace

When Settings Won’t Let Go

BeckyDon’t we all have our favorite places we love to visit over and over again? Those places where we get a chance to rejuvenate our souls so we can continue along life’s journey? For some people it might even be your home or a room or chair in your home. Maybe some people might prefer to visit new places. As a writer I am always looking for places where I know I can get new inspiration for my next book.

But sometimes it is fun to go back to those old places, the locations where you first came up with a story idea and it blossomed from there into a wonderful story. I know for me, the city of Vancouver, B.C. has always been a special location. I love walking along the sea wall and listening to the water lapping at the shore and the cry of the sea gulls overhead. I’ve often told about getting the idea for my romantic suspense book, Deadly Messages from a walk along the seawall. But there is more than a peaceful feeling involved. I know I appalled a reader when I told her I didn’t just get energized from that walk, I also started thinking about all the places a killer might stash a body or what might happen if two sisters became separated and one was never seen again. Ah, the joys of plotting a mystery!

Since then I’ve set my books in many different places, from the mountains of Colorado, to sunny Southern California. But there is still the lure of the Northwest and a recent visit had me thinking again of one of my favorite “story” places—Redfern Manor—the spooky gothic house in my book, Shadows from the Past. In that book, a wounded TV anchorman is writing a book about a young actress who once lived at Redfern and he moves there to get more of a feel of who she was. I loved writing that story and while the mystery of the murder was solved, I realized I wasn’t finished with Redfern. I wanted to go back.

And so I made the decision to do it. Just like Mack Warren who was so obsessed with the house, I will be returning and revisiting Redfern Manor. I’ve just started working on it, but like all good things, sometimes we just want more. We want to go back and re-visit those places that brought us spiritual joy.

Shadows From The Past:

Shadows

When Stacey Moreno goes undercover on Evergreen Island, she’s looking for answers to a friend’s mysterious death, not trouble. After all, Stacey is not adventuresome–she lives vicariously through her cartoon creations and can’t tell left from right. But from the moment she moves into spooky Redfern Manor and meets her sexy new boss, trouble starts and sparks fly. Hobbled by injuries from a plane crash, former journalist Mack Warren came to Redfern Manor looking for escape, not romance. He’s more interested in a story than a relationship.

But it’s hard to ignore Stacey. With danger drawing near, can Stacey persuade Mack to face the shadows from the past that threaten to destroy their future?

About Rebecca Grace

Rebecca Grace is an award-winning former broadcast journalist who writes romance, mystery and romantic suspense. Her latest work, a short story, “One More Romance” was published in the anthology, Sealed with Love. Her last mystery novel, Blues at 11, was published by The Wild Rose Press. She is currently writing the next entry in that mystery plus developing a series set at Redfern Manor, the scene of her novella, Shadows from the Past.

Buy Links:

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1G87Z5B

TWRP:  http://bit.ly/1BbqyTe

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1yEZTMX

 

On the Web:

www.rebeccagraceauthor.com

www.Rebecca-grace.BlogSpot.com

Twitter: @RebeccaGrace55

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccagraceauthor

 

 

J.L. Sheppard

*** I TOTALLY agree with J.L.’s article below and, after bouncing ideas off of several ABA authors, I’ve come up with a NOVEL SOLUTION, but I need your participation to make this work. All TWRP or ABA authors who want a 4-star or 5-star review on a book, just click here: https://casimclean.com/aba-review-interchange/

AFTER YOU READ THIS AWESOME POST:

CASI

Want Reviews? Be careful What You Wish For!

I’m all for reviews. Reviews are great. They give you a preview of what’s to come. What you may like or dislike, etc. Don’t know about you, but I don’t have much time on my hands. I have a toddler. Enough said. For those of you who don’t have kids, maybe you’ve been around some. Multiply that child’s activity by ten maybe twenty, and that’s my boy. He’s special. I love him to death, beyond imaginable, but the kid is work.

DSC_6799With the little time I have, I’ve learned to appreciate reviews. Honestly, before baby, I appreciated reviews. I hated spending hours reading to be let down. We all have our preferences, after all. Reading is a form of escapism. I read to escape, to relax. I read because I love it. And I loved reading before I decided to write books. I’ll always love it.

Life’s imperfect, uncertain, and as beautiful as it is, it can also be devastating. We work so hard, love too much, and sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. There are too many things in life we cannot control, except how we escape, how we for a moment take ourselves away from our lives and do something we love. My beautiful boy is work, and I love him, but mommies need breaks too. For me, that’s reading.

What do I prefer to read? HEA’s all the way! I love happily-ever-afters. But I love them with conditions. The hero’s a jerk, borderline abusive to the heroine, and she ends up with him? No. Cliffhangers? Ugh.

What can I say? I’m human. I like to read what I like to read. And everyone is different. We all have our preferences: what we like, what we don’t.

Bringing me back to the point—reviews are helpful. I read them. Sometimes, they let me know if I’d like a book before I buy it and spend hours reading. Over the years, I’ve noticed reviews have become sort of like an art form. There are even graphics, and distinct tone.

From the cover and blurb, you should be able to tell what you’re getting into. Why choose to review a book you won’t like? Yet, we still see a wide range of reviews: the helpful, the stellar, the mocking, and the nasty, distasteful, and the down right mean.

And then there are the 1-star reviews with no comments at all. Why?

I have read books from authors I LOVE and did not like one of their books. I have left reviews explaining why I did not like this particular book, but I did’t feel the need to leave a nasty review. I’ve never felt that need, even if the book was by a new author and I really didn’t like the book. Maybe I have too much empathy and realize that a book is a form of expression, a story the author spent countless hours writing, editing, rereading. Not my cup of tea, but it still has merit.

There will be people who will like it, love it, just not me, so there’s no need to bash an author, a person, and their work because I didn’t enjoy a book they spent countless hours writing, editing, and rereading. If it were a song, I’d delete it or not listen to it––not write the station, artist, producer, or writer. Maybe I’m too compassionate, or just polite. But there are ways to express your opinions without being nasty, rude or completely unaware that words hurt, and what’s the point of hurting each other when life hands us a bunch of hurt already?

What do you think?

Running Wild:

She runs from her perfect life into his—a life of bikers who play and ride by their own rules.

Hard as it is, he keeps his distance. But when she kisses him, all bets are off.Whose rules would she play by…his or hers.

instaquote-28-04-2016-17-47-36 - Copy

perf5.000x8.000.indd

J.L.’s Links:

http://wildcatalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/4402-running-wild-paperback.html

https://www.amazon.com/Running-Wild-Hell-Ryders-Book-ebook/dp/B01FG5QG7E

www.barnesandnoble.com/w/running-wild-jl-sheppard/1123775328

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-runningwild-2040619-149.html

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/running-wild-30

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30168823-running-wild

 

M. S. Spencer

Which Comes First, The Story or the Research?

Research is key to a novel, but diving into background can also inspire the writer’s muse. M. S. Spencer should know. She’s lived in Chicago, Boston, New York, France, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and England, and the last 30 years were spent primarily in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and “domestic engineer”, aka parent. Once she escaped academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Whew! Here’s her take on the topic:

M. S. Spencer Author (2)Authors must do quite a bit of research for their books even when they know the subject well. The Mason’s Mark, my newest release, is set in my former home town of Alexandria, Virginia at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial. A landmark of the Washington skyline, the building is not only a Masonic lodge, but a memorial to our first president. I began with the idea that my heroine would find a dead body on the ninth floor observation platform, with no rational explanation of how it got there.

To ensure authenticity I set about Googling both freemasonry and George Washington, but my search soon led me into a strange world of global intrigue and crime. I followed one thread to a remarkable Italian scam artist named Licio Gelli.

Starting in the 1940s Gelli embarked on a lifetime of bizarre scams and crimes. Alternately linked to rightists and leftists, he bilked or used people from Italian politicians, to the Nazis, the Communists, the CIA, even to Juan Peron, dictator of Argentina. His exploits cross the globe and spanned four decades. He was still alive in December 2015, in his nineties and writing poetry from prison. In 1996 he was even nominated for the Nobel prize in literature.Licio Gelli 1

Note: He died December 15, 2015.

 

Here is a link to an obituary: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/12054716/Licio-Gelli-financier-obituary.html

Gelli is most famous for founding a Masonic lodge called Propaganda Due, a renegade group that was first dissolved, then reinstated, then erased by the Grand Orient de Italia. He had ensnared many prominent Italians into P2, which ultimately led to several huge scandals.

How could I resist? I added him to the mysterious corpse. Further Googling on George Washington tossed up lots of fascinating scandal rumors. So now I had a body, a renegade Mason and scam artist, and long-lost George Washington letters. Voila! The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower, a contemporary tale about old scandals. And a dynamite love story.

 

TheMasonsMarkLoveandDeathintheTower_M. S. Spencer

Sneak peek of The Mason’s Mark:

In both the best and worst first day at work ever, docent Claire Wilding meets the man of her dreams, but her carefully rehearsed guided tour of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial collapses when she discovers a body and is drawn into a dark world of black ops and Italian renegade masons, of secret cabals and hidden treasure. Also cloaked in mystery is handsome Gideon Bliss, a George Washington expert who haunts the Memorial, his manner evasive. What is his secret? Claire fears she’ll fall in love with him only to learn he’s a thief or even a murderer. Juggling two eccentric mothers, an inquisitive sister, and an increasingly smitten detective, Claire must find answers to a complex web of intrigue, including who to trust and who to love.

 

The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower (an Old Town Romance)

Wild Rose Press, May 6, 2016 (Crimson Rose imprint)
Mystery/Cozy Mystery, Romantic suspense
ebook 79,000 words; print 322 pp.

M/F; 3 flames
Buy Links:

TWRP: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=6805

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/masons-mark-love-death-in/id1104823156?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-masons-mark-m-s-spencer/1118052638?ean=2940157863760

AllRomanceEBooks (pre-order): https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-themason039smarkloveanddeathinthetower-2017038-149.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Masons-Mark-Love-Death-Tower-ebook/dp/B01DHAJXWK

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-masons-mark-love-and-death-in-the-tower-0

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-mason-s-mark-love-and-death-in-the-tower-2

If you like the Mason’s Mark, you might want to check out The Penhallow Train Incident, also from the Wild Rose Press.

Penhallow Train Incident by M. S. Spencer

 

Live your Dreams

Carousel Déjà Vu

Some places are magical and some are magical for a select few people. Carousel Déjà Vu is such a place. To the ordinary rider, the beautifully restored horses, animals and fantasy creatures are just that—a carnival ride. But to others, those in whom Jackson Nighttraveller senses a need, that same carousel animal transports them in time or dimension to a place where they can change a life . . . maybe even their own.
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Carousel Déjà Vu is an anthology written by several incredibly imaginative authors with nine short stories centered around a magical carousel. My contribution is called The Promise:
Abandoned as an infant, Katlin Harris was shuffled through endless foster home’s. The only love she’d ever known emerged in mystical childhood dreams––or were they memories? When she inherits a home from a woman she’s never heard of, her life spins in a whole new direction––and changes forever.
After dusting off a picture she finds hidden in the attic, she realizes the portrait was of the man in her dreams. If that wasn’t odd enough, she stumbles upon a carnival tucked into a hidden vale in the North GA mountains and is drawn to an antique carousel. “If you catch the brass ring, your dreams will Read more “Carousel Déjà Vu”
Live your Dreams

The 7-7-7 Game with Beneath The Lake

Lake Lanier, GA is the setting for my new time travel romance, Beneath The Lake.

IMG_1626

Linda Joyce tagged me to play The 7-7-7- Game.

Please check out her blog and read her seven lines of Bayou Born, the first novel in her Fleur de Lis series which will make its appearance mid-April.

Directions to play the 7-7-7 game:

• Go to page 77 of your own book or manuscript.
• Count down seven lines.
• Copy and paste the seven lines that follow.
Then, Tag seven authors to do the same.
(Checkout my Facebook post. I’ve tagged my seven.)

My 7-7-7 offering is from my new manuscript, Beneath The Lake, a time travel romance, with strong historical elements; think Back To The future meets Time Traveler’s Wife. Lacey Montgomery’s life is riddled with rejection and abandonment. When she walks in on her boyfriend’s affair, she drives off in the throes of a torrential storm, hydroplanes and is hurled into the depths of an icy black lake. She awakens in the arms of a strange man, in a town she’s never heard of––34 years before she is born. The desperation to find her way home shifts as Lacey falls in love with a town destined to be erased from the face of the earth, and Bobby Reynolds, the man who vows to protect it. The struggle to save them both heals her internal conflict, while restoring Bobby’s belief in true love, spinning a star-crossed love story that defies time, as Lacey tries to prevent her new life from slipping beneath the lake.

Here is my 7-7-7 entry:

“What’s so interesting in the news this morning?”

“Nothing much.” I folded the paper before handing it to him. “Here, you read and relax while I start breakfast.” Standing, I poured a cup of hot coffee, then set it in front of him. “Now, which would you prefer, eggs and bacon, pancakes, French toast?”

“Surprise me,” Bobby said, glancing down at the headlines. “I guess you’ll be heading home soon. It looks like you’ll be able to get ahold of Piper by tomorrow night.”

A lump tightened in my throat. “Yes, it does, doesn’t it?”

*****

Stay tuned for more updates about Beneath The Lake

 

Live your Dreams

Dawn Of A New Day

I finally completed my new manuscript, Beneath The Lake, and had a fabulous time writing the story. Even the research was fascinating, learning the eerie lake lore surrounding Georgia’s Lake Lanier.

Kristen Stewart was so fabulous in the Twilight Series. If my new book, Beneath The Lake, were to ever become a movie, she would be the perfect actor to play the part of  the heroine, Lacey Madison Montgomery.

Beneath The Lake is a time travel romance with strong historical elements; think Back To The Future meets Time Traveler’s Wife. Lacey Montgomery’s life is riddled with rejection and abandonment. (sound familiar?) When she walks in on her boyfriend’s affair, she drives off in the throes of a torrential storm, hydroplanes and is hurled into the depths of an icy, black lake. She awakens in the arms of a strange man, in a town she’s never heard of––thirty-four years before she was born. The desperation to find her way home shifts as Lacey falls in love with a town destined to be erased from the face of the earth, and Bobby Reynolds, the man who vows to protect it. The struggle to save them both heals her internal conflict, while restoring Bobby’s belief in true love, spinning a star-crossed love story that defies time as Lacey tries to prevent her new life from slipping beneath the lake.

 

Of course, once a story is written the real work begins. Editing, agents and the publishing process will take time, but your encouragement will keep me motivated. In the mean time, I’m officially rejoining the real world again and hope to spend more time with my friends through this blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and actually in person. Be sure to check out my Pinterest Books & Writing board to get some insight on Beneath The Lake. Thanks for all of your support through my hibernation. I’m back!

Live your Dreams

Wingless Butterfly—The Trailer

My publisher at Aberdeen Bay says the best things in life are worth waiting for. Some people don’t believe that, but I have to say I’ve found it to be true. I think everything happens for a reason but, for me, patience has never come easily. Ha, my mom used to tell me that patience was a virtue and she got pretty upset when I stomped off saying, “Then I guess I’m just not very virtuous.” I’ve been so excited for my book to actually be released, that it’s been difficult to sit back and wait for the step by step process to play out. Those of you who know me personally can testify that I’m pretty high energy, so instead of simply waiting anxiously, I decided to focus on something a lot more fun.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiApc7HXQ-c[/youtube]

For the last 3 weeks I have been working on my book trailer with Acosta Production’s CEO, Jon Acosta and Downstairs Studio’s Owner and Chief Audio Engineer, Drew Gibadlo. These guys are creative geniuses and Read more “Wingless Butterfly—The Trailer”

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