Character Interview: Marley Rose McClain from Linda Broday’s TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR {giveaway}

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TO CATCH 

A TEXAS STAR

Texas Heroes, Book 3

by

LINDA BRODAY

  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

Date of Publication: July 3, 2018

Number of Pages: 352

Scroll down for Giveaway!

cover lo res catch a star
On her way to town early one morning, Marley Rose McClain finds a man unconscious and bleeding at the side of the road. She loads him in the wagon and takes him to her family ranch.

Drifter Roan Penny fights for his life, his one goal eating at him—to find the ones who murdered his best friend. As he recovers, he finds himself falling in love with Marley. She’s everything he wants and dreams of making her his wife even as he knows it’s impossible.

A terrifying stranger appears and a long-kept secret shakes Marley to the core. Roan helps her through very frightening times and they pledge their love for each other.

As Roan hunts down the hooded men who killed his friend and grows closer to learning the truth of the stranger’s identity, he finds both himself and Marley being stalked. Shocking events unfold, secrets come to light, and a love refuses to be denied in this cat and mouse game where danger lurks around every corner. Will Roan and Marley survive to see the future they plan?

 

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Praise for To Catch a Texas Star:

“Fans of the previous books will enjoy returning to the McClain clan, and new readers will appreciate the story’s layered mysteries, emotional depth, and believable scenes of attraction.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“I loved the twists and turns that this story takes. It is pretty interesting seeing this romance blossom and how much their relationship strengthens as they face danger and the truth together.” — Addicted to Romance

“Marley Rose has one of the most gentle and winsome souls; her affection and compassion for others and delightful creativity pour off the pages and you can’t help but adore her.” — Michelle (Goodreads)

 

characterinterview
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Today I’m with Marley Rose McClain from To Catch a Texas Star.

She’s a fascinating woman and I’m going to see if she will tell us a few things about the book. She strides into the room with confidence, a striking woman with dark hair and eyes. I see strength and pride in the way she carries herself and can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

Me: What did you think when you found Roan Penny lying half-dead beside the road?

Marley: I thought he was dead at first. Scared me when he moved. So I got him in the back of the wagon and drove back to the ranch. I think if he’d lain there much longer he would’ve died.

Me: I hear Roan stole your heart, and frankly he stole mine too.

Marley’s eyes sparkle: I tell you, that man makes me swoon. He’s sure handsome with dark brown hair and twinkling gray eyes. He’s quite the kisser too. When his lips meet mine, I get all hot and fluttery inside. He’s tall and lean too. I just love a man who makes me feel so protected and cherished and when he calls me his Texas star, I just melt.

Me: What was he like when he was dealing with that mob that murdered his friend?

Marley: Those gray eyes can sure turn to ice to match his voice when he’s angry. I found out Roan Penny can strike the fear of God in a man, but you know that’s what it took in the old west. More often than not, justice was only what men found for themselves. Criminals and bad men far outnumbered lawmen back then.

Me: Let’s talk about the secret Duel and Jessie kept from you. How did you feel?

Marley: I was deeply hurt, confused, and angry that they let me believe I was their child all these years. I couldn’t fathom being won in a poker game. Did I mean so little? But then I came to see that I meant so much. Duel saved me. If not for him, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. Even as hurt as I was, I couldn’t hate him. But for a while there, I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Me: Tell me about little Matthew and him calling you Mama Rose.

Marley grins big: That sweet, little boy has stolen my heart. He’s so sensitive and worries about everyone. The smallest things make him happy and the best part of my day is reading to him at bedtime.

Me: Speaking of that, I hear you write children’s stories and you read your own work to Matthew.

Marley: That’s correct. Writing stories that bring the children such enjoyment brings me great satisfaction and joy. The reward is seeing their faces light up.

Well, that’s all the time we had. I thanked Marley and left. She has an incredible story to tell in To Catch a Texas Star. It’s out now so grab a copy. I think you’ll like it.

Linda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of full length historical western romance novels and novellas. She’s published over twenty books and short stories and resides in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. On a quiet day, she can often hear their voices whispering in the wind. 

The love of this state and its people runs bone deep and she instills that into each book she writes. She sets all her stories in Texas because of the rich history and interesting people.

A mother, grandmother, and soon to be a great grandmother, Linda finds research fascinating and always looks for little known tidbits to add realism to her stories. When she’s not writing, she collects old coins and confesses to being a rock hound in addition to making herself a nuisance at museums, libraries, and historical places which inspire her.

WEBSITE   FACEBOOK     PINTEREST

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Interview: Dr. Stuart Lemming, Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corps, from HARMON GENERAL by Kimberly Fish

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HARMON GENERAL

Misfits and Millionaires #2 

by

KIMBERLY FISH

Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII / Spies

Publisher: Fish Tales, LLC 

Date of Publication: June 16, 2018

Number of Pages: 330

Scroll down for giveaway! 

In 1943, Lane Mercer and Emmie Tesco had nothing in common. Well, nothing stronger than a town neither of them chose and careers they couldn’t advertise as agents within the Office of Strategic Services. During the days of Longview, Texas’s Friendly Trek Homecoming Parade, Lane was gearing up for the grand opening of a bookshop that also disguised an espionage safe house, and Emmie was chasing a criminal with evil intent through the US Army’s new medical facility, Harmon General Hospital, treating diseased and amputated soldiers. Emmie ropes Lane into international threats at Harmon General, making it increasingly hard for the two spies to navigate the Junior Service League, church life, or anything else that might be considered normal for a town sizzling with oil boom wealth. A friend from Lane’s past arrives and pushes against the fiction she’s created to distance her spy history from the wedding bells ringing her future. Emmie flirts with the idea of finding a life outside of the OSS but justifies the danger as a way to make amends for those she’s betrayed. Connecting the two women, to their surprise, is a rogue agent who targets them for crimes he believes they created. For better, or worse, they have to put aside their differences to share responsibility for stopping “The Grasshopper” before he blows apart the Big Inch Pipeline project and Harmon General Hospital. The hope of malaria treatments for US soldiers depends on it, and justice of the heart demands it.

 

PRAISE FOR HARMON GENERAL:

 

“The war that changed the world brought the world to East Texas through Harmon General, a significant US Army hospital that treated thousands of wounded soldiers in Longview.  In Harmon General, we meet again Lane Mercer, a World War II heroine, and we enjoy again how the drama of her secret service to the nation and her complicated personal relationships pull us into the vast impact of the world war.” — Dale Lunsford, Ph.D., President, LeTourneau University

“Harmon General is a brilliant story for historical fiction readers! Set in World War II, the female spies, Army hospital setting, and drama amongst the Longview townsfolk kept me riveted and engaged until the very end.” – Jody T. Morse

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SPECIAL PROMOTION: FREE BOOK!

 

For the first five days of the Lone Star Book Blog Tours promotion of Harmon General, the Kindle  e-book of The Big Inch is FREE!!  That’s right, from June 22-27, the e-book that started the whole Misfits and Millionaires adventure costs nada!

Click to download your copy!

 

 

 

characterinterview

 

Harmon General Character Interview:

Dr. Stuart Lemming, Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corps

 

Setting: the lobby of the KFRO Radio Station in Longview, Texas. May, 1943

Dr. Lemming is sitting in a straight back chair, flipping through the pages of the Longview Morning News—not reading the headlines, just looking for something to do while he waits for the production assistant to take him back for his radio interview. The receptionist brings him a cup of coffee.

“I hope I got it right. Just a splash of milk?” the woman in a pink blouse asks as she wipes her hands on her brown skirt.

Stuart holds the cup close, letting the steam warm his cheeks. “You have a good memory.”

“It comes from having to remember all the yahoos who roll through the station week-after-week.” She smiled as if to imply a man in uniform didn’t qualify for the same treatment as those giving the farm reports and sports broadcasts. “You’re not from around here?”

“I’m stationed at Harmon General these days, but I call North Carolina home.” He sipped the dark roast. “Boone, actually. In the mountains.”

She smiled wistfully. “I’ve only ever seen mountains in the movies.”

“Where I’m from, they’re a little more tamed than the ones you see in the westerns.” He stood because the receptionist hadn’t moved on and his mother had taught him to stand when speaking to ladies.

“Well, what must you think of Longview then after being in the military and travelling all over the world?”

“I haven’t been allowed off our shores yet, but I’ve done most of my schooling and training on the east coast. Spent a lot of time in Washington, D. C. That’s a bit different from here.”

“We’re just country bumpkins compared to all the folks you’d meet in Washington.”

Stuart’s expression softened as if he was enjoying replaying the faces of people he’d met during his medical training and Army career. “I met Clark Gable once.”

She gasped. “I adore Clark Gable.”

“He was learning medical procedures for a movie role, and I actually explained to him how to read slides under a microscope.”

She fanned her face. “Did you get his autograph?”

Stuart didn’t have the heart to tell her the actor was rather grumpy and had bad breath. “I forgot to ask.”

The woman let her gaze take new inventory of Stuart’s beige uniform and military brass. “I know you’re here to do one of those “Heroes of Harmon” radio interviews that everyone is raving about, but if you’re not busy after—would you like to grab a sandwich together? We could walk down the street to Deb’s?”

He smiled. It had been a long while since someone—outside Harmon—had shown much interest in him, and now with Lane Mercer out of the picture it was time to get back out in the mix. “Sure. If the interview doesn’t go too long.”

The receptionist gestured to the thick door leading back to the production studios. “They’ve been whipping those soldiers in and out of here all week. It shouldn’t take more than half an hour for them to ask you about your work, how you got here, who you want to say hi to back home, and what’s your big heroic moment from the war.”

Stuart froze. He didn’t have a big heroic moment, short of what happened in the chapel—and that was more of a reflection on Lane than it was him. “I’m a pathologist, not a hero.”

She brushed away his humility. “Anyone who suits up for this war is a hero to me. Come on, I’ll take you back and show you the green room. Babe Ruth once ate a hot dog in there—he was here as a guest of our old baseball team, The Cannibals.”

Stuart followed the woman and worried about the notion of naming a local baseball team after a people-eating subset of humanity—but that’s how his brain worked. Where most folks took things at face value, he was always consumed by the details beneath.

 

 

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR:

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting.

She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in January 2017, released the first novel in the Misfits and Millionaires series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas—The Big Inch. Her second book, Comfort Plans, was published later that same year.

She lives with her family in East Texas.

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to see book reviews and behind the scene peeks

at places that have inspired the novels! 

From kissing couples to fabulous fedoras,

inspiration behind Harmon General!

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Misfits & Millionaires, Book 1

 

Character Interview: Pearl Pilkington from THE WAY OF BEAUTY by Camille Di Maio {giveaway}

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THE WAY OF BEAUTY

by

Camille Di Maio

Genre: Historical Fiction / 20th Century / Literary

Publisher: Lake Union Press; Date of Publication: May 1, 2018

Number of Pages: 384  

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Hearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station.

Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.

Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.

Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.

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PRAISE FOR THE WAY OF BEAUTY:

“The Way of Beauty is a thing of beauty. The writing is gorgeous, the story is engaging, the characters are amazing. The amount of research that goes into historical fiction just astounds me. Add this to your TBR!”

“If you want to be swept away by a love story set in a fascinating and meticulously researched past, Camille Di Maio is the author for you. Don’t miss this one.”

“A captivating story of love and family that spans several generations.”

“The writing transports you to the time, not so long ago when women had to choose between love and their rights. Camille Di Maio’s dialogue, descriptions, and relationships create a complete picture of the era and struggles. Great book club book.”

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characterinterview

Interview with Pearl Pilkington, Character from The Way of Beauty

Where and when were you born?

I was born in 1890 and remember watching turn-of-the-century celebrations with my family. I’m glad I was old enough to witness that, as I won’t be around for the next one!

Where have you lived?

I have lived in New York City for all of my life.

Family members?

I am an only child. My father is a clothing magnate and my mother organizes many fundraisers for the needy. I did not see them very much growing up. I am widowed and have a son, William, from that marriage.

In what situation is your self esteem most at risk?

I pretend that I don’t care what my parents think about my work in the suffrage movement, but I’m afraid that I do. I wish that they supported it, and I am saddened that it is not something I can share with them since it is such an important part of my life.

What are you keeping a secret?

I don’t let on, but I miss my late husband terribly.

What are you lying to yourself about? To others?

I am lying if I say that I am a better mother than my own was. In fact, I am more like her than I care to admit. She was – and is – fiercely devoted to her causes, more so than she was to me as her daughter. And though I want to be a caring and devoted mother, I weigh the time I can spend for that one life versus all the good I can do for many lives, and it draws me away.

How do you decide of you can trust someone?

There are few people that I trust, but if I can determine that their motivations are pure, I will give them my whole heart.

When you walk into a room what do you notice first? Second?

That’s a good question. First, I notice who is serving and who is being served. Then, I look at how the served are treating the servants.

How would you change the world?  The things around you? The people around you?

I work for a world where all are equal, regardless of gender, race, or financial abilities. I am currently working on helping women gain the right to vote. Let me correct that – we already have the right to vote based on our dignity as human beings. But our government is suppressing that right.

How do you learn best?

I learn best by doing. I participate fully in anything I believe in.

What unusual hobbies or interests do you have?

I have little time for hobbies, though if I did, I’d quite like to read a lot more than I do. I believe reading is the best education, and I encourage more women to do it.

What are you most afraid of?

I am afraid of frogs. I know. A silly thing, but there it is.

What do you like best about yourself?

I like that I give myself fully to my causes.

What do you like least about yourself?

I dislike that I do it at the expense of those I love.

What do you think other people think of you?

I’m sure people find me to be quite intense, but I am much softer inside than I let on.

What’s your greatest source of joy?

My son, William. I see my late husband reflected in his face. He is often asleep by the time I get home, and I get great joy in looking at him, so innocent.

~Romance Writers of America Honor Roll Inductee~

Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far) and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmer’s markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. The Memory of Us was Camille’s debut novel. Her second, Before the Rain Falls was released on May 16, 2017, and The Way of Beauty is her third novel.

 

Website ║ Facebook ║ Instagram ║ Amazon Author Page ║ Twitter  ║ Goodreads ║

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Character Interview: Molly Goodnight of PALO DURO by Max Knight

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PALO DURO
by
MAX L. KNIGHT
  Genre: Historical Fiction / Western
Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc.
Date of Publication: September 2, 2017
Number of Pages: 226
Scroll down for the giveaway!

Westward expansion following the civil war ushered in an era of increased conflict between the Southern Plains Indians and white settlers. Peace treaties offered temporary suspension of hostilities, but more often than not resulted in broken promises as the two cultures clashed over land. The construction of frontier forts and towns, the decimation of the buffalo herds, the movement of cattle through Indian lands to burgeoning western markets, – all of these forces threatened a way of life that had existed for centuries.
The Comanche, the Southern Cheyenne, the Kiowa, the Apache all fought to protect their customs and homelands. The clashes were characterized by savagery on both sides – Indian and white. However, finite numbers and options would ensure the tribes’ defeat; they faced certain death or forced relocation and their days were numbered.
Though the Indian wars are the focus of Palo Duro, the novel also captures the spirit of the “Old West” with its depiction of the great cattle drives from Texas into Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, the cattle barons and the trail blazers, the outlaws and gunslingers, the lawmen and Texas Rangers, and the settlers and entrepreneurs who built this country. It chronicles an era characterized by heroism, brutality, and bold ventures while paying tribute to a genre that is fading from public consciousness – the western. It is the story of the Southwest United States towards the end of the nineteenth century and the rugged individualism that forged a nation.
5 STAR PRAISE FOR PALO DURO:
This book captured Central Texas in the post-Civil War era better than any other book I’ve read. It was well researched, well written, and easy to read. I enjoyed this book more than Empire of the Summer Moon, the standard setter. I recommend this to readers of any level, even if you dislike history, as this book is that good. 
– Jeffrey R. Murray, Amazon review
Max Knight brought to life the saga of how Texas tamed their frontier. He presents a colorful experience with characters effectively placed throughout his story. If you have any interest in Texas history this book is a must read. – AmazonJacki, Amazon review

Palo Duro is an exceptional novel, well researched; a must read. 
– Chuck B., Amazon review

Reading this book is a great way to deepen and appreciate one’s Texas roots – or if you are not a Texan to understand and enjoy what makes Texas, well, Texas! I found this novel to be especially entertaining as well as informative. Made me want to go back and read Lonesome Dove again! – Michael P., Amazon review

In the spirit of the old Western genre of Zane Grey and L’amour, Max Knight pays homage to our national heritage with this fictional but historically accurate labor of love that warms the heart with his vivid imagery and authentic tone of America’s illustrious and sometimes brutal past. – Chester Sosinski, Amazon review

Interview with Mary Ann (Molly) Goodnight

A Character in Palo Duro
By Max Knight

You have been credited with saving the buffalo on the Southern Plains. Can you tell me why you got involved in this effort?

When my husband Charles and I first moved to West Texas, the annual migration of the buffalo herds extended across the plains as far as the eye could see. The buffalo numbered in the millions and their movement caused huge dust clouds to form that looked like an advancing storm. The earth shook, and the sound resembled thunder. It was both frightening and exhilarating, but in less than a decade their numbers were reduced to less than five-hundred.
 

How did such a drastic reduction occur in so short a time?

For a time, the buffalo hides became fashionable back east and in Europe. A great many animals were killed simply because of human vanity. However, even after the fad ran its course, our government encouraged the buffalo hunters to continue slaughtering the buffalo to deprive Native Americans of their primary source of food and shelter. It was a strategy designed to end the Indians’ nomadic lifestyle and force them onto the reservations.
 

Didn’t your husband attempt to cross-breed the remaining buffalo with cattle?

Charles was a cattleman whose business was to provide meat to northern and eastern markets. Both his Longhorn cattle and the buffalo had proven that they could survive the harsh environmental conditions that exist in the plains… extreme heat and cold, the lack of water and forage, and winds that chafe both man and beast. He thought by mating the species, he could create an even more resilient breed. He called them “cattalo.” The experiment didn’t work.
 

So, how did you manage to save and ultimately increase the buffalo population?

I asked my husband to bring in the calves so I could nurture and raise them.
 

Why the focus on the just the calves?

In many cases, the mother had been killed by hunters leaving the calf to either starve or become prey to other predatory animals. The calves would remain by the dead carcass of their mothers and their cries could be heard for miles. They were babies in need of love and caring, and I thought someone had to come to their aid.
 

Did your efforts succeed right away?

No. The calves had to be hand fed by bottle at first, and many simply couldn’t or wouldn’t make the transition. A large number died. However, I kept trying and in time some of them survived, mated, and produced offspring. Those offspring multiplied and today, though nowhere near the numbers that once existed, they are again roaming free in some of our state and national parks, giving new generations the opportunity to see them in their natural habitat.
 

Do you feel a sense of accomplishment or pride?

Absolutely. For me, the buffalo are representative of a bygone era. They are living history.

Max L. Knight was born in Panama in 1949, and was raised both in the Canal Zone and in San Antonio, Texas where he now resides with his wife, Janet “Gray.” A proud member of the Corps of Cadets and graduate of Texas A&M University (Class of ’73), he received a bachelor’s degree in English and a Regular Army commission and served the next twenty-four years as an Air Defense and Foreign Area Officer before retiring in 1997 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After leaving the Army, Max spent the next five years working for RCI Technologies of San Antonio, becoming its Director of Internal Operations. Separating from the company in 2002, he volunteered to be the first docent at the Alamo working within its Education Department before once again serving his country as a Counterintelligence Specialist in Europe, Central America, Asia and the Middle East through 2013. Max speaks several languages including Greek and Spanish. He also holds a Master of Science degree in government from Campbell University. He has written and published two books to date: Silver Taps, a personal memoir of his relationship with his father and a tribute to his alma mater, and Palo Duro, a novel focusing on the Indian wars in the southwestern United States at the end of the nineteenth century.
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Character Interview with Alyssa Kaplan from Kendra C. Highley’s SWINGING AT LOVE

Interview

Q: How would you describe yourself?

AK: That’s a bit…personal, don’t you think?

Q: It’s an interview. Inquiring minds and all.

AK:  Um, okay. I’m middle height, athletic build, with crazy curly hair that will not stay in a ballerina bun no matter how hard I try, and green eyes. Nothing special.

Q: I hear a certain someone thinks you’re pretty darn special.

AK: I’d like to think so. Tristan’ pretty special, too.

Q: Moving on…what music do you have on your phone?

AK: Some classical from ballets I’ve danced in. A little Ed Sheeran, some Rhianna, Alessia Cara, X Ambassadors, and Sia. I really like Unbreakable.

Q: What’s your idea of a perfect date?

AK:  That’s almost too easy—great seats to a Rangers game with a guy who enjoys baseball as much as I do. If it’s a really good date, there will be churros. Kissing a guy who tastes like cinnamon sugar is awesome.

Q: Cinnamon sugar…interesting. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? And by anywhere, I mean anytime in the past, present, or future, too.

AK:  I’d go back to see the 1927 Yankee’s play. Or to the mid-40s to see Galina Ulanova dance with the Russian Bolshoi Ballet.

Q: Favorite food?

AK:  My mom’s spaghetti with homemade sauce. I’m watching my weight for a ballet tryout coming up, so I can’t eat a lot, but I love it.

Q: Speaking of ballet, what made you give up softball for dancing?

AK:  I love the grace of dancing, the way it makes me feel. Plus, I was starting to get tired of traveling to tournaments and coming home bruised after sliding. You get bruises doing ballet, too, but you’re less likely to be concussed.

Q: Do you have a favorite ballet?

AK: Most people would say The Nutcracker, but I love the music in Sleeping Beauty more. I’d love to dance in a production of it someday.

Q: What advice would you give to little girls starting out in sports or dance?

AK: Don’t quit. Be prepared to show up and work hard. Give it your whole heart.

Q: Okay, rapid fire time: M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces?

AK: M&Ms

Q: Coffee or Tea

AK: Coffee, black

Q: Sun or rain?

AK: Sun

Q: Pizza or Enchiladas

AK: That’s almost cruel…enchiladas. I live in Texas.

Q: Boxers or briefs?

AK: Depends on the guy?

Q: That’s fair. Last one: Cats or dogs

AK: I like both, but dogs. My dog is my best buddy.

Q: Great—thanks for speaking with us today!

AK: You’re totally welcome.

About the Book

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Outfielder Tristan Murrell has a problem. As the number two slugger for the Suttonville Sentinels, his team is counting on him to make their very first run at the state championship. But he has a secret—his swing has totally deserted him. As in, he can’t hit anything. He needs to fix the issue, and fast, but how?

Ballerina Alyssa Kaplan has a problem, too. The shiny new sports complex in town has left her family’s batting cage business on the verge of going under. Nailing her audition for a prestigious dance company is everything, but there’s no way she’s letting her some shiny big-box company destroy her family’s livelihood.

Tristan needs a miracle. So does Alyssa. And maybe, just maybe, Tristan’s secret weapon might be the girl of his dreams…

Disclaimer: This book contains hot, shirtless baseball players, kisses that bring a ballerina to her knees, and a lot of baseball smack-talk.

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About the Author

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Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.

 

 

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An Interview with Private David Summers, protagonist of J.D.R. Hawkins’ The Renegade Series

An Interview with Private David Summers, protagonist of J.D.R. Hawkins’ The Renegade Series, including A Rebel Among Us. We are travelling back in time to September 1863. The country is in turmoil. Bloody carnage has swept across the nation. Everyone knows someone who has been lost to the terrible war.

Interview

David, tell us about yourself.

Well, I’m from Morgan County, Alabama, which ain’t too far from Huntsville. I grew up on my kinfolk’s farm with my ma, pa, and two younger sisters. My pa died at the Battle of Fredericksburg last December. So I decided to jine up last spring with General J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry. My best friend, Jake, jined up with me, but he got killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville. My regiment was chosen to come up here to Pennsylvania. We fought at Gettysburg, and I lost a few friends. Reckon I’m mighty tired of war now, but I still want to see the South win so’s I can go back home.

How old are you?

Eighteen.

What happened after the Battle of Gettysburg?

Somethin’ right strange. I was on picket duty when I came across a Yankee sentry. We shot at each other. I won. But he got a bead on me. My horse, Renegade, bolted and ran for miles. I couldn’t hold him because a rein was severed and I’d lost my footing out of the stirrup. He finally came across a farm and went inside the barn. By then, I was gettin’ dizzy and I fell out of the saddle. It wasn’t long before I heard voices comin’ from the farmhouse.

Then what happened?

I recall some girls comin’ to my aid. They carried me into the house. I’d been shot in the shoulder and stabbed in the leg, so they stitched me up. Before I blacked out, I heard them talkin’ ‘bout whether or not they should turn me in or let me die and feed me to the hogs.

How terrible! I’m glad to see that didn’t happen!

Me, too.

So, now you’ve been here for a couple of months. How is it working out?

Not so well. There’s a neighbor who’s a Yankee officer, and even though I ain’t met him yet, I ‘spect I will sooner or later. And then there are the sisters.

The sisters?

The three sisters who saved my life. The oldest one, Anna, well, she’s mighty sweet and purty, but her sister, Maggie, don’t take a cotton to me at all. And then there’s Abigail, the youngest. She and I git along like two peas in a pod.

But you are still a soldier. Do you plan to rejoin the Confederate cavalry?

I dunno. I mean, I have to wait and see. If the Southern army comes back up here, I might be inclined, but as it is now, I can’t travel south without riskin’ my capture. Besides that, Renegade was injured, too, so I’m waitin’ for him to heal.

And then there’s Anna.

Huh?

It sounds like you’ve taken a liking to her. Do you want to stay on her account?

I wouldn’t mind it if Miss Anna took a likin’ to me. But I know her aunt and sisters won’t approve, and we keep debatin’ on who’s right and who’s wrong: the north or the south. Way I see it, the first chance I git, I’m fixin’ to head south.

It sounds like you’re facing quite a conflict. Anna and her family are committing treason by harboring you. At any moment, you could be captured, and you still have a desire to fight for the Southern cause, if I’m not mistaken. It seems you’ve gotten yourself into quite a dilemma.

Yeah. Reckon I have.

About the Book

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David Summers never expected any of this… not in a million years. He thought for sure he was a goner.

After leaving Alabama and enlisting with the cavalry, his delusion of chivalry was suddenly quashed when he saw for himself the horrors of battle. Now, after being shot and ending up at a strange farmhouse, he’s found himself being nursed back to health by four beautiful girls, and has learned that his Confederate brethren have deserted him in Pennsylvania after fighting at Gettysburg. It’s more than he can fathom. On top of that, he’s been presented with an even bigger dilemma. He knows he’s falling in love with the older sister, Anna, and she has enticed him with an interesting proposition. However, her scheme goes against his principles, and the reasons why he enlisted in the first place – to avenge his father’s death and defend his sacred homeland.

To David’s dismay, he must make a decision. Should he stay and help Anna with her underhanded plan, deceiving everyone around him by pretending to be a Yankee? If discovered, he would be considered a traitor to the cause, and she could be in jeopardy of treason. Or should he leave the farm, say goodbye to her, and risk certain capture? Either way, his perilous situation doesn’t seem to offer an encouraging outcome. If that isn’t bad enough, Anna’s neighbor, a Union officer, is in love with her, too, and he would stop at nothing to have David arrested … or worse.

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About the Author

J.D.R. Hawkins

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of a few female Civil War authors, uniquely describing the front lines from a Confederate perspective.

Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie,  A Beckoning Hellfire, and A Rebel Among Us. All three novels are award winners, and tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Ms. Hawkins is currently working on a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as another sequel to her series.

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Character Interview with Sunny Drysdale (EXPLOITS by Clara Grace Walker)

 

Have you ever read a book and found yourself wondering what a given character would say if you had the chance to interview them?  Me too!  Fortunately, being an author, and fiction being what it is, I have found this is entirely possible.  In fact, I frequently interview my major characters before sitting down to write the first draft.  This interview with heroine Sunny Drysdale, however, was conducted after publishing my novel, Exploits.  I thought it might be fun to check in with Sunny, and get her perspective on events after they had played out.

Happy Reading!  Clara

An Interview with Sunny Drysdale:

If you had it to do all over again, would you do anything differently when you found Boyd’s body in your car?

It’s easy to think if you knew all your mistakes in life ahead of time, you could avoid them.  What’s not always immediately clear, however, is how avoiding those mistakes will change, not only the way events play out in your life, but who you become as a person because of them.  Growth is a result of trial and error…of making mistakes and learning from them.  While deciding to try and return Boyd’s body to Darla was clearly the wrong decision, I really grew as a person, becoming more self-confident and courageous in the process.  More importantly, if I hadn’t been en route to Darla’s that fateful morning, I wouldn’t have come across Jeremy, stranded on the side of the road and in need of a lift…and might never have met the love of my life.  So, taking everything into account, I’d have to say no…I wouldn’t change a thing.

When did you first become aware of Darla Arnold’s negative/competitive feelings toward you?  

Shortly after attending her open house in Delray Beach, it became clear she, for whatever reason, really had it in for me.  I think it was only two weeks after that she began posting negative reviews of my books online and tagging me in her social media posts.  From there the animosity really escalated.  I was stunned and hurt when the harassment started, and did my usual crawl into my shell routine.  Now I’d be much more likely to call her out on the behavior…and take more proactive steps to try and stop it.

Have you heard anything from Darla since your rescue from the cave? 

She sent me e-mail a few days after our rescue, complaining about how Jeremy and I were hogging the limelight.  I did mention to Lila Goodwell that she might want to interview Darla also, but that suggestion was not well received.  Apparently, something went on between them that really upset Lila.  I’m not sure what it was, and frankly, I’m glad not to be a part of it.  Anyway, she did say thank you for saving her life, and shortly after that she started dating Armani, at which point I stopped hearing from her.  I think she’s happy now…at least, I hope she is.

Tell me about Lou Narducci. Did you expect to find him funny?  Are you still in touch? 

Oh gosh…I never expected to find him funny…or even human really.  I think my writer’s imagination had built him up to be some terrific monster…like a one-eyed Cyclops or something.  Discovering that was, in fact, funny…and just a human being like anyone else surprised me.  Although as a writer, I should have known better.  After all, that’s always something I’m trying to portray when writing the villains in my books, that they are real people.  As for being in touch with Lou, yes, I write to him in prison, (he’s a little miffed his lawyer wasn’t able to get him off the hook), much to Jeremy’s chagrin.

Going back to the night you first saw Jeremy at Mindy and Earl’s wedding reception…what is the one word that comes first to mind?  

Destiny

How about when you saw him stranded on the side of the road the next morning? What one word would describe that encounter?    

Insanity

When did you first realize you loved Jeremy?

The romantic in me wants to say it was love at first sight…and it was probably close to that, however, I think in reality it was our second date when he drew me out of my shell and got me onto the dance floor.

When did you believe he loved you?

When he saved me from the cave and didn’t arrest me.

What’s next on the horizon for you? Any new books in the works?   

Haha!  Funny you should ask.  I’ve just started a time travel where Lady Elaine travels forward in time to present day.  Guess I wasn’t lying to Jeremy after all! 

Any news in the Jeremy department?

I’ll let you look at the ring on my left hand and answer that question for yourself.  We’re still working on a date.

Aboutthebook

Book Title:  Exploitsfinal-exploits

Category/Genre:   Mainstream Romantic Suspense

What would you do if someone left a dead body in the backseat of your car?

Publicity-shy author Sunny Drysdale is forced to find out. After bumping into celebrity impersonator Boyd Bradford at a wedding reception the night before, and seeing him leave with rival author Darla Arnold, Sunny knows exactly who to blame for his appearance in her car. She’s suffered countless dirty tricks at Darla’s hands, and Sunny is determined this one will be the last. Her plan to return the body to Darla is thwarted, however, when she is flagged down, corpse still in car, by handsome police Chief Jeremy Jennings.

How can you love someone if you can’t trust them?

Jeremy is torn by his attraction to Sunny. If life has taught him anything, it’s that relationships are a trap. Wteaser.jpgorse still, he has two main suspects in Boyd Bradford’s disappearance, and Sunny Drysdale is one of them. With counterfeit bills popping up all over town and Boyd rumored to be a mob hit, Sunny is either in way over her head, or a beautiful, but devious criminal. His head says she’s only using their romance to distract him. His heart is determined not to care. Telling himself his interest in Sunny is only about solving his case; Jeremy loses himself to the passion simmering between them.

Will these two ever be honest with one another, and give in to the desire tempting them both? Or is their romance doomed to a catastrophic end?

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abouttheauthor

clara-grace-walker

Bestselling romantic suspense author, Clara Grace Walker, writes about fictional worlds populated with characters living out soap opera style lives.  Expect sex, murder, and more than a little back-stabbing inside the pages of her books. Her debut series, Desire Never Dies, is comprised of three books, Gratification, Gossip and Redemption, all of which have made their mark on Amazon’s bestseller list.  People and circumstances are rarely what they seem in these stories, and getting to the truth can be a dangerous thrill-ride.  So hop on board and hang on by your fingertips as you read your way to Happily Ever After.

Currently, Clara is immersed in the romance, danger and intrigue of her four-book series, Sex and Secrets. The first book in the series,Exploits, was released in July . Learn more on her website.

Listen to The Librarian’s interview with Clara Grace Walker

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Connect online with Clara Grace Walker:

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Character Interview by Romance Author PJ Fiala

I’d like to thank Tabatha Pope and the Authors on the Air group for having me here and posting my interview with Jeremiah (Dog) Sheppard. Jeremiah is my hero in Moving to Love. He’s sexy, smart, owns Rolling Thunder Motorcycles and he’s finally found love after 45 years.  He agreed to sit down with me and chat and I think you’ll see that he’s very much the alpha male while still an interesting man.

PJ:  Jeremiah, thank you for taking the time to sit and chat, I know you’re a super busy man, so we’ll be as brief as we can.

JS:  Yes, thank you, but I’ve planned for this interview, so ask away.

PJ:  That’s very nice of you.  Let’s begin shall we?  What is the biggest obstacle you’ve ever faced and how did you overcome it?

JS:  That’s a good one, over time your biggest obstacles change.  I’ve faced many in my 45 years, going to war, my obstacles were staying alive and keeping my men alive.  Being a single father, my biggest obstacles were raising good men, keeping them out of trouble and healthy.  Recently, my biggest obstacle is getting the beautiful but stubborn Jocelyn James to go out with me.

PJ:  What is the one place you’ve never been to that you want to see some day?

JS: I’ve never been to Hawaii and that’s a dream of mine. I’ve had friends who’ve gone and visited and they’ve told me about some of the fascinating things they’ve seen and done, like looking into a volcano. That’s something I’d never thought was possible but now that I know it is, I’d love to do that.

PJ:  Do you have a favorite kind of flower or plant?

JS:  I’m not much of a flower person and, honestly, if you’d came to my house a few years ago, you’d see, the landscaping leaves much to the imagination.  Raising my boys and building Rolling Thunder has been my focus for many years now.  At the urging of my mom I did hire a landscaper to come in a couple of years ago and he did a great job of adding plants of varying colors that certainly make my house look more inviting, but I couldn’t name a one of them for you.

PJ:  Fair enough.  Tell me about a time you succeeded at something you really wanted.

JS:  Well now, that’s an easy one.  I’d say that Rolling Thunder is something that I’ve wanted for quite some time.  I’ve worked my ass off building that business and making a nice living from it. But, now I have a new goal and that’s trying to break down the walls that Joci has erected around her heart. So, I’m very hopeful that the next time I see you, my answer will be very different than it is today.

PJ:  Hmm, she sounds interesting, maybe I need to interview her.  Now tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it.

JS:  Laughing.  You should interview Joci, she’s incredibly interesting. Okay, to answer your question, I failed to bring my best friend home from war.  Lance and I have been friends since we were little.  We went into the Marines together, went through boot camp together and deployed to Iraq together, but, we didn’t come home together.  What did I learn from it?  Well, I’ve learned that life must go on for the living. That to honor his memory I need to help others in his name, it’s where the Veteran’s Ride originally started.  I met a local Vet who needed some assistance.  At the time, I didn’t have the money to help him, so I did what I could do, organized a ride.  We raised enough money to help that fella purchase a prosthetic leg, and accessorize his vehicle so he could drive himself around. That made me feel so good and I thanked Lance for watching over us and helping me figure the situation out.  I help Veterans all the time now.

PJ:  Wow, that’s sad and awesome at the same time, thank you for your service and your community philanthropy.  Okay, finish this sentence. “When I turn 60, I want to ….”

JS:  *Chuckling*  I honestly haven’t thought that far ahead.  I guess I’d say that by the time I’m 60 I hope to have grandchildren to play with, a loving wife to live with and that my sons are all happy and healthy and doing well in their lives.  Nothing earth-shattering there.

PJ:  Do you have a totem animal? If not, and you were going to choose one, what would it be?

JS:  Well, since my nickname is Dog, and my last name is Sheppard, I’d say that by osmosis my totem animal would be a German Sheppard.

PJ:  Makes perfect sense.  How about this, what is your relationship with technology?

JS:  My brother, Dayton, is and always has been a computer geek.  Because of him, I’ve been indoctrinated into the world of all geekdom.  I can say that because I say it to his face. (Laughs).  Dayton has set up a state of the art security system in Rolling Thunder, and I’ve been forced to learn how to use it.  I have a cell phone and I email, other than that, I don’t have the time to get too mired down in all the technical aspects of technology.

PJ:  Do you dream in color?  

JS: (Looking at the ceiling a soft smile played on his lips.)  I guess I do.  I hadn’t thought of it, but, I’ll say yeah.

PJ:  (Chuckling) Okay, last but not least; In three words, describe yourself.

JS:  Driven. Strong. Caring.

Jeremiah, thank you very much for sitting and chatting with me today.  I’m grateful for your time and I’m thrilled to have met you.

As you can see, Jeremiah is an interesting man, and you should see him. Tall, broad and built. Long blond hair pulled into a ponytail at the nape and green eyes that are difficult to look away from.  The total package. Joci, what are you waiting for?

You can read Jeremiah and Joci’s story in Moving to Love which is the first book in the Rolling Thunder series and my addition with the Duty, Honor & Love Box Set available November 7th.  

Thank you again for having me on your blog Tabatha, I appreciate it.

Aboutthebook

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DUTY, LOVE & HONOR

Available for a short time only.

Anyone’s happily-ever-after is never a given…it must be earned–something these military heroes have learned the hard way.

Sink into this sexy collection of binge-worthy reads from eleven of your favorite New York Times, USA Today, and a few new-to-you authors. Includes a bonus story from Dana Marton!

All proceeds will benefit the Semper Fi Fund (https://semperfifund.org), a non-profit organization that assists post-9/11 wounded and critically ill vets from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

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abouttheauthor

I was born in Bridgeton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. During my time in Missouri, I explored the Ozarks, swam in the Mississippi River, played kickball and endless games of hide-and-seek with the neighborhood kids. Spending summers in Kentucky with my grandmother, Ruth, are among my fondest childhood memories.Patti Fiala 2

When I was thirteen, myfamily moved to Wisconsin to learn to farm. Yes, learn to farm! Taking city kids and throwing them on a farm, with twenty-eight cows purchased from the Humane Society because they had been abused, was interesting, to say the least. I learned to milk cows, the ins and outs of a breeding schedule, feeding schedule, the never-ending haying in the summer, and trying to stay warm in the winter. During our first winter in Wisconsin, we had thirty-six inches of snow from one storm, and were snowed in for three days! Needless to say, I didn’t love Wisconsin. I am married with four children and three grandchildren. I’ve learned to love Wisconsin, though still hate snow. Wisconsin and the United States are beautiful and my husband and I travel around by motorcycle seeing new places and meeting new people. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are interested in where we are going and what we’ve seen along the way. At almost every stop they make, the locals ask us where we’re headed and offer advice on which roads in the area are best for travel and seeing the sites. They are also more than willing to share what others before them have told them about great rides and the best scenic routes to take.

I come from a family of veterans. My grandfather, father, brother, two sons, and one daughter-in-law are all veterans. Needless to say, I am proud to be an American and proud of the service my amazing family has given.

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Character Interview with Avery Collins from LA Fiore’s BEAUTIFULLY DECADENT

The Sweeter Side by Rita Bean

I recently had the pleasure of sitting with Avery Collins, the sensational, new pastry chef for the award-winning restaurant, Clover. We discussed her fabulous new job, where the ideas for her mouth-watering combinations come from and how she’s adjusting to her new home.

We met at her place, a beautifully restored carriage house on a property that was just picture perfect, well, all but the beat-up, pee-yellow station wagon parked in the drive. As soon as I climbed from my car, the scents of vanilla, chocolate, butter and cinnamon drifted toward me. I would be perpetually hungry if I shared space with Avery and likely several dress sizes bigger.

Upon knocking, she called for me to enter and my first image of Avery Collins was one I’m sure to remember. Dressed in sweats, her auburn hair pulled up into a knot, she was surrounded by delectable treats. The woman behind the masterpieces had a bowl tucked under her arm. Bright green eyes, filled with humor, greeted me first.

Avery: I can’t stop whisking or it’ll throw off the consistency of the mousse. Please come in. Not the best first impression, I look a bit like a mad scientist in my laboratory with the scattered remains of failed experiments, but I’m harmless.

Her greeting encapsulates Avery Collins perfectly…a woman dedicated to her craft, who happens to have a wicked sense of humor. I settled at the kitchen island, notepad and recorder in hand, but I can honestly say the chocolate cake smothered in blackberries distracted me. Avery noticed, a slight blush colored her cheeks.

Avery: I can be socially awkward, so there is a method to my madness. If I dazzle your taste buds, maybe you won’t notice that I’m not the greatest conversationalist. Now if you were interviewing my sister, she’s a brain surgeon, smartest person I know. She can talk about pretty much anything. And when you get her started on a subject she really likes, she can just go on for hours. That’s usually when I slip slowly into madness before my eyes roll into the back of my head and I die of boredom. But I mean, my sister’s great. She’s the best. I love her dearly. Oh hell, are you going to print that? You’re going to print that. You should print that, payback for her comment in Medical Weekly. She called me an airhead, the first documented case of a person being born without a brain. Can you believe that?

She tried for anger, but the affectionate smile that curved her lips was proof that she and her sister were very tight. And as much as I wanted to hear more about her sister, I steered the interview back on track.

Rita: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me and for it to be here where I can watch you work is definitely a treat.

Avery: Are you kidding? I’ve been reading your column for years. I can’t believe I’m actually going to be featured in it. I’ve been pinching myself since you called, gave myself a nasty bruise.

Rita: It’s always a treat for me to interview up-and-coming chefs, especially those that are fans of the column. It’s kind of my way of giving back. So getting right to it, when did you know this was what you wanted to do with your life?

Avery: I wish I could say something profound, but the truth of it is as a kid I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies with blueberries. I couldn’t find them, so I made them. Some kids dream of unicorns or winning the big game, of prom or becoming homecoming queen. Me, I dream in chocolate and cake, pudding and ice cream.

Rita: So you’re very passionate about sweets.

Avery: I wouldn’t have the ass I have without them.

Rita: Talk to me about your process? How do you keep pushing the envelope, finding new mouthwatering combinations?

Avery: I like sweets. It’s really as simple as that. I take combinations that I love and put a spin on them. It’s a lot of trial and error, but I do so enjoy tasting every concoction until I find the perfect blending. If I can dream it, I can create it. That’s kind of my personal tagline.

Rita: Tell me about your interview at Clover. I’m sure there are many readers curious as to how one interviews for a position as pastry chef?

Avery: I imagine the process is different from place to place. For my interview, Francois Moree, the executive chef of Clover, and Clover’s owner, Trace Montgomery, asked that I create three desserts. They watched as I prepared them, studying not just the end product but how I handled each step along the way. I selected recipes that allowed me to use a range of techniques.

Rita: That had to be nerve-racking.

Avery: Have you ever met Francois Moree or Trace Montgomery?

Rita: No.

Avery: Nerve-racking doesn’t even cover it. I tend to babble nonsensically when I’m nervous, but luckily for me I lost myself in the work once I started preparing the dishes. The interview was over before I knew it.

Rita: And we know it was a success. Congratulations. So you moved from Pennsylvania to the Bronx. I have to say, I felt like I was entering a secret garden pulling up the drive. It’s magical.

Avery: That was my first thought too. It’s amazing, so private and picture perfect, and you haven’t even seen the best part yet.

Rita: Best part?

She leaned closer as if trying to keep anyone from hearing what she said next, even though it was just the two of us.

Avery: My landlord is…I’m going to let you be the judge. I swear the fairy godmother that works this area needs a stern talking to. You think I’m kidding, but when I finish with this we’ll sit outside. He’s in his workshop now, but the scents coming from here will stir him from his cave. I have chairs outside; believe me you’ll want to be sitting down when you get your first look at him.

I can honestly say in the fifteen years I’ve been writing this column I have never had an interview quite like this one. And more surprising, I found myself intrigued, enough that we did settle in the chairs outside, chairs that were facing the house not the yard. We hadn’t been there long when a large, black dog meandered from the barn—her landlord’s workshop…a master carpenter who specializes in custom furniture.

Avery: That’s Loki. Rafe’s dog. He’s sweet, a little lazy, but we’re working on that. Aren’t we Loki?

She said this as she rubbed the large animal’s head. He dropped down on her feet, enjoying the affection. Minutes later, a deep voice carried from the barn.

Avery: Wait for it.

And I did, I felt Avery’s anticipation and it caused my own pulse to pound. And then her landlord appeared and she was right, I was grateful for the chair—tall, dark, handsome and then some. I typically would have edited out the following dialog since the focus of the interview was Avery, but the dynamic between her and her landlord provided another layer to the overall picture that is Avery Collins. And it was simply too juicy to cut out.

Avery: Amazing, isn’t he? I could stare at him all day. Hi Rafe. This is Rita Bean. She’s interviewing me for her column, The Sweeter Side.

Standing, I took the hand he offered. He was a tall, built with shoulder-length black hair and bright green eyes. The faint scent of sawdust clung to him.

Rita: You’ve a wonderful place here.

Rafe: Thank you. It’s nice meeting you. Avery, I smell chocolate.

Avery: I’ve a blackberry, chocolate cake with your name on it. And a chocolate mousse flavored with chilies. Chocolate cookies with raspberry purée swirled through them.

Rafe: I want all of the above.

Avery: I want y…to finish the interview and then I’ll plate you up a sampling.

It was unseasonably warm, but the temperature spiked even higher as I sat transfixed by the dynamic happening in front of me.

Rafe: I’m looking forward to tasting your…creations.

Avery: You’ll want to take your time tasting, to savor the flavors on your tongue—the sweet with a hint of spice.

The grin he flashed her, even I felt the effect of it.

Rafe: And I do like sweet things, even better when they have a bite.

Avery: Oh God, I’d like to take a bite out of…that chocolate cake.

Rafe’s head back laugh was well timed since the air was heating up to a combustible level.

Rafe: Come Loki. Let’s go for a walk. It was nice meeting you, Rita.

Rita: And you.

Avery: My IQ takes a hit every time he’s near, but I’m only human. I mean, seriously, look at him. He looks even sexier walking away. I am sorry for getting off topic. Rafe is very distracting. Would you like some cake?

Rita: And a tall, glass of water. I’m suddenly feeling rather parched.

Avery: He leaves me perpetually parched, so I totally get that.

Avery Collins is a refreshing personality with a gift for creating truly spectacular desserts. A woman who is humble, self-deprecating, honest and just a bit goofy. I thoroughly enjoyed my day with her, gained a few pounds, and got to witness first-hand the laws of attraction. Treat yourself and visit Avery at Clover. Your taste buds will thank you.

Text copyright © 2016, L.A. FioreBeautifully Decadent

AboutTheBook

Avery Collins has just landed her dream job, pastry chef for the posh-Manhattan restaurant Clover. Her new boss, Trace Montgomery, even helped with securing her an affordable place to live: a beautifully restored carriage house owned by his friend, Rafe McKenzie—a man that makes her catch her breath and stirs her imagination. Trouble is, he’s involved with someone, his father is being released after 25 years in prison and Avery is just his tenant. Exploring the attraction that sizzles whenever they’re together would be the icing on the cake, but Avery knows all too well that you can’t have everything. Of course, what’s cake without icing? LA Fiore Beautifully Decadent Teaser 4
Rafe McKenzie’s world shattered at nine when his father Liam—the only parent he knew—was arrested and convicted for armed robbery. Growing up in the system, Rafe managed to survive his childhood and now has a job he enjoys, a house he’s restoring and a tight circle of friends. He’s even working on reconciling with his dad, both eager to put the past in the past.

Happy for the income a tenant would bring, Rafe agrees to rent his carriage house to Clover’s new pastry chef. When Avery Collins pulls up his drive, she’s not at all what he’s expecting. Funny, sexy and as sweet as her desserts, it doesn’t take long for things between them to heat up. Just when it seems as if they’ll have their cake and eat it too, the past comes back with deadly intent leaving Rafe to figure out who’s pulling the strings before his world shatters again.

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Due to strong language/sexual content,this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

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LA Fiore logoL.A. Fiore is the author of several books including: Beautifully Damaged, Waiting for the One and His Light in the Dark. She’s also the social secretary for her two children, a tamer of ill-mannered cats, the companion to one awesome dog and married to her best friend. She likes her wine red, her shrimp chilled and her social gatherings small and intimate.

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Character Interview by Linda Joyce, Author of BEHIND THE MASK

An Interview with (Main Character) Chalise Boudreau
by BEHIND THE MASK Author, Linda Joyce
AboutTheBook
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Former model Chalise Boudreau returns to Louisiana after ten years and faces an uncertain future. Watching her budget, she’s living with her mother and plans to open a luxury salon, but she fears the community sees her homecoming as a failing, and she knows any malicious gossip will jeopardize her success.

Once bad-boy, now entrepreneur Chaz Riboucheaux is home and trying to rebuild his old reputation. He believes one of his companies, the Magnolia May, a pirate ship, can make Ascension a tourist destination, but the mayor refuses to grant him a lease at the city’s dock.

Chalise and Chaz come face to face at a Twelfth Night party. Years ago, he stood her up and left her brokenhearted. Now her brain is at war with her heart, but her body has a mind of its own. As Chaz leads her across the dance floor, he knows when the music stops it won’t be the end of their waltz. He has questions only she can answer, and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants.

Excerpt
AN EXCERPT FROM BEHIND THE MASK
A hand grabbed hers and lifted the champagne glass away. A pirate pulled her to the dance floor. She started to protest, but nearby Doucetta, Mary, Pratt, and Gaurou, all old schoolmates, tapped their feet to the music and looked on, grins spread across their faces. If she spoke in protest, they would recognize her voice, so she allowed her captor the last dance. After all, who said no to a rakish pirate? Black knee-high boots, dark gray breeches, and a white shirt with billowing sleeves. An ostrich feather in his black hat waved as he moved. An eye patch hid one eye. In the dimness and the flashes of mirrored light, she couldn’t quite decide if they’d met before.
She draped her arms around his neck. As she reached her fingers to run through his thick hair, her captor twirled her way, and then pulled her close. The attention from the mystery man wasn’t without allure. He moved well. Oozed charm. Tingling sensations left her breathless. 
Her hand was warmed by his. Each time her gaze lingered on his face, he twirled her away. It was as though he somehow sensed her intention to determine his identity.
Halfway through the song, he danced with her cheek to cheek. Broad shoulders. Well-developed muscled arms. Narrow waist. Strong thighs. They swayed together. All thoughts took flight as she found comfort in his arms. When the song neared its end, the pirate’s hand slipped from the small of her back to her butt. He gave a light squeeze. She sucked in a breath and stopped.
“How dare you,” she hissed.
The pirate’s hands moved up to her neck. He cupped her jaw, and then he brought his lips to hers. Though a thin veil separated skin-on-skin contact, the heat of his lips seared. The electric zip dazed her.
“I’ve waited years to do this, Princess,” the pirate whispered. 
Her hands flew to her cheeks, and she touched her lips with her fingers. Fear struck. Would he reveal her identity? How did he know?
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AboutTheAuthor (1)

Linda Joyce is an award-winning contemporary romance author born on Christmas Eve. Her Louisiana family’s roots run deep, and they’re intertwined with her Japanese heritage. Her vagabond childhood afforded her a variety of travel opportunities. Now she lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and their thrLindaJoyceClementsee dogs: General Beauregard, Gentleman Jack, and Masterpiece Renoir.

Linda penned her first manuscript while living in Japan as a U.S. Air Force dependent. Her
classmates lined up at recess to read her latest pages. During high school in Florida, a literary magazine published her poetry. In college, she worked on the school’s newspaper as a reporter and learned layout and design.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Linda holds a Bachelor of Science in Management. She worked in corporate America, earned the Senior Claims Law Associate professional designation, and completed Six Sigma Green Belt training.

Linda is a self-professed foodie and has the kitchen of her dreams. She enjoys painting when she can fit it in. She and her husband, Don, love college football. They frequently go RVing, and at last count, they’ve traveled to twenty-one states with “the boys.”

 

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