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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Follow Your Cowboy Heart by Janice Seagraves

I had fun writing this short story. The Character of Max was actually based on my husband. He's dark headed (or used to be) and worked hard for his family growing up. Giving all his money to his sister to help run the household. My husband's story differs in that he left to join the Navy and later on married me.

In my story, Max is grown, still lives at home and works hard, giving all his money to his mom to keep the farm and home running. After his father passed away, his mom had been managing things--badly.  Max finds out exactly how badly as the story progresses. He wonders if he'll have to stay forever and keep his family from losing the farm.

And what about his future?

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Chili Peppers Rating: 1

Max struggles daily to hide his psychic gift with animals. Being a hired hand at a local dairy probably wasn’t his best idea, but his mom needs the money he brings in. And there’s the dairy owner’s sexy daughter he can’t stop thinking about. Will he ever have anything other than himself to offer her?

“Max. I’ve been looking for you.” Linda took his hand, and an electrical sensation flowed up his arm. “Let’s step over here.”
“But I…”
“Only for a couple minutes. Your sisters can spare you that long.” She dragged him away to the Galloway’s backyard. The tall fence blocked off some of the noise from the party, giving them the illusion of privacy.
She pressed him against the fence and kissed him, hard. Surprise had him opening his mouth, but it also gave her entrance. Her tongue skimmed across his, and he was lost. He invaded her mouth, pursuing her. He placed his arms around her and pulled her against him, flattening her breasts against his chest. Desire spiraled through him.
She slowly pulled back and snuggled against his chest. “Wow. I always wondered what kissing you would be like.”
Rubbing her back, he noticed a little black bird in the tree limb above them. He whistled, and it cocked its head. He continued to mimic bird song, until the starling flew down and perched on his extended finger.
“How did you do that?” whispered Linda.
“It must be used to humans,” he lied. “Did you know starlings are better mimics then mocking birds?”
“No, I didn’t.” She smiled.
“What do you think of Linda?” he asked the bird. Forming what he wanted the starling to do in his mind.
It did a wolf whistle. Linda giggled.
ONLY 99 cents


Friday, May 26, 2017

Michele Zurlo's Re/Bound...Now in Spanish

Hey there! It's the 26th, so this is Michele Zurlo!

About a year ago, I read a blog post from a woman who does Spanish-English translations, and I found myself wondering: Does she go both ways? Now, I know what you're thinking, and the truth is that I didn't immediately ask. I waited. I followed her on Twitter. I stalked her by looking up her work and reviews. Eventually I made contact, and I found out that she does, in fact, go both ways.

My next step was to research the reasons for having my novel translated from English to Spanish, and I found out that over 500 million people in the world speak Spanish as their first language--roughly the same number of people who speak English as their first language. So I decided to go for it--and I had Re/Bound translated into Spanish. It took about 4 months for the translator (Olga Nunez Miret) to rewrite my 100K novel.

I hear from others that it's a very good translation. I, of course, have no clue because, while I can recognize some words, I can't read Spanish. This almost makes me want to learn. Almost. (I've tried before. It did not go well, but I did learn to roll my R's, so at least there's that.)

Anyway, I'm excited that my work is now going to be available to half a billion more people! If it's successful, I'll have the others translated too.

Here's the blurb:

Recuperarse después de la pérdida devastadora de su Maestro es más difícil de lo que Darcy había anticipado. Justo cuando más necesita a alguien, aparece un atractivo Dominante. Theo es considerado, dominante y exigente —exactamente lo que ella necesita. Él empuja sus barreras, pone a prueba sus límites, y la hace llegar a nuevas alturas. Gracias a él, ella recuerda lo que es sentir alegría, amor, y una mano firme en el trasero.

El agente Malcolm Legato persigue a un hombre de negocios corrupto, y Darcy puede facilitarle la entrada a lo más alto de la Corporación Snyder. Aunque él inicia su relación con ella con la intención de utilizarla para avanzar su investigación, no puede evitar enamorarse perdidamente de esta combativa sumisa, y sabe que le romperá el corazón cuando descubra que le ha estado mintiendo desde el principio.

Cuando todo se desmorone, ¿será Darcy capaz de encontrar la fortaleza necesaria para perdonar a Malcolm y construir una vida juntos? ¿Y sabrá hallar el valor requerido para conseguir hacerle justicia al hombre que amaba y que ha perdido?

Con nudos de cuerda y de argumento, esta historia repleta de acción os hará reír, llorar, y estremeceros por muy buenas razones. Con Ligada de nuevo, Michele Zurlo os ofrece una historia inteligente, atrevida y sexy.

Advertencias: Bondage, D/s, S/M, baile de salsa 

And buy links:
All other outlets:

It's also available in English--

Love, Michele Zurlo

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Agonizing Over a Paragraph By Karen McCullough #RB4U #Romance @kgmccullough

It’s the very first thing I write and the piece that gets reworked the most in the course of creating a novel – the first paragraph.

That first paragraph is so critical for drawing the reader into the story that I want it to be perfect. I want it to create the setting, establish the main character, and provide a bit of seduction, showing a glimpse of story so intriguing readers will have no choice but to read on.

I remember being in a bookstore one time where I picked up an interesting-sounding story. I read the first paragraph and it grabbed me.  Grabbed me so hard, I kept reading and reading. Ten minutes later I realized I’d read the entire first chapter and I didn’t want to stop even though I needed to get going. That book didn’t leave my hand until I got to the checkout counter.  (By the way, the book was American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  I highly recommend it.)

My goal is to create an opening hook that good, something people won’t want to put down no matter what other obligations they have. It’s not easy and I wrestle with it for the entire time I’m working on the book. I suspect a combination of reasons cause me to go back and rework that first paragraph multiple times, tweaking words here and there, reorganizing sentences and occasionally tossing the whole thing and starting again.

First, I’m a sequential writer, which means I write from beginning to end, rarely skipping around scenes, so the first paragraph is the first group of words I set down on paper (or type into the computer these days). I have to start somewhere and my first iteration of the beginning is simply meant to get the story going in my head.

I’m also a pantser, a writer who starts with an idea, or a character, or an incident, and maybe with some idea of how it works out, but no clue how it will get there.  A story may take many turns in various directions before it gets to a final form, and sometimes those turns will change how it has to begin.

Last but definitely not least, I’m a perfectionist. I polish relentlessly, usually doing several passes through a book before I deem anything ready to go to an editor or critique partner. And since it’s so important, that first paragraph gets a lot of extra attention.

In the opening scene of my recent romantic suspense release, Hunter’s Quest, my heroine is driving in the North Carolina mountains. I describe dark woods that come up to the edge of the winding road, wildflowers blooming along the verge, and the aroma of honeysuckle wafting through the air. I hope that quick description brings the setting to life for a reader and the heroine’s reaction to it makes her appealing. When the crack of a rifle shot shatters the peace and a man runs out in front of her car, I want the contrast to shock the reader into awareness and draw them into wanting to know more about what’s going on.

That’s the hope, anyway.

Blurb for Hunter’s Quest: Kristie Sandford's vacation is interrupted when a man jumps out in front of her car. She avoids hitting him, but when she stops to see if he's hurt, he demands she help him escape from the people chasing him. Kristie has an odd "gift" - she occasionally gets warning messages, and she gets one saying he needs her help or he'll die. Jason Hunter is an NC SBI (North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation) agent working on his own time searching for a friend, an investigative reporter who disappeared while tracking down rumors of corruption in the bureaucracy of a small mountain town. Jason is grateful to Kristie for rescuing him, but dubious when she insists she has to continue helping him. Kristie is attracted to Jason, but the edge of danger she senses in him reminds her too much of the abusive family she escaped as soon as she could.

Still, the message said he'd die if she didn't help him, and the messages have been right before.

Karen McCullough is the author of more than a dozen published novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres and has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy. She’s also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, seven grandchildren (and counting) and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.

Author’s links:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Escargot or No

According to the National Day Calendar, today, May 24, is National Escargot Day. I wonder where they come up with this stuff. Since I blog on the 24th of each month, I wanted to write a blog around whatever the national day is for that date. When I saw National Escargot Day, I groaned. How could I write about escargot and relate it somehow to my books? I decided to give it a shot.

I’m not afraid to experiment with new foods. I’ve eaten kangaroo in Australia and alligator in Charleston, South Carolina. They both taste like chicken. I draw the line at horse meat, though. Once on a trip to Italy, some meat was placed in front of me that I didn’t quite trust. I didn’t eat it. Found out later it was horse meat. Europeans eat horse meat. No thanks.

I ate escargot once many years ago. I don’t remember where I had it, possibly Toronto, Canada, when I lived there, or a restaurant in Philadelphia. All I remember is the garlic. The snails themselves had no taste, but were swimming in garlic. I never ate escargot again. Tried it once and that was enough.

Unlike my willingness to try different foods, I’ve not gone outside my writer comfort zone as much as I would have liked. I love contemporary romance and have pretty much stuck to that. I do have several “foodie” romances, as I love to cook. I stretched myself to write my first romantic suspense, Logan’s Redemption (Redemption Book 1), and enjoyed the experience so much, I’ve gone on to write three more romantic suspense stories. And I intend to write more.
My biggest stretch was writing my very dark paranormal romance, Cursed Mates. This book is so different from anything I’ve ever written. It’s one of my favorites. It took a lot out of me emotionally to write something so dark, and I’ve not written another dark paranormal since.

I think pushing myself to go out of my contemporary romance comfort zone has helped me grow as a writer. As I will most likely not eat escargot again, I doubt I’ll write another dark paranormal, but I’m glad for the experience. And I got a book I love and am proud of.

Are you a fearless eater, willing to try exotic foods at least once? Have you written stories that took you out of your comfort zone? How’d that work out for you?

I always figured my next “stretch” would be to write a historical romance. For years, I’ve wanted to write a book set during the Gilded Age, a time that fascinates me. I even have a rough plot. Just as I hope to have the opportunity to try more exotic foods, I hope to someday write this book.

Although I may not have written my Gilded Age story yet, I did write my first historical romance last year. My story, We’ve Only Just Begun, after the Carpenters song, is set in 1971. Ironic that it’s considered “historical” when it’s the year I started dating my husband. We’ve Only Just Begun is part of a seven-story anthology, Brandywine Brides: A Blackwood Legacy Anthology. All of us authors are local, from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. We meet for lunch once a month and call ourselves Writers Who Lunch. One author is a NYT and USAT bestselling author, and another is a USAT author. Several of us are award-winning. We came up with the idea of doing an anthology together, using a local setting, Chester County, Pennsylvania. The stories are about one family, the Blackwoods, from the 1700’s to present day.

I didn’t have to “stretch” myself too much to write We’ve Only Just Begun. I wrote much of it from memory. Talk about feeling old, when you can write historical fiction from your own experiences. My hero, Stephen Blackwood, is a Vietnam War combat vet with PTSD, only then we called it “shell-shock.” My husband is a Vietnam War combat vet, and he helped me with some of the military terms. I dedicated my story to him and to my cousin, a medic, who was killed in ‘Nam days before Christmas in 1968. Writing my novella brought back some sad memories.

We authors are very proud of our anthology. I hope you’ll read it. I think you’ll find all the stories heartwarming.

BRANDYWINE Brides ~ A Blackwood Legacy Anthology
One Family – Seven Generations – A Legacy of Love

Almost three centuries ago, a Scottish convict was sold into indentured servitude in Philadelphia and given a second chance at a life far from the country of his birth. In the years since, the farm secured by Finlan Blackwood’s efforts would grow and thrive in the Brandywine River valley just as his family and descendants did. Today, Blackwood Farm is one of the largest and most successful farms in Chester County. But it took the sacrifices and best efforts of each generation to make it so. 

1721 – In A Traitor’s Heart by Terri Brisbin, a convicted traitor from the Jacobite Rising must find a way to rescue a widow from an unscrupulous man’s plans for her. . . and for the lands she holds. 

1779 – In A Patriots’ Heart by Gwendolyn Schuler, a wounded British officer hiding a secret puts the daughter of Blackwood Farm’s owner in danger by his presence in their home.

1865 – In Wounded Heart by Martha Schroeder, a damaged Union soldier arrives home to find his childhood sweetheart is the one trying to save his family’s farm. 

1919 – In Heart’s Song by Georgia Dickson, when the current owner of Blackwood Farm returns from the Great War, everything looks different to him, even the possibility of love.

1943 – In Painted Promises by Kate Welsh, the Blackwood heir, working for the war effort at home, is the only one who can help a woman who fought with the resistance in Europe before she escaped the horrors of war. 

1971 – In We’ve Only Just Begun by Cara Marsi, the Blackwood son, suffering from the effects of Vietnam, meets exactly the kind of woman he needs, even if she doesn’t want to be the one. 

2017 – In Finn’s Legacy by Mariah Stewart, when a writer comes to Blackwood Farm to interview the family matriarch, the last thing she expects is a reunion with the man who broke her heart before he left for Iraq four years ago. 

Seven Blackwood generations. Seven loves worth fighting for!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nothing Like that First Time with @BarbaraWDaille #RB4U #Romance

This is my first time writing a post for RB4U. Being a newbie at a blog dedicated to romance made me think of the first time I fell in love...

His name was Sammy.

He was six years old. I was five.

There were so many things I loved about Sammy, from his bright red hair, to his daredevil stunts on his racer bike, to the bravery he showed when he tossed crusts from his peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich into the kindergarten trash. Right in front of the lunch monitor, no less! 

With such a shining example of heroism around me in my formative years, is there any wonder I became a romance author?

And do you know one of the best things about being a romance author or reader?

It’s getting to fall in love for the first time—over and over again.

Think of it. When you sit down with your lined pad or at your blank screen, or you curl up with the book you’ve just downloaded or brought home, you’re on the verge of a brand-new adventure. You’re about to enter into a new relationship. With luck, you’re just a few pages away from experiencing—again—what it’s like to fall in love. The conversations. The conflicts. The kiss-and-make-ups. And, depending on your preferred heat level, the plot twists and turns that get the characters into bed.

All that…leading up to those characters finally falling in love.

There are many reasons people can’t get enough of reading romance, but reliving that experience often hits high at the top of the list.

For some people, the thrill of a sexual chase plays into their enjoyment of the story. For others, it’s the emotions triggered during each stage of the developing relationship. And for many more, it’s the memories of that First Real Love of their own, whether it took place when they reached their twenties or thirties, were still back in high school or junior high, or—like me—had barely made it out of diapers and into kindergarten.

As a romance author creating the heroes and heroines in my stories, I get to tap into all the reasons for loving romance.

In my new release, The Rancher’s Baby Proposal, the heroine is unexpectedly reunited with a man she had crushed on all through school. A man who—brace yourself—never really noticed she was alive. And now… 

OMG, he wants her!

If that happened to you in real life, would it add to a sexual fantasy or set off a few emotions or trigger a fond memory?  It sure would do some of those things for me.

Unfortunately for my heroine, the hero doesn’t want her for the same reason she desires him. Which is where this adventure begins!

I would love to know your favorite reasons for reading romance or to hear the story of your First
Real Love.

Meanwhile, here’s the back cover blurb from The Rancher’s Baby Proposal:

Ally Martinez has always been known as a fun and flirty kind of gal. But deep down she’s never forgotten the cowboy who left town. When her crush Reagan Chase comes home after a five-year absence, Ally knows this is her big chance. The guy I’ve always wanted. Only Reagan has something different in mind…
Still reeling from his last relationship, Reagan needs a babysitter for his month-old son. With Ally’s help, he can get his family’s ranch ready for sale and get out of Cowboy Creek. The problem? Ally is one seriously cute distraction. But Reagan will do whatever it takes to keep his heart safe. Even if it means losing the only place—and the only woman—he can call home.
Find the book:

About Barbara:

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!

Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis, with an ongoing series from Harlequin Western Romance (The Hitching Post Hotel) and a new series from Entangled Bliss (Snowflake Valley). Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life:

Find Barbara and her books online:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Is she too old for a rodeo cowboy

I had so many readers w rite to me when Rodeo Heat disappeared from the virtual shelves. Everyone who hadn't;t read the story abut Grace and Ben wanted to read it. Well, now you all can. It's back and better than ever.

She never knew what heat was until she met her cowboy—then fire consumed them.

It could have been the animalistic heat of the rodeo, or the pin with special powers that the old woman had all but forced her to buy. But whatever it was, within seconds of meeting rodeo rider Ben Lovell, Grace Delany safe world crumbled in a voluptuous explosion of lust. Every night was something new and Grace gave in to it all, relishing her body’s. As Ben Lowell led her from one earth-shattering climax to another, as her body softened and opened to him, her juices lubricating the way, all she could do was hang on for dear life and follow his lead. But when it was over, could she really walk away from the man who had taken her on an outrageous journey of sexual self-discovery where there were no limits or boundaries?


The big room seemed even noisier than usual, a raucous babble of voices and laughter and shouts as people recognized and greeted each other. This was opening night, so there were more people in here than usual. The long picnic tables were jammed with riders and workers catching a quick snack before getting back to business, and family and friends spending a few minutes with them. No one was dressed yet for the evening’s events. The rodeo would open at seven, just a couple of hours from now and there was a lot to do before then. For everyone.
Ben Lowell leaned against a wall cradling the Styrofoam coffee cup and let his gaze travel over the gathering of people. Many of them he knew—fellow competitors, rodeo workers, ranch hands bringing the stock specially raised for rodeo competition or delivering horses newly trained for their events. Ben had ridden those ‘special’ bulls for years and had the scars to prove it. His cutting horse, a big Appaloosa named Hotshot, had come from one of the largest ranches in Texas whose trailers were parked all over the lots here at the rodeo grounds.
And of course there were the usual buckle bunnies, the rodeo groupies who chased after every competitor. They were easily recognized in their glitzy Western wear, heavy makeup and blatant sexual smiles. Ben had been doing this for what seemed like forever, racking up an impressive list of wins. Lately, however, he’d been feeling much older than his thirty-two years. He’d shared more time with the ever present “buckle bunnies” than he wanted to admit, so much couldn’t even remember names any more. At some point they’d lost their appeal for him, and didn’t that just shock the shit out of him. He was ready for a change in his life, but he had no idea what that would be.
He was sipping his coffee, not really focusing on anyone or anything, when she came into the room and he almost dropped his cup. The first thing he wondered was what she was doing here. She certainly didn’t look like a rodeo hound, although the same couldn’t be said of the woman with her. No, this one had a freshness about her, almost an invisible glow. Her clothes were obviously new, probably purchased for her outing. Even the hat sitting atop her chin-length warm brown hair had probably come from one of the vendors here.
He knew the woman she was with. Everyone knew Melanie Keyes—most of them more intimately than Ben. Oh, she’d put it out there in Fort Worth one night, letting him know she was available, but she hadn’t even made his cock tingle. Since then, whenever they’d run into each other, she’d given him a look that would make ice feel warm
Now, Melanie was waving at everyone as she made her way through the room, tugging the newbie behind her. When they were close enough for him to get a better look, Ben realized the woman was not as young as he’d first thought. Her face was a curious mixture of innocence and maturity, as if she’d seen a lot of life but hadn’t really lived it. Not a hard look, though, he told himself. Not at all.
The new clothes were little disguise for a lush figure with ripe curves. Curves a man could hold onto.
This is a woman I could sink into and stay forever.
Now where the hell had that come from? He wasn’t scoping out the scene for another casual fuck. Far from it. He’d made up his mind to hang up his bedroom spurs for a while, figuring there was something wrong with him when none of the women fawning over him turned him on.
But this woman. Jesus! He was swamped by a desire to strip her naked, suck her breasts, taste every inch of her skin before licking her essence from what he was sure was a delicious pussy. Then he’d plunge himself into her heat and fuck her until neither of them knew their names. Or cared. What would she think if a stranger came up to her and said, “Pardon me, ma’am but I’d dearly love to fuck your brains out”?

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