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Saturday, December 31, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE!

CELEBRATE THE COMING OF 2017...LET''S TOAST TO A GREAT NEW YEAR TOGETHER!




photo:Flickr: on2uru's photostream

Friday, December 30, 2016

Scorching Hot Cowboys from Sabrina York!


Sabrina York's Stripped Down Cowboys!
It's like Magic Mike...with cowboys!



Welcome to the wild and randy world of the Striped Down Cowboys!


3 prequel novellas and 3 full length novels for your reading pleasure, featuring the sexiest cowboys this side of the Rio Grande. And the other side too.

Read on for more info about these sexy books...and be sure to enter Sabrina's Cowboy to Command Giveaway (below)! The giveaway ends soon!


PREQUEL NOVELLAS

The Real McCoy by Sabrina York
When Crystal Wilson gets roped into a wild, girls-only weekend at a rowdy “stud” ranch, the last thing she wants to do is tangle with a bunch of half-naked men pretending to be cowboys. But when she meets Ford McCoy, she can’t help but be attracted to his dark, dominant, gruff appeal.

What she doesn’t know is that Ford isn’t a stripper. He’s her friend’s overprotective brother, there to make sure his little sister doesn’t get into any trouble. She’s surprised at the passion that flares between them. In fact, what she has with Ford might just be what she’s been looking for all along.

It’s a pity the sexy rancher isn’t in the market for a city girl.

Come Hell or High Water by Sabrina York
Back in her hometown on the heels of a nasty divorce, Lisa Binder is looking for a quiet place to curl up and lick her wounds. The last thing she wants is a man—she’s been hurt too many times by the faithless breed. But then Cade Silver steps through the flames, into her life and into her bed, and she begins to question her resolve to spend the rest of her life as a single cat lady.  The tall, handsome cowboy/fireman—an Eagle Scout and military vet—seems to be the kind of man she’s always craved, and he seems to be fascinated with her as well. But can she trust him not to break her heart?

Cade has been a little in love with Lisa since high school, but when she started dating his much more charming and handsome brother, he was devastated. He left town and joined the Marines to avoid the torment of seeing the two of them together. Now, years later, he’s traveled the globe, survived multiple disasters and experienced loss. He is a man who knows what he wants and is willing to fight for it. And he wants Lisa. Now that life has given him a second chance to win her heart, he’s determined to prove to her he can be the hero she desires…come hell or high water.


Protect and Serve by Sabrina York
The last thing officer Charlie Dunham expects when he returns to his hometown is to tangle with his high school crush, Claire Silver, right off the bat. He’d planned to ignore her entirely—the way she’d always ignored him. But when a mysterious threat puts her in danger, he must step in and save her. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that he’s been lying to himself about his feelings for Claire. He wants her…no matter the cost. 





THE NOVELS!

Stud for Hire by Sabrina York
Just south of Fort Worth, Texas, you’ll find a little ranch where the hot, toned cowboys are ready and eager to take it all off and make your naughtiest fantasies come true...

When her sister plans a wild bachelorette weekend at the Double S Ranch, Hanna Stevens is pretty sure she’ll just grin and bear it while the other women get their fill of hot cowboy strippers. After all, Hanna has never met a man who made her really want.

Zack, Hanna’s future husband, offered to marry her and save her family’s ranch from financial ruin, and while she accepted, it was never what you’d call a passionate affair. But when she locks eyes with Logan, Hanna is suddenly overwhelmed by the feeling she’s always craved and never experienced: Pure. Animal. Desire... 


Cowboy to Command by Sabrina York
A man with a secret… A woman with a plan

Just south of Fort Worth, Texas, you’ll find a little ranch where the hot, toned cowboys are ready and eager to take it all off and make your naughtiest fantasies come true...

Satisfaction is the name of the game at the Double S Ranch, where the men are more than willing to play. They come from all walks of life, and each has their own reason for dancing for a lady’s pleasure.

A former Navy SEAL, Brandon Stewart started dancing after an injury in the field put him out of commission. The power he commands when a woman’s eyes are locked on him makes Brandon feel like the man he used to be. But when he meets Porsche, Brandon has never felt more stripped bare.

The spirited beauty needs a handsome fake boyfriend to make another man jealous. But Brandon is determined to prove to Porsche that pretending with him is nothing compared to the real thing...


Spurred On by Sabrina York

As the owner of the Double S Ranch, Cody Silver knows what women want—all except the one that got away. So when his high school girlfriend Sidney Stevens comes back to town for her sister’s wedding, Cody will do whatever it takes to prove that he’s a changed man.
After their explosive breakup, it took a long time for Sidney’s broken heart to heal —and she’s not about to risk it again. She’ll tangle with Cody and live out her simmering fantasies, but when the time comes she’s going to walk away satisfied.
But love has a way of ruining the best laid plans, and Cody and Sidney are about to learn that what you want isn’t always what you need...




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous romances. Her titles range from sweet & snarky to scorching romance in historical, contemporary and fantasy sub-genres. Represented by Nicole Rescinti at the Seymour Agency  Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bj8tKb

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Don't miss this last chance to enter to win the Cowboy to Command tiara!  Contest ends TODAY!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

JASON BACA - Fabio on Steroids (and we don't mean chemicals)

Interview by Sharon Hamilton

I've heard about Jason Baca for years now, but until recently, I hadn't had the opportunity to meet him. He showed up at our book signing at Barnes & Noble in San Jose, and I was so thankful he agreed to do this interview, just for our RB4U audience of fantastic authors and readers. Here are some questions and answers I think you're going to enjoy. Hope this adds to your awesome holiday season. Another reason to be thankful for being writers and readers of romance.

  1. How did you get started modeling?
Jason- I got started by accident. Back in 1997 I was a double in the movie I know what you did last summer. One of the photographers on location pulled me aside and asked if he could take some photos of me. I said sure..  He turned out to be a great connection for other photographers which then stemmed to clothing and ad modeling which I did for about 10 years.

  1. Do you work with a favorite photographer and if so, who do you work with?
Jason – All the million or so photographers I’ve worked with are my favorites, I can’t pick out just one. Some I work with more then others, some I know better. Each gets me in a different mood and adds their own element to each shoot which I like.. Gives variety.

  1. Have you ever been on a shoot and something horribly went wrong? Can you describe it?
Jason – you know, I’ve been pretty darn lucky with it all..  I haven’t had anything go terribly wrong as far as my end of it goes. Though one time I shot when I was in terrific shape then come to find out, the photographer had their studio broken into the very next day. They stole their camera’s that had the photos. It was a huge disappointment that’s for sure.

  1. Have you ever had a clothing or prop malfunction on a photoshoot?
Jason – Sure there are always little things that I later end up seeing that I don’t like. Now a days though, with the way graphic artists are so skilled, they can easily hide whatever it is that’s not looking right.

  1. Do you mind when the graphic artist changes your hair color? If so, what color  do you like the least?
Jason – no I don’t mind one bit. Kinda cool actually..  Well the color I’d like the least? How about bald? Does that count?  Great Answer (Sharon).



  1. What was your favorite photo shoot location and why?
Jason – In a warm studio I’d have to say. I can just get into character better and play with the camera more vs. being outdoors with people staring. I’ve never been crazy about outdoor shoots and the whole big production thing. I don’t like drawing attention to myself if I can help it.  Awww. You're a keeper, Jason! (Sharon)

  1. Your least favorite photo shoot location and why?
Jason – Outdoors or out in the woods. Seems the shadows from the trees just don’t do me any justice.

  1. Favorite photo shoot character you portrayed and why?
Jason – I’d go with the army theme as most fun. I like to be able to cut my hair short, this gives me an excuse to do so. Not only that, my Dad was a Army Veteran and I think it’s an outfit he’d have gotten a kick out of if he was still around today. I know you are proud of your dad. Thanks so much to your whole family for his service. I'm sure you miss him.

  1. Is there one place you’d love to do a shoot at and have not gotten the chance to? 
Jason – I’ve touched them all.. Every desirable location/studio, I’ve been to. I’m not at a shoot to enjoy the location though, I’m there to get the job done. It’s what I’m hired to do so I see myself as a piece to the puzzle.

  1. Any kind of shoot you would not do (except the obvious ones)?  
Jason – sure, there are plenty of “themes” I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.

          11. Ever worked with another actor/model who was embarrassed? Were you ever intimidated working with another actor/model? Any funny stories?

Jason – I personally haven’t been nervous, the TV show The Insider was a fun one where the correspondent posed with me - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7hGHZkLXTI&t=13s  I loved this YouTube! Fun stuff!  

          12. What are your hobbies?

Jason – well growing up I was a baseball player. I played high school and college ball before moving on to other stuff. 

           13. Where do you call home?

Jason – Los Gatos, CA. 

           14. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Jason – Probably in the mountains of New Hampshire. Just beautiful out there. 

           15.  When you go to conventions and get all the attention of readers and authors, does it ever make you uncomfortable? How do you handle it, if it does?

Jason – I have yet to go to one. I keep getting invited to go, I just haven’t managed to get the time to get out to one. I hear this year it’ll be in Atlanta which I’d love to visit. We’ll have to wait and see on that.

Thanks so much, Jason! Those answers were fantastic. I can see you are a real professional and why you are so much in demand. We appreciate having actors and models like you who help us sell our books, and help readers visualize those wonderful heroes we write about. 

Happy New Year. Please come back and visit us again sometime!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2017 Goals not Resolutions by Janice Seagraves



I mentioned last year that I don't do resolutions, I set goals.

I'm happy to say that I manged to make all my goals for 2016.

I wrote my goals on sticky notes and place them where I can see them everyday. It helps to remind me of my goals all year long.

This past year's goals were rather ambitious.

Take another vacation, which I did.

Finish and published Windswept shores two. ✅ (I changed the name from Journey Home)

Finish and publish Matrix Crystal River (book three of Matrix Crystal)

Finish the edits on Alien Heart (Chronicles of Arcon book one) ✅ Its published and available on Amazon.

I'm happy to report that I finished all my goals, also I finished a couple other books this year that need to be polished and the fourth book in the Matrix Crystal Series (will be published in 2017) and finished another book in the Chronicles of Arcon (Fourth book in series).

On the fifth of December (this month) Alien heart was published. Which is the last goals for the year! *Grin*

For my goals for 2017,  publish Matrix Crystal Rebels and submit two more books in Chronicles of Arcon. Hopefully the second books in the series will be publish in 2017 also. And I want to take another vacation.

aliencover333x500
Alien Heart, the first of a whole new SF series.
Blurb: Divorcee and single mom, hardworking Audrey Westberry is the host of a cable TV show called Miz Fixit.
Romance was the last thing on Audrey’s mind when two handsome extraterrestrials join the audience of her show.
Soon Audrey finds out a single word “mated” has different meaning when you are born a galaxy away. After a wonderful night of passion, Audrey finds herself far from home, impregnated and her life turned upside down.
Will she ever be able to leave the alien compound, see her son again, or get home in time to film the fall season of her Miz Fixit show?
But what’s a girl to do with two aliens that smell like candy, and their kisses taste like it, too?



Excerpt: “Good show, everyone.” Derek, the director, walked through the dressing room. “So Audrey, how are you going to spend your summer hiatus?” Tall, dark-haired, with hazel eyes, and oh so married. He leaned on her chair and looked into the mirror at Audrey. “Oh hi, Derek.” Kendra made eyes at him again.

Audrey frowned at her. If his wife ever saw her do that, she’d go ballistic.

To Audrey he was just a dear friend and director, who’d guided her through the complexity of cable television. “I was going to spend it with my son, but I got a call from my ex. Tony is going away to camp for eight weeks.”

“Camp?” He blinked in surprise. “Whose idea was that?”

“Tony and his best friend decided they wanted to go. My ex put him on the phone, so he could tell me.”

“Ouch.” Derek pulled down the corners of his mouth. “Best friend one, mom zero.”

“Yeah,” Audrey sighed, still feeling the sting of rejection. “He’s at an age now when friends are more important than mommy.”

“And, this is the dressing room where our star puts on her makeup for the camera.” Fox Watanabe, Audrey’s agent, was nattily dressed.  His straight midnight hair and dark eyes marked him as pure Native American. He seemed to be acting as a tour guide to the aliens.

A cameraman entered the dressing room ahead of the aliens, walking backward as he snapped pictures.

Audrey grimaced. God, what’s Fox doing now?

“The aliens look like elves,” Derek muttered under his breath.

“Yeah, they do.” Audrey noticed their pointed ears and long faces. “They could’ve played extras on the Lord of the Ring movies.”

“Got to go, things to do.” Derek headed toward the exit, but he slowed, and his back stiffened as he got near her agent.

Audrey tensed. Please don’t let them get into another argument over me.

“Fox.”

“This is our little show’s director, Derek Alcorn.” Fox gestured toward him.

“Nice to meet you.” Derek gave a nod to the aliens. “I’ve got to button up the set.”

He hurried out of the room.

Fox turned back to the aliens. “He’s a busy man, lots of responsibilities.”

Audrey let out a breath. Fox had once again ignored the subtle dig Derek’s quick exit meant. The show’s director didn’t like chitchat, but he hated her agent even more.

“They have three penises each,” Kendra whispered in Audrey’s ear. She used a soaked cotton ball and ran it over the side of Audrey’s face to clean off the makeup.

Audrey turned to stare at her. “What?”

Kendra pinched Audrey’s chin, moving her head over to clean the other side.

“I saw a picture on the internet.” She whispered, “Two long ones and a little one. It makes you wonder what their women look like down there.”

Audrey licked her lips, trying to imagine the male aliens naked. Would their equipment look like my favorite toy?

Kendra moved back and smiled. “All done.”

Fox walked over to her, with the aliens in tow. “Here’s our Miz Fixit, Audrey Westberry.”

God, what a thing to tell me, just before I’m introduced to them. “How do you do?” Standing, Audrey held out her hand and tried not to glance at their crotches.

 ————————————————




































https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Heart-Chronicles-Arcon-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0N73OF/

Monday, December 26, 2016

2016...What a Year! #mzurloauthor

2016 has proven to be quite a year. From the political upheaval to the seemingly extraordinary losses of public personalities, "unexpected" is an apt description for 2016.


Resolutions don't work for me. I can't tell you how many times I've resolved to get in shape or get out of the house more. It sometimes lasts a couple of months at most. I've come to accept that I'm just not a very social person, and I'm not someone who enjoys working out. However, I am goal-oriented. So at the start of the 2016, I set some goals.

I wanted to put myself out there more professionally. To that end, when an opening came up at RB4U, I jumped at the chance to join this coalition of talented authors. This has let me connect with some great people. I even stepped outside of my comfort zone to write a cowboy shifter romance, Bear Country, for the RB4U Roping the Cowboy anthology.

Early in 2016, I participated in the Dominant Persuasions anthology put together by Lori King. I contributed Yes, Justin to that, a novella to which the rights had reverted to me.

I launched a new series, SAFE Security, with the first installment called Treasure Me. Taking another chance there, the story is written in 1st person, and the series is going to follow one couple instead of featuring a new couple in every book. So far, it's been well-received.

There were some goals I didn't achieve this year, namely participating in a conference. I'd wanted to travel to Minneapolis to participate in MBLU, but my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and I needed to stay close to home. It's been a rollercoaster since September. Next week, we'll find out if she needs more treatment or if she's in the clear for now.


In 2017, I want to make it to a conference. The introvert in me was terrified to travel so far away from home for my first conference, so I have to confess that I wasn't too upset by not attending MBLU (also, I have been very preoccupied with my mom's health.) I may try to stay closer to home and try out the Rust City Convention, which takes place not far from where I hang my hat. It's also in the summer, which is the perfect time of the year for me.

As I've made a ton of changes in 2016, including keeping up with regular new posts on my blog, I don't want to add too much to 2017. The other thing I want to do is read more. Confession time: I'm not a big reader. I used to be, but after I started writing, I seemed to stop reading. My goal this coming year is to read!

Are you a resolution maker, goal-setter, or neither?
Happy New Year! --with love, Michele Zurlo

Sunday, December 25, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

FROM ALL OF US AT RB4U: WE HOPE YOU ENJOY ANY/ALL THE HOLIDAYS YOU CELEBRATE!



Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas & Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings.

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, I wish you love, light, and laughter.



Let the season last longer with a few holiday romances. If you overspent on gifts, fear not. For only 99 cents, you can feel that holiday love all year long!

Multi-award-winning humorous romance on sale for only 99 cents for a very limited time.

Family pressure just might make her do something crazy...




Like anthologies?

Take a trip around the world with The World Romance Writers' newest anthology, Holiday Magic. Unique stories to warm your heart. Only 99 cents!






Want to stay in the holiday mood? Season of Promises, six sweet romances that will warm you all year long. And yes, only 99 cents!








Friday, December 23, 2016

From Brain-dead to a 5 Title Series in One Glass of Wine with @vellacmunn #RB4U


As a longtime writer, I’m accustomed to being attacked by creative/fictional ideas for a book, but only once has an entire series snuck up while I wasn’t looking and grab hold of me. I’m kind of afraid of it happening again since the Montana Lakeside series consumed me for over a year. At the same time, it was an incredible ride!
A ride that took me from Oregon to Montana without actually leaving the house.
To give a little background, a writer friend and I were relaxing at a Colorado mountain cabin after a Denver writers’ conference. Okay, so I was brain dead. No reason to deny it. We’d poured ourselves some wine and had gone out on a deck overlooking a fast-running creek. The wind picked up, the sky turned blue-black, and we knew we were in for a storm.
After several days of intense activity in a city, this country gal was happy to get back in touch with nature which has always nourished me. I was at peace, looking forward to experiencing the approaching storm while my mind drifted and we talked about slightly more than nothing. That’s when I started thinking about wanting to share what the wilderness means to me with readers. The more I contemplated how I’d accomplish that, the more my creativity took note.
Our family has a summer cabin in southern Oregon within an hour’s drive of world famous Crater Lake. The seasons rule everything we do at the cabin, and I spend as much time as possible outdoors. I began playing with the idea of setting each of the four books (there’s also a novella that takes place in a single day) during a different season so I could explore how the separate seasons would impact my different couples.
All of my characters, I decided, needed second chances. They’d come to fictional Lake Serene to try to make their peace with their pasts and find the courage to embrace the future. They needed help if that was going to happen. Much of the help would come in the form of new romances as they fell in love, but the wilderness would cast its own spell.  
Yes, I had lofty ambitions. Although I’m a multi-published writer, I’d never tackled a series which turned out to be quite the learning experience. For practical reasons, the publisher and I agreed to move the series from Oregon to Montana which meant I had to research that amazing state. Consequently I fell hopelessly in love with it, especially the mountains.
A heartfelt thank you to my friend for risking being blown away as I blathered on about what was growing and expanding inside my brain and heart.
Redeeming Her Montana Love is the first full-length book and takes place in the spring. For the record, the opening scene with the broken water pipe sadly came from real life.
 

Alisha Hearne has come back to Lake Serene to decide whether to sell her family’s cabin or repair it. But the painful memories this cabin holds might prove too much for Alisha to bear – until a handsome, muscular man shows up.
Nate Quaid doesn’t stay in one place for long. Once his work at Lake Serene is finished, he’ll move on before his secrets can catch up to him. But when Nate realizes the lovely young woman needs more than his expertise, he might be tempted to stay.
Aisha and Nate long to reach out to each other, to trust again. But are they capable of revealing their deepest secrets? Do they dare risk falling in love.


Vella Munn bio

Vella writes contemporary and historical romances to satisfy the insistent voices in her head of which there are many.
She's had more than 60 (or is it 70?) books published and is particularly excited about several recent series that are either out or in the process of being released. One is the eight book Soul series of Native American historicals about America's first citizens.
Her contemporary series is Montana Lakeside romances. Consisting of four books, each taking place during a different season with a different couple, plus a one-day novella, draws on her love of the wilderness as backdrop for new beginnings.
She also venturing into romantic suspense with a three book series called Feral Justice which demonstrates what she'd like to have happen to animal abusers. Each book follows a different couple as they try to deal with and make sense of the violence they're thrust into.
Vella lives in rural Oregon, is married, has two sons, and four grandchildren. She's owned by two bossy rescue dogs and is working on her master's degree as a certified but mostly sane hermit.




Monday, December 19, 2016

Favorite Stories at Christmas

By Sharon Hamilton

I've picked up a few books lately that depict old favorite toys. I'm beginning to feel like one now! (LOL). I'm sure you have your childhood favorites, too.

We recently recovered my old teddy bear, aptly named "Teddy" and I had him cleaned. I think he's rather handsome, don't you? His eyes are gone and half his hair is rubbed off, but I remember telling things to him when I was young - things I would never dare tell my parents.

I think that's why these old special toys mean so much to us. My little record player was also a favorite - but hard to hug in bed like Teddy was!

So here's my favorite passage from The Velveteen Rabbit, by Marjorie Williams. May your Christmas be healthy, merry and bright.


 Christmas Morning

For a long time he lived in the toy cupboard or on the nursery floor,
and no one thought very much about him. He was naturally shy, and
being only made of velveteen, some of the more expensive toys quite
snubbed him. The mechanical toys were very superior, and looked down
upon every one else; they were full of modern ideas, and pretended
they were real. The model boat, who had lived through two seasons and
lost most of his paint, caught the tone from them and never missed an
opportunity of referring to his rigging in technical terms. The Rabbit
could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn't know that
real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust
like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and
should never be mentioned in modern circles. Even Timothy, the jointed
wooden lion, who was made by the disabled soldiers, and should have
had broader views, put on airs and pretended he was connected with
Government. Between them all the poor little Rabbit was made to feel
himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who
was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it. "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by
side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." "I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled. The Skin Horse Tells His Story
"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always." The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Sunday, December 18, 2016

An Inside Look at Lies, Love & Redemption (Part 2) with @KWilkinsauthor #RB4U


Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing part two of an “inside look” at the making of my newest historical western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption. In the first blog, I talked about how the book came to be and discussed the research involved in writing a historical romance. Today, I’ll explore the characters and touch on another subject—realism.

The book opens with Sam, the hero, bleeding from gunshot wounds and stumbling across the prairie. He’s wondering if he is already dead and suffering in hell for what he has done in the past.

This gives readers initial insight into Sam. Right from the start, we know he has done something that he feels guilty about, and he is harboring secrets. We also see that Sam is stubborn and not the type of man to give up easily.

When readers meet Cassie in her store, they see that she works hard trying to make her store successful. But they also see her going through the motions and wondering why she bothers.

Each character is at a cross-roads, and everything is about to change for them. As the book progresses, we learn that Cassie is headstrong, stubborn, and not the type to take guff from Sam or the people in town. She’s running a store all by herself and doesn’t like to accept help or rely on anyone.

I contrasted Cassie’s independent nature with a secret vulnerability. The consequences of a failed relationship left Cassie emotionally fragile and broken. She says she’s not afraid of anything, but later we learn that’s not true. Deep down, she fears losing the store. She’s also afraid of falling in love with Sam, only to lose him. Cassie has experienced many losses in her life, and she is hesitant to open her heart and trust anyone.

Sam is a noble man who feels he has a debt to pay and a duty to watch over Cassie, and this leads to conflict between them. She doesn’t want to admit that she needs his help, and he is being overprotective of her (or so she thinks…).

Although Sam comes across as honest and open, readers quickly discover that Sam is keeping his past a secret and is hiding his true identity—and much more—from everyone. Sam is a troubled soul who has also experienced a lot of loss in his life. Without giving too much away, readers learn that Sam lost someone very important to him through an act of violence, and he’s set on getting his revenge—and that’s not pretty.

This leads me to my next topic—realism. Before I sat down to write, I did a lot of research about general stores, what life was like in the 1870s, etc., and I learned that life back then was very difficult and much different from how we live today.

People died of infections, diseases, and all sorts of other ailments, and there was the threat of violence to consider. The west was known for being “lawless” and some people took advantage of the fact that you could practically do whatever you wanted. (If you really want to see how gritty and brutal life was like back then, watch the TV show Deadwood. You’ll see gunfights, murders, robberies, hangings, and other acts of aggression that were all-too-common in that era.)

Life for anyone in the “wild” west was tough. Combine that with the fact that women virtually were the property of their husbands and had no rights, and you have the makings for pretty rough times for women.

I incorporated a few of these elements into Lies, Love & Redemption. How could I not? The setting and time period have to be realistically represented in the book. Although readers might take issue with including violence in a romance, it has a place in the story (to a degree).
If everything was too perfect or too pretty, the book would lose the richness in details that bring it—and the characters—to life.

Having Sam face the threat of a potentially lethal infection, Cassie trying to help a woman escape a violent marriage, and Sam admitting the horrific truth of his past, all work together to give the book an authentic feel.

And part of an author’s job (especially when writing historical romances) is to let readers live the story through the eyes and experiences of the characters. One thing authors are told is to make life difficult for your hero and heroine. If there is no conflict or drama, the story becomes dull, and the characters have nothing to strive for and don’t grow.

Yes, I may have put Sam and Cassie (and a few other characters) through an emotional wringer, and yes, they had to face violent situations, but they’re strong and their challenges built up their resilience.

And of course, as in any romance, it all worked out happily-ever-after.


Lies, Love & Redemption

Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.
Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.
As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?
Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.
Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth?
Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?
***


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I hope you enjoyed this inside look at the making of Lies, Love & Redemption. I welcome comments and questions from readers. Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media!
Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.
In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list, book summaries, and other information. Kelli’s third Medallion Press historical romance, Lies, Love & Redemption, was released in September 2016.
Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.
If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.
Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.


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