Friday, April 27, 2012

Imagine being threatened and....


forced to give up your child. That's what happened to me. Oh, I'm Vanessa Gleason, by the way.

When I first met Charles Sanford, I lived in Cleveland. He often had dealings with the lawyers where I worked. He convinced me to quit and move to Cincinnati and work for him. It wasn't a difficult decision, I didn't have anything to keep me in Cleveland and I was already infatuated. He swept me off my feet, lavished me with gifts -flowers, jewelry, even clothes. It was a whirlwind romance, going to the club, theater, surprise trips to Cancun, the Bahamas, you name it. Before I knew it, he asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes, I was crazy in love.
It was obvious from the first day I met her, Mrs. Sanford wasn't thrilled with Charles's choice for a bride, but she took over, planned the most expensive wedding of almost a thousand people and even picked out my dress. Not that I cared, I just wanted to be part of the family.
It didn't take long to realize she was out to destroy my marriage. Little comments, tactfully made of course, about how I was too friendly with the help or how I shouldn't pick up after myself. I even heard her tell Joanna, Charles's sister, that I wasn't suited to be Charles's wife. Of course,she insisted I quit my job for Charles - Sanford women didn't work - and join them volunteering and at the garden club and other organizations. I hardly had a minute to myself.
At least I didn't until I had my daughter, Alyssa. Mrs.Sanford wasn't too happen I became pregnant so soon after our marriage. I didn't care. I was thrilled. Charles and I could be a family.
Or so I thought. My fairytail romance soon took a turn for a horror story.
Elusive Mission is available from Amazon

Excerpt

 Vanessa blinked back tears. The empty feeling inside wasn’t going to subside any time soon, and hiding away in a hotel room wouldn’t change anything. Besides, tears wouldn’t bring Alyssa back. But, somehow, someway she was going to get her daughter back. What was her baby doing? Did she miss her? Was she crying? God, she missed Alyssa. Missed their morning ritual—the loving, hugging, and cuddling. Every day for two years, they started the day the same way.
At least they did until two weeks ago.
Never in her life had she felt such anger and pain. Tears burned her eyes, slid down her cheeks. Powerless to stop them, sobs shook her body. Gulping back the sobs, Vanessa looked around the small hotel room. Okay, so it wasn’t the Ritz, but it was clean and reasonably priced. Luxury wasn’t important. Never had been before and sure as heck wasn’t now. The important thing now was figuring a way to get her daughter back. Time to pull herself together and get on with life, find a job. Two weeks of self-pity was enough. Vanessa swung her legs over the side of the bed, went to the bathroom, and turned on the water for the shower. She needed a plan. Crying wouldn’t solve a darn thing.
The hot water ran down her gaunt body, and Vanessa lathered her tangled auburn hair. Was it only two weeks ago life seemed normal? How could things have changed so suddenly? But it wasn’t sudden. A divorce had been coming for a long time. She just never expected it to end without Alyssa. Vanessa shivered getting out of the shower and wrapped the towel around her. Her only chance of getting Alyssa back was to find a job, and to make a fresh start.
Showered and dressed, Vanessa caught her reflection in the mirror. High sunken cheekbones sat beneath green eyes that stared back at her with a vacant look. How had her face become so skeletal in two weeks? What happened to the woman, who had her hair done weekly, never appeared without makeup, and worked out every day? Not that she cared about all that pampering. None of that mattered, never really had. What mattered was her baby. Living without luxuries was easy. She’d done it all her life. But losing Alyssa left a hole in her heart. Never had she experienced such pain. Not even when her parents died. Losing her child tore her apart. Tears burned her eyes again.
Vanessa gulped back the tears and turned away from the mirror, straightened her shoulders and stood to her full five foot eight height. Through the years, her height had afforded her many advantages, and she’d been proud of it. Not so long ago, it had given her confidence and security. Time to regain that confidence. She was down, but not broken. No other way to beat Charles and his mother to win custody of Alyssa, and beat them she would. Darned, if Mrs. Sanford was going to raise her daughter. Not in this lifetime.
Charles—what a mistake he turned out to be. Although he had provided well for the past five years, the past was over. He didn’t matter anymore. Hadn’t really mattered for a long time.
She brushed the hair from her forehead, smoothed her blouse and took a last look at the unfamiliar person that stared back at her.
“Time to get down to business, first thing to find a job,” her voice in the empty room shocked her. It was the first time she’d spoken in almost two weeks.
Clutching her sweater tight to block out the wind, Vanessa hurried across the parking lot to the motel lobby and purchased a paper. Back in her room, she shivered, poured a cup of coffee, sat down at the small round table, and opened the paper to the classifieds. The settlement money from Charles was safe in an account, but she didn’t want to count on it to live. Besides, it wouldn’t last forever. It was time to do something for her, to feel worthwhile again. That money was the start to getting Alyssa back. Vanessa smiled. Nothing would make her happier than beating Charles with his own money. But it would take a lot more than what she had to find a lawyer who could beat him.
Memory of signing the papers and taking the money invaded her thoughts. That sneering smile and hushed tone of Mrs. Sanford made her skin crawl, even now. The words would be forever implanted in her mind. “Charles has been more than generous in his settlement. You ought to be grateful, dear.”
Oh yeah, more than generous, but at what price? And grateful, for what? That they forced her give up her daughter? That Charles had threatened her? Mrs. Sanford’s idea of grateful and hers sure didn’t agree. And that dear, if she never heard that term again, it would be too soon, especially the way Mrs. Sanford said it. But they weren’t going to win. Not by a long shot.
Vanessa set the paper aside, closed her eyes and remembered how happy she had once been. How could things have gone so wrong? All she had wanted was to fit in, to be the perfect wife and part of Charles’s family. Quitting her job at Mrs. Sanford’s insistence was her first mistake. Filling her time managing Charles’s large house, fulfilling commitments at the club, and volunteering with Mother Sanford and Charles’s sister, Joanna, was supposed to be fun. Fun, yeah right, nothing with Mrs. Sanford was fun.
Pushing the memory from her mind, Vanessa picked up the newspaper, circled some help wanted ads, and made a few phone calls. It didn’t take long to figure out Christmas Eve wasn’t the best day to look for a job.
Christmas Eve. She had lost track of time, Christmas, when she should be with her daughter. She had begged Charles to let her stay until after Christmas, but with his mother behind him, as usual, he refused. How could anyone be so cruel?
“What difference does it make what day it is?” Charles waved her off. “It’s over, the papers are signed. Take the money and leave before I change my mind.”
Vanessa left, knowing he meant it. She wouldn’t put anything past Charles Sanford these days. He sure wasn’t the man she married, or had she been too blinded by love to see the real Charles?
“But the fight isn’t over, Charles Sanford. Somehow, someway I’m going to win Alyssa back. No way is your mother going to raise my baby.” The choked sound of her own voice startled her. The thought of Mrs. Sanford raising Alyssa sent chills through her. No, that cold, unfeeling witch wasn’t going to raise her daughter. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fate? Kismit? Whatever you want to call it...

it turned Interior Designer, Wendy Seidel’s world upside down. From a chance meeting at the airport to Florida and back to Ohio, she can’t believe the strange circumstances that throw us together, after I  literally knocked her off her feet at the airport.

Hi, I’m Bill Johnson and I thought I’d take a minute to talk about Wendy Seidel and Designed for Love.
I’ll never forget my first meeting with Wendy. Yes, I literally knocked her off her feet in the airport, accidentally on purpose. Oh, I didn’t mean to knock her over, that was an accident. I just meant to bump into her. But she darned near stopped and wham, I blasted into her.
From the minute I saw her, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. That red hair and those green eyes mesmerized me. I never went in much for red heads, too hot-tempered. But this chick hypnotized me or something.
So, there we were both hurrying to catch our plane and bam, I knocked her over. Talk about a temper. Phew, let me tell you, she could freeze a glass of water with that look and cut you to the quick with a few words.
Okay, I have to admit, getting knocked down would have put me in bad temper too, but gees, I did apologize. Not that it mattered, she was off and running lickety split. Yep, hell-bent on her mission.  So much for meeting her.
But…as luck would have it, there she was sitting at my departing gate. Well, heck, how could I resist talking to her? Not that she was much for talking. Had her nose stuck in a book and wasn’t about to take it out. At least not until I kept up my end of the conversation, which she wasn’t responding. I think I was annoying her more than anything.
Before I knew it, they made an announcement that or flight had been cancelled. So much for spending three hours trying to get to know her. At least that was my plan. I was going to con the person sitting next to her out of their seat. Instead, I had to make arrangements to stay in a hotel. Hey, maybe I’d get lucky and she’d do the same.
If you want to know what happened, you’ll have to read Designed for Love available at Amazon along with my other books from Amazon at:  http://amzn.to/designedforlove




 
Excerpt:
“What the hell?” My carry-on bag slid across the floor and slammed into the wall. My feet slipped out from under me, I landed flat on my back, and someone fell on top of me, pinning me to the floor. The breath knocked out of me, I lay still a moment.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I finally caught my breath and pushed him off. “Everyone’s always in such a big hurry.”

“Why’d you slow down? You darned near stopped in front of me.” He stood up, brushed himself off and held out his hand to help me up. “Sorry.”

I knocked his hand away, got to my knees and stood. I didn’t need his help. Not his or anyone else’s for that matter. What I needed was to find my bag and get on to my gate.

“Look, I’m sorry. It was entirely my fault. I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry.” He held his hand out to me again, but I ignored it. “Here, let me get that for you.” He hurried to pick up my bag, but I grabbed it first.

“Look, Mister, I have a plane to catch, so excuse me if I don’t have time to chat.” I straightened up my bag, grabbed the handle and started toward my gate. Good looking in a rustic sort of way, I had to admit. Probably worked outdoors or at least spent a lot of time outside. Not that it made any difference. I didn’t have time for him. Or any man for that matter. I had a career to build, and men didn’t figure into it.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like men. I did. Even dated occasionally. Eventually I’d like to have a relationship, even get married. But relationships and marriage took time, not a priority right now. My career came first. Something about him, though.

I couldn’t resist looking back. Great. He stood watching me with a silly smirk on his face. Nice eyes, soft gray. I loved gray eyes. Maybe because my grandfather had gray eyes. He lifted his hand and waved at me. Heat burned my face, and I hurried off in the direction of the gate, looking at the signs above. Only at Gate 2. Not even close. Of course my gate was at the farthest end of the airport. Thankfully, there was plenty of time to get there.

I avoided a heavyset man, hell bent on his mission. I hated this time of year. Everyone was in such a big hurry.

To make matters worse, my butt hurt but I resisted rubbing it. Didn’t need to look like any more of an idiot. Ah, Gate 11, finally. Now I could sit down and relax, since there was still forty-five minutes before my flight. I took a book out of the side pocket of my carry-on and settled back to wait. Not that I could concentrate, anger at my boss raged inside me. Who in their right mind set up a meeting with a client right before New Years? And in Florida, no less. Obviously, Nick didn’t care that I had plans for New Year’s Eve.

So I was getting out of Ohio, big deal. Sure, my friends thought I was lucky, especially with the predicted snowstorm. Didn’t make any difference to me, I liked snow.

I glanced out a window. Already it was coming down pretty heavy, and there was still a good half hour before my flight.

Damn it, I hated flying. I could have sent the samples just as easy. What was so important they required me to personally bring them? I thought we’d settled everything before the client left. Why the sudden change? They could have at least waited until after the holidays.

Nick, my boss, promised I’d be home by New Year’s Eve. Yeah right. I knew how these things went. First this problem, than that one. I’d be lucky to be home in time for my nephew’s birthday on the sixth. Nick better not have any funny ideas. This was strictly business. I’d heard about his reputation with women. So far he hadn’t shown an interest in me, and I certainly didn’t have a problem with that. Good-looking though Nick was, nothing about him attracted me. Definitely not my type. Not that I had a type.

“Looks like we’re on the same flight,” a masculine voice said.

I looked up and almost groaned out loud. This couldn’t be happening. What were the chances we’d be on the same flight? I tried to ignore him, but something drew my eyes to his.

“Bill Johnson.” He extended his hand toward me. “I really am sorry about knocking you down.”

I shrugged and shook his hand. “No problem.” A quiver started deep in my stomach when he held my hand a bit longer than necessary. Rough, calloused hands. Does hard work. Maybe construction. I pulled my hand away and turned my attention back to my book. I hated talking to people at airports. Lord, please tell me he doesn’t have the seat next to me. I couldn’t be that unlucky, could I?

Of course I could.

Taking a peek at the ticket sticking out of his coat pocket, I groaned. Seat 16A. No way, what were the chances? I hoped he’d take the hint and leave me alone.

“Are you staying in Fort Myers?” He sat down next to me.

Figured, no such luck. I nodded. Maybe if I didn’t contribute to the conversation, he’d go away. I kept my eyes on my book but couldn’t concentrate. I had the irresistible urge to look at him, but ignored it. What was it about him?

“Visiting or business?”

I looked up from my book. He just wasn’t going to quit. “Business, no time for pleasure.” Maybe that would shut him up.

He smiled. “Everyone has time for pleasure. All work and no play...” He let the rest of the saying hang.

I put the book in front of my face. “I guess I’m a dull boy then.” Why didn’t he just let me read in peace. I couldn’t be much ruder. Some people just couldn’t take a hint.

Bill laughed. A big hearty laugh that caused people to stare. I wanted to crawl under my seat. “What’s so funny?”

“Honey, you look like anything but a boy.” His gaze took me in from top to bottom and came to rest on my breasts.

Okay, I’m well endowed and wished I had left my jacket on. Not that there was much to see through my bulky sweater, but enough. Heat rushed to my face again. Crap, why did I blush so easily? My face was probably as red as my hair. “Okay, so I don’t look like a boy. Just finishing the saying. And DON’T call me honey!” I put the book in front of my face, turned away from him, and tried to read. Lord, spare me friendly people. Especially men.

The last thing I needed was a man trying to pick me up. I wished he’d just go away. I could call airport security, but didn’t want to cause a scene. He’d done enough of that.

“Since you won’t tell me your name, I don’t know what else to call you.”

“Don’t call me anything.” I slammed my book shut, stood, and walked to the window. What more did I have to do to let him know I wasn’t interested? I stared out the window. Things didn’t look good outside.

“Full blown blizzard.” Bill’s deep voice came from behind.

I felt his breath on my neck and shivered from the warmth of it. Or was it from his nearness? Whatever it was, I didn’t like it. I looked at my watch. Still almost a half hour before take off. So far they hadn’t cancelled the flight.

As if my thoughts magically conjured it up, a voice came over the PA system. “We regret to inform you that all flights to and from Cleveland Hopkins Airport have been cancelled until further notice. New flights can be rebooked as soon as we resume our schedule. Sorry for the inconvenience. Airport shuttles are standing by to take you to a hotel. If you can’t get a room, you’re welcome to stay at the airport. Concession stands and restaurants will remain open for your convenience.

Great, just great. What more could go wrong? At least I could go home. If I could get a cab, that is. With the way it looked outside, I had a feeling most of the roads were closed, too.

I moved away from Bill and took my cell phone from my purse, got the number for the cab company from information, and punched it in. Crap, a recording. “No cabs due to weather.” Terrific. I punched in information for the number of the Sheraton Hotel. Hopefully, they still had a room. Spending the night sleeping in an airport wouldn’t improve my mood.

“Sheraton Hotel, how can I help you,” a female answered.

“Yes, I’d like a room for the night.” Please don’t tell me they’re all booked, I prayed. I didn’t care what kind of room as long as it had a bed.

“Yes, I have one room left. Two double beds. One hundred and fifty dollars.”

I let out a low whistle. A bit more than I cared to spend, but no matter. “I’ll take it.” I read my credit card number, grabbed my bag and raced to the exit while I spoke. Now to find an airport shuttle. Talk about luck, a shuttle parked just outside. I pulled the door open, and someone bumped into me.

“We have to stop meeting like this.”

I turned and looked into familiar soft, gray eyes. “Are you following me?” This was beginning to feel creepy. What was with this guy?

“Don’t flatter yourself.” Bill let out a low chuckle. “We can share a ride if you don’t mind. Give the driver a break.”

He followed me into the car. “Sheraton Hotel and...” He looked at me. “Where to?”

What were the odds he’d be going to the same hotel? This was getting scary. “Sheraton.”

“No kidding. Hey, maybe we can get together for a drink or something.”

Like I couldn’t guess what the or something was. I shook my head. Jerk. What made him think I’d even want to have a drink with him? “No thanks, I have work to do.” I looked out the window. How the driver managed to see where he was going was beyond me. All I could see was white. Thick, white, blowing snow. This was by far the worst snow storm I remembered. I just hoped it let up by morning like the weatherman promised.


Monday, April 23, 2012

The man next door, his granddaughter, and a ghost.....



Fifty-eight year old, Rose Asbury knows people think she’s a recluse, but she doesn’t care. She just wants to be left alone. She doesn’t need anyone and no one needs her and that’s just fine. At least she didn’t until this year. For some reason this year is different. Suddenly, she’s melancholy and discontent with her life.
And the man next door doesn’t help matters. He insists on speaking to her. So her stomach tumbles every time she sees him, that doesn’t mean anything.  Hunger pangs, nerves, she just wishes he’d leave her alone. Or does she? To top it all off, his granddaughter and her friends insist on playing in Rose's yard, sledding, building snowmen and throwing snowballs at her house.
Then I shows up and her life changes drastically. Well, I couldn't let her go on living like that could I? Oh yeah, I'm a ghost. Let me start at the beginning

Rose Asbury is my sister – was my sister.  After I passed away she became a recluse. Not that she doesn’t have reason to, mind you. We lost our parents within months of each other, and Rose and I clung to each for support during our grief. Of course our husbands helped, but Rose and I understood each other. Our loss.
We were just adjusting when Rose’s husband passed away suddenly. Poor Rose fell apart, not that I blame her. I would have reacted the same way if it had been my husband.  I was just getting Rose to come out of her shell when bam, I was gone.
That did Rose in. She went to pieces and to make matters worse, her kids moved three thousand miles away. She ignored all of her friends, except for Louise. Louise wasn’t about to let Rose ignore her. But everyone else gave up. After all, you can only call people so long and have them ignore you, not return your calls, and won’t talk to you before you give up. So that’s what everyone did. All except Louise. She didn’t give up. She marched right over to Rose’s house and read her the riot act until Rose gave in and at least went to the store.
 At least now Rose visited Louise and came to grips with life. Not that she had much of a life. Stephen Daniels the guy next door aimed to change that – or so it seemed. Good looking guy, too. Anyway he moved in to take care of his granddaughter while her parents did their tour of duty in the Mideast. He kind of took a shine to Rose.  Not that she'd give the poor guy the time of day. Most she did was nod at him.
Well, until that day, that is. I can’t help but giggle thinking about it. She fell on the ice and splat, groceries went flying everywhere. Stephen came to her aid – or tried to. Rose, true to form, tried to ignore him. That’s where I come in again. I showed up to talk some sense into Rose. Of course, she tried to ignore me, too, but I wasn’t about to let that happen. It was time Rose started to live again. She was much too young to waste her life away.
Now it seems Stephen's granddaughter, Sarah, saw the whole thing and had other ideas. She didn’t care for the way the old lady ignored her grandpa. Yeah, all kids think anyone in their 40s is old. 50s is darn near ancient. What can I say, we thought the same things.
But I digress. Sarah devised a plan to get Rose to talk to her grandpa. She talked  her friends into building a snowman in Rose’s front yard. You’d think that wasn’t a big deal right? I mean what harm could a snowman do?
Of course, Rose, being the neighborhood grouch –yes, that’s what the kids pegged her – had a fit.
After that things got real interesting. If you’d like to find out more about Rose, you’ll have to buy the book available from Amazon at http://amzn.to/timetoloveagain
To learn more about me and my books check out my book page or my website at www.roseannedowell.com.  


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Imagine Finding a Hidden Room in an Attic



When I decided to renovate my Victorian home, I was excited. Ever since I first saw this house, I was drawn to the attic. It would be the perfect place to write. Oh yeah, I’m a writer. Maybe you’ve heard of me, Anna Hughes? No? Oh well, that’s okay. Back to my story
My fiancĂ©, Ben had noticed a stained glass window on the outside of the house that didn’t show inside. I knew there had to be more space behind the wall, otherwise the window would show. I hired a contractor to renovate the room for me. When the contractor, Chad Edwards confirmed my suspicions there was more space behind the wall, Ben agreed to help me knock down the wall and save me money. Needless to say, I wasn’t about to refuse. For starters, Ben never offered to do anything that involved getting dirty.
What we found was amazing. Not only was there more space, it was a fully furnished room. That’s when I first saw the shadows. They hovered over a trunk in the corner of the room. Ben didn’t see them and, of course, he thought they were a figment of my over active imagination. Any time Ben didn’t agree with me, he used that as an excuse. He didn’t like that I wrote books. He didn’t consider it a real career. The fact that my books were on the best seller list and earned my living as a writer didn’t matter. According to him, anyone could sit down and write a book. He didn’t have a clue how involved writing was and he didn’t care. Too bad  Ben wasn’t interested in my writing or my imagination. What happened next wouldn’t have been such a surprise to him.
Shadows in the Attic is available from Amazon: http://amzn.to/shadowsintheattic
To learn more about me check out my website: www.roseannedowell.com

Excerpt:
I hurried to my room, freshened my lipstick and ran a comb through my hair. I loved
my new short hairstyle, even if Ben didn't like it. It didn't take hours to blow dry and style
even after a shower. Chad Edwards, the contractor Connie recommended, would be here any
minute. I liked the sound of his voice over the phone, all deep and masculine. Besides, he
sounded as excited about the restoration as I was.
I hurried downstairs when the doorbell rang, opened the door, and my mouth darn near
dropped open. The sexiest, hunk of a man I ever saw stood in front of me. His dark hair,
mussed from the wind, fell over his forehead. Bushy eyebrows topped the bluest eyes I'd ever
seen, and he towered over my five foot six height. A complete contrast to Ben's dark,
brooding looks.
Something jolted inside me, and I swear electricity seared the air between us. Even my
arms tingled. Never had a man affected me this way. What was wrong with me? I'm engaged
for heaven sake. But I couldn't help it. This man stirred something inside of me. Something
Ben never stirred.
"Hi, I'm Chad Edwards. Are you Anna Hughes?"
Heat burned my cheeks at my thoughts, and I held out my hand toward him, hoping
my face wasn't too red. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Edwards."
"Chad, please. Nice to meet you too, Anna. You don't mind if I call you Anna do
you?"
He took my hand, and my heart did a strange flip. A trembling all the way down to my
toes scared me. I liked the feel of his rough hand, calloused from hard work, and was
disappointed when he let mine go.
"Hi, Chad. No, I don't mind." His name flowed easily from my lips, like I'd been
saying it forever. And I especially liked the way he said my name, placing the emphasis on
the first syllable—Ann-a, unlike the quick way Ben said it, more like On-na, with the
emphasis on the last syllable. Kind of hoity-toity.
Chad's smile reached his eyes. Something about it made me think he was fun-loving,
spontaneous and adventurous, unlike serious minded Ben. Not that there was anything wrong
with Ben being serious. I just wished sometimes he'd let go a little. Darn it, why was I
comparing Chad to Ben?
"Please, come in." I swung the door to let him in, and closed it behind him. He stood
in the foyer and looked around, letting out a low whistle as he stared up the curved oak
staircase. A picture of him, standing there years ago, waiting for the daughter of the house to
join him, flitted through my mind. He seemed to fit.
I smiled at the image. "I've heard good things about you, Chad. I'm glad you agreed to
look at this job."
"I couldn't resist. When I heard it was a Queen Anne style Vicky, well let's just say
that's my weakness."
"Mine too. When this house came on the market I had to see it. Once I saw it, I was
sold." I led the way to the attic. "Come on, I can't wait to get your opinion."
I turned the corner to the landing and looked back at him. Darn, he was good looking.
"This is the first room I want done. We'll look at the rest of the house later."
As we rounded the corner of the attic, Ben joined us. "We want this wall knocked
down for starters,” he said. “Anna thinks there's a room behind it. At least, there's a leaded
glass window that shows from the outside of the house."
Ben's tone irritated me. Okay, so he didn't agree with me about the renovations, that
didn't give him the right to intrude on my conversation.
Chad knocked on the wall in several different places and looked at the floor space
between the walls and took some measurements. "She could well be right," he said. "This
room should be much larger." He turned his attention to me. "What exactly do you want?"
"I want to make a home office up here for my writing."
"You're a writer?"
Ben didn't give me a chance to answer. He came and stood next to me and put his arm
around me possessively. I tried to shrug him off. This wasn't like Ben. He never touched me
in public. Never even held my hand.
"So, what will you charge to knock the wall down and finish this space? I mean is it
even worth it?" Ben pulled me tighter against him and almost knocked me over.
"Just to knock the wall down and haul the material away, fifteen hundred dollars. It
depends what else Ms Hughes wants as to the rest of it." Chad turned his attention back to me
again.
"I can't give you a price on that until the wall is gone, and we see what's behind it. I'll
need to know exactly what you want, wiring, lights, that kind of thing. You can knock the
wall down yourself and save the money. There's no wiring or heating ducts to worry about."
"Okay, we'll be in touch," Ben said. "Thank you for coming. He guided me to the top
of the stairway and waited for Chad to go ahead of us. I tried to pull away, but Ben held me
tight against him.
"Anything else?" Chad turned toward me again.
"We'll talk about it and get back to you," Ben said, not giving me a chance to answer.
I bit my tongue. Oh, we were going to talk about it. No doubt about that. I'd say
something now, but didn't want to start anything in front of Chad. What made Ben think he
could take over like that? Like I was a moron who couldn't think or talk for myself.
"Okay, then." Chad turned and went downstairs ahead of us.
Ben finally dropped his arm from around me and followed Chad to the door before I
made it to the bottom step. "We'll be in touch," he said and almost pushed Chad out the door
and looked at me. "I think we should knock the wall down ourselves. Then you can see what's
behind it and not waste the money."
"You're willing to help knock down the wall?" Would wonders never cease? I couldn't
believe my ears. I let the matter of Ben's rudeness drop. If Ben was willing to work on the
attic, I wasn't about to start an argument. Not yet, anyway. But you can bet I wouldn't forget
it, either. He'd hear about it eventually. I'd have my say. Oh, no, he wasn't getting off that
easy.
"Sure, we can start tomorrow. Once you see there's no room up there, you can forget
this nonsense of renovation."

You can find all of my books at: http://amzn.to/tnqgR2 .
Check out my website: www.roseannedowell.com  or my other blog  http://roseannedowell.blogspot.com


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Say hello to Rosemary Morris


Roseanne thank you very much for inviting me to participate in your blog tour.

1: Thank you for being here and welcome, Rosemary Morris. Tell us, when did you first begin writing?

My mother said when I was a toddler I memorized stories, and people thought I was reading. My love of reading and my imagination grew together. Along with these loves I enjoyed history. My early world was filled with people from times past.


2: What inspired you to write?

From an early age I made up stories. The characters in them seemed as real as my family and friends. At primary school I enjoyed writing compositions so I suppose that sooner or later writing novels became inevitable.  


3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
I enjoy the research for historical fiction, studying non-fiction and visiting places of interest. I like creating characters and writing the first draft of a novel.

By the time I have revised the novel three or four times and am working with first a copy editor, then a line editor and finally checking the galley I am impatient for my book to be published.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

My grandchildren and I have fun together. For relaxation, I garden organically, cook vegetarian meals, knit and enjoy other creative crafts.  To relax after long sessions at the computer I swim and visit a health suite where I enjoy the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. 

I watch television costume dramas, and I found Downtown Abbey absorbing and am looking forward to the next series.


5: Which authors do you like to read?

The works of A.C.Bhativedanta Prabhupada, amongst which are his translations of The Bhagavadgita As It Is and The Srimad Bhagavatam. I am fascinated by the Indian classics such as The Mahabharat and The Ramayana, both of which rival The Iliad and the Odyssey.

I also enjoy the King James Version of the Bible more than any other because of its beautiful language.  

Apart from these, there are too many to list. I admire and enjoy Elizabeth Chadwick’s mediaeval novels. I relished both Helen Hollick and Rosalind Miles’ Arthurian trilogies. Baroness Orczy, Georgette Heyer, Elizabeth Goudge and M.M. Kaye remain old favourites. I’m partial to some of Frances Parkinson Keyes novels. Amongst classical authors I particularly like Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanho, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbevilles, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charlotte Bronte’s Jan Eyre.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

I do my best to capture the past in my historical novels which are not about 21st century people dressed in costume. 


7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

Tangled Love is set in England during Queen Anne’s reign. Alone and penniless after her father flees to France and her mother dies, the heroine, Richelda, treasures her father’s ruby ring.

She’s determined to honour her vow to regain ownership of Field House, lost to her family after Charles I’s execution.

With the help of her childhood sweetheart, Dudley, Richelda hopes to find the treasure rumour claims was hidden in Field House by her ancestor. However danger threatens and Richelda is forced to choose between Dudley and the viscount her wealthy aunt wants her to marry.

You can read The Prologue on my website or blog.


Tangled Love is available
from://http://museituppublishing/bookstore, Amazon kindle usa & uk,Barnes & Noble, Bookstrand-Mainstream,Sony-e-reader,Kobo,Smashwords & elsewhere.

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Most authors receive many rejections. The important thing is to persevere and while doing so to perfect the art of writing through books on How to Write, on line critique groups, Writing Circles etc.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

There are real life people mentioned in my novels but most of my characters are imaginary.


10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

Incidents in history provide a wealth of ideas.

The inspiration for Tangled Love was James II’s flight to France, after which first his son-in-law, William, and daughter, Mary, and then his daughter, Anne, became Queen.

When James II ascended the throne after the death of his brother, Charles II, the peers swore oaths of allegiance to James, an unpopular king. After his flight to France, the nobles were expected to swear oaths of allegiance first to William and Mary and then to Anne. Some of them refused to do so for as long as James lived.

What, I asked myself, happened to children of honourable men who followed James to France?

My novel, Tangled Love, is about Richelda left in England when her father went to France, and Chesney who accompanied his father to France.

I also have two new releases set in the Regency era being published by MuseItUp publishing. Sunday’s Child in June 2012 and False Pretences in October 2012


11: What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a new novel set in the reign of Charles II, and revising two other novels, one set in Queen Anne’s period, the other set in Edward II’s reign, which is the first of a trilogy.



12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I am indebted to my family who give me so much love and support, as well as to all those who have helped on my path to publication.

 

 

Tangled Love

 

Prologue

1693

Nine year-old Richelda Shaw sat on the floor in her nursery. She pulled a quilt over her head to block out the thunder pealing outside the ancient manor house while an even fiercer storm raged deep within. Eyes closed, remained as motionless as a marble statue.
Elsie, her mother’s personal maid, removed the quilt from her head. ‘Stand up child, there’s nothing to be frightened of. Come, your father’s waiting for you.’
Richelda trembled. Until now Father’s short visits from France meant gifts and laughter. This one made Mother cry while servants spoke in hushed tones.
Followed by Elsie, Richelda hurried down broad oak stairs. For a moment, she paused to admire lilies of the valley in a Delft bowl.  Only yesterday, she picked the flowers to welcome Father home then arranged them with tender care. Now, the bowl stood on a chest, which stood beneath a pair of crossed broadswords hanging on the wall.
Elsie opened the great massive door of the great hall where Father stood to one side of an enormous hearth. Richelda hesitated. Her eyes searched for her mother before she walked across the floor, spread her skirts wide and knelt before him.
Father placed his right hand on her bent head. ‘Bless you, daughter, may God keep you safe.’ He smiled. ‘Stand up, child. Upon my word, sweetheart, your hair reminds me of a golden rose. How glad I am to see roses bloom in these troubled times.’
Richelda stood but dared not speak for she did not know him well.
 Putting an arm round her waist, he drew her to him. ‘Come, do not be nervous of your father, child. Tell me if you know King James II holds court in France while his daughter, Mary, and William, his son-in-law, rule after seizing his throne?’
‘Yes, Mother told me we are well rid of King James and his Papist wife,’ she piped up, proud of her knowledge.
With a sigh, Father lifted her onto his knee. ‘Richelda, I must follow His Majesty for I swore an oath of allegiance to him. Tell me, child, while King James lives how can I with honour swear allegiance to his disloyal daughter and her husband?’
Unable to think of a reply, she lowered her head breathing in his spicy perfume.
Father held her closer. ‘Your mother pleads with me to declare myself for William and Mary. She begs me not to return to France, but I am obliged to serve King James. Do you understand?’
As she nodded her cheek brushed against his velvet coat. ‘Yes, I understand, my tutor told me why many gentlemen will not serve the new king and queen.’
‘If you remain in England, you will be safe. Bellemont is part of your mother’s dowry so I doubt it will be confiscated.’
If she remained in England! Startled, she stared at him.
Smiling, he popped her onto her feet. ‘We shall ride. I have something to show you.’
*****
Before long, they drew rein on the brow of a hill. Father pointed at a manor house in the valley.  ‘Look at our ancestral home, Field House. The Roundheads confiscated it soon after the first King Charles’ execution.  Richelda, I promised my father to do all in my power to regain the property.’ Grey-faced, he pressed his hand to his chest. ‘Alas, I have failed to keep my oath,’ he wheezed.
Richelda not only yearned to help him keep his promise to her grandfather, she also yearned to find the gold and jewels legend said her buccaneer ancestor, Sir Nicholas, hid.
She waited for her father to breathe easy before she spoke. ‘If we found the treasure trove you could buy Field House.’
 ‘Ah, you believe Sir Nicholas did not give all his plunder to Good Queen Bess,’ he teased.
 ‘Elsie told me legend says he hid some of his booty in Field House.’  The thought of it excited her.  In his old age, when Sir Nicholas retired from seafaring, is it true that he put his ship’s figurehead, Lady Luck, in the great hall?’
‘Yes, for all I know she is still above a mighty fireplace carved with pomegranates, our family’s device.’
‘I would like to see it.’
 ‘One day, perhaps you will. Now, tell me if you know our family motto.’
‘Fortune favours the brave.’
‘Are you brave, my little lady? Will you swear on the Bible to do all in your power to regain Field House?’
To please him and excited by the possibility of discovering treasure she nodded.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Welcome, Janet Lane Walters

Thank you so much for being here, Janet Lane Walters


First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?
If you're talking about creating stories, 1968 was the first time I became serious about writing. During my teens, I began a lot of stories and left them in a desk drawer. My mother threw them away. She thought story writing wasn't a good career choice. Perhaps she was right them, since I didn't know what I was doing. A lot of reading of books on writing helped me find the way to put down those stories bouncing about in my head.


2: What inspired you to write?

Was there an inspiration? I'm not sure since I was a reader from an early age. I think this is kind of an extension of my reading. I remember that year I had pneumonia and my sister-in-law sent me a bag of nurse romances. Since I was a nurse, I read them with interest and disgust. Few of the people writing them had any idea about medicine or what a nurse does. That was when I decided I could write one and I did. I had been dabbling in short stories before then.
3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
Funny thing is that I don't think there's much about writing I don't like. I often find the rough draft hard going at times but I plug along. I do love revision and making the story as good as I can. I look on writing as fun even during those times when things aren't flowing smoothly. I love creating people both good an bad people and finding what motivates them to act.


4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

First of all, I read and I re-read. Another thing I do when relaxing is spending time with my grandchildren, Seven of them. Three live nearby and are adopted from China. Four live in Florida and are the children of our adopted biracial daughter. I also like to clean and wax floors. I jokingly tell people my hobby is cleaning house since that's what one does in their spare time.


5: Which authors do you like to read?
Authors - just about anyone who writes I'll read at least once. I'm more into genres, like mysteries, fantasy and romance. As far as favorites I really can't name just a few. I've read all of Tolstoy, Jane Austin to mention a few older writers. Lately I've been reading electronic authors, many of them are critique partners.


6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

What an interesting question. Maybe that I use Astrology to cast my characters. I look at their Sun, Moon and Rising sign.


7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

My current novel. Actually I have a lot of novels out there and mentioning just one would be hard. My books can be found at Kindle, Nook, and other places like this. My blog is http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com/ and for a look at my many books, try this site. This is an extensive look. http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/jewels10.html


8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Persistence pays. Another thing is to find a good critique group. Having more than one person hear what you are writing is important.
9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
Now I come to a yes and no. I often take a trait or two from a person I know plus a bit of myself. There's no one who has become a character in my stories.


10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?
Ideas are all around. Sometimes something I read triggers a story. Sometimes the idea is just there. I have this wild imagination. My most recent release, February was The Chosen of Horu and the inspiration for this comes from my interest in ancient Egypt. This is a second in a trilogy. The Warrior of Bast was the first. I am using an alternate Egypt, though people often call this a time travel. It's not the ancient Egypt we know because I wanted camels and on the Discovery Channel I learned there weren't any camels in the time period I had selected for the stories.

11: What are you currently working on?

 At present I'm working on a novella that is spicy and the idea came because I needed another story in a series. I am also plotting a new mystery featuring Katherine Miller. The inspiration for this one came from the previous books because of her developing love match with an old friend. This is her wedding. I needed to find a way to have her leave her reception because a murder called. This was triggered by her love of mint teas and helping a friend. deal with a micro-manager's murder. Perhaps based on micro-managers I have observed.


12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I often give away print copies of my books on my blog. I also enjoy hearing from readers. Recently got a letter from Canada from a reader thanking me for sending her a print book.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Welcome J.E. Taylor


Welcome to Day 2 of my Crystal Illusions release tour and I and I want to thank Roseanne Dowell for having me.

CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS by J.E. Taylor
Assistant D.A. Carolyn Hastings has an uncanny knack for putting away criminals. With one of the best prosecution records in recent history, her future as Manhattan’s next District Attorney looks certain. But her sixth sense for winning cases threatens to work against her when she starts seeing a string of murders through the eyes of the killer
With suspects piling up as fast as bodies, and the motives of those closest to her questionable, Carolyn doesn’t know who to trust. When the FBI assigns Special Agent Steve Williams to the case, Carolyn discloses her deepest fear - that the man she loves may be the one responsible for the city’s latest crime spree.
The only thing Steve knows for sure is Carolyn has an inexplicable psychic connection with the killer, and all the victims have one thing in common…a striking resemblance to Carolyn Hastings.
And he knows it’s only a matter of time before this psychopath knocks on her door.
Praise for CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS
Taylor has a strong thriller where every single character has reasonable doubt flashing like a neon sign hanging over them, and right from the beginning you are trying to guess who the killer really is. Gripping, rich and magnificent - crime whodunnits don't get any better than this!Author Poppet / Gemma Rice – Author of Quislings, Blindsided, Djinn and Dusan
Excerpt from CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS:
Randy turned his head in her direction, the hot shower had done nothing to quell his aggravation and he carefully examined his response. How do I explain a black eye and the blood on my clothing to the assistant D.A? It was almost laughable, but the earlier events had dampened his mood. The truth would land him in a shitload of trouble, but he couldn’t brush it off either. “I went to meet a client and got mugged on the way back.”
Carolyn’s eyes grew hard as she took a step back. “I had another vision.” She took another step toward the bathroom door.
Randy’s eyebrows drew together at the question in her eyes. A vision, shit. She thinks I’m responsible? The sudden realization of her thought process burned through him like a ravaged wild fire. “You think I…”
Carolyn bolted out of the room.
“Fuck!” Randy cursed and grabbed a towel, sliding on the tile floor as he made a bid to catch her. Her hands shook as she tried to navigate the dead bolt on the front door and he grabbed her arm before she figured out how to unlatch it. He had to stop her, to convince her it wasn’t him and he spun her toward him. “I didn’t kill anyone.”
“But you weren’t mugged either!”
Randy’s shoulders slumped and his gaze traveled to the balcony and the bloody shoes. “No, I wasn’t mugged. But I’m not the Scarlet Psychopath either.” He brought his gaze back to hers.
“You were covered with blood when you came in, what the hell am I supposed to think?” She yanked her arm from his grasp. “And your face, that’s where she hit him with her purse.” Carolyn’s voice trembled as she pressed her back to the door.
The fear in her eyes churned his desperation into raging fury. She believed he was capable of murder, of killing innocent womenwomen that looked like her. “Go ahead, test the blood.” Randy pointed at the balcony, his anger bleeding from between his clenched teeth. “It’s beef and pork blood, from my family’s meat packing plant.” He turned and stormed back into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.
He drew on a pair of jeans and returned to the living room “How the hell can you think I’m capable of that!” Anger radiated in waves.
Tears brimmed and slid down her cheeks. “Your trench coat, now this…”
“Jesus, Carolyn.” Randy ran his hand through his wet hair, her accusation stewing, stirring his anger into a tizzy.
“I couldn’t reach you the other night after the nightmare and tonight you weren’t here. Do you have an alibi for the other murders?”
Randy couldn’t believe her audacity, her ability to believe he was capable of such things. “If it happened at night, I was here. During the day I’m working.”
“Can anyone vouch for you?”
Randy’s jaw tightened, his teeth aching from the pressure. “I don’t know.”
Her head dropped to her chest and her lips pressed together. “I have to go.”
Of course she’s going to run. That’s what she does when things get tough. “I’ll take you home.” He turned before she could argue coming back moments later fully dressed. He grabbed his trench coat and ripped open the front door.
“Randy.” The glare he sent her stopped her in her tracks.
“You think I’m a murderer. What else can I say?” he snapped. “This…” He pointed between the two of them. “Is over.” He stabbed the down button and waited for the elevator.

Thanks for joining me on this blog tour venture – and remember – I’ll be on tour throughout the month, including a giveaway over at Bitten By Books (www.bittenbybooks.com) on April 20th, where you have a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card.   I’ll be asking questions relating to my tour posts  – so check out my Crystal Illusions blog schedule for a chance to win.  (http://jetaylor75.blogspot.com)

J.E. Taylor is a writer, a publisher, an editor, a manuscript formatter, a mother, a wife and a business analyst, not necessarily in that order.  She first sat down to seriously write in February of 2007 after her daughter asked:
“Mom, if you could do anything, what would you do?”
From that moment on, she hasn’t looked back and now her writing resume includes six+ published novels along with several short stories on the virtual shelves including a few within eXcessica anthologies.
In addition to being co-owner of
Novel Concept Publishing (www.novelconceptpublishing), Ms. Taylor also moonlights as an Assistant Editor of Allegory (www.allegoryezine.com), an online venue for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. She has been known to edit a book or two and also offers her services judging writing contests for various RWA chapters.
She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children and during the summer months enjoys her weekends on the shore in southern Maine. 
Visit her at www.jetaylor75.com