Solar Eclipse Mania and Aliens

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On Monday, August 21, I’ll be in the path of the total eclipse of the sun. Big deal. Well, really it is.
I’m sure other areas of the US are going through the same craziness as Oregon is. For over a month now, the front page of the local paper has featured at least one story about the solar eclipse and the impact it will have on the local residents.
Okay, not so much the eclipse itself, but all the eclipse watchers. Highways are predicted to slow to a near standstill between Portland – the nearest major airport – and throughout the Willamette Valley with the influx of over a million visitors. Backyards and open fields will be turned into temporary tent or camper cities (already happening). Public water and septic systems will be overtaxed (not likely). Food and gas supplies will run out or low (no telling). The local economy will boom (hopefully).
Because the traffic is expected to be horrible, garbage pick up has been delayed one day, many local businesses have given employees time off, and non-essential government workers are taking leave (or whatever they call it).
Right now, roads are blocked off in towns around here, not for safety, but to cordon off city blocks for vendors, events, and parties. I don’t know if they planned it this way, but a huge three-day country music extravaganza is going on right now in the Willamette Valley. If these folks came from far away, I doubt they’ll be in a hurry to leave Sunday night. Or if they are, they’re in trouble. I just hope the weight of all these extra people doesn’t cause a major earthquake!
What do people expect out of the eclipse besides a long weekend of partying? Some are saying it will allow the world to see the extra sun (or is it a planet?) that’s been hiding behind the sun.

Here’s a recent picture taken in Dallas, Oregon by Ashleigh Sawicki. Her aunt saw the same thing in Florida as did my friend in Alaska. It’s not exclusive to the United States, either. I hear it’s been sighted in South America and Europe, too. Oh, and if you say it’s just the camera, why would someone take a picture of the sun? Had to be something strange to want to take that shot.
I guess we’ll find out what all the noise is tomorrow. Unless the aliens attack or, gasp, they take out our internet.

No matter what happens, enjoy the life you have, and if it needs improving, be the one to make the changes.

In the meantime, here’s some great diversion. Romance box sets in different flavors!Feeling like a sweet story? Sweet & Sassy is perfect. Need some suspense? Dangerous Encounters and Risky Encounters. Historical fiction: Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics. Paranormal or time travel? Mystic Lovers. Check them all out! All but Love, Christmas are available to read for free with your Kindle Unlimited account. Don’t have KU? Try it for free for 30 days. See Amazon for details.

Follow me on Amazon: http://bit.ly/dhAuthor 

Dani Haviland
Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
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Life and Fiction by Mona Risk

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It all started ten years ago. In a different life, I was the director of the Analytical Division of an environmental company. I supervised a staff of chemists who perform analytical tests on drinking water and hazardous waste. My responsibilities also included working on various government contracts. A monotonous predictable life that suddenly changed when I won a Department of Defense contract to refurbish a military laboratory in Belarus.

During my fifteen trips to Minsk, capital of Belarus, I was well received by everyone, and worked with colonels and generals, chemists and engineers, and even journalists. I was invited by two colonels to their houses, met their wives and children, and appreciated their warm hospitality.

TO LOVE A HERO is my contribution to the Authors’ Billboard box LOVE ON FIRE. Through my novel, a fictional story about an American chemist and a Belarusian officer, I lived again my fantastic trips to Belarus. My story highlights the affability and warmth of the gorgeous and gallant Belarusian officers who sing, toast with vodka, and make a woman feel like a goddess.

 Book Description

The hero, Major General Sergei Fedorin, has pledged to cleanup his country of the nuclear pollution that killed his wife and threatens his nation with cancer. American aid allows him to start his mission by refurbishing an old military laboratory. The patriotic Sergei is a true hero in his country, an alpha man who protects millions of citizens, a controlled public figure, watched and scrutinized by everyone, admired and revered, but not allowed to live a personal life. He accepts it all because of his dedication to Belarus. BUT

When the lovely American chemist stumbles on the escalator of the airport straight into his arms, Sergei has more on his mind than nuclear pollution.

Raised in boarding schools, Cecile learned to fend for herself at an early age. She buried her loneliness under long hours of study and work. Now she’s determined to excel in her first international contract. So many people are watching over her shoulders, but no one will detract her from her mission. BUT

In Belarus, a Russian country dominated by male chauvinism and intrigues, Cecile finds much more chemistry than she bargains for, and in the arms of General Sergei, she learns that chemicals are not the only things that generate heat.

I had a lot of fun writing this book and I hope you will discover a new country and interesting culture while reading TO LOVE A HERO, the passionate story of Cecil and Sergei.

Some of my personal experiences are related in my book. I even included my fall on the broken escalator of the airport. I was rescued by my lab manager while my heroine (the smart woman) fell into the arms of a hero to die for, the handsome Major General Sergei who made her pulse race and stole her heart.

Sometimes passion takes you and there’s nothing you can do to resist it. That hot feeling overwhelms you until you can think of nothing else but him, want to do nothing else but make love.
Sometimes love sets you on fire until it consumes you.
Let these six novels of crazy hot love take you there, make you feel the heat of that passion, bring you that ecstatic joy.

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

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Mona Risk
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Mona Risk’s name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.
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Finding My Happily-Ever-After #mgtab

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Hi Everyone!

I’m Tamara Ferguson, and I’m new to the Authors’ Billboard this year.

Well, first things first–I hate writing about myself.

But after admitting that, I have to laugh because I probably have close to fifty published interviews online, mostly because I have a problem with saying no.

So, what I am I willing to reveal about myself?

I’ve led a way too colorful life, with a lot of ups and downs. From the time I was a kid, I’ve had a bunch of different hobbies and worked several kinds of jobs–lifeguard, swimming teacher, secretary, solar energy researcher and teaching assistant, waitress, sales rep, floral designer and a wholesale florist and horticulturist to name a few. And I almost taught college level horticulture—it broke my heart to have to say no because I was pregnant and unable to relocate to Chicago with my husband at the time. Teaching was what I always wanted to do.

So how does my experience aid my writing?

It makes it easy to expand on secondary themes and characters when there’s a little of me in each of them. Plus, I’m a firm believer in happily-ever-after endings. I take a lot of the negative twists and turns that’ve occurred in my own life and spin them around to create a more positive outcome. For me, my writing is all about hope.

What’s an example of that?

I’m the mom and full-time caregiver of a severely autistic son with diabetes. I use my experience and circumstances to develop my character Beth In Two Hearts Unspoken. Like me, Beth is struggling with the quality of care and monetary cutbacks in the state of Illinois while trying to raise her severely autistic son Kyle.

Beth is a single mom, which I once was. But unlike me, Beth decides to follow her dream and ends up in a town she vacationed in as a kid, since a new vocational facility for the mentally and physically disabled has recently been built, and Kyle has been accepted into their program.

Expanding on that–

I mix elements of romance, suspense and humor into my stories in an effort to make my characters more relatable and realistic. Sometimes the reader doesn’t catch the serious undertones that I weave into each story because I write simplistically with humor. I try to view problems through the perspective of the characters I create.

Humor is what gets me through my own life. No matter how overwhelming my problems are, I always try to find a bright side to everything. But wow sometimes this can be really difficult! After something totally devastating occurs, life goes on.

And sometimes you have to decide whether you want life to go on with or without you.

Tamara Ferguson’s contemporary military romance novella, Two Hearts Unspoken, is a moving and beautifully written story about a romance between a wounded veteran and the mother of an autistic son, who have both moved to Crystal Rock for healing and a fresh start. I enjoyed seeing how the two of them felt that instant attraction despite the misgivings and insecurities each of them had, and loved seeing how their relationship grew. While this story is categorized as a romance, it deals with two important and serious issues, namely the rehabilitation of veterans who bear both physical and mental scars from their tours of duty, and the lack of sufficient vocational opportunities for young people with autism, who all too often are shunted away into institutions instead of being surrounded by family—5Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Two Hearts Unspoken is on sale for 99c for a limited time.

Writing steamy yet sweet compassionate stories of fate that are wonderfully romantic, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of The Tales of the Dragonfly romance suspense series, The Kissed By Fate new adult romance series, The Two Hearts Wounded Warrior romance book series and The Daydreams & Dragonflies sweet romance series.

During the last 2 years she’s become a 4X Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner for short story fiction, romance suspense, earning the silver medal for military fiction, a 2X winner for the Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award for new adult and anthology romance, a 3X finalist for the IAN Book of the Year, and a New Apple Romance Selection for excellence in publishing.

Since she’s the full-time caregiver of a severely autistic son, you can usually find Tammy working at home where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects because she’s writing or helping other authors promote their books on twitter.

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Tamara Ferguson
A member of the Romance Writers of America, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of the Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series, the Kissed By Fate Series, and the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Series.

Her latest wounded warrior romance novella, Two Hearts Unspoken, is included in the top-ten bestselling Holiday Anthology, Mother’s Day Magic…With Love, which was also #1 in Wounded Warrior Fiction. Since being released independently, Two Hearts Unspoken has become a #1 International Best Seller at Amazon as well as a #1 International Hot New Release, and is the 2016 SILVER MEDAL WINNER at Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards for Military Fiction.

Presently, Tamara’s working on Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish, the fourth story in her multi-award winning Two Hearts Wounded Warrior series, Emergence, the third book in the multi-award winning Tales of the Dragonfly Novels, and a novella for the next installment of the bestselling Wedding Pets and Kisses anthologies, featuring stories by multi-award winning, bestselling and USA Today authors.

Since she remains a full-time caregiver for an autistic son, you can usually find Tammy working at home, where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects, because she’s writing or helping author friends promote their books on twitter.

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How do authors manage to visit all the places they write so eloquently about? #Travel #Inspiration #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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Did you ever wonder how authors manage to visit all the places in the world they write so eloquently about?

Believe me, if I could travel to exotic locales I would (not so sure about different worlds though!), but most of us have to make do with researching the areas we’re interested in placing our characters into.

Whether it’s a castle in England

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or the vineyards of Italy

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We can get real-time views thanks to modern day search engines like Google. With Instant Street View simply type in any address and you’re instantly transported there with a complete 360 picture of the area.

Another great search tool for authors is Pinterest. You can find just about anything you’re looking for on subjects ranging from fashion to settings, and of course inspiration 🙂

My upcoming release, Hold ‘Em: A Gambling Hearts Romance, is set in the Texas hill country. I had visions in my head of what the area should look like, but needed to make sure of some facts such as what sort of flowers are prevalent in the open ranch fields? I did an online search and came up with this lovely field of bluebonnets:

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Perfect for my scene! Here’s a little taste of what I wrote:

Cassandra stared at him, bemused. The sun had decided to peek out from behind the clouds, turning his hair antique gold in the streaming light. Their clothes were soaked, but on him, it was a good look. His shirt plastered to his torso highlighted strong shoulders and a well-defined chest. One she wanted to rest her head against.

Startled out of her trance, she jerked her gaze out across the most beautiful valley she’d ever seen. Bluebonnets and healthy green grass waved back and forth, teased by a playful breeze. An old log cabin, its roof sagging and covered with moss, crouched by a babbling brook shaded by a giant cottonwood. And just to finish the fairytale, a multi-hued rainbow cast its benevolent glow over the entire picturesque area as though daring the rainclouds to return.

“Wow,” she said. “You weren’t kidding. This place is fantastic.”

A deer broke cover and slowly made its way down to the brook, testing the air every few feet.

Cass grabbed Matt’s arm, intensely conscious of the coiled strength that lay just under the skin. She cleared her throat and pointed, “Look, Matt, it’s a Bambi.”

Matt gazed at her instead of the animal, the quirk of his mouth causing a heart-palpitating dimple to appear. “What is it with women and Disney creatures?”

She laughed and dropped her hand, uncomfortable now with his sole attention. “Are you telling me you never had a favorite character from a movie when you were a child?”

He lifted his head and eyed the deer, his profile reminding her of a proud animal. When he turned back the humor was gone. “We should get down there before the weather decides to break again. You ready?”

Curiously sorry she’d ruined the moment, Cassandra nodded and they started out for the valley floor. The deer took one look at them and bounded away, disappearing into the woods on the far side of the clearing.

“What is this place?” she asked, lagging along in his wake, her hand brushing the top of the grass as they walked.

Matt glanced back, then kept going, his body cutting them a trail. “It was my great-grandfather’s first home. Dad used it as his fishing shack when he wanted a break from ranching.”

Cassandra gazed upon the valley with new eyes. She imagined an adventurous young man with Matt’s face riding across the Texas plains until he happened upon this magical land. Easy to see why he decided to stay.

If you’d like more of my vision for this story, check out my Pinterest board here

What about you? How do you research your settings? Any tips or tricks you’d care to share?

Hold ‘Em releases August 15th, I hope you give this funny, heartwarming book a try!

 

jacquiebiggar_holdem_800px

In the game of love all bets are off

When professional poker player Matthew Shaughnessy wins the pot of a lifetime, he didn’t expect to land himself a fiancée.

Cassandra Gardener is left with little choice but to play the part of a Texan’s fiancée for a week if she wants to clear her father’s gambling debt.

Can two people with so much to lose win the biggest bet of all- love?

http://a.co/9OJfSea

International Link: http://books2read.com/HoldEm

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34682965-hold-em

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Jacquie Biggar
Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
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Is “Rich Author” Oxymoron @JoanReeves #mgtab

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Graphic Image: Young surprised woman in eyeglassesDo you think “Rich Author” is an oxymoron?

Side Note: I love the word oxymoron: “a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.” The example usually given is: military intelligence.

Yes, these are the things I think about while I idle through life on a summer day. After all, hot summer days are perfect for sitting around and thinking about stuff. That’s such a fun thing to do instead of slaving over a hot keyboard and pulling recalcitrant thoughts from my brain.

I was watching a morning show interview with Ms. Famous Author. Curious about her past, I did an online search for her name. One of the SERP’s (for those who don’t speak Internet, that’s Search Engine Result Page) that popped up was How Much Is Famous Author Worth.Graphic Image: Dollar Sign

Inquiring Minds, Etc.

Seriously. Isn’t that a terrible invasion of privacy? Yes, but that’s not going to stop us from visiting that page, is it?

So I continued my procrastination research. I found a website that gives Top 10 lists. Just in case you ever wondered who the richest authors in the world are, I can now definitively answer that, courtesy of Trending Top Most.

This website gives lots of juicy details about celebrities, and rich authors are celebrities. (So rich author is not an oxymoron.) The author list gives the books that made them such huge bestselling authors so be sure and check it out for all the details.

There are some surprises such as Jim Davis of Garfield fame. I’m rather certain his making the list was due to licensing deals.

I take issue with the inclusion of Candy Spelling. Even though she is an author and has appeared on the NYT list, I don’t believe she accrued her $600 million from her authorial works. I think her riches came from being the heir to her late husband Aaron Spelling. But that’s just my supposition.

Graphic Image: The Winner IsTop 10 Richest Authors (In David Letterman Order)

10. Stephenie Meyer- $180 million (in 2010 and 2011 alone, she earned over $40 million!)
9. John Grisham- $200 million
8. Dean Koontz – $275 million
7. Tom Clancy- $300 million
6. James Patterson- $310 million
5. Danielle Steel- $375 million
4. Stephen King- $400 million
3. Candy Spelling- $600 million
2. Jim Davis- $800 million
1. J.K. Rowling- $1 billion

Of one thing, I’m completely certain. No one on this list need worry about being pushed aside by me.

Back to the Salt Mines ComputerGraphic Image: Heat Lightning Book Teaser

Enough procrastination research. Back to writing Dead Heat, Book 2, Outlaw Ridge, Texas.

Book 1 is Heat Lightning, set during a hot July in Texas.

Heat Lightning is on Kindle Unlimited so you can read for free. (Buy for only $2.99.)

Within Heat Lightning is an excerpt for Dead Heat, the new romantic suspense, which I think you’ll love! The new book will be published in August.

Graphic of writing penAbout Joan Reeves

No, you won’t find her name on a Top 10 Richest Authors list, but she is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All her fiction have the same premise that is her motto: It’s never too late to live happily ever after.

Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. They divide their time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a quiet house in the country where they grow wine grapes and fruit trees while battling gophers, skunks, coyotes, deer, and the occasional copperhead snake.

Be the first to know about new books and giveaways. Sign up for Joan’s Mailing List.

Joan Reeves
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Joan Reeves makes her home in the Lone Star State with her hero, her husband.

They have 4 children who think they are adults and a ghost dog, all the ingredients for a life full of love and warmed by laughter.

Joan lives the philosophy that is the premise of her romance novels: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.”

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You Are My Sunshine #LazyDaysOfSummer #amwriting #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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I don’t know about you, but when the warm winds and indigo blue skies of summer appear on the horizon, the last thing I want to do is sit in a chair forcing myself to fight past the sticky middle of my current WIP (work-in-progress).

It’s literally like pulling teeth.

I’d much sooner have my hands buried up to the elbow in fine black planting soil, or daydream on the end of a water hose watching the hummingbirds and butterflies play in the breeze.

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But, I also realize if I want to take this writing career seriously, and I do, I need to sometimes make sacrifices.

One thing I’ve learned is better time management. I’m a late riser, mornings are not my thing :), so I usually sit at the computer with my coffee and go through the social media platforms sharing and promoting.

Then I spend an hour or two visiting my mom next door before FINALLY waking up enough to begin my day!

I take the computer outside to our gazebo where I can work on my story while watering the flowers, and occasionally catching a glimpse of a friendly hummingbird or two.

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Sometimes, I don’t get much writing done, but that’s okay. It’s a WIP, just like me 🙂

If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to lately, you can check out the new anthology written by members of my critique group to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary!

 

My Baby Wrote Me A LetterA family's brush with the past will threaten the fabric of their lives.

Dreams and Promises

Dreams and Promises includes six short stories and novellas written by authors who live in beautiful British Columbia.

It’s our way of honoring Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

Some of Canada’s major cities were founded in the seventeenth century, but July 1st 2017 marks 150 years since our country became a Confederation.

Our stories range from the era of the fur trade, to a commercial enterprise that opened up the Canadian and American West, to present day James Bay, a thriving neighborhood in the garden city of Victoria, British Columbia.

Universal link: http://books2read.com/DreamsandPromises

http://a.co/fl5TEBI

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35387646-dreams-and-promises

Jacquie Biggar
Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
View website
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It’s Release Day for Luck of the Draw #Lucky13 #Romance #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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It’s Release Day!

 

I have fabulous news for you this month, starting with an exclusive excerpt of my upcoming contemporary novel, Hold ‘Em: A Gambling Hearts Romance, available exclusively in the Luck of the Draw Box Set!

This is part of a brand new set filled with books from USA Today and International Bestselling Authors and available for a LIMITED time-don’t miss out!

http://books2read.com/LuckOfTheDraw

http://a.co/h2N3DdQ

Add it to your TBR Pile: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34609578-luck-of-the-draw

Next, I have #Giveaways! I knew you’d like that one 🙂
Also, there’s news of FIVE other box sets I’m participating in within the next two months. Yes, you read that right, FIVE!

No wonder I have bags under my eyes, lol
Anyway, there’s lots of fun and news so grab a drink, cosy back into a comfy chair and prepare for a great read.

Follow me on Amazon

Follow me on Bookbub

 

Exclusive Excerpt

Cassandra barely waited until they had left Matt’s family behind for the cool, terracotta comfort of the house before she turned on him.
“I am not sleeping with you,” she hissed, all but

stamping her foot. Lapis-lazuli eyes snapped like fireflies and her fists clenched at her sides like she wanted to whap him one. Was it wrong that he was turned on?

“Relax, princess.” Matt grinned. “What do you take me for? I’m not that kind of guy.”
She snorted. “You’re all that type of guy.” Her purse strap had slipped off her shoulder, her cute summer dress was rumpled, and the carefully styled hair she’d started the day with looked as though it had come through a wind storm.

He liked it. It made her seem more approachable. Until she spoke.
“What is that?” she squealed, ducking behind him and peeking around his shoulder.

Matt looked to where she was pointing and laughed outright. “That’s my dog, Chewy.” He bent in time to catch the hairless Chihuahua limp-racing across the tiles, nails click-clicking to a chorus of yapping. Consuela, dressed in a colorful swirly skirt and white peasant blouse with bangles jingling on her outstretched arm hurried around the corner. “Oh, Master Matt, I’m so sorry. He was eating one minute and then he was gone.”

Matt tried to control the excited pooch working its way up his chest, tongue hanging weirdly out the side of its mouth and little bug eyes glittering with joy. “It’s okay, Consuela, I was wondering where he was.”

“It’s good to have you back, your abuela misses you.”
Matt ran a gentle hand over his pet’s bony spine, flattening the narrow black strip of coarse fur that had a mind of its own. “And I missed all of you, but I’m home now, and…” He twisted his torso until Cass came into view, “I brought a fiancée.”

Cass gave him an ugly glare, then switched on a warm smile for the housekeeper. “This is my first trip to Texas. You have a beautiful home here, Consuela.”

She nodded and stepped forward to take Chewy from his arms. “Thank you, miss. The Shaughnessys are like family.” She patted Matt’s cheek. “This one, he is special.”
Warmth for this woman, who had helped his grandma raise a troubled boy, flooded his chest. “If I am, it’s because of you. I can’t thank you enough for taking care of all of us over the years. And now…”
“Shh, don’t talk of it, child. We don’t want to invite bad spirits.”

Matt smiled through the ache. He couldn’t count the number of times he’d been warned about the spirits. “Yes, ma’am. I’m going to show Cassandra to her room. It’s been a long day.” He hugged Consuela and whispered in her ear. “It’s good to be home.”

He stepped back and smiled into her tear-filled eyes. “None of that now. This is meant to be a celebration.”
Consuela swiped at her wet cheeks and nodded. “We will make it special. You get married here, on the ranch? Your grandmother, she’s been talking non-stop about it since you called. Wait until you see her plans. It’s been good for her. For all of us.” Matt winced. He couldn’t believe he’d gotten himself into this mess. What started out as a simple way to please his grannie before she passed on had turned into a three ring circus. He glanced at the fuming woman beside him and wondered how long it would be before she blew the lid off this charade. Time to find some privacy and remind her of her obligation.

“We’ll discuss the wedding tomorrow.” He tugged Cass under his arm. “My bride-to-be is swaying on her feet.” He got them moving, heading down the hall toward his childhood bedroom. “C’mon, honey. Let’s get you tucked in so you can get your beauty sleep.”

She poked him in the ribs and he grunted. Damn, she had bony elbows. As soon as Consuela was out of sight, Cass escaped his hold. Her heaving breasts were a distraction until he realized he was staring, and jerked his gaze to her face.
“This has gone too far,” she snapped.
Matt opened the door to his room and ushered her through, determined to keep this private. He secretly agreed with her, but they’d already entered into this bargain, he didn’t plan on letting her renege.
He closed the door and leaned back to watch Cassandra pace his boyhood room. She avoided the king-sized sleigh bed he’d exchanged for the twin he had until early teens, to check out his trophy collection from swimming and baseball. Then she moved on to the few framed pictures lining his dresser, mainly him and his friends mixed with a couple of him and Gran, out riding horses or herding cattle. She’d always taken an active role in the running of the ranch. Right up until the doctor told her she couldn’t do it anymore three months ago. Funny how life fell into two categories like

that. The before filled with days taken for granted, and then the after diagnosis where every moment becomes something to be cherished.
“Is this you?” Cassandra asked, holding up a picture of him in a black and white tux, his then girlfriend, Candy, perched on his arm in a bright yellow ball gown.

“Prom,” he answered, amazed he’d ever looked that young.
She ran a finger down the glass and his body responded as though she’d physically touched him. He cursed under his breath. The last damn thing he needed was to be attracted to a woman who detested the ground he walked on. Never mind the fact she was engaged to be married—and it wasn’t to him.

He shoved away from the wall and stalked across the spacious room to his desk where his overnight bag had been left by one of the staff. He unzipped the side compartment and pulled out the distinctive blue box.

“Put this on.” He tossed the container at her and had to admit he was impressed with her swift catch. She eyed it warily, then slowly slid the lid off to reveal the midnight blue velvet box within. “Is this what I think it is?”
There she went with that finger again, rubbing the box like it was a gene’s lamp. Matt stared. Goosebumps chased up his spine and whispered in his ear that he was in a boatload of trouble. Yeah, he had that part figured out.
“You need a ring,” he said, shifting to ease the sudden pressure behind his zipper. “Grannie will expect you to have one. You can keep it when we part ways—consider it a bonus.” God, he could be such a dick sometimes.
She sent him a glance that cut to the bone, then carefully pulled the box out of its wrappings and opened the lid as though she thought it might explode in her hand. The flash of surprise she quickly hid tugged at his heart. She liked it. “Where’s my ring?” she asked, sliding the pretty solitaire onto her finger.
He was happy to see it fit. “You mean my ring, don’t you?”
She snapped the jewelry box closed and he winced. “It’s in a safe place. You live up to your end of the bargain, princess, and I’ll live up to mine.”
Cass waved her hand in the air, and the new ring glinted under the lights. “I’m here, aren’t I? Let’s just try to get through this week without killing

each other.” She flopped onto the side of his bed and bounced a couple of times. “Where are you going to sleep?”
Matt hid a grin. If this weren’t so serious, and she wasn’t holding all the cards, he’d be hard-pressed not to like this girl.

“Well, darlin’, that’s where it gets interesting.”

 

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Is it too late for second chances?

Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth. Eight years in the military has turned him into a cynical, disillusioned man.

Then he returns home to find out he’s a father.

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew?

Or is it too late for them to have a second chance?

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See you next time,

Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar
Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
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The Birth of A #Hero #mgtab #Inspiration @jacqbiggar

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Readers often ask where do writers come up with ideas for their characters? In my case, the birth of a hero comes from a variety of sources. News reports, television programs, books I’ve read; all are great resources.

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But my favorite characters grow organically from stories I’ve already written. For my new release, Missing: The Lady Said No, the idea for my hero, Augustus Grant, came to me from a previous book where the main character was a mystery writer suffering from writer’s block.

Gus is the character my hero, Joel Carpenter, (in the holiday romance novel Silver Bells) was writing about. I fell in love with the bumbling detective and decided then and there he needed his own story!

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Gus is smart, irreverent, a little bit clumsy (okay, a LOT clumsy!) and still in love with the girl he let get away.

Rebecca Hayes.

Here’s a short excerpt. Gus is investigating a murder at a horse ranch and runs into the one person he never thought he’d see again.

Becky stood at the top of the grand staircase and felt the world give way.

Augustus.

It had been too long.

And not long enough.

She couldn’t believe he was here. Or maybe she could. It had always been his dream to become a detective. After all, that was the reason they had split up, wasn’t it? He’d craved the excitement, and she’d needed stability. Safety.

Well, it was too late now, on many levels. The best thing she could do would be to put on a brave face and escape with her pride.

“Hello, Augustus,” she called. Careful not to let him see her trembling, she gripped the banister and reluctantly went to join the man who had stolen her heart. He was every bit as tall as she remembered. Still just as handsome, too. A few more lines around the eyes and mouth maybe. She shied away from his lips, focusing instead on the crooked tie and wrinkled shirt. A wry smile touched her mouth.

“I see you still haven’t figured out the right side of an iron,” she murmured.

He glanced down and ran a strong, tanned hand down his chest. Something fluttered to life in hers.

He met her gaze with a grin that slowly faded away. “I looked for you,” he said.

Oh, God.

This wasn’t what she expected. After leaving Bourbonville and moving here, to Balmoral, she’d second-guessed her decision often, but never realized maybe he did too, just a little.

“You’re the cop. You could have found me if you tried.”

As you can see, there are a lot of unresolved feelings between these two. The question is, can Gus make it right? You’ll have to read on to find out. 🙂

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This is part of a branded series set around the running of the famous Kentucky Derby. I hope you’ll enjoy my story and give the other books in the Chandler County series a try!

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Jacquie Biggar
Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
View website
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