Good Morning and Happy last day of May. Yesterday was my birthday! It was the 34th anniversary of my 29th birthday. Growing up I always thought the Memorial Day parades were in my honor. 'Twas a fantasy you see. And I do love my fantasy books. That said, it's a pleasure to welcome a new-to-me author to my blog. I love getting to know new authors and hope you do too!
Helen, thank you so much for joining us today. While I pour us a cuppa, why don't you start and tell us all who you are other than your official bio?
Let me think. Most of my readers don’t know that I originally wanted to be a pilot and even studied for a pilot’s license. However, back then women in the right seat, let alone the captain’s chair, were a rarity so I gave up that dream. I have background in two quite different areas: history and computer science. I’ve participated in archaeological digs and directed a local history museum. Stepping out of my comfort zone was attending historical re-enactments in period costume and riding in a World War II-era jeep as part of a convoy of military vehicles. For the one I wore a long skirt and hid more modern items such as camera and keys in a wicker basket. For the other, I was in olive drab fatigues.
My DH, Pete, would love to sit and talk history with you. He adores reenactments and even thought about joining a group at one time. What other interests besides writing do you enjoy? For instance, what do you read or hobbies you have?
I've dabbled in various types of handcrafts over the years. Painting and photography also sneaked in, especially during my time as a correspondent when I had to provide the photographic images to accompany the articles. Time restrictions and arthritis have reduced the amount of time devoted to knitting, crocheting and beading, as has the amount of time, effort, and energy given to my role as a caregiver. I don’t read while I am writing. When I do read, science fiction and fantasy fill my to-be-read pile.
I totally get that. I used to crochet, sketch, and paint. My hand strength and co-ordination are not the same. Who is your network or support system?
I have been fortunate to have a supportive family. One shares her time and talent as a proofreader. A story I love doesn’t pertain to my fiction, but to my non-fiction. When my mother-in-law walked around town shopping or running errands, she carried one of my local histories in her purse with the cover showing. She used the opportunity as friends and even more than a few strangers asked about the book to sell them one.
For many years, Liberty State Fiction Writers, both as a group and their conference, provided writing support, and education. In-person writing groups are not available where I currently live. Either their genre doesn’t match mine or their membership costs are outside the budget. Online groups help fill the gap with Marketing for Romance Writers among a short list of favorites. A fellow author and editor, Judy Griffith Gill was a great support and helped my writing go to a new level.
First, your MIL sounds wonderful. I, too, have found a fantastic online community. Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
There is a special love of Anne McCaffrey, especially her Talents Universe series. Barbara Hambly and Katherine Kurtz influenced my writing with their sharing of magic. E. E. Doc Smith and Louis L’Amor pulled me in with their storytelling mastery.
Anne McCaffrey has to be in my tops list too. What is your neighborhood like? Are there any places you frequent? What makes them special?
I live in what is technically a city, but it has a small town feel. A grocery store, hardware store, and two parks are all within walking distance of my house. In a change from my previous home of thirty years, we have a large yard with enough trees to keep the cardinals, chickadees, and hummingbirds happy all year long. Flags line the main streets for Memorial and Veteran Days. An autumn festival brings out local crafters and civic organizations for a fun day. December brings an event that would not even be thought of in our previous town. Being in a more southerly clime, the weather is warm enough to be out after dark, but cool enough to give a holiday feel for the Christmas Parade.
It sounds wonderful. That hometown feel in a larger city is difficult to balance. I hate dusting. What's your worst household chore?
Doing dishes. Cooking wouldn’t be too bad if dirty pots and pans didn’t come with it.
Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
While a few sites that require travel by air or train are on my bucket list, I would trade Hawaii and the British Isles for being able to eat out anywhere I wish for free. That said, I would have to keep my gym membership to get rid of the extra weight.
LOL maybe I should add that to the question. Eat free and not gain an ounce. What was your first job?
If you don’t count being paid during baling season on the family farm, my first job was working candling eggs at a neighboring farm.
What’s the most amazing natural occurrence you’ve witnessed?
Not counting hurricanes, or their evil twin Superstorm Sandy, the most amazing natural thing I’ve seen is Niagara Falls.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Most of the research for FIRE AND AMULET involved collecting images to help me visualize the settings such as Merlin’s Well below Tintagel Castle for Trelleir’s secret glen. Fingal’s Cave on the Island of Staffa, Scotland served as inspiration for the hatching cave. Plotting the storyline was another matter. As a rule, I am more of a plotter than a pantser. A detailed storyline from start to finish never happens. The creation of scene storyboards of various detail from bullet points to full draft invariably gives way to the characters. At that point the storyboard format shifts into full-fledged draft.
Interesting. How do you select the names of your characters?
Some characters tell me their names right away. Others play coy and make me hunt them among the lists of Gaelic (or whatever nationality and culture the story is about) names or appropriate dictionaries until I see one that fits. And although it is customary for fiction to state “any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental” that may not be totally true. I’ve reached the stage in life where my caregiving responsibilities encompass up to four generations. To help engender the love of reading in the younger ones, I’ve taken their names and modified them, either by translation into another language or modifying the spelling. This does cause a problem, not with the named, but their parents. Not everyone can appear in every book and the clan keeps growing. The newest just made his appearance a scant three months ago.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The most difficult part of FIRE AND AMULET to write involved Trelleir’s secret. The reader had to be told so they knew early on. My problem came when the secret was revealed to Deneas. How would she react? Her actions had to be realistic, but the betrayal couldn’t disrupt the desired ending.
Intriguing. Helen, thanks so much for being my guest Around The Fire today. Before you head out, will you please leave some extra peeks into your book and where readers can find you?
Fire And Amulet
Helen B. Henderson
Through the power of love, eyes can see what magic obscures
Trelleir is a true dragon whose magic allows him to take on human form. The last of his kind, he longs for companionship. However, his only friend is not only a human female, but a slayer. Sworn to kill all dragons, including him.
Summoned by the village council, Deneas is sent on a quest to kill any and all dragons, and cannot return without proof of her success. Finding the mythical creature and avoiding its deadly talons and fire are not her only problems.
Another slayer follows with orders to kill her. As she retraces her slain mother's footsteps, she learns the world is not what it seems.
The pull of someone seeking him tore Trelleir from his somber reflections. Only one person could be the source of the summoning, Deneas.
He had protected her since her birth when the non-verbal thoughts of the babe registered as little more than faint cries. Now that she had reached adulthood the mental connection between them increased to the point where he swore he could hear her thoughts.
He pictured her in his mind’s eye, sitting on the rock wall he and Adais had built as a border around her private garden.
Deneas’ face was turned towards the heavens.
He knew she searched for a dragon. The urge to leap into the darkness, to fly to her, tore at his control.
“Go to her,” whispered the wind.
What others are saying.
5 Stars A Brilliant Adventure What a grand adventure and hopefully the start of a new series. The characters are interesting and well motivated. Enjoyed every word of the story and hated to reach the ending. Well written and a great fantasy concept.
Get your copy today!
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fire-and-amulet-helenhenderson/1141304944
Angus Robertson https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebooks/fire-and-amulet-helenhenderson/p/9780228620952
More Sites at Books2Read https://books2read.com/fire-and-amulet/
More about the author.
Although the author of several local histories, and numerous articles on the topics of American and military history, antiques and collectibles, Henderson’s first love is fiction.
Her work in the museum and history fields enables a special insight into creating fantasy worlds. The descendent of a coal-miner's daughter and an aviation flight engineer, her writing reflects the contrasts of her heritage as well as that of her Gemini sign.
Her stories cross genres from historical westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of romantic fantasy, she is the author of the Dragshi Chronicles and The Windmaster Novels.
In her books, she invites you to join her on travels through the stars, or among fantasy worlds of the imagination.
Find her on online at:
Excerpts of her work, writing tips, thoughts on the writing life, and information on new releases can be found at https://helenhenderson-author.blogspot.com.
Released APRIL 2022 by BWL Publishing
COVER ARTIST – Michelle Lee, Stardust Creations
Hi, everyone! I'm so glad you stopped by. Guess who today's guest it? ME! I'm commandeering my blog today because there's so much going on in the next few months. From video chats to personal appearances D.V. is going to be like the French-Canadian mouse who constantly steals food and is known for his catchphrase, "Savoir-Faire eez everywhere ... Any of you of a certain age will get the reference, the rest, you know what to do, google it.
I am excited to report that Agent Sam Carter And The Mystery At Branch Lake is not only free for five days, it's ranking #5, #13, and #26 in several categories. You can grab a copy today. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0785LCHWH/
You already know Jazz House is coming out August 31st. When Rock House Grill and Rainbow Sprinkles released we were in the middle of a pandemic. My party was held outdoors both in person and virtual on Facebook and I hope to do that again on Thursday September 1st. There will be games, drawings, and trivia. Stay tuned for details.
So, what else is happening? Not much except I'm working on the Shield-Mates series. Felice has been reedited and received a new cover. She'll be re-released in September 2022 and in November Kisa the second book will debut. Then in 2023 the next two Shield-Mates will be introduced. Orsolo and Rhian. I can't wait.
This summer and fall, I have several appearances. Check the information below and mark your calendars. I hope to see you there.
You may also notice on my welcome page the Agent Sam Carter Mysteries have received an update too! Shh, don't tell but there will be a new story for Sam and company as well. As that gets closer I'll fill you in on the details so don't forget to signup for my monthly email at https://mailchi.mp/18125bb60cc5/dv-stones-news-bulletin
If this isn't enough I'm also working on two other projects. One for my publisher titled Sophia's Magic Beans and second and independent book in collaboration with other authors. I'll be talking about that soon but I'm really excited to be stepping into a historical action adventure romance.
Until next time remember...
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss (American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker)
Hi everyone and welcome to my fire. It was a great weekend. Pete and I celebrated our 28th Anniversary! I have spent almost half my life with this man and wouldn't trade it for anything. If you know us, we're not fancy people. To celebrate we went prowling about Upstate NY visiting antique shops and markets. I bought some gorgeous mushrooms among other things at https://auntieelsfarmmarket.com/ and enjoyed a Shepherd's Pie lunch at http://www.curleyscorner.com/ Well enough about me I have to share that I am a very visual person. I love doing graphics and visiting art museums.
Welcome, Linda. Thanks for sharing my fire today. I have to tell you the first time I saw this book cover I was enthralled. Bridges is definitely on my To Be Read list. Whoever said you can't judge a book by its cover wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Most times you can. So while I grab us a couple of cups of coffee, will you tell our other fire guests who you are other than your bio?
I’m still the skinny little girl who liked to look things up in the encyclopedia and would rather read than eat and the teenager who had a new story idea every day. My years as a reference librarian honed my research skills, and reading book reviews for fiction orders helped shape my idea of what a novel should be.
Remember those big tomes, the encyclopedia? I was so proud to own a set. What interests besides writing do you enjoy? For instance, what do you read or hobbies you have?
I love to travel and have been to 48 states—just Connecticut and Rhode Island to go—and three foreign countries. I particularly like taking road trips with my two sisters and my oldest niece, who are the best traveling companions ever. We’ve been slowed down a bit by the pandemic but did manage some interesting times in the state of Washington last fall. I also like to play Scrabble, and I’m not so much really good at it as very, very lucky. I like to read a variety of genres and subjects and have a long TBR list. Although fiction will always be my first love, I enjoy good writing of every kind, and lately I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs.
We have a sticker map on our camper and are filling in the states. Who is your network or support system?
My sisters were my first readers and still support my writing. I also have a friend, a former colleague, with whom I began a regular correspondence seven years ago, and she has read a lot of my work and gives me the best feedback I’ve ever had. Fortunately, she likes my jokes!
My sis is my best bud too. Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
I loved Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg series, which I began reading in junior high school, and I can see echoes of her style in my work. Another early influence was my older sister, who wrote the kind of stories I wanted to write while I was still penning corny, cliched Westerns. I greatly admire Joyce Carol Oates and would like to be more like her, and recently I was blown away by Peter Rock’s My Abandonment.
Do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
It probably isn’t much fun for anyone else, but I can recite all of the Academy Award best picture winners, all 94 and counting.
LOL, you're like the Rain Man for movies. Tell me, what is your neighborhood like?
I live in a very eclectic neighborhood of mostly quiet residential streets. It’s a great place for a morning walk. Two of my walking partners have been on the injured list, but I’ve had some wonderful ambulatory conversations with a friend and neighbor who is of Indian ancestry and grew up in Fiji. Although it’s nice and quiet here, we are only a block away from a main thoroughfare, so it’s very convenient too. I also like hanging out in historic Balboa Park with its variety of gardens and museums. My favorite restaurant is Casa de Pico, especially the grilled fish tacos and a drink called a California Freeze.
It sounds wonderful. What is your favorite mug?
I have a mug that a friend gave me, white with a very pretty blue inside and on the handles, and the words “I WRITE What’s your Superpower?” I also like the one that shows cows “in the reading moo-oo-d.”
Do you have a favorite childhood book or writing that inspired you to become an author?
Half Magic by Edward Eager was a big favorite. My mother got it for me through the Children’s Book of the Month Club when I was in fourth grade, and I read it enough times that I can still recite the first few pages by heart (“It began one summer about thirty years ago and it happened to four children...”). I was inspired to become an author or “book maker” long before that, as soon as I figured out that somebody created the words I was reading. I dedicated one of my books to “Dick and Jane, who first ignited my passion for the written word.”
If you could eat anything in the world right now, what would it be?
Chocolate fudge layer cake with dark chocolate fudge frosting! With a big glass of cold milk.
What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
My older sister had me convinced that she spent her nights at the Western Rangers Camp and the letters I received from one of the rangers, always signed Che-e-e-e-e-rio, were genuine.
That's hysterical. What was your first job?
Watching a baby while his mother was hanging clothes on the clothesline in the backyard. I was four years old, and I earned a whole dime.
What subjects should be taught in school, but aren’t?
Logical thinking and how to evaluate sources of information. Algebra teaches logic, but seems to have fallen out of favor, even with math teachers.
What’s the most amazing natural occurrence you’ve witnessed?
The calving of glaciers from the deck of a cruise ship in Alaska’s Inland Passage.
Linda, thank you so much for sharing my fire. Before you head out on your next adventure will you tell us more about your new release and where we can get more information about both Bridges and you?
After four romantic suspense titles, this one is an old-fashioned, slow-burning sweet romance, and the only body that turns up is at the grandfather’s funeral!
In 1963, Neil Vincent, a middle-aged World War II veteran and “Christian atheist,” is working at Westfield Court as a chauffeur. He spends most of his spare time reading. Mary Claire DeWinter is a young, blind Catholic college student and reluctant heiress. To secure her inheritance, she has to marry within a year, and her aunt is pressuring her to marry a rich man who teased and bullied her when she was a child. Neil and Mary Claire shouldn’t even be friends, but the gulf between them is bridged by a shared love of books. Can they cross the bridge to more?
Here's what others are saying
“Their friendship and budding relationship were written wonderfully…Overall, the story was sweet, emotional, and touching as both Neil and Mary Claire overcome the bridges standing between them.” – Still Moments Magazine
Get your copy today!
Want to know more about the author?
Achoo! Excuse me. Yep it's springtime in New Jersey and the pollen is brutal. I've been busy around the house as well as with writing and editing. I'm also getting ready for a few personal appearances. If you want more info on those head over to Insider Looks by tapping above.
I'm excited to welcome today's guest to the fire. I read her first book, Finding Euphoria and reviewed it. Here's an out take-
I highly recommend Finding Euphoria by C. Becker
As a fan of medical thrillers, Finding Euphoria reminds me in many ways of Michael Crichton. Many turns and twists lead the reader into a world of drugs and crimes and navigate us without losing any of the relationships in the book.
C., while I stoke the fire please tell our visitors who you are other than your bio?
I’m a wife and mother of four, and I love spending time with my family. My kids are all in their twenties. I’m a music director at a local church where I lead the choir and accompany the Sunday services, and I’m also active in my own church singing and playing piano/organ every week. I like to compose songs and some have been sung at different churches in my area. I lead a bi-monthly writer’s group (since 2015), which hosts a talented group of serious writers. Even during COVID we met twice a month using video conferencing.
You sound like a very busy woman. I can't read music or follow at tune to save my life. What interests besides writing do you enjoy? I spend a lot of time on my music. The best gift my parents gave me was piano lessons! LOL! I love to garden. I enjoy baking desserts, and I can’t get enough of stamping cards. It’s like therapy to sit, relax, and create cards for all occasions. My Jack Russell dog and I have a fondness for walking, him more so, but I do like to exercise. Reading is always a pleasure—all genres, as I love absorbing information.
Hali says, "Woof." That means hello to your JRT. And other than your doggo, who is your network or support system?
I’m fortunate to have a supportive writing network. My family is extremely supportive. Without their patience and support, I don’t know if I could continue. Some evenings, dinner doesn’t get on the table, and we do take-out. I belong to the best writer’s group on the planet. Each member brings their own talents to the critiques and discussions, and we help each other with ideas and writing. They aren’t afraid to tell me if they don’t like something or if a character’s actions seem off. And I have a small beta group of readers who are awesome, too!
Who or what books or authors are your inspiration? The authors at The Wild Rose Press are an inspiration. Their support is unbelievable and truly make me feel a part of the Garden of Roses! We help each other with marketing and so many have blogs to help spread author’s works. My editor ELF is the especially the best and inspires me to want to do better. Love her to pieces!
ELF is my editor too! TWRP authors are an amazing diverse group of writers. Do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
My biggest talent is singing and playing piano, but I’m also decent at home improvement projects and word games.
What is your neighborhood like?
I live in a rural area in West Virginia. Rural by most people’s standards though I live in a small city that has plenty of restaurants. Before COVID, my writer’s group used to go to Panera for the meetings. My family and I enjoy eating at all the major chain restaurants. Plus there are plenty of locally owned restaurants in town. The local libraries are supportive and I’ve had book signings there. My town just opened up The Bridge, a gigantic recreational center which I love going to. The town is small enough that I can walk two miles to the schools and small shops downtown, but yet I’m far enough away to have my privacy.
I'm familiar with Webster Springs WV. It's a gorgeous state. What books took up you childhood?
I couldn’t read enough Trixie Belden books and other mysteries when I was young. The younger teen age of Trixie meshed perfectly with mine. My goal was to read the entire series, but the first and last book in the series was always missing from the bookmobile. I lived in the middle of western Pennsylvania farm country and didn’t have a library in my town. Thank goodness my mother walked my siblings and me a half-mile to the local church to sign out books at the bookmobile.
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I love a lot of songs, but as of today, I’d choose Für Elise Jam by the Piano Guys. Classical, and jazzy.
Worst household chore?
Emptying the dishwasher. I’d prefer to handwash dishes after every meal and let them airdry instead of waiting for a large load of dishes to unload.
Do you play board games? Oh my yes! There were nine kids in my family growing up, and we played a lot of games. Now my kids like them, too. Bananagrams, Big Boggle, Scrabble are my favorites today. Scattergories, Chameleon, Scotland Yard are also fun games. Dictionary Dabble/Balderdash, Chinese Checkers…I could go on forever.
What was your first job?
I boxed letters for a mailing service company specializing in high-volume marketing. Basically, I boxed the junk mail that most people tossed immediately in their trash. I didn’t like the job at all, but it helped pay for college. Worked three days a week 6am-6pm during my summer year before college.
Let's talk about writing. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
For the Euphoria trilogy books, I couldn’t begin to calculate the hours of research I’ve spent. When I began Finding Euphoria, I researched brain disorders and narcotics. For this second book, Saving Euphoria, I’ve researched burns, burn therapies, PTSD, mail-order pharmaceuticals, Colombia, and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia military group). Although I research material beforehand, I like to see where my story is going and then research as the plot progresses. For example, by having a drug lord live in Colombia, I needed to research the setting, animals, vegetation, foods, clothing, housing materials, colloquial language for curse words, occupations, town structures, and jungles. Then I spent days—days—on watching YouTube videos to see how coca leaves are made into cocaine.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The first intimate scene in Finding Euphoria, knowing that my father and kids might read the book. (We can stop now because my face is flushed.)
C., thanks for sharing my fire today. Before you head out, will you leave us a peek at your new release and where we can find it and more about you? Oh, and to our other guests, make sure you keep scrolling. There's some pictures below.
Hailey Langley and her children struggle to cope with the shocking and mysterious death of her husband Mark. Her teenaged son is rebelling, and Hailey is dealing with physical and mental challenges as well.
Tom Parker, Hailey's former partner from the Special Crimes Agency, comes back into her life. He warns her to trust no one even as he tries to rekindle the flame that connects them.
Everyone has secrets, even Parker, and some of those from the past threaten to destroy the present. Hailey fights to move forward after losing Mark, but she needs to figure out if she can trust Parker and risk taking another chance on love.
Get your copy today.
The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/bookauthor/c-becker
More about the Author and where to find her.
Becker is the author of Finding Euphoria and Saving Euphoria. She is currently working on the third book to the Euphoria trilogy. As a medical technologist in a former career, Becker has never outgrown the attraction of using science in everyday life.
Becker enjoys hanging out with her family and Jack Russell, playing the piano, reading, and gardening.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/C.-Becker/e/B07NRWPWX3
Get to know C. Becker better by signing up for an email newsletter https://mailchi.mp/7a51fa024f7a/cbeckerauthor
Who besides me read all the horse books? Since I was a kid horses fascinated me. I got my first horse Cocoa a chestnut gelding when I was about nine-years-old. We'd moved from Brooklyn to Whitehouse Station NJ and onto a 12 acre "hobby" farm. My next horse was Carrie. She was a bay mare and owned me heart and soul. On my 40th birthday oh so long ago, Pete aske me what I wanted to do. "Go horseback riding," was my immediate response. Last year we visited Assateague Island and got to see one of my favorite book locations from being a kid. I still remember being glued to the TV when Big Red stretched his legs. Does anyone else remember Secretariat flowing over the ground and winning the Belmont by 31 lengths? Well today's guest uses the race as a back drop for her story. So pour yourself a Mint Julip and pop on a big hat while you get a peek into Liz Crowe's latest release.
Win Place Show
from the author- Heat rating: 3.75 out of 5
Win Place Show: All bets are on!
Start with a perfect spring weekend full of pretty dresses, high heels, fancy hats, horse races, and bourbon.
Combine with a friends-from-childhood couple whose ongoing misunderstandings have led Lucy Granger to swear she’ll never move back home.
Mix in a splash of combined family pressure for Lucy and Nate Hawthorne to be The Golden Couple.
Pour over crushed ice and garnish with plenty of hot, secret hookups.
Win. Place. Show.
A funny sort of romance chock full of dressing up, mint juleps, an axe-throwing bar, and a huge winning bet at the big race.
A look between the covers...
Lucy dropped the phone to her side, wishing she could sleep another three hours to skip the whole still-a-tad-drunk part of the hangover. She had, indeed, made some poor choices the night before. Beginning with thinking she could slide back into easy, sexy time with Nate. She’d already more or less decided against it before he’d gotten there. But, of course, he’d shown up looking so flipping edible in a pair of dark jeans and a form-fitting purple polo with the Trifecta logo stitched where the little polo guy usually sat. Damn the man. He had no right to go around being so...hot.
He’d always been vain about his hair, something he’d discovered was a featured benefit about the same time he decided she no longer deserved his friendship. It was a wavy strawberry blond, cut just short enough so he didn’t have to use any products while it was full and tempting to female fingers. His eyes were so green, people accused him of wearing contacts to make them that way. Someone had obviously told him the trick about green eyes, that wearing purple made them even more striking.
“Some woman, I’m sure,” she said, lying flat on her back a few more seconds before hauling herself up and limping toward the shower.
Maintaining her anger at Nate was easy. She’d been ready to outright reject him. But when he’d shown up looking like some kind of a male model, turning every damn female head in the place, she’d stumbled. He was such a good dancer, not to mention a top notch kisser. So she’d gone with it, fueled by too much booze, ready to leap back into bed with him as if no time had passed since they last hooked up.
Thankfully, he’d given her an out by going all talkative. That was the last thing she wanted from him. So she’d walked away. And subsequently had a lot more to drink, hence her current condition, ergo she planned to lay blame for her pounding head and queasy stomach at his feet, too.
So there, Mr. Perfect.
The shower transformed her from being a woman with a hangover into a clean woman with a hangover and many regrets. She glared at her bloodshot eyes in the foggy mirror, hating herself for being here, in her stupid bathroom where she’d spent so many hours as a little girl and later a teenager, second guessing herself and her relationship with Nate.
She slapped on some rudimentary makeup, dried and styled her hair enough to pass her mother’s scrutiny, then stood in front of the dresses hanging in her closet. A line of matching shoes were on the floor beneath them. Several hatboxes stacked on the shelves to one side. The floral-patterned one made her headache worse, so she chose a light blue option, with a halter neckline, tight-fitting bodice and skirt. It was a beautiful choice, as they all were. One thing she could never accuse her mother of was shopping poorly.
She slid her feet into a pair of cream-colored high heels, then pondered the hats with a sigh. When they were little, she and Mimi loved this weekend more than any other. The opportunity to put on a pretty new dress, hat, and shoes had been the highlight of their year. The hours spent at the track over the course of Derby weekends were some of her best memoires.
Get your copy today...
Universal buy link: https://books2read.com/winplaceshowromance
About the author...
Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in South Carolina. She's spent her time as a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager, and is currently a digital marketing and fundraising consultant, in addition to being an award-winning author. With stories set in breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices, and even in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are compelling and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Follow along with Liz online:
FACEBOOK CHAT ROOM: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Lizcrowefans
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M
GOODREADS PAGE: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4350864.Liz_Crowe
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Sometime authors create something called a mood board. It helps with inspiration and gives us visual cues. Liz shared hers with us.
Okay, so I'm in front of my electric fireplace. Come on, it counts. A special edition of Around The Fire with your host, D.V. Stone
One of the big discussions going on in the author world is oh wait there's two. Let me work my original thought first. Reviews. Easy there, don't be afraid. I can't tell you how many people tell me, "I loved you book." Now, don't get me wrong. I'm thankful that they do. It bolsters me to continue even when things are hard. But, do you know how much more I'd be lifted up? Yep. A review. What do reviews do for readers an authors? Well, they help sift the reader through, I don't know, a gazillion books. The information helps other bookworms to find stories that will matter to them. And for authors? Did you know if a book has only a few reviews, even if they are all five star, the selling agency won't show them to potential readers? It kind of like they tell everyone what to read instead of letting intelligent people choose for themselves.
So, how do I write a book review? It's not that hard really, especially with technology. First of all, a review doesn't have to be long. Actually you can just click a star on most sites but if you want to help other readers and writers out, here are some pointers.
A couple of sentences describing what the book is about and why you liked it is perfect.
Here’s an example of a quick review I did on Goodreads for Edge of Collapse. I gave it 4 stars
A fast-paced, chilling read. The main characters are both damaged but survivors. You root for them. There’s even a damaged yet courageous dog. The world-building is excellent, and you feel the cold seeping into you while you read. The antagonist is horrendous, and I only wish the end was tighter. I’m already reading the second book.
See how I answered most of these questions in seven sentences?
Greetings and salutations from my writing cave. I barely poke my head out with so much on my plate. One of these days I'll talk about formatting your own novel. I have little dots before my eyes. My DH and I have managed to squeeze in a couple of firepit burns but next week I'll be camping with the grands! Huzzah! There's nothing better than sitting around a fire, sipping on a beverage, and catching up. Today we'll be catching up with one of my fellow Wild Rose Press authors. Beth Henderson writes romantic suspense, a bit of paranormal and seasons her work with humor.
So, Beth, while I pour us some refreshments, please let our other guests know Who you are other than your bio?
Well, this could be answered in more than a couple of ways because I go by many names and write in more than one genre. While the Henderson name covers romance, I’m J.B. Dane for urban fantasy PI mystery comedy, and Nied Darnell for Weird West Steampunk adventure, 1920s Dieselpunk adventure comedy and Victorian Gaslamp Fantasy mystery comedy. Under my real name, Beth Daniels, I’m a genre fiction writing online workshop presenter for SavvyAuthors.com and several RWA online chapters, too.
I hail from Ohio, spent 22 years living between southern California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Tucson, Arizona as I followed first one husband then another from one job to another. Returned to Ohio when I shed husband #2, was a 24/7 caregiver to my parents and moved to Kentucky after their passing. I have a BA in American History and an MA in English Composition and Rhetoric and did time teaching Comp at the college level.
Had stepsons but no children otherwise so no one calls me for babysitting, thank goodness. I have no hobbies unless you count creating graphics for my social media posts and covers for the things I release as an Indie publisher. Otherwise, I’m a voracious reader of both fiction and history and plan to be an even more voracious reader when I finally put my pen aside and retire from being a novelist in the future.
I currently belong to two writers’ groups where we get together once a month to critique. Love Marvel movies and The Minions. Currently I live in a small town in a neighborhood of small houses, but all my friends, be they local or in Louisville (nearly an hour’s drive away) are writers these days.
Otherwise, I’m really rather boring.
Wow, I had no idea you did so much under so many pennames. I love Marvel and Minions too. Guardians of the Galaxy are my favorite. The sound track to both GOTG movies is fantastic. Speaking of music, if you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Lennon and McCartney’s “Paperback Writer”, of course!
LOL! Worst household chore
Any household chore qualifies but the one that gets done infrequently is the floors. One of my friends hasn’t written in weeks because she’s been doing a thorough Spring cleaning. Honestly, I’ve never ever done that! Totally lacking a domestic gene.
I can relate. I despise housework. If you could time travel, where would you go and when? Why?
The post-Civil War US and Britain would be my time period and countries of choice, but I’d have to get back in the time machine to head back to my own time period to eat. They ate some really weird stuff back then and refrigeration was next to non-existent. But that’s the time period I’ve settled into for my stories, and it would be nice to do jaunts to visit for research on the spot rather than read about it.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met and talked with?
Well, I married a disc jockey first time out the marriage gate and then dated a few others. Through them I met Ann Margret in Vegas and Dolly Parton in Tucson. But at writer’s conferences I’ve shared elevators with Sandra Brown, a taxi with Janet Dailey, met Nora Roberts, none of whom would remember me, and have been holiday card exchanging friends with Mary Jo Putney for decades.
I've only met one famous person and didn't even know who he was. I'd love to meet Dolly. What was your first job?
Considering my mother told me I broke her heart my senior year in high school when I announced I was sick of school and didn’t want to go on to college (I waited until I was in my late 30s and early 40s to get my two degrees), the only thing I knew how to do after graduation was type. My first job was incredibly boring. I worked for the Dayton Daily News in the classified ad department where every day, other than answer phones for people who were out of the office, I had to count how many ads were under each category. It really made me more interested in training for something much better, though that training was as a key-punch operator (data entry clerk is what it’s called today) and that wasn’t much better excitement-wise.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Absolutely! I only quote the good parts in social media postings though. Readers often don’t agree on things. One reader gave a book 1* with the very short “Boring” as the review. The same book has gotten 5*s, one claiming, “One of the gentlest, most tender romances I've ever read." It’s all a matter of a reader’s taste.
What was your hardest scene to write?
It’s always the love scene because my characters are giving me the stink eye for watching them and jotting down notes.
You are so funny. Before you head out, could you leave a bit about your latest book. I'm sure reader would like to know where to find out more about you and your work.
Jace Hastings, rising music star, is presumed dead in a vehicle collision, courtesy of a stalker with deadly designs. Ten years later, P.I. Gaelen Wyndom can’t believe someone wants her to find him.
Pelham Flannery rejoined the world from ICU, fully aware someone had tried to kill him. To live, he went under the radar, distanced himself from music, and disguised everything that would give away his identity as Jace. After a decade, is it safe to come out of hiding?
Gaelen, delighted to be trained as a professional investigator by her new husband, continued in her new career after he was killed. Assigned to locate Jace Hastings, she isn’t told who wants to find him, but she puzzles it out. If she’s right, it’s the man who tried to kill him before. Which means she needs to find Jace Hastings and save him.
Beth Henderson has been a published novelist in romance since 1990 when her first romantic suspense/romantic comedy novel was published. Since then, she's had a long list of titles released through various publishing houses, and also under a variety of names. In 2021 she launched a 4-volume paranormal lite cozy mystery romantic comedy series, the Whichur-Wolfe Detection novels, all of which swept up 5* reviews. Her latest release is GHOST NOTES, a romantic suspense released by The Wild Rose Press. She also writes Old West historical romantic mysteries.
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Your Host D.V. Stone
Award winning multi-genre author and blogger. Fantasy, romance, mid-grade. Nothing better than a campfire, book, and glass of wine. Okay maybe there is.📚
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