Hello all you lovely people! It's Wednesday and a big day for me. Jazz House releases today and I'd love for you to pop in on my Facebook party at www.facebook.com/events/362139512766952 It should be a hoot. I've made some videos. There will be games and giveaways. But I'm not the only one with a new release. Today's guest just released her book on August 24th. I can't wait for you to meet her.
Let's give a big ole howdy and hey to Cherie. And while you all get acquainted I'm going to pour some beverages. Cheryl tell them who you are outside of the usual bio.Like most people, I wear many hats. I’m a mother, a senior network technician, a gardener (mostly flowers), a believer in magic, and I might just be a little telepathic. I enjoy nature so I love being outside. One of my favorite places to go is the botanical gardens. I have to start my day with a good cup of coffee and end it curled up in bed with a book.
We recently visited Maines botanical garden and got up close and personal with a few trolls. Do you have any other interests besides writing you enjoy?
I love to discover new books and to help spread the words about the books I’ve read or want to read on my blog (cheriecolyer.blogspot.com) and my bookstagram account (@bookish_cheire). I hope you’ll stop by, and be sure to leave a comment so I know you visited.
Lots of people help me to do what I do. Who is your network or support system?
I have two very dear friends who are also writers. We’ve been in critique groups together for many years now and I can’t imagine life without them.
Many of my inspirations come from places, or authors like Lewis and Tolkien. Who or what books or authors inspire you?
This list is so very long, so I’ll name just a few. My favorite book as a kid was Escape to Witch Mountain. I was fascinated with the idea of kids having magical powers. I was a fan of the Hardy Boys and when my boys were younger discovered Barbara Parks’ book Skinny Bones. Some of my favorite YA authors are Maggie Steifvater, Melissa Marr, and Kiera Cass. Fast forward to being an adult, I devoured James Patterson’s Alex Cross series and Jeanienne Frost The Night Huntress series. All of these authors and more gave (give) me inspiration.
I adore Cat and Bones in Jeanienne's series. Cat has quite a few tricks up her sleeve, do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
Does writing count? Based on some of my friends expressions when I say I write books, it should.
Recently I looked at some author statistics to see how many writers finish through to publication. Even though it seems overwhelming on places like Amazon and Bookbub, the percentages are actually less than I thought. So yes. You get to claim that. What is your neighborhood like?
I live in a suburb west of Chicago. It’s peaceful here. Far enough from the cement jungle that is the city that I can see the stars and breath fresh air, but close enough that I can visit Chicago whenever I want.
Do you have a particular object like a piece of jewelry or a keepsake of some sort? Can you tell us what makes it special to you?
My BFF from high school and I each had a half of one of those necklaces that make a whole when put together. Life caused us to drift apart, but I still have my half of the necklace. She got me, and I will always have a special place in my heart for her.
Maybe you'll reconnect someday. I did that with a friend I hadn't seen in 20 years. What is your favorite mug or teacup?
My Gryffindor mug. I hand wash it each day so that it’s clean for the next morning. No waiting for the dishwasher to be turned on for that mug.
Favorite childhood book?
I mentioned this early, but I loved Escape to Witch Mountain. If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s about two siblings with supernatural powers. They end up trapped in a facility by bad men who want to use them for their powers. And as the title suggest, the must escape and find their true home. The book was made into a movie back in the nineteen seventies and then remade in 2009. The original was so much better.
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?
Bubbly by Colbie Caillat. That song always makes me smile.
I have a magic pantry. If you could eat anything in the world right now, what would it be?
Loaded French fries.
Worst household chore?
Cleaning toilets, or maybe folding laundry.
Next to that magic pantry is my time machine. Where would you go and when? Why?
To a masquerade ball in the late 1800s. I think it would be fun to be dressed up, wear a mask, and dance the night away.
Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
Unlimited international first-class tickets!
Cherie, thanks for sharing my fire today. Will you leave us a little about your new release and where we can find out more about it and you?
Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss
A One Scoop or Two Book
A kiss to remember... If only she could.
Roman Briggs built a life for himself in Siren’s Cove. He restored the Sugar Cones Ice Cream Parlor and turned it into a popular stop along the boardwalk. He has everything he needs until a certain blue-eyed woman wanders back into his life.
Seer and witch Peyton Woods isn’t sure why her latest visions feature a man and boy she’s never met. Determined to find out, she casts a spell that leads her to a small beach town in Maine and, to her utter surprise, the man who broke her heart eight years earlier.
Peyton's left with one question. Why didn't her magic show her him?
Grab a copy from any of these retailers
Need a bit more to decide?
“We’re meeting up with Henry and some friends,” Roman said. “We always watch the fireworks together during the summer festival. You’re welcome to join us.”
Since I was there to see Henry and Travis, I couldn’t say no.
I expected to stop at a picnic table, but Roman strolled past them on his way to the docks.
“We’re going on a boat?” I asked. On land, if the metaphorical shield protecting my heart from breaking cracked, I could leave. But on a boat, I’d be trapped.
“Just a mile out. We can see the fireworks better. Come on.” He jerked his head to the side. When I still hesitated, he added, “I don’t bite.”
I remembered him nibbling all the right places when we dated. The memories sent an elated shiver through me. Sex with Roman had always been amazing. At least, I thought it was. Roman obviously enjoyed love-making with Travis’s mom more. The thought added a new layer of protection around my heart. I reminded myself that I was over him. His endless brown eyes and smoky voice no longer had any sway over me. Now, if I could just convince the fireflies in my stomach to settle down, I’d be okay.
I could do this. I could be held captive on a boat with Roman and not let old emotions ruin the evening. Maybe we were destined to be friends all along.
That thought had me agreeing to go with them to watch the fireworks.
Roman led the way to the pier and a battered blue- and-white fishing boat. I stumbled. The boat looked as if it had made hundreds of exhausting voyages and was ready to sink.
“She isn’t pretty,” Roman said as he lifted Travis onboard. “But she’s safe.”
“Sturdiest fishing boats on these waters,” Henry said from the back of the boat. He sat on a folding chair next to an older Black couple.
“It’s the only fishing boat docked in this harbor,” a white-haired man said, clapping Henry on the back as he walked by.
“Don’t listen to Mattie.” Roman climbed in and then held his hand out to help me.
I glanced over my shoulder, finally second-guessing this whole trip. What had I been thinking, racing off to follow a vision and then sticking around even after I found out Roman was here? I should have fled Siren’s Cove the moment Karly said his name.
But then Henry coughed as if choking, and Travis patted his back, just like I’d seen in a vision.
Jinx jumped on my legs. She wasn’t worried about boarding the vessel. I scooped her up and whispered, “Don’t get attached to these people. Hanging with them is a onetime thing.”
Jinx licked my face. I seriously wondered if I should trust the instincts of such a young familiar. Maybe magical companions grew into their sixth sense instead of being born with it. Past the boat, a spark shimmered above the water. Was the spell that led me here telling me this was the right course to take? Or was the glow of the evening sun reflecting off a buoy? I hoped to soon find out.
More about the author.
Award winning author of fiction with a paranormal twist.
Professional network technician by day, novelist by night, Cherie lives a quiet life in the Chicago suburbs with her charming husband. She has four amazing sons who she loves dearly. Cherie magically weaves together stories with a paranormal twist. She’s the author of the Embrace series, Challenging Destiny, Damned When I Didn’t, and Friends to the End. She waltzed into the adult novel world with Merry Little Wishing Spritz. She’s delighted to be back with Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss.
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Happy Blog Day from camp at Cape Cod. Hubby and I are on the back end of our glamping trip. Our first stop was near Freeport Maine. We visited the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath where I did a bit of research for an up coming book. Took a boat ride and then ate at a tourist trap. Let's just say the food was overpriced and the taste underwhelming. We did better when we visited with a long time friend and pastor who is also an author and visited the Sea Dog restaurant. I'll be doing more research here in Cape Cod. Did you know the pirate ship the Wydah is located right off the coast. Well come on back and I'll fill you in another time because I can't wait for you to meet today's guest.
Hey, Kim! I'm so glad you could join me at camp today. While I grab some refreshments why don't you introduce yourself?
I’m a lifelong planner—whether it was work related, getting my chores done as a child to maximize my allowance, or what we’re having for dinner. After a long and very demanding career in Health Care Information Technology, I retired almost seven years ago. I was a little worried about what I would be doing, but I discovered I had a lot of pent up demand to keep learning and doing—only now it’s things I want to do. My husband says I’m the poster child for how to be retired. I treasure my family and friends and try to always support them. I’m the busy person, who if you need something done, you would ask.
You sound like my DH. My son always tells Pete he is terrible at retirement. What interests do you have besides writing?
I’ve always done needlework of some kind: knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, needlepoint, and chicken scratch embroidery. Now I have a spinning wheel and spin all kinds of fiber into yarn to make things for the people I love. The most interesting and expensive fiber I’ve spun is musk ox. It’s extremely light and purported to be nine times warmer than wool. I spun two thousand yards and learned how to do cable stitches to make a birthday sweater for one of my sisters. Then I received a loom from my sister-in-law as a birthday gift and taught myself to weave. To date, I’ve woven over seventy scarves out of yarn that I spun. They’ve all gone to friends and family. Pictures of my retirement projects now fill four albums, not including my writing. I learned how to make jewelry with 24 carat gold thread and how to do embroidery on lace bobbinet fabric ordered from England. I’ve knit over one hundred pairs of socks for friends and family. I am the chief building maker for my husband’s extensive HO model railroad layout that takes up a large part of our basement. I read extensively from classics to sci-fi to romances to all the Lemony Snickett books. Since becoming a Rose, I’ve greatly expanded the number of authors I enjoy. My husband and I have a standing date each afternoon for a cocktail and a crossword puzzle. We do the same puzzle and while it’s kind of a competition, we swap answers at if needed. I love to learn and keep my brain active. I’m a person who looks up the words I don’t know in the dictionary and uses Internet searches and our old set of World Book encyclopedias extensively to expand my knowledge.
Wowzah! That's a lot of textile moving through your hands. I can crochet a bit but don't have the patience for much more, though I do have friends who quilt, embroider, and weave. Sounds like your DH is an amazing support.
My first encourager and writing consultant is my husband of forty-seven years, Jim. We married young and have grown up together. He reads my stories and provides terrific insights and ideas that add interesting points to my work.
I’m the oldest of ten kids with more than eighty nieces, nephews, greats, great-greats, and most recently a great-great-great nephew. While I have no children of my own, I have lots of role models for the children in my stories. My siblings and their families and my in-law extended family have all been very supportive. I have related experts for medical, legal, finance questions. Although I have to confess I did alarm one of my sisters when I called to ask about a head trauma without explaining it was for a story. I am blessed with a number of friends across the country who have encouraged and supported my writing adventures. Some have been early readers of various stories. My friend, Millie, especially, has patiently read multiple drafts of my stories and made spot on recommendations to improve them. It’s wonderful to have a resource who loves you enough to give you an honest critique. Several years ago, author Cynthia Ruchti helped me learn about deeper point of view and helped me hone my writing skills. She grew up in the same small Wisconsin town that I did. Attending writers’ conferences, like the Southern Christian Writers Conference based here in Alabama and networking with people there has also helped me improve my craft. I am the person who types the story and sends it off, but fortunately, I have lots of help along the way.
That's an amazing array. What a big family, too. Are there any books or authors who inspire you?
There are so many. I love the way Francine Rivers can take a story from the Bible, move it to the old west and write a marvelous novel. Nora Roberts is the queen of family stories spread over multiple books. Elizabeth Goddard has inspired suspense stories nailed. Cynthia Ruchti writes books of hope and inspiration. I love Edgar Rice Burroughs, John D. Macdonald, Isaac Asimov, Agatha Christie, Edna Ferber, Willa Cather, John Irving, John Steinbeck…the list goes on. I read sweet to steamy romances. I love a happy-ever-after ending and villains you don’t expect.
I adore Francine Rivers. The Mark of the Lion Series, Leota's Garden and Redeeming Love are my favorites. I also read sweet to steamy. Do you have any funny or outrageous talent?
Does curling your tongue count? My husband can’t do it so he’s amazed I can.
I'll give you a yes for that. What's your neighborhood like? Are there any places you frequent?
Sadly, some of my favorite places did not survive the pandemic. Our frequenting places took a bit of a dive in the past couple of years. We live on the end of a very short street—only six houses—and we’re on the cul-de-sac at the end without any visible neighbors. My back deck is screened in and looks out to trees all around. One of my sisters says from back there it looks like I live in a state forest. It’s quiet and peaceful. In the summer, one of my jobs is keeping the hummingbird feeder filled. I don’t garden or mess with flowers much—that would just be feeding the deer.
So many small businesses took a hit and haven't recovered. My heart goes out to them. Your home sounds lovely. What's the most amazing natural occurrence you've seen?
Being at the Alabama Gulf Coast, early in the morning and watching a thunderstorm over the gulf. Then this rainbow appeared.
A "kodak moment"?
Taking the Tube to Westminster station the first time we visited London, England and coming up from underground to be at the base of Big Ben. It was a chill bumps moment. (Kim sent a picture and it's at the end of the blog today.)
For the rest of your life there's one song that plays whenever you walk into the room. What are we going to hear.
Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries—it helps me have the confidence to believe I can do anything. And do it well.
Most writers grow up with books. What are your fondest memories?
I loved the Nancy Drew stories. I read all of them by the time I was eleven and then bought the whole series as an adult and have been reading them again. Nancy was sassy, in a respectful way. She was independent and smart.
Is there a subject that should be taught in school that's not?
The art of dinner conversation. Beginning with no electronic devices at the table. I’ve noticed a lot of home schooled children seem more comfortable conversing with adults at dinner, or elsewhere, than children with less exposure to adults and others who are not tethered to their electronic devices.
What was your first job?
I worked in my father’s veterinary clinic cleaning out the kennels. Yuck. Eventually, I graduated to clipping poodles, doing billing in the office, and stocking shelves. I remember going on my first job interview while I was in college. The HR person said you listed your dad as a job reference as working for your dad, that’s not much of reference. I told him he didn’t know my dad! I got the job.
Naming characters is a chore for some and a fun game for others. How do you find your names?
Sometimes a name just pops on to the page. I don’t know from where. Some are names that remind me of people I admire—or don’t! I have written entire novels, multiple drafts, and decided to change the character’s name because it is too wimpy for the hero or too nice sounding for a villain.
Kim, thanks for being my guest around the fire. I showed your cover to my hubby who loves Bassett Hounds. Before you head off to weave, sew, or spin another tale, could you tell us more about your book and you?
Kim Janine Ligon
CJ Reynolds couldn’t wait to escape his hometown. He’s loving his bachelor life as a software developer in California. So much so that he hasn’t been back in years to see the grandmother who raised him.
Mikal Benson believes her small town is perfect for raising her son, Will, alone. When Mikal finds her neighbor, Polly Rogers, sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood, barely clinging to life, she calls Polly’s grandson—CJ Reynolds—and insists he must come home. Now!
From her coma, Polly whispers three words that change everything. Did she fall or was she pushed? CJ, Mikal, and Will form an unlikely team coming together to discover the truth as danger engulfs them and love transforms them into a family.
PUBLISHER: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
RELEASE DATE: 08/17/2022
Get your copy today.
BARNES & NOBLE
More about the author
Hi, everyone. I hope your summer is going well. Hubby and I will be traveling quite a bit in the next coming months. It's our favorite time of year. First campfire will be in Freeport Maine and then Cape Cod. I'll be doing some research for a new type of book for me. It's a historical action/adventure romance taking place off the New England coast after WWII. Then we're of to several other locations including my niece's wedding in the Pocono's. But back to today's fire, please welcome my guest, Linda O'Conner who has some adventures of her own.
Linda, welcome to the fire. Why don't you introduce yourself while I grab some refreshments.
Donna, I’m so happy to be visiting you around the campfire. I love being outdoors. This summer I’ve had more time off, and I bought an Oru Kayak. It’s a surprisingly sturdy origami kayak that weighs twenty pounds and folds up into the size of a suitcase, so it fits in the back of my car. It literally takes about three minutes to put together.
I've always wanted to give Kayaking a go. Do you get to use it often?
I’m lucky enough to live close to the shore of Lake Ontario, with easy access to the water and trails, and I’ve been able to get out on the water pretty much every morning. My perfect day would include kayaking first thing in the morning on a lake that looks like a mirror followed by an hour-long hike in the nearby conservation area, and a bicycle ride and a fast game of pickleball after lunch. If I can end the day with another paddle, even better!
Wow! That's a schedule that will make you fit as a fiddle. I love outside and you seem to spend a great portion enjoying it.
I’m definitely happiest when I’m outside and active, and I’ve recently met a friend with the same mindset, so spending time together has been a lot of fun. The only downside to spending all my time outdoors is fitting in time to write. It’s been a little harder to be disciplined about writing since I bought my kayak, but I take advantage of rainy days for that. Winter will be here soon enough, and I’ll get back to my routine of writing every morning.
Season's in nature and seasons in life. You find what works for you. Tell us. What else do you like to do?
I have to say I seem to have a talent for collecting and upcycling items that I find at the curb that people have put out to get rid of. Two years ago, I found a really cute dresser that I use for storage in my study. I painted it pale blue and changed the knobs and it looks fantastic. Recently, I found a Fisher Price baby seat with a tray of interactive doodads, and another day I picked up a high chair. Obviously safety is always a concern, but cleaned up, they’re going to be great for my new grandchild!
My DH, Pete, is an upcycle kinda guy. He's always working on projects. Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
I’ve been very fortunate to have travelled widely in my life, but if I had to choose between unlimited international first-class tickets or never having to pay for food at restaurants, I would choose the tickets. There are still a few places I’d like to visit – like Hawaii and Ireland, and closer to home, Newfoundland and Labrador. My bucket list includes seeing the Aurora Borealis so more travel is definitely in my future.
I'm hoping on one of our northern camping trips to see the aurora. Speaking of such a wonderful thing, what’s the most amazing natural occurrence you’ve witnessed?
One of the most spectacular places I’ve visited has to be Pompeii. I didn’t witness the natural disaster that occurred, but Pompeii was preserved when Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered the city in ash. The architecture that has been preserved is magnificent, and the technology that they used for water and waste management and cooling their homes was awe-inspiring. They even embedded reflective stones on their roads and walkways to light them up at night! Very cool!
I've read a bit about Pompeii, tragic but fascinating. Pliny wrote an eyewitness account. You are a doctor now, but what was your first job?
Not surprising, I worked outdoors – at a strawberry patch picking strawberries. I actually got quite fast at it! I also worked at a greenhouse cutting carnations for a couple of summers. The weirdest job I had was at a botanical garden washing rocks. Yup. The horticulturist I worked for specialized in hydroponics and reused the rocks, so they had to be washed to prevent any disease or contaminants from affecting the new plants. Professional rock washer – that’s me!
LOL! See there's a job for everyone. Let's chat about writing. How do you select the names of your characters?
This is actually one of the hardest things, I find. I can’t start writing until I have the names nailed down. I have a particularly hard time with male names because I don’t want to know anyone with the name, and I have three sons who also have a wide circle of friends – so that rules out a ton of names. I have an idea of the character’s personality and job by the time I’m thinking of a name so it has to fit. I also don’t want to use the same name twice, and I’ve written sixteen novels, two novellas, and a handful of short stories, so it becomes a bit tricky. Sometimes I’ll read obituaries to get a sense of older names – or younger names of grandchildren – or look at names in the news to get ideas. I have a friend who loves coming up with names, so I’ll text her for ideas, too!
It can be hard. I've used the social security website. The have list of names according to years. Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
I read to escape, so I prefer to read humorous stories, and they often become inspiration for humor in my own writing. I really enjoy the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt. The stories are humorous and clever. I’ve also enjoyed books by Graeme Simsion, Marne Davis Kellogg, Ruth Reichl, Nora Roberts, Jeffrey Archer, and Suzanne Brockman.
Linda, thanks for taking some time out of you busy life to hang around the fire with us. Before you paddle away, will you leave us information about your latest books and where we can find them? I understand you have two in this series.
I’m celebrating the release of the first two books of a new series, Laugh-out-Loud Hockey Caper Romance. The first book is Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues. It’s about a doctor who finds a tin box hidden between the studs during renovations of her home. She thought the items were random hockey mementos but realizes they’re clues and enlists the help of the captain of the local pro hockey team to help sort out where they lead. I’ve always thought it would be cool to find a hidden treasure during renovations and that sparked the idea for the story! I also love escape rooms with the challenge of clues to decipher and puzzles to solve. I thought I’d weave that type of white-collar crime mystery into a romance. Add in a smart, sassy doctor and a swoon-worthy professional hockey player, and the stage is set for a fun, clever hockey caper. This is the first book in the series and all of the (stand-alone) stories will have an element of white-collar crime – like a cozy mystery without a murder!
Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues
Laugh-out-Loud Hockey Caper Romance, Book 1
Hockey Romance/Medical Romance
When she was younger, Dr. Abigail Clark dreamed of playing professional hockey, but the world wasn’t ready for a female player. That stung. She skated as far away from hockey as possible – until she lands a job in the emergency department of a hockey-crazy town and buys the house of the late beloved Zamboni driver. A tin box is discovered during the renovation of her new home, and Abigail brushes it off as a time capsule left by the previous owner – that is until someone tries to steal it. Turns out, the odd collection is more than just sentimental hockey memorabilia.
Abigail inadvertently embroils Del Braebury, captain of the local pro hockey team, into helping her sort it out. Her history with hockey players is rocky at best, but he comes in handy when she needs to access parts of the rink that are off limits. Del is happy to be tangled up in the clues of the hidden hockey loot. In the process of solving the mystery, he hopes to win Abigail’s heart!
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More about the Author
Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, romances – with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.Website: https://www.lindaoconnor.net
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA
Newsletter Sign up : https://www.lindaoconnor.net/contact/
Interracial Contemporary Romance
Heat Level 3 Flames
Release Day August 12, 2022
Her biggest dream’s offered on a platter, but the clincher is, she has to marry a perfect stranger.
When her employer offers the no-nonsense Shannon Nadjiwon the position of chauffeuring Séamus Daugherty, she jumps at the chance. To work for one of Toronto’s most powerful families means she can make her biggest dream of owning a fleet of limos come true, something her female relations tooling away at her Ojibway community want badly for her, and she won’t let them down.
His reckless need for speed cost Séamus Daugherty his license. If he doesn’t marry, as demanded by his overbearing father, he will not only lose his lucrative job with the family business —the only positive aspect in Séamus’ gilded cage life—but everything Daugherty.
The unpretentious and gorgeous Shannon will make the perfect bride, and Séamus is ready to strike a deal with her. One that will ensure he keeps everything he holds dear if she puts a wedding ring on her finger. However, they face three big obstacles: His family, her family, and a marriage neither truly wants, leaving both wondering if the sizzling sexual chemistry and cozy rapport they share is enough to grasp a happily ever after.
A Look Inside
Instead of making the walk to the side door that led to the garage, Séamus used the main entry and stepped outside to sunshine and a blue sky that wasn’t the least bit compatible with the thunderstorm sitting over his head. Not a hint of a breeze was present.
Parked in the circular, cobblestone driveway was the Audi, a car only used for out-of-town business acquaintances for its rear seat comfort package.
The stunning woman standing by the passenger door swept away the gray cloud looming over Séamus’ head. Well, well, well, this was very unlike Father. Shouldn’t a stern codger of old-school manners be present instead?
His new driver’s sleek body possessed the same smooth lines of the metallic-blue town car. Dressed in black from head to toe with a chauffeur’s hat and matching leather gloves, she exuded a perfect posture stiffer than the surfboard Séamus caught waves on in Maui.
He slyly snuck a long look at the swell of her breasts pressing on the fabric of the jacket. Full lips painted the shade of poppy never moved into a smile but remained straight and plush. Red undertones lit her bronzed skin, and hair the color of the midnight-blue sky was plaited in a thick braid.
It was too bad sunglasses tinted with the shade of a moonless night hid her eyes.
She opened the back door and used her gloved hand to motion. “Good morning, Mr. Daugherty. I’m your driver,” she said in a tone smoother than a glass of single malt whisky.
“Yes, I more than assumed so.” Clutching his briefcase, and one hand in his pants pocket, Séamus swaggered to the car.
“Yes, your driver.” Her luscious voice, capable of melting all over his skin, was as formal as her attire.
“Do you have a name?” He extended his hand. “Séamus Daugherty.”
Her black eyebrows, shaped in a perfect arc, rose slightly above her black specs. She was probably surprised he’d asked her name. Most likely when she chauffeured clients, they didn’t inquire about her personal life. Since they were going to spend six months together, for sure they would get to know each other.
“Shannon Nadjiwon at your service, Mr. Daugherty.” She again extended her gloved hand to the car.
He grasped her long fingers hidden beneath the leather material and clutched them in a firm but gentle grip. “Nadjiwon. That’s a pretty surname.”
“It’s Ojibway, sir.” She tilted her oval-shaped face slightly, as if bowing to him.
“Sir?” He almost clucked his tongue, although the appendage in his mouth desired to be somewhere else. Such as, what did her tongue feel like? Oh, it was a wicked thought since he’d only just met her, but damn, she was a fine specimen of the female persuasion.
“Let’s cut with the formality. You can call me Séamus, and I will refer to you as Shannon. How’s that?”
“Whatever you wish.” She gestured at his briefcase. “May I?”
“I don’t allow the house servants to wait on me like a king, and I don’t expect my driver to cater to my every need. I’ll put my briefcase in the car. Okay?” He reached inside the black leather interior. Already, the business console was down, so he set the briefcase on top.
“There.” He sank into the comfortable seat. “I’m all set.”
She shut the door.
Her confident stride while rounding the Audi was the same posture she’d presented from earlier—shoulders back, chin lifted, arms moving stiffly at her sides like a true marching soldier. Not a wiggle came from her slim hips or va-va-voom slender thighs.
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About The Author
An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.
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I don't know where you're from by here in Northern New Jersey the Hazy, Hot, and Humid is in full force. We don't have central air but are blessed with two window units. One on each side of the house makes it comfortable. Though not cool, it pulls the humidity out. So, we're going to have pretend fire here. I'm so glad you joined us. My guest today is the fabulous Marilyn Baron!
Hi, Marilyn. While I perform my hostess duties, tell us, did you ever win something?
Yes, when I was 14, I won a contest called “My Burning Yearning,” about what famous person I’d like to meet. And it was Jackie Gleason. They picked me, my parents and my best friend up in a limo and took us to watch The Jackie Gleason Show on Miami Beach and I got to meet Jackie Gleason. While he was standing next to my mother in the photograph his cigarette was burning my mother’s dress, but she didn’t care, she was so excited to meet the performer.
To the moon, Alice! What was your first job?
My first job was in high school selling popcorn and candy at the concession at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida. On my breaks I watched movies and practically memorized them. One I’ll never forget is “How Sweet It is,” with Jackie Gleason. That was the year The Graduate was first released. My most unusual job was as Information Specialist at the Florida Department of Offender Rehabilitation, basically public relations for the Florida prison system. I also wrote a book based on that experience called The Alibi.
Inspiration comes from life. What’s the most amazing natural occurrence you’ve witnessed?
We used to own a condo on the beach at Palm Coast, Florida, and I got to see the wild baby sea turtles leave their nest during sea turtle nesting season and race into the ocean.
I love sea turtles. How do you select the names of your characters?
I have to have the names of my characters and the title of the book before I can start to write. I will just be going along, living life and suddenly I’ll hear a name and say, “That’s going to be one of my characters.” I’ve selected names listening to someone in line to buy a wedding present at Bloomingdales and names of children visiting the Atlanta Aquarium. Sometimes I’ll look up popular boy or girl names in Germany or Italy or whatever country I’m setting my book. I tend to use (or overuse) M names. My favorite name is Alexandra. I named my dog Cinnamon Alexandra, but I also named one of my characters Alexandra.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, I do. I really appreciate reviews. If I get a bad one, I (try to) ignore it.
The Case of the Missing Botticelli
A Massimo Domingo Mystery – Book 1
In this cozy mystery, American art history major Hadley Evans joins an art detective agency in Florence, Italy, working for Massimo Domingo, once a major player, now the ‘Inspector Clouseau’ of the art world. Determined to save the flailing agency and prove her worth, Hadley and her sexy Carabinieri boyfriend, Luca Ferrari, take on a mysterious client behind her boss’s back. Hot on the trail of a missing masterpiece, they discover a hidden cache of stolen Nazi art in a Venetian villa and encounter an enemy with a link to an evil past.
Get your copy of The Case of the Missing Botticelli
BARNES & NOBLE
What other's are saying.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2022 Verified Purchase
Transported to Italy
The Case of the Missing Botticelli by Marilyn Baron is an escape to Florence, Italy. When I pick up a Marilyn Baron book, I know I will be transported to a beautiful place and this book delivers! The story was surrounded with lavish Italian flavor which swept me away and kept me turning pages.
Our heroine Hadley is a feisty, adventurous art-historian intern. Seriously, she needs a raise because she does the work while her employer lives off his reputation (probably built on a multitude of interns). He is an odious character that I loved to hate. Kudos to Baron for creating such a relatable work environment which makes the reader wish for Hadley to succeed. While I must warn the reader of a possible cheating trigger with good characters and bad, as well as negative and positive consequences, I understood Hadley's choices.
Is Luca the love interest swoon-worthy? He is the Italian police officer who sweeps Hadley off her feet and becomes her sidekick. They reminded me a little of John Steed and Emma Peel in the old Avengers cozy mysteries. Luca is accommodating and supportive of Hadley's schemes to a fault. (Those who read the blow-up will know exactly what I'm referring to--but no spoilers here!) He bucks the old cliché of the emotionally distant detective by allowing Hadley's expertise to take the lead on the case.
Overall, I recommend The Case of the Missing Botticelli by Marilyn Baron to anyone who wishes to escape to the art museums of Florence, Italy.
More about the author and where to find her.
Marilyn decided to become a writer when she read Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her first short story was The Gold Lace Dress. She wrote her first book, East West Island, in grade school. It featured all of the children in her third-grade class and her teacher read it to the students in installments during class every day. She wrote and directed her first play at age 13, starring her brother and sisters and some of the neighborhood kids. The show raised money for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum.
Marilyn is a public relations consultant in Atlanta, a PAN member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) and winner of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award. She is also a member of Atlanta Writers Club. Marilyn was past chair of the Roswell Reads steering committee and serves on the Atlanta Authors committee. She writes in a variety of genres from humorous women’s fiction, historical romantic thrillers, romantic suspense and paranormal/fantasy. She loves to travel and often sets books in places she’s visited.
She was born in Miami, Florida, and graduated from The University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism (Public Relations) and a Minor in English (Creative Writing). Go Gators! She lives in Roswell, Georgia, with her husband, and she spends a lot of time hovering over her two wonderful daughters.
Listen to my author interview on Author Provocateur podcast HERE.
Personal Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.baron.5?ref=bookmarks
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Marilyn-Baron-286807714666748/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Baron/e/B008PJFQPC%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Instagram: Marilyn Baron (@marilyn.baron.5)
Pinterest: (1230) Pinterest
Today's blog almost didn't happen. But thankfully, Linda stepped in at the last minute to help me out. Please give her a warm welcome.
Linda, thanks again for jumping in. I love the picture of the horse. He's gorgeous! While I grab some refreshments will you tell our other guest who you are other than your bio?
Well now, I’m a mother (both my boys are men with children of their own. One lives in England, and I’m visiting him next month. In Yorkshire, the weather will have started to be crisp. I have a cat, used to show horses (Andalusians) and bred them professionally. My stallion Bonito was twice National Champion. I’ve seen a lot of this country driving a pickup towing a horse trailer. I love to dress up and throw formal dinner parties. My current pet is a devilish black and white (tuxedo) cat named KitKat. That’s me in a nutshell. Oh, speaking of nuts, I feed a squirrel and his/her friends. If I don’t get them out soon enough, Bitsy (a runt squirrel) comes to my French doors and taps on the glass. Does anyone know how to tell a male from a female squirrel?
What interests besides writing do you enjoy?
I like to read paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy. The last book I read wasn’t any of these genres but straight romance published by my publisher. I was very good. I like to drive and am a member of a car club. Though I don’t ride anymore, I still love my horses. Music is a favorite. I enjoy the symphony, and other types, including country but I like the old style.
I love a road trip too. Who is your network or support system?
I just joined Georgia Romance Writers and am already becoming active with them. I usually trade work with the excellent Beth Trissel and also with my friend author Toni V. Sweeney (sci-fi, horror and romance.
Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
I love Oscar Wilde, but I write nothing like him. Anne Rice started me on this path. I’m very devoted top the old gothic writers like Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and I have to mention Daphne du Maurier, and Katherine Kurtz, the first mystery, the second fantasy. I’m devoted to George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series and can’t wait until the prequel the end of this month.
I cut my teeth on Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt. And who didn't fall a little in love with Lestat. Do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
Unfortunately, no. When I was showing, I could do a dressage test without the horse, practicing. You should have seen me canter!
What is your neighborhood like?
My neighborhood is an older neighborhood. My house was built in 1947, but has been redone. The neighborhood is like that. The older homes are being beautifully renovated. There are no stores or businesses to frequent in my neighborhood.
If they made a movie about your life, what would the title be, and who would play you?
The World was Her Oyster (subtitled) But She Used The Wrong Fork. (Thanks Oscar Wilde), Glenn Close, her first starring role in a comedy of errors.
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?
God Save the Queen. (kidding, I think) I’d like Pachelbel’s Canon. Nah. I like being the Queen better.
LOL I'd go with the queen too. If you could eat anything in the world right now, what would it be?
A watermelon shake from the Cookout.
Worst household chore?
Yep, it always returns. If you could time travel, where would you go and when?
To meet Edward VIII Why? I’d like to meet firsthand a man who’d give up a throne for a woman.
Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
The unlimited international first-class tickets! I’d love to be able to see the world. Because the Andalusian horses originate in Spain, I’ve always wanted to visit. I’d love to go to Australia and New Zealand. It would be really super to visit my son first class.
Did you ever win something?
I did! I won $2,100 on the Queen of Hearts game, then later I won $110 in a drawing. The first one was a real surprise. I almost fainted.
What subjects should be taught in school but aren’t?
I disagree with dropping cursive writing from the curriculum. How are people going to sign their names? If they don’t know it, they can’t read it, and not everyone prints. I think it is, in a way, a lost art.
I agree. Though I do like the comedian who said, "We'll be able to pass secret notes in the nursing home." How do you select the names of your characters?
They suggest their names.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I read all my book reviews, even those I’d rather wish away. I’d like to say that I learn a lot from such reviews, but when I get a really bad review, I go into I’ll never write again mode, and usually there a few gallons of tears. I call my support team and tell them about this troll.
What was your hardest scene to write?
In Sinners’ Opera, Isabeau (the heroine) had to leave Morgan (the hero). I’d come to love these characters, and I had to write this emotionally draining and grief scene from both characters’ POVs. I cried with Isabeau, and my heart broke for Morgan. My husband at the time just didn’t understand why I was crying.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I subscribed to BookBrush, a program service that allows you to create your own book videos, covers, instant mockups, and advertising. It’s also fun. I subscribed in May, and I’ve made a trailer for every one of my Kindle Vella stories, ad memes, and I tried a book cover, but I haven’t learned that yet.
I so appreciate you graciously giving me your time today. Will you leave some information about where we can find out more about you and your books?
The Texas Cowboy
Return to Folly Book One
When Ash Colter was twelve, his mother divorced his cattle baron father and whisked him away to raise in her native England. Sixteen years later, when his father dies, he inherits Marathon Ranch. Running a 1,000-acre spread famous for the best Black Angus cattle in the great state of Texas is the biggest challenge he’s ever faced…until he meets a pert, pretty, and sassy ranch hand who seems to have her own agenda for his ranch. Unfortunately, she makes his spurs go jingle-jangle-jingle like no one else ever has!
Trish Owens is a real cowgirl, a loner, and, though she’d never admit it, a little lonely. When the “English Cowboy” appears on the scene, her entire way of life is threatened, not only her job, but her beloved Quarter horses. She’s sure he plans to import his thoroughbreds from England. Worse of all is the chemistry sizzling between them. He makes feelings she thought long dead awaken.
Can these two unwilling allies set aside their differences to put Marathon Ranch in the Winner’s Circle…and to fall in love?
Get your copy today.
More about the author
Linda Nightingale is an award-winning author, writing across the genres in romance from vampires to androids to angels. Among others, she won the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award for Excellence (the Maggie) and the SARA Merritt award. Her vampire books have been called the Anne Rice of paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she bred, trained, and showed the magnificent Andalusian horse and owned a national champion stallion, Bonito. You can find Linda on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Her web site is: http://www.LindaNightingale.com
There you can browse her book offerings, read a free story, and sign up for her quarterly newsletter.
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One of my favorite pastimes is creating graphics and videos in Canva. I also enjoy helping others with their graphics. Today I made the one you see above.
Being an author isn't only writing books. Yes, that's part of it but, a writer is also an editor, marketer, social media maven, promoter. I probably spend more time doing these things than actual writing.
This past weekend I spent most of it editing. I have two projects that needed to be done. The first was accomplished and returned to my editor this morning. Sophia's Magic Beans is a novella which The Wild Rose Press will be releasing next spring. If you enjoyed Rainbow Sprinkles www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Sprinkles-One-Scoop-Book-ebook/dp/B088FCBLNG I think you'll really like this book. It take place in Lake Unami the same fictitious town.
The other project is Kisa, Shield-Mates of Dar. I hope to finish it this week and send the manuscript off to the editor. She'd been on my plate for a long time and I'm excited to be so close to finishing the second Shield-Mate book.
While Kisa is with the editor, I've been working on a collaborative series with several other authors. This series will span time, genres, and my first attempt at Historical Romance. I can't wait to tell you all about it.
So, I'm putting out the fire for today so I can get back on track. See you soon.
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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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