Happy Saturday. I'm sitting around the campfire by myself this morning in contemplation. Today is my birthday and i'm thinking about a lot of things. Where did the past year go? What changes have occurred? Where I want to go and be. The campfire is good for that. Staring into the flame. Tossing on some "magic fire". Here take a peek.
So, the past year. Exactly one year ago I was in the hospital in acute respiratory failure. My beloved and I had just returned from upstate NY where we'd visited the Lucille Ball museum. We'd had a wonderful time but the morning of our return, I woke up and snarled at poor Pete for making noise. Everything went down hill from there. I'm not going to go into detail, but the five days in the hospital were not fun. The things that made my days pass? Writing and Editing. My final day in the hospital I had the staff rolling their eyes. They said I could go home if I was able to keep my oxygen stats in the 90s. In my a private room, because the sickness Para-Influenza, was contagious. I set myself up with the lights dimmed, jazz playing from Pandora and a standing desk. By the end of the day I was outta there.
But I wasn't the only one having a bad time. My granddaughter at the same time was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and in a different hospital. She was only six years old. Don't worry. She's doing very well. What did we both looked forward to? Camping.
That weekend following our discharge we took our 5th Wheel up to Honesdale KOA, one of our regular places to drop the landing gear, and we had a quiet, but great time. You see, even with the trouble, when you have family and friends somehow it's easier.
We continued to take trips. Our next adventure was with friends at the Pocono KOA with friends, then onto Maryland. We had several more weekends in Pennsylvania with grands, then spent a long weekend in Cape May NJ. While my DH attended the Fireman's Convention, Hali and I rented a golf cart and drove around the campground. We squeezed in a final trip to Vermont with friends then poor 2HOOTs, my fiver, had to be tucked away for the winter.
Ahh, winter. It was a long one. Just as we were looking forward to our first weekend at Otter Lake in Pa, you know what happened. Dum da dum dum dum-Covid-19. Everyone's life changed. By March 18th I was furloughed and isolated. Remember the hospital stay? Well my lungs still hadn't recovered completely. I go every six months or so for a follow up CT scan, so house arrest it was. Ugh. I have to say though, I am blessed. Pete continued to work. I live in a lovely place. And I had my dog. Things got a little hairy, literally. I can't remember when my hair has been so long. My friend Ginny dropped off a face mask and it has OWLS on it.
April Rock House Grill released and I cried when I opened the box and saw my first copies. We were supposed to celebrate at Camp Taylor with my sister. Nope. No celebration. Then, the book signing with a group of NJ authors had to be cancelled as well as an 'Author Talk' at my public library.
I continued to keep busy. A Peek Through the Window blog, joined Welcome to the Campfire. I wrote, I edited. Reviewing books became a part of my days. Rainbow Sprinkles became a reality and is part of a series that has a little bit for everyone. I'm hoping when it releases in July you all can take it to the beach safely.
So, another year has passed. I got the call to return to work this week. I'll tell you I was a bit nervous. I had a nightmare that night. But it's okay. It's different. I have different hours and work between two different offices.
Circumstances change us. We learn and adapt.
In the early 1980's I worked in the prison system during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Medicine changed, our lives changed, many of us lost someone. But we survived, and life resumed. A new normal. We'll laugh again. Cry again. Eat out in restaurants again. And dang it, get our hair cut again. Which brought this song to mind www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_IYAvaa8cU
We'll never be the same. But we'll be okay.
And here we are. May 30th. My birthday. I won't tell you what year, but here's are hints.
This girl and I were both born
Alaska and Hawaii became states
Walt Disney released Sleeping Beauty but the Top Grossing Movie was Ben Hur
The 30th was celebrated as Memorial Day
Rod Serling's Twilight Zone
Michael and Mary were the most popular names
The Best Selling Books were
1. Exodus by Leon Uris
2. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
3. Hawaii by James Michener
4. Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
5. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
6. The Ugly American by William J. Lederer and Eugene L. Burdick
7. Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell
8. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
9. Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico
10. Poor No More by Robert Ruark
Until next time...
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
3 John 1:2
Good morning, campers. At my fire there are no mosquitoes, no-see-ums, or COVID cooties. We can snuggle up and even hold hands. The fire is always just right and you are so welcome here. So, grab a cuppa and maybe some snacks. Here we go...
Take a deep breath. Let it out. Release the troubles of life for a few minutes. Can you hear the bullfrog in the camp pond. Some ducks are paddling past. Breath. At my campfire there's no smoke-eye. Stare into the fire for a minute. Hear the crackle. Yeah? Then you're ready to meet our guest.
Today I’m welcoming Amy Craig to the Around the Campfire. What’s your preference, coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
I prefer dark coffee with half and half for cold morning embers. Come sunset, Manhattan (not an Old Fashioned!) is my favorite indulgence.
Well, my daughter-in-law gave me some French Roast so coffee it is. Tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp?
My husband and I were active campers and backpackers before the kids arrived. While dating, we hiked the Sierra Nevada mountains with our black lab. On the first night, my legs and body ached, but I perked up when he pulled a bottle of champagne from his backpack. Finally? After so many years of dating! Nope, not a proposal. Just a sweet surprise (he proposed later that year).
Aww, what a nice guy. And one day maybe I'll haul my camper to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Can you share with us your latest project? What’s the title and genre?
I’m working on the edits for two novels, A Winter Rose and Lost in LA. Both contemporary romance novels have strong heroines, but Winter Rose focuses on a flower farm and a hero with a prosthesis. Lost in LA has a coming of age yoga instructor and a fake romance. I think Lost in LA will make it to market first, December 1, 2020, but A Winter Rose should follow in 2021.
Do you have a tagline? A personal one~ Make time for edits!~ For the books? Not yet!
One of the most common questions I'm asked is How long did it take you from conception to publication?
Writing first drafts took about four months, but as I learn more about my craft, I realize the bulk of my editing time will go toward fixing rookie mistakes.
You have many things going on. But is there anything you're ’re itching to get to?
I have an outline for a new book, but I won’t let myself touch it right now. It’s fermenting while I work through these edits! I may not write it in the long run. Part of the plot involves adultery and forgiveness. Is it worth all the effort when so many readers will say that’s a no go? I have another book finished, but I need to re-work the first act and highlight the romantic tension I envision for the characters.
Hmm, maybe a no-go in romance but Woman's Fiction, Literary Fiction, why not? There are so many other genres. It could even be inspirational. Who are the folks you look to. Are there any mentors, authors, or books,you would like to give a shout-out to? A few indie authors who started around the same time I did and are making their way through the writing words: Lucy Hudson and Anya Pavelle. Lucy writes romance novellas and Anya writes dystopian fiction.
Amy, what does literary success look like to you? People enjoying my stories!
Now the fun questions.
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Mila risked her career to claim the executive director position at Marina Ranch. The upscale retirement community attracts the best of Biloxi, but nothing prepared her for a local firefighter's protective instincts or the way her stomach drops when he walks into the room.
A Corporate Courtship:
Mayor Gloria Holding and British executive Alexander Hayworth are struggling to keep their relationship professional while they work to revitalize a facility in Stoneblock, NJ. She knows everything about her constituents and he likes to keep his distance.
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Happy Saturday. I hope you're all doing well and staying safe. A little bit of housekeeping before we get to today's exciting guest. I'm so glad that some of the states are opening up for camping. Most of us have common sense and understand how to take precautions. I think camping is one of the safest ways to keep our distance. Since we are a self contained unit, we don't have to use the camps facilities so this week enjoyed a stay in the gorgeous state of Kentucky. This was a trip planned a year ago for our 26th anniversary. So I want to give a shout out to my dearly beloved, Peter. You are my love and my friend. My greatest supporter and cheerleader. Here's to 26 more.
Okay, this is the part where we set the mood. Grab a cuppa something. Sit back. Put your feet up. Take a deep breath. Smell that? It's a mix of fresh cut grass and wild onions. There's some wood from the campfire mixed in. Take another breath and listen to the birds. I think I hear a mourning dove. I the distance there are some quiet voices of families spending time at their sites. Oh, someone yelled, Yahtzee. Board games are big at camp. There you go. Let the worries go for a while. It's just us, a fire, and the outdoors. Oh, here comes Helen...
Hi, Helen. Thank you for joining us at the campfire. What’s your preference, coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine? It's always 5 o'clock at camp.
Tea daily, wine occasionally, cocoa sometimes.
Here you go. A cup of tea to get us started. Tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp.
I camped as a child in a military-issue pup tent with my parents up in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Not the most spacious or comfortable camping, and cattle roamed freely, so my mother worried we’d be stepped on in the dark. I remember the crisp air and the scent of wood smoke. In college I camped with my fiancé in a spacious tent we set up in a county park by a lake. Much nicer, and we had a camp stove, but we didn’t cook anything fancy, just pork’n’beans and hot dogs. Nowadays, I’d have to Glamp because I like my comforts.
Glamping is the best way for me. The weathers been a little rocky this week. Record cold and some wind and rain. the 5th Wheel keeps us toasty and dry. Helen, tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
Fantasy romance Lord of Druemarwin, sequel to my debut novel The Prince of Val-Feyridge, both inspired by my fascination with fairy tales and Lord of the Rings.
I know I liked you. LOTR is one of my favorites and inspired my fantasy, too. Can you give a a one sentence idea about you book?
In a world of lies and betrayal, can they trust each other?
How long did it take you from conception to publication?
I think I started it back in 2013 and contracted it to The Wild Rose Press in early 2019, so 6 years.
I have a myriad of projects at various stages of development, how about you? Anything you’re itching to get to?
I just finished my first self-published book, a children’s fantasy, Frederick Fly-Catcher, and put it up online. I have two fantasy romance novellas in progress and a half-dozen unpublished romantic suspense works I may or may not resurrect at some point.
Busy lady. Writing is often a solitary life but we know we need others. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, you would like to give a shout-out to?
First credit has to go to the authors I read throughout K-16+ years in pursuit of my master’s degree in English. They taught me to love story-telling and allowed me to absorb story structure intuitively: Shakespeare, Tolkien, Hemingway, LeGuin, Twain, etc. Once I started reading for pleasure, I discovered the romantic suspense genre—Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Elizabeth Hoyt, Jayne Ann Krentz, etc.—and the fantasy genre—Rick Riordan, JK Rowling, Artemis Fowl, The Dresden Files, etc. They taught me about characterization and pacing and dialogue, and so much more. And when I decided to write for publication, I found my ‘tribe’ in my local area Romance Writers Association. They are my support group, and we help each other navigate the often uneven road of publication.
A truly amazing list of authors. I've found my own tribe in NJRWA and other Wild Rose Authors. Can you share what literary success look like to you?
Growing up, I thought writing books was something done only by people who lived in far-off places because I’d certainly never personally met an author. When I started writing in earnest, I thought I’d never crack that sought-after publishing contract with a legitimate publisher. And then one day I did. And now I have 4 books with my name on them for sale alongside books by all those far-off, famous authors and my mentors. That looks pretty darn sweet to me.
It sure does! Do you have any Life Hacks or tips for Authors.
Own your personal process; accept it, nurture it, trust it. Don’t reinvent yourself to fit someone else’s advice if your gut says uh-uh.
Now the fun questions.
LORD OF DRUEMARWIN - PAGES FROM THE HEART Winner in Fantasy Romance, #2 Crown of Tolem series
Lady Raell can fight, ride, and argue politics as well as her brothers. Only being mistress of her father's household keeps her in skirts. In Naed, the new Lord of Druemarwin, she has found devotion, a kindred spirit, and a marriage promise. But when a forgotten and unwanted betrothal comes to light, she has no choice but to run.
Amidst sweeping revolution, Naed must rally his people, fend off assassination attempts, and fight against claims he's a traitor. Then he discovers everything about his lineage and family is a lie. And his beloved belongs to another.
With lives and a kingdom at stake, Raell and Naed must find a way to protect the innocent and save their love.
The Wild Rose Press
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One of my favorite things to do is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame and sparks drifting up into the night sky joining the stars. So, wherever you’re from, whatever troubles today brings, Relax for a few and sit with us around the fire. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Also, if you would like to keep up with Around the Campfire and information, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. Okay, without further delay…
Today please help me greet our guest, Alana Lorens. Alana has been a published writer for more than forty years. She practiced 30 years as a family law attorney, which has informed many of her books, including those from the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series and she's also a Wild Rose Press author. And as any good host should, may I offer you a beverage?
A nice Irish Coffee would suit quite well, thank you.
So funny you should request that. My son and his wife gave me an Irish Coffee kit for Christmas this year, here you go. Tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp.
I have been a camper for years! First camped in the Florida Keys with my ex in the back of his pickup truck in the early 1980s. Then we got several tents and took the kids camping in the Keys for many years, and after we moved to PA, to Cooks Forest. With my next husband we got an RV and then I took several cross country trips with a daughter and a friend. Loved it. Certainly much more comfortable in an RV.
I'm so happy to have another "happy" camper with us. I never realize so many had bad experiences when they were young that turned them off to the experience. And of course the mode of choice makes all the difference. Tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
Tender Misdemeanors—it’s a romantic suspense novel
Can you tell us about it in one sentence or two?
They can’t help falling in love—but should the cost be murder?
Love, mystery and crime. How long did it take you from conception to publication?
This story took about five years, but that’s because I went through a divorce in the middle of it and got myself very off-track. Actual writing time was approximately eight months.
I have a myriad of projects at various stages of development, how about you? Anything you’re itching to get to?
Haha! Always. I try to keep a document in the files where I stick snippets of this and that, hoping I remember to get back to them if I ever finish what I’m working on in priority status.
My current projects are a contemporary high-school reunion romance, and a science-fiction romance with two humans and a gender shifting alien.
So many stories, so little time😉 Are there any mentors, authors, or books, other than yours, you would like to give a shout-out to?
I have a superior critique group back in Erie, PA, a subdivision of Pennwriters called Fellowship of the Quill. The writers are dedicated and diverse, and each person knows a little something about something special. For example, I was the lawyer in the group, so anyone who was writing about legal matters could ask me whether their piece rang true. When I moved south a few years ago, that was one of the things I missed most—but they’re meeting on Zoom now because of social distancing, so I can actually participate again! One good development from Covid-19.
It's important for writers to have a community. And now the internet offers so many options. Tell us, what does literary success look like to you?
I’d like to say I want a best-seller. I mean, what author doesn’t? But I’d be satisfied if people read the books and like them. That’s why I write them. Believe me, it would be an easier gamble to just buy lotto tickets if what I was looking for was a pile of money.
Life Hacks for Authors. Do you have any tips, tricks or anything you specialize in that you would share with others.
We all know the famous saying, Write What You Know. As a family law attorney who practiced for 30 years in Florida and Pennsylvania, I have to say that it certainly gave me a lot in insight into people’s emotions and motivations. I saw some really good people go through some really bad situations, especially when domestic violence was involved. I learned that sometimes, there is no happy ending. Many times, what defines a happy ending depends on the people involved. It’s like your question above on literary success. I have writer friends who have created wonderful manuscripts but if they can’t get an agent and traditional publishing, they just shelve it. I’d rather proceed with small press (or others do with self-publishing) and at least get my books out there for people to enjoy.
Now the fun questions pick 5 or if you like more but no more than 7.
If they made a movie about your life, what would the title be and who would play you?
What the $&$%^#& Were You Thinking?
And probably Kathy Bates
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?
Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. It always gives me a pick me up!!
Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
Oh this one is easy—I live in Asheville, NC, which is foodie HEAVEN. So many good restaurants, but a little pricey for the tourists, you know what I mean? It’s sad right now, seeing so many of the small, family-owned places struggle—I wish I could save them all!
Did you ever win something? What?
I did—about five years ago I was playing bingo at Archie’s Seabreeze right on the beach in Fort Pierce, Florida and I won just over a thousand dollars on a game. We were headed to Universal Studios the next day, so needless to say the kids got their Wizarding Wardrobes!
What was your first job?
Waitressing at a Big Boy restaurant. All my friends used to come out and hang on the weekends and sabotage my stations by switching the salt and peppers, and pouring ketchup is the cream…oh geez. But it was fun to work with a couple of other friends—someone to sympathize with!
What subjects should be taught in school, but aren’t?
EVERYONE should have to take classes in adulting—cooking, sewing, fixing appliances, easy car fixes, money management, critical thinking, and especially learning that it’s okay to be alone. This would save so many bad impulsive relationship problems.
If someone came up to you and said, “Hey, do that thing you do!”, what thing would pop into your head first?
Definitely dropping a sarcastic line on someone!
Alana, thanks for being part of the Campfire. Please leave us some information about you and your book. Also, where we can find out more about you.
Thanks so much for having me!!
Caryn Orlane has law enforcement in her blood; her father was a cop, and his father, too. She's a federal agent in northwest Montana, protecting the old forests and keeping the peace.
Levi Bradshaw also believes in protecting the forests, but has a very different MO. He's the leader of a group of eco-warriors, determined to save the trees of the Bitterroot by legal—and illegal—means.
When they meet in the woods at gunpoint, their encounter ignites a spark of interest, despite operating on opposite sides of the law. When their worlds turn on them, they only grow closer. If they don’t work together, can either survive?
Author Bio: Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. She practiced 30 years as a family law attorney, which has informed many of her books, including those from the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky Blue Ridge mountains. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, two crotchety old cats, and five kittens of various ages.
You can find out more about today's guest below
Barnes & Noble:
Website : https://Alana-lorens.com
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Sometimes we all need to escape for a while. It's why I love to read. It's why I love to camp. These days taking off for the campgrounds are not in the cards but we can enjoy this virtual time around the fire. Today's guest has been with us before but she's got a brand new book out. But before we get to the interview how about setting the mood.
Are you wearing comfy clothes? I have my favorite hoodie on. It smells like the campfire. Do you hear the snap and pop of the flames? Spring peepers are out filling the air with their singing and chirping. Poke the fire. Let's add another log and may be some magic. Take a deep breath and push the worries of the week into the background. It's been tough, but you're tougher. We're all country around the fire. No, I don't care you're city. This is my fire and you are temporarily anointed country. Grab a cuppa something comforting. Deep breath again. Good I see you relaxing.
Now, let's all say "Hey" to Karen. I'm pleased to have her back and I know you will be too. What can I offer you to drink?
Today, I feel like a cup of steaming coffee.
We always have the pot on at camp. Today's brew is Sumatra Mandheling. Remind us, have you ever camped, or Glamped? I know your characters spent some time sleeping on the ground.
Once, when I was thirteen, my parents and I camped in a pup tent along the Mississippi. I hated it – never saw so many HUGE bugs and spiders in my life. I love the outdoors, but only until the sun goes down. Then I want a hot shower, clean sheets, and a soft bed.
Ugh, spiders. I hate them. I have a can of Spider/Scorpion spray in my house and in my camper. Tell us about your new project. What’s the title and genre?
WILD ROSE PASS was just released this month by Wild Rose Press. It’s a Historical Romance set in 1880s Texas.
Do you have a tagline?
I do. Cadence McShane, free-spirited nonconformist, yearns to escape the rigid code, clothes, and sidesaddles of 1880s military society in Fort Davis, Texas. She finds the daring new lieutenant exhilarating, but as the daughter of the commanding officer, she is expected to keep with family tradition and marry West Point graduate James West.
How long did it take you from conception to publication?
Three and a half years. This “baby” has taken a long time to birth.
I've read Wild Rose Pass. I can imagine the time spent in research alone must have been daunting. Can you elaborate a bit on research?
Writing Wild Rose Pass was a stretch for me. Not only is this frontier romance devoid of ghosts / the paranormal, it’s set a hundred and forty years in the past. Every reference had to be made from the perspective of that era: language, dress, food, roles, and social structure. Slang had to be researched for authenticity. (Words I wanted to use, for instance, sometimes were not coined until the Twentieth Century.) Ladies’ fashions and the officers’ uniforms of that time period had to be researched. (Following the Civil War, the Army had a surplus of uniforms, but only in extra-large or extra small sizes. As a result, soldiers often improvised, and uniforms did not live up to their name.) Food availability on the frontier differed from food availability on the East coast. (Canned foods were available, I learned, but fresh vegetables and fruit were in short supply.)
Women of military families often married career officers. Fraternization among the enlisted men and the officers’ families was frowned upon if not penalized. I researched dusty quartermaster reports in the library at Fort Davis, Texas, and books dating from the mid-1800s about manners and correct comportment. I’ll tell ya’, writing Wild Rose Pass was not only a stretch, it was an education😊
That's amazing. I probably would not have done well back then. What's next for you? I'm sure you have something planned.
Yes, I have one manuscript with my editor at Wild Rose Press that I’m waiting to hear back on—KYOTO: TALE OF THE FOX, and I’m currently in the early stages of writing the sequel to WILD ROSE PASS, with the time-frame mostly in the 1880s-1920s.
How exciting! I can't wait. Karen, tell us, what does literary success look like to you?
Literary success, to me, is a solid income, a please-Lord, prosper-my-hands, pay-the-bills income.
Life Hacks for Authors. Can you share any Tips, tricks or anything you specialize in that you would share with others.
I call it playing dolls. I like to bounce off ideas (usually with girlfriends, but not always) the way we used to play dolls. First, they go here. Then, they do that. You remember!
What a fabulous idea. I bet that can get the creative juices going.
Fun questions time.
If they made a movie about your life, what would the title be and who would play you?
LOL – the title would be “And She Tried,” and Sandra Bullock would play me.
Do you have a special object like a piece of jewelry or keepsake of some sort? Can you tell us what makes it special to you?
Yes, my husband bought me a Journey Necklace to celebrate when I earned my PhD at age 59. From Kindergarten to earning my post-graduate degree had been a long journey.
What is your favorite mug or teacup if neither T-shirt with graphic or Meme
I live and sleep in t-shirts, but my current favorite is one, picturing wild horses.
Years ago, there was a commercial that talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a moment in time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is yours?
The night I met my husband is my favorite moment. It was in a packed college bar, and he was sitting alone at a huge table, while my friends I sat cramped at a table the size of an LP record. I suggested we switch tables, but instead he joined our group, and one thing led to another.
Favorite childhood book? Or writing that inspired you to become an author.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales – I loved the imagery those stories evoked.
Karen, thanks so much for hanging with me around the fire. Please leave us some information about your book and where we can find it and more about you too. And visitors make sure you scroll down, Karen has left us a recipe.
Wild Rose Pass by Karen Hulene Bartell
Cadence McShane, free-spirited nonconformist, yearns to escape the rigid code, clothes, and sidesaddles of 1880s military society in Fort Davis, Texas. She finds the daring new lieutenant exhilarating, but as the daughter of the commanding officer, she is expected to keep with family tradition and marry West Point graduate James West.
Orphaned, Comanche-raised, and always the outsider looking in, Ben Williams yearns to belong. Cadence embodies everything he craves, but as a battlefield-commissioned officer with the Buffalo Soldiers instead of a West Point graduate, he is neither accepted into military society nor considered marriageable.
Can two people of different worlds, drawn together by conflicting needs, flout society and forge a life together on the frontier?
Reining his horse between catclaw and prickly-pear cactus, Ben Williams squinted at the late summer sun’s low angle. Though still midafternoon, shadows lengthened in the mountains. He clicked his tongue, urging his mare up the incline. “Show a little enthusiasm, Althea. If we’re not in Fort Davis by sunset, we’ll be bedding down with scorpions and rattlesnakes.”
As his detachment’s horses clambered up Wild Rose Pass, the only gap through west Texas’ rugged Davis Mountains, Ben kept alert for loose rocks or hidden roots, anything that might trip his mount. A thick layer of fallen leaves created a pastiche of color shrouding the trail from view. He glanced up at the lithe cottonwood trees lining the route, their limbs dancing in the breeze. More amber and persimmon leaves loosened, fell, and settled near the Indian pictographs on their tree trunks. When he saw the red- and yellow-ochre drawings, he smiled, recalling the canyon’s name—Painted Comanche Camp.
“How far to Fort Davis, lieutenant?” called McCurry, one of his recruits.
“Three hours.” If we keep a steady pace.
Without warning, the soldier’s horse whinnied. Spooking, it reared on its hind legs, threw its rider, and galloped off.
As he sat up, the man groaned, caught his breath, and stared into the eyes of a coiled rattler, poised to strike. “What the…?”
Flicking its tongue, hissing, tail rattling, the pit viper was inches from the man’s face.
A sheen of sweat appeared above the man’s lip. “Lieutenant—”
Barnes & Noble NOOK Book
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About the Author:
Author of the Trans-Pecos, Sacred Emblem, Sacred Journey, and Sacred Messenger series, Karen is a best-selling author, motivational keynote speaker, wife, and all-around pilgrim of life. She writes multicultural, offbeat love stories that lift the spirit. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved annually, Bartell found her earliest playmates as fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became her portable pals. Ghost stories kept her up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was her passion. Westerns spurred her to write (pun intended). Wanderlust inherent, Karen enjoyed traveling, although loathed changing schools. Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, she began writing her first novel at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating her own happy endings. Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, Karen resides in the Hill Country with her husband Peter and her “mews”—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.
Connect with Karen:
Amazon Author Page
Ingredients 3/4 cup cornmeal 3/4 cup white flour 1/2 cup mesquite meal 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste 2 large eggs, beaten 1-1/2 cups milk 3 tablespoons honey (or agave syrup) 6 tablespoons melted butter or corn oil In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, mesquite meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, honey, and butter or oil. Fold the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir for one minute. Note—the batter will be lumpy.
Pour the batter evenly into a cast-iron skillet and cover. Place the pan directly on top of the hot coals. Place more hot coals on top its flat lid. Bake twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until just barely cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove from heat and remove cover.
To bake in an oven: Preheat to 425 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a greased, eight-inch baking pan. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before serving. Serves eight to twelve.
D.V. Stone rated it 5-stars. It was amazing
Copy of book provided by request via Netgalley
From the opening line to the end, the author paints a vivid picture of the old west. I appreciate the time and effort that must have gone into the research for this book. And while historical, Wild Rose Pass brings the characters alive.
Read the full review here www.goodreads.com/user/show/66610371-d-v-stone
Welcome to the Campfire. One of my favorite things to do is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame, and sparks drifting up into the night sky to join the stars. In these days of isolation, distancing, and worry, give yourself a break. Whether you’re city or country. Whether you camp or are an indoor kinda person. Join me and my guest around our virtual campfire.
Take a minute. Deep breath in, hold, release. Now do it again, but this time imagine the smell of wood from the campfire. Hear the crackle and watch the sparks float up. Can you smell that? Someone is cooking and it's your favorite thing. Maybe barbecue ribs or aromatic onions and garlic. Marshmallows and chocolate. The people a the next camper are listening respectfully to some classic rock. Kids on bikes ride past laughing. Are you there yet? Good.
Please help me welcome DARCY CARSON to the Campfire. Darcy is a fellow Wild Rose Press author and I'm excited to have her. She writes about one of my favorite kind of fantasy creature, dragons. May I offer you a beverage?
My go-to drink is water, then diet soda.
I have water in the water cooler. Tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp. If so, tent, trailer, RV?
As a kid, we always camped in a tent.
All over Washington state. that’s what people did for vacations when i was a kid.
I know quite a few people for there. It's a beautiful state. Did you like it?
Heck no! rattlesnakes, sand in my food, and almost being blown off a cliff sort of ruined the idea of camping being fun. The being blown off a cliff was probably the worst two hours of my life. The rangers kept the park open and watched the car’s head lights weave along the mountain side. They expected to recover the bodies the next morning. I shudder just thinking about that trip.
Oh boy, not fun. We're glad you survived. Tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
I’m working on the third book in the dragons’ return series, entitled She wakes the night that I’ll be submitting to my publisher in the next week or so. it’s a paranormal romance, and there is a big, bad black dragon.
I love dragons and follow your Facebook Dragon information. Do you have a tagline?
Not really. but let’s see if i can come up with one right here and now…Once a tree, now a healer, Trell Langois has no intention of staying in one place.
Good job! I like it. Taglines blurbs and synopsis' are some of the hardest things to write. How long did it take you from conception to publication?
That depends on the story. mine run between 80-90k and take six months to a year to write.
Darcy, I have a myriad of projects at various stages of development, how about you? Anything you’re itching to get to?
We’re writers. ideas are always popping into our heads. I'm also writing historical romance fiction. I have one out about Ireland in the 1660s. I’m working on a regency and two anthologies.
Wow, busy lady. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, other than yours, you would like to give a shout-out to?
Probably the people who deserve a shout-out is my critique group and critique partner. They’ve stood by me and put up with the bad writing for years. so to: Lisa Wanttaja, Melanie Macdonald, Marcella Burnard, Lynn Price, Deeanna Galbraith, Melinda Rucker Haynes and Pam Binder.
Hooray for critique partners and group. What does literary success look like to you?
Being able to have my books published.
Life Hacks for Authors.
My favorite tip is never give up. Persistence pays off. And don’t be afraid to cut during the editing process.
Now the fun questions pick 5 or if you like more but no more than 7.
Warrior woman, Becca d’Firn, has a problem. People in her village are dying from a mysterious plague. She needs a wizard to save them. Cress, a wizard, has a quandary of his own—he needs to free his sister from a thousand year old spell. Becca doesn’t trust men, but what choice does she have? She knows nothing about the art of healing or dragons the size of fireflies.
Darcy is an award winning author, who was a born reader. Having a mother who worked in a library helped. She didn’t know that there were fines attached to books she kept reading over and over for decades. She won The Emerald City Keeper award for romantic comedy. She penned five novellas with Amazon’s Kindle Worlds the first one winning Rivers of Ink first place. She has been nominated for numerous RWA chapter writing contests, winning and placing in several. She went on to self-publish a paranormal romance, MAGIC IN THE AIR, set in Seattle about the magic police. She is currently writing for The Wild Rose Press. Her first book, HE WALKS IN DREAMS, is a fantasy romance and the first in the Dragons Return series. WOMAN IN THE WOODS is the second book in the series. Dragons come naturally to Darcy as she had a childhood friend named Pepper-Piper, who was a dragon. She also writes historical romance.
Prior to publishing, Darcy worked for a major airline manufacturer as an executive secretary. But don’t ask to identity an airplane. They all look the same to her. Darcy’s hobbies include jewelry making. Stringing beads is very relaxing, zen-like. No thought required. She loves reading, traveling, shopping and going to the casino to give her money away. She lives in Renton with her husband, Bill, and a pampered prince of poodle named Bandit.
This weeks recipe is for one of my most requested. Ribs. Low and slow.
This never fails me except to run out. It's easy but does take ahead of time thought.
Whatever your favorite ribs are. I tend to get what's on sale
Pat dry your rib. Then I rub them with grape seed oil. Season them liberally with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge with weight on top. I like to do this overnight
To cook them. I sear the ribs over a high heat on the BBQ. Get them a little brown but be careful not to cook them. No you have a choice. They do well in a dutch oven, wrapped in foil over the fire, or even wrapped and leave them on the grill. Turn the heat way down. Around 300 degrees. Check them in about 3 hours. They want to fall off the bone.
This is a picture from one of our camping trips last year. It had rained all day but just before the sun went down it peeked through the trees.
Man proposes. God disposes.
Have you ever heard that saying? It is attributed to a translation of the Latin phrase Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit from of The Imitation of Christ, a 15th-century book by Thomas à Kempis.
What does all this have to do with Welcome to the Campfire? Earlier this year my husband and I sat down and began to plan our camping trips for 2020. The first one was to be this weekend. Reservation cancelled. That said, I'm driveway camping. My mom is staying with us since she broke her arm in March. She's high risk, I'm high risk. Husband still needs to go to work. So we are social distancing at home. She's upstairs in the house and I'm for the most part downstairs in the camper. Good practice for when we retire.
Man proposes. God disposes.
The other big thing we were going to celebrate this weekend was the release of Rock House Grill. My sister and her significant other were joining us on Sunday night at the campground to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly. The celebration will have to wait, as will a book signing at Brook Hollow Winery with a host of other authors. That has been postponed until maybe August.
Man proposes. God disposes.
Pete was supposed to retire in July this year. Since I'm laid off from my day job for a indeterminate time, he may have to work longer. We need to cover my loss of steady income. It's okay. We can be flexible.
Man proposes. God disposes.
Back to camping. As of today were still holding on to our hope for Indiana and Kentucky. We'll have to see what happens. Then we'd planned his retirement trip in the fall. Niagara, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut. A tour of New England. Who knows. Will things get better by then? I'm counting on it. Like the Ant and the Rubber Tree Plant, I have high hopes.
That's the thing about this whole ordeal. It tough. One of my co-workers had a baby and they are in isolation. Can't visit with the Grandparents. Breaks their heart. Another friend is getting married. She keeps optimistic about it. "Leave it to me to get married during a pandemic."
You to may have had plans. Weddings, graduations, birthdays. Hang in there. There will be celebrations. We'll get through it. Together with our family and friends, no matter what happens, life will go on for most of us. There have been terrible losses. We will mourn those, but in that mourning we will also celebrate their life.
Today is Saturday the fourth of April, 2020. I had plans. You had plans. Plans change and so do we. One of my favorite shows was the Big Bang Theory. Say what you want, but there were some real good nuggets in the show. One scene that stands out to me is from the last episode is where Penny and Sheldon talk about change...
Penny: "So I guess the only thing that actually stays the same is that things are always changing."
Sheldon: "Interesting. So you’re saying the inevitability of change might be a universal constant."
I'm blessed. My husband has a job. My family so far is doing well. I hope and pray for the same with you and yours.
I'm going to leave you with a special Psalm from Ecclesiastes. Some of you may be familiar with it as a Byrds song. Read it first then I've provided a link. On a personal note, this was the verse I read when my dear brother-in-law passed away. He was much to young. My sister's whole world changed. She and her two sons needed to adapt and overcome. It was a horrible day many years ago. They are doing okay.
I wonder what's going to happen when this is all over. I hope we as a society are changed for the better. That we do okay too.
Ecclesiastes 3There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
One of my favorite things to do is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame and sparks drifting up into the night sky joining the stars. But in this time of Covid 19, I find myself distancing close to home. Our first official camping trip is cancelled. Most likely our May trip as well. Instead I've set up my office in 2HOOTS and I'm driveway camping. Lemons and lemon-aid, right. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Also, if you would like to keep up with Welcome to the Campfire and other information, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. Okay, without further delay, let's set the mood. I've got some smooth jazz playing in the background. Since I'm inside we have the fireplace going. When it's a bit warmer we'll move this party outside. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
Hi Charlotte. Thank you for joining me today at the campfire. What’s your preference, coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
Coffee till we reach a non-judgmental time to open the wine.
I'll let you in on a secret. Happy hour starts earlier when you're camping. But in keeping with social conventions the coffee pot is always on. Now, tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp.
Hard no to regular camping though I love to travel via car or train. My life of outdoor adventures so far has consisted of getting lost in snowy woods with my best friend when we were ten, numerous nature walks and hikes resulting in numerous incidents of hornet, wasp and bee stings and allergic mosquito bite reactions. Even the beach, which I adore, has its dangers. I came home from Jones Beach as a teenager with not only sunburn but poison ivy. Who knew a New York girl could be such a fragile flower? I do have a plan to drive along the east coast to favorite coastal towns from Maine through Key West staying in B & B’s along the way. Wish me luck with the wildlife I’ll encounter.
Hey NY girl, I'm a Brooklyn native. But wow. You and the outside need to foster a better relationship. We actually are planning on doing the Maine to Connecticut coast this fall. Maybe I'll see you. Can you tell us about your latest project? What’s the title and genre?
It will be my first indie so I’m on quite the learning curve at the moment. It’s called My Only One and it’s romantic suspense.
Do you have a tagline for your book?
Time’s running out for Esme to pay her father’s debt to the cartel
My author tagline is Happily ever after in the City of Dreams
How long did it take you from conception to publication?
I have four books published right now and two with my editor at The Wild Rose Press.
You're quite prolific so I'd suppose you have something you're itching to get to.
I’m so excited about my indie series. The first book of a projected seven book series is a romantic suspense but the theme of the series is a NYC family of nine (including parents) and how they live life and find love. I plan to self-pub the first title My Only One this year.
I'm looking forward now to adding them to my TBR list. Often writing can feel like a solo affair but sometime we need others. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, you would like to give a shout-out to?
I read voraciously and am constantly inspired by the talented authors I encounter through their work. A few clunkers here and there give me the idea of what not to do. I have read and reread Stephen King’s On Writing as well as every craft book I can get my hands on. One of my favorite things about this business is that I’m always learning.
Charlotte, what does literary success look like to you?
I’m living it. The idea that a complete stranger will read a book of mine and be entertained is the ultimate.
Life Hacks for Authors. Do you have any tips, tricks or anything you specialize in that you would like to share with us?
Though I’m published, I consider myself a student more than a teacher of anything. I strive to read, write and meditate every day.
Now for the fun insight questions
Their No-Strings Affair
Honey packs everything she owns and heads to NYC to jumpstart her art career. Her cheating boyfriend is history, and she finally acknowledges the truth of her mother's mantra: Careers are forever and happily ever after isn't in their DNA.
All she needs is a job and a place to live. What she doesn't need is a taciturn, sexy, ballbuster but she's woman enough to know the difference between need and want. Isn't she?
Jake's childhood was marred by tragedy and his future hijacked to a promise born of guilt. His failure drove him to a career as a SEAL and a security expert.
But it's not enough. Now he'll give up his freedom in reparation for the life he lost. Honey may be the last sweet stop on the road to a joyless future. If it's what they both want, where's the harm in a no-strings affair?
About the Author
Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family.
Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law.
But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.
Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.
Social Media Links:
Recipe for the Campfire
Quick and Tasty Shrimp (feeds 3-4 ppl I usually add a salad and another veg option to complete the meal)
1 bag frozen, raw shrimp (I use Trader Joe’s)
1 bottle Beer (anything with some bite, not sweet)
Old Bay seasoning
1 can cannellini or white beans
Fresh, rinsed spinach as much as you like because it cooks down.
Heat griddle, cast iron or shallow pan. Add Old Bay and olive oil.
When pan is hot add partially thawed shrimp. Season shrimp again with Old Bay.
Stir it around and about five minutes in add half bottle beer.
Add drained cannellini beans and the rest of the beer. Continue cooking and stirring another five minutes.
Add spinach which will start wilting right away. Continue to stir when liquid is absorbed and shrimp is well cooked remove from heat— about three minutes.
I have to tell you, I'm excited. Today's guest and I go way back in our writing careers. Rosalie and I met through the RWA author critique program. We hit it off and then began not only became regular critique partners but pen-pals. She lives on one coast and I on the other, but virtually we're only an internet connection away. I can't wait for you all to meet her. So, let's set the mood. Grab a cuppa something delicious. Light a candle or use the ambient noise app on your phone to dial up a campfire. Take a deep breath. Let your worries go for a few moments. It's all okay at the campfire. This is what camping is all about. Connecting on a different level. Now, doesn't that feel better?
This is campfire is going to be a little different. Today I’m welcoming a special character Beaumont Laroche as well as Author, Rosalie, to the Campfire. What’s your preference, coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
Beaumont leans forward in the chair, places his elbows on his knees, and smiles. A lock of his dark hair caresses his chin and the fire reflects in his deep brown eyes. “A good, dark cup of coffee, the hotter the better.”
Rosalie clears her throat then holds up her mug. “I prefer herbal tea and an occasional glass of red wine.”
Both beverages coming up. Now, I know Rosalie is a camper. How about you Beaumont? Ever spend the night outside for fun?
“Camping?” Beaumont wipes his palm over the stubble on his chin and leans back in his chair. His gaze tracks to the fire, and lines form in his handsome features. “I live at the University of Chicago. As a Gargoyle Night Guardian, I don’t have time for camping. My days are spent locked away in my stone form atop Stuart Hall. At night,” his gaze flicks to Donna, “I roam the streets, protecting humans from dark fae.”
A smile curls his lip, and a soft chuckle eases from him. “But, I remember many a time from my youth, back in the twelfth century, when my brother and I would sneak out of the castle at night to lay in the open grass and stare at the stars. Is that close enough?”
“Twelfth century… Uh, about that.” Rosalie glances at Donna, a chagrinned smile on her face. “Beaumont has a questionable soul and Rhiannon, a goddess of the Otherworld, thought he deserved a second chance. So upon his death, she threw his soul into a gargoyle. He’s one of her warriors and a fine one at that, I might add.”
Beaumont sits up, his shoulders straight, a gleam in his dark eyes. “I have the best fae kill record around. Ask any of my partners.”
“Well, as far as camping goes,” Rosalie takes a sip of tea. “I love to camp. A trailer is a must because I need a comfy bed at night. I’ve spent a lot of nights camping in the beautiful mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Love the large evergreens, but even more so, the waterfalls. There’s just something about the beautiful cascade, the roar of the water, and the cool spray on your skin. If you haven’t been there, yet, Donna, come out and visit me sometime.”
I have a retirement countdown in my phone. In a little over a year and two months. Our plan is to do a coast to coast. Don't be surprised if I show up on your doorstep. Tell us about your story. What’s the title and genre?
Beaumont’s story is titled Heart Bandit, book 1 in the Gargoyle Night Guardians series. It’s a steamy paranormal romance featuring a crafty and swift pickpocket who steals Beaumont’s spirit stone, sending them on an epic journey of life and death.
Sounds so intriguing. I can't wait to read it. Do you have a tagline?
Never steal from a gargoyle…or challenge him to seduce you.
I'll make a note of that. What not to do. Rosalie, where did you get the idea for Heart Bandit?
“Good question, Donna.” Rosalie laughs. “The idea came to me about writing a gargoyle book because I wanted to create a series with a different kind of mythology. One that’s a bit unique and different. After some research, the story evolved into an enemies to lovers story featuring a tough gargoyle and a feisty pickpocket. Needless to say, the sparks flew from the moment they met.”
Beaumont, did you evolve from Rosalie’s initial plan? How did you reveal yourself.
Beaumont rubs his chin, a delightful smile playing on his lips. “I spoke to her in French. Seems she has a thing for French men. After that, she claimed me as her first hero, and I’m ever so happy she did.”
Tell us about the first reactions to the lead counterpart. Rosalie, where did he/she come from? Is it a previous character that needed a story?
Rosalie shakes her head. “Sadie is a streetwise thief who learned from the best mentor ever—need. She came from a broken family and ended up on the streets in her teens. She’s a new character that just kind of pushed her way into the story. Sassy and full of spunk, she’s tough to handle, as Beaumont can attest.”
Beaumont nods. “Qui, Sadie is spunky and a whole lot more.”
Beaumont what was you first impression of Sadie?
Beaumont exhales long and slow. “Zut Alors. From the moment I saw her traipse down the alley, she caught my eye. The light played along her short, silken hair, the color of the midnight sky without stars, painting them with a touch of fire. My hand twitched with the desire to run my fingers through the soft tresses, feel the silkiness between my fingertips.”
Rosalie slaps her palm to her forehead. “Forgive him, Donna. He can be a bit dramatic at times.”
Il est français. LOL. Tell us, do either of you believe in Soul Mates?
Beaumont glances at Rosalie. Both shrug. Neither offer up an answer, but the glimmer in Beaumont’s eyes and the smile on Rosalie’s face is explanation enough.
Are there any mentors, authors, or books, other than yours, you would like to give a shout-out to?
Rosalie nods. “Ooh, so many, I’m not sure where to start. Some of my favorite authors include Laura Thalassa, Tasha Black, C.P. Ryder, Anna Lowe, Michelle Fox, and a whole lot more!”
Success means different things to different people and characters. What does it mean to both of you?
Beaumont lifts his palm to Rosalie. “Please, Rosalie, you first.”
Rosalie rolls her eyes. “All right, Beaumont, if you insist. To me, success means sharing my stories of hope with other readers. Maybe even wrenching a tear or two from them. Since I write romance, the books are all about happily ever afters. What’s not to like about that? Okay, Beaumont, your turn.”
A wide smile blooms on Beaumont’s face, accentuating the dimple in his chin. “Killing fae, oh, and winning Sadie’s heart.”
Now the fun questions Since this is a dual interview I’d like to see you both answer.
4. Years ago, there was a commercial that talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a moment in time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is yours? Beaumont – When Sadie agreed to become my wife. Rosalie – When I saw my daughter for the first time.
5. Favorite childhood book? Or writing that inspired you to become an author. Beaumont – It’s been eight hundred years. Sorry, got nothing for you. Rosalie – Tolkien.
6. 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? Beaumont – Bad to the Bone. Rosalie – Roam by the B-52s.
7. What weird talent do you have? Beaumont – I can turn my skin to stone. Rosalie – I can make up characters that can turn their skin to stone.
Hah, you guys crack me up. Thanks for being part of the Campfire. Please leave us information about where we can find out more about you both.
Never steal from a gargoyle…or challenge him to seduce you.
Beaumont prides himself on his stellar fae kill record, but his life is upended when a feisty, human female challenges him to seduce her and steals his spirit-embedded stone. He’s on a quest to save his soul, yet this woman makes him harder than a rock, and for a guy who spends his days encased in granite, that’s saying something.
Crafty and swift, Sadie learned to pickpocket from the best mentor ever—need. After she runs across a tall, sexy gargoyle and steals his most valuable possession, she’s up against more than can she handle. As he hunts her down to retrieve his precious stone, he stirs a passion she didn’t know existed…and can’t resist.
Gargoyle Night Guardians protect human souls from the evil clutches of dark fae. Be careful, though, gargoyles aren’t your average hero for within each guardian rests a questionable soul, one ripe for redemption and eager to become worthy of what we all crave—love.
“Quiet now. I won’t hurt you.” The man’s whispered words caressed the back of her ear, the deep timbre all too familiar. He was the gargoyle from last night, the one she’d stolen from.
Sadie raked her nails down his arm, scoring the flesh.
“Stop struggling. You’ll only injure yourself.”
Adrenaline gave her that extra shot of energy, and she continued kicking, scratching, and fighting until she couldn’t catch her breath. Unable to keep up the fight any longer, the tension drained from her like a weak battery. She stilled against him.
“That’s better. Like I said, I’m not going to hurt you.”
True to his word, he hadn’t harmed her. Her back was pressed against his muscular chest, and his powerful arms held her in his firm embrace.
“We need to talk about what you stole from me. If I release you, do you promise not to scream?” The rumble in his voice tracked from her sensitive ear all the way down her spine to her bottom, tickling her.
Fat chance, Mr. Muscles. She nodded in agreement.
He removed his hand from her mouth.
On a quick inhale, she started to scream.
Only to have him clamp his palm over her lips and muffle it. With a quick flick of his wrist, he turned her around, pinning one of her arms behind her back, the other trapped between their chests. If she wanted to, she could reach the scrub on his chin.
Hand still pressed to her mouth, he glared at her. “Merde. Somehow, I knew you wouldn’t cooperate. You really are a feisty little thing, aren’t you?”
Those dark brown eyes of his glowed with an eerie green iridescence. She was drawn to their unnatural beauty. He raised one eyebrow, the scar at the edge pulling taut, and when he smiled and revealed his dimples, she just about melted. He was a gorgeous, glorious, good-looking gargoyle, and she hated him for it.
Give him half a chance, he’d use her and abandon her. Forget that. She’d never let him get that close. Helpless in his grasp, she hated the control he had over her. If she could spit in his face, she would.
“Okay, we’re going for round two, pickpocket. When I remove my hand, don’t scream. You won’t like me much if you try that again.” He slowly removed his hand.
She held her tongue for all of two seconds. “I don’t like you much now, and did you cuss at me in French?”
“Oui.” He chuckled, the sound rumbled from his chest into hers.
Against her will, her body responded to him. His nose flared, and the brown of his eyes darkened. With a quick flick, his gaze travelled to her lips.
Oh God, it was if he sensed her arousal.
She drew her tongue over her bottom lip, moistening it.
A needful groan erupted from him, and his grip tightened, tugging her even closer.
To find out more about Rosalie, Beaumont and her other wonderful stories here are the links.
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/heart-bandit/id1488649143
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081S85H9D
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B081S85H9D
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B081S85H9D
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081S85H9D
Facebook author: https://www.facebook.com/rosaliereddauthor
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/rosalieredd
Happy Saturday and welcome to the campfire. Despite the issues going on around us, let's take a few minutes away from all the craziness and relax. That's what a campfire is for. Turn off the news, silence your phone for a few minutes and step into my world. Grab a beverage of choice. Light a candle and pretend it's your own campfire. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself in the woods. There's a stream bubbling nearby. Smell the smoke and maybe something cooking over the fire. Hear the birds calling to each other. Are you there yet? Good. Now, lift your cup, mug, or glass and help me welcome today's guest, fellow Wild Rose Press author Claire Corvey.
Hi Claire, welcome and thank you for joining us today. What’s your preference coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
In the morning, I love coffee, made over the campfire, of course. Evening is for wine!
You're my kind of girl. The coffee is always on at the Campfire. Tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp?
I’ve camped so many times and have such great memories. Almost always in a tent. I’ve camped with my family in the mountains of Wyoming, Colorado, Montana…and there are bears there! One of my favorite memories is an afternoon in the Snowy Range outside Laramie, Wyoming. I hiked with my children and our dog along a river, not another person in sight. So beautiful. Until the kids pushed each other in the freezing cold water. Let’s just say glamping is starting to look very attractive to me!
Ha! I'll bet it is. Heat and hot showers can never be oversold to me. Now, tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
I’m working on the second installment of my “High School is Hell” trilogy. It’s a young adult contemporary, with a dollop of romance and a side order of the paranormal.
How long did it take you from conception to publication?
With High School is Hell it was about a year and a half between when I started the first draft and when I was accepted for publication by the Wild Rose Press.
Not bad. It takes me a bit longer to have a finished product. I also have a myriad of projects at various stages of development, how about you? Anything you’re itching to get to?
I always have way too many ideas, and I find it’s more fun to start a project than to slog all the way through! But currently, I’m also working on a collection of my short stories, as well as my novel. And I’ve started a third project, a post-apocalypse story, and I have no idea what that is going to end up being. A novella? A novel? Who knows?
I agree! Starting and meeting new characters and places is exciting. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, you would like to give a shout-out to?
One of my critique partners, Liz Roadifer (and the whole gang at CAWG—our secret acronym), has been a great mentor and helped my writing grow. And there are so many authors I love…I find Nora Roberts and Stephen King, inspiring. They both put their butts in the chair and write and tell great stories while doing it. Charlaine Harris has an amazing imagination and a way with her words. Kurt Vonnegut has made me a better person. And my secret vice—or pleasure—is poetry. Nizar Qabbani, Rilke. Such beautiful words and images.
Tsk, I'm jealous. I want to belong to a secret society, too. They are amazing authors. I'm a Stephen King fan. Claire, tell us, what does literary success look like to you?
Wow—that’s a hard one. I think every author wants respect for one’s body of work, but really, I think success is having someone tell me that my stories have entertained them or brought them the happiness I’ve found in books.
You nailed it. I think most artists hope for the same thing. Now the fun questions,
Seventeen-year-old Lauren Baker is in a bind. In addition to trying out her cleavage-enhancing bra for the first time, she has to figure out how to expose the new high school principal as evil incarnate.
Lauren has enough on her hands. Her best friend is being bullied, she's the newly installed editor of the school newspaper, and to top it all off, she has a secret, massive crush on an older boy. Yet all of this seems like small potatoes when mutilated animals, vandalism, and Lauren's bizarrely realistic dreams indicate something—or someone—is rotten in Rushton.
When Lauren connects the dots between the new principal and the freakish occurrences, she has to act...before she and everyone she loves fall victim to a centuries-old evil.
Recommended Movies base on High School and Horror.
Of course, you knew it had to be here...
Carrie by Stephen King 1976. I recently watched this one. It hasn't lost a bit in the years.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1992
This weeks recipe is courtesy of Claire's Blog. I bet it would work over the fire on a backing sheet as well. I've done this in a non-stick pan on the stove as well.
Did you know that if one places cheese on parchment paper and microwaves it for one minute, delicious cheese crisps result?