Friday, September 19, 2014

Big Ebook Sale

Don't miss out on this clean ebook sale!

Lots of great deals here, including a 3-book set for 99 cents (that's 33 cents per novel!). My own Portrait for Toni is in that set!

The last day is Saturday, September 20, ending at midnight mountain time. So hurry!

Discern, Katon University Book One

Andrea Pearson
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Nicole Williams is an Arete—a fourth child with magical abilities—yet no matter how hard she tries, she can’t Channel her power. In fact, she seems to be the only student at Katon University who fails at magic.

That doesn’t stop magic from finding her. It starts with magical currents and possessed books before moving quickly to cursed spiders and freaky shadows. Nicole turns to her best friend for help, along with fellow student Austin Young, who is considered by all a magical rarity. He also happens to be the hottest guy on campus and just might be interested in her.

Nicole soon finds herself competing to be included on a university-led expedition to Arches National Park. She is determined to show everyone, but mostly herself, that she does belong. Yet, to qualify for the trip, she must produce at least a speck of Wind magic, and that appears to be impossible.

As the competition progresses, Nicole wonders if she’s making the right choice—especially when she learns that the strange fossils they’ll be studying in Arches might not be as dead as everyone thinks.

Prejudice Meets Pride

Rachael Anderson
Kindle, Nook

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.

Your Eyes Don't Lie

Rachel Branton
Kindle, Nook

Sometimes Surviving Isn't Enough . . .

Years of living on the street and fending for herself have made Makay Greyson tough and resourceful, if a bit disillusioned. She's come a long way from sleeping in parks and scavenging for food. Her entire focus is on providing a better life for her young brother, one without fear of loss and

That certainly doesn't leave time for Harrison Matthews, who from their first meeting sends fire through her veins and upsets all her carefully laid plans.

Makay has done things she isn't proud of to survive, and those choices now threaten the small amount of security she's created-and any chance of a future with Harrison. They've been raised in two very different worlds, and the secrets they both hide can only lead to disaster.  There is only one chance to make it right, and one misstep could be fatal.

Your Eyes Don't Lie is a story about facing fears, sacrificing for those you love, and about a girl who thinks she isn't worth loving and a guy who knows she is.

A Fantasy Christmas

Cindy C Bennett, Stephanie Fowers, and Sherry Gammon
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Three mystical tales that make for fun reading as the weather turns cold. Enjoy the romance, the magic, and the joy of Christmas and fantasy while you snuggle up in a blanket and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

Ride to Raton

Marsha Ward
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Thinking he's been treated unjustly by his father, James Owen leaves the family homestead to make a new life for himself.

The turbulent world of post-Civil War Colorado Territory is fraught with danger and prejudice that increase his bitter loneliness as personal setbacks threaten to break him. Then James's journey brings him into contact with another wayfarer, beautiful young Amparo Garc├ęs, who has come from Santa Fe to Colorado to marry a stranger. Through a twist of fate, their futures are changed forever when their lives are merged in a marriage of convenience. James and Amparo undertake a hazardous horseback trek over Raton Pass to Santa Fe, battling their personal demons, a challenging language barrier, and winter's raging storms.

"Ride to Raton is a pure western, complete with bad guys and broken hearts and even a dog. The sequel to The Man from Shenandoah features James Owen, the younger brother. Marsha Ward writes a fantastic romance against a vivid southwestern backdrop. James begins this book as a hurt young man, but by the end of the book, I really could see him grow up and become a man. Made tougher by circumstances he has no control over, James realizes that the love he thought he had lost was nothing compared to what Amparo shows him. Amparo is a young Hispanic lady, forced to leave her home in Santa Fe to marry a stranger in Colorado. She bravely faces her uncertain future, relying on her faith to get her through. She is sweet, loving and she provides a great contrast to James's rough exterior. With an ending that surprised even me, Ride to Raton is not your usual romance. However, I do recommend it for western lovers—even the cover is wonderful! Marsha Ward once again shows us her gift for old fashioned storytelling!" ~Jen Hill, Roundtable Reviews

The Husband Maker

Karey White
Kindle, Nook

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she's dated since high school has gone on to marry the next girl they date. Not two or three girls down the road. The very next one.
Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?

When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

Life, Love, and The Pursuit of  Free Throws

Janette Rallison

Josie loves hottie Ethan Lancaster, the captain of the basketball team, but she never can do or say the right thing in front of him. So how can it be fair that Ethan is only interested in her best friend, Cami, when Cami isn’t even trying for his affection? Or is she?

Cami dreams of winning her basketball team’s coveted MVP award, and earning the chance to take the court during a special halftime demonstration with WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, but her best friend, Josie, is a better player. So how can it be fair that Josie is a shoo-in for the honor if she is barely interested in basketball in the first place and isn’t even trying to be the best? Or is she?

Told from two points of view, this novel of freshman life, love, and the pursuit of free throws displays the same delightful humor as Janette Rallison's other comedies.

My Forever: A Triple Treat Romance Box Set

Annette Lyon, Karey White, Cami Checketts
Kindle, Nook

A Portrait for Toni  by Amazon bestselling author Annette Lyon 
Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away. One night after a performance, Toni tries to mend the hurt between them. Instead of finding Carter, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible. Isn’t it?

My Own Mr. Darcy by USA Today bestselling author Karey White 
After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. During the six intervening years, she finds all of her suitors lacking—they just aren’t Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. She starts dating Chad, but she believes her dream comes true in the form of wealthy bookstore owner Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

The Broken Path by Amazon bestselling author Cami Checketts 
Injured in a debilitating accident at age six, Ethan Searle believes women eye him with a mixture of pity and disdain. He’s tried love before. He won’t again. He meets his match in a precocious two-year old who loves him despite his disability, even while her mother seems bothered by everything about Ethan. Autumn Reader escaped her abusive marriage with her beautiful daughter and a stack of fear. She can’t make the mistake of trusting a man again. Autumn’s daughter becomes enraptured by Ethan. Despite Autumn’s best intentions, she finds herself following her daughter’s example. When her ex-husband reappears, threatening everyone she loves if she won’t submit to his demands, Autumn has to learn to trust or lose her chance at real love.

Still Time

Maria Hoagland
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Thrust into the chaos of her mother-in-law’s hoarding and forgetfulness, LDS church member Alyssa Johnston wishes she could retreat to a simpler time when her kids were small and almost anything could be fixed with a hug. But reassurance and a quick distraction no longer erase the pain of a missionary son who is struggling, a young teen who is bullied, or a daughter who is distant. As Aly’s own life and relationship with her husband plunge out of control, she wonders if her faith will be enough to keep her family—or herself—from falling apart.

Still Time is a deeply moving story about a woman’s faithful journey into the next phase of her life. You will laugh with Aly, feel her sorrow, and see yourself in Maria Hoagland’s realistic, heartfelt portrayal of a woman’s struggle to keep her family safe and hold back time as long as she can.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

Many years ago, I crossed paths with fellow blogger Kimberly Vanderhorst, who turned out to be a fellow writer outside her awesome blog, and who has since become a dear friend. She's one of those rare people who cheers and celebrates for friends' achievements because she's genuinely thrilled on your behalf, and she's willing to help you out any way she can.

Kim tagged me on a fun and different blog hop that's going around. I'm egregiously late on following through, but better late than never!

Before I get to the meat of the post, be sure to check out her writing blog HERE.

Here's the gist of the hop: 

"We writers share these things, but informally during workshops and at conferences (and, for a handful of established writers, in printed interviews), but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hash tag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions. How long it takes one to write a novel, why romance is a fitting genre for another, how one’s play list grows as the draft grows, why one’s poems are often sparked by distress over news headlines or oddball facts learned on Facebook…"

Below are my answers to the same questions other writers who are participating get to answer. I'm excited to see theirs; every person and writers is different, and we can all learn from each other!

What am I currently working on? 
As always, I have a gazillion pots in the fire, but the biggest thing going on right now is continued revisions on Winter's Crucible, my Winter War novel, which is historical women's fiction about a little-known part of World War II. It's also part that factors heavily into my ancestry, so I'm passionate about it. See THIS POST for more about one of the main characters.

The book is fully drafted and pretty shiny, especially certain parts, but a few chapters are sort of yelling at me to come back and fix them again. Every scene deserves to be as shiny as I can get it. I hope to have it all polished very, very soon.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Interesting question in light of the fact that over the years, I've genre hopped to some extent. Not entirely, though; even my romance novels have a solid women's fiction component to them.

At this point, my women's fiction typically has no romantic thread, which seems to not be the norm in the genre. Winter's Crucible breaks that mold a bit, but even it is heavy on the WF and very light on the romantic element. And romance readers can't expect a typical romance arc in it, either.

My women's fiction is definitely driven by flawed characters put into hard circumstances. Sometimes that means external events (like the Winter War), and other times it means looking at hard issues (relationships, addiction, mental disorders, and so on).

Why do I write what I do?
Long-time readers will remember that I went through not all that long ago before finally feeling at home in women's fiction. And that's really the best answer I can give: this is where my heart is. The books that have had the greatest impact on me as a person and as a writer have all been women's fiction. And as much as I enjoy reading other genres, the fact that those books aren't the ones that stay with me, that they aren't the ones inspiring me to write my own stories, is telling.

The vast majority of my colleagues, especially in the very rich Utah writing community, write for Young Adult or Middle Grade audiences, or they write fun, lighthearted romance. I love reading all of that, but somehow, I write darker stuff. And a result, I feel a bit like an oddball at times.

They get to share agents and editors and publishers, and I'm out in the wings doing something totally different. But emotionally intense women's fiction is where my heart is.

How does my writing process work?
It's hard to describe, especially as it's evolved a lot over the years. (That's what happens when you're a mom; you adapt to your kids' ever-changing ages and schedules!)

I do a lot of brainstorming while doing brainless tasks like sorting laundry and putting myself together in the morning. I'll often jot down plot and character ideas in a notebook to refer to later so I won't forget them (or I will forget them; I've learned that the hard way). Often before a writing session, I'll jot down a few bullet points listing the gist of what I want to happen in the scene I'm about to write.

When I'm working on historical fiction, I have to do plenty of research before writing a word, because the plot and characters come from learning about the era, the events, etc. If I ever feel stuck, reading up on research will often slip me right back into the story world.

I often reread what I last wrote, revising and tweaking along the way, to get myself back into the world. I used to be able to write faster than I do now. Today, if I can eke out 1,000-2,000 words in a day, I consider it a success.

That doesn't happen every day, though; I have a ton of hats to wear besides "drafter." Revision takes a lot longer, and I often have to stop working on a project in favor of another one, as deadlines overlap and interrupt. And then I still do a little bit of freelance editing on the side.

(Don't ask to hire me, though; the answer will almost certainly be no. I've backed off a ton because my own work wasn't getting written.)

Now for my tags!

Luisa Perkins is my well-known accountability partner. We first connected online (as I did with Kim), and have since become close friends both in person and long distance. She's a fantastic writer, an excellent editor and critique partner, and one of the best friends a girl could hope for. Find her blog HERE. She's published several books, but my personal favorite (not counting her WIPs) is Dispirited. (Okay, truthfully, I also rely on several recipes from her cookbook.)

Krista Jensen is a pure delight. She began her publishing career with the same regional publisher I did, and she's become not only a good friend but a critique partner as well. She's published several fun contemporary romances, including Of Grace and Chocolate, which I loved because: chocolate and romance. Find her blog HERE.

Jordan McCollum and I first connected when she came to one of my book signings, and we ended up chatting about all kinds of things that would appear random to other people but are near and dear to my heart (like linguistics and the Kalevala. I mean seriously, how awesome?!). She's since published several books, including her Spy Another Day series.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Character Blog Hop

Thanks to Jodi Bowersox for inviting me to be part of the character blog hop!

For the character blog hop, readers get to jump around to discover characters we have recently written about or are currently writing about. You can find Jodi's character post HERE.

First, a little about Jodi:
Jodi Bowersox grew up on a farm in Nebraska and lived on an acreage in N.E. Kansas with a horse and three goats for a number of years. She currently lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, Kevin, and four cats. Jodi has worn many hats in her life—actress, seamstress, interior designer, home-school teacher, artist, and writer. In 2006, under the pen name of J. B. Stockings, she published a children's book that she authored and illustrateda fictitious story about two real cats with the title, A Tale of Two Kitties. In 2012, another J.B. Stockings children’s book, The Stubborn Princess was published with Tracy Bowersox as the illustrator. Also in 2012, her first romance novel, Interiors by Design, was published. Jodi is also a watercolor artist specializing in pet portraits. To find out more about her writing, art, and other creative endeavors, check out her website.

Here's where you can find Jodi and her books:
Romance titles: Amazon and Audible
Children's books

And read her character blog post HERE.

Now about me, especially for readers new to my blog:

I've been writing ever since about second grade, when I piled pillows on a chair to reach my mother's typewriter. (Yes, I'm that old.) In the many years since, I've published over a dozen novels, three nonfiction books, several (I think October's will make nine) novellas in an award-winning anthology series. I've published over 130 magazine and newspaper articles. I've done freelance business writing and worked for many years as a senior editor at Precision Editing Group. I'm a Whitney Award winner, a two-time recipient of Utah’s Best of State medal for fiction, and a three-time publication award winner from the League of Utah Writers, most recently, the Silver Quill in 2013. I graduated cum laude with a degree in English from Brigham Young University. When I'm not writing, editing, knitting, or eating chocolate, you can find me mothering and avoiding the spots on the kitchen floor.

Here are some other places you can find me online:

Now to share my character with you:

What is the name of your character? 
This book has two women who feature prominently, so it was tough to decide which to mention here. I decided to pick Sini Toivonen. Loosely translated from Finnish, her names means "blue hope." It totally fits. 

When and where is the story set?
Mostly in Finland between December 1939 and March 1940, in Finland during the Winter War, when Stalin decided to use the empty excuse of needing Finnish land to defend against Hitler to take over the neighboring country. The hugely outnumbered Finns dug in their heels and fought hard, giving the Soviets a fight they didn't expect and, quite frankly, weren't prepared for. 

What should we know about your character?
Sini has long held a torch for Marko, the young doctor who lives upstairs, but he has his heart set on another woman. When the war turns the country upside down and Marko leaves for military duty, Sini enlists as part of the female volunteer corps. She's assigned to the same field hospital as Leila, a nurse and young widow who has sent her three-year-old son to Sweden for safety. 

What is the main conflict?
From the outside, the main conflicts for Sini and Laila are all about where they are and what they're doing: personal survival in the middle of a brutal war and an equally brutal arctic winter, plus trying to keep the wounded—and themselves—alive.

What is your character's personal goal?
The personal conflicts are more internal: Sini has no family. All she wants is for someone to love her, but Marko sees her as nothing more than a chum. Shortly after arriving at camp, she befriends Leila and realizes that she's the very woman Marko has always talked about. But that small-world connection is minor compared to how the war changes the two women. Sini may have a chance for love, if at a heavy price, while Leila just wants to go home and raise her young son. But nothing is quite so simple; the war may well eliminate any chance either of them has of finding happiness in the places they're looking for it.

Is there a working title, and where can we find out more about it?
The current working title is Winter's Crucible

When can we expect the book to be published?
No news yet on a publication date, but I'll be sure to share that news with my readers as soon as I have any. Be sure to like my Facebook author page if you want to be one of the first to know.

In the meantime, I've published another story about the Winter War. Readers interested in it can find my novella in the Timeless Romance Anthology: EUROPEAN COLLECTION. That story, "War of Hearts," is a romance set during a single sudden but important battle in December 1939, dubbed "The Sausage War." 

To find some of my other publications, visit my Amazon Author Page.


Now a bit about the authors you'll get to hear from next Monday!

Rachael Anderson
Rachael Anderson is the author of five novels and two novellas. She's the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

She'll be talking about a character in Prejudice Meets Pride, which you can get at the following links:

Heather Tullis
Heather Tullis has been reading romance for as long as she can remember and has been publishing in the genre since 2009. When she’s not dreaming up new stories to write, she works in her community garden, plays with her dog and cat, chases her ducks, decorates cakes and works with her husband.

Hello Again, the first book in her In The Garden romance series, is slated for release in October closely followed by her final book in the DiCarlo Brides series, Getting Her Groom.

Learn more about her at her website and sign up for her newsletter HERE or her Facebook fan page


I'll be posting for another blog hop next week. Stay tuned!


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