Monday, July 16, 2018

Five Secrets From Patty Wiseman & Her Book ~ That One Moment

Today we learn five secrets and more about Patty Wiseman (they're in her intro) 
and her latest book, That One Moment.  
Welcome, Patty.

Greetings L.A.. Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m tickled to be here.

You asked me to open with something about myself… well, I’m that person who decided baking cookies and vacuuming every day didn’t much appeal to me after retirement. Instead, I now have time to pursue my life-long dream. With my husband’s encouragement, I plunged in. Eight years later, I have eight award-winning books to my credit with more on the way.

My journey took a long and winding road with very little encouragement. It wasn’t until my second husband flung the door open wide and pushed me through it that I let myself believe I have talent.

As a child, I was the one with the flashlight under the covers until the wee hours of the morning, reading adventure after adventure. I knew then I wanted to write stories. In contrast, my father told me the safest thing for me to do was become a wife and a mother. Learn to cook, sew, etc. All good things to do, of course. Without the fortitude I would eventually acquire, I didn’t argue. But there was a part of me that refused that edict.

From my birthplace in Tacoma, Washington, to college in Oklahoma, to the move to Texas for my first husband’s career, my journey finally led me to where I am supposed to be. The first husband is long gone. He’s the one who told me I could never become an author.

Yes, I’ve been blessed with two sons, many grandchildren and now, even great-grandchildren, all of them my joy. I’ve run a household, enjoyed a twenty-five-year career in an administrative career for a financial industry all of which led me to where I am today.

Married twenty-five years to the man of my dreams, Ron, I embrace retirement, for in these years of endless days and freedom to do what I want, I found what I looked for all my life.

My favorite quote is from Dolly Parton, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

Patty please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about That One Moment but will after today!

1)    Ricki Sheridan carries a gun, is trained to use it, but it’s little comfort when it comes to learning to trust again.

2)    Kory Littleton’s ex-wife almost died because of his mistake. He won’t involve another woman in his isolated life in the Rocky Mountains, until Ricki signs up for a survivalist camp.

3)    Evil follows Ricki up the mountain in the form of the man who betrayed her. He’s not going to let her go and terrorizes the camp forcing Ricki to put her trust in Kory’s hands.

4)   A grizzly bear finds Kory tied to a tree.

5)   Wolf, a crusty old lodge owner high in the mountains and a refined English woman in the town’s valley teach Ricki about true love.
Blurb: Ricki Sheridan traveled a long way to seek refuge at Wolf Den’s Lodge high in the mountains after a devastating betrayal. Heartbroken, she signed up for a survivalist backpacking trip to live off the land and forget.

An injury on the first day puts her in the capable hands of the handsome trail boss, Kory Littleton. The attraction is instant, mutual, and terrifying. She trusted her emotions once and vowed never to make the same mistake again.

Kory’s heart, trampled and bruised, is unprepared to ever love again, until his unexpected reaction to Ricki reveals some things are worth taking a chance on.

When evil finds its way back into Ricki's world, their fragile bond is tested, forcing them to face their greatest fear: can a wounded heart ever trust anew?

Betrayal. Desire. Revenge. Which one prevails?

Buy Links:

Find Patty:
My Website  Facebook  Twitter

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Class Flash ~ 3rd Quarter Classes and Blogs By Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Here are the 3rd Quarter classes from master teacher
 Laurie Schnebly Campbell

(Aug. 6-17 & 20-31, two separate classes) class-purchase
            Readers love alpha males. Yet writers sometimes find it tricky to create an alpha male without falling into stereotypes. What MAKES an alpha male? (It's more than just power.) What challenges does he face? (The answers will surprise you.) How can your hero take on solely the alpha-male traits you want? 
            And what about alpha females? They've always drawn their power from more than just a top-dog mate. Still, even a real-life heroine who rules her world, whether that's a family or an empire, can't have ALL the answers or else there's no story. Here's how to shape her hidden weaknesses...and her hidden strengths.
(August 31) writersinthestormblog. com
            The chicken. The egg. The idea. Here's why your story needs all three!

(Sept. 3-28) classes
            Weaving the different strands and levels of your story is trickier than making a simple braid, but the idea is the same: you need to give equal attention to every separate element that's part of the finished creation. Whether you're braiding the conflict and resolution of a thriller, romance, fantasy, mystery or any other journey of discovery, learn how to deliver the balance your readers expect.
(Sept. 14) overview
            The entire March class in just one hour -- well, except for the homework. :)
(Sept. 21romanceuniversity. org
            Why is writing a synopsis like writing an ad? These 3 tricks make it easier.
live in SeattleHOT TO PLOT
(Oct. 6) meetings/
            Same as Sept. 14, but this time in the Northwest instead of the Southwest.

(Oct. 8-19)
writeruniv.wordpress. com/classes
            No wonder so many writers have a tough time with the synopsis -- books and synopses require completely different skills! This limited-enrollment, hands-on class takes the techniques used by advertising copywriters (like Laurie) to sell ANY product, whether it's a bicycle or burger or book, and shows how those tools apply to presenting your work in a way that'll make readers want to buy.

Laurie's Bio:
Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves giving workshops for writer groups about "Psychology for Creating Characters," "Making Rejection WORK For You," "Building A Happy Relationship For Your Characters (And Yourself)" and other issues that draw on her background as a counseling therapist and romance writer.

In fact, she chose her website ( so people would find it easy to Book Laurie for programs.

But giving workshops -- for students from London and Los Angeles to New Zealand and New York -- is just one of her interests. During weekdays, she writes and produces videos, brochures and commercials (some of which feature her voice) for a Phoenix advertising agency. For several years she would turn off her computer every day at five o'clock, wait thirty seconds, turn it on again and start writing romance.

It finally paid off. Her first novel was nominated by Romantic Times as the year's "Best First Series Romance," and her second beat out Nora Roberts for "Best Special Edition of the Year." But between those two successes came a three-year dry spell, during which Laurie discovered that selling a first book doesn't guarantee ongoing success.

"What got me through that period," she says, "was realizing that the real fun of writing a romance is the actual writing. Selling is wonderful, sure, but nothing compares to the absolute, primal joy of sitting at the computer and making a scene unfold and thinking 'Wow! Yes! This is great!'"

After six books for Special Edition, she turned her attention to writing non-fiction -- using her research into the nine personality types to help writers create plausible, likable people with realistic flaws. Her other favorite activities include playing with her husband and son, recording for the blind, counseling at a mental health center, traveling to Sedona (the Arizona red-rock town named for her great-grandmother, Sedona Schnebly) and working with other writers.

"People ask how I find time to do all that," Laurie says, "and I tell them it's easy. I never clean my house!"

Laurie welcomes email from readers—send her a "Hello!"

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Prism Book Tour Featuring Stolen Obsession by Marlene M. Bell

On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Excerpt below, don't miss it.

Stolen Obsession
(Annalisse Series #1)

By Marlene M. Bell
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 294 Pages
June 30th 2018 by Ewephoric Publishing

People die, but legends live on.

New York antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury recently lost her best friend to murder. The killer’s identity may be linked to her friend’s expensive missing bracelet—a 500-year-old artifact that carries an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family.

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a matching necklace at a Manhattan gallery opening. She begs the owner to destroy the cursed piece, but her pleas fall on deaf ears—despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.

Desperate, Annalisse enlists the gallery owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.

Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. When the killer changes tactics and goes after Alec behind Annalisse’s back, can her plan to rescue Alec’s mother save them all?

Hold on for a heart-thumping, thrilling adventure through exotic lands in this fast-moving romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M. Bell.

Praise for the Book

"Debut author Bell delivers a great, slow-building romance, gently examining her characters' painful pasts." — Kirkus Reviews

"An irresistible page turner and a successful melding of thriller and romance. With a splash of international adventure and plenty of surprises, Stolen Obsession is an entertaining read and a great beginning to the Annalisse Series." — Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½

About the Author

Marlene M. Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living and Sheep Industry News. Ewephoric, her mail order venture, began in 1985 out of a desire for realistic sheep stationery. A color catalog of non-fiction books and sheep-related gifts may be requested at or Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in East Texas with their 50 head of Horned Dorset sheep, a lovable Maremma guard dog named, Tia, and 3 spoiled cats who rule the household.

- 1 Grand Prize winner will receive: One signed copy of STOLEN OBSESSION, One lined Journal with handcrafted pen, One set of Wool Dryer Balls, a Pair of Stolen Obsession style earrings and a $50 gift card from Amazon

4 winners will each receive: One signed copy of Stolen Obsession, One sheep bookmark, One lined journal and a pair of Stolen Obsession-style earrings-Gold-various styles

- US only
- Ends July 25th


Annalisse set her purse down into the flipped over cushions on the couch, repositioned them, and stepped through what used to be neat stacks, years of gallery research. A groan passed her lips when she walked to the desk marred with new scratches, bereft of her monitor and tower hard drive. She looked around the room for her laptop; it, too, was missing.

Cursing under her breath, she saw her prized possession, a two-foot bronze statue of a shepherdess with a pair of sheep grazing near her feet, lying on its side next to a toppled plant stand. An expensive work of art from Florence she’d had no business buying, but she couldn’t resist. When Generosa had called from Italy describing it, Annalisse had to have it. Everyone who knew her well understood her love for sheep. Even if she’d declined Generosa’s offer to bring it back for her, she’d felt certain the bronze would end up in her hands eventually.

Alec waited by the stairs and whispered, “Your bedroom up there?” He pointed upstairs.

She nodded, lifted the mahogany stand upright and, with both hands, replaced the hefty bronze to its rightful place next to the desk.

“Stay downstairs. You’ll be safer. I won’t be long, and I’ll look for your cat.” Alec hit the first step.

“Be careful.”

Whoever destroyed her home had acted with malice. They had her personal data and internet search history, where she shopped online, email correspondence as well as business contacts. A privacy breach she couldn’t afford. Compiling a list of possible suspects in her head, she felt so violated, even more so than by what had happened with Peter. Names and faces blurred together. With fingertips pressed at her temples, she willed the jackhammers in her head to stop.

Raising her arms, as if a make-believe thief told her to, she said, “I give up. I may as well set a match to this place, for all the good it’s going to do me now.”

Alec uttered a sentence upstairs she couldn’t make out.

“Alec, did you find Boris?”

The sound of shuffling filtered downstairs then a thump.

“Alec, what fell?” She looked up at an empty landing.

The unnatural silence pricked the hairs straight out on her neck. “Answer me.”

A mechanical voice broke the silence. “Don’t move.”

She stopped breathing and froze, afraid to look up, but then looked anyway.

A figure in a brownish ski mask and desert camouflage occupied the top of the staircase. Holding Alec. He—or she— held him at gunpoint. One arm cradled Alec’s waist and a black pistol so close to Alec’s right ear, his curls hid part of the barrel.

She’d expected Alec’s expression to be as wild as hers must have been, but he appeared strangely calm.

“I’m all right, Annalisse.”

“Shut up.” The voice was distorted with some kind of voice altering mechanism. Deep tones, similar to a bumblebee in distress. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cacao Images From Costa Rica~ See What Prince Of Granola's Characters See

My recent release, Prince Of Granola, is set in Costa Rica on a cacao plantation. As always (and one of the fun parts of this crazy writing career) is doing the research.  But often times, the "behind-the-scenes" work stays just that. That's a shame.

I decided to post some images so you can see what I'm talking about in the book.  

These are cacao pods hanging from the tree in varying degrees of ripeness. They're really quite beautiful.  The rare white bean's pod isn't white, by the way.

Cutting the pod off carefully. The cacaotero can't afford to damage the tree and allow disease to enter. Remember, a super humid climate in Costa Rica. As Roberts says "One hundred and ten percent".

Opened pod. I can't tell for sure, but suspect this was opened with a machete, which is a quicker way to split them and remove the bean/pulp. It's also done with a mallet, more time consuming but with potentially less damage to the bean. 
That's how they harvest in Prince Of Granola.

Costa Rican hillside. Dirt path or road will become treacherous in the rain. 
Very treacherous and gravely affects our characters in Prince Of Granola.

Next: the making of chocolate or what's called "Bean to bar."


Monday, July 9, 2018

R&R: Raves and Rants For July ~ Perfect Possessives

Amanda is back with July's Raves & Rants.
Perfect Possessives
Welcome back for another rant.

Last month when we talked about apostrophes, I mentioned that one of the primary uses of an apostrophe is to indicate a word’s possessive case.  Since the rules for creating possessives are simple, you might think it would be rare to find errors.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case, which is why I’m ranting about that today. 

I continue to be shocked at the number of incorrect possessives I’ve found in published books.  I know you don’t want your book to be one of those that I’m tempted to hurl against a wall, so let’s talk about the correct way to form possessives.

We’ll start with the simplest rule, the one for single nouns. 

The possessive of a single noun, whether it’s a proper or a common noun, 
is made by appending an apostrophe and an s to that word. 

Did you take note of the last example?  That’s one of the most common errors I find.  Charles is a singular noun, and the rule of adding an apostrophe and an s applies to it.  I grind my teeth every time I read Charles’, which is why I fought and won an argument with one of my editors who hadn’t learned the rule and changed all my Charles’s to Charles’.  I no longer write for that publisher, but that’s another story.

The possessive of plural nouns is almost as simple, although there are two parts to the rule.  
Part One: The possessive of a plural noun that ends in s 
is formed by adding an apostrophe.

Now that you’ve learned this rule, do you find anything wrong with the following sentence?

“We’re having supper at my parent’s house.”
That was a bit of a trick question.  It’s perfectly correct if you have only one parent, but in that case, wouldn’t you be more likely to say “my mother’s” or “my father’s” rather than “my parent’s”?  This is another error that I find far too often.

On to the second part of the plural noun rule.  
The possessive of a plural noun that does not end in s 
is formed by adding an apostrophe and an s.

In other words, since there’s no final s, you form the plural the same way you would for a singular noun.

You wouldn’t say childrens, would you?  I hope not.  I don’t like ranting, and that would definitely provoke one.

I’ve talked about misplaced and misused apostrophes, but there’s another side to this problem.  Here are two examples I found in recent reading.  (I’ve changed the wording slightly to protect the guilty.)

“Rather than face Mrs. Dobbs anger, she closed the door softly.”
“The same people were present at the Sartors today.”

What’s wrong with these?  Congratulations if you noticed that they were both missing apostrophes.  Perhaps these were nothing more than typos, but I suspect that the authors weren’t sure how to make the possessive and decided to err on the side of no apostrophe.  Wrong decision!

How would you correct them?  Did you say, “Rather than face Mrs. Dobbs’s anger …” since there is only one Mrs. Dobbs, and “present at the Sartors’” because we’re dealing with a plural noun there?  If so, double congratulations. 

And on that note, I’m going to end this rant.  I hope you’ll come back next month when we’ll address the troublesome twos.

~ Amanda

A lifetime of reading and writing, not to mention a host of teachers who believed that good grammar was one of the essentials of life, have given Amanda Cabot such firm opinions about the printed word that I asked her to share some with us in her Raves and Rants posts.  Although her working career was in Information Technology, Amanda achieved her dream of selling her first novel before her thirtieth birthday and is now the author of more than thirty novels as well as a number of books and articles for Information Technology professionals.  Her most recent release is A Borrowed Dream, the second of the Cimarron Creek trilogy.

Find all of Amanda's books, newsletter info and social media links here.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Booksweeps Time ~ An Amazing Way To Find New Authors for Romantic Suspense

Ryan Zee is the brilliant mind behind BookSweeps as well as other promotional opportunities to help readers find new reads and authors, and I decided it was time to join the Romantic Suspense Sweep. The RS sweeps don't happen that often, so this was too good to miss, for you and for me.

This graphic shows the updated cover I did for Dare To Believe, my romantic suspense set on the idyllic beaches of Hawaii and the majestic mountains of Colorado.

The great thing about the BookSweeps is that it's easy to enter and by doing so, you get a chance to win 55 romantic suspense novels and a new ereader. What a great way to find new authors to love.  

I will receive your email address to add to my mailing list, but I only send out quarterly newsletters, so I don't inundate you, and it always includes a great freebie and often a great deal.  Yes, I'm tempting you, 55 new authors, a new ereader, and a newsletter from me with great stuff :)  How can you resist?

Oh, and when you sign up for all the newsletters (great idea) or just my mine, I treat you with the first chapter from 4 of my books, including Be Mine This Christmas Night, a #1 Bestseller on Amazon, Dare To Believe, an award-winning suspense in The Daphne du Maurier RWA unpubbed contest--it's pubbed now :) and Stone Of Heaven, rewritten from award-winning script--top 100 in Scriptapalooza. And my latest novel Prince Of Granola set in Costa Rica on a cacao plantation...yum chocolate! It's my way of saying thank you.  

So, please click here and sign up. You can always unsubscribe from any of the newsletters at any time, but not mine (kidding).

L.A. Sartor

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Five Secrets From Author Dana Wayne & Her Book ~ Mail Order Groom

It's my pleasure to bring you Five Secrets from Author Dana Wayne. 
Take it away Dana.

Thanks for hosting me again on your blog, L.A. It's a pleasure to be here.

I’m a sixth generation Texan – or seventh depending on which relative you ask. My maternal grandmother was half-Indian; which tribe is still debated among the family but most likely Cherokee or Choctaw. My maternal grandfather was Hispanic. I like tell folks I had relatives on both sides of the fight for Texas Independence.

I love to fish, am a pretty good photographer, and I am an avid tent camper. I love to cook outdoors in Dutch ovens and frequently teach classes to folks on how to do that.

A writer is always writing; sometimes on paper, sometimes in our heads. Anything can spark an idea and we can’t rest until that idea is put on paper. I have a folder on my computer entitled “things to write” which includes all those nuggets that pop into my head and won’t leave me alone until I put them on paper.

Hi, Dana, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about Mail Order Groom or you, but will after today!

1)   Tyler Roundtree has his hands full with Emma. She is smart, independent and sexy as all get-out, but doesn’t know a thing about how to be a woman. It’s up to him to enlighten her.

2)   Emma’s take-the-bull-the-horns tendency is sometimes disconcerting for Ty, but things are never dull. Like their first kiss. And their wedding night.

3)   A lock of Emma’s hair is key to Ty’s recovery.

4)   Emma is shocked to discover she must deliver her best friend’s baby. Alone. And she doesn’t have a clue. Is it like pulling a calf? Does she need a rope?

5)    Ty and Emma’s marriage of convenience takes a drastic turn when Ty is shot.


“Find a husband in thirty days or lose the ranch when I die.”

Emma Marshall is stunned by her dying father’s ultimatum. With Twin Oaks to run alone, she avoids dealing with it, unaware of advertisements he placed seeking a groom.
Soon, prospects arrive, spurred by the promise of control of a prosperous ranch and a beautiful bride. Angry, embarrassed and heartbroken by her father’s tactics, she fights for her independence.

Tyler Roundtree responds to his best friends’ request and applies for position of temporary foreman at the Marshall place. Surprised to find his new boss is a beautiful, jean-wearing, gun-toting woman with enough grit to go bear hunting with a switch, he happily accepts the job.

Distracted by persistent suitors and a dangerous man intent on getting control of her ranch, Emma is totally unprepared for the instant attraction to Ty. Thrown together by chance, she wonders if he may be the answer to her problem. However, it soon becomes clear she knows everything about running a ranch, and nothing about being a woman.

A world-weary Southern gentleman, a fiery, independent woman; will a marriage of convenience bring them happiness or more heartache?


Find Dana: