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Friday, July 31, 2015

She's a great lawyer up against a tough system in the 1800s. She has no room in her life for love . . .

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 1.01.12 AMFRIDAY'S FANTASTIC FIND is the western historical romance ONE SHINGLE TO HANG by DeANN SMALLWOOD. 
($2.50 at Amazon) http://www.amazon.com/One-Shingle-Hang-DeAnn-Smallwood-ebook/dp/B00LU6NGV8/ref=sr_1_8?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1405543680&sr=1-8&keywords=deann+smallwood
A woman with too much knowledge was at risk for insanity. Their fragile mind couldn’t handle it. That’s what Lil had been told when she went against convention and became an attorney. The 1800s had fewer women lawyers than women doctors. Her pride knew no bounds when she hung her shingle—L.M. Wentfield, Attorney At Law.
Drew was a struggling cattle rancher, building a fledging Hereford empire. He was working toward that goal when he was accused of rustling and faced possible hanging. He needed a lawyer—a good one—a man. Chesterfield had one lawyer—a new one—L.M. Wentfield. He wasn’t prepared for a beautiful blonde with a sharp tongue and fiercely won independence.
Lil had no homemaking abilities. Her love was the law. And if the thoughts of the gray-eyed cowboy, who had the audacity to refuse her legal help stayed in her mind, she’d push them aside. She had nothing to offer a rancher . Even her wealth wouldn’t be considered an asset to a prideful man. And Drew Jackson was proud. So proud, he knew he couldn’t ask a woman of Lil’s stature to share his life—but he wanted to—from the moment he’d stolen that first kiss.
I live in Colorado with my husband and my two Yorkie kid dogs: Stormy, four pounds, and Eli, six pounds. I’m a native of Colorado, but I’ve lived several years in Wyoming and Montana. I draw from these beautiful states for most of my books. My Western Historical Romances are: Montana Star, Sapphire Blue, Unconquerable Callie, One Shingle To Hang, and Wyoming Heather and One Shingle To Hang. Tears In The Wind is a contemporary romance. Then I changed genres from my beloved romances and wrote, under the pen name of D. M. Woods, my first suspense/thriller: Death Crosses The Finish Line. The second book in this ‘death’ series, Death Is A Habit, came out January 8, 2014. I am currently working on the third book in the ‘death’ series, Death Walks C Dock. I am also working on another Western Historical Romance, Montana Man. It features the characters readers came to know and love in Montana Star. Truly, I mean it when I say my greatest pleasure next to writing is having my books read and enjoyed. There are many more stories just waiting to be written
Everyone knew Lil Wentfield would never marry. What man would want her? She was too old, too set in her ways, and too damned opinionated. Granted, she was a real beauty, if you could get past all the other flaws. Long blonde hair, equally long legs, sparkling blue eyes, flawless skin, with just a hint of a European ancestor in the coloring. And lips, well to call them kissable would be doing them an injustice.

But spinster she was, with her hair coiled into a tight knot at the nape of her neck, as tight as the expression habitually worn on her lovely face. Wire rimmed glasses perched on her small nose, obscured flashes of emotion in those beautiful eyes. Except when it came to outrage. Then her eyes snapped, her spine stiffened, her chin raised, and she peered disdainfully at the offender.

Lil was like a badger when it came to proving her point and winning an argument. Her mother liked to say Lil was born arguing. What her father liked to say was more colorful and filled with disappointment. His only child compounded being born female, by having a mind of her own. Once Lil made a decision, she planted her feet firmly on the chosen path, and didn’t step off until her goal was accomplished.

Men found her unnerving. Lil Wentfield wouldn’t be any man’s ‘little woman’, her place in the home, serving her husband, and mothering children. She was unsettling; not material necessary for being the calming homemaker and acquiescent wife needed to soothe and support a man as he went about his business.
A loud knock broke into her thoughts. “Come in,” she called out.
Nothing happened, then another knock. “Please, come in,” she called again.
Getting no response, Lil came around her desk and, with some irritation at the interruption, jerked open the door, nearly toppling the tall man who held the doorknob on the other side. He muttered something under his breath, and tried to regain his balance only to bump into Lil, throwing her off stride. She stumbled backwards and would have fallen if not for the man’s quick reaction. He grabbed Lil and, wrapping both arms around, pulled her to him. Then, in a parody of the two-step, he danced her to safety.
Lil felt herself falling, then rescued by two strong arms. Not only was she pulled up short, but she was wrapped tightly against a rock hard chest, her nose buried in the man’s damp shirt. A very pleasant smell greeted her nose. The scent of summer rain and witch hazel. She found the masculine odor intoxicating.
Neither moved. Then Lil raised her head and looked into a pair of dancing gray eyes. His arms never relaxed their grip; in fact, they seemed to tighten around her as his mouth twitched, then broke into a smile.
“Didn’t expect to end up with a beautiful woman in my arms. For a moment there, I expected to land on the rug, Ma’am. With you alongside me,” he added with a chuckle.
He loosened his grip and gently pushed her away from the warmth and safety of his chest. Lil stepped back, feeling as though she’d just had something precious taken from her. She realized her hands still gripped his arms. Like a hot potato, she dropped them and turned away from the man’s disturbing presence. Like a fox heading for her den, Lil scurried behind her desk and gratefully lowered her trembling body onto the waiting chair.
With the desk between them, she was once again in charge. “May I help you?” she asked coolly, hoping the tremble in her voice went unnoticed. “I called come in not once but twice.”
“Sorry, Ma’am. Guess I didn’t hear you. I was just fixing to open the door when you did just that. Are you okay?”
“Yes.” Lil answered with no desire to elaborate. “I—I appreciate you catching me. Now,” she hurried away from that topic, “to repeat myself, how may I help you?”
He smiled, as if knowing her thoughts. Walking over to the desk, he removed his hat and stood with it in his hands. “I apologize for dripping on your floor, but it’s raining like hel—, uh, like heck out there.”
Lil tried not to look at how the ends of his eyes crinkled when he smiled. She focused instead on his hair, black and shiny with rain drops glistening on the wavy strands not covered by his hat. She didn’t realize she was staring at him until he shifted from foot to foot.
“Yes,” Lil answered, pulling herself back to reality.
“What I’m here for is to see L.M. Wentfield, Attorney At Law.” He pointed at the window, in the direction of the sign.
Lil nodded. “Yes,” she said again. At this rate, he’d think she only had a one word vocabulary.
The man tilted his head to one side. “Could you direct me to L. M. Wentfield, Ma’am?”
“Of course I can. How may I help you?”
Two small furrows appeared between the man’s eyes. He peered closer at her. Perhaps he needed to try another approach.
“Ma’am, could I speak with your husband?”
“There is no husband,” Lil said with a hint of asperity.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Two July releases -- Instructions for 30 days of passion, and Injured patient to commanding officer

Toronto Romance Writer member Christine D'Abo has a late July release: 

"Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mate, but not Alyssa Barrow. She met Rob at nineteen, and they were set to live happily ever after—until he became ill. In his final days, Rob urged his beautiful, young wife not to abandon happiness—or pleasure. He even left her a special gift, a sexy game plan to help her move on: Thirty cards with instructions for thirty days of passion. You’ll know when the time is right, he’d said. Now it’s two years later, and when Alyssa meets her hot new neighbor, Harrison Kemp, she begins to think the right time is right now…
From his sculpted thighs to his devilish grin, Harrison is the kind of man women want. Before she can lose her nerve, Alyssa tells Harrison about her long-ignored cards…and asks him to help her fulfill them. It’s a favor he’s more than happy to, um, perform. With his skillful touch, and the hot press of his lips against her skin, Alyssa finds herself re-awakening to life—and a host of other sensations. But what began as not-so-innocent fun soon grows into true intimacy, and Alyssa realizes she’s opening herself up not just to sex…but to love. When it comes to a future with Harrison, what’s really in the cards?" -- Amazon 

~~~                                                                                                                                      ~~~

Another July release from Toronto Romance Writers member Amy Ruttan

"Finally the injured navy SEAL who had once been brought to surgeon Erica Griffin in the dead of night has a name: Captain Thorne Wilder—her new commanding officer. Five years later he's just as gorgeous as Erica remembers…but now he's totally off-limits.

Thorne has been left damaged, brooding and untamable after the loss of his dreams—and beautiful Erica is an unwanted complication. She might be as wary of relationships as he is, but fighting temptation will be the biggest battle of all." -- Amazon

Wednesday, July 29, 2015



by Christine Mazurk 

I have to share a little something with you before I recommend another outstanding book; SAY YES, SARAH by Blanche Marriott.

I'm late posting today, because of a very rare occurrence. I haven't dealt with a stomach issue in forever ... and after wondering why I'm feeling so crappy, I realized I know exactly what happened.

My husband and I have been eating a vegan diet since October. We've added wild salmon to our menu on rare occasions, but Monday night, we decided to grill chicken breasts seasoned with an incredible home-made rub. My digestive system is rebelling, and not in a nice way. As horrible as I feel today, I can say a tasty grilled chicken breast is not worth it!! No more meat for me. I'm going back to eating my vegetables and salads. (My mom's probably smiling down on me from heaven right now.)

So, on the plane ride home from my spectacular birthday celebration (Four days in Southern Utah with my fabulous hubby), I opened my Kindle App and started reading SAY YES, SARAH written by a good friend, Blanche Marriott. I was hooked from the first page!!

Fifteen years ago a teenage pregnancy and a rebellious life forced Sarah Chapman to give up her baby.She's since alienated herself from any relationships, including family. But when she discovers the long held secret of her grandmother's dead twins, she sets out to find her daughter, heal the wounds of loss and right her wrongs. Finding love along the way is the furthest thing from her mind. Not to mention her overwhelming sense of maternal love. 

Evan Kingfield feels he's been in a walking coma since his wife died five years ago. His only focus is to raise his teenage daughter the best he can. But what does he know about a girl's teenage angst? And why has she become so distant? He has no idea how to be father and mother at the same time. So when his daughter confesses that she's found her birth mother, Evan is devastated. He already lost his wife, the love of his life. He couldn't bare to lose his daughter too.   

The story has received several 5 star reviews:

"A sweet romance. Blanche Marriott takes on the unique situation of a mom reconnecting with the daughter she'd given up at birth. Melding part of her own family history into the story. She took me on an emotional journey that is realistic and uplifting. A book filled with hope and healing." 

"I couldn't put this sweet love story down." 

"I've enjoyed reading all of Blanche Marriott's books. I must say that this one has a touching personal approach and a gripping storyline. The best word to describe how one will feel while reading it is 'uplifting'!!

More praise for Blanche: 

Loved, loved, loved this book. Outstanding author.

Brilliant Read. 

Looking for an uplifting story, read this one!! 

I have to agree with all of the above!! Fabulous story by an outstanding author. Available in e-book and paperback. Get your kindle version today for $2.99. 

Until next week, I'm off to buy another Blanche Marriott masterpiece. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

All she wants to do is follow her dream, but can she make room for falling in love?

UnconquerableCallie_850 (1)(8)Tuesday's REVOLVING BOOK is the historical romance UNCONQUERABLE CALLIE by DeANN SMALLWOOD.
Sometimes a lie can lead to love.
Get it on Amazon:

Callie Collins, a proud woman in the late 1800’s, is a liar and a darned good one, a master of the dubious art. She is also a dreamer. Her greatest hope is to reach a new life in South Pass City, Wyoming, where she can open a bakery and live an independent life. To be successful, she will need her greatest deception to date, a mythical fiancĂ© who waits at the end of the line. As a woman alone, she has to prove to Seth McCallister, the wagon master, that she has the wherewithal and the stamina to survive months of drought, dust, hardships, and even the risk of death.

Seth McCallister is mystified by the audacity and determination of Callie Collins. His initial distrust and concern for Callie, a woman traveling alone, begins first as admiration, then friendship, then love, a love that he is forced to hold at bay. What he doesn’t realize is that there is no fiancĂ©. To make matters worse, Callie develops feelings for Seth McCallister, too. Yet she feels certain that once he realizes her deception, he’ll turn away, ashamed of his love and trust in her.

Extremely well written. I found myself in the west, riding along on the wagon train with Callie struggling right along with her. Experiencing her every emotion, forging friendships,and falling in love I recommend this book to anyone with an adventurous spirit.

UNCONQUERABLE CALLIE is an enjoyable and entertaining love story. DeAnn Smallwood exhibits her talent for words with her tale of love, hardship, relationships, and determination. She does an excellent job of crafting a romance with the historical backdrop of a wagon train. Her depiction of the adventurous spirit of settlers, as well as the dangers and hardships they endured on their journey for a better life, was fascinating and excellent.

The heroine, Callie, a courageous woman determined to forge a life for herself, embarks on a treacherous excursion through Indian country, despite the obstacles or the dangers she must face. Along the way, her courage and giving nature wins the hearts of her fellow travelers, including the wagon master.
UNCONQUERABLE CALLIE is a sweet romance that will draw you in from the beginning to the end. It is resplendent with history, well-drawn characters, and vivid descriptions. The plot flows unfettered and solid with an engaging story line. This novel is for anyone who loves romance and history without sexual complications. A must read.

DeAnn Smallwood lives in Colorado with her husband, Marvin and two Yorkies, Eli and Stormy. She is a native of Colorado, but has lived in Montana and Wyoming. Historical romances are one of her favorite genres to write. Recently, she branched out into the suspense/thriller genre and wrote the first novel in her death series: Death Crosses The Finish line. This is written under her pen name of D. M. Woods. Her second book in this series: Death Is A Habit has just been completed. You can find her contemporary romance: Tears In The Wind, and two additional historical romances, Sapphire Blue and Montana Star at Amazon.com and SoulMate Publishing. Another historical romance: Wyoming Heather will be out in May. Her greatest pleasure next to writing is having her books read and enjoyed. Many more stories are just waiting to be written and shared.


Monday, July 27, 2015

What I Learned About Parenting from Star Trek - By Alison Bruce

From Voyager, "The Q and the Grey"
"I look at the universe in an entirely different way now. I mean, I can't go around causing temporal anomalies or subspace inversions without considering the impact it'll have on my son."  
(Voyager, The Q and the Grey)

The moment you become a parent, your life is changed forever.

Let's be honest, I didn't learn that from Star Trek. That's a lesson you only really learn from experience. You can hear it, read it, see it in other people, but you don't really get it until you're holding your own child.

Regardless, Star Trek did prepare me for many aspects of parenthood. For instance, sometimes "miracle" pregnancies do happen. For Deanna Troi, in Star Trek Next Generation, The Child, the miracle was an alien life form that decided to explore humanity by being born human. Deanna gets pregnant and comes to term two days later

My first born was a bit of a miracle too. My partner and I hadn't got to the stage of discussing children. I was using an IUD, which had stood me in good stead since I was a teen. Then I became one of the 2%. Of course the IUD had to come out, but it was risky business. There was a possibility that the fetus would be damaged or even abort. Over that hurdle, I then caught Chicken Pox. This raised the specter of birth defects. Murphy seemed to have it out for my baby but, in the words of the Bard, "All's well that ends well."
That's mine on the right.
Star Trek prepared me for the fact that babies have their own for when they are going to be born, and where. Yes, I could have learned that from any number of movies and TV episodes where babies are delivered in the back of taxi cabs or police cruisers (my personal favourite is from Men in Black).

Star Trek got to me first. In Friday's Child, not only does the mother give birth on the run, Dr. McCoy has to persuade her not to kill the baby and herself per tribal custom. 

Keiko: "No, I mean contractions... I'm going into labor!"
Worf: "You cannot! This is not a good time, Keiko!"

(Next Generation, Disaster)

 In Disaster, Keiko O'Brian gives birth in Ten Forward during a ship-wide emergency. Worf gets to act as midwife, but his only experience was on a holodeck as part of his Starfleet training.Voyager features three births and two of them occur while the ship is under attack.

When I went into labour with my second child I decided that walking to the hospital was a good idea. My first delivery was late so the doctor decided to induce labour. In the end I had a C-section. So, next time round, even though I had a c-section scheduled, I was determined to go into labour on my own.

I made my partner have sex over and over again. (A real hardship, right?) I went for a walk with my three-year-old in the morning and we stayed out until I felt labour pains in the afternoon. Every time we stopped, I fantasized a dramatic birthing scene. The slide looked good at the playground. The coffee shop would have plenty of hot water. On the way to the hospital, we took the route passing the fire hall and police station so I could have drama and men in uniform. In the end, order prevailed. I had an uneventful c-section. But it wasn't for lack of trying.

Jake Sisko: "Dad, I'm fourteen."
Commander Benjamin Sisko: "I'm glad we agree on something"

(Deep Space Nine, Move Along Home)

Nog and Jake, Season 1
Deep Space Nine was, hands down, the best Star Trek source for parenting advice. Unlike any of the commanders in the other shows, Benjamin Sisko had a child. Fourteen year old Jake Sisko made friends with Ferengi youth, Nog. Over the seven seasons of the series, we got to see Jake and Nog grow up and establish their lives. There were a lot of stories that grew out of the different values of their families and the fact that neither father saw the relationship as being good for their son.

Nog and Jake, Season 5

Living in a multicultural  neighbourhood, I've seen my kids navigate similar waters. I'm all for the friendships, but I know that feeling isn't universal. When my sister and I were teens, we'd be arguing that since Mary's mother let her, why couldn't we? More often than not, I find myself explaining why Ahmed's mother won't let them when I will.

Then there's age difference between my kids. My youngest always wants the same freedom my oldest has. Nog may be small, but he's older than Jake so, when Jake complained that Nog could and he couldn't, it wasn't just cultural differences. Just try and convince the younger one that age does make a difference.

Maybe the biggest lesson demonstrated by Nog and Jake is that kids are who they are. Nog is a Ferengi. Ferengi males, by tradition, learn commerce from their male relatives, then go off and accumulate wealth for themselves. Nog is a canny trader, but his ambitions take him in another direction.

Jake is the son of a station commander. He is practically guaranteed a spot at Starfleet Academy - if for no other reason than the opportunities he's had to learn the necessary skills. But Jake doesn't want to go to the Academy. Nog does.

Will my kids surprise me? Why should they stop now? Will they run counter to my expectations? Since I only expect them to be decent human beings, I don't think so.