Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Welcome Back, Tena Stetler!

I’m a writer. That’s what I do, I write. I’ve spun tales since I was old enough to read and put Crayola to paper. With my vivid over active imagination, I’m never at a loss for a magical story.  The tricky part is keeping it interesting and flowing from beginning to end. Over the past couple of years, there’s been family crisis in my world and illnesses.

While I’ve rarely had real life disrupt my writing, it did this time – big time. After surviving COVID in 2021, a blood clot caused by COVID, then the necessity of major surgery of full hip replacement on October 5, 2022, the words didn’t come as easily. Now this wasn’t “writer’s block”, the ideas were still there, but the continuity was not -- making my current work in progresses difficult to finish. Thank goodness, my holiday novella was complete and submitted, with a release date of November 14, 2022.

I barely made my weekly word count, but my heart just wasn’t in the words. Self-doubt danced around the edges of my mind. Was it the recent chaos in my life or was the well running dry? 

The family drama and illness has settled down, the loose ends are still running amuck, but we’ll get them tamed.  I’m off the heavy duty pain killers(nothing worse than your mind floating off and you can’t catch it), almost able to care for myself, getting rested up and feeling more me.  Scary thought, huh? Wow what a difference that makes.

Yesterday the words were back in abundance. Yippee! My story is back on track and racing toward the finish line. I’ll make that dead line. I hope. And NaNoWriMo which I’d lost hope of finishing is almost on track.

I put these words to paper—Or I guess actually it’s to screen so others will know there is always a light at the end of that dark tunnel.  Sometimes you just have to wait for the ray of light, but it’s there lurking.  That’s tough for me as I’m the impatient, determined sort. Well, it’s time to delve back into my next book in the new Mountain Town Mystery Series before the characters take off in the wrong direction…again. 

Take time to enjoy your family and friends this holiday season. Remember to take care of you during this busy season. A short walk, relax in a quiet place can get the juices flowing again.

Now let me tell you about my holiday Novella MERINGUE SNOWFLAKE MAGICAfter being in the wrong place at the wrong time Wynter Dahl finds herself with a new name and new home.  Whisked into the Witness Protection program she finds herself in the Podunk town of Raven’s Hollow, Colorado.  She has more than one secret to keep and is not sure who she can trust, though the deputy sheriff is hard to resist. 

Braydon “Blaze” Nightwing, owns Dragon Fire Pizza and takes his job as deputy sheriff seriously. He means to protect his town and its residents, including the mysterious newcomer. He rescues her after a tumble and finds himself in over his head.  He senses she’s more than she seems but so is he.

When her cover is blown and her life is in danger it will take the whole town to save her and their annual holiday festival and cookie contest. What is Christmas without a little magic?


Buy Link:

https://books2read.com/u/bzVO19

A sneak peek between the pages of MERINGUE SNOWFLAKE MAGIC. 

The wind had changed direction, and the pretty ice crystals were like tiny needles buffeting her face. She looked up and down Main Street and saw only one stoplight. Finally, she turned around and walked backward for a few yards. Glancing over her shoulder, she could see her street. She started to turn around, her foot slipped on the curb and arms flailing, down she went with a thud. Clutching her precious box of goodies in front of her, they were safe. However, the mug of hot chocolate popped the lid and sent hot chocolate in all directions, including all over her brand new bright-colored parka and the sidewalk. When she tried to get up, each foot went in a different direction, then down she went again. Getting to her knees, she crawled to the sidewalk, carefully got to her feet, and tried to brush the wet snow off. The damp material stuck to her. She began to shiver as the wind whipped around her.

“Hey lady, you all right?” A man stopped his SUV in the middle of the road and jumped out. “That was quite a spill you took.” He smiled wide, picking up her mug and lid. “But I see your goodies from Candi’s place are still intact. Let me give you a ride. You’re going to freeze as wet as your clothes are.” He held out his hand. “Braydon Nightwing, but everyone calls me Blaze. I own the pizza place a few blocks down the way.” 

When she reached for his hand, her arm shook. Her teeth chattered as she tried to say her name. “Wynterrr.”

“It’s warm in my SUV. Please tell me where you’re going. I’ll get you there.” He pried her fingers from the box, helped her over to the vehicle, and opened the passenger door. Warm air rushed out of the SUV, caressing her face.

Please don’t let him be a serial killer. Slowly, she reached behind her and patted her waistband. ShitWhy didn’t I bring my weapon? Getting in a car with a stranger wasn’t smart. But the warmth emanating from the vehicle was inviting.  Death by serial killer or freeze. She crawled into the SUV and huddled in front of the heater vents.

 


About the Author:

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal tales. Some call her crazy others creative. She deals with the voices in her head by writing them down and creating a fantasy world and characters you won’t soon forget.  Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure,magic, and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.

Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a fifty-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. 

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.tenastetler.com

Authors’ Secret’s Blog https://www.tenastetler.com/category/authors-secrets-blog/

My Say What Blog - http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author

Twitter Page: https://www.twitter.com/TenaStetler   

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14187532.Tena_Stetler

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/author/tenastetler

Newsletter: https://www.tenastetler.com/newsletter-signup/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/tenastetler

Tribber - http://triberr.com/TenaStetler

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tena-stetler

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tenastetler/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/tenajean2014

BookGorilla - https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B014E0PEPM/tena-stetler

Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tena-stetler-10057978/

 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Writes Badly With Others

I have lost my ability to write when the kids are home. This is problematic, since I’m a writer and unlike the rest of you, my job knows no weekends, holidays or what have you. 

The girls came home from college and law school, and I was thrilled to see them! I had multiple days with them, and it was wonderful. I knew my writing schedule would be off, even if they both told me they had a ton of work to do, so I planned accordingly, setting my word counts to adjust for multiple days off.

 

But still, I hoped I’d get some bonus writing in.

 

I did on two days, but there weren’t a lot of words. I’m not sure if I lost my focus, or if it was the adorable puppy who wanted to play, or just the extra work I had to do to prepare Thanksgiving. Regardless, it was about five days without writing.

 

Want to know what happened when they left? 

 

The writing flowed! I sat down and made my word count in about an hour, banging on my keyboard and amazed at how productive I was. And, since my deadline to complete my first draft is December 1, I’m still on track to make it.

 

But they’re coming back in three weeks and staying for longer this time. There’s no way I can take that much time off from writing, even if occasional breaks are good for my creative well. I may have to lock myself away from everyone on a daily basis to get in words, since it seems I’ve forgotten how to work with others around.

 

Suggestions?

Monday, November 14, 2022

A Day in the Life

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. It’s been even longer since I’ve written a “Day in the Life” blog post, so I thought I’d do that. Especially since so much has gone on in my writing world.

Now that I have a Harlequin contract, I have set deadlines (and self-imposed ones to meet those set ones). I also have a lot more writing and editing to do, since I’m now writing for two publishers instead of one. Writing for two requires me to remember different writing and editing styles, word counts, and business models.

 

The thing I like best about being a writer—other than writing—is being able to set my own schedule (within the above-mentioned parameters). And that means waking when I want. If you know me, you know I’m not a morning person. Even so, I wake up around seven thirty, but not having to rush out of bed is my one luxury that I try to maintain. It’s also why I’m bad at walking with people in the morning, but that might have to be another blog post. We’ll see. 

 

Once I’m awake, I go downstairs, feed Midnight, the rescue dog, and myself. I check the news—starting with entertainment because, well, I need a lift before I move onto the dumpster fire—my email, etc. I take care of my daily marketing tasks of posting different books to Facebook groups and Twitter while eating breakfast. Then I go through my to-do list, which usually consists of the business side of writing (advertising, etc.) as well as personal items, like grocery shopping. 

 

Then it’s time to address the writing and editing needs. I typically edit in the morning. Depending on how much I have, I may break it up into pieces throughout the day, or I’ll just get it done in one shot. Thanks to the pandemic, my attention span has been shot, and I find I need to divide everything into smaller, more manageable chunks. 

 

By then, it’s usually lunch time. After a short break for lunch, I move onto writing. I set myself a daily word count for several reasons. One, it ensures I meet whatever deadlines I have. With my current Harlequin manuscript, I’m aiming for my first draft to be complete by December first. That currently means I’m writing 1,128 words per day. Weekends, too. And two, it keeps me focused even when my attention span is lacking. To help with that, I’ll participate in writing sprints with other writer friends. Basically, we set the timer and write, checking in when the timer rings. You’d be amazed at how productive I am when there’s accountability involved.

 

Some days, those words come easily. Other days they don’t. So, when I’m finally finished, I’ll either do more editing or I’ll take a break. There are always other things that need to be tackled, like planning a book release, updating advertising campaigns, supporting other writer friends, etc. That doesn’t even begin to address the honey-do lists—both mine and my husband’s—that we have.

 

I am not a night owl by any means, so I’m finished with whatever I need to get done by dinner time, freeing my evenings for reading, watching TV, and hanging with my husband. 

 

What’s your day like?

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Welcome Back, Darlene Fredette!


Blurb

Single father and ER doctor, Ethan Marley, is ready to put down roots. He and his daughter embark on a train adventure across Canada from west to east coast. Boarding the train, he meets a woman who steals his breath, and he learns that she too is headed to Redford Falls. He is intent on maintaining a friendship only, but Jenn makes his heart race faster than the train.  

 

Fashion designer, Jenn Martini, travels by train to Redford Falls to visit her father. Her plan for a solitude escape derails after meeting Ethan and his daughter. Sharing a confined-spaced cabin sparks an immediate attraction, and by the end of the trip, she longs to be a part of their family. Only as she opens her heart to love, do the scars from her past begin to heal.

 

With more in common than relatives in Redford Falls, is their love strong enough to overcome the truth behind the accident…and save their future? 

 

Excerpt


Avery pointed to herself, Ethan, and then Jenn. 

Ethan rested his forehead against his daughter’s. “You want Jenn to come, too?” 

Avery nodded.

The little voice in Jenn’s head told her to return to her cabin and to stay clear of Ethan and his daughter. They were as enticing as strawberry ice cream. “I would love to join you.” The words fell from her lips. 

Ethan stood and set Avery on her feet. 

The child held onto her father’s hand and reached outward with the other. 

Jenn accepted the tiny hand and in doing so, she sensed a comfortable connection to this family—a connection she suspected would be incredibly hard to break.

 

Bio


Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, or painting, or drawing, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador. 

 

Buy Link


Universal Purchase Link: 

http://darlenefredette.blogspot.com/2021/04/my-books-purchase-links.html


Social Media

 

Website: http://darlenefredette.blogspot.com/

Blog: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Amazon Author Page CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Darlene-Fredette/e/B005NAF660/

Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Fredette/e/B005NAF660/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darlenefredette1/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarleneLF

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/DarleneLF

Derailed Hearts Key Words: Clean and Wholesome Romance, Two-Hour Read, Family Drama, Second Chances, Family Life Fiction, Train Ride, Doctor, Fashion Designer.

 


Monday, September 19, 2022

Cooking As A Love Language

According to experts, there are five different love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. That may be true. But I have another one, and while I'm not an expert, I think it's a valid addition--cooking.

I cook to express my love for those around me. Not feeling well? I'll make you soup. Had a tough day? Let me cook you a nice dinner. Celebrating something? I'll bake cookies. It's how I show those I care about that I love them.

Today, I'm baking for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The round challah is for our Rosh Hashanah dinner. Our table is smaller this year, since neither of our daughters can join us, but we'll still celebrate with my parents and welcome in the new year. And since our daughters won't be home for the holiday, I'm sending them their own Rosh Hashanah sweets, applesauce cake. It's my mom's recipe, with some modifications to accommodate the girls' tastes. Cooking for love only works if I make something they will want to eat. 

I include a lot of food in the books I write, too. Food tells a lot about a person--do they prefer savory or sweet, are they a chocolate person, do they cook or order in, does it bring back memories or make new ones?

In my upcoming Harlequin romance (September 2023), the story takes place over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Food plays a huge role. In fact, the hero is a Jewish deli owner who has taken over the family business. And of course, he makes the best challah in town.

So tell me, do you agree that food should also be a love language? Why or why not?

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Welcome Back, Kathleen Gallagher!

 

Spotlight Love’s Encore by Kathleen Ann Gallagher

 


BLURB:

Desire wins the lead role.

Sadie Layne, a creative and motivated high school drama teacher, is grateful for second chances. After surviving breast cancer, she embarks on a celebratory trip to LA with her two best friends. Sadie never expected to run into the handsome and charming Vince De Carlo in the hotel lobby. She hasn’t seen Vince much since they worked together in a theater company years ago. Their meeting interrupts her plans and reminds her of the life she left behind.

Vince, a struggling actor and cover model, is in LA to promote a television pilot. His old attraction to Sadie is stronger than ever. He never forgot her, even though a trusted friendship and a scripted kiss was all they’d shared.

The reunited pair give in to temptation, but reality soon collides with lust as strong doubts about their blossoming romance get in the way. Sadie dreads facing her defeat as an actress, and Vince doesn’t think a struggling actor like himself is capable of providing the accomplished teacher with what she deserves.

Will the couple find a way to keep their sizzling romance alive and build a future together? Or will their uncertainty win the lead role and smother the flames?

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

Sadie shook off the nerves, straightened her posture, and sucked her stomach in. Her new motto was taking chances and living life to the fullest. Here goes. She slowly approached her old theater partner. Hopefully he’d be happy to see her, and she wouldn’t make a fool out of herself in the middle of an upscale hotel. Her heart picked up speed and a hot flash hit her hard.

“Hi, Vince. I’m surprised to run into you here.” She offered a big smile. Relief washed over her when his expression brightened. Hopefully he didn’t notice her schoolgirl jitters.

“Sadie Layne. I can’t believe it.” He smiled back at her and held his hands out. “I haven’t seen you since the reunion last year.”

“I know. It was great to get together with the old gang. I can’t believe we graduated over ten years ago.”

Small talk was a good start for now. Vince leaned in and gave her a friendly embrace. She hadn’t expected that. He held onto her shoulders as he pulled back and stared intently. Goosebumps formed on her arms. She tried to hold it together and appear calm, but her insides jumped around like popcorn in a microwave.

“What brings you to LA?” Vince asked.

“I’m here on vacation with my friends.” Her stare locked onto his heart-shaped lips and she shivered.

His huge smile and the admiring way his sexy blue eyes took on a gleam gave her an inkling that he was pleased to see her too. Who knew? He’d never expressed an interest other than a friendship. They did enjoy each other’s company and they had a lot in common, but she had her doubts about being involved with a fellow actor, even though she’d had her longings. She’d heard horror stories about relationships in the business. Her work had been more important than a love affair.

Although, she did recall the passionate punch in his kiss. At the time, she thought it was his great acting skills. Could it have been real? She’d never forgotten when another classmate, Monica Sears, had cornered her and drilled her about the details of the love scene in the show. She’d always known why. Vince was one sexy dude.

“It’s awesome to see you, Sadie. You look beautiful.” He gave her a long, hard stare and flashed his pearly white smile. A dimple appeared on his cheek, and it took her over the edge.

The same adorable grin. Her head spun, and she took a few deep breaths. “You too.” She reached into her bag and took out the cover flap with his picture on it. “When did you start modeling?”

He crossed his arms and chuckled. “Oh, you found out my dirty little secret?” His cheeks took on a reddish glow. “I got involved with the industry a couple of years ago. It got me through in between gigs,” he admitted as he shrugged.

“I think you’re a natural. Your pose made me want to read the story.” His shirtless chest had a lot to do with her interest, but she’d keep it to herself. “What is this you have here?” Sadie pointed at the poster, trying to steady her trembling fingers. She’d like to believe her excitability was due to the anticipation of the trip, along with the long flight. But she knew that wasn’t what had caused it.

The earthy scent of his cologne floated her way, and she’d had enough of this distraction, but she’d be polite. She was in LA to celebrate, not fool around.

“It’s a pilot show we’re pitching, and I scored the male lead.” He curled up his fist and pumped it. “Yes! Can you believe it? We’re filming the pilot episode tonight, and we’re looking for audience members to fill the theater,” he said, his expression beaming with pride. He took on a stance of confidence with his feet planted firmly on the floor, legs slightly spread, shoulders back, and his head high. You’d think he was a serviceman about to salute an officer.

“That’s fabulous. It looks like you’re finally on your way,” she cheered, and offered him a congratulatory hug. He held onto her for a few minutes, and she didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. Was her teenage crush turning into something much more?

“Why don’t you try to come to the show tonight? I know it’s short notice and you probably have plans, but if you can make it, it’d be great.” He tilted his head, and she couldn’t resist those alluring gray-blue eyes. “Sorry, I don’t even know who you’re here with. When did you get in?” Vince took a step back.

Out of the blue, this handsome, muscular, and confident looking man had caught her off guard and filled her head with naughty visions. Sadie held back a grin. She’d kept her cravings hidden when they’d hung out. Besides, it probably would have destroyed their friendship and ability to work together. But Sadie had to admit she loved his pouty lips. Everything about Vince oozed sex appeal.

“I’m here with my friends, Jill and Millie, on vacation,” she said.

“Well, think about coming tonight. I’d appreciate your critique.” He handed her the show’s info packet. “That is if you don’t try to change the script. You used to improvise. I remember the time Miss Nolan stormed out of the room when you changed your lines.” With a gleam in his eye, he laughed.

 

 




BIO:

Kathleen is originally from New Jersey, but currently resides in Southwest Florida with her husband and her Coton de Tulear, Luc. She has been writing stories since she was a young girl. When Kathleen is not dreaming up a plot for her next romance, she enjoys performing in community theater. You might also find her relaxing on one of Florida’s pristine sand and sparkling water beaches.  Kathleen loves meeting her readers, and she is extremely grateful for their continued support. 

 

 

https://amzn.to/3Jw1fm1 Love’s Encore link.

https://amzn.to/3ditU1U Amazon

https://bit.ly/3vFEPcc Twitter

https://bit.ly/3P47Hln Blog 

https://bit.ly/3QllTaE Facebook

 


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Welcome Back, Mike Torreano

 Inspiration for White Sands Gold

 

Inspiration for the story came from a conversation with a friend of mine, who said, “I’ve got the idea for your next book.” He then spun a tale of hidden gold—thousands and thousands of bars underneath a mountain north of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He’d been exploring the area for years.

Me: “How’d this gold supposedly get there?”

Him” No one knows for sure, but there are several different theories.”

Me: “When was this supposed to have happened?”

Him: “No one knows that, either, but legend says the gold’s been there for centuries.”

Me: “How come no one’s found it?”

Him: “Folklore says someone did, and that he brought some of the bars up in the 1930s. But he met an…uh…untimely death. No one’s seen anything since.”

Me: “Who shot him and why?”

Him: “Good question.”

So I went home and did an online search. When page after page about the fabled gold popped up, I created a few twists, crafted some interesting characters, and had my next western mystery, White Sands Gold, set in New Mexico Territory, 1890.



Bio
Mike Torreano has a military background and is a student of American history and the Old West.
His debut western mystery, The Reckoning, set in South Park, Colorado in 1868, was released in 2016 by The Wild Rose Press. The sequel, The Renewal, also in South Park, 1872, was released in 2018. His third western, A Score To Settle, was released October 2020, also from The Wild Rose Press. White Sands Gold is his latest western mystery, and was just released by Wild Rose. He has a coming-of-age novel, Fireflies At Dusk, set during the Civil War, and his short story, The Trade, a tale of the Yukon Gold Rush, was his first published work in 2014.
Mike’s written for magazines and newspapers for many years. An experienced editor, he’s taught University-level English and Journalism. He’s a member of the Historical Novel Society, Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Western Writers of America and several other writing groups. He brings his readers back in time with him as he recreates life in mid-to-late nineteenth century America. He and his wife, Anne, live in Colorado Springs.



BBlurb:

New Mexico Territory, 1890

 

In a hidden cavern, a fortune in gold bars sits alongside an ancient relic. 

 

To find her treasure-hunting brother, Lottie Durham enlists the help of an easygoing lawman who she can’t stand-at first. When a mysterious  woman known only as Ma asks her to join the relic’s guardians, Lottie’s world spins. Why her, and should she take on this solemn obligation?

 

Twill, leader of the secretive guardians, has sworn a vow to protect the centuries-old religious relic. Regrets bedevil him and his dedication to his oath is repeatedly tested. If he breaks his promise, he’ll fail Ma, the one person he’s never wanted to let down.

 

Will a looming raid by a band of determined killers be the end of the guardians, the gold, and the relic?

 Excerpt:

Lottie lowered to the damp ground, which brought the deputy down as well. She fought the urge to look his way. She was alone in the desert wrapped in a semi-bear hug with a man she met yesterday. She eased a hand to her holster and picked the leather loop off her hammer. Probably didn’t need a gun to protect against someone who’d already saved her life, but…in case he tried something.

The deputy snugged his hat lower and shut his eyes. 

“Hold on, cowboy. We can’t be sittin’ here just sleepin’. I mean…you oughta be talkin’ to me, reassurin’ me. How about it?”

He two-fingered his hat up a touch. “You seem to be able to take care of yourself fair, you should probably be reassurin’ me.” He glanced sideways at her, his face not more than a few inches away. 

That same half-smile that had been so irritating somehow didn’t look so annoying anymore.

 

Buy Links

 

Amazon- https://smile.amazon.com/White-Sands-Gold-Mike-Torreano/dp/150924431X/

 

Barnes and Noble- https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/white-sands-gold-mike-torreano/1141622239

 

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61440836-white-sands-gold?

 

The Wild Rose Press- https://wildrosepress.com/special-items/