Today I’m at the blog home of Brenda Whiteside, talking about my decision to go to law school as a single mom of two kids under 5 years old….
Come visit at the blog home of Ellen Mint– and read a piece from TENDER MISDEMEANORS! https://ellenmint.blog/2020/07/15/tender-misdemeanors-by-alana-lorens/
Hello all! Today I’m the Wild Rose Press pick Author of the day– Check it out! http://thewildrosepress.blogspot.com/
Thanks to author Cynthia Terelst for being with us today, with her new release, LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE.
First, would you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi Everyone, Here are some random facts about myself:
I live in Queensland, Australia with my two cats, Kimmy and Possum. Kimmy was adopted from a local refuge and Possum was a foster fail through a rescue. I foster kittens for a local rescue. When I don’t have any in my home, I have withdrawal symptoms.
My mum lives a few streets away and visits every week. My daughter lives over 100km away. We talk every day, multiple times.
A lot of my friends love coffee and cannot function without one. I am not one of those people. I drank coffee once, when I was a teenager, and have never gone back. Every now and then I will have a hot chocolate. I usually drink water or sugar free cordial. I like to go all out and have a glass of soft drink with dinner.
I do not have any formal training in writing, in fact my degree is in commerce, which is funny really when you think that numbers and words are opposites. I don’t think you need an education in writing to be a good writer. Although, having an understanding of structure, flow and grammar helps. I try to attend inline classes run through my state’s writing centre when something of interest comes along. But I think the most I learn is by listening to others, especially a close writing friend I work with.
Tell us about your most recent publication?
My second novel, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie was published on 30 June. It is a second chance romance that revolves around a scavenger hunt. A completely made-up scavenger hunt.
What inspired you to write this story?
Last year my daughter moved to a new town for work. I put up a post about the two pubs in town and a friend commented saying it sounded like it was a puzzle. Then I thought, that sounds like a fun idea for a novel, I’m going to write about a scavenger hunt.
What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?
You would think coming up with places to hide a treasure and thinking up clues would be easy. But it was quite a challenge. You need enough details so that the participants can get to the right answer, but then be vague enough that they can’t get the answer easily. I learnt quite a bit about Sydney and its history.
How would you best describe your books?
My motto for my writing is – I like to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. One reader said my stories are not lovey dovey and that would be right. Even though they are romance they are not sickly sweet. I like to throw some real-life issues in there because I feel like they should be spoken about, even if it is in some small way. Some issues I have dealt with in my writing is loss, domestic violence and addiction.
What is your favorite genre to write? To read?
I write romance but read just about anything – romance, thrillers, YA fantasy, dystopian. If it’s good, I’ll read it. I have even tried space opera.
What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I like creating characters who are believable and who readers can root for. I enjoy adding Australian slang into my writing. Australia is such a unique country and I like sharing some of our culture with the world.
I wrote my first full length novel when I was sixteen. Life interrupted and I put writing aside for over twenty years. Now I am back at it and I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?
I belong to Queensland Writers Centre and sometimes I join their online courses. I am a subscriber to many writing newsletters but find I don’t have enough time to read through them all. One of my favourite writing craft books is, The Emotional Craft of Fiction.
Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?
Sometimes, I listen to music, sometimes I don’t. When there was a clue in Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, that remotely related to Elton John, I listened to his music for fun.
Tell us a little about your path to publication.
This is the second novel I have published. It sure has been a big learning curve. There is so much involved in getting a book published – writing, self editing, beta readers, professional editing, proofreading, formatting. Indie authors cover all of these costs. Leading up to publication there is a whole big launch plan to follow and then marketing.
What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?
Next, I am writing a royal romance. The ideas haven’t been fully fleshed out yet. I am hoping a library talk I was invited to attend will be rescheduled soon.
What would you like to tell readers?
I would like to encourage readers to leave reviews for books they read. This is especially important for indie authors who don’t have big publishing houses behind them. Even a two sentence review is helpful. Reviews help new readers find our books.
Will one of the treasures they find be each other’s heart?
It’s been five years since Tara walked out of Shepherd’s life without a word. Since then he’s spiralled through drugs, alcohol and empty relationships, with Tara on his mind the whole time. Now he wants to win her back, and what better way to do it than by creating a fake scavenger hunt? He knows she won’t be able to resist.
Tara’s lost enough loved ones and she didn’t want to see Shepherd added to that count. So, when she saw him high at graduation, she did the only thing she could – she walked away. When she’s teamed up with him for a million dollar scavenger hunt, the feelings reignite. For a second chance at love to work, she needs to be brave enough to open up to him, to tell him everything she withheld the first time around.
Shepherd didn’t realise how much winning would mean to Tara. He now needs to come up with $3 million for her foundation before the hunt is over. If he can’t he will need to tell her its all fake, and he doesn’t know if he can risk that.
Will secrets destroy them a second time around?
Shepherd and I sat on the couch side by side and watched The Martian while we ate dinner. The warmth from where our arms touched seeped through me. I should have moved away, but I didn’t want to. The spices from the tacos radiated off him. What would they taste like when mixed with the sweetness of him? My eyes were drawn to his lips, the curve of them. I could practically feel their softness.
Shepherd turned his face to mine. My eyes lingered for a moment as I imagined his soft breath brushing my face as he bent his head toward me. My breathing shallowed to the point that it was nearly non-existent, as if I were a starfish. I turned my face away and resumed watching the movie, making sure my hands kept to themselves and my thoughts remained on the man saving his own life on the screen. Matt Damon may have been the most attractive astronaut I’d ever seen, but he was nothing compared to Shepherd.
The movie ended and I sat there while the credits rolled. Our closeness suddenly made me feel like we were in a flux capacitor. Time—five years of it—had been starved, and now it was swallowing me whole. Everything about Shepherd felt like home. Everything. And if I allowed it to, this feeling wouldn’t just swallow me, it would become me.
I jerked away from him, my heart racing, my skin cold, while I broke into a sweat. I couldn’t allow this to happen. Shepherd was no longer my solace. He never truly was because he never knew my grief. My grief over my brother. The feelings of loss at my parent’s death.
No, Shepherd was not my solace. Not then. Not now.
Cynthia Terelst is a project officer by day and a writer by night. She is a contemporary romance writer who likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Cynthia does not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.
She lives in Queensland, Australia, where the sun shines at least 283 days a year.
Social Media Links
Facebook For the Love of Words FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/572605370313807/
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Terelst/e/B07ZCTX8SB/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/cynthiaterelst
Linktree – https://linktr.ee/cynthiaterelst
Featured today at the handbag blog with Vicki Batman. Don’t you love my kitties?
When her big trial goes bad, corporate attorney Brianna Ward can’t wait to get out of Pittsburgh. The Big Easy seems like the perfect place to rest, relax, and forget about the legal business. Too bad an obnoxious–but handsome–lawyer from a rival firm is checking into the same bed and breakfast.
Attorney Evan Farrell has Mardi Gras vacation plans too. When he encounters fiery and attractive Brianna, however, he puts the Bourbon Street party on hold. He’d much rather devote himself to her–especially when a mysterious riddle appears in her bag, seeming to threaten danger.
Strangely compelled to follow the riddle’s clues, Brianna is pulled deeper into the twisted schemes of a voodoo priest bent on revenge. To escape his poisonous web, she must work with Evan to solve the curse. But is the growing love they feel for each other real? Or just a voodoo dream?
In the swamp, the fire illuminated the multi-tiered altar and some of those who gathered around it. Painted with tribal markings in black and white, the three drummers’ faces
stood out like bare skulls against the reflected flames.
The people in the back row were silhouettes only, dark outlines swaying to the rhythm of the drums.
On the altar, Brianna identified a Damballah cross on the top level, surrounded by a number of unlit candles, and some small statues. On the next level sat a bottle of liquor. A large bowl and some cups on a tray were laid out before it, and what looked like a loaf of bread next to a large machete, blade gleaming in the firelight. Bright, tropical flowers decorated all the levels.
Finally, on the ground to the left of the table was a large box with a screen on the front, that appeared to be a carrying case for an animal, something alive.
It was one thing to see these items laid out in a cold array at a museum; quite another when an actual voodoo ritual was taking place before her eyes.
Avoiding the thrill of fright blazing through her, she focused on the table, searching for clues to why she and Evan had been summoned.
As the drums continued their spellbinding beat, a dark figure eased into the light before the altar, a tall, slender person dressed in black. Moving gracefully to the rhythm, the priest approached, bearing a tall black candle, which he used to light the other candles.
Eyes closed, chanting words Brianna could not understand, the priest turned slowly around to face the others. Those seated before him on rough wooden benches rocked from side to side.
She gasped when she recognized the man as Copper, dressed as she’d seen him in her mind’s eye when she’d touched that first note, a red turban on his head and, on his face, jagged red paint slashes like bloody lightning.
Instinctively, she pulled back, hoping they couldn’t be seen in the shadows.
He turned to the altar and lit two long sticks of incense, which soon filled the clearing with an exotic smoky scent. Walking in lock-step with the beat of the drum, he reached for a cup and one of the bottles. He poured red liquid into the cup, then held it up.
The drums stopped.
He spoke loudly in English, gesturing with the cup to the four corners of the clearing.
“By the power of St. Anthony of Padua, Legba Atibon, guardian of the crossroads, Legba, guardian of the bush, Legba, guardian of the house, Ago, ago si, Ago la!”
After the words passed, the drummers played again, even louder. Copper took a drink of the liquid, pouring some also into the fire where it hissed into smoke. He handed the closest drummer the bottle, and he drank from it, then passed it to the man on his left.
He drank as well, and did the same. Whatever was in the bottle seemed to inspire them. Their drums reverberated with sound until Brianna could hardly breathe.
Copper leaned down before the altar, shaking something onto the ground. Brianna couldn’t see what he was doing, so she inched up until she stood behind the thick tree trunk next to her. He held some sort of painted tin, and from it, he dropped a white substance on the dirt in a distinct design.
“What’s that?” Evan whispered.
“That would be the veve,” Brianna whispered back. “It’s the sign for a particular deity or spirit. First, there should be the drummer’s veve, then there will be others, depending on which spirit they are calling forward.”
Her heart pounded so hard, she couldn’t believe Copper didn’t hear it.
Copper drew a second figure on the ground. The drums’ rhythm changed. Several people in flowing robes rose from the first row and began a seductive, erotic dance. The dancers thrust their hips forward and sideways in a frenzied manner, moving around the fire
kettles oblivious to each other until the drums stopped again. They froze.
“Gator Guede, le bon ton roulette, ye, ye, ye.”
He raised the cup to the sky, then took a long drink before dumping some in the fire, causing it to flare up.
He poured the remaining contents of the bottle into the large bowl, then added a red liquid Brianna hoped was wine, swirling the bowl in a large gesture before his chest.
The drums beat a new rhythm, so compelling Brianna could hardly keep still. The lead dancer took the bowl from Copper and passed it among the participants.
When all had drunk, the dancers returned to the area before the fire and danced again, the drummers changing rhythm to something more primal. The silhouettes moved between Brianna, Evan and the fire, rotating their shoulders and bouncing up and down.
They left a respectful space between themselves and Copper, who continued to create more designs on the ground, evenly spaced and spreading out toward the edges of the clearing.
He began to chant again, this time echoed by a chorus from those seated on the ground. Brianna felt herself drawn into the give-and-take, her head and thoughts growing fuzzy.
“Do you know what they’re saying?” Evan asked.
Brianna pulled herself back with difficulty. She shook her head, a little dazed.
Here, hold my hand,” she whispered. “I feel so strange. If I look like I’m getting—” She stopped, unsure how to explain what she was experiencing.
She didn’t believe in this stuff. Not at all.
Then why do I feel like there’s spiders crawling around inside me?
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Come read about Sherman Ranch caretaker Jake Patrin and his history and bucket list. Do you think life had prepared him for the events that are about to unfold?
To Heal a Heart – Blurb
Garrett Saunders’ world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.
Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett’s rescue horse and he’ll help with repairs around her farm.
Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she’s hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett’s love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?
About the author:
Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.
When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.com
Jana Richards’ Social media links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards
Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B002DEVWWG
Newsletter Signup: http://janarichards.com/contact.html#newsletter
Readers, please welcome author Karen Hulene Bartell!
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. It’s a pleasure to be here!
Writing Wild Rose Pass was a stretch for me because I’d never written in the Frontier, Western, or Historical genres before—no ghosts and nothing paranormal. Adding to my dilemma, the timeline was 1880 Texas, so every phrase they spoke, every idiom they used, every food they ate, every dress and uniform they wore, as well as the roles they played, all had to be double-checked for historical accuracy. Writing it was slow going.
And although romance is always a part of my novels, I’d never written a true “Romance” before, so I had to learn how to write from two points of view and speak in both the heroine’s and hero’s voices. With few exceptions, I’d always written from the female POV. Suddenly, I had to give equal time to a male POV, often in the same scene—but from the other’s perspective.
I learned how women and men communicate differently. Men are more concise in their speech. An article in The Guardian noted that the male brain is more visual-spatial and better adapted to mathematics, while the female brain is more adept at communication. A BBC post by Claudia Hammond stated that women speak 20,000 words per day compared to men’s 7,000 words per day—men prefer action to talk.
Because the men in Wild Rose Pass were officers in the cavalry, accustomed to giving orders, I wrote their dialogue in short, terse bursts, using simple subject-verb sentences. Additionally, the hero Ben had been raised by Comanches, who taught him that “Men keep their own counsel” and “Men don’t whine.” Trained to keep his thoughts to himself, he spoke guardedly, even when he wanted to express himself.
Besides those restraints, Ben had no formal schooling. Self-taught, he felt embarrassed about his lack of education—especially when compared to the heroine, who had attended school out East. With his feelings of inadequacy, he chose his words carefully, even when he “opened up.”
Despite my learning curve, I enjoyed writing Wild Rose Pass and had fun getting into the Old West mindset. Maybe it reminded me of the old Westerns I used to watch as a kid ��
Cadence McShane, free-spirited nonconformist, yearns to escape the rigid code, clothes, and sidesaddles of 1880s military society in Fort Davis, Texas. She finds the daring new lieutenant exhilarating, but as the daughter of the commanding officer, she is expected to keep with family tradition and marry West Point graduate James West.
Orphaned, Comanche-raised, and always the outsider looking in, Ben Williams yearns to belong. Cadence embodies everything he craves, but as a battlefield-commissioned officer with the Buffalo Soldiers instead of a West Point graduate, he is neither accepted into military society nor considered marriageable.
Can two people of different worlds, drawn together by conflicting needs, flout society and forge a life together on the frontier?
Reining his horse between catclaw and prickly-pear cactus, Ben Williams squinted at the late summer sun’s low angle. Though still midafternoon, shadows lengthened in the mountains. He clicked his tongue, urging his mare up the incline. “Show a little enthusiasm, Althea. If we’re not in Fort Davis by sunset, we’ll be bedding down with scorpions and rattlesnakes.”
As his detachment’s horses clambered up Wild Rose Pass, the only gap through west Texas’ rugged Davis Mountains, Ben kept alert for loose rocks or hidden roots, anything that might trip his mount. A thick layer of fallen leaves created a pastiche of color shrouding the trail from view. He glanced up at the lithe cottonwood trees lining the route, their limbs dancing in the breeze. More amber and persimmon leaves loosened, fell, and settled near the Indian pictographs on their tree trunks.
When he saw the red- and yellow-ochre drawings, he smiled, recalling the canyon’s name—Painted Comanche Camp.
“How far to Fort Davis, lieutenant?” called McCurry, one of his recruits.
“Three hours.” If we keep a steady pace.
Without warning, the soldier’s horse whinnied. Spooking, it reared on its hind legs, threw its rider, and galloped off.
As he sat up, the man groaned, caught his breath, and stared into the eyes of a coiled rattler, poised to strike. “What the…?” Flicking its tongue, hissing, tail rattling, the pit viper was inches from the man’s face.
A sheen of sweat appeared above the man’s lip. “Lieutenant—”
About the Author:
Author of the Trans-Pecos, Sacred Emblem, Sacred Journey, and Sacred Messenger series, Karen is a best-selling author, motivational keynote speaker, wife, and all-around pilgrim of life. She writes multicultural, offbeat love stories that lift the spirit. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved annually, Bartell found her earliest playmates as fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became her portable pals. Ghost stories kept her up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was her passion. Westerns spurred her to write (pun intended). Wanderlust inherent, Karen enjoyed traveling, although loathed changing schools. Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, she began writing her first novel at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating her own happy endings. Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, Karen resides in the Hill Country with her husband Peter and her “mews”—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.
Connect with Karen: