Monday, November 30, 2015

Tuesday Tips and Tweaks

This week author Melissa Keir, joins us with her tip. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a movie reviewer, an owner of a publishing company as well as an author. She always wanted to be an author when she wasn’t hoping for a career as a race car driver.

To Swag or Not to Swag

For authors, we want to get our cover and name out there among our readers and potential readers. Hence, SWAG! (Stuff we all get) But does it really work?
The consensus is no. It’s nice and can be a great item to have on hand for conventions but it doesn’t really sell your book. Recently, I sent out four boxes filled with swag that I picked up at various conferences. These were wonderful items and fun to get…everything from sample chapters to pens, to condoms to bookmarks and charms. But none of them enticed me to buy a book. They did come home with me…I didn’t throw them away (which is what happens to 80% of all swag).

So why do we buy swag if it doesn’t really work? First, it can be a great way to connect with people. During a conference, people will more likely stop at a table where there’s something for free. They like to get things for free. Having swag on your table will allow them to stop and you can then chat up your book and yourself…make a connection (that’s what sells the books anyway). Secondly, they do serve as a business card to your brand, so make sure it’s something that “fits” you and your stories. I love to give away compact mirrors because my brand is “Sexy Between the Covers” and what is more sexy than each one of us? A small mirror can go in a purse, car or other place and be used again and again. And hopefully, each time, they will see my name and website. Even if they don’t buy my book today, they might check me out later. A business card would get crumpled up and possibly thrown away. Mirrors…not so much.
If you are interested in more information on SWAG, check out the following blog posts about it.

Blurb for Claiming a Cowboy’s Heart
Even broken souls deserve a second chance at love…

Elementary Teacher, Michelle Alt’s faced untold trials in her life, yet she continues to do what’s right to make things better for the next generation.

Cowboy Veterinarian, Preston Hall has lost everything in order to follow his dreams and return to his grandfather’s small town practice.

These two broken souls recognize each other’s pain and come together to heal, but fear and misunderstandings send their blossoming relationship into a tailspin. Will they be able to put aside their pain to find the love of a lifetime?

Excerpt from “Claiming a Cowboy’s Heart

With her floral shoulder bag hanging from her arm, Michelle Alt approached the dead raccoon. The smell overwhelmed her. Pinching her nose, she took deep breaths through her mouth. The full moon illuminated the intersection across from her school. People should learn to drive slower on this street. This time a raccoon, someday a child.

She squatted and dumped the contents of her purse on the asphalt. Removing the cheap dollar-store clothespin from her purse, she dealt with the smell and closed off her nose. The spring had just enough strength to press her nostrils together without hurting. With her hands free, she selected a yellow pair of sunglasses from inside her bag and slipped them on the raccoon’s face. A smile flitted across her lips.

“That’s a start.” Looking at the pile of junk sitting at her side, she removed a couple of more items, setting a red plastic cup with a paper umbrella next to the raccoon’s hand. Last, she inserted a small bottle of sunscreen between his arm and body then cleaned up the remaining materials, stuffing them into her bag.

It’s perfect. He looks like he’s resting in the sun. Another day at the beach for Mr. Raccoon. She glanced at her watch. Crap, I need to run. I hate asking Mom to watch my daughter for these little acts of willful disobedience. Thank goodness, she’s more than happy to watch Connie, even for, in her words, ‘a waste of time’. But I’m so thankful to have her helping me. I’d never be able to do it all alone. Standing, she slipped her bag over her shoulder, glanced down the street—no one in sight—and dashed off toward home.

A deep sigh escaped her lips. The porch light glimmered in the distance. Almost home and no one the wiser. I can’t wait to see what people think of this roadkill art. All caught up in her fantasy, she bumped into a brick wall. “Umph.” Michelle raised her gaze and locked on the fullest lips she’d ever seen. Are they as soft as they look?

“I’m sorry,” the wall spoke. “I didn’t see you.”

Buy Links: (Preorder- Available on Nov. 30th)

You can find Melissa at:


Thanks Melissa, for dropping by and sharing that great tip on swag.

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author’s tip or tweak.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Check Out Cait Jarrod's New Book - DIVINE

DIVINE, Montana Dreams Book 1
November 23, 2015

Buy: Amazon Barnes and Noble Kobo
On sale until November 30, 2015

Divine's Blurb:
Matt Carson and Trina Lovett befriend each other during turbulent times at a young age. Over the years, their friendship strengthens building a strong, unbreakable bond. At least that is what they believe. Life choices put an ocean between them, and the depth of their bond is tested.
Under the stress of being apart, heart-wrenching events leave them plagued with doubt. Danger forces them to make irrefutable decisions about what they want from life.
Divine’s Book Trailer:

Divine Excerpt:
“Hi, Trina!” The low, seductive voice came from beside her.
Her muscles tensed. Excitement and dread each fought for a stance. Matt’s voice zinged her body, excited her nipples to beads, and caused her to squeeze her thighs together. “Matt,” she breathed.

He looked good, too good. His worn jeans clung to his muscular thighs. The navy blue pullover brightened his heavenly eyes. Dreamy. His tanned face and five-o’clock shadow sent her gotta-have-it alarm screaming off the rails. Gorgeous, more striking than she remembered.

She sucked in a hard, deep breath, and tried to reign in the excitement of seeing him, while battling the fear Cal would arrive any minute.
“I owe you,” she whispered, instead of yelling into the phone, and ended the call.

“You’re a sight.” Matt’s face brightened, his grin infectious.
She wanted to rush into his arms but refrained, afraid any moment Cal would show.

“Man, you’re beautiful,” he said, his tone left no room to doubt his sincerity.
Her mouth watered and her head whirred. Matt was hot. He’d always been, but he’d filled out even more. His youthful features hardened into a man, a warrior, one that could protect and would do so at any moment. She drooled.

He sent her the kind of appreciative glance a guy gave a woman he held in admiration, not necessarily by her beauty but for what he felt. Tingles raced over her body and forced her feet to move. He engulfed her into a bear hug. A hug so tight she didn’t think he’d let go. “I’ve missed you,” he said, his whispered voice tight.
Ohmygod! Her pebbled nipples relished against his hardened chest. He didn’t just have a body that would do any poster justice. No, it wasn’t just that exiting her. It was him. He was her Matt. She slid her hands around him further, squeezed tighter. “I’ve missed you so much!”

His chuckle vibrated her breasts, her hands. The smart move would be to step back before they became any more of a spectacle. She brushed a kiss to his jaw, ready to accept it may have to be enough, when his lips captured hers.
“I love this book!! I absolutely could not put this book down!!! WOW!!! its so much like you are in this story you can actually feel these characters!! .”
~Ruby Compton Hammarstedt

“Divine by Cait Jarrod was the first book of hers I read. Needless to say, I’ve added all of her titles to my TBR list. Normally with a shorter book you feel rushed and that the story doesn’t foster a natural character development but that is not the case with Matt and Trina. This is a very well written book and it left me wanting to experience every up and down with Matt and Trina. You even feel attached to the secondary characters and I am hoping they all get their own book”
~Amy, The Book Boyfriend Addict
To read the rest of Amy's review, click The Boyfriend Addict.
More reviews can be found on Goodreads.

The Montana Dreams Series:
Divine, #1: November 23, 2015
Destiny, #2: December 14, 2015
Desire, #3: January 18, 2016

Giveaway-2 $25.00 gift cards. This giveaway will be running through all three releases. Two winners will be picked January 19, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay in touch:
If you would like reading pre-released excerpts, helping to decide characters’ names, voting on which picture to use, and winning prizes, my street team is open to new members.
Click the join button 

Cait’s Classy Chicks Street Team 
My newsletter comes out about once a month.To subscribe 
News from Cait Newsletter


Buy Cait Jarrod's books Amazon.
To learn about the author; check out Cait's website.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all of you Americans a Happy Thanksgiving. I'm Canadian so we celebrated our Thanksgiving back on October 12th. However I am in Tucson, so we're going out for a turkey dinner.
And safe travels to everyone who heading home or visiting this weekend.

I'm slowly learning my new computer, but Windows 10 - really slow. But I'm sure I'll get there. I also don't have great internet for the next week, which makes it even more challenging.

And I've decided to change the cover for "Don't Go". I think it's too dark and scary. You can see it on the right hand side. My cover artist came up with this one. It's quite different. I think I like it. What do you think?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tuesday's Tips and Tweaks

This week author Judy Penz Sheluk joins us with her tip. A freelance writer and editor, Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut amateur sleuth mystery, The Hanged Man’s Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery, was published in July 2015 by Barking Rain Press.

Judy’s Tip on Writing - Schedule time to write your story

“Write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” Agatha Christie.

 It’s another way of saying, “don’t wait for the muse to show up, but be there when it does.” I expect I spent a fair bit of my life waiting for the muse to show up without making any effort to invite her in. Oh, I’d been saying for years that I wanted to write a book. Even dabbled with it some, now and again. Bought some writing software thinking that would make all the difference.

It didn’t.

It wasn’t until Christmas Eve, 2012,  that I came to the realization that would change my life: If I didn’t schedule time to write my novel—the same way I scheduled work, exercise, visiting with friends and family, and making meals—it would never get written. And all the fancy writing software in the world wasn’t going to make it magically appear.

 “Writing is like giving yourself homework, really hard homework, every day, for the rest of your life. You want glamorous? Throw glitter at the computer screen.” Katrina Monroe.

 There are probably authors who get up, write their daily quota of words before lunch without breaking a sweat, and have a polished manuscript within a few months.

I’m not one of them.

I have proven to myself, however, that I’m capable of writing fiction when I put my mind—and my time—to it. The Hanged Man’s Noose took me a little over a year to write. It took another six months and several more revisions to land a publishing contract (happily signed in July 2014).

I learned a lot from writing The Hanged Man’s Noose. I learned that I have to stay connected to my story and its characters. And that means writing—or at least staring at a blank computer screen—every single day, even if I can only carve out fifteen minutes because company’s coming that night and I have another deadline to meet. And on that note, I’ll leave you with one final quote.

 “Remember, to your characters, this isn’t a story.” Greg Fallis.

Blurb for The Hanged Man’s Noose

Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in a tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok.

 Journalist Emily Garland lands a plum assignment as the editor of a niche magazine based in Lount’s Landing, a small town named after a colorful Canadian traitor. As she interviews the local business owners for the magazine, Emily quickly learns that many people are unhappy with real estate mogul Garrett Stonehaven’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a mega-box store. At the top of that list is Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of an antiques shop, who will do just about anything to preserve the integrity of the town’s historic Main Street.

 But Arabella is not alone in her opposition. Before long, a vocal dissenter at a town hall meeting about the proposed project dies. A few days later, another body is discovered, and although both deaths are ruled accidental, Emily’s journalistic suspicions are aroused.

Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme—before the murderer strikes again.

Excerpt from “The Hanged Man’s Noose
Michelle reached into a drawer and pulled out a contract.

“First, Emily, we need you to agree to our terms and conditions, the usual confidentiality and exclusivity verbiage. I assure you, nothing sinister is behind the offer. We have only your best interests at heart. Of course, if you don’t want the gig, there are plenty of other writers who would jump at the opportunity. Kerri St. Amour, for example.”

Kerri say-no-more? They were comparing her to that backstabbing hack? Emily glanced at the numbers in front of her and thought hard. Get the goods on Stonehaven and get paid for the pleasure. There was enough money on the table to stop renting, put a down payment on a place of her own. Maybe take a few months off, write the historical romance she’d been dabbling with for years. It might be therapeutic to start over, go to a place where nobody knew her, a place where she wasn’t Kevin’s somewhat pathetic ex-fiancĂ©e. But was it all too good to be true? There had to be a catch. In her life, there was always a catch.

“What would I have to do?”

“HavenSent Developments is exploring a development opportunity in Lount’s Landing. Nothing unusual, though it is a bit far afield, even for someone as ruthless as Garrett Stonehaven. But our source tells us there’s more to Stonehaven’s latest plan than meets the eye. Much more.”

“Where do I fit in?”

“The town has a monthly magazine, Inside the Landing. It’s a promotional glossy, similar to Urban Living, albeit on a much smaller scale, with stories about businesses in the community. Runs about forty pages, could be more if the ad revenue was there. It now falls under the Urban-Huntzberger umbrella. The previous owner had been ready to sell out and retire for some time.”

“And my role?”

“You would be responsible for all the editorial content, make some much-needed improvements to the publication. In fact, we’d encourage it as part of your cover.”

Ah ha, catch number one. Part of my cover. Mind you, it did sound intriguing. “If I agree?”

“You’d move to Lount’s Landing. Get to know the town, the people, make some friends. Find out what Garrett Stonehaven’s up to. And write us an exclusive that will have Urban-Huntzberger’s stock market value skyrocketing higher than the latest GTA condo.”

Emily suspected this went way beyond a publisher trying to make money. What had Stonehaven done to warrant a Michelle Ellis sponsored witch-hunt? Who was Michelle’s source of information? She cursed herself for wanting to find out, when every instinct told her to run.

“And the source?”

“Better you don’t know. That way you can observe everyone with the same degree of neutrality, although we have arranged for you to connect with a Johnny Porter. He’s the chairman of the Main Street Merchants’ Association. He seems keen to keep Inside the Landing operational, although that’s all he knows. It would be best for all concerned if you kept it that way.”

Emily nodded. It certainly sounded as though Urban-Huntzberger had everything covered. She wondered whether she should study the contract, contact a lawyer. Take a moment to decide whether this was the opportunity of a lifetime or an act of insanity. “How long do I have?”

“We need an answer ASAP. You’d move in by the end of the month, sooner if possible. The rental house has been recently renovated and is currently available.”

Michelle stood up. “Emily, you’ve been in this business long enough to know this kind of assignment doesn’t come along every day. Work with us. Get rich with us. And help us to expose Garrett Stonehaven for the lying, cheating, bastard we both know he is.”

Definitely more to this scenario than meets the eye. Emily pulled a gold-plated pen out of her handbag, a graduation gift from her mother a dozen years ago. She twirled it between her fingers, remembering how proud her mom had been, her daughter the first one in the family to go beyond high school. Remembered the way her mother had looked the last time Emily saw her, shell-shocked and shattered.

“Where do I sign?”

Buy Links:

The Hanged Man’s Noose is available at all the usual suspects, including Amazon.
Buy Link: Amazon
Amazon author page:

You can find Judy at:, where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.
Sign up for Judy’s quarterly newsletter at:
Twitter: @JudyPenzsheluk

Thanks Judy, for dropping by and sharing that great marketing tip.

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author’s tip or tweak.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Computer Crash Update

Thanks to everyone who sent comments.
Not a quick fix. It turns out the motherboard died. It's too expensive to repair (like $350 plus labor).
So I had to get a new computer and get it up and working. And I now have Windows 10 - I was on Windows 7, so big learning curve. And my search engine is Bing and I prefer Google.
I'm not sure how much data I lost. I did have it backed up to DropBox, but it's getting it where I can find it now.
I used to be able to save my emails to folders but I have no idea how to make folders in my email.
Big sigh.
And I didn't bring my discs or for Office and Quicken (so new folder and I had to rebuild) and I'm not sure about Office 365.
I'm sure I'll get there but it's a challenge.
I can't even add images to my blog. :(

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Computer Crash

My computer crashed a few days ago. It was on , plugged in and working. I left for awhile and when I came back, it was dead.
It's about 5 years old so I don't know if it's the battery and if it is, can I find one for my laptop.
Any way I won't be posting until I get it fixed. Too hard to do it from my tablet.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tuesday’s Tips and Tweaks

This week author Stacy Juba joins us with her tip. Award-winning writer and editor, Stacy Juba has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. Her most recent release is Fooling Around With Cinderella, the first in the Storybook Valley series.

Stacy’s Tip on Overuse Injuries To Your Book

As a freelance editor, I evaluate all kinds of manuscripts – everything from romance novels, to crime novels, to middle grade fiction. But 99 percent of the books share one common flaw – overused words.  Once you become aware of this problem, it’s hard to miss, but many writers have never had anyone point out that they used “look” on every page, or that they repeated “pulled” 128 times.

Here are the most common culprits:  looked, nodded, stared, glared, walked, grabbed, smiled, frowned, grinned, sighed, reached, pushed, pulled, started to, began to,  noticed, realized, was, were, took, take, get, gaze, see, ran, stood, turned. “He shook his head” is another commonly overused phrase.

How can you avoid these overuse injuries to your book? Take one word at a time and run a Find in Microsoft Word.  Evaluate each result and determine whether you can come up with a more original word or phrase.  It’s tedious and time-consuming, but making these edits will give your manuscript a professional shine.

Blurb for Fooling Around With Cinderella

What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella's toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom. First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun. 

 Excerpt from “Fooling Around With Cinderella

Jaine Andersen couldn’t stop staring at the framed poster of Cinderella outside the castle. Cylindrical towers and turrets ascended into the sapphire sky, lofty mountains rising in the background. Her hand poised in an elegant wave, Cinderella beamed toward the camera. Ornate script flowed across the right side of the glossy photograph.
“Follow your heart, dream big, and you will find the magic.”

“Okay, Jaine, time to find the magic,” she mumbled, shifting in her seat.

“Interesting. What magic are you hoping to find?” a masculine voice asked behind her.

The kind that erases someone’s memory and lets you start over? Nice going, Jaine.

Squirming, Jaine clutched the black leather portfolio case in her lap as Dylan Callahan closed his office door. He sat down at a battered desk strewn with papers, her eyes tracking his every movement. Forget Cinderella’s stirring quote. Now Jaine couldn’t tear her gaze off the hot guy conducting her interview. The blond hair ruffled across his forehead made him resemble a Venice Beach surfer, not the general manager of a family theme park.
Winter sports seemed his thing though, considering the posters flanking Cinderella. In one, a skier whipped down a powdery slope while the other showed a snowboarder in mid-air. Inspirational words stretched across the bottom of each print: Goal-Setting for the skier and Persistence for the snowboarder.

To nail this interview, Jaine needed to demonstrate her prowess in both areas. And show that she wasn’t some weirdo who talked to herself.

She recovered her voice. “Actually, I’m hoping to help your company find some marketing magic. Uh, thank you for inviting me in.” Jaine toed her navy blue dress shoes into the industrial carpet, hoping he didn’t notice her fidgeting. When the receptionist had escorted her into the office to wait, she hadn’t expected such a good-looking man to join her.

Focus, Jaine. Focus.
Buy Links:



You can find Stacy at:
Website and blog:

Thanks Stacy, for dropping by and sharing that great writing tip.

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author’s tip or tweak.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cover Help

I could use a little help selecting a cover.
Targeted has just been released in most countries but the UK and Australia.
The cover is on my blog site so you can check it out.

I've been told that the UK readers like softer covers and not sexy men, so I'm trying out a second cover for that market.
I'd love your help.

My cover artist has come up with two similar designs, which I like, but I'm not sure which I like better.
Which do you like better for that market? and if you're from there - which would you buy?
I'd love to hear your opinion.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Tuesday Tips and Tweaks

This week author Reggi Allder joins us with her tip. Reggi Allder a writer of romantic suspense and contemporary romance likes nothing better than writing tales of love lost and then found, and hearing from her readers makes her day.

Reggi’s Tip on Writing

Have you ever had your inner editor get in the way of your muse? I was with a group of writers and several mentioned their inner editor, the left side of the brain, was slowing their writing by too tightly monitoring what went on the page, stopping the right side of the brain which controls imagination and creativity and therefore interfering. I could relate to that. As a pantser I know the beginning and the end of a new book, but creative ideas must flow page to page to get from chapter one to the end of the book as I have no outline. Being a panster works for me, but I depend on my muse. : )

I looked up the definition and according to Wikipedia, muses, in Greek mythology, are the goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science, and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, song-lyrics… The current English usage refers to a person who inspires an artist, writer, or musician. I call on my own inner muse to dig for creative ideas.

Below are a couple of exercises that I’ve found helpful to relax the inner editor and hopefully awaken creativity. I like to start with five minutes of aerobics. This can increase the flow of blood to the brain and relax the body. Then do the writing exercises quickly before your inner editor can jump in. It’s fun if you do it with a friend and read your sentences and paragraphs to each other. The important thing is to have a good time and set your muse free.

Double Dice exercise:

You will need two sheets of paper and six sided dice. It helps if they are different colors, but it is not necessary. Draw a line down the middle of one of the pieces of paper. Number both sides of the paper, one through six. Put the other sheet aside for later use.

On the left side of the paper write six nouns numbering, 1-6. Pick words that have a strong image. Do it quickly without over-thinking. On the right side write six adjectives. Again choose dramatic words. The wilder the words, the more creative your sentences. For a list of adjectives:

Roll the dice. You’ll have two numbers; use one number for the adjective and the other for the noun. Using the pairs of words, write sentences on the sheet of paper you have put aside.

There is no right or wrong. Have fun with it. You might even find new adjectives you haven’t used.

Random word injection:

Pick any book; it can be a text book or a romance. Without looking, flip to a random page and put your finger on a word. Write it down. Repeat this action four or five times. Now compose a paragraph using the words you’ve found. They must be used in the order selected. The challenge lies in using the words in order, so don’t move them around. Enjoy, it doesn’t have to a masterpiece. It’s just to let your creative juices flow.

Apparently the idea of a muse has been around for a very long time. So I looked for author’s quotes concerning them.

Oh for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention. William Shakespeare

There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter...Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ‘til noon or seven ‘til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up, chomping his cigar and making his magic. Stephen King

The muse is not an angelic voice that sits on your shoulder and sings sweetly. The muse is the most annoying whine. The muse isn’t hard to find, just hard to like- she follows you everywhere, tapping you on the shoulder, demanding that you stop doing whatever else you might be doing and pay attention to her. Harlen Coben

I’m truly, 100% guided by the characters and my muse. If one of the characters suddenly decided to do something very different, I’d just go with it. It’s much easier to let the muse drive than for me to try to steer. Lori Foster

Critique partners are great for running ideas by and sharing. Two writers from my critique group gave me their favorite writer’s quotes:

Medieval Bestselling Author Anna Markland likes the following:

Creative thoughts are shy; let them come to you. Mary Jaksch

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make. Truman Capote

Sylvie Grayson writes romantic suspense and fantasy/ science fiction

My motto for writing is to simply begin, and go from there. All kinds of things happen in the meantime, they interfere, slow me down, and sometimes stop me in my tracks. But then I catch my breath and begin again. Favorite quote:

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. Amelia Earhart.

Reggi’s favorite quotes:

You can’t wait for inspiration; you have to go after it with a stick. Jack London

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov

Just write. You can’t edit a blank page. Anonymous
Blurb for “Her Country Heart” A Sierra Creek Novel Small Town Big Love

Ever wonder what happened to your high school crush?
Why is Amy Long attracted to the only man who can prevent her from achieving her dream?

Amy needs a fresh start. After years living in San Francisco and vowing never to return home, she’s back in Sierra Creek to run her grandmother’s farm. Does she belong in the small town?
Cowboy Wyatt Cameron doesn’t think so. As half owner, he’s promised to sell the place and send her packing.
What can she offer to change his mind?
Will sparks fly without breaking a heart? 

Excerpt from “Her Country Heart” A Sierra Creek Novel Small Town Big Love

Chapter One

“Sierra Creek,” the driver shouted as the Greyhound Bus came to an abrupt stop on the two lane highway.
Amy Long pushed her hair behind her ears and grabbed her worn suitcase. Surprised to see her hand tremble, she seized the case with both hands and rushed toward the front of the bus.
A gust of hot wind slapped her face and gravel pelted her bare legs as the bus pulled away. Sierra Creek population five thousand, she read a faded road sign. There wasn’t a building in sight.
After years living in city, she’d forgotten how sweltering and desolate it was here. She’d vowed never to return to her home town. Odd it was the first place that came to mind when she and her small son needed a fresh start.
With Granny gone, there was no family left to welcome her. She swallowed a sob. Maybe it was a mistake to come back.
The relentless afternoon sun beat down and her shoulders and arms began to redden. San Francisco, the air conditioned city, seemed a million miles away.
She cleared her dry throat and wiped perspiration from her forehead. What wouldn’t she give for some shade and a bottle of ice water?
With a sigh, she pulled out her smart phone and checked the time. Thirty minutes since she’d arrived at the bus stop and not a single car had gone by. Where was the arranged ride into town?
Granny’s handyman promised to meet her. He obviously wasn’t a stickler about being on time. She groaned and reminded herself she was in the California foothills not in a busy metropolis where time was money.
The sound of a truck rumbled in the distance. With the back of her hand, she wiped her bangs out of her eyes and squinted. Hopeful, she watched the pick-up come closer. A shiny black Ford F150 with extended cab pulled up in front of her.
     “Hi. Amy?” A man yelled through the open window as his dark hair fell casually over a high forehead and deep-set blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight. She moved nearer and viewed his wide cheek bones, clean shaved jaw and full lips. About thirty?
A flutter of recognition stirred in her as palpable charm radiated from his broad smile, Wyatt Cameron.
His muscular arms flexed as his huge hands squeezed the steering wheel. “Don’t just stand there. Get in. People are waiting.”
Surprised by his gruffness, she stepped back.
“I heard you need a ride into town,” he said quietly as if he understood her reaction. “It’s me, Wyatt.”
“Hi, it’s nice to see you again.” Even now her cheeks burned with the memory of him, her high school crush. She tightened the grip on the suitcase. As she stared her heartbeat increased and her breathing quickened. “Granny’s handyman is going to give me a ride.”
“You could say that’s me. Toss your suitcase in the back and get in the truck.”His expressive eyes flashed as he stared at her.
She shook the pebbles from her flip flops and picked up her suitcase. Filled with everything she and her son might need, she grunted and struggled to lift the enormous bag high enough to push it into the raised truck bed.
He hopped out of the cab and brushed by her. With a sharp intake of breath, she took in his fresh just-out–of–the-shower scent.
Effortlessly, he tossed the bag into the truck.
“Get in.”
She quickly hauled herself into the vehicle and slammed the door. “Nice pick-up. Beautiful upholstery,” she said trying for casual conversation. She ran her trembling hand over the black and white leather seat.
“It’s custom. Had it done in Sacramento by a guy who specializes it tuck and roll car seats.”
“Really nice.”
Pretty fancy truck for handyman. The job must pay better than she’d thought. For some reason she’d believed Granny’s handyman would be an old retired guy gnarled from too much sun and hard work, not the hunk sitting next to her.
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