Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Barbara White Daille and her Latest The Rancher’s Family

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!
Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life:

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
Barbara: Currently, I’m writing romance, one of my favorite genres to write and read.  Why?  Romance novels give us hope, show us how real and fictional people can deal with adversity, and come with a guaranteed happy ending.  More specifically, I write short contemporary romance on the sweeter or lower-sensuality side.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Barbara: I made that decision very early on, thanks to input from many people:
My mom, who gave me my love of reading.
Grade school, teachers who encouraged my attempts at writing.
And all the authors I read in those early days who wrote books starring characters I loved.  To name a few of my book best friends:  The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Encyclopedia Brown, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Barbara: So many random things, including incidents like seeing an interesting-looking stranger; overhearing a line of a conversation; getting bored watching a TV episode and creating new plot twists of my own.
Usually a character “speaks” to me first.  His or her situation or predicament or problem soon crops up, and from there character and plot go hand-in-hand.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Barbara: Hmm. . . this is tough.  We learn to love— and can learn a lot from—cartoon characters.  I’ll go with Walt Disney’s Goofy because he’s one of the earliest characters I remember watching and because he’s always good for a laugh.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Barbara: If this includes anyone from any time period, I’d choose Agatha Christie.  I’ve been reading her books since grade school and would love to pick her brain to see how she comes up with her plots!
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Barbara: Stock up on pizza, tea, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies.  Put my TBR pile next to the couch.  Get into my comfiest pajamas.  And read from morning and well into the night.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Barbara: I’m writing my next Harlequin Heartwarming, another book in the Hitching Post Hotel series.  This features Wes’s brother and a bride jilted at the Hitching Post’s altar.  I’m also working on the third Snowflake Valley story from Entangled Books.  The series is set in a small town that caters to tourists, and the heroine of this book is one of the “bad-luck Barnett” sisters.

Thanks to Beverley for inviting me here to celebrate the book birthday of The Rancher’s Family!  The story is part of The Hitching Post Hotel series and debuts on September 1st.

Book Blurb from The Rancher’s Family:
“Are you my new mommy?”
She certainly hopes so…
After a devastating loss, Cara Leonetti’s dreams of a husband and children are on hold. But Cowboy Creek’s local matchmaker thinks otherwise! And Cara finds

herself unexpectedly entangled in the day-to-day family chaos of widower Wes Daniels and his two small children. She’s falling hard, but the strong, silent rancher doesn’t trust in love. Can Cara put her own fears aside and show Wes that they’re stronger together?

Excerpt from The Rancher’s Family:
Cara looked at her car only a few yards away. Maybe she should get in it again and leave. Maybe Wes Daniels had decided he didn’t want help.
And after all, who was she to come here and disturb a stranger still so wrapped up in grief that he might wind up a hermit, as Jed had put it?
The door swung open. Her jaw almost dropped.
 man stood in the opening, silhouetted by the light from a lamp in the room behind him. Not Jed’s “old friend.” A much younger man, twenty something, with broad shoulders and sturdy arms and dark brown eyes beneath dark brows. A man she already…sort of…knew.
The unfriendly cowboy she had met that afternoon at the Big Dipper.
He looked just as surprised to see her. “Did you make a wrong turn on your way to somewhere else?”
“That might be impossible in Cowboy Creek.”
“Yeah. We’re not like the big city.”
A point in his favor—he’d remembered her telling him where she was from. He seemed more relaxed than he had earlier. Maybe he’d just been in a bad mood. Or—be honest—maybe her own stress had led her to misread the situation, and the awkwardness was all on her.
Then and now.

Buy Links for The Rancher’s Family:

Find Barbara and her books:

Friday, August 23, 2019

Cruising the Caribbean

What a fun topic this month. We’re asked to post an excerpt from one of our books dealing with travel and or vacation. Thanks, Rhobin.
I’ve chosen one of my back-list books, A Cruise to Remember. and it's still available on Amazon and Kobo. Since I write romantic suspense, I usually have murder and mystery in my books. So, even though my excerpt is based on a cruise through the Caribbean, it has t include mystery and suspense. It was a fun book to write and I wrote it just after we had taken a cruise through the Caribbean.
Short Blurb for A Cruise to Remember
Amnesia, a cruise ship, a jewel theft ring and attempted murder combine to make it a cruise to remember. Hallie Donald has been in an accident and has amnesia. She’s traveling on the cruise as a companion. And someone is trying to kill her.
She doesn’t remember anything but someone   Interpol agent Eric Norby searches for jewel thieves on a Caribbean cruise, but his main suspect is the woman he loves.

Excerpt from A Cruise to Remember
“Did we have a date, Dr. Peterson?” Hallie asked.
“No and call me Eric. I saw what he was doing. You didn’t appear to be enjoying it. My God, woman, don’t you have any idea how to handle a situation like that? And how the hell did you get yourself into that position in the first place? I didn’t take you for a stupid person.”
“I’m not stupid,” Hallie sniffed. “But you’re right. I feel pretty dumb right now. I don’t know how I got myself into that situation. Jack out maneuvered me. It didn’t matter what I did, he wouldn’t give up.”
Hallie trembled as they walked away. She couldn’t forget how Jack had treated her.
“I suggest you stay away from him in the future. I might not be around to save you next time. Are you sure you’re all right?” Eric stopped and looked down at her.
“Yes, I think so. Don’t worry. I don’t plan to let him anywhere near me again.”
“I kicked and scratched and even yelled at him to leave me alone. Nothing worked and no one paid any attention when I yelled. I-I think he was going to try and make love to me right here on the deck. Thank you for rescuing me.”
Out of the corner of her eye Hallie caught a glimpse of a tall attractive redhead watching them. The woman shot Hallie an angry look before she turned and stomped toward the bar.
“You looked terrified. I couldn’t believe you’d let him grope you like that.” Eric snapped.
“I couldn’t stop him. I did punch him. I even managed to draw blood at one point,” she said.
“You need to learn to throw a better punch than that if you want to do any damage.”
“Maybe you could teach me?”
Eric shook his head, “I don’t get it. I could see you had no idea how to handle him--so Eric to the rescue. By the way, he wanted sex, he didn’t want to make love to you, trust me. There is definitely a difference. Don’t you remember anything about relationships? Or appropriate behavior between men and women?”
“You can’t remember anything about how you reacted in the past?”
“How could I? I don’t remember my past. How would I know how I reacted? And maybe no one has ever tried to rape me before. I don’t know. Give me a break. I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
“Good. I hope so. You have no knowledge at all about what happens on a date?”
“No, not really; conversation, eating, doing some kind of activity I guess. I’m going to have to learn that process all over again, except, it’s going to be harder because when you’re an adult you’re supposed to know what it’s all about. People expect that you know the games and the rules. Jack certainly thought I did. I feel like a child trying to play grown up games.”
“I guess I am going to have to give you lessons.” Eric warmed her with his smile. “Can I buy you a drink?”
“You don’t have to. I’m fine now. Were you with someone when you noticed my difficulty?”
“Because I saw a lady standing a few feet from you when we walked away from Jack. She looked really mad, and I think those were daggers she shot in my direction.”
“The redhead?”
“That’s the one.”
“I was sort of with her. She cornered me on deck. I offered to buy her a drink. That’s all. I think she read more into it than I meant. So, in a way, maybe you saved me, too.”
“Somehow, I doubt that. She had a great figure.”
“I’d hardly noticed.”
   “You’re still shaking. Come on over here where it’s quiet.” Eric found a sheltered corner, away from most of the passengers. “Sit down, doctors’ orders. I’ll be right back with two drinks. You could use something to relax you. They have special sail-away drinks. You okay with that you?”
   He slipped his uniform jacket off and draped it around her shoulders, over her shawl.
   “Sounds great, but it’s not necessary.” She felt warmer in the jacket and his musky male scent enveloped her. It was pleasant and sexual. She knew didn’t react to all men’s scent this way. She looked up and noticed his lip curled slightly as he smiled.
   “Yeah, it is. Keep the jacket on to help warm you up. I’ll be right back.”
   Hallie sat on the edge of the chair. She forced herself to take deep, calming breaths. She relaxed slightly and leaned back. Eric’s jacket slipped from her shoulders to the deck. She bent to pick it up when she felt rather than heard a buzzing sound, something like a mosquito, past her left ear.
   She sat back up and twisted around to adjust Eric’s jacket. There was a hole in the back of the deck chair.
   Funny, I don’t remember it being there before I picked up the jacket.
   She ran her finger over the hole.
   “Here we go.” Eric carried a couple of tall, red, orange and yellowed colored drinks topped off with parasols.
   “What were you doing?” he asked.
   “I’m not sure. There was a funny sound, like a mosquito, and I think this hole just appeared.”
   “What the hell...?” Eric placed the drinks onto a nearby table. He ran his finger over the hole.
   “It’s a bloody bullet hole.”
   “A what? You’re kidding?”
   “No, I’m not. Where were you when it happened?” Eric looked at the hole. He squinted back in the direction it would have come from.
   “I guess that’s when I bent down to pick up your jacket.”
   “My God, you could have been killed.” Eric pulled Hallie into his arms and squeezed her against his chest. “You’re sure you’re all right?”
   “I think so. I mean, I wasn’t hit or anything. I can’t figure out what’s happening. This has to be one of the worst nights of my life.”

I’m off to read where my fellow authors have traveled.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Self Publishing Stats and Hot Genres

I don’t know about you, but I’m always interested in what’s selling. Which genre is hot right now? How is self publishing doing against standard publishing? Are people buying print books?
I went searching and here’s the latest information I could find. The first is on Self-publishing from Bowker and the second part is the hot genres from Ingram Spark, but it’s about 2018. Still, I found it interesting. Let me know if you have any thoughts.

Annual Bowker report shows sustained growth in print self-publishing
New Providence, NJ, October, 10, 2018 – According to the latest report from ProQuest affiliate Bowker, self-publishing grew at a rate of more than 28 percent in 2017, up from an 8 percent increase during the prior year. The total number of self-published titles grew from 786,935 to 1,009,188, surpassing the million mark for the first time.
Self-publishing of print books increased by 38 percent in 2017 for a total of 879,587. This is the fifth consecutive year of print growth – driven by a 50 percent increase at CreateSpace, a self-publishing platform. Self-published ebooks decreased by 13 percent, continuing a downward trend for the third successive year. Two service providers, Smashwords and Lulu, accounted for 105,037 ebook titles, 81 percent of the ebook total of 129,601.
As the numbers confirm, self-publishing continues to grow each year. According to Beat Barblan, Director of Identifier Services at Bowker, “Self-publishing shows no signs of slowing down and continues to grow at a steady rate. CreateSpace was very popular in 2017 – and now that its customers are moving to the new Kindle Direct Publishing platform, we don’t expect any decline in self-publishing.”
Since 2012, the number of ISBNs assigned to self-published titles has grown 156 percent. “We believe that this is due, in large part, to the increasing number and quality of products and services now available from several providers to aid authors who choose to publish some or all of their titles independently,” Barblan said. “In addition, there are numerous associations serving the indie author community that promote best practices and stand ready to offer solutions and support.
“Authors who set out to self-publish, market and distribute high-quality books now have more resources than ever.”
This annual study from Bowker highlights self-publishing trends in print and ebook formats from 2012 to 2017, based on the number of titles registered in the Bowker Books In Print® database.

Genre: What's Hot, What's Not?
 Toward the end of 2017, you probably noticed poetry books by Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey) and r.h. Sin (whiskey words & a shovel) among the bestsellers both online and in bookstores. This is a trend we predict will continue throughout 2018, along with a return to chick-lit, romance novels, and books about witches.
What you won't be seeing much of in the 2018 bestsellers are zombies and vampires. This was a trend that lasted a few years but has its best days behind itat least for now.
The publishing industry in general, but particularly the self-publishing side, has also had its fill when it comes to political thrillers. We've noticed that readers are becoming less and less interested in reading about politics as of late.
And although you've probably read at least one or two of the top-selling books whose main character is, to put it kindly, a little unsteady (think Gone Girl), we believe the unreliable female narrator has left the publishing stage for 2018. In her place is a different, much stronger woman like the women of 2017 who marched in the street and created a movement.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dee S. Knight and the Concept for Her Book

A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex. Writing was so much fun Dee decided to keep at it. That's how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she's lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. For romance ranging from sweet to historical, contemporary to paranormal and more join Dee on Nomad Authors. Contact Dee at
The concept for my book, Only a Good Man Will Do, started many years ago with a joint project between Vanessa Hart and me. We thought writing a book together would be fun and so we tossed around a few ideas and came up with the premise of a set of twins who were very different, facing the prospect of their parents’ upcoming wedding. Part of what made the boys so unique was how they’d responded to growing up with eccentric parents who had never tied the knot. Now they were going to—on national TV, no less—and that was the impetus to bring the family together after years of being apart.

Nessie and I decided we each would write a chapter and alternate points of view. My twin, Daniel Goodman, would be a snooty teacher in an even snootier private school in New England. Nessie’s hero would be a blue-collar mechanic who was so accomplished he was in high demand by NASCAR teams.

I loved writing with Vanessa but eventually other projects—and even life—took precedence and we gave up the book. Last year, with Nessie’s permission, I took my character’s story and developed it into Only a Good Man Will Do, changing it from the Goodman twins to the Goodman triplets, and fleshing out the conflict. I transformed Daniel from a man with a stick up his…um, rear end to one who knows he has to toe the line with school policy but who also has a heart of gold.

Jonah, in book 2 of the Good Man series, One Woman Only, is still a mechanic but different from the character Nessie forged. Jonah is searching for a change in life and begins to dream that the change might come with his former girlfriend. He wants a second chance at love but is up against a stubborn woman in Kelly Shepard. This character is requiring some research since I know next to nothing about cars or engines. Yikes!
Mark, the third brother, is entirely new. He’s a genius who hardly notices the world around him—until he discovers a woman in his office and realizes she understands his work. I’m going to have some fun with Mark and Paige Morrison, the equally genius woman who has had to notice the world around her a bit too much for comfort.

Why did I make Daniel a teacher? Because I had 13-years-experience in the field and could empathize with Daniel’s predicament of needing to follow front office dictums, even when knowing they weren’t always best for the student. Sometimes, balancing the needs of the school, where parents and then even the government were the clients, against the needs of the student, where sometimes strong discipline and then maybe a hug were needed, were very hard to accomplish. Where I taught, in a residential school, we spent more time with the students than their parents did, but even then, the students were not the client—their parents were. Daniel faces the situation in the book where the parents’ desire was not what was best for the student and he does the right thing, jeopardizing his dreams. How does he fare? Well, he is a Good Man.

Blurb for Only a Good Man Will Do:
Seriously ambitious man seeks woman to encourage his goals, support his (hopeful) position as Headmaster of Westover Academy, and be purer than Caesar's wife. Good luck with that!

Daniel Goodman is a man on a mission. He aims to become headmaster of Westover Academy. For that he needs a particular, special woman to help him set high standards. Into his cut and dried life of moral and upright behavior, comes Eve Star, formerly one of Europe's foremost exotic dancers. Her life is anything but cut and dried, black and white. Daniel is drawn to her like a kid to chocolate. Nothing good can come of this attraction. Or can it? He is after all, a good man.
Excerpt for Only a Good Man Will Do:
“Daniel, am I talking to myself, here?”
“Oh, no, I’m…” He chuckled an amused admission. “Tell me what you said again.”
He could almost hear Eve smile. “I said, you called at four-thirty on Saturday and Sunday, so I took a wild leap that you would today, too.”
“Ah.” Smiling to the empty room, he squirmed to get into a more comfortable position. “A woman of logic.”
“Absolutely. You don’t want to play me in chess. I think five or six moves ahead.”
“I’ll remember that. There’s nothing worse than seeing a guy cry when he’s been beaten at chess by a girl. Now tell me why you’re upstairs. I know you don’t have a lot of help this time of day.”
“I’m paying Jed extra to come in a bit early.” Her voice was low, as though she didn’t really want to tell him. The words struck his heart.
“You don’t have money to be paying Jed extra, Eve. I’ll start calling later, after dinner and before I grade papers.”
“No, don’t. It’s quiet this time of day and I want these few minutes to myself. Jed doesn’t mind, and he can use a few extra bucks.”
“Well, okay.”
“Besides, you won’t be calling forever. Soon you’ll be head of the school and won’t have free time for the likes of me.”
Daniel hadn’t promised her on Friday that he’d call. He’d simply felt the desire and acted on it. Then, by unspoken agreement, they hadn’t mentioned what might happen next in their relationship. They’d spent time sharing that day in their respective worlds.
Today, he’d discovered the desire to talk to Eve wasn’t an “at loose ends” feeling that sometimes came over him on weekends. After his dorm assistant had arrived, Daniel had locked his doors, put his books and papers away, and picked up the phone. Only after they’d been well into the fantasy did he remember he hadn’t even removed his gown and jacket before pressing her number. He’d wanted to hear her, find out what her day had been like and communicate his own. He felt seventeen again, with an infatuation about to drive him crazy. Except men his age didn’t have infatuations. They had obsessions.
“Hey,” Eve charged, “I didn’t mean that the way it sounded, like I was hunting for compliments or reassurances. I was simply stating a fact, the way we both know it to be. I want this to be short term as much as you do, so don’t worry.”
“I’m not worried.”
But he was. How long did obsessions last, anyway? Daniel had never allowed himself to be distracted by a woman or anything that might waylay his goals.
But now? Now was a different story.

Buy links for Only a Good Man Will Do:

Author links:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Audio Books

Do you have your books out in audio?

I thought I would share some information from Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI) on audio books for those who don’t have access to it.

The Alliance of Independent Authors is a professional membership organization fostering ethics and excellence in self-publishing.ALLi is a diverse, supportive and friendly community of thousands of authors, collaborating with other author organizations and service partners.                  In addition to an active, engaged, and growing membership, alongside with a healthy social media presence, ALLi has credibility and influence in the publishing and self-publishing industries with its founder-director, the award-winning novelist and poet Orna Ross, repeatedly named one of the “Top 100 people in publishing.” (The Bookseller)As the only non-profit representing independent authors globally, with members on all seven continents, the association has become the most trusted voice in self-publishing. And its outreach education programs and campaigns ensure its impact is felt beyond its membership designations and borders, influencing the wider author community at every level.                                                       The information on audio books comes from an article on their Advice Center posted Aug 7. Advice Centre

Indies are empowered business people. Our income streams are limited only by our imagination, which is probably one of the reasons indie author audiobook narration is becoming so popular. Gordon Rothman, partner member, teaches us seven rookie mistakes to avoid when recording our audiobooks. 
The post Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Recording Your Audiobook appeared first on Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center.

With the rise of audiobook popularity, comes a familiar question to other book formats: wide or exclusive? Still today, indie authors struggle with the decision over whether or not to publish their ebooks exclusively with Amazon’s KDP Select or “to go wide” by distributing them to additional retailers. In today's post, author member Mary Louisa Locke discusses audiobooks and exclusivity.
The post AudioBooks and Exclusivity: A comparison of ACX and Findaway Voices appeared first on Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center.

The current economics of producing an audiobook is an uphill battle, especially for indie authors. How much of this is due to “price-fixing” by Audible? ALLi Partner Member Tim McConnehey predicts a continued boom in audiobook popularity, and some welcome changes in the way Audible conducts its business.
The post Audiobook Price-Fixing by Audible: Is It Coming to An End? appeared first on Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center.