Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Long Way from Eden #MFRWhooks

Thank you for joining me on Book Hooks! Today I'm offering a blurb and an excerpt from my contemporary romance A LONG WAY FROM EDEN. Here's the blurb:

Zane Martin's teenage daughter is pregnant. Meg Evan's son is the baby's father. Because Zane grew up not knowing who his father was, he'll be damned if he'll let his grandchild live with that shame. Meg was forced into an abusive marriage because of an unplanned pregnancy, so she knows that love is the only good reason to marry. Neither Meg nor Zane expects or welcomes the attraction that sparks between them. As they await the impending birth of their grandchild, old wounds open and long hidden family secrets come to light. The young couple builds a newer, stronger relationship, while Meg and Zane reach for a love passionate enough to overcome the past--if they're strong enough to trust it...and each other. 

In this excerpt, Zane and Meg go on their first date, and he's falling fast:

 A door on his left opened and Meg entered the living room. "I'm so sorry to keep you waiting." She steadied herself against the wall with one hand as she slid a sandal on her foot. She wore a black sleeveless dress with a hemline that ended a respectable distance up very shapely thighs. She'd done something different and complicated with her hair. The raven black tresses were tamed into submission in an elegant chignon. She looked polished and chic. Only her tentative smile hinted at a trace of nervousness.

"I'd say it was worth the wait," Jane said cheerfully. "Wouldn't you, Zane?"

Zane slowly got to his feet, unable to tear his gaze away from Meg. "Yes. You look very nice."

He could practically hear Jane's eyes rolling. Nice? Nice didn't come close to describing the way Meg looked. And nice didn't describe the feelings he was experiencing at this particular moment. He fought a Neanderthal urge to fling her over his shoulder and carry her into the bedroom.

As soon as Meg managed to get her shoes on, she straightened to her full height. The top of her head came to his chin with the help of the heels. "I guess we should get going since I've made us late. I'm really sorry, Zane."

At that moment Zane didn't care if they never made it to dinner. He could spend the whole night just looking at her. "Don't worry about it. We have plenty of time."

They drove across the city to St. Boniface, the French quarter of Winnipeg, where even the street signs were bilingual. All the way there he kept trying to think of something to say, something amusing or witty or even mildly interesting, but nothing would come. He felt tongue-tied and awkward. Meg was beautiful when she wore faded jeans and an old T-shirt, her hair pulled back in a careless ponytail. Tonight, in a sexy black dress, her hair and her make-up giving her a sleek polished look, she was stunning.

I hope you enjoyed my snippet. To read more great book hooks, check out some of the offerings in the blogs below. Have a great day!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday with Burning Love

Happy summer Sunday everyone! What could be better than a beautiful summer weekend? Perhaps a beautiful summer weekend spent with a good book!

Today on Sneak Peek Sunday, I'm featuring BURNING LOVE, my humorous paranormal romance. Here's a blurb:
After causing three cooking fires in her apartment, Iris Jensen finds herself evicted and homeless. She lands on Riley Benson's doorstep, looking to rent a room in the beautiful old home he's restoring. It's only for six weeks until Iris leaves Portland, Oregon for her new job on a cruise ship. Firefighter Riley knows firsthand what a bad tenant she can be. But he needs money to finish the work on the house he loves. And something about Iris pulls at his heart…
Meanwhile, in Heaven, two angels watch over the young lovers. Angelica and Hildegard work in Heaven's Relationship Division, where angels match mortals with their soul mates. The angels believe so strongly in Iris and Riley’s love that they break Heaven's rules to help them. Can the angels convince them their love will last a lifetime?
In this excerpt, Iris tries to rent a room from Riley. But this firefighter has seen first hand the destruction Iris can cause:

“No, wait.” Iris stuck her foot in the door, wincing when the heavy wood met her sneaker-clad foot. “I need to talk to you about the room you have for rent.”

Finally it made sense. He’d placed an ad in the paper offering a room for rent, hoping to bring in a little extra cash to finish renovations. So far he’d had no takers and he was getting a little desperate. But not that desperate. The idea of living with Iris, her bedroom just across the hall from his, made Riley break out in a cold sweat.

“You’re kidding, right? You want me to rent you a room? You caused three fires at your last place. I’d have to be out of my mind to let you anywhere near my house.”

“Look, I know I’m not ideal roommate material.” She took a step closer, her gaze imploring. “I just need a place to sleep and store my things for the next six weeks and then I’m leaving Portland.”

He couldn’t think with Iris so close. Hell, he could barely form a coherent sentence. The light floral scent of her perfume tantalized his senses, intoxicating him. Riley drank in the sight of her, from the bright turquoise scarf holding back her dark hair to the colorful skirt in shades of blue and green that swirled around her ankles. She reminded him of beautiful, exotic gypsy.

A gypsy who could steal his heart without a second thought.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope to see you next week! And now, hop on over to some more great sneak peeks!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Girl Most Likely #MFRWhooks

Welcome to my blog! Today on Book Hooks I'm featuring my novella THE GIRL MOST LIKELY, part of the Class of '85 series from The Wild Rose Press. Here's the blurb:

Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?
Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?
Here's an excerpt:

Cara floated into the ladies’ locker room on a wave of happiness. She finished her shower and was drying off in her stall when she heard two women talking. Cara scarcely paid attention, until she heard, “Did you see the cow eyes she made at Finn?” She stopped drying and listened intently.

“As if he’d be interested in a woman who’s got to be ten years older.”

“Have you seen the outfits she wears? Where does she shop? The Salvation Army?”

They laughed uproariously. Shame and embarrassment welled up from the pit of stomach. They were right. What could a gorgeous younger man like Finn possibly see in a frumpy, overweight, middle-aged woman like her? What a stupid fool she’d been.

She waited until she heard the showers running before she dressed and made her escape. Finn waved at her as she left the locker room. “Cara, wait. Do you have a minute?”

“Sorry, no. I’ve got to get home to my daughters. Bye.”

She ran to her car and drove to a park near her home, then into a parking lot used only by maintenance staff. She pulled her car to a stop between two city trucks, finally feeling alone. Slumped over the steering wheel, tears of shame crashed down her cheeks as waves of humiliation engulfed her. Had she been so starved for affection she’d latched on to the fantasy that Finn felt something for her?

Finally, she started her car, adjusted the rear view mirror, and wiped her eyes one last time before heading home. It was a nice fantasy while it had lasted.

THE GIRL MOST LIKELY is available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and other e-book retailers. Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, July 7, 2014

What I Did on My Summer Holidays #MFRWauthor

I just got home from a wonderful vacation. The last two weeks in June, my husband and I travelled to Europe and took a river cruise on the Rhone River in France. We extended the seven day cruise by adding three days in Barcelona, Spain to the beginning of the trip, and three days in Paris at the end of the trip. We had a fabulous time!

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

We started our vacation in the beautiful, vibrant city of Barcelona. Barcelona has wonderful architecture, some of it quirky and unusual, like the Sagrada Familia Church which doesn't appear to have a straight line within its massive structure. I loved the friendly people and the exciting rhythm of the city.

Roman arena in Arles, France
After leaving Barcelona, we travelled to the mouth of the Rhone River at Arles, France where we boarded our ship for the river cruise. This area of France had been occupied by the Romans some two thousand years ago and they left behind evidence of their time here, with structures such as this arena in Arles which still hosts bull fights, and this amphitheatre in Vienne, France which holds eleven thousand people and was being readied to host a jazz festival when we visited. It's amazing to me that these structures are so ancient, but are still being used today.

Roman amphitheatre in Vienne, France 

Though it wasn't built by the Romans, the bridge at Avignon is an iconic structure. Did you learn to sing "Sur la pont, d'Avignon" when you were in French class back in the day? I did!

The bridge at Avignon, France

A lavender field in Provence

Serge & his wonder dog Emme
We sailed up the Rhone River through Provence, past terraced vineyards carved into the hills, and fields of ripening grain and blooming lavender in the countryside. So beautiful! We had a chance to visit an olive grove and a truffle farm in Provence. Serge, the owner of the truffle farm, uses his dog Emme to hunt for the truffles, a fungus/mushroom much prized in French cooking, though from the example Serge passed around, I couldn't get excited about them. Serge and Emme demonstrated how they hunt for them. Since the truffles grow underground at a depth of about four inches, Emme must use her sensitive sense of smell to locate them. Serge buried a few truffles and Emme found them and dug them up without any trouble. She was adorable!


After our wonderful, pampering cruise was over, we took a high-speed train from Lyon to Paris. Paris is almost overwhelming in its beauty. Everywhere you look you find another piece of impressive architecture. No visit to Paris is complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, or the Arc du Triomphe.

Eiffel Tower

Notre Dame Cathedral

Arc du Triomphe

Our summer vacation went by very quickly, and we had a wonderful time, but I'm always glad to get home. What about you? What did you do this summer? I'd love to hear all about it!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Freedom Blog Hop - Celebrating Our Freedoms

I'm very pleased to be a part of the Freedom Blog Hop! To all my American friends and readers, Happy Fourth of July. To my fellow Canadians, I hope you had a wonderful Canada Day on July 1.

The theme of this blog hop is "Celebrating our freedom to live, love and read." Here in North America, we take our freedoms for granted. We can travel wherever we want, and live wherever we want. As long as we don't promote hate or trample on the freedoms of others, we have the freedom to say or write whatever we want.

And we can love whomever we love. More and more jurisdictions are legalizing same sex marriage. In too many parts of the world, that freedom does not exist, and gay and lesbian couples are persecuted for simply being in love. But before we get too smug, let’s not forget that same sex relationships are still discriminated against here. And it wasn't that long ago that homosexuality was illegal in North America. That situation only changed when people of courage stood up and said no more. In Canada in the late 1960s, Pierre Trudeau famously said that "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation", adding that "what's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code".

We're also lucky enough to be able to read whatever we want. I've written a couple of books set during or just after World War Two, and in my research I've read about many atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis. One of these atrocities was the mass burning of books. Most of these books were by Jewish authors, Germans who opposed National Socialism, or non-German writers such as Jack London, Ernest Hemingway and H.G. Wells. It’s estimated that in one night alone, May 10, 1933, as many as 25,000 volumes were burned across Germany, mostly in university towns. By burning books, the Nazis sought to silence any descending voices, and eliminate any thoughts that didn’t conform with their agenda.

Reading, whether it be romantic fiction, philosophy or a favorite newspaper, is a joy as well as a right. So let’s celebrate our freedoms and always be vigilant about protecting them. Remember that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Enjoy the Freedom Blog Hop!

My prizes today are one copy each of my World War Two novellas FLAWLESS and HOME FIRES. Enter the Rafflecopter contest for your chance to win. Good luck!

France, 1942.  The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.
Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life.

FLAWLESS can be purchased at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and at other ebook retailers.

Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War Two, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she’d fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiancĂ©’s mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son. 
Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he’s a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is – especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg.  Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?

HOME FIRES can be purchased from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and from other ebook retailers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to continue hopping with other members of the Freedom Blog Hop!