Friday, April 23, 2021

DANCE TO A WYLDER BEAT by Marilyn Barr

Marilyn Barr joins me today to talk about 5 Things she learned about the old west while researching her upcoming historical western romance DANCE TO A WYLDER BEAT. Marilyn is holding a Cover Reveal for her book tomorrow (April 24/2021) on Facebook along with the other authors from The Wylder West series. Make sure you stop by!

Before I could Dance to a Wylder Beat, I had to learn a few trades to survive on the Sagebrush homestead in Wylder Wyoming Territory. In 1878, life was hard work. Brothers Nartan and Ikshu (pronounced ick-SHOO) Sagebrush are leather tanners who built a homestead on the outside of town when they were separated from their Arapaho band in 1874. By 1878, when Dance to a Wylder Beat begins, they have built a somewhat successful business, homestead, and sheep flock. Here are my five favorite fun facts I learned while visiting the Sagebrush brothers in 1878, Wylder Wyoming Territory. (Images in my graphic come from The Arapaho by Raymond Bial and The Arapaho by Loretta Fowler)

1.       Leather Tanning – Arapaho people were the experts in tanning, leather smith skills, and beading. I was fascinated with the art, fashion, and ceremonial leather goods I found in my research. Their beautiful crafts were the impetus behind giving the Sagebrush brothers the occupation of leather tanning. However, I had no idea how they tanned leather without the modern chemicals developed in the industrial revolution. Luckily for me, the local historical society had a non-mechanized leather tanning class where I learned I would have made a horrible leather tanner. The smell of the urine-soaking vats and conditioners made from cow brains was enough to send me running. The Sagebrush homestead had to be outside of town because the stench would have been a public menace. Removing the hair and strings of fat was done by hand while the skins were stretched on frames in the sun to dry. This was backbreaking work which I could barely perform once let alone every day because I don’t possess the physique of a romance hero…ah-hem….

2.       Travois – While most settlers would travel with a horse and buggy, Arapaho people traveled in a travois. The nomadic people would create a sling from their leather teepee panels draped on one end of their teepee poles. The other end of the long poles would be crossed over the neck of a horse and stretch behind the animal. This efficient engineering allowed for them to carry all their belongings on a few animals. Nartan and Ikshu are not migratory but wouldn’t see the benefits of building or buying a buggy with knowledge of this technology.

3.       Teepees and Cabins – Arapaho people lived in Teepees because they could be easily moved as the herd of buffalo (and other game) moved with the seasons. Nartan and Ikshu had a teepee when they first moved to Wylder in 1874, but Nartan builds a cabin in 1878 when he decides he wants to marry. Ikshu stays in the teepee which has one room serving all living purposes. A platform with skins piled on it had dual purposes as both his bed and couch. Not that Ikshu would have time to be a couch potato. Rotating skins through their maze of soaking vats, stretching frames, and smoking houses would take all day. Not to mention the work maintaining their sheep flock, garden, and meat smokers to have food.

4.       Pemmican – When I thought of the Old West, I thought of the rich American staples such as stew, meatloaf, fried chicken, and biscuits – all smothered with gravy. However, these meals would be reserved for special occasions or after-church brunches of the rich. My struggling leather tanners would only dream of such heavy meals. They maintain a garden, can hunt on their land, and butcher the sheep, but how did they maintain fresh food without refrigeration? The answer is a Native American staple called pemmican. Most of the settlers would be eating plain dried meats, but pemmican is meat pounded with spices, nuts, and berries before drying. It was still tough to eat but at least it had flavor. The Sagebrush boys would be able to make a month’s worth of pemmican in a day and store it without the risk of food poisoning.   

5.       Sanitation Papers – I wanted Nartan to prepare something for his intended bride to show her from the first day that he was committed to making her happy. In 1871, sanitation papers were invented which we now call toilet paper. Sanitation papers were sheets of thick paper which could be purchased plain or coated with aloe and essential oils. Nartan buys lavender scented ones to stock the outhouse he digs for his bride. What was everyone else using? Corn cobs, brushes, or old newspapers often hung inside outhouses for multiple uses. Nartan not only keeps Olive fresh with the papers, but he also gives her a bucket of latrine lime with dried lavender to act as “flushing” after she does her business. Nothing says, “I want to care for you” like a fresh bottom. What a luxury!

Travel with me and the other authors of The Wylder West series tomorrow, 4/24/2021, as we party like it’s 1878 in our Facebook group – here. The Sagebrush brothers and I will be revealing their book cover as we “Dance to a Wylder Beat”. Discover all the cowboys, ruffians, saloon girls, homesteaders, and handsome leather tanners who reside in Wylder, Wyoming Territory. I hope to see you there!

Blurb, DANCE TO A WYLDER BEAT:

Nartan Sagebrush's name may mean "to dance" in Arapaho, but he dances in secret. Forced to abandon his Shamanic apprenticeship, he is overwhelmed with homesteader life, and even his spirit guides are at their wit's end. Nartan takes fate into his own hands. Instead of divine intervention, a wife will help with his responsibilities and in assimilating into the Wylder community. 

Olive Muegge answer's Nartan's "wife wanted" advertisement.  Wildly independent she has secretly dreamed of a family to call her own. The secret she carries inside makes her an outcast and her wild ways don't fit the quiet wife Nartan thinks he desires.

Despite their differences, they are drawn to each other but a mistake may drive them apart.  Will Nartan embrace his Shamanic past to save them both or will he choose to rid himself of Olive forever? 

Excerpt:

When I turn back, the men are wrestling in a cloud of dust. Dead Eyes’ friends hoot like owls while a small crowd gathers around the scene. Being half-drunk, Dead Eyes is two steps slower than Nartan, who is landing punches on both sides. When Dead Eyes slams his gun on the ground in surrender, the dust settles, and I can study my future husband. 

Nartan’s muscular body straddles the smaller man while his broad chest billows. His hat has blown off in the scuffle, revealing two thick black braids adorned with feathers. Tendrils of raven-black hair wave around his head. “Quiet wife for a quiet life” my bloomin’ butt. This man is a sweet lick of passion wrapped in a delicious exterior. I think I’m gonna like being Mrs. Sagebrush just fine. I can handle an odd stick as long as he has the countenance of Nartan because I’m not as normal as I appear myself.

Pre-Order Buy Links: Coming Soon!

Author Bio:

Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. She has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, published microbiologist, special education/inclusion science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, certified spiritual & energy healer, and advocate for the autistic community. This puts her in the position to bring tales containing heroes who are regular people with different ability levels and body types, in a light where they are powerful, lovable, and appreciated. 

When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula. She is a sucker (haha) for cheesy horror movies, Italian food, punk music, black cats, bad puns, and all things witchy.

Social Media Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Amazon author profile

Goodreads

BookBub




Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Pamela S. Thibodeaux Celebrates the release of TEMPERED TRUTH

Pamela Thibodeaux is here to celebrate the release of TEMPERED TRUTH, book 5 in her Inspirational Tempered series. She took the time to answer Five Quick Questions I had for her. Let's get to know her better. Welcome Pamela!


Five Quick Questions with Pamela Thibodeaux:

 - Favorite author? Although I love reading a variety of folks, Nora Roberts by far is my favorite author. 

- What song would best describe your life? On the Road Again by Willie Nelson because I love to travel!

- Country life or city life? I’m a country girl for sure! I used to say, “I’m so country I want 20 acres of woods with the center 5 cleared for my log home. I’ve narrowed that to 2 acres LOL and would still love a log home.

- E-book, paperback or audiobook? I love to read and prefer paperback or hardcover, however my Kindle allows me to always have a book at my fingertips which is wonderful because I do love to travel so much and it’s so much easier to pack than a stack of books. I’ve come to enjoy an audio book from time to time also.

- I love pizza with: meat, mushrooms and pineapple. Something about those flavors meshing satisfies my craving for sweet and salty. Although, I’ll eat just about any kind of pizza as long as it does not have onions or peppers or anchovies. I’m not a fan of olives either so I guess my tastes are somewhat limited LOL!


Title: Tempered Truth, book 5 in Edgy, Inspirational Tempered Series.

Blurb: Fate declared them neighbors. Scandal insisted they were brothers. The fact that they looked enough alike to be twins only added fuel to the rumors flying about their parentage. 

For fifty-plus years Craig Harris and Scott Hensley have enjoyed a bond nothing can sever. 

Not the insinuations that they share the same father. 

Not the years of strife and grief and heartache.

Not even death.

Will the truth set them free or will it destroy the friendship that has lasted a lifetime?

Excerpt: 

Scott wiped the tears from his cheeks. He was right, had been right all along, in thinking he would not be the same after reading what was inside that envelope. And he wasn’t. He was better, richer, wiser. He possessed a deeper understanding of who he was, why he was here, and what love—true, sacrificial love, was all about.

As usual, his mind turned to Craig Harris, his friend of a lifetime. He remembered how difficult Craig’s childhood had been, how strong he’d become, how close they were, and how blessed he was to have him in his life. Through the love and wisdom God had given his parents, he’d had it all… a best friend and a brother, and his life was far richer than it would have been had they not been obedient to Him.


Buy links:

http://bit.ly/TemperedTruth


Author bio: 

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!


Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/psthibnewsletter

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pamela-s-thibodeaux

Instagram: https://instagram.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor 

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1268453.Pamela_S_Thibodeaux 

Book Sniffer Author Page: https://booksniffer.com/pamela-s-thibodeaux 


Friday, April 16, 2021

1st Book Birthday: ROCK HOUSE GRILL!

D.V. Stone is here to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of  ROCK HOUSE GRILL's publication. Happy Book Birthday, D.V.!

Happy Birthday to Rock House Grill.

I can’t believe it’s been a year already since publication. The road to get there was filled with potholes and detours. Rock House Grill started out as a NaNoWriMo challenge in November of 2015. The challenge is 50,000 words in 30 days. I was able to complete the first draft and received my certificate. Then, like many manuscripts, it was set aside while I finished other projects. I had a couple of independents in the hopper and focused on those.

Fast forward to 2019. I pulled up some old files, and there sat Rock House waving at me. “Hey, remember me?” I did, and with fresh eyes, began to revisit. I’d always dreamed of becoming a traditionally published author. To be able to say, my publishing house—my editor. I began to send out query letters. Let’s just say most places don’t even send a response, much less express an interest.

I sent several letters out in May. Word of warning. Be careful to look things over before you hit send. In horror, I realized the salutation in the email to The Wild Rose Press had another’s name on it. Panic ensued, and a new email went out. “Wild Rose Press. I know you’re The Wild Rose Press!”

Well, I blew that one. Wait. Not necessarily. A few days before my birthday, there was a ding in my inbox. Please send… OMG! Then came the next. Please send the full manuscript. After a couple of starts, stops, and a change in editors, this came on Jul 13, 2017.

Dear Donna,

My name is ELF and I am the editor who has been assigned to evaluate your story, “The Rock House Grill,” for The Wild Rose Press. 

Poor ELF didn’t know what she was getting into. At one point, she had to use tough love and warn me I had one more chance.

So here we are in 2021. You do the math. Publishing for me is not a straight road. I imagine for many, it’s a long pothole-filled one. But don’t give up. Even when you send the wrong email.

Rock House Grill and I are celebrating our first birthday together. Coming soon is the second Impact book Jazz House. Who knows when that book birthday will be. But I’m sure it will be as sweet as this one. You want to know why? Just like having more than one child, holding each of your subsequent books is an amazing feeling.

My final word to you? Go forth and be bold. Don’t let fear or worry hold you back. I promise it’s worth it.


Blurb: 

Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He’s rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?


Reviews:

This engrossing story had it all, mystery, suspense, and romance. The twists and turns made it impossible to put down. I enjoyed the supporting characters as well. I will be looking for more from this talented storyteller.

This book is a delightful, savory, hopeful, fun, romantic, and warmhearted read!!

I really enjoyed this romantic suspense. The author portrayed a vivid description of the glamorous world of the high-end restaurant business. The characters were believable, and I rooted for Shay, the heroine, to overcome the many obstacles in her quest to find true love with Aden, the physically and emotionally damaged hero.


Excerpt:

“Easy, you’re going to be okay.” 

A soft voice eased through the chaos around him. The owner of the voice grabbed his arms and held them in a firm but gentle grip. “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.” 

“Can hardly m-move.” His voice slurred. “C-can’t see anything.” 

“You’ve been in an accident. I’m an EMT with the ambulance squad,” the velvety voice calmly explained. “You can’t see well because we’re under a tarp. Hold still, okay?”

 “‘K.” 

A small light flickered at the edge of his vision. It shone into a bag next to him. Penlight. “You’re restrained to a board. It’s to keep your head from moving and causing more injury.” 

She continued to talk to him. The voice reached down somewhere inside him, calming and peaceful, so he focused on it. A glow from spotlights on the outside lit whatever covered them. The shadow gave the woman the appearance of a halo—like an angel.


About the Author:

Hi, my name is D. V. Stone. I am a multi-genre author of two independently published books. Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar is a fantasy romance. Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake is a mid-grade paranormal. Recently, Rock House Grill was released by Wild Rose Press. Rainbow Sprinkles, a novella released on July 8th. I also host Welcome to the Campfire and A Peek Through the Window, both weekly blogs. Here’s a little more about me.

Born in Brooklyn, D.V. Stone has moved around a bit and even lived for a time on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Throughout her wandering, she always considered herself a Jersey Girl. She met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man, and moved this time to Sussex County.  They live with Hali, a mixed breed from the local shelter, and their cat Baby.

D.V.’s career path varied from working with the disabled to become a volunteer EMT, which in turn led to working in hospital emergency rooms and then in a women’s state prison. After a few years, she took a break from medicine and became the owner of Heavenly Brew, a specialty coffee shop in Sparta, NJ, and a small restaurant in Lafayette. Life handed some setbacks. She ended up back in the medical field, but this time in a veterinary emergency hospital. 

“Thank you for taking the time to read about me. Each time you open the pages to one of my books, I hope you’ll be swept away by the story and find encouragement in your own life, never to give up on hope.”

D.V. Stone


Buy Links:

Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks      Google Books Kobo


Find out more about D. V. 

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

Pinterest Bookbub Goodreads Newsletter

Welcome to the Campfire Blog Amazon Author Page


Other Books by D. V. Stone:

Rainbow Sprinkles

After the storm come the rainbows.


Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar

One foolish thought. One brutal act. Instead of a peaceful alliance––war.


Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake

A Mid-grade paranormal


Contributing Author

Australia Burns


One-stop link https://linktr.ee/d.v.stone


Sunday, April 11, 2021

LIES AND SOLACE #onsale for #99cents!

LIES AND SOLACE, book one in my Love at Solace Lake series, is on sale for .99 cents! Get your copy while it's hot. The sale price is in effect only until April 17.

Blurb: 

She can’t live with one more lie. He can’t tell the truth.

Harper Lindquist is convinced she’s found the answer to her financial prayers. Unless she pours cash into crumbling Solace Lake Lodge, she’ll lose her family’s legacy. Her would-be savior arrives in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard and she’s determined to prove to her reluctant, and trapped, financier the lodge is a sound investment. But Harper isn’t completely honest with him. And she has no idea the lake is hiding secrets of its own. 

Ethan James is a liar, but his money is very real. He isn’t convinced a broken-down inn is a smart investment opportunity. But the more he understands Harper’s dreams and desires, the more he wants to be the man to make them come true. The trauma in both their pasts means neither can fully trust the other. They must find the courage to love, to trust, and to accept, or yesterday’s sorrows will keep them apart.

Read an excerpt at my website.

Buy Links:

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Kimberly Baer & MALL GIRL MEETS THE SHADOW VANDAL

 Today my guest is middle grade author Kimberly Baer and she's here to tell us about her book MALL GIRL MEETS THE SHADOW VANDAL. The star of the book, Chloe Lamont will tell us the top 10 things about living in the mall. Take it away Kimberly and Chloe!

The Top Ten Great Things About Living at the Mall

Hi, my name is Chloe Lamont, and I’m the star of Kimberly Baer’s new middle-grade novel, Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal. My mom and me, we have a weird kind of living arrangement. Our house is in the middle of a shopping mall. You’d think a kid would love living at the mall—but, trust me, it gets old. Especially now that somebody’s trying to frame me for vandalizing stores. Still, sometimes life at the mall isn’t so bad. (Don’t tell my mom I said that!) Here, in no particular order, are some good things about living in a shopping mall: 

1. You never have to worry about running out of clean underwear. Just run to the nearest department store and buy more!

2. Want to enjoy puppies and kittens without having to take care of them? Hang out at the pet store.

3. Every day is a party. Lots of noise, lots of people, lots of merriment.

4. A mall is essentially an indoor town. Mine has stores and restaurants, but also a bank, a movie theater, a hair salon, and an eye doctor. And you can get to all those places without having to put on a coat or get in a car.

5. Hungry for Chinese food? Tacos? Pizza? The food court is thirty seconds away.

6. There’s an ATM in your back yard.

7. If you’re lucky, people will throw money down your chimney. Sometimes they miss, and the coins end up in your yard. But, hey, it’s still free money.

8. You never have to shovel snow, rake leaves, or mow the lawn. (But you do have to vacuum the fake grass.)

9. Your mom doesn’t have heating or cooling costs—which means she has more money to spend on YOU.

10. Your next-door neighbor is your favorite clothing store.

Blurb for Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal (a middle-grade novel):

"A lively, jaunty mystery with a terrific cast of characters." - Kirkus Reviews

Chloe Lamont doesn't live in a neighborhood, like most kids. Her house is in the middle of the mall. And now someone is stealing items from her house and using them to vandalize stores. Who is trying to frame her? And how are they getting into the house? 

Desperate to catch the real vandal and clear her name, Chloe seeks help from the kids in her Mystery Reading Group at school. While searching for clues, the Mystery Groupers make an astounding discovery. And then things get really crazy…

Excerpt:

I hate getting up early, so it’s a blessed relief when Saturday morning rolls around and I get to sleep in.

Then I wake up and find out there’s been another egging.

Mom tells me about it when she comes home at lunchtime. This time Maynard’s Shoes was the victim. A bunch of shoes on display out front got hit. Like last time, the police think the crime took place in the middle of the night.

“How many—” I begin.

“Eight. They used eight eggs.”

We eye each other uneasily. Outside the living room window, a lady says contemptuously, “She acts like she’s the first woman on earth to ever have a baby.”

Mom turns abruptly and heads into the kitchen. I’m right behind her. We park ourselves in front of the refrigerator. 

“I bought a new carton on Thursday,” she says, twisting her opal ring around and around on her pinkie. “I haven’t used any eggs at all. If you haven’t either, there should still be a full dozen.”

“I haven’t used any,” I tell her.

She takes a deep breath and tugs open the refrigerator door. She has the grim demeanor of a fourteenth-century villager about to open a vampire’s coffin. She takes out the egg carton and places it on the counter. Gingerly, she lifts the lid.

There are four eggs inside, crowded together at the left end of the carton. The rest of the carton looks starkly empty, like eight tiny bird’s nests emptied of occupants.

“Oh!” Mom clamps a hand over her mouth. “How can this be?”

I can only stare at the carton in silence, dazed by the undeniable truth. Somebody is taking our eggs and using them to attack mall stores. I just don’t know who or how or why. 

View the Mall Girl book trailer

Buy links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Apple

Author Bio:

Kimberly Baer wrote her first story at age six. It was about a baby chick that hatched out of a little girl's Easter egg after somehow surviving the hard-boiling process. Nowadays she enjoys writing middle-grade and young adult fiction. She lives in Virginia, where she likes to go power-walking on days when it's not too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy, or too windy. On indoor days, you might find her binge-watching one of her favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls, Friends, or The Office.

You can call her "Kim." All her friends do.

Social media links:

www.kimberlybaer.com

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

Goodreads

Friday, April 2, 2021

#NewRelease from Nancy Fraser: TEACH ME

 Nancy Fraser makes a return visit to Journeys with Jana to tell us about TEACH ME, Book 3 in her Lusty Liaisons series. Since Nancy writes "short" or novella length, she wants to let us know what goes into writing a book of a shorter length. From experience, I can tell you the same amount of effort goes into writing a novella as something much longer. Welcome Nancy! Glad to have you back.


The Art of Writing Short

While most writers/authors strive to create that great novel, be it romance or mystery or thriller, there are distinct advantages to being able to write a shorter length novella or short story.

However, there’s a huge difference in being able to write “short” vs being able to write “complete”. Writing something short, e.g., 10,000 – 40,000 words, takes as much skill (if not more) than writing 80,000 words. The challenge is to tell a complete story within the context of the shorter length.

As a reader, I prefer reading shorter books as well. Books I can finish in a couple of hours, yet tell a full and rewarding story without all the ephemeral stuffing. Nothing irks me more than to come across pages and pages of unnecessary filler. I’d much rather read something that’s non-stop story from front to back. I find I’m far more satisfied.

As the writer of shorter pieces, I find the planning to be more intricate. I know I’ve only got so many pages in which to get from that first meeting (be it instant attraction or dislike), to the happily-ever-after.

Going into the book, I have to develop a firm character outline so that I know my heroine, hero, and supporting characters inside out. I have to have my black moments defined before I write them, and I have to (in my head at least) have my conclusion envisioned.

With my new release, Teach Me, (15,000 words) writing short wasn’t as much of a challenge as usual because the story was intended to take place in one, hot and steamy, night. So, as much as you’d think you can’t develop character in a string of lovescenes, you definitely can. All you need to do is show vulnerability, acceptance, and resolution of the character’s main reason for embarking on their one-night-stand.

In my upcoming Cougars & Cubs, age-gap romance, Seduced by the Handyman, (26,000 words) I had to develop a full, strong relationship and a plausible reason why their 15 year age difference would work. That meant a full story, challenges, resolutions, and happily-ever-after. It also meant weaving in supporting characters and giving just enough to fill out the story, but not enough that any of them would take over parts of the plot.

Writing the shorter length has become my ultimate writing plan. On occasion, I do push the boundaries and write 55-60,000 words, but not often. They say, “write what you love” and for me, shorter is the way to go.


Blurb:

Can this tenured professor create the best lesson plan for her ultimate satisfaction?

Med student Jayne Willis is devastated when she's stood up for a date arranged by hookup service Lusty Liaisons. Really, who stands up someone willing to have sex?

Widowed professor Noah Gallagher's chance encounter at a hotel bar with an alluring young woman is unexpected but might be just what he needs. He's on the last leg of a cross-country trip prior to returning to the university, ready to start a new chapter in his life.

One lonely widower looking to reconnect plus one beautiful, albeit inexperienced, young woman equals one hot night. Will she get an A in lovemaking, and will he get a hall pass back to life?

Excerpt:

A quick, hot shower, clean T-shirt and jeans, and Noah was back in the lobby within twenty minutes. The bar was nearly empty except for an older couple enjoying martinis at a corner table, a middle-aged man in a cheap suit nursing a beer at the bar, and a young woman, no doubt barely legal, sitting alone in a two-person booth.

The woman intrigued him. Not just because she was attractive—which she was—but because he couldn’t fathom why she’d be there alone. Or why she’d come out on a night like this if she didn’t have to.

The idea of someone standing her up for a date was ludicrous. Her bright-red, pouty lips and long dark hair revived his dormant senses. He took a seat at the end of the bar closest to where she sat. If nothing else, he could chance an occasional glance and daydream about what it would be like to make love to her.

He’d just ordered a scotch, neat, when he sensed someone standing beside him.

“You wouldn’t happen to be Carl, would you?”

Noah glanced over his shoulder and came face to face with the woman. He turned slightly to get a better look. Up close, she was astonishingly beautiful, from her deep-set, chocolate-brown eyes, to her pink-tinged cheeks, to those luscious lips.

“No,” he said, “I’m not. Unfortunately.”

She smiled, and her cheeks darkened a deeper shade of rose. “Oh,” she responded. “Sorry I bothered you.”

“No bother. You’re welcome to join me if you don’t want to sit alone. At least until Carl gets here.”

A look of relief washed over her face, and she slid onto the stool next to his. “I’m pretty sure I’ve been stood up.”

“Well then, Carl’s a fool.” He shot her a grin. “Blind date?”

“Sort of,” she admitted.

“What does ‘sort of’ mean exactly?”

She shook her head, her gaze fixed on the top of the mahogany bar. “It’s complicated.”

When had a blind date become something other than a blind date?

He stuck out his hand. “I’m Noah, by the way. Noah Carpenter.” She put her hand in his, the simple touch of her soft skin against his palm bringing his entire body to full alert.

“I’m Jayne Willis.”

“Nice to meet you, Jayne. What’s so complicated? Either you know this Carl fellow, or someone’s set you up on a blind date.” When she just shrugged, he added, “I know a few of my friends have set me up with some pretty disastrous results.”

She let out a long sigh. “It wasn’t a friend. It was a service, a specialized dating service.”

“Like a matching service?” he asked, a slight cringe running through him at the thought of ever having to rely on a dating app to find a woman.

“It’s not a find-your-soulmate type of dating app.” She glanced from side to side and lowered her voice. “It’s just for…uh…you know…sex. One night only, no expectations.”

He nearly choked on his drink. By the time he stopped coughing, his eyes were watering, and Jayne, bless her sexy soul, was laughing hysterically. “Just sex?” he said as soon as he could catch his breath.

She nodded and pursed her lips to hold in another laugh. “Yes, just sex.”

The thought of volunteering to take Carl’s place sat perched on the tip of his tongue. He wrestled with making an outright offer, wondering if the boldness of it would scare her way. So instead, he went with, “That’s some dating service.”

Links:


Author Bio:



NANCY FRASERJumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.


Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for three publishers and has recently dipped her toe into the self-publishing market. She has published over thirty books in full-length, novella, and short format.


When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five energetic grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.


Author Links:


Website: www.nancyfraser.ca 

Facebook: http://facebook.com/nancyfraserauthor 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor  @nfraserauthor 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7206382.Nancy_Fraser 
BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/search/authors?search=Nancy%20Fraser 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3gC68iMStwKCr4v_S6fMIA/