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Saturday, November 10, 2018

#WeWriWa: ONE RED SHOE - NYC, Here She Comes

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors where authors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

I'm sharing a snippet from my romantic suspense, ONE RED SHOE. This snippet continues from last week after her brother, Jimmy, gives her a new cell phone.

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited some from the original.

“Call every night,” Jimmy ordered—he just had to spoil the moment, “So, we know you’re okay.” The others nodded, they meant well, she reminded herself.
She put the key in the ignition. Oh, God. this was it. She was going after her dream, a mixture of fear and excitement shot through her. She hadn’t felt like this since. . . since leaving for summer camp when she was ten. How pathetic was that. When she got back, things were going to change. First, she was going on a real adventure.
New York City, here I come.


Blurb:

It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?

ONE RED SHOE is now available:

Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. 


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

#IWSG: Creativity


Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. 

Thanks to this month's awesome hosts:   Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor,Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman!

Question: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

I've been writing for twenty-five years. Prior to that, I did a lot of needlework: counted cross-stitch, needlepoint, quilting, embroidery. Music has always been a part of my life. Even though I never played an instrument as a child, one of my first purchases as a new homeowner was a piano, and I took lessons. Trying to learn to play at twenty-nine was difficult, which is why I "made" my kids take piano lessons when they were young. Despite my lack of talent, I've always loved listening to music. Just not when I'm writing.

When I began seriously writing with the intention of being published, I let those other forms of creativity fall by the wayside. All my focus has been on the writing. I guess we all need a release for that creativity. Writing is mine. 

Because so many of you are participating in NaNo, my post is short. Good luck to you. Write on.

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.



It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day

When elementary teacher Daria Mason left Iowa for a writers’ conference in New York City, she didn’t expect to come home with a wounded spy. Sam Jozwiak works for a shadow agency that gathers intel vital to U.S. security. From the moment he steals digital files from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist. Thus, begins a road trip that takes Sam and Daria cross country with the assassins right behind them. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

#WeWriWa: Eager to Get on the Road


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors where authors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

I'm sharing a snippet from my romantic suspense, ONE RED SHOE. This snippet continues from last week when her brother, Jimmy, tries to keep her from leaving for NYC.

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited some from the original.

“I hoped you’d get this foolishness out of your system.” Jimmy blew out a breath and thrust a small item at her, “Since you’re determined to go, this is a top-of-the-line cell phone. It has GPS tracking so if you have car trouble and call for help, they’ll know exactly where you are.”
Daria ignored the first part of his rant, she’d heard it before but was surprised at his thoughtfulness with the phone. She gave him a hug then the others. Standing back, she looked at the four of them, and tears threatened. She blinked rapidly. For goodness sake, it wasn’t like she was leaving forever--a week away from home, that’s all. She got into her car, eager to get started.


Blurb:

It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?

ONE RED SHOE is now available:


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. 




Friday, November 2, 2018

GUEST: @MargoHoornstra #NewRelease

My friend and fellow Rose (the Roses of Prose blog) and Mid-Michigan RWA chaptermate, Margo Hoornstra is visiting with news about her newest release. Here's Margo to tell you about On The Force

Hello Everyone,

Thank you, Diane for hosting me to help get the word out about my latest romantic suspense release from the Crimson Rose line of The Wild Rose Press.

ON THE FORCE, Brothers in Blue Book 2 officially launched on October 29, 2018. I’m thrilled to be able to share some things here today such as where this book fits in the scheme of my writing feats, what this book is about and an introduction to the characters who are in it, and a little bit of insight into how this book came to be.

The Series:
Brothers in Blue. Four heroes who met at the police academy and became lifelong friends. The dropout, the straight arrow, the movie star and the maverick. All share a passion to serve and protect, each in their own unique way.

This Book:
ON THE FORCE, Brothers in Blue Book 2, highlights straight arrow Detective Vince Miller and recently unemployed CFO Sydney Raines.
Losing her job and reputation is nothing compared to the prospect of losing her life

The Blurb:
Top notch CFO Sydney Raines is devastated when her coveted job working for a high profile conglomerate is yanked out from under her. Determined to restore a mangled reputation, she finds her second chance when the owner of an upscale art gallery hires her as his personal assistant. Straight arrow cop Vince Miller is assigned to crack an international art theft ring. Working undercover, he never counted on meeting Sydney Raines, let alone falling in love with her. Then an unexpected twist in the case reveals the identity of a serial killer, along with the shattering realization that Sydney could be the psycho’s next victim.

The Why and the How:
What do you do with a husband who keeps coming up with interesting plotlines for books? Just when I was at the end of my writing rope one day, he came up with this. A recently unemployed woman, down on her luck. And a law enforcement officer who needs to run surveillance on some bad actors. Turns out her apartment is the perfect vantage point for him and he figures out a way to make good use of it. In doing so, he inadvertently puts her, an innocent civilian, in danger. Then, of course, he must do whatever it takes to save the day, all the while falling in love with the her.
And I was off…

Not that I’m about to give my husband all the credit. At the time, I had a simple short story turned sweet novella, turned full length romantic suspense in the works. What became ON THE SURFACE, Brothers in Blue Book 1 features, Brad Collins, a police officer turned bounty hunter. Originally, that book was a single title stand alone. Or so I thought. But, then again, what do I really know?

A character in ON THE SURFACE, Brad’s mentor, the aforementioned Vince Miller, was just itching for a book of his own.

Who was I to argue?

Except, my version turned out slightly different from my husband’s original vision. In my version, Sydney doesn’t know Vince is working undercover. She thinks he’s your everyday, harmless freelance writer looking for his latest breakout article. And she isn’t at all please with him when she eventually discovers the truth.

All of which takes place, of course, just before she lands smack dab in the middle of a serial killer’s crosshairs.

The Excerpt:
Vince pressed his foot down harder on the gas pedal as he fought to block out everything but the highway in front of him. A simple survival tactic as blind faith propelled him on. If he let his mind go where it wanted, all thoughts of Sydney would be front and center. He didn’t want to deal with that much pain just now. To focus on the road was his best option. Straight, flat, predictable.
Until they got to the turn off to the hospital, more specifically, the morgue.
Terror and sadness, rage and impotence stabbed at him from all directions, tearing him up and threatening to destroy his heart.
Beside him, Andy Raines wasn’t faring much better. “It’s not supposed to be like this.” He blew his nose then used the same handkerchief to wipe the tears from red rimmed eyes.
“It’s a hazy connection at best, but right now it’s the only connection we’ve got.” Vince didn’t share the details of the other victims. Not yet anyway. “I just hope to hell I’m wrong.”
“Children bury their parents. Not the other way around.” He coughed into one elbow then dabbed at his eyes again.
Vince kept his lips tight and jaw clenched. The right thing to do was respond. Offer some words of…what? Wisdom? Sympathy? Commiseration?
Pity he had nothing to give as they traveled to possibly identify a Jane Doe dead body as someone they each loved more than life.

ON THE FORCE and ON THE SURFACE are now available in both print and e-book format, to be joined in the future by ON THE MAKE and ON THE MOVE. And, though each is one segment of a four-part series, each one can be read as a stand-alone book in its own right.




ON THE FORCE

Losing her job was nothing compared to the prospect of losing her life…

BROTHERS IN BLUE, BOOK 2

To serve and protect was never more personal

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 29, 2018

ASIN: B07H9PVLT6

Amazon Buy Links:




About Margo Hoornstra

Website Blog Twitter Facebook Google+ | Goodreads Amazon Author Page
Like many writers, it’s hard to determine exactly when my fiction writing career began. I remember composing a short story in grade school (I have no idea about what) which was chosen for publication in an all school anthology. A journalism class taken in junior high school led to a job on the school newspaper and a weekly column.

I always loved reading. I loved writing too. Someday, I thought, maybe when I grew up and received the right training, I could actually write a book. After all, I was often told, laughingly most times, I had an extremely vivid imagination.

Through the years, the desire to write was always there. I had so many ideas and characters roaming around in my head, so many stories. But the business of living—going to college, getting married then raising a family—took precedence over something as frivolous as writing a book.
Then one day out of the blue I was downsized—effective immediately—from a job I’d held for over thirty years. What seemed so unfair at the time, I now recognize the tremendous gift I was given that day. As I’m now able to spend more and more time doing what I love—writing romantic fiction—I find I really do have an abundance of stories to share. 



Saturday, October 27, 2018

#WeWriWa - ONE RED SHOE: No More Wounded Strays

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors where authors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

I'm sharing a snippet from my romantic suspense, ONE RED SHOE. This snippet continues from last week when Daria's brothers were examining her car.

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited some from the original.


While they debated whether she should get a new tire, Rover dashed up, the reddish-brown mutt of indeterminate heritage nearly knocked her over with his usual enthusiastic greeting.
“Billy, don’t feed Rover any table scraps--only two cups of kibble a day and, Andy, you’re going to put food in the barn for Archy and Mehitabel, right?” She didn’t wait for his response, “And, Tommy, you’ll take care of—”
Jimmy straightened, “For crissake, Daria, it’s a goddamn zoo around here.”
At least he wasn’t trying to delay her with talk about new tires. She reached up and patted his cheek, “Don’t swear.”
“I mean it, Daria Jean,” Jimmy said, “Don’t you dare bring home some wounded stray. I don’t care if it’s bleeding--no more. You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into--you’ve never even been east of Chicago.”

She smiled, “I know.”

Blurb:

It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?

ONE RED SHOE is now available:


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. 


Thursday, October 25, 2018

GUEST: @Nancy Gideon Blog Tour - PRINCE OF DREAMS


I'm happy to participate in my friend, Nancy Gideon's, blog tour for her latest release. I've known Nancy for at least twenty-five years. She's an inspiration, writing through adversity, and a mentor. She also introduced me to vampires and werewolves. Sure, they'd been around for years before I read her stories. They weren't what I expected. Sensual, thrilling, tug-at-your-heartstrings romances. Now, she has a new release, PRINCE OF DREAMS. It's a fantastic story. See my review at the end of this post.


Here's Nancy to tell us about her favorite heroes, vampires and werewolves.



Team V vs Team WW

I’ve always loved a dark, tormented hero, the kind that roams freely on Halloween!
And I’ve been torn since my first introduction to late night horror films – Vampire or werewolf (later shapeshifter). Though both were technically villains, the undead or unnatural that needed to be destroyed for preying upon humanity, I always found their tragic story . . . romantic. Denied the light of day or fearing the loss of control wrought by the cycle of the moon, instead of getting the woman of their dreams, these antiheroes got the short of the stick—usually sharp and through the heart. Not fair, but how the story always goes. Then Hollywood, and finally fiction, began a subtle change when 50s heartthrob Michael Landon wolfed out in “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” and squealing bobbysoxers vied to put him on their leash.  I didn’t notice until Frank Langella took up Dracula’s cape, becoming one HOT dead guy! He was charming, educated, and had it hands down over the second-string Jonathan Harker. But love never triumphed at the end of their stories. 

No happily ever after for them.

Maybe it was Dark Shadows, the campy ‘60s vampire soap opera that finally broke tradition. Barnabas and Quentin Collins had fans swooning for a chance to save them from their cursed lives. As vampire and werewolf, they were portrayed as victims worthy of redemption. When “The Kindred” came out as a nighttime saga about strong warring supernatural families (and later, “The Originals”), I was sold on heroes both fang and fur. Those were the larger-than-life heroes I wanted helming my books, beginning with Louis Radman, mourning his lost humanity in my “Touched by Midnight” vampire series, then Max Savoie, top dog in my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter books and the yummy Terriot princes in the “House of Terriot” spin-off (PRINCE OF DREAMS is just releasing!). Smart, loyal and deadly, (and it doesn’t hurt-gorgeous!), it’s their very difference that draws their strong heroines . . . and readers. Something about tall, dark and dangerous with a bite . . . especially when the moon is full and the season is All Hallows!


Prince of Dreams
House of Terriot
Book Four
Nancy Gideon

Genre: Paranormal

Date of Publication: October 2, 2018

Word Count: 98,500

ASIN B07H4XMSC9

Cover Artist: Patricia Lazarus

Tagline:  Written in the cards . . . Who was this guy, her rescuer, her hero, her knight in shining 2-carats?

Book Description:

Kip . . . Prince in the shapeshifter House of Terriot

He'd said he wasn't a mobster. . . She should have asked if he was a monster.
Who was this too good to be true, always ready in a crisis guy working a menial job for her father? Ophelia knew things. Something was not quite normal about the Kip Terriot hiding behind another name in lace-up dress shoes and a preppy wardrobe – something wild and exciting as all hell. A dangerous something calling to that restless difference in her own soul.

Ophelia . . . daughter of his enemy, girl of his dreams

So sassy, so sweet so perfect . . . and what he had to do would destroy her.
Kip was in New Orleans to save his clan and his kind, not to play white knight for Ophelia Brady with her quirky habits, curvy body and tormented past. His deception would rip the heart from her world, not help heal it. Was his family’s nemesis using his own daughter to make Kip the played instead of the player, pulling him between love and duty to make an impossible choice?

“Emotionally captivating! A brilliant conclusion to a unique series!” – Book Bling





Excerpt from Prince of Dreams . . .
An unnatural being from a family of shapeshifters.
            Even now Ophelia didn’t know whether to laugh or weep at the absurdity of it. Things like that didn’t exist. Except she knew they did, just outside the peripheral, where worlds of fact and fiction met and mingled and blurred. She’d felt their presence in the shadows of reality all her life. She met them in her dreams and visions.
            Kip Terriot gave them gorgeous face and form, but underneath, he was that creature with red eyes and sharp teeth. Her big, bad wolf, who’d protected her from a robber and defended her from abuse, who’d rescued her sister from the attack she still refused to acknowledge. Who loved his family and would do anything for them?
            Who she loved too much to let go but couldn’t give what he needed because she wasn’t his kind.
            Which was the greater fear, what he was or that she’d fail him?
“What are we going to do, Phe? I don’t want to lose this.” He brought her knuckles to his lips for a kiss.
            “I don’t want to lose you. But I already have, haven’t I? You’re a million miles away right now and almost out of reach.”
            “I’m right here.” His argument brought her to him, her knees stepping over his lap to straddle him, arms circling his shoulders, face nestling against the curve of his throat where she rode his hard swallow. He held tight, trying to believe they could make this moment last, this glorious, fiery, tender moment that offered so much and promised so little.
            “You are my prince,” she whispered, breath moist and soft against his neck. “My Prince of Cups. You rode into my life bringing romance, shaking my world to its foundation that first night I met you. It was in the cards.”
            “Fate,” he murmured, smile in his voice. “No escaping it.” His fingers threaded through her hair, pulling back gently to tip up her face, offering sweetly parted lips and glistening eyes.
            He’d planned a sweet kiss but the taste of urgency and need in the sweep of her tongue ruined that noble ambition. They feasted upon one another for long, desperate minutes until she rocked back, thumb swiping the dampness from his mouth.

            “Go, be who you need to be for them. Then come back and be who I need you to be.

About the Author:

Nancy Gideon is the award-winning bestseller of over 65 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal and horror, with a couple of produced screenplays and non-fiction writing books tossed into the mix.

A legal assistant for a brilliant criminal attorney in Central Michigan (when not at the keyboard working on her latest book in progress), she feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl and dotes on her grandguy.

Nancy’s also written under the pseudonyms Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings. Look for reissues coming soon under those pen names!







Nancy Gideon by Moonlight Goodreads Group: 
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/109994-nancy-gideon-by-moonlight




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Diane's Review:

She did it again! Nancy Gideon hooked me from the first page until the end. Not a book I could put down. Kip Terriot has to be my favorite prince. He's real and down-to-earth, just what Ophelia needs and loves. Although this is the last of the House of Terriot stories, there's more to come from Nancy. I never thought I'd enjoy shifter stories until I read hers. The romance between Kip and Ophelia is so tender and at the same time hot. Kudos to Nancy Gideon for another entertaining story.

Although I was offered an Advanced Reading Copy, Nancy's books are always a 1-click for me.


Monday, October 22, 2018

#Release Day for ONE RED SHOE #RomanticSuspense

I'm excited to present another new book. Rather, it's the re-release of a book that was published five years ago. When the rights were returned, I couldn't wait to re-issue it. I love this story.


ONE RED SHOE began as a writing assignment at a Mid-Michigan RWA chapter meeting. Some writers hate writing on demand. I enjoy it. Give me a sentence or a clue and my imagination takes off. Through the late 1990's and early 2000s, I wrote and rewrote this story. My friends (like Nancy Gideon, Jolana Malkston, and the LaSenorita critique group) gave me lots to think about. They made me rethink motivation and goals. Nobody likes to have people tear apart their work. Biting my tongue and listening to their advice made this story so much better.

If you haven't read ONE RED SHOE, here's a little about it, followed by an excerpt. I hope you enjoy.

Blurb:


It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day

When elementary teacher Daria Mason left Iowa for a writers’ conference in New York City, she didn’t expect to come home with a wounded spy. Sam Jozwiak works for a shadow agency that gathers intel vital to U.S. security. From the moment he steals digital files from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist. Thus, begins a road trip that takes Sam and Daria cross country with the assassins right behind them.

Excerpt:

Sam Jozwiak slid open the door to Korioff’s inner sanctum. It had been blissfully easy. One guard, now sleeping quietly along with the rest of the compound. Locks a rookie could open. The computer password taped under the mouse pad. You’d think even a minor kingpin in the Russian Mafia would have better security.

Hold on. No modem. No cable, DSL, broadband, not even dial-up. No way to transmit data. Well, shit.
Okay, on to Plan B.
In the dark, with only the glow from the computer screen, Sam copied files onto a tiny memory chip. The financial records and client lists would make for fascinating reading back at headquarters. As the personal files were being copied, a name caught his attention. Why the hell did the Russian Mafia have a file on a U.S. senator? Especially, that senator. Sam opened the file. Holy shit!
Intel this dangerous couldn’t wait for the normal fourteen-hour transport home. The hearing was next week. What he just read would send shockwaves through Washington, through the country. He had to report this to the Director now then upload that file to the agency.
An hour later, he raced up the worn wooden stairs of the shabby hotel. He’d contacted the Director who wasn’t pleased about the change in plan. Sam had wasted too much time explaining why he couldn’t hook up a connection instead of copying the files. The Director insisted that the package be hand-delivered. While that seemed odd to Sam, considering the tight time frame, the Director did have a reason. The intel was too sensitive to trust to the Internet. He ordered Sam to meet him in New York City. Again, odd. But he learned long ago not to question his superiors. All he had to do now was grab his gear and get the hell out of Dodge before Korioff discovered the little surprise in his computer.
Sam unlocked the hotel room, realizing too late that it wasn’t locked.
“Hello, Samuel. Long time no see, as you Americans say.” Yuri Grashenko sat in the corner of the small room, his smile as deadly as the Walther PPK in his hand. “Please return what you stole from my employer. He is most unhappy.”
Jesus, how did he know? How did Grashenko get here so—
“Why you talk nice to thief?” The male voice came from behind.
Sam spun low with a move he hadn’t forgotten from his college basketball days. He slammed into the newcomer as a bullet from the PPK slammed into the wall where Sam’s shoulder had been seconds before. One good thing. Yuri wasn’t trying to kill him. Not yet, anyway.
Sam and the newcomer rolled down the dark stairs in a tangle of arms and legs. Jesus, the guy was big. Elbows and knees wreaked as much havoc as the wood steps. He was going to have bruises on bruises.
His dad was right. Sam should have gone to work in the steel mill. Shoveling slag had to be easier than this.


ONE RED SHOE is available at:



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