I'm glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Heat Wave #Giveaway Hop



What makes a good summer read? Back in the days before air conditioning things were slower in the summer because of the heat. We headed for the beach or the shade in the backyard. And we read. When I was growing up, I took a book and an old quilt out to the north side of the house because it was shady in the afternoon. Nancy Drew was my favorite. I read all Mom's books, and then I started getting them for Christmas gifts. The girl detective was my hero. When I decided to write a mystery, I knew I had to have a girl detective. Alex (Alexandra) O'Hara is a PI and would give Nancy Drew a run for her money in THE CASE OF THE BYGONE BROTHER.

After taking over O’Hara & Palzetti, Confidential Investigations from her dad and his partner, Alex's bottom line has taken a plunge. So when a femme fatale offers her the case of a lifetime along with a huge advance, Alex sees her finances on a definite upswing. But someone doesn’t want her to find the long-lost brother. Complicating matters is the return of Alex’s old heartthrob, Nick Palzetti. Is he really there just to see her or does he have an ulterior motive? The Lake Michigan resort town of Fair Haven is abuzz with the news that O’Hara & Palzetti are together again.


“Hello, gorgeous.”
I whacked my head on the display shelf.
Well, what would you do if you were lying across the top of a four-drawer lateral file cabinet, and your arm—yardstick attached—was wedged between the wall and the cabinet, trying to retrieve the license renewal application that if you mangled, crushed or couldn’t get would mean the end of your business, and the ex-love-of-your-life stood in the doorway looking at your butt?
The shelf shook on its braces from contact with my head. Never mind that the encounter didn’t do much for the aforementioned body part. The Fair Haven Chamber of Commerce awards rattled, and signed Detroit Tigers baseballs pelted my head, shoulders, and the back of my thigh. I dropped the yardstick and swore.
“I thought you promised your mother you wouldn’t swear anymore.” He would remind me of that vow.
“Relapse,” I muttered as I looked over my shoulder.
In that loose-limbed, cocky manner I once thought scary, sexy, and so cool, Nick Palzetti stood in the doorway to the spare office. He even dressed the same in a black leather jacket, black knit shirt, and jeans that molded his hips. Lordy, he could still make my mouth go dry.
As I wiggled back and sideways across the long cabinet, I felt my skirt ride up. Of all days to wear a skirt. With my foot, I searched for the desk chair I’d climbed to get on top of the cabinet. I’d kicked off my high heels before standing on the chair, probably the only smart thing I’d done so far.
“Red panties, you naughty girl.”
I clamped my legs together. “Quit looking up my skirt.”
“Need a hand?” he asked.
The way my luck was going, he’d start clapping. “No, thanks. I’m fine.”
My foot finally found the chair. It spun away. I swore again. Mom would understand.
“Don’t you know better than to climb on things that move?”
“Gee, I never heard that before.”
Thanks to said skirt and gravity, I started to slide. I grabbed the back of the cabinet and dangled, the front edge digging into my ribs. I could have let go. The cabinet was only five feet high and full. Otherwise it would have toppled over, crushing me. Now, that might have been a good thing. It would’ve put me out of my misery.
Two hands grabbed my waist. Normally, I liked a man’s hands on me. Just not the man who broke my heart fifteen years ago. “Okay, Lexie. I’ve—”
“Don’t call me that,” I snapped. “I go by Alex.” Probably not the best time to assert my name choice.
“Okay, Alex. I’ve got you.” He did. I tried to twist away, lost my grip on the cabinet and fell.
“Gotcha,” he said, a half sec before we tumbled to the hardwood floor. He must have twisted because I landed on top of him. That had to hurt. With my height, I was no light-weight. I looked through a curtain of red. My carefully arranged, very professional chignon had tumbled down. Like the song, thanks to Nick Palzetti, I’d come undone.
“Another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.” I hooked a hank of hair behind my ear and propped my elbow on his chest. “Just like Indiana Jones, hey, Nick? I always knew you’d come back through my door. Of course, I’d rather it was Indy, instead of you.”

Available at: Amazon ~ iTunes ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords

What are you reading this summer?

Leave a comment to win a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card. Be sure to leave your email address. For more chances to win, use the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Then visit the other participating authors. Linky Link doesn't like my blog so here's the link to the list of participating authors.


Have fun! And happy summer reading.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dearly Beloved series by Margo Hoornstra Blog Tour & #Giveaway

Art Imitates Life; Or Is It The Other Way Around?
by Margo Hoornstra
In Only If You Dare, recently divorced Cynthia Buckingham has a one night stand with well- respected judge Jonah Colt. Except they soon discover life just simply isn’t that, well, that simple. As their story unfolds, all sorts of personal issues surface they have to deal with. Jonah is a military veteran suffering, and denying, PTSD. Cynthia happens to have just begun a psychological practice and helping those with PTSD is her specialty.  When they have their first fight and Jonah leaves Cynthia at the restaurant to ‘fend for herself’ she’s mugged and her purse is stolen.  Add to all of this, many of their clandestine times together are interrupted by face-time calls on the computer from Cynthia’s grown daughter with various crises she needs solved in the planning of her quickly approaching wedding.  Given that Cynthia’s goal is to keep Jonah’s presence in her life a secret, these calls pose a special, and physical, challenge.

Enter me, the author, to present all of these issues and make them believable. I’ve never been divorced, never indulged in a one night stand, never served in the military, never been a judge, never been a psychologist, never suffered from PTSD, never been mugged, though I once had my purse stolen, have face timed with my grandchildren, and helped two grown daughters plan their weddings. Out of ten things, I have, hands on, personal experience with three of them.

That’s where imagination comes in. I put myself in the shoes of my characters and try to envision how they would act, think and feel in various situations. I’m not trying to suggest that I’m an expert at any of it.

In my writing, I’m a true pantster from the word go. I come up with an idea--no let me rephrase that--an idea comes to me and I begin a mental game of what if. Sometimes--let me rephrase again--most times my characters surprise me. They will say or do something in a beginning chapter, and I won’t have a clue why. Then a few chapters down the road, whatever it was they said and did before makes perfect sense to me now.

I guess you could say I view writing as an adventure, a journey, a joy. Here’s hoping those who read my work agree.

Only If You Dare
by Margo Hoornstra
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Wild Rose Press
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 26, 2013
Length: 117 Pages

All the pleasures and none of the pain, that's what Cynthia Buckingham wants in a relationship these days. A one-night stand with Jonah Colt seems to fit that bill perfectly. Newly divorced, she's too busy planning her daughter's wedding for any serious involvement. Besides, her true passion is helping victims of PTSD reclaim their lives.

Waking up after spending the night with a woman he barely knows, Jonah is stunned to realize sex for the sake of sex isn't enough for him anymore. A veteran of more military battles than he cares to count, he wants to forget it all and focus on peaceful civilian life. Except flashbacks won't allow it.

Falling for Cynthia makes Jonah regret his weakened state, but he'd rather hide the truth than face it. When she sets aside everything she believes in to help him heal, can he accept her help--and her love?

REVIEW by Diane Burton

You can count on Margo Hoornstra to deliver an emotional story. She starts with two characters who are hurting—Cynthia, newly divorced; Jonah, suffering from PTSD. Neither wants a relationship. Fun and sex is fine. Only it isn’t enough. Their relationship is too new to trust each other, especially Jonah, who is in denial that his wartime service is a problem. Although I don’t know anyone personally who has PTSD, I imagine it would be very difficult for a man to admit he needs help. But when Cynthia, whose job is to help those with PTSD, tries to help him, Jonah rejects her. Double whammy for Cynthia whose husband rejected her and their marriage. Ms. Hoornstra provides good character analysis, the dialogue is realistic, and—since this is a romance—a happy-ever-after for Cynthia and Jonah.

 Night Stars and Mourning Doves
by Margo Hoornstra
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Wild Rose Press
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2013
Length: 90 Pages

Elyse Monroe may be her sister's maid of honor, but that doesn't mean she has to follow the bride's example and fall in love. Battle-scarred and weary from previous relationships, she has no desire to take a chance on another--no matter how many hints her little sister drops about the best man.

Devastating life events have taken a toll on Eric Matthews. After losing his wife and unborn daughter, he's come home to heal. Serving as best man at his kid brother's wedding is the only relationship he cares to contemplate--no matter how attractive the maid of honor.

Thrown together again and again by wedding duties, Elyse and Eric reluctantly agree to explore a possible relationship--only to have their casual date turn into a glorious night of passion. Can two hearts, convinced a happily ever after will never happen, recognize love when it finds them?

REVIEW by Diane Burton
I was only supposed to review ONLY IF YOU DARE, but I enjoyed both books so much I had to write about them.

Margo Hoornstra knows how to pluck the heartstrings. She tells a sensitive story of two people learning how to deal with tragedy in their lives. Eric lost his wife and baby daughter in a miscarriage; Elyse lost her innocence through sexual and physical abuse. Neither believes they will ever find true love. Though a quick read, the story is packed with emotion. I especially liked the explanation for the title. Very heart warming. The characters are well drawn, especially Eric. I have to add that the cover does not reflect the story. I know the author has no control over the design. I wish the publisher had given her a better cover.
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.