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Thursday, August 23, 2018

GUEST Maris Soule, author of LYON'S PRIDE

Today's guest is my friend and fellow author. I've always enjoyed her stories.  Back in 2010, Maris suggested I self-published my first book to which I'd gotten the rights. It took scaredy-cat me almost a year to do it. What an adventure I've had--all because of Maris. Here she is.

Thank you, Diane, for inviting me to your blog. I still remember when we first met. You were writing a book and took one of my community-ed classes on “How to Get Published.” You’ve come a long way since those days: you’re now multi-published in both scifi-romance and mystery, with many more books to come.

I was writing romances back then. During the ‘80s and ‘90s I wrote sexy romances (at least they were considered sexy then), sweet romances (sexual tension but no bedroom scenes), and romantic suspense. It wasn’t until the turn of the century that I switched to mystery and suspense.

My romances were all paperbacks, on the shelf for 30 days then stripped and gone forever, unless you found a copy at a used book store or garage sale. It seemed a shame those stories had such a short life. Thank goodness e-books have given us a chance to revive some of those stories.

LYON’S PRIDE is one I wanted to give a new life. It was published in 1993 by Silhouette Romance, and is classified as a sweet romance, though if Greg Lyon and Doc Amy hadn’t had Amy’s house guest, Peggy, sleeping in the next room, there might have been a bedroom scene.

But let me explain:
For years the syndicated cartoon, Lyon’s Pride, made people laugh, but when its creator, Greg Lyon, starts lampooning doctors, newspapers threaten to stop publishing the cartoon. Greg decides he needs a break, never expecting his walk from New York to California will land him in a small town in southern Indiana. Rescued from a rain storm, his ankle broken from a fall, he’s taken to Dr. Amy Fraser’s home office clinic and ends up staying in her house. Greg knows he can’t reveal he’s the creator of the cartoons she finds so offensive, so he tells her his last name is Lyman, but from the start he’s confused by his attraction to this physically scarred country doctor. Is she for real?

Amy Fraser cares more about people than money, and her patients love her and want to protect her from this stranger she’s allowing to stay in her home/clinic. It isn’t long before her neighbor Peggy (whom Amy had told could stay at the clinic while Peggy’s house was being renovated) recognizes the sparks between Greg and Amy and decides this is the time to be there.

And Amy finds it difficult to believe this man can really be attracted to her; after all, she walks with a limp and has a scarred face. But how can she think of him simply as a patient when her heart skips a beat every time she sees him?

The question is, what will she do when she discovers who he really is?

Trying not to get her hands muddy, but failing, she pulled off the one shoe he wore. Next came his sock. Both smelled as bad as the rest of him. They joined the growing pile of clothes in the corner. Grinning, she looked back at Greg. “The shorts have to go, too.”
“My shorts?” His eyebrows rose.
“Yes. Then after I get your ankle taken care of, I’ll wash your things.”
“Laundry services as well as medical. Now, I’ve heard it all.” He studied her face, and she knew this time he was truly looking at her, seeing the uneven bridge of her nose, the reconstructed cheekbones, and the scars. With some people, when they looked at her, she saw pity in their eyes. Suspicion better described the look in Greg’s eyes. Finally he shook his head. “You don’t need to wash my clothes. I’ve got more shorts and T-shirts. At least I think I do.” Greg glanced Mel’s way. “My pack still in the back of your truck?”
“Dag-gone it, I forgot all about it. That and your sleepin’ bag.” Mel started for the door. “Must be getting’ addled in my old age. I’ll go get it ‘fore it’s soaked clean through.”
Greg watched Mel leave and sighed. “I should have set up camp when I first saw that storm front.”
Amy moved from the end of the table to his side. “Have you been living in a tent for long?”
“Since the end of March.”
“That’s a long time.” She patted the section of blanket covering his hips. “I still want those shorts off.”
“Oh yeah?” He grinned rakishly. “You saying you want me to take off my pants?”
Something in his tone made her heart skip a beat, but she ignored it. The only flirting men did with her was in a teasing, playful way. She’d learned a long time ago not to take it seriously, to counter with teasing of her own. “That’s what I want.”
“And do you always personally undress your patients, Doctor?”
“Only when they’re turning blue and my nurse has gone home for the night.” Not that he was blue anymore.
Still watching her, he reached under the blankets. From the movement of the material, she guessed he was unbuttoning his shorts, then she heard the sound of a zipper. She smiled at his modesty. After four years of medical school, two years of internship, and three years of practice, she’d seen too many men without their clothes on to count. She was nearly thirty years old. No trembling virgin.
Well, maybe she was still a virgin, though she hated to admit that. And there was a strange, trembling sensation in the pit of her stomach and a warm glow in her cheeks, which she couldn’t explain. She glanced at his face and found him watching her.
“Are you blushing?” he asked.
“Of course not,” she lied. “Why would I blush? I’m not the one undressing under a blanket.”
“It is kind of silly, isn’t it,” he admitted. Still watching her, he pushed back the blankets, exposing his shorts.
They were unbuttoned, the zipper down, and Amy could clearly see a V-section of silky, black nylon. She hadn’t expected him to be wearing a pair of skintight briefs. Nor had she expected the trembling, skittish sensation in her stomach to turn into a full-fledged gastric attack. Or her skin to be feverishly hot. In the blink of an eyelid, she’d lost her professional distance. Quickly she looked up at the ceiling, her gaze catching the Lyon’s Pride cartoon. Leo the lion was doing cartwheels. The message in the balloon above the lion’s head was simple: “If thrown for a loop, just land on your feet.”
Maybe she didn’t like what Leo had been saying for the last year or so, but this was good advice. What she needed to do was land on her feet, get control of the situation. Taking a calming breath, she looked back at Greg. “Can you get your shorts off by yourself, or do you need help?”
“I can do it,” he insisted and began to pull and wiggle at the same time.
But he didn’t get very far. With a gasp of pain, Greg stopped, his shorts still solidly around his hips. “My ankle,” he groaned through clenched teeth. “Moved it. Damn! Give me a minute.”
Beads of perspiration formed on his forehead, and Amy patted his leg. “Let’s try another way. Roll to your side.”
Without argument, he did as she’d asked, rolling away from her, over onto his left side and good ankle. His body was tensed, and she automatically began to massage his shoulders and back. Slowly she worked her hands over rock hard muscles, down toward his hips. He said nothing, but she could feel him relax. Finally she knew she could move his leg without putting him in agony and began to work his shorts down over his right hip. Inch by inch, she exposed more of his black, nylon bikini briefs. The man definitely had sexy taste in underwear.
She hated herself for what she kept thinking, yet the wayward thoughts continued to slip into her head. Lightly she brushed her fingertips over his hip. She told herself it was to make certain his briefs weren’t wet, nothing more. She found the material only slightly damp and wasn’t sure if she was pleased or disappointed. She could leave his underwear on.
“Now roll over to your other side,” she ordered.
He obeyed, slowly and carefully rolling toward her.
As she pulled down on his khaki shorts, she tried to keep her gaze on the pale hairs that covered his legs and not let her eyes stray to the bulge beneath the silky-smooth, black nylon. She wasn’t successful.
What she saw surprised her. Considering the cold and the pain he was in, an arousal was the last thing he should have had.
Her gaze darted to his eyes, and once again she found him looking at her, directly at her face . . . at her scars.
Thinking what? She wondered. Being aroused by what?
Certainly not her. She was too realistic to imagine that.

It took me over a year to retype the book and find a cover I liked better than the one Silhouette used, but now LYON’S PRIDE is available as an e-book through Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and all the other readers. I didn’t try to update it, so the story is set in 1993 (before smart phones and the ease of Internet searches) but I fell in love with Greg all over again, and I hope others will enjoy how two scarred people (one internally and one physically) discover real love.

Available at:

Maris Soule started her career writing romances (25 published, of which 2 were RITA finalists), before switching to mysteries. (The Crows, As the Crow Flies, Eat Crow and Die, A Killer Past, and Echoes of Terror (winner of FWA’s 2017 RPLC thriller category.) Soule has been self-publishing several of her early romances as e-books, and recently got the paperback rights back for A Killer Past. She hopes to release that book in trade paperback form this fall.  Originally from California, Soule and her husband moved to southwest Michigan in the early ‘70s. They now divide their year between Michigan and Florida.

You can find out more about Soule at:
Her web site: http://www.marissoule.com
Her Blog: http://blog.marissoule.com/blog/
FB Author’s Page: https://www.facebook.com/MarisSouleAuthor/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/marissoule
Twitter: http://twitter.com/marisSouthHaven

Diane here: I'm so happy Maris is republishing her earlier works. I remember how much I enjoyed Lyon's Pride when it first came out. Maris doesn't have internet service today until this evening or tomorrow morning when she'll reply to comments. She didn't want you to think she was ignoring you.


  1. I love the cover and excerpt. It is sad that books didn't have the long shelf life like they do today. But I did find many favorite authors browsing the used book store!

    1. Me, too, Melissa. With ebooks, those books are being enjoyed again.

    2. Thanks for your comment, Melissa. It was a great experience for me to revisit Lyon's Pride. I fell in love with Greg all over again.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Diana. I loved revisiting this story.

  3. Enjoyed the blog, Maris and Diane. Love you guys and miss you.

    1. I agree with Diane, Connie. I miss seeing you, too. I hope all is going well in your life.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Maureen. I really appreciate Diane asking me to be a guest blogger.

  5. Loved the excerpt! The story sounds great!

    1. Thanks, Kara. I loved this story when I first wrote it and loved revisiting it when I created the e-book.

  6. Love the concept, great excerpt. It's so great you've known Diane this long. She's a wonderful person. Yes, ebooks have definitely helped extend the life of books. That's a great thing. :) Best wishes!

    1. I agree, Alicia. I always enjoy seeing and talking with Diane. And thank you, for taking the time to comment. I love it that some of my romances are now available for others to read, not just paperbacks falling apart on the shelves.

  7. No cell phones or internet= historical fiction, LOL!

    1. You're right, Alina. At first when I started to type the story onto the computer I thought about bringing it up to date, and then I realize how much had changed since the early 90s and how much I would have to change in the story. Things have certainly changed since 1993.

  8. Thank you, Diane, for the opportunity to be your guest. I hope your newest mystery, NUMBERS DON"T LIE, is a best seller.


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