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

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Guest: Linda Nightingale #NewRelease THE TEXAS COWBOY

 Linda Nightingale visits today with her newest release, The Texas Cowboy. Do you ever wonder what inspired an author to write a story? Here's Linda to tell us what prompted her to write The Texas Cowboy. 

Diane asked me about the inspiration for writing The Texas Cowboy. I lived in Texas for fourteen years. I could claim that some incident like going to RodeoHouston or meeting the wagon train that comes into Memorial Park each year to be in the parade that officially opens the rodeo inspired me to write this book..

But unless it was some subconscious inspiration, that’s not it.

The Texas Cowboy started life as a novella written for an anthology of stories set in the imaginary town of Clark’s Folly, Texas.  The book was called The Cowboys of Clark’s Folly. The publisher subsequently went out of business. When my rights were returned, I left the story Return to Folly, sitting in my computer.

The Wild Rose Press (I have 7 books with them) had a series called the Wylder West, and I decided to modify Return to Folly, lengthen it, and go for it. I renamed the book The Wylder Years.  I went to Wylder, Wyoming from Folly, Texas, but TWRP didn’t like the beginning of the story, wanted me to delete the prologue, and begin about ¼ of the way into the book. They rejected it. I now had a book sitting in my computer.

I write paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy romance, not western, so I had no idea where to send the book. Then one day, I received an email from Magnolia Blossom Publishing, the new romance imprint of DSP Publishing, a well-known publisher of westerns. I sent her Return to Folly, and the first chapter of Cardinal Desires, a paranormal (vampire) book. In a Zoom meeting with my new editor-to-be, I described The Cowboy Duke.

Almost immediately I received an offer for a 4-book contract. They changed the title from Return to Folly to The Texas Cowboy and have used Return to Folly as the series title. I’m now closing in on the final chapter of The Cowboy Duke, the sequel to The Texas Cowboy.

So, the inspiration was, I suppose, a call from a friend who wanted me to write a western story for an anthology. I thought what if we had a born Texan raised in England who inherits a ranch in Clark’s Folly, Texas. Does that make What If the inspiration for the story?

That was so interesting, Linda. Now, here's more about The Texas Cowboy.


Title:                      The Texas Cowboy

                                Book One, Return to Folly Series

Author:                 Linda Nightingale

Publisher:            Magnolia Blossom Publishing

Tag Line:              A British raised Texan returns to take over the ranch he inherited. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe a pretty, sassy cowgirl with her own agenda?

Buy Link:              https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09QP4C5NZ



When Ash Colter was twelve, his mother divorced his cattle baron father and whisked him away to raise in her native England. Sixteen years later, when his father dies, he inherits Marathon Ranch. Running a 1,000-acre spread famous for the best Black Angus cattle in the great state of Texas is the biggest challenge he’s ever faced…until he meets a pert, pretty, and sassy ranch hand who seems to have her own agenda for his ranch. Unfortunately, she makes his spurs go jingle-jangle-jingle like no one else ever has!

Trish Owens is a real cowgirl, a loner, and, though she’d never admit it, a little lonely. When the “English Cowboy” appears on the scene, her entire way of life is threatened, not only her job, but her beloved Quarter horses. She’s sure he plans to import his thoroughbreds from England. Worst of all is the chemistry sizzling between them. He makes feelings she thought long dead awaken.

Can these two unwilling allies set aside their differences to put Marathon Ranch in the Winner’s Circle…and to fall in love?


Trish ignored his joke about taking care of her. “Well, thank you, Miss Whatever-your-name-is.” When she shot him a glance, he saw the sadness in her eyes before jealousy evaporated it like the morning dew. He couldn’t allow Trish to think he’d made love to her last night, knowing Dorothy would arrive today. Or thinking he’d sleep with the other woman tonight. Embarrassed as well as annoyed, he flushed to the roots of his hair.  Dorothy leapt into his hesitation, offering Trish a handshake.

“I’m Dorothy Applewhite.” The Duchess stared down from her superior height of five-six. “I arrived with the horses, more or less.”

“I’m Trish. Nice to meet you.” Nothing could sound less like the truth.

He looked from one woman to the other. “Dorothy, how did you happen to arrive minutes after the horses were unloaded?”

His ex-girlfriend winked, squeezing his arm against her breast. “Trev mentioned the name of the transport company. I rang them and, using your stable name, was told the shipment would arrive this week. You’d given me the name of the town. I consulted my travel agent and here I am. I wanted to surprise you. I’ve missed you, Ash-Dahling.”

“Ash-Dahling has been busy managing this big old ranch…” Trish batted big innocent eyes and continued in a honeyed voice, “I imagine, that is.”

Dorothy simply stared at the other woman, probably trying to decide if the cowgirl in a red Marathon shirt and figure-hugging jeans was competition. Not Trish’s usual barn clothes. Had she dressed to impress him? Maybe before the horses were unloaded and the duchess arrived. Now, she only wanted to impress one thing upon him. Go to hell.

Trish cast a meaningful glance at Ash, then attacked her opponent with fine-edged sarcasm. “Your white studded jeans are just the thing for the wild west.”

“Thank you.” Dorothy smoothed a hand down her shapely hip. “I ordered them from an American western wear store just for this trip. The shirt, as well. Do people really wear these small string ties?” She flipped the ends of the Bolo, and Ash almost choked trying not to laugh.

Must be hysteria. This was no laughing matter.

“I don’t personally.” Trish leaned closer, pretending to admire the pearl snaps on Dorothy’s western shirt. “Yeah, really nice.”

“I haven’t seen a lot of people—in fact, not even one—wearing a Bolo.” Ash shoved his hands into his pockets. He felt naked, exposed, and a feeling he hated--vulnerable. “Maybe Sunday for church.”

“Church?” Trish barked a laugh.

Frowning, he suggested, “A country and western bar?”

“I prefer dives, sir. Country music, with or without a worn flag painted on the floor, lots of beer, and the Texas two-step.” Trish was no longer laughing, nor did she look very sassy. Was she angry enough to cry…or hurt enough to be angry?

“You two don’t get in an argument about my little tie. You may have it if you like.” His former girlfriend slid a possessive hand around his elbow. “I have Ash here. Dear, my bags are in the boot. Will you ask someone to take them to your room?”

Ash squared his shoulders. “I’ll ask Danita to prepare a guest room.”

“Are you still redecorating the Master Bedroom?” Trish was digging his grave deeper with a guileless smile.

She did not mean the redecorating question to be helpful, but he could turn it around on her. Though after the funeral, he’d moved into the Master Suite, he’d been too busy to make many changes. Marathon was a jealous lover.

“I am.” He looked from one to the other. “Still redecorating.”

The two women frowned. Each one affixed her chilly gaze to him.

Ash wanted to squirm, but a good rabbit knows that any movement only incites the hawk. “Let’s get you settled. Trish, if you need anything, call me. As I said, you’re very welcome to stay here.” Please.

“Will do, Ash.” Trish placed warm emphasis on his name, but the look she leveled at him gave him frostbite.



After 14 years in Texas, Linda returned home to her roots in the South Carolina red clay. She has eight published novels, four of which are available in audio from Audible.com. For many years, she bred, trained, and showed the magnificent Andalusian horses. So, she’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer. She won The Georgia Romance Writers’ Magnolia Award for Excellence, the Raven Award, and the SARA Merritt. In real life, she was a legal assistant. She loves to dress up, use the good china and crystal, and host formal dinner parties. She has a fondness for sports cars like her current ride, Zippy Z.




Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LNightingale

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaNightingaleAuthor

Web Site:  http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

Blog:  https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ - Lots of interesting guests & prizes

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

Book Bub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/linda-nightingale

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/linda.nightingale.52/



Saturday, March 26, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wrecked Wedding: All Your Fault


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share snippets from their work-in-progress or new release. Sorry to have been AWOL for a few weekends. 

I'm sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after the last snippet. Alex and her dad followed police deputy Dawson (aka Deputy Dawg, Alex's nemesis since 2nd grade) who interrupted the wedding ceremony by arresting Nick for the murder of Mike Amerson, Todd's stepfather. Todd is holding the door at the police station for Alex and her dad.

BTW, since this is a work in progress, suggestions are always welcome.


I’d looped the train over my arm. As soon as I had a second, I was unhooking it—or whatever to free me from tripping over the damn thing. As soon as we entered the station, Sharon Amerson, Todd’s mother, who had been sitting on a bench, ran up to him.

“He’s gone,” she sobbed. The small woman flung herself into his arms. “Your father is dead.”

Todd stiffened before holding her in an awkward embrace. “My father died seven years ago, Mom. Mike isn’t . . . wasn’t my father.”

And a little more:   

She cried even harder before looking up at her son. She held his shoulders. “Oh, my boy. You are so handsome. Where . . . Why are you all dressed up?”

“Mo-om, I told you about the wedding. You were invited. Mr. Nick and Miss Alex—”

“You!” Sharon pointed at me. “It’s all your fault. If you hadn’t interfered, Mike would still be alive.”

When she charged at me, Deputy Jenny Sampson burst around the locked barrier into the lobby. Since Rose was at the church, Jenny manned—womanned?—the dispatch desk. Todd grabbed his mother’s arms and held her back.

“Mom, what are you doing?”

“They killed your father. The two of them.” She sobbed and fell into her son’s arms.

Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Guest: Tena Stetler #NewRelease AN ANGEL'S WYLDER ASSIGNMENT

I'm excited to welcome my friend Tena Stetler to the blog today. Tena has a new release that sounds terrific. I'll let her tell you all about it.

Hey Diane! So glad to be here! Thought we’d chat about the canine companion in An Angel’s Wylder Assignment her name is Adventure. Writing this book was a bit out of my wheelhouse. Challenged me at every turn, but in the end I believe it’s one of my best.

Meet Adventure from An Angel’s Wylder Assignment

Full name: Adventure

Nickname: Addy

Gender: Female

Species: Canine

Physical description: very furry buff colored, curly tail, with blue tongue about 65 lbs, friendly but protective.

Relationship to main character: She kinda belongs to the Blacksmith shop. Killian and Chinoah took over the blacksmith shop when they arrived from the future. Chinoah and the dog bonded immediately. She promised to never leave the dog on its own again. She named it Adventure because of events in the dog’s life .

Relationship to the villain/antagonist: None

Where this furbaby came from: The dog was a stray. The old owner took her in during frigid weather and left her at the blacksmith shop when he moved due to health issues.


Do you have any working or service animals in your stories? Tell us about them.

I have several working or service animals in most of my stories. A Witch’s Journey Series is all about animal rescue. Several animals in these stories have duties. The animals in my other stories are companions, mostly.

What inspired you to create this character?

Well, I try to have companion animals in most of my stories. They add so much to our daily lives and do the same to the characters in my books. Adventure seemed to just come as part of the story when I started writing it. I’m what is known as a panster (write by the seat of my pants) so my stories are character driven. Adventure stole the story in many ways and even saved a life.

What does the main character think about this furbaby? There is a deep bond there because Chinoah is a wolf shifter. Once Adventure learned to trust Chinoah in both forms they were inseparable. Killian enjoys a good bond with Adventure but not like Chinoah. He was a bit worried she Chinoah announced that the pup would be returning to present day with them when the assignment was over.

What does this furbaby add to the story? Humorous events, Heroic event, and heartwarming details.

What about this furbaby will readers like, and why? Adventure is loyal, protective and adds another layer of feel good to the book.

Please share an interesting fact or tidbit about this furbaby.

She knows the town inside and out. Time travel or porting by magic from place to place doesn’t phase her at all.

Describe a humorous incident involving the animal character.

When Chinoah shifts into a wolf, Adventure is a bit taken back. Not quite sure what to do with this wolf in her domain. The dog gets over it rapidly.

Killian indicates Adventure must stay at the blacksmith shop while he and Chinoah port to another place in Wyoming. Chinoah disagrees and the dog jumps into her arms just as they ported. No way Adventure was going to be left behind.

Another reoccurring one is that the pup always pushes her way into the buildings first then runs straight to her rug by the wood burning stoves.

Tell us a little about the story:

Warrior Angel Killian Dugan’s annual trip to the family castle in Scotland is shattered by the arrival of Legion Commander North. Killian’s skills are needed for an urgent time travel assignment. A rogue demon has escaped back in time. He must discover the why and where and stop the demon before it can damage the past and change the future.

Killian’s girlfriend Chinoah Grace, a Native American shapeshifter is included in the mission which takes them to the wild west town of Wylder, Wyoming in the year 1878. She will have her hands full fitting in and making friends.

Nothing is as it seems.  They encounter visions, spirit quests, and a mysterious shaman.  On top of it all, blending in as a blacksmith is more physically difficult than he imagined. But not as challenging as keeping his hands off his undercover wife. Will they complete their assignment or run out of time? 

Buy Links:

Amazon, AmazonUKAmazonCA, AmazonDE (Germany) Barnes&Noble, ibooks  Google Play, and KOBO


Ok, how about a little about the Author?

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal tales. Some call her crazy others creative. She deals with the voices in her head by writing them down and creating a fantasy world and characters you won’t soon forget.  Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure, magic, and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.

Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a fifty-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. During the winter you can find her curled up in front of the fireplace with a good book, bowl of popcorn and mug of hot chocolate.

Social Media:

Website: https://www.tenastetler.com

Authors’ Secret’s Blog - https://www.tenastetler.com/category/authors-secrets-blog/

My Say What Blog - http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author

Twitter Page: https://www.twitter.com/TenaStetler  

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14187532.Tena_Stetler

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/author/tenastetler

Newsletter: https://www.tenastetler.com/newsletter-signup/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/tenastetler

Tribber - http://triberr.com/TenaStetler

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tena-stetler

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tenastetler/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/tenajean2014

Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tena-stetler-10057978/

Tena, it was lovely having you here today. Adventure sounds like quite an character. (pun intended) I love reading about service animals. Adventure adds a lot to the story. I can see why you say she almost ran away with the story. Best wishes on your new release. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

ONE RED SHOE is an N.N. Light's Pick ~ #99cent sale ~ #Giveaway

 My romantic suspense, One Red Shoe, is featured on N.N. Light's "Shake Off Winter Doldrums" Festival. https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/one-red-shoe-sowd

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card.

One Red Shoe
is available in March for only 99 cents.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: Spring Tease, Cartoons, Book Sale

Spring Teaser.
That's what we call when the temps go up--on Saturday, it was 64
°--making us think Spring is here, then we wake up to snow. Nasty trick, Mother Nature.

Spring can come anytime now. The gray skies can go away. We need the sunshine.

Remember when cartoons only came on Saturday mornings? The theme for "George of the Jungle" has been going through my head this morning. My favorite was "Rocky and Bullwinkle" with its sly humor. What was yours?

Now cartoons are on all the time. Thanks to the 4-year-old twins, I'm learning more than I want to know. They seem simplistic, the designs lack the attention to detail of older cartoons. Sometimes, there isn't any dialogue, just grunting as the characters beat up each other. Unfortunately, I can see the appeal to the boys, I had four brothers.

On Wednesday, I'm participating in N.N. Light's "Shake Off the Winter Doldrums" event. (No link yet. I'll have one here Wednesday morning.) I'm featuring One Red Shoe, a road trip adventure. I had so much fun writing ORS. even some slapstick comedy with a clumsy assassin wannabe. If you haven't read it yet, now's your chance to get it for 99 cents. 

Have a good week, stay warm, and think Spring.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wrecked Wedding: Who Was Holding Up Whom?


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share snippets from their work-in-progress or new release. Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I really appreciate your support. 

I'm sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet. Police deputy Dawson (aka Deputy Dawg, Alex's nemesis since 2nd grade) interrupted the wedding ceremony by arresting Nick for the murder of Mike Amerson, Todd's stepfather.

BTW, since this is a work in progress, suggestions are always welcome.


“Let’s deal with facts until we know more.”

Good advice from my dad. I needed to take it because I was speculating on what had just happened. Mike Amerson was dead. Not to speak ill of the dead, but he deserved whatever he got. But why arrest Nick? I’m the one who had motive. That man had been a thorn in my side for nearly a year. He’d threatened me, roughed me up, vowed to get even when I broke his nose.

Nick never did anything to the brute.

 And a little more:  

As soon as the limo stopped in front of the red brick Public Safety building, Todd jumped out. He’d taken two loping strides before looking back at me trying to slide out of the limo. He raced back, saw that Pop had opened the limo door, hesitated until I caught up with the boy—young man. Almost sixteen.

I clutched his hand. “It will be all right.”

“Hey,” the driver called. “Want me to wait?”

I glanced over my shoulder. “Yes. No. I don’t know.” I couldn’t think.

“I’m scheduled until seven.”

“Wait then.” Again, hitching up the too-tight skirt I ran up the steps.

Pop held my arm, but I don’t know who was holding up whom. He breathed so hard I worried about him having a heart attack. My first thought was to slow down, but I needed to find out about Nick. Todd raced ahead to get the door. That boy’s manners overcame his need to know what had gone wrong.

Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week.

Friday, March 4, 2022

My Favorite: Quote


If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.” ~
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

I've read many quotes about being a writer. The above is one I can heartily agree with. Some writers say they don't have time to read. Granted, writers with full-time jobs, families, a life are limited on time. But, if you don't read, how do you grow? How do you recognize the common tropes in your genre? The language?

I read for pleasure before I go to sleep. Many different genres, even some I won't ever write (like military thrillers). During the day, I read for business--social media, how-to articles, the business of being a writer. In between, I read for my book group. That's where my reading interest is really stretched. We read biographies, historical pieces, poetry, a lot of nonfiction.

The second part of King's quote seems simple. If you're a writer, you write. I write blog posts, responses to Facebook posts, promotional tweets. Those are easy. Writing on my current work-in-progress is not.

I hit a wall. I know I have to get past it. Or write around it. Or delete the scenes and start over. 


(That was me, tearing out what little hair I have.)

I know that once I get going I'll be on a roll. What's keeping me from doing just that? Good question. Fear? Procrastination? Laziness? A little of all three.

So, it's back to more advice: BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard)

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

#IWSG: March 2022

Happy Insecure Writer's 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. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

The awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

This month's optional question: Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

I can't think of an answer to this month's question. Sure glad the question is optional.

Have I ever mentioned I intensely dislike February? In Michigan, it's the month of gloom. Gray skies. Piles of dirty snow. What does that have to do with writing? During gloomy February, I'd rather read than write. 

I participate in a weekly blog hop, Weekend Writing Warriors, where I'm sharing a snippet from a WIP. That's the only reason I've made progress on The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. I'm disappointed in myself.

One of my goals this year was to blog more. I have done that. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented. 

In January, I was full of energy. I wanted to finish Wedding Wrecker and release it in the spring. I have another full-length novel almost finished that I want to release this year plus a partially-finished novella. At the rate I'm going, I won't have anything out this year. I can't do that. I haven't had a new release since 2019. Granted, I had a few things going on in my life, besides covid, in those two years. Right now, life is good. Where is my writing buddy to kick my butt?

I feel guilty for complaining, considering what's going on in the Ukraine. My heart and prayers go out to those people and everyone who has a connection to that besieged country.

This is a new month. New goals. Plus, the sun was out today. That's always a good sign.

I hope you're doing better than I am. 

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.