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Guest Author Posts Archives - Tianna Holley | Tianna Holley

Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Guest Author Posts | 2 comments

Shanna-Hatfield-Nov-Blog-TourWelcome to the

Cowboys & Christmas

Blog Tour!

A kickoff of two new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield

and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

The Season of Giving

It’s a pleasure to be here today sharing a little about my holiday romance The Christmas Cowboy, the first book in the new Rodeo Romance series.

Tate Morgan is a good-looking, dimple-cheeked saddle bronc rider chasing his dream of earning a World Champion title.

Frequenting the small airport near his ranch in southeast Washington on his way to rodeos, he keeps seeing the same beautiful brunette. He finally works up the courage to sit down next to her one morning and strikes up a conversation as they wait for a flight to Denver.

Kenzie Beckett is a trainer for a direct sales company, traveling coast-to-coast as she works with consultants and the corporate team. Gone more than she’s home, she doesn’t have time to invest in relationships, particularly with a cowboy. Burned twice by sweet-talking men wearing Wranglers and boots, the last thing Kenzie plans to do is give a third one the chance to break her heart.

As the name of the book implies, Tate is The Christmas Cowboy. He loves everything about the holiday season from sweet treats to decking the halls. His enthusiasm for the holidays made it so much fun for me to incorporate several holiday tidbits into the story.

In The Christmas Cowboy, Tate is injured at a rodeo. While I was writing that particular scene, I wanted to make sure I had my facts straight so I reached out to the Justin Sportsmedicine Team ™. They have mobile medical centers they take to more than 125 PRCA rodeos annually. When they responded to my many questions, I was so impressed with them I wanted to do something nice in return.

That’s when I got the idea of donating part of my book sale proceeds to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The non-profit organization assists professional rodeo athletes who have sustained serious injurious and could be out of work for an extended period. I think it’s a very worthwhile cause and giving back to them is just my way of saying thanks for their help in answering my questions.

All my books are included in the promotion although the idea for the donation generated with The Christmas Cowboy.

Here’s an excerpt from the book. In this scene, Tate arrives unexpectedly at Kenzie’s apartment:

“What are you hiding?” she asked, her eyes warm and inviting when he stepped inside and nudged the door shut behind him with his boot.

“I couldn’t help but notice you’re missing a very important component of proper Christmas décor,” Tate said, sounding all knowing and official.

“What could I possibly be missing?” Kenzie asked, looking behind her and sweeping her arm toward the living room that did look particularly festive, thanks in part to Tate. “I’ve got a poinsettia, a beautiful Christmas tree, garlands, pine boughs, sugary treats, and a blazing fire. Did you bring me some chestnuts to roast? If you did, I’ve got no clue what to do with them, so you’re out of luck.”

Laughing, Tate raised his arm and held a bunch of mistletoe over their heads. “It seems to me this is the most important decoration of all.”

“Possibly,” Kenzie said, reaching out and looping her arms around Tate’s neck, pulling his head down to hers. Teasing and gentle at first, their kiss soon gained momentum until he dropped the mistletoe on the table near the door and she pressed as close against him as his thick coat would allow.

***

Where to Find The Books

The Christmas Cowboy

Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.

Kindle | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple | Audible

Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund®

Now through Dec. 24, I’ll donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all my book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. JCCF logoThe JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.

 

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more! Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty

The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here: http://amzn.com/B00OGOO994

In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!

Prize BasketEnter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form.

http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasprizes

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.

Find Shanna’s books at:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple

Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online:

ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter

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I Never Saw Myself Writing a Series – PJ MacLayne

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Guest Author Posts | 2 comments

Please welcome this week’s guest author, P.J. MacLayne:

When the idea for The Marquesa’s Necklace came to me, I didn’t think it would be a series. In fact, I didn’t know it would turn out to be a cozy mystery. I thought I was going to write a straight-up love story. The original working title was The Ghost Who Loved Me!

But the more the characters started talking to me, the more I realized how wrong I was. I don’t seem to be very good at simple love stories. I enjoy writing action and adventure. My characters may be your next-door-neighbor type of people, but their lives are anything but ordinary.

For example, take Harmony, my main character. She lives a simple life, spending her time doing research in the local library or on the internet, but her life gets turned upside down when she and her boyfriend are arrested for drug trafficking. She’s innocent, of course, but it’s just the beginning of a string of events that require her to use all her skills to figure out who or what is behind them. She has to, if she ever wants her simple life back.

When I started writing the book, I didn’t expect that it would be anything more than a single book. But here I am, halfway through writing a second one, and knowing that I want to write a third as well. I liked Harmony that much. She was too fun to write, and readers have let me know that she’s fun to read about as well. I’m hoping to release the second one in January 2015, but please don’t hold me to it!

Bio: I’m a computer geek by day and a writer by night. I grew up among the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, and love to use that area as a backdrop to my stores. I currently live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, and think that I must have been a mountain man in a previous life.

8-18-14 cover

Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.

But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.

Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.

Because it might.

Excerpt:

            “Have a seat, please,” he said, indicating an armless office chair—at least its seat was padded. He sat on the other side of a desk covered with an assortment of files and paperwork, and picked up a file from the top of the stack.

“Harmony,” he said tentatively.

“Detective Thomason,” He might be trying to be friendly, but I still hadn’t forgiven him for arresting me.

He cleared his throat, and set the file back on his desk. “Did you let anyone borrow your car today?” he asked.

“No, my keys are right here.” I started digging through the contents of my purse.

“I’ll take your word for it,” he said, after I pulled out my checkbook, a packet of pink tissues, and a paperback with an almost-naked man on the front cover and piled them on the corner of his desk. His mouth twitched. “Have you made any new enemies recently, Miss Duprie?” I guess he got my message about the terms of our relationship.

“Besides a certain insufferable cop?” Even in the artificial fluorescent light, I saw the red rising in his cheeks. I could almost hear him counting to ten as I pretended to consider the question. “I think Larry, the florist, is ticked off that I’m not receiving flowers anymore. And Bart at the grocery store yelled at me last week when I went through the ten items or less line with fourteen items. But what does that have to do with someone stealing and wrecking my car?”

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iTunes     Inktera

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Haven’t I Seen you Somewhere Before?

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 in Guest Author Posts | 0 comments

pjsharon

Hi Tianna! Happy to be here to hang out with you and your readers. If you’re like me, you love to read books in a series. Mainly, I love getting to know characters and then seeing them again in another book. If the author has done their job, they’ve given me just enough of those secondary characters to make me want to get to know them better. It’s so gratifying to know that once you get to the end of one happily ever after, you get to dive right into the next with characters you already know and love.

Although I didn’t set out to do this intentionally, my first and second YA releases, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES and ON THIN ICE took place in the same fictitious Connecticut lake town called Somerville, with my main characters living on Thompson Lake. With only a mere mention of Jordie and Penny being friends from Somerville High School, the stories are stand-alone novels, but set in an idyllic locale that was already familiar to me. So when I began writing PIECES of LOVE, and I needed a hometown for Lexi to miss while she was being exiled to her grandmother’s house in California, it made perfect sense to have her hail from Thompson Lake as well. That way, readers could put names and faces to the friends she’s forced to leave behind. It also leaves room for other stories to grow out of this one. Readers have mentioned that Sammi, who is mentioned in all three books, needs her own story. I’m certain she’ll have her day. If you have suggestions I’d love to hear them. Sammi is pretty edgy. She plays drums, parties, and has had her share of boyfriends. What might make her a heroine to root for?

Though the Girls from Thompson Lake isn’t technically a series, since the characters don’t interact and the stories don’t necessarily follow a chronological order, I’ve enjoyed creating this little town where teens from all walks of life can come back to again and again and connect to recognizable people. Sarah Dessen does this in some of her books and it’s fun to be reading and to come across a familiar name.

As a writer, I find this to be a fun approach. It leaves the door wide open for more books and doesn’t hem me into specific details about the characters beyond the basics—unlike writing a trilogy or series, where there are TONS of details that need to be considered. I’m currently working on book three in my YA Dystopian trilogy, The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael, and let me tell you, it’s a huge challenge to weave all the threads together and keep all the details straight! I wish I’d learned about keeping a series bible a bit sooner, LOL. That’s where writers have a document specifically to keep track of character descriptions, important events, backstory, and such. We don’t want the character’s eyes changing from blue to green by the end of the story…unless they are morphing into some kind of creature whose eye color changes. I had no idea of the challenges I would face in writing a trilogy. It gives me even more respect for the likes of Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games) and Veronica Roth (Divergent). These are amazing books by talented authors. I only hope my third book, HEALING WATERS (due out later this year) is half as good as theirs are.

So tell me, readers, do you like reading series books? Can you think of any other authors who do the “mention” of familiar characters or use the same back drop but don’t have the books connected in any other way?

Author Bio:

Award winning author of young adult books, Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yogi, PJ Sharon has been called “a powerhouse of positivity and productivity.” Her mantra is “find balance in all things, and live every day to the fullest.” A black belt in the art of Shaolin Kempo Karate, avid kayaker, and singer of Italian art songs, PJ has two grown sons and lives with her brilliant engineer husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA where she writes YA…because every teen deserves a hopefully ever after.

Website
Signup for PJ’s Newsletter
Follow PJ on Twitter
“Like” PJ on Facebook
PJ Sharon’s Author Central page
Goodreads
Google+
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Alexa Verde’s Salad “Olivier” Recipe

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Guest Author Posts | 2 comments

alexaverde

Continuing with mixing things up a bit this week, here’s Alexa Verde’s guest post. Be sure to also enter her ebook raffle. I had a chance to read Color of Danger, and I’ll be doing a review tomorrow. It’s a great Christian, romantic suspense.

Guest Post:

While I wouldn’t call myself a foodie, I do enjoy food tremendously and love trying new dishes. I’ve eaten Polish, Russian, German, Italian, Chinese food, and one of my favorites – Japanese cuisine. What I don’t like is cooking, even though I grew up making dishes from scratch. (I still remember most of the recipes of my childhood and share one of my favorite below – a salad, very popular in Slavic countries.)

Maybe that’s why I made the heroine of my debut book, Mari Del Lobo, a restaurant owner. I secretly liked the idea of having a lot of food at your disposal without actually cooking it. Mari also looks at great food as something nice and delicious to give back to the people of her small hometown who stood up for her when she needed it.

In writing, it’s important to engage different senses in immerse into the world of the characters. I want to smell what they smell and taste what they taste. I mention different dishes in my debut book and even considered the title Taste of Danger before settling on Color of Danger.

Do you like cooking? Do you have favorite recipes? What kind of food do you like?

Salad “Olivier”

Ingredients: 6 potatoes, 5 carrots, 8 eggs, 1 onion, 1 lb of bologna, ham, or boiled chicken, 1 can of sweet peas, 5 pickles, 1 can of mayonnaise. (Some people prefer this salad without carrots, and some people like to add an apple).
Peel and boil potatoes, boil eggs, let cool down. Chop potatoes, eggs, onion, ham, pickles, mix everything, add mayonnaise, keep in the fridge.

About the author:

Alexa Verde fell in love with writing at age eight when she penned her first poem. After publishing 200 short stories, poems, and articles in the five languages she speaks, Alexa has turned her creative passion to writing novels. Her 2014 debut inspirational romantic suspense, COLOR OF DANGER, is the first in her Secrets of Rios Azules series—set in a fictional small Texas town where rivers and emotions run deep and the richest family in town has a taste for fine food, jewelry, and murder. For news, recipes, giveaways, and more, please visit her website.

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To Update or Not to Update

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Guest Author Posts | 0 comments

karen

To update or not to update—that was the question I faced when I decided to re-release some of my older published novels as ebooks. I actually requested rights back on a number of my books some years before Amazon introduced its digital publishing program and then sat on them, confident that some sort of opportunity for republishing would come along.

The problem, of course, is that most of those books were written over twenty years ago, and a lot has changed since then. Since my books are romantic suspense and romantic mystery, changing technology can have a huge impact on the books. It’s amazing to me to consider that when I wrote my early books, cell phones and iPods didn’t exist, laptops were the size and weight of sewing machines and the Internet still belonged almost solely to the Department of Defense.

I could have left the books as they were and marketed them as recent historicals, but they were intended to be contemporary and that didn’t feel like a good solution. Fortunately, the first couple of books I released didn’t require that much change. Although the existence of cell phones had the potential to change things, both were set, in whole or in part, in places where I could legitimately explain that they were out of coverage area.

But when it came to the book titled Programmed for Danger, it wasn’t going to be that easy. The heroine of that story is a computer programmer. Obviously, the technology has changed so much in the twenty-plus years since that book was first published that I couldn’t just do a few tweaks to update it. I had to basically rewrite the story.

Plot and characters remained basically the same, but nearly all the detail had to be updated. I was fortunate that updating the technology didn’t force major changes in the story itself.

While re-reading and re-writing Programmed for Danger, I realized that I still very much liked the characters and the story. That helped make it worth doing the work to make it sound genuinely contemporary.

Author Bio:

Karen McCullough is a web designer by profession, and the author of a dozen published novels and novellas in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres as well. She has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy, and has also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, five grandchildren and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.

You can learn more about Karen and follow her at:  

Website         Blog         Facebook         Twitter

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