Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #4

 This week I am continuing to share from my WIP ~ Man of Her Dreams. In this scene, Lindsay's best friend, who's married to her brother, has just shared they are having a baby. At first Lindsay is stunned. It had been a lifelong plan that she and Tina would have their children at the same time, that they'd grow up together, etc., etc. and she's struggling with a little bit of jealousy/hurt because Lindsay is still single with no guy on the foreseeable horizon.

“A baby, I’m so happy for you, Tina. And you too, Nick.”
She cupped her brother's face and patted his cheek, something their great aunt always did. Aunt Grace doled out cheek pinches and chocolate bars and lived alone with four cats. Lindsay stopped mid pat, a horrifying thought sliding through her mind like mercury.
She loved chocolate.

And cats.

Lindsay recognized the sympathetic look on Tina’s face. Oh crap. If she didn’t pull up her big girl panties, Tina would set her up on another blind date, and to put it bluntly, she sucked at matchmaking.


If you would like to read more from Man of Her Dreams, I have entered Harlequin's - So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW15) contest on Wattpad. Please remember to vote if you like my story.


 Be sure to check out my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors.


Friday

FRIDAY WITH FRIENDS #3


Thank you, Susan, for having me as your guest today.

In my opinion, we authors have the best job in the world—although definitely not the most lucrative for most of us. We get to pour out our hearts wearing sweats or jammies with no commute time. Who has a better job?
Don’t misunderstand me, writing is hard. Bless those who write while still working the dreaded day job. I did so early on but, thanks to my supportive Hero, I was able to start writing full time. Even better, since he took early retirement, Hero does the cooking, dishes, and his laundry so I can concentrate on my stories. See why I call him Hero?

When I first began writing, I feared I would run out of ideas. I used to keep a notebook of thumbnail plots to insure that wouldn’t happen. What I didn’t know then was that writers never run out of ideas. The saying goes that writers are either writing or thinking about writing. We’re not quite that bad, but close. ;-)
Granted keeping a fresh turn to the plot becomes more difficult with each book and requires resourcefulness. I think of some twist and then realize, no, I did that in another book. Still, I do have plenty of ideas. Currently, I’ll have to keep writing until I’m at least two hundred to use up all my plots and more crop up all the time. Please indulge me as I tell you what my latest projects involve.
Two of my recent releases involved some scrambling research. Several years ago I wrote a heavily researched book titled THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, McClintock book one (now FREE online here). My editor at the time suggested that I write a book about the heroine’s older brother, Finn O’Neill, and I kept that thought in the back of my mind. This year, I pulled out the idea and came up with a plot.
Finn wants to go in as partner with his brother-in-law, Dallas McClintock, raising fine horses. To do so, he needs land. He strikes a deal to work undercover at the Farland Coal Mine in Lignite, Texas in exchange for help financing the ranch that’s just come on the market next to that of Dallas. There were a lot of coal mines in Texas, but mining has changed quite a bit since 1886. I did my research and launched into the story titled O’NEILL’S TEXAS BRIDE, McClintock book two. This is a sweet romance simply because there is no chance for it to be otherwise, and it involves a lot of detective work on Finn’s part. You can find it here.
Finn’s heroine, Stella, had a sister, so her story is told in the next book, McCLINTOCK’S RELUCTANT BRIDE, McClintock book three. This is a sensual romance because the couple are married and that involves the bedroom. The heroine, Nettie, is the reluctant bride. Josh McClintock is a reluctant groom. They have a difficult time learning to trust one another. All the while, a villain is plotting to wreak revenge against the McClintock family rather than accept responsibility for his own mistakes. This one is available here. In the future, there will be at least two more McClintock books. For now, these three make what I hope is a varied and interesting trilogy for readers.
Currently, I’m working on a new series titled the Bride Brigade and the first book of that series is JOSEPHINE. Although she’s nothing like my grandmother, Josephine is named after her. I love writing about strong women who fall in love with men strong enough to deserve their love and respect.
On September 24th, four authors will each release a book about brothers. The four brothers live in Angel Springs, Colorado and the books are called the Surprise Brides. My book is about the eldest, JAMIE, who is a widower with two unruly children. Callie Hutton’s is about the second brother, CALEB. Cynthia Woolf’s book is about GIDEON. Sylvia McDaniel wrote about the youngest, ETHAN. Posing as each of her sons, Mama Fraser writes away for mail order brides. The girls arrive just as a major snowstorm hits the area and they are snowed in. Fortunately, Gideon is a minister and can marry all four couples. At least, they hope him performing his own wedding is legal. These are fun, romantic books.

You can find me at blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest. If you have comments for me privately, please email me at caroline@carolineclemmons.com or message me on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you again for letting me share your time today. Happy reading!

FRIDAY WITH FRIENDS #2


I love hosting other authors. It's a fun way to meet new people and get a taste of what's out there in the way of fun books. I'm so excited to extend a warm welcome to M. Lee Prescott. Take it away, Lee!

A woman is the last thing on Ben Morgan's mind as he comes home to Morgan's Run, his family's ranch in Saguaro Valley. Doctor's orders, he's home to heal, but the sooner he can get back to Santa Barbara, the better. Then he runs into Maggie Williams on Main Street, prompting vivid memories of a magical night, and Ben's ailing heart skips a beat.

Father of her beloved five year old daughter, the eldest of the Morgan son's is the last person Maggie expects to have crash into her car and back into her life. For years, she struggled to forget him and to make a life for herself and her daughter, Emma, the mirror image of a father, who is unaware of her existence. Now, here he is, looking more gorgeous than the day he ran out of town. Maggie swears Ben Morgan will never break her heart again.

This first book in the brand new Morgan's Run Romance series, Emma's Dream will be published in print and e-book on August 25, 2015. Book two, Lang's Return debuts in early October (hoping for a 10/15/15 release!) and book three, Jeb's Promise will be published in early December. Spending time with the incredible Morgan family and their friends and neighbors is always a pleasure for this author!

EXCERPT:
This is a huge mistake. Ben Morgan's chest tightened as he steered the Range Rover over the Arizona mountain pass. Maybe the biggest one I've made in five years.
Then he remembered it wasn't his decision. Doctor's orders propelled him eastward, away from his gorgeous new home in Santa Barbara and a rapidly expanding business, which needed his attention 24-7. On the Coast Highway, halfway home, the pain now excruciating, he called 911 and told the operator he was having a heart attack.
The young whippersnapper cardiologist had smiled. "Fascinating diagnosis, Mr. Morgan, but totally incorrect. You've had a panic attack. I'm not sure what's going on in your life right now, but whatever it is, you'd better see that it stops now, or you'll be dead before your next birthday. Thirty-two is too young to die, don't you think?"
Now, six days later, he was headed to his family's ranch in Arizona, Morgan's run, and his enforced R & R in Saguaro Valley. As he turned right on Main and headed toward Gracie's Diner, a horn blared and the clunker in front of him screeched to a stop. Ben braked, but not in time to stop the Rover before it tapped the rear of the clunker. Ben swore under his breath and backed up, pulling over to park at the curb. As he did, the clunker's driver leaped from her car, screaming and waving her arms. He shook his head. Foolish woman had left her heap in the middle of the street. Tall and slender, she wore Jackie. O. sunglasses, a baseball cap pulled low on her forehead, a faded cotton shirt over blue jeans, and cowboy boots, the uniform for nearly every female rancher in the valley. Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore.
As she approached the Rover, Ben noticed her jeans hugged every curve, full breasts not quite obscured by the baggy shirt. He couldn't see her face, but he had to admit the rest of the package was intriguing and also vaguely familiar.
"What's the matter with you?" she screamed, walking in circles, arms still flailing. "Oh my God, oh my God, what am I going to do?"
Ben stared at her back, astounded at what was clearly a huge overreaction. The clunker was fine, hardly a scratch on it, although it would be hard to tell with all the other dings. Then, just as quickly as it started, the fire went out and she flopped down to sit on the curb, head between her legs, sobbing.
"Hey, hey, it's not that bad, is it? We hardly touched each other. No harm done." He sat beside her, wondering whether he should pat her on the shoulder.
Immediately she quieted and looked up at him "Oh my God. This just gets better and better" Ben Morgan, the one person she never expected to see again, sitting beside her in the middle of Main Street. Could things get any worse? She leaned forward, hiding her face, wondering whether he'd go away if she sat there long enough.
"Maggie? Is that little Maggie Williams? After five years, I'm in town less than a minute and the first person I bump into is you."
Maggie groaned and buried her head deeper, praying this was all a bad dream. If she hadn't had to make a quick run to the bank, she'd be at work in the cool, dark stables. "Please just go. I'm fine."
She could fee his heat, his nearness rattling her to her core. A part of her longed to lean against him and draw comfort and strength from his warmth, but the wiser half screamed danger. She kept still, hoping he would disappear.
"You don't seem fine. Look, I'm sorry." Ben placed a hand on her shoulder. It sent shivers of warmth all the way to her toes. "And I'm not leaving until I'm sure you're okay."
Oh, no you don't. Maggie stood and shook herself, stepping away from his electric touch. She put on her sunglasses. Another second near him and she feared she might actually swoon. His soft chestnut eyes regarded her with obvious concern. Although he looked tired and thin, Ben Morgan was still drop-dead gorgeous, in faded jeans and sneakers, his broad shoulders straining the seams of a worn Stanford tee shirt.
"I'm fine, really. It's been a crazy day and you caught me at a gad time. I'm sorry I overreacted."
Ben watched her, wondering why a fender kiss had caused so much distress. "Can I give you a lift somewhere?"
"No, of course not! I mean, thanks, but I'm okay now. Got to get back to work."
"Where's that?"
"Sorry, I'm really late. Good to see you again. Take care."
She hopped into her car and drove away before he could utter another word.
What the hell was that? Ben thought back to his one memorable night with Maggie Williams. they had both left Saguaro shortly after that night, but a part of him always wondered if there was something more to explore with his brother Kyle's beautiful classmate. While he had pushed thoughts of her and their one night of passionate sex from his mind, as he watched her drive away, Ben realized that he had spent five years comparing every woman he met to Maggie Williams.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

M. Lee Prescott is the author of dozens of works of fiction for adults, young adults and children, among them the Ricky Steele Mysteries (Prepped to Kill, Gadfly, Lost in Spindle City), The Roger and Bess Mysteries (A Friend in Silence, In the Name of Silence and The Silence of Memory) Jigsaw, Song of the Spirit, and her newest contemporary romance series, Morgan's Run Romances.

Three of her nonfiction titles have been published by Heinemann and she has published numerous articles in her field of literacy education. Lee is a professor of education at a small New England liberal arts college where she teaches reading and writing pedagogy. Her current research focuses on mindfulness and connections to reading and writing. She regularly teaches abroad, most recently in Singapore.

Lee has lived in southern California (loved those Laguna nights!), Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and various spots in New England. Currently, she resides in Massachusetts on a beautiful river, where she canoes, swims, and watches an incredible variety of wildlife pass by. She is the mother of two grown sons and spends lots of time with them, their beautiful wives, and her amazing grandchildren. When not teaching or writing, Lee's passions revolve around family, yoga (Kripalu is a second home), swimming, sharing mindfulness with children and adults, and walking.

Lee loves to hear from readers. Email her anytime and visit her website to hear the latest and sign up for her newsletters!

Email | Website

Wednesday

Wednesday in the Word

A lot of us struggle with depression and worry. Given the way the world is going, I wonder how some of us get out of bed in the morning, but God's Word shows us what we are supposed to do.

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

There it is. God asks us to change the way we think. We only have the power to do what Jesus wants us to do. We also have to learn to not worry. How do we do that? We worry about our finances, we worry about our children and their future, we worry about our health, we worry about the wars and rumors of war... the list goes on and on.

Once again, God's word shows us that God's hand is on our lives.
"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?"
Matthew 6: 25-27 (New King James)

I love that Jesus asked, "Are you not of more value than they?" The resounding answer is, 'YES!', and if He cares for them, then it stands to reason He will care for us. We have to make a conscious decision each day to seek the Lord, and trust He has control of our life and thoughts.

Learning to trust in the Lord and have peace in your heart is as easy as inviting Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour.
"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Romans 10: 9-10 (New King James)

No one called people to Christ better than Billy Graham. If you feel led, please say this prayer. God hears the faintest of whispers and knows your heart.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Saviour. In Your Name. Amen

If you prayed that prayer, God Bless you and welcome to the family! First thing, besides finding a church where you can fellowship with like-minded believers is to read your bible. This is vital because basically the bible is God's love letter to us. He guides, instructs, and comforts us with His word.

Have a blessed day, and remember - God loves YOU!



Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #3



This week I'm sharing from my WIP – FiancĂ© for Hire - one of my books from the Welcome to Ravenwood Series. I hope you enjoy:
 
Stanley rolled over onto his back, inviting me to scratch his chest. I quite worrying my thumbnail to pet him and soon soft purring vibrated against my belly. Too bad Stanley wasn't a guy, because he'd be the perfect date. He adored me, hung on my every word, and didn't expect me to have sex with him.
The idea hit me faster than I could blink.
"Stephanie, I have a fabulous idea."
"Oh, I don't like this. Last time you had a fabulous idea, I wore a cast for six weeks. I still can't straighten my arm completely."
"That was years ago," I said, brushing aside her concern.
 
Thank you for reading. Make sure to check out my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors.


WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #2

This week I'm sharing from my WIP - Man of Her Dreams - book one of my upcoming Welcome to Ravenwood Series. I hope you enjoy

     Their fingers touched and a jolt ran from her finger tips straight to her midsection. She followed the length of a muscled forearm up to his body. Her eyes did a slow blink and she lost all coherent thought.
     Before her stood six feet plus of muscle and pure testosterone. Broad shoulders filled out a grey T-shirt, the soft cotton material snug across his chest and loose around his abs. Abs that most likely had the perfect ridges women went crazy over and posted pictures of on every social media page.
     She dragged her gaze up to a stubble dusted chin and her knees weakened. There was something incredibly sexy about a man with a scruffy face. She moved past a firm mouth, stopping when she reached a pair of steel grey eyes.
     Holy Mackerel.

Thank you for reading. Make sure to check out my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors.