My Review for Annette Mori’s ‘The Termination’

Good afternoon everyone and welcome. Today I have a special treat for you that I know you’re going to like. I am presenting my review for Annette Mori’s ‘The Termination.’ This is a thriller romance that takes place in today’s world. The two main characters, Codee and Sawyer, take part in this adventurous story.

Codee, a hospital HR executive, initially shows a side to her which stems from a shocking upbringing. To cover it up, she lives for her job. She is smart and adaptable to even the most bizarre settings. She is professional in all matters and never creates drama out of stress. She handled a totally unknown situation beautifully.

Author Photo

Sawyer is an admitting clerk at Codee’s hospital. She is loyal and will stick to you like glue. She is easy going, making her very desirable and fun to be around. She is empathic and knows how to soothe another. However, her lifestyle is too fast which causes her to make the same mistake over and over again when entering a romantic relationship.

You can decide for yourself whether you feel that she oversteps people’s boundaries. I did not. She is overly caring with her patients, though. She is very cleaver, which grabs everyone’s attention.

The secondary characters really add to the story. One, in particular, gave me a grandmother feel.  The way the author describes her made me feel I could trust her.  She is feisty and is in tune with everyone’s current affairs. She was like the mother hen to them and I feel the author did an excellent job creating her character. Some of the things she said made me crack up.  Her contributions to the plot are priceless and the story would not have been the same without her.

An intriguing character, Chynna, is introduced later on that changes the direction of the story. She is smart, courageous, and physically strong. Her participation deepens the plot and sucked me in even further.  On the inside is her tender heart, fighting for what is right. She made me cry as she was sharing her truth. She is an important character who is going to melt your heart.

During the story, there is a plotline that will give you the creeps and may upset some.

The suspense is so thick that I felt like I was on a thrill ride. This is not a simple story and you will need to pay attention. The author provides excellent descriptions and the dynamic scenes are written very clearly.

The sex is hot, a bit graphic, but tasteful.  These scenes will excite the red-hot lover inside the reader. They are full of tenderness and will leave a sweet aftertaste.

You are going to want to carve out about five and a half hours to really enjoy this amazing chronicle. It will blow your mind. It is written very realistically and believable. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. You can determine for yourself if one small infraction can change one’s perspective.

The Termination book cover

Here is an excerpt to get you started on this chilling page-turner.

Codee remembered when she’d met the enchanting woman in new-employee orientation. Sawyer had pulled her long, chestnut hair back into a neat ponytail, and the gentle waves cascaded down her back. Although Sawyer had just finished a twelve-hour night shift, those soothing, green eyes never wavered in their intensity as she appeared to hang on every word. Her thoughtful answers to the questions she tossed out to new employees, accompanied by a hint of mischief in her smile, had Codee continuously seeking her reaction while she did her dog and pony show during orientation.

Codee knew she created a compelling and entertaining first impression, but she’d often felt like a phony when some of the stories she told were embellishments of the truth. Yet, the only way to truly illustrate a point was to create that connection to her audience with an intimate anecdote. She should have been an actress because the whoppers she told at these orientations were compelling. Not everything was untrue, but even the genuine experiences were enhanced for effect.

Codee wasn’t great with names, but Sawyer’s stood out as unusual, particularly for a woman, and whenever she passed the young admitting clerk in the hall, she made a point of saying hello and having a brief, albeit superficial conversation with her. She wished she had the ability to get to know her on a personal level, but that was out of the question. As the HR executive, she needed to maintain a strictly professional relationship with all the hospital employees—without exception.

Thank you for stopping by to read about this incredible life-like story. If you like this story, be sure to check out Annette’s other books. I have reviewed ‘Locked Inside’, which I know you’re going to enjoy. Feel free to talk about your feelings on ‘The Termination’ in the comments section. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Purchase ‘The Termination’

 

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

My Review of Ali Spooner’s ‘Back in the Saddle’

Hello everyone and welcome. Recently I finished Ali Spooner’s ‘Back in the Saddle.’ I am happy to see that it is doing very well on Amazon and once you read my review you’ll understand. This is the sequel to ‘Cowgirl Up’ and the story picks up where it left off. Many times, you need to read the books in order to get the full picture. Not so here. The author provided enough background on the characters to fill in what was presented in the first book. What I like is that this story it is much more than just the romance.  And the tone of it will draw you in. Come see why this is a must read.

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Melissa Conway is the owner of the MC2 ranch where Coal is hired as a new farmhand. Melissa is soft spoken and respectful. She gave me a mother hen feel in that she is always looking out for her workers and making provisions for them. The crew in return look up to her. Her actions made my eyes water.

Coal is part Apache and full of wisdom.  She is not afraid to embrace her masculine side while still being a woman.  She crosses many boundaries and shows us she is who she is and doesn’t care what others think.  I admire her confidence and immediately felt her energy. But she tends to avoid eye contact with upset and holds in her emotions.

She is in tune and is in her zone with her talents.  This showed me a timeless side to her. She enjoys simple but fine things. She has a great sense of humor and does amazing work. People can’t help but love her. I felt her genuine soul. However, Coal has her own secret that you will have to read to find out.

Mary Leah is Melissa’s younger sister.  She has had her share of set-backs. She tends to hold up a façade in front of herself. She has a sweet persona and like Coal, she doesn’t give into negativity. In ‘Cowgirl Up,’ Mary Leah and Coal became a couple. Read the book to find out how their relationship works out.

There are three other women who come into play – Stormy, Del, and Cam. Stormy is another rancher and Del is a doctor. They are close to Coal and she trusts them. Stormy is adventuresome and isn’t afraid of a challenge. She is supportive and really shows her tenderness at times. She has a great fondness for Coal and they make a great team.

The couples that were created are harmonious and supportive of each other.

Cam is the new ranch vet who has sworn off relationships. Or has she? She has a tender heart.

In ‘Back in the Saddle,’ Coal and Stormy go to Montana for an opportunity they could not miss. Here they get to appreciate the things they have. The mission is rough, but there is a fun reward, which they both enjoy.

Coal pulled a T-shirt over her head and climbed into the bed. Mary Leah followed her, and Coal wrapped her arms protectively around her lover. She held her until Mary Leah’s breath slowed, indicating she’d fallen asleep. A tear ran down Coal’s cheek as she held her close and drifted off to sleep.

There are so many temptations and it kept me reading.

There is plenty of romance in this story as the author has included other relationships.  The chemistry is hot. Nothing beats a tender scene where the loving partners make love. Then there’s the looks and hands touching and of course, flirting. All of the scenes were written tastefully spicy.

I loved how the author included a pan sexual relationship/romance.  This is where one falls in love with another soul regardless of their sexual orientation. There isn’t much written on this subject and I’m glad it found a place in this story.

There are some heavy storylines. One character suffers with a condition, which the author goes into detail about. Challenges like this can take a long time to learn how to cope with.

There are crisp descriptions of pretty scenery throughout.  The story reminded me of a modern-day western and it is shown exactly how it is. The author made me want to visit the places mentioned in the book. She included some priceless touching moments, so be prepared for some cuteness. You will really appreciate the humorous moments. There are so many touching scenes that it will keep you wrapped up for hours. The best part is that the story gives you a taste of what a loving family is like. I really felt the love bond between everyone.

‘Back in the Saddle’ took me about five hours to read, which is perfect for a nice afternoon. The flow is beautiful. The book offers everything you want in a story. This is why I’m recommending it as a must read for everyone.

 

Back in the Saddle cover

Here is an excerpt.

A few minutes later, someone knocked on the door. Coal glanced at the clock and chuckled. “Stormy’s right on schedule. Do you want to put a robe on so you can see us off?”

Coal went to the front door to let Stormy in. “Good morning, you’re right on time.”

“Morning, I had to drive painfully slow to arrive at five. I drove past the turnoff and busted a U-turn just to give you a few more minutes. Are you all set?”

“Yes, I am, let me get my bag.”

“Don’t be in such a hurry, Stormy Braxton. May I at least get a kiss good-bye?”

“I’m sorry, Mary Leah. I didn’t mean to rush her.”

“Relax, I’m just teasing you. I know you’re both excited about the trip. You keep her safe and get back here as fast as you can, you hear me?”

“Yes, ma’am, I’ll do my best.”

“I know you will.”

“Take this.” Coal tossed a small duffle to Stormy. “I’ll be out in just a minute.”

“See you later, Mary Leah.”

“Good-bye, Stormy, have fun.”

Stormy carried the bag out to the truck, and Coal embraced Mary Leah and kissed her sweetly. “I love you and will be home soon.”

“Not soon enough,” Mary Leah pouted. “Go have a great time and call me when you can. I love you.”

“I will. See you soon,” she promised and walked out to climb into Stormy’s truck. Coal looked back at the house to see Mary Leah still standing in the doorway to watch them leave. She waved and smiled when Stormy pulled away from the house.

“Let’s do this,” Coal said, turning back to a wildly grinning Stormy.

Five Stars

Purchase ‘Back in the Saddle’

Thank you all for stopping by. I want to thank Ali for creating this wonderful story. I am waiting for another installment to see what adventure is brought forth. Stay tuned next week as I will be interviewing author Jaime Clevenger, author of ‘Party Favors’. See you then.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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My Review for Renee MacKenzie’s ‘Pausing’

Hello Everyone and welcome. Today, I am sharing my review for Renee MacKenzie’s ‘Pausing’. For those of you who don’t know her, she was here on 12-May-17 for an interview. You can read it by clicking the below link. Her new book is doing very well on Amazon and one that I know you’re going to enjoy. Read on.

Renee MacKenzie’s Interview

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The story is set in Naples Florida. There are three main characters – Jordy, Liza, and Kiera. The first woman, Jordy, works in a criminal mental hospital and takes her job very seriously. No one crosses her during working hours.  She really cares about the clients and extends her heart out to the community by using her talents.

However, she looks to the past for answers, which may or may not be a good thing. Her character draws out the readers emotions with her insecurities. At one point, I was angry with her over something she did. At the same time, I had to remember that this was needed for the direction of the story, not to mention add some ravishing drama.

Next is Liza, whom in my eyes, is a little girl in a grown woman’s body. She loves to overstep other people’s boundaries and not seem to care. She is sneaky and never accepts no for an answer. She’s the one who will call you at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning just because. Her role is brilliant. It created intense stimulation for everyone. She drove me crazy. I couldn’t wait to turn the page.

Kiera’s family owns a family business and she is very successful. She is forced to make a choice and soon finds herself rather isolated. She takes action and reaches out. Her tender heart draws the best out in people and with the difficult ones she makes an effort to just be kind. I could imagine her speaking in a soft, but direct tone, while maintaining a gentle vibe.

 At the same time, she’s dealing with her own family issues. Although she is able to maintain a positive outlook, I could clearly see her sorrow and friction. I give her credit for being such a strong woman during these circumstances. Well done!

I was also impressed with another particular scene (find where). Both women’s feelings are explored. Anticipation of how they were going to come off to the other was a main factor. This totally touched my heart and I felt how special it was.

If you love sensual scenes, this is the story for you.  The love is clearly there and the author shows us the emotional attachment. Be prepared to be swept away.  It was sexy as the lovers flirted with each other throughout.  It will make you starry-eyed and feel the passion of the players.

I applaud the author for providing history and fun things about the city of Naples.  Her descriptions made me want to go there to visit. She includes many special moments that further expressed the love whether it be people, places, or things.  These added depth and intrigue to the story.

 There are more page turning parts to keep you on your toes. The story is well written and believable. I wouldn’t recommend squeezing it in during breaks, Instead, devote a few hours so you can savor the full flavor without interruptions. Enjoy.

Book Cover

Excerpt

 Jordy got a beer from the fridge and popped off the top. She took a sip of the Killian’s, and then turned to go back into the living area. She stopped at the corner of the kitchen countertop and watched Keira standing by the front window. In silhouette, she was perfectly curved. Jordy wanted to take her in her arms and make love to her, but knew it was too soon. She didn’t want to mess things up by moving too quickly.

The sound of piano came out of the speakers, and Keira stiffened. Jordy stood and watched as Keira grew rigid. Charlie Puth’s voice filled the room as he sang the opening to “See You Again.”

Jordy took several steps in Keira’s direction when she saw Keira’s shoulders heave. Keira turned then and Jordy saw the tears running down her face.

“Hey,” Jordy whispered when she stepped closer and pulled Keira into an embrace. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

“Can you just hold me, just like this, just for a minute?” Keira asked into Jordy’s neck.

“Yes. Yes, of course.”

Five Stars

Purchase ‘Pausing’

Stay tuned for next time as I will be sharing another book review with you. If you love modern western romance, you’re going to love Ali Spooner’s ‘Back in the Saddle.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Meet Author Ali Spooner

Good afternoon, friends and welcome. Today I am featuring author Ali Spooner who is here to talk to us. I recently read her latest book, “Back in the Saddle” so stay tuned for my review in the upcoming weeks. For those of you who don’t know Ali, she is the author of sixteen books that are available for purchase. Come on over and join us and if you’d like to ask Ali a question, you can put it in the comments below.

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

Samuel Jackson.

To me that says it all. As a storyteller, I relay the events of characters, and hopefully the reader emerges from the story with new experiences or knowledge, that meets their expectations of an adventure.

Tell us about yourself and what gets your creativity flowing?

I’m a native of Florida, but have lived in Alabama, Tennessee, and Wisconsin for short periods. I live with my partner of 22 years, Rhonda in our home in Pensacola. I began writing as a hobby to entertain myself and some online friends while in hotels on the road for work. I fancy myself as a storyteller who is learning to write, so I’m still a work in progress. I travel frequently for work, so driving, or flying gives me a great deal of time to think about story lines and often I’ll see a sign or an object that triggers a story idea. For instance, I was driving through Mississippi a few years ago and saw a crop duster pilot spraying fields of cotton, in preparation of harvest and it spawned a story I self-published on Smashwords around 2010, called The Painted Cat, and of course the main character was a thrill seeking, female, crop duster pilot. Sometimes a vivid dream will trigger a story or character and I never have difficulty coming up with story lines. I have on average 3-5 stories in various stages of development at any time and I work on whichever character speaks the loudest in my imagination.

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What inspired you to create the prequel, ‘Cowgirl Up’?

Growing up in central Florida, my family had several businesses. My father and uncle shared a grove caretaking business, managing orange groves for investors and our family groves as well. Our second business was the Crescent A Land and Cattle Company where we again managed herds for other’s as well as our own. During my childhood, I spent a significant amount of time on horseback as we “worked” cattle, moving them to different fields, penning them to provide healthcare or sending them off to market. So Cowgirl Up was a natural story for me to write. Many of the events the crew of the MC2 experienced from the long hours of baling hay, to training young horses were experiences from my youth. The title Cowgirl Up came from a sticker I saw on the back window of a truck pulling a horse trailer, presumably going to a rodeo or horse show somewhere in Florida. It was fun reliving some fond memories of working with my family.

Back in the Saddle cover

What is ‘Back in the Saddle’ about?

Back in the Saddle is a continuation of the journey the crew of the MC2 is experiencing. Coal, Stormy and Gene, the youngest of the crew get to live out a dream of participating in a live cattle drive in the mountains of Montana. Coal continues to struggle in her battle with PTSD, and in Montana, the flirtation of a beautiful cowgirl tempts Coal to stray in her relationship. However, Coal’s heart, is claimed by her partner, Mary Leah, and she stays true to this love. Melissa, the widowed owner of the MC2 and Mary Leah’s sister, for years after her husband’s death, felt she was satisfied with her life until a surprisingly new love interest steps into the picture.

Rhonda and I had a winter vacation in Montana years ago, and I fell in love with the country and it’s beautiful, wild nature, so the use of that setting for the cattle drive was easy for me to use.

How much of Coal is actually you? Or do you relate more to Mary Leah?

A bit of both actually. Coal has a bit of my younger spirit, with her love of horses, being a cowgirl and an out of doors type person. Like Mary Leah, I am also a cancer survivor, so there’s a part of me in her character as well. I think it’s natural for every writer to inject a bit of their personality or life experiences in their stories.

Are you an animal lover? Tell us about your experience.

That’s an understatement!  I learned to ride a horse before I could ride a bicycle and we’ve always raised animals or had a variety of pets. As kids, we experienced showing steers through 4 – H or the FFA (Future Farmers of America). We did our share of horse shows and loved to go to rodeos. As an adult, I have mainly had cats and dogs as companions, and they have graciously allowed me to live in their homes. I spent four and a half years living apart from my family for work and my two rescue cats kept me sane during those times and came home to live with us in our forever home. Just recently, Kiwi, our 9 year-old blue heeler, lost her battle with cancer and traveled across the Rainbow Bridge. She was considered Rhonda’s dog, but she was my snuggle-buddy and playmate. In her younger years, she would wear me out throwing a tennis ball for her to retrieve. She spent hours beside me in my office as I worked or created stories and was always the first to greet me when I came home from a trip. Rascal, my first rescue cat in Memphis, was the beautiful, tiger cat in The Painted Cat, and Kiwi has certainly filled her share of roles in stories, especially, Cowgirl Up and Back in the Saddle in the blue heeler puppies Bo and Dolly that Coal purchased as Christmas presents for Mary Leah and Gene. Kiwi has a special place in my heart and her spirit will grace futures stories as my companion in writing.

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Kiwi

If Coal could go anywhere for a first date, where would she choose to take her beau?

Probably the first date setting she helped Stormy arrange for Del when they first met. A beautiful spot on the MC2 where they looked across a valley and watched the sun set, the final rays of sunlight creating a brilliant palette of colors across the landscape, while she grilled a meal for them. They would share a meal, maybe a bottle of wine and then stretch out in the bed of a truck to watch the stars emerge in a sky free from manufactured light.

Do you like live music? Which bands have you seen live?

I love music of all types, but country music holds my heart. I’ve been lucky to see most of my favorites such as Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Gretchen Wilson, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, and so many others. I’m still hoping to see Garth one day, but as of yet, our paths have not crossed. There are many other artists I’d like to see, such as Fl/Ga Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Little Big Town…and the list goes on, so I have catching up to do.

What is your favorite musical instrument? Do you play? If so, tell us about it.

I can’t play a lick of music, but I love the sound of a banjo, and if I ever learned to play an instrument, it would probably be the one. Deirks Bentley, put out a folk album with a song on it called Up on the Ridge, that I love. It has a great feel of Appalachia to it.

Me: One of your characters plays a mean flute which I heard as I was reading along. Very well done.

What was your inspiration for choosing the settings for these two books?

I love the wide open, ranching space in Texas and thought that would make a perfect spot for the MC2. When I think of large ranches, I automatically think of Texas. There’s a few left in Florida, but I thought readers would relate more to Texas. As I mentioned earlier, I fell in love with the beautiful scenery in Montana, and would love to return there to see it across all seasons. The deep green of the woodlands against the backdrop of majestic, snowcapped mountains seemed the perfect setting for a cattle drive adventure.

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Tell us more about your passion for college softball.

In high school, I played every sport. My first love was basketball, and I played my freshman year in college. Softball was the one I played into my thirties, but only slow pitch, as the fast pitch craze didn’t catch on in the southern states until years later. I was born and raised a University of Florida Gator and follow our sports teams as a die-hard fan, win or lose. We are fortunate to have a great coaching staff and great softball team. I love watching the South Eastern Conference teams in all sports and hope to be able to attend the College World Series of Softball in the next few years. I’ve also found this to be a great way of finding new and different names for characters. I was amazed, but delighted to see a young woman named “Bubba” on a team this year. I enjoy college sports over professional ones because I believe college athletes play for the pure love of the game. It’s not a career for them and they don’t make millions or have products named for them, but they truly love their sport and appreciate the opportunity given them to play.

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Have you ever gone on a rustic outing in nature? If so where?

I enjoyed camping, but will now admit my camping is limited to a pull behind camper or cabin, as these old bones can’t tolerate sleeping on the ground. Some of my favorite spots are in western North Carolina and middle and eastern Tennessee. As a kid, I was a member of the Trail Riders Association in central Florida and we would camp long weekends in the summer with our horses in and around the Ocala National Forest. It was great fun swimming with your horse and cooking meals by campfire. Hmm, sounds a bit like Back in the Saddle.

Who was the last Affinity author you read?

I was honored to do some beta reading for Annette Mori on a couple of her upcoming titles. I love her quirky characters and the variety of her story plots. I also read Renee MacKenzie’s, book Pausing, which is an excellent read. I’m fortunate to publish with some fantastic authors, so I’m never at a loss for great stories to read.

Me: Stay tuned for my review of Renee Mackenzie’s Pausing next week.

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Can you share with us your love of photography? Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled to take pictures?

Photography is creating a visual story or record of memories I’ve experienced or shared with loved ones. I enjoy wildlife and landscapes as well as capturing family and friends. I have two grandbabies that give me plenty opportunities to photograph, as well as my fur family. With the creation of digital photography, I find myself taking hundreds of photos on a trip, so I have plenty memories to choose from as favorites when we return home.

One of my most exciting places to go was to Stonehenge when I visited London. I was in awe of the power of the setting. I could feel it vibrating through me as I walked amongst the monuments. Rhonda and I also traveled to Alaska in 2015 and the scenery there was amazing. I also love the waterfalls of western North Carolina, especially Whitewater falls. The falls are gorgeous no matter what season you choose, but I love it in the fall with all the foliage, turning colors. Yes, before you ask, these falls will be the ultimate destination in a short story, scheduled for release in February of 2018 called Shotgun Rider. These falls hold some special memories of my Mom and Rhonda, my partner.

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Do you have beta readers read your manuscripts?

Absolutely! I couldn’t live without good betas. I have a variety of readers who volunteer to read the drafts of my stories and provide excellent feedback on how I can improve the story. I try to mention them in the acknowledgement for each book, as they have been a tremendous help to develop it into the published story.

What is next for you?

I am currently working to develop a new series of books I call the Strong Southern Women series. There are five stories under development as a part of this series, but more to come. The first, Diamond Dreams, contracted by Affinity Rainbow Publications, will be published in the first quarter of 2018. It’s the first of three books regarding the lives of the St. Angelo sisters in rural Louisiana. Diamond Dreams follows the eldest daughter, Cameron (Cam) St. Angelo as she follows her dream to play college softball at LSU.

I believe in the concept of strong, southern women, as they have been the basis for most of my stories. These women are the characters that I know, and have grown to love. Ordinary people, that I feel that many readers can easily connect.

I’m also working on some other stories as well. A third book in the Hunter series is about two thirds of the way drafted. The fourth and final book in the Sasha Thibodaux vampire series is also underway. A sequel to the Cowgirl series has also begun to percolate in the back of my mind. So many stories, so little time to write!

As I mentioned earlier, I read ‘Back in the Saddle’ and have an excerpt to get you started.

Back in the Saddle cover  

Harley watched as the two women stepped off the porch. When they’d taken three steps, the clouds opened up. As they dashed for the house, laughing, Harley couldn’t help but smile. Melissa skidded to a halt when she reached the porch and waved to him. Harley waved back and returned to the kitchen, shaking his head. 

“Whew, that was cold,” Melissa cried out when they entered the house, and then broke out laughing again. They were both sopping wet, but Cam couldn’t prevent herself from joining Melissa’s infectious laughter. When she could finally stop, she looked at Melissa, who was still bent over laughing. Her wet hair framed her face when she looked up at Cam, whose chest tightened, making it hard to breathe. Cam slid down to the floor, unable to look away from Melissa. “What in the world are we laughing at?” 

Melissa sat down in front of her. “I have no clue, but I’m having a hard time stopping.”

Here is an excerpt from Diamond Dreams. As a baseball lover, I’m definitely going to check this out when it debuts next March.

The sound of the ball hitting the leather of the catcher’s mitt made a loud pop as it whizzed past Cameron St. Angelo. The inside pitch was meant to brush her back from the plate, but Cam barely twitched as she felt the air moving in the flight path of the ball in front of her face. After the umpire bellowed out “Ball two,” Cam stepped out of the batter’s box, and tapped the aluminum bat against her metal cleats. She turned her head toward the pitcher’s mound and grinned. “Is that the best you got Bugsy?”

“You damn well know it isn’t,” the angry pitcher growled back.

“Are y’all gonna play ball or jabber the rest of the game?” 

Cam stepped back into the batter’s box. “Sorry Blue.” She twisted her right foot in the packed clay until she felt comfortable and dropped her hand indicating she was ready for the next pitch.

“Bout damn time St. Angelo,” the catcher barked at her. “This gear is hot, so let’s get a move on.”

“Bring it,” she called out to the pitcher.

Ursula Bugg, or Bugsy to Cam, was a top ranked pitcher on the opposing team, and Cam knew she had a wicked fast riser. She also knew that Ursula had a weakness and it was Cam herself. They had competed against each other in every sport since they first met in high school, and Cam had always won the battle as the superior athlete. As hard as she tried, Bugsy had never bested her in any sport, and facing her now as the opposing pitcher, would make no difference. Yes, Bugsy was good, but Cam was better, and she understood how much she got into Bugsy’s head. They battled through three years in high school and by their senior year, Bugsy’s condition had grown to an obsession. 

It didn’t matter that Cam was an All-State shortstop and team leading cleanup hitter, bound for Baton Rouge in the fall with a full ride to play softball for LSU. Bugsy was determined to strike her out. Cam could almost hear the grinding of Bugsy’s teeth as she reached deep down inside for extra strength as she released the next pitch. 

“High and wide,” the umpire called out, “Three balls and one strike.”

Forced to throw a strike, or risk walking her, Bugsy stepped off the mound to wipe her hand, as Cam waited on the fastball that would be nestled in the center of the plate. She watched Bugsy step up to the pitching rubber, digging the hole beside it deeper for more traction and power, then begin her wind up. Her movement seemed like slow motion to Cam and the ball looked the size of a cantaloupe as it approached. Her eyes locked on their target as she tucked chin to her chest, her eyes glued on the ball as she started her swing. Her teammates were probably holding their breath, but Cam had no doubts. She caught the ball on the sweet spot of her bat, and that ball was going out of the park for a walk off home run. She rushed out of the batter’s box toward first base as the left fielder backed toward the fence until she realized there was no keeping the ball in the field of play. Cam rounded the base and slowed her pace to a jog as Bugsy glared at her from the pitcher’s mound. When her cleated foot touched home, the umpire called, “Ball game.”

Welcomed by her teammates with high fives and slaps to her helmet, she made her way to the dugout to drop off her gear before joining her friends in congratulating the other team on a game well played. When she approached Bugsy at the end of the line, she smiled, “See you next fall.”

“You better believe it,” Bugsy answered finally cracking a smile. She too, would also be attending LSU to play ball. “Maybe we’ll meet again next week if we make it to the tournament.”

I’d like to thank Ali for stopping by. Be sure to check out her links below for more new and exciting news. ‘Back in the Saddle’ is available and I’m encouraging you to check it out.

Ali’s Facebook Profile

Ali’s Amazon Profile –  Here you can check out her sixteen books.

Purchase ‘Back in the Saddle’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Meet Author Jen Silver

Good morning everyone and welcome. Today I am featuring author Jen Silver, author of The Circle Dance and her new just released book, Running From Love. Jen has so many interesting things to share about herself. Recently I reviewed her book, The Circle Dance. Check out the link below to read more.

The Circle Dance Review

Come join us and meet this amazing woman, whom you’re going to love.

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“A book does not come to me as an idea, or a plot, or an event, or a society, or a message; it comes to me as a person. A person seen, seen at a certain distance, usually in a landscape. The place is there, the person is there. I didn’t invent him, I didn’t make her up; he or she is there. And my business is to get there too.”

From The Language of the Night by Ursula K LeGuin, an essay entitled ‘Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown’

Who is Jen Silver? Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

My parents moved around a lot and my childhood involved moving house numerous times and countries twice. I was born in England but they emigrated to Canada when I was four, then moved back a few years later after my younger sister was born. They then went back to Canada after deciding they weren’t missing anything here so my high school and college years were spent in Canada. Then I moved back to England myself in my twenties, stayed a few years and went back to Canada. My final move (probably) was back to the UK in the 1980s. I met my wife in 1987 while we were both working in London. So, this year we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary. We moved ‘oop North’, as they say here, twenty-three years ago and haven’t looked back.

I’d never considered myself to be a sporty person, so it was with some surprise that I found I enjoyed playing golf when I was introduced to the game in my mid-forties. I took up archery about seven years ago. I’ve also dabbled in martial arts—five years of Taekwondo, two years of Tai Chi. And nowadays, along with the golf and the archery, I enjoy taking part in boxercise classes.

I always loved writing and had drawers full of unfinished stories before I took the plunge and submitted something to a publisher.

It’s hard to believe that I now have six published novels to my name, and several short stories.

What is Running From Love about?

This is the synopsis:

Sam Wade returns home from a business trip to discover her wife of just two years has left her for another woman. Beth, a high school teacher, wants a divorce so she can settle down with her new (closeted) love, head teacher Lydia Carmichael.

To take her mind off the break-up Sam accepts an assignment to learn to play golf at the newly opened Temperley Cliffs golf resort in Cornwall. Beth and Lydia also plan their first summer holiday together.

Coming out, at whatever stage in one’s life, is never easy. Several characters in the story have to make decisions that will affect not just their respective partners but also how the wider world sees them. There is more than one way to run from love; from never having to make a commitment and say those magical three words, “I love you”.

Find out what happens when this diverse group of people find themselves together—and sport, betrayal, jealousy, and love form an unforgettable fusion of emotions.

The story is a mix of romance and golf. In the first draft, I got a bit carried away with the golf aspect and the beta readers indicated they wanted more romance and less about the game. I hope I got the balance right in the final version. I will have to wait and see what reviewers have to say about it.

running_from_love

What was the deciding factor for your book title?

As with most of my books to date, it’s from a song lyric. I can’t recall which song this came from, but I was listening to Mary Gauthier’s albums during the time I was writing the book, so it may be one of hers. I thought of it as a working title and thought it might change by the time I’d finished the novel, but I found that it worked for the theme of the story.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main characters?

I always look at trying to make them like real people. I’m sure most authors do as well. But I can’t really get too excited about the lives of highly successful rich women falling for each other as they are not really in my sphere of existence. So, I try for a mix of lifestyles, occupations, and backgrounds…and see how they connect.

What is your favorite attraction in Yorkshire and why?

I love the countryside. We live in a deep valley with a road, a river, a canal, and a railway running through it. There’s a lot of history here as well. The people are lovely too.

canalsep

Do you have anything specific you want to say to readers?

Read my books. Review them. Tell other people about them. If you like them, that is.

Me: Authors appreciate reviews and it shows them that you care.

Can you describe the moment the last time you got a hole in one on the golf course?

There hasn’t been a first time, yet.

Would you like to share anything about your love for archaeology? Can you tell us about your last dig?

I’ve had the pleasure of digging at a predominantly Roman site called Vindolanda near Hadrian’s Wall for the last four years. It was while I was researching pottery for my debut novel, Starting Over, that I came across the Vindolanda website and discovered they had a volunteer programme where you can sign up to excavate for two-week periods between April and September. People come from all over the world to take part and it’s a great experience.

jen_dig

Although I had finished an initial draft of the book by the time I first went to Vindolanda, I was able to incorporate some of what I learned there in the next draft.

Who is your favorite character from all your books and why?

Asking an author this is like asking a mother to name her favourite child. I have to like the characters to be able to write about them. Even the ones that readers may not find likeable, there’s always something in their character that’s redeemable. I think that’s why I would find it hard to write a detective novel. But if I do have to pick one character, I would go with Robin from Starting Over, and the other books in the trilogy. She kick-started the whole story and I know she’s often not liked by readers because she cheats on her partner, Ellie, over a long period of time. So, why would I like someone who cheats? Well, because I know that deep down she wants to change and through the course of the story she has that chance. I know in real life that may not seem too plausible, but I wanted to put a positive spin on it and maybe put some doubt in readers’ minds as to whether or not she can eventually maintain a monogamous relationship. (Robin is sexy as hell too, and rides a motorbike.)

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What was the last movie you saw in the theater? Would you recommend it?

I don’t often go to movies. I think the last one I saw was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And, of course, I loved it because I’m a Star Wars fan – particularly of the original three movies.

Which authors do you follow and what do you like about their writing?

I read a lot and obviously follow a number of lesfic authors whose books I enjoy.  But I would like to mention a non-lesfic author because her books are rich in history with lashings of humour…and tea. This is Jodi Taylor who has written a series of books under the heading “The Chronicles of St Mary’s”. St Mary’s is a historical research establishment where they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’ (or what we call ‘time travel’). This premise gives the author a chance to revisit many historical events to find out what really happened. Some examples are: Troy, Battle of Hastings, Agincourt, the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria, and the Cretaceous period to observe dinosaurs in the flesh. It’s all a bit mad, but good fun.

What is your favorite part of being an author? The least fave?

I enjoy writing, thinking about the characters, and seeing how the story develops. In common with most other published authors, the marketing is the hard part. Nowadays we have to rely on ratings on Amazon, maintain a constant presence on Facebook and Twitter, write regular blogs, and also try to get some reading gigs that may generate publicity.

What is next for you?

As of the timing of this interview, my next destination is the Golden Crown Literary Society Conference, which is in Chicago this year. There I will be joining other Affinity authors: Renee MacKenzie, Ali Spooner, Annette Mori, and Angela Koenig…plus all the other delegates: readers, writers, and publishers. This will be my third time and I enjoy meeting up with old friends and new on each occasion.

Golden Crown Literary Society

I’m also involved with Happy Valley Pride, a weeklong festival held in Hebden Bridge, which is near where I live. This is only the second year for the event. It was well received by the community last year and the plans for this year have grown from that experience.

Happy Valley Pride

This year I’m hosting a reading evening, sponsored by Affinity Rainbow Publications. It’s called ‘Lesbian Writers Read’ and is taking place on 8 August from 7 to 9pm at Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge. Four other authors are taking part: Lise Gold, Cari Hunter, Robyn Nyx, and Brey Willows. I think this is possibly the first event of its kind in the town so I’m hoping it will go down well.

ribbon_circus

Excerpt from Running From Love (Chapter Six)

Andi felt awkward intruding on the other woman’s obvious sadness, but she didn’t want to just walk away. Although they had only met briefly, she sensed a bond between them. Nothing sexual, just a kind of kinship. And she hoped Sam wasn’t thinking of throwing herself off the cliff. She didn’t want that on her conscience.

“Um, look if there’s something you want to talk about, I’m here. Sometimes it’s easier to unburden yourself to a stranger.”

Sam gave her the flicker of a smile. “This is a job for me. I’m getting paid to do this. But I don’t know if I can now that she’s here.”

This sounded intriguing.

running_from_love

“You’re getting paid to learn how to play golf?”

“Yes. I do in-depth research, usually for film or television companies. Sourcing locations, providing historical and cultural background as required. This job is for a writer who either can’t, or doesn’t want to, play golf herself. But she wants to sound knowledgeable when writing about it.”

“Couldn’t she get that from watching golf or reading magazines? And there’s loads of instruction videos on YouTube.”

“I know. But she wanted more than that. Maybe trying to understand why people do it, why they are so passionate about it.”

“That’s a tough one. But not easy for non-golfers to fathom.”

They stood together looking out over the ocean. The wind was starting to cut through the light jacket Andi was wearing.

“You said you didn’t think you could do this now, because…?” Andi wasn’t sure Sam would answer as she had gone quiet again.

With a heavy sigh, Sam finally spoke. “Because my ex is here. I didn’t know she was even interested in golf.”

“Ah.”

“Yes, ah. And her new girlfriend is joining her later this week.” Sam spat out the word “girlfriend” as if it left a bad taste.

“How long were you together?”

“Fourteen years. We got married two years ago in April.”

“Shit.” Andi didn’t know what else to say. Long-term relationships had always been a mystery to her. She had known Freya for many years but that worked because they only met up a few times each year. She wasn’t sure she could handle Freya’s intensity full time.

Andi touched Sam’s arm. “We should probably be getting back or they’ll be sending out a search party.”

Read the first chapter here.

Purchase ‘Running From Love’

Before you go, make sure to check out Jen’s links, including her blog, which you can subscribe to.

Amazon Author page

Affinity Author page

Blog: www.jenjsilver.wordpress.com

Twitter: @jenjsilver

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenjsilver

I want to thank Jen for stopping by to chat. Her new book, ‘Running from Love’ is now available and I’m looking for discussion on this story, so feel free to leave a comment below. We’ve enjoyed having you visit.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017