Confessions and Confusions of a “Bachelor” Addict

Bachelor in Paradise

Photo ABC Television

I am a grown woman; an educated professional woman. I make these statements not to brag, but to help explain my confusion. What am I confused about, you may wonder. The answer is “Bachelor in Paradise”.

I freely admit that I have been sucked into ABC’s Monday and Tuesday night reality-drama be it “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette”. But until this summer I had done an outstanding job of avoiding the third show in the wildly successful franchise, “Bachelor in Paradise”.

For those of you unfamiliar with the premise – or pretending to be – the first two shows are about an unattached man or woman who is bombarded by over 20 attractive people looking to fall in love leading eventually to wedded bliss.

This has been going on for dozens of seasons, and even resulted in several apparently happy marriages. But “Bachelor in Paradise” is different. This is a show of shorter duration and the participants are all rejects from “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette”. They have only just completed season four, so it is also a newcomer to “The Bachelor” franchise.

That’s right. They are people who should have gone home, back to their non-public normal lives away from the cameras and the world of reality TV. Maybe I could forgive someone for subjecting themselves to Paradise once, after all it is a gorgeous Mexican beach location, and everyone deserves a second chance. But by the time a third chance or more rolls around, things just get ridiculous. Clearly, these are people who want to be in front of cameras more than they want love.

Yet there I was, all summer, escaping hurricanes, Russian scandals and other news transfixed by the foolish love affairs of 20 and 30-somethings. I waited with baited breath to hear their inane, alcohol-infused conversations, watching the women display too much flesh and the men pump too much iron.

Bachelor in Paradise

image ABC television

Why? Why Bachelor in Paradise?

Now that the show has ended for the season, I have been asking myself that very question. Sure, the host Chris Harrison is good looking and charming – shoot, he should be the next “bachelor. But there are charming good looking men on every network. Many of them are shirtless and pumping iron, or flexing muscles. So that cannot be it.

And the promos leading up to the show promised a scandal that resulted in shutting down the show for several weeks. I love a good scandal as much as the next person, but that was covered on the show in the first two weeks and concealed even faster in the media. Still, I stuck with it.

In truth, I don’t care about these men and women or whether they find love or not. It seems highly likely that these pairings will not last. The odds are firmly against them. Yet when last night ended in a proposal I joined the studio audience in wiping away a stray tear.

So, embarrassing as it is to admit, something about this insipid program with its immature but attractive people appeals to me – and obviously to millions of others as well. There are people who write blogs about it, watch it together and speculate on the outcomes. I was invested enough to DVR each episode to insure I wouldn’t miss a moment.. But now it is over and I have no clue why I watched. Seriously. I feel like this confession is the equivalent of airing some dirty little secret.

Do you share my secret? Do you know why you watch? #bachelor #paradise #amwriting Click To Tweet

Who shares my addiction? Do you share my secret? Do you know why you watch? Is it for the compelling drama, or perhaps to watch couples end their search for romance in a miserable train wreck of sobs and recriminations? Is it the voyeur checking out the young nubile bodies in skimpy bikinis? Could it be your romantic side hoping to see real, honest to god, true love?

If you know, can you please, please help me understand? I am totally baffled.

Posted in Maddy Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gun for Hire by JJ Montgomery – A Romantic Suspense

JJ Montgomery has stopped by today share a little bit about her debut novel, Gun for Hire. She has given us a nice little taste of her work with a great excerpt and few teasers below.  Check out this great debut author and book. 
Welcome, JJ.

Gun For Hire

The Maui Heat Series
by J.J. Montgomery

GUN FOR HIRE BLURB:

The job should have been easy—patrol a swank beach that serves as a backyard for Maui’s rich, kick out the riffraff, and get a tan in the process. But rent-a-cop Samantha Winters didn’t anticipate a deliciously grumpy cop, Sergeant Grady Roark, who comes down to the beach to bust her chops and instead leaves her breathless…and wondering why the one man who could help her seems determined to thwart her at every turn.

Grady is keeping secrets from Sam that have him walking the line between attraction and duty. But when Sam becomes the target of a shadowy organization, Grady will have to choose between the law and the temptation of a woman who has him breaking every rule he’s ever known.

The job should have been easy, but when the bullets start flying, Sam learns nothing is as easy as it seems when you’re a Gun for Hire.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

Excerpt from Gun for Hire

“The sunlight was intense after a half hour in that gloomy space, but I squinted hard and kept moving toward a narrow set of steps down to the parking lot. Grady walked a few paces behind me, and if he heard the crinkle of paper as I moved, he elected not to say anything.

Grady hit the remote to his truck and grabbed for the passenger side door, his hand light on my elbow as he helped me up. Paper crackled as my butt hit the seat and Grady’s eyes narrowed. Without a word, he slammed my door and went around to the driver’s side, climbing up into the cab and stabbing the keys into the ignition.
“So, I—” I hesitated as I shifted in my seat and my movement was accompanied by the distinct sound of cardboard bending.
“No,” Grady muttered, and clicked on the radio. “No talking.”
“But—”
“Shh.” Grady put a finger to his lips, his eyes still on the road. “Any minute you’re going to tell me about the felony crime you just committed. And then I’m going to have to deal with the fact that I was an accessory to a felony crime.”
“Umm, yeah.” I reached around to the back of my pants and eased the file folder up from my waistband, working it out slowly so as to not lose anything as Grady headed up the hillside toward his house. As I brought it around to look at it, the red block letters damning me to years of incarceration should I get caught, a muscle ticked in Grady’s jaw.
“You stole classified documents.” He shook his head from side to side.
I looked up at Grady and then down at the mangled file with the red Top Secret heading. I took a corner of the front sheet and ripped across the width of the page, separating the words “Top Secret” from the rest of the paper.
“They’re declassified now.” I crumpled up the classification and shoved it in my pocket.
Grady sighed.
 
I shrugged and opened the file.”
 


Author Bio: 

J.J. MONTGOMERY writes romantic suspense novels with a sense of humor. Her heroines are as smart as they are smart mouthed and the men in their lives are just trying to keep up. Gun for Hire is the first book in J.J.’s Maui Heat Series. 

If you’d like to know more, including info on her newest book, where she gets her ideas, and how it’s possible she can’t use Facebook, please visit her:


Social Links: 
Website | Facebook |  Twitter  | Instagram 

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Want to be Smarter? Fall in these Rabbit Holes

surf the rabbit holeI often complain about getting lost in the rabbit hole, that warren of blogs, websites, podcasts and webinars that suck away my time. I blame those holes when I lose a day of writing, my productivity drops, or my email overflows. I find them addictive and not in a good way. But today, I salute them.

If you have ever searched the internet you know what I am talking about. Perhaps you start by looking up an actor and finding their IMDB filmography. Pretty soon you are wondering who it was that starred with them in last year’s blockbuster and off you go, down the hole. You look at the film, then the co-star, then some of the co-star’s other films and co-stars and perhaps a few links to locations, directors, musicians, spouses. You get my drift. You’ve just learned twenty fascinating but useless facts and lost three hours of your life.

Every email, blog, and website is full of links to other emails, blogs and websites, and the rabbit hole is all about following those links, chasing the shiny object, losing hours of your life. Sadly, I am all about the shiny object.

The rabbit hole is all about following those links, chasing the shiny object, losing hours of… Click To Tweet

However, there is a flip side, when the rabbit hole actually teaches you something – facts and skills that are useful. Last week I received a note from Tom Morkes, CEO of Insurgent Publishing, describing how he was mentored by bloggers while he was deployed in Iraq. As a rabbit chaser, of course I clicked on the embedded link, which took me to the sign up for the Success Mentor Summit. Lots more shiny objects in a single location. I took the bait, in case you were wondering.

Tom’s email got me thinking about how much I have benefited from virtual mentoring by people like him. The mentoring has come from reading blogs, buying books and training, following links, listening to podcasts and watching webinars. For an indie author and solopreneur like me, this online world has been a goldmine. So today, I am taking time to praise the rabbit hole. People like Tom make it an entertaining and educational place to explore.

Today I praise the rabbit hole...an entertaining and educational place to explore. #amwriting Click To Tweet

Here are a few of my favorite warrens. Visit a few. Have tea with the Cheshire Cat, or pick up a mentoring tip or two.

The Best Rabbit Warrens for Reading

My obvious first choices are reading choices – Goodreads and Amazon have to top the lists here. Goodreads is wonderful as a sharing spot between friends, a spot to follow favorite authors, to see what is trending. It’s beyond a wealth of information. It’s the Facebook of booklovers – come friend me over there and we can share books.

Amazon is also a place where you can follow authors you love. What makes Amazon a unique and worthwhile warren is the algorithms it uses to make recommendations. I don’t know about you, but I t always love the books that Amazon thinks I will love. I have no idea how it’s done, but the recommendations are spot on.

My Favorite Spots as a Blogger

For the blogger in me, I love learning from Sarah Morgan’s site. Her pictures are great for starters and when she writes, it feels personal somehow, like she knows me. Her knowledge of blogging is outstanding and you can see she has learned from experience – often the hard way. I love that she has made technology a bit more accessible, too. Her “Dare to Blog” course is a goldmine. Sarah teaches me oodles and feels like a friend. Runners up in the blogging space – Problogger and CoSchedule. If you haven’t tried Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer, you have no idea what you are missing. Stop by their warrens. Their links will keep you searching and learning for hours – hell, for weeks!

Rabbit Holes for Writing

For the author in me, I gravitate first to Kathy Steinemann, better than any thesaurus ever made, and Romance Writers of America. The RWA Romance University has helped me tweak my work for the better more than once. As a writer/publisher, I rely on Joanna Penn and Jeff Bullas. After all, what is the point of writing if you never reach readers? Speaking of reaching readers, if you are new or struggling, Nick Stephenson’s “Your First 10K Readers” has to be the definitive starting point. For added traffic and technical expertise, I have to give a shout out to Jeff Goins and Neil Patel too. See what I mean about losing hours?

For my social media needs I have recently discovered Rebekah Radice, but I have been a big follower of Chris Syme. Check them out if you want to get a great start down the deep, deep hole of social media. Let me know when you come back up for air. Warning: it may be years from now.Finally, as a team of one, I have learned to rely on some brilliant writer/marketers. #MFRW… Click To Tweet

And for Networking….

Finally, as a solopreneur, a team of one running my writing and publishing business, I have learned to rely on some brilliant writer/marketers. Most are famous in this business with huge followings, but a few are just people, like me, who learned from each other and managed to eek out a living doing what they love. Check out the blogs and books of these wondrous women: Linda O’Connor, Tina Gayle, Jenna Bayley Burke and Kayelle Allen. These are my role models, the people who keep me moving forward even on hard days, who review my work, give me feedback on my covers, and most importantly, these are ladies who share. They share my Facebook posts, tweet and retweet my announcements. They spread the words of Madison Michael to their readers. They are generous of spirit and I salute and thank them.

I try to do the same for them with my blog every Tuesday, with retweets and shares of my own. We are quickly becoming a team. They are my favorite rabbit holes to fall into – the company is great, the books are delightful to read and I come out knowing a bit more. This is the warren that rejuvenates me, leaving me ready to work a bit harder and write a bit more.

At least until I fall into that next rabbit hole.

You might also like more about my shiny object obsession:

  • Confessions of a New Author Part 1 November 17, 2016
  • Confessions of a New Author Part 2 December 1, 2016
  • Confessions of a New Author Part 3 December 15, 2016

 

 

Posted in Maddy Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Beginnings by Iris Blobel – A New Adult Romance

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Iris Blobel. Iris is here to tell us about her book New Beginnings, in the Beginnings Series.  Iris has provided  a lovely excerpt to give us just a taste of this new novel. Check out New Beginnings and the whole Beginning Series. Welcome, Iris.~~  New Beginnings ~~
2nd Edition
by Iris Blobel

♥♦♥  BLURB ♥♦♥

“Other people have to fight battles in their life as well.”

The chance to start life all over with the help of a stranger.

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to her eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago, and it hasn’t been easy. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Settling into their new life, Sophie is still afraid it’s all a mistake.

Mark O’Connor, attorney in Hobart and the bearer of the good news for Sophie and Mia, curses himself for the lack of information about the testator. However, researching the questions gives him an opportunity to see Sophie again, and the more time he spends with the two, the more he realises that his life is missing something. And it’s not his casual lover Linda.

But then there’s Zach, Sophie’s sexy neighbour from across the road… and a very good friend of Clara’s.

Will unravelling the mystery unravel Sophie and Mark’s promise of a future?

Buy Links for New Beginnings

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU

♥♦♥  Excerpt from New Beginnings ♥♦♥

Sophie Levesque stared at the attorney in front of her, waiting for some answers. She and her little sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, learning about the details of their inheritance.

Once he was finished, silence hung in the air before she asked with raised eyebrows. “Who?”

“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”

Mia leaned closer to her elder sister and gave a soft tug on Sophie’s shirt. “Who is she?”

Sophie shrugged. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Then turned her attention back on Mr. O’Connor and asked the same thing. “Who is she?”

The handsome attorney on the other side of the massive desk leaned forward and rested his elbows on it before he started to repeat his earlier speech. Although hearing his words, Sophie still found it all very hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade, hearing about an inheritance from someone she’d never even heard of.

Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. It’d been only a few hours since they’d arrived in Hobart, the most southern capital in Australia, but she already liked it. A lot more than Sydney, the place she’d lived all her life.

Hauled back from her thoughts, she heard Mr. O’Connor say, “I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details.”

Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief, doubting the accuracy of it all. Not only did she try not to question his competence as a lawyer, but she also hoped it wasn’t a dreadful misunderstanding.

With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”

He met her gaze steadily. “Pardon me?”

Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”

He rubbed his chin with his fingers, his unease now obvious, and although she almost felt sorry for him, she tried not to care. She needed to know more. And not just the what, but why and who as well.

Only a week earlier, Sophie had received the call from Mr. O’Connor telling her about an inheritance. Initially, she’d thought it had been a horrible joke when he’d given her details on where to pick up airplane tickets to Hobart. It was important for her to come, he’d explained. Some legality she hadn’t understood. Something about her having to sign documents for the transfer of ownership of some assets. It’d sounded too farfetched at the start, but after some research on the firm with the help of a friend, it sounded valid, and she’d hoped her life was finally turning around for the better.

Meet Iris Blobel

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Social Media Links:

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two Hot Romances: Adriana Kraft offers Double Trouble

Double Trouble From Adriana Kraft

A Woman for Zachary
Meghan’s Playhouse, Book Two
&
Hot to the Touch
Swinging Games, Book Fifteen

Adriana will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC, to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here


Guest Post: Double Trouble from Adriana Kraft

One of my favorite recent memes from FaceBook reads as follows: When I get old, they’re never going to say “what a sweet old lady.” They’re gonna say “what on EARTH is she up to now?!”

If that sounds like trouble, hold on to your hat—we’ve got a double dose heading your way. Our two recent erotic romance ménage releases feature leading characters at mid-life.


Baby boomers ourselves, we often write characters in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s and beyond. If that’s not what trips your trigger, these two books aren’t for you – but, with any luck, all of us will reach these ages eventually, and we hope our readers do so with vim, vigor, and yes, a vibrant and active sex life. We like to think some of our characters can light the way.


Hot to the Touch takes the mid-fifties couple who star in our Swinging Games series to a clothing optional RV resort for some summer fun. In A Woman for Zachary, the early twenties heroine who starred in Seducing Cat hooks up with a mid-forties woman and an early-fifties man to ignite the spark that’s been smoldering between them.




A Woman for Zachary Blurb:

It’s New York! Broadway beckons, but Meg has more fun keeping an erotic triangle going with her current flame, Zach Cullen, and her drama coach, Josie Patrice.
Zachary Cullen has ignored Josette Patrice’s overtures for years, but she agrees to take on his latest protégé-slash-arm-candy Meghan Keenan in her off-Broadway workshop theater. Though the girl has incredible talent, Josie would stake her reputation on that little thing being a switch-hitter, like herself, and she doesn’t want Zach to be duped. 

Josie sets out to seduce Meg and expose her for what she is, but all bets are off when Meg turns the tables on Josie to hook her up with Zach.

Erotic Romance Ménage
Novella, 28,000 words
eXtasy Books, August 4, 2017
Four Flames: Explicit Sex, MF, FF;
Ménage, FFM, FMF; Sex toys

Buy Links: 


Excerpt: 

Josie was shaking her head back and forth before Zach finished speaking. “That’s not enough.”
Zach closed the distance between the two of them.
She pressed her back against the wall, and he placed his palms against it, framing her head. She licked her lips.
What was he doing? She’d imagined him being this close countless times, but not in this way. Not in anger. Not struggling with his sense of fairness over sharing another woman. She kept her arms locked at her sides.
“That’s exactly what Meg said. What is enough? Do we draw lots for her?”
Josie shook her head.
“Maybe I can have her even days of the month and you odd days.”
“That might work.” Josie could hardly breathe. Zach’s male scent was overpowering. She’d agree to almost anything, if he just stayed where he was. She should be afraid of him, but she wasn’t. This was a man she’d known for a decade. He might be very angry, even deeply pained, but he wouldn’t hurt her—at least not physically.
“It works for parking cars in the winter. It’s a beginning, I guess.” His eyes darkened with a passion she couldn’t decipher. She watched his eyes shut and re-open.
And then his mouth was crushing against hers. She tried to breathe through her nostrils. His muffled groans filled her mouth. Tentatively, she lifted her hands to his shoulders. It was as if he was in a trance. She sighed and pulled him closer. Maybe she was, too.




Hot to the Touch Blurb: 

Can the summer get any hotter? Escaping Southern Indiana summer heat, swingers Brett and Jen check out a Minnesota clothing optional RV resort, where the rules are very different from the swing lifestyle venues they’re used to. When they spot a hot looking couple in the swimming pool, they’re definitely interested, but they know better than to make the first move. Will Paul and Kim turn out to be players, or will Brett and Jen get a cold shoulder?

Erotic Romance Ménage
Short Story, 7,000 words
eXtasy Books, July 30, 2017
Four Flames: Explicit Sex, MF, FF;
Ménage, MFMF

Buy Links: 

extasy books | Amazon

Excerpt: 

“Hi guys,” Kim said, giving Jen a hug. “We ran into traffic, but we’re here at last. I love your outfit, Jen. That short skirt is just right for your long legs. You guys are fine dancers.”
“And you look fantastic,” Jen managed to say. “That top is so sexy. As you said, just a touch of mystery. And I love those dangling earrings. They sparkle nearly as much as you do. Absolutely stunning.”
“Thank you,” Kim murmured, turning to hug Brett.
“As stunning as you look,” Paul said, gathering Jen into his arms for a long hug. “You both look scrumptious. Good enough to eat. Right, Brett?”
Brett nodded.
Jen noticed Kim made no move to break away from Brett’s arms. She watched the olive-skinned woman drag her lips across Brett’s wrist before lifting it up and sliding onto the curved bench. Jen slid in from the other side, with the guys sitting on either end. A bare leg brushed against her left leg, a trousered one against her right. If those legs were meant to only tease, she’d be very, very upset before the night was over.

About the Author: Meet Adriana Kraft

Winner of the 2014 Bisexual Book Award for erotic fiction, author Adriana Kraft is a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More.
One man, one woman, danger and intrigue – always a happy ending, but oh, what a ride! Readers can count on our Romantic Suspense line for gutsy characters, hot sex, and breathtaking intimacy as our hero and heroine battle outer threats and inner demons to stay alive and fall in love.
A man, a woman (or two), or another man, threesomes, foursomes—what’s your fantasy? We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination. Here you’ll find multiple partners, three-way, four-way and more, swing lifestyle, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory, in both contemporary and paranormal settings.

Together we have published over thirty-five romance novels and novellas to outstanding reviews. We love hearing from readers at adrianakraft99@yahoo.com, and here is our website:

When It’s Time to Heat Things Up http://adrianakraft.com

Author Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Rancher’s Baby Proposal – A Western Romance

Today I am very excited to share a few tidbits about Harlequin Romance Author Barbara  White Daille and to share a brief excerpt from her novel, The Rancher’s Baby Proposal. I love Barbara’s interest in  her lead character’s interactions with family and friends and  I believe  all of us who just love a good romance will enjoy her novel.

Take it away, Barbara,

Thanks to Maddy for the chance to chat with you!

  1. Where is your favorite place to write?

In my home office, which is really a cluttered extra bedroom. Boring, I know, but I usually like to write in a quiet space. In the office I’m completely alone and can close the door when needed. Plus, I’m surrounded by books!

  1. What inspires you as an author?

Many things spark my imagination and make me want to write, but when it comes to inspiration, I get that from reading and falling in love with great books by other authors.

  1. Why do you write romance and why your genre of romance?

Relationships fascinate me and happy endings are The Best.

My books are short to mid-length contemporary romance, usually on the sweeter side of the scale. Those lengths are also what I love to read: stories that focus more on character development and dialogue than on description and research.

And while contemporary romance zeroes in on the developing relationship between the hero and heroine, it also allows room to explore connections among the hero and heroine and their families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors—who often tend to be on the quirky side in my stories. 🙂

  1. What are you working on next and when can we expect to see it?

My next releases continue the Snowflake Valley series, which began with Snowbound with Mr. Wrong. Book two in the series debuts this fall, and book three will be out sometime next year. All my books, even in a series, are standalones as far as the hero and heroine reaching their happy ending by the closing pages of their story. Thanks for asking!

 

From the cover of The Rancher’s Baby Proposal, a Hitching Post Hotel book:

The Rancher's Baby ProposalHER SECRET COWBOY CRUSH

Ally Martinez has always been known as a fun and flirty kind of gal. But deep down she’s never forgotten the cowboy who left town. When her crush Reagan Chase comes home after a five-year absence, Ally knows this is her big chance. The guy I’ve always wanted. Only Reagan has something different in mind…

Still reeling from his last relationship, Reagan needs a babysitter for his month-old son. With Ally’s help, he can get his family’s ranch ready for sale and get out of Cowboy Creek. The problem? Ally is one seriously cute distraction. But Reagan will do whatever it takes to keep his heart safe. Even if it means losing the only place—and the only woman—he can call home.

Excerpt from The Rancher’s Baby Proposal

In this clip, we’re letting you in on a little secret…fun and flirty Ally isn’t always as confident as she seems:

Reagan was so intent on his work, he didn’t hear her enter the barn, not even when she cleared her throat to get his attention.

Oh, well. She had done what she could, hadn’t she? It wouldn’t be fair to call out his name and startle him.

Instead, she stood there getting a good look. She took in the sight of his threadbare jeans, his sweat-dampened back, his muscles bunching and flexing as he shifted one load after another of scrap lumber.

It wasn’t until she stood admiring his pecs and abs that she realized he had turned and stood looking at her.

Oops.

Recovering quickly, she gave a wolf whistle.

“You need to apply for a job at the store. Think what having you on the payroll will do for our profits. After one look at you, all the women in Cowboy Creek will instantly become do-it-yourselfers.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Oh, but I do. Keep in mind I’m comfortable making the suggestion because I get paid by the hour. You wouldn’t have to worry about cutting into my commissions.”

“With all the wranglers who must stop in just to see you, I’d probably have to worry more about you cutting into mine.”

“A compliment, Reagan Chase?” she said archly, batting her lashes like one of the actresses from her mama’s favorite late-night movies. “How unexpected. But I’m flattered.”

He looked as if he had had second thoughts about what he had said. Maybe she’d overdone it on the exaggerated flirting attempt.

“Yeah. Well.” His smile seemed forced. “Don’t let it go to your head.”

“Oh, I won’t.”

No chance of that. His words had gone straight to her heart.

Book links for Rancher’s Baby Proposal

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ranchers-Baby-Proposal-Hitching-Hotel-ebook/dp/B01LLPCDXY/

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ranchers-baby-proposal-barbara-white-daille/1124564570

Books-A-Million http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Ranchers-Baby-Proposal/Barbara-White-Daille/Q92625305?id=6809026813830

IndieBound http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780373757596

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-rancher-s-baby-proposal

 

About the Author

The Rancher's Baby ProposalBarbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!

Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed “The End” to her first novel many years later…in the eighth grade. Now she’s writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life: https://barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter.

Social Media Links

 

 

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Writing a Series? Plan Ahead, Plan Ahead

plan aheadWith all the excitement of participating in Sultry Nights, my first collection – and believe me I am excited – I have failed to provide an update on my other work, specifically the fourth book of the Beguiling Bachelor Series. Actually, I haven’t just neglected an update; I also neglected the book.

Now I am back to writing what I have tentatively titled Besotted, the story ofTyler and Regan, alluded to in the previous bachelor novels. This, the fourth book which has been percolating in my mind while writing the other three, should have been easy to get from my brain to paper. After all, I have been working up to it for well over a year.

Instead, Besotted is proving elusive and cantankerous. Surprised? So was I.

Lessons One and Two – Plan Ahead

Moving through this process, I have learned some valuable lessonsI thought I would share my journey and my lessons learned.

1/ If you are going to write a series, plan ahead. This has been, without a doubt,my biggest mistake. When I created Wyatt’s friends in Bedazzled, I had no intention of building a series around them. I just needed a vehicle to share what Wyatt was thinking. I invented friends in whom he could confide. Then, with Bedazzled fully formed and in print, I decided to create a series.

2/ Before you steam forward, create a vision of the entire process.. This is not the same caution as number one. This is a more devastating mistake.. I should have stopped at the beginning to outline the next three novels. Did I? Of course not. I was too busy writing to think ahead. The muse had captured me and I was happy to be her companion. I thought she was leading me to a good place for after all my writing was improving. I was becoming a better storyteller.

Lessons Three and Four – Failed to Plan? Bring in your Readers

3/ When you realize you failed to plan, don’t wish it away – deal with it. Once I understood that, I was forced to live with all I had shared about Tyler and Regan in my prior novels. I could have tackled the problem. Instead, I put the first few chapters in a drawer and hoped they would write themselves. Time and wishful thinking would not solve this problem. I could abandon my plans to create a fourth novel or solve my plot issues and write the thing. I wisely chose the second.

4/ Rather than spin your wheels, tap into readers and ask for help when you are stuck. I tried various plot twists but found them each leading to a dead end. I discussed it with my editors and got further but still had issues with the story. Then I had an epiphany. Ask my readers for help!

Can You Help?

This is where you enter this picture. Why should I struggle to get out of the corner I am painted into without your advice? You are a fabulous resource for ideas so I will see what you come up with. Tyler has been in love with Regan for 20 years without making a move. Why not? And why has Regan waited for Tyler all this time rather than finding another love?

Have any brilliant answers? If you do, please share them in the comments section below.

beholden cover plan aheadFREE TODAY!!!

Beholden is free on Amazon today! Get your copy and preorder Sultry Nights, only $.99 for a limited time only.

You might also enjoy these other Beguiling Bachelor Novels:

  • Bedazzled – Book 1 of the Beguiling Bachelor Series
  • Bedeviled – Book 3 of the Beguiling Bachelor Series
Posted in Maddy Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dark Assassin’s Your Thing? Here’s Xander

xanderToday it’s my pleasure to present Xander (A Dark Assassins Novel Book Three) by Valerie Ullmer. Like me, Valerie is focused on character driven romance novels, but she loves the darker side and paranormal romances, like Xander. Enjoy!

Xander (A Dark Assassins Novel) Book 3

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Blurb:

Half-human, half-shifter.

Xander has secretly yearned for a mate for most of his immortal existence, and yet after three of his friends found exactly what he’s always wanted, he’d come to believe that he’d missed his chance at happiness.

Until he heard her voice.

Frost is a wildlife biologist and tracker and she has been assigned, despite her adamant protests, to lead mercenaries into the mountains of Snowfall, Colorado for the sole purpose of killing immortal shifters.  In order to protect those who have no idea the kind of danger they are in, she agrees.  As she leads the armed men on a wild chase around the snow-covered pines, she could sense that she was running out of time.

Until she heard his voice.

Xander understands exactly who Frost is the moment he hears her thoughts.  With the help of Kane and Gunnar, they eliminate those in her group as they try to keep her safe.  But during the fight, she is hurt and all of his protective instincts flare to life.  As Xander learns more about her, he realizes that Frost might be the key to the creation of the immortals, both vampire and shifter.

But when she becomes a target from those who want to destroy the Dark Company and Xander’s family, how far will he go to save her?

Buy Links

No, no. Not that way. Not that way. Xander, Dark Assassins Book 3 available now. Read an… Click To Tweet

An Excerpt from Xander

xanderXander froze when he heard a feminine voice carry over to him, she sounded closer than she had been even a few moments before. He should have sensed her coming closer. But the only question on his mind was why she was tagging along with a group of mercenaries. He heard the voice again, a tinny version of her voice, and for a long moment he couldn’t understand the words. Until she stepped forward.

No, no. Not that way. Not that way.

Something warmed his chest as he heard her in his head as clearly as they were speaking aloud. A familiarity washed over him and he felt connected to this woman in an elemental way. A feeling a peace settled over him. He knew this was the first time he’d ever heard her voice. He was so stunned and happy that he didn’t even question how they were able to mind link.

Can either of you hear the woman’s thoughts?

Woman? Gunnar sounded confused.

Kane’s reply was quick and clipped. No.

Hello?

Hello?

Xander tried to get her attention. Can you hear me?

He held his breath when he heard her distinct gasp, knowing that their mind link worked. His chest filled with dread at the thought that she gave herself away, until he heard her next words.

“I spotted a grizzly bear in the trees to the west. Sorry, I startled him and he ran off.”

For long seconds, the men in the clearing stared at the woman before they were ordered to keep searching.

Xander stood close enough that he could see her curves underneath the heavy white parka. And having the worst timing in the world, Xander felt his body react. He took a deep, cleansing breath of sharp mountain air that instantly cooled his overheated body.

Yes, I can hear you. These men, seven in total, are looking for immortals. They have been contracted by my boss at U.S. Fish and Wildlife to kill them. Apparently the immortals are supposed to become animals. Can you help me without hurting yourself? They are heavily armed.

Xander was taken completely by surprise. She didn’t question their connection but instead relayed vital information that he would need. He could also start to feel her emotions. She wasn’t scared, just determined. He could hear her heart beating at a fast rate and her breathing strained from either the hike up the mountain or the tension in the air. He watched as she subtly shifted her head around as she searched for him, unable to spot him in the trees.

We can help. I’m going to communicate with my team and we’ll take out the men. Are you okay with that?

Yes, I know they are paid mercenaries and I’m mad that they killed a wolf two days ago for no other reason than they wanted to shoot something.

What’s your name?

Frost.

Frost, I’m Xander. When I tell you to run, run south. Okay?

Yes, I understand.

Xander relayed the conversation he had with Frost. We are going to have to kill them, there’s no other way around it. They couldn’t have a threat looming over them, especially if one escaped and brought in a stronger, more trained group of mercenaries. Although they could easily defeat any group of fighters, keeping their existence a secret was crucial. The more humans that knew about them, the bigger the danger it posed.

 

About the Author : Valerie Ullmer

Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She’s addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.

FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ PINTEREST ~ INSTAGRAM ~ GOODREADS ~ AMAZON

 

 

 

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Welcome to My First Collection #SultryNights

Sultry Nights

Coming in November, check out steamy stories from 22 skilled authors. www.madisonmichael.net

I am part of a collection. Well my novel, Bedeviled, is part of a collection, Sultry Nights, is available for preorder, and rapidly climbing in the Amazon rankings. It’s very exciting, not just because of the booming number of preorders, but because I am part of a team.

I like it.

Being an author is solitary. I knew that from the beginning. After more than 30 years in the corporate world, I was ready to leave the conference calls, meetings and conventions. and to make my own decisions without needing to run them up the chain of command. I was not just ready, I was anxious to work alone.

I don’t miss the circus, but I miss the clowns

Or so I thought. I missed the interactions with my colleagues. I missed bouncing my ideas off someone for a knowledgeable second opinion. I missed the camaraderie of shared experiences – and the shared celebrations of one another’s successes. I missed the direct interaction and immediate feedback from my clients.

Now, I do interact with some readers, and many of you provide feedback via your comments, emails and reviews – all of which I greatly appreciate. But shared experiences are missing. My characters become my friends, but I am not schizophrenic. I know they are fictional. They may feel like company, but I am still alone.

I am part of a critique group and I have a wonderful cadre of beta readers but they are not with me, they are at the other end of my computer, talking books, not life. We are giving to one another – but still, it’s not quite a relationship.

My editors and I do have an actual relationship – they are my family, literally. When they put on their editing hats they are merciless, but after that they are my sisters again.

My New Tribe

The relationship with my fellow collection authors is special. These writers sink and swim with me. We are in this together and that feels fabulous.

These talented writers share their ideas and their lives with me. I know about their families in some cases. They share their moods – good and bad – their results – success or failure. They connect with me and they help me. I hope I reciprocate in some small measure.

We provide opportunities to promote each other’s work. In July, I shared blog space with Rachel Shane, Linda O’Connor, Whitley Cox, and Jenna Bayley Burke to promote their work and the collection. I have learned to use Thunderclap because of them and through them I discovered a new cover artist – EmCat Designs – who has made me happy beyond belief.

Sultry Nights was in the works for months. I signed on to contribute in the late winter. I crossed my fingers. I had no idea what to expect, but I wanted to find out. I have purchased my fair share of collections over the years leading to the discovery of some great stories and new authors. I hoped this collection would help new readers discover me.

This week we went public. Our preorder links are available below.

Now I wait until November, sharing the pleasure of promoting our book together, getting the word out together and succeeding together.

I can’t wait.

PREORDER LINKS AND ***GIVEAWAY*** FOR SULTRY NIGHTS

Order from this link to be eligible for a $100 Gift Card Giveaway

http://www.lovebooksdaily.com/boxset-giveaway

For other preorder links https://www.romancecollections.com/sultry-nights

Support us on Thunderclap?

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/60642-sultry-nights

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/60718-sultry-nights

You might also enjoy:

Posted in Maddy Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Devil’s Run by Beverley Oakley #giveaway

devil's run blog tour

Devil’s Run 
Scandalous Miss Brightwells series

By Beverley Oakley


Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

BLURB: 

A rigged horse race – and a marriage offer riding on the outcome. When Miss Eliza Montrose unexpectedly becomes legal owner of the horse tipped to win the East Anglia Cup, her future is finally in her hands – but at what cost?


George Bramley, nephew to the Earl of Quamby, will wager anything. Even his future bride.
Miss Eliza Montrose will accept any wager to be reunited with the child she was forced to relinquish after an indiscretion — even if it means marrying a man she does not love.
But when the handsome and charming Rufus Patmore buys a horse from her betrothed, George Bramley, whose household her son visits from the foundling home, her heart is captured and the outcome of the wager is suddenly fraught with peril.
**This is book 3 in the Scandalous Miss Brightwells series, though it can be read as a stand-alone.
~*~*~*~*~*~

Excerpt  from Devil’s Run 


Chapter One
“And there’s nothing else you’d like, my dear? No?” Straightening after receiving a polite rebuff, George Bramley found it an effort to keep the syrup in his tone. His bride-to-be had not even looked at him as she’d declined the piece of marchpane he’d been certain would win him at least a smile.
Hovering at her side, he weighed up the advantages of a gentle rebuke, then decided against it. Until yesterday, he’d thought her quiet demeanour suggested a charmingly pliant nature. Now he was not so sure. In fact, suddenly, he was not sure of anything.
“A glass of lemonade, perhaps, my angel? Or a gentle stroll?”
“I would prefer to be left alone.” Miss Montrose waved a languid hand in his general direction, while she continued to gaze at the still lake beside which their picnic party had situated itself.
The languid arm-wave had not even been accompanied by a demure thank you as subtle acknowledgement of her gratitude that not only had Mr Bramley, heir to a viscountcy, stepped in to rescue Miss Eliza Montrose from impoverishment, he was prepared to treat her publicly as if she were as fine a catch as he could have made.
A soft titter brought his head round sharply, but the ladies behind him, bent over the latest Ackerman’s Repository, appeared occupied with their own gossip as they lounged on cushions beneath the canopy that had been erected to protect them from the sun.
Awkwardly, he looked for occupation as he continued to eye his intended with a mixture of irritation and desire—both lustful desire, and the desire to put her in her place.
The idea of the latter made him harden. She was beautiful, this quiet, apparently retiring, young woman who said so little, but whose eyes spoke such volumes. The afternoon sun glinted on her honey-gold hair and imbued her porcelain skin with a warm glow. The skin that he could see, at any rate.
He pushed back his shoulders. On their wedding night in six weeks, when he’d at last take possession of her, he’d rip that modesty to shreds. The skin she was so at pains to hide would be his, not only to see, but to caress and taste. When she was his wife, the beautiful, distant Miss Eliza Montrose would no longer get away with paying George Bramley so little attention. No, he’d have her screaming and writhing at his command. He would make her like the things he did to her; or at least, show him she did if she enjoyed harmony as much as she appeared to. None of this languid reclining like a half-drugged princess in his presence. He’d keep her on her toes, ready to leap to his bidding at the sound of his footstep. She’d learn to be grateful.
Feeling ignored and superfluous, he turned to his uncle’s detestable wife, Lady Quamby, and said with a smile, “Perhaps you and Miss Montrose would like to accompany me to the turret. Since you appear to have enjoyed this new novel, Northanger Abbey, so much, you might be interested to know there is an excellent view of the ruined monastery not far from here.”
He was just priding himself on being so attuned to the feminine inclination for pleasure, when Lady Quamby half turned and sent him a desultory smile. “Oh, I think Miss Eliza looks perfectly comfortable, and Fanny and I are having such a lovely little coze.” As if imitating Miss Montrose, she waved a languid hand in his general direction. “Why don’t you take Mr Patmore off to see it? The two of you can tell us all about it when you return.”
The fact that Miss Montrose didn’t deign to even speak for herself, much less glance in his direction, sent the blood surging to Bramley’s brain. By God, when he was married to Eliza Montrose, the limpid look of love so lacking now would be pasted onto her face every time he crossed her line of vision. She’d soon learn what was good for her.
He inclined his head, hiding his fury, and was on the point of leaving when Lady Quamby’s sister, Fanny —for he’d be damned if he’d accord the little strumpet the title of Lady Fenton—leapt up from her chair. She’d been poring over the latest fashions, but now she smiled brightly up at him.
“I’ll come with you, Cousin George. We’ll have an excellent view of the  children learning to row from the battlements. I told Nanny Brown she could take them in the two boats if they’d been good.”
Bramley stared down her liveliness. In fact, he was about to give up the idea of going up to the battlements altogether when his other guest, Rufus Patmore, suddenly rose and joined Fanny’s side with a late and unexpected show of enthusiasm.
“Capital idea!” declared Rufus.
George flashed them both a dispassionate look. He’d chosen to invite his betrothed, Miss Montrose—whose chaperone was currently tucked up in the green bed chamber nursing a head cold—to be his guest at his uncle’s estate, Quamby House, after receiving intelligence that Ladies Quamby and Fenton would be safely in London with their husbands and children. Instead, the brazen Brightwell sisters—as they’d infamously been called when he’d first made their acquaintance—had altered their plans, and were now in dogged attendance, reminding him as they always had, of some awful tenacious climbing plant, determined to find a foothold wherever they could in order to rise in the world.
Rufus, a last-minute addition and acquaintance from his club, Boodles, was here because he’d just purchased a horse from Bramley the night before. Now, Rufus was gazing at Lady Fenton, with the same dewy-eyed fondness George was used to seeing reflected in the eye of his uncle, the Earl of Quamby, who called the Brightwell sisters his precious rose-buds. To George, they were common dandelions! And now they had overridden Quamby House, the rambling Queen Anne manor house and estate that would have passed to George the moment his uncle quit this mortal coil, were it not for the snotty-nosed infant Lady Quamby had borne far too early in her marriage to George’s uncle.
George shook his head. He’d changed his mind. Only, there was Rufus striding across the lawn, skirting the lake with Fanny at his side, and George didn’t want to be seen as petulant for having offered the suggestion in the first place. Or have his snubbed and ignored status so much on parade, since the two remaining ladies—Miss Montrose and Lady Quamby—had their heads bent together in deep discussion, with no apparent interest in seeking his company.
By God, he thought, clenching his fists as he set off after them at a brisk trot, they’d all rue the day they showed George Bramley so little respect.
~*~*~*~*~*~
Author Info: 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.
Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.
Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.
Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.
You can get in contact with Beverley at:
Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments