Author Speed Dating – Melissa Keir

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. 

This week’s guest: Melissa Keir

 

 

 

 

15 Questions

1. Picture yourself at an amusement park. Are you the rider on the tallest roller coaster, clamoring for speed; the only adult on the spinning ride with the kids, begging for it to stop; or the bench-sitter, holding the coats and waving?

I love riding on the roller coaster, especially the year I rode the Gemini at Cedar Point ten times in a row before losing my lunch. Luckily, it didn’t stop me from winning the guy’s heart!

2. Name an author whose work you read and still think “I’m not worthy”?

There’s so many. I’ve only recently re-read Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, and I’m blown away once again.

3. What was genre of the first piece you can remember writing, and how old were you when you penned this masterpiece?

Back in high school typing class, I used to write horror stories involving my friends. Alas, these silly stories will never see the light of day.

4. Are you traditionally published, self-published or a “hybrid” author, and why did you choose that path?

I was published with a variety of small publishing houses, but with the recent market changes, they closed and I went out and self-published my books, adding to the list. I wouldn’t go any other way.

5. Which Star Wars character best describes your personality in regular life? What about on deadline?

In regular life, I’m much like Han Solo—master of my own domain and loving life and an occasional brew. But when I’m on a deadline or when the Internet goes down, I turn into Darth Vader. I set out to crush all those who go against me.

6. Was there ever a time before or after you were published that you considered quitting? If so, how did you convince yourself to try one more time?

Each time a publishing house I was with closed, it was heartbreaking. I felt like it was fate telling me to stop writing, but after one particular event, an author friend suggested I keep writing and suggested submitting to a different place. I did and now have over twenty-five books with my name on them.

7. Celebrities aging beautifully: Mark Harmon or Sean Connery?

Sean Connery- kilt, accent and Bond! What more can I say?

8. Since all writers are readers, name your favorite hero or heroine from a book you’ve read. Has he or she had an impact in how you write the characters in your own books?

Charley Davidson, in the series by Darynda Jones, is amazing. She’s kick butt but also a little neurotic like me. She’s got a hunky supernatural husband and some pretty amazing friends. I’d love to be her, but she hasn’t really influenced my characters.

9. Who was the first person – besides your mom and dad – who told you that you could write? 

My college English professor. She inspired me to write.

10. Do you own at least one purse (or twenty) from a well-known fashion designer, or are you more the bag-to-carry-my-junk-in type?

I’m not a typical girl, no special shoes or handbags. Cheap is better with me—then I can buy more books!

11. Do you belong to a critique group, and how has that membership affected your writing?

I used to. It was great to have someone read through my work and give feedback. But I often found with deadlines, I didn’t have as much time to devote to the critique group so I dropped it. Now I have a good friend who betas for me.

12. What are some of the activities you were participating in when you came up with an idea for a book? (Note: Keep it clean.)

Driving my car, showering, and dreaming/sleeping.

13. Music: Pink or Taylor Swift?

Pink – She’s a little angry, but that’s just the passion coming through. Besides she could kick my behind.

14. Do you write the synopsis before or after you write the manuscript?

After – My story changes as I write sometimes.

15. What is your biggest dream for your writing career? The New York Times bestseller list? A movie deal? Your own island in the Caribbean? All of the above?

Are you giving those away? Sign me up!

***

 

 Broken Vows

By Melissa Keir

 

 

 

The women tied off the horses to a branch of the willow tree a bit away from the pond. She didn’t want them to reach the water. Julie had heard from Jake about how Cherokee tried to roll in the pond to cool off with Angela on his back. She wasn’t in the mood to see it happen face-to-face.

Angela tugged a blanket from the saddlebag and laid it out on the ground in the shade. “With as often as we’re down at the pond, we should consider putting in a picnic table or building a ‘she shed.’” Her smile lit up her face.

“It would be more comfortable than this hard ground.” Julie plopped down on the blanket. “But probably not as conducive to snuggling under the covers.”

Angela raised her brows, but Julie knew all about Angela and Jake’s escapes to the pond. Julie stared at the grass and wished she hadn’t recalled the many stories she’d heard. This pond had become quite the love nest since Angela’s wedding.

“I vote for a bed in the shed. But get it done before the next time Rick comes home.”

“Anything for you.” Angela shoved her shoulder. “I’ll get Jake on it this weekend. Maybe we can come down here together. That man knows how to wear a tool belt.”

“Oh, no. With you down here, the building won’t get done.” She playfully shuddered. “Now I’m going to be stuck with that image of Jake in only a tool belt.”

After laying out the food, Angela dug into the sandwiches. Julie only picked at her plate.

“Hey, why aren’t you eating?”

Julie shrugged. “I’ve had some rough mornings. Ever since Rick left the last time, I have no energy, and eating is the last thing on my mind. Really, food sounds good, but the minute it passes my lips, my stomach recoils.” She pushed her plate away. “Probably stress.”

“Any other problems? Pain?” Angela scrutinized her friend.

“A little pain in my abdomen and across my chest. But I attribute it to the lack of food and all the extra work I’ve been doing in the barn. Without Rick, I’m mucking all the stalls, exercising the horses, and that’s on top of the laundry, cleaning…you know the drill.”

 

***

BROKEN VOWS, Volume 6 in Cowboys of Whisper, Colorado series, was released in May 2017 through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform and may be purchased through Amazon.

 

 

 

BROKEN VOWS also may be purchased as part of the COWBOY SIX PACK box set in both print and ebook forms through Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

About Melissa

Melissa Keir doesn’t believe in down time. She’s always keeping busy. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer and owner of a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice – a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature happy endings and is often seen plotting her next story. Find out more about Melissa through her website, www.melissakeir.com, and stay in touch through her Facebook author page, her Facebook social group and through her Amazon author page.

 

 

 

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Author Speed Dating – Linda Bradley

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. 

This week’s guest: Linda Bradley

 

15 Questions

1. Picture yourself at an amusement park. Are you the rider on the tallest roller coaster, clamoring for speed; the only adult on the spinning ride with the kids, begging for it to stop; or the bench-sitter, holding the coats and waving?

I’m on the roller coaster avoiding the spinning teacups! Just thinking about twirling makes me queasy. As a youngster, my friends and I would ride the roller coasters at Cedar Point, then get right back in line to ride them all over again. A few years back, I rode Space Mountain and loved it as much as when I was a teenager.

2. Name an author whose work you read and still think “I’m not worthy”?

LuAnn Rice. Her skill for writing stories centered around loss and tarnished relationships draws me in every time.

3. What was genre of the first piece you can remember writing, and how old were you when you penned this masterpiece?

I wrote and illustrated a picture book titled “Erie” in fourth grade. I still have it, along with the other picture books I wrote in elementary school.

4. Are you traditionally published, self-published or a “hybrid” author, and why did you choose that path?

Hybrid. I published my Montana Bound Series with Soul Mate. This year, I’m venturing outside my comfort zone and self-publishing a Christmas novella.

5. Which Star Wars character best describes your personality in regular life? What about on deadline?

Regular life – Chewbacca. People in my world know I’ve got their backs. I love the way Chewbacca speaks, and like Chewy, I don’t need words to get my point across. On deadline, I’d have to say I’m more like Han Solo. I can get a little testy when I’m focused on reaching my goal. With the hint of sarcasm and a touch of perseverance, eliminating the deadline Death Star is an obtainable goal.

6. Was there ever a time before or after you were published that you considered quitting? If so, how did you convince yourself to try one more time?

I may have been discouraged, but I never thought about quitting.

7. Celebrities aging beautifully: Mark Harmon or Sean Connery?

Sean Connery. I like his Scottish accent.

8. Since all writers are readers, name your favorite hero or heroine from a book you’ve read. Has he or she had an impact in how you write the characters in your own books?

Claire from Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells has stayed with me. Sarah Addison Allen’s sprinkle of magic makes her portrayal of flawed characters’ shine. I’d like to believe someday, my sprinkle of magic will light up the pages, too.

9. Who was the first person – besides your mom and dad – who told you that you could write?  

My high school English teacher, Mr. Hotchkiss. He was old school.  We’d written plays in class. Mine was set in a small town, and I wrote my characters with a drawl. When he returned my work, there was a sparkle in his eye when he told me I had talent. That’s a seed I’ve kept planted for most of my life.  

10. Do you own at least one purse (or twenty) from a well-known fashion designer, or are you more the bag-to-carry-my-junk-in type?

I have a smattering, but my favorite purse is a leather cross-body bag that I purchased in the Denver airport.

11. Do you belong to a critique group, and how has that membership affected your writing?

My critique group has kind of dissipated due to children and hectic schedules, but I do have a writer pal that I use as a go-to when I need input. Love you, Roni!

12. What are some of the activities you were participating in when you came up with an idea for a book? (Note: Keep it clean.)

Not to be grim, but cancer was my catalyst. Writing was a huge part of processing the unknown. I’d had critiques on manuscripts prior to my debut novel MAGGIE’S WAY, but never really knew how to fix the stories. So, I tucked them away, wiped the slate clean, and started anew. That’s when Maggie Abernathy and her gang of misfits popped into my head and never left.

13. Music: Pink or Taylor Swift?

Totally, PINK! Don’t Let Me Get Me. “Sometimes I’m a hazard to myself.”

14. Do you write the synopsis before or after you write the manuscript?

I write my synopsis after I write the manuscript. Not my favorite part of the process. Just saying.

15. What is your biggest dream for your writing career? The New York Times bestseller list? A movie deal? Your own island in the Caribbean? All of the above?

New York Times bestseller list. Movie. Beach house. Another dog.

***

 

Maggie’s Montana

By Linda Bradley

 

 

John’s breath brushed up against my neck. His lips followed. Tension oozed from my shoulders like dripping wax, my guard giving way to the heat. He whispered in my ear, “Let me love you.”

I swallowed the temptation, but it stuck in my throat and lingered at the back of my tongue like bitter sweetness. “I don’t know how.”

Afraid, I prayed again. From under my lashes, I saw a man earnest and true, his eyes fixed on me yet not demanding, something I wasn’t used to. Flecks of passion danced in his irises.

“How the hell do you know what you want?” I asked.

“Because I know,” he said.
His strong hands held my face. His thumbs stroked my cheeks like he was settling a skittish filly. “Let me ask you this, neighbor lady . . .”

“Why do you keep calling that?”

“Does there have to be a reason?” he asked.

“Isn’t there a reason for everything?”

“No. Sometimes things just feel right.” John kissed me as I took in his words, his breath in sync with mine. My stomach rolled over and I let myself kiss him back as if it were the very first time.

 

***

 

MAGGIE’S MONTANA is Book 3 in the Montana Bound Series and an October 2016 release from Soul Mate Publishing. It is available in print and e-book forms and may be purchased through these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.

 

***

About Linda

Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction with a thread of romance highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments that make readers connect with her characters.

Linda has an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled, THE HUNTER, for her Master’s Degree. Linda is a member of Romance Writers of America as well as the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA. Her debut novel, MAGGIE’S WAY, was a finalist in the 2016 Greater Detroit Booksellers Best Award and a finalist in the 2016 Summer Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award.

Linda has two grown sons and lives with her husband and rescue dog in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Stay in touch with Linda through her website, www.lindabradleyauthor.com, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

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Author Speed Dating – Carla Cassidy

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. 

This week’s guest: Carla Cassidy

 

 

15 Questions

1. Picture yourself at an amusement park. Are you the rider on the tallest roller coaster, clamoring for speed; the only adult on the spinning ride with the kids, begging for it to stop; or the bench-sitter, holding the coats and waving?

I wouldn’t be at the amusement park at all. These days I get my need for speed satisfied by sitting up too fast in bed. I get a dizzying high trying to remember why I’m in the room I’m in.  And those coats? I’d be wearing all of them because I’m cold all the time!

2. Name an author whose work you read and still think “I’m not worthy”?

Almost every book I read has some element that makes me think that.  For relationships, it’s Nora Roberts. For psychological thrillers, it’s Lisa Gardner, and for heart-pounding suspense, I enjoy Linda Castillo. I also love Dean Koontz, and that’s just to name a few.

3. What was genre of the first piece you can remember writing, and how old were you when you penned this masterpiece?

I was about eight or nine when I discovered Mille the Model comic books. It wasn’t long before I was writing my own adventures for the beautiful New York girl!

4. Are you traditionally published, self-published or a “hybrid” author, and why did you choose that path?

I guess I’m a hybrid author only because I wrote a book that didn’t fit into my publisher’s guidelines and decided to put it up myself. Going forward, I believe I’m going to enjoy being a hybrid author.

5. Which Star Wars character best describes your personality in regular life? What about on deadline?

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never seen a Star Wars movie. I can say I’m fairly driven on and off a deadline.

6. Was there ever a time before or after you were published that you considered quitting? If so, how did you convince yourself to try one more time?

I had been writing short stories and poetry and getting enough rejections to wallpaper a room. I finally decided I’d had enough. I packed up my typewriter (yes, it was that long ago) and took it to the basement. Two days later I got a check in the mail for selling a poem. It was like a sign from God. I shouldn’t give up! That $8.00 check had me rushing back downstairs to get the typewriter. I was meant to be a writer!  

7. Celebrities aging beautifully: Mark Harmon or Sean Connery?

Mark Harmon – be still my heart!

8. Since all writers are readers, name your favorite hero or heroine from a book you’ve read. Has he or she had an impact in how you write the characters in your own books?

I can’t answer this. Through the years I’ve read so many books and met so many wonderful characters, it’s impossible for me to pick one.

9. Who was the first person – besides your mom and dad – who told you that you could write?

Definitely it was my husband.  He encouraged me every step of the way to becoming a published author.

10. Do you own at least one purse (or twenty) from a well-known fashion designer, or are you more the bag-to-carry-my-junk-in type?

Don’t own any designer purses, I’m definitely a bag-to-carry-my-junk type.

11. Do you belong to a critique group, and how has that membership affected your writing?

I don’t belong to a critique group anymore, but I do belong to Mid-American Romance Authors and love the members who are so supportive and fun!

12. What are some of the activities you were participating in when you came up with an idea for a book? (Note: Keep it clean.)

Activities? What’s that?  In the shower is where a lot of my book ideas pop into my head.

13. Music: Pink or Taylor Swift?

Neither. Just give me good old rock and roll!

14. Do you write the synopsis before or after you write the manuscript?

Usually before, but there have been several books that I’ve written first and then written the synopsis afterward.

15. What is your biggest dream for your writing career? The New York Times bestseller list? A movie deal? Your own island in the Caribbean? All of the above?

I don’t care about an island, but I would like to hit the New York Times bestseller list again, and I’d definitely love to land a movie deal.     

 

***

 

 

 

 

 

Killer Cowboy

By Carla Cassidy

 

 

Dillon didn’t plan it, but before he knew it, Cassie was in his arms. As she raised her face he captured her lips with his. She tasted of chocolate and raspberry and white-hot desire, and her body was invitingly warm against his.

She curled into him as if wanting to get as close as possible. He stroked his hand through her springy, soft hair and deepened the kiss.

He finally tore his mouth from hers and peered down at her. “Was that just another mistake?” she asked as she raised a finger to her lower lip.

“Probably,” he replied. “There’s something about you that makes me want more, but I’m not looking for love right now in my life.”

She tilted her head slightly, her gaze curious. “I’m not sure what I’m looking for, either. But then what are we doing?”

“I don’t know,” he confessed.

 

Be sure to check out the next book in this exciting miniseries: Cowboys of Holiday Ranch – where sun, earth and hard work turn men into rugged cowboys…and irresistible heroes!

 

***

 

KILLER COWBOY, a June release from the Harlequin Romantic Suspense line and part of the Cowboys of Holiday Ranch series, may be purchased through these and other retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Harlequin.

 

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About Carla

Carla Cassidy is an award-winning,  New York Times bestselling author of over 150 books.  She loves Mexican food, reality television and writing stories to thrill and chill readers. Stay in touch with Carla through her website, www.carlacassidybooks.com, or through Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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