Friday, October 19, 2018

Focus on Downfall by Toni V. Sweeney

          At the age of nineteen, Barbara Sheffield is stunned to learn she’s not her parents’ daughter but the child of Aric kan Ingan, Margrave of Arcanis, and not only that, she has a twin brother. 
          Soon, she’s on her way to a jotous reunion with the father she’s never known, but there are others on Arcanis who aren’t so glad to meet the Margrave’s long-lost child, including Aric’s second wife, Dr. Susan Moran.
          Dazzled with her new family and charmed by her handsome but spoiled twin, Barbara finds herself falling in love with Eden san Gene, the young White Shield sent to escort her from Earth.
          When vengeful forces trigger treachery and madness, Eden’s love may not be enough to protect her from the wickedness hidden within Aljansur Palace’s walls.

Wild Women Authors focus on: Downfall (Book 6 of the kan Ingan Archives, Part 2 of the Arcanian Chronicles)by Toni V. Sweeney.

(WARNING to the Prospective Reader: This novel contains consensual and non-consensual sex and forcible incest, as well as murder and suicide.)

EXCERPT:

Eden stood in the entrance to the Reception Hall, looking around with the proper awe expected of someone viewing a building where a monumental moment of his planet’s history and took place.
“They came through this doorway,” he explained. “The margrave Deröés—your grandfather—was surrounded by his guards. He looked up and saw a girl clinging to one of the pillars. She was wearing a silver dress, skirts gathered about her knees.” He pointed at one of the eight white columns supporting the ceiling. “She had climbed onto the base of the pillar to see him but was unable to.”
Walking into the hall, he looked around as if searching for something, Barbara trailing behind. Seeing the double doors on the right, he nodded at them.
“As soon as he was able, he left the reception to find her. She was on the terrace.”
“You certainly know a lot about what happened over forty-nine years ago.” Barbara remarked.
“It’s in the Archives,” Eden told her. “In His Majesty’s own words. Deröés himself dictated it shortly before their wedding.” He looked up at the doorframe as he walked through it. “Those lights weren’t here then. There was only the illumination from the ballroom.”
Going to the railing, he leaned against it, looking down at the city. Barbara followed, resting her elbows against the sun-warmed granite.
“I remember he said the city looked like jewels scattered on black velvet, the lights shining in the dark.”
“That’s beautiful. My grandfather must have had some poetry in his soul, in spite of this he-man image you guys try to project.”
Ignoring her little jibe, Eden went on, “He set her on the balcony ledge.”
To Barbara’s surprise, he placed his hands around her waist, picked her up, and deposited her there.
“They talked. He would’ve kissed her but…”
For a trembling moment, Barbara wondered if Eden was going to enact that part of the story, too.
Instead, he went on. “…his advisor appeared and dragged him back to the reception, but it was enough. He’d fallen in love.”
Sighing, Barbara turned so she could look out across the campus, while keeping a steadying hand on Eden’s shoulder. “I think that’s very romantic. Don’t you?”
“I suppose.” Eden shrugged with careful indifference. “I’m certain the margrave wouldn’t have been so frank in putting his emotions on chip if he’d known some curious White Shield was going to snoop though those ancient stories and actually read that one.”
“Is that what you did? Snoop?”
“In a way. It was a rainy day and Riven decided to sleep the afternoon away. Auric was ill with something called a cold. Terrans are prone to those, it seems, though we’ve finally found a cure. I was bored. Frankly, I was a little surprised to see that little love story placed in the family’s public record.”
“You must’ve liked it,” she accused. “Otherwise, you wouldn’t have memorized it.”
He didn’t answer. She was right and he couldn’t deny it, so he merely ignored her statement.
“Anyway, if it was in the Archives, he must’ve have accepted the fact someone might see it. Whatever the reason, I think it’s lovely.” Gently, she removed her hand from Eden’s shoulder. She didn’t look at him as she continued, “Wouldn’t you like to think that someday, someone would feel your life was that romantic? ‘The moment he saw her, he knew she was the only one for him, the woman he’d come halfway across the galaxy to meet.’”
Eden looked away.
I’ve already met the one for me, and I’d go across the galaxy and back again for her.
He’d fallen in love with Barbara as soon as he saw her standing on the stairs, and was dismayed as he recognized the emotion, as well as the fact that the object of his love was beyond his reach.
“I hope my life’s half as wonderful,” Barbara said.
“It wasn’t all wonderful,” Eden went on. “The margrave’s advisors tried to poison your grandmother. They killed your grandfather and made your mother almost a prisoner. They exiled your father and tried to kill him when he returned.” He took a deep breath. “He won in the end, and now Arcanis is at peace. It’s prospering…and when you get there, my sovereign’s family will finally be complete,”
“I studied Arcanis’ history in school,” Barbara appeared chastened by Eden’s remarks, “but I had no idea it was so dramatic. The books kind of glossed over everything. They really tried to kill Uncle Miles’ sister?”
“Shortly before your mother was born.” Eden nodded.
She fell silent, and the atmosphere seemed tense and strained.
Abruptly, he asked, “Barbara, do you believe in love at first meeting?”
For some reason, the question startled her. She swiveled, staring at him, the movement bringing her so close to the outer side of the ledge she lost her balance, falling backward. Eden caught her wrists. Pulling her toward him, he gathered her into his arms. One arm under her knees, the other around her shoulders, he lifted her off the railing, cradling her against his chest as if she were a child.
“You saved me,” she said in a breathy rush. “Maybe I do need a bodyguard af—”
Eden kissed her.
After a sudden shocked resistance, Barbara put her arms around his neck. They stood that way for several minutes, not moving.
Finally, Barbara turned her head, pressing her cheek against his shoulder. The fabric was cool against her face and she was startled as she heard the frantic rushing of his heart. Eden kissed the top of her head, brushing his chin against the burnished hair.
“I-I guess you can put me down, now.”
Gently, Eden released her, setting her on her feet. Taking his hand, she held it between her own and looked directly into his eyes.
“What do you want to do, now?”
What do I want to do?
He wanted to take her back to the hotel, put her in his bed and make love to her. That’s what he wanted to do.

To purchase Downfall, go to:

About Toni V. Sweeney:
Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books (US). She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books. In 2016, she was named a Professional Reader by netgalley.com.

In 2015 and 2016 Toni was voted one of the Top 10 authors of those years by Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. In 2013, the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice voted The kan Ingan Archives (Part Two of the Arcanian Chronicles) a Special Mention, and the following year, named the individual novels The Man from Cymene, and Space Studs, from the same series two of the Top 8 SF/fantasy novels of 2014.

As of 2018, Toni currently has 55 novels in print, including 3 series, and 3 trilogies.

Find out more about Toni:
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLQBB8
Twitter: @ToniVSweeney

Monday, October 15, 2018

Focus: Toni V. Sweeney's Barbarian Blood Royal

. . .Following their parents’ deaths during the Genocide Wars, the five sons of Riven kan Ingan escape the margrave’s injustice by going their separate ways.

. . . Growing to adulthood in foreign lands, each lives by his wits or his skill with a sword as they wait for the day of their revenge. When that time comes, they’ll answer their elder brother’s call, leaving homes and friends and returning to their homeland and avenge themselves upon Morling, king of Francovia.

. . . In the following battle, the gods prepare to make the achieving of their goal as complicated as possible. They don’t realize the kan Ingans need no divine help in making that feat as difficult as possible.

Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome back author Toni V. Sweeney and Barbarian Blood Royal (Book 6 of the Narrative of Riven the Heretic, Part 1 of the Arcanian Chronicles)

EXCERPT:

Val One Eye stood upon the high precipice under which the wolves’ fortress was carved out of the mountain.
The spring wind, sharp with the lingering bite of frost, blew about him but he didn’t feel its chill. The long-sleeved woolen shirt woven by one of his women kept the cold from touching him, as did the leather tunic he wore over it. The tanned hide fluttered, making the tiny metal disks, so thin and close together they resembled a fish’s scales, glitter as they cast back the reflection of the torches flaring below him.
His fur-lined cape whipped away from his body, billowing behind him like the wings of a monstrous bird. For an instant, Samric, standing a few feet away, thought he truly resembled the bird of prey whose name his father’s clan had taken.
For three nights, One Eye had come to this cliff, wearing Tamsin’s cloak and calling into the night…
It’s time to return.
He’d known it for months and ignored that knowledge, but now, he could refuse no longer. Wherever they were, Ilke, Shael, Hroric, and Merigan must return to Francovia, meet him and keep the promise they’d made fourteen years before.
“This is a fool’s errand.” Samric raised his voice so he could be heard above the wind’s howl. “You can’t know they still live.”
“They live,” Val replied shortly.
The wind blew his words to Samric, whipping his hair about his face as he looked back at the wolf leader. The narrow leather band holding in place the patch over his lost eye looked like a streak of dried blood against his skin.
“They live, and they’ll come, no matter how far away they’ve fled.”
“You’d return to that place of death? There’s nothing for you there. Why would you leave what you have here?”
“What do I have here?” Val cut sharply into Samric’s tirade. “My women? I’d gladly give them all to you, Brother, if you’d forget that idiot’s vow of yours and promise to bed even one of them.” He ignored the black look on Samric’s face at mention of his finding Tamsin, the woman making him forswear any other female. “Children? I’ve none of those and I can’t blame the gods for that. What’s there to keep me here?”
After the first night with the slave girl given him, he’d made certain no woman within the wolves’ fortress bore his child. It diminished some of the pleasure in taking them but he’d done it nevertheless, unconsciously following the same practice his grandfather used so many years before. There would be no kan Ingan bastards among the wolves, Val swore. No great-grandsons of Trygare kan Ingan taken into the tribe, none of his great-granddaughters used for the men’s pleasure.
“Death awaits you if you go back, One Eye. You’ll be taken prisoner the moment your mad sovereign learns you’ve returned. Here, at least, you’re among friends.” Samric stepped onto the ledge beside Val. The wind threw a fresh gust of frost over them. It twinkled on the copper torqs on their necks and on the metal covering their leather vambraces. “I’ve heard of the punishment they give traitors...”
“If I die, I die.” The smile Val gave him was grim, an expression of wolfish pleasure on his scarred face. It was the look of a man who didn’t fear death because he’d ridden with it for too long. “After the hangman’s rope’s done its work, one doesn’t feel the ax, brother.” Turning his back on Samric, he took Tamsin’s cloak and shook the neatly folded square so it belled in the wind, then wrapped it around his shoulders. It seemed to have grown, for it fit him now, as if measured to his height instead of the witch’s small frame.
Arms crossed over his chest, hands clenched into fists, he looked up, finding the highest star above them. It was like a single staring eye, burning, like his own, as he repeated the words the old seer traveling with them had taught him.
Speak these words in the night, he’d instructed. Form a picture of your kinsmen in your mind and throw the words into the wind, and they will hear. Wherever they are, they’ll hear your call. It will be as a dream, but they’ll know it’s truth, and they will answer. They won’t be able to do otherwise.
Closing his eye, Val concentrated on the images of his brothers in his thoughts. He knew they wouldn’t look as they had when he’d last seen them, but he couldn’t envision them as older men, still seeing the tragic-laden but fresh-cheeked children they’d been. Little Merigan, the baby, would be almost twenty-four now, while Ilke... His half-brother was now nearing thirty. It was difficult for him to accept that though he knew it to be true. Instead he saw them as they were, pictured them as the frightened but determined boys standing in the castle courtyard, and called out to that image.
It’s time, my brothers. Wherever you are, I call to you. We’ve the strength now to bring about our revenge. Come to me. I’ll meet you where the river enters the three lands.
For three nights, he repeated the same words. For three nights, he waited for a sign, a reply telling him they’d heard.
Each time, nothing happened.
Tonight, it was the same.
Samric, sensing his disappointment, touched his shoulder, saying softly, “One Eye, let’s go back.”
“Aye, Samric, I— Uh!” Val stiffened and cried out.
Clutching at his temples, he staggered backward, spinning so violently he careened into the wolf leader. Samric caught his arm, preventing him from toppling over the ledge. Val raised his head, pain and a look of utter relief blending on his face.
“Gods. They heard...”
He’d felt their reply. As he spoke to Samric, four images flashed into his mind. It happened so quickly he couldn’t remember how they looked…merely four men, strangers yet familiar, each in the act of awakening, a look of fear giving way to knowledge on each half-sleeping face. The thought was like four separate explosions of light inside his brain.
My brothers have heard. That was all that mattered.


To Purchase Barbarian Blood Royal, go to:


About our Focus Author:
Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books (US). She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books. In 2016, she was named a Professional Reader by netgalley.com.

In 2015 and 2016 Toni was voted one of the Top 10 authors of those years by Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. In 2013, the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice voted The kan Ingan Archives (Part Two of the Arcanian Chronicles) a Special Mention, and the following year, named the individual novels The Man from Cymene, and Space Studs, from the same series two of the Top 8 SF/fantasy novels of 2014.


As of 2018, Toni currently has 55 novels in print, including 3 series, and 3 trilogies.

To Find Out More About Toni, go to:

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLQBB8
Twitter: @ToniVSweeney




Monday, October 8, 2018

Meet Julie Howard and Crime Times Two

When divorce is out of the question, can murder be forgiven? 

. . . . . Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead.
. . . . . While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn't talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder. 
. . . . . .As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut. She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?


Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome Julie Howard, author of Crime Times Two, book 2 in the Wild Crime series. She's brought local county sheriff Curtis Barnaby for company.


Hi everyone. I’m Curtis Barnaby. Thank you, Kat, for having me here today. I’ve never been interviewed before so I’m a little nervous.
Don't worry, Curt. We don't bite. Often. Where are you from? Born and raised in Hay City, Idaho. Population 62, for those who’ve never visited.
Tell us a bit about Crime Times Two . The book follows a couple of mysterious deaths in a nearby mountain town called Twin Lakes. All evidence points to natural deaths, but Meredith – have you met Meredith Lowe? – is certain it’s a case of murder. I get pretty concerned about her because her husband was murdered in the first book, Crime and Paradise. She’s still recovering from that mess and might not be in the most rational state of mind. The case draws us closer together. Much closer.
Much closer, you say. What did you think the first time you saw Meredith Lowe? What a beauty! I think I embarrassed myself, but honestly can’t recall much of what I said. She must have thought I was a country bumpkin.
Maybe, maybe not. What was your second thought? That she was troubled about something. There was a sadness in her eyes as though life hadn’t been kind to her. Maybe I have a hero complex, but I wanted to comfort her from the very beginning.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? The first time we met, we literally bumped into each other in the grocery store and her children were with her. I felt drawn to her, but I’m not the kind of guy who moves in on another man’s wife. Later, though…
There's always a 'later'. What do you like most about her? Her inner strength and her devotion to her children. The more I learned about who she was and where she came from, the more impressed I became. Her beauty isn’t just on the outside and that’s important to me. She may be a bit on the stubborn side, but I suppose I am, too.
How would you describe Meredith? I’m not good at describing women, but here goes. Meredith has almond-colored hair that shimmers in the light, enticing gray-green eyes I could stare at forever, and a body that’s both firm and soft at the same time. She has a mix of innocence, strength and intuition – a depth to her I’m still exploring. Most of all, she’s kind and generous. Isn’t that the type of person you want most in your life?
How would she describe you? Do you think you could ask her?
Good recovery, Curt. What made you choose law enforcement for a career? My grandfather was county sheriff for forty years. He was my role model and best friend. He taught me so much – from fly fishing to the importance of building one’s community. I wanted to be just like him when I grew up, and I’m still trying.
What is your biggest fear? That Meredith will give up on Hay City and move away. Her husband was murdered here and some people still believe she did it. They don’t let her forget about his murder, either. I’m not sure what I would do if she left.
How do you relax? Fly fishing, building things, anything outdoors. I built my own house, and designed it too. I have an idea for another big project, but I’m not ready to talk about it yet.
Who is your favorite fictional character? Huck Finn. My grandfather used to tell me stories about him when I was little and I thought he was a real person for the longest time.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? “Do unto others.” Still the best advice around.
Thanks, Curtis. It's been nice getting to know you off the page as well as on. Now, we'd like to chat with Julie.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer?
Anything by John Steinbeck, James Michener, Amy Tan and David Mitchell. They are great storytellers and their books transport me effortlessly into another world. My list of great authors keeps growing though. I’m always finding new ones and am so grateful there are people who love to weave stories as much as I do. My reading list is a mile long!
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I wasn’t prepared for the culture shock of moving from a very urban area of California to the considerably more rural Idaho. We moved to Boise, which is in the state’s largest metro area, but I couldn’t stop imagining what it must be like to live in the more remote reaches of the state. We’ve explored the state quite a bit and there are some pretty hidden areas where people get snowed in for months during the winter.
The idea for Wild Crime came to me almost immediately as I realized how vulnerable a woman could be if she lived out there and her marriage was violent and controlling. I set the book in a rural area where my main character would be isolated and then set the plot into motion.
And it worked for us as a reader. Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? The Wild Rose Press is listed as a small publisher but they have more than a thousand books in their catalog. They are consistently rated one of the top small publishers out there and I’m so happy to have two books with them. A friend told me her goal was to be published by them, and encouraged me to send my manuscript in. I cried when they accepted my first book.
What books currently rest on your TBR pile? There are some interesting books out this fall that I can’t wait to read. Here’s my shortlist. “Unsheltered” by Barbara Kingsolver, “Melmouth” by Sarah Perry, “She Would Be King” by Wayetu Moore, and “The Kinship of Secrets” by Eugenia Kim. I expect I’ll get sidelined by a dozen other books along the way.
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? Two projects are moving full steam ahead. A paranormal mystery should come out next summer. I’m also working on the third and final book in my Wild Crime series, also titled Wild Crime, which (fingers crossed) I hope to see published in late 2019 or early 2020. I even have my next series mapped out – a crime/romance (is that even a genre?) – but it’s way too early to talk about that one. I have projects that’ll take me easily a decade to finish and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.
Julie brought along an excerpt from “Crime Times Two”:
       Jowls quivered under the man’s weak chin, and Meredith noted the stained and frayed shirt of someone who spent a lot of time alone in dark rooms, sending out a better version of himself into the virtual world. His eyes were anxious and beseeching at her as though she should have a clear understanding of him and his life.
       Somehow, over the past hour and a half they’d been sitting next to each other – him playing video games and sharing his life story and her ignoring him the best she could – she had become his confessor and friend.
       Meredith gave him what she hoped was an impartial-though-quasi-friendly smile. She reached for her purse and papers and rose from her chair. “Well. Nice talking with you.”
       The man was lost in his own train of thought and seemed only slightly aware that Meredith was leaving.
       He shook his head, morose.
       “To make a long story short,” he summed up, “I think my wife is trying to kill me.”


To learn more about Julie Howard and the stories she creates, go to:






To purchase Crime Times Two, go to: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com

To read a review of Crime Times Two, go to: www.WildWomenReviews.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Feature: All But the Fall by Kim Turner

Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome back Wild Rose Press author Kim Turner who celebrates her latest release, All But the Fall. She's brought hero Aaron Decker; we'll begin with him.
Where are you from? Everywhere and nowhere. My brothers and I are adopted. Not biological. But as far as logistics, Sun River, Montana is home.
Tell us a bit about All But the Fall It is about when Jenna and I met. I first saw her on the set of the Bounty Hunter Series. I'd hired on for horse stunts and she took the nurse consultant job, taking care of any medical needs for those on the set. It didn’t take me long to know I'd fallen hard but I have a five year old daughter to think about, and elderly parents, and a ranch to run. I wasn’t looking to lose my heart or my life come to think of it. Jenna had a lot of things to hide out if necessity, an ex husband who resurfaced shortly after we met and things went upside down real fast with her trying to protect herself and her young son. It didn’t take me long to see she was going to need my help if I wanted to keep her safe.
What did you think the first time you saw her? I couldn't take my eyes off her. She carried herself with confidence but I could see right through her. Someone had broken her but I wanted in, wanted to know her and be the reason she smiled again. And when she smiles...damn. She's amazing, a wonderful mother, a nurse with great skill and compassion but as a person unique enough to damn near take my breath away.
What was your second thought? Run! I had been burned before. But running a small ranch and working a film set didn’t mean I had much time to think about a woman, but with Jenna, I couldn’t get her off my mind or out of my head.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Because of Jenna I believe now in love all together. She defines the word for me.
What do you like most about Jenna? Her courage to try and face the world on her own even when it seemed to be falling apart around her. And besides that she's as beautiful as I've ever seen though she would never know it.
How would you describe her?  Thoughtful and full of life. She's a son she adores and watching her with my daughter melts my heart.
How would she describe you? Persistent. We've gone through a lot together but she'd tell you I'm overbearing where it comes to her.
What made you choose working as a stunt double, like jumping horses, for a career? A pay check. I've been around horses since I was younger and training them, earning their trust seems to come easy. My brothers and I got into films a few years back and the money is good.
How do you relax? Riding horses, walking in the woods, spending time with Jenna and the children.
Whats your biggest fear? I almost lost her while fighting to free her of her ex husband. I don't want to ever know something like that again.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? When I married Jenna my father came to me and said, "always remember as you take Jenna for your wife, that if something is ever broken, its your job to  make it right."
Who is your favorite fictional character? Not sure of fiction but because Jenna write scripts on the old west, we talk a lot of Wyatt Earp, Jesse James and such. I think the heroes of the old west are sometimes idolized in fiction these days.
Thanks for spending time with us, Aaron. We'd like to chat with Kim now.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? I have enjoyed Outlander though it took me 16 months listening on audio book. Recently, I have been listening to Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati. It’s an older series but I love it so far.  I am a historical reader at heart but move around the genres if something interests me. Mostly I listen to books on tape, or CD, which give me more time to write.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you
feel it impacted the novel? The 3 brothers in this series are not biological and were in foster care together. Because my youngest daughter is adopted from China I wanted to have adoption  be a part of these stories. In fact when she was about six years old she asked me why there were no Asian heroes on the covers of the romance novels I had laying around the house. She's a smart girl and she was right, there isn't enough diversity across the romance shelves though I do believe that is changing. So the first couple in this series, Aaron and Jenna, talk of his being in foster care and because they each have a child adoption is in their future. The second brother, Gabe, is American Indian and falls for a bi-racial nurse named Brianna. And the third brother also adopted falls for an adopted Chinese lady chef. I do not know their stories yet but we have a mix up of cultures and backgrounds and I did this for my daughter. She deserves to know that love comes in all colors and all backgrounds even for those who are adopted.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what
influenced your decision to submit to them? ,Luck of the draw, in 2014 at a conference I pitched my first story as the first pitch of the day to The Wild Rose Press. I wish I had know at the time they would contract my story as I put myself put there and pitched 7 times that day, a very nerve wracking process for a quiet shy writer like me.
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? Right now I am behind on my writing schedule so most often I am listening to audio books while driving to and from work. I just finished listening to Wild Texas Wind by Nicole McCaffery and loved it!! I love highlanders and cowboys for the most part!








Monday, October 1, 2018

Feature: Nicole McCaffrey and Wild Texas Wind

. . . . . All Raz Colt wants is land, a quiet peaceable existence and to put his life as a hired gun in the past. When the chance to earn a sizable fortune by rescuing a kidnapped heiress comes his way, he seizes the opportunity. Trouble is, the heiress doesn't want to be rescued. Offsetting Arden O'Hara's beauty is a rattlesnake personality and shrewish temper. Despite her claim that she faked the kidnapping so her fiancé would ride to her rescue, Raz knows someone is out to kill her. And if anyone gets the pleasure of wringing her lovely neck, it's going to be him.
. . . . . Arden O'Hara is desperate to go home. Her fiancé was supposed to ride to her rescue, proving it's her---and not her father's money--- he loves. Instead an arrogant stranger, with weapons strapped gun-fighter low and a decided lack of sympathy for her situation, shows up spouting a ridiculous tale about someone trying to kill her. It's infuriating when Raz Colt's claims prove true after not one but several attempts are made on her life. She has no idea who this fast gun with the deadly aim is, or why he makes her feel as wild and untamed as the Texas wind. But like it or not, if anyone is capable of getting her home alive, it's Raz Colt.
Wild Women Authors is honored to have Nicole McCaffrey with us for a few days as she celebrates the release of the audio version of her western romance Wild Texas Wind. She brought along a friend, a man not to be forgotten, Raz Colt.
Where are you from, Raz? Texas, down around San Antone.
Tell us a bit about Wild Texas Wind. I was hired to find a kidnapped heiress and bring her home to her daddy. Untouched. I wasn’t expecting her to be so much trouble. And I sure as hell didn’t expect that whole “untouched” thing to be an issue. But keeping my hands off her wasn’t easy. Especially once I made the mistake of kissing her.
What did you think the first time you saw Arden O'Hara? Since she was spitting cuss words and had just missed hitting some poor guy in the head with a ceramic pitcher, I kind of thought she was a spoiled pain in the ass. 
Hah! What was your second thought? That she was definitely a spoiled pain in the ass.
So, was it love at first sight? Well, I was in love with the amount of money her daddy was paying me to find her. And the idea that it was enough for me to buy a little piece of land and retire from gun fighting.
What do you like most about Arden? Probably her fire, her spirit. She doesn’t scare easy, I did everything I could think of to intimidate her and she never flinched. The girl has guts, I have to give her that.
How would you describe her? A spoiled pain in the ass.
How would she describe you? The word bastard comes up a lot.
What made you choose working as a hired gun for a career? I don’t think I ever chose it. It chose me. When you’re good at something, that’s what you do. I hunt bounty, settle disputes, that sort of thing.
What is your biggest fear? Every gunfighter knows eventually there’s a younger, faster gun out there somewhere and sooner or later your paths are going to cross. It only ends one way.
How do you relax? A fine cigar, a glass of bourbon and a pretty little soiled dove go a long way toward helping a man to relax.
Who is your favorite fictional character? Gun fighting doesn’t leave a lot of time for reading but I do like Oliver Twist.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Never kill a man in cold blood.
Unh huh. Well, this has been interesting, Raz. We never fail to come away from encounters with you wearing a smile. . . [wink wink]. We'd like to chat with Nicole now.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? I grew up watching John Wayne movies with my Grandma so True Grit, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Rio Bravo. I also love The Magnificent Seven, Silverado, Tombstone. But I really have a special fondness for comedy westerns like James Garner’s Support Your Local Sheriff and Support Your Local Gunfighter, The Cheyenne Social Club, Blazing Saddles. I guess I love any movies set in the old west. As for books anything by Johanna Lindsey, Linda Lael Miler, Zane Gray.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I think it is an escape in many ways. I wrote Wild Texas Wind while dealing with my father’s dementia diagnosis and through the sadness of losing him one memory at a time (he passed away in 2013). That’s probably why Arden’s relationship and closeness with her father is a theme throughout the book.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I have been published with The Wild Rose Press since 2006 when they were a brand-new company. A big-name publisher was interested in Wild Texas Wind but I knew TWRP was the best fit for my story because I had worked with them on my two contemporary releases, Small Town Christmas and The Model Man. They really know how to treat their authors and I felt I was involved throughout the process.
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? Oh dozens. I can’t wait to read Kim Turner’s new contemporary western All But the Fall and I have several Laura Strickland books on my kindle waiting to be read, including her new Christmas release, The Toy Maker’s Secret.
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? Wild Texas Bride is Kip Cooper’s story. Kip is sort of Raz’s self-appointed side kick throughout most of WTW. He's a confidence man, swindler, small-time thief and a master of disguise. He basically charmed his way through the book. Which made him a lot of fun to write, and very popular with readers. Turning someone like that into a hero, however, and finding a heroine who is up for the challenge has been tricky, so the story is still in progress, though I’m hoping to wrap things up soon.

Here is the rough version of my tag line: He’s trying to change his lying, cheating, gambling ways. But trouble keeps finding him.

Where can we find you?
I am on Facebook, and I have a blog (sometimes I even update it! ��).
I can also be reached at nmccaffreyauthor@yahoo.com
Where can we find Wild Texas Wind? The book is now out on audiobook and available at Audible as well as through The Wild Rose Press and Amazon. I have to say, I was completely blown away by the amazing job the narrator, Dawson McBride, did. He was the perfect fit for Raz and seemed to “get” his character right from the start. Raz is a man of few words and doesn’t like to explain himself and Dawson just absolutely nailed the Raz attitude! Here is a link to Audible where you can listen to the audio sample. It’s amazing!!!
The e-book is available at all major e-book retailers and the print version is available as well.

Nicole also brought an excerpt from Wild Texas Wind:

     He stepped forward to place a hand on her elbow. “I’m here to take you home.”
     Her gaze dropped to the hand resting on her arm. “I’m not going anywhere—certainly not with you.”
     “There’s a man on his way here to kill you.”
     To his surprise, she laughed. “Kill me? Indeed.”
     He strode toward the door. “You want to wait around and find out, that’s fine with me.”
     “Is Geoffrey coming?”
     Hand on the knob, he turned. “Geoffrey?”
     “Mr. Davis, my fiancé. I would imagine he’s heading up the rescue party?”
     “Rescue party?”
     “Yes, rescue party.” She gave a huff of impatience. “Do you have some affliction that causes you to repeat my every word?”
     He chose to ignore the barb. He’d met Geoffrey Davis at the ranch with H.H. O’Hara.       At first Davis appeared in worse shape than O’Hara, alternately sobbing and talking about the missing Arden in the past tense, as if he assumed she were already dead. But he’d come out of his “grief” long enough to sneer that a half-breed with a gun for hire shouldn’t be trusted with O’Hara’s money. Or his daughter’s life. Going on gut instinct, Raz guessed the man—with his pretty face and small, pale hands that had never seen a day’s work—was next to useless.
     “You think that simpering mama’s boy is going to ride to your rescue?”
     Eyes the color of new grass narrowed with enough chill to freeze the entire state of Texas. In August. “Geoffrey’s devotion to his mother is commendable. Further, I won’t tolerate the likes of you insulting the man I’m going to marry.”
     Raz jerked a thumb toward his chest. “I happen to be your so-called ‘rescue party’. Pretty-boy Davis is already planning your funeral.”
     She paled. “My …funeral?”
     “Damned if this so-called ‘affliction’ of mine isn’t catching. Yes, funeral. Davis is convinced you’re already dead.”
     “Then who hired you, if anyone really did?”
     “Does the word daddy ring any bells, sweetheart?”
     One hand flew to her mouth. “How did he find out? He’s supposed to be on a cattle drive.”
     Folding his arms over his chest, he leaned against the door. “What the hell does that mean?”
     “Nothing.” She turned away. “There’s absolutely nothing for him to worry about.”
     “Uh-huh. What about the guy on his way here to kill you?”
     She glanced over her shoulder. “How do I know it’s not you?”
     “You’re still alive, aren’t you?” He stepped away from the door. “Listen, sweetheart, let’s make this easy on both of us. You come with me, I get my money, Daddy gets his little girl back. Everybody’s happy. Comprende?”
     Indecision crossed her face. “I … can’t.”
     He approached her with narrowed eyes, deliberately using a look that had been the undoing of men twice her size. He had to give her credit though, she never flinched.
Only when they were nose to nose—or, in her case, nose to chest—did she make any attempt to halt him. One palm came up to smack him in the torso. “I’ll double whatever my father offered if you’ll go away and leave me here.”
     “You can’t afford to pay me off; you don’t get any money until you’re married.”
     “How do you know that?”
     “I spent some time with daddy the other night.”
     Her eyes welled with emotion. “Is he—is he all right?”
     “He’ll be a damned sight better once you’re home.”
     Before she could react, Raz reached down and scooped her up. Since Miss O’Hara weighed little more than a sack of flour, he easily swung her over his shoulder. He pushed open the door and stepped out into the blinding sunlight.
     One booted foot caught him in the groin while her fists pummeled his back, and not without some amount of pain. Someone had taught the girl how to throw a punch.

Nicole is giving away a Halloween themed handcrafted cosmetic bag to someone who leaves a comment so please be sure to leave a word or two and get in the running! We've seen it and it's really cute.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Meet Leslie Scott and Stone Dempsey from Two Hearts One Stone

Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Leslie Scott and Stone Dempsey from Leslie's latest release, Two Hearts One Stone. As usual, Stone is up first.
Where are you from? Just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
Tell us a bit about Two Hearts, One Stone. This little diddy is about me finding both the loves of my life when I wasn’t looking for them at all. If you read it, you’ll find out how I went to bed a bachelor and woke up with a family.
What did you think the first time you saw Emmy. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck, she took my breath away.
That's always good. What was your second thought? Holy crap, she’s one of the best riders I’ve ever seen.
Erudite, to the point. Was this was love at first sight? No, it was not. But it didn’t take long at all.
What do you like most about Emmy? Her intelligence, her compassion, her laugh, her butt… do I have to pick just one thing?
You're doing just fine. How would you describe her? She’s a knockout and one of the best damn pediatricians in the world.
How would Doctor Emmy describe you? Just thinking about this question absolutely terrifies me.
We will refrain from saying 'cluck cluck' and ask what made you choose horse training as a career? There are two things I’m good at: women and horses. Only one of them makes money. Most time, the other costs me money. Especially Maddie. But I wouldn’t trade that kid for all the money in the world.
What is your biggest fear? Losing my family, my baby and my woman.
How do you relax? Beer, a game on the tv, and pizza usually does the trick.
Who is your favorite fictional character? The Lone Ranger, of course.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Don’t kiss and tell. It’s saved my ass more than a few times.
We like a man who tells it like it is. Thanks, Stone. Now we'd like to chat with Leslie. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer?
Oh everything, I’m sure. I’ve read so many books and seen so many movies that they all get jumbled around. I’d be hard pressed to ever single any of them out.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? My knowledge of horses is about it. I spent my college years (and just after) working at a riding academy. I retained a lot about that sort of thing. And I have a genuine love for those animals, they are pretty amazing.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? The Wild Rose Press is where my mentor started. When I was submitting The Finish Line, my debut novel and first submission to TWRP was at the top of the list for me with small press houses. If it was good enough for Vonnie (Davis) to start it was good enough for me. She also left me with a good feeling about the people I’d be working with from her experience. And well, she was right. Everyone at TWRP is amazing.
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I want to read it so bad, but I can’t until I finish writing about my witches. I wouldn’t want any bleeding over of the story. Oh and a ton of craft books. I’m a craft/writing book junkie so I have at least eight of them ready to read.
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves?
The second novel in my Arkadia Fast Series, Hot Lap, should be out by Christmas (I hope). If you haven’t read The Finish Line, digital goes on sale Friday the 28th of September for 99 cents… check it out!

To learn more about Leslie Scott, go to:




Youtube Playlists: http://bit.ly/2O6IDea

To purchase Two Hearts, One Stone, go to:
Kindle: https://amzn.to/2McJvS5
Nook: http://bit.ly/2MtQkPA


Monday, September 17, 2018

WWA Feature: Kara O'Neal's The Cowboy's Embrace

Wild Women Authors welcomes Kara O'Neal back with The Cowboy's Embrace, the latest in her Pike's Run series. First up is Deacon Tolbert.
Where are you from? I was born in Alabama, spent the best parts of my childhood in New Mexico, but I’ve lived in Texas most of my life and it’s been good to me.
What did you think the first time you saw Lily Spero? I can’t remember. We grew up together, and she was my childhood friend. We were very close. Like ham and potatoes. I thought we’d be friends forever, then our families were killed. And we were…separated. 
What was your second thought? I can tell you what I thought the second time she walked into my life. We were older, and I didn’t know who she was at first, but I thought she was a vision. She was so beautiful and graceful. She was a rose among the thorns of the wild.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? It might have been. But when I found out who she was, I ran. I couldn’t face her after…what I’d done. And then I didn’t delve into how I felt the moment I set eyes on her again.
What do you like most about Lily? She’s tough. She nails me to the wall repeatedly when I get thick-skulled, and keeps me going. She’s talented. She’s got several poems published, and I love reading the pictures she paints with words.
How would you describe her? Loving. Love always comes first with her.
How would she describe you? Stubborn. Hard-working. Steady. But stubborn would be the first word she’d use.
What made you choose ranching as a career? The wide open spaces and the freedom. I like the solitude it gives me, as well.
What is your biggest fear? Losing the people I love.
How do you relax? Riding across the range. There is nothing like a Texas sky.
Who is your favorite fictional character? I’m not much of a reader. I enjoy my wife’s poems, but that’s all I’ll sit still for.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? This came from my wife: 'God isn’t a God of chaos.' I needed to hear that, and I remind myself of that whenever my past takes over my thoughts.
Thank you for taking time to speak with us, Deacon. We'd like to talk to Kara for a bit. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Anne of Green Gables is a major influence on me, as is Little Women, but these came early in my life. As an adult, I found Jane Austen; her novels are truly literary magic.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Bordersville is a real community, and it’s a part of this book. It is a historical place, one that deserves recognition and landmark status. I had to write a story that included this amazing community.
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? Oh, goodness. Here we go: The White Princess, Infidel, The Velvet Hours, The Lost Wife, All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw, Katherine, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? I have just submitted book eleven in the Pike’s Run Series, Destiny’s Secrets. I am hoping to hear a release date soon!

To purchase The Cowboy's Embrace, go to:
https://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Embrace-Pikes-Run-Book-ebook/dp/B07F2NHCJB/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1535933111&sr=8-5&keywords=kara+o%27neal

To learn more about Kara O'Neal and the stories she writes, go to:
Website: www.karaoneal.com.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o'neal?_requestid=845025

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor