Thursday, November 22, 2012

Promo Fridays: SCP Author Carol Preflatish

This week has been a hectic one for all of us, I'm sure. By now you're probably stuffed with left-overs and well on your way to a turkey-fueled coma. You're in good company. No matter how bloated I feel or how many buttons I undo, the show must go on!

I'd like to welcome Carol Preflatish to the blog today. She's here to promote her newest SCP release, Saved By the Sheriff. But first, let's get to know her a little better!

Carol Preflatish knew at an early age that she loved to write. In high school and college, her favorite classes were composition and creative writing. It wasn't until after she married and then became a parent that she decided to pursue it seriously. She published her first romantic suspense in 2009 and her current book, Saved by the Sheriff is now out in both paperback and as a Kindle download. Always loving a good mystery, she's constantly thinking up ideas for future books.

Carol lives in southern Indiana, sharing her log cabin in the woods with her husband and their cat and dog. When not writing, she loves to read, watch football, and go camping with her husband.


 New York City writer, Jaime Wilson wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story, and what could be better than a 30-year old unsolved murder in a small town. When Jaime visits Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon finds that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved and she becomes a target. After an arrest for trespassing and an attempt on her life, Sheriff Ben Hunter lets her stay at his place where he can keep an eye on her while she continues to work on her story. She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe. Finally, when she finishes her story, she has to make her choice whether to stay with Ben or go back to New York.

"From here on, you need to be quiet. We are close to the Cook's home and we don't want them to know we're here," Bobby whispered.
They walked down the trail for a few more yards and then she saw an old, run down house. "Is that it?" she whispered.
"Yeah. We can walk around the front if you want a picture."
"I definitely want a picture."
Reaching the front of the house seemed like a walk through time. A swing on one side of the porch swayed in the breeze while a wooden rocking chair sat still on the other side. The chopping block had an axe buried in the top of it with split wood on the ground around it.
"Has someone been living here?" she asked Bobby.
"I've hiked out here since I was a kid and it's always been this way. Nothing ever changes."
She snapped a few pictures with her camera flash going off with each shot she took. 

"I want to look inside through the windows."
"Okay, but be quick. I don't like being out here in the open so long. With the leaves off of the trees, the Cook's might see that flash of yours going off."
Jaime carefully walked up to the old house that stood near a newer home with a barn between the two. She took a few pictures through the windows. The inside of the house looked like no one had been there in years. Perhaps left just the way it was when the Murdock's had last been there. She stood at the front door and couldn't resist trying the knob. The door opened.
"I don't think that's a good idea," he warned.
"I'll just take one picture of the inside and then we'll go." She took one step into the house.
"I don't think that's a good idea," he related again.
"You should listen to the boy," a deep voice echoed from behind them.
She knew that voice.
"Come on out."
Jaime turned to see Ben standing at the corner of the old house, handcuffing Bobby behind his back. "What are you doing?" she asked, walking over to them.
"Arresting him for trespassing. You're next."

"Didn't you see the No Trespassing sign?" Ben asked.
"Yes, but..."
"Then you should have turned back. Now, turn around."
Jaime put her camera on the porch and turned around for Ben to handcuff her. "This isn't exactly what I in mind when I thought of you handcuffing me," she mumbled to him.
He didn't answer, but instead picked up her camera and led them through the trees to his police car that was parked in front of the other house. She assumed it belonged to the Cook family. A woman in a housedress stood on the front porch.
"They won't be back out here again, Mrs. Cook," Ben called to the lady.
"Thanks, Sheriff."
He opened the back door of his car and Bobby got in. Before Jaime got in, she looked up at Ben. "I'm sorry."
He didn't answer, but put his hand on top of her head so she wouldn't bump it as he guided her into the car.
"Where's your truck, Bobby?" Ben asked.
"Over on Jackson Road."
"I'm sorry about this, Bobby," Jaime said.
"Don't worry about it. It's not like I haven't seen the inside of that jail before."
Ben picked the microphone to his radio. "Dispatch, Six-Oh-One."
"Go ahead Six-Oh-One."
"Call Wrecker One and have him tow in a red Chevy pickup that's parked on Jackson Road."
"Roger," the dispatcher answered.
No one spoke during the rest of the ride to the Sheriff's Department.
Once inside the sally port, Jaime and Bobby were separated. The female deputy took 
Jaime to the female side of the jail for booking. Her handcuffs were removed and she emptied her pockets of the small wallet, cell phone, and car keys and then the deputy search her.
After being fingerprinted, the deputy gave her some clothes. "You need to put these on and hand your shirt and jeans out to me. I'll put them in a bag for you to change back in to when you bond out."
Jaime had to undress in front of the deputy, putting her clothes into a large clear plastic bag she held open. "When do I get to call someone?" she asked.
"As soon as you get dressed, I'm to take you to the Sheriff. You can call someone at that time."
Jaime put on the bright orange jumpsuit with the word “prisoner” printed on the back, and followed the deputy to the sheriff's office. She knocked on the door. "Come in."
The deputy opened the door. "I have Miss Wilson here, sir."
"Have her come in. I'll see that she gets to a cell when I'm finished speaking with her. Thank you."
The deputy opened the door wider for Jaime to enter the office. Ben got up. "Sit down," he motioned to a chair in front of his desk and walked around and closed the door. "What were you doing out there?" He sat back down behind his desk.
"I needed pictures for my story."
"Why didn't you ask permission first?"
"I was told the family that owned the property didn't want anyone out there?"
"Who told you that? Bobby James? And, how the hell did you get mixed up with him anyway? For all you know, he could have been the person that vandalized your tire or wrecked the cabin!"
"None of that is any of your business. When do I get to call someone to bail me out?"
"Right now." He picked up his phone and slammed it down on the desk in front of her.
She jumped when the phone hit the desk. "Could I have some privacy please?" she asked.
"No. You're a prisoner and I can't leave you alone in here. Push nine and then dial your number."

 * Saved By the Sheriff was an interesting read about a big city writer who comes to a small town to write a story in the hopes of getting the editorial job at the magazine she works for. From the moment she reaches the town of Royal things keep happening to her. The mystery is an old one that the people of Royal, Indiana do not seem want to solve. While all these incidents are happening to her the town's sheriff is right there helping her. Ben Hunter, the young sheriff, who returned home after a tragedy happened in Chicago is not looking to find love but he does with Jaime.

The suspense part of this novel was very well written. I tried to guess the ending many times and was surprised at the outcome of the 30 year old mystery. The characters that Preflatish created were exactly what you would see in a small town. You had the nosey gossips, the older men that do not like outsiders and the handful of kind citizens that want to get you to stay. All the characters were very well developed and popped off the page. I could envision each and every one of them.

The romance of the novel was very sweet and endearing. Both Jaime and Ben were shy about dating especially in regards to having a long distance relationship. The story was great in that you got a good mix of suspense/mystery and romance. I would definitely read more of this author in the future. I really liked the character of Jaime. She was stubborn, independent and a lot like myself. I enjoy reading books where I can see myself in the main character.
- Romancing the Book Reviewer,Aubrey

*I am not the type who usually reads tons of romance novels, but the tittle on this one got my attention. I am pleased to say I truly enjoyed it. Drama, mystery and romance all in one book, who could ask for more.
The main character goes to a small town to learn and write about "something" that happened years ago. She gets more than she bargained for! I have to say the characters all enjoyable and well written. BTW Sheriff Ben Hunter can rescue me anytime!
I was glad to find this was not a mushy love story. This novel had an interesting plot, with the right balance of love and intrigue. The couple's interactions are just perfect. I kept wanting to read more and more. If all romance novels were like this, I would read a lot more!- Amazon customer Sandra Martinez

Carol's Links

Thank you for joining us today and make sure you come back next week when we'll get to meet my buddy Jan Graham!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Promo Friday: Sweet Cravings Author J.L Hammer

Welcome back to Promo Friday! I'd like to welcome J.L Hammer to the blog today and thank her for joining us. She's here today to talk about her new book Outmaneuvered. Who doesn't like some sweet romance?

J.L. Hammer resides in California and enjoys the relaxed pace of small-town life with her husband and two children. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. Outmaneuvered is her second novel.

The View from My Desk:
On the wall of my office, right above my desk, is one of the dearest gifts my husband ever gave to me. After I’d written my first novel, he’d come home and handed me a sign and said, “When I read this, it made me think of you.” Completely caught off guard by the random gift, I remembered flipping the sign over and smiling at the words: Don’t bother me... I’m running out of places to hide the bodies!  I had grown teary eyed (sniff... sniff) by my husband's gesture of support because I knew I sprung my new writing career on him out of the blue. Have you ever received a gift that someone might find strange, but it was perfect for you?
 A missing influential CEO—a handsome, ambitious FBI agent—and a smart-mouthed blonde bombshell—in the end, who will be outmaneuvered?
To FBI Special Agent Cruz Romero the assignment seems cut and dry: shadow Amanda Price, the estranged daughter of a missing high-powered CEO, and find evidence linking her to his disappearance. The last thing Romero expects while on surveillance is for her to strut right up to him, insisting they've met before. Once he gets a good look at this familiar sassy blonde, he knows he’s in trouble. He must throw her off track before the entire investigation is jeopardized. As the evidence stacks against Amanda, Romero brings her in for a round of heated questioning and his suspicion of her guilt deepens with every evasive answer. When a sniper makes an attempt on her life, he is forced to protect her. Plunged into a maze of deceit, Romero fears that his blinding attraction for Amanda might be his fatal downfall.
 View the Outmaneuvered book trailer here.
Customer Reviews
"FBI agent Romero Cruz comes face to face with Amanda Price after she's dubbed a prime suspect in her father's kidnapping. He's as attracted to her as she is to him, but there are killers at large and Cruz thinks she may be a big part of the problem. Bar owner Mike, still grieving his wife killed in a car crash ten years ago, meets a fragile woman named Juliet, who walks in with her baby Grace, looking for a place to live. Feeling compelled to protect her, he's unsure if her husband's really the crazed lunatic she says he is or whether she's missing a few screws herself.

The characters, from these four to Gramps and the other regulars at the bar, have personalities that will endear you to them. They're just fun and you care what happens to them. Some of the lines and scenarios in this book are just hilarious. One of my favorites was after FlatTire spit chewing tobacco on the bar floor and someone was grossed out so he picked it up and put it back in his mouth!
The book got terribly suspenseful in several places and I just couldn't put it down and was fidgeting frantically in my chair. Great job, J.L. - I can't wait to read another one!"  Amazon customer: Susan Dawson Cook
 "J.L. has written an intense novel of deceit, intrigue, murder and mayhem, sprinkled with humor. The heroine, Amanda Price, is a gutsy blonde that doesn't let people push her around, including FBI Special Agent Cruz Romero.

Agent Romero's expertise leads him to zero in on Amanda as the prime suspect in her estranged father's disappearance. Convinced she's settling old grudges against her father, Cruz sets out to prove he's right. Along the way, he's thrown off his game by his feelings for the sassy blonde. Is he man enough to admit that he might be wrong and can he separate his attraction before disaster strikes?

You'll be hard pressed to put this down until you see "The End."

Wonderful story J.L. Kudos!!!"
Amazon customer: KJ
J.L's Links:
Twitter: Author@J.L-Hammer .com
Thank you for visiting with us J.L Hammer! Come back next week and meet Carol Preflatish.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hump Day Hook

    I've really enjoyed participating in HDH and reading everyone's contributions. I'm sorry that I haven't gotten around to commenting on them all! I know, bad Humper!

    This week's hook is also from City of Sin. I was so happy with everyone's enthusiastic reactions to last week's snippet, I wanted to share another one!

“Thank you for tonight Blaine, everything is perfect.” Her words were softly spoken as she let him take her hand from across the table. She didn’t know how she could ever repay him for all of his kindnesses. To be honest, she felt a little awkward when she totaled up all of the money she would have to pay him back. Regardless how many times he told her not to worry about it, she didn’t feel right being his kept woman- it hadn’t jived seven years ago and it had become even more difficult now. She couldn’t say why. It probably had something to do with the way everything had turned out. She should have stayed and explained to him why she couldn’t allow him to marry her, but she had been a coward. He deserved so much more than she could give him.
“Good, I’m glad you think so. I didn’t know if you still liked the same foods or not so I figured I’d bring you to a nice place that has damn near anything you can think of.” He rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb as he studied her from across the table. “But let me guess, you would have been happier eating at the all-night diner across town in your cowboy boots?”

Don't forget to check out the other authors' posts! Get Humpin'!

Kerrianne Coombes
Lacie Nation
Beth Carter
Sandra Sookoo
Shannon West
Lindsey Downs
Jennifer Simpkins
Colette. L. Saucier.
Paloma Beck
Jessica Collins
Kenzie Michaels
Vanessa Johnston
Thresa Stillwagon
Kathleen Grieve
Karen cino
Molly Daniels
Marie Rose Dufour
Gem Sivad

:.Talk To Me, Baby.:

Writer's Words of Wisdom: Be Professional

If you want people to take you seriously, you need to be professional. I don't mean that you need to run out and pay lots of money for a personal website, tons of swag, and snazzy, Prada suits. You can have a free website and still maintain professionalism.

In your correspondences with readers, editors, and so on, try to be professional and let them set the tone for further emails. If their replies are more friendly, or you develop a closer relationship, then feel free to be more casual and use first names as well. If you agree to do a guest spot or participate in a blog hop, do your best to follow guidelines. I've found that hops increase interest and site traffic, but readers get irritated when they click on your link to find an unrelated post.

This next issue has become even more important in the last few months with the recent elections. Try not to express too many, or harmful political views on your social networking sites. If your profile is personal and only accessible to close friends or family, it might be acceptable as long as they don't see anything wrong with it. Nothing will turn more readers and potential readers away from your projects than offensive, hateful material splashed all over your wall and news feed. I've also noticed a lot of facebookers deleting friends because of offensive photo-sharing or otherwise always airing out your overly-dramatic, dirty laundry.

So, save your opinions for your close friends and family who adore, and most importantly understand, your weirdness.

What about you guys? Have you been chaffed away from readers or even publishing houses due to lack of professionalism? I'd love to read your comments!

We are a smart & savvy group of authors who write a weekly feature for their blog every Wednesday. The goal is to impart what we've learned about writing, editing, getting published, book promotion, and more along the way.

Jessicca Collins

Friday, November 9, 2012

Literary Itch

I've been itching to read some Highland Historical Romance novels. I absolutely love Hannah Howell's books- but I'm fairly certain I've read them all. So now I'm turning to you, my loyal readers, to help me find one.

Or, if you don't know any of those, you can post links to other books that I might like to read instead! Also, I just picked up Raine Miller's Blackstone Affair Book 2, All In.

So, feel free to try to tease me away from Highlanders with your other literary wares. I can't wait to see what you guys can come up with!

Promo Fridays- SCP Author Sherry Gloag

It's that day again- FRIDAY! Not only is it the most besterest day of the work week, but it's also time again to welcome another of my fellow SCP authors.

Today I'd like to welcome Sherry Gloag, and she's here to promote her newest Sweet Cravings Publishing- a division of Secret Cravings which features sweet romance- release, No Job for a Woman.

Julian Fanshaw answers a call for help from his life-long friend Lord Worth to help keep his friend’s widowed sister, Deborah, safe from her increasingly vindictive neighbours. It doesn’t take long to realise him or Freddie long to realise the Grangers aren’t using her as a long-promised act of revenge against them; but are playing a deeper and far more sinister game of their own.

Deborah Stavely is determined to overcome the increasing harassment from her neighbour without calling on her brother for help. So she is not pleased when Freddie intervenes and involves his friend, Julian Fanshaw.

Circumstances demand Julian and Deborah learn to work together and Julian dares to dream that he might gain the love of the only person he’s ever given his heart to.

But will Deborah live long enough to discover that by releasing everything she values, she will gain everything her heart desires?

In lieu of an author biography, here is a professional review for No Job for a Woman:

  I recently received an email from an author; a request to review her book. I was honoured to be asked – I’m still quite new to reviewing books so for someone to specifically ask me to do so felt great. I read the product description on Amazon and the book in question seemed to be something along the lines of what I normally read anyway, so I happily agreed to read the book and review it afterwards – the book was No Job For A Woman by Sherry Gloag.

Deborah Stavely has been widowed and is competently running her late husband’s lands, until she starts receiving threats from her neighbours, the Granger brothers. The eldest Granger demands that he marry her immediately or he will start hurting her tenants and destroying her land. Her brother, Lord Freddie Worth, discovers the threats when Deb’s butler informs him and writes to his friend Julian Fanshaw to come help. Julian is an old family friend and has just returned to England, both he and Freddie went to school with the Grangers and so hope that there past experiences will help them solve Deb’s current situation. However, the threats run deeper than they appear; at first Julian and Freddie think that the Grangers are seeking revenge on them through Deb for something that happened back in their school days. However, it turns out that there’s more to the story and Deb’s live is in serious danger.
Deborah was in interesting character, in that she was absolutely determined to do things by herself; she resented her brother for getting Julian involved in something she believed she could handle on her own and went out of her way to manage things before any one else had to get involved. Her determination and stubbornness made her a fairly strong female lead for the story.
Julian was the character I related to more of the two, I’m not entirely sure why. I liked that he seemed so willing to help however he could because of the history that he shared with the family. I feel that, as a reader, I was given more of an insight into Julian’s mind from earlier on in the novel so it was easier to see things from his point of view throughout.
I enjoyed the relationship that built up between the two protagonists – both remembering how they had felt when they were younger and feeling confused by how that affected them now, and both as stubborn as the other in terms of seeing the other’s struggle with the feelings between them. Julian’s protectiveness of Deborah was endearing throughout, and Deb’s internal struggle between how she actually felt and how she thought she should feel was well played . The one thing that slightly disappointed me was how little interaction we got from them once their story had been resolved. The end felt a little rushed, I would have enjoyed seeing a little more of the conclusion before the story was cut short.
In terms of plot, I did find the start a little slow. This is because it took a while for the author to get to the point that there was something deeper and darker going on than anyone realised. However, once this point was reached, I found myself infinitely more interested in the outcome that the characters were going to reach. The suspense built up, as I grew more and more curious to learn what the awful secret that threatened the lives of the protagonists was. The second half of the story was more interesting, more eventful and all round more what I expected when I started the book. This is the first book of Sherry Gloag‘s that I have read, but even though it didn’t quite make it on to my favourites shelf on Goodreads, I’d happily read more of her work.

Sherry's Links

Come back next Friday when I'll have J.L Hammer on to discuss her new romantic suspense, SCP release, Outmaneuvered.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hump Day Hook

    I love Wednesdays! Not only do I get to post my weekly spot as a contributing Writer's Words of Wisdom author, but I also get to Hump with Karianne Coombes and the other participating authors at her weekly Hump Day Hook spot! I'm one lucky author!

    This week I'm taking my hook from my first novel, City of Sin. It was also my very first attempt at putting aside erotic romance and trying my hand at contemporary M/f romance. I'm quite proud of it and I wish I had the cover art to share. Never fear, City of Sin is set for an electronic release in January 2013 with Secret Cravings Publishing.

    So, without further ado:


       Regan turned on her heel and pointed her finger at him. “You don’t know me anymore, Blaine. I don’t run from anything or anybody. You got that?” And there was that tough girl act she adopted to keep her feelings suppressed. Blaine remembered a time when she was soft and agreeable when she was angry- and less like a hissing cat. At least back then he could talk some sense into her.

       Blaine stood as he tugged his shirt on over his head. “You are right about one thing, Regan, I don’t know you anymore. That big talk might keep other people from getting to know you, but I knew you long before you started losing money in casinos.” His words were like a knife, cutting her to the bone.
:.That Moment When Passions Run High & Words Fail.:

    I hope you enjoyed that little teaser. I do love romantic drama. Will they make it? Will they get back together? I guess you'll have to wait until January to find out!

 Follow the Links Below & Get Humpin'!
Lacie Nation
Beth Carter
Shannon West
Lindsey Downs
Jennifer Simpkins
Colette. L. Saucier.
Paloma Beck
Jessicca Collins
Kenzie Michaels
Vanessa Johnston
Thresa Stillwagon
Kathleen Grieve
Karen cino
Molly Daniels