Who Designed Your Cover?

Ally Thomas of course!  Here’s the link to the fantabulous, Ally Thomas’ extra on her cover art.  Check it out!

http://allythomas.wordpress.com/extras/cover-designs-by-ally/

Grand Prize Winners of Casey’s Gunslinger Giveaways Announced! #giveaways #Amazon #prizes #books

Congratulations to the winners of Catherine Wolffe’s grand prize drawing for Casey’s Gunslinger‘s release.  The event was so much fun and we had so many readers drop by!  I asked each person to share several links and then share in the comment section of the grand prize post when they were done.  I’m pleased to announce we have three winners.  The first place winner will have the choice of three different prize packages.  The second place winner will pick between two awesome bundles and the third place winner will get a wonderful gift along with my utmost thanks for all their help!

First place goes to Kathy Osborn!        Second place goes to Michelle Thomas!    Third place goes to Angelina Brown!

Kathy Osborn will have her choice of one of the three bundles from me – Catherine Wolffe, Wendy Ely and Ally Thomas.

Michelle Thomas will choose between the remaining two bundles and Angelina Brown will receive the remaining prize packet.

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New Western Romance by Catherine Wolffe & Giveaway

New Western Romance by Catherine Wolffe & Giveaway.

Welcome Casey St. Clair from Casey’s Gunslinger

Her hair is the color of flax.  Her eyes as blue as the sky.  Petite and feminine, she wills a strong determination when her mind decides on a course of action.  Charles Harrison discovers this when he tries to protect her from harm.  No man’s going to tell her what to do.  Having been orphaned as a baby, she makes her own decisions and lives her life by her own rules.  A small salary as a teacher is her means of survival, until the day she unearths the truth about who she is.

In search of her father and determined to execute revenge on the man who abandoned her after she was born and her mother died, Casey arrives to find, Charles Harrison, the attorney she hired to locate her father is good friends with the bastard!  Unsure if she can trust anyone, even  Maggie, and Jake, who kept a watchful eye over her through the years, Casey vows to hurt Earl Loflin any way she can!

Casey’s Gunslinger – available at all major outlets and Smashwords.com.

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To read the beginning of Casey’s Gunslinger click on the picture!
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Click the picture of Casey St. Clair to begin The Loflin Legacy with Comanche Haven, # 1 at Amazon.

Romantic Gifts That Don’t Cost a Dime

So, have you got all your shopping done?  Are the presents all wrapped and under the tree?  Or, are you like me, waiting until the last minute and confused about what to get the people on your list?  Is the most confusing person your man?   Mine always says he likes what I’ve given him.  Yet, I wonder sometimes if I couldn’t have done more.

Sometimes the best gifts don’t come in a box with pretty paper and bows on them.  Sometimes it’s what you do that means more than anything.  Here’s a suggestion.

Why not plan a special evening with  just the two of you and take things nice and slow, or not!  Depending on how the evening progresses, you can tempt him with new and special pleasures he may not have seen before.  What you ask?  Well, use your imagination!  The tempting could start with you in a sexy new nightie or nothing but a bow.  Say he’s had a hard day and you meet him at the door with nothing on but a smile.  No man can resist such a treat.  Props for an evening of pleasure could include candles, sexy music, toys – you decide what works best.  The lights down low and maybe a toddy to settle his mind.  Are you and he into games?  Try out a new role play or simply talk dirty to him.  If it’s your first time with dirty talk, I promise he’ll be pleasantly surprised.  He’ll show you how much when you’re alone.  A man likes a woman to be his lady until the bedroom door is closed.  Then he wants a freak!  Don’t be shy – after all, he’s your man.  As they say, ‘What happens behind closed doors…or is that Vegas’?   The outcome can definitely remain your little secret.

Now, I know you have your own ideas, why not share?  I’d love to hear from you.  Keep the season simple and remember what’s important in a relationship – time spent together.  Enjoy and happy holidays.

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Click on the pic for a steamy read – The Lady in the Mist at Amazon

Manday Hotties Blog Hop

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Click here to keep hopping!

Looking into a man’s eyes is extremely stimulating, don’t you think?  You can tell quickly what he’s thinking or if he’s even paying attention.  These three ‘wise men’ know the meaning of a steamy gaze.  Enjoy!

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Like my Amazon author page for a signed bookmark just in time for the holidays. Don’t forget to comment and include your email.

Manday Hotties Blog Hop

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Add any of my books to your wish list on Amazon for a free bookmark from me! Just click on this pic for the link. Comment below and send me your email. Happy trails!

Gotta love a cowboy.  Rugged and tough, a cowboy can make you feel like a woman with simply a look!  Let me know what you think of my fella and I’ll certainly share a few more!

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Click here to keep hopping!

Eliminate Filter Words For a Immersive POV Experience

This post is well pressed from Writers in The Storm.  Check out this valuable information from Janice Hardy, who shares writing resources on her blog The Other Side of the Story.

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Decades ago, a detached, omniscient point of view was all the rage. Readers wanted to be told a story, so the stories read as if someone was indeed telling them. That style faded as readers sought a more immersive read, and tight points of view became popular.

Regardless of who the narrator is, that’s the person the reader experiences the novel through. A tight first person narrator, an omniscient third, a limited third, it’s all filtered through somebody’s eyes. Sometimes this filter is invisible and the reader doesn’t feel any distance between her and the point of view (POV) character. Other times the filters are obvious and the reader feels the wall between her and the characters. One style looksthrough the eyes of the POV, the other looks at the POV.

What adds this layer?

Filter words.

Filter words distance the reader from the POV character. They remind readers they’re reading, explain things that are obvious, and often lead a writer into telling. Even worse, filter words are frequently found with their passive, telling cousins, pushing the reader even further away.

If you’re after a tighter and more immersive POV experience, you might try looking for and eliminating these filter words.

Redundant Filter Words

The easiest fix is to get rid of words like, saw, heard, felt, knew, watched, and looked. What makes these words feel detached is that they’re explaining that a character saw or heard something, and then the narrative goes right ahead and shows it anyway. POV characters by definition are relaying everything they sense, say, and think. If it’s described, readers know the character experienced it in some way. It’s like saying, I’m going to look at something, and now I’m telling you what I looked at.

Let’s look at some examples:

Lisa wandered through the field and saw three crows sitting on the fence. Their black feathers glistened in the morning sunshine. She heard them caw the way crows do, and watched them take flight and soar across the bright, blue sky.

I could hear cars whooshing past. The sound of horns blared against my ears, muffled by the morning fog. It felt cold and clammy, sticking to my skin like a layer of wet cloth. It smelled musty, though I knew fog couldn’t possibly be musty.

Notice the extra layer. The character is relaying information in a detached, after the fact, watching-me-do-this tone. There’s a feeling of an outside person describing what the character sees and hears rather than experiencing the same things through that character’s senses.

Look at these same paragraphs without the filter words:

Lisa wandered through the field. Three crows sat on the fence, their black feathers glistening in the morning sunshine. They cawed the way crows do, then took flight and soared across the bright, blue sky.

Cars whooshed past, their blaring horns muffled by the morning fog. It lay cold and clammy against my skin like wet cloth. Musty, though fog couldn’t possibly be musty.

Now the POV character is describing what they experience without telling the reader that they’re looking or hearing or smelling. The reader feels closer to the POV, and can imagine themselves in the story instead of watching the story from afar.

Revising to eliminate filter words is an easy way to achieve a tighter POV, and even fix any told prose in the process.

Do you prefer a tight or a distant point of view? Why? What about it captures you as a reader?

BIO:
Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, and BLUE FIRE. DARKFALL, from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel. You can visit her online at www.janicehardy.com, chat with her about writing on her blog,The Other Side of the Story, or find her on Twitter @Janice_Hardy.

Hot Halloween Heroes Blog Hop with Wolfen Secrets

Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.

What makes a hero lovable?  We’re asking that question in Felicity Heaton’s Hot Halloween Heroes Giveaway Blog Hop.  Does a hero have to be strong, blatantly male, no inhibitions, no apologies, or a diamond in the ruff to be sexy?  Describe your hot Halloween hero in a comment here and you’ll be eligible for the drawing of an ebook copy of Wolfen Secrets, the third book in the series, The Western Werewolf Legend.  Join us for the hop which includes over 120 blogs, all with something to share on the subject of hot Halloween heroes.  Click the Blog Hop pic above for a complete list of blog sites to visit. Also, click the cover of Wolfen Secrets, The Western Werewolf Legend series listed below for the Amazon link to  it and all my books.

Now check out the steamy excerpt from Wolfen Secrets:

Sonja Brooks’ body jerked, waking with a jolt.  She’d been dreaming again.  Running trembling fingers through her hair, she released an unsteady breath.  The darkness was always filled with hands clawing at her flesh, moans of anguish or sharp stabs of pain.  Being a werewolf had brought all kinds of changes to her life.  This latest plague was the worst.  Depending on an ordered, tidy existence was a thing of the past.  Would she ever be able to sleep without nightmares or rest peacefully again?

Her mentor, the witch, Hortence, had given her potion after potion to relieve the restless nights of dream after unsettling dream.  None had helped.  So, the night sweats and visions continued like premonitions from a horror play.

Her hands came down, punching the quilt on either side of her thighs in an act of frustration.

Immediately, Ty’s arm came around her.  Her lover, Tyler Loflin, wrapped her close.

“Easy, Sonja!  Baby, I’m right here.”

His strength – so solid and dependable along with his words – so warm and gentle enveloped her.  Nothing could penetrate his protection, nothing, she mused.  Sonja wrapped her arms around his solid strength, languishing in his hold.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes… the dream…I had it again.”  Seeking the crook of his neck as a haven, Sonja released a shaky breath.  Ty’s heart beat in solid, rhythmic cadence.  His long, dark hair skimmed her cheek in a soft caress.

“Here, now, let me hold you.  You can tell me what happened.”  With big, bronzed hands, he adjusted the covers, arranging a nest of sorts for her comfort.  “Shamans say it makes a bad dream better when you talk about the fool thing.”  Ty punched up the pillows.  Easing her back, he made sure she was comfortable before joining her against the cool cotton.  In a gesture as old as time, he reached out, brushing her curls back from her face.  “Now, that’s better?”

She let out a slow breath.  It was worth a try.  Nodding, she frowned, trying to recall the details.

“It’s the same one I keep having.  We are fighting the vampires.  There are so many!”  Her voice cracked with the last words.  She swallowed hard.  The tears couldn’t break free.

“I got you, Nymph.  You’re safe.  Nothing will hurt you, now.  Keep going.”

Sonja sniffed before sending him a trembling smile.  She loved it when he used the pet name he’d given her right after they’d met over three months before.  “All right.”  Shoving at her hair, she tried again.  “This time, the bloodsuckers are everywhere.  They’re coming out of the woodwork, Ty.”  She glanced at him, the fingers of unease showing again.  “There’s so many, I don’t think we will stop them.”

He patted her back gentle like, rocking her slightly in his hold.  “Just a dream, it’s okay, I got you.”

“We’re separated.”  She slid her hand between their bodies, wiping at the tears.  “I can’t see you, yet I hear you.  You’re swarmed by vampires.”

Panic clawed at her chest.  She clutched at her breast, the pressure there cutting off her air.  On a strangled cry, Sonja shoved away.  Suddenly, his comfort had turned into a vice-like sensation.  “I…I can’t breathe, Ty!”

He released her, rolling from the bed, before, reaching for her to follow.  Sonja went immediately into his hold.  “Watch me, Nymph – breathe,” he commanded.  “Breathe…that’s it.  Now again…deep.  Let it out slow.  That’s a girl.”  He raised her arms up over her head, standing with her until her chest eased its rapid constriction.  With his big hand, Ty gently rubbed between her breasts.  “Feel better?”

She nodded.  Soon, the feeling of security his hold invoked returned.  The anxiety attack eased.  Threading her arms around him, she smiled when his sturdy embrace encircled her once more.

“I’ll speak to Hortence again about the damn nightmares.  There has to be a better way to handle them.”

“Do you suppose they’re more than figments of my imagination?”  A frown crossed her brow.  Was it possible for someone or something else to hold control over her nightmares?  “Like a vampire spell or perhaps black magic?”  She leaned back in his hold, gazing steadily into his eyes.  “We may not be considering all the possibilities, Ty.”

“It’s not off to consider the vampires have powers too – maybe even access to magic.”  Ty shook his head before resting his brow against hers.  “We know so little about these damn creatures of the night.  It frustrates the hell out of me.  So, somehow they get inside your head, conjuring up a wicked dream.”  Gathering her close again, he tried to reassure.  “Tomorrow we’ll talk to Hortence.  She’s got to have something that will block the dreams.  I won’t give up until I find one.  I promise, Nymph.”

Resting against his chest, the vibration of his voice next to her ear as a welcome balm, Sonja closed her eyes.  Could the dreams be her anxiety manifested or the future about to play out in reality?  God, she hoped not!  Unable to stop her body’s cringe, the memory of the screams came back to her.  In the dream, Ty needed her help, yet she wasn’t able to reach him in time.

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Cover Design by Ally Thomas
Cover Design by Ally Thomas
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.

Thanks for dropping by!

Hot Halloween Heroes Blog Hop with Wolfen Secrets

Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.

What makes a hero lovable?  We’re asking that question in Felicity Heaton’s Hot Halloween Heroes Giveaway Blog Hop.  Does a hero have to be strong, blatantly male, no inhibitions, no apologies, or a diamond in the ruff to be sexy?  Describe your hot Halloween hero in a comment here and you’ll be eligible for the drawing of an ebook copy of Wolfen Secrets, the third book in the series, The Western Werewolf Legend.  Join us for the hop which includes over 120 blogs, all with something to share on the subject of hot Halloween heroes.  Click the Blog Hop pic above for a complete list of blog sites to visit. Also, click the cover of Wolfen Secrets, The Western Werewolf Legend series listed below for the Amazon link to  it and all my books.

Now check out the steamy excerpt from Wolfen Secrets:

The fire sprang up unexpected.  A lone, extended note of pain erupted from somewhere in the haze of smoke and flames.  Ty’s anxious search of the smoldering blaze didn’t go unnoticed.

“She’ll be all right, Lieutenant.”

Ty whipped around to glare into the eyes of the Guardian.  “How in the bloody hell can you be sure?  You stand here in the safety of the cool glade, while Sonja is out there in the flames somewhere searching for a lost child.”  Unable to stand in the wolf god’s presence any longer, Ty huffed out a breath before wheeling away to stare at the flames once more.  “Your audacity astounds me.”  He whipped back around, punching out a finger in the direction of the flames.  “I want you to tell me she is here with me, you overgrown bag of bones, not “she is all right”.”  He wheeled from the Guardian toward the fire again.  Sparks burned his eyes.  The change to a werewolf came on him like a refuge for his anger.  He embraced the shift.  With the glow of a shifter’s essence still fresh on his wolf’s coat, Ty growled low, leaping into the firestorm, leaving the Guardian standing there.

He could hear the fire moan as another gust of wind fed the blaze.  Hortence’s voice came to him on the wind-swept smoke.  In his mind’s eye, she appeared next to the Guardian.  Now, she showed up.  Unbelievable!

“He seeks his mate.”  Hortence’s words rang flat.

“Yes, he is having a hard time with the responsibilities she faces.  His nature is to protect a woman.  This woman is different,” the Guardian added.

Hortence nodded absently at the flames.  A great ball of fire erupted, spewing sparks into the darkness.  “He will find his way.  Compromise is the great mediator.”

Guardian flicked a glance her way.  “Sonja was correct.  You are full of riddles and conundrums, Witch.”

The old woman glared in return at the great hulking beast.  “And you smell.  What’s your point, wolf god?”  Without waiting for an answer, she turned to go.  “Soon, you’ll have your hands full.”  She flung the jab over her shoulder as she walked away.  “I’ll be taking my leave of this place now, along with its company.”

How’d the two ever get anything done?  Arguing was their only means of communication.  Still Ty remembered the Guardian’s words.  Was it true?  Sonja would have to face the demons on her own.  Surely not – they were wolf mates.  If anything, he’d be the one to face the bastards, not her.

She was in the damn fire alone, right now.  Struggling with something akin to panic, Ty swore low, before scanning the flames again.  Where was she?  Suddenly, the ground trembled as a great fireball erupted into the sky.  Searing heat washed over him in waves.  The fire was getting worse.  He had to find her!  Noting the girth and depth of the inferno, Ty sprinted forward.  The fire breathed as a living thing.  The flames continued to consume everything in their path.  “Sonja!  Where are you?”  No reply!  A sensation of helplessness washed over him, promising to engulf him in its grip if he wasn’t careful.

Stumbling, he covered his muzzle with his paw.  The smoke choked the oxygen out of the air, making it hard to breathe, not to mention think.  Something akin to terror gripped his chest.  Recalling the night she’d been bitten by her undead husband, Robert, he had to fight the notion she may be lost.  “Sonja!”  Ty’s howl echoed in the thick smoke.  No answer!  His chest tightened again as his vision raced in every direction at once.  “Sonja!”

Suddenly up ahead came a whimper.  His keen ears went on alert.

The fire moaned and yawed with another gust of wind.  The flames shifted toward him.  The whimpering stopped.  Scanning a few feet ahead, Ty bent low on all fours, forcing his way through with the fire licking at his fur.  He kept going.  Scorched and singed, he paid no attention as he struggled to clear the downed timber and burning treetops.  There she was, a smoldering figure staggering toward him.  Her fur, matted and burned in places, resembled a half-charred piece of white paper someone had crumpled before throwing into the flames.  Yet she lived.  Blinking, Sonja’s werewolf stared blankly up at her mate.  Those golden eyes of hers bore misery mingled with defeat.  She belched a plume of smoke from her muzzle.

“She’s gone.”  With those two words, she slumped against him.  The retched ache of her mind’s words wrapped around his heart and squeezed.

Still his mind cried out with relief.  Ty’s one and only wolf had made it back to him.  She reeked of smoke, yet she lived.  Gone was the pristine white of her mane, in its place a molten gray and black body swayed precariously in front of him.  He noted the large raw patches of scorched flesh and oozing wounds scattered along her back.  Still, she lived.  He gathered her in his front paws, licking her muzzle.  “Don’t do this to yourself, Nymph.”  His wolf’s mind tried to comfort.  The nudge he gave her with his snout didn’t rouse her from her misery.  “Were it in my power, I’d take this from you.  I’d make everything right.  You should expect nothing more when dealing with the vampires.  For all we know, this was a vision, like another of your hellish dreams.  Take heart in the fact, you gave it your best shot.”  Ty’s limited connection to her grieved him almost as much as the sadness in her eyes.  “Come, let’s get you back.  You’re injured.”  He ran a paw over the gash in her hind leg.  “A major part of my loving you lies in your courage, Nymph.  I’d never question your attempt at saving a life.”

With that, Ty nudged her neck, licking at the wound in her leg.  The attention was enough to rouse Sonja.  It was time to leave.  The portal was in sight.  She stumbled toward the light

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Cover Design by Ally Thomas
Cover Design by Ally Thomas
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.

Thanks for dropping by!