Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Congratulations to the Winners of my August Giveaway!

The results are in and Cristina A. is the top prize winner of my August giveaway. Mary A., Erika L., Shelley S., Shannon A. and Lindsey V. have each won a copy of Dangerous Dreams (The Dreamrunners Society, Book 1). Congrats! I will be contacting the winners by email soon.

My thanks to everyone who entered. Be sure to check back for my next contest in September, when I'll be giving away a gorgeous sterling and mother of pearl necklace (retail $120 from a NM art gallery).

One note: when Rafflecopter reports the winners, it picks the next name after the first name to list as an initial. If your entry included your middle name, aka Jane Zither Doe, it shows up on the widget below as Jane Z.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Writing What You Want to Read? Visting at Jody A. Kessler's Blog Today

I often wonder if other writers do what I do and write books they'd like to read. Discussing that idea today with paranormal author Jody A. Kessler on her blog. Hop on over and check it out.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dangerous Dreams Blog Tour ~ Septermber 16-23

I'm going on my first blog tour! Thanks to the amazing Roxanne Rhoads at Bewitching Book Tours, the schedule for my Dangerous Dreams Book Tour includes 14 stops. My thanks, also, to all the generous bloggers who have offered me space on their sites.

September 16 Interview
Traci Douglass 

September 16 Spotlight and review
Tattooed Book Review

September 16 Spotlight and review
Another World of Books

September 17 Spotlight

September 17 Spotlight
Escape Into A Book

September 18 Character Interview
Eclipse Reviews -Book blogger and reviewer 

September 18 Spotlight
Author Karen Swart

September 19 Interview
Dalene’s Book Reviews

September 19 Interview
Reading In Twilight

September 20 Interview
Books Books and More Books

September 20 Interview
Books & Other Spells. 

September 23 Interview
BookwormBridgette's World

September 23 Interview
Books and Tales

September 23 Spotlight
Reviewing in Chaos

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Joys of World Building ~ Guest Post with Author Romy Sommer

Romy Sommer, author of jazz-era historicals such as Let's Misbehave and Prohibited Passion under her alter ego, Rae Summers, branches out into contemporary fairy tale romance for her latest release, Waking up in Vegas from Harper Impulse. My guest today, she hints at how a writer goes about inventing fictional settings for her books.

The Joys of World Building

by Romy Sommer

I learned from a young age that one didn’t simply ‘watch’ television. TV time was the most productive time of day in our household. My mother, who as an English teacher always had as constant supply of papers to grade, would work as she watched. My father would generally be found fixing something or building puzzles...and I read, or did embroidery, or drew.

Since my artistic ability is limited to stick figure drawings, my drawings were usually floor plans of houses I could only dream of living in, or maps of majestic estates or fictional countries.

Sommer's inspirational view of the Rhine River.

When I went through a phase of reading Elinor Brent-Dyer’s Chalet School books as a teen, I created layouts of the school(s). When I was into Arthurian books (anything and everything to do with King Arthur) I created maps of the Dark Ages kingdoms of those books.

I had no idea at the time that this was all preparing me to become a writer, because a very large part of what writers do is world building. No matter whether we write sci-fi or romantic suspense or comedy, we’re creating worlds for your characters – whether they be distant planets, underground mazes or the office building in which they work.

Today I still create maps of fictional places and grand homes I can only dream of living in. The difference is that you can now share these fantasy worlds with me!

For Waking up in Vegas, I created the fictional European nation of Westerwald. Lying roughly between France and Germany (pretty much where the Rhine River is in real life), it’s a small hilly country, with a major river running through it lined with medieval castles (now I wonder where I got that idea?!). The hillsides are covered with vineyards and ancient woodland, and downriver lies the nation’s only large town, Neustadt (so called because it’s newer than the rest of the nation, and not to be confused with the real life German town of the same name).

Westerwald is also a nation where fairy tales come true.

It’s here that my heroine Phoenix meets her destiny in the shape of Prince Charming, aka Max Waldburg.

For me, creating fictional places is as natural as breathing, but am I just revealing my inner Geek Girl by admitting this – or do you also create fantasy worlds in your own head? And more to the point, have you ever committed those fantasy worlds to paper?

(If you haven’t yet, I can highly recommend it!)


Waking up in Vegas

What happens in Vegas…

Waking up to the bright lights of Vegas in an unfamiliar penthouse suite, cocktail waitress Phoenix Montgomery finds she’s covered from head to foot in gold glitter and not alone – aside from the empty bottle of champagne, there’s a mystery man in the shower and a huge sparkly ring on her finger!

Stays in Vegas?

There’s no denying Max Waldburg’s demi-god sex appeal but commitment-phobic Phoenix doesn’t do relationships. Only it seems her new husband (agh!) has other ideas…he’s trying to keep that ring on her finger and his wife firmly back in his bed. The only question on her lips is – why? Or maybe, why not?



I wish I were dead. Phoenix moaned and pulled the pillow over her head to block out the blinding light and the clamour of rain. If only her head would just explode and get it over with.

At least the pillow seemed softer this morning. And it smelled nicer than normal too. A fresh citrus scent that quickened her blood.

Hang on a minute. Rain? In Vegas?

She peeked out from under the pillow. Oh my…

Not her room.

This room was at least twice the size of her entire motel apartment, and way better furnished. Correction: this wasn’t just a room; it was a palatial hotel suite. Through the double doors she spied a living room.

She sank back on the pillows, which seemed to be dusted in gold glitter. Perhaps she’d already died and this was heaven. Though she highly doubted heaven would want Phoenix Montgomery. Not that she’d been a particularly bad girl, but she’d never made much effort to be particularly good either.

And she’d certainly seen and done a few things a more conventional person might quail at. This being one of them.

She covered her eyes. Blocking the sunlight streaming in through tall windows at least helped the ache in her head.

Sunlight? Then that wasn’t rain…

Instantly awake, she turned her head and identified the source of the sound of running water: not rain, but a shower running.

She wasn’t alone.

Terror clutching her heart, she lifted the crisply starched sheet. Oh hell…

Beneath the sheet, she was stark naked, aside from yet more gold glitter. And not alone, in a room she didn’t recognize.

What the hell had happened last night?

Through the aching blur, she fumbled for memories. She and Khara had got off work not long before dawn, and they’d gone out for a drink as they often did at the end of a shift. They’d chosen a pool hall away from The Strip, the kind of place that wasn’t in any tourist brochure. With the sedatives the doctor had prescribed to help her sleep, Phoenix hadn’t had that much to drink. Besides, she could handle alcohol. Unless...

There was only one thing that could get her drunk.

She closed her eyes, grasping for the memories. They’d danced to music from an old-fashioned juke box and played a couple of games of pool. She’d even won a little money off a guy with tattooed arms who couldn’t believe he’d been bested by a girl.

And then there’d been a man who bought her a drink…

The bathroom door opened. Phoenix sucked in a breath and opened her eyes.

Yeah, that man.

God, but he was drool worthy. Especially wearing nothing but a fluffy white towel wrapped around his hips. He definitely worked out. Until now she’d believed six packs like that were the results of air brushing in magazine spreads. This set of abs was one hundred percent real.

She forced her gaze higher, over the tanned chest, broad shoulders, up to meet a pair of startling blue eyes in a face framed by overlong fair hair.

“You’re awake. Good. I’ve ordered breakfast.”

She was so not hanging around for breakfast. She cleared her throat. “Where are my clothes?”

He pointed toward the living room. Clothes lay strewn across the floor and, yep, there it was, the only thing that could get her truly and embarrassingly drunk... a bottle of champagne, empty and lying on its side on the floor.

“How are you feeling?” The demi-god’s voice matched his face; deep, masculine, with a hint of amusement and a faint Germanic trace.

He perched on the edge of the bed. He smelled as good as he looked, clean and slightly lemony. Just like the pillow. Her blood all rushed south again.

She could only imagine how much fun he’d been up close and personal. Pity she had absolutely no memory of it.

“Did we really…?” She waved a hand at the bed, and her naked body beneath the sheet that she now held clutched to her breasts. And her heart stopped.

Was that a ring on her finger? On her left hand?


Waking up in Vegas is published by Harper Impulse, a division of Harper Collins, and is available from the following online retailers:
AllRomance eBooks

About Romy Sommer 

I’ve always written stories for myself, but didn’t even think of being an author until I realised that being over thirty and living in a fantasy world was a little odd. Writing those same stories for other people makes it a lot more acceptable! By day I dress in cargo pants and boots for my not-so-glamorous job of making movies but at night I come home to my two little Princesses, in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I live, and I get to write Happy Ever Afters. Since I believe every girl is a princess, and every princess deserves a happy ending, what could be more perfect? You can follow Romy on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads or on her blog.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

10 Questions and a Giveaway with Paranormal Romance Author Jody A. Kessler

Jody is the author of Death Lies Between Us, a new adult paranormal romance, and new release, from Crescent Moon Press. Death Lies Between Us is Book One of her An Angel Falls series.

This month she also is participating in a multi-author giveaway extravaganza with loads of fantastic prizes! To enter, follow this link to the Rafflecopter form.

Note: A Facebook account is required to access the form.

A Quick Ten with Jody A. Kessler

1. Do you have a favorite hobby not related to writing?

I have so many different hobbies. It’s probably my ADHD – I’m kidding. However, I really like to try new things. I tend to gravitate toward something new every year or so. Some of the hobbies I have stuck with for many years are photography, sewing, gardening, soap making, and studying herbal medicine.

2. Guilty pleasure?

Definitely See’s chocolate.  Divinity, creams, chews, milk, dark. I don’t discriminate. They’re all my favorite. (Aside from Aileen. Agreed! My favorite See's are butterscotch squares and the maple walnuts. Can't resist them.)

3. Favorite book or author?

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I really enjoy reading historical fiction. Ms. Gabaldon’s writing is stellar and her characters are scrumptious.

4. Do you collect anything?

Music, books, and rocks. Yep, I was that kid. Always picking up shiny or interesting looking rocks and stuffing them into my pockets or hauling home a 30 pound rock because it was pretty. I still love them and will hunt for fossils or crystals at any given opportunity. My music and book collections are enormous too.

5. Tell us something that annoys you about yourself?

I tend to over-think and over complicate things. Maybe I really am ADHD. I should probably be tested or something. Ha-ha, kidding again. But there are times when my brain will not slow down – maybe that is why I spew out 100,000 word novels for fun.

6. Paper or plastic? (paperback or e-reader)

Why limit my reading choices? I like both. My e-reader has sustained some unmentionable abuse (I’m not going to tattle on myself here.) So, in certain circumstances, such as being near water, I prefer paper. Also with some of my very favorite authors – I like to have a hardback copy of their books. I also love my e-readers. I own and use both a Nook and a Kindle.

7. Cats or dogs?

Dogs. I might choose cats if my allergy to their fur didn’t make me want to scratch my face off.

8. Pantser or plotter?

Somewhere in the middle. I plot a little and then my characters like to change things on me mid-novel.

9. Perfect vacation destination (money or time constraints don’t exist)

Lately, all I do is dream about going to Ireland. My current writing project has scenes there. It is the 3rd book in my An Angel Falls series and I want to use it as an excuse to visit and do book research. Other than Ireland, I’d love to see most of Europe including Germany, Italy, Slovenia, and France.

10. Why do you write?

When I’m not writing, I feel completely out of sorts. So I write to stay sane. People like me better when I’m on the positive side of sanity.

Thank you, Jody! Didn't know you were a rock collector. Quirky coincidence. Yesterday's guest, Lori Connelly, has the same hobby, and I just picked it up (sorry, awful pun) a few months ago. Maybe we should start our own chapter of RWA, the Rock Hounds of Romance. No? Okay. But still very cool to meet a fellow mineral lover.

About Death Lies Between Us

Saving the life of someone you love should not be the worst thing you have ever done, unless you are an Angel of Death.

Disgruntled with his position in the afterlife and conflicted by his feelings toward his new client, Nathaniel Evans forgoes the rules and saves nineteen year old Juliana Crowson from being hopelessly stuck in Forge Creek. This alters Juliana’s destiny and she finds herself in a series of near death accidents.

In the mountains of Colorado, Nathaniel comforts Juliana as she struggles to understand her paranormal abilities while coping with her brother’s drug addiction. When an ill-tempered Native American Shaman teaches her the difference between ghosts and place memories, she decides she wants nothing to do with the supernatural world. Too bad she doesn’t know that Nathaniel is part of it. 

Will fate bring these two together, or has Nathaniel made the biggest mistake of his afterlife?

An Excerpt to Tease You

The tears pour out of my eyes in a silent deluge. My chest and shoulders shake with misery. It pisses me off that I can’t make it stop, and that amplifies my problem. I am not this kind of girl! I never have been and I don’t want to be now. I despise crying. My feet take a couple of stumbling steps toward the castle.

I hear him this time. He isn’t some supernatural being who moves in total silence. Crackling footsteps approach me and then his entire body engulfs me. Strong arms encircle me. One large hand cups the back of my head pressing me forward into him. His other hand wraps around my back securing me in place.

“Shh, shhh, it’s been a hard night. I swear I’m not seeing anyone. I’m just an idiot. I’m so, so sorry. Please believe me, everything is going to be fine, you’ll see,” he whispers into the top of my head.

I shake and snivel and let all the stress pour out of me. I have no clue how much time has passed, seconds, minutes, maybe an hour. As the tears finally run out I realize Nathan has once again taken all of my pain away with his selflessness. I lean the entire length of my body into him, letting him support me. My head seems to fit in the divot in the center of his chest as if it was made for me. He’s so warm and comfortable. It’s even better here than being nestled in my bed. I didn’t know that was possible.

His hand begins to stroke my hair. His fingers combing down its length, brushing over the back of my neck and trailing down my spine. Each pass leaves a path of warm ripples in its wake. If I could forget the world and melt into this feeling I would do it without a second thought.

“What are you doing to me?” he breathes the words out over my head.

The words exit his lips and tickle my inner ear. It sends a swell of warmth down to my chest, making me take a deep breath in. I let out a relaxing sigh. I want to tell him it’s not me, it’s him. He’s the one who has transformed me, taken away all of my willpower, and healed my wounds, changed me. All I manage to get out is, “It’s not me.” The rest of my thought, it’s you, goes unvoiced because sheer terror rips the night apart.


Jody A. Kessler enjoys writing paranormal novels and is a member of Pikes Peak Writers. She is a yoga instructor, Reiki Master, and a graduate from the Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy. When she took an extended leave from her massage practice to stay at home with her newborn she returned to her first true passion—writing. She spends most of her time being a mother, writing, and teaching yoga, but also likes going to concerts, hiking, practicing herbal medicine, and reading anything that catches her interest. Jody lives in the mountains of Colorado with her family.

Book Two of Jody's An Angel Falls series, Angel Dreams, is scheduled for release in early 2014.

Visit Jody on her website at: www.jodyakessler.com

Or connect with her on:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Q & A with Historical Romance Author Lori Connelly

What's a woman living in the rough and tumble American frontier of the 19th century to do when she finds herself suddenly without a home? How can she forgive the man she thought she loved, changed from the visionary pioneer she married, and the very person responsible for their financial downfall? HarperImpulse author Lori Connelly, my guest today, spins a tale of heartbreak, romantic redemption, and one hot cowboy in The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge.

Join me below for an interview and excerpt with HarperImpulse's debut novelist. Then scroll down for my review.

The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge: HarperImpulse Historical Romance (The Men of Fir Mountain, Book 1)

The day Evie met Benjamin Rolfe, a man with unbridled enthusiasm and grandiose plans, she knew they’d marry and live happily ever after…

Five years later, the charming rancher is now a bitter, cynical stranger with a shaky moral compass. She no longer believes in fairy tales, too many shattered dreams.

When they lose the homestead, it’s already strained to breaking point. Can their love survive this second chance?


A Few Minutes with Lori Connelly

You've just sold a novel to Harper Impulse, and contracted other works with them. Congratulations on your multiple first sales!

Thank you, I’m still amazed by it. 

The first thing I notice when I visit your blog is the mood…rain and what look like blurry, snow covered mountains. The phrase "Jumping off the rock" also appears under your name. The combination strikes me as a very personal choice. What do these images and the phrase mean to you?

A fresh, new smell fills the air after it rains a while here as if the world is now clean. I love that. It reminds me that no matter what you can start again.

I’ve allowed fear of what might happen stop me far too many times. It seized me once by the river, kept me from doing something again I’d done moments before. (I wrote about it here.) Jumping off the rock means I will no longer stand frozen. I may be so scared I shake but I’ll leap anyway.

You're a lifelong resident of Oregon. City or rural? How does where you live inform or inspire your writing? What makes your home special to you?

I live not rural enough in the Willamette Valley and dream of moving out of town, having acres to roam. Oregon’s a diverse state with mountains, dense forests, tons of water and even flat, dusty desert sections. I’ve walked the old Barlow Road (part of the Oregon Trail) where wagon ruts from pioneers remained, wandered through the forest and found an old rotting cabin more than once and camped by a small, unnamed lake, listened to a chorus of frogs as night fell. My home provides fodder for my way too active imagination and inspires the settings for all my stories.

You mention how important family has been to your formation as a writer. What effect has family had specifically on the way you approach writing and how you feel about your work?

My family is my heart. Writing is my passion.

I’m blessed with a story telling, rolemaster gamemaster husband and sons who inherited both our vivid imaginations and love of a good tale. They think nothing of me asking odd questions. For example, how would you sit with a rifle if you felt scared, worried about a threat outside? In answer, my husband stood up, got out his hunting rifle and demonstrated then I wrote the opening scene in The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge.

Who do you write for? Yourself? Some imaginary reader? Editors? One specific person?

Myself. It’s a compulsion. I see endless possibilities with life and I write to answer the question, what if?

I see you started writing in earnest in 2006, which to me sounds like a pretty speedy evolution from aspiring to published author.

I’ve been writing forever it seems, always talked about being published, filled notebooks for years yet made zero progress. Self-doubt and fear, held me fast, forever it seemed then we moved to the Valley in 2006. With this fresh start I figured it was time to fish or cut bait.

How many rejections would you say you received before this first sale? If printed out, would there be enough to paper the inside of a blanket chest? A closet? A bathroom?

I’ve had eight rejections. I owe a lot of that low number to the lessons I learned as a member of an online writing community. I revised A LOT before I submitted the first time. Support from that community, family, friend and sheer stubbornness kept me trying after rejections.

Only eight? That's amazing. Personally, I could probably paper a family room with mine. 

Now, the excerpt from The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge, which appears on your blog, ends with a huge challenge for the heroine, trying to see the attraction in a man who has fallen down in her eyes, metaphorically speaking. I'm guessing the hero has become an alcoholic?

Ben’s become convinced his life is a bitter failure, whiskey numbs him, is his escape. At his introduction he’s a drunk certainly, an alcoholic, perhaps, I’ll let the readers draw their own conclusions.

Where does your interest in Western historical romance come from?

My grandmother interested me in genealogy. I acquired copies of some letters written by a couple ancestors. One was standard communication between a husband and wife but it set my imagination off.  I wondered what their love story was and since there is no way to find out for real, I started creating possibilities.

Think fast. You've just heard you have your first review. What's your reaction? Play ostrich and bury your head in the sand, rush to find the review online, or not want to look but find yourself helplessly sucked into reading it?

I’d not want to look but would find myself helplessly sucked into reading it.

If you could be anyone else or anywhere else in the world, something that was a complete 180 of your current life, what/who/where would it be?

A back up singer for P!nk. For lacking the slightest ability to carry a note, I’d be fired but it’d be an amazing few minutes.

Please tell readers what they have to look forward to from you after The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge.

The series, The Men of Fir Mountain, continues with a novella and I’m currently writing the third story.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by today, Lori. And congratulations again on your debut!

Thanks again, Aileen.

An Excerpt from The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge

Her body went rigid with indignation. “I was not fine.” She spoke slow, precise, each word distinct.  “You should have been home. I needed you.”
“I can’t be here to baby you, all the time.”

“I don’t expect that.” Anger as bitter cold as the snowmelt fed creek she stood beside knotted her insides. “But when you kick up a hornet’s nest, you should face the consequences.”

“Fine.” The cold, hard word shook her to the core, no trace of regret in his voice. “I’m leaving, have work to do.”

“Like you did last night? And what sort of horse training is done after dark?” Bitterness, sharp and painful, seasoned her words, crafted to provoke him.    

“Don’t start in again.” His gaze locked on hers. “I have to support us.”

“There are other ways.”

“Which I tried and they earned me a tiny cabin and an almost empty barn. There’s no reward for being good doll.”

“How about honor and self respect?”

“I’d rather have the coin.”

“If you’re so pleased with this way of life why do you need to soak yourself in whiskey?”

I need a drink or two to unwind.”

“You were full as a tick when you finally came home.”

“That’s my business.”

Her jaw clenched. Evie looked down, brushed a bit of dust off her skirt. A breeze caressed her face, brought the scents of moss and recent rain. “I don’t want to argue.”



“Evie for the love of–”

“But,” Her tone unyielding, she paused, looked up, met his gaze squarely then continued. “Things have to change.”

“Like?” His voice sounded dangerous, a confrontation itself.

“No more lying, cheating and–”

“That’s the way of the world sweetheart.”

His sarcasm stung. “It’s wrong.”

“I do what I need to do and I will again,” He growled with conviction. 

The day after Evie married, her brother and only living relative, Henry, had taken off in search of gold and she’d never heard from him again. Ben was all she had. It took no small measure of courage to stand firm.

“I won’t stand by and watch it anymore, you’re hurting these people.”

“Well you don’t have to.”

“You’ll stop?” Hope laced her voice.

“Of course.”

His voice, silky smooth, disturbed her. “That’s a sudden change of heart.”

“Maybe.” Ben moved close. “I only want,” His hand reached out, played with a loose strand of her hair, “To make you happy.”

The gesture reminiscent of their early days, when simple, affectionate touches were common, made her heart ache. Evie blinked back tears. The back of his fingers left a trail of tingling nerves across her cheek.  She allowed it, savored the moment then stepped back.

“I get the feeling you don’t believe that,” His voice sounded hoarse, shaded with mockery. She shook her head, unable to speak. He’d traded on her love too many times before and her trust was frail.

“Fine, you won’t have to worry about our poor neighbors any longer because we won’t be here. It’s time to move on.”

Anxiety made it hard to breathe. The thought of starting all over yet again was almost unbearable.  “No.”


“I’m not moving.”

“Don’t be foolish.”

“I’m not.”

His head tilted slightly to one side, he studied her. “Do you want to see me arrested?”

“The sheriff has something on you?”

“Don’t think so, but I can feel him closing in.”

“What did you do?” Disappointment tasted like ashes.

“Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.”

His tone set her teeth on edge, “Of course not.”

“Good then–”

“If this is how you want to live then it’ll be without me. I want no part of it.”

“But I’m your husband,” His expression incredulous, he stared at her as if she’d grown horns.

“Yes I know.”

“Do you know what would happen if I abandoned you? Do you really want to find out how vulnerable a woman alone is?”

“I already have,” The dreadful pressure around her chest increased. She crossed her arms over her stomach, “last night.”

Silence stretched between them. For a long moment, the only sound came from a squirrel who chattered from the branches of a straggly oak tree near her. Despite the warm spring day, she shivered.

“Look, Evie I... I’m sorry about that.”

Though his words felt sincere when he stepped toward her she put one hand in front of her, palm out.  “Please don’t.”

“All right,” Ben stilled. “Just hear me out. We’ll start fresh. We’ll–”

“Own land as far as the eye can see and you’ll build us a grand home. I’ve heard this before.”

“It’ll be different this time.”

Evie fought the urge to cry. “Like it was supposed to be when we lost the saw mill in Montana, the boarding house in Salmon or the little farm right outside Cedar Ridge?”

“I’ve learned from my mistakes.”

“You were passed out in the barn a few hours ago.”

“What do you want me to do?” His hands clenched at his sides and his voice sounded edgy.

“Stop drinking, deceiving, breaking the law and make amends. Remember your dreams? To ride your own range? To build a herd and good reputation. You could make that happen. We have good land. We could have a good life here if you’d just–”

“I can’t do what you want.”

“You won’t know unless you try,” her tone fierce, Evie scowled at him.

“We have to move.” 

“Don’t give up, please Ben.”

“We don’t have a choice.”

“Yes we do,” Tired and cranky, Evie snapped. “I do.”

“I sold it.”

Her vision blurred. A headache pulsed to life, pounded behind her eyes. “You did what?”

About Lori Connelly

Lori was born, raised and still lives in Oregon with her best friend who also happens to be her husband.  She has three sons, one daughter-in-law, one grandbaby to be and two very spoiled dogs.  Although she made up stories as a child, wrote them down as a teen, life delivered a number of challenges and pursuing her writing career had to wait.  Now her dream has become reality.  Her favorite pastime is getting lost in a story by either writing or reading.  She also enjoys camping, rock hounding, and long walks with her husband.

Follow Lori:

Blog:  http://loriconnelly.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorilconnelly
Twitter: @LoriConnelly

Or find out more about this book and the author at:


Monday, August 19, 2013

Passionate Romance on the Oregon Trail ~ Review of The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge

Excellent debut for this author. Unlike many first time novelists who struggle to find their voice, Connelly writes with confident, heartfelt style, even if heroine Evie is a bit of a nervous wreck (and rightly so, given the circumstances).

The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge surprised me with a wonderful twist early in the book after a serious injury alters the hero, Ben, dramatically. Much of the book takes place on the Idaho-Oregon trail circa 1891, where Evie struggles with the startling change in her husband after five bitter years of a less-than-storybook marriage. Ben has his own problems dealing with his new life, as well. Connelly blends and weaves together their emotional transformation skillfully, as these two slowly, if not surely, find their way toward a new home, the rediscovery of sexual intimacy, and the joyful rebirth of their romantic selves. As Evie learns, this cowboy has a sexy charm that won't be denied.

One of the things I appreciated most about this novel was the amount of detail running in the background. Connelly lovingly describes the rich setting of the Oregon frontier as only a lifelong resident could (though the mention of various wildlife became slightly repetitive). I instantly wanted to hit the road and explore the territory covered in the book to see what remnants of that pioneer life remain.

I also gained a vivid understanding of how physically harsh, dangerous and stressful such a life must have been for the intrepid souls who traveled the West's early "highways." Other western romances usually breeze over the realities, but after reading The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge, I am doubly thankful for cars, cellphones, and the Internet.

Reviewer's note: Didn't quite understand the heroine's serious dislike of burned bacon. All bacon is good bacon.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I'm a Featured Author Today

Laurie Jenkins, who runs the cool blog, Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews, is hosting me today and asked Lara Freberg, the heroine of my latest novel, for a character interview. She's a fantastic blog hostess, who made me feel very welcome.

You can check out her post here.


Sometimes the day job does have its benefits. This week I attended a marathon nine-hour high-end art gallery close-out auction to purchase jewelry for my business. Close to 4000 lots were sold. Of the 100+ lots I won, I also scored some gorgeous jewelry to include in upcoming giveaways.

Check out this sterling, mother of pearl and citrine necklace that will be the feature prize during my September blog tour. Retail is $120. I chose the golden yellow citrine to match the golden fields of my novel Dangerous Dreams (The Dreamrunners Society #1.

Meanwhile, don't forget to click on the Giveaways tab above to enter this month's contest.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hot Happenings in August

August is slated to be a busy month with features and prizes here and across the Internet.



This month I'm joining The Masquerade Crew for their Mystery Scavenger Hunt. Eight authors of mystery and suspense, including yours truly, have joined together to offer $5 Amazon Gift Cards to eight lucky winners. It's easy to accumulate a lot of entry points for this one, so be sure to check it out and play along.

Plus, because I'm so addicted to giveaways myself, I'll be hosting my own giveaway on this blog. From the 5th through the 27th, you can enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or a Kindle copy of Dangerous Dreams, my new paranormal romantic suspense.



On the 10th, Laurie Jenkins of Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews has been kind enough to offer me a Featured Author Post. She'll be doing a character interview with Lara Freberg, the heroine of Dangerous Dreams. Laurie's site is a veritable gift basket of author giveaways, not to mention terrific reviews, and definitely worth a click.

Another Lori, debut historical romance author Lori Connelly, will join me here on this blog for an interview on the 20th. Lori's hot cowboy era romance, The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge (The Men of Fir Mountain, Book 1) will be released August 15th by HarperImpulse. If you can't wait until then, the book is available for pre-order now. Hint, hint.

Don't miss out. If you haven't already and we're in the zone (8/5-8/27), be sure to enter this month's giveaway via Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway