May 2, 2014
Tomorrow is a big day in Kentucky. It’s Derby Day. Post time (start time) for this year’s Derby is 6:24 pm, eastern. For those of you who would like to know more details about the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs where the race is held, there are two very nice websites: The Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs.
Why am I yammering on about the Kentucky Derby you ask? Good question. My novella, Run for the Roses, is in part about the Kentucky Derby, or more exactly about a journey to the race. In fact, the book ends just with the Kentucky Derby race. The Derby is only one piece of the book. There is the horse (more on him later today), his jockey, and two men from different backgrounds and of different ages who fall in love while helping to get that horse and jockey to the starting gate of the Kentucky Derby.
The title of the book Run for the Roses, comes from one of the nicknames the Kentucky Derby is known for. The equine winner of the race wears a garland of red roses. The tradition began over a century ago when the ladies attending a party thrown in Louisville were given a red rose. That grew into the red rose becoming the official flower of the Kentucky Derby in 1904. In 1925 a sports columnist coined the phrase “The run for the roses” in a New York newspaper. The first Thoroughbred to wear the garland was Burgoo King in 1932 and it’s been a tradition ever since. The garland is over 500 red roses sewn onto a green satin backing.
Photo by: Churchill Downs
Photo by: Secretariat.com
Photo by: Churchill Downs
Honestly, I haven’t got the patience to do that much stitching.
The Kentucky Derby has also been called, “the most exciting two minutes in sports!”
Here’s this year’s line up, otherwise known as the field, for the actual Kentucky Derby.
Want to be entered into a drawing to win an eBook copy of Run for the Roses? Who do you think will take the winner’s circle and wear that pretty red, rose garland tomorrow? I’ll come back after the race and announce the winner of this contest.
May 2, 2014
I’ve some interesting and fun things planned for today and, of course, those all important give aways. So, stay tuned to learn more about horses, racing….oh yeah and my newest release, Run for the Roses. But, first I’d like to take a moment to say happy seventh anniversary to Dreamspinner Press and congratulations to Elizabeth North for all her publishing success.
Let’s kick things off with the book blurb:
Wanting to end his pattern of choosing controlling and abusive men, Vladimir ‘Val’ Mihalic figures it’s better to live alone than live in fear. Just when things are settling down—his biggest trouble recently is a Kentucky Derby hopeful that won’t load into a starting gate—his best friend Janelle’s violent ex-boyfriend kidnaps her. After she’s seriously injured in a car wreck, Wyatt Harig, Janelle’s estranged father, comes around to tend to his daughter. Despite Val’s determination to avoid relationships, Wyatt interests him in ways that make his resolve waver. As complications and repercussions pile on in the aftermath of Janelle’s kidnapping—including a gambling charge and a murder—Wyatt and Val must work together to seek answers. And the closer they get to each other, the more Val wants them to stay that way.
The spectacular cover for Run for the Roses was done by cover artist TL Bland.
April 4, 2014
Good day to everyone, I’m Elizabeth Noble and I’m delighted to be here today to chat. My most recent novel, Electric Candle, was released today–April 4! Today is a special day for another reason. Today is also TL Bland’s birthday. She is the lovely lady responsible for the amazing cover to Electric Candle.
Let’s all wish her a fantastic birthday.
Here’s my box of pretty things that TL helped create. Yes, Terry, I did just tell the whole world you are a lovely person and it’s your birthday.
Electric Candle is the second book in a series I’m writing with Anne Barwell called The Sleepless City. She wrote book one, Shades of Sepia which was released earlier this year.
Link to book page: Electric Candle
March 25, 2014
I’m BA Tortuga and I reckon I’m a redneck.
I’m tickled as all get out to get to come and play with folks, talk cowboys, give a few things away, and basically shoot the bull about my newest (and debut Dreamspinner Press title), The Terms of Release. Oh, y’all… Sage and Win make my soul happy. I love me some Texan boys and these two are pure-D east Texas to the bone.
I’ve got my coffee — and for those of y’all that don’t know, that’s the fuel that keeps me going, dark, rich, magical elixir of life. I’ve got my hound dogs. I’ve got… okay, for me it’s way too early for anything more than that. Coffee, dogs, Tim McGraw on the radio, and a willing soul, that’s all I got. I’m ready to play.
Let’s start out like we can hold out. You tell me what you have to have to encourage your happy butt to get out of bed, I’ll give away an ebook copy of The Terms of Release.
Now Sage? Sage is out of bed with the sun, looking to feed. You know he presets that Mr. Coffee with Folgers, black and strong, just like my daddy. I’m sort of worried that he sleeps in his boots and hat, actually… Mr. Win, on the other hand, he spoils himself with the good coffee — nothing fancy, mind you — but good gourmet stuff he grinds at the Brookshires Brothers himself (and I can tell you there’s cinnamon pecan hidden in the back of his fridge, too). Coffee, CNN on the television, and a nice hot shower, that’s what Win needs before he straps on his uniform.
Now for the official blurb type stuff:
They say a man can always come home. So after doing hard time, Sage Redding heads to his family’s northeast Texas ranch to help his ailing daddy with the cutting horses.
Adam (Win) Winchester is a county deputy and the cousin of one of the men killed in the incident that sent Sage to prison for almost a decade. While Win’s uncles, Jim and Teddy, are determined to make Sage and the entire Redding family pay for their loss, Win just figures Sage has paid his dues and maybe needs a friend. Maybe he needs more than a friend. In fact, Win’s counting on it.
No one’s denying Sage is an ex-con who went to prison for manslaughter. Regardless of the love he has for his father, he’s returned knowing things will likely go badly for him. Maybe a man can always come home, but he may not be able to stay.
Can’t wait to chat with all y’all!
March 14, 2014
This is the cover that Paul Richmond and the fabulous art department at Dreamspinner came up with for Wrapped Up in Chains. It’s kind of funny because most people reading the blurb after seeing the cover will probably assume that the man on the cover is supposed to represent Chase, the sub in the story. In reality though, it’s really more representative of Devon, the Dom.
While Chase might have literally been kept in chains by his abuser, Devon is trapped in a different way. He loves the lifestyle he’s chosen to live but without someone to share it with, he’s lonely and feeling constrained. When he finally finds Chase and makes a real connection with him, the rules he’s chosen to live by make it hard for him to take what he wants and needs from the sub who’s so desperate to give it to him.
I think so many of us are like that. We get trapped by our way of thinking and even when the opportunity for change presents itself to us we find it hard to accept because we’re afraid. I think we all make our own chains and its up to us to find our way out of them.
When I saw this cover the first time, I knew it was the one I wanted. It jumped out at me and seemed to really embody what I saw in Chase and Devon. Of course, I still had to ask all my friends their opinion because I’m really terrible at making a decision of any kind without some kind of input and as my friends were the ones who helped me through writing it, it seemed only fair they help chose the cover!
You can get this at Dreamspinner here and in paperback here. And remember, only the first 20 copies of the paperback are autographed by yours truly. Btw, signing my first autographs was mind blowing!!!
February 19, 2014
Well that’s all folks!
Thank you so much for reading my posts. I am a new author and new to the art of blogging, and I have had a lot of fun writing these posts. I hope I will be back with another release party soon. Please follow my blog on the link below if you want to keep in touch with what I am up to.
The lovely Kim Fielding is generously having me guest blog on Sunday/Monday depending on time zone. http://kfieldingwrites.blogspot.co.uk/ Look out for more details on my blog link below – there might just be another giveaway!
I gave each of the lovely people who took part in the giveaway a number and in the interests of fair play I rolled a dice and the winner is… Andrea M! Congratulations! I will need your email address that is attached to the Dreamspinner Press account please and one will soon be winging its way over to you. It is getting on for midnight in the UK so I will bid you all goodnight, and hope to chat to you again.
For those of you unlucky this time, Broken is available at a discounted price today (19th) so why not take advantage and pop over to buy a copy! I hope you enjoy reading it!
February 19, 2014
In the early part of the novella, Oliver is upset when Joel says they should take a break. He vents his despair at the cost of some damage.
Have you ever broken something in a fit of temper, frustration or despair? Give your reply in comments and I will randomly select one lucky person to receive a free copy of Broken.
I will give you an instance when I broke something. I used to have a silly ornament called Egg Whip which was in the shape of an egg with a scrawny chicken’s head sticking out of it which was dressed to represent a jockey. I bought it as a joke as my now ex-husband had been a professional racehorse jockey in the past. Well, I was dusting one day and I noticed the peak of the cap was broken. My ex was really clumsy and I was cross he’d broken it without telling me that he had. When I asked him about it, he denied that he had done the deed. Pretty weak defense really as there was only the two of us in the house! Long story short, I got so cross at his denial that I snapped the head of the ornament and yelled that it was really broken now! LOL!
So, were you as daft as me by making a slightly damaged ornament only fit for the dustbin? Or have you got even funnier stories to tell? Tell your tales of destruction below for a chance to win a free copy of Broken! The winner will be chosen later tonight.
Edited to add – this giveaway is now closed but check out my blog as there may well be another chance to win when I guest blog at the weekend – full details will be put up there on Saturday!
February 19, 2014
One of the most exciting things about getting a story published in its own right, rather than as part of an anthology, is that the story got its own book cover. I filled out a questionnaire about my likes and dislikes of book covers to help the team at Dreamspinner Press decide who to get to do the artwork. I really do have to say that many of the examples I liked were by Brooke Albrecht, and so I was delighted to be informed that this talented artist would be doing the cover.
You’ve seen a little hint of the cover art on the headers on these posts, but I thought it was about time that I shared the whole thing. It is so beautiful I am really hoping that it gets nominated for awards as it so deserves to be.
The model is simply beautiful and the background really sets the scene. I really couldn’t believe my luck in getting such beautiful artwork and can’t thank Brooke enough!
I know we shouldn’t ‘judge a book by its cover’ but have any of you ever bought a book based purely on its cover, and if so did it live up to expectations? Please take the time to let me know in comments and stay tuned as a giveaway is coming up later and also an excerpt!
February 19, 2014
Hi, Raine Norman here again. My novella, Broken, is about relationship problems brought about by a physical injury to one of couple. This leads to Oliver’s self-esteem taking a plunge in the face of his ‘surfer-dude’ partner, Joel’s, physical fitness and outgoing personality.
These traits in Joel are what attracted Oliver to him in the first instance, but now he misreads all the signs and Joel, too, fails to realize how his normal behavior is now causing Oliver to have doubts about his commitment to their relationship until its almost too late.
I think the old adage ‘you need to love yourself before someone else can love you’ has a little truth in it. Negativity can cause many problems. Have any of you had a loss of confidence in yourself lead to relationship troubles? I’d love to hear your stories in comments.
I was employed riding racehorses out at exercise when I was in myearly twenties. Falling off is an occupational hazard in that line of work – put simply, if you ride enough horses you will end up on the ground at some point! Obviously a bad fall can shake your confidence, but weirdly for me, the horse that led me to losing my nerve (losing my bottle in horse-racing jargon) only gave me a couple of easy falls where I landed on my feet beside him.
The trouble was the damn thing had got it down to an art form and with a wriggle and a toss of his head could give you an unscheduled dismount at any time and in any pace! (I only ever fell off in walk thankfully). But riding him everyday made me more and more nervous and eventually I changed occupations! My partner, however, still worked within the industry and I hated that he still had all the confidence in the world when sat on a flighty racehorse or on our own horses.
This brought friction to our relationship and, strangely, when I regained my confidence on our own horses, my partner couldn’t handle the fact that I was competing in the show ring again and not him! The hobby we both shared and loved became my hobby alone, and over time this meant we spent less free time together and I am sure played a part in our separation.
It seems silly when I write it down, but when something that brings a couple together, be it a job, or hobby, like skiing in Oliver and Joel’s case , or horse riding in mine, is no longer possible or fun to share then it does put strain on a relationship.
What do you think?
Check out Broken at the Dreamspinner Press website and when I come back I will have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader! Excerpts and more chat to follow! :)
February 19, 2014
Hello, my name is Raine and I am ready to chat with all you lovely people. My latest novella, Broken, was released today, 19th February
I am very excited as this is the first story I have had published in its own right and not part of an anthology – more about that later.
Here’s the summary:
More than Oliver’s leg is broken after a skiing accident. The months spent in the hospital and enduring physical therapy leaves him bitter and insecure. His lover of four years, Joel, represents all he fears his weak and disfigured leg has stolen – the ability to live an active and carefree life.
Joel endlessly tries to lift Oliver from his despair, but after being rebuffed one too many times, he suggests they take a break and moves out.
After a long lonely week, Oliver is both delighted and terrified when Joel suggests they meet to talk things through. He discovers that Joel plans to make amends by helping Oliver realize he can still enjoy the snow. From Joel’s old apartment to the snowy peaks of a Canadian ski resort, Oliver and Joel will face their greatest fears together and with a little luck and a lot of trust, rekindle their love.
Stayed tuned to the blog for more excerpts, talks about my new book, and may even be a giveaway or two!