Tuesday, October 30, 2012

GIveaway from Maggie Jaimeson author of HEALING NOTES



Today we're welcoming Maggie Jaimeson to Killer Chicks as part of her book blast to celebrate the release of HEALING NOTES.


Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop.  In addition, she will award  a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour. 





BLURB:

Forgiving yourself is the first step, but helping others forgive may be just too hard.

Rachel Cullen grew up in Scotland with a fiddle in her hand from the age of four. She couldn't imagine life as anything but a musician. When her husband brought her to America she was immediately embraced by the Celtic and Bluegrass communities. But after her divorce, Rachel's life is a mess.

A year of trying to prove to herself that she's woman enough for any man, and then a vicious rape while on tour with the band, leaves Rachel reeling. When she meets Noel Kershaw, an English teacher who is poetry in motion, she is definitely attracted. But he has a young child and he's suffering from his own divorce. The last thing Rachel needs in life is more baggage.

First, Rachel must reconcile who she is, what she wants, and how to get there. Maybe then she'll know how to be a part of the family she's always wanted.


EXCERPT:


Claire crawled onto a stool on the other side of the island and smiled.  Neither of them talked for several minutes as they listened to the water in the pot heat.

“When I grow up, I’m going to play with Sweetwater Canyon all the time.”

“Are you sure you want to hang out with all us old folks?”

“You’re not all old. Well maybe a little old. But Kat isn’t old.”

Rachel smiled. “That’s true. She’s only seventeen.” And going on twenty-five it seemed sometimes.

“Oh, seventeen? That is old.” Claire put a finger to her lips and furrowed her brow. “How old do I have to be to play in the band all the time?”

“Probably at least eighteen.”

“But, you just said Kat—”

“Kat is different, because her mother plays in the band and can watch her all the time.”

“Well, you can watch me all the time. You can be my mother.”

Rachel gulped.

“Well, can’t you?”

“Can’t she what?” Noel walked in the room and lifted Claire off the chair in a big hug, swinging her around the room. “Can’t she what? She can do anything she wants.”

“See,” Claire leaned forward and looked at Rachel over Noel’s shoulder. “See, even Daddy thinks you can be my mother.”

“Whoa.” Noel set Claire back on the stool. “I’m not sure what I walked in on here.” He sent an accusing glance to Rachel. “You already have a mother, Claire.”

“I know. Not my real mother. My second mother. You know, like my friend, Megan. Her mommy and daddy got divorced and her daddy married a new mommy. So, Megan has two mommies now.  See?  Rachel can be my second mommy. Okay?”





Maggie Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” – helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.


HEALING NOTES is the second book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series of four books.  The final two books will be available in 2013.

Website: http://maggiejaimeson.com
Blog: http://maggiemeandering.blogspot.com
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maggie-Jaimeson/118916694787820
Twitter: @maggiejaimeson


DON'T FORGET:  Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop.  In addition, she will award  a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour, and a $25 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn host.  You must leave an email address to be entered into any of the drawings.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chance of winning! The tour dates can be found here: 



Friday, October 26, 2012

Special Sneak Peak

So how do you feel about werewolves?

If you have a soft spot for sexy shifters, and you're in the mood for a spooky, witchy adventure welcome to Cypress Park - home of the Garrison brothers, Daniel and Vance. Not only do they have to contend with the family curse of lycanthropy, but they can't seem to help themselves from tangling with the local witches. If you've ever found yourself howling at the moon, you need to pick up a copy of WOLFSBANE.

C.C. Ellis of Romance Divas Reviews  had this to say about ASPECT OF THE WOLF: 5 Kisses! The dialogue is crisp and the sexual tension palpable.

And Romance Junkies had this to say about LEADER OF THE PACK: 5 Ribbons!! Ms. Colgan wields a sense of magic into her words then weaves them into a believable tale. 

The official release date for WOLFSBANE: UNLEASH THE WOLF [The Complete Wolfsbane Series] is October 31st - but I'm letting Killer Chicks readers in on a little secret - the book is available NOW!


Here's a short excerpt from ASPECT OF THE WOLF, part one of WOLFSBANE:

“Can’t get your broomstick up! You said that to him?” Charlotte Swanson’s infectious giggle reverberated long-distance. Emilie held the phone away from her ear while her cousin laughed.
“It just came out,” she replied. “This guy really brings out my wicked side.”
“So let’s talk about his broomstick. Give me details.”
Emilie rolled her eyes as she nestled her teakettle onto the front burner of her kitchen stove. “His broomstick didn’t enter the picture, Char. This is the guy who wanted to run me out of town, remember?”
“And he just shows up in your store, looking all hunky and hot?”
“I never said he looked hunky and hot.”
“So what does he look like?”
Emilie rummaged in her grandmother’s antique cookie jar for a chocolate chip ripple to go with her tea. She chewed thoughtfully before answering. “Tall.”
“Compared to you, every guy is tall.”
“Nicely tall. Hunky. Hot. Very intense eyes. Compelling…”
The thought still bothered her that one long look from Daniel Garrison had left her nearly tongue-tied and ready to agree to anything he asked. She pictured him the first time she’d seen him, with his three-piece suit and embossed leather briefcase, addressing the Mayor of Cypress Park at the monthly town meeting—“Chester Creek nearly destroyed this town,” he’d said. “Are we going to allow more of his ilk to run amok here?”
There. That image effectively drove away any warm fuzzies she’d begun to feel for the man who desperately wanted to save his brother.
“Buff?” Charl asked.
“Bodybuilder buff. But not—you know—scary about it. Anyway, that’s not the point. He doesn’t trust magick, and I can’t see how he can trust me.”
“Well, I can understand that, considering you promised not to tell anyone about his problem and you’re on the phone in less than eight hours, yakking to me about it.”
Emilie dangled a bag of oolong into her teacup. “Well, considering you’re a thousand miles away, and I need someone to give me some werewolf advice, I’m not going to let it bother me. I told him this wasn’t a one-person job. I want to call all the girls, but that would freak him out. Can you send me the book I need?”
“I’m wrapping it in plain brown paper as we speak, sweetie.”
“Thanks. I’m going to dig around in Grandma’s old trunks and see if I can find that wolfsbane amulet she had. Do you know what might have happened to it?”
“Ah…if it’s anywhere, it’s with her medicine stones. Be careful if you find it, though. That stuff will give you one hell of a rash.”
“I’ll be careful.”
“And watch out for this guy, too, Em.” Charlotte’s tone sobered, and Emilie braced for the lecture. Too many men had hurt Charlotte over the years for her not to take a moment to warn her cousin about the potential pitfalls of the slightest romantic entanglement. “Maybe he’s all dreamy-eyed now because he wants something from you, but leopards don’t change their spots. He wanted you out of town once. Don’t assume because he wants you to wax his broomstick that he’s gotten over his heebie-jeebies about people like us.”
Emilie’s head fell into her hand. “Char! I’m not going to—ohmyGOD, ‘wax his broomstick.’”
“So you say now. I mean hey—I’m all for mixing it up. You want to have sex with him, go ahead. But that’s all. Don’t let him get to you.”
“I’m absolutely not going to have sex with Daniel Garrison. I don’t even like him.”
“Famous last words.” Charlotte humpfed, and the teakettle whistled. “I’m heading to the post office right now. You’ll get the book tomorrow.”
“Thanks, Char. For everything.”

* * * *

Daniel marked his calendar on Monday morning, as he did every day. Usually he ticked off days until an important meeting with a client or days left for Christmas shopping, but now he ticked off days until the next full moon. He’d heard nothing from Emilie Swanson since Saturday—except for a message on his office machine, thanking him for arranging the plumber.
He told himself he was anxious to finish the hocus-pocus and return Vance to normal, but the truth itched at the back of his brain. He wanted to see Emilie again.
He thought about dropping by her shop today, just to see how things were going, maybe buy a candle or something. She’d probably think he was checking up on her.
He poured himself an industrial strength cup of coffee and stared at the calendar.
“You’re looking pensive this morning,” Vance said, startling him out of his reverie. His brother looked rather well for having woken up naked next to the lily pond three nights earlier.
Daniel poured another cup of java as Vance took a seat at the kitchen table. “Just keeping tabs on the witch.”
“The witch? That sounds ominous.” Vance smirked and waggled his eyebrows as he sipped the hot brew.
“It’s her job description, not a snide remark. We’ve got twenty-three days until you—”
“Shhh!” Vance gave his brother a severe look. “Beth is asleep upstairs.”
“I didn’t hear her come in last night.”
“We got in about 4:00 this morning. Spent the evening by the lake after we finished house-hunting.”
“Is she going to hang around today? We don’t know when Emilie will be coming by.”
“Don’t worry. Beth has plans this afternoon with her grandmother or something. She’ll be gone before noon, but I want to let her sleep in.”
“Too late for that, sweetie.” A head of flaxen-blond hair appeared around the kitchen doorway, followed by Bethany’s slim form wrapped in one of Vance’s gray sweatshirts.
She scrunched up her bare toes as she crossed the terra cotta tiles of the kitchen floor and grabbed a coffee cup from the rack. “What’s all the hush-hush about this morning? Don’t tiptoe around on my account.” She smiled up at Daniel and sidled past him.
Vance pushed back his chair so Bethany could snuggle on his lap. Their faces fused in a kiss that fogged up Vance’s wire-rimmed glasses.
“Morning, Beth,” Daniel said. “Sorry if we woke you.”
“It doesn’t matter what time I go to bed, Daniel. I can’t sleep past eight no matter what.”
Vance gave him a pointed glance over the top of Bethany’s rumpled curls. Point taken. Clam up about Emilie for now.
“Well, those of us who actually have to commute to work better get moving. Have a nice day, you two. Vance, I’ll check in later.”
“Bye, bro. Chill a little, okay? You work too hard.”
Daniel rolled his eyes. Bethany waved then wrapped herself around Vance again. Daniel left the house without a second glance from either of them.
As he walked across the lawn toward his car, he scooped up the morning paper. The headline of the Cypress Express immediately caught his eye—

DANGER LURKING IN OAK HAVEN PARK.
Late night jogger reports encounter with rabid dog.

A quick scan of the copy confirmed his fears. Someone had seen Vance in wolf form before Daniel reached him. The man hadn’t been injured, but the encounter scared him enough to go to the police. The final paragraph of the article assured residents that the mayor had authorized extra police patrols in the park.
Daniel sighed and climbed into his car, tossing the paper across the front seat. He thought of the windowless basement room where Vance had spent two of his three-night curse this month. The steel padlock had been torn from the hinges, bent with an otherworldly strength. If Daniel hadn’t found his grandfather’s grimoire and hastily fashioned the holding spell for the silver chain, Vance might have hurt someone. And if Emilie Swanson didn’t come up with a cure in twenty-three days or less, he’d have to consider more drastic measures to keep Vance safe during the next full moon.
He definitely needed to stop by Mystikal Excursions and check on her progress, whether she liked it or not.

* * *

You can find WOLFSBANE: UNLEASH THE WOLF at:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What is your Personal Best?

Make sure you stop by Just Romantic Suspense today where I'm guest blogging!


This past weekend I completed my third half marathon. (My first where it wasn't pouring rain!) It was also Long Suffering's first 10k (6.2 miles) and he rocked his race!

Many, if not most, people who "race" are not elite athletes. We're not going to win any races. Heck, we're not even going to come near winning our age groups. But most of us are competing....with ourselves. We're all striving to beat our previous times and attain a Personal Record. Or, as they say in the UK, a Personal Best.

The term "Personal Best" appeals to me a lot more. I'm constantly struggling to achieve a Personal Best in many areas of my life, not just racing. For example: I want each of my consecutive books to be my "personal best". 


But this weekend was about a race. 13.1 miles. I went into it knowing that I couldn't possibly beat my personal record. I'm very, very, VERY slow....so the bar is set very, very, VERY low, but there was no way I was going to do it. I've been plagued by injuries, nothing in my life has been going right, and I was stressed out.

Yet, I lined up at the starting line...the very back of the starting line. The VERY BACK...behind the other THREE THOUSAND other racers. (Long Suffering who watched the start said I was very last.) I lined up because I subscribe to the:

Dead Last Finish
Beats Did Not Finish
Which Greatly Trumps Did Not Start

way of thinking. (Again, it's one of those things that applies to the rest of my life.)

So I started dead last, but I started.

Right after the Mile Four marker (and had already watched the faster athletes pass me on a loop) I passed this sign, which, considering I think of myself as a tortoise, I found funny enough to stop and snap:



And I kept on trudging on....and a miraculous thing started happening. I started passing a few people. 

I kept doing that and at about mile 8 I realized that I was on pace to meet the pace I'd done in my first half marathon (we won't talk about the disaster that was last year's race). So I picked up the pace a bit...and passed a few more people. And I kept doing that, despite the fact I was ready to amputate my left foot. My injury is the equivalent of a pinched nerve...so every step was agony.

And somehow, through determination (or stubbornness) I finished the race. And I achieved a Personal Best by about 14 minutes...which probably doesn't sound like much to you, but meant the world to me.

Here's my unflattering, hot-tired-sweaty-pained-red-faced finisher's photo:



And here are our finisher's medals:



And here we are showered and happy (and in our dorky, matching finisher's shirts)!



Now it's time to think about my next goal.

What Personal Bests are you chasing after? What sorts of "impossible" dreams have you, or are you chasing?






Friday, October 19, 2012

Just do it - and other imponderables


I was looking back at some of my very old blog posts, and I came across a post I’d written about the frustration of talking about writing with non-writers. Here’s a snippet:

  
This morning I had a conversation with my best friend. We talk every morning and she asked me what I was doing today. I told her I was going crazy trying to fix the ending of a story. In edits I need one more scene to wrap up the plot and give the whole thing a more satisfying ending. Her response was:

“What do you mean?”

I thought I was pretty clear. The edits are driving me crazy. I don’t know quite how to fashion the last scene without it sounding lame.

“I don’t understand.”

What’s not to understand? She couldn’t seem to figure out why this was giving me trouble. Why didn’t I just WRITE it and be done with it? Since that’s what I do, it must come easy to me, and therefore there’s no need to ‘get crazy’ about it, or be frustrated. Just do it and be done with it and move on to something else.

It sounds great in theory. Writers write. Therefore writing should be the easiest thing in the world. Fix a scene? No problem. Presto, it’s fixed. Write a new ending for a story I originally finished last summer? Cake. Just do it.

Arrgh! Is it me, or do other writers suffer from this as well? Do your non-writer friends and family just assume that you sit down at your computer and write and that’s that? Do they think there’s no process, no rewriting, no editing, no tearing your hair out over dialogue that makes you cringe and narrative that gives you a rash when you read it? Do they think it’s never hard for you to do this and they can’t understand that some days it’s no easier than dragging your butt to an office and dealing with a boss who wants miracles on a daily basis? Sometimes finishing a story, or doing proper edits or writing a decent blurb or cover letter is like performing a miracle. You start with absolutely nothing – or scattered threads of something that don’t amount to very much material, and you pull it together and create something that works, and hopefully something that not only works, but SELLS. Why is it hard for people to understand that this is not EASY?


Tell me about a conversation you’ve had with a non-writer that left you confused, frustrated, annoyed, irritated or – maybe enlightened, energized or epiphanied? Epiphanized? Ephiphinated? Anything?  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Release Day!

I've never had a sequel out before -- it's excitement squared!

I've kicked off the celebration by brewing a large pot of coffee having a pumpkin muffin (courtesy of Long Suffering).

Come on by and join me at the Mystery forum of the Barnes and Noble website. (The actual blog post is below the excerpt....which is the bright yellow cover....so just keep on scrolling down 'til you find it!) Bring your favorite snack. We'll talk. We'll eat. We'll talk some more.

I'm talking about my favorite flawed characters of NCIS. You can tell me who you're favorite flawed characters (from books, movies or TV).

(I also talk about FURTHER CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN.)

Join me!




To learn more, including how to follow me, please visit my website.