Monday, April 20, 2015

Second Chances

SECOND CHANCES is now available. This story is near and dear to my heart as I have had the struggles of raising an autistic child, much like Kira's son in this book.   This book is available for the month of April at the .99 digital price to celebrate Autism Awareness Month.  It is also available in print via Amazon or an autographed copy directly through myself.

I am also teamed up with a local artist, Todd Aubertin, who is carving two wooden spoons to be given away to a random new newsletter subscriber.  To enter, simply sign up for my newsletter between now and the end of the month. The drawing will be held May 1st.  Sign up here.

Below is an excerpt of Second Chances:



Kira Nichols pushed back her shoulder length light brown hair as the crisp salt air blew it across her face. As she walked up the path to the cul-de-sac, her sneakers left small impressions in the soft sand.
She sprang into a run when she heard the rumble of a sports car that was going too fast for a street where small children liked to play. She arrived at the cul-de-sac just as the vehicle skidded to a stop in front of the empty lot across from her house. Then she caught her breath as a lean man with rugged features got out of the car. He flashed her a smile that probably caused most women to melt at his feet.
As the man moved across the lot toward the foundation, which had been capped over and abandoned for about a year now, Kira squared her shoulders and approached him. He was at least six feet tall, and she felt minute beside him. She willed herself to appear calm, but she could feel her cheeks begin to flush.
“Grant Rutledge.” He paused and extended his hand to her. His deep voice, like a shot of brandy, was warm and soothing. She swallowed hard, her anger at his reckless driving temporarily forgotten. Then it flared back, and she ignored his hand.
“Do you know there are children in this area?” she demanded, planting her hands on her hips.
“My apologies if you felt I was going too fast.” He gave an exaggerated glance around. “There aren’t any children about now.”
He offered that smile again, and in spite of her anger, her heart softened for a moment. His hand was still extended, so she shook his calloused fingers. Tingles shot up her arm, and she struggled to keep herself from yanking her hand away. Heat flooded her face. She prayed he couldn’t tell.
“Again, I apologize. I hope you won’t think I have no regard for children.”
Kira turned to go. She gestured absently at his car and said, “I just know the type.”
As she forced herself to walk slowly toward her house, she could feel his eyes on her back. She felt both foolish and thankful that she had stayed in shape.
The solitude of the cul-de-sac was one of the reasons she had always loved this spot as a child whenever she had visited her grandfather. Her house, which she had inherited from him, had been the only one in this two-lot area for years, but it looked like they were going to pick up the pace across the street again. She hoped the new construction company would limit their work to business hours, particularly the hours when Jared would be in preschool.
She thought back to the long hours the last group of workers had kept when they put in the foundation. Jared had been unable to sleep due to the noise and disruption of his routine. Hopefully this time around the noise wouldn’t disturb him. He was just beginning to sleep through the night.
If only she could. 

Second Chances can be found at Amazon, Smashwords, or a signed print copy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Hidden Treasure




It’s always a treat to find a hidden treasure, whether it be through hunting for antiques, digging through boxes packed away for years or not looking for anything in particular and suddenly that hidden treasure appears.  This is what happened to me when I reconnected with a friend, Todd Aubertin, from many years ago.  


Finding out this friend is an artist was a very cool thing, but then to see his handiwork, I was blown away by his talent for woodworking and carvings.  Todd has an incredible intuitiveness and you can imagine the experience he has after doing this for twenty years. Every piece he makes, he puts his heart and soul into. The finish product is not only filled with his creativity, but they are pieces of art that will spark inspiration and motivation for others.  He does carvings in antlers, which was something I had never seen before and they are amazing.

The first thing I really found in talking with Todd was his love for making flutes. He has made many flutes that have made their way all over the world.  
   
As I spent some time in Todd’s studio, I was amazed by the creations that had left this shop. Wooden spoons, jewelry, furniture to include a bed, tables, bookshelves, meditation stool as well as custom window sills and fireplace mantels only to mention a few have made their way out to satisfied customers.





Todd’s custom work shows his love for Mother Nature and the gift that he has been given. I had the pleasure of receiving a lap table from Todd. My only specifications that I gave him were I wanted it out of a wood that would show its beauty and I told him of my love of roses.  The end result was spectacular. The lap table was made out of cedar (a fact that he did not know was cedar was one of my two favorite woods) and he did a wood burning into it of native wild pasture roses.


If have not heard of Todd’s work, I urge you to check out his facebook page and pictures of his work. I would highly recommend talking with Todd regarding any requests you may have. Todd can be reached via email or at (603) 724-9631.  The following is a sample of his work.




Outdoor Bench


Bookcase
Meditation Bench
Sectional Bookcase


Table

Monday, March 23, 2015

Who wants some HOMETOWN LOVE?


Today is a special day as I welcome Christina Tetreault and I allow her to take over for the day.  I have the pleasure of being a chapter mate of Christina's at NHRWA.  She is having a sale this month of HOMETOWN LOVE.


Christina started writing at the age of 10 on her grandmother's manual typewriter and never stopped. When she is not driving her 3 daughters (ages 7, 5, and 5) around to their various activities or chasing around their three dogs, she is working on a story or reading a romance novel. Currently, she has two series out, The Sherbrookes of Newport and Love on The North Shore. You can visit her website www.christinatetreault.com or follow her on Facebook to learn more about her characters and to track her progress on her current writing projects.


Welcome, Christina!!



Don’t give away any secrets but what’s your book about?
Hometown Love which I have on sale this month to celebrate my 3 year anniversary as a published author is about how love can help a person heal.

Back cover blurb: 

Everyone in North Salem thinks they know Jessie Quinn.  She is the town’s quintessential girl next door. The woman you can always turn to when you need a helping hand. Nobody knows that she’s spent years overcoming the emotional scars left by her last boyfriend.

As a single dad and task force officer with the FBI, Mack Ellsbury moves back to North Salem to be closer to his family, not to find love. Then Jessie Quinn returns to his life. Soon Mack no longer sees Jessie as the quiet girl he once tutored in high school but rather the woman he is falling in love with.

Mack’s love helps Jessie erase the scars she’s carried around for so long, but when his ex-wife decides she wants reconciliation, their relationship is put in jeopardy.

What inspired you to write Hometown Love
Jessica Quinn the heroine in this story was originally a minor character in my second book The Billionaire Playboy as well as The Courage To Love. She continued to bug me until I finally gave her a book of her own.

How did you come up with the title?
Both main characters grew up in North Salem, Massachusetts, the fictitious setting for this both as well as the entire series Love On The North Shore. While Jessica remained in town, Mack moved away and lived in Boston for a period of time. At the start of the book he has just moved back town. Since he falls in love with a hometown girl, the title just made sense.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book?
The only thing I might change is to drop more clues toward what is in store for a Tony Bates a secondary character that appears in this book as well as two of my other books. 

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is your book part of a series?
Currently, I am working on the sixth book in my series The Sherbrookes of Newport. I am hoping for an early summer release.  Once that book is done I will start on book three in my series Love On The North Shore.

How long does it take you to write your novel?
It varies.  My first book published The Teacher’s Billionaire took me about 5 years to finish. I started it and then life got in the way. Hometown Love I finished in the shortest amount of time ever. I was able to get the rough draft down in about two and half months. Then I spent about a month on revisions and edits.

What do you think makes a good story?
I think characters are key to a good story. If I do not at least like the characters in novel, I will not even finish it. The plot also needs to stay consistent. Even if it takes place in a fantasy setting, must stay consistent throughout the book.

What do you do when you are not writing?
When I am not writing I do like to go to the gym. Of course I also spend a lot of time driving my daughters to and from their activities. They are all busy girls. I am also a girl scout leader.

Do you have a day job as well?
In addition to writing, I am CEO,CFO and chauffeur for Tetreault Enterprises (AKA my family).

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
For the most part, I write 5 days a week starting around the time my three daughters leave for school. Once they get off the bus, however, that is it for the day. The weekends are usually filled with family time and the girls’ activities.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find the beginnings of a story the most difficult to write. Once I get the first few chapters down, I am more comfortable and the story starts to flow.

What does your family think of your writing?
My husband has always been supportive and is in fact my critique partner. My children are not old enough to read what I write, but they love to tell people that mommy is a writer.

What book are you reading now?
I just finished a Lynn Kurland time travel romance this morning.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I do a character sketch for the two main characters, however, I do not do a detailed outline. I tried once, and it just didn’t work for me.
 
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Over the past three years I have tried a little of everything when it comes to marketing. I have done paid ads with companies such as Bookbub. I have done Facebook parties, blog tours and contest. I have also do ads on such sites as The Romance Studio. I think they all help. I also think regular interaction with my readers has helped.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks or hardcover?
I tend to buy more e-books only because it means they don’t take up a lot of space in my house. I still favor paperbacks. There is just something about feeling the paper between your fingers. I will buy paperbacks if I have the opportunity to get them signed by the author. I have never been a big fan of hardcover books.
 
Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
The only movie that I can say I enjoyed more than the book was The Bourne Identity. I do not watch many movies that are made from books because I feel they don’t usually do the book justice.

Coffee or tea? 
Coffee. I must drink at least 4 cups of coffee each day.


I personally can't wait to read this book and it has been added to my TBR pile.  Where can you find HOMETOWN LOVE?


Thank you, Christina for joining us today.