Sunday, November 25, 2012

Abandoning The Baby

My second novel, The Abolitionist's Secret, is due to be released December 3, and I've been spending the last several weeks creating blog posts all over the internet about it. I'm proud of it, and thankful to my wonderful publisher, Crimson Romance, for believing in the Cotillion Ball series. Plus, a portion of the proceeds is going to the Oberlin Underground Railroad Center Project, which makes me happy.

So why do I feel like I'm abandoning The Reluctant Debutante, my debut novel?

I didn't realize what was happening until I began to list my books on the right side of this blog. I put my most recent book first on the page, and it nearly broke my heart to have The Reluctant Debutante relegated to second place. I know I must get over this feeling, since I hope for a long and successful career with many more books to come.

So, I'll continue to promote The Abolitionist's Secret at every opportunity and turn my attention away, reluctantly, from The Reluctant Debutante.

But it will always have a special place in my heart. Ginger and Joseph are my heroes.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Blog Hop

Are You A Black Friday Person Or Not?

The air crackles with excitement and anticipation as we count down the minutes until the doors open this morning. You either love this day, or avoid the crowds like a lobster avoids a pot of boiling water. It’s one of Anne’s favorite days. She’s one of the sisters in my upcoming baby-boomer contemporary, Blame It On The Brontes. She has a debilitating designer shoe fetish. Think Carrie Bradshaw with red curls. Her work as the buyer for her family’s fledgling  jewelry and gift shop ease some of the pangs of not having a designer shoe store at the nearest corner. It’s like Black Friday every day in the store, since she only pays wholesale prices for the merchandise.

Here’s a sampling of Anne’s story, as she puts her acting career on hold to move back to her hometown for a year. That’s the only way to get her claws into her mother’s considerable estate. And designer stilettos cost a fortune.

Anne Bronson pressed her foot to the gas pedal, trying to ignore the little red light on the dashboard—the one highlighting the E on her gas gauge. She willed the rental moving truck to make it up the next hill, hunching over the steering wheel to help with the climb. The truck leaned into the steepest part of the incline, its headlights illuminating the crest just as the engine began coughing and sputtering in earnest. No good gas-guzzling piece of crap. Anne pulled the truck to the side of the road and set the brake so it wouldn’t drift down the incline. There should have been plenty of fuel to get to the house.
If she hadn’t already maxxed out her credit card, she would have gladly paid a professional moving company to get her from New York to Maine. But here she was, driving her own belongings north, and out of gas. Her stomach became even tighter. Is this the way a NASCAR driver feels when he runs out of gas on the final lap? Anne’s race was even bigger. She had an inheritance at stake. Eighteen minutes till midnight. Damn.
Hauling out her purse and overnight bag, she climbed down from the truck. She kicked a tire and let out a small scream at the damage her instinctive motion caused her black leather Manolo Blahniks. Tapping her fingernails against her teeth, she peered up and down the dark road. No headlights. No life. No sound. She fished into her purse for her cell phone and stared at it. No signal either here in Backwater Maine, of course. With a deep sigh, she wrestled her old suitcase with its wonky wheel and strapped her oversized purse across her body as she began to climb the rest of the way up the incline. Two miles to the house. She had eighteen minutes to get there. In six-inch heels. Looking skyward, she muttered, “Hey, Mom, you up there? If you are, I need a little help right about now.”
Headlights crested over a hill in front of her. Anne blew a kiss skyward. “Thanks, Mom. Always could count on you.”
She put down her purse and bag at the side of the road and moved to the middle, waving her hands, hoping the driver spotted her before the car either mowed her down or went whizzing on by. This was a million dollar hitchhike.
The white car slowed, and then came to a stop about fifty feet away from her. Anne blew out the breath she was holding and moved forward, out of the harsh glare of the headlights. As she stepped closer, she noticed for the first time the light bar mounted on top of the car. Relief flooded her as she realized she had flagged down a police cruiser. A glimpse of the dark-haired officer sitting behind the wheel made her lips turn up into what she knew was her flirtiest smile. She couldn’t see him well in the dark with just the glow from the dashboard lights across his face, but it didn’t matter. She knew how to work any man.
"Hello, handsome," she purred as she rested her hands on the car door’s windowsill and leaned down to see him better. "You've saved my life." She tapped his nametag. "Officer Willoughby. Can I hitch a ride into town?" Not bad looking. She waited for his reply. Wavy, dark hair cut a bit long, a fit body, at least what she could see.
"Are you Anne Bronson?"
Anne put her hand to her chest. "You recognize me? Well, how special is that?"
"Get in the car," the dark-haired man growled.
Anne straightened up a bit and backed away a step. She threw a saucy look his way, to show him she wasn’t intimidated by his gruff manner. "I usually wait for the gentleman to open the door, but I am in a bit of a hurry tonight." She grabbed her bags from the side of the road and then scurried around to the passenger side, throwing her suitcase into the back seat and then hopping in before grumpy Officer Willoughby changed his mind and drove off without her.
As she settled her purse on the seat between them, Anne said, "I live up the road here, only a couple miles away..."
Officer Willoughby spoke into his police radio. "I found her, and I’m bringing her in now."
Anne swiveled her head toward him. "Hey, are you talking about me on your radio? You're bringing me in? For what?”
“For being late.”
“That’s now a crime?” Anne squirmed in her seat. ‘Listen Officer, I’m enjoying our time together, but I really, really need to get home before midnight."
"Yeah, Cinderella, relax. I'm taking you to your sisters."

So it's your turn. Leave a comment here, telling me what kind of Black Friday person you are, and you'll be eligible to win a prize. We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $75 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

And don't forget to enter here to win an autographed copy of my historical novel, The Reluctant Debutante.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Crimson Wonderland Blog Hop

 What character from a cherished book do you want to be?
I always wanted to be Laura.

When I first became passionate about reading, I was probably about nine or ten, and devoured every Little House On The Prairie book I could find. I never wanted to be the good daughter, Mary, who parceled out her candy so it would last longer. I wanted to be plucky Laura, who was impulsive, loyal, and unafraid, even though there was danger at every turn. She stood up to Indians with as much aplomb as she did Nellie Oleson, her bratty schoolmate. I was right there with her on every adventure, every meeting, every move she and her family made.

I loved the era that Laura grew up in, and envied her. I wanted to live on the edge of the woods, to meet mountain men and Indians, to explore the wild untamed country that became America. That is why I write and read historical romances. Now that I’m older, I realize the only thing better than being a child growing up in the untamed wilderness is being an adult woman who is able to fall in love with the big, strapping heroes who populated the country several hundred years ago. Now, each time I read an historical romance, I am swept away into the love story amid lush surroundings.

In The Reluctant Debutante, I get to fulfill two of my fantasies. I get to dance at a formal ball with a handsome stranger, and I get to fall in love with an Indian. My second book, The Abolitionist's Secret, has a heroine who becomes involved in the Underground Railroad movement. I always wanted to become politically active for the cause of racial equality. However, I was always a bit too afraid to ride the buses in Selma, or march on Washington. But in my books, I can be very brave. 

I enjoy books that let me slide back in time, to an earlier and simpler era. Through historical books, I can dance at a Regency ball, witness a buffalo stampede, board a wagon train headed west, or even visit ancient Rome. Please explore all the Crimson authors who are participating in the blog hop. I’m sure you’ll find some world to lose yourself in, whether you enjoy a swashbuckling pirate story, a chick-lit contemporary, or becoming a Duchess for a day.

So, it's your turn. Tell me what character you most want to be, and what book you'd like to be swept into. Leave a comment here before hopping over to another participating author's site to be eligible for one of the three prizes that have a total value of $200, and will be awarded at the end of the hop. Leave us your email address or website, so we can get in touch with you when you win. And be sure to click on the link to my personal giveaway through Goodreads, of an autographed copy of The Reluctant Debutante. Good luck, and happy reading!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tag--You're It!

  Well, this is fun.  Guess what!  A bunch of us writers are banding together to give you, our sweet and wonderful blog audience, a little taste of what we're working on next.  Call it a sneak peek.  We've shared the same ten questions and we're linking our Tag blogs together so you can see all the awesome stories on the horizon.

Here's what I'm working on.  Be sure to stay to the end to follow to the next bloggers. Enjoy.

What is the title of your book? My WIP has had several titles, but I think I’m sticking with Tracked Through Time.

Where did the idea for the book come from? I was watching the history channel, or maybe the Discovery Channel, one night, and there was a special on about the life and times of mountain man and explorer, Jedediah Smith. The entire hour was spent heaping praise on the guy for all his accomplishments. Oh, and then he died. It was a crushing end to an otherwise heralded life, since he wandered off into the desert looking for water and never returned. All presumptions are that he was killed by Indians, although no body was ever found. So, it got me to thinking, what if Jedediah wandered off into the desert and ended up in another century?

What genre does your book fall under? Obviously, from my above question, this is going to be a paranormal/time travel book.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I want the guy who played Jed in the special I saw. He was gorgeous, unlike the real Jed, who was nearly scalped in a bear attack and had the facial scars to prove it.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? The ex-wife of a rock star is looking to restart her life after a public divorce. She gets caught in an electrical storm and wakes up in 1823, in the camp of Jedediah Smith and his band of mountain men.

Will your book be self-published or agented? I’m hoping to find an agent with this one.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I’m so close to putting an end on the first draft, for about the fifth time. I first wrote it backwards, with Jed coming forward, but it didn’t work as a contemporary, since the history is so rich. So, I ripped it apart and redid the entire book. I’ve entered the first 50 pages in several contests, just to make certain I’m on the right track, and have finaled in every one.

What other books within your genre would you compare your WIP to? I go back to my favorite of all time, A Knight In Shining Armor, by Jude Deveraux. I absolutely loved this book. Mix in a little Jeremiah Johnson for the right early American explorer flavor, and you’ve got my book.

Who or what inspired this book? After I saw the special on Jedediah Smith, I began researching his life and times. My pile of research books is huge. And, so I could walk in his shoes, I traveled to northern California to the Jedediah Smith National Forest, where I sat on the forest floor and cried. It was so beautiful.

What else about your book might pique the readers interest? I am trying to juxtapose someone whose points of reference for ten years has been the world of rock and roll, with a Bible-toting 19th century man’s man. It's been fun.

 Now keep going! Hop on over to the blog sites of these fabulous authors and find out what they're working on. 

D'Ann Boothe Burrow

Tara Mills: 

Traci McDonald:

Robyn Corum:

Suzanne Barrett:

Pam Morris:

Shelley K. Wall:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sometimes, it's the little stories...

I’ve been living in Oberlin for three years and have toured the historic society’s buildings and taken the history walks with very knowledgeable tour guides. I’ve seen the various monuments around town commemorating the Underground Railroad and I know the historical significance of the college, which, in 1833, was the first to admit both blacks and women.

Last week, I had lunch with Darlene Colaso, who works for the City of Oberlin. One of her jobs is overseeing the development of the Center for the Underground Railroad. While we were talking big picture, she mentioned a little boy slave who, in 1853, was too sick to travel on with his family to Canada. The family was still in danger, with their owner coming after them, so they had to continue on to Canada. Little Lee Howard Dobbins was left behind in Oberlin with some good Samaritans and died just days later. It’s only one little story in the overall complex problem of slavery and the incidents leading up to the Civil War, but the way the town reacted touched my heart.

A service was held in First Church, which still exists, for this small boy who nobody knew. More than one thousand people crammed into the church, to honor little Lee Howard Dobbins. Each person gave what he could (the recommendation was ten cents each), to pay for a gravestone for him. The words carved into the stone are Let Slavery Perish! and then tells the story of Lee Dobbins, and how his flight to freedom ended in Oberlin.

The gravestone of Lee Howard Dobbins will be the first permanent exhibit of the Underground Railroad Center. For more information on the Underground Railroad Project, visit their website:

Lee Dobbins’ life and death could have been lost in the shuffle. After all, there were many slaves who risked their lives and were consumed by terror as they dashed from the plantations to freedom in Canada, and each had their own story, now lost in time. But Lee Howard Dobbins died in Oberlin. His little story lives on.