Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
This week's Thursday Threads spotlights Neva Brown's (mostly) sweet contemporary romance, A Pretty Penny.
Buy Link: Amazon
Clayton Brandt knows the cost of a woman but he never knew the value of a woman until Penny, quiet, efficient, and determined, invades his workplace then his life.
Penny, inadvertently, sets off a chain of events that threatens her life and the happy-ever-after that she hoped for with Clayton.
How they navigate through government agents’ plans, vindictive women's plans, and their vastly different upbringing to find common ground to nurture a love that clings through all the troubles and trials takes the reader on a compelling vicarious journey.
Awestruck and wondering how a rodeo producer managed to have such a grandiose personal jet, Penny jumped in surprise at the clipped, commanding voice behind her. She turned and focused on the imposing man who extended a lean, hard hand for her to shake as he towered over her.
“I presume you’re Wilma’s little friend.”
His emphasis on “little” implied so much more than the fact that she was only five foot two, one hundred five pounds. She stiffened.
“I’m Penelope Ann Jones. And, yes, Wilma and I are friends.”
“I’m Clayton Brandt, your boss.” His icy stare chilled her from head to toe.
“Are you another of her projects, or can you do a day’s work for a day’s pay?”
Her haughtiness probably added to his irritation, but she wasn’t about to cower before this arrogant tyrant.
Stretching her neatly clad body and raising her eyes from his chest to his cold, gray eyes, she answered with an indifferent tone.
“I can do the work Wilma said would be expected of me, sir.”
She bit her tongue to keep from adding that she had a master’s degree in finance, held a CPA license, and had worked as a secretary all the way through college. Just because she had been following the rodeo did not make her incapable, just besotted with love.
He curtly dismissed her. “Get buckled up. The pilot is ready to take off.”
His woodsy scent and the feel of his hand still lingered in her memory. From her luxurious lounger, she continued to watch. He frowned at Wilma. His words became clear enough for Penny to hear.
“I thought we got through your ‘mother hen’ phase a few years back. Where did you find this one?”
Wilma’s longsuffering look made Penny strain to hear the reply.
“The ‘mother hen’ periods as you call them passed a long time ago. Penny is different. She was Jason’s wife, but none of our family even knew they were married. They’d been married almost a year when that bull killed him.”
“Then she’s a rich young widow. Why does she need to work?”
“Things aren’t quite what they seem. Jason never got around to changing his will and never had her sign a signature card to draw on his account at the bank. Being his usual distracted self, he just gave her cash. She had money but no permanent financial security.”
“So I guess you’re paying her bills. No wonder you want to put her to work.”
“Clayton, she was my baby brother’s wife and was ‘holed up’ in that fifth wheel at a trailer park with nothing but crackers and peanut butter. She’s smart and willing to work. You know I wouldn’t ask you to hire her if I didn’t believe she could do the job.”
He scowled at Wilma as she added, “I’d bet six month’s wages she’ll do a good job.”
“You may not have six month’s wages if she messes up. I don’t suffer fools and lazy people, as you well know. Right now, she looks like both to me,” he growled.
Penny let her eyelids shut completely at the hostile sound of his voice. A surge of adrenaline made her ears ring and her muscles twitch. Her anger churned, and her thoughts raced. Just who does this aging Adonis with a Neanderthal attitude think he is? Wilma thinks he hung the moon, and he acts like she is just some inconsequential employee when, in reality, she shields him from all kinds of thorny situations every day. She’s always telling me about the mountain of work she does to smooth the way for him. What an insufferable man!
First let me say, Wow! What a cover!
OK, now that that's out of the way, let me introduce my guest author.
Marilyn Baxter is a long-time friend and fellow author. Her latest book, Direct Deposit, a contemporary romance, just released in January.
So, Marilyn, it’s great to have you here today. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
MB: I’m a Southern girl who has lived all over the South in addition to living in Germany for four years. I’m a mom and a grandmother, and as much as I love my sons, being a Grammy is THE best gig in the world! After years of shopping in the boys department, now I get to shop in the pink section! It’s been such fun to have granddaughters. I also work as an administrative assistant for a family law firm. I think it’s ironic my heroine is an attorney who specializes in family law, and I wrote this book years before I had any up close and personal experience with family law. The Universe has a real sense of humor!
CMR: Tell us a bit about your newest book.
MB: Direct Deposit is about banks and withdrawals and deposits – but not the financial kind. The heroine is a widow who put off having children and decides she wants to use a sperm donor to have a child. The hero was her late husband’s business partner who made a promise to look in on his friend’s wife after his death to make sure no one took advantage of her and she didn’t do anything crazy in her grief. When he learns she wants to make a withdrawal from a sperm bank, he’s stunned. But what he does next … well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. ;-)
CMRL What was your inspiration for this story?
MB: One day this headline popped up in my news feed: Seeking Sperm, Not Sex, Online. I was intrigued and read more. The story told about women who were looking at online sperm banks rather than going to a doctor’s office.
CMR: That is certainly interesting. What kind of research did you do?
MB: I read the information on online sperm bank websites (and yes, there are a lot of them!) and also asked lots of questions of a writer friend who is an attorney. My biggest challenge was finding a situation where a pregnancy could legally put a woman’s job in jeopardy. My attorney friend came up with the solution. I have learned that people love to share information about their professions with you, and the online writing community is especially helpful. And in addition to my sperm bank and legal research, there was a research trip to Atlanta. Going to Tiffany’s was SUCH a hardship. NOT!
CMR: How did you decide on the setting? Have you ever been there?
MB: I wanted the story set in a large city and I’m familiar enough with Atlanta that I set it there. I’ve been to Atlanta on numerous occasions, but about a month after I finished this book, my sister and I met in Atlanta and went to all the places I’d used in the book. Her son had attended college at Georgia Tech, so she was a font of information on the city.
CMR: It sounds like you enjoyed researching your book. How long have you been writing?
MB: I’ve been writing for about ten years. I began writing for the confessions magazines and had success with that. But I longed to write stories where the characters had a happy ending, and in 2008 I finished my first full-length book, which is the one just released.
CMR: That is quite a varied career. What do you enjoy most about writing?
MB: Truthfully? Typing The End is my favorite part. It means I have planned, worked the plan and achieved it. Then I start all over again and work toward another end.
CMR: I know what you mean. The story itself is so much fun, but there is a great sense of accomplishment and resolution to write THE END. So, What draws you to contemporary genre?
MB: I like the here and now and characters who face today’s problems and issues. I sure have to do enough research to make sure my facts are correct, so I have a great deal of respect for historical writers such as you who have to not only craft a plot and create characters but set them in a different time and make sure you don’t have them make coffee in a Keurig and wear Crocs. ;-)
CMR: LOL! Exactly! Such a tricky minefield, sometimes to keep historical anachronisms at bay. What surprises did you uncover as these characters and story developed?
MB: My hero was a real bad boy in his youth and while he had become a responsible adult, he still had a smart mouth and a never-gonna-settle-down attitude. To watch him change from a guy whose girlfriends changed as often as the marquee on a movie theater to someone who took on responsibility was such fun.
CMR: Oh, that does sound like fun. And I simply love the interaction between Maddie and Jack! Before we get to the excerpt (which is completely awesome, btw) is there anything you’d like to add?
MB: Direct Deposit is available in digital format from all the major online retailers and will come out in print on demand shortly. This is the book of my heart, and I hope folks enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
CMR: I am sure we will. It just got bumped up on my TBR list!
Thanks so much for being here today! It has been such fun chatting with you. Best of luck with your books!
Family law attorney Maddie Prescott is driven to succeed. A pawn in her parents’ messy divorce, she devoted her career to representing children in court, and when her husband’s early death makes it seem like she can’t have it all, she’s ready to beat the odds by going to a sperm bank. One advantage to single parenthood is that her child will never be a pawn. That, and she’ll never have to deal with sarcastic ladies’ men or liars.
Jack Worth promised to look out for his dying best friend’s wife: a small repayment for someone who once helped an irredeemable bad boy find the path to happiness. So, while Maddie Prescott’s baby plans are questionable, duty and loyalty prompt Jack first to volunteer as the sperm donor…and then to propose a marriage of convenience. And the more he gets to know her, the more this onetime player will see that Maddie is the woman of his dreams, and that the child they will make deserves to be from a direct deposit.
It’s time to move on, Jack,” she told him. “And I think it’s time we stopped these monthly pity parties. We struggle to carry on polite conversation. I choke on every bite of food. You sit there feeling sorry for me. I’ve made some decisions in the last few weeks that will move my life in a new direction. I only hope you’re able to do the same.”
“Is that what the sperm canister is all about?”
Water spewed everywhere.
“How...” Her cheeks burned from embarrassment.
“The letter behind your phone. You aren’t seriously considering going to a sperm bank are you?”
Maddie pushed away from the table and picked up her plate, heading toward the kitchen. “And if I am, what makes it your business?” Chagrin replaced the previous awkwardness.
Jack followed, juggling his plate in one hand as he nudged open the door to the kitchen with his elbow.
“What the hell are you thinking? You’re going to get yourself knocked up by some total stranger so you can play Mommy?” He took her plate and scraped it into the sink.
“No one is knocking me up as you so charmingly put it.” She crossed her arms and leaned against the counter. “The procedure is done in an office by a doctor and—”
“I know how the hell it’s done.”
“Oh? I wasn’t aware The Playboy Channel televised medical documentaries.”
“I watch The Learning Channel, too. Surprised?” He loaded the dishwasher while she looked on in amazement. “What? I’m housebroken. I’m not Emeril, but I cook a mean meatloaf and mashed potatoes.” He squirted dish gel in the dispenser. “From scratch,” he added.
“Quite honestly, nothing about you would surprise me, Jack. What did surprise me was my husband being in business with you. You were as different as… as…”
“Champagne and beer?” he suggested as he rinsed the sink. “Caviar and hot dogs? You and me?”
“You got that right.” Maddie lifted her chin defiantly.
* * *
Neva Brown is back on Thursday's Threads with her contemporary romance, A Pretty Penny.
Wealthy, arrogant Clayton Brandt knows well the costs of a woman. Not until Penelope (Penny) Jones comes into his life does he know the value of a woman.
Anger at Clayton, her new boss, causes Penny to snap out of the lethargy she’s experienced after seeing her husband killed. She puts to use all her innate abilities, learned skills, and intuitiveness to cope with the overbearing Clayton and the women in his life. Penny, in time, knows she loves him, but will not become one of his women—not on his terms.
On her terms, they marry only to be parted by federal agents before they leave their wedding reception. The ensuing intrigue, danger, and antics of Clayton’s ex-wife play a part in Penny being in eminent peril.
Even after their love survives all this, it is once again threatened by a letter from a vindictive woman who is dead. The letter devastates Clayton and crushes his hopes for happiness.
How Clayton and Penny find their happy-ever-after is a breath-holding adventure at times and a breathtaking love story at other times.
Today's Thursday spotlight is on Laryn Ford's book, Rescued. Come read an excerpt from this sizzling paranormal romance.
Fiercely independent and determined to be taken seriously in a man's world, PI Rose Baxter will do whatever it takes to find the kids who are disappearing from the streets and bring them home safe, even teaming up with PI Marty Brown, a man hot enough to burn whatever part of her gets too close--her fingers, her sheets, her life, and her other nature's whiskers.
But her other nature knows whiskers grow back and will accept nothing less than this man as her mate for life, a plan Marty is all in on. Sparks fly when she refuses to be the little woman. Besides, those kids need her and their time's running out. But thrown together 24/7 can she fight it?
Rose heard the unmistakable sound of duct tape stripping from its roll. Her hands, bound together behind her back and another piece loosely secured the bag around her neck. Her memory of stored scents identified Mabel and Stan even before they spoke.
"Take her to the lab. I'll stash her car." Mabel's footsteps hurried away. As soon as the front door closed behind Mabel, Rose stiffened her body and formed an impossible to move statue. Her arms flexed and ripped the tape to separate her hands. Stan grabbed for her to regain his grip. She spun around to deliver a kick toward the sound of his astonished breathing. He collided with the floor and skidded to a stop when he smacked into the cabinet doors. As he scrambled to right himself, the knives rattled in the butcher block on the kitchen counter.
She ripped the tape from around her neck and yanked the pillowcase off her head in time to see the man lunge toward her. She side stepped his attack.
Shouting rang out from the living room. "Let go of me!" One sniff confirmed Logan and June had entered through the front door. Mabel would cause no more trouble.
The kitchen windows vibrated. The backdoor burst into splinters as Marty stormed through. His roar rattled the dishes stacked in the drainer when he spotted Stan holding a knife on his mate. "Nooo!"
Before she could blink, Marty swung one arm and backhanded Stan, sending him crashing thorough the window and out onto the patio. The stunned man scrambled to his feet, hobbled around the side of the house to his SUV, and hightailed it out the driveway.
Marty gripped Rose gently by the shoulders and turned her to face him. "Are you okay? Did he hurt you?" His eyes were intense. "Rose, answer me?"
"I'm fine. Did they catch Stan? I heard a vehicle leave." She turned to the living room where Mabel sat in a huff.
"Oscar just called. The SUV's have left the park and headed west out of town. I've called the police to come and pick her up. I'm assuming you'll be pressing charges for kidnapping?" Logan had handcuffed Mabel and planted her in a chair. June stood ready in case she tried to escape.
"I want a few minutes with her first." Rose turned to Mabel. Her nostrils flared and the fire from her inner animal flashed in her eyes. No, as much as she'd like to, she wouldn't inflict the bodily harm this woman so deserved for her part in this whole scheme. She'd like to body slam the bitch to the floor, but her daddy had taught her the self-control she needed to work this job and work it right.
Getting some answers now was her primary concern. She wanted answers. While she wouldn't physically injure the woman, she wasn't above scaring the crap out of her to get the information she needed.
Mabel sneered at her and rolled her eyes. "And just what do you intend to do with your few minutes? Do you think I'm afraid of a mousy little thing like you? Oh, help, the little mousy girl is going to scare me," she humphed in a mocking tone.
"Oh hell," Marty said. He adjusted the hat on his head, glanced Logan's way with a y'all best look out expression, and stepped back out of the way to give Rose room to work.
"June bug. Move back, honey," Logan said as he steered his wife to the corner by the door and positioned his body, brick wall style in front of her for her own safety, just like an alpha male. Everyone read Marty's message loud and clear.
Mabel's expression changed from glaring sarcasm to certain fear as she watched the woman she had labeled as little make her way slowly toward her.
Rose's eyes narrowed and focused on the woman. Her hands flexed from tight, curled fists to stiff, extended fingers, and back again. Her nails lengthened, exposing her razor sharp claws as she stepped over to the mouth woman. Her eyes never left her target.
She leaned down to bring herself nose to nose with the evil before her. "Where are you really taking those kids and what are you going to do with them?" She spoke in an even voice, accentuating every syllable.
An increasing layer of fear replaced the smug expression on Mabel's face. "You- you don't scare me," she stuttered. "I'm not telling you anything." She attempted to bring her tough side back to the surface but was less than convincing.
Rose placed one petite hand on Mabel's shoulder and pressed down. She held back to a mere vice-like grip. Not the bone crushing strength she was more than capable of using.
Mabel sucked in a pained breath and flinched back, drawing on her last bit of resolve. "We know you're not normal. You're some kind of freak with super blood. Don't think we won't come after you again." She let out an injured cry from the pressure applied to her shoulder. "You'll pay for this!"
* * *
Contact me links:
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/larynnfordauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Larynn-Ford/e/B00CELS1V8/
Book Buy Links:
In My Wildest Dreams http://www.amazon.com/My-Wildest-Dream-Laryn-Ford-ebook/dp/B00CE3B11I/
Christmas Blessings in All I Want for Christmas Is A Soul Mate http://www.amazon.com/All-I-Want-For-Christmas-Soulmate-ebook/dp/B00GH2I458/
8/21/2014 0 Comments
Love hunkers down and hides but abides until Casey and Tres realize life without love is just existing not really living.
Just as accomplished horse trainer Casey Mason, PhD feels she’s earned her independence, disaster strikes and her life is forever changed. She must put her life back together bit by piece. The obstacles and her old beliefs seem insurmountable; making her wonder if love can conquer all.
Jordan Spencer III (Tres) inherits Spencer Ranch where Casey, the riding buddy of his youth, still lives. Casey, a beautiful, complex woman, slips into his mind and heart. Bitter experiences make him shy away from a serious relationship with a woman; yet he and Casey have a special connection. As she struggles with her rehabilitation, he micromanages her life with quiet efficiency until he pushes her past some invisible line. When Casey disappears from his life, he learns more about himself than makes him comfortable. Coming to terms with the past so he can move on to a future with Casey is a challenge that tests his mettle..
* * *
Neva Brown, a retired secondary teacher/administrator, now enjoys the challenge of writing romance novels and doing editing for other romance writers. She has even ventured into the social media world of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as having a website; firstname.lastname@example.org .
Her family accepts her eccentricities with equanimity. Neva spent most of her life on West Texas ranches and uses that culture and environment in many of her stories. She and her husband now live at Rio Concho West in San Angelo, Texas. They enjoy visits from their two sons and their families, are always delighted to hear from old friends, and are amazed at how well they have adjusted to ‘city’ living. Neva loves to hear from her readers. She can be reached at email@example.com .
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