Friday, January 31, 2014

Sugar Spun Sister by Anna Garner


Life isn’t exactly sweet for Cricket Whittier. Her boss hates her, her work is soul-destroying, and the sexy guy she’s hooking up with doesn’t want to date her. But this girl is far from hopeless. When Cricket’s in the kitchen with her ice cream maker and a few choice ingredients, her troubles slip away as she becomes a delectable dessert-designing powerhouse. She loves it so much, she dreams of opening her own ice cream shop one day.

As it turns out, “one day” just might be closer than she thinks. Propelled by the help and encouragement of her best friends, Lindsay and Nora, Cricket starts making plans to set up shop. Which is easier said than done what with the internal squabbling, the sky-high costs, her parents forecasting failure and her increasingly complicated love life. Despite all these hurdles, will Cricket be able to make her sweet dreams come true?

Purchase the book HERE

About the Author:
Born and raised in the Midwest, Anna Garner's adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school, and she's since lived in Boston, NYC and London. For several years, Anna worked in fashion--first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper, and for a while she dabbled in design. Although chick lit was her first love, Anna started writing quirky romances, and her first one, Fashioning a Romance, was published in May 2012 under the name of Libby Mercer. This was followed by two more quirky romances: Unmasking Maya and The Karmic Connection. Since Lying to Meet You is written in old school chick lit style and isn't a clear cut love story, Anna decided to publish it (and the subsequent Sugar Spun Sister) under her real name. She currently lives in San Francisco and spends most of her time cranking out more stories.

Connect with the Author:

Divine Moves - Excerpt & Giveaway

Divine Moves
By: Ellyn Oaksmith

Seventeen years of loving is a hard habit to break…

Meryl thought things couldn’t get any worse. She’s caught her husband in bed with the neighbor. She just found out she’s broke. Then her outrageous mother, Faye, shows up.
Faye wants to be a grandmother and has money to loan so it’s hard to say no. But what Meryl doesn’t know is that Faye, a former stripper and born again Christian, plans on opening an exotic dance and women's fitness studio in Meryl’s affluent suburban community.

When Meryl’s book club gets roped into promoting the studio by dancing at a charity tea, they discover that their laced up ‘burb isn’t as proper as they think. As her husband fights to win her back, Meryl grows increasingly attracted to a handsome sheriff, recovering from his own loss. As a crisis looms, Meryl must face her demons from the past. But first she has to get through Christmas.

Funny, sad and sweet, Divine Moves reveals the forces that derail our lives and the sometimes divine intervention that keeps us on track.

Buy Link

Link to Follow Tour HERE

About the Author:
I've been hooked on writing since 4th grade when my story of an alley cat was read in class as an example of a good scene setting. I just about fell off the chair in utter joy. I was a total goner when a film I'd written while at the American Film Institute was screened and people laughed. At the right places!

At Smith College I gave my professor a heart attack when I compared Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the book, to the movie.  

I write every day from 10-2 although while editing, it's much longer. I live in Seattle Washington with my family and my shelter dog who is my workout partner. I love to interact with readers on and http://ellynoaksmith.tumblr

Connect with the Author at:

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two Digital Copies of DIVINE MOVES)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Soy Sauce for Beginners - Review & Giveaway

Review by K.T Sullivan

Gretchen Lin finds out about her husband’s affair right before a trip home to Singapore. Her mother isn’t well and her father’s business is floundering. Her cousin, Cal, was supposed to assume a leadership position in the family owned soy sauce company, but he’s not executive material. Women don’t run firms, but her father and uncle have little choice. She agrees to help for a limited time. Her soon to be ex-husband Paul wants her back in San Francisco. Working with her father reignites painful memories of the reasons why she left. Through a friend she meets James. A possible cure for all that ails her. She’s given a major opportunity in the company. One to prove herself capable and worthy, but it comes with costs. What is a daughter’s responsibility to fulfill her parents’ dreams? Is she allowed to make mistakes and start over?

I like Gretchen. She tries to please everyone, but ends up with the short straw. Her parents, husband, boyfriend, and friends have their own agendas. She’s not a priority with them and has to learn to carve out her own life. The way she proves her business savvy is funny and brave. She realizes her missed opportunities, especially with her mother, and tries to make amends. On a couple of different levels, many women will see themselves in Gretchen.

The story is a taste of bridging two cultures and making them one. An enjoyable read.

About the Author:
Kirstin Chen is a former Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing, she holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA from Stanford University. She was born and raised in Singapore and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband.

Connect with the author at:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Enter to Win a Limited Edition Braden T-shirt from Melissa Foster!

Celebrating the new release of the sixth Braden book, Hearts at Play, author Melissa Foster brings you this fantastic giveaway!

2 Winners will each win one of these 'limited edition' Braden T!
(Sizes available Medium, Large, X-Large)
Open to US 
Ending on Tuesday 4th February at 11.59pm EST

Book #6 The Bradens, Love in Bloom Series #9

Brianna Heart has a six-year old daughter and a twelve-year plan to keep her life as simple as possible until Layla turns eighteen. That means swearing off relationships and the drama that goes along with them, working two jobs, and being the best damn mother she can be.

The last thing Capital Series Grand Prix racer Hugh Braden wants after dating media-hungry leggy models and money-hungry fan girls is a blind date. But how could he turn down a favor to one of his best friends? Hugh expected the date to go poorly, but he didn’t expect to be intensely attracted to the beautiful brown-eyed bartender who completely blows him off—and steals his every thought thereafter.

When Brianna’s perfectly orchestrated life turns upside down, Hugh is there to help, softening the turmoil, and maybe even rescuing her heart from the lonely place where it has been hiding. Can a man who doesn’t believe in fate and a woman who doesn’t believe in true love find happiness in each other’s arms forever? .

HEARTS AT PLAY is part of the Love in Bloom series.
**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Buy the book from......,,     Barnes and Noble,     KOBO

More hot and steamy Braden reads

Enter Below and Good Luck !!

Dangerous Curves Ahead - Review

Review by Marlene Engel

The last person Ellis thought she’d bump into while buying a cookie was Detective Hot Pants … er, Detective Michael Edwards.  Four years ago, Ellis was crushing hard for the hot cop, but instead of reciprocating her feelings he went for her pretty and skinnier sister!  Now, face to face with Mike, the memories of rejection come rushing back.  To add insult to injury, Mike doesn’t even recognize her!  However, he does find her snarky attitude and curvy body wildly attractive.  But Ellis isn’t going to let Mike off the hook that easily! 

Previously working as an attorney, Ellis realized that her true calling is helping women with non-typical bodies find stylish, flattering clothing.  A plus-sized woman herself, Ellis knows how difficult it is to go into a store and be able to wear something right off the rack.  At her store, if you can’t find it in your size, Ellis will personally alter it to fit your body!  Ellis loves her job and relishes in the fact that she is able to help women feel sexy and secure with their bodies.  Now if only her love life were as fulfilling as her work life!

It seems everywhere Ellis turns, Mike isn’t far behind.  No matter if it’s at her job or at trivia night at the local bar, they keep bumping into each other.  Mike tries so hard to break down the walls that Ellis has built up, but until he figures out how they know each other Ellis refuses to budge!  Will Ellis surrender her heart to Mike?  Or will she continue to keep her heart a prisoner to his love?

If you ask me what I look for most in a book, I would say:  humor, a great story, fun characters and food!  Let me tell you, this book has all of those things and more!  I just loved this book and couldn’t put it down.  My only complaint is that the book had to end.  I know, I know, all good things must come to an end.  But I just wanted this book to go on forever.  Yes, it was that good!  If you haven’t read this book, you MUST go out and get it.  If you’re like me, you will have it read in less than two days! 

Purchase the book at:

About the Author: 
Sugar Jamison is a southern belle trapped in a New Yorker's body. With a love of big hair and high heeled shoes, she spends her day at her very normal day job and night dreaming up sweet but sassy romances. Sugar also writes steamier romances under the name Ginger Jamison.

Connect with Sugar at:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Renegade Lady - Blurb & Giveaway

Jenna “Ice” Chandler grew up as part of a motorcycle club. She considered it her home, until one wrong move made it her prison. After months of abuse, she is rescued by Chipper, who takes her to Big Clifty, Missouri, home of the Renegade Sons MC. 

Kiddrick “Kidd” Jones is the president of the Renegades. He knows there is something special about Ice the moment his older brother, Chipper, brings her into the club, but stays away, because she is too young.

When time comes for Ice to take her place in the club, she has two choices, become an old lady or a club whore. Not believing in love and knowing a man can never be faithful, she decides to earn her spot on her back.

With each passing year, Kidd's feelings for Ice grows and the urge to make her his becomes stronger. Frustrated and jealous, he finally decides it’s time to make her his.

Will Ice finally thaw out and give love a chance, or is Kidd fighting a losing battle?

Buy Links:

About The Authors:
Dawn Martens is a young, spunky Canadian Author, who is widely known for her best-selling “Resisting Love” series that she co-authored with Author Chantel Fernando. Being a wife to Colin, and a mother to two (soon to be THREE!) beautiful little girls (Sarah (6), Grace (3), Ava on the way!) hasn’t stopped this Canadian Firecracker from pursuing her dreams of becoming a writer! She has also co-authored “Whiskey Lullaby” (book one in the Love Songs series) with her friend and fellow writer, Author Emily Minton; on top of serving as a mentor and support system for many Authors in the Indie community over the past few years. 2014 is shaping up to be a phenomenal year for Dawn, as the highly anticipated book two in the Love Songs series titled “Broken”. She will also be releasing a brand new gritty MC series, “Renegade Sons MC,” with Emily Minton, that will for sure take their avid readers on yet another mind blowing journey. Dawn’s number one passion in life is the written word, and she’s extremely thankful that she has to ability to share the ramblings from the characters inside of her head with the rest of the world! She also may or may not have the hugest girl crush on Author Kristen Ashley, who is her personal idol and helped inspire Dawn in the beginning of her Indie career.

Connect with Dawn on Facebook

Emily Minton is a Kentucky native. Raised in Missouri, her family returned to Kentucky when she was a teen. She is proud to call the Bluegrass State home. She claims she bleeds blue--Wildcat Blue!
Emily has been married to her husband, David, for over twenty years. They share two lovable but irritating teenagers, Jess and Bailey. She is also the proud mom of a feisty terrier mix, Rae Rae. 
Emily loves to read and has more books on her kindle than most people could read in a life time, but she intends to read every single one. Nope, no hoarding problem here! Her favorite author is Kristen Ashley, and she swears Kristen’s book Sweet Dreams changed her life. 
Emily has co-authored two books with Dawn Martens, Whiskey Lullaby and Renegade Lady. She has also written one solo book, Windows. Many more are floating around in her head, and she hopes to get them all on paper before long. She loves sharing her dreams with her readers. 

Connect with Emily on Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Life in Plan B - Excerpt

I erased the message and put the phone down slowly as I leaned back on my pillow, folding my arms across my chest.  With all of the craziness going on with De Alexia I had completely forgotten that the anniversary of Dad’s death was in two short weeks.  I hadn’t thought about it once.  Angry with myself for not realizing it was so near, I looked at my calendar.  Thankfully, the day was free of any meetings or trips.  I could continue our family tradition unencumbered.
Every year on the anniversary of Dad’s death, my brother and I would meet at Dad’s grave in Cincinnati, no matter the cost or inconvenience.  We hadn’t skipped an anniversary once in almost fifteen years.  In the early years, as a couple of lost preteens, we would stand in front of his grave and mourn for an hour, trying to figure out how to remember and celebrate our dearly missed dad.  As we grew older, however, our visits turned into a glorified tailgate of sorts, complete with food, beer, and music.

Now, every year at noon on April 21st, my brother and I would plant our lawn chairs next to Dad’s headstone and crack open some beers.  Rain or shine, our visits usually lasted for hours, rendering both of us way too drunk to drive home.  There were a couple of years it was so stormy that we had almost given up.  But no matter what the weather, we always pulled through for Dad.

Sometimes we would reminisce about him, sharing our favorite memories until we were too tired to laugh or cry.  Other times, we would chat about what was going on in our own lives, catching up as if we had met for coffee on a random afternoon.  Our tradition was actually a great way for us to spend some uninterrupted time together.  And I liked to think that Dad enjoyed the time we spent updating him on our lives.

Mother had participated in the early years – mostly out of necessity because neither Michael nor I could drive.  But as the years passed and Michael and I were able to operate a car on our own, Mother ‘moved on’ and stopped coming altogether.  I doubt she had been to Dad’s grave for nearly a decade.  Although I liked visiting Dad without her, I had a hard time forgiving her for forgetting him.  It was like she had tossed that part of our lives aside while she was busy becoming Mrs. Whomever whenever the mood was right.  To date, she had been married and divorced three times since Dad’s death.

The first marriage came only five years after he died, to a man she met during grief counseling.  She told me she would never remarry, only to renege on that promise when I was seventeen.  Their wedding invitations featured the catchphrase, “It’s never too late for happily ever after.”  It made me sick.  Watching her marry man after man then toss them aside left me wondering whether she would have done the same to Dad had he lived.

Buy the Book!   

About the Author:

After practicing law for nearly three years, Jennifer Vessells decided to leave the practice to pursue her dream of being a novelist. After an intensive year and a half of writing, Ms. Vessells is proud to finally present her debut novel to the world - a story that's been marinating since her early college days.

Passionate about women's fiction and children's chapter books, Ms. Vessells plans to enjoy a long writing career. Keep your eye out for more exciting publications from this author in the future!

Connect with Jennifer at:

Friday, January 24, 2014

In the Blood - Blurb & Giveaway

In The Blood By Sara Hantz
Entangled Teen

For seventeen years, Jed Franklin’s life was normal. Then his father was charged with the abuse and murder of four young boys and normal became a nightmare.
His mom’s practically a walking zombie, he’s lost most of his friends, and the press camps out on his lawn. The only things that keep him sane are his little sis; his best friend and dream girl, Summer; and the alcohol he stashes in his room. But after Jed wakes up from a total blackout to discover a local kid has gone missing—a kid he was last seen talking to—he’s forced to face his greatest fear: that he could somehow be responsible.
In a life that’s spiraled out of control, Jed must decide if he chooses his own destiny with Summer by his side or if the violent urges that plagued his father are truly in the blood…

Purchase book at:

Sara Hantz originally comes from the UK and is one of four children, having three younger brothers. Although she was an avid reader from a very early age, she didn’t get the writing bug until much later in life, though English was always one of her stronger subjects. She’s an avid sun chaser and now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Australia (via 10 years in New Zealand). She writes young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green was published by Flux Books and made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara has a PhD in Education and lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV - in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she'd win gold.

Giveaway for 2 e-copies of Sara’s backlist book, 
The Second Virginity of Suzy Green. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Chick Lit Cookbook - Guest Post

About the Book:
You’ve said it a dozen times before: If only you had the chance, you would write a chick lit novel. But between job, boyfriend, kids, school — life — you just can’t find the time.

The Chick Lit Cookbook: A Guide to Writing Your Novel in 30 Minutes a Day is the solution. This fun, cupcake-themed guide will take you from start to finish of your first draft. In 13 chapters, each with a short exercise that will get you writing now, you will learn how to create the perfect main character, her ideal love interest, a world for her to live in and an adventure that will draw in readers. You will outline your entire first draft — and then you will write it.

The Chick Lit Cookbook is a beginner’s guide to writing funny, snappy, sucks-you-into-the-story prose about modern women, life and love. It is full of tips and techniques, prompts and pep talks that will spark your imagination and inspire you to put pen to paper. The exercises can be done while sitting on the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office, or talking on the phone with your mother-in-law. This book will show you that you can and will write a chick lit novel.
Whether you’ve been wishing for years that you could write chick lit or are a brand-new fan of Bridget Jones and Becky Bloomwood, you owe it to yourself to pick up this guide. The Chick Lit Cookbook will prove to you that writing a novel can be fun and easy — it’s just like baking cupcakes!

Guest Post:
A few of my favorite chick lit novels…and why I think they work
I love chick lit. Devouring books by my favorite writers is what led me to write The Chick Lit Cookbook: A Guide to Writing Your Novel in 30 Minutes a Day. (It’s also what inspired me to start writing my own chick lit—you can follow along at When I crack the spine of a book by one of my favorite authors, I know that I’m going down the rabbit hole—in a good way. Here are a few of my favorite chick lit books and why I think they are so special. I’d love to hear your favorites!

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding: This book is not only hilarious, entertaining, and full of great plot twists, it’s also genius. Helen Fielding is so dang smart. Throughout the book, Bridget is dealing with a very real societal prejudice against single people. A lot of the book could be read as social commentary on why women feel as though they need to live up to impossible standards by having perfect partners, perfect jobs, and perfect bodies. But you don’t even notice this when you’re reading, because you’re too busy laughing at Bridget. That’s what I call good writing.

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella: I love this book because it was the first time I could not stop reading a character’s receipts. Receipts. That’s what this book revolves around. It turns out receipts tell you so much about someone’s life—or in this case, her shopping addiction. I’d love to write a book with some kind of alternative format like this sprinkled in.

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes: This book is dark, but I have to put it on the list because I stayed up all night reading it. It’s a loooooong book. I like the jumping around from multiple perspectives, and I love the charming cross-dressing male love interest. And I still can’t believe I didn’t get who was the bad guy at first…

Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding: It might not be as layered and complex as the original Bridget Jones’s Diary, but man, do I love Bridget. She really holds her own in this one, and yet it’s as entertaining as the first. Props to Fielding for killing off everyone’s favorite man—that was bold.

The Icing on the Cupcake by Jennifer Ross: Another book with a fun structure; there’s a cupcake recipe at the end of each chapter. I can’t help but love books that
resemble cookbooks, especially when the recipes are for cupcakes.

I’m looking forward to reading some new chick lit, especially by indie authors. What are your faves?

Thanks for hosting me, Marlene!

Buy The Chick Lit Cookbook: A Guide to Writing Your Novel in 30 Minutes a Day at Amazon or Smashwords.

About the Author:
I have a cat named Mitzi and a husband named Andrew Quinton. I live in Seattle and I write a lot of things: a book on how to write chick lit, articles about religion and other American sub-cultures, and currently, a book about my year in an evangelical church. I love to write and have wanted to be a writer since I picked up a pencil. My favorite color is purple and my favorite food is chocolate chip cookie dough.

I also teach.  I would love to teach a writing workshop in your town/library/bookstore/cupcake shop. Drop me a line at alicia (dot) delosreyes (at) gmail (dot) com.

Connect with the author at:
Website * Blog * Twitter

Head over to Chick Lit Central and enter to win one of 2 e copies of this book and a manuscript review!

Bittersweet Chocolate - Review

Review by Darcie Czajkowski

A winner. A gem. A rare book that keeps you guessing, but also makes you say, yes, that is how the story should have gone, like a puzzle that makes total sense once every piece is in its right place.

These are my initial thoughts on Martha Reynolds’ book, Bittersweet Chocolate. I previously wrote a review on the first two books in this series, so I won’t devote too much time to the plot to avoid giving anything away. But what I will say is that this series is a must-read. For someone in their twenties to someone in their fifties, it is a captivating story that follows a young girl from her college days of partying abroad in Fribourg, Switzerland to her return to the same city and many surrounding ones over the next thirty years of her life. It tells the story of her journey and the people who influence her and affect her life during that time. From clear, colorful descriptions of people, situations, and European vistas to Reynolds’ obvious knack for spitting out spot-on dialogue, I had to consciously slow myself down, especially as the story progressed, as I was eagerly gobbling it all up, insatiable for more.

One of the things I appreciate most about this series is the realness of it – both in terms of the characters’ personalities and the events as they unfolded. Hard issues were not skirted. Joyous moments were given their due appreciation. Life consists of ups and downs and those books which delve deep into both are poised to be winners for me.

Even more rare than finding an entire series that infuses a tingly warm aura into my heart is finding an author whose spirit matches her books. Martha has a way about her that not only makes you fall in love with her enthralling stories, but also with her kind, thoughtful, and hard-working personality. So in the New Year, if you resolve to read more, resolve to read everything that Martha churns out, starting with this series. You won’t be disappointed, especially if you enjoy them along with a piece of the Swiss chocolate that main character Bernadette Maguire loves so much.

Purchase book at:

To read Darcie’s review for the first two books in this series, click HERE

About the Author:

Real True Fiction.
Martha Reynolds is the author of the award-winning CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST, its sequel, CHOCOLATE FONDUE, and the third and final book in the trilogy, BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE.
She also is the author of BITS OF BROKEN GLASS, a novel about four high school classmates who meet up for their 25-year class reunion.
All books are available in digital and print versions.
She and her husband live in Rhode Island, never far from the ocean.
Connect with the author at:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Live: The Burnside Series - Book Tour & Giveaway

Live: The Burnside Series by Mary Ann Rivers
January 21, 2014

Mary Ann Rivers kicks off a new contemporary romance series—sure to please readers of Ruthie Knox, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis—where love can be found unexpectedly.

If there’s an upside to unemployment, Destiny Burnside may have found it. Job searching at her local library in Lakefield, Ohio, gives her plenty of time to ogle the hottest man she has ever laid eyes on: the sexy wood-carver who’s restoring the building. But as the rejection letters pile up, Destiny finds an unexpected shoulder to cry on. With his rich Welsh accent, Hefin Thomas stirs Destiny so completely that, even though he’s leaving soon, she lets herself believe the memory of his scorching kisses will be enough.

Hefin can’t help but notice the slender, confident woman with ginger hair who returns each day, so hopeful and determined. So when the tears start to fall, his silence—penance for a failed marriage—finally cracks. Once he’s touched her, what Hefin wants is to take her back to Wales and hold her forever. But Destiny’s roots run too deep. What they both need is each other—to learn how to live and love again.

Buy Links
Amazon * B&N * iTunes

Ten Things About Live: The Burnsides Series #1

*I originally started writing the story as a screenplay called POS LIMO.
*Then I rewrote the first part as a YA, and there were many more YA characters. 
*My son shares Destiny's (Des) and Sam's coloring.
*I have been to the village where Hefin lives, and had tea at the Hotel where his mom likes to get sticky toffee pudding, and looking at many, many carvings. 
*Hefin is a very common name for his generation. It's comparable to Owen/Evan/Ethan. 
*My name was Destiny for the first few days of my life, then changed to Mary Ann. 
*Lakefield, OH is a fictional recreation of a Columbus/Cleveland hybrid.
*The library in LIVE is the same library where Carrie West, from THE STORY GUY works, and she has a brief appearance. 
*My holiday novella SNOWFALL, in an earlier version, included a now deleted scene in Potato Mountain, Hefin's favorite restaurant in Lakefield (SNOWFALL is also set in Lakefield).
*Andy Goldsworthy, Hefin and Des's favorite artist, is an actual artist and you can watch the movie Des loves about him Rivers and Tides, and you should, it's lovely. 

Author Info
Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.

Connect with Mary Ann Rivers: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 E-book Retailer of Winner’s Choosing, or Loveswept Tote)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winds of Wyoming & Winds of Freedom (A Kate Neilson Novel) - Blurbs, Q&A and Giveaway!

Fresh out of a Pennsylvania penitentiary armed with a marketing degree, Kate Neilson heads to Wyoming anticipating an anonymous new beginning as a guest-ranch employee. A typical twenty-five-year-old woman might be looking to lasso a cowboy, but her only desire is to get on with life on the outside—despite her growing interest in the ranch owner. When she discovers a violent ex-lover followed her west, she fears the past she hoped to hide will trail as close as a shadow and imprison her once again.

Purchase link:

Winter storms blast across the Whispering Pines Guest Ranch, and a cold wind blows through Kate Neilson’s soul. Despite her pain, Kate’s well-being takes a backseat to the needs of loved ones: her best friend, who’s been ensnared by evil; her failing great-aunt, whose dementia care keeps Kate guessing; and Laura and Mike Duncan, whose ranch and livelihood are threatened by a land-grabbing neighbor.

Purchase book at:

Q&A with the Author

Where did you come up with the premise for your books?
Thanks, Marlene, for letting me talk about my Kate Neilson series. Although the novels are related, the story prompts originated from different sources. My inspiration for writing the first book, Winds of Wyoming, came one evening as I drove home from participating in a chapel service at a women’s prison. Each time I visited the prison, I was struck by the similarities between the residents and myself. In the same way I loved my absent children, they loved theirs and longed to see and hold them. Other commonalities included our everyday struggles with relationships, forgiveness, transparency, health, finances, faith, and so much more. In some ways, those issues are compounded when incarcerated individuals are released from prison.
I’d been working on a book about a woman who left Pennsylvania to start a new life in Wyoming, but I hadn’t come up with a strong enough motive for the move to create a plausible plotline. The ah-ha moment I experienced driving across the Arizona desert that dark night sparked my creative juices and lit up my brain. The challenges ex-offenders face when they return to society would provide a reason for the relocation and the basis for my heroine’s conflicts.

The idea “seed” for Winds of Freedom, the second book in the series, was planted when my neighbor told me of a relative who walked into an airport restroom and never came out—as far as her husband and children knew. Although they didn’t see her exit the restroom, she must have snuck past them wearing a disguise, because they later learned she’d slipped away to start a new life. Several weeks after her disappearance, she returned to pick up her clothing and other personal items. She didn’t tell her husband where she was living or what she was doing, only that she no longer had to clean house or take care of children. To add to the mystery, she was wearing a collar around her neck.

When did you know that you wanted to become an author?
Many, many years ago, my high-school English teacher encouraged me to go into journalism; instead, I earned a Church Education degree from a Bible college. But before I had a chance to use the degree, I married my college sweetheart and we started having babies. When our first child was just beginning to walk around furniture, I saw a notice in the local paper for a community education writing class. Intrigued, I registered for the class, found a babysitter and ended up writing a couple feature articles for the newspaper, thanks to the reporter who taught the class. I’ve written articles and stories for a variety of publications over the years and published two fiction books and two nonfiction books. I also edit fiction and nonfiction for authors and publishers.

Describe your latest book in three words.
I could say “Winds of Freedom,” ha. Facing Evil Head-on.

What can readers expect from you next?
“Winds of Change,” book 3 in the Kate Neilson Series, will pick up where book 2 left off, back at the ranch, and feature most of the characters from the previous two books. The Whispering Pines gang will tackle even tougher challenges than they encountered in the past and discover that sometimes love is not enough. I’m also editing a fun short story collection that will feature several of my short stories along with those of other authors.
Thank you for stopping by Book Mama Blog.  These books sound amazing and the premise behind them make me want to run out and get them!  

About the Author:
Rebecca Carey Lyles writes nonfiction as well as fiction and serves as an editor and mentor for aspiring authors. Her second novel, Winds of Freedom is the sequel to the award-winning first book in the Kate Neilson series, Winds of Wyoming.

Connect with the author at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway