Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Update - February 25, 2013

This was an exciting week. I surpassed the 25K mark on Finding Anna Book 4. That's always a wonderful milestone when writing a novel. I finished the chapter I was working on at the beginning of last week, and I've made a good dent in the next one as well. A fairly productive week over all.

Also the Red Zone Blog Tour is still going on. If you missed any of this past week's stops, click on the links below.

Brandee's Book Endings
Storeybook Reviews
The Daily Opinion
In My Humble Opinion
Simply Sweet Books
Fresh Fiction
Reading Rehab

The TWCS Goodreads group began their book club discussion this week. If you'd like to join us, click here to go to the group. If you're not already a member, send us a request so you can take part in the discussion.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sweet Saturday Sample - February 23, 2013

With her arms full, she managed to get the front door to open and get the first load up the stairs. It was the first time Elizabeth was thankful for all those years Jared had made her go to the gym. No. She was having such a good day she would not let her thoughts wander down that path. Resolute, she marched back down the stairs and was just reaching for the doorknob when Jan came out. “Did you need some help, dear?”
“Uh, no. I—”
She was almost knocked over when a large man came barreling through the door. He didn’t seem to notice Elizabeth at all, as he focused on Jan. “You can’t leave the front door unlocked like this. It just isn’t safe.”
His voice was gruff, and she instantly recognized it as the one she’d heard this afternoon. It was not as angry as it has been before, but still intimidating. She backed toward the stairs without thinking. It was then that he noticed her, appraising her from head to foot, and his scrutiny made her uncomfortable. Even though she was completely clothed, she felt the need to cover herself.
He was huge, taller than Jared or her father. His hair was a dark brown, only a shade darker than his eyes, and he looked dangerous, more dangerous than her husband, and her frightened expression must have been apparent. She closed her eyes tight, willing everything to go away: her memories, her fear, this man before her.
Jan said, “Chris, you have perfect timing.” She walked over to the man and placed her hand on his arm. “Elizabeth,” she said, motioning in her direction, “just went shopping and needs some help getting everything up to her apartment. You’ll be a good neighbor and help her now, won’t you?”

Friday, February 22, 2013

Flash Fiction Friday - February 22, 2013

He tried not to let his revulsion show on his face as he looked toward the camera. Why was he doing this again? Oh right, because it was a job, and he needed the money. Too bad he couldn’t wave a magic wand and all his bills would be taken care of.

“Lean into it a little more.”

Sighing inwardly, he ignored the chill that ran down his spine as he followed the camera man’s instructions.

“Now all I need you to do is look directly into the camera with a hungry look in your eyes and take a bite.”

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Update - February 18, 2013

Its hard to believe that we've already passed the halfway mark in February, but there it is. Time is flying by whether I like it or not.

This week was a mixed bag. On the plus side, I finished another chapter in my WIP, and sent it off to my beta. All I have to do now is go back through and polish it a little before starting the next chapter. On the other hand, my husband and I have both been under the weather. Fighting a cold is never fun. Its even less so when you're trying to meet deadlines.

The Red Zone Blog Tour is still going strong. We had another week full of stops.

The Readiacs
Manic Readers
Read Your Writes Book Reviews
Tattooed Book Reviews
Totally Booked Blog
Chris' Book Blog Emporium
Sydney Logan
Brandee's Book Endings

Two weeks ago I was interviewed by a local arts and entertainment newspaper in Columbus, Ohio called Columbus Alive. The article was published in their February 14th edition, and went live on their website the same day. Click here to read the article.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sweet Saturday Sample - February 16, 2013


Since Truth is releasing in 10 days, over the next week and a half I'm going to share some excerpts from Finding Anna books 1, 2, and 3. Enjoy! :)

A piercing scream tore me from sleep. Throwing the covers off, I ran to Brianna's room to find her huddled against the headboard of her bed, looking wild with fright. Her hands were twisted in her hair, tangling it. At first she didn't seem to notice me in the dim light from the window, but when she did, she closed her eyes, tilted her head down, and began to shake.

Slowly, I walked toward her. I didn't want to frighten her more, but I felt I needed to do something. Brianna was my responsibility. She was in a strange place, alone. Although I was a stranger, I was all she had at the moment.

By the time I reached the end of her bed, she was moving. I hesitated. She nearly tripped over herself as she scrambled to the floor kneeling in front of me. 

Her name was on the tip of my tongue when she started jerking. I bent down, concerned she was having another episode, and reached out to grasp her by the shoulders. Her eyes were closed tight, and she looked like she was in pain. Scooping her up, I carried her to the bathroom and set her down by the toilet. I lifted the toilet seat and pulled her hair back. She bent over and let loose, but nothing came out. Her stomach was empty. All she had were dry heaves.

Once she calmed, I got two washcloths from the rack. After running them under cold water, I took them to Brianna. She hadn't moved, not that I'd really expected her to. Her body was unnaturally still, her eyes cast to the floor as I washed her face.

When I was finished I tossed the dirty cloth into the sink and turned back to her. Again, she looked like she was about ready to cry. 

I carried her back to her bed. 

Placing her on the on the rumpled covers, I brushed her hair back and placed the fresh washcloth on her forehead. Her eyes flicked to my face, then closed as she tensed.

She acted as if she was waiting for me to molest her. The fact that she thought I would do so when she was obviously unwell made me wonder just what horrors she'd undergone living with Ian Pierce.

Without another word, I stepped away and settled into the chair in the corner of the room. I'd use the chair for various reasons in the past, but a bed had never been one of them before tonight.

As I leaned back, trying to get comfortable, I watched her still form on the bed, letting myself study her. Her delicate features were silhouetted against the lights of the city coming through the window. It gave the illusion of a peace that wasn't present. She was a mystery. I had no idea of her past. Beyond her time with Ian, and even that was sketchy. Who was she before? Was this a life she chose that went horribly wrong or something worse?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Flash Fiction Friday - February 15, 2013

This weeks picture is from free photo.

She pulled out her phone and checked to see if she had any messages. There was one.

I’m here.

Just reading those words sent a rash of butterflies to her stomach. She was really going to do this. It had been four long years, but she’d never been able to get him out of her head, not once while she’d been away at college. Last month she’d called him on a whim, and he’d picked up. The rest, as they say, was history.

Grabbing her bag, she exited the plane, and headed toward the man she hoped was her future.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Update - February 11, 2013

What a week!

The biggest news of the week by far was the release of my newest novel, Red Zone. This is the second book in my Daniels Brothers Series, and so far its getting great reviews.

“Ms. Hayes knocked this out the ballpark and beyond my expectations.” ~Under the Covers

"It had a little bit of everything for everyone. The story line was romantic, passionate, suspenseful, playful, and sexy." ~Reading, Eating, & Dreaming

Its been full steam ahead on the blog tour this last week. Below are thinks to the stops in case you missed them...
I also made my television interview debute in Cleveland, Ohio this week on The List. If you remember last week I shared with you an interview segment that aired in Cincinnati. This is from the same interview, however they pulled out some Cleveland specific information I mentioned. Check out the interview here. Be warned, however, my interview is at the tail end of a segment about Cleveland bars. Keep watching though, I'm there. :)
Unfortunately not much writing got accomplished this week, although I did finish chapter 8, send it off to my beta, and went through all her notes. Doesn't sound like much, but considering everything else that was going on its not bad. I'm really hoping to get some writing done this week, however, because the proofreader is supposed to have Truth, Finding Anna Book 3, back to my lead editor this weekend. That means that I'll most likely be pulled into more edits for Truth for at least a day or two next week.
Also, don't forget that we still have plenty more stops on the Red Zone blog tour, so don't miss out. To find a full list of all the stops, go to the TWCS website.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sweet Saturday Sample - February 9, 2013


Chad, one of the locals, handed her the phone as soon as she entered. Placing the grungy handset that looked like it had been around for at least thirty years to her ear, she said, “Hello?”

“Cali? Cali, honey, is that you?”

“Yes, Dad, it’s me. Is everything okay?” she asked, worried.

“No, sweetheart, it’s not. I need you to come home.” Cali sat down in the beat up wooden chair Chad had recently vacated.

“Come home? Dad, what’s going on? What’s wrong?” She heard him sigh on the other end, followed by a moan. “Dad?”

“I kind of went and did something stupid.”

“What did you do?” She felt her body tense as it did so often when getting ready to work on an injury that they were ill equipped for. Cali didn’t like being unprepared for anything. People died that way.

“I went waterskiing with Henry.”

“You what!” She yelled, almost falling off her chair.

“I know, I know. Stupid, right? Not something a man my age should be doing. I’ve already heard it all from Jessie.”

“What happened? Are you alright?”


“Dad?” Why was he stalling?

Another sigh and another moan, “The doctors say I broke my hip and a couple of ribs. They say I’m going to be out of commission for about three months.”

“Oh, Dad,” Cali said with disapproval.

“So I need you to come home, Cali. I need to you run the business while I’m away. Look after things.”

“Dad…” She hesitated, not really knowing how to respond.

“Now listen, Cali. I know you’ve told me you don’t want to take over for me when I retire, and although I’m not happy about that, I will respect your wishes. However, at the moment there are some things going on, and I would feel much better with someone I trust watching over my interests.”

“What about Peter? I thought you trusted him. I thought you were grooming him to take over?”

“Peter is very good at what he does, and maybe someday I will feel confident turning the business over to him. But he’s not family. You’re the only family I’ve got, Cali, and I need you for this and only you.”

“I don’t know,” she said, leaning back in the chair, still unsure.

“Please? Your old man needs you.” Cali giggled.

“How soon can you get here?”

“I can get a ride into town tomorrow and catch the bus from there, but it will take me most of the day to reach the airport so…” Cali paused to do the calculations in her head. “I should be able to make it back by Thursday, Friday at the latest.”

“Good girl. Call me when you have your flight information, and I’ll make sure someone picks you up.”

“Okay, Dad,” she answered getting up from her seat.



“I love you, sweetie.”

“I love you, too.”

Friday, February 8, 2013

Flash Fiction Friday - February 8, 2013

They walked down the long hall looking at various paintings. All were from local artists, and varied from traditional to abstract. It was one of the many things they loved about coming there. No matter what they saw, it was always interesting and something to talk about.

Turning the corner, they came face-to-face with a ghost. Both of them stopped abruptly, unable to take their eyes off the vivid painting in front of them.  The face staring back at them, poised and ready for a fight, was the spitting image of a woman long dead-a woman they both helped kill.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Release Day!

Happy Release Day!

Come celebrate with us over on Facebook. I will be holding an all day release party, and someone is going to win a signed copy of my newest novel, Red Zone.

After a case ended badly for Rebecca Carson, she’s losing her mind sitting around her apartment waiting on her superiors to allow her to return to work. Since she was a teenager, the only thing she’d ever wanted was to join the FBI. Now that dream was in danger.
Gage Daniels has made a pretty good life for himself. A nice house. A career he loves. As a professional football player, he’s used to getting almost everything he’d ever want with just the snap of his fingers. This includes women. A well-timed smile is usually all it takes to attract the opposite sex, especially in Nashville.
When a stalker threatens Gage, the team owner calls an old friend, Rebecca’s ex-partner Travis Hansen, to help protect his star quarterback and find the person responsible. Hansen offers Rebecca the job, and she jumps at the chance. It’s work, and it will get her out of her apartment. How bad can it be?
Posing as Gage’s girlfriend, however, isn’t as easy as it seems. The man is relentless. Rebecca must work to protect Gage while staving off his advances. She’s there to do a job, nothing more. The last thing she wants is to be another notch on a hotshot athlete’s belt.
As the stalker continues to up the ante, Rebecca finds it harder and harder to keep her distance from Nashville’s star quarterback. He isn’t what she expected in one of the city’s most notorious playboys. Now all she has to do is keep him safe until they can find his stalker, and hope she doesn’t lose her heart in the process.

Available on Amazon, B&, iBooks, and at The Writer's Coffee Shop website.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Welcome Wednesday - Elizabeth McKenna

Today I'm welcoming historical romance author Elizabeth McKenna.

Elizabeth McKenna is a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. She never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).

She had always wanted to write fiction, so when a psychic told her she would write a book, Elizabeth felt obligated to give it a try. She combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write her first novel Cera's Place. She recently released a short story titled The Gypsy Casts a Spell.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin (Packers, Brewers, and Badgers - oh my!) with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's sleeping.

Social media links
Twitter: @elizamckenna

1.       Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did you get started writing romance?
I have always enjoyed writing and am a technical writer by trade. Several years ago, my children were studying different careers at school. They asked me if I liked my job and I said I would rather be writing fiction. They asked why I didn’t do that then. Instead of explaining about bills and mortgages, I started writing romance in my spare time. I felt it was important to show them that it was never too late to follow your dreams.
2.       Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat of your pants type of a writer?
With my first novel, Cera’s Place, I didn’t have a formal outline. I bounced ideas off my husband and rewrote a lot. With Venice in the Moonlight, I used an outline and tried to stick to traditional story structure.
3.       Are there any romance novel cliché that make you cringe when you read them?
I don’t always enjoy the virgin versus the rake. I just finished reading a story where the heroine felt a ripping sensation during their first love scene. I thought – yuck.
4.       What is the hardest scene you’ve had to write, and what made it so difficult?
Definitely the first love scene that I wrote. I wasn’t sure how much detail to put in. I don’t like to read erotica, but I didn’t want to write a sweet romance. Nora Roberts was the first romance author I read, so I tried to follow what she did. The first draft came off as very clinical. Luckily, I had another writer review it so I was able to improve the scene using her feedback. In the end, she told me the rewrite was hot. It was a huge confidence booster.
5.       Which of your heroines would you say is most like you, and why?
Probably Cera in Cera’s Place. Life’s knocked her around and she spends all of her time taking care of others. When Jake enters her life, she declares she doesn’t have time for men or romance. Sounds like a lot of mothers I know! I’d like to think I’m as strong as she is.
6.       What are you working on now?
I’m working on another historical romance, Venice in the Moonlight, set in 1753 during Casanova’s time. It’s a story of vengeance, forgiveness, and love and should be available later this year. Here is the description:
After her husband’s death, Marietta Gatti is banished from the family’s villa by her spiteful mother-in-law. With nowhere to go, she returns to Venice and her only kin – a father she hasn’t spoken to since her forced marriage.
Hoping to make amends, she is devastated to find he has died two months earlier. When his lover insists it was under suspicious circumstances, Marietta retraces her father’s last days only to learn someone may have wanted him dead.
When the prime suspect is the father of the man she is falling in love with, Marietta faces a heart-breaking decision. Should she risk her future happiness to avenge the death of a man she has despised for the past five years?
In 1869, San Francisco saloon owner Cera Cassidy offers redemption to any woman looking for honest work. At Cera's Place, men can get a decent hot meal with a whiskey, but if they want anything more, they have to take their desires elsewhere. One summer night, a distraught Chinese girl bursts through the swinging doors with a shocking tale of murder, kidnapping, and prostitution. Outraged, Cera vows to set things right.
Jake Tanner, a scarred ex-soldier haunted by the horrors of the Civil War, is on a mission to fulfill a friend's dying wish. The trail has brought him to Cera's door. Captivated by her Irish beauty, he wants to join her fight - but will she let him?
Elizabeth McKenna's debut novel is a fast-paced adventure filled with memorable characters that will leave you wanting more. Get lost in a time gone by and fall in love today!
Buy Links (available in ebook/print from major sellers)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Update - February 4, 2013

The first Monday in February. Where has the time gone? Then again, anything that gets us closer to spring and rid of all this snow we've been getting is a good thing in my opinion. The only downside is that I have a ton more writing to do on my WIP, and the calendar never seems to work in my favor.

Unfortuantely, I didn't get anymore writing done this week. I ended up having to spend half a day in the dentist office this last week getting a filling redone that popped out.

This past week, I welcomed fellow TWCS author Lissa Bryan to the blog. She recently released her second book, The End of All Things. If you missed her post, click here.

Then, on Thursday I ended up driving down near Cincinnati to be interviewed by a syndicated television show called The List. It was my first television interview, so I was both excited and nervous. Click here if you'd like to watch.

Friday I took part in Flash Fiction Friday, where writers are given a picture prompt and asked to write 100 words and only 100 words about it. Its not as easy as you think it is.

Saturday kicked off my Red Zone blog tour. Its running from February 2nd thru March 2nd, and there will be interviews, guest posts, and giveaways throughout, so don't miss out. I've posted the list of all the stops below.

Saturday, Feb 2 - Feeling Fiction - Guest Post
Sunday, Feb 3 - Reality Bites - Guest Post (Excerpt)
Live Read Breathe Blog -Guest Post
Monday, Feb 4 - Talk Supe - Guest Post
Lori’s Book Blog - Guest Post
Tuesday, Feb 5 - Book To Book Reviews Blog - Guest Post
Wednesday, Feb 6 - Mich’s Book Reviews - Review
Thursday, Feb 7 - Tammy and Kim’s Review Blog - Guest Post (Excerpt)
Friday, Feb 8 - Nette’s Book Shelf - Guest Post
Saturday, Feb 9 - Jacitamati Blog - Guest Post
Sunday, Feb 10 - Swept Away By Romance - Guest Post
Monday, Feb 11 - The Readics - Review
Tuesday, Feb 12 - Manic Readers - Interview
Wednesday, Feb 13 - Read Your Writes Blog - Interview
Thursday, Feb 14 - My Secret Romance Book Reviews - Guest Post - Ultimate Valentine
Tattooed Book Reviews - Guest Post - GAGE’s Valentine Treat
Friday, Feb 15 - Romantic Reading Escapes - Interview
Totally Booked - Review
Saturday, Feb 16 - Chris Book Blog Empmorium -Interview
Sunday, Feb 17 - Sydney Logan - Author Feature
Monday, Feb 18 - Brandees Book Endings - Week Long Author Feature
Tuesday, Feb 19 - Storey Book Reviews - Review and Author Highlight
Wednesday, Feb 20 - The Daily Opinion - Interview and Guest Post
Thursday, Feb 21- InMHO Blog - Review
Friday, Feb 22 - Simply Sweet Books Blog - Review
Saturday, Feb 23 - Fresh Fiction - Review
Sunday, Feb 24 - Reading Rehad - Review
Monday, Feb 25 - Sarah Aisling - Interview
Tuesday, Feb 26 - Meen- Reading Journal - Review
Wednesday, Feb 27 - 3 Chicks After Dark - Interview
Thursday, Feb 28 - From The TBR Pile - Guest Post
Friday, Mar 1 - Undercover The Covers Book Blog - Character interview
Saturday, Mar 2 - Sherry Gomes - Review

So that was my week. How was yours?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sweet Saturday Sample - February 2, 2013

Available February 7, 2013
Hansen drove, keeping pace with Daniels and trying to keep the smirk off his face.
“There is absolutely nothing amusing about this situation, Hansen.”
With that, he let the laugh he’d been holding in burst out. “Oh, I beg to differ. You pretending to be Mister Star Quarterback’s girlfriend is pretty funny. Do you even know who he is?”
“He’s a football player. What more is there to know?”
“Oh, man,” he said, continuing to laugh. “This is going to be interesting.”
Daniels pulled up in front of a gate and stopped, causing their conversation to come to an end. She could see a large house beyond and assumed this was his home. The gate was smart given someone was after him. Hopefully, he had security cameras installed as well. The cameras at the stadium were helpful, but they wouldn’t negate her always having to check under his vehicle before he got into it. The challenge was going to be doing so without his knowledge, since Donovan wanted to keep Daniels from knowing about the explosives. She didn’t agree with keeping something like that from the football player, but for the moment, she’d let Donovan call the shots.
They followed Daniels through the gate and up the curved driveway to his garage, where he parked the Explorer beside a vintage Mustang. He got out, not acknowledging them at all, before disappearing into the house. The only concession he made to their presence was to leave the garage door open.
Hansen’s chest was still rumbling with laughter when they both stepped out of their vehicle and followed him inside. “Keep it up, Hansen, and I’ll make sure your wife knows you’ve been cheating on your diet, because we both know you have.”
“You wouldn’t.”
She turned and gave him a big smile. “Try me.” 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Flash Fiction Friday - February 1, 20132

He placed a pair of dark glasses over her eyes, blocking out the light completely. “Hold out your arms.”
She complied, her heart racing with excitement.

Cold metal encircled both her wrists. Handcuffs.
“How does that feel, pet?”

She could hear him move behind her, and the next thing she knew he took a firm hold of her hips. “Walk forward.”

The walk was short. Within moments, she bumped into something.
“Bend over, and place your hands in front of you to support yourself.”

Seconds after she was in position, she felt his hand make contact with her ass.
If you'd like to see what other authors came up with for this same picture prompt, click on their links below.