Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Logline Blog

I’m always excited when I find a new way to learn about new books and authors. My latest discovery is The Log Line Blog. Check it out for the low-down on Big Horn Storm and other great reads from a variety of fantastic authors. Readers are eligible for a chance at an Amazon gift certificate monthly, and the winner is announced on the first Wednesday of each month.
Also, I’d like to extend a very sincere thank you to everyone who took advantage of the free Kindle download promotion for Marked in Mexico on Amazon October 26 and 27. I truly hope you enjoy the story and want to check out Big Horn Storm or another of my adventures.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Free Kindle Download October 26 and 27

Marked in Mexico can be downloaded for free on Amazon this Friday and Saturday— a perfect time to find out if a deadly manhunt will lead to love.

An idyllic Caribbean vacation turns deadly when hostages are taken at one of Mexico’s most popular Mayan ruins. The kidnappers believe the abduction will be a simple way to negotiate the release of a colleague from a Texas prison, but matters become complicated and the stakes much higher when they realize one of their hostages is the daughter of a powerful U.S. Senator and another is an ex-Army Ranger who has no intention of playing by the rules.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


October has been a busy month as far as my books showing up around the Web. Check out C.R. Richards’ 2012 Halloween edition of Books and BanterTopics in this issue include a recap of Killercon, featured authors, including my latest novel, Big Horn Storm, and news and issues from the publishing industry.  

This past Friday, Marked in Mexico, was featured at Blurbs in Bloom. It’s still there, but you’ll need to scroll down a bit since Saturday and Sunday’s blurbs are now listed above it. Jacqueline Hopper dedicated the October 8th Promotion Monday to Marked in Mexico. She’s a very prolific blogger so you’ll have to search a bit since it’s long buried with other interesting and exciting promotions, reviews, advice and information on submitting a manuscript to Prism Book Group, which you don’t want to miss. And, on October 15, part two of my interview with Anna Sugg posted at Canyonland Press.  And, it’s not over yet. Stay tuned for a very exciting opportunity coming October 26 and 27.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blurbs in Bloom

I recently came across a great blog with a catchy name, Blurbs in Bloom, which features short blurbs and book covers every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s a great way to sample new authors. Today my novel, Marked in Mexico, will be featured, so stop on by, have a look, leave a comment, and maybe discover a new read for the Fall season

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blogfest fun

Thank you to Ciara Knight and Ninja Captain Alex for organizing this fun blog-hopping event and all those who stopped by to comment. Sorry to say, so far Beth hasn’t found her book.  I am challenged as far as social media goes, but I had fun participating. If I’m wrapping up early, please continue to comment below, and maybe it isn’t too late for Wicked Eddies to be noticed by its creator.

Did I Notice Your Book Blogfest

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blogfest – Did I Notice Your Book?

What makes a new book jump out and beg to be read even if you’ve never heard of the author?  A great cover or a catchy title can grab the attention of a potential reader, and Beth Groundwater’s Wicked Eddies did just that.  It’s difficult to ignore, Wicked Eddies, and not be just a bit intrigued. Did I notice your book? If so, please comment. If you’re just curious, here’s the blurb.

Fly fishing is dangerous?  River ranger Mandy Tanner had no idea until days before a huge tournament in Salida, Colorado. True, the Arkansas River can be a man-eater, but the rapids weren’t responsible for driving a hatchet into the neck of would-be competitor Howie Abbott—a secretive man who may have been cheating. While casting about for suspects, Mandy seeks clues from Abbott’s family members, including her best friend, bartender Cynthia Abbott. But when Cynthia becomes the prime suspect, Mandy realizes that trolling for the true killer has plunged her way too deep into wicked eddies.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Canyonland Press Interview – Part Two

Please join me today at Canyonland Press for part two of my interview with Anna Sugg on characterization and research.  Canyonland Press is an e- magazine for readers with inquiring minds, focused on bringing entertaining information to readers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Research in Fiction

After writing research papers in college it was never a goal of mine to continue this practice, accept under duress, after graduation. But, in order to make fiction believable it is often necessary to learn more about places, cultures, technology, time periods and even science as is the case in a couple of my books in progress. When it comes to science I must confess I don’t always understand everything I read, but hopefully I grasp the general concepts enough to make the story realistic.

Some investigation is hands on. I’ve visited Mayan Ruins, national parks, and decommissioned missile silos all in the name of research. Observation is another key tool in order to develop realistic characters and scenes. Sometimes I come up with a concept I’d like to incorporate, but need to do a little digging to see if it’s feasible. In Marked in Mexico I wanted something to push the characters even closer to the edge, something beyond their control. I thought about malaria. I’ve seen the devastating effects of the disease up close on numerous occasions, but only after studying the dispersion map in an article in the July 2007 issue of National Geographic did I decide that, though not prevalent in most of Mexico, it’s not out of the realm of possibility where my book is set. I also study maps when creating a local for a new story. I don’t need an exact location, but I do need to make sure the fictional ranch I envision along the border of the Big Horn National Forest could exist or towns currently function where I need ghost towns in Desperate Dreams 

I enjoy reading and writing non-fiction, but my passion has always been adventure fiction. My primary goal is to entertain and offer escape, but in a way which encourages the reader to get involved with the characters and in the story and maybe even ask, “what if?” So, dog-ear the articles, clip the newspapers stories and surf the net. Sprinkle the facts throughout the story, mix well and you have a recipe for success and fiction that feels real.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Taste of Big Horn Storm

I hope this wets your appetite...

The sound of a man’s voice made Niki’s head whip around as she tried to bring Storm under control. The man was not speaking English and the insignia on his uniform did not belong to the United States military, nor did the uniform sport a maple leaf such as the one she had seen on the helicopter the previous day. Thoughts swirled through her head, making no sense at all, but the one thing she was certain of was that she was in deep trouble.

Niki reined Storm around, now surrounded by five more men. Her body went rigid as the horse’s legs suddenly stiffened. Storm snorted at the closest man and then pawed angrily at the ground. The men began advancing, smiling and laughing. Niki couldn’t understand what they were saying, but as she spied two more dead bodies on the ground, she felt certain they had no intention of helping her.

Her eyes darted from man to man. She scanned the area and noted that she was still very close to the edge of the ravine. Niki could feel the big horse quiver beneath her and tense, ready to spring at the slightest provocation. She gripped Storm’s sides with her legs and grasped the saddle horn. One man pulled a pistol out of its holster. She doubted he intended to shoot her yet—instant death would be too quick, easy and preferable. Niki feared he planned to take out her only mode of escape. She couldn’t allow her beloved horse to be shot at point blank range, but most importantly, she couldn’t be delayed too long or she doubted her grandfather would survive.

With a prayer and a swift kick, Niki informed Storm it was time to run for their lives. The horse sensed the danger and cleared the edge of the ravine before the men could react. Niki held on as tight as she could and leaned back to help the horse keep his balance as he lunged down the slope. Rocks dislodged under the fury of his churning hooves as he barreled down the embankment.

They had nearly reached the creek when the first series of shots rang out. Storm shied and turned to follow the creek downstream rather than plunging into the water with its slick bottom at an uncontrolled speed. Another barrage of gunfire pelted the ground, narrowly missing Niki, but hitting nearby rocks, spraying the horse with sharp stone fragments.

A slight bend in the ravine took them out of sight of the shooters and soon the slope was much less intimidating, making it easier for Storm to cross the creek and climb out of the ravine.  Niki released a sigh of relief and encouraged the horse to take it easy as he began his ascent. They had just reached the top when Niki heard the unmistakable sound of two dirt bikes’ engines firing up.

“I hope you have a little more left,” she whispered as she leaned over Storm’s neck, flattening herself against his steaming body.

Her position was all the encouragement the horse needed. Storm stretched out to a full run. His speed and endurance amazed her, but she knew they needed to reach the cover of the thick forest on the other side of the clearing as quickly as possible. Storm had already been galloping for hours before they had even reached the tower, so she doubted he would be able to outrun the dirt bikes for long or dodge the bullets that would come once the soldiers reached the flat meadow.

Niki stole a glance back. The bikes had cleared the ravine’s lip and were rapidly closing in. She looked ahead and estimated they were still a quarter of a mile from a dense stand of trees. Several bullets landed well to the right of Niki, doing no damage, but the noise spurred another burst of speed from the gelding. She fought the urge to look back again—it would serve no purpose. Instead, she kept herself low and her head down to help Storm as much as possible and to minimize the size of target her body presented.

The distance between her and the trees narrowed, but the bikes sounded closer. Another shot narrowly missed as Storm dove into the thin stand of pine. The horse slowed slightly, having to navigate through an old blow-down as if it were an obstacle course. She knew the fallen trees would slow the dirt bikes even more since they would have no choice but to find an alternate route around the jumble of timber, resembling a giant game of pick-up-sticks.

Niki remained low to the horse’s neck as he wove in and out of trees, branches slapping violently, threatening to dislodge her from Storm’s back. He stumbled several times as he maneuvered through the erratically strewn timber, but regained his footing and continued to run. She clung to the horn, hoping the horse knew what he was doing, doubting she still had the ability to think quickly or clearly enough to make a good decision, nor did she want to risk a look up for fear of being stabbed in the eye by a low-hanging branch.

Storm leapt over logs and wove his way around everything he couldn’t clear. His nose was stretched out as if reaching for the finish line at the Kentucky Derby. His breathing huffed above the pounding of his hooves and the breaking of branches and Niki hoped his strength and endurance would last until they were safely away from the armed men.

As the horse finally managed to put distance between them and the sound of the bikes, Niki took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. The noise of the engines had all but faded when she dared her first glimpse up since entering the trees. The sight brought a gasp from her lips. The sheer drop off was the last thing she saw as Storm launched himself over the edge without hesitation.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Marked in Mexico Featured on Promotion Monday

Join me today on Jacqueline Hopper's Blog blog for Promotion Mondays where she will feature interviews, reviews and everything, “Marked in Mexico.”  Click on the arrow below for a preview.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Free Short Story Download

After a storm, a major power outage leaves two at-odds neighbors dependent on each other. Forced to unite, will their animosity for each other crash like thunder or will they discover love as lightning strikes?

Download Lightening Strikes, a collaboration by Prism Book Group authors, directly from  Prism Book Group. Formats for most e-readers are available.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October's Book of the Month

Each month Prism Book Group features one of its e-books for 99 cents. The books can be downloaded directly through the Prism Book Group website in formats for nearly all e-readers. September’s “Book of the Month” was my romantic adventure, Desperate Dreams.  This month check out Trinity Hart’s, Accident Waiting to Happen.

Devastated to learn her fiancé is nothing more than a con artist after her inheritance, Hope Pearson is seeking refuge at the Circle C ranch when her brakes give out, sending her careening into a gully and Caleb McBryde’s life.

Though her lines don’t appear cut, the ex Texas Ranger finds the circumstances surrounding her crash landing in Serenity Cove, Texas highly suspicious. For calamity seems to shadow the woman… One might say she’s an Accident Waiting to Happen.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cowboy Up!

This past weekend I went to a rodeo featuring the top professional cowboys in the nation. It brought back a lot of childhood memories, but I was also struck by the changes. Like so much anymore, it had turned into a Vegas-style spectacle complete with a laser light show, fireworks and overly loud rock and roll music playing as the cowboys performed. I wondered how our horses would have reacted. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, because I did, but I was a little stunned – this was definitely not my daddy’s rodeo.  

Growing up, my family spent nearly every weekend during the summer months at team roping and barrel racing events. The prize money was a division of all the participants’ entry fees, not the tens of thousands up for grabs at last weekend’s rodeo, and the stands were filled with families. The participants were dressed the same way they would be to bring in their own cattle from the range, without a sponsor logo in sight. The competition was tough, but it was also a family outing and community event held in rural towns with limited businesses, so picnic lunches or “tailgating” was the norm.  

During the week we watched my dad at the local nightly rodeo, which was geared more toward entertaining the tourists than the low-key weekend events. At the time I thought it was full of pageantry and excitement, but compared to the big rodeo production I recently witnessed, it was still pretty traditional.  I can’t help but miss the simplicity of the rodeos of my youth, where all that really mattered was the skill of the cowboy and the quality of his horse and the time spent with family and friends.