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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Promote Your Books


I stole this from a brochure I got at a conference from SelfPubBookCovers.com. It’s one of several tips in their four page brochure. The title is 'How to promote your book to increase your sales – Learn what successful authors are doing.'
Make sure you’ve filled out your Amazon Author Profile page and any other place where you fill out a bio (such as on Twitter or Facebook). Include your social media links, blog post feed, and website links.
A basic author website can be built on a Wordpress or Blogger platform for easy updating and would have your bio, book list, ISBNs, covers, book blurbs and store links that lead directly to the book product page itself. Other pages on a website might include a blog, contests, or “extras” for your readers such as free short stories or character interviews.

When it comes to social media, be social! Don’t spam your followers by replying to them with your book link just because they followed you. Be friendly and engage in conversation.
The biggest tip is to start your email newsletter mailing list now. Even if you haven’t published a book yet! When you book releases, you’ll want to have a list of readers to notify. Never add anyone to your list who doesn’t want to be on it, but do invite them to sign up on your website themselves. Put your mailing list sign-up in your email signature line, too.

Oh, and you can get a free book on successful Self-Publishing at SelfPubBookCovers.com  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Secondary Characters with Houston Havens


This week we’re going to find out a little about author Houston Havens. September’s theme is ‘Secondary Characters’ so Houston will be talking about secondary characters. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Houston Havens is a Bestselling romance author, a former successful model who enjoyed an adventurous jet-set lifestyle, and a past she uses to set the world on fire with her erotic romance books.
She a tenacious Irish lass, who strives to entertain with seductive stories created from her decadent imagination and traces of a provocative lifestyle she may or may not admit to. She intrigues her readers with a mix of the past, present, and future, and sexy blends of futuristic science fiction, paranormal fantasy, and western romance, always with love everlasting.
Her interest in the paranormal, fascination with quantum science, passion with myths, and the lure of her mysterious Celtic Irish-Druid bloodlines are combined with generally unknown truths, strange facts, and questionable fiction filled with passion and mystery.
She hopes her sultry stories will entertain and fascinate those who dare to take the journey. But don't be fooled by the glit and glamour Houston has a secret: she was an Acquisition Editor at one time. You can find her at http://houstonhavens.com


Beverley: Are secondary characters important in a story?
Houston:  I'll let what a reviewer said about my secondary characters answer that question -
"This is what makes Houston Havens a bestseller. She's so talented in her craft even her secondary characters stand out in the minds of her readers!"
If you want a reviewer to say that about your characters and you want 5 star reviews and a chance at hitting the bestseller mark and gaining faithful readers -  heck yes !
Beverley: If yes, why?
Houston: Secondary character are as important as every other aspect of the novel. Secondary characters aren't there just to fill space. They are there to help the main characters come off as fully rounded living beings. As well, they are there to reveal things about the plot and main character to the reader. They're there to help the main characters move the plot forward and to intrigue your readers into wanting to read "their" story (your next book or possibly a series making the secondary character in this book the main character in the next book, like I did in my Psychic Menage Series.)
As an ex-Acquisitions Editor I couldn't express enough to authors how important it is for them to USE EVERY character and word on that page to WORK for them. Your word count is limited - use the words and character wisely. EVERYTHING must count or toss it out.
Anyone who's having trouble understanding how to make secondary characters work for them should read my Psychic Menage Series and see how I do it, or come to my lecture at the Midwest Writers Conference where I'll be speaking about this and other secrets on writing; the importance of your very first paragraph. Authors attending the conference can submit the first page of their work. I'll select a few to explain how to structure an opening paragraph so a publisher will read it.
Oct 6-9 2017 in Indianapolis, IN http://midwestwritersconference.blogspot.com for those who can't make it to Indianapolis I heard the lectures will be aired (online) so please check this conference out.
Beverley: How many secondary characters should be in a story?
Houston: LOL well in my Psychic Menage Series I have several in each book because it's a seven book series - Here's how it works: In Sinful Surrender Book One I introduce four main characters and I have to introduce seven secondary characters (Book One's heroine needs a close friend 1st Secondary Character. Then I need to introduce 3 more men for this secondary "close friend" of the heroine to be interested in and these men play important roles in book one - one is the doctor, another is a warrior who helps the main hero fight in a war (series plot) and the last is a minor secondary character and brother to the warrior and doctor, But what makes this minor character stand out in my readers minds is that even though his appears is limited in book one, I gave him a description my reader not only won't forget but will intrigue them -  he's an albino who brings bad news of a spy in camp)
These three men (Secondary characters) are SPOTLIGHTED because they and the Best Friend (another Secondary Character) to the heroine in book one will be the main characters in book two (Phantom Desire) of the series. However, I can't stop there with my secondary characters because Psychic Menage is a seven book series, my villain in the first five books is only foreshadowed or makes limited appearances. So, I introduce him in bits and pieces (like the shark in JAWS). The purpose in this is to create tension in my readers and keep them reading to the end of the series.
I have another main character who appears in all seven books as a Secondary Character but in the end is a Major Player in the series. This is what keeps my readers reading - you cloak characters in the clothing of Secondary yet the reader's so intrigued by what she reads about them, she just knows the author will tell her more in the next book.
I have another Secondary Character who appears in book one but is a main character in book three Exposed Ecstasy. The reason he's brought into book one is because his role is very important to the series and to the characters in book one. Yet he can't be completely revealed until the end of the series BECAUSE he leads the readers into the SECOND SERIES.
I could go on and on but you see Secondary Characters play many roles in a novel (Be it a series or single title)
Beverley: Can you have too many?
Houston: The most important thing here is not how many Secondary Characters you have but what role do they play in the plot, be it a series or not…what is their role. They have to have an important reason to be there…not just to fill in space.
If the Secondary Character has no real purpose and is just there as a writer's convenience to manipulate the hero or heroine, then that one Secondary Character is too many. Again, it's not how many you have or don't have, it's how you use them that counts.
Beverley: How detailed do you need to know your secondary characters?
Houston: As an author, you should know all your characters VERY WELL. The only way to make them come alive and become real in your reader’s hearts is to know your characters. You must know what is behind the things they say and do. They just don't say things to be mean. No one does. Those who are mean are mean for a reason - as an author you have to know this reason to make the character come alive for the reader.
My bestselling author friend Kayelle Allen has a series called The Antonello Brothers with a villain named Pietas. Her villain was so mean that when she got to the Surrender Series (Due for new release soon) she didn't want to know him at all. In fact, she was afraid of him. She just couldn't understand why he did what he did. She struggled for eight years to write the second book - because she didn't know her Secondary Character. Then she and I did an interview and she uncovered this villain and all his reasons for doing what he did. She then decided to write his story. She knew him so well she wrote Bringer of Chaos in two months.
If you're interested in seeing how she developed her series go to www.kayelleallen.com
Beverley: Do secondary characters need to have or be involved in conflict? If yes - inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Houston: It depends on how you're using your Secondary Characters. I'd say in most cases YES the Secondary Character will have some inner and outer conflicts (it's what makes them real) Now the trick is in know how deep to show this inner and outer conflict and that depends on if this character is part of a series where they might become a main character or if in a single title this Secondary Character ends up being the villain or somehow affects what's happening to the hero/heroine.
Beverley: How do you use secondary characters in your books?
Houston: As I said above, I use them in a multidimensional ways depending on whether-or-not it's a series or a single title. I can't get into a lot of details about this subject in this interview, so I'd highly recommend those interested in this subject check out my Psychic Menage Series and see how I do it, because each book uses the Secondary Characters differently.
Beverley: Do you have any favorite secondary characters – yours or other?
Houston: I love Faerydae, Grid, and Quidel from my series who were Secondary Character at their creation who have become major characters and I love Marigold who as of yet is a Secondary Character but will play a major roll at the end of this series and play a big part in the following series. There are many other Secondary Characters that I love but for now they're staying right where they're at.
Beverley: Any last comments on secondary characters?
Houston: Don't be afraid to dig deep into all your secondary Characters - you never know who they will become.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Houston: I starting training myself back in the 80's but knowing the importance of my author's voice, I didn't rush any of my work to market. That can really damage an author. Even when I thought my book was ready I didn't submit it. I waited until I knew (actually saw) my voice come into action. That's when I submitted and got accepted.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Houston: I'm an Irish Lass who can't be pigeon-holed. I write all genre because I'm not limited in my knowledge, so I won't be forced to stick to one genre.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Houston: Johanna Lindsey
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Houston: I've never let anything stand in my way of writing. However I've had to overcome Dyslexia and being a bad speller (because English was not my first language). My father spoke English with an Irish accent. So, I spelled the way I was taught to talk ~ hence a phonic "bad speller" that had to be retrained how to talk and spell. The obstacles I continue to work at overcoming is TIME. There's never enough of it and it's hard to get people to respect my time since I work at home.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Houston: Conspiracy theories, myths, and history.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Houston: Having someone interrupt my work schedule.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Houston: Not a big breakfast eater - A cup of organic coffee (with organic cream and sugar) with half a sheet of Matzos drizzled in organic honey.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Houston: I get dressed just like those who go to work every day, because I am going to work as well. Some days dresses, other days pants depends on the weather. I'm not a sweat pant girl. And yes, I do my hair and put make-up on most every day.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Houston: My den is my office.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Houston: I didn't grow up in America so I didn't watch cartoons as a kid.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Houston: I'd like to meet the very top man of the Illuminati and set him straight….sorry, I'm a feisty Irish lass.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Houston: Relax with my hubby and dog at the cabin
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Houston: I'm working to finish - Renegade Rapture the fifth book in my Psychic Menage Series - Don't be put off by the word Menage - I hope most who've read this article now knows I offer a whole lot more than sizzling romance in my novels.
I'm also drafting a book that will tell all the craft secrets published authors don't share with Newbies.
Thank you, Beverley for having me here today. I hope this interview on Secondary Characters has helped a few of your readers.

Blurb for Psychic Menage Series and the first 4 books of the series
Series blurb:

Though the humans were warned time and time again, they refused to believe doomsday was at hand until it was too late to find sanctuary. The price they paid - was their lives. This series takes place in the aftermath of the Transdamian Prophecies of the worlds end from devastating earth changes caused by the passing of the planet Nibiru. The series opens in the future of Earth, in 4860 AD. There were survivors. Not all were human, and not all of them were happy.

What they didn't know was, since the beginning of humanity there had always been and unseen presence guiding their beliefs, actions, and lives. The Secret Blood Doctrine is the law the Dirt Dwellers Elites live by. The Dirt Dwellers have their own goals and reasons for controlling the Earth. The humans were a means for accomplishing their goals, and a way to cover operating costs by culling them at the end of each cycle. At the arranged times, the Dirt Dwellers would withdraw to the Underworld to await the next renewal. http://amzn.to/2ikruOQ

Book One: Sinful Surrender, top psychic spy Fay Avalon suspects what she's remote viewed in her mind-travels and what her post-catastrophic dystopian government of the Underworld is stating as fact is in fact a lie. In search of the truth, she escapes the Underworld, only to land in the arms of her enemy; the Airbornes. Will she get the chance to uncover the secrets the Underworld is hiding? Or will those on the surface, Logan and his brothers, discover who she is? Will they make her their wife or execute her as a spy? http://amzn.to/2iQSitt

Book Two: Phantom Desire, the search for truth continues with Fay's friend Chandra Lamar, but from a past she can’t remember. A psychic vision pushes her to recall her purpose for being, but it’s a ghost that awakens her desires for a life she fears she’ll never have. Does Chandra find true love in the arms of the Nodin men or does her Phantom Desire forever own her heart? Will uncovering her true past expose the Underworld's deception? http://amzn.to/2iQDaw6

The plot thickens in Book Three: Exposed Ecstasy, when Tessla Reto escapes the Underworld after she finds the two men sent to help her are dead. She’s rescued by a handsome stranger…or is she? Faerydae’s search for truth and peace abruptly ends when a woman who stirs everything he’s spent a lifetime denying falls into his life. Will Shomar be able to win the woman of his dreams or will a Faery always have her heart? Can the Underworld's long reach find Tessla, daughter to the ruler of the Dirt Dwellers, on the space station or will they find a way to draw her back to the surface? http://amzn.to/2hZeahU

Book four: Intimate Betrayal, Kindise Wyatt is in search of her lover and escapes her Star Rider capture with the help of an Old World Mole. What she doesn't know is, his sexy but mysterious friend, Jaden Valenti is a Dirt Dweller and has orders to assassinate her. Will betrayal at every turn crush Kindise's inner strength to lead the Freedom Fighters and defeat the Dirt Dweller Elites? http://amzn.to/2hZeahU

The saga continues with three more books - I hope you decide to join this journey and visit my worlds.

You can find Houston at:
Website: http://houstonhavens.com
Blog: http://houstonhavens.com/blog
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HoustonHavens
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoustonHavens
Newsletter signup: http://houstonhavens.com/vip/
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Houston-Havens/e/B00J1T0QY6/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HoustonHavens/
Tumblr: http://houstonhavens.tumblr.com
Booklikes: http://authorhoustonhavens.booklikes.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/24819699-houston-havens


Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and discussion of secondary characters.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Website and Book Promotions Tips


First, you need a website, whether you design it yourself or pay for a designer. When you set up your website make sure you have an about me page on your website. Use a unique and fun "about me" page to add personality and authenticity to your author brand. Readers want to know about the author behind their favorite book. You also need to make sure you have a way for your readers to contact and connect with you on your website so people don’t have to hunt for a way to reach you.

Include a newsletter sign up box on your website. Make it front and center. You want to capture those readers so they'll come back for more.
Post you books and covers. Divide your books by series, and include the order. . The more ways you display your books, the better the chances are that readers will find them.
An easy to read, regularly updated website sells books. Forgo the white text on black backgrounds or lots of animated banners and avatars. Think professional and serious and your readers will get serious about your books.

Ensure that the elements of your website all point in the same direction-domain name, website title, post/page titles, targeted keywords in your content, links, tags, images, and so on should all have a commonality that is easy for search engines to catalog.  Start by making a list of ten high value keyword phrases related to your book, genre, and/or target audience.  

And a few quick tips to promote that book. Make your signature line count. Link it to your website first! And if you do link to your publisher or an online vendor's website, make sure the link goes to your author page.
If you want to promote your book – promote. Make time to do it.  Can you spend 10-15 minutes a day finding new twitter followers, sending or scheduling social media updates, or reaching out to secure a guest blog spot? Do this regularly to help to make your marketing activities grow.
Last, don't be afraid to ask for the sale. Everyone hates those "buy my book" emails and social media posts. Readers tune them out. But try phrasing it in a different way. "I'd be honored if you'd buy my book" or "Have you checked out
my book on Amazon?" Drop them sparingly into conversations or posts. It may lead to a sale. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Linda O'Connor Visits Secondary Characters


This week we’re going to find out a little about author Linda O’Connor. Linda will be talking about secondary characters. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories :D ). She hangs out at www.lindaoconnor.net.  Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Beverley: Are secondary characters important in a story?
Linda: Yes! Secondary characters provide relief from the drama of the story and are a perfect way to reveal backstory or important information without always being in the main character’s head. You can also get a sense of how the main character relates to or treats others by their relationship with the secondary characters. Sometimes the secondary characters provide a jumping point for the next story in a series.
Beverley: How many secondary characters should be in a story? Can you have too many?
Linda: I think you can have too many – it can get confusing to keep track of a lot of characters. Sometimes a series might have a few more because they’ve been developed over the series.
Beverley: Do secondary characters need to have or be involved in conflict? If yes - inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Linda: No, I don’t think they need to be involved directly in the conflict. They are there to help the main character see the conflict more clearly or push them to act a certain way.
Beverley: How detailed do you need to know your secondary characters?
Linda: Not as much as the main character – that’s what makes them secondary. :D They’re like the backdrop to help the main character shine.
Beverley: How do you use secondary characters in your books?
Linda: I usually try to have one main secondary character (usually a friend of the hero or heroine) who helps move the story along and then maybe one or two others who provide comic relief or specifically help highlight a personality trait of the main character. In the Perfectly Series, the next book is based on a secondary character from the previous story. I loved writing Perfectly Together, Book 6, because I revisited a lot of the characters from the first five books.
Beverley: Do you have any favorite secondary characters – yours or other?
Linda: In Perfectly Honest, Mikaela’s best friend, Margo MacMillan, asks a favour which sets up the story. She’s also essential for helping Mikaela work through the conflict. Sam’s mom makes an appearance, and she’s a hoot.
Beverley: Any last comments on secondary characters?
Linda: To me, the best part of a story is how the characters interact. So giving the main character someone to interact with, even if it’s a minor exchange, can add depth to the story.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Linda: I’ve been writing for 5 years.
Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write?
Linda: I’m a physician, and I started writing because I wanted to find a fun way to disseminate medical information and to educate and empower readers to take ownership of their health. Targeting a female audience with romance novels seemed like a good idea because women are usually the ones who see a doctor. (Males typically only go when a girlfriend/partner/spouse/mom encourages them to do so. :D) I write romantic comedies because I love being in a fun headspace when I’m writing. I think laughter is essential to great health!
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Linda: It was a mix. The many romance writers whose novels I read played a big part. Conversations I had with my book club members after reading Bird by Bird and Eat, Pray, Love made me think that maybe I could write a novel.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Linda: I had to spend time learning about grammar and punctuation. Luckily, there were a wide variety of online courses available. And I found a really good editor!
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Linda: News stories, headlines, snippets of conversations I hear, lyrics of songs, watching people and putting a story behind their body language or expression – they all inspire my imagination.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Linda: Fatigue at the end of the day.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Linda: cinnamon nut muffin, fruit yogurt (cherry is my fav), and milk.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?  
Linda: My most comfortable clothes – shorts and a T-shirt or comfy sweats in the winter.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Linda: I live in a house with a view of Lake Ontario, so I love to sit and write anywhere where I can see the water. I type on a laptop, so three seasons of the year I’ll sit outside. In the winter, I cozy up inside and watch the sun reflecting off the ice.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Linda: Inspector Gadget. He had cool gadgets and was successful even though he usually took a circuitous route. I can relate to that. :D
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Linda: I’d like to meet Ellen DeGeneres. I’m inspired by her kindness, generosity, and her ability to make people laugh.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Linda: Get up. Eat breakfast. Write until noon with a Skittle break at 10:30 a.m. Eat lunch. Write until 3 p.m. and get 4000 sublime, no-need-to-edit words done. Go for a bicycle ride. Swim. Share a healthy dinner with my family that someone else cooked. Go to Zumba. Shower. Spend the evening at book club with my friends. Sleep and dream of the next chapter before waking completely refreshed. Hahahahaha.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Linda: I’ve finished a Perfectly Series novella, Perfectly Crazy in Love, which is part of the Sultry Nights Boxed Set. I’m currently editing and polishing Between the Pipes and Behind the Bench, Books 1 and 2 of the In the Game Hockey Series. They’re slated for release in December 2017 and early 2018!

Blurb for Perfectly Honest (Perfectly Series Book 1):
You never know where your words will take you …

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down.  But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted.
Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

Buy Link:   
You can find Linda at:
Website:  http://www.lindaoconnor.net
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98
Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Strategic Plan for Self-Publishing Success in an Ever Changing Market


This workshop was presented by Kristen Painter and Roxanne St. Claire. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for most of the workshop. I had to leave to set-up for my chapter event – Death by Chocolate. But I decided even the information I got might be of interest so here it is.
Series appears to be the thing these days. So when looking at writing a series - make it marketable and make it readable.  Decide which area spot is vacant. Cowboy Ninja Vampire? (That was my suggestion – not theirs) Write four or five book using the same characters, same town, same area, and same overlapping characters.
Here are some hints for marketing.
Make the first book free.
The book should be instantly recognized
Find the thing that sets you apart from other authors in the same genre. (Eg. Put a collar on the cover – in a dog series)
Write novellas
Write a mini- series within the series
Have a plan for a new book and maybe some swag
When is the next book coming out?

The Strategic Production Plan – This is for a 70,000 word book
You need to get used to the idea of time frames.
How long does it take you to write a book? Then send it to an editor and edit it.
Break it down into time frames for each book

Decide on a launch plan
They recommend you write three novels.
Eg. – October 14th – July 15th (next year)

Do a one year calendar. In to that calendar write in when you write and completion dates for
First draft; second draft; third draft; Edits in; Revisions; copy editing; proof reading; formatting, covers  and all release dates.
You need to make a decision – do you release all at once?
Do you release one a month?
Do you release when you finish writing one?

And that’s it for today. I hope it gives you some ideas. And if anyone stayed for the whole workshop and wants to share more info - please do.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Nancy Badger's Experience and Book


With Every Heartbeat An Opportunity Falls Novel
By Nancy Lee Badger

With Every Heartbeat is a contemporary romance. I used memories of growing up on Long Island and visiting New York City to set a story filled with new York sights, sounds, a kidnapping, and romance. A love of science fiction television shows and movies helped give me ideas, also. This is a stand-alone story, but part of my new Opportunity Falls novels.

Tag Line
A starry romantic grows up fast when the man of her dreams comes to town. Lust, and secret glances, start to heat amid an enraged father and a kidnapped child
 
Book Blurb
Rebecca Delacourt plans to try out for the US Olympic tennis team and loves being a tennis pro at a Long Island country club. Her mother gave up everything for love, but Becka refuses to take time for love or marriage. Her older sister’s problems add to their family’s discord which escalates after dumping Becka’s nephew with their parents. On the phone, Laney demands more help, the same time their parents show up courtside with the man Becka has secretly loved since he first appeared on television. Becka is swept into Laney and her nephew’s problematic, and ultimately dangerous, lives, pulling Taylor Adams into danger with her.

Taylor Adams left his home and family in New Hampshire, changed his name, and followed his dream to be an actor in Hollywood. Unfortunately, his science fiction television show went into reruns many years ago. Commercials, and appearances at Sci-Fi conventions, are not enough. He has set his eye on a film career. Visiting an old friend on Long Island, a producer who promises to help him achieve his goal, little does he realize the young woman swinging a racket at their country club has loved him for years. Their subsequent meetings in Baltimore and New York City turn steamy, until her older sister’s dangerous lifestyle interferes. Worse, all Hell will break loose if her father discovers their secret romance.

Due to a recent personal scare, and with memories of a beloved aunt, here is an excerpt from With Every Heartbeat

The studio voices faded into silence as an elegant woman with a shock of white hair and a strand of pearls around her wrinkled neck walked on stage. A woman known for her years as a White House correspondent, the graceful woman turned then stood next to a stool. She spoke her lines into the camera. Behind her hung a simple solid pink wall, the color of breast cancer awareness. The shade perfectly complimented her gray silk dress. After she finished, a familiar voice yelled, “Cut!” Becka ran onto the stage and embraced the woman in a big hug.

That’s my Becka.

Taylor glanced around the darkened room, then back toward the stage area. The lights raised and others scurried about doing various jobs.
He spied Stuart Craddock sitting in front, near the cameras, as if he owned the place. When Taylor realized the bastard also sat next to the empty seat Becka had recently vacated, his fists tightened.

With Craddock’s function here a mystery he planned to unravel, he stared at the older man’s short brown hair filled with large sweeps of gray. His suit looked too stiff for such an intimate rendezvous inside a darkened studio. A gaudy gold ring glittered from his right hand while the other snapped at a mousy little woman holding a clipboard.

“Taylor! What are you doing here?” said a familiar and utterly surprised voice. He flicked his attention away from Craddock, but not before he caught the scowl that marred the man’s face.

Becka skipped happily toward him. When her soft hands clasped both of his, his body responded, and he shifted uncomfortably. She smiled up at him while she squeezed his hands.

A sweet heat pumped from her body into his fingertips, and her subtle fragrance made him harden. Her eyes sparkled with pleasure, causing his heart to skip a beat. She didn’t seem mad at him for showing up, and Taylor privately thanked the Lord he hadn’t made the trip for nothing. So far, so good, but he better not jinx this by saying something stupid.

“I couldn’t get you and your project out of my thoughts last night. I decided to come and help.”

“You want to help?”
 
He froze at her look of disbelief before continuing. “Yes. Is there anything I can do to support the cause? Can I make a donation? Send me to the corner deli for coffee and donuts while you work? I’ll do anything at all.”

Her intense expression, filled more with skepticism than gratitude, launched a nervous tick along his left cheek. Did she think he lied simply to be close at hand?

“Of course you’re surprised. I’m sure you never dreamed I’d follow you to Baltimore.” He couldn’t understand it, either. Stuart looked less than happy, too. “Hear me out.”

 “I’m flattered you wanted to see me so soon, Taylor. I was under the impression you and Dad had more business to take care of. Besides, why would you want to help me?”

“Your dad had other plans, so I had a few days off. Please. I need to do this. Truthfully, it doesn’t only concern you.”

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More About Nancy Lee Badger
Nancy Lee Badger grew up in Huntington, New York and has fond memories of growing up on Long Island. After meeting her husband while attending college in New Hampshire, and raising two handsome sons, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, the Celtic Heart Romance Writers and the Triangle Association of Freelancers.

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