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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday Tips and Tweaks


Controlling Your Plot
I don’t know about you, but when you’re writing your story you need to keep track of your plot. Each genre can pose different challenges. I write romantic suspense so I have to keep track of bodies, red herrings and potential threats. I have Scrivener and I know it’s supposed to be great for that, but I honestly have taken the time to be comfortable with it, yet.

I have a basic ‘cheat sheet’ which I got from another author.  I keep it beside my computer and make notes on it as I write. The first page has four horizontal columns; Page (Pg); Chapter (CH); Day (1, 2,); Scene – widest column so I have room for comments – such as Sam strides through hotel lobby. Shots fired through window. You keep adding the pages depending on the size of your book.

I also have a second page which has two horizontal columns; day – Monday, Tuesday, etc. and then External (EXT) or Internal (INT).
So Monday – EXT Empress Hotel bar -  afternoon                Gabe sees Maggie and realizes he still cares  

It works for me and I can skim back and see where he first saw her or when shots were fired. It helps to make sure I’ve tied up all loose ends, too.
What do you use to track your plot?     

                                        

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday Tips and Tweaks with Bobbi Romans


This week author Bobbi Romans, joins us with her tip.
 
Hi I’m Bobbi Romans! I write all over the romance spectrum. Essentially, I write whichever story screams the loudest. Whether its paranormal,(Swamp Magic Series) contemporary, (Inhibition-X) spicy or sweet. (A Christmas of Coal & Mistletoe and An American Holiday)

Today, I was invited today by the fabulous Beverley Bateman to discuss some writing tips and experiences.
I’ll try to condense as many tips into one post that I can.
1) Sit and write. Find your style. Do what feels comfortable and works for you. There is no right or wrong way. You might like plotting first, or just starting off which a blank page and letting it go. (Hint: Be sure and keep an open doc for notes. Hair color, eye color, etc. That can be a serious pain to find half-way through should you forget. Ask me how I know-LOL)

2) Find a good critique group and or use a program like AutoCrit. (free or reasonable)

Be ready though to be shocked. Best advice I ever received, open your crit, scan, close and walk away until the next day. What initially may appear shocking, tends to make a lot more sense the next day. PLUS do you want good work.. or sugar coated crap? Remember, someone took TIME to read, consider and make all those notes. *AutoCrit is a program which can pick up overused words (this/that, was/were, it/there, etc) as well as over used clich├ęs, etc.

3) Write the rainbow. An author buddy once spoke of this, and its fab advice. What’s the rainbow? Make up your own, but essentially, Brown=Dialogue, Blue=Environment, Red=Love, Black=Conflict, Green=Description. Print out your chapter and using highlighters, make sure you’ve colored the rainbow—in each one.

4)Another fabulous tip is to read your story aloud. There are also programs (some free) where it will read your story back. You’d be surprised at how fast you’ll “hear” errors.

5)RESEARCH! Not just your story, but the editor/agent/publisher you intend on querying. PLUS research how to write a proper query. Stalk them (quietly) on Facebook, Twitter, their blogs, etc to gather information from them. Most will post things they like/want or hate/avoid. QueryShark is a great place to research samples.

6)Social Media. Sorry, there’s no getting around it. At some point (don’t put off your story writing to do it) when you have time, you will need to become visible. By visible, have places pre-set (in your author name) to post tidbits about your book. Whether its a teaser while you write it, or a place to pitch for sales when done. Pick whichever one/ones you enjoy best that have the best stats.
Well, I’ve yapped enough. I’ll be checking in and out should anyone have questions.  Also, going to do a shout out, that I’ve started a new side biz, so any help spreading the word is MUCHO appreciated. What biz?


Bobbi’s Book Blurbs, Teasers &Tag Lines


$25.00

If you don’t like (NO USING) there is no charge

You have nothing to lose except a headache

Simply shoot over, a brief run down of your book/series to...


(or see samples at Safari Heat Book Tours& authors services)


You can find me or my stories all over the place, including the below;
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Bobbi-Romans-196420320461280/
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Bobbi-Romans/e/B00BL7LXLQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1463812714&sr=8-1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BobbiRomans
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbi-romans-866a8a97?trk=hp-identity-name

Thanks Bobbi, for dropping by and sharing that tip.


Don’t forget to check back next week for another author’s tip or tweak.

Friday, May 20, 2016

How Important is Conflict?

Rhobin has chosen another interesting topic: Confrontation creates powerful drama. This month, use one scene you've written (published or not) that shows confrontation between characters with a brief explanation. Conflict is a major part of any story. It helps develop the character. It moves the plot. And it helps the plot to keep moving and hopefully grabs the reader.  Interesting - I’ve been thinking about scenes in my books with conflict.
I had a challenge picking a scene, hopefully this one works. It's from Targeted, the third in my Hawkins Ranch series.

Another shot hit the rock behind her. She rolled over on to her stomach, shaded her eyes and squinted into the sun. He must be up on the cliffs straight ahead of her. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she might have caught a reflection off the gun barrel.  Terrific! Now what? Her gun was in her purse. She could fire back, but that would be a waste of bullets ace.  She yanked out her cell and punched in 911.
 
Damn--no reception.

A pounding pulsed through the ground and came closer. Janna could feel the vibrations. It felt like horses. She glanced around, without raising her head, to see what was coming.

Suddenly there was a hand in front of her.

“Grab it and jump on.”

The deep, rumbling voice was not asking. It was an order.

Janna grabbed the strong hand. In one smooth motion she swung up behind a man on his horse. Seconds later she had her hands wrapped around his well developed, muscular chest as the big chestnut thundered across the ground out of the bullets’.

 The man was wearing a leather jacket over a sweater. Her hands slid under the jacket for better grip. Her hands met sinewy muscles under the sweater as she bounced behind him. She laid her head against his back and took a breath in, inhaling the rich scent of leather, trying to calm her racing heart rate.

He had a familiar woodsy scent that made her think of sex under pine trees, not that she’d ever made love there. In fact her sex life was pretty negligible.

She rested her head against his well-developed shoulders. The muscles bunched and relaxed as he led the horse at a gallop across the field. She felt safe for some unfathomable reason.

They’d been riding for several minutes when Janna leaned forward. “You can put me down any place. I can manage now.”

“Really? And just what are you going to do out here, miles from town, by yourself, with someone shooting at you?”

The voice was deep, but soft, and rolled over her like warmed brandy. It triggered something in the back of her memory. The earthy scent, the sinewy body, the voice; she knew this person who had ridden up out of nowhere to save her.

“I have my cell. I’ve already called 911,” she snapped.


“And did you get an answer?”

Janna yanked her cell phone up where she could see the screen again and re-tapped in 911. And there was that famous phrase--No Service.

 

Please check out what our other authors have to say, I’ll be checking them out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Looking For a Hot Romance?


SIZZLE BY BARBARA BRETT

Where the boardroom meets the bedroom

BLURB:
America’s biggest publishing prize.
She’s the most beautiful and ruthless CEO in the nation. He’s the most dangerous corporate raider in the world. Neither has ever lost a battle in the boardroom—or  the bedroom. Now they’re warring for
It’s the glitzy1980s. Fortunes are being made and lost—and made again. Wall Street is on a roll. One after another, corporations are being gobbled up by rapacious raiders. And now Sizzle, the most glamorous and profitable magazine in the world is up for grabs. British media mogul and corporate raider Harrison Kendricks has set his sights on this publishing plum, in which the reputations of the rich, the famous, and the beautiful can be built or destroyed with a paragraph or a photograph. He has never before lost a hostile takeover. But then he has never before been in competition with Marietta Wylford, the brilliant and beautiful CEO of Wylford Enterprises. She needs only Sizzle to crown the business empire she has built with nothing but her own genius and ambition, and she is determined to let no one stand in her way. Not even the mysterious and dangerous Harrison Kendricks....

SIZZLE—a  novel of breathtaking power and ambition, set against the jet-setting world of Manhattan’s elite! 

“[A] battle fraught with...the dirtiest of tricks...the stuff that destroys marriages, people, lives.... Sizzle through the summer with Sizzle.”—
The Salem News 

EXCERPT:

Harrison Kendricks sat down on the other end of the settee and raised his glass. “Cheers.”

“Cheers,” Marietta returned, and sipped her drink.

Though Kendricks had a reputation for never mincing words and getting down to business immediately, he seemed in no rush to broach the subject. Through the first drink and then the second, they spoke instead in generalities—their shared interest in gardens, antiques, the theater. Since he had suggested the meeting, Marietta was determined that he be the one to initiate any discussion of a buyout or compromise. She would let him say his piece, then drop her bombshell.

        At first, she thought he was avoiding the subject because he wanted to disarm her. But as their conversation progressed, she realized that he had more than business on his mind. Though the tinted glasses veiled his eyes, they did not hide them, and she was aware how often his gaze traveled over her. It was like a visual caress. Harrison Kendricks wanted her. It was possible, of course, that it was all part of his plan—that, with his gigantic ego, he thought that one kiss and she'd be eating out of his hand. But even if that had been his primary purpose, it was obvious he now wanted to satisfy a great deal more than corporate desires. Besides, what difference did his motivation make? She wanted him too. She had never made love with such a dangerous man.

        She was aware that Kendricks, probably for the first time in his life, was faced with a problem in deciding what approach to take. For she had to be as unique to him as he was to her. She would have to find a way to help him. That gave her one more advantage.

        Talk of the theater led Kendricks to make some unflattering observations about American musicals and music. "No one today seems to know what music is all about," he said.

        "Except perhaps you?" Marietta asked.

        He smiled. "There are a few others, I admit."

        She nodded toward the piano. "Do you play?"

        "Yes. Rather well, in fact. Schumann is my favorite. Does that surprise you?"

        "Nothing anyone does—whether admirable or despicable—ever surprises me."

        "So you're an absolute cynic."

        "Not a cynic—a realist. I see things as they are. For example, I'm very much aware that you would like to get me into bed."

        "Really?' he said, raising an eyebrow.

        "Don't play coy. It's out of character."

        "All right. I'll admit that I find the idea of making love to you rather attractive."

        "And I find it rather attractive too. So I wonder why, busy people that we are, we're sitting here wasting each other's time sipping drinks and chatting. Why don't we simply go up to your bedroom?" she said, rising.

        "You're an extraordinary woman."

        "If I weren't, you wouldn't be so interested in taking me to bed, would you?"

        He followed close behind her as she walked across the room. When she paused at the big double doors, he reached around her and opened them, probably the first time in his life that he had performed such a courtesy for a woman other than his mother. Smiling to herself, she passed through them, then preceded him up the winding marble staircase.

        Neither spoke, but words were unnecessary. They were two of a kind, creatures who had fashioned themselves in the image of their own wants and needs. They understood each other as no other person on earth could....

BIO:
        Barbara Brett's love of reading led her to a life devoted to books—as an editor, publisher and author. She began as a proofreader, then moved up to become editor of True Romance and True Confessions. Later, she became vice president and publisher of Avalon Books, which published fiction for the library market. After that, she started her own company, which published inspirational non-fiction. She is delighted that many of the authors she developed over the years have moved up to best-sellerdom.

        In addition to editing and publishing, Barbara was also writing novels. She is the author of Between Two Eternities, Love After Hours, and, with her husband, Hy Brett, the mystery Promises to Keep. Recently she closed her publishing company so that she could devote herself  completely to her own writing. She is delighted to see Sizzle published, and she promises to follow it with many more exciting books.

        Barbara and Hy live in Brooklyn. When they aren't writing, they enjoy reading, taking long walks to see the Atlantic Ocean, and treating visiting family and friends to Brooklyn pizza and bagels, which, everyone agrees, are the best in the world.

BUY LINKS:

B&Nhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sizzle-barbara-brett/1123604122?ean=9780989917339
Smashwords


AUTHOR LINKS:

Website:  www.brettbooks.com
Amazon.com author page: www.amazon.com/author/barbarabrett

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Check Out This Historical Romance


Captain's Mercy
by Kate Hill

Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-1-68295-133-0
Purchase Link:
http://www.bookstrand.com/book/captains-mercy

Blurb:

Mercy Brown's life changes when she accepts a position as companion to the disabled sister of wealthy shipyard owner Jonah Barnes. She is instantly attracted to the rugged former sea captain, even if his brusque manner offends her. Mercy soon finds herself entangled in the quirky family's secrets.

From the first, Mercy is troubled by prowlers, disturbances from the attic, and unearthly howls on the property. After meeting several unusual household members, including a groundskeeper who works by night and the mischievous Maxwell Barnes, Mercy realizes she should flee while she can.

Pages from Mercy's first novel go missing and Jonah's domineering personality causes tension in the house. Only Mercy's fondness for her young companion, Faith Barnes, as well as her fascination with Jonah prevent her from leaving, but will her desire for him endanger her life?

Excerpt from Captain's Mercy

A particularly loud clap of thunder sent Mercy jumping to her feet. She quickly put her book away and left the room, hoping to find Michaels or Augusta still awake. Maybe she could talk to them until the storm passed.

The empty hallways seemed eerier than usual. When she reached the parlor, she heard something even more frightening than thunder--a long howl that mingled with the wind. Perhaps it was the wind...

Another clap of thunder was followed by a crash from upstairs.

Goodness, lightning might have struck the house.

She hurried to the foot of the stairs and called, "Michaels? Augusta? Mr. Barnes?"

No reply.

Her stomach tight and her heart pounding, she ascended. The storm was directly overhead now. Wind beat against the house and roared through the trees.

Recalling how it felt to be lost outside, she hoped Max and Faith weren't caught in the storm.

Reaching the top of the stairs, she glanced around. Lightning flashed through the tall, rectangular windows, illuminating the hallway.

She walked toward the dark, windowless corridor leading to the attic.

"Mr. Barnes?" she called again.

She glanced over her shoulder, back toward the stairs. When she turned around, she cried out, startled to find herself facing Jonah who now stood outside the attic door, holding a lamp.

"Miss Brown, what are you doing up here?" he demanded, wearing his usual scowl.

"I heard noise from up here. A crash. I thought perhaps lightning had struck the house and someone might be hurt." She couldn't keep the tremors from her voice. "I'm also worried about your siblings. You don't suppose they're caught in the storm?"

Jonah's brow furrowed and he stepped closer to her. He held up the lamp and studied her face.

"I'm sure they're fine," he said in a gentler tone. "Max is quite capable and I doubt they'd venture out until after this passes. Are you all right, Miss Brown?"

"Yes. Fine."

Another clap of thunder made her jump.

"You don't look fine," he said. "Are you afraid of the storm?"

She chuckled nervously. "Silly isn't it? A grown person afraid of a thunderstorm."

"Why don't we wait it out in the library?"
 
"There's no need for you to keep me company."

Again she jumped at the thunder and lightning.

"Keeping you company is far more pleasant than the paperwork I've been looking over." He offered her his arm in a gallant gesture that took her aback. She rested her hand on it lightly. Goodness, she shouldn't enjoy how solid and warm he felt, yet she was unable to ignore it. His arms were rock hard from years at sea and working in the shipyard.

On their way downstairs, she asked, "What were you doing in the attic? I thought I heard howling up there a short time ago and then a crash."

"The wind, I'm sure. No doubt the crash you heard was Michaels. He tripped over an old trunk. He's up there now, making repairs on a window that was blown open by the storm. He's also trying to get rid of more unwanted guests of the flying rodent variety, so I remind you to stay away from the attic."

"Why do you suppose the pests keep coming back?"

"I'm not sure. My expertise is the sea. Ask me about whales and sharks and I could probably answer. Bats are another story."

"Do you still go to sea?" she asked, eager to keep her mind off the storm.

"Not as much as I used to."

"Do you miss it?"

"At times. I miss the straightforwardness of being at sea. The simplicity. Aboard ship, a man is valued more for what he knows than for his bloodlines."

"You don't have much use for polite society, do you?"

"As long as rich men keep buying my ships, I like it well enough."

"Is that why you partnered with Max?"

"Partly. Max is intelligent and good at business. He knows how to mingle with those kinds of people and put them at ease so they'll make the best deal."

"I see. The business world is all about using people."

"Precisely."

"It sounds very cutthroat and lonely to me."

"Maybe, but playing the game is better than being poor, isn't it? I know. I've been on that side of it too. Faith and Max don't remember like I do. They were young when we could barely make ends meet."

They had reached the library and he gestured for her to sit on the couch. He joined her, but kept a respectable distance.

"So you went to sea to take care of them. Do you ever regret it?"

"Not for an instant. There's nothing I wouldn't do for them. My only regret is what happened to Robert." Pain glistened in his dark eyes, taking her aback. He always seemed so strong, even cold at times. He rarely displayed any vulnerability.

Strangely, she wished to comfort him.

"I'm sure what happened to him was quite beyond your control."

"That's not the only thing, it seems." He stared deeply into her eyes and edged closer--so near that they almost touched.

"Mr. Barnes, please." She had intended the words to sound like a warning. Instead they came out like a plea.

At the next clap of thunder, she instinctively jumped and flung her arms around him. He held her snugly and while she knew she should pull away, she didn't want to. She felt safe and secure in his embrace, but it was more than that. The feel of his body, his heart beating against her cheek and his divinely masculine scent aroused her in a way she couldn't deny.

"Mercy," he murmured. When he covered her mouth in a possessive kiss, she didn't even try to stop him, but surrendered, just like Macie to Captain Bristle.

About Kate

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, an erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels. When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and watching horror movies.

http://www.kate-hill.com/compellingbeastsblog
http://www.twitter.com/katehillromance
http://www.twitter.com/compbeastsblog
http://www.facebook.com/katehillsaloniquinby

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Are We Really Green?


I was talking to my daughter the other day, and then a couple of friends. They believe the world was more environmentally friendly thirty years ago.
Apparently I’m a dinosaur. I had that garage sale, but learned that people only want antiques – like old records - or something fairly new. I had a plain, working, regular, coffee pot. No one wanted it. My daughter explained that was because they were looking for a Keurig. And from there we moved in to a discussion on how environment friendly the Keurig was - with all their little pods – one per cup of coffee - that went to the landfill.

Even if something is functional and works, people don’t want it and don’t want to recycle like we used to do. They want pretty, fancy and according to commercials, what everyone else has. Nowadays everything is plastic, often made in China and only lasts two or three years and it’s thrown out. Everything is packaged in Styrofoam. Nothing is reused. Twenty or thirty years ago when we shopped it was put in a brown bag. Things lasted forever, so they weren’t thrown out. I have a blender that’s very heavy and made of solid glass. It’s about 40 years old and still works great. My daughter has an electric hand mixer from her grandmother that still works. We don’t throw them out for something that looks better than our neighbors but will break down in a few years.
What about you? Do you use things until they break down, or replace with the latest cool-looking gadgets? Do you recycle? Do you use your own grocery bags art do you use the store’s plastic bags? (I’ve been using my own for about 30 years. I still have Safeway bags from 30 years ago.)  I know – I’m a dinosaur. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Check Out a Great Read - One Royal Summer


First, I’d like to thank Beverly for having me today! I appreciate the time to blog with your readers.

Second, I’ve decided to post about where my writing ideas come from. I get asked that question a lot and it’s not really a big mystery.  At times, something as simple as a name or possible book title can trigger the base idea for a new book.  My contemporary royal series, Royals of Countavia, was born from the name: Weeping Willow.  I once lived in a house that had a beautiful weeping willow tree in the backyard and I always wanted to include it in a book.  However, this time, the tree name led to the first line of ONE ROYAL SUMMER but it was dealing with a fictional newspaper headline mocking my heroine, an anti-monarchist who loses a campaign to depose the King of Countavia.

The line that led to a paragraph, that started a series:

WEEPING WILLOW WALLOWS WITHOUT WIN
Willow Forbes cringed at the headline as the finalization of last night's political loss sank in. She had failed to depose the king. What was she thinking believing a twenty-eight-year-old commoner could take on the long-established monarchy of Countavia? The kingdom was one of the oldest in all of Europe.

From there my Weeping Willow turned into a heroine who found herself in a few awkward, sometimes even comical, scenarios with the hunky H.R.H. Prince Jaxon Baine, Duke of Summerton. And of course a dangerous past had to worm its way into my book. I just love romances that mix it up with a bit of suspense.

So, my ideas can come from anywhere – a name, a title, a single sentence or even just a desire to write a book about a specific something. And those ideas strike at any time. This is why I ALWAYS carry pen and paper with me. I have files of scrap notes :)  I never know when one of those ideas can turn into a book.

We all have a creative spark within us, and it doesn’t have to be writing-related. What spark leads to your creativity?
Thanks for letting me share!

ONE ROYAL SUMMER

By J.C. Makk

ISBN: 978-1-942346-01-2

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Royal-Summer-Royals-Countavia-ebook/dp/B01C3Q1K7U
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/One-Royal-Summer-Royals-Countavia-ebook/dp/B01C3Q1K7U
Amazon AU:  https://www.amazon.com.au/One-Royal-Summer-Royals-Countavia-ebook/dp/B01C3Q1K7U
BN:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-royal-summer-jc-makk/1123469500?ean=2940157971311
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/one-royal-summer
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/one-royal-summer/id1088160954?

All princes are toads...
Anti-monarchist Willow Forbes is determined to revise her strategy after failing to depose the king responsible for her father's death. But when she retreats to a seaside cottage and mistakes the dashing Jaxon Baine for the local handyman, the sexy royal puts a serious kink in Willow's political and personal plans.

Until you kiss the right one...

Jaxon Baine, Duke of Summerton, has spent a grueling political term fighting to preserve the monarchy. Now he's looking forward to a peaceful season at Summerton Castle, the one place his painful past can be forgotten. But when the castle's cottage is rented to the beguiling Willow Forbes—Royal Enemy Number One—Jaxon's summer heats up.

Can two hearts from opposite sides of life find love?
Or will the dangers and secrets of the past destroy them both?

Excerpt:

Willow headed toward the library. As she passed a hardware store, the scent of sandalwood mixed with sage surprised her nose.

It couldn’t be.
She stopped and turned to peer into the store’s front window. Her hat squashed against the surface, and the rim of her sunglasses pressed, almost to the point of pain, into the bridge of her nose. But she didn’t have a choice in her actions.
At the counter, just beyond the door, stood her nameless hunk.

Her heart pounded.
He held a can of paint in front of him, its thin metal handle secured in his large, strong hand. Something the store clerk said made him laugh. His sexy, very manly, very kissable lips, edged upward, revealed his brilliant white teeth.

The man seemed so at home, so relaxed. He was nothing like the tightly wound politicians she worked with on a daily basis. Mr. Sandalwood was your average Joe who did not bear the weight of a kingdom on his shoulders. With him, she could forgo the state dinners, the fundraisers, and the king’s garden parties.
Her gaze lingered at the window.

He reminded her of those alabaster statues in museums, the ones with the lean, muscled abs, the carved from stone high cheeks, and the well-endowed privates that no fig leaf ever managed to properly conceal.
There were plenty of trees with plenty of leaves on the grounds at Copely Cottage. What she would give to measure up just one of them against her sexy handyman’s crotch. It would have to be the largest leaf, of course, if judging a man by the size of his hands with their long, strong fingers, held truth. 

Her pulse raced.
The man paid cash for his paint and then turned toward the door. The last guy she dated who hadn’t used a credit card to pay for a purchase was her high-school prom date. Her current peers were kings of plastic.

He was coming her way.
Her cheeks warmed.

Her feet refused to budge.

She wanted to bolt.
Really she did.

Her eyes continued to ogle.
Oh. My. God. She swore she was drooling.

Still her feet refused to move.
Damn wedges.  If she had worn flats, she was certain, she would have hightailed it to the library ten minutes ago. Yes, Wills. That’s it. She was standing in the middle of a quaint little town, glued to a hardware shop window, trying to decide if a large leaf would or would not cover a strange man’s privates, all because she chose to wear wedges over flats.
The hunk stepped onto the sidewalk.

Willow looked down. Tugging her hat’s brim over her covered eyes she begged the powers that be to let her go unnoticed.
“Miss Forbes?”

The gods obviously hadn’t forgotten how she never liked reading their myths back in school. She turned around. “Oh, hello.”
“What brings you to town?” Mr. Sandalwood asked.

Her eyes drifted to his crotch. “Um...the library.” He would definitely take a large leaf.

The man stooped, came into her shadowed view under her ridiculously large hat. “Is something wrong?”
“No.” Make that an extra-large leaf.  Extra, extra large.

“The library is two buildings down,” he said.
“I know.”

“And you were gazing through the window of a hardware store because...?”
Saying she was sizing up his crotch, somehow did not sound right. “Window shopping.”

“I see.” He straightened, returned to his full height of at least six-foot-two.  The man towered over her, despite her not being short. “Has something else malfunctioned at the cottage?”

“No.” She shook her head.
“Funny thing, when my sister talks about shopping, she never mentions browsing a hardware store. Is it a new trend?”

He was toying with her. And apparently enjoyed doing so. She crossed her arms over her chest.
Hunk’s gaze fell to her breasts. “You changed your top.”

“I did.” Oh, great, now she had him thinking of her bare boobs. That incident was going to be as bad as the photo of her with those damn tears rolling down her cheeks. It was going to stay with her forever.
He lifted his mirrored sunglasses and stared at her with those gorgeous gray eyes. “I have a few minutes before I have to get back to the castle. Let me show you to the library.”
“I have a map.”
“And still you ended up at the hardware store.”

He dropped his sunglasses back down over his eyes. “Come.” He offered her his arm, moving the paint can to his other hand.

She turned halfway around and accepted, slipping her fingers into the crook by his elbow. His arm was solid, pure muscle.

The scent of his cologne enveloped her now, stirred her nose but didn’t clog her sinuses like Sefton’s cheap aftershave.
“Are you looking for something specific in the library?”

“I am. I was hoping to view the archives and scan some micro film of newspaper clippings.”
“I see. Summerton Castle has an extensive collection of past news articles. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the library, let me know and I’ll arrange for you to have access to the castle’s collection.”
She could get used to a man like this.

Author Bio:
National bestselling author Angelique Armae/J. C. Makk is a native New Yorker who loves all things royal, can trace her Irish roots back to the Scottish Highlands, is half Italian, and is owned by a long-haired Tuxedo feline. She spends most days writing, unless her cat deems otherwise.
Ms. Armae is represented by Holly Root of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
Website:  http://www.jcmakk.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bSGTPD

The Royals of Countavia series:
ONE ROYAL SUMMER (Book 1)
HIS ROYAL REDEMPTION (A standalone novella featured in Royals and Rogues)
HER ROYAL BODYGUARD (Book 2, Coming June, 2016)