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October 24th, 2012

I’ve been tagged by the talented Diane Craver for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. We’re going to hop from blog to blog to discover exciting books we might not have heard about or that are still WIPs. This is Week 18. The hop rules require me to answer 10 predetermined questions, and then at the bottom of my post, I’ve listed authors who will answer the same ten questions on their blogs next Wednesday. So, let’s get started.

What is the working title of your book?
Light of the Heart (Sterling Lakes Book One) and I am currently finishing Book Five, Reflections of the Heart.

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
Growing up in a small New England town, I loved the experience of living in a community. I realized it would be interesting to share that viewpoint, and explore all it demonstrated about human nature.

What genre does your book fall under?

Light of the Heart is an Inspirational Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Reese Witherspoon would be able to play Cascade Preston. She has the strength of character and vulnerability that Cascade demonstrates. For Dan McQuay, I would have to go with Rob Lowe.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Stained-glass artist  Cascade Preston has overcome a dark childhood, deeply shadowed by domestic violence, in the town of Sterling Lakes…but when she is approached to design the new windows for the town church, she has to decide if she is going to live in the shadows of the past or if her faith will carry her to the light of tomorrow.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am happy to say it has been published by Writer’s Exchange Publishing (www.writers-exchange.com). In fact, they will be publishing all nine books in the Sterling Lakes Series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
This story was waiting to get out; I completed it in 3 months. At the same time, I was basically writing the story arc for the series. The first 3 books deal with themes of the past, the next 3 deal with themes of the present and the final 3 address theme about the future. In a heartwarming, fun way.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It’s similar to series books by other Inspirational romance writers in that it has three main characters instead of two: the hero, the heroine and God. Janelle Burnham, Tracie Peterson, Gayle Stattler and Lena Nelson Dooley come to mind as writing similar Inspirational romances.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
When I witness struggles that people go through in their lives, some at a very tender early age, it seems that faith in God keeps them going. To explore in writing how folks find strength in adversity felt natural to me. That spirit came from the loving example of my parents, who found joy in every day, who led by an example of love and who knew the true meaning of sacrifice. They gave everything to each other, to their family, their community, their country and their God.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
At some point in our lives, we each face a moment of truth, a moment that will forever change the direction of our lives. The courage to make such a profound decision, like the one facing Cascade, rests on our shoulders as individuals – but we do not make that decision alone. God is always there with us, whether we admit that or not. Do you take the leap of faith and trust God? Do you have the courage to try and love again? Do you listen to what God is telling you? Or do you hang on to what you think is the truth? Maybe Cascade’s childhood memories aren’t entirely accurate…and she has to learn the real truth now as an adult.

Also, readers will find the supporting characters interesting and fun. They’ll like the settings and I think the dialogue as well, and they’ll relate to the way the characters evolve and change, developing  throughout the course of the book. All this will be very warm and satisfying – I hope!  Most of all, the romance between Dan and Cascade is a believable, exhilirating roller-coaster ride!

Next Wednesday check out these author’s blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing.

Regan Taylor

Suzie Carr

Nike Chilleme

Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

Christine London

Thanks to everyone for visiting, to Diane for tagging me and my five author friends above for joining the Hop!

Sterling Lakes, Book One, is now available at WEE publishing.

I am over the moon with happiness!

 

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Check it out at http://www.writers-exchange.com/Regina-Andrews.html

and

http://www.writers-exchange.com/Light-of-the-Heart.html

Let me know what you think! Thanks :-)

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Today I am so very thrilled to have Regan Taylor visiting my blog! She is the heart and soul of a romance writer…and so, so much more! Welcome, wonderful Regan Taylor!

One of the best things about writing is you get to create the ending you wish could our would happen in a real life situation.  Another is that our characters can say the things we wish we could but for whatever reason, we can’t. Know what I mean? Some of the things my characters have said are:

In WITH ALL DISPATCH Molly Tanner has woken up to find her roommate is disappeared, apparently traveled back in time:

“Not that anyone has time to pack before time traveling.” Molly laughed, just short of hysterical. “Right. Like I have so much experience with time travel. Let’s see what or who I know who’s done it? There’s Black Eagle coming here. And then there’s Black Eagle going back to his home and yup, that’s a lot of experience you have there, Molly. You’re a virtual expert. Yup, and going a little bonkers here talking to yourself.”

In WORLD IN HER HANDS Sarah Dinetti has Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous and when she confides in her friend, Jan, hears about it she says:

“Well color me relieved. Seriously, Sarah, it’s time to let that chapter end. He’s dead weight in your life. It’s not like you even really have a relationship with him. He’s just there in your life, sponging off you. Cut him loose and look for some fresh meat. And even if the brother didn’t ask for your number, why don’t you get his? Call him and ask him for coffee or sex or something.”

And, in MISTAKEN BRIDE, Kendrick says the one thing I like hearing from my own Mr. Tall and Gorgeous:

“Oh yeah, she’s the one all right. She’s definitely the one I want.”

What is the most memorable line you’ve read from a character in a favorite book?

This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, visiting Angie Dobson at http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com

 

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr -

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck - http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen -http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies - www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews - http://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones - lynnhones.wordpress.com

This week you can find me visiting with the fabulous Angie Dobson at http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com

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Today I am so happy to be visiting with author Susan Roebuck on the seventh stop of our Summer Blog Tour! This week you can find me visiting with Corinne Davies at her blog, www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Welcome, Susan!

Two Truths and a Lie
I love this game – it’s a great ice-breaker. If you’re a teacher, try it in the classroom on the first day of classes.
So, which one of these is my lie?
1.    I’ve been on a ship that hit an ice-berg.
I was on an ice-breaker that sailed up the coast of Norway, visiting the beautiful fjords and bird islands that abound in that area. The ship continued up past the Arctic Circle before it went around the Svalbard archipelago. It was June and so the sun never set which was a little upsetting to my body clock because I don’t think I’ve gone to bed in daylight since I was about six years old.
I was overawed by the stark landscape of black rocky mountains with patches of snow and the sapphire colored glaciers, alarming in their retreat. It was disturbing to know that if for some reason I was abandoned on land, I wouldn’t survive for long.
The days were never boring, as the ship continually encountered an assortment of wildlife.  However, the captain said that if they spotted a polar bear at night, they’d wake me up whatever the time. And that’s just what happened – 3am with the sun in the sky and a polar bear with two cubs sniffing around on the ice less than a quarter of a mile away.
Later that day the captain wanted to show off his prowess at maneuvering the ship and he approached a beautiful blue iceberg, slowly inching along until the ship’s bow was actually touching it. Then the first mate leaned over and hacked off a lump of ice for our evening drinks.
2.     My novel, Perfect Score, was originally set at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. My inspiration came after a trip I had to the Catskills in Upstate New York. I stayed in a wooden ski lodge that reminded me of The Munsters’ Mansion with its huge towering turrets where bats flew about at sunset. The local village had a pall of suspicious-smelling smoke over it and the tiny shops sold homemade handicraft, while their owners wafted about in open sandals and long dirndl skirts with spaced-out expressions.
A local tennis pro believed in the success of levitation – which he didn’t, unfortunately, manage to demonstrate. And I thought, “This is full of the quirky characters that I want to populate my novel.”
3.     I once saw a ghost. I must have been about 11 years old and I went with my sister and parents to spend a holiday in a converted school-house in Galway, Ireland. The place dated back to the 1700s (according to a plaque above the main doorway) and smelt of chalkdust. The window in my bedroom was on the floor (not half-way up the wall as is normal) and you had to lie down to look out at the donkey in the field outside. One night, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I saw a figure at the foot of my iron bed (which creaked horribly, by the way). The figure, which I believe was a man wearing a large hat, was wispy like smoke, holding a glowing lantern and peering at me in its strangely golden light. I remember becoming sweaty and shivery at the same time, and being unable to utter a word. We stared at each other for what seemed like hours, but was probably only seconds, before I dived under the bedclothes (I was only 11, remember). I didn’t sleep much that night, too scared to move a muscle and so didn’t emerge from the sheets until morning. I never saw the apparition again – but that might have been because I slept under the bedclothes from then on until the end of the holiday. But, even so, being under the sheets didn’t prevent the feeling that something or someone was checking me out.
Find Susan Roebuck here:
Feckless, exasperating Alex Finch is a rich, handsome and talented singer/songwriter who longs for two things: a career as a professional rock singer, and to have his love for Sam Barrowdale reciprocated.  But drifter Sam’s two aims are simply to earn enough money to pay his sister’s medical bills and to hide from the world his reading/writing and speech disability.  At this time the word “dyslexia” is generally unknown so to most people he’s just a “retard”.  From the severe knocks life’s dealt him, Sam’s developed a tough outer coating and he has no time for a spoilt, selfish guitar player. Despite his defects, Alex’s love for Sam never wavers and when Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearful enemy: Alex’s powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle. As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering.  Just why did Alex’s evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection?  And what’s the mystery behind Alex’s father’s death? Both seem to face unbeatable odds.  Are they doomed to follow separate paths forever?
Perfect Score by Susan Roebuck.

Hewhay Hall by Susan Roebuck

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This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, visiting Corinne Davies at

www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr -

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck - http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen -http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies - www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews - http://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones - lynnhones.wordpress.com

This week you can find me visiting with Corinne Davies at her blog, www.daviesromance.blogspot.com


This week I am so very thrilled and excited that the fabulous author Christine London will be visiting on my blog as part of the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour!

You can find me this week visiting with author Lynn Hones at her blog:   lynnhones.wordpress.com

Welcome, Christine!

Here’s this week’s topic:

July 8th –Week 6 – “If you could organize a dinner party, which fictional characters (choose some from your own books too) would you invite and what would you cook?”

It is a pleasure to be on your blog this week Regina. Such a great topic too.

I would dip into my favorite books and invite Jamie Fraser of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Jamie is a charming, faithful, young alpha rogue when we meet him in the first book, ‘Outlander’. In the rest of the series (which is promised to continue) Jamie is a mature man of forty plus. His years of struggle without his beloved Claire have not embittered him. Rather, he has grown into a man sensitive to the needs and desires of all he meets. He overcomes the mandates of his time (eighteenth century Scotland and New World) to take under his wing those of low social status, questionable morals, racial underdogs and even those who have wronged his beloved Highlanders. As a time travel piece, Jamie is called upon to accept the sensibilities of a far future time in which he will never feel comfortable.

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If I could bring along two characters from my contemporary novels Shadows Steal the Light and its spin off, Hog Wild, I would invite rock star recovering alcoholic Colin Dulow and his manager and childhood friend, Kyle Matthews. Both these men have demons that require them to stretch the very fabric of their beings to grow into the men they want to be. Both men fall in love with the same women. One is not allowed to pursue her; the other knows he should not. These life long friends have that friendship severely tested. Each is strong beyond even his private imaginings. Both are proud Englishmen who have grown into international celebrity, handling the super human restraint required to remain ethical and intact in the spotlight. As is truly said of power, fame too corrupts absolutely.

It would not matter what I served these men as they are so much more interested in the woman before them. Each of them are consummate gentlemen. Each knows it is well worth his time to display genuine interest in his hostess. Each knows that patience and attention to detail will win respect. Each is charming in his unique way. We could be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches–it would not matter. The conversation would be fascinating.

Sharp wit and pervasive intelligence would run as undercurrent. Each the definition of Alpha, none would take advantage of that strength.

Jamie’s rendition of the ‘45 and the aftermath of the disastrous Culloden massacre would be riveting. Colin and Kyle, through their modern paradigm, might provide perspective across the centuries and convey the healthy respect in which present day England holds the proud and powerful Scot.

And I—I would revel in the magnetic presence of these men.

You can find Diana’s Outlander series worldwide in brick and mortar bookstores as well as online. It is a powerful legacy that shall live in the hearts of its readers for generations to come.

The year is 1945. Claire Randall is traveling with her husband when she touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is hurled back in time to a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord 1743. Catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, she soon realizes that an alliance with James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, might be the only way to survive. Thus begins a work of unrivaled storytelling that has become a modern classic.

http://www.amazon.com/Outlander-20th-Anniversary-Diana-Gabaldon/dp/0440423201/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341623737&sr=1-1&keywords=outlander+series+in+order

Shadows Steal the Light is available thorough Amazon and other fine book purveyors everywhere in both electronic and print format.

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It’s love at first sight for rock star Colin Dunlow when he runs into sultry jazz singer, Jenna Lindstrom, with a few complications. The woman of his dreams hates rockers and there’s someone who wants him dead.

http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Steal-Light-Christine-London/dp/1927085942/ref=la_B003MX4AW6_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1341622367&sr=1-4

Hog Wild is a fast, fun and sexy electronic read downloadable through e-book distributors everywhere.

Kyle Matthews might have the music world by the horns, but when he loses out in love to his most famous client and best friend, he escapes into the wilds of the desert southwest on a restorative motorcycle trip. Will the hard driving, salty tongued gorgeous mechanic he relies upon to fix his Harley be able to mend his heart, as well?

http://www.amazon.com/Hog-Wild-ebook/dp/B0057AGFSY/ref=la_B003MX4AW6_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1341622367&sr=1-7

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Other places Christine comes out to play:

Website : www.christinelondon.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-London/71009389201

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ChristineLondon

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/christinelondon/

Google plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114588027061857681170/posts

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Christine-London/e/B003MX4AW6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1339640330&sr=8-1

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Christine London

Author of 100 Romance’s Best of the Year –  When We Were Amazing
AMAZING photos at my PINTEREST page: http://pinterest.com/christinelondon/
Sample or Purchase When We Were Amazing http://amzn.to/J3iU11
Christine At Amazon Author Central https://www.amazon.com/author/christinelondon

 

If you’ve read this far, please take the time to leave a comment. You might just win a book by one of the Best Summer Reading Blog Tour authors and qualify for a $50 Amazon gift certificate to be awarded at the end of tour near the end of July.

This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, with Lynn Hones at her blog:  lynnhones.wordpress.com

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr -

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck - http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen -http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies - www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews - http://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones - lynnhones.wordpress.com

 

Thank you, Christine, for a fabulous visit!!

Today I am so happy to be visiting with author Sharon Poppen on the fifth stop of our Summer Blog Tour! This week you can find me visiting with Ann Tracy Marr  at her blog, 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

 

Welcome,  Sharon!

Question Of the Week

Who and what am I reading this summer and why?

 

What a great subject for this week or any week for an author for so very many reasons. I’ve always been a reader and I think that in many ways it stimulated my imagination to the point where I would often want more after I had read ‘The End’ in any book I was reading. Also, I’ve found that in reading other authors, I see techniques that make me want to read more by this author or turn me off to where I won’t read another of their books and put my readers through whatever it was that turned me off.

 

For instance, I think Leon Uris, John Grisham and Janet Evanovich create characters that have great reader appeal due to the multi-layered depth those authors ‘show’ of their characters. I think Tom Clancy uses far too many acronyms. I read fiction for enjoyment and his use of technical jargon often takes me out of scenes while I have to figure out that the code he is using may only stand for a military rank or operation code. He is great at plot, but I don’t want to work that hard for my enjoyment reading. I like a writer to set up a scene, but then let me do some visualizing. I’ve tried reading Sue Grafton, but her – she unlocked the door, she walked across the front room, she walked into the kitchen, she saw the blinking light on the telephone, she walked across the kitchen and put her finger on the play button, she …. – . Way too much detail for me. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that writers benefit from reading these successful authors and deciding what works for their stories, their characters, their readership.

 

Right now, I’m reading Janet Evanovich’s eighteenth book on the antics of Stephanie Plum, bailbondswoman. Her characters are what keep me coming back. She has wacky plots featuring her wild and crazy characters and bail jumpers.

 

I just finished 50 Shades of Gray. Total bore. I felt I was reading ‘Sadism and Bondage for Dummies.’ The characters were flat and unbelievable. My biggest complaint was that there was absolutely no closure of any aspect of the story. As I read the last page, I felt like the author was giggling at me any saying, ‘Gotcha! Now pay me more to find out what happens.”

 

Before that, I read Dear Wife by Gladys Malvern, who writes young adult books featuring strong female characters making their way through a factual historic era. She was out of date for a while but her books are making a comeback. She is wonderful at character development and show versus tell techniques.

 

I hope that my thoughts on what I read and why makes some sense to you. Let’s face it, what is a good read for one person is not someone else’s cup of tea. I just appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with all of you. If you’ve read this far, please take the time to leave a comment and answer the following question. ‘What young adult book author is making a comeback? You might just win a book by one of the Best Summer Reading Blog Tour authors and qualify for a $50 Amazon gift certificate to be awarded at the end of tour near the end of July.

Book Excerpt

After the War, Before the Peace by Sharon Poppen – (Excerpt – An opportunity to plead their case for amnesty before Congress is discussed by the four Farrell brothers.)

 

            Jim and Joe, standing side-by-side assessing the small herd, turned and waved to their younger brothers. Once they were settled around one corner of the corral, Jim began.

“The news in San Antonio was good. Amnesty is on the agenda for this session of Congress.”

“And?” Joe gave the appearance of being totally absorbed by his study of the cattle.

“They want a Reb to come to Washington to testify. They want to hear our side for a change.”

Again, “And?”

“It’s scheduled for right after the first of the year.”

Joe turned to meet Jim’s eyes. “I hear you and you’re right it’s good news. I guess.”

“You guess?”

“Well, yeah. It’s what we’ve wanted for a long time. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll listen, wipe the slate clean and we can start over. But in order to start over, we have to take some pretty big risks I reckon. I haven’t heard you mention any immunity in return for our testimony.”

“No. They couldn’t get it. They were told it would open up a can of worms.”

“Leaves us with our own can of worm, doesn’t it?”

Jim tried to affect a casual shrug. “That’s what I told Ethan. But, listen. It may not be too bad.” He turned to his youngest brother. “Dan, tell them about Ethan’s plan.”

Dan reiterated the conversation in the hotel room. Joe and Michael listened without interruption or comment. He tried to keep his distaste for Jim’s solo commitment out of his narrative. He concluded with, “Jim finally agreed it was a good plan and that he would do it.”

Michael stretched his arms out full length, grabbed hold of the top rail of the corral and slowly pushed himself back and forth. He had to think. It didn’t bother him that Jim made the decision on his own, that was just Jim taking care of the family. It did bother him that Jim would be alone. He knew intimately the value of having his brothers at his side when skirting danger. Joe saved him from having to make a comment. Michael folded his arms over the top of the corral, rested his chin on his arms and stared into the herd as he listened to the controlled fury.

“You agreed to the plan.” Joe shook his head from side to side. “YOU agreed did you?”

“Now, Joe don’t read more into –

“Don’t tell me what to read into this. For Christ sake I’m thirty-three years old. I damn sure don’t need you to tell me what to do.”

“Joe, listen I –

“No!  You listen. To me, to them.” He nodded toward the younger brothers. “Seems to me, I remember a time when Dan’s input was quite wise. Does the name Pike mean anything to you.”

Jim sighed. This was going to be as hard as he had dreaded. He turned to Dan.

“Okay. You’ve wanted to talk for the past three days. Lets have it.”

“We made the raids as a foursome. We’re all equally wanted by the law. It isn’t your freedom or good name that’s at stake. It’s each of us; we’re all Farrells. Pa started this whole thing out saying that we had a duty to avenge all the wrongs perpetrated under the guise of war. He said, and I’ve heard you make the same statement, it’s our duty as Farrell men.” He paused and glanced at Joe, who nodded agreement. The back of Michael’s head was all he could see and from his stance, Dan had to assume he had his support. He continued. “Now, how come our duty is over, but your duty is to take the biggest risk of all? By yourself. How come?”

“Before I give my reasons, I want to hear from all of you. Mike?” Michael didn’t answer right away. “Michael?”

Michael raised his head and turned to face his brothers. He began slowly. “I think you’re wrong, Jim. You’re making us feel unimportant, inadequate, not your equal. You’re giving us a worry that gnaws at our guts.” Jim grimaced. Michael’s voice got stronger. “But, somehow, someway you’ve always been there for me and come through for me when I’ve been flat-assed stupid.” Jim felt some hope. The other two leaned forward in disbelief. “Like I said, I think you’re wrong. That we should face this together, but I reckon I’ll support your plan.”

“What?” The question was a chorus from two of his brothers. Jim smiled his thanks.

“Mike, what the hell?” It was Joe. “You, of any of us, should realize how we need each other.”

“Yes. I do.” Michael turned to Dan. “He needs our support.” He turned back to Joe. “He needs peace of mind. To keep his mind clear.”

Joe shook his head in disbelief. “I don’t believe this!”

“Yeah, Mike.” Dan looked at Mike as if he were a stranger. “How can you …how will you  … Christ. I don’t believe this either.”

Not one of the four could think of a thing to say. Jim looked from brother to brother. They had disagreed and argued before, sometimes had words, but it usually ended with each respecting the other’s final point of view. He couldn’t remember any other time when he had looked across at brothers whose faces reflected such animosity. He broke the silence.

“Listen. Please? This is so important to all of us and to those we love. Hell, you three know that I’d trust you with my life in the blink of an eye. A man couldn’t have finer brothers, never has.” Joe and Dan wore faces of stone. “I sure don’t want to be a sacrifice. And, if I thought that’s what I’d be I wouldn’t be giving this a second thought. But think!  This could be it. We could be free. Free to move back to the States. And most important, Pa’s name would be cleared.” Their silence hurt his heart. He continued. “Look at us. We’re not the country gentlemen of Summerville anymore. We’re men of the West. Even in a citified suit, people would identify us as rugged men of the West. If the four of us arrived in Washington as a group and walked into that courtroom, it would be intimidating. It could affect the thinking of the Congressmen. Would they view all Rebs as a threat? Remember, we’re still held in great disdain in many northern cities.” Dan was biting his lip, but Joe had lowered his eyes. “One man dressed in city clothes wouldn’t be so intimidating. They may be more inclined to listen objectively to our complaints and rationale.”

“We agreed years ago. We’d watch each other’s backs.” Joe challenged.

“Joe, listen to me. You will be watching my back. I need to count on your support, your input.”

“It’s not enough for me. I’m your partner. Partners share the rewards and the risks.”

Jim sighed. It was killing him to be at odds with his best friend. He wanted to say, “Alright, come on,” but he had to consider the whole family. He needed to do this alone. “Partners know when to back off.” His inner turmoil put a dismissive edge to his voice.

Joe misinterpreted. He stepped back as if struck. “Go to hell!” He turned and stormed away.

Jim went after him. “Joe. Stop. Let’s talk some more.”

Joe was already mounted. He pulled his horse up in front of his brothers. “Go on, Mr. I don’t need anyone. Go it alone.” He turned to Michael and Dan with a look of disgust, then looked back at the brother he loved more than anyone in the world. “Go on. Save the Farrell family. You self-righteous son of a bitch.” He jerked his horse, applied his spurs and sped away.

“Joe!  Joe!” Jim called to the retreating back of his brother. Realizing that Joe wasn’t listening or coming back, Jim felt a wave of nausea rise from his gut to his throat. He bent over and swallowed hard to keep the bile down. “Jesus. Oh, God. Why can’t he see it? Why can’t he see it?”

Michael nudged Dan to get the horses, then put his hand on Jim’s shoulder. “He’s been with you since the beginning. It’s harder for him. He’ll work it out. I’ll talk to him. Besides, you know Joe. He’ll do something to work out his frustration and anger and probably beat us home for supper.”

Jim shook his head. “I don’t think so. Not this time.” He turned and faced his kid brothers. Michael tried for a grim smile, but Dan was sullen as he handed Jim the reins. These normally companionable brothers didn’t share another word all the way back to town. 

(to be continued)

 

Sharon’s Bio 

Sharon Poppen ( ) has won awards from Arizona Authors Assoc. and National League of American Pen Women. Her western novels After the War, Before the Peace, Hannah and Abby-Finding More Than Gold are available at Amazon Books, most web based book sellers and from her website.  Her work has appeared in such publications as A Flasher’s Dozen, Desert Treasures, Skive, Offerings from the Oasis, A Long Story Short, Apollo Lyre and Laughter Loaf.  Her workshops on Journaling, Short Story Writing and Blogging bring rave reviews.  Sharon is a member of Lake Havasu City Writer’s Group. Her gay/sci-fi novel Regardless will be available in print and ebook the fall of 2012.

 List of Published Novels

 After the War, Before the Peace

Hannah

Abby-Finding More Than Gold

Regardless (due out fall 2012)

 

 

This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, with Ann Tracy Marr at  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr -

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck - http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen -http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies - www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews - http://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones - lynnhones.wordpress.com

 

Today I am so happy to be visiting with author Ann Tracy Marr on the fourth stop of our Summer Blog Tour! This week you can find me visiting with Sharon Poppen at her blog, http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Welcome, Ann!

Hi, all. My name is Ann Tracy Marr. Thanks to you, Regina for sliding me into your blog.

 

What am I reading this summer?

This is a hard question for me to answer because so far I have not enjoyed a normal year. You see, last October I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, reportedly the most dangerous form. My whole life changed; it shrank to medical procedures and discomfort. (Thank God, not very much pain.) Because I am a writer and an independent computer consultant, I didn’t have to go to work 9-5, but I also didn’t go much of anywhere except hospitals. I didn’t go to bookstores, brick or otherwise.

I had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. I was sick, tired, uncomfortable, exhausted, so messed up that I failed to promote the morphing of my third book into a paperback. I vegetated in front of the television and lolled in bed. I researched my cancer and the associated side effects, kept a diary (hopefully to be published somewhere), and couldn’t write romance to save my soul. Couldn’t clean the house, couldn’t work on anything meaningful. For a while, I could hardly walk. I could lose weight – lots of weight — though the doctors complained. What can I say? I wasn’t trying to lose weight.

My husband pulled out the boxes of “keepers,” those novels I had saved because I liked them so much. Most are Regency romances. Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joan Smith, Barbara Metzger, Catherine Coulter – I had complete series to read, sometimes with double vision. And fall asleep over. I slept more than a college student with mono.

I’m okay now, thank you. Had a clear mammogram. My skin is almost recovered from what they carefully do not call radiation burns. I can get through the grocery store without collapsing. The doctor says to aim for two cancer free years – if I get past that, aim for five. I am to the point I can browse a bookstore, but I don’t have a clue what has been published, what received good reviews, what I might enjoy.

Instead of me telling you what I have been reading, I would love to hear about the outstanding books you recently read. What did I miss?

Cheers, Ann Tracy Marr

Where can you find me?

Website: www.AnnTracyMarr.com

Purchase books (e-book or trade paperback) on Amazon.com:

http://tiny.cc/7p0xew

This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, at

http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr -

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck - http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen -http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor - http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies - www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews - http://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones - lynnhones.wordpress.com

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