About Once Upon a Word: We're a large group of multi-talented authors working together, to bring you the best romances. Please, stop by our websites and check out what we've been up to: Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery and Victory Tales Press.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

READY FOR A LITTLE SWEET DANGER? by CHERYL PIERSON

Sweet Danger is my first contemporary romantic suspense novel. Up until this point, I have stuck with writing western historicals, though my Time Plains Drifter, which was re-released with Western Trail Blazer, is also a bit of a departure from that, venturing into the paranormal/time travel aspect, as well as historical.

Sweet Danger is the story of Jesse Nightwalker, an undercover cop, and Lindy Oliver, his beautiful next-door neighbor. They’ve been very much aware of one another for the past year or so, but have never formally met, until one fateful Friday morning when they both come into the local deli and end up next to each other in line.

But things turn deadly as a gang of criminals takes over the deli in what seems to be a robbery. Unfortunately for Jesse, the leader of the pack is Tabor Hardin, a vicious cop killer that Jesse helped put behind bars. Hardin’s purpose changes instantly. The robbery was only a fa├žade for a much more heinous crime—kidnapping the governor’s children from the adjoining daycare. Now, Hardin swears to make Jesse pay for his part in Hardin’s imprisonment before anything else takes place.

As if things couldn’t get worse, one of the other children in the daycare is Jesse’s own son, Nash. Jesse has to walk a fine line to figure out what he can do to save his son and Lindy, as well as the other hostages—even though it means certain death for himself.

When his wife died four years earlier, Jesse cut off all romantic feelings, immersing himself in his undercover work. Now, Lindy Oliver has reawakened those feelings at a most inopportune time, and Jesse is incredulous at what’s happening between them, now that he stands to lose it all at Hardin’s bloody hands.

I loved the premise of this book, and especially loved figuring out how to make it all “come around” so that Jesse and Lindy could have the HEA they so richly deserved.

Sweet Danger was re-released with Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery in February 2013. It’s also available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon, among other distributors. Since its release, it's consistently been my best selling work ever. I’ve posted the blurb and an excerpt below for your reading pleasure! Please leave a comment. Visit my website at http://www.cherylpierson.com E-mail me at fabkat_edit@yahoo.com

BLURB:

When bookseller Lindy Oliver and undercover cop Jesse Nightwalker sit down to share a pastry at the local deli, they're strangers. But as breakfast suddenly becomes a heart-stopping life-or-death ordeal, a stolen kiss changes everything between them. Escaped convict, Tabor Hardin, blames Nightwalker for his imprisonment. With Lady Luck on his side, the brutal murderer plans to quickly gain a fortune, then make the cop pay with his life – very slowly. Hardin's gang enters the deli in a hail of bullets, and Jesse shoves Lindy beneath a table to shield her. But as he does, he steals one hot, life-altering kiss that forms an unbreakable bond between them. Now, with someone to live for, survival takes on new meaning for both of them. Secrets and vengeance are bound to crush any thoughts of a future between them. Fate provides a glimmer of hope for true love, but can it last in the firestorm of this Sweet Danger?



EXCERPT FROM SWEET DANGER:

This excerpt takes place in the first chapter. Jesse Nightwalker, an undercover cop, runs into his neighbor, Lindy Oliver, in the local deli. Though they've never met, they are very aware of one another. The deli owner introduces them officially and points them toward the only available booth. But their Friday morning takes a quick nosedive in the next few minutes. Here's what happens.

Jesse looked past her, his smile fading rapidly. As the flash of worry entered his expression, Lindy became aware of a sudden lull in the noisy racket of the deli. Jesse’s dark gaze was locked on the front door, a scowl twisting his features.

“Damn it,” he swore, reaching for her hand. “Get down! Under the table, Lindy…”

But she hesitated a second too long, not understanding what was happening. In the next instant, the sound of semi-automatic gunfire and shattering glass filled the air.

Lindy reflexively ducked, covering her head. The breath of a bullet fanned her cheek as Jesse dragged her down beneath the sparse cover of the small table. He shielded her, his hard body crushing against her, on top of her, pushing her to the floor. The breath rushed out of her, and she felt the hard bulge of the shoulder holster he wore beneath the denim jacket as it pressed against her back.

Her heart pounded wildly, realization of their situation flooding through her. A robbery! But why, at this hour of the morning when the take would be so low? The gunfire stopped as abruptly as it had started. From somewhere near the counter, a man shouted, “Come out and you won’t be hurt! Come out—now!”

Lindy looked up into Jesse’s face, scant inches from her own. What would he do? They were somewhat concealed here at the back of the deli, but these men were sporting semi-automatic weapons.

“There’s a back door,” Jesse whispered raggedly. “Get the hell out of here. I’m gonna be your diversion.” She didn’t answer; couldn’t answer. He was likely to be killed, helping her go free. He gave her a slight shake. “Okay?”

An interminable moment passed between them before she finally nodded. “Get going as soon as I get their attention.” He reached to brush a strand of hair out of her eyes, his own gaze softening as he leaned toward her and closed the gap between them. “Take care of yourself, Lindy,” he whispered, just before his mouth closed over hers.

The instant their lips met shook her solidly. Every coherent thought fled, leaving nothing but the smoldering touch of his lips on hers, burning like wildfire through her mind. Soft, yet firm. Insistent and insolent. His teeth skimmed her lower lip, followed by his tongue, as he tasted her. Then, he pulled away from her, their eyes connecting for a heart-wrenching second.

“Safe passage,” he whispered.

Lindy didn’t answer, more stunned by the sudden sweet kiss than by the madness surrounding them. Jesse pushed himself out from under the table and stood up, directly in front of where Lindy crouched. Only then did she hear his muted groan of pain, his sharp, hissing intake of breath. The blossoming red stain of crimson contrasted starkly with the pale blue of his faded denim jacket as his blood sprang from the bullet wound, soaking the material.

He’d been shot!

Lindy gasped softly at the realization. How could she leave him now?

NIKKI FROM SIREN BOOK REVIEWS GIVES SWEET DANGER 5 SIREN STONES!
Warning- if you are going to read Sweet Danger, then make sure that your schedule is clear for the next few hours. I say this because once you start this; you're not going to want to put it down.
This suspense story has so many twists and turns, it's filled with plenty of action. Readers will be at the edge of their seat, biting their nails until the last page is read.
Fans of top notch romantic suspense will surely enjoy Cheryl Pierson's Sweet Danger. It has a perfectly blended amount of romance, tension, suspense, and soul searching.
Lindy Oliver is one of the strongest, bravest heroines I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. She is a fighter, and amidst a scary situation she manages to stay calm and brave.
This is an amazing story, and Cheryl Pierson has me hooked!



Here’s what Pepper from Romance in the Back Seat had to say about Sweet Danger!

Sweet Danger has some delightful touches of humor (which it needs to break up the tension) and also some touching moments, though Pierson doesn’t make it easy for her characters. Things start out bad and just get worse. I thought as I watched the relationship between Jesse and Lindy develop, that Pierson had a good handle on how extraordinarily tense and dangerous situation can change people’s attitudes and make them look at what’s really important. I also thought Pierson had an excellent conception of what a hostage situation must be like for both the hostages and the cops trying to free them. I can only imagine how difficult it must be on everyone concerned. But Pierson portrayed it very well. If you like romantic suspense, I don’t think you can go wrong with Sweet Danger. Just be prepared to bite your fingernails.


GET YOUR COPY HERE!
https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Adrian Scott and the 'Society of Vampires'


The 'Society of Vampires' Series:

This series started out as just one novel: 'A Vampire's Tale.' I wanted to tell the story of how an ordinary man becomes a vampire, and wanted to tell it from his own perspective, so I wrote it in the first person. While writing it, I realized it would make a good series, and as I enjoy writing novels in series, I created the Society of Vampires, an organization based in Paris, France, in the 1840's, and headed by a vampire who was fourteen centuries old and had been the right-hand man of Attila the Hun.

To give vampires a more 'human,' less-villainous nature, I added a small daughter and then gave Lord Tarkus, the superior vampire, a grandfatherly aspect. Then I brought in the werewolves as the villains of the series, and again to give the series a more human feel, created the Romany (gypsy) people as the keepers of the secrets of combatting werewolves, which made them allies of the vampires. this idea came from an old 1941 movie I saw many years ago entitled 'Wolfman' (I think), starring Lon Chaney. During the movie an old gypsy woman reveals that her own son had become a werewolf, and had to be killed as there was no cure. She recited a poem I believe was created for the movie that went:

"Even a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers at night
May become a wolf when the wolf-bane blooms and the autumn moon is bright."


That rhyme stuck in my mind all these years, and it was the reason I made the werewolves the villains; also, when you think about it, the vampire kills because he has to in order to live; on the other hand, the werewolf kills because he enjoys killing - he's a maddened, ravening beast.

Then I had to figure out a way the vampires could kill to feed, yet still have a kindly (if one can use that word) aspect; so I came up with the idea of them only killing those who were a drain on society: the drunken wife-beaters, those who were old and would die of disease very shortly, those who had nothing more to live for.

That, basically, is the plot running through the eight 'Society of Vampires' novels I've written, followed by the five 'Nosferatu Australis' books (in which I moved the central characters to Australia), and the three 'Tarkusian Chronicles,' which detail Lord Tarkus' life, first as a mortal then as a vampire, from about 400AD to 1840. And that, in a rather large nutshell, is the series.

The 'Nosferatu Australis' series is still open-ended, so I can add more novels to them if they prove popular enough; and I have one volume of the 'Tarkusian Chronicles' to write to complete Lord Tarkus' life. Whether I write the fourth volume of the 'Chronicles' and whether I add to the 'Nosferatu Australis' series, my friends, is up to you: you may grow tired of my protagonist, Lord Tarkus, and the rest of the bunch, in which case I'll end the whole thing off. Or you may want more, in which case, there will be more to write.

Check out my new website under construction at:
http://adrianscott.yolasite.com/ 
And visit my blog at
http://adrianscottma.wordpress.com/

Adrian Scott

  



Monday, April 15, 2013

Celebrate National Library Week!


by: Stephanie Burkhart



It's National Library Week! If you have a chance, stop in and say "Hi" to a Librarian. Let 'em know they're appreciated.

I'm a firm believer in libraries.  They gave me my start in reading. I remember as a young girl visiting the Manchester, NH Library – it was huge! Okay, it smelled a little stale, (hey, it was the 1970's!) but I knew it was a gateway to other places and adventures. My favorite sections involved dinosaurs and venturing into space. Then I discovered mysteries and the Hardy Boys. As a teenager, I explored the gothic worlds of VC Andrews and Victoria Holt. The big thing about the library for me growing up, was it gave me a chance to explore; it fostered my curiosity, and it influenced a love of reading that inspired me to become an author.
 
My childhood library in Manchester, NH
National Library Week started in the mid 1950's here in the U.S. The ALA (American Library Association) wanted people to spend more time with books and less on TV and Radio! (funny, how that is, isn't it?)

This year's theme:  Communities Matter @ Your Library

Libraries do a lot of us.  First, you can always find a good book at the library. With modern technology, many have books to loan for ereaders. Libraries have movies and music to borrow. When I was stationed overseas in Germany, the library was like a pirate's treasure chest to me. Libraries offer children activities including story times, arts and crafts, and computer games. They also offer Internet service and book clubs.  College and University libraries even host job fairs.


For Authors:
Authors can always go to their local library and participate by doing a story time for children. Authors might be able to arrange for a book signing, a book reading, a poetry reading or even conduct a writing panel at the local library.

During this week special days celebrate library workers, bookmobiles, and teen literature day.



There are all kinds of libraries – public, school, academic, and presidential. Just last weekend, the boys and I visited the Nixon Presidential Library. It was very modest compared to Reagan's. I was surprised to discover the house Nixon was born in was still on the property. I also discovered how Nixon moved a nation forward in a positive way. Sometimes I think we forget that about him in light of what he's best known for – Watergate.

Question for you: Have you been to a library lately? How does your library support your community? I'd love to hear stories about your library.

If you take a picture of you and your library card, or you in front of library and share it with us in the comment box, you'll be entered to win $10.00 GC to Amazon or Barnes & Noble – winner's choice.

Thanks so much for supporting your library this week. 

 
Me, my library card & my library 2012
Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher with LAPD. You can find her romance novels with Desert Breeze Publishing and Victory Tales Press. Her children's books include The Giving Meadow and First Flag of New Hampshire with 4RV Publishing. She's addicted to coffee and adores chocolate. She's the proud mom of a Boy Scout and a Cub Scout and loves walking and hiking, time permitting.

Her 99 cent stories with Victory Tales Press include:

A POLISH HEART

Blurb: Will Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back? 


JOURNEY OF THE HEART

Blurb: Can James help Rachel save her winery or will he drift out of her life the same way he drifted in?

BUY LINK: http://amzn.com/B008G1JI6C

Christmas in Bayeux

Blurb: Aiden travels to Bayeux, France to meet an old friend, Noel. Can she help heal his wounded heart?


FEAST OF CANDLES:

BLURB: Drake takes the biggest chance of his life all because of a bottle of wine. Can he breakthrough the battlements surrounding Lily's lonely heart?




IND ME ON THE WEB AT:
WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

GOOD READS:

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina?feature=mhee

PINTEREST:
http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/



Monday, April 1, 2013

DO YOU LOVE YOUR BOOK?


By Celia Yeary

Do you love your book? I wrote ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS very quickly, in about three months. I knew the characters, I knew the plot, and I sat down and just wrote. And wrote, and wrote. When I thought it ready for someone to read, I entered the first chapter in a contest. Although I did not place, I did receive nice compliments…except for a few negative comments. “The opening needs to be deleted. Have Cynthia and Ricardo meet in the first paragraph.” “Under no circumstances have Cynthia musing to herself.” “POV is all over the place. Clean that up, and you might, just might, mind you, have something to work with.”
 
Suddenly, I wondered if my story was as good as I thought. The negative comments diminished me as a writer, and I wondered if I was good enough to continue. I was afraid to ask anyone else to  read it, as I had all my other rambling stories. But…I loved my story. I could see it in book form.
I loved my book, whether anyone else did or not.

YOUR ATTITUDE
Did your mother ever say to you, “You’d better change your attitude, young lady!” (or...young man!)
Ohhh, mine did, especially during my teen years.
Usually, I obeyed relatively well, and life generally ran smoothly in the Davis household.
Sometimes, when Moher asked me to do something difficult, I might reply with a dramatic whine, “I caaan’t!” Her answer? “Can’t never did anything.”
A good attitude shows our positive side. As an author or writer, “attitude is everything.”

YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD YOUR BOOK
Do you love your book? Do you believe in it, even if an editor or publisher doesn’t? Does a rejection letter seem personal, as if the words on the page describe you? “Sorry, not good enough.” (Interpretation: Sorry, you’re not good enough.) “We like your book, but we don’t love it.” (Interpretation: We don’t love you.) “Your manuscript might be good, if you re-write the entire 300 pages. Make your hero the villain, kill off your heroine, because she’s not worth the paper she’s written on, and while you’re at it, think up a new plot.” Ugh, you say, this goes in the trash.
However, if you write a story that contains three key elements—urgency, intensity, and drama—soon you will sell your book to an editor.

YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD YOURSELF
I grew up as the middle sister. Daddy wanted us three girls to look pretty every day. He’d tell Mother to curl our hair, get new dresses (she made all of them), and tell us to “act pretty.” Since he told us every day we were pretty, I believed it, and although I was shy, I still thought well of myself. I had confidence even as a child.
Confidence is Job Number One for success in the writing business. It means you are a good writer, and you feel competent. You take pride in each accomplishment. If you keep this attitude about yourself, soon you’re willing to take scary risks to reach beyond who you are now. Confidence is acting that way, even when you are not.
Keep telling yourself, “I’m good, and my book is, too.”
 
FIRST LINES IN ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS
 
Nacogdoches, Texas, 1880
If I had known running away would be this hot and this dirty, she fumed, I would have stayed home. With her dainty lace handkerchief, Cynthia Harrington dabbed the perspiration from her upper lip. She sighed heavily for the one-hundredth time today and impatiently brushed the dust from the skirt of her best lavender day dress.
But she could not stay home, where she would much prefer to be right now instead of in this unbearable heat. Her father had made peace between them impossible with his idiotic demands and lectures about her place in society. Society, indeed! Nacogdoches was not exactly the social center of Texas, so she made the decision to leave home and drive her one-seat buggy to Austin or San Antonio. All she knew to do was go west. Either city would do. She hoped she would be there in one day, because she had brought only one change of dress and one other bonnet. The one hundred dollars tucked in her reticule would surely be enough to live on for a while.
She snapped the reins lightly on the back of the horse, just slightly, because she couldn’t bear to hurt the sweet, little thing. Of course, she would need to feed and water Little Dixie, but she thought livery stable fees were reasonable.  
A sound of pounding hooves brought her out of her thoughts. A rider approached behind her, and he was already close. Fleetingly, she thought of highwaymen and unsavory characters that might be out to harm her, but she never heard of such things in this civilized part of Texas. She guided her mare to the side of the road and stopped to allow him to pass by. Surely, he would ride past, and maybe not throw a swirl of dust all over her. She sat very still beneath the bonnet of the little buggy and pressed her back to the seat.
The horse, however, seemed to slow its gait, and yes, it was brought to a halt beside her. She ventured a peek and blew out a breath. Ricardo Romero. That…that ne’er-do-well.
She stiffened her back and held her breath. Go away; go away. If she pretended not to see him, let alone recognize him, maybe he would take the hint and ride on.
He touched the flat brim of his gaucho-style hat. “Miss Harrington. Good morning.”

~~*~~*~~*~~


 
ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS
BLURB:

To escape an arranged marriage, beautiful, proper Cynthia Harrington from East Texas impulsively marries Ricardo Romero, a striking, sensual Spaniard who ranches on the far western edge of the Texas frontier. Innocently, she steps into a hotbed of anger, rivalry, and strong wills. As she struggles to gain a foothold in the hostile household and foreign ranch community, she finds that her biggest challenge is to make her husband love her.
 Ricardo creates his own problems by marrying an outsider, angering his mother, father, and his jealous ex-lady friend. Then, the Texas Rangers arrive looking for a killer, and Cynthia saves Ricardo’s mother in a confrontation with the wanted man. Ricardo realizes that his delicate bride has more grit and spunk than he thought, and his greatest trial becomes a race to pursue his own wife and persuade her to stay with him.
~~*~~*~~*~~


My First Published Book-which has sold nicely, despite the negative comments the judge made!
Now, $2.99, reduced by The Wild Rose Press because it is over two years old.
Please visit Amazon:
***OR***
Barnes and Noble

SNIPPETS OF REVIEWS:

Celia Yeary’s debut novel All My Hopes and Dreams is definitely a 5 star read. She tells this story from all sides without giving away a single twist. This story will leave you smiling.
Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction.

 Outstanding dialogue, conflict, and remarkable vibrant characters make All My Hopes and Dreams a sensational read. With the lovely backdrop and scenery of Texas, this is a story readers should not allow to slip through their fingers.
Coffeetime Romance   
  Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas