Book Birthday & Author Event

Vermont Escape 300dpi (1)

Last Friday, July 17 was not only the birthday of my SIL, but also the 6th birthday for my first book, VERMONT ESCAPE. I’ve been running a 99 Cent sale on most of the venues. (Something happened and it didn’t get changed on KOBO.) Today is the last day of the sale. Well, it may lop over a bit more because I have to take it off Amazon and iTunes, and I won’t start that process until Wednesday. 😊 B & N very nicely let’s you set a start and stop date. I love that. So much easier. Here are the links:

B & N https://bit.ly/2k340mD

Amazon https://amzn.to/2ShLapq

ITunes https://apple.co/2GrJGUW

If you haven’t read this book, yet, this is a great opportunity. Like all my books, this is about second chances, and my heroine turns 50 about ¾ of the way through the story, so it’s legitimately called a “Seasoned Romance.”  Here’s the short blurb:

After the murders of Jill Barlow’s husband and then her father, she flees to Vermont, but the Texas gambling syndicate believes she’s hiding damning evidence against them. To get it, they’ll kill again.

There’s no mention of the hero in this shot blurb, but he’s a Vermont lawyer and state assemblyman. Jill really doesn’t want any more involvement with a politician. Politics got her husband and father killed.

If you follow my newsletter you know that I attended a Sunday Afternoon with Authors event at an independent bookstore. (We really need to support Indie bookstores.) Leaves Book & Tea Shop (Isn’t that a clever name?) is just south of downtown Fort Worth and has been opened for just under a year.

Tina Howard, the  owner, was very organized. Before hand she let us know how it would go, and she sent us questions around the subject of “change.” All of us write different genres, and yet our answers were remarkably similar.

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Left to Right.

Claudette Esmerelda has written a children’s book, Leah is Seen. She’s trying to help kids develop a good self-concept.

I, of course have 7 books out.

Richard Gonzalez is a former newspaper columnist and refers to himself as an old hippy. Raza Rizing is about the increase of Hispanics in Texas. Deer Dancer is a fantasy set in Sonora.

Jane Alvey Harris’ book, Riven (a dark YA) has been optioned for film. How cool is that! It’s part of a trilogy. The second book is out, too. They are about finding yourself again after abuse.

Act of Trust 200x300

Besides asking us questions, we also got to read from one of our books. I read from Book 2 of The Second Chances Series, ACT OF TRUST. The heroine lost her husband on 9/11 and because my younger daughter and her husband had just moved to NYC, this book really touches home for me and is one of my favorites, right behind VERMONT ESCAPE.

I was surprised how many people showed up to listen to us—approximately twenty. Each of the authors had  3 or so  friends attend, and then there were just random folks there. I was grateful to have the MIL of one of my daughters, a good friend from NTRWA, and another friend.  This was the first event like this for the bookstore, and the owner has one scheduled for the next several months. I will attend to see how the others work out. Tina is also willing to carry our books for a 70/30 split. I’m going to try that with three of mine and see how it works out. I’m also going to talk to one of the other Indie bookstores to see if they will consider doing something like this.

Lastly, I want to go by and take a flyer to all three Indie Bookstores with information about the first ever Independent Bookstore Celebrate Bookstore Romance Day, Saturday, August 17. I learned about this from the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA. What a great idea. Here’s the link https://bookstoreromanceday.org/ Share with your local bookstores.

Writers, do you like events where you get to (or are expected to speak) more than where you’re just sitting there signing?

Readers, what do you think of this kind of event? Love to hear from you all.

Please follow my blog and sign up for my Newsletter on my website https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/

Contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com , and follow me on my social media sites.

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about SUNSHINE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about SUNSHINE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


The sun cast a glow on my hair, and the wind whipped behind me. I looked peaceful, and for the first time I could admit, beautiful.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


“The splash of bright yellow in the pillows is a slice of sunshine and gives me hope. And a fireplace. Thank you, Jerrod.”

Marsha West


Pete gave Sally his trademark smile filled with sunshine and unicorns, while Nate, apparently, didn’t warrant a casual hey. Then again, Nate wasn’t doing the sideways tango with the club’s waitresses.

Sharon Wray


On those days, I heard way too much from her about cruising the Mediterranean. She especially believed the trip would make a nice honeymoon. Whatever.

Vicki Batman


Tony joined her, his hand going to her elbow when she slipped on the bank.

Jacquie Biggar


Having spent the first two decades of his life in sunny Greece, he had never fully adapted to Canadian winters.

Joanne Guidoccio


His tongue sought the warmth of her mouth. She tasted like coffee and sunshine and he wanted more of her.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about VACATION #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about VACATION

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


The Sophia he remembered had dreamed of turning the ranch into a guest retreat where visitors could get a taste of ranch life by taking part in different activities such as a cattle drive, trail riding, branding—all the things that made dude ranches a favorite with vacationers looking for adventure and luxury in one sweet package.

Jacquie Biggar


My instinct was to pull up the pictures from my last trip here. The first one was a picture of Jett reclining back in a beach chair, sun blazing, and the wind sweeping the hair off his forehead.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


“Of course, dear, this is your vacation, too. While I love having all of you home, I don’t expect you to hang out with me all the time.”

Marsha West


Rafe took Juliet’s hand and held it against his heart. “We’ll go to Venice for our second honeymoon. After lots of wine and a dinner of bigoli in salsa, we’ll walk the streets and eat meringues bigger than Calum’s head.”

Sharon Wray


This trip would bind our future. The Jaunt from Hell proved to be the last straw.

Vicki Batman


He had about five weeks of accumulated vacation time that we had planned to use when we went on safari to South Africa.

Joanne Guidoccio


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something new!

author 100 x 100     Well, lots of somethings new around here.

First and foremost: a baby girl will be added to my family. We’re so excited to welcome her. My #1son is about to jump out of his skin.

Second: a new book released–Sommerville days. Many of you know my love for stories with fun and sassy heroines. I’ve collected three together and wrapped them in an awesome cover. Here you go:

05 08 19 Sommerville Days Ebook Cover 1600x2400

Don’t you want to find a hammock under a shade tree with a tall cool drink (like almond tea) and a great book? Here’s a bit about Sommerville days:

Love blossoms in the small town of Sommerville in these heartwarming tales, filled with fun and forever possibilities.

Store Wars: The competition is heating up when Janie’s old flame returns to town and is running his family’s store. Could following dreams break her heart?

Raving Beauty: What if the love of your life was in front of you all along?

San Diego or Bust: When a young woman plans a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, disaster strikes—is her Mr. Right the right Mr. Right?

(My sister told me the end of “Raving Beauty” made her cry. I had never heard this about my work before because I write funny. And there are funny things inside, too.)

Find your relaxation device at: Vendor

And lastly: Handsome and I will be on vacation. I can’t wait. The heat is pretty strong after our rainy and cool Spring. Hopefully, we can dodge some of those oppressive days.

Happy Summer!

asteriks 2

Almond Tea-Mix together:   3 tablespoons instant iced tea powder
1/4 cup white sugar     2 cups boiling water    Add 1 (12 oz.) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate     1 tablespoon vanilla extract    1 tablespoon almond extract    Add 4 cups of cold water. Stir and pour over ice. Totally addictive.

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about SUMMER #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about SUMMER

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


I could imagine him spending his summer weekends sailing on Georgian Bay or golfing at one of the many courses in the area, and during the winter participating in all the winter sports the North had to offer.

Joanne Guidoccio


He’d specifically told her he was looking for a grandmotherly woman to take care of Jane over the summer break. If Josie Sparks was a senior, he’d eat his hat.

Jacquie Biggar


The next day I visited the local coffee shop, took a cab to Bondi beach, and spent the day writing under a huge umbrella.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about HONOR #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about HONOR

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Jared Martin needed to know he wasn’t playing a game. The way he’d suffered disgrace at the hands of that man was unacceptable. He wanted his honor back.

Jacquie Biggar


Everybody has to grieve, or remember, or honor . . . hell, I don’t know. We all have our own ways to cope with losing a loved one.

Claire Gem


Whenever I had visited, she waved me to the head of the table, an honor in an Italian household.

Joanne Guidoccio


Hair mattered for nothing, and if hers stayed white it would be a badge of honor.

Kathryn Jane


Her mother’s chocolate sheet cake, banana pudding, and apple pie honored her children even though only one would be present for the 4th of July celebrations.

Marsha West


Nate had no money or job or honor. His courtesy was the only thing he could offer Sarah, and he prayed it’d be enough.

Sharon Wray


“Nevertheless, we have to go back. It’s all about honor and integrity. You can pay with your dollar, exactly what you should’ve done in the first place.”

Vicki Batman


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Planting Red Herrings

When I shared an early draft of A Season for Killing Blondes, a beta reader complimented me on my use of red herrings and suggested the title could also be considered a red herring.

Puzzled, I asked for clarification.

She explained, “A red herring is a literary device that leads readers toward a false conclusion. Glancing at the title, I expected to read a thriller about a serial killer who had designated a specific time period for the Rampage.” She winked. “That’s definitely not the case here.”

A bit worried, I wondered if I was misleading my readers. Would they expect a thriller and be disappointed when my novel turned out to be a cozy?

She assured me that the title was well-suited to a cozy mystery that featured a brunette lottery winner as the primary suspect and four dead blondes killed during a two-week period. And she doubted that anyone would be disappointed at the end.

After our conversation, I decided to do more research into red herrings.

Several theories exist regarding the origin of the expression. Some believe that it refers to the use of a kipper (strong-smelling smoked fish) to train hounds to follow a scent. Another theory points to escaping convicts who used red herrings to throw off hounds in pursuit.

Many of the plots in Agatha Christie’s novels contain red herrings. In And Then There Were None, we assume a character who goes missing is the killer. Later, when his body is washed up onshore, we realize that his absence was a red herring that misled the other characters and the readers.

In The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown expertly uses the character of Bishop Aringarosa as a red herring throughout the novel. While reading, we can easily imagine him as the mastermind of the church conspiracy and are surprised when the real culprit is revealed. Intrigued by the bishop’s unusual surname, I probed further and learned that “Aringarosa” translates into English as “red herring.”

Another famous red herring example appears in The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. While walking through the Swiss mountains with Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson receives a message that an Englishwoman at their hotel is in urgent need of health care. He rushes back to the hotel and discovers there is no Englishwoman. The message was a red herring sent by the villain Professor James Moriarty as a ruse to isolate Sherlock Holmes at the edge of a cliff.

To keep my readers guessing while reading A Season for Killing Blondes, I introduced a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga teacher with anger management issues, a lecherous photographer, two “50something” mean girls, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

From the reviews, I gathered that I had succeeded in maintaining the readers’ interest until the final chapters. My favorite comes from The Romance Reviews: “A well-written, character-driven murder mystery that genuinely had me scratching my head until the very end wondering who dun’ it!?”

Do you have a favorite red herring to share?

 

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about JEALOUSY #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about JEALOUSY

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


I watched Jake’s crazy exterminator antics. Usually, most girls avoided killing the critters, not manly he-men. “You could try—”

Vicki Batman


The thought of her in bed with another man had the predictable effect of making him see red, jealousy twisting his gut into tight knots. Even though he hadn’t wanted her sexually in a long time, she was still his, God-dammit.

Jacquie Biggar


Both Conner and Jacob’s whistles split the air. Mercy scowled, and Daniel had to tamp down a flare of jealousy that surprised even him.

Claire Gem


Whenever I had thought of introducing the two men, I feared my feelings for David would provoke Carlo’s jealousy and lead to a break-up.

Joanne Guidoccio


”Do you always kiss your jockey, or just that one in particular?” Was he jealous?

Kathryn Jane


Mike almost laughed. Hard not to miss the sound of jealousy in her voice.

Marsha West


Nate smiled, and Sarah couldn’t help but stare at the red flush staining his cheeks. Should she be jealous of Miss Nell? Sarah was kind of silently joking and kind of not.

Sharon Wray


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONE DARK WISH and a Recipe for Strawberry Pie

JUNE BRINGS A PRE-ORDER LINK FOR ONE DARK WISH AND A RECIPE FOR STRAWBERRY PIE!

“Twisty plots, fantastic characters, and pitch-perfect pacing. Fabulous!” ―ALLISON BRENNANNew York Times bestselling author

Her life must be forfeit for his to be redeemed

Historian Sarah Munro is not used to being shot at, but that’s just what happens while she’s poking around cemeteries on Georgia’s Isle of Grace, searching for the key to a centuries-old cipher. Her quest has unwittingly drawn the attention of two deadly enemies intent on destroying each other―and anyone who gets in their way.

Ex–Green Beret Major Nate Walker is on a mission of his own: to restore the honor of his men. To do that, he is required to stop Sarah―or one of his own men will die. Caught in the middle of a deadly rivalry, Nate can’t afford to trust the woman standing in his way. But his heart says he can’t afford not to…

ONE DARK WISH, the second book in my Deadly Force series, is a fast-paced story filled with all the staples of a romantic suspense, including a race through the historic city of Savannah and discovering hidden tombs in a long-forgotten cemetery, as well as sexy times. Yet Nate and Sarah do have a few moments to pause, reflect, and figure out what to do next. I guess you could call these “dates”. lol

On one of these dates, Nate buys Sarah a slice of strawberry pie. Being from Boston, Sarah has never had a fruit pie that includes cointreau, kirsch, and whipped cream. And she falls in love. 🙂

I’ve included the recipe below for Sarah’s Strawberry Pie. I hope you love it, and ONE DARK WISH, as much as she does!

Strawberry Pie

1 9” pre-baked pie shell

2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

1 envelope plus 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin

¼ cup cold water

¾ cup warm water

1 cup sugar

¼ cup kirsch

1 Tablespoon Cointreau

Slice each berry into 3-4 lengthwise slices. Blend enough of the berries to make 1 cup of berry puree. Chill remaining berry slices.

In a small bowl, combine gelatin and cold water, stirring to dissolve. Set aside.

In a saucepan, add ¾ cup warm water and berry puree. Stir until mixture boils. Add sugar until dissolved and transfer puree to a medium bowl.

Add gelatin/water mixture to berry puree and stir until dissolved.

Strain berry puree through a fine-meshed strainer to remove seeds.

Partly fill a large bowl with ice and put medium bowl on top. Stir until mixture thickens into a syrup.

Stir in Kirsch, Cointreau, and the remaining chilled berry slices.

Mix well but gently and turn into the prepared pie shell. Chill for at least 4 hours.

Serve with whipped cream.


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her acclaimed debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

EVERY DEEP DESIRE is available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google

Adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about MURDER #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about MURDER

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


“You know that I’m a murderer? That I led my men into an ambush? I know the rumors, Sarah. I’m living the nightmare.”

Sharon Wray


I watched Jake’s crazy exterminator antics. Usually, most girls avoided killing the critters, not manly he-men. “You could try—”

Vicki Batman


He read the headline. Who names a killer the ABC Murderer? Was he an escapee from Sesame Street out to do in the Alphabet Gang? But one glance at the shocked and stony faces in front of him and he knew this was serious.

Jacquie Biggar


Sometimes he wears headphones, and if he’s alone he’s got the volume up so damned loud he can’t hear me if I scream bloody murder.

Claire Gem


“You heard Bob last night. To most of them, I’m still Meanie, capable of almost anything. Even murder.” Tears stung her eyelids.

Joanne Guidoccio


He wanted her dead. And he was more than capable of murder.

Kathryn Jane


He needed a Brutus-sized cold one at the end of the day, but he’d have to wait. He had a job to do, a murder to solve.

S.A.Taylor
Shutter (work in progress)


“I thought it would be funny. I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was a murder weapon.”

Marsha West