Happily Ever Afters Are Just A Book Away

Happily Ever Afters Are Just A Book Away

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Release Day

Today's release day for Gambling on the Outlaw.

Happy Book Birthday to my book baby!

For those of you who have had a book release, you know how it feels: joy and terror all wrapped up in one.

Will anyone buy it?

Will it tank?

All that hard work, I hope people like it.

What if they don't?

It's all the standard artist angst, but it's real, especially in a world where there are thousands of new books and it's really easy to get lost in all the noise.

Today, however, I'm going to try to put that worry aside and be happy to see my book baby out in the world, and proud of the characters, story, and accomplishment!

Thank you all for joining me today. If you're an author, I hope you get to experience the excitement of release day for yourself. If you're a reader, I hope you appreciate how much your enthusiasm keeps authors going!

Now, go check out Gambling on the Outlaw, where sometimes, everything can ride on one high stakes game of chance...


Monday, June 22, 2015

Daily Dose - Anne Conley Cover Reveal

Anne Conley is my guest blogger today.

But before I turn it over to her, don't forget tomorrow is release day for Gambling on the Outlaw!

Don't forget to join the Facebook release party here:  JOIN HERE!

Hope to see you there!

And now...ANNE CONLEY!

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Series:Pierce Securities Book 2
Author:Anne Conley
Release Date: June 29th

Blurb:   Evan Rocco has been a hero to Paige Lawson for as long as she could remember. So when she runs into him in a bar after a major professional coup, she’s feeling celebratory and reckless. But it can’t go anywhere, because after all, he’s Evan Rocco. When she finds her gaming company in trouble, there’s only one man she can turn to. Evan can’t get the woman who disappeared after their one-night-stand six months ago out of his head. He’d honestly thought there was more between them besides just sex—a connection he’d never felt before. When PSL, his favorite game software company is the victim of sabotage, he jumps at the chance to help them solve the mystery behind The Crimson Lady, the fan-made character who’s taking credit for murder. Maybe it will get his mind off the woman of his dreams. When he realizes who the CEO of PSL actually is, he has to get over his own issues or else he’ll put the one woman in danger he never wanted to hurt. This is book two in the Pierce Securities series, a stand-alone story. The first book, while not necessary to read, is Craze.

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As usual, her voice came out husky and choked when she tried to speak to him. “I’ll see you first thing Monday morning. Promise. But I can’t talk about this now.” She motioned to Emily, and Evan nodded but didn’t move. Jeez, he was so close.   They made small talk, and Paige actually found herself flirting with him a little, relaxing, while the line moved at a snail’s pace to the haunted house. She found out Travis was a neighbor whose parents traveled a lot. Evan also told her things she already knew: he had a brother in the Marines, his parents had retired to Montana to raise horses, lots of superficial stuff. She told him about her father taking her to haunted houses when she was a kid while her scaredy cat sister had stayed home with Mom. She mentioned her parents were dead, but didn’t give the details. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. Dressed casually, he reminded her of the first time they’d met. He wore a black t-shirt and worn jeans along with the oldest pair of Converse she’d ever seen. His hair was mussed, as if he’d spent a long day at work, running his hands through it like a crazed man. With her constant avoidance of him, he probably had. A pang of remorse hit her hard. She hadn’t made this easy for him. It was time for her to step up and take responsibility. She’d hired him to do a job, and she needed to get over her school-girl crush and help him. But it was really hard with him staring at her like that.   She could always blame the teenagers for her inappropriate thoughts. They were walking, talking, flirting hormones on legs. By the time they’d made it to the door, Travis had Emily’s phone number and they’d already made a date and were holding hands. She was positive that if she and Evan hadn’t been there they’d be making out. The teenagers that is, not them. Even though she’d relaxed quite a bit, her heart was still letting her know he was standing awfully close to her. They went in like a train, with Travis volunteering to lead. Emily hung on to his belt loops followed by Paige. Bringing up the rear, one of Evan’s hands dropped protectively to her back. She ignored the warmth trickling through her t-shirt at the contact. Her heart pounded and her hands were clammy, but it wasn’t because of the fog, or the spooky lighting, or the clanging noises, or the zombies jumping out. It was all Evan Rocco, holding onto her.   As far as haunted houses went, this one was disappointing, or maybe she just couldn’t get into it with Evan’s breath on her neck, his hand at her waist, or his other hand snaking around her torso. The further inside they went, the closer they got. Travis was at the front of the line, jumping with every zombie clown that popped out, giving her ample warning of spooky things ahead. By the halfway point, Evan’s arms were around her torso, with her own hands clutching him while they walked in sync together, his hot breath on her neck warming her insides At one particularly dark corner, Evan yanked her backward into an alcove, pushing her into the darkness. He leaned his forehead on hers while his forearms leaned on the wall on either side of her head, caging her in, keeping her from bolting. “You have any idea how many times I’ve thought of this since April?” His body crowded her into the tiny, dark space while his minty breath sent her senses reeling. “Haunted houses?” she offered weakly before his mouth met hers.   It was suddenly as if the puzzle piece she lost six months ago had been put back into place, and she melted into him as his tongue triumphed over the recesses of her mouth. He growled, a predatory rumble emanating from his chest that reminded her of that night last April, and she whimpered against him as he hauled her into his embrace, wrapping his arms around her tightly. His tongue danced with hers, twining around inside her mouth while his hands roamed her body, cupping her ass. She twirled her fingers in his hair, bringing his mouth closer, fusing it with hers, unwilling to break this kiss which was rapidly undoing her—mind, body, and soul. As her fingertips clutched desperately at his biceps, she marveled at how someone who was every bit as geeky as she was could be so fucking beautiful, because Evan Rocco was a seriously beautiful man. And this kiss was feral, something wild, causing her to throw caution to the wind and go with it for as long as it lasted. Evan broke the kiss, leaning his forehead on hers again, his dark brown eyes consuming her. “Paige,” he breathed out ragged gulps of air. “What the fuck is happening?”

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Be sure you don't miss out on this release, and be sure to stay up-to-date with Anne. Join her mailing list, follow/friend her on facebook, twitter, and her blog, where you can read first chapters and find purchase links... Newsletter sign up: http://www.anneconley.com/p/contact.html Amazon's Anne Conley page: http://amzn.to/1FkJagc Friend Anne Conley on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anne.conley.752 Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/anneconleyauthor Twitter: @anneconley10 Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/anneconley/ Her blog and website: www.anneconley.com
Craze: Book One:
craze cover 6

Book One in the Pierce Securities series, Craze, is available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and most other online retailers.   When Krista catches her boss doing the unthinkable, the only thing she can do is run. Straight into the arms of the eye-candy she’s been trying not to flirt with on her lunch break. But whose side is he on? Ryan’s security firm is having a hard time getting off the ground, and this may be just the job to help the company out. But pseudo-bounty hunter isn’t really what Pierce Securities is trying to get a name for. When he finds out their target is the classy lady from the park, all of Ryan’s senses go on high alert. What do these men want with her? Krista is forced into Ryan’s sanctuary in the woods, where she realizes just how wild he is, but she doesn’t want to tame him. He may feel his methods of protection endangered her, but without Krista in his life, Ryan is crazed. This is book #1 in the Pierce Securities, a Romantic Suspense series by Anne Conley, author of the Stories of Serendipity and The Four Winds.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Daily Dose: A Little Tease

Only three more days until the release of Gambling on the Outlaw!

Today, I have a little tease for you. This is from Beth, thinking about Isaac:

         Although I wanted very much to shift from the rocker to the edge of the bed and assist him with his breakfast, perhaps feeding him bits of bread with creamy butter that he'd have to lick from my fingertips, I opted for maintaining at least a modicum of decency and kept my rear end rooted to the chair. I suspected where Mr. Isaac Collins was concerned, me and my good sense were in a heap of trouble, because my body had clearly declared war on us.

Don't forget to join me for my Facebook launch party on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. central standard time (CST)!  Here's the LINK to join. Hope to see you there!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Daily Dose: Meet the Author

Gambling on the Outlaw releases in four days. Needless to say, I'm excited!

Yesterday, I introduced you to the characters in the book. 

Today, I'm going to introduce you to myself.

Name:  Margaret Madigan

Zodiac Sign:  Pisces

Chinese Zodiac:  Horse

Spirit Animal:  Bunny (it's kind of a long story...)

Okay, fine, I'll tell it. When my oldest son was a toddler, Hubby started calling him Monkey-boy because he was wild and always climbing on everything. Our daughter became Mousey-girl because she was born bald and her ears stuck out and she looked like Feivel's sister on An American Tail. Our youngest son became Froggie-boy because when he was a baby he had a big frog-like mouth, and when he was a toddler, he squatted down like a frog. I'm a bunny because Hubs always called me Snugglebunny (I know it's sappy, get over it). Hubs is a panda because he likes them. lol.

Favorite Color:  green  (more in the sage range than, say, the forest green range)

Favorite flower(s)  Lilac, Freesia, Carnation

Introvert or Extrovert:  So incredibly introvert.

Favorite Food:  I have a love/hate relationship with carbs. I love to eat them, but my waistline hates them. However, my favorite foods are donuts, cheesecake, pancakes, breakfast cereal. Bacon's pretty high on the list, too.Oh, and I like raspberries.

Favorite Book:  The Gunslinger, by Stephen King. I love the whole series (except book 4...sorry Steve), but the first is my favorite.
Favorite Movie:  I can't pick just one, so here's my top five:

             Galaxy Quest
             Mr. and Mrs. Smith
             Jurassic Park
             Back to the Future
(I'm a movie junkie. Picking only five was seriously painful. Any other day, the five might be different.)

Favorite TV series: Again, I'm a TV junkie, too, so I'm going to try to narrow to five:

            Stargate SG-1
            The Walking Dead
            Breaking Bad

(anyone else find it ironic that I write romance, yet my favorite books, movies, and TV series are all scifi and action???)

Favorite Music:  I'm actually not a big music fan. I listen to it while I write, but just as background to block out noise. I try to match the genre of music to the genre I'm writing, but overall I don't have favorite bands or songs or genres. I told someone recently I don't listen to music while I drive, and they looked at me like I'd spoke a foreign language.

           - You're going to scratch your head here, but I'm terrified of balloons (inflated ones).  I don't know
           why, but seriously, I have to leave the room if there's a balloon in it.
          - Spiders. This requires no explanation, because--spiders.
          - Open heights. Being in a plane is no biggie, being up high in the open--terrifying
          - Big crowds. I freak out being at the mall in the holiday shopping season.

Secret Fears:

         - As an author, that nobody will buy my work, or that nobody will like it. But I think that's a fear
           all authors share.
        - Personally, I fear I'll get to the end of my life and not have accomplished all the things I want to. The
          older I get, the more I realize how damn short life is, and how fast is speeds by.

What makes me sad:

        - My kids growing up and leaving the house. I'm happy they're embarking on the adventure of their
           lives, but God, I miss them.
        - Hatred. There's so much of it in the world right now. I don't understand why.
        - That humans can't seem to be good stewards for the planet. Mother Nature's running out of patience,
           and I doubt we'll like it when she finally says enough is enough.

What makes me happy:


       - My friends, Hubby, kids.
       - My cat Rufus.
       - When I'm writing and the words and scenes flow. It's the most amazing high.
       - Springtime when everything is lush and green and full of life and hope.
       - Carbs.
       - Money. Shallow, I know, but there were a lot of years we couldn't pay the bills, so having enough
         money to pay the bills is such a blessing.

If I could live anywhere in the world, where?

     - I think I'd like to try living somewhere in Scandinavia. Not only is it beautiful, but they're politically,
       socially, and culturally progressive and responsible. I think that would be refreshing.

If I could have any superpower, what would it be?

      - My top three would be: healing, mind reading, teleportation

If I could have any skill or talent I don't already have, what would it be?

      - I'd like to be able to paint.

If I could meet any historical figure, who would I choose?

     - Top three would be Leonardo Da Vinci, Elizabeth I of England, Buddha



So, that's me in a nutshell. If I left anything out, feel free to ask.  I'd love to get to know all of you, so share some things about yourself in the comments!



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Daily Dose - Cast of Gambling on the Outlaw

A while back, I did a post on casting your book. Leading up to the release of Gambling on the Outlaw (only 6 days away...eeep!), I thought it might fun to show you the cast of the book.

Isaac Collins is our hero. He's dark and brooding with a shady past. He's been a Civil War soldier, a hired gun, and a cowboy.

This is the model for Isaac. He doesn't look very cowboyish, but the face and hair were what I was going for.

I don't know who this guy is, but he's the model for Isaac

Beth Caldwell is the heroine. She's a gambler's widow who has settled down in Palmer, Nevada to make a life for herself following her husband's death. She's feisty and independent. She works as a midwife.

Again, I have no idea who this is, but she's always been my model for Beth

Clay Dearborn is the antagonist. He's the local cattle baron who wants Beth's land, and who's managed to place the blame on Isaac for a stagecoach robbery and murder of the passengers. Clay's not a nice man.

Clay Dearborn
Clay Dearborn

Although Frank's dead, he plays a large part in Beth's past. He was her first love. He was a gambler and card sharp--smooth, charismatic, clever. In this pic NPH isn't dressed in period clothes, he's still how I imagine Frank.

Frank Caldwell

Silas Devol is a gambler from Frank and Beth's past who shows up to collect on a debt Frank owed him. I imagine him as squatter and rounder than this, but this pic is good for the overall character.

Silas Devol
Silas Devol

Gil Dawson is the sheriff who's pretty much in Clay Dearborn's back pocket.

Gil Dawson
Gil Dawson
Because she knows what it's like to be an outsider, Beth has taken in some of the misfit women in town who don't fit anywhere else. Daisy is an ex-prostitute. She'll be the heroine of book three.

christina hendricks hair - Google Search
Daisy Meadows

Lydia is the school teacher who was abandoned at the alter. She'll be the heroine of book two.

Lydia Templeton

Nellie is a Paiute woman was raped by a white man and left pregnant. She'll be the heroine of book four.

Lemhi-Shoshone woman and descendant of Sacajawea, Willow Jack, wrapped in a striped wool trade blanket at the Fort Hall Reservation, Idaho. Marilyn Angel Wynn photography
Nellie Howling Wolf

That's it! Those are the major players, some of whom will be back in book two (which releases in October, btw).


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Release Spotlight: A Dom for Patti by Elodie Parkes


When a fleeting encounter with a handsome stranger ignites Patti’s repressed loneliness, she has to admit she longs for the love of a sensual Dom.

Luck is on her side when she goes out for the evening, and meets delicious Cameron in The Club—but is he all that he appears to be?

Cameron’s overwhelming attraction to Patti is tested when she inexplicably fails to show up for a date—just what is going on and will they ever get together?

An erotic romance, with Dom/sub and spanking elements—a contemporary, magical love story.



The scene with her tonight enchanted him. He glanced over to where she was dressing.
Patti struggled with the zip of her dress. 

Cameron went to her. He fastened her dress and ran his hand along the nape of her neck, turning her to face him.

Cameron’s heart filled with hope at Patti’s tender smile. He handed her shoes over. “Here you go.” 

Patti took them. “Thank you, Sir.”

He watched her balance to put them on for a moment before scooping her up and helping as she laughed and clutched his shoulders. Walking with her in his arms, he deposited her on a barstool. “I’d like it very much if you’d call me Cameron.”

She nodded. Her thick blonde hair shone in the light from the bar. The white strip lights reflected in the mirror tiles at the back of the bar sent streaks glistening as she pushed her hair from her face and nodded in agreement. “Yes, Sir.”

Cameron hardened his expression. “I expect you to do as I say, even though our scene is over. I’ve asked you to call me by my name. It will be great if you’d do that.” He turned to the bartender. “Coffee for me, thanks.” He looked at Patti for her order.

She sat sideways on the stool, turned toward him. “For me too. Thank you, Cameron.”
Just how much he enjoyed hearing his name from her lips sent a spike of surprise through him. He stared into her chocolate brown eyes as he pulled the next barstool along and sat to face her. For a whole minute, he drank in the sight of her. With her small rounded nose, the pretty shape of her face, and those oh so kissable lips slightly parted as if she waited for his mouth on hers—she was just right. He gave in to the sweet temptation of her mouth and leaned over to kiss her. 

Cameron breathed in the soft scent of her skin as his nose pressed against her cheek. Her response to his kiss sent him hurtling into desire so strong he pushed his hand up between her thighs and his fingertips traced the shape of her slit through the soft fabric of her panties.

A low groan escaped him. He broke away from the kiss. “If you have no Master or wish for a more permanent Dom, I’m inclined to apply for the vacancy.” He murmured the words as he gazed into Patti’s eyes. “I will expect your fidelity. I can’t share you, unless you’re desperate to have a ménage, and then I’ll choose the third partner in our sexual pleasure. I don’t do pain, so fair warning. I do spank when you really ask for punishment by continued disobedience and if it makes you wet…” He stopped talking for a moment as he saw a fleeting emotion in her eyes and knew it did make her wet, and then continued. “I will want some extended scenes with some restraint you’re comfortable with, so that I can fully appreciate your sexy little body and response to my attention—I will take care of you. What do you think?”

Copyright Elodie Parkes 2015 Evernight Publishing

Interview with Cameron

1. If you were a dessert, what would you be? 

Chocolate ice cream cake with a drizzle of coffee liqueur

2. What is it like being a personal trainer?

I enjoy seeing people achieve their goals and becoming happier with themselves. I travel with them sometimes, if they’re a movie star or model trying to get back into shape, and that can be fun.

3. What do you do when you need to blow off steam? 

I own a fitness center with my brother so I work out and sometimes I’ll take off on a rock-climbing spree.

4. What do you look for in a woman?

Gentleness, intelligence, a sense of humor, sexiness, courage, beautiful eloquent eyes

5. What’s your favorite sex toy?

Mmm, let me think for a moment … okay well all kinds of vibrators and lubes are great because I can give my lady more pleasure

6. The blurb for A Dom for Patti mentions spanking, can we expect some in the story and do you enjoy spanking?

(Laughs) I’ve never been spanked per se, although Patti has dared to slap me on the ass as I pass naked, which I loved and had to kiss her loads to reassure her it was okay. I spank her because it makes her wet, but I don’t put my strength behind it. I do it for her to give her pleasure not to hurt. Frankly, I’d be devastated if I hurt her. I cherish her—she’s mine and we both know it, but that means I take care of her. 

7. Tell us a little about Patti.

She works in fashion. She’s pretty, small, slender, and fits over my shoulder. (Smiles) She’s sexy, clever, interesting, luscious … let’s stop this before I start craving her kiss.

8. So, this is a love story?

It sure is. It’s hot, sexy, and there’s a journey, but it’s all worth it.

giveaway (1)

About the Author3
Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal, fantasy, or suspense. Her books are always steamy. Her tag is, Cool stories: Hot love scenes.

Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.

She has also released titles as an individual indie author.

Elodie only ever wears boots. (Yes, even in summer) She has three bachelor degrees because she couldn’t make up her mind what she wanted to do, and even then she got two Grad Dips in different subjects, naughty Elodie. 

Elodie loves: 

Music (her nickname at work is Melody Elodie because she’s often singing), the countryside, the ocean, animals, gorgeous men, technology, art, stockings and garter belts, movies, and potatoes, in any order. Elodie is addicted to black leather jackets, and faded jeans, and owns so many she’s ashamed to count them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Daily Dose: Day Five - Gambling

Gambling on the Outlaw does, indeed, include gamblers, gambling themes, and games of chance.

Beth, the heroine, is a gambler's widow. She and her husband, Frank, followed the games, playing from St. Louis to California, and finally to Nevada, where she settles after Frank is killed by another player when he's accused of cheating at a game. Beth wants to make a life for herself in Nevada, but the excitement of the circuit is still in her blood, so when opportunity presents itself, she just can't resist.

Excerpt (from the hero, Isaac's, POV):

Inside the saloon, the thick tang of cigar smoke and the jangle of a cheap piano filled the air, and I found a completely different Beth. Despite the men’s clothes and her admitted dirty state, she’d sauntered into the midst of the poker tables and without a shred of shame she worked those men. She smiled and tossed her blond hair and laughed a sweet, sexy laugh that made all my male parts—and by the looks of it those of the rest of the men in the room—stand up and take notice.
            She approached a table with a game underway, resting her arm on one man’s shoulder and leaned over the table. Since I was behind her all I could see was her ripe little bottom on display in those pants, but all the men in front of her were privy to her other ripe parts on display.

            “So boys, how about you deal me in for a hand?”
            “Darlin’, this game is for men. You wouldn’t be able to handle it,” one man said. He puffed on his cigar with a smug smirk on his face. Beth’s spine stiffened just enough so I noticed, though I was probably the only one. Then she put on a bit of a pout.
            “What’s the matter, sweetheart? You afraid?”
            He could see he was stuck. If he turned her away, everyone’d think he was yellow. If he allowed her to play, he looked like he’d been played by a girl. Which he had. I figured he’d better get used to it because it didn’t look like she was done yet. 
            He grunted which passed as permission. “No skin off my nose. Maybe it’ll teach you where women belong.” His mood had gone from smug to grumpy. 
            “And where would that be?” Beth asked as she grabbed a chair from another table and squeezed it into the space the rest of the men had made by scooting over. 
            “In the kitchen or in bed waiting for their men.” 
            I smiled to myself and grabbed a chair of my own, settling in behind Beth where I could watch the action. If I knew Beth at all, she’d teach him a lesson or two.

Gambling was considered a respectable profession for most of the 19th century, but as the west opened up and with the advent of the gold and mining, and the era of the great cattle drives, places like Deadwood, Silver City, Tombstone, Abilene, Dodge City, and Wichita developed reputations for being lawless, dangerous places, in large part because of the elements associated with gambling.

Wild Bill Hickok
All of these places became associated with some of the most famous names in Western history. Wild Bill Hickok was shot to death as he sat at a poker table (the hand he held - 8's and aces - has become the stuff of legend). Ben Thompson, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Luke Short were all bigger than life names that are still familiar to this day.

Dead Man's Hand

Gamblers, cowboys, and lawmen are the most enduring characters from the Old West, and the ones that fascinate us enough to keep us reading stories and watching movies about them!

What's your favorite Western story?