Thursday, August 14, 2014

Janet Eaves shares her Sweet, But Sexy story!

Today is the last author in our 8 authors, 8 book Sweet, But Sexy boxed set features! Welcome, Janet Eaves!

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your blog! I’m very excited to be a part of the SWEET, but SEXY Boxed Set, published through Turquoise Morning Press.

It is always thrilling to work with other authors on a project, so I am so delighted to team up with Maddie James, Jennifer Johnson, Constance Phillips, Jennifer Anderson, Amie Denman, Magdalena Scott, and Jan Scarbrough to be a part of his sweet collection of romance novels.

My contribution, CROSSROADS, (a Ladies of Legend series novella) is about a young woman who faced many trials and tribulations in her young life. Raised by the town whore, Sharon Clark made some pretty bad choices of her own, but, by example, a mentor gave her hope for a better life outside of the quaint little town of Legend, Tennessee.

Unfortunately, Sharon went from the frying pan into the fire by quickly marrying a man who had his own agenda in taking her and her unborn child in. Even after giving it her best, she now finds herself once again in need of a change. Destitute and at a crossroads, Sharon reluctantly accepts the inheritance gift of a home from the now deceased mentor, and returns to Legend to search for a job to sustain her and her son until she can figure out what to do next. But once there, she must once again face the realities of her past, and decide if the wonderful man who hired her, is worth risking her heart… all over again.

A single mother returns to a small Tennessee town in this Ladies of Legend novella. Despite the length constraints, Eaves crafts believable settings and characters. Not only is this a quick read, but it works successfully as a stand-alone story.”    Karen Sweeny-Justice,  RT Book Reviews (September 2014 edition)

Excerpt:
8:00 a.m. Courtroom 204, Memphis Municipal Court
“As to the matter of spousal support, the petitioner’s request is denied. Ms. Gilbert, given your statement that you have been the one to maintain the family income without expectation of support from Mr. Gilbert during the course of the marriage, it is the determination of this court that spousal support is unwarranted.
“As to the matter of child support, the petitioner’s request is warranted and therefore granted. Even though you state, Mr. Gilbert, that the minor, Kyle Gilbert, is not your biological child, he was born while you and Mrs. Gilbert were legally married and you have represented yourself as his father since. Therefore it is the determination of this court that you will pay child support at the standard percentage rate until midnight the date before the child turns eighteen years of age. Have proof of your income to my clerk this afternoon at the latest.”
The judge turned to his bailiff. ”Who’s next?”
****
10:30 a.m. The Cock and Crow Sports Bar and Grill
“I’m sorry, Sharon, you’ve been great, and dependable, and I’ll be happy to write you a letter of recommendation, but I have no choice. We aren’t making enough to stay open. I’m really sorry but you’re out of a job just like the rest of us.”
****
2:10 p.m. 2120 Pricilla Street, Apartment 310
“Look, I’m sorry, but your husband signed the letter of Intent to Vacate a month ago. I’ve already rented the apartment. You have to be out by the end of the month. I know that’s only a couple of days away and I’m sorry about that too, but it’s done. I assumed you knew Mr. Gilbert released the apartment.”
****
"What's that?"
Sharon looked at the envelope she still held out in front of her and shrugged. "I'm not sure. It's from a lady I knew a long time ago."
For the first time since entering the apartment he actually looked at her. "Are you going to open it?"
Sharon stared at him helplessly before she nodded and quickly slid her finger under the sealed flap then winced when it sliced her fingertip. She stuck it between her lips for only a second before opening the flap.
"It's a letter," she said, shaking out the single page with one hand while returning the burning finger to her mouth.
"Duh!"
Sharon silently counted to ten then focused on the letter with the staple in the upper left hand corner that held a business card against the letter’s back. Ms. Addie's large script had always made her think the woman sang songs in her head while writing.
"What's it say?"
Sharon glanced up without moving her head. Given his attitude she wanted to tell him it wasn't addressed to him, but since he rarely if ever expressed interest in anything she decided to read it out loud.
“My Dearest Sharon,
It has been such a long time since I last laid eyes on you, but I am sure you are as beautiful now as you were all those years ago. I, on the other hand, have dwindled with age and heart illness these last few years."
Sharon's eyes filled, remembering how robust and healthy Ms. Addie was the last time she'd seen her. She cleared her throat and continued, "But God has blessed me with a very long and fruitful life and blessed me with more than I deserved by the people He brought into my life. You were most definitely one of His greatest blessings, as well as mine."
Warmth surrounded Sharon as if Ms. Addie's arms were encircling her. Hugs were something Ms. Addie had always had in abundance, and she was the only person in Sharon's young life who ever bothered to make her feel worthy.
She sniffed and continued reading. "I'm writing you this letter today because I may not be able to tomorrow. I grow weaker by the day and know the Good Lord is about to call me home. I'm ready. Although many of the children who came to live with me for a period of time thought I lived in a mansion, I know the one waiting for me will make this place look like a shack in comparison.
My poor grand-nephew will inherit this monstrosity as long as he's willing to take care of my cats, (He'll be so mad to learn that! Ha!) but I have other properties to disperse as well, and I have a special one just for you."
Sharon was torn between amusement at Ms. Addie's wicked sense of humor and the heart thumping anticipation of what was to come. She glanced up at Kyle, seeing he too was intrigued with the missive. She cleared her throat again, more loudly this time.
"There is a little cabin up on the mountain overlooking Legend Lake my husband took me to the night we were married. At the time it was owned by someone else, and we just rented it for that one night. But years later my love bought it for me as an anniversary present, and though it has stood empty all these many years, I made sure it was well tended and properly maintained. The appliances are old but functional. The plumbing recently updated. But it is yours, dear. Free and clear. To do with as you will.
I know you couldn't get away from Legend fast enough all those years ago, and understandably so, but I also know the heart sometimes leads us back home. If you don't want it, sell it. But if you do, you know you will always have a home to come back to. You can contact my lawyer at your convenience. His card is attached.
I know you are going to wonder why so many years have passed between my getting to meet my Maker and you receiving this gift. That, my dear, is because I know you. And I know you are not yet ready to consider coming back to Legend.
I'm tired now, and my hand grows weak, but I want to tell you one more thing. Whatever life brings, grab the good stuff and let the other stuff go. Even as many years as I have been given, it really was all over in just a blink of the eye.
Be well, my lovely. Be well.
Addie"
Sharon didn't realize she was crying until Kyle's arms were suddenly around her. She inhaled the scent of him and, for the first time in a very long time, remembered she was loved.
 ***

THE SWEET, BUT SEXY BOXED SET -- still available for $0.99!
Get yours now at Amazon and these online retailers~



Amazon Best Selling Author of the Ladies of Legend series and Unforgettable Heroes boxed set, Janet Eaves is a wife of more than three and a half decades, a mother of two, a grandmother of one (unless you count her grand-pup – then two). She lives in the beautiful Tennessee countryside where she watches deer, rabbits, and other wildlife from her gazebo office while spinning tales. Currently, Janet has seven Ladies of Legend stories out, and is sure more will come in the future, as well as other books she’s written off and on over the years. CROSSROADS is her newest release, and she was happy to include it in this boxed set.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jennifer Johnson and her Sweet, But Sexy story, DOUBLE DOG DARE

I'm pleased to have Jennifer Johnson on my blog today and doubly pleased to feature her book, Double Dog Dare! (which I have to say is one of my favorite all time books!) Hello, Jennifer!

Hello, I’m Jennifer Johnson, and I’m excited my book DoubleDog Dare is part of the Sweet, But Sexy boxed set.

Double Dog Dare came about from a game I like to play called “What If.” I’d heard a song about a woman who wakes up next to a man she doesn’t know because she drank too much the night before. Although it was a catchy tune, good girl me, thought, Wow! That’s something I’d never do. But then I thought what if a good girl like me did wake up in a hotel room next to some guy she didn’t know? How could that possibly happen?

Hence the story of Double Dog Dare.

Each chapter begins with a quotation from a famous children’s book. And Cheris, the heroine, spouts lines from old movies when she gets nervous. Geoff, the hero, grew up a child prodigy and now spends most of his nights stargazing, that is, until he meets Cheris.
This is a story about the healing redemption of love, even love at first sight.

Romancing the Book rated it 5 stars: “Double Dog Dare is a charming read filled with memorable characters, lots of laughs, and tons of fun.”

Romancing the Books says, “Double Dog Dare is a sweet and funny contemporary story. I enjoyed it very much and had many opportunities to smile and laugh. If you love a heartwarming story about falling in love, Then I dare you — double dog dare you even, to get yourself a copy of this great book.”
  
Who is Jennifer Johnson?

I am a writer.

I write contemporary romantic fiction.

I aspire to be Wonder Woman with the awesome leotard and the criminal-fighting boots on some days.

On other days, I am Wonder Woman with my lasso of Truth and my no-nonsense-pursuit of justice.

I live in the South across the river from the Mid-west. I'm married to Super Man with a Tony Stark mind. We have Wonder/Super children and a bionic dog. All in all, it's a comic book kind of life.

https://twitter.com/BooksbyJennifer


***
Remember, you can get Double Dog Dare at Amazon and other online book retailers. But if you want to get a really special deal, pick it up in the Sweet, But Sexy boxed set. It's a steal at only 99 cents and you get to sample 7 other authors (including me!)

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | IBOOKSALL ROMANCE EBOOKS SMASHWORDS | TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS

Did you know also that there is a giveaway? Look!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jan Scarbrough's SECRETS is part of the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set!

How was she going to keep her secret? It had been with her like a living thing for twenty-one years.

I’m glad Secrets is included in the Turquoise Morning Press Sweet But Sexy boxed set along with stories from other fine TMP authors. The book was special to me, because as I wrote it, I reflected on my teen and young adult relationship with my mother. We were friends at her passing, but not without changes on both our parts.

A “sweet” romance, Secrets is a book my mother would have liked. In fact, she told all her blue-haired lady friends that the “editor” wrote the love scene in my first romance. And it was really tame!

Secrets Blurb
With her daughter all grown up and married, single mom Kelly Baron can start her new life in North Carolina, responsible only for herself. But first she must help her mother by returning to the small Indiana town she fled years ago.

Newly divorced lawyer, Rob Scott, seeks solace in his small-town roots. The last thing he’s looking for is a relationship—until he runs into Kelly, and the secret she’s been keeping from him for twenty-one years.

Review
The Romance Studio’s 2011 CAPA Award Nominee for excellence in romantic fiction

“In a nutshell, this sweet romance speaks to those who fear, those who hide truths, and those who have lost hope and yet somehow hope to find it. Jan Scarbrough rewards with romance and redemption and her next endeavor is eagerly awaited.” The Romance Reviews

An excerpt:

Chapter One 
Seneca Park
Louisville, Kentucky

 “Kelly, will you marry me?”

Heat swept Kelly Baron’s face, and it had nothing to do with the warm June day. Choking back dismay, she stared at the kneeling man at her feet. “For goodness sakes, Thomas, stand up.”

Thomas struggled to his feet and sat down beside her on the park bench. His normally flushed face was peppered with sweat, and he had an expectant look in his eyes. “I’m serious,” he said, fumbling in his pocket and withdrawing a small, black velvet box. “Dead serious.” He lifted the lid.

Secured inside the box was a spectacular princess-cut diamond solitaire set in a white gold, cathedral setting. Kelly was somewhat of an expert about diamond engagement rings because of her daughter’s recent wedding, but she never expected Thomas Dunlap to offer her one, let alone one that looked to be the size of a carat.

Kelly focused on the beautiful ring, avoiding the conflicting emotions whirling in her head and the warning bells ringing in her ears.

Her usually reticent suitor became assertive and removed the ring from its box. “Here. Try it on.”

Before Kelly could demur, Thomas grabbed her left hand and slipped the ring on the third finger.

“It’s too big,” were the only words she could force from her dry lips.

“That’s no problem,” Thomas said, bending over her hand. She could see the thinning spot of hair at the top of his head. He slid the ring up and down on her finger, and then raised his eyes. “We can get it sized to fit. What do you think?”

“It’s lovely.”

“No, about marrying me.”

That again. Panic set in. It’s not that Kelly didn’t like Thomas. They had been dating since his divorce. He was an elementary school principal in Jefferson County, and she taught fifth grade in a local Catholic school. They liked to walk for exercise, go to Broadway Series plays, and eat Italian. They had a lot in common. But she had never, ever considered marrying anybody, not even when she’d been pregnant with C.B. and needed to get married in the worst way.

“I’m not sure it’s the right time,” Kelly mumbled, looking at the way a thin strand of salt and pepper hair fell across his forehead.
….

Time for a forced smile. Did she want to spend the rest of her life with Thomas Dunlap? Become Mrs. Thomas Dunlap? No. For one thing, if she ever married, she would keep her maiden name. She would never succumb to an out-of-date tradition. And besides, she was too self-reliant, too used to doing what she pleased with only her daughter and her aunt to put her life in the hands of another.

But Aunt Bess was dead and C.B. was married. Thomas was right. She was free.

“This is such a surprise. Will you let me think about it?” She hated the timid note that crept into her voice. Slowly, Kelly disengaged her hands and withdrew the sparkling ring from her finger. It was too much bling. It was too much pressure. She handed it back to him. “You know I don’t do change well.”

Thomas slid the ring back into its protective velvet box. He had the look of a man receiving a death sentence. I hate to hurt his feelings. She hadn’t quite told him “no,” but she hadn’t said “yes.” If the situation were reversed, she’d feel like shit.

“You have a habit of avoiding things,” he said with a sharp shake of his finger, reprimanding her as if she was a six-year-old caught hitting another child on the playground. “It’s a character flaw you need to work on.”

Kelly shifted on the park bench. Thomas was always too blunt. That was his character flaw. She pressed her right hand hard against the bench and fought down her annoyance.

Yet could Thomas be right?

Twenty-one years ago she had avoided telling C.B.’s father she was pregnant, but that was because his mother had found out they were secretly dating and warned her away from him. She made it perfectly clear her son had a future that didn’t include a small town girl from the wrong side of the tracks. It was evident she went behind her son’s back because he never said anything about his mother’s interference. Probably her husband didn’t even know about her scare tactics.

But his mother was right. When they talked about life after high school, he made it clear he didn’t intend to end up in a small town like his father. He intended to go places, be important. Kelly was never part of that future he painted for himself.

When she found out she was pregnant, Kelly couldn’t tell him. He didn’t love her. He would reject her and their child.

And so once Kelly started keeping the secret, she had never revealed the truth to anyone, especially not her own father, who had threatened to beat it out of her and confront the boy and his parents. It was just as easy to avoid telling her mother, who could be bullied by her husband, and later C.B., who accepted life without a father. Leaving her hometown and moving to Louisville put distance between her and the problem.

Thomas cleared his throat. “I won’t wait forever,” he told her.

“Of course not.” Kelly shook off the memories and touched his sleeve. How did she soften her response? “I just need time to process this. Please?”

He kissed her then—a typical Thomas kiss with lips pressed firmly shut and eyes closed. Kelly responded, as always, timidly, tepidly—trying to deny the longing in her heart for the love of her life—someone who cherished her, didn’t want to change her and loved her just the way she was.

Someone she was too afraid to find.

Jan Scarbrough Bio
Jan Scarbrough is the author of the popular Bluegrass Reunion series, writing heartwarming contemporary romances about home and family, single moms and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion--horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.

Jan also contributes to the Ladies of Legend series, collaborating with writers Maddie James, Janet Eaves and Magdalena Scott. Set in fictitious Legend, Tennessee, these romances bring together the small town family atmosphere so many readers enjoy.

Leaving her contemporary voice behind, Jan wrote a medieval called MY LORD RAVEN. Her first paranormal Gothic romance, TANGLED MEMORIES, was a RWA Golden Heart finalist, and she’s recently released a second romance with paranormal elements called TIMELESS.

A member of Novelist, Inc. and the Romance Writers of America, Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She has recently self-published another romance set in the Bluegrass called BETTING ON LOVE.

Jan lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with three rescued dogs, two rescued cats, and a husband she rescued fourteen years ago. You can visit her at www.janscarbrough.com
***
You can get your copy of the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set at Amazon and other online book retailers.