LASR Anniversary: C. Lee McKenzie – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Being a California native, I’ve always had to take trips to experience “weather” in the sense of really hot and humid (Southeast Asia) or really cold (Alaska). Most of the weather we get in our state is of the medium variety (50-70 degrees) with a rare freeze and sometimes a few days in the hundreds during August. And boy do we complain when those days happen. I think we’re weather sissies.

When the chance came to write a summer themed blog post I immediately thought I’d like to write about how summer weather affects my writing, I had to scratch my brain a bit to come up with something. Then I went to my journal and thumbed through a few entries. What I found is I become more prolific on either really steamy days (usually about day three of a heat wave when I could use a cool breeze) or on gently toasted, but sparkly days. And I know this because I have pages that remark on exactly these weather conditions.

mackenzie file1981291126750 (2)I discovered that what I write about during those summery times has a lot of description about glistening foreheads, scenes with overhead fans whirring and characters seeking out large cool bodies of water to submerge themselves in. There are several summer notes that involve warm park benches with fountains playing in the background.

Since I like to write in different locations, I often roam with a clipboard. I do this roaming after I put in a morning (between 4 and 8 is my usual stint) at my desk. Then that sun shines in the window and I head to the garden or on a hike with my journal tucked into my backpack. I can always spot entries I’ve made outside in the summer; they’re smudged with dirt and sometimes, when I flip a page, a leaf falls out–a small token of a day I’ve lived and written about.

One other thing I discovered, thanks to this great idea for a post, is that I’ve made so many notes about the sounds, the textures and smells of what I’m surrounded by on these outdoor days, that I have tons of summer weather to include in almost any book I write that takes place above ground level between June and September.

mackenzie Princess of Las Pulgas-1 (2)Carlie Edmund has everything: a loving family, good friends, a perfect home and wealth and status; then in her junior year of high school the worst happens. Her dad dies and her life is turned upside down as she becomes The Princess of Las Pulgas.

About the Author:A native Californian, I’ve always loved to write. But I’ve also been a university lecturer and administrator. I used to publish articles on linguistics and intercultural communication, but then I started writing fiction and nonfiction for young readers. I was fortunate to have several of my short stories and non-fiction pieces for young readers in Stories for Children and Crow Toes Quarterly. My young adult novels are Sliding on the Edge and The Princess of Las Pulgas. Evernight Teen will soon publish Double Negative, my third piece of fiction for young adult readers. When I’m not writing, I hike in the mountains where I live.

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LASR Anniversary: KyAnn Waters – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Happy Anniversary to LASR!

I thought I’d share some fun summer trivia with you today.

Did you know . . .

ky ann eiffel.tower (2)France’s Eiffel Tower can grow by more than 6 inches in summer due to the expansion of the iron on hot days.

July is the month where most ice cream is sold in the US. That’s why it’s National Ice Cream Month. Americans eat about 5.5 gallons of ice cream per year on average.

The Dog Days of Summer refers to the weeks between July 3rd and August 11th. They are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.

Watermelon is a vegetable and is part of the cucumber, squash and pumpkin family. Americans eat 15 pounds each year.

Firefly light is usually intermittent and flashes in patterns that are unique to each species. Each blinking pattern is an optical signal that helps fireflies find potential mates.

Mosquitoes are insects that have been around for 30 million years. They have chemical sensors that can detect mammals from 100 feet away, and they have heat sensors to detect warm-blooded creatures. They have visual sensors that detect movement and contrast in colors. The first activity of an adult mosquito is to mate. The females lay their eggs and then live from days to months afterward. The male mosquito dies within days after mating.

A cricket’s chirp frequency fluctuates with temperature. Count the number of times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds, then add 37 to whatever number you reach and you have an approximate outside temperature.

And For a sizzling story on a hot summer day read Roped And Branded.

Do you have any special summer traditions? I love to garden. I can jams and jellies in the spring and salsa and veggies in the fall.

Leave a comment for a chance to win the digital download of your choice from my backlist.

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ky ann ropedandbranded_msr (2)Southern Texas is in the grips of a heat wave and DaniLee Hunter needs a distraction. The man she wants refuses to acknowledge she’s all grown up, but the sexy ranch hand Waco is more than willing for an erotic roll in the hay. Everything in South Texas stings, bites, or prickles…including Cord Stiles. As foreman of the Iron H, he has enough to deal with—including his growing attraction for DaniLee. She’s wild and reckless—and impossible to ignore. It’s time she’s roped and branded…and he’s just the man to do it. The stakes are high in a late-night poke-her game. Cord, Dani and Waco lay their cards on the table. Winner takes all.

 

 

About the Author:KyAnn Waters is a multi-published, award winning author of erotic romance. She lives in Utah with her husband, two children, and two dogs. She spends her days writing and her evenings with her family. She enjoys sporting events on the television, thrillers on the big screen, and hot scenes between the pages of her books.

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LASR Anniversary: Ann Herrick – Guest Post and Giveaway

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 Summer Then, Summer Now

             When I was a kid, I just loved summer. It was a time of freedom. Freedom from school, freedom from heavy winter clothes, freedom to read just for fun, with no book report looming. On the last day of school summer stretched ahead like an endless horizon.Ann&Cats

I would wake up and think, “What should I do today? Who should I play with?” I lived in a neighborhood with plenty of kids. One was and still is my Best Friend Forever, though back then we would simply say, “best friend.” Others kids met certain interests. I would play “horses” with one friend. Hunt for rocks and arrowheads with another. Play softball with a group. Sometimes we would just flop on the ground and watch the clouds, imagining them to be everything from horses to giants. Or we’d curl up on a front porch and read. Reading for pleasure was always part of summer.

While I had some chores (clean my room, help my mother hang laundry, iron my father’s handkerchiefs), most of the summer days were for pure fun. I would ride my bike, roller skate, climb trees, make crafts, put on a “show,” for neighbors (and charge a nickel!), build a fort. I could walk down to the end of the street and watch boats in the harbor, or catch a few small crabs to sell to the fisherman and take my money to the little bait store that also sold candy and soda and get myself a treat.

When I was bit older I could walk to the town beach every day to swim, sunbathe, play cards and listen to the radio with my friends. I would stop at the library and pick out books to read. One year a friend and I got into a competition to see who could read the most Black Stallion books (in order of publication!).

My older brother might take me for a ride in the convertible he was working on or the new motorcycle he just bought.

But once I grew up, summer lost a bit of its glow for me. For one thing, I had to work through the summer. There were days when I would look out at a clear blue sky and just ache to be outdoors. But, of course, I had to stay inside and stick to my tasks.

The heat of summer began to bother me. I couldn’t just run through a sprinkler or go to the beach on a hot day. I had to go to and from a job, or do yard work, or raise my daughter—or write books. Now I grumble when the temperature gets to be over 75! And lying in the sun to get a tan lost its appeal once the news was out about the kinds of harm it could do to one’s skin. But reading for pleasure is still a summer delight. Although I read all year, there’s still something special about sitting in the shade with a book and reading just for the pure enjoyment of it.

So even though summer is no longer the carefree season it once was for me, a warm day with a soft breeze, the sound of birds chirping in the back yard, memories of the cherished days of my childhood, and reading a special book still make summer a wonderful season.

Herrick-MyFakeSummerBoyfriend200x300
Sun, surf, sand and Alex–Katie was swept away!

Katie eagerly agrees to pretend she is Alex’s girlfriend for the summer in order to protect his job. Amid sundrenched waves, they develop a friendship that is on the verge of turning romantic, when who should arrive but Nicole, Alex’s old girlfriend. In three days, Nicole ruins Katie’s relationship with Alex. So Katie gets involved with Logan, Nicole’s handsome older brother, though Alex is the one for her.

Soon enough Katie learns that fake romances can get out of hand and lead to complications she never imagined.

Ann Herrick is the award-winning author of several books and short stories for kids and teens. Included in the awards her books have won are the ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, IRA/CBC Children’s Choice and EPIC Best YA Novel Finalist.
Ann grew up in Connecticut, where she graduated from The Morgan School and Quinnipiac University. She now lives in Oregon with her husband, who was her high-school sweetheart. Their wonderful daughter is grown, married and gainfully employed, and has given Ann her only grand-dog, Puff, a bloodhound-rottweiller-beagle mix and six grand-kitties. While she misses the East Coast, especially houses built before 1900, she enjoys the green valleys, fresh air and low humidity in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Ann loves cats, walking, the Oregon Ducks and working in her back yard. In addition to stories and books for children and young adults, Ann also writes copy for humorous and conventional greeting cards.

http://annherrickauthor.com

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LASR Anniversary: Cathy Hird – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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I love a soft summer rain. (Hint: because it gets me out of work!)

Don’t get me wrong. I love to soak in the hot sun of summer. On a sultry day, it is wonderful to cool off in the lake. When sun sparkles on warm water, there is nothing better than kayaking among water lilies. Brilliant red sunsets seen from the back of our farm are not to be missed.

But because I live on a farm, summer sun means work. We “make hay while the sun shines,” so a day with blue sky is also a day with the haybine roaring or the baler running hard. It’s a day when after the bales have been rolled into the barn, I spend an hour weeding the garden, or picking peas and freezing them.

When it rains, all that is put on hold. When rain falls warm and soft, I can curl up on the couch with a good book. To be sure, a wind-driven rain brings worry. I run out to chase the sheep in and get the barn door lashed closed. But if gentle drops run down the window, I can pick up my laptop and write another 1000 words on the story that is itching to get out of my head. I can read twitter posts and wander people’s fascinating websites without feeling like I should be outside working.

When it rains, I can make the long delayed trip into town, have a leisurely coffee with a friend. I can stock up on groceries and take my time trying on clothes at the new shop on main street. I can browse the book store, pick up something new for that evening when it is still too damp to get out into the garden.

cathy hird flowers in the rain (566x800) (2)And when I do get outside, the world is refreshed. The world that had been drained of colour by the baking sun, is sparkling and bright. Flowers burst red and yellow, and plants are green and strong.

I love the summer sun because it bakes the cold of winter from my bones. But a gentle soft rain restores life.

cathy hird cover for emailing (2)Thalassai, pampered princess of ancient Tiryns, wakes from a dream and discovers she has been kidnapped. Fear grows to terror when she realizes her kidnappers will use her as a pawn to gain Poseidon’s aid for their valley. The mother goddess who in the past sustained the valley calls a bloodred harvest moon into the spring sky. She will challenge Poseidon for the allegiance of her people and assist the princess.

Thalassai’s brother Melanion rides north to rescue her, and he finds allies among the servants of the goddess. Slowed by bandits, Melanion is forced to take a tunnel under the mountains even though earthquakes have rendered it hazardous. He skirts the edge of Hades’ kingdom as he races to reach his sister in time. Caught between the mother goddess and the rising power of Olympus, will Thalassai break under the strain or find the strength she needs to stand up to her captors?

Set in the days of Helen of Troy and the great heroes of Greece, this story takes the reader on a fast paced journey across the sun-drenched landscape of Homer and deep into darkness.

About the Author:Cathy Hird is a minister and a mother, a weaver and a shepherd living in rural Ontario. She is a story teller who weaves ancient threads into tales that touch modern questions.

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LASR Anniversary: Lucy Felthouse – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Summer of Sport by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985)
As I write this post, Wimbledon is winding down, but it’s been an exciting couple of weeks. And as this post goes live, the US Open is taking place. No doubt the tension will be rife once more.

The funny thing is, until last year I wasn’t all that into tennis. It just wasn’t really on my radar. Then, when good friend and fellow erotic romance writer, Lily Harlem, and I decided to co-write a novel, she presented me with a first chapter. It was about a hunky tennis player. I admit I was intrigued by the sexy athlete, but immediately panicked—how could I write about tennis? Fortunately, Lily’s well versed on many sports, including tennis, and she helped me out. At the same time, I took to YouTube (what would we do without it?) to brush up on my knowledge. And Grand Slam was born.

Clearly, I was bitten by the bug, because I wrote a solo story to follow up—a lesbian novella called Sweet Spot, which released in June. So this year I’ve been well and truly sucked into the summer of sport—when it comes to tennis, anyway—and eagerly watched some Wimbledon (not all of it, of course, otherwise I’d never have gotten any work done!), and will be checking out the US Open when it hits our screens in August and September.

lucy felthouse raw talent rtsidebargraphic (2)When it comes to tennis, I enjoy the passion, the grace, the strength, all the nuances and traditions that are observed. I’m also in total envy of the skill and talent of the players. And, because I’m a writer, I can’t help but wonder what goes on behind the scenes—the rivalry, friendships, attractions, relationships… so watch this space, because there will be more books to come in the Raw Talent series, I’m sure of it!

 

 

 

lucy felthouse SweetSpot (2)Virginia Miller is an up-and-coming tennis star. She’s gone from a ratty tennis court in a park in south London, England, to the world’s top training facility—Los Carlos Tennis Academy in California. In awe of the talent around her, Virginia is all the more determined to make the most of the opportunity and show that she’s worthy of her place there. Her mentor, Nadia Gorlando, has every faith in her.

But Virginia finds herself distracted—Nadia, as well as being a top-notch tennis player, is seriously sexy, and Virginia’s mind keeps wandering where it shouldn’t. Will her crush get in the way of her career, or can she find a way to push the other woman out of her mind before it’s too late?

 

 

 

About the Author:Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes.

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LASR Anniversary: Jana Richards – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Happy 7th Anniversary Long and Short Reviews! You don’t look a day over 6 1/2! I hope you have many, many more years of reviewing romance novels in your future. Cheers!

Since summer is the theme of this party, I thought I’d share with you the wonderful summer holiday I was lucky enough to take in June of this year. My husband and I travelled to Europe and took a river cruise on the Rhone River in France. We extended the seven day cruise by adding three days in Barcelona, Spain to the beginning of the trip, and three days in Paris at the end of the trip. We had a fabulous time!

We started our vacation in the beautiful, vibrant city of Barcelona. Barcelona has wonderful architecture, some of it quirky and unusual, like the Sagrada Familia Church which doesn’t appear to have a straight line within its massive structure. I loved the friendly people and the exciting rhythm of the city.

After leaving Barcelona, we travelled to the mouth of the Rhone River at Arles, France where we boarded our ship for the river cruise. This area of France had been occupied by the Romans some two thousand years ago and they left behind evidence of their time here, with structures such as an arena in Arles which still hosts bull fights (and looks just like the Roman Coliseum), and an amphitheater in Vienne, France which holds eleven thousand people and was being readied to host a jazz festival when we visited. It’s amazing to me that these structures are so ancient, but are still being used today.

We sailed up the Rhone River through Provence, past terraced vineyards carved into nearby hills, and fields of ripening grain and blooming lavender in the countryside. So beautiful! We had a chance to visit an olive grove and a truffle farm in Provence. Serge, the owner of the truffle farm, uses his dog Emme to hunt for truffles, a fungus/mushroom much prized in French cooking, though from the examples Serge passed around, I couldn’t get excited about them. Serge and Emme demonstrated how they hunt for them. Since the truffles grow underground at a depth of about four inches, Emme must use her sensitive sense of smell to locate them. Serge buried a few truffles and Emme found them and dug them up without any trouble. She was adorable!

EiffelTowerAfter our wonderful, pampering cruise was over, we took a high-speed train from Lyon to Paris. Paris is almost overwhelming in its beauty. Everywhere you look you find another piece of impressive architecture. No visit to Paris is complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, or the Arc du Triomphe, and we were lucky enough to see them all.

Our summer vacation went by very quickly, and now the summer of 2014 is nearly at an end. What did you do this summer? Whether you went on a vacation like I did, or stayed home and relaxed in your backyard, I’d love to hear about it. Comment on this blog and leave your email address for a chance to win a digital copy of FLAWLESS, my WW2 romantic suspense set in France. And if you’d like to see some pictures from my vacation, please check out my blog. Thanks for stopping by!

perf5.000x8.000.indd“France, 1942. The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.

Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life.

About the Author: When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.JanaRichards.com.

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Buy the book at The Wild Rose Press

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LASR Anniversary: Jianne Carlo – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Summer Vacation Sex
Why is summer vacation sex the best ever?

The heat? The fact that you can shed most of your clothes? Wear a skimpy, flirty dress with stilettos? Shirtless hunks? That your skin’s bronzed and glowing? You feel pretty? The sudden relief from the pressure of not having to go to work? Not having to deal with the mundane, day-to-day responsibilities of life? Or, maybe the simple fact that you’re sans kids for a few days? Lying on a beach sipping wickedly strong cocktails? Ogling the studs ambling by? Feeling the sun heat your body?

Perhaps it’s a combination of all of the above, but for some peculiar reason almost every woman I’ve spoken with on this topic agrees; summer vacation sex is the best.

One of my friends says that from the time she awakes to the time she slips into bed late at night, every moment’s scheduled according to everyone else’s demands. First it’s what needs to be done for the kids, then her partner, and then her boss. Then she tosses and turns and makes mental to do lists for the following day. Once she’s awake it’s a matter of juggling, work, hubby, kids, and social media.

Somehow a winter, fall, or spring vacation doesn’t have the same liberating factor that does the time you take off in the summer. Routine dissipates, a lazy languor dictates your unhurried dawdling, an un-faze-able sanguinity steals over you, and time slows to a mere trickle. The minute that clock ticks into summer va-cay-at-ion, and you hit a beach, or a theme park—you do two things:

1. Let out a long, relieved sigh and feast on something forbidden—a loaded Coney dog, a banana split, or fries with cheese and gravy.

2. Release your fierce grip on ‘being plugged in’. You know, that desperate urge to update your FB status, or tweet some inane outing like ‘at the gas pump’.

Who cares when you’re on summer vacation?

jianne Frozen Watermelon Margarita (2)Especially, if it’s the last few weeks of blessed warmth. We’ve barely three weeks left for the summer. I say—throw out the baby, bath water, and your inhibitions. Do something crazy and spontaneous! Shuck your clothes by the pool. Treat yourself to icy watermelon margaritas. Wear a totally outrageous outfit. Invite friends over to do—exactly nothing, but hang out. Wring every single drop of fun out of the next twenty-one days!

Cheers!

 

 

jianne Prymal_Lust-Jianne_Carlo-200x320 (2)The primal call of Mate Claim sparks a battle among the three species of shifters—Wylfen, Feral, and Rogue—and has for generations. These violent feuds incite hunts by humankind, driving shifters near extinction. To protect their people the aristocratic Wylfen ban the practice of Mate Claim. When a Rogue alpha claims a Wylfen female, the mated pair forms a coalition with a Feral male. An alliance is created: Prymal, a new species and pack born of Rogue, Wylfen, and Feral. And war begins…

Tania, a Wylfen aristocrat, hooks up with a stranger right before her twin’s graduation from military college. Hours later, the bottom drops out of her world when she’s introduced to Axe, her twin’s new SEAL instructor. Then she discovers he’s a Feral Wolf, the archenemy of her people. Wylfen laws prohibit her from mating with a half-breed. If anyone finds out she’s mated with Axe, exile is the least she has to fear…

About the Author: Award winning author, Jianne Carlo’s motto is simple: Alpha Me Please.
While strong heroines, exotic locations, and cultural differences are her forte, she goes weak in the knees for warriors and alphas. Send her a man with an attitude and she’ll find the right woman to tame him.

Jianne loves hot and spicy food, stomach-plunging park rides, and is kept on her toes by her Viking husband of thirty-five years, and three, handsome grown sons. There’s nothing she likes more than hearing from readers.

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LASR Anniversay: Heather Rainier – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Skunks and Skanks

Skunks and skanks. There isn’t much difference in these nuisance critters. They both show up where they aren’t wanted and generally stir up a stink before someone runs them off. In Heather Rainier’s latest edition to the Divine Creek Ranch series, Brokenhearted Beauty, Leah Woodworth has the misfortune to have a run-in with both of these irritating varmints in the small town of Tuspita, TX. The situation is exacerbated when the local stuffed shirt, Deputy Dicky Bob, tries to assert his authority. It becomes painfully clear, pretty quick, that he has more than a passing acquaintance with the local hoochie-mama, Georgina, who has recklessly plowed into Leah’s car. The fun really begins when a skunk with perfect timing strolls into the picture. Here’s an excerpt:

Wondering what Georgina was getting so worked up about, Leah said, “Do you know each other, Deputy? Is she implying you have some sort of ‘deal’?”

Georgina bared her teeth and pointed her finger. “You don’t tell her nothin’, Dicky Bob!”

Deputy Dicky Bob responded to the situation by hauling off and kicking the tree stump in the vacant lot that neighbored the gas station property. “That’s it, I’m taking both of you damn bitches down to the jail. We’ll sort all this out down there.”

He grabbed for Leah and she pulled away. “If you’re not arresting me, I’m not going anywhere with you or this skank.”

“What the fuck did you just call me?” Georgina screeched as she ran at Leah, claws bared.

The atmosphere was suddenly split by a high-pitched scream and the most horrendous odor Leah had ever experienced up close. Her eyes watered and felt like they were on fire and her stomach rebelled violently as she spun around, searching for the cause.

Deputy Dicky Bob was holding his hands to his face, screaming, like a girl. “It sprayed me!”

The source of the odor became apparent as the skunk raced right between Georgina’s legs and across the parking lot in terror. Georgina shrieked like a fire alarm, “No, it sprayed me!”

“No, it sprayed me!” he hollered and then made a gagging sound.

Not hanging around for a debate about exactly who got sprayed, Leah ran with the rest of the crowd, dodging the poor, frightened skunk. Anyone within ten yards of that critter could consider themselves sprayed.

Her stomach rolled as she stumbled to her car to grab her box of tissues to mop her eyes, but she was suddenly grabbed from behind.

“Oh, no you don’t!” Dicky Bob hollered. His face was red, his eyes were watering and his nose was running. “You’re under arrest for…for…evading arrest, and a bunch of other stuff.”

I have died and gone to Hell.

“I wasn’t evading arrest, you idiot! I was evading a skunk!”

“We’ll just see about that,” he said as he roughly pushed her against her car. Georgina screamed again and then vomited all over her mustard yellow tank top.

“I think that means you won’t be getting your blow job from Georgina after all, Dicky Bob.” Leah turned after he finished putting handcuffs on her and she smiled at him.

The nausea finally won and she lost her lunch on his shirtfront.

Leave a message for Heather telling her of your experience with one of nature’s most-maligned varmints and she’ll award $5.00 in Strandbucks to one lucky poster.

HEATHER RAINIER me-hr-dcr-brokenheartedbeauty-full (2)Brokenhearted and grieving, Leah Woodworth’s heart is filled with regret for never confessing her love to Patterson Elder. His loss haunts her dreams and she can’t set eyes on his brothers, James and Vincent without seeing his face. Having denied her attraction to them until it was too late, how can they possibly still want her?

James and Vincent were sure Leah was the one from the moment they met her. Patterson had always shared that belief, taking every chance to convince her that she was meant to be theirs. With Patterson gone, James and Vincent are deep in their own mourning and at a loss as to why Leah avoids them.

When she is offered an opportunity that may take her permanently out of Divine, they realize time has run out and seize what may be the last chance they have to make her theirs forever.

About the Author:Heather Rainier lives and writes in South Central Texas. Her stories offer up the content of her fantasies, with autobiographical humor, triumph and tragedy mixed in.

Heather’s love of romance fiction began as a teenager when her mom gave her copies of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s “”The Flame and the Flower”” and Bertrice Small’s “”Skye O’Malley””. To this day she’s pretty sure that was her mom’s version of the “”birds and the bees”” talk.

Heather writes the type of novel she loves to read: More erotic and edgy than the mainstream, with plenty of sweet romance mixed in and a happily ever after guaranteed. Heather’s favorite type of hero is the gentle, lovable giant but readers will discover a wide variety of heroes and alphas on the pages of her novels, from nearly perfect to very flawed.

When not happily typing at her keyboard, Heather is usually busy corralling her kids, or loving on her smokin’ hot husband, who thankfully loves to cook.

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LASR Anniversary: Brenda Whiteside

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Summertime Livin’ by Brenda Whiteside

BrendaWhiteside_picSummertime and the livin’ is…hectic! When you live on a family farm, there’s no time for easy livin’ in the summer. We grow a variety of crops to feed ourselves, and we grow cucumbers to make awesome pickles and relish which are popular at the farmers’ markets.

I’m the jack-of-all-trades and the main killer of weeds on Tortuga Flats Farm. I really hate weeds. Harvesting sometimes falls on my list of chores, especially certain crops no one else cares that much about such as green beans and peas. But once in a while, I’m requested in the cucumber rows. It’s a little disconcerting with all the buzzing, but my son told me if I just ignore the bees, they’ll ignore me. Still…I do my best not to disturb too many of them. Imagine a steady buzzing drone and you’ll have some idea of how many bees there are to ignore. The cucumbers came slowly at the beginning of summer and now they’re manic. Thank you, bees.

The monsoons are lasting longer than normal this year, which means the weeds are thriving. For a weed-hater it’s pure torture to walk around the fields and crops and see so many. But at some point – like now – I have to put my blinders on. There are too many other chores and I could never keep up with them anyway. I only weed around the vegetables that are particularly bothered by weeds (onions, potatoes and a couple of ground vine plants).

One morning this summer, I was treated to a rare weather phenomenon for here – fog. I think we’ve only had a foggy farm one other time in the three years we’ve been here. Fog fascinates me for some unknown reason. The urge to walk into the cloud to see if there’s something waiting pulls at me. A romantic notion because I know the only thing waiting is mud. We’ve had so much rain. Sorry, I took the romance right out of that. And romance is what I’m all about!

perf5.000x8.000.indd Lacy Dahl never questioned her past until the deaths of her adoptive parents and her husband. A husband who wasn’t what he seemed. Her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life.
Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the murder of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts may make that impossible. As they move closer to the truth, saving Lacy may be his only salvation.

Lacy begins to think the present is more important than her past…until Chance’s connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. Will the truth destroy Lacy and Chance or will it be the answer that frees them?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brenda spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love. The rest of her time is spent tending vegetables on the small family farm she shares with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Together, they’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States – multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.

After trying her hand at a couple of genres, she’s settled on romantic suspense. She’s found all good stories involve complicated human relationships. And if you add murder to the mix, the novel makes for good entertainment. She’s also found no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or suspense, all her books revolve around those two facts.

Website URL www.brendawhiteside.com

Blog URL http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

Facebook page www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor

Twitter account URL https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2

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LASR Anniversary: Alanna Lucas – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – an e-copy of Once Upon A Montana Christmas.

Christmas in July

Christmas in July sounds like a marketers gimmick, but over the years, it has encompassed many different meanings.

The first mention of Christmas in July dates back to the 1892 opera, Werther, which featured a group of young children singing a Christmas song in July.

However, the earliest known observance occurred in July 1933 at North Carolina’s Camp Keystone. Those attending the girl’s summer camp celebrated a traditional style Christmas with a decorated tree, gifts and a visit from Santa.

The 1940 comedy, Christmas in July, centers on Jimmy MacDonald, who after winning first prize in a slogan contest, spends his newfound wealth on family and friends. The underlining message of the movie was to give year round regardless of the season.

In 1944 and 1945 the U.S. Post office, U.S. Army and Navy along with the greeting card industries threw a Christmas-in-July luncheon to encourage an early start on mailing Christmas presents to service men and women overseas during WWII.

By the next decade, retailers jumped in on the promotional bandwagon using the Christmas in July theme to promote summer sales.

My favorite Christmas in July tale comes courtesy of a dear friend who lives in Southern California, but whose family lives in Canada. During the month of December weather in her Canadian hometown is usually under a couple of feet of snow, making travel precarious. One year, her sister decided to host a Christmas-in-July celebration.

The front yard was festively decorated with a giant snow globe, Christmas lights, and yes, even Santa and his reindeer made an appearance. The families travelled from near and far to share favorite childhood traditions, exchange gifts, and eat to their heart’s content.

So this July, remember those important in your life. Celebrate and rejoice with family and friends and share in the joy of the season. Merry Christmas in July!

Beautiful womanHOLIDAY SURPRISES

Miss Eva Kenward does not want to spend another Christmas alone. Leaving Queen Victoria’s England, she journeys to America in search of an uncle but finds herself on the rugged frontier of Montana. And with no money and no acquaintances, the rudest man she has ever met is the one she must engage. Especially considering the precious bundle in her arms.

“Hunt” Strauss has been fooled before by beauty. So when the ravishing young woman arrives on his doorstep, he suspects her of ulterior motives. But perhaps the baby she holds truly is his kin…and when Miss Kenward finds herself stranded after a hotel fire, he reluctantly agrees to help. Bringing her to his sprawling ranch, Hunt tries to keep his distance. But the enticing woman and her enthusiasm for the season soon prove that fairy tale love stories—and holiday wishes—really can come true.

About the Author: Alanna Lucas grew up in Southern California. From an early age, she took an interest in travel, incorporating those experiences into her writing. When she is not daydreaming of her next travel destination, Alanna can be found researching, spending time with family, or going for long walks. Alanna Lucas is a member of the Romance Writers of America, East Valley Authors, The Beau Monde, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

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