Category Archives: Guest Post

From obscurity to fame, bullriders never give up. SLAMMED by @Liza0Connor #western #newrelease

Davy is one of the nicest characters I’ve ever written. He loves his parents and they love him dearly. But that doesn’t mean Davy has had an easy life.

Davy and his parents are the poorest people in their small town. They live in a small, weathered, two-room shotgun house on the outskirts of town.

Going to school has always been a torment for Davy. The rich kids bully and prank him continuously. The middle-class kids are afraid to speak to him in fear the rich kids will retaliate and torment them as well.

But despite all the abuse at school, when he arrives home, his parents’ love always strengthen and rejuvenate him into their fabulous son.

As he grew older, he really wanted a girlfriend, but none of the girls wished to be seen with him, due to his poverty. Finally, a mean rich girl named Sherry declared he could date her. (She was mad at her father for refusing to buy her another car, after she crashed the last one.)

She was the meanest girlfriend imaginable and it took over a year for her to let Davy go all the way. (And only because she was really angry at her father again.)

When Sherry learned Davy has left town to compete for a chance to be part of the World Bull-riding Rodeo, she dropped him like a rock and began dating his nemesis: Bobby Conrad. Sherry’s father was so happy, he bought her another car.

Bullriders never give up. Meet Davy Hill. SLAMMED by @Liza0Connor #newrelease Click To Tweet

SLAMMED

By Liza O’Connor

Davy’s Saga, Book 1

Contemporary Suspense, Country Western/ Bull Riding

Davy Hill goes from obscurity to fame by riding the rankest bull alive. Coming from a life of poverty, the young cowboy expects his life to change for the better now that he’s a successful professional bull-rider. Yet, with every occurrence of good luck comes an equal dose of bad. He suffers a potentially career-ending injury, a string of betrayals, and much worse. Despite all the brutal slams he takes, he keeps getting up, because he’s a bull-rider and they never give up.

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SLAMMED ~ Davy’s Saga, Book 1

AMAZON

 

Davy pressed the phone hard against his ear as he made a collect call to his parents. He could barely hear the operator over the din of the bar, but he could hear his pa’s reply, “Hell yes, we’ll take the call.”

He didn’t have to ask if they’d watched him on TV. His father’s jubilant response to the operator assured him he had. His smile widened and tears came to his eyes. Damn! This was no place to cry. What if one of the bull riders saw him? He pinched the bridge of his nose. He took a deep breath to settle himself, and tried to pretend this was no big deal as he spoke loudly into the phone, “Good news, I’ll be able to pay you back the money I borrowed to get here.”

“You bet you can!” His father replied. “Two hundred thousand. My God, boy, I never in all my life dreamed you could do that. I’m so damn proud of you! Hold on, your mamma wants to speak to you.”

He pressed the phone tighter and huddled next to the wall, knowing how soft his mother spoke. Frustration filled him, when he couldn’t make out a single word she said. He shouldn’t have called from a bar. He should have walked to the Seven-Eleven and called from there.

He couldn’t ask his ma to speak louder. Due to her cancer treatments, she barely had the strength to speak at all and she was probably tired as hell from watching the event on TV. So he just guessed at what she’d probably said and responded to that. “I love you too, Ma. Don’t worry about this changing me. I’ll always be the boy you raised.”

 

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

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A Conflict Generations in the Making ~ FATE’S MISSION by @Laurel_R_Books #scifi #romance #newrelease

A CONFLICT GENERATIONS IN THE MAKING

It all started with an 8mm film reel. That was the original inspiration for Fate’s Mission. I found some old 8mm film with home movies from my grandparents. Having never seen what was on it, I was curious, but there was a problem. I didn’t have a film projector that would play it. That got me thinking about all the changes in technology over the decades. We’ve seen 16mm, 8-track, vinyl records, cassettes, VHS, and floppy disks fall by the wayside. If you don’t convert formats along the way, it can become nearly impossible to recover what’s on that old film or disks. Now imagine the technological changes heading into the future.

In Fate’s Mission, a disk is uncovered that contains information from one of the founding leaders of Reinn’s religious Order, the Fortunates. This happens right at a time when sensitive political negotiations are going on and a rival Order, the Fatalists, are claiming the historic leader was a fraud. A history buff, Reinn is sent to investigate the disk. Except the disk is so incredibly old that there’s no device available to read it. One has to be built, but several attacks, mysterious ship failures, and a bombing later, it becomes evident that someone doesn’t want Reinn to see that disk. What’s on there? What lengths will some people go to bury the truth?

Fate’s Mission is a sweeping sci-fi romance with multiple subplots revolving around politics, economics, human rights, faith, destiny, and intrigue. And the catalyst is a single historical disk discovered in an old table. Reinn’s mission carries him on an adventure across space and brings him to his destined soul mate, who has an important mission of her own.

FATE’S MISSION

by LAUREL RICHARDS

A love that was fated. A truth that can destroy a man’s faith. And a conflict generations in the making.

When a historical discovery threatens his religious Order, Brother Reinn jin Domarr is sent to investigate. What he finds is a hotbed of political intrigue, assassination attempts, and religious warfare. Someone doesn’t want him to uncover the truth, and he or she is willing to kill to protect a terrible secret. In the midst of danger, he finds his soul mate. Isibel is a woman on a mission to save her people from enslavement, and she has her own enemies. Soon their fates collide, and they face a battle that has been brewing for centuries. Will love and faith be enough to save them?

blog available from 2016

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blog excerpt 2016

This station was huge and so busy it appeared frenetic.

Their party slithered like an outland basilisk through the dense crowd. Traversing a straight line was impossible, as was walking more than three abreast. When they drew closer to what appeared to be the main entryway to the terminal, one voice rose above the cacophony.

“Your journey is not over, brothers and sisters. We have so much farther to go. Paradise is out there waiting for us, a gift from our beloved Goddess. Will you not follow the path?”

The speaker, Reinn was surprised to see, was a boy no older than Niall. He was dressed in two-toned robes of white and saffron and waving his hands in a dramatic fashion. So this, then, was the face of the Fatalist Sect. At least one of them.

Reinn recognized the exact moment the boy noticed their procession. His voice trailed off mid-sentence, and he stared. Underlord Kori and most of his people ignored him completely, although a few turned to sneer.

Far from feeling any kind of hostility, Reinn was struck with sadness. The boy was so young. He was obviously searching for something—some missing piece to his life—and had been convinced that the hunt for a planet that had already been found would fulfill him. This was just the sort of impressionable youth who could be easily twisted to a darker purpose. If the Fatalists were behind the attempted bombing of his temple, had the perpetrator worn such an innocent face?

Reinn wished he had time to talk to the boy and offer a few words of advice. His purpose here, however, went beyond saving one lost soul. He’d have to discuss this with Brother Enq.

In the next instant, sensory overload struck, forcing Reinn to concentrate on his surroundings. If he’d thought the terminal was crowded, then the station proper, when they reached it, was absolutely mobbed. Their presence only added to the press of bodies. It was obvious their arrival wasn’t a secret, and they garnered a great deal of attention.

“I’ve never seen the station like this,” one of the older guards said off to his right.

“How many times have you been here?” Niall had to raise his voice over the hubbub.

Reinn didn’t hear the answer.

Geirr groused beside him. “This is turning into a damn parade.”

Which wasn’t an exaggeration. Security officers formed a loose human barricade, motioning the spectators back to make room. The result was a gauntlet of onlookers—a channel they had to pass through at their own risk.

Playing his part, Reinn adopted a beneficent smile and inclined his head to those who made eye contact. He did not make any more lavish gesture for fear of stirring them up, although several people waved at him in welcome. It was heartening to see that not all of the devout had strayed to the Fatalist Sect.

Next to him, Geirr covered the earpiece clipped to his lobe and scowled in concentration. The device resembled a large crystal stud. It had multiple frequencies so that the security team could speak to each other or to the ship or station as needed.

“Station officers are trying to clear a path to the glide now.” Geirr’s gaze remained alert as he surveyed the crush. “You’d think we were celebrities on tour.”

“We are,” Reinn pointed out. “Few people have seen this many nobles together, let alone a member of the royal house.”

“I was talking about you. The Potentate himself couldn’t generate more excitement. We should have stayed on the ship.”

Reinn didn’t bother arguing. Instead, he took in the faces of the crowd, trying to get a feel for the demographics here. He saw young and old, male and female, and a variety of skin tones—a testament to their mixed heritage. Admittedly, the women caught most of his attention, largely because there were so many of them. He was used to the male majority on Siv and hadn’t expected such a large population of females.

He saw several blondes and brunettes, a rare redhead, and some teenagers with artificial spikes and curls of yellow and green. An older matron had braids of pure white, and next to her was a young woman with mixed tones that reminded him of tortoiseshell, except with more contrast.

The latter made his gaze dip lower, and he had a split second to take in gray eyes and delicate features before his view was blocked by other bodies. There were more and more people—an endless stream pushing and shifting for a better view.

The shot came out of nowhere.

One second Reinn was smiling at the crowd. The next, hot pain lanced through his left side, stealing his breath. Instinct carried him to the floor before his brain could catch up. Geirr was right on top of him.

“Down!” Geirr shouted the warning to the others. His weapon was already in hand. “Where are you hit?”

Reinn fought to overcome the shock and pain enough to speak. It felt like he’d been seared right down to the bone, although the brutal agony was gradually receding.

“Left side,” he answered.

He must have taken the hit directly below his shoulder. His breath locked in his throat as he straightened his left arm, which he held cradled to his chest. What he saw made him feel as if he’d been shot all over again.

Except he hadn’t been. Shot, that is. There was no singed hair or charred flesh—the usual damage of a pulse blast or laser strike. Instead, there were dark veins of gold spreading down his arm, forming an intricate pattern around his bicep, forearm, and wrist all the way to his palm.

Reinn’s widened gaze collided with Geirr’s.

“Blessed Fate.” His friend rasped the words under his breath. “You’re soul-bound.”

 

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This SkyRyder Colonel is one in a million ~ SCAVENGER VANISHES by @Liza0Connor #scifi #romance #sfr

Scavenger Vanishes by Liza O’Connor

How did Marge become a Colonel of the East Coast?

The East Coast SkyRyders are so male dominant that the chances of a female becoming a colonel is about one in a billion, and even if she did make it, all she’d be is bed-fodder for the general and male colonels. That is if she’s pretty and obliging. Otherwise, she’d be dead.

So how did Marge get in?

1) She’s a bombshell and believes men are all the same (alpha male assholes), so she’ll do whoever she has to make progress.

2) As a Secret Service captain, she wrote up a plan to stop the sale of SkyRyder equipment to the enemy, then went around her colonel and submitted it straight to MAC (MAC is the AI that is in charge of the SkyRyders Corp.)

3) MAC approved her plan, promoted her to colonel.
As a colonel, she has shown little competence, but she has warmed the beds of three generals (Generals don’t live long on the East Coast. The colonels will take them out the moment they get too greedy with their cut of their blackmarket business that sells Corps’ guns and equipment to their enemies.

To be honest, until General Logan shows up, she hasn’t been making much progress.

Stationed on opposite coasts, Alisha and Logan must each face their own demons and challenges. On the West Coast, Alisha loses her rank for butting heads with General Powell and soon discovers the life of a private can be utter hell. On the East Coast, newly promoted General Logan discovers his soldiers do not recognize his authority to command. In an effort to retake control of the East Coast Corps, Logan authorizes unthinkable actions. When Alisha faces a life-threatening crisis, will Logan rise above his own troubles, or will she discover love and rescue with her best friend Jack?

The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 3
Scavenger Vanishes

AMAZON

The more familiar Logan became with the established East Coast officers, the harder the task of winning this war became. Clearly his colonels did not recognize his right to be their general. Having his every order questioned became a routine occurrence.

If he could, he would have replaced them all, but first he needed to have colonels with whom to replace them, and MAC was selective about making colonels now. A full psych test was required. Usually it was required before becoming a general as well, but in times of war, MAC valued expediency over process, and thus had not required Logan to take a new psych test. Since he had more than his share of problems to deal with just now and couldn’t afford the fatigue the test caused, he’d been fine with skipping it.

Beyond the blatant disrespect of his officers, he had other problems. Equipment was missing, but he wasn’t yet certain if the theft was a past or current problem.

Additionally, the troops blatantly ignored his order that the making of dogs was to stop. Since his warning to cease the practice, young cadets now wore dog collars on their necks—a clear message from his captains. Not only were they ignoring his order, but they made certain he knew it.

He needed Alisha to work her magic on his troops and give them a conscience and a soul. Ben was a great flier, but the only squad he could inspire was the BDs. Originally, Logan had planned to split the BDs among the forts, but he feared they would all die of unexplained accidents if he didn’t keep them together and close at hand.

Someone placed a cup of coffee on his desk, pulling him back to the present. His strategist, Colonel Marge Williams, sat down in the chair on the other side of his desk. She looked nothing like a strategist and every bit like a blonde bombshell: gorgeous full lips, sultry eyes, and a curvaceous body that promised much pleasure in bed.

“I looked over the plans you used in your Midwest battles. They’re excellent. I see Jack Sparkes deserves his ranking as the top strategist.” She sighed. “But they aren’t going to fly on the East Coast.”

“Why not?” Logan asked. “The Cartel’s modus operandi is exactly the same here as it is in the Midwest.”

“Because the East Coast has its own way of fighting battles. The squads fly in by their captains’ seniority in service and ranking. We don’t have specialists.”

Logan stared in amazement. This was his strategist?

“So,” Logan said, trying to contain his growing anger and frustration, “In order to maintain the status quo, you’re willing to forego the use of a proven plan and continue to draw up plans that result in high casualties and destruction of Corps property?”

Marge held up her hands. “I don’t like it any more than you. However, the facts are the facts. This place is like a hardcore teamsters union. You do it their way or it doesn’t get done.”

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

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Author @Jenna_Jaxon’s Fav lines from ONLY A MISTRESS WILL DO #newrelease #historical #romance

Top Ten Favorite Lines from Only A Mistress Will Do

I suppose any author has pet or favorite lines in each of their books. I find I am no exception. And even though some of my favorite lines may not make sense out of context in this post, if you later read Mistress and come across them, I hope you will understand why I liked them so much. These aren’t in any particular order, except #1 is probably my all-time favorite line for the book. 🙂 Some of these are more than a single line, so you can get the sense of it.

1. “It will hurt, but not very much, and not for very long.”
No, not for very long. Only for the rest of her life.

2. The boy kept shoving, squeezing her foot until she winced in pain, but she gritted her teeth, put her shoulder to the door and pushed back.

3. However, like a reckless moth compelled toward the blaze with the ultimate power to destroy it, he had returned again and again, fluttering closer and closer to her entrancing flame.

4. The magic of the harp coursed through her as it always had and she plucked the strings with sure fingers, all her soul, all her love, all her passion flowing into the piece. She had nothing to give him as a remembrance of her, save this, so she’d make sure it would remain with him for the rest of his life.

5. A blur of movement to his right and the tip of a rapier pricked his chest.

6. A fleeting curl of her lips passed for a smile.

7. If this affair lasted much longer he’d become a tosspot and probably happier so.

8. “Had I a sword or a pistol this piece of filth would never rise from this spot. He’s nothing more than a rabid dog that wants killing.”

9. With his cravat askew, his jacket pulled open, and his wig cocked at an impossible angle, he [Lord Downing] could have been mistaken for an inmate escaped from Bedlam.

10. “By God, Trevor.” Lord Downing took a step toward him. “You cannot speak this way before my wife.”
“My pardon to Lady Downing, although I believe she has swooned again.”

That last exchange never fails to make me laugh, but you will have to read what comes before it to know why I think it’s hysterical. 🙂

The man of her dreams . . . belongs to another woman.

Destitute and without friends, Violet Carlton is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another . . .

Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves. . . .

AMAZON 

“What pleasure may I give you this evening, my lord?” Violet forced the words out over and over. Wild laughter in the hallway, faint strains of a pianoforte, and the lewd grunts from the room next door twisted her stomach, yet she kept repeating the phrase. The raucous sounds of the brothel had become more familiar during the week, but still set her on edge.

Footsteps approached once more, slowed, stopped.

Violet’s heart pounded, her rapid breathing keeping pace. The huge bed to her right drew her attention for perhaps the hundredth time. Was this the moment? She seized the arms of the velvet chair, fighting to hold herself in place. Her nails sank into the soft fabric as she struggled to slow her breaths.

The handle lowered.

Her head came up, back straight, forced smile plastered on her face as the door opened wide and she caught a glimpse of the man who had bought her for the night. Madame Vestry had informed her this morning that one of her regular customers had responded favorably to her invitation—she’d actually called it an invitation—and for Violet to make herself available in the green room at eight o’clock tonight.

She’d not been told who he was and somehow it mattered little to her she did not know the name of the man about to ruin her. One of the house rules forbade her to ask. If the gentleman offered his name, that was his business. The other girls had told her if she needed to put a name to the face, to think of customers as “Lord John.”

This Lord John entered the small room in a swirl of black fur and sandalwood, the spicy scent tickling Violet’s nose, making it twitch.

She tipped her head back and looked up into the swarthy face. Dark hair and piercing blue eyes, a strong jaw, and a long, straight nose. Too tall, though. He was too tall for her. The ridiculousness of the irrational thought broke through her lethargy. She forced herself up out of the chair as he strode toward her.

The smile curling his full lips would have been charming had not the gleam in his eyes betrayed his lustful intent.

“Good evening, Cassandra.” His deep baritone voice sent a frisson of dread through her. “Such a lovely name for a lovely temptress.”

“What pleasure may I give you this evening, my lord?” The words came out flat, but by God, she’d gotten them out. Now to remain standing and not faint. One small goal at a time. She stared at the wide expanse of blue velvet jacket barely two inches from her face.

He ran the back of his hand along her cheek and goose flesh pimpled her whole body. “I do hope the pleasure will be mutual, my dear.”

Violet jerked back from his caress. Her gaze, firmly fixed on the gold buttons of his jacket, now shot to his face, expecting a leer. How could he suggest she might enjoy being debauched?

His dark brows had puckered into a surprised frown, almost reproachful. He lowered his hand.

Dear God. She couldn’t refuse him anything. Lord John owned her for the night. Whatever he wanted to do to her, be it lewd touch or soft caress, she had to submit. No matter she wanted to scream, or cry, or pummel his chest. Curse him for being a depraved wretch who reveled in her misfortunes.

That wasn’t fair. She returned her gaze to his chest.  Despite her misery, she couldn’t blame him for her misfortunes or her decision to come here. He was a man bent on the usual pleasures of men, and she needed the patronage of such men to survive. If he wanted her to be pleased, then she would convince him of her pleasure. A leaden weight settled over her, grounding her. She tipped back her head and smiled at him, the practiced false smile that showed her teeth. “Then I am certain we shall both be pleased, my lord.”

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical in all time periods because passion is timeless.  She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats.

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as Vice-President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has three series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France.

She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.

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