Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Guest Author Julie Lence


What do the words ‘writer’s block’ mean to you?

Aggravation and frustration come to mind, but through the years, I’ve learned that for me writer’s block means 1 of 2 things; I’m either incorrectly starting or navigating a scene or I’m not thinking clearly on what a particular character should be doing/saying/reacting to/feeling/remembering at the moment. Usually, I find turning my attention to something else, such as cleaning, grocery shopping, or eve going back and re-reading chapters, frees up whatever is weighing me down and revives the muse toward the direction I need to go.   

Do you read your book reviews? If yes, how do you process negative reviews?

I do read my reviews and I enjoy sharing some of them on my social media platforms. For those negative reviews, at the time of reading, they do bring on sadness, but I push through the day and after a night’s sleep, they’re at the back of mind and I’m on to something else.  In this business, I know I’m not going to please everyone with my work, but as long as I please myself, I’ve done something right. If I don’t like the characters or the story, I’m sure none of you will.   

If you could time travel, would you go back or forward in time?

If I could, I’d go back in time. I’d love to experience the old west, but more importantly, I’d love to visit with my father and grandparents again.

In one word, describe yourself.

Neat-freak. My son will be the first to tell you I have OCD issues. Think Monica on Friends and that’s me. 

Do you find yourself getting emotional when you write? Is there a scene that sticks out as being the most emotional to write?

Most of the time,  writing those emotional scenes is challenging. I find myself agonizing over every word because I worry whether or not the reader will feel the character’s grief and heartache based on the way I’ve written the scene, on the words I’ve chosen. I think the only scene I wrote that made me misty was from No Luck At All when Racine poured out her childhood heartaches and her low self-esteem to Creel.  

What are you working on now? Can you give us a sneak peek?

Currently, I’m not working on anything. I’m percolating an idea in the back of my mind while I tend to other writing matters, but I did just release the 3rd book in my Jackson Creek Series: Hunter.

Hunter can be purchased here: www.amazon.com/dp/B09KNL43X9

Hunter Barlow is certain nothing can heal the bruises he’s sustained, then Tawny’s bright eyes set his heart to thumping.


“Sunday’s are boring,” Myrna said. “Wipe away the doldrums, Tawny, and tell Burke about the fellow.”

Burke angled his head her direction, stared pointedly at her.

“There’s nothing to tell. He saw us in the alley, said hello and rode away.” Because Myrna embarrassed him. Powerful legs encased in black trousers, stubble along his jaw and a straight nose; he is dreamy and—

“You’re blushing,” Myrna giggled. “You’re ensnared with him, as he is with you.”

“He’s not ensnared with me,” Tawny retorted. “He’s a stranger passing through.” She bit the inside of her cheek to stem the heat staining her skin. “I think I’ll make a pot of tea. You want a cup?” she asked Burke the same time the batwing doors flapped open. Swiveling around, her gaze fell on a gun belt strapped around a slim waist. Looking up, she took in a chest thick with muscle beneath a leather vest, stubble along a square jaw, full lips and… She swallowed hard, wiped her palms on the sides of her robe. Staring back at her were the dark eyes belonging to the handsome stranger.

“Ma’am.” He touched a finger to the brim of his hat. “Is the owner around?”

Are his eyes black? Or brown? Tawny peered closer.

“Landry ain’t here,” Burke said. “Come back in the morning.”

“I will,” the stranger promised, smiling at her.

A ribbon of warmth shimmied down her spine and she rubbed her palms harder along her robe. And then, she sobered. Forget his eyes! And his sinew. He’s trouble.

“Before I do,” he continued with Burke, though his gaze never left her, “I need a woman.”

“Got three of them,” Burke said. “But I think you already made your choice.”

“I did.” His smile broadened and that ribbon of warmth wrapped around her stomach.

“Seeings how this is Tawny’s night off, her fee is double,” Burke advised.

A shiver moved through her as the stranger’s gaze slowly traveled the length of her and then moved past her to Burke. “I ain’t looking for a tumble. I’m a sergeant with the army, sent here to help with the Apache. I need her to cook and clean for the captain and me. The woman the mayor hired left town.”

An army man! Needing a housekeeper. Hope surged through Tawny. She could begin shedding her reputation this very night, have that freedom she craved sooner than she thought, that is if he had a job for her at the fort from which he’d come. Or knew of someone who did.

 “I accept,” she said before Burke could decline.


Thank you for having me as your guest today, Rhonda. I enjoy a career writing western romance. I also enjoy romance readers and chatting about the genre. If any of your readers would like to connect with me, they can do so at the following:

Website: www.julielence.com

Facebook page: https://facebook.com/#!/JulieLence

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julielence

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/julie-lence




Friday, February 11, 2022

To Tat or Not to Tat?

 In a world where billions of books tempt readers with their silent calling, authors can probably agree on the importance of having a spectacular cover. A cover says a lot about what a reader will find once opening the pages.

So, the appearance of a model is important. If you're writing a sweet romance, a dressed hero and heroine would fit. If you're writing erotica, a spicy cover tells readers to hold on to their socks because it's a hot one. I'm not an expert cover artist, but for me, I like the subtle message that a cover sends. Please leave a little to the imagination. It's like the carrot dangling before my nose...entice me, tempt me, then pull out all of the stops within the story.

For instance, take a look at the three pics below. What do they say to you? We wouldn't snub our nose at any of these models, now would we? When I posted pic #1 and pic #2 on FB, asking which model do readers prefer, #1 won by a landslide. A few found the tats to be a turn off. But tats on a cover model tells you something about the hero, something you might want to know before you buy the book. I wouldn't slap #1 (maybe on the bottom, lol) on a sweet romance, not only because of the tats but he is sending a message that he likes to get down (if you know what I mean). He'd fit fine and dandy on my WIP, a firefighter, hot romance.

#2 would work perfectly with a cowboy hat and a big belt buckle, and used for one of my cowboy stories.

A reader who is looking for a sweet romance doesn't want to open a cover and see "cock" "tits" "BJ" and other naughty language. Vice versa, a reader looking for hot sex will be disappointed if a story lacks in heat. And the cover, well, it sends the subtle message. In other words, "Judge a book by its cover."

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Guest Author Naima Simone

What do the words ‘writer’s block’ mean to you? 

Pain. LOL! Seriously, I’m laughing, but at times, it can be an emotional pain because there’s a struggle to push through and get the words out. And fighting to obtain each of those words, sentences, paragraphs and pages is almost like waging a battle, and it’s a victory when I do. Yes, I do know how melodramatic I sound. LOL! I’m a writer, what can I say? I’ve experienced writer’s block a few times over my career, and it’s always been after something big and emotionally difficult occurred in my personal life. And that affected my creativity for a while. Every writer has their own way of dealing with burn out or writer’s block or exhaustion, whatever they call it. For me, it’s a painful blockage that you can’t always bulldoze your way through. Sometimes you just have to work your way through it. Whether that’s writing one hundred words a day or a thousand or three thousand. Or reading one day and writing another. Or crying one day and pouring that emotion into the book on the next. It’s whatever gets you through. As long as you don’t quit.

 Do you read your book reviews? If yes, how do you process negative reviews? 

I’m only human, so yes. Or should I say, I’m a glutton for punishment? LOL! Always, before a book releases, I can never resist reading the early reviews. And then the closer I get to release day, I slow down and have my sister read them for me. It’s self-preservation.  Otherwise, it would be all I did, and I wouldn’t get anything else done. As far as negative reviews, I break them up into three different categories: critique, not my kind of reader and oh-you-just-mad-and-wanted-to-take-yo-ish-out-on-somebody-today reviews. The critique or critical reviews are thoughtful and insightful, and I take away something from them even if I don’t necessarily agree with their points. Still, I might consider some of those points in my next books. The “not my kind of reader” review is simply that. My writing style or the book just might not have gelled with the reader, and that’s okay. Now were they nice about relaying that? Weeeell…  And the last one? Well, that’s self-explanatory, too. LOL! The critical review I don’t consider negative. But the last two? I just let them roll off my back and keep it moving. You can’t please everyone and you’ll only lose your sanity and pollute your spirit trying to.

If you could time travel, would you go back or forward in time? 

Oooh. I think I’d travel forward in time. I already know what’s in history so I’ll take my chances in the future. Like faaaar in the future. Like Robin Lovett’s sex planet future. LOL! 

 In one word, describe yourself. 


 Do you find yourself getting emotional when you write? Is there a scene that sticks out as being the most emotional to write? 

Oh most definitely. I like to joke and tell people I’m emotionally stunted, but the truth is I pour so much of how I feel into my books. So yes, there are times when I’m writing, and I become swept up in whatever is happening with the characters. The scene that immediately pops out to me as one of the most emotional I’ve written was in Christmas in Rose Bend where the heroine Nessa confronted the truth about her mother, who passed from cancer several months earlier. She did it with her estranged, younger half-sister as well as with the man she’s fighting falling in love with. There were so many bruised and healing relationships there, and she’s facing that all while literally unboxing her mother’s secrets. It had sadness, hope, faith heartbreak and joy all in one scene. So it was definitely tough to write but incredibly satisfying. 

 What are you working on now? Can you give us a sneak peek? 

I sure can! I’m currently working on the fourth book in my Rose Bend series, Mr. Right Next Door. It’s a mean girl redemption story, and I’m both super scared and excited to write it. LOL! I’m also working on a novella that will be the first in my new Trapper Keeper Diaries series. All the novellas will be based on 80s songs. The first one is titled Jesse’s Girl. Because haven’t we all wondered what would’ve happened if Rick Springfield had just told his best friend’s girl he loved her? I mean, I have! LOL!

 So here’s a sneak peek at Jesse’s Girl! Excerpt from Jesse’s Girl 

“You knew,” India accuses again in that hoarse voice that sounds as if a carpenter took several feet of sandpaper to it. “It wasn’t mine to tell.” My voice, even and deep, doesn’t reveal how there’s an angry, wounded animal howling inside me. It’s demanding I go to her, wrap myself around her like a living blanket to soak up the hurt, that agony that damn near vibrates in her husky tone. “Wasn’t yours to tell?” she repeats. A harsh, hollow bark of laughter follows as she tips her head back and stares at the ceiling for a brief moment. When she looks at me again, anger flickers, mingling bright and hot with the pain. “You were supposed to be my friend.” “I am, India.” The fingers of my right hand curl into a fist. One I wish I could plow into the nearest wall. Or my best friend Jesse’s face. “I am your friend. Never doubt that.” “Yeah, Asa,” she scoffs, her full, bottom lip-heavy mouth twisting into a bitter caricature of a smile. “That’s why you let me walk around with my head up my ass for how long? You let me live a lie. You let me be a fool.” She shakes her head so hard, her dark brown, tight curls brush her cheekbones. “And for the life of me, I can’t figure out which one is worse. Finding out the man I loved—the life I lived with him—was a figment of my dumb ass Pollyanna imagination. Or that I was a willfully blind idiot, and everyone I trusted was in on the joke. The joke being me.” “Baby,” I murmur, risking her wrath, her disgust and stepping across that line in the sand to stand in front of her. To…touch her. I’ve been very careful about touching this woman. Brief hugs. Deliberate but friendly distance. Even a fucking pat on the head. But now, with the hurt beating off of her in red-tinged waves, I can’t not put my hands on her. Even if it’s just her slim shoulders. But it might as well be on those just-less-than-a-handful and utterly perfect breasts. Or those feminine, rounded hips. It doesn’t matter where my palms skate or where my fingertips press into her gleaming chestnut skin. It’s all sexual. It’s all dirty. Because it’s all her. For me, it’s always been her. My fantasy. My sin. My joy. My regret. My best friend’s woman. Jesse’s girl.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Guest Author Susan Fisher-Davis


What do the words ‘writer’s block’ mean to you?

To me, they mean total frustration!

Do you read your book reviews? If yes, how do you process negative reviews?

I used to. I don’t anymore. When I did, I’d get so hurt by a bad review, but my first publisher told me to ignore it, and to remember that not everyone will like my books. I just think it’s better not to read them if I want to keep my sanity. It seems that some reviewers enjoy tearing an author apart, not the story.

If you could time travel, would you go back or forward in time?

I would definitely go back. I’m not sure I’d change anything, but I’d love to see my parents again.

In one word, describe yourself.


Do you find yourself getting emotional when you write? Is there a scene that sticks out as being the most emotional to write?

Oh, yes. A book I recently published. Trick Men of Clifton, Montana Book 17. The prologue is a total tear-jerker. No matter how many times I’d go over it, I’d just cry my eyes out.

What are you working on now? Can you give us a sneak peek?

Well, I am always working on more than one at a time, but the next book, which will be released at the end of December, is Colson Men of Clifton, Montana Book 20:

Stopping in the driveway, she threw the door open and stepped out. Taking a deep breath, she popped the rear hatch on her vehicle and stood there staring at the boxes. Reaching in, she pulled one to her and struggled to lift it. She jerked when someone reached around her.

“I’ll get it.”

She looked up to see the hot cowboy from the diner.

“Wait. I don’t know you.” She pushed him away from the heavy box.

“Colson Griffin,” he said and put his hand out to her.

“Like that means anything to me.” She planted her hands on her hips and glared up at him.

He grinned. “Well, you must not be from around here. I’m well known and not in a good way.”

“I’m Lydia Carmichael. I lived here before, and what do you mean not in a good way?”

“Don’t worry. I’m not a serial killer. I was just an unruly kid.” He shrugged his broad shoulders.

“I hope you grew out of that.”

“What? You don’t like a bad boy?”

Lydia couldn’t help but laugh. “Maybe.”

“Now, do you want my help or not?” He grinned.

She stared up at him, and her breath hitched. His eyes were grayish blue, and his teeth were white and perfect. Deep creases appeared in his cheeks, and crow’s feet fanned out from the corner of his eyes. She’d put him in his mid to late thirties. Damn, he was hot, and he smelled so good. She wanted to go to bed with him. Gasping, she threw her hand over her mouth and watched as he frowned at her. He was trouble, but good God, she wanted to get into trouble with him.

“Uh, yes, that would be nice,” she said quietly.

He reached for the big box, picked it up as if it weighed nothing, and jerked his chin.

“Lead the way, darlin’.”

Lydia hesitated a second, turned on her heel, and led him to the front door. If she got him in the house, could she keep him?

Twitter: @susandavis37150
Instagram: susanfisherdavis_author