I Survived Jury Duty--Again

Yes, for the 8th--or is it the 9th time--I went to Jury Duty yesterday and lived to tell the tale.

Long day. Up at 4:30 because it was raining, and downpours on the freeways at rush hour means you leave at an ungodly hour to get to downtown without driving like a maniac--like all the other drivers on the freeways.

I left home at 5:30, got to parking garage--the only one that charges you $6.00 which is what Jury Duty pays by the day. In the past I've had to pay $20.00 to $25.00 a day. (You only get $6.00 for Jury Duty unless you get stuck on a long trial.

Arrived at the garage at 6:20. Sat in the car and had my coffee and a piece of toast I'd brought.

Still raining when I left the car and headed to the Jury Assembly room at 7:00. Unfortunately, the new Jury Assembly room in the Jury Summons I received hosted 11 feet of water during Hurricane Harvey so it's closed while they renovate it.


A nice gentleman on the street happened to be a building engineer in the building where Jury Assembly is now being held so he directed me there.

Hurry Up And Wait

Jury Duty is like the military. It's always "hurry up and wait." I took a seat and started making notes as I waited. Chatted with my seat mate who had driven in from Baytown which is east of Houston.

Half the room filled before 8:00. After 8:00 which was the deadline for arriving, the stragglers started arriving. Announcements were made. A film starring the Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel was shown. He thanked everyone for showing up, etc.

Forms were collected. More waiting. Forms were collected from stragglers. More waiting. Then the Bailiff arrived and pulled the first panel of 65 prospective jurors around 9:45. Of course I was in it.

Moved Around And More Waiting

After our names were called, we were herded into another room where we stood and waited. Then we were assigned Juror Numbers. More standing and waiting. After a bit we were brought up from the assembly room in the basement to the ground floor. More standing and waiting.

Then the Baliff led us outside--drizzling rain--and walked us a couple of blocks to the Civil Courts Building. I found out that we were to be jurors, if selected, for a criminal case, but the Criminal Courts Building had also been damaged in Hurricane Harvey so both courts were meeting in the same building.

We arrived at the Civil Courts Building, up the broad flight of steps, into the lobby, and came to a screeching halt for the security check-in which was just like at the airport except we had to take off our shoes. We don't usually do that any more at the airport. Shoes, belts, watches, etc. into the big tray, through the screener, walk through the metal detector. Then we were hurried to get our stuff and get out of the way.

More standing and waiting while all 65 of us got back into our shoes, belts, etc. Then we were herded to the freight elevator. More standing and waiting while we were taken up to the 16th floor in batches. Four trips to get us all up there.

Arrived at 16th floor about 10:15. Know what we did then? Right. More standing and waiting. They lined us up. We waited. Bailiff came out and said it would be a while. Lawyers went in and out of the courtroom and paraded up and down the hall. The defendant and his lawyer were trying to make a plea deal in the case we were to participate in.

All 65 of us would be subjected to the "voir dire" process to make sure we could be impartial jurors were we selected. I say subjected because in one trial in which I was unlucky enough to be in the jury panel. Lawyers questioned jurors while the defendants--all 10 of them mean-looking and scary--observed. Your name, home address, occupation, your spouse's name, address, occupation, how many children you have, etc. All that private information you try to keep private around strangers. Especially strangers accused of conspiracy to commit murder!

Anyway, it was great people watching from the woman lawyer in 6 inch heels and a tight sheath dress with a slit up the back that ended about 4 inches from her butt to the male lawyer wearing tangerine orange trousers. (I made lots of notes about lawyers, defendants, and jurors!)

Finally after sitting on the floor and waiting forever, we were lined up again and taken into the courtroom, 16 at a time to file the rows of hard, wooden benches.

Gavel by Jason Morrison, SXC
The Judge thanked us for being there, said he had some good news for us, and he immediately declared a short recess!

While we waited for him to come back, we all sat there making jokes. Most of the jokes centered around the good news, i.e., "we're all getting tickets to the Astros playoff game."

The Judge came back in and announced that the defendant had accepted a plea deal. We restrained ourselves from cheering.

The Judge thanked us again and said he'd like to shake hands with each of us. To our amazement, he actually came into the Jury Box and did that! We were released from Jury Duty.

Takeaway Truth

I walked back to the parking garage, paid my $6.00, and drove home. When I arrived, I promptly took a nap.

Sweet Christmas Romances Tour


RELEASE
TOUR FOR A COLLECTION OF FIVE SWEET ROMANCES
TOUR DATES: OCTOBER 17-22 2017

Evie’s
Christmas Chocolate Kisses




Christmas is around the corner and all Evie Holmes wants is a nice, sincere, honest guy to spend the holidays with. Andrew Summerfield seems like the perfect boyfriend until Evie discovers he is only after her bakery, and beautiful, turn of the century home. When she ends their relationship, he stubbornly refuses to take no for an answer.

When her friend suggests Evie adopt a pet, she finds herself wanting to adopt a dog and a sexy veterinarian.

Nick Tucker has a killer smile, a heart of gold and loves her Chocolate Kiss cookies. Can a Saint Bernard named Brewster and a passionate veterinarian bring the holiday spirit back into Evie’s life in time for Christmas?


Analeigh’s Christmas Cupcakes


This holiday season, Analeigh’s put everything into a Christmas wedding where her cupcakes are taking center stage. Analeigh quit her job and went back to school to follow her dreams and her passion.

In a second, Analeigh’s worst case scenario happens when she’s involved in a hit-and-run.

Her cupcake trays become road kill and her dreams fade.

But, when a cute tow truck driver, Danny, comes to her rescue maybe the worst day of her life can be resurrected. Anything can happen… it’s Christmas.

Chrissy's Christmas Sugar Cookies

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0764TQR29

Nicholas Reed arrives in the small town of Troy to acquire the Delbert farm for his investors. He hadn’t expected his competition to be a beautiful, confident woman. His heart takes control over his business-minded mission. Christine Spencer is the owner of the coffee shop ‘Sugar N’ Spice’. She serves the best sugar and spice, and everything nice.

Chrissy’s heart melts the first time she meets Nick. Then she discovers he’s the man that can destroy her dream to own the Delbert farm. His plan to bring in his investors for a viewing of the property would cancel her annual Christmas dance at the farm. He proposes a deal for her to date him for a week and he’ll stall his investors. Can Nick convince her those first sparks they felt, are real? Nothing like a little spice added to the holidays, unless someone ends up on the naughty list.


Amy’s Christmas Casserole

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0764KJ6MX

After being attacked in the parking lot of her San Antonio apartment complex, Amy fears all men. One day she stumbles upon Sawyer Creek. Using all her savings, she buys a small house and café and her Chicken Dorito Casserole becomes an all-time favorite among the community. After four years, the nightmares have stopped, but the panic attacks haven’t.

Christmas is four weeks off when the Sheriff calls saying a shovel hit the backdoor of her café, setting off the alarm. Vowing to never be a victim twice, she arms herself with the shovel only to learn that he’s been shot.

Can she help him despite her fear of men?


Margie's Magic Cookie Bars

https://www.amazon.com/Margies-Magic-Cookie-Bars-Christmas-ebook/dp/B0764KRLTB/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1507142674&sr=1-2

Margie’s mom taught her to bake, and to believe in Christmas magic. She also promised this would be the year Margie found love. When Margie draws the name of her office crush, Trent in the Secret Santa Pool, she decides to make it happen by baking him a batch of her irresistible Magic Christmas bars. But it’s Bryan, the new guy in the office, who falls under her spell.

Bryan doesn’t need any encouragement when it comes to Margie. From his first day on the job, he’s been captivated by her sweet nature and beautiful smile. Bryan can tell Margie only has eyes for Trent, but he recognizes Trent for what he is, a charming user likely to break Margie’s heart. Before that happens, he must make Margie see she’s closer to her Christmas miracle than she ever dreamed.





You can find our collection of Sweet Christmas Romances at all of these wonderful locations: Amazon * Kobo * iBooks * Playster * Scribd * Inktera.





ABOUT THE AUTHORS


SHARON KLEVE

Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.

Sharon is a multi-published author of contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other’s arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.

One of her favorite things to do is pick up a new book and sink into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.

When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.

Email: sharon.kleve@gmail.com

Blog: http://authorsharonkleve.blogspot.com/

Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/sharonrkleve

Facebook Timeline: https://www.facebook.com/#!/sharonkleve

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKleve

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/btSoS1


JENNIFER CONNER



Jennifer Conner is a best-selling Northwest author who has seventy short stories, books, and audiobooks. She writes in Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, and Erotica. She has hit Amazon’s top fifty authors ranking and her books have been #1 in sales. Her novel Shot in the Dark was a finalist in the Emerald City Opener, Cleveland, and Toronto RWA contests.

Jennifer is an Associate Publisher for the indie e-book publisher, Books to Go Now, who resides in the Seattle area. They pride themselves in helping new authors get their foot in the door with well-edited manuscripts, professional covers, and platforms uploads.

She lives in a hundred year old house that she grew up in. Her semi-small town holds an interesting mix of resident hillbillies, yuppies and Navy Seals. And of course, Seattle, only a few miles away, is the birthplace of Starbucks so coffee is always on the check list. She blows glass beads with a blowtorch, (which relieves a lot of stress and people don’t bother you) and is a huge fan of musicals.

She loves to hear from her readers. Please email her: jenniferconnerwriter@gmail.com.

Website: http://jenniferconnerbooks.com/

Her Publisher Email: BooksToGoNow@gmail.com

Publisher Website: http://www.bookstogonow.com

Blog: http://jenniferconnerwriter.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.conner2

For Updates about new releases as well as exclusive promotions, sign up for the VIP mailing list at Jennifer’s Website: http://www.jenniferconnerbooks.com/


ANGELA FORD


Angela Ford originates from Nova Scotia…Canada’s Ocean Playground! Her love of the ocean and sunsets are always in her heart and give her inspiration. Her love for words keeps her turning the page. She is never without a book, whether she’s reading or writing. Her dedication to volunteer and involvement with cyber safety seminars gave her an Award of Distinction and sparked the idea for her first book Closure - Best Selling Action/Adventure/Crime/Suspense.

Ms. Ford continued her FBI series with Forbidden and Obsessed. Now available in a boxed set – Cyber Crime Series. In between mysteries, Ms. Ford writes short contemporary romance...sometimes with a dash of suspense!

Visit her website Romantic Escapes to connect with her on social media. She loves to hear from her readers – they keep her smiling!

TAMMY TATE


Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida but has lived most of her adult life in Texas. Her passion to write began in high school. It follows her everywhere she goes...creating a world where anything is possible. She's been married to the same wonderful man for over thirty years. Her secret to a long marriage? It's easy when you marry your best friend. In her world, Friday night is still date night.

Before she became a full-time author, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher). She doesn't mind a challenge which has allowed her to race a late-model in a women's powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised three wonderful children. When she's not breathing life into her characters or jotting down ideas for a new book, she is most likely spending quality time with her husband or curled up with a good book.

Since she believes reading is the next best thing to writing, she enjoys romance, fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. In December of 2013, she signed her first book contract with a traditional publisher. Her books have made Amazon's Best Seller list.

Email me: authortammytate@aol.com

Like my author Facebook page: https://www.facebookcom/tammytateauthor

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/authortammytate

Check out my Blog: http://authortammytate.blogspot.com/

My Publisher: http://bookstogonow.com/

LAURA STRICKLAND




Award-winning author Laura Strickland, born and raised in Western New York, has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Although she enjoys travel, she’s usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario, with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog.

Author of numerous Historical and Contemporary Romances, she is the creator of the Buffalo Steampunk Adventure series set in her native city. Margie’s Magic Christmas Bars is her second title with Books To Go Now.



CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY

Thursday3Some: Evil Speaks Softly by Maureen Bonatch

I've got my cup of coffee so get your favorite beverage and let's get comfy so we can visit with today's guest.

Please welcome Maureen Bonatch, one of my friends from Authors Helping Authors. The Thursday3Some Spotlight is shining on Maureen and her novel Evil Speaks Softly.

Maureen writes Humorous Paranormal Romance and Fantasy. To me that sounds delightful.

Giveaway Alert

Not only does Maureen have a great book to tell you about, but also she is running a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card. Be sure and read to the end of the post to find out all the details about the Rafflecopter.

About Maureen L. Bonatch

Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line.

Visit Maureen Online

You'll find her at: Amazon Author Page * Website * Twitter * Facebook * Sign up for Maureen's Newsletter





Q1: When did you write Evil Speaks Softly?

Maureen: Although it’s a new release, I wrote Evil Speaks Softly a few years ago. I started with a draft and became distracted by another ‘shiny story idea’ and then a back injury that delayed the story’s completion.

Q2: What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

Maureen: My stories usually start with a character whispering the first line to me. Their stories are so real. So much that I discover the story as I write and am often surprised at the outcome. This made me start to wonder what if it wasn’t really a character speaking to me, but rather a ghost telling their story? Then what if the ghost wasn’t a friendly one?

Q3: Why do readers buy Evil Speaks Softly?

Maureen: This story is for readers who like a good ghost story with a little humor intermixed. Readers who want a little sweet romance with a strong, independent heroine. Evil Speaks Softly placed second in the 2015 Golden Palm Contest of the Florida Romance Writers in the Paranormal Category.

Evil Speaks Softly by Maureen L. Bonatch

Everyone has a story to tell. Even the dead.

They were never supposed to meet. Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family.

The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.

They were never supposed to find love. Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old family home until she met Gage.

His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead. 

They’ve broken all the rules. Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.

Add Evil Speaks Softly To Your Library

You'll find this captivating paranormal romance at: Amazon * The Wild Rose Press * Barnes and Noble * Kobo * iBooks * Google Play

Giveaway Details


Maureen has made it very easy to enter her Rafflecopter Giveaway for a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card. Just click a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter and you'll be taken to a webpage that has multiple ways to get more than 1 entry.

Takeaway Truth

The weekend is near. Grab a copy of Evil Speaks Softly for some adventure this weekend.

Julie Kavanagh Tackles The Dirty Dozen

Today's post is late publishing due to technical difficulties, but it's worth waiting for.

I'm happy to welcome Julie Kavanagh, author of A Sprig of White Heather.

About Julie Kavanagh

Julie loves to write and spends much of her time thinking about writing when she’s not actually writing.
She works in an inner city London Primary school supporting Literacy, and loves sharing her passion of reading and writing with the next generation.

She lives in the same street she grew up in with her supportive husband, one of her daughters and six rescue cats, although she dreams of living in a country cottage in an olde worlde English village.

Julie believes in true love and aspects of the paranormal and can sometimes be found sitting in the dark on a ghost hunt. This fascination can be found in several of her stories.

She also loves to hear from fans so why not contact her on her Facebook page or Amazon author page? Visit Juli Online: Facebook * Website and read on to see how Julie answers 12 questions about her writing process and her life as an author.

Julie Kavanagh Tackles the Dirty Dozen

Q1: In what genre do you write and why that particular genre?
Julie:I write both paranormal romance and sweet romance. I love to write paranormal romances and like to set my characters challenges although I want to see them happy by the end. No matter what genre I write, I like to include romance because I’m a great believer in true love, and that there’s a special someone out there for everyone.

Q2: What inspired your book?
Julie: My inspiration for ‘A Sprig of White Heather’ is my interest in past lives. I like the thought that we can correct mistakes we made in past lives to enhance our present lives. Plus, of course, I love the idea that each of us have a true love in all our lives. My husband says I’m a born romantic.

Q3: As an author, what can readers expect when they read one of your books?
Julie: Readers can expect romance although my characters usually conflict when they first meet. I can’t make it easy for them, now can I? I like to see how my characters change when met by someone who doesn’t agree with their point of view. I also like the happy ending, although in my Demon Witch series of books, I found I couldn’t end any of them with a simple happy ending. There’s just too much happening in Luca’s life, and most of the books in the series end with a cliffhanger.

Q4: How did you "become" an author? For instance, was there a moment when you said: "I think I'll write a book.”
Julie: I’ve always written, even as a child. I scribbled stories down on pieces of paper. As a teenager, I penned a truly dreadful novel about a girl who was forever in trouble. I think I might still have it somewhere but it will never see the light of day. I have boxes of handwritten stories which I will, one day, put into my computer. As a teacher and a mother, I would think up stories on the spot to entertain my own children at bedtime, or the Special Needs children I worked with. Children love to listen to stories, especially they have an opportunity to input characters and situations.

Q5: What's the best thing about being an author?
Julie: The very best thing about being an author is getting my ideas, my vision down onto a screen and then, hopefully, on paper. If I don’t write every day, I have what I call a back -up. I have so many ideas and scraps of conversion that I need to get them out of my head and into words. Does that sound crazy? Probably, but the way I remain sane.

Q6: What's the worst thing about being an author?
Julie: Oh, that has to be the isolation. A writer works in solitude and it can be a lonely job. Of course, I’ve got my characters to talk to but it’s nice to discuss a scene or a change of plot with someone real. I have a few friends online whom I talk to and that helps a lot. Plus, of course, when a reader gets in touch and tells you how much they enjoyed your book, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. Recently, at my daughter’s wedding, one of the guests came up to me to say she’d read everything I’d written and was my biggest fan. Her words, and the hug she gave me made an already wonderful day into a truly awesome day.


Q7: What device do you use to read ebooks?
Julie: I have an ancient iPad, I think it’s an iPad 2. It’s on its last legs, but it and I trundle along together. I like to think we understand each other although I’m a little impatient when it takes forever to load up, but I like to read in bed and it’s handy for that. I have to confess that I like to read in the bath too and my iPad works a treat – as long as I don’t drop it into the water.

Q8: Do you have editions of your books available other than ebook editions?
Julie: Some of my books are available in paperback, which is very exciting for me. I’m currently working on the first novels in the Demon Witch series to release them in paperback. A Sprig of White Heather will also be available very soon in paperback.

Q9: Do you listen to audio books? If so, where can readers find them, and what device do you use to listen to audiobooks?
Julie: I rarely listen to audiobooks, I find I get too easily distracted, which is the same as television for me. I have a very good friend who keeps telling me to listen to them and that I will change my mind about them.

Q10: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Julie: I’ve been asked this question a lot and this made me think back to when I started writing to publish my work. My advice would be to ignore the critics, to listen to your own thoughts
(and those of your characters) and to just write. Many people think they can write a book, but it’s not an easy as it looks. You have to sacrifice many hours of your day ( and night) to sit at a keyboard and it takes a lot of passion, and dedication just to get the story written.

Q11:If you could tell readers one thing, what would it be?
Julie: Take a chance on a new writer, or one you’ve never read before. There’s so much talent out there in the Indie world that you might be missing out on some wonderful stories… oooh and always, always leave a review. It doesn’t to be long or complicated, but reading the words of someone who loves your work is such an amazing feeling. It makes everything you so worthwhile

Q12: What is your current big dream, or goal, as a writer?
Julie: My dream is just to keep writing. I’m currently finishing off the 4th story in the Summer Street Series, New Year’s Love on Summer Street, and the next installment of the Demon WitchDidier’s Diary.


Cameron Mackenzie loses his true love in a brutal attack, and blaming it on his mistress, she curses him and his friends to eternal life unless he can find his true love once again.

After five hundred years of loneliness and guilt, Cameron meets Caitlyn, a woman who has recently divorced her cheating husband. Emotions spark between them, but for the wrong reasons and Cameron suspects she is the evil witch who cursed him.

Caitlyn still reeling from the after-shocks of her broken marriage is attracted to the dark, broody Scot but he frightens her although she can’t explain why.

Something is happening in the remote Scottish hotel Caitlyn has come to experience and she begins to fear for her life.

What is going on and what dark magic haunts her dreams? Can she escape with her life or is the brooding Cameron her destiny?

Add A Sprig of White Heather to Your Library

You'll find Julie's novel at: Amazon UK * Amazon US.

Takeaway Truth

Don't you love to discover new authors? I do. Why not grab Julie's book for the weekend?

Love, Christmas Returns

Last year, my friends and I put together a wonderful Holiday Romance Collection called Love, Christmas.

The title of each book in the collection was a holiday song title.

The set was so popular that it immediately hit the USA Today Bestsellers list.

Now is the time when all the holiday books are hitting the shelves. Since our Love, Christmas collection had been so popular with readers, we've brought it back for this holiday season.

Even better, we've made it super affordable. If you're a Kindle Unlimited Subscriber, it's free! If you're not a subscriber, it's only 99 cents! Now that's super affordable.

About Love, Christmas

Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer.

We Need a Little Christmas by Leanne Banks
Can a handsome cynic become a Christmas believer?

Frosty the Snowman by Mimi Barbour
Stranded in an Alaskan snowstorm, strangers Hali and Terry are forced to rely on each other for survival.

Last Christmas by Joan Reeves
In Last Christmas, a sassy chick lit romance, Annabelle gave him her heart. Rick stomped on it. This year, Rick's going to pay!

Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk
Pregnant at 18. Adoption would save the baby’s future but may cost her the man she loves.

Do You Hear What I Hear? by Patricia Rosemoor
Live-in-lovers Shelley and Jake are now in a cold war of their own over Christmas.

White Christmas by Rebecca York
Was she in a coma, or was she in a Christmas fantasy?

So This is Christmas by Denise Devine
He was her child nemesis, now he’s her best friend forever.

Grown Up Christmas List by Donna Fasano
All she wants for Christmas is to feel safe… then she meets her guardian angel.

Blue Christmas by the Sea by Traci Hall
Alone for Christmas, Tamsyn helps mystery writer Evan find his mojo—love is a gift neither can refuse.

Santa Baby by Taylor Lee
Lily’s only hope was that this time, he wouldn’t be able to find her.

Let It Snow by Stephanie Queen
A stranger and a snow storm on Christmas Eve create the ultimate test for Dane & Shana.

Merry, Did You Know? by Jennifer St. Giles
Can a Christmas Miracle change the future of a woman who doesn’t believe in love and a man who can't love again?

O Christmas Tree by Alicia Street
Can Piper convince Cody to let go of his painful past and embrace the hope of Christmas and possibly love?

Sleigh Ride by Katy Walters
Miss Sophia Vale faces poverty. Enter the Earl of Breconbridge, renowned as a rake hell with a conscience.

Deck the Hearts by Rachelle Ayala
Can Holly’s jolly Christmas spirit help Grinch Gordon Gills save the town of Christmas Creek?

Silver Bells by Jacquie Biggar
Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants?

Hark the Herald Angel Falls by Michele Hauf
To earn her halo, angel Merit must convince the person who holds her earthly soul in limbo—her husband—to stop loving her.

Little Drummer Boy by Dani Haviland
How could a mere drummer boy help those stranded in the worst winter storm of the 18th century?

I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Nancy Radke
When former a former Navy SEAL plucks a woman from the Mediterranean Sea, he discovers a fighter tougher than he.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Cynthia Cooke
A big city girl reunites with a small town boy—magic. A Santa in need of an elf—Christmas magic.

Takeaway Truth

Start the week with romances that lift your spirits. Get Love, Christmas today.

Indie Author Day: 2 Free Books to Celebrate

Today is Indie Author Day.

Amazon and other ebook retailers, as well as indie authors everywhere, are celebrating great writing in self-published books.

Personally, I love being an indie author. I get to decide what I'll write, the length, the genre, and I get to choose the cover art, publication date and how my work will be marketed to readers along with a myriad of other decisions.

Yes, it's a lot of hard work wearing so many hats, but I love every bit of it.

To celebrate Indie Author Day, pick up a copy of my short romance LuvU4Ever. It's free on Amazon Kindle and at other ebook sellers too.

If you'd like another free book from me, simply join Joan's Reader Friends and a download link for one of my most popular romantic comedies will be sent to your Inbox.

(Your email address will never be shared or abused.)

To see what Amazon is doing for Indie Author Day, visit Powered by Indie.

Takeaway Truth

Support Indie Authors by purchasing their books and by leaving a short review when you read a book you adore.

Thursday3Some: Trails of Sin by Joyce McCarthy

Good morning, Readers. Welcome to Thursday3Some. Today my guest is Joyce McCarthy who writes erotic romance.

About Joyce McCarthy

Joyce says, "I weave stories about the darker shades in human relationships. The many ways in which they unravel and manifest themselves end up creating stories that thrill, that excite, that scare."

In her day job, Joyce works in one of the world’s leading consulting firms in a leadership position. When she's not writing, she loves to travel. She's also a voracious reader and a movie buff. Visit Joyce Online: Facebook * TwitterBlog *

Joyce's novel, Trails of Sin, is an erotic thriller in a corporate setting with a strong element of suspense and a powerful undercurrent of selfless love.

Q1. When did you write Trails of Sin?

Joyce: I wrote ‘Trails of Sin’ about a year back. It took me 6 weeks to finish the first complete draft of the book, and then I worked on a few iterations as of successive drafts of my work.

Q2. What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

Joyce: While the setting of the story is in a London corporation amid the power struggles, the insecurities, the treachery and the hypocrisy that characterize the corporate world, there were a number of interesting characters that took shape in my mind as I started writing the story.

We have a woman grieving over the separation from her lover, being forced to gratify her urges only through their virtual rendezvous, and seeking revenge. We have a woman completely taken over by jealousy and frustration, having lost her love. We have an evil corporate honcho, who is a compulsive womanizer and at the same time, has the responsibility to save his dwindling business, and it is important to portray that dilemma. We have a wife coming to terms with her husband’s infidelity and actually beginning to enjoy the forbidden pleasures herself, and I talk about her journey.

Q3. Why do readers buy Trails of Sin?

Joyce: (1) The book is fast, exciting, and sexy. (2)There's a diverse set of very interesting characters which the readers will absolutely love. I spoke about some of these characters above. (3) The London setting. A story is not just about human characters. The ambience, the milieu, the society, the city, and even the times have key roles to play.

A lot of the action takes place in a corporate setting, in a company manufacturing state-of-the-art phones and personal music players. I touch upon issues like corporate espionage, inter-continental travels, and workplace relationships with sexual overtones. This is a contemporary story that needed a throbbing, ‘happening’ modern-day urban milieu. And what could be a better choice than London?

About Trails of Sin by Joyce McCarthy

When Andrew Smith, the head honcho of Tech-Me gets into a steamy affair with Emma Atkins, the new intern in office, his secretary and ex-girlfriend Betty Wilson swears revenge.

Soon strategic secrets of the company are leaked out through craftily designed torrid acts of seduction of Tech-Me bosses.

As Tech-Me starts losing ground and there are storms brewing in Andrew’s private life, he realizes there is more to his predicament than professional issues.

He is left searching for answers as shadows of a sinful past haunt him.

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Takeaway Truth

If you like danger and hot sex with your romance, try Trails of Sin by Joyce McCarthy.