Meet the author: Rachel Jones

 My guest today is Rachel  Jones, a romance author. I got to meet Rachel at Penned Con 2017,  her table was directly across the aisle from me. Such a pleasant, lovely woman!  I am just now starting on this book, but so far I love it!  I’m not a super fast reader, but I’m on chapter 5 since this past weekend.



A broken ballerina repaired by the love of a trauma surgeon.



Jillian Russell, a promising prima ballerina, suffers the loss of her dance career. Redirecting her life, she opens the North Carolina Ballet Company.

Trauma surgeon, Alan Armstrong relocates to Charlotte, North Carolina for a fresh start. A supporter of the arts, Alan finds himself on the board of Jillian’s ballet company.

It is not long before they are romantically drawn to one another. When Alan discovers Jillian has been misdiagnosed, he tells her she must decide between their love and a performance career in ballet.



Jillian lingered behind, thinking about her students. This was the best group of seven-year-olds she had taught since opening the school. She enjoyed teaching all ages but this group was the highlight of her week. Sighing, she wondered if maybe it had something to do with the fact Lily would have been seven this year. Brushing the thought away, she moved to the piano and focused her attention on arranging the music for the dance company’s rehearsal the next night.

Her school of ballet was impressive but her dance company was her crowning glory. Expanding her lungs to their fullest she exhaled, feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment. The North Carolina Ballet Company, now in its fifth year of existence, continued to experience growing pains and would for several years to come. As they grew in number they also grew in depth and dimension, becoming a cohesive group of artists excited to tell many stories through dance.  Their progress was measured by the reputation they enjoyed for offering professional performances to the surrounding communities.

“You have a good looking group of ballerinas, Jilly,” remarked David as he crossed the studio floor, followed by Alan.

The familiar voice brought a smile to her face. She had met David soon after moving to Charlotte when she was searching for a financial advisor. They had spent a lot of time together working on the financial end of setting up her school. When she took the plunge a year later, with David’s encouragement, and started the North Carolina Ballet Company, he was her biggest fan. Feeling she could trust him with her life, she was grateful he had accepted her invitation to be a part of the company’s initial board of directors.

Turning around at the sound of the tenor voice her eyes darted from her friend to the familiar form standing beside him. Her smile disappeared.

“You!” Jillian took a step back. “What are you doing here?”

“What’s wrong?” David’s gaze bounced back and forth between his friends. “Do you two know each other?”

Her eyes remained fixed on the doctor as if she were seeing him for the first time. He was tall, about six feet she estimated, with thick brown hair and he had the most gorgeous, deep-set brown eyes. It was like looking into pools of chocolate and she was finding it hard not to stare.  She shifted her gaze to her friend.  “I recall seeing him at the hospital, after the explosion.”

“Oh, come on, Ms. Russell. I performed the surgery on your shoulder and I was your doctor for two days—until you fired me. And all you have to say is, ‘I recall seeing you’?”

“If memory serves it was a day and a half. And I’d prefer not talking about anything having to do with the explosion if you don’t mind.”

“I see. Well, I hope your recovery is going well.”

“Yes, it is thank you.”


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Book Trailer:


Author Bio:

Award-winning author Rachel Jones is a Labor & Delivery RN by night and a writer by day. Her love of reading romance novels prompted her at age fifty-seven to write her first contemporary romance manuscript. She loves composing stories about strong women and sweet romance. Her books reflect her love of the performing arts. Her twenty-eight-year career in healthcare has influenced the threads of medical drama woven into her storylines.

When she’s not working or writing, Rachel loves traveling, sewing and making music. She lives in Kennesaw, Georgia her husband of thirty-nine years. They have three grown children and one spoiled Labrador retriever. Rachel is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Georgia Writers Association, Heart of Dixie Romance Writers, and is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America.

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Thank you, Rachel, for being such a lovely guest. Be sure to check out her links and get your copy of this heartwarming book!
Write on my friends, write on!

Summer Lit Blitz – Karen Doctor


Do you like mysteries? Do you like romance? YOU are in luck with this week’s guest because you’ll get both. First,  let’s share our interview then you can read a couple of excerpts.

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.  

I’m an Amazon Bestselling Indie author. I live in the Denver area, and love my Rocky Mountains and the year round temperatures. Yes, it can be 50 degrees one day and in the 80s the next but I love the changeability…generally. I love camping and fishing. I have three children and eight grandchildren. My husband and I ride Bumblebee, our yellow and black Goldwing motorcycle, whenever we get a chance. Everything disappears when I’m on the back of the bike. So relaxing! We even have a pop up camper for the back of the cycle so we can take long trips. We take at least one a year.

 2.What is (are) your goal(s) for June? July? August? (whichever month you are being interviewed for)

 Get caught back up so I can write more. My mother had a serious health event at the end of last month so I’ve been perpetually behind for weeks now and not writing nearly as much as I’d hoped. I really do want to get one of the two books I’m working on out soon!!

 3. I can relate. I’ve had chaos in my life here as well. Nothing as serious as you have going on. You have my sympathy there, that’s got to be very stressful. What is your best time management tip?

 Buy an egg timer and try to schedule your day. I’m scattered in so many directions because I write. I run and manage a daily blog where I highlight guest authors. I’m the Programs Chair at RomCon, a romance readers convention that we organize every year, which generally means I take care of the 60+ authors, their schedules, etc.

 4. What is your best writing tip for newbies?

 Soak up as much craft information as you can, then simply write. You want to learn the intricacies of craft but don’t get so immersed that you don’t write. But you also don’t want to stop learning once you get the craft down. The market is changing so quickly you don’t have a lot of time before something changes and there’s something else to learn.

 5. Do you have a book coming out this summer?

Yes, probably the end of the summer or early fall. Due to personal things, I’ve fallen a bit behind. I’m currently working on the next True Love In Uniform Series contemporary romance called Cop Crashes The Wedding. I’m also working on the second Thorne’s Series book, Dead Ringer. I’m aiming to get at least one of them released by August.

 6. What genre do you write?

I write contemporary romance as Karen Docter and romantic suspense as K.L. Docter. I love writing both light (almost romantic comedy) and dark (there is usually a serial killer ) romance.

 7. What are your favorite summer foods? Activities?

I love watermelon, corn on the cob, barbecued anything. We have at least one neighborhood BBQ on our deck with up to 40 people. Summer is the only time I make my famous potato salad.

8.  I absolutely love summer foods, and like you said anything barbecued. I’e gotten to where I prefer my meat grilled without sauce- especially a good cut of beef.  Now I’m hungry. Will you share a picture of your writing space?

 photo 1

I have my office just the way I want it…and it’s all about to change. I’m giving up my dedicated office space in the basement so we can convert it to a space for my mother when it becomes necessary. However, right now, my office is bright Emperor’s Gold. I don’t generally like yellows but when I’m here, it feels like I’m outside in the sunshine. I’m surrounded by my small collection of Asian artwork and wall hangings…and, of course, my dragon collection. Anyone who follows me know I love my dragons!

9. OK, I’m having some serious office envy right now.  I have been trying to get my office set up,  I am currently using a corner of our kitchen table and I can’t ven begin to tell you how  not effective it is. I have this whole beachy theme for it, had the space all cleared out so my husband could begin with the drywall and . . . let’s just say it’s a struggle. So, continueing on with our   interview, I have two more question for you before we get to the excerpt.  Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

 Ayn Rand’s TheFountainhead or  Atlas Shrugged. Have read them both numerous times. I also have an old collection of Tarzan and the John Carter series I pull out occasionally, as well as my collection of Star Trek novels, and most of Sherilyn Kenyon, Tara Janzen, Cindy Gerard, okay, there are a lot of authors I can add to this but there’s simply no room.

10. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

 Develop a thick skin and don’t panic when you don’t see immediate results. In this day and age, we’re so used to instant gratification that we forget that it takes time to develop our skills. Don’t rush yourself out there until you know you’re ready. There are a lot of writers who put themselves out too soon and it can actually hurt your career.

 Thank you Karen for a wonderful interview, and for being my guest this week. It’s a pleasure to have you here! Now, let’s share  this excerpt shall we?  My readers are going to love this.  This is from Karen’s romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, Thorne’s Thorns Book 1.Karen wants everyone to know that each one can be read as a stand alone. 


Some secrets are better left dead.

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.

(A Thorne’s Thorns Novel)


Four weeks….

Two days….

Sixteen hours….

…‘Til death.

The first time he laid eyes on her, he stood on the threshold of a doorway he dare not cross. He fell into her fathomless dark gaze, unable, unwilling to shake his soul free and, in that one moment, he knew.

She was meant for him to love.

Untouched by the sordid life that flourished around her, she was sunlight in a gray existence. A smile in a dingy room. A joy such as he’d never known. She was a gift from a cold, unforgiving God. Forever innocent.

Why God would give him such a precious angel, he didn’t know. But he suddenly knew what he was willing to die for. What he’d kill for.

In that instant of clarity the monster that lurked in the dark recesses of his mind was freed. A creature designed to kill. To live and die. Over and over again. Until his angel ascended once more to her place in Heaven at God’s feet where he couldn’t reach her.

‘Til death parted them, she was his and his alone.

Certain she’d been lost to him, the shock of spotting her again in LoDo, a lower downtown section of Denver, nearly brought him to his knees. His brain tried to tell him he was mistaken. She had more curves than he remembered. Her hairstyle and clothes were different.

The others were different, too.

He shook his head against the monster’s treacherous whisper. He refused to listen. Couldn’t listen. His angel smiled at him. His soul recognized her. Somehow, some way, his fractious God had been appeased and given him yet another chance.

The past seven days were hell. Watching her. Wanting to take her. Knowing he couldn’t screw up and lose her again. Tonight, his preparations in place, she’d return to his side where she belonged.

Breathing slow and measured through the full-face ski mask he’d bought at a thrift store, he sucked in a lungful of musty stench. In this uncommon late-May heat wave, he was sweating bullets but the wool soaked it up before it could sting his eyes. The itching would drive him insane, though, if she didn’t come home from work soon.

The LoDo sports bar where she waited tables closed almost an hour ago. She couldn’t have gone on a date at two o’clock on a Thursday morning, could she?

Three times he’d entered her ground floor apartment after she’d left for work, and he’d seen no sign she was involved with anyone. No jockey shorts mixed with her panties in the hamper. No extra razor. The food in the refrigerator wasn’t enough to feed a cat, let alone her and a boyfriend, and the only scent on her pillows was floral. The sole message from a male on her answering machine had identified himself as a special research librarian from the Denver Public Library reminding her to pick up the copy of “The Warwick Genealogy” she’d requested.

That doesn’t mean she isn’t still involved with him, the almighty scion of Thorne Enterprises. She’s probably crawling into his bed like a whore right this minute, letting him do things to her, making her scream….




“No!  Stop!” he whispered. “That was a mistake!”

Was it?  The insidious question lashed him from the dark place in his pounding skull.

He rejected the smirking voice, the vivid images. Think of something else. Anything else. Forget forget for—


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KarenDoctercropped 2



Author Bio:

Amazon Bestselling Author Karen Docter writes contemporary romance. When she feels the need to feed the dark side, she writes intense suspense thrillers as K.L. Docter. She’s an award-winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.


Twitter: @KarenDocter
Karen Docter FB:
K.L. Docter FB:



Bestselling Author Karen Docter ~ K.L. Docter
Contemporary Romance ~ Romantic Suspense
 Thank you Karen for being an awesome guest.

Thank you Karen for being an awesome guest. I can’t wait to start on this book personally, I hope you will all enjoy it also.

Write one my friends, write on!


Sunday Snippet – Red Wine

This weekend is the anniversary takeover celebration for Eclectic Bard Books.  In honor of that,  my snippet today will be from Red Wine & Roses.

Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey

This is from Chapter 20  Wine Women & Jackowski:

“What do you see in her Derek?” Ashleigh took another bite of the chicken.

“The future.” He cleared his plate and added it to the stack of dishes piled in the sink.

Her fork stopped halfway to her mouth. Was he serious? A future with Julia?  She was nothing. She was less than nothing and by the time she was finished with her plan, he would see it as well.

Derek wasn’t about to make it any easier on her end of the bargain. He reached under the sink for the detergent and the scrubber, and then set out the drainer. “Oh, did I forget to mention that my apartment doesn’t come with a dishwasher?”

“You mean I have to wash all of those by hand?”

“Afraid so princess.” He grabbed a beer and headed to the living room.

She took another couple of bites then scraped the rest into the trash. With a big showy sigh, she stepped out of her platform heels. “I did agree to clean in exchange for the place to sleep.

“That you did.” He clicked through the channels. She was already annoying him. He had forgotten the little things that Ashleigh did that got on his nerves. The constant sighing over anything that took a little effort on her part, the way she would flip her hair over her shoulder in an exaggerated movement to draw attention to whatever it was that she did, the running dialog when he wanted peace and quiet, they were still there and annoying as ever. Nothing about Ashleigh had changed in their time apart. It was apparent in the contrast of how he felt around her and the way he felt around Julia. When he was with Ashleigh, he couldn’t wait to get time away from her with his friends. With Julia, he lost track of time and often wanted to forego time with his friends to stay with her.

“You know, I don’t mind doing this. I was prepared to do this with you.” Ashleigh slowly transferred the dirty dishes from the sink to the counter, holding them delicately in her hands as if they were poisoned with a disgusted expression. “Does she know what a slob you are? Or that you are afraid of long term commitments?” She turned towards him as she filled the sink with water and began with the glasses.

“I’m not a slob. It’s been a long hectic week and I have barely had time to eat and shower. You asked for a place to crash and offered to clean so have at it. As to the scared of commitment, I’m not. Never have been. It was you that accused me of it because I didn’t want to rush things.”

“This is disgusting, I’d call it being a slob. you worked all the time and never had time for me.” She turned towards him, her best doe eyes and added. “I still love you Derek. I was frustrated that I was never at the top of your priorities.”

“Yeah, I know. You’ve told me, repeatedly. Right before you ripped my heart out. Oh, and moved to New York with that photographer.”

“How many times do I need to say I’m sorry? How many times do I have to admit I was wrong? You and I were great together Derek. We can be again.”

He slammed the rest of his beer down. “You don’t need to apologize anymore. You have said it enough. I’m going to run out and get some wine. You want anything while I’m out?” He grabbed his keys and stuffed his wallet into his jeans.

“Wine? Could you get white zinfandel?” She reached for the towel to dry her hands but he was already out the door.

Ashleigh walked to the door, opening it to catch him before he got on the elevator.

“White zinfandel, I heard you. Anything else?” He glanced sideways at her, his hand on the elevator door.

“No that’s all. Thanks.” She ducked back into the apartment and retrieved her phone.

“Hey it’s me. I’m in. He is going down the street to get some wine for us for the evening. Score!” Ashleigh made a fist pump with her free hand. “OK, well I have to get back to the dishes. I think he dirtied everything up just so that I would have to clean them. No, it was part of the deal of him letting me stay. Hey, if it works then it will be worth the dishpan hands. Keep your fingers crossed. Talk later.” She smiled moving back to the kitchen, tossing the towel in the air and catching it.

“Yes, indeed. If this works, it will be worth every dirty dish that he can throw at me.”


Derek jammed his hands into his pockets and walked down the sidewalk. Not sure where the sudden animosity came from towards Ashleigh, he figured it was best if he got out of there before he started a big fight. He didn’t want to fight with her, he didn’t even want her to suffer for the pain that she had caused him. Perhaps it wasn’t too late for him to give her the cash and send her to the hotel. He kicked a rock out into the street. It seemed strange that he resented her presence.

What was he afraid of anyway? If he didn’t have any desires for Ashleigh, then her staying there shouldn’t be a big deal. Jogging across the street to the bench that sat facing the water, he sat down. His feelings were for Julia, not for Ashleigh. It wasn’t even a matter of testing his resolve. He dialed Julia.

The phone rang several times before connecting to her voice mail. “Hun it’s me. I was thinking about you, about that picture you sent me, and thinking how much I miss your kisses. I can’t wait to have you in my arms again. Missing you Jules.”

It wasn’t a test of his character; there wasn’t a desire for Ashleigh. He was simply helping a friend. That was all.

Derek rose and walked the next block to the corner market. He grabbed a bottle of the red moscato that was Julia’s favorite and a bottle of the white zinfandel for Ashleigh. He grabbed a bunch of bananas, a couple of apples and a package of brownies from the bakery, wishing that they were some of Julia’s. “You’ve released my inner fat man Julia. It’s your fault. I’m probably going to need to buy bigger suits when we get married.” He grabbed the package of apple strudel for in the morning as well. Moving toward the front check out, the weight of what he had absentmindedly said registered. “Married.” He turned down the next aisle, glancing over the shelves as he thought.

When had he mentally made the decision to marry instead of move in together? He grabbed a box of snack crackers. The words that Kevin shared from his father’s advice had made an impact to be certain, but how did that translate to marriage? He knew his parents wouldn’t be in favor of moving in together, they were of the old-fashioned sort.


Do you have an elderly man in your life that has given you sage advice?

Go check out my friends links for Snippet Sunday as well!

Cathy Brockman 

Vicki Locey

Write on my Friends, write on!