Tag Archive | book

It’s here!


Now available from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc and Amazon.com

Book one of the Happily Ever After series

SOMETHING BORROWED

When a man tells you he loves you, how do you learn to trust him to stay when everyone else in your life has left?

SomethingBorrowedCoverArt72dpi

Rain Marcus’s idyllic life growing up in the tiny mountain village of Moonlight Cove didn’t last into adulthood.  She returns from college with dreams of designing and making couture wedding gowns for the rest of her life, but fate has the habit of twisting dreams into thin versions of themselves, and now, fifteen years later, every day is a rerun of the day before.

When MacMillan Sinclair Montrose IV’s parents die, he swears nothing will ever be beyond his control again. He became parent to his baby sister,  graduated from college and took over running his father’s company. There is no way he’ll let his sister’s wedding fall apart. Rain and her friends step in and pull off the perfect day.

Along the way, though, Mac loses control of his heart to Rain, but how can he convince her to trust him to stay when everyone she’s ever loved left her?

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“Cove Soup”


It’s a new year. Spring is on its way…though the weather here in Georgia has been…erratic. My daughter and I have been sick with upper respiratory since Thanksgiving. I was even pretty close to deaf for a month and a half.

But now we’re well-er.

It’s time to get back to work. It’s so hard to put your all into your work when you feel like you just want to stay in bed. Add that to this being Courtney’s last semester of college and all that goes with that, and her last magazine and all that goes with that, I’ve been in the car a LOT.

So, again, it’s time to get back to work.

As writers, we get to play creator. We build our characters, their lives, their worlds, and of course, something of ourselves–or someone we know–seeps into their personalities. But their worlds are a little more difficult.

We can sit still and look out our window and create from that, or travel a bit and set it somewhere we find interesting. But what happens if what we see isn’t what’s in our imagination. Unless we’re writing Fantasy or SciFy, or we’ve “seen” our character’s world in some tv show, movie, etc. making up the world can be a bit less than realistic.

This is what I’ve run into while trying to build Moonlight Cove, the mountain village where I’ve set my new contemporary series, Happily Ever After. I could see the village. I kind of knew where it would need to be–I knew I’d even seen bits of pieces of it before, but I had no idea where it was.

So, I began making soup.

Have you ever made soup on a cold, wet and blustery day? I’m not talking about opening a can of Campbell’s or adding meat to Soup Starter, but real soup–the kind where you start grabbing things out of the fridge and pantry and putting together a hearty, rich, bubbly pot of soup. The kind you eat with crusty bread and homemade parmesan crisps and drink Southern iced tea so sweet it makes your hair curl.

Well, that’s how Moonlight Cove was born. I took photos and film snippets that I’d taken on day trips around North Georgia and spliced them all together to create my “Cove Soup.”

Moonlight Cove is a make believe village nestled in North Georgia. The town limits run along a five mile stretch of divided highway, split by a white water stretch of river. A couple bridges cross the river to connect the two halves of the town built at the bases and up the sides of two mountains, Us Mountain and Them Mountain.

The people of the Cove live together as family, and like most families, they have squabbles, and friendships, and secrets, love each other and will fight fiercely for each other. Moonlight Cove is a strong and protective member of this family.

SOMETHING BORROWED,  book one of the HEA series comes out from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and Amazon.com on March 12, 2016. I hope you find yourselves deliciously lost in the Cove like I’ve been while writing.

Join us and be part of the soup…

 

Author Interview seventh question


And the last, best, and most visual question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Referring to either your most recent book release, or your current WIP, if you were to cast your characters, what actors would portray them? Tell us about the character, and why the actor/actress fits.

ROFL…my poor writers’ group members will tell you that I drive them nuts, not only casting my own characters, but almost forcing them to cast their stories as well. When I’m writing a story, I may cast someone by looks alone, or perhaps I’ll see him/her in a role that screamed my own. Often though, by the time you finish your story, that casted actor may be too old, may be starring in something else where you say, “What was I thinking??” I tend to cast because of movements or attitude. It always helps to SEE your character in motion, catch tics, mannerisms, even the speech patterns. That does not, however, mean if they have a southern accent, you can’t force them to use an Irish one. Also, sometimes I cast people from photos that fit, even though I may not have any idea who they are. I give you the cast of my latest release, Kate’s House.

Anson Mount as Ian Stuart(WITH the beard, his dimples drive me nuts. LOL)

Hair model as Kate

Skyler Samuels as Crysta

Colin Ford as Liam

Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Livvy

Jasika Nicole as Reggie

Blake Michael as Rocky Lando

Maria Cesaria Cordel Encantado as Jannette

Miss Cicely Tyson as Nannette

Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.'s photo.Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.'s photo.
+7

Author Interview second question


Second question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Are you a full-out plotter? Are you a “let’s see what happens” pantser? Or do you think you fall somewhere in between? Describe your process in coming up with and executing a story idea.

Oh mercy, I’m a steadfast plotter! Before I start a new story, I spend months making a story file, complete with setting photos, casting photos, histories for each main character and some of the secondary characters. I have descriptions of every character right down to the quirks and mannerisms, and I know where all the moles are hidden. I have dates and family trees. If I create a town, I have several pages of history, historical figures and landmarks. Then I go into math mode–I will figure out how long I want the book to be, how many words, chapters, pages in each chapter, and what scenes are most important–and even write a few in advance to be fitted in when I get to their homes. Once I have all that done, I will take whatever I have jotted the original idea on–a napkin, back of a grocery list or receipt, even in tiny letters on the back of a fortune from a fortune cookie– and flesh out the story.

Announcing New Release and review


KatesHouseCoverArt72dpi Now available from Desert Breeze Publishing and Amazon.com, KATE’S HOUSE

When Katherine learns of her husband’s long time infidelity and other lies he’s told her over the years, she’s not sure which upsets her more: his duplicity or that she’s completely ignored the signs. Using his subterfuge against him, she acquires a quickie divorce, sole custody of their three children, and enough money to start a new life.

Finding an unusual and seemingly magical Queen Anne in the middle of a farm is the answer to her prayers–a place to teach her children that it’s okay to play and have fun–to be kids. She doesn’t count on falling love with the handyman who comes with the place–or dealing with his secrets–secrets that could destroy them all and their newfound happiness.

Excerpt~~

The heat hit them like a thick, wet blanket taken from the dryer way too soon. It made breathing a struggle.

Reggie put two fingers in her mouth and sent a piercing whistle into the gloom. “Hey, Ian, we’re here!” she bellowed.

There was no sound or movement for several seconds until, like a scene from a bad B movie, he appeared from behind the carriage house, moving in slow motion, pushing the fog out of his way. The sun chose that second to make a brief appearance long enough to shine down on his perfectly toned bare chest and arms as he quickly shrugged a gray tee shirt over it all.

Come on, seriously? No one really looks like that.

Katherine dropped her gaze to her feet, pretending to count the wild violets on the ground until she got the urge to giggle under strict control. A pair of bare feet peeking out from the hems of well worn jeans joined her feet in her vision of violets, and she looked up with a jerk directly into soft gray eyes, rimmed in charcoal lashes. His dark hair, thick and wavy, fell to his shoulders and was pushed straight back away from his face. Obvious from the fingers marks, he’d been out in the rain most of the day and the dampness fueled the waves already there. A heavy stubble darkened his chiseled chin, thick and well kept. The giggle bubbled up again when he spoke.

“Hello, I’m Ian Stuart.”

Of course you are.

The hint of an Irish accent crept from under his strict effort to control it. It was endearing and put her at ease. If he could be this beautiful and still feel self-conscious about something as innocuous as a slight Irish brogue, she was just fine.

She offered her hand. “It’s so nice to meet you, Mr. Stuart. I’m Katherine Jensen, and these are my children, Crysta, Willie, and Livvy.”

His eyes lingered on each child, and Katherine got the feeling he was memorizing their faces. When none of them squirmed under his perusal, he allowed a slight smile. “A fine lot you have here. I’d wager none of you fear the dark or imagine monsters under the bed.”

While Crysta and Willie’s eyebrows rose, Livvy took it in stride. “No, there’s nothing scary under my bed. Me and my animals have camp outs under there.”

He bent at his waist till he was eye-to-eye with her, no mean feat since he was well over six feet tall. “Then you shall be captain, my fine lass. Only the most fearless can be in charge.”

“Captain?” Willie scoffed. “She’s just a girl. And a baby one at that.”

“Age makes no difference. It’s strength that matters, Bodyguard.”

Her son’s eyes widened slightly. They stared at each other, some piece of information passing silently between them.

Crysta smiled. “And who am I to be, Mr. Stuart?”

“You are the balance,” Ian answered without hesitation.

So he had not only been listening to them the day they visited, he’d listened well. How else could he have sized up her children so fast?

“Well, I’m just the mama,” Katherine offered with a shaky smile and rushed on before he could bestow a title on her.

 

Review~~

Kate’s House offers a mixture of pain, humor, and romance as well as the supernatural, which adds dimension to this delightful novel. It is proof that redemption is possible even in the most trying situations and that love can be found when least expected.”  ~~Nancy C. LepriReadertoReader.com

Update and Review for ILLUSIONS from Desert Breeze Publishing now available at Amazon.com


IllusionsCoverArt72dpiNow up for voting in Cover Wars at http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/  ~~ Please register and vote daily October 11-17!

Seventeen years ago, Lily had the perfect life — loving parents and grandparents, a best friend and a boy she thought loved her. An explosion and a disastrous decision blew it all away.

She endures her estranged husband’s brutality in order to protect her six children and paraplegic grandmother, hiding her bruises and terror as best she can. Her family will be safe, even if it means shrinking their world into a very small space.

Alex has been trying to figure Lily out since he returned to town. His teaching job has not only allowed him to get to know her kids as he floats from school to school teaching them music, it’s given him a reason to reconnect with Lily.

However, the new persona he created is all she sees. In her eyes, the boy he was has ceased to exist. Will Alex’s love save or destroy her family?

Excerpt~~

“I’m sorry, Lily.”

She searched his face, and he didn’t buckle under her scrutiny. There was something about those eyes, something that grabbed her and wouldn’t let go. Something that made her feel safe and weak all at once.

“For what exactly? For my marrying the wrong man or for having the power to make me tell you things I refuse to tell anyone else?”

“Both, I guess.”

“You are a puzzle, Alex Anderson.”

“Not at all. My agenda is clear.”

She shivered. Her breath came in gasps as he leaned closer to her, and her heart beat out of control.

“Aren’t you going to ask me what that agenda is?”

“I’m not sure I want to know,” she whispered.

He surprised her by sitting up straight and offering her a wide smile. “You make very good tea.”

“You think I’m a coward?” She stared at her hands. There were tears in her voice, and she felt ashamed.

“Oh, no, Lily.” He put his glass down on the island, stood, and moved to stand in front of her. Sliding his hands along the side of her face, she felt his warmth flowing into her. Putting pressure on her chin with the pads of his thumbs, he raised her eyes to his. “You’re the bravest woman I’ve ever known.”

She scoffed. “You don’t have a clue what kind of woman I am.”

“You’re wrong.” The sudden pain in his eyes shocked her to her very core, and the need to comfort him was jarring. His voice when he continued was gentle, quiet, and intense. “I know you. I always have.”

With those words, he placed a gentle kiss on her forehead, soft, non-threatening, comforting and strengthening. Her eyes followed him as he picked up his glass, walked to the sink, rinsed it out, then headed to the door. As he opened the door, he slipped the lock on the doorknob.

“Get some rest. I’ll see you Monday.” With that, he closed the door behind him.

Lily remained frozen in her chair despite a devastating urge to run after him and beg him to stay. What was it about this man that made her feel so secure? By all rights and purposes, she’d only really met him this afternoon. He was a virtual stranger.

And why didn’t she send him away? After all, once he found out all the truths in her life, he’d leave anyway.

 

Review~~

Five our of Five Stars: A gut-wrenching, yet delightful read!

By Nancy C. Lepri on July 21, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Lily Cabot is raising six lovable, well-behaved children while keeping Peter, her abusive ex at bay. She fearful of him, and her kids hold him in contempt, also, wanting no part of him.

Living with her wheelchair-bound grandmother and caring for the needs of seven, not to mention herself, Lily is selfless and strong, determined to create a happy family environment.

The young man she once loved, Zandie Anderson is but a memory, though she still has a soft spot for him in her heart. If only, she thinks…but if only never happened, so she deals with the cards she’s been dealt. Not only deals with them, but does an excellent job, too. She encounters many stumbling blocks, though they do not deter her determination for a better life for her young ones.

Zandie, now going by Alex, teaches music for the local school system. His appearance is very different from the Zandie Lily once adored. He offers lessons to her children–drawn to the rowdy, but lovable brood–though more so to the girl he still loves. Attracted to him, Lily perceives something familiar in him, but cannot discern what, for he is not recognizable from the boy she had known. However, a relationship is impossible. She has her young ones and grandmother to care for, and her worry of reprisals from Peter keeps her from enjoying a life of her own.

Can Lily ever escape the bonds that bind her and find the true love she deserves, or will she continue to live in fear?

Ms. Hames Torres pens her novel with flair and wit. Though tackling the difficult subject of domestic violence, her protagonist proves to be a tough, independent woman who is doing an extraordinary job raising her six precocious kids while living with her grandmother, a feisty individual in her own right. Humor mixed with the issue of brutality offers a light-hearted, delightful read plus the anticipation of more in this same tone from this author.

I. AM. SO. SPOILED.


Sunday was such a gorgeous day. Grey and overcast, a delicious breeze and the high never even reaching seventy. The smell of impending rain filled the air. My kind of day. The kind of day that makes me want to plant my rear in my chair and pound away on my keyboard. So, my first thought when I got home from lunch with my sweetheart? “First email, then Facebook, then I write the afternoon away.”
Then I remembered. No internet.
First let me say, I am not a fan of change of any kind. When I get comfortable with something, I settle in and I stay there. I don’t change willingly and never without a lot of kicking, spitting, biting, and screaming. So when I tell you we’d been with the same phone company for more than twenty years and had our internet service with them for nearly that long, suffice to say, this is the truth. Did I like it? Well for a good long time, yes. It was just enough for my husband—who had only signed on to play PopIt!—and me with my classes and such.
Then the children grew up. By the time they got into high school there were some nights we had three computers going at once—usually after dinner because I demanded we have one meal together, at the same time, in the same room. By college, well, dinners together still happen occasionally, but my son, the recluse, usually spends his time off somewhere, working, tricking (that’s a form of parkour and obstacle course free-running, not what it used to mean), or playing video games in his room. The internet, however, spent its time breathing hard from trying to accommodate all of us on at the same time. My husband has discovered that he can play his games online, and now pays bills and balances his checkbook online as well. That’s huge people.
Add to all that, we all have cell phones now, so our landline which we needed in order to have internet service was an expensive waste of money for something we never used. The only time it rang was when solicitors would call at the crack of dawn explaining to me that they were exempt from the No-Call list because we used to have Sears/JCPenny, Macy’s/fill-in-your-favorite-credit-card-company, and since those big companies have hundreds of smaller companies, they’re allowed to call us, because whateverthehell company they belong to still considers us customers. Isn’t that nice?
NO.
So, with less violence than I expected, I decided to find an internet company that didn’t require a landline. Enter one who shall remain nameless. Word of advice: If you are offered a bang up deal but it includes a data plan, RUN! When they tell you that 10GBs a month will be more than plenty of data for a family of four adults who are constantly on the internet for one reason or another, call them bald faced liars. We were doing great for two weeks, then the data report shot from “You are within your expected data use” to “You have exceeded your expected use. Would you like to buy some more? But don’t forget, you have 10GBs of bonus data that’s good from 2-6 am.”
Needless to say, we’re changing again…NO violence this time. But until then…unless I want to get up in the middle of the night, I have no internet. I was cut off from the world. I couldn’t send emails, I couldn’t get emails, I can’t reach anyone on FB or keep up with anything that’s going on—
Wait!
Smart phone!!! I can do all that on my cell phone! Thank you, Jesus!
Okay. At that point, I realized something about myself, and it wasn’t pretty. I. Am. Spoiled. Not just spoiled, but ridiculously so. I can’t go a week without Facebook? I can’t take a few minutes out of my idiotically busy days (I don’t have my own schedule—I live by everyone else’s) to call my sisters or my best friends? Apparently not. Though, I do call them almost daily, it’s usually using my cell phone in the car with the speaker on.
Whenever I am off from the house and I discover I’ve forgotten my phone, my heart starts racing and my eyes immediately go to the “check engine” light and the “you’re out of gas, idiot” light. I have the overwhelming urge to pull over and check my tires. I mentally figure out where everyone is and what they’re doing, and remember that my husband got me a cell phone because there’s no such thing as phone booths with actual working phones in them anymore. What if I get in an accident? What if someone gets hurt or sick? How will I know? How will they get in touch with me? Not to mention, if they try to get in touch with me and can’t, what will they think? We’re talking bordering on panic attack.
After my freak out, no matter how far away I am, I turn myself around, drive back and get the phone, then start over again. That can’t be normal. Normal people don’t do things like that.
What happened to the farm girl I used to be? The one who would go off for hours some fifteen acres from my backdoor, and write? I never worried about how I was going to let anyone know if I got bit by a snake, or fell out of the tree I was sitting in with my pens and notebooks, or became trapped up in that tree by one of the wild boars I never saw, but everyone claimed were in the woods. I just trekked out there with a big stick and one of our dumber-than-dirt dogs—they’d have been no help at all—climbed the tree and sat on the branch bent into the shape of a four by one of Georgia’s famous ice storms, with my back against the trunk and my feet against the bend. I’d get lost in the words until I noticed it was getting dark, then trek back to the house. No cell phone. No Bat signal. Just me and a big stick, a denim tote made out of the leg of an old pair of jeans filled with my writing, and a dumb dog.
It’s sad to lose one’s innocence. To know what dangers lurk, and be so afraid of having to resort to big stick thinking that you turn around and go back for a little 2×4 piece of technology.
Still, I managed to get more words on pa—screen than I have in weeks. The weather is beautiful and fall’s on the way. I had a lovely lunch with my husband. My daughter called to see what time she needed to wake her brother for work. I talked to two of my best friends. And my son called me to let me know he got to work okay and to tell me he loved me.
Okay, I’m spoiled. I freely admit it, but maybe this technology thing isn’t all bad. Oh, and we get new internet service…without a data plan…on Friday. Yeah, baby!

Time to make the soup…