Saturday, August 19, 2017

Still Flying by Cj Fosdick


    Thirty years ago I attended my first Writer’s Conference in Rochester, MN. It was a weekend mecca for birds of a feather--hopeful writers flocking together to learn from two famous Minnesota authors.
     Frederick Manfred and Jon Hassler are both deceased now, but their writing was alive in 1986, and they actually read and evaluated the excerpts that were turned in. Mine was one of them. I had already won a short story contest and been published in a few magazines and anthologies, but I was a novel novice. I was also a novice coffee drinker, nervous and trembling enough to slosh over my agenda.
     Tall and formidable, the 6 ft. 9 in.Manfred pulled my excerpt first and read his comments in the margin. “Condense…use simple liquid words…polysyllabics diffuse meaning.” My wings were clipped.  Jon Hassler’s critique restored flight. The college professor/novelist announced one graphic piece reminded him of Giants in the Earth, an acclaimed novel by Minnesota’s most famous Norwegian immigrant, Ole Rolvaag. “Powerful stuff,” Hassler announced, “from C.J. Fosdick.” When I introduced myself to him later, he confirmed his view with that golden word, “publishable.”
     Sadly, that first novel was rejected, however, and its thin-skinned author banished it to a garage freezer. Iced for decades!  Life, meanwhile, continued with occasional freelance work sandwiched in time slots between four children and thirty animals, including 20 horses. Horse shows, training and rescuing animals filled the family agenda.
     In 2012, I visited a friend in Las Vegas and attended another Writer Conference while there. WC’s had drastically changed in 26 years, along with the Publishing Industry. Only 5% of published manuscripts were first novels in 1986. With the internet and eBooks, new novelists in 2012 were storming the castle gates of traditional publishing. Pitching a novel at Conferences was a new substitute for query letters that used to end up in slush piles. Like speed dating, a writer was given 5-10 minutes to convince an agent or publisher they were "traditionally publishable.” (Self-publishing was still Cinderella’s ugly stepsister five years ago.) Today, new self-published authors are flooding the market with a wide range of manuscripts—widely critiqued.
     I had to test the climate. I joined three National Writing Groups and in the last five years, attended 10 Writer Conferences all over the U.S. and one in London. Sometimes I pitched the freezer novel with positive results, though one agent suggested it was far too long and another suggested I write a novella first, then market the freezer saga.
     It was at a Kansas City Conference with Women Writing the West that I won a Laura award for a short story in 2013. The judge suggested it begged to become a novel. I didn’t pitch at that WC, but managed to dine beside the publisher of an acclaimed small press “Send me the ms. once it becomes a novel,” Rhonda Penders suggested. Motivated fingers flew over my laptop keyboard, and a year later my first published novel was released by The Wild Rose Press. 
     I’m still flying high. With an empty nest…and barn… I’m working on my third novel in the Accidental Series, with two more stories published and occasional freelance articles surfacing in our newspaper or a Woman’s magazine. The freezer novel Jon Hassler deemed “publishable” is still in the hanger, but my award-winning debut novel is still flying high, the eBook on sale in August for just .99 at the buy links below

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 Amazon      WildRose Press         B&N          iTunes      Kobo



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Baby On His Doorstep

Avery has been accustomed to saying and doing as he pleased and not really paying attention to the consequences.  He needs an humbling lesson and he gets one fast to help change him.  He had no idea how fast he could change!

Halley Thorpe has been through a lot and the last thing she expected is the thing she gets.  How will she handle the new change?  Will she ever mend her broken heart?  Or will she hide behind working at the ranch?

Avery has had many surprises but what he encounters in this book may be one of his biggest.  This is a great read and full of turns and hope!

Trully Sunee


Monday, August 14, 2017

Review:To Dodge a Duke Review:

Miss Ashford is known for her fiery temper and lack of respect for those she feels is beneath her.  That's what led her to meet someone who was beneath her or so she thought.

This book is filled with love and patience.  To be able to lower oneself isn't easy and this book shows how love can lead to an humbling process and many lessons learned.

Sir Logan is more than you see with the eyes.  He is my favorite character and has a very rich, patient, tolerant personality and doesn't mind having fun at others expense if they aren't respectful to all.  He is very wise and has a keen mind.  This book deserves an award in it's genre as every paragraph and page was worth every second.

Five Stars ✨ 
Trully Sunee


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Review: Passion'a Palette

As Serena delves into her passion of art, she doesn't let the outside world in but she doesn't feel she is missing anything.  That is until she meets the mover... or is it the veterinarian?

Seamus likes to be known for his skills assisting animals and keeping them healthy, alive, and strong.  Now he has another mission and he's allowing himself to be get to know someone who can break through his ice and walls.

There are a few stories at play that meet into this one great book.  There are friendships and partnerships that come into this really passionate book to make one great romance! You get to see the gamete of emotions as we read a well written story that can really penetrate everyone's ice.  

Trully


Friday, August 11, 2017

INTERVIEW WITH MY DIVINELY DECADENT DUKE ALTHORN


Continuing on with our Bonus Materials that were the seed that entered my author’s mind to create such a duke, and since I am enamored of fairy tales yet, I tend to create what I hope are bold, outrageous but lovable men intrigued with independent, spirited women. No milk toasts on either side of the romance. I tend to fall in love with all the characters, some more than others, whether they’re the hero, heroine, villain, or a great secondary addition. One of the comments about my debut book, Once Upon A Duke, I most enjoyed from a fan was: “Her brother was ruthless and scandalous and if I could have ripped from the pages to get to his neck, I would have.” It literally floored me that such a character could evoke such emotion, and I gave him life and reality. It was a WOW moment. Thank you, Bryan Clarke, Author of Before Sunrise.


For today, I’ve chosen to interview His Grace, Althorn, know to my readers as Gordon. While it was not considered the appropriate honorific to some, his wife chose to call him Gordon, throughout the book. Who am I to argue with a strong female character?
Enjoy the read. I welcome all comments at sanrdramastersauthor@gmail.com. You may subscribe to my newsletter at: http://authorsandramasters.com. Click on the Contact page.
Sandra Masters, Unapologetic Story Teller

P.S. You might ask why I use the term Unapologetic Story Teller. In some venues, Story Tellers are not considered, for lack of a better word, legitimate authors. I believe in Fairy Tales, so you may think of me as a rebel author with a cause--and that is, I read and write all genres of romance. ♥

[b]INTERVIEW


Q. Your Grace, when you first met the former Lady Cassandra, what did you think of her?A. To start with, I sat in a wing back chair sipping a liqueur in front of a warm fire in the drawing room of a manor house where I attended a ball. I was startled by a conversation between a man and a woman who had entered the room totally unaware of my presence. The bounder had just summarily broken their engagement in favor of someone who had a higher status than she. I looked for a moment when I could interrupt and leave their presence, but that didn’t happen. A book flew across the room, as well as a paperweight of sorts. He left rather quickly. I stood up, announced myself, and offered my handkerchief and my glass of spirits. Do you know what she said? Something like, “Is this my night to meet nothing but scoundrels?” But she did take the cognac and my handkerchief. That is how I met my future wife.

Q. What happened then?
A. Kindly remember I was an acknowledged rake and proud of it. The last thing I needed was a woman who needed comforting, like a wounded puppy. I’ve a fondness for such creatures. Imagine my surprise, when she took the arm I offered and we walked out of the room, only to meet her now ex-fiancé’. She excused herself for a moment and walloped him with her fist. Bravo, I thought. Great spirit. He wasn’t going to get the best of her. She and I then left him to nurse his cheek, and we joined the others at the ball.

Q. When did you meet again?
A. Two weeks after that evening, I was on my daily walk on Brighton Beach and I saw an enchanting woman peering through a telescope and when she looked toward me, we recognized each other immediately. The lilt of her warm greeting pleased me. One thing led to the other, need I say more?

Q. Tell us something we may not know about you?
A. I was the second son of my father, therefore, not the heir. That suited me fine. I loved my brother. We were schooled together and then we were tutored at home. We learned the dead languages of Greek and Latin, and not too much else. The fate of second sons was a choice of the divinity or military. I cared for neither but did convince my father to allow me to travel to Barbados and learn about the sugar plantation and factories we had there. The good thing is that it showed me a different part of the world and commerce. The bad thing was that I contracted malaria and after four months on the island, I had to be transported home because foreigners were susceptible to the disease that could kill. A native woman I cared about, arranged for a witch doctor to ink me with a tattoo of a lion so my ancestors could protect me.

Tomas, my good friend from school days, went with me and therefore had the opportunity to transport me back home to England where I barely survived the ocean journey. Without realizing it, my island life was left behind. Then everything changed.

Q. What happened?
A. My mother greeted the ship with footmen, a physician, solicitor, vicar, and a tutor whom I recognized. That somber sight would have sobered a drunk. I wondered why she was outfitted in black. Tomas assisted me to the carriage. When she saw me, she broke into tears. My father was dead, and three weeks later, my brother died in a carriage accident. That left me as the sole heir to the Duke of Althorn. There I was, totally unprepared for my dynastic responsibilities. My carefree life was over. I could never see my native lady again. I did apply myself after my health returned, but it was a lonely existence. So I sought out former school chums, and I freely admit, we got into mischief in many ways. My mother tried to talk sense into me, but it was to no avail.

Q. You are a well renowned duke, honored by all. What caused you to change your ways?
A. To say I loved my family would be an understatement. All I had left was my mother, whom I adored. When she fell and sustained an injury, I determined it was time to remember who I was and to emulate my father in all things. Above all, he was an honorable man. Honor became my personal signature. Now, I do not expect anyone to believe I became a saint. Not true by any means, but I was discreet. I did believe that personal integrity, respect, dignity and pride would distinguish my dukedom from others. My mother’s illness was the catalyst to my epiphany. I became aware Cassandra and her ward, Alicia, were also friends of hers, who visited my mother annually. I should say technically that Alicia was her brother’s ward, but the little girl belonged to Cass in every sense of the word. I never really cared to notice, until one day I was at home, when I overheard a conversation between Cassandra and the professional caregiver as to the unkind treatment she rendered my mother. As I listened, I realized this was not the compassionate aid my mother required, so I summarily terminated the nurse. I had to start the search again for I had terminated at least four others.

Q. You speak of your reputation, were all the allegations true?A. I did acquire notoriety with the ladies, a small part was deserved. The other was conjecture, fodder for the scandal sheets, and wishful thinking. If I had all the liaisons attributed to me, my manly parts would have fallen off from overuse. Beg your pardon, Lady Masters, my creator, for my risqué banter. I am a model husband now, ever in love with my wife.

Q. How did the romance progress? A. Rather quickly. It was clear I had an interest in her, but she came with a ‘package’, her ward, Alicia, a tow-headed blonde who resembled Cassandra. The unkind talk of the ton was that the little girl was the issue of a liaison gone wrong. Cassandra was the sister of the earl, so she was semi-accepted in society. While there was no proof of such indiscretion, tongues wagged. The simple truth was that Alicia was the daughter of her best friend who died in childbirth. Cass, that’s what I sometimes call her, agreed to honor (there’s that word again) her promise to raise the child as her own. That’s courage I admired considering her circumstances..

Q. What caused you to propose?
A. I didn’t. She offered me a business arrangement. She’d care for my mother if I would offer protection for her and little Alicia. In other words, it was a marriage of convenience. No mention of love or sex. I refused the proposition twice out of pride. Then I recalled how difficult it was for her to make such an offer to someone like me. My arrogance repelled me. One day I officially offered and we did marry. We now have two sons, two dogs, Runt and Giant, and there were a few puppies, also. And yes, then there was the traitorous mother dog who went everywhere with Cass, my dowager mother, and the children who frolicked on the beach. I was captivated from the start. If you wish to know anymore, I suggest we reschedule.

Q. I say there, Lady Masters, I’m getting thirsty. Are you going to offer me a libation?A. You have such a wicked smile. It makes me sigh. So sorry, your grace, kindly allow me to pour your favorite, since I know what it is.

Q. Your grace, I assume if readers want to know anything further, they should read the book My Divinely Decadent Duke?A. Absolutely, I’m sure you can use the proceeds to fund future stories.

End of Interview

http://bit.ly/2eBmbYH Wild Rose Press $2.99

Website: http://www.authorsandramasters.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SandraMastersAuthor Email: sandramastersauthor@gmail.com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: Taking Flight

Lucas knows he has thrown himself into his work due to having no real love life.  He just doesn't feel like he'll meet the one and has resigned to be okay with that.

However, Ivy is still mourning of the death of her husband just several months prior and doesn't want to low. up to anyone and isn't sure going back into motivational speaking is for her.  She has surprises to come!

Having the good, the bad, and the ugly come out means you get to see whether you really can handle the situation.  This story let's you in to these two main character's lives and makes ya want more.  This was a great read that was read in one sitting!
5 stars ✨ 

Trully Sunee



Wednesday, August 09, 2017

New Release – ONE NIGHT WITH A DUKE by Sandra Masters


A KISS IN THE NAME OF SAFETY BECAME PLEASURABLE AND NOT SAFE AT ALL!

The distraction had Raven cling to the walls that shadowed him. Raven moved carefully to the end of the alleyway to round the corner of Langham Place and another corner to Regent Street, which held a more fashionable row of homes. A few meters down the pavement, through the muddle, he spotted a carriage with lanterns lit. The street seemed deserted, but the men’s clamors a short distance behind sounded in the night hour. The desolate area offered a perfect opportunity for them to do damage if they caught up with him.

Raven cat-footed his way to the coach aware the coach driver stepped down to steady the horses. With the driver occupied, he opened the door, entered the carriage, closed it, and dropped on the brocade seat. A well-dressed woman seated there gasped. She held her reticule high, poised to strike him.

He gripped her arm. “Bravo,” he whispered, a grin curling his lips. Nonetheless, he kept his voice low to allay her fear. “I’m a gentleman in dire straits whose life is in danger. May I share your company for a moment? I will not harm you.” He removed his top hat, placed it and his cane on the shadowed opposite seat.

“You frightened me with your abrupt presence. Pray tell, sir, what are your intentions?”

Outside the coach driver’s voice pierced, “Git away, rowdies, or I’ll take my whip to ye. No need for trouble if ye leave.” One of the louts climbed on the conveyance, and it swayed.

Raven slid closer to the woman. She didn’t move, so he embraced her and placed his cheek against hers. “If you scream or shout, our lives will be in jeopardy.” He bent his head to capture the woman’s lips, pressing her against the seat. Raven sampled the sweet mint taste of her mouth. Her lemon fragrance pleased his senses, a rare combination of forbidden pleasure and danger that caused his groin to ache. He lingered in enjoyment. True, his lips held the kiss longer than the moment required. What started as a kiss in the name of safety became something more pleasurable—and not safe at all.

Raven placed his gloved finger to his mouth. “Shush.” The brunt of her shoe connected to his shin, and he held back the profane words he wished to say. “Place your arms around me now. Perhaps if we pretend to be lovers, they will leave us alone,” he whispered. He paused and spoke a word a duke would never utter. “Please.”

Her arms encircled him as she dropped her reticule to the floor. His broad back shielded her from outside harm should anyone attempt to enter. Her generous breasts against his chest had his blood surging through his veins until the sensation settled uncomfortably in his loins—a long ago forgotten desire. The naiveté in her kiss reminded him how jaded and bored he’d become. A delicious awareness invaded and reeled his senses. The touch of her hands to his hair tingled his scalp. Damnation, her fingers were magical. A purring moan escaped through her racing breath.

The ruffian peered through the curtained window and chuckled. “No one here ’cept some clod with his doxy,” the mob spokesman shouted and he jumped to the pavement. “Let’s move on to better pickin’s.” They surged away down the street.

Raven’s heartbeat pulsed at his temples, not from fear, but from potent desire. He broke the kiss for a moment and moved his body a whisper-breath away to better study her. He savored all he saw, as did his male parts. He moistened his suddenly dry lips. “I don’t hear voices, but it would be best to wait to make sure the mob has gone, my lady. Nor do I want to attract attention to your coach by my departure. It could place you in danger.”

“I’m sure it’s best to be cautious,” she said. “However, you should be aware, I don’t usually entertain strange men in my carriage. The driver has held the horses against the ruffians and the commotion. Explain yourself, or I will summon help.”

“My boot sheaths my knife, and my cane is also a sword. Have no fear. I would have kept you safe.”

She arched one brow in a challenge, and simply held his gaze. Her devastating smile ensnared him. “And who will protect me from you, sir, and the marvel of your rakish kisses?”

“Dear lady, I would guess we’d protect each other. The magic of your hands fingering my hair must have presented quite a lover’s sight. Wherever did you—”

“I read it in a penny novel. I presume it sufficed? I have limited experience in that regard.”

“Indeed.” His grin contradicted his serious tone.

SANDRA MASTERS
One Night With A Duke
http://bit.ly/2qx0Dr0 The Wild Rose Press