Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

It is one year ago today that I received my first publishing contract. So far, my match with Decadent Publishing has been a GREAT one! I'm blessed to be working fabulous people and to have support from such fantastic staff and other authors. A lot has changed for me in that year and already 2013 is looking like an even better year. I can't believe how fast these 12 months have gone by!

Since signing that first contract, I've signed 3 more contracts with them, been asked to write for other series in Decadent, pushed myself harder than I ever thought possible, learned A LOT about promotion, suggested a cross-promotion project. For 2013, I already have one project accepted and I'm already planning 5 more!

As a thank you for your support throughout this year (and for some of you, for many years!), I've chosen one person from my "Follower" list to receive a gift. And, using, our winner is.....


Virginia, you can choose any one of my three Decadent published books to read for free! Email me at Alexa AT alexabourne DOT com and we'll work out the specifics!

To all of you, thank you for your support and I hope you'll choose to stick with me to see what the next 365 days hold!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's My Favorite....?

Find out my favorite scene from Fractured Paradise! Visit Babette James and hear more about my latest release.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another Interview!

Good morning! Today I'm over with Lindsay Avalon, where she's interviewed me AND given her review of Her Highland Champion on there! Go check it out! Just click here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Come visit!

Today I'm hanging out with my friend Vivien Jackson at her blog. She's asked some questions about my latest release, Fractured Paradise, and even offered her review! Come on by!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday-

Good morning! Welcome to another set of Six Sentence Sunday! To read snippets from other authors, visit the official website,

This morning I'm bringing you another snippet from Silent Surrender, my short story with my heroine, Meggie, from Her Highland Champion, and Quinn, the Irishman. Here you go!

Aye, she'd had a grand time with him, but she'd left him behind in Dublin. She'd tucked that woman away and returned to her life. It had been a good decision.

Hadn't it?

Now she couldn't be sure because those feelings he released in her all shot up and out of her mind and body. And THAT bothered her more than anything.

So? What do you think? Remember this is the really, really, really rough draft. This snippet isn't as good as the others over the last few weeks, but it still works. Poor Meggie! She has no idea how to handle or what to make of Quinn!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Hello, hello! If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you had a GREAT day! I did! I ate too much, had lots of wine and good times with family (except for our college football team losing)! We all had an early night Thursday and then we hung out and did nothing yesterday. Did you brave the Black Friday Shopping world? {{SHUDDER}} If you did, I hope you survived with few injuries and many bargains. I worked a bit last night, prepping a Six Sentence Sunday post for you, among other things, and today we'll be watching LOTS of football!

I just want to let you know that I'll be a BUNCH of different places next week! I think I've got a guest spot each day. Of course I'll announce the locations each day so you can come see what I'm writing about or read my answers to some cool interview questions. So rest up today and be ready to tour with me!

As for now, I'm finishing my cup of tea, finishing a writing assignment for my online class and then I'll be heading back to my brother's house to hang out and relax. Have a great Saturday!

On Friday, November 30th, I will choose one person from my "Followers" list. November 30th is the anniversary of me receiving my first contract from Decadent Publishing so the winner will be able to choose a copy of any one of my books! Hope you'll consider joining and thank you so much to those who have already joined!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Blog Hop

Welcome to the Black Friday Decadent Publishing Blog Hop! Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to visit my Decadent colleagues when you're done here for some more amazing books and prizes! 
Black Friday is such an odd day in my mind. The day after we celebrate being thankful for the people and things in our lives, many of us push, shove and swear at each other to get into a store. I personally don't shop on this Friday because I value my life too much! I don't want to get knocked down as I reach for an item. No, I consider myself one of the smart ones. I sleep in, watch tv, maybe read and eat leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.
My characters are just as smart as me. Rachel Grant, the heroine in Fractured Paradise, wouldn't dream of getting up before the crack of dawn to go Christmas shopping. Actually, since she's a computer expert, she pretty much does all her shopping online.
The hero in Fractured Paradise, Aidan Camden, wouldn't be caught dead in a line during Black Friday. Actually, he's an Englishman. I don't even know if he'd know what Black Friday was. (Brits? Do you "celebrate" this day? Anybody?) Aidan's a lot more hands-on than Rachel. He'd rather go to a store and hold the gift item in his hands before forking over the cash for it.

Technical analyst Rachel Grant arrives in Sunderland intent on tidying up her grandmother’s cottage, but the disaster she discovers requires more than a gentle sweep of a dust rag. Determined to please the most important person in her life, she trades her computer keyboard for a hammer and nails to make the repairs. She doesn’t count on the chilly reception from the locals who want to claim Nan’s home as their own.
Tour guide Aidan Camden wants to buy the cottage. He’s determined to acquire the property no matter how attractive he finds the current occupant. However, when tragedy strikes, throwing them both into a tailspin, he discovers he wants more than the house. He longs for the sexy American as well. Can Aidan put his own ghosts to rest in time to save the woman who’s claimed his heart?
What about you? Do you brave the insanity on Black Friday? Or are you like Rachel, Aidan and me?
One commenter here will win a FREE copy of Fractured Paradise!


If you are celebrating this holiday, have a wonderful day! I'm thankful for you, my ability to write stories people like to read, my health, my family and my friends. Don't eat too much!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm Presenting.....

Author Jane Myers Perrine joins us on the Get Lost in a Story blog today! She shares information about her Butternut Creek series and tells us a little about herself. Plus, she's giving away a book! Come join us!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Release Day!!!!

We had a bit of a technical difficulty when I interviewed Jax Garren last week so to celebrate her official release day, I'm giving you the link to her interview. Please visit the blog and show your support for my friend and her debut novel!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday- More with My Irishman!

Good morning! I'm here again on Six Sentence Sunday and I'm ready to share another snippet of my current Work In Progress, Silent Surrender. I'm thinking the title might change, but I'm not sure. But the couple is DEFINITELY staying! Meggie is an outspoken lass from the Highland village in my first Honor Guard story, Her Highland Champion. She once had a long, wild weekend in Dublin, Ireland with some friends and while there, she "hooked up" with Quinn. It was supposed to be a fling, nothing more. Imagine her surprise when he arrives in her Scottish village!

Last week, I introduced you to Quinn and his anxiety about searching out this woman who rocked his world. This week, we'll fast-forward to when they've already seen each other and now he's trying to convince her to....well, why spoil the surprise?

His fingers clenched, trapping her wrist on the counter and stirring her heart.

"Quinn, let go of me." Again she pulled her arm.

Still he held her tightly. With his eyes twinkling, he shook his head. "Not until you agree to a date."

So? What do you think? As I've mentioned, this is VERY ROUGH. I mean, I'm talking first draft rough. If you're so inclined, leave a comment for Meggie, Quinn and me. And, if you want to read more snippets, visit the Six Sentence Sunday website!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


To the winners from my FRACTURED PARADISE Release Party:

I'm sorry I haven't mailed your prizes yet! Life has gotten a bit out of control, BUT I'm heading to the post office this morning so you'll get them soon. Thank you again for participating in my book's release and thank you to EVERYONE for your support!

UPDATE: I just got home from the post office! Everything is mailed so you should be getting your prize soon. Please let me know when you do! Now, I'm off to keep working on my short story.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm Interviewing......

Today I'm over at the Get Lost in a Story Blog interviewing debut author Jax Garren! Jax and I have known each other for several years through our local Austin RWA group. Come find out about her and her first book!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm Interviewing.....

Today I'm over at the Get Lost in a Story Blog interviewing author Victoria Roberts! Victoria writes about hot Highland hunks and the lasses who love them! Come find out about her and her books!

Monday, November 12, 2012

No NaNoWriMo

I dropped out of NaNoWriMo a week ago. After the first few days, I realized how amazingly high my goals were for the month of November. I wanted to write 50,000 words this month. I wanted to enjoy the feeling of finishing yet another story. But reality took a big bite out of my arse!

I'm in the process of searching out a new home, I'm still searching for a full-time job, I've been working more hours, I had the release of Fractured Paradise last Monday, I got a different idea for my writing goals, and then last weekend I also got word that an online class I proposed was going ahead. I hadn't created any of the lessons because I thought it had been canceled. With all of that going on, I accepted the fact that my "real world" needed to come first. So good luck to everyone participating in NaNoWriMo!

SOOOOO....what I am doing in the writing world is this. I'm about halfway done the rough draft of a new short story, a contemporary romance with no suspense (shocking, I know!). Once that is finished, I'm going to put it aside until December and I'm going to focus on prepping the partial of a different project, one I wrote in summer 2011 called Unbroken. The editor who liked my last full manuscript enough to ask for revisions got moved to a different department and Unbroken is a perfect fit for her new department. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday- New Project!

Good morning! I'm back for another round of Six Sentence Sunday! To see other Sixers and their snippets, visit the website.

Today I'm sharing a brand new story with you. I'm currently writing a story, a straight romance, no suspense, called Silent Surrender. I have to warn you it's VERY rough. I'm not even finished with the rough draft. (Hopefully soon!) But Quinn and Meggie are burning up the pages of my notebook! So, here you go!

This had to be the absolute dumbest idea he'd ever come up with. His players and fellow coaches were prepping for the friendly match with the Scotland National team and he, Quinn O'Connell, had taken a train ride to chase after a woman.

What did he expect? That they'd sleep together again and then she'd send him on his way, off to maneuver young lads through football techniques and strategies?

When he dipped into Waverley Station and bought the train ticket yesterday, this had been a grand idea. Now, standing in the lass's Highland village with no way of searching her out and nowhere to stay the nights, he felt like a fool.

What do you think? I can't decide where Quinn is from. I want him to be Scottish, but he keeps telling me he's Irish. We'll see who wins that argument! Meggie is a secondary character in my first Honor Guard book, Her Highland Champion. I loved writing her so much I knew immediately that I'd want to write her story at some point. (But this isn't an Honor Guard book.)

Thanks for visiting! I look forward to your comments.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Here is a complete list of all the winners from this week. Thank you to everyone who participated! The daily winners will receive a small treat from me and the grand prize winner, chosen from ALL commenters throughout the week, wins a copy of the book, Fractured Paradise. Winners, if you have not already done so, please send an email to alexa @ alexabourne . com!

Monday winner- Jessica Subject
Tuesday winner- Clancy
Wednesday winner- Brenna Ash
Thursday winner- Cathy MacRae
Friday winner- Shari


Thank you all for your support and I hope to see you in a few weeks for the release
of my NEXT Honor Guard story!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Release Party Day 5- What's Next For Lexi?

First, thanks so much for celebrating all week with me. You've made my release so much more fun, and your presence means a lot. But, the party must end and I've got to get back to work.

At the moment, I'm busy writing a short story. Later in November, I plan to draft my next Honor Guard book. Also, I'm waiting to hear the official word so I can share some exciting news I've had to sit on for a while.


In just a few weeks, you can meet another IPN Honor Guard. Well, Colin Munro wants to be an operative of International Protective Network, but one woman may get in the way.

Here's the unofficial blurb for Simple Treasures:

Take-charge bodyguard, Colin Munro believes working for the International Protective Network will be the perfect occupation for him. Unfortunately, his trial assignment is protecting a woman who has no intention of blindly following orders. Aye, he’ll bring the bonnie lass in line because there’s no way he’ll allow her to ruin his chance of securing his dream job.
Physically and emotionally scarred during her stint as a US soldier, Joanna Grainger wants nothing more than to enjoy life. New Year's Eve in Edinburgh marks the beginning of her transformation. But when she witnesses a crime no one believes occurred, her plans come to a screeching halt. To make matters worse, her sexy but headstrong bodyguard has no compassion for her or the victim.

As danger hunts them during one of the busiest time of the year, Joanna must convince Colin she's a worthy partner. But first, can she convince herself?

Want an unofficial peek? Shhhh. Don't tell, but here's the opening of Simple Treasures, which will be coming to you soon!


Colin Munro didn’t know which knife to worry about more, the one pointed at his throat or the one at his crotch.

You’ve got ten seconds to tell me who the hell you are, or I start slicing,” the woman threatened.

He glanced into her stormy dark eyes. Joanna Grainger. The lass he’d been sent to keep safe.

Aye, but who would protect him?

“Take care where you move those blades.” Of course, he wasn’t terribly worried. If he needed to, he could easily disarm her. She stood about five-foot-six without the high heels she’d been wearing when she first entered her flat.

I’m the one giving orders here.” The steel at his neck pushed a bit closer to his Adam’s apple.

I don’t think so.” Colin smacked her arms at the same moment, snatched the blades from her fingers with one hand, and pushed her back to the wall. The picture frame close to her head shook, but he hadn’t shoved with nearly as much force as he could have. He pinned both her wrists to the wall above her head. “I’m Colin Munro, and I’m here to protect you.”

I don’t remember asking anyone for help.” She brought her knee up for a perfect shot to his groin, but he shifted in time to get his family jewels out of the way.

You didn’t, but Heather Winchester did.” He imagined she could be quite bonnie when she wasn’t scowling or threatening him.

The name of her university mate drew her big, brown eyes wide for a moment. “Heather?” She dropped her leg, leaving her navy skirt sitting crooked on her slim hips.

Aye. Heather called Russell MacLeod of the International Protective Network this morning, explained you’d witnessed a crime, and she was worried about you. She thought you might need protection. They gave the job to me.”

She narrowed her gaze on him. “Why should I believe you?”

Because if I were here to kill you, you’d already be dead.” Taking a step back, he tossed the blades to the coffee table. The sound of the metal scattering across the wood charged into the silence of the room. Her back, he noticed, stayed against the wall.

So what do you think? I have to admit, I didn't really love Colin at first, but he totally grew on me as I wrote the story! Be sure to keep in touch with me because I'll be doing another party when this story comes out as well.

Remember to leave your comments to be in the running for the last day of PRIZES AND the grand prize, which will both be announced tomorrow!



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Release Party Day 4- What Did You Say????

Welcome back to the 2nd half of my Sunderland Dialect Game for the Fractured Paradise Release Party! Did you get a chance to play this morning? If so, have you checked the answers?

The directions are the same as before. I've given you words or phrases from my Sunderland relatives as they speak them. Your job is to "translate" them to American English. You can translate as many or as few as you wish. Just leave your guesses in the comments section. I'll give you the answers around midnight!

11. "Wee said that, like?"

12. "Where yae gawn tee?"

13. carnt- In American English, this word has an apostrophe in it and fewer letters

14. hinny- My grandfather often called my grandmother this.

15. canny lass- Girls, we'd all be happy with this description of us.
(This is Penshaw Monument, Sunderland)
16. chatties- A food I LOVE

17. "Shut your gob."

18. bullets- Most of the time you can't get these out of a little kid's hand.

19. lugholes- We all, men, women and children, have two of them.

20. claes- Most of us wouldn't be caught dead out in public without them.

Okay, there you go! I look forward to your translations!

Remember to leave comments on any posts this week! Saturday I'll be choosing the winner from all the comments from the week. And tonight I'll choose today's winner from everyone who plays the game!

Release Party Day 4-What Did You Say????

Good morning! Welcome to Day 4 of my Fractured Paradise release party! Today, we're going to play a game using the dialect of my Sunderland relatives (past and present). I don't really use these words much in my stories, but I often hear this dialect in my head as I'm writing.

Okay! Are you ready?

DIRECTIONS: I'm going to give you a set of words this morning and then another this afternoon and it's your job to try to figure out what each one means. You can make a guess about as many of them as you wish. For this morning's words, I'll give you the answers around noon. For the afternoon's words, I'll leave the answers up after midnight!

So for example, if I were playing and writing answers:

1. "She could talk the head off a wooden donkey."
In the comments section, I would put
1. Someone who talks too much.
2. (Whatever you think it means)
And if I skipped 3 & 4
5. (Whatever you think it means)


1. "Me mam nicked me sweets."

2. deed- None of us want to be this anytime soon!

3. "Watch how you go."
(This is Roker Pier Lighthouse, Sunderland)
4. "I'm gannin yem."

5. "Why aye, man!"

6. pet- And I don't mean the furry creatures we have as part of our families.

7. ower- A direction (a preposition)

8. lang- An amount of time.

All right, participants. Good luck!

Remember to leave your guesses (and comments for other days) to be in the running for the PRIZES!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday winner!

The winner of Wednesday's drawing is.....

Congratulations, Brenna. Please email me at
alexa @ alexabourne . com for more details.
Remember, folks. There's a drawing everyday and then a grand prize
drawing after the party's over! So make sure to leave your comments.


Yikes! I'm Prize Behind!

The winner of Tuesday's drawing is.....


Congratulations, Clancy. Please email me at
alexa @ alexabourne . com for more details.
Remember, folks. There's a drawing everyday and then a grand prize
drawing after the party's over! So make sure to leave your comments.


Release Party Day 3- What Is The IPN?

And we're back for more partying! Fractured Paradise is the 2nd book that discusses the International Protective Network, or IPN. Because this fictional organization is so important to me and my Honor Guard stories, I thought I'd share a bit about it. 
(Released March, 2012)                                                       


I've always been interested in reading books and seeing TV shows and movies that deal with justice organizations such as the FBI, CIA, soldiers, police, detectives. I wrote a few stories before with characters in each of these organizations, but getting the details right is difficult if all you have to go on is Hollywood. So, when I had the opportunity to write for Decadent Publishing, I decided to create my own business.
Creating my own business has been very interesting. Coming up with the name and what they did wasn't too difficult, but when I started having to figure out where its headquarters were and the company's! It suddenly became just like creating a "real" business. I had to know who opened the company and why. I had to know who worked in the technical side of the business and who they helped. I had to figure out what the lobby looked like and what hours the head office was open. At times, it's still overwhelming, but for the most part it's exciting because it's all from my own head!
The International Protective Network is a world-wide organization of bodyguards. When other legal agencies can't guarantee a person's safety, the IPN can get the job done. The headquarters are located
in Edinburgh, Scotland. A Scottish couple, Russell and Mary MacLeod, started the agency after their youngest daughter testified against a criminal even after she was threatened. The police couldn't protect her and the criminal's friends eventually found and killed her. Russell, Mary and their remaining children opened the IPN soon after.

The IPN protects everyone from foreign dignitaries, to politicians, to Hollywood celebrities and even ordinary folks who can't get help anywhere else. They operate officially within the law, as true bodyguards, but they also have a more clandestine branch for more difficult and dangerous jobs. The men and women hired by the IPN come from all walks of life. At the moment, the company is still fairly new. So they only have offices in Edinburgh and Boston. But the agents will go wherever they're needed because in the end, justice must win.
In Fractured Paradise, the IPN operative is Rachel. She is a senior technical analyst. She's been known to get information on just about anyone and honestly, no one asks how she gets it. She worked for a computer company in the States until Russell and Mary MacLeod contacted her and asked her to join their company. Knowing exactly what it was like to feel all alone, as many of the IPN clients feel, Rachel accepted the job offer in hopes of helping people fight for justice. She moved to Edinburgh the week after her online interview.
Although Rachel's on vacation in this book, her IPN skills come in handy when someone tries to scare her away from her grandmother's cottage. Too, she calls her best IPN friend for advice.
I'm already hard at work planning 3 new IPN stories for next year (one in Scotland, one in Thailand and one in Mexico)! Plus, you've got Simple Treasures coming out next month with a Scotsman who hopes to join the ranks of IPN operatives.

Remember to comment on any of the posts this week to be in the running for the PRIZES!

Release Party Day 3-Fun Facts

Good morning! Welcome to DAY 3 of the Fractured Paradise release party. This morning I'm sharing FUN FACTS about me, the characters and the making of Fractured Paradise. Some of the facts you may already know. Hopefully some will be new to you as well.

Ready? Here we go!

About Alexa:
*I'm a HUGE sports fan. I grew up watching my brother play baseball, watching football with my father and keeping score for my high school basketball team. I'm a die-hard Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan, and the family all loved Rocky. BUT if I could only watch one sport for the rest of my life it would be soccer. (Of course my favorite soccer teams are English. Liverpool, Chelsea and Sunderland!)

*I would pack up and move anywhere in Great Britain without a second thought if I had some way to support myself. (Anybody got any ideas???)

*I have a REALLY bad habit of writing a story and then thinking of connecting stories for all the secondary characters. Yes, it means I'll always have stories to write, but I don't mean just one or two secondary characters here and there. I mean ALL.

About Rachel Grant, the heroine:
*Rachel got picked on as a kid. A teacher in her grade school took her under her wing and introduced her to the "beautiful world" of computers. Rachel stayed in touch with that teacher, but by the time she was in middle school she was a well-known hacker.

*Rachel was approached by Interpol, the FBI and the CIA for her computer skills before she took the job at the International Protective Network.

*Rachel gets annoyed when people doubt her technical abilities and she's not above hacking into someone's personal accounts to prove it!

*Rachel was "dumped on" her grandparents as a child while her mother traveled with Rachel's beauty pageant contestant sister, Vicki.

About Aidan Camden, the hero:
*I tried to make Aidan a Scotsman, with the story set in Edinburgh, but Aidan wouldn't hear of it. He's a Sunderland lad through and through.

*Aidan wanted to work in a big city and so he went to London, where he worked several jobs in tourism before landing a gig as a tour guide.

*Aidan always had big dreams and always felt living in Sunderland was holding him back. He left at 18.

Miscellaneous Facts:
*All of the secondary characters in this story have the names of my young relatives in Sunderland.

*Although she's only on the phone, Rachel also makes an appearance in my December Honor Guard story, Simple Treasures.

*Gemma Barnes works in the hotel Rachel uses and becomes an instant friend.

*Adam McAndrew, a secondary character here, affected me so much I'm pretty sure I'll be writing his story one of these days.

*At one point, Rachel contacts her best IPN friend, Ian MacKenzie. Ian made his first appearance in Her Highland Champion.

So, what did you already know and what did you learn? What surprised or intrigued you most?

Stay tuned to the party, folks! Remember to comment to be in the running for PRIZES and this afternoon I'll be sharing the deets on my fictional company that each of my Honor Guard stories includes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The winner of Monday's drawing is.....
Congratulations, Jessica. Please email me at
alexa @ alexabourne . com for more details.
Remember, folks. There's a drawing everyday and then a grand prize
 drawing after the party's over! So make sure to leave your comments.


IT'S HERE, IT'S HERE! Break open the champagne and chocolate! My Sunderland story officially releases today!
I have to share this with you. As I mentioned yesterday, I first worked on this story several years ago. I submitted it to a lovely Harlequin editor who was kind enough to give me a long rejection (which is a good thing!). She pointed out what she liked, what needed work and offered to read something else. I also submitted the opening to a wonderful agent (who is no longer an agent) who traded emails with me, pointed out what worked and what needed work. She also gave me GREAT encouragement. Without these two women, this story never would've gotten published.

Technical analyst Rachel Grant arrives in Sunderland intent on tidying up her grandmother’s cottage, but the disaster she discovers requires more than a gentle sweep of a dust rag. Determined to please the most important person in her life, she trades her computer keyboard for a hammer and nails to make the repairs. She doesn’t count on the chilly reception from the locals who want to claim Nan’s home as their own.

Tour guide Aidan Camden wants to buy the cottage. He’s determined to acquire the property no matter how attractive he finds the current occupant. However, when tragedy strikes, throwing them both into a tailspin, he discovers he wants more than the house. He longs for the sexy American as well. Can Aidan put his own ghosts to rest in time to save the woman who’s claimed his heart?


Chapter One
In a perfect world, Rachel Grant would be sitting on the back porch of her grandmother’s English cottage sipping a pint of lager while watching the boats ferry tourists across the North Sea.

But this wasn’t a perfect world.
The small cottage she’d been sent to "tidy-up" stared at her with broken windows, exterior walls missing wooden slats and stone, and a thousand years of neglect. Uncontrolled grasses choked the once vibrant and sweet-smelling gardens. Her sanctuary, Nan had called it? Maybe sometime in the last century.
She dropped her suitcases and flexed her fingers. She’d come to do a little dusting, a little washing, and
poof, she would have the cottage ready for her grandmother’s return. But this eyesore required extensive renovations. As a technical analyst for the International Protective Network, Rachel worked with computers and digital research. Manual labor was way out of her comfort zone.
Thunder crackled above, and she squinted up to the sky. An impending storm prepared to drench her at any moment—not that it would make much difference. When she’d rowed out to this isolated, pathetic piece of dirt, she’d soaked herself through. She shivered against the cursed wind, ran her fingers through her hair, and blew out a slow breath. Now what?
She’d given up her seat in front of a flat screen and a keyboard back in Edinburgh to execute her nana’s fanciful ideas of returning to Sunderland. Rachel had agreed only because it was for Nan, but….

"This, I did not sign up for." Tears pricked at the corners of her wind-burned eyes, threatening to rip her resolve to shreds. Getting here had been hard enough. It wasn’t fair that her island of paradise looked like the summer cottage from a teenage horror movie.

She took a cleansing breath. No panicking allowed. Solving problems was her specialty, after all. "Well, computer problems, anyway," she mumbled.

"A bit of a disappointment, I expect." A rich, deep voice with a twinge of an English accent drifted from behind her.
She whirled around. Her hair whipped against her cheeks and made her wish for the hundredth time she hadn’t packed all her hair clips.

"Sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you."
The stranger paused beside the edge of the clearing, and her heart stuttered. Although no one would mistake him for a Hollywood leading man, the guy could command attention by stepping into a room. Or onto an island.
So, are you intrigued? Well, then get thee to Decadent Publishing or Amazon to get the story immediately delievered to your e-reader!
Remember to leave comments so you'll be in the running for PRIZES!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Release Party Day 1- The Story Behind The Story

Welcome back to Day 1 of my week-long release party for Fractured Paradise! This afternoon I'm sharing with you the story behind the story. Here, you'll find out how this book came into being, why I wanted to write it, and why I chose the dedication I did. 

Fractured Paradise started out as a way for me to get over my British grandmother's death back in 2003. She had been sick for quite a while and I'd said my final goodbye, but I was not with her when she died. At the time, I needed comfort and turning to my happy place (the UK), I was able to get through my emotions as I wrote the book. The story has Rachel's grandmother in it, so I was able to honor my grandmother as well.

As a granddaughter, I managed to get through my grief by doing the physical writing and working through my emotions in the story. As a writer, I revised the manuscript, which started out as a 250-page contemporary romance (no suspense), and submitted it to contests (in which it finaled and won a couple) and a lovely editor rejected it but gave me some great feedback. I then put it aside for a few years and wrote other contemporary and romantic suspense stories. It was last year, when I signed my first contract with Decadent Publishing, that I started to think about revising Fractured Paradise for the Honor Guard line. I cut it down, added in a suspense element (and an International Protective Network employee) and submitted it earlier this year. In my mind, the book had become a way for me to honor not only my grandmother, but also my British heritage in general. When it came time to write the dedication for the book, choosing my grandparents was not even a question.

You see, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother as I grew up. Because she worked in a school, she had the same vacations as me so she babysat quite a bit. Sometimes she came to our house and sometimes I went to her house. My grandfather worked a lot so I only saw him at night and on the weekends. But I remember very vividly sitting on their living room floor while music played, with my notebook in my lap and a pen in my hands. My grandfather would come in from work and ask, "Are you not done with that book yet?" (My usual response was, "No, I started a new one!") I always remember them being supportive of my fanciful career plans. They were both very proud of me and my push to get published, to see my dream come true. Sadly, my grandfather died in 2009 and so he wasn't around for my first book to come out either, but I hope I've honored them both in my attempt to bring all that I love about Britain, and especially Sunderland, to readers everywhere. 

For Mary L. Martin (1922-2003)
And Jimmie Martin (1919-2009)
Nan and Granda, I did it!

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