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Guest Author – ALLYSON CHARLES

Allyson Charles

Allyson Charles is my guest author today. She lives in Northern California and is the author of the “Pineville Romance” series, small-town, contemporary romances published by Lyrical Press. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?). One of Allyson’s greatest disappointments is living in a state that doesn’t have any Cracker Barrels in it.

Following is the blurb for her new Christmas book. Sounds like fun!

SOMETIMES YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED . . . 

Allison Stuart has always been the odd-woman-out of her family. She wears her jeans a little too tight, BookCover_TheChristmasWeddingSwapcolors her hair a little too blonde, and instead of going into medicine and law like her sisters, she runs a diner. She’s also the only single sibling left. And while she won’t change her style, and her meatloaf is to die for, thank you very much, she wouldn’t mind her share of wedded bliss. So she makes an early New Year’s resolution: No more meaningless flings.

 

Drop-dead sexy Luke Hamilton is everything Allison has sworn off. His only serious relationship has been with his five-star restaurant, Le Cygne Noir, in Chicago. When he’s threatened by a lawsuit, Luke decides to hide out in Pineville, Michigan, until the statute of limitations runs out. The small town is filled with Christmas charm, but he can’t imagine living there. Heating things up with the hottie who owns the local diner would make his exile bearable—if he can convince her to give up her ridiculous resolution . . .


AND HERE’S AN EXCERPT FOR YOU TO ENJOY!

“This is a small-town diner. Your stock isn’t going to drop if you have a bit of fun with your newest employee.” His eyes raked her body, taking in every curve.

She swallowed and rose to her feet. Staying seated while he stared down at her looking like he wanted to…well, eat her up, wasn’t a strong authority position. Since this man now worked for her, he was off-limits. Her stomach quivered.

No. No, making him the forbidden fruit. He might be sexy, but he was also an arrogant know-it-all. At this stage in her life, she wanted someone she could settle down with, not tear up the sheets. She thrust her shoulders back, realizing too late it could look like she was shoving her D cups in his face. Fighting the heat crawling up her neck, she said, “If you want a tour, my advice would be to visit the tourist bureau. They have information on the sights to see. The holidays are a busy season for me, more so with Sadie’s wedding. I don’t have time for anything else. Got it?”

He nodded slowly, but Allison didn’t believe him. The tilt to his full lips was impish, as if she was a challenge he couldn’t wait to take on. The moment he spoke, she knew she was right. “I get it. You own a restaurant; you’re busy.” Sauntering to the door, he waited until he was just outside before hitting her with his parting shot.

“But a month is a long time. You won’t always be busy. And I’ll be waiting.”


DON’T FORGET…..

Allyson is giving away a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card

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HTML:  <a href=” http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2464″>Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>


STAY IN TOUCH!

Sign up for Allyson’s newsletter at http://www.allysoncharles.com/newsletter

You can find her at http://www.allysoncharles.com, on Twitter @1allysoncharles, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAllysonCharles.


Buy links for THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING SWAP:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/?field-keywords=9781601836090
IBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-christmas-wedding-swap/id1209823636?mt=11
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-christmas-wedding-swap-allyson-charles/1125489708;jsessionid=7895472FF3C5A0BDE501E6AB0E760A87.prodny_store02-atgap02?ean=9781601836090
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-christmas-wedding-swap
Google: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781601836090&c=books

 

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New Old Books…..

Getting the rights to a book back from a large publishing house can be a challenge. I spent at least three years trying to get the rights back on my last traditionally published book, MAN OF THE WEST, written under the pseudonym Sadie Callahan.

Last year, I finally got that letter returning all rights to me. I’m now in the process of doing some revising and preparing that book for re-release as an Anna Jeffrey book.

I had to have a new cover designed. First, you aren’t allowed to use the publishing house’s original cover because they own it. Second, it had Sadie Callahan’s name on it, a pen name that I will probably never use again. So I called on the fabulous Kim Killion (as I always do) to design the new cover.

COMING SOON!

AnnaJeffrey_ManOfTheWest_200px

This book is a sequel to LONE STAR WOMAN. The hero is the second Strayhorn cousin who is still trying to live down his father’s disgrace.

“Sheriff of a small, remote town in the Texas Panhandle, Jake Strayhorn’s calm and uncomplicated life changes when he meets the Circle C Ranch’s new cook. He’s drawn instantly to her wholesome beauty, different from any other woman he’s ever known. As a career cop, his honed instincts detect that she’s running from something, but she refuses to reveal her past. How can he protect her if he doesn’t know what’s making her so skittish?

Escaping an abusive, drug-addicted husband in the dead of night, Jolie Jensen found the perfect hiding place on the Circle C Ranch, working as a cook. This seems to be the safest place she’s found in years, yet fear lingers. Billy Jensen’s bound to find her and their daughter, and with no family, the only person she knows she can lean on is the too-attractive sheriff. He’s shown himself willing to be her protector, but can she protect her heart from the quiet, strong Jake Strayhorn?”

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 I love writing sagas about big families and all of the drama that can be associated with them. And here’s the blurb to LONE STAR WOMAN, Book #1 of this trilogy that was also originally released as a Sadie Callahan book.

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“Jude Strayhorn, the only child of the vast Circle C Ranch’s CEO, is in constant conflict with her father and grandfather. Her greatest desire is to exert her AnnaJeffrey_LoneStarWoman_800education and influence on the ranch’s operation, but the two men thwart her at every turn. Giving up, she goes outside the Circle C intending to use her trust fund to buy a small spread from a deceased widow’s estate where she can put her ideas into practice. That is, until she runs headlong into the widow’s heir, Brady Fallon, who has his own plans for the 6-0 Ranch.

Brady Fallon is no stranger to Willard County, though he hasn’t been around since childhood. His inheritance needs a lot of work and he needs money to put it back into shape and revive it as a cattle operation. He hires on as a hand at the Circle C Ranch, a move that leads to unexpected benefits for his future as well as unwanted conflict with his boss’s daughter. Can he set his attraction to her aside for his own good?”

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The Strayhorns was always supposed to be a trilogy, so I’ve planned a third book. It will be Cable Strayhorn’s story. Cable is the third Strayhorn cousin who returns to the Circle C Ranch after living away most of his adult life. So far, the title of that book is SON OF THE PLAINS.

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AnnaJeffrey_TheHorseman_200px (2)I’m still working on THE HORSEMAN. Almost finished. I’ve had some distractions and writing it has taken much longer than I thought it would. It’s a complex story. I have to wind up the loose ends left in THE TYCOON and THE CATTLEMAN as well as solve the mystery of who is harassing the Lockhart family and try to keep the word count as low as possible. However, I can finally see the top of the mountain. Please hang in there with me. I’ll have it on the market soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Rocky Journey…

At last, I’m sneaking up on the end of THE HORSEMAN, Book #3 of the Sons of Texas trilogy and below is the blurb. I hope to release the e-book in July or August at the latest. I think the cover, designed by the wonderful Kim Killion, is awesome.

AnnaJeffrey_TheHorseman_200px (2)     Troy Rattigan devotes most of his time and energy to horses— rescuing them, training them, understanding them. Some might say he has a spiritual connection to the equine species. Because of a brutal schedule and an escalating series of attacks on his family, his own connections haven’t gone beyond meaningless hookups….His current workshop a week before Christmas, which is an inconvenient favor for an old friend, introduces him to a   fractious, blood-bay horse in his current workshop that raises all kinds of red flags. There’s something about that horse and something about the crippled, unassuming beauty on the other end of his lead rope that ignites his instinct to fix what’s broken—in both woman and horse.

     Single mom Samantha Karol is barely back on her feet after almost losing her life and her leg to a rattlesnake bite. One wrong step could cripple her for life. The worst step she could make? Accepting the too-rich, too-handsome, too-sweet-talking horse whisperer’s offer to teach her horse-crazy young son to work with her best friend’s problem horse….Having seen the worst of life, Samantha is too old and too jaded for her years. Yet, she can’t resist giving her son his wildest dream. ….. Is the deep, instant fit she feels with Troy simply a mutual understanding of loss and grief? Or is it a solid foundation upon which to build a lifetime of happiness? Is becoming connected to the wealthy and dynamic Lockhart family another risk to her own life as well as her young son’s?

THE TRILOGY

Those of you who might have read THE TYCOON and THE CATTLEMAN, Books 1 & 2 of the Sons of Texas trilogy, might recognize Troy Rattigan who is the hero in THE HORSEMAN. Troy, the bastard son of the Lockhart family’s current patriarch, William Drake Lockhart, Jr, (or, as he is referred to in the books, Bill Junior) is less than a heroic character in Books 1 & 2. In THE HORSEMAN, he strikes down the demonic forces that are affecting his life and comes to terms with the good man that has always resided within him.https://www.books2read.com/u/3kZrgW

https://amzn.com/B00N24Z2R2THIS TRILOGY MAKES up a family saga at the same time they are romance novels. Click on each picture on the left for more information. ….. THE HORSEMAN will bring the story to an end. It will complete the arc that has continued through the 3 books, which is the resolution of the rocky relationship between Bill Junior and his wife Betty, the parents of the 3 heroes. The villain who has been harassing the family and why will also be revealed.


THE IDEA

The basic idea for the story as I first imagined it was triggered by a conversation I read between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway that went as follows:     Fitzgerald: The rich are different from you and me.     Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.    

The premise of the story is to show that the rich really are not different in fundamental ways. They experience triumphs and joys, suffer weaknesses and tragedies just like everyone else. Hemingway, a master of irony, a student of human nature and the expert at saying the most with the fewest words, nailed it in 5 words.


IN CLOSING…

Writing THE LOVE OF A COWBOY was a writing journey for me. A dozen romance novels later, writing the 3 books  of the Sons of Texas trilogy has been no different. I’ve tried to show strengths and weaknesses of the main characters, be they heroic and laudable or less than admirable.  I hope I’ve succeeded. I hope readers will enjoy the characters and the story and will recognize the premise. After you read it, let me know…..

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COUNTERFEIT HONEY? WTF?…

A few days back, I caught a headline about one of the largest food frauds in the history of the country. (See link at the bottom of this post to read about it.)

A headline like that just naturally catches my eye since one of my concerns in life has become the safety of the food we are forced to buy because none other is available to us.

And lo and behold, when I read further, the subject product is one of my favorites: HONEY!

Honey in honeycombs

Honey in honeycombs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A German company with offices in Chicago has been marketing all over the world honey that is imported from China and contains chemicals banned in the US. (Big surprise, huh?) Who knew honey was imported?

The company figured out how to avoid USDA red tape by routing it through other countries and bringing it into the US as a product of some different country. Also there’s honey that has been diluted with syrup or water, honey that is contaminated with various other chemicals and the list goes on. This product might not make it to our dinner tables, but it might show up in other manufactured foods that have honey as an ingredient, i.e., cereals, baking goods, etc.

A couple of people have gone to jail over this, a relief, I guess.

I’ve been worried for a while about honey bees dying off for some unknown reason. Despite the environmentalist groups proclaiming that bees are dying from various chemicals that are applied to plants, that isn’t the biggest reason the bees are disappearing. It has finally been concluded that the bees have been attacked by a virus and no one knows what to do about it.

Not good news. Honey is good for everything. And it tastes good. But even if you are not a honey-lover, you have to be concerned about the disappearance of the bees because without them, pollination necessary for growing plants that produce food becomes an issue.

For a while now, because I understand there’s a shortage, I’ve been clenching my jaw and paying $9.00 for a quart bottle of honey. And that is by no means the most expensive. Like everything we eat, the price of just keep going up.

I’ve taken comfort in the labels that boast “Product of the USA” and “U.S. Grade A 100% Pure Honey” and “Source Verified.”  ….. But what do those labels mean, really? Marketing itself is so fraudulent, I can’t help but wonder what kind of gyrations someone has gone through to be able to make those claims. I’m sure all of the honey is combined in one big pot before it’s bottled, so is it possible that a bad batch gets combined with the good batches?

You won’t have any trouble convincing me that it is. What I mourn is that even if says it’s 100% pure and safe, I will never be able to consume honey again without wondering about it. All I can say is, if you buy honey, folks, check the label.

And now, on to books news. AnnaJeffrey_OurRedHotRomance_Audio3

OUR RED HOT ROMANCE IS LEAVING ME BLUE by Dixie Cash is now available as an audio book at www.audible.com, Amazon, and iTunes at a reasonable price. The narrator—her name is Holly Adams—does a great job. You can listen on your MP3 player, your tablet or your phone. Of course, you can still buy the print book at Amazon. Here’s the blurb:

“Ghost busting! Not the usual gig for the Domestic Equalizers, Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin. Their forte is cheating husbands and wives and significant others. “Don’t get mad, get even” is their motto.

That is, until they meet Justin Sadler. He’s trying to come to terms with the passing of his dearly beloved Rachel. Except that now he’s not sure she has passed. Either she’s trying to communicate with him from the other side or somebody is trying to drive him crazy. Who else to find the answer to an off-beat question than the offbeat detectives, The Domestic Equalizers?

Knowing little about ghostly activities, their solution is to recommend that Justin hire an out-of-town psychic. He skeptically agrees and the fun begins. No one expected the medium from El Paso to be young and beautiful and sweet as pecan pie. No one expected her to call up a few ghosts from Edwina’s past. But it all turns out in the end. Justin and the El Paso mentalist live happily ever after ad the Domestic Equalizers add the solution to another off-the-wall mystery to their resume.”

It’s funny, I don’t care who you are. 🙂

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