Friday Favorites

This Week’s Quote:
“There are no limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imaginations, and wonder.” – Ronald Reagan 

No Such Thing [As Writer’s Block] Podcast by Seth Godin. Listen here…

The True Test of Character. From Writer Unboxed. By Kathleen McCleary. Read more…

Possibility Paths. From Still Moments Magazine. By Nan Russell. Read more…

Is The Noise In My Head Bothering You? By Seth Godin. Read more…

Friday Favorites

This Week’s Quote:
“He conquers who endures.” – Persius 

The Difference Between A Revision, A Rewrite, And A Redraft. From Fiction University. By Janice Hardy. Read more…

Tears on the Page — On Writing and Crying. From Writer Unboxed. By Vaughn Roycroft. Read more…

How Steven Spielberg Handles His Villains. From Writing Wednesdays. By Steven Pressfield. Read more…

Ignore Sunk Clowns. By Seth Godin. Read more…

Guest Author: Beverley Oakley & Spotlight on The Accidental Elopement

The Accidental Elopement
Scandalous Miss Brightwell Series (Book 4)
By Beverley Oakley

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to on lucky winner. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other stops on the tour. You may find those locations here

About the Book:
A seven-year secret. A tragic misunderstanding. Can love outwit fate in this twisted tale of misadventure and thwarted dreams?

Earl Quamby’s niece, Katherine, and Jack, a foundling home lad adopted by a local family, have been loyal friends for as long as they can remember.

As Jack is about to leave England to make his fortune and Katherine is being courted by two eligible suitors, they unexpectedly realise their friendship has blossomed into passionate love. A love, they are warned, that has no future.

Despite a brave attempt to defy the forces keeping them apart, tragedy results and the pair is separated.

When chance throws them together seven years later, Katherine, newly widowed, is being pressured into a marriage not of her choosing to avoid scandal and Jack feels he must honour his pledge to the worthy Odette whom he met in India and whose father is dying.

Katherine knows that revealing a long-held secret may win Jack to her but she also knows conflicting obligations from past and present may tear him apart.

Can master matchmakers, Fanny, Antoinette and Bertram Brightwell, outwit fate in its latest attempt to keep these star-crossed lovers apart and deliver them the happiness they deserve?

This is Book 4 in the Scandalous Miss Brightwell series but it can be read as a stand-alone.

Amazon Buy Link

Order The Accidental Elopement now for the special price of $2.99 and you’ll get an ecopy of Scandalous: Three Daring Charades in the Pursuit of Love. Just send a screen shot of proof of purchase to beverley (at) and she’ll send you the link for your free book. 
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In this excerpt, Katherine is hiding in a dark corridor to avoid dancing with someone she has no wish to see during her first ball as a newly arrived London debutante. She then receives a rude shock!

No one had thought to light a candle sconce and this second corridor turning she’d taken was as black as a dungeon. Katherine couldn’t even see her hand but she wasn’t frightened of the dark. No, Katherine was not fainthearted.
Yet she did squeal when, taking another step, her progress was impeded by a very large object and, with no warning at all, she found herself flying through the air, landing with a painful jarring of her wrists upon the cold, hard flagstones.
“Good Lord!” came a disembodied young male voice in the dark before a groping hand located a piece of Katherine – namely a hank of hair – which caused her to shriek even louder when it was quite unnecessarily tugged. Whether this was to establish who or what she was, she had no idea – and perhaps neither did the tugger for immediately a profound apology was issued before the groping hand was operating with complete abandon in the dark.
This time it found Katherine’s breast just as the voice said in tones of utter mortification, “Forgive me! Are you hurt? Here, let me help you. That’s what I was trying to do, I promise. I didn’t realise you were on the ground? Take my hand. Really, I can’t apologise enough.”
Katherine had made one unsuccessful attempt to stand but it was a struggle in her flounced skirt and multiple corded petticoats. She swatted away the supposedly helping hand and hissed something unintelligible – somehow unladylike language seemed less of an offence when she couldn’t see to whom she was speaking.
But when the disembodied groping hand entered her orbit once more – in fact, brushing the bare flash above her garter and getting in a good squeeze of her thigh flesh, her temper which had never been one of her strong points, snapped and she lashed out with a sharp slice through the inky air.
A loud yelp made her realise she’d perhaps been a little peremptory and certainly too violent in this unladylike action and even though she felt disinclined to apologise she did say, ungraciously, “I’m sorry I hit you but a lady can only take so much of all this groping in the dark. I mean…what were you doing?”
“I could ask you the same thing,” came the response, now at ear level. In fact, she could feel the soft whisper of breath against her cheek which made her step back, saying, “I asked first.”
“I was chasing a cat. Bending down in fact. And then something crashed into me. Or on top of me.”
“That was me.”
“Yes, of course it was you. There’s no one else here, is there?”
Katherine bridled at his tone. She was unused to being spoken to as if she were at fault when, in this case, she most certainly wasn’t. “I think that’s a very rude response,” she told him. “Just as it was very thoughtless of you to crouch down where anybody could simply trip over you.”
“Anybody – or rather, anybody else – would be carrying a candle. I think I have every reason to be deeply suspicious of the motives of anyone who is not.”
“Well, you don’t have a candle. And I would suspect the truth of anyone hiding away in the dark, claiming they were crouching over an imaginary cat,” huffed Katherine. “In fact, I’d wager there was no cat here at all. I would have heard it. No, you were sneaking away from something, weren’t you?”
“And if I was, what business of yours? Whoever you are.”
Katherine could not imagine the audacity. “You certainly are no gentleman to speak to a lady in that fashion.”
“Since that lady hasn’t bothered to declare herself, I think I could be forgiven.”
“A gentleman would have declared himself first,” Katherine said hotly. “What were you sidling away from? There’s a noisy ball going on in the next room. If you were a gentleman, wouldn’t you be gallantly asking the ladies to dance instead of hiding in the dark? Perhaps there’s someone you’re afraid of seeing? A lady who has expectations of you behaving towards her as a gentleman.” Katherine said this triumphantly before elaborating on her theme. “My guess is that you’ve given some poor young lady the idea that you’ll dance with her all night and now you’ve changed your mind and are sneaking away.”
“Since you put forward the idea, I’d suggest the reason you’re here is exactly the same. You’re trying to sneak away from a gentleman to whom you’ve already promised two dances. Meanwhile he, poor fellow, is searching for you vainly in the ballroom while you’re here making a mockery of him.”
“He can do that all by himself,” Katherine sniffed. “But I never promised him anything and I never will.”
“Ha! I was right.” The voice sounded very pleased with itself. “Well, I feel sorry for this fellow without even seeing what you look like, miss. Poor fellow!”
“Poor fellow, indeed. George can pine til the cows come home. I’d even suffer talking to you than have to spend another five minutes with his sweating hands squeezing mine and his moon eyes boring into me…and his horrible, putrid breath choking me and his—”
“Poor George! I was just starting to feel sorry for him until you described the exact George I, too, am so at pains to avoid tonight.” The voice became more confidential and the mood relaxed.
Katherine crossed her arms and waited for him to speak again for she was rather interested in his George and then quite amused when the voice began to describe the very George against whom she railed.
“Well, you have described my cousin to a very fine point,” she laughed. “And if you are as well acquainted with him as you seem to be, then you obviously know exactly why I am here in the dark.”
There was a small silence. And then, “Your cousin?”
“In my family there are two Georges: Young George who is the son of my aunt and her husband, Lord Quamby, and Odious George who is his uncle, George Bramley.”
“Then we’re talking about the same George!” The voice sounded stunned.
A quick gasp from both of them was followed up by a delighted cry in unison.

Other Books In The Series: 

Rake’s Honour (Book 1) 
Beautiful, impoverished Fanny Brightwell has a few scores to settle—and a heart to win—before she can secure the wealthy, aristocratic husband her ambitious mama demands.
Pick up a free copy here!
Rogue’s Kiss (Book 2)
Would a potential suitor be bolder if he were told the lie that the maiden he desires has only six months to live?
Amazon Buy Link

Devil’s Run (Book 3)
A rigged horse race – with a marriage and a lost child riding on the outcome.
Amazon Buy Link

About the Author: 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth-century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

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Guest Author Mary Martinez: A Spotlight and Giveaway

By Mary Martinez

About the Book: 

Glenna Beckett loves her family dearly, but being the youngest of six can be overwhelming. Moving across country helped her learn who she was outside the family. She’s built a successful business in the form of a quaint shop on Main Street of Calistoga, that sells a bit of everything vintage, the new age term for antique. What more does she need?Then he walked into her shop. International playboy, Lance Gordon. After a whirlwind courtship he asks her to marry him. Burying a niggle of doubt in the pit of her tummy, she says yes. He’s even agreed to have the wedding in Brooklyn so her family can attend. But he never arrives.

Glenna refused to believe she’d been abandoned at the altar and asks her brother, Tyler, to contact an agent friend on the West Coast to search for Lance.

Patrick McGinnis can’t believe he’s walking into a prissy shop in the high end of the Napa Valley searching for a missing groom. The bride, Glenna Beckett, is everything he feared, drop dead gorgeous, and a spoiled brat. Not that he’d ever tell her brother that. He hates wild goose chases, and this mission is exactly that. Patrick’s certain the playboy fiancé is off wooing some other delectable creature.

Unfortunately, once Patrick started to dig, he finds there’s more to the tale and it will take all his skills as an agent to keep Glenna safe. Especially when the case takes a turn and threatens the safety of his son, Finn.

The Beckett Series Free and/or On Sale Through 3/8/18:

Disappear (Book I The Beckett Series)
Innocent (Book II The Beckett Series)
Only $.99 Amazon Buy Link
Quiet (Book III The Beckett Series)
Only $.99 Amazon Buy Link
Illusion – Utopia the Beginning (Book IV The Beckett Series)
Only $.99 Amazon Buy Link
Profit – Utopia the Conclusion (Book V The Beckett Series)
Only $.99 Amazon Buy Link Abandoned  (Book V The Beckett Series)
Amazon Buy Link

For more links:


Patrick McGinnis thumbed his phone off and dropped the thing on the table with a thud. What had he just agreed to? He held in a groan, barely.
“What’s up dad? You look like you just ate a sour grape.”
Finnegan, his sixteen-year old son, and the joy of his life, walked to the cupboard and pulled out a bowl. He filled it with cereal and added milk and then joined Patrick at the table. He dipped his spoon for a large scoop, and as he brought it to his mouth, Finn gave him the I’m waiting look.
“I just received a call from an old friend,” he said in way of explanation, he really didn’t like talking work with his son.
“It must not have been a good conversation.”
“It was good to catch up. He was with me at Quantico.” Best to focus on the old acquaintance part.
“Dad, I’m in high school. You can stop sheltering me now. He must have called for a reason. One you’re not too thrilled about. What’s up?” He repeated his earlier question.
Damn, Finn was growing up to fast. And the kid was right. He had a tendency to shield him from his work. Something he’d always tried to do, but more since Finn was three and the worst thing that could ever happened to a child had happened.
“Tyler is an agent in New York, however, he has a sister in Calistoga.”
His son let out a hoot of laughter. “Match-making from the east coast.”
“Ha, ha. No, his sister seems to have lost her fiancé and her assistant.”
“What they elope and left her behind? Why’d he call you?”
“The fiancé never arrived at the wedding. And then when his sister went to open her shop she found the assistant had been shot.”
“Oh.” Finn ate for a few minutes in silence. “Does the lost fiancé and the dead assistant have something to do with each other?”
“That’s one of the things Ty wants me to find out.”
Finn suspended his spoon half way to his mouth. “What is the other?”
“He wants me to find the missing fiancé for his sister.” He pulled his fingers through his hair. “It’s a wild goose chase if you ask me. If the guy had wanted to get married he’d have been at the wedding.”
“You’d think, unless he couldn’t.”
Patrick contemplated his son. He would make a good detective. He’d already helped solve a few of his cases, by just listening and making comments that brought other solutions to mind. Patrick wasn’t sure he wanted that for his son. He loved being a federal agent. For a while, after the incident with his son, he’d tried something else. However, his true passion was law enforcement and he’d been placed back on duty within the year.
You couldn’t help where your heart led you. No matter the consequences. 
“That is what I need to find out.” He stood and poured more coffee into his cup to warm up the cooling liquid. He leaned a hip on the counter while he sipped. “What’s going on at school today?”
Finn finished his cereal and stood to wash his bowl out. He appeared to be thinking as he put his dishes in the dishwasher.
“I have an algebra test. Just a fair warning, Dad, it’s kicking my ass.”
“Language son.” But he smiled, he’d heard a lot worse. “I have a few minutes do you need my help?”
His son gave him a skeptical look, which was well warranted. Algebra had thoroughly kicked his ass in high school, too, to the point he’d needed Saturday morning classes to pass the damn class.
After a moment he answered. “No, Mrs. Stewart said she’d meet me before school.”
“Old Mrs. Stewart is still there? I had her for Algebra.” He smiled and resisted the urge to ruffle his son’s hair. Since the boy was almost as tall as he was, it’d be a little awkward anyway. “You’re in good hands then. Do you want me to drop you on my way to Calistoga?”
Author Bio:

Mary lives in Magna, a little town west of Salt Lake City, Utah. Together with her husband, she has six grown children, and six wonderful grandsons and five beautiful granddaughters. She loves to spend time with family and friends–she includes good books as friends!
Mary and her husband love to travel, especially to the Caribbean for relaxing, and Italy for the wine. And most recently she discovered she was Irish and Scottish, of course they had to visit Ireland and Scotland. Mary fell in love with both, but the green hills of Ireland felt like home. With the experience from the exotic places she has visited, she is able to fill her books with colorful descriptions of cities, painting a colorful backdrop for her characters. One of her favorite US destinations is New York/Brooklyn, where her beloved Beckett’s live. When she visits, she can wander their neighborhoods, favorite parks, and visit their favorite pub, Putnum’s.

They are avid concert ‘Ho’s’! Yes, they pretty much want to do them all. They love outdoor amphitheaters the best and attend as many during the warmer months as possible.

Mary writes mostly romantic suspense, romance, women’s fiction, and she has just begun to dabble in young adult mystery. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA). During her writing career she has been a conference coordinator, workshop presenter, and chapter president for the Utah Chapter of RWA. In 2007 she was presented with the Utah RWA service award in acknowledgment and appreciation for outstanding service. Mary has also participated in numerous library panels on writing and co-presented a workshop on writing a series at the League of Utah Writers conference.
Mary and her husband are also enthusiastic college football fans. They have season tickets to the UTES, University of Utah Football and they tailgate every game. They love tailgating so much, that they were married at a tailgating in 1999.
GO UTES!Website and social media links:
Buy Link Amazon:

Mary’s Garden Blog:
The After Work Cook: 

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