It was while visiting Las Vegas for the Romance Novel convention of 2013 that I first came up with the idea for Hotel Rodeo. After seeing the strip for the first time, I thought how cool it would be to create my own Western themed hotel and casino. The Hotel Rodoe series came to life in my mind very quickly after that as a series of inter-connected stories set in and around my fictional Las Vegas hotel. The first three books are coming in January, February and March, and I have five more planned for this series. Here’s a taste of book #1, Hell on Heels.
HELL ON HEELS (HOTEL RODEO #1) by VICTORIA VANE
PLACE YOUR BET...The Hotel Rodeo in Las Vegas has seen better days, but managing partner Ty Morgan has come up with a way to return it to its former glory. His plan looks promising until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Ty is working for the boss’s daughter. And Miss Monica Brandt, hot as she may be, doesn’t share his vision…
ROLL THE DICE...She left a fabulous career and a frustrated fiancé in New York to move to Vegas and save her father’s investment. But now Monica is locking horns with a sexy cowboy-turned-businessman. What does Ty think he can do that she can’t? All Monica knows is that she doesn’t dare trust him—or is it herself she doesn’t trust...
AND WIN...The battle lines are drawn. The stakes are high. And the attraction can’t be denied—especially the more closely Ty and Monica have to work together. Some odds are just meant to be played, and with chemistry this electric, it may be time to grab life by the horns. Read More
Fact, Fiction, and the Lotion of Uncertain Usage
For the most part, I write stories based entirely in my own imagination. My books star people I’ve never encountered having adventures I’ve never undertaken, a fact which allows me to 1) trample freely over reality and 2) maintain my friends’ willingness to tell me humiliating anecdotes.
So what you read in my Lovestruck Librarians series is fictional. Mostly. With a few key exceptions, ripped almost word-for-word from my real life.
My poor husband. In My Reckless Valentine, I took part of our history together and made it one of those exceptions. And unfortunately for him, the story I used involves paper towels, lotion, and possible self-pleasuring.
Let me explain. When I first met Mr. Dade, he’d moved from Sweden to the U.S. only months before. Some of his house stood empty, and the rest of it featured disposable furniture scavenged from dump-bound friends or the clearance aisles of discount superstores. To stop rooms from echoing, he’d nailed mesh sponges to the wall. He’d also purchased the least expensive swaths of fabric he could find, which he tacked to the wall alongside the sponges.
So upon my initial visit to his house, I found myself staring at a hideous square of cloth with a red-and-blue parakeet pattern. It rested next to a purple mesh puff, pinned to the wall like a trophy from some weird, Sephora-approved hunt.
In retrospect, it’s a wonder I didn’t flee the premises without another word.
Unwanted Girl by MK Schiller
When I was a kid, I remember my father telling me to get ready because we were going to a special place. Almost bouncing out of my seat, I asked him a million questions on the way. He said it was a surprise, but this place held all kinds of magic and power. It was a place where I’d meet many new friends, who would stay with me for the rest of my life. I’d be able to travel anywhere I wanted.
“Even space?” I asked. Yes, even there.”
I figured we had to be going somewhere amazing. To my disappointment, Dad pulled our station wagon up to a large brick building: the local library.
I complained he’d tricked me with his promises of grandeur. He dared me to prove him wrong.
As usual, Dad was right.
Inside that brick building, I attended Sweet Valley High and later discovered small town life through Scout Finch’s eyes. I even met my first love at the library. His name was Mr. Darcy (but I call him Fitz).
The first book I remember reading that truly stuck with me was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I cried after I read it. I cried for a freaking tree! That’s the power of a good book. It makes us feel compassion for the world around us. Reading, any kind of reading, makes us better people in my opinion.
As an author, my goal is to always harness those emotional responses through strong but flawed characters. It’s up to reader if I succeed in this, but it is always the goal in every book I pen.
I especially love writing multi-cultural romances. There is an outcry for more diversity in the romance world. I’m thrilled to be a writer during this exciting time.
Linny’s Sweet Dream List by Susan Schild
Have you ever accidentally hit a good looking man in the head with a bottle while recycling? Linny has.
Linny’s Sweet Dream List is a Southern story about love and family, small town life and bright, vivid characters you are going to want as friends.
Fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Dorothea Benton Frank might well enjoy Linny’s Sweet Dream List. Set in the South, the novel’s colorful characters are searching for - and finding - their happily ever afters. Linny’s Sweet Dream List is available January 5th in paperback and digitally on Amazon.
Excerpt from Linny’s Sweet Dream List: Linny finds a puppy and takes him to the veterinarian. She realizes he’s the man she accidentally hit in the head with a bottle at the recycling center.
In the examining room, the puppy wove in and out of Linny’s legs, and nibbled on the hem of her khakis. She extracted a chew toy from her purse, and tried to distract him from his pants-chewing mission. Read More
“The oysters here are incredible. Did you have the appetizer?”
I was terrible at mingling, especially with men. Especially with men who followed up that ridiculous line with, “You know what they say about oysters’ aphrodisiac properties.”
It had been forty minutes since we finished the sit-down dinner portion of my friend Christy’s engagement party and it wasn’t going well. For me. While Christy had met an amazing man in her fiancé Paul, his cousin, who was attempting to work his lackluster charm on me, was a complete dud. It was crowded in the restaurant and bar area, situated six floors up in a new boutique hotel right on the Baltimore waterfront. The amazing view of the harbor seen through a wall of glass was an attraction.
I smiled vaguely at…Bob. No, Bill. Something with a B. He was in his thirties, well dressed in a suit with a gray tie, as if he came directly from work. He had all his hair, was well groomed, yet seemed perfectly…average.
I really wanted to give him the brush-off, but he was related to Paul and I owed it to Christy to keep from alienating one of her future relatives. Besides, I’d probably have to see him at the wedding in a few months, and God forbid he was one of the groomsmen. Diplomacy was good in this instance and I tried to smile and nod, smile and nod, but he had the personality of a sea slug. We’d talked about Paul and Christy for a minute or two, but after that…he showed himself to be a player. He stood a little too close, his gaze surreptitiously dropping to my chest, and he had an odd leer. It had to be a leer or he had some kind of tick in the corner of his lip.
Why the guy was lingering with me where there was zero hope of…anything, I had no idea. I’d been burned by a man, okay, scorched to a charcoal briquette, and I wasn’t looking for another one. I’d survived, survived because Chris needed a mother, needed me to be the strong one. But he was away at college and I wasn’t shielded behind the role of parent any longer. I could chat about off-sides rules in soccer or PTA fundraisers, but talking to a guy, a real guy and not another parent from high school, was unbelievably hard. God, I was such an introvert! Read More
“The man might as well be living on Mars.” Kara Lynn O’Conner slammed the receiver down—hard.
From the bookshelves across the room, Maggie O’Conner looked up over the rim of her reading glasses. “Why should Nicholas Harper be any different from every other man?”
It took Kara a few moments to process her aunt’s comment. “Because this is the twenty-first century and everyone uses email.”
“Honey, communication devices have never been the problem. Bell invented the telephone in 1876.”
“He’s not returning calls, either.” She stared at the phone, willing it to ring. Six months ago Patty Ann was just another client with a life expectancy of forty-five more years, give or take a few. Today the odds of her making it another forty-five hours were slim.
Two years ago, Kara had drawn up Patty Ann’s will not thinking it would be needed anytime soon. Two months ago, Patty Ann had asked Kara to contact Nicholas Harper, and soon. It had taken almost that long to track the man down. Today, Kara hoped she wasn’t going to have to fly all the way to Hawaii just to talk to him. Read More
A Fine Madness by Eileen Dreyer
Quinn Rutledge has been hired to remodel historic Hartley Hall into a 5-star hotel.
Ian Matthews, a Special Forces officer in the Queen's Protection service, is vetting the hall's security for a secret international meeting, and presents himself to Quinn as a corporate officer checking on her progress.
All seems simple enough, until the pair uncover a crazed band of terrorists, a destructive ghost with an odd sense of humor, and an inconvenient attraction to each other. Neither have time for love, and Ian is the embodiment of everything that went wrong with Quinn's first marriage. But Love doesn't care. Read More
Ana joined her right hand to rest atop her other so now both arms were gently attached to Brayden. “We never did get to chat about New York.”
We did not.” His formal brown shoes and Ana’s cream coloured kitten heels clacked in unison along the stone pavement. “May I remind you that I’ve put your former antics of acquisition and such on hold? That includes business trips.”
In this race against the clock event, a horse and rider attempt to complete a “cloveleaf” pattern around preset barrels (usually 55 gallon metal or plastic drums set up in a triangle). The rider with the fastest time is the winner. The sport combines the horse’s and rider’s athleticism and the rider’s skill to safely maneuver her horse around the three barrels to complete the “cloverleaf” pattern.
Barrel racing is one of the most common rodeo sports, but it is a relatively new event as compared to roping, and bull and bronco riding. It is also the only women’s rodeo event on the national rodeo circuit.
The first competitive barrel races are believed to held in Texas when the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) was developed in 1948 by a group of Texas women trying to find a place for women in rodeo. Today, barrel racing is the most popular event competition and has spread across the country. Even in areas where the other rodeo events are not common, like my home state of Pennsylvania, there are still barrel racing competitions held at the county fairs.
Here’s a scene from Heartsong where my heroine, Micki, is training while the hero, country music star Gabe McKenna, watches from the shadow:
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