09-23 Getting to Know Lynn Hammond, Author of RISKY LIES

Tuesday, September 26, 2017



Hi, I'm Sarah Raplee, author of surprising, heart-stopping paranormal romantic suspense.

I just had an epiphany that I want to shout from the rooftops! In order to write an ongoing paranormal romance series, think like your villain. Your series villain, not your book villain (unless they are one and the same, which mine aren’t.)

In my first Psychic Agents Series book, Blindsight, I introduced two villains. The first was a powerful drug lord who had ordered the systematic kidnapping and enslaving of people with psychic Talents. He is my over-arching villain. The second was Gregory Killingsworth, the sadistic security chief in charge of the drug lord’s psychic human trafficking organization. Killingsworth possesses a Hound Talent that enables him to track other psychic’s energy. His Talent combined with his psychopathy make him the perfect villain for my Talented team of good guys to defeat.

In Blindsight, the drug lord remains mostly in the background, a shadowy figure. Killingsworth is the villain who is front and center in the middle of the action, attempting rape, torture and murder as he pursues his (and his boss’s) goals that drive the plot through the first half of the book.

Killingsworth is the villain who dies at the end of the first book. The drug lord escapes to continue to run his international crime cartel and pursue his goals. The FBI is left with more questions than answers about his evil plans.

I’ve been planning the next book for some time, but I keep getting stuck. My hero and heroine and supporting ‘good guys’ are well fleshed out. I understand what they want and why, and their strengths and weaknesses.
My epiphany is that I need to get inside the drug lord’s head to understand what nefarious schemes he will orchestrate in the next book, Sight Unseen. How directly involved will he be in the action? What villainous character will represent him throughout most of the story? How do they drive the action?

In a different series, I might have a unique ‘case’ for my heroes and heroines to tackle in each book, as Heather Graham does in her Krewe of Hunters series. Having a villain who stands alone and somehow escapes his reckoning in book after book doesn’t appeal to my sense of justice.

Can you think of a different scenario for handling villains in a suspense series?

Thanks for reading my post! ~Sarah  Raplee

©  Copyright 2017 Sarah Raplee

Monday, September 25, 2017

Scent of the season

by Courtney Pierce

As I occasionally do, this month I’m giving our Romancing the Genres readers a piece from my collection of two-page stories. When I complete a hundred of them, I’ll publish these little ditties in a collection titled Is There an App for Life’s Third Act? – Short Stories for Baby Boomers in a Hurry. Yep, the title is excessive for extra-short stories, but that’s by design. As we boomers get older, I want to capture those moments that defined our youth, entry into adulthood, middle age, and finally our retirement with headwinds.
The change of season, especially from summer to fall, sparks memories triggered by aromas, like the sweet and savory blend of vegetable beef soup, the spiciness of chili bubbling on the stove, or the mouth-watering fragrance of cinnamon rolls puffing up in the oven. There are other triggers, too, even more powerful ones than food. Some scents ignite memories of first loves and desire. Ah, yes, the perfume that lingers in the fibers of that forgotten sweater in the drawer. This short story is one of those.
The first step into the perfume department of Nordstrom scrambled my memory like aromatic crossed wires. I had only one scent on my mind; the memory of a citrusy aroma. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the name, but its secrets were lingering in an old sweater that had been in my drawer for years. So much clung to that sweater that I could never get rid of it.
“Can I help you?” the saleswoman said from behind the counter. A variety of delectable
potions waited in glass bottles of sensual, curvy shapes. Dishes of coffee beans dotted the area to clear the olfactory palate.
With my wrist extended, a jet spray of something amber from an S-shaped bottle made my nose wrinkle. Too vanilla and sweet. Did the woman just ask me a question? “What? Oh . . . I hope so. I’m trying to find my youth.”
The sixtyish woman pursed her lip-sticky smoker’s lips, an odd shade of Bing cherry that had bled into the crevices. She tapped her matching acrylic nails on the glass case, which tinkled a small key attached to an orange rubberized wrist coil. “Never heard of it. But Youth Dew is right over here.” She moved down the case like a cougar stalking a bunny rabbit.
“No, no, no. A scent from my youth ―I was fifteen,” I said and dodged her clawed paw. “I can’t remember the name. I’ve been swimming in the memory of the fragrance for days. It’s driving me crazy.” I pointed to my temple and rolled my eyes.
“Give me a bitty hint.” The saleswoman studied me for an expensive sales clue.
I ignored her, but I caught a glimpse of myself in the oval mirror on a stand, someone I didn’t recognize. With sagging eyelids, my once-vivid blue eyes appeared tired. The peachy glow in my cheeks had been brushed on from a compact. Even my blond hair was a result of a combustible mixture concocted by a hairdresser. But at fifty-five, the aroma of a memory never faded. If I could just get a whiff, the years would roll back to the moment where I was young and fresh, my whole life ahead of me.
“Fresh, light and fruity,” I said. The memory whirled like an iced strawberry daiquiri. In the strobe of colored lights in the high school gym in 1976, I was beautiful as my lemony fresh eau de parfum swirled around me. The guy I had a crush on took my hand to dance. I’d never touched him before. His skin was softer than I expected as we slow danced to Lynrd Skynrd’s Freebird. In slow motion, the flickers of light animated his fingers against my clingy synthetic blouse.
“Do you want to Be Delicious?” the woman asked, interrupting my thoughts.
“Yes. . .” I whispered. A spritz of Donna Karan’s Be Delicious on a white strip waved in front of my nose. I closed my eyes. Crisp green apples, with undertones of savory herbs. “Nope. Nice try, though. Mine was lemony. Wrong fruit.”
The saleswoman nodded and gave me a knowing smile. “Guilty? It’s Gucci.” She released the words like a tickle session.
“Gotcha, but that’s not it.” I shook my head.
The woman moved to a new display. “ about this?”
A citrusy aromatic strip transported me to a Florida orchard with Jo Malone’s Nectarine. “Yes. Completely.” I widened my eyes. I’m close. Senses sparkled. “Begins with an S. Skin . . . Skinny . . .Skinny Dip!” I drummed my forefingers on the counter. “Thank God! I remembered the name!”

The saleswoman snorted a laugh. “Honey, that cheap drugstore cologne was discontinued forty years ago.” She snatched another tester bottle from the mirrored tray and pointed the nozzle at me. “I think Obsession is more your style.”

Loma Smith Photography
Courtney Pierce is a fiction writer living in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her new family. She writes for baby boomers. By day, Courtney is an executive in the entertainment industry and uses her time in a theater seat to create stories that are filled with heart, humor and mystery. She has studied craft and storytelling at the Attic Institute and has completed the Hawthorne Fellows Program for writing and publishing. Active in the writing community, she is a board member of the Northwest Independent Writers Association and on the Advisory Council of the Independent Publishing Resource Center. She is a member of Willamette Writers Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and She Writes. The Executrix received the Library Journal Self-E recommendation seal. 

Check out all of Courtney's books at: and Both print and E-books are available through most major online retailers, including

The Dushane Sisters are back in Indigo LakeMore laughs, more tears...and more trouble. Protecting Mom's reputation might get the sisters killed―or give one of them the story she's been dying to live.

New York Times best-selling author Karen Karbo says, "Courtney Pierce spins a madcap tale of family grudges, sisterly love, unexpected romance, mysterious mobsters and dog love. Reading Indigo Lake is like drinking champagne with a chaser of Mountain Dew. Pure Delight."

Colorful characters come alive in Courtney's trilogy about the Dushane sisters. Beginning with The Executrixthree middle-age sisters find a manuscript for a murder mystery in their mother's safe after her death. Mom’s book gives them a whole new view of their mother and their future. Is it fiction . . . or truth? 

Get out the popcorn as the Dushane Sisters Trilogy comes to a scrumptious conclusion with Indigo Legacy. Due out in summer, 2017.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Holiday Book Season Is Kristin Wallace

This month I get to talk about my latest project…a holiday box set with the authors of Sweet Romance Reads. This will be our fourth Christmas box set and once more we’re offering heartwarming holiday tales that will really get you in the spirit.

Sweet Christmas Kisses 4
Launches September 26th – Only $.99 cents

Usher in the holiday season with 14 heartwarming all-new, stand-alone stories from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. Sweet Christmas Kisses 4 takes you from the Pocono Mountains to sunny Florida, and as far away as Portugal. Curl up with your favorite hot beverage and enjoy this sweet romance boxed set that’s sure to put you in the mood for Christmas.

Mona Risk, In Time for Christmas
Dr. Sylvia Reynolds promised to be at her parents’, in time for Christmas dinner, but her priorities change after she meets a motherless baby and her gorgeous uncle.

Beate Boeker, Unique Christmas
Chiara hopes to spend a solitary Christmas all by herself. But when a man jumps through her office window to save her from an accident, things spin away—beyond her wildest dreams.

Christine Bush, Christmas with the Cat Lady
Carly is happy living alone in her mountain house with her cats. Can the handsome author who rents a room over the Christmas holidays change her mind?

Lyn Cote, Loving Winter
At her cousin’s wedding, Winter Woodard, owner of her family’s garden center, isn’t expecting to meet her match in local football coach, Clay Dixon, (she isn’t IN to sports!) but he stands by her through a holiday season fraught with unexpected setbacks.

Denise Devine, Once Upon a Christmas
Small town girl returns home to find love and success, but can she outlast the mistakes of her past?

Raine English, Christmas in Walnut Creek
Will a Christmas blizzard reunite a couple and give them a second chance at love?

Jean C. Gordon, A Team Macachek Christmas
Sparks fly from a Christmastime reunion of motocross racer Jesse Brewster and his ex-girlfriend Lauren Cooper. But is it the wrong time for their love?

Shanna Hatfield, Saving Mistletoe 
A stubborn cop, a hotshot attorney, and a little girl determined to see her father need a miracle to make this holiday season jolly and bright.

Milou Koenings, The Gift of Yesterday
When Bailey returns to Green Pines to open a pastry shop, Joe Hudson sees all his Christmas wishes coming true—if only he can convince her to risk her heart again.

Josie Riviera, A Portuguese Christmas The holidays—like love—can sneak up on you. And sweep you away like a riptide.

Roxanne Rustand, A Christmas in Montana
Kristen Weatherby goes to Montana to get her late grandmother's house ready to sell, but finds much more than she bargained for: a house she can't let go, a charming mountain town, and a handsome veterinarian who just might steal her heart.

Magdalena Scott, A Cowboy for Christmas
Hannah Kincaid is in love with Jacob Hollingsworth, and will overcome her fear of horses and his bossy brother Michael to get a Christmas happily-ever-after with the cowboy of her dreams.

Merrillee Whren, Puppy Love and Mistletoe
Can a little girl and a fluffy black dog bring a reluctant couple together in a Christmas miracle?

My contribution is LOVING YOU AT CHRISTMAS, the final book in my Shellwater Key Tales series. This tale is the story of Annaliese Matheson, a secondary character who first appeared in Book 1 of the series, Left Turn At Paradise.

Loving You At Christmas
Shellwater Key Tale Novella

Widowed stage actress, Annaliese Matheson, is convinced she’ll never love again. Stepping in to direct the middle school Christmas show will become the opening act for her holiday happily ever after.

Pre-order today and have it on your reader September 26th. 


Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and contemporary romance, and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. She is the author of two best selling series, Shellwater Key Tales (sweet contemporary romance) and Covington Falls Chronicles (inspirational romance). 

For info on all of her books, visit her website: Kristin Wallace Author 

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