Sunday, September 8, 2019

Inspiration Behind "My Rodeo Man"


I'm participating in the 'Fall Into These Great Reads Bookathon' this month and one of the questions was what inspired me to write this story. Following is my answer: 

Story inspiration sometimes pops out of the blue and sometimes from an ‘ah ha’ moment. Where ever the idea comes from, it’s accompanied by an intense period of ‘what if’s’. “My Rodeo Man” stepped into the light on a rainy Saturday afternoon as I sat in front of the television and channel-surfed.

When the screen filled with sexy cowboys participating in rodeo events, I knew I’d found my destination. Who doesn’t love hot cowboys in tight jeans? Intrigued by the moxie and grit of the bull and bronc riders, I was captivated by the choreography and grace of the team ropers and a story idea took flight. The men who reach the top ranks of any professional sport possess a deep well of determination but that is often over shadowed by their image as players and bad boys. The what if’s begin. Who would make the perfect foil for my cocky hero from Texas? A woman who has had her fill of bad boys and players breaking her heart, of course. Enter our feisty Southern Belle.

Most of us have family and friends. Things we like and dislike. Hopes and dreams, yet uncertainty over whether or not we’ll find those things in our futures. With each of my stories I try and create a realistic relationship between the hero and heroine and do that by focusing on what made them the people they are. That means dragging their baggage into the plot along with the people who have played an important role in shaping them.

As on Amazon reviewer states: “This book has a very rich storyline, well rounded characters, realistic situations that we can all relate to. The close knit Kincaid family dynamics made it an all the more enjoyable read, at least for me… Now as far as Zach and Ashley are concerned; I absolutely loved the funny banter, the easy friendship, the undeniable sexual tension, and also the playfulness in so many different scenarios between these two.”

Creating characters that capture readers’ hearts is why I write. 

Hope you’ll stop by the Fall Into These Great Reads Bookathon today and read an excerpt from "My Rodeo Man." CLICK HERE 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

5 Stars – Great story, fun characters



Welcome Home was such a fun book to read! I fell in love with Jess and her group of friends. It was so easy to see similarity in personality with my own friends. This allowed the story to seem more real to me. The plot was something that I could envision happening in real life. I am sad the next book isn't released until early 2020 as I want to see what happens to Jess' friends! ~ Liz Overby Amazon Review 

BUY LINKS

EXCERPT

Chapter One

Jessica Winters, Jess to everyone, cursed when a sharp pain shot up her leg. She’d banged her shin as she stepped over one of the cross-piece boards tacked to the framing of the new home under construction. What was wrong with her today? She definitely needed more caffeine and to keep her mind on business. Stupid to let her dad get under her skin… again.
Ever since his construction business folded, life had taken a nose dive. Each year, he’d withdrawn a little more, until now, seventeen years later, he was bitter and indifferent. Every chance he got, he let her know she’d never make a go of it in construction. It hadn’t been easy, and she learned the hard way to be careful who she trusted, but so far she’d done a good job of proving him wrong.   
Narrowing her eyes against the throbbing in her shin, she wished she could bend down and rub the sore spot. But as one of the few female general contractors in the Sacramento California area, she had to appear tough. Any sign of weakness and Uniquely Yours, Construction and Design—the all-female company she and four of her friends owned and operated—and they could easily lose potential clients to their male competitors. As a petite, blue-eyed blonde, Jess didn’t fit the hard-nosed image in this male-dominated industry.
The partners weren’t about to let the success of their company hinge on the vagaries of public perception so they’d saved every penny they could spare. Using that seed money, they started buying homes in need of tender loving care, fixing them up, and then reselling them. Flipping homes had become their primary revenue stream, but they still took on remodeling or new construction projects. Versatility was key. No matter what the job, their goal remained the same—to create the perfect home so the people who lived there felt comfortable laughing, loving, and dreaming.
And wasn’t that hope for her clients exactly what she wanted for herself? To build a place where she could thrive? Where she felt respected and loved? Her lips softened. She also longed for a partner who would make her secret romantic heart beat faster. A man who’d always have her back as they built a home and a family together. Now in her early thirties, she wondered if that man would ever appear. 
Sighing, she glanced down and kept moving, flicking between the pages on the clipboard she carried. That was, until she came to an abrupt halt against a solid wall of masculine chest. Cursing again and inhaling deeply, she got a lungful of pure man. Jess glared at the immovable object blocking her path. An odd zing of attraction bounced around her like an annoying fly. Mentally she swatted it away and stood her ground under his assessing gaze.
“Ya lost pal? This is private property.” Jess inched her hardhat higher on her forehead and tapped her pen against her clipboard. Darkly handsome, broody eyes, scruff on his jaw, dark hair that skimmed his collar—the kind of man who wasn’t on her agenda today and maybe ever.
“Nope. Told to come here before seven and meet a guy named Jess.”
His low, husky voice wrapped around her like her favorite sweater. She frowned and heard her friend Victoria’s voice in her head nagging her to lighten up. ‘Laugh lines age much better than frown lines.’ The thought almost made her smile. “We’ll you’ve found her.” Jess arched one brow. “What can I do for you?” She hated having to act tough, but if she didn’t, people tended to walk all over her.  
“Understand you’re hiring.” The stranger didn’t fidget or act nervous in any way. Simply stood quietly and waited. He also hadn’t shown surprise that Jess was a she and not a he.
“Do you have any experience in construction?” She gazed into blue eyes that reminded her of rain clouds.
“No Ma’am, but I hear you hire unskilled labor…” He looked at the ground and then up, refocusing his intense gaze on her. “I could use the work. I’m willing to do whatever needs doing.”
Jess examined the stranger. Gave herself time to gauge his suitability. Reserved. Self-contained. She wasn’t picking up any bad vibes, and she had a soft spot for those down on their luck. He wasn’t a kid. She placed his age around mid-thirty. Kind of late to get into construction. “Okay, I’ll give you a chance. What you do with it is up to you. You’ll be rotated where we need you. I assume you have reliable transportation?”
He angled his head towards a beat-up Chevy truck at the curb. “It’s old, but it gets me where I need to go.”
Jess retrieved a business card from her pocket. “Go to this address and talk to Kaitlin Connors, our business manager. She’ll have you fill out our paperwork, give you a list of tools you’ll need, and assign you to a work site for tomorrow.” She watched a shadow pass over his face.
“Look, if you’re short on cash, let Kaitlin know. We do have some loaner tool belts and tools you can check out until you can purchase your own.”
“That would be much appreciated.”
Jess stuck out her hand. “And you are?”
“Devin. Devin Miller.” He accepted her hand and a tingle raced up her arm. That was unexpected.
Jess pulled her hand back as discreetly as possible. A truck door slammed, and she turned toward the sound. The interruption provided an excuse to dismiss this disquieting man and focus on the reason she was here. She smiled as she watched her blue team foreman hurry toward her. Bill Harriman, built like a refrigerator with a beer belly, smoothed down what was left of his ginger hair before he plunked his hardhat on his head.
“Sorry I’m late. There was a wreck on the interstate.”
“No problem. Just got here myself.” Jess watched his gaze flick to the man at her side. “Bill, meet Devin. He just hired on as a new floater and is leaving to fill out the paperwork.”
The two men exchanged a hand shake. With a nod to her, Devin strode toward his truck.
After Devin had driven off, Bill asked, “Another stray?”
Jess scowled at her foreman. “He needed a job, and in this tight labor market, I take anyone who looks like they have potential.”
Bill stepped back and held up his hands in surrender. “No judgement.”
She willed herself to relax and then smiled at Bill. “I know. I’m a softie. He seemed grateful for the chance.” She shrugged. “What can I say? I’ll assign him to my crew for the first week to see how he does and then hand him over to you to finish his training.”
“If he shows any promise, you can count on me to bring him along.”
She didn’t miss the quick grin he tried to hide. “I know you will.” Returning his grin, she added, “Most of my hunches have paid off, and by giving folks a chance, they tend to be pretty loyal.” 
“Can’t fault your instincts. You’ve put together a top notch crew.”
She shrugged, secretly basking in Bill’s praise. “He seemed like a good risk.” She clapped him on the back as they moved forward into the shell of the building. “Where are we with this project?” Her head swiveled as she scrutinized the work. Clear of debris. Everything looked solid. Permits clearly visible.
“You got my text that the inspector signed off on the framing permit yesterday?”
Jess nodded.
“Kaitlin said the sheathing and house wrap materials will be delivered…” he glanced at his watch, “any time now. I’ve got my crew scheduled to arrive in about thirty minutes. We’ll have this house buttoned up and ready for us to install the windows and exterior doors in the next few days. Roofers are scheduled for next week.”
“Any issues I need to know about?” Jess finished making notes and closed the clipboard.
“One of the crew said he was approached by BL Construction to come work for them, but he turned them down.” He glanced toward the beeping sound of a large truck backing up to the site. “Here’s our supplies… Anyway I just thought you should know.”
“Thanks Bill. Poaching good employees is a fact of life in this business.” Her lips thinned, and she adjusted her hardhat. Figured it was Brendon’s outfit trying to poach. Sleazy bastard. “I’m off to touch base with Rollo and his crew, then meet my crew to start demo on the new Jackson Street flip.” She wanted to pinch herself. They had three projects running simultaneously and another property closing in two weeks.  A dream come true.
“Rollo said you had to replace the heating and air system on his job. Slowed things up a bit, plus an unexpected expense.” Bill tugged his jeans over his belly and back up to his waist. “Tough break. Shame you couldn’t repair it.”
“Yeah, but I haven’t cut corners yet, and I’m not about to start now. Uniquely Yours means quality. Our reputation is everything.” She tilted her head and glanced at Bill. “I may pull a carpenter from here next week to keep Rollo’s project on schedule. Got cabinets and trim work slated for then, and his crew needs to be ready to start on the new flip in a month.”
“Whatever you need.”
“You want us to unload this in the garage?” The delivery man shouted.
“Be right there,” Bill shouted back.
“Go take care of business.” Jess set off toward her truck. “Holler if you need anything,” she called over her shoulder. When she reached her truck, she paused to admire the new logo emblazoned on the door of her new Ford F-350. They’d had the vinyl wrap attached yesterday to all their vehicles.  
She traced a finger over the lettering, relishing the thrill. Proof of their progress. The five friends had come a long way since starting their business fresh out of college six years ago. They hadn’t looked back since purchasing their first house to flip three years ago. Once the current projects in the pipeline closed escrow, they’d be in a position to purchase a piece of land and build their dream offices—that is, once they found it. They’d been looking for a while, but nothing suitable had turned up. Settling herself into the driver’s seat, she set her hardhat on the seat beside her, and focused on the tasks ahead.

****

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Don't Miss the "Fall Into These Great Reads Bookathon"



Calling all readers! Have you read all your beach reads over the summer and looking for new books to dive into this month? We’re celebrating books from all genres at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s second annual Fall Into These Great Reads Bookathon. 

51 great books featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, My Rodeo Man, will be featured on September 4. Wait until you read why I think my book is a must-read. You won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this event and tell your friends:


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Coveted 5 Star Review from Readers' Favorite


MY ARMY RANGER receives a coveted 5 Star review from Readers' Favorite.

My Army Ranger is the fourth entry in The Texas Kincaids series by Bonnie Phelps, a beautifully written and spellbinding contemporary romance with gorgeous characters. When we meet Crystal Kincaid, she is frightened, a woman who looks over her shoulder every time she walks down a deserted street. It is because a man she dated briefly has become obsessed with her and this makes her live in fear. Ex-Army Ranger Cam Rodriguez has been to Afghanistan where he lost a leg. Now he returns home, broken. In Texas, he wants to rebuild his life, but what he did not realize was the new war that awaited him. The woman he’s adored from childhood is in danger, and while he can’t fight the way he used to, he is ready to do anything to protect her. But just how much is Cam ready to sacrifice to protect Crystal? 

My Army Ranger is a wonderful story and I loved how the author begins. The premise comes out neatly as readers encounter Crystal with her friends: she is scared and on the edge of her nerves. The connection between Crystal and Cam is also introduced right off the bat. The romance is developed between two characters that have known each other as childhood friends and the transition to lovers is impeccably done. Bonnie Phelps has a unique gift for getting readers to connect with the emotions of the characters. They are rich and elaborately developed. The prose is beautiful, fluid, and enticing. This is a riveting novel, one that should sit on the shelf alongside works of Nicholas Sparks. It is deft, balanced, and hugely entertaining. ~ Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite 

KOBO 

What is he willing to sacrifice to protect the woman he loves? Everything.


Ex-Army Ranger, Cam Rodriguez, lost a leg in Afghanistan. Broken, he returns home to his small Texas town to figure out what to do with his life. What he finds is more frightening than the battlefield he left behind. The life of his childhood friend – and secret childhood crush – is threatened. He’s not the warrior he once was but is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if that’s what it takes to save Crystal.

Crystal Kincaid likes her quiet life and wishes, more than anything, it could stay that way. But life has other ideas. A man she dated a few times has become obsessed with her and she now lives in fear. Her natural instinct has been to avoid danger at all costs. She turns to Cam to keep her safe. Lured to a remote location by her stalker, she has to fight for her life and test the new-found confidence Cam gave her.

This powerful and emotional FRIENDS to LOVERS contemporary romance will keep you turning the pages and breathe a happy sigh at the end.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Welcome Home - A Promising Start to a New Series


Welcome Home Book Cover
Terrific start to a promising new series. This author is one of the best kept secrets in romance writing today with her compelling stories that always deliver a shot straight to the heart. In this new series, five female friends own a construction and home restoration company, and this first book in the series gives us the story of Jess, the general contractor in charge of all the demolition and remodeling…

If you're like me and enjoy finding new authors to read, take a chance on this one. The characters are well developed and endearing, the storyline is engaging, and there is plenty of romance and chemistry. I really enjoyed this book, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series as they’re released. ~ BookAddict

FREE on Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T4K8ZF6

Back Cover Copy

She’s learned the hard way – don’t trust men with secrets!

General contractor Jessica ‘Jess’ Winters lives by three rules: take pride in your work, don’t trust people who keep secrets – and the cardinal rule – don’t date employees. Breaking just one could lead to disaster, but her new employee has Jess debating breaking two of the three. She’s put her heart and soul into turning her construction business into an industry leader. Will breaking her rules destroy her dreams?

Recovering addict Devin Miller lives by one rule: Shine a light on the secrets from his past so justice is served. He’d learned at a young age that his father’s shady business practices had ruined lives, sending Devin’s life into a tailspin. Now he’s back to make things right. But doing so means lying to everyone – including his sexy new boss Jess Winters, the daughter of one of his father’s victims. When the truth comes out, will she forgive him… or walk away from him forever? 

Will breaking their rules give them what they really want – to heal the wounds of the past?

FREE on KindleUnlimited

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West




Mae West was born in Queens, New York, to "Battling Jack" West and Matilda Doelger. She began her career as a child star in vaudeville, and later went on to write her own plays, including "SEX", for which she was arrested. Though her first movie role was a small part in Night After Night (1932), her scene has become famous. A coat check girl exclaims, "Goodness! What lovely diamonds!", after seeing Mae's jewelry. Mae replies, "Goodness had nothing to do with it". Her next film, in which she starred, came the following year. She Done Him Wrong (1933) was based on her earlier and very popular play, "Diamond Lil". She went on to write and star in seven more films, including My Little Chickadee (1940) with W.C. Fields. Her last movie was Sextette (1977), which also came from a play. She died two years later.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Carla Donnell 


During her long life she had much to say and shared it with her usual panache.


“I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.”

“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”

“Sex is emotion in motion.”

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”

“Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.”

“It isn't what I do, but how I do it. It isn't what I say, but how I say it, and how I look when I do it and say it.”

“Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.”

“All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.”

“Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.”

And probably the most famous quote of all:


“When I'm good I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.”





Sunday, December 30, 2018

First Kiss Scene - An Excerpt From "My Army Ranger" by Bonnie Phelps


What is he willing to sacrifice to protect the woman he loves? Everything.

Ex-Army Ranger, Cam Rodriguez, lost a leg in Afghanistan. Broken, he returns home to his small Texas town to figure out what to do with his life. What he finds is more frightening than the battlefield he left behind. The life of his childhood friend – and secret childhood crush – is threatened. He’s not the warrior he once was but is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if that’s what it takes to save Crystal.

Crystal Kincaid likes her quiet life and wishes, more than anything, it could stay that way. But life has other ideas. A man she dated a few times has become obsessed with her and she now lives in fear. Her natural instinct has been to avoid danger at all costs. She turns to Cam to keep her safe. Lured to a remote location by her stalker, she has to fight for her life and test the new-found confidence Cam gave her.

This powerful and emotional FRIENDS to LOVERS contemporary romance will keep you turning the pages and breathe a happy sigh at the end.



First Kiss Excerpt 


“I’m glad to see you’ve got a garage and park your car in it. Do you keep the door into the house locked?” he asked. He must have seen her scowl because he added, “People with garage door openers often figure that’s enough protection.” Arms crossed and stance wide, he surveyed the area.

“Yes, I keep the inner door locked. Josh insisted. He also added a deadbolt, as well as the regular lock.” She captured her bottom lip between her teeth. “Do you want to come in and look around?”

His face softened, and he smiled. “Still worried about little green monsters under your bed?”

“No.”

He raised one brow and she sighed.

“Okay. Maybe.”

“I don’t see any exterior security cameras or lights. Do you plan to get some?”

“I’ve been meaning too. The landlord said I could, as long as I don’t make any structural or wiring changes.” Cam must think she was a complete incompetent and maybe he was right. “Josh said he’d help me figure out what I need.” She shrugged. “It’s been over three weeks since I moved and last heard from Jonathan. I guess I hoped this would all go away.” She pushed the button to lower the garage door—with it open, she felt too exposed.

“You’re in luck. Security systems are my specialty.” He paused, and she didn’t like the set of his mouth. “You had to know he would find you. It’s not like you moved three thousand miles away and cut off all ties to your family and friends.” He reached for her hand and squeezed it. “You can’t ignore this.”

“I know.” With her hand in his, she let his warmth and strength seep into her. “It’s all so overwhelming.”

His big hands framed her face, his fingers tangled in her hair, and his lips meeting hers promised tenderness and safety. Everything tingled where he touched—the most delightful, arousing sensation she’d ever felt, and his taste… intoxicating. His fingers worked magic on her scalp and a blinding light filled her vision. Even after her eyelids fluttered shut, it was there. She was drifting out to sea on a riptide, lost, yet buoyed by a life jacket that let her know she was secure.

This was exactly where she was meant to be.

Slipping her arms around him, her fingers ranged over his back, testing the contours and ridges of his corded muscles. Power and restraint greeted her touch. She was tired of him holding back. She wanted to be the kind of woman who inspired his wildness. By the time the tip of his tongue traced her lips, her knees had grown weak, and her heart beat to a hypnotic, sensuous rhythm. She’d waited so long for him to respond to her as a woman—not Josh’s younger cousin.

When he raised his head, he stepped back, all business, but the color in his cheeks indicated he wasn’t unaffected. “Let’s go inside so I can get a count of windows and doors. Then I’ll walk your perimeter to identify any bushes we might want to trim and how many cameras and motion-sensor lights you should have.” 

"My Army Ranger" is available through