Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Meet CiCi Cordelia.and Their First Bride of Little Creede

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 1 comment

 Hello everyone! First off let us introduce ourselves, we are Cheryl Yeko and Char Chaffin and we are the faces behind author CiCi Cordelia. We’re here today to talk about our May 9th release The Substitute Wife, Book One in our Brides of Little Creede series and winner of the Utah RWA’s Heart of The West Great Beginnings Contest, in the Historical category.
The story behind The Substitute Wife was sparked from a real-life love story as told by Cheryl’s Mom and Aunt Crystal, regarding her great-grandparents. Once we heard how these two met, we knew it was a story that had to be written. 

Stay tuned for more about our release and Kindle Fire giveaway that we will be doing in April.
Keep reading to find out more about The Substitute Wife, including an excerpt.

Amazon CA
Amazon UK


Once his fortune in silver mining is secured, Harrison Carter finally sends back home for his fiancĂ©e. It’s been four years since he’s seen Jenny.
But it’s Retta Pearce, Jenny’s sister, who arrives by stagecoach with young daughter Adeline in tow. When this lovely, soiled dove brings devastating news and a written plea from Jenny to marry and care for Retta and little Addie, what’s a good man to do?

RETTA . . .
Fulfilling her dying sister’s request, Retta travels across dangerous territory to marry a man she barely remembers. But the hard miner who meets her at the stagecoach surely isn’t the same one her sister claimed was kind and honorable, a gentleman who’ll embrace her and her daughter as if they were his own. Has she made a mistake she’ll pay for, the rest of her life?

Thrown together in shared sorrow, Harrison and Retta struggle to forge a life in the brand-new state of late-nineteenth-century Colorado.

Chicago, Illinois
March, 1878

The earsplitting whistle made Retta Pierce choke up as she hugged her sister goodbye on the train platform. Jenny’s slight frame trembled in her grip, and Retta fought back her worry.
Too thin. Too frail. Shoulders drooping, as though too heavy to hold up.
“There must be a better way, Jenny,” Retta murmured, stricken. “It’s just not right—”
Her sister’s features took on that stubborn look Retta knew so well, indicating there’d be no changing her mind. “And what would be right, Retta? For Papa to really hurt you the next time he feels the urge to beat the devil from your soul? For him to finally slip and hit Addie?” Tipping up Retta’s chin with two shaking fingers, she smiled gently. “That darling girl is the best thing that ever happened to this family, no matter how her skunk of a father ran off and left you.”
Jenny glanced over to where their Aunt Millie stood under the metal portico, holding two-year-old Adeline in her arms. The desolate flapping of a loosened, rusty panel, noisily vibrating in the chilly breeze, only added to the solemnness of the day. Moisture gave a sad sheen to her aunt’s eyes as she cuddled the toddler closer.
Retta’s sigh was as broken as her heart. “No, of course not. But to leave you when you need me the most . . . Please, Jenny. Don’t ask.”
The dark circles around Jenny’s blue eyes gave her complexion a grayish cast. She shouldn’t be standing out in the wind like this, as sick as she was. She could barely stay upright. But Retta knew all too well her sister’s inner core of strength, because Jenny was cut from the same cloth as their beloved mother, gone three years now. “Mama wouldn’t want me to desert you,” Retta began, only to be silenced by her sister’s dismissive wave of one skeletal hand.
“Mama would do exactly what I’m doing.” She shoved a wrinkled pouch into Retta’s shabby reticule, ignoring her protests. “Take it. You think I would leave Mama’s rubies to rot in Papa’s strongbox?” She snorted weakly, but her disdain was evident. “It’s your future, darling.” Her voice dropped to a wisp. “It’s my legacy to you.”
Fighting back tears, Retta held on to her sister’s fingers when she would have pulled away. “You can’t go back. Papa will know you took Mama’s necklace, and will beat you for it.” She gripped her bag between whitened knuckles, then gasped at the clinking sound coming from within. “Are those coins? Jenny, where did you get them?”
Jenny drew herself up, straightening her shoulders, and for a shining moment Retta saw her sister as she’d been, before consumption ravaged her body. “My dowry. Yours, now.” She patted the reticule in Retta’s fist. “There’s a letter folded inside with the coins. You take that letter to Harrison. It explains everything. Tell him I wish for him a happy life. Tell him I’m sorry.”
She dashed wispy locks of dull-brown hair off her perspiring forehead. “I’m going to stay with Aunty until, well, until . . .” Her chin firmed. “I will be safe and well-cared for. By the time Papa sobers up enough to realize we both left him, it’ll be too late to do anything about it.”
A rambunctious boy bumped them as he sprinted across the wooden platform to keep up with his family. “Oh, Jenny,” Retta murmured sadly, steadying her sister when she nearly lost her footing.
Retta blinked away fresh tears as Jenny gave her hand a final squeeze, before she eased away.
Aunt Millie transferred Retta’s sleepy daughter into her arms then whispered in her ear, “I know, child. She wouldn’t admit anything but I know how sick our Jenny is. I’m taking her back to Dewfield with me. I promise you I will never say a thing to your father, and I’ll care for her faithfully.”
“You’ll keep in touch? You’ll write?” Retta clung to her aunt’s vow, even as everything inside her demanded she remain to care for Jenny herself.
“Yes, indeed. Have no worries.” Millie curled a supporting arm around Jenny’s thin shoulders. “I’d best be getting you back to the house, darling girl. A nice cup of cocoa and a nap will do you wonders. Just you wait and see.”
An errant tear tracked down Jenny’s pale cheek that she quickly batted away before offering an encouraging smile. “Harrison is a good man, Retta. Be happy. All I want for you and Addie is to have a good life. Promise me you’ll give him a chance.”
Retta’s stomach clenched with fear and uncertainty, even as she hesitantly agreed. For the love of her sister, she’d acquiesce to her final wish. Though it’d been four years since Jenny had last seen her fiancĂ©. Who knew what kind of man he was now?
Jenny traced a slender finger down Retta’s cheek. “I love you, little sister.”
Blinking through a flood of tears that fell silently against the top of her sleeping daughter’s head, Retta whispered, “I love you, Jenny. I’ll hold you in my heart forever.”
There were no final goodbyes, just an assortment of promises and encouraging murmurs, before Aunt Millie guided Jenny from the platform, toward a waiting hackney.
Struggling for composure, Retta held Addie close. As the March wind whipped around her ears, she watched them go until their figures merged into a single, blurred image, and the train whistle blew its final, ‘All Aboard’ warning. Only then did she allow the conductor to help her with her baggage.
Harrison had reserved a sleeper for Jenny, an extravagance to be sure, but safer for a woman traveling alone. What will he do when I arrive instead?
Blinking furiously, Retta guided Addie through the doorway. Inside the cramped compartment, she laid the sleepy child on the narrow bed and covered her with the only blanket she could find. Addie cuddled into a ball, snoring lightly. Retta brushed the tangled golden curls from her fair brow, trying to envision what sort of future awaited them out West.
Love for her child stiffened her spine. Her baby—her world.
I’ll make a better life for you, I promise.
Even if she had to travel halfway across the country and marry a stranger to do it.

Look for the rest of the series, coming soon! The Dance Hall Wife is scheduled for an October release, and The Innocent Wife releases Spring, 2019

CiCi Cordelia is the writing team of BFFs Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko. They share a love of well-written stories infused with their favorite romantic genres: paranormal, suspense, western, and erotica. Both are fans of Alpha Men and the women they’d lay down their lives for.

Find out more about CiCi

You can Find Char and Cheryl, individually here:

Cheryl Yeko:
Website: ‘Where Love Always Wins’

Char Chaffin:
Website: ‘Falling In Love is Only the Beginning’

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Leprechuan Love plus Maybe This Time audiobook free code

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with No comments
Happy March!
 I have news and a wee gift for you: A snippet of leprechaun love. 

I wish you a joyous week and the best Luck of the Irish.

For St Patrick's Day I put up a snippet of leprechaun love for the yet-unpublished Kate's Hero. (Eamon and Piri are the 'B' Story in the novel.)

The Audiobook is out!
Maybe This Time is now an audiobook narrated by the brilliant Stephanie Bentley and you can download it for free.*****

Here’s the 30 Day trial link 

(Free. Really. Because you can cancel any time)

Amazon Reader review
Never let the teenager run the time machine!
Fast paced, clever, touching, and above all fun! Great way to escape from reality.
 InD'Tale Magazine.
The reader is rooting for Lance and Jennifer throughout the whole story. They are a classic case of opposites attracts, but with an old-Hollywood flair. She's the determined, free-spirited actress who can warm his practical, structured engineering heart. "Maybe This Time" is an easy and heartwarming read.

****** If any of you are audiobookophiles and would like a free download code, please leave me a comment with your email address. I would love to get some reviews. I think Stephanie is a wonderful narrator. You can listen to a sample here.

I am currently drowning in other peoples taxes, rewrites, babysitting and attempts to find homes for a couple of books - romance and children's. At the end of the month, I will be doing a film in Syracuse, NY. Hooray. 
I sent in a video audition. Here it is.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Lynne Marshall 25 and Counting. #Giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 10 comments

 Meet Lynne Marshall who's celebrating a very special book birthday. Her 25th book for Harlequin, Forever a Father, published March 1. And YOU may get a present. Lynne's giving away  two Mills &Boon UK  PRINT anthologies:(US only.)

By: Charlotte Phillips, Lynne Marshall, Catherine Mann

2.      A Duet:  The Doctor and the Princess by Scarlet Wilson and Miracle for the Neurosurgeon by Lynne Marshall I read and loved Miracle for the Neurosurgeon last year. The first romance I ever read with a parapalegic hero.
Lynne please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a retired Registered Nurse with twenty-six years under my belt. I’ve been traditionally published with Harlequin as a category romance author for more than twelve years with twenty-eight books, counting the three coming out this year. More recently I’ve published with TULE a small independent publisher. I have also gone hybrid with self-publishing four backlist books that I’ve gotten the rights back on. 
I’m a Southern California native, have been married to a New Englander for a long time, and have two adult children of whom I am super proud. My daughter Emily is a Nurse Practitioner and my son John-Philip is an intensive care paramedic on the flight team for Duke University Hospital in North Carolina.  I’m also an adoring grandmother of two beautiful little girls from my daughter and son-in-law: Thea (just turned 4) and Cora (21 months). There’s nothing like being a grandma. Nothing.  I’m also a woman of faith, a dog lover, a cat admirer, a meandering walker, a curious traveler, and an optimistic participant in this wild journey called life. Yes, you are! Lynne is one of my favorite people in LARA-RWA - our local chapter of Romance Writers of America. The first heroine of Lynne's I met in A Doctor For Keeps had a mixed race background and was so well written. You never know who you are going to meet in a Lynne Marshall book.
Who are your favorite writers in your genre?
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books.  She is my favorite of all contemporary romance authors because of her quirky characters and settings and the humor she injects into her stories.  My favorite books by her are: NOBODY’S BABY BUT MINE, AIN’T SHE SWEET, and her most recent release FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT. If anyone out there has never read her before, check her out! A woman after my own heart! SEP is my favorite author!
How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
I don’t recommend sitting around and waiting for inspiration to strike before going to the computer and putting in your daily words. Here are a couple of quotes to explain why.
“Don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work” ~Pearl S. Buck
“Inspiration is a selfish fleeting lover that only shows up in the mood. Who needs selfish lovers?” Lynne Marshall
Forgive my audacity to include myself with a quote from the incredible author, Pearl S. Buck, but we were talking about the same thing. Writing is work, and if you’re a published author it is also a business. The world would stop if everyone waited for inspiration to do things. Inspiration is a form of fantastical thinking. It is something that young minds thrive on, but as we mature we discover that part about putting bread on the table and a roof over our head. So we must write, and we can’t wait for inspiration to do it.
What about the times we feel blocked?
When I feel resistance to moving ahead with one of my stories, I’ve learned over the course of writing thirty or so books that something has been left undone in the prior scene. My brain instinctively knows it and flags it by holding me back. Until I’ve examined the chapter or scene, then stimulate my creativity by moving around (I like to walk, do aerobics, or take a shower) I can’t go forward. Sometimes this takes more than a day to accomplish. I don’t freak out. I know it is my process.
“You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” ~ John Rogers 
I whole heartedly agree with this quote.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
You’ve probably already joined a writer’s group. If not, do so, immediately. Joining a group comprised of like-minded people is life-changing. There is much to learn and mentorship is the key. Listen to the wise ones in your new tribe. Their experiences can save you time and heartache. There are organizations for every writing genre; do you know where your manuscript belongs? If not, figure it out, immediately.
Roll up your sleeves. Invest more time in the process. Write every day, even if only a few lines. Read every day. Plop down some money for writing classes. Follow through on what you glean from workshops and author lectures. Apply this new knowledge to your work in progress. Don’t be offended by honest critiques. Learn from them, apply whatever makes sense. Ignore the snarky comments. Be open to suggestions. Rewrite. Edit. Delete. Begin again. This is the process. It cannot be ignored. 

Once you’ve finished your book, though you’ve officially written The End, it’s only the beginning of your journey. First, pat yourself on the back for pursuing your dream and completing your novel. Enjoy the sweet oblivion, the exhilarating notion that “if I write it, they will come.” Each stage of your journey is its own reward. Remember this when things get rocky. Now hold onto your hat, because the rest is going to be a crazy ride!
How do you get from here - new author with manuscript under arm - to there – published?

Life is filled with synchronicity. When you’re on the right path opportunities arise. A chance meeting with an editor at a writers’ conference may open a door in the future. Be aware. Be prepared. Maybe you’ve entered a contest or signed on for an agent or editor appointment and they’ve requested a partial or a full. Don’t panic. Follow through.
Polish and send in the requested material. A high percentage of writers don’t do this. Don’t be one of them. Revisions are inevitable. Do them. Rejection is part of the process. Get used to it. Don’t entertain defeat. Move on to the next opportunity and project. Don’t give up! Excellent advice.

Tell us about FOREVER A FATHER.

Here’s the blurb:

“Will you be my dad?”

Ask me anything but that.

Once upon a time, Dr. Daniel Delaney had it all. But he lost it in the blink of an eye, and he won’t let himself fall again—not even for his dedicated new assistant, Keela O’Mara, and her adorable, lonely little girl, Anna. Resisting a starry-eyed four-year-old is tough enough. Denying her perfect, loving single mom may be more than Daniel can handle…

Forever a Father is the launch book for The Delaneys of Sandpiper Beach trilogy for Harlequin Special Edition. It tells the oldest brother’s story, Daniel and is out in March, 2018.  Book #2 SOLDIER, HANDYMAN, FAMILY MAN, will be out in April and is Mark Delaney’s story, and book #3 REUNITED WITH THE SHERIFF, is the youngest brother, Conor Delaney’s story and will be out in May.

Meet the Delaneys of Sandpiper Beach: A family business with room to grow…

What’s your current WIP?
The complication: Half-brother Brent has a huge crush on Erin, and the kid has gone through enough recently losing his father and discovering his mother doesn’t want him, or never has. 

Is there heartache in store for everyone? Or will Wade and Erin find a way to make their own patched together family?

And finally, where can we find you?

Thank you for being here, Lynne.  I am entering your giveaway! Happy reading all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Where to get Free Books

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 1 comment

I was on a panel about Romance books last night with Stacy Wise, Aviva Vaughn Maggie Marr hosted by IWOSC member Book editor, Robin Quinn (Note: If you click the links for Aviva and Maggie, they both offer free ebooks) At the moment Stacy and I don't have any. About halfway through the discussion, I realized I hadn't written my post. I decided to write it on links to free books. I found a lot of my favorite authors this way.

Who doesn't like free books? 
This is a link to free Romances on Kindle.
I noticed my friend, Sarah Wynde's book, A Gift of Ghosts was on this list.I think I bought that one free several years ago and went on to buy all her other books.

Looking at this list I picked up The Vampire's Mail Order Bride for myself. It looks like fun,

Another great site is Free Booksy. I set the link to Romance, but you can change it to the genre of your choice.
You can sign up for their email and choose your genres.

The most wondrous and popular of these sites is BookBub
Bookbub has free and deeply discounted books of all genres. I subscribe to both these sites and I've found some wonderful new authors that way.

Maybe This Time will be on one of these sites soon. My Publisher, Debby Gilbert is putting it up to help me promote the audiobook of Maybe This Time which came out on Valentine's Day.

I hope you find a free book to love.
Speaking of giveaways, TheRomanceReviews has a giveaway for the entire month of March and Maybe this Time is one of the free books.
Happy Reading.