Saturday, August 1, 2015

Writing Weekend Warriors: UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS


Now that my new release MIDNIGHT KISS (“Touched by Midnight” Book 1) is out and about, I'm turning back to my W-I-P, the next book in my dark paranormal “By Moonlight” Shape-Shifter series. UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS brings back my favorite character, Cale Terriot, the strutty, tattooed, rock-and-roll prince now king of the House of Terriot from PRINCE OF SHADOWS. There’s just something about this tough little guy that I just can’t get enough of. Here’s a peek at Cale:

He feared no man, no foe, no obstacle or challenge. He’d learned to stand his ground and take it without a wince while growing up with the most to prove in the House of Terriot. He’d been schooled beneath the heavy heel and meaty fists of Bram Terriot, bearing the marks of those lessons scored into his skin and once tender psyche. He understood intimidation better than he did compassion and had once indulged in every savagery Lee now expected from him. He would have become a brutal, heartless monster walking the same path his father followed had it not been for the two things that called to his latent decency: The brothers who’d fearlessly stood beside him and the female brave enough to believe his claims. 

He owed them. He owed his family prosperous lives without fear and subjugation, where pride wasn’t measured in cruelties. He owed the woman he loved the fulfillment of promises made by a starry-eyed boy. He owed them a future in which they bowed to no one and had no reason to expect the worse from one another, and to achieve those things, all he had to do was right the wrongs of the man who’d desecrated the crown he now represented. 

All . . .

UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS is out with BETA readers so I’m in nail biting mode. To take the edge off, I’m playing around with my next project, a House of Terriot Foursome - four novellas, each featuring a different prince. I haven’t written in a shorter format for decades but I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Wishing you a week of happy writing and great reading!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Writing Weekend Warriors: New Release!! It’s all in the excerpts . . .

That exciting moment when all the long hours, back and shoulder aches, eye strain, frustration, and rampant insecurities culminate in a huge sigh of relief – the new book is out! Okay, moment over. Back to long hours, back and shoulder aches, eye strain, frustration and rampant insecurities getting that promotion machine in gear. Such is the writing life cycle. Let me introduce, back in circulation after a 15 years interment, MIDNIGHT KISS . . .
It was dangerous folly for him to hold her. He knew it, yet he couldn’t resist. So warm and sweet, so filled with the pulsing of life, she nestled into him like a trusting kitten, shivering weakly, clinging with surprising strength. 

He lowered his face into the untidy spill of her dark hair, so soft, smelling of some crisp spring herb. He nuzzled those glossy tresses, nudging without real purpose until he found himself at her bared throat. Sleek and fair. Vulnerable. Drawn to the rapid beat channeling down that slender column, he pressed his mouth against it, feeling the beat of life beckoning seductively. His eyes rolled and drifted shut, and his hunger rose, cleverly disguised as pas­sion.
Is this enough to convince you to sink your teeth in and enjoy?

Aside from the cover and the back cover copy, excerpts from your work are its strongest selling point (that’s why I LOVE this hop!). When I’m in the process of proof reading, I do double duty by earmarking scenes for potential excerpts, both short and long, and save them in a PR file so when I need to show a sample from the book, I have multiple choices. This bit of wisdom after years of last minute thumbing through 400-500 pages in search of one or two paragraphs! I try to find different types of scenes – some showing tension, some dialogue, some action, some just plain sizzle to fit various types of audiences (some require PG, some a blowtorch!). Being prepared keeps this generally lazy author from periodic fits of mad scrambling.

Back to the long hours, back and shoulder aches, etc.




Hunt or be hunted . . . A centuries old obsession stalks a noble family fighting to hide their dark secret from an ever-changing world. Sink your teeth into Nancy Gideon's Touched by Midnight series.

A DARK CURSE

Miss Arabella Howland is content forgo the London marriage mill to assist her father in his research, especially when it comes to his intriguing patient, Louis Radman. But it’s not long before Bella’s curiosity alerts her to the danger of her father’s work . . . and to the fact that Louis is not who or whathe seems.

A BRIGHT PROMISE

After centuries struggling with his vile existence, Louis Radman will soon be free of his affliction, thanks to his very capable physician. Unfortunately, his heart is less secure around the man’s tempting daughter. His yearning to walk in the light once more is complicated by his desire for the delightful Bella, who is as intelligent as she is fearless. But if history has taught him anything, it’s not to tempt fate.

AN UNFORGIVING PAST

Still, happiness has a price and Louis is soon reminded that mortality comes with unfortunate limitations. To protect his new bride, he must face the demons from his past who wish to pull him back into their vampiric fold.

Yet, if he’s forced to return to his midnight world, will he lose his beloved Bella forever? 


Weekend Writing Warriors is weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.


Have a great writing week!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In The Name of Love Character Quiz: Jake and Miranda from Rosanne Bittner’s DO NOT FORSAKE ME

Last month I introduced you (if you needed an introduction!) to author pal Rosanne Bittner who was reissuing her wonderful western romance, OUTLAW HEARTS. With this month’s release of the original second book in the series, DO NOT FORSAKE ME, it’s only fair that I let you get to know the hunky hero and gutsy heroine who continue through the two, soon to be three, books. Jake and Miranda (Randy) were kind enough to answer some questions regarding their relationship, In The Name of Love . . .


Jake and Randy, thanks for taking time away from the taming of the West to answer my questions. I know you’re anxious to get back into Book Three, but readers are dying to know:

What word best describes true love?

Miranda: Trust

Jake: Forgiveness

What type of man are you instinctively drawn to, Miranda?

Miranda: A man who would give his life for me – unquestionably.

What type of woman are you instinctively drawn to, Jake?

Jake: I love and respect all women, but I am most drawn to the goodness in a woman, and Miranda is all goodness. She loved me when no one else did, and she somehow seems to climb right into my head and see right into my soul.

What first attracted you to each other?

Miranda: That look of a lost little boy looking for help.

Jake: Are you kidding? She’s gorgeous! And on top of that she’s brave. She stood right up to me the first time we met and after I got in a shootout in the store with a bounty hunter, the whole thing scared her to death. She pulled a little gun from her handbag and she shot me! I knew right then I was in love!

What kept you from acting on that attraction?

Miranda: An aura of danger from just being around a wanted man.

Jake: I could see what a good and gracious woman she was, far too good a person for the likes of a wanted man on the run. I rode out of her life, but thinking about her drove me nuts so I went back to find her.

Who made the first physical move and what was it?

Miranda: The first physical move? Jake did. He thought I was better off without him, so he tried to scare me into not liking him. He threatened to force himself on me in an abusive way, but it didn’t work. I saw right through it and knew he wouldn’t dream of hurting me. We ended up making love in the back of a covered wagon in the middle of nowhere. From then on we were both hooked, wrong as it might have seemed.

Jake: I did, and I’m not proud of it. I was angry with myself for falling in love with a woman I didn’t deserve. I figured I could scare her off, so I tried being abusive – wanted to show her how mean I can be and make her hate me, but the damn woman saw right through me and let me make love to her and the rest is history.

Saddle up and get back into the romance between Jake and Miranda in DO NOT FORSAKE ME!


Genre: Historical Western Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Published by: Sourcebooks
Length: 480 Pages

"Veteran romance author Bittner revisits the characters of Outlaw Hearts as a much older couple in this captivating romance...a refreshing view of enduring love that survives the dangers of the Old West." - Publishers Weekly

"More than two decades in the making, Bittner's sequel to Outlaw Hearts is an emotional powerhouse! The strong flavor of the Wild West combines with a beautiful love story, creating a true saga of the era. This epic tale of an outlaw lawman and the woman who tamed him has everything Bittner fans expect and more. This classic historical western is destined for the "keeper" shelf. 4 1/2 Stars, Top Pick!" - RT Book Reviews

Fate brought them together. His past may tear them apart.

Miranda Hayes' life was changed the day she faced down infamous gunslinger Jake Harkner...and walked away with his heart. Their fates have been intertwined ever since. Hunted by the law, fleeing across a savage land, their desperate love flourished despite countless sorrows. Now, twenty-six years later, their family has finally found some measure of peace...balanced on the knife's edge of danger.

Jake has spent his years as a U.S. Marshal atoning for sins, bringing law to the land he once terrorized. But no matter how hard he fights the demons of his brutal past, the old darkness still threatens to consume him. Only Miranda keeps the shadows at bay. But when outlaws looking for revenge strike a fatal blow, Jake risks losing the one woman who saw past his hard exterior and to the man inside.

He always knew there'd be the devil to pay. He just never realized he might not be the one to bear the ultimate price.

Rosanne Bittner


Aptly title THE QUEEN OF WESTERN ROMANCE at the 2015 RT Convention, USA Today bestseller and award-winning novelist Rosanne Bittner is highly acclaimed for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—from Canada to Mexico, Missouri to California—and are often based on Rosanne’s personal visits to each setting.

Rosanne's stories are deep love stories, often family sagas told as a series. It is the hero and heroine’s love that holds them together through the trials and tribulations of settling America’s western frontiers. Rosanne absolutely love the Rockies, the Tetons, the Sierras, and the wide-open plains, prairies and desert land west of the Mississippi. In her books, she strives to tell the truth about the settling of the West and how it affected our American Indians, as well as the gritty depth of what our brave pioneers suffered in their search for free land and a better life.

Rosanne lives with her husband and two sons in Michigan and is a member of the Nebraska and Oklahoma Historical Societies, her local southwest Michigan historical society, Women Writing the West, Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America, the national RWA, National Rifle Association and a local charity group called the Coloma Lioness Club. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Writing Weekend Warriors: BCC - The hardest 8-10 sentences!

A Dark Curse

Miss Arabella Howland is content to forgo the London marriage mart to assist her father in his research, especially when it comes to his intriguing patient, Louis Radman. But it’s not long before Bella’s curiosity alerts her to the danger of her father’s work . . . and to the fact that Louis is not who or what he seems.

A Bright Promise

After centuries struggling with his vile existence, Louis Radman will soon be free of his affliction, thanks to his very capable physician. Unfortunately, his heart is less secure around the man’s tempting daughter. His yearning to walk in the light once more is complicated by his desire for the delightful Bella, who is as intelligent as she is fearless. But if history has taught him anything, it’s not to tempt fate.

An Unforgiving Past

Still, happiness has a price and Louis is soon reminded that mortality comes with unfortunate limitations. To protect his new bride, he must face the demons from his past who wish to pull him back into the vampiric fold. Yet, if he’s forced to return to his midnight world, he might lose his beloved Bella forever . . .


*

What sells your book besides the cover? It’s the back cover copy or BCC. In 8-10 sentences, you condense the heart and soul of 400 to 500 pages to show plot, characters, setting, motivation and conflict. I’ve been doing that a lot lately as the first three books of my vampire romance series Touched by Midnight are getting ready to relaunch. The above is the BCC for the first book MIDNIGHT KISS which may be available as early as this week (squee!!).

After years of suffering some awful overwrought and inaccurate synopses placed by marketing on the backs of my books, I love to write my own BCC (it’s like putting together puzzle pieces and my OCD brain geeks out on that!) and I have an editor in ImaJinn’s fabulous Brenda Chin who’s totally okay with that. Using the three step formula of 1st paragraph Her, 2nd paragraph Him, 3rd paragraph What keeps them apart/Creates the conflict from BelleBooks’ Deb Dixon’s fabulous Goal, Motivation, Conflict (if you don’t have that book in your writing library, you should!) to cut through the chaff to the meaty seeds of the story, I’ll work those sentences around (sometimes for longer than it takes to write an entire chapter!) until they connect (avoiding the purple prose standards from the’90s original BCC of “burning touch,” “eternal lust” or “dark ecstasy” - snort!). With Brenda’s deft touches, we arrived at the above.

How did we do?

JUST IN: MIDNIGHT KISS is now available in e-format at Amazon and Barnes & Noble! The fun thing is this cover was the mock up and isn’t the one that will be permanently featured on the book (it got changed to become more ‘vampiric’!). Could be a collectible edition . . . Sink your teeth in and enjoy!!




Weekend Writing Warriors is weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 07/11/15 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 07/12/15. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Visit other Weekend Writing Warriors to see what they’re up to this weekend!

Spread the word, share the love, warriors. Twitter hashtag #8sunday.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS - Please Welcome a Newbie!



I love teasers! That snippet of a scene that coaxes you inside for an intimate taste that whets the appetite. Finding this unique blog hop (of sorts) was just what I needed to examine my own work … and to get a preview of what’s brewing on the creative keyboards of my fellow wordsmiths. 

Take a bite out of my vampire romance MIDNIGHT KISS:

She closed her eyes and reached out to him, calling his name, not aloud, as before, but silently, with all her senses straining. Louis.

I am here.

Her gaze flew open and she saw him, just a faint shadow in the open door, a shadow without enough substance to block the light from beyond. It seemed to spill through him as if his figure was transparent. A moment of fright was quickly overcome by longing as he took on a comforting solidity. Her will fell away in that instant, her mind smothered by the intensity of his, her heart beating with the power of his as a trance-like stillness overcame her.

“I’ve come for my wife.”
These aren’t brand new words. They were first written in the mid-‘90s when vampire romance was a just awakened creature. So new, in fact, when MIDNIGHT KISS was released, booksellers weren’t sure what to do with it and often mis-shelved it in horror or with historicals. The first three books had brief two week stints in the light of day, then were buried for 20 years, while the other six books in the series did well (and continue to do well) through another publisher. After 15 years of struggling to get the rights back, ImaJinn Books is resurrecting the entire series, together for the first time, with all new covers (which I haven’t even seen yet!) for book-a-month reissues beginning this month with MIDNIGHT KISS.

The best part is getting the chance to go through the books again . . . and make changes. The ‘90s was a world of the passive “was” and the semi-colon, where no one blinked an eye at POV shifts – within the same paragraph! I’ve been up to my eyeballs in those first three books, going through three passes apiece to update (as much as one can with a historical paranormal!) and polish for consumption by a new millennium of readers. I hope you’ll follow my journey with these books and with my current W-I-P, the latest book in my By Moonlight dark shape-shifter series. And I look forward to finding exciting new voices and reads!

See you next weekend! Happy writing!

Weekend Writing Warriors is weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 07/11/15 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 07/12/15. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Visit other Weekend Writing Warriors to see what they’re up to this weekend!

Spread the word, share the love, warriors. Twitter hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG: That First Draft . . .

It’s ugly. It’s raw. But it’s done.


There’s nothing like the feeling of finishing that first draft. Finally, there’s proof that all the hours, days, months of pounding away at the keys has produced a viable (you hope!) product. Your first instinct is to hide its ragged edges as quickly as possible beneath a shiny new revision.

Noooooo!!

The absolute worst thing a writer can do is toss out that first draft - aside from the fact that someday we might be a Stephen King and every one of those x-ed out pages could be worth their weight in hard cover gold! I used to type directly over my original draft when making edits – FOR SHAME! Not only would I be up that creek with our favorite name if anything happened to that only copy, but what if by the time I finished, I decided that original scene in Chapter Eight was the stronger way to go? And think of all the valuable material you’re tossing when it comes to extra content – deleted scenes, alternate endings, etc. Words are something that should never be thrown away. That clip of dialogue or description may be out of place and destined for delete – but what if there’s a perfect home for it in Book 2? What if you take out of that section thinking its repetitive then find out it’s the only place the future plot twist is set up? Yikes! Save that draft and save your sanity!

Even if that original draft never gets used except to take up space on your hard drive or in the Cloud, someday you might want to look back to see how far you’ve come. It could be that monument to your evolution, the Cro-Magnon edition of your best seller. Of course then someone would steal it and publish it to embarrass your family and publicist, but that’s a high class problem, isn’t it?

I have the original manuscript of my first attempt at a novel (deservedly in a box in the closet, all 600+ pages painstaking typed on a Smith Corolla). I have the notebook with my handwritten copy of the first book I published complete with chocolate stains from the hands of my then two-year-old. They’re in the museum of my personal writing history. I take them out occasionally and smile. Sometimes I use them to horrify the new generation of writers who aren’t sure how to use lined paper or correction tape. But mostly, I just go through the pages and remember how and where they were created and how far they’ve brought me in this career I pursued because I can’t NOT write.

Think before you delete. You might make the Smithsonian weep to think they could have used that in your exhibit!

Now, on to UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS-revision . . .



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!


Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting will be Charity Bradford, S.A. Larsen, AJ, Tamara Narayan, Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

20 Questions with Rosanne Bittner: Getting to Know Your Favorite (or soon to be new Favorite!) Author


I’d almost forgotten how much I loved historical romances . . . I hadn’t read one in forever. Where had they gone, all but swallowed in a sea of plaid and ball gowns? One of my first loves was the Western, watching Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel, and Maverick as a child, getting lost in Lonesome Dove and How the West Was Won. John Wayne, with his iconic saunter, was my hero. Thank you, Rosanne Bittner, for reminding me.

Rosanne and I started out in romance together (okay, she had a head start and was kind enough to mentor me) with the same publisher, Zebra, when westerns ruled a sprawling romance backdrop. We were ‘80s ladies. Our covers toted cactus, six guns, and half-shed prairie dresses. Our heroes were tough, gritty men and our women (and readers) loved them with a fierce determination. Then the publishing landscape changed, as it always will, brushing off the sand and searing sun to move to Regency London and modern million dollar lofts making the western into one of its ghost towns. Thank goodness for the return of the backlist to bring readers – and authors! – back to that first love. And leading the charge is the Romantic Times dubbed “Queen of Western Romance,” Rosanne Bittner with OUTLAW HEARTS.

Give a big “Yee Yah” and welcome back Rosanne Bittner as she takes on my getting to know you 20 Questions . . .

1. Blue jeans or party dress? Always blue jeans over a party dress! But I’m still a party girl, so the jeans have to be worn with lots of “glitz!”

2. Spa or gym workout? A spa day over a gym workout. I’d rather be pampered than sweat my buns off!

3. Early bird or night owl? I am definitely an early bird. Up at 5:00 am every morning, even if I’ve been writing till 2:00 a.m. that same morning.

4. TV at home or movie night out? Prefer TV at home so I can lie around in my PJ’s while watching a movie.

5. 5 words you’d use to describe yourself? Passionate, energetic, opinionated, dreamer, hard worker. 


6. What would you do if you had a free afternoon? I would just sit in my garden and watch the birds and rabbits or put earbuds in and listen to my favorite music (which is sound tracks from big, big classic westerns – or really, really good Christian music like the Gaithers – or Bon Jovi. I know, that’s a really wide range!

7. Your favorite book(s) from childhood? All the Nancy Drew books – most favorite of all is A LANTERN IN HER HAND by Bess Streeter Aldrich. An unforgettable story about a woman who gives up her dreams and follows her husband to Nebraska when there was virtually nothing there but tall grass. It’s a very memorable, tear-jerker love story.

8. Something quirky about you? I love to “doodle,” especially filling in the holes in words on things where it doesn’t matter if I mess it up – like filling in the “o’s” in “doodle.” I also love to color in coloring books because again, I’m “filling in” something. Yes, I’m weird.

9. Favorite comfort food? Dark, dark chocolate, especially with almonds in it. 

10. Fiction hero you’d would run off with? My beloved Jake Harkner. I ran off with him 22 years ago and we’re still together.

11. Favorite books I could read over and over? This sounds like bragging but it really isn’t – to this day if I pick up one of my Savage Destiny books to check something out, I end up reading it all over again – any of them from #1 to #7. I wrote those books over 30 years ago and to this day they are still my best sellers and when I read them I feel like someone else wrote them. I have no memory of how or when I wrote them myself or how I managed to follow so much history so well. They read like Michener’s CENTENNIAL. The other book I can’t ever put down is my own OUTLAW HEARTS, which is why being able to write the sequel DO NOT FORSAKE ME meant so much to me. And now I’m writing a third “Jake” book that’s coming in 2016 – LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE. I can’t get enough of Jake.

12. Plotter or free range pantser? Definitely free range pantser. I don’t do outlines or synopses. I tell my editor in one paragraph or so what the book will be about and after over 60 books she knows I’ll come up with a good story. I don’t even worry about the required goal, motivation and conflict. Those things just naturally come into play as I write.

13. Live to write or write to live? It has ALWAYS been “live to write.” For years I worked full time so that was my income, but then the writing income became primary and I quit to write full time. However, I would write for nothing just to be able to share my stories with others. I love, love, love writing. It is never work to me. It’s a pleasure, and it sometimes affects me emotionally because I tend to take on the emotions of my characters. They become very real to me and I can’t wait to get back to the computer and re-join them.

14. Do you have a set writing schedule? No. I “cram” write – Every spare moment. Mostly I write into the wee hours of the morning because that’s when it’s the most quiet and when the best ideas come.

15. How do you get back on the horse after a rejection? I had probably 100 rejections “back in the day” when I first tried writing. They made me very angry because I knew they were good stories, so I just kept sending out and sending out over and over. I wrote one book after another and had them all out there circulating all the time until I finally sold the 9th book I had written – which became my classic SAVAGE DESTINY 7-book series.

16. First person you call when I get a sale? My husband of 50 years. He has put up with a lot and lives like a widower when I’m writing. He’s a very patient, very honest, very good man.

17. What’s your biggest hurdle to getting words on the page? None. I can’t write fast enough to spill out all the books I want to write. I did go a few years without selling anything but that was because I was trying other genres. Once I decided to go back to what I love the most – the “Old West,” I pumped out a book in two months and sold it within another month. I’ve never gone back to trying other genres.

18. How do I get in the mood to write “those” scenes? Oh, Lord, I’m usually so in love with my hero that I can hardly wait to WRITE those scenes!! Pretty embarrassing to say, but I’m not writing “about” the heroine. I AM the heroine and loving every minute of it!!

19. What’s on your desk? A lot of junk. My laptop should be on my desk but for some reason I end up writing on my kitchen table. I feel like I am closer to my poor lonely husband who is nearby in the living room watching TV. And for years I never had an office and sat up into the wee hours writing in the kitchen. I guess I can’t quite get over that habit. It just feels natural and more comfortable.

20. What’s next? My next book is out right now – OUTLAW HEARTS (June 2015) and DO NOT FORSAKE ME (July 2015). Next will be “Jake” #3 – LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE – in September 2016. In between, THUNDER ON THE PLAINS will be reissued in mass paperback in September 2015 – WILDEST DREAMS will be reissued in mass paperback in December 2015 – and all 7 of my SAVAGE DESTINY books are now available from Amazon in print with new covers! For those of you who have old copies of those books that are falling apart, or those of you new readers who have never read the series, you can finally get them in print again – and all my books are available as e-books also.

Be sure to check out my Website and my Blog for the latest happenings and what’s coming. I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest and a zillion other social networking sites. Enjoy!


Outlaw Hearts
by Rosanne Bittner
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBook | Kobo Books | All Romance
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Release June 2, 2015
Published by: Sourcebooks
Length: 576 Pages

Fall in love with the epic, sweeping romance of Bittner's beloved Outlaw Hearts, called by New York Times bestseller, Heather Graham, "a wonderful, absorbing read, with characters to capture the heart and the imagination."

United by chance, bound by fate, consumed by passion.

Miranda Hayes has lost everything-her family, her husband, her home. Orphaned and then widowed, desperate to find a safe haven, she sets out to cross a savage land alone...until chance brings her face-to-face with notorious gunslinger Jake Harkner.

Hunted by the law and haunted by a brutal past, Jake has spent a lifetime fighting for everything he has. He's never known a moment's kindness...until fate brings him to the one woman willing to reach past his harsh exterior to the man inside. He would die for her. He would kill for her. He will do whatever it takes to keep her his.

Spanning the dazzling West with its blazing deserts and booming gold towns, Jake and Miranda must struggle to endure every hardship that threatens to tear them apart. But the love of an outlaw comes with a price...and even their passion may not burn bright enough to conquer the coming darkness.

About Rosanne Bittner



Aptly title THE QUEEN OF WESTERN ROMANCE at the 2015 RT Convention, USA Today bestseller and award-winning novelist Rosanne Bittner is highly acclaimed for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—from Canada to Mexico, Missouri to California—and are often based on Rosanne’s personal visits to each setting.

Rosanne's stories are deep love stories, often family sagas told as a series. It is the hero and heroine’s love that holds them together through the trials and tribulations of settling America’s western frontiers. Rosanne absolutely love the Rockies, the Tetons, the Sierras, and the wide-open plains, prairies and desert land west of the Mississippi. In her books, she strives to tell the truth about the settling of the West and how it affected our American Indians, as well as the gritty depth of what our brave pioneers suffered in their search for free land and a better life.

Rosanne lives with her husband and two sons in Michigan and is a member of the Nebraska and Oklahoma Historical Societies, her local southwest Michigan historical society, Women Writing the West, Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America, the national RWA, National Rifle Association and a local charity group called the Coloma Lioness Club. 


My Review

In reading OUTLAW HEARTS, Rosanne's re-release and introduction to two new books following the same gutsy hero and heroine, I found everything that makes a historical work Рthe larger-than-life stoic hero with a dark past, the determined heroine forced from naivet̩ into survival mode by tragic circumstance, the gritty, gun-toting, tobacco-spitting, cuss-word tossing streets only the brave (or foolish) dared tread after dark, and the miles and miles and miles of nothing but the lonesome howl of a raw, unbroken land. Her prose pulls you into that world with meticulous but non-intrusive detail until you feel the callouses, smell the scorch of coffee over an open fire, experience the freedom, exhaustion and sheer terror of taming a wild and unpredictable west. Now, I find myself eager to shake the dust off my own Dana Ransom books and get back in the Western saddle.

Y’all come back next month when we celebrate the release of DO NOT FORSAKE ME, the next book in the trilogy, by interviewing Jake and Miranda Harkner!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Heat Wave GIVEAWAY Hop!

Nothing like winning cool things when the weather heats up . That’s why a group of author/blogger friends and I have banded together to fan the flames of summer with FREE stuff any romance reader would love.


There’s nothing I like better on those long, lazy days off than a cool drink and a hot book. You provide the beverage of choice and I’ll help with the reading material by offering a $10 Amazon gift card. What’s your pleasure? A romantic beach read? An adventurous trip through history? Suspense to chill your blood when the humidity rises? A walk on the paranormal dark side in the middle of that sunny day? Take your pick. Start by entering below.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to visit all the Hop sites for your best chance to collect sizzling prizes! The contest runs from June 21st to 28th.

To pour on the heat, here’s a freebie sample from my dark paranormal Shape-shifter romance UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS, now in final edits . . .




The well-dressed crowd pushed as close as they dared, high on the adrenalin thrill and raw violence. Anticipation electrified the air, a pheromone compliment to the blood already shed. Even knowing what they were about to see, having experienced the jolt, the shock, the wild intoxication of it during the first two rounds, the concept was still unique enough to spike feverish excitement. The illegal factor brought some. The chance of watching mortal combat enticed others. But the whisper, just the glimmer of possibility that what they were seeing wasn’t staged reeled them and their fat wallets in and held them captive. 

Lights in the dressage ring went dim, bringing those in the bleachers to their feet so they could see over the mob straining against the fence. A deafening cry rose from the spectators as spotlights swirled and finally fixed upon two massive figures loping out into the center of the ring. Breaths caught in amazement as light glinted off the feral red of their eyes and glittered in the strings of drool threading off ferocious fangs. The hunched shoulders, thick with muscle, matted with bristling hair, claw-tipped hands curled and ready to shred anything within reach belonged in a Sci-Fi movie or circus freak show. Animals, monstrous and dangerous . . . at first glance. Until amazed eyes traveled down those heaving chests to Wrangler jeans and work boots still mudded from the docks. 

Not animals. But not men, either. 

Was it just amazing theater presented for the exclusive few? The audience didn’t care. The carnage was genuine. The chance to wager and win big real. 

The pair paused instead rushing forward to lock in battle. Waiting. The arena grew quiet as shaggy heads lifted to test the thick air as if the heavy breeze conveyed an unsettling message. They began to growl and weave warily, not liking what they scented. The spectators stained to see. 

But the figure striding boldly into the ring to meet the two behemoths wasn’t fierce or frightening in look or attitude. The cocky strut, the taunting grin, the sleek gleam of tanned flesh on brawny arms. Just a man? 

The beasts drew back in confusion, looking toward handlers who stood in the shadows, not sure what to do when confronted with such a vulnerable opponent. But the slight figure showed no hesitation as he flung fists high as the first hard rocking chords of “Fire Your Guns” shattered the humid air. 

Chanting started small and built like a squall out on the Gulf, rolling in louder and louder. 

“Gunslinger! Gunslinger!” 

The fighter responded to their cries with a sudden echoing roar. His hands gripped the front of his tee shirt as his head fell back, and he was lost within a flash of dazzling light. And when blinking eyes adjusted, they went wide to see standing in the small human’s stead a creature covered in a thick red-gold pelt, lupine features lifted in a savage howl. 

Right. Before. Their. Eyes. 

Same clothing. Same black armband. Same widely planted stance. As if he’d transformed from man to beast right in front of them! 

And the audience went wild.


Happy Summer (if it ever stops raining here in Michigan!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG: How’s that Career Plan Going?


I laughed when I saw this on Facebook, and then I looked harder. Half the year’s gone, and the smooth road I imagined for myself has turned out to be more American Ninja obstacle course than that quick road race.

Some days I long for the simple years when I first got published, when ignorance was bliss. I’d open my notebook and write my stories, type them up and send them to my editor in a big honking box, then I waited to see my book there on the shelves where I bought my groceries, did my shopping and got my gas, and no one knew I was the author. Writing was my job, my ONLY job (other than raising those two kids!). And I loved it! It was intimate, personal, mine!

Now, writing occupies the LEAST amount of my time. There’s the 9-to-5, blog, website, FB, Twitter, Goodreads, Pintrest, etc. to maintain, groups, loops, a grandson (hey, no complaints about that!), numbers, rankings, reviews to obsess over, contest judging, critiques to do, art fact sheets, back blurbs, book trailers, playlists, hosting and guesting on other sites, Hops and giveaways (and that’s just my To Do list this month!). And I LOVE all those things, too. But some days I miss it being just me and that notebook.

When a career plan goes from perma-press to natural cotton, it takes some extra effort to get all the wrinkles out, but there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing what went into making it look smooth to the casual observer. And burns a lot more calories.

Part of my current busyness is getting my Touch of Midnight vampire romance series dusted off and ready for repackaging with ImaJinn Books (now an imprint of BellBooks). Written during those simple paper manuscript times, the first three books haven’t been in print for 20 years, and to get them ready for a July book-a-month relaunch of the entire series, I’ve been swamped with art fact sheets, scans, copy edits and proofs coming in practically every week (a high class problem to have, but an exhausting one!) that leaves next to no time to get my current WIP finished. Finding time to do both (AND all the rest!) has been frustrating, to say the least. But I’m getting there, pedaling hard and coasting downhill when I can.

How’s your career plan looking at this mid-year mark? Smooth sailing or motocross moguls?



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!


Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the June 3 posting will be M. Pax, Tracy Jo, Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

“Take Five” with Pampered Pets Mystery Series authors Sparkle Abbey!


One of the very best things about working with a new publisher is new author friends! Since being contracted by BelleBooks (writing contemporaries as Dana Ransom for Bell Bridge Books and vampire romance as Nancy Gideon for ImaJinn) my Kindle runneth over with exciting, heart-tugging, and downright hilarious reads. 

As a lover of all things fur, fin and feather, how could I resist titles such as Desperate Housedogs, Get Fluffy and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang in the Pampered Pets cozy mystery series by Sparkle Abbey? Right off the bat, I’ll solve the first mystery – Sparkle Abbey is actually TWO writers. I don’t want to spoil everything so I’ll let the authors “Take Five” with a little Q & A.

First, meet Sparkle Abbey.



Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of mystery authors Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter. They’ve chosen to use Sparkle Abbey as their pen name on this series because they liked the idea of combining the names of their two rescue pets – Sparkle (ML’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). The authors co-write the bestselling Pampered Pets Mystery Series which focuses on the wacky world of precious pedigrees, pampered pooches, and secrets in posh Laguna Beach, California. The main characters and amateur sleuths are Texas cousins, Carolina Lamont, a pet therapist, and Melinda Langston, a pet boutique owner. The first books in the series, Desperate Housedogs, Get Fluffy, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Yip/Tuck, Fifty Shades of Greyhound, and The Girl with the Dachshund Tattoo have received rave reviews. Midwest Book Review calls the series, “A fun and sassy mystery!”

The next installment, coming in June, Downton Tabby, is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. The authors love to hear from readers so stop by their Website or visit them on Facebook and Twitter to check out all their news.

And now “Take Five”


1. Is there a story behind your unique and uber fun series concept?

There is a story and like most authors’ stories, it begins with rejections. You see we’d both been writing for while and submitting our writing to editors/agents. We’d each had some minor successes: contest wins, nibbles of interest, but no sale. Then we were attending a conference where we had a chance to sit and talk informally with a NY agent who advised us that if we wanted to write cozy mysteries we needed a stronger hook. (Cooking, knitting, antiques, scrapbooking, etc.) We brainstormed ideas and hit a lot of dead ends. Our thinking was that if we were going to do a series it should be something we had some expertise in, and also something we truly cared about. When we hit on the idea of a series around pampered pets, it seemed natural to work together on it, as we’d come up with idea together.

2. Do readers ever catch on to a difference in Sparkle Abbey’s writing voice between Caro and Mel’s books?

That’s an interesting question, Nancy. Our publisher tells us though not exactly alike that the voices are so similar they can hardly tell the difference. At first many readers didn’t notice any difference at all in the voices. We had one or two comments but that’s about it. However, as we’ve had a chance to meet more of our readers in person, there are some who notice a few differences. Because the books have two difference protagonists, the slight difference in voices seems to work in our favor.

3. Do you ever write parts of the other’s book or is it “Step away from the keyboard”?

We edit each other’s books and make suggestions, but we’ve never actually written full sections. We’ve talked with a lot of other collaborators and it seems there’s no one way to write together. The writing team seems to figure out a hybrid that works for them.

4. Ever have stylistic or artistic differences when plotting or with character development? How are they settled?

We have very few differences and we think that’s partially a product of the way we collaborate. However, of course, we sometimes have different views on plot or characters and we’ve always settled the differences by figuring out what is the best solution for the story or character development. Collaborating definitely means setting egos aside!

5. What’s the most fun, the plotting, the writing or the promoting?

We love the plotting! We’re both plotters and love setting up the twists and turns of the story. Although it morphs and changes as we begin the writing, we love thinking through the “what if” scenarios of building a story. This often involves a plotting retreat with white boards, sticky notes, and lots of chocolate.

Extra Credit: What’s next for our daring Pet Detectives?

The next book (out in June) is Downton Tabby which is a Caro book, and up after that is, Raiders of the Lost Bark, a Mel book.

My take on the Pampered Pets series – I LOVE it! It was a toss-up whether to start with dogs or cats. The cats may have won out but I was quick to go right from there to the dogs. What delightful reads! The characters are as unique and eccentric as their pets. The dialogue is quick and snappy. You can’t read it without a smile. I adore Caro and Mel and their madcap (and wonderfully drawn!) friends who make you feel like part of the neighborhood. The clever twists and turns of plot snatch you up and take you on a hands in the air ride. A good thing you don’t have to get off – the next installment is just a One Click away. In fact, Downtown Tabby is enjoying its cover reveal today over on Goodreads.

It’s a dog’s (and cat’s) life and I’m thrilled to be a part of this one!