Sunday, December 11, 2016

WeWriWa: Money Can’t Buy Me Love



Back in the ‘90s, I had a year of great fortune, contracting 11 books (2 of them novellas), and writing 7 of them! Four of the books were for Zebra/Kensington under my pen name Dana Ransom, writing for their new “Lucky In Love” imprint, a clever premise of what happens to ordinary lives and loves when an unexpected windfall drops in. LOVE’S OWN REWARD was book three in their launch featuring a conservative researcher with a sorta boyfriend/colleague who rescues a boy from a burning car and is given a half million by the grateful grandparents. Let the good times roll, right? Not so much as Charley’s staid life is turned upside down by those wanting a piece of the money pie. Enter a jaded journalist who witnessed her bravery and sees a cynical story in her act of heroism. Today, I’m sharing a peek . . . (creatively edited)

It was the bravest damn thing he’d ever seen. She was only a little bit of a thing, so delicate she might have been confused with a girl as she’d dashed in front of his stopped car. While others watched, himself included, she’d scrambled into that compact, heedless of the danger, to bring out the little boy, and if that wasn’t enough, she’d gone back toward certain death to save the kid’s parents, which she couldn’t, of course—Jess had known that the moment he saw the fuel ignite, but it hadn’t stopped her from trying. She’d fought him like a madwoman when he’d pulled her away, barely seconds before she’d have been engulfed in the same fiery ball that consumed the car, fought with such an amazing strength in such a tiny package, that he’d been awed by her. Until this event had played out before his disbelieving eyes, he’d shunned stories of heroism, and then he’d felt the frantic beat of her big, big heart against his chest, felt the helpless trembling of her despair as he held her in his arms, and never had anything touched him so strongly, so powerfully, so tenderly as that moment, as that woman. 

Why had she taken the money? 

He saw so much ugliness, so much greed, he’d wanted to believe unselfish goodness was possible, to believe the tears he saw on her face were genuine, in her anguish over others instead of her own pain, and he’d wanted to hold on to the emotions that filled his soul with such possessiveness as he’d cradled her close and tried to give her comfort. In that brief slice of time she’d reached inside him and torn out his heart . . . and then broke it by proving all his illusions false. Charlene Carter wasn’t a saint willing to throw down her life to save another’s. When she’d been quick to snap up the fee for her bravery, in his jaded eyes that made Miss Carter a mercenary, not a Samaritan, and Jess hated her for it . . . because he’d wanted to believe.


Fortune follows the bold. Twenty years later, BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books purchased all four books for reissue, and LOVE’S OWN REWARD was back on the shelves, both in print and e-formats with an updated cover! I’m sharing that good fortune through Dec. 15 with a special price for LOVE’S OWN REWARD at only $1.99!! (MIDNIGHT ENCHANTMENT is also still available at $0.99!)



Charlene “Charley” Carter risked her life to rescue a child from a burning car. Suddenly, the quiet research assistant becomes a media darling—and a half-million dollars richer, thanks to the boy’s grateful grandparents. But big money brings big moochers and bigger betrayals. Charley retreats, wounded and suspicious about the motives of even those dearest to her.

He doesn’t trust that she’s for real . . .

Jess McMasters exposes frauds for a living, and if it means using his charms as well as his tough skills as a journalist, no problem. What’s Charlene Carter trying to gain by refusing to be interviewed by the press? Is she angling for more money—or is she hiding secrets that prove she’s nobody’s hero?

Jess goes undercover to get close to her, but the closer he gets, the less he understands. Except this: the cost for his deception could be his own heart.

Happy Holidays!



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 Sunday posts.

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36 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the reissues. You didn't even have to go to the bother of self-publishing them!

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    1. I know! Less royalty but also less stress.

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  2. Double the success. Good luck again, my friend. It's an omen.

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    1. Thanks, Charmaine. Fingers crossed . . .

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  3. Congrats on re-issues. Hope they do wonderfully.
    Terrifying situation a burning car.
    Love the last line - so much hope there.
    Tweeted.

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  4. The excerpt was amazing, Nancy. So glad that Belle Books is reissuing these gems!

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  5. Congrats on the re-issues! And this was a wonderfully emotional snippet. :D

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    1. Thanks, Amy!! Getting paid without having to do the work . . . again.

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  6. If he wants to believe so much maybe he should give her the benefit of the doubt.
    Congratulation on the reissuing!

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    1. You'd think!! That's the trouble with setting such a high bar. No one can get over it without knocking it down.

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  7. Congrats on getting these stories picked up again. I can feel his hope for a hero dwindle away. Though I hope she took the money for a reason he's yet to uncover. Great snippet!

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! A very good reason and he'll suffer for his jump to conclusions, trust me!

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  8. His judgment seems a bit harsh and unfounded since she had no idea the kid had rich family when she risked her life to rescue him. But hey, romance! And it makes the story work :) VERY delighted for you about the reissues, which is terrific news. and the excerpt was marvelous as always :)

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    1. He's a '90s guy, what can you expect? You'd think almost 20 years would lighten him up some!

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  9. What a great excerpt - bravery, drama, human emotions - everything is there. Good luck with the re-issue.

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  10. Definitely held in high esteem. Great snippet.

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  11. Congrats on the reissues! Great snippet! And notice how much of a genius I am for finally figuring out why I couldn't comment on blogger blogs??!! Cookies problem...sheesh.

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    1. Thanks, Dr. E! My cookie problems are usually on my hips!

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  12. Wow, he sure is cynical, isn't he? Thrilling excerpt and congrats on the reissue!

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    1. Thanks, Christina!! Soured on life, more like.

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  13. He may be cynical, but I bet it still hurt him to think the worst.

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    1. Devastated enough to follow through . . .

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  14. Boy, he's jumping to conclusions, isn't he? He's got a lot to learn!

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  15. I can see why he's upset, but if the money was freely offered (and not any sort of financial burden on the giver), why not take it? She did rescue that boy, after all.

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    1. A higher plane of integrity, I assume. I'd have taken it!

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  16. How wonderful Belle Books picked up those books. This one sounds so fascinating--like watching an accident about to happen. You know what will happen when she discovers his duplicity. He's going to be in deep doo-doo.

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    1. Thanks, Di! An accident ready to happen, indeed!

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  17. Brilliant snippet, Nancy. This story sounds awesome!

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  18. Brilliant snippet, Nancy. This story sounds awesome!

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  19. I don't have a book budget at the moment, but I love the premise and the snippet! Congratulations on the reboot!

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