Category: Spotlight

Spotlight On Terri Osburn

May 27, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , , ,

Terri Osburn writes contemporary romance with heart, hope, and lots of humor. After landing on the bestseller lists with her Anchor Island Series, she moved on to the Ardent Springs series, which earned her a Book Buyers Best award in 2016. Terri’s work has been translated into five languages, and has sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide. She resides in middle Tennessee with four frisky felines, and two high-maintenance terrier mixes. Learn more about this international bestseller and her books at www.terriosburn.com. Or check out her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TerriOsburnAuthor.

Terri’s Newest Release

Not You Again

Four blind dates in five days. I can’t believe I agreed to this.

Actually, I can. That’s what I do. I agree to things I don’t want to do to make other people happy. In this case, my four best friends. They’re worried about me and if going on a few dates will make them happy, then I’ll do it. How bad could they be?

I probably shouldn’t have asked that.

I’m starting to seriously wonder if my friends know me at all. Each pick is worse than the last, and none of them compare to my former fiancé. But then I guess maybe that’s the point. Someone new to help me forget the old.

To help me move on.

Except I don’t need a man to prove that I’ve moved on. Why can’t my friends understand that? And why does the same beautiful stranger keep saving me from these awful encounters? The universe seems to be throwing him into my path, and the more time I spend with him the more I wish that he was one of the dates.

There’s one more date left and I can’t help but wonder if he’ll pop up again. How many chance encounters can two people have? Pittsburgh is a big city so the chances are slim.

But what if…?

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Spotlight on Tara Lain

April 27, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , ,

Tara Lain believes in happy ever afters–and magic. Same thing. In fact, she says, she doesn’t believe, she knows. Tara shares this passion in her stories that star her unique, charismatic heroes and adventurous heroines. Quarterbacks and cops, werewolves and witches, blue collar or billionaires, Tara’s characters, readers say, love deeply, resolve seemingly insurmountable differences, and ultimately live their lives authentically.

After many years living in southern California, Tara, her soulmate honey and her soulmate dog decided they wanted less cars and more trees, prompting a move to Ashland, Oregon where Tara’s creating new stories and loving living in a small town with big culture.

Tara loves animals of all kinds, diversity, open minds, coconut crunch ice cream from Zoeys, and her readers.

You can find out more about Tara using the following links:

Website
Facebook
Readers Group
Newsletter
Amazon Page
BookBub
Twitter

Tara’s Nerds vs Jocks Series

By clicking on the book cover below, you can find more information on each book in the series.

COACHING THE NERD

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COACHING THE NERD

HEAD TO HEAD

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HEAD TO HEAD

SCHOOLING THE JOCK

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SCHOOLING THE JOCK
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Spotlight on Peter Barbour

March 27, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , ,

Peter Barbour has been writing for over thirty years. He published “Loose Ends,” a memoir, in 1987, followed by a series of short stories from 1992 to 1995.  “The Fate of Dicky Paponovitch” won Raconteur of the Month, May 1994, Raconteur Magazine, Susan Carrol Publishing. Since 2015, he has published more than twenty-five short stories which have appeared in shortbreadstories.co.ukstorystar.com, and shortstory.me, The Piker Press, Rue Scribe, Star Light Path, and ArtPost Magazine. His short story, “Why Bats Live in Caves,” can be found in Fur, Feathers, and Scales: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales, an anthology from the Bethlehem Writers Group. Barbour wrote and illustrated three children’s books, “Gus at Work,”  “Oscar and Gus,” and “Tanya and the Baby Elephant.” He is a member of the Bethlehem Writers Group.

         Barbour enjoys deconstructing stories to see how they are put together. He grew up loving the Wizard of Oz series, and dutifully read each book in the series to his children. The hero goes on a journey is one of his favorite themes.

He loves the outdoors, and especially the Pacific Northwest, which serves as the setting for many of his stories. He is married, and likes to travel, which affords him the opportunity to absorb new experiences from which to write. Barbour attended the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate and Temple University School of Medicine where he earned his M.D. He completed his residency training in Neurology, at Stanford University School of Medicine and practiced medicine in the Lehigh Valley until 2015 when he retired.

 He believes that what comes from the heart goes to the heart. 

Barbour’s newest book, Tanya and the Baby Elephant was released in February. Tanya and the Baby Elephant is an illustrated children’s book for 3 to 6 year-olds.

Tanya lives in Africa and is confined to home, bored and lonely because she can’t be with friends due to the new virus. She discovers a baby elephant wandering behind her house and brings her into her backyard to play. She names her Ellie. What fun to have a pet baby elephant. Tanya observes that Ellie is sad and realizes that she misses her mother. Tanya decides to help Ellie find her.

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Links to his stories and illustrations can be found at www.PeteBarbour.com 

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Spotlight on Gunnysack Hell by Nancy Brashear

March 25, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , , ,

Spotlight on Gunnysack Hell

“There’s more to fear in the desert than scorpions and rattlesnakes.”

It’s the summer of 1962, middle of the Cold War, and the O’Brien family has moved off-grid to the Mojave Desert in Southern California. After all, the desert has to be a safer place to raise a family than the crime-ridden city, and there they can build a new future. But evil also stalks dusty desert roads, and eight-year-old Nonni finds herself harboring a terrible secret: Only she can identify the predator who has been terrorizing the community.

And he knows where she lives.

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Excerpt

Gunnysack Hell

Nancy Brashear

I read this morning that Donald Fricker was granted parole after serving twenty years in prison. Once I saw his name in print, the decades disappeared in the flick of a newspaper page. My childhood flooded back to eight-year-old me, too scared to identify him and save my family.

It was May of 1962. My family had recently moved to our new home, our grandparents’ one-room homestead cabin in the California high desert with tarpaper and chicken-wire lining the walls. It never occurred to me to ask my father why we had moved from our three-bedroom suburban home by the beach to “off the grid.”

All I knew was that we used kerosene lanterns, the chemical outhouse under the tall water tank, a wood- burning stove, and an old-fashioned ice-box that our father replenished daily with a big block of ice from Jolly’s Corner.

Tessa, my six-year-old sister, and I walked home alone, every school day, from the bus stop, a mile and a half down an isolated dirt road.

That’s when it happened, the thing that changed our family. I’ll never forget that day. I protected Tessa even though I broke all of my promises to Mama I’d made just the night before. To walk directly home from the bus stop, not to talk to strangers, and to stay away from open wells.

That afternoon, when the bus’s hissing air brakes signaled our stop, we leapt from the bottom step onto the dirt shoulder of the road.

I picked the perfect stone from the side of the road. It had to be small and round, with no sharp edges, and light enough to kick all the way home.

Tessa followed on my heels, talking my ear off, and stepping on the heel of one of my tennies. “Gave you a flat!”

“Back off!” I glared at her. Mama said those shoes were like gold, and we were to protect them. I gave the rock a punt and forged ahead.

Oblivious to things going on out there in the desert, we were lulled into a sense of safety and routine. Like Eve, we didn’t feel the danger around us until it was too late to escape. Instead, I should have been paying attention to the truck following us slowly.

Down the deserted road.

Yes, this is our story.

My story.

Endorsement:

“I can’t recall the last time I was so impressed with someone’s writing style. It’s pure genius! Gunnysack Hell, told through the various family members’ point of view, takes the readers down a tunnel filled with mystery, thrills, and excitement. This masterpiece is not to be missed.”

~L. C. Hayden, Award-winning and best-selling author, http://www.lchayden.com/
(The Harry Bronson Thriller Series, When Memory Fails as seen on NBC and ABC, and others)

Nancy Brashear lives in Orange County, California, with her husband, Patrick, and their rescue dog, Goldie, where her grown children and seven grandgirls have supported her writing adventures. A professor emeritus in English, she has published short stories, poems, academic articles, textbook chapters as well as website content and writing projects with educational publishers. Gunnysack Hell is her debut fiction novel and was inspired by a true-crime event. And, yes, she did live off-grid with her family in a homestead cabin in the Mojave Desert when she was a child.

Read Jann Ryan’s interview of Nancy.

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Read The Ultimate Betrayal by Kat Martin

January 4, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , ,

Excerpt

The Ultimate Betrayal

Kat Martin

She yawned as she closed the door, more exhausted than she had expected. She fell asleep quickly and slept far better than she had the night before, then rose at the first gray light of dawn.  She went in to shower and get ready for the day, dressed in a conservative dark brown skirt suit and heeled pumps, then quietly cracked open the door to the living room.

Bran was already up, standing with his back to her, one hand on his hip, the other pressing his cell phone against his ear.  A pair of white cotton briefs that hugged his round behind was all he had on. 

Jessie’s mouth went dry.  His suntanned back was smooth, except for a jagged scar on one side, and ridged with solid muscle.  Bands of muscle defined his shoulders and arms, and long sinewy legs tapered down to narrow feet. 

She told herself to close the door before Bran caught her staring at him like a juicy piece of meat, but instead she just stood there, her heart pounding, her breathing a little ragged. 

She was just pulling herself under control when he turned, the phone still pressed to his ear.  Jessie froze.  Her gaze shot to the heavy bulge at the front of his briefs and she felt a rush of heat so hot it made her dizzy.  Muscular pecs and six-pack abs.  A lean, hard-muscled chest and amazing biceps.  Desire hit her so hard she swayed on her feet.

She didn’t move till Bran jerked the blanket off his make-shift bed and wrapped it around his waist, knocking her out of her self-imposed trance and flushing her face with embarrassment.

“Sorry,” she managed to breathlessly whisper, stepped back and slammed the door.  Ohmygod, ohmygod.  She hadn’t felt the least attraction to a man for so long she’d forgotten what it was like.  Correction, she had never felt the jolt of desire she had felt looking at Brandon Garrett.  Ohmygod.

She told herself he was probably used to that kind of reaction from a woman, or at least the women who had seen him nearly naked.  Jessie sank down on the bed.  What could she possibly say to him?  How could she explain? 

But no words of explanation popped into her head. 

Since she couldn’t hide in the bedroom all day, and because Bran undoubtedly wanted to take a shower, she inhaled a deep breath, opened the door, and walked out into the living room.

“Sorry about that,” she said. 

He had pulled on his jeans but the rest of him was still gloriously bare.  “No problem.  I should have grabbed one of those terrycloth robes in the bathroom.”

She just nodded.  “Yeah.”  Her fingers curled into the palms of her hands as she walked past him toward the counter where he had brewed a pot of coffee.

“Mind if I use the shower?” he asked.

“Of course not.  You’re paying for the room.”  When he opened his mouth, she held up a hand.  “Sorry, no more talk about money.” 

“Exactly.”

She took a mug down from the cabinet above the sink and filled it with coffee, her hands still a bit unsteady.

“Why don’t you order us something to eat?” Bran suggested as he crossed the room toward the bedroom.  “I won’t be too long.”

“Bacon and eggs?” she asked.

“Sounds great.”  As he disappeared through the door and closed it behind him, Jessie sank down on one of the chairs at the dining table, coffee mug gripped tightly in her hands.  At least now she knew the abduction hadn’t completely destroyed her desire for the opposite sex.

Or at least one member of the opposite sex.  She grimaced.  She just wished the man who had rekindled her long-dead fire wasn’t Brandon Garrett.

Bran turned on the shower, set the nozzle to cold, and climbed in beneath the icy spray.  He clenched his jaw, fighting to block a memory of the look on Jessie’s pretty face when he had spotted her in the bedroom doorway.  Trying to block the erection he got every time the image reappeared in his head. 

Bran knew women.  He knew when a woman wanted him.  He swore softly, cursing the fate that had brought the two of them together, putting them both in a situation that could only get worse. 

So far he had managed to suppress the desire he’d felt from the moment Jessie had walked into his office.  With her fire-touched blond hair and fine features, she was beautiful.  He liked her body and admired her brain.  In a softly feminine way, she was sexy as hell, and he wanted her–no doubt about it. 

But aside from the erotic dream he’d had about her last night, he’d been doing an admirable job of controlling his lust.

Until this morning.  When the flush in her cheeks and the heat in her eyes had made it clear that the desire he felt was returned.  She wanted him.  Which meant he had to be the strong one because no way could he have her and just walk away. 

Jessie wasn’t the type he usually slept with, women who didn’t require exclusivity and didn’t expect to give it in return. 

He was fairly sure Jessie hadn’t been with a man since she was abducted.  He sure as hell didn’t want to be the first, didn’t want to deal with whatever trauma she had experienced, maybe make it worse.


Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin.  More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries.  Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film.  Kat’s latest novel, THE ULTIMATE  BETRAYAL, a Romantic Thriller, was released in paperback December 29th.


The Ultimate Betrayal

THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL
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