Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Share: Brodie's Bride, by Amie Louellen with bonus 2 book giveaways!

This Sunday night I welcome Amie Louellen with Brodie's Bride.  Typically I have my posts pre-scheduled to publish bright and early, but today I spaced it while canning homemade spaghetti sauce.

To make up for a lost day for Amy, I'm going to purchase a copy of Brodie's Bride and there will be TWO lucky winners announced on Thursday.

So spread the word far and wide to all your reader friends and don't forget to comment to win!

Brodie's Bride, by Amie Louellen

A spicy, contemporary romantic comedy

Waking up next to a beautiful golden-haired stranger isn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to Brodie Harper, but staying in a fake marriage in order to gain a new construction contract could very well be.

Savanna Morgan just wanted a way out of an engagement to a man she didn’t love.  Marrying Brodie seemed liked the perfect answer at the time.  Less perfect the next morning when she finds herself disowned by her father and flat broke.  Now she must make it through the weekend. Monday they can get it all annulled and forget it ever happened.

The real problem may be keeping their hands off each other until then.


            “On Monday, after our appointment, you’re leaving.”

“I have to go home,” she said quietly, turning away from him to stare into the postage-stamp sized back yard.

“But we have an agreement for the weekend.  I think we should have some ground rules.”

“Good idea.”  Savanna clapped her hands, then rubbed them together as if she were ready to get down to business.  “Like what?”

“We only have two working bedrooms here,” Brodie said.  “Mine and Nan’s.  Do you mind sharing a room with me?”

Her pupils dilated, and he knew she was thinking about the scarlet room they had shared last night.

“My room has two beds,” he continued.  “We can be like Lucy and Ricky.”

She smiled.  “If it was good enough for the Ricardos, I’m sure I can handle it for a few days.”

“We may not so lucky at the Sullivan’s.”

Sobering, she nodded.  “If there’s only one bed there, we can just take turns sleeping in it.”

“Fair enough.” Brodie said.  “Now, as a married couple—especially at the ranch—we’ll be expected to act like a married couple.”

“Okay.  But only around others.  When we’re alone, we can act like we’re not married.”

“Correct.  But sometimes…”  He took a step closer to where she leaned against the porch railing.  “Sometimes married people hold hands.”

He reached out and took her fingers into his own.  Her skin was velvet soft and smelled so sweet, like the mountains after a rain.

“I—I don’t have a problem with that.”

“Sometimes married couples put their arms around each other.”  He placed her hands behind his neck, then slid his arms around her waist.

“That’s okay,” she whispered.  He watched as she swallowed hard.

“And sometimes married people kiss.  Just a peck here and a peck there.  Are you going to have a problem with that?”

“Huh-uh.”  She shook her head.

“Maybe we should practice,” he rasped, bending his head close to hers.

“Maybe,” she repeated before he brushed his lips across hers once, then twice.

His intent had been the small, nearly chaste kiss of old married couple, but once he got close to Savanna, once he could smell her sweetness and taste her heady essence, he couldn’t stop himself.

He pulled her close to him, gathering handfuls of her tank top, securing her to him.  Over and over he slanted his mouth across hers.  Over and over, deeper and deeper, until her whimper brought him back.

He released her, his breath rasping in and out of his lungs in hard painful gasps. 

She grasped the edge of the porch railing, looking as disturbed as he felt.

With demonstrations like that, they may not ever convince Blair and Nan their marriage was an accidental twist of fate, but they would surely convince Red Sullivan their passion was for real.

Brodie ran his fingers through his hair, just one more gesture to keep from reaching for Savanna again.           

“There,” he managed to croak.  “That wasn’t so bad, now was it?”


Buy Brodie's Bride now

Amie's note to readers:   

Thank you and mwah, mwah! to everyone who stopped by today. Brodie and Savanna ended up in this marriage of inconvenience due to a little...ah, over-indulgence. Brodie's poison was tequila. Savanna was drinking Long Island Iced Teas. Leave me a comment with your email address and your favorite drink, and 'll draw one winner who'll receive a .pdf copy of Brodie's Bride. <3 Amie

Find Amie online:  Live A Little. Laugh A Lot. Love for A Lifetime.

Amie Louellen loves nothing more than a good book. Except for her family…and maybe homemade tacos…and shoes. But reading and writing are definitely high on the list. When she's not creating quirky characters and happy endings she enjoys going to little league baseball games and boy scout meetings. Born and bred in Mississippi, Amie is a transplanted Southern Belle who now lives in Oklahoma with her deputy husband, their genius son, a spoiled cat, and one very hyper beagle.

Thank you so much for sharing with us today Amie!! 

Don't forget to comment to win one of TWO book giveaways of Brodie's Bride! 
Stacey Joy Netzel 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wacky Wednesday: Title help, please!

**UPDATE** As is obvious from the side of my blog, I ended up with Lost In Italy. Not for lack of wonderful suggestions, but in the end I was convinced (by others) that it fit the book and it also allowed me to stick with a similar theme for the next two books in the series. I truly appreciated all the suggestions!

I will soon be publishing my currently titled romantic suspense Lost In Italy and while the title is okay, I'm open to better suggestions if anyone is willing to help.  Something eye catching to indicate romance, suspense and adventure.

Here's the blurb:

LOST IN ITALY:  fast-paced 100,000 word romantic suspense that runs high on danger and adventure.  

Halli Sanders spent two years planning the trip of a lifetime to Italy.  Her itinerary did not include being stranded by her siblings, kidnapped by a sexy American movie star, dodging bullets, or fleeing criminals in a car chase around Lake Como.  And that’s just in the first three hours.

Trent Tomlin put his movie career on hold to investigate his brother’s murder-ruled-suicide at his villa.  He’s closing in on the suspects when an American tourist unwittingly films the murder of the retired cop helping him.  The killers will stop at nothing to get the evidence—including holding Halli’s family as collateral.

Thrust into the role of real-life hero, Trent finds himself falling for the Plain Jane whose beauty blossoms with every challenge they face.  Can he manage to keep the evidence and get justice for his brother and friend without betraying Halli and her family?
Life’s a little different unscripted.

(Updated 8/25/11:  proof everyone can use an editor...a friend pointed out I had my heroine's last name different in my blurb and my excerpt! LOL)

And here's an exclusive excerpt to give you a feel for the book:

Chapter 1

“For the love of God, Hal, we didn’t travel over ten hours for you to film swans.”

Halli Sanders ground her back molars together and zoomed her camera in on the flock of white birds across the water.  Graceful and serene, they stood out in stark contrast to the dark, shaded water of the small inlet her brother had parked near.  A shaky breath helped steady her hands.

“I want to see if Lake Como, Italy and Lake Como, WI have more in common than their names,” she informed her sister and brother.

“Who cares?” Rachel moaned.  “I just want to find the hotel and shower away some of this jet lag.  And, we still have to find a converter for my hair dryer.”

Halli rolled her eyes and kept filming.  Yes, she was being snotty about it, but they’re the ones who threw away her meticulously planned itinerary so they could make impromptu stops like this.  They’d insisted she lighten up, even knowing it would trigger her anxiety.

The half dozen or so swans had floated into the sunlight, near a wooden dock in front of a stone villa.  She wondered who lived there.  The tabloids always talked about George Clooney’s house on Lake Como in Italy—this could be it.  Matt Damon or Julia Roberts or any other number of stars could be visiting him right now.

That’s it, she told herself.  Focus on something other than the fact her plans had all been scrapped.

She allowed herself one last lingering look at the regal villa through the viewfinder.  The weathered stonework was beautiful, but the shiny, reflective windows captured her attention.  She loved large windows that let in natural light.  Wished she had them in her studio apartment overlooking the lake back home.

Ben ran interference behind her.  “We’ll go find the hotel first, then an electronics store, then we’ll find a place to eat.  That sound okay?”

“Yes, thank you,” Rachel agreed with exaggerated drama.

Halli took a step backward, but a movement in the windows caught her attention.  She paused and steadied the camera.  The front door to the villa burst open as someone ran outside.  The swans took flight, their startled cries echoing across the water.

Bam.  Bam.  Vrrooommm.

Halli glanced over her shoulder.  She did a double take when the little blue car her brother had rented in Milan shot off the curb into a brief break in traffic.

“Hey—”  She spun around, took a few steps, then stopped.  A disbelieving laugh escaped.  “Real funny, guys.”

Any second now, they’d give up the joke, pull to the side, and wait for her to catch up as they laughed their hilarious fricken heads off. 

The blue car accelerated around the bend in the road and disappeared.

No brake lights.

No U-turn.


Muttering her annoyance, she looked around self-consciously.  A dark haired man across the street glanced her way with open curiosity.  Thankfully, he kept walking.  Cars cruised past; a couple kids on bikes; a woman on a moped.  Though the kids stopped a short distance away, no one paid her much attention over the next few minutes.

Well, sure.  Lake Como, Italy was probably used to lost tourists, what did they care?

No, you’re not lost.  The adamant statement helped to steady her deep breath.  That’s right.  Ben and Rachel would be back any moment.  She had nothing to worry about as long as she didn’t leave this spot.

The man across the street lounged a short distance away and a chill trickled down her spine when he gave her a more thorough inspection.  Halli averted her gaze and hugged her arms around her middle.  Her heart rate began a steady acceleration.

Oh, she was going to kill them when they got back.  Of all the pranks they could’ve pulled, this one was cruel—especially her first time travelling overseas.  If Ben’s phone wasn’t the only one equipped to make international calls, she’d call and give them a loud, extended piece of her mind for leaving her all alone.

Stop!  You’re going to be fine.  There are plenty of people around and no one’s going to do anything in broad daylight.  She clutched the small travel purse hanging around her neck containing her passport.  See?  If you need help, you can prove you’re a US citizen.

Not that she’d need to prove her citizenship.  Any minute the blue car would come back around the bend.  Any second even.

She stared down the road, counting seconds.

Seconds became minutes.

Desperate to control the unrelenting apprehension no amount of silent talk would quell, Halli turned back to the lake.  It reminded her of the camera in her hand.  The red light on the front reminded her she was still filming.

She stopped the tape and took a seat on the cool ledge of stone that held the lake water at bay.  Perfect vantage point to keep the loitering man across the street in sight.  A glance over her shoulder located where the swans had landed a good distance from the villa’s dock. 

She frowned and faced the lake.  Strange how that person had burst so suddenly from the villa.

The noon sun sat at a point that she had to squint and shade her eyes to see the structure’s stone walls across the small inlet of water.  Even then, it was too far away for the naked eye.  Flipping open the viewfinder as she lifted the camera, she waited for it to focus, then tried to zoom.  The low battery indicator flashed as she noticed she’d already maxed the zoom.

She studied the picture.  Something was different—one of the windows looked odd.  Her attention snagged on a dark figure in the corner of the window.  Her pulse jerked with the realization a man with binoculars stared straight at her—

Tires squealed and an engine revved loud to her right.  Halli jumped about a foot.  Ben and Rachel!  An uncharacteristic spurt of anger doubled her anxiety as she whirled around.

“I can’t believe you guys left—”

Words disappeared with the heart-stuttering realization that the shiny blue car half pulled onto the cobblestone sidewalk was not her brother and sister.  They couldn’t afford a convertible.  And the man sitting in the driver’s seat most certainly was not her brother.
Plain was the first word that came to mind when Trent Tomlin got a good, close-up look at the girl dressed in baggy black pants and an oversized black tee shirt.  Except for her eyes.  Almost the exact color of his convertible, they blazed with anger—if the shrill tone of her voice were any indication.

Because he couldn’t afford to waste a second, he slipped into character while pushing up his Ray Bans to flash his trade-mark, million dollar grin past the two day’s worth of camouflaging scruff on his jaw.

“Hi.”  Usually that’s all he needed.  One…two…

Astonishment replaced anger.  Oh my God.”


“You’re Shain West.”

“Only in the movies, darlin’.”

That always got ‘em, too, the good-ol’-boy southern drawl.  Didn’t matter he’d been born and raised in northern Oregon.  He had a natural talent for mimicking any accent, and after just a few words, he placed her in mid-west United States.  American tourist.  Perfect.

Her cheeks flushed.  “Of course.  I know that.  Sorry.  It’s just—I’m…ah…I’m…”

Hell, he’d better speed this up.  “Can I give you a lift?”

“W-what?”  She looked around, as if he might be speaking to someone else.

Resisting the urge to check over his shoulder, he kept his gaze trained on her.  “You look lost.  Hop in and I’ll give you a ride.”

Her throat convulsed, and though he wouldn’t have thought it possible, her blush deepened to crimson.  A fleeting smile revealed even white teeth.  “Oh, no.  I mean, um, thank you, but no.”

She lifted a hand to tuck a strand of straight brown hair behind her ear as she looked back and forth along the road.

Trent cast his own quick glance in the rearview mirror, pressure squeezing his body like a starving boa constrictor.  He figured he had about three more minutes.  If they were lucky.  Pushing up to sit on the headrest, he prepared to turn on the superstar charm.

“I’m waiting for my brother and sister,” she said before he could speak.

So that’s who’d driven off as he watched from one street above and behind her.  He lifted a tense shoulder in a careless gesture.  “Quick spin around town, and I’ll bring you right back.  They’ll never know you were gone, Sugar.”

Her eyebrows drew together above those deep blue eyes.  Damn.  He fought his own frown.  Based on previous experience with star-struck women, she should’ve jumped in at the first invitation.  Wasn’t it just his luck, this one had common sense.  Leaving the car running, he swung his legs over the door and rounded the front of the convertible.

She backed away from his approach.  “Look, I appreciate the offer, Shain, but—”

“Trent.”  He forced an easy smile.

“Right.”  Her blush deepened.  “I know.  Trent.  But I—”

“I need you to get in the car.”  As an afterthought, he added, “Please.”


He used her glance down the road as cover for his own.  Still time, yet his control slipped.  “Seriously.  Get in.”

The sharp command widened her eyes.  Suspicion darkened them to navy, and she took another step backward.  Then her shoulders squared while her gaze narrowed with determination.  “No.”

The right taillight on his Alfa Romeo exploded.  Trent ducked reflexively as bits of plastic flew in all directions.  Adrenaline spiked through him, but other than a sharp reactive jerk, the girl just stood there holding her camera.  Trent lunged forward, grabbed her arm and hauled her toward the car.

“Hey—let me go!”  She pulled back with surprising strength.

He picked her up and shoved her head first into the passenger seat, then vaulted over her to slip behind the wheel.  Heartbeat thundering in his ears, he gunned the gas with a sickening grinding of gears before the convertible shot out into traffic amidst screeching tires and blaring horns.  A frantic half-second glance in the rearview mirror confirmed a black vehicle weaving through the cars behind them.

He switched his concentration to the road in front.  If he didn’t lose these guys fast, they were dead.


So there you have a general idea what the book is about and the beginning.  I'm open to suggestions and if I find a title I love, the person who suggested it gets an acknowledgement in the book as well as their choice of free ebook or print.  Yes, this one will be available in print as soon as I'm able to manage it!  :)

The current options under consideration are:

Lost In Italy
Life Unscripted
Italy Unscripted

I will let you know the final decision as soon as...I decide. *grin*  Hopefully soon so I can get my cover art finalized.

Thank you!

Stacey Joy Netzel

PS:  please feel free to share this far and wide on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, ect. with your friends and family and anyone who enjoys reading.  I need all the suggestions I can get. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Share: Jezebel's Wish, by AJ Nuest

Welcome to AJ Nuest, fellow The Wild Rose Press author.  AJ, I love your cover--it's got a horse, how can I not love it, and the book sounds really good, too.  After watching the trailer, you have me intrigued as to what Jezzy's secret is.

Jezebel's Wish, by AJ Nuest

Genre:  Western Comtemporary Romance
Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 298
Word Count 81000
Print ISBN: 1-60154-898-2

Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she's stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.

Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can't she?


Jezzy stopped. “I thought I was having a riding lesson.”

“You are.” He nodded toward the empty paddock. “Go in.”

“Go in?” Jezzy propped a hand on her hip. “You sure you know what you’re doing? Because it was my understanding that an actual horse is needed for a riding lesson.”

“Don’t you think it would be wise at this juncture to leave the understanding up to the professionals?”

Jezzy rolled her eyes. “You’re making this way too easy. Professionals? Please. Don’t get me started.”

“Why not? Getting you started is exactly what I’m here for.”

Jezzy’s jaw dropped. She didn’t quite know how to interpret that remark.

He held out the rope. “Now go in. And take this lead line with you.” Steely blue determination glinted in his eyes. There was no way he was going to give in.

Jezzy snatched the lead line from his hand and stormed through the gate, then turned when he closed it behind her.

He put a foot on the bottom railing and rested against the gate, facing the horizon. “Take the chair to the center of the paddock and sit down.”

“And just exactly how is that supposed to teach me to ride?”

He cocked an eyebrow. “You want out of the deal?”

Jezzy’s fist clenched tight around the lead line. What she wanted was to march back to the fence and smack his face.


AJ Nuest lives in northwest Indiana with her loving husband and two beautiful children. She is the author of two contemporary romance novels.

Visit her on the web at:

Facebook: Tattered Pages

Jezebel’s Wish Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press:

Watch the trailer

AJ's note to Readers:  Thanks so much for taking a quick peek at Jezebel's Wish. Be sure to visit to read the reviews, and if you'd like to pop me an email, always happy to hear from readers!

Thank you for sharing with us today, AJ!  Best of luck with all your books!

Stacey Joy Netzel

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wacky Wednesday: *chirp, chirp, flutter, flutter*

Hello!  *chirp, chirp* *flutter, flutter*

These are now the sounds I hear daily as I write.

Would you like me to explain?

Back in July, after we returned home from our Colorado vacation, my oldest son went out to feed the horses and found a baby sparrow (I think!) that'd fallen out of it's nest.  Now, there was really no way to know which nest he/she belonged to, so my daughter took over and decided she was going to become a 'mama'. 

Baby Petey
She'd tried to rescue a robin earlier in the spring, but unfortunately, it died.  We'd learned after the fact how much the little guys need to eat a day (19 feet of worms!) and that you can substitute with water-soaked cat food. 

The little bird was dubbed Petey, and my daughter took good care of 'him'.  When he first came into the house, he barely had feathers and just a bit of fuzz covering the pink skin on his back.  I warned my daughter he might not make it and she understood (she's almost 10).

Fast forward two weeks (and two trips up north to the lake with Petey where we got a small cage from Grandma) and he'd grown his feathers and seemed ready for the Great Outdoors.  I explained that it wasn't fair to keep a wild bird caged up and we needed to set him free.  It took another couple days to get the kids to finally let him go, and by then he'd learned to eat real bird food, too.  My hubby filmed Petey flying away and my son (8) walking after him calling, "Take care!"

Freedom Day--but Petey came back!
About a half hour later, the kids were outside by the picnic table under the tree and they heard loud, incessant chirping.  Definitely Petey.  All of a sudden, amidst a flutter of wings, he landed on the picnic table by them and proceeded to hang out. 

Petey spent most of the day with them, but flew up into the tree somewhere for the night.  The next morning, though, he flew right back down.  Now we have 4 cats outside, so the kids and I began to worry he might come down some time when they weren't out there.  And that's exactly what happened the next time they went outside and found him sitting on the patio waiting for them. Then our cat Grace tackled him while we were outside and I knew that was it.

"Where's my mama?!"

It took me five minutes to find a big bird cage on Craig's list about 10 miles away from our house (LOVE Craig's List!!) and Petey once more had a home inside.

"Ah, I found her."

Fast forward another week, and we learned Petey's one smart bird.  It took a couple nosedives into the window to realize he can't fly out there.  My daughter opens his cage and he wings from there to the couch.  He snuggles on her leg or back and they watch TV.  He follows them up the stairs and then back down again.  Sometimes he'll even hover over to me and perch on my shoulder, hand or keyboard as I'm writing.  He likes to bite my fingernails and sometimes nibbles a bit hard on my fingers.

"This is comfy, too."

He can bite me all he wants...he's just so darn cute!  Don't you agree?

"Whatcha writing?"

Oh, and a quick tip I learned from my cousin Nikki...If you find a baby bird out of it's nest (and you know which nest it belongs to), you CAN put it back in, just warm it up in your hands first.  The mama birds don't kick it out of the nest again because of human scent...they kick it out because it's cold and they think something is wrong with it, or that it's sick.  Put the little baby back in nice and toasty warm, and hopefully you'll have saved a life!

I hope Petey made you smile today!  Have a good one.  :)

Stacey Joy Netzel

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Share: A Man Like That, by Alison Henderson...and giveaway

Welcome to Alison Henderson, fellow The Wild Rose Press author!  She's sharing an excerpt AND book giveaway, so make sure to comment after reading.

A Man Like That, by Alison Henderson

Genre:  Historical Western
Heat Level: Spicy
BUY A Man Like That

Jessamine Randall, fearless crusader and champion of the downtrodden, is not a woman to be left waiting at the altar.  When her fiancĂ© disappears hours before their wedding, the ever-resourceful Jessy hatches a plan to track him down and bring him back where he belongs.

Morgan Bingham knows he’s no good.  Never has been.  Never will be.  A former outlaw is no fit husband for the only daughter of the town judge, despite her misguided notions.  Besides, after ten long years away from home, it’s time to return to the hills and face his demons.

Ill-prepared, but armed with unshakeable certainty, Jessy follows Morgan to his family’s cabin deep in the Ozark Mountains where she’s sucked into a whirlpool of deep secrets and old hatreds.  While she struggles to bring light and hope into their dark lives, her greatest challenge is Morgan himself.   Can she ever convince him he’s worthy of love?


Jessy took a step forward and slid her arms beneath his jacket and around his waist. “Now aren’t you going to kiss me?”

He grabbed her wrists and threw her hands off him as if she harbored a dread disease.

“Are you sure you don’t want to kiss me?” she persisted. “Aren’t you glad to see me?” Her seductive tone was pure torture.

Morgan scowled and didn’t answer. He had no intention of answering the first question and wasn’t sure about the second. At the moment, it required every ounce of strength and resolve he had to keep from jerking her into his arms and taking everything she offered and more.

He stared down at Jessy’s face in the flickering firelight. Her sparkling eyes beckoned him. Her moist lips parted in invitation. But the same fresh innocence that had always stopped him held him back again.

He could take what he wanted; he knew it. There was no one around to stop him, and Jessy wouldn’t resist. She was crazy enough to think she loved him.

It would be so easy to give in, so easy to forget the past and the future for a few sweet hours in her arms, to forget their differences and lose himself in the generosity of her love. But he couldn’t do it. To take her and leave her would be to steal something more precious than her virginity. He would be stealing the bright fire that formed the essence of her, the fire that had drawn him from the beginning.

As much as he wanted her, he prayed for the strength to resist her.


BUY A Man Like That

Thank you Alison for sharing the excerpt and a book with us today!  It sounds really good, and after visiting your website, so does Harvest of Dreams. (One lucky commenter will win a pdf of A Man Like That.  Winner to be announced by Wednesday.)

Author bio:

Alison Henderson grew up in Kansas City on the edge of the prairie.  One of her favorite memories is of the fringed turquoise cowgirl outfit she received for her fifth Christmas.  She went off to New York to study art history at Vassar College but never lost her admiration for the fortitude of the pioneers who settled the American West.  She began writing when her daughter entered pre-school and was quickly captivated by the creative process.

Although she has traveled the world from Japan to Tunisia, Alison has never strayed far from her Midwestern roots.  She and her husband are empty-nesters living in Minnesota, and their daughter is a graduate student in Chicago.  She invites you to visit her website at for more information and buy links for A Man Like That and the first book in the series, Harvest of Dreams.

Have a great week everyone!  Don't forget to visit on Wednesday to see what's wacky in my world.

Stacey Joy Netzel

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wacky Wednesday: My 10 Favorite Things About Summer

Day lily in flower bed by my garage.
This is a chance to share on a Wednesday!  I'll give you my list of my 10 Favorite Things About Summer, and you can share some of yours (10 if you want!) in the comments.  Here they are in no particular order.

My 10 Favorite Things About Summer

Monarch butterfly the kids 'hatched' (?) last summer.
1.  No snow.  That means I don't have to bundle up and go outside to stoke up the woodburner to keep my usually freezing butt warm.

2.  Flowers and butterflies.  I plant a fair amount and I especially love different colored day lilies. 

3.  Fresh vegetables from the garden--especially tomatoes.  This year I'm trying popcorn and the stalks are over 8 feet tall.

Up North at the lake.
4.  The lake.  Though it's hard to get me in the water if it's not SUPER hot (otherwise I'm dealing with the cold again).

5.  Bonfires on a nice quiet evening and there MUST be marshmallows.  Ever make taffy with marshmallows?  It's messy, but so good.

6.  Sitting on the swing with my mom by the lake, reading a good romance book while my kids swim.

7.  A big loud thunderstorm with lots of lightning.  (As long as it doesn't blow over any of our willow trees.)

"You think I'm not cute?!"
8.  A cool breeze blowing through the window as I snuggle next to my hubby.

9.  Toads. I know, some of you will think I'm strange, but even nearing 40 I still love to play with the cute little critters.  Good thing my kids love them, so I get lots of chances to see them all summer long.

10.  Popsicles on a hot day.  Need I say more?

I'd love to hear about some of your favorite summer things.  Please share.

Stacey Joy Netzel

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Share: Bronze Skies, by Ilona Fridl...and book giveaway

Welcome to my friend and fellow WisRWA member, Ilona Fridl!  She's sharing Bronze Skies with us today, the third book in the Dangerous Times series.  The other two books (which I've read and enjoyed) are Silver Screen Heroes and Golden North.

Bronze Skies, by Ilona Fridl

Book 3 in the Dangerous Times series

Genre:  Historical (1940's)
Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 238
Word Count 65300
rint ISBN: 1-60154-931-8

When her plane-crazy high school sweetheart goes off to join the Army Air Corps, Pam Wright writes him often but is disappointed that he doesn’t reply to every letter. She’s lonely, hurting from his seeming lack of interest, and dances with someone else one Saturday night.

By the time Pearl Harbor is attacked, Lieutenant Tom Shafer has been home on leave, explained how busy he’s been with officer training, and made sure Pam will be waiting for him after the war. He’s also had a fight with the guy who won’t leave her alone after that one dance. But is it safe to leave her in the same town with this obsessed bully? How can Tom fulfill his promises to protect both his country and the love of his life?


Tom slid through the door at Millie’s. Most of the breakfast crowd had cleared out, and he caught sight of the willowy blonde, her back toward him, and recognized the French roll of her hair under the crisp white uniform cap. He glanced at the gray-haired Millie behind the counter and put his index finger to his lips. Millie smiled and nodded.

Tom tiptoed to the big Wurlitzer jukebox by the side of the dance floor and fed it a nickel. Strains of “Serenade in Blue” drifted over the dining area. He watched Pam turn around and her eyes lit up with surprise and happiness. She ran to him, and he caught her in an embrace.

Tommy, you’re home!” She put her hands on either side of his face and looked at him like she couldn’t quite believe her eyes. “You get my letters?”

He put his fingers over hers. “I’ve kept every one. Reading them is almost like having you with me. I’m sorry I haven’t answered all of them, but we’ve been working hard at the airfield.” He gave her a quick kiss on her forehead, and he could feel his body warm. “Can you come to the house tonight for dinner? I’ll check with my folks, but I’m sure it will be all right.”

Oh, yes! My father is picking me up, and I’ll go home to change after work. I can walk over there by six.”

Suddenly he heard, “Well, look who’s here—the flyboy!”

Tom broke from Pam and glared at the intruder. “Vic! What are you doing here?”

A big angry-faced bully, Vic Houston gazed at Pam. “I wanted to talk to her.”

Putting her hands on her hips, she tapped her foot. “What do you want?”

Grinding his back teeth, Vic growled, “I want you to be my girl. I’d show you a better time than a pansy flyboy any day.” The arm he put around her was pushed away as she winced and pulled back.

Tom wadded Vic’s shirt in his fist and leaned toward his face. “Leave her alone!”

Vic’s foul breath stung Tom’s nose. “Who’s going to make me?”

In a second, Millie pushed them apart. “I don’t put up with this in my restaurant. If you don’t want me to call the police, stop now!”

Looking first at Millie, her eyes flashing, then at Pam and Tom, Vic huffed and stomped out the door.

Millie shook her head. “Be careful of him, you two. That’s one unhappy person.” She went back to the counter.

Tom glanced at Pam. “I didn’t know he knew who you were.”

Her mouth formed a tight line. “We were both at a party, and I made the mistake of dancing with him.”

Tom swore under his breath. “I wish I could stay more than a week. I didn’t know you would have a problem like this.” He gently held her shoulders. “You need me here.”

She sighed. “With all the tension between America and Japan, you’re going to be needed to help keep the Japanese out. My father’s sure we’ll get into this war that’s raging around the world. My problem isn’t that important.”

It is to me.” He stirred her hair as he spoke in her ear. “Go to your family or mine if he tries anything.” He gave her a quick kiss. “See you tonight. I’d better go before I get you in trouble with Millie.”

Her eyes, the blue of a robin’s egg, sparkled. “I’ll be there.”

Waving toward Millie, he left the restaurant. Tom thrust his hands into his pockets and resumed whistling on his way to the theater. It was a feeling more than anything else that made him turn around by one of the alleys, just as Vic was about to nab him.

“What do you want, Vic? You run out of school kids to pick on?”


Ilona's note to readers: This is the third book in my Dangerous Times series, but you don't have to read the first two to understand this one. If you enjoy this one, the other books are Silver Screen Heroes and Golden North.

Readers, you can find Ilona at her website:

You can purchase Bronze Skies at:

Don't forget to comment for your chance to win an ebook copy of Ilona's book! (winner announced by Wednesday)

Bio: Ilona Fridl has written all her life. She was born in West Hollywood, California, but have lived most of her life in Wisconsin. She has sold short stories and articles to magazines and newspapers before selling her first novel. Now lives with her husband, Mark.

Thank you again, Ilona, for sharing with us today. Have a great week everyone!  Hope to see you at Wacky Wednesday.

Stacey Joy Netzel