Wednesday, March 22, 2017

EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads Midweek Spotlight w/Giveaway: Wishes at First Light by Joanne Rock

Welcome to EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads
Midweek Spotlight!

Today we are spotlighting Joanne Rock's
Wishes at First Light!

Enter below for a chance at a $10 Amazon GC 
from Joanne Rock!

Joanne Rock's
Heartache, TN series #5
Wishes at First Light!

Starting over, one wish at a time…

Gabriella Chance has devoted her life to helping others overcome traumatic events. Now it’s her turn. Gabby’s come home to Heartache, Tennessee, to finally face her past. She finds solace in an unlikely ally, her high school crush, Clayton Travers. But while Clay wants to be Gabby’s refuge, he’s returned to Heartache to confront his own demons. With so many painful secrets in their past, can they hope to wish for a happy future…together?


Q & A with Joanne Rock about Wishes at First Light!


This book is the fifth story in my Heartache, TN series for Harlequin Superromance. The books stand alone, but I’ve enjoyed continuing the stories of characters who live in this fictional small town south of Nashville. I began the series with Promises Under the Peach Tree, when I introduced Mack Finley and realized he had a large, interesting family who lived in Heartache. Each book has introduced a different character who lives there. In Wishes at First Light, we also get some closure on a criminal that’s been stalking girls in Heartache.

What initially inspired you to write WISHES AT FIRST LIGHT?

I introduced the heroine of Wishes, Gabriella Chance, in book 3, Dances Under the Harvest Moon, and knew I had to write her story! She has a long-time crush on the hero from book 4, Whispers Under a Southern Sky and I knew I had to find the right hero for her. I’m so happy she finds love in Wishes at First Light.

Tell us little about the characters in WISHES AT FIRST LIGHT.

Gabriella Chance was attacked in the woods near her home as a teen when she sneaked out to meet –she thought—a boy she had a crush on. She ran away from home afterward, unable to face the aftermath of the ordeal. Years later, she returns. Stronger and ready to testify against the man who hurt her. She never expected to be reunited with her long ago crush, Clayton Travers. 

Clay was a foster teen at the time he met Gabriella and he’s returned to Heartache to meet a half-sister he never knew about, Mia. I wrote a full story for Mia, as well. The Heartache books are unique in that each story contains a full subplot from a teen’s point of view. We get to know a lot about the teens in this town!

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

I found it tough to reach back into some of my own experiences with sexual harassment to write about what Gabriella and Mia have each gone through. As women, we become experts in deflecting unwanted male attention at an early age, attempting to downplay it and minimize it so that we’re not perceived as “making a big deal about nothing.” This attitude teaches girls to ignore the signs of deeper problems and we need to be aware of it. It’s not okay for men to taunt us, touch us inappropriately, or berate us for spurning unwanted advances. Every woman has had brushes with danger when that kind of encounter got out of hand, and it’s scary to think about the consequences of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with a man who won’t take no for an answer.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 

I always like writing the romantic endings. I like the optimism of those moments, and in this case, we get to see the whole town of Heartache in an optimistic place. After what the town has endured in the last few books, it was awesome to give them a reason to celebrate and to return to one of my favorite settings—the town square—where so much has happened for my Heartache characters. 

What are your future project(s)?

I’m looking forward to the start of a new series called The McNeill Magnates for Harlequin Desire. The first book, The Magnate’s Mail-Order Bride, releases April 4th, and kicks off a trilogy. Then, next winter, I’m adding three more titles to The McNeills, so there will be lots to learn about this new family full of secrets and scandals!

Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers about this book/series?

I’d love to share the list of books in this series in case anyone wants to hunt down more stories!

Promises Under the Peach Tree

Mack & Nina

Nights Under the Tennessee Stars

Erin & Remy

Dances Under the Harvest Moon

Zach & Heather
Whispers Under a Southern Sky

Sam & Amy

Wishes at First Light

Clay & Gabriella

Thank you so much for having me!

Now an exciting excerpt from Wishes at First Light!

… Maybe she’d find healing here during this trial after all. If she wasn’t called to take the stand, she would benefit from being here when her attacker was convicted. And she’d promised herself she would speak to Clayton privately in the hope that confiding in him about the role he’d unknowingly played in that night would ease some of her old phobias about men and sex. It had taken her a long time to lose her virginity after that night, and her counselor had explained that her brain had associated sensual feelings with pain. She’d been too young to have positive sensual feelings prior to that awful night.
Although she’d successfully had sex—nice, normal, not painful sex even if it wasn’t anything to write home about—she still dealt with a strange and sickening mental cross-wiring of the sensual and the terrifying. If clearing the air with Clayton had any chance of helping her to heal fully, it was worth the embarrassment of wading through those old chats to untwine his real messages from the ones her stalker had sent.
Making quick work of her goodbyes, she edged through the salon door and out into the empty street. She’d parked a few doors down and by now, the only cars out here belonged to the women who’d attended the salon night. So it wasn’t like she worried about walking that short distance alone in the dark.
There were streetlights and she’d gotten over those old fears about strange men launching themselves at her from dark corners just beyond her peripheral vision. Truly, she had. It’s just that she was back in Tennessee. And she’d been talking about Jeremy Covington. And Clayton.
Gulping in deep swallows of night air, she hoped some yoga breathing would settle her pulse rate. Maybe she should see if Clayton was still awake. It would be easy enough to spot his bike in front of one of the motel cabins.
She reached for her car door, pausing long enough to look up at the stars overhead in the cold night. A streak of light flashed through the sky almost as soon as she tipped her head back. A shooting star.
She made a wish on it without thought. Wishing for the first thing that came to mind.
Opening her eyes, she had to laugh. She could have wished for healing herself. Or a good trial outcome. Peace of mind for all the great women she’d visited with tonight.
Instead, she’d wished for a single, uncomplicated kiss from Clayton Travers.
--Wishes at First Light, 2017

Author Bio:

Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn't like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly--love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she's not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.

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Joanne Rock Spotlight Giveaway

Book Blast w/Giveaway: Second Chance Marquess by Jessica Jefferson

Second Chance Marquess
by Jessica Jefferson
GENRE: Historical Romance


Jessica will be awarding a $25 and a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please visit to follow the tour, remember the more you comment better your chances on winning.



When Wilhemina Turner’s younger sister runs off with a young Lothario, she has no choice but to turn to the notorious rake who broke his promise and her heart, for assistance. George Bartlett, the Marquess of Chesterton, hasn’t forgotten the woman who hurt him so many years ago, but can’t deny her request, knowing that his brother’s reputation, and fortune, is at risk. A series of misfortunes leave the straight-laced widow and committed bachelor stranded, sharing both close quarters and old secrets. But when morning comes, will this unlikely pair find a second chance at love?

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“Fine.” He looked away first, turning his attention back to the items he’d collected upon his desk. “If you want to join me, then you may.”

She squared her shoulders and stood a bit straighter having won their duel of wills. “Good.”

Without another word or a single glance, Chesterton left the room.

Not one to be left behind, Wilhelmina hurried after him, through the study and up the stairs.

“Where are we going?” she asked once they’d reached the top, breathless from the burst of activity.

He strode down the corridor, seemingly unaffected by the brisk climb. “To my bedroom.”

She immediately stopped. “Your bedroom? Why ever would we go in there?”

Chesterton turned back to her, one sardonic eyebrow arched high. “To change,” he answered. “You didn’t expect me to head out in this, did you?” He turned and continued toward the room, looking back at her before entering. “Are you coming?” he asked, voice smooth as warm chocolate.

This wasn’t the first time she’d been lured into George’s bedroom. He’d been an earl, the courtesy title bestowed upon him at birth, but more than that, he’d been a gentleman. Apparently, he’d lost that when he’d inherited the Marquisate. His bedroom was no longer an inviting sanctuary, and this invitation was not one of love as it had once been, but a lewd proposition, tenderness replaced by cruelty, as he watched expectantly for her reaction.

“I don’t think that’ll be necessary,” she stuttered, trying in vain to remain calm and collected as he started to untie the sash about his waist holding his robe closed. He let it fall to the ground and the robe opened, revealing his chest and torso in all its naked glory.

And it was indeed glorious.

She quickly averted her glance, whipping her head around and staring attentively at the painting on the wall.

“Is something the matter, Mrs. Turner?”

She was not about to play this game. She didn’t have the time, and he didn’t deserve the enjoyment it would undoubtedly bring him to see her suffer so. And most importantly, she couldn’t play because she knew good and well that she had no chance of winning.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in Almost-Chicago with her husband, two young daughters, French bulldog Lulu, and English bulldog Pete. When she's not busy trying to find middle-ground between being a modern career woman and Suzy-Homemaker, she loves to watch "Real Housewives of [insert city here]" and performing unnecessary improvements to her home and property.

Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist where she invites her readers to fall in love with romance again.

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Blurb Blitz w/Giveaway: A Bend In The Willow by Susan Clayton-Goldner

A Bend In The Willow
by Susan Clayton-Goldner
GENRE: Women's Fiction


Susan Clayton-Goldner will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please visit to follow the tour, remember the more you comment better your chances on winning.



Willowood, Kentucky 1965 - Robin Lee Carter sets a fire that kills her rapist, then disappears. She reinvents herself and is living a respectable life as Catherine Henry, married to a medical school dean in Tucson, Arizona. In 1985, when their 5-year-old son, Michael, is diagnosed with a chemotherapy-resistant leukemia, Catherine must return to Willowood, face her family and the 19-year-old son, a product of her rape, she gave up for adoption. She knows her return will lead to a murder charge, but Michael needs a bone marrow transplant. Will she find forgiveness, and is she willing to lose everything, including her life, to save her dying son?

on sale for $0.99 on March 14th and will be on sale for $2.99 (regular price is $4.99) for the remainder of the tour.
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Excerpt One:

Tucson, Arizona

Catherine Henry told her husband, Ben, many stories about her past, and to her ever-deepening shame, not one of them was true. Though she longed to tell him who she really was, where she’d come from and what she’d done to escape, with each passing year the truth grew more difficult to tell. And that made her a liar, something she’d never intended to become.

Anxious to finish their son’s party preparations, she bent over the kitchen counter, putting the final touches on a sheet cake of a glitzy cowboy on a rearing horse. To the beat of Tina Turner belting out What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Catherine set tiny balls of silver candy in the frosting bridle and reins, the pointed tips of chocolate spurs on tapered boot heels. When the garage door rumbled open, she readjusted the volume, then checked her progress against the sketch she’d drawn on a piece of drafting paper.

Ben breezed in, his cowboy boots clicking against the Saltillo tile floor. He wore a gray three-piece pinstriped suit with a cream-colored Stetson that made him look as distinguished as a Texas senator.

Pumpkin, their twelve-year-old cat the color of orange marmalade, ran into the kitchen and circled Ben’s legs. He reached down to rub the cat’s ears, then pulled a treat from his pocket and tossed it onto the floor. Pumpkin chased after the dime-sized nugget, batting it around with his front paws for a few seconds before devouring it.

Ben hung his hat on one of the horseshoe hooks beside the door. He eyed the cake, then dropped his briefcase on the barstool. “Does our son have any idea how awesome his mother is?” Ben stood behind her, parted her hair and kissed the nape of her neck. “And while you designed this masterpiece, guess what I got invited to do.”

She turned and smiled. “Texas Two Step at the governor’s mansion?”

He laughed, looking her straight in the eyes like he always did when they talked. “Give a presentation on admissions and diversity to the American Association of Medical Colleges. It will get my name out there, put me in a better position to become a dean.”

She raised her eyebrows, impressed. “You go, cowboy. But you do know your butt looks much sexier in jeans. Are wives invited?”

“Absolutely. Next spring. Cherry blossoms on Pennsylvania Avenue.” He pulled her against him. The top of her head fit perfectly under his chin. She nuzzled her face in his shoulder and breathed in the familiar scent of Irish Spring soap. That a man like Ben could love her never ceased to fill her with amazement and a silent anxiety he might discover who she really was and disappear.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona's Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the National Writers' Association Novel Award twice for unpublished novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Animals as Teachers and Healers, published by Ballantine Books, Our Mothers/Ourselves, by the Greenwood Publishing Group, The Hawaii Pacific Review-Best of a Decade, and New Millennium Writings. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2014 by Wellstone Press. Prior to writing full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. 

Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, Andreas, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count. 

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