Thursday, October 27, 2016

Writing Texas - RD Berg

Today, I have RD Berg on the blog.  She talks briefly about fictional towns in Texas and how they are inspired by real cities.

In my eyes and heart there is nothing better than the great state of Texas; from the abundance of open land and rolling hills, to the eccentric vibe of Austin, our special dialect and inherit love of sweet tea. So naturally when I began my writing journey it was only fitting to choose Texas as my location. Most of the cities I write about are made up, call that privilege of delivering fiction, but even my fictitious towns possess the look and feel of Texas cities I have visited.  My hometown of Denton, TX or Lil D as we call it had a major influence on my book 5 Stages of Riley Winters. Our quaint downtown area offers great eats, good music and awesome festivals throughout the year. So when my character developed into an upcoming musician it was only natural to plant him in a town such as Denton, TX.  Inspiration around our great state is plentiful and I know that many of my next novels will reflect this great inspiration!

Check out Strong Hate, Ashley Christin and I’s newest co-written Rom-Com based out of the fictional town, Lansing, TX!
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Monday, October 24, 2016

#Historical Chapter Five - Loving the Enemy

It started with Jamie scratching his head, and in typical little boy fashion, being reluctant to bathe.  When Mama insisted everyone take a bath in the kitchen, dragging in the washtub and going through the ritual of oldest to youngest, with Jamie being last, he finally relented after Emily promised to heat him up some fresh water to add into the tub for his bath. 

Rachel scrubbed him well, removing all the lice from his hair with the lye soap and a comb.  She’d washed bedclothes earlier in the day, and after Jamie’s skin was red from the thick bristles of the scrub brush, she allowed him to get out.

Her precautions were too late though.  Four days later, he had a fever and a rash.  A week later, he was hallucinating.  And twelve days after the first fever, Jamie was dead.

He shouldn’t have died.  He was a healthy boy, raised in the sunshine, corn-fed, and robust.  He wasn’t a war-riddled soldier, weakened by fatigue and starvation.  Jamie shouldn’t have gotten sick, like they had.  But they’d brought the disease with them, and as diseases go, nobody knew exactly who would be struck next.  Unfortunately, it seemed to favor the young.

Emily was in a fog as she stood next to her mother by the grave, tiny in comparison to the three soldiers’ graves already there.  Grief blurred her vision, as she watched all the freshly turned earth in the meadow behind the house.  So much death.  She hugged Irene tight to her side, the little girl crying tears she didn’t understand.  Her playmate and tormenting little brother was gone.  Emily didn’t know if she was old enough to understand the ramifications of death, or if after today, she would be over the loss.  She hoped the latter, if only for her sister’s peace of mind.  She knew she wouldn’t get over it so easily.

A hand fell at her shoulder—Sergeant Major Breck—but she didn’t acknowledge his presence.  She could only stare at the tiny hole in the ground, and watch the men as they lowered the small hand-made casket into it, sniffling back her tears.  He had brought this here.  He had brought all these sick soldiers.  Emily gripped her hands into tight fists at her side, using Irene to hold herself to keep from pounding her fists into Breck’s shiny uniform.

She hated him.  Hated these men.  It was fine when they were sick and pathetic and she was helping them.  But they’d spread their sickness.  Her little brother was dead.  That didn’t even include the men of the farm, and their possible deaths at the hands of these men or men just like them.  Emily hated everything about them right now, and his hand still on her shoulder was like a cold vise.

Emily knew these men had seen death—too much death at their own hands.  And they knew that if they hadn’t stopped at the Evans farm, Jamie would still be running through the corn, fishing at the creek, and tossing rocks into the road.  They knew they had killed him.

After dropping a small bouquet of baby blue wildflowers into the grave, Rachel turned and wrapped her arms around her younger daughters and led them away.  She was stoic, dry-eyed, even though grief was now permanently etched around her mouth, aging her considerably.

Emily stayed behind, unable to leave her baby brother alone in the ground.

“Can I do anything for you?”  Breck was sticking around too, and his company wasn’t welcome.  Emily just wanted to be alone, to mourn her brother while she could.  She knew soon enough, there would be more chores to do, and life would go on, but for now, she just wanted this final time with her brother.

She shook her head, trying to smile.  “No, thank you.  I’m fine.  You all have done enough.”  You all brought the disease that killed my baby brother.  “More than enough.”  She turned her back on him before he spoke again, dismissing him.

“I’d like to do something to help, Miss Emily.”  His smile didn’t reach his eyes, and it was the final straw for Emily.  Spinning around, she held him with a glare.

“I’m trying to be polite, Mr. Breck.”  She didn’t use his rank on purpose, hoping to let him see exactly what she thought of him.  “But you have used us since you got here, and the fact you are trying to use our grief to get even closer is despicable.”  She clutched her skirts to keep from pummeling him with her fists, blinking back tears as she spoke.  “You must know how much we hate you being here.”

Breck blinked, but dropped his smile, for which Emily was grateful.  The pretense made her so tired.
“I liked the boy.  He was a great help and pleasant company to me.”

“The boy was my baby brother, and you used him to shine your boots.  You’re no better than the rumors say.  You killed him, you son of a bitch!”  She flung her hands to her mouth at her language, having shocked herself, but Breck only chuckled at her, patronizing.  It made her so angry, she very nearly lost herself. 

“As you wish, Miss Emily.  But we’re here if you change your mind.”  His words, like a sneaky promise, slithered up her spine.

Emily let out a helpless huff as the Sargent spun on his heal and retreated, leaving her in her grief.
One man stood back from the rest, watching the proceedings, as alert as a Mountain Lion, stalking prey.  As Emily turned her back on Breck’s retreating figure, she saw Isaack leaning against a tree in the distance.  His face held a heart-wrenching sadness to it, but it was as if he couldn’t not watch.  He seemed to be forcing himself to attend the boy’s funeral.  He held himself stiffly, a twist to his torso as his body followed Breck’s departure, even though he himself stood resolute in the same place.
Emily payed him no mind.  She turned back to the grave of her brother. 

She allowed silent tears to fall and the memories to come crashing in as she sank to the ground.  Emily indulged in every single one:  the time Jaimie had stepped in a hornets’ nest and come running to her, crying and covered in welts, when he’d caught his first fish at four years old, and tried to keep it under his bed, his penchant for finding and eating berries until his belly ached.  Her shoulders shook as her heart broke at never seeing his smile again, hearing his laughter.

She succumbed to the tears, as they ran down her cheeks, but eventually, she knew she needed to get back to the house.  Mama was entertaining the preacher, who had travelled out from town, and may need help.  She had duties she didn’t need to shirk.

A presence followed her back to the house, twigs crackling behind her, echoing her footsteps through the woods.  Emily turned, and saw Isaack freeze in his tracks, about twenty paces behind her.  He’d stayed behind and seen the misery she’d thought was private.  But he made no move to comfort her, for which she was grateful.  He only watched her, as if she were a frightened rabbit who might bolt at any moment.

The familiar flutter of desire floated around inside Emily, but it couldn’t poke through the heavy grief filling her.  Not even thoughts of Jakob could do it.  She found herself shrugging at Isaack’s anxious eyes, and turning away from him to go home.

She needed some familiarity around her, but nothing seemed familiar knowing Jaimie wasn’t there anymore.  The house looked empty, even with the Preacher’s buggy out front.  Letting herself inside, Emily found Irene and Louise in the living room, playing quietly with Irene’s doll.  Emily smiled at the two girls.  Louise hated to play with the doll, but did it today, to soothe her sister.  Watching the two, she made a vow to be strong for her sisters. 

The preacher’s voice came from the kitchen, solemn and self-important.

“… not very appropriate.  People are talking.  I can preach about Christian duty and helping the downtrodden as much as I can, but the truth is, these men have killed the sons and husbands of the town.  They’re not likely to forget.  Or forgive.”

Emily stood just outside the doorway, knowing it was wrong to eavesdrop like this, but unable to show herself.

“I understand your concern, and I appreciate it, Preacher.  But these men needed help, and so did we.  It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.” 

It was times like this, when Emily remembered her mama was educated in the north, way beyond what most of the people in town were.  She’d even spent a little time with Emily and the other children, teaching them to read and write from some of her personal books she’d brought along from Boston.  Granted, she hadn’t had time for much, but at times like this, when people tried to get her to do something she didn’t like, she’d pull out her fancy words, like mutually beneficial and it usually put people in their place.

She imagined her mother sitting across from the Preacher, her shoulders ram-rod straight, her mouth downturned.  Anger at Breck resurfaced, only it was redirected at the Preacher.  She embraced the useless emotion, instead of wallowing in her grief.  How dare he use this moment to lecture her mother about propriety?

“I’m only thinking of Miss Emily.  Surely having all these… young men around isn’t healthy for her.”
Emily’s ears perked up. Where they talking about her in town?  Would something get back to Jakob when he came home?

“Emily is perfectly safe, Preacher.  She’s a smart girl who isn’t likely to get into trouble with these boys.  That’s all they are, and you’d do just fine to remember that.”  Rachel’s quiet voice was deceptive.  Emily knew the Preacher was making her mad, but she would never lose her temper.  Not like Emily was about to.  Tiptoeing back to the front door, she opened and shut it loudly, announcing her arrival.

“Do you want me to get supper on the table for Preacher, Mama?”  She strode into the room, hiding her anger by busying them at the stove.  The very idea that these sick men, who had all been so grateful for their help, would take advantage, and she’d be stupid enough to fall for it, was riling.

“No, thank you.  Your mama just gave me some butter milk.”  Preacher smacked his lips together, making a satisfied noise between his teeth.  “I’ll be on my way.”  Taking Rachel’s hands in his, he offered, “I’m so sorry, Rachel.  Please let me know if I could be of some assistance to you.”  He repeated the gesture to Emily, giving a small squeeze, and left.

Thank goodness.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Writing Texas - Tigris Eden

Writing Texas - Tigris Eden

I wanted to say a huge thank you to Anne Conley for giving me a spot on her blog today. I hope everyone has enjoyed their week thus far. I was asked to post about things specific to Texas. Being that I reside in Texas, and my newest release, Affinity is based in Dallas Texas. I figured this was the perfect opportunity for me to wax poetic about the great state of Texas.  

About me: I write Dark Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance, Dystopian, and Sci-Fi. Most all of it is romance, with erotic overtones. My place is where romance and action collide. I love to read, and I devour books when I can. I love binge watching Netflix or Hulu when I’m not otherwise, writing, reading, or spending time with the family. I’m kind of a dork, and I think it’s the best part of my personality. And as always, I’m forever searching for a book buddy to hang with me during the end of times. But if the end comes due to the Zombie Apocalypse, all I ask is that you have a skill. This way we can form a group and be kick ass! Otherwise, you’re a liability and I may have to use you as bait. SorryNotSorry! LOL Joking, I’m joking…. Maybe. *winks*

I will start by introducing you to my characters, Special Agent, Jada Alexander, and her hero, Nicklaus Aegir. Both are transplants, like me, and are new or not so new to the great city of Dallas. Jada works for the ATF in their S.E.E.K program with her fur baby Dali. And Klaus is a mechanic at Dallas Fire and Rescue’s station 58.

Here are some fun facts about Dallas… 

1 1. Dallas has the largest arts district in the Nation. It’s made up of 19 city blocks and nearly 70 acres.
2 2. The first margarita machine was invented in Dallas. (DRINKS ON ME!) Actually inspired by the Slurpee machine at 7-Eleven.
3 3. German chocolate Cake isn’t from Germany and owes its fame to Dallas it has no German ancestry and actually was named after a dude named Sam German who created a type of dark backing chocolate for a company.
4 4. The microchip was invented in Dallas, by an employee of Texas Instruments. (remember those calculators!)

So Jada and Nicklaus live and work in a pretty interesting area! I however don’t live in Dallas, but I am in Texas. It’s my home now. When asked to be part of Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire and Rescue Kindle world, I was excited! Like OMG, she asked me! ME! (SQUEELS) Jada has been a character in my mind for a long time, and I was so happy I could finally find a story to drop her in! If you like quirky females and alpha males, then this is the book for you!  

You can buy Affinity Here:

You can also check out the rest of the fabulous authors who wrote in Paige Tyler’s Kindle World!

Thank you again to Anne for having me on the blog today! Happy Reading!

@Tigris_Eden (Twitter)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

#NewRelease The latest Pierce Securities - Murmur, the best #FighterRomance you will read this week

Murmur, Book Five in my Pierce Securities series is LIVE!!!  And for a limited time only, it's .99!  Scroll down for all the details!

Valerie Dunaway is a former socialite who has hidden from the public eye for years due to a horrific attack that left her scarred—physically and emotionally. When a strange masked man makes himself at home with her, she’s unable to run. She calls the cops, but the agoraphobic won’t go into protective custody, so Detective Hollerman calls the only people he trusts: Pierce Securities.

Quinten Pierce is a Renaissance man—artist, lawyer, fighter—but his latest assignment has him losing his ever-present control. He’s got one fight left in his career, and although he can’t wait for it to be over, his opponent seems to have ties to Valerie, thus forcing him to hold on until he finds out exactly who he’s working with. 

With the help of the Pierce team, the scarred princess and the gentle giant must silence the murmurs of the past that threaten their future.

Want an exclusive excerpt?  This one isn't anywhere else!

“We need to do a sweep.”

“What happened?”

“I fought tonight, and my opponent knew her. He knew all of us. He wanted to make sure and tell me.”

“You didn’t get a chance to talk to him? Did you at least kick his ass?”

Quinten didn’t deign to answer that one. Of course he’d kicked his ass. Instead, using hand signals, they split up and searched the house. Quinten took the east wing while Andrew and Ryan took the rest of the house.

“Ms. Dunaway, I’m sorry, but I need to do a sweep of your quarters.” They’d been friendly the last few days, but he tamped that all down with professionalism. This needed to be done right. The danger was too palpable. The dark side of his personal life was bleeding into his professional life, and he couldn’t let it endanger Valerie any more than it was already.

The click sounded at the door almost immediately, and Quinten forcibly slowed his breathing and counted to ten before he opened the door, gun drawn, pointed down.

He let himself in and immediately moved to the side of the doorway, into a shadow. He stilled his breathing, which brought down his heartrate as he absorbed his surroundings.

“Valerie?” he whispered.

Her voice came from the shadow directly across from him. “I’m here.”

“Stay behind me.”

Her dizzying scent was everywhere.

As Quinten moved from room to room, checking behind doors and furniture, inside closets, he heard the soft padding of her footsteps right behind him. When she reached for a tiny handful of his shirt, he mentally cursed himself for scaring her. It couldn’t be avoided, and he was glad he could offer her a tether to reality through his shirt. He needed to make sure she was safe. When he got to her sunroom, he looked out the windows onto the water, where the moon reflected. It was a full moon tonight, and the yard leading down to the water was all lit up.

He strained his eyes but saw nothing.

His shoulders relaxed with a sigh, and he put his gun back in the waistband of his shorts.

“You’re clear. I’ll go check the rest of the house with the others,” he said softly, hoping to sound encouraging.

“I’m scared,” a whisper at his back said. A whisper that melted his insides, almost as much as the hand still clutching his t-shirt did.

Quinten turned, and Valerie released him, standing with stiff shoulders. Tall, five foot ten or so, she had long, blonde hair that was wild around her shoulders. She wore a plain, flesh-colored mask over her face.

“Embrace the fear,” he said softly. “It keeps you more alert. Feel your accelerated heartbeat?” He could see the pulse in her neck pounding and her breasts heaving under the peignoir set she wore. 
“Your breathing is different?” She nodded at him, eyes wide behind her mask. “That’s your body on high alert, trying to dissect each new sensation. It’s a protective thing. Use it to your advantage.”

She tensed, and Quinten held his breath in his throat while he watched her carefully. She was like one of those birds she kept, dainty and delicate, ready to fly off at the slightest movement from him. Only there was no flying from the cage they were trapped in. Just like Valerie. So slowly he almost couldn’t see her movements, Valerie reached out an elegant hand and rested it on his chest.

“You’re hurt,” she whispered, her breath hitching.

He didn’t move. Allowing her the touch, as if she were drawing strength from him, he breathed deep and let his steady heartbeat calm her.

Her fingers didn’t do anything; she only palmed his pectoral muscle. But her breaths matched his, and soon enough she was calm. But he was electrified. On fire. Her touch seared him.

“It’s from the fight.”

“Did you win?”


Now available everywhere!

The first chapter is free on Wattpad, if you'd like to see it before you buy:

Check out my PINTEREST Board for Murmur HERE!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Writing Texas - Texas: De-Mythed

Texas: De-Mythed

I have a gazillion friends, family members, and maybe an ex or two that live in Texas, and none
of these keep me from going from time to time. I love Texas, from Dallas to South Padre, from
Austin to Galveston, and sometimes, Texas loves me. But, as I’ve lived all over the US and have
friends from all over the world, I’ve discovered that to many, “Texas” represents several specific

As a non-Texan, but lover of most things Texan, I thought it would be fun to dispel the myths, from an outsiders point of view.

Everyone wears a cowboy hat and boots. = Well, that’s sort of true. But they are expensive hats and designer boots.

Everyone carries a gun. = That’s close enough to assume that it’s true, and visitors should be on their best behavior.

Everyone is rich from the oil business. = Ha. They wish.

Everyone speaks with a slow drawl and says “y’all” a lot. = First of all, 1 in 3 people in Texas
speak Spanish, and 1 in 12 speak ONLY Spanish, so the idea that there is a distinct drawl is
obviously incorrect. Slow, no, in fact, most I’ve encountered speak so fast that their “y’all”
comes out more like a “ya."

DFW is the worst airport in the US. = Not even close. This is only said by people who have never visited Atlanta or Newark.

“Everything’s bigger in Texas” = Didn’t I say I have an ex or two living there? Obviously, this isn’t true.

Texas culture is (fill in the blank) - - Texas is a huge state and I would venture to say, depending
on what part you are visiting, there are at least five distinct “Texases”. The constant activity in
the cities of Dallas and Houston are complete contrasts to the laid back lifestyle in South Padre
Island. El Paso’s proximity to Mexico gives it a distinct culture, as does the college life in
Austin. So unless the fill in the blank above is diverse, it's probably an inaccurate statement.

Kelly Stone Gamble is the author of They Call Me Crazy and Call Me Daddy. She is a member
of the faculty at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and moves between her homes in
Henderson, Nevada and Idabel, Oklahoma allowing her to enjoy the best of both worlds.