Dr. Willow Rider has only ever wanted two things, to become a doctor and to have a home.
Willow should have fought harder, now it was too late. Her sons didn’t need a mother and her husband, well, her husband would be better off with some small-town girl who liked living on a farm. She should let him go. The thought ripped her heart out. Could she let John go?
When John proposes they start dating, Willow had planned to say no. She’d never been able to tell him no, that’s how they ended up with the boys. Even after nearly thirty years, John Harrell was still the sexiest man she’d ever met and the only one she wanted in her bed. But their marriage was more than just how good they were in bed, and that was so good, no, they needed to work on the real problems. So instead of saying no, Willow challenged him. John couldn’t resist a dare or a bet. She’d not meant to put divorce as a condition of the bet. She didn’t want a divorce, did she? But she couldn’t give in and let John win the bet. They needed to talk…but can she lose the bet and win his heart.
Willow wants to repair the relationships with her husband and sons. When someone from her past threatens her family, she doesn’t have time to waste.
Dr. Willow Rider may not be a good mother or wife, she is an awesome psychiatrist. It is time she takes her own advice. She must face the ghosts of her past to make way for the future. Will she mend or family or move on without them?
Rider Harrell has no intention of coming out just yet. He likes things just the way they are. He’s well thought of in the community, on his job and he loves being a volunteer firefighter. When his cousin dies, he becomes the target of his former aunt’s revenge. It’s not enough that she tells the world he’s gay but she makes everyone believe it was his fault Bobby died. When the town of Leeward and the volunteer fire department is targeted, everyone blames Rider. It soon becomes evident that the whole Harrell family is in jeopardy.
Every time I think I have learned what it means to be an indie author I discover there is something else I didn’t know, didn’t do correctly or forgot. Of course it doesn’t help that I’m often publishing in the middle of the night because I have to go to work at my bill-paying-job the next day, or I have this amount of time to write or learn how to do something, let’s write. Too often I feel there are only a few hours in the day I can devote to being an author and I have to divide them into writing, editing, marketing, publishing, etc.
Being an indie author is much like any other small business owner. As the owner everything falls to you and until you make money you can’t afford to hire others to take up some of the slack. So, you juggle all of the jobs that have to be done and too often you find out the hard way what you don’t know. For me, it’s marketing. I don’t want to go around shouting buy my book, buy my book! But please, buy my book!
But how else do you market if you don’t shout out here’s the book buy it? I don’t know. I just want to write. I take classes both online and in person. I belong to several writers’ groups, and I study what I see others doing. But while money is a problem, it is also the limit of time. How best to spend my time as well as my dollars?
In writing this new book, Willow’s Secrets many of you will be surprised that it is Book One of The Harrell Family Chronicles. This is because of one of those things I didn’t know. When I finished The Leeward Files series with Book Five Red Steel, I thought it could also serve as my Book One for The Harrell Family Chronicles, B-U-T it doesn’t show up that way and if I want new readers who may start at the new series, I need a new number one that would begin the series in such a way as to let readers know enough of what happened before but not bog them down. If they are interested enough they might want to go back and read the first series but if not, they could just wander through the new one. UGH! The things I do to myself.
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I’m basically a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants, heck, I live by the seat of my pants. With six sons and my husband, no matter how many plans I make, I often have to adjust them. It was difficult at first and then it just became my normal.
About The Harrell Family Chronicles new book, Willow’s Retreat, I didn’t want to interfere with the stories that were already published but felt I needed an origin story. I looked to the older adults to give me what I needed to write book one. Willow’s retreat combines the loves and marriages of the three Harrell brothers who inherited the farm from their father: John, Charlie and Robert, told from the points of view of John, his wife Willow and their son, Rider.
The farmer and the psychiatrist. Willow and John should have never met, much less fallen in love, but they did. Thirty years later their relationship is in limbo. When her nephew dies in a tragic fire, Dr. Willow Rider knows she has to repair her relationship with her husband and sons before it’s too late. She is a terrible mother and an awful wife but she’s an awesome therapist. Can she take her own advice and save her family?
Saint John, the oldest of the Harrell brothers has sacrificed everything to ensure his family’s happiness. Isn’t it time he grabs his own happiness? He is willing to do anything for a second chance with Willow, even take her crazy bet. But as he makes the same stupid mistakes, he pushes her farther away.
When a motorcycle club believes the only thing keeping them from gaining control of the local sex trafficking cartel is the Harrell family, they are their town come under attack.
Willow and John’s second chance at happiness may go up in flames as they find themselves at war with the Steel Marauders.
Cover Reveal Sunday, August 1st, 2021
Book Launch Tuesday, August 24th, 2021
Book Blog Tour Tuesday, August 24th – Thursday, August 26th, 2021
If you would like to be a part of the Blog Tour you can sign up here. (Just click on the link)
Roxanne Harrell is the youngest of the Harrell family sisters. She is spoiled, self-centered and a bit of a screw-up, at least that’s the way her family sees her. When Roxy meets the niece she didn’t even know she had while working on a cruise ship, she is determined to do whatever it takes to keep her safe, even if it means betraying her family. Jorge Claudio is thankful to be exonerated of murder charges. He agrees to chase his lawyer, Remington Harrell’s sister to Savannah to keep her from causing more trouble when they learn Remy’s ex is trying to take over the leaderless Bryant Family crime syndicate. There is only one problem, whenever Jorge is around Roxanne, he forgets about everything except his need to be inside her.
Reading eBooks, especially on my phone, has become difficult, I think it is time to admit I may need to see an eye doctor, but I couldn’t resist getting a copy of this free eBook, the first in Nancee’s Pine Bluff series. After meeting Nancee Cain through one of the many fabulous writers’ group on Facebook, and being invited to host her Cain Raisers Page, I interviewed Nancee for my Creekside Café and became interested in her work. Though I may never get the chance to meet Nancee in person, I feel a kinship with her, and since reading The Resurrection of Dylan McAthie, I feel an even stronger connection. A good author makes you forget you are reading a book. When the story is really good, and the author truly talented, reading becomes an experience and find yourself amidst the story. That’s how I felt while reading The Resurrection of Dylan McAthie. I fell in love with the characters wanting to either drag Dylan off to bed, beat the crap out of him or feed him cookies and milk. While Jennifer could sometimes be annoying, so was I at nineteen. The Resurrection of Dylan McAthie is my first taste of Nancee’s work, and it was delicious. I am looking forward to devouring more of The Pine Bluff books. This opposite attracts, forbidden love romance is one of the best I’ve read. The contrast between bad boy Dylan and the sweet, innocent preacher’s daughter, Jennifer add another layer to the dynamics of this story. The naive nurse who harbors a secret crush for her patient is hardly a match for the worldly ways of a rock-n-roll heart throb. While Jennifer might be innocent, she’s not spineless and she gives her patient what for. Watching this romance unfold, the setbacks and missteps is like being on an emotional roller coaster. I laughed, cried and fell in love. Fair warning: you may lose sleep over this book. I think this book needs to be made into a movie. Now who would we cast for Dylan?
Face Off by Brenda Novak, Read by Therese
Alaska is a
long way from Boston but not far enough to keep Dr. Evelyn Talbot and those she
loves safe from the mad man who tortured her at sixteen and left her for dead.
come a long way since her attack. She has opened herself up to love, something
she never believed possible and channeled her nightmare into her life’s
work—studying the sociopaths and psychopaths at her Hanover House facility.
murdered girls turn up, Hanover House once more comes under scrutiny. Evelyn
knows it is her former boyfriend and attacker who has come to town and he won’t
stop until one of them is dead.
endings aren’t easy to come by when a serial killer has you in his sights. If
you love suspense thrillers with delicious romance, you’ll not want to miss
Brenda Novak’s Face Off.
Project Duchess by Sabrina Jeffries, Narrated by Beverley A
Grey, the duke of Greycourt avoids his aunt’s machinations
to marry his cousin with the death of his stepfather. His oft widowed mother
has summoned him and while reluctant to be around family, it is preferable than
to be once again at the mercy of his aunt.
Grey doesn’t trust society, but he has no solace with his family.
Estranged for years, he holds everyone at bay with his arrogance. Confronted with
a woman who has suffered a similar past, is outspoken and spirited he finds himself
attracted despite suspecting her of being involved in his stepfather’s murder.
Beatrice Wolfe embraces Grey’s family as her own. An orphan
at the mercy of her lascivious uncle, she finds refuge with Grey’s mother and stepsiblings.
When his brother asks him to help discover who killed his
father, Grey agrees to investigate Beatrice under the guise of helping his
mother prepare her to make her society debut.
Neither believes themselves capable of receiving love and
are reluctant to allow themselves to fall, but they fall hard for each other.
Can they overcome the difficulties facing them as others threaten to steal their
chance at happiness?
Sabrina Jeffries is one of my favorite authors, even as she
deals with some difficult subjects, she brings her readers into the light with
hope. This series appears to have an ongoing mystery with each of the duchess’
children finding love while trying to discover what may have happened with
their fathers. I look forward to reading or listening to each book. If you like
strong characters, especially strong female characters then you will fall in
love with Ms Jeffries’ books. This one was one of her bests.
Today I’d like to welcome contemporary romance author, Rachell Nichole to Creekside Café.
Welcome Rachell, is this your first time in eastern North Carolina?
Rachell:Thanks for having me. No, I’m from the East Coast, so I’ve been up and down the area. Never spent a lot of time in the Carolinas, but a day here and there. We had a stop in Charleston, South Carolina on the honeymoon cruise we took.
Sherri: Ah yes, you’re still honeymooning.
Rachell: Yup, Mr. Nichole and I have been married just over two years now. So we’re still newlyweds.
Sherri: We’re getting ready to celebrate twenty-eight years and my husband says we’re still honeymooning. We’re a little more sedate about it now that we’re older. You describe your books as contemporary with a little kink. That sounds interesting.
Rachell: Wow, that’s an amazing run! 28 years. Congratulations. I have some books that I consider Kink Lite, but some are really quite kinky. Right now, I’m focusing on some heavier kinky books. I’ve also got several different flavors of books that don’t have kink. I have F/F and menage, and multicultural books out as well. All of it is steamy. I’ve also written paranormal and romantic suspense as well, but those are not published yet.
Sherri: I read the excerpt on your blog,A Love Affair in Las Vegasit’s very heart warming. I felt a connection with Barnaby. Like Sylvia Day, you weave real life and emotions with steamy sex.
What are you working on now?
Rachell: Aw, that’s so sweet. I can’t believe I was just compared to Syl Day! That is one of the best compliments ever! Thank you. And yes, I love Barnaby. He’s such a sweetheart. Right now I’m working on Bound by Submission the second in the ABCs of Submission series, which is connected to the K Club series, that is in this anthology. I also just got ideas for the next two books directly in the K Club series, so I’m simmering those right now and trying to not get pulled into the brand new shiny projects.
Sherri: We met through The New Romance Café and theLove in Bloomanthology. Tell us about your story for the anthology.
Rachell: Yes, I love that group. It’s such a great place for romance readers and writers to connect. I’m so glad to have met folks just like you there. So, for this story, I really found it hard to fit Syenca and Jensen’s piece into only 10,000 words, but I also really really loved writing it. I titled itBlooming for Sir because it serves as a prequel story toTo Sir, and starts out in the K Club, where the rest of the books in the series really take place. It’s also just got a touch of kink in it, and is about Syneca kind of trying this whole kinky thing out. Syneca and Jensen are both from old money New York families from the Hamptons, and Syneca was arranged from an early age to marry Jensen’s older brother, Jackson. She and Jensen shared a friendship as kids and a few kisses in their youth, but then Syenca broke things off with Jackson and moved away. The story starts out in The K Club during an auction to raise money for Syneca’s foundation to help LGBTQ homeless youth who have been disowned by their families. Jensen offers to buy her for the night, even though he knows she’s not for sale. I love love loved writing this short piece and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Here is the official blurb:
It’s springtime in Spartan Nevada, and that means it’s time for the K Club’s 2nd annual fetish ball to raise money for a good cause. This year, one of the club’s owners has chosen a cause close to his heart – the Madison Foundation that helped him when he was a homeless LGBT youth. Syneca Madison Lexington is delighted Dusty wants to help her foundation, particularly since she’s quickly running out of the trust fund money she could still access when her own parents disowned her for being bisexual. But a submissive auction? She doesn’t know if that’s something she can get behind or not. When Jensen Elmwood enters the K Club, intent on purchasing himself a submissive for the night, the last thing he expects is to run into the one woman he’s loved since he was a kid, the same woman who’s been engaged to his brother since high school. When the sparks reignite between them, can a springtime romance bloom into something more? Or will their past hurts and old family influences tear them apart?
Sherri:Well, I can’t wait to see what happens with Syneca and Jensen. I’m sure things are going to heat up.
You’ve been a published author for several years now. Are you traditionally published or indie?
Rachell: A bit of both, actually. I have been published now for 7 years. I started with a small press, and indie pubbed a few titles, but the small house I was with closed in 2018, so I’ve since republished my backlist all on my own, with the help of my writer-editor husband. So, with those titles all republished, and with three new titles I wrote and published last year along with the relaunch, I currently have 12 titles out. The story in the anthology will be lucky number 13.
I’ve been writing for as long as I could string sentences together, and I was writing romance fanfic in high school but didn’t start my first original paranormal romance novel until I was 18. I got my first novel publishing contract at 21, which is really early for so many people, and I feel so lucky to have started my career out that way, with the help and support of the editors, cover artists, and the rest of the team at Loose Id.
Sherri: You hold several degrees, do you use these in your writing?
Rachell:All the time, actually. Two of my degrees are in writing. So I feel like I use things I learned in those degree programs every day. The other degree in French is something I pull from in a lot of different ways. I’ve set books in France, and French culture and language end up in several of my books.
Sherri: Do your hobbies and interests show up in your writing?
Rachell: Languages and travel definitely make it into my writing, as does my love affair with food. My characters are eating quite a bit, or cooking for each other, or talking about food. I guess “food” isn’t really a hobby, but I really love cooking, and I think that bleeds into my writing in a lot of pieces.
Sherri: Do you write full-time or do you hold down another job as well?
Rachell: Hah! There isn’t a job I’ve encountered I haven’t also worked! Currently, in addition to writing, I work a normal 9-5 (though those aren’t my exact hours) four days a week at a law firm and I teach writing for an online college. I also do some tutoring on the side, but not very steadily, just in between things.
Sherri: Oh wow, and I thought I was busy. When do you find time to write? You must really enjoy writing to be able to do it as well as work two, sometimes three other jobs.
Rachell: Sometimes, it’s really hard to balance, but right now, I block my writing time, usually on Fridays-Sundays when I’m not at the firm, and then i work my teaching around those 6-10 hour blocks of time where I’m writing. I’m fortunate that I can work on a piece for multiple hours without a lot of breaks. I love the excitement of a new project rattling around in my head begging to be let out. I also love talking to people about my stories. These characters are so real to me so when I talk to others about them like they’re also real people, the feeling is amazing.
Sherri: Oh yes, I feel that way too, especially when writing a series, you feel like they’re part of your family. Is there anything you don’t like about writing?
Rachell: Writing. Hahaha. I mean, I love it, but I hate it all at the same time. My very least favorite is the final edits and doing the formatting on a book.
Sherri: You’ve been writing several years and have a dozen books out. What do you feel your writing strengths and weaknesses are?
Rachell: I write cleanly. This comes back to my work as a writer and training, but also the fact that I learned to type when I was 9 and I can type by feel entirely. This makes typos less likely. I write what I call a dirty draft, where I can kick out 50,000 wordsin three weeks, and then dig in and revise it which I’m only able to do because I can type so quickly and without having to stare at either the screen or the keyboard. As to weaknesses, I overuse the shit out of words and I repeat things. So I have themes and names and things that crop up in each manuscript that I then have to revise out.
Sherri: I think we all have our pet words that show up in our writing. Even some of the more famous authors have said they have to go on a search and destroy mission from time to time. Who are your favorite authors or your go to genres?
Rachell:Hah, pet words. that’s a great way to describe it. As to my favorite authors… that’s really hard. Right now I’m obsessed with Roan Parish, Stephanie Julian, Priscilla Oliveras, and Alyssa Cole, in romance and Juliet Blackwell, who writes mysteries and general fiction. I read almost exclusively romance, but am sometimes looking to branch out. These are insta-buy authors for me right now. That list used to include a lot of other names, but I’m rather irate with a particular author who shall remain unnamed for killing off the heroine in the last book of hers I read. She was an author I always always loved, and I don’t know that I’ll ever read her again.
Sherri: I feel that way about a certain author. He writes beautifully, great characters you just fall in love with and then he kills them off or leaves them in a state of flux.NO!I want my happy ending. Life is hard enough without killing off the characters I love.
Before you go, give us a little insight into you as a person and as a writer.
Rachell: Well, my husband would say I’m perfect… hahaha, okay, that’s a total lie, but he would say that I’m worth it! He is the second biggest fan of my writing (my mom still holds the first spot) and he tells me all the time how talented he thinks I am which just means so much. As a writer, I like to think I’m a lot like I am as a real person. As to my overall personality, I’m loud, and crass and constantly busy. I flit from project to project, and have an inability to sit still.
Sherri:Rachell, it has been lovely to have you at my virtual café, maybe someday I can make it a reality and you can come back for a real visit. I look forward to reading your story in the anthology and hope to do more projects with you.
Rachell: That would be so much fun, Sherri. I’m definitely game. Thanks for inviting me.
Here are all of Rachell’s links. If you enjoyed our chat and her excerpt for the anthology, “Love in Bloom,” you buy your copy with just a click.https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P6FHS1R
The Hollow of Fear
by Sherry Thomas read by Kate Reading
The series of stories about a lady Sherlock Holmes/Miss Charlotte
Holmes and her friend, Lord Ingram have become a new addiction. I love the time
period when new things are happening in the world of forensics. I also think a
lady Sherlock is intriguing, especially in an era when women were allowed to do
little more than stay home and make babies.
Charlotte is a modern woman ahead of her time. She is sharp
witted but often hampered by her lack of understanding the finer emotions. The
sexual tension between her and Lord Ingram make the story compelling for the
romantics but her deductive skills are a treasure for any who love a good
The Hollow of Fear
pits Charlotte’s skills against those of a true mastermind. Can she uncover the
truth about Lady Ingram’s murder in time to save her friend from the hangman?
The recurring characters of Treadles the police detective
and Mrs. Watson add a richness and a familiarity to the story that makes a
series like this even better.
The Hollow of Fear is
Ms Thomas’ best so far, it puts Charlotte’s friend in true peril with a ticking
clock winding down. Real danger hovers just over their heads and one wrong move
could end in their deaths. Charlotte has to explore her own feelings and
emotions, something she isn’t comfortable doing, during her investigations. We
see more of who Charlotte is deep inside, the person she hides behind the fluff
and flounces of sweet pastries and fancy gowns.
If you’re looking for a true mystery that pays homage to the
original Sherlock Holmes, or if you like a little romantic suspense set amid a
Victorian English backdrop, you need to check out this series.
The audio version with Kate Reading is like being dropped in
the middle of the story and experiencing it all first-hand without leaving the
comforts of home.
sherrilhollister.com/Suspense She Writes Bookstore Dismiss