A Forgotten Teen, a Killer, and a Town on Edge.

Today Melanie and I find ourselves in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, USA!

It’s Cold! Queenslanders are so not used to snow and wind which cuts right through thermal undies.  Though we are rather enchanted by the soft white powder fluttering down from the clouds, covering everything in ice and wonder.

 

 

We’re here to chat with Bailey Johnson, the main character in Danielle’s suspense series , Mail Boat.

We find the teen waiting for us in a local coffee shop sipping hot cocoa and pretty much keeping to herself. Her light brown hair, which is tied back, has a soft wave to it with delicate wisps escaping from the sides.

“She looks like any other teen, but this bunny has seen some darkness,” Mel whispers into my ear as we make our way toward the table.

I nod and pay closer attention to the teen. Mel’s right. There’s pain in those sharp bright eyes, pain a girl her age should not know.

“Hi Bailey.”

We greet the girl in unison.

“It’s nice to meet you. Thanks for coming out all this way.” Bailey welcomes us.

We sit down and a waitress pops over to take our orders.

“Two hot cocoa’s please.”

“So Bailey, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?” I start the interview as Melanie places her Ipad on the table and readies her keyboard.

“What would you like to know?” She eyeballs the both of us before sipping her sweet chocolatey drink.

“Are you from Lake Geneva, or did you move here later in life with your family?” Mel asks as the waitress returns and places two steaming hot drinks before us.

BookBaybZ

“I guess I really don’t come from anywhere. I went into foster care when I was five because my mom and her boyfriend-of-the-day were doing drugs and getting into fights.

I never knew who my dad was, but I like to dream he’s basically some badass superhero and he’ll come rescue me someday. ”

Her sad words cause both Mel and I to swallow hard.

“Is there any person you admire?”

“Oh, God, I wish you hadn’t asked. It feels so weird, how much I look up to him, but…

Tommy. He’s been the Mailboat captain for just about forever—fifty years or something—and, like, he just never changes. I can count on him, you know? No matter how many times I close my eyes and count to ten, he’s still there when I open them again. And he likes to listen to me ramble about stupid little things like my secret pet mouse—yes, I told him—and strange things I read in books, and… he’s just kind of amazing.”

 

 

I glance toward Mel. I know the teens words warm her heart as much as they do mine.

“What about school and do you have a part time job?”

“I go to Badger High School, and I’m a MAIL JUMPER!”

“A mail jumper?”

“If you live on the lake around here, you can get your mail delivered by boat. It’s a tradition that goes back, like, a hundred years and we still do it every summer. The mail jumper (that’s me) stands on the front of this big, old tour boat, then jumps off as it passes the pier. We have to run to the mailbox, put in the mail, then get back to the boat.”

 

 

“Do you enjoy it?”

“Oh yeah! I don’t think I’ll go far in life, but landing this job is more prestegious than being crowned home coming queen!”

“Thats awesome. We’ve heard you’ve seen a little action as a mail jumper. Would you like to tell us about it?”

Bailey sits back and stares out of the window before she returns her attention to us.

“Thing is, the boat’s so big, it can’t actually stop at every pier or the mail route would take forever. So the boat just cruises by. We mail jumpers have to get back on board in time… or we end up in the lake.

If we miss the boat, it’s usually a big laugh for the tourists. But then there was that one time I fell in and found a dead body…”

Mel and I stifle a Gasp. But Bailey’s face is straight, it’s only her eyes that  give us any idea of the shock she’d experienced.

 

 

“ ‘Debris’ really wasn’t the right word to describe the object submerged at the end of [the] pier. Actually, he probably would have been quite the hunk, if he hadn’t been all dead and everything. You know, tanned skin, sun-bleached hair, bulging biceps. Beach dude in a business suit. But the fact that he was tied to the pier post by his neck—with his head hanging at a weird angle—yeah. He needed to work on his approach if he was trying to pick up chicks.” ~ Bailey, Mailboat I

“Bailey, thank you so much for chatting with us, and good luck with school and mail jumping.”

About the Author.

BookBaybZ

Danielle Lincoln Hanna is the author of the Mailboat Suspense Series, set in Lake Geneva, WI. While she now lives in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, her first love is still the Great Plains of North Dakota where she was born. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, biking, camping, and kayaking. She also loves to spoil her readers with monthly giveaways featuring her favorite reads and souvenirs from her travels. For access to the drawings, be sure to sign up for her newsletter.

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Shunned, Lost, and in Danger. Will Victoria find Love?

AnneMarie Brear BookBaybZ

 

AnneMarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!

Q. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Having lived in England, I was fortunate to travel to many places of historical interest where I’ve set my books. York in Yorkshire is one of my favourite places and was situated only an hour’s drive from where I lived so I was able to travel there quite often and walk the streets my characters did. I also visited a great many country house estates which helped my research enormously.

Q. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Probably as a small child and learning to read and make up stories. My mother own a bookshop so I was surrounded by books all my childhood and was transported by the stories I read.

Q. What did you edit out of this book?

Nothing, really. When I first started writing my stories were huge, far too long for publishing and I was always being told by editors to cut the word count, which is so hard to do. Now, after years of practice I know how to write a story to the required word count that is considered more suitable for the publishing standards.

Q. On your writing journey, what has been the lowest and the most painful moment and vice versa?

The lowest would be when my UK agent died just as I was starting my career. That was a set back I wasn’t expecting and it took me a long time to get over it. The high was getting a review from a reader saying my books reminded her of Catherine Cookson’s book, an author I loved reading as a teenager back in the 80s. Another high was seeing my first hardcover book cover, it was perfect. Another high was holding my first book in my hands for the first time – actually that doesn’t ever get old. I love seeing each book arrive.

 

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The Slum Angel 

Orphan, Victoria Carlton is brought up by her uncle, a banker, to be a lady and make a good marriage. Yet, she is drawn to help the poor families in the slums, much to her family’s disgust. When her uncle dies suddenly, her cousins blame Victoria, and she is thrown out of the house with nothing.

Victoria flees to the poor side of York to start again in a world that is full of perils. To combat the heartache of being without her family, she befriends the destitute women and children in the slums, but such friendships come with the danger of disease, and increasing poverty, and the threat of a brutal man could cost her everything.

Can Victoria find the security she has lost? Will a certain doctor be the man she can give her heart to? Or will the ghosts of the past return to take away everything she has worked so hard for?

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Alpha Rocks Stars, True Love, and A Special Girls Heart.

The humidity outside is a killer today. Mel and I are grateful that the large club has super awesome air-conditioning, working overtime.

“Hi.” A sweet, plump, bright red-haired girl greets us. “You’re here for the Luke Jones / BookBaybZ interview?”

Mel and I nod as we peer around the large dark entrance as the girls toddles off to find our interviewee. The bar, which sits down the back of the club, is decorated in a myriad of different shaped bottles containing a variety of alcohols. The black tiled floor is dotted with tables and chairs, with an open space, I assume is the dance floor, which stands between the tables and a large stage with a silver sequenced curtain draped across it.

“Hi.” A sultry voice ripples across the stale beer infused air.

“Hi.” We turn and both hold out our hand. A cheeky grin spreads across his handsome face as he reaches out and shakes both our hands simultaneously.

“This is Mel,” I wave toward my partner in crime. “And you can call me Mich.”

“Luke. Let’s sit.” He waves us toward an alcove with plush red leather seats.

“Mike!” He calls out to the barman.

“The usual?” A tall lanky built man, with hair I doubt has ever seen a comb, calls back.

“Yeah… What would you girls like?”

What a smile. The old cliché of melting panties with a smile, is no lie.

“Water.”

“Soda.”

Our voices echo in unison across the open club.

BookBaybZ

Mel takes out her iPad and keyboard as I fold open my sheet of paper and questions.

“Shall we get started?” Mel pushes back the spectacles slipping down he nose.

“Yeah.” Luke drapes himself over the chair.

Q. When and why did you start playing, and what was your first instrument?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t play. There are photos of me from a very young age struggling to pluck away at a guitar that was bigger than me. My dad taught me, as he did all of his four boys. It was kind of this special skill and interest that brought us closer as a family, and especially as father and son.

We’d sit around and sing and play, just jamming out whatever came into our minds. Or we’d do it jukebox style. Our mom would yell out a song and if us kids didn’t know it, Dad would call out the keys and cords and we’d jam it that way.

Q. Which instruments do you play?

Guitar is really where it’s at for me, although I hold my own on keys. I also  know my way a drum kit, but I sound like a proper drummer after they’ve been hit by a truck, and are forced to play with their arms in traction.

I sing too, so I guess you could say I can play my vocal chords.

BookBaybZ

Q. Which famous musicians have you learned from?

I’m lucky enough that I get to play with some of the most talented musicians on the planet, and I learn from them every day. Don’t get me wrong, I have my favorites and idols – Hendrix, Santana, John Mayer, to name a few. But cheesy as it sounds, my bandmates inspire me more in real life as I’ve witnessed what it’s taken to get as far as they have. That even goes for my brother. Bahahaha!

Q.Have you ever written a song, and if so, what inspired it.

Arlo writes most of the songs for the band, but I’ve actually written and recorded a whole album, which I will be releasing as a solo artist next year. The thought is both exciting and terrifying.

In terms of what inspired it, it was a number of things, but the most influential by far was an epiphany.  I guess you could call me a late bloomer, but it just recently occurred to me that we only get one shot at this crazy thing called life. There are no do-overs. Therefore we owe it to ourselves and to the people we love to make the best we can of it every single day. Until I am to that realization, I wasn’t doing that. In fact, I was getting in my own way, and blocking my own path to happiness.

This album is about the events that lead me to that clarity of thought, and  how every day  I’m determined to repay the happiness debt I owe, both to myself, and to my love.

 

Luke Jones is the central character of MV Ellis’ rock star romance Finding Marnie, released February 12th 2019. He also features heavily in the rest of the Heartless Few series, of which Finding Marnie is book four.

 

Finding Marnie

Their love is a legacy of broken hearts and shattered dreams. Can they find each other without losing themselves?

He is everything I want but know I can never have.

Every fiber of my being has ached for Luke from the very first moment we met. However, with my parents’ legacy of toxic obsession woven into my DNA, I know love is pain and should be avoided at all costs. I’m unloved and unlovable. Still, in moments of weakness, I allow myself to imagine what it would be like if I was the kind of woman who deserved the love of a man like him.

She is hiding in plain sight, waiting for me to find her.

Marnie has had my heart from day one, and always will. It’s just a shame I couldn’t muster the words to tell her so when we first locked eyes. It’s a failing I will live to regret for years to come. However, I’m determined to make things right, even if it takes me a lifetime. I need her to know she is enough. In fact, she is more than that. She is everything.

They’re hiding in plain sight. Can they find each other without losing themselves?

 

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MV Ellis

MV Ellis & BookBaybZ

MV ELLIS knows what it’s like to fall head over heels in love with a badass musician. She followed her heart halfway around the world to be with one. She moved from London to Sydney after a steamy holiday romance with a sexy bass player in sultry Brazil.

Fourteen years, two children and a dog later, and she’s still smitten. All this with a guy she sat next to on a bus for 36 hours! She has toured internationally as a ‘WAG’, and her experiences inspire her writing.

Ellis’ love of romance began when she was 11 years old, after a summer spent secretly reading her auntie’s books. She’s been a sucker for an alpha hero and strong heroine ever since.

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The Exception to the Rule can have Dire Consequences!

Leesa Bow BookBaybZ

Playing for Time is a new adult sports romance. Book #6 in The Bay series, and a stand alone read. Darcy Rayne was first introduced in the first chapter of Winning the Player as the cocky ruckman of the opposition team. He is a football superstar, and to research his character further than my own knowledge, I went to AFL games with my friend, Mark whose son-in-law is a ruckman for the Adelaide Crows. We sat in the stands, and as he talked about the importance of a ruckman’s role I could hear in his voice how proud he was. Mark sadly passed away in 2017, and I have dedicated this book to him. It was fitting to add more football snippets in the book, and to transpire the intense pressure of players to succeed onto the pages of my story. Playing for Time is a book from my heart. Not only for Mark, as he taught me ‘it is, what it is’. Also for friends who have lost loved ones. The cover is most special as the smaller football action photo is of my son-in-law, Charlie ( also a ruckman at 6ft 5′ ) playing in his local competition. Packed with emotion and drama, I hope you enjoy Playing for Time and feel the love and heartache as I did writing it.

***

As a flight attendant, I meet a lot of famous people. Some I never see again.

Darcy Rayne was the exception.

The handsome, sexy king of the football world.

At first, I denied the attraction.

I don’t date players. Especially the off-field kind.

I’m a regular girl, and my world is too small for someone like him.

Turned out, I underestimated a footballer’s determination and focus to never give up.

So, I gave in.

He had a dream before me.

Almost lost it because of me.

In my darkest hour when I needed him most, he got his dream.

And I lost a piece of my heart.

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***

Playing for Time excerpt.

The same musky aroma fills the room, a combination of sweat and sexual desire.

In the warm air it clings like tentacles to skin, initiating each patron when the heavy black door closes. For some, confidence blooms under the dim lights that obscure identity, enhancing mystery to availability. Until neon lights flash and spotlights sweep the crowd to reveal grinding hips, tricking the unaccustomed into believing they took a wrong turn into the club’s VIP room.

Weaving to a safe spot I’ve learned to ignore the judgement in painted eyes and the sideways glance. When I reach the back of the room the fluttering in my gut eases. “It’s just another club,” I murmur to myself. And yet, every time I come here my heart speeds up to the point the thud-thud-thud in my ears is louder than the damn bass pounding off the walls.

 

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“The Thunder footballers are over there.” Carli nods in their direction and hands me a stemmed glass. She stretches her neck even though she’s wearing chrome heels. “I can see Darcy Rayne.”

I follow her line of gaze to the other side of the club. My senses were alerted to him the moment we walked in. The moment I tasted the sexuality in the room. Like a dirty word lingering on my tongue, disdaining my thoughts, as though I’ve inhaled the arrogant vapour surrounding him like a smoke machine.

One sideways glance from him intensifies body heat of every girl standing within a twenty-foot radius. I’m also vulnerable, and it is what annoys me most. For months I’ve received glances, telling me he is aware. But it’s not enough for him to walk over and start up a conversation, even if he could break through the ring of fire of female bodies surrounding him.

Author Bio

 

Leesa Bow is a romance author who began her writing journey years ago when her daughter fell ill. After writing for therapy Leesa now can’t imagine doing anything else. Thankful to be following her passion for romance, she is living out her own happy ever after with her husband in Brisbane, Australia.

Q.Who is the best villain you have written to date?

I don’t write villains as such. There are ‘mean’ characters but I tend to stay away from villains. In Charming the Outback, Luke was a tough alpha to write.

Q.What is the best closing sentence you have read in a book?

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

“It means nothing without you.”

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Memories, strong emotions, and the need to return to the past.

Jasmine Stevens Chatting with Auhtors

 

Who is Jasmine Stevens?

Jasmine Stevens is a Romance Author based in beautiful Newcastle, Australia. The natural beauty of the serene beaches of Newcastle and the tranquil countryside of The Hunter Valley, influences her when writing her Rural Fiction novels. She is an avid reader, lover of tea, Mum of two teenage children, a wife and the owner of one very spoilt Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Q. What sentences in writing have changed your life?

That’s easy. The quote comes from The Bronze Horseman written by the talented Paullina Simons. It said, ‘Ask yourself these three questions, Tatiana Metanova, and you will know who you are. Ask: What do you believe in? What do you hope for? What do you love?’

At the time of reading this book, I was experiencing a lot of self-doubt about my writing and wanted to quit and I did quit- for two days. Then I read the above quote and I asked myself ‘What do I believe in? What did I hope for, and what did I love? The answers came easily- I believed in myself to have the determination and courage to keep trying to reach my dream of becoming an author. My hope, was to one day see my words published and my love, was writing. I love writing with a passion, and I knew I couldn’t quit. I had a go, I believed in myself and now I am proud to hold a copy of my first novel in my hand. It’s a feeling I cannot begin to describe. It’s simply amazing.

Q. What book is Belle reading in Beauty and the Beast?

I have to admit I needed to look this up. Who knew that this was a thing? Really? I got swept up in the many, many, many theories. Some say the blank blue book Belle is reading is Aladdin or Sleeping Beauty. Some say it’s a lesson not to judge a book by its cover, relating to The Beast. The theory I believe, is that Belle is reading her own story before it happens.  She sings about faraway places, daring sword fights, magic spells and a prince in disguise. What do you all think?

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

 

Q. Which book left you feeling empty inside once you finished writing it?

It wasn’t so much a book but a short story I wrote in year 12 for my HSC. It was called The Family Portrait and was about a family of elephants who lost a calf and other family members to hunters. The story focussed on how the older calf helped his Mum through a difficult period. The story ended when the calf was grown and it was time for him to leave the herd and start his own family. I invested so much time into this story that when it was finished I felt like the story wasn’t completely done. There was so much more to tell. I wanted to know where the calf ended up. Did he make a family of his own? What adventures did he encounter along the way? I felt his story wasn’t finished.

Q. Who is the best villain you have written to date?

I don’t want to give too much away as this villain is in my second novel All of You. But let me say my villain is not a nice man and is seeking revenge on a police woman that killed his son.

 

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Q. What is the best opening sentence you have written?

The opening sentence of my debut novel is:-

A plume of dust swirled up behind Charlotte’s shiny Mongoose bike as she pedalled speedily along the loose gravel road which weaved like a maze through dense bushland.

 

 

The Book!

Jasmine Stevens Waiting For You

Book Blurb

Eighteen years ago, Charlotte Denver left the quaint country town of Holbrook after a tragic accident. Now, she’s back in town to renovate her old family home, which will feature in the magazine where she’s employed as a journalist. Making the rundown house sellable will allow Charlotte to sever all ties with her tragic past and finally move forward with her life. That is until the one person she’d spent all these years trying to forget is contracted by her magazine’s editor to help her complete the job.

Will Beckett is no longer the twelve-year-old kid who used to play practical jokes on her, tease her and make her belly laugh. Now he’s a ruggedly handsome, sweet talking, successful builder. Despite Will’s wholesome country charm and sexy smile that makes Charlotte’s heart skip a beat, she’s determined to concentrate on the job at hand and protect her heart at all costs.

Will never thought he would see his best friend again, but now she’s back, as stubborn and strong-willed as ever. Her return reminds him all over again of everything she lost because of him, and he desperately wants her forgiveness. As they reacquaint with each other, Will becomes just as determined to reunite their friendship, as he is set to win her heart.

Can Will break through Charlotte’s wall of defence or will his heart be broken again?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Excerpt from Waiting For You

Charlotte’s senses came alive with the sights, sounds, and smells of being in the country. Memories flooded back to her in a torrent of emotions.

She could smell now, through the air conditioner vent, the unmistakable aroma of dairy farms and it made her remember Will’s father, Thomas. She had loved helping him milk the cows in the dairy and she adored those cows with their dribbling mouths and snotty noses. She had a sense of belonging back then, a feeling her life in Sydney had never given her.

It had been eighteen years since she’d left Holbrook. She had vowed never to return to the town that had robbed her of her happy and carefree lifestyle. In the days after the accident she had dreamt of the way life had been a week before, and still to this day, she would do anything to be able to go back in time.

You can buy a copy of Waiting For You, HERE

 

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It’s Here! Sexy Cowboys, Attractive Lawyers and a True Romance

Ann B harrison BookBaybZ

After moving to the lush green wine region of Australia’s Hunter Valley, Ann has the perfect surrounding to let her imagination to run wild. She alternates her time between writing western romances and playing in her garden.

Two kinds of hero make Ann a mass of nerves. The hot cowboy with a slow sexy drawl (she used to live out in the desert and enjoyed every minute) and a man in a kilt. (Imagine Jamie Fraser) She can’t wait to visit Scotland where she can get her fill of the tartan clad hotties for, um research purposes, of course.

In the meantime, her dear husband puts up with her talking to her characters and getting lost in worlds only she can imagine as she battles to bring stories to the page for everyone to enjoy.

Q.Which book left you empty inside once you finished writing it?

Easy.

The Cowboy’s Baby Surprise, third book in the Hansen Brothers Series. I bawled my eyes out on the last chapter.

Q.What is the best opening sentence you have written?

Tyson Watson took another sip of his whisky, immune to the fire burning down his throat. After the first two glasses the numbness had set in and he could have just as easily been sculling water for all the good the liquor was doing for him. He stared at the bottle, somehow blaming it for the foul mood he was in and then tried to focus on what he was doing.

Wife wanted, no frills or fancy ideas. Must be willing to live in the country, help on the ranch and not be afraid of commitment.

Ann B Harrison BookBaybZ

Excerpt from – Cowboy to the Rescue.

Sadie ran to the next room, grabbed her handbag, and opened the front door for Jethro. He hustled past her and nodded to the truck at the curb. “Door’s unlocked. Open it for me, please, and then get in the back.”

“You want me to come too?” Her face paled. “Shouldn’t someone stay here in case Tyson calls back or a client comes by?”

“Sadie, I need you with me.” Layla gripped her hand and dragged her along. “Don’t you dare leave me now!”

“But, I… surely I should be doing something in the office. Schedule meetings or something.”

“Please, Sadie, send him a text message.” Jethro slid Layla into the front seat and reached for the seat belt, locking it in place around her. “I need help with this one. I owe her, you know, and I’d feel better if there was a friendly face with me.”

“You don’t even know me.”

“No, but she does, and from what I’ve seen, she trusts you more than anyone. Pretty sure a woman needs someone she trusts at a time like this.”

A roar of frustration came from Layla perched in the truck. “You two together, with me—now!”

“Get in. We can argue how much we know each other later.”

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Thank You for taking the time to chat to us about your writing and your book Ann.

Sweet and Steamy. Just the way we like it!

UNEXPECTED (MARKED FOR LOVE #1)

It is a sweet and steamy MFM ménage romance set in New York.

Continue reading “Sweet and Steamy. Just the way we like it!”