Thank you

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I took this photo in my backyard a few weeks ago. I felt like it was missing something, so I put it aside and waited.

This morning a lovely reader left me a review on Amazon, mentioning that she laughed aloud in the hospital waiting room while read The Rancher Takes a Wife, Montana Brides #1. Although I wished she didn’t have a need to be at the hospital, I confess it delighted me to learn I was able to entertain her.

In the past I have received reviews telling me I helped readers through hurricanes, or jokingly blaming me for keeping them up all night. Writing can often be a thankless job, so each positive comment counts.

Thank you, readers.

Teaser Tuesday & a Celebration

Celebrating two things today!

1.) Four years of marriage to my best friend, the man who deserves his name on all my covers, Mr. Tim Tash. I love you, honey! Thank you for inspiring all the good men in my books! You are my hero.

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2.) A relaunch for Bird After Bird. I love the latest cover and feel like it deserves to be promoted, so let’s do this in style! Keep reading for some Teaser Tuesday exclusives, including a Laurie photo collage!

Hey, here’s a recent review of Bird After Bird… “When a book is 308 pages and a total of 75 chapters the last thing you expect to do is read it in a day and a half but this book is one of those books that pull you in.” Read the rest here.

And without further ado, here’s Laurie Byrd!

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Laurie’s character was inspired by a lot of people, some real, some fictional. My husband with his army stories and love for dogs was a huge influence. Laurie’s brooding, artistic, independent personality owes a debt to Kevin Costner’s portrayal of Garret Blake in Message in a Bottle, and if I’m totally honest, Josh Lucas’ turn as Jake Perry in Sweet Home Alabama may have contributed, as well.

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My friend Paula who does search & rescue with her border collie fed a lot of Laurie’s backstory. Oh, and let’s not forget he’s named for the boy next door in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women! Mostly, though, he’s just the kind of man I’ve known all my life. A quiet, sensitive Indiana boy who takes everything to heart, but who has learned the hard way that a man can’t wear his heart on his sleeve without paying a high price. Everything changes for him when he meets Wren Riley. There is no longer comfort in solitude, no longer grief in his voice. His heart is awakened for the first time as an adult, and he’s emboldened by the lessons he’s learned from his past, now wise enough not to let a chance at happiness slip away. Once he’s given his heart to Wren, will they mend one another’s broken wings, or will she fly?

And how about an excerpt?

He gently turned me around and lifted the back of the tee. His fingers traced the tattoo on my lower back. Normally I didn’t feel the need to explain my ink to anyone. It was personal. I felt an unfamiliar desire to share everything with Laurie, though. “A tramp stamp. Yeah. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“I’m not judging,” he said.

It was a swallow, Sailor Jerry style.

“I didn’t find yours last night.”

“What, a tattoo?”

“Yeah. Don’t all soldiers get tattoos?”

He shook his head. “Thought about it, when I graduated Basic. Couldn’t find anything I’d want for the rest of my life, though. Yours is nice. Suits you.”

I laughed. “You think?”

“Sure. I mean, I’d expect a wren, but the swallow is cool. Does it have a meaning?”

“The tattoo artist said it meant ‘freedom.’ That sailors used to get them before their first long voyage, and then one to match at the end.”

“Why would they do that?”

“Supposedly, the swallow would carry their souls home if they drowned.”

“Wow.” He let my tee drop. “Well, we’ll stay away from the lake tonight, just in case, okay?”

Bird After Bird

So, what’s the deal with that tattoo? Does Wren’s soul find its way home to Laurie’s heart?

Find out for just $.99 today on Amazon, Nook, iTunes, or Kobo!

Spotlight On Leslea Tash #Imaginarium

If you’ll be in the Louisville area Sept 19-21, come to the Imaginarium Convention.

A creative writing convention featuring 11 tracks of programming, catering to all genres of writers, as well as screenwriters, game designers, and comic/graphic novel creators. A full convention experience themed on creative writing, including a film festival, vendor hall, costume contest, art show, and much more! visit http://www.entertheimaginarium.com for further information!

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Leslea Tash / Red Tash

 

How did you get involved in the upcoming Imaginarium convention?

I guess I’m a joiner, because I saw a bunch of friends were going and I applied.

 

What is your latest release and what genre is it?

The Rancher Takes a Wife, Montana Brides #1. Historical Western Romance.

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Quick description of it.

This is a sweet story you don’t have to be embarrassed to read in front of your grandmother. I’ve written a lot of horror, fantasy, and R-rated books, and I wanted to try my hand at something more PG-rated.

 

Something unique about it.

The Rancher Takes a Wife is a historical Western set in the aftermath of the Stock Market crash, aka Black Friday. Rather than recycle the tired old Mail Order Bride trope, I twisted the genre to tell the tale of a young woman who effectively…

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New Alternate cover for Bird After Bird

If you’ve read the reviews of Bird After Bird, doubtlessly you got the point that there are a lot of birds in the book. Birds are part of nature and nature is the spiritual home for the two main characters.

For some folks, that was a turn off. For others, it was a delight. To each his own, right?

And since I’d like for more birds of my particular feather to flock together and give Bird After Bird a try, I’ve been asking myself for months what I might do differently to package this story in a way that gets it in front of the right readers.

To that end, I rewrote the blurb this week. Today I had another idea: why not make a new cover?

In truth, I LOVE the original cover. I really do. I did a little more homework, though, and realized that it’s totally possible a different look would appeal to a better audience for the book. So…I’m nervous to reveal it, but here it is…

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It may not be the final version. I haven’t decided. It’s such a different direction, I reserve the right to change my mind as often as I’d like. Why be your own publisher if you don’t exercise all those rights and privileges, right?

At any rate, I thought this could be the dock where Laurie writes and sketches. It could be a spot on the lake where Wren birds. It could be where Billy fishes. It’s my hope, as well, that the new cover appeals to lovers of the outdoors, and evokes that “field guide” look, at least in part.

What do you think? If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear your opinion.

Updated buy links for Bird After Bird

Bird After Bird is for sale at four online retailers. Two have it at regular price of $5.99, the other two have it for $.99 for a limited time. That price could fly back up any minute.

Bookworm Brandee says:

I adore this story. It’s told in dual POV and having a front row seat to both Wren’s and Laurie’s journeys was fascinating. Ms. Tash clearly loves these characters and shares their story with such emotion and tenderness, it made me love them all the more. The fact that Wren and Laurie both have ‘bird’ names that correlate to the title was clever. There are many references to this throughout the story and Ms. Tash tied it all together with the birds brilliantly.

Click here to find my debut contemporary romance at your favorite bookseller.