Sunday, October 29, 2017

Audrey Turner of Teacher’s Pet by @KaylaDrakeBooks #Chicago, #ContemporaryRomance, #Family

RW:   What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

AT:     I’m ambitious, but it might not be the first thing you notice about me. Ambition is still the quality that has driven every one of my major life choices. I set out to be a successful business owner and hit certain career markers before the age of thirty, and I’ve done that. But I was worried about the state of the business, and that’s what led me to accept an unusual offer from Dennis Delaney.

RW:   Can you tell us about your hero

AT:     Dennis is a single father whose son, Cole, attends my private preschool. Cole was with us for several years before I met Dennis in person. Usually, we only dealt with the nannies! But Dennis always sent me memos about Cole’s care. Every morning, when the nanny dropped off Cole, I also received a fussy little note about shoelaces or snacks or something. So I always imagined Dennis to be a fussy, bespectacled type with skinny arms. Was I ever wrong about that!

RW:   What problems do you have to face and overcome in your life?

AT:     My business was showing a worrisome decline in the number of applicants for the next school year. In Chicago’s posh neighborhoods, reputation is everything, and I was worried that the school’s prestige might be slipping. I have to fix it. I just have to. This business is everything to me.

RW:   Do you expect your hero to help or is he the problem?

AT:     Maybe both! Dennis is a perfectionist and his morning memos have always been something of a pebble in my shoe. But I know if I can satisfy Dennis, if I can meet his exacting and rigorous standards, then I’m doing everything I can to make Miss Turner’s School as good as it can be.

RW:   Where do you live?

AT:     My business is in Lincoln Park, a high-rent neighborhood on Chicago’s lakefront. I have a modest apartment in a cheaper neighborhood, though, because all my resources go into the business.

RW:   Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Chocolate or caramel?

AT:     Bubble baths, for sure—that’s where I do some of my best thinking! Neither ocean nor mountains, but Chicago’s beautiful Lake Michigan. And how about chocolate AND caramel? I want it all! I also develop a special fondness for carrot cake in the book. That one is Dennis’s fault.

RW:   If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

AT:     “Don’t underestimate me.” People do that sometimes because I’m basically a preschool teacher and I’m used to being around little kids all the time. This gives me a sweet, playful demeanor, but inside, I’m very determined to succeed.

RW:   Party life or quiet dinner for two?

AT:     Quiet dinner for two. I go to the clubs with my girls sometimes, but I prefer being able to really connect with people one on one. Dennis is a good match for me in that respect. He’s charming across a table.

RW:   I love pizza with (fill in the blank).

AT:     Spinach and cheese, deep dish, Chicago style. There’s nothing else like it! I can’t always finish a whole slice—they’re so filling! But I love every mouthful. This is one of the best things about living in Chicago.

RW:   Nothing like Uno’s on a Friday night! The first Uno’s! Even the leftovers’re yummy.

Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.

AT:     Thank you so much for having me! I hope you enjoy my story!

RW:    I’ve already read it, and I liked it a lot. Cole’s quite the scamp! And Dennis—woo! Five stars.

Kayla Drake


Although she’s an enthusiastic traveler, Kayla Drake has spent most of her days right where she was born, in Chicago. When Kayla decided to write romance novels, she knew the stories had to feature her favorite places in this beautiful city by the Lake. Whether her couples visit the sculptures or the zoo, the sports arenas or the shopping districts, romance always grows in the “City of Big Shoulders.”

Teacher’s Pet

The Plot

Memo to Miss Turner:

Audrey Turner owns Miss Turner’s School, a top-tier preschool in the posh Lincoln Park neighborhood. Her students are the children of some of Chicago’s most successful doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs—and these parents expect nothing short of the best.

No parent is more demanding than wealthy investment banker Dennis Delaney. Every day, Audrey receives a morning memo from him containing precise instructions for his son, Cole’s care. No detail is too insignificant to escape this single father’s notice. When Dennis finds himself coping with a short-term summer childcare issue, Audrey agrees to be his temporary nanny. It’s a chance for a close view of their lifestyle, and if she can keep Dennis Delaney happy, then all the other parents should be content, too.

It’s only two weeks. Two weeks of daily contact with Chicago’s most meticulous parent—and its most eligible bachelor. Two maddening weeks of rigorously high standards and sizzling sex appeal. Audrey can handle anything for two weeks, right?

An Excerpt:

He wanted to touch her silky hair, know the softness of her throat under his fingertips, hear her voice telling him all her secrets.

Be patient, he instructed himself, but his arm curled closer to her shoulders. He inclined his head towards her. Her shoulders were mere inches from his fingertips. Everything about her was close, so close that he could catch the faint, clean scent of her shampoo. He wanted to be closer still. He wanted to know everything about her and to have her know everything about him.

He stared at her pink lips and wondered what it would take to get her to kiss him, to talk freely to him, or even to use that pink-rimmed mouth in ways he dared not envision at the moment. If he tried to kiss her, would she recoil? They hardly knew each other, after all. They’d spent a few evenings together talking about his son, their careers. But she knew nothing of his past, nothing of what was in his heart. He told no one these things. He banned himself from even thinking about them.

The distance between them was his fault. But it was one problem he could rectify.

To hell with patience.

Contact Kayla Drake At:

Book Links:

Monday, October 23, 2017

Beverly Bateman @kelownawriter #ContemporarWwestern, #RomanticSuspense, #BlackfootTribe,

I’d like to welcome Beverley Bateman, author of Targeted to my blog today.

RW:    Tell us about yourself, your family, where you live, etc.

BB:     I’m Canadian, a nurse and an administrator, who has loved plotting murders since I was a teen. I’ve recently left the wine and lake country of Kelowna, BC and moved to Medicine Hat, Alberta with my husband and two Shiba Inu dogs. And to avoid the icy cold winters I snowbird in Tucson.

RW:    Why did you decide to write? When did you submit your first manuscript and what genre was it?

BB:     I’ve always written; notes, plots, and even chats with those people in my head. I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time and figured out someone was sending me a message. I’d always written but not seriously, so I decided to write a novel. I heard romance was easy (which it’s not) so I wrote a romance, but kept adding in touches of murder.

RW:    Who are your favorite authors? Who influenced your writing?

BB:     There are so many great writers. A few of my favorite are JD Robb, Robyn Carr, BJ Daniels and Loreth Anne White—an eclectic group. As for who influenced my writing, there have been many people I know who have read, critiqued, and brain-stormed with me, who have all encouraged and influenced my writing.

RW:    Who are your favorite characters among the books you’ve written?

BB:     Lillian Abernathy—an older woman with early Alzheimers from A Cruise To Remember. Susan T. Brown, my heroine dog walker in Death Awaits. And Kye Hawkins, my hero in Targeted.

RW:    What makes a good book? A great romance? Is humor important in fiction and why?

BB:     A well-written hero and heroine, good internal and external conflict, an intriguing plot that keeps you turning the page, and a romance that becomes strong and overrides the external conflicts. Humor helps lighten tense situations and gives the reader a break until the next conflict.

RW:    How much does reader feedback matter to you? Do your fans’ comments and letters influence you in any way? Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?

BB:     Reader feedback is always important. It lets me know what I’m doing right—wrong—and maybe need to change or improve. They definitely influence me.

RW:    Tell us about your latest book. What motivated the story? Where did the idea come from? What genre is it? Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?

BB:     Targeted is the third book in my Hawkins Ranch Series. The story originated in the hotel where I was staying. I looked down into a fancy lobby with marble floors and pictured a cowboy striding across in spurs. Then I figured out why he was there. He was a brother in the Hawkins family. The book and series developed from there. It’s a contemporary western and crosses over into the paranormal slightly with Indian burial grounds and ghosts.

RW:    What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

BB:     I meditate. Then I might listen to relaxing jazz and have a little wine.

RW:    Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Puppies or kittens? Chocolate or caramel?

BB:     Steamy showers, oceans, puppies, and chocolate.

RW:    A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?

BB:     People Who Lived in Her Head

RW:    If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?

BB:     Paris. I’ve visited there a few times and I love the architecture and history. A perfect place to plot murders. Just need to brush up on my French.

RW:    Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.

BB:     Thanks, Rochelle. That was fun.


The Plot

After an eleven-year absence Janna Kincaid inherits a ranch and must return to a town she remembers with unhappiness, a man she briefly married and never wants to see again, and someone is trying to kill her.

Kye Hawkins has loved Janna since they met. They were married, but right after she left without an explanation. He hasn’t figured out why. Now she’s coming back. Can he rekindle the romance and prevent her from being killed.

Janna doesn’t want Kye’s help, yet he’s always there when she’s in trouble. Can they work together to stop a killer, and find romance again?

An Excerpt:

Someone had shot her back tire. Janna gripped the wheel to keep the vehicle on the road. She debated whether to try and outrun the shooter, wherever he was, or find cover. The windshield shattered as a third bullet entered the passenger side.

So much for outrunning the shooter.

She scanned the area and spotted an outcropping of rocks a few feet ahead on her right. She aimed the vehicle in that direction.

Two more shots, and both the back tires went down.

Definitely find cover.

Janna ducked low behind the steering wheel until the vehicle reached the rocks. When the car stopped, she grabbed the keys from the ignition and her purse and dove out the door. Bullets bounced off the rocks behind her as she scrambled for cover. Whoever was doing the shooting was serous. Anyone of the shots could have hit her.

She reached the rocks, keeping low until she got to the middle where she curled up as tightly as possible, her back against a rock. Her heart pounded in her ears, her breathing came in gasps. This was getting to be a habit. First someone tried to kill her in Seattle, and now, out in this god-forsaken country.

What the hell is going on? Why are they shooting at me? Was it the same person who shot at me in Seattle? That doesn’t seem likely, but who even knew I was coming here? Maybe it’s someone just trying to rob a stranger.

Yeah right, be honest, Janna, does this road look like many strangers came this way? And if they did, would they have a lot to steal? You really think this person selected a spot in the rocks where he would have a good shot at my vehicle. Coincidence? Not damn likely.

At least she’d worn boots and jeans—even if they were designer jeans. Now they were filthy, and so was her red sweater and jean jacket.

Another shot hit the rock behind her. She rolled over onto her stomach, shaded her eyes, and squinted into the sun. He must be up on the cliffs straight ahead. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she might have glimpsed a light, maybe a reflection off his scope.

Terrific! Now what? My gun is in my purse. I could fire back, but that would be a waste of bullets at this distance.

She yanked out her cell and punched in 9-1-1.

Damn—no reception.

A pounding pulsed through the ground and came closer. Janna could feel the vibrations. It felt like horses. She glanced around, without raising her head, to see what was coming.

Suddenly there was a hand in front of her face.

“Grab it and jump on.”

The deep, rumbling voice was not asking. It was an order.
Janna grabbed the strong hand. In one smooth motion, she swung up behind a man on his horse. Seconds later, she had her hands wrapped around his well-developed, muscular chest, as the big chestnut thundered across the ground, out of the bullets’ range.

The man wore a leather jacket over a sweater. Her hands slid under the jacket for better grip. Even through the sweater she could feel sinewy muscles. She laid her head against his back and his braid. She took a breath in, inhaling the rich scent of leather, trying to calm her racing heart rate.

She glanced behind her. The cliffs were fading into the distance. The muscles of his well-developed shoulders bunched and relaxed as he led the horse at a gallop across the field. She felt safe for some unfathomable reason.

He had a familiar woodsy scent that made her think of sex under pine trees, not that she’d ever made love there. In fact, her sex life was pretty negligible these days.

They’d been riding for several minutes when Janna leaned forward. “You can put me down any place. I can manage now.”

“Really? And just what are you going to do out here, miles from town, by yourself, with someone shooting at you?”

The voice was deep, but soft, and rolled over her like warmed brandy. It triggered something in the back of her memory. The earthy scent, the sinewy body, the braid, the voice… She knew this person who had ridden up out of nowhere to save her.

“I have my cell. I’ve already called 9-1-1,” she snapped.

“And did you get an answer?”

Janna yanked her cell phone up where she could see the screen again and re-tapped in 9-1-1. And then there was that famous phrase—No Service.

There was a deep chuckle. “That’s what I thought. There’s no service in this area. The mountains block it.”

Beverley Bateman


Beverley Bateman now lives in Medicine Hat, Alberta, exchanging the Okanagan vineyards and orchards for ranches and farms.

She lives there with her husband and Shiba Inu dogs. Winters she heads south. She writes her latest romantic suspense in both places. Hunted, Missing, and the newest —Targeted—are part of her Montana, Hawkins Ranch series. She also has her Holly Devine series; A Cruise to Remember, and A Murder to Forget. Don’t Go is her darker romantic suspense.

Book Links:

Contact Beverley At: