To The Monkees: Thank you for Bringing the Summer of My Childhood

I’m busy, but then I always am.  Right now I have a book I really need to make progress in writing, but instead there’s this…

Last weekend I made a trip to visit my mom for her birthday, which always in some way causes us to reminisce about things.  But this time I was more heavily entrenched in it.  This time I was caught up in memories of my sisters and me as young children.

We were called “the girls” by most of the family.  Poor daddy, stuck with a house fully of giggles all those years.

I can’t remember how old we were, but there was a family get-together at grandma’s house when mom and her sisters were all talking about The Monkees.

“The monkeys?”  I asked.

“No,” one aunt said, “not monkeys. The Monkees.”

And that is where it all began.

the girls 1How had we missed this?  We didn’t even know anything so awesome existed.  But the girls and I discovered The Monkees’ episodes were actually right there on Nickelodeon nearly every single day.  We were totally glued to the screen.  I can remember us guffawing over their antics in episode after episode.  My sister Cori had the wildest laugh and when she really got going it would trigger her asthma.  So many of those episodes were enjoyed above the roar of her nebulizer machine, but that really didn’t matter.  Those were some of the best times for us.

And it didn’t stop there.

One of my aunts took all of her Monkees’ records (you know, records.  The actual vinyl kind) and she recorded them to cassette tapes for us.  We listened to them ALL THE TIME.   We were children of the fabulous eighties, but all we cared about hearing was The Monkees.

In those days my parents had an old single car garage that was chock full of stuff.  The girls and I were allowed to play house in there.  Oh, those were the days!  We moved wooden boards around to create “rooms” in our playhouse.  We somehow found an old magazine with an image of The Monkees on the cover and we taped it into our toy oven thereby transforming it into a television set. I discovered a set of tiny glass bottles and an eye dropper and created a “laboratory” in one corner.  And while my husband, Davy Jones, was off on tour, I was a chemist.

the girls 2Yep, it’s true.  I was once married to Davy Jones.  And the coolest thing is that my sisters hooked Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz respectively.  We were married to the Monkees!  And when we had a friend come over, we graciously allowed her to have Mike Nesmith, because we wanted all of our precious Monkees to “get the girl.”

But as always happens, the years went by and we grew up.  And then an aneurysm took Cori from us.  Still, when I need that feel of home and of childhood, I’ve often pulled up some of my favorite Monkees’ songs.  Mary, Mary, Listen to the Band, Steppin’ Stone…  there are just too many to recount and each one brings with it the sweet taste of remembrance.

And then just a week or so ago I heard The Monkees’ new release, You Bring the Summer and I’ve been partially overcome with memories since then.  And I’ve so enjoyed that bittersweet trip through scenes and games and girlhood giggles.

Because even when it’s freezing outside… even if there’s no sun and sand…The Monkees’ songs bring the summer of my childhood back to me and for that I’ll always appreciate them and their music.

So Davy, Peter, Mike and Micky, thanks from a little girl who will still always consider you family. 

Olivia_Hardin

Prison Break! Enjoy an Excert from Moon Beam Dream

a moon beam dream FINAL“So, any thoughts on what to do about Red?” Rhiannon asked.
“Only one and you won’t like it.”
She dropped her hands and looked hard at her friend, one side of her mouth twitched up in an almost smile, “Tell me anyway.”
“Well we both know breaking a curse is not an easy prospect unless we know who placed it.  We can try to breech the block, but the underworld prisons have existed a long time.  If that were possible, surely someone would have done it by now.  So that means, unless we want to let her suffer for eternity, I say we sneak her out of there.”
“A prison break!” Rhiannon dropped her head back in exasperation, “That’s your idea?  You just said underworld prisons have existed for a long time, how do you expect us to get her past all of that magic.”
Lynlee was quiet which meant she was thinking.  Which might or might not have been a good thing.
Suddenly Rhia stood.  “And, you are not involved in this except on a consultation basis.  You’re injured, remember?”
“Pfft,” the witch waved her hand in the air, dismissing that comment, “I’m fine.  I can help with this.  It’s time for me to get out of this house, Rhia.”
“Uhm, no way.  No way in hell.  Do you know what Beck would do to me?”
“Beck?  He’s human.  You’re a werevamp.  I’m pretty sure you can take him.”
Rhiannon stared down at her friend, “I’ll sedate you if I have to,” she wagged her finger.
Frowning, Lynlee crossed her arms over her chest and pouted, “Fine.”

Preorder NOW on Amazon!

Releases May 24, 2016

 

The Werevamp Diaries are back with Moon Beam Dream!

I am so in love with this cover!  Doesn’t Rhiannon look awesome?  Moon Beam Dreams will release in just a few weeks so I decided to whet your appetite with this first peek of her cover and blurb… plus, keep reading to get a little teaser too!

I’m not good with death. Yeah, it’s true that I’m a doctor and a a moon beam dream  FINALvet, but I’m darned good at what I do, and death doesn’t happen often when a life is in my hands. Whether I’m working my medical magic or letting my werewolf out so she can kick some a**, I can always count on me to get the job done. I was totally willing to put my life on the line for my BFF… now that we’ve saved her from the grim reaper, I was really hoping things would settled down for all of us.

But I guess it just doesn’t work that way. Instead I’m dealing with a tricky medical case that may be beyond my abilities, not to mention a baby situation that I totally never saw coming. And I’m not sure if it’s the stress of all that, but a weird tension is cropping up between me and the love of my life.

All I want is to find a way to protect all those most important to me, but it seems there’s a new test behind every door. Can’t a girl catch a break?

Preorder HERE and it will drop into your hot little hands on May 24th!

Want a taste of Moon Beam Dream?  Check out my blog post.

AND, did you know…

lynlee books

You can get the entire Lynlee Lincoln Series for FREE in the KINDLE UNLIMITED library.

Lend a Helping Paw for the Love Paws Release

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It’s RELEASE DAY for LOVE PAWS!

Help us celebrate Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and go download this amazing anthology NOW. Only 99 cents for seven wonderful, sexy romances . . . you can’t beat that deal.

Of course, what could make six contemporary romance shorts plus one story with a paranormal twist by award-winning and best-selling authors even better? Add seven sweet, scene-stealing pets . . . and then make the whole project a benefit for animal rescue charities!

That’s just what we’ve done. LOVE PAWS features short stories with a little bit of steam, a little of sweet and happy endings all around. Each story also includes a pet, just to give the romance a bit of a boost.

Each author is donating her portion of the net proceeds to a specific animal charity. Check out which charities will benefit below! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway-scroll down.

Get your copy now! Amazon/iBooks/Nook/Google/Kobo

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Montana Heat (Chefs of the West, Book One) by Becca Boyd (Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter)

One protective smokejumper, one reluctant landowner, one big fire… Randa Sadler has turned away the sheriff, the Forest service, and all her neighbors. She knows the fire is coming, and she’s not leaving her home. When Tyson Herrick is sent to talk her down off the mountain, he finds the secret that’s keeping her there… but can he save her from the oncoming fire without losing his heart in the process?

By Chance (A Playing Games Spin-off Novella) Rene Folsom (K9s for Warriors)

While burying herself into her editing job, Samantha Cline struggles to come to terms with the fact that her love life is dormant… and has been for quite some time. Every sickly sweet love story she has to edit continuously reminds her of how impractical romance is. Aside from her loyal group of friends who have their own relationship drama, she settles for companionship of the canine variety with her best bud, Chance. In truth, there’s only one man who has ever turned Sam’s head, though she’d never admit it aloud. She remembers watching him train horses on her dad’s farm as a teenager, and no other man has ever measured up. Now that he’s been living next door to her for a few years, she can’t help but wish he’d glance her way and show some sort of recognition. Sam is finally pushed over the edge when her dog runs off, forcing her to reassess her lot in life and what it would take to heal her heart in his absence. Then, one stormy night, her very sexy neighbor shows up on her doorstep, stealing her breath away with his presence. After a rather awkward encounter, Sam can’t help but wonder if she’ll lose her chance for good.

Saving Grace: A Beautiful Ruin Story Alison Foster (LA Animal Services)
They call it a moment of truth. We all have them. Nathan and I are no different. Those are the moments when things can go two ways, toward a better life or toward destruction.
Nathan was my everything — until this morning when a white lie entered our circle of trust which led quickly to a second lie and then, of course, in our life, a gun is always soon to follow.
They don’t cover guns or deceit in any of my baby books. I checked. My charmed life with my man and my sweet dog, Annie, is spinning out of control again. And to make matters worse, we haven’t had sex in weeks.
All in the Takeoff (The Rawley Family Romances – 4) Olivia Hardin (Pets Fur People – Tyler Humane Society No-Kill Shelter)
Harrison Richards may be part-Rawley, but he’s content with a ranch life just outside his tight family circle. On a flight to pick up a rescue dog after his cousin Kay’s wedding, his small Cessna is grounded due to weather. Harrison’s left to find lodging for himself . . . and a shepherd-mix named Curtiss. Single-mom Kitty Sears has a hectic life running a busy bed-and-breakfast. The short window between winter and summer is her unofficial vacation, when local tourism is almost dead, so she’s surprised to get a call about a guest looking for special accommodations. From the moment Harrison lays eyes on Kitty Sears, he has a feeling he’s getting more than he bargained for in a hostess. He’s not looking for romance, but it may be that love just needs a little spark to takeoff . . .
My One And Always (A THE ONE Trilogy and ALWAYS LOVE Trilogy Crossover Short) Tawdra Kandle (MuttNation)
Sydney moved to the small town of Burton, Georgia to run her aunt’s bakery. At least, that’s her excuse. She doesn’t exactly want to broadcast the fact that her own restaurant went belly-up, her boyfriend ditched her and her life is in shambles. And the cute newspaper guy who keeps pestering her for date with his danish? Yeah, that’s not happening. Will is pretty sure he’s a glutton for punishment. After all, Sydney’s made it clear she’s not interested, but he just can’t seem to stay away, no matter how hard he tries. Now, though, he’s got a secret weapon–the four-legged kind. Can this down-on-his-luck dog be the key to toppling the walls around her heart?
Lindy James is the sister of baseball star, Tate James. When Tate’s neighbor Kip Deevers crosses paths with Tate’s little sister, he gets more than he bargains for-a grade school crush and a pair of dog paws on his chest. The attraction between the two is undeniable, but Lindy’s past has her afraid to let Kip get too close. Kip is willing to put aside his dislike for all things furry to get to know Lindy better, but will she let her guard down long enough for Kip to win over her heart?
Taunt: A Twisted Wolf Tale Juli Valenti (Suncoast Animal League)
There’s no place like home.
When a tornado plagues the state of Arkansas, picking up Emmy’s house and dropping it into a world she’s never seen before, she thinks things couldn’t get any worse. Except, she was wrong. Especially when it killed the good witch and she’s named a murderer.
In order to get home, and to escape the wrath of the enraged town-folk, Emmy must maneuver the Wicked Woods, along with her pet wolf, Laurent, to prove she, herself, is not a Wicked Witch. In the woods lurk nightmares of her own creation, and, when doubt begins to set in, she realizes things are not always as they seem.
Follow the story of Emmy and Laurent in this modern-day twist on The Wizard of Oz.

 

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Olivia's Love Paws Charity Announcement-Pets Fur People

On June 21, 2011, hubby and I arrived at the Tyler, Texas No Kill Shelter to look at a puppy.  We’d lost our 13+ year old beagle, Molly, earlier that year and hubby wasn’t quite sure he was ready for this step… but I’d already made a few trips to the shelter in search of a new fur-baby.  I thought another beagle would be just the thing and I’d been immediately directed to a teeny, tiny tri-colored puppy.  The shelter’s best guess was that she was a beagle mix.  Bingo!

When Danny met her I bit my lip and nervously waited, hopeful that he would see what I saw in her.  I almost cried when we made our decision and on the drive home we decided to call her Bonnie.

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Bonnie Sue’s Adoption Day Pic!

Within a few weeks we were quite surprised when one of her ears suddenly popped up… we began to suspect she might not be a beagle after all.

ear up

Ear Up!

And then within a few more days, the other ear turned up as well.  Our vet informed us that she was most definitely a corgi-mix.  And we have absolutely no regrets about that.  Adopting a shelter pup was one of the best decisions we ever made.  This little girl gives us so much joy and love and entertainment.

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Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful…

new-logo1I’ve told everyone I know about the Tyler Humane Society Shelter, now called Pets Fur People.  I saw so many wonderful animals looking for their fur-ever homes and part of me wishes I could have taken more of them.

But that brings me to my BIG news.  When six other authors and I decided to publish an anthology of short stories to benefit animal rescue charities, I knew this would be a wonderful opportunity to tell the world about Pets Fur People.

hardcoverjacket_747x1076I’m so proud to announce that Pets Fur People will be the recipient of a share of the net proceeds from the sale of Love Paws.

And what could make seven contemporary romance shorts by award-winning and best-selling authors even better? Add seven sweet, scene-stealing pets . . . and then make the whole project a benefit for animal rescue charities!

That’s just what we’ve done. LOVE PAWS features short stories with a little bit of steam, a little of sweet and happy endings all around. Each story also includes a pet, just to give the romance a little boost.

This anthology releases April 19th, in celebration of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.

The book is currently on exclusive preorder at iBooks, but links will be available at most retailers soon.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER

15 Years of Research… #TriviafromOlivia

This is what 15 years of research looks like… IMG_20160102_145053

… But I have to confess that until recently it wasn’t quite so organized. So why is this important?  Well, let me explain…

If you read my recent release, Reaping Trouble (The Lynlee Lincoln Series Book 4) you might have read the following Trivia from Olivia spot:

Many of you know that my husband, Danny Sessums, is a historian.  We’re in the process of working towards publication of his research thesis about Granbury’s Texas Infantry Brigade during the U.S. Civil War (or as he calls it, The War of Northern Aggression—what can I say?  He’s a Southerner through and through.) 

Eight regiments of approximately 11, 000 men from Texas made up what would become Granbury’s brigade.  They would, for the most part, begin their service as somewhat mediocre organizations but would eventually be forged into the “premier brigade in the finest division of the Army of Tennessee.” 

After years of fighting, of dying side by side, these brothers-in-arms finally arrived at Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864.  Granbury’s men had marched eighteen miles in just over six hours to reach the field and were given a few moments to recover their breath before engaging.  Instead of resting, some of the men began to pull out scraps of paper and pencils and writing “This is the body of . . .” then pinning the notes to their lapels. 

These Confederates were seasoned soldiers, and as they looked out across the flat land over which they were expected to attack, they knew their chances of survival were almost none.  In the end, the division commander Patrick Cleburne as well as the Brigadier Hiram Granbury would lay dead.  In addition, every field commander and every officer save one would be killed, wounded or missing.  One survivor recounted that over fifty-two percent of the brigade was lost in a single bayonet assault.

Although the brigade was all but decimated, the remaining men would continue until April 1865, when they received the order to “stack arms.”  At the start of the war, their numbers had been in excess of 11,000, but at their official surrender, the rolls would list only about 345 men. 

The paymaster distributed to them one Mexican silver dollar and a US. Dime as their final payment, then the men began their long journey home, some of them boarding trains heading west.  It was noted that some of the engineers appeared intoxicated, but one must imagine that the men were so elated to head home that they would have overlooked even that. 

So it was, that just northeast of Knoxville and near Strawberry Fields, the lead engine descended into a valley and picked up such speed that it jumped the tracks.  The rear train ran into the back of it, causing a terrible accident which claimed the lives of fifteen more of the men and wounded over thirty. 

 The story of the men of Granbury’s is truly one of the most heartbreaking I have ever heard, and no matter how many times my husband talks about “his boys,” I always find myself shedding tears for them. 

I know this was a longer bit of “trivia” for you, but I’m sure you can see why it is one that is so near and dear to my heart.

aftbrwAnd now I’m so proud to announce that Danny and I are going to be working together to bring his research to print.  He’s worked very hard all of these years to keep the boys of Granbury’s alive and their story, and his, deserve to be told.  So if any of you are super seriously into history like I am or if you know someone who is, then you’ll want to keep an eye on Danny.

Check him out here:

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Love Paws: Lending Love a Helping Paw

Love Paws Banner

What could make seven contemporary romance shorts by award-winning and best-selling authors even better? Add seven sweet, scene-stealing pets . . . and then make the whole project a benefit for animal rescue charities!

That’s just what we’ve done. LOVE PAWS features short stories with a little bit of steam, a little of sweet and happy endings all around. Each story also includes a pet, just to give the romance a little boost.

This anthology releases April 18th, in celebration of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. You can preorder your copy today exclusively through iBooks.

***~~~***

Becca Boyd: Fire Up

Rene Folsom: By Chance: A Playing Games Spin-off Novella

Alison Foster: Saving Grace: A Beautiful Ruin Story

Olivia Hardin: All in the Takeoff: A Rawley Family Romance

Tawdra Kandle: My One and Always (An Always Love Short)

Lyssa Layne: Dig Deep

Juli Valenti: Taunt : A Twisted Wolf Tale

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A Rawley Family Romance "Deleted Scene"

As a Merry Christmas thank you, here’s a Rawley Family Romance “Deleted Scene.”

Jeremy found Meg in their room, putting the finishing touches on a few gifts.  She was nothing if not overzealous about gift wrapping.  The three boxes were rectangular, and he imagined they must contain clothing of some sort.  The paper was whimsical of the kind he knew his wife would choose for children, and there was a ribbon crisscrossed on each one with a bow in the center.

 “I thought you were finished with the gifts,” he murmured, sneaking in behind her and pecking one of her rosy cheeks.

 “Oh, Jeremy!  You surprised me.  Well, these are the Christmas Eve gifts for the boys, and at the last minute I decided to extend the tradition for Nichole… er, Michelle.”

 He rubbed his hands on her arms as if warming her up, though he couldn’t imagine she would be cold in the room which had a roaring fire.  His touches were ones of affection, and his wife sighed in contentment, offering him a smile across her shoulder.

 “I didn’t remember you wrapping the Christmas Eve ones before.” 

 She bit her lip, then giggled nervously.  “Well, I don’t, but… well, the truth is I just love watching little ones unwrap presents, and so I decided to wrap the baby’s, and if I wrapped hers, I should do the boys, too.”  She paused and furrowed her brow.  “Don’t you think?”

 Jeremy didn’t dare laugh.  His wonderful wife’s feelings were tender enough as it was, so he nodded seriously and gave her a little squeeze.  “Yes, indeed.”  She didn’t like all of the conflict going on in the house after the blow up between his sister Kay and his cousin Brennan. 

 Jeremy had been just as shocked as his sister when he was told the truth about Hope kidnapping baby Michelle.  But for all of his shock, Kay had been furious, and the resulting argument was explosive to say the least.

 For now, there was a silent truce between all concerned, but the tension was still heavy in the air, and that weighed on Meg.  Her natural reaction was to do something to bring happiness and joy back into their midst.

 “Oh, good.  I was hoping this would be all right.  We’ll let the children open them tonight after dinner then, okay?”

 Meg didn’t wait for him to agree this time, just bundled up her boxes and hurried out of the room, humming some Christmas carol as she went. 

 He knew what the boxes would contain.  Meg’s mother hadn’t been an attentive parent, but she had started a tradition that his wife decided to carry on with their children.  There would be matching holiday pajamas for the boys and probably a holiday nightgown for Michelle.  The little ones would go to sleep in their Christmas outfits, visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.  He could just about imagine them all the next morning, waking up with funny little bed heads and in green and red PJs. 

His heart warmed, and a grin spread across his face.  Even with the cloud of unsettled emotions going on in Arrington Manor, his wife found a way to shine through it all.  Jeremy thought he would never stop marveling at the way his Meg could do tiny little things each day to make him fall in love with her all over again. 

I hope you enjoyed that little “Return to Arrington Manor” Christmas scene.  And if you haven’t seen them yet, The Rawley Family Romances have an all new look!  In 2016 you’ll get two more Rawley stories!

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If you haven’t read them, click HERE to find all three Rawley Romances.

And now, how about a little “bonus” Christmas!  The first five who respond to this emaiw will get a $5.00 Amazon gift card!  Tell me about your favorite Christmas tradition?

Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for a fabulous 2015!

Olivia Hardin

 

Melissa Lummis's Nirvana Cover Reveal

The Final Story in the Love and Light Series wraps up Wolf, Loti, Heather, and Christian in an enlightened bow just in time for the holidays…
You can Pre-Order your copy for just 99 cents now:

What is it about the holidays that brings out the drama in every family? And Christian’s unusual hearth and home is no exception. Christmas was never the vampire’s favorite time of year, but when Loti goes into premature labor during a wintry nor-easter he will learn for the first time what family–and maybe even Christmas–is all about.

PMS and Football? #TriviaTuesday #TriviafromOlivia #39to39Event

Trouble with Holidays (3)If you aren’t already familiar with my books, then you might not know anything about Trivia from Olivia.  But in almost each and every story that I publish, I include a strange, weird, obscure trivia or history snippet.  Hey, I’m married to a historian so it isn’t any wonder, right?

And in The Trouble with Holidays (A Lynlee Lincoln Prequel) my trivia was brought mostly by the hubby.  First, there’s PMS.  I was already dating the hubby when I decided to audit one of the history classes he taught at the local university.  I will never forget the day he lectured about PMS; the common aspect of many Native American tribes to be Polytheistic, Matrilineal and to have Sex-linked traits.  I explained the basics of what that means here in the story (read it to find out;-) but I just wanted you guys to know that I didn’t make it up.  The college professor who swept me off my feet about sixteen years ago used that in all of his United States History courses.

During The Trouble with Holidays Lynlee makes this comment about her job:
“I feel like the third string quarterback who gets put into the game at the end of the fourth quarter when we’re already winning two hundred and twenty-two to nothing.”

Originally I wrote 100-0, but when I mentioned it to hubby, he proceeded to tell me about the Cumberland vs Georgia Tech game that ended with a score of 222-0.  He thought he recalled the year of that game to be 1915, but it was actually 1916–still, pretty impressive that his brain can hold all of that “useless” information.

gt_cumberland_222_scoreboard

According to what I was able to find online, it appears that Cumberland College discontinued its football program, but that they weren’t allowed to cancel this particular game against Georgia Tech.  The internet provides lots of myths about the game, some of which have been debunked.  But I have to say the quote from the Atlanta Journal pretty much sums up what the game must have been like:

“As a general rule, the only thing necessary for a touchdown was to give a Tech back the ball and holler, ‘Here he comes’ and ‘There he goes.’”

Oh, and one more fun fact.  The coach for Georgia Tech that year?  None other than John Heisman.

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1916_Cumberland_vs._Georgia_Tech_football_game

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/in-1916-georgia-tech-beat-cumberland-college-222-to-0-22745905/?no-ist