Raeann Blake (Author)

Ramblings from Raeann

Posts Tagged ‘Davis’

MICHAEL is coming soon!

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on May 22, 2014

Read the sample.

Read the sample.

I know, you’ve waited forever, but we’re almost there now. Michael will be available very soon. To read a sample, just click on the cover.


Michael (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book Three)

Michael didn’t want or need a woman in his life. So how did he wind up with two? One that lived in memories that wouldn’t die. And one that slipped in around all of his defenses and underneath the radar to trace whispers across a heart that wasn’t ready for her. And he certainly wasn’t going to help the situation by hiring her as the final member of his primary investigative team. The team needed her. She was a necessity… and a distraction that could get one or both of them killed.

Trisha really wanted this job. To get it, she needed to get her mind off of “the hat” from the night before. She especially needed to forget about the wounded eyes, the broken heart, and the gentle touch that she saw and felt when the hat came off for a single dance. Instinct told her that the man beneath that hat was made for loving. But he hadn’t just been singed around the edges. Somebody burned him through and through. He would never let himself love again.

Michael. His name is Michael.

Posted in Books, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Special Announcement…DAVIS is here!!!!!!

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on July 14, 2013

DavisFinally, right? Davis (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book Two) is now available for Kindle. Look for the paperback version in the next few days.

Davis (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book Two)

Davis Reardon was a persistent man. Lonely, but persistent. For two years he happily watched love grow and deepen between his brother and the woman who completed his life. Jake and Brinley were two halves of a whole. And Davis was patiently waiting for his turn. Waiting for the one woman who was meant to be the other part of him.

He thought the wait was over when Dusty Lawton drove into his life. That connection, that instant recognition of matching pieces came immediately. Still, he tried hard not to slide down that slippery slope too quickly. But sliding he was. Right up until he discovered the one thing he didn’t want to know.

Gold ring. Third finger. Left hand. Married! Now what?

He was raised to never touch another man’s wife. He could practically hear his daddy rolling over in his grave at just the thought. He pretty much figured the man would rise right up out of it if he couldn’t stop that downhill slide and actually touched her. But if she wasn’t meant to be with him, how could he explain all the things that said she was?

The man who raised Dusty always told her the right man for her was out there somewhere. How cruel that she should find him when it was too late, after she was trapped in a marriage she never wanted. A marriage her husband would kill to keep her in.

In a dangerous game of cat and mouse, the crosshairs land first on Owen Lawton, while Davis, Jake and the rest try to unravel the mystery of why Dusty insists she must remain in a marriage that’s in name only, before it was too late. Just when they think the game is won, things take a deadly twist.

Posted in Books, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

How it is…

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on July 2, 2013

sick2So…I’m pretty sure you probably all thought I died or something. I apologize for not being around. I am still breathing…most of the time. I’m not sure I’ve ever specifically spelled it out before, but I have severe COPD with very little lung function left. This whole process of learning to cope with the disease, the side effects of the medication, the treatments, tests, depression, and an overwhelming anxiety has been just more than I could bear and truly interact with all of you. I cannot promise you that it is going to get any better although the doctors seem to at least for now have a handle on the anxiety to the point that it’s not just completely debilitating anymore. But I face many struggles coming soon and as I reach each one, I can’t tell you what will happen then. There are many tests yet to be done and we have already taken the first step of many towards the recommended lung transplant. And if that happens, that’s a whole different road to go down once the surgery is done.

I am not a fan of sharing too much personal information either on the web or even in person. Some things just seem to be better kept private. The state of my health has always been one of those things, but I think my readers should know what is happening. I’m hoping that posting a few updates here will not only update you but could be therapeutic for me. I can’t promise you that I’ll update it every day. In fact I can almost guarantee you that I won’t. And I can’t promise you that I’ll update it every time something happens. Each setback tends to push me farther inside myself and it is usually days or even weeks before I can discuss it with anyone. I still want to respond to each of you individually when you post here or on FB, but it just might not be possible or may be a while coming.

I’m not doing this for everyone to try to cheer me up or send me ‘be strong’ quotes for the day or anything like that. I’m doing this for me. Although there is no cure for COPD, I want to get better. And if writing things out helps me mentally or emotionally then that is a positive step. And if it keeps you updated on the progress of the books then that’s another benefit.

I’ve tried so hard to get back into my writing. I only have a little bit left to do on the final pass-through of Davis before it will be ready to go, but I have had so little interest in anything at all that it is very difficult to get myself to sit down and get started. I’ve been trying to write this post for over a month now and finally managed it. Maybe that’s a good sign that I’m ready to start back.

If I can just get a little healthier I just know that all the things that used to interest me will start to come back. I have to get my weight back up again. I weighed 97 pounds when they first put me in the hospital and I had gained up to 107 at one point. But I’m back to 97 now. It’s so difficult to force food down your throat that just tastes burned. Some of the medications have killed my taste buds and there are only a few things that I can taste at all. So I have no appetite but have to eat and drink nutritional supplements to try to get my weight back up. And then my physical ability has waned again since I’ve missed so much of my pulmonary rehab while we were struggling to control the anxiety. Bottom line is that I don’t weigh enough and I’m not strong enough for a lung transplant now, so that is the number one priority at this point.

On the up side, I am breathing better right now than I have in months as long as I’m not engaging in any physical activity. (Update…I was until another exacerbation sent me back to the ER on Saturday…doing fair now.) I know that sounds sort of stupid, but when you can’t even breathe freely while sitting in a chair for several months and now you can, it’s a big deal even if a weather front comes through or some other trigger crops up and messes it up again tomorrow. I’m lying down to sleep again and I’m turning the TV and lights off at night again. That was mostly a side effect of the anxiety.  I still haven’t been back on the bike but once since the last setback, but to ride again anytime, anywhere is one of my goals.

If you are inclined to follow these sparse update posts, I can promise you a lot of bitching, whining, and just generally feeling sorry for myself. Hopefully those days will be balanced with ones where I can express that I really do know how lucky I am to still be here and remember to see the good things along with the bad.

While you are so patiently waiting on the rest of The Seven Brothers of Elko, remember there are so many gifted authors out there. Some are established and some are brand new. Yes, there are some that are not so great, but keep searching. There are diamonds in the rough. Happy Reading!.

Posted in Books, Just Stuff, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Are we there yet?

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on February 18, 2013

Out of the hospital and down the block and back on the Harley as a Valentine's present!

Out of the hospital and down the block and back on the Harley as a Valentine’s present!

Okay, so we all know I haven’t had the best few weeks and I honestly don’t remember a lot of the early part. But according to reports from family and a somewhat astonished doctor today at the difference between the patient she saw pre-hospital and the one in her office today, I must be something of a walking, talking, bona fide medical miracle. I’m certainly grateful to be alive. I’m grateful to even be breathing. The actions of my family keeping me alive until they could get me to agree to even go to the hospital was nothing short of miraculous in itself. And the prayers of family, friends, fans (who are also friends), and people I don’t even know helped us all make it through.

Regardless, I will be glad when the effects of all the steroids they pumped into me have completely dissipated from the body so my brain, my mood, and my emotions can all get back to normal and I can get back to work on both the day-job and the books.

Just so you’ll know where we stand, the 2nd half of Davis has been edited and sent back to me…waiting for me to make updates and send to the proofreader. The 1st half has been finished by the proofreader and sent back to me…waiting for me to make updates. I will try to get the 2nd half updates finished and shipped off within the next two weeks and I will work on the 1st half changes while I’m waiting on that to come back. I think it’s safe to say we’re not going to hit even February 28th. Davis will be out in March barring any additional major medical meltdowns.

Thanks to everybody for hanging in with me and thanks so much for all the new friends on the FB page, all the messages of encouragement, and the prayers. I promise I will get back into the FB swing and connect with each of you within the next few weeks.

Happy Reading!!!

Raeann

Posted in Books, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Girly Books Blog Hop Winners & More

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on January 22, 2013

giftcorralGirly Books Blog Hop Winners

I’ve had so much fun participating in my first blog hop over the last few days. I spent some time jumping around myself to the other participant sites to read about locations around the globe. And I especially enjoy interacting with my readers and new visitors, too. For my part in the hop, I offered some great items from Montana Gift Corral as prizes plus 2 mini-bookmarks for Jake and Davis for each winner. I used Random.org to generate the winners list. Please join me in congratulating the following winners:

  • Celina K – Huckleberry Votive Gift Pack
  • Julie Darden – Gift pack of a Mooseberry Tea Tin, a Wild Huckleberry Boxed Votive, and Mooseberry Jam
  • Laura Horton – Super gift pack of an Inspiration Bear Track Mug, Cowboy Cafe Ground Coffee, and Huckleberry Cocoa Mix

Thanks to everyone for ‘hopping’ by to read about Montana and leaving your comments!

And now for more

Sales are still running high on both Jake and Taming Clay. I’m very proud, very humbled, and very grateful for all of my readers and those who have taken time out of their busy day to write a review or drop me a line to let me know they enjoyed the books. Just a few statistics at the time of this post:

Taming Clay

  • Amazon Reviews: 108 Total, Overall-4.4★,  68-5★, 21-4★
  • Currently is 20th Top Rated in Western Romance

Jake (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book One)

  • Amazon Reviews: 59 Total, Overall 4.7★, 49-5★, 4-4★
  • Currently is 8th Top Rated in Romance Series

About Davis

As most of you know, we are still shooting for a February release for Davis (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book Two). That is still my hope, but I have to add a caveat. Although Davis is now sitting with the editor and proofreader, there is still work to be done on it by me and that is where the bottleneck is. I’ve had several weeks now of ill health and although I am better, I am far from well yet. I just wanted to let you know that I am working as much as I can at this point, but if we do have to slide the date over into March that it was never our intention and the fault lies with the nut behind the wheel. I just ask that you hang with us as I work through all of this.

Thank you for stopping by. Congratulations to the winners. And happy reading!

~ Raeann

Posted in Books, Taming Clay, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Seven Brothers of Elko – Davis

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on December 19, 2012

Davis Reardon was a persistent man. Lonely, but persistent. For two years he happily watched love grow and deepen between his brother and the woman who completed his life. Jake and Brinley were two halves of a whole. And Davis was patiently waiting for his turn. Waiting for the one woman who was meant to be the other part of him.

He thought the wait was over when Dusty Lawton drove into his life. That connection, that instant recognition of matching pieces came immediately. Still, he tried hard not to slide down that slippery slope too quickly. But sliding he was. Right up until he discovered the one thing he didn’t want to know.

Gold ring. Third finger. Left hand. Married! Now what?

He was raised to never touch another man’s wife. He could practically hear his daddy rolling over in his grave at just the thought. He pretty much figured the man would rise right up out of it if he couldn’t stop that downhill slide and actually touched her. But if she wasn’t meant to be with him, how could he explain all the things that said she was?

The man who raised Dusty always told her the right man for her was out there somewhere. How cruel that she should find him when it was too late, after she was trapped in a marriage she never wanted. A marriage her husband would kill to keep her in.

In a dangerous game of cat and mouse, the crosshairs land first on Owen Lawton, while Davis, Jake and the rest try to unravel the mystery of why Dusty insists she must remain in a marriage that’s in name only, before it was too late. Just when they think the game is won, things take a deadly twist.

Sneak peek – read the free excerpt here!

Posted in Books, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Progress Is A Slow Process

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on November 19, 2012

First just a little update. A while back I posted that I had the first half of Davis ready to send to the editor. Well… I ran into a bit of a snag. As I was doing one last pass through it, I kept finding sections I decided needed to be rewritten. So that was a bit delayed. However, I am happy to report that the first half is now in the hands of the editor and I’m on to working on the second part.

Second, I am extremely happy to welcome Amy Jirsa-Smith to the team as our fabulous new proofreader. We are so happy to have her on board. Adding that additional pair of eyes will lengthen the time it will take us to get a release ready, but the end result will be worth it.

Since it is almost Thanksgiving now, I think we can honestly rule out a December release for Davis. I really wanted to have this out before Christmas, but it is just not going to happen. I will get the blurb and a sample up on the website around the first of December and we will hope for January but shoot for February on the release.

Have you ever wondered what my process is for getting these books ready or why it takes so long between each release when all of the books are already written?

It is true that they were all written years ago. So the first thing I have to do is a complete read-through to get back into the story again and correct any items that may not be relevant today that were just fine 5 years ago. At this point I will create the eBook cover and add the “Coming Soon” banner.

Next, I will go through the first half of the book at least two more times, making updates and corrections along the way. I may (which translates to ‘usually’) rewrite pieces in this step.

Once I am satisfied, I now go back through it yet again with a text-to-speech program, listening and reading at the same time. The brain may automatically fill in words that are missing when you are reading something and you never notice. But hearing it read aloud will often point out those errors.

As soon as I am satisfied with the first 2 or 3 chapters, I stop and write a blurb for the book. Then I’ll send that and the first chapters to use as a sample on the website over to my wonderful editor, Sharon Gunn-Jones, who allows me the leeway to keep my voice, my story but makes it better. Then I continue with the remainder of the first half.

When this step is complete, I send that section to Sharon and I start the process over again with the second part. Hopefully, by the time I am through with this piece, she will be finished with the part she has and we will swap. (Usually she is waiting on me here.)

Now I will make changes based on her recommendations and send that to Amy for proofreading. So at this point, Amy has the first half, Sharon has the second, and I have moved on to begin the same process with the next book.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I will have received the edited blurb and sample back from Sharon and I will create the sample file and update the website.

When Sharon finishes editing the second part, she’ll send it back to me for corrections and off it will go to Amy while I keep going on the next book. After Amy has finished, it comes back to me and I make any additional corrections needed. At this point I will also make any needed changes to the sample on the website that Amy may have found. Then the fun begins.

The eBook and print versions need to be formatted differently. So I will build those files with the appropriate formatting for each, update the eBook cover to remove the “Coming Soon” banner and the Kindle version is ready to upload… sort of.

Are you with me so far?

Next, I will email the Kindle version to my Kindle through Amazon where they will convert it to the Kindle format. I then go through the book AGAIN to make sure I don’t see something on my Kindle version that we all missed everywhere else or any issues with the formatting. (Am I beyond sick of this book by this point…you betcha!) Once I am satisfied, the Kindle version can now be uploaded and released.

Now, since I do my own covers, I need to create the cover for the print version (front, back and spine) and convert that into a high-resolution graphic that can be used for printing that glossy paperback. Once this is complete I can begin the process of sending everything to CreateSpace to publish this version. This usually consists of more than one attempt to get the cover exactly right and an error-free submission. Then just like magic…..VOILA! I can now order a proof copy of the print version and wait a week for it to come in. I receive the proof, allow myself a few minutes for a happy dance and, assuming it is okay, I can finally push the button to release it and the exhausting process of promoting it now begins.

Simple, right?

Wait…what am I forgetting? Oh yeah…both Sharon and Amy are patiently waiting on the first half of the next one. Get back to work!

There you have it. That is my process that gets squeezed in around my day-job and attempts to have at least a little cuddle time with my own Prince Charming (who is forever picking up the slack on all those things I can’t seem to squeeze into a 24-hour day) and the occasional ride on the Harley to decompress.

Disclaimer: Did this post go through Sharon and Amy? NO! So any errors you see are all mine. Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

Posted in Books, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Next Big Thing: Authors Tagging Authors

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on October 31, 2012

I’ve been invited by Nikki Mahood to join in on The Next Big Thing: Authors Tagging Authors by tagging me in her own post. Thanks, Nikki, for inviting me to “tag” along. The premise it to answer ten questions about my current work in progress and then tag five more authors who can move the chain along another link should they choose to do so.

Before I get started I want to invite you to connect with me on Twitter and Facebook. I’d love to see you there!

With that said, I’ll be talking specifically about Davis (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book Two) which is in the rewrite/edit stage at this point and The Seven Brothers of Elko series in general.

  • What is the Working Title of your Book?

The original working title was “Until the Day After Forever”, but is now “Davis (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book Two)”.

  • Where did the idea come from for the book?

Davis is the second book in The Seven Brothers of Elko series which follows seven men who become as close, if not closer, than any seven brothers related by blood and the family they build together. All of the brothers were introduced in Jake (Book One). Davis is Jake’s younger brother. When I wrote Jake, I didn’t intend for it to turn into a series, but once it was complete Davis started whispering in my ear, begging me to tell his story, too.

  • What genre does your book fall under?

It will be listed under Romance >> Contemporary and Romance >> Series. But it doesn’t fall into just one or two categories. Davis, and the series as whole, certainly belongs to the romance genre, but they each contain elements of a western, suspense, mystery, and family saga all rolled together.

  • Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

There are so many characters in the series and, like I said before, all of the men are in each book, so I’m going to have to stick with just the hero/heroine of this single book here. This won’t be easy because I honestly don’t watch much in the way of recent movies.

Davis is a tough decision because Davis and Jake are nearly identical and the fact that they are becomes a major part of the story in one of the later books in the series. So I see this as having to be a dual role for a single actor. And the picture I’ve always had of these two isn’t really an actor at all but a photographer who was involved in a Marlboro cigarette promotion a few years back. I don’t know his name but here is his picture, right down to those Reardon gray eyes. (Hopefully Phillip Morris/Marlboro or the hunky photographer won’t sue me for this, especially since this is an edited image of one I got from them. What can I say? He needed a cowboy hat to go with that spiffy leather jacket.)

The closest I can picture to “my” Jake/Davis I guess would be Mark Wahlberg but I’m just not sure his voice would match the way I hear them in my head. And I believe he’s only about 5’ 7” so we’re going to have to have some creative camera angles to make him appear around 6’. Or maybe Timothy Olyphant, but he might be better for Michael. Seriously? They would do in a pinch, but I’m going to have to stay with the photographer. Maybe Hollywood could track him down.

The heroine in Davis is Dusty. I could see Olivia Wilde in this role. And I’m going strictly by a picture I saw of her from Cowboys & Aliens. I have to admit I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of her many films or television appearances.

  • What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

When the other part of Davis Reardon walks into his life, he and those he loves are forced to make life-threatening choices and risk everything to hold on to that matching piece of his heart.

  • Will your book be Self Published or represented by an agency?

It will be self-published. I struggled early on with that decision before I released any of my books. Standards are standards for a reason. But I seldom play by somebody else’s rules, professionally or personally. My books are considered too long for the industry standard. They are my books and regardless of what the mainstream publishing industry believes is the maximum length to fit in their neat little boxes for any particular genre, they will stay as I wrote them. The stories were told to me by the characters and I refuse to let them be chopped up to fit into any specific limitations dictated by some predetermined set of rules rather than allowing the story to be told the way it should be told.

  • How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This series was originally written more than 5 year ago so it’s hard to remember. My best guess if 2-3 months for Davis.

  • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don’t like making comparisons to other authors’ works. Every author has their own style and their own way of telling the story. But I will admit when I first read the question two other series immediately popped into my mind–Janet Dailey’s Calder series and any of Linda Lael Miller’s McKettrick series.

  • Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Davis did that himself. The first book started from a long-standing saga I built in my head around an actor who had a popular television series at the time. Over the years I added to it until I reached the point where I was afraid I would lose it so I started writing it down. The story I wrote turned out to not be the story I started with although there are bits and pieces of it in there. The original didn’t have even one brother, much less seven. But as soon as Jake was finished it felt really important to “finish” Davis’ story line. And from there it just kept going until the family was complete.

  • What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

As I said, this is the second book in a seven-book series. It’s very difficult to tell what will appeal to readers on any given day. And what will appeal to one won’t appeal to another. I can probably best answer that by telling you what pulls me in about this whole series every time I go back and read them again.

The strong family bond that is built between the men and the women who come into their lives defies the conventional definition of what makes a family. But conventional wisdom aside, the bond is there and builds throughout the series. They have a strong sense of honor. They fight for what they believe in. They fight for their family. And they fight for the women they love.

Not one of these men gets to skip lightly down a flowery path to the land of “happily ever after” with bluebirds singing and heavenly harps playing in the background. You feel what they feel. You know what they’re thinking. Individually and as a group they find hope and despair, love and heartache. Lies, deceit, kidnappings and murder are only a few of the things thrown into their paths. And it all started with one chance meeting.

And there you have it. I hope you have enjoyed this quick peek behind the scenes of Davis and The Seven Brothers of Elko. Davis is expected to be released somewhere in the range of December 2012-February 2013. If you haven’t read Jake yet, you can pick that up today on Amazon at Jake (The Seven Brothers of Elko: Book One).

For my tags I chose some great author friends from the Chick Lit Goddesses Facebook group and some of my many Twitter buddies who have provided me with an immeasurable amount of support and advice on this winding trail. Be sure to check each of them out next week for their Next Big Thing.

Sarah Louise Smith – http://www.sarahlouisesmith.com/

Janet Eve Josselyn – http://open.salon.com/blog/janet_eve_josselyn

Elizabeth Marx – http://elizabethmarxbooks.blogspot.com

Constance Masters – http://creativelyconstance.blogspot.com/

Keith Rommel – http://keithrommel.weebly.com/blog.html

Posted in Books, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »