Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Day 2 with Carol Burnside:  


Welcome back to day two with Carol Burnside. Today  there will be teasers and Gizmo too! I hope you enjoy.

Heart 2 Heart

Heart 2 Heart (A Short Story Collection)
Ten (10) stories, flash fiction to long shorts in three sections:
Sweet Romance,
Sensual Romance
and Flash Fiction
CarolBurnside_Heart2Heart_ebkSWEET ROMANCE:
Assuming Love – While waiting tables, Shelly swears her customer is flirting with her, then suddenly he’s Mr. Stoic. What’s this guy’s problem?
Marinara Magic – Roni’s new apartment comes with a sexy chef one floor up, but is he man enough to accept what she does for a living?
Do Over – A second chance at love story where things may not be what they seem.*
Home for Christmas – A reunion story. A chance holiday reunion between college friends who ruined a good thing with a Christmas affair. Will this be a repeat, or are they smarter now?**

Her Unexpected Family excerpt:

CarolBurnside_HerUnexpectedFamily_500pxHer Unexpected Family

by Carol Burnside
Contemporary Romance, Sensual
Release date: 2.19.2014
Novel length, e-book
This book is the second in the Sweetwater Springs series of stand-alone books by this author.
Former bad boy, Travis Baxter, has a reputation to live down, a job to do fast, and one woman he can’t seem to avoid. He’s starting a 24/7 renovation flip on Claire’s beauty salon when a surprise appears at his door . . . a three-year-old son. Immediate custody brings Travis a major problem. He needs a nanny.
Claire Larkin glimpsed a rare and appealing side of Travis during one ill-fated date, but her personal policy is no involvement, no strings. Not even a pet until she’s pronounced cancer free. With free time until her salon is done, Claire pitches in to help the grieving little boy and stunned father. Despite her best efforts to resist, she and Travis succumb to their attraction.
When it appears Claire’s cancer has returned, she pulls away and Travis is faced with a seemingly impossible decision. Protect his son from another loss or support the woman he’s come to love?
Fans of Marie Ferrarella, Tanya Michaels, Leanne Banks and Susan Mallery will enjoy this series, which contains sensual romance against a backdrop of family and community.
Book 1: A Suitable Wife (Rosie and Sam), January, 2014
Book 3: His Small Town Princess (J.T. and Cass), March 2014
Other titles are planned for this series.

You just keep your secret, Claire Larkin.” Marge Heller lifted a determined chin, intensifying the odor of permanent wave solution inside the small salon. “In a small town like Sweetwater Springs, the truth will come out.”
Not this time. “What would you and Miss Lilah talk about then? The weather? It’s barely May and already there’s talk of the summer being a scorcher. Hot and humid covers that subject.” Claire smiled indulgently at both customers via the beauty station mirror while avoiding her own ultra-short cut.
“I’ll bet she drives into Little Rock to visit a wild rocker boyfriend with tattoos and a blue Mohawk. Come on, Claire honey, fess up.” LouAnne Lebowitz, owner of the Curl Up & Dye, leaned over the L-shaped reception counter, bracing on plump forearms.
Claire flicked an annoyed glance at her boss. She’d shared her medical past with LouAnne of necessity, but that didn’t mean an over-the-top cover up was called for. “You’re all way off base. I’m not even looking for a man, but you could find my boss one. She deserves someone special.”
LouAnne’s sputtered protest sparked a round of good-natured teasing.
Claire removed curlers from Lilah Bradshaw’s frizzy, grayish-brown hair, pretending to concentrate on a task as second nature to her as walking. Both Marge and Lilah were bread-and-butter customers, keeping weekly shampoo, set and style appointments with the occasional cut or perm.
The phone rang. LouAnne answered, and the lines marring her forehead softened. She flicked a look over the trio and turned her back to them, her voice lowered.
Well, well. Maybe she didn’t need anyone to find her a man.
“She could be leading a double life,” Marge mused from a nearby styling chair, in her deep Arkansas drawl.
“Who? LouAnne?” Lilah’s brow wrinkled.
“No. Claire.” Marge shook her head. “Get with the program, honey. We’re talking about Claire’s mysterious appointments.”
Claire suppressed a groan. While there were advantages in moving to a place where a quarter still bought you a half-hour on the parking meter, there could be drawbacks too. As much as she loved living here and being semi-adopted by her customers, she wasn’t entirely comfortable being treated like folks’ cousin twice removed. She’d never had those kind of family connections back in Texas. Even in foster homes, no one had encouraged more familiarity than was necessary.
“Oh, yes. Come on, Claire. Tell us the truth. You have a love slave stashed in Little Rock, don’t you?” Lilah winked at Claire in the beauty station mirror and tittered with Marge over the delicious prospect.
“Love slave? Good gravy, Miss Lilah. Your imagination is working overtime this morning.” Her trips into the city to give cancer patients free beauty services was private. But her salon customers enjoyed the mystery and remained ever hopeful she’d cough up a clue.
“Think so? My Herman always said I had a vivid imagination. God rest his soul.”
“Y’all spread your wild ideas around and I’ll never get another date.” Claire began teasing Lilah’s frizz.
“Another? You hardly date at all.” Marge waved a dismissive hand. “What if we spread the word you’re looking for a husband?”
“Don’t you dare. Remember, your hair is frequently at my mercy.” Claire adopted a stern look and continued backcombing.
Marge remained unfazed. “Travis needs to find someone and settle down. He’s the last holdout of those Baxter kids, now that his sister is married.”
Claire’s pulse stuttered over Marge’s unexpected statement. The Baxter-Moreland wedding for his sister, Rosie and her fiancé, Sam, was the first time she’d seen Travis in formal wear. He’d stood tall and self-assured in a tux that clung to his body like white on rice, his dark blond hair bleach-streaked by the sun.
Too bad her one and only date with him had turned sour. Something solid and steady about the man caused a tug-of-war inside her chest every time she saw him.
A few months later he’d sported a navy suit, his face etched in sadness over his sister-in-law’s sudden passing. The service, one more confirmation of life’s uncertainty, had been a jolting reminder that she should keep her distance.
“He’ll have to look in another direction.” Claire said softly, sadness tempering her frustration.
Even if he was in the market, Travis would never consider her a prospect. Not after the way their date had ended, and that was fine with her.
Her date with the man was a shining example of how her logic could fail, and she’d reacted like an idiot. The memory made her cringe.
“You sure?” Marge winked. “It wasn’t too long ago I remember his mama mentioning you two makin’ eyes at each other during a family get-together.”
“Temporary insanity. I think she spiked the iced tea.”
Marge lifted a skeptical brow.
With his semi-playboy past, Travis had appeared a safe bet for a going-nowhere date, much like the user-loser men her mom had paraded through the squalid little single-wide trailer they’d lived in. Okay, so he wasn’t that bad, but he had enough of a player rep that she wouldn’t be tempted to form a relationship. No way he’d want one either, right? He’d be the perfect casual fling.
How could she have ignored the fact that Travis came from the most normal, decent family she’d ever encountered? Some of his upbringing had to have stuck.
“Didn’t you and Travis date for awhile?” LouAnne’s voice all but dripped honey. “Was he a terrible womanizer, hon? That boy earned quite the reputation back in high school. Got suspended for peeking in the girl’s locker room while the cheerleaders were changing.”
“Wasn’t the only time, either.” Marge added. “He and Lisa Harper got caught in a kiss and grope session. In the janitor’s closet, no less.”
LouAnne’s lips twitched. “Practically had to beat the gals off with a stick.”
Marge and Lilah nodded in unison, all eyes trained on Claire in the mirrors.
What kind of game was her boss playing? She kept her expression neutral. “Actually, no. He was nice enough. We just . . . didn’t work.”
She expected a freak bolt of lightning to strike her for that one, especially when Marge shook her head and Lilah made sympathetic clicking noises. LouAnne stared through the large front window at the cars parked diagonally to the curb, with a lost-in-thought squint.
In reality, the heady Cinderella-at-the-ball feeling during Claire’s date with Travis had lowered her defenses. His kisses had drowned everything but sensation—until he’d pulled away—proving how easily she could fall under his spell.
Travis couldn’t have known how seductive his behavior would be to someone with her pathetic past. When she’d moved here two years ago, his sister Rosie had bulldozed Claire into a friendship of sorts, but so far she’d avoided divulging details of her life in Texas.
A shuddering groan emanated from inside the walls of the old building. Both her customers gazed at each other, with “uh-oh” expressions on their faces.
Claire glanced at their reflections in the mirrored wall and fought the urge to laugh. Lilah, so tiny her head barely cleared the stylist’s chair, had teased tufts all over her head, while Marge, nearly six feet and gaunt, sported dozens of colored permanent wave rods. “Y’all relax. It’s only the water pipes groaning again.”
“They’re getting worse,” Marge grumbled.
“I’ve got a guy coming by to give me an estimate on repairs today. We left the appointment time loose, but I need to run an errand and meet someone for lunch.” LouAnne grabbed her purse from a shelf under the register and headed for the front door. “If the construction guy arrives before I get back, you can answer his questions, Claire.”
“Me? But I don’t . . .” Too late. The door swept closed with LouAnne already on her way.
Picking and shaping the tangled mess Lilah believed to be her crowning glory, Claire concentrated on her work, and the ladies’ chatter faded into the background. How anyone lived with a ratted, lacquered helmet on their head was beyond her. Did the woman sleep on her face?
“Lilah, why don’t you try a new style next week? Maybe a few highlights around your face.” The stylist in Claire couldn’t help but offer to relieve the woman of her 1960’s look, even as she smoothed the bowl-like mass.
The older clients usually took one look at her own hair and stuck with LouAnne for their appointments. Until they saw Claire in action. Word of her own unique style had spread, resulting in the influx of a younger crowd and delighting LouAnne.
For now, the funky ultra-short look suited her and didn’t exactly elicit envious looks from the oncology patients she attended to during her off hours. That in itself was priceless, worth any sacrifice.
“I’ll make a deal with you, dear. You grow your hair out with its natural color, and I’ll give youcarte blanche to change my style.” Lilah challenged her with raised brows.
For a second Claire’s breath caught in her throat. Had Lilah guessed her secret? Her gaze swept over the older woman’s face for signs of pity, searching steady blue-gray eyes.
No. Lilah was sweetly clueless, as usual. Claire released the air from her lungs and forced a smile. “You heard that, didn’t you, Marge?”
“You betcha, kiddo. A promise if I ever heard one.”
“I hope to take you up on that some day, Miss Lilah.” No one knew how deeply Claire meant that.
“I won’t hold my breath.”
“Speaking of changes, Claire, what do you call your new color?” Marge asked.
“It’s Plum Pudding. Would you like to try it sometime? I bet Emmett would be surprised.” Claire kept her face carefully composed as Marge sputtered her refusal and Lilah smothered a giggle.
Claire glanced at the large clock in the waiting area. Right on schedule. Her next client wouldn’t arrive seeking highlights for at least another fifteen minutes. She began to fog Lilah’s helmet with extra-hold hair spray, smoothing here and there. “All right. You’re good to go. See you next week.”
“Thanks, Claire. I’ll hang around and wait for Marge.”
Claire checked the progress of Marge’s perm while Lilah dropped her check by the front desk. “About five more minutes on this, Marge. I’ll be right back.”
That left her time to take a bathroom break and start a load of towels washing. Or did it? She cocked her head to one side, trying to remember if LouAnne had said when the construction estimator would arrive.
* * *
5) Do you need a nice quiet space to write or are you blasting your music and writing?

Oh, quiet is my preference. I’ve been known to write in a bustling coffee shop with other writers, but I prefer total quiet or soft instrumental music turned low. Sometimes life doesn’t give us exactly what we want, so I’ve learned to tune out the surrounding noise to background buzz and let the characters voices fill my head.

6) If you could give one tip to someone who wants to write what would it be?

I have two tips.
1) Study your craft and 2) Perseverance is the key!

7) What is the big dream? In other words where would you like your writing to take you to in the future?

I would love to final in or win a Rita contest (Romance Writers of America’s highest honor for the published author), but mostly I’d like a steady paycheck from writing with a significant income because that would mean that readers like my writing enough to come back and keep buying what I’m producing. There’s no better feeling than knowing your stories have engaged the reader enough to want to read more.

8) If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be?

I’m drawing a blank. Honestly, I’m not much of a fan girl until someone I admire and respect just happens across my path. Then my mouth goes dry, I blush and forget my name, so it probably wouldn’t do me much good to meet them. 

6) Do you have pets? 

Yes. Three dogs: a Llewellyn English Setter, a Pudelpointer and a Cockalier. They’re all spoiled rotten and firmly believe Hubby and I exist to fulfill their wishes. There are days, I think that might be true.

7) Do you have a favorite animal. Not your pets but like wild animals?

Will an insect do? I have a thing about dragonflies.

8) Do you like city or suburbs better? 

Oh, definitely the ‘burbs. I think they’re the perfect compromise between country living and inner city life.

9) If you could live anywhere where would it be?

I can’t put my finger on anyplace specific, but somewhere that’s not far from the shore so I could get my beach fix within a couple of hours drive. I’ve lived in several parts of the country with different vistas and climates, so I know there are pros and cons to any setting.

10) Do you have a favorite holiday? 

Can’t say that I do.

11) Do you like to cook?

I sure do. I cook at least one full meal every day, usually the evening meal. Hubby and I usually have a garden in the summer. I do some home canning or blanch and freeze, make jam and salsa and invent my own recipes.

12) Do you have a favorite place you like to be?

Home, first. I’ll admit to being a homebody. Second, the beach. I’ve always enjoyed the tropics, but after living in Hawaii for awhile I became addicted to sun and sand and the sound of waves breaking on shore. It’s fun and relaxing at the same time.

Carol blogs on her website at www.CarolBurnside.com. Connect with her via Facebook / Newsletter /Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest and learn more about her books, their reviews and read full chapters athttp://CarolBurnside.com/books-books-books.

Gizmo's Corner: 

1. Hi, I am Gizmo and you are?

Hi, Gizmo! *sniff, sniff* Nice butt. I’m Sophie. My life has a lot of exclamation marks!!!

2.  Do you go to any stores? If so which is your favorite store?

Mama took me to stores when I was a little baby, but not so much anymore. We don’t have any stores in town that allow pets. Dad takes us for rides in his big truck. Sometimes we go to the lake and swim and run on the spillway. Lots of nose candy there.

3. What is your favorite toy that you play with?

My sock monkey. I retrieve it, but don’t understand why I should give it to my humans. After all, it’s mine, all mine.

4. Do you have a favorite animal show? 

Dr. Pol. Yeah, yeah! Dr. Pol! Sometimes he treats dogs and it makes me bark when I hear them.

5. Do you chase cats?

Cats? What’s a cat??? I chase rabbits. Do you have those at your house?

6. Do you like off the leash parks better than walks?

 Leash park? Honey, I’m a country dog. Me and my minions have a big field to run in most evenings just before dark. About ten acres! It’s fun, fun, fun!!! There are moles underground and rabbit smells, shadows to chase and in the fall we gobble up the persimmons that fall from the trees. Yum!

7. Do you like having belly rubs?

Mmm…belly rubs. Yeah, and ear rubs and back scratches and sitting in laps, too!

8.  Do you like it when it's warm or cold out? Day or night?

*whine* Night scares me a little. I’m not a very big dog and there are coyotes and big deer moving around out there. Creepy! But the very best days are ones where it’s warm with a little breeze. Then I can snooze on top of the storm cellar without getting hot.

9.  What is your favorite treat? 

The one that’s under my nose RIGHT NOW, whatever it is. We have chicken jerky and pig ears and rawhides. Aw, man. Now I’m hungry.

10. Do you sleep on a human bed, a dog bed, the top of the couch, the floor or the crate?

My crate, of course, silly. Guinness is the only one who gets to sleep on a big dog bed, but that’s ’cause he minds so well and stays there. I like to jump around and snuggle and explore and for some reason that makes my humans cranky.  Go figure.
*sniff, sniff*
Sorry, Gizmo, I gotta go. There’s a new scent coming from the kitchen…

I realy enjoyed doing this blog. I love meeting new author's and making new friends. I may or may not do a blog between now and Christmas. So from my family to yours, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you all have a GREAT night/day I am E.J Babcock I will see you my next blog.


  1. Elizabeth, Sophie wanted me to say 'hi' to Gizmo and tell him she really enjoyed meeting him. ;-)

    Hope your holidays are awesome!

  2. Hey Carol, tell Sophie Gizmo says " Woff wo woff wuf and if she ever wants to visit the big city she can."
    I hope you have a great holiday. I enjoyed meeting you and Sophie.