Okay so it looks like I fell off the planet. Promise - I'm still here. The last two years have been ... hard. There's no other word for it. Everything is fine. I'm fine, but I've been the caregiver of my Mother-in-law and now I'm taking care of my mom. Between her needs, work, etc I seem to have lost control of my time. I am still writing and have made a few hard decisions.

I pulled my books from Mundania and have decided to to try to sell them through other publishers. I'm happy to say the 1st three books I sold to HSWF (now owned by Mundania) have been picked up by Melange Books and will be released through their Satin Books imprint. The rest I'm still working on.

I'll probably still be sporadic. Unless I win the lottery and can hire someone to help me I can't avoid it, but know I'm still here still working hard in the background and am hoping to do better at keeping my blog alive.


Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Welcome My Latest Guest Martha O'Sullivan

I want to welcome Martha O’Sullivan First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Thanks for having me, Barbara. I write sexy, contemporary romance with traditional couples and Happily Ever After endings. My Chances trilogy was published in September, October and November 2013 by Red Sage Publishing.

Tell us about your latest release.

 My latest release is the conclusion of my Chances trilogy, Last Chance. When I started writing Second Chance, a trilogy was the farthest thing from my mind. Moira and Paul's story was originally part of that first novel. But as Lindsay and Brian's adventure evolved, I realized there wasn't room in the book to do Moira and Paul justice. And since Delaney and Mike's Chance Encounter was dancing relentlessly in my head, I put Moira and Paul on hold. Now it’s their turn for Happily Ever After. What better way to conclude the Chances trilogy than to come full circle.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

Larry Hagman from Dallas. He was frighteningly brilliant, cunningly manipulative. And that wicked smile...But there was something endearing about him. You hated to love him, but you did.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

Moira Brody, the heroine in Last Chance. Moira is strong and independent, yet vulnerable on the inside. She is loyal to a fault and her tough love forces others, and subsequently, herself out of their comfort zone.  There’s probably more me in her than any of my other characters.  

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I write contemporary romance novels with traditional couples and happy endings because that’s what I’ve always enjoyed reading. The stories are about finding true love, not just lust, even in the wake of unexpected and seemingly insurmountable circumstances. And trusting in that love enough to take the leaps of faith that lead to happily ever after.

4.)What are you working on now?

I’m writing a sweet and steamy Christmas novel set in Costa Careyes, Mexico.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I’m a lifetime reader. I always found myself drawn to the wire rack of slightly musty and lovingly tattered paperback romance novels at the public library. The books took me to places all over the world where effortlessly beautiful, wonderfully flawed heroines were swept off their feet by dynamic, irresistible heroes. And if I found the ending disappointing or abrupt, I would simply continue the story in my head. But why it all starting clicking on that April night in 2008 beats me!
6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I love watching people and trying to figure out their story. Everybody has one. And sometimes characters start dancing around in my head and won’t stop until I let them out!

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I revised Second Chance, the Chances trilogy opener, at least a hundred times before I sold it. Every time I was rejected by a publisher or discounted in a contest, I’d go back and rewrite based on the comments. As disheartening as that was, it made me a better writer in the end.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Not particularly. I’m not musically inclined or athletic. My greatest strength is probably my ability to get along with all types of people. And I love words.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
Never give up on yourself. At RWA Nationals in 2010, Nora Roberts recounted going to book signings on Saturday mornings where no one showed up. She remembered sitting there with a stack of books, as the bookseller silently pitied her, wishing away the day. But she never gave up on herself.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Jesus Christ. I’d ask him what I could do to live more in his likeness and why forgiveness and faithfulness are so hard to come by.  

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

The Time of My Life by Green Day.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

My Cairn Terrier Butterscotch. No dog was more loved and spoiled. And she sleeps half the day! 

Martha O’Sullivan’s Chances trilogy is available now from Red Sage Publishing. In Second Chance, star-crossed lovers Lindsay Foster and Brian Rembrandt get a second chance at love amid the brilliant blue waters of Lake Tahoe. In Chance Encounter, Delaney Richards and Mike Savoy’s quest for love takes them from Tahoe’s fawn-colored shores to the serpentine streets of San Francisco. And the heat in Last Chance comes not from the blazing summer sun and rugged, white-hot sand, but from the long-bridled desire between friends-turned-lovers Moira Brody and Paul Webster. Here’s an excerpt from Last Chance:

Excerpt from Last Chance
by Martha O’Sullivan

         The black ice cast an eerie sheen on the road ahead and the glare of the oncoming high beams had Paul squinting as if at the summer sun. The weather was coming in fast and he wondered if Moira had gotten home safely.
         Or at all.
         Or alone.
         He should’ve gotten her roses.
         But he didn’t.
         Because she’s...Moira. Effortlessly beautiful, remarkably grounded, perpetually good-natured Moira.
         And tonight she was something else.
         Irresistibly sexy.
         In tight-fitting jeans and a scooped-neck top he’d never seen before.
         With her freshly washed, begging to be touched spiral curls skimming her shoulders.
         And eye makeup.
         With red lipstick.
         She smelled pretty good too. Like spring rain and lilac laced with desire.
         All for the guy begging for roses at the flower shop. For someone he’d been “interested in” for a while. For whom he had a last minute arrangement thrown together.
         From his cuttings.
         For his girl.
         Paul huffed out a harried breath.
         Is that what she was?
         Apparently not.
         But he sure as hell wanted her to be.
         He slammed on the brakes and the Beemer swerved, then leveled, sliding into the precarious U-turn.
         It took Paul twice as long as usual to get back into town with the slick roads. And by then the temperature had dipped enough to turn the spitting rain into pellets of steel. A frigid, damp sleet akin to the block of ice that had staked a claim in the pit of his stomach.
         Turning the high-curbed corner, he heaved a halfhearted sigh of relief when he saw no car in the driveway and a hodgepodge of lights burning inside.
         She was home.
         Unless they came in one car, he prepared himself through gritted teeth.
         Paul knew the garage code, but didn’t want to scare her, so he opted for the conventional route. He could see her profile through the slates of the plantation shutters as he made his way up the flagstone path to the front porch. She was in the kitchen fussing with something, still dressed up like she hadn’t been home long.
         Alone, it would seem.
         His throat muscles contracted as his mind began to race. Had her date seen her home or had they parted ways at the office? Gone somewhere for a drink after dinner? Made another date? He looked on as Moira stepped back from the beaded board kitchen island, arms drawn across her chest, and appraised her work. The midnight blue jeans sat just below her hips, hugging every one of her curves from hip to ankle and Paul found himself disturbingly covetous. The sheer shirt rested at her waistline and when she bent over, the dimples at the small of her back implored him to wonder what came next. And her breasts looked bigger somehow, like they’d grown overnight. The mere thought of it made his heart skip a beat and his cock begin to grow ridged.
         Seemingly pleased with her work, she reached for the dish towel flung over her shoulder and dried her hands.
         That’s when she saw him out of the corner of her eye.
         She did a double-take, then mingled with his soulful gaze momentarily. He thought the corners of her mouth curved slightly upward, but the distance between them was too great to be sure. She shook off whatever she was thinking and walked toward the front door. He visualized her on the other side, squeezing her eyes shut and taking a few deep breaths before opening it. She greeted him with a wobbly, “Hey.”
         She looked captivating in the amber light. Her eyes were languid and clung to his as if unwittingly attached. Her lips were naked now and Paul told himself it was from eating. The tendrils around her face had doubled, like some vagabond strands had fallen from the clip at the crown of her head. Also from natural causes, he forced himself to assume. “Hey,” he returned.   “Can I come in?”
         “Of course,” she invited blandly, ushering him in.
         Stepping inside, Paul rapid-fired, “I’m glad you’re home. I wanted to—”
         “Where else would I be at eleven o’clock at night?” she cut him off.
         “I don’t know.” His mind was suddenly a mare’s nest and his palms were beginning to sweat. “I wasn’t sure what your plans were for the rest of the evening.”
         “I’ve been home for almost an hour,” she informed him crisply.
         “Alone?” His eyes scanned the house beckoningly.
         “Yes,” Moira patronized. “It was just dinner, Paul.”
         On Valentine’s Day, he silently added. “About that, I came by to apologize.” He wondered if she sensed the audible relief in his voice. “I shouldn’t have assumed we’d see each other tonight. And I certainly shouldn’t have assumed you’d be,” he bit off the word, “available.” He looked away then, into the cottage-style kitchen, and saw what she’d been working on.
         His flowers.
         She must have acquired clairvoyant powers in those few seconds, because her tone softened and she said, “I had to bring them home. They were too beautiful to waste.”
         Like her.
         No, like them.
         With four wide steps he advanced into the antique white kitchen he’d designed. “Where are the roses?”
         She followed him. “At the office.”
         “They’re not too beautiful to waste?” he quickened in a thick voice, turning to face her.
         “No, they are.” Her breath hitched. “They’re just not from you.”
         Her emerald saucers were filling behind their licorice lashes and she was biting her bottom lip, trying to hold back the tears. Paul couldn’t have stopped himself from going to her if he’d wanted to.
         “Moira, what are we doing?” he entreated, gripping her forearms. “What have I done? Have I lost you?”
         She shook her head from side to side and her eyes began to empty, leaving sooty tire-like tracks on her china doll face. Tipping his head back in silent thanks, Paul took her in his arms. She moved into his body, sobbing through sawed-off breaths.
         “Tell me nothing happened. Tell me there’s nothing between you and him,” he prayed out loud after an affecting moment.
         She answered by burrowing her head deeper into his shoulder and wreathing his middle. He felt her breathing level off and he kissed the top of her coal-black mane. She smelled like a subtle version of earlier, infused with wine and garlic. Hope replaced the uneasiness in his stomach and he heard himself say, “I had to force myself not to go back there. I’ve been driving around for hours, going crazy.”
         She angled out of his grasp just enough to make eye contact. Suddenly she was the girl he used to know again, not the woman tying his insides into knots. Or maybe the perfect combination of both. Her eyes began to shine and a satisfied smile curved her lips. “You have?”
         “Yeah. Like outside my mind crazy.” He laid his lips on hers and tasted the salt from her tears. She melted into the kiss, then the next. He wondered if she could sense him growing behind the zipper. Or the spool of want unwinding into a thousand frazzled threads in his gut. Gasping for air, he released her mouth and cupped her face. “You make me crazy, Moira Brody. Absolutely crazy.”
         Her breath caught in her throat and her eyes began to swell again. She swallowed hard and allowed, “Then I like you crazy.”
         Resting his forehead on hers, he let the night roll down his back like a recalcitrant tumbleweed. Then he closed his eyes and appealed, “Do I need to fight for you, Moira?”
         She laughed a little. “Well, Jason did bring flowers, dinner, wine.”
         “I brought flowers, dinner, wine,” Paul defended high-mindedly, straightening. “Did you ever get the Chinese food?”
         “Yeah, it’s in there.” She nodded over his shoulder at the sub-zero they’d picked out together.
         “It’s your favorite. Cashew chicken.”
         “Thank God,” she gushed, dabbing the outer corners of her eyes. “I’m starving.”
         Paul’s nose wrinkled. “Did Bernini’s have a bad night?”
         “Not from what I picked at.”
         “Poor guy,” he gloated through a chuckle. “Went to all that trouble for nothing.”
         “I wouldn’t say for nothing,” Moira demurred, her eyes dancing with innuendo. “He seemed to enjoy the evening.”
         “Oh?” inquired Paul, stepping out of her embrace.
         Gleaming now, she raised her eyebrows mischievously. “Yeah.”
         He felt his expression plummet. “Did he kiss you good night?”
         “He did,” preened Moira.
         Paul couldn’t believe how much that bothered him. “Did you want him to?”
         Her face instantly sobered. “No,” she avowed, then finished with hushed care. “I wanted you to come back.”
         “I did.” As if he’d had any choice in the matter. Paul drew her to him again and ran his hands up and down her willowy back. “I had to.”
         “That was all I could think about during dinner,” she lamented into the crook of his shoulder. “That I could’ve spent Valentine’s Day with you.”
         “Don’t let it happen again.” He leaned back and dried her tearstained cheeks with his thumbs. “I know I won’t,” he warned gallantly.
         “I didn’t want it to happen to begin with.”
         “Good to hear.” He kissed her nose with the puissance of a snowflake. “Think he’ll call you?”
         She shrugged matter-of-factly. “Yeah.”
         “What will you say?”
         “What should I say?” Her voice was hopeful.
         “No.” He reached into his jacket pocket. “And thank you.”
         Her eyes narrowed in confusion as she took the red velvet box from his open hands. “What is this?”
         He gestured toward the white satin bow-topped lid with a tip of the head. “Open it and find out.”
         Moira obliged as Paul looked on eagerly. A tiny gasp escaped her throat when she saw the studs inside.
         “I know they’re on the small side, but you’re not one for flash.”
         She glided her fingertips over each diamond. “They’re beautiful.”
         “Megan thought they were perfect.” Just like you, he almost said.
         Her astonished gaze shifted upward. “Megan?”
         “She’s not sick. She found another sitter for tonight.” He paused to let the benevolent betrayal sink in. “So we could spend Valentine’s Day together.”
         “Oh, Paul! I’m so sorry!” she effused. “I had no idea.”
         Neither did he. Until just now. And the realization hit him like a ton of bricks. “You can make it up to me tomorrow night,” he told her extemporaneously. “We’re going on a date. It’ll be our first one.”

Last Chance
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Martha O'Sullivan has loved reading romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing her own novels is the realization of a lifelong dream for this stay-at-home mom. Martha writes spicy, contemporary romances with traditional couples and happy endings. She is the author of the Chances trilogy from Red Sage Publishing. Her current work-in-progress in a sweet and steamy Christmas novel set in Costa Careyes, Mexico. A native Chicagoan, she lives her own happy ending in Tampa with her husband and two daughters.

 for reviews, excerpts and more.

Find Martha on the web at: marthaosullivan26.wix.com/marthaosullivan

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