Spotlight on A Pretty Penny

I’m thrilled to spotlight Neva Brown’s second novel…

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Blurb

Wealthy, arrogant Clayton Brandt knows well the costs of a woman. Not until Penelope (Penny) Jones comes into his life does he know the value of a woman.

Anger at Clayton, her new boss, causes Penny to snap out of the lethargy she’s experienced after seeing her husband killed. She puts to use all her innate abilities, learned skills, and intuitiveness to cope with the overbearing Clayton and the women in his life. Penny, in time, knows she loves him, but will not become one of his women—not on his terms.

On her terms, they marry only to be parted by federal agents before they leave their wedding reception. The ensuing intrigue, danger, and antics of Clayton’s ex-wife play a part in Penny being in eminent peril. Even after their love survives all this, it is once again threatened by a letter from a vindictive woman who is dead. The letter devastates Clayton and crushes his hopes for happiness.

How Clayton and Penny find their happy-ever-after is a breath-holding adventure at times and a breathtaking love story at other times.

Excerpt

Awestruck and wondering how a rodeo producer managed to have such a grandiose personal jet, Penny jumped in surprise at the clipped, commanding voice behind her. She turned and focused on the imposing man who extended a lean, hard hand for her to shake as he towered over her.

“I presume you’re Wilma’s little friend.”

His emphasis on “little” implied so much more than the fact that she was only five foot two, one hundred five pounds. She stiffened.

“I’m Penelope Ann Jones. And, yes, Wilma and I are friends.”

“I’m Clayton Brandt, your boss.” His icy stare chilled her from head to toe.

“Are you another of her projects, or can you do a day’s work for a day’s pay?”

Her haughtiness probably added to his irritation, but she wasn’t about to cower before this arrogant tyrant.

Stretching her neatly clad body and raising her eyes from his chest to his cold, gray eyes, she answered with an indifferent tone.

“I can do the work Wilma said would be expected of me, sir.”

She bit her tongue to keep from adding that she had a master’s degree in finance, held a CPA license, and had worked as a secretary all the way through college. Just because she had been following the rodeo did not make her incapable, just besotted with love.

He curtly dismissed her. “Get buckled up. The pilot is ready to take off.”

***

His woodsy scent and the feel of his hand still lingered in her memory. From her luxurious lounger, she continued to watch. He frowned at Wilma. His words became clear enough for Penny to hear.

“I thought we got through your ‘mother hen’ phase a few years back. Where did you find this one?”

Wilma’s longsuffering look made Penny strain to hear the reply.

“The ‘mother hen’ periods as you call them passed a long time ago. Penny is different. She was Jason’s wife, but none of our family even knew they were married. They’d been married almost a year when that bull killed him.”

“Then she’s a rich young widow. Why does she need to work?”

“Things aren’t quite what they seem. Jason never got around to changing his will and never had her sign a signature card to draw on his account at the bank. Being his usual distracted self, he just gave her cash. She had money but no permanent financial security.”

“So I guess you’re paying her bills. No wonder you want to put her to work.”

“Clayton, she was my baby brother’s wife and was ‘holed up’ in that fifth wheel at a trailer park with nothing but crackers and peanut butter. She’s smart and willing to work. You know I wouldn’t ask you to hire her if I didn’t believe she could do the job.”

He scowled at Wilma as she added, “I’d bet six month’s wages she’ll do a good job.”

“You may not have six month’s wages if she messes up. I don’t suffer fools and lazy people, as you well know. Right now, she looks like both to me,” he growled.

Penny let her eyelids shut completely at the hostile sound of his voice. A surge of adrenaline made her ears ring and her muscles twitch. Her anger churned, and her thoughts raced. Just who does this aging Adonis with a Neanderthal attitude think he is? Wilma thinks he hung the moon, and he acts like she is just some inconsequential employee when, in reality, she shields him from all kinds of thorny situations every day. She’s always telling me about the mountain of work she does to smooth the way for him. What an insufferable man!

Bio

NEVA profile pic (2)Neva Brown, a retired secondary teacher/administrator, now enjoys the challenge of writing romance novels and doing editing for other romance writers.

Neva spent most of her life on West Texas ranches and uses that culture and environment in many of her stories. She and her husband now live at Rio Concho West in San Angelo, Texas. They enjoy visits from their two sons and their families, are always delighted to hear from old friends, and are amazed at how well they have adjusted to ‘city’ living.

Where to find Neva…

Website | Amazon |Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Neva loves to hear from her readers. She can be reached at joneva@suddenlink.net

Life Gets Better and Better!

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Neva Brown talking about the optimism and work ethic that inspired her amazing life journey.

Here’s Neva!

jonevabrownDescribe your first act.

I grew up a country kid, my dad’s top cowhand. I learned to ride on an old cow horse then graduated to a horse trained just for me. I worked cattle and sheep, built fence, repaired windmills, and helped lay in bundled feed and baled hay for the livestock to eat through the hard winter months. I also learned to garden and to preserve vegetables, fruits, and berries for the family’s food. Regular school and church attendance were givens. My dad wasn’t allowed to finish school. Consequently, he was determined my siblings and I would be educated (five of my public school years I didn’t miss a single day). Above all, I was loved but not coddled.

My first date was with the best looking cowboy in high school. Four years later I married him. When our two sons were less than three years old (not twins), we lived on a ranch twenty-three miles from town with no phone or electricity. It was there I wrote my first little stories.

In time, drought and my husband’s battle with debilitating arthritis sent me back to school to get a teaching degree which served us well in the ensuing years. Our sons grew into productive citizens and married wonderful women (found them without my help—can you believe it!). Now the grandchildren add joy and sparkle to my life.

What triggered the need for change?

I retired from teaching and my husband’s health dictated that we move to town where our life style changed. We now live in a community of “active mature adults.” Life is good!

Where are you now?

This second act of my life is fun, challenging, and just might be a little self indulgent. I write romance novels—contemporary and historical. They range from sweet to sensual. I love spending time with my characters be they naughty or nice. They used to be my guilty, secret pleasure. Now I acknowledge them openly. Some of my contemporaries raise their eyebrows and look a little shocked, but others are a regular cheering section for me.

I found kindred souls in the San Angelo Writers Club and connected with my first critique partners. Soon after that, I braved the internet and found a wealth of supportive online writing groups. Just last year, I finally took my courage in hand and sent a novel, CASEY’S COURAGE out into the publishing world. It found a home and is now on Amazon. My second novel, A PRETTY PENNY, is to be published this spring by Soul Mate Publishing. Life gets better and better!

What advice would you give someone considering a second act?

Never let “I’m too old” or “I don’t have time” be excuses for not doing what you down deep in your heart know you want to do.

Any affirmations or quotations you wish to share?

My two maintstay quotes…

“I do the very best I know how—the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.” Abraham Lincoln (1860)

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7

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Blurb

LOVE hunkers down and hides but abides until Casey and Tres realize life without love is just existing not really living.

Just as accomplished horse trainer Casey Mason, PhD, feels she’s earned her independence, disaster strikes and her life is forever changed. She must put her life back together bit by piece. The obstacles and her old beliefs seem insurmountable; making her wonder if love can conquer all.

Jordan Spencer III (Tres) inherits Spencer Ranch where Casey, the riding buddy of his youth, still lives. Casey, a beautiful, complex woman, creeps into his mind and heart. Bitter experiences make him shy away from a serious relationship with a woman; yet he and Casey have a special connection. As she struggles with her rehabilitation, he micromanages her life with quiet efficiency until he pushes her past some invisible line. When Casey disappears from his life, he learns more about himself than makes him comfortable. Coming to terms with the past so he can move on to a future with Casey is a challenge that tests his mettle.

Where to find Neva…

Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Joanne here!

What an uplifting post! Thanks for sharing your journey, Neva, and best of luck with all your literary endeavors.