The Trail To Love, Book 4: The Soul Mate Tree Series

The Trail to Love 3a Final_830x1250

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

Jack Billabard, mourning the loss of his wife and baby in childbirth, vows to never to love again. After their funeral at Fort Laramie, he rides into the Wyoming hills beyond the ranch he built for his wife. Through his grieving tears, an ancient tree appears, giving him the hope he doesn’t believe is possible. For the next four years, he acts as a guide on the Oregon Trail, taking families to a new life while his looms lonely and stagnant.

The night before her abusive husband’s death, an ancient tree appears in Sarah Nickelson’s yard as she agonizes over how to survive her marriage. The tree gives her hope she can’t help but reject. After all, a tree doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. After her husband ‘s death, and with no options as a widow in Independence, Missouri, Sarah decides to travel to Oregon City as a Mail Order Bride.

During their trek west on the Oregon Trail, Jack and Sarah encounter one another, each afraid of being hurt again. Can they survive dogs and puppies, wind and rainstorms, Indians and unfavorable fellow passengers, while their love blossoms? Will the tree fulfill its promise?

 

Short Excerpt:

Cold seeped into his bones. Something warm blew across his face and ears. Jack swatted at his ears and peeled one gritty eye open.

“Papaya!” He pushed at the horse’s nose. “Go away.” Papaya continued prodding at him. “Damn horse.” He rubbed his cold hands together.

In the dim light, he wasn’t sure if it was morning or evening. The previous day’s events came back to him. He sat up and wiped a hand over his stubbly chin. Tears burned behind his eyes.

Papaya tugged at his sleeve until the only thing he could do was stand. “Dammit, horse, leave me alone.” He pushed the horse to the side. The sun rising behind the mountains from the east cast a shadow on a tree Jack swore hadn’t been there the night before.

Standing at least twenty feet high, the trunk was twisted and gnarled like the arthritic hands of his grandfather. Several roots rose from the ground making it look as if it would walk away. Some of its massive branches drooped close to the ground, like arms dragging across the grass.

As the sky lightened, he realized that, unlike the rough bark of the pines at this altitude, the tree’s light brown bark was smooth. Was it the lighting, or did some of the bark actually seem golden while in other places it was rough and dark brown? The surrounding trees paled in comparison.

Jack stepped closer. Pale green, oval leaves reminded him of an elm tree, only much smaller. When the wind blew, the undersides shimmered with a silvery glow.

Had he been so distraught yesterday he’d missed the massive structure? The tree seemed to beckon, calling him to its embrace. He dipped beneath its branches.

His hand shook as he reached out to touch the trunk. The instant he came in contact, his icy fingers warmed. Then his arm. He tried to pull away, but he couldn’t move.

Warmth spread through his body then settled in his aching heart. Was he hallucinating or was the tree humming? Had the tree actually whispered, “Love will come.”

A calmness settled over him and the darkness of the past few days diminished.

Between the hanging branches a person, surrounded by a foggy haze, appeared. Actually, two people. One tall, the other waist high, with a smaller version of Jack’s hat on its head. Suspenders held up too-short pants over the little one’s plaid shirt. A woman and a boy? They held hands, swinging them back and forth as if they hadn’t a care in the world. The woman’s bonnet hung down her back, loose hair flowing to her waist.

Was the tree showing him what Lily and his child would have been like if they’d lived? His heartbeat pounded in his ears, and he swore his heart cracked. As quickly as the despair washed over him, the tree hummed again and his heart warmed and peace settled through him.

Then the woman looked over her shoulder. This wasn’t Lily. The sun struck the vision. Instead of his wife’s dark hair, this woman’s shimmered like gold. Even from this distance, her sparkling blue eyes pierced through him.

Her smile beckoned him, and when she crooked her finger, all he could do was follow. The closer he came, the farther away they moved, until their bodies faded and nothing stood before him except the large boulder he’d slept against.

The tree. What if he touched the tree again? He pivoted on his foot, ready to run back and feel the twisted branches. What the hell? Maybe he’d lost his bearings while chasing the woman and boy. He spun in each direction. Nothing. The tree was gone. Poof. Was he losing his mind and dreaming the whole incident?

Something light brown on the ground caught his eye. Jack picked it up, his fingers warming at its touch. Bark from the disappearing tree? Had it all been real after all? If so, then where had the woman and boy gone?

Jack retraced the steps he’d taken to follow them. Only his own impressions in the dirt showed. He was going crazy. That was it. Crazy from grief. Maybe what he needed was to get away from the land and the memories it held.

Papaya pushed against Jack’s back, nearly knocking him to the ground.

“What do you think, old boy?” He ran his hand over the horse’s soft nose and recalled Samuel Hunt’s offer of a job from before he’d married Lily. “Should I see if Sam still needs someone to help take those crazy emigrants to Oregon?”

As if he understood what Jack was saying, Papaya nodded his large head.

“Well, since I’m already crazy, I might as well listen to you.”

After a quick breakfast of cold biscuits and hard tack, he swung onto Papaya’s back and headed back down the mountain. Back to his empty home and future.

Buy Link: The Trail To Love

 

Tina Susedik is a multi-published author with books in both fiction and non-fiction, including history, children’s, and military books. Her favorite is writing romance stories where her characters live happily ever after. She lives in Northwestern Wisconsin and is a member of Wisconsin Romance Writers of America.

LINKS FOR TINA:

Website: http://tinasusedik.wordpress.com./

Twitter: @tinasusedik

Website: TinaSusedik.com

Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17908316-riding-for-love

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tinasusedik/

Between Venus and Mars, Book 3: The Soul Mate Tree Series

NOW AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM

AUTHOR: S. C. Mitchell

GENRE: Science Fiction Romantic Comedy

HEAT LEVEL: Steamy

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

Once Upon a Galaxy . . .

Zana Starchild is on a mission to restore her tribe’s livestock and save herself from one more meal of kelp. Sure, it’s technically illegal to visit Old Earth, but to a rim rat like Zana, galactic laws are really just guidelines. Her wrecked starship just means she’ll need to use her backup plan to get off the abandoned world, an old Earth legend her uncle passed down to her.

Pulled from a relaxing shower, across the galaxy to Old Earth, Galactic Marshall Kyle Kepler finds himself naked and marooned with a quirky rim rat. Zana’s broken more laws than Kyle can count, and he plans to arrest her, just as soon as he can find transport off the planet and a pair of pants.

A junk heap of a starship, a magical tree, and a roving gang of mutant kangaroos are just the beginning of rollicking intergalactic journey filled with laughs, love, and adventure.

 

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Between-Venus-Mars-Soul-Mate-ebook/dp/B01N7OXSND/

When series collide: Between Venus and Mars is not only set the multi-dimensional worlds of the Soul Mate Tree legend, but also ties into my Hearts in Orbit series, a futuristic universe filled with starships, aliens, and new technologies. And, of course, romance. The Soul Mate Tree project offered me a great way to play with some new characters and further develop my universe, while partnering with some of the best authors in the business.

The Hearts in Orbit universe is a place where galactic marshals keep the peace in the cosmopolitan Core Worlds as well as the wild-west type rim world planets. While this book works as a standalone, and you don’t have to have read any of the others, I consider it Hearts in Orbit 2.5, fitting nicely between Pirates of the Dark Nebula and my soon-to-be-released Hearts in Orbit 3 novel Captives of the Kratzen.

Series Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016DF63JM/

Hidden strengths, adventurous hearts.

S.C.Mitchell grew up an avid reader of comic books, science fiction and fantasy literature. He’s been writing stories for over thirty years. In 2010 he left his job as a computer desktop support specialist to pursue his passion for writing full time. He is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as the Wisconsin chapter.

As a writer of paranormal and sci-fi romance, fantasy, and science fiction, Steve crafts unique and wondrous worlds where his characters explore, romp, and fall in love. Whether traveling through dark, demon filled dimensions, the edge of wild space, or ancient mythological heavens, his heroes and heroines, guided by their adventurous hearts, discover hidden strengths on their pathway to enduring love.

You’ll find him at:

http://scmitchellauthor.com/

Blog: http://scmitchellauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSCMitchell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorSMitchell

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007D0Z1MW

Additional info:

Tag Line: An intergalactic adventure filled with laughs, love, and adventure.

Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV0BQCcwhfk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdtFXXlGvbk

Putting the “Co” in Co-Editing, by Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko

Anyone who co-works a project with someone knows there are rewards as well as problems in the process. Differing opinions, opposing work ethic, power struggles, etc., those stumbling blocks are all real and frustrating. On the reward side: satisfaction for a job well-done, an improved attitude toward creativity in general, and stronger personal/professional relationships that result from co-working.

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It’s the same when editors co-edit together. Fellow senior editors and BFFs Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko found that out, when a vague idea for a year-long, multi-author project came together over months of plotting and planning. Once they gathered up their ‘stable’ of authors, set project parameters, and the stories started rolling in, the work began.

Here’s what they both learned, in the process.

CHERYL:  What’s it like to co-edit a series for a publishing house? Well, in a nutshell, I love it. I believe the stories are better served since each editor brings their own special skills to the project. I’m not sure how the authors feel about it, because they get double the work, and I’m sure we drive them a little bit crazy. But no one’s complained so far!

CHAR: I figure some authors might see the advantage of having two sets of editing eyes on their work. Authors miss things during the revision process, and so do editors; it’s inevitable. But the fresh eyes of one editor can take up the slack from another and see places where something—often small—might have been overlooked. Win-win for the author!

CHERYL: For example, here’s how it’s working for me and Char on The Soul Mate Tree project. When planning the series, we initially split up the editing duties according to genre preference, and whether we were editors for a project author in the past. However, when we began working with the manuscripts, for one reason or another, we ended up passing the stories back and forth, making edits and suggestions to each one, until we were both happy with the outcome. This worked very well, and the books are better for it.

CHAR: The Soul Mate Tree Series was the perfect venue for us to see if we blended together solidly as co-editors. Each of us brings something different to the revision and developmental process. We each have our strengths, so it’s been a learning process as well.

CHERYL: It helps that Char and I write together as authors, and that is also how we work on our manuscripts. We make a great team! We hope to bring many more great Soul Mate Publishing projects to our readers.

CHAR:  In fact, our second Soul Mate project is in the works, with a tentative release schedule of January, 2020. This time we’re going after the elusive Paranormal Trilogy, a most splendid creature. ::grin:: There will be more discussion and idea revelation as we progress in the planning stages, but once again we’ll be working with Soul Mate authors to create a year-long book release effort.

Co-editing isn’t for everyone, any more than co-writing is. When Char and Cheryl started co-writing, they never imagined what they’d learned could spill over into the editing process. One big thing they figured out: compromise and cooperation is key, whether they edit the pen or wield it.

Work? Yes, indeed. Satisfaction for the end product? Definitely. Differing opinions, and all those other things? Well, sure.

Fun? Oh, YES. And that makes everything else so worthwhile.

Me and Char Margarita

Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko are Senior Acquiring Editors for Soul Mate Publishing, as well as multi-published authors writing solo and also under the pen name of CiCi Cordelia. They can be found buried beneath a mountain of tasks, projects, and other writerly and editor-ly stuff, in their respective geographical locations and pretty much everywhere the Internet goes.

 

Join me at Wild Deadwood Reads!

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Wild Deadwood Reads

Where else can you take an 1880s Train Ride through the Black Hills…

1880s Train Ride
Attend a PRC Rodeo in Deadwood…

PRC Rodeo Deadwood
See Mount Rushmore…

Mount Rushmore
See a Ghost (and get your fill of amazing appetizers!)

bullock-hotel

…and see more ghosts in an historic cemetery…

Bullock Hotel Deadwood
Head out on a Pub Crawl…

Deadwood Pub Crawl
And get books signed by 50 of your Favorite Authors!

Wild Deadwood Reads Book Signing
Wild Deadwood Reads! Reader Registration is only $5 in advance, which allows you to sign up for all the weekend events, some of which are FREE!

Check out our website https://wilddeadwoodreads.wordpress.com/extra-event-sign-up/

Our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1330472326972227/

…Then Come Have Fun in Deadwood this Summer!

Can’t Stop the Music, Book 2: The Soul Mate Tree Series

ABOUT C.D. HERSH:  Two hearts creating everlasting love stories.

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

The books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven other authors.

They are looking forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

THE LEGEND OF THE SOUL MATE TREE:

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

Can't Stop the Music_002_830x1250.jpgFor college senior and hippie wannabe Rosemary—Rose for short—a teaching job is within her grasp, but she wants more. She wants love, the kind of love that has bound her parents for so many years. When she’s dumped by her current boyfriend because her morals can’t bring her to give in to free love, she finds herself at Woodstock in the middle of the biggest free-love, music festival of the Sixties. Alone, again. Until a magical tree grants her wish and she finds the man of her dreams—and loses him before she really knows who he is.

Dakota meets the girl of his dreams at Woodstock, but a jealous wannabe girlfriend drives them apart before he can discover Rose’s last name and where she comes from. After he sees a disappearing tree that promises him true love, a frantic search to find Rose comes up empty-handed.

Magic and music brings them together at Woodstock in 1969. Misunderstandings tear them apart. Will two flower children find one another again, or live with missed opportunities?

Can’t Stop The Music order on Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01N9RDN96/

Book Trailer for CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC: https://youtu.be/ItRDZ5G-5Cw

Book Trailer for The Soul Mate Tree: https://youtu.be/VjxyyD3TVoA

Short Excerpt:

As they made their way to the festival site, Rose and her friends grooved to the music coming from the stage.

When they reached the makeshift bridge over the road, someone yelled, “Hey beautiful! You with the red hair.”

She looked around to see if there was anyone else with red hair. Then she glanced up and spotted two guys, one blond and the other dark-haired, leaning over the side of the bridge.

“Yeah, you,” the blond called out as he caught her gaze.

Willow halted beside her. “He’s cute. How about him?”

Rose looked away, her gaze landing on the other guy.

He jabbed his companion in the ribs. “Quit trying to pick up every girl you see.” Then he leaned farther over the rail. “Don’t pay any attention to him. He’s high.”

“So she’s not beautiful?” Willow yelled to the hippie.

She poked her friend. “Stop it, Willow, you’re making a scene.” In spite of her protest, her gaze remained on the dark-haired guy.

He rested his elbows on the rail and stared back at her. The intensity of his expression shot heat into her belly.

“I didn’t say that, just that she shouldn’t pay attention to him.” He flapped a hand at his blond buddy, then tapped his own chest with his thumb several times as if to say, ‘Choose me!’

Does he want me to pay attention to him? Her heart thumped in rhythm to his jabbing thumb.

“Take that one,” Willow whispered. “He’s the real cutie.”

Before she could respond, the crowd pushed them forward. When they reached the other side of the bridge, she looked back, searching for the dark-haired hippie, but the spot where he’d stood was empty.

Just my luck. I see someone who’s intriguing and he disappears.

With a sigh, she continued the trek to the festival grounds.

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LINKS FOR C.D. HERSH:

Website:  https://cdhersh.wordpress.com/

Soul Mate Publishing Author Blogsite: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cdhershauthor

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/cdhersh

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/CDHersh

How To Successfully Co-Write: By Cheryl Yeko and Char Chaffin,

Co-Writing as CiCi Cordelia

(Senior Acquiring Editors for Soul Mate Publishing)

Char and I would like to discuss our writing partnership and how we became acquiring editors for Soul Mate Publishing. We’ve been friends since 2011, when we both came onboard Soul Mate with our debut novels. We got to know each other virtually, and by the time we met in person at our first romance conference—Atlanta in 2013—it was as if we’d known each other forever. Soon, we both became acquiring editors with Soul Mate, cementing an already strong friendship.

During RWA Atlanta, we’d tossed around writing something together, and after one frenetic brainstorming evening came up with our first co-written book, Rodeo King, which debuted in 2014. We were thrilled when Rodeo King finaled in the 2016 Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Awards.

We had so much fun writing together, we decided to keep doing it, and agreed a pen name was in order. CiCi’s first name was easy, since both our names start with ‘C.’ All we needed was a last name. Eventually we came up with ‘Cordelia’ which means ‘heart,’ and our tagline is ‘Writing From The Heart.’

Co-writing is an exciting adventure, but it also comes with challenges, and is not for the weak at heart. Mutual respect and compromise is the key to a successful co-writing partnership.

Char and I talk on the phone frequently; every day if we’re working on a project. I’ll bring Char in here and we’ll discuss our writing processes and how they combine seamlessly into our works as CiCi Cordelia.

We’ll answer some of the questions we routinely receive regarding our partnership:

How do you combine your voices?

Since Char’s a heavy plotter, and I’m a total, fly by the seat Pantser, it’s always fun!

Char: Writing with someone else opens up a whole new world of compromise. ::grin:: For me, I had to write more on the fly than ever, and Cheryl found herself dealing with my incessant need for outlining. Part of why CiCi succeeds is our ability to meet each other halfway.

Cheryl: True dat. Since I started writing with Char, I’ve learned to plot, just a bit. We do a general outline, so we can stay on track. But the stories never turn out the way we originally plotted them, so there’s still a lot of pantsing going on.

Who writes what chapter?

One of us writes a chapter, then sends it to the other for edits. We usually have two or three editing rounds before the chapter is polished enough to move on. Then the other one writes a chapter and we repeat the process.

How do you work out disagreements?

Char: We are both strong writers with strong opinions, so obviously we sometimes come at our basic plot in completely different ways, whether or not we’ve already set down an outline. We’ve never not been able to talk it out and find common ground we can both accept. I think that’s because we do know each other very well and consequently know when it’s better to cede rather than argue. Also, we understand when a project won’t work for us, the same as we instinctively know when we have picked a winner that will benefit from what we both bring to its creation.

Cheryl: This is where compromise comes into play. Char and I are fortunate that we love the same type of books and don’t often have disagreements. But, we’ve had a few. It’s a delicate balance because usually we are both right, it’s just that we’re having a difference in where we see the story leading. So, we carefully and respectfully work through it, until we agree upon the chapter, and where it’s heading. The best thing about co-writing is that this process leads to a better read, imo.

How do you both settle on genre? Characters? Titles?

Char:  It depends on whether one or both of us have an idea that won’t leave us alone, or whether we’re just chatting on the phone and brainstorming occurs. We both get so excited when we start talking plotting and characters, that often the genre and our hero/heroine creates themselves. As for titles, those can be toughies, but again if we just talk it out together, we find what’s right for our work.

Cheryl: Yeah, what she said . . . ::smile::

Do you use an outside editor and cover art services for your co-written works?

Char: Since we’re both editors, we usually edit each other during the creative process. Cheryl is a great developmental editor, and I’m punctuation-crazed and grammatically anal. Both of us are strong characterization editors. Cheryl handles all the cover art work, either creating it herself or working with a cover artist to come up with a selling cover.

Cheryl: We edit each other and that seems to work well. I do have a handful of critique partners I run my work through, and they catch a lot of stuff. By the time we finish our stories, they are pretty clean.

Does your writing partnership affect your working relationship as acquiring editors at Soul Mate Publishing?”

Cheryl & Char: That would be a yes . . . but only in a good way. Some time in the fall of 2015, we were chatting as usual, and started toying with the idea of a long-range book/series project we could develop together as editors, and The Legend of The Soul Mate Tree was born. Thirteen books written by thirteen different Soul Mate authors. When we presented the idea to Soul Mate Owner and Senior Editor Debby Gilbert, she fell in love with the premise and gave it her professional blessing. The first book, written by CiCi Cordelia, (aka Char Chaffin & Cheryl Yeko) Realm of the Dragon releases in January 2017, and then one book per month follows thereafter.

We’d like to share the promo trailer Cheryl created for the project. We hope you enjoy it! https://youtu.be/VjxyyD3TVoA

Cheryl also created a sexy little promo trailer for Realm of the Dragon that we’d love to share with you. https://youtu.be/YKFSkLDKpP4

We have great expectations for The Soul Mate Tree project, and plan for more co-editing projects in the future.

What would you advise for other authors who might be considering co-writing with one or more authors?

Char: First and foremost, you need to trust your co-writer. And it helps if you work with an author whose writing is similar to yours. I believe you should go at co-writing for the right reasons. Cheryl and I co-write because we love writing together and we believe the books we create together combine the best of both of us. As mentioned before, compromise is key. You’ll have to find common ground through every aspect of the process and you’ll need to leave your ego at the door, too.

Cheryl: As Char mentioned above, make sure you like and trust your writing partner. That’s key. Then look for someone who complements your work. It’s important to find a writer who makes your own writing stronger.

I do believe Char mentioned she’s anal . . . lol. True. I, on the other hand, am not. So I’m always rushing, wanting to get to the exciting part. That sometimes means leaving out details that would make the scene stronger. And Char sometimes writes with so much detail I find my mind wandering. So I edit her down, and she edits me up, and the pacing of our stories is the better for it. So don’t just look for someone who writes ‘just like you.’ Look for someone who melds with your own writing style to make a great story even greater!

Now, if you’re not video-ed out, we’d love to share one more trailer with you. In case you haven’t noticed, another one of my creative outlets is making cool videos. Here’s one showcasing our writing journey together.

We hope you enjoy it! https://youtu.be/Kytewa7ZIxY

Thank you for stopping in to check out our first blog on our sparkly new website! Please ignore the dust as we continue to make our home shine.