Contest Day 5 = Denise Belinda McDonald, Second Chances

946And it’s Denise’s turn! I know you’re all excited to learn all about here, so here she is! You can buy here current release, Second Chances, here.


1. How did you get started with your writing?

I started writing when I was single digits old. The first full-length piece I wrote was a sequal to Disney’s “Sleepy Hollow”. Then, again after seeing a scary movie, I wrote what happened “after the bad guy got caught”.  I segued into a neighborhood newsletter with a friend to poetry in high school. When I was pregnant with #4 boy child I wrote my first two romance manuscripts to keep from going stir-crazy and the rest, as they say, … is on Amazon.


2. What/who is your biggest muse?

My biggest muse, hmm, good question. I don’t want to sound strange and say all those dern voices in my head. Writers understand this but other folks… look at you really strange and slowly edge away with a polite smile while trying not to make too much eye contact. But alas it is the voices. They constantly barrage me to get them down on paper. 

3. Is there a character in one of your books you connect with the most?

I don’t know that I connect more with any one character over another—but I always have a wee bit of a crush on which ever hero I am working on at the time. That’s normal, right?!?!


4. What do you like to do in your free time other than write?

Free time? Not familiar… (If I had free time I would love to take classes. Any kind of classes from dance to languages to cooking to… just about anything.)


5. What are some of your favorite books? Any genre or author.

I have a few “go to” authors: Karen Robards, Susan Mallery, Beverly Conner. I am a romance genre gal. I look for it in all that I read—I did this even before I knew what the romance genre was. Luckily for me it is an all-encompassing genre that’ll give you entertainment from the sweetest of the sweet to the hottest of the hot in worlds from yesterday to tomorrow and anything in the between. (Yeah, I *heart* my romance genre)


6. Where is your writing sanctuary?

I have my “office”, which is really the dining room transformed with my desk, bookcases (4 of them), a filing cabinet and all the trappings—but often times I will just take my Alphasmart and MP3 player somewhere and just write (so much less distractions). My ultimate writing sanctuary would be something with four walls. =)


7.  How did you celebrate “selling” your first book?

When I sold my first book, I made my hubby take me (and the kids) out to dinner. I figured I should get to not have to cook.


8. What is your favorite thing about Samhain?

Fave thing about Samhain… well honestly I don’t have anything to compare it to, but after hearing stories from other writer friends with different publishers, I’d have to say that warm comfortable feeling you get with them. Sure it is a business, but the staff makes you feel part of the process and makes your comments and concerns feel welcomed.


9. Is there something you would like to see more of in RomanceLandia?

I honestly don’t know what I’d like to see in RomanceLandia. My TBR pile has gotten so big that chances are what I may want is in that pile. I personally have reader and writer ADD so what I am searching for this week may be totally different next week.


10.  Tell us about your editor.

Tera has been the editor on three of my six (so far) books. On the first book, when she became my editor, I was a little peeved that she would comment on certain things that needed to be changed rather than just change them for me—yeah, I’m lazy. But now, on subsequent books, I realize how much easier it is for me to self-edit as I write—I look for what I call my “Tera things” and it makes my writing much stronger! For that I will forever be uber-thankful!


Excerpt/Chapter One


“Hey, darlin’. I hear you’re waiting for someone,” a deep male voice rumbled right beside Zan Walter’s ear, much closer than she preferred. “Could that be me?”

After the sixty-eight hour drive from Texas and not finding her aunt at the diner, Zan was in no mood for pickup lines—cheesy or otherwise. She turned, expecting to find a dumpy, balding man in overalls standing behind her, maybe missing a tooth or two. Instead he looked like he’d just stepped out of the pages of American Cowboy or Country Music Weekly. Was he someone famous? With his tanned good looks he could be, but she didn’t recognize the man with his perfectly straight white smile and a blond goatee.

The man was hot and from the smirk on his face, he knew it.

He leaned on the counter, edging closer to Zan. She could smell steak and onions on his breath. Any appetite she had disappeared as she tried to scoot away from him, but her rear was already half off the vinyl padded stool. Every eye was on her. She could jump off the seat altogether, making a fool of herself… However, that was not the way to end an already miserable day.

“Nope, sorry,” Zan said sweetly, but firmly. “I’m waiting for someone else. But I appreciate the offer.”

The men down the counter nudged each other.

“Aw, c’mon, darlin’.” He reached up and fondled the ends of her newly short hair, his knuckles grazed her face.

Zan narrowed her eyes and pushed his hand away. “I am not your darlin’.” Who the hell does this guy think he is? “Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to finish my coffee. Alone.”

Someone gasped and someone else snickered. The genial look on the man’s face disappeared so fast a tinge of fear shot through her. She wasn’t so much worried she couldn’t handle him—even at thirty-two her brothers had given her a refresher course on how to defend herself before she’d left home—but she didn’t want to get branded as a troublemaker her first minute in a new town.

“Leave her alone, Da—” the waitress started.

“Butt out, Missy.” He turned his attention back to Zan. “You’re new here, so I’ll let that go this time.”

“Oh, how kind of you.” She tilted up her mouth in a saccharine smile and lowered her voice so only he could hear her. “Does this mean the next time I turn down your unwanted advances you won’t be so nice?” Zan fisted her hands at her sides. “Why don’t you go milk a cow or something?”

“Why, you little…”

“Check, please.” Zan raised her voice back to normal and glanced at the stunned waitress.

From the corner of her eye, she could see the color rise in the egomaniac’s cheeks. She’d probably gone too far. Please, does he honestly think he can go around intimidating everyone who doesn’t drop to the floor and lick his boots?

His hand clamped on her arm.

Zan slapped a ten down on the counter with her free hand. She sure as hell wasn’t in Texas any more. “You’d better let go.” She wasn’t sure why she was surprised when the man dug his fingertips into her arm.

“Or what?”



Filed under Books and Authors, Editing, Promotion

5 responses to “Contest Day 5 = Denise Belinda McDonald, Second Chances

  1. Cathy M

    Hi Belinda, I’ve read one of your books so far, Deadly Mistakes, which I really enjoyed. Like the feistiness of Zan and Jacob sounds like a great cowboy hero.

  2. Hi Belinda! I love your humor in your interview! Had me smiling all the way through.

    Zan so sounds like one independent heroine! I can’t wait to meet Jacob! So I went to the link up there and read the blurb and found out about Jacob! Then I read the excerpt and fell in love with Jacob! It says its a series called Paintbrush, is this the first in this series? and I love those set in the same time and ranchers/cowboys! Love em!

  3. Judy Cox

    Enjoyed the interview!! Your book and your characters are very interesting. I believe I would enjoy reading Second Chances.

  4. Karin

    Great excerpt! I have to agree that you shouldn’t have had to cook the night you found out about your sale. That definitely deserves a dinner out. 🙂

  5. Amy S.

    Second Chances sounds great!

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