What’s a Crowdfunder to do? A Guest Post by @caridubiel + a #Giveaway! #books #Inkshares


Giveaway!

 

What’s a Crowdfunder to Do?

 

 

Since I’ve been promoting my first novel, How to Remember, people have been asking: why crowdfunding? Why not self-publishing, or the traditional method of querying agents?

 

 

One answer: I’ve been doing both of those things. I’ve self-published a handful of short stories and a collection, and I’m active in the traditional publishing market. I wanted to do something different.

 

 

Another answer: I’m a librarian, so I study books. I looked at other books that were like mine. I write with a strong first-person voice, my characters have dry senses of humor, and there are science and mystery elements. I found a book I loved – The Punch Escrow by Tal N. Klein – and I discovered it was published by Inkshares. That’s when I knew I wanted to write for them.

 

 

But I’ve got a big hurdle to jump. I need pre-orders to qualify. That’s where my readers come in. Check out my Inkshares page, my blog, my Facebook author page. You can help me do this, and you’ll get a book at the end of it all. You could even get your name in the acknowledgments as my supporter.

 

 

I’m also running a giveaway that ends at midnight on Thursday, November 23. If you win, you’ll receive a customized book basket from me – I’ll talk to you about your interests, and I’ll pick out 2 or 3 books for you, plus some extra goodies.

 

 

Ways to enter:

 

-Pre-order my book (each copy receives one entry)

 

-Follow me on Inkshares

 

-Like my author page on Facebook

 

-Share my author page on Facebook

 

 

Happy reading!

 

 howtoremember

 

Title: How to Remember

 

Author: Cari Dubiel

 

Genre: Domestic suspense, mystery, light science fiction

 

 

Book Blurb:

 

Miranda Underwood has lost a year’s worth of memories, and she’s certain her employer is behind it. MindTech uses imaging and electrical therapy to influence patients’ thoughts and feelings. Until now, Miranda has been on the other side of things, using her doctorate in neurology to help clients come to terms with mental and emotional trauma. But now that her own mind has been compromised, she won’t rest until she knows exactly what MindTech did to her and why.

 

 

One year in the past, grieving computer programmer Ben Baker can’t seem to get his life back together following his mother’s death. MindTech promises to help him heal. He’s intrigued, but unsure. It’s only after he meets Miranda in the bar next door that he becomes a client. As Miranda and Ben become closer, they discover that Ben has a deeper connection to MindTech than he realizes.

 

 

Excerpt:

My toothbrush was gone.

 

As a scientist, I needed a certain amount of evidence to prove a theory. Particularly a theory such as this one: I was losing my mind. The missing toothbrush was Exhibit A, Fact Number One, the first piece of a puzzle.

 

I stood in my bathroom, cold, staring at the empty holder where the toothbrush used to be.

 

I remembered buying it at the dentist’s office. “You’re brushing too hard,” the hygienist had said. “The electric one will help you be more efficient.” I purchased it with a healthy degree of skepticism, but also with a conviction that it might work if recommended by an expert in this field. I trust experts. I worked long and hard in order to become one, in my own field.

 

But that was gone. And I couldn’t ignore several other facts: my heavy breasts. The fat around my waist. The sweatpants that held the fat, so lovingly and softly, like a cloud or a gentle made-in-Taiwan rug.

 

My mind was fuzzy, like I’d woken from one of our experiments at MindTech, like I’d been my own patient. I was gathering enough evidence for a white paper. Possibly a peer-reviewed journal article.

 

I padded down the stairs in my bare feet, tucking my sweater around me. Coffee would help to solve this problem. Coffee had a way of sweeping the slate, burning with its bitter and cleansing taste. Coffee would return my theory to its ephemeral status, and restore my sanity in a single sip.

 

When I rummaged through my cabinets, I found old cans of corn, unopened tikka masala sauce, vanilla extract. No coffee. Fact Number Two: I was indeed losing my mind. I could only find a sad old bag of decaf stuck in the back of the highest cupboard. I would never drink decaf – honestly, I didn’t even know why it existed. Someone must have brought it to a family party long ago. I shuddered and pitched it.

 

It was October in my quaint suburban homestead, the trademark chill of fall seeping under my windowsills and thresholds. I needed to get warm. I needed a shower and a hot drink. I was used to being up at night and staying up late on account of my job as a pseudo-counselor and a scientist who messes with people’s brains. But the morning had never felt this alien.

 

I picked up my phone, scrolled through my texts. Nothing out of the ordinary there. I tapped out a message to Lauren, my best friend. If I were going for coffee and she found out, she might come after me if I didn’t bring her some. I didn’t want to take that chance.

 

I was trying to remember if I had given my number to the guy from last night. I supposed that if I had, he would call. Unless he didn’t want to, in which case it didn’t matter. There were always more boys to save. I had a lot to atone for.

 

The phone jumped, vibrating in the urgent manner I had expected from my erstwhile toothbrush. The screen lit with Lauren’s name. “Hey,” I answered.

 

“Where have you been?”

 

Buy Link: https://www.inkshares.com/books/how-to-remember

 

10469309_10102938429610534_4132701362871647819_o

 

Author Biography:

Cari Dubiel will read anything you put in front of her, and she writes, too! She is the author of the short story collection All the Lonely People, a Library Journal Self-E Select pick, as well as several other short pieces published in anthologies and online. Cari is a librarian in Ohio, a past Library Liaison to Sisters in Crime, and a podcaster.

 

Social Media:

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/caridubielauthor/

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Cari-Dubiel/e/B01MA3LH3S

 

 

Advertisements

Christmas Stories: A Guest Post by Kate Parker #TuesdayBookBlog #historicalromance #Christmas


Christmas Stories by Kate Parker

 

We all have our memories of perfect Christmas mornings. For me, it’s only after Christmas breakfast and all the presents are unwrapped that my perfect Christmas morning begins.

 

 

I see myself snug in my flannel pjs and fluffy slippers, a nice big mug of hot tea at hand and, piled up next to me – a stack of new books smelling of fresh ink and newly cut paper. New-to-me authors, old favorites, all are welcome.

 

 

Now for reality… I’ll have to exchange my flannel pjs and fluffy slippers for a T-shirt and shorts if I don’t want to melt. I don’t care how hot it gets, I still love my hot tea. So it’ll be hot tea and an e-reader after Christmas breakfast while wearing shorts, a T-shirt, and leaving my feet bare.

 

DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

My ereader will bring me tales of sled rides through the frozen wilderness, snow ball battles beneath cozy chimneys that give off picturesque, non-polluting, wispy smoke, formal balls with stolen kisses beneath the mistletoe, and the number one best Christmas gift of all, a dead body murdered by clever means.

 

 

Nothing says Christmas to me like a good fictional murder under the Christmas tree. Or under the skating pond or in a snow drift or upsetting the horses. There must be blood splashed on the snow or dripped on the ballroom floor. At least one debutante, not the heroine, must faint. If crinolines rustle and sleigh bells jingle, all the better.

 

 

The contemporary fiction equivalent is the plucky heroine marching through the snow, gun strapped to her back, stopping the nefarious plot in time to sing carols and watch nieces and nephews open gifts. Clever murders here are more of the “karma” kind, where the villain dies from his own poison, bomb, or javelin.

 

DIGITAL CAMERA

 

And the food! While I munch on Christmas foil-wrapped peanut butter cups and drink hot tea, I will read about whole roasted turkeys and wassail and cranberries and Christmas pudding with a sixpence inside. And if a cup of wassail is poisoned… Pure bliss. These foods work in either historical or contemporary stories.

 

 

In historical mysteries, the servants will be ever so grateful on Boxing Day, the children will enjoy cloth and wooden toys that don’t require batteries, and some lovely young woman will get an engagement ring either before or after the discovery of the body. The placement of the engagement is dependent on whether said lovely young woman is a sleuth or involved in the murder.

 

 

In contemporary holiday tales, the ending shows children either teaching grandparents how to use the newest electronic gear they received as presents or willingly setting down cell phones to spend time in the family’s traditional group endeavor. If it involves ice skating or football in the snow, so much the better.

 

 

In Christmas mysteries, words like “dreary” will be balanced out with words like “sparkling.” There will be plenty of snow between the pages to overcome the sunny and mild temperatures outside my door. Icicles will dangle from the roof – unless they’ve been used as a dagger.

 

 

Just writing this post has put me in the mood for Christmas. I hope Santa is bringing me lots of murder and mayhem this year for my e-reader, and I hope he is just as generous with your stocking. Whether your favorites are romance, mystery, sci fi, fantasy, or something else, may you have plenty of it to enjoy on Christmas morning.

 

 

Kate Parker

 

www.KateParkerbooks.com

www.Facebook.com/Author.Kate.Parker/

 

 

cr 4

 

Title – Christmas Revels IV : Four Regency Novellas

Author – Hannah Meredith, Anna D. Allen, Kate Parker, Louisa Cornell

Genre – Historical Romance

Publisher – Singing Spring Press

 

Book Blurb —

The Revels Continue…

The Sergeant’s Christmas Bride – Sergeant Jacob Burrows just wants a place to bed down for the night. He never expects to be confronted by a lady with a gun. Elizabeth FitzWalter intends to drive the stranger off her land, until she realizes he meets her most pressing need.

 

Home for Christmas – When Charity Fletcher receives a mysterious bequest—a house by the sea—she hopes to rebuild her life. Lord Gilbert Narron leases a seaside house to hide from his memories of war. Charity’s refuge is Gil’s bolt-hole… but what both are seeking is a home for their hearts.

 

 

A Memorable Christmas Season –The last thing Lady Roekirk expects at her Christmas party is a dead traitor in her parlor… or the Crown’s Spymaster helping her hide the body. Thirty years earlier, she’d been forced to wed another and Lord Keyminster became a spy. After this long, does their love stand a chance?

 

A Perfectly Unforgettable Christmas – Every day, Lucien Rollinsby endures a memory of Christmas Eve. Not even his lovely new neighbor can make him forget that horrible night five years ago. Caroline McAlasdair remembers that Christmas Eve, too. But if Lucien recalls her presence there, it will destroy their only chance at happiness forever.

 

Buy Links –

Amazon – http://a.co/h2H98jd

 Apple iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-revels-iv-four-regency-novellas/id1289152547?mt=11

Barns and Nobles – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-revels-iv-hannah-meredith/1127145055?ean=2940154556139

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36302269-christmas-revels-iv

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/christmas-revels-iv-four-regency-novellas

 

Author Biography –

Kate Parker first discovered another world in her mother’s murder mysteries written by Christie, Sayers, and the other ladies. Now she loves to time travel, via books, to murder and mayhem in Mayfair ballrooms and country estates, English villages and trains pulled by steam engines. This love has propelled her to write her own stories set in Britain in the Regency, the 1890s, the 1900s, and the 1930s, and she’d like you to come along and visit the olden days.

 

See what stories Kate has out at www.KateParkerbooks.com  and www.Facebook.com/Author.Kate.Parker/

 

 

 

Top 10 Reasons I Love #Thanksgiving: A Guest Post by @RuthACasie #books #romance


thanksgiving-2903166_1280

 

The top 10 reasons I love Thanksgiving! 

 

We celebrate the Friday after. 

At our house we celebrate Thanksgiving the day after turkey day. We started the tradition as a compromise for my kids and their in-laws. They were conflicted about where to spend Thanksgiving. No one wanted to miss dinner with their family. We talked about brunch in the morning or later in the day. That just wasn’t the same. Instead I opted for the day after. It was not a hardship. I did it selfishly. This way I have them all to myself. My kids and their in-laws love the idea. 

 

No turkey! 

This year’s menu is roast leg of lamb and brisket. (It’s the same every year. I’m forbidden to change it.) That’s another benefit of celebrating the day after. No turkey. Everyone’s had their fill on Thursday. I can be a bit more creative with the menu. Although the family still demands mulled cider, sweet potato souffle and noodle pudding. 

 

Everyone moves back home. 

Our son and his girlfriend drive down from Boston. Our older daughter and our two grandchildren are only forty minutes away, but they come home and move in for the weekend. Our two daughters and their families (they only live thirty minutes away) move home for the weekend. It will definitely be a houseful but I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

 

Butternut Squash Soup.

Our younger daughter added this to our menu two years ago. My cooking is all done when she comes in with all the mixings and makes the soup. 

 

My older grandkids help in the kitchen.

Well, maybe not my grandson. He prefers to hang out with his uncle and play ball across the street in the park. My older granddaughter sets the table, makes place cards and watch her cousin so her aunt can help in the kitchen 

 

The coffee runs to Dunkin Donuts and late night outings to the local ice cream shop.  

Our son goes to our local DD and brings home a selection of coffees for us while we finish cooking. It’s always a surprise. Since our dinner is midafternoon, my husband takes the grandkids to the ice cream shop to bring back more surprises. I could easily have the ice cream at the house, but I think he uses it as an excuse to spend some alone time with two big kids. 

 

Time together.

After dinner we flop on the sofa with a large bowl of popcorn. My husband tries to get a Scrabble game going but he loses out to game. 

 

Sunday Night.

With all this tumult and cooking, did I mention the mandatory French toast Saturday morning I start to look forward to Sunday night when they all go home?

 

Four more weeks.

Thank goodness they’ll all be back in four weeks for the holidays and we do this again. This time with presents! 

 

It’s all magical to me. 

At our day after Thanksgiving dinner, I sit and look at family around the table and beam with pride. I’d be happy not to eat, just enjoy them. This is what I’m most thankful for, my dear husband who supports me in everything I do, my children and their spouses who make me laugh until I cry, and my three grandchildren who are blessings.  

 

 

I hope your Thanksgiving is delicious and wonderful. 

 

 thehighlandersenglishwoman300-1

 

Title: The Highlander’s English Woman 

Author: Ruth A. Casie  

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance 

 

Book Blurb: 

Laura Reynolds is in love with her long-time friend, Jamie Maxwell Collins. She adores his playful sense of humor, caring nature as well as his strong sense of family and honor. 

 

Jamie lives across the border in Scotland. Outwardly carefree, he hides a dark secret. He can’t involve Laura in this deception. He can’t give her hope for a future together. 

 

Laura stumbles upon Jamie’s secret. In her heart of hearts she knows Jamie is innocent. Their relationship in tatters and with no hope of reconciliation, she plays a deadly game to exonerate Jamie, she agrees to a political marriage. She has no idea the entire game has been orchestrated by her future husband, Jamie’s greatest enemy. 

 

Excerpt: 

He opened the cemetery gate and made his way to the small building where the 9th century remains of William the Brave rested. In the building was a hidden passage that led inside the castle. A dangerous place for boys to play. He and Richard prided themselves on being the only people aware these tunnels existed. Forgotten over the centuries, it had taken them weeks to clean out the debris and shore it up to make it usable. 

 

The hair on the back of his neck stood. Someone was with him inside the cemetery. He crouched behind a tombstone. In the distance, a dark shadow proceeded along the path. 

 

Jamie took stock of the man as he made his way to the Reynolds’ family graves. He thought at first Reeve came to pay his respect to Richard, but the form was all wrong. This shadow was bigger, more agile. The man stopped and waited. For whom? For what? 

 

Jamie moved for a closer look. His brushed against a tombstone and knocked loose pebbles that rested on the top to the ground. In the complete silence, the cascade of stones sounded like boulders echoing in a valley. 

 

In an easy, elegant move, the man drew his sword. No, this wasn’t Reeve. Jamie did the same. 

 

The darkening shadows made it impossible for Jamie to identify who he fought. That didn’t stop either man. His attacker put him on the defense. Jamie retreated in a matter of seconds. 

 

Jamie and the shadow parried and lunged. Evenly matched, neither gave signs of tiring. Several times he almost had the man, only to have him bound over an obstacle and come back for more. 

 

Just like… 

 

“For a moment I thought you fought like Lord Richard,” Jamie said. The man answered with a barrage of strikes. 

 

But Jamie held his ground. He fought stroke for stroke until they came into a close battle position, the hilts of their swords locked against their chests. Clouds moved and the man’s face was revealed under the moonlight. 

 

Jamie dropped his sword and froze. His heart pounded. The man threw his head back and laughed. 

 

“Richard?” 

 

The laughter subsided. Richard put his arm around Jamie and squeezed him close. “I wonder if Father has any ale? How I would love to taste it one more time.” 

 

Buy Links: 

Amazon/Kindle: https://amzn.com/B01LXYHNGS 

 

Amazon Print: http://a.co/am0MfIq 

 

iBook: http://apple.co/2eddatE 

 

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-highlanders-english-woman-ruth-a-casie/1125365584?ean=2940157490539 

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-highlander-s-english-woman 

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography: 

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie. 

 

Social Media Links: 

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com  

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com  

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman 

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie  

 

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie  

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964  

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/  

 

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie 

 

Twelfth Night – The Lost Holiday: A Guest Post by Hannah Meredith #historicalromance #books


 cr 4

 

Twelfth Night – The Lost Holiday: A Guest Post by Hannah Meredith

 

Long before there was Father Christmas or Santa Claus…

 

Long before we dragged evergreen trees into the house and decorated them…

 

And long, long before merchants hung bells and bows and began playing holiday music in October…

 

There was Twelfth Night—the biggest bash of all!

 

Twelfth Night has its roots in the ancient Roman mid-winter festival of Saturnalia. With the rise of Christianity, portions of this pagan celebration were incorporated into the Christmas Season. One idea that persisted involved a reversal of the social order for a night—the world turned upside down. This tradition initially appeared in The Feast of Fools in early January and finally morphed into the King of the Twelfth Night celebration being chosen by lot instead of by status. This king, sometimes called the Lord of Misrule, had brief but unlimited power to demand that others do ridiculous things.

 

By the Middle Ages, Christmastide had been firmly established as the period between Christmas Day and Epiphany—December 25th to January 6th. This was the original Twelve Days of Christmas, which we’re familiar with today primarily because of the song. People enjoyed being with family and friends during this season, as we still do, but since travel was so slow and difficult, they made their trip worthwhile and usually stayed for all twelve days. Twelfth Night took place on the night before the guests departed, and everyone for miles around was invited. The knights and their ladies of medieval England and France would have been well-acquainted with this often-raucous party.

 

All dressed in their best. A huge feast was served, which concluded with the Twelfth Cake, also called the King Cake. A bean or coin or small medallion of the baby Jesus was hidden in this giant, elaborate cake, and the person who found this token was named the Lord of Misrule or King for the night. Wassail, a potent, ale-based punch, was generously served. There was dancing and singing, frequently spilling out into the streets of nearby towns.

 

Plays were performed. By the Elizabethan period, these customs were so well-ingrained that Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night to be performed on this night.

 

Blog 1

 

 

With minor variations, this Christmastide tradition continued for hundreds of years. In the 1600’s, the diarist Samuel Pepys complained about the cost of the meal he provided at Twelfth Night. The custom was transferred across the Atlantic, and a hundred years later, Martha Washington recorded the recipe for a giant Twelfth Cake that required forty eggs, four pounds of sugar, five pounds of dried fruit, and an untold amount of flour. Jane Austen discussed Twelfth Night in her novels and letters.

 

Blog 2

 

By the 19th century, a greater number of people wanted to be involved in the mischief and instead of finding one or two tokens hidden in the cake, people drew slips of paper—and later printed cards provided by enterprising stationers—to “become” a stereotypical character for the night. The feasting, drinking, dancing, and general hilarity remained intact.

 

 

And then, in 1870, Queen Victoria proclaimed Twelfth Night un-Christian and had it removed from the list of recognized British holidays. I don’t doubt that this now “unofficial” holiday hung on for a while, but it had become socially unacccetable and slowly disappeared. The last day of the Christmas Season and its attendent party devolved to New Year’s Eve. Different Christmas traditions like Santa Claus and the Christmas Tree came to the fore.

 

Over time, commercialism pushed the start of the Christmas season earlier and earlier. Many of the large, big-box stores now have their holiday displays up before the end of October. Brainwashed by the apparent need to rush the season, most people in my area begin putting up their Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. No wonder everything starts coming down on December 26th. All of the greenery has turned into brownery.

 

Sadly, the tradtions of the Twelve Days of Christmas and Twelfth Night seem to have been lost…

 

But no! I contend they are simply hiding.

 

Blog 3

 

In 1870, the same year Victoria sought to eliminate Twelfth Night, the Twelfth Night Revelers in New Orleans, Louisiana, formalized the start of Carnival on January 6th. The King Cake and its attendent tradtions became part of this festival. In some ways, therefore, the Twelfth Night celebrations have been extended to cover the entire time until Mardi Gras.

 

A vast number of people either in or from Spanish Speaking countries exuberantly celebrate “El Dia de los Reyes” (Three Kings’ Day) on Janurary 6th.  The day begins with parades and performances and ends with a feast, after which a special desert is served—Kings’ Bread, in which is hidden a figurine of the baby Jesus.

 

Hmm, this is sounding pretty familiar. If Twelfth Night is hiding, it is doing so in plain sight.

 

And I’m doing my part.

 

If you were to drive by my house on the night of Janurary 6th, you’d notice it is fully decorated and the house is alight, a large number of people are arriving to partake of a feast, and all are enjoying Twelfth Night, the last day of Christmas and one of the biggest bashes of all.

 

 

Title – Christmas Revels IV : Four Regency Novellas

Author – Hannah Meredith, Anna D. Allen, Kate Parker, Louisa Cornell

Genre – Historical Romance

Publisher– Singing Spring Press

 

Book Blurb –                                                       

 

The Revels Continue…

 

The Sergeant’s Christmas Bride – Sergeant Jacob Burrows just wants a place to bed down for the night. He never expects to be confronted by a lady with a gun. Elizabeth FitzWalter intends to drive the stranger off her land, until she realizes he meets her most pressing need.

 

Home for Christmas – When Charity Fletcher receives a mysterious bequest—a house by the sea—she hopes to rebuild her life. Lord Gilbert Narron leases a seaside house to hide from his memories of war. Charity’s refuge is Gil’s bolt-hole… but what both are seeking is a home for their hearts.

 

 

A Memorable Christmas Season –The last thing Lady Roekirk expects at her Christmas party is a dead traitor in her parlor… or the Crown’s Spymaster helping her hide the body. Thirty years earlier, she’d been forced to wed another and Lord Keyminster became a spy. After this long, does their love stand a chance?

 

A Perfectly Unforgettable Christmas – Every day, Lucien Rollinsby endures a memory of Christmas Eve. Not even his lovely new neighbor can make him forget that horrible night five years ago. Caroline McAlasdair remembers that Christmas Eve, too. But if Lucien recalls her presence there, it will destroy their only chance at happiness forever.

 

Buy Links –

Amazon – http://a.co/h2H98jd

 

Apple iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-revels-iv-four-regency-novellas/id1289152547?mt=11

 

Barns and Nobles – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-revels-iv-hannah-meredith/1127145055?ean=2940154556139

 

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/christmas-revels-iv-four-regency-novellas

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36302269-christmas-revels-iv

 

Merrys Ship Photo 3 Facebook 3

 

Author Biography –

Hannah Meredith’s father wanted her to be a doctor, so she dutifully trekked off to Southern Methodist University with this in mind—but somehow ended up with a Master’s Degree in English and minors in history and religion. Along the way, she’d discovered she was not really fascinated by the actual “insides” of people, but rather by the people themselves and the stories they made of their lives.

 

The story of her life has been a happy one. She married her high school sweetheart and they have recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They have one wonderful son and four clever grandchildren. They moved around the mid-South as her husband’s career advanced but are now permanently located in a charming North Carolina town. She’s taught at the high school and college level and sold real estate, always staying very busy.

 

Then life slowed down… and she had the opportunity to write some of the stories she’d been imagining for years. Under another name, she sold over a dozen speculative fiction short stories to major Science Fiction and Fantasy magazines. She now concentrates on historical romance. She currently has five romances available: Kestrel, Indentured Hearts, Kaleidoscope, A Dangerous Indiscretion, and the newest, Song of the Nightpiper, which is a fantasy romance with a medieval setting.  Hannah’s novellas have also appeared in all four of the Christmas Revels anthologies

 

 

Social Media Links –

Website – http://www.hannahmeredith.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HannahMeredithAuthor

The Fountain of Youth: A Guest Post by @Steveshearbooks #books #writing #elderly #dementia


 perf5.000x8.000.indd

 

The Fountain of Youth: A Guest Post

 

By Steve Shear

 

When I was a kid I shared one bedroom with my three brothers. Three of us shared a pair of twin beds up against one wall. My oldest brother got the outside bed because he was the oldest. I got the inside bed because I was second oldest, and our number three brother got the crack between the two of us. Some of us think he still has psychologic scars from spending a good part of his youth in the crack. Just kidding! Our youngest brother slept on a rollaway and our grandmother, Mama, who lived with us, had her own bedroom.

 

Mama and I played gin rummy often. She cheated but I didn’t let her win, mainly because we played for money and Polly seeds. Yes, I said Polly seeds! Actually sunflower seeds but that’s not what we called them. Aunt Ethyl and Uncle Frank lived above us in a duplex. Uncle Frank was a pharmacist and sold packets of Fisher Polly seeds to Mama wholesale. She would in turn sell them to us retail. And that was okay because we knew where she hid them and our moral fiber hadn’t yet matured in those early days. Besides I think she knew what we were doing. She never complained about her depleting supply.

 

Not long after Mama reached ninety-two she was moved into an ‘old folks’ home. We would go visit every Sunday; truly a frightening experience for her and us. But she held her own. I remember one Sunday, she introduced me to her ‘Aunt’ Charlotte. “No, no, Mama, she’s not my aunt,” I recall telling her. “Stevie, she is your aunt,” she insisted. Lacking social graces in those early days I argued otherwise right in front of Aunt Charlotte. Finally my grandmother of ninety-two years put the discussion to rest. “Stevie, mit er money and no one to leave it to, be grateful she wants to be your Aunt.”

 

I have wonderful memories of Mama but the old folks’ home is not one of them. One doesn’t forget all those people who share a common objective, to make it through their remaining years with minimal pain and suffering and with a functioning head on their shoulders. Hope springs eternal.

 

Flash forward sixty or so years and I found myself in a ‘facility for seniors’ in which my mother-in-law, age one hundred plus, was a resident. She had an apartment on the independent living floor. Clearly she should have been one floor below, assisted living, but she wouldn’t budge. Getting her to move downstairs was harder than taking her car away a few years earlier.

 

These experiences, first the old folks’ home my grandmother was in and then the senior facility where my mother-in-law lived, were in part why I wrote The Fountain of Youth. If for no other reason where else can you find such characters as interesting and quirky as the old folks who reside there, the staff who takes care of them, and the children and grandchildren who visit them?

 

But there is another reason I decided to write this book. At my age, going on seventy-five (just like Glickman in The Fountain of Youth), I see close up how quickly and ravaging diseases like Cancer, dementia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Parkinson’s, and the like can sneak up on us. And when it does, at some point many if not most of us ask whether there isn’t a better option.

 

Actually while the worst of it is the pain and suffering or the idea that your brain does not know what the rest of you is doing or where you’re at, just the idea that this may happen to you in the future is extremely disconcerting, to say the least, especially when you see it firsthand in family and friends. In The Fountain of Youth, you are first introduced to Glickman who lives on the independent living floor at the Fountain and to his Sunday ritual. Sometime in the early afternoon he searches for and must find the sixth grade quiz book (once his grandson’s) he hid somewhere in the facility the previous Sunday. After dinner he selects twenty questions from the quiz book and attempts to answer them. For example, one question might be: Another name for your voice box is? A perfect score is what he expects but he is willing to live with at least fifteen correct, that is, after he cusses out himself and the quiz book.

 

Glickman wears around his neck a key that opens a small metal box hidden behind some old clothes in his bedroom closet. In the box is a pill … in case he needs it. “… research has confirmed that a ‘Peaceful Pill’ provides peace of mind for its seriously ill or elderly owner [whether ill or not], giving that person a sense of control over his or her life and death.” This is a quote from The Peaceful Pill Handbook written by Drs. Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart, 2016 edition, in association with Exit International USA. I studied this book as part of my research in writing The Fountain of Youth and found it to be extremely valuable. Actually until I read the Handbook I didn’t have the slightest idea what that little pill was in Glickman’s metal box. Now that I have an idea what it is, I’m still trying to figure out how he managed to get it.

 

At the end of one’s day or more accurately as that day approaches, I believe everyone should consider having an explicit exit plan which takes into account exactly what it is he or she wants to avoid whether it be serious pain and suffering, the onset of dementia, or merely having to go to a nursing home. While my good friend Glickman had no problem implementing such a plan, I’m sorry to say Glickman lives in a make believe world, a world of my own creation. Unfortunately, finding that little pill or otherwise trying to die with dignity at a time and place of your own choosing is far more difficult in the real world, especially a world in which the religious folks have taken to mind our business as well as their own.

 

Title: The Fountain of Youth

Author: Steve Shear

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Alzheimer’s, Fiction

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb:

A love affair, a teenager in deadly trouble, a possible Nazi in hiding, and a battle to escape dementia—make for high drama and unpredictable twists at the Fountain!

 

Two generations of dementia are enough!” Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.

 

In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of many other residents including his neurotic sister Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; Beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist, he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism resulting from a horrific incident in childhood; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him; and a runaway girl who reminds Glickman of someone in his past.

 

Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson, and the runaway girl?

 

 

Excerpt:

My quiz book, all three hundred pages, is older than my stay at the Fountain. It belonged to my grandson, Peter, my daughter Bonnie’s oldest. Peter and I spent many evenings in his room reading the questions and seeing who could come up with the answers first. Often I won. Sometime he did. I clearly had the advantage of age and education. Peter had the advantage of looking up the answers ahead of time so I guess we were even. When the decision was made for me to move to the Fountain, not unanimously I might add, Peter insisted I take the quiz book with me so we would have it when he visited. By the time I settled in he decided he was too old for the book. I often wonder whether that was so, or was it possibly because he couldn’t look up the answers ahead of time. Either way, whenever I open the book I think of Peter and smile. And then smile again because I know its real purpose.

 

By the time I retrieved it from the multicolored vase and returned to my apartment, I had totally forgotten about Pomerantz even though I had been asked by Ruth at the front desk to speak at his memorial service, and for her I would do anything. So, I spent several grueling days writing and memorizing the speech I planned to give. It was sitting on the kitchen table, although I hadn’t noticed it when I walked in. I normally don’t forget such things. Maybe I was just bothered by the fact that I mixed up the East and South Halls. Besides, he wasn’t my best friend. He was a Republican. He voted for George Bush twice. I’m sure Ruth thought we were best buddies because I joined his fight against the Vatican’s refusal to take Mrs. Pomerantz off life support. She took the trip to Hades on Lower Level 2 a year or so after she and Pomerantz arrived at the Fountain. Such a shame and such a surprise. She was a spry little woman with the intellect of a giant. First in bridge, always, and first in the weekly trivial pursuit night. I’m sure she didn’t study the answers ahead of time … but who knows.  From one day to the next she found herself on the River Styx without ever stopping at Lower Level One. Three months later she was on life support without a ‘valid’ living will, at least according to church officials at Christ-the-King Care Group. That brought Pomerantz and me together, at least for a while. There’s nothing like a good fight for what one believes in to bring people together.

 

When I first met him, Harry, he was racing down the hall past my front door in his supped up motorized wheelchair like James Dean and the hoodlums in Rebel without a Cause. As I stepped into the hall we practically collided head on. Fortunately I jumped back just in time, except for my big toe which throbs to this day.

 

“Christ!” he shouted, “Can’t you watch where you’re going?”

 

“Who in the hell are you,” I barked back, trying to fight off the pain in my lowest extremity by jumping up and down on my left foot like a fucking clown. “Dr. HMP MD?” I read aloud off the New York license plate wired to the back of his lethal weapon and laughed. “Well Dr. HMP Master Dick, or whatever MD stands for, just remember you’re sharing this road with the regular folks who don’t have vanity plates plastered all over their stock cars.”

 

That was a number of years ago and only the beginning of our bipolar affiliation. It went uphill and downhill from there.

 

About the time I took the puzzle book out from under my shirt, the phone rang. “Robert, where are you?” a voice at the other end hollered. I looked around.

 

“In my apartment,” I hollered back, recognizing Goldfarb’s soprano voice. He should have been a woman, I always thought, but he would have been an uglier old woman than old man. Imagine Karl Malden in The Streets of San Francisco with long hair and Tiny Tim’s voice.

 

“Well, we started without you but the Rabbi is now calling up all the speakers.”

 

“All the …” Oh, God! I looked at my speech on the table. “Okay. Don’t bury him without me.”

 

“What?” I heard him say as I hung up and grabbed my speech.

 

For a guy who thought he had lost his puzzle book and totally forgot about the memorial service, I did a pretty good job and only looked at my speech a couple of times. I told everyone how I collided with Harry that first day we met and became best friends even though he was a Republican. I lied about being best friends. Otherwise I would have had to explain why I was at the podium we borrowed from Rufus. And to be honest we were best friends during the time we fought to get Harriet off life support.

 

She wound up in the hospital with pneumonia which clearly wasn’t a good thing since she had already suffered from emphysema and had to drag an oxygen tank wherever she went. It was well past 10 o’clock one evening when I heard a knock at the door causing me to jump from my covers. I raced for the door and saw an eyeball through the peephole.

 

“Don’t slip on the newspaper,” I yelled.

 

He ignored my humor. “It’s Pomerantz. Can I talk to you Glickman?

 

I rushed for my robe and opened the door. By the time I tied it across my waist he had already made himself comfortable at the kitchen table. Surely he wasn’t there to argue about the election; was he? I made it clear his politics gave me indigestion and wanted no more to do with it than jalapeño cream cheese on a garlic bagel. At the time I didn’t know Harriet was in the hospital with pneumonia. Before learning why he was there, I offered to make us a cup of tea and he accepted.

 

“I’ve been told that you know how to make a living will?”

 

“Living will?”

 

“Brownsher next door said you were the expert.”

 

“You don’t have one?”

 

“No. But it’s not for me. It’s for my Harriet.” It figures, I thought. What do you expect from a Republican?

 

“Why all of a sudden?”

 

“She’s in the hospital with pneumonia.”

 

“Oh! I’m sorry,” I said, then reminded him I was not a lawyer but I did have some experience with living wills, although I didn’t mention why and he didn’t ask. I started for my computer and he jumped up to follow me. ….

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fountain-of-youth-steve-shear/1126084022?ean=2940157477806

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-fountain-of-youth-10

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Steve_Shear_The_Fountain_of_Youth?id=U2TODgAAQBAJ&PAffiliateId=1100lLzi

 

Bookstrand http://www.bookstrand.com/the-fountain-of-youth-0

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35097928-the-fountain-of-youth

 

SS photo

 

Author Biography:

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was Steve’s first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015. He is happy to say that Adrian has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and Steve. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and Steve have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

 

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, Steve’s second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

He and his wife, Susan, collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal(published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

 

In addition, Steve has four novels that have recently been completed: The First ComingAn Eye for an Eye, and The Click. He has written screenplays on the first two and is presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

Steve has been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and is also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. He is presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. His work can be seen at his website, www.steveshear.net.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.steveshear.net/

Twitter @Steveshearbooks

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

 

 

Finding the Time to Write by @KWilkinsauthor #NaNoWriMo #writingtips #TuesdayBookBlog


youcanwrite_cover

 

Finding the Time To Write…

by Author Kelli A. Wilkins

www.KelliWilkins.com

 

Hi everyone,

 

My name is Kelli Wilkins and I’m an eclectic writer. That means I write everything—short horror fiction, steamy full-length romance novels, science fiction, and even non-fiction. People are always asking me, “How can you write in so many different genres and styles?”

 

It’s really not that difficult. Why? Because the basic mechanics of good storytelling are universal, no matter what genre you write. Every fiction story contains the same ingredients: an interesting and engaging plot, characters the reader cares about and roots for, supporting details, and background that draw the reader into the story.

 

I’m often asked: Where do you get your ideas? How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out? Do you have any writing tips?

 

I’ve answered these questions many times in interviews and addressed them in guest blogs, but I always wanted to say more. One day, I started thinking about everything I’ve learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.

 

This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work.

 

Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my years of experience as a writer, advice I’ve received over the years, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and workshops. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus writing exercises to get you motivated. Once you have the basics down, you can write—really!

 

Here’s an excerpt from the book. This chapter is all about tossing aside excuses why you can’t write and gives you pointers on making the time to write.

 

I Want to Write, But…

 

What’s your excuse for not writing? No ideas? Not enough time? (This one is very common.) Not sure where or how to start? Afraid your friends or relatives won’t like what you write? Whatever excuses you have, it’s time to address them and work through them—that is, if you really want to write.

 

One Day, I’ll…

 

Let’s face it, the world is filled with people who like the “idea” of being a writer, but who don’t actually write anything. These people stare off into space and say, “One day I’ll write a book.” or “I’ll start writing when…” and they put the whole thing on hold, waiting for “someday” when they have more time, or when the kids are out of the house, or they’re retired, or (fill in the blank).

 

Most of these people never put a word on the page despite all their good intentions. And if they do start a project, they lose interest in it (it’s too hard, it was taking too long). Even fewer people see a project through from idea to published story. But they sure like to talk about it.

 

Do you know the difference between a “wannabe” and a “real” writer? It’s simple—and it has nothing to do with being published—writers write. They don’t talk about writing, they actually do it. If you ask three writers about their projects, each one can tell you where he or she is in the process (first draft, Chapter Four, editing) and actually show you words on pages.

 

If I had a quarter for every time someone told me, “I want to write, but…” and “Let me tell you my story idea…” I’d be a billionaire. Seriously. Writing is hard work and it takes a lot of self-discipline. Nobody will come to your house, plop you in a chair and make you write. Writing is something you have to want to do. You have to motivate yourself to stick with it through each stage of the project.

 

EXERCISE: If you could only write one story in your life, what would it be? Write it down and describe it in three to five paragraphs. This is the story that will motivate you to write.

 

Writing is like anything else you do in life. Suppose you want to learn how to surf. You won’t learn how to ride the waves by talking about it. At some point, you have to hit the water and get wet.

 

Get Motivated!

 

Writers must be self-motivating. Nobody will force you to write a novel. So how do you find the time or get motivated to write? First, if you like your idea and are excited about it, that in itself should be a motivating factor. (“I’ve got this great idea for a ghost story and can’t wait to write it!”)

 

Second, you need to schedule time to be creative. A writing schedule keeps you accountable for your time and helps “train your brain” to get used to the idea of writing at certain times. It may sound silly, but it works. You schedule time for other things in life like going to work, hitting the gym, etc., so if writing is a priority, why not schedule it, too?

 

Aim to write for an hour a day. It doesn’t matter how much or what you write for that hour, only that you put in the time. You can use the hour to brainstorm ideas, create character profiles, make an outline, or work on a few scenes.

 

Of course, it will be easier to write on some days rather than others, but push through any initial reluctance or procrastination, and keep going. When you’re fully engrossed in writing, time flies. You may find hours have vanished, you’re hungry, and it’s time to use the bathroom.

 

On days when you can’t write because you’re sick or it’s your birthday, don’t beat yourself up. When important life events happen, your writing time can (temporarily) shift on the priority schedule. Writing is a creative, mental process, and not everyone can write on demand every day. It’s okay to take a break when you need to, as long as you go back to your project as soon as possible. (That means within a day or two.)

 

EXERCISE: Create a writing schedule. Get a piece of paper (or use an online organizer) and write down the days of the week and your waking hours in the day. Fill in the spaces for each hour of every day with existing commitments (work, picking up the kids from band practice, eating, etc.) and see how many hours that leaves “open” for writing.

 

Give yourself a mini-reward for sticking to your writing schedule: have lunch with friends, buy new music, go to a movie, or do something that makes you feel good about achieving a goal. As you get used to writing on a daily basis, it gets easier. Soon, you’ll look forward to your writing time—and maybe increase the time you’ve blocked off to work on your story.

 

TIP: Limit distractions. Let friends and relatives know your writing schedule and ask them for privacy during that time. Turn off the phone and let calls go to voicemail while you write. Find a quiet place and get to work.

 

You can make time for writing by cutting back on watching TV, playing computer games, and trolling social media. You might be surprised at how easy it is to replace an hour of TV reruns with an hour of writing. If you sleep until 10 a.m. every weekend, set the clock for 9, get up, and write during the “extra” hour. Try it for a few weeks and see how it goes. Everyone on the planet gets 24 hours in every day—how you use them is up to you.

 

The bottom line is… all the writing advice, tips, books, and support groups won’t help you write anything if you’re not going to put in the time, energy, and effort to do the work.

 

Only you can write the story in your head, and if you are motivated and determined to get it written, your excuses will fall away. Work on your writing a little every day and before you know it, you’ll have a finished story—and that’s a worthy accomplishment.

 

Are you motivated yet? Here are three bonus writing exercises to get you writing:

 

EXERCISE: What do you want to write? Take a few minutes and think about the types of stories you like to read. Odds are, you’ll start writing in the same genre you read. Do you love cozy mysteries? Hardboiled detective stories? Spicy historical romances? Do you want to start with a short story or jump in and try a full-length novel? (If you only read short stories because novels are “too long” to sit through, the answer should be obvious.) Make a list of what you like to read and what you want to write.

 

EXERCISE: All characters want something, whether it’s a cup of coffee, a new car, to escape from jail, to eat lunch, or to finish a big project. Brainstorm five things your character wants, large or small. Here are some examples: woman wants to escape her abusive husband; man wants to bury a body; private investigator wants to find a blackmailer; fifth grade kid wants to get away with cheating on a math test.

 

EXERCISE: Write three to five dialogue exchanges where two characters meet for the first time. What do they talk about? What is happening in the scene or around them?

 

Happy Reading (and Writing!)

 

Kelli A. Wilkins

 

You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction

 

If you’ve always dreamed of writing and getting published, but have no idea where or how to start—THIS is the book for you!

 

You Can Write—Really! is an easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started.

 

Award-winning author Kelli A. Wilkins takes you step-by-step through the writing process, covering the basics of plotting, editing, revising, and submitting. In addition, she explores ways to get your creativity flowing, explains where authors get ideas, and shows you how to create interesting characters for your story.

 

Helpful tips and fun writing exercises throughout the book get you started!

 

Title: You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction
Author: Kelli A. Wilkins (www.KelliWilkins.com)
Publisher:
Amazon
Release date:
February 2015
Genre:
non-fiction/writing fiction/creative writing
Length: 167 pages/40,000 words


Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Write-Really-Beginners-Writing-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00THWLFQU

 

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-can-write-really-a-beginners-guide-to-writing-fiction-kelli-a-wilkins/1123383869;jsessionid=8403DC1337D6456F8555222CE5661D4C.prodny_store02-atgap01?ean=2940152785012

 

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1082226989

 

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/you-can-write-really-a-beginner-s-guide-to-writing-fiction
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/298448384/You-Can-Write-Really-A-Beginner-s-Guide-to-Writing-Fiction

 

Page Foundry: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/45c76c76-adec-4670-aa02-9273d44f172b

 

24 Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=1061945

 

kell at mp 5

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

 

Her paranormal-comedy, Beauty & the Bigfoot, was published in September 2017.

 

Kelli released Trust with Hearts, a contemporary romance, in July 2017. Her third gay romance, Four Days with Jack, was released in June 2017. Kelli’s trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was published in spring 2017.

 

Loving a Wild Stranger was published in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.

 

Kelli’s third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

 

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

 

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

 

She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

 

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

 

Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=61801

How #Writing The Great American Novel Turned Into Adrian Wheeler by @Steveshearbooks #books


The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

 

How Writing The Great American Novel Turned Into The Trials of Adrian Wheeler by Steve Shear

 

I’m too old to remember whether I did much if any writing in high school. I do remember spending four years in engineering school and three years in law school and never learning how to write … really write. For the next forty years as a patent attorney I did write … technical garbly-gook like the inner workings of an internal combustion engine, a computer interface, and the like. It paid the bills but wasn’t particularly creative. Then one day, more than fifteen years ago, I decided to move out of my comfort zone and write fiction, something that wasn’t going to pay the bills. I chose poetry thinking that would be easy, just stringing together a bunch of words on a bunch of lines. How hard could that be?

 

Needless to say I picked probably the most difficult type of fiction to master or should I say attempt to master. Few actually master the art of poetry and I’m certainly not one of them. Believe it or not, I’m still revising some of the poems I wrote as long ago as 1997. At the same time I learned something extremely valuable. If you want to write novels and short stories and other types of fictional prose, it is enormously helpful to put yourself in the mine fields of poetic discourse. Studying the old dead English poets and writing poetry including sonnets and other rhyming stuff force you to recognize the right words and phrases for a particular situation and it gives you the tools to create the appropriate images to illuminate those words and phrases. Imagery, imagery, imagery is the name of the game; metaphors, similes, sight, sound, taste, etc. And all those difficult sessions trying to make your sonnet work, ab-ab-cd-cd-ef-ef-gg, become wonderful foreplay for your first short story or novel; at least they were for mine. And by the way you may find that great short stories are more difficult to produce than great novels, so choose your poison wisely!

 

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was actually my second attempt at writing the Great American Novel. My first attempt, Ira Neebest and The First Coming, took me two years to write. By the third draft I had pounded out nearly two hundred and fifty thousand words. At the time I didn’t know how dumb that was. Only the great ones like Dostoevsky have the right to do that.  When I gave Ira to my wife and a friend who taught creative writing at a local college they had some nice things to say like ‘it has potential’ but in truth they told me I was a bit full of myself. And so I was! Six months later I had it down to one hundred thousand words. And now, after ten years of revisions, I’ve made two novels out of it, The First Coming and An Eye for an Eye. After hundreds of agent-queries and rejections, two published novels, and two published stage plays later, they are both still my favorites and both remain unpublished thus far. Such is life.

 

 

When I started writing Adrian, the only thing I had in mind was a friend from my poetry critique group, a gentle soul with natural artistic creativity, who was ‘forced’ to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam for his country by his bombastic father. My friend had MS and other bad things after being exposed to Agent Orange. He died last year but not before he published several books of his poetry.

 

Actually I had two other things in mind when I began thinking about Adrian. I had been against America invading Iraq and I blamed it on W, our president who made the decision to invade. I had just finished reading Vincent Bugliosi’s book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and I wondered how many soldiers regretted their decisions to join up in the first place, like my friend. I’m not talking about those soldiers who died in battle (that’s bad enough), but those young men and women who came back (and are continuing to come back) from Iraq and Afghanistan—only to discover a battlefield far more relentless and infinitely more lonely. I am speaking about all those warriors who do battle every day in their mind’s eye, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling the loss of a limb, their own or a buddy’s—or who experience the last five minutes of their buddy’s life. There’s no special day just for them. There is no Veterans with PTSD day.

 

Its full name is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; at least that’s what we call it now. In the past it was battle fatigue and shell shock, but a rose by any other name is just as devastating I learned when I started the research on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. When George W. Bush dropped his first bomb on Baghdad in March, 2003, I was so upset I produced what I still consider my best work of art, a painting I entitled The Sisters of Baghdad which can be seen on my website, www.steveshear.net. Shortly thereafter I wrote a poem, The Bombing of Baghdad which appears at the beginning of Adrian. Around that time, I remember getting a haircut and ranting to my barber, Harold, about how terrible President Bush was. My barber was ultraconservative, although I didn’t know it at the time. His bald head (wouldn’t you know it) turned red, his eyes bulged and his lips quivered. My only thought at the time was to blurt out: “HAROLD, PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!” Fortunately, I am still alive and Harold is still cutting hair, I assume.

 

By the time I finished writing Adrian and living in the skins of the characters, George Bush became a bit more than a footnote. The characters and the family dynamics took over, Adrian, Pa, Daisy, Esme, Rachael, Rabinowitz, Benedetti, and the others. Actually, characters like these along with what they do and say tend to get under your skin and go where you go whether it’s at the computer, on a long walk, brushing your teeth, or in my case playing Pickleball. That’s what happens during nineteen drafts and before you ever think about sending out your first query.

 

 

I will end this post with one more observation which might make you think I’m smoking something even stronger than California-grown marijuana (which I don’t smoke, incidentally). I’ve discovered that by being a writer of fiction, especially novels and short stories, you are about as close to being a god as one can possibly be. Think about it. You create your own version of heaven and hell and earth (even the cosmos in some cases). Well maybe not in seven days. You create your characters, their looks, their personalities, their likes and dislikes. You give them health and wealth … or not; you even read their minds; and you kill them off … or not based on your plan, your god-given plot. If that’s not a description of the Almighty I don’t know what is.

 

So, if you’re reading this and wanting to write the great American novel … and be God, just remember you won’t be alone when you brush your teeth!

 

Title: The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

Author: Steve Shear

Genre: Fiction, Military, PTSD

 

Book Blurb:

Marine Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than: An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting, PTSD, sexual Inadequacy, a sensational court-martial trial, a sister with HIV. He returned from Baghdad and the Iraq war disabled and disillusioned an amputee with a bad knee. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor, Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm. Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent? Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent—whether he was or not.

 

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by a production studio in Los Angeles, Filmed Imagination and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated movie, NO), and the screenplay has been completed.

 

Excerpt:

Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than:
 
An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting
PTSD
Sexual Inadequacy
A sensational Court-Martial Trial
A sister with HIV
 
            Adrian returned from Baghdad disabled and disillusioned. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam had WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor (or so he thought), Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm.
 
            Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent? Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent.
 
Throughout much of his young life, Adrian looked after John Mike—a promise he made to Ma on her deathbed even though Adrian was only twelve years old at the time. Years later, that promise compelled him to protect his brother’s good name, consciously and subconsciously, throughout most of the trial. But his devotion to Daisy, his sister, and her fight with HIV finally drove Adrian to face up to Pa and break his promise to Ma.

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21125822-the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler

 

SS photo

 

Author Biography:

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

 

Filmed Imagination of Los Angeles and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated film NO) took a film option on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. FI hired Erik Wolter, an established screenwriter, to write the screenplay and FI is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay, Justice for All.

 

My wife, Susan, and I also collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country. I have found one review of Max Cooper based on its performance at the James Downing Theatre in Chicago (http://www.chicagonow.com/count-gregulas-crypt/2013/05/theater-review-youre-the-jury-the-state-vs-max-cooper-the-james-downing-theatre/).

 

In addition to the Fountain of Youth, I have three novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and The Click. I am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented on line by Vango Art.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.steveshear.net/

 

Twitter @Steveshearbooks

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

 

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

What goes into world-building? In @LiviaQuinn’s case, it’s personal… #paranormal #amwriting


Stormlakemap

 

What goes into creating an author’s world? In the case of Storm Lake, it’s personal…

 

When I was two, my parents took me to a 4th of July fireworks celebration in DC where I grew up. We left early. My father thought that was where my fear of storms began.

 

Fast forward to my first month in the South, when Mississippi suffered a record breaking tornado outbreak. Tornados were “walking the interstate” about a half mile from my apartment. I looked out my window in the dark, listening to the wind, asking myself, “Is that a train?” and wondering what kind of train noise I was supposed to recognize, the whistle or the clackety-clack of the wheels on the rails. It was horrifying.

 

Forward again to a town on the Mississippi River when I was performing in a bar on the top floor of a hotel overlooking the river, next to a wall of floor to ceiling windows as low gray clouds skidded past. In the middle of a Bonnie Raitt song with six couples hanging on every note and lyric, lightning struck a transformer across the river and light exploded through the room like a nuclear blast. The next thing I knew I was crawling across the carpet in my slinky black dress, my guitar was on the floor, my belt in a customer’s lap and the bartender was telling someone downstairs that the singer was having a nervous breakdown.

 

After a layoff in 2005, I decided to start writing my stories down. Each was set in a small town near a large lake in the South, possibly South Carolina. Then, Katrina hit here followed by Rita, and the following year when I was delivering the mail as a rural carrier, Gustav. That’s when my Rural Carrier Mystery/ Romance became a story about a storm witch/mail carrier who controls the weather, and Storm Lake was born. It’s rather cathartic for me to have a character who can control that which I fear, severe weather, and especially lightning 😉

 

Whether it’s Contemporary Romance on the east end or Cozy Paranormal on the west… dive in to Storm Lake… you won’t want to leave.

 

On the west side of Storm Lake in the middle of a super pulse of leylines lies Destiny, home to the Destiny Paramortals, a group of tempestaeries, fae, djnn, and others who are bound by an ancient pact to protect weaker species – like humans.  Unknown to the other communities outside of Destiny is the role the Paramortals have in keeping them safe.

 

Blame it on the Moon

 

Title: Blame it on the Moon

Author: Livia Quinn

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Southern Urban Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

*** Blame it on the Moon is book 4 in the Destiny Paramortals, a world of tempestaeries (storm witches), dragons, shifters vampires and fae. ***

 
Is it Mayberry or Middle Earth? Well, duh… Ages ago a pact was made between the supernatural species – shifters, djinn, dragons, vampires and fae – to protect humans. Just don’t tell the humans…

 

“ok…WOW!!!! All I can say is wow! I enjoy all of the Storm Lake Books but this is my favorite.” Blame it on the Moon

 
“Oh my God I just loved this book. I don’t know how I missed the first two books of this series. Do yourself a favor and run don’t walk to your one click button and buy this book. You want regret it, I didn’t.” Eve of Chaos

 

It’s the height of the Para-moon and Jack is up to his ‘six’ in alligators. Defending those weaker than himself is in his DNA which is what made him become a Navy pilot. But who is he kidding? Alligators he could handle! Supernatural bad guys… and ragtag doesn’t begin to describe his band of temporary ’heroes’. If he had to go to war with the troupe that showed up at dawn, he might as well start cutting up white sheets and attaching them to garden stakes.

There’s little time to worry about his future with Tempe as one crisis after another raises its head. He must find a healer for Dylan, relocate a lost elemental, make a formal request for help from the Fae, figure out what the hell his crazy ex Georgeanne is up to, and – very important – keep the humans in the dark. If worse comes to worse, he has a dragon on his side and a few surprises up his sleeve, “Yippe, ki, yi…”

But a lot can happen in twenty four hours and things… don’t always go as planned.

 

Universal Buy Link:

https://www.books2read.com/u/b5wQRm

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

About the Author: 

Livia Quinn is a DC native living on the bayou in Louisiana where she gets her inspiration for hunks, storms and all things supernatural. She’s been a plant manager, professional singer, mail lady, salesperson and business owner and has stored up many quirky stories to share with her readers. Visit her website at https://liviaquinn.com   or sign up for her newsletter here http://eepurl.com/W94bb

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Newsletter  http://eepurl.com/W94bb

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Goodreads http://bit.ly/22VXuev

Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/1T5qmhN

Google+ http://bit.ly/2guNZn9

Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

Independent Author Network http://bit.ly/2dlAr8L

Livia Quinns Facebook Reader Group http://bit.ly/2gBFQ12

You Might Be a #Regency Redneck If… (Christmas Edition) A Guest Post by @LouisaCornell #books


cr - print front 3cb with period

 

You Might Be a Regency Redneck If…

Christmas Edition

A Guest Post by Louisa Cornell 

 

I write Regency historical romance because I fell in love with the era at the age of nine, and my love has only grown stronger since. I love the manners, the rules of proper conduct, the elegant clothes (especially men in breeches and boots,) travel in carriages and on horseback, the stately homes, and every aspect of life in this unique period.

 

Be that as it may, I have come to realize there are some aspects of Regency life, even in the most elite portions of society, that would not be amiss in the red plastic cup, mud-bogging, tobacco spitting locale in which I live today. Directions to my house do include the words “Turn off the paved road.”

 

Lest you think I use the term “redneck” as a pejorative, I spent a large portion of my childhood living in mobile homes in the South. My mother’s family were Native American sharecroppers. My father’s family were Pennsylvania coal miners. I know who and what I am. Jeff Foxworthy, the leading expert on the redneck lifestyle, defines it as “a glorious lack of sophistication.” For the purposes of this essay, and in my semi-expert opinion, that is the definition we will use.

 

There are examples of redneck behavior to be found in every race, religion, socio-economic group, and country in the world. I now realize the same is true of every historical era. Rednecks have been with us forever. Even during that most gracious and elegant of times—The Regency.

 

Prove it, you say? I give you a series of Regency Christmas traditions any self-respecting redneck would be happy to call his or her own.

 

Snapdragon

 

Under the heading of a Regency version of “Hey y’all, watch this!” comes the Christmas game of Snapdragon. Raisins and nuts were soaked in brandy in a large shallow bowl. The lights were put out, and the brandy lit. People had to try and grasp a raisin or nut and eat it without burning themselves. The winner was the person who managed to capture and eat the most. I think you’d have to soak me in brandy to get me to try it!

 

Bullet Pudding

 

Another Regency era Christmas game with a redneck flair is bullet pudding. One must have a large pewter dish piled high with flour pushed to a peak at the top. A single bullet is placed at the crest of the “pudding.” Players take turns cutting a slice of the “pudding” with a knife. The person who is slicing the “pudding” when the bullet falls must then put their hands behind their back and poke about in the pile of flour with their nose and chin to find the bullet. Once they find it, they must retrieve it with their mouth. All the while trying desperately not to join their companions in laughter as this will result in flour being inhaled into the mouth and nose. Regardless, the bullet retriever ends up with flour all over his face. Any game played with live ammunition and the promise of someone ending up covered in a mess would be as welcome at a Redneck Christmas as it was at Regency Christmases.

 

There were no Christmas carolers in Regency England. However, wassail groups would go from house to house singing begging songs in the hope of receiving food, drink, and money. Wassail was a mixture of beer, wine, and brandy and was usually served to the singers at each house. Every house. A great many houses before the night was done. I think I’ve seen groups like this around my neighborhood at Christmas-time.

 

Very few houses had our idea of Christmas trees during the Regency. Such decorated Christmas trees were made popular in England by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the middle of the 19th century. However, trees were not left out of the Regency holidays. On Epiphany Eve, men would gather round a fruit tree, usually in an orchard, with cider and guns. In an ancient ceremony, they would drink to the tree and fire the guns to drive away evil spirits and promote the vigor of the trees. Horn-blowing was an alternative to firing guns. (Sounds like a Regency tail-gating party to me!)

 

Speaking of trees, what could be more fun than a large group of men sent out into the woods to find the largest log possible to burn in the Christmas fireplace? The yule log had to be large enough to burn through the entire twelve days of Christmas. In fact, it had to be large enough to burn through to Twelfth Night and leave enough to be used to light next year’s log. Between the mine is bigger than yours aspects of the hunt for the yule log and the opportunity to show off one’s strength in helping to drag the log home, this Regency Christmas tradition is rife with redneck possibilities.

 

Round out your Regency Christmas outdoor adventures with shooting mistletoe out of the trees (a method used by many Regency bucks) and hanging it about the house in every doorway and dark corner, a Regency version of spin-the-bottle if ever I’ve heard one.

 

Oh, and don’t forget a Christmas dessert for which many families put the ingredients on layaway. K-Mart did not invent the concept. The original Christmas clubs were for families who could not afford to pay for the ingredients for their Christmas pudding all at once. Wives in less affluent households deposited their pennies with their local shopkeepers in order to have the money to purchase those luxury food items necessary for a proper Christmas pudding. And after all of that, said dessert was brought to the table amidst great pomp and ceremony and… set on fire. Anyone who doesn’t believe your average redneck would shout “Hell, yeah!” at the idea of a flaming Christmas dessert has never been to a Christmas barbecue in the South.

 

At the end of Christmas Day, men and women of every age, no matter how strict the rules of society, tend to celebrate this joyous holiday with a bit more exuberance than decorum prescribes. Even Regency ladies and gentlemen, at least during Christmastide, might show “a glorious lack of sophistication.” So should we all!

 

Title: Christmas Revels II: Four Regency Novellas

 

Author: Louisa Cornell

 

Genre: Historical Romance

 

Publisher: Singing Spring Press

 

 

Book Blurb:

 

Let the Revels begin-again! Four new stories with four distinctive voices:

The Vicar’s Christmas – Margaret Trent never needs anything or anyone, but when two London solicitors show up on her doorstep, she needs a hero. Enter Henry Ogden, mild-mannered village vicar. Hardly the stuff of heroes… until adversity brings out unexpected talents.

A Christmas Equation – A chance meeting between a reluctant viscount and a self-effacing companion revives memories of their shared past-a time when they were very different people. With secrets to keep, Sarah Clendenin wishes Benjamin Radcliff gone… but he’s making calculations of his own.

Crimson Snow – A trail of blood drops leads Jane Merrywether to a wounded stranger-the only person standing in the way of her wicked guardian becoming an earl. John Rexford, long-thought dead, has returned to claim his inheritance and his promised bride… if he can survive a murderous Christmas.

A Perfectly Unregimented Christmas – After years at war, Viscount Pennyworth returns to his ancestral home to find some peace and quiet and to avoid the holiday he loathes. But four naughty boys, a bonnet-wearing goat, a one-eyed cat, a family secret, and one Annabelle Winters, governess, make this a Christmas he’ll never forget.

 

Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:

 

Grand Prize: $75 USD Amazon Gift Card

$5 Amazon gift card and a 1940’s style hair wrap

(plus more prizes…)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db77506/?

Open Internationally

Starts July 1, 2017 12:01 am EST and ends August 1, 2017 12:00 am EST

 

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://a.co/4ogrKbC

 

Apple iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-revels-ii-four-regency/id1047951334?mt=11

 

Barns and Nobles – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-revels-ii-hannah-meredith/1122771468?ean=9781942470007

 

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/christmas-revels-ii-four-regency-novellas

 

Print – https://www.createspace.com/5739761

 

PamNatlpictureTake_Three2

 

Author Biography:

 

Louisa Cornell read her first historical romance novel, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, at the age of nine. This inspired her to spend the next three years of her young life writing the most horrible historical romance novel ever written. Fortunately, it has yet to see the light of day. As Louisa spent those three years living in a little English village in Suffolk (Thanks to her father’s Air Force career.) it is no surprise she developed a lifelong love of all things British, especially British history and Regency-set romance novels. (And Earl Grey tea!)

During those same three years, Louisa’s vocal talent was discovered. Her study of music began at the London College of Music and continued once she returned to the States. After four music degrees and a year of study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, Louisa was fortunate enough to embark on a singing career in opera houses in Germany, Austria, and most of Eastern Europe.

Now retired from an active career in opera, Louisa has returned to her first love – writing Regency-set historical romance. Two of her novellas have appeared in CHRISTMAS REVELS anthologies, A PERFECTLY DREADFUL CHRISTMAS and A PERFECTLY UNREGIMENTED CHRISTMAS .  A PERFECTLY DREADFUL CHRISTMAS was the 2015 Winner of the Holt Medallion Award for outstanding literary fiction in a romance novella. Her first full-length novel, LOST IN LOVE, has recently been published and is available widely.

Two-time Golden Heart finalist, three time Daphne du Maurier winner, and three time Royal Ascot winner, Louisa is a member of RWA, SMRWA and the Beau Monde Chapter of RWA. She lives in LA (Lower Alabama) with a Chihuahua so grouchy he has been banned from six veterinary clinics, several perfectly amiable small dogs, and a cat who terminates vermin with extreme prejudice.

 

Social Media Links:

http://onelondonone.blogspot.com/ http://www.louisacornell.com/
https://twitter.com/LouisaCornell
https://www.facebook.com/RegencyWriterLouisaCornell
https://www.facebook.com/louisa.cornell
https://www.pinterest.com/louisacornell/

           

 

 

 

There’s Magic in a Kiss: Guest Post by USA Today Bestseller @RuthACasie #kiss #romance #MFRWAuthor


kiss 1

 

Close your eyes and imagine the perfect kiss. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Got the picture set in your mind? Good.

 

Believe it or not a kiss requires 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. The facial muscles are a given but postural? I’m serious. 112 muscles that relate to your posture are also involved. Of all these 11 muscles the most important is the orbicularis oris muscle, which is used to pucker your very sensitive lips. It’s your kissing muscle. We’re not talking about French kissing where your tongue, also a muscle, is the primary player. I’ll save that for another guest post.

 

kiss 2

 

Kissing has many health benefits. Affection in general has stress-reducing effects. Kissing in particular reduces stress which increases relationship satisfaction and lowers cholesterol. And it doesn’t stop there. Kissing can also encourage the release epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline and noradrenaline) into the blood which will cause an adrenaline rush and increased cardiovascular activity. That’s why when you kiss that certain someone your heart races off. See, it’s magic.

 

There are also a lot of different types of kisses:

  • Romantic Kisses are an important expression of love and erotic emotions. This kiss is not only about lips touching lips. This kiss requires some intimacy.
  • Affectionate Kisses express feelings closeness without the erotic element and symbolize loyalty, gratitude, compassion, sympathy, intense joy, and profound sorrow.
  • Ritual Kisses are formal, symbolic or indicate devotion, and respect. We see this type of kiss in the wedding ceremony when the bride and groom kiss. We also see this type of kiss when national leaders meet.
  • Kiss of Peace demonstrates deep spiritual devotion. It was used in the early Catholic Church and also in secular festivities. In the Middle Ages the kiss of peace sealed the agreement with enemies. Even knights kissed each other before they went into combat-a way of forgiving each other all their wrongs.
  • Kiss of Respect was reverent and has an ancient origin. This kiss represents a mark of fealty, humility and reverence. The kiss on the forehead considered a ‘kiss of homage’ showed utmost respect.
  • Kiss of Friendship is used in America and Europe as a greeting between friends. Once only between women, today it is not uncommon to see a man kiss in greeting.

 

 

Ancient cultures threw kisses to the sun and to the moon, as well as to the images of the gods. Persians were the first to kiss the hand. Here are some different kinds of kisses from various cultures:

 

  • In Ancient Rome and some modern Pagan beliefs, worshipers, when passing the statue or image of a god or goddess, will kiss their hand and wave it towards the deity.
  • The holy kiss or kiss of peace is a traditional part of most Christian liturgies, though often replaced with an embrace or handshake today in Western cultures.
  • In the gospels of Matthew and Mark, not Luke or John, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. This is the basis of the term “the kiss of Judas”.
  • Catholics will kiss rosary beads as a part of prayer, or kiss their hand after making the sign of the cross. It is also common to kiss the wounds on a crucifix, or any other image of Christ’s Passion.
  • Pope John Paul II would kiss the ground on arrival in a new country.
  • Visitors to the Pope traditionally kiss his foot.
  • Catholics traditionally kiss the ring of a cardinal or bishop.
  • Catholics traditionally kiss the hand of a priest.
  • Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians often kiss the icons around the church on entering; they will also kiss the cross and/or the priest’s hand in certain other customs in the Church, such as confession or receiving a blessing.
  • Hindus sometimes kiss the floor of a temple.
  • Local lore in Ireland suggests that kissing the Blarney Stone will bring the gift of the gab.
  • Jews will kiss the Western wall of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and other religious articles during prayer such as the Torah, usually by touching their hand, prayer shawl, or prayer book to the Torah and then kissing it. Jewish law prohibits kissing members of the opposite sex, except for spouses and certain close relatives.
  • Muslims may kiss the Black Stone during Hajj-their pilgrimage to Mecca.

 

 

This is all very nice but dare you tell me what type of kiss you really like best?

 

 Escapes

 

Title Second Chance by the Sea (Timeless Escapes Box Set)

Author Ruth A. Casie

Genre Contemporary Romance

Publisher Timeless Scribes Publishing

 

Book Blurb

Married for ten years, a couple at odds find their marriage was never registered. Will an impending disaster be the final straw that breaks them up or will it rekindle their love and send them back to the altar for a second chance?

 

Teaser  

 

Escapes meme

 

Buy Links

Buy e-Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Buy Print: Amazon

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

Sign up for Ruth’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bau7Qv

 

Follow Ruth A. Casie on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ruth-A.-Casie/e/B005V0YEVU

 

Follow Ruth A. Casie on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ruth-a-casie

 

Why I Like Medieval-Renaissance Heroes by @RuthACasie #guestpost #romance


Why I like Medieval-Renaissance Heroes: A Guest Post by USA Today Bestselling Author Ruth A. Casie

KnightofRunesFinalnew

 

Several years ago, my friend Joanna Chambers had a discussion. Joanna thinks Regency men are the uber Romance Hero. She gave me her top three reasons in a guest post in November.

 

Now, I agree Regency men look good, live in a world filled with titles, and appear to live a life of leisure.  I enjoy Mr. Darcy but Regency men are all too tame. Let me give you my top three reasons why I think Medieval-Renaissance knights are the best.

 

  1. Appearance

Some enjoy the breeches, shiny boots, tight coats and acres of snowy white linen. I love the shirtless look of a well-defined chest and ripped abs. It speaks protection, comfort and well, truly, their great to look at. I enlarged my book cover, Knight of Runes to 8.5×11 and keep it posted next to my desk.

Every so often, after my husband’s shower, he comes into my writing room in his towel and poses next it. He thanks me for not including his full face. We can both dream.

 

knight-hood-2065312_640

 

  1. Ascendance

Knights were members of the noble class. Likely candidates were chosen at boyhood and trained. A lesser or unlikely man could aspire to knighthood and reach his dreams, if he is found worthy. Knights, their code of conduct and chivalry, “Protect the weak, defenseless, helpless, and fight for the general welfare of all,” inspired literature and the foundation of courtship through the middle ages up until the turn of this century.  What would a romance be without a (k)night?

 

  1. Adventure

Knighthood comes with its requirements: save the damsel in distress, right the wrongs, and do away with the villain. Of course there were trials he had to go through to prove he was worthy. Usually he would somehow loose his shirt and give the damsel a glimpse of those perfect pecks and adorable abs.

Knights, not only had to prove themselves worthy on the field of battle (for his king, the damsel or even for himself) but also had to learn balance the command and control needed to succeed with his own wants and desires. It’s a lesson Lord Arik learns in Knight of Runes.

 

Druid Knight Series 2 Book Spread 250x250

 

What do you think?  Regency heroes or Medieval-Renaissance Knights?  Or something entirely different? 

 

 

Title: Knight of Runes

 

Author:  Ruth A. Casie

 

Genre: Medieval Romance, Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Time Travel

 

Publisher: Carina Press

 

 

Blurb:

When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he’s intrigued.

 

Rebeka is no ordinary seventeenth-century woman—she’s travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return to her own time. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what’s killing Arik’s land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.

 

As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik’s household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.

 

 

Short Excerpt:

A man, club in hand, rushed at Arik. Before the attacker could bring his weapon into play, Arik pivoted around him. He raised his sword high, and slammed the hilt’s steel pommel squarely on the man’s head. Arik moved on before the man’s lifeless body dropped to the ground.

 

Willem and Simon, on either side of Arik, advanced through the melee. Their swift continuous swordplay moved smoothly from one stroke to the next, whipping through the air. They slashed on the downswing and again on the backswing, sweeping their weapons back into position to repeat the killing sequence. The knight and his soldiers steadily advanced, punishing any man who dared to come near them.

 

“For Honor!” Logan’s war cry carried from the small camp up river to Arik’s ears.

 

Arik stiffened. Both camps were now under attack. He pulled his blade from an attacker’s chest. The body crumpled to the blood-soaked ground. Arik breathed deeply, the coppery taste of blood in the air. “For Honor!” he bellowed in answer. His men echoed his call, arms thrown wide, muscles quivering, the berserker’s rage overtaking them.

 

The remaining attackers paled and fled headlong into the forest.

 

Motioning to his men to follow, Arik raced toward the camp. He could hear the shouts, and cursed himself for not seeing the danger. He crested the hill and came to an abrupt halt.

 

Logan’s sword ripped through the air as he protected Doward. The tinker drew his short blade and did as much damage as he could. But it was the woman Arik noticed.

 

Her skirt hiked up, she twirled her walking stick like a weapon with an expertise that left him slack-jawed. She dispatched the attackers, one by one, in a deadly well-practiced dance. A man rushed toward her, knife in hand. The sneer on his face didn’t match the fear in his eyes. She stepped out of his line of attack, extended her stick to her side, and holding it with both hands swept the weapon forward, striking the attacker across the bridge of his nose. Blood exploded from his face in an arc of fine spray as his head snapped back. Droplets dusted her face creating an illusion of bright red freckles. As he fell, she reversed her swing and caught him hard behind his knees.

He went down on his back, spread-eagled. She swung her stick over her head and landed a precise and disabling blow to his forehead that knocked him unconscious.

 

As she spun to face the next threat her eyes captured Arik’s and held. In the space of an instant, time slowed to a crawl. Her hair slowly loosened from its pins and swirled out around her. His breath caught and his heartbeat quickened as a rapturous surge raced through his body. Something eternal and familiar, with a sense of longing, unsettled him. In the next heartbeat, she tore her eyes away, leaving him empty. Time resumed its normal pace. Another attacker lay at her feet.

 

Arik joined the fight.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/14jMXOy

BN: http://bit.ly/19FnJwr

Carina Press: http://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9781426892585_knight-of-runes.html

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1yjZDiK

iBook: http://bit.ly/17XTxgO

HQN: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=27243

Audio: http://bit.ly/uqLc9y

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

 

Even Dragons Get the Blues… Take These Broken Wings @LiviaQuinn #books #dragons #MFRWAuthor


Broken Wings EBOOK 06252016 copy

 

How do you handle stress?

 

Sheriff Jack Lang came to Destiny after hearing it was a normal “safe” small town – the perfect place to raise his teenage daughter after years of abuse by his crazy ex. Well, the “normal” ship sailed the day he met Tempest Pomeroy. The weeks that followed challenged him far beyond his years as a Navy pilot. He’d been both appalled and attracted to the quirky mail carrier with the rainbow shaded hair and unpredictable weather “talents”. The events of the last months had rolled over them like a tidal wave and just as he was getting used to the idea of being a human lawman in a town of supernaturals, his world had been turned upside down.

 

 

Blurb:

Five months ago, Sheriff Jack Lang would have sworn there were no such things as vampires, tempestaeries, djinn or dragons. That was before he met Tempest Pomeroy, trouble magnet and sexy redheaded mail lady. He’d fallen for her before he found out about her “special abilities”. But that wasn’t what turned his life upside down. No, to say Jack’s world had gone FUBAR was like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.

 

 

Tempe had been afraid her supernatural nature would be a problem for Jack, who’d mistaken Destiny for a “Mayberry-like” small town, but that didn’t explain why he’d left her in favor of haunting the highest levees in the parish. She knew he’d received a shock, but what was it going to take to get him to return to his life and to her? A stubborn man is one thing; a grumpy, depressed twenty-ton dragon is a bit more of a challenge.

 

 

Excerpt:

My stomach growled, again, and I caught a tantalizing whiff. What was it with this persistent aching hunger? Lately, I ate anything in my path, and I mean anything.

 

One thing had changed, however¾my sense of smell. I could smell a flea farting at fifty paces. I walked quickly around the building, tossing the coffee to the curb and marched like a laser beam – straight to the green dumpster at the rear of the parking lot.

 

The next thing I knew I was hip deep in trash, my new sniffer guiding me through an assortment of bags and boxes. My stomach thundered, but I was getting used to it, being hungry, I mean. I didn’t know what it took to fill up my dragon gut because so far it had never been full. And these pickings were slim.

 

What once would’ve turned Jack Lang’s stomach wasn’t bothering me, Jack Lang, Dragon Shifter, in the least. From here on, I’d be thinking of dumpsters as food banks.

 

I took in the chewed chicken wings, packets of catsup, smashed French-fries and hushpuppies, a bag of dredging flour and cornmeal. My mind lumped it together as energy. I squeezed the catsup onto my tongue. I couldn’t get enough, the containers and packaging were slowing me down. I popped leftover bones and followed them with handfuls of flour. Then I spotted a bucket of old grease and food sitting by the door to the dumpster. Yum!

 

As I reached for the handle a pair of familiar work boots and tanned legs entered my field of vision. “Jack, what are you doing in that dumpster?”

 

Tempe’s eyes widened when she saw my face, my hand on the handle of the bucket. I followed her gaze to the flour covering my shirt, pants and boots. I’d been single-mindedly scavenging and hadn’t had a clue that my uniform was caked in white crud, probably my face as well.

 

“Oh, this?” I couldn’t stop… I was on a binge. I reached for the bucket of slop, which had probably been awaiting some pig farmer, and upended it like a Super Duper 90 drink from Gatorz Grub.

 

While I guzzled the rich fatty mix of lard and leftovers I watched Tempe’s face turn green and she grimaced. “That is so gross!”

 

I stopped long enough to belch. “Hold that thought.” I finished off the bucket, let out an audible sigh of satisfaction, wiped my hands on my pants and tossed her my keys. “Do me a favor, will ya? Grab one of the duffels from my trunk.”

 

Her face said I needed more than just a clothing change. Well, it is what it is. I realized I was approaching midday with a different attitude, although it probably wasn’t quite the attitude Tempe had been looking for. When she returned, I pulled myself away from my delicious snack—I could always slip back tonight after they’d restocked my dumpster—they were open twenty-four hours.

 

I burped and cut a big gust, as we Navy pilots say. Tempe stopped a couple feet away pinching her nose shut. “Zeuus, Jack! Uu bight deed to thee a twagon toctor.” She extended the duffel to me with one finger of her other hand, as if she was afraid of getting cooties. I stripped off my shirt and pants and tugged on the clean clothes.

 

“Where did you come from?” I asked.

 

“I was on my way to Harmony and spotted your cruiser. I was just curi¾ Her voice trailed off.

 

“You were curious if I’d gone back to work like I said I would. You don’t have to worry, Tempe, darling.” I winced at my sarcastic tone. There was going to be hell to pay for treating the women I loved like this, but right now… “I stopped for coffee but after I meet with the ME, and have lunch with my mom, I plan to find Jordie wherever she is and let her flay my scales off. Then I have a case to solve.”

 

She didn’t miss that I hadn’t mentioned us. Things were not kosher in Denmark, or whatever that saying was, but I was making some baby steps toward taking my old life back. That was good, right?

“What’s up with the dumpster diving?”

 

I adjusted my gun belt on my hip and shrugged, “I was hungry.”

 

“Well, sorry I interrupted. Have you talked to Conor about this…um… hunger problem?” Tempe asked.

 

“Nope.” I spotted two nearly whole turkey legs lying on top of a trash bag and reached in snagging them—with two claws that shot out of my fingertips! “Shit.”

 

“What is it?” Tempe jumped forward, alarmed.

 

I held up my hand to show Tempe the drumsticks speared on a pair of five-inch claws. “How am I supposed to investigate when… claws pop out of my hands when I least expect it?”

 

“Um, well…” her lips twisted in a grimace. She shrugged.

 

“Right.” I took two chomps on the grimy, rotten legs then tossed them over my shoulder into the dumpster as I walked away, staring as the claws receded when they weren’t needed anymore. Which actually kind of rocked.

 

 

Buy Take These Broken Wings at Your Favorite Retailer: https://www.books2read.com/u/mZAjD3

 

 

What readers are saying…

 

“Destiny is like a mini-vacation from the real world.”

 

“My new favorite series” “Book 5 is out! quirky characters, shifters and magic. What else could you want?”

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

About the Author:

Livia Quinn is a DC native who lives by the bayou in Louisiana. She believes in the power of love. To see excerpts from all her books visit https://liviaquinn.com

 

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://liviaquinnwrites.com/livias-ramblings

Her new Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Goodreads http://bit.ly/22VXuev

Livia’s Author Central page http://amzn.to/1T5qmhN

Google+ http://bit.ly/2guNZn9

Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

Independent Author Network http://bit.ly/2dlAr8L

Livia Quinns Facebook Reader Group http://bit.ly/2gBFQ12

 

 

What’s Love Got to Do With It? @LiviaQuinn Says Everything! #romance #FridayReads #books


biotm-lq-gp

 

Oh oh oh, what’s love got to do with it, got to do with it? In the case of romance, everything!

 

 

One of the reasons romance is the most popular genre in the world is the emotional connection we feel with the hero and heroine as they overcome obstacles to be together. And there’s something for everyone – small town, sweet, contemporary, historical, suspense, thriller, military, erotic, steampunk, paranormal…the list goes on.

 

 

When I read men’s or women’s fiction, while I enjoy the story, I’m not nearly as invested unless there’s a building relationship between the hero and his significant other. With romance, I can enjoy the ride knowing there will be a happily-ever-after, or, in these days of series, at least a happy for now. One of my favorites is a Sandra Brown romance thriller. While I’m not likely to encounter a sexy undercover FBI agent on my doorstep, imagining a happy-ever-after that comes out of the blue is thrilling and makes for a great escape.

 

 

In my book Blame it On the Moon, Sheriff Jack Lang is preparing to fight the supernatural bad guys he hadn’t even known existed a couple weeks before, while his girlfriend, Tempest Pomeroy and others lie fading from the effects of the Para-moon. Everything – their lives, their relationship and the safety of the world beyond Destiny is in the balance. He can’t lose this fight.

 

 

What is your favorite genre of romance and why?

 

 

BlameIOTM web copy

 

Blame it on the Moon Blurb:

It’s the height of the Para-moon and Sheriff Jack Lang is up to his ‘6’ in alligators. Defending those weaker than himself is in his DNA which is what drove him to become a Navy pilot. Who is he kidding? Alligators he could handle! But supernatural bad guys…

 

Ragtag doesn’t begin to describe his band of temporary ’heroes’. If he has to go to war with the group that showed up at dawn, he might as well start cutting up white sheets and attaching them to garden stakes.

 

With Tempe and the other Paramortals ill or incapacitated and the sudden appearance of beings he’s never heard of, will Jack be able to keep Destiny out of the hands of their enemies for the rest of the power down and—very important—keep the humans in the dark?

 

It’s only twenty-four hours. If worse comes to worse, he has a dragon on his side and a few surprises up his sleeve. “Yippe, ki, yi…” But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours and things don’t always go as planned.

 

 

Excerpt:

(Conor and Montana visit the Faerie King)

 

“Oomph!” I sprang to my feet, ready to fight if it was a trick and to give Conor a talking-to but the three were already nearing the porch, leaving me to bring up the rear.

 

I heard the chorus of excited fairies before I made it to the front door.

 

“It’s a dwagon. A weel dwagon,” two seemingly young voices screamed.

 

“He’s beautiful.” That was a low pitched sultry sounding faerie that sent my hackles up.

 

“Mr. Dwagon, can I touch your scales…”

 

“Can you bwiev fire?” Finally, a male voice.

 

The excitement went on until finally, stranded outside the monstrous entrance until I could get someone’s attention I yelled, “Can I get a word in with Petre and Arabella please? We’re on time clock here.”

 

Every face in the Inn— all shapes, sizes, and colors of fairie turned to me and I realized I’d underestimated the race, understanding now, too late, the size of a fairy was of no consequence. Having a twenty-foot tall king was like a colossal diversion. It gave one a feeling of superiority as if there were only two fae who could be a threat when in actuality it was a house full of deadly assassins, who could kill a hundred different ways—each.

 

Even the tiniest pixie seated on Petre’s long narrow leg could probably kill me. This was an entirely magical world and I was out of my depth. The minuscule little fairy on Petre’s knee shivered with the desire to take me on. It was written all over his face from his angry glowing eyes to his posture which was leaning forward from his desire to attack, only Petre’s thumb on his backside keeping him from leaping the distance to my throat.

 

I cleared my throat and tried to scrape up a modicum of humility. I knew what the word meant but like my thoughts earlier on arrogance, I hadn’t had much call for this trait either, and quite frankly hadn’t ever seen a use for it.

 

Conor waited for me to dig myself out of the hole I’d dug. His brow lifted, waiting. Petre looked like he wanted to let the little fairie have his way. Only Arabella looked as if she understood my outburst. She was Tempe’s friend so she knew me by extension of that friendship.

 

I kept my eyes on Bella’s. Was she trying to send me a message? Try a little humble pie.

 

“I… apologize, King, to you and all of your…er…subjects…er, family. I am a warrior and…” The truth will do. I heard the voice in my head and looked back at Arabella who smiled. The truth, right. I started over. “I do apologize. My urgency and warrior nature leaves me little regard for diplomacy. That is something I must learn obviously. May I enter and speak with you about our current crisis? Time really is of the essence.”

 

Conor’s shoulders relaxed and I felt a squeeze of my heart when I saw his swords, which had been lifted a half a foot out of the sheath behind his shoulders, settle back into place at the ready should we need to fight our way out. He smiled at me. It made me feel all gooey inside. Sheesh, these emotions were new, totally new, like never in four hundred years new.

 

Petre’s friendly facade went dark, his face and the musculature in his body changed, the bones nearly protruding through the skin, giving him the appearance of a deadly predator with a long menacing mouthful of razor like teeth. A glance at the other formally cheerful fae revealed similar changes. And the glowing green eyes and household now all looked at me like I was the next course.

 

For the first time in my life I felt a strong compunction to run, not out of fear— Okay, I could admit to a bit of healthy fear—just this once I would have run, though I doubted it would have done any good without my Dinnshencha power. The vamp gave me speed and strength but I was badly outnumbered by a species that were actually superior to vamps in many ways. Good thing I had Conor. I noticed even Petre cut his eyes toward Conor. The desire to eat me must be pretty strong. Better deliver the message before they lost control.

 

“Um, I know you’d prefer to eat me more than listen to me, or divide me up with the clan…”

 

Petre growled, “I don’t share…”

 

I heard Conor swords slip out of their sheaths. Petre’s posture relaxed slightly. “I was asked to inform you of the Chaos and beg your assistance.” Petre’s eyes flared and the view of his teeth became more prominent as he gave what I assumed – that comment seemed to give him particular pleasure.

 

And if birds could be said to roll their eyes, I would swear that’s what Petre’s Queen had aimed in his direction. Then Petre said, “Kneel, vampire.”

 

 

Buy Links:

 Click here books2read Available at all retailers.

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

About the Author:

Livia Quinn is a DC native who lives by the bayou in Louisiana. She believes in the power of love. To see excerpts from all her books visit https://liviaquinn.com

 

Connect with Livia here:

Blog: https://liviaquinnwrites.com/livias-ramblings

Her new Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Goodreads http://bit.ly/22VXuev

Livia’s Author Central page http://amzn.to/1T5qmhN

Google+ http://bit.ly/2guNZn9

Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

Independent Author Network http://bit.ly/2dlAr8L

Livia Quinn’s Facebook Reader Group http://bit.ly/2gBFQ12

The Author Behind – and Within – The Ceruleans: @BookishCharlie #NA #Giveaway #books


ceruleans-poster

 

‘Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.’ I knew this quotation from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from my university days, but until I wrote The Ceruleans, I had no idea how accurate it is.

When I set out to write The Ceruleans series, I knew there would be something of myself in it, because a central concept in the first book, Death Wish, of grief in the aftermath of losing a loved one, was inspired by my own experiences. ‘Write what you know’ is an old adage and a good one; I know grief, so I decided to write about grief.

I did not, however, intend to write five books that so closely aligned to my own emotional journey. As I write in the author’s note at the end of Book 5: ‘The story isn’t my own, but the feelings are, and it has been dark and deep and beautiful to share these truths with you.

Neither did I intend to write a heroine with such a similar disposition to me. Scarlett differs from me in some pretty significant ways, but her sensitivity and her desire for a quiet life come directly from me. Would I like to live in cottage on a cliff in a sleepy Devonshire cove? Absolutely!

Remember Goethe’s words ‘even if it be against his will’? As a writer, when you discover you are exposing parts of yourself through fiction, you feel vulnerable; and that drives a desire to hack away at the manuscript, stripping yourself out. I could have rewritten The Ceruleans with a more thick-skinned heroine and less emotional resonance. I didn’t, though, because where’s the meaning in that?

As Franz Kafka put it, ‘Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.’ Publishing your writing, however, offers a way out of that solitude – if you’ve been honest and brave enough to infuse the writing with elements of yourself, so that you are not merely the author behind the words, but the author within the words.

 

the-ceruleans-book-1

Death Wish (The Ceruleans I) by Charlotte Wilson

IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE.

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit: run away from school, join a surfing fraternity, drown in a tragic ‘accident’.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to an isolated English cove to uncover the truth. And, as it turns out, to fall in love with the place and its people, especially a certain blue-eyed surfer with a serious case of the heroics.

But as Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Power.

What transpires is a summer of discovery: of what it means to conquer fear, to fall in love, to choose life, to choose death.

To believe the impossible.

 

the-ceruleans-book-2

Forget Me Not (The Ceruleans II) by Charlotte Wilson

IN THE FACE OF DEATH, SHE MUST PROTECT THOSE SHE LOVES.

Death is stalking Scarlett Blake. As if the encroaching darkness in her head wasn’t enough, she’s become disturbingly accident prone. Falling off a cliff isn’t ideal when all you want is as much time as possible to live the life you love.

But the clock is ticking, louder with every heartbeat, and now Scarlett must decide how best to protect the people she loves.

Will she trust in Jude and the life-after-death he promises? Will she stand against the Fallen, who have her sister captive? Will she carry the burden of her death alone – every headache, every hallucination, every harrowing emotion?

And when the clock falls silent, will Scarlett fight for life? Or will she surrender to the one who’s determined to kill her?

 

the-ceruleans-book-3

Wild Blue Yonder (The Ceruleans III) by Charlotte Wilson

IN A WARPED HEAVEN, SHE MUST CHOOSE HER FATE: OBEDIENCE OR REBELLION

When Scarlett Blake chose to Become a Cerulean, she expected to grieve for all she left behind. But at least Cerulea, her heaven, would be… well, heavenly. Right?

Wrong. The world in which Scarlett awakens is picturesque, sure, and serene. But there can be no paradise within the unforgiving walls of a prison, be they of cold, hard stone or beautifully blue water.

Now Scarlett faces her hardest decision yet: be a good, dutiful Cerulean, or be true to herself and fight for freedom.

And if she can find a way to escape, what then? Can she save her sister from the murderous Fallen? Can she evade her destiny with the Ceruleans? Can she ever reclaim her life-before-death… or must she let go of all she loves?

 

the-ceruleans-book-4

Devil and the Deep (The Ceruleans IV) by Charlotte Wilson

STORM CLOUDS ARE GATHERING, AND THEY WILL RAIN BLOOD.

Scarlett is living her happy-ever-after, back in the real world. Only the ‘happy’ part is proving problematic.

For starters, there’s the isolation. Being a Cerulean among humans is fraught with risk, so time with those she loves can only be fleeting.

Then there’s her power over life and death. Less awesome talent, as it turns out, and more overwhelming responsibility – and it comes with rules that are increasingly difficult to obey.

But what’s really pushing Scarlett to the precipice is something much bigger than her life in the cove. A force to be reckoned with: blood.

When long-buried truths are exposed, will Scarlett keep her head above water – or will she drown in the blood-dimmed tide that is unleashed?

 

the-ceruleans-book-5

Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully (The Ceruleans V) by Charlotte Wilson

DARKNESS HAS FALLEN, AND SHE ALONE WILL SEE THE LIGHT.

With her mother’s life hanging in the balance, Scarlett is devastated – and done with being in the dark. She wants answers, all of them.

But when was her pursuit of the truth ever straightforward?

Pulling a single thread impels a great unravelling. And each revelation will force Scarlett to rethink what she thought she knew about the Ceruleans, the Fallen, her family – herself.

All that came before was a mere prelude to this, the final journey – to where it all began and it all must end. But in the final reckoning, none will survive unscathed. And some will not survive at all.

In this explosive conclusion to The Ceruleans series, all must be defined by their actions: sinner, saint… or something more beautiful entirely?

 

dw-teaser-3

 

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-Wilson/e/B00TDH4XLS/

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/death-wish-30

https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/charlotte-wilson/id200555

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-wish-charlotte-wilson/1125314541

charlotte-wilson

 

Charlotte Wilson Biography:

Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess. ‘Write, Charlotte,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Charlotte is a professional writer. For authors and publishers, she writes and edits books as The Book Specialist. For herself, she writes soulful, coming-of-age romance for young adults.

Charlotte grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in a village of Greater Manchester with her husband and two children. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, baking up a storm, or embarking on a DIY project. She recently achieved a lifetime ambition of creating a library in her home to house her ever-increasing collection of books. She pretends not to notice that the shelves are rather wonky.

 

You can find Charlotte online at:

www.thebookspecialist.com

https://twitter.com/bookishcharlie

https://www.facebook.com/bookishcharlie

https://www.instagram.com/bookishcharlie/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15932269.Charlotte_Wilson

 

Giveaway:

Did someone say free books? Yes, five of them.

Charlotte’s  giving away a full set of the Ceruleans novels in print: that’s all the new-edition paperbacks delivered to your door (wherever that is in the world).

Entry is via Rafflecopter below, and is open to all. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

If I Were… Beautiful by @DevonHartford Blog Tour + Guest Post #NA #Romance #FridayReads


If I Were Beautiful
Devon Hartford
(If I Were…, #1)
Publication date: January 23rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Is life better when you’re beautiful?

 

Jane Johnson has tried every beauty tip and trick known to woman, but none of them have ever made men notice her.

 

Until now.

 

Finally, something is working. She barely recognizes herself in the mirror. Is it her new haircut? Two years of yoga class? Her new eyebrow tweeze? Or is it all that nasty wheat grass juice her sister insisted she drink finally working some kind of magic? Whatever it is, something is transforming Jane from plain to downright beautiful.

 

For the first time in her life, men are noticing her.

 

Constantly.

 

Jane is getting so much attention from men she doesn’t know what to do with it.

 

Before her inexplicable transformation, she couldn’t get a date to save her life. Now she has a date every night of the week. Gorgeous eligible men are throwing themselves at her. They’re even fighting over her. Actual fist fights to win her affection.

 

It all seems too good to be true.

 

The only question on Jane’s mind is whether or not her newfound beauty is going to last or if it’s some cruel trick of fate that will fade away as quickly as it appeared.

 

Because everybody knows, when something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

***If I Were Beautiful is a saucy romance with a mystical twist that will leave you breathless to find out what happens next. This is book one of a three book series. Book two will release April 2017, Book three, July 2017 (or sooner).

 

 

Mrs. N Asks Devon: Talk about the struggles of writing in a female-dominant industry as a man. (and/or) How do you get into the head of your female main character so well? I’m fascinated by men writing female characters.

 

When I started writing women’s romance eleven books ago, I figured it would be no different from any other kind of fiction writing. It didn’t help that my first series, The Story of Samantha Smith, was set in college, and was as much of a “first year in college” story as it was a romance novel. Obviously, going to college for the first time is something men and women both can relate to for similar reasons. You’re generally on your own for the first time, you’re struggling with balancing your school/work life with having fun (emphasis on the fun part), and most of your peers are single and looking for love (or a hookup). Also, the series heroine Samantha Smith is only 19, and like many people her age, she’s very insecure. Everyone can relate to being insecure at one time or another.

 

It wasn’t until I started writing books set outside of a college environment that I discovered I didn’t know shizz about being a woman.

 

Whoa! Shocker!

 

Sure, men and women both face similar issues like finding love, finding a job, worrying about money, worrying about our loved ones, etc. But we all know men and women also face uniquely different issues. I had no problem writing convincingly about men’s issues. I’ve faced them my entire life. My buddies have faced them too. We talk about them, bitch and moan about them, compare notes, offer suggestions, make observations, and make jokes from an inside perspective.

 

But when it comes to women’s issues, I am absolutely an outsider looking in. I can’t draw from personal experience. I can only draw from other people’s personal experiences. I guess you could say I’ve learned to be like a journalist of sorts. I have to observe women. I have to ask women questions. Lots of questions. Yeah, I’m a good listener. I have to be. I’ll never ever know what it’s like to be a woman in the 21st century unless I pay attention.

 

But that’s just the research part.

 

The hard part is the writing part.

 

You could also compare what I do to being an anthropologist studying and living with another culture, one that is wildly different from your own. At first, the actions, behaviors, mannerisms, all seem completely foreign. Heck, even the language is different. At first, you have no idea what anyone is saying. Eventually, you learn the language, learn the social customs. If you spend enough time living inside a foreign culture, you can probably do a passing good job of behaving like one of them.

 

But they all know, “You’re not from around here.”

 

Sadly, no matter how much studying and observing I do, I’ll always be an outsider when it comes to the ways of women.

 

As for the books, when I’m writing a male character, it’s easy. I can come up with male dialogue and male behavior all day long. I know when it rings true and when it doesn’t. I’ve lived it. I know.

 

But when I’m writing female characters? Forget it. It’s not based on intuition. It’s not based on experience. It’s purely an intellectual exercise. And that’s why I’m constantly second guessing myself.

 

Would a woman do this?

 

Would a woman say that?

 

Would a woman FEEL this or that?

 

I can only guess.

 

I haven’t lived it first hand. I don’t have that internal measuring stick, that automatic sense of what works and what doesn’t. You know that feeling you get when you’re taking a math test and you’re not really sure if you got the answer right? You did all the work, and at the bottom of the page you wrote down an answer. But you don’t know if it’s right or wrong. You have to wait until the teacher grades your paper for you.

 

Thankfully, my beta readers (who are all women) grade my books before I publish them. They’ll point out things that don’t ring true. After eleven books, I tend to get it right most of the time. I’ve done my research and my homework.

 

But the fact remains, what I’ve learned about women through outside observation in my lifetime is a tiny fraction of what every woman learns from living her life day after day after day. Whenever I pick up a romance from a skilled female romance author, especially good romantic comedies written by women, I inevitably read lines that make me laugh out loud, and I end up shaking my head and thinking “That is comedy genius, and I would NEVER have thought of that line. Respect.”

 

I know I’ll always be a student of women.

 

I’ll always be learning.

 

And my readers will always be grading.

 

I’m okay with that.

 

As long as I don’t get a report card, what do I care?

 

Oh wait.

 

I forgot about those pesky book reviews…

 

Too bad they don’t grade on a curve.

 

LOL.

Buy it today:

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Devon Hartford is a dude who writes romantic comedies because he likes to laugh as much as he likes to love.

 

Join Devon’s newsletter and you’ll receive teasers of his upcoming books before anyone else, exclusive freebie short stories and novellas, and no spam. Copy and paste this link into your web browser to sign up: http://www.devonhartford.com/newsletter/

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Author @denaehaggerty Takes on the Difficult Subject of Sexual Assault in Her New Release #books


dena-haggerty

 

Why in the world would I take on the difficult subject of sexual assault?

 

My book plots are often the result of a great (I hope!) opening idea, which my muse forces into my consciousness – usually at 4 a.m. She’s a kickass muse, but she can also be a bit bitchy. For example, with Life Discarded I had a very vague idea of a book about a woman who threw her life away. And then I had a vision of a woman walking away from an explosion erupting behind her (because cool heroes never look back at explosions). I worked the entire book out from that premise. Why an explosion? What could be so terrible that someone would not only walk away from her life but literally burn all her bridges in the process?

 

Self-Serve Murder started the same way. My muse sent me a vision – no doubt at 3 a.m. – of a woman waking up naked with a dead man in her bed having absolutely no clue how she got there and who in the world the man was. But where to go from there?

 

Due to a bizarre set of circumstances, I found myself wandering around the US for a few weeks in June 2016. I was supposed to be living in Istanbul with my husband at the time. Instead I was a vagabond being bombarded with news stories concerning the sentencing for a brutal rape case (People v. Turner). A man was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault but received a mere six-month jail sentence. He only served three months. Even now, several months after the case first hit the news, I can barely read the news accounts without going into a fit of rage.

 

I don’t even remember making the conscious decision that the murder in Self-Serve Murder would somehow be related to rapes on college campuses. Between the opening scene implanted in my head and the continuous news coverage of the Turner case, ideas just poured out of me. But now I had a big – no, huge – problem. How do I balance the sensitivity involved with sexual assault while maintaining the light humor of my Death by Cupcake series?

 

Self-Serve Murder remains, despite the background theme of college rapes, a murder mystery and I’ve never had a problem with humor and death before. In fact, I was shocked when I was asked how I could combine humor with murder after writing my first murder mystery, Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem. I’m a big believer that jokes and smiles can be seamlessly combined with death. Death is, after all, just a part of life. This is perhaps the result of my (dare I say weird?) family who finds it normal to drink unseemly amounts of beer after a funeral and sometimes during the visitation itself while telling inappropriate jokes about the deceased until late in the night (or the hotel tells us to shut it down, whichever occurs first).

 

So, yeah, I think murder can be funny. Just ask anyone who is addicted to BBC crime series that are filled with dry humor and situations so bizarre you’ll start to wonder about those English people. But rape? There’s absolutely, positively nothing funny about this crime of extreme violence. How in the world do I handle this sensitive topic without demeaning the victims of this crime? Maybe I shouldn’t write this novel after all, I thought. I had always planned to make the Death by Cupcake series three books with the final book centered around the bakery worker, Kristie. She doesn’t need to wake up naked with a blank in her memory. I can think of something else.

 

Except I refused. That’s right. I refused. Between living in a country where women are considered second class citizens (trust me, when men universally refuse to shake your hand or even touch you, you feel like there is something wrong with you for having a uterus), watching news reports of the Turner case, and the extremely volatile US presidential election in which sexism became a central theme, I was convinced that rape – now more than ever – is a topic of extreme importance. It needs to be discussed – no matter how uncomfortable that is.

 

And so I trudged on. I researched rape on colleges and the use of the date rape drug. I tried to intersperse facts and figures throughout the novel. Luckily, Callie, one of my heroines and owner of Callie’s Cakes, is a complete nerd who likes to drop trivia whenever she’s nervous or stressed. Therefore, I was able to ‘educate’ my readers without boring them to tears. At least, I hope that’s what happened. Because knowledge is power and, although Self-Serve Murder is a fictional story, the ability to provide even a few readers with important information regarding sexual assault is all I can hope for. And that’s why I decided that I could take on the difficult subject of rape.

 

 self-serve-murder_cover

 

Book title: Self-Serve Murder

Book Series: Death by Cupcake, Book 3 – can standalone

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Humor

Published: December, 2016

 

Synopsis:

Book 3 in the Death by Cupcake series. Can be read as a standalone.

 

Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Kristie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that.

 

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world.

 

Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.

 

Excerpt:

I’m wiping down the counters when I get ambushed by Callie and Anna. Callie grabs my arm and together with Anna she pushes me into the corner furthest from the students. “What in the world of coffee beans are you guys up to now?” I cross my arms over my chest to make it perfectly clear that I’m not okay with whatever cockamamie scheme they’ve cooked up now.

 

Anna looks at me and smiles in an obvious but unsuccessful attempt to look innocent. “It’s just that we think it’s time we see the Youth Center where you spend all your time.”

 

Yeah, right. I roll my eyes at her. “You don’t really expect me to believe that you want to see the Youth Center to check out my life’s work.”

 

Callie bobs her head. “We’ve been meaning to go down there for ages.”

 

“Yeah,” Anna jumps in. “Logan always makes it sound like the first circle of hell.”

 

I raise an eyebrow at the troublemaking pixie. Of course, she would want to jump into the first circle of hell. “Most people try to avoid Dante’s Inferno.” I don’t know why I bother trying to dissuade her. She obviously has no fear of things ‘normal’ people avoid like gangs and violence and such. She even admits to starting to fall for Logan before she realized he was an undercover cop.

 

“We just need to make sure we can eliminate anyone from the Youth Center as possible suspects. You know – up close and personally – then we need to find this rapist before he strikes again. The dead guy in your bed was some kind of warning. It’s time to get to the bottom of this.” Callie makes an impassioned speech. I look down but, to my surprise, no soap box has magically appeared under her feet.

 

Unfortunately, Callie is right – as usual. The rapist needs to be found. And this whole thing just got personal. I might have backed off before Friday night since I wasn’t making any progress anyway and my whole knowledge of the rapes was based on rumors. But now that I’ve been roofied and found out about the ten other girls who weren’t as lucky as me? No way I’m bowing out of this investigation now.

 

“I thought you guys promised not to go to the Youth Center.” I make one last ditch effort to keep Callie and Anna safely away from this investigation.

 

“I promised to not go running around. I will definitely not be doing any running.” Anna shakes her head and points at her feet. As if those high-heeled boots would ever stop her from running head-on into turmoil.

 

Callie shrugs. “I never actually said the words ‘I promise’. There’s definitely some kind of loophole there.”

 

“Fine!” I throw my hands in the air in defeat. “We’ll head over in my car after the bakery closes this afternoon.”

 

The dynamic duo immediately jumps up and down before rushing back into the kitchen giggling. And I’m the young one?

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Self-Serve-Murder-Death-Cupcake-Book-ebook/dp/B01M8K0RYR/

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/673189

 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/self-serve-murder-de-haggerty/1124934721?ean=2940153788715

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/self-serve-murder

 

 

Author Biography:

I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage, every once in a while, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I decided to follow the husband to Istanbul for a few years where I managed to churn out book after book. But ten years was too many to stay away from ‘home’. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

 

 

Author links:

Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com

 

Blog: https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/category/mymusings/

 

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

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/denaehaggerty

 

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DEHaggerty/posts

 

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty

 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1438239628&sr=8-5

 

Email: dena@dehaggerty.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rewriting #CivilWar History to Fit Ideology? Not on @CurtLock’s Watch! #books #FridayReads


asunder-guest-post-graphic

 

The Russians invented the light bulb? Really? They also invented the airplane. OF COURSE, THAT’S NOT TRUE, but Americans laughed during the 1960’s at the preposterous Soviets who were re-writing history to fit their ideology.

 

The Soviets re-named St. Petersburg to Leningrad, and Tsaritsyn became Stalingrad, honoring their dictator. The Soviets tore down religious statues, turned churches into warehouses. They wanted only their distorted history, their ideology. A history of lies.

 

What about enlightened America? Are groups removing statues and renaming buildings to match their ideology? There are.

 

The groups removing Confederate statues want everyone to believe that all Southerners hated African-Americans.

 

Not true. In the South, a few elite plantation owners enslaved Negroes.

 

The key words – “elite few.” The vast majority of Southerners had no slaves. However, many Northerners grew rich from slavery.

 

Northern “slaves” were the impoverished, white-skinned Irish.

 

The Irish received a pitiful wage. But nothing else. The slaves in the South had their own houses, often shabby ones, but a house with a garden and chickens. Some earned pay.

 

The Irish lived in slums. Often, several families lived in a three-room flat or in shanties.

 

Several Southern laws, enacted by the elite, forbade teaching Negroes to read. In the North, no law was needed. The smallest children worked in sweat shops.

 

In the South, the plantation owner sent for a doctor for a sick slave. No such luxury for the Irish.

 

Now, for the incredibly well-documented reasons for men fighting in the almost entirely volunteer armies, north and south.  Primarily two reasons.

 

First, in that era, a man could never be considered a “coward” by not enlisting. If a man’s neighbors were signing up, he must also. It was a major societal expectation. Just because we don’t have that societal pressure in America today doesn’t mean it was not prevalent then.

 

Second, everyone thought the war would be over in three months. Most men wanted to get into a “scrap,” a sort of fisticuffs with a neighbor. Society romanticized war in the “Romantic Era.”

 

Today, we have a new version of the “Elite” who believe they have the right to belittle and destroy people’s pride in their state, remove statues, refuse to sell certain flags, even destroy tombstones of an honored ancestor.

 

General Johnston, for whom several schools are named, has been dishonored by an “elite few” in changing a school named in honor of the general. Johnston fought honorably for the US in the Mexican War. He died in battle because he had sent his doctors to save Yankee wounded.

 

Here are some facts. Long before the war, Lee released his slaves. Grant didn’t release his until he was forced to after the war.

 

Just so you know, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my heroes. I honor him and so many more African-Americans. God did not make us to divide ourselves, but to love everyone. Nor should we allow a few elite to re-write our shared history to fit their ideology.

 

asunder-cover-from-outskirts

 

Title:  Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War

Author: Curt Locklear

Genre:  Historical Fiction/ Romance

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Book Cover Credit:  Karen Phillips

Author Picture Credit:  Sandra Timm

 

Book Blurb:

Thrust into the middle of Civil War battle, with both Union and Rebel protagonists and antagonists, Asunder, the first in the Trilogy, is a story of love and loss and of families torn apart.

 

Thoroughly researched, the novel presents numerous complex, memorable characters struggling against incredible odds in an epic spanning from Texas to New York.

 

he story begins in frigid February, long after the battle. Cyntha Favor, an abolitionist and ardent believer in Spiritualism, searches the battlefield in hopes of finding her husband’s grave. Having received erroneous reports of his death, she hopes to free his tormented soul. During the Civil War, it is estimated that at least one-fifth of the population wholeheartedly believed in Spiritualism. Mary Lincoln held séances in the White House with President Lincoln in attendance. Sara Reeder, initially naïve and an ardent supporter of the Southern cause, is thrust into the battle maelstrom. An excellent horse-woman, she rides to warn the army of a surprise attack, but is too late. With battle all around, she aids wounded Union soldiers, and her zeal for the war changes forever.

 

In early 1861, both armies wore an assortment of uniforms. The Union had not adopted the standard blue uniform. Cyntha’s husband, a Union soldier, Iowa Grays volunteer, Joseph Favor, is found unconscious by Sara. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, he awakens with no memory, unable to recall even the battle. The Reeders perceive him, since he is dressed in gray, to be a Confederate. Dred Workman, a conniving Iowan comrade and deserter to the Rebels, falsely identifies Joseph as a Cavalryman in the Third Texas.

 

The Reeder home is turned into a hospital. Soon, they are left to care for numerous wounded with no help from the army. Lucas blames Lincoln for the war. Based on an actual event, he holds a grudge against the president for something that happened before the war when Lincoln was a lawyer. Lucas and his slave have become friends, no longer slave and master. Sara and Joseph are romantically drawn to each other, but Joseph is haunted by fleeting images of his past. Joseph is called to join the cavalry. Will this parting keep them from being together? Joined by her freeman employee and confidant, Josiah Reynolds, Cyntha’s headstrong manner lands her in confinement by the Union army. She meets a dubious Spiritualist who convinces her that Joseph’s soul is indeed tormented.

 

Learning her brother is accused of robbery, and aided by a quirky Rebel supporter, Constance Carver, she plans escape. Her brother has problems of his own when the steamboat he is a passenger on sinks in a storm. The survivors are attacked by River Pirates. With Missouri marauder gangs closing in on the Reeder farm, the Spiritualist Fox sisters holding séances, and devastating battles, Asunder drives towards a devastating climax.

 

 

Excerpt:

“Am I going to die?” he said. He seemed less anxious and more curious.

Sara dried her hands on her skirt. I really do not know what to say, she thought. She had seen death before when a cow or calf had died. She had helped with the slaughtering of pigs, goats and chickens. She had attended funerals of friends and of her brothers when she was young and seen the bodies lying in coffins, but she had not seen this. She felt she could only dissuade him from the truth. She stroked his brow, “Of course not.  You’re just a little hurt. You’ll get better.”

“How come I can’t feel my legs?” he said. “I think I’m pretty hurt.”

Sara sat back in a kneeling position and saw the blood spilling from the soldier’s back and spreading, turning the grass russet. The blood had spread to stain her skirt as well. She struggled to hide her horror. Without thinking, and more to just be doing something, she set about rubbing his legs very hard.

“I’m kind of cold, miss,” he whispered, “Is there a blanket?”

Sara bit her lip to hold back her tears. To her, he had a face similar to her oldest brother.

Then his pupils fixed.

She stopped rubbing his legs and set her hands in her lap. Her mind refused to believe the young man had died. Time froze for her. Once again, she felt the pinch of nausea, but it was mixed with a deep sadness. Trying not to look at the startled expression on the lifeless face, she lightly shut his eyes.

With a deep breath, Sara rose and walked to the next wounded soldier lying on his back. She tore cloth from her skirt hem and bound his bloody shoulder. Three Rebel soldiers bent over the remaining wounded, staunching one soldier’s bleeding foot and binding the head-wound of another. The sergeant and a private gathered the remaining weapons from the dead and wounded soldiers and stacked them against a sweet gum tree.

In their little shaded forest hospital ward, the battle seemed far away. The deep forest muffled the sounds of battle which, once more, momentarily drifted away to almost nothing.

A slight-built Confederate said, “I wonder if we won this battle, or if the Yanks did.”

No one answered him. The battle no longer mattered, only caring for the wounded.

Sara continued to give directions, though she did not need to, for the soldiers bound the wounds with torn shirts taken from the dead and offered liquor from an earthenware jug that a Confederate had carried with him all through the battle. They labored in general silence. The slight-built one said to her, “I was wondering. Are you the general’s daughter?”

“No,” Sara, taken aback, laughed nervously. “I’m just here to help you to fight these Yanks and make them go home.”

A private, dressed in a smart gray uniform with his jacket open at the top, revealing a shirt with dainty flowered stripes, approached Sara and offered a weak smile. “Miss, would it be okay if you take a look at me, too.” He unbuttoned his jacket, revealing a red blossoming stain, then he slumped down.

Sara rushed to him, caught his arm and slowed his fall. This soldier, with long, tangled, blond locks spilling over his eyes, looked familiar, and a thought leapt to her mind that perhaps he was the one who had sung to her. She held her hand behind his head and helped him lie on the ground. “Give me some help here. One of ours is hurt badly.”

Sara brushed the hair from over his eyes and beheld a face she was sure was indeed too familiar.  Her mind raced, and her heart felt like it would burst from her chest. Breathing came hard for her, but she forced herself to ask the young, fair-skinned man lying cradled in her arms, “Did you two days ago sing a song for me in camp?”

The soldier looked puzzled, then stared off in the distance as if gathering a memory. He coughed a rattling cough. Looking back at her, he whispered, “I do like to sing.” Then he said something else, too soft for Sara to hear. His breathing became labored.

She bent closer to his lips, tears pooling in her eyes. “Please, say that again. I couldn’t understand you.” She looked into his eyes that seemed to hold no fear, but a sort of quiet resignation.  His clean-shaven face was pale though his cheeks were sunburnt, his thin lips chapped.

In a whisper she could barely hear, he breathed out, “Yes, I sang to you, and you gave me a tin of milk.” He smiled, the lids of his eyes fluttering to closed. “It was good milk. Reminded me of home.”

The other Confederates gathered around Sara and their fallen comrade. The sergeant unbuttoned the boy’s jacket and revealed the shirt, coated in blood. A jagged wound oozed dark maroon. The sergeant looked up at Sara. His eyes said it all. The young soldier, just like the Yankee cavalryman, had no hope.

Sara’s eyes flooded with tears, and she began shaking uncontrollably and wailing. “No!” she screamed between heaving gasps. “This is not what war is supposed to be!”

The old, gray sergeant gently took her arms and lifted her to her feet. She stumbled away with him supporting her. She sobbed and had trouble catching her breath and collapsed to the ground.

Somewhere in the caverns of her ears she heard one of the Confederates say, “Sergeant, he’s passed on.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478770546/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

 

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478769545

 

 

Outskirts Press

http://outskirtspress.net/bookstore/details/9781478769545

 

http://outskirtspress.com/webpage?isbn=9781478769545

 

Wordery Online books

https://wordery.com/asunder-curt-locklear-9781478769545

 

curt-playing-guitar

 

Author Biography:

CURT LOCKLEAR – award-winning author, history teacher, musician, composer, and positive education consultant.  In my career, I have delivered presentations to thousands, small and large groups. My talks are always sprinkled with jokes and intriguing stories. If asked, I can play a few Civil War era tunes on my banjo and/or guitar.

My father trained a race-horse in the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a librarian. I’m related to the first wing-walker. My heritage is Southern and Northern. My Rebel forbearer once cleverly hid from a Yankee squad in corn crib. My Yankee forbearer was a bugler.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://curtlocklearauthor.com

Email curt@curtlocklearauthor.com

Twitter @CurtLock

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

Happy Holidays from USA Today Bestselling Author @RuthACasie #guestpost #holidays #books


sweet-potato-souffle
Sweet Potato Souffle

 

For me, the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving. Those left overs are finally gone. Just when I’ve recovered from Thanksgiving it’s time to plan for Christmas and Chanukah.

Paul and I are empty nesters. Our daughters, Staci and Cori, and their families live about thirty minutes away. Our son, Ari and his girlfriend Kate, live in Boston. Each holiday, they all move back home for the weekend. They decided ten years ago, when Ari went away to college in Boston, that we would spend every holiday at our house—all together for the entire weekend. I didn’t argue.

 

brisket
Beef Brisket

 

It’s lots of planning and cooking but there are no surprises. They crave the same menu at each holiday, beef brisket and roast leg of lamb (and I mustn’t forget the mint jelly), sweet potato soufflé topped with marshmallows, noodle pudding, salad, roasted green beans and Brussel sprouts. It doesn’t stop there. For breakfast the following morning I make french toast made with challah, an egg bread.

Thanksgiving is Friday at our house. I didn’t ever want to spend Thanksgiving without my children and rather than have them choose whether they spend the day here one year and at in-laws the following year, I opted to celebrate on Friday.

This year, Cori and Chris have a new house and decided they would host both families on Thanksgiving Day. I thought I was ‘home free,’ no cooking. Even though I was bringing the sweet potato soufflé (with the marshmallows) that Chris’ brother and sister LOVE, I was quickly told that Friday at our house was still happening. I really didn’t mind.

Everyone arrived here early. They helped in the kitchen. My granddaughter, Olivia helped bake some cookies and took charge of making the place cards. My grandson, Alex arranged the cards on the table. Cori arrived prepared to make her signature dish, butternut squash soup. While the roast finished, she’s whipping it together. Staci brought mashed potatoes and Kate arrived with a pumpkin pie, brownies and cookies.

Thank goodness they all came with their own plastic containers to take the left overs when they leave. I’ve been known to make extra portions so they don’t leave empty handed.

 

ari-and-olivia
Uncle Ari and Olivia

 

After dinner Uncle Ari had a headstand battle with Olivia. Alex decided to entertain us with his air guitar and karaoke. We never laughed so hard. We spent lots of time watching movies, playing games and eating.

 

coris-baby-shower

 

Saturday was Cori’s baby shower. Her first baby is due mid-February. Staci and Chris’ sister have been planning and making things for months. Since we are all tired from cooking, they had the shower at a catering hall. The afternoon was perfect. The gifts were lovely. Cori was radiant.

Sunday was our big brunch. We divyed up the left overs and everyone packed up. Cori needed to go home and rest. Staci had lesson plans to write and she needed to get the kids to bed early for school. Ari and Kate went back to Boston, but not before planning to bring Kate’s dog Kyia with them when they come back.

It’s quiet now and time to plan. We’ve been online ordering holiday presents. We found a great karaoke machine for Alex. We only have three weeks before the kids will be back and we can do it all over again. Maybe I’ll change up the menu and make chicken or salmon. Naw, why change a good thing. It’s perfect just the way it is.

Happy Holiday everyone!

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Writing with the Timeless Scribes, Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Email:  mailto:ruth@ruthacasie.com

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

 

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

Book of the Broken: A Guest Post by Jesse Teller #darkfantasy #books #writing


chaste-cover4

 

On October 5, 2016, my book Chaste was unleashed upon the world, and I have come here to make peace with that, to find a way to ready myself for the onslaught of reviews and criticism it will receive, and in some way prepare myself for this beast being free to roam into the life of anyone who might be interested in it.

Chaste has a mind of its own, a mind dark and deviant, and it is my most terrifying creation to date. It scares me. It always has. It is too honest, too revealing to ever let anyone read it. It reveals all my secrets, and it will affect the reader. To what end, I do not know.

Chaste was written by a broken man. I wrote it in 2004. The four years before, I had delved into my past with a very intelligent, very capable therapist who was like a father to me. I had found a darkness that my mind could barely stand. I had found abuse in every form, abuse enough to bend and twist a man.

One day, I asked my therapist how bad it was. I had reached the point where I was beginning to think I was whining, that I was making things out to be worse than they ever could have been. I asked him how bad it was, and he picked up my file. By this point, his notes were grand enough to stand four inches thick, and he set it in front of me. He said these words:

“If I were to show this file to an FBI profiler, the question they would ask is, ‘How many? How many victims had this serial killer produced?’” He said he had never heard things like I was telling him. He said that it didn’t get any worse.

When you see evil, it gets in your bones. It was in mine. It was deep in me, and it had scarred me. It had stained me, and I never thought I would get that stain out. It had me in its grasp and I felt weakened by it, felt crushed under the weight of it.

I was in love and trying to make a life with a woman who cherished me. She knew it all, all the horror and the insanity, and she wanted me anyway. But I was stunted by the memories I had found, and I had no way of getting past it. Then I started writing Chaste.

I set out to write a fantasy novel. I had an idea. It was a simple thing, a concept that might take me through a whole book, might end after 50 pages. I didn’t know. I had never written a novel before. So I just got to work.

What came out of me was a horror fantasy.

There were broken characters. They were powerful and shiny, bright spots in the world, but they were locked up by shadows, past obsessions, and pain.

One of them mirrored my past in such a way that to write her was torture. She had suffered abuse and horror and had locked it away in her mind, as I had, for decades. She broke my heart and scared me more than a little.

There was a character on a quest for love. He was fighting to get to his love and had dedicated himself to being with her. But he had wars to fight before he could make it to her arms.

There was a deformed man, a man who had grown wrong. He hid himself from the world because he was a freak, and he was haunted by the things he would never be able to do, never be able to be.

They were all haunted and jaded. These, and many more, characters walked into a darkness that was all-consuming and fought to get free of it, to right it, to survive it.

When I wrote Chaste, I was insane. I was twisted and wrong, bent in a way that I could not see myself getting out of. I poured it all into that book—all my fury with God, all my loss and confusion, all my self-loathing and my pain. I put it all down, hammering out the worst I had, so that I might one day heal.

And heal I did. My woman and I built a world of happiness. We fought back all my demons and I found peace. I found love. I found hope.

Chaste is part of that healing. It is where I laid all the darkness. I thought I would never go back, thought I would never bring it out of its rough draft form. I would leave it unclean, a thing unfit, a beast dead and rotting that I would not bury.

Then a friend fell in love with it. I let her read it, and she adored it. She said it was her favorite book she had ever read, that it gave her hope, that it gave her peace. She said it had the power to heal, to bring people from the dark. She said it was beautiful.

And I believed her. I took it out, and I washed it up. I found that the thing I had thought dead and reviled is actually powerful and real. It has a message. It has a place.

Chaste will always be a terror. It woke up screaming. It will always be hard for me to look at, hard for me to live with.

It knows me and it displays me in ways no other work has ever. I thought to hide it forever. I thought to let it rot in a dark corner somewhere and try to forget about it. But I can’t.

Chaste is unflinching. It is brutal and dark. But I think it will help. I think it will make people feel understood, that it will make people feel heard.

It might even bring people peace.

It did for me.

 

originally published on Jesse Teller’s blog at this link:
https://jesseteller.com/2016/09/21/chaste-book-of-the-broken/

 

Title: Chaste: A Tale from Perilisc

 

Author: Jesse Teller

 

Genre: Dark Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

When her devout parents died, Cheryl turned her back on her god. Years of denial and self-loathing have defeated her. Her life consists of taking orders and succumbing to abuse. A group of strangers stops in Chaste for the night, but an unnamed threat is preying on the town. Tragic deaths have become more and more frequent. Cheryl wants to protect these travelers, expose the evil force, and save her fellow citizens, but she must find a way to believe in hope.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chaste-Tale-Perilisc-Jesse-Teller-ebook/dp/B01J0FVC9S

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31278384-chaste

 

jesse-teller

 

Author Biography:

Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.

 

Social Media Links:

Website – https://jesseteller.com/

 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PathtoPerilisc/

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Jesse-Teller/e/B01G0ZB7JG

 
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15269506.Jesse_Teller

 

THE TWO SINBADS: A Guest Post by Clive Johnson @AuthorClive #books #POTLReads #amreading


THE TWO SINBADS: A Guest Post by Clive Johnson

Clive Johnson, author of the newly-published ‘Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights’, reflects on the common nature of Sinbad the Sailor and his patient companion, Sinbad the Porter.

 sinbada

 

The adventures of Sinbad the Sailor occupy most of the column inches in the seven tales that feature him in the canon of the Arabian Nights. His voyages, discoveries in strange lands, and many near-death experiences are described in wonderful detail, enchanting anyone who hears them. In many ways, these tales embody much of what is enthralling in The Nights – they are filled with color, intrigue, magic, and surprise, to mention just a few of their many virtues.

However, there’s another Sinbad who features in each of these tales – Sinbad the Porter. This poor street-dweller doesn’t have a shekel to his name–at least before he meets Sinbad the Sailor he doesn’t–and spends much of his time bewailing the injustice of his lot. How can it be, he ponders, that some people such as the sailor can have so much, while so many lack even a daily meal or clothes to protect their bodies?

This is a question that we may well ask today, but that’s a topic for another time. What interests me is how the two Sinbads interact. Their first encounter is cordial, but the porter wonders what the motive of the sailor is. The poor man is invited each night to join the sailor in his house, to enjoy a lavish meal, and be entertained with another of the great adventurer’s stories. He even is offered a monetary gift each time the meal ends, leaving him in no doubt that his host is genuine in his wish to show hospitality.

As the seven tales unfold, it becomes clear that the sailor uses his storytelling as a way of expunging his guilt for some of the bad things he has done during his voyages (like killing). With the ever-more fantastical adventures that he describes testing credulity, we might begin to wonder whether he doesn’t occasionally embellish what really happened. He seems desperate to impress, and possibly lost in something of a fantasy himself.

The porter, meanwhile, becomes more comfortable in himself, increasingly feeling satisfied when he leaves the sailor’s house each evening. The two begin to act out a dance, indulging each other’s company, and possibly even becoming slightly dependent on each other. One projects aspects of himself onto the other; even if they don’t see it, there’s a person they recognize in the character of the other.

Some commentators on The Nights suggest that the two Sinbads are really meant to represent one person. Both may have faults, seen in their shadow selves. It’s by coming together and seeing how they can complement and teach other that both men are able to move on from their current states of mind.

We all have shadow selves, the part of us that is unseen and gets projected onto others. Often it’s those closest to us who are best able to reflect back something of this hidden character. That’s one reason why we are attracted to some people – they are perfect partners for helping us grow. I think that there’s something of the porter and the sailor in all us.

 

anan_cvr_v01

 

Title: ARABIAN NIGHTS & ARABIAN NIGHTS. TRADITIONAL TALES FROM A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, CONTEMPORARY TALES FOR ADULTS

Author: CLIVE JOHNSON

Genre: FICTION / SHORT STORIES (CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY)

Publisher: LABYRINTHE PRESS

 

Audible version available soon.

 

Book Blurb:

Magic carpets and flying horses, caverns glittering with gold, unexpected plotlines following the fortunes of heroes and villains–who cannot fail to be enchanted by the magic and wonder of the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights?

This most celebrated collections of tales feature shape-shifting and miraculous transportation across continents, powerful jinn who rise like smoke from simple vessels, dreams that delve into the secrets of the subconscious, and gigantic, man-carrying birds.

The backdrop for the tales moves from barren deserts to spectacular cities, from the edge of the world to the inner sanctuaries of mighty rulers. Kings and paupers, benevolent sages and devious magicians, worthy princesses and unscrupulous harlots–all play their part in teaching important truths and providing lively entertainment.

This innovative book offers retellings of a selection of tales that have captured the imaginations of countless people over many centuries. Accompanying each is a short story set in a contemporary context, which reframes the messages and teachings of the original, specifically written for an adult audience.

Here are stories of betrayal and murder, exploitation and sibling rivalry, soul-searching and discovery. The modern parallel tales swap the busy alleyways of old Baghdad for the horror of Saddam’s prisons, move from following caravans sweeping across the Sahara to modern day pilgrims trekking along the Caminos of northern Spain, and lift Aladdin out of his cave to unwittingly face Triad gangsters and antiques smugglers.

Wayward Baptist ministers, adulterous accountants, and eco-warrior backpackers follow in the footsteps of the no-less colourful characters than those that feature in the original tales.

Each pair of stories is accompanied by a commentary on how they might be interpreted. The result is a gripping collection of tales that may continue to bring the mystery and magic of the Nights to life, as well as provoking fresh thought and feeling for adult readers. Prepare to be surprised, uplifted and–in the spirit of the original Arabian Nights Entertainments–enthralled.

 

Excerpt:

A journalist had picked up on the news of Todd’s arrest, and by some means had been able to identify him as a Baptist pastor. Soon, the news of my husband’s escapade with the prostitute had made not only the front page of the Louisville Courier-Journal, but had carried across the state to Lexington too. I dreaded to think what the decent people of our church would say when they saw the photograph of their pastor being paraded in front of a police identification plate.

 

When we returned to Lexington, most people seemed to want to avoid mentioning the topic. It was obvious to me that they had been deeply unsettled by Todd’s indiscretion, but to our faces at least, they promised their love, assuring us that ours is a God of love, able to forgive every sinner–even a wayward minister.

 

Todd was not afraid to show his contrition before his flock. Were Oscars awarded for emotional outpouring by those in church ministry, Todd would surely be nominated for an award. Whether or not his tears were genuine I do not know, but he certainly gave a powerful example of how to show repentance when he took his place on the dais.

 

“O my Father, how I have failed you! How I have let these, my beloved brothers and sisters, down! Forgive me, for I am the worse among sinners!”

 

His cries and wailing knew no limit. Kneeling before the congregation, Todd accepted the prayers and blessings of the people. Two of the deacons laid hands on him, commanding the demons that were in him to depart.

 

Perhaps this display was good for our community. Other men in the congregation came forward to confess their infidelity, and to receive the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus and those of us who serve Him. In fact, I don’t think that our church had for a long time felt so overcome by the love and warmth of The Holy Spirit.

 

The experience had certainly been a shock for Todd. He knew that his position as a pastor would be under threat were he to backslide again. More than anything, I think that he was genuinely aware that he’d been unfaithful to his Lord.

 

He had been unfaithful to me too, and privately I went through a period of hurt and suffering. But the fast pace of events, and Todd’s apparent regret for his actions, kept me focused on supporting my husband.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com: http://goo.gl/ks4rLB

Amazon.co.uk: http://goo.gl/24yhro

Amazon.ca: http://goo.gl/Y2FWlh

Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/mIP8kB

 

clive-johnson

 

Author Biography:

Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights is Clive Johnson’s seventh book, and the second in the series that takes old and often familiar tales and retells them alongside modern-day versions. Taking this approach, Clive says that he aims to recapture some of the magic and important messages that can be found in traditional fairytales, stories from mythology, etc, while inspiring fresh wonder among adult readers.

His earlier books were aimed at business readers, and he’s also edited an anthology of interfaith wisdom. Recently, Clive has also started narrating and producing audible audiobooks for other authors, which is an activity that he says he particularly enjoys.

Clive spends most of his time in the UK, where he was born, although he has no fixed home. This allows him to follow his heart from place to place, often house and pet sitting for friends and others who are taking a break away. He also often takes in or hosts retreats and workshops on various themes. Many house sits introduce him to some wonderful furry friends, and provide the perfect opportunity for settling into some serious writing!

Having an autistic condition and with a strong interest in mysticism, Clive likes to approach his work with a keen curiosity. He says that he enjoys researching and imagining a story almost as much as he does writing it.

Clive is an avid reader, and an ordained interfaith minister.

 

Social Media Links:

Goodreads: http://goo.gl/VLfGVL

Clive’s Author Facebook page: http://goo.gl/hVrz3e

Clive’s blog (‘The autistic mystic’): http://goo.gl/ZcBNnD

Clive’s Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/AuthorClive

 

potl-reads-2

We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word! 

The Joy of the Unexpected: Guest Post by @LisabetSarai #romance #tropes #FridayReads


 gandv-guest-post

 

There’s an old story about a prisoner sentenced to thirty years in the federal penitentiary. On his first day behind bars, he sits down to lunch in the cafeteria with a dozen other prisoners. “52!” calls out a beefy, tattooed guy at the other end of the table. Everyone bursts out laughing. “176!” yells a skinny character with a receding hairline. The whole table convulses. When someone else pipes up “11!”, the man in the next seat bursts into a coughing fit, he’s laughing so hard.

 

The new prisoner is mystified. “What’s going on?” he asks his neighbor, when the guy has recovered from choking.

 

“Oh, they’re jokes,” the other man says. “We’ve heard them all so many times, we just give them numbers. Everyone knows what we mean.”

 

The newcomer eats for a while, trying to work up his courage. “23!” he calls out finally.  Stony silence meets his attempt at levity. A couple of the convicts glare at him.

 

“What’s wrong?” he whispers to the guy beside him.

 

His informant shakes his head. “You flubbed the punch line.”

 

~~~

 

Writing romance sometimes feels similar. Standard plots and tropes dominate the genre. Everyone knows them; they even have common labels. Secret baby. Marriage of convenience. Second chance love. Friends to lovers. Billionaire and virgin. Tell me the tropes and I can summarize the book, without having read a word. Recognizing these familiar patterns, readers know exactly what to expect.

 

I’ve come to realize over the years that many readers do not find this predictability to be a problem. Quite the contrary. They like knowing what is going to happen. Presumably, they derive pleasure from anticipating the course of the story.

 

This astonishes me. Personally, when I read, I crave originality. I want to be surprised and delighted by the author’s ingenuity. I want to experience the joy of the unexpected.

 

To be honest, I find a lot of the romance I read (mostly for reviews) boringly predictable. I dearly hope no one feels this way about my books!

 

Hence, I try to write romance that will keep my readers guessing. I will deliberately take standard tropes and distort them until they’re unrecognizable. Or I’ll try combining familiar themes or plot elements in unusual ways.

 

Sometimes I flub the punchline. Some of my attempts at originality have fallen flat with readers. On the other hand, sometimes I get it right.

 

My most recent novel, The Gazillionaire and the Virgin, deliberately upends the wildly popular trope of a seductive, experienced, filthy rich hero who seduces an innocent and relatively impoverished heroine. The book also smashes the stereotype of the supremely confident Dom who can read the mind of his “natural” submissive.  G&V breaks all the rules in the billionaire BDSM sub-genre. Possibly because of this disregard for convention, it’s far more realistic in its characterization and in its portrayal of D/s relationships than most such romances.

 

In G&V, the “gazillionaire” is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur. Rachel Zelinsky is brilliant, bossy, and obscenely wealthy. The “virgin” is a reclusive, socially awkward computer genius who has fantasies about kinky activities, but zero real world experience. Theo Moore’s past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Far from being part of her appeal, Rachel’s money is a liability as she tries to earn his trust.

 

In writing The Gazillionaire and the Virgin, I finally seem to have accomplished my objective. Almost every reviewer has mentioned how much they enjoyed the twists and turns in the plot, and the unanticipated personal and sexual dynamics in Rachel’s and Theo’s relationship. Since it’s a romance, readers can rely on a happy ending. But they won’t know what else to expect.

 

thegazillionaireandthevirgin_400

 

The Gazillionaire and the Virgin by Lisabet Sarai

Excessica Publishing, 2016

Contemporary BDSM erotic romance (Five flames)

Approximately 62,000 words, 240 pages in print

 

Excerpt (Theo):

She’s not what I expected. She’s soft and full, not lean and angular like most Californians. None of the gym-toned muscles everyone sports here in the land of sunshine. And she’s young, much younger than someone so filthy rich has any right to be. Her designer watch must have cost more than two months of my professor’s salary. On the other hand, I can hardly complain about her wealth, can I, since my pet project is the beneficiary of her largesse?

 

Hunkering down in the leather-upholstered back seat of her disgustingly opulent vehicle, I try to calm myself. I’m sweating like a pig, and my muscles are in knots. I gulp down orange juice from the bar I’d ridiculed and focus on my breathing the way Dr. Hopkins has taught me. I force myself not to count the telephone poles whizzing by. I know that will only make it worse.

 

When I pat my pocket, I can’t help grinning a bit. Two hundred fifty thousand! We can equip a new mobile development lab and hire two trainers for a year. Or take our outreach into junior high schools. Or even expand to some of the Rust Belt cities where the recession has hit particularly hard…

 

No, this wouldn’t be enough for that. But Dr. Zelinsky—Rachel—had indicated there might be more.

 

Rachel. Bringing up the search engine on my phone, I type in her name. I should have done this before the meeting, of course, but I was much too nervous. Up until the moment her limousine pulled up in front of my building, I still thought I might back out.

 

The screen fills with images and links. There’s even a Wikipedia article. I flip through the text, digesting the basics. Born in Brooklyn. An MBA from Harvard and a PhD—in physics!—from MIT. Looking Glass is her third company. She sold the first to IBM and the second to Microsoft.

 

A real high roller. And MirrorWorld is a huge hit—the main article on the virtual environment runs pages and pages. Since the Looking Glass IPO almost two years ago, the company stock has increased in value by an unbelievable 224%.

 

She can afford a quarter of a million for charity. For her, that’s petty change.

 

By the time we arrive back at my complex, I’m pretty much back to normal. At least what counts as normal for me. I nod at the uniformed driver who opens the door for me, trying to pretend I do this every day. The Vietnamese gardener is spreading new mulch on the flower beds in front of my building. Averting my eyes and ignoring his greeting—after all, I can barely understand his English— I hustle up the wooden steps to my second floor condo.

 

It’s quiet and cool inside. The soft hiss of the air conditioning soothes me. I flip on the stereo, something by Brahms, turn the volume down low, then stretch out on my bed, fully clothed.

 

I made it.

 

The money is mine, free and clear. I’ll ask my sister to deposit it tomorrow. I don’t need to see Rachel Zelinsky again.

 

I can’t stop thinking about her, though. I recall one of the pictures from the web article, a black and white photo of a skinny teenager with a mop of curls, standing in front of some science fair project. She didnt have those curves yet. No, but I recognize the expression, that determined set of her mouth and those laser-sharp eyes under the dark eyebrows. She was going to win—there was no question.

 

Giveaway:

Enter to win a free e-copy of this intriguing book. Just leave a note in the comments and Lisabet will choose a random winner.

 

Buy Links (Ebook and Print)

Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B76B95K/

 

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01B76B95K/

 

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gazillionaire-and-the-virgin-lisbet-sarai/1123327821?ean=2940157884932

 

All Romance

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thegazillionaireandthevirgin-1974313-354.html

 

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-gazillionaire-and-the-virgin

 

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/611337

 

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gazillionaire-virgin/id1079442844?mt=11

 

Google Books

https://books.google.com/books?id=qCF4CwAAQBAJ

 

Excessica

http://www.excessica.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=1011

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28766414-the-gazillionaire-and-the-virgin

 

 lisabetface

About Lisabet

LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/S short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.

 

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news, reviews books, and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

 

The Challenges of Being a #Bipolar Author by @BekaLombardo #amwriting #books


I’ve spent many, many years dealing with bipolar disorder.  However, I’ve only spent a year as a bipolar author.  All authors face challenges.  Struggling to be published, meeting deadlines, promoting. I am now of the opinion that those of us dealing with bipolar disorder have a different battle to fight.  On the heels of receiving my very first rude and threatening email about my book, I am facing an even greater challenge.  I have to fight to even continue to put myself out there for this type of scrutiny.  I’m constantly trying to tell myself that if I were to give up, the bullies would win.  I can’t do that.

 

 

Take a book signing for example.  I had one last year and going into it, I was terrified.  I’ve never been good at public speaking to begin with.  When you factor in my anxiety issues, I wasn’t sure I would even get through it.  Thankfully, my husband was next to me the entire time.  I think I pulled it off, but I’m not sure how I would have done had there been more people in attendance.

 

 

We all face issues with confidence.  I’m not so naïve that I don’t understand that.  I feel like authors or writers that are not dealing with mental illness may have a leg up in some areas.  In my situation, I am at a stage where I am rarely leaving my house or even my bedroom. I don’t think someone like James Patterson has to contend with such obstacles.

 

 

In my book, I documented my enormous issues with body image and self-esteem. I’ve always been negative about my appearance. Over the years dealing with my depression, I’ve gained more weight than I ever would have imagined. Dealing with bipolar disorder, weight gain, and the possibility of appearing in photos or on television is incredibly daunting. I did one television interview early on, and I can’t even look at the video at this point. It sends me into a deep depression for days.  Even now that I’m on the right path with my health, and I’m down 27 pounds, I still beat myself up for appearing in front of the camera the way I look.

 

 

For those of us that happen to feel things much deeper than most people, negative reviews are like a sharp knife to your heart. It’s been an arduous task trying to convince myself that just because not everyone likes it, doesn’t mean I’m a failure…or as one person called me, a selfish narcissist. I never in my wildest dreams thought that putting my story out there in an effort to raise awareness about suicide would be met with such comments. I’m simply trying to help people!

 

 

Granted, I’m no Mother Teresa, but I didn’t join this fight to make myself look good. Quite the contrary.  I wanted to use this platform to tell a cautionary tale, so to speak. To let others know that I made many mistakes along the way, but I am certainly much stronger for learning from those mistakes.  Most of all, people need to understand that having a bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life.

 

 

So, I’ll take comfort in the fact that there are those that support me.  The mental health community is amazing. I love feeling a sense of camaraderie. As if we’re all here, fighting the same battle and hopefully making a difference.  I’ve met some of the most amazing people in the last year.  As much as I struggle with social anxiety and agoraphobia, it’s such a comfort to know that despite those issues, I may still be able to affect change in the world around me.

 

 

Of course, there are days when it’s extremely difficult to keep focused on the positive.  It’s hard to keep focus at all.  That is one of the main reasons I’ve been rather terrified to sign on to any particular website to write a monthly column.  When I’m depressed, all concentration goes out the window.  It feels as if there’s a movie playing inside my brain on fast forward and I have no idea where the remote is.  When writer’s block sets in, I can’t slow my brain down to come up with a sentence, let alone an entire article.  I’m constantly afraid of letting people down or even letting myself down. The idea of being a failure still rests comfortably on my shoulder.  Ever present and always reminding me of the mistakes I’ve made.  I often make an effort to reach out and help others with whatever they’re working on.  At times, it helps to put my situation into perspective.  The next thing I know, I’m writing again.

 

 

I never know when an idea will hit me.  Last night, it was around 1:30 in the morning.  It’s both a curse and a blessing.  While I’m grateful for the opportunity to put pen to paper, I’m sometimes a slave to my expanded consciousness.

 

 

I realize that I have traditionally been way too hard on myself.  I need to give myself credit once in a while.  If I see someone on TV that is an extremely talented artist, musician, or even a writer, that little voice inside my head is very vocal. I’m forever thinking, “I wish I was that good at anything!” I’ve beat myself up for so many years, I’m not sure I would know how to be kind.

 

 

I lack confidence on so many levels.  Poor self-esteem is a symptom of depression, but when will I learn to cut myself some slack? I wrote a book and I got it published, and it’s helping people! I have an extremely successful blog and I feel as if I’ve earned the respect of many others in the mental health community, at least on social media!  So, when do I stop and give myself a little pat on the back? I carry burdens that many people wouldn’t be able to shoulder for very long.  I fight a battle inside my head (and my heart) from the minute I get up in the morning.

 

 

Perhaps now is the time to remember that despite the challenges of being an author and having bipolar disorder, it can be managed.  I just have to be willing to use a little common sense.  I’ve gotten this far.  I think I’ve probably thrown in the towel once a week for nearly a year, and I’m still going.  I didn’t die when it was all I could think about 3 years ago.  I’m a fighter.  I may not always be able to keep that in mind for myself, but I hope I can impart that wisdom onto others that are lacking in the confidence department.  Sometimes it’s OK to just exist.  If you’re facing a challenge due to your mental illness, let it be your moment to shine!  No matter how scary it is, you have to face it head on.  If you can’t be realistic about your situation on Tuesday, give yourself some time.  Maybe on Friday you can knock it out of the park.

 

It's Not Your Journey 

 

Title:  It’s Not Your Journey

Author:  Rebecca Lombardo

Genre:  Memoir, Mental Illness

 

Book Blurb:

In her first published work, Rebecca Lombardo collects her internationally followed blog into the pages of It’s Not Your Journey. This memoir candidly details Rebecca’s two yearlong chronicle of her struggles with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, self-injury, and recovery from a suicide attempt. Rebecca shares her real and raw feelings on these subjects, as well as addressing other issues that have contributed to her downward spiral and eventual climb out of her own pit of despair. Issues such as the loss of her mother to lung cancer, the death of her brother, abandonment from friends and family members due to her hospitalization, and more. This book is about my personal journey with mental illness. I am not a professional, rather an advocate that hopes her story can help those going through similar struggles.

 

Excerpt:

PTSD

DECEMBER 26, 2013

 

PTSD is just one of the many symptoms that I deal

with on a daily basis. No, I haven’t been in combat or

seen anyone murdered per se, but that doesn’t make

the condition I have any easier to tolerate. Imagine

that I am standing in the kitchen with my husband for

twenty minutes. I can’t see him, so when he taps me

on the shoulder, I jump a hundred feet.

 

 

All night long I hear noises that sound like someone

screaming or pounding on our front door. Sometimes

when I am driving, I feel like the other cars are

coming directly at me. So, you may wonder what a

person does to cope with this type of anxiety.

I wish I could say that I have an excellent therapist

that talks me through all of it. I do not. However, I do

have Joe, and he is the next best thing.

 

 

The truth is that PTSD is a mental health condition

that affects millions of people around the world and

from all walks of life. Some may develop the condition

due to the memory of a natural disaster, or a

devastating event that rocks their community, for

example a mass shooting. Others become chained by

PTSD through personal traumatic events, the stress

just eats them alive and can impact their everyday life.

 

 

About fifteen years ago, cutting was the only calming

influence in my life. I was a pro. I had a box filled with

about twenty different sharp objects. I even had

certain songs that I played. I know from experience,

there are many people that don’t understand it. It

helps if you think of it as a drug addiction. It calms

you instantly. Then suddenly, just as fast as it takes

the pain away, it gives it back to you three fold. Now

not only do you hurt inside but you hurt on the

outside too.

 

 

Therein lies the vicious cycle of cutting.

Many of us do it to say, “Hello?!?! I am in pain here!”

That is why I did it, and sometimes still do, as sad as

that might be. The irony of a person like me is that I

then cover it up because I don’t want to look like a

freak. So where does it end? It doesn’t. Unless you

make a decision that it has to. One of these days, the

guilt is going to take over. You are going to start

cutting and never stop.

 

 

I am proud to say that I am self-injury free since that

horrible week in June 2013, and this time I plan on

staying that way. I can’t list off any particular coping

mechanism that helps me in any way. I will tell you

this, picture yourself locked away from the outside

world and everything that you love. That will get you

thinking just a bit clearer, believe me. I know I never

want to end up there again. It’s sad that something

like this could still be an issue, but you have to

remember that everyone has a burden that they carry

with them. You may not be able to see it, but know it

is there and try to find it within you to be kind.

 

 

Buy Links: 

Amazon https://www.amzn.com/0692509739

 

 

Rebecca Lombardo

 

Author Biography:

I’m 43 years old and have been very happily married for 15 years. I live in Michigan with my fantastic husband, Joe. We don’t have children, but we have 5 cats that we rescued. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 19, and I’ve been battling it every day since. I write to give my feelings a voice and to help others that are struggling. That is why I started a blog in 2013 after I survived a suicide attempt. I’m extremely grateful to everyone that helped me realize my dream of becoming a published author. Huffington Post blogger and podcast host.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook www.facebook.com/notyourjourney

Twitter www.twitter.com/bekalombardo

Website www.rebeccalombardo.com

Blog www.judgmentfreezone2013.blogspot.com

Instagram www.instagram.com/bekalombardo

Instagram www.instagram.com/notyourjourney

 

 

 

 

I’ve Been Runed: A Guest Post by Best-Selling Author @RuthACasie #Runes #Romance #MFRWAuthor


Rune Picture 1

 

I’ve Been Runed! A Guest Post by Ruth A. Casie

The first writing systems used by the Germanic people were runic alphabets. Like Egyptian hieroglyphics, runes were more letters each was an ideographic or pictographic symbol. To the Ancients, they were associated with the principles of power and write a rune was to invoke the force for which it stood.  The word rune means ‘letter,’ ‘secret’ or ‘mystery.’ Its original meaning may have been ‘hushed message.’

Runes, tied to the principles of power, had magical significance and were used to create spells and foretell the future.

In folklore, the runes were given to mankind by the Odin, the Norse God of mythology. He died and passed on to the afterlife where he gained wisdom and passed his new wisdom to his people in the form of Runes.

Runes date back to the first century  c.e. until well into the Middle Ages. The Roman alphabet became the preferred script in most of Europe.

 

Runes picture 2

 

We’ve learned that the runic alphabet is out outgrowth of two distinct sources—one magical and the other literate. Many Bronze Age rock carvings, primarily in Sweden, have pre-runic symbols.  Some of these symbols are alphabetic letters, while others represent ideas and concepts, sigils. These concepts were incorporated into the names of runes (sun, horse, etc.) and, unfortunately the meaning of these sigils and their purpose are lost to us. They were, however, believed to have been used for divination or lot casting. It’s believed that sigils contributed to the magical aspects of the later runic alphabets.

The name “futhark”, like the word “alphabet”, is derived from the first few letters in the runic sequence. The futhark originally consisted of 24 letters, beginning with F and ending with O, and was used by the northern Germanic tribes of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Northern Germany.  This is knows as the Elder, or Germanic Futhark forms of the runic alphabet.

Runes were used well into the 17th Century and were known by the common people who used them for simple runic spells. They also consulted them (like Tarot cards). Runes and the magical arts were banned in 1639 as part of the Church’s efforts to “drive the devil out of with Europe”.  The rune masters were either executed or went underground, and the knowledge of the runes appears to have died with them.  Some had the knowledge passed on in secret, but it is almost impossible to separate ancient traditions from more modern esoteric philosophies in such cases.

In my novel, Knight of Rapture, magical runes play a large part in the story. Rebeka must decode the runes and the ancient prophecy it hides to save all she loves.

For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is the easiest part of his quest.

Bran, the dark druid, follows Arik across the centuries, tireless in his quest for revenge. He’ll force Arik to make a choice, return to save his beloved family and home or stay in the 21st century and save Rebeka and hope she regains her memory. He can’t save them both.

Rebeka Tyler has no recollection of where she’s been the past five months. On top of that, ownership of her home, Fayne Manor, is called into question. When accidents begin to happen it looks more and more like she is the target. Further complicating things is the strange man who conveniently appears wherever trouble brews—watching her, perhaps even….protecting her? Or is he a deliberate attempt to distract her? Rebeka can only be sure of one thing—her family name and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall… in any century.

 

Knight of Rapture Final Cover RACasie

 

Knight of Rapture is part of the Druid Knight Series and is available at Amazon, B&N, KOBO and iBooks. For more information please visit my website at http://www.RuthACasie.com

How Author @LiviaQuinn Met Her Hero from Undone #romance #guestpost #IARTG


How I Met My Hero, Cass, from Undone…

He appeared out of the blue as I drove down the winding two lane boarded by two hundred-year-old Live Oaks. The abandoned white concrete building sat directly ahead of me. As I approached and turned my blinker on, he became oh, so clear. Cass McKay. An Aussie hunk, his straw hat tipped over his forehead, but not so much that I couldn’t see the brilliant blue flame of his eyes. Arms crossed over his chest, the evening sun skimmed the golden fur of his arms, and his legs below his khakis. He leaned against the wall, waiting, waiting… for me? No, because he wasn’t at the old country store in front of me. In my mind, he was resting on the wall of his beloved’s New Orleans design and antiquities store.

 

He probably thought he was pulling off the casual bit, but I knew better. I knew his heart. It had been a year since he’d lost Elektra and the set of his jaw told me he was determined to win her back. If the loss of her valuable gem had been the reason for their broken engagement, then he had the perfect bait. The Blood Opal was once more within his reach. All he needed was someone to nudge her back into his arms. Me.

 

I’d been running the mail all morning listening to Jesse Cook’s Breathing Below Surface and Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make you Love me if You Don’t and suddenly, there he was. In a little over two weeks their story was complete. Cass will forever be one of my favorite heroes. Who doesn’t love seeing a strong, handsome, independent alpha male brought to his knees by one special woman?

 

Cass may have looked all cocky and alpha propped against Elektra’s shop, but he was risking everything. Before meeting Elektra his plan had been to stay out of the “grasping clutches” of any woman, no matter how beautiful, how accommodating or how intriguing they might be. Elektra was beautiful, and intriguing didn’t even begin to describe her appeal – the word challenge did. Cass had always been up for a good challenge. After all, once the challenge was completed, the race won, the appeal was over, right? Wrong. This was the woman he’d risk his life for, no regrets. He’s 200% in for her love, because without her, he’s Undone.

 

Undone

 

Title: Undone

Author: Livia Quinn

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Book Blurb:

One year ago, Antiquities dealer Elektra Charpentier lost the rarest opal she’d ever almost owned, and the only man she’d ever loved. Now he’s back.

 

 

Aussie gem hunter Cass McKay spent the last year searching for Elektra’s Blood Opal and a way back into her life and her heart. Now he has it. And he doesn’t intend to lose her again, because without her, he’s — U n d o n e.

 

Excerpt:

Brazil…

One a.m. found the bar deserted as Cass threw back a shot of Cachaca, the strong native rum, and quickly poured another. They were as prepared as they could be with eight college-age men, two older men, a part time cop, three women, Monty and him.

His emotions were running the gamut from anticipation to worry, hope to despair. In the days since he’d returned and the opal was within reach, Elektra had become companionable, even flirtatious, but he realized now her heart was only engaged during their lovemaking. She seemed determined to keep him at a distance.

He downed the rum but as Elektra approached he set the shot glass down gently, deliberately on the table.

She was dressed in a flowered calf length skirt and a gypsy peasant blouse she must have borrowed from Elena. Pretty, so pretty. He was torn. When he’d returned originally, he’d been sure that all he’d have to do was get the opal, and she’d be so grateful she’d throw herself into his arms. But gratitude was underrated, and she was already in his arms, using him for great sex while she awaited delivery of the opal. Cass couldn’t settle for gratitude.

“Hoist with my own petard,” he thought. An ache settled in his chest as he admitted the truth, finally. He kept waiting for her to take what he offered, to meet him halfway, commit to a relationship. But it was no use— all she wanted was the opal.

He picked up the bottle.

“Pour me one will you?” Elektra said as she sat in the chair next to him and extended her glass.

Pouring them both one, he waited while she tossed the strong liquor back, squeezed her eyes closed for a second and extended her glass. “More.” His eyebrows inched up. She appeared to be on a mission and needed a couple stiff ones to accomplish it.

“Better go easy, if you want to tag along tomorrow.” He squinted at her, wondering what she was up to.

“I can handle it if you can,” she said, the plump swells of her breasts delineated by the gathered bodice. Sex, that’s all she wanted. His anger flared and he snapped. He’d teach her a lesson, show her he wasn’t her plaything.

He grabbed her wrist and yanked her after him. “Hey.” She half-heartedly resisted as he strode down the hallway. “I had something I wanted to talk to you about.”

Yanking the door open to their room, he threw her on the bed. “Don’t play games with me, I’m not in the mood.”

“I can see that, so why bring me here? You were on your way to a good drunk.”

“And what are you afraid of—that I’ll be too hung over to get your damned opal? That’s all you care about anyway. You’re driving me stark ravin’ bonkers.”

“Well, you’re the one who insisted on finding the frickin’ thing again, so why don’t you just forget it? Who’s pushing you? Let Vargas keep it.” Her voice hitched.

Right, Cass thought. She didn’t want him to do that. What was this, reverse psychology? He growled, capturing her wrists in one hand. His mouth came down in a hard possessive kiss.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon 

ARe

Nook

CreateSpace 

Goodreads

iBooks

Inkterra

Kobo 

Page Foundry

24 Symbols

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

Author Biography:

I’m Livia Quinn, a DC native and transplant to Louisiana where the people and environment inspired my Storm Lake series. On Storm Lake West you’ll find the Destiny Paramortals, a cozy paranormal series with a cast of quirky characters. And on the East end, contemporary military romance and romantic suspense – ex-military guys and sexy cover models who are committed to their community.

 

Sign up for my newsletter to be included in giveaways new release alerts at http://liviaquinn.com or click here.

 

Social Media:

Amazon Central

Email liviaquinnwrites@gmail.com

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter    @LiviaQuinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Independent Author Network http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/livia-quinn.html

 

It Pays to be a Wise-Ass: Guest Post by Jeff Lee #books @jfredlee #amwriting


 

It pays to be a wise-ass.

 

A little while ago, I was being interviewed for an article to run on a news blog serving the Northern California suburb where I grew up. The article was about local kids who’d gone on to do something with their lives, and the interviewer wanted to know what was it that separated me from most other writers.

 

“Two things,” I answered. “One, I’ve been writing professionally for more than forty years. And B, I’m an inveterate wise-ass.”

 

In my case, the two overlapped beautifully.

 

A couple of years ago, I retired from a career in advertising. And just so you know, it was light years away from Bewitched. Spent four decades writing ads, commercials, billboards, brochures and what-have-you. For everything from cars and motorcycles to Mexican Restaurant chains, airlines, toys, and heavy equipment manufactures. Even helped a successful, socially challenged Seattle businessman advertise for his future Mrs. wealthy recluse.

 

All of which was done under insane deadlines and then pitched to clients who couldn’t wrap their brains around why they needed to spend money advertising in the first place. Let alone laying out good funds to run stuff that was patently silly.

 

Like an ad for an imported line of ATV’s, showing a rider at night in driving rain, on his little 4-wheel, slogging through a seriously mud choked field, beneath a bold-type headline that read, “Take it where the sun don’t shine.”

 

Or an ad for a company that makes those little mini bulldozers you see on construction sites. The ad had to talk about how tough, rugged, economical and dependable these mini-dozers were. And it had to speak to cement and concrete contractors, since it was running in their industry’s trade magazines. Best of all, it was due yesterday. What the hell do you do? You grab some photos showing one of these little machines zipping around with tons of wet cement in its bucket. Under which, the headline says, “Enough to make any concrete guy good and hard.”

 

Or an in-store banner for a line of imported dirt bikes, whose manufacturer supported this segment of the motorcycle market with a little free factory-sponsored tech support for amateurs racing their particular bikes in the dirt. No visual this time. Just a huge banner hung in dealerships around the country. Picture an all black background, with huge, dayglo green letters, proclaiming, “You gotta be nuts to moto without a good supporter.”

 

The whole thing taught me how to work under the pressure of a deadline.

 

And how to be funny as hell, on command.

 

And most importantly, how to be fearless as a writer.

 

If you can put words on paper in a way that tells a story about characters the reader can come to know and care about, you’ve got a brain.

 

If you can do that AND make your reader laugh out loud from time to time, you’ve got a sense of humor.

 

And if you can accomplish all of that without worrying about what your great Aunt Sylvia’s going to say; or what your BFFs think about it; or the reviewer for the local paper (who hasn’t liked anything printed since Gutenberg), then kiddo, you’ve got a spine.

 

Ultimately, there’s only one person on the planet your writing has to please.

 

And you look them square in the eye every morning while you’re flossing.

 

Take a look at the sample included here, and see what I mean.

 

Trust me, I’m really pleased with this hunk of writing.

 

ATT_1436563587019_IMG_skr7yn

 

Title: Chump Change

Author: Jeff Lee

Genre:   Humor, Comedy, Crime, Murder, Mystery

 

Book Blurb:

You think being the Bounty Hunter and Repo Guy to the Stars is easy? Just talk to “Fish” Fishbein. If he isn’t trying to round up a heavily lubricated ex-rocker, he’s flying down the freeway in a repoed Wiener Mobile, chased by the pistol-packing deadbeat who owns it.

A bail bondsman hires him to track down a crew of unwise guys who blew off their court date to snatch L.A.’s monthly parking meter take — 300 grand in quarters. Then they start dropping like flies. And Fish has to catch the killer.

Maybe it’s the city’s armed and dangerous Parking Meter Czar. Or his brother-in-law, a corrupt televangelist who needs some serious coin to bankroll his foray into Bible-based porn. Or the Rev’s wife and co-minister, who’s several clicks beyond crazy about toddler beauty pageants. Or, it just might be the defrocked talent agent who’s dying to make Fish a reality TV star.

With more than seven tons of quarters at stake, bodies are dropping faster than turn-downs on America’s Got Talent. And if Fish and his hog-riding buds, Kenny and Einstein, don’t nab the killer in a hurry, they could get eliminated themselves.

   Chump Change is author Jeff Lee’s third book in his Adventures in La-La Land series, following The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour and Hair of the Dog. If you enjoy the whacko characters, situations and fast pace that Janet Evanovich, Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard bring to the party, check out all of Fish Fishbein’s big adventures.

 

WARNING: Contains some of the most hysterical explicit sex scenes ever written. 

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

This is a scene from my most recent book, Chump Change, a fast-paced, hysterical mystery that pokes a ton of satirical fun at the L.A. life, crime, murder, sex, porn and the entertainment industry. “Fish” Fishbein, the book’s main character, has just repoed a restored old Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile, and is being chased by the pistol-packing deadbeat who owns it.

 

“Fish checked the outside mirror on his side of the Weiner Mobile and everything looked pretty normal.

 

The San Diego Freeway was its usual congested mess for this, or any other time of day.

Except for one ancient, thrashed looking beater, a disco-era Caddy, headed in the same direction as the Weiner Mobile.

 

And in one a hell of a hurry.

 

It was only about a hundred yards behind him and closing fast.

 

Passing slowly under the Sunset Boulevard overpass, he watched the back window on the old Caddy’s passenger side roll down.

 

Now the top half of a really husky looking guy in a satin N.Y. Giants fashion statement was fighting to lean out of the opening.

 

Fish kept his eye on the old car as the rear seat passenger reached back in and brought out a pistol big enough to snuff a grizzly.

 

Or at least make it reconsider a life choice or two.

 

Then he saw the guy’s gun hand jerk skyward and almost instantly, a pair of huge ventilation holes opened up in the rear and front of the Weiner Mobile.

 

“Gun!” Fish shouted. “Everybody on the floor! This crazy son of a bitch is shooting at us!”

 

He yanked his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed 911.

 

“L.A. County 911. What’s the nature of your emergency?”

 

“The nature of my emergency?”

 

Most times, Fish had a problem trying to keep his inner wise-ass from coming out to play.

 

Like now.

 

“Yeah, I’m trying to win on Wheel of Fortune, only Vanna won’t sell me any freakin’ vowels.”

 

Like most federal, state and county employees, Fish’s 911 operator was required by law to check her sense of humor at the door when she clocked in for her shift that morning.

 

“Sir, are you aware of the penalty for making a false 911 call in California?”

 

“Look, my name’s Morris Fishbein. I’m a repo guy and I’m headed North on the San Diego Freeway, about half a mile past Sunset,” he blurted into the phone.

 

“I’m in a vehicle I just repossessed. The deadbeat owner and some of his friends are right behind me. And one of them just took a freakin’ shot at us!”

 

“Can you describe your vehicle?”

 

“Yeah, it’s a restored old Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile with personalized plates that read MEAT MAN. The whole thing’s painted tan and yellow and it looks like a giant hot dog.”

 

“Tan and yellow, sir?”

 

“Just picture a thirty-foot-long penis on rye.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1KEN8U3

 

Jeff Lee

 

Author Biography:

Born near New York City and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jeff Lee has spent his entire writing career in Los Angeles. For more than 35 years, he has been a copywriter, producer and creative director for some of the advertising industry’s most recognizable agencies, winning numerous awards for his creativity and wise-ass sense of humor. Typical for his industry, none of those ad agencies are still in business, but Jeff appears to have pretty solid alibis for the deaths of each one.

Retired from advertising, Jeff now spends his time on his own writing, having produced four novels – The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour, Hair of the Dog, Chump Change and Bird Boy. Each of these books debuted to rave reviews, garnering all 4 and 5-star reviews.

Trained as a cook in the Army, he still enjoys being creative in the kitchen, and admits that few things in life compare with the thrill of discovering you’ve just given a nasty case of food poisoning to 140 heavily-armed troops.

 

Social Media Links:

FB Author Page: on.fb.me/1QPczqQ

Website: bit.ly/1uHEmSo

Twitter: @jfredlee

Goodreads: bit.ly/1MCCM8p