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!

 

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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

 

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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

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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/

 

 

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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


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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. 

 

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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 

 

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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


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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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


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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

When My Dad Came Home From Korea by @paulinebjones #FridayReads #scifirom #guestpost


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When my dad came home from the war in Korea, my mom says words spilled out of him, stories she—a young wife of barely 20—had a hard time processing. She says she listened to him talk for days and then it was over. When I was young, my dad never talked about the horrors of war to us.

 

A natural storyteller, he made it sound like they spent the time playing jokes on each other and exploring the countryside and just every now and again getting shot at.

 

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While helping my dad to prepare to participate in the dedication of a Korean War Memorial in his hometown, my brother found this in his papers:

 

“Distinguished Unit Citation…

 

As authorized by Executive Order 9396, the following units are cited… in the name of the President of the United States as public evidence of deserved honor and distinction. The citation reads as follows:

 

“The Second Infantry Division and the following attached units ******* 300th ARMORED FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (less Battery “B”) ******* are cited for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against the armed enemy in the vicinity of Hongchon, Korea, during the period of 16 to 22 May 1951.

 

Defending the critical sector of the Eighth Army battle front, the Second Division and attached units faced a hostile force of 12 Chinese Communist divisions with an estimated strength of 120,000 troops. The Third Chinese Army Group drove the full force of its savage assault against the Second Division with the specific mission of annihilation of the units.

 

The right flank of the Unit was completely exposed when enemy pressure broke through adjacent United Nations elements. Pressure increased and each night enemy forces bypassed staunch defenders and occupied positions to their rear. Tactical units of the Second Division launched fierce counterattacks which destroyed enemy penetrations, successfully extricating themselves, and through readjustment of positions, stopped the onslaught of the Chinese Communist forces.

 

Executing planned withdrawals and extending their flank eastward over extremely rugged, mountainous terrain, the Second Division and attached units provided critically required time for other Eighth Army units to regroup and block the attempted enemy envelopment.

 

Without thought of defeat, this heroic Unit demonstrated superb battlefield courage, knowledge, and discipline and esprit de corps in accomplishing this extremely difficult and hazardous mission as to set it apart and above other units participating in similar operations.

 

Its sustained brilliance in battle, resolution, and extraordinary heroism reflect unsurpassed credit on those courageous soldiers who participated and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Army, the United Nations Forces, and their own homelands.”

 

History records this about the 300th:

 

“In all, the 300th fired 514,036 105mm howitzer rounds in 805 days of combat. The soldiers of the 300th earned 12 Silver Stars, 63 Bronze Stars, and numerous other medals. In addition to two Presidential Unit Citations, the battalion also earned a Meritorious Unit Citation and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations. Eight soldiers from the 300th were killed-in-action and another 175 wounded.”

 

thumbnail_PBJ-KoreanWarMemorial

 

And yes, I cry each time I read it.

 

Back then, people knew about PTSD, though they I believe they called it shell shock. My dad was one of the lucky ones. He was able to get it all out and move forward with his life—though looking back I suspect he hid more than we realized.

 

thumbnail_PBJ-Dad-Local-Memorial

 

He passed away last year and his buddies from his unit showed up to honor him one last time—just as he had for the buddies that went before.

 

For my dad—for all who have been in harm’s way, for those who came home and for those who didn’t—Veronica Scott and I wanted to find a charity that was about pets and veterans.

 

This is why we are honored to donate 10% of all preorders and the first month’s sales to Hero Dogs (hero-dogs.org). We hope you’ll join us in supporting a wonderful organization. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence. And while you’re supporting Hero-Dogs.org, you’ll get to read some amazing stories.

 

Pets in Space 2

 

Title Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2

Author Pauline Baird Jones + 11 other bestselling/award-winning authors

Genre Science Fiction Romance

Publisher Cats, Dogs and Other Worldly Creatures

 

Book Blurb

The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!

 

10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

 

Twelve Original Never Released Stories in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2

 

PEARL’S DRAGON

 

A Novella in the Dragon Lords of Valdier Series

 

By S.E. Smith (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling Author)

 

Asim Kemark has lived a long, lonely life. It is only his pledge to his former king and to Mandra Reykill that keeps him, his dragon, and his symbiot from going crazy. He has given up on ever finding his true mate and devotes himself to caring for the wide assortment of creatures on Mandra and Ariel’s mountain retreat. The last thing he expects when he visits the palace is to lose control of his dragon and his symbiot when they sense their true mate. Before he knows it, he has kidnapped her!

 

Pearl St. Claire is enjoying a new adventure – learning to live on an alien planet. As a mature woman in her sixties, she thought she had experienced just about everything life could throw at her – only to discover she really hasn’t experienced anything yet! She is both amused and exasperated when one of the dragon-shifting aliens kidnaps her, believing she is his true mate.

 

Life is no longer boring or lonely as Asim courts the spirited human woman who has enchanted him, but he isn’t the only one who has noticed Pearl or the unusual animals under his care. When poachers attack, determined to steal the exotic creatures under his protection – including Pearl and a new clutch of alien eggs from Earth – he will do everything he can to protect them. Can one dragon keep the most precious creatures under his care safe, or will he lose the biggest battle of his life?

 

A GRIM PET

 

A Novella in the Tornian Series

 

By M.K. Eidem (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)

 

The Great Raptor is a fearsome and deadly creature; and while the raptor is no one’s pet, he is fiercely protective and loving of his family…

 

Carly and Miki have never forgotten the story that Grim told them of the Great Raptor, the symbol of their new home world Luda. Yet, it is the comparison their mother once told them of the Great Raptor to Grim that gives them the courage to help the injured bird they find in the garden.

 

Find out what happens when their single act of love, faith, and kindness creates far-reaching consequences that no one, including their mother and Grim, could ever have predicted.

 

The Prince, the Pilot, and the Puppy

 

A Novella in The Star Series

 

By Susan Grant (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling, and RITA Award Winning Author)

 

Trysh joined the Space Forces with the secret hope that her absentee father might notice her accomplishments and acknowledge her. At the top of her game as a starfighter pilot, the last thing she needs is a way too charming prince to get in her way. Trysh had learned at a young age what happened when a person lost their heart to someone above their social class – it led to heartache.

 

Prince Rornn feels fortunate he can pursue his passion both in the air and on the ground. He decides being third in line for the throne definitely has its advantages – it allowed him to join the Space Forces as a top-gun starfighter pilot. What he doesn’t expect is to find a woman there who not only competes with him – she completes him!

 

Everything Rornn tries appears to push Trysh further away – that is until they rescue a tiny, starving yipwag pup on the surface of an alien world. It turns out that “Puppy” is as good at sniffing out terrorists as she is at helping her two clueless humans figure out that they need each other as much as they do her.

 

Can Rornn convince Trysh that he is nothing like her father and that she is just the right woman for him before the terrorists discover their furry little companion?

 

Wired for Love

 

By Michelle Howard

 

Hunter Gils has put his past in the military behind him. Now his focus is on his bar and the less than savory clientele. Life is perfect – except for a gray-eyed beauty who refuses his advances.

 

Narelle Bindu wasn’t immune to the tall, dark stranger working at The Zone. He wanted her – and she wanted him. The only drawback was she didn’t have room in her life for a man, not even one as tempting as Hunter.

 

When a deadly attack creates the perfect opening for an old enemy, the two lovers must work together to survive. What they never expect is to find an ally willing to help them – even if that help has four legs. Can their four-legged friend keep Hunter and Narelle alive long enough to find out that one night would never be enough?

 

Rescued by the Cyborg

 

A Novella in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance Series

 

By Cara Bristol (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)

 

A cyborg’s haunted past and a Faria’s clouded future entwine…

 

Hostage and sole survivor Solia waits for death at the hands of vicious predatory aliens when Cy-Ops agent Guy Roarke disobeys orders and charges in. A former medic, he initiates emergency medical procedures before rushing her to Cybermed.

 

Guy is taken with Solia, but the guilt of a past mistake won’t allow him to plan for a future with the delicate, brave beauty. Life is so uncertain, he can’t even keep Mittzi, the kitten his niece gave him. What he can do is see to it Solia gets the help she needs for a full recovery. But when best intentions place her in greater danger, it’s up to a little kitten to make everything all right again.

 

Star Cruise: Songbird

 

A Novella in The Sectors SF Romance Series

 

By Veronica Scott

 

Grant Barton, a Security Officer on the Nebula Zephyr, is less than thrilled with his current assignment to guard an Interstellar singing sensation while she’s on board the ship. It doesn’t help that he is also dealing with a recent inheritance – of the feathered kind! The alien bird that his great-grandfather so kindly left him was now sharing his quarters and making his life miserable. It wasn’t helping that his assignment wasn’t making his job any easier either – at least until he had to save her life.

 

Karissa is on her way up the charts and seemingly has it all – talent, fame, fortune and devoted fans, but behind her brave smile and upbeat lyrics she hides an aching heart. When a publicity stunt goes wrong, Karissa finds herself in the arms of the security officer assigned to protect her – and discovers a mutual attraction she can’t ignore.

 

Trouble continues to plague the pair, driving a wedge between them and leaving Grant certain that Karissa is in more danger than she realizes. When a deranged fan issues a death threat, Grant is determined to protect Karissa whether she wants his help or not. Can he discover the truth behind what is going on before he loses Karissa, or is there someone else plotting to keep them apart – permanently?

 

Time Trap

 

A Novella in the Project Enterprise Series

 

By Pauline Baird Jones

 

Hiding in time is not as easy as you’d think…

 

Madison lives by the rules of a time travel rebel – never tell anyone your real name, not if you want to remain alive. On the track of a traitor, Madison and her parrot partner, Sir Rupert, time travel into a trap. Their only way out sends them back in time and into the arms of a man that ignites a fire inside her.

 

USAF Master Sergeant Briggs is in trouble – not the kind he’d like to be, but still in trouble. He is bored out of his mind! Ordered to recuperate on a quiet bay away from the Garradian outpost, he’s ready to mutiny and go back to his beloved engines. When his friends send him a gift from Area 51, he figures it will relieve his boredom for an hour or so – until he turns it on and he gets his second present of the day.

 

Madison would love to get to know Briggs better, but it is just too dangerous. Unfortunately, she might not have much choice. With a Time Service Interdiction Force on their heels, can the three craft a plan that will save a base full of geniuses and technology and discover a happy-ever-after forged through time?

 

Courting Disaster: StarDog 2

 

A Novella in the Inherited Stars Universe Series

 

By Laurie A. Green

 

From monk to married…

 

Captain Navene Jagger’s certainty he will be promoted to command a new battleship is doused when the admiral instead assigns him on what appears to be a suicide mission. If that wasn’t bad enough, he finds his self-imposed decision to be a military monk is thrown to the far reaches of the galaxy when he is ordered to escort Ketsia Tayah and her StarDog through the treacherous, rogue-infested Bradley’s Rift in a battered derelict of a vessel – a task that also makes him have to confront his painful past.

 

Ketsia’s past had taught her a lot. The universe was not only a very dangerous place, it turns out that it is also a lot smaller than she would have liked! Ketsia is rattled when she discovers that she and her StarDog are to be escorted by the man she formerly had a crush on. She swears life couldn’t get any more complicated until they are thrown into jeopardy and have to pretend they are married!

 

Jag soon realizes there is more at stake than his pride when dangerous rogues threaten their spaceship. After he learns the ship, the mission, and the StarDog are all much more than they seem will he be able to save Ketsia, his career, and the day? Or will self-sacrifice be the only way to save those under his protection?

 

Sensate

 

A Novella in the Alien Attachments Series

 

By Sabine Priestley

 

Marco Dar’s position as an Earth Protector means he spends an incredible amount of time alone in space. His only company is with the talkative com unit. It isn’t until he stops at the Galaxy Spinner restaurant that he discovers his com has become sentient – and it wants a physical form!

 

Dr. Zara Mancini hasn’t seen Marco Dar in over eleven years. As far as she is concerned, that still isn’t long enough. When Marco approaches her with an unusual request, she is torn between her fascination with the project, and wanting to leave him eating her space dust.

 

Marco is quickly falling all over again for Zara’s beautiful smile and gorgeous lips. Young and foolish, he sabotaged their relationship years ago. Now he has a second chance. Can he convince Zara to help his AI, and prove to her that he is a different man?

 

Gib and the Tibbar

 

A Novella in the Galactic Defenders Series

 

By Jessica E. Subject

 

A dedicated Defender to the core, Gib is willing to go to any planet the Galactic Alliance sends him. That is, until he’s sent with his squad to Hemera for their Alorama ceremony, far from any threat of Erebus invasion and with no chance for promotion.

 

Vilarra has lived on Hemera all her life, working hard in the kitchens of the royal palace until she achieved lead hand. But learning of the universe beyond her world reveals her insignificance and shreds her sense of accomplishment and purpose.

 

With the help of a furry, little tibbar, Gib is determined to win the affection of Vilarra, prove to her how significant she is to him and the people who depend on her. But will his personal mission be cut short before he has the chance to win her heart?

 

Pet Trade

 

A Novella in the Central Galactic Concordance Series

 

By Carol Van Natta

 

The vast Central Galactic Concordance strictly prohibits genetic experimentation and alteration of humans on any of its 500 member planets. Unfortunately, animals are not included in those regulations…

 

Veterinarian Bethnee Bakonin has made a home for herself on a frontier planet in the frozen north. Her minder talent for healing all kinds of animals would ordinarily assure her success, but her unwilling stint in the shady pet trade industry left her damaged and scared.

 

“Volunteered” for a black-box research project, elite forces Jumper Axur Tragon now has dangerous experimental tech in his cybernetic limbs. He escapes the project and steals a freighter, but ship damage forces him to crash-land in the northern mountains of a frontier planet. He’s surprised to discover the freighter’s cargo contains a secret shipment of designer pets. Determined to do right by them, he enlists reluctant Bethnee’s aid in caring for them—a definite challenge, considering Bethnee is terrified of him.

 

They will need all the help they can get from their unusual pets to save the day when ruthless mercenaries pose a threat. Can Axur and Bethnee work together to overcome their limitations, or will they lose everything they have vowed to protect – including each other?

 

Mascot

 

A Novella in the Aeon’s Legacy Series

 

By Alexis Glynn Latner

 

Daya Tattujayan is the manager of a remote and nearly derelict space mining station. She has plenty of problems to deal with even before the interstellar syndicate that owns the station sends an auditor to check up on her work.

 

Rik Gole is a nomadic interstellar auditor with no roots to tie him down. He is ruthless when he has to be and very good at what he does, but Rik would be the first to admit that a woman like Daya and a place like this station are way outside of his previous experience.

 

Before Daya and Rik can decide whether they are antagonists, allies, or something more, an unexpected enemy attacks the station. To save their lives, they must dare to trust each other. And they need help from a very unconventional defender—Daya’s mysterious alien pet, the mascot of Star Corner Station.

 

 

Excerpt from Time Trap by Pauline Baird Jones

This time something happened.

 

There was a low hum that slowly built to just shy of annoying. He heard the moveable parts inside start to move. First one of the dots turned faintly red, then red flowed across the top of the disc. More humming and moving parts sounds, and the circles turned from red to green all at the same time, sending beams of green light toward the sky at least six feet in the air.

 

Interesting. Still not sure what it did.

 

He was tempted to stick a finger into one of the beams, but he knew better. Funny how knowing didn’t stop the wanting.

 

Oh, the human condition.

 

He looked around, found a stick, and carried it back to the beams. He poked it into one of the green lights. The stick glowed green, but nothing happened for a count of three, maybe four, then the end of the stick vanished.

 

Okay. Birthday present number three. Got to keep all his fingers. And he now knew this thing did something. Wasn’t sure what, but something. He went and shut off the video, then turned back to do the same to the disc, but right then the hum increased in intensity and the green lights began to pulse.

 

Watch the author read from her very own story:

 

 

 

Buy Links

Universal Link for All Stores: books2read.com/u/3L9aYM

 

Amazon Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Embrace-Romance-Pets-Space-2/dp/1942583575/

 

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073W5WQBH/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B073W5WQBH/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073W5WQBH/

 

Amazon AU https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B073W5WQBH/

 

Amazon FR https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B073W5WQBH/

 

Amazon DE https://www.amazon.de/dp/B073W5WQBH/

 

Amazon JP https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B073W5WQBH/

 

iBooks http://bit.ly/EmbraceTheRomanceiBooks

 

B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embrace-the-romance-se-smith/1126723852?

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/embrace-the-romance-pets-in-space-2

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/S_E_Smith_Embrace_the_Romance_Pets_in_Space_2?id=Jp8rDwAAQBAJ

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35658092-embrace-the-romance

 

Instafreebie Samplerhttps://www.instafreebie.com/free/EZz5p

 

 

 pauline-baird-jones

 

Author Biography

Pauline doesn’t love reality so she writes books. She tends to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla (they were born the same year) through her characters lives, mixing peril and humor into her romance, but she always delivers a happy ending.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.paulinebjones.com

 

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

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/paulinebjones

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/247227.Pauline_Baird_Jones

 

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

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paulinebjones/

 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Pauline-Baird-Jones/e/B000APFS0M/

 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pauline-baird-jones

 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC246_a-liiXa_Y_uRlSQZgQ

 

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/paulinebairdjones

 

 

Amy J Hamilton @WriteNaughty Introduces @radish_fiction #books #RadishFiction #App #writing


Radish

 

Greetings, I’m here to introduce you to Radish Fiction. Radish what now? I’d never heard of it either. What, you have? Well, go and read my books then.

 

For the rest of you, here’s the background:

 

Radish Fiction is a free app available for iOS and Android. The app contains serialised fiction in bite-sized chunks or episodes. (Like radishes, get it? Bite-sized.) It’s aimed at those who like to read a bit at a time. Which, to be fair is me. We’re all busy, but we can generally manage ten minutes of reading here and there.

 

But how will I know if I like a book?

 

The first three episodes of any book will always be free.

 

This gives the reader plenty of time to determine if that book is something they might want to continue reading. If you don’t like it after three episodes, or after the first episode, don’t read it. It won’t have cost you anything other than your time. It’s a superb way of getting to know different authors without having any initial outlay.

 

From episode four there are three ways books are priced:

 

Some books are totally free. That’s it, free. Boom, no cost involved. (My free one is the Erotic Sci-Fi Modified.)

 

The next level unlocks episodes for free at a rate set by the author, for instance, one new episode every week. But, the reader can unlock an episode early by paying 3 Radish coins per episode. Those who don’t want to pay for episodes, just need to wait until the next one is released for free. (I’ve got one of those too-Nate and Day the sequel to Modified.)

 

The third option allows authors to be paid for their work. For this option, all episodes after the first three cost 3 Radish coins each. (I’ve got two of those. The Sci-Fi Murder Mystery Missing Remnants and a Paranormal Sci-Fi called Iridessian Haunts.)

 

Yes, but about those coins, they’ll cost a packet, won’t they?

 

Radish coins are like any other game coins. They work in the same way. You buy Radish coins via the app. How much each payable episode costs depends on how many coins you buy. It’s as little as 30-42 pence/cents per episode. That’s not much money for thousands of words which would have taken hours for the author to write, edit and upload. As an author, I can confirm we are very grateful for all the coins we receive.

 

How do we know we’re getting quality stories?

 

What one person thinks is a brilliant book will have someone else questioning that person’s sanity. That will never change. However, authors are invited to write for Radish, you can’t just create an account and start writing like other platforms. We have, therefore, had our work read by a content editor and been deemed fit for publication. What? How? No, seriously, I have! I don’t think they have particularly low standards either! Or maybe they had an off day when they took me on…

 

My latest two books are available exclusively on the Radish Fiction app. They have been written specifically for the Radish serial style.

 

Missing Remnants is a Sci-Fi murder mystery following a detective who is forced to take three months off just as a woman dies at his front door. Alone, except for his robot dog Banyon, he’s been followed, kidnapped, attacked and has strange messages relayed to him via the screens and the service bots around the station.

 

If that wasn’t enough I started writing a second serial recently. I am currently questioning my sanity; I haven’t finished Missing Remnants yet.

 

Iridessian Haunts is a Paranormal Sci-Fi story following two planetary scouts as they discover if the planet Iridessia is suitable for long-term habitation. The planet has all the usual stuff, solid ground, breathable atmosphere, water source, ghosts.

 

I hope I have convinced some of you to download the free Radish Fiction app and read some bite-sized serialised fiction. Preferably mine… they are some of the best stories ever written, said no-one ever.

 

https://radish.app.link/rN4eTruQCG

 

ajh

 

Author Biography

Amy J Hamilton is about 300 years old and was spawned on an alien planet. She exists mainly on coffee and chocolate, but mainly coffee.

She has been writing since she could hold a pencil in her left nostril. Amy’s books fall into various genres:

Erotic/Sci-Fi: Lunar Medical series (Modified, Nate and Day), Sci-Fi Murder Mystery: Missing Remnants. Paranormal Sci-Fi: Iridessian Haunts

She has a husband, two teenagers, tropical fish, a tortoise, a degu and a bearded dragon who can fly and breathe fire (lie). In her spare time, she bakes things, sews things and play things on the piano.

 

Social Media Links

Radish https://radishfiction.com/users/AmyJHamilton

Twitter https://twitter.com/WriteNaughty

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15275986.Amy_J_Hamilton

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ajhworld/

Blog http://barkingmaddj.blogspot.co.uk/

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/djcooper

Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amy-J-Hamilton/e/B01N0ZHDEC/

 

 

Angels: Who Are They Anyway? A Guest Post by @LNightingale #angels #FridayReads #giveaway


Wings

In my research for Gylded Wings, I discovered a book simply called Angels written by Malcolm Godwin. This book is a wealth of information about the subject, presented in an interesting and witty writing style. Even the character and seals of some of the more famous angels are given, and he goes into detail about questions you didn’t know you had, for instance, the identity of the Watchers or Shining Ones.

Who the hell are they? Choirboys of the Ninth House, aka the Grigori mentioned in the Book of Enoch (another interesting find!), they were angels sent to Earth to teach Man. Unfortunately, they were a little too zealous in the performance of their jobs and taught the use and design of weapons.  There is one mention of them in the Bible, King James Version, in Genesis 6:2: That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Have you ever wondered where your guardian angel stands in the heavenly scheme of things? Well, Mr. Godwin can tell you!

According to the Hebrews, the universe is a hierarchy. The Christians adopted this model of the Cosmos in which God is both at the center of the Cosmos and the highest point of the hierarchy. Entities radiate outward from His Presence, some being close to the center while others move further and further away from the Divine Source of Light and Love.

Let’s look at the Nine Choirs of angels:

Highest Triad

  1. Seraphim
  2. Cherubim
  3. Thrones

 

Middle Triad

  1. Dominations
  2. Virtues
  3. Powers

 

Lowest Triad

  1. Principalities
  2. Archangels
  3. Angels

 

Guardian angels would be of the Lowest Triad, therefore, further from the center of the Cosmos and closer to Man himself.

In Gylded Wings, Gyldan opens the story as an angel. When Brit rescues from his own dimension and takes him to Earth, amazing powers manifest. This as well as his appearance lead the angels on Earth, called Guardians, to believe he is of a much higher Order.

Guardians are of the Tenth Order, created after Armageddon to protect Man from the Fallen Angels who’d tried to seize Heaven in the Second War in Heaven.

This is the angel mythos I used in Gylded Wings. There are a lot of angel books, and each author has his/her own take on the lore.

There are three books I recommend to anyone interested in angelic lore or in writing an angel book:  Angels by Malcolm Godwin; Dictionary of Angels; and the thrilling Book of Enoch (an early John Grisham-type novel that is part of the Apocrypha not the Bible) in which the Prophet Enoch goes to a heavenly court to defend the Grigori.

Thanks for having me as your guest today. I’m giving away a free pair of angel earrings (US only) plus an e-book (International). To enter, click here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

GyldedWings_w10451_750

 

 

Gylded Wings is available in print and eBook format at Amazon:  http://a.co/eIE0R9n and on the publisher’s website, The Wild Rose Press:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/5285-gylded-wings-paperback.html

 

Blurb

Angels in slavery? Brit Montgomery cannot believe it, until she is sent on a rescue mission to another dimension and witnesses the cruel practice first hand. The angel, Gyldan, is the most beautiful being she’s ever seen. She is drawn to him but sometimes beauty disguises wicked secrets. This man who rocks her world seems more demon than angel.

Gyldan, born into slavery, has one desire—fly free. When he escapes to Earth, he faces an alternate self-realization full of dark glory…and disbelief. Gyldan is bent on experiencing his newfound powers unmindful of the harm to Brit or others.

Confused and hurt by Gyldan’s erratic evil actions, Brit turns away. While Gyldan’s journey of self-discovery pulls him further distant, Brit finds acceptance in a solitary, comfortable life of her own until she realizes the day of reckoning has come. Will Gyldan be her final ruin or has he come back to her with a gift more precious than life itself?

 

Excerpt

The sound I’d anticipated snapped me to attention, a slow, uneven click of high heels halting me in the shadows.

“There you are,” I whispered.

A lone woman staggered into my path. The doomed creature reeked of sex and whiskey.  Whoring and boozing weren’t reasons for a fiery execution, but I saw into her black soul.  Two years ago, she’d tossed her illegitimate child into a garbage dumpster and walked away from the screaming infant without a backward glance.

She’d make an excellent demon.

I stepped free of the darkness.  My hapless quarry glanced up and stumbled to a breathless halt, watching me.  Fearing me.  I laughed at her doe-in-the-headlights expression, lifted my hands, and loosed the power.  Lightning shot from my fingertips.  The white bolts struck, engulfing her.  She twitched and flopped on her feet for a split second.  In a fall of gray snow, she disintegrated.  Humans and angels die differently.  Daniel had perished in a shower of sparks and trail of colored smoke.  Ashes to ashes, the woman had returned to dust.

“See you in Hell.”  I saluted the powder drifting away on an ocean breeze.

Whistling The Devil Went Down To Georgia, I hooked my thumbs in my pockets and continued my journey of self-discovery.  Tonight, I’d already had sex in a bathroom with a married woman, hurt a sweet girl’s feelings, and French-fried a woman.  What else could a devil do on a Friday night?

The Maxwell Fought to Hold Caerlaverock – Their Enemies Had to Destroy It @RuthACasie #books


caerlaverock-castle-aerial

 

“It pulls at my heart with its beauty and purpose. It represents all I hold dear in a person, if that’s possible, heart, soul and strength.”    Laura Reynolds, The Maxwell Ghost

 

I knew I found the right setting for my medieval ghost story when I saw a picture of Caerlaverock Castle.

Reading Caerlaverock’s history I understood why the Maxwell family fought to hold it and why their enemies had to destroy it.

Caerlaverock Castle is a moated castle on the southern coast of Scotland in the Dumfries.  The unique equilateral triangular design and beauty of the castle, from the way it’s sited to its rich history, made Caerlaverock the perfect setting for my stories, The Maxwell Ghost and The Highlander’s English Woman.

There were several original fortifications that preceded the current castle, a Roman fort on Ward Law Hill and a British hill fort that was used until 950.

The earliest mention of Caerlaverock is the 1160s, when the lands were granted to the monks of Holm Cultram Abbey. Sixty years later, in 1220 the lands were granted to Sir John Maxwell by Alexander II of Scotland.

The Maxwell family has owned the Caerlaverock Castle ever since, but not without some intrigue and adventure. The clan leader changed allegiances from Scotland to England several times which resulted in sieges, destruction and rebuilding.

John Maxwell began construction of the first castle at Caerlaverock. A traditional square design with a moat and a north facing bridge, the building was one of the earliest stone castles built in Scotland. Archeologists believe that this castle was never completed when it was abandoned. This castle was built close to the Solway Firth. Built on clay the wood pilings were not able to bear the weight of the structure. In addition, the structure couldn’t be kept dry or comfortable.  Today, the foundations and part of a wooden enclosure around it is all that remains.

Work began on the new castle, six hundred feet south of the abandoned structure in 1260.

Construction on the new (present) castle, on a solid rock outcropping and was completed in the 1270s. The castle’s first occupant was Herbert Maxwell, nephew of Sir John Maxwell.

 

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Caerlaverock was the Maxwell family’s stronghold from the 13th to the 17th centuries. It underwent several sieges over the centuries and was finally abandoned in 1640. The castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, but retained its triangular plan.

In 1299, Maxwell forces from Caerlaverock Castle attached the English-held Lochmaben Castle. Edward I retaliated in July 1300 and attacked Caerlaverock with 87 knights and 3,000 men. Eustace Maxwell, the clan chief repelled the English several times. In the end, the garrison surrendered. King Edward was astounded that only sixty men held his army off.

Caerlaverock Castle remained in English hands until 1312 when the castle was returned to Sir Eustace Maxwell who pledged allegiance to the English king, Edward II. Later, Eustace switched his support to Robert the Bruce and the castle was unsuccessfully attacked by the English.

Because of Caerlaverock’s prime position on the England-Scottish border and the fear it could fall into the hands of the English who would have a strong command of the district, Sir Eustace dismantled the fortress, a sacrifice rewarded by Robert the Bruce.

In 1337 the castle was once again inhabited and once again the Eustace changed sides. About 1355 the castle was captured by the Scots.

The Maxwells regained Caerlaverock after the Wars of Independence in the mid-14th century. Between 1373 and 1410, Robert Maxwell rebuilt much of the castle. His efforts were continued by Robert II in the mid-15th century.

In 1567, the Maxwells supported Mary, Queen of Scots and Caerlaverock was once again under siege by the English in 1570. The Earl of Sussex led the English forces and demolished part of the castle.

In 1593, Lord John Maxwell repaired the castle for defense against the Johnstones of Annandale with whom he was feuding.

The Wars for Independence were replaced by wars of religion. In 1634, religious turmoil turned against the Catholic Maxwells. In 1640 the Protestant Covenanter army attacked Caerlaverock for thirteen weeks forcing the castle to surrender. The south wall and tower were demolished and the castle was never repaired or reoccupied.

The castle passed by inheritance to the Herries family and to the Duke of Norforlk. While currently owned by Lady Mary Mumford’s sister Baroness Herries, since 1946 the castle has been operated and managed by Historic Scotland. The castle remains the ancestral home of the Maxwell family.

 

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The Highlander’s English Woman by USA Today Bestseller Ruth A. Casie

 

Caerlaverock Castle, on the Scottish border is in an uproar. Traitors, deception, murder and ghosts run riot. The food stores have been tainted and the granaries set ablaze. Rumors fly when servants Evan and his bride-to-be, Angel are found murdered. They believe that in the heat of an argument Evan killed Angel when she threatened to expose him. Distraught over his impulsive actions, he took his own life. Now his ghost haunts the castle. A young cook, Sonia is sure everyone has it wrong and the ghost haunts the castle to seek justice. She will move heaven and earth to get to the truth, but she is helpless.

Laura Reynolds travels from England to her cousin, The Maxwell’s castle to put Evan’s ghost to rest. They have one week to complete the task or Evan’s ghost is doomed to haunt the castle forever. The Maxwell, while he loves his cousin, doesn’t believe in her sorceress ways. With the unsettled times, he cannot send her back to England right away, rather he lets her pursue her investigation.

Jamie Maxwell Collins has finished his service to The Maxwell and eager for his promised farm. While longtime friends with Laura, he has little patience for her hocus pocus, but in order to get his farm The Maxwell requires Jamie protect and help her. Will Sonia’s information tip the scales and help them find justice for Evan and Angel? With Sonia’s insight, will Laura and Jamie see that the depths of their relationship goes way beyond friendship or are they doomed to deny it forever?

 

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

 

Book Trailer: http://video214.com/play/Hj4BOw8DQ3lsU0URWqeeqA/s/dark

 

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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

 

 

 

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

 

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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/

Is It Serendipity…or Magic? @LiviaQuinn Visits A Haunted Jail #paranormal #MoonlightMagic #IARTG


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Is it serendipity…or magic?

 

You’ve heard that saying “when the lesson is needed the teacher will appear” or something like that. Well, one of the things I find fascinating about writing is the way things just fall into place with characters, plots — even settings. It really seems like magic, like the universe is one big creative mind that delivers when you ask, and even when you don’t.

 

When I was nearly finished with my current release, Blood Moon, which is up for preorder in the Moonlight Magic Collection, one of the main characters in my series, Jack Lang, former fighter pilot and newly turned Phoenix dragon was about to be captured.

 

I needed someplace close to my fictional town of Destiny near my fictional Louisiana lake that would be strong, inescapable. I thought — something like an old rusted, heavily barred French prison. My critique partner said, “Google it. Louisiana has a lot of old jails and prisons from their Spanish and French history.” So I did.

 

LQ LA

 

And Oh. My! What I found. If you see where Storm Lake is in the southern central part of the state, see the red star northwest of Destiny? That’s Beauregard Parish.

 

Now I have to digress for a second. I had Jack in this obscure prison/barred cell – I hadn’t really gotten the plot together for this scene yet, and I’d been thinking what if I could have some kind of cool paranormal element to it?

 

After all, the book takes place near the Blood Moon on Halloween, a “Spirit night” when the veil is thin between the worlds and it’s easier to…cross.

 

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Well! Imagine my joy when just northwest of Destiny I found an old jail called the Gothic or Hanging Jail, abandoned for the last thirty years with a rich haunted history. It’s called the Gothic Jail because the architect wanted it to be one of a kind with it gothic architecture, inside and out. Is it creepy looking or what!

 

The bars have a unique ridged edge, the cells are heavily built with not only a heavy barred door but a massive vault like second door. There were no recess areas or yards in which to exercise. The women were housed in cells down the hall from the men but they were only able to hear each other, not touch. The cells were unique in the industry with their own window, lavatory, toilet and shower.  Each prisoner was given a blanket and a thin mattress to cover the metal bed slats.  And get this, if you’re in Beauregard Parish around Halloween you can pay $10 (per victim) and be a part of their Halloween Night. But expect to stand in line. Last year they pulled in 10,000 people!

 

Adjacent to the courthouse, the prisoners were sometimes led straight from their sentencing through an underground tunnel and straight up the spiral stair case of the jail, another of its signature features.

 

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Each floor of cells splits off from the center spiral stairs and you can see from the main stairwell, the thickness of the concrete walls, the heaviness of the cell bars and at the top a beam from which the “hanging sheriff” served up the sentence on two of his prisoners back in 1928. You can see the bar at the top of the spiral stairs in this photo. Imagine having the only way into the cells (or out) being those uneven spiral stairs…

 

The gothic style window (below) is in the upper floor where the trustees were kept.

 

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Now here’s the best part! It’s called the Hanging Jail and is so interesting to ghosters because the ghost of the sheriff or his prisoners have been seen and heard on many occasions at the jail.

 

The picture below was akin to death row, as if any of the cells were easy to escape, this one was meant to be absolutely escape proof with the heavy vault doors. The death cell. The perfect place for my villain to keep Jack.

 

 

I wanted to see this place for myself but it wasn’t open for viewing. Then a month before I finished the book I heard they’d opened it for touring and four of us went down to see it. One of my friends recorded a sound in one of the rooms when she was alone. She has a history with ghosts so I don’t doubt her but I didn’t want to go back and listen for myself. She and her sister want to go back for the sleep-in night. Right!

 

As you can see, It was like magic, the way it all fell together. The proximity to Destiny, the cool features of the jail, its history and the paranormal aspect as well as our timely visit.

 

And that’s where Jack met the Hanging Sheriff…

 

Excerpt:

The figure that materialized in front of Jack was dressed in unrelieved black, from his hat to his boots, a Pinkerton style suit coat over a black button up shirt. He leaned against the heavy metal bars near the chain that supported the metal bed slats and pulled on his scruffy beard. “You ain’t never heard of the Hangin’ Sheriff?”

Jack frowned, No, but perhaps he shouldn’t admit it to this…what was he? “Are you… real?”

The man, who appeared to be in his 50s, though Jack couldn’t be sure, bent over at the waist and slapped his knees with a guffaw. “Real, he asks.” He laughed until tears should have been streaming down his wrinkled cheeks, but weren’t, then he wiped his eyes of the nonexistent tears and shook his head. “What kind of sheriff are you, Lang? Why, I’m dead, son, a ghost. A specter. I like that term better ma’self.”

If Jack had encountered this man¾ghost¾earlier in the year he would’ve called it a hallucination, a mirage, or possibly he might have suspected a reaction to some over-the-counter meds, but these days… hell, a ghost, as surprises went, registered only a one on his Destiny shock-o- meter.

“No, sir. I have to say this is a first. I’m glad to meet you unless you’re here to carry out your specialty.” Jack looked over at the dumbwaiter, the rope that might have been used for hanging his inmates still tied to the bars and draping down into the shaft.

“Whatcha lookin’ at? Cripes, boy. I ain’t gonna hang ya. I’m here to help you escape.”

Jack’s heart thumped hard. “You have a key? I can’t touch –”

“Yeah, yeah. I been watching.” The sheriff scratched his cheek.

Jack’s eyebrows rose. He hadn’t sensed him even a little.

His companion laughed again, this time, it was kind of a crazy laugh. “You can’t see me unless I wantcha to. Understand?” He squinted up at Jack, his chin jutting forward. “You’re one of them dragons, aren’t you?”

“Yes, sir.” The sir probably wasn’t necessary but Jack figured he’d get further with respect, even well…under these circumstances.

“Then you probably know about Halloween, about the open door and all? Normally, I wait until the 31st to make an appearance, but see, I figured, if I was to wait, you’d be a hung sheriff.” He slapped his thighs again. “He-he-he. Get it?” He pointed to himself, “Hanging sheriff?” then at Jack and winked, “Hung sheriff.”

“So, you can just pop in whenever you want?” Jack asked, ignoring the ghost’s gallows humor.

“Nah, it’s because of that danged moon¾all about the Blood Moon over here, ya know? Makes it easier, lengthens…” His eyebrows crashed down and he rubbed his chin, squinted one eye closed then looked up at the ceiling. Jack followed his gaze but saw only… more concrete. “Lengthens the t…tie¾what do they call it on Facebook?”

“Timeline.” Jack frowned. “You’re on Facebook?”

“No, are you crazy? I’m a ghost, see?” He pushed his hand into Jack’s torso startling him, but he didn’t feel anything. “Weren’t have no way to peck on a phone. It’s handy though. I can read over somebody’s shoulder and stay…uhh…”

“Current?” Jack offered.

“Right, but that moon makes everything amp… stronger and stretches out that timeline, so we can cross early.” He held out his hands by his sides as if to say, ‘And Voila. Here I be.’

Jack shook his head. Why was he conversing with someone who was admittedly… dead? Still, he asked, “How long have you been here?” Maybe if he showed a little interest in the sheriff’s history, which he seemed proud of, it would lock in his inclination to help.

He studied the ghost in black. On the left lapel of his coat hung a six-pointed star. It read Sheriff – Beauregard Parish. Now he remembered. He’d read about the jailor when researching his move from Memphis to Louisiana.

This hellhole was what people called the Gothic jail because of its unique architecture. The designer wanted it to be one of a kind with full lavatory facilities, a window in each cell. Prisoners had been marched straight from the courthouse through the tunnel, given a blanket and a mattress and locked up, there to stay until their time was served. No courtyards or recess here.

He’d seen pictures but none of them captured the depression being locked within the thick walls of the place would engender. Advanced bathroom facilities notwithstanding, the ‘bed’ was mere metal slats and the heavy bars spoke loudly, “Escape is impossible.”

The article mentioned its signature feature, the spiral stairs that started at the tunnel entrance. Jack hadn’t noticed the uniqueness of the cell at first, with its toilet, sink and shower, mostly because they were old and filthy and not plumbed. And at the time, he’d been struggling to breathe.

“Them transients were takin’ up parish resources. Weren’t no reason not to go ahead and hang ’em from that there rafter.” The ‘sheriff’ leaned against the sink, picking at his teeth with a piece of metal and pointed to the iron beam outside Jack’s cell.

Jack knew it probably wasn’t wise, but he was curious. “Why help me escape?” The ghost shook his head as if Jack was stupid. “Why, son, you the same as me — a parish sheriff.”

 

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Blood Moon is available for preorder now at only 99cents in the Moonlight Magic box set. So not only do you get Blood Moon but nineteen other great paranormal stories, over 200,000 words.

 

Buy Links: https://www.romancecollections.com/moonlight-magic

 

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Livia Quinn is a DC native who has been transplanted to Louisiana. She lives, writes and is inspired in her Storm Lake series by the culture and weather in the state. She’s published eleven books, six paranormal and five contemporary. A former mail lady, professional singer, plant manager and current business owner, she has stored up many quirky stories to share with her readers. Sign up for her newsletter to receive the first two books in the Destiny Paramortals series free.

 

Connect with Livia here:

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

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


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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…)

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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/

           

 

 

 

Writing Medical Mysteries: The Rules by @LinWilder #amwriting #writing #WriterWednesday


medical graphic
Photo credit: Big Stock Photos

 

 

When we start writing fiction, whether writing medical mysteries, romance, erotica or any of the rapidly increasing list of fictional genres, we expect a set of rules. After all, we’ve been taught to follow the rules ever since we were preschoolers.  That’s a good thing. Because all writers need to adhere to the basics of grammar, coherence, clarity. And for writers of medical mysteries, intrigue, surprise and suspense are paramount.

 

But in the now ten years that I have been writing fiction, the way I conceive of rules has changed. I think there are a set of rules which work for beginning novelists. But not too long afterward those rules must be unlearned. And last, there is a regimen, a critical routine which must be followed, even for the very experienced. Hence, we can approach the of writing medical mysteries in three phases.

 

Rules for the Novice Writer

 

By far, the primary maxim for someone who has decided she wants to write a medical mystery is to be clear about why. “I’ve always been told I write well.” Or, “Writing a novel is on my bucket list.” Or, “I think I’d like to be a writer,” won’t cut it.

 

  • Consider what your real goal is. Money? Fame? Recognition? Become another Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl, the book and the movie, Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the Train, the book and movie) or Andy Weir (self-published author of The Martian, the book and the movie?) Be brutally honest here. And if these are the reasons, think again about why you want to engage in what one publisher has called The 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing.

 

  • Lest you think that the former is meant to deter you from your dream, quite the contrary. My reasons for suggesting that you journey deep inside before you begin are from personal experience and are said to mitigate disappointment once you are finished. When the book is done and the awards do or do not trickle in, our feelings are generally a mixture of relief, pride in the accomplishment mixed with a bit of sorrow: “What do I do now?” “What’s the next act?” Simply said, the best part of any huge undertaking is the journey: the process, the challenge, learning, the highs and yes, the lows. It’s never the kudos, awards or the recognition, no matter how trivial or huge.

 

  • Make sure you like your story and your characters. You’ll be living with them in your head and on your computer for a long time. Although it is possible to get a book written and published in thirty days or less, I would not recommend following the directions of someone who promises this. The chaos in the formerly bounded book publishing business has attracted all kinds of people, some of whom you would not want to have dinner -or even a drink with. If the claim sounds impossible, it most likely is.

 

  • Write about what you know. I spent more than the first half of my life in academic medicine. I grew up with interns, residents, and all the associated paraphernalia of the teaching hospital. For me, then, writing a medical mystery was a natural. Although expertise in your chosen subject matter is not essential- it is fiction, after all, our readers can tell when we write from our own experience. It makes itself evident and therefore far more believable.

 

  • This is your story. Although your editor may be excellent in the technique of writing, you are the artist. You see the characters, hear their voices and know them…they become part of you. Of course, you would not consider publishing your book without hiring an editor, the boundaries between him and you must be distinct. If not, you risk losing essential components of your story.

 

There are far more tips than there is room here so if you will forgive the self-promotion, here are five more tips that may be useful to those of you considering writing your first novel.

 

Now That You Have Learned Them, Dump All the Rules

 

“John, I know you were a Marine, therefore you love rules. The rule you need to remember here is that there are no rules.”

My husband is a psychologist and told me about this simple piece of advice from the head nurse of an inpatient psychiatric unit where he was working as an intern. That nurse’s statement informed the more than twenty-five years that John worked as a psychologist with combat veterans. With many of his clients, particularly the suicidal ones, breaking the established rules was axiomatic in helping these men get their lives back.

Writing is exactly like that. The most important rule for a writer is to know-and believe- that there are no rules. One of my favorite quotes on this subject is attributed to Somerset Maugham. “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

 

However, there are a few myths or rules about writing which live on despite their falsity. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Excellent novelists are miserable, unhappy neurotics, on a good day.  One of the numerous reasons that I stuck with writing non-fiction for so much of my life is that I bought into this myth completely. The writers I loved as a young English major were either alcoholics, suicidal or psychotic. Think F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound. The cost of writing my novel would be too great. And then the dream slid to the back burner as the responsibilities of life accelerated.

 

My first book was arduous. Mainly because I believed that it would only be good if writing it was, an endurance test. Therefore, I made it so. Like any work worth doing, writing a first novel is worth doing poorly. My first novel was replete with problems which were corrected in the second edition.

 

But the subsequent four books have been a totally different experience. Certainly, hard work but not arduous. At times, fun. True because of the joy of getting—really describing a new character is such a high. Like an extremely challenging character so because he is totally out of your frame of reference. Like an assassin who became my favorite character in my third and fourth books.

 

  • To complete a book, you must schedule times and a place for writing it. And consistently adhere to that schedule. I don’t have a writing schedule. Nor do I have a specific place to write. Certainly, when I am approaching a deadline, like now, my writing schedule might be most of my waking hours or as much of them as I can devote to it. But other things interrupt-husbands, kids, holidays, life. As they should.

 

Perhaps because I’ve worked for myself for over fifteen years, the challenge of working from home is a norm for me. And grabbing a few hours here and there to write doesn’t drive me crazy. Anymore.

 

  • Beware of writer’s block. There is no such thing as writer’s block. Rather I think it’s fear. The assassin I mentioned earlier is a great example. Because I found this brand-new character intimidating, I was afraid of him. And knew I needed to take time, a lot more time than I normally do. And wrote him differently. I kept going back to read and re-read sentences and paragraphs sometimes taking days or a couple of weeks off before returning. Until finally, he had flesh and muscle. I could see him, even understand, how he got there: A killer for hire.

                   

                       Essential Regimen for All Writers, Novice or Experienced

 

  • When Not Writing, Read. Assuming we want each book to be better than the last, then we must read other writers interpretation of characters and story lines. Read better writers than you are. Why? Because that is how we learn- it is how they learned.

 

  • When not writing your novel, write anyway. I do a weekly blog and have for years because I enjoy writing non-fiction. If you don’t want the tedium of writing a blog, then use a journal or diary. Writing is no different from any other discipline. The more we do it, the better we get.

 

  • Exercise. There is no better antidote to a character who has you in a corner than going for a run. Or to the gym. Or a hike in the mountains. We writers are a sedentary lot, the body part we work the hardest is our brain. Once the sweat begins to pour down your face, it is remarkable how easily we can solve a plot problem or dismiss a poor review. Or decide to walk away for a day or a week.

 

  • Eat Reasonably Healthy Meals. Although junk food is tempting and yes, okay at times, if all we are feeding those remarkably efficient brain cells are carbs and sugar, our stories will suffer. None of us can create excellence without respecting and caring for our bodies.

 

  • Get 8 hours Sleep at Minimum. Insomnia is one of the most common health problems in the US. Costing billions annually in illness, accidents and accidents, good writers cannot afford to be sleep deprived.

 

 

apriceforgenius-cover-300ppi

 

Title: A Price for Genius

Author: Lin Wilder

Genre: Medical Thriller

 

Book Blurb:

Dr. Lindsey McCall’s worst fears are realized. Not only have both drugs been stolen but two women have been kidnapped- one maybe dead. Lindsey had known Liisa Reardon’s new drug was alchemy, only this time, the end product actually more precious than gold.

 

The desperate call from Hank Reardon in Switzerland came late at night causing too many questions. And no answers. Could Lindsey and Rich Jansen uncover who was behind the crimes? It was an inside job-could they figure out who had sold out the Reardons? All in time to save Reardon’s daughter and her chief tech Ariana? Were they risking their lives as well?

 

The evil words smolder in her mind, the contents of the letter delivered to Hank Reardon

 

Hello Mr. Reardon,

By the time you get this letter, it will be too late. We’ll already have her.

Here are the steps you must not take:

  • Do not call the cops.
  • Do not contact the FBI
  • Tell no one.
  • We’ll know if you or the FBI. We’ll and we’ll kill her instantly.

You must know Sir, there is a price for genius. We trust you will pay it if you want to see your daughter alive.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

 

Lin Wilder

 

Author Biography:

Lin Weeks Wilder has published dozens of articles, wrote a textbook, and has written four self-help books. Lin has written three medical thrillers situated in Houston, Texas where Lin worked for over 23 years.

 

The Fragrance Shed by a Violet, the sequel Do You Solemnly Swear? and the third in her series, A Price for Genius. The story of the return to faith, Finding the Narrow Road was an unplanned surprise. In her free time, Lin Wilder enjoys hiking, listening to beautiful music, gardening and last but certainly not least, reading. Lin is married to a former Marine and psychologist with 25 years of experience counseling ex- combat veterans. They reside in Nevada with their two dogs.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lincwilder?ref=hl

Twitter https://twitter.com/LinWilder

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/linwilder

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/linwilder

About Me https://about.me/lin.wilder

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Lin-Wilder/e/B007L380OM

 

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

 

Shattering Truths by @KyrianLyndon Blog Tour: #GuestPost + #Giveaway! #books




 

Shattering Truths
Kyrian Lyndon
(Deadly Veils, #1)
Publication date: January 30th 2017
Genres: Suspense, Young Adult

 

She was left fighting her demons alone . . .

 

For sixteen-year-old Danielle DeCorso, the old house in Glastonbury was an eerie place to grow up. Coping with mental health challenges exacerbated by a traumatic family dynamic, Danielle watches from the window for two men in a dusty black sedan who keep circling the house and harassing her with phone calls. The two predators drugged her and her cousin, Angie, and then lured them from Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport to a secluded cottage on Long Beach West. She remembers feeling dizzy, the room spinning. She recalls screaming, crying, fighting, and then slipping in and out of consciousness. Angie, however, has no recollection of the incident.

 

When Danielle attempts to jog Angie’s memory and convince their best friend, Farran, that the two strangers had victimized them, no one seems to believe her. Alone in her pain, Danielle remains guarded, obsessed, and withdrawn. Soon she is sinking deeper into a tumultuous world of adolescent isolation and change. Grief, guilt, and anger send her spiraling into an even darker place.

 

Tormented by terrifying nightmares, she fears she will lose her sanity, or possibly her soul. Is she having post-traumatic stress hallucinations, as one of her friends suggest, or are her recurring nightmares as real as they seem? Trapped in an unyielding emotional bondage, Danielle continues the fight to reclaim her power. Startling revelations awaken her newfound spirit, inspiring a once naïve girl to grow into a woman of defiance and courage.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Smashwords

IN THE DIMMEST LIGHT: A Guest Post

I wake up at four a.m. every day, including weekends and holidays, and write for hours. It starts with nothing more than a 40-watt amber-shade lamp lit in the darkest hours, where I can see the moon outside my window. The focus is intense. It is light before long.

 

Creating characters and the worlds they live in began as a childhood obsession. I wrote down names then added descriptions, developing their stories by continuing to add details. I had no idea why I did this at the time. My parents worried for a while. They relaxed a bit as I went on to write fairy tales and poems. When I wrote my first novel at 16, I used parts of those descriptions.

 

I held many jobs since then – secretary, assistant book manufacturing representative, assistant to the casting director, computer system administrator, and paralegal/legal assistant. One summer, I was shooting photos for a model’s portfolio. Another day I’d be chatting with musicians about putting a band together. My ego was insatiable, so I was all over the place, wanting to do everything. I told myself, all I want to do is write while being sidetracked at every turn.

 

Life went on, rife with challenges, full of adventures. I roamed the darkest corners to learn about the world and myself. Setbacks knocked me down. I would get up eventually and find my way again.

 

More and more so, I began telling my story in the novels I wrote. I became so immersed in the reality of it, I would not steer off its course long enough to let my imagination truly come alive. I started over several times until I realized I didn’t sign on for this to tell my story. A storyteller can tell any story she wants, and so I was back on track.

 

To be fair, I learned about the book publishing process working in publishing. I chased down literary agents, got a press kit, and formed a writer’s club. I continued to educate myself about writing. I subscribed to the relevant publications. I contributed to an anthology, had letters published. There were assignments and proposals I turned down wanting to be true to myself and the integrity of my work. I was devoted to mastering my craft.

 

I realize, too, I’d been busy healing. It was necessary for me to find the courage to free myself of belief systems that kept me in bondage. Until we fully heal, we remain in bondage to something or another and prone to all kinds of obsession. Disentangling from all that is a painful process and a lot of work but well worth it. Past turmoil is the baggage we can carry forever or make lighter and less cumbersome by checking it.

 

Perhaps it’s different for everyone, but the process is the same. It is discovering what you do not want nor want to be; who or what impedes you; who and what strengthens you. Learning to trust your instincts is essential. If I couldn’t do that as a human being, I surely could not do it as a writer.

 

In the healing process, I got a much-needed downsizing of ego. I went from “needing” attention to shying away from it with a reluctance to put myself out there. I am a firm believer that when it comes to extremes, neither extreme is right. It had to be somewhere in the middle. It’s been all about balance for me.

 

Becoming a parent along the way helped. It is a rare and unconditional love, and love of that magnitude motivates you to be the best person you can ever hope to be. It lifts you out of victimhood and allows you to live as the empowered hero in your own heart and to set the example.

 

Today I feel the greatest gift I have to give anyone is a true and genuine heart. That means questioning my intentions and, if necessary, correcting my steps.

 

Now, with a clear view of the story I want to tell, I’ve been busy incorporating my past novels into a series that could be six to eight books and possibly more. I have outlined and drafted the series and am in the process of finalizing.

 

I’m grateful to have a passion, something I love to do, and get to spend time doing every day – a joy that saves me, always.

 

© Copyright July 14, 2014 by Kyrian Lyndon at kyrianlyndon.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted without permission.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Kyrian Lyndon is the author of Shattering Truths, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has also published two poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, and Remnants of Severed Chains. Kyrian began writing short stories and fairy tales when she was just eight years old. In her adolescence, she moved on to poetry. At sixteen, while working as an editor for her high school newspaper, she wrote her first novel, and then completed two more novels at the ages of nineteen and twenty-five.

 

Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, New York, Kyrian was the middle of three daughters born to immigrants —her father from Campochiaro, Italy; her mother from Havana, Cuba. She has worked primarily in executive-level administrative positions with major New York publishing companies. She resides on Long Island in New York.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram / Tumblr / Google+

 

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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

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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/

 

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


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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/

Stage Left by @AliParkerAuthor + Why She Loves Being Indie! #romance #giveaway


Stage Left
Ali Parker
(Bright Lights Billionaire #1)
Publication date: March 20th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

From Best Selling Author, Ali Parker comes a new Billionaire Series filled with sexiness, humor and intense attraction…

 

Ethan Lewis has been in the bright lights for as long as he can remember. He’s just turned the cusp of celebrating his twenty-fourth birthday, and yet he feels more like eighty. Living the life of a celebrity isn’t all it is chalked up to be, and dealing with the unruly number of women who are more interested in his billions than who he is as a person is getting old. He has resigned himself to giving up on love and focusing on the only thing that truly gives back – his career.

 

Riley Phillips has always dreamed of being on a big stage with the warmth of the spotlight baring down on her, but she just couldn’t seem to catch the right agent’s attention. After giving a quick commencement speech as Valedictorian of her graduating class at Billmore High, she’s offered something she can’t refuse… The chance to work in Hollywood. It’s not all it’s chalked up to be, but she works hard and finally gets her big break four years down the line. There is a new movie that her agent wants her to audition for, and her co-star? The dreamy Ethan Lewis.

 

She scores the part, but soon regrets it due to his callous, overbearing persona. He’s nothing like the public touts, and she for one isn’t impressed.

 

Funny enough, he is – immensely.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / GooglePlay

Grab yours today for FREE!

Ali Parker talks about being an indie author and loving it!

I think from a young age I’ve always been independent, always looking for a way to forge a new path and climb a steep hill and do it mainly on my own. I think like most Indies, I started by trying the traditional route and after loads of rejection, it was just easier to forget it. A few friends of mine are making it big in the indie world and have reluctantly pulled me into it as well. I will tell you that it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

I’m not a superstar, but a story teller – which is all I ever wanted to be. I set my schedule, write what I want, love on you guys by giving away whatever the hell I want to and life FEELS right/good.

Let me tell you why else I love being Indie.

  1. No one will ever love my book as much as me. It’s my creation and having the freedom to choose what it looks like and where the plot goes is all mine to decide. I don’t have someone standing over my shoulder making it “better” by their definition of “better.”

  2. I can spend as little or as much time, energy and money as I want. Obviously the more I put into it, the more I’m going to get out of it, but that’s with anything in life. The cool part is that if I’m a good editor or if I can design my own cover, then those are costs to be saved and skills to be used.

  3. I belong. In a world of independent authors I find myself fitting in just perfectly. We all work hard and dream big and the encouragement is beyond belief. I don’t have to write a certain genre or stick to a certain structure in the plot. I simply write, promote and support and honestly feel great about myself at the end of the day.

Being an Indie author, to me, doesn’t really have anything to do with being Independent though. It’s a statement that says I’m capable of making every step along this book writing/producing platform to take a dream from start to finish. The truth of what Indie authors are doing is showing the world that there still exists hope. Hope to dream big and work hard to make that dream a reality.

That’s why I love being Indie!

 

Author Bio:

Ali Parker is a full-time contemporary romance writer who left a life in Corporate America to try out living a dream. She loves coffee, watching a great movie and hanging out with her hubs. By hanging out, she means making out. Hanging out is for those little creepy elves at Christmas. No tight green stockings for her.

 

Thanks for picking up a book!!

 

Ali also writes Sci-Fi Romance under Liza Probz – http://amzn.to/1KvnczE, and Western Romance under Jessica Mills – http://amzn.to/1P37NDz

 

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He’s a What?! Writing Your Characters Into a Corner by @LiviaQuinn #amwriting #guestpost #IARTG


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But I thought the problem was… 

I listened to an author speak a couple years ago at a workshop. She said, “Write yourself into a corner.” My first thought was, “I couldn’t do that. What if I couldn’t get my characters out of the hole I’d put them in.” Recently I realized that I’ve been doing just that unconsciously, or my characters have, for several books now. For a writer, it’s a very scary place to be but if I want my readers to be surprised I must be surprised as well.

In Eve of Chaos I brought the heroine and several characters to the brink of death, not knowing what was going to happen. Blame it on the Moon was the most terrified I’ve been since I’ve been writing. And yet, I’ve had readers tell me it was their favorite book.

When Destiny was overrun by creatures leaving our hero, a mere-mortal, to fight them, save the town and the woman he loves I had no friggin’ idea how a human was supposed to win over enemy zombies, flying heads, and other variants much less how to save the lives of my main characters who were suffering from the effects of the Para-moon. I usually let the characters lead me to solutions but at the end of Blame it on the Moon, Jack was blindsided with a change that no one saw coming—except me. Unfortunately, even that didn’t go as planned.

As book 5, Take These Broken Wings began I thought I knew what Jack’s problem was. But as the story progressed Jack was no closer to a solution until we got to the climax and suddenly events unfolded. I remember emailing my writer friends wide-eyed with wonder, “You’ll never guess what happened to Jack!” In Jack’s words, “To say I was surprised about the latest revelations would be like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.”

 

The Destiny series could be likened to a Paranormal soap opera, similar to Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series or the world of Darynda Jones. Jack and Tempe’s Paramortal arc—their coming of age—is finally complete with book 5 but their story and Destiny’s continues. So here I am again after the events that happened at the end of Take These Broken Wings, thinking, “Zeus’ Rechargeable Bolts! now what?” A mysterious stranger has shown up in Destiny and his presence is certain to bring turmoil. Life is much more interesting when you don’t know what’s coming down the pike don’t you think? Its always nerve-wracking not knowing where my characters will lead me but I’m confident we’ll work through the challenges. What a ride!

 

Broken Wings EBOOK 06252016 copy

 

Title: Take These Broken Wings (Destiny Paramortals #5)

Author: Livia Quinn

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Southern Urban Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Welcome to Mayberry, or should I say Middle Earth?

 

I’m Jack Lang, the Sheriff of Destiny, Louisiana. After my sexy redheaded mail lady zapped me, this seemingly normal small town turned into a never-ending stream of supernaturals – fae, dragons, vampires, djinn—not to mention some plain ol’ kooks. Ironically, I was all set to accept the dark side when I discovered the secret in my own DNA and, well, to say I was in shock would be like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.

 

There’s one thing that can get me back on the job – a murder investigation. But I’ll also have to deal with supernatural hitmen, dragon hunters and being in the doghouse with my girlfriend. If I don’t get a handle on “My new life” before long, I’m going to lose the respect of the Paramortals, not to mention the woman I love.  Maybe I should just holler uncle now. Things can always get worse.

 

After all, this is Destiny, and ludicrous is its middle name.

 

Book 5 is the completion of Jack and Tempe’s Paramortal arc, an epiphany of sorts, but the story continues. If you enjoy the Paranormal Urban Fantasy Cozy worlds of Kristen Painter, Darynda Jones or Molly Harper, try the Destiny Paramortals series.

 

 

Excerpt:

Tempe’s father, Dutch finds his son, River, in the supernatural watering hole…

 

Dutch

My eyes narrowed and I rose at the mention of my ancient family name.

 

River’s eyes flared red, a warning, and he grated, “Who are you?”

 

The being in front of him was taller and wider than River, closer to my size and was covered in a flimsy grey cloak that swirled in a non-existent breeze. Ah, a weather fae, I determined at once. A hooked beak poked out from under the gray cowl and talons where the fingers should have been held the hood in place. The pungent foul odor identified it as a harpy, a vengeful lot that often traveled in groups though no one stood with this one.

 

The hole in the center of his “face” sounded like a washing machine as it pushed air in and out. At his hip a blue sword stuck out from under the layers. Not good. Weapons were supposed to be surrendered at the door except under certain extenuating circumstances. I stayed where I was, for the moment.

 

Thick cottony lips opened, the words came through its hole of a mouth, like it had been dredged up from the depths of the Isle. “I am Lord of the Wind. I’m here to reclaim my power from your family.”

 

Well, that’s a new twist. Millenia ago, harpies had been stripped of their power over hurricanes and strong storms, but it had nothing to do with my family, I thought as he drew the sword from the sheath with a clang and pointed it at one of the entrances. A stout gust entered the room. He’d used the sword to command his magic, like a wand.

 

River stood with one arm on the counter, not even jostled by the stiff wind, though others were struggling to stand. I stepped toward River. The creature’s head turned in my direction and a voice like a grating debris-filled torrent rasped, “You need your daddyyy to fight your battlllesss?” Tables rolled to the floor around us, and I sensed the harpy was frustrated that he’d been unable to budge us. River was steady as a granite mountain and… he was growing.

 

River crossed his arms over his chest and said, “Listen, Lord Blowhard. Not only don’t I need my father, but it’ll take a more than one of your impotent wind farts to take down a member of our family. My sister could take you in her sleep.”

 

The being bristled and the wind increased at River’s words. I stepped forward, addressing him. “Who told you we have your power?”

 

The harpy’s sparring partner approached and whispered into his ear, sending a glance toward the corner where another hooded figure sat at a table against the wall. His boss? Or just an interested party trying to prevent the fae from experiencing the fate of Morpheus?

 

The wind picked up under the blowhard’s gray rags and his mouth closed in a disgruntled line, but he lowered his sword and backed away, not releasing my gaze until he reached the table. Then pointing the sword one last time at River, he said, “We will finisshhh this later at a time of myyy choosssing.”

 

With a scraping of chairs, the so called Lord and his sparring partner cautiously backed out of the Moat, trying to save face, though Gods truth, it made them look like cowards.

 

River’s reaction was even worse. “What’s wrong with now?” he roared. Yes, he was itching for a fight, his voice shaking with rage, the first emotion I’d heard from him in weeks. Any other time I might think that was good but though he appeared to be in control, I felt the building energy he held under tight rein. What would it take for him to snap? I put my hand on his arm to bring him back to himself. He shrugged it off and stomped back to the bar.

 

My spine tingled a warning and I scanned the room to see where the threat was coming from. There in the corner, lounging against the wall near the fighters’ table was a black hooded figure. I felt his gaze though the shadow from his cowl disguised his features. His black-gloved hand moved across his chest and I caught the glimmer of something between the folds.

 

His mouth turned up in an evil grin and he drew the material closed but not before I got a brief look at the necklace hanging against his chest with a dragon’s eye in the center. I steeled myself not to react as he rose and sauntered out.

 

What was a dragon hunter doing in the Moat of Morpheus.

 

Buy Here:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com//dp/B01GK2MOB4

Amazon UK  https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/uk/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01GK2MOB4

Amazon CA https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/ca/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01GK2MOB4

All Romance https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-takethesebrokenwings-2140770-140.html

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/take-these-broken-wings-2

Itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/take-these-broken-wings/id1118777289?mt=11

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940153209159

Page Foundry  http://www.inktera.com/store/title/d4e2e093-1630-4de2-a54c-62861bf58f41

Scribd  http://www.scribd.com/book/313905436

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

Author Biography:

Love happens…when you least expect it. So does the weather. So magic in one form or another, and storms, are at the heart of most Livia Quinn books. A DC native who lives on the bayou in Louisiana, Livia has stored up a wealth of quirky stories from her jobs as a mail lady, sales person, plant manager and small business owner that she’s anxious to share with her readers. Visit her soon on her new website https://www.liviaquinn.com

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://liviaquinnwrites.blogspot.com

Email liviaquinnwrites@gmail.com

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+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LiviaQuinn

Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

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

Author Central http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KPDXXE2

 

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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! 

Shazam! Magick is in the Air and @RuthACasie Offers Guidance #magic #POTLReads #Halloween


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Shazam!

Spells and spellcasting. The very first spell I clearly remember is salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. Put them together and what do you get? Cinderella! A magic coach, horses, a footman, glass slippers and a beautiful ball gown and let’s not forget the handsome prince.

What makes the fairy-godmother’s words a spell? A spell is much like a prayer said with a great deal of intent, focus, and will that gives words (or nonsense ones) new meanings. Deborah Blake, an authority on Wiccans, explains that taking a shower can be a magical event. Your intent or goal is to wash away the stress of the day. You focus on the water pouring down on you and visualize your stress being washed away. Your will is to apply energy to the task. Along with the words she uses to increase the impact of the magick “Water, water, wash away all the stress of the day,” your shower becomes magickal.

So, is Cinderella’s fairy-godmother invoking magick? Her fairy-godmother cast her spell speaking an incantation to create a specific outcome. She clearly imagined what she wanted. She intended the magic coach, horse, etc. to all appear. She was keening focused on the results. And through sheer will she used all the energy at her disposal to make it happen.

magic

 

What is a spell? Spells are written or spoken words together with set actions sometimes using objects, all with the intent to bring about specific results. The words are the important thing. The actions and objects are used to help the spellcaster concentrate and amplify their request. They use what they feel works well for them candles, herbs, oils, gems and other things. Color, phases of the moon and the day of the week may also play an important part of the spell.

Are there any rules for using magick? Deborah Blake, in her book, The Goddess is in the Details by Llewellyn Publications, July 2009, lays out the seven beliefs at the heart of being a witch.

 

  1. Harm none. The Wiccan Rede says, “An it harm none, do as ye will.” While this sounds simple, whatever you do make certain you harm no one. That includes yourself and anyone else. She pointed out quite clearly that downstream affects are really unknown. This rule is a guideline and a reminder that the intent should always be to do good.
  2. Do not interfere with free will. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and should not interfere with the actions of others. Not every witch (other regular person for that matter) seems to believe in this.
  3. What you put out (into the universe) is what you get back. The Law of Return. I believe very strongly in this rule and I’m not a witch. I call it paying it forward. I truly believe that if you give of yourself will come back to you threefold.
  4. As above, so below: Words have power. Witches believe that words have power. It is the reason why spells are said out loud—to announce your intention to the universe. They also believe symbols can be used to heighten the effects of words and can stand for objects or ideas. Sometimes they use candles, stones, water, wine, or anything that will help connect them to the object or idea. As above, so below means they not only have the power to effect change through symbolism and their connection with the universe, but they must also be careful with their words and thoughts. Ms. Blake gave a great example. If words have power, and you get back what you put out, think what would happen when you say, “I hate you.”
  5. Magick is real and witches can use it to bring about positive change. With combination of their belief that they can bring about positive change and the power of words and symbols, they use intent and focus to alter their world.
  6. We are part of nature. All Pagans have one thing in common—they respect nature and believe they are a part of it, not above it. While traditional religions view humans as superior, Pagans see themselves as guardians. Witches worship the mother earth, the nature goddess. They follow the cycle of the seasons and strive to connect to nature and stay close to their primordial gods.
  7. The divine is in everything, including us. Pagans believe in the old gods and goddesses and that there is an element of the divine in everything. This is at the heart of what it means to be a witch. This connection to the universe and to the divine gives witches both power and responsibility. It connects them to every other living being.

 

So, let me leave you with this. Find a comfortable place to sit where you won’t be disturbed. Light a white candle, take a sip of red wine, hold the book you’re reading, and say:

 

The winds are still,

as the words unfold.

Strong is the will,

as the story is told.

Peace fills the room,

and carries you away.

Imagination in bloom,

the rest of the day.

 

Now sit back, open your book and enjoy the adventure. Happy Reading!

 

Ruth A Casie close

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today best-selling 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. 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.

 

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

 

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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 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.

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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.

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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! 

Hold Onto Your Dream: Advice from Author @LiviaQuinn #amwriting #giveaway #BatonRouge


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My little seasonal restaurant kept me hopping this year. I wouldn’t complain except it left me so little time and energy to work on my new book, Take These Broken Wings. But with summer winding down, I finally made it out to the Quinn den to work on Wings.

 

Getting things back in order, I noticed my calendar was stuck on July. For a reason…

 

Original dream

 

“HOLD ON to your original dream!”

The two key parts of this quote were why I stood transfixed in front of that calendar for several long seconds. First, holding on to the dream takes perseverance and dedication, as you learn the skills needed. And second, it’s easy to forget as we confront the challenges on the journey how passionate we were about making that goal a reality. It’s good to remind ourselves of that desire.

 

In June 2005 I was laid off. It was a real bummer especially since I’d just bought a new car but I decided to take the summer to try to get my head straight and wind down from six years of working eighty-hour weeks. I sat by the bayou handwriting stories that had been in my head for years. What an escape…

 

Then came Katrina. I left Louisiana to work in D.C. and Atlanta (more eighty-hour weeks) so I could pay the bills and six months later I was back home writing. The first time I decided to enter a contest was 2007 and I got 2nd place for Only the Heart Remembers in romantic suspense. I read later on the agent/judge’s website, “Send me your manuscript, but please no ‘amnesia in the storm’ stories”. Good thing I didn’t read that before I entered the contest. J Fear can be a huge de-motivator. It can annihilate your dreams.

 

From that contest, I received an “I almost bought this but it’s not quite right for us” letter from Harlequin and was asked to send two versions of it to another editor at a conference. After being pulled in so many different directions I began to doubt myself, put the manuscript aside and moved on. But after publishing my Destiny Paramortals and Storm Lake East series, I decided to take a chance, revisit this book, retitle it and bring it to my readers.

 

Storm Warning is the fulfillment of that the original dream, published ten years after it was written. There’s so much of me in it, my fascination with storms, the premonitions (Brenna’s “curse”), the community of characters I’ve loved for so long. My hero and his lady have a magical connection but I don’t want to give it away so I’ll just say, there are plenty of surprises.

 

In chronological order, Storm Warning is third in the Storm Lake East Series, after Her First Knight, and before Merry Christmas, Baby where you meet characters from all three books and upcoming characters from my next book, coming this winter. I sure hope you love the characters in Storm Warning as much as I do.

 

For this week only, Storm Warning is $1.99 to celebrate its ten-year anniversary.

 

Want a chance to win the full ebook set of Storm Lake East books in epub or mobi? Simply retweet this link to your followers and come back here to post your tweet in the comment box. (Books will be delivered via email.)

 

Did you have an original dream? Have you given up on it or are you still pursuing it? Why not clip this little calendar pic to your computer or frig to remind you to never give up?

SW ad button

 

Blurb:

You’ve killed him, Bad Brenna taunted. Brenna looked down the steps at the man lying motionless in the tropical downpour. I told you that silly phobia would get you in trouble if you didn’t get a grip.

 

Brenna knew she was right, knew it was exactly why Bad Brenna existed, to help her cope with the trauma that had turned her into a scared rabbit whenever lightning was in the forecast. But her anxiety over the approaching storm had been magnified by yet another premonition. Typically, it meant someone was about to die. Had she been the means, this time, of fulfilling her own prophecy? As usual, there were no clear answers. She needed to start trusting her sixth sense if she was ever going to get rid of Bad Brenna.

 

But for now, she had an unconscious burglar on her hands…

 

 

Excerpt:

“Who are you?” he demanded, looked down at her with suspicious eyes.

Her eyes widened with consternation. “Oh, my God. You have amnesia. You don’t know who you are.”

“No, damn it. I know exactly who I am.” His words were slurred. “What I don’t know is who you are and why my head feels like it’s about to implode.”

He swayed, staggered backward. It didn’t take precognitive abilities to see it coming. She grabbed for him, wedging herself behind him to prevent yet another concussion. Now, hadn’t she known what would happen next?

Suddenly, he was toppling backward, but at the last minute he flipped her over to take the brunt of the contact with the hard floor himself. She felt the air leave him followed by a startled oomph as she landed on top of him—hard.

Brenna blew the hair out of her eyes. “Well. I guess chivalry isn’t dead. I’ll bet that hurt.” She rubbed her knee as he threw an arm over his face and groaned. She was going to succeed in killing him if she didn’t get him into the bedroom.

He swore again, lavishly, and this time her grandfather who’d spent thirty years in the Navy saluted from his grave. For a couple long seconds, he floundered like a beached octopus legs kicking and arms moving until he finally righted himself. Brenna knelt next to him and placed her hand on his shoulder.

He flinched. “Leave me alone. Are you trying to kill me?” His left hand cradled his temple.

“I’ll have you know I was trying to break your fall. You were going down like a Redwood in the Sequoia National Forest.”

He shook his head, “Silly woman, if I’d landed on you, you’d have been hurt.”

Another sharp crack of thunder made Brenna flinch. When the light flickered on those amber eyes amidst a mask of blood and bruises, she shivered. Bad Brenna was thinking, He’d make a nice Christmas present. Her eyes traveled down the contours of his body. Rational, sane, levelheaded Brenna knew this might turn into her worst nightmare.

How could she even think of sex at a time like this? Her house was a wreck. The power was out. Handsome stranger or naked burglar or hunky naked burglar—however she chose to think of him, the bottom line was she didn’t know who he was or how she was going to get him on his feet.

It couldn’t get any worse.

“Shit. My head hurts, and I have to piss,” he said.

She rolled her eyes. What a gentleman.

He put his hands on the floor, gathering the strength to rise. He swayed like a rickety saw horse on all fours, his bicep muscles quivering, face turning a sickly green as his features contorted.

“Oh, no.” She recognized that look.

“No, no, wait.” She darted for the trashcan.

Too late. He threw up, and her freshly waxed hardwood floor was covered with a stinking, steaming, slippery pile of vomit.

Ick.”

She glimpsed of his eyes rolling up, and just as she got a hand on one a powerful forearm, he passed out. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to keep his shoulder from grazing the oozing pile of muck when he landed.

A loud boom shook the cabin.

Brenna looked up at the ceiling. “Oh, quit, will you?”

 

Click the retailer for link to Storm Warning:

Ibooks

Amazon

Kobo

Nook

ARe 

Paperback

Goodreads

Inkterra

Page Foundry

 

 

Note: Book 5 in the Destiny Paramortals, Take These Broken Wings is available for preorder now on all retailers for October 2nd release.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter www.twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/liviaquinn

 

Sign up for my newsletter  http://eepurl.com/W94bb

 

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/1TfBMe9

All book links http://liviaquinn.com/books.html

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

Author Biography:

Livia Quinn is a DC native who lives and writes on the Louisiana bayou. She’s stored up plenty of quirky tales from her jobs as mail lady, plant manager, entertainer and business owner to share with her readers. Visit Storm Lake, where anything can happen!

 

She’s including some links you can go to if you’d like to help South Louisiana residents who were hit hard in the recent 500-year flood. 80,000 families were affected!

 

Volunteer Louisiana (state website)

Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

United Way — Baton Rouge

Salvation Army — Baton Rouge

Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Council of Baton Rouge

Capital Area Animal Welfare Society

Louisiana Association of Educators (Flood Relief Fund)