Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

I am kicking the dust of 2013 off my feet and leaping into 2014, the year I publish my first three books. Woo-hoo. Here's to The Queen of Swords, The Knight of Wands, and The Tin Man. May they all become bestsellers!

Hey, do you think I have a thing for books with "The" in the title? Oh, well. Here's to everyone who's read my blog and to everyone who will read my books.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Another Excerpt from The Queen of Swords


The following excerpt is from the start of the book:

“Just so ye know, vampires don’t kill—except by accident, of course, or to commit deliberate murder.”

The sound of his deep, musical burr quickened Cat’s pulse. It could only be the good-looking Scot who’d been checking her out from the stacks for the past twenty minutes.

“Excuse me?” She raised her eyes from Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, but did not turn around. There was no need. She’d already memorized every detail of his appearance while he skirted her gaze. Each time she looked his way, hoping to catch his eye, he was conveniently reading the book in his hand. Each time she returned to her work, the prickling hairs on the back of her neck gave away his game.

He seemed uncannily familiar too, though she couldn’t place him. The proud stance, powerful build, and thick copper hair all struck a chord—a sweet arpeggio that resonated somewhere deep inside.

“The average adult has five liters of blood,” he began to explain, “and the average stomach can hold fewer than two.” He paused to shift gears. “She’s also wrong about the coffins. And the impotence—though the book remains one of my favorites of the genre.

“Mine too.” She set the gold-clad novel on the table beside her laptop. “Do you go here? You seem familiar."

“Nay. I went to Saint Andrew’s ages ago.

She still didn’t turn. “Oh? Then what brings you here?"


“I just moved to the village,” he said, “and heard the university had an impressive collection of vampire literature. So, I thought I’d see for myself—to kill a wee bit of time. But it seems ye’ve beaten me to it.

“For my dissertation,” she offered quickly, pinging with guilt. She did not add that renewal of her faculty contract hinged on her finishing her Ph.D. before the term ended in three more weeks. Or that she was hopelessly behind. If she told him how under-the-gun she felt, he might leave. And she wanted to keep talking to him.

He was undeniably handsome. Bodice-ripper, book-cover handsome. Straight nose with a slight flare at the end; strong jaw and jutting chin; prominent brow and cheekbones; intense, deep-set eyes that turned down at the corners ever so slightly; and a sweet, kissable mouth whose tucked lower lip made it both boyish and sensual.

Apart from the biker jacket and boots, he might have stepped out of one of the Highlander romances she read every chance she got—a longstanding guilty pleasure. For some inexplicable reason, she’d been attracted to all things Scottish for as long as she could remember.

He reached past her, selected Dracula off her stack of reference material, and began looking through it. She could hear the pages turning behind her, but couldn’t bring herself to turn round. If she met his eyes, she would melt like butter.

“He was lucky to have no reflection to fuck with his head.”

His voice brought her back, but only partly. “Who?”

“Count Dracula.”

“Oh.” Embarrassment scorched her cheeks. “It was meant to symbolize that he had no soul.”

“I ken that. But is it true, do ye think?”

Cat knew from her Highlander romances the word “ken” meant “know” in Scots, but was otherwise confused by his question. Why did she find his closeness so discomposing? Men, even good-looking ones, rarely had this effect on her.

“Is what true?”

“That vampires have no souls,” he clarified. “That they’re eternally damned.”

“I don’t believe in—”

When she didn’t go on, he prodded. “Ye don’t believe in what?”

She was going to say “eternal damnation,” but remembered it was never a good idea to discuss religion—especially her religion—with any but like-minded practitioners of the craft. And even then, it could lead to heated disagreement.

Turning at last, she met his eyes, an astonishing shade of gold—like topazes or whisky backlit by the sun. They also were so gnawingly familiar she wanted to scream. 

She tried to speak, to wrench her eyes away, but couldn’t seem to. Images of heather and bracken, of misty hills and crystal lochs, washed over her like a dream. What in the name of the goddess was happening to her?

Unable to bear his riveting gaze any longer, she turned back to the table, winded and shaken. She took a couple of breaths to slow her pulse and regain control. As he reached past her to return Dracula to its place, her eyes followed his hand—a sculptural marvel with long fingers tapering from furrowed knuckles to lustrous nails. She shivered as she imagined those fingers traveling over her flesh. He smelled good, too. Natural and earthy. Like a walk in the woods on a crisp autumn morning.

“How do I know you?” She had to force the words through her throat. “Have we met before?”

“Oh, aye.” His breath brushed her ear. “A couple of times.”

Join the Cover Reveal Blogosphere Blitz

Still looking for bloggers for my Cover Reveal Blogosphere Blitz for THE QUEEN OF SWORDS on January 20th. If you can help, leave a comment with your email and the url of your blog. I've got more than 30 bloggers so far, so it's shaping up into a happening. Woo-hoo.

Cover Reveal: Cogs in Time, a steampunk anthology

Cool cover, eh?

Cool book, too.

It's already on my TBR list. The book releases January 9th. Here's the blurb:

Go on an adventure through unheard of places in time and existence. Here in these remote areas, thriving cities, and secret worlds, a strange technological revolution reigns. Inside these pages inventors, dreamers, and revolutionist rule in worlds of steam driven machines, cog powered humanoids, clockwork miracles, and paranormal magic. Dressed in corsets, top hats, and cog lined finery the heroes and heroines face down immense obstacles as they take to the skies in airships, use incredible technology that is a mix between ancient and futuristic, and discover love.

Sixteen talented authors, artists and poets have come together in the must read anthology of 2014. The product of this collaboration is an incredible journey through a blend of sci-fi, fantasy, action, adventure, history, paranormal, and romance that embraces the roots of Steampunk while pushing the genre to new, bolder limits

Friday, December 27, 2013

Recruiting Book Bloggers for Cover Reveal

My debut novel will be released by Vamptasy Publishing on March 22 and I'm hosting a Facebook cover reveal event on January 19th (my birthday). I'm revealing the cover to the public via blogs and book sites the following day. I'm looking for bloggers who might like to participate in the reveal. The book, titled The Queen of Swords, is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy about a white witch who returns every hundred years to try and free her soul mate, who's been earthbound by a dark wizard's curse. If you'd like to participate, please leave a comment with your contact info or send a message via my Facebook author's page.

The book trailer follows:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDpqAmn-DdQ&feature=youtu.be

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Don't Miss My Birthday Bash/Cover Reveal

On January 19th (my actual birthday), I'm putting together a Facebook event: a combined Birthday Bash/Cover Reveal for THE QUEEN OF SWORDS, my debut novel to be published March 22 by Vamptasy Publishing. At this point, I'm thinking the event will take place between 6 and 9 p.m. and will feature contests and giveaways (handcrafted spell boxes and tarot decks, for example). If you want to be included, please "like" my author's page on Facebook on or before New Year's Eve or follow me on Twitter.

THE QUEEN OF SWORDS, a paranormal tale of undying love, tells the story of a white witch who returns every hundred years to reunite with her eternal soul mate who's been earthbound by a dark wizard's curse. Will she free him this time around or will history repeat?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Pen And Ink Blog: The Twelve Days of Writing for 2013

The Pen And Ink Blog: The Twelve Days of Writing for 2013: We posted this last year, but history repeats. by Lupe Fernandez On the Twelfth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Twelv...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Excerpt from The Queen of Swords

Not the actual cover.
Are you ready for an excerpt? I'm busy building buzz around the internet with my book trailer (if you haven't yet checked it out, please do so on YouTube--and be sure to click "like" and share it with your friends).

THE QUEEN OF SWORDS tells the story of a white witch who returns every hundred years to reunite with her soul mate, who's been earthbound by a dark wizard's curse. Will she find a way for them to be together this time around?

Here's a wee taste:

Graham had just come upon the misplaced diaries—in the cupboard under the stairs—when he caught a whiff of something burning. Concerned, he stepped back into the foyer. A quick look around revealed nothing unusual. He sniffed the air, again detecting smoke, though none of the toxic undertones of a house fire. Neither did it smell of a choked chimney. It was, in fact, pleasantly herbal—like the juniper-laced bonfires of Beltane he knew in his youth. Was Branwen burning incense...or Benedict trying out a new pipe tobacco?
Shrugging it off, he grabbed the box of diaries and headed for the stairs. As he climbed, so did the smoke. A picture of Caitriona came into his mind. Or was it Catharine...or the new one? He couldn’t be sure as she was naked and her hair hung loose. As she reached for him, he saw something odd: a blue fire the size of a pilot light in the center of each palm.
Like moth to flame, you yearn for light. Come from shadow into my sight.
The words whispered. Caitriona disappeared. Desire blossomed. What was going on? At the top of the stairs, he was sweating and dizzy. Every nerve ending, every vein, burned like fire. He raced down the hall toward his bedchamber, dropping the box as he shot through the doorway. Bending to collect his spilled diaries, he startled at what he saw:
He had no hands. And no feet.
The smoke and ethers enveloped, pulling him apart cell by cell until he felt like the sands of time moving through an hourglass. The cosmos was silent except for a haunting echo—like the sound inside a seashell. He felt at once connected to everything and nothing. Adrift yet highly attuned; blind yet all seeing; numb yet hypersensitive; defenseless yet omnipotent. Others were there, too—phantasmal energies blowing past and passing through like sleet.
The next thing he knew, he was on his back, winded and disoriented. The room was dark save for the flicker of a solitary candle. He could make out only two pale shapes. The larger one, he presumed, was a bed, the smaller one, by the window, his summoner. His nostrils flared, seeking her scent, but found only the spices of the smoke.
“I told ye to stay away from me,” he growled. “Why did ye not listen?”

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Queen of Swords

Here's the new and improved version of the book trailer for The Queen of Swords, releasing March 22, 2014.


If you want the larger version, go here: Copy of The Queen of Swords

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Release Date for Queen of Swords!



When Graham Logan, a Scottish nobleman turned immortal blood-drinker, draws the Queen of Swords, he knows he’s about to meet the love of his life—for the third time. But surrendering his heart will mean risking her life or making her what he is, two things his beliefs won’t allow him to do. Graham, who walks a tightrope of regret and sacrifice, rages at God: Why give her back only to take her again?
Cat Fingal, the latest incarnation of Graham’s soul mate, won’t let him slip away so easily. A white witch, she casts a spell to summon him—for answers and to deflower her—making refusal impossible.
Graham is convinced she comes back every hundred years to punish him for abandoning her and his unborn heir on the eve of their wedding back in 1815. Cat believes she returns to free his soul by forcing him to reevaluate the beliefs that keep him stuck and miserable. Before he can defeat his demons, both internal and external, Graham must put his faith in the power of love.

Promo for the Queen of Swords

Here it is: my promo poster for The Queen of Swords. I looked and worked long and hard on it.
And it looks like this might end up being the image for the actual cover--since the cover artist for Vamptasy loved it. I love that she's goth, has long brown hair, and is reading a book. In the text, the heroine, Cat Fingal, is a total bookworm who also is a white witch and teaches literature at a British university specializing in occult studies. So, books are mentioned often, especially in the vampire genre. When the book opens, she's working on her doctoral dissertation on the evolving vampire archetype in literature.

Anyway, I worked hard on the graphic so I hope it doesn't suck (pun intended). :P

Playing in PicMonkey

Been playing in PicMonkey, trying to make "posters" for my upcoming releases. Here's the one I did for my thriller, THE TIN MAN. What do ya'll think? Woke up at 5 a.m. with the script for the trailer rattling around in my brain...so, of course, I had to get up and write it down.

Still working on poster for THE QUEEN OF SWORDS. Much harder to conceptualize, for some reason. Spent all day yesterday on PicMonkey and iStock and still not happy.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Give someone you love a Hellhound this Christmas!

Help me help Rue Volley's fantastic new book, HELLHOUND, hit No. 1 on Amazon this Christmas and she will dance naked on television on Christmas Eve! No, wait. That's something else I'm thinking of, but still. The book sounds fab, so go and buy it right here, right now. Or, watch the book trailer on YouTube and then go buy the book.

Here's the blurb:

Halo Bay has had nothing but bad luck with men her whole life, from a cheating high school boyfriend to the abusive one she just stabbed through the eye. Fatally wounded from her last fight with him, she falls unconscious, only to wake in purgatory with two choices before her. Sew her own eyes and mouth shut and wander around purgatory for an eternity, or, follow an extremely hot man, by the name of Gunner, to Hell. There she will train to be a "Hellhound," a hunter of all things nasty that escape Hell and go topside. Only with this can they try to redeem themselves and possibly gain their freedom. Settling into her new life as a HELLHOUND is almost easier than the amazing love affair just starting to grow between her and Gunner. His inability to open up, and her problems with trust, tend to make things difficult. Not to mention, she has another who admires her, the Prince of Fire himself, Lucifer. Halo becomes frustrated and makes a fatal mistake that could cost her everything.

Doesn't it sound fabulous? And it's only 99 cents today for the Kindle edition! Go forth and bring your HELLHOUND to heel before Book Two hits the streets on Jan. 4.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Woo-hoo! Three Books Releasing in 2014

Great news! I just signed two books, THE QUEEN OF SWORDS and THE TIN MAN, with CHBB/Vamptasy. Tentative release date is late February or early March in both electronic and paperback formats. Another book, THE KNIGHT OF WANDS, will be released in late spring as a Kindle book by Soul Mate Publishing.

Here are the blurbs for the newly signed:


THE QUEEN OF SWORDS, a paranormal romance:

When Graham Logan, a Scottish nobleman turned immortal blood-drinker, draws the Queen of Swords, he knows he’s about to meet the love of his life—for the third time. But surrendering his heart will mean risking her life or making her what he is, two things his beliefs won’t allow him to do. Graham, who walks a tightrope of regret and sacrifice, rages at God: Why give her back only to take her again?

Cat Fingal, the latest incarnation of Graham’s soul mate, won’t let him slip away so easily. A white witch, she casts a spell to summon him—for answers and to deflower her—making refusal impossible.

Graham is convinced she comes back every hundred years to punish him for abandoning her and his unborn heir on the eve of their wedding back in 1815. Cat believes she returns to free his soul by forcing him to reevaluate the beliefs that keep him stuck and miserable. Before he can defeat his demons, both internal and external, Graham must put his faith in the power of love.


. . . 

THE TIN MAN, a political thriller:

The last thing Alex Buchanan, the editor-in-chief of a formidable news site, expects as he looks around the newsroom at the bodies of his editors, is that he'll soon be teaming up with The Ball Buster to solve the crime and stay alive. Well, maybe not the last thing. The last thing he expects is to fall for her or any other woman. Because he's The Tin Man--a suit of armor without a heart.

Or so he believes...

The Ball Buster is his private nickname for Thea Hamilton, a smart, gutsy, and insecure investigative reporter for The New York News, America's newspaper of record. They went out once years ago--an unmitigated disaster during which she jumped all over his case about smoking.

When events force them together, they embark on an emotion-charged, high-octane quest for the truth, ending up in bed, but also in the clutches of a sociopathic corporate raider. "Zeus" is obsessed with James Bond and owns a hardcore S & M club in an old fallout shelter. Is he the killer? And, if so, what's his motive? What he hopes to gain by torturing the journalists is clearer: the proof they've uncovered of a corporate takeover scheme that threatens the future of democracy. And he'll stop at nothing to get it.




Thursday, December 12, 2013

Release Day: Avenging Innocence by Samantha Ketteman

It's release day for AVENGING INNOCENCE, a dark fantasy thriller by Samantha Ketteman.

Here's the blurb:

In the  aftermath of a devastating judgment, a mother tries to understand how justice could have failed her daughter so completely. Nightmares plague Jemma about the horrors her daughter experienced, slowly driving her to seek her own vengeance. There is nothing more beautiful or dangerous than a mother's love for her child, and Jemma will stop at nothing to avenge her daughter's lost innocence.

To celebrate its release, the publisher (CHBB/Hot Ink/Vamptasy) is offering the Kindle edition today for only 99 cents. Get it here: www.smarturl.it/avenginginnocence

Here's a little bit about the author:

Samantha Ketteman has resided in southern Illinois for seven years (though still claims to be an Alabama girl), with her husband and three crazy demon children. She started reading novels at a very young age and decided to write for herself. She is working on The Forgotten series, as well as the Destiny Discovered series, the Reaping Justice series, and various other projects. AVENGING INNOCENCE is a stand-alone novel. When she's not writing, Samantha is thinking about writing. Novels are an escape from the harsh reality of a cantankerous teenage boy and two drama-queen girls.






Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Six of Swords

 
 
Isn't this a beautiful card? It's from the Illuminati tarot deck. One of my Facebook friends shared it with me this morning so I thought I'd take a few minutes out of writing THE KNIGHT OF CUPS (yes, there are tarot cards in the book) to blog about it. Yes, I read tarot cards--mostly for myself and family members, and not all that often anymore. A few weeks back, I did a Celtic Cross spread asking about my books: what would happen with them? Would they sell? Would I know success with my writing? The cards I drew seemed to suggest that I would sell all three of my completed manuscripts within the next few months--and guess what? I've signed a contract for one and have been offered contracts on the other two. The cards also suggested that I would receive both intellectual and creative fulfillment from my writing--a very good thing. Financial success would be nice as well, but you can't have everything, right? I did, however, draw the Three of Pentacles in the position of "what is passing out of your life"--the card of turning a creative pursuit into a profession (moving from apprentice to craftsman, in other words).

Now, to get back to the Six of Swords. As you can see from the image, the card shows a ferryman or gondolier taking a rather downcast-looking woman and child  across the water to a distant shore. Note the water. On the near side of the boat, it is rough; on the far side, calm. This indicates the moving away from difficulties to better times. It can mean a literal journey, of course, but I have no plans (and no money) to travel, so I suspect it's the former. Times have been hard for me and my family for the past several years, so this card brings the best possible news: Things will soon get better!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's re-release day for Being Mrs. Dracula

Some of my regular readers (do I actually have any?) might remember that I shone the spotlight on indie author Faith Marlowe and her fantastic book, BEING MRS. DRACULA. Well, a few days later, the book was snapped up by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. (For those who don't know, CHBB
is the leading Indie Publisher for Dark Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, and Suspense novels and short stories for the Young Adult and New Adult Market.) 

Be sure and pop by the re-release party on Facebook tonight from 8 to 10 p.m.

Here's the blurb for BEING MRS. DRACULA:
 
When Valeria’s hand was given in marriage to the handsome and powerful Count Vlad Dracula, she dreamed of happiness but instead her life was filled with longing for her absent husband, their country ravaged by war. When Vlad at last returned from the battlefield, he was a changed man, an alluring and dangerous creature with a thirst for her blood . . . and for more wives.

For over one hundred years, tales of Count Dracula have haunted and seduced the imagination of readers worldwide. Now experience the story of Dracula from a new perspective, as told by the three women who knew him best. Discover their stories, their secrets, and find out what it would be to love and be loved by history’s most powerful vampire in Being Mrs. Dracula.

In a marriage that spans centuries, one man shared between three women, love may be eternal but happiness is not guaranteed . . .


Buy it now at Amazon.com!

Here's an excerpt from a recent review:

"Bram Stoker . . . knew that each of Dracula's wives had a story, and an interesting one at that. But that was not the story he was telling. Faith Marlow came along to remind us, and to bring us that forgotten story. It is well worth your time and money to buy this story and read it. It will stick with you for a long time after." 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bruce McAllister nominated for Cybil Award!

Woo-hoo! I'm thrilled to share a bit of news I just picked up on Facebook: Bruce McAlister's magical new novel, The Village Sang to the Sea: A Memoir of Magic, published by Aeon Press, has been nominated for the 2013 Cybil Awards. I wish my old friend Bruce--a great person and fantasy and sci-fi writer--the best of luck in the judging. For a recent review of the novel, see what the award-winning author Paul Di Filippo has to say on Locus Online.

Here’s the novel’s blurb: During the Cold War a 13-year-old American boy, Brad Lattimer, moves with his family to a fishing village in Northern Italy. It is no ordinary village. But Brad is welcomed like a long-lost cousin. His teacher is a gentle hunchback with a lisp who is more than he seems to be; and there are witches in the olive groves who will poison your cat, but not for the reasons you imagine. In those same groves there is a village so small it shouldn’t be a village, its red doorways too short for normal men to pass through easily; and at night, on its narrow cobble street, creatures that should not exist walk while a single baby cries forever. On the sands of the next cove sits a pale girl who somehow knows the poetry of the great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and wants you to drown with her, just as Percy drowned near this village over a century ago. This is the village where Brad, too, will start to dream strange dreams and write his first stories; where he will fall sick because the village’s magic has a hold on him: It wants him to become something other than a boy–something that can never leave it–something it can have as its own forever.

This is Bruce's third novel. Years ago, in another life, Bruce and I worked together at the University of Redlands, he as a professor of creative writing and me as the news bureau manager. The book is 172 pages and is available to purchase here on the Albedo One website in print for just 11.00 (euro), and can also be bought in eBook format on Amazon.com (here) and Amazon.co.uk (here).

Author Spotlight: Danita Minnis


Today's author spotlight shines on Danita Minnis, author of LOVE ENTWINED and FALCON's ANGEL.
 
How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
I began writing my new novel Love Entwined before I was aware of its genre. In those early days of the story brewing in my mind, I only knew that I wanted to read a romance with an ancient mystery attached to it, preferably something to do with reincarnation, which fascinates me. I came away with a contemporary paranormal romance with a bit of historical in it and healthy portions of horror.

Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world? Being the ‘baby’ of the family was very enlightening. With four older sisters, there was much to absorb in various stages of our lives. As children often do, you revisit conversations, things that happened when you really weren’t paying attention. When you’re older, these things come back to you and sort of click into place, maybe answering a question you’ve always had or confirming a stance. It has turned out to be a constant education, these little lessons of the past, and being a contemplative individual I am really grateful for them.

Where is your favorite place to write?
Besides writing in a hammock surrounded by a beautiful garden (which I’m determined to have one day), I love to write in a quiet corner of my busy living room. I must have some sort of background noise around me, whether it’s an old mystery movie on the TV or the dog playing nearby with his ball. Those mundane things are very soothing to me.

How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
I’m ruthless. J I kill my darlings all the time. If a character’s story doesn’t work with my ultimate goal, they’re gone. Sometimes I write to the end of the story and when I get there if I don’t like what I read, character assassination begins. Sometimes it is character enhancement. If you love a character in one of my stories know that they will meet harm at some point because I love shock value. I’ve always enjoyed a story that takes me someplace I had no idea where it was going.

You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
I have many favorite authors but since I’ve been reading a lot of Anne Rice lately, I’ll go with her. I would ask Ms. Rice what was her inspiration for creating the Vampire Lestat, what started it all?

Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
I would hate to be in a dark, windowless room, devoid of sights and sounds. With my imagination, I’d probably scare myself to death.

You are stranded on a deserted island with only a back pack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?
My cell phone, laptop and British model David Gandy! Wait, he’s not an item. I guess my last item would have to be David’s latest magazine cover spread. When I’m not writing, I’d be ooohing and aahing. J

If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be? The power to root out evil in a person, just lay hands on them and take it away! I’d travel all around the world and touch millions of people. I’d be known as the Evil Undoer.

Favorite snack?
Egg Nog – tis the season!

Indy 500 - Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit? I definitely know how to get where I’m going although I’ve been good lately. My son just received his driving permit, have to be an example now. J


Love Entwined Blurb

Run, little witch…

Amelie Laurent is on her way to the top of the jewelry designing world with no time for men. Her orderly life is about to come undone when jewelry tycoon Roman Cardiff steals her away on assignment to a remote English estate. Roman wants Amelie all to himself but St. Clair Manor’s resident ghost has been waiting for her much longer than he has.

Run home…

An unseen gunman takes a shot at Roman and he blames a business rival. But Amelie and Roman are to blame, for falling in love 200 years before in a time neither of them remember.
From the heartbreak of pre-Revolutionary France to modern day corporate wars, Amelie and Roman uncover a history of blood jewels, lust and demons. 

Good witch, bad witch, you must decide…

When Amelie discovers her inner witch she learns the real reason she was summoned to St. Clair Manor. Il Dragone will kill to get her back. Amelie will kill if they do.


Excerpt

Mr. Cardiff’s eyes burned into hers. There wasn’t anything angelic about them now. She felt naked. Focus. He was saying something.

“…and I would like you to work on the designs.”

“Me?” She asked. Breathe. She fought to regain her equilibrium. It wasn’t working.

“Yes and the timing is perfect, now that you’re no longer working on that other project.” With a smug smile, Harold came out from behind his desk to stand between them.

She needed some breathing room and stepped away from Mr. Cardiff. She was still close enough to hear him chuckle under his breath.

He frowned at him. Was he making fun of her? No, what she read in his eyes was a challenge.

He gave her a repentant grin.

Maybe it was three months of pent up anger at being—for lack of a better word—manipulated in her home. Or, maybe it was three months of the best sex—real or imagined—she’d ever had in her life with a phantom who chose to introduce himself at this very inconvenient time when she was trying to quit her exhausting job. It was also just as likely the fact that her warm and generous dream lover was actually a pampered and conceited heir who probably had more woman than the time required to service them.
Whatever the reason, she had reached her limit.

Amelie faced Mr. Cardiff. Folding her arms, she acknowledged what had passed between them and accepted his dare. “It would be my pleasure.”

Harold gave her an odd look and guided her to the divan as if she needed some guidance, which only served to irk her more. “You will be in good hands with Amelie. Did you know that she was lead designer behind Bijou’s Artisan Collection?”

“I had no idea.” There was a slight edge to Mr. Cardiff’s tone, but it was nothing compared to the arrogance that frosted his eyes. “And how is our old friend Garamonde?”

Was it possible to hate someone at first sight?

“Still old, I suppose.”

Harold coughed, and she refused to look at him. She would stare Mr. Cardiff down until closing time, if need be.

As quickly as his eyes had frosted, they warmed up again with amusement.

She could not quell the sinking feeling she had lost control of the situation. She suspected it had never been in her possession in the first place. But now that the fateful words of acceptance were out of her mouth, the wind went out of her sails.

Mr. Cardiff smiled as smoothly as he had just engineered this desired outcome. He sat down on the other end of the sofa and stretched long, muscular legs out. They nearly reached the desk Harold leaned against. A swimmer’s physique, she thought, and then shut that errant thought down as quickly as it had surfaced.      
“Excellent,” he said. “When will you be ready to leave for St. Clair Manor?”

“Mr. Cardiff, this is highly irregular. I cannot be contracted out…” She looked at Harold.

He shrugged.

She schooled her voice back to a modicum of professionalism.

“Mr. Cardiff, we have everything we need here at Penrod’s to do the job. I can forward the sketches to you in just a few weeks’ time.”

Harold cleared his throat and belatedly, she realized what he was going to say.

“Actually, Amelie, we are also contracted for a refurbishment project.”

Merde, it would take months.

She had gone from the verge of resigning her position to yet another commitment, to him, no less.

Still, she had been cornered by powerful men before. Men who were born with advantage in the corporate sector. Men who obtained everything they wanted and many things they didn’t, without even trying.

Some men, she snorted inwardly, don’t deserve the women they have. Or had. But she’d promised herself she would not think about Emil Garamonde anymore. As much as it hurt to know she’d lost control with Emil, she had finally convinced herself that what happened between them was a normal, human mistake.   
It was ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. And, oh, how she’d learned. She would never let her guard down again.

Mr. Cardiff’s good looks hardened her resolve. She tried again to dissuade him from this kidnapping Harold was consenting to because this time she wanted to win. She put cold steel in her voice.

“Another few weeks, and the jewels will be safe here in our vault while I work on them.”

His chiding chuckle said they were both aware he had her. It made her feel chastened, but it also made her legs weak with an unwelcome tremor of desire.

The handsome devil had dimples to boot.

“Ms. Laurent, I am afraid that is impossible. The Cardiff collection never leaves St. Clair Manor. I’m sure you will find our facilities more than adequate. As for the sketches, I will need to work closely with you on concepts.” His eyes raked her form again. “I am very hands-on.”

Her legs did give way then. She sat down on the divan. How could I have ever thought his smile was angelic?

Bio

Danita Minnis grew up singing and once thought she would do that all her life. She soon found writing just as fulfilling and writes paranormal romance. She loves mystery, mysticism, the fantastic and the fey. She has published The Cardiff Novels, a series about one family’s trials with vengeful demons, a legacy of ghosts and mysterious blood jewels. She is currently working on the third novel in the Cardiff series, which introduces the Cardiffs’ connection to ancient vampires.

Danita is a member of Romance Writers of America. She is a lover of chocolate, a good, scary movie, kittens and pubs--especially Siberian Huskies. When she is not writing, she exercises her lungs at her son's soccer matches and their favorite theme park, because everyone knows it's easier on the stomach to scream your way down a roller coaster.


Links
Facebook Cardiff Novels Page: https://www.facebook.com/DanitaMinnis?ref=hl


The Cardiff Novels
Love Entwined, A Cardiff Novel Book 2 Amazon   Amazon.ca
Amazon UK
Falcon’s Angel, A Cardiff Novel Book 1 Amazon   Amazon.ca   Amazon UK

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tomorrow: Author Danita Minnis

Join me tomorrow when the spotlight shines on Danita Minnis , author of LOVE ENTWINED, "a contemporary paranormal romance with a bit of historical in it and healthy portions of horror," according to Danita herself. Sounds delightful, doesn't it? Tomorrow, I'll have the blurb, excerpt, an interview, and more! Don't forget to stop by!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

One-Day Book Blitz: Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry


Bitter Fruits - Book CoverFor fans of dark urban fantasy comes a novel that questions why forbidden fruit is always the most tempting . . . BITTER FRUITS by Sarah Daltry, a new adult paranormal romance releasing today (Dec. 1, 2013) as an e-book by Escape Publishing.

Here's the blurb:

Attending a vampire-themed masquerade party seems like a strange way to spend a night, but Nora is sick of frat parties and bars. Meeting Alec was just a bonus. Despite their immediate attraction, Alec is wary of involving himself with Nora, and when she pushes it, she uncovers secrets that could destroy them both. Is she willing to risk everything for a man she hardly knows? How far into darkness will he take her?

When Nora attempts to follow, things only grow more complicated. Someone is hunting her--someone tied to a secret that goes back to the beginning of man. Soon, Nora finds herself drawn to two men, each with his own agenda. Can she save them both when one is destined to die?





Here's a wee excerpt to whet your palette for BITTER FRUIT:
He sits in front of me and brings me to his chest. Our flesh is hot and sticky where it touches and I can’t stop the ache between my legs. His breathing is ragged and he tightens his grip on the back of my head as he tries to slow it. I am hurt or angry or frustrated, but I don’t know which. He runs his hands along my entire body and I push against him, needing him and not knowing how to accept his denial.
‘I want you, Nora. I have wanted you since I saw you. You are gorgeous. However, there are secrets that... Please understand, the steps that you want to take will reveal things. This cannot end well for either of us. I don’t want to make you suffer, but I am fated to suffer. Don’t make me bring you with me into the darkness. I can’t bear to lose you.’
I sense the pain that grips him. The darkness that he speaks of sounds frightening, but I don’t feel fear when I face him and meet his eyes. ‘I will follow you anywhere. Dark or light. Stop trying to make my choices for me.’
Our lips meet again, but it is with doubt. Neither of us knows what will happen if we are to move forward, but I want to have a chance to find out.
My body is still crying out for him but now my mind is calm. I want him, but I want him when he knows that I’m ready for whatever that means. His hands touch me and his caresses are soft. We both slow our breathing and I try to let my will match his. When he pulls away, he gathers the picnic and looks at me with longing and a hunger I do not recognize. It’s not sexual, but desperate. Almost as a dying man looks in the last moments of his life.
‘In three days,’ he says, ‘I will meet you again at the church where we first met. In the meantime, I want you to look something up — and if you do not appear at the church, I’ll know that what you found changed everything.’
‘Okay,’ I say warily. I’ll do anything he asks, but his fear scares me. What kind of secrets can he possibly hold? Little right now could stop me from going to him in three days.
‘Find the name Charles Samuels. He was an Oxford student in the 1960s. And then we shall see how much of the darkness you are willing to face.’
‘I’ll look him up, but Alec, I’m going to be at the church in three days,’ I say.
‘For your sake, Nora, I hope that you’re not.’

Author Bio:

Teaser 5 Sarah Daltry writes erotica and romance that ranges from sweet to steamy. She moves around a lot and has trouble committing to things. Bitter Fruits is her first full length novel. Her other two novels have already been released. Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley are simultaneous perspectives in the New Adult contemporary romance series, Flowering. Sarah also has three novellas (including Star of Bethlehem, part of the Flowering series) and several short stories available. She is currently working on Immortal Star and Daughter of Heaven in this series, and Orange Blossom, another novel in Flowering . When Sarah isn’t writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.

Stalker Links:



bitterfruitsbanner

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tomorrow: Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry

Don't miss the one-day blitz tomorrow (Dec. 1) for Sarah Daltry's new adult dark paranormal romance BITTER FRUITS.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Taking The Tin Man down from the shelf

Why's it called The Tin Man?
Because Alex Buchanan, the hero,
believes he's incapable of falling in love.
I don't know if I've even mentioned that I wrote a political thriller a couple of years back, but I did. It's the story of two investigative reporters who team up after becoming embroiled in a plot to take over the media and manipulate public opinion on a global scale. The story has two heroes: Alex Buchanan, an ex-pat Scot who runs a formidable online news site, and Thea Hamilton, an investigative reporter for America's newspaper of record. Years ago, they had a date during which she jumped all over his shit about smoking (her mother, who smoked the same brand, had just died of lung cancer) and ever since, he's thought of her as "the ball buster." Meanwhile, she's thought of him as "the one who got away." Circumstances throw them together again and they're off on a high octane quest to discover who's been killing credible publishers around the world and just took out Buchanan's entire staff (he made a narrow escape).

Anyway, I just got word that it's a "go" (with a few changes). And on Thanksgiving Day, no less.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Making serious progress on The Knight of Cups

A few days ago I reported that I've been writing like a fiend (hence, the dearth of blog posts) on THE KNIGHT OF CUPS, book two in the Knights of Avalon series. THE KNIGHT OF WANDS, book one, is slated for release by Soul Mate Publishing in Spring 2014. I just checked the word count after finishing today's scene (gotta hit the market for turkey-day fixin's soon) and I've already written just over 80,000 words. Woo-hoo. Still a ways to go yet, but it's getting there.

Blog Tour: Saved by a Rake by Em Taylor

Saved by a Rake - Book Cover Today, it's my pleasure to welcome Em Taylor, author of SAVED BY A RAKE, an indie-published historical regency romance now available on Amazon.

SAVED BY A RAKE tells of the relationship between Lady Rebecca Eversley and Lord Daniel Ramsey. Rebecca is facing ruination after being ravished by an Earl. Now she must decide: will she swallow her pride and face the viscous gossips of the ton or live out her days as a country spinster. Lord Ramsey, a notorious rake, has been given an ultimatum, marry before his father dies or lose the majority of his inheritance. Rebecca seems the perfect candidate, especially once rumours about her start to circulate in the drawing rooms of Mayfair. The murder of the scoundrel who ruined Rebecca soon puts a kink in the couple's wedding plans.

A Scotswoman, Em Taylor was told as a child she had an over-active imagination—as if it were a bad thing. She’s traded her dreams of owning her own island to hoping to meet her own Mr. Darcy one day. But her imagination remains just as vivid. Unfortunately, Em was put off reading and writing by school and although she rediscovered her love of reading many years ago, she only tried her hand at writing again in 2011. After a year of writing fan fiction, she wrote an original short story for an anthology. This was followed up with two more shorts and four novella-length books--all published under a pen name. Having fallen in love with a new sub-genre, courtesy of books by Mary Balogh and Lynsay Sands, she decided to try her hand at her new favourite genre for reading—regency romance.

Having bitten the bullet, she has found her home in the 19th century, which also give her an excuse to watch as many hunks in breeches and tall boots as research demands (and we all know what a demanding mistress research can be for an author of historicals, eh?).

Em was born and raised in Scotland and now lives in a wee village where she has sole control of the TV remote. Outside of writing, she's a teacher.

Read on for my exclusive interview with this talented new author:

NM: What drew you to the genre?
ET: The decadence of the Regency period along with the fact that they are all very prim and proper on the outside but there is pure sexual tension running through everything.

NM: How would you describe your style/voice as a writer?
ET: I’m not a very flowery, descriptive writer. I use 50 words where other authors will use a chapter. But it’s definitely British, which I feel is necessary for Regency.

NM: Which character is your favorite? Tell us about him or her.
ET: Daniel is my favourite character so far. He’s a very honourable man deep down even though he put on the airs of a rake. He may be a bit of a lad about town, but he has real moral fibre.

NM: What other authors inspired you to write?
ET: Initially, I wrote Fan Fiction so I guess the Star Trek authors Brannon Braga, Rick Berman, Jeri Taylor and Christie Golden were my first heroes of the writing world. But growing up, it was Enid Blyton, closely followed by Francine Pascal, who gave me a love of books and storytelling.

NM: Who else do you read in your genre? 
ET: Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Ella Quinn. I’m still relatively new to the genre so I’m gradually working out who the big players are.

NM: Who’s your favorite author and why?
ET: I have a short attention span, so my favourite author changes every time I pick up a book. Probably right now it’s Mary Balogh. I love her stories and her characters. They fit into Regency just perfectly.

NM: What other writing projects are in the works?
ET: I am writing the story or Rebecca’s brother, James. I am also due to write a short story for an anthology that will be out soon.

NM: What are your marketing strategies?
ET: Get on Facebook as much as possible, do a blog tour and tweet and tumbl in between. Marketing seems to be a bit of a guesswork as far as I can see.

NM: How many years have you been writing? How did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
ET: I started writing fan fiction at the beginning of 2011. Then in November 2011 I took part in Nanowrimo. It gave me the confidence to try my hand at writing a short story for an anthology. I’ve had four books and three short stories published under a different pen name. Once I started writing, I knew it was what I wanted to do. After forty years I had found out what I want to do when I grow up

NM: How do you come up with your story ideas?
ET: I keep my eyes and ears open and I find that stuff that happens in everyday life or stuff I read sparks an idea which seem to grow and grow (especially when I’m in the shower, lol).

NM What is the most important thing you want people to know about you and your work?
ET: I want to keep my characters realistic and work hard to achieve that.

----
Read on for an excerpt from SAVED BY A RAKE:

As his lips briefly touched hers, the carriage jolted, pushing him closer to her. He caught her around the waist to ensure she did not bounce off the seat, then, without thinking, covered her mouth with his.
He noted a moment’s hesitation from her before she moved her lips and reached up to tangle her gloved fingers in his curls. Tentatively she touched her tongue against his, causing him to stifle a groan. He had been without a woman for over a month and now his pretty little wife had her arms around him, kissing him as if she had done it a thousand times. She was a quick learner as she explored his mouth with her tongue, pressing herself closer to him.
Devil take it. He had been struggling all day to stop himself becoming aroused. Her wedding gown had been low cut and her stays showed her breasts off perfectly. He had been distracted throughout the service and the wedding breakfast as images of disrobing her later had flitted through his mind. He wanted to see those breasts again.
He unfastened the three buttons on her pelisse, peeling the material away to her side, then pulled out of the kiss and began to pepper light kisses along her jawline. God, he wanted her, and he was most definitely aroused now.
He kissed her neck and was about to place his hand over that beautiful inviting orb, when he sensed her tensing. He pulled away slowly, tugging the material of her pelisse back over her. When he looked into her eyes, they were bright with confusion, passion and fear, all clearly warring within her. He cursed himself for being too impatient. Then he cursed Newthorpe for what he had done and could not help thinking that death was too good for the blaggard.
“No. That’s the only word you ever have to say and I will stop,” he said simply.
“I am sorry, my lord. I just expected some time before… well I expected to wait until we were in the coaching inn tonight.”
“Yes, of course. It was very impatient of me. I beg your forgiveness.”
Rebecca nodded and looked out the window. The streets of London rushed by as they headed for the Great North Road. He studied the view out of the other window, and they sat in silence for a long time. Eventually Rebecca spoke in a small voice which sounded as if she was on the verge of tears.
“I fear I will not make you a very good wife if a mere kiss frightens me.”
He turned and took her hand in his. He wanted her to be comfortable and not think he was going to pounce on her and ravish her at any given opportunity.
“I have no doubt that you will make a wonderful wife, Rebecca. You just need time and patience and I have an abundance of both.”
She turned large, tear-filled eyes towards him. “You should take a mistress as soon as we reach Scotland.”
He could not possibly have heard correctly. She was giving him permission to have a mistress? Surely not. But her mouth was set in a firm line as if she had made up her mind. A stab of hurt hit him. She thought of him as a rake who would be unfaithful.
He pursed his lips and considered her. What should he do? He wanted to rail at her and tell her he had no intention of being unfaithful. He had taken vows only a few hours previously and yet now she was giving him permission to break them. But maybe the idea of him having a mistress brought her comfort. She was clearly terrified of intimacy between a husband and wife.
“We shall discuss it once we reach Scotland, my lady. I have no wish to think beyond our present journey.”
“Do you not see that I can only ever tolerate the marriage bed for the sake of giving you an heir,” she wailed, pulling her hand away from his. “He ruined me in more ways than you can ever know.”
“You are only ruined if you allow him that power. A skilful lover could make you feel very different about certain aspects of a marriage.”
“Well, I have heard enough tales to know that you are a skilful lover, Lord Ramsey. But I think you should save it for your mistresses.” Her tone was almost venomous but he ignored it, knowing that it was fear that drove her.
She turned her head to look out of the window again. He was at a complete loss. She thought him almost as bad as Newthorpe. Well, not quite but she did not think he would be faithful. A long silence stretched out between them as he considered what to say to her. Her back was rigid, and she swiped at her cheek with one gloved hand.
“What he did to you…”
“What he did has destroyed me, and I am not sorry that he is dead. I wish I had been the one to kill him.”
“Please, Rebecca…”
She burst into tears and fished in her reticule for a handkerchief, he presumed. He held his out to her and with a large sob she accepted it. He untied her bonnet and threw it onto the seat opposite before gathering her in his arms.
She tried to move out of his grip but this time he held firm, knowing that she would accept his comfort, which she did, weeping as she buried her face in his coat.
As her sobs turned into sniffles, which turned into silence then light snuffles of sleep, he held her and wondered how he was going to help his beautiful young wife over her fear of physical love.


STALKER LINKS: 



GIVEAWAY 
$50/ £50 Amazon Gift Certificate