LOVE IS NEVER PAST TENSE by JANNA YESHANOVA BLOG TOUR

Love Is Never Past Tense

By Janna Yeshanova

Genre:
Women’s fiction, Literary fiction, Contemporary romance based on true historical events, Inspirational, Strong female protagonist

Originally from the former Soviet Union, Janna Yeshanova escaped in 1989 when persecution became violent during the crumbling of the Soviet state. This required getting permission to emigrate and a long dangerous train trip across central Europe with her elderly mother, her young daughter, and the $126 she was permitted to take out of the country. She did this by overcoming gridlock in Russia, animosity and graft at the border, and neglect in the west. Safely out of Soviet control, Janna and her family spent months as refugees waiting for permission to come to the United States.

Arriving in the United States knowing not a soul, Janna settled in Ohio and began to rebuild her life. She earned a second master’s degree and was invited as a speaker at the Bosnia and Herzegovina International Peace Conference in 1996. While building her business as a Leadership Trainer and consultant, she has become a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation. She offers life coaching services to individuals, conflict resolution to couples and groups, and soft skills training to organizations of all sizes.

Her book, Love Is Never Past Tense, offers a message of hope and inspiration, showing that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself.S

Blog: http://bit.ly/2lM9TAb

Website: http://www.loveisneverpasttense.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JannaYeshanova

A couple’s quick romance and hasty marriage is torn apart by family and fate, leaving them to face the collapse of the Soviet Union separately. Years later, old memories are stirred to give their love a second chance.

Serge and Janna’s chance meeting at a Black Sea beach sparks a passionate romance and a quick marriage. Serge’s parents, suspicious of Janna’s motives and heritage, force him to break up with her. As the Soviet Union collapses, revealing ethnic and social pressures, each faces danger separately. Serge drowns in self-doubt, his life spiraling down and in. Janna plots a dangerous exodus to America with her mother and daughter. Years pass, stirring old emotions. Then changing circumstances give their love a second chance. Janna Yeshanova tells a story, providing a very personal view of political and social change.

Love is Never Past Tense is part romantic drama and part a look at real people responding to life-changing events, but mostly a suspense adventure about living through one of the biggest changes in living memory.

Love Is Never Past Tense is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle eBook formats. The newly released audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. The audible and Kindle versions are enabled with WhisperSync.

The audio is narrated by Daniela Acitelli, a narrator with dozens of audiobooks to her credit. Even those familiar with the story found new meaning in her presentation. It took me two years to find her.

Audio Book at audible.com https://adbl.co/2FrEWAs

Audio Book at Amazon https://amzn.to/2Bt9s8W

Audio Book at iTunes https://apple.co/2Kvh8KX

Amazon Author Page https://amzn.to/2AhhY9j

Amazon Kindle https://amzn.to/2Ku6h3S

Serge didn’t try to catch up to the shuffling, thin, leather skirt. He hadn’t a clue what he would do if he actually caught up with her. So he continued following her along the high embankment for a fairly long time, until they crossed the whole of Lanzheron Park. But, reaching the beach, the girl quickly descended to the sea. Serge even began to jog a bit to keep her in sight. His head was clear this morning, and soon he would try out his cunning for the first but not the last time this day. The spy set up camp at the upper solarium and watched over her. Maybe she was waiting for some company, or a young man, or a girlfriend (which would undoubtedly seem to be better), but to our spy, all were equally bad possibilities. This guessing game carried on in his head, but it seemed she wasn’t looking for anyone. She ducked into the changing room, and her leather skirt momentarily hung over the edge of the stall. After a minute, she exited, and Serge, pulling his long hair away from his head with both hands in anguish, groaned something unintelligible. Her breasts exited the little room first. The spot from where Serge looked down provided such visibility that his knees began to tremble. Her face was impossible to discern through her long hair and sunglasses, but something told him it would also be in order. She laid before her a light beach towel and laying down she took a book from her bag and began to read. Burning her “landing site” into his mind, Serge took off like a shot to the nearest cabana rental. Fast as lightning, he exchanged his clothes for a key, crammed two metal rubles in the pocket of his swimming trunks, and became Don Juan. He feared, though, that there were already a bunch of admirers slinking ever closer to the sacred beach towel, and that he would simply be too late. He’d have to crawl to his place in line, and like the others, would have a poor chance of success.

He flew down the stairs and quickly found the beach towel, but … its owner was nowhere to be found. There was a book, a beach bag, and sunglasses, but their owner had disappeared. Oh, yes! This would be the second time that a smart thought visited Serge’s head today. People come to the sea to swim, after all! This interpretation of her disappearance comforted and delighted Serge. He became bolder and impudently tossed his glasses onto the same towel and cheerfully marched to the water. With his half-blind eyes, he surely could not see her. And where, among dozens of bathers? He dove into a wave and swam away from the shore. First, he couldn’t stand to watch bathers jumping around like frogs in the shallow water. Secondly, at this moment, his exceptionally quick-witted head told him he couldn’t be the first to return to her beach towel. Then he’d have to take his glasses and fiddle around a bit in front of the beach towel to buy time as he came up with a new plan. Perhaps he’d cover himself with the towel, or maybe … no, he needed to work on his initial scenario.

He even came up with a sophisticated opening: “Excuse me, young lady, but I left my glasses here on your towel. I simply didn’t have anywhere to put them, or myself for that matter.” With this, his stockpile of ideas was depleted …

At last he climbed out of the water and headed along the well-trodden route to her beach towel. The towel was in place, and on this towel lay the magnificent body of its hostess, but Serge’s glasses were lying a little bit farther on the edge of the towel. Serge squatted down and mumbled his introduction. He was counting on her to respond with typical beach chit-chat: “Where are you from? How long ago did you arrive in Odessa?” or other such nonsense.

“Your glasses are fine,” she responded. “I figured someone just confused their beach towel with mine but have a seat anyway.”

She scooted over, freeing up half the beach towel. He got scared. If he lay down, then he wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to nuzzle up to her. Then he’d certainly look like a pervert, a youth brought up with no manners, or a pest—in a word, he would give the exact opposite impression than he wanted. He mumbled something like a “thank you” and lay down beside her on the sand. She motioned towards him with a little bag of sunflower seeds, “Help yourself.”

” Oh God, what’s this?” resounded in Serge’s mind. “Are you kidding me … sunflower seeds?” And his hand with a subsequent “thank you” reached in the bag.

“Do you like Ilf and Petrov?”2

”Lord, who is she talking about? I’ve only heard of them in passing, but I don’t know the slightest thing about them …” Serge thought to himself.

“My name’s Janna,” she came to his rescue.

“Sergey,” he stammered in reply, “but at the institute everyone actually calls me Serge, or Seriy …”3

She chuckled.

“Grey. You’re actually black as tar. Where did you get such a tan?” she asked, spitting out sunflower seed shells. Not even awaiting a response, she exclaimed: “Here is an interesting moment”—and she began to read her book aloud, something about Ptiburdukov and his Varvara, who was leaving her first husband for him but couldn’t make up her mind. Janna read for a while, probably about five pages, and then thrust the book towards Serge and said, “You read from here,” marking the place with her fingernail. Serge began to read, but he didn’t understand a word. He was too busy worrying about his diction, trying not to miss any letters or words. He fought through two pages, but his audience was clearly not impressed.

“Would you like a cigarette?”

“If he has a smoke, then he’ll stop reading.” Serge could almost hear her thinking. He pulled a cigarette from a mashed-up pack of Javas, the best tobacco the Soviet Union could offer at that time. She handed him the matches. He brought the flame close to her face. She took a drag and rolled over on her back. Serge absolutely didn’t know what to do: read, blow sand from her, ask her about something. But she was not waiting for any questions and didn’t ask any questions. It was as if he simply was present. And that was that. The only thing that remained was for Serge to stare dumbfounded into the sand and observe the ants. Having smoked half the cigarette, she jammed the other half into the sand and turned back over on her stomach, brushing her leg up against Serge’s. But she did not hasten to remove it. Silent Serge, who really didn’t look the part of a reasonable person, turned into an animal. His uncontrollable desire sprang to life, pulling his swimming trunks down into the sand with such force that it became painful. Serge secretly burrowed a hole in the sand, easing the pressure. He became obsessed with a craving to climb on top of her. But this was out of the question, which made his desire even stronger …

“It’s hot. Let’s go for a swim,” she said, lifting herself up on her elbows. For the first time he could see her breasts up close, causing his heart to leap through his ribs like a bird in a cage. He muttered he’d catch up to her, and when she left, his desire ever so slowly began to hide itself away, until he was finally able to get up and head towards the sea.

She splashed around in the waves, which towards midday became quite sizable. He flopped about next to her, often brushing up against her body. Then he suggested tossing her in the waves. He cradled her head and shoulders, gathered her hands into his, and finally lifted her up and tossed her into the waves. Janna liked it, and so did he, but for a different reason: every time she hit the waves, her bathing suit slid down slightly, and when her breasts finally became exposed, he was ready to splash to his very death. Suddenly, she ended up cradled in his arms. With one arm, she grasped his neck, and he now understood that everything will happen, he just needed to patiently wait.

Once something starts, eventually, it ends. The delightful swim as well: they returned from the water and again lay down on the beach towel.

“I want to get tanned like you.” (She had already switched to the informal you4 in the water. He liked this, as it made him feel less uneasy around her). She placed her arm next to his for comparison, and her brown skin seemed much paler than his almost blackened arm. Guiltily, he informed her that he just returned yesterday from his apprenticeship in Baku, and so it was not surprising that he was so dark.

“You have beautiful hands,” she pensively remarked. Then, determined, she added, “No, you just wait. I’ll catch up with you in two days. Just wait and see.” These words poured over his body like oil. For Serge, this meant that he would spend at least two more days with her.

“Get some ice cream. Do you need some money?”

“I have it,” answered Serge, but before he could get up and leave, he had to turn and crawl to hide his “desire” …

***

During their first three days together, Serge (as they called our hero at the time) was the quieter of the two, once in a while muttering some insignificant phrases. The first time he saw her, he silently followed her for a long time. She walked along easily, shifting her long, rather well-proportioned legs. Her thin leather skirt swung from side to side, barely hiding her shapely hips. A green blouse tightly covered her beautifully straight back. All the while, Serge followed her like she was a vision, lacking the courage to come closer or to back away. He knew that making her acquaintance was a long shot; she was simply out of his league. How could he possibly know that she, a complete stranger, would inexplicably impact his life and be with him forever, whether she was at his side or not?

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07 Dec – Ash Stone Author

CAMOUFLAGE BY IVY KEATING & SCOTT SPOTSON SPOTLIGHT TOUR

 

CAMOUFLAGE

BY IVY KEATING & SCOTT SPOTSON

A missing man, a new police chief and an unexpected New England town mystery.

When Sean Dermott, the newly appointed police chief, sees the report that a popular local high school coach is missing, his growing fascination with the alluring Vanessa Strauss, who reported the disappearance, makes him determined to solve the case.

The investigation leads him and his team deep into Quarry Head Park, a local scenic preserve with nature trails and expansive views. There is no sign of the missing man, but what he does find terrifies him to the core.

From the depths of the park, a deadly prehistoric looking creature emerges, attacks swiftly and silently, leaving devastation in its wake. In the chaos which follows, it is up to Chief Dermott and a team of scientists to fight for balance by ensuring the safety of his town and preserving this remarkable discovery.

He will risk his career, his reputation and even his own life to stand by what he believes to be right. The question is, will he succeed, or will all be lost?

Grab your copy now!!

Amazon ~ Champagne Books ~ Goodreads

Motivated by nature’s mysteries and the complexity of human behaviour, Ivy Keating writes science fiction and fantasy novels exploring the relationship between mankind and the natural world.

A master’s degree in social work helps her explore the nature of her characters and give them added depth as they grapple with the repercussions of their actions. This novel was inspired by the landscape and natural beauty of New England.

An area that inspired the question… what if?

www.ivykeating.com ~ Instagram ~ Twitter

 

The following week on Monday, when Sean returned to work, he found new information on the homicide in Lakeside Park in his inbox.

The fingerprints lifted from the evidence belong to Marcus Branca. He is now the number one suspect. He’s also the prime suspect in a robbery caught on tape in Litchfield. The security video from the drugstore robbery and a mug shot are attached.

The next paragraph got him thinking.

A current address for the suspect is not confirmed. His mother, Evelyn Branca lives at 201 Daleview Circle in Norwalk, Connecticut. A transcript of her statement is attached. She stated the last time she saw her son was two years ago in October when he asked her for money.

He’s robbing close to home. He has no confirmed address, and he last called his mother two years ago.

Sean’s gut told him—she’s lying.

He closed the email to focus on the open cases within his department.

The results of the forensic tests from the soil samples should be in.

He placed the call to the lab. The receptionist told him the tests were completed and transferred him to a technician who gave him the results. “The soil samples you sent over came up negative for synthetic and natural rubber. No trace metals either. We found nothing man-made in it.”

Sean thanked the woman. Nothing then.

He glanced at the time on his computer screen. In one hour, he needed to attend a seminar on emergency protocols as outlined by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, given at the University of Connecticut. He turned off his computer, preparing to leave when he saw Ryan standing in the doorway.

Sean waved him in. “What’s up?”

“I have the report I promised on Jason Kenner last week.”

“Including what happened to the car and the credit card statements?”

“Yes. And some information from recent bank records,” Ryan said, handing Sean a hard copy.

“Have a seat.”

“Remember the name on the account, Marsha Philips?”

Sean nodded.

“She’s an old girlfriend who lives in Albany, New York, about two hours away. I was able to speak with her.”

“What did she say?”

“They lived together, and she was crushed he’s missing. It sounded like Marsha cared very deeply about him, so I asked what the nature of their relationship was today. She said they’re just friends. They broke up because he has a gambling problem.”

“Is that why he has so many credit cards?”

“Yeah. He uses cash advances to get money. Marsha said he’s been doing that for years. He wanted her to open a card in her name and take out an advance for him. She refused and gave him an ultimatum. Get help for his addiction, or it’s over. He never got help.”

“Does she know there’s a credit card statement in her name going to his house?”

“She does. She knows he opened a card in her name illegally, but she doesn’t want to press charges. Two months ago, Jason told her that he owed someone money and they’re after him. He asked Marsha if she could loan him two thousand dollars, but she refused. He opened the card without her permission but then called her to confess what he’d done and closed the account. She feels terrible for him. She said he’s a good man; he just has a problem.”

“That’s very forgiving considering what he did,” Sean said.

“Yup, but the story checks out. I followed up with the credit card carrier, and they did receive a request to close the account. And there’s more. Marsha said when they first started dating Jason owed someone $11,000 for betting on football games. He was so scared they would come after him, he told her if he didn’t get the money he’d have to leave town. She gave him a small loan, and he took a second job to cover the rest. Marsha said he would tell her he stopped gambling, but she knows he never did. He was always short of money the entire time they were together.”

“I’m a little surprised none of his friends said anything. There’s nothing in the file about it,” Sean said, wondering if Vanessa knew about Jason’s addiction.

“From the way Marsha spoke—he was good at hiding it. He held a steady job, and for the most part they had a good relationship.”

“I can see that. Jason’s very popular around here. He was working with kids coaching the winning basketball team. Looks like a model citizen. Any idea who he owes money to?”

“Not yet, but his landlady said he hasn’t paid his rent in two months. I did some checking, and he’s behind on all his other bills. There are some illegal gambling operations in neighboring towns that local law enforcement is building cases against. I could contact them.”

“Yes. Do that.”

He nodded. “Right away.”

“Oh, did you find out what happened to his car?” Sean asked, standing and gathering his things.

“As a matter of fact, yes.” Ryan followed Sean to the door. “The car was repossessed for non-payment. He hadn’t paid in almost six months. It was pure coincidence it was taken away now.”

“See what else you can find and keep me updated.”

Ryan returned to his office, and Sean left the station. On the way to his police car, he detoured into the building next door which housed the Animal Control Department.

After exchanging greetings with Officer Benjamin Gibson, the head of Animal Control, Sean asked if anyone claimed the dog he found.

“No such luck. No one’s called, and the poor creature’s been staying at the animal hospital since you had him brought in,” Ben said.

“How come?”

“He tested positive for Lyme disease. He’ll be okay, but they wanted to start him on antibiotics so they kept him there.”

Sean rubbed his chin. The dog’s been through enough. “If no one calls you today, I’m going to pick him up and take him home.”

“Good for you,” Ben said with a smile. “Hey. Since you’re here, a video just came in of a mutilated animal in Quarry Head Park. Want to take a look?”

“Someone filmed it?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t have much time. Is it long?”

“Not at all. Just shy of two minutes.”

“Sure. Let me see.”

“I just want you to be prepared. It’s pretty gross.”

“I appreciate the warning,” Sean said, even more interested.

Ben pulled the file up on the computer and turned the screen toward Sean.

The camera caught every angle of the gruesome sight. Sean flinched. What the hell?

The body in the footage looked like a deer. The features on its face were squashed; the eyes no longer clearly defined. The neck of the animal was bent in the middle—the head lay flat on the ground twisted to one side. Two stumps, which were once the deer’s front legs, jutted out just past its ears. Its back legs were crushed and wedged into position under its belly. Even more bizarre, the lifeless mass had a gelatinous looking coating over its entire body.

“Do we know what happened to it?”

“No. The footage was taken by a fifteen-year-old boy on his cellphone. He was riding his bike with a friend in Quarry Head Park. They went off the path, and his friend fell from the bike when he hit this dead animal.”

“Who gave you the video?”

“His mother sent it in by email. She wanted to make sure someone cleaned it up before anyone else got hurt. She said her son’s friend developed an itchy rash from the slime covering the animal’s body.”

Sean pointed to a marker on a tree in the video. “This is next to the yellow path,” he said. “Hold off on removing the animal for just a few hours. I have to go to a seminar at the University of Connecticut, but when I come back I want to take a look at it myself.”

“Sure. Hey, when you get to the school you should talk to Dr. Greg Mitchell. You can show him the video.”

“Why? Who is he?”

“Greg’s a professor at the University and the head of the Biology Department. He knows a lot about animals and specializes in herpetology.”

“Herpetology? The study of reptiles?” Sean asked.

“That’s right. Actually it’s reptiles and amphibians, so he covers both land and water. Greg lives right here in town. Last year he helped us relocate a Bog Turtle found in someone’s yard. They’re endangered, you know.”

“But even I can see this looks like a deer.”

“I know, but he’s very knowledgeable. He might be able to help. Anyway, it’s just a suggestion, and you’ll be there anyway.”

“Okay, can you send me the video?”

“Not a problem. I’ll email it to you now.”

Sean thanked Ben and left for the University. Once in his cruiser he scrunched his nose, mulling over the grisly video. Natural causes or foul play?

 

HOSTED BY

 

INTO THE MOONLESS NIGHT by A.E. DECKER @moonfallmayhem @_BookMistress

Into the Moonless Night

By A.E. Decker

Moonfall & Mayhem:, Book 3

Fantasy Young Adult/Adult

 

Catch Starthorne has spent a lifetime running from the prophecy that names him as the one who will save the shifter race, but now that he has returned to his home in Clawcrags, he may have to face his destiny. Determined to slip through fate’s fingers, Catch sows confusion, making friends from foes, mixing up the occasional sleeping death potion, and matching wits with an overbearing lion-shifter, who appears to have plans of his own.

While Catch schemes, Ascot works to retrieve him with the help of a witch and a pair of madcap shifter rebels. But every attempt to reach him earns her fresh enemies and embroils her ever deeper in the conspiracies surrounding the prophecy. After five hundred years of repressed tension and social strife, the Clawcrags are ready to explode—and it sometimes seems someone’s working hard to see that they do!

~ Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ World Weaver Press ~

~ Kobo ~ iBookstore ~

 

“Falling of the Moon is a fantasy fairytale like nothing I have read before. Mystery and secrets take you to a fantastic mystical world sure to have a book two. It is Pirates of the Caribbean meets Cinderella. Looking forward to Ascot’s next adventure. Strong and determined with her loyal friends she will certainly make the Moonfall Mayhem a great series of books. I am ecstatic that this is just the start to what will be a truly great trilogy.”Girl + Book

“I’d say it’s like Shrek meets The Wizard of Oz if Dorothy were Wednesday Addams and Toto a talking cat with bat wings. Fun and funny with many laugh-out- loud moments. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!”  — Susan Abel Sullivan, author of the Cleo Tidwell Paranormal Mystery series

“A unique and clever fantasy, The Falling of the Moon is a thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last. Very highly recommended and certain to be an enduring favorite.”Midwest Book Review

“If you’re looking for a great Autumn and Halloween read then look no further, this series has everything you need for a cozy fall evening spent reading. This one is 5/5 stars for me, it’s absolutely perfect and a must read!”Hollie Ohs Book Reviews

 


A.E. Decker hails from Pennsylvania. A former doll-maker and ESL tutor, she earned a master’s degree in history, where she developed a love of turning old stories upside-down to see what fell out of them. This led in turn to the writing of her YA novel, The Falling of the Moon. A graduate of Odyssey 2011, her short fiction has appeared in such venues as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fireside Magazine, and elsewhere. Like all writers, she is owned by three cats. Come visit her, her cats, and her fur Daleks at www.wordsmeetworld.com or on Twitter @moonfallmayhem.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve lived most of my adult life in Pennsylvania, in the city of Bethlehem, which was first settled by Moravians in the first half of the eighteenth century. We get a lot of tourists here around Christmas. There’s also a lot of history; George Washington and Lafayette both stayed here during the Revolutionary war, as well as several other of the Founding Fathers. I suppose it’s not surprising that I decided to earn an MA in colonial American history, although I specialized in the politics of Delaware—or, the “three lower counties” as it was then known.

Of course, shortly after earning my MA, I decided to write fantasy instead. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I attempted to write my first book at the age of six or so but didn’t have the attention span. I’d somehow gotten the notion that writing was something you did after you’d gotten a “real job.” I suppose it stems from the cliché that everyone has a book in them. That may be true, but getting that book out involves a great deal of work! I was lucky enough to get into first the Viable Paradise Workshop in 2008, then the Odyssey Writers’ Workshop in 2011. Attending these writing seminars gave me the tools and confidence to pursue a career in writing seriously. A year after Odyssey, I started selling short stories. About a year after that, World Weaver Press accepted my first novel, The Falling of the Moon.

Tell us a little about your latest book

Into the Moonless Night is the third book of the YA fantasy Moonfall Mayhem series. On the surface, they appear to be mostly quirky humor, but there are some serious questions about social issues brewing underneath. All of the books in the series play off tropes common to other fantasy literature. The Falling of the Moon mostly played off fairy tale themes, while book two, The Meddlers of Moonshine, tackled Gothic literature. Into the Moonless Night is a twist on working Tolkien themes.

The protagonist is Catch Starthorne, a roguish Smilodon-shifter who is dragged back to his homeland, the Clawcrags, to confront a prophecy that has shadowed him his entire life. While he was living in exile, the situation in the Clawcrags has grown tense. Shifter-society is highly stratified. The animal you transform into determines exactly what position you’re allowed to hold, what kind of work you can take up. Lion-shifters are the leaders, dog-shifters are guards, and some shifters are so unusual that there’s no place for them—they’re cast out. By the time Catch returns, a revolution over this hierarchy is brewing and he must decide whether to help the rebels or try to flee the prophecy altogether.

Did you learn any interesting facts while creating your story?

Because this book involves people who transform into animals, I did a lot of research into animal behaviour. The protagonist, Catch, transforms into a Smilodon, so I read a couple of books that tried to restructure Smilodons from the fossils we have and figure out how they might have hunted. I learned that their sabre fangs are actually fairly delicate, and their bite weak compared to a lion’s. Their neck muscles, however, appear to have been both powerful and flexible, so most likely they would sink their sabre teeth near a prey animal’s major artery, then give a powerful, backward jerk with those neck muscles, severing it. In other words, their prey likely bled to death. Lions, in contrast use a choke hold. Sorry if this got a little graphic—I’m a bit of a natural history geek!

Another fascinating animal fact I learned is that stoats—short-tailed weasels—can actually hypnotize rabbits into not bolting by doing a crazy kind of “war dance.” The rabbits get so involved in watching the stoat jump about they don’t notice it getting closer until it’s too late. Once I learned that, I had to include it in my book—you’ll have to read Into the Moonless Night to find out how.

Who are your favorite authors?

Terry Pratchett, of Discworld fame, is my favorite author. I love his thoughtful brand of humor. I also enjoy V. E. Schwab’s writing, Neil Gaiman, of course, Susannah Clarke, Kim Newman, Hilary Mantel, and Brian Kesinger’s delightful Otto and Victoria picture books.

There’s also quite a few classic writers I go back to, such as Austen, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and the Bronte sisters. I try to read cross-genre, although I admit mysteries and thrillers are really my thing. I also read quite a bit of non-fiction, especially books on animal behaviour and evolution. Recently, I’ve been reading every book on cephalopods I can get my hands on.

Tell us your writing process

I stick to a schedule of writing every single morning from about eight or nine o’ clock to twelve-thirty or one o’ clock. So, I get three to four solid hours of writing in every day. I believe keeping a routine helps establish good writing habits; a day doesn’t seem entirely complete unless I’ve written something.

As for “how I write,” I’m a bit of a terrible re-writer. I can put down a lot of words in a single session—I’ve written as many as two thousand words in an hour—but the next time I sit down to write, I’ll often find myself editing and re-writing what I have rather than forging ahead. This is my bad habit, which I’m trying to break. It’s best to finish the story and revise afterwards.

What advice do you have for new and aspiring authors?

Work hard to develop a writing routine. If you don’t get yourself accustomed to writing daily, it becomes much easier to make excuses not to write, and soon you’ll find yourself writing very little or not at all. Don’t get discouraged. Submit your work, don’t take rejections to heart, and try again. Find a balance between accepting advice from critics and having confidence in your own work. Keep a sense of humor.

What are you working on now?

I just submitted the first draft of book four, A Trick of the Moonlight, to my editor, Laura Harvey. It’ll come back to me for revisions in a couple months. There’s one more book in the Moonfall Mayhem series after that. Meanwhile, I’m working on the third book in my as-yet-unpublished urban fantasy series about a tomato-obsessed hitman of the supernatural.

I’ve also started/outlined another stand-alone YA novel, as well as a more adult steampunk book, and a Weird Western world that my short story “Bloodsilver,” published in the Lawless Lands anthology by Falstaff Books is a part of. In addition to that, I am still working with the Bethlehem Writers Group. We put out an anthology every couple years, two of which I edited. I’m not editing Untethered, the next one on our schedule, but I will have a couple stories in it.

How do you spend your spare time?

I enjoy cooking, particularly baking. I’m told my gingerbread and peanut butter bars just might be worth beating up small children for. I enjoy reading, of course, and like to sew and knit. But if I really want to kick back, playing video games is my favorite. The ones I like best are Bloodborne, the Dragon Age series, the Dark Souls series, and Don’t Starve.

“What’s the Moonless Night?” asked Dmitri. Beside him, Moony had worked up to a rude place in his washing, tail slapping the ground hard enough to raise dust.

“Supposedly, it’s when Magden Le Fou’s prophecy will be fulfilled,” Jolt replied. “It’s a lunar eclipse occurring three nights after the vernal equinox.”

The prophecy, thought Ascot. The frabjacketing prophecy. Something about a golden star and—well, Catch hadn’t elected to tell her much else, save that the shifters of the Clawcrawgs thought he was the golden star. Which was ridiculous. Had any of them ever looked at scruffy, roguish Catch? Heard him lie with a straight face, or seen him guzzle more coffee than anyone’s kidneys could stand?

Frabjacket, how she missed him.

Dipping his head, Dmitri scratched the ground. Abruptly, his nostrils flared. “That’s only nine days from now.”

Ascot’s throat turned into a stretch of dust. “Nine days?” It came out as a dry squeak. She worked some saliva into her mouth and swallowed. “What will become of Catch if nothing happens on the Moonless Night?”

She didn’t want to hear it: the confirmation of her worst fears. Had to hear it, just so she’d know. Jolt lifted a brow, seeming surprised that she’d even ask. “If he’s not the golden star, then he’s just another slipskin. There’s only one penalty for slipping your skin in the Clawcrags.” Jolt gave his earlobe a final tug. “Execution.”

Ascot fell away inside herself. The world, shadowed and dark, floated at a distance, as if she stared at it through the cavern of her own skull. Every sound droned and echoed. Only the bloc, bloc of yet another cicada came to her, crisp as the ticking of some mocking clock.

She almost didn’t hear Jolt speak again. “Want us to help rescue him?”

 

 

Love Theories – Short Stories Collection Blog Tour @_BookMistress

Love Theories – Short Stories Collection

By C Clark Jefferson

 

Banner - Love Theories by C Clark Jefferson

 

 

Meet the Author

Author Pic C Clark JeffersonC Clark Jefferson is author of Love Theories Short Stories Collection, correspondent, blogger, playwright, speaker and writing coach. She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and has been writing since the age of nine. She obtained her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management and studied abroad in London, United Kingdom while attending undergraduate school.

http://www.dawritediva.com/

 

 

 

About the BookCover - Love Theories by C Clark Jefferson

In our lifetime, we all experience it. It’s that intimate tugging at our heart that controls our thoughts and our actions. Love Theories is a fly-on-the-wall moment into how others interpret and ultimately function given varying heart-to-heart interactions involving the universal feeling of LOVE.

Xiomora is a bi-racial teen struggling to find her place in life. Antonia, a recent college grad, meets a disc jockey and ends up in a world of trouble. A blue-collar working Wyatt, battles an unfair system to clear his name after his wife’s sudden disappearance. Majesty and Ainslie, best friends, face life challenges but with different responses. Jordan—the fearless, punctual, and sometimes ruthless venture capitalist—stands her ground in a male dominated industry. A Barbadian girl with big dreams leaves her home country in pursuit of higher education in the United States. A career-driven Angelina, once blinded by love, tries to give Cupid’s arrow another chance despite her mother’s interference. And the list goes on along this journey into the lives of an interracial couple, a culturally-biased doctor, a fraud examiner who has to withdraw from a case that involves her ex-lover, a rich man seeker, and a single mom who left her former church on bad terms.

They are each normal, everyday people, but they all are dealing with the most common and universal emotion known to man. Love Theories asks the question: How do YOU equate LOVE?

Purchase Links

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Love Theories Blog Tour

 

Excerpt

In The Middle

The breezy weather blows the palm tree leaves in a mild way as the green-violet colored hummingbird sucks out the nectar from one of her neighbor’s plants. Out of nowhere, a large honey bee goes around in circles, making loud buzzing noises while she’s moving in the opposite direction, trying to fan the stinging creature away from her. Obviously the Cotton Candy scented Calgon body mist she sprayed after swim class caught the bee’s attention. Just like Calgon’s slogan, she was hoping the day would could where someone would take her away from the madness at home.

The cookie-cutter, Orange County homes with driveways filled with cars, motorcycles, and children playing in the nearby park, wasn’t much different than the interior of her home. It was a neighborhood that screamed of peace, comfort and security.

Looks can be deceiving.

Before reaching the steps to the house, a sharp pain rushed through her ear, reminding her of that terrible day. “Look at you. Rough hair, light eyes, thick lips and you’re much too big for a Chinese girl. You won’t make any friends. In my country, your kind is nothing more than peasant farmers.” Her mother spoke in a tone slightly above a whisper as her daughter’s eyes began to flood her face with tears.

“Showing feelings means no self-control.” A grin appears moments before the wooden spoon is swung across her daughter’s head. And to make matters worse, this was her first day of starting kindergarten.

As the door opens, she sees her mother mopping the kitchen floor. A curt whisper of “hello” escapes her lips as she makes a beeline to her room. The blinking cursor on the blank email silently mocked Xiomora as she stared at the computer screen in front of her. Mei enters the room without as much as a knock on the door.

“Is something wrong?”

Xiomora has been through this same routine enough times to know that something’s behind the act of kindness coming from her mother’s lips.

“No, mother, nothing’s wrong.”

Mei stares for a moment, but Xiomora continues to sit at the computer, staring at nothing and praying that she could be left alone. Immediately, the door is shut and Xiomora is happy as a clam in high tide. At times, she feels like Waverly from The Joy Luck Club. Just like Waverly, she’s criticized by her mother for having too many American ways, which puts a relationship barrier between the two of them. Just like Lindo Jong, Mei left her home country under unfavorable terms and hasn’t gotten mentally acclimated with North America. Bother Waverly’s and Xiomora’s mothers wanted them to become a prodigy for showoff purposes.

Xiomora goes to her Facebook account and her friends Svetlana, Kate, and Moon’s pages. Svetlana’s part Russian and Native American. She used to attend UHS with Xiomora, but her family moved to a small British Virgin Island of Bequia to tend to their boating business. She’s tall, blond, slim, piercing baby blue eyes and has the typical directness of an Eastern European. Kate, on the other hand, is popular, a teen model, fashionista, and a little envious of Xiomora because her runway walk is better. Moon is the complete opposite of all four. The raspberry colored haired, gothic-clothing wearing Latino hodgepodge, likes to smoke and read about Astrology. Xiomora looks at pictures of Kate’s modeling shoot on her page.

I wanted to be a model, but she prefers the violin and I hate that thing. She says inside her mind. Kate must have read her mind because she sends a chat message to Xiomora.

“How’s everything with you and your mom?” she asks out of pure concern.

“The same,” Xiomora quickly responds without giving it a moment’s thought.

She then types, “Hello” in the small chat box to Moon, but she hasn’t noticed that Moon has already logged out.

Svetlana sends an inbox message to her.

Before she could respond to her friend, she hears her mother’s footsteps a distance away from the room. To be on the safe side, Xiomora abruptly shuts down her computer. She then lays on her bed to listen to music. Xiomora had used her savings from her allowance to buy a MP3/MP4 player so she could have a chance to listen to music that she liked. She setup a password on her laptop to make sure that her mother couldn’t repeat her previous action of deleting all her old songs and replacing them with classical and traditional Chinese music.

“Mei, why did you do that?” Mr. Greene was home from work early one day and clearly not in the mood for nonsense.

Mei proceeded to tell her father every associated superstition she could think of as rationale for why she changed the music. Mr. Greene, on the other hand, had no problem with the music selection she listened to. His main concern as a parent was to keep her off the pole and to make sure she didn’t follow the tradition of some of his trifling sisters and nieces by depending on the government system for the rest of her life. He was willing to work three jobs a day to make sure that never happened.

“You’ve been home all day, why is this house untidy?” Clyde asked his wife in a mean manner.

Mei remained silent.

Clyde is offended, “Mei did you hear what I just said?”

Not in the mood to be confrontational with him, she quickly spits, “I was getting around to it.”

She walks away without giving him a chance to ask anything else. Xiomora is glad Mei was out of sight, so she resumes listening to her music while Clyde walks to his study.

Later that same day, Mei still tried to harass Xiomora. While behind the sanctity of her closed bedroom door, Xiomora heard her mother’s footsteps long before she came barging in.

The weekend came and went. Monday evening came quicker than a black mamba hunts down its prey. Xiomora had a light day at school, no homework and she was in her room reading a fashion magazine. As usual her mother was in one of her moments. “Why aren’t you reading music sheets?” She sighed loudly when she noticed that the wooden spoon hadn’t hit XiXi as intended. “When you come home, you are to study violin.”

After her initial questioning, Mei began to chastise Xiomora for not being smart and dependent like traditional Asian girls and belittling her for not having a GPA over 4.0.

“I’ll excuse your ignorance since you are part of that other race.”

Not believing what she just heard, Xiomora was speechless. Her father happened to be standing behind his wife. He took off his glasses and gave Mei a disgusted look before uttering, “What did you just say?”

 

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Rough Edges Blog Tour @_BookMistress

Rough Edges

 

Cover Rough Edges

Work hard, play hard, love hard…

Nothing is sexier than someone who knows what they want and has the confidence go after it. This anthology is crammed full of hot romances featuring those kinds of rough-around-the-edges alpha personalities–stories about the kind of men and women who ride horses during the day and their partners at night, who speak few words but mean every one of them, and who would never break their own personal code of honor. We’re talking about cowboys… and cowgirls.

This anthology contains seven romances with a Western theme that run the gamut from sweet to sizzling.

Purchase Links

All Romance Books ~~ Amazon (Kindle) ~~ Kobo

 

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Emma’s Ride

by Christine Morgan

Emma is a demure young lady from Back East, or so she appears until her stern parents discover her inclination toward lusty leanings, and decide she’d best be safely married off before she can ruin the family reputation. She finds herself on a stagecoach bound West, set to wed an old man she’s never met. When a strapping cowboy boards the same stage, Emma realizes this might be her last chance to give in to her wild and wanton ways, but the journey may yet have some surprises in store for them both.

Excerpt

What angered Emma the most was that she was being punished for something she hadn’t done. Or, rather, that because she was being punished for it, she wished she’d gone ahead and done it.

How easy it would have been, how delightful! And they had, almost. If she’d been less coy, dash it all! If she’d not played at maidenly demure resistance, and made him pant vows of undying adoration in

her ear… why, it might have been long over with by the time Papa came in, and the ache, the terrible need in her, might finally have been met. The need that had burned since she’d discovered the books. She had never dreamed people did the deeds described in their pages, depicted in their drawings.

The flame had begun then, flickering, lapping, making her think of things she had never considered before.

Meet the AuthorChristine Morgan spent many years working the overnight shift in a psychiatric facility, which played havoc with her sleep schedule but allowed her a lot of writing time. A lifelong reader, she also reviews, beta-reads, occasionally edits and dabbles in self-publishing. Her other interests include gaming, history, superheroes, crafts, cheesy disaster movies and training to be a crazy cat lady. She can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/christinemorganauthor and https://christinemariemorgan.wordpress.com/

 

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Time Machine Cowboy

by Trayce Primm

A boring end to a cold winter’s day means shedding work clothes and popping a frozen dinner into the microwave.  But once in a magical while, the package contains a sizzling surprise that heats up more than a cold heart.

Excerpt

A sharp, mechanical ping from the microwave summoned her back to the kitchen. She picked up a pot holder and pulled on the oven door, frowning slightly when it wouldn’t open. She pulled harder, then turned the timer on and off, hoping it might be of some help. A spark arced inside, setting off a humming, buzzing sound. Before she could move, a kaleidoscope of multi-colored, neon-bright light erupted from the small machine, filling the room with streaks of smoke and jagged blue bolts of lightning.

She tried to get out of harm’s way, but it was too late. The Technicolor web held her fast, paralyzed with fear, yet unhurt. Visibility dropped to zero, and she felt disoriented by the cacophony of light and sound. The noise intensified to a horrible crescendo, then settled down to a plinking, rhythmic regularity, familiar somehow.

Her senses returned one by one, picking up a jumble of isolated images. The sound of a badly tuned player piano—the tinkling dance hall classic, A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight—the yeasty smell of beer mingled with the acrid pall of cigar smoke, a glimpse of a polished wooden bar and rows of bottles lined up behind it and the tantalizing aroma of hickory-smoked barbeque. As the colored aura cleared, she realised she wasn’t alone anymore.

Meet the Author

By day Trayce Primm transforms women into goddesses with her flashing shears; by night she uses her razor sharp words to transform boring reality into fantasy. She is a poet, published author of sensual romance, and is currently awaiting publication of a reincarnation murder mystery.

 

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Lady of Lacrymosa

by Brantwijn Serrah

When Katarina started her shift in the saloon, it was a night like any other. That was before the silent lady gunslinger strolled in through the batwing doors. Katarina can’t keep her eyes off the woman, and when the gunslinger starts to dance, sensuously spinning a black magic spell, Kat finds herself hopelessly, utterly lost. By morning, nothing will be the same.

The West gets weird, the night the strangers come to Lacrymosa.

Excerpt

Once she’d tended to her needs and tidied herself again, she slipped into the poorly-lit passageway between the saloon and the boarding rooms above. She crossed to the barroom door, still flustered and distracted, and didn’t notice the hand reach out from under the stairs and haul her back.

A short cry barely made it to her lips when there came a hot, soft mouth upon her own. Katarina felt the rough wood of the pantry door at her back, and a slender hand slid round the back of her neck, holding her captive to the kiss. A slim leg nudged between her thighs, rustling her skirt. She might have panicked but even before the scent of leather and magnolia hit her she knew who the phantom would be.

“What are you doing?” she whispered. Putting her hands up between them she nudged the lady away. “You don’t belong here. Get out, get back into the bar, or I’ll scream…”

Lady Gunslinger gave a husky, quiet little laugh, but she said nothing. Her hand found Katarina’s wrist in the dark, and without a word, she tugged the saloon girl towards the stairs.

Guest Post

Talking Shop:

Opening up Your Own Sexuality through Writing Erotica

There are a lot of reasons I enjoy writing romance and erotica, not the least of which is sheer enjoyment. I recently realized these genres are the only ones where I find myself capable of writing something actually literary, something more than simple fiction. That’s not to say fiction and genre storytelling aren’t wonderful ways to express one’s writing passions; I prefer a good escapist fantasy over heavy literary tome any day. But I find it fascinating how deeply erotica can reflect subtle truths about the human condition and the people we truly are.

One thing erotica has allowed me to do is to fully realize my own sexuality. As a child I understood the hetero-normative view of the world. When I wanted to kiss my female best friends, I knew full well I’d be going against the status quo. I knew never to tell a female friend I loved her without qualifying it as platonic. I understood that I was STRAIGHT, 100%, because I had a boyfriend.

But I also knew that women were beautiful. I knew I loved to draw them and I loved the sight of their nude forms. I knew I felt more interest in them, aesthetically, than I did men. I knew when my scene partner in drama class grabbed me and kissed me on the lips—a fake kiss, of course, a “stage” kiss—I really did wish she’d meant it for real.

I made it out well out of high school and into college—and an ever-deepening intimate relationship with a male partner—before ever admitting I might be less than 100% straight. I’m probably not the first person in the world to discover the infamous Kinsey Scale and be utterly flabbergasted by the idea I didn’t have to be entirely one way or the other. The concept of bisexuality, not completely unknown to me, was suddenly visible and tangible.

The gap of years between discovering the Kinsey scale and connecting all those moments when I wanted to love girls instead of boys, though, and my current ability to readily call myself bisexual, took quite a bit more time and understanding. This is when I really began writing erotic fiction. In fact, the very first erotic piece I really sat down and wrote—Life Drawing—was at its core a look into my own curious discovery of sexual orientation.

Erotica has allowed me to explore my own sexuality in ever-increasing ways, and at a wonderfully safe distance from any disruptive influences. I opened myself up to exploring the landscape of lesbian attraction and interrelationship. Even today, I couldn’t exactly put in words the sort of distinctions I discovered, or name to you exactly what each tale said to me about my own feelings, but I understood myself more and more each time I opened a new door through my fiction.

But I’m not a lesbian. I’m bisexual, and that’s a different thing entirely. It’s another distinction I felt my way through while writing. Because my bisexual characters are different from my gay characters and my straight characters. It’s easy to think they’re just “in-between”, but when you write them and you delve into them and you get to know them, you realize it’s not that simple at all. Bisexual characters have different expectations, different desires, and different needs in same-sex relationships as opposed to opposite-sex relationships. Their view—just like my view—isn’t just a matter of being open to sex with either gender. It’s more nuanced.

Nuance is a factor I pick up on most when I can see it on the page. When my bisexual character responds to her surroundings and situations; when my gay character is faced with assumption and labeling; when my heterosexual character stumbles into a situation with a same-sex secret admirer. One can never really assume things will always go according to plan.

Writing erotica and erotic characters opened my eyes to even more subtle gradients between the black-and-white of gay vs. straight. It leads me to understand the concept of a “singular same-sex attraction”, or how a gay character identifies him or herself based not on actual deed, but on emotional and mental self. The genre of erotica opens up not just avenues of the straight-bisexual-gay continuum, but of polysexuality, pansexuality, asexuality, intersex, and so on. It opens doors not just into the insight on sexual orientation but sexual personality: connecting with those lifestyles and fetishes you don’t yet understand, but want to understand.

The fact is, I’m a writer before I am anything else, and a storyteller, and a fantasizer. Escapist literature is wonderful, and I love to tell it. But all stories carry a weight of some truth in them, not just for the reader, but for she who put pen to page. I learn when I write; I learn about myself when I write. I learn about my own real self, and needs, and love. And that may be one of the most liberating and empowering things in writing erotic literature.

Meet the Author

When she isn’t visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can’t handle coffee unless there’s enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours pencilling naughty, sexy illustrations in her secret notebooks.

Brantwijn has two romance series currently in-progress with Champagne Books.  She’s also had short stories published in several small press anthologies. She has author pages on Goodreads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories and audio readings occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at http://brantwijn.blogspot.com/.

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Hunted and Haunted

by Jen DeLuca

A key witness in her ex’s corruption trial, Anna needs to lay low for her own safety. While she’s stashed in a remote hunting cabin in Montana, her nightly erotic dreams make her wish that sheriff’s deputy Gabe McKenna’s protective custody was a little more hands-on. Then she learns about the ghost who shares the cabin with them and discovers it’ll take both men to keep her safe… and satisfied.

Excerpt

“Tell you what?”

“Tell me I’m safe. Tell me you’ll stay.” I had come out here because I was afraid, but that feeling was long gone, replaced with something much more primal. I wanted him in my room, in my bed, but my mouth couldn’t form the words.

Something must have shown on my face, because he started toward me. Slowly, deliberately, the soles of his boots like ominous music against the wood floor. “You’re safe,” he reminded me. “I’m not going anywhere. Nothing’s going to happen to you.”

His voice was a growling whisper, and I strained to hear it as he walked closer still. Heel, toe. Heel. Toe.  Clomp-clomp. Clomp-clomp. The closer he came, the harder my heart thudded in my chest, a counterpoint to his footsteps. I didn’t shrink back at his approach, just kept my eyes on his as he came closer.

He stopped a scant inch away, the heat from his body radiating toward mine. The quick rise and fall of my breath brushed the soft fabric of my camisole against his chest in a barely-there whisper. He was a large man, and this was a very small cabin. With anyone else, I would have felt threatened, but this was Gabe and I wanted nothing more than to curl into his body.

Meet the Author

They say write what you know. When Jen DeLuca was 6, she wrote stories about girls who had dogs, played tennis, and took naps.  She’s branched out a little since then, and now her stories usually include some snark, some angst, and some kissing. A Floridian by way of Virginia, Jen loves Hokies football, latte-flavored lattes, and the Oxford comma. She no longer plays tennis but she takes as many naps as she can.

 

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My Midnight Cowboy

by Pumpkin Spice

If chocolate is the way to a man’s heart, then pastry chef Lucy Baker has the recipe for success. But will her culinary skills melt the most-hard hearted bachelor in Wyoming?

A chance encounter on a New Year’s Eve flight leaves two strangers to discover unbound pleasure and a hunger for more sexual discovery.

Excerpt

I sat alone in complete darkness until the tram pulled into a stop. When the doors opened, light poured into the car and suddenly Ben stood before me. I gasped. He said nothing.

The tram resumed moving toward another tunnel and darkness overtook the tram. I felt for him, but he was no longer in front of me. A brief pocket of light before the next tunnel spliced through the tram and Ben was on the bench seat beside me, his voice in my ear.

“Hey,”he said.

“Hello.”I waited for him to touch me. “I wondered where you went.”

“I promised to look after you and I plan to keep that promise.”

“People break promises.”

He reached his hands into my hair and pulled me toward him. His mouth grazed my neck and nibbled at the tender skin. “I don’t break promises and neither will you.”

“Maybe.”I dug my fingers into his thick, wavy hair. “Maybe not.” I toyed with him and his hold on me strengthened. The ferocity of his kiss ignited my senses and made my skin prickle with pleasure.

Meet the Author

Pumpkin Spice is the published author of adult romantic fiction. Her naughty fairy tale line “Scarlett Hood & The Hunter” and “Goldlie Locks & The Brothers Bear” is published by Evernight Publishing along with her Cupid Conquest romance, “The Hart Moment.” Pumpkin’s favorite time of year is fall when the leaves are turning, the weather is crisper and the nights are a whole lot longer. Write to her at: pumpkinspicecom@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter @PumpkinSpiceU2

 

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Coming Up Roses

by Anna Kyle

To get the long-coveted D.V.M. initials after her name, healer Rose is forced to spend the last two weeks of her internship at the Finnegan Ranch she left eight years ago, where she spent and best and worst times of her childhood.  Now Rose had to contend with using her rusty healing abilities to help a wounded, angry donkey and deal with the sexy shapeshifter cowboy who broke her heart.

Finn’s wolf did the unthinkable eight years ago – attacked the girl he loved. Then years later she’d unknowingly saved his wolf, and him. Now he has two weeks to convince Rose that the bite which drove them apart also binds them together. Because letting her go this time might not be possible.

Excerpt

If he let her go now nothing would stop her from leaving him. Forever. His wolf whined, a high-pitched, mournful sound.

No. If Rose thought she’d be happier without him, he would stand aside and let her walk away. Her safety and happiness were all that mattered. But he couldn’t let her stumble away, raw and hurting and believing he’d ever hated her.

Murmuring soft words in her hair like she was a scared filly at the crossroads of trusting or bolting, Finn held her. He wasn’t sure how long they remained locked together, swaying gently back and forth. Inch by inch her body relaxed until her arms crept around his waist and she sighed against his neck. The soft, contented noise she made was a gift so tender and precious that it stole his breath. Too soon she untangled herself and scrubbed her face.

Meet the Author

Anna Kyle spent her youth reading about and dreaming of horses and scheming (unsuccessfully) how to convince her parents to get her one. That led to writing her first story about a girl and her horse which in turn led to a lifetime love of writing. As an adult she reads everything from histories to mysteries but romances are definitely her favorite. These days she writes the paranormal romance series, the Wolf King, at World Weaver Press. SKYE FALLING was published last summer and the origin novel, OMEGA RISING, will be out late spring 2016.

 

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Jump Without Looking

by TJ Dodd

Jackie has a veterinary practice, her family’s ranch, and a habit of avoiding men. The last thing she needs is a giant, blonde cowboy who tears down her fence and rattles her nerves. Russ has no job, a beat-up old pickup, and a rundown ranch he just inherited. He needs everything except the beautiful, angry neighbor who turns him on and then runs him off. Can one pregnant cow, two horses that love to jump, and three long kisses prove them both wrong?

Excerpt

Not that his thoughts were angelic. In fact, they’d send him straight in the other direction. Jackie O’Neill was exactly the kind of woman who turned him on: spirited, strong, and sturdy. She was more of that kind of woman than anyone he’d met, so much so that she may have just become his definition of that kind of woman.

He wondered if she felt what he did, something like two magnets pulling them together. He wondered if her skin was as soft as it looked, and if it would dimple between his fingers when he held her thighs and kissed her full round breasts. They wouldn’t bruise each other, that was for damn sure. He’d fit right into her cushioned body.

Sitting next to her was a gift.

Meet the Author

TJ Dodd is a frequently sweary, occasionally inappropriate former teacher and acknowledged black sheep of her family. She’s okay with that. She shares her home with her pit bull named Piddles, who outgrew the habit but got stuck with the name. She’s made up stories her whole life and thought it might be fun to try to get some of them published. So far it has been.

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Omega Rising Blog Tour @SandsOfTime5050 @_BookMistress

Omega Rising

By Anna Kyle

Book One of the Wolf King series

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*285 pages / 85,000 words

*Paranormal romance

 

About the Book

Cover - Omega Rising by Anna KyleCass Nolan has been forced to avoid the burn of human touch for her whole life, drawing comfort instead from her dreams of a silver wolf—her protector, her friend. When her stalking nightmares return, her imaginary dead sister’s ghost tells her to run, Cass knows she should listen, but the sinfully hot stranger she just hired to work on her ranch has her mind buzzing with possibilities. Not only does her skin accept Nathan’s touch, it demands it. Cass must make a decision—run again and hope she saves the people who have become her family, or stand and fight. Question is, will it be with Nathan or against him?

Nathan Rivers’ life is consumed by his quest to find the Omega wolf responsible for killing his brother, but when the trail leads him to Cass and her merry band of shapeshifters, his wolf wants only to claim her for himself. When evidence begins piling up that Cass is the Omega he’s been seeking, things become complicated—especially since someone else wants her dead. Saving her life might mean sacrificing his own, but it may be worth it to save the woman he can’t keep from reaching for.

Omega Rising is available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Kobo, World Weaver Press, iBookstore, IndieBound and OmniLit, and for wholesale through Ingram.

Purchase Links

Publisher – Word Weaver Press

Barnes and Noble ~~ Amazon

Kobo ~~ All Romance eBooks

 

 

Meet the Author

Anna Kyle

Anna Kyle is the author of the Wolf King series at World Weaver Press – Omega Rising and Skye Falling – and author of Coming Up Roses, a short story appearing in Rough Edges, a cowboy romance anthology at Pen & King Publishing. She wrote her first story at age 12 on an old manual typewriter, and though the technology has changed, she hasn’t stopped since. She lives in the Midwest surrounded by family and friends and dogs and horses. They’ve forgiven her (mostly) when they appear in her stories. She reads everything she can get her hands on, but romances, especially paranormals, are her favorite. Vampires, humans, Fae, shapeshifters, or demons, it doesn’t matter—Anna’s heart goes pitter-pat for the Happily Ever After. Hot heroes + strong, funny heroines = awesome.

Connect With the Author

Website: annakyle.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1sn7yPX

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/22uf4oA

Twitter: Anna Kyle @SandsOfTime5050

 

Top Ten Reasons Authors Need Dogs

  1. You are #1 on the NYT and USA Bestsellers lists, the top banana, the cat’s meow (maybe not that one) with your dog. Always. Except on the 4th of July. Even your #1 status cannot compare to the safety behind the toilet. But still, other than that, it’s nice to be #1.
  2. Dogs are a built-in procrastination life hack. Walk the dog. Wash the dog. Nap with dog. Feed the dog. All good reasons to avoid writing.
  3. Dog walks and dog parks force introverted authors into the sunshine, all pale and blinking at the brightness, to soak up some much needed vitamin D. Although they long for the dimness of their office lit only by the computer’s glow, their need to talk about their dog with anyone who will listen trumps the need to be left alone.
  4. Yes, you are #1 but authors still pick up doggie poop, mop the floor when dogs barf, scrub rugs that have been peed on, or worse, loose-stooled upon. So dogs keep authors humble. Here’s a typical author-dog conversation. Dog: “Hey, can’t you see I’m walking way around this spot, clearly and carefully avoiding looking at said spot. Clean up that mess I made, will you? It’s gross.” Author: “Bad dog. JK. Who’s a good dog? You are, yes you are.”
  5. As must be clear from #4, authors with dogs stay fit from the nonstop cleaning and repair of household destruction.
  6. Let’s face it. Dogs are funny goofballs. Authors need funny goofballs around when that rejection comes in. They also happy-dance with you around the living room when the request for a full hits your inbox.
  7. In addition to writing books, authors must also constantly be “expanding their brand” or “growing their platform.” Two words: Dog pictures. Dogs are tailor-made for bumping up an author’s analytics. Get a shot of your dog on its back, paws folded adorably, dozing with a copy of your book, or even better, my new book OMEGA RISING OUT NOW YES RIGHT NOW, open on his chest. Maybe even wearing reading glasses. Yes. Bam. Your phone will shake itself off the coffee table with at least ten notifications. But don’t do it until I do it first. DIBS. If you ignore my dibs call, at least @ me so I can see it.
  8. Your dog loves your latest manuscript even if you’re pretty sure that this latest draft is a steaming pile of garbage. All that crisp paper so neatly arranged flaps so enticingly as he rips it to shreds. Your manuscript is an irresistible temptation to his taste buds. Garbage is pretty tasty too, thinks your dog.
  9. Authors spend a lot of time sitting and staring, usually in front of a computer. Dogs think you’re just figuring out when to go outside and play. Here’s a game authors play with their dogs. Scoot your chair back suddenly, half rise out of your chair. Watch your dogs blast out of the room to the back door. Sit back down. Repeat as needed, because they fall for it at least ten times in a row. Exercise and laughter. Priceless.
  10. Dogs are love.

 

Excerpt

He gestured toward the desk again, his eyebrows lifting at her obvious reluctance. Well it could only take a few seconds or so to place a bandage and he smelled so damn good. She settled herself on the desk and held out her hand. He was so close she imagined she could feel the heat of his body warming her skin. His thumb smoothed the edges of the criss-cross bandage while his other hand held hers loosely. Cass tensed, ready to yank her hand away. Nathan looked at her, questioning, she guessed, how she got the scrape.

“Misjudged the wall.” Her voice was unsteady as she tried to ignore the shooting tingly little sparks fanning out from his touch. His large tanned hand enveloped hers loosely, turning it over to trace her palm. Cass’s apprehension grew and she braced for the inevitable burn, her brain automatically rifling through the best maneuvers to pull herself free. The clunky phone on her desk could be a weapon and the letter opener was lying within easy distance. A bonk on the head or stab in the throat, if her gut had massively misjudged his character, would gain her freedom.

His hold didn’t tighten. Five seconds, ten, still nothing. Fifteen, twenty. She wanted him to let go yet clung to the warmth and texture of his skin. Her breath came faster but it wasn’t nerves alone. His finger traced a small cut on the pad of her ring finger and he looked up again.

 “Pa-paper cut.” He grabbed an antiseptic square, tore it open with his teeth to keep his hold on her hand. Soon that cut was cleaned and covered. Her insides shivered as his hand glided over her forearm, pushing up the sleeve of her hoodie. Her skin soaked in the roughness of his palm and reached for the heat in his touch. Ninety seconds. She stared at his large, tanned hand stroking her pale forearm, the pure pleasure of it making her light-headed.

“You’re trembling,” he murmured as he continued his exploration, finding a larger angry red line with bruising around it. He traced it gently.

“Mr. Clean,” Cass said, her voice husky. “He’s an asshole.”

Nathan chuckled, the sound raspy as if he hadn’t found much amusing for a long time. Cass stared, transfixed. He was already the best looking man she’d ever seen, but with the smile softening his features for a moment he was devastating, the crinkles at the corner of his eyes positively kissable. Her heart flipped in her chest.

He pressed his lips against her palm, taking a deep, ragged breath. His nose and lips were hot and she waited, quivering in anticipation.

 

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My Father Didn’t Kill Himself Blog Tour @russellnohelty @_BookMistress

My Father Didn’t Kill Himself

By Russell Nohelty

 

YA Mystery. This book deals with death, loss, and grief. There are difficult concepts to deal with and uncomfortable.

Cover - My Father Didn't Kill Himself

 

About the Book

How would you cope is somebody you love committed suicide?

Delilah’s father is the greatest man she has ever known. When he commits suicide her world is shattered. She can’t eat. She can’t sleep. Her bubbly personality becomes ascorbic. All she wants is to be left alone.

When his insurance policy refuses to pay out, Delilah sets out to prove what she’s known all along: that his suicide was in fact a murder.

A story of getting over grief and learning those you idolize aren’t perfect, told in blog posts through Delilah and her best friend.

On the surface My Father Didn’t Kill Himself is a mystery book, but right below the surface is a story of how people get over grief. And not just how Delilah gets over her grief of losing the person she idolizes most in the world. Also about how a wife gets over the grief of her husband, a husband that was supposed to provide for her, but instead left her alone and destitute.

Mixed with that is the loss felt by Alex, Delilah’s best friend, in losing her best friend to the anguish of grief, watching her slip away and pull back from the world, feeling helpless.

Purchase Link

AMAZON

 

Excerpt

DROWNING

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 15 at 9:31 pm.

Here is what The Suicide Handbook says about drowning.

Drowning in cold water is supposed to be like going to sleep. For me, it was a nightmare.

Shivering, freezing, I sat for a minute until my body adjusted to the cold. Then I sunk down under the water. The cold washed over me, but my lungs were on fire. Before I could pass out my natural instincts kicked in. I couldn’t fight them. I kicked and screamed until half the water was gone. I gasped for air. It was frightful.

I performed my experiment much like J. I laid down in the tub until my body adjusted to the temperature. Once I was acclimated, I sunk below the water. I breathed out until there were no bubbles. And I waited. It didn’t take long for the fire in my lungs to start. Soon, it was unbearable. My body thrashed around for a moment before I shot out of the water and gasped for precious air.

I wholeheartedly endorse every word J said.

On top of that I realized something.

If I died in this tub, my bowels would empty, and I would be sitting in feces-filled water until somebody found me. That is not a dignified way to die—my bowel excretion muddying the water and coating me in a fine mist of poop. They’d be scrubbing for days to get me ready for the casket.

No thank you.

CEMETERY

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 16 at 7:22 pm.

Before every session with Dr. Bennett, Susie drives me to the cemetery and tries to coerce me into visiting my father’s grave.

I’d never been to his grave before; not since the funeral. It didn’t seem important to me.

It’s not like he’s in there anyway. Maybe his body, but not him. If he’s anywhere, he’s by my side as I try to fulfill his last wishes, not hanging out in a cemetery.

But Susie always insists on driving to the cemetery anyway. The cemetery is a weird place full of weird people. There’s this tall undertaker who seems a little too into the dead people’s families. He’s like overeager for them to buy something. His smile creeps me out.

There’s a grave digger who has to be high on something because he moves slower than molasses. Sometimes I catch the funeral director yelling at him, as if that’s going to motivate somebody that digs graves for a living to pick up the pace. Shocker, it never worked.

They’re not weird in a bad way though. Some of them I could like if I didn’t hate everybody on principle. There’s this guy who is always reading comic books. He introduced himself to me one day as “Roscoe. Roscoe Fay.” Like he’s James Bond or something. He just sits under this tall oak tree overlooking the cemetery and silently reads comics. I would watch him read sometimes, letting my eye catch a cool image every once and a while.

I would usually just sit there, looking out at the cemetery, until Susie gave up and drove us away. But today was different. Today, I felt a twinge in my stomach, a pang, not quite a stress baby, but maybe a stress zygote, or an unfertilized egg.

I needed to see his grave. I needed to talk to him.

Susie was ready to fight, but before she could open her big mouth I pushed out of the door and walked over to his grave.

It was weird.

For all my research on death, I had no idea how to act in a cemetery. I saw a few people crying over graves and placing flowers on them as they rehashed their day.

That isn’t me. I’m cried out.

His gravestone was simple and to the point.

Tim Clark. Devoted husband and father.

I read it over and over again. Have you ever noticed that any word you say over and over again sounds super weird? Just try saying neck two hundred times and tell me that’s not a silly word by the end?

By the eight millionth silent loop, my dad’s name sounded like an alien language. Maybe Zorgblopple, which I just made up.

“Hey dad,” I finally said. “How are you doing? Probably not so bad, right? I mean worms might be eating your insides, but at least you can’t feel how cold it is, right?”

I paused, waiting for a response from him. I felt like an idiot.

“It’s been snowing here a lot. Remember when Mom went out of town for the weekend and it rained? You always said that God was crying because he missed her. I thought that was silly, but I always think about that when it rains or snows now.”

I liked it. I liked it so much I skipped therapy and sat there most of the day. I really can’t tell you how much better than therapy it is.

 

Guest Post

Who wants to talk about death, huh?

I love death.

I love thinking about it. I love reading about it. I love the idea of it, even though it scares the piss out of me.

That’s a weird thing to say, I know. I’m not a Goth. I don’t really like horror movies. I don’t watch death videos or snuff films. I don’t like seeing death bodies even. I’m not morose or sullen, either. By all accounts I’m a pretty happy person.

But I love the idea of death more and more every day. It comforts me. Unfortunately, it usually seems like I’m alone in that.

Do you know how hard it is to find people to talk with about death? Ones that don’t want to commit me after five minutes? Or say I’m being a “bummer”?

I’ll tell you it’s really hard because I try all the time. It’s so hard my own wife didn’t know about my obsession until after I released my second book, My Father Didn’t Kill Himself (which you can and should buy on Amazon).

It’s really an endemic problem in our whole society. This idea we can’t talk about death because then it might sneak up on us like Voldemort. That maybe if we just stay silent then we’ll be safe. It’s dangerous, honestly, and you are missing out on having a great friend.

I’m as scared as death as the next person, but I use death as a motivator. It gets me up in the morning. It gets me writing. It gets me pounding the pavement to build my business. It helps me remember that I have one less day to live my dreams.  It helps me live every day to the fullest.

To me, death is a friend. The kind of friend I wish I had more of, frankly. The kind that inspires me, kicks my butt, and lives with me every day even when I’m not very pleasant to be around.

That’s why I wrote My Father Didn’t Kill Himself, honestly. I didn’t want another book about death where the protagonist is saved by some boy who shows her life if worth living. I didn’t want a book that gets hijacked from the messy parts of life by a romance. I didn’t want to divert reader attention from the death of this girl’s father.

I wanted something that delved into the deepest recesses of the human brain while being entertaining and funny at the same time. Because that’s what death is to me. It’s a motivator. It’s quietly funny in the best and worst ways. It’s an intrinsic part of life. It has to live with you.

That’s what My Father Didn’t Kill Himself is about at its core. It’s about a girl who doesn’t fall in love with a boy to save her. It’s about as girl who pulls herself up from the deepest recesses of herself and learns to live again with death, instead of fighting with it.

Yes there’s a mystery. Yes there is comedy. Yes there is all that stuff, but really it’s just a conversation about death we all had more often.

If that sounds like your kind of book, try out My Father Didn’t Kill Himself and then find me and talk to me about it. I’m always looking for more people to talk with about death.

Russell Nohelty is a publisher, writer, and podcaster. He runs the publishing company Wannabe Press and The Business of Art podcast. When he isn’t thinking about death, he’s writing about the messier parts of life.

Author Pic - Russell Nohelty

 

Meet the Author

Russell Nohelty is a writer, publisher, and consultant. He is the publisher of Wannabe Press and its main author. Russell likes to write genre fiction with deep character studies. He’s sadistic with his characters, putting them in the worst situations and watching them claw their way back up, just to kick them back into the abyss. Russell started his career writing comics, and now writes novels and children’s books as well.

Connect With the Author

@russellnohelty (Twitter/Instagram)

www.facebook.com/russellnohelty

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Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books – May 7, 2016 @_BookMistress

May 7, 2016

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Stop Stealing Our Books!

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Ok, so unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have seen all the brouhaha about people “stealing” books thanks to Amazon’s returns policy and their own bad manners!  It’s a funny thing, but authors tend to have the same experiences and often we feel like we’re alone in it all, but then there will be 1 post that will just explode and suddenly you realise that not only is it not just you, but it’s everyone!

That’s what happened recently when an author shared a message she go t from a fan, complimenting her on an amazing book and saying that she’d just returned it for a full refund.  There was more, including that authors should just “give their books away”. *Thud*.

Seriously?? What is this person on? This same person probably buys coffee or takeaway lunch a few times a week, possibly to the tune of $30 or so and they’re going to complain about $1, $3 or $5 for a book?  Seriously, a book is non-fat, diet friendly and eternal… your coffee – not so much!  Also, while we’re at it… it took us a lot longer to produce that book than you had to wait for your coffee, so you should be grateful that we don’t charge you what we’re worth in hours J

Let’s be honest… authors spend months writing, editing and polishing a book. If we don’t have a publisher willing to shell out for the necessary, we then have to cough up money for editing, layout and cover design… probably some marketing or advertising and then we have to pray that we sell a few copies.  Lord knows that we’re unlikely to recover our financial investment, let alone crack a profit, but we keep trying because we love it and you never know! What shoots us in the foot is when retail giants like Amazon say that it’s perfectly ok to return an ebook that you have rad 100% and get 100% refund. Once or twice, maybe, but these thieves – because that is what they are – are doing this daily. Aren’t there any alarms ringing at Amazing HQ?!

Clearly not!

Ultimately, between pirate sites and unethical readers, authors are suffering daily. For many, an investment of $1 000 or more per book is normal… so no, I will not give my book away for free. This is not a hobby, something to tinker at… this is my job. You want my book for free? Tell me where you work and let me see how much you’ll do if I take your salary out of the picture… no? Well, fair is fair.

Until next time…

Domino x

When First They Practice to Deceive Spotlight @CarolynLaRoche @_BookMistress

When First They Practice to Deceive

By Carolyn LaRoche

The Secret Lives Series

 

Banner When First They Practice to Deceive

 

Genre: Mystery/intrigue/ romance

 

About the Book

All Jessy Wallace wants is a happy marriage, but her husband is a liar and in over his head…

Jessy has spent the last decade happily married to her husband, Sam. But when she finally lands a job at Dixie’s Place, a hole-in-the-wall diner, she learns not all is well in paradise. Officer Sam Wallace has been spending the majority of their marriage in the beds of other women. Fed up, Jessy kicks her husband to the curb.

The last thing she wants is another messy relationship…

Uncertain if her husband ever truly loved her, Jessy gets caught completely off guard by the intense attraction she feels for Trey Smith, the night cook at Dixie’s Place. But she recognizes some telltale signs, and discovers he’s an undercover FBI agent. Jessy curses herself for falling for another lawman. To make matters worse, her soon-to-be ex-husband might be involved with Trey’s case.

After the death of his wife, FBI agent Trey Smith has spent the last four years married to his work…

But when Jessy starts waitressing at the diner where he is working undercover, he falls head over heels for her. Her ex-husband, however, is one of the top suspects in Trey’s case, and all Trey wants to do is protect her. He can’t lose this once in a lifetime chance at love.

Jessy is the soon-to-be ex-wife of a suspected criminal.

Trey Smith is an undercover FBI agent.

Can their love overcome the odds, or will it all come crashing down under the weight of lies and deception?

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

Cover - When First They Practice to Deceive

 

Excerpt

Dixie dumped her packages on the counter with a grunt. “Where the hell is that cook? Trey!

Trey’s appearance in the dining room was announced by the slam of the back door. His cheeks were red. Jessy caught sight of a cell phone sticking out of his shirt pocket. Trey rubbed his hands together.

“It’s mighty frosty out there tonight. Was just taking out the trash. You need something, Dix?”

“How many times have I told you not to call me that? It sounds too much like dicks.” She swatted at him but Trey sidestepped the hit.

“Aw lighten up, Dix, no one is going to think that of you.” Jessy experienced an annoying twinge of jealousy as Trey ran a long, lazy glance over Dixie’s body, making the woman flush a deep crimson which just made her look sexier. Jessy glanced down at her own, curveless frame and frowned. Life is so unfair.

“Just take this stuff into my office so I can sort it.”

“Sure thing. What’s in all these packages anyway?” Trey flipped open a box lid. “Christmas decorations?”

Dixie shrugged. “Well, yeah. It’s December.”

Trey rummaged around and pulled out an ornament of a tiny ballerina. “Shattered dreams going on the tree this year, Dixie?”

“Gimme that!” Dixie snatched the figure from Trey’s hand.

“Okay, so which one of us is the angel supposed to represent? Knowing all of you like I do, I have to go with the only logical conclusion. Me.”

“Yeah, ‘cause you’re a real angel all right.” Arnetta gave Trey a searing look, like the ones they write about in romance novels.

“You know nothing about my angel status.” Trey returned the angel to the box as he winked at Jessy. “That is a mystery that remains to be discovered. Oh wait, maybe this will help.”

“What is it?” Jessy, intrigued by the contents of the box as much as she was interested in just how much Arnetta knew about Trey’s status, stepped forward. Trey whipped around to face her, his hand on his head.

Only it wasn’t resting on his head. It held a little sprig of green vegetation in his hand and a grin on his face that rivaled that of the Chesire Cat. Mistletoe. Aw, crap.

“Oops, I’m stuck under some mistletoe. You know legend says I have to kiss the person nearest to me.” His eyes burned into Jessy’s skin as her cheeks heated to new proportions never before experienced.

“I don’t think that’s quite how it goes,” Arnetta said.

“Shut up! He’s about to have his meal!” Surrey whispered loudly behind Jessy.

“I think the legend says someone is supposed to kiss you.” Jessy looked into Trey’s eyes without blinking.

“Breaking legend is bad luck. Very, very bad luck.”

“I think you mean tradition. It’s bad luck to break tradition.”

“Legend. Tradition. Whatever. All I know is you are leaving me hanging and potentially exposing both of us to many years of pain and suffering.”

Jessy could feel three sets of female eyes on her, but she only cared about Trey’s. His eyes were so warm and so welcoming, and they were doing things to her insides so she couldn’t think straight.

“Well, I guess we wouldn’t want that.” She rose up slightly on tip toe, closing some of the height gap between them.

“No. I guess not.” He leaned forward, closing just a little more of the distance.

“It’s never a good idea to tempt the fates.” Jessy heard three breaths sucked in as one.

“Nope.Definitely not.”

Freezing air wrapped around them as the sounds of laughter and chatter suddenly filled the diner.

“Show’s over, folks. Time to make some money.” Dixie grabbed a few bags and headed to her office.

“Trey! Get the rest of those boxes for me then get in the kitchen!”

Trey stepped back and lowered the mistletoe, never breaking eye contact with Jessy. “Yes, ma’am! I’m right behind you.”

He blew her a little kiss then stepped over to the counter, scooped up the boxes, and was gone before Jessy could remember to breathe.

Surrey was the first to grab up a notepad and take a table, but not before she whispered in Jessy’s ear, “Just like I said. Looks at you like his next meal.”

 

Other Books in the Series

Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos

In The Shadow of the Shield

 

Meet the Author

Carolyn LaRoche Author picture

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.

Connect With the Author

Facebook

Blog

Goodreads ~~ Amazon

Twitter @CarolynLaRoche

 

 

Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books – April 23, 2016 @_BookMistress

April 23, 2016

 

image2

 

 

What’s in a Name?

The naming of characters is a serious business. Usually, genre plays a huge part in determining how wacky, weird or wonderful your names can be… Or how historically accurate. After all, you’re unlikely to have a Britney or a Kandi (with a K and an I if you please) in London in 1753!
With romance, you find that names become even more important because a name can set your character as the lead or the backup very quickly. Now, it could just be me, but over the past few years of writing, I’ve been taking notes while reading and I have to say… Some names just aren’t “sexy”.
For example, Damian, Michael, Sean, Joe, James, etc are your leading men. Eugene, Theodore, Barry, etc are the best friends, secondary characters. They might be great men, but clearly Eugene isn’t the romantic lead. It’s true of women too… Bella, Claire, Madison, Sarah, Danielle, etc are the desirable women… Norah, Gladys, Mary, etc are not.
The reality is that in the real world there are some incredibly sexy Eugene’s and Norah’s… But when it comes to romance, it seems that we just don’t “buy” it. Of course, it also depends when your story is set… After all, in the 1920s, Gladys and Pierre would be amazing!
Last names are important too. No good having a hunky Damian and then saddling him with Baddlesnit as a last name… She isn’t going to say yes to happily ever after with THAT in her future!
image1This means that as an author, the chances are that you will spend far more time naming your characters than you probably did / would spend naming a child. You’ll agonize over the “hotness” of the name, desirability of a surname and the musical rhythm of the two together… You’ll search for names that compliment each other and that have cute nickname potential so that your characters can be all adorable with each other.
You may pore over baby name books or have a browser history filled with sites offering insight into the meanings or origins of names and eventually, you’ll find the perfect combo.
An effort that your average reader will neither notice not even appreciate.
But God help you if your lead characters in a modern romance are Eugene and Ethel!
Until next time…
Domino xx