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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing. Shall we gab?

Friday, March 27, 2015

An Angel. A Demon. Sinful Seduction. Three Wishes by Debra Dunbar.



Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Debra Dunbar, author of Three Wishes, a Paranormal Romance.
 
Publisher: Anessa Books 
Date of Publication: March 7, 2015 
ISBN: 978-1505671193
ASIN: B00RKE5608 
Number of pages: 229
Word Count: 79,000 
Cover Artist: Phatpuppy Art 

Book Description


Dar helped his foster sister become the ruler of Hel, and helped her free the enslaved humans from the elves. It’s about time he helped himself – to a fun week of mayhem in the Windy City. Collapsing a few buildings and corrupting politicians is an ideal vacation for a demon in Chicago, but Dar didn’t count on a beautiful angel sabotaging his fun and putting him to work.

Asta is an angelic enforcer, scanning for demons in her assigned territory and sending them to an early grave. Unfortunately, the latest trespasser from Hel has diplomatic immunity - but immunity doesn’t mean she can’t coerce him into helping her track and dispatch the powerful demon that’s been cycling in and out of her radar for the last few days.

Demons are the sworn enemies of every angel, but Asta must learn to trust Dar or the dark presence that is growing in Chicago will spread - and this particular enemy has the skills and knowledge to send human civilization back to the dark ages.

She has one week left as an enforcer before she returns to her heavenly home – one week to catch an elusive monster, and one week to safeguard her heart from the demon who is determined to seduce her to sin.

Available at  Amazon     iTunes    BN

Let’s Interview!


What inspired you to write this book?

My books feature demons and angels and I’ve dealt with summoning in other novels.  I began to think of this as a moral dilemma for the angels – the summoned demons aren’t here through their own actions.  How can an angel condemn one to death when he/she was dragged here through a human’s magic?

That dilemma of delivering preemptive justice was the perfect situation for my angel and her very unusual demon counterpart.

How did you come up with the title?

The villain in this book is a genie in a bottle – a demon who was summoned from Hel six hundred years ago and trapped inside a vessel until he performs his contracted service.  All it takes for him to be released is for the human currently owning the bottle to make three wishes.

And you can imagine how pissed off he’s going to be after being stuck in a bottle for six hundred years.

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

I grew up in Northern Indiana an hour away from Chicago.  It is such an amazing city – the museums, the diverse neighborhoods 

If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

“I get the feeling you’re going to smash my face in or rip one of my arms off.  No sense in getting my clothes all bloody.  You should probably get naked too, although I think those pants are beyond salvage.  Pity.  I like the way they hug your ass.”

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

I’m working on the first draft of Sins of the Flesh, which is book 2 in my Half Breed Series.  The heroine is a half-succubus/half-elf, and her love interest is an incubus.  Yes, there’s a lot of sex in these novels!

Sins of the Flesh takes place in Maui where Amber is meeting Irix after having been separated from him for six months.  Their reunion turns to more than sex on the beach when a farmer performs a fertility ritual with dire consequences.

Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in.

The main Imp Series is available in audio, and the first in the series – A Demon Bound – is currently in the process of German translation.

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

So far everything I’ve written straddles the urban fantasy/paranormal romance/dark fantasy lines.  The constants in my writing so far have been dark humor and paranormal elements.  I’ve thought of branching into horror, but that’s probably it. 

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

I love writing series and series spin-offs!  The Imp Series has six out of the ten books already published, and there are currently three stand-alone spin-off novels (of which Three Wishes is one).  I also have a spin-off series about a half succubus – the Half Breed series.  

Excerpt


Stupid revolving doors.  What idiot thought these things were a good method of entering a building? She stood watching as the door made its circuitous route. Could she time it so she actually managed to get in between the sections?  The last time, she’d been knocked backwards onto the pavement. 

That wouldn’t be a graceful entrance given her current dress and sky-high stilettos.

“Need help?”

She recognized his voice even before the faint energy trickled across her skin with its siren song.  How did he do that?  Thank Aaru all demons weren’t as stealthy as Dar, or her job would be nearly impossible. As she turned, she realized that with her heels, she towered over him.  In flats, she was the same height as the demon, but the shoes she loved so much put Dar’s chin right at her bosom — a fact he’d quickly realized and had taken advantage of.

“Want me to get the door for you?” he asked her breasts.

“Did you make reservations?  Otherwise we can skip the revolving door and just head over to Taco Bell.”

The demon chuckled and brushed a curl from her bare shoulder, his fingers lingering against her neck while his eyes explored the skin north of her cleavage.  “Of course I made reservations.  I didn’t want you to give me any excuse to not eat tonight.”

“I swore I’d play your game tonight as long as you help me catch the other demon. I’ll eat anything you put in front of me.” 

Why did that cause the demon to nearly fall over laughing?  Did he have something in particular he wanted her to eat, the thought of which was giving him such amusement? 

Oh.  Yeah, that probably wasn’t the best thing for her to say given his proclivity toward the sin of lust.

Wiping his eyes, still chuckling, Dar strode forward, stopping the revolving door to the angry protests of those trapped inside.  “Then let us dine, my angel.”

Asta took a deep breath and walked past him, putting her palms on the front of the glass as she’d seen the humans do.  Hopefully he wouldn’t bump her out as he had the other evening.  With these shoes on, she’d probably land face-first on the plush carpet.

“Ready?”

She should have known he’d squeeze into the tiny space behind her, pressing the full length of his form against her back and rear.  Asta tried to scoot forward, only to find herself sandwiched between the demon and the glass.  The humans yelled at them to move, but Dar held still, his body warm and powerful.

“Maybe we should just stay here a while.” His hips shifted and Asta felt something stir to life, hard and firm against her buttocks. 

She’d told him no sex, but rubbing against her in the doorway wasn’t off limits.  And it was most definitely brought with it welcome sensations.  “We need to move,” Asta said with regret.  She tried to push the door forward,

“I love pissing them off,” he whispered against her hair.  “So much anger over such a minor inconvenience.  The gifts of Aaru seem to have turned them into a bunch of minor demons, don’t you agree?”

It did seem a fair comparison at the moment, but Asta hadn’t squandered her century here.  She’d seen sparks of divinity in the human race, and no demon was going to convince her otherwise.

She shifted to look at him over her shoulder, rubbing herself along his body in the process.  Oh stars, this felt good.  If only those darned humans weren’t causing such a racket. “You’re being inconsiderate.” Her voice was breathless. “They have a right to be angry. And they’re still very early in their evolution.  Give them another ten-thousand years or so, and I think you’ll find they’re more angelic.”

About the Author



After majoring in English with a concentration in Medieval Literature and Folklore studies, Debra promptly sold out to the corporate world, occasionally writing marketing copy and op/ed articles for a local city paper. By day, she designs compensation programs, after dark she stuffs her nose into obscure mythology, and feverishly writes her novels. A DEMON BOUND is her debut novel.

Debra lives on a farm in Maryland with Sweetie, three sons, and a Noah's ark of four legged family members. She drives an old PT Cruiser, couldn't carry a tune if you duct taped it to her back, and enjoys an occasional cosmopolitan (heavy on the vodka). On a good day, she jogs and horseback rides, hopefully managing to keep the horse between herself and the ground. Her only known super power is 'Identify Roadkill'.





Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Shapeshifting Wolves Battle for Life and Love. Desert Moon by Anna Lowe.



Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Anna Lowe, author of Desert Moon, Book One in The Wolves of Twin Moon Ranch.

Genre: PNR 
Publisher: Twin Moon Press
Date of Publication: March 4, 2015 
ASIN: B00TEEHDPS 
Number of pages: 133
Word Count: 38,800 (roughly 40k) 
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

Book Description


Lana Dixon knows well enough to steer clear of alpha males, but Ty Hawthorne is as impossible to avoid as the sizzling Arizona sun. Her inner wolf just won’t give up on the alpha who’s tall, dark, and more than a little dangerous. One midnight romp under the full moon is enough for Lana to know she’ll risk her life for him — but what about her pride?

Ty puts duty above everything — even the overwhelming instinct that says Lana’s the one. She’s the Juliet to his Romeo: forbidden. And with a pack of poaching rogues closing in, it’s hardly the time to yield to his desires. Or is love just what this lonely alpha needs to set his spirit free?

There’s more than meets the eye on Twin Moon Ranch, home to a pack of shapeshifting wolves willing to battle for life and love.

Available at Amazon

Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win 3 ebook copies Desert Moon.

Let’s Interview!


How did you come up with the title?

The title comes right out of the setting and the story. There's something magical about the desert at night, and a full moon brings out the impulsive and unpredictable side in all of us. It's a perfect place to throw a destined mates together – just let them try to resist the temptation! (And they do try, silly things.) 

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

I wanted a strong, moody location that could act as a character in itself and immediately knew Arizona would be the perfect setting for my dark and dangerous series. I come from the East Coast (like the heroine of Book 1, Lana) but I fell in love with Arizona the minute I arrived there for a job on a ranch. That special place quickly inspired the Twin Moon Ranch of the books, from the gateway to the dining hall with its massive stone fireplace, in addition to the overall ranch layout and the overall issues that influence the ranch management (land and water rights, environmental issues, etc). It didn't take long for my imagination to sprinkle werewolves and hot alpha heroes into a place I love and make it even better!

Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

Desert Moon is a second chance love story between a thorny Romeo and his stubborn Juliet.

Lana Dixon knows well enough to steer clear of alpha males, but Ty Hawthorne is as impossible to avoid as the sizzling Arizona sun. Her inner wolf just won’t give up on the alpha who’s tall, dark, and more than a little dangerous. One midnight romp under the full moon is enough for Lana to know she’ll risk her life for him — but what about her pride? 

Ty puts duty above everything — even the overwhelming instinct that says Lana’s the one. She’s the Juliet to his Romeo: forbidden. And with a pack of poaching rogues closing in, it’s hardly the time to yield to his desires. Or is love just what this lonely alpha needs to set his spirit free?


If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

This is one of my favorite scenes, when Ty and Lana talk for the first time in the ranch's dining hall, where everyone shares meals a couple of times a week:

                “Hi, she mumbled, her eyes meeting his. The blue hues of her irises were so varied and vivid, he could swear they were swirling and changing as he looked on.

                “Hi,” he said. Well, he tried to. His lips moved but the sound didn’t quite make it out. He struggled to remember where he was and why.

                Right, dessert. He reached for a piece of pie exactly when Lana did. Their hands froze halfway to the platter, both wavering over the key lime pie. The last slice.

                “Cody!” He cursed his brother under his breath.

                Lana pulled back. “You take it.”

                “No, you.”

                Her eyes narrowed at him. Crap. He hadn’t meant for it to come out as an order, but she was already gritting her teeth.

                “No, you,” she ground out.

                “I’m good.” He tried taking the edge off his voice, but he was badly out of practice.

                Lana studied him so closely he would swear she could see into his childhood memories. Her nostrils flared, and he saw her catch a breath and hold it. Then she slowly exhaled and turned to the platter, scooping the last piece onto the last plate. She forked it roughly in half and held it between them with icy determination.

                “We’ll share,” she growled.

                The alpha in him both bristled and admired her pluck. The wolf licked his lips — and not for the pie.

                Her eyes flickered, focusing on something in his. He noticed an outer edge of green in her eyes that he’d missed before, like the foam that slid off the crests of waves.

                “Trouble today?” she asked, keeping her voice down.

                Trouble? So she’d noticed the meeting. “No trouble,” he insisted.

                She snorted. “I do that, too.”

                “Do what?”

                “Pretend.”

                Ty blinked. “I don’t pretend.”

                “Then what’s the trouble?” She took a bite of pie and licked a smudge of cream off her lips.

                A breath caught in his throat, and a word slipped past his lips before he could catch it. “Rogues.”

                Her face hardened as some dark memory rocketed through her eyes. “Confirmed report?”

                “Not yet, but…”

                She nodded, letting him trail off. In an absent movement, her right arm rubbed briefly over her left, where a wicked scar trailed out of her sleeve.

                “Trouble?” he murmured, eyes on the scar. For a shifter to scar, it must have been bad.

                She yanked the sleeve down. “No trouble.”

                I do that, too, he wanted to say. Pretend. His gut warmed with something strangely close to pride. This East Coast wolf wasn’t just sassy; she was tough, too.


What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

I loves putting the “hero” back into heroine and letting location ignite a passionate romance, whether that's in my dark and dangerous werewolf series or the exotic and exciting travel and adventure romances I will release starting in July. In all cases, I like creating a heroine who is independent, intelligent, and imperfect – a woman who’s doing just fine on her own. But give her a good man – not to mention a chance to overcome her own inhibitions – and she’ll never turn down the chance for adventure, nor shy away from danger.

Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

I love variety, so I write a bit of everything. The Twin Moon Ranch stories are all long novellas (about 40,000 words each) while my travel romances are short novels, and the adventure romances are fast-paced novellas of 30,000 words. In between, I love writing short stories that show couples living their Happily Ever After – whether that's Lana bringing Ty home to meet her parents in Desert Wolf, or a marriage proposal up a New Zealand mountaintop between the hero and heroine of Island Fantasies (a travel romance set on a tropical island near Bora Bora). As a reader, I like variety too: sometimes I prefer a long saga, other times a weekend read, and sometimes just a quick escape into a world and characters I love.

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

Desert Moon is the first of the Twin Moon Ranch series. Book 1 focuses on Ty, the ruling alpha's oldest son – a man whose life is heavy in responsibility and light on privilege. In Book 2, Desert Blood, his brother Cody gets center stage. The brothers are opposites: if Ty is a thundercloud, Cody is a ray of sunshine, and his life is the other way around: heavy on privilege but light on responsibility. Cody yearns to be trusted with more – and gets his chance when his destined mate Heather comes along, on the run from vampires. Book 3 is about Kyle, a cop turned shapeshifter in a biker brawl who was taken in by Twin Moon Ranch. He's still not quite settled into pack life until childhood buddy Stefanie comes along and gives him something to believe in again. Books 4 and 5 are about Ty and Cody's sisters, and you'll love them, too. All the story have different villains and different outside conflicts, such as land rights, inter-pack rivalries, and rogue incursions. And all end in sweet epilogues (I just can't resist those).

The adventure romance series I'm writing right now is set around a group of six cousins who inherit their grandfather's sailboat, Serendipity. The grandfather's last wish was for each set of siblings to reconnect by going sailing together in the Caribbean. In Uncharted Waters, responsible Seth is sailing among the gorgeous reefs of Belize with his party-boy brother Tobin when he meets Julie, an archaeologist on the run. In Uncharted Territory, Tobin gets his second chance at the woman who turned him down at the altar six years before. Now Cara is stuck in a remote Panamanian village, and Tobin's the only one who can get her out. The question is, will she let him back into her life? The series continues with Tobin and Seth's cousins as they get their turn to sail the boat, two at a time. The sailboat lives up to its name as it brings each cousin to true love through serendipito 

Excerpt


“One of Tyrone’s boys is coming to get us,” Jean said, looking up and down the road.

                Lana looked too, gnawing her lip. It figured the kid would be late. While the two older women stood in the shade of a bus stop, catching up on twelve years of news, she paced. Out into the piercing sun, then back into the muted shade. Out and back, out and back again, each footfall a step into the past, then a determined about-face into the future. She tried to numb her senses, but they kept darting around, tasting the arid flavor of this place, listening to its emptiness. Everything felt so familiar, yet so strange, like visiting a childhood home after someone else had moved in.

                That was the strange part. Arizona had never been her home and it never would be. She’d only visited once before. She went stiff at the memory, as if the old emotions might creep up and carry her away. Emotions like hope and love and unexpected passion, blazing bright. She’d been so young and impressionable back then — only twenty, and that was the problem. Too young to know better than to fall in love with a vague scent in the hills. For a while, she’d even imagined the scent came with a man.

                But it had been a siren song at best, and it had ruined her. There was no man, no promise, only a ceaseless whisper that stirred her during the day and haunted her at night. And now she was back again, right in the thick of it: the heat, the dust, the lying air.

                “Oh, there he is,” Jean called.

                A faded Jeep Wagoneer pulled up to the curb and creaked to a stop. From what Jean had said, Lana had been expecting the driver to be a newly licensed teen — a kid delighted for any excuse to get out on four wheels. The type with narrow shoulders, a pocked complexion, and gangly limbs.

                She was not expecting this.

                Lana gaped as the “boy” emerged from the car with a smooth, easy step. Evidently the state of Arizona was now issuing driver’s licenses to rugged, six-foot-two slabs of muscle and raw power. Authority bristled off him in waves, as if he were facing an entire platoon and  not just a couple of guests. Dark. Sensual. More than a little dangerous. This was their ride?

                “Hello, sweetie.” Old Jean gave him a cheery peck on the cheek. The gesture made Lana’s inner wolf hiss so fiercely that she wobbled and took a step back. Since when did a man affect her like that?

                Since right now, apparently.

                But why? She didn’t want or need a man in her life, especially one who was so…so…alpha.

                And yet every molecule in her body was screaming Mine!  

About the Author



Anna Lowe loves putting the "hero" back into heroine and letting location ignite a passionate romance. She likes a heroine who is independent, intelligent, and imperfect — a woman who's doing just fine on her own. But give the heroine a good man (not to mention a chance to overcome her own inhibitions) and she'll never turn down the chance for adventure, nor shy away from danger.

Anna is a middle school teacher who divides her time between coastal Maine and a village in view of the Austrian Alps. She loves dogs, sports, and travel — and letting those inspire her fiction.

Once upon a time, she was a long-distance triathlete and soccer player. Nowadays, she finds her balance with yoga, writing, and family time with her husband and young children. On any given weekend, you might find her hiking in the mountains or hunched over her laptop, working on her latest story. Either way, the day will end with a chunk of dark chocolate and a good read.





  


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Magic. Romance. Danger. Witch's Moonstone Locket by Marsha A. Moore.



Hot off the press! Today it’s my pleasure to feature Marsha A. Moore’s new release, Witch’s Moonstone Locket, book one in A Coon Hollow Coven Tale.

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: March 24, 2015

Word Count: 94,000

Book Description


Twenty-three-year-old Jancie Sadler was out of the room when her mother died, and her heart still longs for their lost goodbye. Aching to ease her sorrow, Aunt Starla gives Jancie a diary that changes her entire life. In entries from the 1930s, her great grandmother revealed how she coped with her own painful loss by seeking out a witch from nearby Coon Hollow Coven. The witch wore the griever’s moonstone locket, which allowed whoever could unlock its enchantment to talk with the dead.

Determined to find that locket, Jancie goes to the coven’s annual carnival held in her small southern Indiana town of Bentbone. This opposes her father’s strict rule: stay away from witches. But she’s an adult now and can make her own decisions. She meets Rowe McCoy, the kind and handsome witch who wears the moonstone. He agrees to let her try to open the locket, but they’re opposed by High Priestess Adara and her jealous desire to possess him.

Desperate for closure with her mother, Jancie persists and cannot turn away from a perilous path filled with magic, romance, and danger. 

Available at Amazon.

Excerpt from Chapter One: Great Aunt Starla’s Cornbread


Warm rain mixed with Jancie’s tears, and she rose to stand beside her mother’s grave. Not ready to let go, she bent at the waist and her fingers followed the arc of her mother’s name—Faye Sadler—in the headstone. She knew the unyielding shape well. The word goodbye stuck in her throat. She’d said it aloud many times since her mother died almost a year ago, only to have the cemetery’s vast silence swallow her farewells. Rain beaded on the polished granite. Her hand, bearing her mother’s silver ring, slid down the stone and fell to her side.

If only she could’ve said goodbye to her mother before. After years of caring for her mom while she suffered with cancer, Jancie had missed the final parting moment while getting a quick bite of dinner. The pain still cut like a knife in her gut.

On foot, she retraced the too-familiar path toward her work at the Federal Bank. Although she’d landed a job as manager at the largest of the three banks in the small town of Bentbone, the position was a dead end. Within the first six months, she’d mastered all the necessary skills. Now, after a year, only the paycheck kept her there.

Jancie turned onto Maple Street. As usual, wind swept up the corridor, between old shade trees protecting houses, and met her at the top of the tall hill. September rain pelted her face and battled the Indian summer noontime temperatures. She zipped the rain parka to keep her dress dry, pulled on the strings of the hood, and corralled strands of ginger-colored hair that whipped into her eyes. Once able to see, she gazed farther into the valley, where the view spanned almost a mile out to the edge of town. Usually, farmers moved tractors across the road or boys raced skateboards and bikes down Maple Street’s long slope.

Today, on the deserted acreage just east of Bentbone, people moving in and out through a gate of the tall wooden fence breathed life into the rundown carnival. Surprised, Jancie crossed the street for a better view. She’d lost track of time since Mom passed. The coming Labor Day weekend in Bentbone meant the valley coven’s yearly carnival. She and her close group of girlfriends always looked forward to the cute guys, fair food, and amazing magical rides and decorations…even if her father didn’t approve of witches or magic. The residents of the sleepy town awoke to welcome a host of tourists wanting to see the spectacle created by the witches of Coon Hollow Coven.

Somehow, Jancie had forgotten the big event this year. Last year, she didn’t go since Mom was so sick and couldn’t be left. Jancie sighed and turned onto the main street toward the bank. She’d lost so much since her mother passed. Really, since the diagnosis of cancer.

At that time, four years ago, Jancie withdrew as a sophomore from Hanover College, a select, private school in southern Indiana near the Kentucky border—too far away. Instead, she returned to stay with her mother and commuted to Indiana University. Balancing hours with the home health care nurse, Jancie had few choices of career paths. Not that it mattered, since her remarried father expected her to find a job in Bentbone and continue taking care of her mother. Despite the sacrifices, Jancie loved her mother, who’d always managed money for a few special things for Jancie—a new bike, birthday parties, prom dresses—even though their income was tight. Mom had paid for her tuition and listened to every new and exciting college experience.

Jancie smiled at the memory of Mom’s twinkling brown eyes, that mirrored her own, when she asked about what happened during the day’s classes: if Jancie liked the professor; if she’d made new friends.

When she rounded the last corner, her thoughts returned to the work day. At the bleak, limestone bank building, reality hit. Jancie pulled against the heavy glass door, and a gust swept her inside. She peeled off the drenched jacket and hung it on the coat rack of her small, plain office. At her desk again, she took her position.

Through the afternoon’s doldrums, punctuated by only a handful of customers, her mind wandered to the carnival. She’d gone dozens of times before and loved it. But since Mom passed, nothing seemed fun anymore, like she couldn’t connect with herself and had forgotten how to have a good time. She organized a stack of notes, anything to put the concern out of her mind.

***

After work, Jancie drove her old blue Camry the five miles to the other end of town where she lived in her mother’s white frame house, the home where she grew up, now hers. Glad to own her own place, unlike her friends who rented, she’d made a few easy changes. In the living room, a new brown leather couch with a matching chair and ottoman. She replaced the bedroom furniture with a new oak suite for herself in what used to be her mother’s room. With pay saved from the bank, Jancie could remodel or build on, but she didn’t know what she wanted yet. Her great aunt Starla had told her to just wait and hold onto her money; she’d know soon enough.

Pouring rain soaked the hem of her dress as she darted between the garage shed and back stoop of the small ranch house.

Glad she’d chosen to get her run in this morning before work, she changed into cozy sweats, pulled the long part of her tapered hair into a ponytail, and headed for the kitchen.

Her phone alerted her of a text, and she read the message from her friend Rachelle, always the social director of their group: R we going to the carnival?

Jancie typed a response. I guess. R Lizbeth and Willow going?

Yep whole gang. What day?

Don’t know yet. Get back to u. Jancie worried she’d spoil their fun. Even though they’d all been her best friends since high school and would understand her moodiness, she didn’t want to ruin one of the best times of the year for them. Since Mom passed, they’d taken her out to movies and shopping in Bloomington, but this was different. Could it ever match up to the fun of all the times before? “I don’t know if I’m up to that,” she said into open door of the old Kenmore refrigerator while rummaging for leftovers of fried chicken and corn.

The meal satisfied and made her thankful she’d learned how to cook during those years with Mom. Not enough dishes to bother with the dishwasher, one of the modern upgrades to the original kitchen, Jancie washed the dishes by hand and then called Starla. When she answered, Jancie asked, “Can I come over tonight? There’s something I’m needing your opinion on.”

“Why sure, Jancie. C’mon over,” the eighty-five-year-old replied with her usual warm drawl. “Are you wantin’ dinner? I made me some soup beans with a big hambone just butchered from Bob’s hog. My neighbor Ellie came over and had some. She said they were the best she’s eaten.”

Jancie glanced at the soggy rain parka and opted for an umbrella instead. “No, I just ate. Be right over.” Keys and purse in hand, she hung up and darted for the shed.

Five minutes later, she turned onto the drive of the eldercare apartments and parked under the steel awning where Starla gave her a whole arm wave from her picture window. Jancie made her way to number twelve on the first floor.

The door opened, and Starla engulfed Jancie in a bear hug, pulling her into the pillow of a large, sagging bosom. Starla smelled of her signature scent—rosewater and liniment.

Jancie had loved her great aunt’s hugs as long as she could remember. Stress and worry melted away, and she hugged back. Her arm grazed Starla’s white curls along the collar of her blue knit top embroidered with white stars—her great aunt’s favorite emblem.

“It’s so good to see you. Come sit a spell, while I get us some iced tea.” Starla pulled away and gestured to the microsuede couch decorated with three crocheted afghans in a rainbow of colors. “I thought we were done with this hot weather, but not quite yet. That rain today’s been a gully washer but didn’t cool things off much.” The large-boned woman scuffed her pink-house-slippered feet toward the kitchen. “Would you rather have pound cake from the IGA or homemade cornbread?”

Jancie laughed and followed her into the kitchen. She wouldn’t get through the visit without eating. “You’re just fishin’ for a compliment. You know your homemade cornbread is better.”

Starla arranged plates with thick slices of warm cornbread and big pats of butter on top, while Jancie transferred the refreshments to the aluminum dinette table.

“With your hair pulled back like that, you’re a dead ringer for your Ma. So pretty with that same sweetheart-shaped face.” Starla folded herself onto a chair beside Jancie. “You look to be getting on well…considering what all you’ve been through.”

“I’m doing okay,” Jancie said through a mouthful of the moist cornbread. She washed it down with a swallow of brisk tea that tasted fresh-brewed. “But sometimes, lots of times, I feel lost, like I can’t move on.” She ran a hand across her forehead. “I didn’t get to say goodbye. I spent time with her through all those years, and it shouldn’t matter, but it does every time I visit her grave and most every night in my dreams.”

“Oh, honey. I know it hurts.” Starla smoothed Jancie’s ponytail down the middle of her back and spoke with a voice so slow and warm, it felt like a handmade quilt wrapping around her.  “You spent all that time and gave so much. Just like when I cared for my husband some twenty years back. I know. I never got the chance to tell Harry goodbye either. Time will heal all hurts.”

Jancie looked down at the marbleized tabletop to hide her teary eyes. “I don’t think I’m ever going to heal, Aunt Starla. I don’t know if I can ever move on.”

“There is one thing you can try. I’d have done it, if I’d have known before decades softened my aching heart. Way back, I was desperate like you.”

Jancie looked into Starla’s blue-gray eyes, set deep inside wrinkled lids.

Her aunt leaned closer. “Not many know about this,” she whispered as if someone outside the apartment door might hear. “There’s an old story about how a member of the Coon Hollow Coven, one who’s recently lost a loved one, is made the teller of the moonstone tale.”

Jancie rolled her eyes. “That’s just a silly story, one of lots that Mom and Dad told to scare me when I was little, so I’d stay away from the coven. When the moonstone locket opens at the end of the tale, you’ll get your wish but also be cursed.”

“Oh no.” Starla shook her head and pushed away from the table. “Let me get Aunt Maggie’s old diary. I got this in a box of old family things when Cousin Dorothy passed. ” She lumbered to her spare bedroom and returned with a worn, black-leather volume only a little larger than her wide palm. Once seated, she thumbed through the yellowed pages. “Here.” She pointed a finger and placed the book between them.  

About the Author



Marsha A. Moore loves to write fantasy and paranormal romance. Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales.

The magic of art and nature often spark life into her writing, as well as watercolor painting and drawing. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and is a registered yoga teacher. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Marsha is crazy about cycling. She lives with her husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking her kayak out for an hour or more is a real treat. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand.

Every day at the beach is magical!







Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/marshaamoore

Goodreads author page  http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Uniting Two Passionate Souls From Different Worlds and Ages. A Time Apart by Rebecca N. Caudill.



Today I'm thrilled to welcome over Rebecca N. Caudill, author of A Time Apart, book one in the Macauley Series.

Genre: Paranormal Romance , Vampire

Date of Publication: February 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-1508482666
ASIN: B00TDR1O6U

Number of pages: 211 (estimated)
Word Count: 71,020

Cover Artist: Rebecca N. Caudill

Book Description


A love story that traverses the confines of time, life, and death, uniting two passionate souls from different worlds and ages …

Olivia Donnelly has spent her whole life obsessing about how she will die. When tragedy strikes, reality comes crashing down and she’s forced to confront her fears head on. Hoping that a move across the globe will help her to cope with a devastating loss, she arrives in Ireland a broken down shell of a woman looking for a second chance at life.

Almost immediately Olivia is drawn to places she’s never been, and to a man that she’s never met. When she crosses paths with the mysterious and frustratingly private William Macauley, her life is thrown into turmoil unlike any she has ever known. The two couldn’t be more different – she’s human, he’s a vampire – but Olivia can’t get him out of her mind. Having acknowledged her overwhelming desire for William, now she must come to terms with how her feelings for him will greatly alter her future.

Olivia’s understanding of life – and death – take on new meaning as she examines the truth of the person she once was, the woman she was born to be, and how William is the key to her everlasting happiness.

Available at Amazon

Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of the following: $25 Amazon gift card, $10 Starbucks card or 1 autographed paperback.

Let’s Interview!


What inspired you to write this book?

I first had the idea for A Time Apart in 2008 when I was reading a bunch of paranormal romance books that featured heroines who were much younger than I was at the time. It’s not that I begrudge the New Adult phenomena, but I have a really hard time connecting with the characters. I really wanted to read about adult situations, with adult characters and so I started thinking about what a heroine, Olivia, would look like in my fictional world, and because I tend to enjoy really multifaceted male characters, I had to make William even more dark and complex than she was. The notion that she was the reincarnation of his dead wife came to me one night as I was struggling to come up with a valid reason for why they were so inexplicably drawn to one another. I felt like it couldn’t just be regular attraction – there had to be something more, a reason why they couldn’t stay away from one another, and from there the story took on new life.


How did you come up with the title?

Once I came up with the story angle, it seemed obvious to me. In fact, I had the title figured out before I had a lot of the story specifics figured out. On the one hand, you have William who has lived centuries without her; on the other, you have a woman who is only half of who she is supposed to be. I liked the play on her being only a part of her true self.


What made you choose the main setting for your book?

My grandmother was Irish and I’d grown up hearing stories about the place, even though she’d never been herself. Over the years it took on a sort of mythical quality in my mind, which fit well with the concept of a paranormal romance. The Yorkshire moors have their gothic tales, and I thought it would be perfect to have a vampire castle in the Irish countryside. I was a year into writing my book before I ever stepped foot in Ireland, and that trip helped me further refine my setting and descriptions.


What sort of personality does your hero have?

William, for all of his confidence and argument to the contrary, is very conflicted about who and what he is. He accepts it, yes, but he still can’t forgive himself for the things he did when he was first made vampire, and that anguish informs a lot of who he is now, almost four hundred years later. He’s sexy, of course, and commanding – men want to be him, and women want to be with him. He likes to think he has control in all situations, but we see pretty early on in the book that he doesn’t. Olivia rattles him, and he makes pretty rash decisions in his interactions with her. Once the two meet, the reader understands – even if he doesn’t – that he’s at war with himself over whether he should have her or let her go. She makes him lose his cool, while breaking down some of the cold reserve he’s built around himself. The longer they’re together, the more relaxed he becomes and we even begin to see glimpses of playfulness in him.


What sort of personality does your heroine have?

First and foremost, Olivia is a very strong woman. She grew up in an unhappy home and so she doesn’t see the world through rose-tinted glasses. When the reader first meets her, she’s trying – unsuccessfully – to come to grips with the death of her parents, hence the trip to Ireland to get a fresh start. She’s acerbic, and dry, and doesn’t easily trust other people but deep down she has a huge capacity for love. No doubt she’s impulsive, and she certainly has a temper, but much of that is only a mask for her vulnerability. All of these emotions lurking below the surface are what lead her to so quickly fall under William’s spell, and why she wants – needs – him so quickly. She’s always known that a part of her was missing, and she finally understands why. Armed with that knowledge, she won’t let anything stop her from getting the happiness that has so long been denied her.


Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.

I don’t want to give too much away here, but my favorite scene to write is one of the last ones of the book. When I initially envisioned the full story of A Time Apart – which, incidentally, has been the title since the moment I started writing it – I knew how I wanted the relationship between William and Olivia to play out; they were always going to get together. Midway through the book we see her making the decision to be with him, which was a joy to write, but I knew it wasn’t The Scene.

I felt that it was important for the story that when Olivia truly give herself to William that there be a romantic element as well. Yes, this is a paranormal romance, but above all, it’s about the love these two people share for one another. So immediately I knew what I wanted the scene to be, even well before I had ever written any of the other steamy sex scenes in the book. I was a bit worried about going overboard, or being able to artfully weave the scene together, but when I finished writing it, I felt immensely proud of what I had created. It’s one of the few scenes in the entirety of the book that didn’t really change at all during the editing and re-writes.  


Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

There’s an old saying about judging a book by its cover, and doing so is something that I’m definitely guilty of. Let’s be honest, some romance covers – regardless of sub-genre – are pretty out there. I still can’t believe people carried books with Fabio on the cover on public transportation!

Because I know just enough about Photoshop to be dangerous, I set about designing my own cover even before I was finished writing the book. I went through several ideations that started with a castle as the main imagery – after all, Macauley Castle plays a central role in my novel, as much as some of the characters in the book. At first I was really happy with what I had produced, but then I started to feel like it wasn't setting the right tone. All the photos I had at my disposal were of a castle during the day, surrounded by verdant fields of green. As readers know, very quickly the action shifts to night, which made that sort of photo wrong on a few levels. 

After scouring several stock photography sites I was nearly ready to give up and just go with a generic cover that I could purchase for $40 but then I stumbled on it – a series of photos of a red headed woman who looked a lot like I had pictured Olivia. I looked through the set and realized that with some time in Photoshop I could take those images and give them the feel I wanted. Photos purchased, I set about giving the images a darker look and feel, and after several different versions I settled on the imagery that I used when my book first debuted. When it came time to do a print cover, I used the same imagery but flipped it, and added some additional noise and darkness and changed the font to be a bit bolder.

When the reader is first introduced to Olivia, she's living in this sort of in-between state. She's of the living, but she hasn't been living; rather, the death of her parents has triggered a set back in her emotional stability and now she's pretty much obsessed with death. Everywhere she goes, everyone she meets, she wonders how he or she will die, and she most often wonders how SHE will eventually die. I liked the misty white gradient as it rises up to meet her face – in full, bright color – as it gives you the sense of someone who's fading. On the opposite side is a dark, black grungy, web-like texture peeking out in the shadows, which hints at something more sinister. It balances out all of the white; it tells you that this isn't a story of light.

One of the things that I really like about this cover is that it isn't dark. Almost every paranormal romance novel out right now has a dark cover. Of course, going this route could bite me in the arse, but I enjoy that what I’ve created isn't the norm for the genre, that it stands apart from the rest, that it establishes OLIVIA as the hero of my story, and not WILLIAM. Then again, I’m sure a picture of a hunky William’s chest would have sold more copies. J


Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

I’m in the process of editing and revising Blood of My Blood: Book Two of the Macauley Series; you can catch a sneak peek of it at the end of A Time Apart. It picks up exactly where Book One leaves off, but in it we learn more about William’s life after he became a vampire, and we see how Olivia is settling into her new, preternatural life.

I’m also working on a regency romance that has been simmering at the back of my mind since I’ve been obsessed with the period for many years now. I don’t want to give too much away about it because it’s still in the early stages, but there’s a paranormal angle there as well and I’m really excited to mix the genres as they’re my two favorites.


Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

Ha ha ha ha! I’ve gone through so many these past several years, but I haven’t really found one that I would call a favorite. When I first started writing A Time Apart we lived in a beautiful 1910 craftsman, but I didn’t really have an office space of my own so I wrote the beginnings of the book on the couch. Later, I began working from home and we transformed the third bedroom into a dedicated office for me, and while it was great for the writing I did for work, I felt sucked dry creatively so I couldn’t really work on my book in there. Since then, we’ve sold our house and have been renting an apartment in a more vibrant part of town. It’s much smaller so I no longer have dedicated office space. Also, last year I fell on a dock and messed up my tail bone pretty bad so I can’t sit in one place for too long before the pain sets it, so I move from the bedroom, to the couch, to the dining nook, and all around. I long for the days when I have a creative space of my own where I can be comfortable writing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s not too far off in the future.


It’s time to promo. What is your favorite marketing tool?

Those who have read my bio know that I have a pretty extensive background in public relations. In fact, I have over a decade of pitching and securing coverage for the underlying technologies that power some of the world’s current technological innovations. I had (naively) thought that having been successful with something that most people can’t understand, that doing publicity for my book would be a breeze. Ha! I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Honestly, I haven’t quite figured out what my favorite marketing tool is as an author, and I’m still getting the hang of it. I love Twitter, and have had an account since its early days. In 2015, I created an account specifically to talk about writing and becoming an author, but I’m having a hard time finding my footing in the community. In general I’ve never found Facebook a great marketing tool outside of big brands, so I’m still not convinced it’s the right avenue for me to pursue, especially with the changes Facebook has implemented with promoting accounts.

I don’t mean to sound negative about marketing. I’m not at all. I think I’m just learning to re-set my expectations on what book marketing is, compared to technology marketing. Old habits die hard, can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and all that jazz. ;)

That said, the marketing tool that I’m certainly most intrigued by is the video trailer. I have done videos in my previous profession, so I know how powerful they can be in driving interest in a product, but until I started following book tours, I hadn’t seen anything like it for authors. I really love the idea of giving readers an idea of what the book is about in video form, and it’s something I’m excited to explore with future releases.


Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

As a reader, I prefer to go more in-depth with the characters and to really examine what is happening to them and around them. I think that’s the reason that I haven’t pursued turning any of my ideas into short stories. The few that I’ve read seem to end just as I’m getting interested in the characters. Also, if my answers here haven’t clued you in, I’m a bit long-winded so I’m not sure that I could stick to putting together a short story that was worthy of publication.

At over 70,000 words, A Time Apart is a full-length novel, but I am intrigued by the idea of creating shorter novellas for future installments of the series. There are so many twists and turns coming up in the story that it could make sense to examine each of them as standalone novellas rather than trying to wrap them into one longer, cohesive story. The other thing that has changed the way I think about the novella is the success of them with self-publishers, and with the one-click ease of purchasing via digital outlets. (I have a Kindle, so I use Amazon.) If a novella is priced right, the story is riveting and fast-paced, I can definitely see that being a great avenue for a writer. Now you’ve got me thinking about all of the possibilities! 

Excerpt


“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard Flight 716 with service from San Francisco to Dublin. We ask that you please fasten your seat belts and secure all baggage beneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartments. At this time, please turn all personal electronic devices to airplane mode so that they cannot transmit a signal. As you know, smoking is prohibited for the duration of our journey to Dublin, and that includes in the lavatories. Thank you for choosing Aer Lingus. Enjoy your flight.”

It was usually at this point in any flight where Olivia’s real panic kicked in. Shortly – terrifyingly – the plane would be airborne with nothing but land and sea below. While she knew statistically that airplanes were safer than cars, she’d never known anyone – let alone two anyones – who had been killed, their bodies never recovered, from a freak accident on the freeway. Not to say that it didn’t happen everyday; she just didn’t know anyone that it had happened to.

To distract her mind, she listened to the crew outline the plane’s safety procedures and then the Captain’s welcome, including the weather forecast for Dublin – rainy and brisk, how shocking. Sipping the champagne the flight attendant had offered her when she boarded, Olivia felt the combination of the Valium and the alcohol take over her body, but not quite enough that she gave up the death grip she had on the arm rests. As she felt the tell tale tingle of the Valium working its magic, she thought – not for the first time – that maybe someday a plane crash wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to her. Maybe someday she’d just never wake up from the self-induced drug and alcohol fueled nothingness she needed just to fly. 

Who am I kidding?

Sadly, more and more frequently it wasn’t just plane rides that had her mixing booze and pills. Most days she wrapped herself in a hazy blur of alcohol like a security blanket, protecting her in a cocoon of mental fuzziness.

Olivia felt her pulse beginning to race and her breathing accelerate, and she made a conscious effort not to panic, not to look over at Judgy lest the woman start advocating for professional psychiatric help. It wouldn’t have been the first time some well-meaning motherly type had tried to get Olivia into therapy. She stole a quick glance in Judgy’s direction only to find that she was already engrossed in her novel, Olivia’s neurosis and emotional paralysis the least of her concerns.

Not too long after she had fought back the near panic attack, the whirring of the engines lulled Olivia into a stupor that soon resulted in a fitful sleep. For the next ten hours she didn’t exactly fall into a deep slumber, but she wasn’t fully awake either. Her mind seemed to float between a dreaming and wakeful state, and she felt strangely separated from her body. She’d see snippets of things in her head but wasn’t sure if the images were of events or instances that she was remembering, things she was imagining, or scenarios she was concocting to be used in her novel. 

And then Olivia saw, quite clearly, the face of a man she had never met and yet she felt like she had known him all of her life – blue eyes, sharp and unnaturally piercing as if he could see deep into her soul. She saw a field of green that stretched far and wide, rolling hills dotted with sheep and lined with stacked stone walls. She saw herself as a child chasing a puppy larger than she was down by a river while laughing that high-pitched squeal that only a child can make as the dog raced back toward her covered in mud and dripping with water. And then that image changed as quickly as it came and she saw her mother as a young woman, happy and carefree, in love with a man who was not Gerald Donnelly.

And as she always did when in one of her fitful states of sleep, Olivia saw all the ways she could die – car accident; mugging gone horribly wrong after having put up a brave fight; her house on fire, the flames licking at her feet as she tried to run; her body weak and broken as it was ravished by cancer; or her heart slowly stopping as she lay in her bed, blind from old age and hunched with the rigors of time.

And in these dreams she was ready for it – any of it – almost welcoming the vast blackness that would follow whatever her death would be.

And then she saw that face again – the man she didn’t know but felt so deeply that she should. He whispered her name, longingly, “Olivia.” 


About the Author



Rebecca Caudill read her first novel when she was just four years old and has been hooked on books ever since. When she wasn't writing her own stories, she was sneaking copies of her mom's paperbacks to read late into the night.

Fast forward several years later and Rebecca graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in English Lit, which gave her new insight into the written word. Following college, Rebecca embarked on a career in tech PR in the famed Silicon Valley, which eventually led to her leading Global R&D communications for a Fortune 500 company that everyone knows by name. Finally, after more than a decade of writing words ascribed to other people, in December 2014 she quit her job to pursue writing full time.

Today Rebecca lives with her husband and beautiful-but-neurotic cat in Oakland, California. When not creating fictional worlds inhabited by strong women, rakes, rogues, and dashing heroes, she is planning her next vacation, trying out new recipes, or drinking Islay scotch.

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Twitter @rebecca_caudill