romance, suspense, new blog, author, writer, writing

Can miracles happen at Christmas?

An Interview with Seelie Kay:

Q.  Why do you write romance?

Because I am fascinated by the games people play to find and secure a lasting relationship, which is not always love. There’s the chase, the courtship, the falling, the surrender. That’s what I try to capture in my stories.

Q.  Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?

I adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge. They can be a bad boy, a billionaire, a prince, or a secret agent. That hint of danger just hooks me! However, I they have to be paired with strong, independent women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want, even love.

Q.  Why did you write “The Last Christmas?”

My father is 94-years-old and as you might expect, has had a number of serious medical, age-related events. Each time, we were told to prepare for his death. Each time, he survived. The fact was, my Dad wasn’t ready to die. And his children and his grandchildren weren’t ready to let him go either. So I started thinking about terminal diagnoses and how they are really a best guess, not a guarantee. That, of course, led to thoughts how a terminal diagnosis often causes people to give up and prematurely mourn the death of the person who is ill. I wondered how that impacted the outcome. And because I was preparing to write a holiday book, I also started thinking about the power of family, and how, time after time, families are capable of creating miracles.

That led me to “The Last Christmas.” Christmas truly is a time for miracles, and thought it important that everyone be able to experience one through the tale of the Wright Family.

Blurb:

When the doctors say there’s no hope, Santa begs to differ. After all, he claims, miracles are love combined with action to get the desired result. And at Christmas time, everyone deserves a miracle!

David Wright is dying from cancer. He is not expected to see another Christmas. At least that’s what the medical professionals say. Fortunately, Santa begs to differ. After all, modern medicine is nothing more than a best guess. Santa believes anything is possible until you give up. When Santa tells David’s wife, Joan, that heaven is full and she has to keep her husband alive, she is beside herself. She has no medical skills. How can she save anyone’s life? Set your skepticism aside as Santa embraces a family already mourning their father’s terminal diagnosis and teaches them that a Christmas miracle doesn’t always require heavenly intervention. Sometimes, all it takes is a family with enough love to create their own. As Santa says, a true miracle is when love combines with action to get the desired results. And only humans are capable of that. Will Santa’s words fall on deaf ears? Or will Team Wright find a way to save their father’s life?

Excerpt:

“It’s not about you, it’s about him, Joan,” a grumbly voice said. “You’re looking at this all wrong.”

Joan turned so fast she almost lost her balance. She glared at the old man who had spoken. He was around seventy, with ruddy cheeks and twinkling blue eyes. And thick white hair. Lots of white hair. Flowing over his shoulders, winding up in a very lush beard. On top of his head was perched a brightly colored red knit hat. She frowned. “Wait a minute. You’re Santa Claus. Without the red suit, but clearly, you’re him. I’d know you anywhere.”

The man bowed and with a smile, said, “At your service.” He gestured toward a park across the street. “Let’s take a walk.”

“Oh, no. I’m not going anywhere with you.” Joan shook her head. “I didn’t mean you actually were Santa Claus. Everyone knows he doesn’t exist. I just meant you looked like him. You’re just a man who looks like him. I don’t know you. Why would I…” She glared at him. “You’re not even wearing a red suit. And since when has Santa taken up armchair psychiatry?”  She ran a hand through her blonde hair. “I must be hallucinating.” Despite her objections, she followed him across the street.

Santa laughed. “My dear, I have been dispensing advice since I was old enough to talk and make people listen. God chose my role a long time ago and I have gotten very good at it.” He looked toward the heavens. “Sorry, old boy. Still working on that humility!” He chuckled. “Man never stops reminding me.” He smiled at Joan. “Do you sense any ill-intentions from me? Of course not. I’m Santa. All I want to do is talk.”

Joan reached out and touched his shoulder.

He laughed again. A laugh that came directly from his belly. “Yes, I’m real. Well, as real as a centuries-old spirit gets. I even eat all those cookies children leave me each year. And let me tell you, that’s a heavenly feat.” Again, he looked skyward. “Yes, sir, I am well aware that borders on gluttony. A sin. You know darn well it has nothing to do with gluttony and everything to do with the magic of Christmas, an affirmation that Santa is real. I do it for the children.” He smiled at Joan. “Sometimes, He gets a little overbearing with his angels.”

He smirked. “Even God has his faults. He is by no means perfect.” A strong wind swirled through the plaza, nearly catching his knitted cap. He clapped his hand on his head to hold it down. He whispered, “And he doesn’t take criticism too well, either.”

Joan stared at the man. Surely, she was losing it. Santa a spirit, an angel? He and God didn’t even travel in the same circles. She shook her head, trying to make the hallucination go away.

Santa sighed. “I know, I know. You’ve been taught that I’m not real. That I’m a myth. That’s a rumor started by Satan himself, the old devil. He can’t stand the fact that people embrace the goodness in the world. And that I spread good cheer. He would much rather unleash a plague and make people miserable. He hates Christmas. He hates that the birth of Christ is celebrated, and his birth, well, is not. He really can’t stand the fact that love binds people so tightly during the holidays.” Santa shook his fist toward the ground. “The fool pouts all through the holidays.” He then sat up straight and gazed at Joan. “Christmas is really about love, you know. All kinds of love. The type of love he’ll never have. Love of family, love of children, love of—”

“What the heck do you want?” Joan blurted. “People are starting to stare.”

Buy links:

“The Last Christmas” is scheduled for release in December 11, 2020 and will be available from all major booksellers, including–

Extasy Books:  Preorder Link Available November 27, 2020

ABOUT SEELIE KAY:

Seelie Kay is a nom de plume for a writer, editor, and author with more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations. When she writes about love and lust in the legal world, something kinky is bound to happen!  In possession of a wicked pen and an overly inquisitive mind, Ms. Kay is the author of 18 works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, the Feisty Lawyers series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The White House Wedding, and The President’s Daughter.

When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. She resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Ms. Kay is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS:  Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Author links:

Website:  https://www.seeliekay.com

Blog:  https://www.seeliekay.blogspot.com

Twitter: @SeelieKay https://twitter.com/SeelieKay

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/seelie.kay.77

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/seeliekay51/

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Seelie-Kay/e/B074RDRWNZ/

Prior Books:

Kinky Briefs, http://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs/

Kinky Briefs, Too, http://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs-too/

Kinky Briefs, Thrice, https://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs-thrice/

Kinky Briefs, Quatro, http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-1734-5-kinky-briefs-quatro/

Kinky Briefs, Cinque, http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2023-9-kinky-briefs-cinque/

The Garage Dweller, http://www.extasybooks.com/the-garage-dweller/

A Touchdown to Remember, http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-1504-4-a-touchdown-to-remember/

The President’s Wife, http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-1795-6-the-presidents-wife/

Snatching Dianna, http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2263-9-snatching-diana/

The President’s Daughter, http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2032-1-the-presidents-daughter

Infamy, https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2291-2-infamy/

Seizing Hope, https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2349-0-seizing-hope/

Cult, https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2538-8-cult/

Hope, https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2658-3-hope/

The White House Wedding, https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2796-2-the-white-house-wedding/

Martimus, https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2862-4-martimus/

The best Christmas gift: someone to hold

Harmony’s Embrace

Series: Deerbourne Inn

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Release Date: November 16th, 2020

ASIN: B08L73TB9C

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Length: 40k

Heat Rating: 3 Flames

Reuniting with the man who broke her heart has never felt so right.

Divorced dad Birley Haynes is too busy raising his children and running his family’s music academy to start a relationship. Then Harmony Holdich, his high school sweetheart, returns home to Willow Springs, Vermont for Christmas and falls into his bed. She brings light and fun back into his life, but he can’t brush aside the threatening incidents around his workplace.

Harmony hadn’t expected a complication like Birley, especially so soon after the death of her unfaithful husband. With her life a mess, she plans to move across the country and start over. All she can offer him is a fling, but her heart yearns for more.

When the threats rise, how will Birley keep his children safe and convince Harmony to give love another chance?

EXCERPT:

Dear God. His heart slammed harder. He’d died and gone to Heaven.

Harmony stretched her arms above her head and danced in the middle of the living room. Her hips pulsated with the beat of the music. Twisty locks of her hair bounced around her shoulders. She winked, then glided her hands across her breasts and stomach, daring his gaze to follow.

Birley licked his lips. The organ pressing against his zipper throbbed. Sweat slicked his nape. He dropped his scarf beside her purse, jacket, and beanie on the coffee table.

“Dance with me?”

Her husky entreaty ricocheted through him like a ping-pong ball. How could he deny her? He gripped her waist. She slid her arms around him. They swayed, their bodies a scant inch apart. She nuzzled his neck, her breath fanning his skin. His hair prickled. The air crackled around them. He shuddered and held her tighter.

“I’ve missed this.”

His chest heaved. He struggled to fill his lungs with air. “Dancing?”

“Dancing with you.” Harmony stroked his clean-shaven jaw. “I’m sorry things didn’t work out with you and Susannah, but I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything.”

Oh, God. He kissed her and swept his tongue past her parting lips. Delicious. The taste of chocolate and wine clung to her breath. He nibbled and licked the smooth slope of her neck.

“Birley, yes.” She ducked her head and claimed his mouth with hers. Then she feathered kisses across his face. “I need your hands, your mouth, your scent all over me. Take me, Birley. Hard, soft, I don’t care.”

Fuck. Her breathy plea wrapped around his heart and shot blood to his groin. She eased back, drawing him with her. The wall halted her retreat, and he trapped her between it and his body. Their tongues dueled and teeth clanked. Heat sizzled through his veins and pulsed through every organ. Her body writhed against his. Was she trying to drive him mad? He snapped open the fasteners of her pants and slid his finger beneath the waistband of her insulated leggings. Silk brushed his skin, then he slipped into her warmth.

Add to Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55691564-harmony-s-embrace

Check it out on BookBubhttps://www.bookbub.com/books/harmony-s-embrace-deerbourne-inn-by-amber-daulton

Purchase Links

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Harmonys-Embrace-Deerbourne-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B08L73TB9C/

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/harmonys-embrace-amber-daulton/1137951572

Apple/iBooks – https://books.apple.com/us/book/harmonys-embrace/id1539081673

Universal link – https://books2read.com/u/bPX6kR

Now Taking Sign Ups for my Newsletter, Amber Daulton Romance

https://emailoctopus.com/lists/9d60a166-f2ea-11ea-a3d0-06b4694bee2a/forms/subscribe

About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

Social Media Links

Website – https://amberdaulton.wordpress.com/

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Pinterest – https://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

Amazon Author Page – https://amzn.to/14JoZff

Book Bub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amber-daulton

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amberdaultonauthor1/

Death by sandstorm? A terrifying prospect #MFRWHooks

Lily Pearl Evans
Gene Nicholas

After a run of bad relationships, Lily Pearl Evans has finally become an independent woman. In the New Mexico desert town of Chaparral, she works for herself, sets her own rules, and is determined no man will hold her back again.
Gene Nicholas worked for more than a decade to achieve his dream to be a doctor. Wanting to share his gifts with those less fortunate, he leaves south Florida to volunteer for Doctors Without Borders in Mexico.
When Gene provokes a showdown with the local Mexican drug cartel, he becomes a man with a price on his head. On the run, he ends up on Lily’s doorstep–a mystery man forced to conceal his past to protect them both. With the cartel’s dangerous web drawing tight around them, can Lily and Gene survive a drug lord’s revenge?

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U26_4t9yRA

EXCERPT:

A giant cloud spread across the horizon, reaching a quarter-mile into the sky. The ocher color of the desert sand, the cloud billowed forth in all directions, heading right for the pair of them. He’d never seen a sight so terrifying.

         “What is that?!”

         “What?” she asked, as she turned. Her face paled when she saw what he was looking at. She started off at a run for the truck.

         Unsure what to do, he hesitated. The oncoming cloud swelled and swirled, billowing outward toward them like parachute material filling with forced air, constantly moving, growing. Mesmerized at the monster’s progress, he stood, slack-jawed, until the first pecks of sand stung his bare cheeks, the pain bringing him back to very present danger.

         The air darkened around him as a hissing filled his ears. His hands came up automatically to cover his face, and he backed into his car door, inadvertently slamming it shut.

         “Come on!”

  Lily stood on the truck’s running board, yelling over the door. “Hurry!”
 The wind swallowed her voice, stole the words away, but her expression needed no explanation. He moved.

  He stumbled in the sand, three or four steps in before he got traction enough to run. The cloud came closer, enveloped him. Blinded, he held his arm across his face, fighting his way toward the place he believed the truck to be, where it used to be before the world shifted into chaos.

 He’d been working in Miami when Hurricane Andrew devastated the southern suburbs, and that was his only experience that even approached this in terms of terror. The wind roared around him, the sand continuing to assault his skin, even worse than the onslaught of wind and rain Andrew had been.

Just when he was sure he was lost, the lights of the truck flashed inches from his outstretched hand. He tucked his chin down into his jacket, grabbed the fender of the truck and pulled himself along till his fingers located the handle to the door. Counting to three, he blocked the door with his body the best he could, then jumped inside the cab of the truck and yanked the door closed in a cloud of dust.

         Coughing, he laid his head back against the rest.

         “Are you okay, honey?” she asked, brow furrowed with concern. She handed him a small bottle of water from a six-pack stashed under the seat.

         “I think so.” He coughed some more, trying to catch his breath. The swirl of nothingness outside the glass drew his frightened eyes. “Is that a sandstorm?” he gasped.

         “It is.”  She leaned forward to close the air vents as the tapping of sand against the window became a full-fledged, constant bombardment.

  The truck rocked in the vicious wind, but they were safe inside. Overhead, the sky became dark as night as the shifting sand obscured the faint rays of the winter sun.

         His heart raced. What if this had happened the night of his border crossing? He imagined being lost in such an event, the sand scraping away exposed skin, filling airways with dust, slowly choking a person to death…

Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a  resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE,  is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, two crotchety old cats, and five kittens of various ages.

Website           https://alana-lorens.com

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

Goodreads   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4829967.Alana_Lorens

Amazon Author Page  https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=299081

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Vampires

Sharing a book written by my alter ego for Halloween…..

I’ve never liked vampires. Not Count Dracula, not all the bloody B movies of my generation, not even Barnabas Collins (tho I confess I did love the drama of his show). When Stephanie Meyer brought the vampire back to life in her Twilight series, I never picked up one of her books. (Okay, okay, I saw the movies.) But in either medium, I’m not really in the “yes, sparkle” or “no, sparkle” camp.

But then about ten years ago, I went with some of my friends to a new class that studied energy from an Eastern perspective. We learned about auras and personal energy fields and chakras and self-healing. As a person who routinely thinks from inside my head instead of on a “touchy-feely” basis, this was a long, hard education for me, but I eventually understood it.

I also came to understand how others can drain your energy, in a very toxic way. You know, the person who calls at all hours of the day and night, just to whine about the terribles of their life, though they never take your advice and never change the way they do anything. They suck the life from you.

*idea*

And that’s how I came around to the concept that vampires come in alternate flavors besides blood-red cherry and rainbow sherbet. Once I reached that far, I moved on to the possibility of psychic vampires. These are vampires that steal energy, not blood, but a life force nonetheless.  Combining that with my background as a journalist and a few hunky doctors, LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME was born. I may still shy away from vampires as a rule, but at least in this form, we can co-exist.

BLURB:

Running away isn’t necessarily the answer.

In her mad rush to escape a failed marriage, Sara Woods takes the first job available and lands in the middle of a mystery. Her first assignment as a news reporter for the Ralston Courier is the investigation of a string of deaths, all young women, all her age.

She becomes a patient at the Goldstone Clinic, a local mecca of healing, to deal with chronic pain from her past. But all is not as it seems at the Goldstone, its doctors and nurses are all the picture of perfect beauty and health. Patients at the clinic first seem to get better, then they deteriorate. Sara enlists the help of Dr. Rick Paulsen, who teaches her how to access her internal power, skills she never knew she had, revealing secrets from her past. Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, stalking her, watching her every move, and he won’t leave her alone.

As she digs deeper into the story, and more young women die without explanation, she tries to choose allies wisely, but not until the last confrontation does she discover the identity of her true enemy.

By then, it’s too late.

EXCERPT:

When the doctor didn’t answer my last question, I asked again. “Why haven’t you gone to the police?”
“You don’t understand. The police won’t be any help in this matter.”

“They’re investigating her death—”

 “They’re not investigating her death! They’re just going through the motions until everyone forgets about her and they can toss her file in a cabinet, never to be seen again!” He slapped his fork onto the table, a flush of anger suffusing his face, all the way to the tips of his ears. “Just like the others.”

I glanced quickly around to see if his eruption had been noticed, but Athena was, thankfully, out of the room. “What others?” I demanded. “Those three other women? The same people have killed all of them? And no one’s noticed except you?”

“No one will. No one will even care.” He leaned closer, spoke more softly. “They’re careful who they choose. Victims with no close family. Women who won’t be missed.”

“That Gina had a baby. There must have been someone—”

“Her ex had filed papers to get custody. Once she was dead, he didn’t have a worry in the world. He didn’t care, as long as she was out of his way. It was the same with the others. Lily’s fiancé had broken it off with her, and she was just hiding here with her aunt, letting her ballet practice become her life. Marta was a loner, a waitress who lived by herself. Sandy was a new teacher, she’d just started at the district, and she was so proud of her class.” His voice broke with emotion, and he waved away the waiter, who was heading in our direction with a pitcher of ice water.

“You treated them all?” I asked.

“At one time or other. I could sense something not right about them, something in their chemistry, something in their…energy, it just wasn’t right.”

Energy? That was the second time in two days I’d heard someone talk about a person’s energy. Surely he didn’t mean… “So who’s ‘they’? These mysterious bad guys?”

It was almost a whisper. “The Goldstone Clinic.”

A book from Hydra Publications! Learn more at:  http://lyndialexander.wordpress.com/love-me-kiss-me-kill-me/

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com   http://www.amazon.com/Love-Me-Kiss-Kill-ebook/dp/B008WCZIZK/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1344729827&sr=8-10&keywords=Lyndi+Alexander

Barnes and Noble.com  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-me-kiss-me-kill-me-lyndi-alexander/1112464898?ean=2940014864022

Fascinated by shapeshifters, Sydney Winward tells their bloody story

Bloodbond_w14492_ibWelcome to Sydney Winward and her new book, BLOODBOND!

Do you base your characters on real people or make them up from scratch?

All of my characters are made up from scratch. I have never used someone I know in my books, nor any of their qualities or personality traits. It’s not that people in my life aren’t interesting. But my characters are all unique and none of them fit the mold of others around me.

What genre do you write and how did you come to start writing that genre?

Surprisingly, I never saw myself as a paranormal writer. I was always into fairy tales and princesses. Magic and fantasy. So when I hatched an idea about a paranormal romance, with vampires of all things, I was skeptical at first because I had never dipped my toes in this genre. Although fantasy and magic will always have my heart, I have discovered a new love for the paranormal genre.

How did you get interested in writing fiction?

I have always been a daydreamer. I passed long car rides in my own head, thinking about stories and dreaming of romances. Reading about princesses, magic, and dragons was one of my favorite things to do growing up, and when I decided I wanted to write my own stories down, nothing could stop the pencil. (Yes, I wrote them all by hand in high school! My fingers will never forgive me for it.)

What are you reading right now? 

I am always on the lookout for new authors and new stories. Recently I came across an author named Blythe Carver. She writes historical western romances, and I’m seriously in love with them! I am slowly working my way down the list of her Westward Hearts series.

What’s something you’re good at?

Finding change on the ground. I got this skill from my dad! He’s found up to a hundred dollars worth of change on the ground in a single week. Although I have never found that much and he still holds the title of reigning champ, I aspire to win someday!

What superpower would you like to have?

Most definitely shapeshifting. If I could turn into any animal, human, or mythical creature, that would be the most amazing thing ever. Mystique from X-men is my favorite character, and she has the power to be able to shapeshift into anyone at any time.

Blurb for Bloodbond:

Zachariah Degore spent ten years locked under ground as a feral vampire. Now he has to redefine what it means to be healthy and whole. With his human life behind him, he starts anew in the vampire city of Ichor Knell with the vampire shah as his kin. He must prove he is worthy of his place in this new world.

Laurel Covaci is vampire elite, she would never court a feral vampire. After two hundred years she has yet to find a mate who meets with her satisfaction. She hides the pain of past hurt and abandonment behind a cold façade. Zach is confident that Laurel is the vampire for him, but can he break through her icy walls and convince her he’s the mate she’s been waiting for?

TwitterBloodbond

Excerpt 1:

She stared at him. And stared. Until it became uncomfortable.

So he stood and started to pack up his things, but she glared at him and pointed to his seat.

“Sit.” He did. Who could disobey a tone like that? “You can’t kill?” she asked incredulously. “You only recently came out of being feral, correct?” He nodded. “And you can’t kill? Human blood doesn’t send you into a rage. You refused to drink from the goblet at the service.”

“Have you been spying on me?” Laurel

She ignored his comment, and her mouth puckered slightly as if in deep concentration. He couldn’t help but stare. He’d never seen her do it before. Another endearing quality he added to the lengthy list of what made Laurel Covaci absolutely perfect.

“I have searched high and low, but I simply cannot find any answers to this particular conundrum,” she finally said. Heat rose to his ears. She’d been thinking about him?

He grinned. “Well, well, Lady Covaci. I didn’t realize I was filling up your thoughts.”

She blushed prettily, and he almost expected her to get up from the table and leave, regretting she even sat down in the first place. But she stayed put. In fact, she stared right back as if challenging him. He enjoyed the eye contact. Her eyes were so blue. So beautiful. They took him back to green fields of his childhood, of staring back at the blue sky as clouds lazily drifted past.

Excerpt 2:

“You obviously won’t bring up what is ailing you,” Oriel said, “therefore, I will. What is it?”

Her scowl deepened as she glared at a patch of red flowers that didn’t deserve her anger. “Zachariah is receiving mounds of handkerchiefs, and I fear it will interfere with his learning.”

He grinned slyly as he turned to face her. She didn’t like that look, as if he knew something she didn’t.

“I believe you are experiencing feelings of jealousy. Laurel, you are in love with Zachariah Degore.”

Shock hit her like a sleigh slamming into her at breakneck speed. Never in her life had she expected to hear the words “Laurel”, “Zachariah”, and “love” in the same sentence. Still, she shook her head stubbornly, but in her shock, she tripped on her bad foot, wincing as pain shot up her leg. She lowered herself onto a stone garden bench and took her slipper off, massaging the place where it hurt most while Oriel hovered worriedly.

“I am not in love with Zachariah,” she insisted. “We are only friends and I am simply worried about his studies.”

“Then why is your heart beating like a hummingbird’s wings?” he teased.

This time, she directed her scowl at her brother. “Curse you, Oriel. Mind your own business.”

“Your business is my business. I never liked Luca, but I like Zachariah plenty. I approve of a union between the two of you.” He sat beside her, draping an arm across her shoulders. “Zachariah is Dracula’s kin. He won’t be on the market for long.”

“I know,” she grumbled miserably, though she admitted to nothing. She was afraid to tell even herself that she felt more for Zachariah than just friendship.

Excerpt 3:

lavender-3576129_1920She giggled, but her smile quickly faded as she bit her lip and walked along the table, looking deep in thought. “I heard Jenica Avery gave you a handkerchief,” she said casually, running a finger down the long, wooden table and inspecting the lack of dust.

“Yes?” he replied. Why did it matter? It was a dumb, old handkerchief. “I am awaiting Adam’s reply about whether or not vampires can also be witches. Right after she gave it to me, a hoard of females attempted to do the same. Are you aware that I have to hide in the castle? Every time I go outside, I nearly get trampled by vexed females.”

She snorted in laughter, but quickly clamped her hands around her mouth. He grinned at her lapse in self-control and couldn’t deny that he liked it. A lot.

Clearing her throat, she stood poised and elegant, the perfect example of grace. “You hide in the castle? One would think you would rather choose to court one of these vexed females.”

He sighed with his arms resting on the table, looking longingly at Laurel’s lips he desperately wanted to kiss. “Perhaps someday. But the right female has yet to be vexed. Still, I am convinced witchcraft is to blame. No one wanted to walk on the same side of the street as me several weeks ago. Now females are chasing me? I don’t think there is any other explanation for it other than witchcraft.”

“Zachariah,” she breathed, and her tone made him lift his head warily. Her expression looked serious, and he wondered for a moment if he’d said something wrong. “I am getting the distinct impression that you don’t know what you look like.”

He tilted his chair back and shook his head, watching her curiously. “The last time I was able to look back at myself in a mirror was thirteen years ago when I was still a human. I’m sure I have changed quite a bit since then. I always imagined I looked like Adam.”

“You don’t,” she said, placing her hands on top of the chair across from him as she gazed back. “Well, perhaps to a certain degree. I can tell you two are brothers. But Adam doesn’t have that…thing that attracts females. That charisma. That striking quality.”

A flush crept up his neck. Was she trying to say he was handsome? Did Laurel think he was handsome?

About the Author:

SydneyWinwardAuthorSydney Winward was born with an artistic brain and a love of discovery for new talents. From drawing to sewing to music, she has loved to explore every opportunity that comes her way. At a young age, Sydney discovered her love of writing, and she hasn’t been able to stop writing since. Her active imagination and artistic mind take her away to different worlds and time periods, making every new story a fantastic adventure. When she is not writing (or fawning over animals in the neighborhood) she spends time with her husband and children at home in Utah.

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvqlfMc19Is

Buy Links: Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Applebooks

Social Media Links: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Instagram

This scavenger hunt may have love as a prize — new from Cynthia Terelst

Thanks to author Cynthia Terelst for being with us today, with her new release, LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE.

 First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? 

Hi Everyone, Here are some random facts about myself:

I live in Queensland, Australia with my two cats, Kimmy and Possum. Kimmy was adopted from a local refuge and Possum was a foster fail through a rescue. I foster kittens for a local rescue. When I don’t have any in my home, I have withdrawal symptoms.

My mum lives a few streets away and visits every week. My daughter lives over 100km away. We talk every day, multiple times.

A lot of my friends love coffee and cannot function without one. I am not one of those people. I drank coffee once, when I was a teenager, and have never gone back. Every now and then I will have a hot chocolate. I usually drink water or sugar free cordial. I like to go all out and have a glass of soft drink with dinner.

I do not have any formal training in writing, in fact my degree is in commerce, which is funny really when you think that numbers and words are opposites. I don’t think you need an education in writing to be a good writer.  Although, having an understanding of structure, flow and grammar helps. I try to attend inline classes run through my state’s writing centre when something of interest comes along. But I think the most I learn is by listening to others, especially a close writing friend I work with.

Tell us about your most recent publication?

Let Sleeping Dogs LieMy second novel, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie was published on 30 June. It is a second chance romance that revolves around a scavenger hunt. A completely made-up scavenger hunt.

What inspired you to write this story? 

Last year my daughter moved to a new town for work. I put up a post about the two pubs in town and a friend commented saying it sounded like it was a puzzle. Then I thought, that sounds like a fun idea for a novel, I’m going to write about a scavenger hunt.
What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

You would think coming up with places to hide a treasure and thinking up clues would be easy. But it was quite a challenge. You need enough details so that the participants can get to the right answer, but then be vague enough that they can’t get the answer easily. I learnt quite a bit about Sydney and its history.

How would you best describe your books?

My motto for my writing is – I like to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. One reader said my stories are not lovey dovey and that would be right. Even though they are romance they are not sickly sweet. I like to throw some real-life issues in there because I feel like they should be spoken about, even if it is in some small way. Some issues I have dealt with in my writing is loss, domestic violence and addiction.

What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

I write romance but read just about anything – romance, thrillers, YA fantasy, dystopian. If it’s good, I’ll read it. I have even tried space opera.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I like creating characters who are believable and who readers can root for. I enjoy adding Australian slang into my writing. Australia is such a unique country and I like sharing some of our culture with the world.

I wrote my first full length novel when I was sixteen.  Life interrupted and I put writing aside for over twenty years. Now I am back at it and I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I belong to Queensland Writers Centre and sometimes I join their online courses. I am a subscriber to many writing newsletters but find I don’t have enough time to read through them all. One of my favourite writing craft books is, The Emotional Craft of Fiction.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

Sometimes, I listen to music, sometimes I don’t. When there was a clue in Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, that remotely related to Elton John, I listened to his music for fun.

Tell us a little about your path to publication. 

This is the second novel I have published. It sure has been a big learning curve. There is so much involved in getting a book published – writing, self editing, beta readers, professional editing, proofreading, formatting. Indie authors cover all of these costs. Leading up to publication there is a whole big launch plan to follow and then marketing.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

Next, I am writing a royal romance. The ideas haven’t been fully fleshed out yet. I am hoping a library talk I was invited to attend will be rescheduled soon.

What would you like to tell readers?

I would like to encourage readers to leave reviews for books they read. This is especially important for indie authors who don’t have big publishing houses behind them. Even a two sentence review is helpful. Reviews help new readers find our books.

Blurb

Will one of the treasures they find be each other’s heart?

It’s been five years since Tara walked out of Shepherd’s life without a word. Since then he’s spiralled through drugs, alcohol and empty relationships, with Tara on his mind the whole time. Now he wants to win her back, and what better way to do it than by creating a fake scavenger hunt? He knows she won’t be able to resist.

Tara’s lost enough loved ones and she didn’t want to see Shepherd added to that count. So, when she saw him high at graduation, she did the only thing she could – she walked away. When she’s teamed up with him for a million dollar scavenger hunt, the feelings reignite. For a second chance at love to work, she needs to be brave enough to open up to him, to tell him everything she withheld the first time around.

Shepherd didn’t realise how much winning would mean to Tara. He now needs to come up with $3 million for her foundation before the hunt is over. If he can’t he will need to tell her its all fake, and he doesn’t know if he can risk that.

Will secrets destroy them a second time around?

Excerpt

Tara

Shepherd and I sat on the couch side by side and watched The Martian while we ate dinner. The warmth from where our arms touched seeped through me. I should have moved away, but I didn’t want to. The spices from the tacos radiated off him. What would they taste like when mixed with the sweetness of him? My eyes were drawn to his lips, the curve of them. I could practically feel their softness.

Shepherd turned his face to mine. My eyes lingered for a moment as I imagined his soft breath brushing my face as he bent his head toward me. My breathing shallowed to the point that it was nearly non-existent, as if I were a starfish. I turned my face away and resumed watching the movie, making sure my hands kept to themselves and my thoughts remained on the man saving his own life on the screen. Matt Damon may have been the most attractive astronaut I’d ever seen, but he was nothing compared to Shepherd.

The movie ended and I sat there while the credits rolled. Our closeness suddenly made me feel like we were in a flux capacitor. Time—five years of it—had been starved, and now it was swallowing me whole. Everything about Shepherd felt like home. Everything. And if I allowed it to, this feeling wouldn’t just swallow me, it would become me.

I jerked away from him, my heart racing, my skin cold, while I broke into a sweat. I couldn’t allow this to happen. Shepherd was no longer my solace. He never truly was because he never knew my grief. My grief over my brother. The feelings of loss at my parent’s death.

No, Shepherd was not my solace. Not then. Not now.

Buy Link

https://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Dogs-Love-Down-Under-ebook/dp/B082HQDV66/

Author photoAuthor Bio

Cynthia Terelst is a project officer by day and a writer by night. She is a contemporary romance writer who likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Cynthia does not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.

She lives in Queensland, Australia, where the sun shines at least 283 days a year.

Social Media Links

Website http://cynthiaterelst.com/

Newsletter https://www.subscribepage.com/p9p9y0

Twitter https://twitter.com/CynthiaTerelst

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

Facebook For the Love of Words FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/572605370313807/

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

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cynthia-terelst

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Terelst/e/B07ZCTX8SB/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/cynthiaterelst

Linktree – https://linktr.ee/cynthiaterelst

 

 

Drawn into voodoo revenge–#MFRWHooks

When her big trial goes bad, corporate attorney Brianna Ward can’t wait to get out of VoodooDreams_w7507_medPittsburgh. The Big Easy seems like the perfect place to rest, relax, and forget about the legal business. Too bad an obnoxious–but handsome–lawyer from a rival firm is checking into the same bed and breakfast.

Attorney Evan Farrell has Mardi Gras vacation plans too. When he encounters fiery and attractive Brianna, however, he puts the Bourbon Street party on hold. He’d much rather devote himself to her–especially when a mysterious riddle appears in her bag, seeming to threaten danger.

Strangely compelled to follow the riddle’s clues, Brianna is pulled deeper into the twisted schemes of a voodoo priest bent on revenge. To escape his poisonous web, she must work with Evan to solve the curse. But is the growing love they feel for each other real? Or just a voodoo dream?

BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/dp/1628300450/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=Alana+Lorens&qid=1591129683&s=books&sr=1-8

In the swamp, the fire illuminated the multi-tiered altar and some of those who gathered around it.  Painted with tribal markings in black and white, the three drummers’ faces
stood out like bare skulls against the reflected flames.
The people in the back row were silhouettes only, dark outlines swaying to the rhythm of the drums.
On the altar, Brianna identified a Damballah cross on the top level, surrounded by a number of unlit candles, and some small statues. On the next level sat a bottle of liquor. A large bowl and some cups on a tray were laid out before it, and what looked like a loaf of bread next to a large machete, blade gleaming in the firelight. Bright, tropical flowers decorated all the levels.
Finally, on the ground to the left of the table was a large box with a screen on the front, that appeared to be a carrying case for an animal, something alive.
A snake. 

It was one thing to see these items laid out in a cold array at a museum; quite another when an actual voodoo ritual was taking place before her eyes.
Avoiding the thrill of fright blazing through her, she focused on the table, searching for clues to why she and Evan had been summoned.
As the drums continued their spellbinding beat, a dark figure eased into the light before nola-pcola-012the altar, a tall, slender person dressed in black. Moving gracefully to the rhythm, the priest approached, bearing a tall black candle, which he used to light the other candles.
Eyes closed, chanting words Brianna could not understand, the priest turned slowly around to face the others. Those seated before him on rough wooden benches rocked from side to side.
She gasped when she recognized the man as Copper, dressed as she’d seen him in her mind’s eye when she’d touched that first note, a red turban on his head and, on his face, jagged red paint slashes like bloody lightning.
Instinctively, she pulled back, hoping they couldn’t be seen in the shadows.
He turned to the altar and lit two long sticks of incense, which soon filled the clearing with an exotic smoky scent. Walking in lock-step with the beat of the drum, he reached for a cup and one of the bottles. He poured red liquid into the cup, then held it up.
The drums stopped.
He spoke loudly in English, gesturing with the cup to the four corners of the clearing.
“By the power of St. Anthony of Padua, Legba Atibon, guardian of the crossroads, Legba, guardian of the bush, Legba, guardian of the house, Ago, ago si, Ago la!”
After the words passed, the drummers played again, even louder. Copper took a drink of the liquid, pouring some also into the fire where it hissed into smoke. He handed the closest drummer the bottle, and he drank from it, then passed it to the man on his left.
mfrw-book-hooks400He drank as well, and did the same. Whatever was in the bottle seemed to inspire them. Their drums reverberated with sound until Brianna could hardly breathe.
Copper leaned down before the altar, shaking something onto the ground. Brianna couldn’t see what he was doing, so she inched up until she stood behind the thick tree trunk next to her. He held some sort of painted tin, and from it, he dropped a white substance on the dirt in a distinct design.
“What’s that?” Evan whispered.
“That would be the veve,” Brianna whispered back. “It’s the sign for a particular deity or spirit. First, there should be the drummer’s veve, then there will be others, depending on which spirit they are calling forward.”
Her heart pounded so hard, she couldn’t believe Copper didn’t hear it.
Copper drew a second figure on the ground. The drums’ rhythm changed. Several people in flowing robes rose from the first row and began a seductive, erotic dance. The dancers thrust their hips forward and sideways in a frenzied manner, moving around the fire
kettles oblivious to each other until the drums stopped again. They froze.
“Gator Guede, le bon ton roulette, ye, ye, ye.”
He raised the cup to the sky, then took a long drink before dumping some in the fire, causing it to flare up.
He poured the remaining contents of the bottle into the large bowl, then added a red liquid Brianna hoped was wine, swirling the bowl in a large gesture before his chest.
The drums beat a new rhythm, so compelling Brianna could hardly keep still. The lead dancer took the bowl from Copper and passed it among the participants.
When all had drunk, the dancers returned to the area before the fire and danced again, the drummers changing rhythm to something more primal. The silhouettes moved between Brianna, Evan and the fire, rotating their shoulders and bouncing up and down.
They left a respectful space between themselves and Copper, who continued to create more designs on the ground, evenly spaced and spreading out toward the edges of the clearing.
He began to chant again, this time echoed by a chorus from those seated on the ground. Brianna felt herself drawn into the give-and-take, her head and thoughts growing fuzzy.
“Do you know what they’re saying?” Evan asked.
Brianna pulled herself back with difficulty. She shook her head, a little dazed.masked girl
Here, hold my hand,” she whispered. “I feel so strange. If I look like I’m getting—” She stopped, unsure how to explain what she was experiencing.
She didn’t believe in this stuff. Not at all.
Then why do I feel like there’s spiders crawling around inside me?

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=297338

TENDER MISDEMEANORS–a peek inside!

Today I’m visiting the pages of Madison Michael with another excerpt and some good info about TENDER MISDEMEANORS. Still time to pre-order before its release on March 18!!

https://www.madisonmichael.net/tender-misdemeanors-a-romantic-suspense-from-alana-lorens/