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

For those who like older characters… #mfrwHooks

Family law attorney Suzanne Taylor understands her clients’ problems–her own husband left her with two babies to raise alone. Now that they’re teenagers, her life is full. The last thing she wants is the romantic attentions of a police lieutenant, no matter how good-looking.

Lt. Nick Sansone is juggling the demands of a new promotion and doesn’t need complications either. But when he sends a councilman’s battered wife to Suzanne for help, he realizes he wants to connect with the lovely, prickly lawyer on more than a professional level.

They are soon confronted with a different battle when the abused woman’s husband threatens retribution. The powerful, well-connected councilman can damage both their careers–not to mention hurt those they love. Can they bend enough to admit they need each other in a time of crisis? Or will a husband’s revenge take them down before they ever get a chance?

BUY HERE: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0089PTPAO/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i7

For more information on the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series: https://alana-lorens.com/the-pittsburgh-lady-lawyers/

Excerpt: (from the first date)

            “You went to Pitt? My alma mater, too.”

            “Not in the same class, I’m sure.” Nick was forty-five; he’d always thought of Suzanne as at least ten years younger.

            The fingers of her left hand ran lightly over the fork, cushioned in the folded white napkin on the table. “Well, I went for law school. We wouldn’t have seen each other anyway.”

            “Probably not. It was twenty years ago, before I joined the force.”

            She looked up, surprised. “I was just finishing up. But I was sure you were older than I am.” She hesitated, bit her lip. “I just turned forty.”

            “Not so much. I’m forty-five.” There, he said it.

            He hated thinking about the passing of the years. So many of them, so many alone. An awkward silence between them preceded the arrival of the wine, as well as hot bread with the strong aroma of garlic and cheese. He uncorked the bottle with a well-practiced hand, then poured them each half a glass. He suppressed the urge to ask about her love life. “Where’d you go for undergrad?” he asked instead.

            “Penn State.” She took a sip of the wine, holding the cool edge of the glass against her lip for a moment.

            “Business major?” he guessed.

            “Oh, no! Sociology. Headed for a career involving ‘Would you like fries with that?’” She laughed. “Graduate school was pretty much a given.”

            “So you’ve been bent on saving the world all along.”

            She shrugged. “Some of it, at least.”

            He could understand the sentiment. “I believe that’s what I do, too. God knows there isn’t much other reason to be on the street some days. I want to know I’m making a difference for some man, woman

or child every time I step out on the street.”

            He waited for her to mock him, as other women had over the years. Many women wanted to date a police officer. Some found it a ticket to an “E” ride, great benefits, good pay, the opportunity for them to hang out with the girls at the outlet malls all day and get their nails done. Some, with violent men in their pasts, thought being with a cop would protect them. Some just were cop groupies, taking the thrill and excitement of the profession by proxy. But most denigrated his genuine need to serve as corny and fake.

            Suzanne didn’t poke fun. She skewered him with a dissecting gaze. After a few silent moments, she ostensibly accepted him at face value. “Did you always want to be a cop?”

            “Sure. I mean, the family history and all. Guess I never wanted to be anything else. Except an astronaut.” He grinned.

            “You? Roger Ramjet? Hard to believe.” She laughed softly, and he thought the cool distance in her eyes mellowed. Maybe he had a chance with her.

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Play time is past, time to grow up: The Ramadan Nights

They’re not kids anymore. 

Just when he starts to get his act together,  Mansur wakes to an empty bed and a crying baby. His wife leaves him with their infant on the day he starts a new job. Uneasy and alone, he looks across the street to Faiza for help. As he relies on their long friendship, desires for the sexy firefighter reawaken within him. 

Faiza can’t deny Mansur, even though she should. Her heart broke when he married another woman. She got herself together and moved on. Now, he is back in their childhood neighborhood and her life. She knows they’re just friends, but she can’t help longing for more.  

Family and culture kept them apart when young, but Mansur won’t allow interference from anyone or anything. He is determined to make Faiza more than just a friend.

The Groom is a boy-next-door romance full of passion and an alpha who proves that he is no longer a little boy. **NO cliffhanger, Guaranteed HEA.**’

Series Blurb

Fast, pray, love. 

The men of the Ramadan Nights series love their Creator and women.

Igniting passion within them is worship.

The Ramadan Nights series features four exciting and inspirational romances by bestselling and award-winning authors. Get ready to be captivated by characters as they explore the links between faith and sensuality. This vibrant series includes a spectrum of New Adult and Adult fiction, from sweet to steamy. Enjoy romance stories of second chance love, friends to lovers …

Fall in love with strong, confident alphas and heroines as they undergo tests of resolve to love and captivate each other from sunset until daybreak.

EXCERPT:

Faiza reached for the popcorn bowl before Mansur put it on the table. “Thank you.”

He smiled and sat at Beni’s feet; his little body stretched between them. “Do you want anything else?”

“What you, need more time away from the feeding frenzy?” She popped a handful of buttery goodness in her mouth, looking at the screen and him.

He sat and rested an ankle on the opposite knee. “I told you, I’ve changed. So, let’s get into your sick fixation with cannibalism.”

She scoffed. “How many times do I have to tell you? It’s not cannibalism. The Titans aren’t human, not exactly, anyway. They’re shifters. “She moved to the edge of her seat. A giant scooped up a poor townsperson, gnashing the snack between its enormous teeth. “See, that’s what happens when you don’t listen.” Her guffaws burst through the room with the next fighting scene. “Oops, Beni.” She covered her mouth and looked down at him. Barely a move. “Who am I kidding? He can sleep through anything.”

Mansur draped an arm over the back of the sofa. “That’s the truth.” He lifted one of Beni’s arm. It fell flat on the couch.

She waved a hand. “Stop that. We don’t want to take any chances. We’re only done with season one.”

“Wait, how many of these things are we supposed to watch?”

She lifted more popcorn in front of her lips. “It depends. How sorry do you feel? I think at least the first three seasons is enough penance.”

“Three?”

“It’s the weekend.”

“We have prayer.”

“We’ll make them between seasons like we did the last one. All you’re doing is proving that you’re still frightened.”

“Oh, I’m not scared. Fine, three seasons.”

She shoved the popcorn in her mouth, chest swelled with victory.

He winked. “I guess I’ll sleep here.”

That got a gasp out of her, allowing a piece of popcorn to wedge in the back of her throat. She lurched forward, coughing with no noise, grabbing the edge of the table for dear life. Bits of chewed popcorn sprayed in front of her, but the one morsel killing her stayed lodged.

“Crap, Faiza.” Mansur lifted and spun her. He wrapped his strong arms under her breasts and pulled her against him.

She clamped her hands over his hairy forearms. It would have been a turn on if she weren’t dying. The popcorn flew across the room after Mansur’s third try. Her entire belly ached, and pride sat lying on the floor next to the hunk food in a tiny pool of saliva. “Tha—thank …” She bent over, resting her hands on her knees while he stroked her back.

“Just breathe.” His soothing words clashed with a series of explosions bursting from the screen. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah.” She fell back in her seat. He sat across from her on the coffee table. “Humiliated, but fine.”

He laughed. “For real? It’s me, Mansur.”

She met his gaze. The kindness in his gray eyes drove away concerns of dying and flesh-eating giants. He was right. She shouldn’t be embarrassed, not with him. “I know it’s you. I’m glad it’s you.” She couldn’t stop staring at him. “Listen. We’ve been friends since we were babies, but lately—” A knock at the front door stopped her.

Author Bio

Lyndell Williams is an award-winning writer and bestselling author. She is a cultural critic with a background in literary criticism specializing in romance. She is an editor, writing coach and mentor. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals and writes for multiple online publications.

Author Links

Blog – https://laylawriteslove.com/ 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laylawriteslove/ 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/laylawriteslove 

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

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWpN2YTkr9cGO9Z7-AB8xNw

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

Amazon – http://amazon.com/author/laylawriteslove

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/abdullahpoulos/lyndell-williams-author/

Newsletter – bit.ly/lwlnewsletter   

Could it be I’m a real writer?

Most days, I write for a few hours, or edit. That makes me feel like a writer. With coffee.

But today has been different.

I started out reviewing my email, and found a request for cover art for my manuscript SIXSHOOTER, so I had to fill out descriptions for the three main characters and return them to the editor, along with the contract for the science fiction romance book.

I also got a request to approve my course description and contract for a class I’m teaching for Pennwriters this fall on writing sci-fi and fantasy.

Then I got the video book trailer I’d ordered for my romantic suspense book TENDER MISDEMEANORS, with a request for approval. It was fantastic! I’ll post it on the TM page here in a few days.

THEN I got a request to approve the schedule for two classes I’m teaching at the Flathead River Conference in Montana in October, one on writing series, and one on world-building.

THEN I got a five star review from Long and Short Reviews for ADVERSARIES, the third book in my Color of Fear series.

I haven’t even started writing yet!

Is this what authors’ days are really like? I’d like a lot more of them, please! 🙂

Meanwhile, I will share with you our flavor mix of the day–two torties with a topping of tuxedoes. 🙂

Finding your muse

When I write I search for a model who captures what I think my hero and heroine look like. I try to capture them in the process of struggle, since the arcs of the story and scenes are so important. In this novel, Cinnamon & Sugar, published by The Wild Rose Press, the two models above are exactly how I pictured them. In the story, Alicia, is compared favorably to any number of young starlets. Humphrey when first seen disturbs Alicia s resistance, but she’ll struggle on.

BLURB: Humphrey Bertrand’s genius-level IQ can’t help him find his moral compass. His family is filled with racial conflicts and he struggles to find his own way. But he cannot let anyone drown, regardless of their skin color. Alicia Bloom, a gifted valedictorian and poet runs away from an abusive situation. While she is thankful to Humphrey for saving her life, she doesn’t want to be tied to anyone. When an attempt on her life forces them to hit the road together to stay one step ahead of a murderous maniac they wonder if their dreams of a future will be put on hold permanently.

A NOTE regarding recent events. People have told me I stole the story from the violence in D.C. I can’t write that fast. If ever you send a manuscript to a publisher you can expect a year to go by before it’s out. My story is about how love knows no boundaries.

When I was caretaking my daughter, I read to her from my draft manuscript that I have since dedicated to her. I read to keep her mind off her pain and that she might have to leave soon. I never imagined her reaction. She cried, yes, of course, it’s a tear jerker, but it was more than that. It was how she loved, lived, and taught. She, being who she was, instructed a professional writer (me), on changes she wanted (demanded). Since it was on a subject (racial hatred and brother and sisterhood) that caused her to march just like her old man did with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she made me promise I get a ‘real’ publisher, “and, Dad can you help my boys?” I said, “yes, honey, all the royalties will go to them.” So, Lani became my third muse and first angel. The story is rated PG.

rwrichard@ymail.com

https://rwrichardnet.wordpress.com

https://romancetheguyspov.blogspot.com

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

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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

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