Canadian Anne Hamilton Fowler appeared to have it all. However, life is not always as idyllic as it seems and at age twenty a series of events almost destroyed her. Emerging from the wreckage she reinvented herself, started over and proceeded to live on the edge with a risk- taking life style. Then, in 1993 an event experienced during a trip to Central America changed everything.
“I’ve Worn Many Hats” is an inspirational read that demonstrates our human frailties, one’s ability to survive personal adversity and how we can learn to forgive both ourselves and others. It is a story of redemption. Anne Fowler is a retired Canadian who divides the year between her Haliburton summer cottage and a home in Central America. This memoir is her first book and all proceeds will be used to support Anne’s ongoing humanitarian projects in Honduras .
Anne says: The blurb on the book jacket cover gives the reader a glimpse into the rocky life I have experienced in my 81 years; a life that has most definitely not been without risk or uneventful!! Here is one of those risky romantic adventures that I relate in Chapter Ten, “Close Encounters of the **^%#!!* Kind” It was during a particularly unsettled time in my life when I was REALLY down in the dumps and thought, maybe a cruise will cheer me up. Since I was travelling solo, I boarded not sure what to expect, but just in case, several books were tucked in my suitcase. The plan was to find a secluded spot on the top deck, relax in a deck chair, read and enjoy the ocean breezes while drinking a glass of wine. Didn’t happen that way! The books were never opened because my first day on board I met an extremely attractive divorcee travelling with his two teenaged sons. To quote one of my favorite speakers, Henry Kissinger, “Power is a great aphrodisiac.” It certainly was in this case!
While his boys were off doing their own thing, the attractive president of a Detroit based corporation became my charming companion for the duration of the trip. Although I’d been on many ships, my accommodations had never come close to the level of his state room. Luxurious beyond words with a large ocean view veranda, it was like something out of a movie. These surroundings alone could conjure up visions of romantic encounters presenting endless possibilities to explore… which of course we did on several occasions. However, one of the most exciting “no no” situations I’d ever experienced involved a life boat. One evening, while strolling on deck enjoying the warm breeze and star filled sky, we passed a craft undergoing some sort of upgrading or repair. Not to be dissuaded from a chance for adventure, we looked at each other and said, “Why don’t we check out the inside?” What an opportunity! How could we resist? We climbed on board carrying our evening’s second bottle of wine and proceeded to take advantage of the unusual locale. The risk that someone enjoying an evening walk might pass by and spy on our activities just added to the excitement! But totally unexpected was our discovery by four workmen at a particularly inopportune moment when they showed up to check on their repairs. After quickly reassembling ourselves, we beat a hasty retreat. The workers didn’t speak English but “sorry, sorry” is a universal term understood by all. Although we were spared further embarrassment and didn’t bump into them the rest of the trip, my guess is that we supplied a titillating story for the entire ship’s crew. Some of the “looks” received from a few staff members were probably just imagined, the result of a guilty conscience! We enjoyed each other’s company in what was a classic shipboard romance that ended when we docked. The trip had accomplished its purpose, my spirits were substantially lifted and I no longer resided “in the dumps.” Romantic escapades were part of a life that included inappropriate behavior, run ins with the law, personal tragedy and eventually redemption. Better late than never!!! Web Page: https://anne.honduranhope.net Video interview: https://youtu.be/Zs-SZXzH6Lg Facebook name: Anne Hamilton Fowler
Get ready to experience a roller coaster ride of emotions! Laughter, sadness, empathy, outrage.
Tamsyn McKiernan thinks her dreams have come true. She’s engaged to a dashing Key West bachelor and finally in her widowed father’s good graces. But in her heart, she knows something’s wrong. She loves the ocean and the quiet pleasures of nature—so what does the aristocratic life she’ll lead truly hold for her?
Mercenary captain Drake Ashton is neck deep in preparations for the Spanish-American War, running guns and other supplies to Cuban natives who want out from under their Spanish masters. He and his brother Freddie risk their lives daily, focused on saving his friends on the island. Nothing else matters but his mission.
A chance encounter with a spiny sea urchin brings the two together, and neither of their lives will ever be the same again.
It would be better if Drake was happy for Tamsyn’s good fortune. She’d not want for anything material as the wife of Winslow—no doubt, a beautiful house and gardens, a fine carriage, a husband whose future was financially secure.
His own fortunes lay along a much different path.
If Drake were to be caught by the Spaniards, it wasn’t likely he’d live to be tried for the crime back on the mainland. The Spanish were known for their quick tempers and sharp swords. The mercenary trade paid him well, for now, and if the buzzing rumors he’d heard on the Pickham veranda were true, war would come within the year. Guns were a prime commodity in time of war. He always carried rum when he returned from the islands, of course, and sugar and tropical fruits, to cover his real motives. He had not been interdicted yet. As young men often did, he played the odds and planned to beat them.
For the first time, however, that focus was shaken by thoughts of this woman.
What distinguished Tamsyn MacKiernan from the other women he’d met in a hundred different ports? Drake couldn’t put his finger on it. He just knew she appealed to his heart in a way that possessed him. She held an intriguing blend of strength and vulnerability, stomach ironclad in the face of blood yet timid as a lost waif left alone in the midst of the ball. He wanted to know her better.
But she was to be married. Even if he had been able to marry her, even though he had a proper home with a hired woman to maintain it, it was nothing compared with the empire Winslow would command in a few years. Drake knew he had no business thinking Tamsyn might prefer a lonely pirate to the golden boy.
Welcome to Tena Stetler, with the latest entry in the Wylder West series from The Wild Rose Press!
Magic, the paranormal, and the unexplained have always been my wheelhouse. Even as far back as grade school, I wrote vampire tales for my friends. When I took the opportunity to write full-time, I polished one of my paranormal romances and submitted it. Lo and behold, I received a contract offer. Yippee! This was 2015, fifteen books, and six years later, I still write paranormal romance/mystery novels. But 2021, I strayed from my comfort zone and wrote An Angel’s Wylder Assignment for The Wild Rose Press multi-author Wylder West Series. While still paranormal, the book is also historical, western, time-travel, and a mystery. Whew, did I bite off more than I intended. Since I am a seat of the pants writer, and my characters drive the story. They took off on a chosen path, including a spirit quest, visions, and there was no looking back regardless of what research was required. What a Wyld ride! But also fun!
Because paranormal is anything I can imagine and have an overactive imagination, I can write anything I want and make it work. I love magic. So it was quite a change to have to do research. What was life like in 1878? What appliances were available, hot and cold running water? Not so much unless you were rich. Mode of transportation, horse and buggy or on foot? Then, the blacksmith craft my hero was saddled with in the assignment. Yes, there is magic. What a learning curve.
I made a few mistakes, i.e., 1878 Western language, and was immediately corrected. Don’t use “yummy” in dialogue for 1878. LOL I ran my manuscript by a couple of TWRP historical authors who also wrote in the Wylder series. A couple of their characters appeared in my book, and I learned more. Thank you, Laura and Kim.
Would I do it again? Probably. I have a story simmering for a couple of my secondary characters, Luke and Jilly, who are clamoring for their own story. So we’ll see.
I learned a lot and grew as an author writing this book. Stopping to research while I was writing was trying at times. I had a lot of fun discovering how life was in the Wild West of Wyoming Territory in 1878. I recommend every author try writing out of your comfort zone! My current writing endeavors are strictly paranormal, cozy mystery, and a sequel to Mystic Maples set in an Irish castle.
An Angel’s Wylder Assignment
A Wylder West Novel
by Tena Stetler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
It takes a Warrior Angel and Native American Shifter to save the past and create their future.
Angel Killian Dugan’s annual trip to the family castle in Scotland is shattered by the arrival of Legion Commander North. Killian’s skills are needed for an urgent time travel assignment. A rogue demon has escaped back in time. He must discover the why and where then stop the demon before it can damage the past and change the future.
Killian’s girlfriend Chinoah Grace, a Native American shapeshifter is included in the mission, which takes them to the wild west town of Wylder, Wyoming in 1878. She will have her hands full fitting in and making friends. Nothing is as it seems. They encounter visions, spirit quests, and a mysterious shaman. On top of it all, blending in as a blacksmith is more physically difficult than he imagined. But not as challenging as keeping his hands off his undercover wife. Will they complete their assignment or run out of time?
Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors.
Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure, and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.
So, I’m back with a new contemporary romance novel, once again set in my backyard of Brisbane, Australia. For the most part, anyway.
Aside from writing about a location that I’m familiar with, I guess I chose South East Queensland as my main setting for the Jukebox Collection series because most Australian novels I’ve read have sort of skipped my little corner of the world.
And I get it. I do. Brisbane’s pretty much unheard of. Most people, when you say “Australia”, automatically imagine the outback or Sydney or Byron Bay. (Ugh. Byron. I’m not a fan. It’s overrated. This is the hill I will die on.)
But South East Queensland has so much to offer. We have beaches that are far superior to Bondi or Byron (fight me), rainforests to explore and mountains to climb, zoos, and theme parks, and a cultural centre in Brisbane which -while it is admittedly nowhere near as good as Melbourne- is steadily growing and improving over time. Hell, we even have movie studios on the Gold Coast. Oh, and the subtropical climate here is generally pretty awesome. (Let’s not consider the recent flooding and months of rain. That’s a once-or-twice-every-decade sort of deal.)
It seemed only natural to set a series of novels here. My little urban paradise.
I’m aware that I spend a bit more time describing the local setting in Handle With Care (Book 1 of the Jukebox Collection), but in You Can’t Hurry Love we venture a bit further north to explore Hervey Bay, and also take a short flight across the pond to visit Charlie in London.
And I love that. I love that novels can take us all over the world, without ever leaving our homes. That’s something I’ve relied heavily on since a certain pandemic happened. As much as I’m looking forward to travelling again, I’m glad I can do it from my armchair…and I like to hope that, through my writing, I can share the gift with other readers, too.
Sara Carlisle and Charlie Rhodes are complete opposites. Oil and water. Chalk and cheese.
Before Sara even meets Charlie, she hates him. He’s insulted her best friend -a woman Sara considers family- and that is unforgivable. In person he proves to be just as obnoxious and insufferable as she’d anticipated. And, as far as she’s concerned, the fact that he’s tall and muscular with an accent to die for is not enough to redeem him. Charlie Rhodes is an arrogant A–hole (with a capital A!) and that’s all there is to it!
For his part, Charlie thinks Sara is a conceited pain in the arse. A prissy princess to the nth degree. It becomes his prerogative to get under her skin for the sheer pleasure of riling her up. He feels genuine enjoyment in the face of her frustration, and he makes no secret of it. Besides, she gives as good as she gets!
Fundamentally opposed in every way, it’s obvious to those around them that they’re not going to get along.
When their relationship turns from reluctant acquaintances to red hot lovers, they find it’s good.
What could possibly go wrong?
In a slow-burn romance that follows hot on the heels of Handle With Care*, Sara and Charlie discover that you really can’t rush romance.
*Both Handle With Care and You Can’t Hurry Love can be read as standalone novels in the expanding Jukebox Collection series.
“So, tell me,” Charlie directed the question her way once she’d made her promise to Gemma, the glint in his eye seemingly payback for her smugness at his own telling off, “why doesn’t your boyfriend ever attend these family get-togethers?”
“Roger marches to the beat of his own drum,” she answered easily with a shrug. “Sometimes he comes along, other times he doesn’t. We don’t need to live in each other’s pockets.”
After a couple of years of doing the whole on-and-off/casual relationship thing, she was used to it. Besides, Roger didn’t pressure her to attend events with him, either. Which was a good thing, because his snobby parents couldn’t stand her, and vice versa.
Sara felt as though things were pretty equal in that way.
“I couldn’t imagine him in a low-key restaurant like this, to be honest,” Jeff chimed in, chuckling. He stuck his nose in the air and assumed a haughty tone as he looked down at his menu, “Sara, darling, I don’t see a single main here over twenty-five dollars. Outrageous! We’re truly dining with the commoners tonight.”
Balling up a purple paper napkin, she threw it at her friend, even while she smothered her own giggles. “Stop it,” she chastened, “he’s not that bad.”
Gemma snorted. Sara levelled her with a glare, but all Gemma did was raise her glass of water to her twitching lips and sip primly. “Sorry,” she said, sounding anything but apologetic, “but that impression was spot on.”
“You both suck,” Sara sighed, shaking her head.
“Sounds like you could do with a real man in your life,” Charlie was having far too much fun at her expense, and it ruffled her feathers the wrong way.
It was one thing for her friends –who also worked with Roger in the hospital– to playfully tease Sara about him, but altogether different for this random English wanker to do so.
“I hope you’re not suggesting you’re a viable option,” she sassed back, “because I don’t think you fall into that category either.”
Okay, so it was a bit flat and ridiculous as far as comebacks went, but he scowled back at her, so she took it as a win, nonetheless.
“Don’t flatter yourself, love.”
“Aww, diddums, did I hurt your feelings?”
They were interrupted by their names being snapped on either side of them. He was cowed by his mother’s frown, while Sara sighed and apologised to Gemma.
This really was going to be much more difficult than she’d initially thought.
Sex, blood and betrayal: it’s all in a day’s work.
I strip for the fun of it. Don’t let anyone tell you different. It’s not the money. I could make nearly as much working at the mill and keep my clothes on, but then I’d have to suck up to the bosses. Up on stage, I’m the one in charge, and I like it that way.
Tony Pinelli hired me for a private dance. I was determined to give him his money’s worth. I didn’t expect to be caught in the cross-fire of a double murder. When his widow shows up at my door, I know I’m in way over my head. Now I’m everyone’s target. I can’t trust anyone – not even the police detective who was sweet on me in high school. My only chance at survival is to shift through the lies and expose the truth.
Play It Again, Lisabet
I’ve been a published author since 1999. Although writing is not my primary occupation, that’s enough time for me to have produced a large number of books. I’d guess I have over a hundred titles to my credit. In fact, it’s a bit difficult to enumerate them, because I’ve seen many of them go “out of print” multiple times.
In twenty-three years, I’ve survived quite a few publishers. In fact, almost every company with whom I’ve worked ultimately closed their doors. It’s not me, I swear – I’m not a jinx! It’s just tough to turn indie publishing into a sustainable business.
When your publisher decides to throw in the towel, your book rights revert to you – but the books themselves become unavailable. If you want readers to be able to appreciate your hard work, you’ve got to get those titles back on the shelves. This can be a challenge; many publishers don’t want to bring out re-prints.
Fortunately, self-publishing has removed at least that obstacle. Furthermore, if you’re creating a new edition of a book, you can spruce it up in a variety of ways: better editing, bonus content, new cover and blurb, maybe even a new title. If you’re lucky, you may be able to attract new readers who never noticed you before.
Anyway, I’ve been busy re-publishing a lot of my back list books, many of which were orphaned by a publisher folding last year. My latest release, Exposure, is actually a fourth edition. This erotic suspense novel was first published by Phaze Books in 2010. For the current release, I’ve done some significant editing to make my heroine more believable. I’ve also added a sub-title which I hope conveys the genre: Urban Erotic Noir.
If you’ve already read Exposure, I don’t know if it’s worth a second pass. If you haven’t though – why not give it a try? You’re one of those readers I’m hoping to entice by publishing it – yet again.
My next stop is the Fourth Precinct police station. It’s not in my neighborhood, and it’s not near the Hyatt, but I know someone there. I limp in, trying to look dignified, and ask for Detective James Ostermann. The huge grin that lights up his face when he sees me makes me feel better than I have all day.
“Stella! What a treat!” He pumps my hand with boyish enthusiasm. “What have I done to deserve this honor?”
Jimmy and I went to school together. There’s always been some kind of sexual tension between us, though we never did anything about it. He was one of the few guys who respected me, who didn’t try to get into my pants. Last time I saw him, at our fifth reunion, he had just been promoted from beat cop to detective. Then just six months ago I read an article in the paper about him heading up a new task force against organized crime. That’s how I knew where to find him.
“Hello, Jimmy.” I return his smile. “I wish I could tell you that this was just a social call, but in fact I’ve got something pretty serious to discuss with you. Can we talk in private?”
“Always a pleasure,” he teases, but his face takes on a professional expression as he leads me into his office. “Bill, would you mind taking a walk?” he asks his partner, a hefty black man that I haven’t met before.
“Sure, Jim, no problem. Give a yell if you need me.”
Jimmy closes the door and seats himself behind his desk. I sit across from my old friend. There’s a newspaper on the surface between us, the headlines screaming about the double gangland murder that claimed the mayoral candidate and his aide. Jimmy notices my glance.
“Hear about what happened to Tony Pinelli?”
I nod and swallow my nervousness. “Yeah. I was there.”
“That’s right. There at the Hyatt, Room 422, last night around eight forty-five.”
He looks grim as I relate my tale. Shakes his head when I describe Mr. Clean’s attack and Tony’s reaction. I don’t tell him my theory, though, about me being the target. I’ve got no evidence, and anyway, this morning it seems kind of crazy.
“So you didn’t see anyone else, other than Pinelli and Henderson?”
“No—though I guess there might have been somebody else in the bedroom of the suite. It had a separate door out to the hall.”
“How long after the shooting was it that you checked the bedroom?”
“I’m not sure. I was kind of in shock. Five minutes. Maybe ten.”
“Was the dead bolt on that bedroom door thrown?”
“I didn’t notice. I don’t know. I could hardly think straight.”
“And the corridor was empty when you left?”
“I think so. I was in a hurry to get out.”
My voice stays calm through my original story, but now, being grilled, I’m trembling. His questions bring it all back, all the fear and the blood.
“Did you go out the front door of the hotel?”
“And how’d you get home?”
“I took a cab…” My voice is shaking. “Look, this is really hard for me. I’ve told you what I know. If I think of any other details, I’ll call you.”
Jimmy looks up from his notepad. He suddenly sees how upset I am.
“Jeez, I’m sorry, Stella. Just doing my job. I get carried away.”
“That’s okay. It’s just—I really don’t like to think about it.”
Jimmy comes around to my side of the desk. “I’m so sorry. God, Stella, it must have been horrible.” He gives me a brotherly hug.
His strength feels wonderful. I relax a little and let him soothe me.
He strokes my hair back from my face, murmuring nonsense into my ear. “Poor girl, I’m so glad that you came to me. I’m sorry to be such a dolt. If there’s anything I can do…” Nothing has changed, but for a moment it seems as though the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders.
Then I notice two things. First, his arm is around me and his fingers are brushing against the side of my breast. It’s casual, almost unconscious, but my nipples contract and throb in response. Second, there’s a hard protrusion pressed against my thigh, conflicting with the supposedly innocent nature of this embrace.
I’m tempted to give in and accept more intimate comfort, but I have a feeling that would be a mistake, at least right now. Gently, I push him away, glancing down at his tented trousers as I do so. A blush creeps over his blunt features.
“Thanks for your support, Jimmy. The main thing that you can do for me is to keep me out of this as much as possible. Keep it quiet. If Joey from the Peacock found out, he might not be too crazy about having me work there.”
“There’ll be an investigation. There might be a trial. Will you testify?”
“If I have to. But I hope that it won’t be necessary.”
“I’ll do what I can, Stella.” He notes my limp as I stand up to leave, and grabs my hand. “Hey, are you hurt?”
“I’ll be okay, Jimmy. Hazards of the profession.” He doesn’t let go of my hand, and I see that his erection has not subsided. I melt a bit at the sight. “Thanks for everything.”
“Thank you, for coming out about this. You’ve made things a lot easier for us.”
There’s an awkward silence. He’s squeezing my fingers, hard, but I don’t think he realizes it.
“You look fantastic, Stella.”
“Maybe we could get together some night, for dinner, or something? Catch up? Or talk about old times? I feel bad that we haven’t kept in closer touch.”
I pull my hand away. Simultaneously, I lean over and kiss him lightly on the cheek. “Maybe. You could always come by the Peacock and catch my show.” He blushes again, mottled crimson. “Or maybe I can arrange a special performance.”
“Just teasing, Jimmy! I’ll see you around.”
I hobble out of his office, knowing that he’s watching my hips roll beneath my skirt. Sweet Jimmy.
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – more than one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
SECOND CHANCES is the second book in the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series. Inessa Regan, a curvy, insecure, forty-something attorney finds herself without a job after failing to make partner at a Pittsburgh firm. She also finds herself in love with a man half her age–a man who’s dying of cancer. Can we find her a HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
“I want you,” Kurt whispered, breath hot in her ear. “Come upstairs with me.”
Inessa nodded and reached shakily for her purse.
Keeping one of her hands firmly in his, Kurt picked up the half-empty bottle.
“I want to make sure you don’t get away this time,” he said. “I’ve got the door. You get the lights.”
The switch clicked off at a touch of her finger, reducing the room to darkness. He took the moment to steal another kiss, sidling closer until her back was against the wall and she could feel every inch of him pressed against her.
After several lingering moments of lip-locked fervor, he stepped back and pulled her into the foyer and through the front door, locking the door behind them.
Buoyed on a dizzy cloud of bliss, she let him guide her around the corner and up the stairs. The lights of the city echoed the starry skies, and she felt transported to a new world, a different world, where everything might not be just as it seemed.
He turned to her on the small landing, the lights reflecting off his face giving him the visage of an angel. She reached for him, and he caught her in his arms, the two of them seeming suspended in mid-air, high above the street, halfway to the moon.
“I need you,” she whispered, and she realized it was true.
“It’s about time!” He nuzzled her neck and drew her inside.
Both of them burning like randy teenagers, they inched toward Kurt’s bedroom in the dark, peeling off clothing as they went. He steered her to the bed, his hands warm on her flushed body. By the time they hit the mattress, she pulled him on top, desperate to have him inside her, and their intense momentum built until it hit the flash point.
After a few euphoric moments in a protracted, simmering haze, and a final kiss from his still-hot lips to her forehead, he tenderly disentangled himself. Both of them breathless, they lay on their backs side by side, only gradually able to make out features of the room as their eyes adjusted to the dim light from outside.
Inessa couldn’t recall the act ever feeling like that before, even when she had been thinner, younger and more agile. She couldn’t move. Languor set in as the warmth of their encounter began to fade.
“Wow,” she said.
A soft laugh came from the darkness.
“Really, counselor. Sixteen years of education, an English minor and that’s the best you can do? Wow?”
“Sorry! My mind’s been blown, okay? I’m afraid someone’s short-circuited my superlatives.”
“Did I ever tell you I’m one hell of a good electrician?”
She knew if she could see his face, she’d see a wicked light playing in his eyes. She smiled.
“Do you want anything? Tea? Wine? I can just turn the light on and—”
“No! Leave it dark.”
Her voice cracked with frantic desperation. Her insecurities about her body, now naked and exposed on Kurt’s bed, sprang into defensive mode as the urges of the moment passed. Nerves tingling, she tried not to stiffen or pull away.
“Hush, now. You’ve got no worries with me, Nessa.”
When Inessa Regan gets a pink slip, laid off from her law firm at the age of 42, without prospects she’s sure her life is over. She hides from the world, until her neighbor brings her a client, a young Iraq war veteran dying of cancer.
Kurt Lowdon only wants to make sure his affairs are in order should the worst happen, but meeting Inessa gives him encouragement on the road to recovery. His quest to help her realize her self-worth leads them into dangers they never expected, as horrors from the war and long-hidden family secrets come back to haunt them.
When Elias Król competed in the El Paso Decathlon on an August day in 1978, he was proud to take first place. Little did he know the best prize wasn’t his hard-won trophy; it was the bond he would form with the sweet young woman taking his order at the fried chicken booth.
Madison Sanders wasn’t looking for love while working at her family’s concession stand, but love was about to find her in the form of a lanky red-haired athlete.
This short and sweet (5900 words) interracial romance with a guaranteed Happy Ever After is part of a developing series but it can also stand on its own. With a very low heat rating and no profanity, it is appropriate for both teen and adult readers.
When asked on his fortieth wedding anniversary what had initially attracted him to his wife, Elias Król did not hesitate to say that it was her smile. The Yoakam native had just taken first place in the decathlon at the big all-state track and field competition. Now it was time for him to relax and celebrate.
The smell wafting from the food vendor carts drew Elias in. He didn’t want to eat too much too quickly after his 1500-meter sprint, but he thought it would be nice to have a cool drink to sip and a little something to nibble on. The lanky ginger’s body was full of adrenaline and a welcome breeze made him feel like he was riding high on a cool wave above the clouds.
As he crested the hill approaching the food vendors, Elias heard melodic laughter, and that was when he saw her. He knew that the fare from Shack’s Famous Chicken was killer, but it wasn’t the tantalizing scent of savory meat moving his feet towards the booth. It was the glorious ebony queen’s enticing smile and welcoming aura.
She was a big girl, and as such Elias knew that she’d experienced more than her fair share of bullying, but it didn’t stop her from dishing up happiness with every order she served. Her co-workers were a melancholy young man who the kind-hearted angel was making it her mission to cheer up and an eager chap who had Down syndrome. Everyone who stopped at the booth left with a smile.
“I probably shouldn’t be eating fried chicken, but what the heck?” Elias reasoned. “She’s all lovely laughter and licorice, and I want to be close to her, even if only for a moment.”
C.L. Hart is a 57-year-old disabled former nurse living in a remote town on the plains of Northeastern Colorado with her adult son and three cats. When not writing gloomy Lovecraftian fantasy or doomy dystopian fiction with the occasional sweet romance thrown in to shake things up, Ms. Hart enjoys baking (results may vary) and drawing (admissibly badly.)
Can Catherine split her focus between the murders she’s been sent to solve and the passion that flares between her and Jacques whenever they’re near each other?
From Bethany: Who’s in control anyway?
We all have different Muses and we all create differently. I always allow my characters to drive the stories once I have an idea of what my plot is going to be. My plotting is a combination of the pantser and the plotter. I normally have a blurb that I work off of. I know the beginning and I know the end, it’s the middle stuff that I’m not real sure of. That’s where the characters take control. There have been times in the past where they take a left turn on me, and I’m not sure if it’s the right thing but I let them go just to see what happens.
Most of the time it makes the story stronger. The Power of the Tears is a perfect example. In the beginning I didn’t think I had enough to make a full-length book, but my characters were pushing me to write it.
Sometimes they know best.
I never thought of sending Jacques to Charlotte, but my characters did. It gave me a chance to introduce a new little wrinkle that added to the plot. I also never planned on hurting Catherine, my heroine, but it helped with the plot as well.
By the time I was done I loved the story and my characters. When my editor went through it, she said the same thing. She loved the story.
My characters didn’t lead me astray.
Now that the book is done and being released I realize I don’t want their story to end. I don’t think they want it to end either, so I know Jacques and Catherine will be in the background whispering to me until I come up with another story for them. Maybe in France…
STORYLINE for THE POWER OF THE TEARS:
Catherine is second in command in her pack and Max, her alpha, has made arrangements for her to visit a pack who has had three women murdered in a ritualistic manner. She isn’t looking forward to visiting a pack whose alpha believes women should only be mates and mothers. As the pack historian she has the knowledge needed to help the local sheriff solve the murders.
Jacques is the oldest son of the pack alpha, but an injury when he was young keeps him from shifting. He had to step back as the heir-apparent and let his brother rule. He’s now their sheriff. The moment he meets Catherine he wants something he feels he’s not worthy of. How could such a beautiful, successful werewolf want him?
The passion between them is powerful. Catherine starts to wonder if it’s interfering with her solving the murders. Jacques is determined to keep Catherine safe when it appears she may be the next victim. Can they solve the murders together? Can they have a happily ever after?
This book three in the Tears of the Wolf series and can be enjoyed independently.
Publisher’s Note: This paranormal romance contains elements of danger, suspense, mystery, sensual scenes, mild power exchange and a happily ever after.
Bio: Bethany Drake is a graduate of UNCC and a big fan of the 49er’s – the UNCC 49er’s. Owner of several cats she tells people it’s her crazy cat lady starter kit. She lives in her own little world, creating new worlds for her characters.
Nineteen year old Kyle sees visions of disasters, visions that tear his world apart. Everyone assumes that he is schizophrenic, but Rob, the cop who picks him up off the street, knows better.
Rob’s own experience has taught him that psychic powers are real, and potentially devastating. Since his telepathic sister’s brutal murder, Rob wants nothing to do with “gifted” individuals like Kyle. Yet he can’t deny his attraction to the beautiful, tortured young man – an attraction that appears to be mutual.
When a brilliant, sadistic practitioner of the black arts lures Kyle into his clutches, Rob faces the possibility that once again he may lose the person he loves most to the forces of darkness.
Note: This novel was previously published by Totally Bound under the title Necessary Madness. It has been revised and reformatted for this edition.
Valley of Stories
Near the center of Massachusetts, the huge, butterfly-shaped Quabbin Reservoir practically divides the state in two. Constructed in the nineteen thirties to satisfy the thirst of the Boston metropolitan area, Quabbin figuratively divided the state as well, pitting the rural inhabitants of the Swift River Valley against the city dwellers in the state capitol. Four towns – Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott – were drowned by Quabbin’s advancing waters. The houses of their inhabitants were dismantled and relocated on higher ground. Bodies were exhumed from their graves and reburied elsewhere. Forests were leveled in order to reduce the amount of degrading biological material that would pollute the reservoir. The land that had belonged to Dana and its unfortunate fellows was allocated to neighboring towns. Communities which had prospered in the valley since the seventeen hundreds ceased to exist.
Needless to say, the Swift River Valley is haunted. Even if you don’t know the history, you can’t escape the sense of mystery as you drive the winding length of Route 202, which hugs the west end of the reservoir. The evergreens that were planted to protect the watershed have grown tall now, shadowing the road. The woods around the man-made lake are home to bears, bald eagles, wildcats and perhaps stranger, more secret beings. On the eastern shore, overgrown dirt lanes meander through the village of Petersham, sending tentative fingers toward the still water.
Ghosts of the dispossessed inhabitants from the flooded towns still seem to hover in the area. They’re joined by older creatures from the earlier times when the Algonkian natives fished in the Swift River, grew their corn along the banks, and worshiped the spirits of the forest.
I’m not the only individual to feel that the Swift River Valley is full of supernatural stories. The movie version of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher features the reservoir as a prominent plot element. The cult horror author H.P. Lovecraft explicitly set his now-classic tale “The Color Out of Space” in the valley before its flooding. A variety of other authors and singers have been touched by the mystery that seems to permeate the place.
My MM paranormal romance At the Margins of Madness is partially set in the Quabbin Valley. The book revolves around various psychic powers – precognition, telepathy and the like. I used to live near Quabbin, and had friends in Petersham. It seemed like a natural place for the home of a consulting witch who helps individuals with psi talents to understand and control their abilities.
Kyle was close, too. For a moment, he allowed himself to really feel Rob’s talented fingers, pulling, massaging, every touch sending waves of delicious sensation surging through him. The man was so strong, so sure of himself, despite his earlier reticence. It has been so terribly long since anyone cared about Kyle’s pleasure.
Dizziness fluttered through him. The world lurched a little. No, not now, Kyle pleaded hopelessly. He felt the pressure build. He hung on the edge. Reality tilted, shimmered. No, no, no…
“Rob,” he moaned. “Look at me. Please…”
The cop heard, even through the fog of his lust. His eyes shot open and Kyle let himself go, falling into those luminous pools of blue. His cock exploded, his cum shooting out over both of their bellies. A train whistle wailed in Kyle’s head, but the world held, long enough for Kyle to feel Rob’s cock convulse and spew hot liquid all over Kyle’s fingers.
“Oh, baby,” Rob panted, fastening his mouth on Kyle’s. Kyle wallowed in the wonderful sensations. Heat and wetness, above and below. Rob’s tongue, Rob’s taste, Rob’s hard body pressed against him.
Then a black void swallowed him. No light. No feeling. No sound except for Kyle’s own heartbeat, loud in his ears.
The words appeared as letters of fire, hanging in the emptiness. ‘Dawson Street Holden’. As Kyle watched, they loomed closer, then disintegrated in a shower of sparks, leaving him in darkness.
“Kyle? Kyle!” Rob was shaking him so hard that Kyle’s teeth rattled. “Come back!” The vision fled as swiftly as it had arrived. “Are you all right?”
Rob’s brows were knitted in worry. Kyle tried to produce a reassuring smile. “Yeah, I think so. How long was I gone?”
“Ten seconds, maybe. I could tell exactly when it happened. One instant I was kissing you, and you were kissing me back. The next instant—it was as though you were an empty shell. No reaction. Nobody there. It was the weirdest thing.”
“Well, I remember the kiss.” Kyle lay back on the pillows, overwhelmed by an unaccustomed sense of well-being. “It was really something.” He extended his arms. “Why don’t you lie down and we can try it again.”
“You can’t have it both ways, you know. Either I’m prescient, or I’m insane.” At the Margins of Madness, @LisabetSarai’s riveting paranormal tale of power and love. #MMRomance https://amzn.to/35g8gHz
“One instant I was kissing you, and you were kissing me back. The next instant—it was as though you were an empty shell.” At the Margins of Madness, @LisabetSarai’s riveting paranormal tale of power and love. #MMRomance https://amzn.to/35g8gHz
About Lisabet Sarai
Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – more than one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.