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Friday, March 30, 2012

By Caroline Clemmons

What would you do if you believed you were being poisoned but didn’t know who was guilty of trying to murder you? That question started my research into natural poisons available in North Central Texas for BRAZOS BRIDE. I searched through Writer’s Digest DEADLY DOSES, as well as herbals and books on wild plants growing in the appropriate area and found one I believed perfect for this book. I won’t reveal the poison, which I mention near the end of the book, but it’s found easily in North Central Texas. My husband and I have even found it on our acreage.

Brazos River near
Mineral Wells TX
Do you love a view of water? Watching the ocean, a lake or a river soothes me, almost mesmerizes me. Even a swimming pool is soothing if its water is sparkling clean. I love the Brazos River, which is the longest river in Texas, but the part in this story is the area near what is now Possum Kingdom Lake. I used this area in a modern story, OUT OF THE BLUE, a time travel set at the lake and in nearby fictitious Radford Springs. BRAZOS BRIDE takes place before the lovely river was dammed in numerous places. At that time, the river was wide and beautiful. Some of you may be familiar with GOODBYE TO A RIVER by John Graves, a loving look at the Brazos before dams changed it forever.


Heroine, Hope Montoya

In BRAZOS BRIDE, Hope Montoya is being poisoned at her ranch along the Brazos River of 1870. This is the time when Comanche raids had almost ceased but before the railroad reached the area. Her aunt and uncle, who are her guardians until she either marries or reaches twenty-five in eight months, have the most to gain. She prays they are not to blame, but can think of no one else who would profit from her death. Does someone hate her so much he needs no reason to kill her? Or is it her family the killer wishes to extinguish? She knows her chances of living long enough to gain control of her estate are slim...unless she acts quickly. Hope devises a plan to save herself, but it hinges on Micah Stone agreeing to a paper marriage.


Hero, Micah Stone

Micah faces tough decisions. He’s been acquitted of murdering Hope’s father but many still believe him guilty. He’s invested sweat and all his cash in his ranchland and cattle, but drought has his cattle dying of thirst. In love with Hope since the evening they met at her father’s birthday fandango, he hasn’t seen her since his trial. Micah’s brothers, Zach and Joel, came to his aid when he was arrested and have remained with him until they find the real murderer of Hope’s father. Their search is hampered by hauling water from Zach’s land to Micah’s cattle. If only Hope’s uncle had honored her father's agreement to allow Micah’s cattle access to the river through Montoya land, Micah would not be losing cattle. A paper marriage to a woman he loves and desires is a slap in the face, but he eventually agrees because he cannot deny Hope his help.


First of the Men of
Stone Mountain series

Here’s an excerpt of Micah and Hope’s wedding night, a totally unsatisfactory event for all. Hope is still weak and nauseated from the poison, Micah is stuck keeping his hands off a woman he desperately desires. Their "honeymoon suite" at the local hotel is less than luxurious. But more problems are on the way:

She looked at her hands. Perhaps she was unreasonable. Or maybe insane for sympathizing with a man who'd had to work harder because of her family.
"I know it is an odd situation. If—if you wear your shirt and britches, I guess it would be all right if you slept on top of the cover here." She patted the bed beside her.

He froze. Not a muscle moved, and he only stared at her. Had she misunderstood? Did he think her offer too forward?

She babbled, "That is, if you want to. You said I should trust you. Well, maybe you would be more comfortable where you are." Why didn't he say something? Would he prefer sleeping in a chair to sharing the bed?
From the street below, she heard raucous laughter and someone called to a man named Ben. Music from a piano, she supposed in the saloon, drifted in through the open windows. A gust of breeze moved the curtains and slid across her skin. In this room, though, there was no sound.

Slowly, he rose and extinguished the lamp as he moved across the room. She slid one of the pillows beside hers then scooted down. What had possessed her to offer him half her bed? Would he think she invited more?

Too late to take it back now, for the mattress dipped as he stretched out.

Quaking inside at the thought of him so near, she turned her back to him. She heard his weary sigh, as if he relaxed for the first time in a long while.
"Good night," she offered, and hoped he understood the finality of the phrase.

"Yep. Good night, Mrs. Stone." The mattress shook as he turned his back to her. She felt the soles of his feet press against her ankles. He must be several inches too long for the bed and she guessed he had to bend his legs to fit. She didn't dare turn to see firsthand.

She lay perfectly still, afraid to take a deep breath. Soon his breathing changed and she knew he slept. Outside the open window the town quieted and the distant tinkling of the piano was the only sound. Light from the full moon illuminated the room and slanted across the bed. A soft breeze drifted across her, lulling her in its caress.

With a sigh, she fought to relax, but abdominal pain kept her awake no matter how her body cried for rest. Perhaps if she planned, she’d forget the pain and chills that racked her frame.

Plan, yes. She needed a plan for food preparation when she returned to her home. No, Micah said he had a plan. Oh, dear, once more he took charge when it was her life, her home.

Maybe Aunt Sofia and Uncle Jorge would have left by then and things would be fine. Already she felt more secure. She sensed her eyelids drifting closed and the sleep’s blessed relief approaching.

A gunshot ripped apart the night.

The blast startled her and she screamed as something thudded near her head, showering her hair and face with splinters. Panic immobilized her. What had happened?

Micah dragged her onto the floor as a bullet ripped into the mattress.


BRAZOS BRIDE is a romance, but also a mystery and adventure. I hope you’ll want to read it. The buy link is at Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Brazos-Bride-Stone-Mountain-ebook/dp/B007HS10SY/ref=sr_1_12?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1332952897&sr=1-12

P.S. If you read BRAZOS BRIDE and like it, please leave a review on Amazon. If you don’t like it, please keep it a secret. One of the nice things readers can do for authors whose books they enjoy is to leave a book review on Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Last chance to get The Merzetti Effect for 99 cents!


That's right - after six months or so at 99 cents, The Merzetti Effect is back to $2.99. But thanks to the protracted time it takes for a price change to filter through the system, you can still buy it for $0.99 at Amazon, B&N and Sony. Of course, that could change at any time, so please check the price before hitting that buy button.

I've had some lovely reviews for this book (4.6 stars on 28 reviews at Amazon). Mostly what people have to say is - and I'm paraphrasing - "This is not just another vampire book." Also, "Wow, I didn't see THAT coming!". :-)

If you want to grab it for 99 cents, now's the time to do it!

I'll be back next month with another 99 cent deal on a cozy mystery, in the style of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. If that's more up your alley, you can check it out here: The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen: A Dix Dodd Mystery.


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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Greek Islands

I went to Greece several times and always enjoyed visiting Athens and the islands:
-Mykonos and Santorini are the most famous as summer resorts.
-Rhodes is known for the the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and Delos for its history and ruins.
-Tinos is famous for its miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary held in the Panagia Evangelistria church and for its yearly pilgrimage that takes place on August 15.
-Milos is famous for the statue of Aphrodite discovered there, also called the Venus of Milo, now in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

GREEK ENCOUNTER
[This is a humorous sensual romance with explicit love scenes, but not erotic.]

Can the pain of the past bring about the happiness of the future?
Stefano Kostapoulos plans to demolish the dilapidated Pink Villa inherited from his grandmother and build a modern resort on the Greek island of Mykonos. But the American co-owner refuses to sell his shares and sends his attorney to Greece—a lawyer Stefano plans to shred to pieces at the hearing.

Except that Counselor Ashley Sheppard is a gorgeous redhead who knocks Stefano off his axis when he meets her incognito. Sparks fly during a first encounter that leads to a memorable night of passion.
In court, Ashley is in for a nasty surprise. Her handsome Greek god is the opponent. Her heart gnaws with pain, yet she attacks him with all her strength to defend her grandfather’s case.

Stefano wins the lawsuit, but is about to lose Ashley. To keep her in Mykonos, he strikes a deal with his old enemy. Does Ashley dare to trust the Greek playboy? Or even understand her grandfather’s strange change of heart regarding the Pink Villa?

Available in Kindle  $0.99

GREEK ENCOUNTER, http://tinyurl.com/6ulnxzg

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Paranormal Romance with an Egyptian Twist



Christian Lefevre broke Trisha’s teenage heart, but twenty years later she must seek him out to identify a rare Egyptian artifact. The fire-filled pyramid holds the secret to the danger that caused Christian to send her away, the secret to his roots buried deep in the mythology of ancient Egypt. He wants to claim her in an ancient ritual, to love her and protect her. But Trisha won’t become any man’s property. She wants love on her own terms.

This is a novella of 14,500 words originally published in The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2.


Excerpt:
Chapter One

Chateau Montgatine gleamed in the sun like a spun-sugar palace. Colorful flower borders laid out in the pattern of Egyptian symbols trimmed either side of the long gravel driveway. Trisha knew about the mystical floral design even though it was only visible from above. Twenty-two years ago, Christian Lefevre, the Comte de Montgatine, had taken her up in his private plane to show her.

The years telescoped, taking her back to the first time she'd set eyes on the chateau as a naive eighteen-year-old. She'd grown from a girl to a woman during her six weeks in France. She'd felt like a fairy-tale princess, dreamed of romance and happy endings. But by the end of her stay, she'd learned that happy endings were strictly for fairytales.

She pushed the button on the intercom by the gate.

"Bonjour." A man's voice gabbled a few incomprehensible sentences through the crackly speaker.

"Bonjour, monsieur. I have an appointment with the comte."

"Ah, oui, oui. Welcome back to Chateau Montgatine, mademoiselle Trisha."

Trisha's heart skipped as she recognized the voice of Christian's butler. "Monsieur Benoit, is that you?"

"Oui, oui. Still here, mademoiselle, still here. We talk in a moment."

The latch on the gate clicked open and the wrought-iron sections swung inward. Trisha jumped back in her rental car and started the engine. Her pulse sprinted as she drove toward the chateau. She might be forty now, a different person to the teenager who'd given her heart away, but the prospect of facing her first love still left her breathless with nerves. If only there had been someone other than him she could have turned to for advice.

The front door opened as Trisha grabbed her briefcase and climbed out of the car. Monsieur Benoit stood on the top step beaming a welcoming smile. "You have not changed at all, mademoiselle." She intended to tell him that he should call her madame, but before she could speak, he hugged her, pressing the customary three kisses to her cheeks.

"You're too kind, monsieur Benoit. You haven't changed either." He must have been forty when she'd stayed in a cottage near the chateau over two decades ago, but he certainly didn't look sixty now. He barely had a grey hair.

A strange little flutter of unease passed through her as she glanced around the chateau grounds. Two gardeners were busy weeding, lizards sunbathed on the limestone walls, and swallows swooped and circled over the garden, snatching insects from the fragrant air. If it hadn't been for the briefcase clutched tightly in her damp hand and the small Citroën rental car, she could almost believe she'd been transported back in time.

Trisha shook herself and followed monsieur Benoit into the cool interior of the chateau. Her sense of déjà vu continued. The intricate colored patterns on the walls and ceiling were unchanged, the furniture exactly as she remembered. Trisha laughed, mainly to relieve some of the tension clogging her throat. "You haven't redecorated I see."

"Oh no, no. The comte, he does not like change."

He'd been quick enough to change his feelings for her. Trisha pressed her lips together. Now was not the time to dredge up old hurts. She couldn't change the past. She could only make the most of the present, and her present involved her passion for her job at the Bristol Institute of Art. This meeting was business, not pleasure. She'd best remember that.

She smiled at the butler. "May I see the comte now?" The name Christian whispered in her mind, but she had no right to call him by his given name. Twenty-two years apart had made them strangers again.

"Oh, of course, of course. He waits for you in the library."

Trisha's breath eased out in relief. She and Christian had never spent time together in the library, so she would not be haunted by memories in there. Maybe that was why he'd chosen to meet with her in that room.

After following monsieur Benoit to the library door, she passed through with a smile when he opened it for her. She breathed slowly, evenly, stared at the rows of old leather-bound books. Calm and professional, she repeated in her head. The click of the door closing made her heart trip; then she heard a rustle of clothing.

"Madame Cole. Trisha."

The sound of her name spoken in the deep, achingly familiar voice from her memories drew her gaze inexorably to the man on the far side of the room.

She froze. Shock pounded in her chest, echoed in her temples, beat a drum of startled panic through her body. The briefcase dropped from her nerveless fingers to the floor.

Framed by the elegant marble fireplace, Christian stared back at her wearing his familiar linen suit, his hair neatly trimmed, his eyes green as emeralds, his skin supple, bronzed, smooth.

He hadn't aged at all.

Lines formed between his eyebrows. He moved toward her. "Are you all right, madame?"

Trisha's hand pressed over the frantic beat of her heart. "You're so… young," she breathed in a strangled voice.

Understanding flashed across his face, followed by pain. "No one has told you. I'm sorry. My father passed away ten years ago."

Trisha blinked, his words skating around her brain. She grabbed at a chair. He hurried over to support her elbow, help her into the chair. Then he pulled another seat up and sat facing her.

Tears pricked the backs of her eyes. Although Christian had sent her away, knowing he was living out his life in the same world as she had given her some kind of comfort. Too late, she realized that deep inside she had still dreamed that one day he might want her back.

But now… "Dead?" she whispered, daring to look this doppelganger in the face. He was the spitting image of his father. His eyes were the exact same shade of green; his hair the same light brown with sun-kissed streaks. Could a son resemble his father to such an extent? Even identical twins had some differences, didn't they?

"I'm so sorry, Trisha. Remy must have forgotten to tell you."

"How old are you?" she whispered. Even as the words passed her lips, she realized it was rude to ask such a direct question. Especially of a comte she'd only just met. But every cell in her body was shocked into confusion. Instinct told her she knew this man. Everything about him was familiar.

"I believe I was born the same year you visited France."

A shaft of pain caught her breath. So there had been another woman in Christian's life even as he romanced Trisha. A woman carrying his child. He must have married the other woman, or her son would not have inherited the title.

"How do you know which year I visited?" she asked, hoping he had made a mistake, hoping the man who'd stolen her heart hadn't moved on to another woman so quickly it made a mockery of all she had felt for him.

The comte rose and fetched something from a desk under the window. He held out a small wooden frame containing a photograph of her sitting on the edge of the fountain in the secret garden, smiling at the camera. An exquisite butterfly hair clip decorated with diamonds and rubies glinted against her dark hair. She'd almost forgotten the romantic afternoon when Christian had taken her along the maze of tiny paths overhung with roses and given her the gift. She'd treasured that precious butterfly for the grand total of three days. When he sent her away, she'd thrown it back in his face.

The comte pointed to the date written in the corner. "My father kept this photograph on his desk."

Why would he keep a photo of her? Christian had been the one to end their relationship, claiming she was too young for him. Even though he had only been in his early twenties.
Although at times he'd seemed much older than his years, just as the young man before her did. Christian's son could only be twenty-one, yet his assured manner belonged to a man twice his age.

The comte rose and filled a tumbler with amber liquid from a decanter. He returned and held out the glass. "You've had a shock. Cognac will steady your nerves."

Trisha gave a disbelieving laugh. "Christian gave me cognac when I was stung by a bee once and…" Her words choked off with emotion as the memory rose from the deep recesses of her mind. After a long moment staring at his lean fingers holding the cut crystal, she accepted the glass. The smooth liquid burned a path down her throat.

"A predilection for Cognac is in the Lefevre genes," he said wryly.

By the time she'd downed the contents of the glass, a warm fuzzy sense of unreality filled her head. "You look so much like your father. I'm finding it difficult to…" She rubbed her temples. "Maybe if you tell me your name it'll help."

He rose, placed her glass on a silver tray, then stared out the window for a few seconds, his shoulders tense. "It's Christian, I'm afraid… after my father."

Trisha's sense of unease flared again as this young Christian who could have stepped out of her dreams turned to look at her. For long moments, his emerald gaze perused her face, her body, as if he wanted to memorize her. "Still so beautiful," he said softly.

Her breath escaped on a tiny gasp. "What?"

He curved an elegant hand toward the photo. "Compared to your picture, madame, you've aged well, like a fine wine."

Her heart tripped, flickers of awareness racing through her in response to his appreciative gaze. She stared at her hands gripped tightly in her lap. Being attracted to this man was wrong. He was little more than a teenager; the son of the man she'd loved.

He picked up her briefcase and placed it beside her chair, then sat before her again, suddenly all business. "If you're recovered from your shock, perhaps you'd like to tell me why you came all this way to see me."

"I came to see your father."

His shoulders lifted in a small shrug. "I might be able to help you."

He must have inherited his father's possessions. Perhaps he would recognize the objet d'art about which she wanted information.

A sense of purpose infused Trisha as she unfastened her briefcase. She took out the photograph of the strange transparent pyramid that had arrived at the Institute. "We can't find anyone who knows what this is." She handed the photo to Christian. "The base of the object is twenty-four inches square and the thing's very heavy. There appears to be flames inside it, but it must be a clever special effect. I'm hoping you'll be able to tell me what it is because I saw something similar here years ago."

"When?" The young comte's gaze snapped up from the image and pinned her in place. His eyes flickered like green fire. For the first time in years, Trisha's cheeks grew hot at the memory of how desperate she'd been to keep Christian's love. She had sneaked into the chateau uninvited, and waited, naked in his bed, hoping to persuade him she was old enough to give him everything a woman could. But he had never appeared. In the end she had crept away feeling foolish. She had not seen the man she loved, that day, but the memory of the mysterious pyramid full of green fire that she'd found in his bedroom was seared into her mind.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Easter Customs & A Polish Heart by Stephanie Burkhart


My story, A Polish Heart, takes place in Poland. When Rebecca J. Vickery put out a call for stories for the 2011 Spring/Easter Anthology, I drew inspiration from my own Easter traditions which had strong Polish roots.

Growing up Polish in rural New Hampshire, I didn't appreciate the customs and traditions I was exposed to as much as I do now. Easter was always fun. There was always Easter mass at my grandmother's church and the church was filled with lilies. I called my grandmother "Bopie" short for the Polish word for grandmother, "Bopshie." She had prepared a feast. There were pierogi, stuffed cabbage, lamb, ham, eggs (lots of eggs!!) and fresh homemade baked bread. After we stuffed ourselves, we always went "up the hill" to visit the twins, Johnny and Stanley who always played polkas. It was so much fun, the laughing, the singing, and the dancing.

Easter was about family. It was about celebrating the risen Lord with family. My Bopie took great pride in making and cooking most of the Easter meal.

I wanted to write a story for the anthology, so I drew on these memories and began researching what Easter was like in Poland. I discovered there were some customs unique to Poland which I wove into the fabric of the story.

The first one was the Easter basket. The basket was filled with food that the Priest would bless on Holy Saturday. Items included eggs, bread, cakes, salt, sausages, ham, and lamb. Each item had a meaning. Lamb, for example represented Christ. Eggs symbolized life and Christ's resurrection. The family would take the basket to their church to be blessed. Then the food would be used to prepare the Easter meals on Sunday.

Another custom was to gather pussy willow and put them in the basket to be blessed. The pussy willow would be passed out during Easter breakfast and everyone at the table would make a wish on their pussy willow. In some places it might symbolize good luck.




On the Monday after Easter boys around the neighborhood would sprinkle water on the girls. One theory of this custom is pagan as the water is seen as a spring symbol of cleansing and purification. The following Tuesday the girls get even. Another theory is that the action represents the sacrament of baptism after Christ is risen.

In "A Polish Heart," Sofia takes Darrin shopping for her family's Easter basket. Sofia's family and their heartwarming traditions resonate deeply with Darrin. Will he go back to America or decide to stay in Poland.

BLURB:
Can Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back?


Reviews:
5 Stars, Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader
A satisfying ending.

5 Stars, Vikki McCombie, Amazon Reader
This is an excellent read.

5 Stars, Maggie Toussaint, Amazon Reader
A refreshing sweet romance.


5 Stars, Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader
A totally enjoyable read.

YOU TUBE VIDEO:



A Polish Heart is available through Amazon Prime at:
BUY LINK: http://amzn.com/B007AS29AO

Question: What's your Easter like? Are there any traditions or customs you'd like to share with us?

Author Bio: Wanting a great adventure, Stephanie Burkhart joined the US Army when she was 18 and spent 7 years overseas in Germany. She's visited several European countries, including a visit to Poland in 1997. Nowadays she works as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She writes paranoramal, steampunk, contemporary and fantasy romance. She's published with Desert Breeze and Victory Tales Press. Her children's stories are published with 4RV Publishing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Smart Women Speak

Today, I was going to talk about my romantic comedy Just One Look, the book I've had featured on this blog for quite some time, because it has a lot of dialogue in it.

Of course, all my books do. Readers often tell me that they laugh out loud at some of the conversations between characters.

However, I noticed as I was posting this article that Amazon finally re-priced Just One Look from the sale price of $.99 to its regular $2.99 price. I'll be removing it from the website slideshow tomorrow.

It's been a long stormy day here in Texas, and I'm fighting getting this done before the power goes out which is why I don't do it tonight. Just One Look is available at all major ebook sellers, and is #13 on the Chick Lit Bestseller List at All Romance eBooks. It's just not $.99 any longer. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Characters Say The Funniest Things

I like writing dialogue, and I work hard to make it humorous. Sometimes it’s witty; sometimes snarky; and sometimes downright funny when my characters speak. A lot of the dialogue in my books is stuff I’d love to say, but never do–usually because I think of it after the fact rather than in the midst of conversation. I guess that’s why I’m a writer and not a world-renowned raconteur.

I suppose it’s understandable that I like to collect quotations that are amusing. Every Sunday I write a blog post for my popular blog SlingWords under the Written Wisdom label. Last year, I compiled the best of Written Wisdom (Best of SlingWords) and published the volume as an ebook, and–tada!–it is only $.99!

Quotation-Inspired Essays

I always use a quotation as my inspiration for these little weekly essays. More often than not, the quotation I use was uttered by some smart--or smartass--woman. I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotations with you today.

(I used some of these to preface each chapter in my recent romantic comedy Old Enough To Know Better which, I'm afraid, is also not $.99 any longer.)

Perhaps you’ll find some of these witticisms inspire you or motivate you to succeed. Or maybe they’ll just put a smile on your face. Here are a baker’s dozen that are some of my favorite quotations.

Smart Women Speak Smartly

“I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb ... and I also know that I'm not blonde.” Dolly Parton

“You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.” Erica Jong

“I think I alternate between optimism and anxiety. I realize that should either of these get out of hand I would probably need a clever doctor.” Elizabeth Jolley

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself.” Katherine Mansfield

“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” Jane Austen

“If high heels were so wonderful, men would be wearing them.” Sue Grafton

“Sex is an emotion in motion.” Mae West

“When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country.” Elayne Boosler

“Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.” Maryon Pearson

“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” Lucille Ball

“I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.” Zsa Zsa Gabor

“Love is like the measles. The older you get, the worse the attack.” Mary Roberts Rinehart in
The Man in Lower Ten (1909)

Last, but not least, a wooden sign hanging on a hook by my desk reads: “Put your big girl panties on and deal with it!”

That’s right, just face your challenges head on and deal with them rather than procrastinate, run, or hide.

Wishing you a very good day filled with lots of laughter!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Completing a Series

There is something to be said for the satisfaction of finishing a series -- either reading or writing. I love reading a series, turning the last page of the last book, and everyone is happy and together.

I also have found I love writing a series. Second Chances is my first. When I started Divorce, Interrupted I had no plans to write a series. I thought DI would be a stand-alone book about a divorced couple discovering there was still some fire left in their hearts. Then I got an idea for the second book. How about a couple that found I trust you is even harder to say than I love you? Even before I started Someone To Trust I had the idea in my head for the last book, A Family Again. How hard must it be to get out of prison and put your family back together again? Thus, AFA was born.

A Family Again is almost done. I love Daniel and Megan Kirby and their daughter Daisy. I was never going to write a romance with a child in the story but Daisy tugged at my heart and demanded her parents story.

There is a feeling of completion of seeing a germ of an idea become not just one book, but three. Once A Family Again is released I'll be working on bundling the three books as a boxed set and putting them into paperback. Another new adventure for me and I hope, my readers.

Divorce, Interrupted and Someone To Trust are still 99 cents each and available at Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords.

A Family Again is coming soon from all vendors too.

Divorce, Interrupted
Newly-divorced Todd and Lisa Miller are stranded at their mountain cabin. There to divide a lifetime of memories, they soon are in danger from more than the anger between them. A vicious storm forces them to rely on each other to survive.

Can they trust the one person they lost belief in? Or are their hearts in danger from more than floods and frigid weather?


Someone To Trust
Evie Grimes doesn’t trust men. She’s been lied to and deceived too many times before. Happily single, the last thing she needs is a man.

Brady Jackson is a former Marine. Now a carpenter, he is as honest as the day is long. What you see is what you get.

When Brady falls for Evie he will have to prove he can be trusted with her heart. When danger arrives at her door he will have to prove he can be trusted to protect her. When everyone turns against him, he will have to prove he is someone to trust.

Divorce, Interrupted   Amazon   BN.com   Smashwords
Someone To Trust      Amazon   BN.com   Smashwords
A Family Again          Coming Soon!

Jill James










Sunday, March 18, 2012

Step Back 40,000 Years. Riley's Journey by P. L. Parker

Ancient history has always been a favorite of mine! The veil surrounding the far past is a dark one, opening so seldom and it seems like every time the scientists have it pegged, something new crops up and the timeline changes. Several of my stories are the result of watching the Discovery Channel. A wealth of fascinating information rests within those viewings. The discovery of Otzi the Iceman in the Alps bordering Austria and Italy sparked the beginnings of my journey 40,000 years ago. 

Early humans were hunter/gatherers. What animals existed in that time and place and which were predators and which were prey? In Riley’s Journey, the adversaries were the aggressive Cro-Magnon and their influx into the primitive Neanderthals’ territory. 

Research into primordial Earth is fascinating. Cave bears, saber-toothed cats and giant sloths were just a few of the many creatures who have suffered from the effects of evolution along with the giantmegaloceros (elk), the wooly mammoths and the wooly rhinoceros.
For more information, the following sites are good reading for all ages:

Riley’s Journey by P. L. Parker

Blurb:

Finally, he broke the silence. "Aren't you going to say
anything?"
"What do you expect me to say? Thank you? If even a
small part of what you say is true, then I'm stuck here for
eternity with a guy I don't even know, in a place I hate and
with no future. Yeah, I guess that comes under 'thank you!'"
She rubbed her hands across her face. This was a nightmare!
And not for a minute did she believe what he told her, at least
not most of it. The guy was probably crazy, but if he was
crazy, she must be too, because she had seen that bunch of
strange looking humans and they didn't look like any people
existing in her world.
"I'm really sorry. I didn't know Bethany would go this far. I
made the mistake of saying at the drop point that I didn't
think I would be able to last here alone much longer. She
must have heard it." His face was a mask of regret.
"And that's supposed to make it all better?"
"I don't know what else to say. I'm sorry. I wish I could
change the outcome, but there's nothing I can do. Maybe, if
nothing else, they'll be able to figure out a way to bend time
back so we can go home."
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but one of the things
I noticed while I was at the facility was that it was really
understaffed and it looked like it was being closed down.

99 cents on sale at Amazon:


Patsy
P. L. Parker
www.plparker.com
www.plparker.blogspot.com


Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Pride - St. Patrick's Week Special

My dear father, God rest his soul, was proud of being part Irish, and so am I!

Sad to say, I'm not much of a corned beef and cabbage eater, though my mostly Polish husband is. I really can't explain why that is.

Anyway, it's fun to take part in Irish festivities by watching parades and the wearing of the green on St. Patrick's Day.

To get into the spirit of things, I've put my latest paranormal romantic thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, on sale through Saturday for 99 cents on kindle.

Here's a Short Excerpt:
This excerpt rings especially true for me. Though it wasn't icy at the time, my Dad fell in my driveway when getting into his car, had to have hip surgery, and was never the same afterward.


 "...How’s your Dad doing?”
“Could be better, to put it mildly. I’d give anything to turn back the clock to before he fell on the black ice in the driveway, setting off this whole miserable chain of events. The poor man can’t do anything he loves, like fishing, hunting or even something so ordinary as walking around the block. Even with medicine, he’s in such pain that half the time he doesn’t feel like eating. He’s wasting away, no matter how I keep after him to get something down.”
“Can’t anything be done?”
“I’m afraid not. Every specialist I’ve consulted, and there are tons of them, all say his back was broken so severely an operation could paralyze him. Given the situation, we dare not take the chance. He’s bad enough as it is.”
“I feel so sorry for Mike. He’s such a great guy. He used to be so cheerful, too, with such a great laugh.”
“Well, not any more. I can’t remember the last time he even smiled. I’m constantly monitoring him in case, God forbid, he breaks down in a moment of weakness and does something drastic. It’s heartbreaking to see him like this.”

Read Forever Young: Blessing or Curse to find out what happens to Mike, on Kindle for 99 cents through this week - Link


Thanks for letting me share,

Morgan Mandel

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Unofficial Soundtrack for a New Release: The Banshee and the Linebacker

The Banshee and the Linebacker is out. 
The Blurb: Two brothers, both on course for tragedy.
A girl tormented by visions of their deaths.
Changing their fate could mean sacrificing her heart.

Music is a huge inspiration for me. As a result, I've created unofficial soundtracks for all my novels and novellas via Youtube. For The Banshee and the Linebacker the link to this soundtrack is: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC9C16E3A8FDBDC3B
It includes:

Chapter 1-2 The Vision = Alex Clare's Too Close
Chapter 3 Dinner with the Parents = Flo & The Machine's   Kiss with a Fist
Chapter 4 The Date = One Direction's What Makes You     Beautiful.
Chapter 4-5 Tara Takes Action = Bjork's Army of Me.

Chapter 4 End of the Game = The Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition.



As an extra treat The Banshee and the Linebacker is FREE for a short time at Amazon: http://amzn.com/B007EPW4AI

Entanglements is FREE too!  http://amzn.com/B005R0RPPG

Come and get em before they return to full price!

Monday, March 12, 2012

My favorite 99 cents ebooks - A WOMAN OF CHOICE - by Kris Tualla


If you like historical romance with a gritty feel, I recommend A WOMAN OF CHOICE, by Kris Tualla. It's the first book in the series and is only 99 cents. It's a full novel, not a novella. Each book in the series can be read separately, but as usual with series, it's better to read them in the right order. This author's motto is "Norway is the new Scotland."

Writing medieval historical fiction myself (to be released this year), I can tell you that these books are well researched, well written, and the talented author created a wonderful world, full of strong emotions, intrigue, betrayal, and of course, love.

If you are looking for a good historical for 99 cents, grab WOMAN OF CHOICE at AMAZON HERE 

As for my own historical offerings, they are part of an upcoming series, titled CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE. The first books, PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE and PAGAN QUEEN, will be released this spring. Check out the series on my website at:
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/medieval.html

In the meantime, you can enjoy my other eBooks. The two novellas with these covers are 99 cents, but many other titles of mine are offered on Amazon for under $3.00 and for free once in a while.
Visit my Amazon page here.



Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Guns, Swords, Romance with a kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/

Vijaya's books at Amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/author/vijayaschartz

Vijaya's eBooks at ARe:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Vijaya+Schartz

Vijaya's nooks at:
http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=vijaya+schartz&STORE=EBOOK&SZE=100&SRT=SA

Vijaya's books at Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Schartz

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Dime Novel Resurrected

A 99 CENT DIME NOVEL
A "dime novel" was an inexpensive and generally sensational tale of adventure sold as popular entertainment in the 1800s. Dime novels can be considered the paperback books of their day, and they often featured tales of mountain men, explorers, soldiers, detectives, or Indian fighters. Despite their name, the dime novels generally cost less than ten cents, with many actually selling for a nickel.

Critics of dime novels often denounced them as immoral, perhaps because of violent content. But the books themselves actually tended to reinforce conventional values of the time, such as patriotism, bravery, self-reliance, and American nationalism.

Today, Western Historical novels and Western Historical Romance novels hold to the same standards: Truth, Justice, and The American Way.ie, treat women and children with respect, as well as your neighbor, protect the downtrodden, and carry out justice within the law...if at all possible. 
Western Historical Romance novels and true Westerns are published as Dime Novels at "Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery" through the imprint Western Trail Blazers. The Dime Novels are shorter stories, perhaps novellas, priced at 99Cents.

~*~ *~While driving home in her buggy, Charlotte Dewhurst discovers a man lying by the road. William Montgomery, an attorney, was passing through the area when accosted by two hoodlums. The resulting court case keeps Will in town. His attitudes confuse Charlotte as he seeks her company, yet proclaims he will soon be moving on. But Will may be the most confused one of all.~*~*~*~
EXCERPT:
“Hi,” he said, as he came to her. “I hear the violin and guitars tuning up.”

She couldn’t help but laugh. “Fiddles, Will. The instrument might look like a violin, and perhaps sound like one if played in such a manner, but here? They’re fiddles. Plain and country, but wait till you hear them play.”

He chuckled. “My mistake. Only one of many since I’ve arrived in Trinity Hill. I’ll get the hang of these western ways yet.”

But probably not here, Will. You’ll be leaving soon. Remember?
~*~*~
AMAZON LINK:
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas  
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com
http://www.celiayeary.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Would you kill to protect someone you love?

Did he or didn't he? That is the main question in Someone To Trust Book 2 in my Second Chances series. Evie Grimes' abusive ex-husband is found dead mere feet from her back door. Did her new love, former Marine Brady Jackson do the deed and do away with the stalker in his girlfriend's life?

Sometimes trust is even more important in a relationship than love. Evie has spent 5 years of her life on the run from her ex Mark Trudeau. When he is killed at the lake she has to dig deep to decide; does she truly know Brady Jackson or is your intuition about men as faulty as ever?


Evie Grimes doesn’t trust men. She’s been lied to and deceived too many times before. Happily single, the last thing she needs is a man.

Brady Jackson is a former Marine. Now a carpenter, he is as honest as the day is long. What you see is what you get.

When Brady falls for Evie he will have to prove he can be trusted with her heart. When danger arrives at her door he will have to prove he can be trusted to protect her. When everyone turns against him, he will have to prove he is someone to trust.

Available at Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords for just 99 cents.





March 4th - 10th, 2012 is Read an E-Book Week
Book 1 Divorce, Interrupted is FREE for the week at Smashwords. Go to the book page http://tinyurl.com/3pbwmkm and put the discount code in at checkout: RE100

Enjoy the week! Read and E-Book!!

Jill James
www.jilljameswrites.com

Monday, March 5, 2012

Opportunity Knocks and Free Books.

Happy Monday! You will need to read my ramblings to learn how you can get some of my ebooks free.

Opportunity knocked just over 2 weeks ago and I almost didn't answer the door. Fortunately for me she keep knocking and I finally let her persuade me to go to a writers' conference in New Orleans. I finagled my way into a scholarship for everything but the gasoline to get there and food for one day. (I am not too proud to beg and grovel)

With the scholarship, my frugal nature, and a gift from a client, I was able to go. It was possible!

I enjoyed workshops, did a bit of sightseeing with a friend and fellow writer, and recharged my batteries.

.
I found some cute guys, too.

For those of you who were patient, you may request a free download of Haunting Refrain, Forever Love, or The Gift. You must ask by Friday.

All are available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords.

MMARVELLAB@aol.com