Monday, June 29, 2015

Guest Post & Book Feature - Between Love and War by Sheri Velarde

Welcome Sheri Velarde back to the blog with her new release!

Ancient gods and mythology have long been a fascination of mine. I read every mythology book I could find as a child/teen. Never did I think that one day I would be writing about gods in some of my stories and having said stories actually published. But with the Gods Behaving Badly series that is exactly what is happening, I am actually getting paid to write about misbehaving gods! How cool is that? I still don’t quite believe it myself,

This series was never intended to be a series. It all started with Looted, which originally was going to be a standalone short about Aphrodite living in the modern world as an art thief. I was working in an art museum at the time and became fascinated with all the great art heists in history. As I began to write the story though, it became very evident that the characters had a lot more to say and that is how Stealing Hearts came to be. The more I wrote about Aphrodite (who goes by Sophia now, just so you know), the more other gods started to bug me to tell their story as well.

Ares makes an appearance in Stealing Hearts and he was the first to demand his own story be told, hence Between Love and War, the love story between Ares and Mania. Of course the mythology nerd is loving this series, I do take some liberties, but I am pulling from ancient myths for my inspiration. Gods in modern times are just so much fun to write about! I am already three books in, but some many more gods are talking to me. Poseidon just showed up in Between Love and War. Eros/Cupid has a story to tell from Stealing Hearts. (Incidentally Aphrodite and Eros’ daughter are in Lost Souls, a fallen angel story in the Gods Behaving Badly world). Athena needs to make an appearance. Hera I am sure will show up. And Zeus, well he won’t stand for getting none of the attention. Who else will speak to me from their myths and beg to come into our time? Who knows, I am just going along for the ride! That is half the fun of being an author.

After the Fall, Ares spent a thousand years searching for his lost love Mania. Thinking he had lost her forever, he settled into the life of a mercenary here on earth. Then the fates, and his sister the goddess of love, showed him Mania was alive and well. He travels to London hoping to regain what he had thought lost forever.

Mania had spent a millennia as a wraith of madness before slowly starting to rebuild herself into a new and independent woman. Art had been her outlet and her savior. Then one night her world is turned upside down when her old love walks back into her life. Can she love him again and still remain the woman that she had become?

Unbeknownst to both of them a mysterious organization is lurking in the background and threatening to unravel the lives of all the gods on earth.

Sighing with relief that she hadn’t slammed the door in his face, he offered her a coffee. “I know it’s early for you, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. I spent the whole night kicking myself for the way I behaved yesterday. I was so emotional and confused I even called my sister for advice. I never call anyone for advice, let alone the goddess of love.”
“What advice did Aphrodite have?” Maia asked curiously, a slight smile playing on her face.
“To stop acting like an ass and to come and talk to you,” he admitted.
Maia actually laughed. “I always did like her. Come sit down. I really wanted to talk to you after I saw you standing outside, but you ran so fast. I tried going to your hotel as well, but they said you were no longer staying there. Your phone had been disconnected. How did you managed to disappear entirely so quickly? I was afraid I’d never see you again or get to explain what you saw.”
“And what did I see?” Ronan held his breath as he waited for an answer.
“Not something to warrant such a strong reaction, though I suppose if you had been the one who had seemingly blown me off and then I found you in the arms of another woman I would have reacted badly as well.” She took a break to sip some coffee and nibble on her croissant. Her lips were making it hard for Ronan to concentrate. All he wanted to do was capture them with his own. “My friend and business partner lost his father the other day. I spent the day before yesterday taking care of things so that he wouldn’t have to. You saw me comforting him when you stopped by. There was nothing romantic about that hug. I swear.”
“So there’s still hope for me?” Ronan asked, leaning forward, close enough to kiss her, but not daring to just yet.
“There will always be hope for you when it comes to me, Ronan. I’ve always loved you…”
He didn’t need to hear any more. He leaned in and captured her lips, kissing her like he wished he had at her opening. He knew he shouldn’t push her, that he should pull away and give Maia the space his sister advised, but the magic, love, and lust swirling around as he kissed her wouldn’t let him. He had been searching for this ever since the fall and he had lost his one true love. Now that he had her again he didn’t know if he could ever let her go. The good news was that Maia wasn’t fighting or trying to pull back. Instead she leaned into the kiss, moaning softly. That was all the encouragement that he needed. He grabbed Maia and pulled her closer, lifting her easily and settling her on his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck, never breaking their kiss.

About the Author:
Sheri Velarde, lives in New Mexico with her fiancé and their two dogs.

Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializing in paranormal romance and erotic romance.

She is constantly putting out new material with various publisher, so it is best to keep up with her on her website

In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, and freelance non-fiction writer.

Author links:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me & A Present For You!

Today is my 19th (+ 14) birthday. To celebrate, I'm giving away one of my favorite books for free.

You can get my historical romance Wildwood Spring free from today until 7/2/15. Download it just in time to read for the holiday weekend!

Get it HERE. Don't have a Kindle? You can still read it for free by downloading the Kindle app to your computer, tablet, or phone!

Have a lovely weekend and happy reading!

Friday, June 26, 2015


My long-awaited time has come--vacation, at last.

Well,  almost. I have an eight hour work day to get through first. I wish I could say vacation would be filled with days where I sleep in, write for a few hours, lounge in the sun, and be really, really lazy, but we kind of have more plans than that. The next couple of days are going to be hectic as we prepare the car for a road trip, I try to get the dogs to their grooming appointment on time, and we wash all our clothes in attempt to get packed and loaded by Monday evening.

I'm sure I'll have some lovely photos to show you of the time away from home. I'm also sure I'll probably accomplish no writing. In some ways, that's great. A break can be helpful. In other ways, it's frustrating, because of the get-it-done mentality I possess. Sometimes, after a long time away from a project, I don't want to finish it. I fall into the trap of, I stopped before, what's the point of going on? Especially because I'm an insecure writer anyway, so I find myself questioning the story as I write.

Don't get me wrong. I like the Vikings. If I didn't, I certainly wouldn't have started a new novel about them. But I'm always terrified no one is going to like it. Maybe this one won't be as good as the last one. Writing series scares the hell out of me. You'd think after years of writing and plenty of really good reviews I wouldn't worry, but yeah, I worry anyway.

Again, don't get me wrong. I'm glad to finally get a break. I'm really looking forward to visiting a place I've never been before. Even if I don't get to sleep in every day, I'll still be able to relax. When I'm not thinking about work, that is, but I'll try not to. I think vacation is going to be great. You know what they say--a writer never gets a vacation, because it's impossible to shut down the mind. If only there was an OFF switch for a little while. But I can't wait to get out of the office. I'm counting the minutes.

Ugh, come on, Friday. Release me from your work clutches.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

#TeaserTuesday Vikings, Vikings, Vikings

Because I'm about 30% into Her Heart's Desire, my second Viking novel, I'm luring you in with a look at Her Heart's Surrender. Vikings are hawt, y'all.

 Hella lifted her left foot and smoothed his thumbs over the bottom of her arch and into the ball of her foot.
A small smile lifted the corners of her mouth.
“Does it tickle?” he asked.
“A bit.”
He kissed the top of her foot and moved up to her ankle. The tightness in her leg eased as he worked. Trust me, give your whole self to me. He caressed the muscles and tendons gently as he stroked his hands up to her knee. She watched him from beneath hooded eyelids, languid as a cat basking in the sun. Whether she’d admit it out loud or not, her expression gave away her pleasure.
He repeated the ministration on her right leg from foot to knee, pleased when a little moan left her. Her thighs tempted him still, and he trailed the pads of his fingers up both. Soft skin covered her firm muscles. He intended to pore over every inch of her, know her, and show her how fortunate a wife she’d become.
Ealasaid’s stomach tightened when he rubbed his beard across her flesh then pressed a kiss directly below her navel.
He paused at a scar the length of his thumb less than a hand’s width below her navel. Raised and red, it must have been a vicious wound. “What made this?”
Sorrow clouded her eyes. “The White Raven’s blade. I do not wish to speak of it tonight, m’lord.”
The truth hit him like the weight of one of his hounds. This ugly scar told the story of why she couldn’t bear him sons. The wound almost cost her life. I should have killed him with my bare hands and released her from misery years ago. She wished to ignore it. He would too—for tonight.
She sucked in a breath when he kissed beneath her breasts. Her hands bunched the covers at her sides, and she wiggled her hips beneath him.
“All right there, little lamb?”
Color flushed her face. “Very well, m’lord.”
He laughed. “Perhaps I should stop. You seem bothered by the attention.”
“I would be more bothered without it.” Her voice barely crested the crackle of the fire. “Your skill with a sword is rivaled solely by your tongue.”

“A compliment. Surely this is a magical night.” He returned his attention to her body. It occurred to him the crafty old witch Ulrika might have used some spice or herb to flavor their mead, to make them hungry for one another. That, or Freya’s magic cast a powerful spell over him.

Here's where you get it: Amazon || B&N || ARe || Kobo || iTunes

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Writing Game

There's something about June that leaves me not wanting to blog. I'd rather do anything except try to come up with a topic right now. Because last year was so hectic and I didn't do much writing, I used that as an excuse. I don't have one now.

I've been busy editing, writing a synopsis, trying to push forward on a little Regency novella I'm working on. Yeah, that. I won't lie. It's scary. I have no idea what I'm doing with it. In fact, I'm a little horrified because I'm nearly one third done with it and the hero and heroine have met exactly once when she was reeling from a head injury. Good going. I really have to amp things up in the remaining two thirds.

My intentions were to go to work on another contemporary western--yeah, that too. I think I've written nearly a page. The title I came up with sounds stoopid, which is a point of frustration. So I turned elsewhere.

I got my hair did. You like?
I'm back in 10th century Northumbria, hanging with my Viking friends. I did get the first 6000 words written shortly after I finished Her Heart's Surrender, but I put it aside in favor of finishing Tell. That, and I didn't have a super great plot idea worked out either. What? Me? Have a plot? Psssh, never stopped me before. I'm kind of grasping at straws here, because the poor Vikings have just come out of a war with some pretty serious casualties. I really don't want to shove them back in that situation again. My hero, Eoghann, is having some serious doubts about almost everything going on in his life, except his recent marriage, but he's worried that Idunna is going to dump him once she gets what she wants. It's quite the problem. I can obviously give her what she wants, but if they're on the run--and likely to be--that's going to complicate things. I have the utmost confidence Eoghann and Idunna will figure this out for me. I've gotten about 7000 words down this week and things are progressing nicely. I'm very proud of how well the Viking stories almost write themselves. I've been doing tons of research too, which I find fun. You can never know too much about Vikings, right? For most of my other books, I just make stuff up, minus some of the historical points in the western historicals. I do try to stick to facts, or at least as well as I know them.

I'd kind of taken a break from writing for the last couple of weeks. It's nice to be back in the swing of things. I feel better when I'm torturing characters (spoiler alert: I shot an arrow into Eoghann. It felt so good). Especially when it's smooth going. Here's hoping the next 36-40 thousand words go as well.