Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Feature & Giveaway - Borderland Beauty (The Borderland Legacy #2)" by Samantha Holt


Borderland Beauty (The Borderland Legacy #2)
by Samantha Holt
Historical Romance
Publisher: Jupiter Gardens Press
Release Date: May 23, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 50,000
Available at: Amazon || ARe || B&N 

Blurb:
Lord Dominic is in need of a wife. With the reivers, the wild and dangerous criminals that haunt the borderlands, breathing down his neck and his brother now married, he needs a strong woman by his side. So when he finds out about an old marriage contract between him and his neighbour’s daughter, he vows to give the mysterious woman a chance. Upon meeting the beautiful, feisty maiden, he vows to make her his wife.

Lucy Montgomery wants nothing to do with the arrogant lord. She doesn’t understand his interest in her. Surely a man like Dominic could never fall for a woman like her. Hurt by the past, she refuses to believe that she is anything more than a game to him. If only she didn't find him quite so charming.

Can Dominic persuade Lucy that she is more than just another woman to him? And with the reivers growing bolder, are there worse dangers than Lucy saying ‘Nay’?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Excerpt:
Holding out his hand, his dipped his head and eyed her from under his brow. “Will you dance with me, Lucy?”

She hesitated, glancing around as the couples took their positions. “I know not this dance.” In truth, she knew few dances, having avoided them for most of her life.

“I will teach you.” 

Dominic snatched her hand and led her to the centre of the floor. Her heart slammed into her chest at the touch of his fingers. Why did his touch always incite such a reaction? Glancing around, she realised she could hardly tear herself away from him. 

Many were watching them. Especially the women.

“Stand there,” he ordered as he stepped back.

Her eyes darted from Dominic to the other dancers who moved confidently around them. He motioned for her to step forward and she did so, bringing herself closer to him. The dancers circled one another and Lucy mimicked them. His sapphire eyes remained on her, bright and alert and her skin tingled under his scrutiny. Why watch her so closely?

 “Now step back,” he murmured.

She did as he bid, stepping back a little later than the other dancers. Her cheeks filled with heat but she could not tell it if was because of his examination of her or her lack of dancing ability. His eyes continued to follow her avidly and she dropped her gaze. 

Nay, it was Dominic who was the cause of her blush.

The dancers lined up and Lucy stumbled back, her eyes narrowing as Dominic’s crinkled in amusement. A lord and lady wove between them, working their way up the line. The lady’s hand brushed across Dominic’s chest as she passed, a flirtatious smile on her lips, and Lucy clenched her teeth together. He flicked a disinterested look at the woman before securing his gaze back onto hers. 

Lucy and Dominic did the same, weaving through the other dancers until they reached the end of the line. Keeping her spine stiff, she resisted the urge to peek at him as she did so, but as they faced each other one more, his blue eyes caught hers and she could do little else but stare back. 

Lord, she was getting lost in those penetrating eyes.

Stepping forward hastily, her eyes widened as his hands came about her waist. He lifted her easily and her heart came into her throat. The ladies around her squealed in delight as they too were lifted and then placed down, but surprise had struck her dumb.

“Move back,” he commanded quietly, his eyes darkening.

She faltered as she retreated, her pulse beating erratically. His look of desire confused her and she pulled her chin up. She would not be toyed with like this. It was time to wrest back some control.

They repeated the first movements and Lucy stepped confidently now. “I hear tell that you are searching for a wife,” she stated archly. 

Dominic barely blinked. “Aye, ‘tis true. Why? Are you interested?”

“Hardly.”  She released an unsteady laugh. “I thought you were to be married to Lady Isabel of…of Greycroft.”

“I was.” He circled her, appraising her openly as he did so. 

She followed him with her gaze, hoping he could not see through her bold look. “But it seems she married your brother.”

“That she did.”

“Are you not angry? Did she not wound your ego?”

He shook his head with a shrug. “Nay. Jake loves his wife very much, why would I begrudge him that?”

“You did not love her?”

“I love Isabel as a sister. She is a fine woman but she is better suited to my brother. I do not regret that she is not my wife.”

“She probably does not regret it either,” she said with the raise of an eyebrow.

They wove their way in and out of the line and they waited as the other dancers took their place.

“Isabel did not suit me, but a woman like you…you would suit me very much.”

“Ha, you think me foolish enough to fall for such talk? I have heard much of your reputation, Dominic of Thornewall. You would promise marriage just for the chance of a tumble. I would not give up my virtue to such a man.”

His hands came upon her waist. “That sounds like a challenge,” he said before lifting her effortlessly. 

He placed her down and Lucy gaped at him, speechless. The people around them clapped as the music ceased but Lucy paid little attention. Raw desire glinted in his expression and her stomach twisted. Surely that look was not for her? He was teasing her, playing with her, luring her in so he could strike her down.

She curled her fists and clamped her mouth shut as she swivelled on her heel. She would not let him make a fool of her again.

About the Author:
Samantha resides in Warwickshire, England with her twin girls and occasionally her husband, who works abroad. She admits that his long absences often help get the creative juices flowing.
She's a romance addict and has been devouring all kinds of romance for as long as she can remember.

A huge history buff, Samantha likes to blend her love of the past with her love of romance and create thrilling and passionate tales set to medieval backdrops. She thinks there's nothing sexier than a rugged warrior and a feisty maiden falling head over heels for each other.

Connect with Samantha Holt





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Monday, July 29, 2013

Stuff That Baffles Me


You knew it was coming. Yep, a banner for STBM. I mean, why not? There's one for TFF and for In Other News, so there might as well be one here. Okay, here we go. I know you're ready for this week's edition of Stuff That Baffles Me.


Uh-huh. It's a board game. About dog poop. Is this for kids who don't have pets or something? I'm sure it's meant to appeal to young children (it says 4+ on the box) for potty humor reasons. It only has a 3 star rating on Amazon. I just...yeah, my faith in humanity isn't doing very well.

This has been...Stuff That Baffles Me.


I've done a lot of editing recently and I'm pretty sure I'm either going blind, or I just need an eye exam. I'm really hoping it's the latter. I can only stand to look at black letters on white backgrounds for so long before my eyes wander somewhere else because they need color!

Yep, my hummingbirds are still fighting. Fortunately, there haven't been any more attempts on their parts to come into the house.

I added almost 1700 words to my WIP Saturday. I think so bad stuff is about to happen before the good stuff. Guess we'll find out when I find the motivation to go back to it. I've got a round of line edits to do on The Convict & the Cattleman and I just sent the pre-edits off for The Wrong Brother's Bride. I'm trying to work up the nerve to send The Siren's Sentinel off to beta readers. On one hand, I love the story, on the other, I'm not sure I'm ready for the world to see it. I don't know why not. I've had the cover done since forever, it's a great love story. It's just different from the rest of the Legends & Lovers series and it's hard to let something different go.

It's either The Siren's Sentinel or The Heckmasters for release this year, and I really, really don't feel that The Heckmasters is ready, plus I kind of want to keep the first book around until I have most of the second written. Just so I can make sure they mesh up. It's a lesson I learned from publishing a series the first go-round.

Deep breath. I'm making the right decision by sending SS to beta readers. I am. Yes.


Friday, July 26, 2013

The Friday Five - Five Words You're Mistakenly Using In Your Novel

FAIL. Yep, I FAIL all the time when I'm writing a novel. Usually because I'm typing so fast, I don't feel like I have time to go back and correct my mistakes. That's what later is for. Even though that red squiggly line is telling me I goofed. But sometimes that red squiggle doesn't appear because you've used the wrong word, just in the wrong context. It's Friday, you're going to learn something. Let's check out some commonly mistaken words on today's
1) Do/due - I make this mistake all the time. You can see it frequently in my blog. "You'll have to make due", I'll say. *Buzzer noise* Nope, it's make do. D'oh.
Examples: 
Make do means you can get along without something.
Due means something owed, or something proper.

2) Foreward/forward - Separated by a wee 'e', these two words have very different meanings.
Examples:
Foreward - an introduction or notes before a document.
Forward - to go ahead, to move, at the front.

3) Horde/hoard - A horde we can hoard. Hopefully of nekkid fellows.
Examples:
Horde - A large group, troop, or tribe.
Hoard - To accumulate.

4) Troop/troupe - Aha, got you, didn't I? I used troop in the example above.
Examples:
Troop - A group of people in the military or police.
Troupe - Typically a theatrical or musical group.

5) Discreet/discrete - Um, I got nothin' here. Just...stop using them wrong, okay?
Examples:
Discreet - To be secretive, not attract attention to.
Discrete - Distinct, separate.

Bonus round:
Lightning/lightening - I always, always without fail $%&@ this one up.
Lightning - That crackly electric stuff that comes out of the sky.
Lightening - The opposite of making something dark or heavy.

Check your manuscripts, kids. Get those words right. Your editors will thank you. Another bonus round, I screwed up cow's udder with utter. My editor caught it and probably shook her head. I was so ashamed.

It's Friday, go, be, do.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book Feature - Seductive Shadows by Marni Mann


Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: Booktrope
Heat Level: Sizzling
Word Count: 86,000

 Blurb:
Charlie is a passionate, sensually inspired art student, desperately seeking an escape from an abusive past that haunts her and a tragic accident that emptied her heart. Scarred and unable to love, her yearning for physical pleasure and contact leads her into a tantalizing, dangerous world of power and seduction. The anonymity of the deal offers security, the money provides financial freedom, and the madam’s authority is the mother figure she longs for.

 But the thrill of the mansion and its arousing dominance quickly fades when she meets the renowned yet mysterious Cameron Hardy, whose intense, baby blue eyes send a nervous flutter through her core. He’s sexy, and not in a subtle way. Cameron stimulates her art, intellect and desires. Just as he begins to break through her emotional boundaries, Charlie discovers a devastating connection between her past and her scandalous work at the mansion, shattering everything she thought to be true.

 Provocative, intoxicating and erotic, Seductive Shadows is the unforgettable tale of a young woman’s discovery as she learns to forgive, to love and be loved, and to find redemption amidst a memorable journey that will captivate your mind and stimulate your soul.

 Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations (including a f/f scene, multiple partners and light bondage) and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.


 Excerpt:
I wasn’t a prostitute. I was an artist who used her fingers to paint a fantasy and her body fulfilled it. The muse, or the canvas, but always the artist. And when I was desired by men was when I felt the most creative.

 Just because I was hired to provide pleasure, didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy every moment of passion and every uninhibited deviant thought. I was turned on by the cameras that would point toward my bed, the lust that would be whispered in my ears, and playing out the fantasy that I would compose. Not knowing anything about these men, what the top half of their faces looked like, their names, meant they also knew nothing about me. I would never have to discuss my past or the accident; the only thing I would have to unzip would be my lingerie. I would have enough money to pay off my mother’s debt in a reasonable amount of time and take more than one class a semester. The arrangement was perfect.

 But then I met Cameron. With icy, baby blue eyes so intense...he was sexy, and not in a subtle way. Bold and confident, he inspired my art and challenged my emotions and, for the first time since the accident, I felt a strong connection to another person.

 I had a burning desire to trust Cameron, to escape the dark life I had been leading and reveal to him the wounds of my soul…until I discovered a devastating connection between my past and the mansion. And in the midst of all the truth I uncovered, I learned my life was in imminent danger....


 Available at:
Amazon || Kobo

About the author:
A New Englander at heart, Marni Mann is now a Floridian inspired by the sandy beaches and hot pink sunsets of . She taps mainstream appeal and shakes worldwide taboos, taking her readers on a dark and breathtaking journey. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, she’s scouring for chocolate, traveling, reading, or walking her four-legged children. Visit her at www.marnismann.com.

One the web:
Website || Facebook || Twitter || Pinterest

Click HERE for Marni's other tour stops and giveaway!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Once Again, It's Time For...

You guessed it. Stuff That Baffles Me.

Today, I have for your viewing pleasure, an actual honest-to-God foot stool.


This has been Stuff That Baffles Me.



The hummingbirds are at it again. I think there are some new ones in the neighborhood, a really pretty little female with grayish-green feathers and some cool white markings all over her body. She and another male who looks smaller than the males I've been seeing were trying to drink out of my petunias. Sorry, chickees, there's nothing in those 'tunias for you. The other HBs seemed angry about the invaders and there was a lot of fighting yesterday.

I got chapter two of my WIP finished. It went a little smoother than it did the last time I opened that document, maybe a week or two ago. I tend to open it, look at it, shake my head and go on to other things. Well, I finally wrestled it into submission. I'm also reading through The Heckmasters , clearing up somethings and, drum roll! I'm preparing The Siren's Sentinel for release this fall. Y'all thought you were getting The Heckmasters first, didn't you? Well, there's still one book to go in the Legends & Lover series before you get some yummy Heckmasters, even though I've worked out the kinks on the Heckmaster covers. It's called preparedness, it's not my usual thing, but hey, it's working.

Or, you could say, I have no real plans I'm and just bouncing along doing whatever my twisted little mind comes up with. The Siren's Sentinel, you say? Ah, yes, let's do something with that, because I'm not sure The Heckmasters ended up quite where I want to be just yet. There must, must be another release this year.

Also, today, I'm excited about the birth of the royal baby. Fun fact: I can trace my dad's lineage back to England in 1066. The brother we're descended from had a half-brother who was the royal physician way back then. But I really love the British because they're not afraid to wear badass hats to all kinds of events. I expect to see a 'we're taking baby home' hat that is totally awesome. I would move to England just for the hats. No kidding.

Go be productive, kids. Write a book or have a royal baby. Something.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Friday Five - Contests, Conference, & Pitching, Oh My

This isn't anything you haven't heard out of me before, but I'm asking you not to pass over it. As you know, if you follow along on Facebook, G+ or Twitter, ORACon is coming up September 21st. We host a fiction writer's contest and the deadline has been extended, so you've still got 2 weeks to get that entry in, and we're having live pitches in front of Laurie McLean from Foreward Literary Agency and Holly Atkinson, an editor with Samhain. So now I'm going to natter about 5 reasons you ought to do one or all of these things.

1) This is my 5th year attending ORACon. Actually, I've lost track, but I feel pretty sure it's the 5th. I'm pretty sure I went to the one in 2009. I don't think there's any photographic evidence, but  (forgive me if this story is posted somewhere else on this blog. I feel sure that it is) I will never forget when I walked into Wal-Mart to buy donut holes and the cashier asked me if I had big plans for the day and I told him I was going to a writer's conference. He grabbed my hand, started shaking it and asked if I was famous (my hair looked fantastic that day). Everyone in line turned to stare. I stuttered that I wasn't famous, but he looked right at me and said, "Someday you will be."

Um, my point here is, you can have people mistake you for someone famous too, just by mentioning you're going to a writer's conference. Actually, my point is ... um, writer's conferences are fun. That first year I went, we didn't have pitches or anything, but we did have good food, great speakers, and I got to hang with other writers. I took lots of notes and it taught me that just because I was a beginner and I had a long way to go, that I could also have a future in writing.

Photographic evidence in 2010.
It's in that envelope because I was
so  shocked I forgot to take the
award out to display.
2) I missed the contest deadline in 2009, but (another repeat story, great) I hadn't written anything since the summer of 2003 and I more or less (more) forgot everything I knew about writing, which wasn't much to begin with. You could say I had very, very, very raw talent. Actually, I was working on The Convict & the Cattleman at the time and it was awful. However, the next year, I was still working on C&C and it was less awful, so I entered the 2010 Weta Nichols Writing Contest. I had a lot of help with that first chapter, which is the chapter with some revisions that's still the first chapter today. Anyway, over the year with help from my newfound buddies at ORA and some really great online critique pals, my writing started improving. Enough that I got an honorable mention with The Convict & the Cattleman. In 2011, after I gave up on C&C because it tried to eat my soul, I was goofing off with a little story you might recognize as The Treasure Hunter's Lady. Also got an honorable mention. Just because I pushed a little
Hiding behind Jill's computer, because
why not? Hmm, someone colored
her hair. Long story behind that.
'Send' button. Not to brag, or anything, but you should know that both those books were contracted. Granted, THL's contract fell through, but these things happen. It's published under my imprint now and C&C is coming out in February from Lyrical Press, so when I say, enter a contest, it can do things for you, I'm not just saying that to hear my lips flap.

3) That pitching business. 2010 was the first time we offered pitches, but I didn't because the lady taking them ran a Christian magazine or something. Um...my books are little bit too racy to make up a Christian anything and they're choked full of fantasy stuff, so I stayed in my seat that year. But in 2011, we had a book editor and a book agent. 'Member, I'd shoved C&C into the dark recesses of my flash drive, so the best I had to offer was THL, which I just knew was the One True Book, the book above all others, the magic carpet ride to success. Unfortunately, I'm a writer, not a pitcher, Jim, so all my crazy attempts to write and present a pitch were about as successful as a whale riding a bicycle. I had a lot of help with both. And I stuttered my way through three sentences (even with notecards, c'mon, Allison!) before the agent gave up on me and said, okay, just send the first three chapters. Long story short, I took a different kind of chance later on, some things moved into place, and again, THL is published under my name, yay! But pitching was a great experience even though I really messed it up. At least I did it, right? Agents put their pants on one leg at a time, just like us. Unless they're wearing a skirt, in which case, they can probably just slip it over both legs while sitting down, or a dress which can come over the head, but anyway, experience is important. That's what I'm trying to say here. They want to hear about your book. That's why they're there.

I'm that blonde one on the left sort of in the back,
No, no, beside the one beside the one in the black.
4) You guys know how much I like food, right? Not enough to cook it for myself (or at least anything complicated, like my husband pretty much handles the meat--wait...um, jeez. The grilling and frying of all things bovine or fowl with the occasional porcine piece), but I love to eat. So when someone offers to feed me at conference, I say, yes, thank you. And then I usually manage to drop something on my boob or otherwise stain my shirt, because I'm a writer and I have weak wrists from all that typing. That's why they make Shout! wipes people. Anyway, this here picture to the right is the banquet the night before conference when the volunteers mingle with the speakers. Good times. I not only recommend attending conference and taking advantage of everything it offers, I recommend volunteering so you can mingle. I had a double shot of peach schnapps. I was doing good that night. Except the part with the hobo. Different story for a different time.

5) Back to that contest thing. Yes, again. Bear with me. I headed up the contest last year, which had a shit ton of entries (don't ask for literal measurements on a shit ton, I haven't quite figured it out yet). And our judges were really good about providing feedback. You're a writer. You need feedback. It's there to help you, or for you to ignore. Please don't rail at us though, if it's not to your liking. Also, you have to agree not to hold it against us--it's in the fine print when you enter the contest. But I certainly got some feedback that was helpful when I entered the contest and what do you know, I have books on shelves. That deadline is close, and I really feel like it could be you who's proudly beaming at that podium this year. Or I could give you some awesome suggestions or encouraging words about your writing, because I volunteered to judge.

Writing conferences, contests, and pitching are all about putting your foot forward and moving your writing career along. If I didn't have the opportunity to attend, I'm not sure where I'd be in my writing career. I know I probably wouldn't blog as often, because I learned about how important that is at--you guessed it--ORACon in 2011. Agents and publishers want you to get in on social media because the readers want to get to know. Learned that at ORACon.

Clear your schedule, come visit, learn, and holy shit, I can't wait to meet you. I'll be the introvert writer who's too scared to talk to you unless you talk to me first, but I promise not to bite. I'll have a name tag. You can find me.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Feature & Giveaway - The Good Sister by Amielise Gable


The Good Sister
by Amielise Gable
Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Gypsy Angel Books
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 60,000
Available at:
Amazon || B&N || iTunes

Description:
After her mother’s sudden death, Ryanne Myers is home again. It has been fifteen years since she escaped Mount Pleasant and everyone and everything in it. Now she must oversee the closing of her mother’s affairs. The only bright spot is Ryanne’s blossoming friendship with boarder CJ Richter. Ryanne senses that CJ just might be her soul mate, but the handsome excavator is somewhat of a standoffish loner.

After an unthinkable event, Ryanne’s life spins out of control, and she must deal not only with her grasping, selfish sister, but also a manipulative, wannabe suitor. CJ offers Ryanne a way out, but at what price?

Beware: Everyone has secrets in Mount Pleasant…And they enjoy them!


5 Stars TOP PICK, Night Owl Romance

“Drama, romance, mystery, and murder, all centered around a little town. THE GOOD SISTER  is an outstanding debut novel from Amielise Gable. Ms. Gable presents the reader with a unique love story with a cast of endearing  yet almost  misfits, who each have their own foibles as well as qualities that make them dear to the reader’s heart.”

Excerpt:
“CJ, what are you doing out here?” The biting wind blew her hair all around her face.

When he heard the surprise in her voice, the warmth of embarrassment warmed his cheeks. “Can’t a man take a walk to clear his head?”

A wide smile crossed her face. “Possibly, but I find it a great coincidence that both you and I got that same idea only an hour apart, especially when you had a mammoth amount of paperwork to keep you busy all night. Fess up, CJ, what are you doing out here?”

She was enjoying this, playing with him. Ryanne wanted to hear it from his own mouth he was out on a frigid Saturday night looking for her. Well, maybe he would play with her for a while.

“I don’t know Ryanne,” he said looking up into the clear night sky. “You and I are a lot alike. Both of us are restless, both of us didn’t have the greatest childhoods that spilled over into our adult lives. Maybe…” he said dropping his eyes from the sky and settling on her, “we think alike, too.”

“Okay, I believe you,” she agreed. But it was clear in her amused expression that she knew he came out to look for her because he was concerned. “I guess I’ll see you back at the house then,” she dismissed him and began to walk into the cemetery.

Jaw dropping, he couldn't believe this woman. She was walking alone, right into the middle of a dark cold cemetery. Who knew what lurked there? Teenage kids drinking and drugging? Homeless people who might be violent? And least he forget whatever the hell was in his bedroom that came to visit him the night he was down with the flu.

“Wait, Ryanne!” He called to her.

Turning back, she stopped and looked at him. “What is it?”

“Okay, it was fun for a moment, but now it’s just plain dangerous.”

Her brow creased with puzzlement. “What are talking about? Do you mean the cemetery?”

“Yes, I mean the cemetery. You don’t know what…or who is lurking in there. It’s Saturday night for God’s sake. Kids are probably partying in there. Not to mention it’s freezing.”

“Oh CJ, it’s so sweet that you care. But I’m perfectly fine. I’ve spent so much time in the cemetery growing up, both day and night, for more hours than I’m willing to count.”

“You know, I should just leave you out here! You’re so stubborn, not to mention delusional! But I’m not going to have you getting hurt or murdered on my conscience.”

He never, never in his life cared enough about anyone to embarrass himself like he was right now. He didn’t want to care, didn’t want to fall in love and chance getting crushed when it all fell apart. Now it was all happening, and he was powerless to stop any of it.

Holding out her hand to him, she said, “Well, come on, I’ll show you.”

He stared mutely at her outstretched hand.

“Unless you’re afraid,” she added.

“I’m not afraid of anything…or anyone,” he retorted, taking her offered hand. The truth was, he was afraid of Ryanne, or more pointedly, he was afraid of what she would do to him if he got too close to her.

About the author:
For as long as she can remember, Amielise Gable has been a fan of books, writing her first book  on fruits and vegetables at age seven. Ever since, she has remained a voracious reader, and later, a book reviewer.
The Good Sister, a contemporary romance, is her first full length release.

In her spare time, Amie enjoys gardening, photography, and old black and white movies where the hero always gets the heroine.

Find her online:
Website/Blog - http://www.amielise.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amielise-Gable/306124566187099
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Amielise

Visit Amielise's other stops on this tour HERE

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Now It's Time For...

Stuff That Baffles Me!

That's right. It's all new. Actually, this photo is old, but I forgot the new one, so you'll have to make do until next Monday. You can do it.

And now...
Stuff That Baffles Me!

Why does this horse have an ear on its chin?

Your guess is as good as mine. This has been... Stuff That Baffles Me!


I had a massive headache yesterday and seriously thought about keeling over. Instead, I passed out in my husband's recliner for about two hours. The dog and hummingbirds were very polite while I was conked out. See, the dog has a tendency to whine or try to escape while the door is open, and the hummingbirds have territorial rights on the hummingbird feeder (which contains crack which they let the sugar water sit until it turns into alcohol* [I sh!t you not], and then they go all Gettysburg on each other). They're normally very vocal and flappy, but they obviously noticed their alcohol-providing friend was sprawled in a chair and reeked of Max Muscle Rub Roll-on Gel, which burns like fire, but helps relieve headache pain.
You don't have to go home, but
you can't stay here in an alcohol-
induced rage. Photo by cempey.

After I started feeling slightly more human and the hummingbird wars resumed full-scale annihilation, I tackled The Wrong Brother's Bride again. I don't want to say how many tos were in the MS, but let's just say I got rid of about 600. Yeah. It took forever and I kicked myself every time I came across one. There were little yellow highlights all over the pages while I searched. It was torture. I can't believe I did that. I finally got them down to a reasonable number and only lost about 2,000 words doing it, either because I cut whole sentences or rewrote them and they were smaller and because, oh, yeah, I cut out 600 tos.

I console myself with the fact that I have some other stuff to add and the story is better without them. Progress on my WIP, um, about three sentences. It was important to get the editing stuff done first. Progress on The Heckmasters, not so much. I'm getting there, okay? First I have to make sure I'm not crippled by monster headaches and speared by alcohol-fueled birds.

*According to WikiHow, you're supposed to add yeast to sugar to make alcohol. Mold grows in my feeder because they get pissy when you clean it, so I mostly just leave it alone unless it needs refilled, I kind of think the mold makes the sugar turn into alcohol faster. FYI, I'm not 100% sure it's actually alcohol, but it sure smells like it and those birds won't touch it until it's been out there for a couple of days. Probably I should start buying real hummingbird food instead of adding insane amounts of sugar to a little bit of water. If the hummingbird population in Missouri suddenly fails, it's probably because I've poisoned them all, or they went crazy and killed each other because of my concoction. One day I thought about just putting some Dr. Pepper in there instead, but I've noticed I kind of turn into a rage machine if I go off of that and then get back on it. I mean, there's no sense in really making the birds pyscho. Also, I'm speculating here, but I imagine caffeine isn't good for them. And they might not even drink it and then it would be a huge waste and I'd just have to give them more sugar/alcohol to make up for it. All the birds need AA because of me. :(

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Friday Five - Free Reads

Here's my idea for today. Free downloadable e-books. Sounds great, doesn't it? My research has led me to these and you should download them, because, hey, this is the beginning of the weekend and it's hot outside. Get them fast, because no telling how long they'll be free. You gotta jump on that.

1) Sunny Days Ahead - D'Ann Lindun - You can read this as a stand-alone, but it is in the Cowboys of Black Mountain series. Contemporary western romance, do not miss it. D'Ann is a fantastic author!

2) Out of Control (The Kincaid Brides Book #1) - Mary Connealy - A historical Christian romance, but I like me some Christian romance to balance out all the hoo-hoos and hee-haws once in awhile.

3) A Home in the West (The Amish of Apple Grove) - Lori Copeland & Virginia Smith - I like me some Amish romance too. Plus, Lori Copeland. Of course it's good.

4) Big Girls Do It Better (Erotic Romance Book 1) - Jasinda Wilder - We were talking about the couple that co-wrote this book on the ORA loop the other day. It's not about your super model skinny heroine.

5) The Rancher Takes a Bride (The Burnett Brides Book 1) - Sylvia McDaniel - The blurb for this one sounded kind of awesome, so I picked it. You know me, a sucker for a historical.

Okay, now go, be, read.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Feature - The Purple Heart by Christie A.C. Gucker


The Purple Heart
by Christie A.C. Gucker
Contemporary Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Categories: Inspirational, Military, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Pagan Writers Press
Release Date: February 22, 2013
Heat Level: Sizzling
Word Count/Length: 52,000 words/164 pages

Blurb
When does hiding the truth become an outright lie?

As an Army psychologist, Sydney Porter has heard her share of horror stories. The battle-scarred, down-trodden, and guilt-ridden have come to her office, seeking her help. When a highly decorated soldier is referred to her, she feels confident she can help heal his wounds. The chemistry between herself and Sergeant Aiden Thane is instantaneous. Sparks ignite and against her friend’s advice, she opens both her
home and her heart.

Torn between a voice of reason and her undeniable feelings, Sydney begins to question just what is hiding behind her lover’s decorated uniform. What secrets are hidden behind his Purple Heart?

And does she really want to know?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations (including multiple partners) and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

About the author
Christie A.C. Gucker lives in NJ with her husband, two daughters and a menagerie of pets. Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of her life. She has worked in the advertising industry for over 20 years as a degreed artist, but also works in the fine arts, especially sculpting out of stone or snapping photographs. Christie is also a singer and musician, and can be found singing on a few CDs.

After the death of her father, Christie searched for something to fill her desire to make a mark in this world. Her love of the arts and creativity allowed her to search for a new medium, which she found with a pen instead of a brush. Being an avid reader her whole life, and with her family cheering her on, she decided to take her shot, and began writing.

Christie is fascinated by the supernatural and sharks, and studies both avidly. You’ll be sure to find something spooky lurking somewhere in her stories. Her greatest joy is sitting on a beach with her family while surf fishing, flying kites or building sandcastles with her girls.

Christie is on FOUR Amazon Best Selling Lists: Romance, Short Story Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Connect with Christie A.C. Gucker

Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author's Page | AuthorDB

Click HERE to see Christie's other blog stop and enter her giveaway!
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Monday, July 8, 2013

I Don't Feel Like Talking to You

I'd rather be playing Angry Birds in Space right now, but that's not really on the agenda.

Because I don't feel like talking to you, there's this.

From The Heckmasters - Wystan.

 Wystan glared. “I can paint five times faster than you and still do a better job than the sorry attempt you're trying to pass off.”
“Doubt it,” Tell muttered.
He knew a ploy when he saw one. They'd get out of the heat sooner with another set of helping hands. Rhia would likely be pleased by the gesture too. He imagined her smile and the way her eyes lit up when she was happy.
“I'll do it, but someone owes me dinner as payment for my painting expertise.”
Expertise. Oh, thank God, we've got Wystan on our crew now. We'd be lost without him,” Tell muttered. “We ought to be grateful his expertise only costs us the price of dinner.”
Eban smirked. “All right, Mr. Expert. Let's see you finish a wall by yourself and we'll talk dinner.”
Wystan ignored them, painting in silence for several minutes. He cleared his throat. “Do either of you remember the last time there a flower grew here?”
“Like a thistle?” Tell scratched his eyebrow, leaving a red smudge amid the dark hairs. “Some kind of weed?”
“There were still some left for Mom's funeral.” Eban dropped his brush into a paint can. “Pretty sure they all withered right after. Why?”
“I saw one growing by the fountain.” He'd stayed awake last night, debating whether he ought to tell them about it. There didn't seem to be any harm in mentioning he'd seen one. Especially because he'd just come from the fountain and amazingly enough, the flower was still there.
Eban and Tell stared like he'd announced they were going to walk on the moon.
“I'm serious.”
“Show us.”
“It's right in front of the angel. Anybody with eyes and half a brain could see it.” He didn't want to walk back down there in the heat.
Tell wiped his hands on his pants and walked away from the schoolhouse. Eban followed.
“Guess we're going to see a stupid flower,” Wystan muttered under his breath.
He half-believed he'd imagined it and getting his brothers to study it would confirm he hadn't lost his mind. He didn't want to seem too eager. Who knew what it meant, a flower growing in town after all this time?
They marched toward the fountain, a row of Heckmasters who probably looked as though they were going to face off a monster instead a tiny plant. They gathered around the fountain, carefully avoiding the angel's disapproving gaze.
“Yep. That's a flower,” Tell said.
“Where did it come from?” Eban touched on of its tiny green leaves.
“No idea. I saw it yesterday and I came back to see if it had died today.”
“Seems to be doing well. Right under the angel's eyes. Hmm.” Tell shifted his weight, folded his arms over his chest and continued to stare at the purple blossom. “What kind is it?”
“Maybe it's been dormant this whole time. It happens,” Eban said. “Or a bird could've carried the seed here. I'd say it's evening primrose, but it ought to be closed up right now. They usually bloom when the sun starts to go down.”
“Hence evening. Thanks for clearing that up,” Tell grumbled.
Wystan rolled his eyes. “Knock it off. At least he has a guess.”
“What do we do about it?” Eban asked.
“Nothing. Leave it be. There might be others, or it might be a one-time thing.”
Tell frowned. “What if someone tries to pick it?”
“You could stand guard over it and shoot the people who try to pick Berner's only flower.” Eban elbowed Tell.
Tell shoved him. “Wys said knock it off, remember?”
They were no better than they'd been when they were young. Wystan sighed. “Children, play nice.”
“But really, should we tell everyone?” Eban straightened and became serious again. “Seems like a shame to keep it to ourselves.”
Wystan rubbed his eyes. “It's bound to die soon. Maybe no one will notice it, but if someone does, they're going to want answers we can't give them.”
“You aren't saying we should pick it, are you?” Eban looked horrified.
“It's a flower, not a baby,” Wystan growled.
Tell stared it again and Wystan wondered if he was trying to read it like he had so many demons.
“No, I think we should tell them. We haven't seen an honest-to-God flower in years. It's call for a celebration.”
“That's the dumbest thing I've heard since you two decided to paint the schoolhouse.”

“You can just sit in the jail while the rest of us have some fun then.” Tell smiled at the flower, as though he shared a secret with it. “Yep. A party.”

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spotlight/Excerpt- Promise Me (Promise Me Series #1) by Tara Fox Hall

Book Title: Promise Me (Promise Me Series #1) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Pages: 233
Date Released: June 2012
Amazon ||  Lulu ||  Amazon UK || Smashwords || Barnes and Noble || Melange Books

Blurb
When young widow Sarelle McGarran finds the vampire Danial Racklan unconscious and hurt in her woods, intuitive concern quickly becomes passionate love. Together Danial and Sar work to overcome their own past heartbreaks, their vastly different lifestyles, and Danial's relentless enemies. Yet Danial needs more; an Oath of forever. But can Sar give Danial his greatest desire?

Excerpt
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. But I want to be clear that I don’t expect you to give me money because we…because we’re—”
“Intimate?” he supplied with a leer. “Lovers?”
I blushed, glad my back was to him. “Yes,” I said curtly.
“It’s my feelings for you that make me offer. I understand you’re independent and used to taking care of yourself. But I want you to have an easier time of it than you had trying to go it alone. I want to take care of you. It’s your right, as befitting your station.”
“What station?”
“As my lover.” He nibbled the back of my neck, his hands sliding down my arms. “That is, if you still want to be.”
Did I ever. God, his lips felt good. I could feel little pricks where his fangs brushed against me...
Focus! “What about the shirt?”
Danial paused what he was doing. “What about it?”
“Did you take some of my life force? Did you deliberately try to seduce me with a spell to get me to feed you?”
He didn’t reply. I shifted back from the fire and made to get up, but he pulled me off balance and I went down, falling into his waiting arms. I struggled in vain as he rolled me over on the carpet and straddled me, holding both my arms over my head with one hand, while the other caressed my cheek. I fumed as I looked at him above me, his upper half silhouetted by the fire. His eyes sparkled, his face in shadow.
“Now, Sarelle,” he purred, “why would I need to seduce you to get you to feed me?”
He stretched down against me. I felt my body betray my anger as my breasts hardened and my breaths came faster.
“You gave me your blood when I was a stranger, willingly.” He leaned in closer as if to kiss me, but remained just out of reach. His dark eyes were locked on mine, filled with desire and familiar arrogance. He bent down to kiss my throat. “You gave yourself to me a night later, with no hesitation.”
His lips moved to the side of my throat. He ran a fang down my neck. I writhed, both in desire and a touch of fear.
“That was a dream. I knew it—”
“You knew nothing of the sort,” he said, his breath warm against my neck. He drew back and used his free hand to start unbuttoning my nightshirt.
“Stop,” I said, my breath tearing out of me.
“Stop what?” he said teasingly. “You want me, just like you have from the first moment you saw me. I can feel your body beneath mine, aching for me. Just as I’m aching for you.”
He continued unbuttoning my top.
“Stop screwing around! I need to know if you—”
“It was your fantasy. A predictable one,” he said, his hand on the next to last button. He paused to run that hand between my breasts, up to clasp my throat. “But I was never in control of you. I couldn’t feed from you—not that I didn’t try. You seemed so willing to let me. But I couldn’t draw any energy from you and I awoke hungry, almost ravenous.”
“Terian was right—”
His hand tightened on my throat. “Why are you so determined to be the victim? Nothing happened that you didn’t choose to happen.” He gave me a half smile, his eyes growing darker. He brought his hand back to my nightshirt and undid the last button. He pushed my shirt to each side, baring my breasts and my lower body as he gave me a slow savoring look. That nimble hand slid up to grip my neck loosely. I knew he could feel how fast my heart beat. “That you could resist and take control from me in the dream amazed me.” His voice was full of wonder and affection. “No one has ever been able to do that. Not with me. Not in three hundred and seventy-five years.”

About Tara Fox Hall
Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. Her writing credits include nonfiction short stories, flash, short and novella-length horror stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. Her horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Microhorror, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, and various anthologies, including the recently published charity works Fear (Vol. 1) and Shifters. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Visit her at:  www.tarafoxhall.com || Blog || Twitter || Facebook

Visit Tara's other blog stops all this month!
6/25-Smell Sheep
6/25-Tyf Snyder-wwwneverendingtbr.wordpress.com
6/25-Harmony Kent-www.harmonykent.wordpress.com
6/25-Mark Mackey-http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4901919.Mark_Mackey/blog
7/1-Regina May Ross-www.reginamayross.net
7/1-Lorraine Beaumont-www.lbeaumont.blogspot.com
7/2-Jerlyn Stone-www.jerlynstone.blogspot.com
7/2-Daid Bennett-www.freakyfictionmagazine.wordpress.com
7/2-Cheryl Wright-www.romance-authors.com
7/3-Allison Merritt-www.havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com
7/3-Lynelle Clark-www.authorslimelight.blogspot.com
7/4-Mark Knight-www.markknightbooks.wordpress.com
7/5-Natalie-Nicole Bates-www.natalienicolebates.blogspot.co.uk
7/5-Emily Guido-www.emilyguido.com
7/6-Ann Snizek-www.annsnizekauthor.blogspot.com
7/6-Sofia Diana Gabel-www.approachablefiction.blogspot.com
7/6-Danael McGuire-
7/7-Jo-Anne McLeary-www.strangecandyreviews.blogspot.com
7/8-Chris Redding-www.chrisreddingauthor.blogspot.com
7/8-Melissa Snow
7/8-Stella Wright-http://www.facebook.com/l/OAQGbK0TdAQGDTvMHtWcKT_hClA4LFFuUyGGF1nLsiyPMMw/stellawright.blogspot.in/
7/9-Melange Books- http://www.melange-books.com/authors/tarafoxhall/
7/10-Lisa Goldman-www.lisagoldman.weebly.com/blog.html
7/11-L.M. David-www.lmdavid54.wordpress.com
7/12-Susan Noble-www.susanleighnoble.wordpress.com
7/12-MaryLynn Bast-www.mlbast.com
7/13-Tessa Stokes-www.the-ruthin-trilogy.blogspot.com
7/14-K.R.Morrison-www.krmorrison325.wordpress.com
7/14-Len Phelps-www.asyouwishreviews.blogspot.com
7/15-Cheree Crump-www.confessionsoftheparanormal.blogspot.com
7/15-John Harper
7/18-Maria Catalina Egan-www.thebridgeofdeaths.com
7/19-Sabina Bundgaard-www.dangerousromance.com
7/20-Ann Snizek-www.annsnizekauthor.blogspot.com
7/21-Nora Weston-www.noraweston.wordpress.com
7/22-Mysti Parker-www.mystiparker.blogspot.com
7/23-You Gotta Read Reviews-www.yougottaread.com
7/24-Ivy Truitt-www.manicreaders.com/blog
7/24-Christina Mercer-
7/25-Amanda Masters-www.wiccawitch4.blogspot.com
7/26-Anthony Cowin-www.anthonycowin.com
7/27-Elodie Parkes-www.elodieparkes.blogspot.com
7/28-Hookedon Books-www.hookedonbooksuk.blogspot.co.uk/p/home.html