Thursday, October 30, 2014

Howloween Hop, Giveaway, and a Special Peek at Wystan (The Heckmasters)

Happy All Hallow's Eve eve!

I'm so glad you could join me for this Paranormal Romance Howloween blog hop with giveaways and a very special look at my newest release Wystan (The Heckmasters).

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and nothing thrilled me more than having a book release right before it. Wystan (The Heckmasters) is the first book in a paranormal/historical romance series about three half demon brothers in charge of making sure Hell doesn't break loose on earth.

The idea for the heroes actually came from a tombstone at a mall kiosk. It read 'HECKMASTER' and I thought, anyone buried with that tombstone has to be a badass. And the Heckmaster brothers were born.

Here's the blurb for Wystan:
Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.
Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff. The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit. about an excerpt?
Wystan rolled his toothpick from one side of his mouth to the other. Damn his hide if Rhia Duke wasn’t strolling along Berner’s streets as though she owned them. Her little sister was nowhere in sight and he hoped she was safe with Beryl. Of course, if Rhia couldn’t get it through her head that this wasn’t a safe town, maybe both of them deserved to get eaten by whatever crawled out of the Pit next.
He followed her at a distance, scowling when she headed for the angel statue. She examined it with interest, touching the stacked stones that formed the dried-up pool around it. Years ago, it had been flush with plant life and dragonflies, a school of minnows, and the occasional frog or turtle. The plants had long since turned to dust and he supposed the minnows had starved for oxygen as the water evaporated. All that remained was the angel, whose face looked more judgmental than omniscient.
Rhia sat in its shadow, lifting a hand to her brow and squinting out at the barren land beyond town. Was she thinking about leaving? The notion left him with a twinge of disappointment. One he shouldn’t feel, because there’d be a hell of a lot less trouble around here without her.
As though she sensed his thoughts, she turned without getting up. She didn’t smile when she spotted him. He picked his way across the street, moving with deliberate slowness, watching her mouth turn down a fraction at a time until he stood before her.
“Don’t you know better than to be out on the street right before sundown?”
“In civilized towns, people greet each other with pleasantries,” she said. “For example, you could say, ‘Lovely evening, isn’t it, Miss Duke?’ and I’d respond with, ‘A bit warm for my taste, Sheriff, but otherwise, a fine evening.’”
He knew where Sylvie got her sass. “Then I’d say something along the lines of, ‘Get your ass home, Rhia.’”
Perfectly shaped eyebrows drew together, creating a set of lines on her forehead. “And perhaps I’d say, ‘Mind your own business, Wystan.’”
A smile started to form on his lips, but he held it in. “As long as you’re in my town, your safety is my business. Can’t figure why you’d sit out here under this ugly thing, anyway.”
“I’m trying to figure out how it works. And why it looks so formidable. Why, you look jolly as Saint Nick compared to this statue.”
He remembered the stone lips curved in a smile, the way it looked as though it was offering its tears as a blessing for the downtrodden and disappointed. How coming here with his mother had been a comfort. He and Eban and Sandra had played in the statue’s shadow many a day while Tell toddled along behind them.
“Instead of toys, I deliver you from nightmares, but I’m serious. Sun’s setting and it’s time for you to move along.”
“Why are you so hateful all the time, Wystan? For the life of me, I can’t figure it out.”
She gazed up at him, the constellation of freckles blending together when she scrunched her nose.
“Because I don’t like to lose. And when people carelessly sit outside after they’ve been told and told to go inside, I see myself losing another one to Astaroth.”
Rhia looked away. “Your parents were the first. Father to Astaroth himself, your mother to the townspeople. And your sister. What happened to her?”
The peppermint flavor of the toothpick had dissolved, leaving a bitter aftertaste in his mouth. He spat the sliver of wood out. “I killed her. Happy?”
Shock melted the concern from her face, but it changed to pity after a few seconds.
“What did the prince of Hell do to her?”
“One of his minions put a parasite imp into her brain. The only way to save Sandra was to kill her.” The effort of saying the words left him weak. He avoided Rhia’s gaze, afraid of the sympathy he’d see in her eyes.
Her hand slid to his knee. The shift in contact made him jerk, but he couldn’t bring himself to pull away.
“It had to be you, didn’t it?”
He nodded. “Eban doesn’t have that kind of strength and Tell was too young then. It wasn’t but a couple of years after our parents. Out of all of us, I always thought she’d be the one who found a way to rid the world of Astaroth for good.”
“I wish I could have met her.” Rhia leaned closer. “You did the right thing. It wouldn’t have been fair to leave an imp inside her head.”
“The right thing?” He glanced at her, his anger building again. “I should have found a way to cure her.”
“What were you supposed to do, leave her tied up somewhere, maybe for years, until you had an answer?”
“Demons can change, Rhia, or haven’t you noticed the ones in this town? I could’ve talked it down, made it see that what it was doing was wrong.”
“Would it have abandoned her?”
“Yes.” No. He had no idea, and from the look on Rhia’s face, he knew she sensed his uncertainty.
“I hope I have the kind of strength you carry if it ever comes down to losing Sylvie that way. Or that she could do it for me.” Rhia drew her hand away. “I’m sorry you’ve lost so much, Wystan, but I hope your ability to love and let go weren’t compromised for good.”
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you have magic of your own.” He looked at the ground between his boots.
“What makes you say that?” Her nose scrunched again.
He wished she was plainer, had more fear. He wished he didn’t feel attracted to her. “I haven’t talked about Sandra in a long time.”
“It’s good to get your feelings out. I don’t think she’d like knowing her brother turned into a grumpy old man.”
“Old?” Wystan sat up straighter. “By demon standards, I’m a baby.”
He thought the mention of his parentage might cause her to back away, but she didn’t move, except to smile. It was the sort of smile that made a man forget about vengeance and the losses he’d suffered. The kind that eased long-festering pain.

Now, what about a giveaway?!
From me, your lovely hostess:
I'll be giving away a copy of Wystan (The Heckmasters) and a $5 Amazon gift card. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment and your email address, pretty please.

From the hop organizer Jane Wakely:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And make sure you visit the other authors for more chances to win great prizes!

Happy Halloween, may the goblins and ghoulies pass by your door!

Thanks to Web Weaver for the Halloween clip art

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How a Viking Saved My Writing Life

There's something I've wanted to admit for a while now, but I can never quite find the words I needed to say it. It's hard to admit we have flaws, even though we have plenty.

Sometimes I get really depressed. It feels like a gray abyss that's impossible to break through. Actually, I once read some fan fiction in which a character was depressed and he described his feelings as living in a dark room with no windows and doors and no way out. That's what it's like.

I'm not depressed today (at least, I don't think I am. I wrote this post in advance of what I'm about to share with you, so past me is feeling pretty good about herself). In fact, I've had a superb October, which is great and I hope to carry those good feelings with me to get through November. You know I hate November.

I finished the semi-sekrit project I've been hinting at. It's a historical romance about Vikings. I've never written anything like this and I never imagined I would. I have to remind you, saying 'I will never' is the wrong thing to say and do, because you just might someday actually do what you said you wouldn't. I didn't say I'd never write Viking romance, but I sure never gave it much thought until one day this happened:

I didn't post that to Facebook. I thought about it. I hated myself for typing various forms of the same words. Posting it meant I was admitting to failure (that first tab is a Google search for 'What to Do When You Fail').

I was struggling with a contemporary romance, struggling with Tell, struggling with another historical romance even though I'd finished my Jano book and written my novella for the Cowboy Up set. I was treading water, but I was sinking fast. The sharks were circling and the captain had already lost sight of her ship.

I couldn't find the words I needed to make another novel happen. Around February this year, I started keeping a motivational quote board on Pinterest. I'd been doing it for writing advice and motivation for a while, but this time it was all about reasons you should keep going. It's here if you're interested. I like reading quotes about how I'm stronger than I think I am. I like finding hope in the words others have shared. I kept going back to them and the ones on my writing advice board (which is here), hoping I'd find what I needed to get me back on track. So I'm sharing some of the quotes from my Don't Worry board that moved me along with the story about how why the Viking novel came to be.

I found the quote by Tyler Knott Gregson on Pinterest and it struck home because I love writing. When I'm not doing it, I'm thinking about it, about how to begin a new book or keep the middle flowing or how to write the perfect ending. Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about it, it becomes overwhelming. If I don't write faster, I hate myself. If I don't writer stronger, I'm afraid I'll forget everything I learned. If I don't get it right the first time, then I'm afraid I'll never get to the ending. During August and the beginning of September, I forgot how to swim. All I could do was obsess about what I wasn't doing. I decided I wasn't doing the contemporary romance or the historical romance. I have to finish Tell because I love him deeply and he deserves to have his story told. It's just a matter of when the time feels right.

Shortly after the announcement that almost cancelled my writing career (or the depression that  threatened it anyway), I just opened up a document in Open Office and started writing about this Scottish girl who got abducted by Vikings after they sacked her village. What did I know about Vikings? Um...practically nothing. It took over four hours to write the first chapter. What do I know about most of the things I start writing about? Practically nothing. So a lot of research was involved. I'm still scared that I might be really, really wrong about some things.

I sent it to my critique partner, D'Ann Lindun and told her flat-out, I have no idea what I'm doing, I don't write this stuff. And you know what? She didn't say, Geez, you're right, you don't write this, stop right now! She encouraged me to keep writing it. So I did. And with every word, I felt a little better. With every sentence I felt braver. With every paragraph, I fell in love with writing all over again. With every page, I stopped worrying about what everyone else thought and I wrote for me.

In September, at ORAcon, I pitched it. It wasn't even half finished. I told the editor I was planning it as a novella and I told her I suck at pitching and I read word for word from the index cards I had meticulously written out the night before. Because if a Scottish girl abducted by Vikings could become their queen, I could read from cards. And she liked the pitch. And then I felt like I was really on to something. "You're sure you can get all that into 30,000 words?" she asked. I said yes, because I needed something quick, I needed something to get me jazzed for NaNo in November, it was a fun project and I knew I could do it.

Hmm...imagine my surprise when 25k came around and I had no ending in sight. Better still, when 35k rolled past ending. Then I decided it would probably run into novel-length. Who am I to tell the characters to shut up when they're leading the way? I'm just a pen monkey who's grateful for every word they offer. At least they weren't shutting me out like characters in other books have.

They were making me feel, believe, hunger for the perfect ending. And for the first time in who knows when, something that really mattered to me, something that I believed in came to life on the page. I'm not saying the other things I worked on this year aren't worth the effort that went into them. I love everything I've done this year, but for the first time in a long time, I don't feel like I was fighting my way upstream in a flood. Those are the truly important works. If they're not so important for everyone else, they at least bring the comfort of knowing I worked on something for myself. I'm not broken, just a little bent, but Vikings helped me hammer out the flaw of doubt and worry. Today, I'm happy that I've finished a novel I never imagined writing.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

All the Good Book Things

Whew! What a week. In case you missed it:

Wystan (The Heckmasters) came out on Tuesday.

The Cowboy Up box set hit #1 on Amazon in the US. We'd already reached #1 in the UK and Canada.

And The Convict and the Cattleman and The Wrong Brother's Bride are now in paperback.

You can get any and all of those things by visiting my Book page.

What a rush.

I also hit 40k on my WIP last night. This novella was only supposed to be 30k. The characters just keep talking and talking, so I'm not going to try to curb them. I don't think it's useless prattle, at least all of it currently seems relevant to the story. It will probably take another 10k to wrap up now. I was really, really trying to have it finished before NaNoWriMo, but I'm not certain that's going to happen what with 9 days left before November 1st. Curse of the pantser.

My favorite part of the writing process is how the story unfolds like a movie in my head. Then it's like I suddenly figure out where the movie is going, and in this WIP, it's absolutely devastating. Every time I come up with another plot twist it's like--oh God, I can't believe that's going to happen!

Stay tuned, because I have more Wystan promo coming up. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, which ends at 12 am October 31st.

UPDATE: I got an email early this morning from last night (10/23) that we hit #1 in Australia too. Bless you, Down Under. I heart you so hard.

Monday, October 20, 2014


I owe you all some ghost hunting photos from Friday night. They're forth-coming, never fear. It was a fun experience and I'll tell you all about it soon. Definitely worth going to.

In other news, I kind of thought I'd be finished with my sooper sekrit project by now. I really meant to have that thing done by end of last week. My plans were foiled by this and that and now I'm still going, frack, it's not done yet? Which is bad, because I asked one of my critique groups if they'd like to critique it next month. Write, fingers, write harder! Also, what with NaNo coming up, gee, it sure would be nice to have that done so I could start afresh on Tell's book.

I may have sort of, kind of brought in a character in the sooper sekrit project who could potentially create a situation that would give life to a second sooper sekrit project. We'll see.

I also sent off Eban edits yesterday. Parts of it were oh, that's easy to fix and parts were like, geez, I'm so dumb, it should hurt to be that stupid. That's pretty much how editing goes for me anyway, so it's nothing new. They weren't particularly painful edits and I'm super grateful for that.

Since I didn't get you any orb-y/ghost-y photos, I did get you one of this monkey. It looks vulgar. You have to excuse my dirty mind. Or maybe you don't.

"Love us. In more ways than one."
Don't forget, tomorrow is release day for Wystan (The Heckmasters)! You can still pre-order it right now and it will be delivered to your e-reading device in the morning! I have a couple of posts scheduled for tomorrow. If you follow along on my FB page, you'll be given links to see them. You know you want to.

Get Wystan at one of these places:  Samhain || Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Google Play|| Kobo || ARe

Friday, October 17, 2014

Getting to Know You - The Bad Guys

Good grief, it's already Friday. Actually, wahoo! It's already Friday!

You should know, I got the first round of edits on Eban (The Heckmasters) this week and, kids, it's going to be brilliant by the time it's done. I promise.

Today, I'm going to introduce you to the bad guys in Wystan (The Heckmasters).

Major players:
Noem - He's ugly, he's mean, he wants everyone and everything in Berner, New Mexico Territory dead. Charged with wiping the Heckmasters off the face of the earth, he once tried to make Swiss cheese out of Wystan before he was driven away. He's back and in a form you might not except. With reasons beyond revenge that totally make sense once you read the book. You can try to kill him, but this sucker just keeps going like a demonic Energizer Bunny.

Here's a little something-something about everyone's favorite territorial demon lord: “Tell wounded Noem, yes. But he has the favor of Astaroth and with it the power to change forms. He’s been residing in Nebraska where he wasn’t likely to incur another taste of Heckmaster steel. Not until he had enough power to face you again.”

Astaroth - The current crowned prince of Hell, Astaroth wants the Heckmasters dead, dead, dead, and deader. They're standing between him and the total domination of the world. He's got his panties in a bunch because their father used the last of his demon superpowers to lock Astaroth inside the Pit, a portal to Hell, which has a transparent, shiny-green bubble of divine fire across it. Only lesser demons can get through. Astaroth is continually testing the boundaries of the divine fire. His best hope for breaking free of it is to turn the Heckmasters toward their true callings as demons. Will he succeed? Let's hope not.

Wys on the crowned prince: "One of these days, Astaroth is going to send something worse. It’s going to take everything we’ve got to hold it back. One of those seals breaks, we’re doomed. Not just us, but the whole damned world."

Lesser demons:
Parasite imps - There's not much description of these ickies in the book, but you should know they're long, white, worm-like, and they will crawl into your head and take over your body so Astaroth will have some minions. If you get parasite imps, congratulations, you're either going to serve Hell or the Heckmasters are going to severe your head. Believe me, you want the latter to happen. Characters who've been turned by parasite imps: Sandra Heckmaster. Her death was not pretty.

Wys is less than thrilled about the idea of anyone having parasite imps, since his sister's death really tore him up. "‘Let’s take in strangers of questionable origin and put them up. Please, come right in. Start a school, make friends with our hellspawn neighbors, infect their young with whatever diseases you’re carrying’—which, for all we know, are parasite imps. We could be infected right now and neither of us would know it!”

Changesteeds - It's like a moose from Hell. With jagged, uneven teeth, sloping shoulders, bulging eyes, and pointed ears. They're adept at mimicking human voices. Don't trust little Susie calling you from the other room. You take that Holy Water with you when you follow her voice, okay? Their jaws are quite powerful and capable of wrenching your arms off your body before they devour you and pick their teeth with your bones. Or that's what they would do, if they had apposable thumbs.

To quote Wystan: "[Changesteeds] will lure you in with a familiar voice or a sound and you’ll be dead before you know it. They’re bigger and they shift forms. Might look like a horse, or deer, but they’re not so innocent."

Barghests - Slower than changesteeds, but they have big claws and teeth. Another name for them is devil dogs. They have matted striped fur and pointed ears. Remember how I said changesteeds would pick their teeth with your bones? With a barghest, there won't be any bones left over. They're sort of the jackals of the demon world.

To which Wystan would say, "Big claws, big teeth, and they always go for the throat."

There you have it, a brief introduction to some of the baddies in the Heckmaster world. Oh, yeah, there are more, lots more, but you can discover them inside the book.

Pre-order it now at any of these fine locations so you'll be ready to meet everyone on October 21st!
Pre-order at: Samhain || Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Google Play|| Kobo || ARe

Don't forget to enter the contest for an ecopy of Wystan (The Heckmasters) and a $10 Amazon giftcard. The deadline for the contest is coming up!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Feature & Giveaway - Remember By Moonlight by Nancy Gideon

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 13, 2014
Length: 324 Pages
Buy it at: Amazon

About the book:
Because the road to . . . 
Clever, cool and preternaturally lethal, Max Savoie is leader of a secretive shape-shifter clan, heir to a mobster’s legacy, and the love of New Orleans’  top cop . . . but he can’t remember any of them.  The only way to recover his past, and his rightful place in the arms of the woman who risked all to save him, is to surrender to a mysterious visitor who could use him as a weapon against all he’d loved.

Happily-Ever-After . . . 
After rescuing her mate from his ruthless captors in the North, hard-hitting Detective Charlotte Caissie is now painfully vulnerable—a stranger in his eyes . . . and in his bed.  The key to his memories is locked in a tortuous past.  To reclaim the strength of their passionate bond, Max must learn to trust her enough to face that darkness at her side before the threat it hides exposes the secret Cee Cee carries.

Is never smooth. 
When an investigation into grisly deaths in an underground Shifter fight club points to more than just dangerous clan rivalries, Cee Cee enlists Max’s help to find a traitor in their midst while there’s still time to turn a deadly invading tide. But the cost of saving their treasured future may mean sacrificing his past. Especially when the enemy they pursue  . . . might be Max, himself.

The bare wall of windows let in the lights of the city against an ink-black sky, silhouetting a solitary figure. Her throat clutched as she recalled the first time she’d seen him there when the building was still a metal skeleton, toeing the edge of the beam, his dark coat billowing behind him like the wings of a fallen angel. His pose was no less dramatic now, sleek, dark and solitary as he stared out into the night.

Cee Cee bit down on her initial impulse to demand where he’d been, knowing her panic would shine through. No pressure. Don’t push. Give him space. Her restraint was rewarded by the quiet murmur of his voice.

“I didn’t mean to wake you. Giles and I were going through the books at LEI, and time got away from us. There’s so much I need to learn if I’m to maintain the masquerade of knowing who I am. I apologize if you were worried.”

He’d been with Giles at Legere Enterprises International tending his inherited ill-gotten and now nearly legal gains. All anxieties addressed and answered. She relaxed.

She could tell by his hesitation that there was more he wanted to say, so she remained silent and let him work up to it. Still, his question took her by surprise.

“What was that this morning?”

“I had a very busy morning. Be more specific.”

“Between us.”

Specific as a heart attack. No use tiptoeing around it.

“We’ve had a sort of psychic connection since we bonded.” Thankfully, he didn’t ask her to explain that process. “We can get inside each other’s heads.”

He had yet to look toward her. She didn’t need a psychic bond to feel him locking down tight to prevent her unauthorized entry.

“How does it work?” How can I stop it? That’s what he really wanted to know.

“I’m not sure. We share thoughts, feelings, dreams.”

“All the time?” Oh, such wariness in that simple question. So Max.

“No. Of course not. It’s not something we’ve explored. It happens rarely, in times of stress or when we . . .”

Have sex. That dropped between them like a ticking bomb.

“Don’t worry,” she concluded, tone brittle. “I knock before I come in, and wait for permission.”

He turned slowly to face her.

The past months of anxiety and fear fell away as she stared at him, heart seizing. Here was the Max Savoie she’d fallen helplessly in love with against all her best intentions. Impeccably dressed, the lines of a designer suit skimming his long, lean and lethal frame, the toes of his athletic shoes peeping from beneath tailored slacks in sassy juxtaposition.

Darkness and shadow carved out features too rough and bold to be handsome, yet too compelling to be ignored. Unblinking eyes, as pale and green as the still waters of the bayou, shone with an eerie intensity from beneath an uncompromising line of heavy brows and unruly black hair nearly tamed by a stylishly short cut. Faint stubble shaded the set of his rugged jaw, lending a harshly dangerous air to his outward sophistication.

He was thuggishly elegant, graceful yet seething with raw power, aloof and still undeniably fascinating. Legere’s enigmatic enforcer turned influential businessman and philanthropist. Traumatized orphan child who’d polarized a group of frightened misfits into a tight community family. Everything she’d ever wanted.

She’d worried over him, missed him, needed him but until this moment, when the unexpected mention of sex reared its wicked head, Cee Cee hadn’t realized just how long she’d gone without the physical side of their relationship. Seeing him standing there fit and fine, wreathed in stillness and mystery, so tempting, so inviting, a fever hot dream personified, her body burned until only a fire extinguisher could cool her intention of coaxing him back into an intimate bed.

Until he spoke.

“How is this possible, you being a human?”

It was her turn to hold back behind silence.

His eyes narrowed into long cautious slits. “What are you, Detective? What makes you different?” What makes you dangerous to me? was tacitly implied.

“I’m like you. I’m more.”

About the Author:
Nancy Gideon is the author of over 55 novels ranging from Regencies, historicals and contemporary suspense to dark paranormal romance, with a couple of horror screenplays thrown into the mix.  When not at the keyboard or working full time as a legal assistant in Southwest Michigan, she can be found feeding her addictions for Netflix and all things fur, feather and fin, enjoying Grammy time (usually watching The Avengers), and meeting new friends and readers through her GoodReads “Nancy Gideon by Moonlight” group. Her books can also be found under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings.

Nancy’s Website || Blog || Goodreads By Moonlight Group || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads || Google+ || Pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See her other stops with By The Book Tours here.

And don't miss out:
The doors will be open for Nancy’s 4th annual Haunted Open House from October 27th through October 31st. As an extra Trick-or-Treat surprise, Nancy will be hosting Nancy Gideon’s Haunted Open House Giveaway Blog Hop. The Linky Signup is below!

Bring visitors to your blog doorstep and invite them in to hear about your biggest Halloween scare, enjoy your list of favorite scary books, movies, video games or TV shows, see a picture of you decked out in your all-time favorite Halloween costume, or any other fun Halloween-related post. Then provide them with the chance of winning a Trick-or-Treat giveaway. It can be anything from a gift card, a free book, or even your favorite Halloween sounds effects CD. Be sure to provide the link to send them on to ring the doorbell at the next blog stop. Winners will be announced on Halloween!

Join in to help make this a Spooktacular event!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Getting to Know You - The Dukes & Miss Brookshier + A Bonus Character

We're starting a new week and we're closer to the release of Wystan (The Heckmasters) than any other point ever in history. Today, I want to tell you about the ladies of The Heckmasters series. Please, meet:

Rhia Duke - She's the oldest Duke and dedicated to taking care of her little sister. She's made some bad choices about employment in the past and now she's on the run. When she sees an ad in the newspaper for a teaching position in tiny Berner, New Mexico Territory, she thinks she can escape her past. She can't know that she's just traded big trouble for bigger trouble. She and Wys are at odds immediately--he doesn't want her there and she has nowhere else to go. She may seem like a stuffy little teacher, but Rhia is also an expert shot with her trusty Springfield rifle. And super protective of her sister and her friends.

Meet Rhia:
He put his hands on his hips. “Rumor has it Eban’s courting you. Or tried to.”
The shovel hit a rock and jarred her. It almost fell out of her grip. She grasped the handle hard and willed herself to be calm. “Where did you hear that?”
“Tell’s spreading the story.”
“What!” Rhia tightened her hold on the shovel, wishing it was Tell’s neck. “Why would he do that?”
“Settle down. He only told me. I couldn’t get a word about it out of Eban. Which leads me to believe you don’t want to be courted.” He shifted his weight to his other leg and gave her a look so penetrating, she shivered.
“Schoolteachers don’t marry. I need this work. Without it, Sylvie and I will starve.”
“He has money, Rhia. You wouldn’t go hungry and barefoot with Eban for a husband.”
She glared at him and pushed the image of Wystan’s roving hands out of her mind. “For a man who’s trying to talk me into seeking his brother’s affections, you were certainly friendly the other day.”

Sylvie Duke - Sassy and never shy, Sylvie is about the only reason Rhia keeps going. She's a smartypants, a serious student, but always up for mischief. It's no wonder she's drawn to Tell and he to her. She doesn't have a huge role in Wystan, and she's totally useless when it comes to demon slaying, but she's still an important part of the series as a magnet for trouble.

Meet Sylvie:
“I was out all morning hunting a pair of barghests. Pie and schoolhouses were the last things on my mind.” Wystan dropped into a chair at a table across from them.
Sylvie took Rhia’s hand under the table. “Sheriff, Miss Lois still has plenty of dessert. Eban was just teasing.”
Wys offered her a faint smile. “I know all his tricks, Sylvie. I’ve got my eye on him.”
“Did you catch the barghests? Can I see them?” Sylvie leaned forward as though searching Wystan for any signs of damage he’d sustained in a fight. “Rhia told me about them so I wouldn’t be scared. I’d be less scared if you let me look at one. I’ll bet you’re a real good sheriff and you’ll make sure we’re safe.”
Wystan’s eyebrows rose almost to his hairline. “I didn’t keep the carcasses—er, bodies. Maybe another time.”

Beryl Brookshier - A mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a...sorry, I forget how that rest of that goes. Beryl is a woman Rhia and Sylvie picked up along the trail. She can't remember her background, can't tell anyone where she's been or what she's been up to. At the beginning of the book, she has pleurisy, which keeps her out of the majority of the story. She also has a bigger secret--she's possessed. Eban vows to help rid her of the demon--one he conveniently witholds the truth about. She's in love with him almost from the minute she meets him. Obvs, she's the heroine of his book. When she's not bedridden and frail, the demon riding around in her head takes over and wields a mean hatchet that used to belong to the Heckmaster sister, Sandra.

Cassandra Heckmaster - What? There's a Heckmaster sister? Um, duh. Who do you think put that name curse on Tell? Damn him for being an adorable baby who took away her parents' love. Or, at least that's what she thought he was going to do. She was born between Wys and Eban and was the sensible one who decided they had to take over their father's role as protectors of Berner and the world. She's the one who procured the weapons for them, although it meant owing a debt to a demon prince. Unfortunately, while fighting for the innocent, she was possessed by a parasite imp. Her life didn't end well.

Meet Sandra:
On the lip of the fountain, where he’d first kissed Rhia, Sandra trailed her fingers through the water. She smiled, but didn’t look up. In profile, Wystan saw she hadn’t changed. She was still the fifteen-year-old version of herself, a shadow of his past. He tensed, waiting for the moment she transformed into something else.
“Sit with me, Wys. We don’t have much time.”
Sandra shook her hand, sending water droplets flying. She smiled at him in a way that made her look luminous. Long brown hair framed her face and fell over her shoulders. Blue eyes sparkled with joy. She managed to look both prim and slightly mischievous as she waited for him to join her.
“What is this? A trick or a dream?”
For a moment, she looked hurt. “Neither. I know it’s difficult to accept. No one wants to at first. This is a holding stage before death, big brother.”
He grappled with her words. “I’m dead?”
Pity softened the joy on her face. “Not quite.”
Confusing and not helpful. “If you’re really my sister, tell me something Sandra would know.”
She lowered her gaze. “I stole the Lesser Key of Solomon from our father days before Tell was born. It’s my fault we can’t say his true name. My fault his demon side can’t be banished and mustn’t be called.”

There you go, the all-important ladies of Berner. Look for my next blog post, about the bad guys of Berner. And don't forget to pre-order Wystan (The Heckmasters).

Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.
Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff. The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

Pre-order at: Samhain || Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Google Play|| Kobo || ARe

Enter the giveaway for a copy of Wystan (The Heckmasters) and a $10 Amazon giftcard!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 10, 2014

Getting to Know You - The Heckmasters

From the cover of Wystan (The Heckmasters), you learn two things: 1) The hero's name is Wystan Heckmaster and 2) there's obviously more than one Heckmaster in town.

Today, for the sake of calarity, let's discuss those crazy characters that make up the Heckmaster clan and the women who potentially love them.

Wystan Heckmaster - The eldest son of Seneca and Gloria Heckmaster, the first in a line of forbidden children between a demon and a human woman. Wys is the self-proclaimed sheriff and head honcho in Berner, New Mexico Territory. He fights demons, denying his heritage and the part of him that wants to join in with the demon lords who want to bring Hell to Earth. He believes it's his duty to pick up where his father left off, protecting the world against the big bad uglies that come out of the Pit, a gate that's mostly sealed--although lesser demons break through often enough--opened by Astaroth, one of the many princes of Hell. The human part of him almost wishes he could have a normal life, but he's pretty good about telling that part of himself to shut up, because he doesn't think it will ever happen.

Wystan carries a silver-bladed bowie knife as his choice weapon for beheading demons.

Let's meet Wys at one of his lower points:
"What if someone somewhere missed her and came looking?”
She stood a little straighter. “No one would. Besides Sylvie and Beryl. We’re alone.”
“Rhia.” Eban gave a minute shake of his head. A warning, but it wouldn’t do any good, mad as Wystan was.
He turned to her. “Were you even thinking? How old is your sister? Who’s going to look out for her if a—if you get killed?”
She drew back, inching closer to Eban. “I didn’t know going to the outhouse was cause for a disaster. It’s”—she looked embarrassed—“natural. When you have to visit the facilities, you go.”
“Not in Berner!”

Ebaneezer (Eban) Heckmaster - The middle brother. He wants to get in touch with his human side even more than Wystan. He went to school for a couple of years to become a doctor and hates killing demons, even though he will when it's called for. Unlike his brothers, he's seldom armed, but when he is, he carries a saber with a silver blade and jeweled hilt. He's most like his mother, a more gentle person, but watch out, because when his temper goes, his demon side really shows. He's extremely loyal--except when one of his brothers pisses him off.

So meet Eban:
“Did you by chance check them?”
“What was I supposed to say? ‘Let me check behind your ears for nodules, seemingly healthy human woman’?” All pretenses of a well-educated, charming young doctor faded from Eban’s manner. He mimicked Wystan’s tone. “‘You might have parasite imps, and if that’s the case, I’ll have to behead you. Hold still, it will only hurt for a second.’ Jesus, Wys.”

And watch for Eban (The Heckmasters) coming in April 2015!

Tell Heckmaster - The most important thing you should know about Tell is that isn't his given name. The victim of a name curse when he was a baby, Tell's real name can't be spoken because it will invoke a demon so powerful, no one knows how to stop it. Years of searching have revealed nothing about how to remove the curse. In spite of the fact that Tell's a potential murdering demon psychopath, he's the fun-loving, devil-may-care brother. His weapon of choice is a crossbow with silver bolts, but he also favors a little silver dagger for tight spots. Tell is often the glue holding the Heckmasters together.

Meet Tell:
“Since when are we taking in newcomers?”
“Eban made me do it.”
“I leave for a week and you open the gates. No wonder Astaroth is doubling up on the lessers.” Tell studied Rhia as though he could see through her head. “What about the parasites?”
She shot Wystan a questioning look.
“Eban said they’re clean. All of them.”
“All? More than two? Are we running a convent here?” Tell stood and shoved his plate at Wystan. “Eban, our brother Ebaneezer I-Hate-Violence Heckmaster talked you, Wystan I-Kill-Demons-in-My-Sleep Heckmaster into letting humans stay in town?”

Monday, meet the ladies of The Heckmasters series only and exclusively on Have Novel, Will Edit. I know you're practically peeing yourselves with excitement, but let's don't rush Monday, okay?

Until then, pre-order Wystan (The Heckmasters) and get ready for a demon-packed thrill ride.

Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.
Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff. The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

Pre-order at: Samhain || Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Google Play || Kobo || ARe

Enter the giveaway for a copy of Wystan (The Heckmasters) and a $10 Amazon giftcard!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Feature - Say Hello to Kinky Toes! by Suz deMello (#footfetish #kinkysex @fetlife @MFRW_ORG)

Suzie’s latest is a departure from her usual “sugar” BDSM offerings—it’s straight-out kinky, being the romance between a foot fetishist and an upscale shoe designer. But Shelbie and Rick are a match made in some crazy stiletto heaven.

Here’s the blurb:

Genre: contemporary kink romance

Shelbie Nathanson resents Rick Saldano's ascension to C.O.O. of her family's shoe company, a job she's wanted all her life. But she can't resist his red-hot, sexy style of lovemaking... one that focuses on her passion: shoes.

And here’s a snippet to pique your interest:

In the cab, Shelbie became even more aware of Rick, if that were possible. He was big. Not fat, but solid, sizable, with broad shoulders and an obviously muscular body beneath his suit. She couldn’t help sneaking a peek at his crotch. The suit’s fabric had pulled tight as he sat, tight enough that she could guess that six-foot-two Rick’s body parts were proportional.

Her mood had definitely changed.

He leaned closer, hesitated the tiniest fraction of a second before he brushed his lips against her cheek. Shocked, she jerked away, but he didn’t move, his gaze still pinned to hers.

She didn’t move either. The air felt thick, as though the very atmosphere were holding her in place. They sat staring at each other until the cabbie harrumphed. “Where to, folks?”

After giving the cabbie an address she didn’t recognize, Rick didn’t say anything during the cab ride. Rigid with a tension she couldn’t define, Shelbie didn’t have a word to say either, not even when he picked up one of her feet and rested it in his lap, atop his very substantial hard-on. She wiggled her foot and the stiletto heel slid across the bulge in his pants.

He sighed, so she did it again. Then again. He clamped his lips tight shut, apparently stifling a groan as his erection swelled even more.

He slid one finger along the exposed arch of her foot. It didn’t feel ticklish, exactly, but was tingly, the kind of tingle her pussy liked.

He inserted his finger into her toe cleavage. The spot between the big toe and the next was tiny, smaller than his index finger. His abrupt thrust hurt a little, and Shelbie had a mad vision of the time when she’d lost her virginity. Her pussy had been too small for the tool her then-boyfriend had wielded.

She had that same feeling now, an ache as something big intruded into her body’s smaller space. She tried to pull away but he persisted, twisting his finger until he’d pushed in as far as her shoe would allow.

He sawed his finger in and out and she bit down on her lower lip to avoid moaning aloud. She flung her head back, panting as he rotated his finger.

They arrived outside a row of brownstones near the park. He slipped his finger out of her toe cleavage and gave her foot a squeeze. An awkwardness she hadn’t felt since teenage sex overcame her as she dropped her feet to the cab’s floor. Rick paid the fare, ushered her out of the taxi and into the building...his building, she supposed.

The moment they were alone in the elevator, she sprang at him and pressed her lips against his. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tight as his tongue invaded her mouth. She sucked at him hard, shoving her hands into his hair. He tasted and felt divine.

Her body was aflame, all light and heat, and he picked her up as though she were made of insubstantial fire, weighing nothing...

Like what you read? There’s more! Buy the short story at:

About Suzie:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

Find Suzie’s books here: (publisher’s site)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Deliciously Horrific Just in Time for Halloween

I'm in the mood for Halloween. Last Friday I had my first spiced caramel apple cider from Starbucks and it was the most fantastic mouth party ever. Maybe not ever-ever, but so good it should have been illegal. The days are certainly getting shorter (to my dismay--it's now dark when I get up and that makes it incredibly hard to get out of bed), the wind is nippier, and the sun blares through my office window in the afternoons with the intent to blind me.

I love Halloween, but I wish it was earlier in the year.

Today, I thought it would be fun to share some creepy things you can buy on Etsy. I mean, it's not Halloween without proper decorations. Let's explore, shall we?

1) This'll get those pesky kids off your lawn in no time. Made to order Voodoo juju stick. Only $220.00

2) I caution you to click this link at your own risk. It makes me want to vomit. Way to ruin a perfectly good cup of tea with a slimy little monster. Octosapien in a Teacup. Make your guests run away crying for only $95.00

3) This stuffed cat. You can see that it wants to eat you by the dead look in its eyes and the number of teeth it has, but at the same time, I just laugh and laugh because despite it's obvious hatred of the world, it's hilarious. Maxwell Cat. Scare the bejesus out of your little devils for only $44.58 Then again, it kind of looks like it's caught mid-sneeze. Henh.

4) This rabbit is much worse. Don't show this one to the kids, okay? Julius the zombie rabbit. He's on sale right now for $33.03 Makes the after school special Bunnicula seem positively normal.

5) The North American Abducting Kangaroo Mole. Mostly I like this because it's creative, although it still falls well within the creepy range. Just $45.00

And just in time for Halloween, you can pre-order Wystan (The Heckmasters). After their father is killed by his demon liege lord, the Heckmaster brothers guard the Pit, a portal to Hell that spews creatures of darkness that would corrupt the world. Wystan, the oldest, refuses to allow humans into their town. But when Rhia Duke brings her sister Sylvie to Berner to begin a new life, he can't deny his attraction to her.

Rhia's on the run from her own past, bent on settling in Berner with hopes for the future. Even Wystan's cynic heart won't drive her away. When faced with the truth that the Heckmasters hide, Rhia must decide if she can make a life here. Or if her own demons will make that possible.

Here's the real blurb and some buy links, because, baby, you haven't read anything until you've read Wystan.

Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.
Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff. The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

Pre-order at: Samhain || Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Google Play|| Kobo || ARe

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Book Feature - In The Dark by Jen Colly

Title: In the Dark
Series: The Cities Below, Book 1
By Jen Colly
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing Corp.

Blurb:Soren and Faith must find a way to survive the evil and darkness.

Faith’s spur of the moment vacation, meant to free her and boost her spirits, has left her lost on the streets of Paris. And apparently, Paris is populated with something more than just humans. Vampires, suave, seductive and oh so sexy, and one such warrior vampire has set his sights on her.

When Soren hears Faith’s terrified screams, he rushes in and saves her life without considering the consequences. Two problems: one, she’s a human and clearly aware of his vampire qualities, and two, the men who attacked her were not men at all, but demons. Their target, his beloved underground city of Balinese. He can never let Faith go home again, but can she learn to love his him?

Pre-order at: Amazon

Author Bio: 
Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.

Author Links