Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
Worldwide Amazon Link: http://smarturl.it/BeneathTheLake
Amazon Best-Selling Author Casi McLean Bio:
Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense. Beneath The Lake won the 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.
Her stories entwine strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you'll devour. You'll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You'll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you'll want more.
Casi's Inspiration For Beneath The Lake:
I love to talk about my, Beneath The Lake, and the eerie lake lore that inspired my muse. A town that time forgot––the history and creepy stories attached to a rural area that sleeps beneath Atlanta's famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier, fascinated me. Homes, churches and businesses still linger beneath the surface. The moonshiners of the 1940's added built-in suspense, and the birth of NASCAR. Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars, exposed its cement stands in a recent draught.
There's a Lady of the Lake who haunts the ghost town too––the spine-chilling lore is the basis for book three in my Beneath The Lake series, Between The Shadows. Some say she lures victims to her watery grave. The truth is, swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheered-off trees and town remains. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake's unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. The inspiration swirled in my mind, begging for a story to be told. What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series.
Why time-slip? Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L'Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. And Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with mesmerizing history, presented a plausible theory. What if the excavation explosions triggered a seismic shift? Given enough energy, could the blasts rip a portal into a different dimension or a crack in time? The possibilities were endless.
The birth of Lacey Montgomery evolved through my young adult love for Jude Deveraux's A Knight In Shining Armor. The time-slip novel introduced her endearing Montgomery family. I hope my books honor her inspiration. My high school friend, Hilary Johnson, inspired the persona of my heroine, Lacey Montgomery. A lawyer, discouraged with defending criminals, yearned to help honest people in trouble. Some of Hillary's finer qualities became part of Lacey––the dysfunctional relationships came from my own personal experiences. LOL. Once these elements entwined, Beneath The Lake blossomed with an energy and life of its own.
The sequel, Beyond The Mist, picks up where the first story ends incorporating two minor characters as the new hero and heroine. Beyond The Mist is complete, in editing, and will be published in a few months.
For a Free Gift, and a chance to win my entire short story collection, Destiny: Five Novelettes With a Twist, click here:https://spark.adobe.com/page/pxekfzj8Rx4el/
I hope you enjoy my trailer, blurb, and the opening excerpt below.
A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta's famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery's car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water, she awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she's never heard of--34 years before she was born.
When the 2012 lawyer tangles with a 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes and, despite adamant protest, Lacey falls in love with a town destined for extinction, and the man who vows to save his legacy.
Threatened by a nefarious stalker, the wrath of bootleggers, and twists of fate, Lacey must find the key to a mysterious portal before time rips the lovers apart, leaving their star-crossed spirits to wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake.
Lake Lanier, Georgia—June 2011
A final thud hurled him backward, flailing through brush and thickets like a rag doll. Grasping at anything to break momentum, Rob’s hand clung to a branch wedged into the face of the precipice. Spiny splinters sliced his skin. Blood oozed and trickled into his palms, and one by one, his fingers slowly slipped.
A sharp crack echoed through the silence of the ravine as the bough succumbed to his weight. He plummeted into free-fall. Clenching his eyes, he drew in a deep breath, terrified of the pain, the mauling that waited on the jagged rocks below.
When icy water broke his fall, the chill kept him from losing consciousness. He spun, straining to see, but darkness enveloped him. Soggy clothing pulled him deeper—deeper into the murky, fathomless depths. He wrestled to squirm free from the waterlogged jacket dragging him down to a watery grave, watched the coat disappear into black obscurity. Panic gripped his stomach, or was it death that snaked around his chest, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing the air, the life from his body? Lack of oxygen burned his lungs, beckoning surrender, and a shard of rage pierced his gut as reality set in. He lunged upward with one last thrust and burst from the water’s deadly grip, gasping for air. A gurgling howl spewed from the depths of his soul and echoed into silence.
Sunlight shimmered across a smooth, indigo lake, but aside from the slight ripples of his own paddling, nothing but stillness surrounded him. He floated toward the shore, sucking deep breaths into his lungs until the pummeling in his chest subsided. When he reached the water’s edge, he hoisted his body onto the soft red clay and collapsed while the sun’s warmth drained the tension from his body.
No one knew he had survived. The rules had shifted. Now he could reinvent himself, become a stealth predator. His target: Lacey Madison Montgomery.
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Please watch my trailers:
Beneath The Lake Trailer ~ A Time-Slip Romantic Suspense
Destiny Trailer ~ Shorts With A Sprinkle Of Magic
Wingless Butterfly Trailer ~ An Inspiring Memoir
2016 Best Romantic Suspense
Winner Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence
Winner 2016 Best Heroine Still Moments Magazine
2016 Aspen Gold Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense
2015 Top Pick by Night Owl Reviews
2015 Chicago Fire and Ice Finalist
2014 Winner 2014 AWC Short Story Award
Romantic Suspense, Time Slips, And Mystery with a Sprinkle of Magic….
Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Sign up below with your name, blog and email and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 12/10/16 and 09:00 AM on Sunday 12/11/16. Visit the other participants on the list and read, critique and comment on their 8sunday posts.
Spread the word, share the love, warriors. Twitter hashtag #8sunday.
I will continue to share from my Stolen Secrets Fantasy Romance. The heroine, Lady Isabella Valentine, has been hired to retrieve the same artifact from an anonymous benefactor, who has sent a helper, David Khoury, to assist her on the archaeological dig. Prince Mukhtar wishes to change her mind. This current scene is from just after the prince has left her shop.
She stared at the door long after the bell stopped jingling, wondering just exactly why so many people were interested in this particular relic, and how they could have discovered so quickly that she had recently acquired the map to its whereabouts. One was perhaps a coincidence, but two in the same day meant trouble. Big trouble, and more secrets than she, in her excitement over this morning’s hefty paycheck, had bothered to investigate. What had she gotten herself into?
The door flew open and she jumped, then relaxed once she recognized her cleaning woman. “Hello, Misha,” she said.
“Good evening, Lady Isabella,” Misha said, turning to bolt the door behind her, before crossing the shop and disappearing into the Persian rug labyrinth, seeking cleaning supplies.
Isabella reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone, because she knew one thing for sure, she needed backup.
I hope you enjoyed the snippet I posted for Elizabeth today. I was a little late since I overslept. It's not my fault though. I had to wait up for Elizabeth who was at the 4th Avenue Tucson Street Fair, whatever that is. All I know is it's a terrible thing because it made my dinner late. If over 600,000 people attend it in one weekend, there must be a lot of hungry doggies! Don't forget to visit all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and #SnippetSunday writers for more great reads!
Romance Trading Cards?
What? Romance Trading Cards? Now, you say? Yes, now. I know there are some of you rolling your eyes, or shaking your heads, thinking that RTC's have gone the way of bookmarks and paperbacks, but that's not really true. There are still quite a few authors who offer them. There are still a lot of book graphic artists who create them. Besides, I have a lot of my own reasons for making this decision, and I'm happy to share them with you.
First, since I'm pulling my writing career out of moth balls after some pretty horrendous personal trauma (which included the death of a spouse), I needed something besides business cards to toss onto library and bookstore reading tables, to leave my signature in goodie & grab bags or raffle baskets, and to slip into the cover of a gift book or card. They're handy, pretty, and informative. They've fairly inexpensive and still professional and unique and give added "Book Bling" to just about anything!
Secondly, I saw on someone's website that they were giving 1/2 the proceeds from the sale of their cards to Cancer Research, and the rest was going to offset the cost of postage and printing. Since I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was a senior in high school I instantly fell in love with this idea. I too want to do this fundraiser!
Thirdly, as many of my blog followers know I read tarot and have for several decades. We have often done character readings to help fellow writers with plot development. I am in the process of creating a tarot deck from my Illuminati series characters! I felt creating some RTC's was a good place to start!
Lastly, at my art therapy class (an art gallery where I regularly attend painting classes) the other artists all "trade" art trading cards, the same 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" size as most RTC's. I paint for recreation and relaxation, not because it's a vocational calling. Creating "art" trading cards is not something that really interests me... RTC's is something I would find much more useful. I decided I needed to pay back the kind artists for their art card gifts by creating a card of my own.
I did contact 3 different graphic artists, but when I didn't hear back from any of them in a timely manner, and they were going to charge me an arm and a leg anyway, I figured I might as well get artsy myself. So I did! Now, what do you think of the ones I have created for The first book in the series, The Book of Life? I think they have some sparkle and shine, in keeping with their "illuminati" tradition. I have ordered a set, so will have to wait and see how they look in person and figure out how much they will cost in bulk so I can set up my fundraiser page, but I am pretty happy about them. Now I need to complete the series and work on my tarot deck. Reactions? Impressions? Suggestions? (Keep in mine that I am not a graphic design artist, but I am learning!)
I almost forgot! Only a few more hours to sign up for my rafflecopter (below) prizes and the great games/prizes at The Romance Review's Sizzling Summer Party (See my sidebar for link)!
Boxed Set Launch Day It's a Steal of a Deal! Don't Miss Out!
Paranormal Attractions-- Vampires, sexy ghosts, gargoyles, mummy’s curses and a secret magical society are some of the fabulous paranormal twists you’ll find in PARANORMAL ATTRACTIONS, a boxed set of 9 steamy romances brought to you by Amazon, Barnes & Noble bestselling, and award-winning authors. Lose yourself in these light and dark paranormal stories that are only around for a short time.
My Blood Runs Blue – Stacy Eaton. Officer Kristin Greene’s life is turned upside down when she begins to investigate a homicide and finds that killer is something out of her nightmares. What will happen when Julian and Alexander introduce Kristin to the world of vampires?
Paranormal romance meets murder mystery in My Blood Runs Blue by Stacy Eaton. A small-town cop who is also the widow of another Fawn Hollow cop, our heroine, Kristin, has a lot of baggage behind that tin badge. When she’s assigned to investigate the horrific murder of a woman she knows, the Vampire Military Force get involved because the throat wound isn’t from a knife. Hero number one—yes, I said one—is Alexander, the leader of this task force. Julian, hero number two, is one of his investigators, who lost his wife and daughter to the killer.
Take the main players, throw in some backstory in the form of past life relationships, and the plot twists just keep on coming as to who will end up with the girl, let alone whodunit. The police procedurals are authentic and interesting—as they should be, given that the author is a former police woman—so the murder mystery plot is solid and engaging. The vampire take is a bit off the normal track, but the world is created in a believable and well-defined way.
Though three different points of view offers an easy vehicle for adding depth to individual characters, it also adds more repetition than I enjoy. I really think I would have preferred the usual fare of dialogue, actions and internal dialogue to give the characters more depth. Sometimes, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
Book Bling gives this 4 Stars!
Instinct – J.A. Belfield Werewolf Sean Holloway treats the village marketplace like a sexual buffet, until his instincts guide him toward the unique scent of the nonchalant Jem Stonehouse. Despite his pack's rules, he wants her— an attraction that can bring only danger for Jem. Will Sean defy his own Alpha to save the woman he loves?
For obvious reasons, this story is in Sean’s point of view. It is a Halloway Pack prequel novella, and Sean is the hero from the Darkness & Light novel of that series. He’s quite the big bad wolf, and this novella is erotic in both flavor and scent. He meets his match, however, or shall we say mate, Gem. He has to use his wiles to get around his pack’s rules and Gem’s mother, a powerful witch who has no intention of letting her daughter near a werewolf. To tell more would be to give away the storyline. Short, fierce and passionate. A quick read.
Book Bling gives this 4 Stars.
Parlor Games – Bonnie Edwards. Carrie MacLean and Matt Crewe have secret needs when they arrive at Perdition House for a sexy bachelor auction. Can love survive the mesmerizing spirits of the hookers who once lived and worked in the haunted bordello?
I believe this is #4 in a series. I’m not sure. I am sure it’s short, so a novella. In this story the hero, Matt, puts himself up for auction, as research for his book. Carrie poses as a buyer to write an article and get a better job as a journalist, and make a name for herself. The ghosts in the house have their own ideas. This story mixes mystery, paranormal and erotic sex scenes, which is what one would expect in a haunted bordello in which men are being auctioned off for a weekend of sex-on-demand. A quick, steamy, read, sure to make you wish you could attend your own private auction.
Book Bling gives this 4 stars.
Love Set in Stone – Staci Troilo. Perched above Pittsburgh, a gargoyle spends centuries as a protector of humanity while he waits for the one who will break his curse and free him from his stone prison. When he finally finds her, her life is in jeopardy, and he realizes he may face eternal damnation to save her life.
Marketed as a paranormal romance, this novel has cross-over elements that I loved. It has a reincarnation-ish curse, angels, demons, gargoyles, urban decay, yup, definitely some urban fantasy creeping along the edges of this one. Love it. Don’t get me wrong, I love vampires or anything else that goes bump in the night, but I really liked the change of pace in this storyline.
In Love Set in Stone, Damien, the hero, is an ancient warrior who fought on the battlefields of France centuries ago—what’s not to love? He made a pack with not the devil but of all creatures, an angel, Anael, so now he’s a gargoyle by day—loved how he dives into the water to wash the bird doo off his head once he takes human form at night.
One night he sees Katarina (Rina) and saves her from an attacker, and realizes she’s his soul mate. But there’s the problem of how to tell her he’s a gargoyle. The plot flies fast and furious from there and the secondary characters are as fascinating as the H/H. The romance is handled beautifully, with a great tie-up, but I could see this becoming a strong series.
Book Bling gives this 5 Stars!
Romance Under Wraps – Michele Jones. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History gets an Egyptian installation, and it seems to come with the ubiquitous mummy’s curse. Death and destruction abound. But the real curse is on the mummy’s advisor— he must teach the mummy how to pass forty-three judgments or find the reincarnated queen and win her love— or they are doomed to continue reawakening every century to try all over again.
Well, you’d better be careful whenever you go to Pittsburgh. Between gargoyles that come alive at night (Love Set in Stone by Staci Troilo) and mummies that wake every century or so, you never know what you’ll find in the shadows. This novel’s blurb grabbed my attention right off. I love anything Egyptian or based on mythology.
A strong debut novel, this story has well-developed characters, a hot romance and a good plot line fueled by a mummy’s curse.
Book Bling gives this 4 Stars
Phantasm - J.L. Campbell. After losing her husband in a tragic accident, Josette is convinced she's on the road to recovery— until Dwayne starts appearing to her in ways that take her to the edge of terror and back. Can Mario Browning, a persistent and perceptive man, save her from falling into a dangerous abyss between the world of the living and the dead?
Phantasm is a paranormal sweet romance novella. Josette is haunted by her husband’s ghost, which prevents her from falling for Mario Browning, a persistent man who doesn’t like to give up once he finds something he wants, and he wants Josette. But Mario has emotional baggage of his own, so the plot twists and turns as the two would-be lovers struggle to leave their pasts behind and find their happy ever after. This story is about love and loss and letting go. It’s about moving on and learning to love again. It’s about family and caring and trust. But mostly it’s about people and the struggles they go through as they live their lives.
Book Bling gives this story 4 stars!
The Beckoning of Beguiling Things - Calinda B. Can 24 hours really change your life in magical ways you never imagined? Marissa Engles is about to find out, when she heads to Las Vegas, meets sexy, Thunder and Lightning dancer Chris King and unwittingly unleashes the force of a secret, global, magical society known only as the Numina.
This is the novella that precludes the Beckoning series. If you want to find out where Marissa Engles got her powers, this is the place. So I guess you know what choices she made about Christ King and his beguiling come-hither passion. This is a fun little Vegas romp, worthy of its venue.
Book Bling gives this 4 Stars!
Remembered by Moonlight - Nancy Gideon The deadly leader of a shape-shifter clan with no memories of who he is and a dedicated cop hiding a heart-breaking secret face impossible odds in steamy New Orleans that conspire to pull them apart. Because the enemy they pursue . . . might be him.
Finally! Max and Cee Cee together again. And as if Nola isn't sultry enough, the push-pull of sexual tension felt on a molecular level only Gideon could deliver will make readers weak at the knees.
Max doesn't need to remember Cee Cee's name to quake from rigid resistance when he smells her come-hither scent, or notices, without letting her know, the comeliness of her short-skirt sway or high-heeled swagger. Cee Cee manages, with her hardened NOPD restraint, to keep her composure around Max, despite the love and desire she feels for him, and the heartache of knowing he doesn't even remember her face. Or their love.
Gideon delivers what may be the best storyline to date in her By Moonlight series. The plot rolls out like midnight fog in this what-if-Max-is-really-the-monster-both-he-and-Cee Cee-fear paranormal suspense.
Book Bling gives this 5 Stars!
Once Forbidden - Hope Welsh. Devlin wants her from the moment he sees her save a child in a fire, but it’s forbidden for vampires to change humans. Can he bear to let her go?
Once Forbidden is Book 1 of The Hunted Series. It’s a quick read that definitely fits into the naughty pleasures category. Vampire Devlin sets his sights on Sarah, one of the Chosen (meaning she could be turned into a mate for a vampire if it hadn’t been forbidden by the elders since vampires began to be “hunted” by humans. Sarah is brave and selfless, having been severely scarred after rescuing a child from a fire. Devlin witnessed this act, and already broke the rules by calling 911. He continues to follow and observe Sarah, and eventually becomes her lover and tries to convince her to “choose” to become his mate.
The plot thickens and twists and the sex kinks and steams as the two lovers continue to romp one step ahead of hunters and consequences. Vampire fans are sure to have fun sinking their teeth into this short but sizzling paranormal romance.
Book Bling gives this 4 stars!
I blog there the 18th of each month!
Elizabeth Alsobrooks's books on Goodreads
Illuminati - The Book of Life
ratings: 12 (avg rating 4.33)
Illuminati: The Book of Life
ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.80)
The Keeper's Secret: Tell-Tale Publishing's Annual Horror Anthology
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)
2016 NaNoWriMo Winner!
My Newest Release
An Amazon Bestseller!
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