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Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
AUGUST 3RD QUESTION: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?
The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG will be Tamara Narayan, Tonja Drecker, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders!
The first thing I ever wrote as an aspiring adult writer was an historical vampire romance, set at the court of Peter the Great. I wrote it decades ago. I researched it, and wrote the entire thing first on a typewriter and then on my first computer, that actually crashed because the hard drive couldn't take the amount of "data" I had input during a 16-hour writing session. Oh, times and technology they sure have changed.
I was speaking to a young sales girl the other day in a store and she didn't know what a dot matrix printer was and didn't understand how there ever could have been a single computer so large when I first studied computer science that it took up a whole room that had to be air conditioned year round in Michigan to keep it cooled off. And they wonder why updating our websites drive us old "geezers" who know nothing about computer technology crazy? Perhaps young people forget that we've learned a whole lot "more" technology in our lifetimes than has yet to be invented in theirs....
Blood and Magic
Dream Shadow Press
Release Date: 7/18/16
Genre: Historical paranormal romance with a steampunk edge
Coven Enforcers = Dark, Dangerous, Magical Men
Coven Witches bow to no one—least of all Enforcers.
Sparks ignite. Tempers run high. Passion explodes. Hot. Sweet. Impossible to ignore....
Magic didn’t just find Luke Caulfield. It chased him down, bludgeoned him, and has been dogging him ever since. Some lessons are harder than others, but Luke embraces danger, upping the ante to give it one better. An enforcer for the Coven, a large, established group of witches, his latest assignment is playing bodyguard to the daughter of Coven leaders.
Abigail Ruskin is chaperoning a spoiled twelve-year-old from New York to her parents’ home in Utah Territory when Luke gets on their stagecoach in Colorado. A powerful witch herself, Abigail senses Luke’s magic, but has no idea what he’s doing on her stagecoach. Stuck between the petulant child and Luke’s raw sexual energy, Abigail can’t wait for the trip to end.
Unpleasant truths surface about the child. While Abigail’s struggling with those, wraiths, wolves, and dark mages launch an attack. Luke’s so attracted to Abigail, she’s almost all he can think about, but he’s leery too. The child is just plain evil. Is Abigail in league with her? It might explain the odd attack that took out their driver and one of their horses. In over his head, he summons enforcer backup.
Will they help him save the woman he’s falling in love with, or demand her immediate execution?
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Excerpt from Blood and Magic:
…Cursing her long skirts and cumbersome petticoats, Abigail used magic to skip the coach steps. Power blazed from her hands before she could see what she was aiming at. She was afraid if she took even a few seconds to hunt for a target, something would get her. Being dead wasn’t desirable, but it was better than the other things wraiths could do to her. Those turned her blood to ice chips.
With her booted feet planted firmly on the ground, Abigail finally got a good look at the wraiths. She drew magic from deep in the earth and sent it chasing after them when they jumped sideways to evade her magic. Insubstantial as tall, thin puffs of smoke, they had glowing charcoal eyes. Long, blood red claws graced what passed for hands. Binding their victims with fiery strands was a favorite trick—just before they sucked your soul right out of you, leaving a handy vessel for one of their masters to occupy. Wraiths used to feed only on the living, making them into new wraiths. They’d been bad enough then, but now they functioned as hired thugs for practitioners of the Black Arts. It lent them the ability to operate in broad daylight. Abigail wondered which group of sorcerers this crew worked for. The Alchemical Council? Black Magick?
Good God but there were a lot of them. Why? Surely they weren’t interested in the contents of the coach, which only carried mail and Carolyn’s substantial luggage. Ducking and spinning to escape being entwined in a blazing net, she thought about the girl’s steamer trunks. Abigail only helped pack two of them. The third had been locked and ready to go. Could that possibly be what the wraiths were after?
She shut off her thoughts so she could focus. The ragged sound of her own panting thrummed loud in her ears as she chucked one killing blow after another. Bolts of blue-white light flared from both hands. No point in running anything less than wide open. For each wraith she obliterated, three more showed up to take its place. Her chest ached from breathing sooty air and wraith stench.
Heat seared her back. Damnation! Her skirts were on fire. Abigail funneled magic behind her to quell the flames, but it didn’t work. Smoke stung her nostrils. Fire had already eaten a long gouge in one of her hands. If she dropped to the ground to deal with her burning clothes, the wraiths would pounce. Terror licked at her along with the flames.
In spite of her brave thoughts earlier, she didn’t want to die. Not here. And not like this. She cursed her corset. It was hard to get a decent breath. If she’d known she was going to have to fight--
“Keep after ’em,” Luke growled from behind her. “I have your dress under control.” She felt him drape something heavy around her shoulders—a lap robe he must’ve snatched from inside the coach—and press it close against her with his body. Gratitude wrapped warm tentacles around her. Having him right next to her made her already pounding heart do flip-flops, but she forced herself to focus on something other than all those rock-hard muscles jammed against her back.
“Are they all on this side of the coach?” she wheezed, still struggling to breathe. Between the smoke, her stays, and Luke’s body so near, it was a losing battle.
“Pretty much. Guess they want you more than me. Actually, they’ve been trying to get to the trunks up top.”
A discordant warning note sounded in the back of her mind. What the hell was in the girl’s luggage that would draw wraiths? Her back wasn’t hot anymore, so she assumed the fire was out.
That fire, maybe. The one inside me is just getting going…
She squirmed from more than the smoke and struggled not to turn around and press the front of herself against Luke. They had bigger problems than his undeniable charisma. Luke didn’t seem to be in a hurry to move away, though. He remained front to back with her, and she absorbed power flowing from him. Damn, but he was strong. What she wouldn’t give for that kind of magic.
It would help if I could breathe…
With difficulty, Abigail forced her mind away from Luke’s charms. “The driver?” She hadn’t been round to the front of the wagon to check.
“Ever driven one of these things?”
“Concentrate on killing, woman. If we can’t get shut of the wraiths, ’twon’t matter a diddly damn.”
About the Author:
Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients, now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. When she’s not writing, she’s in the backcountry getting down and dirty with her camera. She’s published over 30 books to date, with several more planned for 2016 and beyond. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and wolf hybrids round out her family.
Find Ann At:
@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)
Luke Caulfield is the Vin Diesel of Coven Enforcers in Ann Gimpel’s BLOOD AND MAGIC, and it’s a good thing he’s more than just a hunky passenger on a coach headed toward Utah. Throw in Harry Potter’s good magic all grown up inside Abigail Ruskin against Voldemort’s evil trapped inside a little girl on that same rickety steampunk-style stagecoach and the scene is set for some fast-paced mayhem and madness when good versus evil from beginning to end complete with wraiths, more coven enforcers, good witches and bad witches and things that go bump over more than the road in this magical battle through the 1800s, using realistic magic and some steamy romance to go along with that Gothic flare Gimpel has thrown in for eclectic pleasure.
Surprisingly fast moving and complex with both witty dialogue and realistic motivations and actions, the secondary characters do more than support the main players. They lay down the foundation for the forthcoming series with if this first book is any indication will be highly anticipated! Nicely done! See if you can get Vin Diesel to do this one!
Book Bling gives this 5 Stars!
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 07/30/16 and 09:00 AM on Sunday 07/31/16. Visit the other participants on the list and read, critique and comment on their 8sunday posts.
Continuing with my current WIP, The Tree of Life, we are in the secret underground headquarters of Osiris, an undiscovered pyramic in Egypt....
“I gathered as much. You will enlighten me, surely, my love.”
“He was in my thoughts,” Isis said.
“A first born then,” Osiris responded gesturing toward a cup of spiced tea a kneeling servant offered. “The shapeshifters have psychic ways, and there is some rumor that the purest blood line may still possess some magic too. We have known this for centuries.”
When Isis extended her hand, he lifted the cup and handed it to her. The servant, head bowed, backed from their presence. Isis drank. When she lowered the glass, she looked into her husband’s eyes and said, “I commanded him to stay.”
I hope you have enjoyed Elizabeth's snippet this week. I wish I could have some of that sweet bread! Please visit all the other wonderful Weekend Writing Warriors and #SnippetSunday authors to find some fabulous new reads!--Hudson, signing off to go watch my favorite Beethoven video!
Nash is trying to make a name for himself in the art world…
But when he meets a realtor to buy a gallery, he is stunned to find Chloe sitting at the table with the man. He has never stopped thinking about her since she disappeared from his life without a trace. Is it too late to win back her love?
Chloe has finally found a way to leave her past behind her…
But her heart leaps out of her chest when she sees Nash. How can he be here? Now…after all this time? On the surface, she pulls herself back together. But underneath she feels she is about to shatter. After remaking herself, how can she deal with being faced with Nash and the life she knew before?
If this chance meeting doesn’t rip Chloe and Nash apart, he will.
Little do they know, someone has been lurking in the shadows, manipulating them all along. If he has his way, the two will never be reunited. Even if he has to take one of them out to ensure it.
I watched from my bedroom window, peering through the branches of the huge oak tree growing at the corner of the front of the house. A large moving van backed slowly up the long, rambling gravel driveway. I held my breath, and repeated in a low whisper, “Please have a boy my age. Please have a boy my age.”
When the truck finally came to a stop, and the door of the cab opened, a cowboy hat appeared on someone about my size and I whooped with glee, pounding down the stairs and out the back door, slamming the screen door as I hollered over my shoulder, “They have a boy! They have a boy!”
My mom called after me as she iced a chocolate cake. “Nash Steven Nabry, you get back here this instant. The last thing they need is you underfoot.”
But I ignored her, running pell-mell to the truck, kicking up rock behind me. Even now I can recall the scratch of my tennis shoes as I made a sliding stop in front of her, scattering gravel left and right, and the way the rock dust filled my throat and nostrils as much as my indignation. “You’re a girl,” I spat.
“Nash!” my mother’s appalled voice yelled from several yards behind me. I still don’t understand how she could always hear every impolite word I spoke, yet not hear me when I called up the stairs asking her where the cereal was. Then Chloe’s father came around the back end of the truck, and the grownups introduced themselves while I stared at Chloe and Chloe stared at me like this was a showdown at the O.K. Corral, which was fitting considering her outfit. Looking back, my mind automatically added the dramatic, high-pitched, whistling notes from the theme song to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, a Clint Eastwood movie my brother, Ed, liked to watch. Chloe rubbed a fist in her eye, which probably was irritated by the chalky, drifting dust I raised from the gravel, squinting the other eye in the bright sunshine as she glared at me.
M.J. Schiller is a lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer. She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. In her mind everybody has a romance. She is the mother of a twenty-year-old and three eighteen-year-olds. That's right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape from life on occasion by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However…you won’t be seeing her name on any record labels soon.
Do you write naked, MJ?
It cracks me up that this is the very first question on your interview list! The answer is no. I know you are supposed to bare your soul when you write, but I don’t think going nude is quite what they mean by that.
Have you ever been in trouble with the police?
Define trouble. There was one time when two girlfriends and I were escorted out of a backstage area at a rock concert by a police officer because we did not have passes. In my defense there were no signs saying we couldn’t be there. Did I know we shouldn’t sneak onto the freight elevator to get to the tour buses? Probably. We did walk past a security guard who didn’t question us, so there was some ambiguity...
What is your biggest fear?
Okay, I know this makes no sense, but that’s why they are called irrational fears. I am TERRIFIED of mice. I know they can’t hurt me but they do that scurrying thing and it just creeps me out. If they were in a cage, I would be mildly petrified, but in the wild…well, I’ve been known to hurt myself running away from them.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
(Always a good aspiration!)
If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?
I would be an otter, because they’re cute and they always seem to be having a good time. If I couldn’t be that I’d be a hawk for the same reasons—they are beautiful and seem so carefree when they are banking on the wind.
Do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
I have the weirdest, most vivid dreams! I’m sure that is true for many creative people. One that sticks out was when I was a banana on a skateboard chasing a meatball down the street…and it just got stranger from that point on. One of my recurring dreams became LEAP INTO THE KNIGHT. I often dream I’m exploring a house with unending rooms. I’m sure that says something very telling about me.
Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
Wow! That’s a toughie! I’m going to go with never write a story. I have an infinite amount of stories in me where there is reading material enough to last me many lifetimes over.
Top five favorite titles (these do not have to be favorite books)
JUST HERE FOR THE BOOS, by Katy Lewis. A FOOL AND HER HONEY, by Katy Lewis. UGLIES, PRETTIES, SPECIALS, EXTRAS, by Scott Westerfeld (okay, I cheated, but this is a great series). THIS PRESENT DANGER, by Frank E. Peretti. And PREACHER MAN, by Laurie Larsen. And just one more, SCROOGE WORE SPURS, by Janet Dailey.
If we snuck a peek in your purse right now, what would we find?
Funny you should ask this, because I just combined a couple of purses so I have quite a haul. A gazillion and two gift cards, very little cash. Kleenex, a hand sanitizer, lip stick, lip gloss, these little poker chip thingies that get you a free scoop of ice cream at Culvers, gum, a checkbook, my business card holder and cards, receipts, a Shout to-go towel, ibuprofen in a cute little pill box, a Claude Monet “Water Lilies” flashlight, a picture from my little sister’s first wedding (I have no idea), credit cards, a little pad of paper, and, you know, the essentials, just in case, a rosary and a fake badge (you never know when those are going to come in handy!)
(A fake badge? For getting to band buses, no doubt!)
What are your current projects?
I’ve actually got two things in the skillet right now. One is a chicklit series whose first book is with a publisher where they are hopefully drawing up a contract for me, and the fifth book in my ROCKING ROMANCE COLLECTION, Midnight Melody (romantic suspense).
What’s something you are really good at that few people know about?
Well, I used to be an excellent synchronized swimmer (Junior Olympic level before it became an Olympic event). And I used to brag about my napping skills, but Restless Leg Syndrome has put an end to that. …I know many song titles, artists, and lyrics along with a lot of other useless information.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My husband. You see, we workout together before work and every morning when the alarm goes off I say, “Are we getting up?” and he says, “yes.” He is a grueling task master, but I love him! And my kitty, because she’s sweet.
What is your ‘girl vice’? ie getting your hair done? Nails? Shopping? Gossiping? Chick flicks?
I have two, really. I spend an inordinate amount of money on my hair. Especially since it is so short. (I say this, but it’s really probably a standard amount, I just think it’s a lot for someone to take a scissors to your hair.) And I’m a product junkie. Hair product and Bath & Bodyworks items. My friends can vouch for my fragrance addiction. And I take my choice each day very seriously. For instance, if we are going to a wedding I might where Beautiful Day or Charmed Life. If it’s a Friday and it’s been a long week the answer is obvious—Need a Margarita! I also am partial to Be Pacific and Tahiti Sweetie.
Grab the nearest book, open it to page 22 and look for the second word in the first sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!)
From DARK VENGEANCE by RT Wolfe (great book, by the way!) Ahem. Ready?
Crap, is this interview over?
LOL! I'm sure you are very disappointed! Great interview, MJ! Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck with Hometown Heartache and your other wonderful books!
Scroll down to read:
5 STAR REVIEW of HOMETOWN HEARTACHE!
Nash is trying to make a name for himself in the art world… But when he meets a realtor to buy a gallery, he is stunned to find Chloe sitting at the table with the man. He has never stopped thinking about her since she disappeared from his life without a trace. Is it too late to win back her love?
Chloe has finally found a way to leave her past behind her… But her heart leaps out of her chest when she sees Nash. How can he be here? Now…after all this time? On the surface, she pulls herself back together. But underneath she feels she is about to shatter. After remaking herself, how can she deal with being faced with Nash and the life she knew before?
If this chance meeting doesn’t rip Chloe and Nash apart, he will.
Little do they know, someone has been lurking in the shadows, manipulating them all along. If he has his way, the two will never be reunited. Even if he has to take one of them out to ensure it.
I was born in Overland Park, KS, grew up in St. Louis, MO, went to school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and moved to Bloomington, IL fresh out of college. I worked as a high school/junior college teacher, personnel recruiter, office manager of a jewelry store, and, for the past ten years plus, as a lunch lady. I like to karaoke and attend rock concerts. I'm also actively involved at church and spend too much time on Facebook. I am the mother of a twenty-year-old and eighteen-year-old triplets, and have been married to my husband, Don, for over twenty-five years.
I have been a writer all my life. My first book, which was co-written with Mary Ellen Murphey in second grade, was titled "The Black Cat," and was written on blue hotel stationary, hole-punched, and bound by white yarn. I believe it is currently out of circulation.
When I turned forty, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized those bigwig publishing houses in New York were now probably run by people younger than me, so I shouldn't be intimidated by them. At about the same time, I was watching one of those award shows, and Jaclyn Smith got up to give a post-humorous award to Aaron Spelling. She credited him for encouraging her to go into acting, saying something brilliant like, "Reach for your dreams." Nothing new. Almost even seems a little Jiminy Cricketish. But, for some reason, it struck me that night. When Aaron Spelling was thirteen, he was probably just like any other acned thirteen-year-old. But he worked to achieve his dreams, and became a household name. So, I began to write. Once I finished my first book,I wasn't able to stop. I would rather write than do just about anything else. After all, I get to make people (characters) do what I want, and design their happy endings. What power! And what a privilege.
STOP BY ON THURSDAY FOR
MJ'S INTERVIEW AND RAFFLECOPTER!
M.J. Schiller writes a series about rock stars and celebrities, so I was a little surprised when I encountered this line, called the Real Romance Collection. Each novel, and I believe there are currently at least 5, is a stand-alone romance story about “real” people with “real” problems, as opposed to a romance involving celebrities or main characters with glamorous lifestyles. While the Bling-Bling books are fun, sometimes you just want to sink your senses into a nitty-gritty survivor, against-all-odds kinda tale. HOMETOWN HEARTACHE is just such a story.
In HOMETOWN HEARTACHE, Schiller has addressed some unfortunately all too common and sometimes uncomfortable social issues. The book’s blurb gives no indication of the early flashback to the H/H’s hometown connection, though it’s there that the story truly begins, where the girl/boy next door characters grow up with lives, families, heartaches and problems intertwined--where they fall in love and out of touch with one another. It’s there that the foundation of their adult lives are laid, and it’s the brutal events that played out there that result in the present-day circumstances the two find themselves in once the story settles in to the current events.
Chloe didn’t have a hard life as a child. A hard life would be having lost her father, having a dying mother and a mean stepfather. But Chloe didn’t have a hard childhood. She had a brutal childhood, and it turned her into a beautiful but cold young woman who sometimes makes cold, calculated choices based upon the shattered innocence of her youth and a heart she froze to protect it after the boy she loved went away and never, ever came back such a long time ago.
Nash is part of the happy family of boys who live next door and try to protect the little girl whenever they can. Their mom has social services on speed dial, for all the good it does them. But one day Nash has to grow up and has to go away to school. He can’t get ahold of her, can’t seem to contact her any way at all, and when he comes home, Chloe is gone. He can’t find her, and even if he could, would she forgive him for leaving her to pursue his dreams?
Schiller has put together a tense and dramatic love story that addresses some modern issues. It is about real people and more importantly it’s about real issues. It’s about Chick-Lit issues, but is not graphic or intense in an uncomfortable visual or descriptive way, but more obviously addresses in a sincere and HEA way the healing power of love and forgiveness, of moving on and putting the past in the past for good. If you thought this was just another hometown romance, you may want to give it a second look. It's not just another romance novel. It’s about gritty, real-life drama and how to rise up from those who would do you dirty and keep you down. This book gives a whole new meaning to hero and heroine, modern-style.
Book Bling gives this 5 STARS!
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 07/23/16 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 07/24/16. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.
I've been sharing from my current WIP The Tree of Life. When we left off, Rio, in Shapeshifter form, had managed to escape from one of the Vargas clan.We will be opening on a new chapter and in a new setting-- Egypt, in a hidden pyramid, headquarters of Osiris...
“One of yours was there, in the jungles of Brazil.”
“One of mine, my queen?” Osiris pushed back his chair and rose from the matching carved and gilded desk at which he had been working. His gaze, as he cornered the desk, swept his wife’s shapely form with a familiar appreciation that separations and millennia had never dulled. “A bit more specific perhaps?” he coaxed and swooped in to capture her mouth and take advantage of the parted lips attempting to comply with his previous request.
Behind them, Andrew cleared his throat. Seeing that his father had every intention of ignoring him, he rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulder against the door jamb to wait. Luc walked over to a small table and filled a glass with lightly spiced, heavily chilled tea. He held it up, gesturing toward the dispenser. Kirin shook her head, declining his offer, and continued across the room to sit cross-legged on the wide, plush couch tossed liberally with overstuffed pillows.
I hope you enjoyed this week's snippet as much as I enjoyed posting it for Elizabeth. Be sure to read all the other nice Weekend Writng Warriors posts, and the #SnippetSunday authors so you can find some other fun reads too!--Hudson, signing off to take a well deserved nap on my fluffy pillow right by the patio door so I can keep an eye on my tweetie birdies!
The Mackay Saga
Genre: Highland Time Travel (set in 1775)
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: July 20th
Number of pages: 167
Word Count: 70,000
Cover Artist: Fiona
Caden Mackay would never bed a Sutherland, let alone marry one. Bloody hell, what had possessed his twin brother to propose to one of the she-devils? And what is Caden to do with the Sutherland beauty who appears, as if by magic, in his library? The defiant intruder is the enemy, but she is unlike any woman Caden’s ever known, and her tantalizing curves and wide green eyes could tempt a monk. He must devise a way to stop the wedding. But can he stop the desire that makes him long to make Ariel Sutherland his own?
Ariel’s life had never gone the way she’d hoped, but ending up in eighteenth century Scotland was a stretch, even for her. If not for her dog, Scruffy, she might have thought she’d walked into a romantic daydream. Especially since the object of her desire appears to be entirely too virile. But can she find her way back to her time, before her too-handsome Highlander makes her believe that love can conquer in any century?
Caden turned to his cousin. “We’ll search the windows above. By now the coward has fled, but we may yet find something to unmask our would-be assassin. Then we’ll attend to your urgent matter.”
He drew Ariel aside far enough that Ian couldn’t hear them. His expression screamed, I’d rather fight a dozen well-armed warriors than be in debt to a Sutherland. “Thank you for . . .” He simply stared at her.
“Saving your life?” She waited. Nothing. “Kissing you?” She raised her eyebrows. “Just trying to fill in the blank here.”
He blanched, but then heat filled his eyes. “Aye.”
“Well, one of us had to take the bull by the horns.” Okay, best not to dwell on that image. “I mean, I was curious. I wanted to kiss you. No big deal. It was just a kiss.”
“Will you stop agreeing with me.”
His smile was genuine and she felt it to the tips of her toes. Good heavens, the man had charisma.
“I’ve nae had a woman who wanted me to disagree with her.”
“Well, I’m not like most women.” That was true enough. She’d never done the ‘let’s talk about boys, clothes and makeup thing’ with a group of girls. Somehow, she’d never fit in.
He smiled down at her. “Aye.”
“There you go, agreeing again.”
“Perhaps it’s because you make yourself so agreeable.”
She couldn’t contain the laughter that burst from her lips. “Really?” The word came out between gasps. “Oh, I wish you could have been there to tell my teachers. Not that they’d believe you. They thought I questioned everything.”
“Then they didnae ken you.” His brows drew together. “I believe the stone was meant for me, but just in case, I want you to take care.
Her laughter died. “Why would anyone want to kill me?”
“Have you offended anyone aside from Ranald, the Countess or Robertson since I met you?”
“I don’t-So, I speak my mind. Is there a law against that in this century?”
“No. And I prefer plain speaking, but I’m nae most men.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Once Upon a Time” are four of Dawn’s favorite words, because she never knows where they will lead. She writes stories to remind herself that even though things may seem bleak, there is always the possibility of a “Happily Ever After.” If along the way she makes readers smile, cry or see the magic in their everyday lives, then she’s done her job.
Dawn’s written several award-winning novels set in Georgian England and the Highlands – an era filled with rules and intrigue. Her characters often defy “Society” as they pursue love, run away, pursue, run away – well, you get the idea.
Then again, she might write romance in order to do the research. What other profession encourages you to sit in the audience at Harlequin’s Male Model search, and take notes, or just sigh?
When she’s not writing, Dawn may be found singing, gardening, learning to play the harp or wood carving. She lives in a Victorian home in Upstate New York with her husband and very independent cats.
Dawn hopes you’ll read her books, and together you’ll bring to life characters that aren’t perfect, but have a story to tell.
Ariel Sutherland is given a gift, albeit on loan, by a sexy stranger with a sexier Scottish brogue who appears on her doorstep amidst a swirling fog—of course.
If you like The Outlander, you’re going to love Highland Yearning by Dawn Ireland. Ariel Sutherland, accompanied by her darling dog, Scruffy, travels back in time with the aid of said gift, the Ring of Belief (rather than a ring of stones as in The Outlander’s magic stone) where Ariel encounters some very interesting characters, including twin kilt-sporting Scotsmen, but most importantly the real-life romantic hero, that ever-virile, eighteenth-century Scotsman named Caden Mackay.
Sparks fly, problems mount, and HEA’s are guaranteed, even for Scruffy. A charming historical time-travel romance.
Book Bling gives this 4 Stars!
Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a millennial tradition once forbidden to women. When war strikes, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
Determined to defend her people, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.
Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where the Daughters of Aithne will flourish in a world set free from the violence of men.
"War propels the story forward, and the characters are at their best when circumstances are at their worst." -Publishers Weekly
This is the second book in THE SILVER WEB trilogy. It can be read as a stand-alone novel, or as the sequel to the first book, EOLYN.
Mechnes strode to the table where a soldier had left Renate’s head. He took his time unwrapping the bundle, exposing Renate’s matted tresses, the ragged edge of severed flesh, the face—oh, Renate’s face! Stiff, gray, and lifeless. Never again would she laugh, drink wine, cast a spell, or heal a friend.
Adiana’s stomach clenched, and she fought the surge of bile in her throat.
Calm, she told herself. I must remain calm.
Just as Renate had, just like Eolyn would, without as much as a change in the rhythm of her breath.
“Who is this woman?” Mechnes’s voice hit Adiana like a spear.
“It is…” Adiana’s throat tightened. “Was Maga Eolyn.”
Mechnes grunted as he studied the gruesome package. “And who are you?”
“My name is Adiana.”
“You are this woman’s scullery maid?”
Adiana swallowed. She had learned how to lie during her youth in Selkynsen, after her parents were killed and she fled to the piers. Lies must be presented on a bed of truth, or they lose their seductive power. “No, I am not a servant. I am a musician from Selkynsen. Maga Eolyn brought me to Moehn to teach music to her students.”
“Music?” Amusement broke on Mechnes’s face. He seemed genuinely surprised. “What use do magas have for music?”
“Music is also magic, according to the traditions of Moisehén. Eolyn says…used to say that it’s a form of Primitive Magic, the oldest and most sacred of all.”
“So you are a maga?”
“No.” The thought came, terrible and unbidden, that now she would never be. “I only play music.”
“Then Maga Eolyn was trying to protect you by saying you were a scullery maid? How curious.” Mechnes draped one end of the bloodied cloth over Renate’s disfigured face. “I can assure you a musician will find a much better place among the Syrnte than a scullery maid.”
“I don’t intend to find a place among the Syrnte.” Adiana’s breath stalled under the look he gave her. “What I mean is, my home is here, in Moisehén, not with the Syrnte.”
“It’s all one kingdom now. Or perhaps better stated, will be soon.”
Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands for over twenty years. Her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.
Purchase link for SWORD OF SHADOWS, Book Two of THE SILVER WEB: https://www.amazon.com/Sword-Shadows-Silver-Web-Book-ebook/dp/B01G5L1GEG/
Purchase link for EOLYN, Book One of THE SILVER WEB: http://www.amazon.com/Eolyn-Silver-Web-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01B8F4G50/
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 07/16/16 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 07/17/16. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.
I've been sharing from my WIP, Book Two of Illuminati, The Tree of Life. Rio, in black jaguar shapeshifter form has been discovered spying on the Vargas clan and managed to break free from a mind-command to stay. This didn't please the goddess who discovered he had this ability, and she fired off a bolt of angry energy at him....
Leaping a stream, Rio put another mile between them, though he knew they realized the futility of tracking a black jaguar in the jungle at night. Even now they circled back to the ruins. He veered to the left and slowed as he covered the last hundred yards to the pool and his clothes.
It had been Jose's idea to shapeshift while swimming to help mask his shift. In truth, it was a simple but perfect plan, and only once since film's invention had a crew chanced to capture the rare jaguar swimming to shore in broad daylight.
The water felt cool against his skin as he stepped out. He slicked excess water from his hair and reached for his shirt to towel off his face before shrugging into it. The woman had surprised him. She was a legend. A myth. What other secrets did this Vargas family hide?
I hope you enjoyed this week's snippet as much as I enjoyed posting it for Elizabeth. That's one kitty I don't think I would chase into the water! I'm glad he got away though. Thanks for stopping by and now I'm off to see what that funny Effing Cat is up to. Join me in reading the Weekend Writing Warriors and #SnippetSunday author posts so you can find some fun new reads!--Hudson, Elizabeth's VP of Social Media, signing off until next time! Oh, P.S. Elizabeth said you're welcome for the eye candy...::insert eye roll, from me::
Lord Ashton of Aethyria is enticement, seduction, temptation–born with the power to strip even the most modest woman of her gown, her will, and her virtue. With the glamour of being born a half Daoine Sidhe faerie comes the sad fate that once a woman has gazed into Ash’s eyes, she forever loses the ability to see anything other than his ravishing beauty, and can certainly never glimpse into his soul. Ashton’s allure is so raw and enchanting, in fact, that he has exiled himself from even the human side of his family, lest his own aunts be tempted by him, and lives a life of solitude and fleeting passions. But he is part human as well, and it is his human blood that makes him long for a magic no faerie spell can equal. It is his deep desire for true love that leads him to keep his magnificent face hidden from the woman who captures his heart.
Eden is certain her nightly visitor is as disfigured as she, since he keeps his visage shrouded in shadow when he comes to her room. Scarred by fire, she believes herself ugly until Ashton’s tender kisses and gentle touch begin to teach her that true beauty comes from within. It’s an important lesson, since Ash knows that soon he must reveal himself to her. He prays that she can look beyond his unearthly beauty and see the heart of a man.
I live in the beautiful city of New York with my three amazing offspring, six little chihuahuas, three small parrots, two rabbits, and an occasional lizard. It's a full house where love and grace abound!
My Faerie Tale Series takes place in historic Wales and other, less worldly kingdoms. You'll meet a sacred tree with the power to speak, an evil siren with the power to seduce, and a tiny water sprite with the courage of an army. You'll travel to castles and brothels and realms where magic abounds, hearts will be tested, and true love, tried.
But only if you believe
Apparently this is Book Two in an ongoing Faerie Tale Series by Genevra Thorne. THE BELOVED is an enchanting stand-alone faerie tale with characters that appeared in the first story, though it’s not necessary to have read the first book in order to thoroughly enjoy the second. I can attest to that, as I have not read the first (though if it’s anything like the second, I’m sure it’s a wonderful read and would add enjoyment to one’s appreciation of the characters and their world).
I was delightfully surprised by how well written and charming this Young Adult faerie tale turned out to be. It was metaphorically themed after the traditional Beauty and the Beast tale. The author has a keen sense of mood and tone and her use of language ranges from light-hearted and witty to intense and gripping. She carries the reader with her on a fanciful journey through a world within a world, peopled with many different types of faeries.
The hero of this book is Ashton. Ash is the offspring of a half-human, half-Tylwyth Teg father and a Daoine Sidhe mother. The Daoine Sidhe faeries have "allure" glamour. Unfortunately they are also unable to fall in love. It makes him virtually irresistible to women, but also leaves him feeling unfulfilled and lonely and makes him a lot of enemies, especially male enemies when wives and girlfriends fall for his charms, whether he wants them to or not. He does have one very good friend, however, and I would love to learn more about her. As a toddler he was abandoned by his enchantress mother and was raised by Shara, a tiny faerie who becomes his protector.
The heroine is Eden, who works in a bordello in order to survive because she is a beautiful human who has been horribly disfigured in a fire and much of her body bears terrible scars, though they are of course much more damaging on the inside. And this is where the Beauty and the Beast analogy takes place.
Eden falls into Ash’s arms, literally, and he is smitten, but he refuses to let her see him and fall under his spell. He wants her to love him for his own sake. Can he really be in love? Can his human side overcome his faerie side’s inability to love? And will she be able to forgive him once she discovers his duplicity?
There’s the difficulty and when you add to that problem the fact that he uses forbidden spells to keep her in the “dark,” and her own low self-esteem issues won’t allow her to believe he could love her for her “beauty” you have all sorts of problems and angst to sort through--the stuff young adult lives are made of. Let’s hear it for young love and great young adult romance novels. Thorne has a winner on her hands with this one. At last, something different this way comes in a fast, fun read! Move over Ella Enchanted!
Book Bling gives this a rare Five 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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