Writer Wednesday – Meet Ray Anselmo, Author of The Slave Auction

The Slave Auction

I haven’t been sharing many books lately on the blog. I’ve been busy, and many of the books that I’ve read recently have been just okay, and I haven’t felt like talking about them.

I discovered The Slave Auction on one of my Facebook groups. I had never heard of Ray Anselmo before, but I gave his book a chance. In fact, I enjoyed it enough to take the time to track down the author on his blog and beg to host him here.

If you haven’t bought a book for Christmas break yet, rush out and get this one. Get ready to step into the post apocalyptic future, where the land that was California is now the feudal state of Scotia. There is no electricity, and manual labor is in high demand. The strong conquer the weak and force them to become slave labor. Everything has changed, but human nature remains the same in many ways.

 

First, the Blurb:

Sixty years after the Final War smashed the countries of the world, the remnants of humanity are still working to rebuild civilization. In Scotia village, deep in the forests of what was once northwestern California, that’s taken the form of a return to feudalism, with the warrior descendants of pre-War survivalists forming the nobility. Below them are their tenant farmers, a few independent priests and artisans … and at the bottom of the pyramid, the slaves.

Eliza Cronin is the young head of the most powerful noble house in Scotia, with all the duties that accompany such a station. And as she’s yet to find a suitable consort, one who will treat her as an equal, she’s largely doing it alone. So she goes to the local slave sale, seeking someone who can help her manage her myriad responsibilities. But she quickly finds that Aaron, the slave she purchases, is more than she expected. Physically weak but with a strong mind, Aaron is soon turning her life upside down, and causing her to discover things about herself she never would have guessed, both good and bad.

Nor is all her stress coming from inside her house. There’s also a masked rapist targeting Scotia’s noblewomen (who may have picked Eliza’s cousin as his next victim). A fellow noble, her good friend and closest advisor, is nearing death. On top of that, there are whispers of a conspiracy against not only her, but the entire village. In the midst of all this, plans will have to be formulated, serious choices need to be made, lives will be at stake. And it seems only a lowly slave has what she needs to navigate the crises ahead … and maybe even find love …

A world torn by war. A noblewoman seeking help in a climate of fear. A hero in an unlikely disguise. And a romance for the ages. The Slave Auction is all that and more. Prepare for the future.

 

After I tracked Ray down, and he graciously agreed to visit my blog, I peppered him with questions.

 

This book seems to defy genre and predictability. What gave you the idea to write this book?

The initial idea was just a mental picture – a tall, austere redhead (think Julia Roberts or Keira Knightley) walking through a medieval marketplace in period dress. Other ideas sort of accrued to it, like layers on a pearl, and soon I found myself starting to write it because I couldn’t not write it. Eliza and Aaron, the protagonists, were coming to life, and I couldn’t stand in their way.

 

On your website, you indicate that the book took ten years to write. Was this a continuous ten years? Did it go through many iterations? Or were there long periods when you put it aside to work on something else?

When I finished the original draft in 2004, it was partly out of frustration with my job prospects – I was getting jerked around by temp agencies, bouncing from one clerical job to the next, and was looking for another field to pursue. I kept trying to find “normal” work, but every so often I’d come back to it, tinker with it a little, submit a portion to a publisher only for nothing to happen.

My friend, the novelist Geralyn Beauchamp (aka Kit Morgan) gave me a lot of good advice over the years on how to develop the characters and show their emotional growth. And when I got tired of getting deafening silence from publishers, Geri was the one who urged me to self-publish and showed me how. This year, after publishing a couple of small short-fiction collections as e-books – kind of testing the waters – I gave The Slave Auction one last polishing and sent it on out there. So it’s been quite a journey.

 

Tell us who you think would like your book.

I have an almost visceral reaction to the “muscular boy meets flighty girl, girl swoons” stories that are kind of the stereotype of romance novels – “bodice-rippers,” my grandmother used to call them. I can’t imagine Eliza Cronin swooning unless she’s been severely injured – she’s strong and tough and trained as a warrior, and she doesn’t let anyone push her around. Nor is Aaron the usual bulging-pecs leading man – he’s fairly humble, a gentleman, someone who gets by on brain power rather than muscle. So I think The Slave Auction would have an appeal for people who want something more than just the usual romantic story, who want more depth or a different twist on the concept.

I tend to write “clean,” so I also think The Slave Auction would be a good read for young-adult readers who are fans of post-apocalyptic books like The Hunger Games and The Mount. And science-fiction fans who appreciate a good love story and good characters would enjoy it as well, I believe.

 

Given genre conventions, how do you feel about classifying this book as a romance?

I don’t mind. As one of my heroes, Bill Veeck, put it, I have “the literary digestion of a garbage disposal unit,” so I pull from a lot of genres and styles when I write. I probably write more that could be classified as science fiction than anything else, but romance would be a close second, and a lot of my writing – including The Slave Auction – has elements of both. If you’re going to put a label on it, “romance” is a perfectly good one to use.

 

Are you planning additional stories in this futuristic society showcased in The Slave Auction?

Absolutely – The Slave Auction is book 1 of a saga that I’ve already planned out as at least six books, plus some shorter pieces. The first of the short works, “The View from the Cliff,” will be included in a short-story collection I’m releasing on January 19 entitled Adventures in Time and Place. It will give some background on Aaron and where he came from, and show how the leadership in Scotia is changing in their relations to the people in the surrounding area. If all works out, I hope to have a new Scotia novel out in 2015, and every year through 2019.

Also, I’ve written a novella, The Glory of a King, that takes place in the same universe as The Slave Auction – it’s available now through Amazon. I may do a couple of similar stories in the future, tales from elsewhere in the world Scotia is part of, though none are specifically planned.

 

So you can get a feel for Ray’s writing style, here is a short excerpt of the book. You can also download a sample from Amazon.

Tricia McCarron’s words bubbled through Eliza’s mind like a sulfur spring for the rest of the day. She found herself unable to concentrate at dinner, and kept dwelling on it as she dressed for bed.

When the right fellow comes along … She kept thinking she should be annoyed at yappy Tricia for bringing the subject up, but figured there was no point in that. The tenant’s wife meant well, just as so many other people meant well when they nudged her on the subject of marriage. Or, worse yet, started suggesting that they knew just the man for her, he’s really a prize, a good, strong fella and wouldja like to meet him sometime? They wanted her to be happy, and who could get angry with someone for that?

Eliza sat on the edge of her bed in her cotton pajamas and rubbed her temples. She certainly didn’t have anything against marriage, or any desire for spinsterhood – quite the opposite. And there was the succession issue to think of as well. As head of the house of Cronin, her firstborn would be the logical heir, complete with all the attendant privileges and responsibilities. No marriage meant no heir, which would eventually mean problems for the house. She wasn’t getting any younger, either – she would turn thirty in a few months, rather old for a woman to still be unattached in these times. If she was to produce an heir, time was beginning to run low.

But necessity alone was not going to drive her to the altar. And frankly, she really hadn’t met anyone she wanted to spend the rest of her life around, let alone allow access to her womb. Most of the noblemen in Scotia, at least those who were close to her own age, were too stuck on themselves or too willing to kowtow to her or (Franklin Duritz came to mind, and she made a face) both. When it came to eligible men in the village, the cupboard appeared to be bare.

Frankly, the best of the lot seemed to be Franklin’s brothers Jefferson and Hamilton. But as far as she could tell, Jeff’s devotion was to his father and his father’s house, to the exclusion of all else. He not only hadn’t expressed any interest in Eliza, he hadn’t expressed any interest in marrying anybody, as far as she knew. And Ham? Ham was good-looking and strong, but he was also so timid that Eliza was always afraid of overwhelming him whenever they interacted. Plus, with both Jeff and Ham would come the irritation of having Franklin as a brother-in-law …

She shook her head forcefully. No, that would definitely not do. She knew her father had held a very high opinion of Franklin, though she had no clue why. Thankfully, Robert Cronin had felt strongly about letting his children pick their own mates – probably reflecting his own experience, she mused – so he hadn’t tried to force her into a relationship, with Franklin or anyone else. But leaving her to her own devices, wise though it most likely was, had done nothing to fix her husbandless state.

As she rolled her eyes in exasperation, a children’s song her mother used to sing to her came to mind. Someday my prince will come “Yes, of course he will,” she muttered to herself sarcastically as she sat down on her bed. “And if he doesn’t come soon, he’ll find me a mildewed old husk.” She was about to take that cheery thought and cuddle up under the covers with it when she heard the knock on the door.

Aaron, of course, showed no sign of similar emotional burdens, instead being eager as ever to report on the day’s events and then move on to reading. As spring went on and daytime had begun to lengthen, “an hour after sunset” was moving inexorably later. In consequence Aaron was reading a little less each night before Eliza nodded off. The protagonist of the story had changed – from Samuel the noble priest to Saul, a popular warrior but impatient and presumptuous, and then to David, a nobody infantryman who had worked his way up through the ranks and became the chief noble himself after the self-inflicted collapse of Saul’s house.

As Eliza shifted under the covers, she thought to herself how this David could seemingly do no wrong. Why wasn’t there a man like that around for her to meet?

But as Aaron read, she found she was in for a disappointment …

 

Short Author Bio 

Ray Anselmo lives with his wife, two kids and various neuroses in Stockton, California. The Slave Auction is his first novel, but his fifth e-book – he’s also produced a novella and three small collections of short stories. His first full-sized short-fiction collection, Adventures in Time and Place, releases January 19, and The Irrational War, the second book of the Scotia Saga, is scheduled for later in 2015.

 

Find Ray and Find his books…

To purchase from Amazon (currently only $4.99 – a steal, I promise): The Slave Auction: Book One of the Scotia Saga

Ray’s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Ray-Anselmo/e/B00KI85EDM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ray.anselmo (personal); https://www.facebook.com/Million.Dreams.Press (publishing)

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/rayanselmo

 

 

More about Winter Tales

A Holiday Anthology (Volume Two)

A Collection of Winter Holiday Tales

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Please join us in reading this fantastically diverse FREE collection of stories to warm
your heart while you wait for the kids, the oven to buzz, on a
15-minute break from work, or when you just need to hide for ten minutes
from everyone! Every story is PG,but a few have a hint of zing.

The calendar on the wall says 2014 but the holidays are a magical time where anything is possible when it comes to romance. Prepare to travel through snow or to a tropical setting with a little dash of fantasy sprinkled in to make your holiday reading enjoyable. This heart-warming collection of all new, very short stories is our way of saying happy holidays to you.

 

FRANKIE’S WISH by Jennifer Garcia

“Every night, as my daddy taught me, I kneeled by my bed and said my prayers. But tonight, I wanted to ask for something.
“Now I lay me down to sleep… I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Oh, please bring me a mommy. Amen”

THE GIFT OF TIME by Rose Anderson

“Rose is a multi-published, award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest.
Possessing an active imagination, she writes everything from children’s stories to historical non-fiction.”

FRANKIE’S WISH by Jennifer Garcia

Jennifer believes in writing love stories that connect families and touch hearts. Her first novel, My Mr. Manny, was released August 2013 and her first novella, In My Mother’s Footsteps, was released July 2013.

A KISS AT MIDNIGHT by Lily Bishop

Lily Bishop lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense, and has published two books in the City Lights series, No Strings Attached and Under His Protection. She is working on the third book now.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER by Dee Ann Palmer

In every age the heart loves, and Dee Ann Palmer’s romances reflect those eras in fantasy, historic, contemporary and futuristic tales. The award winning Palmer is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and belongs to the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime.

MARJA’S VICTORY By Barb Caffrey

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, book reviewer and musician from the Midwest. She is the author of the humorous urban fantasy/romance AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, and is the co-author of the Adventures of Joey Maverick series (with late husband Michael B. Caffrey).

CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS by Beverley Bateman

Beverley Bateman is a Canadian author of several books who loves traveling, good wine and a mystery. She lives with her husband and two Shiba Inu dogs among vineyards and orchards set in lake country and surrounded by mountains – beaches, swimming and skiing.

GINGERBREAD DREAMS by Victoria Adams

Victoria Adams is a romance writer, dividing her writing between contemporary romance and New Adult contemporary romance. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and kitten, Licorice. She likes to study Raqs Sharqi (Egyptian belly dance), garden, and bake.

CHE GELIDA MANINA by M. S. Spencer

Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. She has two fabulous grown children, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine. Ms. Spencer has published nine romantic suspense novels.

ROMANCE VALLEY by Kaye Spencer

Native Coloradoan Kaye Spencer writes romances from her basement hovel in a small, rural town in the far southeastern corner of Colorado—no mountains in sight—just prairie dogs, buffalo grass, and glorious prairie sunsets. While drawn to cowboys and the Old West, all genres are within her story-crafting realm. Retired from a long career in public education that included teaching through a community college outreach program, Kaye is enjoying being a full-time writer and spoiler of grandchildren. Kaye is also afflicted with ACD—Accumulative Cat Disorder—with no cure in sight.

THE CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT by Janis Susan May

Janis Susan May is a seventh-generation Texan and a third-generation wordsmith who writes mysteries as Janis Patterson, romances and other things as Janis Susan May, children’s books as Janis Susan Patterson and scholarly works and non-fiction as J.S.M. Patterson.
Janis and her husband live in Texas with an assortment of rescued furbabies.

TROPICAL CHRISTMAS by Gemma Juliana

GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity.

A KISS AND A PROMISE by Lyndi Lamont

Lyndi Lamont is the racy alter ego of author Linda McLaughlin, who writes historical and Regency Romance. Since becoming Lyndi Lamont, she has discovered that writing sexy romance is a license to be naughty, at least between the pages of a book.

A COWBOY’S HOLIDAY by E. Ayers

E. Ayers is a multi-published and best-selling author of western and contemporary romances. Her books are never too sweet or too hot. She writes down the middle.

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It is available for FREE at smashwords-icon1

will be available at Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.

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Last year’s anthology is also available at

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and

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Writer Wednesday – Meet M.S. Spencer

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What do pirates, princes, Puritans, and propaganda have in common? Lacey Delahaye, forager and jelly maker, finds out in M. S. Spencer’s new romantic suspense set in the western Caribbean.

Whirlwind Romance

Secret Cravings Publishing, 9/2/2014

89,000 words; M/F; 3 flames; Adventure/Romance

Paraiso, the island in Whirlwind Romance, is based on a real island in the western Caribbean that I discovered—how else?—mucking around on the internet. Called Providencia, it forms an archipelago with two other islands, San Andres and Santa Catalina, and five uninhabited atolls. Currently under the Colombian flag, it has been the ruled by an incredible variety of groups, from Henry Morgan the notorious buccaneer, to Spanish Conquistadors, Dutch traders, even English Puritans. Now part of the UN’s Seaflower Biosphere, it sports the third largest coral reef in the world. To reach it isn’t easy, which is why it’s not well known in tourist circles.

Its rich and odd history made it an intriguing backdrop for my story, but please be aware that most of the cultural and geographic description of Paraiso in Whirlwind Romance, not to mention the characters, is purely fictional.

Blurb:

In the aftermath of a hurricane, Lacey Delahaye finds herself marooned on the Gulf coast of Florida with a mysterious man. They are immediately drawn to each other, but before Armand can confess his identity, they are kidnapped and taken far from civilization to a tiny, remarkable island in the western Caribbean. With the help of her son Crispin, a small, but proud young boy named Inigo, and a cadre of extraordinary characters, Lacey and Armand must confront pirates, power-mad ideologues, and palace intrigue if they are to restore the once idyllic tropical paradise to its former serenity and find lasting happiness.

Excerpt (G): Tommy’s Tree House

She climbed quietly, hand over hand. As she reached the last board, a soft, but menacing voice purred, “Well, my sweet, you’ve found me.”

Okay, here’s where we find out if he’s a bad guy. “Give me a hand up, will you?”

Other than a slight intake of breath, he complied without a word. Lacey’s head rose up over the floor to find a cubicle lit by a small pencil torch and cluttered with toy guns, candy bar wrappers, and crushed Dr. Pepper cans. And Armand. Who took up most of the rest of the space. He still held her hand, but he had stopped pulling her. “Where did you plan to sit, on my lap?”

At least he’s toned down the threat level. “Or you could come down. I don’t think Tommy Forster allows uninvited guests in his palace.”

His jaw dropped. “Palace?” After a brief interval, he said, “Oh. I see. I can’t.”

“Can’t what?”

“Come down.”

“Why not?”

“I…I…think I reinjured the ankle. I can’t put any weight on it.”

Lacey toyed with the idea of leaving him there for little Tommy, but his mother would have been appalled. “All right, just a minute.” She climbed down and went back to her house, grabbed a coil of rope from the shed and sprinted back up the street. “Armand?”

“At your service.”

“I’m bringing up a rope. I want you to tie it to something, then you can shimmy down without using your feet.”

“Um, what about when I get to the ground?”

How much did he say he weighed? Twelve stone? Lacey calculated swiftly. Must be over a hundred sixty pounds. “I’ll try to ease you down.” She threw the coil into the darkness and backed down the tree.

A few minutes later the rope tumbled down and Armand emerged. “For the record, this was my worst event in public school.” He held on for dear life and inched down the rope.

Five minutes later he’d descended a foot. “Come on Armand—hurry it up.”

“I’m doing my best.” By dint of a lot of swearing and some wild swinging, Armand made it into Lacey’s waiting arms. He sat on the ground, legs splayed out in front, panting. “Now what?”

Lacey hadn’t really thought that far. If he’s a fugitive, I can’t trust him. And I have no way of contacting the police. Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea. “Er, I guess we’d better get you back home. Then you can tell me what this is all about.” He didn’t argue, but when he tried to stand, he fell over. She considered the situation. “What we need is some kind of transport. What was that thing the Indians used?” Lacey cast about for the word.

“Travois?”

“That’s it—aren’t you clever. A sort of triangular thingy to carry a wounded man. Made of logs and deerskins.” She stopped, not, as one might assume, due to the lack of readily available logs and skins, but because of the picture in her mind of an injured warrior lying spread-eagled—bare-chested, sexy, bravely enduring the pain. Wow.

Armand didn’t seem to notice her heightened color and pointed at the carport across the street. “Could we use that little red wagon?”

She followed his gaze. Story of my life—instead of Geronimo I get Ralphie. “That’ll do. Wait here.”

“Yes, I think I shall.” Armand kept a straight face. Lacey brought the little wagon to him, and he lay down in it, arms and legs hanging over the sides.

“You’ll have to lift up your extremities if this is going to work.”

And so, with Armand looking like an upside down turtle and Lacey with tears of laughter streaming down her face, they staggered along the road to her house.

***

Buy Links:

Secret Cravings:

http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=934

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Whirlwind-Romance-M-S-Spencer-ebook/dp/B00N105I4E/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-whirlwindromance-1605591-153.html

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/whirlwind-romance

 

About the Author

Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. She has two fabulous grown children, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Ms. Spencer has published nine romance novels. The first two, Lost in His Arms and Lost and Found, were published by Red Rose Publishing. The other six—Losers Keepers, Triptych, Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders, Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance, Lapses of Memory, and the Mason’s Mark —were published by Secret Cravings. Whirlwind Romance, her ninth, was released September 2014.

Contacts:

Blog: http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com OR

http://bit.ly/1aBzraT

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msspencertalespinner

Twitter: www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor
GoodReads:http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/

 

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I hope you enjoyed meeting M.S. Spencer. Give her new book a look. I love the way her style of writing gets into her characters’ heads.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter here for a chance to win a $5.00 Starbucks gift card.  Every time I get ten new subscribers, everyone is entered into a drawing. You can sign up for new releases only (either once or twice a year) or for my newsletter that comes out monthly, give or take. In my newsletter I include updates on how the writing is going, sales, and sometimes I throw in a recipe or two.

I’m still running my reader survey here — tell over 200 romance authors what you are looking for in covers and heat level. The more responses I get, the more of a representative sample we will have.

 

Welcome Guest Author Paty Jager

Today I welcome Author Paty Jager, who is interviewing her main character Isabella Mumphrey, Anthropologist.

Isabella Bookmark Front

Interview with Isabella Mumphrey

Today, I’m here to interview Dr. Isabella Mumphrey, an up-and-coming anthropologist, who received her doctorate at the age of twenty-two and has since become the head of her department at the University of Arizona. Her driving career goal is to link the people of Central America to the Native Americans within the United States.

Interviewer: Dr. Mumphrey, when did you discover you had a genius IQ?

Isabella: My mother has high intelligence and when she became aware of my acute memory, she enrolled me in schools for the gifted. But I don’t like to talk about that. I’d rather discuss my work at the university.

Interviewer: Dr. Mumphrey, we’re here to learn about you and not what you do at the university.  You know what they say about all work and no play? As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Isabella: Most of the time, I just wanted to be normal. To live with my parents and see them more than holidays and my birthday. To have friends. It’s hard to connect when you’re twelve and everyone else you see on a daily basis is a college student. They look at you as a freak. I just wanted to grow up and be normal.

Interviewer: What are your favorite TV shows?

Isabella: I don’t watch TV but my favorite movies are Indiana Jones. The way he gets out of tight spots and uses his whip…I know it’s all make-believe but to have that freedom…I guess in answer to your question above. I’d like to grow up to be Indiana Jones. (She smiles wistfully) I’ve had enough of the real world, I’d like to live in a make-believe world for a while.

Interviewer: What is your favorite meal?

Isabella: Any meal! I love food and have a high metabolism which makes it hard for me to keep any fat on my body.

Interviewer: What are you passionate about these days?

Isabella, staring past the interviewer’s shoulder with a happy grin: I’m still passionate about my work and discovering where my roots are, but I’d have to say right now in this moment I’m most passionate about a Venezuelan man who has come into my life and shown me I’m not a freak and can be loved for exactly who I am.

Interviewer: What do you do to unwind and relax?

Isabella: There is such a thing?(laughing) I like to chat with my cockatoo Alabaster, read about the Hopi culture, and spend time with my latest passion.

Interviewer: Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?

Isabella: Night person. If I’m working on a project I can stay up for days and nights on end. If a puzzle presents itself I can’t let it go until I’ve solved it. One of my greatest flaws I think.

Interviewer: What would we find under your bed?

Isabella: A whip I bought trying to use it like Indiana Jones. (She blushes) The attempt didn’t turn out too well.

Interviewer: What makes you happy?

Isabella: Discovering more and more connections between the people I study and the growing love and admiration I have for Augustino Constantine. Below is my first meeting with Tino.

Interviewer: I’d also like to add that Secrets of a Mayan Moon is the first of three books in the Isabella Mumphrey Series.

Blurb:

MAYAN MOON 1 (2)What happens when a brilliant anthropologist is lured to the jungle to be used as a human sacrifice?

Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.

DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.

Excerpt:

She deposited her backpack on the floor at her feet. The horn handle of a twelve inch Guatemalan blade protruded from the side pocket. Tino’s curiosity spiked another notch.

“I have a reservation. Dr. Isabella Mumphrey.”

Tino snapped the paper down and stared even harder at the woman. This was the frumpy, old anthropologist he was to guide? His gaze scanned the length of her one more time while tuning in the conversation.

“Ahh, Dr. Mumphrey, Dr. Martin said you were to get the finest room, no?” The clerk acted like a simpering fool giving the doctor her key and expounding on all the wonders of the hotel.

Gracias. May I borrow a paper and pencil? I need to make a list for the taxi driver.”

The clerk handed her the items. She stepped to the side of the counter and began writing.

Why would she make a list for a taxi driver? Curious, Tino folded the paper and strolled to a spot beside her. So intent on her list, she didn’t even acknowledge his presence as he leaned, reading the items. Army knife, candle, braided fishing line, hooks, swivels, 24 gauge snare wire…

“You are planning a trip into the jungle, no?”

She started at his voice. Deep green eyes rimmed in gold stared at him from behind wire-rimmed lenses. She blinked, focused on him, and narrowed her eyes.

“Didn’t your mother teach you manners? You don’t look over people’s shoulders to see what they’re doing.” She picked up her list and held it to her damp shirt.

Mi mamá did teach me manners, no? I am Tino Kosta, your guide to the dig at Ch’juña.” He held out his hand waiting for her to shake.

Her gaze traveled from his extended hand up his arm to his face. She squinted her eyes and glared at him.

“You’re not of Mesoamerican descent, so you can’t possibly be my guide. Are you in cahoots with the disgusting little man who stole my property?” She bent toward her backpack, giving him a good view down the front of her blouse.

Si, she didn’t wear a bra. The nipples peaking through her clingy shirt sat atop a palm-sized mound. Now, being a man who liked his hands filled to overflowing when it came to handling a woman—

¡Carajo!” The pointed end of the large knife that had been tucked in the doctor’s backpack waved inches from his nose. “What is this about?” A woman who ran around without undergarments shouldn’t be offended by a man viewing her body.

Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at Windtree Press, Kindle, Nook  Kobo.

 

About Paty

Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon.  On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

Her first book was published in 2006 by Wild Rose Press since then she has published seventeen novels, two anthologies, and five novellas. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

You can learn more about Paty at her blog; Writing into the Sunset  her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager , Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1005334.Paty_Jager  and twitter;  @patyjag.

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Paty, thanks for stopping by. Isabella sounds fabulous!!

Don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter, where I provide updates on my writing and share recipes and other fun things. Every time I get ten subscribers, I have a drawing for a $5.00 Starbucks gift card. So subscribe now, and you’re guaranteed to be in future drawings. You can sign up here: Sign up for the Mailing List

 

Writer Wednesday – Meet Author Lois Winston AKA Emma Carlyle

Lois Winston has stopped by today to talk about one of her pet peeves: Grammar Crimes.

Grammar Crimes
by Lois Winston

Do you have a grammar pet peeve? I do. Actually, I have several, and it’s all the fault of an excellent junior high school English teacher who drummed the rules of grammar into me. Thanks to Peggy Riley Hughes at Burnett Jr. High, I can’t shake the good grammar habit. And because of Peggy Riley Hughes, I cringe whenever I hear or read bad grammar. I can’t help it. Those rules are ingrained in my brain. If the world had more Peggys, I’d cringe a lot less.

To boldly go where no man has gone before. Remember that opening from Star Trek? Cringe-worthy! Gene Rodenberry obviously didn’t have Peggy Riley Hughes as an English teacher. If he had, he never would have split his infinitive.

Sadly, because there are so few English teachers like Peggy Riley Hughes, the Oxford English Dictionary did the unthinkable a few years ago — they declared it okay to split infinitives. The horror! What would Peggy say?

Writers have the license to take liberties with their writing. When I write dialogue, I don’t necessarily write in perfectly formed sentences. People don’t always speak in perfectly formed sentences. We speak in sentence fragments. Style often dictates that sentence fragments also be used in narrative. And our characters rarely speak using perfect grammar. They, too, never took an English class taught by Peggy Riley Hughes. And that’s okay. We want our characters to sound real, not stilted.

But there are grammar rules that should never be broken.

The grammar error that makes me cringe the most, is the misuse of pronouns in prepositional phrases and as direct objects. For some reason, many people think substituting the nominative “I” for the objective “me” sounds more intelligent. In reality, it shows they weren’t paying attention in English class. I see this mistake made all the time. Will the OED eventually decide it’s okay to break this very basic rule of English grammar? Peggy Riley Hughes and I both hope not.

So here’s a little refresher course on proper pronoun usage:

There are 3 types of pronouns:

Nominative: I, you, he, she, it, we, they, and who

Possessive: my, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, their, theirs, and whose

Objective: me, you, him, her, it, us, them, and whom

The nominative form is used when the pronoun is the subject of a sentence. The objective form is used when the pronoun is the direct object of the sentence or is part of a prepositional phrase.

Wrong: He likes Mary and I.

Right: He likes Mary and me.

Wrong: He gave the papers to Mary and I.

Right: He gave the papers to Mary and me.

Wrong: The choice will be between you and I.

Right: The choice will be between you and me.

Do you have a grammar pet peeve?

 

A Little Bit About Lois:

lois-winston-low-res-file
Award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Visit Lois/Emma at www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. Follow everyone on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anasleuth.

Here’s an example of one of Lois’s books, written under her pen name Emma Carlyle.

Someone to Watch Over Me

by Lois Winston, writing as Emma Carlyle

Dori Johnson is in hiding from the Russian Mafia. Six years ago she committed a series of felonies in order to create new identities for herself and her younger brother and sister. They’ve kept a low profile, living in fear of their lives ever since.someone_book_cover_new_x1000

When Niles York, Dori’s boss, offers her the opportunity of a lifetime, she turns down the job, not wanting to risk discovery. However, her brother and sister convince her that after six years, she’s unrecognizable, and she can’t pass up such an opportunity. Reluctantly, Dori agrees to become the face and spokesperson for York’s new retail venture.

Jake Prentiss suspects Dori is hiding a secret, and he’s not going to let her jeopardize his friend’s business. As a former government operative, he calls in some favors and starts digging into Dori’s past. What he finds has him convinced she’s out to sabotage York Enterprises. Too bad he’s falling for her.

Dori is falling in love with Jake, but she doesn’t trust him. He works for the government, and she’s a criminal. But then her life is threatened, and she has to make a decision that could either get her killed or put her behind bars for a very long time.

 Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008QDJZN6/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B008QDJZN6&linkCode=as2&tag=loiswins-20

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/someone-to-watch-over-me-emma-carlyle/1112312999?ean=2940015029765

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/someone-to-watch-over-me-1

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/someone-to-watch-over-me/id847717039?mt=11


 

Wow, Lois, that sounds like a plot I can really sink my teeth into. I will have to add it to my reading list.

You nailed it with this pet peeve today. I’m really having to work with my 11-year old daughter on this one, who continually and despite my best efforts starts every sentence with “Me and __________ are…”

We’re in July and I”m getting ready to send out another newsletter in a couple of weeks. Don’t forget to sign up for your copy here.

Writer Wednesday – Meet Victoria Adams

Today I’m taking a break from editing to introduce you to Victoria Adams, who is celebrating her new release, A Guy and a Girl.

Now, let’s talk about hockey.

Lies, deceits and secrets – not a good way to begin a relationship.

A Guy and a Girl

A Guy and a Girl

After an ugly past forced Hunter Connolly to escape to Europe, the talented hockey player is back in North America and determined to land a position with a professional team. But he can’t hide from his past forever, especially when his beautiful classmate, Chelsea, forces him to reexamine his life. Soon, hockey is not his first priority anymore.

Chelsea Henderson is a bright co-ed working towards her dream of being a professional dancer. She forms a unique friendship with one of her father’s newest recruits and would love nothing more than to take it to the next level. However, there’s just one small problem. He doesn’t know she’s his coach’s daughter.

Amid the deceptions, danger lurks closer than they could ever imagine. Will fate contrive to rip the young lovers apart? Or will Hunter and Chelsea have their shot at love?

You can buy the book at Amazon here: A Guy and A Girl

 Here’s an excerpt:

Hunter stepped into the campus coffeehouse and looked around. No Kendall, that was a relief. No Chelsea, that was a disappointment. He settled at a table in the back corner and opened his notebook.

“Coffee? Double cream, no sugar?”

Hunter smiled at the waitress.

“You studying for the antigens test?”

He grimaced and nodded. His stomach rumbled. “And somethin’ to eat, please. BLT.”

Focused on his studying, Hunter barely acknowledged the arrival of his sandwich let alone remembered eating it. A figure sat in the chair opposite him. Hunter looked up from his notes. Seated across from him was a man with an angry brow.

“Just thought I’d set you straight.” Todd’s tone matched the look on his face.

Keeping his voice level, Hunter placed his pen on the table. “Looking forward to the experience.”

“Stay away from Chelsea.”

“Chels told me she dumped you.”

“Chelsea. Don’t go sticking any cute, little nicknames on her.” Todd leaned closer. “You don’t have the right. She’s mine.” He brushed a crumb off the table. “My fiancée and I had a little disagreement. When you’ve been together as long as we have…and as intimate as we’ve been…” He closed his eyes and sighed. “Our love is too deep…too fulfilling to be broken by silly disagreements.”

Fiancée? “If your love’s that true then why am I a threat?” Hunter forced the sarcasm out of his voice.

“You aren’t a threat to me. I know Chelsea loves me, passionately. I hear it in her whispers and feel it in her kisses.”

If I throw up on him will he go away? Hunter picked up his pen and twirled it between his fingers. “Chels is just a classmate.”

“Chelsea!” Todd slammed his hands on the table. His eyes narrowed to a slit. “Just a classmate? Chelsea’s the most sublime creature on this planet. It’s my destiny to love and protect her.”

Gawd, get a life. Hunter gripped his pen. “I have to get back to studying. Got a test tomorrow.”

Todd’s voice lowered to growl. “I meant every word I said. Every single word!” He pushed his chair back and stood. “If you go near her, it’ll be the last thing you ever do.” He turned and walked away.

 Meet the Author:

I’m Victoria Adams. I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband and pets. Daughter’s grown up and is now teaching. I like to garden, cook and belly dance. In the summer, cars slow down when they pass my front yard and the passengers gaze at my flower beds. Friends love to be invited over for supper as the meal is going to be good, good for you and nowhere near low-calorie! No dieting allowed at dinner parties. As to belly dancing, find a class and try it. It’s a blast!

I’ve been writing since I was little. Being an only child, long car rides were filled with making up stories in my head about the people I saw out the car window. When my daughter was younger, I made up stories that she suggested. I’d say – Once upon a time there was a…. She’d shout an answer – chicken! And the story went from there. Great creativity exercise as it turns out. Now, my writing style has taken a split to contemporary romance for adults and contemporary romance for new adults.

You can find Victoria at these social media outlets:

Blog – Victoria’s Pages of Romance – http://victoriaadams.blogspot.com

FaceBook – http://www.facebook.com/victoriaadams.romancewriter

Facebook Author Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Adams/244325918978641

Facebook – Circles Trilogy Page – http://www.facebook.com/CirclesTrilogy?ref=hl

Twitter – http://twitter.com/_VictoriaAdams

Website – http://victoriaadamsromance.wix.com/victoria-adams

Google+ – Victoria Adams

Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/user/VictoriaAdams

Plus – Triberr, Amazon Author, LinkedIn, SocialOmph, Goodreads etc.

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Writer Wednesday – Meet Author Icy Snow Blackstone

Been slammed editing and trying to get this book done, so it’s been a while since I’ve hosted any writers on Writer Wednesday. Today I’m featuring Icy Snow Blackstone, talking about her new book Tuesday’s Child.


 

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What would you do if, after twenty years, your father suddenly declared he wasn’t your father and wanted you to stop using his name?

That’s the problem facing Grace McAllister in Tuesday’s Child.  Grace hasn’t seen her father since the night she and her mother left Temple, Georgia when she was five-years-old. Now, with his death, Benjamin Troup McAllister performs his final act of cruelty by denying his paternity.

Grace’s first thought is to return to her California home and put it all behind her, but Mayfield Donovan, a childhood bully suddenly turned ardent suitor, convinces her to try to discover her real father’s identity. When Grace agrees, she doesn’t realize their search will put another friend in deadly danger and also open up a very unpleasant can of worms for both her and May.

Back in the 1990’s, I wrote a novel titled Jericho Road which was set in the Vietnam era.  In Tuesday’s Child, I return to he same town, for another look after forty years.  One of the characters from Jericho Road is still around and he makes a small but very important appearance in this story also.

What May and Grace discover in their investigations will come as a shock and it’s going to take some determination and extreme soul-searching on each’s part for them as they face the truth of what they’ve found…

Let’s take a look at the trailer…

 

BLURB:

Grace McAllister has neither seen nor heard from her father since her mother left him twenty years before.  Now, Benjamin Troup McAllister is dead and Grace is invited to return to Temple, Georgia, for the reading of his will.  She’s in for more than the culture shock of a small Southern town, however, for not only does she inherit nothing, but her father’s will also denies his paternity. Enlisting childhood friend Mayfield Donovan, Grace attempts to find her real father.  As they sift through the facts of her mother’s life and the men who loved her, they uncover a tale of revenge, deception, and murder, and discover a truth neither wants to believe or accept…

 

EXCERPT:

“Since everyone’s present,” Jefferson Simmons smiled at us as if we were at a church picnic instead of a will reading.  “We may as well get started.”

There was a loud sigh from somewhere.  I couldn’t tell which of the eager heirs it came from…Ben…Sammi…Abigail?  I’d been introduced to each but it was a brief and tentative thing.  We’d all gone straight to the library to wait the lawyer’s arrival and sat there, not speaking.

He’d been punctual, coming through the door just as the clock in the foyer began striking nine.  There were shakings of hands with Ben, a gentle pat on Abigail’s shoulder, a hug for Sammi, and another for me.  Then he sat at the huge mahogany desk dominating the room, made his announcement and pulled a manila envelope out of his valise.  While he made a big show of placing it on the desk and breaking the seals, holding it up and saying, “Please verify that this hasn’t been opened as per Benjamin Troup’s instructions.” I leaned my chin against my hand and let my gaze rove idly around the room.

This was a genuine library, just like they showed in the movies…books on four walls, the only break in the monotony of the shelves being the door entering from the foyer, and two large windows on the outer walls.  There was a large, ornate light fixture overhead that missed being called a chandelier by just a fraction, and little tables with reading lamps placed strategically.  Most the chairs had been drawn up to the desk.  They were big and comfy and it made for a crowded arrangement.  I tried to imagine myself as a child curling up with a storybook in one of those chairs.  It didn’t work.  The volumes on the shelves were too thick.  None of them looked as if they’d hold any interest for a kindergartner.

A large fireplace intruded on one inner wall, and above it was a portrait.  Sammi had whispered to me, “That’s Daddy,” when we came in, and all I could think that if any man looked less like one wanting to be called Daddy, it was the subject of that painting.  She’d also said it was done a couple of years after Mama and I left, so perhaps that was why there was such an aura of anger and pent-up emotion in the painted face.  Benjamin Troup McAllister was handsome—don’t get me wrong about that—but he looked belligerent…forceful…a man who wanted things his way, and perhaps was cruel when he didn’t get them.  Maybe that’s why he looked as he did, because something had happened that he couldn’t prevent…his wife had walked out, never to return.  And the artist had captured what he thought he’d kept well-hidden.  The painting was a three-quarter, showing him sitting in a chair, possibly the high-backed one behind the desk.  It looked like a throne and he was the king occupying it…tall, blue-eyed, dark-haired, and furious that his queen had abandoned him.

“I, Benjamin Troup McAllister, Junior…”  Mr. Simmons’ words broke into my thoughts.  Funny, I’d never thought of my father as being named after someone.  Perhaps that’s why everyone used his full name, to differentiate from his own father.  “…being of sound mind, do this day set forth in this last will and testament, the distribution of my monies and properties and also certain admonitions to be put into effect after my death…”

God, that sounds ominous!  I hoped he hadn’t put in some weird stipulation like I had to live at McAllister Place for a year and a day to get what he’d left me.

“…to my beloved wife, Abigail Marsh McAllister, I give permission to continue to live in the domicile called McAllister Place…”

Now that’s generous.  Would she be kicked out with just the clothes on her back if he hadn’t written that?  I glanced at Abigail.  She was a small woman, and slender, face what another era would’ve described as piquant with a slightly tip-tilted nose.  Blonde, blue-eyed, slender…with a shock, I realized she reminded me of my own mother.  So, dear ol’ Dad was a repeat offender, marrying a second woman who reminded him of the one who got away?  I hoped he hadn’t made her pay for what Mama did.

Clearing his throat, Mr. Simmons look back at the papers in his hand.  “To my son, Benjamin Troup, III…”

Ben perked up as he heard his name.  He’d been sitting there fidgeting, obviously not wanting to be here, and just as obviously wanting to leave.  Perhaps that was the reason for his haste and rudeness before.  I wouldn’t be surprised if as soon as his portion was finished, he jumped up and ran out.  Abigail reached over and placed a hand over his, patting it.  That made him look at her, return the pat, and the impatient movements subside.  For about two seconds.

“…I leave an allowance of $20,000 a year, and the admonition that he spend it wisely, for there are to be no advances.  The estate will also continue to pay the insurance on the Corvette he now drives, though the title is to stay in my wife’s name with the stipulation that use of it be taken away permanently if he get any citation for a traffic violation more serious than a parking ticket…”

“… I also am providing enough funds to pay his tuition to Mercer University and the Walter F. George School of Law, including matriculation fees, books, dormitory charges, and meals, plus he is to pledge to Kappa Alpha fraternity…”

Ben’s face darkened at that, lips saddening compressing.  So Ben Three wasn’t really wild about an extended university stay?  Becoming an attorney?  Or the frat?

“…providing he maintains at least an A- average in all subjects.  At the end of any quarter in which he has any grade lower than that, funds will be terminated immediately.”

Ben stiffened.  He started to get up.  Abigail’s hand on his kept him in his chair.  He sat there in frustrated silence, pinned by that deceptively small grip on his fingers while he was further told that he was being given 24 per cent of the remaining shares in all companies.

That did it.  He was on his feet, wrenching his hand from Abigail’s before Simmons could finish.

“That’s bullshit!  Twenty-four per cent?  Does that mean Sammi gets more than I do?  What the fuck, Jeff!  Hell, I’m his only son.  I should be the one getting the larger share!”

“Benjie…”  Abigail reached up, catching at his arm.  He shook her off.

“No, Mom.  I’m sick of this.  He ran my life while he was alive and now he’s trying to run it from the grave!  I don’t want to go to Mercer, I don’t want to be a KA, and I damn sure don’t want to be a lawyer!”  He was around the chair, pausing at the door to look back.  “I’m contesting it, Mr. Simmons.  I’m getting my own attorney and fighting that damned thing!’

Then he was gone.  Footsteps clattered, doors slammed, a car engine roared into life and wheels screamed.  Then silence prevailed, shocking and embarrassed.  Abigail said, quietly, “He’s upset.  Can anyone blame him?  Please, Jefferson, hurry on and let’s get the rest over with.”

Sammi was next on the list.  Samantha.  A sweet kid, from the brief conversation I’d had with her.  Sixteen, a feminine version of her brother. “To my daughter, Samantha…”  She sat up straighter as the lawyer spoke her name, biting her lip and looking anxious.

I looked around.  No one left except moi.  Oh Lord, after seeing how he treated the two children who’d lived with him, what was in that document for me?

“And last, but not least, there is the matter of Grace Stephanie McAllister…”

The matter of…?  I tensed, turning my attention to the man behind the desk.  He had stopped, was rapidly scanning the rest of the document and scowling.  He looked up, met my eyes, and looked away.  “I…  Grace… I’m not certain I should read this aloud.  Perhaps you could stop by my office?  And we can—”

“Nothing doing,” I said, realizing I sounded like Ben.  “Do it here and now, Mr. Simmons, and let’s get it over with.”

“Very well.”  He didn’t look too happy about that.  “But first, let me say I had no idea what this will contained.”  With that he cleared his throat once again, more out of nervousness this time,  “…the matter of Grace Stephanie McAllister…” hesitated an instant, then continued.  “If you are present at this reading, as I imagine you will be, out of curiosity, if nothing else…”

You got that pegged right, Daddy.

“…I leave you… Nothing.”

What? I visibly jerked.  Nothing?  I came all this way for nothing?  Abigail’s head came up.  She looked shocked.  Sammi was staring from the lawyer to me.

“Though my name is on your birth certificate, you are not my daughter…” Mr. Simmons plowed on, not looking anywhere except at the will now.  “This fact was confessed to me by my first wife, Miriam Baker McAllister the night she left my home forever.  Your mother was pregnant when I married her, though I was unaware of that fact at the time.  I was led to believe your birth was a premature one.  From the moment I learned this until now, I have paid not one cent toward your upbringing and don’t intend for you to ever get a penny of my estate.  Let this document be my official acknowledgement of Miriam’s duplicity and her daughter’s illegitimacy.  I also wish you, Grace McAllister, to no longer use my name.  Funds have been set aside for you to legally have it changed to your mother’s maiden name.  I suggest you do this immediately.”  There was a slight pause, then he read the last words in a hasty mumble.  “So signed and sealed this day and in the presence of these witnesses, Benjamin Troup McAllister, Junior, August 2, 2011.”

The silence after that last word trailed away was, to use a familiar cliché, thunderous.  My ears seemed to ring.  I could feel my face getting hot, then cold, and my vision clouding.  I wondered if I was about to faint.  I didn’t feel as if I could move.  All I could do was sit there, thoughts whirling around and colliding against each other in my head.  He wasn’t my father…but she said I looked like him…she admitted it…pregnant before they married…Did that mean my mother slept around?  Or had it been one of those accidents and my real father wouldn’t marry her and Benjamin Troup was there and handy and wanted to…  I…oh God…  And now everyone knows

 

Tuesday’s Child is available from Class Act Books.

Link: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/romance/tuesday-s-child-pdf-detail?Itemid=0

 

Icy Snow Blackstone is the pseudonym of Toni V. Sweeney. She is also the author of Jericho Road, Bargain with Lucifer, Brother Devil, and Gypsy Charm, romances all set in the South. Her paranormal romance The Irish Lady’s Spanish Lover will also be released by Class Act Books later this year.

 


I love Toni/Icy Snow’s voice, and I can’t wait to check this one out.

I’m still working towards giving away that Starbucks giftcard to one lucky subscriber to my monthly newsletter.  No more than one email a month, and for every ten subscribers, I’m having a drawing for a $5.00 Starbucks gift card. Make sure you subscribe today. Click here

 

Free Flick Friday – Sons of Dragons by Andrea R. Cooper

I had someoCooper-SonsofDragonsne cancel who was supposed to appear today, so I’m moving Andrea up from next week to continue my video posts.  Welcome, Andrea!

Andrea R. Cooper grew-up creating characters and never stopped. She lives in Texas, and when not writing stories, she likes to dance when no one is watching. 

Here’s a little teaser about Andrea’s book, Sons of Dragons:

Mirhana has given up on love, but then it comes to her in the form a prince. Will she acquiesce?

 

I hope you enjoyed this trailer. Now rush out and give Sons of Dragons a chance…

You can connect with Andrea here…
Author Website:www.AndreaRCooper.com

 


 

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here. Thank you for stopping by!

Tomorrow I have a special treat for you — we’ll be celebrating the book anniversary of No Strings Attached by showing off the cover for the sequel.  I also have a special prize. Details to come tomorrow!

Free Flick Friday – Free Falling by Raven St. Pierre

Continuing my Friday showcase of video book trailers, today we have Raven St. Pierre. She’s a newly published Interracial Romance author, best known for her Free Falling series, a New Adult saga featuring an African-American female lead and Japanese-American hero.  Raven has a host of stories published and awaiting release that she intends to share with readers who thrive on high-drama, messy love triangles, and emotionally jarring plotlines.  When Raven isn’t weaving her next tangled web of love, lust, and lies, her husband and three children keep her plenty busy….when she isn’t gaming, that is.

Now, here’s Raven’s video:

 

Cover_Free Falling_Book 3_ExposedFree Falling is the third book in the series

They’re back. They’re grown. It’s on… Five years have passed since the tragedy that changed Samantha Kelley’s life forever,
causing her to make the difficult decision to walk away from the man she once thought to be her soul mate. Looking back, there were a few regrets, but she still believes in her heart that fleeing to New York was the right move….or does she? For the most part, she’s settled and content, but there’s a question still brewing in the back of her mind – Will her current relationship ever measure up to the passion that she experienced with AJ?

When Sam walked away, AJ found himself spiraling uncontrollably through every emotion possible – grief, anger, and depression, to name a few. It took almost two years for him to fully get over the idea of her leaving him behind without so much as an address where she could be reached. But he didn’t get through the darkest time of his life without a little help from someone who seemed to just appear out of nowhere – a woman who now has dibs on his heart. It was simple for the pair to pretend like old feelings had faded into the abyss while they were hundreds of miles apart, but what will happen when Sam and AJ meet up again for the first time in years? Will resentment forever keep ‘what could’ve been’ just at arm’s length? Will it be love at first sight like they experienced in the past? Or will they fight against the insatiable pull that they have always had toward one another, choosing to keep their current relationships intact instead?

I hope you enjoyed this little journey into the world of Raven’s characters. The release date for Free Falling is June 1st.  Until then, you can find Raven at http://youaresowrite.wordpress.com/

 


 

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here. Thank you for stopping by!

Writer Wednesday – Meet Marissa St. James

The Heart RemembersToday I’m featuring Marissa St. James, who has written several time travel and contemporary romances. Come join us and get lost in the mists of time.

 
What’s your favorite thing about writing time travel romance?
I think time travel opens up a whole lot of possibilities. You can write fact, fiction or something in between. You can do things with your characters that other genres wouldn’t allow. You can plunk down a character in a situation that doesn’t have to be logical, and what they do with it can be a lot of fun.
Many time travel romance writers stick with one time alternate period, but you’ve written stories set in two, one on Scotland and one in the early American Revolutionary.  What are some of your favorite research techniques?
Actually, I also have set a time travel story in medieval England.
 I try to keep the research to a minimum for two reasons. Authors are always told to research their stories before getting into the writing. I get an idea for a story but I never know in what direction it’ll go or what will be involved. I’ve had stories that did a total turn-about so that whatever research I’d done early on was no longer valid. The second reason is that researching can be ‘dangerous’. Imagine doing research about a specific battle. You find the information, then a side note distracts you. After reading that and making some notes, something else distracts. It might keep going that way until you’ve completely forgotten what you were originally researching. I tend to research the point I need exactly when I need it. This way I avoid the distractions. If it’s something I’m really interested in, I’ll make a note of it and return another time.
If you could go back in time, what period would you choose and why?
 
LOL. Now that’s a tough one.  I’d probably want to be like my namesake character, Meryl Spellbinder, from the Highland Eyes books. Different situations put her in different times, although she is kind of tethered to the early fourteenth century. There are two time periods I find fascinating. One deals with the Plantagenets, family of Richard the Lionheart and the other deals with the Tudors, Henry VIII, his children and his wives — all eight of them.
Of the books you’ve had published, do you have a favorite?
My favorite would have to be The Heart Remembers. (set in England) This story deals with a young woman who is subtly prevented from marrying the love of her life. Sylvia and Aubrey are sent back in time during the reign of King John. They have no memory of their contemporary lives. The romance in this story deals with two couples, one middle-aged, the other, teens. Both couples have trials they must face if their love is to survive and grow. It was fun, as well as a challenge to write.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
During the winter months I do a lot of knit and crochet. I’ve got quite a collection of afghan patterns and I’m trying to get the hang of lace knit/crochet. The afghans go to a couple groups to be auctioned off.  I’ll also be working on a quilt for my son and his wife. In between the craft work, I read as much as I can. There’s never enough time for that so I try to fit it in wherever possible.
What’s next in store for Marissa?
LOL  Even Marissa isn’t sure of that.  I’ve been working on several projects: the sequel to Band of Gold, called Ring of Truth; book 3 in the McKinley’s Jewel series, A Diamond In the Rough; and a paranormal western trilogy, Those McAllister Girls. One story involves a shape-shifter, but all three stories involve some time travel.
Where can you find Marissa? All of her books are listed on her bookshelf, and you can also check out her blog.

Thank you for stopping by, Marissa. I’m a sucker for a time travel romance, so I’m definitely adding The Heart Remembers to my reading pile.

If you’re a romance writer and want to be featured on my Writer Wednesday meet and greet sessions, contact me through the contact page above.