Aug 192014
 
Q) What inspired you to write this story? 
I guess I needed a change from writing about just vampires and werewolves, so I made a list of supernatural creatures I liked and decided Hellhounds would be a fun subject to write about. Plus I had raised a Newfoundland and had some fun stories I could relate to a hellhound subject that might make the story humorous. So Hellhounds it was. 

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
I believe it was about six months. Life seems to get in my way and interferes with my writing. 

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? 
Research. I love learning about bizarre and interesting things and then relaying them in my stories. 

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
Editing…UGH! 

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
Gosh…Um I think there is a jar of Maraschino cherries from 3 or 4 years ago when I was making some desert that required them. 

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future? 
I’m presently writing a pirate/steampunk-ish book and after that I will be starting the sequel to Finding Midnight which I’m tentatively calling Autumn Calls


Finding Midnight: A Hellhound Tail
Book 1
T. Lynne Tolles
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Troll Publishing       
Date of Publication: August 6, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9829876-7-4
ASIN:
Cover Artist: Jennifer Meyer
Book Description:
Life raising a hellhound is no easy task. Unforeseen problems can and will arise at every turn.  If things weren’t crazy enough juggling a job, a blind dating a vampire and being stalked by a demon, then life in Paradise is about to get a whole lot worse for Summer when her landlord demands she unearth the RAT or the BROOM will have her head.
What does that even mean? Is the landlord insane? Summer’s best friend Tori thinks so.  Top it off with a visit from a fallen angel, a dragon, and Summer’s got herself a whopper of a mystery to solve.

 
Available at   iTunes   BN   Amazon   Createspace   ARe
 
About the Author:
T. Lynne Tolles can be found most days, juggling one of two cat muses and a laptop, tripping over an ancient Newfoundland dog and washing a never-ending pile of laundry. When life doesn’t get in the way, she writes paranormal romances for new adults.
Her passion for witches, ghosts, and vampires together with a light-hearted wit are reflected in her loveable characters and the adventures of mystery they unravel to find their happily ever after.

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Aug 142014
 
Excerpt, Love AND Bullets:

“As you can see, Mrs. Reese, we can quite easily get to you. You cannot be protected, despite what Mr. Monroe

seems to think.”

Devon? They knew him? How could that be?

“So unless you choose the same fate as your husband, I suggest you reconsider your current ventures.”

She was baffled. What current ventures? She helped people. How could that be a problem?

“What do you mean?” she asked.

He continued, ignoring her interruption. “Mrs. Reese, you will die if you do not heed my warning.” As if to

emphasize his words, he raised a gun and pointed it in her face. “This is not a negotiable request. Do you understand?”

No way did she understand, but she nodded anyway, afraid to ask and not wanting to get shot. What current

ventures? What could she be doing that would get her killed? What could she be doing, and had it gotten her husband

killed? She felt sick with fear and confusion.

Without warning he leaned over and opened her door. Keeping his gun leveled on her, he added flatly, “Now get

out. Your ride is coming.”

Abruptly the car stopped.

You didn’t have to tell her twice. She didn’t hesitate. She jumped out. But before she could get all the way out, the

car began accelerating again. And in her efforts to clear the speeding vehicle, she fell to the ground and rolled, skinning

her hands and knees.

Pain shot through her, and tears stung in her eyes. Giffin attempted to get up, but stumbled back down to one

knee. Her arms and legs shook like leaves. She was in a full body tremble. Not for trying, but she couldn’t quite catch

her balance, and she realized that her heel had broken.

Giffin reached around, and with a shaking hand, removed her shoes. Holding them in her hand, she pushed herself

up and tried to stand steady on her two feet. She looked up the road to where her abductors’ car was disappearing into

the horizon and a wave of overwhelming relief flowed through her. They didn’t kill her. It was over.

But then the other side of brain fought back and asked, What the hell is going on?

She was unsurprised now, when Devon pulled around the bend in a shiny silver Lexus sedan and came to a stop

beside her.

“Get in,” came the voice in the car.

She knew that voice, knew it well. It did something to the pit of her stomach. She got in, tossed her shoes

to the floor, and fastened her seat belt. Throwing him a sidelong glance, without humor, she asked, “Just in the

neighborhood?”

 

 

 
Love and Bullets
Love And Series
Book One
Mary Kate Kopec
Genre:  Romantic Action Suspense
ISBN: 978-0615968957
ASIN: B00AP54YTS
Book Description:  
Three years ago Giffin Reese fell for the man of her dreams. But it wasn’t meant to be. She was already married to a good man. A man who believed in her. Needed her. Loved her. Sometimes in life we do what it calls upon us to do.
It wasn’t your everyday protection detail of a Senator plus trophy wife. First, she was no trophy. She came with brains and an attitude. Just what he liked. And two, the case was all kinds of screwed up. A threat with no name on it. Maybe even a leak. And it all turned to hell when the Senator got taken down by a sniper shot.
 
Devon Monroe still doesn’t know what the hell went wrong that day. But he’s not going to let it happen again. Someone’s serious with an itchy trigger finger, and this time the target is squarely pointed at a certain Senator’s beautiful widow. But not if he can help it. It’ll take everything he has to set things right, clear his conscience, and prove himself to her. Even if it means dying, trying.
Love and Bullets is an action packed steamroller of mystery, suspense, and rekindled desire. Come join Devon and Giffin as they race against the clock, explore their hearts, and dodge bullets in this story of secrets, deception, betrayal, and love.
Sparks fly and so do the bullets!
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/MTrON4X1yl0    
Available at Amazon
Love and Leaving
Love And Series
Book Two
Mary Kate Kopec
Genre:  Romantic Action Suspense
ISBN: 978-0615988610
ASIN: B00BH51P4W
Book Description:
Emma June Carter’s life is as normal as can be. All except the part where once upon a time she was Miss Michigan and a finalist for the Miss American Sunshine pageant. She’s a baker and a co-owner of Delectable Delights, a sweet treats bakery that she loves. She has good friends. A best friend. And it was all going so well – until her boyfriend dumped her. The boyfriend that had hinted at love and a life together – and then disappeared.
Detective Jack Haley is good at his job, likes life, and knows how to laugh. Poker and his luxury ride with perfect performance and buttery soft leather seats take the edge off of the grit and grime of his work in property crimes.
For them, it was any other day. Until he got the call. And she went out for one last drink to shake off the breakup. A chance meeting in a bar, and neither gets what they came for. They get so much more. Neither know it, but danger is trailing Emma’s footsteps, and her life is about to go from normal to hell in six seconds, flat. It doesn’t take long before their paths cross again, and this time it won’t be so easy leaving.
Love and Leaving is a story about nothing being safe, but in life, having everything to gain . . . at a cost. Jack and Emma will have to decide what is worth it and what isn’t.
He’s coming, and she’s leaving!
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/QpzL4FJwSWY    
Available at Amazon
Love and Revenge
Love And Series
Book Three
Mary Kate Kopec
Genre:  Romantic Action Suspense
ISBN: 978-0692212103
ASIN: B00K7J85EM
Book Description:
Maddie Monroe has had better days. And made better choices. When she wakes up kidnapped–used for bait–and in more danger than she could have ever imagined, it’s all she can do to hope that she’ll live to regret telling Seamus no.
Ex-Navy Seal Seamus Kincaid knows that the only easy day was yesterday. And in his line of work, enemies happen. He just never thought anyone would use Maddie to get to him. And now her life is on the line.
Maddie’s dimples bring hard men to their knees, and her smoothies make them beg for more. She’s smart, funny, and just one of the guys. She wields a computer like Seamus wields a knife. And she’s a spunky ray of sunshine in skinny jeans and a bop-tail who gives his serious, get-it-done attitude the adjustment it needs. She’s happiness in his life, until he scares the hell out of her on a mission gone bad, and she can’t deal. Letting her go won’t be easy, but losing her forever is unacceptable
Love and Revenge is a story about facing your fears, fighting for what’s important, and learning that you can’t control life–you can only decide which life you want to live.
Fight for love – die for revenge!
Available at Amazon
About the Author:
Mary Kate Kopec creates steamy character driven stories of hopeful love. She thinks love and life are worth fighting for and that at times both are filled with hard bits and messy emotions. She likes a good mystery, lots of action, and a heavy dollop of humor to lighten the mood. She writes what she loves and wishes you great enjoyment in everything you read.

 

 

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Aug 112014
 
 
Q&A with Tamara Linse

 

How do you pronounce your name?

 

tuh-MARE-uh LIN-zee. Don’t worry—hardly anyone gets it right the first time.

 

What does the name of your blog, “writer, cogitator, recovering ranch girl,” mean?

 

The real reason I tagged myself “writer, cogitator, recovering ranch girl” was that I needed a tagline for my blog, something that helped me to stand out. “Writer” was obvious. I love old-timey words, and I had been finishing up a historical novel at the time, and so “cogitator” popped into my mind. I have friends who are “recovering alcoholics” (and “recovering Catholics”) and I thought that that fit me well—the idea that my childhood was something I needed to recover from. As Maile Meloy wrote in her story “Ranch Girl,” you can’t have much worse luck than being born a girl on a ranch.

 

Why is it bad luck to be born a girl on a ranch?

 

Western culture is a very male culture. A lot of women I know, myself included, saw that phenomenon growing up and the only way they could see to have self-worth is to be a man, hence the title of my collection How to Be a Man. A lot of women in the West wear men’s clothing and drink beer and hunt and watch football and generally be as masculine as they can be. They shun everything feminine, and they have no women friends—heaven forbid. They think of themselves as this third thing, this third gender. Not a woman definitely, and they can’t be men, so they think of themselves as genderless almost. It’s very destructive to the psyche.

 

Who did you read as a child?

 

I loved all things British—Pooh and The Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden. I also loved Joan Aiken and Frank L. Baum. I was glad to go from grade school to middle school because I’d exhausted the library. In middle school, I discovered the Newberry Award books. Later, I read a lot of westerns and loved them, particularly Louis L’Amour. He doesn’t stand the test of time well, though. I went through a scifi/specfic phase as a teenager and still have a fondness for it. I haven’t read much romance or mystery, and I’m not quite sure why. Literary fiction is and always has been my greatest love.

 

Who are your favorite writers?

 

My favorite writers. Well, it often feels like the writer of the last book I read because I fall in love almost every time. I fall in love with minds.   But I’ll take a run at it.

 

My all-time favorites are Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf.

 

For novels, Douglas Adams, Julian Barnes, Michael Cunningham, E. L. Doctorow, William Faulkner, Charles Frasier, James Galvin, Kent Haruf, John Irving, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Cormac McCarthy, Ann Patchett, Jodi Picoult, Terry Pratchett, Anne Rice, J. K. Rowling, Anita Shreve, and Alexander McCall Smith.

 

For short stories, Sherman Alexie, T. C. Boyle, Raymond Carver, Charles D’Ambrosio, Anthony Doerr, Aryn Kyle, Dennis Lehane, Maile Meloy, Alice Munro, Antonia Nelson, Tim O’Brien, Benjamin Percy, Donald Ray Pollock, Annie Proulx, Karen Russell, Jim Shepard, and Tobias Wolff.

 

For nonfiction, Steve Almond, Judy Blunt, Augusten Burroughs, John D’Agata, James Herriot, and Mary Roach.

 

There are lots of writers that I really want to like and I have their books but I haven’t gotten around to reading them.

 

See what I mean? And this isn’t all of them by a long stretch.

 

 

What’s the earliest memory you have of writing a story? When did you first call yourself a writer?

 

I’ve always written. The first story I wrote a beginning, middle, and end to was called “The Silver Locket” and was the story of a girl who goes back in time to become her own great grandmother. It was inspired by a friend named Cami who was into a British YA mystery writer named Joan Aiken. Together we read everything of hers. Cami wrote a story that ended with a head rolling in a gutter. Prior to that, I had read all the time, but I hadn’t realized that a person could actually BE a writer. When I actually called myself a writer is a different story. I think I was 30. I wrote all of my life, but no one I knew was a writer, and I thought of writers as someone who published a novel, and so when I began to imagine I might just be published is when I tentatively played around with the idea of calling myself one.

 

Why do you write?

 

That’s a complicated question. Because it’s my passion. Because as a child I felt I had no voice. Because I love to read, and writing is like reading only better. Because I have to to stay sane—just ask my husband. Because I’m fascinated by people, and writing and reading is the closest you can get to another person’s consciousness. But a deeper reason is that writing is all about desire. All people everywhere live in a constant state of desire. It is truly a human condition. Whether it’s something as small as a snack or something materialistic or something as large as a mate for life, people want. People need. One reason that we are such good consumers and why advertising works so well is because we by our very nature have this endless hole within us that needs to be filled. Every religion is built on this. So, this is my deeper answer to why I write: Because I’m human. Because I desire. It’s a way to take the world into myself and to make it part of me. It’s a way to place myself into the world. It’s a way to connect with the world and with other people and to imagine for one small moment that we are not alone and that we have the capacity to be full and content and meaningful.

 

 

Where do you get your ideas?

 

That’s the wrong question. It should be: How do you recognize an idea when you see one? Ideas are all around you. Everything and anything can spark a story. Say, someone told you to write about walls. Thomas King, who’s Native American, was given 24 hours’ notice to write about walls, and he came up with a humdinger. (Sorry—I don’t remember the name of it!) It’s about a man wanting his walls painted white but the history of walls bleeds through, and then finally, when he has them torn out and new walls put in, the stark white walls makes him look brown. Virginia Woolf wrote a story about a blob on her bedroom wall, which turns out to be a snail or a slug, I think, but it’s a great story. I’m sure there are more stories about walls. It’s about what you put into the idea, what lights you up and interests you, and it can be as specific as something that happened to you as a child or as general as wanting to write about the color green. I also find that when my head is in my writing—in other words, I’m not blocked and avoiding—ideas come so fast and thick I can’t keep up. Everything sparks an idea for a story. Then it’s a problem of way too many ideas and feeling guilty about lost opportunity.

 

What is your writing process?   What is your least favorite part?   Your most favorite part?

 

I avoid. I feel awful. I inevitably read things and feel inspired, but still I avoid. Then I make myself sit at the computer and start. It’s hard, really really hard. But then something magical happens. The real world goes away and the world I’m creating becomes more real than the real world. It’s like the real world is in black and white, and the world I’m creating is in technicolor. Sure, sometimes it still comes slowly and painfully, but sometimes it comes like lightning from my brain. And then I’m in love. When I finish a story, revised and all, I’m in love with it. I can’t see its flaws. I want to take it to dinner and then make out with it in the back seat. Then, like all affairs, after a while I start to see the story’s strengths and weaknesses. Then I either revise some more or I write a new story or both. My least favorite part is the avoiding stage, and my most favorite part is when the writing is going well and the world I’m writing is more real than the real world.

 

Deep Down Things doesn’t easily fit into a category. Why is that?

 

I think it has to do with my interests as a reader and a writer. I don’t read much genre, and I haven’t written it. There’s nothing wrong with genre ~ it’s just a different animal. Genre seeks to affirm preconceived notions. It takes a received form and plays with it, but the arc must remain essentially the same. There’s value and entertainment in that. However, what I love to read and write is the complicated messy parts of life, the genre of literary. I want my fiction to challenge and expand what I know, and I want to challenge my readers to do a little more of the work. Above all else, I want fiction that tries to express the subtleties and nuances of lived experience, yet be in some way satisfying. So that’s why Deep Down Things doesn’t fit into a category.

 

Why four points of view?

 

 

 

Because I’m a masochist? Seriously, the book was initially conceived as having a structure similar to the movie Love Actually. I was exploring the question: how can you have a bunch of different story lines going yet make them come together as a unified whole? I initially conceived more story lines than just the four ~ for example, there was going to be a high school student who tried to seduce Tibs. The thing about point of view, though, is that whenever you give someone the narrative spotlight, they have to have an arc. It has to be their story and they have to change, or refuse to change, in their own arc. And therefore if you have four stories you have four arcs, and then it all has to hold together into an arc of its own. Another initial model for Deep Down Things is Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. That novel is not only my favorite Faulkner but one of my all-time favorite books. Kent Haruf’s Plainsong was a model late in the process, but I actually didn’t read the book till after I had written the first draft of Deep Down Things.

 

Maggie and Jes’s medical journey is harrowing. Does this reflect something in your life?

 

Their story reflects many things in my life. First and most directly, when I was a technical editor for an environmental consulting firm, I worked with a wonderful woman who had two boys. She is my same age and is one of those ideal mothers. If I were able to choose my mother, she’d be at the top of the list. But then she had her third child and he had severe spina bifida, just like Jes. He died when he was 6 years old, and he would have been 18 this year. I hope this book in some small way honors what they went through. There are a few other things that contribute to the story. My husband and I lost five babies to miscarriage, the first at six months. In past times, we would have been childless, but with the miracle of modern science we were able to have our twin boy and girl. They are our genetic material carried by a saint of a woman who acted as our gestational carrier. She is amazing and I would trust her almost more than I trust myself. A third thing that contributes is that our son was born with a severe cleft lip and palate. He’s perfectly fine, but he’s had to have a number of surgeries throughout his life. I am so thankful to all the medical professionals who have made so many things possible.

 

Deep Down Things is a tragedy.   Why don’t you write happy endings?

 

My mom asks me that all the time, as do a couple of my sisters. I fear I was born with a broken funny bone. I find things funny, but they’re usually English geek kinds-of-things—Monty Python, Terry Pratchett. The things that most people find funny, I usually find incredibly sad or incredibly angry. One of the reasons why, I think, is because the basis of a lot of humor is stereotyping, reducing someone to one dimension, and my goal in writing is to find the complexity of life, to express lived reality. That’s why I’m drawn to the genre of literary. (Not at all to insinuate that the other genres are anything less!) I don’t think of my endings as dark—what I often try for is closure without resolution, which is the way life is. There’s always a tension when I write between the messiness and meaninglessness of life and the creation of a satisfying piece of art.

 

Deep Down Things is self-published. Why did you choose that route?

 

 

 

I have to admit that I crave the legitimization that comes from traditional publishing, and that’s why I resisted self-publishing for so long. It took me 11 years and almost 200 queries to get an agent. (Read more about my journey to get an agent here.) I’ve written and rewritten two novels that have gone out to publishers ~ one of which is Deep Down Things. Though I’ve gotten some very nice notes from editors, neither was picked up. Some might call me a slow study ~ I call myself pig-headed, and that’s a good thing. I don’t know if you’ve been reading much about this, but the squeeze that is being put on traditional publishing by disintermediation has brought about the rise of a new type of author: the hybrid author. (The great Chuck Wendig  has been talking a lot about this.) There’s no longer just two tracks ~ traditional publishing and self-publishing. The tracks are becoming melded and diversified, and much more of the power is back in the hands of the author. Also much more of the responsibility for getting a book out and connecting with readers. That’s where the hybrid author comes in. She or he is someone who, with the help of her agent, chooses the best route for the work at hand and then has to make it so. This is wonderful and terrifying ~ for everyone involved. Also, traditional publishers now consider the success of a self-published title in their decision to take book on. In other words, they will take on a book that’s doing well under self-publishing (and I suspect that this will become the norm, rather than the exception). I’m also made for it. It’s like all my various backgrounds come together in this one endeavor. Of course the writing part ~ I’ve been writing and improving my craft my whole life. But then also editing ~ I’ve been an editor in all different capacities. I’ve also been an artist and taken art classes for years, not to mention jobs as a document designer. I took classes in electrical engineering and computers for a number of years, and all that experience goes into making a website and working with digital publishing. And I’m in marketing and have done freelance marketing for years, which prepares me to be a promo-sapiens. And I love social media and tend to be a bit of an early adopter. Not to mention I’m a bit obsessive.

 

CJ discovers new facets of her sexuality in Deep Down Things. Are you gay?

 

No, I’m not lesbian. I am a happily married heterosexual. However, like so many things, sexuality rests on a spectrum. People’s real sexuality, not simply what they profess to be. On the spectrum of homosexual to heterosexual, I’d say I’m not out on the end. I’m attracted to minds, and that’s why I fall in love with books and authors, no matter who they are. Haven’t you had that experience? The one where you read a book and you become obsessed with the author and read everything you can about them and fantasize about running into them somewhere and you make this deep connection and are friends for life? Very stalkerish? I write gay characters for the same reason that I write characters of all different stripes. I’m trying to figure out and portray the human condition, and sexuality is all wrapped up in gender, which is something I’m very interested in too.

 

Are you Christian?

 

I am not. I would say I’m spiritual without a particular affiliation. My family didn’t go to church when I was growing up, though I visited with friends, and I’m deeply ambivalent about the institution.   As a feminist and humanist, I strongly object to all the horrible things that have

 

 

 

been done in the name of religion, and since I was not raised immersed in its metaphors and traditions I find them hollow and constructed. However, I whole-heartedly believe in the function that religion plays in our society: community, the ten commandments, do unto others, be a good person. You do not have to be part of an organized institution, however, to be a good person and know right from wrong and try your best to make the world a better place. All that said, the stories of the bible are timeless and have had an immense impact on our culture, and I often have an underlying story or metaphor that I’m riffing on when I write something. Having that structure to reference prompts my creativity. And so the story of Jes is the story of Jesus in a ways large and small. Can you spot them?

 

The characters in Deep Down Things are all white. Do you see that as a problem?

 

Yes, I do. I thought a lot about this. Because three of my point of view characters are siblings, they needed to be of the same race, which of course would be my race. I thought about making either Jackdaw or Bo African American or Hispanic, but I couldn’t make Jackdaw because he was the bad guy. How could I make my bad a guy a different race than I? Unless I was specifically exploring the racial aspect of it, that seemed lazy and unethical and so many things. A veritable mine field. I seriously considered making Bo part African American, but then she seemed to play into the stereotype of the good-but-sharp-tongued black person who’s motherly and a nurse. Also, what would be the ramifications of having my lesbian character be black? That’s exoticizing the other. Maybe it was a lack of courage on my part, but with so many things going on already, I didn’t want to throw that into the mix. In general, just know that I think a lot about this, and I’m always trying to have a more diverse cast of characters.

 

What are you reading?

 

Boy, you ask difficult questions. The thing is, I could honestly say that I’m reading hundreds of books at one time. That’s because I tend to “taste” books before I read them from beginning to end. I’ll buy a new book and then read it for a half hour or hour before bed. Then I’ll put the book aside and not pick it up again for years. Lately, I’ve been reading the books of my fellow Wyoming writers who are also great friends. Nina McConigley is out with a fabulous book of short stories called Cowboys and East Indians. Pembroke Sinclair is out with a YA horror novel called The Appeal of Evil. Mary Beth Baptiste is out with a great memoir about coming West called Altitude Adjustment. You should check them out.

 

Do you have an MFA?

 

No—my master’s is in literary studies and my thesis was on 1852–54 pioneer diaries. I’ve taken a lot of workshops, however, in the classroom and online and at writers conferences. I highly recommend them. Be it an MFA or a local writers group, any time you can get others to look at your work and give you solid feedback is helpful. Solid feedback does not mean only “oh, you are so wonderful”—but you do need some of this for your ego or you won’t have the strength to go on. Neither does it mean brutal comments like “This isn’t working” with no further explanation or direction. It means detailed criticism of one reader’s reaction to what’s

 

 

 

working and what’s not working—the more detailed and specific and articulate, the better. Still more important, volunteer to read your writer friends’ work. You’ll learn more from commenting on theirs than you will reading comments on your own. I am thinking about getting a low residency MFA, however, as I’m always trying to improve my writing.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

 

Read a lot. Write a lot. Write in the style of what you like to read. The best writing often comes from what obsesses you and makes you uncomfortable. Be brave. Persevere. Make a lot of writer friends.

 

What’s next for you?

 

Oh, so many things! First, I imagine there’ll be a lot of procrastination and a few times in the depths of despair, but then there’ll be those moments of glory when the writing is flowing and characters are running across the page. That’s not what you meant? Seriously, thank you for asking. I’ll be coming out with a historical novel in January 2015, the first book in a trilogy tentatively called the Round Earth Series. Set in 1885 Iowa and Kansas City, Earth’s Imagined  Corners is about Sara, whose father tries to force her to marry his younger partner. Instead, she elopes to Kansas City with a kind man who she just met named James. Little does she know, he has a troubled past. Finally, I’m also working on a young adult series called the Wyoming Chronicles, which are re-imaginings of classics set in contemporary Wyoming. The first, called Pride, is Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set in present-day Jackson Hole.

 
 
Deep Down Things
Tamara Linse
Genre:  literary fiction
Publisher: Willow Words
Date of Publication: July 14, 2014
Number of pages: 330
Word Count: 75,000 words
Cover Artist: Tamara Linse
Book Description:
Deep Down Things, Tamara Linse’s debut novel, is the emotionally riveting story of three siblings torn apart by a charismatic bullrider-turned-writer and the love that triumphs despite tragedy.
From the death of her parents at sixteen, Maggie Jordan yearns for lost family, while sister CJ drowns in alcohol and brother Tibs withdraws. When Maggie and an idealistic young writer named Jackdaw fall in love, she is certain that she’s found what she’s looking for. As she helps him write a novel, she gets pregnant, and they marry. But after Maggie gives birth to a darling boy, Jes, she struggles to cope with Jes’s severe birth defect, while Jackdaw struggles to overcome writer’s block brought on by memories of his abusive father.
Ambitious, but never seeming so, Deep Down Things may remind you of Kent Haruf’s Plainsong and Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper.
Available at Amazon  BN   Smashwords  Kobo other international ebookstores and through Ingram.
 
About the Author:
Like the characters in Deep Down Things, the author Tamara Linse and her husband have lost babies. They had five miscarriages before their twins were born through the help of a wonderful woman who acted as a gestational carrier. Tamara is also the author of the short story collection How to Be a Man and earned her master’s in English from the University of Wyoming, where she taught writing. Her work appears in the Georgetown Review, South Dakota Review, and Talking River, among others, and she was a finalist for Arts & Letters and Glimmer Train contests, as well as the Black Lawrence Press Hudson Prize for a book of short stories. She works as an editor for a foundation and a freelancer. Find her online at tamaralinse.com and on her blog Writer, Cogitator, Recovering Ranch Girl at www.tamara-linse.blogspot.com
 

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Aug 112014
 
Excerpt: Prologue

It had been at least three years since he had left New Orleans, Louisiana and Auguste Cheval still

wasn’t sure if he had made the right decision in returning. It didn’t feel right, yet he no longer had the

option to stay away. His father had skipped out on him again leaving him no choice but to live with his

uncle Prosper Cheval.

Uncle Prosper was absolutely crazy. He refused to live in town preferring instead to live out in

the Bayou. Auguste had to make the long trek from town to his uncle’s shack each and every day, to

and from his high school. Auguste attended Ben Franklin, in part thanks to his social worker, who for

some reason or another seemed focused on making sure he stayed the course. His social worker Phillips

believed that Auguste had the grades and the drive to excel at school; a school where nearly everyone

excelled at one thing or another.

The only issue Auguste had was that a normal life could never be in the cards for him, but he

wasn’t about to tell his social worker Phillips just why that was. How could he even begin to explain it?

As Auguste headed deeper into the Bayou he ventured down a narrow pathway that was nearly

completely covered over with knee high marshway cordgrass. Auguste had taken the long way home as

he was in no hurry to return. His uncle Prosper probably wouldn’t be there, more than likely he was out

checking on his traps.

A slight sound came from his left. Something heavy was pushing through the marshway

cordgrass, but Auguste couldn’t see what it was. So he waited. He didn’t want to move any further until

he could see it clearly. In the light of the fading sun, Auguste held his breath as he waited to identify what

moved in the cordgrass. In spite of the fact that the sun had reached the horizon, the air remained hot and

humid enough to cause his clothes to stick to his body.

A man in his early forties rolled out of the cordgrass falling right in Auguste’s pathway. The man

rolled until he was on his hands and knees, he lifted his head high up in the air, his chin tilted skyward

and his eyes closed. He smelled the dry stillness in the air. His eyes opened and he quickly shifted toward

Auguste. His eyes locked in on Auguste and his head made a rather sharp movement almost like a wolf

finding the scent of his prey.

As the man’s eyes focused sharply on Auguste, a deep low growl escaped his throat. The eerie

sound was so disturbing that it caused Auguste to feel ill. As the man leaned onto his back legs ready

to pounce on Auguste, a wolf jumped out of the marshway cordgrass and latched onto the man’s throat,

dragging him onto the ground and ripping at his flesh.

He tried to fight back, sinking his teeth into the wolf’s coat, but to no avail as the wolf tore

fiercely away at him. The man screamed out in pain against the assault. Sudden silence signaled that the

man had given up the fight. His body grew limp as his life began to ebb, leaving him unable to endure

anymore.

The wolf turned and shifted toward Auguste, it took a step towards him with a giant paw. The

wolf had an unearthly presence as its paws were large and sunk into the earth with each heavy step. Its

head was slightly larger than the rest of the body giving it a disproportionate appearance. The wolf’s

green eyes looked like they had seen centuries of war and chaos and were filled with a sadness that tore

at Auguste’s heart. In spite of his feelings, Auguste found the hint of darkness lurking beneath the wolf’s

demeanor disturbing. It was a darkness that wouldn’t think twice about attacking Auguste and harming

him, just as it had killed the man without hesitation.

Auguste held out his arm as if to prevent it from coming any closer. As he did so, the fading

sunlight illuminated the scar that ran from the outside of Auguste’s elbow to the inside of his middle

forearm. The wolf sniffed at him before taking another step; then, as quickly as it had appeared, it turned

and ran back into the cordgrass leaving behind the lifeless body of the man it had just killed for sport.


Bayou Blues
A New Orleans Mystery
Book Two
M. M. Shelley
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Urban
Date of Publication: June 2014
ISBN: 978-1500255053 /
ISBN: 150025505X
ASIN: B00L7YLU0W
Number of pages: 322
Word Count: 52,500
Cover Artist: Michelle Marquez
Available at Smashwords and Amazon  
Book Description:
Sixteen year old orphan, Ava Lopez, has returned to New Orleans, Louisiana, just as a dark entity has taken residence in the bayou.
Not only does Ava have to discover who or what is taking its victims from the Quarter, and leaving their remains in the Bayou. She will also have to maneuver her way around a new school and deal with a new bodyguard.
Ava will have to uncover the mystery before she becomes its next victim.
 
About the Author:
M.M. Shelley is a storyteller, wordsmith and dreamer. She has traveled the world extensively in search of the magic which is often overlooked in everyday life. M.M. Shelley is a native of southern California, and a student of mythology from which she gets much inspiration.

 

 

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Aug 112014
 

Excerpt From

Chapter 1

 

 

 

I couldn’t remember the last time I had been afraid of the dark.  It seemed like a lifetime ago, when shadows and demons consumed me at night, when the end of the world was but a breath away.  That was all before I met Addison.

From the very moment I literally fell into his arms, I had fallen hopelessly in love with him.  Hopelessly, carelessly, eternally in love with him.  And he loved me back.

Addison Wake had become my entire life, my reason for living.  I breathed in his love and exhaled his name.  My heart beat a passionate rhythm to which only he marched.  He danced into my dreams, stealing me away into the stars at the witching hour.  Since he had come back to me we had been inseparable.

The last amber leaves of autumn waved goodbye to the worst and best year of my life.  The year I lost my home, my friends, everything I thought I needed to live.  The year I discovered a grandmother I hardly knew.  The year I found new friends.  The year I fell in love.

The calendar gloated that Christmas was less than a month away, but who cared?  I looked forward to the first day of winter.  Or rather the longest night of the year.  Ever since finding out Santa was just a figment of my parents’ imagination, I didn’t have much use for the yuletide.  But I had always loved that long and wonderful night.  Addison had already set a date for that night, promising to take me to an air show in the day and onto the rooftop at night to teach me the constellations.

It was kind of embarrassing, but I had never really learned the stars.  Sure, I could spot the Big Dipper and hardly ever mistook the moon for a comet.  But that was the extent of my celestial knowledge.  Most of my time had been spent looking down rather than up, and I regretted that.  Just one more regret in the long list I had been working on in my seventeen years.  But all that was changing, and Addison was helping me one regret at a time.

To say I appreciated everything he had done for me would be an understatement.  He taught me how to drive a stick.  He trusted me with his deepest, darkest secrets.  He saved my life.  He fell in love with me, maybe even more than I had fallen in love with him.  If that was possible.

Mere words could do no justice for how I felt about Addison.  But that didn’t stop me from trying to tell him, or show him.  I poured my heart out into haiku almost daily.  I swirled his initials into the thighs of my worn jeans in three colors of permanent ink.  I learned to say “I love you” in twenty-one languages.

My most recent declaration of love cost me an entire paycheck.  I purchased a star.  Not the Hollywood kind starlets walked across in stilettos.  An actual star, in outer space, where no man has boldly gone before.

Bonnie Fay and Nicola had completely different reactions when I confessed what I had done.  Bonnie Fay wrinkled her nose and squinted at me, forcing the kind of smile that told me I was lame.  “Sounds kinda hokey,” she had said in her southern drawl.  “Sugar, if you’re gonna tease him with something he can’t have, don’t let it be a star.”

Nicola, the polar opposite to everything calm and conforming, had a completely different reaction.  She ached a sigh, crossed her hands over her heart, and fell backwards onto my bed.  “That is just so…”  She took a breath and clicked the heals of her combat boots.  I prayed she’d say something other than “hokey.”  “So… romantic.”  Then she wiped away a hint of her sentimentality before it had the chance to smear her dark eye make-up.  She had spent too long applying deadly Goth to have it ruined by a girly tear.

Yes, I bought my boyfriend a star.  It was a little star – I didn’t make that much money – cleverly hidden in the Scorpius constellation.  The website informed me the little speck could be seen near the horizon using a telescope the size of a small skyscraper.  But the heavenly body, now and forever known as “Addison Wake,” was indeed there.  It was my gift to him, a little piece of eternity that would smile down upon us every night until the stars all went out.

Okay, it was a little hokey.

But what could I have given to Addison Wake?  He wasn’t exactly like the other boys at Redcliff High.  To be perfectly clear, he was nothing at all like anyone on this mortal world.  Addison was a phantom, a fugitive from the netherworld, casually walking among the living as shadowflesh.  He willed his dark, mysterious ether into the tall, lean embodiment of perfection.  An immortal soul, yet vulnerable shadowflesh.

And no, I didn’t need my head examined… or maybe I did.

Addison was completely wrong for me, completely wrong for any living, breathing girl who had a fondness for staying alive.  The more I knew we shouldn’t be together, the more I was drawn to him.  Like a knot, the harder a person tried to pull it apart the tighter it got.

To show my love for Addison, I had to think of something as unique, something as ageless as he.  Haiku hadn’t cut it.  And it wasn’t like I could burn him a CD of my favorite music and expect it to mean anything in a year, or a decade, or a century.  But a star, it would be forever.

And when that long and wonderful night finally came and Addison showed me the constellations, I would surprise him with his star, pointing to the part of the sky where the tiny speck was supposed to be.

I had no idea how he would react.  Maybe he’d shrug or look at me as if I had lost my mind.  Or maybe he’d arch one eyebrow higher than the other over his smoky blue eyes and kiss me.  It would be cold, December nights get that way, so he would undoubtedly drape his leather flight jacket over my shoulders and wrap me in his strong arms, and I would kiss him back like I had never kissed him before, like I would never kiss him again.  And perhaps that would be the night.  The night.

I no longer feared the darkness.  As a matter of fact, I looked forward it.  The longest, darkest night of the year waited for me, and that should have been my happily ever after.  But fate can be a funny, cruel thing.

 


Forget Me Not
Shadowflesh Series 
Book 2
Shawn Martin
Genre:  Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher:  Vinspire Publishing
Date of Publication:  March 31, 2014
ISBN:  0989063232
ASIN:  B00IKZTVUC
Number of pages:  308
Word Count: 73,500
Cover Artist:  Elaina Lee
Book Description:
Fortune has smiled on seventeen year old Aileen McCormick ever since Addison came back into her life, giving her the love she has so desperately longed for.  That is, until a mysterious man slithers across her path and slips a spellbinding cameo around her neck.  The cameo holds more than just the image of an enchantress who hungers for souls.  It possesses a curse that strangles away every memory Aileen has of Addison.
Addison, a three hundred year old fugitive from the netherworld, recognizes the wretched woman inside the cameo and the curse she has cast on his unsuspecting love.  The enchanted cameo has but one purpose:  to torment Aileen with hints of love she can no longer recall.   
Aileen cannot escape the deadly cameo.  She runs for her life with the curse only a breath away.  If she truly wants her memory back, the enchantress is all too willing to restore it.  It will cost her, though.  Cost her everything.
Amazon   Paperback  BN   Google Play    Kobo 
 
About the Author:
Shawn Martin calls Springfield, Missouri, home.  After graduating from Missouri State University with majors in Economics and Political Science, he bounced around the Midwest only to end up right where he started.
His day (and night) job is being a firefighter.  Aside from rescuing cats in trees and removing burnt pot roasts from ovens, he spends his time finding the hardest way to do the simplest of things.  The rest of his time is spent weaving words into another installment in the Shadowflesh Series.  Visit www.shadowflesh.com for a look into the author and his work.
twitter:  @martiniaff152
 
 

 

 

Aug 082014
 

No Biz Like Showbiz . . .

 

My name is Lexi Carmichael and I have a problem with most of today’s television programming. Not because of the sheer implausibility of a majority of the shows—although that does factor—but because too many programs seem to feature a tech genius who can solve the problems of the world with one stroke of a keyboard.

Here’s how it happens… a tech head is desperately trying to hack into a system. Death, the collapse of the free world, or the apocalypse is imminent if he fails. (Yes, tech heroes always seem to be guys since I guess in Hollywood a woman doesn’t know her way around a keyboard.) He types commands frantically as the clock ticks down to Doomsday. As the scenario continues, our frazzled hero takes a moment to run his fingers through his perfectly styled hair before he types just one more command and bingo, he’s in. He’ll then have a whole millisecond to navigate a completely unfamiliar system, find the magic switch, and shut down the entire system in time to save the day, world, girl, whatever, with one stroke. All of this while the super expensive, cutting-edge government system or expensive black-market technology used by the show’s villain will aid our intrepid hero by providing helpful visual prompts like Access Denied or Access Granted in big bold letters across the screen as he works his hacking magic.

Just shoot me.

 


No Biz Like Showbiz
Lexi Carmichael Mystery Series
Book 5
Julie Moffett
Genre: Mystery/Romance/ Action Adventure
Publisher: Carina Press
Date of Publication: July 21, 2014
ISBN: 9781426898730
ASIN:
Word Count: 75,000
Book Description:
Lexi Carmichael: Helping Geeks Everywhere Get Some
Okay, so it’s not exactly as it seems, but that’s what is happening on the dating reality television show called “Geeks Get Some” that I, Lexi Carmichael geek extraordinaire, am called to work on. Not that I’m a fan of reality shows (I can barely deal with my own reality), yet I’ve been sent to Hollywood to find a hacker who’s screwing with the results of the show’s online voting system.
So what happens when I get there? Well, the producers convince me to continue my investigation from the inside. What should be an easy hunt for the hacker turns ugly when he sets his sights on me. Add to that a studio obsessed with ratings, a bunch of nerdy contestants, and my own confusing love life, and unraveling this mystery might make me a star—or get me killed.
Catch up with Lexi in No One Lives Twice, No One to Trust, No Money Down, No Place Like Rome!
 
About the Author:
Julie Moffett is the award-winning author of thirteen published novels in the genres of historical, paranormal fantasy, and time travel romances, and action/adventure mysteries.
She grew up as a military brat (Air Force) and has traveled extensively. Her more exciting exploits include attending Kubasaki High School in Okinawa, Japan, backpacking around Europe and Scandinavia for several months, a year-long college graduate study in Warsaw, Poland and a wonderful trip to Scotland and Ireland where she fell in love with castles, kilts and brogues.
Julie has a B.A. in Political Science and Russian Language from Colorado College, a M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and is nearly finished with her M.Ed from Liberty University in Virginia. Able to speak Russian and Polish, she worked as a journalist for the international radio station, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Washington, D.C. for eleven years, publishing hundreds of articles. She now works as a proposal writer and research advisor for a defense contractor in the Washington, D.C. area.
 
Julie has two sons who keep her quite busy. She belongs to Romance Writers of America and Washington Romance Writers where she served six years on the organization’s Board of Directors. She was also the Market News Columnist and Feature’s Editor for the organization’s monthly newsletter, Update, for eleven years.
Twitter: @JMoffettAuthor

 

 

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Aug 082014
 

Excerpt 1

 

Laryssa had heard the customer behind her, but the damn mirror wire wouldn’t seem to catch right.  It kept slipping and she cursed under her breath, hoping she wouldn’t drop it.  If she could just hold it up a minute longer, she could get it to hang squarely on the wall.  She fingered the hook that she’d just renailed into the wall and then moved her thumb over to the thin metal string.  With a final shove upward, she attempted to flick it into place.  But as the wire caught, it sliced into her flesh.  A sharp sting threw her off balance, and her pumps began to waver.  Shit.  Not again.

“Oh my God!” Laryssa squeaked as she fell backwards, fully expecting to crack her head open on one of the many sharp-edged desks that sat adjacent to where she’d been working.  As she felt strong male hands slide up under her ribcage, grazing her breasts, she gasped.  She wasn’t sure whether to thank the stranger or call the police, but as she turned her face to try to see him, she immediately recognized her rescuer.

“It’s you,” she stammered, clutching his arms. Laryssa giggled nervously, realizing how once again she’d foolishly fallen in front of the sexy vampire.  And like last night, he’d caught her.  She couldn’t believe how clumsy she’d all of a sudden become.  She tried to relax and find her footing, but her heart was beating so fast that she could barely think.  What is he doing here in my shop?  How did he find me?

Like a story book flipping pages, her mind whirled until she remembered what she’d done last night at the club.  She’d fought off the asshole who’d grabbed her at the bar.  The feel of his hands around her throat had forced her fear into overdrive.  The knife had only been a few inches away, but still too far.  Desperation had taken over as her power surged, calling the blade to her fingertips.  Jamming it into his neck was as instinctive as breathing.  Kill or be killed, she’d always choose the former.  She’d run into the alley, refusing to discuss it with management.  The only one who knew her was Avery and there was no way her friend would have divulged her identity to the vampire.  She’d be more likely to turn him into a three horned sheep before she’d squeal.  The only way the vampire could have found her would have been if he’d followed her home.

A brush to her breast reminded her that she was still being held upright by him, and Laryssa felt her face grow red.  Arousal licked over her skin.  Cautiously, she rooted her shoes on the floor and turned around, steeling her nerves.

“I’m so sorry,” she said.

“My pleasure, mademoiselle, but I suggest you avoid heights in the future.”

Surreptitiously, she stole a glance at him, which reminded her how incredibly handsome he was.  His short dark hair was perfectly coiffed.  His white dress shirt hung casually over the waistband of his jeans.  Laryssa forced herself to look away, trying not to stare at the masculine features of his face. Straight nose, square jaw and perfectly kissable lips… lips that were smooth talking and way too articulate, teasing her with every word he spoke.  Beads of sweat broke out across her forehead.  It felt as if someone had turned up the heat, her skin was on fire.  She noticed his eyes were no longer on hers and had dropped to her chest.  They lingered only a second, and then he met her gaze and smiled.  She looked downward and noticed that several buttons had come undone in her fall, revealing the edges of her white lace bra.  Could this day get any more embarrassing?  Laryssa’s fingers shook as she buttoned her sweater.

“I’m so sorry.  I just…you just…I just…”  Great, first I’m a klutz and now I can’t speak.  She bit her lip, paused and then took a deep breath before starting again.  “Thank you for catching me.”

“Again.”  Léopold watched her as she adjusted her clothes, wishing to rip the rest of the pearly buttons from their fragile seams. But he refused to let the beast within take what it wanted.  No, he’d find out what the hell she was before showing her his true nature. “Yes, thank you…again.”  She smoothed down her skirt, trying to pretend she hadn’t just fallen into his arms and let him feel her up in the process.  Business, think business.  Her pulse slowed and she willed herself to appear nonchalant.

“We met last night, remember?” he pressed. Léopold smiled and ran his hand over the colorful marquetry in rosewood that scrolled through a seventeenth century secretaire.  Interesting that she could deliberately control the flow of her blood.  It further piqued his concern about her species.  What was she?

Laryssa’s eyes met his, widening at the confirmation that he knew exactly who she was.

“Yes, yes I do.  But I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name.”  Vampire.  Big bad vampire.  Laryssa watched intently as he fingered the furniture, trailing his thumb over the symmetrical scenes as if he was caressing a lover.

“Lovely.”  Léopold flashed his eyes to hers.

“What?”  Laryssa realized that he was toying with her, purposefully trying to make her nervous.

“I said, it’s lovely.  The neoclassical architectural structures.  The white marble top.  Doré bronze mounts.”

“Is there something specific I can help you with?”

“You get directly to the point?”  Léopold had intended to play with her a bit, throw her off her game.  Yet his little rabbit wasn’t frozen in the field like he’d anticipated.  No, she rebounded nicely, and now stood confidently like a wildcat, poised to attack.

“I don’t really have time to waste.  So yeah, I’d like to know why you followed me from the club.  And I really want to know what you are doing in my shop.”

Léopold merely laughed and crossed the room to admire a chair and matching settee.

“Circa 1775?”

Laryssa walked over and placed her hand on the elegant Louis XVI chair.   “Yes.  How did you know?  It’s a very special piece.  It has the mark of Versailles Palace on it.”

“Indeed.”  Léopold sat in the chair, wrapping his fingers around its arms.  “Nothing but the best.  Fit for a king.”

“And I suspect you’d like being a king.” She put her hands on her hips, waiting for him to respond.

“Ah, a king I never was.  But I’ve dined with kings, and I can assure you that while they enjoy the extravagances of the rich, they often lose their heads.  Easy come, easy go.”

“Why are you here?” Laryssa brushed her hair back, attempting to regain her composure. “Are you looking for something specific?”

“Oui, pet.  But not an antique.  While I do enjoy shopping, this is hardly the time.”  Léopold lost the smile, allowing his eyes to pierce hers. “So I shall get to the point.  What are you?”

Laryssa lost her ability to rein in her pulse and her heart began to fiercely pump hot blood through her veins.  Her lips tightened, and she clenched her jaw.  How dare he ask about her?  What the hell did he want from her anyway? Dear God, she had enough issues with the darkness on her tail and now he was asking about her origins.

“What do you mean, ‘what am I?’ I’m the owner of this store.  Does that answer your question?”  Laryssa asked, her voice growing louder.  “Who are you?”

“Léopold Devereoux.  That’s who I am.  I can be your angel or nightmare, depending on the day.  So listen up.  What. Are. You?”  Léopold didn’t make a move.  He sat completely still, anticipating her answer.

 


Léopold’s Wicked Embrace
Immortals of New Orleans
Book 5
Kym Grosso
Genre:  Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Independent – MT Carvin Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication:  April 5, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1497312449
ISBN-10: 1497312442
ASIN: B00JHNAWQS
Number of pages:  412 print
Word Count:  100,045
Cover Artist:  Cora Graphics
Book Description:
An erotic paranormal romance…
Seductive and lethal vampire, Léopold Devereoux, returns to the Big Easy to find a killer.  His search leads him to a beautiful and mysterious woman, who awakens desires and emotions that he’s long fought to keep buried.  After centuries of self-imposed solitude, the billionaire philanthropist struggles to restrain his growing thirst for the intriguing, lovely female who’s captured his attention.
Laryssa Theriot, an antiques proprietor in the Vieux Carré, agrees to help the commanding yet debonair stranger, who seeks her assistance.  She withholds her secret abilities, afraid to trust the man who threatens to unleash her darkest fantasies.  All the while, Léopold consumes her thoughts, testing her limits and bringing her to new levels of ecstasy.  As the menacing force that has stalked Laryssa for years finally catches up to her, she submits, putting her life into the hands of the dominant vampire who offers his protection.
Deep in the heart of New Orleans, they embark on a perilous adventure, forced to search for an ancient sacrificial relic that they hope will save their lives.  As they face formidable challenges, Léopold and Laryssa surrender to the passionate intimacy that possesses them.  After hundreds of years of denying himself love, will Léopold bond to the woman who has begun to crack the impenetrable shell around his heart?  As evil draws near, will Laryssa survive the demon that has come to take her soul?
Warning: This book contains several erotic love scenes and is intended for adult readers only.
Amazon US        Amazon UK        Amazon CA

 

BN      Smashwords     All Romance Books
 
About the Author:
Kym Grosso is the author of the bestselling erotic paranormal romance series, The Immortals of New Orleans.  The series currently includes Kade’s Dark Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 1), Luca’s Magic Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 2), Tristan’s Lyceum Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 3), Logan’s Acadian Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 4) and Léopold’s Wicked Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 5).
In addition to romance, Kym has written and published several articles about autism, and is passionate about autism advocacy.  She also is a contributing essay author in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum.
Kym lives with her husband, two children, dog and cat. Her hobbies include autism advocacy, reading, tennis, zumba, traveling and spending time with her husband and children. New Orleans, with its rich culture, history and unique cuisine, is one of her favorite places to visit. Also, she loves traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow-covered mountains. On any given night, when not writing her own books, Kym can be found reading her Kindle, which is filled with hundreds of romances.

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Aug 072014
 

CHAPTER ONE

 

New York City

1912

 

A torrential downpour bounced off the sloping roof of the Sunshine Theater. Inside the auditorium, an eager audience sat riveted by Dragomir Starkov’s onstage presence.

Dressed in black, he moved with confidence. With his hair slicked back from a widow’s peak and his eyes drawing the crowd into his mirage, he spoke in a heavy, Romanian accent. “Ladies and gentlemen, I will now attempt something few magicians dare. I will bring a creature back to life.”

Turning to the rear of the stage, he hid his hands from view. When he faced the audience again, he presented the body of what appeared to be a dead kitten. The small animal hung limply across his open palm. Murmuring a low chant, he waved it from one side of the stage to the other.  Then, with a flick of his white-gloved fingers, he urged the kitten back to life.

The small cat sat up erect and blinked in astonishment. As it let out a satisfied “meow,” it sprang to the floor.

The audience clapped wildly. In turn, Drago stepped forward. That’s when he spotted the woman he had willed to come to tonight’s show.

With an abundance of flaxen hair that swayed from a ponytail like wheat in a summer breeze, and a flawless complexion that glowed against the stage’s low-lying gaslights, the young woman’s beauty imprisoned Drago like a padlock. In the sparkle of her violet eyes he saw something amazing—a unique essence of goodness that compelled him as he often compelled

She’s even more beautiful than she was in my vision.

The girl flashed him a smile—and when it illuminated his world of darkness like a bright spotlight, the need to protect and possess her rose within him. But it didn’t matter how he felt. He was here to banish a cruel curse cast upon her when she was a baby. And if he wanted to weave his unique spell around her, he needed to hypnotize her now.

A hush fell over the theater. Clasping his hands behind his back, Drago paced the stage like a caged animal. “For my next trick, I need a female volunteer from the audience.”

Numerous hands went up. He ignored them. Once he unlaced his dark cape, he threw it into the wings. “I need a very special participant for this mystifying trick.”

Pressing his forefinger to his temple, he pretended to use his powers of telepathy. Just then, the beautiful blond girl left her seat, accompanied by her dark-haired friend. They scurried to the theater’s center aisle, apparently adverse to the thought of being called on to volunteer.

“You there!” Drago thundered.

The duo froze in their tracks and wheeled around.

Pulling on her thick, blond ponytail, Rose—her name popped into Drago’s head suddenly—blushed.

“You, my dear.” He galloped halfway down the staircase at the side of the stage and extended his hand.

“Go on, Rose!” her friend encouraged. Drago was right about her name.

Rose smoothed her gingham dress. She joined him on the shadowed staircase, then took his hand. As Drago grasped it, an alarming chill raced up his spine. And when her pink lips spread into another shy smile, he found himself completely enchanted.

Leading her to center stage he said, “Please tell the audience your name, Miss.”

“It’s Rose Carlisle.”

“Have we ever met before, Rose?”

“No.”

“If you don’t mind, I’d like to tell the spectators how old you are.”

“I don’t know how you could guess that, but very well,” she replied in a sweet, clear voice.

He cleared his throat. “Today is your birthday, and you are twenty years old.” The number surfaced in his mind as surely as he knew his own birthday.

Rose’s jaw dropped open. She nodded vigorously. “How did you know?” Her friend, who had returned to her seat in the front row, mirrored her stunned expression.

Drago felt his affinity for the doe-eyed beauty grow. Yet he urged himself to be careful—and to make her feel as comfortable with him as possible.

“It doesn’t take a magician to see that you’ve attended this show without your parents’ permission,” he said. “Is that right, Miss Carlisle?”

The crowd chuckled lightly at the joke. Rose looked stunned. “I haven’t seen my parents since I was a baby. But my adoptive parents don’t know I’m here.”

“I see,” Drago remarked lightheartedly. But when he saw Rose clutching her hands together nervously, he sensed her pain ran deep.

“Have you ever been a magician’s assistant?”

“No,” Rose replied. “In fact, this is my first magic show.”

“We’ll have to make it one you’ll never forget.”

When he reached for her small, velvet hand, it trembled inside his at the suggestion.

“Promise me you won’t be anxious,” he said. “I would never allow harm to come to you.”

She slid a glance his way—and they locked eyes for what felt like an eternity.

“I’ll try not to be nervous,” she finally promised. “What do I have to do?”

“Absolutely nothing. Just close your lovely eyes and remain in one spot.”

Rose did as she was told. Drago took the opportunity to study her high cheekbones, dainty mouth, and hourglass figure. Though she was tall, her demeanor lent her a fragile air. She seemed to him a delicate, porcelain doll which could be broken easily if handled improperly.

Frowning, he tried to concentrate on performing his illusion. While Rose kept her eyes closed, he massaged the air in front of him with his fingertips. As he murmured something inaudible, he willed Rose’s feet to rise slowly off the ground.

It appeared as if someone was pulling her legs out from under her. Eventually, her torso, limbs, and head reached a plane parallel to the stage and she was levitating in space.

The crowd gasped as Drago reached for a large silver hoop. He proceeded to pass the circle back and forth over Rose’s stiff body. When he twisted and turned it in every direction, the audience gasped. The trick, which had been performed only one time before, proved it had the power to intrigue.

“Are you doing all right, Rose?” Drago asked in a gentle voice.

She nodded. Her ponytail swung toward the wooden floor.

“Excellent.” Drago passed the silver hoop to his brunette assistant, Katherine. “Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make. The second half of this trick is new even to me. However, it’s something I feel bold enough to try with Miss Carlisle’s help.”

Drago’s assistant cast him an angry look. He continued on anyway. “Katherine, would

you hand me that red silk drape?” he asked.

Clearly irritated, Katherine moved to the tiny prop table in the corner. Once she passed a large cloth to Drago, he unfolded it and draped it over the length of Rose’s levitating body.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said in a low tone. “Making a woman levitate in midair is one thing. But what if I made her …disappear?”

He whipped off the red drape and exposed nothing but air. Men in pinstriped suits leapt to their feet and women touched their hats in astonishment.

When the audience’s enthusiastic clapping subsided, Drago removed his gloves. “Now

I’ll make our lovely Rose reappear. Just… like… that.”

Snapping his fingers loudly, he moved to a cabinet in the middle of the stage. He opened the cabinet’s door with an exaggerated gesture and there stood a pale-faced Rose. Grinning, Drago took her hand and helped her out. Together they walked to the front of the stage and were greeted with thunderous applause.

As he took one step away from Rose, Drago bowed to her as well. Her cheeks regained their color—and she looked at him as if he were the most wonderful man in the world.

Although leaving her was the last thing he desired to do, he had no choice.  Drago came closer to her and pressed something into her hand. Then he mouthed the haunting words, “Wear this and come back to me.”

 

 

Rose’s hand closed around the item the handsome magician had placed in her palm. The curtain closed with a dramatic whoosh—and as she stumbled up the aisle, she unfurled her hand and stared at the object. It was a beautiful amulet that bore a silver chain and mysterious Egyptian engravings.

 

Sleeping Beauty and the Demon
The Cursed Princes
Book 4
Marina Myles
Genre: Historical/paranormal romance
Publisher: eKensington
Date of Publication:  August 7, 2014
ISBN: 9781601832818
ASIN:B00IUPCLWW
Word Count: 75,000
Book Description:
Sleight Of Hand
Dragomir Starkov poses as an illusionist, a showman performing tricks, his Romanian accent and dark good looks all just a part of the drama. That’s how Rose Carlisle first sees him. She’s a respectable girl—she wouldn’t accept witchy birthday gifts from a demon.
But the hustle and bustle of 1912 New York City offers plenty of ways to slip around the strict old rules of propriety. A good thing, too, because once Rose meets Drago, she no longer cares about being respectable.
But the only illusion in Drago’s act is that his magic is smoke and mirrors. Every word of power he speaks is as real as Rose before him, in thrall to his lust and adoration. Drago knows about Rose’s curse, that she will die on her next birthday.
But the shadowy threat that stalks her hasn’t won her yet. If she can trust him, perhaps he can save her too…
Available at Amazon    BN    Kobo   iTunes  Google Play Books
 
About the Author:
Marina Myles’s love of books began as soon as she read her first fairy tale. During her college days, she received degrees in English Literature and Communications—and enjoyed the unique experience of being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
Now that she lives under the sunny skies of Arizona, she hasn’t left her glamorous life behind completely. After all, she gets to divide her time between her loving family, her loyal Maltese, and worlds filled with fiery—but not easily attained—love affairs.
Visit her at www.marinamyles.com

 

 

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Aug 072014
 

Excerpt  Dark Vengeance Part 1:

 

Lina had never seen Brandon so fully enthralled by the bloodlust before—not without him feeding from her or finding sexual release. It had left him exhausted, flustered and—she realized suddenly—frightened.

Because he’s never seen himself like this, either.

“Brandon,” she whispered, reaching up to press her palm to his cheek. God, he was burning up, his skin hot like the side of a glassworks furnace. “Feed from me.”

Don’t ask me that, he gasped, shaking his head. God, Lina, please. I can’t!

“Yes, you can,” she pleaded. “You have to try. This isn’t working.”

It has to! he cried. Shaking his head his head to dislodge her hand from his face, he then seized hold of her, locking his fingers through hers, pinning her hands down against the bed. You don’t understand, he seethed, his brows furrowed. He leaned down enough for her to see herself—her sudden, visible alarm—reflected in the obsidian pools of his eyes. This has to work—it has to. If I bite you now, I won’t be able to stop. Do you get it? Do you hear me? I won’t be able to stop myself!


Dark Vengeance Part 1
The Brethren Series
Book 6
Sara Reinke
Genre: paranormal/vampire
Publisher:  Bloodhorse Press
Date of Publication: 11/2011
ISBN:  9780983216322
ASIN: B006CPC4UQ
Number of pages: 155
Word Count: 62,640
Book Description: 
Brandon Noble thinks the worst is behind him and is ready to begin a new life with the woman he loves. Lina Jones is more reluctant to let bygones be bygones, but agrees to try for Brandon’s sake. But just as they look forward to a promising future together, new danger arises — and Brandon’s very nature could threaten to tear them ruthlessly apart.

 

 
Dark Vengeance Part 2
The Brethren Series
Book 8
Sara Reinke
Genre: paranormal/vampire
Publisher: Bloodhorse Press
Date of Publication: 6/2014
ISBN:          9781311902924
ASIN: pending
Number of pages: 212
Word Count: 130,860
Book Description:
From the beginning, it’s been the two of them: Brandon Noble and Lina Jones, against the world…against all odds. But in the end, Brandon couldn’t resist his true vampire nature, and the relentless pull of the blood lust drove them apart. Now he’s disappeared without a trace and his life may very well be in danger. Can Lina put aside her broken heart to help find the man she loves? Or does Brandon’s salvation lie in the hands of the most unlikely hero of all?
Smashwords   Amazon    BN
 
About the Author:
“Definitely an author to watch.” That’s how Romantic Times Book Reviews magazine describes Sara Reinke. 
New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards calls Reinke “a new paranormal star” and Love Romances and More hails her as “a fresh new voice to a genre that has grown stale.”
Dark Thirst and Dark Hunger, the first two books in The Brethren Series of vampire romance are available from Kensington/Zebra Books, while the third installment, Dark Passion, is available from Double Dragon Publishing. 
The series continued with Dark Passages: Tristan & Karen, Dark Passages 2: Pilar & Elías and Dark Vengeance Parts 1 and 2, from Bloodhorse Press.
Learn more about Sara and her available titles at www.sarareinke.com

 

 

Aug 052014
 
 

I bit my lip, wanting to avoid any subject that could ruin the easy camaraderie of our afternoons together. Michael had been friendly and funny, teasing me gently, treating me with the easy affection of an older brother. Once or twice I’d caught him watching me with a fierce intentness that made my heart skip. But then he’d grin or offer a quip that made us both laugh, and the uncomfortable moment would pass.

I enjoyed the lightness of our friendship, grateful for the reprieve. In the rose garden at Summerwood and later on the trip to San Francisco, I had felt the slow but persistent budding of a new feeling that both thrilled and frightened me. The lightest touch of Michael’s hand pricked up hairs along my skin like electricity; his boyish grin twisted a slow, sweet pain deep into my body. His clean, male scent in close proximity could stun me with unexpected waves of need, often forcing me to look away so he wouldn’t see the flame in my eyes.

I couldn’t allow Michael to guess where my heart was taking me—because of Raymond.

Although many things were unclear to me, one fact seemed certain—Katherine must marry Raymond Delacroix and have at least one child with him. If I gave in to my new feelings for Michael, and if I were cruel enough to let him see them, then I risked both hurting him and ruining Katherine’s chances with Raymond when she came back to her own time.

And Katherine would come back. I was convinced of it, all my desperate wishes to the contrary. She would marry Raymond, give birth to Elise, and secure a future that would eventually lead to her daughter painting a picture of Katherine and me at the bridge over Two Trees Creek. By the same token, I would return to life as a lingerie model and a cold marriage with Ryan Ashton. Ryan.

“What?” Michael’s voice made me jump and turn my head.

“What?”

“You said ‘Ryan’ again.”

“I did?”

Michael had removed his glasses, and he blinked at me from only a foot away. God, he has beautiful eyes, I thought. Soft gray-green depths that held me breathless, fighting a slow, aching pull to be in his arms.

“He’s…nobody,” I said.

Michael was studying me, his eyes so solemn and searching that I couldn’t look away. He didn’t speak, but in that moment my heart yearned toward him, and he saw it. His expression changed. His gaze moved slowly from my eyes to my mouth.

I turned my face away and shut my eyes over a sudden sting of tears.

“Kat?” he said softly.

His voice held a new, cautious note of intimacy. A moment later his thumb brushed my wet cheek, and the tenderness of his touch wrenched a low cry from me. I pushed his hand away and struggled to sit upright.

“Don’t touch me!” Pain made my voice sharp. “You can’t touch me, Michael!”

But his hand was already under my elbow, helping me to sit. He pushed a handkerchief into my hand.

“Here. Take it.” He sounded bewildered and hurt. “Seems you’d rather do the job yourself.”

He watched me wipe my eyes and blow my nose with his handkerchief. I couldn’t look at him, and after a moment he reached for his glasses and slipped them on.

In a tight voice he asked, “Do you still want to visit Union Square?”

I pressed the soggy handkerchief to my lips and nodded.

Michael pushed himself to his feet and thrust out a hand to help me up. We folded the blanket between us, careful not to touch each other’s fingers, and he picked up the hamper. As we crossed the grass in uneasy silence, a fresh roll of tears made me reach into my handbag for a clean handkerchief. A flash of copper tumbled into the grass.

I stopped quickly, but Michael was quicker. He scooped up the coin, examined it briefly, and gave it back to me.

“You still carrying that thing around?”

I looked up at him, my handkerchief arrested halfway to my face. “My coin? What do you know about my coin?”

He squinted at me and frowned. “You’re kidding, right? I was with you when you paid a nickel for that worthless thing at the county fair. You said it was good luck, and you carried it around in your pocket for years.” He stopped at my look. “What is it?”

“Michael, are you certain this is the same coin?”

I handed it back to him. His gaze lingered on my face, puzzled, before he examined the coin. He weighed it briefly on his palm, flipped it over, and gave it back to me.

“Of course I’m certain.” He pointed his finger at the familiar nick in the rim. “There’s where the wagon wheel ran over it, and you were so furious because you thought the magic was ruined.” He screwed up his eyes against the sun and studied me. “What’s the matter with you, Kat? You’re looking at me like I’ve got two heads.”

I shook my head in dazed wonder, suspended once again in that universe where Katherine’s world and mine overlapped and where it made perfect sense that her lucky coin should have somehow come to me—twice.

 
Borrowed Promises
Moonseed Trilogy
Book 2
Judith Ingram
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: May 31, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9890632-4-1
ASIN: B00JD0H2ZE
Number of pages: 249 pages
Word Count: 73,300 (approx.)
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee/For the Muse Designs
Book Description:
On the night of the new spring moon, a near-fatal accident propelled Victoria Reeves-Ashton over a century back in time to awaken in the body of Katherine Kamarov.
Now, after three months of pretending to be Katherine and laboring to repair relationships damaged by Katherine’s brash and selfish personality, quiet and gentle Victoria finds that her heart is putting down roots in Katherine’s world, in her family relationships, and especially in a deepening friendship with Katherine’s winsome cousin Michael.
Hidden letters reveal the story of other moonseed-time travelers like herself-and Victoria realizes that she and Katherine will likely be returned to their own times the following spring. Tension mounts when a rich and handsome suitor applies to marry her, and Victoria must choose whether to accept him for Katherine’s sake or to follow her own heart.
Ryan Ashton, the husband Victoria left behind, is baffled by the woman his wife has suddenly become. Unwilling to believe her story about an exchange in time, Ryan struggles to understand the stark transformation of his timid, remote wife into a sexually aggressive and captivating siren. Against his better judgment, he falls hard for this new woman who is a perplexing mixture of cruelty, sensuality, and tenderness, a woman who he suspects has the power to either break his heart or heal the aching loneliness he has lived with all his life.
About the Author:
Judith Ingram weaves together her love of romance and her training as a counselor to create stories and characters for her novels. She also writes Christian nonfiction books and enjoys speaking to groups on a variety of inspirational topics. She lives with her husband in the San Francisco East Bay and makes frequent trips to California’s beautiful Sonoma County, where most of her fiction characters reside. She confesses a love for chocolate, cheesecake, romantic suspense novels, and all things feline.
Website, blog & free weekly devotional: http://JudithIngram.com

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