About Mae Clair

Writing tales of myth, mystery, and contemporary romantic suspense

Debbie Peterson Visits the Ghosts of Berry Pomeroy Castle

I’ve got a special Pen Pal on my blog today–Debbie Peterson, whose novels I love. I’ve read them all, and each time I think she can’t out do herself, she does. I’m currently deeply engrossed in her latest release, SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT, and think it’s my favorite to date. A Scottish Castle, romance, ghosts, mystery . . . what’s not to love?

Today, Debbie has dropped by to share a few eerie legends about Berry Pomeroy Castle, rumored to be one of the most haunted sites in the British Isles. What better way to usher in her ghostly romance, SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT, than to set the tone with this thoroughly spooky guest post:

~ooOOoo~

Hello Mae! I’m so excited to be here and share some blog space with you today while I celebrate the early Kindle release of “Spirit of the Knight . . .”

Mariah Jennings, the heroine of “Spirit of the Knight,” believes in ghosts. After all, she has seen her fair share of them since taking on the task of painting castles for “The Gallery of Castles Project.” For instance, shortly after arriving at her first assignment in South Devon, England, she discovered firsthand the wild tales concerning Berry Pomeroy Castle were, in fact, quite true.

The mysterious castle ruins, nestled deep in a wooded valley, charmed Mariah at first glance. She easily imagined William the Conqueror gifting the lands to Ralph de Pomeroy in appreciation of his support during the Norman invasion and all the way through the battle of Hastings in the year 1066. Yet, the lovely fortification wouldn’t grace the area until 1305.

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Berry Pomeroy Castle
Courtesy of Wikimedia, Image in Public Domain

Her research also revealed that two centuries later, Sir Edward Seymour, brother-in-law of King Henry VIII and Lord Protector of England, acquired Berry Pomeroy in the 1540’s. During his tenure as Lord Protector, Sir Edward made a host of enemies. Therefore, it didn’t surprise a soul that in October of 1549, the Earl of Warwick managed to oust and imprison him in the Tower of London. His subsequent conviction on twenty-nine different charges resulted in a death sentence. Edward’s enemies saw him executed on the 22nd day of January, in the year 1552. His death notwithstanding, the Seymour family inhabited the castle until 1668 and retains guardianship to this very day.

Now, the day Mariah arrived at Pomeroy, the locals regaled her with stories of ghostly apparitions and strange phenomena. They spoke of lights without source, disembodied voices, cold spots, and sudden, freak winds. She could testify to all of that and within the first few days of her stay. Those particular events didn’t pose a problem for Mariah. However, becoming a witness to the legendary, full-bodied apparitions took far more courage.

While inspecting the shadowy dungeon, she came face to face with the “White Lady.” This particular ghost haunts the castle prison, and rises up from the tower known as St. Margaret’s, to the castle ramparts. She is the spirit of Margaret Pomeroy, imprisoned by her sister Eleanor, after Lord Pomeroy left for the crusades. Unfortunately, their father left Eleanor in charge. According to legend, jealousy of Margaret’s beauty and her love for the man she too desired, Eleanor slowly starved Margaret to death, following a two-decade incarceration.

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Berry Pomeroy Castle
Courtesy of Wikimedia, Image in Public Domain

Shortly after the shock of seeing the ghost wore off, an apparition dressed in a long blue cape and hood appeared in the doorway as Mariah worked on her first painting of the castle.  Known as the “Blue Lady,” this ominous spirit enjoys luring men into the most dangerous, unstable portions of the castle in hopes of facilitating their death. Why would she do such a dastardly thing? Well, tradition maintains this spirit is the daughter of a Norman Lord who once occupied the castle. His vile abuse resulted in the birth of a child. To cover his heinous deed, the man strangled the infant. Another version of the story states that our “Blue Lady” hated the child so much, she strangled it herself. As a result, her troubled spirit will never find rest. Those who’ve seen her say she wrings her hands in anguish and torment. At various times, the cries of the murdered infant can be heard throughout the castle. (I’m not certain I’d want to stick around after that…)

During her stay, Mariah oftentimes heard unexplained screams accompanied by heavy thuds in a vicinity of the castle known as Pomeroy’s Leap. This, the locals said, was easily explained. Besieged at the castle, with defeat imminent, two brothers dressed themselves in full armor. They mounted their horses, rode off the top of the castle ramparts, and fell into the precipice below. An act–considered heroic by some–they apparently replicate to this very day.

Despite the beauty of the castle, Mariah seemed quite relieved the day she packed her belongings and headed to the next castle on her list. I can’t say that I blame her though, do you?

Thanks Mae, I truly enjoy each of my visits with you!

Book cover for Spirit of the KnightBLURB SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT:
She fell deeply in love with him in the early days of her childhood. And in return, she captured his heart the moment he first cast his gaze upon her…

Renowned artist, Mariah Jennings hired to paint a thirteenth-century Scottish castle, gets the shock of her life when she encounters the handsome knight who has dominated a lifetime of portraits and sketchbooks.

But Sir Cailen Braithnoch is no ordinary ghost, nor did he suffer an ordinary death. Magic of the blackest kind cast a pall over the knights centuries ago. As the ghost and his lady seek to unravel the paradox surrounding his death, black arts, otherworldly forces, and a jealous rival conspire against them.

Will those forces tear them apart, or is their love destined to last throughout the ages?

ABOUT THE AUTHORDebbie Peterson, Author Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages, but in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel, “Spirit of the Rebellion” to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press. A few short months after Rebellion’s release, her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven” was published through InkSpell Publishing. Her third novel, “Spirit of the Revolution” was released in 2013, through The Wild Rose Press.

When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.

You can find Debbie at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT is currently available in early release for purchase on Amazon

 

Hump Day Visits by Mae Clair

I’m visiting today, hopping over to my friend’s blog. Daisy Banks, a lovely sister author from across the pond was kind enough to invite me to her blog to gush er, talk, about SOLSTICE ISLAND. Before I hop over there (and invite you to do the same), I wanted to wish everyone a happy hump day.

Two butterflies on flowering white bloomsWe’re on the downside of the week now, rolling toward the weekend (my favorite time).

We’re also halfway through April. Have you noticed how green everything is getting? In my neck of the woods, trees are blooming, flowers are sprouting, and the grass has tossed off the brown dregs of winter. On the downside, all of that lush budding and flowering is playing havoc with my sinuses. I suppose it’s a small price to pay for the return of spring.

Enjoy your Wednesday, and if you get a moment, please say hello over at Daisy’s blog. She’s got a really nifty hangout and loves to showcase authors. You may even want to sign-up to follow while you’re there! :D

I’m also visiting with the awesome Debbie Peterson with an entirely different post on SOLSTICE ISLAND. Debbie has a very cool paranormal blog and writes beautiful ghostly romances. I’m presently enraptured with her current release, SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT, which is looking destined to become one of my all time favorite reads. While you’re wandering around the blogosphere on hump day, do drop over and say hello! :)

North Parish Book Tour with Rohn Federbush #Giveaway

Today, as a Buy the Book Tour participating host, I’m welcoming Rohn Federbush as she tours with her new release, North Parish. I was initially drawn to this book by it’s gorgeous cover and title, then after reading the blurb, knew I had to showcase it. Please welcome Rohn as she shares her background, writing process, and what inspires her creativity. There’s also a Rafflecopter giveaway link at the bottom, so be sure to enter!

Tour banner for North Parish by Rohn Federbush~ooOOoo~

I lived on farms in Illinois until I was fourteen. Those wind-swept plains can’t compare to the storm-free, surrounding hills of my adopted state of Michigan. I’m dyslectic and uncomfortable in crowds. I’m happier in my old-age than I ever was in the riotous, experimental years of youth. Who hasn’t wanted to know everything about everything?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was sixteen. My sister’s baby died after not completing a day of life. Her name was Diane Thaddeus Schultz. I was shocked because my high-school English class remained unaware of my family’s loss, or the world’s. So I wrote a poem and eulogized my niece, hooking me forever on the potency of catharsis and the power of adding to the remembrance of a lost child. What gave you your first clue that you were one of us, unable to stop putting words on paper?

How long does it take you to read a book? My first writing draft is finished in about three months, but the editing takes even longer. I’m usually at my writing desk by 9:00 in the morning. I outline. I use Elizabeth’s system from “Write Right” and Michael Hauge’s “Six Stage Plot Structure,” which is a furtherance of Debra Dixon’s “Goals, Motivation, and Conflict” structure for characters. I put the finished outline, which includes one-sentence scene descriptions into the body of my manuscript and start writing the Rough Draft. Nothing is ever final, the outline, the sequence of scenes, etc. But the skeleton exists. The next day’s scene can be reviewed before bed and embellished in the morning. If I get stopped, I interview the characters to find out where we’re going.

I’ve been writing full time since 1999, when I retired from the University of Michigan as an Administrative Assistant. Of course, I take breaks, and lunch. However, I try not to stop until I have ten new pages or 4:00 arrives. My completed books are piling up, but I am still happiest and better balanced when new work is created. It is tempting to market full time, but the writer work-ethic in me rebels.

My ideas for books follow my curiosity. How does it feel to be this character or that one? Could I live in this place or that climate? What if I had lived in those times, in that war, or among those gardens? What if my goal had been to be a race-car driver, or a ghost-hunter, or a forest ranger? While I yet live, the wonder of life keeps me intrigued.

When I’m not writing, I paint cartoonish pictures in oil and even watercolors. I love the control over colors. I paint in primary colors, heavy on the brush. After fifteen years of steady fictional work output, my family has pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that I’ll be writing on my death bed. One sister-in-law thought I might have missed a career as a painter, but she received one of my better oils.

I’ve completed 15 novels. The three historicals about Michigan and Ann Arbor history are my favorites. But the one I’m working on, editing or writing new scenes, always claims my heart. When an idea presents itself for a story, the title usually comes first and then the resolution. I think we all write with a purpose. Sure to entertain is required, but to last in the world of more books than people, the need to share an understanding of how life works and my belief in a Higher Power, Our Father’s presence in our lives motivates me.

Hiring my GirlFriday, Florence Price, has saved me from frustrating chores I don’t have the patience to learn. Such as my website design, promotion ideas and an increasing number of tasks I ask her to undertake.

I like being married better than living alone. Of course, I am married to the best man in the universe. I’m also thankful for moderate good health in old age. My grandchildren are perfect and my children claim every ounce of affection I own. Isn’t this  every woman’s dream?

Have you read any of my books on Amazon, yet? I’m on Linkedin and have two               Facebook pages. Feel free to contact me at rohn@comcast.net. My website is             www.rohnfederbush.com

NORTH PARISH BLURB

An Ann Arborite, Professor Silas Douglas, became the first president of Michigan’s Historical Society. He was a teenager who witnessed the 1818 Maumee River treaty signing by seven tribes for President Monroe’s Erie Canal. The names of the tribes and the individual natives have been preserved in the Ann Arbor Public Library.

North Parish follows the diplomats around the Great Lakes.

* * * * *

Book cover for North Parish by Rohn FederbushParish North is the blonde adopted son of a Huron native, and with his manhood-quest completed in time for his father’s trip with a Jesuit bishop, he’s allowed to participate in the efforts to secure powwow agreements from seven tribes around the Great Lakes for the building of the Erie Canal. During the trip, Parish recognizes his vision temptress in Dorothy Evans.

Hoping to join the delegation, Dorothy Evans dreams of escaping duties as her mother’s cook-helper at Fort Detroit. Exciting windows to the wider world open for the girl in the Fort’s Jesuit library. Two centuries worth of European books convince her everything good and pure comes from nature. And when Dorothy meets the blond native, Parish North, she feels her heart quicken when he smiles in her direction. She’s positive Parish is half of her future.

When a bishop assigned to the trip persuades Dorothy’s mother to allow him to chaperon her intelligent daughter on the trip to facilitate her education, Dorothy’s mother accepts his kind offer with the comforting knowledge that Dorothy is under the protection of a man of the Church. But the Bishop’s intentions may not be as pure as they appear and Dorothy’s virtue is in danger. Will the Bishop’s unholy plan succeed?

EXCERPT:
Fort Detroit, Fall, 1817

Cheers from the fort’s crowd drew sixteen-year-old Dorothy Evans to the river’s shore. Two high-ended Algonquin canoes from Lake Erie and a smaller French trapper’s canoe advanced toward them on the Detroit River. With each new shout, more yellow aspen leaves tumbled to the ground, crushed under the feet of soldiers and civilians rushing along the riverbank. The sober clothing of the throng clashed with the riotous colors of the maple trees.

A Chippewa runner had arrived the night before to warn, or rather to assemble the fort’s population for Bishop Pascal’s arrival. Father Sebastian, the Jesuit pastor, rose on his tiptoes to peer down river. Dorothy and her mother stood on either side of the nervous priest. Elizabeth’s short, plump figure advertised her success as the rectory’s cook. Dorothy considered herself a competent but reluctant cook’s helper.

Preparations for meals left little time to think, to read, to dream. She hurried through her daily chores to escape into the priest’s extensive library. For more than a hundred years, the Jesuits at Fort Detroit had collected Europe’s finest literature. The tomes whetted her appetite for adventure and romance.

As Dorothy waited for the Bishop, histories of Florence, its free thinkers, faces of popes and red-garbed cardinals swam in her head. The band of young and seasoned soldiers from the fort held no interest. They smelled, and treated her as the stuck-up cook’s daughter. She was only someone to hand out an extra cookie or two when their buddies weren’t around to tease. But in her secret heart, Dorothy was a mysterious spy, an adventurous temptress, a princess waiting to be rescued.

No hint of cardinal reds were in the approaching crafts, only more drab brown and black clothing. Dorothy sighed, breathed in the cool, tannic-scented air and prayed for patience as the ceremonies began. Her chores awaited and her fingers itched to re-open the Italian history she had set aside.

After the first boat emptied its passengers, a sergeant among the troops yelled, “Attention!”

The thirty or so men lined up, tucked in their shirts and squared their shoulders. The newly arrived, tall, mustached officer with soft gray eyes under menacing bushy eyebrows introduced himself to the sloppy, disgraceful bunch. “Lieutenant C. Louis Cass.” He returned their salute and marched past them taking time to point out an unbuttoned tunic, dusty boots, or straighten a jauntily placed cap. “Where is your commanding officer?”

“Abed.” A young private in the rear yelled without fear of detection.

“This way,” Father Sebastian motioned for the Bishop to follow the troops on the half-mile trek back to the fort.

Dorothy’s mother gestured for her to follow, but Dorothy shook her head. Elizabeth delayed and tidied her hair until Dorothy relented and drew closer for what she thought would be a reprimand. Her mother merely whispered. “They’re going to take more land from the natives. Mark my word.”

“Not again. Where will they let them farm now? Is that why the Bishop came?”

“Father says the seven tribes around the Great Lakes will be affected.” Elizabeth tucked a loose black strand of hair behind Dorothy’s ear. “I guess the Bishop thinks a missionary is needed to persuade the tribes to attend the new treaty powwow.”

Dorothy shook her head. “What chance do the natives have to survive, if they disagree?”

“Hurry back to help me.” Her mother scurried away to catch up to Father Sebastian.

Dorothy wandered closer to the river. Dark clouds threatened to stop the sunshine’s play with the sparkling waves. The second smaller canoe purposefully tread water in order not to be drawn ashore. Dorothy examined its crew. A tall, straight-backed Huron sat in the front of the boat. Behind him a younger native caught her eye. The shifting sunbeams highlighted the man’s blond hair. His face seemed lit from within.

His eyes dreamily swept the shoreline past her, then sharply returned as if he had been startled into remembering something. Something important.

Me, Dorothy thought. He’s looking at me. For a moment her breath seemed to stop.

She couldn’t help rushing forward to mingle among the native men helping the two pull the boat onto the sandy shore. The natives nearly bowed before the tall Huron. He spoke kindly to each. Did he personally know their families? Then he introduced the younger man to them, “My favored son.” The older man inclined his head proudly in the direction of the blond young man, whose ethereal bearing evoked the capability of walking on water.

Noticing Dorothy among the group, the older man said, “They call me Ponthe Walker.”

Dorothy nodded but could not keep her face turned away from the infinitely more interesting younger man.

“And my adopted son, Perish North.”

“I’m…I’m,” Dorothy was sure she’d never remember her own name. “Dorothy Evans. My mother is Elizabeth, the rectory cook.”

Perish stepped forward. “A pious believer then?”

Dorothy gained full use of her tongue. “More of a favorite doubter of the Lord’s. Like Saint Thomas? You know the one who had to put his hand in Jesus’ side before he would believe in the resurrection?”

Ponthe seemed to lose interest, but Perish didn’t move.

“I’ve just returned from my vision quest,” he said.

Dorothy believed he grew an inch before her eyes. She slipped a glance down to his boots to see if he’d stretched up on his toes. As she brought her gaze up, she noted his waist adornments, his broad shoulders covered in buckskin. His light blue eyes seemed bleached by the sun, or his vision.

“The manhood rite,” she said, trying not to check. A stiff breeze lifted her hair, cooling the nervous sweat on her brow.

“You’ve heard of the Midewiwins?” Perish took a step closer.

Dorothy could smell a scent of juniper. “I have, but aren’t you too young?”

Perish laughed.

A thrill passed through her at the clear, rich tones of his voice.

When his father began to lead the natives back to the Fort Detroit, Dorothy boldly pulled at Perish’s elbow. “Walk with me.”

Perish slowed to stroll beside her.

Dorothy smiled as winningly as she knew how. “Tell me.”

“I can only share Orenda’s vision message with family.” His face was serious but his eyes were friendly.

“Adopt me,” Dorothy said, then raced ahead of the group. Aware of her silliness, she knew her mother would be needing help.

*

Author, Rohn FederbushABOUT ROHN FEDERBUSH
Rohn Federbush retired as an administrator from the University of Michigan in 1999. She received a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing in 1995 from Eastern Michigan University. Frederick Busch of Colgate granted a 1997 summer stipend for her ghost-story collection. Michael Joyce of Vassar encouraged earlier writing at Jackson Community College, Jackson, Michigan in 1981. Rohn has completed fourteen novels, with an additional mystery nearly finished, 120 short stories and 150 poems to date.

Connect with Rohn Federbush at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ 

PURCHASE NORTH PARISH FROM:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

THE GIVEAWAY:
Enter Rohn’s Rafflecopter drawing to win
$15 Amazon Gift Card
Winner’s Choice of North Parish ebook
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mythical Monday: Beware the Bunny Man by Mae Clair

Although this nefarious character is usually spotted near Halloween, I couldn’t resist the bunny connection with Easter. It just seemed a good time to blog about an urban legend related to well… bunnies.

Before I go any further, let me state emphatically that I adore bunnies. And Easter is my second favorite holiday, after Christmas. I love it for its religious significance and also the sense of rebirth it brings with the newness of spring. It’s one holiday I would never want to associate with anything “soiled” for lack of a better word.  Then I stumbled over the urban legend of the Bunny Man.

According to folklore, in 1904, the residents of Clifton, Virginia petitioned to have a nearby mental asylum shut down and its patients relocated. In hindsight, that was probably a bad idea. For proof, I offer the following nugget of wisdom:  Any urban legend that includes the mention of “mental” and “asylum” usually doesn’t end well and this one is no different.

Norfolk Southern Freight Train at Colchester Overpass.

Norfolk Southern Freight Train at Colchester Overpass. Photo credit: By Kohlchester via Wikimedia Commons

The residents of Clifton got their wish, but in the process of transferring the patients to another facility, the vehicle used to move them was involved in a crash. A few of the prisoners died, many others escaped and took to the countryside.

The authorities immediately launched a search and were able to round up all of the escapees with the exception of a man named Douglas Grifon. Grifon had supposedly been institutionalized for murdering his wife and children on Easter Sunday.

In the days following his escape, the residents were horrified to find the skinned, half-eaten carcasses of rabbits dangling from the branches of surrounding trees. Their fear transitioned to terror when the body of a man named Marcus Wallster was found in a similar condition not long afterward. His mutilated corpse was discovered hanging from a tree near a railroad overpass.

Prompted by the grisly discovery, the police began another frenzied search, this time managing to catch up with Grifon near the bridge. Before they could apprehend him, he ran onto the railroad tracks and was struck by an oncoming train. The horrific scene turned spine-tingling when the train passed, rattling down the tracks. In the unnatural silence that followed, the police were spooked by the sound of sinister laughter.

Train and vehicular traffic at Colchester Overpass aka Bunnyman Bridge

Colcehster Overpass. Photo credit: By Kohlchester, via Wikimedia Commons

Thereafter, the locals referred to the site as Bunny Man Bridge, dubbing Grifon the Bunny Man. For years after his death, carcasses were found hanging from the overpass in the days preceding Halloween.

Should you like to explore this legend yourself, all you need do is visit the southern railway overpass that crosses Colchester Road near Clifton, Virginia. But beware should you go exploring— the bunny man’s laughter is still heard echoing through the trees.

 

Friday Fun by Mae Clair

cute poodle dog wearing party hatIt’s Friday! My favorite day of the week after Saturday and Sunday, so it’s only appropriate to kick it off with some fun. Today, I have two good friends helping me out.

Jessi Gage, a fabulous hybrid author in her own right, is doing a Free Publicity Friday spotlight for SOLSTICE ISLAND on her blog. I’d love to have you hop over and check it out while you’re wandering about the blogosphere!

Donna Cummings is also hosting me today on her blog, All About the Writing. Donna writes “humorously ever after romances,” and is a delight herself! I love her fun sense of humor. Today, she injects that frivolity in a three question interview. Yes, she only gave me three questions to answer, but let me tell you — that first one required major thought!

Curious? I hope so :)  You can find our short interview here.

Happy Friday! Here’s hoping yours is grand!

 

Adventure and Romance with Cd Brennan: A World Apart

Stack of old letters with ink quill and feather penI’m happy to have another Pen Pal on my blog today. Cd Brennan has led an adventurous life, traipsing all over the globe before settling down in Michigan.

From yacht racing in Ireland, to gutting fish in Alaska, and working on a ranch in the Australian Outback—you name it, this girl has done it! And she’s used those adventures to her benefit in creating a wonderful series of novels called “Love Where you Roam.” Please welcome Cd, as she shares the latest book in this series, A WOLRD APART.

Cd, let’s start with your background. Please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I grew up in Michigan but as soon as I was out of Uni went traveling the world and didn’t return “home” for a very long time. Married an Australian cowboy and rugby player and have two sons, two and five who are the tornado in our life in which we revolve. When we lived in Australia, a neighbor across the street, and a good friend, challenged me to write a romance for a contest through Mills & Boons New Voices. I came mid-pack in results, but it prompted me to keep going. My friend kept me motivated by setting chapter goals, and I doubt I would have finished my first book if she hadn’t. I had a toddler and was pregnant with the second, and working! But I’m proud to say I had it published and then after the first, the next ones come easier. A World Apart is the second book in the Love Where You Roam series.

It’s wonderful to have a friend who motivates you like that and believes in your talent. My previous critique partner was my cheerleader for twelve years. She passed away before I submitted and was published, but I still smile when I think of all the motivation she gave me. I’m so glad your friend did the same. Do you have a favorite place and/or time of day to write?

I don’t! It’s called squeeze-it-in-when-I-can :) With my day job and the kids, running the house and everything else, I’m pretty buggered, but I try to even get a few sentences down every night. I know that might not seem like a lot, but I force myself to commit to even that small amount of time.

Any commitment to writing is a great discipline—and that’s a lot you’re juggling! Good for you squeezing those moments in each night. I really enjoyed the first release in your Love Where You Roam series, WATERSHED, and am looking forward to losing myself in A WORLD APART. Without giving too much away, please share a bit about your favorite scene.

I have a few favorites, but the one that comes to mind right now is when Hamish climbs the fire escape to try and break into the rooms where Lizzy lives above the hotel she works at. Okay, it might sound a bit Pretty Woman, but its significant to Hamish as he isn’t the impulsive type, the exact opposite and his love and adoration for this sunshine of a shiela compels him to step outside his box. It’s pissing rain (as they say over there) and he’s clumsy as heck getting up the old rickety metal escape. It’s a big humorous, a bit profound. :)

I love “pissing rain,” LOL. It sounds like a great scene. How did you choose your setting?

A World Apart Old Book Cover

A World Apart Old Book Cover

A World Apart is set in Bridge of Allan, Scotland, a small beautiful town just outside the University of Stirling where I attended to get my MPHIL in Publishing Studies. I actually worked and lived in the Queen’s Hotel where much of the story takes place. I utterly and completely fell in love with not only this quaint Scottish village, but all of Scotland. A bit of my heart still remains there.

I would love to see Scotland someday. It must have been phenomenal to live there. Would you like to share the first three sentences of your book?

“Pass those empties, mate.” Lizzy prodded the man with her free hand, the other balancing a stack of empty pint glasses.

“Would you shut it?” The man ignored Lizzy’s request.

A mighty roar bellowed in the room, the wallop of noise raising the hairs on Lizzy’s arms.

Nice! I wonder just what that noise is all about. :) Now, let’s learn about Cd. When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

Honestly, I rarely unwind, unless I am comatose asleep at night, and that’s unless our 2-year old wakes me up :). But I think it’s important for everyone to take time for themselves. It makes them better at all the other roles they play – a better and happier mum, a more creative writer, a more dedicated employee. So, I took the first step and combined exercise and unwind time by walking our dog. I also indulge in red wine a few times a week. For a frazzled mum, it’s a godsend! And not too unhealthy :)

You’re so right that we all need some “me” time. I like your methods for unwinding! If you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do?

Cowgirl, definitely. Or do you mean something that actually pays a wage? Helicopter pilot was one of my dreams when I was much younger, but since I have developed a fear of flying, that just won’t do anymore. LOL I guess I am stuck with writing, and I love my job as an Editor, as well.

A fear of flying would definitely impinge on being a helicopter pilot, LOL. It’s great you have writing—and a job as an editor—to keep you happy. And now for a few quick favorites:

Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother: Cologne, Germany for Octoberfest! My sister lives there so I get to see her and her family along with great beer in a stein and the beautiful German countryside.

Favorite season: Summer, too much Aussie in me to totally appreciate the winters in Michigan.

Favorite time of day: Morning, yep I’m one of those. I used to irritate the crap out of my housemates when I was younger.

Favorite color: Maroon – earthy and warm

Favorite type of music: Right now – classical. I have enough “noise” in my house with two wee boys and a dog. It soothes me LOL

Germany for Octoberfest would surely be an experience to remember! I love your choice of maroon—most unusual when I think of color. And I’m with you on summer and mornings (I’m still trying to figure out how I went from being a night owl when I was younger to being a morning person). It was great to have you visit today, Cd. I wish you much success and many sales for A WORLD APART. I already have my copy on my Kindle. It’s great to know there are even more books planned for this adventurous series!

~ooOOoo~

As a side note, when you go shopping for A WORLD APART, note that the book cover has had a redesign. As a result, you may find some sites still have the older cover (above) while others have the new adult book cover, below. Either way, you can be sure you’re still getting the same great tale!

Author Cd BrennanAuthor Bio
Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word NO.

Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.

As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]  And of course, fall in love.

Get in touch with her at www.cdbrennan.com

Connect with Cd at the following haunts:
Website
Blog:  Sundae With Nuts at the above address
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

A World Apart New Book Cover

A World Apart New Book Cover

BLURB FOR A WORLD APART:

She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.

Lizzy travels to Scotland to track down her roots, hoping where she comes from will help her figure out where she needs to go. An Aussie girl through and through, tough as nuts and a bit wild, she believes there’s nothing so wonderful as a world seen through wine-tinted glasses…

…until she meets Hottie Hamish, Bridge of Allan’s most eligible bachelor.

Hamish is Lizzy’s polar opposite in every way. He’s serious, driven, and motivated, focused on becoming the youngest associate professor at the Glasgow School of Art. But he’s hiding a social phobia behind his gruff exterior that makes it almost impossible to connect with people…

…until he meets Lost Lizzy, all sunshine and lightness, an Australian beauty with the proverbial heart of gold.

Where they come from may be worlds apart, but atop a Scottish Munro, they begin to realize where they’re going is best traveled side by side.

CONTENT WARNING: Graphic descriptions of haggis ingredients.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

PURCHASE A WORLD APART FROM:

AMAZON   AMAZON UK   AMAZON AUSTRALIA  iTUNES   B&N   KOBO  BOOKWIRE

 

 

 

Would you search for a mythical creature? by Mae Clair

I can actually say “been there, done that,” in relation to the question above. If you’ve visited my blog before, you might know I’ve traipsed around West Virginia in the area where the legendary Mothman was sighted — all in the name of research which I’ve factored into an upcoming novel.

But going out on a charter boat to track down a leviathan larger than a whale . . .a mythical seabeast that has a taste for gobbling up ships? Nah, probably not.

Cover KindleThat, is however, exactly what my heroine, Rylie Carswell, does in my new indie release, SOLSTICE ISLAND. Today, I’m visiting with my Kensington Books/Lyrical Press sister, Gemma Brocato on her fabulous blog. If you get a chance, I’d love for you to pop over and say hello.

 

 

Meet Author Joanne Wadsworth with Witness Pursuit

I’m super excited to welcome my Kensington Books/Lyrical Press sister, Joanne Wadsworth, back to my blog.  Joanne is burning up the bestseller charts with her with numerous releases. This is a girl who writes fantasy YA romances, romantic suspense and historical highlander tales with equal skill. She’s dropped by today to share one of her awesome releases, WITNESS PURSUIT.

Joanne, what attracts you most to your chosen genre?
I write within three fabulous genres: YA fantasy, contemporary, and historical Highlander. I simply adore YA fantasy because it’s fresh and fast-paced, and the dialogue is sassy and fun. Even within my historical books, I bring an element of this freshness across too. My heroines have all traveled back through time to the past, and they’re young and vivacious, as well as prepared to challenge their Highland heroes in every way. Within my contemporary line, I write about bodyguards, and that’s where I allow my love for mystery and suspense to take over.

I enjoy reading in all those genres. You’ve chosen some fantastic lines for spinning tales. Are you a draft writer or someone who invests a lot of time in editing and polishing as you write? Why does your method work best for you?
I plot around 50-80% of my storyline, and that allows me to write quite a clean and tidy first draft in about six weeks. The second draft is done in two to three weeks, and the third a week.  Two to three months from beginning to end, and I’m ready to submit.

WitnessPursuit

It sounds like you have a great system in place! How about sharing some details on WITNESS PURSUIT.
WITNESS PURSUIT is the story of Lydia and Tyler, and is set on board a super-yacht traveling the South Pacific. Lydia is an eye witness on the run, a young woman who finds her path colliding with the bodyguard who once saved her life.

A year after Tyler was shot protecting Lydia, her handler decides to get her further from the killer’s reach by placing her on board Tyler’s super-yacht during his family’s vacation. Lydia though detests the thought of being close enough to endanger the one man who nearly died protecting her, except she has no choice. Her only consolation is that Tyler suffered memory loss from that time, and doesn’t recall her.

Tyler struggles as he feels an incomprehensible attraction to Lydia, along with an incredible drive to protect her. Theirs is an intense and all-consuming relationship, and they undertake a journey which is never quite as it seems. Twists and turns abound. It’s a real who-done-it.

It sounds amazing. How did you choose your setting?
I love using the countries within the South Pacific as my backdrops, and the moment I had the characters and plot sorted for Witness Pursuit, I knew I needed them onboard a super-yacht. Hello, a super-yacht. I loved that, and I immediately set them adrift from New Zealand toward the islands of Fiji.

Love that! Please share the first paragraph of your book.
“That is one massive super-yacht, and one I shouldn’t be on.” Lydia crossed her arms, eyeing the four levels of darkened glass and sleek white panels as the luxury ship sat proudly in its private berth at Auckland Marina’s gated wharf. And was that a— Shoot. Yes, it was. A huge kidney shaped pool glistened from the center of the one-hundred and fifty foot yacht. All the comforts one could desire, except not her. She shouldn’t even be here.

And now a look at what you enjoy reading: Name a book that had a profound effect on you and explain why.
Nalini Singh’s Kiss of Snow. It’s like the tenth book in her Psy-Changeling series, and the first I’d read of her work. After devouring it, I went out and got every other one. She writes urban fantasy and can world-build to the most amazing degree. Something I adore.

I’m familiar with her but haven’t read any of her books. Maybe I’ll start with that one too. :) If someone gave you a working time machine tomorrow, where would you visit and why?
The Scottish Highlands since I write Highlander books. I’m completely intrigued by their rugged and beautiful land, the myths and legends, and abundance of castles. Teleport me now.

I’ll take a ticket too! And now for some quick questions. What’s your:

Favorite Season: Favorite season: Summer. Bring on the beach. (And luckily, it’s summer right now where I live Down Under.)

Favorite time of day: 8.30 AM. Yes, that specific. The kids have just caught the bus, and I’m like a bullet heading to my office to write.

Favorite musical group or singer: One Direction (UK boy-band). Because my fifteen-year-old daughter doesn’t let me play anything else in the house. :)

Favorite TV show: Usually all I see are the kids’ cartoon programs, from the kitchen, as I’m cooking.

Favorite animal: My Maltese/Chihuahua puppy. He’s the cutest, and like my fifth child. He lets me listen to whatever I like, and watch whatever I like. He might just be my favorite.

Thanks for your fun answers and for visiting today, Joanne! I’m so jealous you get to write all day once the kids catch the bus. And I’m right there with you on summer (currently looking forward to ours). Between One Direction, your boys, teen daughter, and your Maltese/Chichuahua, it sounds like the Wadsworth homestead is a fun place to hang out!

WITNESS PURSUIT BLURB:

One witness…one bodyguard…one life.

Twenty-one-year-old New Zealander Lydia Sands witnessed the hit-and-run of a powerful man’s son. Her bodyguard is shot when the killer returns to dispose of her and The Program puts her in hiding. A year later, the case remains unsolved and her handler needs to get her further from the killer’s reach. Lydia detests the thought of being close enough to endanger the man who nearly died protecting her, even if it’s aboard a super-yacht traveling the South Pacific.

Tyler Whitehall’s shooting stole weeks from his memory. Physically recovered, he oversees security for Whitehall Shipping. While on a family holiday, Tyler is suspicious of the woman accompanying them without notice or security clearance, as his nephew’s caregiver. Stronger than suspicion is his incomprehensible attraction to her, and his instinct to protect her.

Once sensitive information is leaked, Lydia undergoes re-identification to evade a killer and protect the man who’d die to save her. Her bodyguard has just begun his pursuit, and she may have underestimated his abilities.

CONTENT WARNING: Sexual content

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

Buy WITNESS PURSUIT at:
Amazon Kindle / Amazon Paperback
B&N Nook & Paperback
iTunes
Kobo
Lyrical Press

Look for JOANNE WADSWORTH at:
AUTHOR WEBSITE & BLOG
AMAZON PAGE (For books)
BARNES & NOBLE PAGE (For books)
FACEBOOK FAN PAGE
TWITTER
GOODREADS

Book Trailer link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq_RXMhHTdg

WITNESS PURSUIT EXCERPT:
Down the super-yacht’s hallway, Lydia walked toward Tyler then slowed as her gaze dropped to her case in his hands. “What am I going to do with you?” She shook her head, tut-tutting under her breath.

“You’d already packed.” He slid a hand around her waist and led her to his room. “I’m simply moving your belongings from one room to another, and I’ll show you exactly what you can do with me.” He closed his bedroom door and flicked the lock.

She set her hands on her hips. “Ah, is that to keep me in, or others out?”

“Both.” He dumped her bag beside his drawers and unzipped it. “What did Saria say?”

“We had a long talk, and she said yes. She’ll let me go through re-identification first, and follow as soon as she sits her finals. They’re in just a few weeks.” She stepped up to him. “Ben will place my application tomorrow, although he said it might take a few days for all the arrangements to be made. He told me to hold tight and wait.”

Gritting his teeth, he opened his bottom drawer and piled her clothing in. “He approved of it all, this fast?” He’d have words with Ben. She should be with him.

“Of course. It was his idea to start with.” She gripped his arm. “I never said I’d move in with you, and now you’re unpacking for me?”

“Lee.” He dragged her into his arms. “I want you here, no matter the length of time.” He lifted her and laid her on his bed. Stealthily, he moved in to lie over top.

“I know you do. Oh, do you feel that? The ship’s moving.” Cranking her head to the side, she peered out the windows where the lights of the resort flickered.

“We’re sailing to the far side of the island. There’s a quiet cove, and it’ll be the safest place for you.”

“I hadn’t forgotten.” She slid her hand down his chest and played her fingers over the ridges of his abs under his shirt. “As long as we’re all safe, I can deal with it, for a short while.”

He lowered his forehead to hers. “Since you insist on going through re-identification, I need to be able to track you once you go under. I’m giving you fair warning now.”

“Ah, excuse me. That sounds highly illegal. The whole point of re-identification is so no one can find me.”

“Yes, but I’m not a threat to you, and only you and I will know what I’ve done.”

“And what will that be? Ex-act-ly?”

“By track, I mean I’ll place under your skin a very small tagged chip. It’s like a GPS system, but it’ll have a direct signal to me.”

“And…” Her gaze narrowed.

He rubbed his cheek against hers. “I’ll be able to check in with you, no matter where you are in the world. We can hardly have an exclusive relationship without there being some form of relationship.”

“Sooo, you’re asking me to go against the rules of re-identification?” She gave him a look that said she wasn’t going to agree.

“You’re very stubborn, but I happen to be twice as bad. Whether you agree or not, I’m going ahead with it.”

No one would take her from him. Not ever again.

He’d make certain of it.

Author Bio:Joanne Wadsworth (2) JOANNE WADSWORTH 

Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…

Reading romance books captivated Joanne Wadsworth as a teenager, particularly when she tucked herself into bed at night and continued to dream those stories as she slept. She’d visualize the direction, taking the hero and heroine on an adventure unparalleled to what she’d read. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of young adult, contemporary, and historical Highlander.

Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband.

Visit Joanne Wadsworth at http://www.joannewadsworth.com

Mythical Monday: The Merry Wanderer of the Night by Mae Clair

I’ve had an affinity for Robin Goodfellow (or “Puck”) ever since reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream in high school. How can you not love a cavalier mischief-maker? Every mythology has a trickster or devilish imp, and when it comes to English folklore and faeries, Robin Goodfellow takes the crown.

Rendering of Puck in field coming upon two human children

Photo courtesy Arthur Rackham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A nature sprite, Puck (as he’s nicknamed by country folk) is a mischievous knave who inhabits woodlands and delights in leading night time travelers astray. He’s also been known to engage in tomfoolery at homesteads, souring milk in the churn, pinching lazy housemaids and blowing out candles to steal a kiss from young maidens. He delights in confusing mortals with pranks and practical jokes but isn’t opposed to lending a hand with minor housework such as grinding corn or churning butter if treated well.

If not in the woods, you can find him lurking about farmsteads and barns. Small gifts such as milk and sweet cream may gain his favor for a time, but at heart he is a free-spirited soul who never tires of watching the foolish antics of mortals. One of his favorite tricks is to replace a sleeping infant in their cradle with an elfling child.

Puck is one of the brownie faeries, also called a hobgoblin, and is able to shapeshift at will. He uses echoes and lights to confuse travelers on their journeys through the woods at night, and is capable of stringing humans along like circus animals with his bewitching piping.

Though it would seem this ill-behaved imp is capable of hurtful pranks, most of his tricks are of a harmless nature. He may cause chaos, such as when he bungled who loves who in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but in the end, matters are usually resolved. Described by Shakespeare as “that merry wanderer of the night,” Puck is endearing and bewildering, a roguish and wayward pixie who is both charmer and scamp.

What do you think? Love the guy or avoid him? Are you a fan of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Solstice Island by Mae Clair: Now on Amazon for .99 Cents #RomanticAdventure

I did it! After learning the ropes of HTML formatting, Amazon KDP, and working between Word, Notepad, Calibre and Amazon Kindle Generator, I finally finished and uploaded my first indie publication . . . a romantic adventure novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND.  I’m sure there are simpler ways of accomplishing the whole thing (hopefully, I’ll discover them the more I move ahead), but the bottom line is it’s done and available for purchase! *huge sigh of relief*

Time to celebrate and do the happy dance!

I’m jazzed to announce you can now buy SOLSTICE ISLAND for just .99 cents.

Cover KindleCan an ancient leviathan work magic between a practical man and an idealistic woman?

Rylie Carswell is an amateur cryptozoologist in search of a mythical creature, the Sea Goliath. In order to reach Solstice Island, a location the ancient leviathan is rumored to haunt, she’s forced to hire charter boat captain, Daniel Decatur.

Initially, Daniel wants nothing to do with the trip or the fool woman waving double payment in his face. Convinced she’s yet another loony treasure hunter looking for gold on the remote island, he reluctantly agrees. An embittered neighbor wants to have his charter license yanked, so the extra cash will help him stay afloat.

It doesn’t take long for Daniel to realize Rylie is after the same beast his parents were tracking when they mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. He’s avoided all links to cryptozoology ever since, but the smart and sexy cryptid hunter has him second-guessing his oath and wondering what he’s signed on for.

Warning: A family legacy, glowing plankton and rough waters.

The book is only available through Amazon right now, but if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a FREE Kindle Reading App for your PC, iPhone, iPad android, tablet — take your pick and download here.

Then hop over and grab your copy of SOLSTICE ISLAND for just .99 cents by clicking this link. This is a short, fast read that plays on my love for mythical creatures and romance. I hope you enjoy the tale and will help me spread the word!