Mae Clair Presents: Gemma Brocato with An Ancient Introduction to Christmas and MISSION: MISTLETOE

It’s always a pleasure to have Gemma Brocato, friend and Kensington/Lyrical Press sister author on my blog. Not only does she have a great post today about the ancient traditions of Christmas, and her new holiday release MISSION: MISTLETOE, but she’s also brought along a special treat.

Gemma’s novella A WINTER WEDDING is FREE today on Amazon! A continuation of her HEARTS IN HARMONY novel, it’s an ideal holiday read. Grab your copy, then make sure you come back to read Gemma’s post and get the deets on her other holiday romance!

A Winter Wedding Free

Saturnalia — An Ancient Introduction to Christmas
By Gemma Brocato

When I first thought about writing my holiday science fiction novel, I knew I didn’t want to make the story about Christmas per se. I wanted to detail a celebration that went much further back. I began researching the Winter Solstice and discovered Saturnalia, an ancient Roman celebration that laid the foundation for our present day Christmas celebrations. It seemed a perfect solution.

Originally a one-day festival, Saturnalia soon evolved to a full week of celebration due to its popularity. The Emperors Augustus and Caligula tried to reduce the number of days, but the mass populace resisted their efforts. The event was more than just fun, feasting and games. It was a festival to honor Saturn, the god of sowing and the harvest. During the banquet, an effigy of the god could be one of the honored guests.

The best part of the festival was the temporary reversal of roles between masters and their slaves. Masters served meals and slaves were granted luxuries such as gambling and lazing around the house for a change. Their style of dressing tended to be more relaxed during the event. Santa’s hat supposedly originated at this time, a peaked woolen cap that symbolized a freed slave. This is also the time the Lord of Misrule made his first appearance in history. A family member was appointed to serve as host for the celebration.

Many of the traditions of the festival are still visible today. Decorating outdoor trees, placing greenery over doorways, merry-making pranks and gift-giving.

particular tree bare of white poplar and shrubs in the branches of mistletoeMy novella, Mission: Mistletoe is set in the future, where religious celebrations have been outlawed, but a festival for the harvest was allowed. So I set the story on a space station in orbit around Saturn, in December. It’s a story about the medicinal properties of the parasitic plant which is one of the symbols our present day holiday celebrations. The plant thrives off the nutrients of its host, usually an oak or apple tree. Kissing under the mistletoe was first associated with Saturnalia. People revered the plant as the bestower of life and fertility. Ancient Celts worshipped the plant for its mystical powers. It was also believed that Loki used the plant to poison Balder, the god of the summer sun, plunging the world into winter. Balder’s mother, Frigga, goddess of love, wept for her son, and it is said that her tears became the sticky white berries of the plant. She managed to bring her son back to life and in gratitude, kissed everyone who passed beneath the tree on which mistletoe grew.

mistletoe isolated on a white backgroundNow, here’s the sad part. Generally, when you are researching Mistletoe, you’ll come up with sites that display pictures of holly. The holly plant features sharp, pointy leaves and red berries. Mistletoe has white (and sometimes red berries) but its leaves are smooth, elliptical-shaped. So don’t be fooled. Kissing under the holly might be fun, but under the mistletoe, it’s magical.

~ooOOoo~

MISSION:  MISTLETOE
Genre: Science Fiction romance
Publisher: Gemma Brocato
Date of Publication: Nov 19, 2014 
Number of pages:
120

Mission_Mistletoe_Cover_CompressedBook Description:
In her quest to find a cure for the disease that killed her father, Rhayne Drake accepts a position as a researcher on a remote space station. Once in orbit around Saturn, she uncovers the true intent of the study: the ruling political party plans to use her research to kill, instead of cure, anyone carrying the genetic marker for the disease. Including Rhayne herself. 

Griffin Cooper, the station’s recreation manager, is charmed when he meets Rhayne. First he saved her from death by cargo-mover. Now he’ll fight to save her from a worse fate.

Set against a Saturnalia, a winter holiday festival, Rhayne and Griffin must find a way to defeat the political Coalition’s sinister plot before it’s too late.

Excerpt:
Rhayne froze as the over-laden Airfloat bore down, her mouth opened in a silent scream. Holy Titan! She’d die on this transport without ever stepping foot on the space station, not to mention Saturn.

Her breath squeaked out in a rush as someone grabbed her around the waist and swung her out of the path of crushing death. Her body went one direction while her briefcase flew the other. The screeching sound of the airbrakes engaging on the cargo float rang in her ears. A cacophony of other sounds erupted—men roared warnings to watch out and glass broke as boxes crashed to the floor with the sudden stop.

Rhayne’s body came to rest between the solid wall behind her and a hard, man-sized body that covered her, protecting her from falling containers and shattering glass. The aroma of Cassini Ale tainted her olfactory cavities, bitter and astringent, as broken bottles released their contents onto the floor in front of them.

“Are you okay? What in Titan’s name are you doing in the cargo bay? This area is off limits.”

The deep voice was velvety smooth in her ear. Warm breath tickled her cheek, and she rubbed the spot as she nodded her head. The large man eased away enough to give Rhayne her first glimpse of his rugged features.

The flow of his face was mesmerizing. From the top of his perfectly-shaped and completely bald head to strong brows, poised over eyes the color of Earth’s sky just before leaving the atmosphere. A shiny gold earring winked on his earlobe, an oddity in a society that had ceased mutilating their bodies with piercings and tattoos generations ago. He was the kind of rebel she’d fantasized about while at university, where she’d been forced to conform to a regimented curriculum with no room for individuality. Sharp cheekbones and a square, stubbled jaw completed the look. This man was beautiful and dangerous. Rhayne’s breath caught. She cleared her throat attempting to appear less awestruck.

“I turned right when I should have turned left. I’m looking for the off-load bay.” Rhayne frowned at the raspy quality of her voice.

Suddenly aware of her rescuer’s body pressed intimately against hers, she put her hands on his chest and pushed. “You can back away now. The danger is past.”

Purchase MISSION: MISTLETOE from Amazon

Author, Gemma BrocatoAbout the Author:
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to ‘Dear Author’ were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue a vocation as a romance author.

Connect with Gemma at the following haunts:
Website and Blog 
Facebook
Twitter 

Goodreads 
Wattpad
Google+ 

Also By Gemma Brocato:
Cooking Up Love
Hearts In Harmony
Exposed To Passion
A Winter Wedding 

Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair, Now in Print

Need something for the book love on your holiday list? What about a stocking stuffer for the bibliophile in your life? I’m excited to announce that ECLIPSE LAKE is now available in print, just in time for the holidays!

Book cover for Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair depicting a summer lake with rushes at sunset

BLURB

Small towns hold the darkest secrets. 

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

Review Snippets

Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair is powerful reading, a dark plot with shafts of hope shining through…Fast-paced, written in Mae Clair’s signature gritty elegance, she combines family, love, mystery and redemption like an artist creating a masterpiece!

—D. Bylo, Tome Tender Book Reviews  

Mae Clair does an excellent job of building emotion and intrigue, and racing you to the conclusion of the story. I love three-dimensional characters and I wasn’t disappointed.

—H. Senesac

Mae Clair has created characters, a place, and a story that masterfully over flows with all the stuff that great stories are made of… She knows how to weave a fabulous tale, and as reader you know early to let go and let her take you on an amazing ride.

—V. Kennedy 

This was a sweet, emotional, and beautifully written page turner. Mae Clair has a knack for putting me in a scene with her characters. Her lush descriptions fill my senses.

—J. Gage, Gotta Read Book Reviews 

Purchase ECLIPSE LAKE from:
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Print

Add ECLIPSE LAKE to your Goodreads List 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

Mae Clair Presents: Sharon Struth and Share the Moon

Today, I’m welcoming Sharon Struth to my blog with her new release, SHARE THE MOON, one of my lovely sister authors with Kensington Books/Lyrical Press.

Sharon, please tell us about your new release. 

It’s about a small-town on a big lake and a woman who wants to buy some vineyard property…but she wants the land for more than one reason. Here’s a blurb:

Sometimes trust is the toughest lesson to learn. 

Sophie Shaw is days away from signing a contract that will fulfill her dream of owning a vineyard. For her, it’s a chance to restart her life and put past tragedies to rest. But Duncan Jamieson’s counter offer blows hers out to sea.

Duncan still finds Sophie as appealing as he had during boyhood vacations to the lake. Older and wiser now, he has his own reasons for wanting the land. His offer, however, hinges on a zoning change approval.

Bribery rumors threaten the deal and make Sophie wary of Duncan, yet she cannot deny his appeal. When her journalistic research uncovers a Jamieson family secret, trust becomes the hardest lesson for them both.

ShareTheMoon600x900

It sounds intriguing. I really like the mention of a family secret, a plot thread that always appeals to me. How did you choose your title?

Share the Moon is set on Blue Moon Lake. Sophie has lived on the lake her whole life, but not because of choice, but rather circumstances have kept her there. She learns a lesson along the way in this story, that sometimes the life we’ve been handed and share with others is the one we’re meant to live.

We know your book is worthy of the silver screen. If a production company scooped up the movie rights, who would you cast in the lead roles as your hero and heroine? 

Duncan Jamieson is my modern day Scottish fantasy. Sorry, no kilts, ladies, but if I were to cast this as a film Scottish actor Kevin McKidd would be asked in for an audition, pronto! Sophie Shaw has always appeared to me as this photo of Julianna Margulies.

Oooh, very nice choices! And now for a few questions about you. :)

What is your favorite season?
Fall, hands down! I’m chomping at the bit right now for those husky, crisp and cool autumn nights.

Favorite animal?
Dogs. My neighbors call me the dog whisperer, but I just love dogs.

Food you never grow tired of?
Cheese. Any kind of cheese. Cheese preferably with wine.

Are you a night owl or morning lark?
Morning lark. My sister is a night owl and once she was talking to me after 11 p.m. I fell asleep and woke up to find her gone and a wee bit angry.

Casual or dressy?
Casual, all the way, sandals and jeans if possible. No coat or socks, either. I live in New England, so obviously I must put them on at some point. But I hold out until my toes are frozen.

LOL! I love your answers. And I’m so jealous you live in New England. The history in that area has always been a huge draw for me. I’m right there with you in looking forward to the return of autumn. Summer is my favorite season, but fall is a close second. I bet it’s spectacular in your part of the country.  

Thanks for being my guest today, Sharon. I wish you much success with Share the Moon 

S0104078You can connect with Sharon Struth at the following haunts:
Website
Musings from the Middle Ages & More
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter: @sharonstruth

Recommendations for Share the Moon: 

“Heart-tugging small town romance with real emotion. Struth is an author to watch!” —Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winning The Sweet Spot  

“Superb… throw in a hunky dad, a small town and a savvy heroine who gets the job done and you’ve got me hooked!” —Rachel Brimble, author of A Man like Him

Purchase Share the Moon from:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kensington Books
Kobo
Google Books 

Mae Clair Presents: Gemma Brocato with Exposed to Passion #romance #contemporary

I am blogging with Sara Walter Ellwood today, so if you get a chance, please pop over and say hello. In the meantime . . .

She’s baaack!  I love having Gemma Brocato visit my blog, so naturally, when I heard she had a new release coming up, I invited her over to chat. Please say hello to this talented, extremely supportive, and friendly writer again! 

It’s great to have you back, Gemma. Let’s start off with what attracts you most to your chosen genre. Please share! 


To be completely honest, I chose to write in Contemporary Romance because I’m lazy by nature. I love to read historical novels, but the amount of research involved in making sure the details are correct must be monumental. I prefer to spend my time getting the details of emotion right, not how a lady in ancient times got dressed, or ran her household, or the social order of who gets to sit above the salt. Makes me tired just thinking about it.

LOL! I admit I enjoy doing a fair amount of research when it comes to novel writing, but could never tackle a full blown historical for exactly the reason you mentioned—the time involved. Right now I’m working on a novel set in 1983. Not an excessive amount of research, but I have to remember cell phones didn’t exist and the pop culture was considerably different. When I screw something up, I have two critique partners to rein me in. How about you? Do you have a critique partner and how has that been beneficial to you?

I have several critique partners and I love what they bring to my writing. Each person involved offers something completely different. Some line edit, some provide development type of expertise, and some are just fantastic cheerleaders. When we brainstorm ideas with each other, it’s magic. They’ve helped make my books better.

Good for you! It sounds like you’ve got a great group behind you. I’m sure they helped with valuable feedback when you were working on your new release, EXPOSED TO PASSION. I’d love more details.

EXPOSED TO PASSION releases on October 20, and is the third book in the Five Senses Series (It’s on pre-order right now). This novel is based on sight. I’ve matched a traveling photography exhibit curator, Rikki Salerno, with a high school teacher and photography club sponsor, Sam Kerrigan.  I threw in a bullied student and a woman who was a bully as a young girl and never broke the cycle. She made things very interesting. I was so happy to finally write Sam’s story. He’s been begging me for it since I first met him in Cooking Up Love. The nice thing about this series is that each book stands alone. The characters and town are consistent, but you definitely don’t have to have read either of the first two to pick up the third.
ETP Cover

I really enjoyed the first two and am looking forward to Sam’s story. The plot sounds wonderful and I love your heroine’s name. Without giving too much away, tell us a bit about your favorite scene.

There is a scene where a mean girl takes a prank against another student, Katie, too far by feeding the unsuspecting girl a brownie laced with drugs. The scene details Katie’s reaction to the drugs. I borrowed the scene from something that happened once in an airport when I was traveling. Once the paramedics, airport police and the air marshal all left the area, I knew I had to use what I’d seen in a book.

That must have been harrowing in the airport! It’s amazing the things we file away as writers to use later. Share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.

Oh my gosh – that’s hard. In a scene where Sam is arguing with his brother, Jack Kerrigan unleashes this little zinger. “You’ve been hanging out on planet Uranus too much lately…you’re turning into a real asshole.” Oh, those boys!

Such a guy remark, and definitely a good one.  Score for Jack! :D  Now to completely change things up, if someone gave you a working time machine tomorrow, where would you visit and why?
I’d probably go back England around 2500 B.C. I really want to know how Stonehenge was built.

Ooo, please tell me when you find out! Remember, I’m the one who pointed you in the direction of the time machine, LOL. 

Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother:
Does it come with a time machine? No? Well then, it would have to be Mauritius. I’d love to see that island nation because every picture I’ve seen looks incredible.

Favorite season: That a toss up between fall and winter.

Favorite type of music: Classic rock and roll. I’ve been on a kick lately with 70s and 80s music.

Favorite TV show: The Big Bang Theory. Love seeing what these characters get up to.

Favorite ice cream flavor: Kroger used to make one called Death By Chocolate. Yum! We don’t have that store here, so I haven’t had it in years. But I’m not much of an ice cream eater anyway.

Winter?!?! Seriously? Fall, I can see, but the white stuff only looks nice to me in December. ;-) And I love 70s music—80s too, but I’m very partial to 70s. That really takes me back to some fun days. 

Gemma, it was great having you visit as always. I’ll be looking forward to the continuation of your Five Senses series with Sam and Rikki’s story in EXPOSED TO PASSION! 

You can connect with Gemma at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Google+

Author, Gemma BrocatoAuthor Bio:
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; someday she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to ‘Dear Author’ were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.

Blurb EXPOSED TO PASSION: 

They walked through the shadows individually. Will they emerge into the light together? 

Leading a vagabond life as a curator for a traveling photography exhibit translates to a lot of bad days for Rikki Salerno. But her trouble doubles when a careless high school student shoves her into a marsh. Being rescued by teacher Sam Kerrigan should have made things better, but Rikki’s inability to confess her true identity casts a shadow over their budding affair.

When Sam refuses an overly aggressive parent’s marriage proposal, she’s determined to ruin him. Not only does she doctor photos to make it look like Sam’s behaved inappropriately in front of students, she hacks the foundation website to reveal Rikki’s true identity. Faster than the blink of a shutter, Rikki’s focus changes from pursuing her full-color future to the black and white necessity of clearing Sam’s name.

Purchase/Pre-Order EXPOSED TO PASSION from:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kensington Books

Also By Gemma Brocato:
Cooking Up Love
Hearts In Harmony 

Book Spotlight: Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley #Paranormal #Romance

SWC CoverSilver Wolf Clan
By Tera Shanley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing Corp.
Length: 129 pages
Book 1 in the Silver Wolf Clan saga

Blurb:
What happens when monsters turn out to be real? One summer night while camping in the woods, Morgan Carter finds out in a big way. A tall mysterious stranger, Greyson Crawford, risks his life to try and save her sister from the vicious wolf attacking their camp. When he’s bitten and disappears into the night, Morgan can only assume the worst.

Greyson shows up a year later, and he’s a different animal altogether. His eye color shifts constantly and the rumble in his throat sounds more animal than human. She hasn’t any idea where he’s been all this time, but a good guess as to what he’s become.
Grey is determined not to let the darkness of his new existence affect Morgan and the little girl in her care. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Morgan but knows he should stay away and let her live a normal life. That’s easier said than done, though. A new danger pulls him from the shadows to keep her safe, and he’s no wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Can she accept what lurks just below his surface? More importantly, can she survive him?  

View the Book Trailer

Purchase from:
Amazon 

Barnes & Noble 
Kobo 
Kensington Books  

author picAuthor Bio:
Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love. A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors. For more information about Tera and her work, visit www.terashanley.com.

Connect with Tera Shanley at the following haunts:
Facebook

Blog
Twitter
Website
Goodreads

Excerpt:
Greyson’s muscles quivered under Morgan’s hand but it likely had nothing to do with the cool rain. He opened his eyes slowly and the brilliance of the golden color pooled there was almost too dazzling to look directly at. Like staring at the sun. No one would mistake those for human eyes.

If she’d had any doubt before about the brand of monster he’d become, those liquid amber eyes put them to rest. He pulled his hood back and the chin-length dark blond hair from her memory fell forward into his face. She moved a strand to the side. He’d lost weight in the past year. He hadn’t had an ounce to lose in the first place, but it looked as if he’d struggled to stay healthy. His eyebrows, just a shade darker than his hair, were furrowed but he let her drink him in. He was playing fair. For all she knew, he’d been watching her the entire year. It was her turn now.

His nose was straight and his jaw line masculine. From the brief moments she’d known him out in those woods, she’d seen how intoxicating he was. He’d been a fearless warrior bent on that murdering wolf’s destruction, no matter the cost. Here, in the dirty alley under the relentless clouds, with those glorious feral eyes and a snarl in his chest, Greyson Crawford was utterly consuming.

Softly, she said, “You’re beautiful.”

His shaky whisper tore at her. “I’m a monster.”

Mae Clair Presents: Feminist or goddess – why must women choose? by Cate Masters

Please welcome my guest blogger for the day, Cate Masters with her new release GODDESS, AWAKENED. In connection with her novel, she has an intriguing post to share about how women should be treated and how they view themselves. Check it out!

~ooOOoo~

Feminist or goddess – why must women choose?
by Cate Masters

A funny thing happened during the release party for Goddess, Awakened. At first, we were having fun, discussing mythological goddesses and favorite authors and books.

Then someone asked if my book promoted feminism. The question confused me at the time. Here was my answer:

“Not at all. The theme encourages women to empower themselves by accepting who they truly are and strengthening their unique talents. All things positive.”

Maybe I should explain why I began writing this series, The Goddess Connection, which will all be paranormals/fantasies based in mythology, all stand-alones, each based on a different goddess.

I love empowering women. Celebrating their uniqueness. Each of us have talents or skills we might view as quirks, and maybe we even dislike ourselves because of them. Or maybe we simply ignore them to fit into a more standardized life where we go through the motions but don’t really feel fulfilled.

In each of these books, the heroine will have lifelong quirks that she sees as detrimental, but by the end, she’ll learn that these quirks are actually strengths. They help define her as an individual, and that’s not a bad thing.

So it saddened me that, when I read the answers to one of the questions I posed at the party, “Do you think women should be treated like goddesses?” and some said no. Some argued women shouldn’t be put on a pedestal – and I agreed:

“that’s definitely not the message I want to send. As I mentioned above, the idea is *not* to put women on a pedestal or treat them as divas, but to value who they are in all their flaws, unique beauty, and talents. The theme of the Goddess Connection is for women to nurture that in themselves, too, and not let others devalue us. I hope that makes sense.”

And then I saw this article on HuffPost: “Women Against Feminism is a Thing. And We’re Confused.” http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/07/14/women-against-feminism-tumblr-facebook-_n_5585163.html

I’m definitely confused too. Obviously, these young women have the wrong idea about feminism. Maybe they picture a militant society where females are barely distinguishable from males, some sci-fi interpretation that skews the real meaning. To me, feminism honors the struggle and hardships women endured to receive basic rights that should be afforded any human. To vote. To have an education. To choose for themselves how to live their lives. To better themselves in whatever way that appeals to them.

Lately, I’ve been seeing the term thrown around pretty freely, and it’s disturbing. Another article claimed the Starz series based on Diana Gabaldon’s work was the “feminist” answer to Game of Thrones. Why do journalists feel the need to pit one show against another? One gender against another? (Yes, I know – to boost ratings)

The HuffPost article put the question about a feminist label for my books in perspective, and if someone asks again, I’ll have to better qualify my answer.

Yes, to be a goddess means to embrace your best self. The only way to do that is by freeing yourself from restraints, either from outside or originating in yourself.

In my mind, the same definition applies to feminism.

And if you’re interested in The Goddess Connection, the first book is now available from Kensington Publishing’s Lyrical Press imprint. Here’s a bit more to tease your imagination:

Goddess-Awakened-MEDThe Goddess Connection Book 1
Goddess, Awakened
Blurb 

With a little help from a goddess, battling evil is a piece of cake for Jocelyn Gibson.

A descendant of the goddess Iris, Jocelyn Gibson may have forgotten about the realm of magic, but it hasn’t forgotten her. When Eric Hendricks is targeted by a demon, Joss must step in to battle the evil and save the town’s awkward, but endearing, vet…who also happens to be the man she loves.

Joss’s new inn, a culinary career specializing in cooking with lavender and a new love all make for a fine recipe of disaster. She needs to embrace her inner goddess and harness the powers she never knew she had before it’s too late.

Mini excerpt
In starting her life over, Joss had expected some resistance, even some trouble, but not this. The bedroom floor boards trembled beneath her golden-slippered feet. Tendrils of an unseen power curled upward from deep within the ground, tingling through her toes. She paused to steady herself, then continued to put the finishing touches on her costume. The tremors grew into rumbles and their hum seeped beneath her skin. When their tiny wisps twined through her mind, she clenched her hands. Enough. Go away.

Thick as starlight on a clear summer’s eve, sweet as the lavender blossoms she had yet to plant, energy whooshed up through the cracks of the worn wood and out into the October night.

She gripped the bureau until it passed, the vibrations rolling over her in lessening waves. Bubbly, effervescent waves. “Third time tonight, Taz.” Each departure took longer, and more of the essence remained.

When the dog whined, she stroked his fur. “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you.”

Even if tonight the waves were palpable enough to make her hairs stand on end. Oh, no, please.

Nothing could ruin tonight. More than a party, this event would determine her future. And after three years of grief, she’d never allow anything to trap her in its clutches again.

Goddess, Awakened
The Goddess Connection, Book 1
Fantasy/paranormal romance novel
About 89,700 words
Purchase from:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Kensington 

About the Author
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com  and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Connect with Cate Masters at the following haunts:
Website
Email: cate.masters@gmail.com
Facebook
Twitter:  @CateMasters

Book video Link 

Mae Clair Presents: Jessi Gage with Jade’s Spirit #ParanormalRomance #Giveaway

I’m delighted to welcome another fantabulous author to my blog today. Jessi Gage has been burning up the romance best-seller charts with her Highland Wishes series and her Blue Collar Boyfriend series.

Her newest release, which is poised to hit online retailers any day, is a unique paranormal romance. I had the pleasure of reading the first half JADE’S SPIRIT in development stages and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

To celebrate her newest release, Jessi is doing a giveaway. Check out the deets at the bottom of her post on how to enter.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll welcome Jessi as she explains what makes JADE’S SPIRIT such an unusual read and what compelled her to write it.

~ooOOoo~

Thank you for having me, Mae! I’m so excited to share my new release JADE’S SPIRIT with your readers today!

I’m more nervous about this release than I’ve ever been before. It’s not your typical romance. Then again, I don’t really write typical romance. I’ve got a virginal hero (nothing new for me), some ghosts (again, nothing new), a heroine with a troubled past (still nothing new there). But where I diverge from my usual voice is in the message.

I’m a Christian, but I don’t usually write about faith in my books. In my own life, faith plays a huge role every day. But when I read fiction, I’m not looking to be preached at or have my faith challenged or tested. I just want to escape. So that’s what I try to do in my books: provide a pleasurable escape for my readers.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not anti-inspy (inspirational romance or Christian fiction), I just never intended to write books with an explicit Christian message. I read them on occasion, but never felt compelled to write one.

Jade’s Spirit felt different  from the get-go. First of all, it’s based on a real life experience my mother had in her childhood home. She saw a ghost. And it attacked her brother, my uncle Bob. Prayer made it go away. This comes into play in the story I found pouring onto the pages as I thought about who this ghost might be and what it might want. Spiritual oppression and hauntings play a huge role in Jade’s journey as she learns what it takes to fight the supernatural.https://maeclair.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/jessigage_jadesspirit_1400px.jpg

Then there was Emmett. Virginal heroes are nothing new to me. But Emmett is the first character I’ve written who is incredibly like my husband and me. We drink beer. We listen to rock music. We love horror movies. We make inappropriate jokes…and we love Jesus. There aren’t many evangelical Christians who choose to live life the way we do or tolerate those who do. Emmett is like us. He’s…cool and accepting. And he loves Jesus.

I don’t know if a lot of people are going to “get” Emmett. I hope I’ve made him endearing and attractive (he certainly is those things to me), but this character might end up falling flat or being confusing to some readers. Don’t expect a stereotype with Emmett. He’s not your typical “Bible thumper.” He’s sexy, confident, funny, independent, and an unapologetic Christian. Kind of like me and my husband.

I think there are a lot of us sexy, fun-loving Christians out there, and I’m hoping Jade’s Spirit finds its way into the hands of people who will be able to relate to Emmett’s struggle: wanting to obey God and keep it in his pants” but also being honest with himself about the temptations of life. It’s not easy to follow God. Sometimes we make mistakes.

So, yeah, I’m nervous about this one. I read books with main characters who are atheist, wiccan, practice menage, all kinds of things that I, personally, wouldn’t do. But it’s fun to read about people who do things differently and have different beliefs. I hope the Christian message in Jade’s Spirit offers people who don’t share my beliefs a glimpse into my faith without beating them over the head with it. I hope it’s entertaining! That’s what this writing thing is all about!

Thanks for reading! And thanks, Mae, for having me! It’s always a blast to chat with your readers!

GIVEAWAY ALERT:
I want to hear ghost stories or favorite ghost tales from you guys. Leave a comment with something ghost related in it, and I’ll enter you to win an e-copy of Jade’s Spirit.

Author, Jessi GageConnect with Jessi Gage at the following haunts:
website | blog | newsletter sign-up | Twitter (@jessigage)

For information on when JADE’S SPIRIT will be released, check Jessi’s website or add to your TRB on Goodreads!