Book Spotlight: Minstrel’s Serenade by Aubrie Dionne #romance #fantasy

CoverMinstrel’s Serenade
By Aubrie Dionne
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing Corp.
Length: 257
Book 1 in the Chronicles of Ebonvale

BLURB:
He’s sworn to protect her, but can he save her from himself?

Danika Rubystone has hated the minstrels ever since her mother ran away with one. As Princess, she’s duty bound to marry Valorian, a minstrel from the House of Song. But problems in the kingdom are mounting. With her father dead she’s the sole heir to an imperiled throne, and wyverns attack Ebonvale’s southern shores. But after Danika finds a lone survivor of a wyvern’s attack who holds the key to protecting the kingdom and she finally meets the enchantingly sly Valorian, everything changes.

As Ebonvale’s Royal Guard sails with the minstrels to smite the uprising of wyverns, Danika dances a line between sticking by duty like her father, or following her wild heart like her mother.

Purchase from:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Aubrie DionneAuthor Bio:
Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine and BTS Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happy Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her books are published by HarperImpulse, Entangled Publishing, Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Inkspell Publishing, and Lyrical Press. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.

Connect with Aubrie Dionne at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter:  @authoraubrie

The Spirit Path by Tammy Tate is Free Now Through 9/16/2014

Looking for a short, enjoyable read?  Love time travel? How about romance?  Then you’ll want to grab a copy of THE SPIRIT PATH by Tammy Tate, free for download from Amazon through September 16th.

Book cover for The Spirit Path by Tammy Tate showing a couple in silhouette with a horse in the foreground

BLURB FOR THE SPIRIT PATH:
Nicole goes horseback riding, not knowing that the events of the day would forever change her life. After she falls off her horse and hits her head she wakes up to unfamiliar surroundings only to find she has traveled back in time to the year 1812.

She swung into the saddle, took a deep breath and then mustered the strength to ask him a question that she had been putting off.

“What year is it?” She exhaled slowly, preparing herself for his response knowing that when she woke up this morning it was 1997.

Flaming Arrow started to ride off, and then turned his horse to face her. “It is 1812″   

Download THE SPIRIT PATH free from Amazon  

Author Tammy TateAUTHOR BIO:
Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, lived in Las Vegas for 7 years and Texas for 18 with her husband of 34 years. Her secret to a long marriage?

It’s easy when you marry your best friend. When she’s not writing and breathing life into her characters, she enjoys reading, motorcycles and thinking up ideas for her next book. Among her favorite movies are romance, science fiction, fantasy, comedy and thrillers. Before writing, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher).

She doesn’t mind a challenge which has allowed her to race a late-model in a women’s powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised 3 wonderful children.   

You can connect with Tammy at the following haunts:
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads  

Mae Clair Presents: Kyra Jacobs and Flirting With Fire #romance #firefighters

I’m super jazzed to have the delightful Kyra Jacobs on my blog today. Kyra is a Lyrical Press/Kensington Books sister author who is currently celebrating her newest release, FLIRTING WITH FIRE. Energetic, super supportive and friendly, Kyra also knows how to spin an enthralling tale. Please say hello!  

Kyra, what attracts you most to your chosen genre?

The Happily Ever Afters. With as busy as my life is today, if I’m going to set aside time to dive into a book then darn it ,there’d better be a happy ending involved. LOL No tragedies or cliffhangers for me. When I write, I try to offer the same type of story resolution I prefer for my readers.

Well said! I love an HEA and can’t imagine reading a romantic novel without one. And as long as we’re talking books that intrigue us, give us the scoop on your newest release. 

Book cover for Flirting with Fire by Kyra Jacobs shows a fire truck and fireman in silhouette against a gold backgroundFlirting With Fire is my second romantic suspense novel, and it just released this month. Technically, it’s the second in my Hometown Heroes series (Armed With Steele is book 1) but can either be read as a sequel or standalone novel. And while FWF follows a new set of main characters, fans of my first book are sure to see some familiar names woven into this story as well.

I enjoy when an author writes books that connect but also serve as a stand-alone. Without giving too much away, please share a bit about your favorite scene.

But I have so many! Hmm, let’s see. One of my favorites involves a hot shower, soap getting in Liz’s eyes, and her reaching around the shower stall door for a towel. That’s when a pair of shins beside the tub come into view. Naked, male shins…

LOL! I can see why that would be one of your favorite scenes. :)  How did you choose your setting?

I love to write about my hometown. We live in a terrific city, rich with history and yet with enough modern development to keep my storylines coming.

It sounds like you have an endless supply of inspiration! As a teaser, please share the first three sentences of your book. 

(Ha, I’m giving you four ;-)… )

It all began with Herb Meyer’s happy ending.
Oh, sure, I’d heard murmurings at our post office. Dismissed stares from neighboring motorists at the gas station. Gossip is, after all, what keeps things interesting in small town U.S.A.

Great beginning! (and I’m glad you went for four lines :) ). When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

Tend to my flower gardens. There’s just something about working outside pulling weeds and/or dead-heading my perennials that helps to clear my mind.

That sounds relaxing. I have a mediocre green thumb and envy the beautiful flower gardens I see others tend. If a fairy godmother suddenly appeared and gifted you with an all-expense paid vacation, where would you go?

Anywhere with a quiet, warm, white-sands beach

Favorite comic book character: Ratbert

Food you never grow tired of: Ice cream. Never. Ever.

Sunset picnic or night on the town: Sunset picnic

Pie or cake: Cake, but only if there’s plenty of tasty, buttercream frosting involved…

Yum! I’m partial to pie, but having buttercream frosting does make it tempting. And I think you’re the first person who answered my comic-book character question, LOL.  It’s been great to have you here today, Kyra. I’ve already downloaded FLIRTING WITH FIRE for my Kindle and look forward to reading it. I absolutely love the cover–it’s one of my all time favorites this year!  Wishing you the very best with your release and many sales! 

Connect with Kyra Jacobs at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads 

Author, Kyra JacobsAUTHOR BIO:
Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love and mystery in the Midwest. When this Hoosier native is not pounding out scenes for her next book, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves golf, Guitar Hero, and thinking through plot twists while out on a good run. Be sure to stop by her website www.KyraJacobs.wordpress.com for links to connect with her on social media. Kyra lives in northern Indiana with her husband and two children.

BLURB for FLIRITING WITH FIRE:

Look, touch, but don’t fall in love. 

Massage therapist Liz Williams lives by one rule: never date a client. A rule she’s never had trouble following until she lays hands on fireman playboy Torrunn MacKay. Trouble is, Liz’s sexy new client is dating her arch-rival at work…and has a strange habit of appearing just before the fire alarm sounds.

Firefighter Torrunn MacKay has got it made: killer job, downtown condo with a view, and hot blonde girlfriend with no more desire to tie the knot than he has. But the surprise attraction he feels toward his new masseuse is threatening to change all that. And what’s with the string of fires that seem to follow her everywhere?

Can Liz mind her table manners and keep Torrunn at arms’ length? Will Torrunn put his commitment fears aside to keep Liz safe? More than hearts will be in jeopardy when the two start Flirting with Fire.

CONTENT WARNING: Beware of darkened rooms, delicious firefighters, and desperate pyromaniacs.  

Purchase FLIRTING WITH FIRE FROM:
Amazon (ebook and paperback)
Barnes and Noble (paperback only) 

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Meet Author Amber Daulton with Lightning over Bennett Ranch

An ink quill with feather penIt’s Thursday, and that means it’s time for another Pen Pal visit. Today’s guest is Amber Daulton with LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH. 

Before we get started don’t forget I’m hanging out with Lorraine Paton today with FIVE FUN FACTS about ECLIPSE LAKE. And the uber supportive Kitt Crescendo is giving Eclipse Lake  the spotlight treatment too!

Now it’s time to meet a lovely new Pen Pal!

Amber, are you a draft writer or someone who invests a lot of time editing and polishing as you write? Why does your method work best for you? 

I edit and polish as I write. If I don’t, I usually become confused and frustrated as to where the story is going. I tend to get a lot of ideas as I write and those ideas usually make more sense than what I originally plotted. I’m also a stickler for details. A scene has to be almost perfect before I move on.

Your method sounds much like mine. It makes the writing process longer, but editing is usually a breeze. My absolute favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What is yours and how do you go about it?

Deciding on character names is actually my least favorite part of starting a new novel. The name has to fit with the character I see in my mind perfectly or I can’t use it. I’m very picky (especially with the heroine and hero) and I sometimes spend hours, if not days, just scouring through baby name books and websites for the best names.

What I love most is creating a new world or researching a real town and then twisting it enough to fictionalize it. Research, in my opinion, is more fun than writing at times. I love to learn about new places, cultures and people.  Although I’d rather travel to do hands-on research, in-depth reading is second best.

I agree with you on that. I’ve taken a trip to a specific town a few states away specifically for research. I’m using the location as the setting of an upcoming novel. Of course it’s not always possible to visit the locales we choose to use, so online research and reading is a Godsend! Which do you find easier to write— description or dialogue? 

Both are easy for me. Dialogue is more fun to write, however, because I love drama and emotion-based scenes. I love to put my characters through the ringer! When I find myself tearing up as I write, I know I’m on a roll. I feel more creative, though, when I write description because I love creating new worlds and scenery. I tend to go overboard with detail sometimes and it hurts to cut back and delete as I edit.

When I find myself balking over cutting something I love, I remember Stephen King’s quote “sometimes you have to kill your babies.” But it does hurt, doesn’t it?  And I love emotion-based scenes. Your style sounds wonderful!  

Which brings me to LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH. Can you share a few details?

Lightning over Bennett Ranch is book 2 of the Montana Ranch Collection published on June 9th, 2014 by Books to Go Now.  There are five individual novellas in the collection, all written by different authors, and are set in the small town of Willow Creek, Montana. Each story intertwines and shares characters from the other books to create a widespread world within a loving, close-knit community.

Lightning over Bennett Ranch

What a great concept. And, strange as it may seem, Montana has always been on my list of places to visit. So much history there! Switching things up a bit, as a reader, name a book that had a a profound effect on you.

I read my first romance books, ‘True Blue’ by Ingrid Weaver, when I was 12. It’s about an ex-convict hero and a schoolteacher heroine. After reading this book, I decided I wanted to write my own stories about two people finding adventure and falling in love. And so I did. I finished my first novel within six months and I’ve revised that book several times over the years (it’s currently not published).

I credit ‘True Blue’ with opening the door into modern romantic literature for me. Without it, I may not be writing today.

So you wrote your first novel at twelve? That’s fantastic—and equally fantastic that a single novel opened the door to a whole new world for you. When you’re creating worlds and characters, do you have pets who shadow your writing space? 

I have five cats and they always disrupt my writing time. They either lay on my lap (which I don’t mind until they pin one of my hands under their tummy), wrestle with and hiss at one another or meow for attention. I love them but they certainly are a handful!

LOL! I ADORE cats, but five definitely sounds like a handful. I can just imagine them camped out with you in your office, demanding attention as only felines can. And now for a few quick questions. What is your: 

Favorite season: Autumn

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite type of music: Hard Rock

Favorite ice cream flavor: Butter Pecan

Casual or dressy: Dressy

I think you’re the first person I’ve interviewed who answered “dressy” to the last question. YAY!  I do enjoy being casual, but I love dressing up, so it’s nice to meet a kindred soul. :) Thanks so much for visiting with me today, Amber. I wish you much success with LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH. 

If you’d like to know more about Amber Daulton, connect with her at the following haunts:
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Books to Go Now
Amazon Author Page

Amber  (68)About Amber:
Writing is the fruit to happiness.

Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen.

Author of Forever Winter, A Hero’s Heart and Lightning over Bennett Ranch, she published her first book in 2012 and plans to publish countless more in the future. She lives in the beautiful foothills of North Carolina with her punk-rocker husband and their five crazy kitties. Writing takes up most of her time, aside from her day job in the retail industry. As a fan of contemporary, paranormal and historical novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of romance and adventure, laughter and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when there are people jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.

Blurb for LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH:
Melody Bennett’s parents trampled on her teenage romance with a drifter ten years ago. He disappeared without a word of goodbyes on the night they had planned to run away together. Since then, she cast aside her foolish notions of happily ever after and worked hard alongside the hired help to care for the majestic horses on her family’s ranch. She refused to give love another chance and resigned to live her life alone.

Max Fortaine returned with a heart guarded by secrets and a sizable bank account that took blood, prayers and tears to fund. The cowboy disrupted Melody’s peaceful existence with stolen kisses and a promise for more. After a lifetime of running, mistakes and regrets, he vowed to reclaim the only woman he ever loved… if only her overprotective father didn’t stand in his way.

~ooOOoo~

Purchase LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH from Amazon
Add to your Goodreads List 

Mae Clair Welcomes Mindy Hardwick with Romance for All the Seasons

There are times when you crave a good holiday romance. Other times, you’re looking for a seasonal romance, and sometimes you just want a collection of themed stories together. Well, Mindy Hardwick has taken care of that craving with her collection ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS. Please say hello and get to know Mindy!

Mindy, thanks for visiting my blog today. I’d love to know a little bit about your writing style. My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What is yours and how do you go about it? 

My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with the setting. I love creating a small town with interesting locations based on real places, such as the Elmheart Hotel in my sweet contemporary novellas.

I love doing that too. Small towns make the best settings for romantic tales. Elmheart Hotel sounds like a place I wouldn’t mind visiting. Tell us about your new release.  

ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS is s a collection of all six of my sweet contemporary romance stories. The stories are linked by the setting of the Elmheart Hotel in Western New York as well as the characters who are friends with each other.

Book cover of Romance for All the Seasons by Mindy Hardwick showing a couple embracingAs a reader, I enjoy when characters continue from one story to the next and they come to feel like old friends and family. How did you choose your title? 

The stories in ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS are each set in different seasons with many holiday stories included such as NEW YEAR HEART SONG, LOVE’S CHRISTMAS GIFT, and VINTAGE VALENTINE.

Fabulous! I’m especially intrigued by the New Year’s themed story. It’s a holiday that is often overlooked but is infused magic and the wonder of possibilities. Was there research involved in this novel? If so, what was the most interesting item you discovered? 

Three of the stories in ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS are set at the Elmheart Hotel. This was a real hotel along the shores of Lake Ontario during the late 1800’s. People took the trolley line from Rochester and enjoyed a day at the shore. In the early 1990’s, a boyfriend took me to see the hotel. By that point, it had fallen into disrepair and was no longer in use, but I fell in love with the possibilities of what had once been a great place for romance. The hotel burned in 1993, but by writing these stories, I hoped to return the Elmheart to all of the romance I once envisioned.

What a fantastic history. I hold a special passion for the romantic trappings of yesteryear. The allure of an old hotel, the trolley, the shore . . . it sounds like you’ve created a wonderful tribute to keep the memory of Elmheart alive.  I can imagine tucking away in a room and writing there too. If you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do? 

I would run a bed and breakfast in an old hotel!

Great answer! And I’d book a room to write, LOL.  If you could take a trip anywhere you wanted (your personal fairy godmother just bestowed a dream vacation on you) where would you go? 

Two weeks in Hawaii

What is your favorite season?

Fall

Your favorite social media platform?

Blogging

Favorite author?

Susan Wiggs

Mountains or beach?

Beach

Hawaii is on my list too, and I love the beach. I could live at the beach, LOL!  

Mindy, thank you so much for visiting with me today. I love the idea behind ROMANCE FOR ALL SEASONS, especially the setting, and will be adding it to my TBR. Thanks for sharing with my readers.

If you’d like to know more about Mindy Hardwick, connect with her at the following haunts:

Website
Facebook 

Blog 
Twitter 
Goodreads 

Casual photo of author Mindy Hardwick before a fireplaceAuthor Bio
Mindy Hardwick enjoys writing first love and sweet, contemporary romance for all ages and is known for her small-town stories. Mindy enjoys teaching others about writing and she frequently talks to writers groups, book clubs and libraries.When she’s not writing, Mindy can be found art journaling, visiting flea markets dreaming of new ways to repurpose old materials and walking on the Oregon Coast beaches with her dog, Stormy. Mindy believes that a great story can warm the heart, lift the spirit, and heal the soul.

Blurb for ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS
Bestselling author, Mindy Hardwick’s sweet contemporary Sailor Series and Elmheart Hotel Series are together for the first time in this anthology, ROMANCE FOR ALL SEASONS. These six novellas will delight your heart at Valentine’s Day, sweeten hot summer days, banish Halloween ghosts and goblins and warm your soul during the holidays.

Purchase ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS from Amazon 

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Meet Author Marilyn Conner Miles

Hand writing a letter with a goose featherToday, I‘d like to welcome Pen Pal Marilyn Conner Miles to my blog. Marilyn has dropped by with HOLIDAY HEART (who doesn’t like a bit of Christmas in the summer?) and a glimpse of her upcoming release, PERFECT PAIR. Naturally, before we get to the books, I’ve got a find out a bit about Marilyn. :)

Marilyn, please tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I stated writing when I learned to print –first or second grade. I’d write stories and gave them to my family and teachers. My second grade teacher gave one back to a family friend a few years back. Then I showed a story I’d written to the librarian of our grade school and she showed the principal. I illustrated all the stories too, and made “hardbacks” out of them by using the cardboard from my dad’s new white shirt packages. I used wire to attach the story to the “cover.”  

I took creative writing classes in high school and college. But then I worked in advertising, PR and marketing and wrote TV and radio commercials and print ads for newspapers, catalogs and brochures. I kept a journal for years. It wasn’t until I “retired” that I began to think about writing stories. I’ve had two stories published and have one soon-to-be published in the past year.

What a great track record. And–wow!–you were really creative as a child, making hardback copies of your early stories. That’s so clever! I would have loved doing that with mine if I’d thought about it. Now that we know how you wrote as a kid :D please tell us about your upcoming release. 

PERFECT PAIR is the last in the series that began with ACAPULO ADVENTURE, and continued with HOLIDAY HEART. Amber, a workaholic with few real friends, gets laid off from her job with a law firm in downtown Seattle. She has to give up her apartment and hopes to move in temporarily with her parents, but that doesn’t work out. With no job and soon no place to live, she agrees to take a house-and-pet-sitting position for a while. The problem is, she’s never had a pet, and the job is at a mini-farm!

What a great set-up! How did you choose your title?

I always have a hard time coming up with a title and tend to wait till the last minute. It seems to work. I tie it in with the story after I think up an appropriate name. For this last three story series, they have all been two word titles.

They have a great ring to them. I’m frequently still fishing around for a title when I reach the end of a novel too. I don’t know why they have to be so hard (at least for me).

Let’s switch gears and talk about pets for a minute. As an avowed cat lover who always had a feline with me when I was writing, I’m constantly curious if other writers have a furred friend hanging out with them in their work space. 

My cat thinks I’m her mother and follows me everywhere. We share my home office. She sits on her cat tree and talks to the birds outside and then walks over me or across the desk or keyboard. Sometimes she stares at the computer monitor. Half the time she sleeps on my lap with her head on my arm and I have to type with one hand.

LOL! I love it!  It’s so typical of a cat, all about their comfort and timing. You can’t help but love their personalities and how they demand attention.  

And finally, the quick-silver round. Please share your favorite:

Season: Autumn
Type of music: Country-western
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate chip mint
Owl or lark: Owl
Mountains or beach: Mountains—I live next to them

I bet you have a great view. You obviously have great taste in liking chocolate chip mint ice cream. It’s my favorite too, but my husband always says it’s like eating mouthwash. 

Thanks for being my guest today, Marilyn. It was a delight to learn more about you. I wish you much success with PERFECT PAIR and your entire series. 

If you’d like to know more about Marilyn Conner Miles, connect with her at the following haunts:

Blog
Facebook
Goodreads  

photoAuthor Bio
Marilyn began writing as soon as she could print. Her first career was in the transportation industry, working for the airlines. Her second career was in advertising, marketing and promotions. Currently a freelance editor, Marilyn lives with her husband and cat in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in southwest Washington State, where she watches horses and deer and sometimes owls from her home office window.  

Holiday HEartXHOLIDAY HEART BLURB:
Christmas. It’s that time of the year again and Brenda is alone, as usual. Everyone she knows is paired up except her. And now, she has to go to a wedding and pretend to be happy. But, even worse, her ex-boyfriend will be there. It’s been six years since they broke up and she hasn’t seen or heard from him since. How will she handle seeing him again—especially if he has another woman on his arm?

Purchase HOLIDAY HEART from Amazon
Kindle 

Paperbook 

 

Mae Clair’s Book Spotlight: Shunned No More by Christina McKnight

One of the earliest author friends I connected with when originally venturing online was Christina McKnight. Naturally, when I heard she had a new release out, I jumped at the chance to showcase it here.

Book cover for Shunned No More by author Christina McKnight depicting a Regency-era woman in a flowing lavender gown looking over her shoulder

Series: A Lady Forsaken, Book 1
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Word Count: 78,000
Cover Artist: LFD Designs for Authors

A Lady Shunned by All… 

Lady Viola Oberbrook only wanted to forget the ill-fated early morning duel that took the lives of two young, wealthy, promising men of the ton and sent her fleeing for her father’s country estate. Eight years later, she has her life in order: a fulfilling business, a few trusted friends, and no plans to return to London society. What she doesn’t expect is to come face to face with her past.

A Lord Betrayed by One… 

Brock Spencer, Earl of Haversham, only wants vengeance. Recently returned from his military service to the King, his plans include repairing his family estate, finding a bride, and destroying the girl responsible for the untimely death of his twin brothers. What he doesn’t anticipate is falling in love with the only woman who should never be part of his future.

An Impossible Match, Destined to Be…

Christina McKnight, authorAbout the Author:

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

Follow her on Twitter: @CMcKnightWriter

Keep up to date on her releases: www.christinamcknight.com

Like Christina’s FB Author https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaMcKnightWriter

Add Shunned No More to your Goodreads List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16099744-shunned-no-more-a-lady-forsaken