Wizards with Words: Welcoming Stanalei Fletcher

bigstock-magic-book-9719930Today on Wizards with Words, I’m happy to have Stanalei Fletcher as a guest.

Stanalei and I hit the writing circuit and the world of social media about the same time, fumbling through the learning curve together. She was one of the first friends I made online and has been a wonderful supporter since. I’m delighted to have her as a guest on my blog sharing about not one, but two, of her releases! So grab a cuppa, sit back and please welcome this wonderful writer!

~ooOOoo~

Stanalei, you have two releases out right now, IMPERFECT DREAM-PERFECT REALITY and LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE. The first is a short fantasy and the second a full-length novel. Tell us a bit about IMPERFECT DREAM-PERFECT REALITY first.

ImperfectDream_final-SmallIMPERFECT DREAM, was exactly that—a dream. I woke up one morning after having a very lucid, very real dream and wondered, what if? I wrote the short story in about 3 hours. Later, I polished it and sent it to The Wild Rose Press to publish. Ebooks weren’t selling like they do today and it wasn’t distributed at all through Amazon. A couple years later, I got my rights back. Recently, I decided to polish it a bit more and re-title it, (it was originally titled The Twilight – and was published long before the Twilight series of vampires). I self-published it with the help of Wildflowers Books. I’m pleased with how well the timing worked in conjunction with LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE.

And now, a bit about LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE. Most of my blog followers know I love time travel romance. I really enjoyed reading LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE. You did such an extraordinary job immersing me in the lives and times of the people who lived in the past. Was White Rock, Idaho an actual town, or did you create it from scratch? If the latter, what was your inspiration?

Thank you for that great compliment, Mae. I think every author hopes they’ll immerse the reader in their fictional world. I very much appreciate you sharing that with me.

White Rock, Idaho is a fictional town. It’s a composite of what things I’ve learned about most old mining towns in Idaho. I had the town of White Rock, the mill, and the aspen grove inside my head for a couple years before I started writing. An opportunity came to visit the area where I wanted the story to take place. I found two ghost towns near each other along the Yankee Fork river between Stanley and Challis, Idaho. I was even fortunate enough to meet the owner of one of the ghost towns when my husband and I toured an old dredge that had mined the Yankee Fork in the 1950s. Upon visiting the second ghost town, I discovered my White Rock, the mill and the aspen grove—exactly as I had envisioned. From that moment on, the ghost town of White Rock came to life for me. For the purpose of the story, my fictional town was much closer to Boise than the real one.

What an awesome history for your setting! I also really enjoyed the disparity between your hero and heroine.  Annie Crawford is concerned about her family’s heritage and retaining the integrity of the past. Developer, Luke Maxwell, is focused on progress. At least when the story starts. I liked seeing their relationship grow in a realistic way. Without giving too much of the story away, do you have a favorite scene between them?

My favorite scene between Annie and Luke is when he tries to convince her she’s really time-traveled to 1891. Annie asks about the keys to her car and Luke replies: “Damn it, Annie, there are no keys! There is no car. For all I know, they haven’t invented gasoline yet.”

LOL! I loved that! LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE had some really inspired twists and turns, especially at the end. I remember how difficult it was to work out the time loop properties when writing WEATHERING ROCK. Sometimes, just thinking about it gave me a headache. What did you find the greatest challenge of writing a time travel story?

I have to say, Mae, that you handled the time-travel properties in WEATHERING ROCK in an amazing way. I’ll try not to give too much away, but your Rick character twist was so well done!

For me, just finding the time-travel mechanism was the challenge.  Believe or not, the medallions were more of an afterthought.  When I came across an article in TIME magazine, I was totally enthralled with the idea of two minds sharing the past, present and future. I knew I’d found my time-travel trigger point.

Thanks for that wonderful compliment about WEATHERING ROCK. I was hoping what I did with Rick would come as a surprise for my readers. And now, I always have to ask this question of time travel authors:  Is there anything from the past (a custom, social attitude, way of doing something, etc.) that you wish still existed today?

Because writing LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE was somewhat of an anomaly for me, I don’t really consider myself a time-travel author. That said, I do wish mankind had the innocence and integrity that we had before the blast of media, reality shows and the over abundance of technology.

I heartily agree with that! If only…

When it comes to writing, do you develop characters before plot or vice versa?

Usually a plot will arrive first, quickly followed by the character’s occupation or goal and thus a character is born. I’m extremely left brained and a stickler for plot logic. So in my outlines, I need to lay out the plot or the characters won’t get very far.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to write?

It seems like my best ideas hit in the morning as I’m waking up or in the shower. Unfortunately, the day job prohibits my ability to rush over to my computer and open my manuscript. Notepads abound at my house, (and everywhere else), and I try to make the most of my writing time I get when I get it.

As a writer, I dabble in a few genres but, as a reader, my taste is all over the board. Do you read mostly in your chosen genre or enjoy various types? Please share a few of your favorite books and authors.

Like you, Mae, my taste is all over.  I’ve never really delved into the “classics”, but cut my teeth on Grimm’s Fairy Tales and comic books. Alistair MacLean is the reason I started writing. My favorite book of his is H.M.S. Ulysses. When it comes to romance, I started out reading Barbara Cartland, Betty Neels, Janet Daily and Margaret Way. I’m a huge Harlequin fan and my go-to author is RaeAnne Thayne. I have every one of Tom Clancy’s books and many of his spin off series. James Rollins is in there too. But the best kept secret in published techo-thrillers has to be Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens—a husband and wife team who hit it big writing Star Trek books, but I absolutely love their mainstream thrillers.

I’m going to have to check them out. I love thrillers. What are you reading right now?

To see my current reading list, check out my page on Goodreads.  As of this writing, I’m reading Threat Vector, by Tom Clancy; McLain’s Law, by Kylie Brant; Finding Your Voice by Les Edgerton; Internal Affairs, by Alana Matthews; Operatives, Spies and Saboteurs: The Unknown Story of the Men and Women of World War II’s OSS, by Patrick K. O’Donnell. And do I keep them all straight? Yes. But don’t ask me how, because I’ve never been able to figure that out.

Amazing! I can only handle one read at a time. And now for some quick question/answers:

Favorite thing to do when you’re not writing or reading:  Watch either the NFL or NBA. I’m a huge Utah Jazz fan…somewhere along the line I became my mother in that regard. But mostly I enjoy spending time with my best friend—my husband. Whatever we do together makes the day perfect.

Favorite color: Green, although if you looked in my closet, you’d think it was gray, white or black.

Favorite TV show: It’s a tie, Stargate: SG-1 and Firefly.  I own the entire DVD series of both.

Favorite season: Fall

Chocolate or vanilla: Yes… vanilla covered in chocolate.

Causal or dressy: Causal

Marshmallow or peanut butter: Peanut butter

Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy-godmother, all expenses paid: A visit to Washington D.C. I’ve never been and would love to spend a month in the museums, cemeteries, and monuments.

Thanks, Stanalei. That was a lot of fun! Before we wrap, do you have a current WIP you’d like share?

I’m currently working on the books from contemporary romantic suspense I call my Northstar Series. You can find blurbs for each of the 5 books on my website.

LightningOnlyStrikesTwice_w6995_750Blurb, LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE:
After her grandfather’s death, mounting debts force Annie Crawford to sell her inheritance to uphold her family’s honor and avoid bankruptcy. Financial stability comes with an even higher price: her heritage. She must rebuild her legacy from nothing.

Purchasing Annie’s property means three things to Luke Maxwell: financial burden on Maxwell Development, opportunity to propel his career to the top by developing the old ghost town, and, ultimately, approval to take over his father’s company. All of which take precedence over his attraction to the pretty seller.

While touring the property, Annie and Luke are whisked back in time to the 1891 mining community. Together, they endure antiquated hardships and turn to each other for familiarity. Comfort soon becomes passion. As they face a lifetime in the wrong century, Annie and Luke discover a predestined responsibility to the future. Can the love they’ve propagated in the past take root in the present?

Excerpt, LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE:
Annie leaned toward him and sniffed. “Perhaps you’ve been celebrating Founders’ Day with more than coffee.” She patted her pockets. “Do you know what happened to my keys?”

Luke slammed his fist on the sideboard, rattling the dishes and making her jump back. “Damn it, Annie, there are no keys! There is no car. For all I know, they haven’t invented gasoline yet.”

Apprehension filled her face. “Okay, I’m leaving now.” She glanced behind her.

The door was only two feet away. She turned for it, but before she lifted the latch, Luke grabbed her shoulder and spun her around. She opened her mouth to scream, but he clamped a hand over it.

Wide, fear-filled eyes stared up at him. He swallowed, regretting the actions that caused her fear, but he couldn’t let her go. As he pulled her closer, her breasts flattened against his chest. Warmth spread through his limbs and the constant fuzziness that plagued him since his arrival vanished.

Annie must have felt the change too. She stopped struggling.

He lowered his head. His whiskers scratched her smooth cheek as he whispered in her ear. “I’m not going to hurt you. I promise. I just need you to believe me.” Without releasing his hand from her mouth, he tilted his head to see her face.

Indecision replaced her earlier apprehension. She nodded slowly.

He eased his hand away and she let go an earsplitting scream.

Damn the woman!

Without thought, he covered her mouth with his.

Buy Links, LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE:
TWRP Trade Paperback
TWRP eBook
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iBooks
Kobo
Bookstrand 
All Romance eBooks.com

StanaleiFletcher-WebPicAuthor Bio
My love of writing romance stems from reading favorite such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Barbara Cartland and Alistair MacLean. I have over twenty years in the martial arts and hold the rank of Sandan, a third degree black belt in Aikido.

After a taste of life on both U.S. coasts, I now reside in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with my hero, who just happens to be my best friend and husband. Together we enjoy the open road astride a Harley, visiting museums and exploring our National Parks.

~ooOOoo~

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

Buy Links for IMPERFECT DREAM-PERFECT REALITY
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

iBooks
Kobo
Sony
Bookstrand
All Romance eBooks.com   
 

Heartbreaker Blog H0p

Heartbreaker ButtonHello and welcome! I’m happy to be participating in the Heartbreaker Blog Hop. As someone who is a diehard romantic in real life, the month of February and, especially, Valentine’s Day are times I treasure. I think the latter was made for romance writers. We’re always dreaming up heroes who break hearts on the way to an HEA. What is it about these guys that attract us?

Almost 300 bloggers have giveaways and posts about those men we love! But that’s not all…

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
Everything but the Swag Pack is open to international giveaway.
How cool is that?

 In addition, I’m doing a giveaway and will be awarding two copies of my
time-travel/paranormal romance novel, WEATHERING ROCK,
(Kindle or Nook copy, winner’s choice).

You can find a complete list of all the participating authors and bloggers here.

My lead character knows a thing or two about breaking hearts. My heroine, Arianna Hart, has a lot to overcome if she wants a future with the book’s hero, Caleb DeCardian. Not only is he from another century, a former colonel for the Union army during America’s Civil War, but he also turns into a werewolf every full moon. Two hurdles that definitely put a damper on a budding romance.

Weathering-Rock-mockup2Blurb:
Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Excerpt:
That strange luminescent glow glinted on the surface of his eyes, flaring pure silver when he looked at her. “I was studying the moon.”

She wasn’t certain she wanted to venture in that direction. Moonlight and a handsome man were a notoriously fatal combination. “I’ve always thought full moons were magical.”

He gave a skeptical snort. “It’s not full, it only looks that way. It’s already started to wane. You just can’t tell by the naked eye.” He tugged at his collar. Sweat clung to his cheeks, prompting him to thumb open another button on his shirt.

The inky material gaped on his chest. A traitorous part of her mind wondered what it would be like to free the remaining buttons. She could almost feel the heated touch of his flesh beneath her fingertips as she slowly worked her way to his waist.

Disturbed, she jerked her hand from his. A hot flush crept up her neck.

“You can tell the difference?” She shot a doubtful glance at the moon. It made her think of long-ago legends: fairy glades, nameless winged creatures and werewolves.

“The moon and I are well acquainted.”

He leaned into the banister, his leg casually brushing hers. She tensed at the informal contact, surprised when it streaked through her like a bolt of lightning. Weak-kneed and stunned, she tried to retreat.

“Annie, don’t go–” Caleb caught her hand.

“Don’t call me that.”

“It suits you.” Towering over her, he stepped closer, his eyes mirroring the smoky blue of the night-dusted sky. “I think we were supposed to meet.” His voice grew low and husky, sending a shivery chill up her spine.

She wet her lips, trying to retain her composure. It was impossible to think straight when he stood so near, his presence engulfing her in a sizzling wall of heat.

“Caleb…”

He bent closer and threaded his hand into her hair, his fingertips lightly pressing her scalp. A dizzying shiver of sensation cascaded through her. She barely had time to register the feeling before his mouth closed over hers, possessive and eager, leaving her breathless.

View Book Trailer for WEATHERING ROCK

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon 

Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
Lyrical Press 
iBooks

To enter my giveaway, and to be entered for the grand prizes during the hop, comment below WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. Moderation is on, so if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, don’t be alarmed. I promise it will show up. At the end of the hop, I will draw two winners through random.org and announce the results on my blog.

And, although I’m not making it mandatory, I’d really appreciate a “like” on my Facebook Author Page, and I invite you to sign up to follow my blog by email should you feel inclined :)

Would you give a guy who broke your heart a second chance or would you write him off as yesterday’s bad news?

 

 

Mae Clair: A Nice Day for Visiting

It’s Saturday, always a fun day to do something different. I’m packing up WEATHERING ROCK, Caleb and Arianna, and we’re jaunting over to the Rom Con blog for a visit. Rom Con is a great place to hang out and an even better place to discover new reads and authors.

I’m excited because I get to share a bit about my own book and characters. It wonderful of the Rom Con folks to feature me. I haven’t gone visiting in a while, so I’m looking forward to the change of scenery. Drop by if you get a chance to see what I’m chatting about.

Happy Saturday and enjoy your weekend!

Mae Clair: Spotlight on ASHER’S DILEMMA by Coleen Kwan

CARINA_AshersDilemma_compressedI’m excited to showcase a new release by Coleen Kwan. ASHER’S DILEMMA is a follow-up to her steampunk novel, ASHER’s INVENTION. Isn’t that cover stunning? Read further to see what else this engaging author has to tempt us with!

~ooOOoo~

BLURB:
Ever since he awoke one day on the floor of his workshop with a brain-splitting headache, Asher Quigley has been haunted by fleeting visions of a beautiful woman everywhere he looks—a woman he’s sure he knows, but can’t recall. In spite of this he has finished his most wondrous invention yet, one that will literally make history: a time machine. But before he can complete his exacting calculations a bizarre accident causes the device to be activated, with him inside! He awakes to find himself in his lab, eight months in the past, and suddenly he remembers her…

Asher knows that something in the near future causes Minerva Lambkin, the woman who turned down his marriage proposal, to be erased from existence. And he’s sure it has something to do with his device. Alone in a familiar world where he doesn’t belong, he’ll have to find a way to destroy the time machine to save the woman he loves from extinction. Even if that means erasing his own future.

BUY LINKS:
Carina Press
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

EXCERPT:
Asher peeled open his eyes to find himself lying face down. The uneven brick floor beneath him struck cold through his sketchy clothing. Frosty air licked at his cheek, frilling his skin with goose bumps. He dragged himself up to a sitting position, and almost vomited as his brain spun like a top.

He was still in his workshop, but instead of sultry August it was now the depths of winter. His breath hung in the air in vaporous clouds, and he had begun to shiver uncontrollably. Frisking his arms, he forced himself to ignore his violent nausea and take in his surroundings.

His invention was still there. Yet, it wasn’t quite the same masterpiece he’d built. This contraption was still a prototype, incomplete, the tarry black promethium magnets incorrectly placed on the copper shell. He remembered how long it had taken him to work out the correct position of each magnet. This machine exactly resembled one of his earlier attempts.

Which meant…his calculations were correct, and his invention had worked! He’d done it.

He, Asher Quigley, had travelled back in time.

Cold sweat trickled down his spine as his success sank in. He’d made the impossible possible. He’d broken the time barrier. He’d discovered a way of traversing the once-immutable dimension.

But where in time had he landed?

Lifting his hand to massage his forehead, he saw he was still clutching the stalking compass, though he had no memory of picking it up. He tucked the object into the pocket of his trousers and rubbed his eyes as he concentrated all his fractured thoughts on the buttons his stalking compass had bounced over. What parameters had been set before the lever had been pulled? Think, man, think.

Out of his brain haze memory came teetering back like a gin-soaked drunk. Eight months. He’d been flung back in time eight months, which explained the teeth-chattering cold.

And then from the mist more memories began to pour out. Only, these came screaming out at him like banshees, and the howling cut him to ribbons. He squeezed his eyes shut against the pain.

Eventually the shrieking disappeared, but the anguish inside him coalesced into a suffocating lump.

Finally he knew who the woman was who teased him day and night. She was no figment of his imagination. Not here, not now, eight months earlier. Here she was real. She was living flesh and blood.

She was Minerva Lambkin. She had captured and fragmented his heart twice over. Yet in the future she did not exist at all. The realization made him break out into a cold, gut-clenching sweat, and the torment only intensified as instinct told him he was responsible. The details eluded him, but he knew he was right. He had somehow caused Minerva’s extinction.

~ooOOoo~

AUTHOR BIO:
Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.

Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.

Look for Coleen at the following haunts:
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Mae Clair: Civil War Interview Day

bigstock-Civil-War-Union-Officer-s-Swor-5577110It’s Friday, which is always a Snoopy Dance kind of day. This Friday is even better as my Lyrical sister author and critique partner, Laura Lee Nutt, is hosting me on her blog. Laura writes wonderful fantasy romances, with her debut release, RED AND THE WOLF, scheduled for early March.

Today, she’s interviewing me about WEATHERING ROCK, including the challenges of writing a 19th century Civil War officer into modern times. I hope you’ll have a chance to drop by and join us. It’s always interesting when I take Caleb on the road. :D

~ooOOoo~

VVWAlso, don’t forget it’s not too late to comment in the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop for a chance to win my giveaway. You can find complete details by clicking this link.

Whether your Friday is spent with a sensual vampire, smolderingly sexy werewolf, or a hunky Civil War colonel, I hope you enjoy your day!

Guest Post: Skibo Castle by Jessi Gage

VVWYes, it’s the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop. You can find a complete list of participating authors and bloggers here. To be entered in my giveaway for a Kindle or Nook copy of my paranormal/time travel romance, WEATHERING ROCK (which features a hunky werewolf) follow this link.

BUT WAIT!!!

Before you leave, I also want to introduce another type of hero for this blog post–highlanders!

My sister author from Lyrical Press and critique partner, Jessi Gage, has just released a fantasy romance, WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER that I want to share. Jessi has dropped by to tell us about Skibo Castle (wouldn’t that be a cool place for a vampire or werewolf to hang out? Or even a hunky Scot)? And now, I’m happy to turn my blog over to Jessi Gage.

~ooOOoo~

Thanks so much for having me, Mae. It’s been wonderful getting to know you as a fellow Lyrical author and a critique partner over the past few months. Your blog is a favorite stop of mine for your Mythical Mondays and Wizard with Words features. I’m so honored to have a spot to showcase my new release with Lyrical Press , WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER.

WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER is a historical paranormal romance in which a single and pregnant museum worker accidentally wishes herself back in time and is forced to marry a Highland warrior with intimacy issues. The blurb and info are below, but what I really want to share is some of my research in writing WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER.

I love Castles. On a trip to Ireland and Scotland with my husband I had the wonderful opportunity to tour many castles. Some were intact. Some were in ruin. I delighted in them all. My favorite was Edinburgh Castle because of the sheer amount of history contained inside its museum, including The Honours of Scotland, the nation’s crown jewels.

I needed a castle in WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER, because Melanie and Darcy needed a safe place to flee to and work out some of the issues keeping them from consummating their marriage. I chose Skibo Castle purely for its fairy-tale beauty and its not-too-distant location from where I chose to put Darcy’s northern village of Ackergill.

Choosing Skibo Castle was one of those serendipitous writing moments when things all come together and fall into place without my planning it (because, really, I couldn’t have planned anything this amazing. I’m not THAT good).

Here’s what I mean. In researching Skibo Castle, I found out it was the place Madonna married Guy Ritchie in 2000. This is something my transplanted modern-day heroine might have remembered, so I could write her as being somewhat familiar with the castle. Not only that, but Skibo Castle was home to steel magnate Andrew Carnegie before he came to the US as a Scottish immigrant. As it happened, in the first chapter, before Melanie gets whisked to late-medieval Scotland, I have her working in a museum, putting together an exhibit on Scottish Immigrants. It was all too easy to write her as having great familiarity with Skibo Castle and its history, making the setting that much more vivid for the reader (I hope).

But I didn’t plan any of it! It just happened to fall perfectly into place, and is one of those little blessings that make WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER the most magical thing I’ve ever written. Here’s the blurb for WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER:        

wishingforahighlanderWhile examining Andrew Carnegie’s lucky rosewood box, single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie makes a tongue in cheek wish on the artifact–for a Highland warrior to help her forget about her cheating ex. Suddenly transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in sixteenth-century Scotland, she realizes she should have been a tad more specific.

Darcy, laird in waiting, should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill, but a cruel prank played on him in his teenage years has led him to believe he is too large under his kilt to ever join with a woman. He has committed himself to a life of bachelorhood, running his deceased father’s windmills and keeping up the family manor house…alone.

Darcy’s uncle, Laird Steafan welcomes the strangely dressed woman into his clan, immediately marrying her to Darcy in hopes of an heir. But when Steafan learns of her magic box and brands her a witch, Darcy must do what any good husband would–protect his wife, even if it means forsaking his clan.

WARNING: A pregnant museum worker, a sixteenth-century Scot, and a meddlesome wishing box.

Excerpt from WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER:

Size might have its advantages when it came to fighting, but those few boons fell far short of making up for the problems it caused. Being the biggest and the strongest had gotten him into far more trouble than it had gotten him out of. Swallowing his regret for how careless he’d been with her, he sought to determine whom she belonged to, whom, saints forbid, he might owe.

“Whose wife are ye, then? Not a Gunn’s or I wouldna have had to rescue you from one.”

“I’m not married,” the lass said. “And thank you for the rescuing, by the way. I can’t believe I dropped the dirk. Stupid.” She shook her head.

His heart warmed at her thanks. He didn’t hear many kind words from the lasses and would take what he could get, even from a dishonored woman who had caught a bairn out wedlock. Oddly, he didn’t think poorly of her. Whether it was her worried brow, her guileless, soft mouth, or her vulnerable size, he had not the heart to condemn her.

He didn’t even mind so much that she found him distasteful for his size, although talking with her now, she didn’t seem overly upset to be in his arms. He endeavored to keep her talking, keep her distracted from her disgust.

“Ye never answered my first question,” he said. “Who are you? And where are ye from if ye’re no’ English?”

“Ugh. I don’t know. Is there an answer that won’t get me burned at the stake or locked up in a ward for the hopelessly insane?”

Like most things out of her mouth, that had been a peculiar answer. “Ye could try the truth,” he offered, slowing his pace since he heard Archie’s voice not far off.

“No,” she said flatly. “I couldn’t. At least not the whole truth. How about we just go with my name, Melanie, and with the honest fact that I’m a long way from home and I have no idea how to get back.” Her green eyes pierced his. “I’m afraid you might be stuck with me, Darcy Keith.”

Thanks again for having me Mae! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you as a fellow Lyrical sister, a CP, and a friend. More details on WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER and on the blog hops I’m participating in (prizes, people!) can be found on my blog and website.

Buy links:
Lyrical Press
Amazon
Barnes N Noble

Follow Jessi Gage on Twitter

zz_Jessi Gage headshot2Jessi Gage Bio
Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. In addition to writing paranormal romance, she’s a wife, a mom, an audiologist, a church-goer, a Ford driver, a PC user, and a coffee snob. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good triumphs over evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

~ooOOoo~

Thanks, Jessi for being my guest today! A castle, hunky highlander and time travel. What’s not to love? :D

Vampires vs. Werewolves H0p: Which do You Prefer?

VVWWelcome to the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop where   participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times.

Let me share the blurb:

Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! :D I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?) If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf By drinking water haunted by the dead By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

Now for my giveawawy: Comment below WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice). I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me wolfishly happy! :)

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. :)

Happy hopping! :)

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

Mae Clair: What’s Your Preference, Vampires or Werewolves? H0p!

VVWToday is Mythical Monday on my blog, and also the first day of the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop. What a great mesh! During the hop, participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times. Let me share the blurb:

Weathering-Rock-mockup2Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! :D I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, because it’s Mythical Monday on my blog, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son
Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?)
If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period
By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf
By drinking water haunted by the dead
By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

USE THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK BELOW, comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice).  I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me very happy! :)

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. :)

Happy hopping! :)

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

A Rafflecopter giveaway

Mae Clair’s New Year’s Eve Blog Hop G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y

New Year ButtonHappy New Year and welcome to the second annual New Year’s Blog Hop! Can you believe another year has passed?

Well we authors, readers, and bloggers sure can’t. And to celebrate the New Year with a bang, we’re going crazy and sending out so many prizes, fun parties, experiences, and other goodies, that it’s a bit scary. Each author has a favorite New Year memory, book, idea, or way to party and we’re going to show you!

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger. For a complete list of participating authors and bloggers and the giveaways they’re offering, click here.

But that’s not all….

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes? Check these out:

Floral Background in Black and Gold Colors

Here, ON THE PEN OF MAE CLAIR, I am giving TWO prizes to ONE lucky winner:

A $15 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice) plus an ebook copy of my time travel/paranormal romance novel WEATHERING ROCK in Kindle or Nook format (winner’s choice).

So, let’s talk 2013 for a minute.

The New Year has officially arrived, and ushered in a horizon of possibilities. Each January most of us start fresh with a brand new set of goals and, usually, several resolutions (we don’t always end up keeping). I have two this year: hop back on the exercise bandwagon and publish two new titles. My husband and I were fairly strong P90Xers several years ago but age and the daily routine of life gradually crowded out the time we’d reserved for that. Feeble excuse, yes, I know.

Daily workouts dwindled to sporadic exercise to ‘ugh-maybe-I’ll-tackle-the-health-thing-tomorrow.’ Well, part of getting older is realizing the ‘health thing’ (which includes exercise) has to become a priority. So it’s back to P90X for us (albeit slowly at first as our bodies readjust).

As for the other goal, I have a novel releasing in August through Lyrical Press called TWELFTH SUN. A contemporary romance, it revolves around an older woman, a younger man, and a treasure hunt for a marine artifact. The other title I hope to finish and have under contract (or indie pub) is a mystery/romance with a strong emphasis on family relationships, called THE SECRET OF ECLIPSE LAKE. That one involves an unsolved murder, a free-spirited photographer, and an ex-con (now a successful businessman) who returns to his hometown fifteen years after cutting all ties with his family. My plan is to pull off both of these before 2013 rolls to a close. As a writer, I’m finding goals are good to have.

Case in point: 2012 saw the publication of my debut novel, WEATHERING ROCK a novel of romantic suspense, interwoven with elements of time travel and the paranormal. Publication was a goal I’d set for myself at the start of 2012 and one I succeeded in achieving (yay, me! :)) Check out the blurb:

Weathering-Rock-mockup2Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

I’m hoping a few of you find it interesting enough to add to your TBR list on Goodreads and/or consider purchasing through:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

I’m happy to award an ebook copy (Kindle or Nook) to one winner along with a $15 gift card to Amazon or B&N. Comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS to be eligible for the grand prizes being offered. Tell me the one thing you’d most like to accomplish in 2013 (it doesn’t have to be a resolution). Use the Rafflecopter link below for more ways to win the prizes on my blog.

When you comment, don’t panic if it doesn’t appear immediately. Comment moderation is on, but I promise your comment won’t get lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. :)

Happy New Year! May all your dreams and goals meet with success!

A Rafflecopter giveaway

WEATHERING ROCK by Mae Clair: Post Christmas Blog Tour #Paranormal #TimeTravel #Romance

A Vector Comic Book Explosion Background with StarsHello friends! I hope you all had a wonderfully Merry Christmas with many blessings, family, friends and good cheer. Today is the launch of my post-Christmas WEATHERING ROCK blog tour. Please join me, Caleb and Arianna as we roam the blogosphere from 12/26 to 1/2 to ring in a New Year!

Today’s stops are:

December 26, 2012 – You Gotta Read Reviews
December 26, 2012 – Real World on Writing
December 26, 2012 – Romance Writer Sara Walter Ellwood
December 26, 2012 – Melissa Keir- Sexy Between the Covers

Happy Holidays!

~ooOOoo~

December 27, 2012 – It’s All About The Romance
December 27, 2012 – Janna Shay’s Fair Play
December 27, 2012 – TheWormhole
December 27, 2012 – TBQ’s Book Palace
December 28, 2012 – Paranormal Opinion
December 28, 2012 – Book Junkie
December 28, 2012 – Writerly Ramblings
December 28, 2012 – Just One More Chapter
December 29, 2012 – Jennifer Lowery
December 29, 2012 – Krystal Shannan – Where Love and Destiny Collide
December 30, 2012 – Romance Me
December 30, 2012 – Author Jinni James
December 30, 2012 – Let’s Get BOOKED!
January 1, 2013 – Books, Books The Magical Fruit
January 1, 2013 – Author’s Café
January 1, 2013 – Books Complete Me
January 2, 2013 – Have Novel, Will Edit
January 2, 2013 – Evolved World
January 2, 2013 – Cheryl Yeko, Where Love Always Win