Mae Clair Presents: Daisy Banks and Serving the Serpent #SweetRomance #FantasyRomance

Today, I’m pleased to have my dear friend, Daisy Banks, return to my blog with her latest release, SERVING THE SERPENT, a sweet fantasy romance.

I positively love the cover of this book! Just look at the beautiful blending of pastel blues. Isn’t it gorgeous? Oh, and did I mention it has dragons? But, perhaps it’s best if let Daisy tell you about it. . .

Book cover for Serving the Serpent by author Daisy Banks featuring a beautiful young woman

Thank you for offering to showcase my newest story Serving the Serpent published by Liquid Silver Books on 23rd November 2015.

BLURB:
In Wales, Ceridwyn takes up her inherited duty to care for the dragons in the mountains. Awed by them and the huge book about them, she is determined to prove her worth.

Far away in Norway, Leif has growing concerns for his sick dragon. He discovers only one cure will stop his dragon’s suffering. The mighty Herensuge must journey to find his bonded mate.

When they meet, Ceri and Leif make combined efforts to aid the dragons and discover an astonishing surprise. The great lore book each of them protects tells they have a responsibility to the future. At this rare and magical time, not only the dragon pairing must occur.

Join Ceri and Leif as they work to keep the sworn silence and keep the dragons safe. Friendship is growing between them, but will it be enough? Can love blossom between two chosen to serve the serpent?

EXCERPT:

Frowning in his displeasure, Herensuge stared at the youth who sat at the edge of the cave. “I’m not in the mood for music, boy,” he snapped. “Olaf, he knew what he was doing. I wouldn’t be feeling like this if Olaf were still Derskijoar here.”

“Look, it’s no good going on about it. My uncle Olaf’s been gone these three years. I’m sick of you talking about it. Olaf left, it was his time to do so, and he’d probably had enough of you. Listen to the music. It’s meant to soothe and calm you down.” Leif pressed the button on his black machine, and the music with its rhythmic beat pounded in the cave.

Herensuge flopped down so hard the sandy floor juddered. He curled his upper lip above his longest tooth and sucked in a deep breath. Dissatisfaction poured through every one of his ruffled scales. “I wish you could read faster, boy.”

“Do you know how hard it is reading Old Norse? There are no helpful little translations in here. I don’t know which bit of the manuscript deals with this particular problem.” The lad sat cross-legged some way off, the huge leather-bound book across his knees, well out of reach of the splashes of the water cascading down over the circular hole in the limestone roof of the cave. “I’m sorry, Heren,” Leif said. “I’m doing my best. I swear to you. I don’t want you to get ill. Here, have a cloudberry.” He flipped one over.

Mollified more by the use of his close name than the small berry he snapped up, Heren eyed the lad. “I apologize too. I know you’re working hard to find the answer. If only I could recall the cure. But it’s all so long ago. Centuries of dreaming, and the world is a far different place.”

Leif nodded. “I know. Now, you relax, listen to the music, and I’ll keep reading. Try to stay calm. The last thing we need is a big burn-up.”

Resigned to the music and his continued suffering, Herensuge lounged. He tapped a claw in time to the drums and watched his diamond and gold claw ring send brilliant sparkles of light dancing on the cave walls. All very well, but the tingling itch remained. The uncomfortable itching got worse every day and forced him to roll and writhe against the thick rock pillars or lie with his belly submerged in the cool of the turquoise water, and yet even the icy chill of the pool didn’t soothe the heat. A fresh rumbling growl rose from his stomach.

Leif glanced up from the book. “Not again.”

“Sorry.” A cloud of smoke wafted from Heren’s open mouth, followed by a flash of red fire that licked toward the youth. The lad yanked the book away and grabbed the fire extinguisher he’d insisted on bringing into the cave for the last month.

“Loki’s balls! Please, Heren, I want to keep mine. Breathe the other way if you must flame.”

Purchase SERVING THE SERPENT FROM:
Amazon 
Barnes and Noble 
iTunes 
Liquid Silver Books

Connect with Daisy at the following haunts:
Blog 

Twitter @DaisyBanks16 
Facebook  
Pinterest 

Daisy Banks is the author of:
Serving the Serpent
Christmas Carols
Marked for Magic
To Eternity
A Perfect Match
Timeless
Valentine Wishes
A Gentleman’s Folly
Your Heart My Soul
Fiona’s Wish
A Matter of Some Scandal
Daisy Banks writes a regular monthly story in the Sexy to Go compilations.

Cover Reveal: Dragons Among Them by Kyra Jacobs

The lovely Kyra Jacobs has a brand new release scheduled for April 19, 2016, and this is one you won’t want to miss. I’m happy to participate in the cover reveal for DRAGONS AMONG THEM, and invite you to add this fantasy romance to your Goodreads TBR List.

DragonsAmongThem72lg

Book Title:                 Dragons Among Them
Series Name:             Kingdoms of Fire and Ice
Series Number:         1
Author:                       Kyra Jacobs
Publisher:                  Samhain Publishing
Publication Date:      April 19th 2016

Two worlds. One unstoppable passion. A fiery secret that could destroy them all. 

Blurb:
Kingdoms of Fire and Ice, Book 1

Prince Zayne Godfrey, heir to Edana’s throne, is betrothed to the lone princess of rival kingdom Forath. While his heart is not in the arranged marriage, he will do his royal duty.

When he finds a beautiful stranger cornered by a pack of wolves, he doesn’t hesitate to shift into his golden dragon form to save her. She thanks him by taking one look at him and fainting dead away.

Photographer Adelaide Miller is in England for a career-making shoot when a bizarre jogging mishap lands her in a dangerous, medieval-like world of royals, wizards and dragon-shifting men. Her first instinct is to find her way back, but the fire-breathing prince intent on protecting her threatens to melt her heart.

Zayne’s burning passion for Adelaide not only jeopardizes the fragile peace between two kingdoms, it uncovers a ruthless plot to destroy his family. Remaining together may change Adelaide’s very definition of home—and expose one searing secret that could forever shift the balance of power in Zayne’s world.

Add DRAGONS AMONG THEM to your Goodreads list

Author Bio:
Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. When this Hoosier native isn’t 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 to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan. Be sure to stop by her website www.KyraJacobs.wordpress.com to learn more about her novels and ways connect with her on social media.

Connect with Kyra at the following haunts:
Facebook  

Twitter  @KyraJacobsBooks
Website 

Blog 
Goodreads  

Mae Clair Presents: Marked for Magic by Daisy Banks

Today, I’m happy to share in the celebration excitement for my friend and sister author, Daisy Banks. She has a new release, MARKED FOR MAGIC, which she’s dropped by to tell us about. Take it away, Daisy  . . . 🙂

~ooOOoo~

Thank you so much, Mae, for helping me celebrate the release of my latest book, Marked for Magic, published by Lyrical Press, a Kensington Imprint, on the 28th of April 2015.  

I decided that as palmistry was the initial inspiration for this fantasy romance I’d offer you and the readers a little something on palmistry marks.

This image is of the main lines most people have on their palm:

Photo of palm with the main lines used in palmistry readings highlighted in red

1: Life line – 2: Head line – 3: Heart line – 4: Girdle of Venus – 5: Sun line – 6: Mercury line – 7: Fate line

These main lines above and their meanings are fairly well known, but the lesser lines are not quite so well understood and it was these I was studying when I got the idea for Marked for Magic.

For this post I have chosen the teacher’s square. You will find this on the Jupiter mount, the pad of flesh beneath your forefinger, or Jupiter finger. This is the sign of someone who is a teacher, it may not be a school teacher but anyone who tutors, or imparts and shares knowledge on any subject.

Thanks so much for reading. I’d love to know if any of you discover a teacher’s square in your hand. Let me know.

Book cover Marked for Magic by Daisy Banks depicts a woman wearing a flowing red gown in a dark forestBlurb:
The witch mark on Nin’s hand is a curse. She has no magic powers, whatever the lore says. But the village believes. The old crone’s wisdom is to see her banished. Ragged and hungry, she must serve the Mage. Alone in his tower, she is his chattel. But Mage Thabit is not what Nin expected—the bright green eyes and supple form under his cloak are not the stuff of nightmares, and kindness hides in his brusque heart. Thabit senses that Nin is more than she seems, too. When true nightmares haunt the land, it is precisely her elusive powers that might deliver them…

Excerpt:
“After we eat, I will find you something clean to wear. The gown you have on is less than pleasant. What is your favorite color?”

She sat opposite him. “Red.” She picked up the spoon.

“A bold choice.” He placed the porridge in front of her.

This should be easy. His charm on the cloth would show him how susceptible she might be to all manner of magic. While she ate, he went up to his room where he sorted out a long sleeved, knee length tunic he’d worn in his youth. One of the last his mother had made. A good quality cloth, decorated with a little embroidery at the collar. The only patches were on the elbows of each sleeve. Perhaps the tunic would be long enough to gown her small frame. He returned with it tucked under his arm.

She had eaten and sat worrying at the bandage.

“Here, Nin, as fine a red as you will ever see. You can wear this while you wash the dirty gown.”

Her brows drew together. A little wrinkle appeared on the bridge of her nose. She raised a questioning glance as she took the tunic.

Interesting.

“Thabit?” The soft whisper came again along with the down-swept lashes.

Things would be far easier had they not made her so afraid. He picked up the spoon, intrigued by her thoughtful expression. “Yes.”

“This isn’t red. It’s very nicely made, but this is blue. Is it what you meant me to have?”

He dropped the spoon in the bowl. Unless his skills had slipped, his little sparrow had seen through one of his simplest but most effective glamours. “By the gods of the waters, Nin, you may have a talent after all. I know the tunic is blue, but it should fit you well. You put it on.”

Purchase MARKED FOR MAGIC from:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble 

itunes 
Kobo 

About the Author:
Daisy Banks writes sensual and spicy romance in the Historical, Paranormal and Fantasy genres. She is an obsessive writer and her focus is to offer the best tale she can to readers. Daisy is married with two grown up sons. She lives in a converted chapel in Shropshire, England. Antiques and collecting entertain Daisy when she isn’t writing and she occasionally makes a meal that doesn’t stick to the pan.

Connect with Daisy at the following haunts:
Blog 
Website 
Twitter @DaisyBanks16
Facebook  
Pinterest 
Tsu 
Amazon 

Mae Clair Presents: The Griffin’s Secret by Cate Masters, Cover Reveal

I’ve got another great cover reveal for you today. Most of you know I have a slight *ahem* passion for mythology, and folklore. Urban legends and fairy tales are no exception, so it goes without saying I’m jazzed to participate in this cover reveal for my Lyrical Press sister, Cate Masters. Behold, THE GRIFFIN’S SECRET!

~ooOOoo!

Griffin'sSecret-MD

In this contemporary re-telling of Grimm’s classic fairy tale The Griffin, two people must risk everything to free themselves from the invisible prisons that keep them from love… 

Jackson Grant had it all—the girl he loved, his Harley, and his guitar. Until a tragic accident stole it all away. Now, more than scars and a tattoo remain. Jackson has a secret. Cursed by his dead girlfriend’s mother, he can never fall in love again or his beloved will die. With his heart on lockdown, he keeps to himself—until a roadie gig with Malcontent, the world’s most popular band, entwines his fate with sweet, wounded Layla’s…

Music is what Layla lives for. She has no choice. She’s bound by magic to serve Malcontent, cursed to propel them to stardom with her musical powers. Then Jackson appears and gives her hope that he’s the hero who will save her. A reluctant hero, yet one she can’t resist. But freedom will come at price—and who will pay…?

Excerpt
The faint scent of an exotic flower on an ocean breeze hit him the second the girl walked in. Every part of his body stood at attention, taking in the way she moved. The curve of her slender hips. Those long legs…they’d wrap around the back seat of his Harley perfectly. Wrap around him perfectly, too.

A flip of her onyx-silk hair sent it behind her shoulder as she sat opposite. “Who are you?”

Good question. He’d been seeking the same answer for too long. “Jackson Grant.”

Her eyes darkened, deep brown to charcoal diamonds. “Why are you here?”

“For the roadie job.” Was she the first gatekeeper? A gate she kept locked, he’d bet. Or maybe she was another test. Kev had warned him there’d be tricky questions and to answer straight. Something told him she asked out of curiosity.

“You think you’re up for such a demanding job?”

Again, the impression hit him she was making these questions up as she went along, ad-libbing off his replies.

He’d play. “I’m strong. Dependable. I follow orders, keep my head down, and stay out of trouble.” And he liked his privacy.

Her features smoothed, hard as porcelain. “Do you.” Not a question.

He’d answer anyway. “Yes.”

Did disappointment curl her lip? Or boredom? Why did he care? If he could, he’d blast out of there before his own curiosity got the better of him. Already, she’d gotten under his skin. Crazy how the tat no longer singed him, but now twisted like a trapped animal.

With a plastic smile, she batted her eyes, and the false flirtation didn’t suit her. “So. You’re a yes-man.”

The way she said it, he’d be no different than any other roadie serving the great rock star, Malcolm Fetterman. Fine by Jackson. The less he stood out, the better. Except for her. He hated to think of her glossing over his presence, but that would be better, too.

He drummed his fingers on the table. “I need the job.” Where the hell was Malcolm anyway? The longer he stayed with her, the more he wanted to. Definitely couldn’t afford that kind of trouble. He glanced at the open door, hoping he wouldn’t have to go through the same interrogation again.

She tapped the table. “You’d have to travel constantly.”

“Perfect.” No different than his usual way of life. Except this time, his paycheck would remain steady.

“You wouldn’t miss your family?” She dipped her head. “Your girlfriend?”

He curled his lip this time. No one’s business but his. He shifted in his seat. “They’re better off.”

Her brows knit, and then her expression became unreadable as the Sphinx. “The hours are long, and the equipment’s heavy. Everything has to be exactly as Mal orders.”

Did he imagine it, or had she winced at her own words?

He shrugged. “It’s his show.” Someday, Jackson would have his own roadies. And would treat them much better than Malcolm Fetterman did, if the stories proved true.

Her steely focus cut into him. “Mal doesn’t hire musicians except for those in the band. And there aren’t any openings in Malcontent.”

He didn’t allow himself to blink. “No problem.”

“But you play, don’t you?” Her gaze dropped to his callused fingertips drumming the tabletop.

He drew his hand down. “No.” A necessary lie. She might suspect, but couldn’t possibly know the truth. Almost like leaving one of his limbs behind, he’d locked his Fender in storage in New Jersey with his paltry possessions for six months. By then, he’d know whether this gig worked out.  

The Griffin’s Secret
Reimagined fairy tale/fantasy romance novella
ISBN: 9781616507053
Publish Date: 5/12/2015
About 33,000 words

Amazon  | Barnes and Noble  | 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 at the following haunts:
Website 

Email: cate.masters@gmail.com 
Facebook 
Twitter@CateMasters  

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 

Enchanter by Joanne Wadsworth, YA Fantasy Romance with G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y

New Zealander, Joanne Wadsworth is celebrating the release of ENCHANTER, book three in her Magio-Earth Series, a very cool YA fantasy romance series with heroes and heroines of conflicting and opposing worlds. Get swept up with Protectors, Warriors and soul-bonded mates in this fast-paced engaging novel, and be sure to check out the Giveaway Alert at the bottom for some fabulous kiwi-inspired goodies!

Enchanter Book Cover

BLURB:

To love and protect…across worlds.

On planet Magio war rages between Peacio’s protectors and Dralion’s warriors. Friendships and soul-bonds are forbidden, yet deadly secrets lurk within a high-ranking inner circle.

Eighteen-year-old Peacian Silvie Carver’s worst problem is completing finals until her best friend receives forewarning that Silvie is the key to keeping her enemy king from making a decision that will escalate the war. Silvie must save her loved ones’ soul-bonds from being torn apart, and all without revealing her emerging and rare fire skill during the mission.

Dralion warrior and enchanter, Guy Moyer, has been fighting his soul’s demand to find his mated one…who also happens to be his enemy. Except Silvie shows up on Dralion’s off-world Australian Outback station and though they renounce their bond, his soul demands he aid and protect her.

When Silvie finds herself impersonating a warrior, she’s pulled to the fiery edge of her control as she seeks to influence the king’s decision. Can the mated pair turn the tide of the war and find their place with each other?

Buy ENCHANTER at:
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook
iTunes
Kobo
Kensington Publishing

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

EXCERPT:

I’m so sorry about your mother, Guy.” I scraped one foot forward, touching my toe to his, needing some form of connection too.

“She had the biggest heart, the gentlest smile, and hair as black as midnight, so long it touched her waist, right about—” He smoothed down my sides and cupped my hips. “—here.”

Heat raced through my veins and I shuffled my other foot forward. Closer was better, and no doubt due to the bond at play. “You miss her?”

“Always.” He slid his thumbs into the small gap between the waistband of my cutoffs and t-shirt. “She was life itself, which is why I appreciate the here and now. You never know when someone will be gone.”

My chest tightened, his loss cutting into me far more than it should. “She sounds wonderful.”

“She was.” He pulled back a little and fingered his necklace. From the center of the thin strap of leather, a small gold ring dangled. “It’s been so long. I almost forgot. My mother bequeathed her ring to my mated one. She gave it to me to hold onto until the time we met.”

“What? No. We might be mated, but we’re not doing anything about it, right?”

“Right.” He lifted the necklace free of his head. “But I still made a promise.”

“No, really.” I shoved against his chest. “Stop. Put that back on. Promises like that can be broken.”

“Not this one. My mother wanted the woman I was mated with to know her in some way. This ring was her gift to you. I’m only the keeper, passing it along.”

I backed up until my shoulders knocked the hay bales. “I said stop.”

“Her wishes were precise.” He crowded me from the front, making it impossible to get away, and then slipped the necklace over my head. “This was what my mother wanted. It feels good to see to her last request. Don’t deny me that.”

Nothing could have shocked me more. Off balance, I rocked onto my heels, gripping the band of gold, his mother’s precious gift from the past. “This is crazy.”

“I’ll know you have it. That’s all that matters.” Guy’s brow pulled down as he clasped my hand. “We really should end things now, before our soul-bond deepens further.”

“You mean release each other?”

“Exactly. I’m the last enchanter in my line, and even though I’m only nineteen, Donaldo has already requested I find a warrior woman and continue it. I have to ensure the ability to enchant doesn’t die away with me.”

Damn, this was all happening so fast. “Shouldn’t we take some time before we decide on such a step?”

“My destiny is not with you, Silvie. It’s elsewhere.”

“For eighteen years I’ve dreamed of being mated.”

“We can’t move on until we release each other.”

The heaviness in my chest expanded. Geez, what a predicament. This was the right thing to do, even though it felt totally wrong.

“Don’t think too much about it.” He caught my face between his hands. “Just start. Speak the words I need to hear.”

“You’re this certain?”

“Yes. I’m sorry.” His voice scraped on the last word, as if he fought his emotions.

I could do this. I was strong, and surely didn’t need a warrior for a mate. I’d already seen how hard it was for Faith and Hope, and now, the future difficulties they faced. That wasn’t for me.

“Give me a second.” I wet my suddenly dry lips then forced them open.

Joanne Wadsworth (2)AUTHOR BIO: 

JOANNE WADSWORTH

Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…

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

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

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

GIVEAWAY ALERT:

1 enchanter giveaway 2

Win a NZ Paua Shell Kiwi Pendant Earring Set (INT.) This was made by a local jeweler, so Joanne could offer a fabulous piece of Kiwiana in her giveaway. Just leave a comment to go into the draw which will run throughout the month of May.

 

Joanne Wadsworth on the Australian Outback and Warrior

WarriorToday I’m pleased to welcome Joanne Wadsworth, my Lyrical Press sister with her latest release, WARRIOR — book #2 in her young adult fantasy romance Magio-Earth series.

~ooOOoo~

WARRIOR
To love and protect…across worlds.

Eighteen-year-old Hope Wincrest calls the Outback of Australia her home away from home. She is a princess of Dralion from the planet Magio, where the two leading nations are at war. While in the Outback, Hope is warned by her warrior father–who holds the prophetic ability of forethought–that she is about to meet an enemy protector. She doesn’t expect him to be her soul-bound mate, a man she must now work with to piece together her unknown mother’s lost heritage.

Peacio’s Silas Carver follows the calling of his soul to Australia, only not all goes as planned. Discovering Hope is his mate has him demanding his release from their bond. She agrees, but only if he first helps her learn about her mother.

Hope must lay her life in Silas’s hands during a journey which takes them deep into foreign lands. Waging a battle of the heart, and of the land, can the young mated pair find their place with each other?

A Lyrical Press Young Adult Fantasy Romance.

~ooOOoo~

Hi, and thank you so much for having me on your blog, Mae.

There’s something infinitely exciting about writing young adult books, and even better, adding the magical element of fantasy, along with some sensational romance. My Magio-Earth series is all about soul-bound mates, destined to be together, yet separated by the terrible war between their two nations.

I know your readers love hearing all about myth and mystery, so I’m going to do my best to explain the “mystical” elements one feels when exploring the Outback of Australia, the wicked setting for WARRIOR.

WARRIOR is Hope and Silas’s story, and in researching all I could on the great plains of Australia where much of the story is set, I went straight to the source. Well, as close to the source as I could. Luckily for me, I have family living in the outback. I’m a Kiwi from New Zealand, but Australia is a mere hop, skip and a jump away. Or almost. One just has to board a plane and fly three hours to get to the heart of the outback.

The outback is vast and sits within the interior of Australia, although great rivers can be found snaking throughout much of its land. It’s these rivers which bring life to such an isolated location. And incredibly isolated it is. Within the heart of the outback, you can travel for an entire day along the dusty red roads and not pass one vehicle. There is nothing but wide plains, gum trees and tumbleweeds blowing free.

The isolation is beautiful and wondrous. Great rocks rise up out of nowhere to dot the horizon, huge slabs of red that leave you wondering how on earth they got there. The rivers, when you pull over to admire them, weave with a belt of green either side. It’s a harsh land to live on when there is nothing but the sun beating down on you, but come the autumn rains (provided there isn’t a drought) life sprouts anew from the barren dirt.

Here’s a great picture, and these roads are typical of the outback.

australian outback

In WARRIOR you’ll get to meet Hope, a princess of Dralion who calls the outback her home away from home, although the last person she ever expects to turn up at her off-world station is Silas, her soul-bound mate and enemy protector from Magio. Silas is equally shocked, and immediately seeks Hope’s release from their bond.

I loved writing Hope and Silas’s story. Hope is given the task of finding out all she can about her unknown mother’s lost heritage, one which will see her journeying deep into foreign lands. It’s a perilous mission she can’t undertake without Silas’s help, and she promises him his desired release from her if he first agrees to give her his aid.

Within WARRIOR you’ll be taken from the dusty red plains of the outback, to the beaches of New Zealand, and then onto the magical realm of Magio. The relationship between Hope and Silas is intense and all-consuming, although the road before them is paved with the roughest of stones. So be prepared for plenty of angst as these two wage a battle, and not just of the land, but of their very hearts as they search to find their place with each other.

Here’s an excerpt to tempt you.

–ooo–

Silas extinguished the lamp, and moonlight filtered through the tiny square window. He rolled to his side, facing me. “We’ll stay close. I can’t dismiss the mated bond. Our souls call to one another and it’s strong.”

I felt it too.

“I can’t keep my distance from you, Hope. That would result in your death.”

“Yeah, but yours would result if my grandfather, Donaldo, ever found out about you. The need to protect goes both ways.”

A low growl rumbled from his throat. “It sounds like you’re arguing with me.”

“I’m pointing out the facts. Alexo keeps the knowledge of Faith’s relationship with Loveria a secret.”

“We don’t have their kind of relationship.”

“So this is a non-relationship?” I smiled. That actually suited me.

“Yes.”

“Okay, honey. I got it.”

He pulled me to him. “I have no idea why, but I like you. You have a smart mouth.”

I snuggled closer, resting my cheek against his chest. “Mmm-hmm. So do you.”

He let out a slow breath and it fanned over the top of my head. “I still want to kiss you.”

“Hell, no.” I grinned to myself.

“Are you repeating my earlier words?”

“Yes, I am.” He rolled me, coming up over top. My heart raced. “Don’t–”

His kiss was potent as he claimed my mouth.

I had no response. I was lost, hypnotized as we shared breath and a moment more special than any in time.

He cupped my face in his hands and stroked my cheeks, his thoughts escaping for the first time.

I read them so clearly within the merge.

He wanted this moment to last.

My heart soared and my soul called to his on the deepest level. “We are in a world of trouble,” I murmured against his lips.

His hold tightened, intoxicating me. Then he eased away an inch, maybe two. “You have the most beautiful spun-gold hair. It catches even the moonlight and glows like silk.”

I cleared my throat. “I know I just said trouble. You should stick to your side of the bed in this non-relationship.”

A wicked grin widened his mouth. “I could drown in the brilliant violet of your eyes.”

“Do I need to slap your face?”

He laughed. “Yes.”

I pushed him away, trying to get my heartbeat to slow. “Go away.”

He rolled into me, held me close. “I’ll be good. Just keeping you warm. It’s my right.”

I curled up, squeezing my eyes shut. “I can’t believe I’m sharing a bed with you. Do you snore?”

“Terribly. I’m also a bed-hog.”

I heard the partial lie, but to which half of that statement? “Hmm, since I’m squished between you and the wall, I’m picking you’re a bed-hog.”

“You feel all warm and soft. I’m not going anywhere.” He nuzzled my hair and yawned. “Go to sleep. You’ll need your rest if you want to be on your toes tomorrow.”

I didn’t doubt it. The minutes ticked by, and I slowly relaxed. My soul-bound mate lay beside me. For one night, or perhaps for more? I had no idea.

–ooo–

I hope you enjoyed that. Each book in this series features a different hero and heroine, but the characters from all the books intertwine and you get to catch up with them all along the way. As such, the books can be read independently of each other, but of course as with most series, they’re more fun when read in order.

Thanks again for inviting me over, Mae.

Buy PROTECTOR (Book One) at:
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook
iTunes
Kobo

Buy WARRIOR (Book Two) at:
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook
iTunes
Kobo

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

Joanne Wadsworth (2)AUTHOR BIO
JOANNE WADSWORTH

Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…

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

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

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