New Release: Shadows of the Past by Carmen Stefanescu #paranormal #historical #lighthorror

My good friend, Carmen Stefanescu, is relaunching her first release Shadows of the Past with a new publisher and a brand new cover. This is a tale that moves between past and present, meshing history, the supernatural and mystery in equal measure. It was the first book I’d read by Carmen and the one that started us on the road to friendship. Please help me in welcoming Carmen today as she celebrates a new book birthday with:

Book cover for Shadows of the Past by Carmen Stefanescu shows a young woman in a medieval looking blue gown kneeling on a stone bridge over a creek

          Publisher: Solstice Publishing |
Genre: paranormal/light romance/light historical/light horror
Release Date: 29th August 2017

Blurb
Anne’s relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.

The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world—one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil’s vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve’s soul from its torment.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?

A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

Purchase Shadows of the Past from Amazon

About the Author
Author, Carmen Stefanescu smiling for camera
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire  Count Dracula  where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

High-school teacher of English and German in her native country, and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression  by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. Reading was, is and will always be her greatest hobby.

The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989, and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.

She likes to blend genres and thus she writes paranormal stories with a smidgen of mystery, history and romance. The reader will find suspense, dark themes, adventure, danger as well as sweet revenge. She calls her stories  “gothic” romance. Her writing focuses on rebirth, past life regression, karmic retribution.

Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

Connect with Carmen at the following haunts:

Blog | Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ 

Amazon Author Page | Cold Coffee Cafe

Other books by Carmen:

Till Life Do Us Part
Dracula’s Mistress
Dracula’s Prodigy 

Cover Reveal: Van Locken’s Witch by Debbie Peterson

Today, I’m delighted to share the absolutely gorgeous cover of my friend Debbie Peterson’s paranormal romance, VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH.  It’s just stunning!

Cover-Title---Van-Lockens-Witch

As always, Debbie weaves the supernatural with romance and history, a combination I love. I’m so looking forward to reading this and have already snatched up my copy from Amazon!

BLURB
Kapitein Rand Van Locken has no idea what awaits him as he boards the Spanish galleon on behalf of the Dutch West India Company, or that the beautiful woman imprisoned within will change his life in ways he never imagined or even desired. Until now…

Lissa Capoen, didn’t plan for the Spaniards to capture her while attempting  to rescue her sister. She didn’t foresee the handsome sea captain coming swiftly to her aid and offering his assistance. Nor did she expect him to steal her heart and claim it as his own.

Yet, as destiny brings them ever closer together, Armando Manera is determined to recapture the witch and present her to the Spanish King. No matter what it takes…

VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH is available from Amazon
Add VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH to your Goodreads list

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

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

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

Mae Clair’s Wizards with Words: Juliet Waldron

A beam of light shines out from an open bookGuess what? This is a special edition of Wizards with Words because the ‘wizard’ I’m showcasing is someone I have known for many, many years.

Juliet Waldron and I met decades ago in a local critique group and became writer buddies. I remember attending many of her “Mozart parties” where she had an eclectic mix of writers, poets, artists and web-spinners, along with period beverages and food. I also remember camping out at our local Isaac’s restaurant on ‘writer nights’ and brainstorming about our latest WIPs or free writing. Such fun times we had! And she loves cats every bit as much as I do. Need I say more?

If you love historical novels, this is an author you need to read. Juliet has recently released ROAN ROSE (one of the many marvelous titles in her repertoire), a story set in the time of Richard Plantagenet. This is an author who knows her history every bit as well as how to bring the past to vibrant life through an amazing gift of story-telling.

I invite you to peruse ROAN ROSE.

~ooOOoo~

Tag
Poppet, playmate, servant, lover—Rose Whitby gave her heart and a lifetime of service to Lady Anne Neville and to the House of York.

Blurb
More like a gangland war for turf and loot than chivalry, the War of Roses disrupted the life of the English common folk for hundreds of years. Roan Rose is the story of one of these commoners, Rose Whitby, born a peasant on the Yorkshire dales. When the Countess of Warwick, decides to take sturdy, gentle Rose to Middleham Castle to be companion and bed-time poppet for a frail daughter, her fate is changed forever.

Rose bonds strongly with Anne Neville, her young mistress. She also meets a royal boy enduring his knightly training—Richard of Gloucester, King Edward’s baby brother. The noble children have illness and accidents as they grow, but Rose remains a constant, always there to nurse and serve.

Rose bears intimate witness to the passions, betrayals, murders, battles and those abrupt reversals of fortune which will shape her mistress’ life—and her own. Anne Neville will briefly become a Queen, and Richard, Rose’s secret love, will become a King, one whose name has become synonymous with evil. Rose, alone of the three, will survive the next turn of Fortune’s Wheel and the invasion of England by Henry Tudor. Returning to her humble existence on the Dales, Rose has one last service to perform.

roanroseExcerpt
The King of England and I played chess, passing his sleepless hours. After years of struggling with the game, I can say, without exaggeration, that I’d become a formidable competitor, nearly his equal. I will stand firm upon this claim, even though I was a lowly servant—and a female, at that.

Nightly, our forces swayed back and forth across the board, until the birds began a summons to Dawn, calling her, as the harpers say, “from that silken couch where she dreams.”

We sat in a steady circle of candlelight in a small, high room at the palace of Nottingham. From our vantage point, the narrow river, spangled by summer stars, flowed below a single, open window. The distance, I might add, was sufficient to prevent the smell from blighting the view.

Of late, I had won a few these matches. This I credited in part to the King’s growing distraction and exhaustion. By June of 1485, he’d realized that his rule was unraveling around him, and, that he, in no small part, had been the architect of oncoming disaster.
What other choices, however, could my Lord have made? If he had let his nephew come to the throne, his own head would, sooner or later, have become his vengeful sister‑in‑law’s trophy. Either that or he would have been arrested and mewed up by his enemies somewhere, murdered in secret like so many members of his family. Richard Plantagenet knew history and he was not passive. All he’d done in deposing the boy was to strike his enemies before they could strike him.

Men now say otherwise.

There is mystery in the dark hours between two and four. The black and white squares of the board swam before my eyes. I, too, was tired to my very bones. The King’s wakefulness had become his servant’s. I was ready to make a move when his foot, under a long red robe, touched mine beneath the table. The contact seemed accidental, or was it?

He knows how greatly I love him, how I hunger for any touch. . . .

Concentration broken, I glanced up and met his brilliant hazel eyes, burning deep in hollows of chronic sleeplessness. For an instant, a slight smile curved those thin, mobile lips, but his gaze returned naturally to the board. Our relationship had always been singular. Only recently had it turned—let us say—customary. During the winter, his queen, the mistress I’d served and loved for nigh onto twenty years, had died. That is why his touch distracted me, made concentration falter.

Was the move I’d planned such a good one?

My hand wavered over the few remaining strong pieces. Traps lay on every side. Several, I saw clearly, for I’d been playing chess with Richard since our shared childhood. Whatever coup de grace he’d planned, I feared I’d never see until it was too late.

“That wasn’t fair.” In our secret kingdom of night, titles, and much else customary between master and servant, had been abandoned.

“Check.”

I’d revised, chosen to move my last knight to pin down his king. Of course, I knew quite well that second guesses are nearly always fatal this deep in a match.

“Nothing in this world is fair.”

As his hand went for it, I saw my doom—a lurking bishop.

“Checkmate,” Richard lifted a dark brow in triumph. Extending those jeweled, elegant fingers, his Bishop cast down my helpless king.

“You touched my foot on purpose.”

“What of it?”

It was worth losing any number of chess matches to see him smile. Always glorious—and always rare—it had, lately, become a thing of legend.

“Old Dick” doesn’t smile. This was well known all over his Kingdom. Like a great many other things that are “well known,” there was not a grain of truth in it.

“I don’t mind. It’s only that you used to win by your wits, and now it seems you must rely upon the lowest tricks to best your humble servant.”

He laughed shortly, but it was not an entirely happy sound. Playing with my king now, turning it between ringed thumb and forefinger, he said, “Better for all of us had I learned the game of low tricks at a far earlier age.”

How to reply? Crouching at the back of this night’s wakefulness lay the same old horror. Where were his nephews?

Everyone knows the pawns are the first to go. In my Lord’s case, crime had brought, as it so rarely does in this wicked world, a punishment not only swift, but apt. In the space of sixteen months, the King had lost his adored son and his dearly beloved wife, my noble mistress.

On this night, Richard Plantagenet had traveled almost to the end of his earthly course, to the haunted land where human tribulation ends. Gazing at the ruin of our board, I believe we both knew it.

jwtyshouldercropAuthor Bio
A lifelong passion for history and historical fiction set Juliet Waldron’s feet on the path twenty years ago.  Mozart’s Wife won the First Independent e-Book Award for fiction.  My Mozart, recently published as an e-book, is the companion novel, seen through the eyes of a talented teen musician. Genesee and Independent Heart make another pair, both set during the Revolutionary War in frontier NY. The former won an Epic Award for Best Historical, and received five stars from Affaire de Coeur and Romantic Times.  Red Magic is a newly pubbed “drawer” baby, with a hero who was a supporting character in Mozart’s Wife–one of those who won’t “go away” until they get a starring role.

Buy ROAN ROSE at:
Amazon
Second Wind Publishing

Look for Juliet at the following haunts:
Website
Facebook
Amazon Author Page

Add ROAN ROSE to your Goodreads list here