Mae Clair Presents: Blood Stitches by Erin Fanning #giveaway

Today, I’m happy to welcome Erin Fanning back to my blog with her new release, BLOOD STITCHES. You might recall this fabulous cover being splashed on my blog before, but now the book has officially been released, and Erin has dropped by to answer a few questions. Whether you’re a writer, reader or both, I think you’ll find her post interesting.

She’s also got a giveaway going on for a $20 Amazon gift card, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter link at the bottom!

BloodStitchesCover

~ooOOoo~

From Erin:

Over the past several months, I’ve received lots questions from friends and family about my novella Blood Stitches. It seems like the top three are always the same, sort of universal questions about writing:

How do you come up with your ideas?

I spend a lot of time outdoors–biking, hiking, skiing, and kayaking–so I’m heavily influenced by nature. Current events and everyday encounters often get stuck in my imagination. Turkey vultures perched along the road look like a coven of witches or an ordinary tapestry resembles an opening to another world.

These story ideas churn around in my brain for days, months, sometimes years, until they practically force their way out through my fingertips. Next I jot down several paragraphs or pages, whatever I can. Then I take a breath and make a rough outline of the plot and characters, filling in the blanks, and reworking it as I go.

When do you find time to write?

I’m lucky in the sense that my “regular” job as an online editor for a global information provider, searching the web for international financial news, allows me to work from home. So I often find time to write during the morning, but even though my schedule has more flexibility than most people, I still have to be disciplined. I’m the Queen of Procrastination and Distraction!

How long did it take you to write Blood Stitches?

Along with being the Queen of Procrastination and Distraction, I’m also possibly the slowest writer on the planet. I’m in awe of authors that seem to whip out two books each year. I started writing Blood Stitches several years ago and then put it aside. About two years ago, I picked it up again and finally finished it.

~ooOOoo~

I love Erin’s take on where she gets her ideas from. That’s definitely a writer’s mind at work. And although she may consider her writing turnaround on the slow side, I’ve no doubt the results are well worth waiting for. See for yourself:

Blurb for Blood Stitches:

Love and danger intertwine…

It’s called El Toque de la Luna—The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…

Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.

View the book trailer here

Purchase Blood Stitches from:
Kensington/Lyrical Press

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Google
Itunes 

Author, Erin FanningAbout the author:
Erin Fanning spends her summers on a northern Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes. She’s the author of a mountain biking guidebook, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories.

Find Erin at the Following Haunts: 
Website 
Goodreads 
Twitter @WriterErin
Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveway Alert!
Enter to win a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase from:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

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

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

Mae Clair Presents: Sharon Struth and Share the Moon

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

Sharon, please tell us about your new release. 

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

Sometimes trust is the toughest lesson to learn. 

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

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

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

ShareTheMoon600x900

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommendations for Share the Moon: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blurb EXPOSED TO PASSION: 

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

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

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

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

Also By Gemma Brocato:
Cooking Up Love
Hearts In Harmony 

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

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

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

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

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

View the Book Trailer

Purchase from:
Amazon 

Barnes & Noble 
Kobo 
Kensington Books  

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

Connect with Tera Shanley at the following haunts:
Facebook

Blog
Twitter
Website
Goodreads

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

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

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

Softly, she said, “You’re beautiful.”

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

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

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

~ooOOoo~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In my mind, the same definition applies to feminism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book video Link 

Tera Shanley on Friendship, Romance, and Westerns with An Unwilling Husband

I’m delighted to welcome my Lyrical Press/Kensington Books sister, Tera Shanely, back to my blog to share her newest release, AN UNWILLING HUSBAND. I love the idea behind this story and can’t wait to devour it from cover to cover. I’ve always had a soft spot for westerns. Today, I’m turning my blog over to Tera for a very cool guest post about friendship. Check it out!

~ooOOoo~

A Closer Look at the Importance of Companionship in the Wild West

Hello all! My name is Tera Shanley and I’m the author of the brand new Historic Western Romance release, An Unwilling Husband. First off, a huge thank you to Mae for letting the unruly Wild West come to visit today!

Have you ever read a book where a secondary character stands out to you long after you’ve flipped the last page? For An Unwilling Husband, Lenny is that character.

Originally, when I started writing the book, Lenny and her uncle, Cookie, were only supposed to be in the background. But as the story started taking place, and the characters spoke their wants louder and softer as is natural in a writer’s head, Lenny catapulted herself into this position of significant friendship for our dear Maggie, heroine of the book. She ended up playing a huge part in helping Maggie to find her strength in a world that was determined to bring her to her knees. Lenny never looked at her as a silly proper lady in the wrong place, or as a fragile woman incapable of big things. From years of friendship with Garret, Lenny knew the high durability a woman had to have to secure our reluctant hero’s affection, and determined, she pressed Maggie to grow stronger for him.

She comforts Maggie through tragedy, teaches her the ropes around the ranch, and when Maggie’s life is on the line, it’s Lenny who finds help. With Lenny’s unwavering aid, Maggie learns to cook, shoot, and run a ranch, and all without a single word between the women, because they don’t speak the same language. She is Comanche, you see. But through the story, Lenny proves that true friendship trumps a language barrier any day.

She was a blast to write and research, and I loved the challenge of giving her a voice without really using her voice.

I hope you’ll check out An Unwilling Husband and read for yourself why Maggie and Lenny’s friendship is hitting such a sweet chord with reviewers.

5 Huge Stars –

I loved Cookie and Lenny, especially Lenny, she’s amazing and beautiful and just perfect for Maggie to have as a friend.” – Nanee of Up All Night, Read All Day

AUH Blog Tour Cover

An Unwilling Husband
By Tera Shanley
Genre: Historic Western Romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation/Imprint: Lyrical Press
Length: 310 pages

BLURB:
For adventurous Margaret Flemming, arrived from Boston to be with her father, the Old West town of her childhood is a far cry from the drawing rooms and balls of the high society life she’s used to. Her fancy gowns and proper manners have no place in the dusty, cruel land inhabited by Indians and rough cowboys. And her fiercely independent streak constantly gets her in trouble. When tragedy strikes, there’s only one person she can turn to–her childhood friend, Garret Shaw–but he’s disgusted with her Society ways.

With his ranch under attack from the land-grabbing Jennings, the last thing Garret needs is to be saddled with a high-falutin’ lady. Even if she is his friend’s daughter and her kind ways tug at his hardened heart. Duty to her father forces them to wed, but he knows sure as anything, when the chance comes along, she’ll go back to Boston. No matter how much he wants her, loving her is not a risk he can take.

Will Maggie choose a life of luxury and ease over struggle and hardship with an ill-mannered cowboy? Only her heart can answer.

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

Connect with Tera and the following haunts:
Facebook 

Blog
Twitter 

Website 
Goodreads 

Purchase AN UNWILLING HUSBAND from:
Amazon
Kobo 

iTunes 
Barnes & Noble

 

 

Welcome Elise Cyr with Siege of the Heart

Lately, I’ve had a taste for historical novels, so I’m super excited to have Kensington Book author Elise Cyr on my blog today, with her new release, SIEGE OF THE HEART. 

Elise, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I’ve been writing since my teen years, but was always afraid to admit I wanted to be a writer. So let’s just say there were a lot of secret notebooks in my room. I majored in English in college, went to grad school, and even worked in academia for a few years. But none of that made me happy. So I pulled out an old story, reread it, and realized it wasn’t that bad. Looking back it seems so naive. But I rewrote and revised and workshopped that story and many others over the next few years, and here I am.

Good for you! As writers we encounter many obstacles along the way. I’m glad you found the dedication to stick with something you love. Now for a technique question: which do you find easier to write and why – description or dialogue?

Dialogue. When I read novels, I tend to skip over long passages of description to get to the action sooner, and I do that when I’m writing too. I also took a screenwriting class in college, and that format requires you to leave the visuals up to the director, so your real focus is primarily the dialogue. That experience really helped me learn that aspect of the craft. I also tend to underwrite, so in subsequent passes, I’m usually expanding my description and adding character blocking to round out the story.

I really enjoy writing dialogue, but description has always been my first love. When I do rewrites, I’m normally reworking my dialogue, LOL. And now, I’d love to hear more about SIEGE OF THE HEART.

It’s a medieval romance from Kensington Books, set during the Norman Conquest of England, with a knight seeking his place in the world and a noblewoman struggling to hold on to all she holds dear. It’s the first novel I ever got to “The End” on. It has taught me so much about writing and myself, and I’m so glad to share it with the world.

siegeoftheheart_Final

You must have a fantastic sense of accomplishment, and I can’t imagine the research that must have gone into the book. Please share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.

“They stood there like hunter and prey, but she would be no man’s quarry.”

Ooh, great choice! It says a lot about her character in so few words–and his.
When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

I play shoot-em-up video games. It’s a great stress reliever and gives my brain a break after a day full of writing. I also try to stay active. My husband and I ride bikes or go hiking on the weekend, and every day, I walk my dog in the foothills.

Speaking of pets, furred friends and writers seem to go together like peas in a pod. Tell us about yours.

My dog Sienna is an adorable border collie/Australian shepherd mix. She doesn’t let me sleep in, which is great for my writing schedule, and usually hangs out by my feet when I’m typing away in the office. She’s very affectionate, so she’s always ready for a tummy rub when I get up to take a break.

She sounds adorable. And tummy rubs are a perfect break during any author’s schedule. 🙂  Now for a few personal likes and dislikes. What’s your favorite season?

Summer. I’m happiest when I can wear sandals.

Favorite color: I’ve never found a shade of blue I didn’t like.

Casual or dressy: Casual. I’m the girl who hates getting dressed up.

Mountains or beach: Since I live in the mountain foothills these days, I’d have to say beach.

Fruit or veggies: Veggies. I’m not a vegetarian, but I love them. Broccoli and brussels sprouts are my favorite.

OMG, they’re my favorite too! I rarely meet anyone who likes one of them, let alone both. I’m not a vegetarian either, but like you, I love veggies. I was one of those weird kids whose parents never had to say “eat your vegetables.” Now when it came to beef, that’s an entirely different story 😀

Elise, it’s been a delight to have you here today and I wish you much success with SIEGE OF THE HEART.

file0001492858701 (2)AUTHOR BIO
I’ve always loved adventure, romance, and happy endings. I write primarily in the medieval period. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about that time in history, the writer’s imagination is essential for fleshing out the research and making it come to life on the page. Plus swords and castles are just plain fun.

I live in New Mexico with my husband and the sweetest dog ever. When I’m not writing, I hike, bike, cook, and (of course) read. Siege of the Heart is my debut medieval romance. You can follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or check out my blog.

(Image courtesy of Clarita of Morgue File)

About Siege of the Heart:

He fought for king and country, but that battle was nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.

Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Évreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.

For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.

Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?

CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.

SIEGE OF THE HEART IS AVAILABLE FROM:
Amazon 

Barnes and Noble 
Kensington Books 

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.

 

Cover Reveal: Hearts in Harmony by Gemma Brocato

My Lyrical Press/Kensington Books sister author, Gemma Brocato, has a spicy new release coming out shortly. HEARTS IN HARMONY is already available for pre-order on Amazon. Check out this gorgeous cover,

Hearts In Harmony, Book 2 of the Five Senses Series
Coming May 5, 2014
From Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.

HIH Cover2

Blurb 
Sometimes life’s most simple melodies become songs of love.

Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far.

Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits.

What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony.

CONTENT WARNING: Contains strong language, hot sex and a spicy hero.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

Read more about Cooking Up Love, Book 1 of the Five Senses Series at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IRITMS8/

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

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

Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.

Connect with Gemma at the following haunts:
Facebook
Twitter 
@gemmabrocato
Website