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MUD CREEK with Cheryl Holt

I’ve now written over thirty novels.  Nearly all of them have been historical romances, with one thriller and a few contemporary romances thrown into the mix.

Last year, I started writing and self-publishing e-books.  When I wrote for the New York print publishers, I was stuck doing romances.  It’s where I made a name for myself and where my publishers wanted me to stay.  But once I started publishing my own stories, I could write whatever I wanted.

 

And I wrote MUD CREEK.

It’s my first mainstream historical novel, and I got the idea from a bit of family history that always fascinated me.

My great grandmother homesteaded in the Dakotas in 1904.  She and her twin sister grew up in a small town in upstate New York.  They graduated from high school the year they were sixteen.  That summer, they married two neighbor boys who were friends.

The local newspaper had been running an ad, announcing that the federal government had just released some of the last free land that would ever be made available for settlement under the Homestead Act.  The ad pictured a plow in the dirt with a crop of dollar bills rolling out of the tilled furrows.

However, there was a reason this was some of the last land made available.  The good land was all gone.  The offered plots were in an area that was fairly unfit for human habitation.  It was very arid, the ground rough and rocky and unsuitable to sustain either crops or cattle.  The conditions were harsh, the weather brutal, the isolation extreme.

 

But the four optimistic teenagers—as with most homesteaders—didn’t know any of that.  They were fascinated by the prospects presented in the ad and decided to seek their fortunes out west.

The boys left that summer.  They chose plots of land that were side by side, and they built sod houses and prepared for the girls to join them.

The girls traveled by train the following spring.  When my great grandmother arrived inSouth Dakota, she was carrying a newborn baby—my grandmother—who was six weeks old.

MUD CREEK is not my great grandmother’s story.  But I think of her sometimes, holding that tiny baby and stepping off that train when she was just seventeen.  I think of her climbing onto my great grandfather’s buckboard and starting off across that deserted, endless prairie.  I think of how young she was, how brave and undaunted.

Then I think of myself, how—just a few short decades later—I’m a lawyer, the mother of a Hollywood film and television actor, and a New York Times bestselling author.

I’ve come a long way in such a short time, and I wonder what she’d think of me.

If you’ve read my books before, you know that I like to create really tough, strong heroines.  And the setting of a bleak, barren homestead seemed to present unlimited opportunities for me as an author to write intense drama and conflict.

MUD CREEK is a story that focuses on a woman’s life, on family, duty, and loyalty.  A woman has to balance so many competing burdens.  How can she ever know if she’s making the right choices?

If you’d like to try MUD CREEK, and you have an e-reader, you can download it immediately.  If you don’t have an e-device, I have published print copies of the book.  They will not be available in stores, but can be ordered at Amazon.com, and you can receive your copy in two or three days.

I hope you’ll give MUD CREEK a try.  It’s a dramatic, suspenseful and heart-wrenching tale, featuring the best heroine I’ve written in years.

At age seventeen, Helen Pendleton considered herself to be a modern woman, eager to embrace the new century.  While the normal path for a female in herNew York town was matrimony and children, she shocked her parents by planning to attend college and hoping to eventually become a schoolteacher.  So when her neighbor, Albert, surprised her by proposing marriage, she was smugly confident in her decision to decline his offer. 

Yet time and adversity changed everything. 

Three years later, with her parents deceased, and college a fading memory, she’s in dire straits.  Her father’s business is bankrupt, and she’s losing her home.  She is desperate, and as she reaches her lowest ebb, she receives a letter from Albert. 

After she spurned him, he and his family moved west, pursuing their dream of homesteading in the Dakotas.  When he hears of her dilemma, he offers marriage again, tempting her with tales of his prosperous ranch and the fine house he’s built for her out on the prairie.   

With Helen out of ideas or options, she accepts his proposal, abandoning her prior certainty that she can be free and independent.  But Albert has lied to her about his life on the Great Plains.  He has no aptitude for ranching, and his family’s homestead is a bleak, barren place where wind, weather, and isolation guarantee that their survival is always in question. 

Helen arrives in the Dakotas, seeking the security Albert has promised.  But she is unprepared for the grueling reality that awaits.  Trapped in a downward spiral of work and worry, and wed to a man she could never love, she must find the inner strength to endure the hand that fate has dealt her. 

Bestselling novelist, Cheryl Holt, paints a world of triumph and tragedy, of joy and sorrow, where people are tested to their limits and the best and worst of humanity is revealed.   Mud Creek is a tremendous, accessible, and heartrending book that whirls to a gripping climax, featuring Ms.Holt’s most memorable characters in years.

 Cheryl’s site

Contact Cheryl   cheryl@cherylholt.com

 

Aaron Dennis and Beyond the End of the World with the Lokians

I hadn’t originally planned on writing sci-fi, much less a sci-fi novel, and much much less a sci-fi series. Lokians started out as a short story but I felt it overly convoluted so I gave the world a background. Then the characters came to life, they were all so different, all very fun, they ended up carrying the story much farther than I had anticipated. All that coupled with the cool aliens I designed and the scientific research I poured into the book led me to provide an open ending in the case that I wanted to do a sequel. It was only weeks after finishing Beyond the End of the World that I tackled its sequel (also accepted by Eternal Press, no release date yet).
Other than science fiction, I enjoy writing horror shorts and some fantasy. I pretty much write whatever I feel like. I have one story I’m very proud of and is slowly being released at www.fanfiction.net It’s based on The Elderscrolls game series. While fanfiction is sometimes uninspired/uncreative, I simply utilized the Elderscrolls history and rules of reality, the rest is pretty much my story. It’s fun, it’s free, it’s An Enchanting Tale.

Lokians utilizes science fact to back up science fiction, touches on alternate realities, human creation, government conspiracies, and the coolest aliens and space ships to date. To top it all off there’s always a fun sense of humor throughout.

Here’s a little snippet to get you started.

“Alright, as far as the plan goes….. We have kept the original Lokian programming embedded in our own run times in order to hide that we’re using a rogue ship. Hopefully this will allow us to blend in. We are one ship amidst what is likely billions of enemies. Any foul up and we’re dead. Sara bring up the screen.” The Captain ordered.
Sara brought up a screen on the bridge’s wall. It displayed a three-dimensional lay out of the Lokian home world.
“Lokians don’t dock the way we are accustomed to. They organize like pieces of a program. Data is shared via their satellite uplink.” Sara explained.
The image spun revealing an odd mass. The labeling indicated where vessels docked and registered. The Captain weighed the possibilities as he observed the image. It clicked in his brain.
“The plan is to show up with information of a new civilization ripe for harvesting. Obviously we will provide false information. This should send some Lokians, hopefully many, to check on or attack the phantom civilization. While scrambled, their systems will detect an anomaly within our vessel. If I’m right, and let’s pray that I am, the Lokians will order us to a physical docking in order to flush the memory core and re-establish programming.” The Captain explained.
“Similar to re-installing an operating system on a computer with a virus.” Swain added.
“Right, this is our opportunity to leave the ship and enter the Lokian’s system core. Sara’s data shows it here, like an enormous warehouse where they store everything. We move on foot throughout this path,” He spoke while pointing to the images that appeared before the crew, “At this juncture we need to drop explosives on a time delay. This will provide ample time to board our ship. Once on the ship we haul ass out and try to get back to standard space.”
Adams stepped forward.
“Yes?” The Captain asked.
“Sir we have some very special explosives.” Adams started.
“Heh, very special, very dangerous, we obtained some anti-matter particles from Admiral Yew. A miniature AMRMC ought to wipe the Lokians out of existence.” Franklin added.
“Nice!” Fitzpatrick exclaimed.
“That is excellent.” O’Hara remarked.
DeReaux stepped forward next and spoke, “Once we enter on foot won’t we be detected?” He asked.
“Likely yes. We’ll have to fight our way through whatever resistance we come across. Archives show internal defenses are minimal. They believe there is no way to enter the core without being Lokian.” O’Hara replied.
“And what about the queen?” Swain asked.
“The memory core is the queen. She’s a series of programs contained in a physical shell. The blast should sever connections with her minions making them both blind and disorganized. Without a mutual goal they’re unable to function.” The Captain explained.
“What if we are detected right away?” Nandesrikahl asked.
“We integrated a stealth system similar to the traveler ship. By the way I heard we named that thing.” O’Hara said.
“Yeah we settled on ‘Mittins’.” Sara replied.
The Captain shot her a look of stunned surprise.
“And then?” Nandesrikahl asked.
“And then we have to overload the subspace drive and destroy it in subspace.” O’Hara responded.
“Which will kill us.” Swain interjected and pointed with his left hand for drama.
The Captain shrugged. “Well, I mean, regardless, it will kill the queen and save the galaxy.” O’Hara said unable to hold back a smile.
“Oh, O.K. this is funny?” Fitzpatrick inquired as she raised her hands to her sides.
“Well… not haha funny….” O’Hara replied weakly.

The agents shook their heads, exchanged a glance, and smiled.

 

I’ve been writing for a little over a year and this is my first novel with and available at Eternal Press  or Amazon, and soon your local book store. To date I have completed three novels including the second installment of Lokians.

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Maya Banks, SOFTLY AT SUNRISE and first five (5) in the KGI series giveaway

 

We’re tickled to be helping the talented Maya Banks spread the word about a special treat for lovers of her KGI series.

Maya has self published SOFTLY AT SUNRISE (KGI 5.5 releases August 21st, digitally), giving readers an in-depth up to date look at Rachel and Ethan Kelly from The Darkest Hour.

Rachel returned from the dead and was re-united with her husband, Ethan Kelly.  How is Rachel dealing with the past?  When your memory is only partially restored and memories randomly return, feeling fresh and bringing the pain anew, how do you get over it and move on?  How is Ethan handling Rachel‘s return?  How is their second chance going?  

So many questions and Maya answers them all in SOFTLY AT SUNRISE.  Closure, y’all!  No more wondering……:D

Order SOFTLY AT SUNRISE

 

 

Manic Readers, courtesy of Maya, has a fantabulous contest for lovers of her KGI series.

Tell Maya what your favorite scene is from one of her books.  You may post here on the blog or on Twitter using #MayaBanksMR.

August 31st Maya will select six (6) random winners from all posts.  And just what do those chosen win?

Five (5) of those drawn will each receive one (1) of the first five (5) in the KGI Series, signed.  One (1) lucky poster will get an ARC of the sixth (6th) in the series, SHADES OF GRAY, which isn’t due for release until January 2013!  

Exciting don’t you think?

So think on all those great scenes, narrow them down to one (1) and  post it here or on Twitter.  If you don’t enter you can’t be chosen!

Good luck, y’all….

Maya writes many romance sub genres.  Paranormalerotica, and historical being just a few.  Visit Maya and check out all the reading goodness available.  From the mild to the wild and everything in between, Maya’s gotcha covered!

You can also find Maya

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MR ‘s Review of  SOFTLY AT SUNRISE

A DEVIL NAMED DEVERE by Victoria Vane

 I never knew when I began writing  my HANGOVER-inspired novella A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE that a character who began as a rakish  sidekick would nearly take over the story and then inspire several more, but that’s precisely what happened when I introduced the character of Viscount Ludovic “the Devil” DeVere. Hence, the birth of THE DEVIL DEVERE series, four scorching hot intertwined Georgian era romance novellas whose characters all connect through the deliciously devious DeVere.

No “fake rake”, DeVere is a quintessential and utterly unrepentant, Georgian bad-boy:

(From THE DEVIL YOU KNOW)

She looked to DeVere with a scowl. “I don’t relish the mortification of collecting my husband from the round house come morning. Do you understand me, my lord?”

DeVere smirked. “Absolutely, my lady.” He added toNedin an undertone, “Since I don’t see the ring in your nose, I can only imagine she’s put one through your ba—”

“Ah! We’ve arrived!”Nedpronounced as the carriage lurched to a halt. “I’ll escort Annalee inside and return directly.”

Ludovic watched them depart arm-in-arm, musing how three short years of so-called connubial bliss had nearly emasculated his best friend. He pulled a flask of brandy from his breast pocket, up-ending it in a salute to the beneficent guardian angel who had allowed his own near escape from the same woeful fate.

(From A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE)

“What is your name, my pet?”
“Kitty,” she replied.
DeVere threw back his head with a guffaw. “Kitty? How delightfully apropos!” His erstwhile companions forgotten, he patted a muscular thigh. “Come then, Kitty, my sweet, little puss. Sit on your master’s lap, and I’ll stroke you ’till you purr.”

While DeVere is not the hero of the first book in his namesake series (A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE), or even of the second book (THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS), he is an integral part of both. His own story is as highly complex as is his character, and took two books to tell. (THE DEVIL YOU KNOW and THE DEVIL’S MATCH).

DeVere is meddlesome, manipulative, and acutely perceptive of human nature, but also intensely loyal and protective of those he cares about; though he would rather they didn’t know it. In A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE, DeVere is willing to go any distance to return his best friendNed to the land of the living when he perceivesNed is mourning his life away.

WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE: What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a machinating rake?
Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis is a lonely lady down on her luck. Sir Edward Chambers is steadfast, respectable and avowed to a life … of celibacy. Devil in disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere is simply bored and hell-bent to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. But with the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay

A Wild Night’s Bride (Book Trailer)

MR Review of A Wild Night’s Bride

 

 

 

 

In THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS, when DeVere’s younger brother, Hew, has returned from the American war a shadow of his former self, he induces (bribes) him to find a wife, but then takes devilish measures to intercede when he perceives Hew is about to make the wrong choice. 

THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS : Desperate times call for devilish measures… The coddled and pampered Lady Vesta Chambers is accustomed to getting what she wants and what she wants is Captain Hewett DeVere, but what’s a girl to do when the man of her dreams has eyes for another? Younger brother to Viscount Ludovic “The Devil” DeVere, “Hew” has returned from the American war scarred, disillusioned, and looking forward to settling down with the right woman. When Hew shows interest in Vesta’s godmother, Diana, Vesta vows to prove to Hew that she is no longer a little girl, but a woman with the passion of…a huntress.

(DeVere and Vesta):

“You are in love with Hew.”

“Madly. Desperately. Passionately.”

“Does my brother know of his good fortune? Does he share your sentiments,LadyVesta?”

“But how can he when he is blinded by her?” her voice quivered, “When he hasn’t even had a chance to look in my direction?”

“So in truth, you seek only to enlighten him of the treasure that lies under his very nose?”

”Yes! Do you not see that this is the only way?”

“But of course I see, my pet.”

”Then you will help me?”

“My dear, should I search the world over, I can’t imagine finding a more perfect match for my revoltingly straight-laced brother, Hew. Moreover, I have considerable, some would even say nearly infinite resources, all of which I am willing to unwaveringly place at your disposal.”

MR Review of THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS

Later in THE DEVIL YOU KNOW,  DeVere’s layers begin to peel away to reveal glimpses of  the real man when what begins as a simple game of seduction becomes so very much more.

 

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW: When dealing with the devil it’s easy to be burned… especially when passion ignites the flames.

Who can find a virtuous woman… Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley has long resigned herself to her decade-long loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of financial ruin.
Sometimes the devil is in disguise…as a gentleman… Viscount Ludovic, “The Devil DeVere”, is a man accustomed to taking what he wants according to his whim and heedless of the cost…until he encounters a woman who won’t be had at any price.
When dealing with the devil, it’s easy to be burned… When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built façade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil’s arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?

She wanted him too. He could see it in the rapid rise of her breasts. He could smell her budding arousal and would relish bringing her to full bloom. God, how he loved this dance! She had taken the first tentative steps, yet she still fought her desire, refused to give in to it, but he would lead her now. He was a master…and a ruthless bastard.

He moved behind her, taking possession of her waist, his fingers riffled gently through her hair. He closed his eyes to inhale her faint rose scent mixed with womanly musk. He dipped his head, letting his breath tickle her ear. She shivered. He whispered low and sultry. “Do you wish me to name the ways I can please you? I am delighted to comply if that excites you…although it would please me far more to demonstrate.”

MR Review of THE DEVIL YOU KNOW

 

My story will conclude with THE DEVIL’S MATCH (August 24) when DeVere’s past catches up with him and an old flame finally brings the devil to his knees! 

THE DEVIL’S MATCH:

Once burned twice shy… but when old flames come together…passion reignites…
When burned once… Arriving in London as her goddaughter’s chaperone, Baroness Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley wants to avoid her erstwhile lover at all costs. Once nearly consumed by passion, four years has reduced the former inferno to bitterness and ashes.
By an old flame… A world-weary master of seduction, Ludovic “The Devil” DeVere is bored with his chosen life of debauchery. When Diana’s charge disappears, she is forced to seek help from the devil’s lair, and their mutual desire reignites with undeniable ferocity.
Fire is best fought with fire… While DeVere is hell-bent to have her back for keeps, Diana is equally determined to bring him to his knees…by acquiring some sensual secrets of her own.

 

DeVere’s gaze narrowed. “Why so concerned for my brother? One might think you have feelings for Hew.”
“What if I did?” she retorted. “It’s no business of yours! Besides, your abominable machinations have already destroyed any potential of that.”
DeVere rose and came to her, perching himself on the arm of the settle. “My honorable and straitlaced brother could never satisfy a woman like you, Diana. He could never plumb the depths of your passion…unlock your secret desires.”
His voice was low and seductive, and the flickering blue fire in his eyes heated her insides. Diana fiercely tamped down the smoldering sensation that threatened to reignite feelings she’d struggled to suppress.          “And what would you know of my wants and desires after four years?”
“A great deal.” He gave her a slow, confident smile. “Given that I was the one to unleash them.”
Diana averted her face with a bitter laugh. “Thus you presume to have an exclusive claim to me?”
“Has any other exerted one?” he asked softly. He reached out a hand and traced a long, manicured finger along her jaw. “You are still unwed, Diana. Have you taken another lover in my absence?”
“It is none of your business whether I have or not, and you are grossly impertinent to ask.”
He laughed long and low. “I think I have my answer.”
She glared at him, and thus they remained, silently challenging one another for an interminable beat. Then suddenly his mouth was on hers, taking, possessing, as if it was indeed, his singular privilege.
Diana leaned into him, teasing his lower lip with her tongue and sucking it eagerly into her mouth before sinking her teeth into it. Hard. Savoring the coppery taste of his blood.
“What the hell!” DeVere jerked back with a cry. He touched his lip and examined the crimson stain on his fingertip, his expression a mix of outrage and bemusement.
“You took without invitation,”Diana said. “It was a warning not to do so again.”

MR Review of THE DEVIL’S MATCH

A lover of history and deeply romantic stories,Victoria Vane combines these elements to craft romantic historical novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone, Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. Ms.Vane also writes award nominated romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee.

victoria.vane@hotmail.com
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THE DEVIL DEVERE SERIES (Must be read in order!):
A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE, Breathless Press 4/27/12
THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS, Breathless Press, 6/29/12
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW- Breathless Press, 7/27/12
THE DEVIL’S MATCH – Breathless Press 8/24/12

THE DEVILDEVEREVOL.I (Trade paperback8/3/12)

THE DEVIL DEVERE VOL. II (Trade paperback9/22/12)

                                                        A BREACH OF PROMISE, Ellora’s Cave 12/23/11

The Voice of……Lila Munro

Thanks so much to Manic Readers for hosting me today and letting me take over their blog. For those of you who are unfamiliar with me, I’m Lila Munro, procurer of all things realmantica. And yes, that’s my own special brand of romance writing where the characters, story, and conflict therein are, well, based in the real. It’s who I am. It’s my voice.

And that’s what I wanted to touch base on today for just a few minutes before sharing a bit of good stuff with you all. A writer’s voice and how they find it.

I think it may be a common misconception that a writer just shoots out of the gate with all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed. Well, we might have a G looped just right at times, but rarely are all the parts quite working together as they all should early on. It’s the same with our voice. I like to think of this finding your voice akin to the way we develop the ability to speak at all. When we’re infants, the first thing we learn is screaming and crying will get results. We’ll either get fed, our diaper changed, or Mom and Dad will fall asleep in a rocking chair trying to appease our unhappy little bottom.

Eventually, Mom and Dad grow tired of guessing what each scream means and they begin to encourage us to use our “big girl” words to explain what we need, want, or desire. A few simple syllables at a time we figure out how to communicate through a word or two, a pouty face, and a glimmer in our eye we’d like a cookie, to be held, a toy, or, in my case and often, to be read to. From there it seems our instinct to achieve more and more results drives us to string sentences together and before we know it, we’re all grown up and off to kindergarten where we learn to take all that a step further and begin to use the written word in the most amazing ways.

As writers, we often stumble along finding our voice in the same way. At first our writing may be unfocused and simple. Someone points that out, “Use your ‘big girl’ words.” Usually this comes from a high school teacher that’s quite tired of marking out “like you know” from your essays. J College can be a brutal stage in this game. In fact, it was while in college I discovered I had a writer’s voice at all…and in high humiliating fashion I might add.

While I don’t recall the class number, it was in English 200-something-or-other (how do you like that for proper use of the language?). The instructor, who was hot by the way and may in fact be the object of one of my heroes or two, decided we should write a theme on someone we knew and what made them special. Well, after receiving C mark after C mark in his class all semester I thought, good, finally something I might be able to do to please this impossible man! (Funny my heroines spend a great deal of time now trying to please an impossible man in the form of a Dom or Master—interesting.)

I picked a young man I happened to work with at the time, and using all the descriptive skills I’d been taught by my sixth grade teacher, I elaborated on the poor boy without his knowing with complete abandon. I turned it in. I waited. The following week, the instructor, oh that impossible man, read my paper in front of the entire class as I sank further and further into my seat wishing I could crawl into a hole in the floor and disappear from the face of the planet. He proceeded to tell the class I was in love with said subject and that piece of garbage might make for a good romance book someday.

Well, the joke’s on you Mr. Impossible Man! That garbage is indeed receiving rave reviews and then some. Thank you for showing me my voice!

For that surely was the day I found it. I’ve spent the last several years perfecting it and I’ve found now it is recognizable as reviewers, readers, fans, and friends tell me so. I’ve heard from more than one person if they were handed a piece of my work with no name attached they would undeniably know it was me because I have a very distinct voice.

Who knew?

Writers, don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling to discover who you are and how you fit it. You’ll figure it all out.

Readers, are you able to identify any writers based on their voice alone?

If you’d like to follow me and my voice, you can find me regularly at:

Realmantic Moments  Facebook Pinterest Goodreads  Twitter and you can find all my works at: Amazon Nook ARe Bookstrand

Thanks again and happy reading!

Lila Munro

My latest release is from…

Toy Box Tales…

The Toy Box clubs, where the beer is always cold, the drinks are always perfect, and the sex is always hot, are found in the back alleys of cities across the world. Somehow, elite fighting forces always know where to locate one. Special ops team members stationed and deployed around the globe are guaranteed to find a piece of Americana, or something more exotic if they prefer, every single time they visit–no matter the mission. Owned by a mysterious man who wishes to remain anonymous, these clubs cater to every need, whim, and at times, every fetish imaginable. But as America’s best often find, what happens at the Toy Box doesn’t always stay at the Toy Box…

Volume One: Fayetteville
Sugar and Spice
Lila Munro

Drake O’Malley is in between deployments and looking to hook up, but not on a permanent basis. The Toy Box, Fayetteville, North Carolina, is his team’s regular haunt. While most of what goes on in the back isn’t Drake’s style, the club does make a righteous Irish Car Bomb. And the girls who grace the doors aren’t bad either. If only Drake could find one that liked the occasional spanking, wasn’t into the whole twenty-four seven scene, and would let go when he disappeared on a mission. Someone with some spice…

And spice is what he gets when Nutmeg Newman shows up. She’s not looking for a permanent mate, just a good time. In fact, she let’s go on cue and isn’t heard from again until her sister, Coriander, comes knocking on Drake’s door with a special Christmas surprise. One wrapped in a cute pink package complete with hair bow…

Please enjoy a short excerpt:

“Can I sit here?” a small voice whispered just as Drake pushed up on one foot, running a hand down his front pocket to retrieve a twenty dollar bill.

His eyes darted right and wonder of wonders, Miss Skittish Colt perched herself upon the black leather-clad stool next to him. How had he missed her approach?

“I suppose you can,” Drake drawled, tossing the twenty on the slick, varnished bar top.

“Thanks.” Her simple answer was filled with relief and she looked quite out of her element, eyes darting around, finger tips thrumming against the padded edge of the bar.

“First time here?”

“That obvious?”

“Yep. I take it you’ve decided not to play in the reindeer games?” Drake smiled as her eyes went so wide she resembled a doe in the headlights.

“I think I’ll pass. Have you seen what they’re doing back there? I think I’ve watched everything but someone being set on fire in the past few hours…”

The longer she talked, the higher pitched her voice became until her words came out in a squeak. Drake nearly laughed out loud at her innocence, but contained himself, noting the look of seriousness wash over her face. Poor little gal was a tad on the scared side.

“…I had no idea my sister was into this…stuff. Biting, slapping, pinching? Okay, but…”

“Wait. Cori’s your sister?” Drake twirled the napkin the bartender had set in front of him as she continued to pour his drink.

“Yeah. And yes, I realize we don’t look alike. There are six of us and none of us do. We’re like a box of crayons, the only similarity our chemical make-up.”

“Different daddies?”

“Different mommas.”

“Oh.”

The bartender set a glass of Guinness down and dropped a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s into it with a plop then turned to the girl. “Can I get you something?”

“I don’t suppose you’d have any Patron back there would you?”

A tequila girl. Drake wondered if it made her clothes fall off.

Going through withdrawal with Wendi Zwaduk

The Olympics are over and I’m sad. I am. There is something so exciting about the games. The drama, the need to see who won and being proud in our athletes…it’s great. I loved it.

I also loved that the games gave me a reason to listen to the noise while I wrote. Yes. I’m one of those people. I need noise to write. I don’t always pay attention to what I’m watching, but I like the distracting noise. If it’s deadly quiet, I can’t write.

Granted, there are times when I don’t get much done. The moment Jordyn Wieberd idn’t make the all-around I cried with her. I cheered whenMistyMay-Treanor and KerriWalsh-Jennings won the gold. I also got a bit irked when the men’s gymnastics didn’t do better. Hey, it’s great drama!

But now I’m going through withdrawal. The games are over, the ceremonies have come to a close and I don’t know what to do with myself. I used the time to write and research my stories. Good thing, too. I’ve been up to my eyeballs, in a good way, with work and I needed the time.

Now I have to find something else to provide the noise. I’ve got my iPod and it’s loaded with music. I’ve got the tv shows I bought from iTunes to listen to, but those aren’t the Olympics.

I guess I’ll have to start listening to the Indy Car races in addition to the NASCAR races I already listen to. I have to have noise.

What about you? Are there any vices you have to have when you write? Any things you have to have to get started? Or to keep going? I’d love to know! Maybe you can give me some ideas.

And now a little bit about me!

I always dreamt of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I earned a BA in education at Kent State Universityand currently hold a Masters in Education with Nova Southeastern University.

I love NASCAR, romance, books in general,Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals.  I also write under the pen name of Megan Slayer. I’m published with Total-E-Bound, Changeling Press, Liquid Silver Books, Turquoise Morning Press, Decadent Publishing and The Wild Rose Press. Come join me for this fantastic journey!

If you like my work, tell your friends and email me. I love hearing from readers!

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And here’s a little bit about my latest release:

Sunshine of Your Love

Total-E-Bound

Recent Historical

Novella, M/f, Spanking

It’s 1970. The world is in upheaval. Can two people really make a difference and find love at the same time?

Noel Flynt signed up for the Army to carry out his family duty. He never expected the travesties of Vietnam to take their toll on him. He’s coming back to the world he thought he knew, but with everything changing around him, he’s going to have to learn he can’t live in the past.

CindyStephenscouldn’t wait for Noel to return. She sees the man within the uniform and has loved him for as long as she can remember. But times have changed. She’s not the timid schoolgirl any longer. Can she accept his changes, too?

The only constants are time and love.

 

Reader Advisory: This book contains one war hero, the woman who loves him, lots of hot sex, with a little spanking mixed in for good measure.

Available @ Total E-Bound

 

 

 

Island Inspiration, HOPE’S BETRAYAL and a giveaway with Grace Elliot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, it’s a minor miracle you are reading this post because I’m on vacation on theIsle of Wight and forgot to email Ivybefore I left home! But with a lot of help from my techno-wiz hubs – here I am – phew! Anyhow, this isn’t totally irrelevant because my post is about how the Isle of Wight was the inspiration behind my latest release, “Hope’s Betrayal.”

I fell in love with the Island about ten years ago. In a strange quirk of fate I’d lived seven year in Portsmouth on the mainland, a twenty minute ferry ride away but without once visiting. It took motherhood and two dinosaur mad sons desperate to visit the newly opened “Dinosaur Isle” museum on the IOW (Isle of Wight) for us to go.

We stayed in a caravan park overlooking St Helen’s harbour and on a walk round the village I spotted a blue plaque on a fisherman’s cottage. (In the UK places of special historical interest are marked with a ‘blue plaque’ giving brief details of who lived there.) Intrigued by the inscription about “The Lady of Chantilly” I visited the Newport Museum to do some research. The result was a fascinating true story of a humble fisherman’s daughter, born around 1792, who was a part time smuggler. This girl was so beautiful, that when he caught her red-handed, the revenue officer was so smitten he couldn’t bring himself to arrest her. What a fabulous idea for a historical romance and out of this local legend, the idea behind “Hope’s Betrayal” was born.

My story is a fictional account of what could happen if two people on opposite sides of the law fall desperately in love. How can such love survive when it means compromising everything they believe in?

In a choice between betraying your family, or losing a career, what you chose?

 

One wild, winter’s night two worlds collide.

            Known for his ruthless efficiency, Captain George Huntley is sent to stamp out smuggling on the south coast ofEngland. On a night raid, the Captain captures a smuggler, but finds his troubles are just beginning when the lad turns out to be a lass, Hope Tyler.

            With Hope as bait, the Captain sets a trap to catch the rest of the gang. But in a battle of wills, with his reputation at stake, George Huntley starts to respect feisty, independent Hope. Challenged by her sea-green eyes and stubborn loyalty Huntley now faces a new threat – his growing attraction to a sworn enemy. But a love where either Hope betrays her own kind, or Captain Huntley is court-marshaled, is not an easy destiny to follow. 

Injured on a smuggling run, Hope wakes to face the naval officer who captured her.  

 

 

Hope kept her eyes closed as she became conscious of a man’s heavy tread pacing the room. She waited until he was at the window and opened her eyelids a fraction. With the light behind him she saw an athletic man with wide shoulders, tall enough to have to stoop under the sloping eaves. Her stomach felt hollow with foreboding, for without doubt, this was the same man who’d pursued her over the dunes.

He must have sensed a change in her breathing, for suddenly he turned. He stared, with piercing blue eyes that penetrated her soul. Dressed in a naval uniform, the jacket cuffs ringed with gold braid, the man exuded authority. He continued to stare, his face unreadable; wilful, she decided, and yet uncommonly handsome. She blushed and reached for the covers, pulling them up to her chin.

“So, enough pretending. You are awake at last.” His voice, deep and melodic, brooked no argument.

“Please, sir, where am I?”

“Under house arrest.” He growled, obviously no friend. And yet, she touched her bandaged head, someone had taken care of her.

“You are in pain?” His consideration was surprising.

“Not so much now.”

The answer pleased him. “Good, then you have some explaining to do.”

“Please, sir, who are you?”

The man threw her a sideways glance and started to pace.

“Captain Huntley, RN. And you are?”

She decided against lying, her name alone couldn’t incriminate her family.

“Hope Tyler.”

“Well Miss Tyler, have you the slightest idea how much trouble you’re in?”

“Yes.”

The Captain stared at the ceiling. “A man died because of your felony. A Revenue man. He leaves a wife and three children.”

“I’m so sorry.” She whispered in distress.

“His fellow officers are baying for blood.”

Hope trembled, things were worse than she imagined.

“Someone must hang for his death.”

Her throat closed over.

“Be it you…or the man who pulled the trigger….my men don’t care.” Captain Huntley stepped closer, his presence dominating the room. She couldn’t breathe, he seemed made of granite, his eyes like flints, sparking with anger. “But I’m different.” His expression softened imperceptibly. “I like to think of myself as a fair man.”

Hope nodded, to encourage him.

“Any fool can see you are just a bit-player, a lackey. The men I want are the leaders, those who finance the contraband and organise the landings. Tell me who they are, and I shall intercede on your behalf with the authorities.”

“What if I don’t know their names?”

His wide mouth twitched downward. “Then I cannot help you.”

She would have shaken her head had it not been too painful. “The men you speak of aren’t stupid. They will know I am taken, and know if I betray them. If I do… they will come for my family.”

“Then put them behind bars.”

“It’s too risky. This way, it’s only me.”

He tried to hide it, but he looked surprised. She saw him drinking in the logic of her words and a shadow darkened his face. Clasping his hands behind his back, he turned to stare through the window.

“Tell me,” he said benignly, “what does it feel like to be abandoned? Because that’s what the smugglers did. Sailed away without a backward glance and left you to your fate.”

 

Grace is generously offering one (1) lucky commenter  their choice of one (1) of the following ebooks:

DEAD MAN’S DEBT, EULOGY’S SECRET, or HOPE’S BETRAYAL.    Giveaway ends @12 a.m. est on 8-23.  Winner will be randomly chosen shortly thereafter.   Good luck y’all!

Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night.Grace believes intelligent people need to read romance as an antidote to the modern world. As an avid reader of historicals she turned to writing as a release from the emotionally draining side of veterinary work.

Grace lives near London and is addicted to cats. The Elliot household consists of five cats, two teenage sons, one husband, a guinea pig – and the latest addition – a bearded dragon!

Grace’s Blog ~  Fall In Love with History 

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HOPE’S BETRAYAL

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Talk of a Small Town with Lynn Cahoon

The first weekend of August is always a party in my home town.  Kuna Days.  People come from all over theTreasureValley(Idaho) to partake in the parade, quilt show, carnival booths, food, and street dance.  Yep, the main street into town (okay the only street into town) is closed off, the band begins, and the beer flows.

 

It will come by no surprise that Kuna Days is where I first fell in love. Many a romance has started and ended during the weekend party.

When I started writing, I knew I wanted to include that small town atmosphere, where everyone knows your business but you’re too young or too caught up in your own life to realize the tongues are wagging about you. My first car accident, my parents found out because my sister was driving by and saw my car in the ditch and through the fence.  And then went out to the farm to get my mom and dad.

The town cop was lenient and I didn’t even get a ticket for reading a magazine while I was driving. (Hey, the farm was a long way from town.) But that’s one advantage of living in a small town. The cop knew me as the good kid and gave me a break.

Rodeo weekend takes over the town of Shawnee in The Bull Rider’s Brother. I loved bringing in the sights and sounds of a hometown rodeo including the parade and the party that takes over the town at night.  And like my hometown, rodeo weekend is a big party in Shawnee.  And like home, festival food like corn dogs, corn on the cob, and beer make even the tourist feel like they’re home.

So what big festival happens in your home town? And if you’ve moved away, what do you miss the most?

I’ll go first.  I.Miss.Corndogs.

THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER @ AMAZON

 

 

Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters to modern cowboys. And her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. Or at least that’s what they think they want.  She blogs at her website, A Fairy Tale Life.

 

 

 

Contact her at her website

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Grub Street Reads

                                                  Ordering Great Indie Books Has Just Gotten Easier

Imagine this scene if you will: You drive up to your favorite fast food restaurant and order the same combo you always order. When you get down the road you find out that your double cheeseburger was swapped with a veggie burger and your fries are cold and stale. You’re bummed. But you think, “Hey things happen. I’m sure it won’t happen again”. The following month your head back to the same restaurant and try again.  Strike two. Again your food is a cold mess, and you are left hungry. Do you give them a third try, or do you just decide to pack a lunch from now on?  Most of us would move on without looking back.


Are you wondering what lunch and books have in common yet? For those readers adventurous enough to give indie books a try buying an unknown author is pretty close to playing Russian roulette with your time and money. You might give a few indie authors a chance or two, but if the books leave you hungry you aren’t going to keep ordering them.  That is why Grub Street Reads was born.  We wanted to help readers find some amazing books without having to struggle with buying the ones that are just not quite ready to be served.


This is why we at Grub Street Reads are going through the drive thru for you. We evaluate indie books for the basics of good story telling.  We want to make sure that when you order a number one you are going to get a book that has an engaging plot, characters you can sink your teeth into and a story that isn’t filled grammar and formatting mistakes. Every book we endorse has been evaluated using our mostly objective screening process where we make sure that each book is ready for human consumption.


We want you to give indie authors a shot.  We know that there are some amazing indie books out there that have just not been found yet. We also understand how frustrating it can be to purchase books that have tons of good reviews, only to discover the hard way that those glowing reviews were most likely written by the author’s sympathetic friends and family members.  We hope that by helping readers find some great self-published books we can strengthen the indie writing industry.  So the next time you are at the drive thru picking out your next favorite book give one of our endorsed books a try.  Chances are you’ll be very happy with your order. 

R IS FOR REVENGE with Malia Mallory

Working for a Difficult Boss

Have you ever worked for a “difficult” boss? When I say “difficult,” I, of course, mean it in the most tactful way. I’m really talking about that boss from hell. The “difficult” boss is the boss you are stuck with against your will. You wonder how on earth he or she ever got the job they have.

I’m pretty sure most of us have encountered this kind of boss at one time or another.

I once worked at a firm where the higher ups routinely threw tantrums and sometimes literally threw things (staplers, file folders) at people. Thankfully, I myself was never a target. One would think this would lead to someone being fired….but no.

So, imagine yourself with a boss like this. You have a boss who treats you with contempt. You have a boss who doesn’t respect you or your work. What do you do?

This is the dilemma faced by a character I created in one of my recent releases, The ABCs of Erotica – R is for Revenge. Grace is repeatedly treated badly by her boss, Victoria. Finally, one day, Grace has had it and she quits. Luckily, her firm offers her a position in another area. She jumps at it, moves on and is soon involved in an office romance. Her new love interest offers her a chance to get back at Victoria, the bad boss she left behind.

What would you do if you were presented with an opportunity to get back at that bad boss who caused you so much trouble? Would you do it? This is fiction,  and a fantasy of course, but Grace cannot resist.

****

 

 

Shapely Grace is Michael’s assistant and his new lover. Michael asks Grace if she would like to get back at Victoria for treating Grace so badly when she worked for her. Of course the answer is yes, but what could Michael possibly have in mind? As she slips into a closet to watch, Grace is thrilled to see what unfolds.

Victoria really wants to be controlled and Michael knows her secret. With that in mind, Michael and Grace exact their revenge on Victoria. And their revenge is sweet!

 

*****

 

Grace pretended to pout. “Michael, really, tell me what you have planned.”

“I want it to be a surprise. And I think you will be surprised.” He smiled secretively.

“Give me an idea? Just a little one?”

“Grace, there’s a part of Victoria you don’t know about. There is a sort of stereotype, which happens to have a ring of truth to it in her case. She walks all over everyone. But honestly, what she wants is someone to stand up to her.”

“How do you know this?”

Michael shrugged. “Let’s just say, Victoria has another side. One I’ve never indulged with her before. But it’s there.”

The intercom buzzed. Michael answered the doorman and after a short conversation returned to the seating area. “She’s here.”

“She’s here? Victoria? Now?” Grace’s voice rose in disbelief.

He opened the door to the coat closet. “What I want you to do is step in here.”

“What? What is Victoria doing here?” Grace’s stunned confusion made her clumsy as she stepped toward the closet.

He gestured inside. “Grace, come on. She’ll be here soon. Take your wine glass.”

Grace laughed. “Alright, fine. I’ll trust you on this one.” She entered the closet and pulled the door shut. The closet had louvered slats, and if she held her head just right, she had a good view of the living room area.

Grace heard a knock on the door and saw Michael go down the hall. A moment later she could hear murmuring voices. Michael and Victoria entered the living area.

“Victoria, would you like some wine?”

“Yes, that would be lovely.” Victoria removed her wrap and tossed it over the arm of the couch. “I was so pleasantly surprised at your invitation. We should have done this before.” Her voice was warm and welcoming. Grace had never heard Victoria use that tone before. She had certainly never used it toward her.

 

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Malia Mallory lives in Hawaii with her husband and daughter. She’s been working with words since alphabet blocks rolled into her crib, not only writing her own work but copy editing and proofreading the work of others. She has loved to read about relationships since she first sneaked off with her mother’s Harlequin.

 

Malia Mallory is the best-selling author of The ABCs of Erotica series, which covers the erotic spectrum from BDSM to ménage and everything in between. More releases in the series are on the way. She has also released the Mia’s Cop Craving series and Santa’s Backdoor Baby. Malia’s books have hit the bestselling erotica lists at both Amazon and iTunes. Her books are available in electronic format at major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Smashwords and AllRomance Books.