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Sage Marlowe and A THIEF ON CHRISTMAS EVE

Hello and welcome,

My name is Sage Marlowe, I’m a multi-published MM erotic romance author and today I’m here to introduce you to my upcoming release “A Thief on Christmas Eve”.

And you? You’re an FBI agent. No, really, you are. Trust me on this.

Your name is Julian Harris and you’ve recently been promoted to the head of the newly implemented Division for Art-Related Crimes. You’ve spent the best part of the past three years chasing a notorious art thief and cat burglar. You don’t know what the guy looks like, even though you’ve been studying his every move. You’ve even given him a name. Romeo. Because you know he’s charming from what little witnesses have told you. You also know that, as far as crimes go, he’s brilliant. But you have a clever mind, too, and you have figured out how to catch him.

And that’s why you spend Christmas Eve in a lonely house in the mountains, the place of his next heist. You’re waiting for him. It’s freezing cold outside, with a snow storm approaching but inside it’s warm and snug.

You’ve been there for hours, sitting and listening to every noise of the wind outside, every cracking of the wood panels around you until at last, you hear someone enter. You know it’s him; it must be him. Your heart hammers in your chest, but you force yourself to sit still and wait.

A shadowy figure crosses the room. He walks to the safe, kneels in front of it, reaches out and—

“FBI. Freeze.”

The man didn’t even startle at the sudden sharp order. Crouching in front of the safe, one hand on the lock, he obediently paused mid-motion.

“Now raise your hands.”

Julian didn’t need to repeat the order. The burglar raised his hands but kept the rest of his body perfectly still. Controlled. Tense and ready to move, not the resigned slackness of someone who had given up.

“Don’t think you can try anything now. It’s over for you. I’ve got a loaded gun in my hand that is currently pointed at your right shoulder. If you make a sudden move, I’ll pull the trigger. The bullet will smash the bone and your arm will be useless for a couple of months, maybe forever depending on what it is that you want to use it for. Now turn around. Slowly,” Julian warned and flicked on the light.

Obedient, the man turned to face him, hands still raised above his head, and for the first time ever, Julian had the chance to really see the phantom he’d been chasing all these months.

“You’re younger than I thought.”

“Disappointed?”

“No, just surprised. Good for you, though. It means that if you’re lucky, you’ll have enough years left for a chance to build yourself a life worth living by the time you get out of prison.”

The man was indeed quite a bit younger than Julian had expected him to be. He was probably somewhere in his mid-twenties rather than the late thirties or even forties that would have been more likely considering the trail he’d left and the time he must have spent to train his—admittedly admirable—set of skills to perfection.

There was a curious, almost amused expression on his face as he met Julian’s gaze levelly with a pair of striking blue eyes. Julian couldn’t help but notice that yes, he was just as attractive as the reports on him claimed, maybe even more so. The few reports they had were witness descriptions and, although the man had robbed each and every one of them, they all agreed that he was incredibly handsome and delightfully charming. Most of the females involved seemed to think that being relieved of a part of their fortune was well worth the pleasure of a flirt with him. And yet, none of those delighted ladies had been able to sit down and give a description of him that was worth wasting a drawer’s time on.

“I’m Special Agent Julian Harris, FBI. Any preference which one of your names you’d like me to use for this?”

“Pick one—I answer to all of them,” the man answered with a sly grin. The trace of an accent tinted his voice. It was hard to place, but Julian assumed it to be British. Interesting.

“Hmm, let’s see…We’ve got Brian Crandell, Greg Anderson, Richard Stavell, and Robert Dunn. Oh, and then there’s Curtis Halden of course.” Julian looked across the room into those mesmerizing blue eyes that openly mocked him. “You could always tell me your real name, you know. We’ll find out sooner or later anyway.”

“Nice try but—no. If you don’t like my aliases you can use the nickname you got for me.”

“Nickname?”

“Sure. You guys always have one.”

“Is that so?”

“I know you have. Come on, what’s mine?”

Julian gave in with a sigh. “Romeo.”

“Romeo?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Hmm, not quite what I expected, but I like it. Maybe I should create an alias using it. Mmm, Romeo Escalus perhaps. What do you think?”

“I think you won’t need another alias for quite a while. In fact, chances are you’re going to be identified by a set of figures for the years to come.”

“Ah, good answer.” The thief nodded appreciatively. “I thought you would say something like that. Anyway, why Romeo?”

Julian grinned in spite of himself. Either the man didn’t realize what situation he was in or he had a rather warped sense of humor.

“You used a plain old ladder to enter through a window the first time we heard about you. You go for pretty things and never leave a woman you meet uncharmed.”

“Oh, okay. I guess I get your drift. And where does your first name being Julian fit into this?”

Julian suppressed the urge to shift his weight, knowing that it would only make him look nervous. Which he wasn’t. Much. “Just a coincidence.”

“Ah. Who came up with it?”

“That would’ve been me.”

“I’m sure the guys in your division love you for offering them that one on a silver tray.” The guy was sharp, that much was clear. Disturbingly so. Easily picking up on Julian’s embarrassment, he offered what looked like a sincere enough smile. Julian ignored it and abandoned the topic with a swift “Sure you don’t want to tell me your real name?”

“Yep.”

“Well then, we’ll just have to do it without the name for now, but just so we’re clear—you are under arrest,” Julian said sternly, forcing himself to ignore just how inviting those sinfully lush lips were that curled just a little more in a half-smile.

“I know.”

“Good. I’m going to cuff you now.”

“Oh. Just like that? Is that your idea of foreplay?”

Julian refused to pursue the image that reference created in his head and almost succeeded. At least his voice was still firm and professional as he said, “No point cracking jokes. Hands behind your back.”

“A Thief on Christmas Eve (Romeo & Julian 1)” by Sage Marlowe, MM erotic romance, contemporary, action, suspense.

Releases: December 22nd, available to pre-order at a 10% discount now.

When it comes to slick art thief Romeo, FBI agent Julian Harris has to realize that sometimes, to catch a thief is just the beginning.

When FBI special agent Julian Harris finally corners art thief and cat-burglar Romeo he’s planning to put the man first in handcuffs and then behind bars. Instead, he finds himself first trapped in a house in the mountains by a blizzard and then captivated by Romeo’s irresistible charm. One thing leads to another and after a night spent together, Julian wakes up alone with his pride bruised and his heart stolen.

Almost a year later, a twist of fate brings them back together and their mutual attraction sparks up again instantly but events take on a dynamic that could have at least one of them wind up dead. Blackmailed into a precarious break-in, Romeo has to choose between Julian’s life and his own safety while all the time, there are two questions on Julian’s mind: Who is this slick and sexy thief really and where does his true loyalty lie?

About the author:

Sage is a multi-published author of gay erotic romance and loves taking romance to the edge. The edge of passion, the edge of pleasure, the edge of propriety.

Hopelessly in love with books from a very early age on, Sage has dreamt of writing one for years while working on the day job instead. It took a very persistent character in the company of a much-adored Muse to finally get the first novel going. The fact that this gorgeous guy was gay came as a bit of a surprise, but it explained a lot.

Ever since, Sage has been the willing slave to all the fascinating guys who just keep queuing up and want their stories told. This has resulted in several published books and countless manuscripts at various stages of completion, so there’s always something to work on—preferably at night when the rest of the house is asleep.

Sage’s characters often have a dramatic and sometimes traumatic past and need to battle some demons to be with the one they love. But don’t worry, they get quite a lot of naughty action along the way to keep them happy and there will always be a happy end!

Explore Sage’s world 

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all books published with Siren-BookStrand

Meet M.Ann Ricks

Thanks for visiting Manic Readers, M. Ann.

Can you tell us a bit about your previous books, AWESOME WONDER and THE SON?

AWESOME WONDER is my first novel. It of course tells story but it was to open the eyes of the reader while taking a journey with the heroine. An unfortunate stigma has been placed on the Church. It was my objective to shed some light on it, laugh at it while aid in its removal. Our heroine, Paige Covington, finds herself in this precarious situation. Although she knows that there is a God and was acquainted with his Son, Jesus Christ, because of what she has witnessed, she has decided that a relationship with Christ has cost her too much pain. She has no idea that she is chosen and hasn’t a choice in the matter.  Much to her annoyance, the memories and voice do not to acknowledge her decision as they continue to open her eyes to truths that will change her life.

THE SON is a novel of responsibility, obedience and learning to be fishers of men even when it’s not convenient. Once we finally accept and walk in what God has given us; not only will we be blessed but others will as well because our God is a God of overflow. Many will reap the rewards of knowing Jesus Christ because one person boldly stated, “Here am I, send me!” Daniel Manders has been dubbed the “chosen one”.  Since childhood, he has always been the one that was admired and called upon to do the right thing especially when it involved rectifying a situation for his family. Choosing to leave home to escape the pressures of family, he lived his life without worrying about rescuing his brothers from themselves. While living the life he thinks he wants, Daniel finds himself in a situation that only the Lord can get him out of.  Finally acknowledging that he had been shirking his responsibilities and a divine calling, he decides that he can run no more and promises to return home when a way of escape is provided.  Upon his return home, he meets Melina. Daniel’s purpose becomes clear as God’s desire and destiny for his family and his future is challenged.

 Why Christian fiction?

Following Jesus’ example, Christian fiction novels are actually modern day parables; sharing that will help people understand the TRUTH! As a Christian Fiction author, I create stories with fictional characters that contend with real life issues and insert the Word of God to communicate the genuine and unfailing love of Jesus Christ while making it abundantly clear that Jesus is the only ANSWER. I’m fully persuaded that my purpose is to write life changing stories to affect lives in a realistic way.

What about your publishing journey?  Did it take long to find a publisher? An agent?

Inwardly, I knew I was not destined to be a “corporate woman” and when my position was eliminated, I had inkling that it was God-ordained, at least for me.  Years prior to this event, I’d resolved to reconnect with the Master and sought to draw nigh to Him.  I don’t think I would have been able to really hear God if I hadn’t been reconnected to Him. “Tell the world about Me with the words I will give you,” is what I heard. Believing that God would give me the words, I began to write my first book; Awesome Wonder: The Gift of Remembrance.  It took me a while to find a publisher, ( 6 months). My husband said something that enables me to write with confidence; “If God told you to write, then write, and stand on His promises.”  I’m so excited and honored to be used by God to spread His message with the stories that I create. I will continue to do so for as long as He provides me with the stories and the words that will draw all men to Him.

 

 

Your latest release, THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME, is about what?

Set in present day, THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME chronicles a woman’s desire for redemption. This novel will enlighten and encourage as we journey with the heroine, Honey Lamb. Because the story of her life is one of demoralizing circumstances, she questions why she is and who she is.  Although making a life altering mistake because of her past, she finds that it does not have to dictate her destiny. Will she accept what God has already given to her or will she shun the invitation of salvation and allow her familial carnal legacy to continue to the next generation? Will she come to understand that Jesus’ blood redeemed us from a self-defeating existence because He became the sinful inheritance for us while at the same time eradicating it forever, giving us a spiritual blood transfusion that would change us all?

 

 

What do you need to get those creative juices flowing?

I simply ask the Holy Spirit to tell me what He wants me to share… 

Who’s in control, you or the characters?

My characters. They take on a life of their own.

Is there something specific you hope to accomplish with your books?

The message that I would love for all to receive from THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME is …regardless of who you are, what your lineage looks like, whatever you’ve done, whatever has been done to you, the blood of Jesus can make you a new creature because of its power. God loves us so much and because He loves us, He sacrificed His only son Jesus. Jesus became the sacrifice for us. We are absolved and even justified. We can walk in freedom and liberty because of what Jesus did. A new life is available for those who believe!

Do you currently have a WIP you can tell us about?

For all who are interested, I distribute electronically, (on-line), a monthly newsletter, M. Ann’s Literary Communiqué and prayerfully it will continue to increase in circulation. Lastly, I’ve begun my 4th novel, The SHIFT! 

Thanks for taking the time to join Manic Readers, Melissa.

Thank you! This is a an awesome opportunity! BLESSINGS!

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Shaking the Snowglobe with Rose Anderson

I’ve come to the conclusion that writers have to have a god complex to do their craft. We sit on high likeZeusinMountOlympusand meddle with the lives of our fictional characters. We throw crisis thunderbolts to force them to react and adapt, then set them adrift onPoseidon’s sea to be buffeted by the storms of life. And not only do we do it to see if they’ll sink or swim, we make a story out it!

A little soul searching on my part has determined one of the reasons I write is because I get frustrated by real things in life – environmental issues, political intrigues, societal woes and ills. In my fictional worlds, where my god complex shines, my characters have frustrations specific to their environment. They miraculously find resolution, and that comes from the deepest part of my psyche. In other words, I can virtually eliminate the issues that bug me, in print if not in reality. I guess it’s a way to find internal balance in a world that occasionally feels as though a giant hand is shaking the snowglobe we live in.

As far as balance goes, you can’t have the good without the bad to contrast against. You can’t have the light without darkness, because darkness makes you appreciate the light. To me, writing conflicts where right triumphs over wrong is the best thing about creating literary worlds. Authors have control over weighty issues and are able to change negative situations to positive outcomes – and who doesn’t love a happy ever after? The real world doesn’t always allow for that.

Did you know studies show the brain doesn’t make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life? The same neurochemicals are released whether you’ve just read a description of the scent of fresh-baked apple pie or had it right under your nose. Proof we need our happy ever afters even if it is just fiction.

As for me, I love writing the classic light vs. dark/ good vs. evil scenario with twists on a theme – stories that capture the imagination and stretch the boundaries of the mind just a tad. And you just never know which way my stories will go because as a reader, I like to be surprised. The preconceived notion isn’t the best lens through which to experience things, even literature. An opened mind that takes it all in as new just might find deeper meaning in a story because literature is art and art is the collective emotion the artist felt in that moment of creation. True stuff that. We writers paint our fictional worlds with a palette of colors based upon everything we are, every joy and pain, everything we’ve learned from and wondered over, and everything we’ve aspired to be whether we got there or not.

I’m drawn to writing opposites and resolution because our emotional life needs that balance. Readers will find layers of nuance in my tales for I’ve painted these stories just so.

The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo – book 1

What does an immortal Native American shaman do when the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity disappears under urban development? Ashkewheteasu seeks to end his immortal existence when he discovers his purpose of guarding his wife’s burial mound has ended. In his despair, he assumes the form of a wolf and steps in front of a moving car and into the life of Dr. Olivia “Livie” Rosalini. The veterinarian saves the animal’s life, and in the process saves the man within. Unbeknownst to Livie, the dog she’s taken into her home and grows to love is a magical being seeking to win her heart as a man. While Ash is learning a new world filled with new love, friendship, and happiness, an old menace makes plans to steal it all away; just as he had 3000 years before.

Loving Leonardo – book 1

Bound by limits dictated by society, Art Historian Nicolas Halstead lived a guarded life until a tempest in the form of Elenora Schwaab blew into his world. At first Nicolas can’t decide if the audacious American is simply mad or plotting blackmail for not only does she declare knowledge of his homosexuality, she offers him a marriage proposal.

After Ellie tells him of a previously unknown work of Leonardo da Vinci, a book of erotic love poems and sketches dedicated to the artist’s long-time lover Salai, Nicolas joins her in a race to save the book from destruction. Along the way they encounter Historian Luca Franco and discover a comfortable compatibility that comes to redefine their long-held notions of love. The trio embarks on an adventure filled with sensual discovery, intrigue, and danger. Little do they know Leonardo da Vinci’s book is far more than meets the eye.

Dreamscape

Unable to deny his own translucence,Dr.Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing — he’s a ghost. Murdered more than a century before,Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life. When Lanie O’Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion,Jason learns, ghost or not, he’s still very much a man.Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie’s dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side. It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there’s that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.

Hermes Online – A Sensual Reads Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner 2011

Imagine if you will a story begun in the halls of Mount Olympus long before this modern tale was conceived. It was a time when the god Hermes flew on his winged sandals and carried messages from the gods to the mortals below. And between that time and this, couriers became postmen and handwritten letters became bytes. It is said the gods still speak to those who listen…

Left bruised and brokenhearted after a cruel breakup, Vivienne Bennet finds herself mired in a world of self-doubt. To her surprise, she receives an email that challenges her to rediscover the sensual woman she once was. Together Vivienne and the enigmatic man known only as S embark upon the world of anonymous Internet communication where suggestive emails lead to erotic chat, where cybersex leads to Skype, and C2C sends both into the arms of a love they’d believed lost forever.

Rose Anderson – Love Waits in Unexpected Places
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 Manic Readers is one of my go -to spots for books. Thanks for hosting me today!

Family Time with Avril Ashton

It’s the Holidays, time for family and friends. And food. Can’t forget that. I’m a big fan of holiday eats and drinks, but I don’t mind the family gatherings.

I’ve got myself a huge, loud and unruly family of in-laws who eat too much, talk too much and pretty much let it all hang loose. What about you? Those people are who I choose to be with, who I choose to spend time with as the family I was born into isn’t anywhere nearby. They’re far away. Far.

As in another country. Another time zone.

Some of us would much rather be with the family of our hearts than the family of our blood. I know this, so there’s no point in denying. For me, it’s the complete opposite as I can’t be with the family of my blood. Quite sad, but with my in-laws the food and cocktails more than make up for the raucous nature of their usual get-togethers.

I love them though, they’re close—maybe too much—and nosy and prying and overall well-meaning. But it can be bothersome. So if you had the choice to be with the family of your heart or the family of your blood, which would you choose? It’s kind of a no-brainer and as a writer of romance I always look to tie things up in a bow at the end of the day. Sometimes not as neat as I’d like but still. If that kind of option was put to me, I can tell you I’d make it so everyone would somehow, in some way, come together.

The family of my heart and the family of my blood.

It’s the holidays, any other choice will not do.

Our families can be a lot of things. We see them in a myriad of different lights, but they’re ours. We get to keep them, hold them close and cherish them. And while we do that, we spare more than a passing thought and send up a small prayer for those who can’t do the same. Those whose loved ones aren’t around to celebrate with them.

Family is everything.

 

l always wanted to have a sexy bio, one to reflect who I am, but after drawing a blank, l could only come up with: I eat cake and I read books…ooh, and I write ‘em too. No one liked it and after massive peer-pressure and pouting, I managed something more…suitable?

A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with a tolerant Spousal Equivalent. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who loves reading and school (not so much school anymore). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing plot points of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother.

Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Av remains a believer of love in all its forms.

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Memories with Maggie Berkley and a giveaway

Have you ever had a childhood memory just crept upon you so suddenly and hard that it knocked you back into the past with the force of a hurricane? At times it will be the weather that will do it, the conditions just right and a memory surfaces, bring a wistful smile to my face. Or I’ll hear a song and bam…there I go, back into the past. There’s one song that does that to me.Sweet HomeAlabama.  Reminds me of hot summer nights when I was ten, camping out in a tree house with my two best childhood friends and roaming the back yard to chase fireflies.

Well, I was sitting here getting ready to write this blog when I heard that song on the TV (which I keep on for background noise) and it brought back some memories of those days. Well, to anyone who’s read my bio, it’s known I live in wet, clammy Oregon. But I didn’t always live here. You see my dad was in the Air Force (salute!) so we traveled around quite a lot and out of all the states in the US that I lived in, I have to say Alabama was the best. I lived there in a little podunk town named Millbrook in the early to mid 80’s, between the ages of 10 to 13 and at the time, my two best friends in the whole world were girls named Paige M. and Shannon R.. At that time I went by another name (for those of you that haven’t figured it out, Maggie is my author’s name) and I wore thick glasses and a page boy haircut (shudder).

Well, Alabama is what I call a lazy state, not as in no one works but as in it makes you want to enjoy the day the Lord made and actually smile, sit back and watch the sunset.  I lived in a bricked over trailer behind a cow field; to the right was the neighborhood, to the left a huge field and past that the highway. Catalpa was the street I lived on, and mine was the house at the end of the road. I remember across the street some fresh concrete had been poured (whether for a drainage ditch or the base of a fire hydrant I can’t remember), but Paige and I carved our initials in the wet cement. Hers was S.P. for Silly Putty, mine was C.C. for Cat Crazy…amazing what things can be remembered.

I remember so many Southern nights where the soft wind blew gently through the trees and listening to the crickets’ chirp as my friends and I hunted the fireflies that danced past us in the air. So many nights we slept outside in the tree house my neighbor had made for his stepdaughter and we’d rig the place up with power cords so we could watch SCTV and Ed Grimly. Later, in the dead of night we’d dare each other to climb out the window and make our way to the highest branches. I hated heights but Paige was fearless and always made her way out to the narrowest, longest branch. Eventually she’d get stuck and I’d have to swallow my fear to climb out and help her back in.

Then of course there were the ghost stories. At the end of the street (opposite end from my house) was on old, abandoned white board church. Legend had it that it was haunted, that it had been used in some kind of Satanist ritual and people had been killed. Whether it was true or not, I have no idea, but we’d sneak out there at midnight and scare ourselves with every creak, shadow or scurry. Then we’d take off screaming, afraid we were next to be sacrificed.

Just writing this brings back so many fond memories. Swing tires, tiny bubbles, cinnamon tooth picks, fireballs, sinking up to our knees in red Alabama mud, writing plays and acting them out, Dr. Demento! And having to take summer school because we played around too much during regular school…lol. I have to say the days I spent there, in Millbrook, Alabama with my two childhood best friends had to be the best times in my young life. I miss those girls!

Oh childhood, sweet childhood, what fun I had!

(Ok, now here’s my joke…Southerns Strike Back!)

I am sick and tired of hearing about how dumb people are in the South. I challenge any so-called smart Yankee to take this Engineering exam:

1. Calculate the smallest limb diameter on a persimmon tree that will support a 10 pound possum.
2. Which of these cars will rust out the quickest when placed on blocks in your front yard?
(A) ’65 Ford Fairlane
(B) ’69 Chevrolet Chevelle, or
(C) ’64 Pontiac GTO.
3. If your uncle builds a still, which operates at a capacity of 20 gallons of shine produced per hour, how many car radiators are required to condense the product?
4. A woodcutter has a chainsaw, which operates at 2700 RPM. The density of the pine trees in the plot to be harvested is 470 per acre. The plot is 2.3 acres in size. The average tree diameter is 14 inches. How many Budweisers will be drunk before the trees are cut down?
5. If every old refrigerator in the state vented a charge of R-12 simultaneously, what would be the percentage decrease in the ozone layer?
6. A front porch is constructed of 2×8 pine on 24-inch centers with a field rock foundation. The span is 8 feet and the porch length is 16 feet. The porch floor is 1-inch rough sawn pine. When the porch collapses, how many hound dogs will be killed?
7. A man owns a house and 37 acres of land up in a holler with an average slope of 15%. The man has five children. Can each of his grown children place a mobile home on the man’s land and still have enough property for their electric appliances to sit out front?
8. A 2-ton truck is overloaded and proceeding 900 yards down a steep slope on a secondary road at 45 MPH. The brakes fail. Given average traffic conditions on secondary roads, what is the probability that it will strike a vehicle with a muffler?
9. A coal mine operates a NFPA Class 1, Division 2 Hazardo
us Area. The mine employs 120 miners per shift. A gas warning is issued at the beginning of the 3rd shift. How many cartons of unfiltered Camels will be smoked during this shift?
10. At a reduction in the gene pool variability rate of 7.5% per generation, how long will it take a town which has been bypassed by the interstate highway to breed a country and western singer?

I betcha thought that test was gonna be an easy one, didn’t you? It’s okay if you didn’t do all that well. Just goes to show you… There’s a whole heap of things that big city book learning don’t prepare you for in this life.

As a bonus for taking the “REDNECK CHALLENGE” here’s some Southerly advice that may come in handy down the road a piece… Next time you are too drunk to drive, walk to the nearest pizza shop and place an order. When they go to deliver it, catch a ride home with ’em.

Do you have a favorite Southernism to share?  Memory, saying,  whatever.  Share with Maggie and you’re entered in her giveaway for winner’s choice of Book 1: ENTER THE NIGHT, Book 2: BEHIND THE THRONE, or Book 3: OUT OF THE SHADOWEDLANDS.   These are ebooks (mobi, epub, or pdf).  Giveaway ends 12-18-12 @12 am est, winner announced shortly thereafter.                                               

 

                                                                    A storm is brewing in the Dark Courts and her name is Death.

 

Tired of broken promises and betrayal, Morgan Crowe takes matters into her own hand and carves a destructive path through the maze of political intrigue the Dark Queen of the Mor’sin’dar had created. After rescuing her friend Vivienne from the dungeons of UnderArch,Morganreturns home to discover her son missing, taken by the man she had once given her heart to. Seeking help to retrieve him she finds those she served unwilling to give assistance and realizes that loyalty is not always a two way street. Tired of being used by those she thought of as allies and hunted by those she knows are enemies,Morganis determined to end the game she had been unwillingly pulled in to and strikes out in fury at everyone around her.

But when her past finally catches up with her and threatens the lives of those she loves,Morganknows it’s time to take a stand. Charged by her dead King to bring justice to him and the throne and still haunted by the prophecy given to her about the future, she must make a decision that could change the ShadowedLands and those who live within its borders forever. With the help of the mysterious Lord Requiem and the young Werewolf Ty,Morgansteps forward to bring a true King to the Ebon Throne and to remove the threat to her and those she loves. Will she give into her destructive nature or will she finally step into the destiny she was born for?

Barnes & Noble.com, Amazonbooks.com, Sony Reader eBooks.com, iBookstore.com, DieseleBooks.com, Kobo.com, Smashword.com, Createspace.com

You can get in touch withMaggieat maggieberkley@yahoo.com and her website.

You can also find her at Twitter and at FB

ALL IN THE MIND with Jenny Twist

Hello, everyone.

I’m Jenny Twist. It seems a long time ago that I first visited this page. On that occasion it was to publicise my first book, “Take One At Bedtime”. I seem to have come such a long way since then. I’ve published two more single author books and contributed to several anthologies, including, most recently, “Bedtime Shadows” with the amazing Tara Fox Hall. (and if you haven’t read any of her stuff, you certainly should). I have also reviewed countless books and written a great many articles. Yet it is actually less than two years since I first graced the pages of this illustrious blog.

My latest offering to the Gods of Authors – the Readers – is “All in the Mind” and this is the story of how it was born.

Years ago I read about an old people’s home where they did the experiment of making the residents’ environment like that of their youth. I can’t remember where I read this or what the experiment was attempting to prove, but I do remember that one surprising result was that the subjects’ hair darkened.

I’ve had the idea lurking at the back of my mind ever since. What if you carried the experiment to its logical conclusion? Would the residents actually regain their youth? Where would it stop? Would they regress to childhood and eventually go out all together?

Last year I entered Nanowrimo for the first time (a competition to write a novel in a month) and this was the idea that resurfaced when I sat down at my computer. I have never written so fast and furiously in my life before. The story just poured onto the page.

I kept coming across gaps in my knowledge but followed Stephen King’s advice and just wrote it, intending to deal with all that when the first draft was finished.

When I picked it up again a few weeks later and got down to seriously working on it I found I had to do a lot of research on the Second World War. I knew a fair bit already from reading and television documentaries, as well as from the experiences of my own parents, but I needed to know things like what branded goods they used, how the rationing system worked, etc.

I also realised, when one of my characters suddenly got completely out of hand and decided to go to India, that I was woefully ignorant of Indian culture. I knew some from reading, and I had studied a lot of Indian history at university, but I had no idea whether my knowledge would suffice for modern day India. The problem with something like that is you don’t know what it is you don’t know. I did not realise, for example, that a Hindu would be unlikely to understand Urdu. So I appealed on Twitter for experts on Hindu culture to read and correct it. I had four responses and checked all their comments with Google. Thank you, you wonderful people. You’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment. And thank God for Google. It’s saved me weeks of work.

My dear friend, Caroline, read the proofs when she was staying with me and suggested the idea for a cover. She painted the beautiful hands. They belong to her mother, Anne Ritson, to whom the book is dedicated. The photograph is of my own mother, May Thornton, who was a nurse at the end of the Second World War.

So, to a large extent, this book is the product of friendship.

It’s out now, no longer just a figment of my imagination, but a story waiting to be lived by the people out there who now rule my life – you – the Readers. I hope you will love it, as I have, and I hope you will be kind.

Here are some of the things other authors have to say about it:

“Jenny Twist is an enormously talented story-weaver who just goes on getting better.  Fans of the wonderful novel, ‘Domingo’s Angel’ will not be disappointed with this latest offering from her.  It’s a sweet and haunting feel-good story which will immerse you totally in its fictional world and leave you feeling deeply satisfied.  Absolutely recommended.”

Lynette Sofras  

“All in the Mind will take you on a mind trip, one from which you won’t want to return. As always, Jenny Twist’s fiction is an addictive treat that’s tightly woven to draw the readers in and keep them there.”

Su Halfwerk  

“This book moved me more than any other in recent memory, not because it was sad, although some scenes were very tragic, but because of the depth of emotion I felt for the characters, and the lasting love they share.  I dare anyone to read this book and not be moved to tears of joy.”

Tara Fox Hall

Jenny Twist was born in York and brought up in the West Yorkshire mill town of Heckmondwike, the eldest grandchild of a huge extended family.

She left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant, she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.

She stayed in Oxford working as a recruitment consultant for many years and it was there that she met and married her husband, Vic.

In 2001 they retired and moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat

Her first book, Take One At Bedtime, was published in April 2011 and the second, Domingo’s Angels , was published in July 2011. Her novella, Doppelganger, was published in the anthology Curious Hearts in July 2011, Uncle Vernon, was published in Spellbound, in November 2011, Jamey and the Alien and Uncle Albert’s Christmas were published in Warm Christmas Wishes in December 2011, Mantequero was published in the anthology Winter Wonders in December 2011 and Away With the Fairies, her first self-published story, in September 2012.

Her new anthology, with Tara Fox HallBedtime Shadowsa collection of spooky, speculative and romance stories, was published 24th September 2012.

Her new novel, All in the Mind, about an old woman who mysteriously begins to get younger, was published 29th October 2012.

                

 

 

 

A Holiday Greeting and Momentous Announcement from Victoria Vane

When I first conceived A Wild Night’s Bride, a Georgian set, Hangover-inspired romantic comedy, I had no idea that one devilish secondary character would spawn an entire series, but Ludovic,ViscountDeVere, proved to be a dream come true. This larger than life character has captured the hearts of so many fans who have begged for more DeVere. In response to these requests, I have not only decided to continue the series, but have recently commissioned an amazing artist to render gorgeously detailed full color illustrations for my DeVere stories! My goal is to offer a wonderfully enhanced reading experience to fans of my series.

The first book to be illustrated just in time for all those glorious full color and graphics capable Christmas e-readers, is Devil in the Making, The Illustrated Edition. This book will feature a gorgeous depiction of the key scene in every chapter. If this experiment is successful, I will be illustrating the entire DeVere series (old and new) over the next 12-18 months. As a holiday greeting, I am attaching a sample of the absolutely stunning photorealistic artwork that will grace the new book cover as well as the inside pages! Now, without further ado…. Here is how it all began….

Devil in the Making: A Devilish Vignette by Victoria Vane

Every devil has a beginning… A rebellious young nobleman’s prank with the king’s lion goes comically awry, leading to a startling chain of events. A riotous Georgian romp in the tradition of Fielding’s Tom Jones and a prequel to the Devil DeVere series.

 

“But I know that look, DeVere, and it always bodes ill.”

“Come now, Ned,” DeVere cajoled. “With only weeks until matriculation, we may never get another chance to serve up some revenge on ole’ Trasker.”
“What have you in mind?” Simon asked.
“Since our dear pedagogue is so fond of bear-leading, why not procure one for him?”
Ned looked stunned. “You wish to buy a bear?”
“Of course not,” DeVere answered.
“Thank God,” Ned replied with a sigh of relief.
“I only wish to borrow one.”
“A bear?” Simon repeated.
“Yes. It can be a small one. As to age, size, or gender. I am not particular.”
“And how do you propose to find one?” Ned asked warily.
DeVere replied with a look of pure devilment. “I propose a midnight foray to the Royal Menagerie.”

 

 

Devil in the Making: The Illustrated Edition will be available in e-book early December 2012. A print anthology will follow later in 2013.

ABOUT VICTORIA

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

email: victoria.vane@hotmail.com
Web

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E-BOOKS:
A Breach of Promise ,Ellora’s Cave
A Wild Night’s Bride, Breathless Press
The Virgin Huntress, Breathless Press

The Devil You Know, Breathless Press

The Devil’s Match, Breathless Press

Devil in the Making,VictoriaVane

Treacherous Temptation– coming soon from Entangled Publishing

In PRINT:

The Highest Stakes by EmeryLee, Sourcebooks

Fortune’s Son by Emery Lee, Sourcebooks

The Devil DeVere Volume I byVictoriaVane, Breathless Press

A Devil Named DeVere byVictoriaVane, Breathless Press

Warmest holiday greetings,

VictoriaVane

 

 

A POLITICAL AFFAIR with Mary Whitney

 

Thanks for taking the time to visit, Mary.

Why, after graduating law school, did you decide not to be a lawyer?

I just don’t have the focus and love of the law to be a practicing lawyer. I saw that even before I graduated.

After being an organizer, lobbyist & non-profit executive, why writing?

What drew you?

Writing has been a significant portion of all of my jobs, but obviously, that’s a world away from romance. When I started reading online fiction, I thought, “Hey, maybe I could do that.” Then I gave it a shot.

You’ve lived quite a few places.  Is there anything about them you miss?

I miss something about every place I’ve ever lived. That’s what makes going back to visit so much fun. Growing up in Texas, I ate a lot of Tex-Mex, and I really miss that. Even living in California, the Mexican food is different. When I go back to Texas, I eat Tex-Mex every day that I can!

 

 

Can you tell us a bit about A POLITICAL AFFAIR, please?

In writing A Political Affair, I wondered what would happen if the affair was actually a well-intentioned one. What if the pair truly loved one another? How could they get around their situation and actually grow a relationship? And how would the public react once it was disclosed in the middle of an election? I hope I’ve drawn a story that plays that out, while poking fun at the political world. After all, making fun of politicians is always good time, and they definitely deserve it! 

What’s your favorite aspect of politics?

I love politicians with out-sized personalities. Sadly, there are fewer and fewer of them. In today’s political and media worlds, the public demands people who are careful in their words, looks, and approach, rather than being charismatic and challenging. 

 

A VERY IMPORTANT GUEST sounds like a totally different read than A POLITICAL AFFAIR.  A bit about it, please?

I’ve lived in Hawaii, and it’s such a special place. I thought it would be fun to write a story that could showcase some of the uniqueness of it. I also enjoy being in the head of a smart, but troubled young woman, so developing the Abby character was fun—especially pairing her up with a hot congressman. The sequel will be out early next year. 

Is there a genre you’d like to explore that you haven’t?

I would really like to write a young adult book. I think we carry those emotions and experiences around with us our entire lives. I’d love to explore them as they’re happening to a character. 

Do you have a favorite book?

I don’t have a favorite book, though I do love Louise Erdrich’s writing.  

Genre?

Definitely romance, chick lit, and women’s literature. 

Do you have a WIP you can share some info about?

I’m finishing up a novel about two candidates who fall in love during a heated primary. It’s fun for me because it’s set in Northern California where I live. MORE THAN RIVALS will also be out early next year.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Mary.

Thank you so much for this opportunity to chat. 

Mary 

 

 

Stephen McEvoy never expected to fill his father’s U.S. Senate seat at such a young age—or to fight to keep it. When clever Anne Norwood interns in his office, Stephen dismisses her as another pretty face—until her independent streak catches his attention. They’re both too smart to fall for one another, yet they do. During a tough election, their relationship is an impossible political gamble. Campaigns—like love—are either won or lost.

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Even before she graduated from law school, Mary Whitney knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.

 

A Highlander on the cover tells a story Nancy Lee Badger with giveaway

I originally planned to talk about Highlanders, like the ones featured in my new series, Highland Games Through Time. Then I thought… What brings a reader to purchase a Scottish romance? What I came up with is the cover. I spent days researching covers before publishing My Honorable Highlander and My Banished Highlander. My bookshelf and Ereader are crammed with Scottish romance novels, and most have one thing in common…a kilted hunk!

The title is also important, especially when a writer has published books in several genres. Scottish time travels are popular, which is why I have a main title and a series title. The cover lay-out, the title, and the series name must come together to give my readers a great first impression.

I am a writer. This is my profession. I expect to earn a living. Since there are over one million titles available at Amazon, my book needs to stand out.

 

One way is to get recognition for a beautiful cover. So, a few months ago I entered My Honorable Highlander in the You Gotta Read Reviews Cover Contest where they featured it along with many other lovely book covers and…it won!

Is this a cover that would catch your eye? Does the title sound as if hunky Highlanders will fill the pages? Does the series title and the tag line “Time is Fleeting, Careful what you Wish For” give you an idea that time travel is involved? Does the sword in his hand tell you the book has life-threatening battles? Does the photo of volunteers working at a present-day historical village tell you something happens at a Highland Games?

You, the reader, are the reason I write. A book cover is my first chance to gain your attention. How did I do?

 

 

I would love your thoughts, good or bad (it is how I learn and grow) and I will choose one person to receive an ebook of My Honorable Highlander. Please remember to leave your desired format (pdf, epub, mobi, etc) and Good luck!  

Nancy’s giveaway ends at 12am est 12-13-12.  To be eligible you have to answer Nancy’s question!  Good luck y’all.

You can read more about Nancy Lee Badger and all her book titles

My Honorable Highlander in

Ebook      Print

My Banished Highlander in

EBook       Print

Blog           Nancy on Amazon

Jillian Stone introduces The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard with giveaway

Have you met these dashing detectives of Special Branch? Introducing The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard.

I’m very excited to be here today at Manic Readers to celebrate the release week of A Private Duel with Agent Gunn. Thanks for inviting me!   

This is the third book in a series that debuted at the beginning of 2012, with the stoic, taciturn detective, Zeno Kennedy in An Affair with Mr. Kennedy. It then continued on with Rafe Lewis, the daring-do operative of A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis. Now comes the third novel of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series, A Private Duel with Agent Gunn, a tale of torrid romance, adventure and international espionage.  

Several years ago, I got to thinking about Scotland Yard detectives. It seemed to me that Yard men were always portrayed as bumbling inspectors, five moves behind Sherlock Holmes. So I thought, what if there was an elite group of detectives? I began to do some research and found out that there was a division of Scotland Yard created in 1882 called Special Branch. I added a dash–as in dashing–of James Bond gadgetry and that was the start of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard. The heroines in each book are fascinating, progressive Victorian women: an Impressionist painter, an industrialist and a ballerina/jewel thief/spy! 

These tales are gritty and set in the late Victorian era, circa 1887–1897. One of the most interesting things I have uncovered in my research was how obsessed the British middle class was with sex. They may have covered their piano legs out of modesty, but they liked nothing more than to talk about sex, categorize it, condemn it and in the case of prostitution, patronize it. In 1887, venereal disease in the military was down from nearly 50% to 29% The Lancet medical journal in 1887 estimated that there were approximately 80,000 prostitutes working in London. This is out of a total population of 2,360,000 or 3%. Women working the streets were a common sight, particularly around the theater districts,Leicester Square and Covent Garden. I have to say, I love using this kind of research, and a thick, black fog to create atmosphere!  

Each novel features a new love story and crime to solve, so a reader can pick up the series anywhere As for this latest release, Cate and Finn’s adventure begins with a double cross and crackles with secrets, lies and sexual tension. The crime is clear–breaking and entering each other’s hearts–but as the clock ticks down, who will be the first to surrender?  

Here’s a blurb about the story: 

Prima ballerina Catrionade Dovia lives the glamorous life of a starlet, filled with glittering jewels, sumptuous dinners, and admiring suitors. She’s grown up considerably since losing her heart to Hugh Curzon once upon a time, no longer wasting her emotions on the empty promises of charming gentlemen. On her own since the untimely death of her parents, she will do anything for the only family she has left: her brother, a notorious anarchist.  

Scotland Yard Agent Phineas Gunn–sometimes known as Hugh Curzon–receives his new assignment reluctantly. He’s up for something a little more strenuous than playing nanny to a ballerina, until he sees who his charge is. Then, it’s a completely different story, because he’d been unable to forget the trusting, beautiful Cate since he had to leave her behind in Barcelona. And he suspects Cate is more than a ballet girl––in fact, she just might be a jewel thief, or even more arousing––a clever undercover operative.

Finn is determined to find out as the two race across the Continent–by land, by sea, even through the air by zephyr–it becomes uncertain who is keeping tabs on whom, and Finn and Cate must battle the sexual tension that snaps and sizzles between them every step of the way. 

Click for Excerpt Link 

QUESTION FOR COMMENTERS:

Let’s face it, detectives are daring and dashing and full of awesome sauce! Why do you think we have such a fascination with these clever investigators, who work so well undercover, and under the covers!? I think it’s because they have a darker edge, and yet they are crime fighters. I’m giving away a signed copy of A PRIVATE DUEL WITH AGENT GUNN to one lucky commenter.  Giveaway ends @12am est 12-9-12.

 

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Jillian Stone is the author of the Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator series, which includes The Seduction of Phaeton Black, and the just released, The Moonstone and Miss Jones. The third sequel, The Miss Education of Doctor Exeter, is scheduled to release in summer 2013. Jillian is also the author of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series. Watch for A Private Duel with Agent Gunn in late November!

Jillian Stone Contact Info:

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Thanks again, to Manic Readers for inviting me to guest blog today.