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ANOINTED and giveaway with Maggie Mae Gallagher

Music & Anointed

When people ask me what my writing muse is I have one word for them: music. I love music. In college, I was a music major so there is not a single type of music for me that I enjoy more than another. I adore all music. My tastes range all across the board from Metallica to The Killers to Kansas to Katy Perry to Beethoven to Nelly and everything else in-between.
For some writers, when they plot a story they will brainstorm with a paper and pen. For me, I brainstorm with iTunes and Pandora, which while it is not necessarily a cost effective way, my music library is banging. I will spend days and weeks sometimes, combing through music until I have my plot.
The initial idea, the first gestation of the story for ANOINTED started with songs, two in particular: Knights of Cydonia by Muse and A Dustland Fairytale by The Killers. Nowadays, I can’t hear those songs and not think of Alana and Gaelen from ANOINTED. It wasn’t my original intent to create an ANOINTED Playlist, but the songs I listed have all influenced this story. Once you have read it, if you listen to the songs in the order they appear here on my website:, they follow the story line from beginning to end.
The playlist for the next book in the series, ASCENDED CHAOS, is already being worked and is quite a bit different from the ANOINTED playlist.
What is your favorite type of music and how does it inspire you?

Maggie is giving away an signed print copy (Sorry, U.S. only) of ANOINTED to one (1) lucky commenter who answers her question.  Giveaway ends @12 am est 3-5-14. Good luck!

 My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon’s heart out though its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world. How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending. Then there’s Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven’t had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, this world will burn. 

Maggie doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. When she was a kid she acted out her favorite scenes, only better, with her brother and cousin. As a teenager, she wrote reams of poetry, but realized her true love lay with creating characters and stories. A former music and history major, Maggie is a total geek at her core. When she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her two furry felines.

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LETTING MY GEEK FLAG FLY and giveaway with Barbara Longley

(Or . . . what goes into writing historical works of fiction )

I thought readers might get a kick out of seeing “some” of the reference books I used while writing The Novels of Loch Moigh trilogy.

No, I didn’t read every single one of these reference books cover-to-cover, but I did need all of them to become grounded in the politics, lifestyle, culture and terminology of the fifteenth century. And boy howdy, for a good time, try reading Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in old English! Loads of fun!

True to the Highlander, The Highlander’s Bargain and The Highlander’s Folly all involve the Tuatha Dé Danann. According Irish mythology, the Tuatha Dé Danann, or children of the goddess Danu, came to Ireland on a “ship in the clouds.” They had demigod abilities and brought magical items with them. I find the Tuatha fascinating, and I spend countless hours speculating about where their planet of origin might be. (I might have to write that story . . . )

Scotland’s indigenous folks were the Picts, named that by the Romans, and it was the Scottee tribe from Ireland who made the journey across the ocean to settle Scotland, eventually displacing and subsuming the Picts—hence the name Scotland or Scotia. Because of the Irish/Scottish link, I took the liberty of assuming that the Tuatha Dé Danann would have also made their way to Scotland.

Anyway, blending history and myth, tossing in a dollop of magic and time travel, and there you have it. True to the Highlander and the Novels of Loch Moigh came into being. Of course, the characters took on lives of their own, and a couple of them demanded their stories be told as well. I had a blast writing this trilogy, and I sure hope you all have a blast reading them!

As Always,
Happy Reading!

Treachery rules the Highlands of 1423. With their king captured by the English, Scottish nobles plot to ransom James behind the back of the brutal regent holding their land in his iron grip. But not every clan wishes to see King James back on his throne…

Sitting atop this powder keg of bloodthirsty rivalries, Malcolm of clan MacKintosh takes the mysterious, lone maiden he finds along his road as a bad omen…though an undeniably beautiful one. When he attempts to save her from a rogue within his own garrison, she deftly brings Malcolm to his knees. Who is this willful lass who has so quickly laid siege to his heart?

Alethia Goodsky has met all kinds working at the New York Renaissance Festival, but no one like the fortune-teller who tasks her with a cryptic life-saving mission and flings her into the fifteenth century. Now Alethia must rely on her wits to unravel the mystery in this violent land. Malcolm has sworn to protect her, but her gifts may soon make her his protector. With enemies closing in, Alethia must choose between finding a way home…and remaining true to her Highlander.

True to the Highlander

 Barbara and Montlake are giving away two (2) kindle copies of TRUE TO THE HIGHLANDER.  Do you ever investigate the author’s reference books if listed?  Giveaway ends @12am est 3-4-14.  Good luck!

My website, which has all the social media links       Author page on amazon

Release Day Spotlight and Giveaway THE CHASE by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CHASE!

 

 

THE CHASE by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Bantam – Random House

On sale: February 25, 2014

978-0-345-54308-0

THE CHASE at your favorite retailers

 

 

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling authors of The Heist, return in this action-packed, exciting adventure featuring master con artist Nicolas Fox and die-hard FBI agent Kate O’Hare. And this time around, things go from hot to nuclear when government secrets are on the line.

 

Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him, and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals.

 

Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedoU.S.relations withChinaif it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar—and against the clock—to devise a plan to steal the piece back. Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills of their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad.

 

A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate fromWashington,D.C., toShanghai, from the highlands ofScotlandto the underbelly ofMontreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare.

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ABOUT JANET EVANOVICH

 

 

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

 

Connect with Janet

 

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Google +Fancorps

 

 

 

 

ABOUT LEE GOLDBERG

 

Lee Goldberg is a screenwriter, TV producer, and the author of several books, including King City, The Walk, and the bestselling Monk series of mysteries. He has earned two Edgar Award nominations and was the 2012 recipient of the Poirot Award from Malice Domestic.

 

Connect with Lee

 

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Google +

MOTH AND SPARK debut fantasy and giveaway with Anne Leonard

 What Makes Dragons Interesting

Kind of obviously, the big lure about dragons is that they both fly and breathe fire. Flying is something that people want to do. I think it’s pretty primal. It seems liberating to be able to move in three dimensions, plus it gives you the opportunity to see – almost the opposite experience of hiding in a cave from things that might eat you. Fire is similarly primal – it brings heat, and light, and safety, but at the same time it can be wildly destructive. So it’s not very surprising that human imagination would conceive of a creature with both flight and flame, nor that the creature would lodge itself so firmly in stories. The dragon seems all-powerful in a way that other mythical beasts don’t, because it controls air and fire.
The dragon also has significance as a hoarder of treasure and a destroyer of cities. It’s a great metaphor; one of my favorite scenes in fantasy literature is in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when Eustace gets transformed into a dragon because he was having dragonish thoughts. It works as a metaphor because the dragonish thoughts of greed and revenge and the lust for power are so human. I think the dragon that embodies the worst traits of human beings is probably essential to the human psyche; stories of dragon slaying give hope.
But dragons that are really humans with scales and claws are not as intriguing to me as dragons that are different from humans, so my dragons don’t horde treasure. I like observing animals, and I think that part of it is because animal consciousness is so unknown to me. Mostly I anthropomorphize my cats, but once in a while I get a glimpse of them doing something that is purely animal and instinctive, and I become very aware that these creatures, these beasts, are not like me at all. It’s always a rather humbling experience, because I realize how much mystery there is about life. Dragons, because they are mythical, distant, imaginary, encapsulate the unknown really well.
When I started creating my dragons, I needed to find a way to make them strange, and I thought about their nature as reptiles. A lot of people are freaked out by snakes. I, on the other hand, like them. I don’t want to encounter any cobras or cottonmouths or large anacondas in the wild, but a five foot long ball python is a really amazing creature to hold. The skin doesn’t feel rough at all – it’s almost silky. And watching and feeling the snake’s muscles moving is fascinating. But it’s also nothing like petting a furry mammal. So when I was writing about dragons, I remembered holding snakes and tried to apply those physical sensations to touching the dragons.
Communication was another issue. Snakes are a lot more alien to us than cats are. When my cat rubs me, purring, I am almost 100% sure he’s hungry. I’ve never been able to fathom a reptile’s desires or motives or emotions. I tried to impart that sense of strangeness to interactions with dragons. The plot required the dragons to be able to communicate effectively with humans, but if they could actually talk, some of their alien nature was lost. I settled on a language of images, communicated telepathically. There are times in the book when the dragons’ language is expressed in words, but that’s essentially because the characters’ minds are translating the images into words. (The dragons also have sounds which they use when talking to each other.) Speech itself takes place on a deep, non-verbal level. On the one hand, the dragons are animal-like; on the other, their thoughts are too complex for humans to understand. Even though my dragons are able to communicate with people, there is something inherently unknowable about them.
One final aspect of dragon-creation that I considered was magic. Going back to The Hobbit, one sees that there is not much magic in the book (aside from the Ring); the fantasy lies mostly in the creatures of Middle-earth, not in Gandalf doing his wizard-thing. Smaug is mortal and is killed with an arrow. I could have made my dragons purely non-magical beasts, like Smaug, but I wanted to add another layer of mysteriousness, so I gave them their own world, a realm beyond human perception, where time and space don’t function as they do in our earthly experience. There are only hints of this in Moth and Spark, partly because this was one of the places where I ran into my own limitations as an author (how does one describe the indescribable?), but it’s underneath. The dragons you see aren’t the dragons there are.
I want to end with a short quotation from the book: “It did not know compassion, nor did it know evil or selfishness. It had neither loyalty nor blame. She stood in its shadow and watched the sparks flicker along its body. It was terrifying and beautiful, and she could speak to it.” For me it’s this, the terror and the beauty side by side that makes dragons compelling creatures of myth and story. They’re an intersection point between human experience and human imagination. Through their strangeness, they show us what it is to be powerful, and they remind us what it is to be human.

Set in the land of Caithen, a country on the brink of invasion by vicious Tyrekh, this breathtakingly imaginative fantasy packs every punch the genre requires—intrigue, war, sorcery and magic, dragons, and forbidden romance. For fans of the Games of Thrones series, Diana Gabaldon, and Anne McCaffrey, MOTH AND SPARK is an elegant and compelling read.

Recruited by the Firekeepers, Prince Corin has been given an impossible task—to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, though no one, not even the dragons or their riders, understand the bonds which hold them. Given their power, but none of the knowledge to use it, Corin is torn between his new quest and his royal duty to defend his country from the Sarian invasion. 

Before arriving in Caithen for Summer Court, Tam, the unassuming daughter of a well-respected doctor, has no idea she was born a Seer, someone gifted with visions. After a rainy afternoon leads Prince Corin and Tam to a chance encounter in the palace library, they meet for dinner where sparks fly, but it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner, Caithen is falling to the Sarians. When an attack on the capital forces the lovers to flee, Corin and Tam must figure out how to master their newly discovered powers in order to save Caithen and themselves. With the help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they might just pull it off.

At last readers will be introduced to the deadly harsh steppe lands of Sarian, to the white-barked tree-lined streets of Caithenor.  Every last element of Leonard’s lush, extraordinary world carries the heft of cinematic detail with pitch-perfect vision. 

Manic Readers is fortunate to have a print copy (Sorry, U.S. only & no P.O. Boxes please) of MOTH AND SPARK to give away to one (1) lucky winner.  Dragons, do they capture your imagination?  Why?  Giveaway ends @12 am est on 2-28-14.  Good Luck! 

 Visit Anne     Twitter      FB      Amazon   B&N

Anne Leonard lives in Northern California.  She has degrees from St. John’s College, the University of Pittsburgh, Kent State University, and University of California-Hastings College of Law.  Leonard began MOTH AND SPARK while attending the University of California-Hastings College of Law (where she graduated cum laude) eking out a few hours on weekends or a half hour on the bus, or wherever she had the chance. After 3 years, she had a draft, but ultimately decided to practice law first.  At last readers will be introduced to the deadly harsh steppe lands of Sarian, to the white-barked tree-lined streets of Caithenor. 

BACK FOREVER with Karen Booth

 

 

 

 

 For those of us who wanted to know what happened to Claire & Chris, the sequel to BRING ME BACK is here….BACK FOREVER.

 

The breakup that rocked Christopher Penman and Claire Abby’s romance was a painful test of their love. Now back together, they’re eager to embrace their future. Christopher’s band is making a run at it after a long hiatus. Claire lands a magazine job she never dreamed she could get. Only a ring on Claire’s finger and a baby on the way could make their new life more complete, and Chris is determined they’ll have everything they ever wanted.

 

But when Claire’s dad starts behaving strangely and her teenage daughter feels left out, Chris and Claire’s picture-perfect plans begin to unravel. Career demands, family strife, and a piece of devastating news send Claire into a downward spiral. Chris must help Claire find the good in all they’ve been through–they will have it all as long as they have each other, forever.

 

 

 

This is from Chapter One. Christopher and Claire are in the bathroom at her house, waiting for the results of a home pregnancy test.

“Hold my hand.” She reached for me, her fingers wagging. “We close our eyes and open them on three.”

“Deal.” I stood as she did, enveloping her hand with mine. My eyes clamped shut as ordered; she began to count.

“One…Two…Two and a half…”

“Very funny.”

She giggled. “Three. Open.”

I blinked. I focused.

There it was.

One blue line.

Bugger.

I caught the sigh before it left my throat. Sharing my disappointment would only make her feel worse. I tugged her into an embrace, pressing my cheek to the side of her head. My fingers trailed through her silky hair. “Weren’t we just saying how much we like trying?”

She managed a quiet laugh, but trembled beneath my touch. “I didn’t want to say anything, but I actually thought I was pregnant.”

The admission only made me hold on tighter, never wanting to let her go. She wanted this as badly as I did and I’d talked her into taking the test. “It’s okay, darling. Really. And it’s still early, right? We could do another test in a few days if you’re still late.” I choked back intruding tears. “I love you so much, Claire. That’s all that matters.”

“I love you too. I’m just ready for this to happen. I don’t like feeling like our life is on hold.”

“Do you really feel that way?” You know she’s right.Our life is on hold.

“Yes. I hate seeing that look of disappointment on your face. I want to give this to you and it hasn’t happened.”

“I don’t want it to be more important than us.” You’re all that matters.

“You can’t deny that you want this very, very badly.”

“I don’t want it as much as I want you.” Am I the most daft man on the face of the planet? Without another moment wasted, I dropped to my knee, which hurt like hell when it thudded against the tile floor. “Ow.”

“Chris, what are you…” She looked down at me with genuine puzzlement, certainly warranted as she was in her pajamas, me in my boxer shorts, both of us in the bloody bathroom for God’s sake. Not the most glamorous of settings, but I think it works. Her lips were lovely and pouty. Get on with it so you can kiss her.

I took one of her hands, but failed to catch the other before it flew to her mouth. Her deep blue eyes were wide with wonder.

I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. I had one shot at getting this perfect. “Claire Abby, I love you more than I have ever loved another human being.” The words left me feeling as though my heart might burst out of my chest. “You are the most extraordinary and wonderful and frustrating woman I have ever met and I want you to be mine forever.”

She gasped. A giggle leaked out of her.

“Did you squeak, darling?”

“Maybe.” Her shoulders shook, her eyes watered. “Please, go on.”

 I want you to be mine. Forever. Even if we never get to have a child together, I’m never letting you go. That is, if you’ll have me. Claire, will you marry me?”

Her other hand dropped and she smiled in a way that left her cheeks as full as ripe peaches on a summer day, mine for the picking. Her face was such a distraction that for a heartbeat or two, I didn’t realize she hadn’t yet answered the question. I wagged an eyebrow, hoping she had no defense for that.

“Well?” I asked.

“Shhh.” Her smile returned as soon as she relaxed her lips.

“Shhh?”

“I’m savoring the moment.”

“Why don’t we savor the moment after you give me an answer?”

Author website  & here      Goodreads    BACK fOREVER &  BRING ME BACK  

Beverley Eikli and THE MAID OF MILAN with giveaway

Redemption and a woman’s lack of power – or how she wields the power she does have – are popular themes of mine in the historicals I write.

Henry Mayhew’s collection of interviews in 1862 in his ‘London’s Underworld’ makes fascinating reading and the first-hand accounts of ‘ruined women’have been inspirational in many of my stories.

While my second Regency romance, The Maid of Milan, showcases both the glitter and grime of the period, my heroine is a viscountess though she doesn’t have far to fall before she lands in the gutter for her reputation is in the hands of someone very unscrupulous. Yes, she has a … ‘past’. And no woman of virtue in those days could afford to have one of those.

The Maid of Milan is about a once-dazzling debutante who believed she wielded enormous power as the men flocked to ask her to dance. But then she made a terrible error of judgment. One that continues to haunt her four years after she’s happily married the brave and honourable MP who has nursed her through her darkest hours.

Unfortunately it’s Adelaide’s mother who now wields the power. She’s the one who’s protected her daughter from the all-out scandal that would have destroyed her, but she’s done it at enormous cost. Adelaide will only find her Happy Ever After if she can navigate the treacherous currents her mother has whipped up to subdue her, and take a huge chance that the ultimate decision she makes is the right one.

I’d also love to offer a digital give-away of my Regency mystery romance, Lady Farquhar’s Butterfly, to someone who comments on what they like about the lovely cover of The Maid of Milan.

In the meantime, here’s the blurb and a short extract:

THE MAID OF MILAN

After five years of marriage, Adelaide has fallen in love with the handsome, honourable husband who nurtured her through her darkest hours.

Now Adelaide’s former lover, the passionate poet from whose arms she was torn by her family during their illicit liaison in Milan four years previously has returned, a celebrity due to the success of his book The Maid of Milan.

High society is as desperate to discover the identity of his ‘muse’ as Adelaide is to protect her newfound love and her husband’s political career.

EXTRACT:

The following scene takes place when Adelaide has discovered that not only is she in love with the husband she reluctantly consented to wed, but that she wants him to be in no doubt about her desire to take intimacy to a higher level. Adelaide’s mother has perpetuated a lie to hide her daughter’s sinful past, telling Tristan that Adelaide is an invalid who must be kept calm at all costs if she is not to succumb to hysteria.

‘Addy—?’

Tossing aside the bed covers, Adelaide shifted to make room

for him, snuggling against his chest when he yielded

slightly, nevertheless terrified of his reaction. She was

blatantly seducing – no, trying to seduce – her husband for

the first time in her life and she had no idea whether he’d be

horrified or delighted. She just knew she had to convey to

him her receptiveness for taking intimacy to a higher level.

So far so good. He was breathing more rapidly, she

noticed, as he carefully removed his boots. She willed him

to hurry. She was on fire. She closed her eyes in anticipation,

her mind whirling with all the possibilities of what she

might say, but the words with which she’d intended to

unburden her heart were lost in the passion of his kiss.

Scorching. It shocked her, as did the speed with which he

moved now as he caged her body with his, his hands roaming

over her as he trailed hot kisses along her jawline, down her

neck, across her décolletage. Adelaide arched with impatience,

resisting the urge to be the one to unbutton his trousers.

‘God, Addy, I love you,’ he muttered as he gripped the

hem of her shift to raise it, nuzzling her neck. ‘I’ve never

loved any woman as I love you. Are you sure you want—?’

Her reassurance that she’d never wanted anything so

much was truncated by a sharp rap on the door and her

mother’s nasal whine on the other side. ‘Addy? I’ve brought

you something to help you sleep. Can I come in?’

Horrified, she and Tristan bolted upright as the door

knob turned.

‘Wait, mother!’ Addy pulled the covers up to her chin

as Tristan leapt to the floor, straightening his cravat and

pulling on his boots with lightning speed.

‘Why, Tristan …?’ Mrs Henley’s cloying smile didn’t fool

Adelaide. ‘I didn’t know you were here. I’m so sorry to

interrupt.’

Adelaide felt like seizing the mug her mother carried with

such false solicitude and hurling it at the wall. Instead, she

hurled herself back down onto her bed with a sob as her

husband bowed before leaving the room.


Please drop by and visit me at my website or blog

Or twitter: @BeverleyOakley

And you can buy The Maid of Milan here:

Amazon US        Amazon UK– 

It has just come out in e-book and will be released shortly in paperback, large print and audio. 

Beverley Eikli is the author of eight historical romances, three of which have been shortlisted Favourite Historical by Australian Romance Readers Association.

She has worked as a journalist, editor, airborne geophysical survey operator and embraced a life of adventure after meeting her  husband, a handsome Norwegian bush pilot around a camp fire in Botswana.

Twenty years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland’s ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia teaching in the Department of Professional Writing & Editing at Victoria University, in Melbourne.

Finding Inspiration and giveaway with Nancy Naigle

Where do I come up with the ideas for my stories? From everyday living. I live in a small town and I love hearing the stories from the folks around here. I also watch a lot of television. You just never know when something is going to spin a tale in my mind. 
Where does my inspiration for my stories come from? Inspiration for my stories comes from all over. Sometimes from the news, or something that has happened to someone I know. Usually I don’t know the whole story going in, just the main drivers and motivations. How it’s all going to happen usually unfolds as I get to know my characters better in the first draft. I do like to include familiar things in my stories that just about anyone can connect with. If I tickle one memory that tugs on your heart while you’re reading one of my books, then I feel like I’ve accomplished a great thing.
What is it that makes my writing different from all the others in my genre? That’s a better question for my readers! Maybe that my stories don’t follow the rules. I just write from my heart. It may not always be perfect, but I hope it will always be entertaining.
What type of research do I do for my books? I read. I google. I ask questions. I partnered with Pete Evick, recording artist in his own right, music producer, and the lead guitarist for the Bret Michaels Band to get the details about being on the road and agents and such for Pecan Pie and Deadly Lies. He answered pages and pages of sometimes very personal questions for me. Not only did I get great information for the book, but I made a really great friend. I’m so thankful for that relationship.
Mint Juleps and Justice just released on 2/1. It’s the fifth book in the Adams Grove series.
Welcome to Adams Grove…where wrongs are righted with just desserts.
Luck abandoned Brooke Justice during her nasty divorce. Desperate to escape her malicious ex-husband, she relocated to the small town of Adams Grove, Virginia. When someone breaks into her new house, she suspects her ex bears the blame for the crime. With no evidence and little help from the police, she asks a private investigator to take her case—a private investigator whose sexy broad shoulders and stunning blue eyes make her question her decision to swear off relationships forever.
Mike Hartman fled Adams Grove when a devastating loss left his heart in pieces. After years overseas in the military, he’s finally returned home, determined to start anew as a private investigator. Then Brooke walks into his office, awakening something he hasn’t felt in years. Can they both move on…into each other’s arms? Or will the pain of the past—and the dangerous threat lurking in the present—destroy their new beginning?

Nancy is giving away an Adams Grove Candle and signed keeper kase to one (1) lucky commenter (Sorry, U.S. only). Are you a Bret Michaels or 80’s music fan?  Giveaway ends @12 am est 2-21-14 with the winner announced shortly thereafter.

With a career spent on the cutting edge of technology in the banking industry, Nancy spends her extra time writing the kind of stories she likes to read, in hopes that just maybe other career gals can find an escape from their hectic lifestyles in the make believe worlds she creates.
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COUNTRY HEAVEN and giveaway with Ava Miles

Why COUNTRY HEAVEN is as addictive as the hit TV series Nashville

So, hi there! I’m Ava Miles, the new contemporary romance writer who burst onto the scene with her book NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off my acclaimed Dare Valley series. Now, I’m delighted to announce the first book in a connected series called Dare River, set in the deep South, titled COUNTRY HEAVEN. Thanks to Manic Readers for hosting me today. Hopefully you’ll soon see why you should be manic about my new release.

It’s about a down-on-her luck cook uses food’s magical properties to tame a beastly country singer after he hires her under false pretenses to restore his image, and boy, do I have a hero for you! Is there anything hotter than a country singer? I mean, we have all sorts of incredible ones to choose from, anyone from Tim McGraw—my fave—to the fictional ones on the TV series Nashville, one of my favorite shows.

My hero, Rye Crenshaw, is the quintessential badboy country singer. He plays a mean guitar like Brad Paisley. He wears tight jeans, has a goatee, and wears a black cowboy hat like Tim McGraw. And his voice…well, it causes tingles in all the right places, just like Josh Turner.
But there’s a lot more to Rye than this badboy, low-country image. He actually was weeks away from graduating from Vanderbilt law school when he was “discovered.” He turned his back on his blueblood aristocratic Southern family to pursue a country music career, and his family disowned him. His heart is heavy, but he moves forward.
That is, until his family re-enters his life with all the drama of Nashville. His daddy has a heart attack and decides he wants to reconcile with his son, forcing Rye to make a decision. Will he journey home and make peace with his family?
Then there’s the heroine, a woman trying to pursue her own dreams, but is snowed under with debt from her grandfather’s medical bills. She’s working as a cook in a diner when Rye samples her food and hires her on the spot to be his cook on his tour bus. Tory Simmons takes the job, even though she has little interest in country music or Rye’s larger than life career.
Like Nashville, there’s enough family drama to make your head spin. And did I mention the tabloids? Well, Rye gets into trouble with them, and they’re all over him. Another thing the girl-next-door Tory can help him out with.
And did I mention the songs? For COUNTRY HEAVEN, I wrote thirteen country music songs. Obviously, there’s no music because it’s a book, but they set the scene. That’s one thing I love about Nashville. The songs only anchor in more of the story.
So check out COUNTRY HEAVEN and see what you think. And do tell me if you’re a big fan of country music and Nashville. Who’s your favorite singer?

Ava’s giving an ecopy of  COUNTRY HEAVEN to one lucky commenter who answers her question.  Giveaway ends @12 am est 2-19-14 with the winner announced shortly thereafter.  Good luck!

USA Today Bestselling Author Ava Miles burst onto the contemporary romance scene after receiving Nora Roberts’ blessing for her use of Ms. Roberts’ name in her debut novel, NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off The Dare Valley Series and brought praise from reviewers and readers alike. Much to Ava’s delight, USA Today Contributor Becky Lower selected it as one of the Best Books of the Year. Ava continued The Dare Valley Series in FRENCH ROAST, which Tome Tender says “raised the entertainment bar again” and then THE GRAND OPENING, which reviewer Mary J. Gramlich says “is a continuation of love, family, and relationships.” The next books in the series, THE HOLIDAY SERENADE, was met with high praise and her ode to the early 1960s, THE TOWN SQUARE, what she calls Mad Men in a small town with a happy ending, melted reader’s hearts. Ava based her original series on a family newspaper, modeled after her own. Her great-great grandfather won it in a poker game in 1892, so Ava is no stranger to adventurous men and models her heroes after men like that—or like Tim McGraw, her favorite country music singer. Now Ava shares the Dare River series, set in the deep South, telling the story of a country singer and a beautiful cook. A former chef herself, Ava used her culinary background to infuse the story with family and personal recipes, but she also used her love for music to write country music songs to set the stage in the novel, creating a unique book experience. Ava—a writer since childhood—now lives in her own porch-swinging-friendly community with an old-fashioned Main Street lined with with small businesses.

COUNTRY HEAVEN, Book 1, The Dare River Series, by Ava Miles
Contemporary Romance/Fiction/Original
February 2014/On Sale 2-11-14/$4.99 (eBook), $14.99 (print) ISBN: 978-1-940565-05-7

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Dangerous Gentlemen with Beverley Oakley

Thank you so much for inviting me here today, Ivy.

I must admit, I’ve been distracted by our fires north of Melbourne which surrounded our town on two sides and caused mass evacuations. Only a few properties were lost but the earth is charcoal around us for as far as the eye can see.

So it’s been nice to have something to distract me, as in a new release.  

Yes, it’s release day for Dangerous Gentlemen today!  

I’m very excited about this story which is #2 in my Viscount Partington Series of erotic Regencies published by Ellora’s Cave.  

Dangerous Gentlemen can, however, be read entirely on its own as it features a young debutante called Hetty, who is the daughter of my heroine in Book #1.

I love stories of mistaken identities, and there are plenty in this story. Hetty believes her life depends on pretending to be someone else, my hero is mistakenly believed to be a villain, while Hetty’s sister, Araminta, has her own little scheme up her sleeve, based on her own deception. Believe me, Araminta is a piece of work and one day she’ll get her own story but at the moment she’s too fun to include in each book because she’s so self centred and intent on profiting at her sister’s expense. It’s sibling rivalry at its worst. (I happen to have two sisters but they’re both lovely :))

So here’s a little bit about it: the blurb followed by an extract:

DANGEROUS GENTLEMEN

Sequel to Her Gilded Prison

Shy, self-effacing Henrietta knows her place—in her dazzling older sister’s shadow. She’s a little brown peahen to Araminta’s bird of paradise. But when Hetty mistakenly becomes embroiled in the Regency underworld, the innocent debutante finds herself shockingly compromised by the dashing, dangerous Sir Aubrey, the very gentleman her heart desires. And the man Araminta has in her cold, calculating sights.

Branded an enemy of the Crown, bitter over the loss of his wife, Sir Aubrey wants only to lose himself in the warm, willing body of the young “prostitute” Hetty. As he tutors her in the art of lovemaking, Aubrey is pleased to find Hetty not only an ardent student, but a bright, witty and charming companion.

Despite a spoiled Araminta plotting for a marriage offer and a powerful political enemy damaging his reputation, Aubrey may suffer the greatest betrayal at the hands of the little “concubine” who’s managed to breach the stony exterior of his heart.  

A Romantica® historical Regency erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

And here’s the extract:

An Excerpt From: DANGEROUS GENTLEMEN

Copyright © BEVERLEY OAKLEY, 2014

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

Miss Hoskings, who declared she was not going to emerge from the mending room until the night was over, bade Hetty a gloomy farewell once Hetty’s skirt was mended but Hetty wasn’t sure she felt like reentering the ballroom either. The only person of any interest had left and she had no wish to endure Araminta’s preening self-satisfaction as she recounted her success with Sir Aubrey who, if he really were such a dangerous man, would consequently be of even greater interest to her sister, she supposed. No, Hetty had no chance.

“Make sure you turn the right way. The ’ouse is a fair rabbit warren of rooms and the gennulmen’s quarters that way.” The old crone stabbed a finger up the stairs to the left. “Even that Sir Aubrey what’s staying ’ere got hisself lost. Put ’is head in ’ere just afore you came to inquire as to which way was the lobby so he could order hisself a carriage.”

Miss Hoskings straightened, her look suddenly interested. “Sir Aubrey is a houseguest, I believe,” she said with a sharp look at Hetty. “Handsome gentleman, don’t you think? And with that unusual hair.”

Just the mere mention of him made Hetty’s heart leap. So Sir Aubrey’s room was just down the passage and up the stairs? She hesitated as the old seamstress closed the door behind her, plunging her into the gloom of the dimly lit corridor.

The stairs beckoned a short distance away.

What would be the harm in a quick look? No one would see her and she could always claim she’d lost her way. She’d be believed and besides, all the chambers would be empty since everyone was at the ball. The night was still young and no one would be returning yet.

Hetty, curious by nature, found this too tantalizing an opportunity to resist. With a furtive look around her, she hurried left and up the stairs, at which point two corridors at right angles disappeared into darkness. Choosing the one to the right, she found herself face-to-face with a series of closed doors.

Foolish, she chided herself. Of course they were closed and she could hardly open them. As she turned back toward the ballroom, a faint light shining from the crack beneath a door that was slightly ajar gleamed beckoningly.

With a furtive look over her shoulder, she approached it, and when she gave the door a little nudge with her foot, it swung open.

Excitement rippled through her.

“Hello?” she asked in a low voice. She took another step into the room. “Is anyone in here?”

Silence greeted her. A low fire burned in the grate before which was a table, against which were propped several items, including a familiar silver-topped cane. Her breath caught in her throat. The last time she’d seen that cane was when Sir Aubrey had exchanged several words with Araminta in the street as Hetty had been bringing up the rear with Mrs. Monks. Of course Sir Aubrey had not looked twice at her, excusing himself before having to be introduced to the younger sister and the chaperone who’d nearly closed the gap.

Heart hammering, Hetty closed the door behind her and went to pick up the cane.

How fortunate to have stumbled into Sir Aubrey’s room, she thought when she observed the fine coat lying upon the bed, apparently discarded in favor of what he was wearing tonight.

He really was a nonpareil, wearing his clothes as if they were an extension of his athletic physique.

Yet he was dangerous, she had to remind herself. Meaning she should not be here, which of course she shouldn’t, regardless of whether he was dangerous or not.

But how such a scion of good breeding and genteel society could be guilty of such a heinous crime as treason, Hetty could not imagine. And surely the story of the runaway wife was a gilded one. It was all the stuff of make-believe and Cousin Stephen was only telling Hetty he was dangerous to curb her schoolroom daydreams.

Turning, she saw half protruding from beneath the suit of clothes what appeared to be the edge of a silver, filigreed box. It was partly obscured by the overhang of the counterpane, as if it hadn’t properly been returned to its hiding place.

A moment’s indecision made her pause but soon Hetty was crouching on the floor, closing clammy fingers around the box. Might it contain secrets? Ones that would reveal, conclusively, what Cousin Stephen claimed was true?

Alternatively, proof that would exonerate Sir Aubrey?

Hetty fumbled for the catch. Dear Lord, this was too exciting for words. Perhaps Sir Aubrey was a secret agent working for the English, and Stephen had no idea.

Perhaps he was—

Protesting door hinges made her squeal as the door was flung wide. Hetty let the lid of the box fall and retreated into the shadows as Sir Aubrey strode into the room.

He was breathing heavily as he shrugged off his jacket with a curse, raindrops spattering into the hissing fire as he raked his fingers through his hair. A curious stillness overtook him and he froze, obviously sensing all was not as he left it.

He sniffed the air. “Orange flower water,” he muttered, stepping closer to the fire, fumbling for the tinderbox on the mantelpiece to light a candle.

Immediately he was thrown into sharp relief and as he stared at Hetty, it was not his look of shock and suspicion that made her scream—but the copious amounts of blood that stained his shirtsleeves and once snowy linen cravat.

“God Almighty, who are you?” he demanded as his gaze raked her finery. “You’re no parlor maid, that’s for certain.”

Gaping, unable to formulate a sensible answer, Hetty finally managed, “What happened to your arm, Sir Aubrey? Are you injured?”

“Sir Aubrey, is it? So you know who I am but you still haven’t told me who youare?” He grunted as he looked down at his arm, the bloodied linen shredded over the long graze. “It’s not as bad as it looks and I assure you, I gave a good account of myself.” His laugh was more a sneer. “Indeed, my assailant lies dead in the gutter.”

Hetty gasped. “Dueling?” Myriad questions crowded her mind. Could this be to do with Araminta? Had Sir Aubrey left Araminta in the middle of the ball to fight some other contender for her affections?

“Dueling?” he repeated. He shook his head and Hetty drew back at the coldness in his eyes. “There was nothing noble about my activities this evening. I was set upon in a dark alley. A short scuffle ensued, I drew my knife, then…” With his hand, he made a gesture like the slitting of his throat, adding, “I am slightly wounded but as I said, my attacker does not live to repeat the insult.”

Her horror clearly amused him, for his eyes narrowed while his generous mouth quirked. He looked like an incarnation of the most handsome demon she’d ever seen depicted in the fairy stories she loved to read.

“We all have enemies, madam. Enemies who must be eliminated if we are to breathe freely.”

Please drop by and visit me at my website or blog

Or twitter: @BeverleyOakley

And you can buy Dangerous Gentlemen here.

Beverley Eikli is the author of eight historical romances, three of which have been shortlisted Favourite Historical by Australian Romance Readers Association 

She has worked as a journalist, editor, airborne geophysical survey operator and embraced a life of adventure after meeting her future husband, a handsome Norwegian bush pilot around a camp fire in Botswana.  

Twenty years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland’s ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia teaching in the Department of Professional Writing & Editing at Victoria University, as well as teaching Short Courses for the Centre of Adult Education and Macedon Ranges Further Education.

THE VINTAGE CLUB and giveaway with Darin Gibby

Can wine really make you live forever? Yes, if the grapes are an ancient varietal—or so the members of the Vintage Club believe. Made up of some of the world’s wealthiest industrial magnates, the club conducts secret scientific research to discover what has eluded humans throughout history: the elixir of life. Their quest hits a snag when scientist Walter Trudell is murdered. The prime murder suspect is his godson Reggie Alexander, a patent attorney whom Trudell once saved from a life of poverty in northeast Washington, D.C. As soon as news of the murder spreads, Reggie goes into hiding—soon after his wife and son disappear. After being chased by mysterious assailants, beaten unconscious, and planted with a bug, Reggie must come to grips with his own private demons while figuring out how to save his family. The Vintage Club is a thriller that both explores the ancient Christian symbolism of wine and imagines ways that modern nanotechnology could be used to discover the fountain of youth.

My Thoughts 4.5 stars   

For God so loved that world that he gave his only begotten Son, the body and the blood, eternal life through Jesus Christ.  Christians believe in eternal life through Jesus but what if Christians are wrong?

What if eternal life is actually to be found in the wine served at the last supper, an ancient variety of grape and secret fermentation process passed down from Jesus to his twelve disciples.  Can the Fountain of Youth possibly be found in a wine glass?

THE VINTAGE CLUB, based on Christian legend and scripture, is a gripping, fast paced, and thought provoking Christian mystery/thriller.

The Vintage Club consists of twelve of the wealthiest men in the world.  It’s exclusive, secret, and for life.  They’ve scoured the earth in search of even the most obscure mention of or reference to wine in context with religion or the disciples and their followers.  Their research has led them to believe the secret to eternal life rests in the wine served at the last supper.

In Reggie Alexander, Mr. Gibby’s created a wonderfully imperfect hero.  Adaptability, flexibility, and quick thinking are a few of the attributes of heroes; Reggie isn’t really any of these things.  In fact, he suffers from an anxiety disorder that causes paranoia, among other things, when his routine is disrupted.  However, Reggie is strong and loves his wife and son deeply.  But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13

Mr. Gibby has melded religion, science, and technology into a cohesive fascinating whole that makes you wonder and think.

THE VINTAGE CLUB is unpredictable, moves rapidly and is told via different perspectives which works well with the story.  I had no problem keeping continuity.  The tension builds steadily and relentlessly to a heart stopping climax.  By the end I ached from unconsciously holding myself so tightly.

THE VINTAGE CLUB engaged me on numerous levels while several aspects of the story have given me rather a lot of food for thought, always a good thing.

I highly recommend THE VINTAGE CLUB for those who enjoy intelligent Christian thrillers that aren’t heavy handed while giving you plenty to think about.

Manic Readers has a print copy of THE VINTAGE CLUB to give away to one (1) lucky commenter (Sorry, U.S. only)!  Do you believe in an elixir of life, a fountain of youth?  Giveaway ends at 12 am est 2-17-14.  Good Lvck!   

 

In addition to a thriving career as a novelist, author Darin Gibby is also one of the country’s premiere patent attorneys and a partner at the prestigious firm of Kilpatrick Townsend. With over twenty years of experience in obtaining patents on hundreds of inventions from the latest mountain bikes to life-saving cardiac equipment, he has built IP portfolios for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In addition to securing patents, Gibby helps clients enforce and license their patents around the world, and he has monetized patents on a range of products from computer disk drives to in-line skates.

Darin’s first book, Why Has America Stopped Inventing?, explored the critical issue of America’s broken patent system. With a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree, he is highly regarded in Denver’s legal and business community as a patent strategist, business manager, and community leader. He is also a sought-after speaker on IP issues at businesses, colleges and technology forums, where he demonstrates the value of patents using simple lessons from working on products such as Crocs shoes, Izzo golf straps and Trek bicycles.

An avid traveler and accomplished triathlete, Darin also enjoys backcountry fly-fishing trips and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He lives in Denver with his wife and their four children.

Visit Darin       Amazon          Goodreads