Wednesday, November 22, 2017

GUEST: Veronica Scott Talks Egyptian

Thanks for having me as your guest today to talk about Lady of the Nile.

I love ancient Egypt and have been fascinated by the civilization and the people since I read Mara, Daughter of the Nile as a kid. My mother also had all the old Time-Life picture books about life in the ancient world and I used to pore over those as well. I hadn’t actually tried writing a story set in ancient Egypt until 2011, when Carina Press put out a call for ancient world romance and I decided to go for it. That book, Priestess of the Nile, became my first published book. (I’m more well-known nowadays for my scifi romances but that’s another story…)

I’ve written a total of seven books in my Gods of Egypt connected series now, which all have the same Pharaoh and his court as the touchstone. But, being me, I can’t write straight historical romance because as soon I start the story, I want the gods to be involved and there to be magic and mystery. So I went with paranormal!

A particularly fascinating thing about ancient Egypt was how long the civilization endured, and how unchanging life was for the most part. Pharaohs came and went, there were invaders and wars, but for the ordinary citizen, life stayed pretty much the same. I started thinking about a lady of the court who’d allowed her own life to become as unchanging and realizes almost too late she’s trapped herself and might be missing out on things that are important to her.

Blurb for Lady of the Nile:
Tuya, a high ranking lady-in-waiting at Pharaoh’s court, lives a life of luxury, pageantry and boredom. Khian, a brave and honorable officer from the provinces temporarily re-assigned to Thebes, catches her eye at a gold of valor ceremony. As the pair are thrown together by circumstances, she finds herself unaccountably attracted to this man so unlike the haughty nobles she’s used to. But a life with Khian would mean leaving the court and giving up all that she’s worked so hard to attain. As she goes about her duties, Tuya struggles with her heart’s desires.

When Tuya is lured into a dangerous part of Thebes by her disgraced half-brother and kidnapped by unknown enemies of Egypt, Khian becomes her only hope. Pharaoh assigns him to bring the lady home.

Aided by the gods, Khian races into the desert on the trail of the elusive kidnappers, hoping to find Tuya before it’s too late. Neither of them has any idea of the dark forces arrayed against them, nor the obstacles to be faced. An ancient evil from the long gone past wants to claim Tuya for its own purposes and won’t relinquish her easily.

Can Khian find her in time? Will he and his uncanny allies be able to prevent her death? And if the couple escapes and reaches safety, what of their fledgling romance?

The excerpt wherein the goddess Mut issues a stark warning about Tuya’s life choices:

She stood on a hill, in the shade of a beautiful palm tree, watching groups of people walk along a path across the river from her. They danced and laughed and kissed and talked amongst themselves, as if going to a wonderful festival or special event. Men and women strolled hand in hand, oblivious to anything but each other. Families traveled in little groups, the babies in adult arms, toddlers and young children skipping and running ahead, only to rejoin their parents.
“How do I get over there?” Shielding her eyes with her hand, she searched for a path leading away from where she stood, or a bridge to cross the river.
“But you positioned yourself here, why do you now want to leave?”
Surprised, Tuya turned to the woman standing beside her whose presence she hadn’t noticed before, being so intent on the parade across the way. She seemed familiar, but no name came to Tuya’s tongue. “I didn’t choose to stand here.”
                “Indeed you did. You worked hard and cleverly to achieve this elevated role. Don’t you remember all the times you chose the path of service over more demanding—and perhaps frightening—opportunities? Opted for the safety of the familiar?”
“I never—”
“You refused numerous offers for your hand, stating you couldn’t leave Ashayet early in her term as Royal Wife, or when she was pregnant or nursing or later as a young mother.”
“I was needed!”
“The Royal Wife has fifty ladies-in-waiting, with dozens more who’d relish the chance for the appointment for a year or two.”
“I also serve the goddess at the temple.”
The woman laughed. “As one of a hundred. Did anyone other than the goddess notice when you stopped singing today? Or started again?”
Feeling a chill, and a bit frightened at her unknown companion’s knowledge, Tuya searched again for a path to the river. A low wall surrounded the spot where she stood, and she got goosebumps when she realized there was no break, no exit. She could step over the rows of nearly laid bricks but fear made her pause.
“Where are they all going?” she asked.
“They travel the road of life,” the woman said. “With all the experiences, good and bad, you’ve chosen to shield yourself from. The highs and the lows of a life lived. Not merely observed, not simply drifted through, like a ship caught in the backwaters of the Nile. You chart a safe course going nowhere except the tomb.”

Buy Links:  Amazon     iBooks     Kobo     B&N     Google

Author Bio:
USA Today Best Selling Author Veronica Scott is the “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog. She grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She  was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

GUEST: Laurie A. Green The Story Behind the Story @AuthorLaurieAGreen

Pets+Space: The Story Behind the Story 

In early 2016, I was asked by Pauline Baird Jones if I wanted to be part of a new science fiction romance anthology, Pets in Space. Wait, what? Pets plus space! Coolest idea ever! Yes! Count me in.

But in spite of my enthusiasm, I was a little unsure what sort of pet I’d write about or what kind of premise I could dream up for a new tale to be part of my Inherited Stars series. It didn’t take long to realize I’d done a bit of musing on the heroine of a future novel having some sort of a starship-friendly pet, possibly a ferret or weasel. When I started to brainstorm on that, I realized it might work as an expanded concept.

But my ferret-weasel didn’t stay a mustelid for long. It soon evolved into a bio-engineered StarDog. That mental process went something like this…

Fifteen hundred years in the future, animals will most likely be bred for different purposes than they are today. If they’re bred at all. By then, bio-engineering may be commonplace to produce animals that perform specific functions, like being the perfect shipboard mascots on space crafts as well as skilled vermin hunters to keep the vessels “clean.” So to build my pet, I needed an animal well-suited to a closed environment that would also incorporate desirable traits to perform these specific tasks. What might that genetic recipe look like?

Going back to the original idea, I started with a bit of weasel DNA. Weasels are small, agile and terrific vermin hunters in the wild. But my pet wouldn’t be in the wild, so it also needed some user-friendly genetics from domesticated canine and feline genes. Traits that would incorporate the loyalty of dogs with the easy-care attributes of cats. Obviously you can’t walk a pet in space, so the critter needed to have instincts to use a granule box while in flight, much like a housecat.

But my mascot needed something more: Attitude. It had to be fearless enough to take on the worst of starship pests, like snakes, scorpions and their future counterparts. That’s how the natural abilities of the champion of all vermin wranglers—the venom-resistant mongoose—got blended into the mix.

A pet was born—or, incubated—for the first Pets in Space story.

Adding StarDogs to my universe led to a number of series-altering effects. For instance, how does the heroine come by such an exotic animal? Surely they’d be expensive. What was the backstory of my StarDog?

As those ideas began to unfold, the entire series evolved right along with my StarDog. New characters emerged, such as the scientist who created StarDogs and his affiliation with the covert Network, an entity that played an important role in the companion novel, Inherit the Stars. Fresh conflicts sparked; StarDogs were employed as spies on enemy ships. Lurking dangers threatened; those enemies sought to wipe out the StarDog lab. The finished story was one I was truly proud of but that also added some unexpected twists and layers to the whole storytelling arc behind the series and future books.

When I was asked if I’d like to write a new story for a second Pets in Space collection, I was stymied all over again. What pet would I write about this time? Maybe a story about a horse in space? Someday, but this was not that day. Crocodile in space? No, not my idea of a cuddly pet. Guinea pig in space? Hmmm. Very cute, but the idea just didn’t take hold. Nothing seemed to be clicking, until I remembered that Captain Navene Jagger and Ketsia Tayah, two of the original minor characters in Inherit the Stars were meant to have their own adventure post Inherit the Stars…and what if their story involved a StarDog?

And so it does. ;)

Courting Disaster: StarDog 2 picks up where StarDog and Inherit the Stars left off, carrying readers three calendars (years) into a brave, but uncertain new future beyond the close of the novel. Jagger and Ketsia soon learn the galaxy still harbors a dangerous threat, contrary to the HEA everyone had been counting on. This story ended up serving not only as a sequel to the two past stories, but also as a prequel to a future book, Inherit the Vengeance.

Here’s a bonus! If you haven’t yet read StarDog (or even if you have), then I invite you to enter the Inherited Stars Universe as my guest and download a free copy of StarDog—the original Pets in Space storyvia Instafreebie. Here’s the link:

Thanks so much to Paranormal Romantics for hosting me today!

About Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2
Twelve award winning and bestselling Science Fiction Romance authors join forces with twelve original, never released stories in USA TODAY bestselling Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2.

Courting Disaster: StarDog2
A commander of a spaceship faces the toughest decision of his life when he vows to protect the woman and her StarDog that he is escorting through a dangerous section of space.

About the Author

Laurie A. Green is an award winning, USA TODAY bestselling author, a three-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which now totals over 1,000 members.

She confesses to being an Andromeda Galaxy groupie and would someday love to own a vacation home on Mars or Titan. She’s enthused to be a part of this wonderful anthology mash-up of two of her favorite things–pets and space.

Website           [  ]
FB Handle: @AuthorLaurieAGreen
Twitter                        [ ]
Twitter Handle:           @SFRLaurie

Monday, November 20, 2017

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

One of the more frequent questions I get from readers as a paranormal romance author is how I came up with the idea for whichever story they're most invested in. What did I start with? The character? The world? The plot?

I know this is different for every author, but for me, almost always, a series starts with a specific scene. However, thinking about it further, it starts even before that.

I am a fan of a good story in just about any format - book, movie, spoken, etc. I love to lose myself in the world and the characters. One of my favorite activities for my imagination is to invent new characters who I plop down into the middle of my favorite stories - just in my head of course. I've thought of a daughter for Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, a love interest for Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series, or just a random person who comes along after the story ends and picks up where things left off. Often I am inspired by several ideas from several sources - mashing them all together to create something different.

As an example, Blue Violet and my Svatura series got started--with several inspiration points. I loved the idea of a shifters in general. I combined that with different people having different shifts (rather than all the same), like the animagus in the Harry Potter series. Next I pulled in Malificent from Disney's Sleeping Beauty--adding a dragon. However, I didn't want anyone with magic to be able to easily figure out how to shift, so it needed to be an inherent ability.

As frequently happens, I then reinvented my initial idea several times using a series of "what ifs". What if my character could do this, or that, or the other? My new character started adding animals to her list of shifts. Because one animal is good, but more animals... better. At first they were all flying animals - I kept the dragon and added a falcon, a hummingbird, and a butterfly.

For those of you who've read Blue Violet, you can probably guess that my character eventually turned into Ellie. She kept the falcon (and maybe the dragon too ;) ) and added a jaguar and a wolf. I mean, if you're going to be able to shift into multiple animals, might as well make them powerful ones. Right?

But just having those awesome morphs wasn't enough for my character. I had to give her something to do with them.  I usually like stories where someone has a bad ass ability that no one else knows about. When they finally reveal that ability, it's a big deal. And that's how the initial scene I mentioned came about. I had my character protecting a group of people she knew but who didn't know what she was. From afar of course. And then she is forced to reveal who/what she is when they are actually attacked.

Can you guess which scene this became in Blue Violet? Yup - the scene where Ellie turns into a jaguar (after being a falcon) and fights the wolves who attack Lila, Adelaide, and Nate.

And that was the start of Blue Violet. From there, I had my own unique world and set of characters who I already loved--they needed their own stories, leading into a full series. But the inspiration came from sources that already sparked my imagination. I found the same situation has happened for each of my series. Ideas floating around that morph into a single scene and the series develop from there.

Authors, what about you? How do you find your inspiration?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Anit-Hero Love and a Giveaway! by C.J. Burright

Like a lot of other writers, I’m running the hamster-wheel of NaNo, and I also have a new release, so crazy is my theme song of the month.

The protagonist in my new release is an anti-hero, so in his honor, here are five reasons I adore the anti-hero.

1. He’s complex, often misjudged, and perfectly imperfect. The anti-hero always has deep scars from the past driving him. Learning his secrets and understanding his motives is no easy task, which makes the effort to know him even more worthwhile.

2. Unapologetically goes after what he wants, however he wants. An anti-hero can get away with a lot more than your average, every day champion because he doesn’t follow the rules – and we love him for it because we know everything he does is for a good reason…even if we don’t agree with his methods.

3. Outcasts need love, too. The anti-hero doesn’t generally have a lot of friends and is utterly loyal to the people he allows close. He’ll do anything to protect, defend, and make them happy. Once his heart and trust are won, it’s done. You belong to him.

4. Redemption is a glorious thing. Unlike your average knight in shining armor, an anti-hero has a long, long way to go. His flaws are huge, usually tied to dark emotions, but he still holds the capacity for doing good. Watching an anti-hero struggle with his nature and step out of the dark side inspires the warm and fuzzies.

5. Not just anyone will affect them. It takes that special girl to slip past the anti-hero’s defenses and make him even think about a shift or change…and isn’t it always the best to be the only one with that sort of power?

Are you a fan of the anti-hero, too? Or do you prefer to root for the undeniably good guys?

And now for some shameless (or is it shameful?) self-promotion...BUT FIRST - A CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY! I'm giving away some fun and cool stuff and a $10 Amazon GC, so be sure to enter right HERE.

Some call him Purgatory’s Missing Prince. Demon Master. Overlord of Shadows. Only one woman may call him hers.

A master of dreams, a failure at life…

After another botched career attempt, Quinn Carmichael escapes to a remote lodge for a weekend recharge, needing respite…especially from the nightmares that haunt even her days. When a wounded, sexy-as-sin stranger faceplants on her kitchen floor, there’s something disturbingly familiar about him—as in he’s the boy from her childhood dreams. Mr. Dark, Dangerous, and Diabolical may be the key to unlocking the mysteries of her past and future, and Quinn isn’t about to let the opportunity—or him—escape without a fight.

His time is running out…

Known as Purgatory’s Missing Prince, Zaire’s existence has been one of endless pain, torture, and loss. Resigned to his fate, his final goal is simple—rescue his nephew before succumbing to the deadly darkness inside him. But when a fateful misstep brings him face-to-face with the one woman who could have saved him once upon a dream—the one woman he treasures above all else—he battles to keep his distance before he destroys her, too. But he would gladly sell his soul for just one taste.

Love draw them together, destiny will tear them apart...

With ruthless enemies closing in, Quinn and Zaire must fight to save each other and those they care for before it's too late--even if it means they're doomed to live apart forever. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Twins by Diane Burton

According to Wikipedia, twins are two offspring produced by the same pregnancy. They can be identical (one fertilized egg that split in two, same placenta) or fraternal (two eggs, two sperm, separate placentas).

For years, scientists have studied twins. They look for commonalities—genetics, health, behavior, and tastes in music, food, sports, etc. They also study the differences in identical twins. Each year, twins gather in Twinsburg, Ohio for the Twins Days Festival. With so many twins in one place, this is an excellent time for researchers to study twins. The big question is which influences a person more, heredity or environment.

Back in the 1990s, I took that concept (studying twins) quite a bit further. In my science fiction romance, Switched, an unethical scientist from an alien (but human) world separated Earth twins before birth. He left one twin in the biological mother and transplanted the other twin in a mother from his planet, Serenia. (Think “beaming” the fetuses from one mother to the other.) When the authorities discovered what he was doing, they shut down his project and imprisoned him. That didn’t help those twins that survived—one on Earth and the other on Serenia.

When I wrote Switched, I made a lot of assumptions about twins. I assumed if a twin discovered the truth, she would want to find her twin and biological family. Since the project was an embarrassment to the authorities, they buried all information, including where on Earth the twins came from. But, if a person is driven to discover her origins, I imagine that person would do anything to find out.

That’s how Switched begins, with the Serenian twin beaming down (from a starship) to Earth to meet her twin. In a glitch, the Earth twin is beamed aboard the starship. With another glitch, not only does the starship leave Earth’s orbit, it ends up in another part of the galaxy. Until the starship returns to Earth, each twin has to take her sister’s place. In doing so, they discover their similarities . . . and differences.

As a mother, I wondered what the biological mother of the twins felt. In the days before ultrasound, the doctor relied on manual examinations and heartbeats through a stethoscope. But mothers have instincts. According to a pediatrician I wish I’d had for my kids, a mother’s instinct trumps an MD degree every time. Would the mother know when one of her twins disappeared? How would she feel at the birth when only one child was born? It wasn’t hard for me to imagine the answers to those questions.

Then, I wondered if she met the Serenian Twin would she recognize that he was not the child she birthed and raised? You know I had to use that in the third book in the Switched series, Switched Resolution.

Switched was published in 2001, republished with updates in 2011. Switched, Too was released in 2012 and Switched Resolution in 2013. Although my great-uncles were twins, no other twins occurred in my family. I used information about twins from the internet. A friend of mine has twins, so she became a source, too. Little did I know that twins would show up in my family again.

That’s when I learned firsthand about twins. I even got to go with my daughter-in-law for an ultrasound. How fantastic to see the two, each in his own placenta. From the beginning, one fetus was larger than the other. We joked that it would be like the movie Twins with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger. We were almost right. When the boys were born almost three weeks ago, one weighed 8 lbs 1 oz; the other weighed 5 lbs 11 oz. They were three and a half weeks early (not uncommon with twins). If you add the two weights together, no wonder my DIL was so uncomfortable, especially since they were standing upright.

A question I’ll never figure out is do twins communicate in utero? Were they aware of the other? Once they were born, and put into separate layettes (probably not the right word) in the hospital, did they realize they were separated? Obviously, when their mother held both together they were close enough to be aware of the other. But when one had to be transported to a children’s hospital and stayed there five days, did the other twin miss him? That sounds like a good idea for a paranormal story. 😊

As the boys grow and develop their own personalities, I’ll be watching to see if my guesses (and internet research) were close to reality.

As if being kidnapped by aliens isn't bad enough, Jessie Wyndom discovers they grabbed her by mistake. She wise cracks past her fear especially when she learns she was part of an experiment separating Terran twins before birth. Her twin just took Jessie's place back in Ann Arbor, Michigan while she gets to twiddle her thumbs on an Alliance of Planets starship. The only good part is the hunky captain. Except. He's so unemotional he could be Mr. Spock's double.

Captain Marcus Viator's well-organized life is turned upside down by the free-spirited female from Earth. Problems with the starship prevent him from returning her to her home. Fate brings them together. Treachery tears them apart. Is their love strong enough to reunite them?

Switched is available for 99 cents at Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ iTunes ~ Smashwords

Switched, Too
Down-sized astronaut candidate Scott Cherella leaps at the chance to go into space. He just has to pretend to be the captain of an Alliance of Planets starship. His lifelong dream quickly becomes a nightmare when sabotage erupts. To save the ship and crew he has to depend on an uptight, disapproving colleague.

The only time Veronese Qilana broke the rules tragedy resulted. She vowed never again. Now, to protect the real starship captain, she'll have to deceive the crew by helping the imposter. They must work together to uncover the saboteur and get the crew safely home. In doing so, they discover opposites really do attract.

Switched, Too is available at: Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords

Switched Resolution
Actions have consequences as Space Fleet Captain Marcus Viator and NASA reject Scott Cherella discover when they switched places. Does the reserved Marcus have what it takes to imitate his smart-aleck twin? Despite help from his love, Veronese, Scott’s already been outed by two of Marcus’ best friends.

When rebels steal the ship with part of the crew aboard, Scott has to rescue them and retrieve the Freedom. The stakes increase when he discovers the rebels are heading for Earth. They know he’s a fraud and they want Marcus. The safety of the Alliance of Planets depends on Scott and his allies.

Switched Resolution, which wraps up the Switched series, takes the reader from Earth—where Marcus adjusts to a pregnant Jessie—to the starship Freedom commandeered by rebels, to the chase ship with Scott and Veronese aboard.

Switched Resolution is available at:  Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Each Just 99 Cents: A Paranormal and a Sci-fi Romance

The Summoning:
Heather Morique is a witch. The problem is she doesn’t know it. Her husband Jahill was a refugee from an obscure branch of the Arawak Indians. After his death, mysterious whispers lure her to his homeland of Jamaica. Soon, she finds herself in a web of secrets, lies and illusions.
Jahill’s people worship Eyrael, the God of Wind and Sea, and his brother Sofiel, the God of Fire and Earth. The new Shaman has pitted brother against brother, and these two powerful spirits from an alternate universe fight to become the tribe’s ruling deity. Will light or darkness reign?
When Heather unwittingly summons Eyrael, these two unlikely soul mates face a dangerous fate.  The chemistry between them is more disturbing than the long-buried secrets.
Love For Sale:
March Morgan still believes in true love, but her faith in finding her soul mate is slowly vanishing. She’s been married but never in love. So, it is a miracle to find that fantasy exists on the last page of a glossy women’s journal. Mayfair Electronics, Ltd., in black and white, offers Love for Sale. The London firm has engineered sentient androids indistinguishable from humans. She flies to England and meets the man she has been searching for her entire life.
Christian requires no programming to love March at first sight. He’s handsome, cultured…absolutely perfect…and a little different from the other androids. He has an unexpected independent streak. March signs on the dotted line, buying her dream man. They return to Houston, but soon her past and his future threaten their Happily Ever After—indeed their lives.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ghosts and Unfinished Business by Karen Michelle Nutt #endoftheroad @KMNbooks

Ghosts and Unfinished Business 
by Karen Michelle Nutt 

I've always loved ghost stories as far back as I can remember. The thought of the afterlife scared me as much as it fascinated me. I pretty much read everything that was even remotely supernatural or paranormal that I could get my hands on. When I was older and could travel, I visited haunted locations, took ghost tours, and read up on the history of the places where ghost sightings were documented. If I didn't write about ghosts and other paranormal tales, I'd probably be a paranormal investigator. lol

Not only do I like to read about real ghost stories, I've always been intrigued about why ghosts want to stick around and haunt a place. We may never know, but it's interesting to imagine the reasons.
Some have hypothesized that ghosts are there simply to wreak havoc on those who live in the house they had once lived in when they were alive, or that the ghosts want revenge because their resting place has been disturbed and they are angry. To delight horror fans, Hollywood has created such movie plots with the intention to make the moviegoer cringe in their seats.
Some people believe souls do not cross over because there is something holding them back and they become stuck in-between worlds. Perhaps they are confused because their death was traumatic or they have unfinished business. It may be simply the fear of the unknown that stems from religious beliefs. Or perhaps it is to right a wrong. Especially if they were murdered, they may want justice.

Then there are others who believe that loved ones are responsible for keeping a ghost earthbound because they cannot move forward with their lives. The ghost becomes tied to those feelings and can't move on to the afterlife.

For me, I believe any of those things could be true. However, I also believe it's possible at times we aren't actually seeing ghosts at all but experiencing a time overlap. Perhaps said apparition also sees us as a ghost as well, but in actuality, we are both alive and living in our respective timelines.
In my story, End of the Road, I chose a ghost story, where a ghost has some unfinished business to attend to before moving on, and I also incorporated my love for rock 'n' roll music. Lars Gunner, frontman to the Silent Plaids, is a ghost haunting his music room at his residence in Malibu, California. For 23 years no one could see or hear him until his grown daughter, Cecilia, unearths his journal. As the story progresses, the truth about what happened the night he died will unfold, but the story is also about Lars having a second chance to have a relationship with his daughter, something denied him because he died so unexpectedly.

We may not know what happens to us after we die or if ghosts are even real. All we can do is look at all the evidence, opinions, and theories and then decide what makes sense and go with it. The good news is, we'll figure out the answer eventually. After all, we're 'future ghosts' in training.

Have you ever been on a ghost tour? If so, where? Tell us about your experience.
If you haven't been on a ghost tour, would you want to go on one? Do you have a place in mind that has intrigued you?

* * * * *
About the Book:
Lars Gunner, the frontman for Silent Plaids, died 23 years ago and his death was ruled an unfortunate accident. Despite the fact he can't recall what happened to him in his last moments of life, he is convinced he was murdered. He has been trapped in limbo until his daughter, Cecilia, unearths his journal and is able to see him. She seeks help from Kaleb, a psychic, but as they resurrect the past, the secrets and lies surrounding Lars' rock and roll life just may be the death of them too.

Barnes and Noble:

* * * * *
Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband. Though her three children are grown and starting their own adventures, she still has a houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
When she's not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover".
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Visit the author at her website:
Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”
Amazon Author Page:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pardon the Mess, Writer in Progress by Jane Kindred

It’s November, which means scores of manic authors trying to write 50,000-word novels in 30 days. For some, ain’t no thang. For writers like me, it’s damn near impossible. But I have done it once, with The Prince of Tricks.

Although my current WIP was already at 10,000 words, I decided to take advantage of NaNoWriMo to try to kick my butt into gear because my deadline is looming. As I leap headlong into my latest book in the Sisters in Sin series, Kindling the Darkness, I’ve also been finishing up the revisions for Book 4, Seducing the Dark Prince.

Since a meaty blog post is beyond me at the moment, and Lucien, the dark prince, is still fresh in my mind, I thought I’d introduce you to him.

Excerpt from Seducing the Dark Prince

Like the ethereal substance his last name evoked, Lucien Smok was breathtaking—literally. The moment Theia saw him across the temple reception hall, the air rushed from her lungs as though it had been sucked into a vacuum. Pale blue eyes like pieces of ice locked on hers from beneath long lashes, dark brows in an ivory face lifted in amusement above them as if he was well aware of the effect he was having on her.
She’d seen him before somewhere. In a dream or a dark premonition. Beneath the reception hall’s Baroque quadratura-painted ceiling—invoking the blessing of the gods of Olympus—he reminded her of a painting by Waterhouse, Narcissus winking just for a moment at the viewer before returning to his reflection.
But beautiful or not, this wasn’t some breathless lust at first sight. She really couldn’t breathe.
Theia clutched at her throat and tried to make a sound, but nothing came out. Her lungs were locked in a spasm, convulsively trying to take in air against some obstruction.
Her dark-haired Narcissus crossed the reception hall in two swift strides and embraced her from behind, arms wrapped around her waist and hands clasped tight beneath her breasts, a gesture of intimacy. Vertigo swam over her, making her feel as though she were floating within herself, a lighter-than-air balloon encased in a human frame, bobbing against its edges.
He hugged her forcefully, jolting her against him, almost off the ground—once, twice, thrice.
Another spasm of her diaphragm forced what remained of the air in her lungs through her windpipe and dislodged the champagne grape she’d swallowed wrong. Such a small thing to cause so much trouble.
Air rushed in so quickly that she choked on it, gasping and coughing until tears ran down her cheeks.
“All right now?” The soft voice at her ear brought her fully back to herself. His hold around her hadn’t loosened and was decidedly more intimate than it had been when he’d been performing the Heimlich on her.
Theia realized she’d relaxed into his embrace, her arms sliding around his, and she let go with a jolt and bolted from his grasp. Though the moment had seemed epic and prolonged, none of the other guests were paying any attention.
His smile was one-sided—a slight leftward lift that combined amusement, smugness and a hint of offense. “You’re welcome.”

About Seducing the Dark Prince

He’s the man of her dreams…too bad they’re all nightmares

Lucien Smok is the heir to the Smok fortune—ostensibly made in biotechnology but secretly amassed by providing “paranormal cleanup” services since the 15th century…for a price: Lucien must collect a soul from every client. Hating the family business, Lucien secretly hunts down the unnatural beings the family has allowed to get away with murder. He’s never spared anyone with a demonic connection. That is, until he meets Theia Dawn, a clairvoyant whose power comes from demon blood.

After finding out that Lucien’s family was instrumental in the downfall of her distant ancestor who was burned at the stake, Theia takes a job at Smok Biotech to find out more about his family and what they’re really up to. She tries to ignore her growing attraction for Lucien and the suspicion that she’s seen him somewhere before. Her dreams have warned her about falling for a dark prince, and she fears Lucien is the one. But when Theia learns about Lucien’s secret rebellion against his family, she’s drawn deeper under his spell.

Lucien tries to resist the fate foretold by the Smok family legend, but he finds he can’t resist Theia. But will she save him from his fate or end up being the catalyst for the transformation that will send him straight to hell?

Friday, November 10, 2017

GUEST: Sabine Priestley #PetsInSpace

One of the reasons I love writing fiction is the sheer breadth of possibilities. I write Sci-Fi and Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance, and world building is my favorite part. Let’s face it, normal is boring.

I wrote a contemporary once. It was my proverbial first book, and I’m sure it’s an odorous heap of badly formed plotlines. The problem I have is that I keep wanting to do things that are impossible. You know, like flying without a plane and interstellar travel that doesn’t take light-years.

In order to get from planet A to planet B in my worlds, I use portals. Until the fall of the Sandarian Empire in the Alien Attachments series, portals were under the control of the Portal Masters. Things have changed, and those with a certain type of psi can travel using Distorters.

Due to the intervention of a mysterious advanced alien, called Orion, my main characters in Orion’s Gate end up traveling back in time. This event takes place in two books, from different perspectives. The first is from Sensate, which is available now in Embrace the Romance, Pets In Space 2 anthology.

You have to love pets in space and there’s a crazy fun assortment in this 800+ page beast.
In the following excerpt Marco Dar has just narrowly escaped being fried by outlanders, and ports back to his ship to find a very different Armond Nolde. The stoic, emotionless albino is smiling and Cleary bonded with a sapphire skinned woman from another galaxy.

Zara swung around just as Marco slammed into her, sending them both flying. They crashed onto the dining table. A flash of pain shot through her shoulder, and the table shattered on impact, spilling them to the ground. She landed on top of Marco just as Armond’s data pad skidded to a stop at the feet of a blue-black skinned woman of ample proportions who stood next to Armond himself.

Marco glanced around and laughed hysterically. “WhooHoo! What a f'ing ride that was!” He cupped her face with both hands and planted a kiss on her lips before she could protest.

Electricity shot through her, and her psi exploded in a wave of pleasure. She pushed off his chest, which left her straddling him. Memories flooded back. They’d always had chemistry, but their psi had never entwined. This was new. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to bolt or stay.

“Sorry, darling.” He held her upper arms, his touch hot and firm. Amusement danced in his brown eyes. “I almost died just now. Kind of glad to be here.”

Sitting on him like this had her body buzzing from his presence. She clambered off in a hurry and stood. “Are you ok?”

“Oh, baby you have no idea. I was running for my life back there, then you just popped right in front of me.” He rolled over and got to his feet facing Armond and the woman, rubbing the small of his back. “Dude, what happened? And who’s this?”

The strange woman said something to Armond in a language Zara had never heard and she’d heard a lot. Her voice was oddly stereophonic. Like two people speaking at once.

Marco shifted his gaze to her, and she fell into those brown eyes. “I just kissed you right? I’m not hallucinating this?”

“Yes, you just kissed me.” She could still feel the press of his lips and the resonance of her psi. “When that thing beeped, Armond touched it and disappeared. Scared me half to death.”

“You left her?” Marco demanded. “Where the hell did you go?”

“It appears the question isn’t where, but when,” Armond said.

Marco eyed Armond and the woman. Something was seriously off. And those weren’t the same clothes Armond had been wearing when he left. The woman rambled on in a strange language, and she had her hand in the crook of Armond’s elbow.

The albino was actually letting her touch him.

“Armond, when did you change your clothes, and who is this?” Marco asked.

“I could ask the same of her.” Armond nodded to Zara, then slid his arm around the waist of the woman in an openly affectionate move.

“What the hells is going on here?” Maybe he hadn’t survived after all and was, in fact, lying dead in that pit-hole back on Sigma. He met Zara’s gaze and she shook her head. He stepped closer to her. If he was dead, and she wasn’t real, he was going to make the most of it. Cupping her face in his hands he kissed her again. Their psi twirled into a sensual mist.

She opened to him for just a moment before shoving him backward. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Reality Check. I figure I must be hallucinating. None of this makes any sense.” And that damn psi thing, what was that?

She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, but it wasn’t an aggressive move. More tender than anything.
He wanted more of that.
“Did we make it?” Ru spoke up from his pocket.
“Dude, almost forgot you.” He pulled out the com.
“You made it,” Zara said smiling. “But we’ve got a little situation here.”
“A situation indeed,” Armond said. “Where are we?”
“Don’t you think we should get out of here before chatting?” Zara asked. “You know, outlanders and all.”
“We’re in outlander territory?” The concern in Armond’s voice was the most bizarre thing.
* * *
Figuring out what the f--- was happening was going to have to wait. Zara was right. He started to head to the bridge, but paused, and faced the Armond and his companion. “Do you know what ship you’re in?”

“This is the No Commitments. Delta class transport ship. One of twenty-three currently owned and operated by the Cavacent Clan, the head of which is Lord Rucon Cavacent, who was responsible for naming the vessel that is primarily yours.”

“And what’s our current passcode?”

“Snow White.”

That wasn’t right. But it was the correct topic. Rucon had a fascination with Earth’s fairy tales and always selected things having to do with them. “What’s the date? Earth date, relative.”

“March 19, 2018.”

“Dude, that’s three months from now.”

“Fascinating. It appears we have arrived from the future. Perhaps a singularity encountered during our jump.”

He didn’t know how, but that was definitely Armond.

He shot a glance at Zara. What was going on with their psi? He bolted for the bridge to set their course back to safer space. He set course to Xycor, and activated the hyperdrive before returning to the galley.

The others were sitting around the table. Zara had made a pot of tea, which Armond was actually drinking. Shit just got more and more crazy. He pulled out a chair, flipped it around, and straddled it next to Zara. He wanted her close. She was speaking animatedly to the woman who’d arrived with Armond.

Ru was propped at an angle on Zara’s com unit.

When he’d been running for his life, it wasn’t Ru or even himself he thought of. It was her. Zara Mancini.

“You’re not going to believe this,” Zara said. She placed her hand over his for a moment, then yanked it back, her eyes widening under furrowed brows. “Sorry.” It was almost a whisper.

“Don’t apologize. Now, someone tell me what’s going on.” He wanted to reach out and take her hand in his, but knew it wouldn’t be welcomed. Not yet.

“First, introductions,” Zara tapped on the table. “This lovely lady is Vin.

“She’s a friend of Armond’s.”

Marco shook her hand, which elicited a giggle from the woman, who spoke again in the strange language.

“What’s so funny?” Marco asked.

“Shaking of the hand,” Armond said. “It is not a custom where she’s from.”

Interesting. “So she’s not from Federation space?”

Vin and Armond shared a look. After she spoke again, Armond replied. “I don’t see any reason not to.”


“Vin can understand us because of this here.” He tapped a colorful device in his ear. “I can understand her the same way, but we can’t speak each other’s language directly as yet. To answer your question, she’s not from our galaxy.”

“Not from our galaxy?” Marco turned to Zara. “Surely this warrants another reality check?” He wanted one, that was for sure.

“Don’t even think about it.”

And then Armond smiled.

And the universe backhanded him upside the head. Armond Nolde smiling? “You’re very different, you know that?”

“I’m sure I am.” He took Vin’s hand and kissed the back of it.

That was it. All the gods had returned to the galaxy and surely the hells had frozen over.

The creative minds of today’s leading SFR authors have joined forces to bring readers 12 amazing, original Science Fiction Romance stories all in one place! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2
You can get your copy at all the usual places.

Sabine grew up consuming Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance novels (there was a brief bodice ripper period, but we won’t go into that).
She wanted to be an astronaut and travel the stars looking for aliens. She ended up an Electrical Engineer and Cultural Anthropologist. She's a geek with heart.
Seriously disappointed we’ve yet to establish so much as a moon base, she’s encouraged by the recent developments by superstars such as Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, among others.
She’s a travel addict, beach-loving, stargazing disruptor.
You can find her here: