Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Care and Keeping of Your Author

We’re all book-lovers here, obviously. Reading is in your blood, you need it to keep you warm and alive. And you naturally have at least one favorite author whose words sing to your soul. The one you buy from not because you like the sound of the blurb, or the look of the cover, but because she’s simply released a new book. She is your author, and she is preorder-worthy!

But, what if, when your author’s latest book arrives on your Kindle, you excitedly open to the first page and see the following words: “If you’re reading this, then Amazon sent you a placeholder, not your book. Please contact Amazon and alert them to this problem, and ask them to send you your book ASAP.” Or you discover that you’ve received a rough draft of the book. Or just the first chapter?

Example of an actual Placeholder from Anna Santos

What happened? What does this mean?

Sadly, it means you, and your author, are the victims of a serious glitch in Amazon’s preorder system.

How did this colossal screw-up happen? Here’s a quick explanation of the book loading process for preorders: 

1.     When your author creates a preorder for her new book, Amazon requires her to upload a file. Any file. It could be your author's shopping list, they just don't care. This temporary file is called the Placeholder File.

2.     Your author must replace the Placeholder File with the final Book File by a specific date prior to the book's release. This date is set by Amazon. 

3.     Amazon will work its techno-magic and distribute the Book File to the preorder readers on release day. The Placeholder File will disappear, presumably into oblivion. In theory.

Here's the problem: Step three has not been consistently happening recently. Somewhere along the line, Amazon's system is failing to replace the Placeholders with the Books, leaving readers with...well, "shopping lists". 

Here's another problem: Readers get pissed (and rightfully so!) and will 1-star the book (not so great!). 

I'm begging you, if you are a reader and this happens to you, please do not 1-star the book! This only hurts your author. The one person who is as pissed as you are, and is fighting for you so you can get the copy of the book you bought and paid for.

But, don’t worry. Here’s what you can do to help your author:

1.     Contact Amazon immediately and let them know about the problem, and that you would very much like to have your book, please.

2.     Send your author an email, post, or PM of support, because she's probably crying and banging her head against her keyboard, because...Amazon.

3.     Once you do get the book and have read it, leave a positive review. This may make your author cry some more, but it'll be for good reasons.

Could your author have failed to upload the final Book File in time? Possibly. It could happen, but it's highly unlikely. There are penalties for that—namely your author's reputation. Also, the abrupt spike in these occurrences points to a system-wide glitch, not a bunch of authors suddenly being lazy.

Fact: 100% of legitimate authors will pull the plug on a project rather than hang their readers out to dry.

Feel free to share this blog! Help educate other readers who may not understand how the system works. So many fabulous authors are being erroneously blamed for something they have no control over, including your author.

(This is a revised edition of a blog I wrote on my personal blog. Why the duplication? Because this. Is. Important!)


USA Today Bestselling Author, Lea Kirk, loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her sci-fi romances. When she’s not busy writing about the blue and green aliens of her Prophecy series, she’s hanging out with her hubby, five kids (the nerd herd), and spoiled Dobie mix puppy.

She is currently working on two short stories and the fourth book in her series.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Getting Back to the Store Front with @WendiZwaduk and @MeganSlayer #paranormalromance

There's a story that's been sticking with me for a while now. I wrote it a couple years ago, but what happens after the book finally decided to show up. Does that happen to you? Tends to happen to me. I think the series is finished and the next story comes along.

I love writing paranormal, but I have to be in a certain frame of mind to do it. That's how I feel with any book I write. I have to be in the mood for it. It probably goes that way without saying with any author.

But I've been itching to get back to the world of the Store Front and the darkened earth in Taken In. Something about the dystopian quality of the story and the complications of living in the Store Front. What do you think? This is the Paranormal Romantics. We love paranormal and we love romance. Would you like to go back to the Store Front with me?  Let me know!

Taken In by Wendi Zwaduk 

M/F/M, Menage, Anal Sex
 Paranormal, Contemporary
Totally Bound

Find what you need at the Store Front. Blood, sex…we have it all just for you.
The supernaturals have taken over the earth, leaving the humans to serve them. The Store Front is one place for the supernaturals to find partners for feeding and sexual needs. Vic, a wolf shifter, and Gale, a vampire, have a special human female they love to visit. They know the bond between them goes far beyond the bedroom, but convincing Kitty the triad should happen might not be so easy.
Kitty longs to leave the Store Front and the total darkness of the earth. The one bright spot in her day is a visit from Gale and Vic. She loves the two supernatural men, even if she can’t voice the words. Do they return her affections on a deeper level or is she just a pawn to them? She’s not sure, but she’s willing to risk her heart and get wild after dark in order to find out.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of anal sex.
Anthology available at Totally Bound:    
Taken In available At Totally Bound:
©Wendi Zwaduk, 2015, All Rights Reserved
“Now there’s our girl.”
Kitty’s attention pricked. She knew that voice. Vic. She glanced up at the doorway. Vic and Gale stood watching her.
“Why do you look so sad, hon?” Vic crossed the room first and offered his hand. “The bastard tried something, didn’t he?”
She drank in Vic’s presence. The tight T-shirt clung to his muscled frame. Although he was in his human form, the power of the wolf showed through. His salt-and-pepper hair glimmered in the light. His blue eyes sparkled as he knelt beside her. She loved how he contrasted Gale’s tall frame.
“I’m okay.” She brushed her hair away from her face and allowed him to pull her to her feet. “He was pushy, but I handled it.” She turned over his wrist. “Ah, you’re here for sex and feeding.”
“Are you pleased?” Gale uncrossed his ankles and left the doorway. He didn’t just walk over to her. He stalked across the room. His gray eyes glowed and a lock of his sandy brown hair slipped over his forehead. His clothes hung on his lanky frame. He embodied the strength and sexuality of a vampire, but without the jackass attitude.
“I am.” She slid her hand into his. “I’ve been waiting on you both. It’s not as fun here without you.”
“Oh?” Vic closed the door and engaged the lock. “I’m honored.”
“You should be,” she replied. She shouldn’t have been snappy with them, but after the nasty vampire, her nerves were shot.
“He fed from you.” Gale caressed her arm. “Left big ass puncture wounds, too. Didn’t he bother to close them?”
“II didn’t look.” She glanced at her wrist. Bright red blood dripped down her arm. Well, shit.
Gale scooped her into his arms. “The bastard.” He carried her to the bed, then plunked her onto his lap. In one slick move, he licked the wounds shut and stopped the bleeding. “He had no right to do this to you.”
“It’s my job,” she managed. Her vision blurred a bit. How much blood had the vampire taken?
“Sleep, little one.” Gale stretched her out on the bed, then cuddled beside her.
Vic slipped between her and the wall. “Recharge. We’re not going anywhere.”
“No?” Her eyelids grew heavy and she fought to stay awake. “Don’t let me die.”
“We won’t,” Gale murmured. He tore into his wrist, allowing a rivulet of blood to dribble onto her lips. “Take some of mine and sleep.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sensitivity Readers

A new term has popped up on the publishing landscape—sensitivity reader. These are different from beta readers who scrutinize a manuscripts for content, grammar, and flow prior to publication. Sensitivity readers, however, are specialized. They concentrate on cultural inaccuracies, representation issues, bias, stereotypes, or problematic language and their voices are increasingly heard in literature meant for juveniles.

Recently, news hit the publishing world of a young adult novel

pulled shortly before publication because of perceived slights and cultural biases. Prior to this, the author of Blood Heir, Amélie Wen Zhao, had hit the publishing jackpot. After winning a Twitter pitch she scored a six–figure book deal for a YA trilogy, a culturally diverse retelling of Anastasia with magical elements. Princess Anastacya’s father was murdered and she lives in secrecy because she shares the arcane talents of the enslaved Affinites. The pre-publication buzz was strong with good reviews and then the Twitter hit the fan.

Certain Twitter accounts with large followers accused Zhao of racial insensitivity. It blew up into a storm with people taking both sides, but was the criticism justified? Among the complaints is that a black girl was rescued from the slave trade and subsequently died so that the white protagonist could live. However, according to those who read the book and the author herself, the character is only described as having blue eyes and either tan or coppery skin with dark curly hair. I have a Greek friend who fits that description just fine.

An additional criticism concerns the portrayal of slavery, but Zhao, who was born in China and raised in Europe explained, “Affinite indenturement…represents a specific critique of the epidemic of indentured labor and human trafficking prevalent in many industries across Asia, including in my own home country. The narrative and history of slavery in the United States is not something I can, would, or intended to write, but I recognize that I am not writing in merely my own cultural context.”

The United State is not the only country that has had to deal with the stain of slavery. Europe, Africa, and Asia have had slave histories that were longer than and as torturous as ours, but, unlike the rest of the world we still deal with the dark aftereffects. Perhaps, that also affects the ability of sensitivity readers. Do they read from one cultural perspective without being able to see Zhao’s point of view? I don’t know the answer. The result of this criticism is that Zhao issued an apology for any unintended offense and asked Delacorte, to pull the book. Delacorte put Blood Heir on hold, but stated they were open to publishing the book in the future. Perhaps there will be rewrites and a new publication date, so that the rest of us can see what all the fuss was about.

I didn’t read the book, so can’t answer the question why were there so many positive advance reviews and things changed so suddenly when criticism from a few caused a Twitter storm. Blood Heir isn’t the first book to be pulled pre-publication date. In 2016 the release of the YA novel The Continent was stopped when online reviews criticized portrayals of people of color. In that case the book was reedited and released with numerous changes. Last month, Sourcebooks stopped the release of the YA historical novel, A Place for Wolves by Kosovo Jackson for depictions of the Kosovo War, genocide, and Muslim characters. The future of the book is undetermined.

Is all this brouhaha just censorship or do sensitivity readers fill a need? Sure they do. We need fair and equal representations of diverse characters in books. When writing from another person’s cultural perspective, especially a minority, it helps to have an unbiased opinion from someone in the know. This isn’t censorship but compassion and common sense. Considering the feelings of others won’t thwart an author’s ability to tell a compelling story, but, hopefully make it more engaging for all readers.

L. A. Kelley writes science fiction and fantasy adventures with humor romance and a touch of sass. She enjoys smacking insensitive people upside the head. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

NATURE Vs NURTURE by Nancy Gideon

While writing my post for IWSG this month about which I preferred writing, the hero or the villain, I opened my own personal can of worms about the characters I love to create. I’m a dark hero kind of gal. No surprise. But all dark makes for a pretty grim pallet. It’s those shades of gray and glimpses of silver linings that make tough guys into heroes.

When I started writing my “House of Terriot” series, featuring heroes who were deadly, damaged and delicious, my four princely brothers where all over the black/white spectrum. Hardened by their horrific upbringing under the brutal rule of their tyrannical/mad father, spoiled by privilege, rank and wealth, having to fight each other for his attention, their place, and often their lives, they could have easily taken the villainous route some of their siblings chose. While clan and honor drove each of the four, those shaded mid-tones shaped each of them very differently. 

Nature vs Nurture played an important role as each had a different mother, giving them individual goals, flaws, and needs. The females they chose for their mates molded them into the heroes they’d each become. They’d been character sketched in PRINCE OF SHADOWS and UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS, books in the “By Moonlight” series, following their brother/king Cale Terriot from Lake Tahoe to New Orleans: Turow, the silent, relentless tracker; Colin, the hunky, cynical politician; Rico, frivolous and impulsive; and Kip, the baby of the family, who valued brain over brawn. Taking those broad strokes, what fun I had creating the circumstances, and the heroines, who would shape them into swoon-worthy males – in ways most of them would never have seen coming!

In PRINCE OF HONOR, I gave the painfully shy and fiercely loyal Turow a traitorous bad girl he’d secretly loved since childhood to defend against both her own nature and his family and king, forcing him for the first time to take a stand for himself instead of following the direction of others. Sylvia’s sharp, self-preserving edges and unapologetic passions softened his solid planes, the weaknesses she concealed bringing out his protective instincts.
Colin, the playboy in PRINCE OF POWER, hid his guilt and grief over the deaths of his step-father and brothers and estrangement from the mother who blamed and disowned him behind his wry sarcasm until meeting his match in the love-em-and use-em Mia Guedry, heir to a rival clan, his equal in sexual politics and the drive to compensate for their painful isolation.


In ‘love’ with his brother’s mate, devil-may-care Rico, the PRINCE OF FOOLS, finds himself on the doorstep of a secretive woman with a preteen daughter who tempts him with the vision of love and family he’s never had, their violent past forcing him to step up into the role of hero with a cause. For Amber James, it was love at first smile, but she fears the flighty Terriot prince can’t be counted on to stick around once he discovers her tragic past. 

Of all his brothers, only Christopher “Kip” Terriot has the perfect family life (or so he thinks), keeping him grounded and focused on what’s important, until this PRINCE OF DREAMS falls for the female he’s asked to betray. Psychic Ophelia Brady sees a match written in the stars with her handsome prince, but knows he’s just using her to get to her corrupt father. Family both draws them together and pushes them apart when forced to choose which fate to follow.

Struggling with the weight of dark deeds done at the direction of their father, when the four princes take a bold step to stand behind brother Cale when he deposes the terrorizing despot, their search to find a new purpose and a place for themselves uniting their clans and finding their happily-ever-afters isn’t easy, but heroes forged by fire, in my mind, are always the best kind. 

The Terriots will return in RISE BY MOONLIGHT, my current WIP, the final book of the 15-book series. You have time to catch up before it’s released later this year!

I like my heroes flavored the way I like my coffee – rich, deep, complex and strong. How about you?

Nancy Gideon on the Web

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Empty Chair by Francesca Quarto

Fernella  Osborne was a stiff woman.  Wealth guaranteed her place in society, that is, the strata of society where she existed.  It was only by sheer happenstance that she had to deal with the likes of me.  I'm as far removed from the rarefied air breathed into her Patrician nose, as Moses was from being a true Egyptian!
It was my reputation among the local coppers working in this gritty town, that brought me in front of her cold, blue eyes.  Consulting successfully on many unusual cases, gave me a certain credibility when it came to dealing with the inexplainable, or in my words, the paranormal.  The case of Mrs. Osborne's missing husband, fell neatly into that box of mysteries, so they called me in.
Living in the Bowery District of  New York City, wandering its twisting, fetid streets after sundown, is part of my work.  I don't need much sleep and in my profession, that's just as well, since closing my eyes in the dark isn't a great idea, if you take my meaning. 
The particulars of the Osborne case were chasing around in my brain as I wandered toward the Flatbush Cemetery last night around eleven.  It was the closest one to the Osborne residence, so I figured that was the place I needed to visit.
 I started out, after a lengthy interview with Mrs. O, monitored by Captain Paddy O'Rourke, my buddy from the Fifth Precinct.  He didn't want me upsetting the lady I suppose, slipping in a few words like 'necromancer' or 'possessed' into my conversation.
It seems old man Osborne, described as a portly man in his late fifties, had been enjoying a late night brandy with his wife, sitting in front of a cozy fire in his study.  Mrs. 'O' must said she must have dosed off, with the effect of warmth of the fireplace and the exceptional brandy.
When she opened her eyes, her husband no longer sat across from her in their compatible silence.  The distraught lady described how she looked around, calling his name several times, before rising and approaching his vacant seat  That's when she spotted something extraordinary, in her spotless home.
She discovered piles of sooty-gray ash on the brocade cushion of the seat, on the foot-stool where his slippered feet rested, and around the floor, surrounding the empty chair.
I eyeballed these in silence, not wanting to give away my suspicions.  Ms. O. assured me, she'd have them swept up as soon as I left the premises.  The sight was "most disconcerting," she told me.
I left in a hurry, making my way to the one place I knew I'd find answers.
When I pulled open the heavy, wrought iron gate to the cemetery, I already had a theory of what had befallen the Steel Magnate.  Spontaneous Combustion!  I was only going through a few formalities, to confirm my conclusion.   I thought visiting the shadow-filled graveyard, was going to be a short visit, resulting in a quick resolution to the man's disappearance.
Even a sleeping city has its sounds.  But here, in the gloomy confines of Flatbush Cemetery. they were muted, like screams muffled by a soft pillow,
I walked toward the farthest vault in the sea of gravestones, towering angels and crosses.  I spotted a slender shaft of light painting the stairs leading up to the remote tomb.  
I was as silent as a hunting cat, climbing the wide, stone steps.  Even the leather of my shoes, didn't creak to announce my presence.  Pulling the wooden door wider, produced an unwelcome screech, but I wasn't overly concerned.  She already knew I was there.
"You left Mrs. Osborne in quite a state!  The coppers suspect kidnapping, but I guess it's more like a case of burn and snatch!"
The shade of Charles Osborne had been reclining peacefully on top of a stone sarcophagus when I entered.  His corpulent body was well-defined in the scant moonlight filtering into the tomb.  Uncrossing his hands from where they lay on his round mid-section, he sat up, smiling fiendishly.
"This one is mine, Ghost Hunter!  He burned hot and long for me and is proving a most comfortable fit for my continued possession.  He's no good to you, nor his portly wife.  Leave me now!"
"You know I can't do that Lucy, dear.  The fact that you keep snatching bodies is bad enough, but now you're causing fires to consume otherwise healthy people!"
I talked like a Dutch Uncle to the dead brothel Madame,  until she finally gave in, stepping out of the ghost body of Charles Osborne.  I was going to report back to Mrs. O that her husband died from the exposure to the fireplace flames, by his toxin-riddled body.  Sounded scientific enough and she'd be none- the-wiser.
My pal, O'Rourke, would suspect paranormal activity, but not ask any questions.  He really didn't want the kind of answers I had for him.
I was walking back through the graveyard when I felt a sudden stabbing pain in my back.  I reached around, my hand closing on a long, cold shaft, just below my left shoulder.  The stone Guardian Angel next to me, stood empty handed.
I heard Lucy say, "This just got easier, Ghost Hunter!"
I knew I was a dead man, but I couldn't let this succubus consume my spirit for her own use.  I'd been messing with her for years now, interfering with her schemes of seduction and possession.  Old man Osborne probably fell for her, when she came to him in her sultry body form.
I had to act fast if I was going to save myself from death and control by this beautiful demon.
Seconds from proving I'm mortal, I called out to old-man Osborne's spirit.  I figured he'd be hanging around the gravestones, looking for a place to rest.  He came to my rescue, smashing the stone lance to bits.  Grabbing the desirable female spirit by her slim neck, he dragged her back to the crypt where I'd found them.  I heard the heavy door slam shut, the bolt sliding into place from outside.
"Oh, you ain't gonna like this lady!  Locked for eternity with the old fat guy is not what you expected."
I left the dead to the dead and closed the gate to Flatbush Cemetery.  There was a new sound added to the night noise that my super tuned ears picked out.
  The sound of sobs and laughter.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Why Write (or Read) Romance?

With a handful of decades reading romance and now 10 years of writing it behind me, the question I still get asked most often is why romance?

For a long time, I would blush or joke it off. I spent years hiding the covers when I read in public (although Kindle has helped with that lol). But honestly, I am proud to both write and read this genre. I don't blush or stammer any more, but proudly proclaim my love for romance.

Even then, I still have some stock answers for folks depending on the way the question is asked. Here are my top 4:

It's my chances to put a little happiness in a world that has way too much of the opposite.
I can hardly stand to turn on the news these days. It is a rare thing that the stories don't display a world in chaos filled with hate and violence. By writing romance--stories inherently about HOPE--I am taking the creativity God gifted me with and putting a little happiness back into the world. Out of curiosity, what are you doing to make this a better place?

It makes me happy.
I write and read romance because it...wait for it...makes me happy. I love the interaction between the characters and their growth on the page. I love seeing how finding love makes them happy. And, again, I love the HOPE. For dragon shifters and cowboys and billionaires and nerds and outgoing people and shy people and people who are hurting alike, the opportunity is out there. Immersing myself in things that turn out beautiful and lovely is a wonderful way to spend some hours.

Why not? Why aren't you reading it?
Love is at the center of all relationships (or it should be). It's at the center of making babies (or it should be). It's not a female-only past time (guys do feel something other than lust, I hope). And it's not just escapism for women. Not when mysteries and action/thrillers are also out there. I don't see most men running around beating up bad guys and solving crimes. Just saying.

So if these books are about hope and reflecting something that everyone on this planet has the capability to experience, and most have a wish to experience it (traditional forms or not), then why not? Please explain to me why more people don't read romance? Maybe if more people did, this would be a happier, more hopeful world than it currently is.

Finally... The voices in my head won't shut up, so I give their mouths something to do. ;)
Come on. You always suspected writers were crazy. I'm just're right. To sit in front of a computer for hours/weeks/months/days/years torturing myself and my characters isn't exactly an easy task. Even so, I love what I do, and the people I get to meet because I do this, and the happiness it brings. So I guess I'll continue to sing the praises of love and romance to anyone who asks.

Writers and readers alike, what are some reasons YOU love to write/read romance?

**Image linked directly from

Monday, March 18, 2019

What to Read by Elizabeth Alsobrooks

I read every day. Often, I read all day long, mostly professionally, less often for pure pleasure. I also write every day. At the very least, I write a dozen emails every day, and write information text, fiction, and meeting minutes and notes for research. So why is it I have such a hard time finding something fun and interesting and entertaining to read (as in I don’t have to edit this, just enjoy it), or to write about? So today I am writing about finding something good to read.

I read a blog that said the purpose of reading is to enrich your life, gain knowledge, get value by improving the quality of your life—not just to read for the sake of reading. Apparently they don’t read the label on cereal boxes or the text on magazines in the checkout line. That blogger’s take on reading set some lofty goals indeed, I’m sure, but as a fiction writer and someone who already read through thirteen years of college edification, I feel enabled to read just for fun if I damn well please. Literary fiction with a moral thermometer stuck up its bum is fine upon occasion but reading for entertainment and to escape social realism and politically correct fakeness, as in the intended bride in Eddie Murphy's Coming to America, "whatever you want, whatever you like," can be quite empowering in itself, not to mention a huge stress reliever.

So decide what you’re in the current mood to read, and here are a few ways to go about finding what you’re looking for, especially if you’re not looking to read a darker shade of what you just finished reading. People swear by such search tools as amazon’s lists, and their what else people who liked this product purchased feature.  There is the What Should I Read Next search engine, where you literally type in your favorite book of the type you currently seek and it will give you some similar picks. There is also StumbleUpon, that provides you with web pages you might like. You can read book blogs, book review sites, searching for the type of books you like that are being reviewed. Goodreads is a good source. Join a group that’s reading the type of book you are interested in and get some first-hand recommendations and opinions.

Once you generate some book lists, go to amazon or some other book site and read the blurb, to get the gist of the story-line. If that catches your attention I strongly recommend using the look inside feature and reading the sample. Nothing is more frustrating than hating the author’s voice or their chosen point of view and use of narration. I actually read a novel that I like, though it was in first person and that’s not my favorite narrative tense. However, when I got the sequel, the tense and writing style was so annoying that though I read almost halfway through (I’m a fast reader) hoping the story would capture my attention I just hated it and set it aside. The book was on the bestseller list. It was a sequel to a book I enjoyed, but I hated, hated, hated it. I actually no longer cared about either of the main characters and found myself hoping they’d get killed off to put me out of my misery. Should I have read the free sample even though I’d read the first book? Duh! Never again. Though that has never happened to me before, I learned my lesson and this was a big publishing company so the kindle was nearly 12 bucks! [When did paperbacks get cheaper than the digital version?]

So, buyer beware and read on! Read for edification, enrichment, or just good old-fashioned entertainment! Bottom line? Read what makes you happy!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

You can take the girl out of South Carolina, but I’m not certain you can ever take South Carolina out of the girl’s heart. I was born and raised in the red clay of a smaller town in the South Carolina Foothills.  Anderson is about halfway between Atlanta to the South and Greenville/Spartanburg to the North on I-85. Most people drive by never knowing it is there except for the highway signs. Or at least this used to be true.  Now Lake Hartwell ensures people stop for a day of swimming, boating, or sunbathing on the sandy beaches of the lake.  These beaches are manmade, hauling tons of sand to dump over the red dirt.

My favorite city, perhaps in the world, is Charleston.  Charles Towne as it was originally called was founded in 1685 by Charles II of England.  I’ve always had a special place in my imagination for this interesting monarch. Image result for Charles II jpg freeOld Rowley sired many a bastard but never an heir to the throne.  Now famous for its rows of pastel houses and the famous homes facing the Atlantic on the Battery, Charles Towne once was the essence of its founder.  I set one novel in Charleston, and this charming city always seems to infiltrate every one since in some way.

My favorite Charleston artist is Jim Booth, and I own his works of The Storm and Night Before the Storm which represents the Battery during Hurricane Hugo in 1989.  There were 27 fatalities of this storm in South Carolina alone. I visited Charleston months after Hugo hammered the coastal town, and the destruction was heartbreaking.

The Dock Street Theater, first theater in Anerica

Charleston is rich in history.  In 1861, the first shot in the Civil War was fired in the Battle of Fort Sumter.  Confederate troops under Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard fired on Fort Sumter and the U.S Army retaliated.

South Carolina also boasts Myrtle Beach, an entertainment mecca both for its beach and its carnival-like atmosphere, and Hilton Head of golf fame.

Whether you like the mountains or the beach, South Carolina offers visitors and residents alike southern grace and charm coupled with modern industry, for example, the BMW plant in Spartanburg.

Until last April when I returned to SC, I lived in Texas and love the Lone Star State.  I love Bluebonnets, drives in the beautiful Hill Country, and Blue Belle ice cream from Brenheim (about 2 hours from Houston).  If I’d lived in Brenheim or the Hill Country, I might have stayed, but then again, perhaps not.

In my heart of hearts, I am still a South Carolinian.  The state motto is While I breathe I hope. And with that thought I’ll leave you to make travel plans to beautiful South Carolina.

The book set in Charleston is Sinners’ Opera, the hero of which is Morgan D’Arcy, an English lord, a concert pianist…and a vampire.  My latest release isn’t set in Charleston, but it stars Morgan in a collection of short stories chronicling his romantic adventures over the centuries.  Morgan D'Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Wild Rose Press as well as other quality book sites, it is available in paperback, audio and eBook.

After you’ve booked your travel, curl up with Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody and take a stroll through history.  Reviewers have called Morgan:

 “…Morgan…is a tour de force of egotism, wit, sensuality, and talent…” ~Author Toni V. Sweeney
 “Morgan D’Arcy is a class act and the most arresting vampire I’ve ever encountered in literature or films.” ~ Historical and Paranormal Romance Author Beth Trissel

Blurb:  The greatest enemy of a vampire is boredom. Four centuries of existence have taught Lord Morgan Gabriel D'Arcy to fear nothing and no one. Humans and their weapons have little chance against his preternatural speed and arcane powers. Vampires are viral mutations of human DNA. Still, the Vampyre code requires secrecy, and he has learned to hide his nature from the world. The lure of mortality, of a life in the sun, puts Morgan again and again at the mercy of calculating human women though they fail to consider his charm and determination into the equation. However, even grooming a future bride from infancy proves to be fraught with heartbreak. And second chances are not always what they seem unless... you are Morgan. Immortality and beauty, aren’t they grand?

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Twitter: - @Lnightingale
Web Site: – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.
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Happy Thursday, everyone!