Sunday, August 29, 2021

Out August 31st ~ Serving the Wicked by Wendi Zwaduk @wendizwaduk @totally_bound #contemporary #PNR #bdsmromance #romance #hotread

  Out August 31st and just in time for Halloween reading....

Serving the Wicked by Wendi Zwaduk

Book three in the Refuge series

Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal Erotic Romance

M/F, BDSM, Anal Sex, Spanking

From Totally Bound Publishing


A scared human plus a vampire with a secret. Things could be better, but they could be a lot worse.

Raine can’t remember time before the darkness. She’s a human in a paranormal world where humans are a commodity, not people, and she’s been abused by the vampires. When she ends up at the slave auction, she fears her nightmare will never end.

Enter Casey. He’s part vampire, part Fae, dangerous and only has eyes for Raine. He saw her at the BDSM club before she entered the vampire slave world and he swore he’d rescue her. He buys her the instant he sees her on the stage. The innocence in her eyes, combined with the sweetness in her soul calls to him. He wants her to serve him in the bedroom and be his partner everywhere.

She’s been hurt, and he’s a born protector. Can they make the attraction last and turn it into something eternal or will the fear win out?


Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, fighting and death, as well as references to forced sex and feeding from humans.


Available 8/31 from Totally Bound Publishing


Now for an excerpt:

©WendiZwaduk, 2021, All Rights Reserved

“You’re an odd vampire. Most every other one I’ve known wants me for dinner. Either you don’t because you’re weird or you’re lulling me into liking you so I’ll give in. If you are, you don’t have to make me like you. I’ll give in. I know the rules because you bought me. Remember?”

“Why don’t you shower and maybe get some sleep? I won’t kill or drain you.” He wanted her to trust him, but he didn’t want compliancy. Not yet and not outside of the bedroom. He liked her fire and the spunk he’d seen at the club.

“I don’t have much of a choice,” she said. “May I have this?”

“The wine? Of course.” He poured himself a glass of merlot. “Let’s drink to your freedom and new home.”

She stared at him, and he couldn’t read her expression. Wary? Confused? He wasn’t sure.

Casey sipped his wine. “Feel free to use whatever’s in the bathroom. I have no secrets from you.” Not many.

Her eyes widened again, and her lips parted. “You scare me.” She drank the wine in one gulp, then coughed.

Good merlot should be sipped—not gulped. But he hadn’t gone two days without food. “Why do I scare you?”

She shrugged out of his coat. “Because I can’t tell what you’re thinking or what you want from me.”

“Oh?” His previous girl had said he’d telegraphed every move.

“I don’t know what you want and I can’t figure out if you’re telling me the truth.” She left the stool. “I’d like that shower, though, please?”

He kept getting her right to the edge of opening up when she shut down again. Soon, he’d know her secrets, and she’d know his. He led her to the set of rooms along the back of the house. “In here. I’ve got towels, soap and anything you need in the drawers.”

“Even a flat iron?”

She’d volleyed a challenge. Nice. He liked her spirit. “If you want.” He turned the water on in the open stall. “I’ll leave you to your shower.”

“You can watch. I haven’t showered in ages.” She removed her filthy dress. “I used to have guards so I wouldn’t run away. I don’t know what it’s like to have privacy.”

Lomax used guards? Interesting. Casey spied the lines on her back. Lashings? “Were you whipped?”

She shuddered and didn’t turn around “I was told I deserved it.”

He touched the silvery scars. He remembered when he’d seen her at the club, she’d gotten off on being flogged, but not to the point of bloodletting. What she’d been through was abuse. She flinched when he touched her again.

“I’m sorry.” He pressed a kiss to her shoulder. “I’ll never do anything like this to you ever.”

She tensed, but didn’t pull away. “Uh-huh.”

Soon, she’d give him her trust, and he’d prove not all vampires were evil. He wasn’t a nice man—more a son of a bitch—but not with her. She could be his salvation, and he refused to screw that up. 


Friday, August 27, 2021

Three Act Story Structure by L. A. Kelley

Most writers have come across Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, probably the best known story structure. Campbell's journey has 17 stages divided into three parts: separation, initiation and return. Christopher Vogler modified it to make 12 stages that broke down into easily understandable segments such as the Call to Adventure followed by the Refusal to the Call followed by Meeting the Mentor. Despite the simplification, this arrangement can be intimidating with too many details to consider. After all, not everyone wants to write a grand epic. But if a guideline still appeals, consider a more streamlined approach with the Three Act Story Structure.

The Three Act Story Structure is just like it says, the story is divided into the three parts consisting of a Setup, Confrontation, and Resolution.

Part 1: Setup


The exposition contains the set-up or enough details for the world to make sense to the reader. Think of it as where the world is ‘explained’. Science fiction and fantasy might have more initial setup. If you’re writing science fiction on a space station, you need to make certain the reader knows the location isn’t Earth. A romantic fiction set in modern times would require less description to set the tone that the heroine works in an office in New York City. Avoid a massive info dump. Details should be sprinkled throughout and not shoveled on the reader in paragraph after paragraph. Rules of behavior should also be introduced. Readers should quickly gain a sense of the characters’ temperaments.

Inciting Incident

This sets the story in motion and introduces Plot Point One. The hero or heroine meets a challenge. For science fiction it could be an alien invasion. For a fiction it might be a job loss that shakes up the protagonist’s life. Either way, this marks the start of the main characters’ physical, mental, or emotion journey.

Part 2: Confrontation

Rising Action

The second part (and the meat of the story) contains the Rising Action. The story's true stakes become clear; our heroine has her first encounters with enemies and allies. The challenges and pitfalls become defined.


An event that upends the protagonist’s mission. It introduces other challenges and generally involves a large setback, either physically, emotional, or intellectually (or all three.)

Plot Point Two

After the conflict in the midpoint, the protagonist needs to regroup, reexamine, or reattack. The protagonist is definitely tested and failure is most certainly an option. Doubts arise concerning success. Is it possible with the resources at hand?

It’s important to note that Part 2 may occur more than once as the protagonist overcomes challenges and meets new ones.

 Part 3: Resolution

Pre Climax

The lowest of the low points. In a last ditch effort, the protagonist overcomes obstacles and takes decisive action. Failure is still an option


The final confrontation between protagonist and antagonist and the ultimate resolution.


Tie up those loose ends and detail the consequences of the climax. How has the status quo changed? And any happily ever after should be obvious to the reader.

L. A. Kelley writes science fiction and fantasy adventures with humor, romance, and a touch of sass. Her life is a three act story structure stuck on denouement.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Last chance to sink your teeth into a S*A*L*E! RISE BY MOONLIGHT ONLY $.99! by Nancy Gideon

“You’ve only got Two Days!”

I always loved that ominous commercial warning of time rapidly ticking down, urging you into hyper-speed if you wanted to take advantage of the savings. Here’s your warning if you haven’t picked up a copy of RISE BY MOONLIGHT, the final book in my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal series!

Here’s a taste to whet your . . . hunger for more . . .

He felt her before gates opened onto the long drive leading to their gracefully crumbling plantation house. Her essence teased up his nose, stirring his awareness like a smooth stone dropping into a still, deep pond. Ripples of warmth and desire spread outward in eager little shivers. She was home, and everything calmed in his complicated world.

Max waited, still as the heavy antique furnishings, a tall indistinguishable shape teased out by flames from the low parlor fire as the front door opened. With a brisk staccato on marble tiles, her silhouette hurried by, then the tap of heels paused, backtracking until Charlotte Caissie framed the doorway the way she did his life, with her strength, proud stature and shrewd intuition. A smile flashed with her welcoming, “Hi.”

His reply rumbled, a rough caress. “Welcome home, sha. How was your day?” Simple domestic comments steeped in an intimacy that relaxed the taut line of her shoulders.

“Same ole, same ole.” She entered the room with her long, confident stride, crossing to him as an end rather than a means to the rest of that day. Her fingertips brushed over the bristle of evening stumble on his cheek on their way to cup the back of his dark head, drawing him down for a slow, reassuring exchange as vital to both their lives as oxygen.

Separately, the unlikely couple walked a parallel line of complications both tried not to cross. He was a criminal turned business powerhouse ruling a clan of shapeshifters threatened with extermination, she a fiercely determined detective sworn to protect a very different kind of citizen from a deadly truth about to overtake them. Though their paths were different, they led to the same end . . . to this house, this moment, and ultimately, to the survival of those they loved.

Max feared for her, not because she was weaker, but because she was his. Just, as she would ferociously claim he was hers. Two parts of the same whole now that they were a bonded pair. But those two parts would soon become a trio. They’d never had any kind of normal family life growing up. But their child, he vowed every time he glanced at that ever-increasing midsection, would be different, fiercely loved, protected, spared the isolation and fear that had shaped both parents. Max would do anything to see that dream to fruition.


 RISE BY MOONLIGHT was my favorite . . . and the most heartbreaking book of my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter books because it’s the last of 15. Debuting in 2010 with MASKED BY MOONLIGHT, these continuing characters have been part of my writing life for the last 15 years and as the song goes, it’s so hard to say good-bye.

The good news is that that I’ve just gotten the rights back to Books 4-8 in the series (S&S wouldn’t return the first three - Masked, Chased and Captured - because of a poorly worded contract loophole that slipped past my then agent. Sigh.) I’m going to work on reissuing those five titles as soon as my thoughts return to business after three weeks in Ireland (Yes, my next post will be c/o the Emerald Isle!!).

Until then, Slainte!
Nancy Gideon on the Web

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Sydney Winward A Breath of Sunlight


Don’t show compassion for men. Never save a man’s life. And no matter what, never fall in love with someone you must ultimately kill. But some rules are meant to be broken, even if it means risking your life by betraying your valkyrie sisters.

The plan was simple—attack the Pits, kill the male slaves, save the women. But when Skaja runs into a fae man she can’t kill, she instead breaks all the rules to save him.

Prince Calle was sold into slavery by his jealous brother, and he would do anything to taste freedom again, even put his trust in a dangerous valkyrie. To protect his people and gain the throne, he and Skaja must trust each other. But neither of them expected trust to turn into something more, and the cost of love has a much steeper price than either of them anticipated.


Calle gasped and shot up into a sitting position. He clawed at his throat to remove the boot, but instead of finding a rough leather boot, he touched soft, warm skin.

“Shh,” Skaja soothed as she touched his hands, his face, his hair. “It was only a bad dream.”

Her face finally came into focus in the darkness. Pinched, concerned brows. Pursed lips. Hair falling across her forehead.

He shook his head, suddenly aware of the perspiration that clung to his skin. His back ached where he’d been whipped. His throat still burned for air. The slave brand on his forearm rippled with heat. “N-n-no. It w-w-wasn’t a d-d-dream.”

“It was,” she said in a soothing tone, and for the first time since they’d met, her eyes were kind and gentle. Her fingers stroked either side of his hair. She was touching him… And not just an uncertain, awkward touch. A compassionate caring lingered in her caress, and he couldn’t help but lean into her hand. 

She stilled.

“Please don’t stop,” he whispered.

A pause. But then her fingers continued their exploration. Her light touch skimmed his hair, his eyebrows, his nose, his cheekbones. They hesitantly touched his earlobe before she more daringly traced the shape of his long, pointed ear. 

His heart slowed into something calmer. Something safer. The fear in his soul settled to the bottom of a clear, placid lake. The pain in his back and throat ebbed. The burn on his forearm died slowly like a waning fever.

He breathed in Skaja’s scent of jasmine and cool midnight skies and breathed out a river of calm. She was right. It was only a dream.

Yet, it had felt so real.

A flash of darkness passed across his mind, and as if he once again found himself in the deep ravine of the Pits, his hands began trembling. Skaja’s gentle touch trailed from his ear, to his shoulder, down his arm, before she clasped his hand. Her touch felt so good. Like a breath of sunlight after being caged in the darkness for so long.

Universal Buy Link for A Breath of Sunlight:

What’s Next on the Horizon?

I’ve been hard at work on my Sunlight and Shadows series. Book 2 is taking waaaayy longer than I originally expected it to, but I can happily say…the first draft is done! Woohoo! I’m anticipating a release date around January 2022, or maybe earlier to avoid the book releasing around when my baby is due <3 

Here is the teaser for the cover!

Also, be on the lookout for A Waltz with Lord Death, coming hopefully by the end of the year with The Wild Rose Press.

About the Author

Sydney Winward is a fantasy and paranormal romance author who dabbles in the occasional historical fiction. She loves building complex worlds filled with magic, strong characters, and emotional stories that can make you laugh and cry.

Sydney is the author of The Bloodborn Series, and when she’s not writing, she’s reading, thinking about stories, or going on adventures with her children. She lives in Utah with her husband, two amazing kids, and one stubborn fish. 

Get in Touch

Social Media Links





Monday, August 23, 2021

Lost Things by Julie Howard


I’m not sure why I feel the urge to write on this topic. However, it’s eating at me and I KNOW I must resurrect some of the things gone missing over time. Maybe all these items have joined forces and are clamoring to be found. If you’re following this blog, you likely believe much in life is unseen.

So here’s my list:


-       My old dog’s youthful puppy days. Patch is a 14-year-old sheltie and the sweetest, gentlest creature. I “rescued” him when he was six months old from a family that just couldn’t cope with all they had going on in life and Patch was sorely neglected. He’s been my companion on miles and miles of walks over the years and my constant friend through the writing of ten books. These days, my little friend sleeps most of the day and arthritis keeps him pretty homebound. But he still has quality of life, though his world has grown smaller. He’s asleep at my side as I write and I hope he’s dreaming of those puppy days.

-       A single pearl earring. I have a number of single earrings – with their pair gone missing over the years – and cannot bring myself to toss them away. The pearl earring is one given to me thirty years ago to wear at my wedding. I have a feeling the other one was eaten by the vacuum cleaner. Several houses and two states later, I am still hopeful it will magically reappear. Darn!

-       Years and years of time wasted sleeping. Isn’t sleep the weirdest thing? Scientists still don’t have an understanding of why we need to sleep or what happens in our unconscious minds. There’s the theory, of course, that our minds need to rest but, again, scientist don’t understand why that would be the case. The older I get, the less I want to sleep. Just think of all the things I could do if I gained an extra 7-8 hours a day. Instead, that time is lost. I find myself fighting against falling asleep these days, not wanting to let go of consciousness.

-       So many great ideas – gone! Ever been in the middle of something and a great thought flashes through your mind? Of course, you think, there’s no way you’d forget such an amazing idea – but distractions whittle it away and it vanishes.

-       And finally, unreasonably, I regret the loss of past centuries. So many amazing people have lived and passed. Pristine lakes fouled, forests burned or harvested. Can you imagine how stunning the Great Sphinx would appear newly constructed and with its nose still on, the vast Great Plains teeming with buffalo, the silence of the world before cars, planes and phones? I don’t mean I want to live in the past; I mean it would be lovely to open a door and step into past times, to keep all things with us always.

I’d love to hear your addition to this list. If you could open a door to visit any time or any lost thing, what would be behind that door?

Thanks for reading!

Julie Howard's latest book is Spirit in Time, which appropriately is a time-travel historical fiction. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

How to Come Up with Story Ideas by Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Ideas come in many forms and in many ways. Any activity, even idle time, is an opportunity to let your imagination loose. One such think time came today when I was at the dentist [Yes, you instantly conjured plenty of horrific images, didn’t you?]. With nothing to do but ignore random questions asked while your mouth is too full of dental equipment to answer, getting your teeth cleaned is a perfect time to brainstorm.

I have often gathered story ideas while doing mindless chores like dishes or vacuuming, dusting, or sweeping. Today I was thinking about the fact that it’s time to write my annual horror story, and while not quite as infamous as a barber’s chair, a dentist’s chair can also spark ideas. I mean, I personally maimed the dental hygienist a number of times in the first ten minutes. She didn’t of course know about it as she scraped, polished, and flossed away.

It may seem rather obvious, but how many people make a conscious effort to discipline their mind to transfer situational anxiety into imaginative what-if’s? Not only does it make you forget your emotional reaction to certain events (from fear of heights in a glass elevator to standing in a long line), including boredom (depending on your comfort and the technician’s talent), but it makes much better use of your time.

Writers with deadlines must often come up with a series of ideas in a short period of time, often in between getting them down on paper in story form. Making good use of ‘wasted’ time, is a valuable technique from which everyone can benefit.

There has been a lot written about how fear can prohibit creativity, but perhaps a more useful discussion is how one can transfer fear to others, because let’s face it if it scares you it scares plenty of other people too. If not, you can come up with reasons and examples for the reader to suddenly look at things in a different, more terrified, way.

So the next time you have some ‘wasted’ time on your hands, think big!


Monday, August 16, 2021

Character Motivation

Recently I've been working on two different novels. Partly because I do better when I can jump from one project to another when I get to a writing roadblock that requires some thinking through, and partially because figuring out a character's motivation can be tricky (which means if you've got a multiple POV story like me, there's a whole lot of motivations you've got to figure out). 

Everyone wants something, right? 

We want caffeine when we first wake up, so we crawl out of bed to go find it. Around lunchtime, we want to eat because we're hungry. At night, we're tired, so we make our way back to our cozy beds and go to sleep. 

Not all character motivations have to be super dramatic (even though those are fun too). 

These lesser exciting motivations can easily belong to the secondary characters that populate our books. Maybe you've got a thief who steals something precious for the sole purpose that they're trying to make money. It's easy to believe, and it makes sense. The trick is to have a good balance between the lesser motivations and the big ones. 

Your protagonist has to have something that they are willing to leave the comfort of their everyday life for, but they can't have everything figured out when they decide to make their move. What that means is that your protagonist has to know enough to go, but not so much that everything else in the story universe is predictable. This is why the lesser motivations can help us complicate the main character's overall goal. 

What that in mind, your job is to learn to layer these character motivations in a way that gives your reader (and protagonist) enough unknowns that drama ensues and fiction is born. So let's go back to our thief example. 

Maybe your protagonist has found a reason to go on a quest. They're looking for something that will save the world. After numerous dead ends and battles, they've finally located and retrieved it. All is seemly well, and they are on their way back to save the day. Until they meet a thief, who has been charged to steal this precious item by the ultimate villain. Now the protagonist, thief, and villain are linked together and the reader is left wondering how all of this is going to work out. 

Layering motivations will not only help you build tension in your stories, but it will also help you learn more about your main character's abilities to problem solve and ultimately give your reader a much better sense of what kind of person it is that they are rooting for. 

Happy writing!

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Friday, 13th October, 1307


I am Brother Everard, a Templar, also called Knight Templar, member of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, a religious military order of knighthood established at the time of the Crusades that became a model and inspiration for other military orders. Originally founded to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, the order assumed greater military duties during the 12th century. Its prominence and growing wealth, however, provoked opposition from rival orders. Falsely accused of blasphemy, homosexuality, and other grievous sins, the Order was blamed for Crusader failures in the Holy Land.

Take a step further back with me, please. Following the success of the First Crusade (1095–99), a number of Crusader states were established in the Holy Land, but these kingdoms lacked the necessary military force to maintain more than a tenuous hold over their territories. Most Crusaders returned home after fulfilling their vows, and Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem suffered attacks from Muslim raiders. In late 1119, pitying the plight of these Christians, eight or nine French knights led by Hugh de Payns vowed to form a religious community specifically for the purpose of protecting these pilgrims. Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem, offered these knights quarters in a wing of the royal palace in the area of the former Temple of Solomon, and from this they derived their name.

Many opposed the Templars. Some rejected the idea of a religious military order while, later, the order was criticized for its wealth and influence, but we were supported by many secular and religious leaders. Beginning in 1127, Hugh undertook a tour of Europe and was well received by many nobles, who made significant donations to the knights. The Templars obtained further sanction at the Council of Troyes in 1128, and in 1139, Pope Innocent II issued a bull granting the order special privileges. The Templars were allowed to build our own oratories and were not required to pay the tithe. We were also exempt from episcopal jurisdiction, being subject to the pope alone. By the turn of the 14th century, the Templars had established a system of castles, churches, and banks throughout Western Europe.

From these grand beginnings, we come to the early morning of Friday, October 13, 1307, and the beginning of the end of the Templars. At dawn, King Philip IV ordered de Molay and scores of other French Templars to be simultaneously arrested. The arrest warrant began: Dieu n'est pas content, nous avons des ennemis de la foi dans le Royaume" ("God is not pleased. We have enemies of the faith in the kingdom")

Unbeknownst to the order, a month earlier, King Philip IV of France sent secret documents by couriers throughout his country. The papers included lurid details and whispers of black magic and scandalous sexual rituals. In preceding years, this avaricious monarch had attacked the Lombards, a powerful banking group, and on France’s Jews, expelling the letter to confiscate their property for his depleted coffers.

In the days and weeks that followed that fateful Friday morning, more than 600 Templars were arrested, including Grand Master Jacques de Molay, and the Order’s treasurer. Philip’s evil net not only entangled the highest-ranking members of the order, but also hundreds of non-warriors—middle-aged men who managed the day-to-day banking and farming activities that kept the organization running smoothly. The men were charged with a wide array of offenses including heresy, devil worship and spitting on the cross, homosexuality, fraud and financial corruption.


The Templars were kept in isolation and fed meager rations that often amounted to no more than bread and water. Nearly all were brutally tortured, using the strappdo and the rack to force confessions to these false charges.


The Templars lingered in their cells until 1310 when King Philip had more than 50 of us burned at the stake. Two years later, Pope Clement V formally dissolved the Templars. However, he did so without saying the order had been guilty of these false charges. In the wake of that dissolution, some Templars again confessed to gain their freedom, while others died in captivity.

And so, the mighty fall. I did say this was a sad tale. You can readily see how the Templars and that evil Friday the 13th have become associated with the superstition surrounding the date. I leave it to you to decide whether you believe King Philip’s allegations or in the innocence of an austere and chaste religious order formed to protect pilgrims. I firmly believe it was the wealth amassed by the order that caused its downfall.

Yours in God,

Brother Everard


Friday, August 13, 2021

The Red Tides are Coming! by Marilyn Barr

            I love the beach. Collecting shells, riding the waves, and watching the weather change over the seas are some of my favorite things to do. My husband is a fervent animal rights activist, so our vacations are dependent on different threatened animal populations. An ocean animal shifter novel was an inevitability. Every September, my family travels to Anna Maria Island, Fl, to help the sea turtles make their journey from the nest to the deep waters.

            In 2018, our trip was delayed by algae bloom overgrowth. The coast of Florida was ravaged by a natural phenomenon called “Red Tide”. From the Florida keys to the top of the panhandle, the ocean was tinged with red. There were warnings to stay out of the water due to respiratory distress symptoms from swimmers. Instead of ushering baby turtles to the ocean, my family was cleaning up piles of dead fish. What was going on?

(Family photos, same boy on the same beach. 2018 pictures taken in October one month after the Red Tide effects were declared clean.)

Karenia brevis is a microscopic, red algae species, native to Florida. When you learned about filter feeders from sponges to whales who live on phytoplankton in elementary school, Karena brevis is part of the phytoplankton population. More specifically, it is a dinoflagellate, so it is shaped like a sandwich cookie with multiple tails. Usually, it whirls within the microscopic populations of phytoplankton unnoticed. It eats ammonia and releases oxygen, so to villainize the algae isn’t accurate. Most algae species produce toxins as byproducts of oxygen production too and we take the good with the bad to keep the ecosystem in balance. In 2018, the population exploded.

(NOAA US Navy satellite photo from )

Karenia brevis lives in larger quantities in the rivers and eats run-off agricultural waste. As the colonies grow larger, pieces break off and float downstream to Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. In 2018, a perfect storm of increased agricultural activities, climate change, and minerals uncovered by erosion made a feast for the algae. Colonies grew to clog the rivers and washed into the bay in giant mats. The mats released large quantities of toxins which were ingested by the herbivores of the bay. As the herbivores were eaten by the predators, they were dosed with large amounts of toxins. In a few weeks, large animals and small ones were washing up on the beach.

(WSPA Local News, Whale Shark succumbed to Red Tide)

The above picture was my inspiration for Bart the Oyster bar owner in my next book, Smoother Than Spumoni. I wanted to give pizzeria heir, Frank Paulino from the Strawberry Shifters, a summer internship which brings him to Florida. Bart the whale shark shifter gives Frank his big break. Being the owner of an oyster bar when fresh oysters are contaminated due to Red Tide, Bart nearly loses his business until Frank saves the day. Frank has been rolling pasta every day since he was old enough to do it. He can turn one piece of rock shrimp into a risotto to feed two people and its shells into a soup.

While Bart’s menu problems seem to be solved, another one takes its place. Red Tide toxins stink. Dead fish stinks. It is a well-known fact that no one vacations on stinky beaches and no tourists means no customers for Bart and the rest of the pack. Not only is the oyster bar struggling but so are the souvenir shops, and Larkin’s Dairy Dip. Larkin’s depends on not only store sales, but sales on the beach from their pedal carts. Not only are their businesses on the line but so is their health. From dolphins to crabs, the Seagrass Shifter pack members are aquatic animals who need time in the water.

Red Tide can be a natural phenomenon but the impact and duration of it on Seagrass Island raises suspicions. They are confirmed by Susie Larkin when she breaks the rules and goes for a swim with her bestie, Jean. Here’s a snippet from Smoother Than Spumoni:

They move quickly, efficiently, and silently, only stopping to check over their shoulders every few minutes. When the exchange is complete, the truck starts again. Even though it is dark, without headlights they navigate unerringly through the native swamp.

“That was weird. You thought it was weird right?”

“Yeah, I want to know what is in those barrels.”

“Let’s leave it alone. We have been gone for months and have no idea how this area has changed. Let’s go home and ask our parents or Wilson.”

“Why? When one look at the label will answer all our questions? Besides, the truck has already left.”

“They could return.”

“As shady as they were acting, they aren’t coming back. Come on—”

“No way, Susie Q. We are going home.” Her voice shakes as she lays down her ultimatum. She can’t abandon me here in case I succumb to Red Tide on the swim home. However, tears have already started rolling down her cheeks. My bestie is terrified.

“You are right. Let’s go ask,” I say calmly. Why upset her more when I can bring a braver companion tomorrow? Surely a demon-slaying werewolf won’t be scared of a few barrels?


Will Frank and Susie get to the heart of the conspiracy behind Red Tide or pay the ultimate price? Pre-order Smoother Than Spumoni (on sale for $1.99) and find out on 8/23/2021.

 Amazon -

iTunes -

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

You are Invited! A Friday the 13th Facebook Party

Did you know the Paranormal Romantics have a fan group on Facebook? Get links to our blog articles and the latest news from your favorite paranormal romance authors in your Facebook feed when you join us here - Our first party of 2021 will be this Friday, August 13th from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm EST. Here's the schedule of hosts but I would check in periodically through the night as each author will have different games, tricks, and treats. 

Times in ESTAuthor / Host
3:00 PM
Maureen Bonatch
3:30 PM
Jessica E. Subject
4:00 PMDiane Burton
4:30 PMJulie Howard
5:00 PMMary Morgan
5:30 PMMarilyn Barr
6:00 PM
Linda Nightingale
6:30 PMTena Stetler
7:00 PMNancy Gideon
7:30 PM
Sydney Winward
8:00 PMSofia Aves
8:30 PM
Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Hope to see you there!