Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fairy tales for my children

Posted by: Shona Husk
In a couple of weeks Servant of the Forest comes out. I wrote this a couple of years ago because my kids were bugging me about wanting to read something I'd written (and most of what I write is MA15+). This is a YA fairy tale retelling because my kids were into fairy tales (mixed up, retellings whatever) at the time.

There's a terribly scarred prince locked in the castle because of a curse that threatens his life. A party that all women in the kingdom must attend. Familiar elements. There's also witches and a young woman discovering her power. I didn't want a damsel in distress, I wanted the damsel to be the saviour. But I also wanted to include the darkness that fairy tales have, the scheming of the powerful and those who want that power.

My kids loved the story.

When I decided to self publish it they helped pick the cover. 

I hope that other people enjoy it as much as they did (and I did while writing it).


Remember to be wild,” Orabella’s mother would say.

But her mother is dead and Orabella’s days are taken up with chores for the small estate that barely keeps her stepmother and stepsisters fed.

Then an invitation arrives. The King is throwing a three day party for the Prince, a last attempt to find a cure for the curse that will claim him on his twentieth birthday. The witch who saves Gauthier will get his hand in marriage and will eventually become queen.

Orabella is forbidden from going to the party even though everyone is invited. She wants to see the castle and the Cursed Prince. This time she refuses to obey her stepmother.

As Orabella discovers the secrets of her past and the truth about her mother and the prince’s curse, she learns that no one is to be trusted and not everyone wants the prince to survive.



I'm also giving away a print copy

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Servant of the Forest by Shona Husk

Servant of the Forest

by Shona Husk

Giveaway ends August 23, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, August 21, 2017

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Other News:
Now Available an as Audio Book!

JONES & JONES

Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy/Romantic Suspense
by Linda Mooney

Word Count: 37.2K
$2.99 e / $9.99 p / $14.95 a
Narrated by Charley Ongel
Length: 3 hrs, 43 min

Hear a Sample


Bounty hunters by day. Superheroes by night.



Slone and Embrie have known each other since birth, and after crash landing on Earth, they know they are the last of their kind. Intergalactic refugees, and extremely young, they are discovered and taken in by an older couple who teach them how to survive and fit in.

With powers no human possesses, the two decide they should share their strengths with the world, and Falcon and Hawk are born. Saving lives is their calling and the right thing to do, but unfortunately it doesn’t pay the bills, so bounty hunting by day it is. Unfortunately, living a double life takes a toll on a person, superhuman or not, both physically and emotionally. And with exhaustion comes mistakes.

So when Embrie is injured, leaving her weak and vulnerable, Slone must make the decision to expose who they are to save her life or lose his love forever.

Until a job from the past resurfaces, threatening to make that decision for him, as well as destroy everything they've sacrificed and worked for. 

Warning! Contains a dozen red roses, a desire for Italian food, emergency surgery, a hostage crisis, a debt paid, a Level Four contagion, burning a candle at both ends, sonic booms, and two childhood friends who survive to become eternal lovers.

Excerpt and buy links.

***********************
Part Two of Veronica Scott's conversation with scifi romance readers about favorite heroes and book recommendations appeared on AMAZING STORIES last week.

Bring It Back(list) Feature:
Something Wicked by Angela Campbell, including an excerpt:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bring It Back(list): SOMETHING WICKED by Angela Campbell

Posted by: Angela Campbell
I had initially planned to use this spot to highlight my book ON THE SCENT, but I did that a few weeks back instead — so here's some info about the second book in my psychic detectives series, SOMETHING WICKED. While you can certainly read this book as a standalone, why not grab my USA Today bestselling book ON THE SCENT too while it's on sale for only 99 cents?

Something wicked this way comes…


All homicide detective Dylan Collins wants is a few hours of pleasure to take his mind off of the case haunting him. A serial killer is stalking the streets of Charleston, SC – a killer who calls himself The Grim Reaper. When the woman he'd just spent the night with turns up and offers her services as a psychic consultant on the case, his ardor quickly cools. Last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a con artist.

It doesn't take long for Dylan to realize Alexandra King is the real deal – and the killer's next target. Dylan's protective instincts battle his reluctance to get too involved with a woman he isn't sure he can trust. As they get closer to finding the killer, they also grow closer to one another, but will Alexandra's secret agenda destroy their chance at happiness – if the killer doesn't strike first?

EXCERPT:

“It must be your lucky night, hon.” A woman’s voice drew her attention.

Alexandra blinked up at her waitress as the young woman slid a mug of beer in front of her. Did the girl seriously just call her hon?

The redhead nodded over her shoulder. “The hunk at the pool tables bought you a drink.” She winked. “Enjoy.”

Oh, no. Not only were the dead people around here clamoring for her attention, so was some a-hole on the prowl. She bit back a groan and lifted her gaze to give the man a polite shake of her head, a silent thanks but no thanks and –

Hello, Mr. Delicious.

He was hands down the most criminally sexy man she’d ever laid eyes on, and for a woman who worked with some serious man candy these days, that was saying a lot. He studied her from the billiards area as he chalked up one of the cues. He was the only person over there, playing a solitary game while most people congregated at the bar. A slight smile teased his mouth as she managed to lift the mug and nod. So what if she hated beer? She’d gulp the whole thing in one go if that sex god wanted to watch. He nodded back, gestured to the pool table beside him, and—

Oh, yeah. She was tempted to saunter over there and see what happened. Beyond tempted. She’d never had a one-night stand in her life, but maybe this was as good a time as any.

“Well, I’ll be! He sure seems to have struck yer fancy.”

Oh, no. She scrunched her brows and shook her head. She had a bad feeling about this.

The ghost wooted. “Oh, but I think he has.” He glanced toward the billiards. “And I dare say he has taken quite a fancy to you, miss. Comes in here a lot, that one does. Never been able to spook ‘em though.” Derby Hat Guy abruptly stood and started walking toward the other man, saying, “Let’s give ‘em a game. Have a bit of fun with the rascal.” He rubbed his hands together.

“Wait! Uh,” Alexandra jumped to her feet and realized a few seconds later she was practically on top of the pool table when Mr. Delicious said, amused, “Whoa now. I’m guessing you like a good game of pool?”

Among other things.

She bit her lip and tried to ignore the ghost bent over the other end of the table, reaching for two of the balls that had been scattered near a corner pocket. She’d made this poor, delicious man a target of the ghost’s tomfoolery. Oh dear. She needed to fix this.

“Pool?” Her eyes widened when Derby Hat Guy picked up the white ball behind Mr. Delicious and moved it clearway across the table. There was no orange glow to it, which meant the ball had actually moved. Had anyone else seen that? This ghost was an old and smart one. Not many could move objects like that. “Yeah. Yeah, I love pool. Game on.” Leaning over, she slapped the green felt and flicked her fingers a few times toward the wall, trying to convey the message to Derby Hat Guy to get lost.

Mr. Delicious held out a cue stick to her in offering, distracting her from the ghost past his shoulder. “Great. We’ll start a new game. I was getting tired of losing to myself.” He looked her up and down where she still leaned against the table and seemed to like what he saw. His smoldering blue eyes burned with heat so intense, she felt her insides ignite. He wriggled the cue in his hand. “You know how to use this thing?” His smile was kicked up to full charge on the suggestive meter.

Oh, my, he was flirting, and that was a game best played by two. Accepting the wooden pole from him, Alexandra arched a brow and slowly ran a finger along its length. “I can handle a stick pretty good.” She pursed her lips, blew at the chalk on the end, and slowly batted her lashes when she looked at him again. “Besides, what woman doesn’t love to bust some balls every now and then?”

He gave an appreciative chuckle. “All right.” He began setting up a new game and she sighed, watching his taut backside move deliciously against his faded jeans as he bent over. Damn. Levis should pay him a royalty. Who looked that good in jeans, besides Calvin Klein models? No one, except this guy. Maybe he was a Calvin Klein model. He definitely had the face and body for it.

And maybe she should offer to buy him a drink or something—you know, to apologize for making him a target of the resident ghost.

“Can I get you a beer?”

“Nah. I’m good.” His back muscles stretched against his black t-shirt when he rested his elbows on the table, highlighting some serious muscle definition beneath.

“Something else? Whiskey?” She tilted her head at him. Me?

WHERE TO BUY:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble (U.S.) | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

***
Angela Campbell is the author of the psychic detectives series from Harper Impulse. Learn more about her and her books at www.AngelaCampbellOnline.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

GHOST PETS and PHANTOM ANIMALS

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR
Graphic © Dani Harper
Every dog owner knows the sound – the tick, tick, tick of toenails on the floor as Rover ambles onto the scene to see what you’re up to.

But what if you hear the sounds and there’s no Rover?

A few years ago, a combination of old age and chronic bronchitis caused our dear old pug, Scooby, to pass on. A couple nights later, I found myself awakened by the sound of canine claws on the linoleum. The sound proceeded up the hallway at a slow, waddling pace, accompanied by the jingle of tags. Thinking that my remaining pug, Fiona, needed to go out, I sat up – but discovered she was snoring beside me! All was quiet once more and I thought I’d dreamed the incident.

Graphic © Dani Harper
However, the distinctive doggy sounds continued to occur. By the third incident, I realized that Scooby was still checking in on us. This was confirmed when one of my daughters flew to visit us soon after, and was awakened in the night by the same phenomena – and I hadn’t yet told her of my own experiences. Scooby had been especially close to her and I wondered if perhaps he had lingered in order to connect with her. After she went home, the pugly visitations gradually ceased.

Stories abound of departed pets visiting the people they were close to in life. Ghostly experiences include the physical sensation of an unseen cat or dog jumping onto the bed in the night and settling into their habitual spot. Sounds associated with the animal are one of the most reported phenomenon. Jingling tags and footfalls are common (as with our Scooby) but there are also flapping ears, water guzzling, purring, the solid thud after leaping down off the couch, and much more. Even the scent of the animal has been reported.

Sightings occur as well. People tell of a familiar canine padding through the house as it did in life, or a favorite feline appearing to be curled up for a nap in its favorite chair.

Graphic © Dani Harper
Researchers suggest that some ghosts are not actual entities but a snippet of time being replayed over and over, like a loop of film. This might explain the phenomena at the ancient Coliseum in Rome, where thousands of animals – lions, wolves, bears, elephants and more – were once used to perform or pitted against gladiators. For centuries, there have been reports of people hearing the roaring of big cats and the trumpeting of elephants.

Likewise, the Tower of London once boasted a menagerie of exotic animals, including large carnivores. Years after the creatures were gone, a sentry tried to attack a phantom bear that appeared to be running towards him. Here in America, the sounds of rapidly approaching hoofbeats are still reported at Hollenberg Station in Kansas, once a stop for the Pony Express. And there are many accounts of a ghost cat appearing at the United States Capital building.

Graphic © Dani Harper
Former Civil War battlefields and camps are the source of countless apparitions, both human and animal. A battle re-enactor was surprised to discover a riderless horse standing a few feet behind him – but his company had no horses. The sound of many horses snorting and pawing the ground has often been reported around Cashtown Inn in Pennsylvania, where Confederate soldiers once stayed.

Some phantom animals have a job or duty that they continue to attend to. For example, a church in Picton, Australia has an enormous phantom dog. It's said that a priest owned a St. Bernard, and when his beloved pet died, he buried it in the church graveyard. The ghost dog patrols the cemetery and sometimes chases people away. At the Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, Virginia, a ghost horse roams the grounds and startles guests on occasion. Legend has it that the animal is still waiting for its rider, a Union soldier who was shot in front of the building in 1864.

Graphic © Dani Harper
As with the ghosts of humans, not all animal spirits are friendly. One of the most haunted places in Maryland is a house in Fells Point with five ghosts – and one of them is an angry cat. The story goes that a large cat belonged to a woman who was abused by her drunken husband. The man resented the cat and eventually killed it. Many years later, the house was remodeled, and a feline skeleton discovered in a cellar wall. This likely explains the mysterious gray cat that has appeared in many rooms of the house ever since – and also explains its bad temper. Guests have attempted to pet the creature, thinking it to be a live cat, but it hisses and runs away. It has also been reported to run between the legs of some people, knocking them off balance.

What if the pet owner is a ghost too? The Hotel Vendome in Prescott, Arizona has long been considered haunted by Abby Byr, a woman who once owned the hotel before falling on hard times. Keeping her company is her cat, Noble. The friendly pair have been spotted in and around Room 16 for decades. And apparently Noble has snuggled into bed with some of the guests! 

Do YOU believe in ghost animals? Ever have an experience with one?

......................................................

Love Faeries? These ones aren't cute...
Love dogs? These ones aren't cuddly...

 Check out The Grim Series by Dani Harper

STORM WARRIOR, STORM BOUND, and STORM WARNED
Upcoming release, STORM CROSSED now available for pre-order !

Note: Every book in this series is designed to stand alone. It's more fun to read them in order, but not necessary.
Legend, love, lore, and magic...
See ALL my novels on my Amazon Author Page
or go to my website at http://www.daniharper.com

Monday, August 14, 2017

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
New Releases:

Desert Devil - World-travelling paranormal romance - 99c for a short time!

Legendary magic. A desert hideout. Secrets & sorcery. A former Army Ranger with a unique gift. Enter a world where loyalty has a price. DESERT DEVIL Compelling & original. Read it today FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073T8KJ3Q



 

Other News:
Veronica Scott stopped by Pauline Baird Jones's blog last week to discuss "Why I Wrote Two Against the Stars" and shared a bit of her personal backstory that influenced some of the novel's scenes.
Interview with Anthony Lemke, 'Three' of "Dark Matter" - Veronica Scott interviewed the actor from the SyFy Channel's science fiction TV show last week for AMAZING STORIES MAGAZINE blog.




Bring It Back(list):

Bring It Back(list): Learn about THE BATTLE LORD'S LADY, The Battle Lord Saga, Book 1 by @LindaMooney @HereBeMagic http://bit.ly/2uAWPD9 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bring It Back(list) - THE BATTLE LORD'S LADY, The Battle Lord Saga, Book 1

Posted by: Linda Mooney
THE BATTLE LORD'S LADY
Book 1 of The Battle Lord Saga
Sci-Fi/Futuristic/Post-Apocalyptic Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count:  112K
$.99 e / $15.99 p / $21.95 a


Three hundred years in the future, mankind still is trying to survive the Great Collision that changed the earth forever. People live in pockets of civilization called compounds, battling the elements and the mutations which have developed over the centuries, trying to live and survive day by day.

Yulen D'Jacques is the Battle Lord of Alta Novis. His duty is to keep his compound and his people safe, which means yearly sweeps of the area to remove any mutated men and animals from encroaching. 


Atrilan Ferran is Mutah, a mutant warrior and huntress trained to protect and defend her home from Cleaners, the “normals” who invade the forests to slaughter everything and everyone who gets in their way.

They never anticipated the day when their hearts would collide, challenging and changing everything they thought was the truth. Leading them to the day they would have to prove their love for each other to man and mutant alike.


Warning:  Contains intense cruelty, an avaricious mother-in-law, unbelievable hunting abilities, mutant animals, silken tents, dungeons, denial, and a love that would spawn a dynasty.

Note: There are currently seven books in this series. And coming soon, The D'Jacques Dynasty, Book 1: Lucien.

Excerpt and buy links.

Friday, August 11, 2017

ARCHIVE: THE GUARDIAN'S WITCH An Interview with Lord Alex and Lady Lisbeth

Posted by: Ruth A Casie
Veronica: Ruth is traveling and unable to post today so she asked me to please share this fun character interview she did back in 2014.

Ah, there you are and just in time. Thank you for coming I knew you wouldn't want to miss this. We've pulled a real coup. Let me give you a little background before they begin. Our investigative reporter is about to hold an interview the hero, Lord Alex, and heroine, Lady Lisbeth, of Ruth A. Casie's book, The Guardian's Witch. I see they are about to begin. I'll fill you in on their story when the interview is over.


Reporter: (Facing the audience) Welcome and good afternoon. Today’s quests are Lord Alex Stelton, the exceptional knight who put his life on the line for the woman he loves. Also here is his extraordinary wife, Lady Lisbeth. She too was willing to risk it all--to save the man she loves.

Alex Stelton is the seventh son of Lord and Lady Stelton. Alex’s father is also a seventh son, an oddity that arises in the Stelton family from time to time. Lady Lisbeth and her younger sister, Laura survive their parents Lord and Lady Reynolds who were lost to us in a terrible carriage accident and their brother, Richard. Richard died valiantly on the Welsh battlefield.

(Turning to his guests) Thank you both for taking time to talk to us today. The first question I have is for Lord Alex.

Alex: Please, call me Alex.

Reporter: Certainly. Alex, what was your first impression of Lisbeth?

Alex: I’m embarrassed to tell you.

Lisbeth: He avoided me for weeks.

Alex: (Taking Lisbeth’s hand.) That’s not quite correct. You made it perfectly clear that you wanted no part of me. As a matter of fact I got a very clear impression that you would’ve been quite happy if I had disappeared like the others the king sent to protect you.

Lisbeth: Well, what did you expect? You came marching into Glen Kirk all proud and self-important just like all the others.

Alex: (Raising an eyebrow to his wife.) Did I now?

Lisbeth: (A bit contrite.) Well, maybe not exactly like them. (She pulls her hand away from his and faces him.) How was I to know?

Reporter: (Cough.) How did this disagreement start?

Lisbeth: He didn’t tell me for weeks.

Reporter: I beg your pardon. What didn’t Alex tell you for weeks? (Looking at Alex the reporter noticed him squirm, just a bit.)

Lisbeth: He didn’t tell me we were married.

Reporter: Married? I don’t understand?

Alex: Wait a minute, Love. You didn’t exactly make it easy.

Lisbeth: Love— (She shot Alex a glance that could turn him into a pillar of salt.)

Alex: (Alex faced the reporter) I won a bet with King James. If I held Lisbeth’s Glen Kirk Castle safe for one year it would be mine. Having an estate of my own has been a goal of mine for some time.

Lisbeth: (Foot tapping.)

Alex: (Rakes his hand through his hair.) After meeting my part of the bargain, I went to London to collect my winnings and ended proxy wed to Lady Lisbeth by order of the king.

Reporter: He what? And you didn’t tell her for weeks?

Lisbeth: (Folding her arms in front of her glaring at Alex.) Exactly.

Reporter: Perhaps we should move on. Lisbeth, I understand you come from a long line of healers and that you are quite gifted. My sources tell me you’ve used that gift to save Alex more than once.

Lisbeth: (A humbled look crosses her face.) Yes, I work hard to keep the people I love safe.

Reporter: (Shows Lisbeth a charm.) I understand you place these charms in the trees around Glen Kirk.

Alex: (Takes the charms from the interviewer.) My wife has a notion that the pretty bits shine and distract. (He gave the reporter a cold stare.)

Reporter: I understand there are rumors that your wife… uses incantations—

Alex: (Stands dragging Lisbeth with him.) This interview is over.

Reporter: (Obviously upset.) I’m sorry m’lord. I meant no disrespect to your wife or you. But sir, your wife’s special talents are common knowledge far and wide. It is to be honored sir, not reviled as some may think.

Alex: I clearly told your man that those questions were not to be asked.

Reporter: M'lord, Alex, this woman was ready to risk everything for you. She was in the midst of conjuring up the true criminal responsible for the treason for which you were accused. She was using her magic in front of the king and his court, all to protect you. Surely you know what a grave risk she was taking.

Alex: Don’t you think I know that. (Alex took his wife in his arms.) I cringe each time I think of how close she came to being judged a witch and the consequences that would have been metered out.

Lisbeth: Alex, (she pulls gently away from his embrace) come sit down. No harm was meant, surely you know that. (She pats his arm.)

Alex: (Regaining his composure.) I will not dwell on it, Lisbeth. I will protect you always.

Lisbeth: Yes, Alex. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But all here know who and what I am. There is no longer a need to hide that I am a witch.

Reporter: We have a little more time. Alex, I understand that your wife is very talented. Her dreams of the future appear to come true.

Alex: (He looks at his wife and does all he can to contain his smile.) My wife has many talents. Her dreams are--exceptional.

Lisbeth: Shhh Alex.(She leans close to him.) No one else will understand.

Alex: (Totally forgetting the reporter for the moment.) You call me into your dreams and we… Faith, (A smoldering look passes between them and he rakes his hand through his hair.) I want to spend the rest of my life in your dreams…

Reporter: Well, thank you both very much. (Pulling on his shirt collar.) Is it warm in here? (The reporter turns to the audience) You can find out more about Lord Alex and Lady Lisbeth in The Guardian’s Witch by Ruth A. Casie now available for their Nook or Kobo or Kindle

I hope you enjoyed the interview. Here's a brief overview and trailer for The Guardian's Witch.

England, 1290
Lord Alex Stelton can't resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it's his. Desperate for land of his own, he'll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.
Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she'd never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can't get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they'll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.





Do you have any questions for Lord Alex or Lady Lisbeth?
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