Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Let the Good Times Roll

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
Happy Mardi Gras, Everyone!

Eat up today, Lent starts tomorrow! Do you give up anything for Lent? It's not part of my religious practice, and we live in an era with rapid shipping and modern refrigeration, so I usually don't, but the memories from childhood creep in and I do tend to at least think about it.

Things I'd like to give up for Lent if I could:

  • Writer's block. (I think any writer will agree.)
  • Self-doubt. (see above)
  • Cleaning (wouldn't that be nice? Oh, for the day when working writers could afford servants, though I'm pretty sure that time never really existed.)
  • Distractions. (This one is more a matter of willpower.) 
I also want to let everyone know that I'll be a guest at the Howell (Michigan) Spring Comic Con on Saturday, March 18, at Cleary University. If you're in the area, come out and have a good time. I'll be dressed in my steampunk finery, of course! For more information go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/245706472522117/ 

So, Since it's a special day, I'm having a contest! Tell me what you are, or should, or would like to give up for Lent (or for good) and one random commenter will receive a free download of Devil of Bourbon Street, my romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal set in New Orleans. (or a different book if you already have that one.)

Laizzez les bon temps rouler!
Cindy Spencer Pape

Monday, February 27, 2017

Here Be News

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz

New Releases

Fantastical Island by Jenny Schwartz is out! It's 99c for only a few more days - hurry! But will remain free to read in Kindle Unlimited. Amazon exclusive buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Fantastical-Island-Old-School-Book-ebook/dp/B01N56RZ7Z/

Australian marine biologist, Naomi Twain, discovers an island of ghosts and magic - and someone is hunting its secrets!

For those who have never met a baku, it is something magical.

I’m Natasha Bolde and I see ghosts, well one ghost anyway: Clover Skye Baulsey, PI. In life, she was my best friend and mentor. In death, she’s been my rock, my conscience, my shelter. I’d follow her anywhere, but I really wish I hadn’t followed her to Britain’s Wildfinch Hall, because that’s where she disappeared.

The last thing she did was call for my help. Since I don’t know much about the spirit world I called Joe Nettleford, who moonlights as a ghost hunter. He’s good as what he does, but it’s kind of awkward since I refused to date him. So now I’m not sure what’s going to be more difficult: working with Joe or untangling the secrets of Wildfinch Hall and its ghosts. Still I’d better find a way to succeed at both. If I don’t, I’ll never see Clover again.

Available now:

 Games We Play, Book 2

Releases Tuesday February 28

Luke has mostly resigned himself to being "just friends" with Kristy, but working together, night after night, is shredding his self control. And that’s before the bar’s resident boggart gets involved!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

New Release: Dead Lady Vanishing

Posted by: Janni Nell
Dead Lady Vanishing is the second book in the Bolde and Baulsey mystery series. This time Natasha (Tash) Bolde and her ghostly crime-fighting partner, Clover Baulsey, are investigating some old and very nasty ghosts, who are causing trouble at creepy Wildfinch Hall. Here’s a sneak peak:


My flashlight illuminated the name Wildfinch Hall. Really? Somebody had been reading too many Brontë novels. And we weren’t even in Yorkshire. I wondered whether Heathcliff was at home.
“Stop messing around,” yelled Clover. She was already on the other side of the gates. Unlike me, she could walk right through them. “Come on.”
“The gates are locked,” I said, directing my beam onto the padlock and chain.
“Then climb over.”
It wasn’t the first time I’d trespassed at Clover’s insistence and I guessed it wouldn’t be the last. Sticking the flashlight in my pocket, I surveyed the curls and scrolls of wrought iron, which appeared to provide plenty of hand- and footholds. It wasn’t until I grabbed hold that I realized the metal was dangerously slick with rain. I slipped and banged my knee. Sucking in a breath, I tried again, more carefully this time. As I made my way up, the gates wobbled. The wind whipped around, threatening to toss me on my ass, but I clung on. When I reached the top, I swung one leg over and then the other. For a second I balanced on top then I jumped down, landing with a crunch on the gravel driveway.
Jagged lightning split the sky. For a moment it was bright as day. A large building—we’re talking Pemberley or Downton Abbey—stood on the crest of the hill at the end of the driveway. The scream must’ve come from there.
As I started toward it, Clover called, “No, this way,” and set off across a wide lawn dotted with swaying trees.
Forgetting about the pelting rain, my wet shoes, and the chill that turned my breath misty white, I went after her, flicking on my flashlight again as I ran.
“Is the woman still screaming?” I panted.
“No.” She sounded worried.
“Maybe you’ve gone the wrong way. The scream must’ve come from the place on the hill.”
“It didn’t.” She continued to move away from the house.
“You do realize I’m soaking wet,” I grumbled. Honestly I wished I’d stayed in the cramped car. At least that had been warm and dry. But Clover wasn’t sympathetic. Probably because, no matter how hard it rained, she was bone-dry. One of the advantages of being a ghost.
                I stepped in a puddle halfway up my shin and swore loudly. Mud squelched as I pulled myself free. Clover had gone on ahead. I trudged after her.
Suddenly she yelled and pointed, “Over there. Near the wood. It’s some sort of building.” She moved fast, gliding over the grass. I hurried after her.
The building had been constructed in the style of a mini Roman temple with stone walls on three sides. On the fourth side a short flight of steps led to a porch with a roof supported by columns. By the time I reached the steps, Clover was moving across the porch toward a wooden door. She could easily have passed right through it, but she suddenly stopped and took a step back. Had she met some kind of resistance? I moved closer so I could hear what she was saying.
“What the—?” She squared her shoulders. Then, raising her voice above the storm as though she was speaking to someone, she said, “Who are you? Why did you scream?”
As she listened to the answer, she tapped her foot like she did when she was pissed. “I’ll mind my own business when hell freezes over! Who the hell do you think you are anyway?”
Frustrated that I could only witness one side of their exchange, I yelled, “Clover, what’s going on?”
But all her attention was on the other ghost. She looked it over from head to toe. “You’ve been here a while, haven’t you? When did you die? Nineteenth century?...No, I won’t go away. I heard a scream. Was it you?” Her hands rested on her plump hips, feet apart, in the determined stance I knew so well. She clenched her fists and demanded, “Get out of my way.” A second later, she doubled over. Had she’d been gut-punched?
“Clover!” I rushed up the steps.
“Stay back,” she warned, but I kept going. Her assailant was a ghost. It couldn’t hurt me. Not physically anyway.
I'd almost reached her when her head snapped back. Had she been punched in the jaw? She lashed out, one-two, with her fists. Then suddenly her hands were pinned behind her and she was being pushed toward the door.
“Let her go!” I launched myself at whoever was holding her and swung a punch. I’d never fought a ghost before. I was shocked when my fist sank into something thick, viscous, and bitterly cold. I yelped as the icy sensation crept up my arms and entered my chest. It was hard to breathe. For one terrifying moment, I heard the faraway sound of a woman screaming in torment.
Clover struggled to escape whoever had pinned her arms behind her. She yelled, “You have no right to—” Her voice was abruptly cut off as though someone had her around the throat. I wanted to help, but the icy cold that had settled in my chest moved up through my neck and into my skull. I’d had brain freeze before but this was much worse. I fell to my knees, cradling my head in my hands, moaning. What was happening to me? I couldn’t think straight, could hardly move. I huddled in a pathetic mound, willing the pain to go away.
Clover was in trouble…I had to help her…somehow. With a huge effort I managed to raise my head. I saw her throw a punch then suddenly she was down on her knees, her back arched, head bent way back. Her bright blue eyes locked on mine. I heard her panted breaths, saw her struggling to defeat her opponent, but she couldn’t do it alone.
“Tash! Help me!”


I’m Natasha Bolde and I see ghosts, well one ghost anyway: Clover Skye Baulsey, PI. In life, she was my best friend and mentor. In death, she’s been my rock, my conscience, my shelter. I’d follow her anywhere, but I really wish I hadn’t followed her to Britain’s Wildfinch Hall, because that’s where she disappeared.

The last thing she did was call for my help. Since I don’t know much about the spirit world I called Joe Nettleford, who moonlights as a ghost hunter. He’s good as what he does, but it’s kind of awkward since I refused to date him. So now I’m not sure what’s going to be more difficult: working with Joe or untangling the secrets of Wildfinch Hall and its ghosts. Still I’d better find a way to succeed at both. If I don’t, I’ll never see Clover again.

Available now at:




Google Play

Friday, February 24, 2017

Meet Cute

Posted by: Nicole Luiken
My husband and I met at a science fiction and fantasy convention—that there pretty much tells you everything you need to know about us. First meetings in my books range from the prosaic (neighbours) to the exotic.

Ways couples have met in my books:

1/ Chosen as the Unlikeliest Couple at a school dance
2/ Heroine falls off her stool in science class; hero helps her up
3/ Neighbours
4/ Amnesia victim of robots meets student nurse
5/ Hero proposes to girl he's just met in high school hallway
6/ Saving the heroine who is on the run from kidnappers
7/ Stealing a secret message on an airship
8/ Heroine wakes hero out of stasis
9/ Gunshot man knocks on door while heroine is babysitting
10/ Merman saves the heroine from drowning
11/ Hero is locked up in a secret room in a tower
12/ New boy at school
13/ Halfway up a bridge

Tell me which one intrigues you the most and I’ll tell you the title and post a snippet in the comments.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

And...Back to SciFi Romance

Posted by: Marie Harte
I've been writing professionally for thirteen years. I write in several romance genres and have over 100 books to my name. I like to write in different genres because it keeps me sharp, and I like creating new worlds and families with interesting relationships.

Lately I've been writing a lot of contemporary romance for one particular publisher. And don't get me wrong, I love it, but now that I have the rights back to one of my science fiction romance series, I've been super excited to put my stories back out there.

Take a look at the newly covered LIFE IN THE VRAIL series!! 

Life abounds in the universe, where the different solar systems are made up of interesting people, places, and unimaginable creatures. Life in the Vrail System has its ups and downs. Planets are full of inhumanly strong men, beautiful women, agile-bodied warriors, rebels, lawmen, bounty hunters and genetically enhanced beings. People who love, who war, and who die. They’re never less than interesting, and who knows what they’ll bring to the future. Life in the Vrail. A place where the impossible is possible, and love always finds a way.

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Do You Believe in Meant to Be?

Posted by: Maureen

Before the holiday decorations are put away we're bombarded with Valentine’s Day. Whether you love, or hate, the holiday, one thing is for sure, love is here to stay all year long. Otherwise our hearts wouldn’t soften at every romance we’ve read, watched—or lived. We wouldn’t covet television romance movies, the ones on the big screen, and those novel characters coming to life in our hearts and minds.

There are a multitude of methods to get the couple together, but the end result is the same—true love—whether it’s a happily ever after, a happy for now, or having loved and lost.

What's your favorite method of a first meeting for the hero and heroine? 

Chance Encounter or Destiny? 

Do you believe if something is meant to be? In a story, or real life?

My husband and I will celebrate twenty-two years of marriage this year in March. Like many unexpected encounters, the day we met might never have occurred if not for a few twists of fate.

My friend begged me to babysit with her. I reluctantly agreed. After we finished, she insisted we make a quick stop at the mall. I protested. I dressed for babysitting messy munchkins, not going to the local teenage hotspot. But...I relented.

We arrived, and ran into another girlfriend and her boyfriend. While we chatted, a tall guy caught my eye. I leaned in to my friend to whisper my thoughts. Unbeknownst to me, my friend’s boyfriend overheard—and he knew ‘the cute guy’.  He promptly went over and told my future husband exactly what I said.

To my mortification, my future hubby walked over and said, “I heard you think I’m cute.”  I promptly died of embarrassment on the spot. Since I’m alive to tell this story, I’ve disproved the possibility of dying of embarrassment, because if there was ever a time it could happen, that was it.

Tempting Fate 

I could’ve refused to go to the mall, or fled when my future hubby mortified me with my own words, but I didn’t. I suppose, if we were ‘meant to be’ then I would’ve ran into him another time and allowed our fates to intertwine.

Sometimes it’s nice to believe things are following a predetermined path, but other times, I like to think I’m in more control of my destiny.

Holding Out for A Hero 

I have a little more control over my couples in my novels. I can throw them together through fate or circumstance.

Hope and Griffith were connected through dreams, so their meeting was inevitable, but their destiny together, was not.

Carmen and Dylan were thrown together through coincidence—or not. Only you can decide if it was fate.

Do You Believe in Fate or Do You Make Your Own Destiny?

About Me:
Maureen Bonatch dreamt of becoming a Solid Gold Dancer. When the show ended, she followed other paths. Surviving twins gave her confidence to belly dance, declare herself a tequila connoisseur and biker babe to her alpha hubby. She lives in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—biking, sweat pants, hockey and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line.

Check out all her books on her Amazon Author Page

Find Me:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Excerpt from DANCER OF THE NILE Free Ancient World Romance

Posted by: Veronica Scott
My award winning, bestselling paranormal novel of ancient Egypt, Dancer of the Nile (Gods of Egypt), is currently free, so I thought I'd share an excerpt today!

The story: 
1550 BCE
Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

The Excerpt:

Far too early the next morning, Nima leaned on the stone wall surrounding the well, stifling a yawn and nibbled at a piece of journey bread, waiting for the caravan to push itself into motion. She’d deliberately spent the night away from Kamin again, testing her feelings for him, assessing the reality of what she was about to do. She’d enjoyed her time with the Minoan dancers, not just sharing steps and new moves, but also asking them questions about living and traveling with the caravan.
Andrios and his dancers probably thought she was really considering Ptahnetamun’s offer and were excited, providing advice and encouragement. And I know Andrios is hoping my curiosity extends to his talents in lovemaking as well. But she knew she was just playing with the concept, living the nomad artist’s life by proxy for a night or two.

The opportunity was opening up too late. Even a few weeks ago, she’d have signed the contract and been gone without a backward glance. Why didn’t I ever at least talk to a caravan master about the possibilities? Note taken for the future—if there was a future to be had after this Hyksos problem ended—be bold and pursue dreams. No more drifting along.

Bracelets jangling, Thala nudged her in the ribs. “Here comes your man, looking for you.”

“Uh huh.” Affecting a casual air she didn’t really feel, Nima pushed down a little surge of excitement. I hope he was as upset by our spat yesterday as I was. She turned to rummage in her sack for some fruit, offering a date to her companion. “Making sure I haven’t wandered into Andrios’s bed.”

“It means something that the soldier was so jealous,” Thala said, licking yogurt from her fingers. “He must have feelings for you, my friend. “

“He seemed so bereft when you turned your back on him and ignored him,” Mika added, leaning over to grab a fig for herself from the sack.

“And he stayed on the fringe of the crowd the entire evening, watching you dance.” Thala nodded, patting Nima on the shoulder. “Actually, he was watching the bystanders more than he paid attention to you, in case the men got out of hand, I think. It must be nice to have such a fearsome warrior looking out for you.” She shrugged. “Andrios is a fine troupe master, an excellent dancer, but he’ll never settle for any one woman. This soldier of yours acts like a man who’s given his heart, perhaps in spite of himself.”

“I think we should leave the lovebirds alone,” Mika said with a laugh. “In case they want to quarrel again before the inevitable lovemaking heals the anger.” Taking one more date, she and Thala strolled away, heading for the dance troupe’s wagons.

Shrugging off the girls’ lighthearted banter, Nima watched Kamin striding confidently through the lines of camels and the hurrying workers. What about him captivates me so? He’s not like any other soldier I’ve ever met. Handsome, yes. She knew he would have drawn her attention in any crowded inn. But looks were only part of the attraction. Handsome she could walk away from. Was it his confidence? His skill as a warrior? The way he took such good care of her on the hard trail they followed?

 “He treats me like an equal in this adventure,” she said out loud. Not some burden he has to shoulder for honor’s sake because I happened to free him. She’d been acutely conscious of him at her back during the endless senet game, lending her silent strength and support, trusting her to use her skills and win their freedom again. We’re partners. I’ve never had anything close to trust and true partnership with any other person, and I don’t want to give that up. True, he’d spoken no words of love, although her foolish heart beat faster now just remembering how he’d claimed her as his woman twice in front of the caravan crew. I know he was only trying to protect me, but perhaps... I’m willing to stay the course and hope.

Always a gambler!

And he certainly was unhappy with the attention Andrios was giving me.

Nima felt an irrepressible smile curving her lips as Kamin approached, walking fast.  
Giving her a bow, as if she was some grand lady at Pharaoh’s court, he said, “One of the camels has given birth this morning. Out of season, but the calf appears healthy.”

Buy Links:

Monday, February 20, 2017

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown

New Releases

Lady of Silver (Blood and Silver)

A man on a mission
A brutal crime is haunting detective Dale Morgan. A young woman has been murdered on the city’s outskirts, and her blood drained. Dale suspects the leader of a depraved cult may be to blame. Yet with barely a shred of evidence at the crime scene, Dale will have to turn to the one person despises almost as much as the killers he puts behind bars.

A woman with secrets

To humans, Saba Venn is a psychic, but she’s Albah, a race long forgotten by humans but who live amongst them, her powers fueled by blood and silver. She agrees to help Detective Morgan, if it means stopping the vampire cult she believes is behind the killing. But the attraction she feels with Dale is immediate, and as their relationship intensifies she begins to doubt she can keep her secret from him.

Buy links: Amazon Kobo iBooks Barnes and Noble

Other News

Veronica Scott's STAR CRUISE: OUTBREAK took 3rd Place honors in the Judge A Book By Its Cover contest, with the judges being professional book sellers. Cover Artist Fiona Jayde does wonderful work!

The story:
She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?
Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target.  If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…
     Buy Links:  Apple iBooks   Amazon     Kobo      Barnes & Noble   

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