Monday, January 30, 2017

Victorian London.... Jack the Ripper... and more! #RB4U #MFRWauthor

A number of years ago, I began what I intended/hoped would be a series. The central character was a tormented but brilliant police inspector, a man scarred by his involvement with the notorious Jack the Ripper investigation, and a penchant for opium. The two books that introduce the series, a long novella and a short sequel never grew into a series for whatever reason - maybe no one else found Michael Devane as fascinating as I did! At any rate, I like to occasionally remind people of these stories because I do love them and consider them some of my best work. I have the desire to write a new tale, as well, so who knows - maybe he will be back again. At any rate, I hope you enjoy this exclusive excerpt and peek into Michael's world...


The Devane Files: Book One - OUT OF HELL 
Available from: Liquid Silver Books


Several nights after Goodwin had found him in Whitechapel, Devane was once again walking the streets, contemplating a trip to his usual haunt to meet with the dragon. Somehow, for the first time in years, it wasn’t overly appealing to his senses. The mist and fog that had been the genius behind his work for so long had begun again as a balm to his tortured soul after the death of his only child, a daughter, and his wife’s desertion. He knew he was an addict, yet was able to function in spite of it, perhaps because of it. Still, it was disturbing to the sensibilities he’d been brought up with, and he had pause to wonder for the first time in a long while if it was time to begin the painful process of withdrawal. He’d done it once, he knew he was more than capable of enduring it a second time.

Another typical London night, he noted in an abstract part of his mind as he pulled his coat closer and fought down a shiver. The fog wasn’t as thickly cloying as it often was, and he walked more by habit than actual interest along the familiar streets. Dutfield’s Yard loomed ahead of him before long and he did stop to look at the buildings in the area that had been the subject of so much police scrutiny when the body of the Ripper’s third victim, a pretty prostitute called Elizabeth Stride, had been found in the yard by Louis Diemschültz. Devane had been raised in the Whitechapel district in his earliest years, his parents had eventually escaped the poverty and hopelessness that prevailed in the East End, and it was during the years of his youth that he had often returned to the area. He’d met Liz Stride many times, and she was a beautiful woman who had charmed him in her easy-going manner. There were many people who questioned whether she was, in fact, a Ripper victim, but it no longer mattered to anyone, really. Elizabeth Stride had often reminded Devane of his beautiful wife during their meetings to exchange information for Abberline.

Against his better judgment, he allowed the old memory to surface and taunt him. Liz’s lush, dark curling hair, her beautiful dark eyes, and sensuous curves had been the stuff of his heart’s dreams for a long time. He’d always been fond of Stride, who was his senior by roughly fifteen years, but honesty forced him to admit that he’d fallen more than a little bit in love with the pretty prostitute, and had remained attached to her throughout his life. For the first time in a long time, the ache of her absence, and Evelyn’s, wasn’t quite as acute, and the dulled edges were more bearable. Time was healing his soul of these wounds, too, he realized.

He turned away, and was sincerely surprised to see a closed carriage moving toward him. Not a Hansom, but a carriage of wealth and quality. Seconds later, as the horses drew closer then came to a halt, he recognized the young man on the high seat holding the reins. It was Percival Vaughan, one of the footmen from Bradshaw Manor.

“Something I can do for you, Mr. Vaughan?” Devane asked sharply. The young man had been truculent and sulky from the instant he’d spoken to him, but before the footman could answer him, the door to the carriage opened a small bit and to Devane’s utter surprise, Bethany Bradshaw looked out at him and smiled.

“Sergeant Goodwin said you might be found here, Inspector Devane,” she told him once he’d walked up to the carriage and stood at the door. “Please,” she held out her hand to him, “do come inside, Inspector,” she requested. “If there is someplace you wish to go while we are talking, Percy can take you.”

“Actually, Mrs. Bradshaw,” he smiled and settled across from her. “I was planning to go home.” It was almost the truth, and he left it at that.

“Then we will be happy to take you to your home, Inspector,” she assured him.

“Where to, ma’am?” Percival asked from the driver’s seat above them.

“Inspector?”

Devane gave him the address, then leaned back in his seat, half hidden in shadows as he studied her for a few moments. She was dressed in layers of black velvet and satin, with demure ribbons the only adornment on the severe dress. Her hat and mourning veil sat on the seat next to her, he noted with curiosity.

“Why did you want to see me, Mrs. Bradshaw?” he finally asked. Her appearance late at night, alone in a carriage in the Whitechapel district was not only startling, it was potentially dangerous.

“I thought it would be easier to speak freely away from my home,” she explained softly. “My father has moved in again and he tends to enjoy interfering in anything that concerns me. I thought you might have questions that would be better asked without his presence.”

A candid and surprisingly astute reply, he thought, revising his initial assessment of her strength of character. She was not typical of most women, to be certain, and he knew there was a great deal more anger inside her than grief. The reasons for her rancor were less apparent.

“Sergeant Goodwin shouldn’t have sent you into Whitechapel to look for me, ma’am,” he said firmly. “It’s hardly an appropriate place for someone like you.”

“I would have thought the same about you, Inspector,” she remarked with a slightly raised eyebrow and a discernible note of challenge in her clear voice.

He nodded, his smile deepening.

“Inspector Devane,” she hesitated, then visibly gathered her thoughts and went on, “you are one of the officers who were assigned to the murders committed here, were you not?”

“I was,” he affirmed in a low voice.

She looked directly into his eyes, measured the lack of emotion in his response, then bowed her head briefly. “My apologies, Inspector, I can’t even imagine how horrible that memory is for you.” She glanced again at him, adding, “I thought your name familiar when we were introduced a few days ago, but it wasn’t until my maid said something about Jack The Ripper that I recalled where I had read it. The more sensationalist papers are creating tales about Robert’s murder being linked to those atrocities.” She met his eyes fully again, and held their dark depths without flinching, “That is absurd, is it not, Inspector?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he agreed. “But, from what I’ve learned about your husband, he had enemies, Lady...”

She shook her head impatiently, the action a reflex, and not really an admonishment.

“Inspector, may I ask a favor of you, sir?”

“Anything,” he replied instantly, inwardly startled by how sincerely he meant it.

“Please, call me Bethany,” she said with real weariness. “I could scream I am so tired of polite correctness and formality. It drains the spirit of any joy.”

“How well did you know your husband, Bethany?” Devane asked, using the name smoothly, turning it unconsciously into a verbal caress.

She stared at him for a moment, her cheeks flushed, even in the flickering gaslights that lined the streets and cast momentary illumination into the carriage as they passed them. The reaction to his voice shocked her, and she shivered suddenly.

“Ma’am?”

“Yes, Inspector De...”

“Michael,” he inserted softly, with a slight smile. “If you are to permit me to use your first name, then you must do the same.”

“Michael?” She nodded, savoring the texture and sound of his name as though it were a fine wine she tasted. He inclined his head, and she smiled at him, not a fleeting glimpse, but a radiant, bright expression that warmed Devane’s heart. She was a lovely woman, he thought, and a quietly strong person, too, he guessed. Her manners, while impeccable, showed a frustration with constraints of class and propriety. She did not think herself better than others who lacked her wealth and advantages, which was a refreshing change. He liked her, and in that instant learned also that he respected her intelligence and sensitivity.

“I have no illusions about my husband, Michael,” she assured him. “He was often away for weeks at a time, despite being less than an hour from home. I know the kind of women he frequently associated with, as well.”

“Did you love your husband, Bethany?”

The information was irrelevant to the case, but somehow vital to him in spite of that.

As before, she met his eyes candidly, calmly.

“No,” she responded softly. “I did not even like him over much,” she told him. “My father arranged the marriage, though I have wondered many times why he was in favor of the match. Perhaps Robert blackmailed him. I wouldn’t have judged it a thing of which he was incapable.”

He was taken aback by the bluntness of her words and she caught the expression before he could conceal it.

“You’re shocked, Michael,” she mused. “I could shock you a great deal more if I chose to,” she confided. She turned away, suddenly ill-at-ease in the close confines of the carriage. Pain touched her heart, and moved like a spearing dart into her brain. Red hazed her vision, then dissipated; in its wake, cold sweat beaded her brow and she felt herself falling, fading into a peaceful abyss... Devane’s beautiful voice trailed after her, and she tried, vainly, to hold onto it as she fell, but it, too, drifted out of reach...

Devane caught her in his arms as she began to slip from her seat. They were a block or two from his flat and, as he held her, he ordered the driver to get them to their destination more quickly.




The Devane Files: Book One - OUT OF HELL
Available from: Liquid Silver Books


The Devane Files: Book Two - AN UNSPOKEN BETRAYAL
Available from: Liquid Silver Books


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Holiday laughter.... #RB4U #MFRWauthor #WRWbuzz

It's been quite some time since I posted to my blogs, a lot has been happening, and very little of it good. But, it's the holiday, the end of another year is approaching quickly, and I thought it might be fun to share a bit of laughter with everyone... So, here we go! A long time ago, as in several decades ago, a friend of mine wrote this quirky and funny holiday poem. It's been a while since I shared it, so I thought it might give a few chuckles since it's that time of year again!! Happy Holidays everyone, however you celebrate during this season.

T'was the Month Before Christmas

T’was the month before Christmas, and all through the store
Each department was dripping with Yuletide decor
The Muzak was blaring an out-of-tune carol
And fake snow was falling on “Ladies Apparel”
I’d flown many miles from the North Pole this day
To check on reports which had caused me dismay
I’d come to this store but for one special reason
To see for myself what went on at this season
I hid in a corner and in a short while
I saw the store President march down the aisle
He shouted an order to “Turn the store tree on!”
And also “NOEL” in blinding pink neon
Up high hanging grandly from twin gold supports
Four hundred pink angels flew over “Men’s Shorts”
And towering up over the rear Mezzanine
A 90-foot, day-glow “Nativity Scene”
The clock on the wall said a quarter to nine
The floorwalkers proudly stood in a line
I watched while the President smelled their carnations
Then called out his final command—“Man your stations!”
When out on the street there arose such a roar
It rang to the rafters and boomed through the store
It sounded exactly like street repair drilling
Or maybe another big mafia killing?
I looked to the door and there banging the glass
Was a clamouring, shrieking, hysterical mass
And I felt from the tone of each scream and each curse
That the “Spirit of Christmas” had changed for the worse
The clock it struck nine and the door opened wide
And that great human avalanche came thundering inside
More fearsome than Sherman attacking Atlanta
Came parents and kiddies with just one goal—“Santa”
In front stormed the Mothers all brandishing handbags
As heavy and deadly as twenty-pound sandbags
With gusto they swung them, the better to smash ears
Of innocent floorwalkers, buyers, and cashiers
Straight up to the Fifth Floor the mob penetrated
And soon reach the room where the store Santa waited
I followed them closely, the better to see
This bearded imposter who dared to play me
He stood six-foot-five and weighed all of one-thirty
He’d lost half his teeth, and his costume was dirty
His beard dangled down like a wad of cheap cotton
His breath needed “Scope” and his “Ho-Ho” was rotten
Egged on by their parents the kids had one aim
To get to this man who was using my name
They mobbed him and mauled him, the better to plead
For the presents they sought in their hour of greed
The President watched with a gleam in his eye
As he thought of the toys that the parents would buy
Of all Christmas come-ons this crowd would attest
That visit to “Santa” was clearly the best
It was all too much for my soul to condone
And I let out a most UN-professional moan
The crowd turned quickly, and I’ll say for their sake
That they knew in an instant I wasn’t a fake
“I’ve had it,” I told them, “with fast-buck promoting!
“With gimmicks and come-ons, and businessmen gloating!
“This garish display of commercialized greed,
“Is so very UN-Christmas it makes my heart bleed.”
With that I departed up an emergency stairwell
Deaf to each plea, and hysterical yell
On reaching the roof to my sleigh I went forth
Where my reindeer were waiting to take me back North
The crowd came behind me and begged me to stay
And before they could stop me, I was off in my sleigh
But I turned to exclaim as I flew from the mob
“Happy Christmas to all—I’m resigning my job!”



Saturday, October 22, 2016

Updates, honesty, and what lies ahead...

Hello everyone!

As most of you know, I was in a car crash a couple of weeks ago and life hasn’t really been the same for the past ten days. My car was damaged badly and repair costs are over $8300, and that doesn’t include personal stuff that resulted from this crash. I’ve had x-rays that show there is a compression fracture low in my spine, and severe whiplash that runs from shoulders to tailbone… all in all, I’m in a lot of pain and haven’t been able to do a lot for the past ten days.

I have a long road back from the pain, apparently, because I had pre-existing issues that have also been made worse. The other driver, a woman close to 92 years old, is fine and trying to dodge responsibility by denying everything, even being charged for the driving offense.

So, next week is very likely to begin a long run with physio therapy, more statements to insurance people, and probably a face to face with her insurance company regarding the injury. I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks.

Despite having a lot of down time away from the computer, I’ve been reading more, and really looking honestly at a lot of things in terms of a writing career gone wrong. I’ve tried to quit, usually not with much success, and I’ve adapted to market changes, learned, and written things I love–and things I hate. Ultimately, all it’s gotten me is a bad case of regrets and disappointment.

I guess in many ways I’ve been the architect of my own failure because somehow I always choose integrity over expedience, and therein lies the bigger issue. I’ve had a lot of battles with people in this business, many more than I ever would have believed possible because the truth is, I don’t look for controversy and generally just want to be left alone. It took me several years to rid myself of the insanity of role players constantly hounding me, and creating dramas while they went about destroying whatever reputation I had built. When I’m done, I walk away… I remove people from my social media who have brought nothing but emotional upheaval and maybe that inadvertently creates more issues than it solves? Who knows? I certainly can’t make heads or tails of it.

I’m a sensitive and intuitive soul, always have been. I say that as a simple statement of fact, not a ploy for empathy or sympathy. When I help people out, which I have often done, and I get back snide comments, gossip, and outright lies from people I once trusted, it does hurt. When I see people I consider friends continuing to interact with the ones who’ve ripped into me, it does hurt. I’m a big girl, though, and I try to leave that pain and sense of mild betrayal where it belongs, and I try to move forward. I don’t pretend to understand because I don’t work this way–when someone hurts someone I love, I deal directly with the person who’s hurt my friend, and I just remove the offender from my radar. That is MY way of dealing with things. I don’t continue to court the people who lie and belittle those I care about. I can’t do it any other way and still be true to who I am as a person.

I have removed at least two well-known and successful NY Times best-selling authors from my social pages because they lied outright to me about situations that hurt a lot of people close to me. Was it a wise career move? Probably not. Hell, I know it wasn’t, really. But, again, I choose my loyalties and stand by them. I don’t use the people I know to make myself look better or more important to readers, or potential audiences. In the end, this may be part of why I stagnate in obscurity while a lot of people I know move into the big publishing houses and make it onto the lists.

At the end of the day, nothing I do makes much of a difference, and I accept that, too. Pain is not a great catalyst for decision making, so I won’t use how I feel right now as an excuse to quit. That said, I also won’t pretend I like people I don’t like, or use the success of others to further my chances at getting ahead in this business. If I can’t do it on my own terms, I won’t do it at all… and that, it seems, is the way it will end up being anyway.

May your success always be something that makes you smile with pride, and may your heart be blessed in all you do.


Friday, October 14, 2016

New Release! Roping the Cowboy #RB4U #MFRWauthor #boxedset

Being part of the second RB4U Boxed set this year was looking doubtful for me when real life got in the way, and I was late with my story. BUT, thanks to patience from the organizers of this set and determination from me, I'm back! Westerns are really my favourite genre, but historical westerns, not so much contemporary. I chose a darker subject than usual for this one, it's a story about finding you way back to love and hope after devastating injuries - one psychological and the other physical. Ultimately, it's a love story, and one I hope readers enjoy! Have a sneak peek below, and don't forget to get your copy–it’s available wherever you like to buy your eBooks!



The Shadows in Our Past
Historical Western - sensual


Enroute home to Gold Ridge, Colorado after their honeymoon, David and Hannah Logan are attacked by a pair of bandits who plunge them back into a past they shared, but never truly came to terms with together... It’s been almost a year since the nightmare of violence and assault tore Hannah from David’s side and left him bereft and angry. When she returned to him, determined to rebuild what they’d lost, the light of love had come with her. Now, a new torment threatens to destroy everything, and Hannah’s biggest enemy might just be David himself…

Excerpt:

“I wanted a father, and I got Jonas Wilkes. I needed to trust him, and he made me feel...” She shuddered, visibly changed her train of thought. “Then I met you; Gold Ridge’s most respected citizen. I’d never met anyone quite like you, David Logan. You were handsome, sophisticated, powerful... What was it Margaret called you? A charming outlaw.” She smiled. “She was right, that’s exactly what you are. But you took my breath away the moment I saw you. I will never forget that day, or turning around to see you on the stairs of the Nugget, all elegance and danger. You terrified me, and you excited me. I felt things in those first seconds that I have never felt before. My God, David, I think I fell in love with you before you even spoke to me.”

“You do know how to flatter me, Hannah,” he whispered.

“But it’s not flattery, David. Every time you walk into a room, you make my heart feel like it’s going to burst with the love that fills me. I can’t believe you’re my husband. That you chose to give me that much of your life.”

She smiled, tilted her head to one side, whimsical yet more serious than he’d ever seen her.

“Finish, Hannah,” he requested. “I want to know what you’re feeling.”

“Do you remember the first time you kissed me?”

He nodded.

“I would have behaved like a common whore for you that day, and it frightened me to death, David. I was with a fine, Southern gentleman. A man well-bred, respected, all the things that a lady wants. And instead of being a lady, I was ready to

His laughter stopped her abruptly.

“You do yourself a great disservice, Mrs. Logan,” he teased tenderly. “Any gentleman is still susceptible to the charms of a lovely woman. And you do take away my sense of propriety, Hannah.”

“The first time you made love to me, I was certain that God had put me on this earth to belong to you, David. You gave me everything that my heart had ever wanted, even the things I didn’t let myself hope for. I felt safe, and whole, at peace. Every time you touch me, I feel that way. Beautiful... complete...”

“Then why are you so afraid, Hannah?”

“I don’t want to be,” she said fiercely. “I hate it, David! I despise myself for feeling like this. But

“But?” he coaxed gently.

“Elizabeth was right,” she put her fingers to his mouth when he would have objected instantly. “She was right about some things, David. I’ll never know you the way Ellen did. I’m not from the same world. Your Southern honor is one of the things I love most about you, but it’s a mystery to me, too. You were married and fighting in a war when I was little more than a baby at my mother’s breast. Your soul was scarred in ways that I can only imagine.” Tears flooded her eyes as she stared up at him. “David, the sun in my world rises and sets in your eyes.” She gulped in a sharp breath. “I’ve never needed anyone that much, and it frightens me.”

David nodded, lifted her hands to his lips again as he kissed the fingers that shook within his light grasp; then he looked intently at her.

“Will you listen to me now?”

“Of course,” she replied, voice thick with emotion. She watched as he rose, took the other chair on the balcony, and set it directly in front of her. Then he sat and took her hands again.

“I love Elizabeth, Hannah,” he began quietly. “But, you’re wrong. She doesn’t know me. Not now. She remembers the child she grew up with, the young boy who adored her, and looked up to her. She loved Ellen; partly because I did; and partly because Ellen needed her approval and acceptance. Beth doesn’t know how to make you need those things from her, because the truth is, you don’t.” He smiled at her, warmed by the returning glow of devotion that stared back at him from her eyes. “The war cost us our way of life, and for some, it’s not a thing they’ll ever recover from. I feel like I’ve lived in two worlds for a long time, Hannah, not belonging fully to either one. When I let myself love you, I discovered that I had a home again.”

Her tears fell, silent, silvery trails of sorrow and gratitude that wet the gentle contours of her cheeks. David brushed them aside, then kissed her forehead.

“When you came to the Nugget after Wilkes left for St. Louis, I told myself that I was doing the honorable thing by protecting you.” He snorted softly, self-derisive. “I was doing nothing of the kind. I wanted you close to me, looking at me with that adoring, trusting awe that made my heart feel like it was trying to escape my body.”

“And I thought you didn’t want me near you.”

His laughter was low, genuinely amused.

“I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of you,” he corrected. “I don’t think any woman has ever looked at me with the trust and respect that’s in your eyes each day. You humble me, Hannah. No one’s ever done that. Not even Ellen.”

Startled, she looked closer at him, felt herself falling into the aching darkness of his eyes. She slid off her chair and settled at his feet, her head in his lap. David’s fingers brushed through her hair, and she shivered as she stared up at him.

“You are one of the most courageous women I’ve known, Hannah. Strong, independent, passionate, and loyal. Any man can buy a whore, Hannah. Few men are lucky enough to know a woman’s heart is his possession, and that she can be trusted to keep his in return.”


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nothing To Lose with @DarleneLF #Romance #sweet #kindle

Nothing To Lose
Darlene Fredette
Escape Publishing

Contemporary 
Sweet (PG) sweet romance, bakery, cakes, fireman, family.

She has one last hope – a small, family-run bakery that might just be baking up second chances.


Blurb: Dwindling finances has Jesse Robinson running out of options. With a past filled with failures, she longs for a new beginning. Applying for a job she isn’t qualified for may be another crazy mistake, but at this point Jesse has nothing to lose. 


Juggling two jobs, Travis Cooper has absolutely no time for a relationship and isn’t looking for one. But when his mother hires an unqualified baker, he has more to worry about than three-tiered wedding cakes. Like whether to break his own no-dating-employees rule and make a little room in his life for love. 


Excerpt:


‘How hard can baking be? Easy‐peasy. Right?’ She knew her words to be untrue. She’d watched shows on the Food Network. The chefs on television made creating desserts appear simple, yet Jessie’s attempts always ended with opening a window and the lid on the garbage can.

‘I have no choice, and at this point I have nothing to lose.’ Jessie had thought the same before her previous four jobs. Though, she did excel at one particular skill—making bad choices. If only she could include that talent as a positive trait.

She drew in a deep breath to calm her racing pulse. Desperation rolled in the emptiness of her stomach. She’d just go into the bakery and win them over. She had to. The two hundred dollars in her bank account would cover her car payment. As long as I don’t eat or drive anywhere, I’m good.


Purchase Links:



Author Bio: Darlene resides on the East Coast of Canada with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab. When not working on her next book, she enjoys spending time with her family. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loves to develop the many stories swimming in her head. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. 

Contact links:



And now, Darlene is going to share a recipe Jesse uses in Nothing To Lose! Enjoy!!

Jesse’s Blueberry Muffins

In Nothing To Lose, Jesse has to prove her baking skills by cooking up a delicious treat. For someone whose previous attempts at baking ended in the trash can, she attempts to make these blueberry muffins.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups blueberries

Baking Tip - Jesse added a teaspoon of vanilla to her mixture, which is highly recommended!

In bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
In separate bowl, cream butter with sugar; beat in eggs one at a time, and add the vanilla. Gradually stir in milk (mixture may appear curdled). 
Make a well in centre of dry ingredients; pour in liquid and stir just until moistened. 
Gently fold in blueberries.
Spoon into large paper-lined or well-greased muffin cups, filling to top. 
Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch.

Did Jesse pass the baking test and get the job? You’ll have to read Nothing To Lose to find out!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Want to win a #Kindle? How about some gift cards or stunning earrings? Then join the #FallIntoRomance event today!


Welcome to the Fall Into Romance Kindle Giveaway! 

Prizes
GRAND PRIZE – Kindle eReader + $25 Amazon gift card
1st PRIZE – $50 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
2nd PRIZE – $50 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
3rd Genuine blue topaz earrings (US only)
4th Signed paperback copy of Dominant Persuasions (US only)
5th Various swag items (3 winners – US only)


The wonderful and talented authors who have made this giveaway possible: 

Nicole Morgan, Sharon Hamilton, Desiree Holt, Laura Taylor, Sarah Jane Butfield, Mimi Barbour, Cynthia Woolf, Bethany Shaw, Jerrie Alexander, Elizabeth Marx, Kristine Cayne, Janice Seagraves, Beth Caudill, Olga Núñez Miret, Lisa Gillis, Denyse Bridger, Misha Carver, Laxmi Hariharan, Tina Donahue, Susanne Leist, Lisa Kessler, Tamara Ferguson, Amy J. Hawthorn, Kym Roberts

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Dark, intense, passionate... coming soon from #RB4U #MFRWauthor

The Shadows in Our Past
Denysé Bridger
Historical Western
Heat rating: sensual

Enroute home to Gold Ridge, Colorado after their honeymoon, David and Hannah Logan are attacked by a pair of bandits who plunge them back into a past they shared, but never truly came to terms with together... It’s been almost a year since the nightmare of violence and assault tore Hannah from David’s side and left him bereft and angry. When she returned to him, determined to rebuild what they’d lost, the light of love had come with her. Now, a new torment threatens to destroy everything, and Hannah’s biggest enemy might just be David himself…

Excerpt:

“I wanted a father, and I got Jonas Wilkes. I needed to trust him, and he made me feel...” She shuddered, visibly changed her train of thought. “Then I met you; Gold Ridge’s most respected citizen. I’d never met anyone quite like you, David Logan. You were handsome, sophisticated, powerful... What was it Margaret called you? A charming outlaw.” She smiled. “She was right, that’s exactly what you are. But you took my breath away the moment I saw you. I will never forget that day, or turning around to see you on the stairs of the Nugget, all elegance and danger. You terrified me, and you excited me. I felt things in those first seconds that I have never felt before. My God, David, I think I fell in love with you before you even spoke to me.”

“You do know how to flatter me, Hannah,” he whispered.

“But it’s not flattery, David. Every time you walk into a room, you make my heart feel like it’s going to burst with the love that fills me. I can’t believe you’re my husband. That you chose to give me that much of your life.”

She smiled, tilted her head to one side, whimsical yet more serious than he’d ever seen her.

“Finish, Hannah,” he requested. “I want to know what you’re feeling.”

“Do you remember the first time you kissed me?”

He nodded.

“I would have behaved like a common whore for you that day, and it frightened me to death, David. I was with a fine, Southern gentleman. A man well-bred, respected, all the things that a lady wants. And instead of being a lady, I was ready to

His laughter stopped her abruptly.

“You do yourself a great disservice, Mrs. Logan,” he teased tenderly. “Any gentleman is still susceptible to the charms of a lovely woman. And you do take away my sense of propriety, Hannah.”

“The first time you made love to me, I was certain that God had put me on this earth to belong to you, David. You gave me everything that my heart had ever wanted, even the things I didn’t let myself hope for. I felt safe, and whole, at peace. Every time you touch me, I feel that way. Beautiful... complete...”

“Then why are you so afraid, Hannah?”

“I don’t want to be,” she said fiercely. “I hate it, David! I despise myself for feeling like this. But

“But?” he coaxed gently.

“Elizabeth was right,” she put her fingers to his mouth when he would have objected instantly. “She was right about some things, David. I’ll never know you the way Ellen did. I’m not from the same world. Your Southern honor is one of the things I love most about you, but it’s a mystery to me, too. You were married and fighting in a war when I was little more than a baby at my mother’s breast. Your soul was scarred in ways that I can only imagine.” Tears flooded her eyes as she stared up at him. “David, the sun in my world rises and sets in your eyes.” She gulped in a sharp breath. “I’ve never needed anyone that much, and it frightens me.”

David nodded, lifted her hands to his lips again as he kissed the fingers that shook within his light grasp; then he looked intently at her.

“Will you listen to me now?”

“Of course,” she replied, voice thick with emotion. She watched as he rose, took the other chair on the balcony, and set it directly in front of her. Then he sat and took her hands again.

“I love Elizabeth, Hannah,” he began quietly. “But, you’re wrong. She doesn’t know me. Not now. She remembers the child she grew up with, the young boy who adored her, and looked up to her. She loved Ellen; partly because I did; and partly because Ellen needed her approval and acceptance. Beth doesn’t know how to make you need those things from her, because the truth is, you don’t.” He smiled at her, warmed by the returning glow of devotion that stared back at him from her eyes. “The war cost us our way of life, and for some, it’s not a thing they’ll ever recover from. I feel like I’ve lived in two worlds for a long time, Hannah, not belonging fully to either one. When I let myself love you, I discovered that I had a home again.”

Her tears fell, silent, silvery trails of sorrow and gratitude that wet the gentle contours of her cheeks. David brushed them aside, then kissed her forehead.

“When you came to the Nugget after Wilkes left for St. Louis, I told myself that I was doing the honorable thing by protecting you.” He snorted softly, self-derisive. “I was doing nothing of the kind. I wanted you close to me, looking at me with that adoring, trusting awe that made my heart feel like it was trying to escape my body.”

“And I thought you didn’t want me near you.”

His laughter was low, genuinely amused.

“I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of you,” he corrected. “I don’t think any woman has ever looked at me with the trust and respect that’s in your eyes each day. You humble me, Hannah. No one’s ever done that. Not even Ellen.”

Startled, she looked closer at him, felt herself falling into the aching darkness of his eyes. She slid off her chair and settled at his feet, her head in his lap. David’s fingers brushed through her hair, and she shivered as she stared up at him.

“You are one of the most courageous women I’ve known, Hannah. Strong, independent, passionate, and loyal. Any man can buy a whore, Hannah. Few men are lucky enough to know a woman’s heart is his possession, and that she can be trusted to keep his in return.”
Coming in October from the authors at Romance Books 4 Us

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Social Media Madness #RB4U #MFRWauthor #WRWbuzz

It’s been an interesting week for me, to say the least. After more than two years of being virtually non-existent as a writer, I’ve started to come back online with my work goals firmly in place. One of the things I’ve been doing behind the scenes is studying, a lot! The craft of writing is an art, despite the vast multitude of people who think it’s only words on a page. I know this because I used to be one of the people who always said it wasn’t a special talent, just something I did – putting words on a page. Time has taught me it is so much more than that, and I want to do it right, and do it well again.

Over the past few days one of my “goals” has been to streamline my social media. Back in 2006 or so when I created my Facebook page and my Twitter account, and all that good stuff, it was all so new and exciting… so many people wanted to be friends or follow me, etc. I thought it was wonderful. Time has taught me some lessons there, too, of course. So, the past few days have begun a change in how I do my social media presence, too. I tackled Twitter first, because I’ve loved Twitter much more than Facebook over the years, but I could no longer pull a live conversation out of the light-speed streams via my Tweetdeck. I’ve talked to some pretty awesome people via Twitter over the years, and I wanted to get back to that, to a slower stream filled with people I really wanted to “tweet” to and hear from. With that in mind, I began cleaning house, and my list of following went from 2700+ to less than 300 after several hours of sitting here and looking over all the accounts I was linked to. Now my Twitter stream is readable again, and I’m able to actually speak to people and see what they’re saying in return – what a concept!

Today, I started the Facebook clean up, and that one is going to take a number of days to complete. No one has 4900+ friends, so it’s time to be realistic. I’m working on moving the business of writing to my business page, so please do feel free to connect there, I’ll be using it a lot more than I used to!! (Denysé Bridger, Author) My personal profile is being left for people I actual know or talk to for the most part. My first day has already decreased the list by 800, and tomorrow is another day.

I know some people will see this as me shooting myself in the foot, and they may be right, but in truth, I need to start separating work and personal. Too much of my life and struggles have become public property, and I’ve reached the point where I want my books to speak for themselves. I don’t want to have to beat people on the head and beg them to buy books. I have a huge presence, but it’s never resulted in people buying my books anyway, so really, there’s not much to lose at this stage.

Apart from this change of approach to social media, I’ve taken a new approach to my books, too. No more writing what I think will sell, or stuff that I really don’t like on any level myself. It’s time to go back to the beginning and start fresh. The books that are in the works are novels, good ones!! My forté was always romantic suspense, or mainstream romances, and that’s what I’m doing again. Exciting, sensual romance with edge… I hope you’ll continue to walk with me on the journey – I have a strong feeling the best is still in front of us, my friends!!

May your days be Blessed, and your hearts smiling… today and always! With my gratitude for your friendship and support... A new era begins….


Monday, August 08, 2016

Greek mythological fantasy As Fate Decrees @DenyseBridger #RB4U #MFRWauthor #RomFantasy


This book was almost ten years in the making. From the time it was conceived and I began work on it, until it was released in 2007, it went through several revisions as I polished it and worked on details. It was tentatively accepted by two New York publishers, but things fell through. I loved the idea of it being released for the turning of the millennium, but the Fates had other plans. I was lucky with this one, apart from one very odd review, it’s been universally praised and enjoyed by readers who have never read a fantasy novel, and by those who go enjoy the genre. At one point last year, it ranked in the Top 50 for genre on Kobo Books. If you like a time-spanning epic fantasy, you will surely like As Fate Decrees. And, it's currently climbing up the ranks at Amazon again, which is awesome to see!!



AS FATE DECREES

Genre: Adventure/Historical Fantasy / Greek Mythology
Aurora Award Finalist



The gods of ancient Greece must find a mortal champion to defend their fate.



“Go and seek the one I have told you about, she is frail and in need of help. Look not of upper blood, for I have seen her down in the dirt. She is held against her will. Find her and you shall find your savior.” — The Oracle of Delphi

In ancient Greece the young maiden, Amarantha, is captured and sold in the slave market of Athens.

"What fates await?" she wonders. "And what divine design will the Olympian gods have for me?"

As unexpectedly as she had found herself placed in chains, Amarantha finds herself purchased by a mysterious master who refuses to reveal his true identity.

But he is no ordinary man, nor she an ordinary slave.

Under her master's tutelage, Amarantha is trained as a fighter and challenged to prove herself in battle after battle until her skills are perfected and she is granted the right to know his true identity.

He is Ares, god of war and the son of Zeus. And she is to become Champion to the gods of Olympus; bound forever to serve and vanquish all foes until the gods themselves grant her peace.

But even gods are not immune to the fickle twists of fate, and Amarantha is soon ripped from her quiet resting place and cast through time itself to do battle with a modern day reincarnation of an old foe - a madman bent on rewriting history to suit his own twisted desire.

She must act quickly to win this battle, for the fate of all Olympian gods hangs in a delicate balance between immortality and the realization that even the gods themselves may be returned to the dust from which they arose.

For further information please see: 

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For anyone who would like to read the opening chapter/prologue from As Fate Decrees, it's available here