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Thursday, April 23, 2015

.@PumpUpYourBook Presents Stonehill Downs @sarahremywrites #booktour #RomFantasy

About the Author

In 1994 Sarah Remy earned a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Pomona College in California. Since then she’s been employed as a receptionist at a high-powered brokerage firm, managed a boutique bookstore, read television scripts for a small production company, and, more recently, worked playground duty at the local elementary school.

When she’s not taking the service industry by storm, she’s writing fantasy and science fiction. Sarah likes her fantasy worlds gritty, her characters diverse and fallible, and she doesn’t believe every protagonist deserves a happy ending.

Before joining the Harper Voyager family, she published with EDGE, Reuts, and Madison Place Press.

Sarah lives in Washington State with plenty of animals and people, both. In her limited spare time she rides horses, rehabs her old home, and supervises a chaotic household. She can talk to you endlessly about Sherlock Holmes, World of Warcraft, and backyard chicken husbandry, and she’s been a member of one of Robin Hobb’s longest-running online fan clubs since 2002.

Her latest is the fantasy novel, Stonehill Downs.
For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Stonehill Downs
Author: Sarah Remy
Publisher: Harper Collins/Voyager
Pages: 400
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook


Stonehill Downs follows Mal, a powerful mage who functions as Lord Vocent, the king’s personal forensic scientist and detective.  Magic and murder are his calling.  Never have the two entangled in quite as terrifying a manner as on Stonehill Downs, where Avani, a Goddess-gifted outsider, has discovered a host of gruesome corpses reeking of supernatural malfeasance.  The investigation is haunted by ghosts of Mal’s past, and the two quickly learn that they must cast aside their secrets if they are to succeed in unearthing the pervading evil—before it’s unleashed from the boundaries of the Downs, straight into the heart of the kingdom.

For More Information

Book Excerpt:
Dusk

Andrew struggled.
Mal held him down. The old man’s skin burned, and sweat turned his mottled flesh slick, but still he shuddered as if chilled. Where Mal’s long fingers encircled his wrists, bruises blossomed.
Perspiration dampened Mal’s own brow, running in rivulets along his nose and into the corners of his eyes, stinging. He didn’t move to wipe them away. All of his strength was focused on the man convulsing beneath his hands.
“Let him go, Mal.”
“No.” He refused to spare Siobahn a glance. He refused to acknowledge the disapproval he felt vibrating across the room.
“Malachi. You mustn’t keep him back. It’s too painful.”
“For him? Or for you?” He knew the words were unkind. He didn’t care.
The air moved as Siobahn shifted. The candles in the close room flickered, shedding plumes of smoke. Her breath stirred the hair on the back of his head.
Still, he wouldn’t look around.
The dying man twisted on silken bedclothes. His mouth gaped open, showing yellow teeth, and his eyes rolled in his skull.
Mal knew the old man was all but senseless, but he couldn’t help himself; he bent forward and peered into the wizened face.
“Andrew,” he whispered, willing the other man to hear.
“Mal.” Siobahn forced the issue, stepping away from the shadows and into his line of sight.
Her gown rustled. He could hear the soft pad of her slippers along the stone floor. She slid through the haze of incense, and set her palms flat on the edge of the bed, leaning across the mattress until he was forced to meet her gaze.
“Let him go,” she said again. This time she put just a touch of ice into the words.
Mal no longer took orders, not even from the young woman who had once been his wife. But she could still pierce him through with her deep blue eyes, and she knew it.
No matter how often he wished it otherwise, Siobahn never failed to move him. She knew that, also.
So he looked away from Andrew’s gaping mouth, and let her rake him with her gaze. She was angry, he saw, and disappointed. Maybe she was frightened, but she kept her smile sweet.
“You’re holding him back,” she warned. “Don’t make him struggle.”
“He might still be saved,” Mal argued, even though his heart knew better. Already the bitter tang of grief roughened the back of his throat.
Andrew was the last, and Mal didn’t want to be alone.
Siobahn lifted one hand from the mattress, and set it on Mal’s arm. His tendons quivered at her touch. Beneath his own fingers Andrew’s muscles convulsed in response. The ravaged body arched up off the bed, then snapped back onto the bedclothes.
Blooded scented the air; a trickle of the dark liquid stained Andrew’s chin. The old man had bitten through his tongue.
The violence of the struggle touched Mal at last. He flinched away from the bed, releasing frail bones. The moment his fingers left Andrew’s flesh, the old man convulsed again, as though plucked off the mattress by the hands of the gods. Mal heard bones in the tortured spine snap.
“He’s on his way,” Siobahn whispered, relieved.
Mal shuddered. The gods were never gentle with the ones they favored.
He bent over the bed, and took Andrew’s right hand in his own. There was no response. The old man was well and truly gone.
Mal stroked Andrew’s cooling palm with his thumb. Tears still scratched at the back of his throat. He forced them down, waited until he knew his eyes were dry, and then he reached over and wiped the blood from Andrew’s mouth with the edge of his sleeve.
The blood disappeared into the grain of the dark leather he wore. Mal studied the cuff, searching for a stain that didn’t show. Then he straightened his shoulders and set Andrew’s hand back onto the silks.
He turned from the canopied bed and stepped off the sleeping dais. The suite was gloomy, the air too thick. The smoke from the massive candles Andrew had so loved twined with the fumes of eastern incense.
Mal stumbled over the flagstones, intending to wrench open the windows. He wanted to breath in the night air, to clear away the headache lurking behind his eyes.
“Malachi,” Siobahn warned, just as his hand settled on the window latch. “Tradition. Renault would not be pleased …”
She broke off, sensing his silent fury.
She was correct. He almost lifted the latch anyway. If only he could get a taste of fresh air. He needed the breeze across his face to cool his growing rage. And Renault would never know.
He pulled his hand back from the latch and curled his fingers carefully behind his back. Standing alone in the hazy darkness, he could almost feel the chill of the night through the windowpane.
Glass was dearly bought. Only the king’s most beloved were lucky enough to have paned windows. Mal had glass in his own rooms, but not so much.
Andrew had been Renualt’s most beloved.
“And now he’s dead.” Mal forced himself to say it aloud. Briefly, he set his brow against one cool pane.
“You need to tell him,” Siobahn said from somewhere over his left shoulder. “You’ve already waited too long. Renault should have been here earlier. To order the windows covered and—”
This time he stopped her words with a snarl. He heard her teeth click as she bit back the rest of her lecture. He sighed. Again, she was correct. She almost always was.
“I’ll go to him now,” he allowed, turning away from his reflection in the glass.
Siobahn lingered over the bed, poised as though in mid grasp, her fingers still hovering over Andrew’s face. Mal followed the drift of her unnatural blue gaze to the glitter of yellow on the dead man’s thumb.
Now it was his turn to use the power of their connection, to twist her guilt into a weapon. He strode back across the room until he could pin her with his frown. She flinched beneath his stare. Her cheeks pinked soft rose in embarrassment or fear.
“I thought you had forgotten,” she said.
He loomed at her side, towering four full handspans above the crown of her head, and regarded the yellow stone in Andrew’s ring with distaste.
“And you hoped to remove it for me?” His laugh was bitter, his mouth hard.
“You know better.”
She stood in the soft gown she had worn on their wedding day and faced his fury with dignity.
He set his hands on her small shoulders and shook her once, gently, but with passion. Siobahn allowed his touch for a heartbeat. Then she slipped from under his grasp. Mal almost went after her, but something in her half smile stopped him.
He watched as she moved to stand before one of Andrew’s giant candelabras. The flames bowed, drawn by her very breath.
For an instant Mal heard as she did; the king’s heavy footsteps echoed between his ears, pounding with the headache behind his nose.
He swallowed hard, blinked the pain away, and lifted Andrew’s fingers.
The ring slid easily over a bony knuckle. The true gold was warm in Mal’s hand. The yellow jewel burst to life, sending a scattering of starbursts across dead man, bedclothes, and wall.
“The king!” she whispered, starbursts glittering in her hair. She let him hear again. Renault’s footfall almost punched holes in Mal’s tender skull.
He shoved Andrew’s ring into the small pouch he kept on his belt. Then he moved away from the canopy, standing where he could be seen from the massive wooden door Andrew never barred.
He could hear the march of booted feet in truth, now. It sounded as though Renault had gathered his entire guard.
“He knows,” Siobahn murmured from her place among the candles and smoke.
“How?”
“He slept,” she replied. “He dreamed, as Andrew died. I sent him a vision.”
Mal heard regret in her admission. No doubt she feared he would be angry.
He was too exhausted to fume any longer, weighed by grief. He looked over his shoulder, thinking to reassure, but at that moment the footsteps rolled to a stop in the corridor outside Andrew’s suite. The heavy door slammed open, rattling the antechamber.

A gust of cool air made the candles gutter and go out. Smoke wreathed the room. Mal’s eyes watered in response.
He blinked. When his vision cleared, Siobahn was gone, snuffed out along with Andrew’s pretty tapers.
Mal rubbed his throbbing brow. Then he set his shoulders, touched the pouch at his belt, and went to greet his king.

 Interview:

  1. Has writing been something you always did, or was it a discovered talent that came to you at a later point? 
I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember. As a child I’d scribble all sorts of fantastical tales in journals and notebooks. Later, I got a BA in English Lit and Creative Writing. I knew from the beginning that no matter where I went in life, I’d always be writing.

  1. Do you remember how it felt when you were offered that first contract? What emotions stand out in your memory? 
My very first contract was with what was then a small press and what is now Edge/Tesseract. It was for a little dystopian scifi novel which happened also to be my college thesis. Years I still have a copy of the contract and am very proud of that first achievement.

  1. Is this a first book, part of a series, or the latest in a long line of many? 
Stonehill Downs is part of a series. The sequel, Across the Long Sea, is due out in June. The characters have several stories to tell, and I expect they’ll pop up again in the future.

  1. What is the oddest thing that’s happened to you since you chose to become a professional writer? Will it ever make it into a book, or is that a secret? 
Actually, being a professional writer is probably the least odd part of my life. I’ve had more adventures as an elementary school aid or traveling the country showing horses than I’ve managed as a writer. Writing’s a pretty solitary act. Although I always do feel awed (excuse the pun) when I glance across the podium in the middle of a reading and there are actual real people listening to my rendition.


  1. Do you have your next book underway, or other titles in the planning stages? 
At the moment most of my energies are going into my young adult urban fantasy series, The Manhattan Exiles. The series is a bit too close to my heart. I really wanted to write to about heroes and villains that are more like the young people I see everyday, a series that’s less about getting the boy (or girl) and more about shouldering responsibilities and finding grace in life. The Manhattan Exiles are a pretty diverse group and I love the for it.

  1. Do you have a favourite genre and why? Is it one you write in, read in, or both? 
Fantasy, definitely. Also scifi. Mystery. Romance. I read and write in all of them.

  1. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process? Does it change from book to book or remain the same? 
Finishing the novel, always finishing the novel. When I start a book there’s always excitement, but also a nagging sense of anxiety. Will I school myself into finishing it? Will I even make deadline? Can I find the right words to make the story come to life?

When you finally put the novel to bed, it’s a real relief. And then I’m no longer emotionally attached. It’s not a part of me anymore.

  1. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why? What kind of book do you think would come from the collaboration? 
Oh, gosh. I’d be a horrible co-author, partially because I’m a control freak and partially because I’d turn into a complete ‘yes man’. “Whatever you say, Ms Hobb.” “Flying cats and giant octopi? Of course, Mr Gaiman.” I don’t think I’d be a passable co-author, but I do know I’m an excellent editor. I love to polish other people’s words.

  1. Where can readers find you on the web? 
Please do come and find me at www.sarahremy.com or on Twitter as @sarahremywrites 


Kay Scarpetta meets Quentin Coldwater in Darkly Atmospheric, Forensic Fantasy Debut STONEHILL DOWNS by SARAH REMY.

Harper Voyager Impulse is dedicated to launching brilliant new voices in fiction, and we think we’ve found something truly special in debut author Sarah Remy’s groundbreaking novel of epic fantasy.  STONEHILL DOWNS is darkly atmospheric, filled with multifaceted characters and complex issues of morality.  “This book is layered with more shades of gray than the typical black-and-white gradients of epic fantasy.  STONEHILL DOWNS is perfect for readers who like Joe Abercrombie, or Peter V. Brett’s Demon Cycle,” says acquiring editor Kelly O’Connor, who discovered the manuscript in Voyager’s first open call for digital submissions.

This novel follows Mal, a powerful mage who functions as Lord Vocent, the king’s personal forensic scientist and detective.  Magic and murder are his calling.  Never have the two entangled in quite as terrifying a manner as on Stonehill Downs, where Avani, a Goddess-gifted outsider, has discovered a host of gruesome corpses reeking of supernatural malfeasance.  The investigation is haunted by ghosts of Mal’s past, and the two quickly learn that they must cast aside their secrets if they are to succeed in unearthing the pervading evil—before it’s unleashed from the boundaries of the Downs, straight into the heart of the kingdom.

About the book:

Malachi is the last of his kind—a magus who can communicate with the dead, and who relies on the help of spirits to keep his kingdom safe. When he's sent to investigate brutal murders in the isolated village of Stonehill Downs, he uncovers dangerous sorceries and unleashes a killer who strikes close to home.

Avani is an outsider living on the Downs, one of the few survivors from the Sunken Islands. She has innate magics of her own, and when she discovers the mutilated bodies of the first victims, she enters into a reluctant alliance with Malachi that takes her far from home.

But Mal is distracted by the suspicious death of his mentor and haunted by secrets from his past. And Avani discovers troubling truths about the magus through her visions. She could free Mal, but first they must work together to save the kingdom from the lethal horror that has arisen.

Media Contact:

Dorothy Thompson
Pump Up Your Book
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336

Friday, April 17, 2015

Career choices and options #RomFantasy


Strange topic, isn’t it? I’ve been struggling with questions and more questions for over a year now, and the answers, whatever they may be, remain elusive. I’ve considered the value of simply shutting down my sites and walking away. Not necessarily giving up writing, but accepting the end of a dream to do this as a career. Lots of reasons that sometimes make sense, and other times don’t feel remotely valid. Is it really the writing that’s so bad, or is it something else entirely? Who knows? Really. I learned a long time ago that it’s rarely about talent, and all about luck and timing. If there was any doubt, the frenzy of Fifty Shades of Grey removed any doubts since it stands as solid testimony of how luck can beat talent to the bank vault–in grand style!

I’ve always been a perfectionist. When I wrote fan fiction, I was just as picky about crafting a solid story as I have been about the important stories I’ve published over the past ten years. Notice I say the important stories… they aren’t all in that category, believe me. I spent a good portion of the past ten years churning out crap I can’t even remember clearly. Much of the erotic romance is a blur to me, and meant nothing more than making a word count. It always has and always will amaze me that so many readers have enjoyed the stories and praise them so highly. Some people say that’s a testament to the talent, I think it’s more than likely subject matter… I’m not fond of erotic romance, and I don’t write it well. It was the only opening I had to “go pro” and it was fun for about five minutes. After that, it became an ever-growing albatross around my neck. I can’t tell you the names of more than a handful of characters from most of my stories that fall into the erotic romance category–but I can tell you about the childhood of my fantasy heroine Amarantha, and her love for a prince who would one day be king. I can tell you my hero, Riccardo Bartolinin, in the novel I am currently finishing is a man with dark secrets who wants desperately to be loved and cherished, despite his outward actions. I can tell you what he likes to wear, and sing, and eat… he’s real to me. These are the “real” books that I take pride in, it makes a huge difference.

In this wonderful electronic age, everyone with a computer can be a writer, and it never ceases to amaze me just how many people think this business is a cash cow they can milk for a quick buck. If that really is true, I’ve never seen it happen. Most of the writers I know are barely making four figures, never mind six and seven. Where it once took dedication and patience, and yes, real talent and drive to sell a book, it’s now something that can be done by everyone. I often wonder if many of these writers had to do it the way it was done thirty years ago, would they bother? The honest part of me doubts it.

Social media is an incredible power, and it’s been unleashed… maybe it’s better described as an explosion, really. Unfortunately, this again has led to an influx of endless promotion from millions of sudden authors wanting you to buy their books. Far too many lack savvy and any real understanding of the publishing world, old or new. We’ve all seen it, authors ranting on Facebook pages, wars waged with reviewers on Goodreads, Twitter… wherever the controversy can ignite. There are times when I think quality books will never surface to the public again. We are told repeatedly to respect our readers, not to insult their collective intelligence, etc. Yet, those same readers are to be suffered in silence when they fire off the most inane rhetoric you will ever see because something went wrong with a book download, or they hate a cover… I’ve even seen “reviews” that honestly state: I haven’t read this but I can tell by the blurb it’s awful–and a one star is left. I gave up on reviews a long time ago. They’re nice when they’re positive and helpful, but it’s a hot button. Many authors believe they’re necessary to sell a book–others believe they’re just more information to push at potential readers. Who knows?

I made a decision last year, to step back from the rat race and regroup. To rediscover just why I wanted this career, and what I wanted to bring to it. It’s been a scary venture, because I was releasing books at a crazy pace, sometimes two and three a month. It’s been well over a year since a totally new book has been released from me. Career suicide is what many people would call it. Does it worry me? Yeah, it does. A lot. To the point that I wonder if this dead thing called a writing career CAN be resuscitated and saved. I also frequently wonder if it’s worth the effort?

I’ve made a lot of changes this year. Not the least of which is leaving publishers who really aren’t a good fit for me, nor me for them. I’ve learned, and rediscovered the kind of stories that I would genuinely love to write again. Long before I wrote anything published professionally, my mysteries were compared to PD James and other stellar names in the genre. I wrote espionage thrillers. I wrote high fantasy. Sometimes with a touch of romance, but not always. It’s time to go back, to start fresh. I’ve had it suggested to me that I need to start over with a new name, but I really don’t believe that. I’m not so entrenched as any kind of erotic author that it’s all people expect.

There was a time when I wondered if I had the talent to do this. In recent years I’ve come to realize talent is mostly perception, although I do know I’m creative and imaginative. And, dare I say it–a damn sight more capable with words than many people. Funny how it never really translated into any real success, but who knows what the future holds? I have so many notebooks filled with stories, outlines, maps, ideas… Don’t ever underestimate the power of pen and paper–keep them close to you at all times. I’ve been known to write opening chapters of books in waiting rooms of hospitals.

Editors have been a source of inspiration and frustration. I’ve been told to dumb it down, or sex it up, to cut words, to add words… the conflicting advice can grind things to a halt quickly, as well. In the end, every writer has to decide what works for them, and their stories. I’ve been lucky for the most part, I’ve learned from my editors. Some more than others, but it’s all part of the process.  I don’t know what the answer to the questions is, but like everything else, it’ll reveal itself when the time is right. The career may be on life support at the moment, but that means there’s still hope, I guess?


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ARe Blast - 25% off all participating titles - today only! #RB4U #MFRWAuthor #RomFantasy


As most of you have probably heard, today is the day to get your new reading material from ARe at sale prices!! The following titles of mine are included in the Blast, so if you’re looking for some great reading, check out all the awesome authors at the ARe Bookstore, I’m sure you’ll find something to love!!

(Amazon and ARe Best-seller – Short contemporary Western Erotic)

Chase Jordan is a man with half his life missing since his return from the war in Iraq. He arrives back in Texas, a drifter looking for home. When he arrives at the Double D ranch, the owners know him, even if he can’t remember them. Cheyenne’s been infatuated with Chase since her high school days, but Deke MacKenzie’s already made it clear to Chase that his kid sister is off limits.

A loner by nature, and even more so now as PTSD plagues him, Chase rejects Cheyenne’s efforts to seduce him. He senses complications he wants no part of if he gets too close to her, and part of his soul is very much at home on the Double D. When an old boyfriend of Cheyenne’s goads him into a fight, his anger put him on all kinds of edge–and Cheyenne’s determination to turn up the Texas Heat get her in over her head...

Chase has warned her, he doesn’t play nice. When she ignores his invitation to leave, she puts herself at the mercy of his anger, his lust, and the most explosive passion she’s ever experienced... But what happens when the “job” is over, and Chase turns his back on her again? Memories are waking, the kind that will change both their lives in dramatic ways.

(Contemporary paranormal – vampires - novella)

When Detective Faith Fitzpatrick is assigned as a liaison to the police force in Montreal, intent on helping the detectives there capture a killer who's MO matches one she's hunted at home in Los Angeles, she is ill-prepared for what awaits her in the beautiful jewel city of Canada's French province. Mysteriously drawn to her temporary partner, Adrian Blackthorne, she rebels against his allure, only to be drawn into an even deeper darkness when Adrian's past snares her - and she becomes a pawn in the deadly battle between the vampire Blackthorne and the powerful master he has long denied?

(Amazon and ARe Best-seller – Contemporary Military erotic - novella)

Randall Stone is the stuff of heroes, a mercenary given a discharge from the army he has served with his life. But the government is still interested in using the skills they've taught Major Rand Stone, and he continues to work with his hand-picked team. Into his shadowy world a light has come, and in her love, Stone discovers unhoped for joy, and, perhaps, unbearable sorrow?

(Contemporary set of two – sweet and erotic)

One sweet, one sexy - both passionate and guaranteed to make you smile!

Two very different stories of love and passion. In Brigit Aine’s enchanting tale, Her Secret Admirer, love is being discovered, with all its magic and mystery and hope… and in the second movement of the Duet, The Conversation Cards, two people already involved in their passionate love affair learn new things about each other, and reaffirm their bond.

Pas de Deux: Her Secret Admirer – Love is often found when it’s least expected. Cindy is working hard at making her business a success, and at her side offering solid support is Will. When she arrives home one evening to find a Valentine Love Coupon taped to her door, a romantic game of dreams and hope begins as her Secret Admirer begins a courtship that will win her heart long before she knows his name…

Pas de Deux: The Conversation Cards – Two modern lovers, living often separate lives, discover that making time for their relationship isn’t always easy. A whimsical, spur of the moment purchase of a Valentine novelty evokes an open and honest conversation that makes their secret getaway an even more romantic rendezvous, and renews hope for a future that is the stuff of dreams…

(ARe best-seller – Historical pirates, fantasy world vampires – some erotic)

Three stories, one kind of hero, pirates anyone? Includes the short stories Angel-Fire, Storm-Singer, and The Phantom’s Lair… Historical adventure, and the darker mystery of an ageless vampire who keeps a witch at his side, his protector and his lover through eternity...

Angel-Fire: A short intro to the world of Captain Jack Stanton, an honourable man with a tarnished reputation. Stranded in Nassau, caught up in a pleasant interlude with a barmaid, Jack has a vision that will lead him to his past and his future, if he can survive to get back Tortuga to discover what it all means…

Storm-Singer: The Isle of Nyx has become the dread of all sailors who must dare the waters surrounding the mythical island. Local legends say a vampire prince resides in the ancient castle that can be seen from the harbor of the island. At his side is a powerful sorceress whose song can control and summon storms.

In a desperate attempt to end the eternal threat looming over them, the people of the Aurora Islands sacrifice their greatest treasure, the princess Sarita, entrusting her with the task of seducing and destroying the dark prince who has been plundering their wealth and their people for centuries?

The Phantom’s Lair: Upon her arrival in the pirate port of Tortuga where her father is acting as Governor, Katheryn Hollinsworth is determined to choose her own path, and follow her heart wherever it may take her. On the streets of Puerta de la Plata, she encounters the mythical buccaneer known as The Phantom, and very quickly loses her heart to the handsome rogue.

Jack Stanton is a man who has never fully come to terms with his past, and in the Governor's pretty daughter he finds a most unlikely champion. But when his past threatens her life, and any chance of a respectable future, The Phantom must face the demons of his past, and accept the dictates of his own reawakened heart...

(Contemporary mainstream mystery novel)

Death has many shades and shapes... Deep within the ageless Carpathian Mountains, an ancient evil wakes. Imprisoned many centuries ago, the creature has waited, patiently, for the one destined to grant her freedom. Arienne Lereaux has studied the preternatural menace called "vampyre" for most of her life. She is an expert in the field. Loosely affiliated with a secretive organization called The Institute of Paranormal Research and Investigation, she turns to them when she unearths what may be the first representation of the vampyre ever to exist.

(Best-seller – Short, contemporary ménage erotic)

What begins as an idyllic cruise for four friends quickly becomes a nightmare… the pleasant afternoon has had its tense moments as personalities clash. Iris is the newest member of the quartet, married to Dale Montgomery for a short time, she is reserved and elegant–a direct contrast to the earthy sexuality and eroticism of Giselle Jordan–the woman who has been Dale's closest friend for many years. When their boat is caught in the crush of a tidal wave near sunset, the four are swept into the ocean. Hours after the capsize, Giselle awakens on a stretch of beach, a short distance away is Iris, bleeding and terrified. When Iris dies, Giselle is left stranded on an island with the two men she loves. How long will it be before passion take them into the dangerous realm that is the uncharted territory of the heart?

(Short, contemporary paranormal – sensual)

The misty evening air of a Winter in Venice cloaks many things…. Some who are passionate lovers hoping for stolen moments….. others who are merely the cutthroats and thieves that plague any city filled with the wealth of visitors and citizens of palaces….. But what else lies hidden within the mist? The voice of an angel lures…. each perfect note beckons and promises untold pleasures…. until, finally, a broken heart succumbs to desire…. and Fate weaves a new thread into the tapestry that is the mystery of life itself….

Inspired by the music of Riccardo Foresi, the photography of Vincenzo Chiofalo, and the eternal lure of Gaston LeRoux’s The Phantom of the Opera… discover what waits Within The Mist…

(Amazon and ARe Best-seller – Historical Western, sensual – novella)

When Dylan Coulter rides into Sparkling Springs, he quickly discovers the woman who runs the local saloon is worth the risk of facing the hangman. Things get ugly fast when Dylan is accused of killing the only son of the richest rancher in the area. Unwilling to leave her behind, Dylan takes Maggie with him as he tries to dodge bounty hunters and a determined Pinkerton agent who just happens to be Maggie's old love...


Click on the titles to read more, or visit my page for all my titles HERE



Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Romancing the 8 @TransCRW

Romancing the 8 - 8 paragraphs to entice you

Bella Signorina

“Is that why you dance, to find peace?”

She sipped her coffee and considered an answer. When it came, it surprised him.

“The music is freedom, and the motion is passion. Sometimes the only passion that matters.”

“All passion matters, bella,” he commented. “It’s what gives us life.”

“Or burns it out of us.”

He turned on the steps, faced her fully. Then he touched her chin and made her look at him.

“Who abused your love so fully that you can believe that?”

“People destroy each other for love,” she replied after a lengthy pause.

Stefano shook his head. “Love is the only gift there is worth having, Signorina. It’s what men live and die for.”

Set in Rome, Bella Signorina is a sweet, romantic story of two people who meet in a trendy caffè, and through the magic of dance and music discover they have many things in common. Bianca comes to Caffè Rosati every week, and for many weeks she's been watching a special man, a handsome, charming stranger who dances, flirts, and leaves alone each week. Bianca is a woman who enjoys her freedom, and has been hurt before, so she's not anxious to fall in love again. Something about the enigmatic Stefano has captivated her heart, though, and she is drawn to him in spite of herself. When she finally gathers her courage to approach him, and ask him to dance, little does she know that her entire world is about to change.

Stefano Esposito is a man who's past relationships have not left him much in the way of ideals about women. Many have claimed to love him, none have understood him. Stefano is a rare breed in today's world of fast-paced life and love. He is a gentleman, a man who many consider a little out of step with the times. For Stefano, falling in love is the completion of a soul, not the consummation of a sexual itch. He wants the woman in his life to respect, understand, and adore him, as he will her. When he meets Bianca, he wonders if he's finally found the one he's waited a lifetime for? She understands his internal conflicts, his desires, and his dreams, after only hours together.

When their attraction to each other flares too quickly and too intently, Stefano pulls back. Confused and uncertain, Bianca flees his beautiful home and business, and goes back to her busy life. But, once the dance has begun, is there a way to go back to what you knew before, or is it just a matter of time before the music lures you back to your dreams and, perhaps, makes them reality?

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Twist of Faith @DarleneLF Special Giveaway! #RomFantasy

Twist of Faith
By Darlene Fredette

Sweet Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Sweetheart Rose Line

One twist of Faith can change everything.


Katrina has one goal—follow through on her late-grandmother’s last request, to oversee the renovation of Katrina’s childhood home. The handsome contractor is distracting, but she refuses to be swayed by his deep brown eyes and broad shoulders. A summer romance is not part of the plan. When the truth is discovered about her family’s past, Katrina fears her own future is in jeopardy. She doesn’t have faith, but the twists that lie ahead may just change her mind. 

Nick refuses to accept help from anyone, until Katrina gives him an ultimatum—one he can’t refuse. Her renovation project will save his business, but puts his heart on the line. Can he convince Katrina to stay or will a promise to her late-grandmother pull her away? With a little twist of Faith, the odds may be in his favor.

Excerpt:

The man shifted his weight.

Suddenly, the air cooled around her. For the first time since she spied him in her home, Katrina stared face-to-face at her intruder. Past the pain, she saw a strong jaw line and a chin framed by the shadow of a goatee, or as they say in Paris, a French beard. A perfect set of lips held a thin moustache and his brown layered hair fell just above his chin. Dark brown eyes kept her gaze captivated. Johnny Depp has broken into my house.

His face didn’t belong to someone who made a living from breaking-and-entering. This face belonged to a refined and hard-working man. She could tell there was more to the story behind those eyes, but the instant she stared at his lips, her thoughts turned to mush.

He stumbled to stand, leaning on the wall for support. Johnny Depp kicked the wood, sending it rolling to the other side of the room.

Katrina, now believing he meant no harm, accepted the hand he offered to help her from the floor. She ignored the tingling sensation running up her arm, knowing the fuss couldn’t be from the strong hand holding hers.

He inhaled a deep breath and opened his mouth to speak, but shook his head instead. Frowning, he pointed a finger toward the card on the floor and limped to the exit, slamming the door behind him.

She bent to pick up the card, which read, Donaldson and Porter, Architecture and Contracting, Nick Porter. Her shoulders dropped. “Damn!”

Katrina now had less than twenty-four hours to master the art of groveling.


Bio:

An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to put a pencil to paper and plot out stories of her own. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When Darlene isn’t writing, editing, or reading, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab.

Contact links:


Available from



Monday, April 06, 2015

WIN copies of New Release Paperback - and an eBook version Sale! #RB4U #MFRWAuthor #RomFantasy @NaughtyNightsPr

Just released in paperback. If bought from Amazon in paperback, the eBook is FREE. However, if eBook is your preference, for a limited time, this novella is on SALE for only 99¢ at the stores listed below!!


CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATE
(Historical Western romance)
* Best-seller *



Paperback: Amazon | Createspace


From different worlds, drawn by desire, passion is about to change their lives forever...

Indulge in a wickedly seductive taste of CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATE:

Austin Standish is a man of refined tastes. Intelligent and educated, Austin enjoys all of the best life has to offer. A gambler, a gunslinger, and a man who has plans to taste the sweetest prize at The Palace Casino and Saloon - the lovely owner, Chantille L'Amour, the most sought after jewel on the Barbary Coast.

Running a high-class brothel and casino isn't exactly the life she was born to but Chantille is determined to overcome the ruin her family was left in once the Civil War ended. But, she has chosen a difficult path... one that demands much and leaves her lonely. She's noticed the handsome man who comes into her world from time to time, and when she chooses to give in to desire, the passion evoked by Austin's touch may change her life forever...

Excerpt:

“Will you be needin’ anything else, Miss Chantille?”

Chantille L’Amour turned and looked at her maid. Carrie was hovering close to the door, clearly eager to get on with other chores if she wasn’t needed here.

“No, Carrie,” Chantille said with a shake of her head. “I just want a few quiet minutes before business begins for the night.”

Carrie hesitated, her mouth opened to speak, then she shook her head and nodded. A moment later, the door to the suite of rooms closed with a soft thud.

Chantille sighed heavily and walked to the French doors, then leaned against the door frame. The last faint rays of the glowing afternoon were giving way to the steady encroachment of evening as she stared out at the glittering, sun-dappled beauty of San Francisco Bay. For several more moments, she delayed the increasingly wearisome task of preparing herself for the evening ahead. For a few precious moments, she allowed her heart to pine for a simpler world in which to live. The world her parents spoke about with such longing, life as it had been before the Civil War tore everything to pieces. Born in the midst of that conflict, Chantille had never enjoyed the peace and happiness her parents had known in their youth. She’d resented it deeply, and, because of the devastation wrought by the war, she’d made choices that weighed heavily on her. Those dictates had done their part to age her spirit well beyond her twenty-five years.

The scents and sounds of the Barbary Coast wafted up to her, assaulting her senses now where they had once caressed. She’d arrived in San Francisco several years ago, bright-eyed and determined to be the mistress of her fate. She’d been tired of living on the dead dreams that sustained her family, fully aware that the South would never again possess the lazy, luxurious languor that had enabled it to fall to its own complacent arrogance. In San Francisco, Chantille’s money and family meant nothing to the hordes of men who flocked to her place of business. They cared only about the quantity of drink and companionship to be found at The Palace. The quality was another wasted effort on her part, though she steadfastly refused to compromise it.

With a barely audible groan, Chantille pushed herself from her casual slouch and went to her bed. She’d laid out her clothes before bathing, a custom she often found soothing. She slipped the silk dressing gown off her shoulders and reached for the soft, ribbon-trimmed cotton drawers. The ritual of dressing eased her nerves, as it always did, and her spirits lifted as she closed the hooks on her corset and carefully tugged free the hand-woven froth of lace that decorated her chemise. Layers of crinolines and petticoats came next, and, once she’d fastened them, she walked to her dressing table and sat before the mirror. She applied a slight hint of rouge to her high cheekbones, and then repeated the color in darker tones on her lips. She selected earrings, and a sparkling diamond necklace that was worth more than most of her customers would see in their lifetimes. She’d done her hair earlier and turned her head to survey the results of her work. The pale ash blonde of her hair was set off by the inky black, velvet ribbons that she’d taken time to weave into the intricate knot. Strands of fair hair had already escaped the confines of her careful design, but she knew better than to attempt to contain them further—by night’s end, many more curling wisps would be falling around her face, giving her a deceptively angelic appearance that she knew appealed to men.

Her gaze fell to the ivory swells of her breasts, the ample curves made more prominent by the corset she wore. Her waist was naturally tiny, and the tightness of the shaping undergarment made her appear delicate, almost fragile. Another illusion, she thought, as she laughed inwardly. She walked to the bed to retrieve the glowing silk gown she’d selected for the evening. It was pale amethyst in color, trimmed with deep plum lace and ribbon. She settled the heavy dress over her hips, pulled it closed, tight to her body, then tugged the wide straps downward so her shoulders were almost bared. As she bent forward to retrieve a handkerchief from the top drawer of her dressing table, she caught her reflection in the mirror. Her parents would have been horrified to see her like this, her bosom all but falling from her dress, her face painted, and her dark brown eyes filled with knowledge that decent women would run from.

Oddly, the sadness that would once have accompanied the observation was missing now, and she realized she’d grown beyond caring what other people thought of her. There was no profit in opinion, and she’d learned that money was the only real power that mattered. So, she dismissed the whisper of censure from her past. However, the appealing image in the looking glass created an entirely different kind of ache within her. Loneliness, yes, but not the heartbreaking pain she’d known when she’d first arrived in San Francisco. This evening, she was lonely for the very companionship the girls who worked for her sold on a nightly basis. Chantille seldom accepted any of the numerous propositions that came her way in the course of an evening, but, tonight, she decided, she would attempt to be more receptive to the invitations she received.

It had been a very long time since she’d permitted a man’s arms around her. Longer still since she’d enjoyed more intimate pleasures. Smiling, she turned and headed down to the main room of the vast saloon she owned and ran.

* * * * *

Austin Standish alighted from his carriage and glanced at the incongruous, regal splendor of The Palace Saloon and Casino. He paid his driver, then headed into the sprawling building, an old opera house that had been abandoned for a number of years before Chantille L’Amour bought the place and set about reinventing it. He’d come to this particular establishment on numerous occasions since first discovering its existence and had enjoyed most of the pleasures offered. He’d thus far failed to make one conquest, however, and he was honest enough to admit it was that very challenge that kept him coming back. The owner of the saloon was an enigmatic and alluring woman who’d quickly seen through the charm and easy arrogance with which he had enticed so many ladies before her. Despite several invitations, she’d never granted him an audience.

Inside the grand saloon and casino, the décor was a reflection of surprising sophistication and good taste. It was wasted on most of the clientele.

Austin spotted several gentlemen who frequented the place, gentlemen who preferred not to be seen in the company they presently enjoyed. He ignored them and went through to the casino’s private room. He was known to the doorman and was immediately granted entrance. He spotted his quarry the minute he walked in; she was standing near the polished bar, surveying the customers and their talent at the tables.

Somewhere inside him, he felt a familiar flutter of excitement, but he dismissed it as ludicrous. He’d long ago learned the high price one paid for infatuation, and he refused to be swayed by it ever again. He wanted this alluring woman, but nothing more than that. A night in her bed, and he’d be content to never again step inside The Palace.

When the lovely Miss L’Amour glanced his way and held his eyes with her dark gaze, he had to ignore the self-mocking laughter that bubbled up inside his head. He inclined his head in a casual bow of acknowledgment, then went to purchase his usual thousand dollars’ worth of chips. He seldom lost, but his starting sum always remained the same; when he deviated from the practice Lady Luck withdrew her favor more often than not. He entered the casino with a thousand dollars, and usually left with considerably more than he’d had upon his arrival.

The chandeliers set in the high ceiling threw off enough light to rival the early afternoon sun, and the noise level, while something that couldn’t be entirely disregarded, was nowhere near the din that pervaded most saloons on the Coast. Standish was content for the moment to enjoy himself. He’d concentrate on the beautiful saloon owner after he’d indulged his more mercenary tendencies.

* * * * *

Less than two hours later, Standish’s winning streak forced a division of his attention. His last bet at the roulette wheel had earned him in the vicinity of ten thousand dollars. The man in charge of the table was looking more than a little bit worried, and he requested a moment to consult with the owner. Austin smiled and waited for the pretty woman to join them. He watched her for a few moments as she listened to whatever was being whispered in her ear. Once again, his stomach reacted with a disturbing flutter when she glanced at him, her stare bold and refreshingly direct as she considered her course of action. He realized, much to his inner horror, that he’d been holding his breath while he waited; he almost gasped in air when she smiled and began to walk toward him.

“Mr. Standish,” she murmured when she had reached the roulette table. “How lovely to see you again.”

He was surprised by the familiarity, and he arched one eyebrow, the response reflexive. “I wasn’t aware we’d met, Miss L’Amour.”

She laughed softly, and he was further enchanted.

“I don’t believe we have,” she agreed. “Not officially. But I do know who you are, Mr. Standish. Otherwise,” she added with a hint of irony, “you wouldn’t be permitted to gamble in this suite.”

“And am I to be permitted to continue this game, ma’am?”

“How lucky do you feel tonight, Mr. Standish?”

He grinned with an expression he knew was both confident and charming, a device well used over the years. Miss L’Amour’s tinkling amusement whispered in the space between them. Then she nodded and went around the table herself.

“Place your bets, gentlemen,” she said, gesturing at the numbered black and red table surface. She picked up the gleaming white marble and prepared to send the roulette wheel spinning.

When she bent forward, giving him a deliciously full view of her cleavage, Austin placed a reckless bet and sat back to watch the outcome.

“Your luck holds, Mr. Standish,” she said less than a minute later. “It would seem that I now owe you a substantial sum of money.” She walked from behind the table. “I’ll inform the cashier of your good fortune. When you wish to cash in, the money will be in my office.”

With a brief nod of her head, she left the table, smiling despite the loss of revenue. Standish was charmed all over again.

“Sir?”

He turned to look at the man next to the roulette wheel. They were waiting for his next bet. He shook his head.

“Not this time, Marty,” he said with a laugh. “I think I’ll quit while I’m still winning.”

The other man nodded, and, the moment Austin left his chair, he was aware of another man taking his place. He headed for the bar, intent on exchanging more than a few words with Miss L’Amour.

* * * * *

Chantille watched Standish from her vantage point at the end of the bar. He was a handsome man, one she’d noticed on several occasions. As he stood, she took quick inventory of his appearance, chewing her bottom lip unconsciously as she absorbed the man’s almost palpable presence.

At a height of over six feet, Austin Standish was a man not easily overlooked. He had sandy blond hair with a lock that perpetually fell over his forehead. Under the shaggy blond hair, the most startling green eyes Chantille had ever seen missed nothing that came within their scrutiny. His face was a fascinating blend of angles and contours, the individual features not perfect, yet the overall combination completely arresting and pleasing to the appreciative eye. He was slender, yet there was an undeniable sense of strength and power in the long line of his body. Tonight, as on other nights, he’d chosen a suit of black, the inky shade contrasted sharply by the stark white of his shirt. The frills at his cuffs and along the front of the shirt could have lessened the impact of strong masculinity that emanated from him, but, instead, they only added to his imposing aura. His brocade waistcoat was a shade of palest gray, adorned by a gold watch chain that disappeared in a pocket at his left. Silver-trimmed boots finished the polished and cultured image, and Chantille wondered how he’d remained a free man for so long. She didn’t doubt for an instant that the company of women was something he never lacked.

She straightened when he caught her gaze and began to walk in her direction. Deep inside, she began to quiver, and the awareness that he could shake her so intensely with no effort was both disconcerting and annoying. Yet….

“Miss L’Amour.” Austin smiled when he reached her side. “Would you do me the honor of joining me for dinner?”

“Thank you, no,” she replied. “Have you come to collect your winnings, Mr. Standish?”

“If you can’t be persuaded to grant me your company, then I’ll have to settle for your money.”

“You’re far too charming to suffer loneliness,” she countered. She walked away from the bar and led him into her office. She arched one eyebrow in subtle surprise when he closed the door behind them.

“I assure you, Mr. Standish,” she said, her tone cool, “money is all you will be collecting in this office.”

Austin continued into the small room until he was directly in front of her and she had to tilt her head back to hold his gaze. The gleam of amusement in the deep green eyes that bored into her was irritating, and intriguing.

“Are you certain I can’t change your mind about dinner?”

“Not entirely,” she conceded with a smile that wanted to become laughter.

“Ahh,” he whispered. “Hope at last.”

“Hope has a way of disappearing just when you’re learning to count on it, Mr. Standish.”

“But the times it doesn’t are so sweet it makes the disappointments bearable, Miss L’Amour.”

“Right you are, sir,” she agreed with a thoughtful smile. She made a decision then, a reckless choice that she didn’t take time to consider. “Perhaps I could persuade you to dine with me in my suite?”

Austin’s gaze was pensive, and she wondered, with a tiny leap of panic, if she’d miscalculated his interest.

“It’s never a good idea to offer a man paradise if your plan is to shut the gates before he has a chance to come inside, Miss L’Amour.”

It was a veiled warning, but a warning just the same. This man was not one to be toyed with or played for a fool. He was drawing her a little more deeply into his presence, in spite of herself.

“And you think I’m offering you paradise, Mr. Standish?”

“I’m fairly certain of it, yes,” he murmured, voice low and compelling.

She smiled and went past him to the safe that was in her office. She collected his money and brought it to him.

“Your winnings, Mr.—”

“Austin.”

“Austin,” she said.

He took a double-eagle from the pocket of his waistcoat and held it between his index and middle fingers. With a quick grin, he slipped it into the valley between her breasts, caressing silken skin for the briefest instant before drawing his hand back. Something betrayed her reaction and made his smile deepen.

“You take liberties with great ease,” she whispered, her voice husky and exotic.

“Before the night’s over, I plan to take a great many more,” he assured her.

“Perhaps I’ll be the one to take liberties tonight, Mr. Standish.”

“I’d be delighted to put myself in your hands, Miss L’Amour.”

She smiled. “Would you wait here for a few moments? I have to speak to my maid.”


Short Author Bio and Links:


Canadian born and bred, and a lifelong dreamer, I began writing at an early age and can’t recall a time when I wasn’t creating in some artistic form. My life has had several on-going love affairs that shape much of what I write.  In the past half dozen years, I’ve released books in all lengths and genres, and it’s something I hope to continue to do for many more years. A visit to my websites will show the diversity of what is currently available, as well as other surprises and extras!



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