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Saturday, July 30, 2016

A New Release and a Special Offer! #RB4U

Where has the summer gone? August is almost here and for some folks in the south, the start of school isn't far behind. I've been enjoying time with family and friends and hope you've been doing the same. Although we don't have big travel plans, there have been some day trips and adventures to local attractions.

On the writing front, I have a lot going on this week. Yesterday, I released the second book in my Immortal Hungers series. Check it out!

Beaten and with no memory of what happened, Soren and Donar are desperate to find out who wants them dead. Only one person can help, a sexy healer who’s lost faith in her powers. The more time they spend with her, the more attracted they are to her luscious curves and quick mind. As they compete for her affections, their memories return, bringing with them a darkness that is hard to control. Now they must put aside their differences or risk losing the only woman who can help them.

Tara feels a strong connection with the handsome men in her care. She wants to heal the evil taint on both their souls, but can only offer peace to one, dooming the other to a life of torment. Who should she choose to save? The longer she waits, the harder the choice, and with the lord of the underworld hunting all three of them, she knows that too much hesitation will cause her to lose them both.

Unholy Cravings is a paranormal MFM menage with moderate kink
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google
Download your free sneak peek from InstaFreebie.


Last month, I ran a poll of my newsletter subscribers. Overwhelmingly, they asked for more Kyron Pack books. I was both surprised and overwhelmed with the support for this series. So, in response, I'll be writing more Kyron Pack books in 2017. In preparation for the event, I decided to make the first book in the series FREE for a very limited time. If you hurry, you can try out the series and see what everyone else is talking about!

Desperate to escape her controlling family, Chloe Bradford scrambles up to the housetop of her Texas home on Christmas Eve. There she discovers a sexy stranger cloaked in shadow. He convinces her to shed her good-girl image and give into her most secret desires. When he tries to leave, she follows him, eager to learn his identity.

Zach can’t stop thinking about Chloe, or their reunion on the roof. His wolf-half urges him to reveal his identity and claim her, but he doesn’t dare. For both their sakes, he must remain in the shadows until he can control his inner beast’s bursts of rage. After five years he thought he could handle his curse, but Chloe’s presence causes his control to slip. As the moon-rages become more frequent, he knows he’s slipping toward the insanity that claims many of his kind. Only Chloe can save him, but will she want to after he reveals his identity and the reason he broke her heart so many years ago?

This book contains a paranormal male-female romantic pairing with mild kink.
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google




A lifetime New Englander, Suzanne married her college sweetheart and has been with him for over twenty years. Every summer she drags her husband and two daughters to Maine on a quest for the perfect lobster dinner. Every fall she can be found down in Foxboro, Massachusetts cheering on her favorite football team. In between those trips, she’s a chauffeur, a maid, a chef, an event planner, a hairdresser, a wardrobe stylist, a tutor and a sometimes masseuse. To keep her sanity, she often drinks copious amounts of coffee and stares at the blank screen of her laptop, dreaming of great adventures. Sometimes she even writes them down for others to enjoy.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Being thankful - and a new Best-seller! #RB4U #WRWbuzz #MFRWauthor

Sometimes we have to take a minute to be thankful, so I thought I’d look back a little at someone who’s presence in my life makes me thankful everyday. My mom died in October, after a long illness. I was with her every step of the way, was her caregiver for years, and she was always my best friend, from childhood to the day she left me. I have a huge gratitude for the years I had with my mom, the laughter we shared, and the life we shared after my dad passed away, when it was just me and mom. She was an awesome lady, full of spirit, wicked humour, and generosity. She was my first “fan” as a writer, and she believed in me even when I was discouraged and wanted to give up. I think it’s too easy sometimes to take the people we love for granted, so if you have parents, mates, children... whoever it is that makes your life complete and a happy place, be thankful. Once that light is gone from your world, it won’t ever come back. Every day, my mom told me she loved me, and I told her... I’m thankful for that, too, for the love, the wisdom she shared, and the years we had as friends, as well as mother and daughter.

My mom encouraged me to read at an early age, and was always happy to buy me books. I loved fairytales as a child, and I still love them as an adult. I’ve taken two of my favourites so far and turned them into slightly more adult tales. I had a great time when I was able to combine my love of Italy with a fairytale that originates in that country. It’s a great little story called Favola, which is the Italian for fairytale–and the story itself is based on the original fairytale called Bella Venezia. She would have loved my latest story, too - because it's set in Greece, and we often shared our Harlequin books set in Greece!


LETTERBOX LOVE STORIES: Volume I
Amazon Best-seller! 

Available NOW!
99¢ for limited time at:


What if a life-changing letter arrived in today's mail? Now imagine it leads to love and adventure! From the northern British Isles, across the mainland of Europe, and on to Turkey, nine international romance writers share spellbinding love stories told across time. And each begins with a letter...

This collection includes contemporary and historical romance, futuristic time travel romance, and romance touched by magic by Award-winning and Multi-published Authors: Rose Anderson, Denyse Bridger, Lynn Crain, Helena Fairfax, Gemma Juliana, Marie Laval, Cara Marsi, Lindsay Townsend, and Jenny Twist.

ALL OR NOTHING:

Casino Coranthos is a playground for wealthy, bored people, but for some, it’s also a place where dreams and promises change lives forever. When a letter becomes part of an unexpected inheritance for Ryann Thomson, her aunt’s past brings her face to face with Ariston Katsaros, a man haunted by loss and driven by anger. As the attraction between them sizzles and grows, can Ryann convince him she isn’t looking to rob him or his father of anything, or will she become a casualty of Ari’s vengeance? In this dangerous game of all or nothing, her heart is at stake as well as her future happiness…

Excerpt:

Stepping from the elevator, Ryann’s ears were assaulted by a surge of noises. The drone of many voices accompanied the bells and whistles of slot machines. She crossed the lobby and the roar of sound diminished considerably. The building was unique, the elite hotel housed in the back of the sprawling structure, facing the azure beauty of the Aegean, while the casino was in the front. It was like two worlds in one contained place.

“Mr. Demetriou has authorized an account for you, Miss Thomson,” the cashier handed her a stack of coins emblazoned with Casino Coranthos in gold on black.

“Thank you.” She took the roll of coins and wandered into the casino’s main area. She’d barely stepped into the bar when a voice close to her ear startled a gasp out of her.

“You must be Ryann Thomson.”

She looked up and was snared by the intensity of dark eyes gazing down at her.

“I’m Ariston Katsaros, I run the casino.”

She took a single step back. His voice was pure sin and seduction, something he apparently was well aware of if his smile was any indication.

“You work for Mr. Demetriou?”

For a moment, something flashed in his eyes, so quickly it might have been a flash of the light.

“In a manner of speaking,” he replied. “What is your game of choice?”

“Baccarat.” She tried to keep the smile on her face when the word popped out of her mouth. Too many James Bond movies!

Ariston Katsaros slowly nodded, his mouth curving into a smile. “Then allow me to join you in a game.”

Shit! What am I doing?! Her insides were quivering like someone had unleashed a torrent of butterflies, and she couldn’t decide if it was the handsome man at her side, or the sense that she was about to make a complete fool of herself.

The situation got even more unreal to her when he passed through the main casino and entered a much quieter area.

“Is this where the big money is?” She asked, grateful when her voice didn’t squeak.

“Not really,” he said with a laugh. “It is where high stakes games are sometimes played, but mostly it’s a question of privacy for some of our guests.”

There was an inflection in his tone that eluded her, and she sat when he held a chair for her at the table he’d chosen. She took a moment to look around and her nerves thrummed with tension. There were only a few tables in the spacious room, separated by enough space to make each one private. The one he’d brought her to was in the centre. Her heartbeat began a steady pulse that hammered at her brain for a couple of seconds.

“Would you like a drink?”

It took a moment to process his words and she blinked. “Vodka martini.”

Ariston’s smooth features transformed into a grin. “Shaken, not stirred?”

Heat rushed to her cheeks, but she laughed. “Why not?”

“Should I call you Mrs. Bond?”

“That would make you Mr. Bond, wouldn’t it?”

The laughter died in his eyes. “Do you have a preference for game?”

“Punto banco.”

One eyebrow arched and he bowed his head. “Well chosen.”

He turned to the waitress who’d discreetly approached them and ordered drinks before sitting next to her. A few moments later the croupier joined them, and the shoe, containing at least four decks of cards, appeared on the surface of the table. Drinks arrived, along with a single dealer, and the game began when the croupier directed Ariston to draw the first cards.

Several hands were played before either of them spoke again.

“What brings you to Coranthos?”

She accepted a third card and held up her hand to stand pat, then smiled at her companion. “I’m here to deliver a gift to the owner, Lukas Demetriou. He and my late aunt knew each other twenty-five years ago.”

For an instant his smile froze. A kiss of unease touched the back of her neck and she turned aside, picking up her drink to avoid meeting his gaze.

“The gift you bring must be very valuable for you to have made such a long journey.”

There was a note in his voice she couldn’t define. Steeling herself, she finished the martini and glanced at him again. “I hope he’ll think so.” She extended her hand to him. “Thank you for the drink, Mr. Katsaros.”

He stood with her, brought her hand to his lips and dropped a light kiss on her fingers. The brush of contact, like a feathery whisper, woke a quiver of response deep inside her. This man was dangerous, at least to her. He was very tall, his inky black hair trimmed and styled to perfectly frame arresting features. Dark eyes, almost the same midnight shade as his hair, were watchful and alert. He saw everything. Despite the casual suit he wore, she sensed a power seething inside him that was on a par with the force of nature.

* * * * *

Also includes: MORE THAN WISHES by Rose Anderson, SEALED WITH A KISS by Lynn Crain, COME DATE ME IN PARIS by Helena Fairfax, ABANDONED TREASURES by Gemma Juliana, SONS OF THE WIND by Marie Laval, CURATING LOVE by Cara Marsi, PLAIN HARRY by Lindsay Townsend, and THE MINSTREL BOY by Jenny Twist


LETTERBOX LOVE STORIES: Vol I
99¢ for limited time at:

Customer Reviews (ALL Amazon Verified Purchases)

***** By JINHOU on July 6, 2016 “The heroes are yummy, the heroines delightful, and the settings amazing!”

***** By Sue M. Van on July 7, 2016 “An excellent read to all the stories in this boxed set.”

**** By J Morgan on July 10, 2016 “Through the well-crafted short stories, I got to travel and never left the comfort of my front porch. At a price of 99 cents, it’s a real deal.”

***** By CA romantic on July 9, 2016 “The collection takes you around the world and from the present into the past. I love the adventure in the stories, and the characters drew me in and made me root for their happily-ever-afters.”


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Blue soup, barbecues and writing inspiration with @abbeymacmunn #RB4U #WritingTips


Hello, my name is Abbey MacMunn and I write paranormal/fantasy romance with a dash of chick lit. My debut, TOUCHED, has just been released into the world and I was asked if my main character, Cami Wilson, is anything like me. The answer to that is yes and no.
Cami is a hybrid, the offspring of an immortal mother and mortal father, so obviously no similarities there.
She worries her backside is too big. Well, yes, I can relate to that part!
Also, inspired by my late mum, I decided to make Cami a total whizz in the kitchen, unlike me. There’s a scene in TOUCHED when Cami has fun making pancakes with Joseph, her super-hot immortal guardian. And he can cook too.
Alas, I am not a good cook. I’m a mum of four, I get by, and I haven’t given anyone food poisoning yet!
My kids, love them, constantly remind me of my culinary disasters. While my intentions are good, and there hasn’t been a Bridget Jones’ blue soup incident, there have been plenty more.
Like the Fishless Fish Pie.
I swear I spooned a pound and a half of fish into the white sauce, covered it with mashed potato and popped it into the oven, but when we came to eat it, the fish had mysteriously disappeared. We ended up eating what was basically potato in white sauce. Yum!
Then there was the Lasagne Disaster.
Normally, I’m not too bad with lasagne, but this particular one, I decided to try out my new dried herb set. ‘Give it a bit of extra flavour,’ I thought, or as the top chefs like to say, ‘Elevate something ordinary into something worthy of a Michelin star restaurant.’ Well, needless to say, I over-did the oregano and basil and the thing tasted like a herb garden.
Another meal catastrophe was the Roast Dinner Salmonella Scare.
In my defence, we’d just moved into a new house and I was using an unfamiliar oven. We were hungry, the oven was taking forever to cook anything so I turned up the temperature. I burnt the roast potatoes but the chicken was so undercooked we had to throw it away.
So is there anything I can cook?
I’m happy to say, yes there is! A lemon dessert, a recipe handed down from my mum. It’s so delicious I get asked to make it at family gatherings, and it’s absolutely perfect for a summer barbecue. And the best thing? It’s quick to make and so super easy even I can’t mess it up!
With its biscuit base topped with a mixture of double cream, lemon juice and sweet, condensed milk, it’s fair to say that Lemon Crunch is not the lightest in calories, but it’s summer—we’re all eating healthy salads, right?
If you’d like to give it a go, you can find the recipe on my website, abbeymacmunn.com

Thanks for reading,
Abbey

BIO:
Abbey MacMunn writes paranormal, fantasy and sci fi romance. She lives in Hampshire, UK with her husband and their four children. She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
When she’s not writing, she likes to watch films and TV shows – anything from rom-coms to superheroes to science fiction movies.

TOUCHED
When inquisitive antique dealer Cami Wilson learns she’s the revered offspring of an immortal mother and a mortal father, it’s not just her hybrid status that has her all flustered. The title comes with her very own super-sexy guardian.
Jaded immortal Joseph Carlisle has only one thing on his mind; his sworn duty to protect the hybrid from those who wish her harm. Anything else would be complicated. That is until they meet. 
Chemistry sizzles between them but there’s a problem—the hybrid’s curse. Cami’s touch, skin to skin, proves near fatal to her and all immortals, Joseph included.
But the fated lovers discover her curse is the least of their concerns when a friend’s deadly betrayal threatens to tear them apart forever.

TOUCHED is available now.
And you can find me here. Tirgearr Publishing Website  Twitter   @abbeymacmunn Facebook Pinterest Goodreads


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Matrix Crystal Series Continues

I am so thrilled, Matrix Crystal Christmas, now has a professional cover.

I hired Winterheart designs to make a new cover for my book that chronicles the further adventures of Vach and Maya. They made a wonderful new cover which is much better than the homemade one I had.


 Matrix Crystal Christmas is made up of two short stories (one erotic and one sweet) for the fans of my novel, Matrix Crystal Hunters, who told me that they wanted to know what happened next.

In Crystal Flower Christmas:
Vach and Maya are on a mission to undam the Laonooco River for the drought stricken region. As heartache fractures their marriage, will the gift of a crystal flower mend their relationship or break it beyond repair?

In Crystal Clear Christmas:
Plague has struck the village of Zama and the citizens blame the only human left on Zenevieva, Maya. Will Vach make the ultimate sacrifice to save his wife? 

I have a special announcement to make---Book three in my Matrix Crystal Series is with the editor. I plan on publishing the next book: Matrix Crystal River later this year (2016)

I  had thought I'd end the series there, but then a new story idea came to me and I wrote another manuscript. Its completed and already with the editor.

Here's the professionally made cover from Winterheart design.

 This next book will be about Vach and Maya's son, River. 

It's been twenty-five years and not a word, and now the humans were back. River Namaste is sure it would be a cold day in hell before his family helped them again, until he meets his mom's replacement.
Shy Native American, Winona Miracle, is the geologist for Earth Team Alpha Six. She would love to be on a dig with the famous Maya Namaste, but how to convince her to go? Then there is Maya's hunky son always hovering about. Will it be love or the matrix crystals?  

Coming soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Keeping Characters Straight #RB4U by Michele Zurlo



When there are a lot of characters, how do you keep them straight? A peek into Michele Zurlo's brain and writer's notebook.

Have you ever read a novel with a lot of characters and had a hard time keeping them straight? Writers have the same kind of problem, especially when writing a series. The first few books aren’t that hard. We’re focusing in on the main couple, and so is the reader. By the third book, readers want to see cameos from the couples they love. When we’ve spent 100K words with someone, we know them, so keeping them straight isn’t a problem.
It’s the new characters who throw us off. Not only do they have small roles, but they’re usually not integral to the plot. We’re all focused on the main couple. Will they outsmart the villain? Will they get together?

But then those minor characters show up in the next novel—as the main character.
Discerning readers look for inaccuracies, anything that doesn’t follow from previous books. Oblivious ones (like me) will not even remember them. In Re/Defined (DFBI 4), I introduced some minor characters in order to move the plot forward. When Brandy Lockmeyer suspected that the villain was someone in the FBI, she needed outside help, and they had to be people she trusted. Enter Jesse and Frankie—security specialists.

They were minor characters, but they gave me ideas. They forced me to fill in their backstory so that I could write Re/Leased (DFBI 5).

As a teacher, you’d think I would be good with names, but you’d be wrong. I keep calling my 7-year-old cat by the wrong name because he looks like a cat I had growing up. I once went an entire school year calling a girl by the wrong name, even though it was spelled correctly in my electronic attendance program. (In my defense, she never corrected me; I found out 5 years later when a friend of hers told me.)

In my writer’s notebook, I keep lists of names and attributes. The picture I took for this post shows the page I started when I thought up Frankie and Jesse, and you can see (black, and then purple, ink) where I added on when I came up with David and Dean. You can tell from the cross-outs that I change my mind a lot. You can also tell that David’s name was originally Wes. I used that name as a temporary placeholder because naming David and Autumn was a contest I ran when I was writing the story. I am using that page a lot now as I’m brainstorming the first book in the new series, which follows the adventures of the SAFE Security team.

And here I editorialize: Readers shouldn’t need a notebook to keep track of characters. Authors should develop the characters, even the minor ones, enough so that a reader can keep track of them. Using a system like mine (or even one that’s typed up or even written legibly) is a valuable tool that enables authors to plant those small clues that allows readers to identify and differentiate one minor character from another. You never know when someone with a small part is going to get a starring role.


Midwestern Book Lovers Unite: https://dominantpersuasions.com/
Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/ 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Guest Blog - Claire Gem #Writingtips @GemWriter

Writing—Beyond the Scope of Your Generation
By Claire Gem

Media. We’re bombarded by it nowadays from all sides, at home and on the go. There are so many more choices now than back in the days when radio, television, newspapers, and magazines were our only links to what was going on in the world around us. Cellphones, tablets, laptops so small they fit in our purse or backpack. Movies have escaped from the theaters and become an “on-demand” commodity. There’s even a television over the gas pump where I fill up my tank.
Choices have become a necessity instead of a luxury. We must make choices, or we risk spending every waking minute of every day engulfed in the relentless onslaught of the media.
I have my own, very individual preferences when it comes to media intake. I’m very limited. Very persnickety. I have been accused (and rightly so) of being an Internet junkie, which is true. But I do not watch television, and rarely sit through a movie. For reading, I haven’t read a newspaper in decades. I prefer audiobooks to paperbacks, paperbacks to eBooks. I hadn’t bought a magazine in years—until a few days ago.
I was standing in line at the grocery store and caught sight of the August issue of Cosmopolitan. When I spotted the cover model, Ashley Graham, I was intrigued and thrilled. It’s about time! I can’t ever remember seeing a plus-size model (she prefers the term “curvy sexylicious”) on the cover of Cosmo. Turns out, Ms. Graham also graced the cover of the 2016 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Who knew? 
Apparently, the entire world—except me.
My daughter, who is thirty-six, LOVES Cosmo. Not surprising, since the magazine is perfectly suited for her age group. I was a Cosmo subscriber in my twenties and thirties, even a ways into my forties. But I let the subscription slide when I hit the big five-O, when it seemed all the articles, ads, and fashion advice suited a younger, thinner, more “cosmopolitan” woman. Only occasionally do I pick up an issue of  “More” Magazine, geared specifically toward the more “mature” woman.
But truthfully, other than my monthly issue of the Romance Writer’s Report, I hardly ever read a periodical.
What a mistake. I hadn’t realized how BIG a mistake that decision was until I began perusing the articles in my new issue of Cosmo—most of them, still, geared for women in a younger age bracket than me. Why? Because of two very critical factors: 
a. I’m a romance author—a contemporary romance author, and 
b. my heroines are Cosmo age. 
As I flipped through the pages, a startling realization struck me: how on earth can I continue to create authentic, believable, modern heroines if I’m not in touch with who they are? I can’t.
It got me to wondering, which inevitably led me to researching.
RWA has done an outstanding job of surveying and studying the market, dissecting our readership to help us understand our audience. You can see these statistics here. These numbers show that the U.S. romance book audience is mostly 84% female, and aged between 30 and 54 years. But how old, I wondered, is the average romance writer of today? 
My (somewhat limited) research revealed only one outdated blogger survey (2010) that concluded the average age of debut romance authors was forty. A first novel at forty means there are a large percentage of romance writers who are older than that. If anyone knows of a more recent survey on this subject, please speak up in comments! Because I do know one thing: a large percentage of the heroines in contemporary romance novels (other than YA and New Adult) are between twenty-five and thirty-five years of age.
I was a late bloomer in the romance writing industry—fifty-five when I held that first precious publishing contract in hand. My heroine in that book, Phantom Traces, is twenty-eight. During the editing process, I learned I had, in many instances, mistakenly portrayed Abigail Stryker as a twenty-eight year old living in the 1980s. When I did.
What’s the point of all this drabble? As authors, we all know the mantra of read, read, read. If you want to write romance, you need to read it. I do, swallowing anywhere from 5-10 books a month in various formats, including eBooks, paperbacks, and audio. But I realized, while holding that Cosmopolitan magazine in my hands, that reading books alone isn’t enough. I needed a more current, steady diet of what’s going on today. A lifeline to the mindset of the modern woman. Women who are in their twenties and thirties and living in the NOW, not the world I knew when I was their age.
In my current work-in-progress, my heroine is twenty-six years old. She probably buys Cosmopolitan. In fact, I’m now going to add a scene showing her reading the magazine. And in order for me to get it right, get her right, I need to read what she’s reading.
Guess I’d better renew that subscription.
~~~

Claire’s latest release, A TAMING SEASON, is the first Love at Lake George Novel. 

Manhattan domestic violence counselor Zoe Anderson is going on the most important vacation of her life.
Before she can move on, help other women, Zoe needs to heal herself. She sets out for picturesque Lake George to claim the treasured family cottage she recently inherited. The place where she found happiness—before.
What she finds is a rundown shack. 
The neighboring resort mogul, Jason Rolland, whisks in to her rescue, insisting Zoe stay at his upscale Lakeview Lodge. The wealthy, handsome playboy figures he’ll seduce her, then convince the her to give up the crumbling eye-sore next door. He’s been trying to buy the cabin—and demolish it—for years: the last reminder of his own tragic childhood. 
What Jason doesn’t figure on is Zoe melting his emotional armor. But with his reputation, can he ever win her heart? Or will their pasts come back to bite them both?

Trailer: http://bit.ly/1RCcQeU 
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UwbK9d 
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2a2CSda 

Media Links:

Twitter        


Author Bio: 
Claire writes emotional romance. Her heroes are hot, her heroines strong and brave: a combination lighting the spark to fan the flames of your most intense romantic fantasies. Claire's characters are human—they make mistakes, get clumsy sometimes, and they're not too proud to laugh at themselves and each other.

She writes in two genres: romance w/a ghostly twist, and sexy contemporary. Claire's books are like a thrill ride at a theme park. Whether it's spooky-scary, angst-ridden relationships filled with gut-wrenching turmoil, silly chuckle moments, or face-fanning sex, Claire guarantees to take you on an emotionally intense romantic journey.


Buy Links:

A Taming Season: A Love at Lake George Novel
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2a2CSda

Hearts Unloched (Winner 2016 New York Book Festival)
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2ag8oHG

Phantom Traces


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