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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween with Love from @JessieClever and her latest novel When She Knows #RB4U

The Power of Love and Learning That You Are Stronger Than You Think

The heroine of this title came to me as I said goodbye to my twenties.  It was a rocky send off as occurrences in my personal life threatened my resolve and strength.  You never expect to encounter situations of extreme illness in your family, but sometimes it strikes with swiftness and irreversible damage.  My weapons of choice were pints of ice cream and chocolate bars when things seemed to become unbearable, like there seemed to be no end.

But the end did come, and when I reached it, I saw the clouds lifting.  I saw the light filtering in.  And I realized I had made it.  Things weren’t better.  Family members were not cured.  We had simply learned a new normal that became part of the everyday.  Some dreams were discarded.  New ones made.  But still, we made it.

Because we loved each other, and with that love, we defied that which had the power to bring us down.

It was this thought that shaped Shannon Wynter in When She Knows.  Abandoned by her mother at a young age, Shannon is left to care for her agoraphobic father.  She muscles this burden with a single-mindedness that excludes other aspects of life, including romance.  But through this story, she discovers the power of love that has been there all along.


When She Knows: Franconia Notch Trilogy Book One by Jessie Clever


His latest problem is her newest assignment.

Shannon Wynter has it all figured it. Abandoned by her mother and left to care for her agoraphobic father, Shannon focuses on building her career as a journalist to the detriment of all else including her love life.

Ian Darke has his own problems. Battling past failures, Ian sets his eyes on launching a new factory for his father’s defense firm. But it’s the very father he failed that will do anything to sabotage Ian’s progress.

And when Shannon follows an anonymous tip that leads her to Ian’s factory door, the last thing she expects to discover is what she already knows.

Goodreads Link:



Purchase links:

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1SWp4R9
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1M6StJw
All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1IHyZsj

About the Author:

In the second grade, Jessie began a story about a duck and a lost ring.  Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found.  And Jessie has been writing ever since.

Armed with the firm belief that women in the Regency era could be truly awesome heroines, Jessie began telling their stories in her Spy Series, a thrilling ride in historical espionage that showcases human faults and triumphs and most importantly, love.

Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated Basset Hounds.  For more, visit her website at jessieclever.com.

Social Media Links:


Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween. . .Yay or Nay?


I have a confession to make. I never really liked Halloween growing up.

Some people love dressing up in costume and going door to door for candy. I wasn't one of them. we didn't have a lot of money, so the costume was always some sort of hand-me-down, and never what I actually wanted. The weather was always cold, so we were either covering our costumes with winter jackets or freezing to death on the sidewalk, lol.

Thankfully, my kids didn't inherit my cynicism. They both love Halloween and look forward to going out with their dad around the neighborhood. Since I like to stay warm, I am the one to hand out candy, and I have to admit that this job is more suited to my style. I love seeing the unique costumes and the smiles on the kids faces. I always make sure to hand out the good chocolate (peanut butter cups and kit kats,) so it's fun seeing the kids race to my door. There's no doubt about it: Halloween is much better as an adult. :)

How about you? Do you have fond memories of Halloween as a kid, or do you like the holiday much more as an adult? Tell me about it in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you!

You can find me all around the web this week. I'm part of the Fall Into a Wicked Good Time event on Facebook (complete with Rafflecopter Give Away!). I'm also part of a huge paperback give away with Love, Lust and Lipstick stains.

Finally, I'm  running book sales.Last week I released Corazon, the third book in my Jungle Heat series.  For today and tomorrow, I put the first book in the series, Cria, on sale for 99 cents. So if you want to sample my Brazilian cat shifters, you can try out this series on the cheap. But, you better hurry, the price goes back up to $2.99 November 1st!

  

Jungle Heat is a series of stories that take place deep in the Amazon Jungle in Brazil. In this world there are many types of shifters who call the Amazon home. As humans farm the land for lumber and other resources, the shifters are forced out of their homes and a turf war develops. How these different tribes come together to save their lands is the basis of this series.




Suzanne Rock, AuthorA 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.
Suzanne is represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency and writes mainstream romances under the pen name Ava Conway.



Connect with Suzanne online:

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Victorian Mystery: Step into Hell #RB4U #MFRWauthor #RomFantasy

Today's post is to introduce you to a character I am hoping very much to revisit within the next six months or so. I've always loved the Victorian era and the feel of it, and weirdly, the Ripper murders have always intrigued me, too, so combining those things to create a very special character that I fell in love with myself was a challenge and something I thoroughly enjoyed. These books were published a number of years ago, and many readers who've discovered my books since don't know about them, so I thought it was time for everyone to meet my fascinating and tortured Inspector from London. I hope you'll like him as much as I do! Thank you.

The Devane Files
Read More HERE: Liquid Silver Books


A murder scene is not exactly the place to find romance. But when Inspector Michael Devane is called upon to solve the murder of Robert Bradshaw, he finds a woman who arouses intense passion in his heart. Unfortunately, she’s at the top of his suspect list! Denyse Bridger brings the Victorian Era alive in Out of Hell, Book 1 of her romance series The Devane Files.

London 1892

Whitechapel was disturbingly quiet as newly appointed Inspector, Michael Charles Devane walked the streets in contemplative solitude. His eyes missed nothing as he strolled, absorbed with the turmoil inside his head, yet acutely aware of all that was around him. It was instinctive, like so much else about his nature. His promotion had come at a difficult time in his career, his friend and mentor, Chief Inspector Fred Abberline had only retired weeks earlier, and Michael frequently wondered if it was Abberline’s influence that had tipped the scales in his favor when it came time for his Superintendent to consider this promotion. His career before Abberline’s friendship had certainly not indicated he would rise in the ranks to this level. He shivered against the sudden chill of memory, drawn inexorably back to the evening a few years ago when he had been recruited into Abberline’s elite H Division unit of investigators hunting the notorious killer who would become known as Jack The Ripper.

Devane had been a mediocre police officer, but several small cases that had baffled other investigators had been solved by his unorthodox and admittedly questionable methods. Like Fred Abberline, Michael Devane knew the district intimately, and he spent long periods of time actually living in Whitechapel. The locals trusted him. The prostitutes had laughingly befriended him in the first years of his adult life, and subsequently, the early days of his career with the police force. He had contacts that even Abberline didn’t have access to, and the then Inspector in charge of the ground forces, wanted Michael on his team. Strings had been pulled, and his transfer had been made in the space of days. If he’d known then what the events of the coming months would bring to his life, Devane might have chosen a more peaceful method for destruction of his mind, his emotional balance, and his life in general.

Mist curled around his feet; the thick, cottony clouds of fog that were uniquely London clinging to his pants with cloying wetness. His footsteps, lost in the swirl of sickly white on the cobble-stoned ground, sounded vaguely muffled. He pulled the collar of his overcoat a little higher and glanced around. There were still people brave enough to walk the streets, but fear lingered behind the boldness of the gazes that met his stare, then slid away too quickly. He shuddered as he spotted The Ten Bells tavern, and the chill of the night sank deeper into his being. Almost four years since the Ripper murders, but it might have been yesterday to many. It felt like yesterday to him. Every time there was a particularly messy murder, it was attributed to the infamous Ripper; and there had been several that did, indeed, look like the madman’s work. After all, the police had never caught the notorious Jack the Ripper. Had they? A great number of people blamed Chief Inspector Fred Abberline. Others were not so specific and targeted anybody who was even remotely associated with the nightmarish case. Few people knew the truth. It would always be that way, too, he knew, truth being subjective, and loyalties as eternally ambiguous as the evidence. Conspiracy theories had abounded at the time of the killings, and many more had been formulated and put forth since those grisly days in the latter half of 1888.

Devane’s sergeant, David Goodwin, chided him often for his penchant for inviting death, whether it was walking the Whitechapel streets, or caught in the limbo dream-world created by his continued use of opium. ‘Chasing the dragon’, as Goodwin, (and a few others), noted with his worry-tainted contempt of the practice. Devane knew the bursts of anger were born in concern, and he frequently ignored what another police inspector would have disciplined in his “junior”. That irony never ceased to bring a flicker of wry amusement to the younger man’s handsome features, and it did so now; Devane felt the telltale twitch of movement at his mouth--just beyond his conscious control.

A hand touched his arm, tugged less than gently, and he turned to look into the lascivious smile of a local whore. He saw a multitude of things in her pale eyes as they looked at each other, among them was the ever-present fear. Her gaze dropped for an instant as she took stock of him, a potential customer. His expression remained passive, and when her head rose to meet his stare a second time, she was apologetic.

“Beggin’ your pardon, sir,” she mumbled, and ran off before he could utter a word.

Inspector Devane was not typical of her customary clientele, in any way. He was young, exceptionally handsome, and dressed like a gentleman. His eyes were dark, intelligent, and if anyone peered too closely, the shadows of perpetual pain and deeply-rooted loss would become visible. Few people were permitted that privilege, of course.

Devane continued his interrupted walk, and eventually the worn sign of Mitre Street caught his attention. Again, the icy breath of past death caressed his insides. Just beyond the Street was Mitre Square and the ghost of Catharine Eddowes, Jack The Ripper’s fourth victim. He turned away, unwilling to go further in that direction. Abberline had been quick to see the value of his gift of near-clairvoyant insight, and had quickly given him the rare opportunity to be among his men on the streets. It had been a mixed blessing, indeed. He’d gained invaluable experience working with Abberline’s team, but the horrors he’d seen had never quite faded safely into vague oblivion.

The Ripper had been haunting him anew recently. Devane’s dream-vision had once again been filled with gore and terror. Not entirely unique in his experience, but the horror of the attacks, and the violence in the residue that remained with him throughout the day, was vividly reminiscent of the Ripper murders that had occurred over a period of several months. He knew that it was not the work of Jack The Ripper, yet something was drawing him back into that macabre nightmare world that had cost him a piece of his soul, as well as his faltering marriage, and then threatened his very sanity in ways about which he tried to avoid thinking.

His footsteps quickened slightly, and it took only a single heartbeat for him to recognize the reason for it; behind him, the sound of a carriage approaching, moving fast and with purpose. Pulling his thoughts inward, cloaking himself in cultivated control, Devane turned to face the nearing vehicle. Repressing his annoyance, he went to join Goodwin when the sergeant’s broad face appeared in the window and he beckoned.

“Good-evening, sir,” Goodwin said quietly, once Devane was seated next to him and he’d told the driver to continue onward to their destination.

“What is it this time, Sergeant?” Devane enquired, gazing outward, seeing nothing.

Goodwin winced at the resignation in the younger man’s strong, quiet voice. He didn’t really know what to say to Devane a great deal of the time now. Goodwin had worked with Devane for a number of years, and they’d become friends. But, things had changed after the Ripper case. Not in overt ways, but the more subtle undercurrents had shifted into a murky grey area where he was no longer always certain of Devane’s dark genius. Fred Abberline had hinted it might happen, but Goodwin hadn’t believed it; he’d known Devane for such a long time, and his faith had been unshakable, until that terrible case. And, this new one was going to put more pressure on a personality that was fraught with edginess on the best of days.

“Sergeant Goodwin?”

Goodwin started visibly and tried to look away from the intensity of Devane’s expectant gaze. It was impossible. It always had been.

“There’s been a murder,” he imparted cautiously. Devane released him by turning to look out the window again, drinking in the night and its secrets.

“What of it?”

“It was messy, Inspector. They’re already whispering about The Ripper being back at work. Though that makes little enough sense in this case, since the victim is a man, not a Whitechapel bang-tail.”

Devane closed his eyes and leaned back in the safe confines of the jostling carriage. He was suddenly drifting into lethargy, tired beyond weariness. His head fell back and a hiss of breath escaped from between clenched teeth. Before he could hold back the images, blood spattered his mind’s eye and held him in the semi-consciousness of familiar dream-scapes. A scream, deafening yet soundless, split the silence inside his head. He turned, and a graceful, eerily beautiful arc of liquid fire sprayed upward, glistening drops of crimson life held suspended against the stark glow of gaslights. A sliver of silver glimmered, vanished, then returned again, covered in scarlet gloss. Then the screaming amplified and enveloped him for timeless seconds, until it slowly pulsed to a soft, steady heartbeat. Through the haze of red, a face tried to take form, and failed. Devane inwardly twisted away, eager to escape the marred beauty that pleaded with his tortured soul...

“Inspector?”

Goodwin’s concerned shout penetrated the fog, and banished the siren and her song. Devane nodded, opened his eyes, and peered out to look at the pale grandeur of a Kensington townhouse. Two uniformed constables flanked the massive double doors that were the entrance to the place, and Devane knew Goodwin would have two others positioned at the rear of the house as well. As he descended the steps and felt solid ground under his feet again, his equilibrium reasserted itself. Goodwin waited until he led the way, and they approached the house in resolute silence.

Before they had reached the landing at the top of the stairs, the huge doors swung open and an immaculately dressed, somber butler awaited them. They presented an incongruous pair, and the butler’s flickering gaze did a quick inventory of the two policeman. Goodwin was a big man, half a head taller than his companion, and twice his bulk. He was older, with a friendly, broad face that was deceptive about its owner’s perceptiveness. Sharp eyes belied the illusion of a cheerful bear of a man, and his stance was faintly protective as he stood next to the smaller man. Goodwin’s clothes were less stylishly cut and less expensive, as well. But, there was no denying his imposing presence.

“This is Inspector Devane, Mr. Carstaires,” Goodwin said, apparently having already met the typically haughty servant.

The Inspector was a slender man, dressed in a deep midnight blue suit and pristine white shirt with black tie, the knot very slightly askew. He was pale, features fine and angular, very striking in quiet demeanor and possessed of a forceful personality that wasn’t evident until you met his startlingly dark eyes. He wasn’t six feet tall, yet this was the stronger and more dangerous of the two men, the butler realized instantly. Whatever Devane lacked in physical strength was more than compensated for by his quick, agile mind.

“Lady Bradshaw is waiting for you in the Library. The family physician has been sent for,” he added in explanation. “I will inform you upon his arrival.”

“I’ll need to see the body and the crime site first,” Devane inserted quietly. “Then the family.”

Carstaires digested the request, nodded slowly, then changed the direction they’d been going in and stopped at the foot of the long, curving staircase that dominated the huge foyer of the house.

“I believe Sergeant Goodwin can show you which room,” the butler said with a faintly questioning look at Goodwin. The sergeant smiled and nodded, and the expression turned to a soft chuckle as he indicated the stairs.

“Shall we, sir?”


The Devane Files: Book One - OUT OF HELL
Read More HERE: Liquid Silver Books




The Devane Files: Book Two - AN UNSPOKEN BETRAYAL
Read More HERE: Liquid Silver Books

Book 2 of The Devane Files finds our intrepid inspector ready to settle down with his new wife. But problems seem to find their way to his front door. Now, Devane finds himself once again caught up in a mystery that could not only cost him the love of the woman who holds his heart, but his life as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Guest Blog: Paty Jager shares her stories and characters #RB4U #Holiday #Romance


Thieves, Artisans, and a Good Story
By Paty Jager

My love of the west and the area where I grew up, led me to write the Christmas Novella in the Silver Belles and Stetson Western Christmas Anthology. Christmas Redemption came about from my reading a story about a man from Joesph, OR who robbed a bank as a young man and twenty-seven years later became the vice president of the same bank. 

Van Donovan, the hero in Christmas Redemption, doesn’t become the bank president, but I used that premise as the catalyst for the story. At the age of fifteen he thinks being a lookout for a bank robbery would be exciting and knows it will infuriate his father. Van’s lark was soon over when an innocent man is killed and Van ends up in prison without one word from his family.

Van redeems himself by learning a trade while in prison and having the courage to come back home and prove to the town and his family he is a changed man. 

I gave Van an occupation you don’t see very often in westerns. He’s a boot maker. I spent several hours in the shop of bootmaker DW Frommer II, who specializes in teaching the art of boot making in the 1800s. While I spent all the time learning about the pine pitch that is boiled down and rubbed like wax into the threads that sew the boots together, hair from the back of a boar’s neck that can be split and used like a needle, and how the hole patterns the bootmaker makes with an awl can distinguish his work, I ended up using very little of this information. That is the way of most research, several pages of information are carefully written down and that is boiled down into a sentence or a paragraph in the book. Hopefully, learning about the different types of leather, the different threads and what is pitched and what isn’t helps the authenticity show through in what I do have about boot making in the story.

Christmas Redemption
Van Donovan returns to Pleasant Valley, Oregon where twelve years earlier as a boy of fifteen he left in handcuffs after standing guard for a bank robbery. He's learned a trade and excelled at it and is ready to prove to his father and the town he can amount to something.

Upon his return he learns the fate of the daughter of an innocent man who died in the robbery crossfire. To make amends he takes her out of the saloon and gives her a job, not realizing she'd been squatting in the very building he'd purchased for his business.

Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives?



Silver Belles and Stetsons: A Western Christmas Anthology
Available as a $.99 boxed set for a limited time 

Bestselling and Award-Winning Authors bring you ten western romance novellas featuring alpha-cowboys from the past. This boxed set will take you back in time when 
men were rugged and handsome and the women who loved them, courageous and 
daring. 



Paty Jager



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Entice Me Anthology: Werecat Love

EnticeMe_900x597
Entice Me Anthology, Werecat Love Excerpt:

Morgan Brookhaven isn’t expecting romance when she accompanies her friend for a week of skiing, but when she meets Jared all bets are off.

Ski instructor Jared Catterick has secrets that he doesn’t mind sharing with a special lady, and he hopes Morgan is the one. When his past and present collide it’s worse than he imagined, and he’s forced to fight for his life.
* * * * *
Morgan stumbled into the Mountain Lion ski lodge. Safe at last. She barely glanced at the rustic, rough-pine interior, as she limped past the homey furniture. Her goal came into view, the huge stone fireplace. Why the hell do I let myself get talked into these things? What was I thinking? I’ve never skied in my life.

She removed her soaked gloves, laid them on the hearth, then spread her frozen fingers toward the warmth of the crackling fire. Snow packed into the creases of her ski-pants, jacket, and boots, but soon melted in the glorious heat. God, all this so Joan can flirt with her Italian stallion.

When the circulation returned to her icy body parts, causing a pins and needles sensation, she let out a slight whimper, then turned to let the roaring fire roast her rump. Morgan found herself staring into the amused green-eyed gaze of a man who sat on a leather chair. With wide cheekbones and a face that tapered down to a narrow chin, he was definitely worth a look. His long legs stretched out, emphasizing his lean build and athletic frame. He was attractively attired in hunter-green bib ski-pants, and matching sweater. His shock of bright orange-red hair stood on end. How unusual, it’s the same color as that cat I saw last night.

His full sensuous lips formed into a lazy smile. “You’re shivering as if you’re frozen right through.”

“Oh, I am.” She didn’t doubt he had checked her out when her back was to him. Morgan stopped rubbing her chilled behind, when she realized he watched her with unwavering attention. She wrapped her arms around herself instead.

“What you need is a hot toddy.” He straightened. “It’s excellent for when you have been exposed to the cold or had a shock to the system.”

Morgan arched an eyebrow. “Are you buying?”

“Sure, if your friend doesn’t mind me taking up some of your time.”

“Oh no, Joan won’t mind. She’s busy skiing down the mountain with that hunky…” She stopped and blinked a couple of times. “My friend?”

“I saw you check-in with her.”

“We got here so late, the only one up was the night manager, and a cat. I know you’re not the manager, so unless you’re trying to say you’re the orange tabby, I don’t know how you could know that.”

He unfolded from his seat in one effortless movement, and stood so close she had to crane her neck up to stare at him.

“My name is Jared Catterick.” The deep timbre of his voice vibrated straight through her, and did interesting things to her nether regions. “How about that drink?”

“Morgan Brookhaven.” She offered her hand.

“Hi, Morgan.” He held her ice-cold hand in his deliciously warm one. “Come with me and I’ll help thaw you out.” The heat of his gaze traveled down her body.

She hesitated for a moment. Well, maybe he was looking out the window of his room when we came in. “How can I refuse such a delightful invitation?”

Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Entice-Me-Luscious-Love-Stories-ebook/dp/B015YEHP9U/

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Halloween from Hell! by Sam Cheever

If I were going to create the consummate Halloween party, I'd invite all the characters from my Bedeviled and Beyond series. The list of attendees would include halflings, which are creatures made up of devil and angel DNA, Guardian Angels, Royal Devils, demons, gargoyles, witches and warlocks, dragons, fairies, werewolves and just about anything else you can think of from the darker side of magic. That would be an interesting party, yes?

As you can imagine, my heroine, Astra Q Phelps would have her hands full keeping everybody in line. Good thing she's been groomed since childhood to handle dark world inhabitants. And with my favorite holiday, Halloween, coming up in just a few days, I'd like to share the story of one of Astra Q Phelps' early Halloween experiences.

Beware...this Halloween story is not for the faint of heart! Bwahahahahaha!

 ΨΨΨ 


October 31st. All Hallows Eve. The devil's Mardi Gras. Within walls painted with the scarlet broth of human life, in Devil King Nerul's court, buried deep within the bowels of an unsuspecting Earth, All Hallows Eve is celebrated in a way that brings to mind the human holiday, Christmas. Beneath the holiday tree in Nerul's court however, the only gifts are corpses, wrapped in their own stink, and tied with the roiling ribbons of their newly claimed maggot hosts.

Within these walls all manner of horror waits in rabid anticipation of the culmination of the grand scheme, which was born as long as 2000 years ago, and comes to fruition on this night.

Halloween, 2015. In the spirit world, the year of the devil.

As young, fresh-cheeked toddlers and adolescents choke down their dinners in their eagerness to don their costumes and hit the streets, their evil counterparts gather below with putrefying smiles and plan their evening's delights, preening flesh-clogged claws and razor edged fangs in preparation for the coming carnage.

The word had spread like wildfire through the spirit world. It had passed with the tenacity of long told tales and hero's songs. On this Eve, the proclamation tells, a life could be regained for a life lost. For a brief time, ending exactly at midnight, death's cold, filthy grasp could be traded for the warmth and joys of life. The rules, proclaimed by Nerul, were simple and grave: Kill a young human in its prime, and life and beauty would be yours again.

Brutality among the court's demons, devils, and gargoyles was not a problem. They regularly paid death its due through excessive carnage. They only feared the good in man. Goodness served as both a lure and a killing frost to their type of evil purpose. It was as acid to their flesh, unutterable despair to their spirits. And in this unwelcome trait, the sweet, untainted child was of particular danger to them.

With this knowledge in their tortured thoughts, Nerul's monsters gathered with a mixture of fear and gleeful anticipation. For the sweet syrup of human goodness was a wine they rarely dared to drink. These dwellers of subterranean dark generally set their sights on those of human form whose souls had long ago been bartered away for temporary riches, whether monetary or of the flesh. Those humans who took the downward spiral in their humane growth, and passed beyond the hope of ever finding their way back, were ready and tender targets for Nerul and his kind. This type of victim the hosts of human nightmares understood and readily hunted.


In contrast, their prey on this most important of nights would be heavily protected from the monsters' lures. The good were constantly guarded and watched by their guardian Angels. And once they had been separated from their guardians, their sweet natures would still burn as acid until it was tainted by evil. It was this task that would prove the most difficult. Luring the good into evil so that they could be subdued.

As dusk gathered like a mask across the land, children and monsters alike left the cover of their dwellings and walked out, gleefully anticipating the coming Halloween delights. Children greeted each other with high-pitched, Angelic voices and taunted their elders for homemade tidbits and sweet-tasting treats while tripping happily over their ghostly sheets and bewitching finery. Among them, short, jolly monsters with bloodied, latex faces and glowing, green plastic eyes danced from house to house, swinging bags that bulged with gastronomic delights and sang out a childish challenge to all that they passed. None of them dreamed that behind the next tree, beyond the next hill, the stuff of true nightmares awaited them, watching for the opportunity to drink greedily of their potent human wine.

Hovering watchfully above these sweet human targets, the Angels of God trained careful, probing eyes on their charges and cast their web of goodness around the unsuspecting children like a protective wall. While Nerul's monsters could boast freely to each other of their indifference to the Angels' powers, nary a one thought to test those powers when they were gathered en masse as they were this special night. After a human hour's passage of time, the monsters, disgusted and repelled by the wall of goodness they'd encountered on those lively streets, retreated to council beneath a fat and taunting moon. Deep in a cold foreboding wood, where displaced spirits danced their fearful dance across the wind-stripped limbs of winter's trees, the monsters bent their terrible heads and began to plan.

Encircling a fire that shot upward from a hole in the earth at the center of their evil council, they argued and pierced each other with gore-touched claws and blood-slimed teeth. Then, at last, heads nodding in agreement, they doused the fires of Hell in their midst and moved out into the night, to make real the nightmare they'd hatched in that dark, cold wood.

As the monsters settled into place in the shadows just beyond the light, calling to their king to bend his special powers to fulfillment of their plan, a lone child emerged from a darkened house, clutching her nanny's work-roughened hand. The child was very small, with bright green eyes and hair that was a scarlet spark under the efficient, white glow of the streetlights. Her name was Astra and, although she was very young and very small, she moved with the purpose of the very old and her eyes were filled with an understanding that surpassed time. She was followed by a single, bright Angel whose name was Myra, and whose scowling countenance foretold the night to come.

As the child moved through the unsuspecting revelers, she looked often to her Angel and smiled a bright, childish smile as if to offset the celestial creature's stern countenance. Angel Myra's response was to scowl more thoroughly and scan the area around them with increased intensity. The ghoulish hunters could not avoid being drawn to Astra. Their red-rimmed eyes followed her tiny form down the streets with a mixture of hunger and dread. For her part, Astra gathered her treats rather carelessly, and without apparent joy, as if she were simply playing a part that could not be avoided. Her weary caregiver trudged along beside her, yawning widely and offering sleepy smiles to the treat givers they approached.

One ravenous demon, drawn in by the child's sweetness and apparent fragility, stepped from behind a large oak and stared down at Astra through glowing, dead eyes. As Myra reared back to strike, Astra held up a small hand and frowned. With a pucker of her soft, pink lips, little Astra blew a tender kiss at the monster and then laughed childishly as he scurried away with a roar. The child's nanny, not at all convinced of the harmlessness of the thing they'd just encountered, jerked her young charge into the brighter lights and, looking over her shoulder with a shiver, pulled Astra along to the next house.

Myra followed, scolding the child softly and with great intensity. Astra accepted her scolding with a soft smile. "It was just a costume, Myra." She said in soft tones when her nanny was distracted. With this Myra scowled all the more deeply and said, "You know better, Astra."

The child's brave defiance when confronted by a living, breathing nightmare spurred the monsters on. With renewed vigor they called upon Nerul to help them set their plan into motion. As the revelers squeezed the last of the bounty from the dying night, as lights and candles winked off all around them, and footsteps turned wearily toward home, Nerul raised his awful countenance and drove his massive powers into the rock and dirt that formed the roof of his court in the bowels of the Earth. In response, the very street the children walked upon began to tremble and crack. With a thunderous roar, the street ripped apart and flew skyward to expose the fires of Hell beneath.

With screams of surprise and then terror, children scattered or were whisked away by their guardians. The children who had been standing in the place where the jagged edges of the fiery pit emerged, teetered and screamed and fell into it, landing in the hard, leathery arms of their worst nightmares. While Hell's flames lapped hungrily at soft, cringing flesh, the monsters bent their terrible heads to whisper words of temptation into the tender, captive ears. Many of the small victims succumbed to evil's promise and gave way. These the monsters dove upon and devoured. A few, good, brave children shook their tiny heads in denial of Hades' pledge. These the monsters rejected with a roar of terror and disgust, flinging them from the fires of Hell, where they were gathered up, once again, by their frantic guardian Angels.

By the hundreds, the guardian Angels left their charges and flew into the pit to save the howling children. And as they fought the demons of Hell, the Angels called to the heavens in crystalline tones of supplication. Demons, devils, and gargoyles; taking advantage of the children’s newly unguarded state; emerged from the shadows and carried them off, whispering terrible words of temptation and threat into their helpless ears.

In the midst of it all, Astra stood quiet and calm, arms outstretched, and called selected children around her. At her calm insistence, even the most terror stricken of the chosen few moved to stand quietly at her side. The demons, seeing in the small child a power greater than theirs, made no attempt to breach her circle of control and the thirteen, specially-picked children she'd called to her side were spared.

Moments later, the bells of St. Michael's church on the corner began to strike the hours of Midnight. As each hour chimed away, the edges of the earth began to knit themselves back together and the smoke began to clear. The screams died away to muted cries and then silence, and the world began to right itself. As the midnight hour was reached, the revelers seemed to shake themselves off and take a collective, deep breath. They blinked and moved to retrieve lost bags filled with sweet delights, resuming their measured steps toward home. Neighbors shook their heads and returned to their homes, wondering what trick of fate had brought them out of their warm beds and into the cold, quiet night.

Young Astra looked up and smiled sadly as Myra settled once again at her back. Quietly they made their way home, dragging Astra's exhausted nanny behind. Once there, young Astra made an excuse to her mother and stood outside for just a moment longer, glancing at her Angel with a sad frown.

"How many do you think, Angel?"

Myra shrugged and her habitual scowl deepened. "At least a dozen I fear."

"How many did you save?"

The Angel's soft lips took a downward turn, "Not nearly enough."

Astra nodded and touched her Angel's pale, translucent hand. "Will their parents know?"

Myra shook her golden head and sighed. "They see what they want to see, Astra."

Astra lowered her head and turned to enter her house. One by one the lights of the street winked off and keys turned in locks. Inside the homes, sleepy children kissed their parents' cheeks and trudged wearily off to bed. If some of these small, sleepy faces seemed somehow different...somehow colder...somehow sharper...their parents didn't notice.

The day was spent. The air outside was clear and cold. The moon lay fat and smiling in the sky. It was time to put aside the cares of the day. Small forms settled down to sleep in down-covered beds, with softly glowing nightlights at their heads to protect them from the monsters under the bed. But many of the monsters had moved from under the bed to rest upon it. In many beds innocence no longer slept. In these beds, eyes that had been bright with childish delight that morning, now glowed with an unearthly fever, demonic with the pleasure of humanity gained. Until at last, two by two, these cold eyes closed in restless sleep, to foster dreams of celebrations to come.

October 31st, 2016. In the spirit world, the year of the demon.


Book 5: Bedeviled & Beyond

Bedeviled & Besmirched

"Sam Cheever never ceases to amaze with the stories she weaves. They continue to be intense, very hot and filled with enough twists and turns to keep the reader amazed and intrigued. The ending is electrifying and you know we have not seen the last of this couple. Beautifully done –" ~ 5 stars from SensualReads.com

Who knew that one little magic hickey could cause so much trouble? Never mind that Astra Q Phelps has no idea how she gave the king of the Royal Devils a Daemon mark. Females aren’t supposed to be able to mark their males. Now everybody’s trying to kill her. Well, half of everybody is trying to kill her. The females on the Devil Court want to know how she did it so they can do it too. And, while Astra’s trying to stay alive, somebody’s making a play for her man and the power he’s about to inherit. It’s a whole lot of stuff for Astra Q Phelps to handle. But, as you probably know by now, she’s…most likely…up to the challenge. Hopefully.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

What Do Pink Ribbons, Football and October have in common with Beverley Bateman #RB4U


Yes, you guessed it. It’s breast cancer month. Pink ribbons are the official symbol, first used in 1991, and the NFL supports the month by having players wear pink on their uniform; shoes, gloves, towels, arm braces, whatever. They cover the goal posts in pink, and the referees wear or carry pink flags. It’s a very positive thing for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. There’s lots of positive vibes.

The RB4U theme for this month is the healing power of love, so I’m sharing my story of breast cancer and how the love of people helped me heal – twice.

Originally, I signed up for a five year study for breast cancer. I believe in doing my part to help. There were two groups. One filled out a diet questionnaire each year. I was in the group that received a mammogram and diet consultation every year. My third year a small area, the size of a dime with pin pricks, was found. It was diagnosed as breast cancer – and I flunked out of the study. I had a lumpectomy. My friends, co-workers and family were there with support, love, and encouragement. They visited, brought little gifts, like a Spanish Cabbage Patch doll, because I’d recently visited Spain, and smuggled martinis into the hospital after my lumpectomy – in urine specimen containers. Okay, my background is in nursing and some of my nursing friends helped out here. There were lots of warm and fuzzy hugs, and recommendations for a great book on the power of positive thinking. I read the book. It kept me focused on thinking only positive thoughts about healing and getting better. My family and friends reinforced that with their love and caring.

I had a wonderful support group who helped in my healing. My daughter also gave me an amethyst crystal to help in healing and protect me from future health issues. It was a deep purple color, but each year it got lighter in color, as it used its power to protect me. Eventually it became almost white and then I lost it.

A CRUISE TO REMEMBER Blurb
Amnesia, a cruise ship, a jewel theft ring and attempted murder combine to make it a cruise to remember. Hallie Donald has been in an accident and has amnesia. She’s traveling on the cruise as a companion. And someone is trying to kill her.
She doesn’t remember anything but someone   Interpol agent Eric Norby searches for jewel thieves on a Caribbean cruise, but his main suspect is the woman he loves.

A CRUISE TO REMEBER EXCERPT

   “You’re still shaking. Come on over here where it’s quiet.” Eric found a sheltered corner, away from most of the passengers. “Sit down, doctors’ orders. I’ll be right back with two drinks. You could use something to relax you. They have special sail-away drinks. You okay with that you?”
   He slipped his uniform jacket off and draped it around her shoulders, over her shawl.
   “Sounds great, but it’s not necessary.” She felt warmer in the jacket and his musky male scent enveloped her. It was pleasant and sexual. She knew didn’t react to all men’s scent this way. She looked up and noticed his lip curled slightly as he smiled.
   “Yeah, it is. Keep the jacket on to help warm you up. I’ll be right back.”
   Hallie sat on the edge of the chair. She forced herself to take deep, calming breaths. She relaxed slightly and leaned back. Eric’s jacket slipped from her shoulders to the deck. She bent to pick it up when she felt rather than heard a buzzing sound, something like a mosquito, past her left ear.
   Strange.
   She sat back up and twisted around to adjust Eric’s jacket. There was a hole in the back of the deck chair.
   Funny, I don’t remember it being there before I picked up the jacket.
   She ran her finger over the hole.
   “Here we go.” Eric carried a couple of tall, red, orange and yellowed colored drinks topped off with parasols.
   “What were you doing?” he asked.
   “I’m not sure. There was a funny sound, like a mosquito, and I think this hole just appeared.”
   “What the hell...?” Eric placed the drinks onto a nearby table. He ran his finger over the hole.
“It’s a bloody bullet hole.”
   “A what? You’re kidding?”
   “No, I’m not. Where were you when it happened?” Eric looked at the hole. He squinted back in the direction it would have come from.
   “I guess that’s when I bent down to pick up your jacket.”
   “My God, you could have been killed.” Eric pulled Hallie into his arms and squeezed her against his chest. “You’re sure you’re all right?”
   “I think so. I mean, I wasn’t hit or anything. I can’t figure out what’s happening. This has to be one of the worst nights of my life.”

BUY LINKS


Beverley is Canadian. She lives in the Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia, with her husband and two Shiba Inu dogs. The area is set amongst lakes, beaches, mountains, apple, pear and peach orchards, plus raspberries, blueberries and lots of other fresh produce. And of course, it’s wine country. They produce world class wines which she feels is her obligation to sip while she writes her romantic suspense and medical thriller books.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Guest Blog: Constance Hussey, author of Trusting Lord Summerton #RB4U #Regency

The Healing Power of Love

“Trusting Lord Summerton” was a difficult book to write. Because the heroine has suffered through an abusive marriage prior to the opening of the story, I had to find a way to share some of her experiences without burdening my reader with overly graphic details. It was also a challenge to present the hero in a believable way, since it fell to him to overcome Mary’s fear and distrust of men.

Although spousal violence is a frequent topic in today's world, as unfortunately it is something that occurs all too frequently, it is not a subject I consciously set out to write about. In fact, my musings began with a thought from the other end of such circumstances. Is it possible for a woman who has suffered abuse to ever heal, and what factors would enable her to do so? It is this complex situation that presents Lord Summerton with the most important challenge of his life—showing Mary that with persistence, understanding, and the gentle touch of a lover, she can overcome her fear. Owing to the twisted instruction of her late husband, Mary lacks any comprehension of the true concept of lovemaking—a partnership of mutual desire and concern for each other’s enjoyment. Patiently, and with careful attentions, Colin teaches Mary how delightful intimacy can be when they both share the same objective—giving pleasure to each other.

I’m always been a firm believer in the power of love. Whether it’s between parent and child, siblings and families, or lovers of all persuasions, I feel that love is an absolute necessity for the successful navigation of life’s often difficult path. Love not only makes us stronger, kinder, and more considerate, it encourages the tolerance we all need to have for our fellow travelers. 





Trusting Lord Summerton

 Now that she was free, Mary would never again allow another man into her life. Her battered heart was closed to friend and lover alike—but it was not closed to revenge. As eager as she was to bring down her enemy, however, she could not do it alone. She had to accept help—help which might be more dangerous than anything her foe might contrive. For the outstretched hand belonged to a man she had betrayed—her once fiancé, Lord Summerton, and she feared that deep in her heart lay the long-buried embers of the love they once shared.
            Lord Summerton knew he was a fool to even think of tangling with Mary. She was trouble with a vengeance and he already had enough complexity in his life. Still, to see her so wounded and not offer his aid was beyond him—even knowing that a second betrayal would damage him past mending.

Author bio: For Constance Hussey, it’s all about the history. From the moment she discovered the wonderful stories hidden in books, she was intrigued by all those make-believe worlds of other times and cultures. There she could be almost anyone—intrepid maiden, daring explorer, witch or warrior—and effortlessly travel to exotic places and long-past eras. Naturally, history was her favorite subject throughout school and the love of reading continues to be a mainstay in her life. Constance now lives in Florida with her own personal hero—her patient and supporting husband of 50+ years. When not glued to the computer, she enjoys gardening, cooking, walking and relaxing on the back porch with a glass of wine and a good book. 
Visit her website, http://www.constancehussey.com for more about Constance and her books.

BUY LINKS:




  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Path To Success Sometimes Requires A Look At Where You Began: Guest Blog by @ReneeVincent

After hitting USA Today last month with some of my fellow InkHeart Authors, I started to reminisce about when my career started, what paths I took along the way, and how I ultimately succeeded in obtaining one of my life-long dreams. Upon looking back, I sifted through countless author interviews I'd done from my past and came across one I'd done soon after I signed my first contract for my Emerald Isle Trilogy.

As I read through the interview that was well over five years old, I came to realize that what I'd said then is still true today. Sure, many things have changed in the way I write and promote myself because let's face it, the publishing industry often changes with the wind. In order to make it in this fast-paced world, you must stay up to date on fluctuating trends and markets. But there's something to be said about consistency.

I feel consistency plays a major role in success. For me, that means putting out quality books in a timely manner and staying true to my voice. That also means remembering the things that are important; the things you know to be true in your heart—because those are what will carry you through the rough patches.

Knowing what I know now, I read the answers to one of my first interviews and it brought me a sense of comfort. Though I'd sometimes walked blindly, I must have been on the right track as I attempted to pursue a career in the romance genre.

For a little trip back in time, I thought I'd share a few questions from the interview that I can honestly say I'd answer the same way today. I hope you enjoy!

* * * * *


You’ve just sold your first book. How exciting! We’d love to know the details.
Yes, I am still on cloud nine! Signing a 3-book deal with Turquoise Morning Press has been an amazing turn of events in my life, and I must admit I’m actually waiting to suddenly wake up from this incredible dream.

I signed this contract in front of everyone who attended the Career Writer’s Network Workshop in French Lick, Indiana at the West Baden hotel, and being there made my very first signing even more special. It is a day I will never forget.


Let’s talk about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a pantzer? 
As a whole, a pantzer. I cannot outline a story (believe me, I’ve tried) because it would change from week to week, and I’d spend more time rewriting the outline than the manuscript itself. 

But before I write on a chapter, I plot it out in my head first over a cup of coffee. I often go outside to my lake (weather permitting), and go over dialogue, sequence, and character building. Don’t ask me why…I just find that it works for me. Once I have that down, I spend the rest of the day writing it—although, sometimes the direction I plotted that morning has been know to change on the fly. But I don’t mind. I’m a very flexible person. And if it helps the story, I welcome it.


What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Dream big. But keep your goals attainable. Success doesn’t happen overnight, but with each attainable goal accomplished, it’s a step closer to the distant dream far out of reach. Eventually, you will arrive there. And when you do, you can look back at all the hard work and feel an incredible sense of pride that you didn’t give up.


Now, here is the totally off-writing subject question. What’s the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done? 
Let me set the stage… 

I was horseback riding on a couple’s ride in Tennessee and we came to a place on the trail where we had to climb up about 3-foot high rock steps. Now to make this the most risk-taking thing I’ve ever done, the trail (if you could call it that) was only about 4-foot wide—with a high rock cliff to the left of us, and a sheer drop-off to the right. No room for mistakes. 

At this point, it was either turn around or trust your horse to climb it. I chose, among many others to let my horse try. Some had gotten off their horses and led them up on foot. I, however, trusted my horse completely and gave him full-reign. 

It was a bit nerve racking, but I never doubted my horse’s abilities or his common sense. I made it all the way to the top. It was such a rush! I am ready to go back and do it again, and knowing my horse’s disposition, I would venture to say Lucky is ready as well!



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