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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Kat Martin's new page turner and some auhtorly hints

By Kat Martin
Paperback release: 4/28/20

In my latest Romantic Thriller, THE DECEPTION, book two of the Maximum Security series, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she learns her sister has been murdered.  Determined to find Chrissy’s killer, Kate hires lethal bounty hunter, Hawk Maddox.  Working together, they follow a trail of clues that lead them deep into the city’s underbelly.  Though Hawk warns Kate of the danger, nothing he says can convince Kate to walk away.

From Publisher’s Weekly
Martin (Beyond Control) keeps the twists and turns coming in the sensuous and spirited first Maximum Security romantic thriller. Heiress and clothing designer Harper Winston is worried about her brother, Michael, who went missing after embarking on a solo sailing trip. She hires Chase Garrett, her brother’s former friend, to find him. At breakneck speed, Harper and Chase move into the crosshairs of the mercenaries who kidnapped Michael and his new girlfriend;
during the rescue, Harper kills the cousin of an abusive crime boss, who targets her for revenge. Martin throws Harper’s drug lord father and an unexpected parentage reveal into the mix. Interspersed with the bursts of terror are red-hot sex scenes, during which both Harper and Chase try not to fall in love (and fail, of course). Harper’s a determined, smart protagonist, and the same can be said for sexy, loyal hero Chase. Harper and Michael’s father is almost cartoonishly evil and it’s fun to cheer for his downfall. Readers will find it hard to wait for the next book in this tantalizing series about detectives, bodyguards, and bounty hunters. 

Creating a Page Turner
“I couldn’t put it down!  Those words are some of the most satisfying comments an author can receive.  Nothing pleases me more than a note from someone grumbling about staying up late to finish one of my books.
It’s music to my ears. 
There are lots of ways to earn those precious words.  Writing a fast-paced novel is one of them.  It is certainly my goal every time I start a new book.
My latest, THE DECEPTION, was no different.  I knew I would be writing Hawk Maddox’s story.  Hawk had been on my mind since he first appeared in a previous novel, BEYOND DANGER.  I knew what he was like--strong, determined, tough as boot leather, and at six-foot-four, two-hundred-twenty pounds, a total beefcake hunk. 
He was also a bounty hunter, which made him an interesting character with an interesting job.  I always try to find the hero’s perfect match and Kate Gallagher was just right for Hawk.  Tall, blonde, and curvy, she loved country music and drinking tequila at the Sagebrush Saloon. 
But that was her secret side.  She also owned her own business consulting firm so she was smart and hard-working. 
I like to read books that draw me in and won’t let go, books I can’t wait to pick up again to find out what’s going to happen next.
There are lots of ways to do it.  Pairing down description makes the story move faster--or as Elmore Leonard once said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”  
A Hollywood movie trick is to jump right into the scene.  Leave out the, “Hello, how are you?”  “I’m fine, how are you?” and just start talking.  
I try to use hooks at the beginning and end of chapter,  though some authors end a chapter in the middle of the action to keep you turning the pages. 
I’ve found I do a lot of characterization by showing how the hero, heroine, and sub characters react in a situation, rather than telling about their past.  For instance, I don’t mention what the heroine did in high school unless it’s important to how she’ll solve the problem she’s facing.
These are a few of my techniques, though every author has his own style and there is nothing wrong with any of them as long as they work. 
In THE DECEPTION, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she learns her sister has been murdered.  Determined to find Chrissy’s killer, Kate hires lethal bounty hunter, Hawk Maddox.  Working together, they follow a trail of clues that lead them deep into the city’s underbelly.  Though Hawk warns Kate of the danger, nothing he says can convince Kate to walk away.
I hope you’ll watch for THE DECEPTION and that you find it a fast-paced, high-action page-turner.  Until next time, all best wishes and happy reading,. 


Barnes & Noble

Kat Martin Bio
Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin.  More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries.  Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film.  Kat’s next hardcover, THE ULTIMATE  BETRAYAL, a Romantic Thriller, will be released on July 28th.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Alien Desire by Janice Seagraves

I just need to figure out what to do with them.
Alien Desire available now.

Alien Desire (Chronicles of Arcon Book 2)

The Arcons Tane and Brock Moonwalker are vacationing in the small town of Greenwood. Tane is dealing with agoraphobia, a condition worsened by the loss of their female. Brock and his friend needed to get away, but a tiny, gang-ridden town is the last place they expected to find love.

Saki Starling had trouble on her heels and couldn’t catch a break. She lost her apartment and a local gang threatened her at every turn. With her week at its lowest point, Tane and Brock promised to brighten her darkening world.

Tane, Brock, and Saki must find a way to come together, if they have any hope of overcoming their past and heal their broken hearts.

“Hey, chica. C’mova ‘ere,” said a thickly accented voice.

Saki cringed. Emanuel was hanging out with his homies at one of the picnic tables. She swallowed hard. Damn, I should have known better than take a short cut through here.

“I’ve got to get home.” She walked faster.

Emanuel laughed. “No, you don’t. You ain’t got no home. My old lady said she saw you get kicked out of that roach motel you lived at.”

“I got a new place.” As she kept moving, her heart pounded a painful rhythm against her chest.

“With the aliens?” He jogged over, angling to cut her off, his baggy pants nearly falling off his ass. Hector and José trailed close behind. “You screwing those things from outa-space, chica?”

“I’m not screwing anybody.”

Emanuel grabbed her arm, turning her around. “Good. I got a job for you. A little skinny niña like you don’t get stopped. You look too sweet and innocent to be holding.”

Saki pushed him away. “I only did that once, and it was a mistake. I’m not going to be a carrier for you anymore. I almost got caught last time, you dick head.”

Emanuel turned to share a laugh with his cronies, and then he slammed her against the tree. While she gasped for breath, he grabbed her face in a painful grip.

“Puta. You’ll work for me until I tell you otherwise. Understand?” He looked her up and down. “If that’s not to your liking, then maybe there’s something else you can do for me and my homies.”

Hector and José both snickered, moving closer. Emanuel licked his lips and stared at her tits.

“Oh, hell no!” She kicked his knee.

Jodeinda puta,” Emanuel cussed, still keeping Saki pinned with one hand. “I’m going to make you pay for that.”

“No. You. Will. Not.” Saki slammed her knee into Emanuel’s crotch.

Emanuel loosened his grip to hold his family jewels.

Saki took a step to get around him, ready to run, but José with a smirk moved to block her way. When she went the other way, Hector stepped in to keep her from escaping.

“Excuse me, do you need any help?” asked a familiar cultured voice.

Emanuel straightened but didn’t even look around. “Get lost. I’m busy.”

“I wasn’t asking you.” A hand gripped Emanuel’s shoulder and spun him around. “As amusing as it was to watch Saki pound your testicles, I think I want a turn.”

Emanuel craned his neck, staring up at the much taller Arcon. “What the f—?”

“Here’s a lesson you need to learn, human.” Tane snarled, flashing his white canines. “You never hurt a female—ever.”

In a move almost too fast to see, Tane lifted Emanuel and sent him flying. The gangbanger landed on his backside, sliding through a pool of water, past a broken sprinkler.

Tane turned to the other two standing nearby. He cracked his knuckles. “Shall I show you some Arcon discipline?

Friday, April 10, 2020

A COVEN OF CREATURES: Collective Nouns For Animal Groups

Posted by Author R. Ann Siracusa

Collective Nouns – families or terms that refer to a group of people or things -- are an important part of our language. A crowd of people. A mob of gangsters. A herd of cows. A batch of cookies. We use them all the time without thinking about it.

Every now and then in my writing career, I’ve run into situations where I’ve wanted to use a collective noun for a group of animals. Not that I was required to use a word other than flock, herd, swarm, school, or pack -- all of which suffice quite nicely -- but driven by a desire to employ something more dramatic to avoid using the same word multiple times on a page. And some of these collectives are not as common as one might think.

Plus, I’m a fan of The Big Bang Theory, and Sheldon is always reminding us that a group of cats should be called a clowder. As perfect as Sheldon may be, he’s not quite accurate by omission. There are a variety of collective nouns are attributed to both domestic and feral cats. [Big and wild cats have their own individual group names.]

Photo source:
Cats [domesticated] = Clowder, Clutter, Pounce, Dout, Nuisance, Glorying, and Glare
Kittens = Kindle, Litter, Intrigue
Cats [feral] = Destruction

In the process of looking up collective animal nouns when I wanted one, I ran onto several lengthy lists. After reading through a couple of them, I wondered who the heck makes up these amusing and often ridiculous terms. Some of them make sense, sort of, but many reflect only imagination.

Many of these collective nouns for animals were introduced in 1486 with the publication of the Book of St. Albans [or Boke of Seynt Albans] which addresses matters of interest to a gentleman of the times [hawking, hunting, and heraldry]. It also including lists of collective nouns for animals, called terms of venery [hunting].
This treatise, also known by the title The Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Blasing of Arms, is the source of many collective nouns for groups of animals and people that are part of our everyday lexicon.
Others are among our fanciful favorites, well known but rarely used, and others are complete surprises.
A Gaggle of Geese
A Murder of Crows
An Unkindness Of Ravens
A Clattering Of Choughs
A Murmuration Of Starlings
A Charm Of Goldfinches
The publication is attributed to Dame Juliana Berners (or Barnes), the prioress of an abbey near St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Writing an advice book about hunting seems an unlikely pastime for a prioress, but she was probably part of the medieval aristocracy before she took her religious orders.    Photo Source:

What I don’t believe is that a Brit in the 1400s bestowed collective nouns on North American animals they’d never heard of, like An Obstinacy of Buffalo. If Berners didn’t come up with that collective, who did? Who gets to decides on the right collective noun for something?
According to, “The short answer is "no one.” That may be the reason groups have more than one collective noun.
Fox = Leash, Skulk, Earth, Lead, or Troop.
The English language is constantly changing and evolving. Dictionaries add new words and new definitions of old words or drop obsolete words usually twice a year. According to the Merriam Webster, A Drudge of Lexicographers” continuously reviews the written and spoken words in thousands of collected texts and transcriptions.
When a word reaches a prescribed level of common usage, then it is considered for addition to the dictionary. 
Some words may be used and generally known for a long time before there are enough references to merit inclusion in the dictionary, in particular those related to a specific field of endeavor .
That said, many of the collective nouns for animal groups are in the dictionary but are rarely used in writing or in speech.
How does that happen? I can’t tell you how often I’ve read about A Stubbornness of Rhinoceroses. Well, actually, I can. Never!
As Naturalish puts it, “In most cases, they’re far from an already-utilized standard in the English language. Linguists seem to operate in a bubble claiming that these random, encyclopedic words reflect real human speech, when in reality, they’re the creation of an elitist, in-group of wordsmiths conning the public into accepting ‘poetry’ as everyday vernacular.”

~ June 5, 2018, The Absurd Truth Behind Collective Animal Nouns, agrees. “In the end, there is no cut and dried rule for how to refer to a particular group of creatures. And this may be why we love the more fanciful collective nouns so much.”


Below l have listed examples of some of the more creative collective nouns for critters, but left out most of the common terms everyone knows and the ones already cited.

Many of these describe fairly well the movements, looks, or habits of the creatures in question, and the imaginations of those who gave birth to these terms have good relationships with alliteration and rhymes. P.S. I have made absolutely NO attempt to alphabetize either the terms or the animals. Not sorry.

A Cackle of Hyenas             
Photo Credit:Jrlphotographer/Istock        

A Raft of Otters
A Scurry of Squirrels
Charm of Hummingbirds   

A Wake of Vultures
A Gam of Whales
n Unkindness of Ravens
A Muster of Storks
An Implausibility of Gnus

A Shrewdness Of Apes

Photo Credit:Jrlphotographer/Istock

A Harem/ Rookery of Seals A Covey of Quail (Flock, Bevy)
A Rhumba of Rattlesnakes
A Memory / Parade of Elephants
A Scold of Jays (Bands, Parties)
Pod/ Squardon of Pelicans
Descent of Woodpeckers
Generation of Vipers
A Run of Salmon

A Flamboyance of Flamingos

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Stringer              

A Kaleidoscope or Flutter of Butterflies
A Shiver of Sharks
A Scourge or Swarm of Mosquitoes
Sloth or Sleuth of Bears
aze of Raccoons
A Siege of Herons

A Fever of Stingrays

A Parliament of Owls

Photo Credit: Tariq Sulemani/Istock                  
A Skein of Geese
A Bunch of Worms
An Exaltation of Larks
A Family of Sardines
A Barrel of Monkeys
A Dazzle or Zeal of Zebras
A Congregation of Alligators
A Venue of Vultures

A Wisdom of Wombats

A Cauldron of Bats

Photo Credit: Flickr / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters
A Hum or Swarm of Bees
A Congregation of AlligatorsA Venue of Vultures
A Wisdom of Wombat
Army of Caterpillars
A Caravan of Camels
A Coalition of Cheetahs
A Cowardice of Dogs

A Convocation of Eagles

I have no clue which of these collective nouns are in the dictionaries with the definition intended by this list. I believe “A Pride of Lions” is there, but you can be sure that I did not look any of them up.

Here’s the deal. If you know of a species out there in the world which doesn’t have a collective noun to its name, the door is open for you … let your fantasy soar. Just be aware that you can have a bunch of just about anything.

Not long ago I came across a species in Madagascar that I had never heard of. The animal was thought to be a type of lemur, but recently has been given its distinct family … the Aye-aye.
After giving the problem a great deal of thought, here is my collective noun for these creatures:

An Eyre of Aye-aye
I get the impression the aye-aye doesn’t like it too much.
Converting Oxygen to Carbon Dioxide For Over Four Fifths of a Century

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