Five Top Things on my Bucket List by Lily Dalton – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win the complete One Scandalous Season trilogy.

TOP FIVE THINGS ON LILY’S BUCKET LIST

My list isn’t adventurous or thrilling, in that I have no wish to do things like “learn to fly a plane” or to jump out of one. But here are the first five things that come to mind!

1. I used to live in Panama, and I loved it. It’s been several decades since I’ve been there, but I’m determined to go back, and I want to stay for two or three weeks and jump off waterfalls, eat plantains, walk the beaches and enjoy.

2. I’d love to visit Highgate Cemetery, outside of London. I want to see the Egyptian Avenue and the Circle of Lebanon and visit Elizabeth Siddal’s grave.

3. I want to spend a couple of weeks volunteering at the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. Have you seen baby sloths? Awww! Enough said. 

4. I want to drink a good beer and dance a polka in the Bavarian Alps. I actually stole that one from an elderly lady who once sat by me in Sunday School, and announced that as being on HER bucket list. But it sounded pretty great, so I’m putting it on mine too.

5. I want to learn to dance to Zydeco music. My husband and I went to Café des Amis in Breaux Bridge for the Saturday Zydeco breakfast, and I thought THAT is what I want to learn to do. Such fun!

1_30 Dalton_Never Surrender to a Scoundrel_MMA Reckless Desire . . .

Lady Clarissa Bevington is in trouble. A reckless indiscretion has left her with two choices: ruin her family with the scandal of the Season, or marry Mr. Kincraig, the notorious scoundrel mistaken as her lover. Desperate and disgraced, Clarissa vows to love and cherish a veritable stranger, a man whose eyes smolder with danger-and undeniable desire . . .

An Unexpected Arrangement

As an agent for the Crown, Lord Donovan Blackmer has spent the last two years guarding Clarissa’s grandfather from an unknown assassin while disguised as the rakehell Kincraig. His mission may now be over, but his duty has just begun. Salvaging his beautiful, impetuous wife’s virtue will cost him his fortune and his position as an officer-but it might save him from the ghosts that haunt his own past. When their marriage “in name only” leads to exquisite seduction, Donovan must risk the only thing he has left to lose . . . his heart.

Enjoy an excerpt:

He set the nightshirt back on the bed, and spoke over his shoulder.

“I think it’s time you returned to your room.”

He spoke the words without passion. She could only assume he’d had enough talking and wanted her to leave. The night air chilled her skin, and she wrapped her arms around her waist for warmth. She felt rebuffed by him. Stung. Her husband, the man with whom she would spend the rest of her days, did not have the slightest interest in spending a moment more in her company.

She knew she ought to calmly say ‘Very well then, I bid you good night,’ and quit the room, but she feared with a certainty that if she opened her mouth and attempted to utter a single syllable, her voice would falter and reveal the confused tumult of her emotions.

Not because she cared for him. Of course she didn’t. Clearly he did not care for her.

They’d been thrown together, and no amount of wishful thinking or good intentions would create a spark between them, when such a spark was never intended to be. She blinked away tears. Foolish tears! As if he had hurt her, but he hadn’t.

It had just been a long day, and a long night before that, and she’d made a terrible mess of everything, and she hated Quinn. And perhaps still loved him. And she was lonely. So very lonely and frightened of what the future held.

So instead she nodded jerkily, her chin outthrust, and turned on her slippered foot to escape into the dark dressing closet, taking care to close the first and the second door firmly behind her. Miss Randolph reclined in her sleeping gown and robe on the chaise with her book open and steepled across her forehead, snoring, which was just as well because Clarissa could not face the woman’s questions or her pity.

She doused the lamps and, in darkness, with only the scant light from behind the fire grate to see, crawled into bed and lay on unfamiliar sheets, her mind tangled with thoughts of… Mr. Blackmer.

Suddenly, the door swung open, and a shadow moved toward her, stealthily and swift, with only the faint white swath across his hips visible in the night. She recognized Blackmer instantly and desire ignited inside her. He crouched above her, breathing hard, his skin still damp and the tight flex of muscles in his shoulders darkly illuminated. The scent of the soap from his bath filled her nostrils. Her pulse raced, her heart near exploding.

“You,” he growled deep in his throat. “Are my preference.”

A second later, he kissed her hard, pressing his thumb against the side of her jaw, commanding her lips to part while his tongue boldly entered and teased. She gasped for breath, stunned into half-senselessness…and surrendered, her mouth opening fully to accept each deep, possessing stroke.

He gave a husky groan. His large hands caught hers by the wrists, pinning her to the mattress. She squirmed beneath him—but with no intent to escape.

Moments before he had dismissed her coldly, and made her feel invisible and unwanted and yet in this moment, he revealed his true feelings, ones he’d tried to conceal. She knew without a doubt that her husband desired her. Something about that made her weak, and—

His mouth moved to her cheek…her neck, leaving her skin hot and awakened wherever his lips touched. Sensations she’d never experienced spiraled up from inside her, delicious and achingly sweet, awakening a need in her body and rendering her unexpectedly wild.

God help her, she didn’t understand, but she wanted him as well. The moment he released her hands she moaned and seized his shoulders, sliding her hands upward over his neck, finding unexpected appreciation in the powerful contraction and flux of his muscles beneath her palms. He exhaled, filling her mouth with his breath, and sucked her bottom lip—

Only to groan and twist away.

No. She reached, her hands trailing over his shoulders and his arms, desperately wanting more. More of his kiss, and his warm, firm skin. And yes, for him to ravish her so she would forget—

Then nothing.

The bed creaked, relieved of his weight. She heard his sharp exhalation of breath–a laugh, perhaps?

“Good night then, Mrs. Blackmer,” he murmured.

Silence filled the room.

“Good night,” she answered breathlessly.

He crossed the room, disappearing into the dressing closet, gone the way he had come. She heard the door close.

After a long moment of silence, Miss Randolph’s voice came from the direction of the chaise. “Well that was rather thrilling.”

About the Author:1_30 Lily Dalton Author ImageLily Dalton grew up as an Army brat, moving from place to place. Her first stop after relocating was always the local library, where she could hang out with familiar friends: Books! Lily has an English degree from Texas A & M University and after graduation worked as a legal assistant in the fields of accident reconstruction and litigation. She now lives in Houston, Texas, with her family. When she isn’t at work on her next manuscript, she spends her time trying out new recipes, cheering on her favorite Texas football teams and collecting old dishes, vintage linens and other fine “junque” from thrift stores and flea markets.

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Handling Negative Criticism by Terri Rochenski – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. One randomly drawn commenter will receive signed copies of both Love’s Sorrow, the first book in the series, and Love’s Revenge, which was just released, as well as a $25 Amazon gift card. The Rafflecopter to enter is at the end of this post.

Handling negative criticism…
by Terri Rochenski

The first reviewer to request an ARC of Love’s Sorrow, Means of Mercy #1, sent me an email two weeks after receiving the file. She said she couldn’t recommend my book, nor would she post a favorable review.

Why?

Because there is no HEA, not even an HFN at the book’s end. Means of Mercy is a series—of Anne Tearle’s life, one that couldn’t be told in a tidy 80-100k novel. Oh, she gets her HEA…just not as quickly as some would like.

While I expected—KNEW—such thoughts would rise from readers, the first negative reaction still stung. For me, when a character speaks, I tell their story. Period. If people don’t like it, so be it! At least I stayed true to my muse.

So, how to handle it?

I’d love to say brush it off, but that’s impossible to do. Almost a year later, the thought of that reviewer’s email still stings, and when it does, I remind myself that I can’t please every reader every time. I focus on the two following reviews raving about my guts to tell a tale of true life and love, of not sugar-coating how a woman in the 19th century had to live a life beneath society’s eyes and a husband’s thumb.

I guess it all comes down to focus. Dwell on the negative, and you’ll get dragged down by depression. Grasp onto the encouraging words, and it’ll help keep your head afloat.

And, keep writing!

1_30 LovesRevengeCvrEmbittered by betrayal, Anne MacKay flees London for America, where she learns she’s pregnant with her abusive husband’s longed-for heir. In a society that doesn’t protect, or afford a well-to-do wife’s desire for divorce, Anne decides there is one way to exact revenge: deny the father any knowledge of his child.

Sought after by her husband’s henchmen, Anne travels by rail and horseback, far from civilization where silk and stays are worn, let alone thought of. Lies and deceit protect her identity for a time, allowing her to birth—and grow to love—the child who was supposed to be her vengeance.

With the help of her loyal and protective business partner, Jude Connagher, and the ranch hands in their Montana Territory valley, Anne attempts to rebuild her life under the shadow of her husband’s wrath.

One unwise decision lands Anne in her pursuers’ clutches, tearing her from the ranch, her child, and her growing love for the one man who could redeem her from bitterness. She’s left with no choice but to finally face her husband, knowing her freedom and life hang in the balance.

1_30 LS Sale banner
About the Author: Tracey Hanlon PhotographyTerri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

 

 

 

 

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A Perfect Catch by Anna Sugden – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anna will award a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter, as well as 4 signed copies of A Perfect Catch AND 4 exclusive A Perfect Catch notebooks. (international giveaway). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

He’s the perfect catch…for now!

When it comes to romance, Tracy Hayden is not looking for a rematch. She’s had epic passion—and problems!—with professional hockey player Ike Jelinek. Brilliant on skates and magic in bed, his too-traditional-for-her views were like a bucket of ice water on their affair.

Then an injury takes Ike out of the game, and everything changes. Suddenly he needs her services-providing business—even though he once claimed it was their biggest problem. Tracy’s determined to be professional, despite the sizzling attraction between them that won’t go away. Maybe they need a second fling to fix that!

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

Ike wasn’t as superstitious as most goaltenders, but he knew it was a bad sign to fall flat on his ass in the pre-game warm-up before he’d even made it to his crease.

He jumped up and made a show of poking at a nick in the ice, then called for a water bottle from the bench.

Kenny brought one for him, laughing. “I was expecting a freaking crater the way you wiped out, bro.”

Ike let his brother’s comment slide. He knew Kenny was excited to be back in the lineup after having been a healthy scratch again for the past week’s games. Kenny had only played once—the night after baby Joe’s birth—before Coach had benched him again. The rationale had been that they’d needed one of the tougher fourth-line guys in Kenny’s place for the harder, more physical games, against those opponents. Facing a younger, faster team tonight, Kenny had earned his place back.

“Do you need salt to throw over your shoulder?” Jean-Baptiste Larocque added as he joined them. “We don’t want to start the game with bad mojo.”

Ike flicked the bird at the star forward, then poured water into the divot. “Nah. No bad luck involved. I must have caught it funny.”

Jake skated over and tossed Ike a puck to smooth off the newly frozen patch of ice. His blue eyes were rimmed with red and he looked like he hadn’t slept in a week.

“Has your son been keeping you from your beauty sleep again, Bad Boy?” he said, to deflect the attention from himself.

Jake’s glare didn’t have its normal cutting edge. “Yeah. I’m thinking of getting a hotel room so I can get my pre-game nap in peace.”

“You can always crash at my place, bro.”

“Thanks.” Jake leaned on his stick. “I may take you up on that. Especially when we play Detroit and Toronto.”

Both teams were riding winning streaks and had strong road records. The way the Cats had been playing lately, they’d need to bring their A-game to have a chance of getting any points off either team.

“Anytime. There’s a bed with your name on it.”

“As long as you don’t take a nap while you’re on the ice, Bad Boy.” JB punched Jake in the arm and skated off.

The captain, Scotty Matthews, frowned at them as he glided past. “Stop flapping your gums and get some action going. The Oilers are going to come out hard tonight.”

The Islanders had handed Edmonton their butts last night in a game the Oilers should have won. Edmonton’s players would be looking to redeem themselves, which wasn’t good news for the Cats, who desperately needed the win.

Ike tossed Kenny the water bottle, then kicked the puck at his net. “Just fixing the ice to make sure no one else falls on their ass.”

“Aye aye, captain.” Kenny saluted Matthews, before dumping the bottle at the bench and joining the rest of the guys skating drills.

Scotty skated back around, then stopped. “So, do you need to sacrifice a chicken or something to ward off the bad luck after your tumble?”

Ike rolled his eyes. “Not this time.”

Scotty slapped him on the back. “You sure? We could razz that new kid on the equipment team.”

They both laughed. For a moment, Scotty looked like the young rookie he’d once been, rather than the grizzled veteran he was now. As Scotty skated off, Ike knew he’d miss him when the captain retired at the end of the season.

Retirement. Even though it loomed on the horizon at some point for Ike—sooner rather than later—it wasn’t something he looked forward to.

Pushing that thought from his mind, Ike warmed up, easing the stiffness from his muscles as he prepared to face shots. He practiced sliding between the pipes, right side, then left side, then right again. He’d need to be on his guard for fast break-outs to¬night, especially with the speedy Oilers’ wingers.

About the Author: Harlequin SuperRomance author, Anna Sugden, loves reading and writing happy endings as much as hockey! When not reading or watching hockey, she loves football, good food & wine, making simple cross-stitch projects, and collecting memorabilia, penguins and fab shoes!

A former marketing executive and primary teacher, Anna lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and two bossy black cats. Learn more about Anna, her heart-warming romances and her shoes at www.AnnaSugden.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on the Romance Bandits blog .

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Harlequin.

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Top Five Pet Peeves about Writing by Jessica Lemmon – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. One randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter will receive a collection of Jessica Lemmon novels.

Top Five Pet Peeves about Writing

Hi and thank you for having me! Okay, you want to do know what irks me while I’m churning out 95,000 words of sexy, sensual romance? Well, I’ll put on my ranty pants and tell you. Here we go…

5: The dreaded 65%. Almost three-quarters into writing the first draft, I wonder how the heck I’m going to wrap up the book. Every. Time. Never fails. I start strong, plow through the middle, then right before the end, I’m pretty sure I’ll never figure out the happily ever after. Enter potato chips. Enter flailing. Enter rereading the book up to that point in search of clues.

4: Ow, my everything hurts. Why is there is no device that reads my thoughts and puts them into words so I don’t have to type? Because YOWCH, typing all those words hurts my wrists and fingers. I do have Dragon Dictation software, which helps, but getting phrases brain-to-mouth is difficult some days.

3: Try before you buy. Sometimes the only way to know if a scene will work is to write it. And sometimes that means deleting 2,000 words you just wrote because it didn’t. >.<

2: Pizza and potato chips. My coping mechanism during deadline is pizza and potato chips. My pet peeve about those two mechanisms is that they are very high in fat grams and calories. It’s impossible to stay fit while filling your face with deep fried potatoes.

1: WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE’RE OUT OF COFFEE?!?!

What about you? Do little things at your work get under your skin?

1_28 Lemmon_Bringing Home the Bad Boy_MMCreativity is his drug, painting is his escape, but she’ll be the addiction that brings him to his knees.

Evan Downey buried a part of his soul when put the love of his life in the ground. He knows he needs to get his shit together for the sake of their son, but escaping into his art is the only way he can begin to cope with Rae’s death. When the chance to move back to Evergreen Cove, one of the few places that has ever felt right to him, he knows it’s a chance he has to take. For his sake, and his sons. Charlotte Harris would give anything to have her best friend back. But if she can’t have Rae, then she vows she’ll at least be there to support the family Rae left behind. So when she learns that Evan is looking to move home, she does everything she can to help him and Lyon re-build their lives at the Cove. But when sparks start to fly between Charlotte and Evan it’s the first glimpse of something bright and beautiful either of them has seen in far too long. And they start to wonder if fate has offered them a second chance at happiness– if only their brave enough to take the risk and let love back into their lives.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Know why I moved here?” he asked, keeping his voice low.

She wrenched her eyes from his and focused on a spot over his shoulder.

“Because you didn’t want to live in Columbus anymore.” That’s what he’d told her. That he wanted a change. That he and Lyon had outgrown the house. And, she imagined it’d be hard to live in the house where Rae had passed.

“But why here?”

“Um…”

His fingers grazed her jaw and turned her head, his palm moving to her neck where he cupped her nape and forced her eyes to his.

Reluctantly, she met them.

“Rae’s more alive when you’re around, Ace.”

Her heart, oh her heart. Kicking against her chest in a confusing, hectic rhythm.

“You bring her to life for Lyon—more than anyone else. I need him to remember her because he can’t remember her alive.” His hold stayed, his palm warming her neck, his gaze unwavering.

She tried to separate the two feelings she was having—one that she was now talking about Rae with Evan and two, that he was touching her while talking about Rae.

Before she could, his lips closed over hers.

Her thoughts short-circuited.

This wasn’t anything like a soft peck hello. This was his lips moving over hers, slanting over hers, warm and firm and then his mouth opened and—

Oh my gosh!

His wet, warm tongue slid along the seam of her lips and she stopped being passive and started kissing him back. When she would have touched her tongue to his, he relocated it, running along her bottom lip instead and tugging with his teeth.

If she’d been standing, her knees would have given out and dropped her right on her butt.

And then there was the palm on her neck, now spearing up through her hair and clutching onto a handful of it. He held her captive, his hand fisting her hair as he angled his mouth again. In response to the soft whimper escaping her throat, he swept his tongue into her mouth. He tangled his tongue with hers once, twice, and released her.

When he pulled his mouth away, a long, satisfied sigh escaped her lips. Because that was a kiss. A kiss to rival all other kisses.

She opened her eyes to realize A) she’d closed her eyes and B) she’d at some point wrapped both hands around his forearms where she was holding tight and C) Evan looked as pleased as she felt.

“God damn, Ace. Your mouth.” His eyes flicked to her lips. Lips still tingling from the rough scrape from the stubble surrounding his.

She concurred with that sentiment. Not that she said anything. She’d gone dumb; completely mute.

He backed away, but held onto her chin and tweaked it lightly with the rough pad of one thumb. “That’s the way this is gonna go from now on.”

Her breathing went shallow, her thoughts went muzzy and her head blurred as her heart palpated to the point of panic attack.

“Sorry, Rae.”

She didn’t mean to say it, and it had only been a whisper, but by the look twisting Evan’s face—the angry look twisting his face—he’d heard. And he hadn’t liked what he’d heard.

“Sorry,” she said to him this time. “I should go.”

Unbelievably, he leaned closer. She pulled her chin back until she realized she likely had a double chin, then settled her head on her neck in a more reasonable position.

Gosh. He was making her crazy.

About the Author: 1_28 jessicalemmon_author photoJessica Lemmon has always been a dreamer. At some point, she decided head-in-the-clouds thinking was childish, went out, and got herself a job . . . and then she got another one because that one was lousy. And when that one stopped being fulfilling, she went out and got another . . . and another. Soon it became apparent she’d only be truly happy doing what she loved. And since “eating potato chips” isn’t a viable career, she opted to become a writer. With fire in her heart, she dusted off a book she’d started years prior, finished it, and submitted it. It may have been the worst book ever, but it didn’t stop her from writing another one. Now she has several books finished, several more started, and even more marinating in her brain (which currently resides in the clouds, thankyouverymuch), and she couldn’t be happier. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want. (While eating potato chips.)

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Lessons I Learned from the Devil Himself by Renee Bernard – Guest Post and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be giving away a $50 B&N or Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lessons I Learned From the Devil Himself
I apologize for the shocking start but since the hero of my book is the last guy you’d expect to find lovable—I couldn’t resist. Before I tell you what I learned from my hero, I should explain that in the world of DEVIL TO PAY, Heaven, Inc. and Hades Enterprises, LLc (or H.E.LLc) are companies owned by an anonymous parent Corporation that oversees the development of human beings and does its best to keep the world on track.

And my Lucifer isn’t the original guy to hold the job. He’s the seventh in a line of Archangels unlucky enough to win the post when tapped by Upper Management. No souls are tortured and no evil is manufactured by employees of Hades. No dark caves or pits of brimstone here. Instead, think of H.E.LLc as a sixty-six story skyscraper filled with cubicles, paper shuffling departments and the best looking workers on the planet (apart from Heaven, Inc.’s but let’s not get that rivalry stirred up again, okay?)

When I first starting making notes about where I thought the story and the character of Lucifer were heading, I thought I would have to keep up with the sexy, darker trends of PNR and that Lucifer would be the Ultimate Bad Boy.

I was wrong.

It turns out he’s still an Angel at heart. It’s not defiance that puts you in the running for the title of Prince of Darkness. It’s obedience. He got handed a thankless job tied to a black onyx desk that guarantees him nothing but heartache and the eternal grind of watching just how horrible human beings can be to each other and themselves. He gets to absorb the blows of every wound, every bullet and every bomb of every single day without ceasing for the rest of eternity (or as long as he lasts in the black chair). He gets to shoulder the blame for the world’s ills and the curses of a good percentage of the human population.

It’s not a dream job.

So here’s what I learned from Lucifer. I learned that even if you are in a job or position in life that is miserable, there is honor and solace in doing your best. It may not be pretty but you take what you can, give what you have and love whenever the chance comes.

I learned that being true to yourself in the worst of circumstances is the best shield you can carry.

I learned that angels make terrible poker players.

I learned not to let the preconceptions of others define you.

I learned that the best gifts come from the heart and cost very little. Small gestures of kindness can change the world—or at the very least, make someone feel better about the world they’re in.

Everyone needs help now and then and a good Personal Assistant can make or break you.

I learned that we all deserve to love and be loved.

And finally, I learned that a sense of humor really helps when you are playing putt-putt golf with the Archangel of Death.

**

I hope readers will enjoy the DEVIL TO PAY and give the Devil his due…and then pick up the next books in the Eternity Gambit series, DEVIL MAY CARE, DEVIL OF A JOB and DEVIL IN THE DETAILS (all coming soon!)

Workplace comedy is always fun but when the company in question in H.E.LLc (Hades Enterprises LLc) and your job is being Lucifer, let’s just say, there are some unique challenges beyond Casual Fridays and who keeps taking your lunch out of the break room. Even if Hell really is just a place where evil is tracked and analyzed in endless cubicles-no brimstone and not a human soul in sight-there’s no room for error. This Lucifer (who is the seventh unlucky archangel to get the position behind the black onyx desk) is about to have his entire world rattled when a very sweet and likable mortal woman crosses his path.

After all, angels can’t lie. And when Jayne Hamilton wants to know what he does for a living, all bets are off. Because “dating” isn’t exactly in the cosmic scheme of the Eternity Gambit, but Love… Well, Love is never really off the table.

Now, if Lucifer can just figure out how to win the girl and get himself fired, he’ll be one very very happy angel.

“Filled with sparkling wit and devilish charm, DEVIL TO PAY is a delightful visit to the Shangri-La of Hell!” — Erin Quinn, The Three Fates of Ryan Love, NYT Bestselling Author

“Only Renee Bernard could make dating Satan sexy as sin! Funny, fresh, irreverent and utterly adorable!” – Dakota Cassidy, National Bestselling Author

First book in the new Eternity Gambit series from USA Today bestselling author Renee Bernard. This is a romantic comedy series with an original paranormal twist that defies categorization and turns every notion of Heaven and Hell on its ear.

Enjoy an excerpt:


“Smitten without a prayer,” Lucifer regained his focus on the present moment. “There’s no Sanction for me.”

“Wrong,” Uriel said softly. “How many people have walked into your building’s lobby in the last seventy-five years?”

Lucifer calculated his answer trying to remember. “Two. Besides her, I think it’s two.”

“Invited?” Uriel asked.

“Of course! Mortals can’t even see the structure unless—“ Lucifer stopped himself. “Oh, my God!”

Uriel smiled in triumph. “See? Sanctioned.”

“What did I just miss?” Raphael put the cards in the box.

“She found him without an invitation. She walked in of her own free will and unless it was Sanctioned, Management would have never allowed it.” Uriel smugly folded his hands like a magician revealing his best trick. “I’d say Michael’s going to eat his own hat when he finds out.”

Lucifer was speechless as he absorbed the implications.

Sanctioned. Was it really true that she’d been allowed to come to me? That there’s a chance? It’s all still human free will and the long shot of the millennia, but oh, God…thank you. I’ll have to get Malcolm to send you a gift in the morning for this one!

Luke shoved the chips at Azrael and excused himself with a bow. “I hate to win and run, but I have to see a Demon about a fruit basket.”

He instantly vanished and Raphael’s laughter filled the room. “You gotta love his exit lines!”

About the Author:

What in the world is a retired Navy chaplain’s daughter doing writing scorching hot historical romances and paranormal romantic comedies and even comic books? Renee Bernard is applying a great education from traveling all over the world to story telling and doing her best to keep her father proud. Truthfully, her father is her number one fan, even though he has sworn never to read a single word of her books (a vow he has kept to this day!) Nothing stops him from telling everyone he knows that his daughter is now a USA Today Bestselling author or from handing out bookmarks on the golf course. Love can make even a minister do strange things!

Renee Bernard is a freelance writer and host of “The Romance Bookmark” on Readers Entertainment, as well as a contributor to Romantic Times BookReviews magazine. Renee currently lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. (Note an interesting proximity to great wineries!)

DEVIL TO PAY is available now online wherever books are sold and is coming soon to Audio! The Eternity Gambit series is a fun departure from her well-known Victorian set historical romances and creates a new world for readers unlike any other. DEVIL TO PAY is the first book in this new series and is gathering up 5-Star reviews and momentum as more readers discover that office politics can hit a whole new level of crazy when you work at Hades Enterprises, LLc (or H.E.LLc).

For more information, please visit her website at http://www.reneebernardauthor.com or http://www.eternitygambit.com. You can also find her at Facebook at Renee Bernard Fan Page, and Twitter.

Buy the book at Amazon, Smashwords, or Barnes and Noble.

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One Night in Edinburgh by Charlotte Howard

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One Night in Edinburgh by Charlotte Howard
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F, toys
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by Poppy

Chloe Shade has traveled to Edinburgh to meet up with a potential client, and has just twenty-four hours to convince them to sign her contract. But when she meets the delicious Ethan, he proves to be so much more than an enticing distraction. It’s not long before Chloe has some life changing decisions to make, and less than a day to make them.

Definitely hot, and technically clean, One Night in Edinburgh is a perfect read to get your motor revving.

This is my first book by the author, and I was very impressed by her skill. Her prose is well-constructed, descriptive (::: fans self :::) and easy to read. We get an immediate feel for both characters and I loved that we start with Chloe’s fear of flying. It was a great way to get to know her!

Ethan is hot, hot, hot as any good hero in an erotic romance should be. He certainly knows how to satisfy his woman and takes many opportunities to do so, in many varied and titillating places. I’m surprised Chloe could walk by the next morning (and wouldn’t have minded changing places with her a time or two, or three).

The only thing that I wasn’t fond of in the story was the ending. They’ve known each other for a day…hardly time enough to make significant, life-altering decisions based on your feelings for another person. I was crazy about the plot up until then, but just couldn’t stretch my ability to believe far enough to find the ending completely credible.

That said, I have no other complaints. Writing was both technically and aesthetically pleasing, editing was solid, plot was strong, and there was no shortage of heat. So if you’re looking for a book that will make you reach for a fan, a cold glass of water or an Ethan of your own, grab a copy.

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Five Fun Facts about Hot and Bothered by Kate Meader – Guest Blog and Giveaway

1_27 Hot-and-Bothered-Launch-Day-Blitz[8]

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. One randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter will receive a set of Kate Meader’s Hot in the Kitchen series, including FEEL THE HEAT, ALL FIRED UP, and HOT AND BOTHERED.

Top 5 Fun Facts about HOT AND BOTHERED
1. It’s a Friends to Lovers romance, which after opposites-attract is my favorite trope. The conflict is so delicious. The stakes are high. The possibility of losing your best friend is JUST TOO RISKY. What could go wrong?

2. It starts with my heroine, Jules in labor, her best friend/future hero, Tad holding her hand through the birth—and he’s not the dad.

3. The hero is sex-on-Italian-legs, can cook, and owns a wine bar – ‘nuff said.

4. The heroine is dyslexic, but has come up with great coping strategies to help her read recipes (our hero helps with a cool gift designed especially for her)

5. Readers will learn the proper way to dice an onion without getting all teary-eyed. Keep the tears for the romance!

1_27 Meader_Hot and Bothered_MMA Fire They Can’t Put Out . . .
Although her baby boy keeps her plate full, Jules Kilroy is ready to take her love life off the back burner. Despite a bevy of eligible bachelors, it’s her best friend, Taddeo DeLuca, who is fueling her hormones with a generous serving of his mouth-watering Italian sexiness. But Jules learned her lesson once before when she went in for a kiss, only to have Tad reject her. She’s vowed never to blur the lines again . . .

After a lifetime of excuses and false starts, Tad has finally opened a wine bar, a deal made even sweeter when Jules joins his staff. Lovers come and go, and he’s had his share, but friendships like theirs last forever. Still, ever since he tasted her luscious lips, he can’t stop fantasizing about what could be. Then she joins an online dating site-and the thought of his Jules with another man makes Tad’s blood boil. Even if he gets burned, Tad can’t stop himself from turning up the heat this time.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Tip your chin up—yeah, just like that.” Click. “Now lean forward, lemme see those puppies.”

“Lili,” came the slightly embarrassed reply. Jules.

“Come on, don’t be shy. You have an amazing figure and—oh, perfect. Hold that.” Click.

Tad’s heart thudded insanely fast. He crept a few inches forward until he had cleared the pillar with his gaze. Lili had her back to him, shielding her subject, but he got a very healthy view of shapely legs inadequately covered by something red and soft-looking.

“You know, if you ever felt comfortable enough to go bare, I’d love to photograph you.”

Jules snorted. “I can see Jack’s face now.”

His cousin laughed. “We could insist he put it up in the dining room at Sarriette. He’d be so torn between wanting to encourage my art and being totally skeeved out.”

Girly giggles ensued.

“My wild days are behind me,” Jules said on the downside of a laugh. “You wouldn’t believe some of the shenanigans I got up to back in London.” He heard her breathy sigh of reminiscence and strained to hear what salacious details might follow. This London version of Jules sounded like a woman he’d like to know.

“Oh, yeah? Spill, girl.”

“Well, there was one time I jumped in a fountain and stripped down to my—”

“Hey, cuz,” Lili said to him, a sly smile quirking one corner of her mouth. “How long have you been there?”

He patted the pillar he had just been leaning against/hiding behind like they were great pals. “Just got here.”

Lili’s smile turned slyer. “Didn’t expect you.”

“Do I need an excuse to come see my favorite cousin?” It came out a touch testy.

“Not at all. I just thought you’d be busy stroking your Cabs and Pinots.”

“Only do that on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Should I leave?”

“No, we’re just finishing up.” Lili sat at her iMac and hooked up the camera with a cable.

“All right?” Jules asked, almost shyly, as though they barely knew each other and in a way it felt like he was looking at her anew. The dress she wore was one he hadn’t seen before, a cherry-red, draped affair. One of those wrap-around deals that separated her breasts and flared over her waist. Not especially sexy but…

In that dress, she looked like she should be running the PTA, then going down on her husband in the Subaru in the school parking lot. Thankfully, that was years off because Evan was just an ankle biter… unless she hooked up with some lonely widower who already had school-age kids. Damn, that was a real possibility. He bet those websites were crawling with lonely widower fathers.

He was having problems catching his breath, a hitch that extended to his cock, which suddenly needed breathing room. To be perfectly honest, if Lili wasn’t there, he would be seriously considering unwrapping that dress and exploring the finely curved gift underneath. Jules stared back, probably wondering why he was ogling her like a just-released convict who hadn’t seen a woman during his fifteen and a third in the clink.

“Hey,” he said, finally responding to her greeting of about ten minutes back. He diverted his eyes away from her breasts to a good twelve inches north. Women 101. They preferred when you looked at their faces.

“Getting your photo taken?” he mumbled in a clear case of graduating summa cum laude from the School of the Freaking Obvious. His IQ had just dipped a hundred points.

“Uh huh. For my profile.” She blushed, and that’s when he noticed that she was wearing a lot of eye make-up. The smoky, sexy eyes that you saw on magazine models. She had done something different with her hair, too. It was tousled, fuck-me hair.

“My glamour shot, as Lili calls it,” she said with an eye roll. Can you believe what they’re trying to make me do?

His body clenched and he willed it to relax. Her glamour shot. She may as well have painted a sign: Come All Takers, Get Your Hot Mama Here. Lord knew he was trying to stop staring at her but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from all those damn curves.

“Is something wrong?” she asked.

“No,” he snapped, and then softer, “It’s all good.”

“I’ll just get changed,” she muttered, swaying away to the cover of an ornamental screen in the corner.

He blinked to get his brain in the groove and made inane chitchat with Lili about the plans for Tony and Frankie’s wedding anniversary party. If his parents had still been here it would have also been their anniversary. The couples had married in a double wedding extravaganza thirty-five years ago. He shoved that to the back of his mind with the rest of the shit he had succeeded in burying.

He was an absolute expert at it by now.

Jules walked out from behind the screen, pulling up the zip of her sweatshirt, but not so fast that he missed the sweet swell of her breasts in something thin and stretchy. Come on!

“Could I see how it came out?” she asked Lili as she set a suit bag over a chair.

“Sure.” His cousin clickity-clicked her screen.

Tad stole another glance at Jules. He couldn’t not look at her. A pearly pink glow had washed her cheeks and she looked so damn fine, he wanted to lick every inch of her. He turned back to the screen and what he saw wasn’t much better.

She looked fucking gorgeous.

Well, she always looked gorgeous, whether she was in baggy sweats or a frayed tee that had seen better days. Even when she looked like she was falling asleep on her feet, she never failed to look amazing to him.

Now she looked amazing to the world.

About the Author: 1_27 KateMeader-author[7]Kate Meader writes contemporary romance that serves up delicious food, sexy heroes, and heroines with a dash of sass. Originally from Ireland, she now makes her home in Chicago, a city made for food, romance, and laughter – and where she met her own sexy hero. When not writing about men who cook and the women who drool over them, she works in an academic library. Visit her website at http://katemeader.com and follow her on Twitter @kittymeader

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Five Favorite Places to Vacation by Rebecca Zanetti – Guest Blog and Giveaway

1_27 zanetti Blind-Faith-Launch-Day-Blitz[19]

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. We’ve got a fantastic Rafflecopter tourwide giveaway which includes a grand prize of all three books in the series, plus an ARC of TOTAL SURRENDER, a “Who Shot Jory Dean?” T-shirt and a Blind Faith dog tag.

~~~~~

Thank you to the Long And Short Reviews folks for having me over today to have some fun. I was asked about my top five favorite places to vacation, so here they are:

1. Hawaii: I love the islands, and we usually fly over there when it’s freezing at home. Sitting on the beach and soaking in sun is the way to relax, and I’m also known to write a bit at the pool.

2. Mexico: We take a grown up trip with four other couples every few years to a private home in Mexico on the beach and with an awesome pool. We usually end up with a brutal volleyball tournament, complete with a trophy.

3. Ireland: I love Ireland and always will. My family is Irish, and I feel like I’m coming home when I’m surrounded by all that greenery.

4. Australia: I backpacked around Australia with a friend years ago, before I was married with kids, and I had an amazing time. I’d love to do that again someday.

5. Home: Yeah, I’m one of those folks who like to have a stay-cation at home with comfy jammies and ice-cream. I enjoy a good movie marathon in front of the fire.

This was tons of fun – thanks so much for having me here! Where does everyone else like to vacation?

1_27 Zanetti_Blind Faith_MM[19]A betrayal he couldn’t forget . . .

For Nate Dean, love is a four-letter word. As part of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be ruthless soldiers with an expiration date. They were loyal only to one another . . . until Nate laid eyes on the woman who stole his heart and blew his world apart. Now, years later, his family is still paying the price for his mistake. But as time runs out, there’s only one person who can save his family: the very woman Nate swore he’d never trust again.

A love she couldn’t deny . . .

The moment Audrey Madison spies Nate across a crowded ballroom, she can barely breathe. He’s just as undeniably sexy as she remembers, yet there’s an edge to him now that’s as irresistible as it is dangerous. When he asks for her help, Audrey can’t refuse. But she has secrets of her own–secrets that, if Nate ever discovers them, may cost them both their lives . . .

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Let’s dance.” He turned her toward the dance floor.

She balked. “No.” God. She couldn’t dance with him, couldn’t be touched by him.

“Yes.” His hold slid down to the back of her elbow, and he ushered her toward where the orchestra was playing “I Will Wait for You” by Michel Legrand. The warmth in Nate’s touch flared her nerves to life in an erotic need she’d worked hard to overcome.

“Nate—”

“Shhh.” He tightened his hold and drew her into an impressive erection.

She gasped, her face heating, her sex convulsing. Blinking, she glanced up in confusion to see if he was as affected as she was and stilled at the look in his eyes.

Furious. The man was truly furious. Even with the contacts masking his eyes, his anger shone bright.

She tried to step back and didn’t move. Yeah, she knew she’d hurt him when she’d ended their relationship, but after nearly five years, he shouldn’t still be so mad. He’d had freedom for five years, which was a hell of a lot better than she’d had. She’d had pain and fear and uncertainty. She blinked. “What is wrong with you?”

His impossibly hard jaw somehow hardened even more. “Oh, we’ll discuss that shortly.” Threat lived strongly in the calm words. “For now, we’re going to finish this dance. Then you’ll take the north exit and meet me in my car so we can talk.”

“If I don’t?” she asked quietly, wings fluttering through her abdomen.

His hold tightened imperceptibly. “I know where you live, I know your daily routine in working for Senator Nash, and I know where you go when you need time alone. You can’t hide, you can’t outrun me—and you know it.”

The hairs on the back of her neck rose. “How long have you been watching me?” More importantly, why hadn’t she noticed?

“A week. Long enough to know the two apes toward the doorway are following you, too. What’s up with that?” His hold tightened just enough to show his strength.

She shrugged. “They haven’t made a move, so I’m not worrying about it.” Not true, and by the narrowing of Nate’s eyes, he could still smell a lie a mile away. “The commander is having me followed.”

Nate’s jaw clenched. “Why?”

“Dunno.” They didn’t have time to discuss it. “You should go now.”

“No.” He spun her, easily controlling their movements.

Her leg hitched, and she stumbled against him.

He frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” None of his damn business, that was. “What do you want to talk about?”

His gaze narrowed, and he spun her again. She tripped again. Her damn leg didn’t move that way. She glanced toward the doorway and the two soldiers watching her. They’d straightened to alert stances. Damn it.

“What’s wrong with your leg?” Nate asked, brows furrowing.

Oh, they were so not going into her injuries on the dance floor. “You almost sound like you care.” She threw his words back at him, gratified when his nostrils flared in irritation.

His gaze probed deep, wandering down her neck. He blinked several times, his chest moving with a harsh intake of breath. “I like your dress,” he rumbled, his voice a low whisper.

With his tight hold, she had no doubt the tops of her breasts were visible. “Nathan, don’t—”

“Don’t what?” His gaze rose to her lips. A light of a different sort filtered through his angry eyes. She knew that look. Her body heated and her thighs softened. His erection jumped against her, and she bit down a groan.

“One kiss, Audrey.”

Her eyes widened to let in more light. “No,” she breathed. One of his hands held hers, the other pressed against her back. Thank goodness. He couldn’t grab her and kiss her, no matter how appealing the thought. “Bad idea.”

“I know.” Nate didn’t need hands. His lips met hers so quickly, she never saw him move.

His mouth covered hers with no hesitancy, no question—as if he had every right to go deep. His tongue was savage and demanding, holding nothing back and accepting no evasion. He tasted of loneliness, anger, and lust. Hard, needy, demanding lust.

The men at the door were watching.

But her body didn’t care—instantly igniting instead of pushing away. Her heart thundered in her ears, and she fell into his heat, uncaring of whether or not he caught her. He wrapped around her, his unyielding body holding her upright. He caressed her with his tongue, and she met him thrust for thrust, fierce pleasure lighting her on fire.
She forgot where they were, who they were, everything but the desperate need he created.

He broke the kiss, blatant male hunger crossing his face. His breath panted out even as he moved them in tune with the music.

She softened against him, allowing him to lead so she didn’t collapse. Her mind whirled, and she shook her head to regain reality. “Nathan, what do you want?” The question emerged as a breathless plea she couldn’t mask.

That quickly, all hints of desire slid from his face. His chin hardened. “Want? I want to know what happened to the child you were carrying five years ago when you ripped out my heart. Where’s my baby, Audrey?”

About the Author: 1_27 ZanettiFORGOTTENSINSRebecca[19]New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She is a member of RWA, has won awards for her works throughout the industry, and has a journalism degree with a poly sci emphasis from Pepperdine University as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day-or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

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Enticing Hart by Mae Hancock – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter will receive a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Hart Emile is tired of cruising for guys, living a soulless existence. He needs a change; so when an acquaintance gives him the number of the gay friendly Red Fox Ranch that’s hiring for staff, he heads south.

Oak Redman is eighteen years old and desperate to explore his awakening sexuality. The moment Hart lays eyes on the handsome young rancher he’s smitten. Not only is Oak hot, spirited and very persistent, he is also the ranch boss’s son and strictly off limits. Hart tries to fight his feelings and to respect his boss and the family who quickly become dear to him, but after Oak’s Grandma suggests he gets with Oak he can’t deny himself the most exciting and enticing man he has ever met.

Hart’s not the only man to have noticed how sweet and charming Oak Redman is. A family friend, Steve, is also anxious to have the affections of the young rancher. Can Hart work out Steve’s dark secrets before it’s too late and keep his job, his lover and his life?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The high-pitched choir of songbirds echoed through the forest as Oak and Hart settled on a rug, late in the afternoon. The two of them had found a clearing at the side of the forest that was near enough to the tress to offer shade, but also close to the water where they’d been fishing. They’d no sooner sat down than Hart spotted something on the other side of the riverbank moving in the grass.

“Shh…I just saw something. I think it’s an otter.” Hart absentmindedly put a hand on Oak’s lap to still him. He didn’t know which was more exciting, seeing the otters, or the burning hot palm that touched his thigh. Oak sat rigidly, glancing between the handsome cowboy’s hand and the otter family bounding along through the grass bank.

“Aren’t you going to get your camera?” Hart chivvied him along.

“Oh…yes.” Oak moved slowly, reaching for the black bag and pulling the camera out. He attached the lens calmly and crawled down the small decline toward the stony bank. He beckoned Hart to join him then focused the lens on the otters. He could hear his companion creeping through the grass behind him. Belly down on the mud, Oak steadied the camera as Hart came alongside him, and let out a sigh as he sank down next to Oak to watch.

The female had two pups with her. As their svelte bodies wound through the rocks to the water’s edge, the mother otter glided into the river without so much as a splash, and the two pups followed. Oak lost count of the photos he took, possibly hundreds of shots as they paddled through the murky depths cautiously. Their fur shiny and dark from absorbing water, making their frames sleeker as they gracefully bathed against the flow.

“Can you hear them?” Hart said with a smile that sprang from his lips right through to his big gray eyes.

“Yeah…” Oak whispered.

The otters called to one another with endearing high-pitched squeaks.

“You ever seen them hold hands?” Hart asked, his lips so close to Oak’s ear that he could feel Hart’s breath tickling the skin.

“No, but I’d love to get a picture of it.”

After about fifteen minutes of lying in the grass like a predator, Oak’s pointed his lens to follow the family towards some big flat stones that were warm from the sun. The otters rested on the smooth surface, shaking their fur, and squeaking to each other until eventually all three disappeared through the long grasses.

“Hart.” Oak turned to face his companion on the ground.

“Yes?”

“I just realized I’m getting damp down here,” Oak said, letting out a snort.

“Me too…” A wicked smile came to his dark pink lips that spread out with luscious fullness as he broke into a chuckle.

At that moment elation filled Oak Watching the beautiful man was always a pleasure. The river tickled over rocks, murmuring quietly, and Hart’s lips were so close to Oak’s that he could feel each breath on his skin. Moving closer, Hart’s mouth brushed Oak’s so slightly, that Oak wasn’t even sure they’d actually touched.

With closed eyes, Oak parted his mouth willing the man’s tongue inside. Soft, plump lips pressed against his sending a shudder through his spine. His breath hitched with anticipation. A chaste kiss ended with Hart pulling away and shaking his head.

“You and your wildlife photography are leading me astray, young Mr. Redman.”

“Sorry…” Heat rushed up to Oak’s neck and face. He couldn’t understand why he was blushing. The soft, innocent kiss had been simple enough, but the highly-strung emotions behind it made him hot with every need possible. All of his senses were raw, responsive to the man’s presence. What would Hart’s muscles feel like under the man’s touch? Warm, golden skin would rub easily against his, and the comforting, arousing scent of pine would enhance each sensation further.

Hart stood; the blue T-shirt had ridden upward, exposing his flat stomach and hard abs. He tugged the material down, covering the dark treasure trail leading to his cargo pants, and dusted himself off, shedding grass from his top. Oak stared, then realized he should roll his tongue back in and get to his feet. He followed Hart back to the blanket, and flicked through some of the shots he’d taken of the otters.

“You want a look?”

“Sure.” Hart put hand out and took the camera instead of coming close to Oak but being three feet away still made his skin tingle with expectation. An expectation that would go unfulfilled.

About the Author:I enjoy writing both academic and fiction material. My research interests include focus on people who experience marginalization, both in historical societies and modern. Themes include disability, neurosis, homosexuality, addiction, mental illness, slavery and prostitution. The most important part of my work is creating multi-dimensional, believable characters that are able to build lasting romantic relationships against the odds. I want all my readers to laugh, cry and enjoy the erotic journey towards a happy ending.

Website: http://www.maehancock.com/

Blog: http://maehancockfiction.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: @Hancockfiction

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008234531718

Buy the book at Loose-ID

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Character by Amber Kell – Guest Blog

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher.

 

 

First I’d like to thank you for letting me visit here at Long and Short Reviews!

I think writing a blog post can be one of the most nerve-wracking things to do. For a story I can write whatever comes into my head but for a blog story I’m supposed to have a focus.  I’ve decided to write a bit about character. All stories begin with picking a character or two to wrap your plot around.

There are a series of questions an author has to ask to determine basic things about a character. What does your character look like? Is he tall or short or did you borrow his physique from a porn star? What is he good at? Does he have badass computer skills or maybe he can take down an army with one hand tied behind his back while tying his shoes with the other? Establish your character’s abilities by sharing what makes him interesting. It could be something small or a large secret he doesn’t want to share.

In Porter’s Reaper, Porter is just coming into his powers and as he learns to control his abilities he becomes more confident in himself. Is your character naturally confident or does he have hidden insecurities to address? Deep down everyone has something they are insecure about. How much that controls your character’s behavior is up to you.

Sometimes authors learn about their characters as they’re being written. Okay, maybe I’m the only author who does that, some authors do this planning thing I don’t understand. I even know some authors who do extensive character backgrounds. There is no right way to build a character as long as you can identify with the person you create long enough to tell his story. What’s your favorite type of character? Please share below!

While you’re thinking it over here is an excerpt from Porter’s Reaper. You can see a bit about my characters here.

Excerpt from Porter’s Reaper:

Hades shook his head and caused a ball of fire to form on his right index finger. He tossed it from hand to hand as he spoke. “I tried to get hold of him, but something is blocking my communication. I would’ve thought it some sort of protection spell to stop magic from invading campus, but it has a sense of wrongness about it. I hate to sound like a worrier, but I suspect something is wrong at the Academy.

If I send a representative to the meeting, no one will think anything about it if you start poking around. Besides, you have the best instincts of all my Reapers. I trust you implicitly.”

Alstair puffed up with pride. Sure, he knew Hades used praise to manipulate him but Alstair also knew the God of the Underworld truly respected his skills.

“To help you snoop around, I’m going to send a companion with you. Someone familiar with the campus.”

“I have been there before,” Alstair reminded him. “When I taught Elijah and when I took a few classes.” He’d taken some night courses in the latest magical discoveries. Alstair liked to stay at the top of his game.

“Yes, but you didn’t live there. You stayed at a place off campus.”

“True. I still prefer to do things alone,” Alstair said, not quite willing to give up the argument. He kept his tone respectful. If Hades got too frustrated with him, the results were never good. Alstair didn’t want to spend another century processing incoming souls. The thought of the paperwork alone made him want to die all over again.

“Be nice to him,” Hades warned. “He’s shy.”

“Who is it?” There were many creatures in the Underworld, most Alstair didn’t think needed to see the light of day. Starting a riot at the campus probably wouldn’t make them open to any of Hades’ suggestions.

“Porter!” Hades shouted. The god’s voice echoed and Alstair fought the urge to clap his hands over his ears. If he weren’t a god, Alstair would wonder if Hades had hearing problems. The god never seemed to notice when people winced over the volume of his voice.

A slim man with blond hair, a scruffy face and worried eyes ran up to them. He came to a sliding stop and bowed low to Hades. He flashed Alstair a questioning look before returning his attention to Hades. “What can I do for you, Sir?”

Sir? The kid was adorable. If Hades’ grin was anything to go by, the God of the Underworld shared Alstair’s assessment. Damn, he was going to be stuck with a newbie. The gleam in Hades’ smile didn’t promise anything but hardship.

 

 

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This is book five in the A Wizard’s Touch series, see the full series listing here

Death is a minor inconvenience in the path to true love.

When the God of the Underworld sends Alstair back to the Academy to help pick out a new headmaster, he doesn’t mention he put Alstair in for the job. Angered but willing to keep his word, Alstair discovers the headmaster position comes with more knots of deception than a sailor’s rope.

Porter Exton had a crush on Alstair. He’d watched Alstair train Elijah through the window and had spent more than one night dreaming of the Reaper. However, dreams were set aside in order to discover the truth about his death and if the man who killed him is responsible for the other deaths at the school.

Two men with different backgrounds need to discover what they have in common if they hope to save themselves from plotting gods, egomaniacs and possible killers.

 

About the Author: Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building.

When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life he told her to go have fun.

During those seconds she isn’t writing she remembers she has children who humor her with games of ‘what if’ and let her drag them to foreign lands to gather inspiration. Her youngest confided in her that he wants to write because he longs for a website and an author name—two things apparently necessary to be a proper writer.

Despite her husband’s insistence she doesn’t drink enough to be a true literary genius she continues to spin stories of people falling happily in love and staying that way.

She is thwarted during the day by a traffic jam of cats on the stairway and a puppy who insists on walks, but she bravely perseveres.

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