Guest Release Promotion–666 Pine Edge Place by Caryn McGill

spooky mansion

How does a house become haunted? Must someone die there? Do ghosts or goblins seize it against its will? Or does the house decide? Learning to focus its energy. Relentlessly practicing until able to slam shut doors and windows, control faucets and thermostats…ignite blazes in its fireplaces…or anywhere it chooses. Unearth the answers in the short story 666 Pine Edge Place. If you dare.

Release date is October 28, 2017 from Drunken Pen Publishing

EXCERPT

I didn’t always look like hell. Once, I stood three stories tall crowned with a cupola and a wind vane perpetually pointing north. Wrought iron curly cues, like the letter L written in ornate script, pinned my black shutters tightly to the gray clapboard. My paint gleamed, my wainscoting appeared dent-and-scratch-free, my twenty-foot ceilings embossed with glorious white federal molding. Rather than the current inhabitants of creepy crawly creatures, pesky feral animals, and ghoulish spirits, happy families lived here…for nearly two hundred years. I protected them from the elements with my sturdy roof and walls, and from the frigid temperatures with my toasty-warm fires.

I watched with a sense of immense satisfaction as fathers tickled their children to near hysteria before finally tucking them into bed at night, then reading a favorite bedtime story, and mothers prepared sumptuous family dinners, sometimes with the aid of a kitchen staff. Holidays were magnificent with grand Christmas trees and mountains of festively wrapped presents; the sweet smells of holiday treats permeating the air as they baked in my professional-grade oven. Music and song filled my hallways. Dancing feet pranced on my marble floors and people made love in my bedrooms, sweet, thrilling love. I tried not to watch, but sometimes I just couldn’t help myself.

I felt like a worthy house, solid, set on a good foundation, hugged by magnificent magnolia trees and protected by sturdy oaks. Until the Sinclairs moved in…then everything went to shit. Perhaps if I’d been more patient, or just ignored them I might have survived.

The moment they stepped across the threshold of my magnificent mahogany door with the stained glass window spelling out WELCOME, a chill spread through me. No matter how high I turned up the thermostat I still couldn’t banish the dreadful iciness that penetrated my rafters. I shuddered, and the sound unnerved me…a sound I’d never made before.

The year was 1979. Dr. Sinclair, an eminent physician from New York, had just taken over old Doc Jensen’s practice who’d recently succumbed to liver cancer attributed to years of excessive alcohol consumption. Honestly, the stories I’d overheard from the previous owners made me think the new doc was sorely needed.

Upon her arrival, Mrs. Sinclair’s tall thin frame—her posture indicative of the stick up her ass—paraded around the first floor like a solider marching to war, her sharp spikey heels digging into my polished hardwood. I winced, and the wallpaper in my foyer wrinkled. My vents hissed, all the air seemed to get sucked out of me and I threw a few windows open so I could breathe. Nobody noticed.

Two children ran up the stairs, yelling and jumping around, as children are prone to do. But they didn’t seem joyful, their screams more like shrieks, unsettling, evil. I didn’t think there was such a thing as an innately evil child, but the second I saw them I knew this would turn out bad. Really bad. A few tears formed, the tiny droplets leaking from my faucets onto the ceramic basins with a bit of a plopping noise.

I tried to shove my anxiety and apprehension into my attic, giving myself a pep talk. You’re overreacting. You’ve been spoiled with wonderful loving families and these people are, well, just a little different. A little off… but everything will be okay after they settle in. It always takes me a while to get used to new residents. Perhaps I’m still too old-fashioned. People are more sophisticated these days. They smoke pot and believe in free love. I need to relax, chill out. Give them a chance.

Well, that attitude only lasted a goddamned week. I valiantly tried to ignore the giant gashes in my woodwork made by flying objects that should never become airborne. I really did. Mrs. Sinclair had a violent temper and both her children and her husband sported enough cuts and bruises to have her taken into custody. I couldn’t comprehend why they put up with her abuse. I mean… her husband is a doctor for Christ’s sake! He should know better! But Dr. Sinclair rarely made it home, spending long nights at his practice or the hospital and turned a blind eye to the dysfunctions of his family.

I witnessed the evilness of the children as they tortured small animals and also each other. A gleeful sneer would overtake their faces as they smeared their hands in the greasy red blood of their victims—painting their faces like war paint—and popped eyeballs with their feet. At times I couldn’t decide who was more malicious, the kids or the mother. Often I felt the urge to scream and I did so. My wailing sounded like the wind mostly, and frequently resulted in comments like “This old house sucks!” or “I hate this creepy house!” I should have been angry at the insults, but instead I was…well…hurt.

The basement became my own personal hell. Dr. and Mrs. Sinclair never went down there, but the children made it into kind of a Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. The smells alone nearly suffocated me. The rotting bodies of furry creatures littered the cement floor when they should have been out running through the dewy green grass in my yard. I have a magnificent yard hugging me, one where lovely flowers grow and people could sit and sip a cocktail on a hot summer evening.

About a month after the move-in date I decided I couldn’t put up with one more second of this depravity. This repugnant family had to go.

Caryn McGill

Caryn McGill is published in paranormal: THE WIVES OF LUCIFER and also erotic suspense: UNSUB, under the name Kendra Greenwood.

Born on New York’s Long Island, Caryn McGill resided on its bucolic East End until a recent move to Richmond, Virginia.

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Guest Interview–Maureen Bonatch

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

It’s interesting that you ask that question since I’ve recently had my website and my logline updated. Previously it was, “Making the Ordinary Extraordinary and Laughing all the Way”.  My new one is, “Stories with Hocus Pocus and All That.”

I believe both capture the essence of my writing, which is humorous paranormal and fantasy romance.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

My characters always start the story. Sometimes I don’t even know their names when they begin telling me their story.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

As you can see from my answer above, my writing is freestyle (or panster as some refer to it–I write by the seat of my pants.) I’ve tried to force myself to plan out part of my story to reduce editing after, but most of the time my characters have minds of their own, lol.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Most of my stories feature small towns surrounded by dense wooded areas (a great place to tuck away all kinds of secrets). I draw from my home to create the settings, although I don’t use any specific locations.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

Yes, definitely. I currently have a Shih Tzu, or I should say, he has us, lol. Scruff’s been with our family for four years now. Prior to that, we had a Lhasa Apso for 14+ years. My girls have had an array of other critters over the years—guinea pigs, hermit crabs, fish and a hamster. My husband is allergic to cats, or I’m sure one might’ve been in the mix as well.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope readers find a relaxing escape from the everyday. That they might laugh a little and wander out of the comfort zone of their imagination. That they might appreciate those around them once they look a little closer and see the extraordinary concealed within.

EvilSpeaksSoftly_Oct 11

BLURB

They were never supposed to meet. Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family. The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.

They were never supposed to find love. Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old, family home until she met Gage. His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead. They’ve broken all the rules. Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.

BUY LINKS

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EXCERPT

“I met this strange man at the bar last night. He told me some really weird stuff.” I paused. When she remained silent, I continued. “He said it was related to my writing.” She watched me with the fascination of one who desperately wanted to look away but couldn’t. As if a deer blinded to the oncoming headlights, she was fixated, trapped. “He said to talk to you.”

I searched her face. I knew my Grams. When resignation settled on her features a knot clenched in my stomach from either fear, or the excitement of validating Gage didn’t fabricate the story. Perhaps he wasn’t crazy.

Grams slowly closed her eyes and opened them again. “He found you?”

I nodded.

She turned to stare out the frosted window where the birdfeeder sat frozen over from the recent snow. “I can’t believe he took that risk. Watchers are never to approach the Recorders. It could totally upset the balance.” She worried her lower lip between her teeth.

When she used the same terms as Gage, my anxiety elevated. I expected her to deny his claims and then we’d laugh about the incident. “Grams, please tell me. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I took a deep breath. “Some weird things happened last night. Occasionally I notice unusual things, but it’s an old house and I have an active imagination, but this time it scared me.”

Added note: This manuscript placed second in the 2015 Golden Palm Contest of the Florida Romance Writers—Paranormal category

maureenbonatch

Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line.

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Release Day for Perfectly Unacceptable, Book 13 in Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs

Perfectly.Unacceptable.web

Today I’m proud to announce the release of my third novella in the Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs series, a multi-author sweet historical series. Perfectly Unacceptable shares the story of the cousin of Aurelia and Rilleta, the heroines of my first two titles.

An interesting fact about the story. I always look for a topical event from history to include in my stories. As I built the hero, I realized he was pragmatic, quoted Benjamin Franklin often, and lived by selected precepts of Franklin’s writing. When I discovered that women’s equality advocate Elizabeth Cady Stanton had publicly decried Franklin, so of course my heroine had to be a Stanton devotee. I had such fun searching out meaningful quotes.

BLURB: Jared Manning was left wanting on two prior marriage attempts, and this time he wants to be assured of a bride. So he commits to a correspondence courtship with only one potential mail-order bride and anticipates the arrival of Dina Valdis, a retiring schoolteacher, in time for the town’s Harvest Dance. He knows just how he wants his picture-perfect married life to be and assumes he’s found the perfect woman to fulfill the role.

Dina is passionate about being a schoolteacher who sparks the love of learning in young minds. An incident in her hometown of Kingston, New York forces her from her job, and her reputation is smeared. Not wanting to become a hermit, Dina is reminded how her cousins, Aurelia and Rilleta, found happiness with their husbands in Jubilee Springs. Thinking this is her only option, Dina heads west as a mail-order bride. Seeing the size of the tiny town almost sets Dina running, but an attraction for this handsome miner keeps her there. When she learns the town’s children have no teacher, she starts a campaign to educate the townspeople. Soon, she’ll have to decide if the attraction she feels for Jared is stronger than her passion for teaching.

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Guest Interview–Reggi Allder

Hi, Linda, thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I write freestyle. I’m a pantser, not a plotter. Years ago, I took classes to study plotting. I tried using 3 by 5-inch cards for each scene, colored posted notes for each character and made outlines of the book. This works well for many writers. But I had a bout of writer’s block when I tried it. My creativity shut down and I was stymied. Now I write as Jo Beverley used to say, “out into the mist.” I know where the book starts and ends. After that, I let the characters take me through the events and plot twist. I add characters as I see they are needed. In one of my romantic suspense books, Shattered Rules, I was more than halfway through the book when I realized the person I thought was the villain was a red herring and another character became the bad guy.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I listen to all kinds of music, rock, classical, jazz, etc. I’ve even listened to the international news for a suspense book I was writing. For the Sierra Creek Series Her Country Heart Christmas Edition and His Country Heart, I played country western music as the books takes place in a small town in the foothills of California, with a strong cowboy and a determined woman.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Three of my favorite places for a vacation are San Francisco, Carmel by the Sea and Lake Tahoe, California. I’ve used these locations in several of my books, including two suspense and a western contemporary. It’s great to go online and check out cities, but nothing can compare with meeting the people of the area. I experience the food, weather, and atmosphere, things not available online. I’m looking for another place to visit–any ideas?

CarmelbytheSea

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get struck in creating a story?

Often, I’m writing two books in different genres and I will switch to the other genre. When I’m really puzzled, I take a break and do something completely different, garden, cook, read, etc. If I have enough time, I’ll take my dogs out for a walk. I bring my phone/camera and take pics of whatever attracts me on that day. Usually an idea comes to me during the outing.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I grew up with a dog and a cat. Now we live with two dogs, a pure bred and a rescue puppy who barks too much, but is very sweet. I’ve also raised a puppy for Guide Dogs for the Blind. She lived with us for over a year and then returned to guide a woman in Southern California. I’ve also volunteered as a foster care person for Guide Dogs for the Blind. I always wanted a horse, but it never happened. Still, I enjoyed researching quarter horses for my cowboy in Her Country Heart Christmas Edition.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

A review of one of my books said, “…a darn good read.” That’s what I hope for readers, to have a compelling read with characters they care about and are hard to forget. Whatever their mood, I want the reader to get lost in the story and come away with a sense of optimism.

HerCountryXmas_1011

BLURB

Crazy for cowboys? Want to fall in love?

Will Amy Long have a home for Christmas?

A single mother, she was downsized and then lost her apartment in the city. Hoping to find a fresh start, Amy returns to the small town of Sierra Creek. Does she fit in? Cowboy Wyatt Cameron knows she belongs in the city and he has the power to see she returns. Sparks fly when opposites attract.

BUY LINKS

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EXCERPT

“Sierra Creek,” the driver shouted as the Greyhound Bus came to an abrupt stop on the two lane highway.

Amy Long pushed her hair behind her ears and grabbed the worn suitcase. Surprised to see her hand tremble, she seized the case with both hands and rushed toward the front of the bus.

A gust of hot wind slapped her face as she stepped off the bus. Gravel pelted her bare legs when it drove away. She squinted and read a faded road sign, Sierra Creek population five thousand. There wasn’t a building in sight.

After years of living in the city, she’d forgotten how sweltering and desolate it was here. She’d vowed never to return home. Odd it was the first place that came to mind when she and her young son needed a fresh start.

With Granny gone, there was no family left to welcome her. She swallowed a sob. Maybe it was a mistake to come back.

The relentless afternoon sun beat down on her shoulders and her arms began to burn. San Francisco, the air-conditioned city, seemed a million miles away.

Impatient, she cleared her dry throat, wiped perspiration from her forehead, and let out a groan as the minutes ticked by. What wouldn’t she give for some shade and a bottle of ice water?

With a sigh, she pulled out her smart phone and checked the time. Thirty minutes since she’d arrived at the bus stop and not a single car had gone by. Where was the arranged ride into town?

Granny’s handyman was supposed to meet her. He obviously wasn’t a stickler about being on time. She reminded herself she was in the California foothills not in a busy metropolis where time was money.

The sound of a truck rumbled in the distance. With the back of her hand, she pushed her bangs out of her eyes and squinted. Hopeful, she watched the pick-up come closer. A shiny black Ford F 150 with extended cab pulled up in front of her.

“Amy?” A man yelled through the open window as his brown hair fell casually over a high forehead and deep-set blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight. She moved nearer and stared at his wide cheek bones, square jaw and full lips. About thirty?

A flutter of recognition stirred in her as palpable charm radiated from his broad smile, Wyatt Cameron.

His muscular arms flexed as his huge hands squeezed the steering wheel. “Don’t just stand there. Get in.”

Surprised by his gruffness, she stepped back.

“I heard you need a ride into town,” he said quietly as if he understood her reaction. “I’m Wyatt.”

“Hi, nice to see you again.” Even now her cheeks burned with the memory of him. She tightened the grip on the suitcase. As she stared her heartbeat increased and her breathing quickened. “Granny’s handyman is going to give me a ride.”

“You could say that’s me. Toss your suitcase in the back and get in the truck.”

She shook the pebbles from her flip flops and picked up her suitcase. Filled with everything she and her son might need, she grunted and struggled to lift the enormous bag high enough to push it into the raised truck bed.

Wyatt hopped out of the cab and brushed by her. With a sharp intake of breath, she took in his fresh just-out–of–the-shower scent.

Effortlessly, he tossed the bag into the truck.

She quickly hauled herself into the vehicle and slammed the door. “Nice pick-up. Beautiful upholstery,” she said trying for casual conversation. She ran her hand over the black and white leather seat.

“It’s custom. Had it done in Sacramento by a guy who specializes it tuck and roll car seats.”

“Really nice.”

Pretty fancy truck for handyman. The job must pay better than she’d thought. For some reason she’d believed Granny’s handyman would be an old retired guy gnarled from too much sun and hard work, not the hunk sitting next to her.

“Where’s your son? Thought he’d be with you.”

“He’s staying with a friend of mine in San Francisco. Bobby’s only four. I thought it’d be better if I took care of things here before he comes to the farm.” She paused. “It’s only been a few hours since I left and I already miss him.”

She sighed and leaned back. The purr of the truck’s engine soothed her and her breathing slowed.

“Thanks for giving me a ride. If you drop me at my grandmother’s farm I’ll change my clothes.”

“It’s too late for that. We can’t keep Judge Wilcox waiting.”

REVIEW COMMENT

“I’m HOOKED!!! …A seriously great book!! and I am so happy it is a series, because I am invested in what happens to Amy and Wyatt.

ReggiPhoto Smaller

An author of romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels including “The Sierra Creek Series,” where strong cowboys and determined women intersect. Reggi writes tales of love lost and then found and stories of heroes and heroines who discover love and wonder if they’ll live long enough to enjoy it. Her characters cope with longings and betrayals as each fight to discover a hidden strength.

At University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), she studied screen writing and creative writing and is a past chapter president of Romance Writers of America and current member of RWA.

It makes her day to hear from readers.

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment for a chance to win a kindle eBook of my new novella With Glowing Hearts, a World War Two romance- Love can be found in unexpected places. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced at the end of the day.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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Guest Release Promotion–Moosed Opportunities by Jan Elder

Last Christmas, a group of contemporary Christian authors got together to form a “boxed set” of novellas that would include dessert recipes of some sort. That set was called Frosting and Flurries, and it’s still going strong. My book in that set is called Moostletoe, the first book in the Moose Creek series.

We had so much fun doing the set, we did it again this summer, another “boxed set” that came out in July called Picnics and Promises. Moosed Opportunities is the second book in the Moose Creek series. And guess what? Book three (Almoosed Heaven) releases in November.

Working with these lovely ladies has been so much fun, and creating the little town of Moose Creek, Maine, has been a joy. Rev. Samantha Evans and her boyfriend, moose wrangler Eric Palmer, continue to thrive despite many obstacles and adventures. Oh, and did I mention the town moose, Matilda? She causes a ruckus in more ways than one.

Moosed Opportunities EDITED large 1800x2700

BLURB

Rev. Samantha Evans loves living in Moose Creek, Maine, the land of moose and men … or namely one man, her fiancé, Eric Palmer. The problem? Trouble looms large; Eric’s meddling ex-wife lives right around the corner.

Forest ranger, Eric Palmer, just wants to plan his wedding and marry the woman he loves. Not that life makes it easy. Samantha’s busy schedule, an interfering ex-wife, missing college students, and a misplaced pregnant moose, all conspire against him.

Will they find the time to clear the air and concentrate on their relationship? Or will their lives be a series of Moosed Opportunities?

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EXCERPT

Eric hurried down the path toward the woods, shouting for his dog. “Apollo. Stop!”

The bounding deer rapidly disappeared in the distance, and the gleefully barking miniature dachshund followed in hot pursuit. Eric didn’t have time for these shenanigans. He was due at Samantha’s house for dinner, and he was already running late.

The merry deer headed for the trees, traipsing through the wet spring snow as if prancing on a sandy beach in the Bahamas. Before Bambi’s mom disappeared completely, the female deer flipped her white tail at the excited dog, making a game of the chase. The two sped down the path Eric had created with his snowshoes, taking advantage of his man-made corridor in the trees.

“Apollo! Get back here.”

His disobedient dog paid no attention whatsoever as he scrambled, hopped, and skated across the freshly fallen snow lying atop frosty ground.

Eric quickened his pace. Tonight, he’d planned to bring the boys over to Sammie’s to introduce them to Jezebel. Before stowing the wiener dogs in the car, he’d let them out for a quick pee break. His attention had wandered as he’d allowed himself a moment of reverie … Sammie had such soft, silky hair … That was when Apollo had spotted the deer.

Eric glanced over his shoulder. His more obedient dog, Zeus, waited on the front porch. Hopefully, the little guy would still be there when this ill-timed adventure was over.

Excited yips echoed through the crisp air. Dang it! His dog was headed for the frozen creek. Eric’s best boots broke through the crusty top of the snow, the resulting crunch ringing in his ears as he tramped down the trail. Apollo had to be tiring by now, and that blasted deer had to be long gone. But then again, his pup was the stubborn type.

When he’d trudged through here yesterday morning, the sun was perched on the horizon, rays of soft light peeking through the treetops. So peaceful, so serene, so awe inspiring. A good way to start his day. Now, through the trees up ahead, pink wooly clouds puffed across a spectacular sunset and glimpses of waning light glinted off the snow-covered creek. Surely his foolish dog would stop when he reached the debris-strewn banks of the solidified water.

Eric rounded the corner in time to see the deer hurtling up the bank on the opposite side of the creek. The waters of Moose Creek were normally deep and fast, the wide expanse river-sized at this point in its journey south. The creek had been frozen over for a couple months, though the big deep freeze in northern Maine had been late this year. On his daily walks, he’d thought he’d heard water running near the beaver dam upstream. Was the ice safe? The deer had made it across handily, and if she could do it, so could a ten-pound canine. Right?

A moot point, since his dog was not going to get the chance if he had anything to say about it.

A short distance away, Apollo picked his way between the rocks on the shore, each step taking him closer to danger, his gaze on the prize fifty feet away, across the frozen expanse. Mrs. Deer stopped at the top of the hill, seemingly just as fascinated with the sight of the yappy dachshund.

The scrappy dog was shaking, whether from excitement or cold, Eric couldn’t tell. He headed down the slope toward his miniature canine. “Come here, boy.”

Apollo tossed him a cursory glance and then ogled the deer, the joy of the chase shining in his doggie eyes.

Eric sidled a few steps forward and to the side, moving slowly and carefully so as not to send the dog running in the wrong direction. He was so close he could almost reach out and grab the dog’s collar.

Whew. Apollo yipped one last time and back-peddled toward Eric’s waiting fingers. At last.

And then the deer at the crest of the hill pawed at the crunchy snow. The canine couldn’t help himself. He launched onto the frozen expanse, tiny legs propelling him like a windmill in a gale. A few feet out, the dog lost his footing on the slippery snow-covered ice. Landing on his stomach, legs all akimbo, the brownish-red missile rocketed straight for a thin spot in the ice on the other side of the stream.

With only a split second of indecision, Eric flung himself off the bank, half-skating on the ice, the breeze stinging his ears as he zipped forward. If he had any hope of catching that bundle of fur, he was going to have to slide. If a full-grown deer could make it across…

The ice creaked, but it held fast. Thankfully, he was gaining on the dog. Halfway across the river, he caught up to Apollo and grabbed his collar with his right hand. They kept sliding. They were going to make it.

 Crack! The ice on the other side of the stream gave way and he plunged into the frigid water, his breath whooshing from his lungs. The animal slithered from his grasp as Eric fought to keep his head above water.

Apollo’s soft brown eyes grew impossibly large as he bobbed to the surface a few feet away. Before Eric’s frightened dog could be carried away by the loosed current, he managed to grab onto the leather collar, hauling the animal to his upper body.

Water swirled around them. He kicked his legs to bring them to shore, his sodden cold-weather clothes weighed him down. He stumbled through the cripplingly cold water, laboring each step of the way, his boots as heavy as if he had a brick strapped to each foot.

The poor dog whimpered and Eric clutched him closer as he stumbled onto land. “It’s okay, boy. We’re safe now.”

He crashed down on a log and surveyed his soaking body, chest heaving. No doubt about it, he was in a pickle.

BIO

JAN ELDER is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling relateable stories. She strives to write novels that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story. She lives in Maryland with her beloved husband and two pampered cats.

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GIVEAWAY

I’d be happy to give away two ebooks of Picnics and Promises from among those who leave comments. Moosed Opportunites is the first book in the set.

Picnics and Promises_Oct 6

Guest Author Interview–Diana Rubino

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books, and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. My urban fantasy romance, Fakin’ It, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. I live on Cape Cod with my husband Chris.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Get lost on journeys through history and meet folks who shook things up.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I bicycle, golf, work out, walk, play my piano, am very much into the paranormal, and devour books of any genre.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Since I started writing bio novels with no fictional characters, I start with the characters—I read about their journeys and accomplishments, and stick as close to possible to the historical record.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I’m a strict outliner and plotter—I use Donald Maass’s WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL workbook and use dozens of questionnaires.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Yes, all of them—I also love Austria and Mozart, which I’ve never written about, and that’s on my list, too.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

How ‘wordy’ the piece can get—I have some really good proofreaders who pare it down and trim it ʼtil it’s lean and mean!

In what genre do you read?

I read all genres but my favorites are biographies and books about the unexplained, especially ghosts. Astronomy books also fascinate me.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope they’ll forget their problems for a while, and escape into a world where life was simpler, yet much harder.

AroundTheWorldIn80Meals

BLURB 

Around the World in 80 Meals: The Best of Cruise Ship Cuisine weaves gastronomic delights around an exotic seven-day dream fantasy cruise. Imagine waking up on a different ship in a new port of call every day, and treating your taste buds to a gourmet meal every evening, each carefully prepared by one of the best chefs afloat.

This book highlights the most interesting menus and recipes of a diversity of cruise lines, from the luxurious Cunard Line, famed for its opulent ocean liners, to a small but highly exclusive line of yachts that offer the most personalized cruise experience.

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Sample from a Cruise Menu:

THE PRESIDENT’S DINNER

President Ford’s Smoked Norwegian Salmon Terrine with Red Salmon Caviar Sauce

This appetizer was one of the more sophisticated first courses created for President Ford. He always came to the table with a healthy appetite after swimming in the White House outdoor pool, rain or shine.

Smoked Norwegian Salmon Terrine 

Ingredients (6 servings)

1 pound sliced smoked Norwegian salmon

2 cups cream cheese

¼ cup cream

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup fresh dill, finely chopped

2 tablespoons capers

fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

Place cream cheese, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and capers in a food processor. Season to taste with pepper and combine.

Butter a 6 cup terrine pan. Line base and sides with plastic wrap overhanging two inches at ends.

Layer enough smoked salmon to cover bottom of pan. Layer 1/3  cup cream cheese mixture equally over salmon. Repeat layering process until all the salmon is used. The top layer should be salmon.

Fold plastic wrap over salmon, pressing down gently. Refrigerate overnight.

Before serving, turn onto a platter and remove wrap. Trim ends and cut into slices. Drizzle with red salmon caviar sauce (recipe follows). Serve.

Red Salmon Caviar Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup sour cream

8 ounces crème fraiche

½ cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1 pinch white pepper

3½ ounces red salmon caviar

Instructions

Combine sour cream, creme fraiche, mayonnaise, dill, and white pepper in a bowl. Stir well.

Carefully mix in caviar. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Drizzle over salmon terrine (recipe above).

BIO

Diana’s passion for history and travel has taken her to every locale of her stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. Her urban fantasy romance, Fakin’ It, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband Chris. Together they own CostPro, Inc., an engineering business. In her spare time, Diana bicycles, golfs, plays her piano and devours books of any genre.

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Guest Release Promotion–Targeted by Beverley Bateman

Targeted is the third book in the series. I was at a conference In Victoria, BC, Canada, up on the mezzanine overlooking the expensive lobby with marble floors. I sorted of squatted down and peeked through the carved posts and had this image of a cowboy in spurs striding through the lobby. I then became the heroine, watching him arrive with mixed feelings. And that was the start of Hunted, the first book in the series. I love ranches and cowboys, and I developed this small town in Montana.

Targeted_Oct 2

BLURB

After an eleven-year absence Janna Kincaid inherits a ranch and must return to a town she remembers with unhappiness, a man she briefly married and never wants to see again, and someone is trying to kill her.

Kye Hawkins has loved Janna since they met. They were married, but right after she left without an explanation. He hasn’t figured out why. Now she’s coming back. Can he rekindle the romance, and prevent her from being killed?

Janna doesn’t want Kye’s help, yet he’s always there when she’s in trouble. Can they work together to stop a killer, and find romance again?

BUY LINKS

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KOBO Books

EXCERPT

Someone had shot her back tire. Janna gripped the wheel to keep the vehicle on the road. She debated whether to try and outrun the shooter, wherever he was, or find cover. The windshield shattered as a third bullet entered the passenger side.

So much for outrunning the shooter.

She scanned the area and spotted an outcropping of rocks a few feet ahead on her right. She aimed the vehicle in that direction.

Two more shots, and both the back tires went down.

Definitely find cover.

Janna ducked low behind the steering wheel until the vehicle reached the rocks. When the car stopped, she grabbed the keys from the ignition and her purse and dove out the door. Bullets bounced off the rocks behind her as she scrambled for cover. Whoever was doing the shooting was serous. Anyone of the shots could have hit her.

She reached the rocks, keeping low until she got to the middle where she curled up as tightly as possible, her back against a rock. Her heart pounded in her ears, her breathing came in gasps. This was getting to be a habit. First someone tried to kill her in Seattle, and now, out in this god-forsaken country.

What the hell is going on? Why are they shooting at me? Was it the same person who shot at me in Seattle? That doesn’t seem likely, but who even knew I was coming here? Maybe it’s someone just trying to rob a stranger.

Yeah right, be honest, Janna, does this road look like many strangers came this way? And if they did, would they have a lot to steal? You really think this person selected a spot in the rocks where he would have a good shot at my vehicle. Coincidence? Not damn likely.

At least she’d worn boots and jeans—even if they were designer jeans. Now they were filthy, and so was her red sweater and jean jacket.

Another shot hit the rock behind her. She rolled over onto her stomach, shaded her eyes, and squinted into the sun. He must be up on the cliffs straight ahead. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she might have glimpsed a light, maybe a reflection off his scope.

Terrific! Now what? My gun is in my purse. I could fire back, but that would be a waste of bullets at this distance.

She yanked out her cell and punched in 9-1-1.

Damn—no reception.

A pounding pulsed through the ground and came closer. Janna could feel the vibrations. It felt like horses. She glanced around, without raising her head, to see what was coming.

Suddenly there was a hand in front of her face.

“Grab it and jump on.”

The deep, rumbling voice was not asking. It was an order.

Janna grabbed the strong hand. In one smooth motion, she swung up behind a man on his horse. Seconds later, she had her hands wrapped around his well-developed, muscular chest, as the big chestnut thundered across the ground, out of the bullets’ range.

The man wore a leather jacket over a sweater. Her hands slid under the jacket for better grip. Even through the sweater she could feel sinewy muscles. She laid her head against his back and his braid. She took a breath in, inhaling the rich scent of leather, trying to calm her racing heart rate.

She glanced behind her. The cliffs were fading into the distance. The muscles of his well-developed shoulders bunched and relaxed as he led the horse at a gallop across the field. She felt safe for some unfathomable reason.

He had a familiar woodsy scent that made her think of sex under pine trees, not that she’d ever made love there. In fact, her sex life was pretty negligible these days.

They’d been riding for several minutes when Janna leaned forward. “You can put me down any place. I can manage now.”

“Really? And just what are you going to do out here, miles from town, by yourself, with someone shooting at you?”

The voice was deep, but soft, and rolled over her like warmed brandy. It triggered something in the back of her memory. The earthy scent, the sinewy body, the braid, the voice… She knew this person who had ridden up out of nowhere to save her.

“I have my cell. I’ve already called 9-1-1,” she snapped.

“And did you get an answer?”

Janna yanked her cell phone up where she could see the screen again and re-tapped in 9-1-1. And then there was that famous phrase—No Service.

There was a deep chuckle. “That’s what I thought. There’s no service in this area. The mountains block it.”

BevB_Oct2

Beverley Bateman exchanged the Okanagan vineyards and orchards for the ranches and farms of Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she lives with her Shiba Inu dogs. Winters she snowbirds and continues to write her latest romantic suspense books. Hunted, Missing and Targeted are part of her Hawkins Ranch series.

 

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Guest Release Promotion–In The Moment by Jennifer Wilck

In the Moment, my latest contemporary romance published by The Wild Rose Press, was inspired by a tour of a local Victorian mansion that my girls and I took. The house was for sale, and as we wandered the three floors admiring the woodwork, molding and features unique to Victorian mansions, I couldn’t help but wonder about the people who used to live there. Their history seemed to ooze from the very walls and floors. I would have given anything to buy the house, finish the renovations and live there, but unfortunately it was out of my price range. So instead, I decided to set my next book there. It is now the main setting of In the Moment and I enjoyed revisiting the house through pictures as I wrote. I worked really hard on the cover with the cover artist—I wanted to convey the tone of the book and include the house—I think she did a great job!

IntheMoment_w11625_750

BLURB:

Cassie Edwards, a former foster child, purchases an 1870s Victorian mansion, the one home from her childhood where she felt like part of a family. She’s spending her summer lovingly restoring it, with dreams of one day raising a family of her own here. Rayne Tucket, a photojournalist, is haunted by the death of his best friend in Afghanistan, a death he thinks is his fault. He survives day to day. Forever is not in his vocabulary. Swearing off photography, he answers an ad for a handyman—mindless, no emotion involved. As the two of them renovate her house, can Cassie show Rayne that love is strong enough to heal all wounds?

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

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EXCERPT:

The intimate closeness made her stomach flutter. The proximity of their bodies, the rush of the water, and his feathering touch on her lips made her dizzy. She gripped his arms for support. He grasped her waist, staring deep in her eyes.

He was going to kiss her. She knew it. His pupils dilated. Time slowed. The rushing water pounded around her. She opened her mouth, as much to drink in air as to get ready to kiss him back. His eyes narrowed, focused on her lips. She leaned toward him. Their wet bodies pressed against each other. Her breasts tingled, and her stomach heated at the contact. She wanted this to go on forever, but at the same time, she wanted him to hurry up and kiss her so their lips could finally meet. At the last possible second, he pushed away.

She stood there, confused and aching.

“I’m not the staying kind, Cassie.”

She frowned. “What do you mean?”

“A woman like you needs a man who’ll stay forever. My time here has an expiration date.”

She ducked under the water. When she came up, she pushed her hair out of her face. “I know you’re leaving. You don’t have to, though.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Why?”

“Because I have a promise to keep.”

“What kind of promise?”

“The unbreakable kind.”

J Wilck

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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GIVEAWAY:  One commenter randomly selected will receive an e-book copy of her backlist title, Addicted to Love.

Guest Release Promotion–Tale of the Sharp-Dressed Man by Jon M Michaels

Tale of the

BLURB

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn meets The Devil’s Advocate” A Dark Humor Paranormal/Horror Novel

Thirteen-year-old Luke Morgan is living a charmed life on his Grandpa Theo’s farm, sheltered from the noise of the world by endless, rural beauty. But, his country innocence is quickly shattered one late afternoon as he watches an approaching thunderstorm with his grandfather at his side. Something other than churning clouds are in the sky that day. A twisting, black, mass of evil that his grandfather is not unfamiliar with.

Upon seeing the strange spectacle, Theo tells Luke that the two of them must travel to their neighbor’s home—and kill the entire family. Luke quickly learns there is much he doesn’t know about his kindly grandfather, as he is plunged into a nightmarish world of demons and human suffering.

“Equally chilling and hilarious, Tale of the Sharp-Dressed Man is a spectacular debut novel!” ~ Award-Winning Author, Alicia Dean

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EXCERPT

The doors swung open with ease, and I stepped into the world of real light. It was wonderful. I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply, smelling flowers and churned earth. I heard voices mingled with the crackle of static coming from cop radios. I opened my eyes and noticed a black hearse parked next to the hospital beneath a tattered cedar-tree. Painted on the doors was Hughes County Coroner.

“Holy, crap. It’s her.” I quickly looked around to see if anyone was paying attention to me. I was practically invisible. I scooted to the hearse and peeked in a window. Through a set of small drapes, I was barely able to make out a black body bag. Then I noticed the back of the hearse was wide open.

I had to get a closer look.

I approached the bag and saw that it was not fully zipped. A small tuft of gray hair poked through the opening, which was apparently the head. Her feet were closest to me, which meant I was going to have to crawl inside to get a better look.

What was wrong with me?

Knowing full well how absurd my actions were, yet unable to stop myself, I clambered inside and made my way to the protruding hair. I was a foot or two away from her head when it started to wiggle. In fact, the entire bag wiggled like it was full of vibrators. Gurgling sounds were coming from within.

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Guest Release Promotion–Stone Fall by Min Edwards

Stone Fall

BLURB for Book 3 in High Tide Suspense series

She’s running for her life. He’s vowed to save her, whether she wants him to or not.

Sandra Hastings has just lost the case of her career. Mob boss Silvestre Buonovenura is exonerated and now out to get her. And if that’s not enough, the New York DA’s office has politely asked her to take some time off… maybe a lot of time… maybe forever.

Nick McCullough is a little bored with tiny Stone Bay, Maine, and his new job as Chief of Police. He’s hopeful though that a weekend camping with the lovely Sandra Hastings might just be the answer to his prayers, get him back on track, lift his spirits. Now he has to make sure that the mob boss who’s put a hit out on her doesn’t get the chance to complete his plans. Maybe his little weekend away won’t be as restful as Nick had planned.

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EXCERPT

With her face in the dirt, Sandra was almost to the point of giving up when she heard something from the jungle across the clearing. A rustling but not accompanied by the distinctive chatter of the small monkeys who had kept her awake during the past two nights. In fact, there was no other sound. It was as if the jungle creatures had turned to stone in fear. And the thought of what could instill that in them had her slowly easing her head up from the dirt.

At first, she saw nothing in the dim moments before the sun’s rays could angle directly into the clearing, but she still heard rustling in the bushes at a point directly across from her shed. Something was there, something big.

Then from the corner of her eye, she saw movement. At first just a dark boxy shape peeking out of the leaves. Perhaps one of those monkeys.

Nope. In the next instant, the square black shape became something long… and slithery.

At first, it came into the now illuminated clearing slowly, sinuously. She knew the head looked big from her vantage point in the dirt, but as she pushed her body up with her arms, she realized that big wasn’t a… big enough word for the creature. It slithered out into the early morning light and slithered and then slithered some more until in the center of the clearing the thing began coiling and stacking its body until it looked like a turban for a giant.

Sandra knew she should do something. But nothing much came to mind except to stare. She was still caught with her butt wedged under the shed door. If that thing started toward her, she wouldn’t have a chance of pushing herself back under the door to the safety of her cell. And she’d dug a damn hole as a welcoming entrance for the beast. Come on inside and have a meal… of tasty, plump American woman. Nick, where are you? I need you to come and kill this thing right now.

Since contorting her body back under the door probably was impossible, the alternative was to push onward—without disturbing the turban-beast. So as quietly as she could, with her eyes glued to the snake in front of her, she wiggled, pushed with her toes, shimmied her hips until her butt popped free. Of course, the popping came with an added bonus… a big rip in the seat of her pants.

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by author Linda Carroll-Bradd