Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Meet author Amber Lea Easton as she drops by the #blog #contemporaryromance #authorinterview

Hi Amber, 
Thank you for dropping by to talk about your upcoming adventure romance from the Wanderlust series, 'Proximity'.

Q: Can you tell us a little about the Wanderlust Series as a whole?
A: I originally started writing this series for my own entertainment as an author. Anonymity, the first in the series, came about after I had written a serious nonfiction book and needed to cleanse my mind and have some fun. I loosely based it on a trip my late husband and I took to Belize—adventure tended to follow us wherever we went! After that, people who read Anonymity loved the secondary characters, Bill and Savannah. I decided at that point to create a series of adventure oriented romance novels that take place all over the world to share both my love of travel and my love of human relationships. I hope to transport readers to these places where they can experience the world without ever leaving their homes. It's my intention to give them a fun read with captivating characters in fascinating places.

Q: What's the best part of traveling, from your perspective?
A: To me, the best part of traveling is truly immersing myself in the culture of the place I'm visiting. I always start out with a sense of wonder and curiosity—no matter if I'm traveling to the Caribbean or Iowa. I want to leave with a sense of the people who live there and with knowledge of the place I've been. What's the food like? How is it different than where I call home? What makes the people there happy? I always leave on a trip expecting to learn something and am never disappointed.

Q: When thinking of these stories, what comes first? Setting or characters?
A: Characters come first for me. It doesn't matter if I'm writing romance adventure or romantic suspense, it is always the characters that I envision first. They tell me the story from that point forward.

Q: Do you have any writing habits that get you in the creative mood?
A: Yes, I love to write with music and candles. I get into my zone when I'm at my desk, a particular soundtrack going that suits my mood at the moment, and either candles or incense burning. Oh, and my dogs. I always have at least one nearby.

Q: Speaking of adventure, what's the most adventurous thing you've ever done?

A: I swam with sharks—intentionally. I thought they were magnificent creatures and I came away with a deep appreciation of their beauty and grace. There have been many more experiences that some might call adventurous, but I ultimately believe the best is yet to come. 

Love sometimes hides in plain sight.

Savannah is one of the boys—fun loving, adventurous, a general contractor, and dive master extraordinaire. There isn't much she takes seriously about herself, or at least that's the impression she likes to give off. Women often misjudge her based on her looks so she's gravitated toward a group of men who accept her 'as is'—her Scuba diving club.

Bill has known Savannah's wild side for years and has been comfortable playing the role of best friend. As part of the Dallas Divers, he's shared many adventures with the group from diving the Blue Hole in Belize to exploring the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. When the team heads out to Costa Rica for a series of cave dives, he knows something is off but can't justify his nerves.

Catastrophe happens shortly after their immersion in the cave. With the entrance blocked from an earthquake and separated from the rest of their team, Savannah and Bill are forced to find another way out while battling aftershocks, rising tides, and an undeniable attraction that they've ignored for too long. The question becomes, what's more dangerous...the earthquake or love?

**The Wanderlust Series consists of stand-alone adventure romance novels. Occasionally, characters from previous novels may make a cameo, but each story truly does stand on its own merits.

Purchase Links:
Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/x4qmGC
Amazon: http://myBook.to/Proximity


Friday, June 26, 2015

Author #interview with @Heather_Curley as she tours with new @EvernightPub release 'With Me Now'

Welcome to the blog Heather, and thank you for participating in an author interview 

1.        Are you a pantser or a plotter?  I’m definitely a pantser.  I can probably count on one hand (with fingers left over) the amount of times I’ve plotted out my books.  I think it reminds me too much of forced outline writing in college!  I like to just sit down with music and write until I stop.  Or fall asleep (FYI: kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk does not count as novel writing, haha).
2.       What authors have inspired you to write?  I am inspired by the passion and commitment of JK Rowling and her ability to create entire worlds with their own laws, rules, games, and forces or good an evil.  Robert A. Heinlein inspires me with the foresight and creativity he showed science fiction in 1950s and 1960s.  And, of course, George R.R. Martin inspires me with this spunk, sass, and commitment to writing the way he wants to write.
3.       How important are names to you in your book?  For me, naming a character is like naming a child.  You’re going to be with this person for the entirety of your book/series.  Try going outside and yelling the character name over and over again.  If you don’t get sick of it, that’s the name you should go with.  This is also how my husband and I named our second child.
4.       Is there a certain type of scene that’s hard for you to write?  I’m bad with sex scenes.  For the sex scene in the first historical novel I wrote, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the screen while I typed. 
5.       What is With Me Now about?  With Me Now is about Madison Monroe, a college student on her first archeological dig.  She’s working in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and finds something buried on the battlefield she didn’t expect to find.
6.       How much research did you do?  I’ve been Civil War reenacting since 2001 and met my husband at Gettysburg, so I’m very familiar with every nook and cranny of the battlefield.  In 2004, my husband and I were volunteers at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in the living history department.  For approximately two days, I worked on an archeological dig and, from that, this novel was born.  Most of the research I did was archeological terminology and techniques of speaking/interacting with ghosts.
7.       What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?  Never quit.  It’s too easy to get frustrated: with writing, editing, submitting, rejection.  If this is what you want, work for it!  Believe in your idea and your writing.
8.       What are you working on now?  Right now, I’m working on the sequel to With Me Now, toying around with two other paranormal romances, and one historical.  There’s always another Chapter 1!
9.       And finally, two just for fun:  If you wrote a book about yourself, what would the title be? Probably something along the lines of, “So this happened….”

10.   What are five adjectives you feel describe you?  Loving, nerdy, awkward, rambunctious, and groovy 
Read an excerpt
The hot water and steam of the shower was relaxing, enough to kick the butterflies in her stomach into submission.  Her muscles ached.  The tendons and ligaments in her upper shoulders and back throbbed as if she’d been moving heavy furniture all week instead of throwing her weight against the screen sifter.  It was just another brutal reminder that, although she was thin, she was pathetically out of shape. 
She stood under the unrelenting water, craning her neck from side to side in an attempt to work the muscles loose.  Maybe Mike could crack her back for her.  She smirked.  Now that was a pickup line she’d have to remember: say, care to get on top and crack my back? 
Once the conditioner was rinsed out of her hair, she turned the faucet off and reached for a towel.  Her hair was getting long. It seemed like she’d need to use two or three of the thin, white hotel towels to sop up the excess water.  No matter, she could resort to using the room’s hair dryer and, in forty-five minutes or so, the feeble little machine might get her hair dry.  Damn it, of all the things to leave at home.  She hadn’t planned on needing to look as attractive and desirable as humanly possible. If she had, she’d have brought along a better selection of makeup.
She towel dried her hair enough to keep water from trickling down her back, and then wrapped another towel around her body.  It was a good thing she’d done a load of laundry the previous day. Not that she had “date” quality outfits with her, but she was fully aware which pair of jeans accentuated her curves the best.  She pulled on a red vintage style t-shirt emblemized with a grayed out Union Jack. It was casual and cute, though she was reasonably sure her clothes were the last thing on his mind.
The steam from the small bathroom had filtered out into the sink area, fogging up the mirror and giving everything a generally damp feeling.  She wiped her hand across the condensation covered mirror. In the unobstructed reflection she could see a figure, a man, standing directly behind her.
She bit back a shriek and jerked around.  There was no one there; the room was empty.
“Shit.”  The words felt as if they bubbled out of her throat, pushed out by her rapid heartbeat.  She gripped the countertop with one hand to steady herself.  The reflection in the mirror was clear and crisp.  It wasn’t a shadow or the light playing on the steam from the shower. It was a man.  It was him, the man who’d been watching her for days.  He’d stood and watched her at the Spangler Farm.  He’d breathed on the back of her neck, whispered in her ear as she worked in the test pit.
Now he was in her room.
 Madison swallowed hard, peering into the main section of the hotel room.  It was empty.  Nothing was out of place, no one was watching her from any corner of the room; yet, she didn’t feel completely alone.  He was still there.
Her hand faltered on the countertop and she sank backward, half sitting, half leaning against the sink.  The air in the room felt soupy and stale.  Gooseflesh rippled down her still damp arms and across her back.  What in Christ’s name did he want from her?
She felt him next to her, his breath on her shoulder.  Please.
Could he hear her when she spoke to him?  It was worth a try.  “I’m not sure I know how to help you.”
But she knew someone who did.

Heather Hambel Curley is a 2004 graduate of Robert Morris University, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Communications.  She’s been writing since the fourth grade, but didn’t get serious with writing until she’s reached her thirtieth birthday (metabolism went down, determination to write went up!).  With Me Now is her debut novel and her historical fiction novel, Anything You Ask of Me will be released in August 2015.
Heather currently resides in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and two songs.  When she’s not writing or working as a disability claims analyst at an insurance company, she enjoys traveling and training to run 5ks.  She also enjoys white wine, One Direction, and getting tattoos.

Links
Twitter: @Heather_Curley

Monday, June 22, 2015

Guest author Yvonne Harriott visits the blog with new release 'With Intent' #romanticsuspense @ritetorite

BLURB

Hotshot criminal attorney Tyson Williams has just won the case of his career. His client has been acquitted of murder, a victory that will propel Tyson to partnership and the corner office. Yet he’s not happy. Something is missing … until Sahara walks into his life one warm spring night.
Once a powerhouse of Atlanta’s social circle, Sahara Jenkins is now a fitness instructor at a retirement villa, living a quiet life. She has no interest in Tyson beyond a one-night stand, but that plan backfires. Things get even more complicated when her roommate is murdered. The suspect? Tyson’s client.
When danger creeps too close to home, the two are thrown together to solve a murder. He wants more than a one-night stand, but she can’t see past a bad marriage to give him a chance.
Can they find a middle ground before a killer decides their future?

BUY LINKS

EXCERPT

Sahara was the only one on the narrow patio when Tyson stepped out to join her. He stood in the dark shadow and watched as she stepped out of her shoes, flexing one foot then the other. There was something about her … the way she stood lost in thought. She seemed almost unhappy, so unlike her friend. He wanted to change that.
The night air was still. It was the tail end of spring, getting ready for a hot summer. It wasn’t there yet, but it was comfortable already without a jacket. He fought the urge to slip his arm around her waist and pull her close as she stared off into space a million miles away. Then, as if sensing his presence, she turned around abruptly.
“Hi, I’m―”
“Tyson Williams,” she said. Her gazed settled briefly on him, then she looked away. She slipped into her shoes.
He’d moved out of the shadow into the light cast by lanterns that hung from the trellis around the patio, to introduce himself, but an introduction wasn’t required. Nor was his presence welcomed.
Turning her back to him, her eyes drifted toward a couple pressed against the wall, locked in each other’s embrace on the sidewalk.
“You are?”
“Not interested,” she said without turning around.
“No?” A smile played at his lips.
Any other man would have given up. Clearly, she was a tough one—a hostile witness, if you will. But he wasn’t just any other man. He loved a challenge, and he knew that anything this desirable would be a prize worth the chase.
He moved beside her—couldn’t help himself. The night was perfect, with the Latin sounds of Carlos Santana floating out onto the patio. Good wine, great music and a beautiful woman. What more could a man ask for?
Tyson was close enough to touch her, forcing her to make eye contact with him. As he rested her drink on the ledge in front of her, she stepped to the side, reclaiming her personal space, not even looking at the glass of wine. No, she was definitely not on board with any type of contact.
“If you were to get to know me, you would change your mind.” he said, and sipped his wine while watching her over the edge of the glass, liking the soft musk scent that floated from her on the soft night breeze.
“I know your type. I won’t change my mind.”
Tyson didn’t want her to escape, yet he didn’t want to frighten her either. She could make her escape if she chose, but she didn’t. On impulse he reached out and ran his forefinger along her arm, and she drew in a quick breath. Her skin felt like velvet, as he’d known it would. Their eyes locked and she quickly turned away, shrinking from his touch. Whatever had passed between them Tyson knew she felt it too but chose to ignore it. He didn’t—that wasn’t in his nature. He placed his wine glass next to hers on the ledge.
“What’s my type, Sahara?” he whispered.
Her head snapped up, making instant eye contact.
“The bartender told me,” Tyson said, answering her unasked question. “He knows your friend. I’m interested in knowing the type you think I am.”
“The type where money rules.” Her eyes slid from his face all the way down his body. “And the type to put a murderer back on the street.”
“A jury found him not guilty,” he said, shrugging off the comment. He had managed to push Braham Charleston and the shooting to the back of his mind until she brought it up. “I don’t want to talk about my job. I’m more interested in you.”
“And I’m still not interested.”
“I can change your mind.” He was feeling reckless. Leaving the jazz club without her was not an option. He wanted her and didn’t hide it. She, however, apparently pictured it differently.
“Excuse me.” Sahara stepped around him and walked quickly toward the door into the club, back stiffened.
“Sahara?”
She turned around, head held high, cold, dark brown eyes staring at him. Again he had the feeling she was looking right through him. He watched her as if he had all the time in the world.
“I always get what I want,” he said, “and I want you.”

AUTHOR INFO

With an overactive imagination from an early age, Yvonne created vivid stories in her mind in which she was the lead character. It wasn't long before she decided to take these stories from her mind and pen them to paper.

A romantic at heart, Yvonne writes primarily about relationships and loves a happy ending. 

Yvonne has written two collections of short stories, The Wedding and Other Short Romantic Stories and The Invitation and Other Short Stories. One of those short stories, "The Wedding" was published in Today's BlackWoman magazine. Her short story, "The Colour of Love" won first prize in The Awaken the Mind Short Story Contest presented by Knowledge Book Store and PoeticSoul.

She has written three top selling romantic suspense novels: Hide'N Seek, Cat 'N Mouse and Hit 'N Run. 

When she's not writing, she loves to travel. She enjoys classic films and fine chocolates.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday round-up of the blog sites with info on #kindleunlimited new #royalty scheme #amwriting

What's it all about?
The change for authors in Kindle Select/Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited Pages Read

Beginning July 1, 2015, we'll switch from paying Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) royalties based on qualified borrows, to paying based on the number of pages read. We're making this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read. Under the new payment method, you'll be paid for each page individual customers read of your book, the first time they read it. 

Royalty payments under the new program

As with our current approach, we'll continue to set a KDP Select Global Fund each month. Under the new payment method, the amount an author earns will be determined by their share of total pages read instead of their share of total qualified borrows. 

Here are some examples of how it would work if the fund was $10M and 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month:

  • The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
  •  
  • The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
  •  
  • The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
We will similarly change the way we pay KDP Select All-Star bonuses which will be awarded to authors and titles based on total KU and KOLL pages read.

You can enroll in KDP Select at any time by visiting your Bookshelf. If you no longer want your book(s) to be included in KDP Select you may unenroll from the program by contacting us with the ASIN of the book you would like to remove. 

Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC v1.0)

To determine a book's page count in a way that works across genres and devices, we've developed the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC). We calculate KENPC based on standard settings (e.g. font, line height, line spacing, etc.), and we'll use KENPC to measure the number of pages customers read in your book, starting with the Start Reading Location (SRL) to the end of your book. Amazon typically sets SRL at chapter 1 so readers can start reading the core content of your book as soon as they open it.

This standardized approach allows us to identify pages in a way that works across genres and devices. Non-text elements within books including images, charts and graphs will count toward a book’s KENPC.

When we make this change on July 1, 2015, you'll be able to see your book's KENPC listed on the "Promote and Advertise" page in your Bookshelf, and we'll report on total pages read on your Sales Dashboard report. Because it's based on default settings, KENPC may vary from page counts listed on your Amazon detail page, which are derived from other sources. 

Reporting
After this change, you'll be able to view your Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) Pages Read in your Sales Dashboard report by marketplace and title.

We'll continue to update this Help page with more information on your KDP reports, KU/KOLL royalties, and KDP Select Global Fund payouts as the changes roll out.
TAKEN from:
https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A156OS90J7RDN

Blog round up, worth reading for viewpoints and info

http://selenakitt.com/blog/the-new-kindle-unlimited-what-it-means-for-authors-readers/

http://publishingwithkindle.com/kindle-unlimited-sales-royalty-structure-changes-affect-you/

http://rogerpacker.com/blog/kindle-unlimited-turns-to-pay-per-page-for-author-royalties/

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/kindle-unlimiteds-two-tier-system-makes-some-authors-second-class-citizens/

http://www.theindependentpublishingmagazine.com/2015/06/amazon-changes-the-payout-rules-on-kindle-unlimited.html

http://www.adweek.com/galleycat/kindle-unlimited-royalty-changes-are-unfavorable-for-authors/105189

http://www.mhpbooks.com/you-dont-get-paid-unless-people-actually-read-your-book-the-new-kindle-unlimited-royalties/

http://www.mhpbooks.com/you-dont-get-paid-unless-people-actually-read-your-book-the-new-kindle-unlimited-royalties/?et_mid=760666&rid=240997108

http://rogerpacker.com/blog/kindle-unlimited-turns-to-pay-per-page-for-author-royalties/

http://thoughtcatalog.com/porter-anderson/2015/06/amazons-new-kdp-per-page-payments-everybody-has-to-swim-for-it-now/

As a personal aside, I have asked the only one of my publishers who use Select/Unlimited to take my books out, because how is this new plan okay? 
Think about it, what other artist would sign up for a scheme like this? Would any other product be treated in this way? Who gets to pay for a percentage of what they've used and the vendor doesn't receive the full price of what they've provided. In my opinion, it's time for authors to value their work enough to say no to Amazon's capricious machinations. 

UPDATE:
Selena Kitt has written a post today following some questions she's asked Amazon.
http://selenakitt.com/blog/new-information-the-new-kindle-unlimited-what-it-means-for-authors-and-readers/

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#coverreveal today for #Sci-fi romance 'Beloved Enemy' from author Hywela Lyn and #giveaway

Cover Reveal Banner

REVISED COVER

Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.
Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.
Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

EXCERPT (Unedited)

Before she could fire, Kerry let off another barrage of plasma bolts into the river, then leapt toward her and ripped the severed tentacle from her leg. It flapped around on the wet grass. She scrambled to her knees, still slightly winded and fired at the hideous thing. The foliage around it flared for a moment with an eerie green flame and the tentacle shrivelled into a slimy black mass, emitting a pungent odour and causing her to gag for a moment. 
“It seems I was mistaken about the creature being dead.” Kerry prodded the smouldering mass with his boot and looked across over the water. “It is now.” He leaned down and grasped her wrist to haul her to her feet. “Are you hurt?”
“No, I don’t think so.” Her shoulder was sore and probably bruised but she’d live. She tried to control her shivering. The incident affected her more than she wanted to admit. Kerry’s proximity, naked to the waist, his lithe body shining from the water droplets that still clung to his skin, his legs swathed in tight black leather, did nothing to help. The last thing she wanted was for him to realise how scared she’d been when she thought a snake attacked her. “Thanks. That was close. It would have been a bit ironic if I’d been killed by the same creature I saved you from.” 
She realized he still grasped her wrist. She tried to move away, but he pulled her back, obliging her to turn to him. 
“You are trembling.” 
“I’m fine.” 
“No,” he said. “You’re not.” He pulled her closer and his eyes softened, his gaze holding her mesmerized. She opened her mouth to try to speak, but in the same instant he put his hand under her chin and his lips closed over hers.

TITLE – Beloved Enemy SERIES – The Destiny Trilogy AUTHOR – Hywela Lyn GENRE – Science Fiction Romance PUBLISHER – The Wild Rose Press COVER ARTIST – Rae Monet


AUTHOR BIO

Me  2015Hywela Lyn has lived most of her life in Wales, and the beautiful countryside and legends inspired her to write. Although she now lives in a small village in England, she is very proud of her Welsh heritage and background. She enjoys weaving romantic tales of the future, and distant, mysterious worlds. Her pen name is a combination of her first two names. 'Hywela’ is Welsh and her first name but it was never used and she has always been called by her second Christian name, Lyn. One thing remains constant in her writing: The power of love. Love, not only between her hero and heroine, but between friends and siblings, and for their particular world and the creatures that share it.
She is crazy about all animals, especially horses. She lives with her long suffering husband, Dave, and has two horses, two ferrel cats and an adopted lovable but manic terrier called Choccy.
Hywela Lyn’s debut novel, 'Starquest', a futuristic romance was published by The Wild Rose Press who also published her second book in the Destiny series, 'Children of the Mist'. ‘Beloved Enemy’ which continues the Destiny series is coming soon from the same publisher.

HywelaButton

GIVEAWAY PRIZES

Pair of Swarovski crystal ear studs and $5 Amazon voucher (or £5 if winner resides in UK)
Cover Reveal organized & hosted by 33c16-mini2bbutton

Monday, June 15, 2015

A contemporary erotic #romance with only the slightest nod to #BDSM found at the bottom of Amazon's pile


Book Title: Rescuing Cade

Review Page: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/rescuing-cade
06/01/2015
Review Rating:
5 stars
Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite

Rescuing Cade by Elodie Parkes is an enthralling story of finding love. Cade is a handsome young man nursing a broken heart. To help him perk up, his friend Jack takes him to a special place called “The Club.” The BDSM club is not what Cade anticipated and he is pleasantly shocked, especially when he meets Mistress Marissa. He has true feelings for her and now he wants to hold onto her forever. She is resisting, but Cade will not back down, not when he has finally found 'the one.'

Marissa is actually looking for love. Despite the place where she spends her evenings, her heart is open to a relationship, but she wants true love. Cade has touched places in her heart that were never touched before. She has powerful feelings for him, but she does not want to admit it. Can she lower her guard and let him in? Can Cade break down the walls around her heart and claim her as she wants him to?

Five stars! Elodie Parkes has written a captivating story about a vulnerable man. This is a pleasant change from today’s literature. Where every story is usually about a heartbroken woman, Parkes has given us a man who is broken down and vulnerable. Also, even though you may find this novel in the BDSM category, there isn’t much BDSM in the novel itself. It is purely a love story and the BDSM club and setting are classy and very elegant. Plus, the two leads are endearing and very relatable. I really enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to reading more from Elodie Parkes.


What a lovely review to find in the inbox.
I have worried about , 'Rescuing Cade' being classified by Amazon as erotica and BDSM, unfortunately it seems sometimes books are treated much more strictly than movies and TV shows by the giant corporation.
All reviews mention the fact that this story is erotic romance.

Cade’s trying to get over a broken heart when his friend Jack takes him off to a nightclub, named only, The Club. Although at first Cade is shocked by the place, he meets Marissa. It’s not long before he and Marissa get together, but under the pressure of mixed emotions, and Marissa’s fear of commitment, they’re both running in opposite directions.
Gorgeous Cade has touched Marissa’s heart in ways she doesn’t want to admit.
Lovely Marissa has lifted Cade’s sadness and opened his heart to love again.
The trouble is — someone has to give a little. Who’s it going to be?
This is an 18+ story so do read the free Amazon sample before buying.
Read an excerpt: PG

Cade took his time drinking his coffee on Saturday morning. He wanted to go out to the street market and call into the coffee shop to buy fresh grounds, but he knew the reminder of being with Marissa there the weekend before would hurt. He drove there and parked in the big flat lot at one end of the High Street. Thoughts of Marissa teased him as he sat for a moment in his car and assessed his feelings. She’d touched his heart and he knew it. He sighed and thrust away the idea of calling into her place on the journey home from the market. She doesn’t want me.

He turned up the collar of his leather jacket against the cool breeze, and after checking he’d locked his car, since his thoughts drifted time and again to Marissa’s lovely face, he stalked off up the street. He avoided the market stalls he and Marissa had stopped at the week before, making straight for the farmers’ market section, where he bought two different kinds of apples and a couple of large potatoes he knew could be put in the oven and baked without him having to hassle around.

When he entered the coffee shop he kept his face turned from the café end and ordered his usual Italian roast grounds, but then, longing to recall Marissa as she gazed at him over the table they shared the Saturday before, he glanced around—and there she was.

She stared at him from a table in the middle of the café.

Cade blinked to make sure he wasn’t just imagining she was there. He paid for his coffee order, and drawn to Marissa’s table as if by some invisible thread, Cade quickly walked over there.
“Marissa, it’s so good to see you. I hoped you’d call me. May I sit with you?” He croaked out the words as his heart flipped about and the urge to pick her up, crush her to his body, and devastate her with a kiss scared him with its ferocity.

She didn’t speak, only nodded an assent at him.

Cade dragged out a chair and dropped his shopping to the floor. He sat down close to Marissa, but still facing her.

She turned her coffee cup around and around in the saucer. Her gaze riveted on the coffee in there.
She wasn’t wearing makeup. Her face was pale and her cloud of brown hair wisped around her heart-shaped face.

Cade smiled noticing for the first time a faded splatter of freckles across her nose. The tremble in her fingers, didn’t escape Cade’s hungry observation. She’s nervous. Is that because she likes me or thinks I’ll make a scene and wishes I’d leave? He reached out and clasped her fingers in his.
Her coffee cup clattered a little in the saucer.
Copyright Elodie Parkes, Evernight Publishing 2015

What’s the background to the story, Rescuing Cade?
I was asked to write a story for an erotic romance anthology. Almost immediately I had my character, Cade, form in my head and a love story for him, but then I was informed the anthology would be BDSM. I thought I’d have trouble with the genre, but the editor of the proposed anthology said, ‘give it a go’. I began to adapt the love story in my mind for the character Cade, thinking I’d have to consider the plot for a short time, but only a few days later the anthology was cancelled. By then Cade was so real to me and a story with a sprinkle of the genre, BDSM, was firmly in my mind, so I wrote it.
The story is much longer than I originally thought it might be, especially when it was going to be for an anthology, and the romance conflict arc is now about both Cade and my heroine, Marissa. As usual, I fell in love with my characters and couldn’t stop writing until they reached their HEA.
I did a little research for this story because I didn’t know much about the type of club Jack, Cade’s friend, takes him to. Once I no longer needed to place emphasis on dominance and submission, the story unfolded easily, interweaving with the original love story I had for Cade when he first began whispering in my ear.
With scorching hot love scenes, tender moments, a dash of angst and a splash of humor this is Cade’s journey to love again.
I hope readers enjoy it.


Friday, June 12, 2015

“Murder and Mayhem” #urbanfantasy #romance #humor and a #recipe from guest author Jennifer Macaire and @EvernightPub

“Murder and Mayhem” An urban fantasy with a dose of romance and a zest of humor. If you liked Buffy the Vampire slayer, you'll enjoy May, the vampire killer! 



Meet May, the vampire killer. She's quick, clever, and deadly, and she takes life very seriously having been killed once before by a mob of rogue vamps. Her father, a powerful necromancer, brought her back to life. She's M.U.C.I.'s (Mutant and Undead Criminal Investigation) best man, er, woman, well, zombie actually, for catching and killing rogue vampires, so when two kids show up with all the signs of having been killed by a rogue, May gets the case.
Clues lead straight to a certain Bartholomew Aelfrith, a vampire, whose sense of humor and tall blond good looks are enough to convince May he needs killing, even if he's not the killer. If he makes one more joke about her chop-sticks, she's going to stab him through the heart with one. The problem is, Bartholomew is probably the only person who can catch the real killer, so May has to put up with his insouciance and his wise-cracks, and his penchant for picking up strays of all kinds.
But if he says, "I've got a plan" one more time, she's going to scream.

Teaser

May stepped outside and opened her umbrella. The burst of hail had changed to sporadic, slushy rain. It was a glowering, bitterly cold evening. Clouds moved sullenly across the dark sky.
From her street on the hill, she could see the river curving in its gentle S, the two bridges, Christmas Junction where the sky scrapers glittered, and downtown, where she could hopefully find a taxi. The clouds were so low that they hid the top half of the skyscrapers in Christmas Junction. A train, far in the distance, looked like a brightly lit caterpillar crossing the busy downtown area below.
The street she lived on was in a quiet residential neighborhood with old trees and a large park behind a tall, wrought-iron fence. The buildings, trees, and fence all leaned together, conspiring to keep the riffraff out. The sidewalk was clean and the cars lining the road gleamed. No riffraff here tonight … unless that shadow was up to no good.
May tilted her head to get a better look. In between two cars, on the opposite side of the street, huddled a shadow. The hair on the back of her neck prickled. Something was not quite right. The shadow was too small to be a human, but too large for a dog. It slid around to the far side of the car to hide as May drew even.
What was it hiding from? And what was it? May was curious. She closed her umbrella and hooked it over the fence on her left, and then she darted across the street and peered behind the car. Crouching near the rear bumper was a small, skinny boy.
Hi there. Are you all right?” May started toward him.
He bared his fangs and hissed as she drew near.
May’s step faltered. A vampire child. An abomination! Who the hell had made him? The prickle of fear turned into a full blown shiver. Poor creature. Too young to fend for itself, but dangerous nonetheless. As soon as it realized its powers it would go on a killing spree, and nothing living could resist it. Slowly, she eased her hand into her purse to get her cellphone to call for backup.
Don’t hurt me,” he whimpered, cowering against the car. His eyes were huge with panic. Blood on his neck and a wet, brown stain on his T-shirt showed he hadn’t changed his clothes since it had happened, and that it had been recent. That was a blessing, at least. The more recently he had been killed, the weaker he would be. She might be able to handle this on her own.
Staying well back, she examined him. He wore no jacket and one of his shoes, May noted, was missing. I won’t hurt you. Where’s your other shoe?” It was best to stick to unimportant things. Or at least, things that seemed unimportant. At times like this, anything could be crucial. Anything could set him off. She had to be careful. A rogue vampire had made this creature, and its saliva was deadly for anything other than a full-blooded vampire.
My shoe?” He glanced down at his foot and flinched. “I don’t know.” He looked back up at her, his eyes pleading now. “I don’t know. I woke up nearby, I think, in a park. I woke up when the hail hit my face. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know who I am. Can you help me? I should be cold …” His voice trailed off. “I’m dreaming. Is that it? Is this a dream?”
May nodded, forcing her lips into a smile. “Yes. It’s a dream.”
Poor creature. He’d been badly made, hastily made, and made against all the laws and rules that governed the vampire clan. Not that they had many rules, and not that they really cared. They followed the rules only because they feared the consequences of breaking them and not from any moral obligation. May moved very slowly, so as not to startle him into attacking her.
I can help you,” she said, crouching in front of him. “It’s a strange dream, isn’t it? I can help you.”
I just want to wake up.” His voice was hoarse and his fangs, sharp as needles, glittered with bloody saliva.
All right.” May eased her hand into her purse. “I want you to stand up straight. That’s right. Now, close your eyes and say, ‘There’s no place like home.’ Say it three times, and you’ll wake up.”
All right.” He nodded, pathetically glad to obey. He screwed his eyes shut. “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
May took careful aim and drove the stake through his heart.
There’s no place like … home.” The creature opened its eyes, but they were empty and saw nothing now. He was so slight he fell like a ribbon to the sidewalk, landing without a sound. His bare foot pointed at the sky. It started to rain again, harder.

About the Author

Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating French chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Find Jennifer on the Web

blog  – Websiteemail
Buy the book at Evernight Publishing (available June 11!)
May's traditional zombie stir fry recipe:
Honey Lemon Chicken and Asparagus
Serves 4
Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons soy sauce (reduced sodium)
1/4 cup chicken both – (May uses chicken bullion cubes)
1 teaspoon chilli sauce or a pinch of cayennne pepper
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Directions
- Mix honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, broth, chill sauce, lemon zest, garlic, ginger and set aside in a bowl.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and stir fry until cooked through and browned a bit.
- Add the asparagus and stir fry until it turns a brighter green, about 2 minutes.
- Add the honey, lemon juice mixture, stir
- Whisk the water with the corn starch, stir in to coat and cook until the sauce thickens, about a minute.

Serve over rice. (May likes to drink ginger beer with this, and finish up with lychees and her father's smoky moon-shadow tea.)