Looking for something new and fabulous to read? Try these…
Beth Leighton moved to Scotland to marry the love of her life. But then he betrays her and she is fatally shot. However the Archangel Remiel interferes, and she awakes to find herself in 18th century England. Alive but confused and lost, she wants to go home. Despite a roguish and handsome highwayman.
Christopher “Kit” Locke is haunted by his past mistakes and lives on danger’s edge, not caring if he lives or dies. He will leave that choice to Fate. Intrigued by the spirited Beth, he is drawn from his spiraling descent and is enlisted to help steal an evil artifact, the Viper’s Eye, a demonic soul-stealing jewel.
While the Archangel and the Duke of Hell battle it out, both Beth and Kit must also fight evil. When the stone seeks Kit’s soul can Beth’s love keep him from falling victim to the Viper’s Eye or will she lose Kit to Hell’s fire?
Caryn Orlane has law enforcement in her blood; her father was a cop, and his father, too. She’s a federal agent in northwest Montana, protecting the old forests and keeping the peace.
Levi Bradshaw also believes in protecting the forests, but has a very different MO. He’s the leader of a group of eco-warriors, determined to save the trees of the Bitterroot by legal—and illegal—means.
When they meet in the woods at gunpoint, their encounter ignites a spark of interest, despite operating on opposite sides of the law. When their worlds turn on them, they only grow closer. If they don’t work together, can either survive?
After one concussion too many, Ben Leit is done as the NFL’s golden boy quarterback. Then his father, who was about to expose a bombshell sports scandal, is murdered.
Mimi Fitzroy, CIO for Rex Sports International, panics as she discovers thousands of stolen emails that prove Rex is breaking federal laws—big time. As Ben and Mimi work together to find a killer, they also find a connection they weren’t expecting and didn’t want.
They are headed for an explosive showdown in Seattle…and not everyone will walk away.
1972 – Vietnam, the pill, upheaval, hippies.
Wyoming rancher Cooper Byrnes, deeply attached to the land and his way of life, surprises everyone when he falls for vagabond hippie Cassie Halliday. Fascinated and baffled, he cannot comprehend his attraction—or say the words she wants to hear.
Cassie finds Coop intriguingly different. As she keeps house for him and warms his bed at night, she admits to herself she loves him but she misinterprets Coop’s inability to express his feelings.
Parted, each continues to think of the other, but how can either of them reach out to say, “You were ‘always on my mind’?”
In the sleepy coastal Maine town of Penhallow, a stranger dies on a train, drawing Historical Society Director, Rachel Tinker, and curmudgeonly retired professor, Griffin Tate, into a spider’s web of archaeological obsession and greed. With the help of the victim’s rival, they set out to locate the Queen of Sheba’s tomb. Their plans are stymied when a tug of war erupts between the sheriff and a state police detective who want to arrest the same man for different crimes. It’s up to Rachel to solve a mystery that includes two more murders, if she wants to unlock the soft heart that beats under Griffin’s hard crust.
USA Today Bestselling Author, Casi McLean, presents a political thriller with military and supernatural elements in Reign Of Fire.
To expose a faction threatening America’s democracy, Emily Rose joins forces with a team investigating her sister’s murder, but she never expects to fall in love – or to encounter her twin’s ghost.
Ashton Frasier accepts his detective career choice means a life of bachelorhood – until Emily Rose blows into his world. The spitting image of his latest victim holds a mysterious allure he can’t deny. Surrounded by danger with the country’s democracy at stake, Emily and Ash uncover a dangerous faction threatening to take the White House. Can a ghost spark love to expose the truth?
Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.
Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.
Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.
Kristin “KJ” James was born and raised in the Nashville, TN area. Acting has always been a passion of hers. Starting on the stage as early as preschool, KJ pursued her passion into college where she received a BA in Communication with a double emphasis in Theatre and Public Relations from Mississippi State University. After college she found herself more and more drawn to voice overs. Several classes, coaching sessions, seminars, research, and a closet-turned-studio later, and she now records and produces audiobooks on a regular basis. She has also done several radio commercials for clients such as Advance Financial, TriStar Health, and GAC.
When she’s not in her booth, you can find her crocheting, playing video games, or running agility with her dogs.
Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Jax Devereaux…
Constance: What exactly do you do as a crab fisherman?
Jax: I take a crew of 7 or 8 people, and we go out to the Bering Sea. I have 800 crate shaped open cylinders we call pots. When we get to the destination where we want to get crabs, We use a pulley and grab a pot, bring it to the deck, bait it with raw fish, attach a buoy to it and toss it in the sea. I mark the spot on my radar and GPS as well as write it on a pad of paper. We strong the pots along a line until all are dumped into the sea.
Constance: What do you do after you string all your pots?
Jax: We circle around and go back to the beginning. Sometimes it is 24 to 48 hours before we reach for the rope with the pulley, and pull the buoy and the pot up to the surface. When it reaches the surface, we lay it on a slab, open the pot, and dump the crabs in a chute, sorting them as we go. We are only allowed to keep male crabs that are a certain size. All others will be toss back into the sea. The chute takes them down to the holding tank.
Constance: Where do you take the crabs you’ve caught?
Jax: When we reach max weight, we head back to the harbor and offload at the warehouse where they process the crabs for distribution to the customers.
Constance: What kind of crabs do you fish for?
Jax: King crabs, Opillo crabs and Biardi crabs. Each has their own seasons.
Constance: How often are you out at sea?
Jax: Crab season starts in September and ends in the Spring. We are gone almost the whole season.
Constance: How did you get into this profession?
Jax: I’ve been a crab fisherman all my life except for the time I served in the US Coast Guard. My father and grandfather both were crab fishermen.
Constance: Do you get to go home for holidays?
Jax: No. We miss all the holidays, including Christmas, except for July 4th.
Constance: What are the biggest concerns you have as far as deep sea fishing is concern?
Jax: Rove waves, severe weather, motion sickness and safety. Safety is my number one priority.
Constance: How well do the crew perform in this condition?
Jax: Everyone does a good job and pull their weight, that is, except one. My brother, Rudy. I have to light a fire under him to get him to perform at max potential.
Constance: What made you famous?
Jax: An author wrote a book called Midnight Escape where I’m the hero. It’s how I met Suzanne, the heroine. I snuck her on to my boat and took her crab fishing in an effort to shield her from the mafia who had a hit on her and was after her.
Constance: I bet that was a ride of the lifetime.
Jax: It was a hell of a trip. Poor girl, I had no idea Suzanne was deathly afraid of water.
On the run from the mob, Suzanne discovers that hunky Jax is just the man she needs.
Suzanne Pacheco is on the run from the mob after witnessing a murder and helping to put the killer in prison. Her trip across the country brings her to a small town in Alaska. But once again the mob’s hitman has tracked her down. She’s disheartened at the thought of leaving the town she’s developed a real fondness for, but there’s nothing else she can do. Until she finds help in the unlikeliest of places and embarks on an adventure like never before.
Commercial fisherman Jax Devereaux has his hands full fishing for crabs in the formidable Bering Sea, but when Suzanne needs his help, he adds yet another thing to his list of responsibilities. He takes her with him to the one place he thinks she might be safe—the middle of the sea. But there’s danger everywhere. Can he keep Suzanne safe, and will he lose his heart in the process?
Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romances.
When she’s not writing book boyfriends and strong heroines, she enjoys basket weaving, reading, making jewelry, and playing the piano as well as spending time with her husband and their two furball children, Tigger and Sunny. Constance is married to Jim, and they live in a small town in Alabama.
You can sign up for her newsletter here: https://constancebretes.com
Amazon Author URL: https://www.amazon.com/Constance-Bretes/e/B00IKSKRES/
Bookbub Author URL: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/constance-bretes
Please help me welcome Olive Balla with an article all writers should read…
“Lessons From Rejection” by Olive Balla
For the umpteenth time, I click my cursor through the terse, to-the-point emailed responses to my latest barrage of agent queries. Thanks, but no thanks; Unfortunately, your work is not a good fit for our agency; and finally, the dreaded: This is in no way meant to reflect on the quality of your writing, keep it up.
“I’m seventy years old; the clock’s ticking,” my internal doomsday prophet intones. How many increments of a typical six-month waiting period do I have left? I don’t even buy green bananas.
Driven by the desire to hit that sweet spot required to find an agent willing to take a chance on my writing, I ask, “What does a good fit look like?”
Apparently, as the old saying goes, it’s different strokes for different folks. One agent’s pot-o-gold is another’s anathema. The bottom line is, how tough would an agent find it to sell my story? The shifts in the industry over the past decade alone have made it harder than ever to sell anything even remotely considered cliché, passé, overdone, or not edgy enough. To quote an agent who spoke at a writer’s convention I attended, “Please, don’t send me another story about vampires or kid wizards.” It’s a market-driven business; fads quickly come and go – emphasis on GO. To be marketable, a novel must not only be well-written, it must sizzle and pop with unique plot, peopled with and acted out by unique characters.
The latest series of rejections compelling me to action, I spend the day researching books on Amazon, paying careful attention to the back covers and blurbs to get a feel for what’s selling. Then I read my manuscript out loud, in hopes that getting another sense involved may help me spot gaps in the plot or highlight weak verbs and wonky sentences. Regardless of how many times I’ve edited, I edit again, searching for typos, misspellings, and over-use of be, am, is, are, was, were, been, or has been and have been.
If I’m still happy with my plot and character arcs, I seek and destroy anything written in passive voice – the use of which will doom even a great story.
I then move on to the Query letter. Does it sing? Does the Hook really hook? I re-read Query by C.J. Redwine and invest a day re-working my Query letter. I search the pages of the latest Guide to Literary Agents, highlighting the agencies I’ve not yet queried.
After doing everything I know to do, and as the melody of Cast Your Fate to the Wind – a golden oldie from the seventies – floats across my memory, I send out another barrage of Queries. Then I square my shoulders, open the Outline Template on my desktop, type in a working title, and begin another story.
Jillie dropped the metal lid as if it were red hot… Her stomach heaved, and something sour shot up her throat. Panic sent her running to the door where she pounded against the unyielding wood until the muscles in her arms cramped. She fell to her knees and clawed at the floor, ignoring the pain radiating up her arms from torn fingernails…The sound of approaching footsteps made the tiny hairs on the back of her neck move. Jillie snatched up the broken shovel handle and took a position in front of the door. With her legs slightly bent,, she balanced on the balls of her feet as she’d seen a martial arts professional do on television. She gripped the pole in both hands as if it were a sword, aimed its broken, pointed end at the door, and waited.
Please help me welcome author Diana Rubino…
Good morning, Diana…Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?
I am originally from Jersey City, New Jersey, and now live on beautiful Cape Cod with my husband and two tabby cats, Milo and Lucky.
Where did you get the idea for ELIZA JUMEL BURR, VICE QUEEN OF THE UNITED STATES?
When I was researching Alexander Hamilton for my biographical novel about him and his mistress Maria Reynolds, the nation’s first public sex scandal, I read some books about his political rival Aaron Burr. Through him, I learned about his last wife, Eliza. She fascinated me—she grew up dirt poor and with her wits and street smarts, invested in real estate and became New York City’s richest woman. I had to write about her.
Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?
I recently began writing biographical novels with few or no fictional characters. My other books always featured a fictional hero/heroine, and included some historical figures, but I truly enjoy writing about real people who shook up history as the main characters. Because I stick as closely to the historical record as possible, I don’t need to make much up!
What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?
There aren’t many biographies of Eliza out there, and I didn’t have much in the way of sources to consult. Also, the story covers her life from her teen years to her 50’s, so I needed to add a few subplots—including two murders of young women that actually occurred. Eliza helped solve these murders (not in real life, but in the story).
Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?
My husband Chris and I own a construction cost estimating business, CostPro, Inc., based in Boston. We’re celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary in March. I am Director of Marketing, and since I’m outgoing, I enjoy meeting people, networking, and bringing in the work that we do.
What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY VIII WITH NOTES BY HIS FOOL WILL SOMERS by Margaret George. She writes in such vivid detail, she brings you back to Henry’s time with her lush descriptions. Since I’m a huge Tudorphile, I enjoyed it all the more. It was great for research on my novel about Henry VIII.
My favorite childhood book is FRIENDLY GABLES by Hilda Von Stockum. I read it in 5th grade, found it in the library several years ago and re-read it, enjoying it just as much.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read ELIZA JUMEL BURR?
That she’s an unforgettable historical figure who never became a household word, but I hope she inspires women to realize that they can succeed in whatever they work hard at and never give up on.
What is your favorite quote?
“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo
If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please 🙂
I’ve always wanted to meet Richard III. I’d talk to him about his life leading up to becoming king, and how he feels about inheriting the throne from his brother Edward. I’d like to meet him over High Tea in York, England.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Now they are about real people, but several of my earlier characters, especially Vita, the heroine of my 1894 New York romance FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET, is based on my great-grandmother, who had 4 kids and was a successful businesswoman, small-time bootlegger and local politician.
Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
My idol at the time, Ray Davies of the Kinks. I was editor of a music magazine in Houston, I got a backstage pass to one of their concerts, and got to meet him backstage. He posed for a photo with me, was so gracious and polite, and it was a huge thrill to meet him.
Providence, Rhode Island, 1775: At the glorious moment of the American nation’s birth, little Betsy Bowen is born into grinding poverty.
She is raised in a brothel, indentured as a servant, and when her widowed mother is jailed, she toils at backbreaking labor in a workhouse. Like all new Americans, the indomitable Betsy is driven by dreams—of security, of status, of wealth….
But most of all she dreams of being reunited with her father – none other than George Washington, a founding father of the United States of America and the nation’s first president. Sharp wits, good humour and a thirst for education help single-minded Betsy reinvent herself, and as Eliza Capet she pursues her quests. She is determined to create her own property empire, conquer the social elite, and above all, to win her dear father’s acknowledgment.
She also craves love – true romantic love. Though she happily marries French wine merchant Stephen Jumel and makes them both fabulously wealthy, her heart belongs to lawyer, aspiring president, and former Revolutionary War Colonel Aaron Burr.
July 11, 1804, a day I’ll never forget, a Wednesday, I rose early from fitful sleep. Two of my servants huddled in the kitchen, murmuring instead of cooking. They held the newspaper wide open.
When I walked in, they froze as if turned to stone, and held the paper out to me.
“What is it?” Without fresh coffee I was half-awake. But seeing the paper, I trembled. My mouth dried up. “Oh, no …” I hid my eyes with my hands, I couldn’t bear to look.
“M-Miss Eliza …” Mary stammered. “Vice President Burr shot General Hamilton in a duel.”
Too weak to stand, I grabbed a chair and sank into it. “He … shot Hamilton?” My head spun, dizzy with relief. But I still didn’t know about Aaron. “Is he all right? The vice president?”
“We don’t know, ma’am. It just says General Hamilton was mortally wounded.”
Without another word, I ran down the hall, threw open the front door, not closing it behind me, and raced to Gold Street in the gathering morning heat. Humidity soaked my clothes. I mopped sweat from my face.
I banged on his door. No answer. “Aaron, open the door, it’s me, please, we need to talk!” I banged again. Echoes answered me. I stepped back and squinted into the sunlight, shading my eyes to see the upper windows. Nothing stirred. The house was shut tight. He’d fled. But where? When would I see my beloved again?
Hamilton died the next day, and the city fell to its knees in mourning. It was even more pronounced than when Papa passed – because Hamilton was one of New York’s own.
Public grief over Hamilton paled beside the anger at Aaron. As I approached Trinity Church for the funeral, Gertrude’s father Gouverneur Morris greeted me. “I’m to deliver the eulogy. But indignation mounts to a frenzy already,” he cautioned me, eyeing the mob.
The tolling church bells and muffled drumbeats echoed through the sweltering city air. I thought of every place Aaron could be. I knew he hadn’t meant for this to happen. It was a tragic twist of fate. I also knew Aaron’s political career was over. He’d never be president.
“Oh, Aaron,” I wailed, “Where are you, my love?”
My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Paris, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, Washington D.C. 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. My husband Chris and I own CostPro, an engineering firm based in Boston. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano, devour books of any genre, and spend as much time as possible living the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.
Contact me at:
Please help me welcome author Cassie Laelyn…
Hello, Cassie. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?
Hi! I’m Cassie Laelyn and I’m addicted to paranormal romance. I mean, I write paranormal romance! I live with my husband, two BMX-mad boys and a crazy, very spoiled dog. I grew up in a military family, so I moved around a lot as a kid, but the family and I finally settled in a small beachside town in sunny Queensland, Australia. Right now, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere more beautiful.
Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?
The whole Fallen Guardians series is based on the notion of soulmates. I’ve always believed that soulmates are two halves of the one soul. No matter what choices they make, regardless of the obstacles they face, those two halves will always find their way back together. After all, it’s destiny! But with Unforgotten, I wanted to take that one step further and show that even during great tragedy, there’s always a reason to choose hope.
In Unforgotten, Aric and Willow are two immortal soulmates living blissfully happy until one devastating choice tears them apart. Now, centuries later, those two halves are desperate to reunite. Consumed with never-ending love, commitment and a dangerous amount of hope, even Hell won’t stand in their way.
What book have you read that you wish you had written?
Anything written by JR Ward or Kresley Cole! Those ladies have an amazing ability to create complex worlds and characters in a long-standing series. I would love to have written the Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole. It’s a series based off the Major Arcana tarot Cards, and the whole world she created has blown me away. I can’t wait for the final installment.
Do you collect anything?
Books, books and books!! But I guess all authors collect books, right? Something else I love collecting are Willow Tree figurines. They’re tiny sculptures that come with a message, usually one of love, hope, comfort or inspiration. I like to buy a new one each time I experience a significant milestone in my life, such as releasing a book!
What do you want readers to come away with after they read Unforgotten?
Even when all seems lost, never lose hope. “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” – Christopher Reeves
What is your favorite quote?
I have two favorite quotes I turn to when things seem impossible:
“It is often in the darkest night that we see the brightest stars.” – Richard Evans.
“Follow your soul, it knows the way.” – Unknown.
What celebrity would you most like to be stranded on an island with?
You said “celebrities” right?? Ha ha! I’d like an island with me, Ryan Reynolds, Ian Somerhalder, Scott Eastwood and right now, I’m adding John Krasinski to that list!
If you could be a character in any of your books, who would you be?
If I had to choose only one, I think I’d like to be Fate. She’s mysterious, powerful and not afraid to do what’s right. Even though many immortals think she’s the enemy, I believe her heart is in the right place.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I’ve written Book 3 in The Fallen Guardians series, which is about to enter the editing stage. I also have a bear shifter novella plus a short story as part of a charity anthology to raise money for the Australian bushfire appeal. Both are due to release in mid-2020.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite romance authors are: JR Ward, Kresley Cole, Jennifer L Armentrout, and fellow Aussie Kylie Scott… and many more! I love how they all write over-the-top flawed heroes who will stop at nothing for the one they love. They’re intense, fiercely protective and loyal, powerful and hot! I also love how the heroines are strong and not willing to sit on the sidelines while all the action happens!
Tell us your favorite…
Movie – Sweet Home Alabama and Ten Things I Hate About You.
Music – Anything by Lifehouse!
Place you’d like to visit – New Zealand and the USA!
TV show from adulthood – The Vampire Diaries / The Originals
Food – Woodfired pizza
Sports team – My boys are mad into BMX, so that’s my favorite sport right now!
Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? – It depends on my company – I love doing all three!
GIVEAWAY!!! To celebrate Unforgotten’s release, I’d love to give one lucky reader an ebook copy! To win, tell me why love reading paranormal romance!
Unforgotten, The Fallen Guardians Book 2
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/Unforgotten_GR
Fate offers no mercy. Especially not to those who betray her.
Lethal Guardian Aric’s loyalty never falters. Not even when Fate exiled him and his brothers from the Heavens, separating Aric from his soulmate. He’ll do anything to reunite with her. But when Willow suddenly appears in the mortal realm, Aric’s greatest fear comes true—she’s no longer the angel he left behind.
Since Aric abandoned her, the Heavens have become Willow’s personal Hell. Centuries of bitterness and hurt is a toxic combination. It even affects her angelic powers. When a Fallen offers Willow a chance to escape, she accepts. But shunning her connection to the Heavens comes at a cost.
In a twisted battle of loyalty, trust and hope, what price will two soulmates pay for a second chance at love?
Pivoting around, he peered over the cliff. Flames consumed the mountainside like bright orange burning fingers reaching for him.
Fuck. The fire surrounded him. No way out.
“Help!” Willow shrieked, her voice screaming through the roaring flames.
He had to find her before it was too late. Shielding his face with his arm, he crept closer to the flames.
“Willow, where are you?” A blast of heat scorched his face, forcing him back. “Fuck!”
Any gulp of air he managed burned in his chest. The smoke swirled around his body making his head swim and legs wobble. His stomach rolled.
The moment his throat squeezed shut, his legs gave out, falling to his knees in the ash, gasping for breath. Fire licked his arm as he reached for Willow.
He couldn’t find her. He couldn’t save her.
Amazon US – https://amzn.to/2GMnzbg
Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/3b5t8jb
Amazon CA – https://amzn.to/2OpzYGC
Amazon Aus – https://amzn.to/2GQbvWO
iBooks – https://apple.co/37TQ7vo
Google – Coming Soon!
Kobo – Coming Soon!
Growing up in a military family, Cassie had a childhood filled with countless crazy adventures. Eventually, sunny Queensland stole her heart, and she now calls it home with her husband and their two BMX-crazy boys.
Borderline obsessed with the paranormal world, Cassie has a passion for crafting stories involving strong, otherworldly characters in need of redemption. She’s a self-confessed book-a-holic and a sucker for a gut wrenching happily ever after.
When she isn’t narrating imaginary characters, Cassie loves binging on TV shows, spending time at the beach, and curling up listening to the rain.
Join Cassie’s newsletter (www.cassielaelyn.com) to stay up to date with release information, including the next instalment in her action packed, steamy paranormal romance series, The Fallen Guardians.
Facebook Reader’s Group (Cassie’s Log Cabin) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/CassieLaelynsLogCabin/?source_id=151798248858993
Facebook – http://bit.ly/Cassie_Facebook
Instagram – http://bit.ly/Cassie_Instagram
Twitter – https://mobile.twitter.com/CassieLaelyn
Website – https://www.cassielaelyn.com
Bookbub – http://bit.ly/Cassie_BookBub
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/CassieLaelyn_GR
Amazon Profile – https://amzn.to/2ZlZcwP
Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Robert Herold…
A Passion For Paranormal
We all feel a little unnerved when the power goes out, when we are plunged into darkness, when we are booked into a room on the 13th floor, or when 13 is missing from the elevator options, and most especially when people we know pass away. People have huddled around fires since ancient times to keep away their fears, both real and imagined. Today, when the power goes out, we cluster around that scented candle on the coffee table, or that flashlight app on one’s cell phone—until the battery wears out. Are we really so different from those in the past?
Imagine it is 1885, the beginning of the modern era. Science is making new strides in hitherto unexplored areas: chemistry, physics, psychology, even applying the scientific method to the hereafter – exposing frauds and maybe, just maybe, proving the existence of life after death. This was a passionate sideline for William James, a real figure from history. He was a famed Harvard professor, father of American psychology, and brother to the famous writer Henry James (author of The Turn of the Screw, among many others).
Professor William James helped found the American branch of the Society for Psychical Research, who applied the scientific method to investigations of the supernatural. Eventually the group in America became headed by a dogmatic skeptic and James had a falling out. Using this as a springboard, I imagined he then started his own investigative group, The Eidola Project (eidola being a Greek word for ghost). Some real investigations, including those that are downright spooky, are woven into the story, especially while he is building his team of paranormal researchers.
In addition to William James (age 42), the Eidola Project consists of Annabelle Douglas (age 28), one of the first graduates of The Harvard Annex (later known as Radcliff), Sarah Bradbury (age 18), an authentic medium, Edgar Gilpin (age 26), a brilliant African American physicist and graduate of Howard and Yale Universities, and Nigel Pickford (age 39), one of the youngest Confederate officers, who in the years following the Civil War is plagued by paranormal visions & has become a drunken derelict. Each contributes to the group, but each has his or her own peculiar baggage and set of weaknesses.
Professor James directs The Eidola Project from Harvard, sending them off on various missions, and occasionally joining them (akin to “Rupert Giles,” a character in the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The Eidola Project are intrepid explorers of the supernatural, but in doing so, they enter the darkness and become ensnared in a dangerous investigation of a haunted house, where they encounter all sorts of things that go bump—or worse!
It’s 1885 and a drunk and rage-filled Nigel Pickford breaks up a phony medium’s séance. A strange twist of fate soon finds him part of a team investigating the afterlife.
The Eidola Project is an intrepid group of explorers dedicated to bringing the light of science to that which has been feared, misunderstood, and often manipulated by charlatans. They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a sideshow medium, and now a derelict, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses.
Called to the brooding Hutchinson Estate to investigate rumored hauntings, they encounter deadly supernatural forces and a young woman driven to the brink of madness.
Will any of them survive?
Sarah retrieved the lamp and twisted the peg. The outhouse door swung open on its own, and she gasped.
“Momma?” Sarah asked as she held out her lantern. No. A ruined version of Molly stood in the doorway.
Before her disappearance, people often commented on the sixteen-year-old’s beauty, but in the last twenty-eight days birds pecked out her pretty blue eyes, and maggots now swam in the sockets. Molly’s head hung to the left at an odd angle. Her skin looked mottled with patches of gray, blue, and black. A beetle crawled out of Molly’s half-opened mouth and darted back in.
Sarah’s heart leaped to her throat, and she jumped back. She lost her footing, fell onto the outhouse seat, and dropped the lantern to the floor. She bent to retrieve it; thankful the glass globe did not break. Sarah looked up and saw an empty doorway.
Impossible, she told herself. Must’ve dozed off, had a nightmare, and woke up when I dropped the lamp. Her heart still pounded in her chest, and Sarah took a deep breath to calm herself.
Holding the lamp before her once more, she crept out…
Animated Book Trailer (17 seconds!): https://youtu.be/SZovJ-MZQ5Y
About the Author:
The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since Robert Herold’s mother refused to allow him, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)
As a child, fresh snow provided him the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with his fingers as far as he could stretch. He would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)
He has pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to him. You could say he was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call, he wrote The Eidola Project, based on a germ of an idea he had as a teenager.
Ultimately, he hopes the book gives you the creeps, and he means that in the best way possible.
Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Michal Scott…
“Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud”
We all need to be inspired. I grew up in the “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud” era, so I’ve been seeking and finding images and histories of African Americans for over fifty years. As part of that quest, I once bought a box of thirty-six famous Black Americans flashcards. Imagine my disappointment when only six of the thirty-six were women! Six?! And the six that were included were women I already knew. Three were important 20th century figures in entertainment, politics and civil rights and three were slaves. But weren’t there any other Black women I should know about? That question started me on my present hobby: specifically collecting pictures of African-American women. If a postcard had a Black woman’s face on it, I bought it and framed it. If there was book with a collection of photos, I bought three: one for the keeper shelf and two to cut up for framing. Soon I had so many Billie Holidays and Josephine Bakers, I started making and framing collages to fill 11×14 frames. I hung my treasures prominently around my home where I could receive inspiration from their presence.
Although I was initially disappointed by my flashcard purchase, those six cards impacted my writing. I became consumed with the question of how we went from being slaves to producing a famous Metropolitan contralto, the first Black woman elected to Congress and a fighter for civil rights that President Roosevelt included her among his advisors. The histories I learned as I became acquainted with these and the other women in my collection stirred my imagination. I began to model the heroines in my stories on them. Sometimes I’m able to incorporate incidences from their lives as well.
For instance, not many people know how later in life Harriet Tubman was so poor, she became vulnerable to swindlers. In One Breath Away my heroine, ex-slave Mary Hamilton, was victimized by someone she trusted and had her life put in danger as a result. One Breath Away is a romance that shows how she learns to trust again: herself and the man who wants to win her love.
I’ve recently moved from the Northeast to the Southwest and have over two hundred photos and drawings to be unpacked and rehung again. As I do I’ll be sharing my collection on Twitter and Facebook during Women’s History month hoping they’ll inspire others and they’ve inspired me.
Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was saved at literally the last gasp. She returns home to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone until the handsome stranger who helped save her re-enters her life one night at a dance, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more. Hope ignites along with lust until the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…
“Why—why do you want to dance with me?”
He smiled with the serpent slyness that probably charmed Eve. “I don’t think you’d believe me if I told you.” “I might.”
He turned his head slightly. “Really? Your practiced calm says otherwise.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Practiced calm?”
“The face you present to the world until something touches your heart.” He gestured to his right. “Like when that baby there cried. Your expression changed to one of concern, then changed to one of contentment when his mother satisfied his hunger.”
Mary blew a breath through her mouth. This man was studying her. Really studying her. Should she be flattered or worried?
The one-two-three, one-two-three magic of the waltz began. He guided her in its dips and glides, through its rises and falls. The awkwardness attributed to her by past dance partners didn’t raise its ugly head. Her spirit lightened then soared until that still, small voice sounded the alarm.
You were fooled by another man and his fancy manners. Don’t be fooled by this one.
Hints of bay rum mingled with a manly scent against whose lure she struggled then lost. Once again her toilet water failed to hide the salty scent of her arousal.
Eban pinned her with a not-so-casual scrutiny. Could he smell her too? She tried but failed to read him. Dare she hope the ease in his smile meant he found it pleasing?
The other couples held their partners off with discreet and proper holds. Not Eban. Warmth radiated from the hand holding the small of her back hostage. The heat spread across her buttocks then seeped into places more private. He bent his elbow and gentled her forward so only their clasped hands separated them.
“Why, Miss Hamilton, I do believe you’re blushing.” His fingers held hers with a teasing yet possessive grip.
“I am not.” Her words shot out with a force she hadn’t intended. “I mean I don’t blush.”
“No?” A cheeky boyishness winked at her from eyes as dark as chocolate. He leaned down so his breath tickled her earlobe. “Not even if I kissed you behind your ear?”
She shrank back then stared up into the gaze showering her with attention. Her heart beat beneath her breast with a prisoner’s unease. An unease she knew well having once been a prisoner.
Michal Scott is the pen name of Anna Taylor Sweringen, a retired United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA minister. Inspired by the love mystics of Begijn, Audre Lourde and Bell Hooks, Rev. Anna writes erotica and erotic romance with a faith arc, hoping to build a bridge between the sacred and secular, spirituality and sexuality, erotica and Christ, you and a well-written spiritually-stimulating and erotically-arousing story. Her story settings also seek to give insight into the African American experience in the US. In addition to erotic romance, she writes inspirational romance as Anna Taylor and gothic romance and women’s fiction as Anna M. Taylor.
Social media: @mscottauthor1, www.michalscott.webs.com
Looking for something new and fabulous to read? Try these…
Princess Marina Hersher is on her way to marry the prince of Brenalin when her caravan is attacked. Dressed as her servant, she decides to keep her identity a secret from the attackers. She is knocked unconscious and is rescued by the dragon, Narud. He is a creature not seen on Feldsvelt for thousands of years. During the days that follow, Marina learns more about the dragon, and finds companionship.
Duran Abass is the high prince of Brenalin and can go no farther than the dragon’s lair. Dragon and man hold a silent battle for control of their shared body in the cave where Narud intends to keep the princess. The princess knows nothing of this struggle or the dragon’s intent, but learns to love them both.
Together, Marina and Duran and even the dragon, Narud, join forces to battle against the sorceress for their lives and love.
Eleven-year-old Jillie Ross escapes the vicious relatives threatening to flush away her beloved sister’s ashes if she doesn’t lead them to her dead father’s rumored treasure.
Determined to find her sibling’s ashes and honor them along with their parents’ remains, the feisty orphan must endure harsh weather, escape a stalker, and hide from the police. But how long can she survive when at least one family member wants her dead?
Corinne Taylor has a secret. And it must be protected. If her mother discovers what Corinne has been hiding, Hell will not describe the place in which she will find herself. Beulah, Corinne’s mother, has proclaimed herself “queen” of Pike’s Run, and no one crosses her, especially not her daughter.
And while Corinne does what she can to guard her secret, her best efforts aren’t enough. War comes to Pike’s Run and the Taylor household when Beulah learns of her daughter’s betrayal. The battle that ensues forces Corinne to seek help from a new arrival.
Jonathan Pierce, a successful lawyer, has come to Pike’s Run looking to find solace from his past. When Corinne asks for his support, her innocence and bravery call to the needs within his broken spirit, and he can’t turn her down. She is capturing his heart, but if she ever learns of his cowardice, she will reject him, killing any hope he has left of finding love.
Simon MacKay, the last Earl of Cleitmuir, was murdered two hundred years ago because of his family’s dangerous legacy. Alone and cursed he haunts his home in order to protect the lost treasure. A pastime that leaves him angry and embittered until he meets a feisty American Tourist. Not only is Laurel sexy and beautiful, she can also see him in his ghostly form.
Antiquities expert, Laurel Saville, leaves Chicago to visit her best friend in the romantic Scottish Highlands. She is saved from a tragic fall by the ghostly Simon. Once she realizes she is not crazy, she pledges to help him find his family’s missing artifact. A pledge hindered by treasure hunter Alex Mackenzie, a descendant of the clan that murdered Simon.
Laurel risks everything, including her life, to help Simon resolve the issues keeping him earth bound. But will she lose him forever or is there a way Laurel can keep him with her on this earthly plane?