Author Interview with Barbara Brett ~ SECRET AGENDA: Who’s Castrating the Wolves of Wall Street?

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Barbara Brett…

 

Thank you for joining me today, Barbara. Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now? Family?

I’m one of those rare birds—a native New Yorker. I was born here, and have spent almost my entire life here. In fact, I’ve lived in every borough of the city except Staten Island, but I visit family there, so maybe that counts too. I was born in Queens, but grew up in Manhattan and the Bronx. Early in our marriage, my husband and I settled down in Brooklyn, the borough that will never forgive the Dodgers for leaving, but that now has the great Brooklyn Cyclones (Yea!). We have a lot more, too: the gorgeous Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; the great Brooklyn Museum; the terrific Brooklyn library system; and probably the best pizza in the world. Our kids are now grown and live out of state, but the first thing they want to do when they come home to visit is have Brooklyn pizza. Thanks for having me over, Alicia. If you’re ever in Brooklyn, the pizza is on me!

Where did you get the idea for SECRET AGENDA: Who’s Castrating the Wolves of Wall Street?

Ideas are all around us—in newspapers, in overheard conversations, in life in general. For me, there were two sparks that started SECRET AGENDA on its way. First came the headlines. Like most of us, I was really disturbed about the underhanded Wall Street maneuvers that brought disaster into the lives of so many of us hardworking, everyday Americans. Writing a mystery in which some of these millionaire-marauders, at least fictional ones, got their come-uppance was very appealing. And so I began my research, fully intending to kill off my villains in particularly fitting ways. Then one day in a restaurant I overheard a conversation in the booth behind me (people should watch what they say—one never knows if an author is eavesdropping!). Three or four men talking about a friend who had been in a terrible accident that left him emasculated. They all agreed that the poor man would have been better off dead. They even referred to what had happened as, “A fate worse than death.” I found that appalling, and for days, I couldn’t get it out of my head. And then I realized that those men had given me the perfect punishment for my scoundrels.

How much of your book is realistic?

The book, of course is fiction, and all of the characters are products of my imagination, but it’s my job as an author to do the necessary research so that I can make everything as convincing as if the characters actually exist and all the twists and turns really happened. That’s the fun of writing, and my delightful reward is that readers and reviewers are enthusiastically reporting that my characters spring to life and the plot is compelling and riveting. What author could ask for more?

What is your favorite quote?

Actually, I have two favorite quotes, and they are in frames on my desk. Each inspires me in a different way. I’ll give you the shorter one first. It is from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, which is one of my favorite books: “I need to put up with two or three caterpillars if I want to get to know the butterflies.” It reminds me to be patient, that life’s struggles often lead to better things, and, hopefully to a better me.

The second was said by Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman whose life and work I greatly admire: “Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done.'” This gives me hope in a world where things are so often chaotic, and the determination to achieve my own personal goals despite the roadblocks we all meet along the way.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

Believe it or not, it’s most people’s favorite drink—coffee! I like the fragrance, but I cannot abide the taste. I know many people drink it to get rid of a headache, but it actually gives me a headache. There are people who will say, “But surely you like coffee ice cream!” No, I don’t. And I don’t like mocha cake or icing, either. The irony of it is that I have a reputation for making an excellent cup of coffee. My family and friends all rave about it. Maybe the secret is that, not being a coffee-aholic, I’m not into experimenting with new blends and ways of preparing them. I still use my mother’s old percolator and whatever is on sale at the supermarket. Go figure!

If you could spend time with a character from your book, who would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Well, it certainly wouldn’t be one of the Wall Street villains! I suppose the obvious answer would be the hero, Tom Berenson, the retired police detective who now runs a bookstore in Brooklyn. Tom is handsome, intelligent, and witty, and our love of books and Brooklyn would certainly keep the conversation going, and we could visit some of his favorite spots and mine in our beloved borough, just as he does in the book. But if I could have a second day, I think I’d spend it with the Reverend Arnold Simon. Like his fraternity brothers, the Wall Streeters who are being attacked in the book, he was born to a life of wealth and privilege, but eventually he gave it all up to work with the poor and society’s outcasts. I’d like him to take me on a tour of his soup kitchens, his shelter for abused women, his clinic for addicts. I’d like to find out what makes him tick, and if he’s really as good as he seems to be. Is there something dark lurking beneath his altruistic façade?

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

That’s easy—e-mail! I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love the way it keeps me in touch with family and friends. I need it to connect to colleagues and associations and organizations that are so helpful to authors. It’s essential for keeping up with what’s going on in our ever-changing world. But it eats up so much of my time! I remember back to when I was a little girl and what a thrill it was if the mailman actually had a letter for me. Now, I go on line and my eyes roll back when I see the long list of e-mails waiting for me. Sometimes I long for the days when messages were written in pictures on the walls of caves. But I suppose if we could interview someone who drew those pictures, he or she would tell us that it took up too much time, time much better spent hunting and gathering!

What celebrity would you most like to be stranded on a desert island with?

The easy answer is a comedian who could keep me laughing or a magician who could conjure up a sturdy ship. Actually, the only person I’d choose to be stranded on a desert island with is my husband, Hy Brett. He has kept me laughing all these years, he has a sense of direction, which I certainly don’t have, and he’s brilliant and well read enough to figure out how to make a raft out of palm leaves and float it on coconuts. And Hy fills the celebrity category too: He’s the author of six critically acclaimed books and has a new one coming out later this year, THE HITMAN OF AVENUE U. What more could a woman stranded on a desert island ask for?

What do you want your tombstone to say?

For years it has been a family joke that I want my tombstone to say: “There’s always something!” That’s because it so often seems that whatever my plans are something always seems to pop up to interfere, delay, or change them. The bonus, of course, is that, despite that, I’m still around and  can keep trying. (See Eleanor Roosevelt above.) In the end (both literally and figuratively), if there could be a phrase that could cover my life as a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a citizen, and an author, I’d hope it could be: “She tried her best.”

Thanks again for having me over, Alicia! It’s been fun. I’d love to know what some of your readers would like to have on their tombstones too.

 

Blurb:  They are the most powerful men in America: billionaires born to privilege and linked by their membership in the nation’s most elite fraternity. They have always snatched what they want. From the halls of their ivy-league college to the counting houses of Wall Street, nothing has ever stopped them from reaching their nefarious goals. But as they gear up for their biggest takeover of all—the presidency of the United States—they discover to their horror that someone else has a secret agenda too. One by one, they are being castrated by an unknown attacker….

SECRET AGENDA—a riveting mystery of political ambition set in the glittering heights of New York society and darkest depths of Wall Street depravity!

Buy links:

Amazon paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Agenda-Castrating-Wolves-Street/dp/0997971002/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1516233751&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Amazon Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Agenda-Castrating-Wolves-Street-ebook/dp/B078MWY9WD/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1516233751&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Barnes & Noble paperback:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-agenda-barbara-brett/1127742158?ean=9780997971002

Nook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-agenda-barbara-brett/1127742158?ean=2940155065456

Apple iBooks

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/secret-agenda-whos-castrating-the-wolves-of-wall-street/id1330041599?mt=11

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/secret-agenda-who-s-castrating-the-wolves-of-wall-street

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/772808

Bio: Until she left to pursue her own writing, Barbara Brett was both a magazine editor and book editor and publisher. Besides Secret Agenda, she is the author of Sizzle, Between Two Eternities, Love After Hours, and, with her husband, Hy Brett, the critically acclaimed mystery, Promises to Keep.

Contact links: You can find out more about Barbara and her books on her website: www.brettbooks.com And you can  keep up with her news and her views on writing, reading, and life by following her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBrettAuthor

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Spotlight: Linda Bennett Pennell ~ Miami Days, Havana Nights

Please help me welcome Linda Bennett Pennell to my blog today, with a spotlight on her brand new release!

 

Sometimes our biggest debts have nothing to do with money.

1926. When seventeen-year-old Sam Ackerman witnesses a mob hit, he is hustled out of New York under the protection of Moshe Toblinsky, A.K.A., the mob’s bookkeeper. Arriving in Miami with no money, no friends, and no place to hide, Sam’s only choice is to do as the gangster demands. Forced into bootlegging, Sam’s misery is compounded when he falls in love. Amazingly, the beautiful, devout Rebecca wants only him, but he cannot give her the life she deserves. When Prohibition ends, Sam begs the mobster to set him free. The price? A debt, as Toblinsky puts it, of friendship. A debt that will one day come due.

Present Day. History of American Crime professor Liz Reams has it all – early success, a tantalizing lead on new info about Moshe Toblinsky, and a wonderful man to love. Life is perfect. So what’s keeping her from accepting her guy’s marriage proposals? Confronting a long-standing personal debt sets her on a journey of self-discovery. While she delves ever deeper into Sam’s and Toblinsky’s relationship, her understanding of her own relationships increases as well, but the revelations come at a price. The emotional and physical dangers of her dual journeys may prove too big to handle.

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

May 18, 1926, 105 South Street, New York City

Knocking – sharp, loud, rapid – echoed through the empty speakeasy. Sam froze, the notes of a tune stuck in the roof of his mouth. He glanced at the entrance and leaned the handle of his push broom against his shoulder. Puffs of dust settled on the floorboards around his feet while he remained motionless.

It was late, too late, to be admitting customers, even for the city’s illegal watering holes and gambling joints. Although a thick crossbar and several stout locks protected the heavy iron door, an uneasy feeling crawled down Sam’s spine. Growing tension over control of the Fulton Fish Market, in fact the entire South Street area, was making a lot of people jumpy, including him.

Several seconds passed without noise from the other side of the door. Sam let out his breath and laughed at himself. Working at the fish market in the afternoon then staying up half the night at the speakeasy didn’t leave much time for sleep. It kept him on edge. All the rumors and threats floating around these days weren’t helping either. Inclining his ear and hearing nothing, he relaxed and gave his broom a shove.

Bam, bam, bam.

Sam’s heart jumped into his throat.

“Open up, Monza. I know you’re in there.” The shout, colored by an Irish lilt, came from the second floor landing accompanied by renewed pounding. “I come to talk with ya. We need to settle this business. I got a proposition for ya.”

Sam’s breathing kicked up a notch as he looked over his shoulder toward the office. The boss didn’t like to be disturbed when he was meeting with his guys. The pounding from outside in the hall returned in earnest, but the office door remained fixed.

“You gonna open this damned door or do I break it down?” The doorknob rattled and jerked.

Behind Sam, the office door clicked open an inch. He watched in the mirror over the bar as the muzzle of a .38 Special emerged from the opening, its nickel-plated barrel glittering in the overhead lights. One of the gangsters stepped into the room, met Sam’s eye in the mirror, and jerked his head, then the room went dark. Sam dropped his broom and backed into an alcove next to the bar. The office door opened wider. Several shadows scurried across the floor. Metal locks and bolts snapped and clanked, then the entrance door swung inward.

 

Chapter 2

Present, Fall Semester, Gainesville, Florida

Crap. Not one blessed thing gained.

Liz bookmarked and closed the archival records web page she had paid a small fortune to access. Frustration knotted the muscles at the base of her skull. She stretched her back against the living room sofa and rolled her head and neck. Months of research and all she had to show for it was a regurgitation of everything everybody already knew. Maybe she was what she most feared – a one hit wonder destined to fade from her fifteen minutes of glory into ignominious mediocrity.

Jeez. How was that for a pretentious mouthful? Liz’s lips thinned into a smirk accompanied by a quiet snort. Well, at least she could still laugh at herself. Unfortunately, some people might not find her so amusing.

She glanced across the room at Hugh. Liz drummed her fingers against the edge of her computer. He would probably understand if she didn’t meet the deadline. Hugh was a good boss and a good… What? She never knew what to call the man she lived and worked with. Boyfriend sounded so lame, childish even. Boss tended to raise eyebrows. Fiancé would work if she had said yes to his most recent proposal.

Liz sucked the corner of her lower lip between her teeth. Of all the things she had ever thought herself to be, a commitment-phobe was not one of them. And now she was on the verge of disappointing him twice in one week. The new course she was designing could still be taught in the spring, but it would be incomplete as it stood now. She had incorporated a plethora of original details about Al Capone, et al., but new, riveting details on Moshe Toblinsky and the Jewish gangsters were proving elusive. As a consequence, Florida’s Underbelly, 1920-Present: the Mob in the Sunshine State would probably fail to accomplish what the dean expected despite its titillating title. What a depressing thought.

Buzzing against Liz’s thigh made her jump. She dug the phone out of her jeans pocket and looked at the caller ID. Her heart rate kicked up a notch. She slid her finger over the screen to take the call and listened to the monologue coming through the ether.

Liz tapped the end call icon, slumped a little lower into the sofa cushions, and sucked her lower lip between her teeth. Apparently, nothing was going to go right today.

Next to the living room window, Hugh lounged in an armchair with the latest historical monograph spread open on his lap, pretending he hadn’t listened to her side of the phone conversation. When she didn’t speak, he looked up from the book and raised his brows.

“Well?” His voice was kind but direct.

“Well what?”

“What was in that call to make you look so stormy?”

Liz sighed and crammed her phone into her jeans pocket. “Aunt Mildred says Daddy is going downhill faster than anyone thought possible, something Mom decided to keep from me. Yesterday, he wandered away from the house and was gone for hours. Mom was on the verge of calling the police when a neighbor brought him home. The neighbor stopped Daddy trying to board the ferry to Whidbey Island. He said he had to report for duty at the naval air station.” Liz hunched her shoulders and shook her head. “He retired from the Navy in 1995.”

BIO:

I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, “Let’s pretend.”

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up. Voltaire  

Books:

Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel Soul Mate Publishing http://amzn.to/16qq3k5

 Confederado do Norte Soul Mate Publishing http://amzn.com/B00LMN5OMI

 When War Came Home  Real Cypress Press  http://amzn.com/B010RXNZRO

 Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn The Wild Rose Press http://amzn.com/B0121Q6S88

 Miami Days, Havana Nights Soul Mate Publishing July 18, 2018  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F7NFD8K

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLindaBennettPennell

Website:  http://www.lindapennell.com/

Twitter:  @LindaPennell

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7166661.Linda_Bennett_Pennell

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lindabennettpen/

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

ONEY, MY ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY by Diana Rubino and Piper Huguley

Please help me welcome today’s guests, Diana Rubino and Piper Huguley with a fascinating story!

Oney’s Story…

Teenaged Oney Judge was Martha Washington’s ‘favorite servant.’ Oney and Martha both longed for freedom, but in very different ways. Martha hated being confined to the president’s house, forced to entertain politicians and foreign diplomats. Oney hated being someone else’s property, forced to do labor and wait on her owners day and night.

After President Washington served one term as president, he wrote his farewell speech. He and Martha started packing for their retirement at Mount Vernon, but it was not meant to be. He was elected again—unanimously. He did not want to serve another term, but gave in under pressure.

Martha had no say in it whatsoever. But as she hosted her tea parties and levees, she became close friends with several forward-thinking women, such as Abigail Adams and Judith Murray, feminists of the time. Their radical ideas rubbed off on Martha—education and job training for women to be self-supporting instead of depending on husbands. By the end of George’s term, she experienced a steep character arc. She even changed her attitude toward slavery. When Oney escaped at age 20, at the end of George’s final term, Martha was very resentful: “She was more like a child to me than a servant.” The Washingtons knew that she’d escaped to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and made several attempts to recapture her. But in a sudden act of lenience, Martha gave up on Oney and let her remain free. During her husband’s presidency, Martha complained, “I am more like a state prisoner”, so perhaps she put herself in Oney’s place and realized she deserved liberty, too.

As our first First Lady, Martha Washington evolved from a  grandmotherly wife and homebody to an outspoken champion of women’s rights. She provided freedom for her slaves at her death.

While living in Portsmouth, Oney married a sailor, Jack Staines, and had three children. She outlived her husband and children, and lived her remaining free life in Greenland, New Hampshire. Somewhat of a local celebrity, she lived in poverty, but the locals supported her and she took in sewing to supplement her meager income. She declared in an 1847 interview, “I am free now and choose to remain so.”

An Excerpt from ONEY, MY ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY

The hour finally came—while they ate dinner.

Nothing heavied my heart—not remorse, not guilt, not sadness upon fleeing my master and mistress. Raw thirst for freedom overcame all that. I walked straight past the Washingtons and out that door. When I shut it, I left them—and my forced bondage— behind me.

I tore through the muddy streets in pouring rain. Gasping for breath, soaked to the skin, my heart slamming in terror, I glanced behind me, again and again. No one pursued me—yet. I dreaded and expected pounding footsteps, a clap on my shoulder. But, I asked myself, who would chase me through the driving rain? No, it is not possible, I affirmed—they didn’t even know I’d left the kitchen.

At the Jones house I slowed and caught my breath. When Absalom opened the door, I staggered inside, laughing, sobbing, gulping for dear life.

I spent the night pacing the attic room, hands clasped. “I beg of you, dear God, walk beside me on this journey. See me through this safe. Don’t let them capture me. I only want to be your servant, no one else’s.”

As daybreak nudged away the darkness, I fell to my knees, weary with fatigue. “Thank you, dear God, for ending my final night of bondage.”

Serendipity at Work

In May 2014, popular romance author Brenda Novak had her annual auction for diabetes—authors donate books, critiques, etc., and people bid on them, similar to Ebay. I donated one of my other books, and I also donated a free manuscript critique. An author named Piper Huguley won the critique auction, but the auction ended and I never heard from her. I thought oh, well, she doesn’t want it after all. About 3 months later, she wrote me and sent me her story, A CHAMPION’S HEART, to critique. It’s a romance about an African American girl, set in rural Georgia in the 1910s. Very moving and powerful story. I loved it. It was published in 2016 by Liliaceae Publishers.

getBook.at/AChampionsHeart

I’d been wanting to find an African American author to go over my Oney novel, but never looked for anyone. I thought of asking one of my grade school classmates, but just didn’t get to it…well, one day I decided to ask Piper.

Right after I asked her, she wrote back and said she’d be happy to help. Then I went on Facebook and saw that Piper just posted that her mother passed away that morning. So I sent her a message of condolence. Then she wrote this back to me:

And I appreciate your kind comments about my mother. You see, I see your request as “heaven sent” for I think I told you about how my mother told me about Oney. I know that she would want me to work on anything, do anything to forward that story. So, even in the midst of a difficult time, I look forward to helping you–something I really didn’t expect after you had helped me so much. Thank you for that.

I don’t remember her telling me that her mother told her about Oney. I’ve heard so many stories about people who pass away, and send ‘signs’ etc. to their loved ones, this was just too strange to be coincidence. Piper helped me a great deal with Oney’s story and became my co-author. We dedicated the book to her mother.

 

Purchase ONEY:

http://getBook.at/ONEY 

 

About Diana and Piper:

Diana writes about folks who shook things up. Her 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. When not writing, she runs CostPro, Inc., an engineering business, with her husband Chris. In her spare time, Diana bicycles, golfs, plays her piano and devours books of any genre. She spends as much time as possible just livin’ the dream on her beloved Cape Cod.

Piper Huguley is a two-time Golden Heart ®finalist and is the author of the “Home to Milford College” series. The series follows the building of a college from its founding in 1866. Book #1 in the series, The Preacher’s Promise was named a top ten Historical Romance in Publisher’s Weekly by the esteemed historical romance author, Beverly Jenkins and received Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Contest of Self-Published e-books in 2015.

Her new series “Born to Win Men” starts with A Champion’s Heart as Book #1. A Champion’s Heart was named by Sarah MacLean of The Washington Post as a best romance novel selection for December 2016.

She blogs about the history behind her novels at http://piperhuguley.com. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.

 

Connect with Diana and Piper:

www.dianarubino.com

https://www.facebook.com/DianaRubinoAuthor/

Twitter: @DianaLRubino

www.piperhuguley.com

https://www.facebook.com/piper.huguley

Twitter: @PiperHuguley

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Mary Morgan ~ OATH OF A WARRIOR, Legends of the Fenian Warriors, Book 2

Please help me welcome Mary Morgan, with her new release, and an interesting post about research and her inspiration…

 

Author’s Inspiration Post

I have always been fascinated with Celtic Mythology, so it only made sense that I would develop and expand the world of the Fenian Fae Warriors. Theirs was a world rich in legends, colors, and senses. I’ve based my own fictional account on the legend of the Tuatha de Danann—one of the invasions of Ireland. They were known as the Shining Ones or the Fae. And I’m not talking about the demure faeries you’ve seen portrayed in Victorian stories and artwork. These Fae are generally described as tall with red or blonde hair, blue or green eyes, and pale skin. Of course, I’ve added my own fictional descriptions and ideas within my stories.

The Tuatha de Danann were defeated in two battles by the Milesians, whom historians and scholars alike agree were probably the first Gaels in Ireland. It was agreed that the new invaders (Milesians) and the Tuatha de Danann would each rule half of Ireland. Therefore, it was that Amergin of the Milesians chose that half of Ireland, which lay above ground, leaving the Tuatha de Danann to retreat below. They were led underground by Manannán mac Lir, God of the Sea, who shielded them with an enchanted mist from mortal eyes. As time passed, they became known as the Sidhe (Shee), or Ireland’s faery folk.

In doing research for Oath of a Warrior, Legends of the Fenian Warriors, Book 2, I came across hundreds of cases pertaining to witches and the witch trials in Scotland. The records of Scotland’s witch trials spanned a period of over 200 years during the 16th and 17th centuries. However, I did find evidence of several women being burned, or executed in the late 15th century. This was a dark period in Scottish history, exposing a culture of fear and panic that cast a cloud over much of Scotland.

Some of the charges brought against these individuals ranged from belonging to a coven, receiving herbs from the Queen of the Faeries, and using charms against another person. It did not matter if you were a servant or upper class, either. If you wanted to rid yourself of someone, all you had to do was accuse a person of being a witch.

The heroine, Erina MacIntyre, was a wonderful character to write and one I knew who would appeal to my Fae hero, Rory MacGregor. She loved her garden and animals, tended to those who required healing, made love charms, and believed in the old ways. A perfect combination for any to accuse her of dealing in the black arts. Yet, she never saw herself as a witch. Only someone who was different. Sadly, even in this century, we tend to look at others who do not walk the same path as the majority as odd.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my own twist on history, legends, and mythology. As I’ve often stated, “history is only as good as the bard weaving the tale.”

 

Blurb 

“You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!”

Fenian Warrior, Rory MacGregor’s love conquests are legendary, but he has never spoken of the one mortal female who captured his heart. After his dark secret is finally revealed, he is ordered to return and seal the wounds left open by her death. Yet, he finds the timeline altered and swears an oath to rewrite fate, even if it brings about his own death.

Erina MacIntyre is known for her healing herbs and love charms. Determined to aid others, she refuses to listen to the whispers that call her a witch. When a Highlander steps forth into her path, he ignites a thread of strange familiarity and sparks a flame of desire she is unable to control.

Can the destiny of two lovers find love once more among the ashes of death and betrayal? Or will history repeat itself, leaving a scorching path of destruction for both mortals and Fae alike?

Excerpt:

“Erina, mo ghrá,” he groaned, taking her mouth with savage intensity. She tasted of honey and spices, filling him completely and easing the torment that continually plagued him.

Breaking free, he placed his hands on either side of the door. Giving her all of him required something more from Erina. Without the assurance of accepting him for what he was, Rory would be a lost man.

“Are ye certain ye want to ken all of me? I want ye as sure as the sun rises and sets over the land each day, but ken this, Erina—there is more to me than a simple bedding. There are things about me that might frighten ye. What I’m about to share with ye may cause ye to question my existence, or worse, my sanity.”

Her laugh was seductive and soothing as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “From the moment ye stepped through those trees that first day, I realized ye were not like any man I had encountered. It was as if the trees parted and ye came forth from inside them.” She brushed her fingers along his brow. “For one, ye have the most mesmerizing eyes and they shift colors.”

“And the second?”

Her face turned a rosy glow, yet, she held his gaze. “I thought your body chiseled from the old Gods, especially with all the markings on your back and arms.”

His gaze swept over hers. “I am nae God, Erina, though some would call me a demon.”

She traced a finger down along his arm and shook her head. “Ye are not a monster, but I am nae fool. Ye are not like other men, Rory. I have seen the markings on your body elsewhere.” Her finger curved around his shoulder and he trembled. “They are similar to the ones on the standing stones carved by the ancients.”

Rory fought the tide of emotions sweeping through him. She had come to the conclusion all on her own. “And ye would not flee if I told ye I was one of those ancients? One where the bards wove tales of giants who lived thousands of years ago among your own people? Others would call the story incredulous and filled with heathen words.” He held his breath, fearing her reply.

The smile she gave him speared straight to his soul. “Nae. I would not flee.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Oath-Warrior-Legends-Fenian-Warriors-ebook/dp/B07CZSXFYN/

BN (Nook): https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/oath-of-a-warrior-mary-morgan/1128772180?ean=2940162047865

 iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/oath-of-a-warrior/id1388814969?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/oath-of-a-warrior

 

Author bio:

Award-winning Celtic paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

Social Media Links:

WEBSITE:  http://www.marymorganauthor.com

BLOG:  http://www.marymorganauthor.com/blog

TWITTER:  http://twitter.com/m_morganauthor

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/MaryMorganAuthor/

GOODREADS:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8271002.Mary_Morgan

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/

PINTEREST:  www.pinterest.com/marymorgan50/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/marymorgan2/

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-morgan

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Crime Time ~ Forbidden: Dying For Love ~ The Shame of the Father

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean

Forbidden: Dying for Love, Season 1, Episode 1 – The Shame of the Father  

Irving, Texas, 2005.

Amina Said met Joseph Moreno at a Taekwondo class when they were 15, and they soon fell in love. Amina’s father was from Egypt, and he was very strict. He wouldn’t allow Amina or her sister Sarah to go to the mall, wear makeup, and especially date. Her father planned to take the girls to Egypt after they graduated and marry them off to Egyptian men. Oddly, Yaser’s wife, Amina’s mother, was an American woman. But she bowed to Yaser’s wishes, even allowing him to abuse their daughters.  Because of Yaser’s strictness and violent temper, it was too dangerous for the young teens to communicate via cell phone, so they used notebooks to express their love to one another. Amina always left her notebook at school, to keep her father from finding it. The teenagers talked of getting married, and even chose names for their children.

Joseph’s mother and Amina’s great aunt were interviewed on the show and provided details of how the events unfolded.

One day, Amina accidentally brought the notebook home and her father found it in her backpack. He read the notebook and became enraged. She told him that she was writing about an imaginary boyfriend, that it was just her daydreams, and he wasn’t real. He said if he found out he was real, the consequences would be dire. In their culture, girls who behaved against the family rules were killed. He planted a listening device in her car and overheard her talking to her sister about how she couldn’t believe she was dumb enough to take the notebook home, she’d been so careful to keep in in her locker. She came home from school that day and her father had all of her notes and items from her locker spread out on the table. Amina was terrified. She knew her father would kill her. He played the tape he’d gotten from bugging her car.

Joseph stopped hearing from Amina. Weeks, then months went by. He could not reach her by phone. There was no sign of her anywhere. A few months later, Joseph received an email from her. She told him that he’d gone ballistic that night. He beat her up and demanded to know how to find Joseph. She made it clear that her dad was on the hunt for him. Joseph’s mother found the email and, concerned for her son’s life, she didn’t tell him.

Through continued emails from Amina, Joseph’s mother learned that Amina’s father had put her under house arrest. He watched her every move. Joseph’s mother chose to keep the information from him, trying to protect her son. But, but after a while, she could see the life force draining from him. If he couldn’t be with Amina, he was barely surviving. She arranged for them to get together. Joseph bought Amina a pink cape and said that was her coat of armor. Anytime she was afraid, she could put the cape on and know that he was with her, and that they would be together forever.

In 2007, Amina got an acceptance letter from UT. Her father said her husband would decide if she went to college. She said “I don’t have a husband.” Her father said, “You will soon. It’s all been arranged.” He’d found a 47 year old man in Egypt for her to marry. Amina said she wouldn’t do it, she was an American and she would not marry him. Her father grabbed a gun and threatened her with it, while her mother and sister watched in horror. Amina told him to go ahead and kill her, she would rather die than marry the man he’d chosen for her. Her mother and sister begged him to stop, and he finally put the gun down. He told them that if they wanted to be American, that was fine. He gave them money and told his wife, Patricia, to take them to the convenience store and buy them anything they wanted to eat. He said it’s what Americans call the last meal that they give to prisoners on death row.

In the car, Amina begged her mother not to take her back, she said he would kill her. Patricia called her aunt who lived in another state and told her they were coming there, that she was leaving Yaser. Amina texted Joseph and said they were going to Kansas, they were getting away from her father and she and Joseph could finally be together. Patricia and the girls arrived at her aunt’s house, and Amina was thrilled to finally be free of her father. The plan was that Joseph and his mother would come to Kansas and get a place.

That very night, Patricia announced that they were going back to Texas. She said it was the anniversary of her mother’s death and she wanted to go put flowers on her grave. Amina and Sarah begged her not to make them go, but she insisted. She promised they’d come right back. The aunt felt bad that she let them walk out of her house that day, but she didn’t believe it would end the way it did.

Even though Patricia promised they wouldn’t go near the house, she pulled into the neighborhood and told the girls that they were going home to talk to their father. She said that he had forgiven them and everything would be fine. Amina begged her not to. She said, “He’ll kill me.” Her mother made her go. At that point, Amina gave up. She knew her fate was sealed. Joseph and his mother were waiting to hear from Amina, letting them know she was ready for them to join them in Kansas. When Joseph got the call, Amina told him they were back in Texas, that they were going back home. Joseph begged her not to go back. She said, “No, it’s over. I can’t fight him anymore. There’s no way out.” Joseph begged her over and over, but she said she had to go. She said that she wished her father could be in her shoes for one day and see the love they shared. She hung up the phone, with him crying and pleading with her. Then, she went into the house.

On New Year’s Day, 2008, a 9-1-1 call came in:

“Irving 911. What is your emergency?”

“Help, help! My dad shot me, my sister, I’m dying, I’m dying!”

The girl screaming on the phone was Sarah Said. By the time the police found the taxi where the sisters had been shot by their father, they were both dead, and Yaser had fled.

Articles about the case gave a slightly different account. They stated that Patricia and the girls moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma and set up an apartment. And that they chose to go back so the girls could finish school, and to put flowers on Patricia’s mother’s grave. The father offered to take the girls to get them something to eat, then shot them to death. The articles also state that in addition to the physical and mental abuse, he sexually abused his daughter.

Police were unable to find him. He’s still at large and was on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list for a time.

How disgusting is it that a depraved, evil, coward like that is free after what he did to his beautiful, innocent daughters? Some people think Patricia should have been charged as an accomplice, and I agree. What do you think? Patricia’s aunt claims their mother knew their father was going to kill them. Authorities found no proof of that, but even so, as their mother, it was her duty to protect them, not force them back into the monster’s lair.

 

 

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts. Let me know if you’ve seen the episode and, if so, what you thought about it.]

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Maggie Sinclair from Numbers Never Lie Shares the 10 Moments that Changed Her Life

Please help me welcome my friend and fellow author, Diane Burton. Be sure to grab your copy of Numbers Never Lie – It’s a great romantic suspense read!

(Check out the Rafflecopter Giveaway at the end of the post!)

10 Moments That Changed Maggie Sinclair’s Life

Thanks for having me here on your blog, Alicia. I’m so happy to have the chance to share my latest release, Numbers Never Lie, a romantic suspense, with your readers. Normally, I’d say you and your readers. But since you edited my book, I think you’ve already read it. 😊

I’ve already done my 10 Moments, so I thought it might be a good way to learn about a character. So here’s the “star” of Numbers Never Lie and the moments that changed Maggie Sinclair’s life.

  1. I was five the summer Drew Campbell moved to our neighborhood. He was eight, the same age as my brother, Jack. Those two became best friends and tried to shut me out. I wouldn’t let them. Later, only my prowess in baseball made them choose me for their team. At fifteen, I had the world’s biggest crush on Drew. He said I kissed like a guppy.
  1. At twenty-two, I married Roger Dodger. Actually, his last name is Dixon. I was young and stupid, and Drew was married by then. Roger was the king of lies, affairs, and abuse. Mostly emotional abuse. The second time he hit me, I said sayonara and got out of that marriage. After therapy, I took self-defense classes. Both helped my self-esteem that was at an all-time low. I learned that I was stronger than I thought.
  1. Also at twenty-two, I started teaching high school kids and coaching girls’ baseball. I love sharing my knowledge of my favorite game.
  1. My parents died when I was twenty-five. Mom got influenza that went into pneumonia. Six months after she died, Dad had a fatal heart attack. Jack and I figure he missed Mom so much he really died of heartache.
  1. Four years ago, I joined my best friend who’d organized a group of preteen girls and taught them how to camp. We were in Girl Scouts together, and she was a gung-ho outdoors woman. Last year, she moved, and I “inherited” the group. We can’t go camping without another chaperone. The girls’ moms don’t want to, and the dads are too busy. The girls feared their camping days are over, and they’d never get to camp on Isle Royale.
  1. Drew’s daughter said her dad volunteered to go with them on an overnight trip. The girls’ were ecstatic. I was torn between relief that the girls wouldn’t be disappointed and skittishness because I was still attracted to him, especially since his wife died.
  1. Returning from that trip and discovering my brother had died in a car accident. Devastated, crushed, stunned, lost. Those words aren’t strong enough to match how I felt.
  1. Investigating the accident. Too many inconsistencies made me suspicious. The sheriff blew me off. So did Drew, at first.
  1. Together, Drew and I discovered why Jack was killed and capture the bad guy.
  1. Drew and I are getting married. The camping group will give me away. According to Drew, our honeymoon will not feature camping.

NUMBERS NEVER LIE

A Romantic Suspense

By Diane Burton

Romantic Suspense

Length: approx. 80,000 words

Available at Amazon  http://a.co/gUmO9wZ

Free with Kindle Unlimited

Blurb:

A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.

As kids, they were the fearless threesome. As adults, Jack’s an accountant; Drew, a lawyer; Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader. Upon returning from a weekend camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her brother Jack’s fatal car crash was an accident. If the police won’t investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her only recourse.

Drew Campbell was too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Too busy to attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter. Too busy to stay in touch with Jack. Logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that–an accident caused by fatigue and fog. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if he thinks she’s wrong.

A break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is searched. What did Jack do that puts Maggie in danger?

Excerpt

During lunch, Jack asked about the camping equipment in the garage. “I thought your camping days were over when Trish moved away.”

As it often did, Maggie’s eyes teared up at the thought of Trish Morrow. They’d been best friends since kindergarten. A natural born leader, Trish could get anybody to do anything—like conning Maggie into helping with the group of pre-teen campers. Last summer, after eight months of unemployment, Trish’s husband took a job in Denver. Trish and the kids followed, and there went the leader of the group.

“We’ve been meeting,” Maggie said around the lump in her throat.

“Suck-er.” Jack grinned. “How many volunteer jobs do you have now? Little League umpire, peewee hockey ref, high school girls’ baseball coach—”

“I get paid for that one,” she interrupted. “Can I help it if the girls wanted to get together to talk?”

“From the camping equipment you were loading into your SUV, it looks like you’re going to do more than talk.”

She shrugged. “They still want to go to Isle Royale. Their theory is if they practice camping all summer and into the fall, Trish will come back for the trip next summer. We’re going on an overnight camping trip tomorrow.”

“You got another mother to help chaperone?”

Maggie grimaced. “Not exactly.”

He dropped his sandwich. “You aren’t taking the girls by yourself? That’s crazy.”

“Add in irresponsible, brother dear. Which I’m not. I’d never take kids on a trip without another adult.” She eyed him with an appraising expression.

Jack held up his hands. “Don’t look at me. I’m up to my eyeballs in work.”

“Don’t worry. I wasn’t going to ask you, although it did cross my mind.”

Despite her brother’s usually super-neat appearance, he loved the outdoors almost as much as Maggie. Sports and scouts were his life when they were kids—just like her. While he went from Tiger Cubs through to achieving Eagle Scout status, she’d gone from Daisy Girl Scouts to earning her Gold Award. That made having a group of campers not affiliated with Girl Scouts a little weird. But, Trish didn’t like organizations with rules and regulations and, since Maggie hadn’t been in charge, she went along with her best friend.

Now her BFF was gone, and guess who was in charge?

“So, who’s helping you with the troop?” Jack pulled a couple of grapes off the stems and popped them into his mouth.

“Ellen’s dad.”

Jack started to choke. She jumped up ready to do the Heimlich until he laughed. She considered whacking him on the back on general principle.

“Drew? Drew Campbell? The guy whose idea of casual is loosening his tie?”

At least, Jack’s tired expression was gone. She tapped her short, no-nonsense fingernails on the table. “I’m so glad I could provide entertainment with lunch.”

He continued to laugh—almost braying.

“I’m loaning him your sleeping bag and backpack.” She worked hard not to smirk.

“What!”

“Consider it rent for storing your stuff in my garage. And basement.”

Technically, the house was half his, part of their inheritance. After their folks died, she was grateful to leave her one-bedroom apartment. Since Jack already had a condo and didn’t want the upkeep of a house, their home was all hers, along with storage for his belongings.

Jack frowned for a second. “My equipment? You’re loaning out my camping equipment?”

“He’s your friend. I didn’t think you’d mind.”

Jack started to laugh again. “Oh, God. I wish I could be there to watch.” He went off again, laughing so hard tears formed until he wiped them away. “Drew Campbell wimped out of Cub Scouts.”

 

Numbers Never Lie is available at Amazon.

 

About the Author:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online

Blog:  http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dmburton72/

Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Author Interview with Katherine Gilbert ~ New Release: Protecting the Dead

Please help me welcome Katherine Gilbert, with her new release, Protecting the Dead – Great title, right? I love the cover too, and it’s one of the choices in the Moonlight and Mystery Cover Contest. I’m sure Katherine would love your votes!

 

Good morning, Katherine. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I’ve been born and raised in South Carolina (unofficial state motto: “Our politicians embarrass us”). My real family and best friend is my sister, Armida. Our goal is to become strange, cackling old ladies in the corner of a tearoom together.

Where did you get the idea for Protecting the Dead?

There was, until recently, a real apartment complex in Decatur, GA  (where my novel is set) which my sister and I once visited on an apartment hunt. Unfortunately, everything there was just a little too creepy, including the apartment she was shown which didn’t quite feel empty. When she asked about the turnover of tenants, she was told, “Oh, our residents never leave.” This hit my gothic imagination with an audible buzzing sound and wouldn’t leave me alone, until it was written.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

Some of the places in the novel are based off of Atlanta urban legends, such as the club (now closed, I believe) which was said to be the home of vampires.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?

I can’t talk about a story, while I’m writing it. If I do, I’ll talk it out of myself and won’t ever sit down to write.

What book have you read that you wish you had written?

Every book I love I know I couldn’t have written, but I do admire the talents of so many other authors. I wish I could throw off a laugh-till-it-hurts line like Terry Pratchett. I wish I could create a fascinating, unexpected twist like Agatha Christie. I wish I could convey an astonishing sense of time and place like Barbara Hambly–and so many, many others.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I teach English at a SC community college. As to whether I like it, it depends on the students. Some are lovely, funny, fascinating people who I fervently hope succeed in all their dreams. Some have never mentally shown up to school once, so I’ve really only met their bodies. When there are many more of the latter group, it’s not a wonderful semester.

What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?

When I go to a new city, I love to visit Victorian cemeteries, especially ones with very ornate mausoleums or stone angels, etc. One of the great joys of my life was getting to visit Highgate Cemetery in London, especially the older parts you need to have a guide to be allowed into. It’s beautiful, quiet, wooded, and the statues–ohh, the statues.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

Spicy food! It seems to me that every commercial now is for some restaurant or fast food place which promises that your head will actively explode after tasting their burningly spicy food. I love flavor in food, especially subtle, delicate flavors and spices, but not having my taste buds actively burned out of my mouth.

Do you collect anything?

Quite a few things. Among them are magnets (from just about everywhere I visit) and weird little salt-and-pepper shakers. Among the stranger ones I have is a set of Hello Kitty vibrating shakers. That’s right–you pull the string, and they vibrate. The wonderful absurdity of it just makes me giggle.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why?

It’s so hard to choose! I can maybe cull it down to three: Terry Pratchett’s The Fifth Elephant (all of Discworld is wonderful, but add the gothic and I’m totally hooked), Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog (The world-building! The romance! The references to 19th-century comic authors!), and Jean Ferris’ Much Ado About Grubstake (it’s just a wonderfully good-hearted, light-hearted YA novel set in a fictional old west town).

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Protecting the Dead?

I’d like them to take a few moments to smile and sigh and enjoy having lived in that world for awhile.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

It’s hard to choose, but I suppose it depends on the bad review. No book is to everyone’s taste, so I accept that there will be people I can’t please. I’d rather not have a review which seems to be purposely trying to cut out my soul, though. As for no reviews, that’s difficult, too, since I don’t know whether anyone is reading it–and others who might want to aren’t given any guidance on whether they’d like it. I guess my answer, then, is . . . I haven’t a clue?

What is your favorite quote?

My friend, Chris, always says, “When someone thinks they’re doing you wrong, they’re actually doing you a favor.” It’s a philosophy I try to remember, when people aren’t very nice.

What celebrity would you most like to be stranded on an island with?

Sorry, she’s not famous, but it’d have to be my sister. We’d never survive, but at least we’d be together.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

To quote from the movie, Auntie Mame: “Odd, but loving.”

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yes, I have three completed urban fantasies and one completed contemporary romance. I’m also actively working on a fourth urban fantasy novel. All the fantasies take place in different parts of the same alternate universe, and they generally fall into two categories: the magical and the gothic. Protecting the Dead is also one of the gothic ones.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Generally speaking, real people aren’t as interesting for me to write about as the ones I make up. I don’t think anyone would thrill to tales of a department meeting.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My sister is my biggest supporter. I read her every chapter, as it’s written. My friends are sort of in shock that I’ve kept at it long and hard enough to be published, but they’re excited for me.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

That would be the demon who wants to destroy Lydia.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

I walked about six feet behind David Carradine once. Weird Al Yankovic sweated on and sang to my sister at a concert (when she was sitting right beside me). They were fun moments, but, to quote Weird Al, I think they also qualify as pretty “Lame Claims to Fame.”

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Only that good and bad people come in all forms. The forms alone don’t tell you much about the person. The way that people interact with others does.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s based on a real place, but overall it’s much more fantasy than urban.

How did your interest in writing originate?

I started writing fan fiction for a show I was obsessed with, La Femme Nikita. I wrote a LOT of it, and there were quite a few people who enjoyed it. After awhile, I started branching out into a couple of alternate universe pieces–and through that realized that I could actually create my own characters and plot. I also realized that I didn’t need to know everything about a story to write it. I just needed to get started, and the characters would show me where things were headed, as I went along.

Your favorite…

Song–“Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls (I’m not a gigantic fan of theirs otherwise, but I LOVE that one song). A close second and third would be Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” and Blue Oyster Cult’s “Veteran of the Psychic Wars.”

Place you’ve visited–Ireland, England, and Scotland, all of them beautiful with touches of the gothic throughout

Place you’d like to visit–Brookgreen Gardens, a figural sculpture garden in SC. I’ve been there dozens of times, but I always want to go back.

TV show from childhoodLou Grant, or maybe Scooby Doo–I was an eclectic kid.

TV show from adulthoodLa Femme Nikita, although there are plenty of others I like. I usually only come across a show on DVD long after it’s over nowadays.

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Are there any urban legends or haunted houses in your area? Leave a comment and I’ll select a random commenter to receive a $5 gift card from Amazon.

 

 

Blurb:

After a childhood filled with demons and her devil-worshiping parents, Lydia longs for a quiet, normal life, a safe haven somewhere blissfully dull. Being the manager at the Roanoke Apartments seems to fit that bill. But Lydia soon learns that you can’t leave the past behind so easily. She finds herself faced with unclogging drains for werewolves, conducting nightly vampire counseling sessions, and caring for two talkative cats. Then there’s the distraction of Geoffrey, the hottest, and most angelic, boss anyone ever dreamed of.  As if that isn’t enough, the demon who nearly killed her shows up to finish the job. So much for a peaceful, simple life…

 

Excerpt: 

She knew she was being rude, knew she certainly wasn’t being a good assistant to Geoffrey, but she couldn’t quite force herself to look up again. If she did, she was going to see things she couldn’t wholly deny. She couldn’t take that. Whatever its dangers, denial felt safe. There was only so much oddity her brain could withstand, before it just started to explode.

She found herself sitting on the couch a moment later, knew that all these men were watching her, knew that she was direly failing whatever test she was being given. But she just couldn’t help it. It was too much, was far too weird. If only life could be all picket fences and well-tended lawns and SUVs and…

Okay, so she really wasn’t dumb enough to think such details meant an utter lack of misery, but they just seemed so nice, compared to her life. She felt someone sit on the couch beside her, knew it was Geoffrey, even before he spoke.

“Give her a minute,” he whispered, tenderly stroking her blue hair.

That only made her sigh all the more. There were times she truly wished she could be a stereotypical vapid blonde.

That wish, of course, was part of the reason why she’d ended up with the hair color she was now stuck with, but she wasn’t up to such analysis.

One of the residents sighed softly. “I guess we are a bit much for a first day. Especially with our moon phase coming up and all.”

She wished she lived the sort of life which made it impossible to guess what they were talking about.

Geoffrey’s soft touch made her raise her head again, her eyes a little misty, as she gazed at the two werewolves’ worried yellow eyes. Their normal clothing only made the situation weirder. The one who had greeted them, Hugh, dressed much like her boss tended to. The second one was even wearing a business suit. She was trying not to scream.

Fortunately, Geoffrey surprised her out of the impulse, pulling her close, his arms tender, mouth by her ear. Into it, he whispered a series of soft, soothing sounds. Like at her lunch with Glory, none of them were quite recognizable, except for her name. “Lydia,” he would breathe, before those only half-hidden words began again. “Lydia.” It made her real name so darn tempting that she couldn’t quite remember why she’d ever chosen another, and it finally made her sanity begin to piece itself slowly back together.

She wasn’t certain how long they were like that, knew nothing except his touch, his comfort. Some final spate of words settled inside her as a sort of hope for the future, a thought — even if she had no conscious access to it — that comforted her even more. She felt his soft kiss there, before he finally leaned back. She didn’t really know what to think, after that.

 

Buy Links: 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/protecting-the-dead-katherine-gilbert/1128969519?ean=2940162107453

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Katherine_Gilbert_Protecting_the_Dead?id=lFhgDwAAQBAJ

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/protecting-the-dead

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/842470

Bio:

Katherine Gilbert was born at house number 1313 and then transplanted to a crumbling antebellum ruin so gothic that The Munsters would have run from it.  She has since gained several ridiculously-impractical degrees in English, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies. She now teaches at a South Carolina community college, where all her students think, correctly, that she is very, very strange, indeed.

Where to Find Me:

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Katherine-Gilbert-Author-102573417043950/

Goodreads pages:

Book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40583130-protecting-the-dead?from_search=true

Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18141907.Katherine_Gilbert

Bookbub:

Book: https://www.bookbub.com/books/protecting-the-dead-by-katherine-gilbert

Author: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katherine-gilbert?list=author_books

Amazon Author’s page:

amazon.com/author/katherinegilbert

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