Saturday, July 30, 2016

Cover Reveal: An Angel’s Song (Earthbound 4) by Sharon Saracino

After ten years of separation, Tessa and Alec are called to the deathbed of Tessa’s father and tasked with solving a mystery that points to WWII, the Nazi régime, and the shadowy world of the Djinn. Although their passion still burns, forgiveness requires more than desire.

Alec, the Riddle King to the Defensori, is used to shutting out the world and working on his puzzles alone. But this time, he can’t shut Tessa out. This time, he needs his estranged wife's help. Tessa and her gift hold the key, and failure could cost her sanity…or her life.

Insecurity, immaturity, and misunderstanding drove them apart. Can they rebuild their shattered trust and work together to rescue a captive Djinni, stay one step ahead of the servants of the Fallen, and save their marriage along with Tessa's life?

Excerpt
“Tessa…” he stepped toward her and held out a hand.

“Don’t you touch me,” she warned, taking a quick step back, eyeing him warily.

Okay, so maybe he’d been an oblivious jackass. Hardly the first time, but maybe it showed progress if he’d noticed without someone else pointing it out?

“Look, I could have warned you, but frankly it just never occurred to me. You’ve had a long night, and you’re tired and hurting. I get it. I’m not happy about this, but believe it or not, I really am trying to help. I’m not the bad guy here.”

“Meaning I am?” She spat, stepping right up toe to toe, crossing her arms over her chest, and craning her neck to look directly into his face. “I fly thousands of miles, watch my father die, and then, before I can even process what that means, I am grabbed by you, of all people, and spirited off against my will without so much as a by-your-leave. And you have the audacity to stand there and tell me you’re not happy about this?”

Alec decided he definitely preferred angry Tessa. Her eyes deepened to the swirling blue of an angry sea and her chest heaved, straining the buttons of the wrinkled white blouse and thrusting her high breasts against the thin fabric. With her bright eyes snapping, red-gold curls tumbling over her shoulders, and her cheeks hot and flushed, pissed or not, she was freakin’ magnificent.
All roads lead to happily ever after, some just have a few unexpected turns!




Award winning author, Sharon Saracino, was born and raised in beautiful Northeastern Pennsylvania. Always the girl with her nose in a book, and frequently announced that someday she was going to write a one. One milestone birthday (we won't discuss which one!) she decided someday would be here and gone if she didn't get her butt in gear.  She plans to win the lottery just as soon as she remembers to purchase a ticket,  fantasizes about moving to Italy, brews limoncello, and believes there's always magic to be found if you only take the time to look for it!

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Mercenary and the Shifters: The Turning Stone Chronicles, Book 4 by CD Hersh

When mercenary soldier Michael Corritore answers a desperate call from an ex-military buddy, he finds himself in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient war between two shape shifter factions, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing ... him.

Shape shifter Fiona Kayler will do anything to keep the shipping company her father left her, including getting in bed with the enemy. But when she believes the man trying to steal her company is involved with kidnapping her nephew, she must choose between family, fortune, and love. The problem is ... she wants all three.

Excerpt

“My home is perfectly safe. It’s my business I’m concerned about.”

Fiona crossed her arms over her chest, her body language closing off to further suggestions. Mike followed her motions. As he did, he spotted a red dot on her chest. The dot wiggled.

“Get down!” Mike shouted as he dove for Fiona.

They hit the floor as the pottery on the raised fireplace hearth exploded, sending shards across the room. Mike shoved Fiona behind the nearest chair then scrambled across the rug to the blown-out window. Removing his gun from his back-of-the-waist holster, he peered over the windowsill. Seeing no one in the driveway, he swiveled around to check on Fiona. The red laser point danced around the room, searching for a target.

Mike followed the trajectory of the beam. The shot came from across the street in something high. He remembered seeing a tree house in the yard across the road from the mansion.

“Who lives across from you?” he asked.

“No one right now. The house is for sale.”

“I didn’t see a ‘For Sale’ sign.”

“We’re in an exclusive neighborhood. The HOA forbids sale signs.” Another shot rang out.

Mike whirled around in time to see Fiona’s head sticking out from behind the chair. The image of her head reflected in the fireplace mirror. “He’s using the mirror to target us. Do these curtains close?”

“Yes. The cord’s on the other side of the window.”

“I’m going to crawl under the window and close them. He’ll probably see my reflection in the mirror and start shooting, so stay hidden. As soon as the curtains close, crawl to the window as fast as you can and follow the wall to the entryway. Then get the hell out of the front of the house. Got it?”

“Got it.” Fiona’s voice quavered up the scale.

“You okay?”

“Scared, but okay.”

As Mike crawled along the floor, a volley of shots rang out. The remainder of the pottery displayed on the hearth shattered. When he reached the other side of the window, he yanked the drapery cord. The curtains billowed closed.

“Now, Fiona!” he shouted.

As she belly crawled across the floor, Mike held his breath. Bullets sprayed the room, punching through the heavy draperies, the shots veering from floor to ceiling.

Don’t ricochet! he commanded.

Fiona reached the cover of the exterior wall, and he let his breath out in a whoosh.

“Hurry!”

When she came within arm’s reach, he grabbed her hand and yanked her the rest of the way across the room and into the entry.

“Do you have a panic room?”

She nodded, her eyes filled with fear. “In the basement, behind the trophy wall.”

“Get in it, and don’t come out until I tell you to.”

“Where are you going?”

“To get the SOB who’s trying to kill you.”

Amazon buy links:
The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):
eBook: http://amzn.com/B00DUMODKI
paperback: http://amzn.com/1619353504
Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):
eBook: http://amzn.com/B00OVNFC8W
paperback: http://amzn.com/1619358271
Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):
    eBook: http://amzn.com/B00XK3E172
The Mercenary and the Shifters (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 4):
    eBook: https://amzn.com/B01I01W2JC


Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a Christmas novella, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow, with seven other authors.

Where you can find CD:
Website: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/
Blog: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/blog-2/
Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdhershauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CDHersh

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Interview with Nikki DiCaro, Author of Gates of Submission, New Boundaries Series



What made you decide to be an author? The decision was more fulfilling a desire.  Creative writing started on a Friday evening eleven years ago and the words, feelings and emotions have been pouring freely from me ever since.
 What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? I love discovering my literary creativity.  I feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as I create characters.  I enjoy learning about my characters as they reveal themselves to me.  With the completion of each manuscript I feel like I’ve created something lasting; something that will transcend my mortal limitations. What I like least has nothing to do with writing.  I am a senior business executive, speaker and advocate for equality.  I regret there aren’t more hours in the day to write.  I am writing 3,000 words a day spread over manuscripts, blogs, tweets and speaker presentations.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? I was a voracious reader and read eclectic works spanning dramas, love stories, horror stories, dramas, biographies and comedy.  This gave me the privilege of absorbing various writing styles on the journey to creating mine. Relating to my New Boundaries series, I’m transgender and struggled with gender dysphoria for more than four decades.  I have been able to marshal memories, thoughts and feelings and weave them into my characters.  My writing reflects life’s realities without connecting my characters to real people.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? I create the characters and they lead me.  I would not call that “being dictated to”.  I would label it openmindedness, release and conjoining with my characters.  This occurs naturally and in every book.  All I need is an idea, a pen and paper or a computer and a novel will be born.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? I am an organic writer.  I create the characters and they guide the plot.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Write something every day.  It doesn’t matter how much you write.  Writing every day develops discipline and it might reveal the joy and satisfaction of contemplating and memorializing thoughts. Not everyone is destined to be a writer.  As you write you will know whether it delivers joy or is a burden.
Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? Music touches me at different times.  I was moved by “One Flight Down” by Nora Jones.  The depth of my plots and subplots were only “One Flight Down” in my consciousness awaiting my descending the stairs and immersing myself in their revelations.
Russell has lost everything; his wife Mandy, his children and his suburban mini-mansion. Left with only the tatters of a once successful life, he discovers the courage to venture beyond the boundaries of conventionality. Stripping off his male exterior, Allison makes her debut, bringing a ray of hope that life might offer more than pain and confusion. His boss, Sylvia, a dominant and beautiful sexual powerhouse, has other ideas after discovering his deepest secret. As Sylvia’s hold on Russell tightens he is torn between shame and desire. Can he break free from Sylvia’s grasp? Will he choose to be: Russell or Allison?  Amazon

Excerpt

DIVORCE. THE WORD RATTLED around in his brain like a steel ball in an old-fashioned pinball machine. The papers had arrived at his office that morning by courier; he was officially divorced. Russell Radcliffe pulled his cherry-red Mercedes Benz convertible into the garage of his modest rancher and slid the transmission lever into park. Stung by the events of the day, he sat quietly, struggling with the dramatic change in his lifestyle. The five thousand square foot McMansion, the pool with elaborate cabana complete with wet bar and massage table, the Mercedes and the Range Rover, the country club membership, the well-earned upscale lifestyle—gone. The dream life with his children and the woman he promised to love for better or for worse were now a memory.
When days were rosy and nights sultry, the couple fell for the trappings of opulence. To support their lifestyle Russell and his wife mortgaged themselves right to the edge, not close enough that a fall from grace was eminent, but close enough that Russell could feel the spray from the waves pounding on the financial rocks below. The last brick in the wall crumbled; the mansion—her dream home—had a for sale sign with a picture of a 40-something big-haired, big nailed, real estate goddess in the front yard. The real estate market had softened putting a large portion of their nest egg in harm’s way. His wife got to remain in the house with the two teenagers, forcing him to relocate. She wanted everything before she would cede his car to him. He wanted that car; he needed that car. He equated the car with his identity even more than the house.
Russell replayed those last days of their marriage. In one fell swoop, Mandy revealed she was having an affair and had the divorce papers served to his office the next day. Not only was he not getting any, an interloper had been planting in his garden. He told Mandy that he was willing to forgive her, that she would regret leaving him, that she couldn’t stand on her own two feet.
***
“Come to your senses Mandy. Quit this foolishness and think it through.”

She had laughed. “Do you think I haven’t thought this through? Do you think I’m doing this because I want to get your attention?”

“I don’t understand why you’re doing this to me. I just want you to stop. Adultery is against the law.” His voice was strained; he wanted desperately to get through to her. His wife stood arms akimbo, her long sleek legs ran from her blue skirt, through nude pantyhose, and slid perfectly into navy blue patent leather pumps. She was attractive, even after two hard pregnancies. Her auburn hair wafted in sultry waves across her soft shoulders ending elegantly just short of the middle of her back. Large hazel eyes were framed by high cheekbones, thin nose and highly sculptured eyebrows. Her complexion hinted at regular trips to the tanning salon.

“When you started wearing my clothes I knew it was over. You were the one who turned our marriage into a farce, not me. ” Her tone was accusatory. “And don’t think threats will work with me, kiddo. I can ruin you if you put me in that position.” Her gaze was cold steel.

Russell looked her over; he would have begged her to stay if his pride wasn’t so strong. He loved her; she was his female role model; everything he wanted to be in a woman he saw in his wife. But he couldn’t condone her desire to find pleasure in another’s bed. Looking away he calculated his options; they were bleak. Losing his job wasn’t an option. He had worked long and hard to parlay the master’s degree in finance into a high profile position with an investment banking firm. He figured he would be summarily dismissed if his superiors knew he was transgender.

After the divorce he licked his wounds and decided to buy down-market. The shock of a smaller place on a postage stamp lot made him wish he hadn't been so critical when his wife unceremoniously disclosed her extramarital affair. He lost that struggle and was losing others. He would never give up his femininity even though it had meant losing his wife, who realized she wasn’t the only woman in his life. This had cut her deeply and she had made him bleed.
As he sat in the car with the engine running he considered pressing the activator button to bring the garage door down and seal off the garage. Just one click and he would fade slowly into eternal sleep.
Nikki DiCaro has been writing novels, inspirational essays and poetry for over ten years. Her novels focus on complex characters whose real-life problems touch on the issues of the day—from workplace harassment to divorce to transgender/LGBT issues. Gates of Submission is the first novel in her five-book series, “New Boundaries.” Its spicy plot twists will keep you on the edge of your seat.

When not creating fascinating characters and sensual scenes, Nikki writes inspirational essays which she posts regularly on her website, www.NikkiDiCaro.com.   A proponent of parity, equality, and unconditional acceptance she is a frequent speaker and presenter on gender sensitivity and workplace equality.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikki-dicaro-0668023
facebook.com/nikki.nicole.50115
www.nikkidicaro.com
Twitter handle: @NikkiOliviaDi1 

Interview with Sharon Ashwood, Author of Enchanted Guardian

What made you decide to be an author? I’ve always had invisible people nattering inside my head (it’s either madness or creativity, take your pick!) and so started writing down their stories at a very young age.  I made the conscious decision to pursue publication much later, after I’d been a freelancer for several newspapers for a while. That experience doing short pieces made a huge difference for me, because I learned about editors and deadlines and the writing profession in general. It built confidence.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
The best part about writing is the act of creation—when everything is going well and I’m living my story, the mechanics of typing and software and all that disappear and I lose time.  It’s as if I’m barely involved and the story is flowing through me. The other brilliant thing is having readers respond to what I create. That act of communication and communion is why I do this.  There is nothing more uplifting than getting an email or meeting a reader who loves what I’ve put out there.
The business end of being an author is much less fun. I dislike anything that takes time away from telling stories.

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
Everything—from skydiving to raising kids to pushing paper at the office to gossiping at the hair salon—is great storytelling material and the more a writer has, the better. I believe that’s why many artists don’t hit their stride until their later years—up until a critical point, they’re gathering their stories and learning what makes people do all that crazy, wonderful stuff that makes up daily life.

But the other component is awareness. Some teens are so acutely conscious of the world around them, they can make the most artistically of what few years they have under their belt. There is a great quote by the poet William Wordsworth about poetry taking “its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” I’ve always taken that to mean creative expression requires not only having an experience but also taking the time to examine it for meaning.

I apologize for a wordy answer, but I’ve actually thought about this issue a lot! The bottom line is writers are like fine wine and a little dust on the bottle is a good thing.

Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? Yes, definitely. I’ve had a little bit of that with every book. I know a character is fully formed when he or she starts insisting on actions I haven’t planned. If that doesn’t happen, I know I haven’t dug far enough into their character to truly understand them.

You’ve written 16 novels and are working on a 17th novel. What’s your favorite time management tip? I work full time as well as write, so I try to streamline where I can. I cook ahead, use a planner with all my tasks pinned against certain days, and say “no” as much as I need to. But the best piece of advice I ever got was in one of my very first jobs, when my boss told me to pick a task, any task, finish it and move on. Going back over the same ground over and over is the biggest waste of energy. It was a dreadful place of employment and I left ASAP, but that was a great takeaway.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? I outline, and then wander off course. Being too strict with the plot can choke the life out of a book, but I started out as a pantser and learned that I need some kind of road map if I want to actually finish the book anytime soon. I can go on and on and on . . .

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Don’t rush. Enjoy the process. Make it good. No one is brilliant first time out of the gate, but you will get there if you keep working. Give yourself the space to learn your craft.

Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? I don’t listen to music while I write, but I remember spending a lot of time with some early Clannad CDs when I was writing Enchanted Guardian. The Celtic flavor seemed perfect for a story about knights and fairies.
In another time, in a place once known as Camelot, they had been lovers. Torn apart by betrayal and lies, Lancelot Du Lac and Nimueh, the Lady of the Lake, had each suffered greatly.
But the magic of the fae had reawakened a man once trapped in stone, and Lancelot was determined to find his long lost love. Only, Nim was desperate to hide her fae soul, as she was marked for death by their mutual enemy.

Though centuries apart had not diminished their passion, they would once again face a dangerous test to prove each was the other’s destiny. 
Amazon      BN     Harlequin      Kobo    iBooks     The Book Depository


Excerpt

Lancelot caught her arm, pulling her up short. Nim scowled down at the long, strong fingers. Fine scars ran along his tanned knuckles, evidence of a life around blades. Heaviness filled her, a primitive reaction to the strong, aggressive male taking control of her in the most basic way. Once it might have grown into anger or lust, but now it confused her.

“Take your hand off me,” she said, letting her voice fill with frost.

“No.” He pulled her closer, turning her to face him. “You will answer my questions.”

Nim jerked her arm free. They were so close, she could feel his warm breath against her skin. “About what?”

His nostrils flared as if scenting her. Still, Nim studied his tense jaw and the blood flushing his high cheekbones. The heat of his emotions made her feel utterly hollow. His hand closed around her wrist again, almost crushing her bones.

“There are too many people here,” he growled.

“There are enough people here for safety. Perhaps I don’t want to answer you.”

His eyes held hers a moment, dark fire against the ice of her spirit. That seemed to decide him, for he pulled her close and took a better grip on her arm. “Come with me.”

“Where?”

He didn’t reply, but steered her toward the door, moving so fast she skittered on her heels. She took the opportunity to pull against him, but this time he held her fast. “Don’t.”

The threat was real. Her fighting skills were nothing compared to a knight’s. Lancelot could crush or even kill her with a single blow. Still, that didn’t make her helpless, and she would not let him forget that fact. Rising up on her toes, she put her mouth a mere whisper from his ear. “You forget what I can do. My magic is nothing less than what it was when I was the first among the fae noblewomen. I can defend myself against your brute strength.”
Just not against what he’d done to her heart. She closed her eyes a moment, feeling his breath against her cheek and remembering the past for a long moment before she denied herself that luxury. “Let me go,” she repeated.

In response, he pulled her to the side of the building, refusing to stop until he was deep into the shadows. The ground was little more than cracked concrete there, tufts of grass straggling between the stones. He pushed her against the siding, her back pressed to the rough wood. “Not until I’ve had my say.”
He had both of her arms now, prisoning Nim with the hard, muscled wall of his chest. Anyone walking by might glimpse two lovers in a private tête-à-tête, but Nim drew back as far as she could, something close to anger rising to strike. No one handled her this way, especially not him.

“Then talk,” she said through gritted teeth.

“Aren’t you even surprised to see me?” he demanded.

“Why should I be?” She needed to squash any personal connection between them. Even if she was whole and their people were not at war, he had betrayed her.

He put a hand against her cheek, his fingers rough. She jerked her chin away, burning where his touch had grazed her.

But he was relentless. “I’m told you were caught by Merlin’s spell along with the rest. I know what the fae have become.”

Soulless. As good as dead inside. Lancelot didn’t say the words, but she heard them all the same. “It’s true,” she replied. “It’s all true.”

His expression was stricken as if hearing it from her lips was poison. Good, she thought. Better to be honest. Better that he believe her to be the monster she was.

“Maybe that’s true for some. I don’t believe that about you. You still have too much fire.”

With that, he claimed her mouth in an angry kiss. Nim caught her breath, stifling a cry of true surprise. The Lancelot she’d known had been gentle and eager to please. Nothing like this. And yet the clean taste of him was everything she remembered.

His mouth slanted, breaking past the barrier of her lips to plunder her mouth. The hunger in him was bruising, going far beyond the physical to pull at something deep in her belly. Desire, perhaps, or heartbreak. She wasn’t sure any longer, but she couldn’t stop herself from nipping at his lip, yearning to feel what she had lost. A sigh caught in her throat before she swallowed it down. Surely she was operating on reflex, the memory of kisses. Not desire she might feel now. The warmth and weight of him spoke to something older than true emotion. Even a reptile could feel comfort in the sun. Even she…
Still, that little encouragement was all the permission he needed to slide his hand up her hip to her waist and she could feel the pressure of his fingers. Lancelot was as strong as any fae male, strong enough certainly to overpower her. That had thrilled her once, a guilty admission she’d never dared to make. She’d been so wise, so scholarly, so magical, but an earthy male had found the liquid center of heat buried under all that logic and light. They had always sparked like that, flint against steel.
But then his hand found her breast and every muscle in her stiffened. This was too much. Memory was one thing, but she wasn’t the same now and she refused to have a physical encounter that was nothing more than a ghost of what it should be.

Nim pushed him away. “I don’t want this.”

Something in her look finally made him stop, but his eyes glittered with arousal. “Are you certain about that?”
Sharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.

Sharon is the winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sharonashwood/
Newsletter:   http://www.sharonashwood.com/newsletter/
Blog: http://www.sharonashwood.com/daily-strange/
Website:  http://www.sharonashwood.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SharonAshwood
Facebook Fanpage:  https://www.facebook.com/authorsharonashwood

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