Monday, December 23, 2013

Arlie the Alligator

Today's special guest is Sandra Warren, who will be joining us at Book 'Em North Carolina on February 22, 2014. We hope you'll attend - it's completely free - and stop by Sandra's table and chat with her and buy her book.

In Sandra's own words:

When you least expect it, life throws you a curve that sends you traveling in another direction. I never aspired to be a writer; a reader, yes, but never a writer. Then children with unusual needs entered my life, needs few were addressing. And so I began to develop stories that challenge young minds; open-ended stories that begged for discussion and an ending only the reader could provide. 

Today, I write for different reasons.

I write for children to share my quirky ideas that I hope will entertain and maybe inspire a better understanding of their world and their place in it. Most of all, I hope children will have fun through the pages of my books.

I write for adults to engage them in a good story that will give them a respite from the stresses of daily life.
My eclectic interests have brought writing opportunities to write in many genres, my way. Each story written comes with an even greater tale of discovery behind the scenes. To date I’ve publications in gifted education, parenting, science, children’s, poetry, how to, journal and newspaper articles, adult biography as well as cable television, video and audio production.

I look forward to sharing the following books at Book’Em:

If I Were A Road, IF I Were a Table, The Great Bridge Lowering, Arlie the Alligator Book, CD and Communication Guide. And adult biographies, When Duty Called: Even Grandma Had to Go and Hidden Casualties: Battles on the Home Front. 


ABOUT THE BOOK


Arlie the Alligator: A Story & Picture Book for Kids Ages 4 to 8 is full of surprises. The song lyrics of four snappy tunes are incorporated mini-musical style within the story about a positive thinking alligator who longs to talk to the creatures (children) at the beach. Readers are challenged to think as Arlie describes the strange things the creatures do, I.E. “some were twirling flat round saucers high up in the air.”

Although the book can stand alone, its entertainment and educational value is enhanced when children follow along word-for-word with the audio CD, fully produced with actors, sound effects and of course, the music. Listen once and you’ll be bellowing right along with Arlie. Listen to a sample of the CD below:



The story with songs has been performed for preschool and primary children by middle-school and high school students as well as adults. The full theatrical script along with production ideas and sheet music, a full reader’s theater script and multiple classroom activities, are found in the Arlie the Alligator Communication Activity Guide. In addition to just plain fun, reading Arlie the Alligator is a great way to instill art, music, reading and creativity and performance skills in children.


I look forward to doing a reading of Arlie the Alligator for the young at heart at 11:00 AM in the Yellow Room at Book’Em NC.


CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Friday, December 20, 2013

Negotiation Tactics

Today's special guest is Lori Ryan. Lori is an award winning author and stay-at-home mom. Her second book, Penalty Clause, won first place in the romance category in Lucky Cinda Publishing’s Annual Global Writer’s Contest in 2013.

Lori has had a number of careers before embarking on her newest adventure of writing novels. After graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law, she practiced law for three years, working primarily in the areas of utilities law and intellectual property litigation.

More recently, Lori owned and operated a dog training business in Austin, Texas, where she specialized in aggression and became an expert in the field of dog bite analysis. Lori sold her dog training business in 2013 and is now a full time writer and mother of two.

Lori still lives in Austin with her husband -- who is endlessly supportive of her changing career paths -- and her two children, one cat, and three dogs.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Fans of the Sutton Capital Series have been waiting for Jennie and Chad’s story for a long time and they won’t be disappointed! And, new readers are sure to fall in love with the series.

After the crushing heartache of losing her husband at a harshly young age, Jennie Evans had finally found a place to call home. She had a job she loved and new friends to support her. With the exception of having to continuously fight off the feelings she had for Chad Thompson, she was happy again. As happy as she could be anyway. When Jennie’s well-meaning friends meddle in her life, they send her world into a tailspin once again. Soon, she’s on the run from some very dangerous people with the one man she doesn’t want to be with.

Chad Thompson has loved Jennie from afar for the last year, but he’s maintained control. Jennie’s made it clear she wants nothing to do with him and he won’t cross the line she’s drawn in the sand. Until she asks him to. And, when that happens, their world is turned upside down. Chad’s left scrambling to keep Jennie safe as he tries to right their world again. Unfortunately, Chad has to accept the fact that his heart is likely to be crushed in the process and nothing will ever be the same again.


AN EXCERPT

His dark looks – even with the smattering of scars that etched his skin from his time overseas – rivaled those of the biggest and brightest stars of Hollywood. In spite of that, there wasn’t an arrogant bone in Chad’s body. This, of course, made him all the more attractive.

The man was stunningly handsome, unquestionably kind and gentle, and he sent the bones in Jennie’s body into a puddle on the floor when he glanced her way. She didn’t want to be attracted to him. But, Jennie found she couldn’t ignore his effect on her no matter how she tried. And that, unfortunately, tore at her heart. Jennie wished with all her being that Chad Thompson didn’t have such a powerful effect on her.

When Jennie had first met Chad, she tried to find faults in him. If she could get herself to see him as an arrogant jerk, she might be able to ignore the physical attraction she felt for him. It would certainly make it easier, anyway. At first, Jennie thought he was just what she hoped for: a superficial jerk with no substance under the good looks and charm. Since Chad was born into the Sutton Capital family, he could have sat back and reaped the benefits of the family business without actually doing any work. Chad only worked until three o’clock many days, making Jennie assumed he was living off of trust fund money and not really contributing at all. That made it easier to resist the outward allure.

Sadly, her first impressions didn’t last and Jennie soon had to admit that Chad was just as attractive a person on the inside as he was on the outside. It turned out that Chad left work early to volunteer at a nearby veteran’s hospital. And the more Jennie got to know Chad, the more apparent it became that he was anything but a selfish, spoiled trust fund brat. That certainly didn’t make it easier for Jennie to resist him. But, she knew in her heart, she didn’t want a relationship with him or anyone else. She didn’t want the chemistry between them to exist.


SPECIAL LINKS


Lori will be awarding a $50 gift certificate to Amazon to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $50 gift certificate to Amazon to a randomly drawn host.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/09/virtual-nbtm-tour-negotiation-tactics.html


To follow Lori on Facebook, visit: http://www.facebook.com/loriryanromance


Want to be a part of her online street team? Email Loriryanauthor@gmail.com and put the words ‘street team’ in the subject line. She’ll email you back with directions for joining the team.

To join her email list to receive updates and news, including sneak peeks and free giveaways or contest news, visit http://www.loriryanromance.com/#!join-my-mailing-list/cdpp.

Visit Lori's author page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/loriryan.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Love Through Time

Today's special guest is Nana Prah. Nana was born in Ghana, West Africa, raised in the US and currently resides back in Ghana where she loves her job as a writer and nurse educator. She has been writing since she can remember (in her journal) and has been an avid reader of romance novels since the eighth grade. She has finally been able to utilize the years and years of inadvertent research into writing her own romance novels where love always conquers all.


GUEST BLOG: ON THE SUBJECT OF REINCARNATION

About nine years ago I was unsure about my life and the direction it was headed so I went to a psychic. The woman came highly recommended and was known to be reliable. One of the things the psychic told me was that I had undergone something like three hundred past lives. In one of them I had been an Irish man who’d been stabbed during a fight. In another one I was a prison guard who had no compassion for the prisoners and that I was in this life to learn how to be compassionate (which had ironically been a running theme in my life). 

Years later the experience stayed with me. When I started writing Love Through Time I knew I wanted to incorporate the concept of reincarnation into the book. I liked that the heroine, Jasmine, could recall her past lives through her daydreams. The hero, Sean, has no memory or experience of his past lives, but had what I like to call a visceral reaction to Jasmine because of the experiences they shared. I won’t give you any spoilers, but I’ll let you know those past lives weren’t good times.


For me reincarnation is real. Knowing that I’ll be able to come back to live another life in order to learn, experience and grow if so desire, makes me smile. I’m not sure I’ve actually lived over three hundred lives, but I hope I’m a better person now than I was during my last one.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Defending her family – no problem. Recalling past lives – maybe just a small problem. Taking a chance on love again – well…

Jasmine Gibson has her world turned upside down when she meets gorgeous Sean Taylor. He’s the first man she’s been attracted to since her fiancé dumped her two years ago. But when the disturbing daydreams start, Jasmine begins to fear that her actions in a past life may have finally caught up with her.

Sean finds it impossible to stay away from Jasmine even though he can’t shake the inexplicable feeling of betrayal, simmering deep inside him every time he sees her.


To complicate things, someone is out to hurt Jasmine and every time she and Sean are together, the police have to be called. Even if Jasmine can make Sean trust her, the two of them may not stay alive long enough to enjoy their love this time around.


AN EXCERPT

Jasmine stepped back but remained within his embrace. She didn’t look up into his face. “Thanks,” she said, wiping her cute nose on her sleeve for lack of a tissue.

“No problem. It’s been a rough day, you’re allowed to cry.” She fit into his body as if she’d been carved from him. It was such a peaceful embrace, a perfect fit of two bodies in sync, two souls in harmony with each other. Sean felt the most at home he’d ever felt with anyone. He knew her and somehow he could sense that she knew him, even though they were total strangers.

“How are you feeling?” he asked gently.

“Embarrassed, but I’m better.” She stepped out of his embrace and started walking again.

They walked for a little while without speaking. “Why don’t you ever look at me?”

“What?” She kicked a rock but continued walking.

He grabbed her arm to turn her around. “Why don’t you ever look at me? It seems as if you’ve been going out of your way not to look at me.”

Her head was down as she gave a slight shrug of her slim shoulders.

“Will you please look at me?” His voice was calm even though he felt desperate with the need to gaze into her beautiful brown eyes once again.

“I’m afraid,” she mumbled.

“Of what? Am I so ugly that you’ll turn into stone?”

Her full lips curved into a small smile. “Not at all.”

“What are you afraid of?”


LEAVE A COMMENT AND WIN A PRIZE!

Nana will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.



a Rafflecopter giveaway 


BUY LINKS




Smashwords


ARe


Kobo


Contact info:


Facebook: Nana Prah, Author

Twitter: @NanaPrah



Monday, December 16, 2013

Through the Oracle's Mist

Today's special guest is Aedan Byrnes. There is no simple description for Aedan. Obsessive, dreamer, reclusive, compulsive, outdoorsman and wordsmith would be among the list if one were started. The displaced Gael lives in the upper Midwest with family between jaunts wherever the road takes him. A frequent traveler, he is as likely to be found rock climbing or spelunking as sitting fireside dreaming or aimlessly floating away.

A lifelong lover of words and writing, he claims a diverse reading appetite and his writing reflects the myriad influences. A self-proclaimed 'reader's writer', he looks for the emotional and the sensory in word combinations, not just the visceral comprehension of phrases in the stories he crafts and his love of all things literary shines through.


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the blackest night, with the moon and stars to guide him, she would always be there waiting…

Cyrenna thought she died the day she watched Tynan and his brothers jump through the banishment portal in an act of solidarity with Rigor. Little did she know, it would be the first of many deaths she would experience in her quest to claim his heart. She would surrender not only her immortal soul, but a mortal one repeatedly. Through a deal with the great Oracle, she has multiple mortal lifetimes to change the direction of her future and have a chance with Tynan.

Her journey spans the ages from the GenPei War in Japan and the Silk Road west, to Cromwell, the Three Kingdoms and modern times, bringing her one step closer to forever until she makes a misstep. Then, the burden falls to Tynan. The only thing that is absolute is her fervent hope that he will come, but there’s one big problem.

Through it all, he doesn’t so much as know her name.


 
AN EXCERPT

How many times can a man be broken? How many times can a man die and never have it be final? How many lost loves or lost chances at love will it take to undo any chance of ever becoming whole? In the purest sense…only one. Nothing I could imagine or ever endure would compete for the absolute punishing agony of her folding me into her arms to comfort me and hearing her whisper…

“I know.”

Two words. Who knew that two words would be all that it would take to loose the storm? Hardly two words really, only five letters. Five little letters with extreme power. Five little letters to rob Zeus of his most lethal bolt, focus the strike, and rend me in pieces. The surge had pushed past my pride and leaves me sobbing for the loss I had yet to experience. A loss I knew would take my breath, but I cannot die. How cruelly ironic that death has become my sole wish now?

My internal emotional upheaval is a flash storm out of place beneath the cloudless sky. The cacophony of my noisy tears and transition scatter the small creatures for miles. I have no control and shift without grace. Rage and pain coalesce to an explosion, angst roaring as the internal battle is waged and the war lost before the call to arms is done sounding. My thunderous eruption screaming against the fading light, with a rising silvery moon and shimmering stars to bear witness to my destruction. The metamorphosis from man to beast is abrupt. I shift, not with the flexing of bone and the stretching of skin, but with the crack of a gun blast and a single pull to form. It is razor wire across my senses and I am bloodied raw without a trace to be found.

A testament to her, she stands still. Not frozen, but placated to let me render the fury that must come out as I cannot hold it in. The beast from within is enormous, but not big enough to hold so much. I warned her. I told her. I had made her aware almost cruelly that first time I let my inner wild out that this day might come…could come…would come and that it would be ushered in on an unseen tide that would sweep our perfect world away. I had wanted her to be afraid. She wasn’t. She had believed, but had also naively assured me that the day would be long into the future and we would enjoy the time until then.

She had been wrong. There was nothing to say now. ‘I’m sorry’ would be a hollow sentiment and ‘I was wrong’ would do nothing as the last thing I would want to hear and know about this was that I had been right.
 
LEAVE A COMMENT - AND WIN A PRIZE

Aedan will be awarding one of two journals (with the winners' choice of covers) to two randomly drawn commenters and an Erian Crest necklace as a grand prize to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 



Twitter:   @AedanByrnes

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Unlikely Angel

Today's special guest is Genie Gabriel. In her own words, she says:

I'm an optimist whose rose-colored glasses have bent frames and cracked lenses. When life kicks me in the teeth, I find miracles and lessons I refused to learn an easier way. In fact, I live with a small herd of miracles in the furry forms of dogs, who are constantly trying to teach me to forgive, to play more, and to love without limits. I write about people who find courage and integrity in the darkest times of their lives, who rescue stray dogs and kittens, who find a person they would willingly give their lives for, and who make their little corners of the world a better place. People have remarked my stories "aren't what they expected." With rose-colored glasses firmly in place, I take that as a compliment. I invite you to share a piece of my world in the pages of a book, and hope you find some surprises, some tears, some laughter, and always a happy ending.


ABOUT THE BOOK

A child psychiatrist running from violence and a former bodyguard grieving the wife he couldn't save form an unlikely alliance to rescue her kidnapped children. In a crumbling mine tunnel on Christmas Eve, their lives depend on a mutt rescued from the streets, a determined mother and an Unlikely Angel.


AN EXCERPT

Two weeks before Christmas, Mitch decided he had waited long enough.

“Come on, mutt.” Mitch grabbed his coat and a pair of work gloves. “Let’s go find the twins.”

Gabe bounded to his feet and bumped the doorknob with his nose. He sniffed and marked around the yard while Mitch pulled the Ferrari out of the garage. As soon as the dog jumped into the car, Mitch drove to a lot selling Christmas trees. He selected one that would fit nicely in Julia’s small apartment and strapped it to the top of the car.

The mutt hung his head out the window, riding in silent watchfulness until the apartment building was in sight. “Woof!”

“You have to be quiet or we’ll get caught smuggling you in.” Under cover of the falling twilight and a bushy evergreen tree, Mitch and the dog walked quickly toward Julia’s apartment.

As soon as Julia opened the door, the dog pushed inside and sniffed out the twins, quickly falling back into their game of hide and seek. Within seconds, the twins’ giggles let Julia know the dog had found the children.

“I brought a tree.” Mitch stood the evergreen upright.

“I see that.” Julia bit her lip as she walked around the tree. “Nice choice. Bushy all around.”

“I had three picky sisters who trained me in the fine art of Christmas tree selection.”

Julia smiled. “They trained you well.”


SPECIAL LINKS

Genie will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/11/book-blast-unlikely-angel-by-genie.html

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blood and Gold

Today's special guest is Hawk MacKinney. With postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.

Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series… murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention.  Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series is due out this fall with another mystery-thriller work out in 2014. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012.

"Without question, Hawk is one of the most gifted and imaginative writers I have had the pleasure to represent. His reading fans have something special to look forward to in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Intrigue, murder, deception and conspiracy--these are the things that take Hawk's main character, Navy ex-SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram, from his South Carolina ancestral home of Moccasin Hollow to the dirty backrooms of the nation's capital and across Europe and the Middle East."

Barbara Casey, President
Barbara Casey Literary Agency

Hawk will be a featured author at Book 'Em North Carolina on February 22, 2014, and we hope you'll stop by his table and chat with him about his writing!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Blood and Gold, the third book in The Craige Ingram Mystery Series, once again tests the instincts and skills of retired Navy SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram. Lust, greed, body parts and unrestrained wild sex parties are what await Craige Ingram when he leaves the comforts of his South Carolina home to visit his former SEAL buddy, Detective Spinner Krespinak. Set in the Colorado underbelly of a sordid sable and faux glitz ski mecca, Detective Spinner Krespinak suspects drugs have made their way to the snowy playground that is Aspen. An Olympic ski hopeful is brutally murdered, Spinner vanishes, and Craige Ingram is shot as events spin out of control with a Catch-22 no one anticipates.


AN EXCERPT

The drive up the narrow mountain rutted road was a risky, hands-on-the-wheel icy slid-and-skid.  With a grim set to his jaws, Spinner didn’t say a word the whole way.  They parked among the jumble of squad cars.  Craige avoided the taped-off areas while Spinner huddled with Loopy.  Silently they paced-off and studied the layout of each room of the mansion…each room except the one where death waited to greet Spinner.  No one except Craige and Loopy knew how Spinner wasn't as detached as he appeared.  Spinner traced and retraced his steps.  Seeing beyond Spinner’s detached veneer of the professional, Craige could read the surly stir of emotions Spinner was struggling to control.
           
Finally…there was nothing left except to face the grizzly business of felony homicide and the dead.  Spinner went back to where Loopy was busy.  As though wanting to avoid seeing what waited in that room, he said, “Any ideas about the time of death?”
           
Loopy said, “Only a rough approximation at this point.  I'd approximate somewhere between eight in the morning and two or three in the afternoon.  We haven’t moved the bodies yet, but from what indications of livor mortis I could see, I’m leaning toward it being earlier.  Central heat was off…fireplace ashes are still warm.  Once we determine algor mortis changes in the body temps, I’ll be able to narrow that some.  We've already picked up thirty to forty different sets of prints.  Could easily be twice that before we finish.  Most so smudged they're no good.  The rancher who lives at the valley turnoff said cars were going back and forth all night.  How it wasn't the first time they had all-night mountaintop blowouts up there.  We bagged used condoms from all over this place—bedrooms, baths, all over the house.  We’ll compare DNA with that of the victims.  See if we get any matches that narrow down any persons of interest.  Looks to be marijuana and freebase by the fireplace and in the breakfast room.  And what is likely Mexican black heroin on the carpet in the den.  Lord only knows what else we'll turn up.  I’ll be surprised if we don’t find Silk or S-K.  There's at least a case of empty aerosol cans, probably for heavy-duty huffing.  We'll see what the lab tells us…hopefully that’ll fill in more details.”
           
Spinner said, “Before Frannie left for Denver last night, Ski came by and borrowed my wheels to get here.  Brought them back about noon.  Christy and the two men had to be alive at the time Ski left.  Depending on road conditions, it takes about an hour to get from here back into town.  The low last night was below zero, but there was no heavy weather—no wind.”  His eyes flashed hurt and anger, a silent reckoning stirring somewhere deep and hidden.  “Ski would party 'till the last minute.”  Spinner hesitated.  “Least, I’d like to think it was that.  I wouldn’t like thinking he'd use me as an alibi.”  The thought of the possibility was a heart-pain that sliced deep into his soul.  “Give me a few minutes before you zip them up.”
           
Loopy nodded. “No hurry.  Take what time you need.”
           
A very still Spinner turned a masque-face back to the bed…emotions churning his features.  A lump knotted his throat.  Looking down at Christy’s lifeless body, the bullet hole a vulgar insult to a death mask of frozen beauty…it seemed somehow otherworldly.  “…never could trust your flighty-canary way of life.”  The niche occupied by carefree fun-loving Christy seemed stark and empty.


SPECIAL LINKS

Hawk will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 





Monday, December 9, 2013

Highland Homecoming

Today's special guest is B.J. Scott. With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.

C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

I am captivated by the backdrop in B.J.Scott's books, and I asked her why she wrote historical novels set in Scotland. Here is her response:

Thanks for hosting me on your blog today.

When it comes to romance novels, especially in the historical genre, the location and setting has a lot to do with reader appeal. People who enjoy romance novels are often looking for an escape from reality. They want to be whisked away to another place and time, somewhere mysterious, exciting, and different from their everyday life and surroundings. 


The vastness and beauty of the Scottish moors and Highlands, heather dotted glens, majestic mountains, imposing castles looming on the horizon, crystal clear streams and icy blue lochs provide the perfect backdrop for a historical romance filled with passion and adventure.  

But why Scotland and not another place in the world that has similar attributes? Part of the reason is that along with the setting, the Scottish heroes and heroines hold a special appeal. Blockbuster movies like Rob Roy and Braveheart, bestselling books and TV series of the 1990s and their depictions of epic events in Scottish history have not only left an image of Scotland in our mind. but of the Scottish hero. Tall, muscular, powerful, dangerously sexy men who fearlessly push the limits, and command respect, yet their dedication to clan, king and country show their honorable side. A man that can only be tamed by a feisty, intelligent, independent woman.

The covers of Scottish historical romance novels hold their own special appeal. Most are  bright and bold, boast a swoon-worthy, strapping hero with long hair, often bare-chested, and usually wearing a kilt—even though many Scottish romances are set in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, before kilts were worn. While some readers will pick up on that fact, most are enthralled by the dashing hero and very forgiving of the historical inaccuracy of the attire. Add a lovely lass staring longingly into her Highlander’s eyes and you can almost feel the heat emanating from the book.

Another reason for the attraction is the growing interest in history, ancestry and genealogy. Many American and Canadians can trace their roots back to the immigrants who flocked here from Scotland and Ireland during the 1700s and 1800s.

Be it the setting, the hero, or the fascination with Scottish history, Highlander books are popular with historical romance fans.


ABOUT THE BOOK

The last thing Alasdair Fraser expects to find on an isolated beach in Northern Scotland is a beautiful, unconscious lass. Unable to turn his back on someone in need, he delays his journey and tends to her injuries–an act that has him questioning his destiny and his plans to rejoin the fight for Scotland’s independence.

Will he drop the shield that guards his heart or will the secrets she fails to reveal and his own stubbornness keep them apart forever?


AN EXCERPT

Northern Coast of Scotland. Summer 1308

Hooves pounded against rocks, surf, and sand as Alasdair Fraser pushed his mount beyond reasonable limits. Few things rivaled the thrill and exhilarating rush of mastering the powerful destrier between his thighs, controlling the magnificent beast with reins and will. The wind whipped through unbound hair and the tangy scent of the salty sea air filled Alasdair’s nostrils.

He’d ridden hard all afternoon, hoping to reach the stronghold of his longtime friend, Jayden Sinclair. But the sun had slipped below the horizon, the twilight sky ablaze with orange, red, and purple hues. Darkness would soon be upon him and he’d be forced to make camp for the night. He licked his parched lips and his stomach rumbled. Many hours had passed since he’d last eaten, but a hot meal and a tankard of ale would have to wait. Water, oatcakes, and a bit of dried venison would suffice until he reached his destination.

He dug in his heels, and the steed surged forward. The more distance they covered before nightfall, the shorter the journey would be on the morrow. But as they rounded a bend in the shoreline, Odin faltered, reared up on his hind legs, then began to dance nervously from side-to-side. The battle-hardened warhorse didn’t spook easily so Alasdair took heed of the animal’s uneasiness.

With one hand resting on the hilt of his sword, the other fisting the reins, he carefully surveyed the immediate area. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, yet the niggling of trepidation gnawing at his gut led him to believe there was something amiss. He nudged the horse’s flank and the pair advanced with caution.

They’d only traveled a short distance up the beach when the sight of something a few yards ahead at the water’s edge brought them to an abrupt halt. With his heart hammering in his chest, Alasdair cupped his hand over his brow and narrowed his eyes, trying to get a better look. The image came into focus and he could make out the unmistakable outline of a person sprawled out on the shore.

“What is it, Odin? Or, should I say, who is it?”

While this could be someone in need, it might also be a trap, an enemy or bandit lying in wait. Without hesitation, Alasdair slid from the saddle, pulled a claymore from the baldric slung on his back, and raced down the beach on foot. Stopping a few feet away, he sucked in a sharp breath.

“Mo chreach!”

He sheathed his weapon and took a step closer. A young woman, wearing nothing more than a thin nightrail, lay motionless in the sand, the waves of the incoming tide lapping at her bare feet.


SPECIAL LINKS

B.J. will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card, Scottish shortbread cookies, can cooler and mouse pad (US/CANADA ONLY) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a beaded book thong with silver charms, book marks, pen, and canvas tote to a randomly drawn host (US/CANADA ONLY).
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 





Buy links

Highland Homecoming( book 3 of Fraser Brother Trilogy)


Highland Quest (book 2 of Fraser Brother Trilogy)


Highland Legacy: (book 1 of Fraser Brother Trilogy)







Friday, December 6, 2013

Ghost Lover

Today's special guest is Liza O'Connor.
Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog, Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR



I love the ghostly element in your book. Have you ever seen a ghost yourself?

In fact, I live with a ghost. Not a sexy one like Lassier. My co-resident is the original owner of my house, Mrs. Martin. The dear old lady died in her bed and the first thing she did is chase her ill-tempered husband out of her house. A lovely young family bought the house. Eventually, the family grew to seven: the parents and five fabulous young girls. Mrs. Martin never had any children and I think she fell in love with those girls. Thus, when I bought the house, she was a bit noisy (boards constantly creaking and doors opening). I believe she was searching for the girls she’d grown to love.

Eventually, she settled down (boards stopped creaking), still she keeps moving my area rugs and she does NOT like having men sleep in her room. That’s happened twice. She managed to chase a male house-sitter out of her bedroom, but not my dad. However, she did get his attention with all her stomping and huffing. First I knew of the problem was when he came into the kitchen and asked if I had a ghost. I laughed and admitted I did. My dad is probably the least ‘sensitive’ person in the world. I could only imagine how much trouble she had getting his attention. Poor woman was probably exhausted.


I also love the fact that the book is set in an old castle. Can you tell us how you envisioned the castle? Did you visit existing castles to get an idea, or did the setting just come alive in your mind?

The Durrans built the original castle in the 12th century. Protecting the inhabitants would have been its main purpose back then, thus it had a moat and lots of small openings to shoot arrows from and protect the heavy wooden door.



However, the Durrans, while not always nice, were excellent at protecting and growing what was theirs, so each generation expanded and modified the original castle until today, it looks like this.






The original tower is to the far right in this picture. And unlike most modern castles, the moat was never filled in, however erosion over time has reduced both its depth and width and now it is hidden by the foliage. A permanent flat steel bridge provides access to the castle now.

Let me show you the castle from Senna’s viewpoint.

Senna took in the ancient castle towering above her. An ageless mystique emanated from the stone fortress. She walked forward and placed her hand onto the archway framing the massive carved wood doors. The rough stone felt cold to her touch, but oddly familiar, as if she belonged here.
They walked through an entryway of dark mahogany cabinets and benches and entered a massive room with cathedral ceilings. A sweeping stone staircase curled toward them from the right, looking like a giant cat’s paw. A thick wooden table, at least fifteen feet in length, dominated the center of the room. Modern couches and chairs gathered on the left side, creating a smaller oasis within the overwhelming larger space

And of course, there’s a dungeon, even if Gar insists the dungeon is long gone and is now a wine cellar. As proof it still exists, Lassier, the ghost warns Senna never to go down into the dungeon where several ghosts are chained for eternity.


The two English brothers are very different. Can you describe Brendon and Garrison for us?

Brendon lives life for the moment, and thinks making love is the finest pleasure on earth.



He possesses a boyish charm, but to ensure the chicks don’t think him too boyish, he’s grown a small goatee to make him more sensual. Apparently it works. The only female he has not seduced is Senna. Even when they marry, she intends never to have sex with him. Given he’ll never be faithful, it is the only way she save herself from a broken heart.

Gar is a throwback to Lassier’s father who only loved one woman his entire life.



 As the story begins, he’s a bit grumpy and discontented with life. He dates, but he cannot find anyone to suit him. He has a great deal of responsibilities, not just controlling the multitude of ancestral ghosts in the castle, but taking care of his brother. And now, he has a new worry. Recently, Brendon called and offered to return some priceless teacups if Gar would buy plane tickets for him and his fiancée to come home. The young woman has ‘gold digger’ written all over her and there is no way Gar will allow her to take Brendon’s fortune.



Tell us about Senna, and what causes her to leave her apartment in the United States and travel to a castle in England to begin a new life.



Brendon guessed Senna’s bank code and withdrew $400 from her bank account, causing her rent check to bounce. The landlord, upon hearing she wouldn’t have the money for three weeks and then she would need more time to pay for next month’s rent, handed her an eviction notice and said he wanted her out by the end of the week.

What was she to do? She had no money to rent another place. She had no friends to take her in. She feared she’d be on the street, homeless and would soon lose her job as well—no one likes a smelly employee.

While Brendon couldn’t return the $400, he offered a better alternative than her becoming homeless and stinky. She could go with him to England. His trust fund had a half million, and if she married him, she could take charge of the money and spend it wisely for the both of them.

The idea of marrying Brendon terrified her, but she agreed on two conditions.

1) She received proof he had a half million. (The way his eyes sparkled when he spoke of the money made her question its existence.)

2) She would never, ever, ever have sex with him. Given his propensity to jump the bones of every girl he meets, the only way she saw this ever working out is if she never fell in love with him, because otherwise, he would break her heart.

Brendon agreed, and off they went to the airport, where Brendon almost causes them to miss their flight because he’s shagging a contortionist in the broom closet of the bar.

It puts her in a surly mood, which bodes badly for her first encounter with Gar, who is also in a surly mood because of Brendon’s recent phone call home.

So the ‘homecoming’ may be a bit rough.



ABOUT THE BOOK


Two sexy English brothers. One irresistible ghost. Who would you choose as your lover?

Completely broke and with a criminal record to boot, Senna Smith is one day from eviction from her apartment when Brendon, her promiscuous roommate from London, suggests she go to England, marry him, and manage his fortune. With few other options, she agrees to an open marriage. But she’ll never, ever, have sex with him, knowing if she falls in love with him, he’ll break her heart.

As trustee of Brendon’s family fortune, there is no way Brendon’s older brother, Garrison Durran, is going to let him marry a self-professed American gold-digger. As Senna tries to embrace castle life and English society for Brendon’s sake, Gar discovers Senna is the perfect woman for him--beautiful and intelligent, kind and caring. Now, if she wasn’t already engaged to his brother…

The ancestral ghost of Durran Castle has to intervene if the Durran brothers have any chance of an heir. He can’t leave them to fix matters on their own. They are useless buggers when it comes to love. As counselor to Gar, matchmaker for Brendon, and lover to Senna, a ghost’s work is never done.


CONTENT WARNING: Allergy warning: Ghost cat in book.  


AN EXCERPT


 “So my brother steals all your money and to compensate you, he suggests you come to England, marry him, and he’ll give you his trust fund.” Only his brother could contrive such an absurd plan.

“Yes.” By her brief answer, he gathered she thought it a perfectly reasonable solution.

His brother might be an idiot, but this gold digger would soon discover Gar a force to reckon with. “Did he steal a half million from your bank account?”

Brendon laughed. “Do you have any idea how long that would take? Cash machines only allow you two visits a day at two hundred dollars a pop.”

“How much did he take?” Gar restated his question.

“Four hundred,” Senna replied.

Gar stared up at the ceiling praying for patience, then glared at Ditz. “So why didn’t you pay her back the four hundred?”

Ditz stubbornly refused to answer, and instead glanced at the girl.


She sighed and faced Gar. “Precisely what I asked. He said he didn’t have the four hundred, but if I married him, he would come into a half million. Since the landlord planned to evict me, I really had no choice but to accept the offer.”


SPECIAL LINKS

Liza will be awarding a digital copy of "Worst Week Ever" to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and a grand prize of one $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her Virtual Book Tour. 




a Rafflecopter giveaway