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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NEW RELEASE and ARe Celebrates Earth Day with a SALE! #RomFantasy

SO... book lovers!! Today everything is HALF PRICE at ARe Romance, so if you're missing one of my titles, or looking for a new one to try - today's a great day to jump in - the rebate will be credited to you, and then you can buy MORE awesome books from some of the best authors in the business!!

Check things out HERE

(This means you can get several of my books for as low as 49 cents)




DEFECTOR
Genre: Mystery/thriller
Novella

Andrew Dahle is a career spook, with no messy emotional ties to complicate his life. He’s worked with the best, and despite himself, he’s about to discover that he’s got friends he really didn’t know he wanted.

A straight-forward operation to grab a defector before he can leave the country with a top secret project goes wildly awry, and forces Andrew to choose between saving the life of a colleague’s son or nailing his target. To his great surprise, he saves the young man’s life, and wakes up in a hospital.

Grateful, Richard MacAvoy, a retired agent with his own elite contacts and players, steps in when Dahle is injured saving his son. Desperate to complete his mission, Andrew reluctantly accepts the help MacAvoy offers, and in the process just might learn that alone isn’t always the best way to work, and friends might be worth the vulnerability he’s always shunned.

An ARe best-seller already, and you can now get it hot off the NEW release press at a half price discount: HERE

Also available at AMAZON and direct from the PUBLISHER

Excerpt:


“All right, you know exactly what I expect to happen here,” Andrew stated calmly. At the brief nods he received, he began to turn away, until Brad Matthews posed a question Dahle had hoped to avoid.

“What if something alerts him and we have to abort or risk casualties?”

Dahle took a deep breath and silently cursed Michael again. The Director knew better than to saddle Andrew with a partner, yet he’d done it another time—after a long and loud discussion. This young agent was about the worst of the lot, though.

“My mission here,” he began with forced patience, “is to see that Hunter does not escape with the Phantom plans. That is our only reason for being here, and I fully expect to have him in custody. If anybody interferes, consider it secondary to getting this idiot. Is that understood?” He eyed each of the three men he’d been given to complete the maneuver quietly and quickly.

Not one of them dared risk further questions as they met the ice blue of Dahle’s stare. They nodded their understanding, and two of the men slipped away without so much as a mutter.

“Where do you want me positioned?” Matthews asked.

Andrew resisted the cryptic suggestion that sprang to mind.

“Once Phillips and Weyburn have gotten into position on the roof, I want you inside. I’ll coordinate from here.”

“Think we’ll be able to get him outside?” Brad wondered, nerves making him talk more than he knew he should have been—especially to this man, he noted mentally.

“He thinks he’s safe in the Museum. He’s met his contact here before. Once he comes into the street, it will simply be a matter of handing over the project plans or dying where he stands. Those two are about the best marksmen we’ve got,” Dahle told him, again with that patient, condescending tone which infuriated the younger agent. A beep in the earphone he wore told Andrew his snipers were in place.

“Get inside, Matthews,” he ordered. “And, for Christ’s sake, don’t get anywhere near him, just follow him out!”          

As he watched Matthews go into the huge Metropolitan Museum of Art, he stilled the hand that wanted to rub at his temple. He knew the gesture was becoming a nervous habit, and it irritated him. He pulled out his sunglasses and glanced at the rooftop opposite the Met. He knew exactly where the two men were supposed to be positioned, and he spotted them simply for that reason. He raised the radio he held and spoke into it. “Stand by, he should be coming out anytime now.”

Satisfied that things would go according to plan, Dahle got into his car to wait until Brad got Hunter into the open for him.

* * *

 Almost fifteen minutes had passed since Dahle had sent his partner inside the huge museum, and there was still no sign of Hunter emerging from the building. Nor any word from Matthews, he added furiously. He was beginning to have serious doubts about the smoothness of this operation. It should have been simple and straightforward, but each minute that passed made him feel less and less certain about that assertion.

Too many people around, he observed for at least the tenth time in that many minutes. Not that he had any humanitarian reason for the concern. Mostly it just annoyed him that the presence of too many people complicated his chances of a successful capture of this traitor Michael wanted back. If bystanders died, it was hardly of any importance to Andrew—as long as Hunter wasn’t on the casualty list until after he’d recovered the Phantom Project plans.

Damn!  There should have been a signal by now.

The sound of a gunshot echoing through the museum was not the signal Dahle was waiting for, and he felt rage swell instantly. Panicked screams followed the shot, and he got out of the car, gun in hand, then started toward the main entrance. He’d gotten no further than a few steps in that direction when he was stopped short by the two figures coming out the doors.

Disbelief and anger fought for release as he stared at Hunter and his hostage. Blue eyes met blue, and Andrew almost winced at the relief he read in the expressive features of Danny MacAvoy. The damn kid really thought Dahle would save him from his bad luck!  What truly infuriated Andrew was the unwilling realization that the young man was right. Despite his orders to the contrary, he was going to be the one breaking his own game plan rules. The unflinching faith in Danny’s eyes wouldn’t allow him anything else.

“Let him go, and you can get away, Hunter,” Andrew said flatly.

“He’s coming with me, Andrew,” Dylan said around an icy smile. “Do you think I don’t know how well planned this must have been?  I know Michael’s confidence in you, and I also know it’s justified. You wouldn’t risk my escape. Where’s your back-up?  It can’t be that fool who fired inside. You wouldn’t tolerate that kind of stupidity.”

Tell Michael that! Dahle’s anger was reaching murderous levels.

“You won’t get past the steps with a hostage,” Dahle assured the designer. “Unless I give the order to allow it. I won’t do that until you release the boy.”

“You sure as hell won’t do it then!”

Andrew actually smiled at the unmistakable fear he heard in the other man’s voice. He knew they’d reached a veritable stand-off, and the choice now was to let Hunter escape to save MacAvoy’s son or to risk the kid getting in the way when one of his people took out the weapons designer they were after. Somehow, despite his earlier statement about their abilities, he wasn’t truly convinced either sharpshooter had the skill to avoid a possible injury to the young man Hunter was using as a shield. Which meant the decision was his call.

Dahle allowed himself another look at Danny, wondering briefly why he was even remotely concerned. He was the one who had stated categorically that the operation came first, so why was he hesitating?  The answer was one he really didn’t want to acknowledge; Danny MacAvoy reminded him too clearly of things he’d lost so long ago that he was often sure he’d never possessed them. His last encounter with this young man had reopened old wounds he’d long thought healed. The protectiveness he instilled in the people around him was contagious, as well. Andrew had come face to face with Angelo Johnson on that count, more than once. Now he found himself examining the very things that must have swayed so many others; he knew the innocence and the courage, the unyielding faith that was written so clearly in the boy’s face.

Damn you to hell, MacAvoy!

“Go!” he snapped at Hunter. His only concession to Danny’s questioning glance was a barely perceptible nod, but the kid returned the gesture, with a small smile that set Dahle’s teeth on edge.

“Instruct your people not to shoot, Andrew.” As he gave the demand, Hunter was inching toward his car, parked a few yards away from Dahle’s Silver BMW. His hold on Danny hadn’t loosened at all.

Andrew raised the radio to his mouth and issued the order. “Let him get into his car, cancel previous orders.”

He took a step toward the two men, noticing almost absently that the street had cleared of people around the front of the museum. Danny saw the movement; it registered clearly in his eyes. The kid’s going to make a move, Andrew realized, anger reigniting in the time it took for the thought to form. Without consciously thinking about it, Dahle made a desperate grab for Danny at the same instant the young man jerked away from Hunter. The opposing momentum caused them to literally collide with each other and they both went down.

Andrew recovered instantly and pushed the kid’s face down on the sidewalk as he climbed to balance on one knee, his gun drawn. He took aim.

Several shots split the unnatural quiet of the afternoon. Dahle heard them through a haze of disbelief as pain tore into his shoulder and spun him backward. He hit the pavement next to Danny and watched in confusion as a body tumbled down the museum steps.

“How bad is it?” Danny asked, his concern evident in his lack of awareness to what was going on around him.

“Bad enough, kid,” Andrew snapped. He ignored the stabbing pulse of pain that fanned outward from his right shoulder, and he hauled himself back to his feet, with Danny’s unwelcome help.

“What the hell happened?” he shouted, when one of the two snipers came running toward him.

“He got away, but we took out the back-up,” Jason Phillips said, his voice breathless from the frantic dash he’d made from across the street. “She’s the one who got you,” he added, indicating the body sprawled across several steps.

Danny’s eyes widened, and he took an unconscious step backward when Andrew brushed past him to go have a look at the woman.

“Get inside and find out what the hell’s happened to Matthews,” Andrew directed. “If he’s not dead already, he’s going to wish he was before I’m through with him.”

“Shouldn’t we call the medics?”

Andrew didn’t respond. He got a clear look at the face of the woman who’d shot him, just before the darkness swallowed him and took away the shudders of agony that wracked his body.


 DEFECTOR will be on tour with Shades of Rose Media May 5th! 

Welcome author/artist Dawné Dominique @RomFantasy


Has writing been something you always did, or was it a discovered talent that came to you at a later point?
When I was a child, I used to write poems and stories, and then drew pictures to match. When I got older, I must have a started over twenty novels in my lifetime, but never seemed to finish them. In the late 1990's, early 2000, when the stress of my job was getting too much, I joined a writing site. It took a year, but I finally finished an epic fantasy novel. My first complete novel. From there I was hooked. 

Do you remember how it felt when you were offered that first contract? What emotions stand out in your memory? 
Oh yes, I remember. Elated. Frightened. Unworthy. Shocked. *chuckles* It was a plethora of emotions. I was asked to write for an erotic western anthology. I didn't know a damn thing about cowboys, let alone erotica. But it was a challenge...and I thrive on challenges. That's what makes life exciting. 

Is this a first book, part of a series, or the latest in a long line of many? 
Eden's Hell is the first book to a five novel series called The First series. Crimson Cries is the fourth novel and my latest release. 

What is the oddest thing that’s happened to you since you chose to become a professional writer? Will it ever make it into a book, or is that a secret? 
Well, to me it's odd, but my friends tend to look differently at me, especially after reading my novels. The majority of them have said they had trouble getting through the erotic sections because they kept picturing me in those scenes. Heaven help me! 

Do you have your next book underway, or are there other titles in the planning stages? 
Surrender: Sins of the Father is the final novel to The First series. I'm halfway through the writing process now and hope to have it finished before the end of 2014. I'll be sad to end it. As I've been writing the series since early 2000, all the characters have become close friends to me. Fourteen years is a long time. 

I will be releasing a fantasy novel called The Tears of San'Ferath in a couple of months. It was a novel I wrote many years ago. 

Do you have a favourite genre and why? Is it one you write in, read in, or both? 
I started out as primarily a fantasy novelist. Then I evolved into erotica and paranormal. Fantasy and paranormal are very similar because both genres use magic. I love world building and unique character developments. By far, paranormal is my favorite genre to write—and read. 

What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process? Does it change from book to book or remain the same? 
That would be writing the ending of a novel. It's the most stressful, nerve-wracking, sad, and joyful process for me. 

If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why? What kind of book do you think would come from the collaboration? 
Hands down...Anne Rice. I fell in love with her writing in the early 1980's. Of course, it would be a paranormal, perhaps with a few ghosts thrown in for good measure. Maybe you put in a good word for me with her? *chuckles* 

Where can readers find you on the web?
You can find me at: www.dawnedominique.com
Or my cover artist website at www.dusktildawndesigns.com
I'm also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dawne.dominique

1. Tell us a little about yourself. 

Thank you so much for having me here today, Tricia. Hi, everyone. My name is Dawné Dominique, and I'm an author of erotic paranormal romance and fantasy. I'm also a cover artist and a paralegal is my "other" life. 

2. When did you begin writing? 

Although I wrote tons of stories when I was a child, it wasn't until the late 1990's and early 2000 that I began seriously writing. At that time my job had gotten so stressful that I needed to find an outlet to keep me sane when I came home at night. So I joined a writing site in an effort to get lost in my writing and alleviate the stress. I was hooked. I'd written stories and poems from as far back as I can remember, but I never had the gumption or drive to finish a novel. My writing site gave me the structure and encouragement I needed to finally finish something. It turned out to be an epic fantasy novel at approximately 200k, which I titled Dark Prisoner. Because of its size, I cut the novel into two. The second half is called The Ebbing of Tides. One day I'm going to dust that baby off and get it ready for the world, but it being my first novel attempt, the work (edits) I know that's involved is what's been keeping it on the shelf. : ) 

3. Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write? 

Funny you should ask. I write by the seat of my pants. Every night when I go to bed, the novel I'm currently working on will run through my head like a movie. Unfortunately, I don't sleep a lot. But I attended a writing seminar recently wherein the guest author suggested something that I'm going to try. I have a "ghost" novel that's been brewing in my brain for a couple of years now. It's based on actual events that have happened here in Winnipeg. Of course, I was in the shower when the idea first struck me. For that novel, I'm going to try index cards. Each card will represent a chapter. On those cards will be key points/events that will need to be included in each chapter. 

4. Can you tell us about your most recent release? 

Crimson Cries is the fourth novel in my vampire series called The First. It blends biblical facts and fiction to give readers a very logical explanation as to where and how the first vampires and wolves came to be. Eden's Hell, the novel which begins the series, was nominated for an EPIC because of its uniqueness from all the other vampire novels out there. This series is definitely not your ordinary vamp series. : ) 

5. How did you get the idea for the book? 

It was quite by accident, actually. I entered a contest on my writing forum. The prompt was to write a chapter length story about a "unique" vampire,which I did. I won the contest, but every critique I received said "it's too short". Thus, the series began. 

6. Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why? 

That would be Daniella Rolfe, who is one of the main characters in the series. She's strong, powerful and beautiful...everything I wish I was. 

7. What was the most challenging aspect of writing your books? 

The research. Every novel in the series had to have extensive research done, whether it was the biblical aspects or merely a road in Scotland. I want believe-ability in everything I write, even though it's fiction. 

8. Which authors have inspired your writing? 

Oh, there's many, but the one most recent was Anne Rice. When I first discovered her in the early 1980's, I hadn't given any thought about vampires being like real people with emotions and conflicts. She introduced me to a world I never wanted to leave. 

9. What projects are you currently working on? 

I'm writing the final chapter of a fantasy novel I wrote many years ago called The Tears of San'Ferath. It's about a land called Allanoria, with Druids (who are good) and Druid Evoluntines (who are evil). When the mage'ic of the lands begins to fade because of the evil taint left by the Druid Evoluntines, all the mage'ical creatures begin dying. When there's only one dragon left, San'Ferath, the last Druid invokes a spell called The Undying Sleep to hopefully preserve some mage'ic for when Allanoria is ready to take it back. Then the Blue Fever sweeps through Allanoria and begins wiping out the humans. The prophesy of "The Cleansing" has begun. Some five hundred years later, a freelance mercenary and dancer hold the key to restoring Allanoria's mage'ic, but it's an evil Druid Evoluntine who wakes San'Ferath. 

10. What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors? 

Grow thicker skin. We're in a business that scrutinizes our every word (literally). Some people aren't going to like what you write. So sad, too bad. But always try to remember that it's only one person's perception. 

I also have a book trailer for the series, which was created by the very talented Erin Kelly:

 

Excerpt from Eden's Hell, I: The First: 

“Do you know the story of Adam and Eve?” 

“Who doesn’t? The Garden of Eden. Eve tempting Adam with the apple. The snake. Their fall from grace.” Again, her shoulders rolled in indifference. 

“And Adam’s first wife?” 

Surprise flitted over her face as she looked up at him. “He had another wife?” 

The blood in his body flowed faster as he explained. “God created man, and woman, in his own image, but when Adam came to be there was no Eve, not yet. God placed Adam on Earth to carry out one task: to give names to every living creature he’d created. He was twenty-one by the time he finished, a young man, gratified and lost in the glory of doing God’s work, but there had to be more to his purpose.” 

“Are you some kind of ancient priest?” 

He shook his head and continued. “Adam had watched the animals he’d named, observing the way they mated, loved, and protected each other. He felt jealous and coveted the same for himself. He cried out his loneliness to God, praying night after night until—” 

“Eve.” 

“No. Lillith.” 

“I don’t understand.” 

Addison leaned forward in his chair, placed his hands together and steepled his fingers. “God created the first woman in the identical fashion as he had with Adam. She was equal in every way, but Lillith was willful and perhaps a little stronger, for God made woman able to endure great pain for procreation.” He paused, gauging her reaction. Like an apt student, she hung on to his every word. “Overjoyed that God had answered his prayers, Adam fell in love with her at first sight, but when he attempted to consummate their union, she refused to submit.” He sneered. “Lillith told Adam she would do what she wanted with whomever she wanted and not because man demanded it.” 

“So, women’s lib has been around longer than I’d figured.” A nervous smile stretched her lips. “What happened to her? Lillith, I mean. And how does Eve fit in all this?” 

He continued cautiously. “God demanded Lillith to do what he created her to do. She refused and left the Garden of Eden, venturing to the Blood Seas and bedding the devil himself to show God her animosity. She spited him, his rules, and Adam.” He swallowed hard before carrying on. “Adam was devastated, of course. Stricken with grief, he sought to end his life, so God created another mate to appease his heartbroken son. He took from Adam a piece of his rib and created Eve.” 

“And the rest is history, so to speak?” 

He rose unsteadily to his feet. Unable to meet her gaze, he stared out at the ocean’s panoramic view. “Yes, the rest is history,” he lied. 

“What happened to Adam and Eve after the apple incident?” 

“Both were banished, and the Garden of Eden returned to God’s kingdom. By the way, it wasn’t an apple. It was a fig.” 

“How do you know all this?” 

He spared a glance over his shoulder. “I’ve been around for a long time, Eva.” Suppressing a sigh, he pushed the memories down, shoving them back into the hidden recesses of his mind, back where he’d always kept them. “You must be hungry. Shall we take some dinner?” 


Dorothy Thompson
Owner & Founding Mother at PUMP UP YOUR BOOK
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Personal introspection #RomFantasy

Strangely, over the past year or so I’ve received a lot of messages from readers and people curious about the person behind the stories and the social media presence. There is a common thread in many of these messages, and it’s pretty much that for someone who is so public and approachable, no one really knows much about me. That, I’m afraid, is very much the plan on my part. However, I’ve decided to open up just a little and talk about why my life is a closed book.

Over the past ten years I’ve somehow managed to create a very open and direct presence online in social media, and it’s a huge part of my natural personality. It’s also the result of ten years of painful building, because I am not extroverted by nature and find it almost impossible to be out-going. But, this is a public business and a public presence is not only expected, it’s required in the current market.

So, why am I a closed book about myself and my life? Long story, and I’m one who uses words a lot, so let me paint you a picture. Since I was a child, I’ve been a pleaser. I wanted to do things for people. It’s how I overcame my shyness, by being a doer… Early on, I learned it also enabled people to hurt me, deeply. As you can see from the image that accompanies this post, I am not pretty, and never have been. My sister is the beautiful one, and I was always the awkward misfit. When everyone wore cool clothes to school, I wore plain stuff that was comfortable, but hardly fashionable. I know what it feels like to be laughed at, ridiculed, and just generally treated like a freak. (This is not a poor me, this is an explanation of why I keep my private life private, so please don’t start thinking I’m looking for sympathy.)

The whole time I was in school was like this, too. The little fat girl who was always the last one picked for anything, always the class joke. It etched a scar in my soul that will never go away completely. Some kids blow off shit like that with ease. Others, the empathic and sensitive ones, spend a lifetime trying to cope and heal. So, while I involve myself with writing and creating safe worlds where love conquers all…I am also protecting my privacy because that was my only defense from childhood onward–make a shield, and hold onto it.

Whether it’s true or not, I don’t see beauty in the mirror, I don’t see confidence or anything to be much admired. I see the little girl who wanted so desperately to belong and be loved that she took the shit and pretended it didn’t hurt or matter. I still do that. I bleed in private when I’m criticized or someone uses me to further their own ends. I still want to trust people to be what they say there are, even when I know better. It takes me days to recover my emotional balance when someone turns out to a liar and a cheat, or turns their anger on me when it’s their bad mood. I’ve managed to learn to stand up and fight back, but even then it’s not always easy to shake off the hurts.

So, you see, while the walls are in place, I can function and be the public person. My personal space is dark and very unforgiving to me, so I keep it hidden. I’m learning more and more not to take anyone at their word, and to place trust carefully. I should have learned these lessons long ago, but I had the idea for a long time that people were essentially decent and meant what they said–because of course, I don’t make idle/empty promises and I follow through on the things I say I will do. I expect the same from other people, and often that’s just not the case.

Some say creative people are always tortured. Who knows? I have learned to be independent, stronger, and sometimes outwardly cold and/or distant. I value the things I give in any relationship or interaction, honesty, straightforward dealings and integrity. I don’t pretend to be more than what I am–and if that means people feel like they never know me, maybe that’s for the best, too. I have an inordinate amount of fear in my heart a great deal of the time, and it doesn’t matter how hard I try, it remains. The accumulation of a lifetime of rejections, some blatant, some less so. I do my best not to succumb to the darkness, and to always offer the light to people struggling to find their way. I don’t do it to be a hero, I do it because I would hate for anyone to live the way I do inside myself. That simple.

So, to all of the people who ask me why I don’t let people get to know me–maybe it’s a little bit more understandable now. Even this much revelation scares me, but what we fear is what we must face next, so this is me… and yes, it is not pretty–but it is honest and real. I’ve discovered that’s more than can be said for many in this cyber-world we all share.

Blessings, love and light to you all.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Sneak Peek - 1-900-SURPRISE! #RomFantasy

1-900-SURPRISE!
Short, sexy contemporary with edge!

April 30th from Eirelander Publishing
- in eBook and Audio!

When her lover, Martin Fowler is called away to Washington and she can't go with him, Daniella LeBeaux is restless and edgy. Martin's older, worldly, and has a reputation that would make most women think twice about trusting him. Dani loves him, and trust is not what's making her anxious and edgy - lust and loneliness are combining with a little too much to drink. When the phone rings, and it's Martin, delayed again, he teaches her a new way to make love long-distance style.... but who's watching Dani? And is Martin really ready for the revenge his actions incite?

Excerpt:

An hour after her father had gone home, Martin called. He was, in fact, on his way back to New York. Despite the fact that she had an early call for rehearsals the next day, Daniella chose to wait up for him. It was approaching 2 AM now and he still wasn’t home. She glanced at the clock. Less than ten minutes had passed since her last check.

She had stopped drinking after her father had gone, taken a shower, and now she was sitting in the apartment with only candlelight and soft music for company. She smiled, unable to subdue the flutter of excitement in her stomach when she thought about seeing him walk into the apartment. She went to the window, staring at the street as if she could will the scarlet-colored Corvette to appear.

Her father’s visit, and the revelations he’d shared played through her mind again. It explained why Andrew had taken Martin on as a partner in the private investigations firm that was doing extremely well due to the talented men who ran it. To his credit, Martin had tried to dissuade Daniella’s interest in him, especially given her age. She’d been seventeen when they’d met, and her father’s disapproval of her infatuation with Martin had been vehement. Persuading either of them that her teenage crush was actually soul-deep love and adoration hadn’t been easy. By the time she was twenty-one, Martin had been convinced; it had taken more months than she cared to recall to make her father understand and accept it. But, it had finally happened, and she was happier than she’d ever been in her life. Most of the time.

The glitter of soft, dancing light from the flickering candle-flames sparkled on cut crystal and drew her gaze to the bar. She decided to have another drink, even knowing it was likely to be a bad idea come morning. She poured a healthy dose of the scotch Martin preferred, and then tried to settle into an armchair. She closed her eyes and let her head fall back against the plush cushion in an attempt to relax.

A single mouthful of the drink reminded her of the way it tasted on Martin’s lips. She let that image settle in her mind, smiling at the shiver that rippled through her. Martin was a stunning man, and she never tired of looking at him, or listening to him, or being in the same room with him.

He was tall, with dark brown hair, and equally dark eyes that dominated a strikingly contoured face. At forty, he was scarred emotionally and physically, but he was beauty incarnate to the woman who loved him. The image of his lean, muscular limbs, and her frequent cataloging of every gorgeous inch of him, made her tremble with longing.

She tossed back the remainder of her Scotch and slouched deeper into the chair erotic memories led her thoughts. The warmth of the liquor coursed through her, creating a flush on her skin that she knew would be visible had Martin been there to see it. She let herself be carried along on the alcohol-edged wave, and felt an undeniable rush of hungry desire when she thought about having Martin beside her in bed. The nights had been the hardest part of the separation—she’d been going to bed later and later over the past week in order to spend as few hours as possible sleeping alone.

She was still finding it difficult to believe just how much she missed him. The apartment was eerily quiet in the morning, and equally so when she came home. The evenings started driving her crazy within a few days. She was always wound up after the extended rehearsals, but that excess energy generally found an outlet in Martin’s arms.

Daniella abruptly cut off that train of thought by getting up to fix another drink, this time making it considerably larger than the previous one. A slow stroll back to the window revealed only darkness and an empty street below. It had rained earlier, and the scattered puddles created sporadic mirrors and reflected back the glare of streetlights and passing car headlights. An absent glance at her watch didn’t offer her any reassurance—he was nearly an hour late now. She forced down the threat of panic that wanted to blossom into a full-fledged fear and told herself that he was all right. His identity was protected and all precautions had been taken to ensure his safety. With her father in charge of that, she had no doubts at all about the quality of the security surrounding Fowler at all times.

Uncomfortable at the window, Daniella spun on her heel and dropped into the armchair again. About halfway to the bottom of this drink, memory steered her thoughts inexorably back to the bedroom she shared with Martin. The tension knotting her muscles was as much sexual as it was concern for his unexplained lateness, and the sudden ache between her thighs was more than enough to awaken her entire body with anticipation. Another gulp and the second Scotch was gone.

Daniella was beginning to feel a bit more relaxed again now that alcohol was dulling her perception but there was still an edge of panic lingering within her. She couldn’t help wondering if something had happened to Martin; he was never hours late without calling—a habit he was slowly drilling into Daniella as well. She looked at the glass in her hand, debating whether to refill it a third time. It was now almost three o’clock, and she decided to have the drink then go to bed—alone. She couldn’t suppress the flare of anger that shot through her at the prospect of another night in the huge bed without Martin. In her heart, she knew nothing serious had delayed him, which meant he simply hadn’t bothered to call.

Twenty minutes and a third drink later; Daniella was staring at the empty glass again. Her head felt pleasantly fuzzy.

Disappointment and annoyance kept her on an emotional seesaw...

April 30th from Eirelander Publishing - in eBook and Audio!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Price of Piracy and Theft #RomFantasy


First off, that image is for real–it hasn’t been Photo-shopped or messed with in any way. There was a time when I would never have shown anyone a cheque like that, I’d have been ashamed of it, figuring you’d all think my writing sucked so bad no one wanted to buy it. I’ve learned since that the real shame lies with every person who steals my hard-earned reward for the work I do and thinks nothing of it. I’m not alone in this, either–there are a lot of authors who are stepping up and stating they see similar cheques now, and many are getting so discouraged they are wondering if it’s even worth the effort to continue publishing books for thieves to steal.

Ironically, this cheque represents December sales–right in the middle of the Christmas gift giving season. The truth is, the publishing house this is from is a well-known one, and the books this represents have been the victim of piracy sites no less than six times in recent months. The count on one site alone stated that there were 5000 copies of these titles downloaded by pirate supporters. You see the result of all those stolen books, it’s there in black and white. It’s a damn good thing I don’t have a family counting on me to support them, because we’d be living in a cardboard box by now.

Most people don’t stop to think that when they grab that “free” book they’re stealing from the creator of the book.  After all, it’s just one little book, right? All those one little books add up, though, and this is the result of it. So, for the titles I spent a couple hundred dollars promoting and bringing to my readers, I have earned the grand total of less than $50. THIS cheque is actually a few cents more than last month, too.

I know it’s human nature to like to get things for free, everyone does it–but at some point we have to weigh that against supporting artists we claim to like and admire. If there were children waiting to be fed in this equation, it wouldn’t be pretty. The average reader has a home and family, they work hard to have a decent life, they’d be horrified if their work was given so little credence and appreciation that they weren’t paid. Realize it’s the same for any artist/writer/musician, etc. Creative arts are a business as well as a calling to many, and people who love to create are suffering losses and trying to find ways to stop the flow of their work’s life-blood.

There is no way to stop this, many people fight it tooth and nail–others give up in despair after losing days/weeks/months to constantly battling with pirate sites. Some exceptional voices will one day fall silent because they will give up. Others will persevere because they refuse to do less. The only way to stop piracy theft is for people who read to buy their books, not steal them. I’m not talking library borrowing, but actually going to sites knowing you’re stealing the money from your author of choice. Maybe if you’re a huge name in the business this is less of an immediate concern, but for the mid-level and starting authors–this is devastating. If you worked for weeks on a project at your job, and your company invested other people’s time and work into it, then presented it to the public–but you didn’t get paid a dime for all that effort, ask yourself how you’d feel about that? Would you want to keep working that job?

Too much of life comes down to dollars and cents these days, and art has always been a prime target for theft in one way or another. But, at the end of the day, stealing is still stealing, and if you don’t want to be part of the problem, be part of the solution and always buy the book you want, or borrow it from a legal source, like your local library. Too many authors are getting cheques that don’t even cover the postage cost to mail them, it really isn’t remotely fair to them to devalue their work to this level, is it?


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Triad of Power: First Quest #RomFantasy

TRIAD OF POWER: First Quest 
A seductive fantasy quest from Crimson Frost Books

Available Now at:


Blurb:

Book One of Three: During the time before the Great Forbidding was created, it was believed the defiance of the Renegades could be contained. To that end, the Council of Power called upon their Ancient Gods for assistance. In response, the Gods ordered creation of the Triad of Power–three swords, each one imbued with the essence of a gift unique to those who would wield the weapons as the Guardians of Foress. Like all magic, each crafted blade contained the driving sorcery of its creator–not all wizards are immune to the weaknesses of men, and within the Triad, conflict itself was bred without conscious intent or knowledge. So begins the legend, and the epic fantasy of the TRIAD OF POWER.

Excerpt:

Sherindal cursed when she stumbled, and solid ground took shape beneath her feet. Spinning around, she saw she was half a world from her father’s domain. Gritting her teeth, she searched the sky, seeking a point of reference that would tell her precisely where she was.

Loremor?

It had to be. The port city was less than a mile to the east of her position, and Ember beckoned several days ride west. She tried to put thoughts of Rienn from her mind, and body, then trudged eastward. She was many hundreds of miles from the one man who would forever be her courage and her strength. Rienn’s faith in her had always made her brave. He believed in her, and she often drew on reserves within her to insure she didn’t disappoint him. It had become her personal code of honor not to let him down. Thus far, she was successful.

While she traveled, she pulled from her memory all she knew of the Triad of Power, and those who were destined to be the keepers of their magic. She had spent most of her childhood studying texts so ancient they were mythical to most of the populace of the planet. But Sherindal learned the lessons well, and each of them was cached deep in her mind, drawn forth like wizards drew spells when they were needed. Her knowledge never failed her. This time was no exception. The Renegades were a group of mages and wizards, witches and sorcerers of all ilks – they had once been part of the High Council that had ruled the world of Foress. Discontent with their role as protectors and not being worshipped as gods, they had grown increasingly powerful while the rest of the council idled in studies and acted as advisors to mortal men who ruled as kings.

When their treachery was discovered, the High Council had acted in a fashion none anticipated–they had called upon the old gods of Foress.

And they had been heard.

Many ages had passed since then, and if the Triad was required as a united force, that could mean only one thing–the Forbidding of the Ancients was weakening.

Sherindal was M'Har’s heir, and Rienn was descended from the mage empowered by the God of Deception, Shadin. She didn’t know if he was aware of the Divine blood that ran through his veins, and she was not anticipating the day when she would be forced to reveal to him all that he was, and how the weapon he carried was truly meant to be used.

It was the blood heir of Karman, the God of Foresight, whom she sought now. The greatest of the swords was Diviner, a weapon that carried the gift of vision. If Karman’s descendant was half the man Rienn was, the weapon would be in strong and capable hands. But if this man was weak-willed, or unable to command the magic, then they might yet be lost.

It was not a comforting thought, to be sure. She dismissed it for the moment, and returned her focus to the immediate task–finding the weapon. Once she had Diviner in her hands, she would then concentrate on finding the proper owner.

Loremor was now in sight.

Her first stop upon entering the bustling and noisy city was to find a shoppe and buy a heavy cloak. She’d forgotten that it would be the cold season in the port city. Ember was located inland, close to the vast lake the kingdom had been named for, and it was warm when the rest of the world wasn’t. She’d clearly stayed too long in the comfort of her lover’s palace if the icy air was causing this much discomfort.

Chilled to her bones, Sherindal stumbled into the first public house she passed, eager to escape the icy winds that ripped through her clothes and sank like daggers into her flesh.

She peered into the shadowy gloom of the alehouse and wrinkled her nose in distaste. The place was like any other dive, filled with the scents of too many bodies, not enough of them washed, and the stale odors of food and drink. There were other stenches, and she chose not to think too much about their sources. Smoke hung over the room, a dirty gray cloud that obliterated the beams of the ceiling. Overhead, the candle-laden lamps looked like they were suspended by sorcery. In a murky corner, close to the vast stone hearth, a table had been vacated. She went to it.

The fire warmed her and she began to relax as sensation returned to her frozen limbs. A serving girl approached her, and she ordered wine and food. She gave the filthy child, for child she must have been beneath the layers of dirt that obscured her true age, a bright silver coin for her trouble. It insured her solitude and decent service, as well.

Sherindal bit back the urge to voice her wrath when the innkeeper took the payment from the child and sent her scurrying after a backhanded smack. As the girl, tears flowing, ran to the rear exit, Sherindal’s attention was caught by the fair figure who paused long enough to comfort the girl before he entered the main room.

The newcomer’s hair was as light as her own, his dark eyes shrewd and intelligent. He walked with an arrogance that was casual and obviously natural to him. He was lean and attractive, as well as gently mannered. His smile, when he was returning the flirtatious overtures of the serving wenches, warmed like sunshine and charmed thoroughly. Sherindal was intrigued.

The innkeeper had seen her interest. She laughed to herself when the young man approached after a few words being exchanged with the owner.

“Good day to you,” he said quietly, dark eyes alive with amusement.

“And you, my lord,” she replied and leaned back in her chair. “Do I know you?” She was sure she did.

“I think not.”

“Your name?”

“Gerith,” he replied. He was slow to offer the name, and he watched to see if she reacted.

Sherindal ran the name through her memory and smiled.

“Gerith, second son of the Royal House of Loremor, student to Xanthor, heir apparent to the throne.” She arched an eyebrow when he scowled at her. “Provided your brother, Cantor, does kill himself in the games he loves so much to play.”

“Keep your voice down,” he snarled in sudden fury.

“Problem, Your Highness?” she queried sweetly.

Gerith glared at her then sat at the table. “I recognize you, too. Though I’m not sure why, or from where I know you. Why are you in Loremor? I cannot imagine it is by choice.”

“I have my reasons for being here, my young prince. Though in all honesty, it was the closest city to where I was... deposited,” she replied, choosing the word as the easiest explanation. When he didn’t question the use, Sherindal re-evaluated her judgment of him, and included an awareness of magic to his intelligence. “I have to find a place called the Labyrinth.”

Gerith laughed, a silken breath of sound that ruffled the air between them. “You have reached your goal, Lady,” he told her when she glowered at him.

“What?”

He nodded at her astonishment. “This is the Labyrinth,” he repeated, then his eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “What is it you expected to find? And why?”

“I’m not entirely certain.” For a moment, she peered at the room in general, searching. She felt nothing. No ripple of awareness, no hint of magic. Just hard-working people and a smattering of cut-throats and thieves. M’Har’s spell must have gone wrong; there was nothing here that would help her.

“Be careful, Lady,” he advised. “The innkeeper is not a man of solicitude, but he did request that I warn you not to linger.” 

“I am more than capable of taking care of myself, Your—” His grimace halted the usage and she nodded. “Gerith. Though, I thank you for your concern.”

“Not mine, Lady,” he replied. “Who are you hunting, by the way?” he asked when he rose and readied to leave her table.

“I wish I knew. What or where is the Oubliette?”

Gerith’s eyes were thoughtful.

“Yes?”

“Sherindal,” he mused. “Rienn’s consort.” He bowed. “I should have remembered sooner.”

“You know Rienn?”

“Not well. How is he?”

“Angry,” she replied dryly. “And very likely to get much angrier before this business is over.” She paused then asked, “Do you know of this Oubliette?”

“I do, and it’s not a place you should go willingly without a sword you trust guarding your back.”

“Why are you here, Gerith?” she wondered, her head tilting to one side as she looked up at him. “A son of the Royal House need not serve drinks in a tavern.”

“If he wants to know the truth of the kingdom he might one day inherit, it makes sense to understand the people who live within it.”

“And Cantor prefers you out of the way of his pleasures.”

“That as well,” he laughed.

“What does your father say about this un-princely behavior?” She smiled. “I am guessing he is aware of none of it?”

“You know my father, what do you think?”

“I think he resents you for reasons that have little to do with you, young prince.”

He nodded, but before Gerith could ask the question her comment begged for, he was called away.

Available Now at:



Monday, April 07, 2014

My special guest today: Laura Enright #RomFantasy


Laura's probably going to want to reach out and touch me for this, but we have known each other for well over twenty years now, and we've never met. We became friends pre-internet days via the wonderful world of pen pals. She is one of the most talented people I know, and her letters should have been published they were sometimes so funny and entertaining! I know I never wrote back anything that was as wonderful to her as her much-loved letters to me always were. But, she still talks to me anyway!! It is my distinct pleasure to have her here as my guest today, so you can all get to know her and her writing better. She's good, and I don't say that lightly. So, welcome Laura!!

Has writing been something you always did, or was it a discovered talent that came to you at a later point?

I think I’ve always been interested in writing. I’ve always been a bit of day dreamer and making up stories. I remember my grade school had a science fair when I was about 10. The project I did was on the planets but turned into my explanation of how life could be on the planets; what kind of life it would need to be considering the conditions on the planets. I think I passed, barely. I was around that age when I wrote my first book. It was about a woman who finds a lost collie on the beach. I wrote it on small notebook paper and bound it with staples. I think I even designed a cover. I guess you could say I self-published.

Do you remember how it felt when you were offered that first contract? What emotions stand out in your memory? 

I was both elated and terrified. The first contract was for Chicago’s Most Wanted. I had a friend who, after hearing me whine about how hard it was to find a publisher for my fiction, suggested that I work on a book in the signature series that he was writing books for. Potomac Publisher’s Most Wanted series. And he gave me his editor’s contact information which is a big deal. I figured that if I did this it could perhaps be a notch in my CV for later proposals on my fiction. The editor liked the idea of Chicago as the topic and sent me my first book contract complete with all the legalese. I was thrilled but at the time uncertain if I would be able to fulfill the contract. Nonfiction was a new experience for me. It would take a great deal of research.

Yet, I took the plunge and it was a fantastic experience.

And it’s funny when I consider that all three books I’ve published so far have been unexpected projects in some way. I explained Chicago’s Most Wanted. Well, to Touch the Sun was a novel that came out of the blue because while I enjoyed reading vampire novels, I never had a desire to write one. I didn’t have a character or concept in mind. At the time I’d been trying to an interest an agent that I had been in pleasant communication with in my work. He wasn’t interested in what I’d sent him up to that point, but he encouraged me to keep trying. So, checking the website, I discovered that the agency represented a vampire series. And knowing how popular vampires were at that point, I decided to try my hand at the genre. Unlike other novels I’ve written where I went in with clear ideas of plot and characters, I had nothing but a two word idea: Vampire chef. And even that idea seemed a bit ridiculous. But the more I fiddled with it (and it changed in a number of ways as I worked on it) the more concrete the characters and plot became, the more I fell in love with it. And when I verbally presented the idea to the agent after meeting him at a convention, he was enthusiastic about it. He told me to send him a proposal when it was finished.

Unfortunately, by the time it was finished he had mysteriously left the business completely and the other members of the agency weren’t interested in it. That was a heartbreaker. I was on a hunt for an agent or publisher for a novel that I started on a whim that I fell in love with more so than anything I’d written before.

Around this time, Potomac Publishers contacted me asking if I wanted to do another Most Wanted book. I gave it some thought and came up with vampires as the topic. Not only was the variety of the subject perfect for such a book, I was hoping mention of it might look good in proposals I sent out for To Touch the Sun. Like with Chicago’s Most Wanted, writing Vampires’ Most Wanted was a great experience but nerve wracking at times though at least at this point I’d been through it before. It didn’t lead me to a publisher, but as with the other two books it was a project that came about unexpectedly and was a lot of fun to do. 

Is this a first book, part of a series, or the latest in a long line of many?

The first of many. It’s kind of funny too. I refer to myself as the woman who wasn’t interested in writing vampire novels who now can’t stop telling the stories. While hunting for a publisher, I wrote three more novels in the series and a spin off novel featuring two paranormal investigators that are found in the third novel. And I have ideas for more. Like I said I just really fell in love with the characters. I think the second novel is my favourite because it sort of crystalized what I was doing with the universe I’d created. I also especially like the fourth novel because it features a character that comes up in the second novel and best addresses one of the themes that runs through the series. Basically, while vampirism can give you certain powers, it can also be inconvenient (my vampires can’t go out during the day, for example). I think it’s important to have such inconveniences for the sake of the drama. But what if you’ve become a vampire and you don’t have a castle in Transylvania to flee to when the sun comes up? What if you aren’t rich? The fortunes of this character rise and fall in his long life and when the novel opens they have definitely fallen. It’s a bit of a prequel. He’s struggling with what he’s become, having to deal with it on his own, and how he must live now without the resources to make it all easier. 

Narain in To Touch the Sun had that problem right after his conversion. But he lucked upon people who could help him. In fact when To Touch the Sun opens one of the problem he’s facing is that he’s lost his beloved Sophie who was not only his wife, but his food source. Her sacrifice through the years enabled him to lead as normal a life as possible considering his condition. He was able to realize his dream of becoming a well-respected chef. They have a good life in Chicago. There are certain restrictions (like the sunlight issue) but nothing that they can’t work around. But his having to feed, even though he doesn’t have to kill the host, has always been a problem for him and Sophie made it all that much easier. Now he has to bring himself to go back to something that he finds morally offensive. But if he doesn’t, he runs the risk of turning into something dangerous which could destroy everything he’s worked for. So, that’s where he finds himself when his world suddenly starts blowing up around him with other problems: Trying to retain that sense of normalcy.

What is the oddest thing that’s happened to you since you chose to become a professional writer? Will it ever make it into a book, or is that a secret?

I’ve actually not had anything really odd happen. I did have one time right after Vampires’ Most Wanted was published in which the producer of the Nick Digilio Show, a Chicago radio show, was trying to track me down but couldn’t. I have a tendency to stay up very late when I’m not working the next day. One Saturday I think I got to bed at 6 a.m. So I must have turned off the phone ringer and slept right through this producer trying to call me because the show had a cancellation and needed a guest for later that night. Apparently when he didn’t get a hold of me, he called the Park Ridge Library where I work and my coworker Lisa found my friend Diane’s name as my emergency notification. That afternoon I was awoken to a pounding on my apartment door. My friend Diane drove in from Palatine, about 45 minutes away, to wake my butt out of bed so I could call this producer and be on the show. Now that’s friendship. 

The interview that night went really well and even led me to be on the show to promote To Touch the Sun recently. This time the show was on at 2 a.m. so I had to stay up from 7 a.m. the day before. Then I took a taxi downtown to the Tribune Tower. Now 2 a.m. is an ideal time to be driving downtown, but I just thought it might be easy to just take a taxi. I didn’t count on the mid-March snowstorm that hit around the time the taxi picked me up. It was an interesting ride down, but conditions weren’t too bad at that point. The interview went really well and it was a thrill to be in the studio at the Tribune Tower (a great building with a lot of history to it). It was on the way back that things got dicey. The producer helped me track down a cab to take me home but I bet the cabbie didn’t expect the kind of drive we had on the expressway 15 miles back to Park Ridge. Visibility, practically nil, not helped by the sheets of snow falling off the tops of the semis that sped past us and slamming into the windshield. At one point he asked me to keep an eye out for the exit, which would be an accomplishment since I’m pretty nearsighted even in good visibility. We made it home though. I gave him a lot of credit (well both financially and respect-wise) and a really good tip. 

I seem to have issues with radio interviews. When Chicago’s Most Wanted came out, I went downtown to be on the Mike North Show. It was 7 a.m. in the morning, a beautiful drive. The show went well. I came back to the parking garage and couldn’t get out of it for about an hour. I couldn’t find the kiosk to pay for the parking. The garage for the studio was connected to a hotel and that just confused the issue leading me to go on a walking tour of a good portion of real estate just to figure out how to pay for this parking ticket. By the time I did get out, downtown Chicago was packed with people and cars. But again, it leads to a story to tell.

Do you have your next book underway, or other titles in the planning stages?

I have a few projects I really need to get to. Part of the issue now is marketing To Touch the Sun, which can be a full time job in itself. A lot of people think it’s “write the novel” and you leave the rest to the publisher, but an author has to do a lot of hustling on her own. And with my publisher being in Nottingham, England, I’ve been trying to do what I can for the local market and the American market. So I’ve been working on all that. I would love to get the sequel to To Touch the Sun tweaked. All the finished novels in the series are in one form of draft or another. In a few months I’ll probably run it past the publisher and see if he’s interested in continuing the series. I also have an Asian dragon novel that I want to start shopping around again. I was doing that last year when I finally found Dagda Publishers for To Touch the Sun. I sort of put that on the back burner. I have some other urban fantasy I’d like to finish too. Novels I started but put aside when To Touch the Sun got a hold of me. 

One thing I have to do is get back to a book project that I’m working on with a man whose father was falsely accused of being a loans hark in 1960s Chicago. It’s a really compelling story about how this prosecution of his father dramatically and negatively altered the family’s lives and he wants to get the information out there after all these years. I think it has some legs. But it’s going to take a lot of work. We started it last October with some interviews with him. But I had to put it aside while I concentrated on getting To Touch the Sun out. Now I want to get back to that.

Do you have a favourite genre and why? Is it one you write in, read in, or both?

Of the novels I’ve written most seem to be science fiction or fantasy based. So that’s probably the favourite. But I’ll try anything. And often I’ll mix genres. I self-published on Kindle a novel called Trouble that is humorous science fiction with a western flair. The publisher for To Touch the Sun is touting it as a horror novel but it’s not pure horror. It’s not your typical vampire novel either. And there’s a lot of action, humour, pathos in it. I have a little history in it. For me, it depends on the story for which genre or genres I use. 

I think in my reading I tend to lean toward the sci fi and fantasy. It’s been unfortunate for a while now that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and read anything that isn’t research for something I’m working on. But I’ll often listen to books on CD in the car. Right now I’m listening to Peaches for Father Francis by Joanne Harris, which I’m not sure what it’s classified genre-wise. It’s good. It’s a sequel to Chocolat. I think she’s a fantastic writer. I’m also very much into the historical novels that Ken Follett writes. The reader for that is exceptional. But I’d like to get back to more paranormal, fantasy etc. And some hard core science fiction. I was looking at some Nancy Kress books in the library the other day. It’s been a while. I have to finish the third book in The Strain series. An excellent series. The last “fantasy” type book I read for an online book club I was moderating for Pioneer Press was Anne Rice’s The Wolf Gift. 

The less said about that, the better.

What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process? Does it change from book to book or remain the same?

I think for me To Touch the Sun offered the most exciting part of the process in as far as I had no clue what I was doing with it. It was a total surprise. And it went in directions I didn’t expect it to go. I think that’s one of the coolest things. When you’re writing along and maybe you hit a road block and an idea sparks that makes it all work. It’s fantastic. But with To Touch the Sun, it being something I wasn’t really sure I could do effectively, seeing it take shape was really exciting. The other thing I noticed with this series in general, because I was so very much bitten by a bug for it at this point, I kept having these ideas for scenes and such at all times of the day. That’s what I mean about day dreaming in the earlier question. I can be working at the library, I can be standing in line at the checkout or driving and I start day dreaming scenes and dialogue. So frequently I would write out a scene that might appear later in the book that I had to figure out how to patch onto another scene. It became almost like a puzzle. Sometimes I had to figure out how to logically go from point A to point B. And sometimes I’d come up with ideas for other characters or future books simply by trying to figure that out. In the second novel, the character of Max Edison was simply there to find a body in a cemetery. I had no plans to make him anything more than that. But as I neared the end I suddenly realized that he could be valuable in the third novel, so I took him made up his friend Lazlo and brought them into the third novel as paranormal investigators. All that I find a great deal of fun. It really stimulates the mind. 

Now this is my first series that I’ve written so I never had that sort of experience with previous novels. But certainly I had the times when I needed that spark to knock down a block in the narrative and something would pop in. I wouldn’t mind doing a series for the characters in Trouble. I like those characters and could see them moving on into future novels.

If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why? What kind of book do you think would come from the collaboration?

Why…Denyse Bridger* of course! And I think the collaboration would be FAHBULOUS! But since she’s far too good for me, and this may sound like a corny choice, but I think J.K. Rowling. I’ve really liked the last two non-Harry Potter books she wrote. Honestly, I’m not sure what would come from the collaboration. It would be interesting to try though. (*Clearly she's lost her marbles on that first option, but I love her, so she's forgiven.)

Where can readers find you on the web?


To Touch The Sun
Available at: AMAZON

Synopsis:

1916: France, World War I

Narain Khan was 25 when he left his native India to fight in the trenches of the West­ern Front dur­ing WWI. It was his hope that he could stay on after the war to pur­sue his dream of study­ing the culi­nary arts and becom­ing a world class chef. Instead, he fell to shrap­nel amidst the car­nage of that bit­ter war. Car­nage which, when dark­ness fell, attracted some­thing ter­ri­fy­ing: A roam­ing pack of feral vampires–mindless feeders–who fell upon the sol­diers left wounded and dying in No Man’s Land. Attacked by the fer­als, Narain was trans­formed into the other type of vam­pire: A sen­tient capa­ble of mov­ing about in soci­ety with only a few restric­tions and able to feed with­out killing the host. While in the fugue state of his con­ver­sion, he was found by Alphonse Reno, a man who had lost his own son to feral vam­pirism and who is sure the con­di­tion is bio­log­i­cal, not meta­phys­i­cal. Work­ing to find a cure in hopes of bring­ing back his son, Alphonse con­vinces Narain that, unlike fer­als, he could lead a rel­a­tively nor­mal life.

Present Day: Chicago, U.S.

Narain has reached a cross­roads. Help­ing him adjust to his con­di­tion through the decades was his beloved Sophie who was not only his wife, but his food source once they real­ized she wasn’t sus­cep­ti­ble to the con­di­tion. Her sac­ri­fice enabled him to lead as nor­mal a life as pos­si­ble, mak­ing hunt­ing for food unnec­es­sary. Can­cer had taken Sophie the pre­vi­ous year and after the stock of blood she had saved up has been depleted, Narain is faced with again hav­ing to hunt for his food, some­thing he is both morally opposed to, but also causes him to fear pass­ing on the con­di­tion to unwit­ting, per­haps dan­ger­ous hosts. If left too long, how­ever, hunger can bring out the deadly feral nature even in a sen­tient vam­pire. As a well-​​respected chef and owner of a suc­cess­ful Chicago restau­rant, Narain has worked hard to pro­mote a veneer of nor­mal­ity. The last thing he and his busi­ness part­ner and friend Dom Amato needs is for Narain’s hunger to get the bet­ter of him.

Events con­spire, how­ever, to drag Narain away from the safe life he has cul­ti­vated back into one of mad­ness and dan­ger: The attrac­tion he feels for micro­bi­ol­o­gist Cassie Lam­bert, who has a link to his past Narain is unaware of, and the re-​​emergence of a ghost from the Great War. Cap­tain Regi­nald Jame­son was a sadis­tic preda­tor when Narain had chal­lenged him dur­ing their ser­vice in the trenches of France. The vam­pire Jame­son of 90 years later is infi­nitely more dan­ger­ous, his sadism backed by the bizarre abil­i­ties of their con­di­tion. The dis­cov­ery that Cassie Lam­bert has made about the cause of vam­pirism is one that Jame­son is will­ing to kill to obtain.

Jame­son has brought back another ghost from their shared his­tory in his search to find immu­nity to sun­light. The exper­i­ments of his researchers, how­ever, have resulted in the cre­ation of a third, more ter­ri­fy­ing breed of vam­pire: Boris, a psy­cho­pathic mon­ster who will stop at noth­ing to destroy all in his path.

In try­ing to pro­tect Cassie from Jame­son and Boris, Narain will have to rely on skills that he’s allowed to atro­phy over the decades. In a cli­matic strug­gle, Narain will have to learn that to defeat the real mon­sters, he has to embrace what he is and awaken the beast within. And to touch the sun, he will have to risk being burned up in its fury.

Available at: AMAZON

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