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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Magical Homelands

Y’all have already heard about the pseudo-mini-volcano we live next to. We also have a minor minor minor baseball team, the Woodchucks. (The stadium right now is in a reconstruction stage—they SAY it’ll be ready by opening day, though it sure doesn’t look that way right now.)

But one of the coolest things we have here is a wetlands marsh for nesting birds. There’s a bigger, more famous wildlife preserve at Necedah and also the Horicon Marsh, but we have our own as well that people have both guarded and left alone. The bridge to Rib Mountain (and the volcano) crosses a river that gets really shallow but never goes dry. It’s a mini-wildlife refuge for Canada geese, mallard & wood ducks, and cranes. People take photos with telephoto lenses from the bridge but no one goes down there to disturb them. So it’s the perfect place to eat and nest and raise babies before heading South again in the fall—before the snow (and ice fishermen) show up. And when the fog rises up in early morning and all you see are the shadows of trees on the island, and the birds on the water—and you hear the haunting cries—it’s magical. One of Tami’s favorite places now that she has a camera of her own.

City or country, state to state, every place has special and unique features that make your home different from everywhere else. What can you tell me about yours? What makes it your home?

“Tell me something magical about your homeland.” Mari’s attempt to understand Valkyn in my WIP (newest installation to the Guardians of Light series) Moonwitched. Since she’s a land healer and green witch, she’s really close to the land. Valkyn’s a warrior from the northern Isle of Ice, Isadorikja. (Think Viking & Iceland) He’s not really one to consider magic, but everything’s changed since meeting Mari.

Snippet from Moonwitched:
“Tell me something beautiful about your home,” she whispered. “Something unique and magical.”
He stared up at the stars. “What makes you think Isadorikja possesses magic?”
“Every land possesses its own power and majesty, a heart and soul that takes your breath away. There must be something to keep you there despite the hardships.”
“The warriors will tell you ‘tis Creataq’s Blood, a rare ore that in the hands of a master smith can be forged into weapons of unsurpassed strength. Why Svaaldur was built at the foot of Widowmaker Mountain, and why our clan took its name from it.”
His eyes took on a faraway gaze. “But Isadorikja’s a challenge to body and spirit—rugged glaciers that cut the sky, wild raging rivers and deep, silent lakes, with a short summer growing season and a long dark winter when the sun hides and the winds howl across the open plains. We’ve ways to keep each other warm, though.”
She waited him out.
“Keeps you strong, makes people work together.” His lips curved into a half-smile. “The lights of the ancestors, though—‘tis the true magic. A dance of colored lights in the sky—pulses of reds and pinks and greens, an occasional purple that shimmer and swirl above the horizon. It heralds the doorway to Halzyaq’s Hall, where all the fallen go when ‘tis their time. Some people swear they hear music when the lights appear. I’ve never heard tell they exist anywhere else in the world.”
Mari shivered. “I’ve never heard of such.”
“You should come see it someday.” His tone was neutral, casual. “I can’t think of anyone who’d appreciate it more.”
“I’d love to see it with my own eyes…someday.” Was that an invitation? Or do I read too much into his words? “So, tell me. Creataq and Halzyaq? They’re your gods?”
Hai. Halzyaq’s god of war and king of the gods, though our daq Aryk gives more credence to Creataq, god of the forge.” Valkyn frowned. Clearly a warrior would take issue with such a change in the hierarchy.
“And Saskia?”
“Mother of all, goddess of renewal, of birth and spring, sowing and healing.”
‘Tis naught more powerful than those life-affirming activities. “I, too, call on the Mother, though we give Her no name.” Odd how small and similar the world becomes, what changes and what stays the same.
“Indeed.” His gaze captured hers. “We celebrate the first dawn of every year in Saskia’s name—when she breaks the hold of winter. We extinguish the torches and turn to the sun.”
“There’s always an end to darkness,” she whispered. “Even this one.”
“Thessera’s dark, indeed.” His face was haunted with the memories.

“But even a single candle of hope can break the dark,” she told him. “Like the dawn, like the sun.” Mari buried her fingers in his hair and drew him down for a long, slow leisurely kiss, teased his lips with hers. Her breath hitched at the spark of wanting, but she didn’t want searing passion—not yet. ‘Twas a moment that spoke to comfort and tenderness, to seduction and wooing.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Fourth Book in the Scorching Noble Passions Series by Sabrina York Releases!


Fans of Sabrina York’s steamy Regency series have been eagerly awaiting the release of, the fourth book (following award winning Folly, Dark Fancy and the scorching Dark Duke) which follows the adventures of Violet Wyeth who is captured by a vengeful Scottish Brigand…only to discover he is none other than Ewan St. Andrews, the boy she once loved.

GET IT NOW: http://www.amazon.com/Brigand-Noble-Passions-Sabrina-York-ebook/dp/B00JUTD3L0/ref=la_B00856PDEO_sp-atf_title_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398489906&sr=1-1

Noble Passions: Follow the decadent exploits of friends and enemies as they find love and passion in the glittering world of the Regency—and its dark underbelly. Each book is a stand-alone read.

If you’re new to the series, download Sabrina’s free teaser book at http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/ to read blurbs and excerpts for this popular series. Each book in the series is a stand-alone story.

Brigand

by Sabrina York

Kidnapped and held prisoner by menacing Scottish brigand, the notorious McCloud, Violet Wyeth does her best to persevere…and resist his rakish charms. But when she realizes The McCloud is really Ewan St. Andrews, the boy who once saved her life, the boy who once kissed her and made her heart flutter, she is lost.

Ewan has every intention of marrying Lady Kaitlin MacAllister. He desperately needs the entrée into the ton this bride can provide. But when his bride is delivered—bound and gagged—it’s not Kaitlin. It’s Violet Wyeth—the girl who betrayed him and ruined his life when he was a boy. He keeps her, determined to punish her for her sins. But when he discovers the truth about what really happened so long ago, and seething passion rises between them, he can no longer hold on to his rusty grudge. By the time he realizes how much he loves Violet—that he always has—he’s lost her.

All he can do is follow her. Follow her into the bowels of hell—and partake in the torment of the glittering London Season, where the harpies are far more dangerous than a Scottish brigand.

READ A STEAMY EXCERPT

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.
An Excerpt From: BRIGAND
Copyright © SABRINA YORK, 2014
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Holy Heaven. She would never take a bath for granted again.
Violet stumbled on the stairs and the contents of the heavy bucket sloshed, dousing her with hot water. She sucked in a breath as pain seared. She set the bucket on the landing and pulled her skirts up. Her skin was red. She ruffled the tatters of her petticoats, waiting for the sting to subside.
The door to the Laird’s solar swung open. She stepped back so it wouldn't hit her and it slammed into the wall. The McCloud glowered down at her. His gaze stalled on her bare legs. It was riveted—until she dropped her skirts—then he snapped, “What the hell is taking so long?” His glanced back at her damp skirts and his frown darkened. He picked up the last bucket and carried it to the tub, dumping it in himself. “For god’s sake. How long does it take to bring a few measly buckets up from the kitchen?”
A few measly buckets? It had taken twelve trips, each with a bucket that weighed near as much as she. Violet glared at him. “Is that enough?” She probably didn't need to clip the words quite so much but she had already worked for hours. She was tired and sweaty and her skin ached and Morna was waiting for her to come help prepare dinner.
He swished his hand in the water. “Yes. I suppose that will do.”
Not a thank you. Not a smile. Nothing.
Beast.
She whirled and started for the door.
“Where do you think you’re going?” His voice rumbled, a deep tenor. Her steps slowed.
“Back to the kitchen.” She frowned at him over her shoulder. “I have work to do.”
“You have work to do here.”
“I beg your pardon?” What did he want her to do now, wash his bottom?
“You’re going to bathe me.”
Her heart stilled at his words, his intent, and especially his expression. “Wh-what?”
“Come now, Violet. The laird of the manor can’t be expected to scrub his own back, can he now? Be a good girl, close the door and come over here.”
She gaped at him. Gaped. He expected her to remain in a room with a naked man? He expected her to touch him?
“Close your mouth. You look like a trout.”
“But…I c-can’t. I can’t b-bathe you.”
“You can. And you will.” His eyes glimmered with something other than humor. The unspoken threat hummed in the stony chamber. “You may want to turn around while I undress, unless you want an early education.” He began to unbutton his shirt.
With an undignified eep, Violet whirled and showed him her back until she heard the splash and his gusty sigh.
“All right, girl. Get to work. Scrub my back.” He gestured to a chunk of soap and a sponge on a small table. She picked them up, approached the tub and knelt behind him, trying not to stare at the bunching muscles, the broad expanse of tanned skin. She couldn't help but notice it was covered with scars. Long and short, crisscrossing over one another. As though he’d been brutally beaten and lashed time after time after—“Did you close the door?”
Her bubbling sympathy evaporated in a rush. She stuck her tongue out at him, but only because he couldn't see. Then, with a heavy sigh, she levered herself off the floor and closed the door. Well, slammed it.
His chuckle annoyed her more.
He leaned forward and peeped at her over his shoulder. “Come along now. My back isn't going to scrub itself.”
She took her place behind him again, being very careful not to look at his broad, be-furred chest as she approached. She wet the soap and sponge and created a lather. Being very careful not to touch him, she began to scour his back. He winced. “Not so hard.”
His plaintive tone probably shouldn't have sent a shard of evil satisfaction through her, but it did. This man had been a boor to her from the moment he’d found her on the floor in Callum MacAllister’s cottage. She dug deeper.
He lurched forward. “Ouch!”
“Hold still,” she muttered, making a wide swath across the ridged skin. “You’re filthy. I need to scrub.”
“I am not filthy.”
“You are. Stop wriggling.”
Amazingly, he did, though her efforts bordered on abuse. But my, it felt good.
When she started on his neck and ears, he caught her wrist. “All right. I think that’s enough.”
“I’m not done.”
“Oh, you’re not done.” He tugged her around to the side of the tub so she faced him. She focused on his crooked nose, schooled her attention not to drift lower. “Now it’s time for you to scrub my front.”
She really disliked his tone. There was mischief—and something much darker—coiling in there. “Fine.” She dropped to her knees and wet the sponge again, but rather than dunking it, merely skimmed the surface of the water.
Fortunately the bath was murky, so she couldn't see anything. But she knew what was down there and she didn't want to find it by accident. She trained her attention on his chest, and her heart lurched.
A long, nasty scar scored him. Like a puckered lightning bolt, it made its jagged way from his left nipple down to his belly. Her pulse skittered. Her breath snagged in her throat. She’d only ever seen a scar like that once before.
A scar exactly like that.
Her gaze snapped back to his face. She looked at him. Really looked at him, perhaps for the first time. Her mouth went dry. The gray eyes laced by thick black lashes. The broad, smiling mouth. The curve of his jaw.
It couldn't be. Could it?
“W-where did you get that scar?”
He glanced down and stilled. Annoyance flickered across his features. “Every man has scars.”
“Not-not like that.” She sat back on her haunches. She didn't realize she was squeezing the sponge until water seeped through her skirts.
“All right. A knife fight.”
“Knives don’t cut like that.” It was uneven and rippled, as though the flesh and been shorn off in places and sliced in others.
“Well, it was a goddamn knife fight. I was in a vicious battle with a man in an alley. I gutted him.” His lip curled into a sneer. “Does it frighten you, my lady?”
“No.” But that was a lie. It did frighten her. Because Ewan, her friend, the boy who had saved her, had gotten an eerily similar wound rescuing her from a watery grave. And surely this wasn't Ewan. It couldn't be.
Ewan was gentle and sweet. He had liked her, maybe loved her. He had kissed her. And this man… This man had taken her prisoner and mauled her and put her to work.
And she hated him.
He couldn't be Ewan. He couldn't. It would break her heart.
“Goddamn it, girl, finish washing me. The water’s getting cold,” he barked
But she couldn't. She needed to know. She had to know.
“It wasn't a knife. It was ice.” A whisper, but he heard it. He froze, his gaze locked to hers. “You jumped in and found me in the water. Lifted me out. But you couldn't get out yourself.”
“I don’t know what you’re babbling about.”
But he did. She could see it in his eyes. There, for a flash of an instant, she saw that boy in his eyes.
She licked suddenly dry lips. “Ewan? Is it you?”
He rose from the tub in an unholy rush. She didn't have time to glanced away. The vision of his naked body, hard and lean, scarred and perfect, burned on her brain. He grabbed a cloth and covered his loins.
“This bath is over. Get out.”
She stood. Tried desperately not to tremble. “It is you. It is.”
“Get out. Go!”
“What happened to you, Ewan?”
A dark cloud lowered on his already stormy brow. “What happened to me? You mean how did I become the beast that I am?” The vitriol in his voice made her shake, but she didn’t back down.
“No, Ewan. Where did you go? No one would tell me and I always wondered…”
Every muscle in his body tensed, vibrated. Violet knew, because she could see them all, a magnificent panoply.
She should have been afraid. She should have been horrified. She should have skittered away like a frightened little rabbit. But she wasn't afraid. She didn't run.
She knew—knew—her Ewan would never hurt her.
Indeed, as he stared at her, his fury passed. He scrubbed a palm over his broad face. “Go,” he croaked. His tone was laced with an emotion she couldn't decipher. Desolation? Greif? “Just go.”
This time, she did.

PRAISE FOR BRIGAND!

"Hot, sexy, and hysterically funny"--The To Be Read List

"Passion scalds the pages"--The Jeep Diva

"If you enjoy hot, historical, and add a highlander then this is certainly the book for you!"--Amazon Reviewer

GET THE SERIES NOW!

2014 EPIC eBook Award Finalist
2013 Passionate Plume Finalist!
2014 Carolyn Reader Choice Award Finalist



About Sabrina York
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York is the award winning author of over 20 hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy erotic romance to scorching BDSM. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Free Teaser Book: http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/ And don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Love and Romance in the Regency Era


Love and romance certainly did not begin or end with the Regency era, which is generally known as the period when the Prince of Wales (the future George IV) became Prince Regent during the time when George III was too ill to manage his monarchical responsibilities (1811), until the latter's death in 1820. So why has this particular period become one of the—if not the—most popular setting for historical romances?

His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent
One could mention the arts, which enjoyed the patronage of the extravagant Prince Regent, or the exquisite manners and elegance of the social scene, the lavish ballgowns and stately residences, and even the beginnings of social, economic and political changes as promising fodder for romance novelists. But I think the biggest reason for this has more to do with Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1754.

Prior to 1754, young people could be legally married quickly and cheaply in taverns or bars near the Fleet Prison (debtors' prison) by defrocked ministers imprisoned for debt. The Marriage Act stated that the ceremony must be solemnized in an Anglican church or chapel after the banns (announcements) were published for three successive Sundays in the parish or parishes of residence of both parties. Minors under the age of twenty-one had to have written permission from their parents. This Act did not, however, do anything to remove the validity of a marriage performed “over the anvil” in Scotland, so our thwarted lovers did have a legal way of tying the knot if parental permission was not forthcoming.

An important provision of the Marriage Act was to do away with the whole idea of child betrothals being equal to marriage. While parents had other ways of pressuring their offspring to marry where they wished, a childhood betrothal was not one of them.

The Appeal of the Love Match


While the arranged marriage, i.e., marriage for property or connections, by no means disappeared, during the Regency period, it was acceptable to aspire to a love match, as long as such a match was acceptable to both families. Social events such as balls, card parties, routs, assemblies, and institutions such as Almack's increased in number to give upper-class young people plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with others of like mind.

Society, after all, was full of dysfunctional and scandalous marriages contracted for family reasons. Divorce was pretty much non-existent. Why not marry some like-minded, compatible person if you could?

The Sacrificial Bride or Groom


Not everyone, however, could afford to marry for love. The heir to a title was often “encouraged” to seek a bride with aristocratic connections to boost the family name and fortunes. If the family happened to be impoverished, said heir would often have no choice but to marry an heiress whose proliferation of pounds could restore the family estate. Because of the whole primogeniture thing, where estates were left in their entirety to the first son, younger sons were required to make their own way in life, preferably not something that would reflect badly on the family, such as dabbling in trade.

And the daughters, well, they couldn't inherit such entailed estates in any case, so their best shot at continuing to live in the haut ton was to marry someone with high standing in society and a reasonable fortune. As long as they were provided with decent dowries, this was at least a possibility; if not, their chances were severely restricted.

So, while marrying for love was the ideal in the Regency era, it was beyond the realm of possibility for many. Which is what makes this era a fabulous setting for historical romances. Our impoverished heroine longs for a love match, but realizes she will most likely have to settle for less. Our hero must marry an heiress, but has fallen desperately in love with said impoverished heroine. What can they do? How can their love match be achieved when circumstances stand against them? (And no fair having them discover buried treasure in the backyard. Their success has to be due to their own efforts.)

Onions to the First Earl Spencers


Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
Last year I visited Spencer House on St. James Place in London. It's a lovely Georgian home (open only on Sundays), and I highly recommend it. All over the house are symbols of love and devotion, since the First Earl Spencer married his childhood sweetheart, Georgiana Poyntz, a love match for the ages.

But what really got my goat was the realization that this lovey-dovey pair sold their seventeen-year-old daughter, also Georgiana, to the twenty-six-year-old, jaded Duke of Devonshire in a loveless marriage that became the scandal of the century. Really, guys? So much for loving parents, I guess.

Laudermilk, Sharon H. and Hamlin, Theresa L., The Regency Companion, Garland Publishing, 1989.

Susana's Releases

She's a country lady. He's a London swell. They have nothing in common. Or have they?

A Twelfth Night Tale

A wounded soldier and the girl next door find peace and love amidst a backdrop of rural Christmas traditions.

About Susana


A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around the UK and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley, Central Florida and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.



Susana’s Parlour (Regency Blog) • Susana’s Morning Room (Romance Blog)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ask the Author: Publishing Timeline in 13 Steps @kayelleallen #author

The Last Vhalgenn 
People are often curious how long it takes a book to be published. I decided to jot down a few things that come into play during that time. I purposely left out time it takes to print, send, and wait for an acceptance letter (which can take a year or more). Because I write eBooks, that period is generally a matter of emailing the submission, and if I've worked with the publisher before, often two-three weeks or less for a response.

I now self publish, so my timeline has changed. I'll post about that another time. However, for the Last Vhalgenn, it took only days from the final edit to becoming available on Amazon.

For other aspects, this list may help put it in perspective.

  1. From germ of idea to concept: 6 weeks (average)
  2. Synopsis to first chapter: 7 days
  3. Book completed: 8 months (average)
  4. From the signing of the contract to the day of publication: 90 days.
  5. Pre-book promotion everywhere: 90 days
  6. Book release day excitement: off the scale.
  7. Contests, promos, chats, author days, etc.: everlasting
  8. Waiting for results of sales: 90 days (one quarter) plus 30 days for processing
  9. Hearing check is in the mail and waiting to receive it: eternity
  10. Getting the letter out of the mailbox and realizing this is the first royalty check: time stops
  11. Walking back to the house with the envelope in hand: one minute
  12. Showing it off to your spouse or partner: timeless
  13. Time it takes to spend: seconds
Care to add any steps I might have missed?
---
The Last Vhalgenn
Duty to king and country has shaped Raik's life since birth, but to protect them, she must perform a ritual that betrays all she holds sacred.
Kayelle Allen is a multi-published, award-winning author, and the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary characters, futuristic immortals, covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

May Day or Beltane by Cornelia Amiri




Sunny, floral scented days were a time of enchantment. Chiefly, the feast day of Beltane (pronounced Bell-teen or Bell-tawn) or the more modern May Day. Beltane meant Bell’s fire in honor of Belenus, the Celtic sun and healing god. Invoking Belenus’ blessings, nine men gathered nine pieces of wood from nine of the sacred trees, such as oak, elm, ash, birch, holly, rowan, apple, alder, maple, and hawthorn. The tribe piled more wood on top, building two huge bon-fires which were called the needs fire. Druids kindled the blazes with sacred incantations.
Each family extinguished the center fires in their round hut and in rapt silence relit them with a torch of the new, needs fire. The Celts also smudged their faces with ashes from the Bell’s fires. Further, they ritually drove their livestock between the needs fires. No small feat, for though cows and oxen are somewhat manageable, sheep can be difficult, and horses are more than skittish when goaded between blazing infernos. As the animals passed between the hot amber fire, Belenus purified them from all disease so they would fatten on the new grass, rather than grow sick from the cold, wet ground still under foot. Once the ceremony was finished, men and dogs drove the herds to summer pasture.

In baking bread or small cakes for Beltane, the Celts burned or marked one with ashes. In mock sacrifice, the person who drew the blackened cake had to jump over a small fire or in some celebrations perform the sword dance and in others they would walk across hot coals. 


A tree in the woods was chopped down for the maypole or a tribal tree was used each Beltane. Men and women grabbed the soft colored feminine ribbons tied around the masculine, phallic pole and danced in an intertwining fashion, symbolizing the union the of the god and the goddess, the hand fasting of sun to earth. To the music of fife, harp, and bagpipe, Celts sung ancient mating songs. Between leaping, twirling dances, they fasted on boiled boar and gulped cupfuls of ale and mead.
Along with fire, Druids held that water was powerful. The most potent appeared magically. So Celts collected the dew before dawn on Beltane. Those sprinkled with May dew were insured health, happiness, and lasting beauty.
May was the month of reawakening of the earth after a long, dormant winter. Picking wild flowers, basking in sunshine, dancing in the dew cover grass were some of the things to enjoy at Beltane.
It was also a romantic holiday. The May Queen led the Beltane procession with her ritual courtship of the Green Man. These symbolic marriages of the god and goddess, in the form of King and Queen of the May, were mirrored in human courtship. One of the most popular May Day traditions was to set a basket full of spring flowers or other small gifts at a neighbor’s house without them seeing you. If you got caught, they would chase, then kiss you. Courtships for the ancient Celts would often begin at Beltaine and the marriages would be held at Samhain (Sah-van), which in modern times we call Halloween. 

I hope you all have a Happy May Day next week.

~     ~     ~

Cornelia Amiri writes Celtic/Romances - perfect May Day reading. Visit her at http://CelticRomanceQueen.com



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Two New Book Contracts!

I’m happy to report that Boroughs Publishing has offered me contracts on two contemporary romances to release later in 2014; NATURALLY YOURS and HER IMMORTAL VIKING.

The first, NATURALLY YOURS, to release mid-2014, is a story about a paramedic and Iraq war veteran, Mickey Kendall, who is plagued by guilt over an incident in Baghdad. He dedicates his life at home to community rescue efforts because he believes he’s beyond redemption. When Mickey meets master chef Amanda Greer, she nourishes him with her unique culinary skills, and challenges him to face his demons and free himself from the binds of old wounds.

The second book, HER IMMORTAL VIKING, which releases late 2014, is an original contemporary fairy tale based on Norse Mythology. The story is about a celebrated Viking warrior who is deceived by his closest friend and cast into eternal servitude by an angry god. Gunnar is made immortal and is forced to live out his sentence in human servitude. When he meets Penelope Farnsworth in modern times, they fall in love and seek a way to free him.

Though all of my stories feature very different heroes, their commonality is their wounded hearts. The heroes in my books to date—a firefighter, cowboy, paramedic, and warrior have suffered tremendous loss emotionally and/or physically and must find the will to heal before committing to love. Once they have made the decision to fix what’s been broken, these men are fully able to love the strong, unique heroines who have come into their lives to love them in return.

My current hero, Treymont Woods, is a broken man in every sense of the word, and readers say they love him. KISSING HER COWBOY is an Amazon Top 100 Best-Selling Western and Short Romance. Many thanks to the readers and reviewers who have made this title a success. The story has received numerous 5 Star reviews that include kind, enthusiastic comments like these:

“Satisfying short stories are difficult to craft. I’m in awe of Adele’s ability to take what would otherwise be a little story and breathe life into it far beyond its length.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer

“Romantic without being mushy, sensual without being graphic. Downs skillfully balances the pasts of both hero and heroine, making both believable." 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer

“You can’t go wrong with Adele Downs.”5 Stars! ~Will Work for Books

I hope you, too, will give my books a try.


EARTH DAY SPECIAL!!!!! All Romance Ebooks is offering KISSING HER COWBOY for the unbelievable special price of .49 TODAY ONLY!!! Here's the link:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-kissinghercowboy-1392369-149.html 


Visit Adele Downs at https://adeledowns.wordpress.com

Like Adele Downs on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/authoradeledowns





Monday, April 21, 2014

Big News from Renee Vincent:

So much is happening in my little world...

First off, my EMERALD ISLE TRILOGY Boxed Set is STILL an Amazon #1 bestseller for Viking Romance since its release a month ago and I want to thank each and every one of you for making this possible. I love my loyal fans and their support, and I hope you know how much it means for me to land on a bestseller list. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Secondly, I've totally remodeled my romance blog, DEEP IN THE HEART ROMANCE! I know, I know....I do this all the time. Heck, I even do it at home. My husband says it's a good thing he's not blind -- as many times as I move things around, he'd be hospitalized with head injuries from tripping over re-arranged furniture all the time. But I digress...

With a fresh, new look and more advertising options, I'm getting back into promoting my fellow authors and I hope you'll stop by for a visit. Let me know what you think of it!

And lastly, I apologize for being incognito but I've been in the editing/formatting cave for several weeks with the release of book 2 and 3 of the Jamett & Joseph Series fast approaching. The whole series just got brand new covers (*squee* I made them myself!) and I'm so excited for you to read them! Here are the blurbs:

THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD
Jamett & Joseph Series, book 1

Available now:
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Smashwords | Kobo

Who knew Mr. Right lived right next door?

Jamie Sutherland, coffee shop owner and serial ruined-relationship survivor, moves into a beautiful loft apartment for a change of scenery. What she doesn’t plan on getting is an eye-full of her handsome next-door neighbor—in nothing but a towel—arguing with his significant other in the hallway.

Joseph Scarbrough's world crashes down on him one cruel morning when his childhood sweetheart rips his heart out of his chest and walks away. His humiliation isn't complete until he turns around to pick up the pieces and sees a beautiful brunette who just witnessed his Dear John moment. 

Caught in an awkward situation, the two backpedal into their separate worlds. But fate seems determined to make their worlds collide on a regular basis. Is it destiny just being clumsy when it comes to the two unlikely neighbors or is it the start of something good?



THE ROAD TO SOMETHING BETTER
Jamett & Joseph Series, book 2

Release date: April 28, 2014

The road less traveled never had so many bumps.

Jamie Sutherland never expects to connect with her sexy-as-sin neighbor, Joseph Scarbrough, especially after all the failed relationships she’s suffered. Not only does she find out he’s not quite “the player” she believed him to be, but that his heart bears scars much deeper than her own. Ready to take a chance on this unlikely match, she eagerly awaits their upcoming date and hopes that Joseph is the very companion she’s been waiting for all her life.


Time and time again, the comical sporadic encounters resume in their loft apartment complex and Joseph eventually reveals that he is the building superintendent in a very unforgettable, Lucky-in-the-Diet-Coke-commercial fashion.

While he's proficient in fixing Jamie’s clogged sink, he's not all that great at leaving his past behind. When Caroline, his yuppy ex-girlfriend, makes another surprise visit, Jamie's road to something better gets a little rocky.

Will Joseph choose the familiar woman with whom he had a history, or the loyal friend who's given him a future?


THE GIFT OF SOMETHING GRAND
Jamett & Joseph Series, book 3

Release date: May 5, 2014

When those three little words aren't enough.

Jamie Sutherland finds herself falling in love with her irresistible next-door neighbor, Joseph Scarbrough. No surprise there. But when she wakes up in his bed, she's stunned that even in her sleep, she can't resist him.

As their relationship heats up, Joseph gives Jamie a key to his apartment and he finally gives Caroline, his relentless ex-girlfriend, the boot. Jamie's excited to think he just might bethe one.

But how do you tell the man of your dreams you love him when he insists that he can't fall in love?


Author Bio:
RENEE VINCENT is a bestselling Contemporary & Historical Romance Author. From the daunting, charismatic Vikings, to the charming, brazen Alpha male heroes of modern day, you’ll be whisked away to a world filled with fast-paced adventure, unforgettable romance, and undying love.

She also writes lighthearted, fancy-free Chick Lit Romance as GRACIE LEE ROSE. For those who love to read fun, wholesome, and endearing romantic stories (with a smidgen of spunk.)

Author Links:
http://www.reneevincent.com/
http://www.pasttheprint.blogspot.com/
http://www.twitter.com/ReneeVincent
http://www.facebook.com/reneevincentauthor
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3005290.Renee_Vincent

Newsletter Sign-up:
http://www.reneevincent.com/p/contact.html


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Quick and Dirty


You probably don’t know me, but I’m a hopeless romantic. On paper anyhow.  

I don’t remember exactly when or where—it was on Facebook or Twitter—I saw a submissions call for Decadent Publishing’s Edge series. I was intrigued enough by the concept of short erotic stories (that do not require a romantic element) that I saved the web page on my favorites. Reading the guidelines often, I let my imagination go to places I’d never gone before, to situations I’d never considered. Dirty places. Naughty situations. I knew a storyline would eventually come to me—or not. That happens sometimes. 

Here’s the thing. I don’t require my heroes and heroines to get married, engaged or even move in together at the end of my stories, especially my shorter reads. I usually expect some sort of promise for more though. A commitment. A declaration of (gulp) love. A date. Something. The prospect of not demanding that happily-ever-after or happily-for-now scenario of my characters was one part liberating and one part terrifying. 

What if readers thought my heroine was a filthy whore who wants a mysterious stranger to jack her up against a wall in a dark alley and give it to her quick and dirty? Would that be so bad? Women have needs that must be met and itches that demand a long, hard scratch that leave her sore and raw the next day.  

Despite my romantic inclinations in my writing (not so much in my personal life), I imagined a story, wrote it and submitted it. Rub Me the Right Way is a thrill ride on the wild side with a twist I hope you don’t see coming. Check out the blurb and excerpt and let me know what you think. Do you need a HEA ending in order to be satisfied?

 
Heather Bowen is an uptight, stressed out insomniac in desperate need of a massage or a shrink or an orgasm to cure what ails her.   
On doctor’s orders, she starts with a massage to work out her knotty/naughty kinks. At the hands of a talented massage therapist, Heather gets a full body rub down. And more. Next stop—a psychiatrist to get at the root of her anxiety and sleeplessness. But is she ready for Dr. Simon’s controversial treatment? 
What begins as prescribed therapy becomes a wild fantasy ride of erotic discovery that makes Heather question her sexual orientation along with everything she believed about her carnal desires.
 
 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Three is the Magic Number

I feel like I'm in a three-ring circus with my muse as the ringmaster. She wants me to go one way but deadlines have me focusing on something else. So she's whispering in my ear, tempting me with what's to come as soon as I finish my obligations.

If I can manage it, I plan to deliver a hat trick to my editor -- three manuscripts all at once... or at least one right after the other in rapid succession. One of which is the third installment to the Daily Grind Series, which is due this month. Two of the manuscripts are close to being finished, which is how I'll pull it off. Well that and locking myself in my office for the rest of the month.

The only interruption will be promoting the start of my new trilogy with Ellora's Cave -- High Relief. The first book is Pliable Inhibitions (Paranormal Erotica) and will be out this Friday (25 April). The series revolves around three coins with magical properties that allow the bearer to live out sexual fantasies without getting caught. In Pliable Inhibitions, Lucas uses the coin to hypnotize his wife so she gets over her hangups about her weight and enjoys life's pleasures.

And the threes aren't finished with me yet. The third title in the Guardian's Tales Series is due out at Changeling Press 15 May -- On the Trail (Shifter Romance). Kaiser, the dog-shifter who was introduced in On a Whim, makes an appearance in his own story where he has to help Tracy track down a stalker who seems able to come and go from her house as he pleases without setting off her alarm.

It's a good thing it's April. If all the this three madness had happened in March, I might think the threes were after me. This kind of synchronicity doesn't happen everyday so I won't complain too much. It's actually kind of interesting now that I see it written down.

Pliable Inhibitions by Zenobia Renquist
Pliable Inhibitions
(High Relief 1)
by Zenobia Renquist

A hypnotic coin, a sure bet, and a woman willing to succumb.

Emily's negative body image is killing her marriage. She doesn't believe her husband Lucas when he says she's desirable, especially since their sex life is nonexistent.

Lucas has a radical solution to their problems—hypnosis. Emily was wild in her college days and he's convinced she can be wild again with a little help from a so-called magic coin. While college was a lifetime and several dress sizes ago, she's willing to play along. She'll experiment with friends, neighbors, coworkers and whoever else Lucas chooses if it means renewing their wedded bliss.

She knows the coin is a fraud and hypnosis isn't real…but what Emily knows and what really happens when Lucas uses the magic coin are two totally different things. And what happens is sex so mind-blowing neither Lucas nor Emily will ever be the same.

Inside Scoop: This title contains lesbian and ménage (m/f/m and f/f/m) sex scenes so steamy they'll leave you gasping for air.

Coming 25 April (Fri)
Ellora's Cave: Exotika

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gone South

Yep...that's me.  I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right and dominant hand March 31 which means I'm a one armed bandit. My left one was done in December and taking the brunt of the workload making it also start hurting again. This also means doing any typing is with one hand. That's why this post is short and why I haven't been around social media much.

I'm with Lexi Post right now, mending/healing/relaxing. The cool thing about that is she lives in St. Croix. Sun and salt water are amazing healers.

So I'll catch you all in a month when, hopefully, the hand is better.



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