Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet Author Catherine Green who lives in an old haunted house in England...

I met Catherine on Twitter. As soon as I saw that she lives in a haunted house in England, I knew I had to find out more! She shared some fascinating stories about her ghostly experiences, (coming in October on a Halloween post) and I told her a few of mine, which pale in comparison.

Catherine is also the author of the adult paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels. She was raised on books from a young age, and has happy memories of Saturday mornings spent in her small local library, devouring the contents of the shelves. Aside from the Redcliffe novels, Catherine has short stories published in YA anthologies Devils, Demons and Werewolves, and The Mirador Fantasmagoria. 

Catherine has always been fascinated by the supernatural world, and it feels natural for her to write about vampires, werewolves, witches and other mystical creatures in her stories. She is a mother of two (plus dog), with an interest in crafts and social history. Catherine practises Law of Attraction and truly believes that everyone can achieve their dreams if they can step beyond the fear of social conformity.

 
 
About Catherine's Books
 
Love Hurts is about a young woman who runs a bookshop in Cornwall with her best friend. She falls in love with a local police detective and later discovers that he is a vampire, and that his identical twin brother is a werewolf. She is dragged into their complicated and dangerous lives, to her detriment, where secrets are told and lives are lost... 

 

Love Kills is book 2 in the developing Redcliffe series. In the quiet Cornish seaside town of Redcliffe, Jessica Stone recovers from an horrific werewolf attack and comes to terms with revelations that her lover, Jack Mason, is a vampire, his brother, Danny, the werewolf pack leader, and her best friend, Simon, is a werewolf.  Add to that her discovery that she is a witch, and life is suddenly a whole lot harder than it used to be. Jessica has to fight for her own life and Jack’s when faced with his jealous vampire master who wants her old lover back. But things are never easy, and a vampire master is not so easy to defeat…

 
 
In Love Redeems, life has changed forever in Redcliffe, Cornwall. Jessica Stone used to be a normal, happy human. Now she is an angry, conflicted and confused witch. It all happened when she met Detective Jack Mason and his identical twin brother Danny. Jessica almost died twice, fell into a love triangle, and she became a murderer. Now she faces the ultimate challenge as she continues the fight to save the man she loves, while simultaneously struggling with her lust for his werewolf brother and their vampire friend. Can she survive, or will love finally end her life completely? 

 
The books are available direct from Mirador publishing in multiple eBook and paperback versions: http://www.authorpage.co.uk/catherinegreen/
In The Darkness of Love, Lord Gregory Stockton is a powerful and respected businessman embracing the modern era of the Victorian industrial revolution. He has a grand and beautiful manor house complete with a repertoire of servants, and his young wife is charming, attractive, and the perfect lady to his gentleman. The only thing they lack is an heir to the family estate. Lord Gregory knows he can never produce a child, for he is a vampire, although his wife and servants know nothing of his secrets. There are other ways to provide heirs for his estate, however, and Lord Gregory has noticed the romantic attraction between his wife and the young stable hand Marcus Scott. He hatches a plan to bring the would-be lovers together, and then cruelly tear them apart as he continues to build his empire and secure his power base in the south of England. The humans are pawns in the vampires game of lust, love and control.  

 
The Darkness of Love is available in all formats from Chances Press at http://chancespress.com/catherinegreen.html
 



All books are available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format: 
You can find Catherine on Facebook


Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome my Guest Lisa Carlisle: What's BETTER THAN CAKE?

Lisa loves stories with dark, brooding, isolated characters and tough, independent, caring heroines. Her reading tastes very widely and she’ll read almost anything—especially mysteries, romance, and non-fiction on any new topic of interest.S he is thrilled to be a multi-published author writing since she’s wanted to write since the sixth grade. Her travels and many jobs have provided her with inspiration for novels, such as serving in the Marine Corps in Okinawa, Japan, backpacking alone around Europe, or working as a waitress in Paris. Her love of books inspired her to own a small independent book store for a couple of years.
Lisa lives in New England with her husband and their children. She spends her days writing for corporate clients and her evenings writing stories and novels.
 
About BETTER THAN CAKE:
After the worst fight of their relationship, the last place Stephanie wants to be is a wedding reception. She still can’t get over what happened. Could their five years of marriage be destroyed after a blast of heated words? Johnny suggested separating. Separating! Now with her marriage on the line, she has to put on a brave face and pretend love is grand.
Johnny doesn’t know why he’d freaked out the way he had and is left with one emotion. Regret. He doesn’t want to lose Stephanie. He must find her and make things right.
Stephanie enters the reception, fearing the end of her marriage. Johnny has something else in mind—a much more decadent proposal that will turn her friend’s wedding into an event they’ll never forget.
A short erotic romance for only  99 cents! Perfect for a beach or summer read. 
Buy BETTER THAN CAKE at:





Excerpt
Who gets ditched at a wedding? Stephanie paused and took a deep breath before walking into her friend’s reception. Something like this could only happen to her.
Ditched wasn’t a strong enough description. “Maybe we should try separating.” Johnny’s words echoed in her mind, lashing her psyche raw with repetition.
Separating! She closed her eyes. Unthinkable.
It’s okay. You can do this. Stick it out for a couple of hours and then you can deal with the mess.
How would she explain her husband’s sudden absence? He was at the ceremony, but wouldn’t be at the reception. What would be a reasonable explanation? They were spending the weekend here in Cape Cod so it would be tough to feign a work or family excuse.
Illness. Yes, something about seafood. That would be plausible at a seaside resort. Food poisoning. She had an excuse—but it didn’t make her feel any better about the situation.
Beyond the Sea wafted out from the ballroom, appropriate for this Cape Cod seaside resort. She glanced up at the imposing exterior of the multi-level hotel. Her hand trembled so she clutched her silver purse tighter. She raised her chin to steel herself and entered the hotel. 
Stephanie scanned the place settings to find hers. Mr. and Mrs. John Silvio. Table nineteen. She dropped her purse to her side, but her fingers still clenched it. The last place she wanted to be after a killer argument with her husband was a wedding. She forced herself to enter the reception area, squeezing through all those decked in suits and evening gowns. Searching the table numbers for nineteen, she followed them to the back of the room. She guessed she’d be furthest from the head table, since she was neither family nor close friend, but an old college roommate of the bride. She made her way to the back of the room, braved a smile, and introduced herself to the couples already seated.
“Hi. I’m Stephanie.”
“Elaine,” a heavyset woman with puffy blond hair said. “You’re alone?”
Great. Just fantastic. Starting right with the topic she wanted to avoid. “Yes. My husband couldn’t make it tonight. Something he ate earlier,” she babbled. “Probably the shellfish.” She shrugged.
The others introduced themselves as she sat down and peppered her with questions about where they bought the seafood. A few shared their stories of food poisoning.
It was going to be a long night.
Once the attention was off her, she replayed the fight for what had to be the fortieth time since it happened. After a ripple of snide comments evolved into a tsunami of a fight, she stormed away from Johnny and ended up talking to herself like a crazy person as she pounded through the surf.
“Separating? Why does he take a small argument and blow it up into something like this? How could he do this to me at my friend’s wedding? What the fuck!”
A couple of miles later, she had calmed down. It wasn’t all his doing. She was the one who’d dragged them here when he had other plans. Her fury decreased as the sun sank lower in the sky, replaced by a cloak of sadness.
She didn’t want to split up.
Her eyes began to water. How the heck would she make it through the night without breaking down? Her marriage could be over. How long could she sport a brave face before it dropped?
“Excuse me,” she said and hurried into the ladies room. She barely made it through the door before her eyes pooled with tears.
She grabbed tissues and blotted them, fixing her smudged makeup the best she could.
“You can do this,” she told her reflection in the mirror.
As much as she dreaded being at a wedding while her own marriage hung in jeopardy, she had to put her feelings aside for the sake of Caryn. She’d only get married once.
Hopefully.  
* * * * *
 Johnny caught glimpses of the ocean from the cab and couldn’t help but brood on what he had said to Stephanie down the beach this afternoon. A cold black cloak had surrounded him since, fastened with shackles of regret. The same question echoed in his head ever since.

Why?
Why had he freaked out the way he had? Said the things he had? The day had started out great. They woke up at the bed and breakfast and had the morning free before the ceremony. They’d rented bikes on the Cape Cod Rail Trail and had ridden past sand dunes and shacks, cranberry bogs and duck-filled ponds, villages and pine forests, and even a couple of lighthouses. The scenery was one thing, his beautiful wife riding alongside him something else. He could barely keep his eyes off her lithe body and on the trail.
When they’d stopped to buy sandwiches from one of the beachside shacks and had a picnic lunch on the beach, things were still good. It wasn’t until after the seaside wedding ceremony this afternoon that he’d opened his mouth and all kinds of stupid fell out. And for what? Something trivial, not something to throw away a marriage over.
Their argument had stirred weeks before. He resented her for dragging him to a wedding when he’d already had plans for his monthly camping trip with his buddies, He had stormed about it for days, but downright exploded on the beach earlier. Telling her she was too controlling, she shouldn’t speak for him and make him cancel his plans to do something she wanted. How his outdoor trips were how he decompressed from work and if she didn’t get it by now, she didn’t get him. She’d countered, saying he used the same justification for his softball games, and sometimes he had to suck it up and act like an adult. Snide comments had escalated into verbal jabs. Past grievances were drudged up as their defenses rose. Accusations flew, growing uglier, and digging up past perceived injustices, until finally, he had suggested a trial separation.
He still wasn’t sure why he’d said it. A heat of the moment incident, blurting out something to end the fight with something he didn’t even mean.
Her shocked expression had turned to one of hurt as she blinked back tears. Then she’d lashed back at him. “If you’re so shallow and selfish that you consider a weekend away from your buddies such brutality, then yeah, maybe we should.”
When she had stormed away from him across the beach, he had turned away thinking to hell with her and pounded through the sand in the opposite direction. It wasn’t until he had turned back several minutes later to see she was gone that he realized he might have made the biggest mistake of his life.
Lisa loves to connect with readers. You can find her on:

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Goodreads Amazon page

 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WORLD WAR ONE Started 100 Years Ago Today--Here's a First-Hand Account of Life "Over Here"

I just finished The Harding Affair by James Robenalt, and the book goes into great detail about World War I, just before Harding became president. Wilson was president then, and took his time to decide to declare war on Germany.



Prior to this, I read a book I'd wanted to read for ages: The President's Daughter, about the (alleged) child Harding has with his mistress, Nan Britton. Of course there, no proof. After Harding died, the mistress, Nan Britton, wrote this memoir.

Then I got intrigued with Harding, his presidency the times, so I read The Harding Affair. It discusses his affair with Carrie Phillips, who may have been a German spy during WWI (she was sympathetic to the Germans) but when reading last night, I read about the attack on Black Tom Island in Jersey City, across from Liberty Island, by the Germans in retaliation for the blockades, and to destroy munitions stored there, in 1916. I never heard of this. It caused a huge explosion, people were thrown from their beds, I looked it up online & saw pictures of it--it did look like a war zone after the attack. Google Black Tom Island explosion and see the photos.

I learned a lot about WWI in this book, which I've never studied in depth. The Germans decided any boats that entered the waters around Britain would be sunk, even ocean liners, and this went on for a while before they finally backed down and promised not to sink any civilian boats, but it happened a few more times.

So this book isn't just about Harding and his girlfriend. Very readable book, it's educational AND entertaining.

On July 29, Harding's love letters were released by the Lib. of Congress. They were sealed for 50 years.

This is from my dear friend Angela Rosati, who will be 85 years young (and she IS young) soon. Angela is a beautiful lady inside and out. She's also a romance author. Angela writes delightful, adorable historical romances set in 'the good old days' of the 40s, 50s and 60s in and around Queens, NY, where she grew up.

See DID I KILL MR. RIGHT? here on Amazon
See WANTED:HUSBAND here on Amazon

 Several of Angela's relatives served in WWI and she gave this fascinating account:

"I know very little about Harding. All that good stuff was edited from our school books and if they'd left it in, we would have been smarter students! EmojiI never heard of the Black Tom Is. bombing. According to what we were taught, no country every came close to bombing any part of the American territory. Now the truth comes out!! We weren't taught that Woodrow Wilson, who is now called a progressive, was anything but a patriotic American. Talk about suppressing news!
WW1...my mother's oldest brother, Vincenzo, never returned. I put that in my book. Her second oldest brother, Mario, was called. My grandmother went with him, begging them to spare her son, telling them about her oldest son. They took Mario, who went to the Austrian Campaign, very tough fighting there. I remember seeing the scars of at least 2 bullet wounds in his upper arms.

My father, who was a vet of the Italo-Turkish War, 1912, was called. That's when he met his first whores. He came to America, worked for the rich Rushmores, in their upstate home, Goshen, NY. He was called in 1914. Mr. Rushmore told my father not to return to Italy, but my father said if he didn't return his family would be in trouble. So, he went back and was sent to the Austrian Campaign. He never met Uncle Mario. My father was lucky, he rec'd a bullet wound that just grazed him above his upper lip; a little blood. His friend, from Bari, said, "Russ, I'm afraid to die." Instantly, he received a bullet to the head. Papa said, blood, bone and brains all over. My father didn't talk too much about the war and neither did Uncle Mario. 
 
One Christmas, my grandchildren gave me a book on the Italian Campaign in WW!. It was brutal because the Italians, at that time, spoke dialect. They barely understood each other, let alone their officers.  They were ill equipped, had little training, and The Austrians were the first to use hand grenades. The poor illiterate, ignorant Italians didn't know what was what. Too many were killed or wounded. The stuffed shirt officers just kept sending the poor bastards up the same hill. 

My father spent 2 1/2 years there. I have his papers. He received a medal with a document signed by Benito Mussolini, in 1926! Uncle Mario received medals also.

I have a pocket book, price 60 cents, THE UNITED STATES IN WORLD WAR 1, 142 pp. I will start to read it! 

My father had a latticini (dairy) store in Astoria , 1937, which he kept open until late at night, which was the custom. Once another Italian immigrant, had a sort of push cart, left it in the street and entered our store. He recognized my father from the war! He said my father shared his bread with him. That was my father; a tough red head, but a softy!

In those days, the returning soldiers were close mouthed, suffered inside. But they went to work!"
 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Welcome USA Today Bestselling Author Linda McLaughlin!


Linda grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, & Australia. A lifelong dream came true with a trip to England where she was able to combine sightseeing and theater with research for her novels. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California with her husband.

Linda writes historical and Regency romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.

She also writes erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell. 4 ½ stars and a Top Pick from Romantic Times!

Romantic Times Nominee—Best Small Press Romance of 2003!

2nd Place - Lorie Awards - Best Historical Romance!
 
She's done OK so far--now read about ROGUE'S HOSTAGE: from the wilderness of Pennsylvania to the fall of Quebec, Mara and Jacques are thrust into the tumult of war and passion, relying only on their feelings for each other to stay alive. Before the war ends, they will risk death, embrace life, and discover love that transcends all bounds.                                                    

 
His hostage...   
In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré's life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn't count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire. 
Her destiny...
French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau's desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left.  But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever. 
(Previously published by Amber Quill Press)
 
 
An excerpt from ROGUE'S HOSTAGE:

Holding the towel to his shoulder, he walked over and stood by the bed to check on the woman, who was still in a faint. Despite her pallor, he noted that her skin was fine, her nose straight and thin. She had a lower lip just full enough to entice a man to taste it, and a stubborn chin that dared him to try. Under different circumstances….”

She was perhaps not as lovely as he’d thought when he first saw her standing in the clearing—her hair, the color of corn silk, shining in the sunlight. Still, she was tall and fair, with slender curves and shapely ankles visible beneath the short skirts of a farm wife. .”

And now she was a widow. He stared down at the woman and silently vowed to see that no more innocents died today. .”

The woman gave a soft moan and opened her eyes. When she spotted him, she shrank back against the wall, arms folded defensively across her breast. His gut tightened. He didn’t enjoy terrifying women, but fear should make her easier to control. She had already proven unpredictable. .”

Terror, stark and vivid, glittered in her eyes. "Who are you?" .”

"My name is Jacques Corbeau, lieutenant in the army of France. And you are my captive."

* * *

Mara inhaled sharply, panic building inside her. This couldn’t be real. It was all a bad dream. She would wake up soon and tell Emile about it, and they would laugh. And laugh and laugh and…. She swallowed the hysteria engulfing her.
"Madame, are you listening to me?"

The Frenchman’s voice, sharp and insistent, demanded her attention. "There is not much time. My companions are not patient men. We must leave soon, but first I want you to bind my shoulder. Where do you keep bandages?"

Her mouth and throat were dry when she swallowed, but she choked out an answer. "The trunk. Under the bed."

He squatted beside the bed, pulled out the trunk and rummaged through it. She watched his every move, unable to take her eyes off him, alarmed by the physical threat he represented.

He was a tall man who dominated the cabin as Emile never had, and his state of undress revealed nearly every inch of his lean and powerful form. Not only was he bare to the waist, but his breechclout and leggings failed to completely cover his thighs and buttocks. He had a wide-shouldered, rangy body and long, sinewy legs. He looked strong, virile, and infinitely dangerous.

A cold knot formed in Mara’s stomach. The French had killed her father and now her husband. What would they do to her?

She wrapped her arms around her waist. Her grandfather would say whatever happened was God’s will, but she rejected that idea. What kind of God allowed such awful things to happen?

Fearfully, she watched as the Frenchman shoved the trunk back under the bed and stood. He held out the bandages, and she froze. She couldn’t touch him, she just couldn’t.

The man’s heavy black brows drew together in a fierce frown, but his voice was without emotion. "Madame, I am all that stands between you and the men who killed your husband. I can be persuaded to act as your protector. It is to your advantage to do what I command."

Holding the towel to his shoulder, he walked over and stood by the bed to check on the woman, who was still in a faint. Despite her pallor, he noted that her skin was fine, her nose straight and thin. She had a lower lip just full enough to entice a man to taste it, and a stubborn chin that dared him to try. Under different circumstances….”

She was perhaps not as lovely as he’d thought when he first saw her standing in the clearing—her hair, the color of corn silk, shining in the sunlight. Still, she was tall and fair, with slender curves and shapely ankles visible beneath the short skirts of a farm wife. .”

And now she was a widow. He stared down at the woman and silently vowed to see that no more innocents died today. .”

The woman gave a soft moan and opened her eyes. When she spotted him, she shrank back against the wall, arms folded defensively across her breast. His gut tightened. He didn’t enjoy terrifying women, but fear should make her easier to control. She had already proven unpredictable. .”

Terror, stark and vivid, glittered in her eyes. "Who are you?" .”

"My name is Jacques Corbeau, lieutenant in the army of France. And you are my captive."

* * *

Mara inhaled sharply, panic building inside her. This couldn’t be real. It was all a bad dream. She would wake up soon and tell Emile about it, and they would laugh. And laugh and laugh and…. She swallowed the hysteria engulfing her.
"Madame, are you listening to me?"

The Frenchman’s voice, sharp and insistent, demanded her attention. "There is not much time. My companions are not patient men. We must leave soon, but first I want you to bind my shoulder. Where do you keep bandages?"

Her mouth and throat were dry when she swallowed, but she choked out an answer. "The trunk. Under the bed."

He squatted beside the bed, pulled out the trunk and rummaged through it. She watched his every move, unable to take her eyes off him, alarmed by the physical threat he represented.

He was a tall man who dominated the cabin as Emile never had, and his state of undress revealed nearly every inch of his lean and powerful form. Not only was he bare to the waist, but his breechclout and leggings failed to completely cover his thighs and buttocks. He had a wide-shouldered, rangy body and long, sinewy legs. He looked strong, virile, and infinitely dangerous.

A cold knot formed in Mara’s stomach. The French had killed her father and now her husband. What would they do to her?

She wrapped her arms around her waist. Her grandfather would say whatever happened was God’s will, but she rejected that idea. What kind of God allowed such awful things to happen?

Fearfully, she watched as the Frenchman shoved the trunk back under the bed and stood. He held out the bandages, and she froze. She couldn’t touch him, she just couldn’t.

The man’s heavy black brows drew together in a fierce frown, but his voice was without emotion. "Madame, I am all that stands between you and the men who killed your husband. I can be persuaded to act as your protector. It is to your advantage to do what I command."



Summer Questions & Linda’s Answers:

Ice Tea or Lemonade? Iced coffee
Lake or ocean? Ocean
Sandals or Flipflops? Sandals
Sit in the shadow of a tree or on the front/back porch? Shade of a tree since we don’t have many porches in southern California
Ball cap or floppy hat? Floppy hat 

Writing Questions:

Q: Which comes first, characters or plot?
A: Characters, always.  

Q: Plotter, Pantser, or somewhere in between?
A: Somewhere in between. I’ve heard it called being a Puzzler.  

Q: Among those that you’ve written, which is your favorite book and why?
A: Rogue’s Hostage is my favorite. It’s the most personal, in a couple of ways. The first half is set in the area of Pittsburgh, PA., my home town. It’s also the book I was writing when my mother died, and when I finished, I realized that the heroine, Mara, is much like my mother. I just wish she had lived long enough to read the book.   

Q: Have your characters ever taken over the story and moved it in a direction totally different than you had in mind? What did you do?
A: Sometimes that happens, and sometimes it’s a good thing. If not, I have to rein them in. Most often it’s one of the secondary characters trying to take over the book.  

Q: Do you have a "must have" book for writing?
A: Every book requires different research, but my baby name books are always needed. I especially like the ones that include historical and ethnic background information.

Purchase ROGUE'S HOSTAGE from:

Amazon, All Romance eBooks,Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords.

Contact Linda at: 

http://lindalyndi.com/

https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont @LyndiLamont