Spotlight on Nancy Jardine & Men in Uniform

I have a special guest today, my friend Nancy Jardine. She’s just released a new book and she’s here to tell us all about it. Nancy?

Hello. I’m delighted to visit today just after the launch of After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks (25th March 2014), the 3rd book in my Celtic Fervour Series of Historical Romantic Adventures. I’ve been blogging about lots of different topics on my mini blog warrior wikilaunch tour but haven’t yet talked about something that seems to inspire a lot of interest and that’s ‘Men in Uniform’. Romance readers know the uniform can cover up a lot of sins but can also be a huge enhancement to an already hunky guy.

In my historical romantic adventures, set in Britannia of AD 71 -84, I have two main sorts of men. I’m writing about the strapping Celtic warriors and their opponents on the field – the Roman legionary and auxiliary soldiers.

What would my Celtic warrior uniform look like? Oh, now that’s very easy to describe since they didn’t have one! The Roman and Greek historians who left us some written evidence about the warriors of Celtic tribes – especially in mainland Europe – claim that going naked into battle was the preferred style. If you count the tattooing that was said to be common, some might just say the warriors were unclothed but well adorned. Ahem…

My Celtic warriors in the series live in what would be called modern day northern England and Scotland. I’m Scottish myself and know what our weather is like, so I truly can’t quite imagine the warriors presenting themselves for battle as naked as the day they were born- that image draws forth far too many cold bits and …goose bumps! What I imagine as being more common for the northern reaches of Britannia back in AD 71-84 would be partial dress. The normal clothing for Celtic males was a pair of loose trousers, braccae, which were simply held up at the waist with a rope belt and tied in tight at the calves with leather thongs which would have prevented ‘flapping’ of the cloth. The loose tunics they usually wore above- a simply joined rectangle of material- would maybe have been left off in battle. Trousers – yes; tunic– no; long sword- definitely and shield too!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:0885_Der_keltische_Krieger_mit_T%C3%A4towierungen_im_3.Jh._v._Chr.1.JPG

tribune croppedMy Roman tribune, on the other hand, would have worn uniform every day. The ceremonial aspects to the tribune’s uniform would perhaps have only been worn at specific times but it is a recorded fact that legionary and auxiliary soldiers always wore their uniform and had to be responsible for the upkeep of it. Loss of any parts, or damage to anything clothing, meant replacement by the individual soldier. If a Roman soldier had to buy a new piece of uniform or kit then it was deducted from their annual salary. It’s easy to see how daunting and hugely impressive a legion of soldiers (4000+) marching towards you must have been. Their shiny breastplates might have dazzled or deafened, and the rest of their gear would have looked awesome.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tribuno.jpg

Book 3 continues the tales of: Celtic warrior Brennus, who turns spy to gain information about Roman infiltration of the northern lands; and Ineda, a young Celtic woman who is taken as a slave by Gaius Livanus Valerius, a Roman tribune of the

XX Legion. Whether Ineda likes or hates, Gaius she is impressed by his appearance when he is in uniform. When she is forced to spend a long time at the garrison fortresses of Viroconium Cornoviorum and Deva, she learns very quickly to interpret the rank of the Roman soldiers by the uniform. It’s probably no surprise that she’d much rather be surrounded by half- naked Celts!

For CCNancy Jardine lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in an area that’s steeped in ancient standing stones, tombs, ruined castles and fantastic Scots Baronial architecture. A lover of all things Scottish, her homeland creeps into her writing as does her fascination with history- Celtic/ Roman Britain in particular- though keeping herself updated is a constant battle, since history is being rewritten almost every week as new archaeological discoveries are made. Writing time is shared with regular grandchild minding duties, tending her large garden, ancestry research and leisure reading. She is currently writing a family saga based mainly in Scotland, and Book 4 of her Celtic Fervour series. Topaz Eyes (Crooked Cat Publishing) an ancestral-based mystery, is a finalist for THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE Fiction 2014. After Whorl: Bran Reborn – Book 2 of her Celtic Fervour Series (Crooked Cat Publishing) has been accepted for THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2014

Blurb

Pursued by Rome.

AD73 Northern Britannia

AWDDC x1000 (1)After King Venutius’ defeat, Brennus of Garrigill – known as Bran – maintains a spy network monitoring Roman activity in Brigantia. Relative peace reigns till AD 78 when Roman Governor Agricola marches his legions to the far north. Brennus is always one step ahead of the Roman Army as he seeks the Caledon Celt who will lead all tribes in battle against Rome.

Ineda of Marske treks northwards with her master, Tribune Valerius, who is responsible for supplying Agricola’s northern campaigns. At Inchtuthil Roman Fort Ineda flees seeking fellow Brigantes congregating on the foothills of Beinn na Ciche.

Will the battle against the Romans bring Ineda and Brennus together again?

Excerpt

Gaius was furious, the urge to lash out with his fists immense. A fight with Agricola would go a long way to improve his temper as he barged into his tented quarters.

“We are breaking off from the main legion.”

Ineda gaped at him, curiosity rising in her gaze as he stripped off his breastplate and let it slip with a noisy clank to the ground, not his usual practice since he was extremely careful of his armour. Shrugging and writhing his shoulders to free them from the weight of the metal he strutted around the small space inside the tent as he yanked off his tunic, the smell of his own sweat strong at his nostrils. The day had been long and difficult, his tension at odds the whole time. He balled the garment in his hands. Dropping it would be too easy, so instead he sent it sailing onto the leather door flap where it made contact with a resounding smack before slithering to the ground. He wanted to rant but knew that a poor choice since it would awaken Dubv whose small cot was behind a low partition at the side of the tent.

Ineda went to the small bed and tucked the blanket around Dubv. She did not even attempt to lift his discarded uniform and only looked a tiny bit wary as he strutted around the restricted interior. She knew well how to avoid confrontation with him; though he guessed she was probably itching to know what was angering him so much. She always wanted to know everything. Her eventual words were soft into the heavy silence, treading as warily as her eyes.

“Breaking off?”

“New orders.”

It was rare that Gaius felt so angry he could not speak. Agricola had often made changes to plans which had disappointed and annoyed him but they had never made him livid like those he had just received.

“You are returning to Eboracum?”

“No, Ineda. Not Eboracum. Agricola has decided that I need to remain at the old fortress near Easg when the column arrives there on the morrow.”

You can read about Nancy’s  first century Celts and Romans in her Celtic Fervour Series.

I know I’m intrigued. I can only imagine the research involved. Thanks for sharing your new book and your men in uniform with us, Nancy!

Nancy Jardine’s novels can be found in paperback and ebook formats from: Amazon UK author page Amazon US author page Crooked Cat Bookstore; Waterstones; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords; W. H. Smith; and other book retailers.

Nancy can be found at the following places: Blog, Website, Facebook, Goodreads, About Me, LinkedIn, Twitter @nansjar, & Google+ So get out there and check it out!

Fool For Love Contest

 

Amendment:

I’m uping the stakes! Leave a comment on this post and you will receive a copy of your choice of

Love Potion Me, Baby

Can’t Buy Me Love

All You Need Is Love

or Brodie’s Bride!

All you have to do is leave me your preference and tell me your favorite kind of hero.

Happy Reading!

FFR2014Promo

Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing to win a copy of my romantic comedy Brodie’s Bride. Check out more about Brodie’s Bride click BRODIE.

Not sure what to comment? Finish this sentence: “My favorite type of romance hero is a …”

Be sure to check the main contest page for more chances to win.

http://crystalrainlove.blogspot.com/p/2014-fool-for-romance-contest.html

My Writing Process

I’m so glad my friend Joanne Stewart w/a JM Stewart suggest that I talk today about my writing process. Mainly because I haven’t blogged in for-ev-er. (Check out Joanne at http://jm-stewart.blogspot.com/ )

Being two people is not the easiest thing and it becomes difficult when I want to work on one project and have a different one due.  I have to balance my time between my two author names and all the people rattling around in my head.

So what am I working on right now? Amie Louellen is working diligently to get Southern Hospitality ready for publication. With any luck that should be ready to read sometime early fall. I’m also working on a full length title about second chances at love (working title: Welcome Home, Bethie McGee) and a hot story about cowboys (tentative title: Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy). If you’ve been to my Pinterest boards lately this will not be a surprise to you. Love me some cowboys!

How does my work differ from others of its genre? Hmmmm…I like to think that I bring a certain amount of humor into a heartfelt story. These three projects are a little more…serious than my previous books. But not so  much so that you will feel I’ve switched genres. All the laughter is still there along with quirky characters and handsome, hunky alpha heroes.

Why do I write what I do? When asked why he writes horror, Stephen King says that he writes what he’s given. The same can be said for my contemporary stories. I write what Shirley tells me to. (If you haven’t met Shirley, she has her own tab on this site). She’s my muse, the whisper in my ear, the drive that takes a ‘what if’ to a complete story.
How does your writing process work? Well, if you can’t tell by now, I work on several projects at a time. (another thing I have in common with Mr. King.) And I write in layers. I may do two or three passes through a story before it’s ready to submit. I love the details and work hard to get every one of them in just the right place.
I hope you enjoyed this look into my writing day. Be sure to check out the other writers on the tour.
And my good friend Sarah Grimm: http://www.sarahgrimm.com/blog

Spotlight On: Braedric’s Bane by AJ Nuest

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13th MARKS THE RELEASE OF

Braedric’s Bane, Book IV in The Golden Key Chronicles!

Find out more about the final installment in this epic fantasy romance!
 
Advance praise for Braedric’s Bane:
 
5 STARS from Comet Babes Books! Amazing 4th book. What more can you ask from a fantasy series–time travelling, costumes and even a fight. Add the sexy hero and it has everything you could want in a book!
 
5 STARS from <a href="http://followtheyellowbookrd.blogspot.com/2014/02/braedrics-bane.html%22%3EFollow the Yellow Book Road! An epic fantasy, adventure and romance with a dash of comedy rolled into one fabulous book. I literally read it in one sitting.
 
To escape the clutches of the evil Wizard Gaelleod, Rowena and Caedmon flee to the future. With her memories in tact and the help of her dear friends, Rowena is confident they can uncover the clues behind her connection to the key.

Yet Violet’s dire prophecy does more than detail their history. Caedmon’s worst fears are confirmed. Though they must return to his realm, everything he loves stands to be ripped from his grasp.

Join Caedmon and Rowena as they embark on an epic battle to protect the Austiere Kingdom and fight to safeguard their love in Braedric’s Bane, Book IV of The Golden Key Chronicles.  

 
Available February 13th on AMAZON and AMAZONUK!

 

Praise for The Golden Key Chronicles:

57 FIVE STAR REVIEWS on Goodreads
42 FIVE STAR REVIEWS on Amazon US/UK
 
 
Like the best fairy tales, Rowena’s Key captures the imagination and the heart with a bonus undercurrent of spicy romance. 5 Stars on Amazon
 
AJ, why do you have to write the most wonderful heroes? Aaaahhhh!!! Now I’m hooked and begrudgingly wait for Book 2. I can’t believe this is happening! 5 Stars on Amazon
 
Crazy good! A total fan of the first book, the second did not disappoint at all. I swear I could smell leather while reading this book I was sooooo into it. 5 Stars on Amazon
 
I liked Rowena in Rowena’s Key. Candra’s Freedom just made me fall in love with her! Fierce and headstrong, she is everything a heroine should be. 5 Stars on Goodreads
 
I absolutely adored the first two in this series, with Rowena’s Key being one of my favorite romance reads of 2013, so I had high hopes (read: desperate cravings) for Caedmon’s Curse – it did not disappoint! 5 Stars on Goodreads
 
Honestly, if there were more than 5 stars, I would give them to Caedmon’s Curse and the whole Golden Key Chronicles. So well written, the story flows seamlessly from one danger to the next. The romance between Caedmon and Rowena is sexy, honest, and fresh. 5 Stars on Goodreads
 
AJ is a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a
cornfield in NW Indiana. Her loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy
of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day
and laundry service, tolerate her lunacy. While she spend most days happily
ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup
has been percolating. The dogs just informed her the cat is secretly vying for
dictatorship.
 
 
 

Spotlight On: JM Stewart & Her Knight in Black Leather

Today I’m turning my blog over to my good friend and fellow author JM Stewart. Her heartfelt contemporary romance, Her Knight in Black Leather is  today’s Kindle Daily Deal. What does that mean…?

Her Knight in Black Leather is today’s Kindle Daily Deal! That means for TODAY ONLY it’s only 99 cents on Amazon!

 ~*~*~*~ Blurb ~*~*~*~

Cover_Her Knight_489x750Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she needs.

When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come back this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms. With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunts him here.

As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?

Check out a bit more. Warning….this is sexy–in a good way :) 

“What did you need from me last night, Cat?” His hot breath teased her neck, the sensitive skin below her earlobe, and images invaded her mind. Of his mouth latching on there, leaving his mark. The possessive look in his eyes when he plunged inside her body, claimed her as his. How simultaneously wrong and right it felt to be claimed that way. They were strangers, yet deep down, she couldn’t deny she gave him a piece of herself last night.

“I wanted the fantasy. You were a little wild, a little dangerous. A Harley-riding bad boy in black leather with a wicked gleam in your eye who challenged anyone to try to judge you.”

A faint chuckle sounded behind her, so infectious one corner of her mouth curled in response.

“You were everything I wanted to be and exactly the type of man I never go for.”

“Is that why you took that ride with me? Spent the night with me? Because I’m different?”

She hesitated, her heart stalling in her chest, then shook her head. She spent the night with him because the façade intrigued her. The unexplainable pull between them and the uninhibited desire in his eyes sucked her in. The tenderness of his touch overwhelmed her. He overwhelmed her.

“No. I did it because I felt safe with you.” Safe to fulfill a fantasy without fear of it getting out of control, without fear she’d find out he really was every bit as dangerous as he appeared. And though she couldn’t explain how she knew, she’d bet every last cent she had that the only thing truly dangerous about Michael Brant were his discerning eyes.

“That’s exactly what I needed from you. The anonymity. You were the only person in this town who didn’t seem to know who I was, who hadn’t already formed an opinion of me. Over the years, I’ve convinced myself I didn’t care what people thought, but I came back expecting judgment. There are people here who aren’t fond of me. And with you, for one night, I was just a man. I had no name, no obligations, no expectations.”

He shifted closer, his body brushing her back, his heat seeping into her skin. I needed you.” His breath against her sensitive skin made her shiver. “I was just … me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know if you’d ever heard of me, what you thought of Michael Brant.”

His hands slid onto her arms, his touch light and hesitant, as if he couldn’t resist but wanted to give her room to object. When she didn’t — couldn’t — those hands skimmed along her forearms, over the backs of her wrists, awakening every nerve ending along the way and setting the tiny hairs to standing on end.

~*~*~*~ About the Author ~*~*~*~

 Me1JM writes sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of passion. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the Great Rainy Northwest with her husband of sixteen years and their two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believe everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.

99 cent buy link on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00AWWZVBE

Here are the other buy links, but keep in mind the 99 cent deal is only available on amazon.

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

Kobo

All Romance ebooks

Crimson Romance

 

Cover Reveal: Blame It On Texas

I got this lovely just before Christmas but with all of the holiday rush and shuffle I decided to wait until after the new year to post it. Yes, I’ve had to sit on my hands to keep from hitting ‘share’ but here it is…the cover to my novella scheduled to release from Samhain publishing June 10, 2014. More about the story to come later. For now, it’s all about the cover!

BlameItOnTexas-ART(1)So what do you think? I LOVE it! Ritt and Shelby are some of the youngest lovers I’ve ever written (though they are too old for New Adult). The cover is fresh and lively. Just like the book! But I’ve said too much already. More on that later…

Spotlight On: AJ Nuest and The Golden Key Chronicles

I’M THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE JANUARY 9TH
MARKS THE RELEASE OF BOOK III
IN THE GOLDEN KEY CHRONICLES…

 

CAEDMON’S CURSE

 


The two years Prince Caedmon suffered in the dungeons of Seviere’s keep left him with more than just lash marks lacing his back. He now retains the secret behind the key, and is the only one who understands it’s grim connection to his beloved Rowena. Torn between telling her the truth and risking their future, he agrees to join her perilous quest. But their enemies to the north are not the only menace determined to see them fail and, to prove his love, he must conquer the demons of his past.

Join Caedmon and Rowena as they rediscover a love bound by fate, and struggle to unravel the significance behind Caedmon’s Curse, Book III in The Golden Key Chronicles.  

The Golden Key Chronicles Release Schedule:
Rowena’s Key, November 7, 2013
Candra’s Freedom, December 12, 2013
Caedmon’s Curse, January 9, 2014
Braedric’s Bane, February 13, 2014

Find your copy at: Amazon / AmazonUK

 


~ * ~
Rowena sprang to her feet.
Someone was coming. And based upon the thundering hoof beats and thrashing
branches tearing through the forest behind her, whoever it was cared little for
masking their approach.
Dammit. All night and late into the next evening she’d ridden as if the devil himself had pursued her. She’d purposely stayed off the roads, traveling the old tracks instead, and even stopped several times to set false trails. Not until Helios approached the western horizon and she’d discovered this small clearing inside a copse of thick evergreens had she happily made camp. Her body ached with exhaustion, but her fatigue was a small price in return for the confidence that she’d finally put enough distance between her and the realm of Austiere. Surrounded on all sides by dense trees, the hidden location ensured the smoke from her fire would remain concealed. No one would be able to get close without providing plenty of warning.
The dull pummel of incoming hooves increased and she gritted her teeth, kicked some dirt over her small well-made fire and rushed for the nearest fir. A flick of her hand and Dart took wing, disappearing into the forest just above where she’d used a small wire wicket to tether Belial. Whoever was coming had better have their affairs in order. They were about to be on a first-name basis with the nine.
The bark prickled and dug into
her palms as she swung hands to feet up the branches, ascending to mid-tree
height before she crouched on a sturdy branch on the balls of her feet.
Exhibiting all the grace of an enraged bull, a hooded rider crashed into her camp. The horse’s dancing halt disrupted her bedroll, flinging dirt all over her plated dinner. Jerk. The intruder had to be male, what with this presumed sense of entitlement, thinking nothing of ruining her perfectly arranged camp, soiling her property. She eased two silver blades from the sides of her leather pants and fisted the slender handles in her grip.
Hello, stranger.
Care to dance?
In a fluid movement which contradicted his initial appearance, the rider leapt off his horse and knelt before her sputtering fire. The sides of his cloak billowed past his shoulders. Thick muscle pulled his leather pants taut around his thighs. And those arms…the black vambraces…the leather cords encircling his biceps.
She slumped. Well, for the sweet
love of Helios. Exactly how far did she have to travel to get away from the
man?
Prince Caedmon pinched a bit of
ash between his thumb and first two fingers, rubbed them together and lifted
them to his nose. Rowena squinted past the branches as he rounded the fire and approached
her saddlebags. He squatted to rifle the contents, his back facing her, his
hood hiding his profile from view. She scowled. Most likely, his intent was to
drag her kicking and screaming back to the castle. But she wasn’t about to sit
idly by while he got his grubby mitts all over her supplies.
She sheathed her blades and swung silently to the ground. Motions steady and even, carefully shifting her weight, she reclaimed her knives as she side-stepped twigs and piles of dusty leaves. For all her caution, her concerns were unwarranted. The bog ox was so preoccupied with searching her belongings, she could’ve easily stomped all over the place without distracting him.
A soundless bounce on the tips of
her boots and she pounced, knees straddling his wide back, crossed blades
pressed along the thin skin under his jaw. “I’m officially pissed off,” she
hissed in his ear. “And if you plan to see tomorrow, you’ll do exactly as I
say.”
The next instant she was flying
backward through the air. Her teeth clattered on impact and her blades
scattered as she landed on her rump in the dirt. She shook her head to regain
her bearings.
How in the hell had he dislodged
her so quickly? And which hurt worse? Her bruised ass or her pride? She quickly
scrambled to her feet.
Tendons flexed and every muscle in his arms bulged as Prince Caedmon tore the cloak off his shoulders and chucked the garment aside. A silver chime hummed through the air as he unsheathed his sword the fro the scabbard at his back and fisted the hilt in his hand. Anger smoldered in the depths of his chocolate-brown eyes, but if that fierce glare was meant to make her shriek and scamper into the woods, the man and his stubborn male pride had another think coming. 
She notched up her chin and met him scowl for scowl. Not for one second would she let him intimidate her. No constructs governed the ways of the forest. Out here, survival was the only decree, and if risking injury was the price for her freedom, she was happy to end this test of will come what may.  
“It’s time you learned a thing or
two, my love.”
Ha! Could he be any more condescending? On a
click and whirr, her wrist blades snapped home and she hugged her chest, widening
her legs into her warrior’s stance. “Too bad Denmar’s not here to save your
ass. It’s high time we settle our differences once and for all.”
~ * ~

 




AJ is a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a
cornfield in NW Indiana. Her loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy
of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day
and laundry service, tolerate her lunacy. While she spends most days happily
ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup
has been percolating. The dogs just informed her the cat is secretly vying for
dictatorship.

 


Website:  http://ajnuest.com

Email: 
Facebook Page:

Twitter:  @AJNuest


 

 


 

How Cancer Influenced A Ghost’s Tale–a Guest Post by Juli D. Revezzo

Cancer. The big C. Chances are, you’ve known someone in your circle that has had it or you know someone who knows someone who does. It’s something no one wants to think about. There are several strains of it researchers know quite a bit about—breast cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer—and many more that they don’t. Fibrolomellar type Hepatocellular carcinoma it’s called. Ever heard of it? No? I’m not surprised. It’s a rather rare form of liver cancer and only seems to affect young people and has a very high death rate. One in particular, my little brother, dealt with it for many years. He went through every damned form of chemotherapy the doctors had for him, and quite a few experimental ones. A few years ago, the cancer killed him. Yet before that day came he enjoyed all the usual pursuits for a young man. He was incredibly in love with the Lord of the Rings and roller coasters. Tried, for many years—unsuccessfully—to get me on one. One of his biggest loves was horror movies and the holidays—particularly Halloween. For a few years he even worked at a professional haunted attraction in our hometown. He loved the Ghost Hunters and shows of its ilk and wanted to go on some paranormal hunting gigs, but never got around to it.

The one thing I regret (other than the roller coaster thing. ;)) is that he never got to read my Antique Magic series. I think he would’ve loved (my heroine) Caitlin and her ghosts. Hence why I dedicate them to him. This year, I wanted to do something a little different than just toast his birthday, though. The Fibrolomellar Cancer Foundation is always in need of donations for funding research and so forth so with the release of the next book in the series—Drawing Down the Shades— for the next few days, I’d like to donate my Amazon royalties from the sale of the series, to the group. So if you’ve been thinking about the stories, eyeing them, wondering whether or not to give them a try, why not? The proceeds will go to the FCF and hopefully, do some good. While you, my friends, you will get some great stories to pass a winter’s night.

The series comprises three stories so far, with a fourth coming next summer, if all goes well. Wanna peek?

benefitsalebanner

TAINEW700copyThe Artist’s Inheritance (Antique Magic, book 1)

The balance between good and evil can be an art… or a curse.

Trevor and Caitlin were once happy newlyweds, profiting from Trevor’s art. Until Trevor inherits his brother’s house, and with it, his part of a family curse. Now, Caitlin will stop at nothing to save her beloved husband from insanity and suicide, even if it means she must embrace her destiny and become a witch.

Caitlins book of shadows v6_2smallCaitlin’s Book of Shadows (Antique Magic, book 1.5)

Though their fame became legend, a rumor cropped up about the Fulmer family: Something terrifying stalked Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin’s long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare? Why she thought her world twisted? If she really became a witch?

Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and hopes for each new year.

What truths will her Book of Shadows reveal?

Drawing Down the Shades - Juli D. Revezzo (1)Drawing Down the Shades (Antique Magic, book 2)

Life is good at Starfort Collectibles until the owners, Caitlin and Trevor Fulmer, acquire a beautiful statuette with a murky past. Shortly thereafter, mysterious hauntings wreak havoc on the couple when a ghost in the attic threatens retribution. Caitlin presses her coven for help before the ghost succeeds in meting out deadly punishment—on Trevor.

The three books are available online at the following:

The Artist’s Inheritance:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Artists-Inheritance-Antique-Magic-Book-ebook/dp/B008XL82IU/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-artists-inheritance-juli-d-revezzo/1113215283

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/220457

and for the paperback: Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/3976218

Caitlin’s Book of Shadows:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Caitlins-Book-Shadows-Antique-Magic-ebook/dp/B00AUIS7FC

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/caitlins-book-of-shadows-juli-d-revezzo/1114084278?ean=2940016064321

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320047

Drawing Down the Shades:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Down-Shades-Antique-Magic-ebook/dp/B00HMVF2GW

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drawing-down-the-shades-juli-d-revezzo/1117927155?ean=2940148896753

And Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/394274

I hope you enjoy them. Juli 

You can find out more about me at my homepage: http://julidrevezzo.com/

Blog: http://julidrevezzo.com/blog

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Spotlight on: Lie Catchers by Rolynn Anderson

Happy New Year! Yes, I know it’s the 6th. I have no defense. LOL School was supposed to go back today, but the cold and snow has the rock star home for one more day. As if I wasn’t behind enough already!

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? I did. Among them to blog more, keep in touch with my readers, and ‘get out’ more even if only on the Internet. (You know writers can be kind of reclusive. After all, we have a bunch of people who talk to us constantly. Even if it is only in our own heads!)

In honor of my new resolutions, I invited my talented friend and fellow author Rolynn Anderson to join us today and tell us about her latest release, Lie Catcher. Be sure to stay tuned…there’s a blurb at the end. And you don’t want to miss this!

SUSPENSE NOVELS SPIKED WITH HUMOR

Amy Lillard is my hostess today, a writer whose signature line says: Live a little; Laugh a Lot; Love for a Lifetime. I write Suspense Spiked with Romance. Today in honor of Amy’s bent toward the light side, I’ll talk about the place for fun and funny in suspense novels.

Real people laugh, even in tense moments. Sometimes they giggle out of nervousness or guffaw at an irony raised by the situation. Amusing sarcastic comments and puns bubble out of our characters at the most unusual times. They’ll smile or laugh at each other during the roughest of circumstances. And the reader is relieved and smiles, too, happy about the brief let-up of tension, entranced by characters who react authentically to events brimming with suspense.

Remember the tumble-in-the-sheets scene with Ellen Barkin and Dennis Quaid in the movie “The Big Easy”? She’s a by-the-book investigator and Quaid is a cop well on his way to the dark side and surrounded by cops more dirty than he is. In a plot thick with suspense, their attraction to one another matches in intensity. The director chooses their first sex scene to be the most awkward, embarrassing and hilarious encounter I’ve ever witnessed. Not only is the event a relief of tension, but it shows the human side of both characters and a glimpse of the potential redemption of the Quaid character. This is funny, with a purpose.

Vonnie Davis, who writes light suspense, has a special skill at crafting characters who fumble in her Red Hand suspense series. Even Niko, the conscientious investigator in MONA LISA’S ROOM (http://amzn.com/1612172962), makes the reader chuckle when he bumps up against Aly, an American woman with disarming skills and foibles. Together, Niko and Aly stutter-step their way to solving crimes and finding love.
My newest release, LIE CATCHERS is darker than Davis’s Red Hand series, but, like Davis, I try to show my hero and heroine as real people. The recession has bumped my hero down from a Treasury office job to a gumshoe; she’s struggling to save a family business as well as find a niche in a hometown she once rejected. They both fumble at their tasks and make mistakes, enough to have us smiling and cheering them on to do better next time.
So thank you, Amy for the chance to talk about the light side of suspense. Clearly both of us relish the opportunity to laugh! Here’s more detail about my new release, LIE CATCHERS, Suspense spiked with romance and a sense of humor.

BLURB

LieCatchers_w7909_300Two unsolved murders will tear apart an Alaska fishing town unless a writer and a government agent reveal their secret obsessions.

Treasury agent Parker Browne is working undercover in Petersburg, Alaska to investigate a money scam and a murder. His prime suspect, Liv Hanson, is a freelance writer struggling to save her family’s business. Free spirited, full of life, and with a talent for catching liars, she fascinates Parker.

Trying to prove she’s a legitimate writer who cares about Petersburg’s issues, Liv pens a series of newspaper articles about an old, unsolved murder. When her cold case ties in with Parker’s investigation, bullets start to fly.

Parker understands money trails, and Liv knows the town residents. But he gave up on love two years ago, and she trusts no one, especially with her carefully guarded secret. If they mesh their skills to find the killers, will they survive the fallout?

http://amzn.com/B00HJDS1LG (Amazon Kindle)

http://rolynnanderson.com/ (Website)

What a fabulous cover! Thanks for stopping in today, Rolynn, and sharing your new book with us!

What do you say, readers? How important is humor in the books you read?

Candra’s Freedom by AJ Nuest

RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Candra’s Freedom, Book II

The Golden Key Chronicles
Available NOW on Amazon
 
The key would unlock his future,
and the safety of his kingdom,
but he never imagined the sorceress
would unlock his heart…
 

Lost in a world she doesn’t recognize, Rowena struggles to find her place. Yet her abilities with a blade and the loyalty of a fierce falcon don’t discourage the heated advances of the handsome Prince Caedmon, and the connection between them seems much deeper than her troubled heart can recall. If you are still in love with the Disney princes of your youth, and wish one would show up in your bedroom late at night, then you will love this breathtaking fantasy romance series from AJ Nuest!

~ * ~

  Water rained down his body. His sodden shirt clung to each sharply defined muscle in his chest, his leather pants glued to the contours of his rigid thighs. Her heart tripped a beat at the magnitude of sheer, gritty determination forged in the scowl on his brow. Prince Caedmon was a man on a mission. That was a nice idea for a change.

He finally made landfall, fisted his hands and increased his pace. A few trumpeters blew a half-hearted attempt at announcing his arrival, but their notes blurted like a fat man’s flatulence and faded listlessly in the air. Some people knelt, others remained standing, and several bobbed like apples in a rain barrel, unsure which action to take.
Another victory at denouncing their absurd rituals. Rowena chuckled under her breath. Bravo, sir. Well done.
He locked onto her and she grinned, even when his penetrating stare pierced her like an arrow and he clenched his scruffy jaw. The real icing on the cake would be if he ignored his father. But no, that would never happen. Even as the thought occurred, Prince Caedmon strode straight for King Austiere’s open arms.
Except…wait a second. He wasn’t heading for his father. He marched straight for her.
Oh no…
All the amusement fled her body. She glanced left, then right before meeting his formidable gaze a second time. Of course. Distracted by his gallant swim to shore, she’d forgotten. His dismissal of the pageantry didn’t have anything to do with defiance. He thought them still engaged.
She withdrew a step, but her shoulder blades bounced off the front of Marcelene’s ample bosom. Dammit! Pressed inside the crowd, no other escape route was available. And time was quickly running out. Her pulse leapt and her fingertips tingled as if she’d touched Fandorn’s lightning catcher. She couldn’t seem to draw any air. Great tits above, what was the man planning to do?
~ * ~
Praise for Rowena’s Key,
Book I in The Golden Key Chronicles
 
Love Reading Romance calls Rowena’s Key “an enchanting fairy tale for adults!”Cosmochicklitan says Rowena’s Key is a “must read!”
The author slowly leads Rowena and Caedmon into love, so slowly and sweetly it’s romantic and classic…and breathtaking. I cannot wait for the second installment of this series. 5 Stars

It was like watching a Cinderella story come to life. Or living one. 5 Stars Like the best fairy tales, Rowena’s Key captures the imagination and the heart with a bonus undercurrent of spicy romance. 5 Stars With all the components of a star crossed lovers story, Rowena’s Key is a genuine Romance. A.J. Nuest pulls the reader into fantasy alongside Rowena with a realness that will have you hopeful, teary eyed and longing for the next installment. 5 Stars   You need to realize this is a novella, because you will get to the end of this story and be desperate for more. Thankfully, HarperImpulse is releasing each novella in this series in month by month installments, so we don’t have long to wait for the next development of Rowena and Caedmon’s fantasy romance. 5 Stars   The Golden Key Chronicles Release Schedule:   Rowena’s Key:  November 7, 2013 Candra’s Freedom: December 12, 2013 Caedmon’s Curse: January 9, 2014 Braedric’s Bane: February 13, 2014

AJ is a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a cornfield in NW Indiana. Her loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day and laundry service, tolerate her lunacy. While she spends most days happily ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup has been percolating. The dogs just informed her the cat is secretly vying for dictatorship.

Blog:  http://ajbooks.blogspot.com Email:  ajnuest@yahoo.com FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/amyjo.nuest Author FB Page:  https://www.facebook.com/amyjo.nuest#!/pages/Tattered-Pages/259835887466 Twitter:  @AJNuest

Buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/Candras-Freedom-HarperImpulse-Fantasy-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00FVE4RP4/