Friday, May 29, 2009

New Release - Spirit Awakened

On May 28, 2009 DCL Publications released my fantasy historical ebook, Spirit Awakened. If anyone would like to see this story of a couple struggling to survive in a war-torn, pre-medieval land, here are links:

Buy Link: www.thedarkcastlelords.com/spirit-awakened.htm

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aB37w1AUic

Miriam

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reading Between the Lines...


New release!

My second book of 2009 is now available for pre-order:
Between the Lines
When scarred writer Aaron Cooper finds his muse in New York, can he finally stop running?
Excerpt:
Writing suspense had its downsides - Aaron had already started to entertain morbid images of her sprawled on the floor with a bottle of an unknown substance, he glimpsed her grey dress at the top of the stairs. Relief flooded him as she headed back towards their table.
The relief was quickly replaced by horror as he saw her make-up. She'd definitely been crying.
God. What had he done?
He studied her face as she neared the table. Her eyes weren't red. That was a good sign. Perhaps it had only been a short cry. Nevertheless, the idea that he had caused her to cry at all made his stomach clench painfully.
The apple crumble didn't sit so well now.
She pulled out her chair to sit. Aaron couldn't help but notice the way the fabric of her dress pulled tight over her breasts for a moment as she reached back to pull the chair in.
“Sorry about that,” she said.
“No problem.” He smiled at her, but his head filled with questions.
She looked down and saw her coffee, still steaming. Smiling, she tapped the cup's handle. “Thanks. How did you know?”
Now Aaron smiled a real smile. “Lucky guess.” He leaned in, teasing. “Would you like to be alone with it?”
“That depends.” She slowly unwrapped one of the tiny chocolates and placed it on her tongue. “Have you ordered me a Danish to go with it?”
He chuckled, enjoying her, and then his smile faded. She was so beautiful. The slightly smudged make-up around her eyes made them seem bigger, brighter. Even the possibility that he'd made her shed tears made him feel like a huge, huge asshole.
So he had to know.
Before he really knew what he was doing, he took the coffee cup from her hand, and then enclosed that hand between both of his.
Her skin was soft, her fingers warm from holding the cup of coffee. Her nails were short, and shiny with a transparent gloss. Her hand was so small cupped between both of his. She seemed so delicate. “Tory, what's wrong?”
Her hand trembled once between his, and then she smiled. He didn't know her well enough to tell whether it was a real smile or a false one. “Oh, that. I was just freshening up. I splashed some water on my face before I remembered that I'm not wearing waterproof mascara tonight.” She looked contrite.
Aaron narrowed his eyes slightly in concentration. Was it a lie? For the first time in a long time, he wished he had more female friends. They'd have given him some sort of manual on all aspects of women. No doubt it would have a chapter on how to tell truth from lie.
“Are you sure?” he asked. He hoped that she understood that those three words actually meant if I've upset you, please tell me. If you're annoyed, or upset, or offended about the fact I kissed you - tell me.
To order from All Romance E-Books click here.
Thank you!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Who's Your Muse?

Wanna do something fun? Let's share our MUSES! When I get stuck in a scene, there's nothing like a good jolt of muse dreaming to get the juices flowing. Here are my muses.

In Love Fang & Fang Shui...

Gerard Butler is John
Martine McCutcheon (Natalie in "loveactually") is Lauren
Alexander Skarsgard is Luciano
Katherine Heigl is Meredith

Come on...SHARE!

Susan

Friday, May 22, 2009

Looking for Some Design Help! Calling All Web Designers!

If you are great with Html or webdesign and helping me redesign this blog, then I desperately need your help. I would gladly pay for your services. I am looking into adding another sidebar to this blog. If you agree please email me @ thepenmuse@gmail.com.

Thank you!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Pen Review: Men In Shorts : An Erotic Anthology


Title of Book: Men In Shorts : An Erotic Anthology
Publisher's Name: Ravenous Romance
Publisher's
Web Site URL : www.ravenousromance.com

Book Format : ebook/ audiobook

Price of Book: $4.99 ebook $12.99 audiobook

Number of Pages: 149

Genre: Erotica

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

I want to give a thank you out to Savannah for introducing me to her work and those of her fellow authors in this anthology. This is a must read! I never thought men in shorts could be so HOT!
This will certainly be one of those books you just have to read during the summer to boost your spirits and your energy. Each story takes place of course with a different types of men in shorts from G.I. Joe (my favorite) to the mailman (my other favorite!).

Summary:

There is nothing like summer, when the weather changes and the men change into their summer shorts. And basketball shorts. And cut-offs. And board shorts!

Here are 11 erotic short stories featuring all those wicked fantasies we've ever had about the mailman, the cop, the athlete, and the gardener.

And G.I. Joe!

With legs bared and muscles flexing, these men in shorts are sure to inspire, entertain, and titillate you!


Title of Book: Men In Shorts : An Erotic Anthology
Author Names : (there are the stories in the anthology with the authors)

The Special Gift by Barbara Elsborg
Why’d It Have To Be Shorts? by Dawn Jackson

Hot, Hot, Hot by Adam Carpenter
Board Shorts by Neve Black

Ranger Danger by C. Margery Kempe

Coffee Break by Lisa Lane

Laundry Day by Heidi Champa

Try Him On For Size by Katy Sirls
What Counts Is How You Play The Game by Brandi Woodlawn
A Secret Night in Grouse Woods by Karen Sutow

Dirty Little Boxer Boy by Ryan Field

Special Delivery by Savannah Chase

Until Next Week by Lisa Lane

Sweet Savage by Lexi Ryan

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Pen Review: Eternal Press Book Reviews

Welcome to the Eternal Press Edition of The Pen Review!
There are lot of books to choose from whether you like sci fi, western, paranormal, or just plain romance!
Enjoy!



Title: Here Be Dragons by John B. Roseman
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Purchase
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


An interesting tale of space and travel by Roseman. It's a sure fire thrill to read and watch as the tale unfolds before you. A must read for those who love sci fi and adventure!

Summary

From space, the planet Mira looks safe and peaceful, but mysterious "dragons" slaughtered the fourteen members of the first expedition. Captain Jordan, leading the second expedition to investigate this tragedy, will do anything to avoid more bloodshed.

After their ship lands, they discover a lovely Eden. While there is no sign of the previous crew, soon a deadly snake enters the garden. Crew members start to die in horrible ways, and Jordan fears his officers have been replaced with clever imitations by an unimaginably alien monster with supremely evil powers.

The question is, what will happen when Jordan and the monster finally come face to face?

Excerpt

He smiled. The lieutenant was such a gentle, honest man, that she couldn't imagine him hurting a flea. With Rob Adams, what you saw was what you got. Unlike other men, he'd never hurt or disappointed her.

Still, if they were caught, their affair would probably bring them both a court-martial. So she had to be careful even with him.

Troubled, she turned back to the scope while his hands gently began to massage her shoulders. One descended and caressed her breast. She pulled away. Ordinarily she would have liked it, but something about him seemed wrong.

"Everything all right?" he asked.

She shivered. "I...I'm not sure. You seem different somehow."

"Different? What do you mean?" His hand found her breast and started to caress it again.

"I can't explain it. You're just...not the same."

His hand froze. He hissed, a strange sound that made her skin crawl. "No matter how hard I try," he said, "you never accept me."


Title: Beyond This World by Celia Jade
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre:Erotic Paranormal
Purchase
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


After reading this tale, you will want to be whisked away by someone with a tunnel escape! I know that I wanted to be! Celia Jade knows how to write her men and interesting characters! I'm hoping that she comes out with more!

Summary:

Erin is a rational woman. So when she meets a handsome stranger who literally whisks her away to an unearthly place, the only thing that seems real to her is their night of unbridled passion.

Excerpt:

The damp mist caressed her skin as she edged deeper into the darkness, her heels tapping along the cobbled ground.

The door behind her closed quietly.

She felt around with her hands, barely able to see the walls. “Jens? Enough with games—where are you?”

A pair of large hands grabbed her arms and pulled her against a solid frame, making her shriek.

“Shh…it’s me,” Jens murmured against her hair while his hand lifted to cup the side of her face.

Erin’s heartbeat accelerated instantly, forcing air out in tiny gasps. Her fingers unclenched to splay against the soft wool of his jacket, just below his shoulders. Her senses stirred, fully aware of him. His manliness. His scent…

His thumb caressed her cheek. Releasing her arm, he slid his free hand to the small of her back, pressing her closer. “Erin, I want you to come with me,” he said in a deep voice.

“Where?” she asked, barely above a whisper.

“My home.”

Her muscles instantly tensed. “Your home? What—through this tunnel?”

His thumb brushed the corner of her mouth. “It’s just a kiss away,” he replied.


Title: Sparta Rose by Ginger Simpson
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre:Western Historical Romance
Purchase
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


Love Westerns? Well this is the story for you! I enjoyed reading this tale of sweet romance. I really enjoyed Ellie's character, she's rough and tough, but smooth on the inside. When Tyler shows up, I think he's met his match, but then they grow on each other. Need to read more? Check out the excerpt and see why I loved this story!


Summary


Roselle can't quite live up to her flowery name and prefers to be called Ellie. Her plans of one day running her father's ranch are threatened by a handsome foreman, the dastardly family on the adjoining land; And more surprisingly, her heart.

Foreman, Tyler Bishop, can't make heads or tails out of Ellie Fountain. One minute she's a childish tomboy and the next, copper curls and curves. One thing he's determined to do, and that's keep her safe. He's not sure if he's doing it because she's the boss's daughter or because her feistiness attracts him in ways he doesn't want to admit.

Romance and suspense emerge in Sparta Rose.


Excerpt


As soon as his gun cleared leather, a blaze of gunfire ensued. With lightning precision, Ty masterfully downed five of the six cans, and re-holstered his weapon. With a cocky smile, he turned to Ellie. "Well, I must have been distracted on that last one, but five out of six is pretty good, seeing as how it probably only took thirty seconds or so."

Ellie exhaled. There was no denying he'd done a good job. Her heart really started to pound. What if she wasn't as skilled as she thought? While watching Ty set up six new cans, she mentally pictured her make-shift target filled with holes made by expertly placed shots. The whole time she fought rising nausea.

Ty strolled back. "It's your turn."

Her stomach clenched.

"Thanks. I kind of figured that," she snapped, surprised by her snippiness. This was her idea, not his. She swallowed hard, determined to mellow her tone. "Could you do me a favor?"

"What?"

"Can you please stand back a little ways?" She motioned over her shoulder. "It distracts me to see you out of the corner of my eye."

"Sure, no problem." He backed up a few paces.



Title: The White Dress by Anne Ireland
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre:Historical Timeslip
Purchase
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

A beautiful and enchanting tale of love lost and love found. It all begins with the find of an antique dress for Lexie. From there it seems to go all wrong to end into something worth all the trouble. Anne Ireland is an author to watch for and worth reading the short tale of The White Dress.

Summary


Lexie has found the perfect wedding dress, but will it bring her luck? As she begins to see back into the past, things begin to happen. Perhaps she should have left the dress where she found it.

Excerpt


Lexie looked at the dress with a thrill of excitement. It was hanging in a dim corner of the charity shop-and it was exactly what she wanted. The kind of dress she had seen in her dreams. Made of beautiful old lace and fine silk, it had yellowed with age and had rents in the material where it had frayed. Part of the hem had come loose and needed repairing.

''Look," she said, catching her mother's arm. "Isn't that just perfect?"

"Lexie, no,'' Mrs Hall said, looking at her in dismay. ''You can't. You can't wear that for your wedding to Ben. Whatever would he think?''

"Ben knows I want an old-fashioned wedding. That's why he is wearing his dress uniform."

"But there are plenty of pretty reproduction dresses. We saw some in that shop in London. We could go up next week and buy whatever you like."

Lexie wasn't listening. The dress was calling to her, begging her to buy it. She knew she had to have it even if it wouldn't clean up.

"Do you think it is Regency, Mum?" She touched the dress with her fingertips, feeling a tingle right down to her spine. "Christmas wedding. I'll wear silk Christmas roses in my hair and this dress."

"Lexie! I always knew you were quite mad-but if it is what you want, I know someone who might be able to make it look decent for you."

"Bless you," Lexie said. "But I am going to do it myself." She knew that if she managed to get the dress, she wouldn't want it out of her sight for a moment. It was so beautiful and just perfect for her.


Title: Suburban Demon by Laura Herbertson
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre:Urban Fantasy
Purchase
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Love Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Love Vampires and demons? Well this is the book for you! The descriptions by Laura are amazing, i felt like I was on the hunt with Liz. I also love the characters and how well they were portrayed. Laura has a knack for writing out her characters and environments. This is a story not to miss!

Summary:

Life sucks for Liz, a Repere demon from Philadelphia. Banished to the suburbs of South Jersey, she has to clean-up a clan of teenage, zit-faced vampires. If that isn’t bad enough, Max, demon-hater and rival vampire slayer, follows her pointed ears across the Delaware River just to torment her in her exile.

Max has a problem. The love of his life isn’t human. And her recent banishment only makes him think about her more. He finds himself paired with the sexy demon fighting to save horny, high school kids from sharp, vampire fangs.

Together, they stumble upon a heap of undead trouble. A master vampire created a super clan comprised of the oldest, most powerful vampires from Philly, Baltimore, and New York. Liz and Max, the newest vampire slayers in the suburbs, are the number one target.

Excerpt:
The sickeningly sweet smell of vampire clung to the wet grass; a scent only her race could detect. Liz stayed in the shadows between the towering houses on Cherry Lane. She slipped between the well-manicured bushes, following her nose as it found the vampires’ trail. Like an airport runway, the small was a beacon to the clan’s latest hangout.

Liz smiled. These suburban vampires were just too easy to hunt. She left the landscaped bushes and the aluminum siding and cut across a freshly cut lawn.

If humans could smell vampires’ pungent odor, then maybe they’d learn to stay the hell away. But no. Stupid young girls bared their necks whenever one of the bloodsuckers whispered sweet nothings to them. Until they came to their senses, Liz would always be on the hunt.

At least tonight was better than most to go hunting. The moon was bright, the air warm, and the usual yowling of stray cats getting their freak on was absent. The glare of televisions glowed through the windows of each house she passed. Families, smart and safe, huddled together on the couch.


Title: The Return of the Horny Dead by Rhonda Lee
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Comedy/Erotica
Purchase
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

An interesting take on zombies and corpses, oh my! This story by Rhonda Lee is funny, provocative, and a sexy read! A must read for those looking for something new!

Summary:

During a terrible blizzard Steffie finds a naked man with a Y incision on his chest standing in the middle of her garage. Thinking he's wandered away from the hospital and is suffering from hypothermia, Steffie brings him into her house and attempts to warm him up. Things get hot alright as Steffie gives her visitor the sexy show of his (un)life and gets a little more than she bargained for in the process.

Excerpt:

There was a naked man standing in the middle of my garage. His back was to me, but he was very definitely a man, and a well hung one at that—his legs were slightly apart and I could see his cock dangling down between them. He was buff too, but pale, sort of grey-ish actually, I figured that was hardly surprising since he was standing in my garage nude in the middle of the worst snowstorm in recent memory.

Now, I’m no idiot—I considered the fact that he could very well be crazy, and I did consider just turning around and walking back to my house—but my conscience got the better of me. If he wasn’t dangerous I couldn’t very well just leave him there to freeze to death could I? I figured I had to take the chance, or else I’d never be able to look at myself in the mirror again—and I am rather fond of looking at myself in the mirror.

I cleared my throat to get his attention, which is when I realized that my garage was better insulated than I thought, because even over the howling of the wind, he seemed to have heard me in here. He stiffened up, every muscle in his body seemed to suddenly come alert and his head, which had been hanging down as though he were looking at the floor, suddenly jerked up.


Title: Son of the Sun by L.A. Wilson
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre:Speculative Fantasy
Purchase
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

L.A. Wilson's Son of the Sun is a fantastic story that follows Jes who is a bounty hunter, not knowing the secrets and powers he holds. Along this new mission by the king he is under contract Jes will find out everything. A thrill ride from start to finish!

Summary:

The extraordinary Jes Jarldane is under dire contract to his Divine-king as a bounty hunter, one of the king's chosen 'Sons of the Son'.

Jes himself is unaware of the massive and secret power hidden within him; a power that will be unleashed when he is sent to hunt down the Divine-king's missing wife, the King-Maker, Zahra Veeta.

Hunting this elusive prey alone through searing deserts and towering mountain ranges, Jes' ordeal forces him to confront his true self; a tortured self so powerful and destructive that he will strip away all the falsehoods of the 'Men of Truth'. He will strip away all that remains of life on Earth, leaving only a long open-ended destiny that mirrors the Eternity of the Sun, the creative power of the Sun, and its ultimate power of destruction. All of this hidden within the body of a boy, the Son of the Sun...

Excerpt:

What had happened here? Where were his clothes? Yet when he looked down, he saw he was still wearing a pair of boots. Boots with silver buckles.

Jes now heard a sound from behind. He turned and saw Iden coming to place a cloak around his naked shoulders. The boy was alive, but changed. There was a look on his face and in his eyes that could only be complete and absolute adoration.

Iden placed the cloak gently around his Lord’s shoulders then went down on his knees, bowing his head at Jes’ feet.

“Lord” he said. “You destroyed them.”

Jes answered, a whisper, a tense whisper, “I’m not capable...of destroying anything.”

“You did, my Lord. I am your witness. You destroyed everything here in a blast of heat and fire, all save myself and the heretic woman.”

The red of the sky now faded to a deep turquoise, the date palms black against the near horizon, and the quiet of the desert deepened. There was no sound from the shifting sands. The sand had melted to solid glass under his feet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

False Starts

I've been working on a few projects recently. But I seem to keep having the same problem - I get to between ten and 15 thousand words, and I get bored. I feel listless; the characters no longer charm me, and I have no idea why. When I wrote my debut novel, Stranded, out this month, I had the fuel to keep going, even through the editing and rewrites. I'm not sure how to find my "mojo" again, as it were.

I spoke to Annie, a fellow writer today, and I'm going to share her tips for overcoming these false starts, or a spot of writer's block:

1. Conflict isn't enough. If that's all you have, you'll be bored when it's resolved.
2. Make friends with your characters. Know them inside out. Know what they'd do in certain situations.
3. Hang out with your character. Be in his world, but outside of the story. For example, ask him what he wants to do. Let him do it. Eventually, he'll come around and be ready to work with you again.
4. Let your characters off the hook sometimes. If you keep pushing them to move forward in the story, you're only pushing yourself.

I think she has some great ideas, and I hope they helped anyone out there reading this.

I guess I'll go chill out with my characters for a bit. Would someone please order a pizza?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Eliza's Book of the Week Pick!

Okay, I really should call this Eliza's book of the every few months...but alas, I've caught up on a lot of work and am reading more! So here it is...




Kris Kennedy's debut novel, The Conquerer, released this week from Kensington! Isn't the cover melt in your mouth hot? On Kris's website it says she writes, "Hot, sweeping historical romance." And believe me, she does!




Wife, mom, psychotherapist and romance author, Kris Kennedy loves connecting with people. And she firmly believes every woman deserves a good book to help ‘take her away.’



She also believes that, if she ignores dirt, it will eventually go away. Which is good, because she definitely spends more time making messes than cleaning them up, playing with her young son.



Originally from Philadelphia, she now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, preschooler son, and their dog, with another stray kitty to come soon, we’re sure of it.



Her debut medieval romance, THE CONQUEROR, comes out May, 2009, from Kensington.



She loves hearing from her readers, so please visit her website at http://kriskennedy.net/, or write her at kris@kriskennedy.net.





THE CONQUEROR


England, 1152




After seventeen years of a civil war, things are about to change.
Reluctant hero Griffyn ‘Pagan’ Sauvage is single-minded in pursuit of his mission: overthrow England. He rejects anything related to a destiny, as he’s rejected everything connected to his brutal father.

He veers from his quest only once, to rescue a brave and beautiful woman from a midnight abduction.



Guinevere de l’Ami, countess of Everoot since her father died two weeks ago, is equally committed, with an earldom to protect, and old sins to repair.



One fateful night changes everything. A midnight rescue on the king’s highway results in a single night of unforgettable passion, making them risk everything for the despair-defying connection neither ever hoped to find.



Their explosive reunion, a year later, follows betrayal and a bloody invasion. Now cold vows of revenge, the lure of buried treasure, and the deadly enemy closing in threaten a love that could unite a kingdom, or bring it crashing to the ground.




Read the excerpt!




“But won’t you stay up for one more drink?” Hipping asked one more time.
Griffyn shook his head. “I’m weary, and have a long ride tomorrow.”



Fatigue was no mere pretext. He’d secured the allegiance of one of the most vital allies Henri fitzEmpress would ever need, and all he felt was tired. Weary with spying, with war, with all the machinations of the world. He needed another lost waif to lift his spirits, he decided, stifling a yawn, but they were hard to find.



Something crashed on the floor above them. He and Hipping jerked their heads backward and stared at the ceiling. It sounded like something heavy hit the floor hard, perhaps a washing pot. Hipping looked over with a convivial smile.



“My betrothed.”



“Ahh.”



“Just arrived.”


“Ahh. Congratulations.”



Hipping paused. “She’s still adjusting.”



“Mmm. Your wash pot may not.”



Hipping laughed out of proportion to the inane jest. “Aye. I shan’t bother her with my attentions again tonight. The priest has been sent for. Tomorrow shall be soon enough.”



Griffyn felt a strange ripple of unease. Not required, he told himself. None of my business. Leave it be.



He was shown to his room by a washed-out looking servant. The room was plain, small, and smelled of rot and mold. Which was not the problem. Small cracks in the wooden walls allowed wind to inch in, making it quite cold despite the brazier burning. But that was not the problem either.


It was looking for a chamberpot that ruined everything.



* * *



Finding none in his room, and knowing the full tankard of the infamous Hippletun brew he’d imbibed would soon be needing release, he went in search of a chamberpot, a privy, or a servant to direct him towards either.



What he came across was a violent pounding coming from a chamber door at the far end of the corridor.



He stopped and stared. The wind?



Another spurt of wild hammering, then silence. No. That was not the wind.
‘Tis neither any of your business, he cautioned himself. Enough time and energy had already been expended tonight on things that were none of his business.
He backtracked to the stairwell and found a servant who directed him to the guest privy outside. The rising winds almost blew the door off the privy.



He manhandled it closed a few times, then, admitting defeat, let it bang maddeningly open and shut, thudding against the wall on each crest of wind as he completed his business.



He tromped back inside, rubbing his eyes. Sleep. All he needed was a few hours sleep.



He reached the upper landing.




It was dark despite a torch slung in an iron ring hanging on the wall. Instead of turning left to his room, though, he paused and looked to his right.



Silence. Only the muted moaning of the winds. No cries for help, no frantic hammering. He stomped down the corridor anyway, uncertain why.
“Because I’m a fool,” he muttered out loud.



He stopped in front of the doorway. Oddly, there was a key resting in its lock. He put his hand on it, paused, then turned, feeling the fool.



More silence. Nothing to be seen or heard.



“Of course not,” he said to the emptiness. “Because there’s nothing here.”
The door crashed open and Guinevere fell into his arms.



* * *



They fell into a clump against the far wall, Griffyn propelled backwards by her headlong rush. He struggled to his knees and clamped his hand over her mouth, which she’d opened to scream.



“I cannot believe it,” he announced, removing his hand when he saw she was not going to loose the shriek.



“Oh, thank the Lord,” she cried in a whisper. “Pagan! How came you here? No, no, not now. I cannot believe you came, but we must get out of here-”



“We? What are you doing here?”



“-for I’ve only a little while until he comes for me.”



“Comes for you?” he shouted back in a whisper. “What are you talking about? I left you with Clid, a safe refuge, and now you’re here?” He stared at her a moment. Realisation dawned. “His betrothed.”



“I am not!”



He rubbed the heel of his hand across his forehead, muttering, “I can’t believe it. How incredibly unlikely. Abducted, twice in one night.”



She scowled. “Astonishing. I can barely bestill my wonder. I left the village-”



“Why? It was warm and dry-”



“Yes, yes.” She brushed off his kept promises with an urgent whisper. “But not safe.”



“Aye, well. I can see how being here suits you so much the better.”



She touched his arm lightly, but the subtle contact felt more forceful than that, a flash of feminine verve.



“You were mad to leave me there,” she whispered. “But there is no time for that now. I came because I had to. I know of Hipping’s reputation, of course, and the trouble he’s caused my lord king. But I did not know he was a . . . a brigand.”




Her lips twisted, and Griffyn wondered if Hipping’s lips had touched hers. The thought, against all reason, brought a flood of anger surging through his blood.




“He is holding me against my will.”



“For what?” he asked suspiciously.



She paused for half a heartbeat. “It doesn’t matter. Politics.”



The evasion seemed unnecessary, and would have caught his attention if he hadn’t had his attention captured by so many other things, such as the bewildering verity that he was kneeling on the floor of a minor nobleman’s corridor with a woman he’d already rescued once tonight and left miles from here not three hours ago. And she needed more rescuing yet.



Then again, abductions were commonplace enough. Kidnappings, forced betrothals. An unprotected woman on the road was fair game.



And all of a sudden, Griffyn’s largest concern was not expanding Henri fitzEmpress’s frontiers, it was the raven-haired, flushing-cheeked demoiselle in front of him. Her tousled hair and wild eyes made him worry, but it was her incredible, indomitable spirit that turned his tides.



“I hate to be a burden yet again . . .”



He grabbed her arm. “Let’s go.”




Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Classic Romance Revival

Hey everyone - thanks to those who have already listed their short story free reads in the database... If you haven't yet there is still time, or simply email me and I'll fill them in for you. I'm going to start the promo Thursday and have put together some wording as follows - if you would like to copy and use to run on your blogs, facebook, other groups, wherever, feel free...


FREE READ TO EVERY SUBSCRIBER!

Classic Romance Revival is celebrating spring fever with a whole bunch of free reads! For your short story, simply subscribe to our blog during the month of May, and we'll email your free read to you. No questions, no time-consuming entries, no waiting....

Just click on the link below, look in the right hand sidebar for "Subscribe2" link and you're done!

http://www.classicromancerevival.com/blog/


See you on the blog!

If you'd like more information on the group and what we have to offer, email us at:

admin@classicromancerevival.com

The Revival has just begun!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Guest Author Spot

For the last few weeks I've been trying out a guest author spot on my website. It's going well: I get more website hits and more exposure, and the guest author gets presence on the internet as well as a week's free promotion for her book/books.

I have some slots free now, so if anyone wants to feature on my site, please email me: jasmine@jasmineaherne.com

Right now I've got contemporary romance writer Paige Warren featured, you can check out her page at www.jasmineaherne.com

Thanks!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Pen Review: A Band of Roses by Pat McDermott


Title: A Band of Roses
Author: Pat McDermott
Author’s website: http://www.patmcdermott.net/
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Release Date: February 2009
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

I had the pleasure of reading Pat McDermott's A Band of Roses. Pat's work has become one of my favorites and sure fire book to recommend to others. This is an author to keep on your watch lists for more works to come. From the background,plot, research, smooth dialogue, everything melded together perfectly. I felt I was a mere observer as the tale unfolded. Although there is a large cast of characters in this novel, I found that I cherished only one. I love Talty's character because she is strong, faithful, and loyal to her family even under the problems that she faces. Although this work is taking history and placing that what if factor is what makes it so interesting. This is an entertaining and action packed read from it's beginning. I can tell that Pat McDermott took her time in taking care of the details. You can also tell a lot of love and time was poured into this work as well. So will Talty get all she want? Well that is for you to find out! So take a chance and read A Band of Roses by Pat McDermott!

Blurb:
In a modern world where High King Brian Boru's descendants still reign, Crown Princess Talty Boru becomes a pawn in a high-stakes gamble for offshore oil. Exiled from Ireland, Talty hides her true identity to escape would-be assassins. Her travels range from Japan to an eleventh century Ireland, and though she unearths a miracle worth more than any oil well, she only wants to return to her family and Neil Boru, the adoptive cousin she secretly loves and cannot have—or so she thinks. Neil has a secret of his own, one that emerges as the Boru clan works with England's MI6 to thwart an invasion of Ireland and bring Talty home.

Excerpt:

The Twenty-first Century . . .

The Fancy Annie plowed through waters speckled by midmorning sun. A fine catch of groundfish filled the hold, all gutted, sorted and iced. The yellow-slickered crew—eight weathered fishermen who'd worked the sea together since boyhood—had already hosed the decks and stowed the gear. Matt Foley kept a tidy boat.

The smaller boats couldn't handle the winter seas, but these men would risk the rugged weather on trawlers like Fancy Annie. They had families to feed, and the big boats could command high market prices for a winter catch.

Fancy Annie had hit some chop this time out, but the weather held and the fishing was good. When the crew talked of being home with their families for Christmas, Matt cut the ten-day trip to eight. On that brisk winter morning, he radioed his wife to say that the wind was on their tail and they'd make Killybegs by eight o'clock that night. Her response was the same as it had been for over forty years: a squeal of joy and a promise to have his supper ready. After a week at sea, thoughts of Annie's cooking—and Annie—had Matt smiling.

He left the wheelhouse and planted his six-foot frame on the forward deck. The sunny skies offset the cold salt air that stung his cheeks and blew at the curls peeking from beneath his wool cap. His hand shaded his eyes while he scanned the horizon. We'll pay for such a fine stretch of weather, he thought, and then he saw it.

The men had seen it too. After a week of hauling nets and dressing tons of fish, they cheered the sight of the salt-sprayed rock. They were on their way home.

The tip of the ancient volcano rose eighty feet above the rolling ocean. Named for its single granite ledge, Fargan served as a navigational guide in the Irish Sea lanes two hundred miles off the Donegal coast. The ocean around it provided some of the finest fishing in the North Atlantic, at least when the oil companies and their sonar weren't scaring all the fish away.

Matt was about to give the order to turn southeast when he caught sight of a vessel drifting north of Fargan. He sprinted to the wheelhouse and snatched his binoculars. The boat was too far away to decipher her markings, but Matt knew her for an English gunboat, one of the fast attack craft used for coastal patrol and training exercises—but not in Irish waters.

He lowered the binoculars, though his gaze remained fixed on the gunboat. "Keep your ear to the radio, Eddie. That boat might be in trouble. Ronnie, cut the throttles."

Fancy Annie slowed until she rocked in the swells. A dinghy drifted from behind the gunboat. One of three men sitting in it started an outboard motor and steered the craft to the edge of the rocky outcrop. Laden with backpacks, the other two jumped onto the tiny island.

While the dinghy returned to the gunboat, the men scaled the rock and hoisted themselves onto the ledge. One man drove a pole into a fissure and raised an English flag; the other set up a small survival tent.
Matt stared in amazement. "What in holy hell are they doing? Anything, Eddie?"

"Nothing, Matt."

The gunboat glided toward the Fancy Annie. Her name was clear now: HMS Coulter. Armed men had gathered on her deck.

A voice boomed through a bullhorn. "This is Captain Andrew Mayne of HMS Coulter. Heave to, Fancy Annie, and prepare to be boarded."

Matt had no bullhorn and didn't care if Captain Mayne heard his bellowed response. "The hell I will, you bastard. What do you think you're doing? These are Irish waters!"

Concerned now for the safety of his crew, Matt shouted to his first mate: "Get underway, Ronnie. Full speed ahead!"

The engines growled. Fancy Annie turned to starboard and cut through the swells. Smoke wafted from Coulter's forward-mounted gun turret. A moment later a loud boom thundered over the water. A shot had crossed the trawler's bow.

Grabbing the handset from Eddie, Matt called out to any and every nearby vessel, though the nearest, according to the radar screen, was more than two hundred miles away. Switching from frequency to frequency, he shouted into the radio as if the mere loudness of his voice could get his message through.

Matt slapped the top of the receiver and flung the handset back to Eddie. "Keep trying, lad. Reach anyone you can and tell them what's happening here!"

He flew down the stairs to his quarters. Pistols couldn't defeat a gunboat, but he'd be damned if he'd cower before pirates.

As he always did when he entered his cabin, Matt glanced at the photograph of his wife hanging over the gun cabinet. "Keep my supper warm, darlin'. I'll be a little late."

He'd just snapped magazines into two of the pistols when a thunderous impact knocked him down. The guns went flying.

"Bedammit!" Matt seized the nearest pistol and shoved it into his belt. He raced up to the deck. Fancy Annie was listing to port. Her burst of speed had placed her in Coulter's path. Unable to stop, the gunboat had rammed the trawler. Now ten English marines, all armed, stood on Fancy Annie's slanting deck.

A pallid man in his mid-forties swaggered before them. His choice civilian attire didn't conceal the beginnings of flabbiness around his middle. He glanced about the trawler, plainly seeking whoever was in charge.

Matt wasted no time obliging him. Fists clenched tight, he charged across the swaying deck and confronted the intruders. "I'm the captain here. Who the hell are you?"

The man's strange eyes—one was blue, the other brown—settled on Matt. "We didn't mean to hit your boat, Captain. I'm Prince Geoffrey Wessex, Regent of the Kingdom of England. These men are my royal marines, and you're trespassing. We will, of course, escort you safely out of English waters."

"English waters because you say so?" Matt spat on the deck. "Never happen."

Prince Geoffrey's face reddened. Before he could reply, Matt's first mate came running from the stern.

"We're taking on water, Matt. If we don't seal her and start the pumps, she'll go down!"

Matt thought of the fine catch of groundfish in the hold and started chuckling. The chuckling grew to wild laughter. The laughter stopped when he tore the pistol from his belt and fired a round into the air. "Get the hell off my boat."

His first mate seized a gaff hook and hefted it with deadly precision. The rest of the crew grabbed gutting knives. All stood ready to fight.

Matt was proud of them. Still, they were sinking. "You gobshites will patch my boat, and learn some manners in the process." He raised the pistol to add weight to his demands.

Prince Geoffrey's different-colored eyes widened in alarm. He pointed his weapon at Matt and fired, crying "Shoot!" as he did.

The marines obeyed. A pistol and gutting knives were no match for semiautomatic weapons. Before the gunshots stopped echoing over the ocean, Fancy Annie's crew lay dead on her deck.