Guest Post: Love and Wisdom (God’s Behaving Badly Book 5) by Sheri Velarde

Love and Wisdom: Gods Behaving Badly Book 5

By Sheri Velarde

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Writing What You Know vs. What Interests You

There are many opinions about what authors should write about. One is that we should write about what we know. As a romance author, I suppose that is true to some point. We all know the human experience and love, in one shape or another. We all interact with others and know how relationships work or don’t work in some cases. And as much as I do put my own experiences into writing, I also believe that you should write about not just what you know, but also write about what interests you.

I have always loved mythology and it is that love and interest that led to my Gods Behaving Badly series. Greek mythology is full of characters that I want to explore, drama already built into them that I can expand on and make my own. Seriously, who could be better to write a steamy romance series about than naughty gods? I have so much fun putting ancient figures into modern times, giving them my own spin, and seeing how they react.

The very first short in this series, Looted, was originally meant to be one story for an anthology. However the response from the first one was so good and I started to get more ideas for the characters, so a series was born. As I am now releasing Book 5, Love and Wisdom, I am entering edits on Book 6 and there are at least six more books in the series planned. I am having fun recreating some of the mythological creatures and the trouble they get into. While there is a larger overarching mystery in the Gods Behaving Badly series, each book in and of itself is a love story between a couple. That is how I am combining what I know with what I am interested in. I get to research gods of old as I write about the human experience, which is what I really love about writing.

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Excerpt

The next morning dawned with Athena feeling apprehensive yet powerful at the same time. She had forgotten how the gods fed each other’s powers. Zeus had done his job well by turning them all against one another before his hostile takeover. They were all weaker now, but she sensed that was slowly diminishing. The gods were becoming powerful once more. The question was why.

She went into the kitchen to find Bruce already there and cooking. “You cook too? My sister certainly lucked out when she found you. If you don’t mind me saying, you are much more intelligent and down to earth than her usual consorts. I like you, which is rare for me to like anyone.” Bruce looked at her cursorily, clearly not sure what to say, so she clarified a bit. “Don’t look so perplexed, Detective. I am just stating the facts, not coming on to you. I play for the other team, as you said last night.”

“Sophia was right. You certainly are blunt, even for a god.” Bruce chuckled and slid a plated omelet her way. “Janine will be here at ten. She took the assignment as a favor for me. Of that, I am certain. We do need to come up with a plausible story of events, so we do not have to try to explain that you and Sophia are ancient gods.”

They ate in companionable silence, Athena assumed both thinking of a cover story. Soon enough, Sophia joined them. Athena marveled at how enjoyable it was to share a meal with others, to work on a plan someone else. She began to realize how lonely she had become having no contact with her family, or anyone for that matter, and found herself envying the closeness between Bruce and Sophia. She had a reputation for being cold and untouchable, but she needed love just like any other being. She just hadn’t experienced it in so long that she’d grown used to the loneliness and to depending solely on herself. Now, though, seeing her sister and her empath together, all of her hidden feelings came bubbling up to the surface, and she ached with the pain she felt.

Luckily, she was saved by the bell from her musings, literally, as her doorbell rang and pulled her from her thoughts. “That must be your detective friend. I’ll let her in.” Glad for the distraction, she hurried to the door.

Athena tried to push her emotions back. She was a creature of facts and wisdom. Emotions made her feel unbalanced and out of control. She did not like to feel out of control, but it seemed the fates were making her feel just that at the moment for she got the shock of her long life when she opened her front door. A breathtaking woman in a suit stood there, looking strong and serious but friendly at the same time. While being quite the dark-haired exotic beauty, that was not what knocked Athena off her guard. Before her stood the second empath she had seen in the past two days after thinking them all extinct for over two thousand years.

“Hello, I am Janine Cho. A colleague of mine, Detective Bruce Stoker, asked me to meet him here?” Janine smiled, but Athena could see the confusion in the woman’s eyes from the power which no doubt surged through her being in the presence of a god for the first time.

Coming back to her senses and manners, Athena stepped back from the door. “Yes, please come in. I’m Athena, and Bruce called you on my behalf.” She could not help but preen a little, shaking her golden locks ever so slightly and straitening her stance to better show off her figure. She was no goddess of love, but had been greatly admired for her beauty, nonetheless, in the past. Suddenly, that seemed very important to her.

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Author Bio

reading

Sheri Velarde lives in New Mexico with her husband and their two dogs.

Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.

She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website http://www.authorsherivelarde.weebly.com.

In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.

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Guest Post: Wild Card by Susan Hayes

Wild Card (The Drift Book 3)

by Susan Hayes

The game of love can change in a heartbeat when fate deals you a wild card.

Technician Lieksa Kiv saw firsthand what the corporations did to their cyborg soldiers during the Resource Wars. Her job: repair their damaged cybernetic components and send them back into battle. When a stolen kiss reveals the truth about her charges, Lieksa sacrifices everything to protect the cyborgs’ secret, including a future with the men she’s fallen for.

Mack Darian and Dash Scudo aren’t soldiers anymore. Inspired by the kindness of the woman who saved their lives and touched their hearts, they are defenders, instead. As Corporate Security, they’re dedicated to protecting the citizens of The Drift from all threats, including each other.

When these three lives reconnect, the flames of passion burn white hot. But before they can hope for a future together, they must contend with old secrets and present-day challenges threatening to tear their world apart.

Excerpt

“That’s what I first noticed about you. You cared about us. How was I supposed to stay away from you once I realized that?”

“Red hair, a kind heart, and a gentle touch. We were doomed right from the start.” Dash turned his hand over and captured hers in his fist.

“Afterward…I swore I’d never work on another cyborg or anything that could possibly be sentient. After everything I did to you, how can you forgive me so easily? I’ve never forgiven myself.”

“You saved our lives the first time we met. More than once, it turns out. The second time we crossed paths, you saved mine yet again. I think that’s grounds for a little forgiveness and understanding. If we couldn’t do that, do you think we’d be working for a corporation like Astek?”

“I wondered about that. At first, I thought it was the only work you could find. But Alyson told me you two have been here since the Drift was first set up. You really don’t mind working for the corporations after all they did to cyborgs?”

“After the Resource War ended and the spoils had been divvied up, there weren’t many jobs left that didn’t involve some sort of corporate connection. Most of the freighters, mining ships, and stations in the galaxy either work for them directly or depend on them for their livelihood. Our choices were simple. Sign on for more fighting with the IAF, work for the corporations, or go live in a backwater colony somewhere and try to eke out a living as a farmer.” Mack snickered. “Do you see either of us as the farming type?”

Her musical laughter was a song Dash’s heart wanted to dance to.

She was still laughing when their meal arrived. All conversation faded to appreciative silence as Jinella and another server set out the feast Nadia had arranged for them.

“I haven’t met Nadia yet, but I think she’s already my new favorite friend,” Lieksa declared with a grin.

“She’s an amazing cook. Great voice, too. In fact, she’s almost perfect.”

“Yeah, apart from that one flaw of hers,” Mack muttered and glanced around as if he was expecting Nadia to appear at any second.

“What flaw is that?” Lieksa asked.

“She’s a hugger,” Dash whispered with a theatrical shudder.

“And that’s a flaw?”

“A big one,” Mack chimed in.

Lieksa nearly choked on the first mouthful of her dinner. “Big, scary, cyborg soldiers turned Corp-Sec officers should not be afraid of hugs.”

“We’re not the touchy-feely type,” Mack said.

She set down her fork and looked first at Mac, then at Dash. “Really? Because I don’t recall you two ever having trouble getting touchy or feely with me.”

“You’re the exception to the rule.”

“You’re the exception to all our rules, sweetheart.” It was the truth. Since the day they’d woken up and found themselves under her care, she’d affected them in ways no other woman had. Dash didn’t understand it. He didn’t need to.

Buy Links

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2lDtDJT

B&N Link: http://smarturl.it/WildCardNook

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1166236298

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/wild-card-19

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Susan_Hayes_Wild_Card?id=ygIIDgAAQBAJ&hl=en

Meet The Author

Susan lives out on the Canadian west coast surrounded by open water, dear family, and good friends. She’s jumped out of perfectly good airplanes on purpose and accidently swum with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef.

If the world ends, she plans to survive as the spunky, comedic sidekick to the heroes of the new world, because she’s too damned short and out of shape to make it on her own for long.

To contact her about her books or to arrange end of the world team-ups, you can email her at susan@susanhayes.ca.

 

Author Web & Social Media links:

Website: http://susanhayes.ca

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SusanHayesRomance/

Newsletter signup: http://susanhayes.ca/susans-newsletter/

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Guest Post: Kings of the Empire by M.A. Abraham



Kings of the Empire
The Elven Chronicles: Book 12
By
M.A. Abraham
Blog Tour

About the Book:

The Empire is rising to face the enemy. They are not alone, for their allies and neighbors have come to help; some have even come to fight despite the objections of their own rulers. 
The Drazon is free, the Demon Hordes are on the march, and their numbers are staggering. Will the Empire survive this challenge? Or will their enemies prevail? The stakes are high, for if they fail to win the upcoming battles, the lives of every Elf in the Empire will be in jeopardy. No one knows the real extent of what they will be facing
As the Elves prepare to fight, the Drazon attacks at will, first challenging the might of the Dragons. He feels invincible. Omnipotent. Immortal. He will show the world who is in charge and the meaning of fear. His hatred knows no boundary. 
While King Lothrariel continues to hold his Empire and, the lives of his people together, he is besieged by problems. He turns to Gabriel, to handle the greatest tasks, and to resume his place as Commander in Chief of the Combined Elven Armies of the Empire. Lothrariel must also answer his Life Mate’s call to fight at her side. He quickly finds out there is more to her summons than their bond. As an Oracle, she ‘sees’ the possible outcomes, but she cannot speak of them, she can only guide.
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Excerpt:
General Jerrol Eagle Claw’s warhorse crashed through the circle of the Demon Warriors that surrounded his brother.  He immediately jumped from the saddle, even before his horse came to a stop.  He knew his mount would know what to do, as well as his men.  He didn’t need to order any of them into action, as he rushed to protect Gildren’s back.  This is what they had been trained all their lives for.  The first words their father had taught them were to protect their brothers’ backs in a fight.  They had lived their lives by that creed.  Never leave a comrade vulnerable in battle, unless there is no other choice.
“Your timing is impeccable, brother,” General Gildren Eagle Claw praised General Jerrol.
“You didn’t expect me to let you take on the whole Demon Horde on your own, did you?”  General Jerrol Eagle Claw returned.  He didn’t like the way Gildren sounded.  His bother’s words were weak, even if he never missed a beat with the way he handled his swords.  They stood back to back, and met all the Demon Warriors who came close to them, as they exchanged quick snippets of information.
“We brought reinforcements.  The Wild Elven Army came to join us.  After the battles, there will only be a short cleanup left to do.”  General Jerrol informed Gildren.
“Good, because I don’t believe I have much fight left in me anymore,” Gildren admitted.
At this moment, the two brothers were once more comrades at arms.  They were no longer Generals, as far as they were concerned, they were family.  They struck out at one Demon Warrior after another, until they quit coming at them.  When they reached that point, and they couldn’t see anymore signs of impending danger, Jerrol turned to congratulate Gildren, only to need to rush to his side to catch him, as his legs gave out beneath him.  He couldn’t control the instantaneous reaction that echoed through his mind, as he threw his head back to scream.
“No, Gildren.”
Gildren’s blood soaked his uniform, and his face was white with fatigue.  He looked into his brother’s face, and saw the anguish written on his expression, and he smiled as he commented.
“I think we won.  Dad will be proud of us.”
Gildren closed his eyes, as his head lolled over to the side, and Jerrol gave a loud keening scream.  Not Gildren, not his older brother.  Not the man he looked up to as much as he did their father.  What would he tell their mother?  They won the war in this part of the Elven Empire, but lost part of the heart of their family?  That wasn’t good enough.  He tried to pour as much of the healing power he had in him, into his brother, but like his father, he hadn’t been blessed with much.
Jerrol felt a hand press against his shoulder, as one of the Wild Elves responded to his anguished call for help.  It was their leader.  He walked around, to kneel before Jerrol, and took Gildren from his arms to hold him.  After a few moments, he turned to another Wild Elf and commanded.
“Summon Sonata, this Elf lives yet.  Tell her she is needed here more than anywhere else.”
“Sonata does not heal yet, she is too young,” the Wild Elf, the leader had spoken to, responded.
“Bring her now, and make it quick,” The leader ordered.
The second in command didn’t question his King a second time.  He could tell by the tone in this voice that there would be no arguing with him.  He had been given a Royal Command.  He raised his face to the sky to watch as Sonata came on the wings of a large Battle Bird.  Her sister followed close behind.
Jerrol watched, as Sonata slid off the back of her Battle Bird and then approached his brother.  He didn’t care if she looked like an Elven male’s dream, all he could think about was Gildren, and how close to dying he was.
The Wild Elven King usually kept his daughters away from the Elves from the outside world.  Their customs were different than theirs.  He believed that was part of the reason the magic in this part of the Elven Empire was so weak.  He smiled, as his Life Mate arrived on a panther, and then came to stand at his side, as they watched Sonata run her hands over the young Elven male.  When she was finished, she raised her eyes to meet with those of her mother, and spoke.
“There is so little left of him to hold onto, yet, there is something about him that calls to me, something that tells me it is important that I heal him.”
Sonata’s voice was clear, and sounded sweeter than the first songbird of summer, and her eyes shone a clear blue.  Her honey colored hair hung past her hips in long unfettered curls, and her lips looked soft and inviting, in a heart shaped face.
“I will help,” Sonata’s sister spoke with a voice what was whisper soft.
The sound of the second sister’s voice made Jerrol suddenly glance at her.  The moment he saw her, he felt his mouth go dry.  She was every bit as beautiful as her sister, but in a more ethereal fashion, with her coloring being a much paler shade of moonlight.  Something deep in his chest made his heart pound, as if it recognized something special about her.  His mind reached to understand the reason, and his eyes searched for whatever was attracting him.  She, however, refused to look directly at him.  Instead, she rushed to the other side of Gildren, to kneel at his side, and clasp her sister’s hands with hers, as she closed her eyes.  The two Wild Elven Females began to chant a healing spell, and he turned his attention back to his brother.
As the girls sang, Jerrol could see Gildren begin to gain ground.  His chest began to show signs of his breathing, and his eyes fluttered, as he fought to open them.  He closed his eyes too, as he offered his strength to help heal his brother.
The Wild Elven King looked at his Life Mate, as he wrapped his hand around her fingers, and she looked up at him for a moment, before she reached up to offer him a kiss.  They knew what they had just seen, and what to expect.  It wasn’t anything that happened often, but occasionally they were surprised in this manner.  The Fates worked in the strangest of ways.
“You cannot fight this my love.  We knew that Sonata and Lumina would someday meet their Life Mates.  I have a feeling these Elves are special, and will care for our girls well,” The Wild King’s Life Mate assured him.
“I know, but Light Elves?”  The Wild Elven King replied with distaste.
“Do not dismiss the choices of the fates.  It never ends well when we fight their plans,” The Wild Elven King’s Life Mate warned.
A high ranking Elf from the Elven Nation walked up to the Wild Elven King and asked.  “Do you know if the General will survive?”
“General?”  The Wild Elven King asked.
“Yes, General Gildren Eagle Claw, he is the son of the High Lord General Gabriel Eagle Claw, and the Tratchar Eden.  The one standing at his side is his brother, General Jerrol Eagle Claw.  They directed this portion of the war, while their father fights in the Light Elven Kingdom.”  The Elf from the Elven Empire answered.
Eagle Claws, his daughters were Life Mates to Eagle Claw Generals.  It was something the Wild Elven King could live with, for that family was strong, and spoken of with great reverence.  It was something he found usually went deeper then respect or admiration.  Their people actually loved them.  He reached out with his power, to feed it to the ailing Elf.  He knew it wouldn’t take much longer before the two young male Elves would be kneeling before him for his blessing.  They would know the girls were too young for bonding yet, but that would soon pass.  As that thought crossed his mind, he felt a pressure on his fingers.  It was his Life Mate, letting him know in her subtle way, that she was pleased with his decision to accept things as they were.
About the Author:

I come from a very large family (mostly brothers), and to make a long story very short, we were a lively group.  We loved to tease each other.  Which is why I was able to outrun them (even if I am the shortest!). It was a matter of survival. My one and only sister was another matter, I think it would have been a close call to try to outrun her.  To put it bluntly, we had a happy childhood.
When I was growing up, my job was to play guardian angel to my little brother, which meant keeping him safe.  I ended up getting into more fights trying to do that than any other time – I guess that is one of the reasons that when I write about warriors, I know something about battles.
Writing was never my childhood dream, although I was the one who made up stories to play out when we got together with other children.  It was probably the beginning of what drove me to write; that, and a challenge from a friend in Jr. High.  She proudly showed me her story, and asked me to read it, which I did.  I have to admit, I was no diplomat, and embarrassed to admit it.  I told her what I thought was wrong with it, she told me to do better, and then when I did she threw her book out.  I felt bad, but it was too late to change things.
It was the beginning of a whole different phase in my life.  Now, instead of playing the story out, I wrote them.  The trouble a young girl can get into doing something so innocent.  People do not understand that flashlights use batteries, if you are not allowed to put the lights on in the house in the middle of the night. (Imagine that!)  Teachers take offence when you are writing, and not listening when they are lecturing.  I would write my stories and hide them in the closet, where they stayed until one of the nieces found them.  We all know what happened then.  Yes, you guessed it, Becca had just finished her formatting course, and those books were interesting, which meant they were about to become public domain.
So, now that my closet has been raided, and some of my stashes have been found, the worlds I once created are coming out into the open, where everyone can read them, slowly, as fillers between books that are evolving on a day to day basis, along with series like, The Elven Chronicles, Tantalus, EC: One Empire and Guardians of the Future, and who knows what else the future will bring.
Maybe it was her form of revenge for what I have done in the past, but I cannot imagine why.  I have been a good girl, granted, there are some of my family who will try to tell you that I’m not as innocent as I would like everyone to believe.  That I have earned what I have reaped, and have a personality that keeps them on their toes. (Do not believe them.)  Granted, over the years, I have earned several nicknames from the nieces and nephews 😉  ,  Names like – The Godmother, The Evil Christmas Elf (comes from making my nieces wrap their own Christmas presents), Mistress of Ambush.  My favourite response to them, when they try to get me into trouble, is just to look at them with a wide, doe eyed expression, and say “Moi?????”
As for pets, I have a seal point Siamese cat named Athena Ravenspaw, and another, a lilac point torte Siamese, I called Azorez Tathar Silver Myst.  Both like to romp in the middle of the night, on top the bed, and sleep during the day.
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Guest Post: The Ghost of Secrets Gate by Torie James

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The Ghost of Secret’s Gate

Genre: Paranormal/Contemporary Romance

Series: Loch Ness Legends #1

 

He wanted a home…

  1. Estranged from his family for a shocking betrayal, Highlander Lachlan MacQueen is a man who lives by his rules and no other. Reckless and rootless, he roams the border towns between Scotland and England, a mercenary for hire with an unspoken determination to regain all he’s lost. By any means necessary.

When he inadvertently saves the life of Queen Victoria, she rewards him with a royal boon, the deed to a small manse nestled along the shores of Loch Ness called Secret’s Gate and a stipend to ensure his outlaw days are over. But past sins demand payment and when the price becomes too high, Lachlan’s untimely death becomes another skeletal ghost in an unopened closet.

 

She wanted to heal…

  1. Verity Harper’s memories of Secret’s Gate are hazy at best. Two months spent in Scotland 25 years ago echo with remnants of a mysterious, hasty departure home to America and fresh beginnings with her mother, Pamela and new stepfather, Archibald MacQueen.

Now, she returns to claim the legacy left to her by Archie; the very manor of her erstwhile childhood summer. But the free spirited, fun loving child that roamed the grounds with innocent glee has been replaced by a heartbroken woman full of remorse and shattered by regret.

And now, she’s beginning to question her sanity when an alluringly familiar voice in her head opens the floodgates to a piece of her past long forgotten.

Can a lie that destroyed one life give another the truth it needs to be whole?

 

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Author’s Note:

One of my all-time favorite movies is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. Once a year, my mother and I watch it together, it’s our “thing”.

 

I’ve always wanted to write my own ghostly love story but they can be tricky in various ways. I finally bit the bullet though and began work on “The Ghost of Secret’s Gate”. It ended up turning into a much larger story than originally intended but I am so happy with the end result!

 

It’s got a few of my favorite things: Scotland, Hot Ghost Dude and did I mention Scotland?

 

So, meet my new friend Verity, a woman tottering on the brink of defeat….

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Ah, she couldn’t get enough of Clare’s raspberry cranachan trifle. Clearly by the feel of her skirt’s tightening waistline.

Voices, however, she’d had enough of and reached for one of the six pill bottles on the nightstand, deftly plucking one from the rest. Her auditory hallucinations weren’t a result of a psychosis, so there was no actual medicine to treat her. She refused to take anti-psychotics, scared it would do irreparable damage to her already battered brain. She noticed it only flared when she grew irritated or anxious, thus she had grudgingly accepted the doctor’s recommendation of Halcion, in its lowest doseage. Sedating her brain activity afforded pockets of relief from hearing things. Thinking things.

What’s happened to you, sweetheart?

Uncapping the bottle, she shook out a pill, popped it into her mouth and took a swig from the glass of water Clare had brought her earlier. Well, thank you for asking, Voice in My Head. Let’s see. Life. Life happened. I grew up, got a job, made a career, married, divorced. Nearly got crushed by a train while working on location. Spent a lot of time in physical therapy for my back while alternately falling in love with painkillers. Lost my mind and my job after that. Lot of fuzzy time in between in which I did some pretty shameless things to keep my fix going. Woke up one day, decided this was my story and since I was holding the pen, it was time for a rewrite. Got clean, got a new job and got engaged. But instead of planning a wedding, I ended up missing a funeral after I killed my parents. That about sums it up. Oh, and my fiancé dumped me because my face is no longer pleasing to the eye. Anything I left out can be found in the brochure. Grab one on your way out. I’m here all week, try the veal!

 

Release Date: 2/16/2017

Will be available on:

www.amazon.com

Author Bio:

 

Born on the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous,Torie is the illegitimate love child of Han Solo and Daenerys Targaryen. Rescued by Gandalf shortly before her home planet was destroyed in the last days of the Clone Wars, she was raised in relative obscurity by her foster parents, Severus Snape and Pippi Longstocking. At the tender age of 113, she inherited the best little whorehouse in Texas and is rumored to be bringing Sexy Back. A self confessed chocoholic, she’s been engaged to Willy Wonka despite gossip surrounding a lifelong affair with Bruce Wayne.

 

And clearly, she practices delusion on a daily basis.

 

The truth is, I’m just an overgrown kid with a vivid imagination who loves to write and share my crazy with the world. My future plans include, hopefully, buying a lovely Scottish castle and convincing Queen Elizabeth I that I’d make a fab addition to the Royal Family.

 

Four years ago, I finally got my ‘brave’ on and submitted a wee story about true love, honor, friendship and the magic within us all. That story was Timeless Night, the first book in a five book series I’ve named New Camelot. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have published Timeless Desire (Book 2 of New Camelot), Beauty and The Feast (A New Camelot Thanksgiving Novella) Ties That Bind (The Cloie Chronicles I), Fractured Fantasies (Valentine’s Venom), Fractured Fantasies (Volume 1-6) and slew of short stories.

 

I live in Southern California, a stone’s throw from Disneyland, with my family and the most ridiculously spoiled pets anyone could imagine. I wake everyday with the determination to make this life as random, quirky and beautiful as it can be.

 

If I haven’t scared you off yet, feel free to track me down at any of the following!

 

You can find/follow Torie at:

Blog and Website: https://toriejames.wordpress.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/WriterGurl216

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Writergurl216

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7054839.Torie_N_James

Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CTBYH0M

Valentine’s Day Hop! Join the fun!

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Facebook Hop,

Hosted by Steamy Book Bargains!

With tons of prizes from over 90 authors and bloggers, including Amazon gift cards, it’s a great way to spend your Valentine’s Day Weekend!

Don’t miss out! Visit one, or all to participate. Easy entries.

Meet some new authors! Discover some awesome blogs.

Most of all…have fun!

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Guest Post: Blinded by Lyz Kelley

BLINDED (Elkridge Series, Book 1)

by Lyz Kelley

Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense

The first book in the ELKRIDGE SERIES debuts a quirky cast of characters. Follow along in the series to gather evidence to solve Sheriff Sam murder. Book #1 starts off with a double-bang! Sheriff Sam is murdered. Joey returns to Elkridge. Does that mean Mara will get a second chance at love?

A FLORIST WHO REFUSES HELP…Mara dreams died the night a drunk driver killed her parents and sister, and left her permanently wounded. After months of therapy, she’s finally adjusting to her new reality while working to save her mother’s floral business. When the first boy she ever had a crush on walks back into her life, she wonders if she’s getting a second chance to find happiness.

A DETECTIVE WHO WANTS TO PROTECT…Somebody killed Joey’s brother. After a ten-year absence, the big city detective returns home to Colorado for the funeral knowing he will be pressured to find Sheriff Sam’s killer. Joey’s instincts say whoever murdered his brother is part of something more sinister than the Elkridge deputies can handle. When Mara is stalked, Joey wonders if the mystery man is the killer.

BUT, WILL THEY LEARN TO COMPROMISE? Joey’s boss is pressuring him to return to Seattle. Mara refuses to leave Elkridge. Neither wants to be apart, but will they take the risk and make the necessary sacrifices to be with each other?

ON SALE FOR 99¢

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Meet the Author

Would you like to know when Lyz Kelley’s award-winning new releases are available? Sign up for Kelley’s Heroes: http://www.LyzKelleysHeroes.com. You’ll get an exclusive copy of A Soldier’s Wife, release news, learn about giveaways, and receive exclusive previews of her new books.

Lyz loves to tell stories about strong women who have faced extraordinary challenges, then pair them with men who have an enormous capacity to love, even if they may not know it. Exploring these wounded and strong characters—discovering what drives them, frightens them, heals them, makes them laugh—takes Lyz on an incredible, and sometimes unexpected journey. Lyz’s books have received high accolades in numerous writing contests. Lyz loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.LyzKelley.com.

Brand: Honorable Men, Brave Women, and a Healing Love

Mission: To write about emotional subjects and help the world heal through the written word.

Author Interview

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? How old were you when you decided to pursue writing professionally?

When I was 8, I began writing a story, first in my head, and later in my diary. The world I dreamed about was big and complex; filled with interesting creatures. When I turned 40, I tried to translate the story I’d lived with all those years to the page…and couldn’t. So I sought help. Romance Writers of America was the only group that said, “Come on in. We’ll help.” So, I started writing and learning and exploring the craft of writing. One day, when I’ve learned enough to write such a complicated story, I will write about the world that exists in my head.

 

Why do you write about Honorable Men, Brave Women, and a Healing Love?

I used to think I wrote about strong men and women. After all, some of the men in my stories are modeled after my husband, a former military guy, and the strongest man I know. But then I realized I write about characters that are healed by love. The characters I write about aren’t just mentally or physically strong, but brave and honorable and willing to do the right things, even if loving someone comes at a personal sacrifice.

 

What is your writing process?

Over the years my writing process has changed. When I first started, I plotted and plotted, making massive spreadsheets of every little detail. I knew everything I could about my characters and story before I began, but my books turned out stiff and emotionless. My process has evolved into a story structure outline, which works much better. Now, I write my first draft and focus on story structure and let my characters do what is natural. After I get the bones of the book down, I start several edit passes to deepen the emotions and add flavor to the book. Normally, before the book goes to an editor, I’ve done at least 4, maybe 5 passes of the book. After that, I work with content editor, line editor, and a proofreader to make sure I’m putting out the best book possible.

 

Have you won any awards for your writing?

Yes, actually. During my journey to write the best book possible, I’ve won several awards for three of my books. There is one book that has won an award that I don’t intend to publish. There are four other books also sitting in the archives of my computer. These, I call my practice books, and will remain in a folder to be looked at when I need to reflect on how far I’ve come on this writing journey.

 

How do you develop your characters?

Character development is the driving force in my writing process. I start with what the character fears the most, and then move onto the false belief that character has created to cope with that fear. Then I start building a growth arc to help that character resolve their fear through a healing love. After that, secondary characters are used to entice main characters to reflect, either by mirroring bad behavior or “calling out,” essentially creating a catalyst for change.

If you couldn’t read or write for a day, how would you spend your time?

I love spending time chatting with friends on Facebook or Twitter, or researching new words for my Word Wednesday posts. I also enjoy designing little notes for my quotes and sharing them on Pinterest. If my husband isn’t traveling for his job, I like spending time with him, playing with my four-legged fur babies, or exercising. Several times a year, I like to get away to explore, usually to international destinations. I enjoy experiencing new cultures, visiting museums, or studying the city architecture or landscapes. My favorite trips so far have been to Machu Picchu and Prague.

How do you come up with character names?

Don’t laugh…I usually just Google professional model names, or use an iPhone app called, Name Dice. Name selection is always hard because each character in a book needs to start with a different letter. In fact, in the book, Orphaned, I had a Rachelle and a Michelle in the book and beta readers kept getting confused so I had to change Michelle’s name to Caitlyn.

 

If I wanted to be a Beta Reader or one of your Advanced Readers, how do I sign up?

That’s an easy question. You sign up on the website http://www.LyzKelleysHeroes.com. All the information is available. I’ve created a VIP Club for those special members who provide feedback or leave reviews. In return, this special group is the first to see my covers, hear release news, and receive freebies. If readers have additional questions, they can always contact me. I am the human on the other end of that email, and will respond.

 

If you wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?

I love one-word titles for my books, so I would believe the book title would be, Determined. My husband always says I’m the most determined person he’s ever met.

 

What do you find the hardest about writing?

I think it’s the mental anguish that goes into the writing process. Each word, each sentence is a struggle to get right. Every day I push, push, push to get better, and then I get edits back or read a review and the person on the other end of the keyboard has just ripped my heart out and crushed it without even knowing how much their words hurt. Even so, I do appreciate the feedback. Feedback helps me get better. Over the years, I’ve gotten a much tougher skin, but there are days that are hard. For me, no actor, singer, artist, photographer, or anyone who is brave enough to share their creation with the world, will get a negative thought from me. I know what it takes to put myself out there. It’s hard, but there’s something in all creative types that compel artists to keep reaching for their nirvana.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve been given about writing, or life?

The best advice I’ve received was from my great-grandmother. She said: “Set your goals high. If you don’t, you will never know what you might have been capable of achieving.” And boy, did I set my goals high. When I first started writing my stories down, I figured it would take me two, maybe three years to write my book. Ten years later, I have my first viable project. Most writers will tell you that publishing is a marathon, not a sprint—a very accurate description.

 

If you could go back and change one thing about your writing journey, what would it have been?

Nothing. Each mistake I’ve learned from. I wouldn’t change a thing.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before you started writing your first book?

Find your tribe. Find the people who will help you achieve your dream. Writing is a community effort. You need people who give you constructive feedback and help you to understand if the story in your head has translated well onto the page. You also need people who can make you laugh or pull you back from the edge of the cliff when something happens. There are so many things that can chip away at your confidence and create insecurities. Friends help provide the perspective you need to keep writing.

 

How would you describe your writing style?

When I was young, I used to love to write poems. I loved the struggle to find the right word that rhymed, and the beat of each line. Maybe, that’s why it takes me so long to write my novels. I still love using the English language to it’s fullest, and finding that perfect word to communicate exactly what the character is feeling. It’s what makes writing exciting, exhausting, and euphorically fun.

 

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Guest Post: Bodhi’s Synful Mate by Elle Boon

Bodhi’s Synful Mate

Iron Wolves Book 6

by Elle Boon

KARSYN STYLES… aka Syn is tired of waiting on the man she knows is her mate to claim her. She’s going to take matters into her own hands, even if that means teaching the stubborn wolf she’s more than just the alpha’s baby sister.

BODHI… has fought the feelings he has for the little wolf who’s supposed to be like a sister to him. Only the feelings she’s stirred in his body and heart are far from brotherly. He’s done everything in his power to keep her at a distance, even going against everything he and his wolf want, but nothing can tame either man or beast except the one female meant to be theirs.

Just when he is ready to claim his mate, Bodhi’s world is rocked as his past comes back with a vengeance. He wasn’t born a wolf, but turned when his family was slaughtered. He’d thought he was all alone in the human world, grateful for his wolven family, until one fateful encounter.

Syn sees the man she loves pulling away. Her heart can’t take another rejection, or seeing him turn to another female for the comfort only she should be giving him. She’ll do anything to show him they’re meant to be together.

Neither realize the danger lurking in the shadows as Bodhi’s past is more sinister than either realize. Can the Iron Wolves survive what’s coming next, or will what destroyed Bodhi’s past come back to do the same to their future?

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Excerpt

The constant need to be filled by Bodhi seemed to have eased after their last violent lovemaking session against the wall. Staring at herself in the mirror of her bathroom, Syn touched one of the marks on her hips, shivering at the remembered feel of his possession. Holy fucking shit, Lyric didn’t mention it would be so intense when she mated. The thought of her best friend had her looking for her cell. She glanced at the clock, and quickly walked back into bedroom staring at her recently re-made bed. Each step was a reminder of Bodhi’s possession as she felt a slight twinge between her thighs. With her shifter abilities, if she was to shift to her wolf, and then back to human, all her injuries would be healed, but she was loathe to do so. Gah, she was so screwed.

She swiped across the screen and hit the button for Lyric. The ringtone her friend chose for herself, had her smiling as she waited.

“Hello, beotch. How’s the mating going?” Lyric asked.

Syn shook her head. “Oh, we’ve been fucking like bunnies, and then we fucked some more. Would you like all the down and dirty details?”

The sound of Lyric groaning, and Rowan yelling at her to take the phone off of speaker made Syn blush and look around for Bodhi. “Dang it you hussy, why didn’t you tell me you weren’t alone?”

Lyric’s laughing voice almost had Syn jumping into her truck, and racing over there to knock her best friend in the head.

“Oh Goddess, you should have seen Rowan’s face. Now that, is what we call free entertainment.” Lyric laughed some more, then stopped as she must’ve realized Syn wasn’t laughing with her. “Oh, hun, I’m sorry. You know I didn’t mean to upset you. Hell, I tell you everything, even when Rowan’s right in the room. He sort of knows everything anyways. He’s like Super-SEAL, or would that be WolfieSEAL? Shit, what is he anyway now?”

“Lyric, shut up. You’re gonna give me a headache. Rowan is…Rowan. Who is your mate? He’s an ex-SEAL but he’s also a shifter, so I guess he’s all that and a bag of chips. But, that doesn’t mean I want him privy to my sex life.”

Lyric sniffed, and Syn had the impression her best friend was actually wiping away real tears. “Are you crying? You can’t cry. You’re the one who fucked up.” Syn gentled her voice. Lyric never cried. “Do I need to come over there? Did Super-Wolfeal do something?”

“Wolfeal?” Lyric giggled.

“Yeah, I sort of came up with that. You know how Jenna and Kellen call the Cordell twins Wolpires, well Wolfeals. What do you think?”

“I’m totally gonna tell him his new nickname. Now, stop evading me, and spill. What did you and Bodhi talk about? I don’t need the dirty dirty, since I‘m a happily mated female, I kinda know what you do. Stick part A into slot A, B, or C.”

Syn pulled the phone away from her ear. “So you’re saying you allow Rowan to stick his dick into your vajayjay, your mouth and your…” she was cut off as Lyric screeched.

“Alright, that’s enough girl talk while I’m in residence, damn wolf hearing,” Rowan growled into the phone.

“Give me the phone back you big bully.”

“I’ll talk to you later, Lyric. Don’t let the big bad Wolfeal get the better of you. Offer up part C,” Syn said then hung up as Lyric squealed louder.

“You, Karsyn Styles, are a bad girl.” Bodhi leaned against the doorjamb.

He looked too damn good for her peace of mind, but she kept that to herself. Although the smirk on his face let her know he’d read her mind. His eyes, those green emerald fire ones, looked at her with such tenderness, making her sigh. “Well, you bring out the bad in me.”

Straightening, he strolled into the room. “I hate to leave you so soon, but I need to go talk with my sister, and Kellen. There’s a lot of unfinished business with her husband, and his family. We know Roberto wasn’t in residence, which means he’s still a threat.”

Fear skittered through her. “He knows where we are located.”

“Let him come here,” he growled, pacing away from her to stare out the window. “I saw some of the things he did to her.”

She didn’t need to ask who the her was. When they’d connected, and their mate link clicked into place, she’d seen his memories that he hadn’t blocked. She couldn’t imagine the hell Layla had endured, only hoped that Jenna could help ease some of it. “What’re you going to do?”

Bodhi sighed. “I’m going to hunt his ass down, and kill him. His entire family will die, if not by my hands, then by our pack. Kellen has given me his blessing as well as his assurance he wants to dismember them all slowly. He said Jenna was too lenient when she collapsed the home with the fuckers inside. I tend to agree with him.” He smiled grimly.

Syn remained silent. The need for vengeance was one she understood, but her gut told her it wasn’t going to be quite the easy task her mate thought. No, she didn’t doubt for a minute her mate was a badass, however, the man they were facing wasn’t an honorable man. She’d seen inside Layla’s memories, things she wondered if Bodhi had truly paid attention to, or if he’d been too disturbed to notice the little things.

“Go ahead, say what’s on your mind. I can see you have an opinion, and while I may not agree, I do value your wisdom.”

“It’s not my past to tell, but I suggest when you speak to your sister, you listen, and try not to freak the fuck out. She’s suffered enough without her brother going apeshit on her. Not that I think you’ll hurt her, but Layla is going to need you to stay calm while she tells you her tale.” Syn held up a finger. “If she opens up enough to tell you that is. If not, then when you look into her mind, really look.”

“What aren’t you telling me? What did you see that I missed?” Bodhi came to stand in front of her, his hands holding her by the shoulders.

“I’m telling you to keep your shit cool, and don’t be an ass.” If it was possible, he seemed to grow without shifting. Hell, his entire body appeared to vibrate.

“I hate fucking riddles, and I most certainly don’t like it when my mate won’t just give me the deets I need so I’m not walking into a minefield.” Blunt, that was what Bodhi was.

Syn shook her head. “As your mate, and Layla’s sister-in-law to be, I am giving you both my respect. What I saw through your mind, wasn’t a true vision of mine. It could be a distorted version, so back the fuck up off me.” Mate or not, her wolf came to the surface, ready to protect them.

“The Dominguez family are, and were, vicious from what I saw. Hell, I was too young to really know anything, other than my friend Berto wasn’t able to play on certain days because he was in trouble. What did I miss?” He closed his eyes for a couple minutes, then they opened wide. “From what I saw through my sister’s mind, they not only killed, but they enjoyed it. The killing and torturing. Her husband made her watch. He got off on it. Shit, that’s what you were trying to tell me. I missed it when I connected with Layla.” He stared down at her, his heartbeat throbbed visibly though the vein in his neck.

“Yeah, I’m sure there’s more.” She licked her lips.

Author Bio

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Elle Boon lives in Middle-Merica as she likes to say…with her husband, two kids, and a black lab who is more like a small pony. She’d never planned to be a writer, but when life threw her a curve, she swerved with it, since she’s athletically challenged. She’s known for saying “Bless Your Heart” and dropping lots of F-bombs, but she loves where this new journey has taken her.

She writes what she loves to read, and that is romance, whether it’s erotic, Navy SEALs, or paranormal, as long as there is a happily ever after. Her biggest hope is that after readers have read one of her stories, they fall in love with her characters as much as she did. She loves creating new worlds, and has more stories just waiting to be written. Elle believes in happily ever afters, and can guarantee you will always get one with her stories.

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