Wednesday WIP

Hi all,

Hope your week is going well. Apologies for the lack of posts – 2017 is kicking my butt already *sighs* Still, it’s not all bad – have just started editing my witchy/vampire novella so I’ll share a wee snippet with you now. (Please bear in mind, just started editing so please forgive any mistakes!)

 

Venn stared at the little cottage with some trepidation. It cottagewas just so… cutesy. Warm red brick with a neat little garden, shadowed in the growing darkness, leaden-paned windows and a sloping roof. He wouldn’t be surprised to see deer and little bunnies frolicking through the grass. Urgh. This did not look like the home of a powerful witch. Maybe it was a kind of camouflage? Still it wasn’t as though he had a great deal of options here. Everyone else had turned him away. If this witch couldn’t help he was pretty much screwed.

He glided through the night to the painted front door. There was a neat, hand-printed sign.

For enquiries, come to back door.

Great. Like a servant, or a delivery person. Gritting his teeth he made his way round to the back and knocked sharply on the door. It flung open, spilling out warm light and framing the form of a small woman. He blinked at her a moment. Short, curvy, with brown, slightly frizzy hair pulled back in a messy up-do and thick glasses that gave her the look of a blinking owl. This – this was his last hope?

“Can I help you?”

Her voice was surprisingly rich and smooth. Fine, he was here now, though he wasn’t feeling optimistic.

“I hope so. You are the witch in residence here?”

Maybe she was an assistant or something? There could be someone inside who reeked of power. Her eyes narrowed as though she sensed his thoughts.

witch-fantasy_00408573“The one and only. I am Elizabeth Garrett Morrigan. And I need a good reason to want to help a vampire.”

He sighed. At least she had enough power to know what he was, that was surely a start.

“My name is Venn Draconius. I was told that you can be sympathetic to those who others shun. I am badly in need of help. I am under a curse.”

Her brow furrowed. “What kind of curse?”

“Could we perhaps discuss inside?”

A male voice came from inside the house. “Libby, don’t you dare invite a vampire in here.”

Venn raised an eyebrow. “I assure you no harm will come to anyone in this house on my account.” His lips twisted cynically. “I give you my word on that. Even if I had the inclination, the execution is no longer possible for me.”

The woman stared at him for a long moment, almost as if she was taking his measure. He was surprised to notice that her eyes behind those huge lenses were actually quite beautiful, a deep forest green with tiny flecks of gold around the iris. Odd, he hadn’t noticed a woman’s eyes in probably a century.

She suddenly stepped back, gesturing him in. “I invite you into my home.”

He gave her a brief bow, before stepping past her into a warm and homely kitchen. Curious, he glanced around for the source of the male voice. Perhaps she felt safe because she wasn’t alone.

“I honestly cannot believe you, Libby.” The voice sounded again, close, like it was in the room, but Venn couldn’t see any sign of anyone. “If we’re all killed in our sleep I swear I will never let you live it down.”

Libby gave a brief smile and gestured to an odd shape on the wall. “This is Huwie. Don’t mind him.”

“Don’t mind me? Don’t mind me! That’s gratitude for you.”

“Is that a starfish?”

Venn stared in bewilderment as one of the tiny creature’s arms flapped around, obviously in time with his distress.

She sniffed. “That is Huwie, he is my friend and my familiar and if you expect me to even consider helping you then you’ll be nice to him.”

Be nice to a talking starfish? Obviously this witch was crazier than he’d thought, but for now he needed to keep her on side.

“Erm, nice to meet you?”

Was he supposed to shake hands as well, and which of those waving arm/limb things were classed as hands? He felt the strangest urge to laugh. Again something that hadn’t ocurred to him in more years then he cared to remember.

“Take a seat,” the little witch gestured him to one of the wooden chairs at the table, “and tell me about this curse.”

sl-promo2And if you’re looking for a free read – Scarlett Legacy is currently up on Instafreebie. If you haven’t got your copy yet then grab it now, and make sure you’re caught up for the new release next month 🙂

Scarlett Legacy

 

Take care x

Guest Author Raz T Slasher with Campyre Tales

Hi all,

So, we all survived Friday 13th and to celebrate, let’s scare ourselves silly with fab horror author Raz T Slasher 😉 He’s here to chat about his new short story collection Campyre Tales.

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

001Raz T. Slasher is an upcoming independent horror actor and writer. When he’s not killing people he co-hosts the Twisted Geekdom Podcast with his best friends. Raz enjoys spending time with his family and friends, worshiping The Great Cthulhu, hanging out with his cat Stoker, and talking about himself in the third person. His favorite quote about his writing is “It’s like Lovecraft and Clive Barker had a love child and gave it up for adoption to be raised by Charles Manson.” Raz was born in Dayton,OH ,where he still lives today. He is currently banned from jumping out at loved ones from dark places.

Lol, that is an amazing writing description! Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

I had just seen gremlins as a kid and the next day in elementary school we were learning how to write short creative stories and bind them like a small book. I wrote a very detailed story about gremlins killing people I know lol. It was the first of many times my mother was called to the school about something I’d written.

Hehe, some schools just don’t appreciate imagination 😉 Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

I’m an insanely unhealthy writer. I have to have my mountain dew, cigarettes, and bacon jerky! I tend to write more often in the dead of night while listening to various horror based instrumentals to put me into the right head space. I do a lot of research as I write too, so the internet is ALWAYS required.

Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

Horror has always been my first love. My mother had always been intrigued by the genre and started raising me into it by the time I was 5. By the time I was 11 she was teaching me how to fabricate severed heads. For me horror is a lifestyle, as it should be.

Hehe, your mum sounds awesome! Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I remember reading Dark Half by Stephen King in Fifth Grade. It really hit me back then, and was probably the book that made me taking writing much more seriously.

What five things could you never do without?

Cigarettes

Mountain Dew

Bacon Jerky

My Cat

My Laptop

Lol, am with you on and cats and laptop frequently ends up as cat on laptop for me 🙂 Tell us a bit about your new release.

Campyre Tales is a collection of short horror stories, mostly in the first person narrative. It features a wraparound story that not only connects all the stories, but tales a tale about an English Professor and his very unique family.

Ooh, sounds interesting. Where did your inspiration for it come from?

I’ve always been a huge fan of the classic horror episodic scene. Tales From the Crypt, Night Gallery, Twilight Zone, etc. I’ve always wanted to do something of that nature. The other inspiration was a podcast called No Sleep. Some of these stories have even been in the running for awards on the No Sleep subreddit.

What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

Getting the chance to tell multiple stories was an awesome change of pace. I actually wrote the entire thing during Nanowrimo 2015!

Yay, another Nano success. What was the hardest part about writing it?

The wraparounds were the hardest parts to get right for me. It was always important to connect this book to the others in the same world I’ve created. If you’re a fan of The Mime though, you’ll definitely notice things that connect them, along with the next book coming out in a few months. Creating an entire world has always been the most difficult thing about all of this.

Interesting. I’m into a series now and am definitely finding continuity a pain! Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

There are so many characters in this book, it’s hard to choose! If I had to pick someone I’d say Rob. There’s a ton of me in that character so I suppose I’m partial to him.

Hehe, it’s always fun when they turn out like you – mine usually get all my bad traits lol! Why should we run out and buy it right now?

If you’re into the horror culture, it should be a no brainer! I feel like I’ve crafted some amazing stories to grab your attention and make you reconsider everyday things in an entirely new way! We also decided to turn this into a television show, which we’re working hard on producing the pilot episode for! You definitely want to read the book before the show hits the internet!

Ooh, you heard it here first peeps, get in on the ground floor lol! You can check out the book details here:

The Cover 2

Blurb

Every year Professor Price invites twelve of his Community College English students to a secret party out deep in the woods. He and his students take turns in sharing thirteen spine tingling tales of terror! There may be more than just stories involved in this short story horror collection. Uncover the secrets of the Price family, while coming to terms with your darkest fears! No matter where you lurk, you too will hear the Voices from the Dark!

 

And you can your hands on a copy here:

Amazon

Don’t forget to follow Raz on facebook to stay to up date with all his news and releases!

Facebook

 

Take care x

Monday Catch Up – Happy New Year

Hi all,

Happy New Year! Can you believe we’re into 2017? Like I think most people, I was pretty glad happy_new_year_2013_by_ladyowl-d5pwe9cto see the back of 2016 so let’s hope this will be a better year 🙂 What I am grateful for though is the support of my wonderful readers through the year – and I hope you stick around as there’s lots planned for this year!

I’ve just sent my next round edits back for my second wolf book – so hopefully they will be back soon for finals and I can get a release date set. At the moment I’m thinking end of Jan/start of Feb. This one seems to have been getting put back forever, so I’m thrilled to finally see the end in sight.

I also have my novella to get edited – my allergic witch and cursed vampire have been so much fun to write and I can’t wait for you to meet them 🙂

I’m working this week on a release schedule for the year – so won’t give away too much just yet. But let’s just say it will be a busy one and I can’t wait to get going with it.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and New Year – and wish you everything you wish for in the year to come x

Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them

Hi all,

You know I can’t resist a HP reference 😉 I hope you’ve all had a good week and are all prepared for Sunday – eek, where has the time gone? As you may know I’ve had a lovely time this month working my way through my Xmassy to-read list. I absolutely love Christmas reads at this time of year and since I’m hoping you might do too, I thought I would share a few of my favourites and where you can find them. There’s paranormal, historical, sweet reads and steamy scenes – so something for everyone!

kissesMistletoe Kisses: A Westmore Christmas – Erzabet Bishop – 4 stars

Amazon link

This was a really fun paranormal romance. Gargoyles aren’t something you see very often in these type of stories but the author has built a very rich and varied paranormal world, with shifters, demons and even a pink dragon all mentioned. This is obviously part of a series and it probably would have benefitted me to read earlier ones first as some of the background details were a little brief and I feel some of the secondary characters probably had their own stories already. That said, the main story was followable and I liked the characters a lot.

Jess is a very strong character. She’s gone through some terrible things and although she’s still traumatised in many ways, she hasn’t let it break her. She’s constantly trying to give back and help others, but I liked that she also had a sassy and sarcastic side (woman after my own heart lol).

Thorne was initially very reluctant to be stuck babysitting what he thought would be a spoilt princess but the relationship between them quickly develops. While I liked Thorne as a character, the relationship progression from his own point of view did feel a little jumpy at parts. He seemed to go from ‘he wanted her but needed to move on and he was no good for her anyway’ to ‘refuses to leave her’ pretty abruptly and I would have liked to see a little more of his internal journey there – especially with the back story that was only really hinted at.

This story could have easily been expanded for me. I would have loved to have seen their relationship progression in more detail and there were quite a few unanswered questions still left at the end (though perhaps they get resolved in a later installment). Overall though I really enjoyed the story, great characters and chemistry and a sweet Christmas backdrop. Will definitely be checking out others in this series.

angelThe Wrong Kind of Angel – Ruby Moone – 4 stars

Amazon link

Charles is resigned to a lonely Christmas alone, when a stranger collapses on his door in the middle of a snowstorm. The beautiful young might share his sexual tastes but despite what he says, Charles knows he’s no angel. Harry has secrets of his own, that mean he can’t stay with Charles, no matter how tempted he may be, and ones that could very well get them both killed.

I really liked both characters in this. Charles initially comes across as very shy, quiet, even a little meek, but it quickly becomes apparent that he has hidden depths and is very capable of taking care of himself – and those around him. Harry has had a rough life and has had to do things he isn’t proud of to survive, but you can see that he has kept a core decency in the way he’s tried to save Julian. It was nice to see how they balanced each other out and the relationship development was really sweet.

Steamy scenes, gripping actions and a Christmas backdrop – what more could you ask for?

secretSecret Santa – Lichelle Slater – 4 stars

Amazon link

Bell is a Secret Santa elf, tasked with helping people to rediscover their Christmas spirit. Unfortunately she’s failed with bar owner Drake the past years, but she’s determined this year she will find exactly what he needs for Christmas. Turns out it might just be her 🙂

This was an adorable little Christmas story. Bell is a really sweet character who genuinely cares about the people in her small town and goes out of her way to try and find what they need and to make their lives that little bit better. There was a great cast of secondary characters and a real community feel to the story. Drake wasn’t quite as well-developed for me – it might have been nice to see a bit from his point of view to help with that – but it was nice to see his progression from grumpy Scrooge to someone who was opening up to the festive season.

I did like their relationship development. The angst with Kristi did come across a little over-the-top at times and some of Bell’s assumptions didn’t really make sense to me – but the fact that she was a little naive in some ways didn’t make it seem as unbelievable as it otherwise might have been. Overall a really sweet Christmassy read. Would look for others from this author.

familyA Family for Christmas – Jay Northcote – 5 stars

Amazon link

This was a great read, just overflowing with Christmassyness (it’s a word!). Rudy has a crush on his co-worker Zac but is convinced it’s all one-sided. When he learns Zac is spending Christmas all alone though, he can’t resist asking him along to his own crazy family festivities. When his family all assume that he’s finally found a boyfriend he doesn’t have the heart to upset them at Christmas – and Zac agrees to go along with the pretence. Soon though it’s feeling a little more real than either of them expected.

I really liked the characters in this story. Rudy was sweet and shy, with an endearing habit of always putting his foot in it. Zac has obviously had a hard life and a tough outer shell to show for it. It was really lovely to see that breaking down though under the onslaught of Rudy and his whole family, and to see that there was a softer interior that was desperate for something more out of life. The relationship between them both was believable and I enjoyed the progression.

This was just brimming with lovely Christmas details, and I especially loved Rudy’s family with all their warmth, openness and occasional complete inappropriateness 🙂 Not a lot of angst along the way but a feel-good romance, perfect for the festive season.

migglesMerry Christmas Mr Miggles – Eli Easton – 5 stars

Amazon link

I just adored this book. Sweet, feel-good romance with just the right amount of Christmas spirit.

Toby is the junior librarian and loves his job. At the start of the story he has a horrible boyfriend and an ever-growing curiousity about his boss, the head librarian Mr Miggles. The older man is quiet, reserved, keeps himself to himself and Toby feels there’s always a sadness about him.

When Mr Miggles is wrongly arrested not only Toby but the whole town comes to realise just how much they miss him, and how much he quietly does behind the scenes for everyone.

This was a lovely story, there was a real small town community feel to it, with lots of interesting secondary characters. I loved the slow burn on the romance side, and the relationship development was sweet and believable. Both were well-developed characters; it was nice to see Toby growing and finding the strength to stand up for both himself and people he cared about, while Sean had to learn to loosen up a bit and let people in again. They were a great couple who really complemented each other well.

Overall, really enjoyable festive read. Will definitely be looking for more from this author.

And if you’re still looking for something I may have an angel themed Christmassy romance out myself 😉

angel-cover-7Divine Justice

He was sent to judge her… not fall for her.

As a justice angel, Jeremiah had been dispensing heavenly judgement for millenia. While he used to love his job, take pride it, then centuries of watching humans turn to selfishness and greed had left him cynical and bitter. These were no fit emotions for an angel and when he is summoned before the Archangel Council he is willing to accept his fate. Instead he is given one final task, one last judgement.

Holly was used to being alone. It didn’t mean she didn’t love her life, her friends, her work at the shelter. For Christmas though, she just wanted one thing; hope. Hospital tests were never fun and Holly had spent enough time being poked and prodded to never want to go through it again. When she encounters the mysterious Jeremiah she knows there’s something different about him. Something that has her inviting him in out of the cold and into her home, where the fire isn’t the only thing keeping them warm.

As secrets pile up faster than the snow outside, and lives hang in the balance, can Holly and Jeremiah both manage to get what they really want this Christmas?

Amazon link

Smashwords

Have a lovely Christmas weekend. Take care x

My Sexy Saturday – Christmas Romance

Hi all,

Hope you all have a fun weekend planned. I’ve off to a wee job this morning then am hoping to be able to chill out a bit and catch up on my editing – we’ll see how that goes! First though, I’m thrilled to be joining in the My Sexy Saturday blog hop. The theme this week is supposed to be Sexy in Space – sadly I have no space themed stories for you, so I hope you’ll settle for something heavenly instead (hey, it’s all up, right?) This is from my new Christmassy release, Divine Justice.

 

Studio shot of handsome man posing as fallen angel, on gray background
Studio shot of handsome man posing as fallen angel, on gray background

“Jeremiah, you have been brought before the Council of Archangels to answer for your recent actions.”

The words echoed around the coliseum. Pillars framed the circle, solid cloud of pure white veined faintly with pink and gold. Above them the sky glowed, reflecting the light of the heavens. There was a time when he would have appreciated the grandeur, the beauty of it. When he would never have expected to be in this position.

Jeremiah stood straight and tall in front of them. He was not going to beg for mercy or plead for his life. He was aware that he had… slipped. Where he had once loved his work, lived for it, been willing to believe in anyone or anything. Then centuries of watching the selfishness and greed of humans had left him bitter, cynical even. These were no kind of emotions for an angel. The council would be well within their rights to end his existence, a part of him would almost welcome it. The emptiness and peace of eternal oblivion. There was an appeal to that.

He eyed up the solemn line of archangels. All tall, blond, well-built. Ethereally beautiful, pure yet stern. He knew them all, had been friends with some of them once. It seemed a long time ago. When you lived forever then time started to lose all meaning.

Their leader stepped forward. Raphael looked solemn but then he generally did. Never one for cracking a smile, even in the old days.

“We have discussed the matter and reached a decision.”

Jeremiah held his breath. This was it. They were going to pronounce sentence, end him. There was little mercy for one of his kind; there couldn’t be with the powers they possessed. Up until this moment he’d thought he’d made his peace with that, but the faint tremble to his hands and the tightness in his chest proved him wrong. It was odd to be on the receiving end of judgement instead of being the one passing it. For the first time he wondered about those he had judged over his long existence – had they all felt like this?

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If you’re wanting to find out what happens next, you can grab your copy for just 0.99 on Amazon here:

Amazon link

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the great authors taking part today.

Take care x

Guest Author Carolyn LaRoche with All She Never Wanted

Hi all,

Yay, it’s weekend. Thank you so much to all who bought, liked and shared Divine Justice yesterday (and if you haven’t seen it yet, do go grab your copy lol!). Today, though I’m thrilled to have the fab Carolyn LaRoche visiting to chat about her release, All She Never Wanted.

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

carolyn-laroche-author-pictureThank you so much for allowing me to visit your blog today. I am very excited to be out and about promoting my new book. It’s been a long time in the making—lugging my laptop to my boys’ baseball practices and squeezing edits in between writing lesson plans for my science students—but it’s been worth every word in the book.

They’re always a labour of love, aren’t they? Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

I have always loved to write stories but as far as becoming a “writer”, I’d have to say it was about seven or eight years ago. I’d just finished the first draft to my romantic suspense Witness Protection and sent it to a friend to read. Upon finishing, her response was “you better do something with this one.” I took her advice and eventually signed it with a small press. Now, two series and this book later, here I am!

Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

The closest thing I have to a writing routine is procrastinating as long as possible before sitting down at my computer. As soon as I decide to work, I suddenly have laundry I just have to fold or floors that must be mopped right then. I don’t know why- I love writing. I guess maybe I can’t really concentrate unless everything else is done.

Lol, I better not show you the state of my laundry pile then 😉 Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I love happy endings. It may take gunshots, kidnappings and car chases to get to them but there’s always that happy ending just waiting for my characters.

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I absolutely love reading indie author books. There is so much talent out there just waiting to be discovered.

So true and great to support other authors on their way up. What five things could you never do without?

Aside from my husband and boys. I’d say I couldn’t live without wifi. I love the world wide web! I also need to have chocolate in my life at all times. Flannel pajamas and leggings are a must and the beach. The ocean is my happy place.

Tell us a bit about your new release.

Evie and Landon come from two completely different worlds, each dealing with their own tragedies. Evie’s dreams had been violently destroyed and Landon’s playboy lifestyle had come to an abrupt and horrific end. Circumstances have thrown them together and despite mutual dislike, they are forced to coexist and eventually find a common ground. Falling in love was not something they wanted or expected.

Aww, I do have a soft spot for hate to love stories. Where did your inspiration for it come from?

I spend a lot of time at the beach and it seemed like the perfect place to fall in love. Especially at the holidays.

What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

The story is set in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. This is one of my very favorite places in the world. Having Evie find her second chance at life and love on the beautiful islands of the Outer Banks made the experience of writing the book that much better.

Sounds like a lovely place! What was the hardest part about writing it?

Having no more story left to tell. I fell in love with Evie and Landon and ending their story made me sad.

Aww, I always struggle with the goodbye bit as well – probably why my characters keep popping up in other people’s stories lol! Speaking of, who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

I love Evie because no matter how much life tosses at her, she still manages to be her snarky self. She cries when she’s alone but she doesn’t let tragedy win. In the end her strength pulls her through and she ends up stronger and better for it.

Why should we run out and buy it right now?

If you want to laugh and cry and experience all the feels, you need to meet Evie and Landon. It’s a great holiday romance that will leave you searching for a beach and some mistletoe.

Hehe, I must admit I’m more used to holiday snow than a beach but this sounds like it could win me round 🙂 Check out the book details here:

Blurb

cover1One moment changed everything…

Evie Ward had everything she’d ever dreamed of. An action-packed job where no two shifts were ever the same, the best friend a girl could ever want, and a fairy tale wedding just days away. Her life was absolutely perfect. Until one bullet—one horrible choice—left her with a broken heart and shattered dreams. Fleeing the city she loved and a lifetime of memories, Evie took a job in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the hopes that the ocean air and fresh beaches could somehow restore her soul. Falling in love again wasn’t part of the plan.

Landon Reed was on top of the world. The money, the women, the status—he had it all until one bad decision nearly cost him his life. His father gave him three months to get his act together or be cut off from the family fortune and business. No house, no job and no money. His will and his patience are tested further when his father hires a nurse to whip him into shape. She may be little but she’s mean and it looks like Landon has finally met his match.

With her shattered heart and his broken spirit, the road to recovery will be long. Can they help each other heal or will their fractured pasts be too much to overcome?

And you can get your hands on a copy here:

Amazon

Don’t forget to follow Carolyn on social media here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynLaRoche

Blog: http://carolynlarocheauthor.blogspot.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7734909.Carolyn_LaRoche

Twitter: @CarolynLaRoche

 

Take care x

Release Day! Divine Justice – Christmas Angel Romance

Hi all,

It’s release day – squee! Divine Justice is finally live. This has probably been the fastest turnaround I’ve ever done on a book – so definitely on the stressful side, but I’m so excited to see it out in the world and can’t wait to hear what you all think.

It’s just 0.99 at the moment, so grab your copy here now 🙂

angel-cover-1200x800Blurb

He was sent to judge her… not fall for her.

As a justice angel, Jeremiah had been dispensing heavenly judgement for millenia. While he used to love his job, take pride it, then centuries of watching humans turn to selfishness and greed had left him cynical and bitter. These were no fit emotions for an angel and when he is summoned before the Archangel Council he is willing to accept his fate. Instead he is given one final task, one last judgement.

Holly was used to being alone. It didn’t mean she didn’t love her life, her friends, her work at the shelter. For Christmas though, she just wanted one thing; hope. Hospital tests were never fun and Holly had spent enough time being poked and prodded to never want to go through it again. When she encounters the mysterious Jeremiah she knows there’s something different about him. Something that has her inviting him in out of the cold and into her home, where the fire isn’t the only thing keeping them warm.

As secrets pile up faster than the snow outside, and lives hang in the balance, can Holly and Jeremiah both manage to get what they really want this Christmas?

 

Amazon: getBook.at/DivineJustice1

 

Take care x

Cover Reveal and Teaser – Divine Justice

Hi all,

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend. Mine has been busy, busy getting m Christmas story all ready to go. I now have a title – Divine Justice – and a shiny new cover. I really hope you like it! It releases this Thursday – and here’s a wee teaser in the meantime! My girl, Holly does love her caffeine fix 😉

angel-cover-7

 

Holly bit her lip. “I just don’t want you to be… struggling, because of me. I don’t expect you to get me anything, you know? Just because I’m letting you stay here a few days I honestly don’t want anything in return.” 

“I know that.” He laughed suddenly. “Are you always this difficult to give a gift to.” 

Her cheeks burned. Probably yes. She remember something her mother had told her a long time ago. Shut up and just say thank you.  

“Thank you,” she said softly. “I love it.” 

“You’re welcome.” 

A grin lit up her face. “I guess I better try it out, right? Sooooo many kinds of coffee!” 

He laughed again. “I had no idea there were so many in the world.” 

“You’ll tell me which one you like?” 

“I don’t drink coffee.” 

Holly gaped at him. Wow, she’d heard rumours there were people like that but… “I knew there had to be something wrong with you!” 

*** 

Jeremiah smiled at her. She was pretty adorable when she got excited, even if it was over the strange human drink they all seemed obsessed with. 

“I’m sorry to disappoint.” He told her seriously. “It is a bitter draught and I have never acquired the taste for it.” 

Give him a nice cup of ambrosia any day but that wasn’t something he could tell the little human. She grinned at him and he saw the light of challenge spark in her eyes. 

“I think you just haven’t found the right combination yet. Trust me, I’ll find it.” 

He grinned at her. It was strange that she made him smile. So few things did lately. He hadn’t laughed with another person in years, maybe decades. Possibly even centuries if he thought too hard about it. Which maybe wasn’t a good idea. She made him want to smile though. Her genuine delight in the smallest of things, her concern for other people, her unwillingness to accept anything from anyone. She was easy to… like. 

He shook his head and walked back into the living room. He was just here to judge, and for that he needed to remain impartial. Why was it getting harder and harder to keep telling himself that as Holly pottered round the kitchen, made him try a latte, a cappuccino and some strange bitter froth. It was almost worth the assault on his taste buds just to see her reactions. Her wide-eyed enthusiasm and her over-the-top faked disappointment when he didn’t like them. 

“Next try!” She told him with a teasing smile.

 

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Take care x

 

 

Guest Author Renee Leigh with You Should Smile

Hi all,

Can you believe we’re into December already? Christmassyness can officially start lol. Today though Im thrilled to have the fab Renee Leigh visiting, she’s going to chat about her re-release You Should Smile.

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

img_3273My name is Renee Leigh. I write contemporary, stand-alone erotic romance novels. I’ve always been a sucker for a good romance movie or novel – a happy ending, everything tied up neatly into a bow!

In my “spare” time, I’m also an attorney, wife and mom. I enjoy reading, researching, writing, and college basketball.

I live in the South with my husband, children and dogs.

Sounds like you’re definitely kept busy! Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Words have always been my outlet. I began writing erotic romance scenes with quirky characters for myself – to make ME smile. I wrote my first book, You Should Smile, three years ago. My husband told me that I should publish it. I thought maybe I could make others smile, too, so I decided to publish it last year. I’m glad I did!

Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

I am a binge-writer. If I’m in the mood to write, I can write through the night without stopping. If I’m not in the mood, nothing sounds right that I put down on paper. I just have to wait to be ‘in the mood’ I’ve realized!

Lol, always a tricky balance to find. Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

As an attorney, I read all day – usually boring and very legalistic books. At the end of the day, all I want to do is turn that part of my mind off and just have fun reading. I’ve found that contemporary romance does that for me. I enjoy light-hearted and comedic romances the best – books that don’t cause too much emotional turmoil or analytical thinking. Just sit back with a glass of wine and have fun! I suppose that is now my target audience – those who don’t take themselves (like me!) or their books too seriously. They just want to sit back with a fun, yet sexy, read at the end of long day.

That is the aim at the end of the day, right? To entertain and give people that bit of escapism and destress 🙂 Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I adore Alice Clayton. Her books have always made me laugh, yet they’re sweet and hot at the same time. I also love Mia Sheridan. Her writing! Oh my gosh! She can’t write a bad book. It’s impossible! And I JUST finished Priest by Sierra Simone and I was speechless. I was absolutely speechless with the beauty and imagery of her words…and the HEAT. (I’m blushing just thinking about it. Lol.) She’s my new favorite!

Ooh, shall have to look out for her. What five things could you never do without?

1. My family

2. Coffee

3. Wine

4. My kindle

5. Words

Hehe, first time I think anyone has said ‘words’ – but where would we be without them? Speaking of… tell us a bit about your new release.

I’m re-releasing the first book, You Should Smile, for .99 beginning on November 21st to promote the Smile series and my second release, Sunlit Smile. You Should Smile is a professor-student love story. It features quirky characters and tongue-in- cheek writing. Though, like its author, the book doesn’t take itself too seriously, it does try to focus on serious themes and relationship issues in a way that maintains a fun atmosphere. In the end, I want to make readers finish the book with a smile.

Where did your inspiration for it come from?

Almost all of my writing evolves from a single phrase that sticks in my head and won’t go away. This time, it was: “‘You Should Smile’ I heard him say” …. That became the opening line of the book and Thad’s opening line to Shay in the book. He sees her standing at the gas station, looking sad and something just makes him want to see her smile. She teases him that telling women to smile can be offensive – and their banter and chemistry just take off from there. Little do either of them know, of course, that he’s about to become her professor.

Sounds like a fun start! What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

Getting to know my characters as they came to life. I fell in love with them as individuals, including all of their imperfections. Even the side characters (like Grant) became a part of me. Grant is the best friend that everyone wants and deserves. I am still jealous that Shay has him for one. 🙂

Aww, it’s always the way, I fall a little bit in love with all my chars 🙂 What was the hardest part about writing it?

Sharing it with others and hoping that people could see that it is a tongue-in- cheek poke of fun at the romance ‘formula’. Yes, the nickname Shay gives Thad IS stupid. She’s awkward. She knows it’s dumb. She knows her movie obsession is dumb. That’s the point. Some readers get it and some don’t.
Those who do ‘get’ it tend to love it – and those are the readers I’m trying to reach!

Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!).

Oh gosh! I sympathize with Shay because I created her and she’s a lot like me in
 a very awkward, quirky way…Of course, I love Thad because he’s all sorts of intelligence in a big heated package…and I just finished my book on Chris, who is an emotional and uncontrolled Alpha mess underneath his calm demeanor…but I think Grant might be my favorite character to WRITE even though he’s not even part of the actual book series. He’s just a good-hearted and funny guy. He’s probably the one I most wish existed in real life because I want to hang out and drink with him. Haha.

Why should we run out and buy it right now? 🙂

Because the Smile series books are fun, sexy reads! They will make you smile – and blush – at the same time! 🙂

Check out the details here:

img_3091Blurb

You should smile,” I heard him say.
Unsure, I squinted my eyes from the sun, used my hand as a shade, and turned toward his voice. “I’m sorry?”
“You should smile,” he stated louder. “It’s a beautiful fall day. Summer’s wrath is left behind. So smile.” He stepped out from the shadows and into the sun where I could see him clearly. My lord. I’d heard the phrase ‘sex on a stick’ before, but never knew what it really meant. I did then.
A smile slowly crept across my lips. “You’re not supposed to tell women to smile. It can be offensive,” I said, teasing him.
“But you are smiling now, aren’t you?” he teased back.
“True. Any more advice for me?” I met his eyes. They were deep blue.
He nodded his head slowly. “Yes. Ditch that guy and come with me….”

Graduate student Shay Elliott gets hit on by a sexy stranger in a gas station parking lot – and the sparks fly immediately. She’s there with her boyfriend, though, so she declines the man’s invitation to leave with him. She thinks she’ll never see him again….

She was wrong.

He’s just been hired as a professor at her university – and she’s about to become his student.

 

You can get your hands on a copy here:

Amazon

You can follow Renee on social media here:

Renee Leigh Author Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/reneeleighauthor/

Renee Leigh Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/reneeleighsmile

Renee Leigh Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Renee-Leigh/e/B00T4HV590

 

Take care x

Guest Author Tami Veldura with Learning to Want

Hi all,

Yay, it’s Friday – and Black Friday at that, so if you’re out shopping I hope you manage to grab some bargains 🙂 It seems to have got even colder here – the canal outside my house has frozen over and am huddled over my teeny work fire. Still, can’t be all bad, my parents are coming up to visit this weekend – plus I have the fab Tami Veldura dropping by. She’s chatting about her new release, Learning to Want – a sci-fi LGBT romance with elements of D/S and a full POC cast (I’m slightly in awe of someone who can fit all that into one novel – could you really ask for anything more?)

blog-header

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

I’m a gemini, I enjoy long walks on the beac–wait, wrong bio. Let’s see: I’m a full time writer with a dragon obsession and this persistent idea that if I insist hard enough, my whole life will look like the happily ever after in my favorite romance books. I’m easily distracted by small kittens and have a book buying problem. So many more people know me as Tami than my legal name that I may just change it one day.

Nothing wrong with a dragon or book buying obsession *whistles innocently* Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was eight I was just starting school for the year and my mother took me to target for supplies. At the time, Lisa Frank was the brand to have and I came home with a pile of rainbow folders. Inside each folder, on the flap for your papers, was a two or three sentence paragraph about that Lisa Frank character: the unicorn, the puppies, the kittens.

I copied that paragraph from each of my folders onto a piece of paper and brought it to my mother. My first story. She put it on the fridge.

At the time I didn’t know writing was a thing, all I knew was the stories I was reading and the worlds I was living in were amazing and I needed more. Faster. So I’d start writing them myself.

Do you have a particular writing routine or any special rituals?

I tend to have ideas pop into my head throughout the day, especially when I’m out and about on the weekends encountering people and places.

But the average workday starts with a breakfast of grits or oatmeal, tea, and some time snuggling my pet rats while I wake up. I always keep a water bottle on my side table, but sometimes I’ll add a bottle of gatorade if I’m feeling dehydrated. I review my social sites and writing forum, just catching up on the world, but by 8AM I sit down on my corner of the couch and start writing. I try to write for at least 3 hours every day, but sometimes editing or a book release can skew the schedule. The rest of my day is filled with all the administration work that comes with hybrid publishing. Some of my books are self published and managed, while others are through small presses.

I’d like to add copywork to my morning routine before I start writing. Copywork is a technique that’s been used for generations to teach kids how to write and by authors to study their betters. Regular copywork can improve handwriting, but it’s also very meditative, can improve vocabulary and technique, and act as a mental trigger for an artist to enter that flow state where creativity and intent align into perfect productivity.

Sounds interesting, may need to have a look into! Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

Initially, my writing was traditional high and low fantasy coming of age stories, since that’s what I grew up reading. But in high school I transitioned into fanfiction, specifically the slash corner of the fanfic world where I discovered all kinds of story types that I hadn’t ever seen before.

Now, I write romance, science fiction, and fantasy with LGBT+ characters and themes. I’ve been publishing regularly in the genre since 2010, but in 2015 I discovered asexuality and realized that I belonged in this subgroup as well. It’s not a surprise I was drawn to the people and themes in these stories since I was living them myself. It’s been a much more personal journey since then.

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

Oh there is a list of people who are constantly impressing me with their ability to craft a world or pivot their business. Amelia Faulkner, Cecil Wilde, and E. Davis off the top of my head. My focus lately has been developing stories that appeal to a mainstream audience to attract a more stable income stream. I’m learning immense things from these established authors and I can’t wait to see how my readership grows.

What four things could you never do without?

My phone: you might be surprised how much business I manage on a daily basis through my smartphone. Twitter, email, google hangouts–I’m constantly on my phone communicating with editors, readers, coworkers and more. I have all of my work saved in the cloud, so phone access is possible on any file or book I could ever need to reference. A day without my phone puts me far behind!

The chromebook: A few years ago my life situation was a lot different than it is now. I had a day job with a decent commute and spent much of my time on the road outside of work, too. I needed a laptop that could go everywhere with me. I’ve written books on my phone, but that is a tough process I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. The chromebook was the solution I decided on. With all my work in google’s cloud I could access it anywhere I could find wifi (hello Starbucks and Panera) but I could also sit in the car and write on a draft on a full keyboard.

The chromebook is several years old now but still as zippy as ever. It’s my primary computer and sitting down to write anywhere and everywhere is easy. And it was only 200$ 😉

Internet: While I could survive for a long time without the internet, ultimately my entire business requires it to function. I contact editors and artists through email. I connect with other authors on forums. I interact with my fans on social media. I even save my stories on the cloud.

My Fiance: Is this a cliche? I’m supposed to avoid those 😉 Seriously, Fiance is critical to the success of my work. He supports me financially while I get this career underway which is both heartwarming and a heavy expectation. He knows I will be a famous author someday. That unconditional support is invaluable. He helps in smaller ways too, from traveling with me for research to reminding me to eat lunch. That second one happens more often than it should XD

Tell us a bit about your new release.

bannerLearning To Want is my latest novella and features a 100% POC cast. It’s a science fiction story set on an alien world where the ruling class uses sexual dominance and submission shows as political power. Atash is stuck at the bottom of the class system and hopes to teach Khoram how to submit. Khoram, meanwhile, is trying to avoid being killed by a mercenary clan boss: his former employer!

Ooh, sounds intriguing! Where did your inspiration for it come from?

The initial story was only five thousand words long and spawned from a call for submissions for an anthology about BDSM with a small press. I didn’t end up in the anthology, but when Nine Star accepted the story for publication, they asked me to expand it into a novella. Much of the world and action/adventure plot developed out of that expansion process and took me several months!

What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

I loved imagining the details of an alien world and bringing that vision to life. Dulia has a native species called the Frea that are well-adapted to their desert planet, but half a dozen other alien species make appearances in the story as well.

That sounds like so much fun! I love the world-building side of things. What was the hardest part about writing it?

The hardest part, but also fun, was definitely the details of Frea culture. I wanted to develop an alien race that was interesting and complex, not just window dressing for a story, but only the readers can tell me if I succeeded.

Who’s your favorite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

Oh this one is easy: Madam Zoya! (That’s right I love my antagonist). Without Zoya, this book would have turned out much differently. When I first started writing she was just a convenient backstory name, but as the story evolved and grew her role expanded as well and became a critical driving force for not one, but both protagonists.

Hehe, I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves my villains! Why should we run out and buy it right now?

You should run out and buy it right now because there’s a bonus sexy scene in my newsletter for readers to enjoy and you’re going to want to know all the details!

 

Check out the book details 🙂

coverBlurb

Khoram is an enforcer, a bodyguard, but his boss has just betrayed him. Now he’s stranded on a desert planet he’s never heard of, chained to the only other human around.

Atash grew up in the cracks of Dulia’s complex social structure, where dominance and submission are a man’s worth. He’s struggled for years on a lower caste but Khoram could be his ticket to a better life if they can find common ground.

Atash wants to teach Khoram the art of submitting by choice and maybe make a name for himself along the way. Khoram, however, isn’t here to play Atash’s political games. He’s going to escape, if his former employer doesn’t see him killed first.

And you can get your hands on a copy here:

Amazon

Ninestar Press

Take care x