Jump, Jive, & Wail with Kathryn R. Biel

I am so excited to be a part of the release day blitz for my friend and fellow author, Kathryn Biel. She has written a fabulous book with a fantastic cover, and it is my humble opinion that you should READ THIS BOOK! Let me give you a little info, just to solidify your decision…

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00070] Title: Jump, Jive, and Wail

Author: Kathryn R. Biel

Release Date: January 29, 2015

Publisher: Kathryn R. Biel

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Pages: 249

 

 

What’s it about?

A rebel on the run…

Kaitlin Reynolds is used to fearlessly flying off mountains. But nearly two years after a devastating injury has ended her ski jumping career, Kaitlin is still struggling to put one foot in front of the other and find her new life. A chance meeting with a handsome stranger begins to put life into perspective. Dashing figure skater, Declan McLoughlin has just returned from the Olympics amid a swirl of publicity and fan fare. Just as Kaitlin begins to have hope again, her charming savior turns out to represent everything she has lost. If Kaitlin can just let go of the past and take a leap of faith, will she find herself soaring into Declan’s arms?

Add to your Goodreads TBR: Jump, Jive, and Wail

OR pick it up today at Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Want to get to know Kathryn?

KRBiel-PhotoTelling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I’m Still Here (2014), and the short story, Fly Robin Fly (Part of Cupid on the Loose: A Valentine’s Anthology 2015).

Social Networking Links

Website: http://kathrynbiel.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GRKRBiel

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KRBiel

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kathrynrbiel/

Congratulations on the new release, Kathryn!

Mountain Gorillas, Armed Rebels, Love, and a Character Interview

I am pleased to welcome one of the main characters from Kim Hotzon’s recent new release, Hands Full of Ashes, to today’s blog. Olivia Daniels has a great many obstacles to overcome in this action-packed, heart-wrenching drama. Before we get into Olivia’s interview, here’s what the book is about:

Olivia promises to fulfill her dying husband’s wish – to scatter his ashes around the world. After journeying to Africa, Olivia plans to follow through on this promise while working as a volunteer at an orphanage.

On a weekend trip to see the famed mountain gorillas, Olivia attempts an escape from an ambush by armed rebels. During her recovery, she falls in love with the man who saved her.

As her new love blossoms, Olivia is unaware that the director of the orphanage has fallen in love with her. His attempt to find her coincides with an event that will change Olivia’s world forever.

This interview, like the book, has some powerful messages. Let’s get to it. Hello, Olivia. Thank you for joining us today. It looks like your author has put you into some incredibly intriguing (and dangerous!) situations. In fact, it doesn’t sound like there is a dull moment in the entire book. Tell us, what do you think readers will like best about you, in this book?

Olivia: They will be happy to know that although I have suffered in life, I persevered. I was unwilling to give up or give in, even in the toughest moments.

Tami’s Thoughts: Is there anything readers may not appreciate about your character?

Olivia: They may not understand why I left Roger and why I didn’t tell him my secret.

TT: Roger? Is he your significant other? Are you married?

Olivia: I am now happily married. Hint: he has a heart of gold.

TT: Okay, let’s have a little naughty fun. Favorite place to seduce your partner?

Olivia: Outdoors. Africa has the biggest sky and it is there that it is the most beautiful and memorable.

TT: What do you wish Roger understood about you?

Olivia: My continued need for independence – my choices and decisions affect our future as well.

TT: If you could rewrite one scene in the book, what would it be? How would you rewrite?

Olivia: I would save my friend. Or I would handle things differently with Roger.

TT: Has your author ever put you into an embarrassing situation? How did you handle it?

Olivia: I was trying to be so helpful with the children at the orphanage but it turned out they knew more about survival than I did. The memory of the water pump stands out. I wanted the children to view me as their saviour, but in the end I learned that we saved each other.

TT: Is there anything specific in this book of which you are particularly proud?

Olivia: My survival, my marriage, and my child.

TT: Would you like to add anything else?

Olivia: I hope someday that readers will find the courage to make their own journeys and find the love they deserve. The sky is the limit.

~~~

Sound like a fascinating story? Hands Full of Ashes is a new release, and can be purchased through Amazon.

Pick up your copy today and don’t forget to let Kim know what you think of the book by leaving a review when you’re done reading!

Want to know more about the author? Connect with Kim Hotzon:

Kim Hotzon_Author Pic

Website: http://www.kimhotzon.com/        

Facebook:      http://www.facebook.com/HandsFullofAshes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimHotzon

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.com/kimhotzon/hands-full-of-ashes/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6491250.Kim_Hotzon

LinkedIn: Kim Hotzon | LinkedIn

Thank you for joining us today!

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Undercover Heat – Character Background – Release Day

It’s release day for Undercover Heat, the second in my Tough Love series. This series focuses on men and women in “tough” careers who sometimes need a little help finding (and believing in) happily ever after.

Undercover Heat_CoverIn Undercover Heat, two FBI agents are assigned to an undercover assignment, posing as husband and wife. Going in, neither has any expectations aside from solving the case. It doesn’t take long for those expectations to turn carnal, and soon they are fighting an ever-increasing attraction, in order to close their case.

In honor of the release of this steamy read, I got to sit down with a fellow reader and talk about the two main characters in this book, Kyra Sanders and Quinn Daniels. Below is the interview, which gives you a little history on Quinn and Kyra’s personalities.

Reader: Thank you, Tami, for visiting. And congratulations on the new release!

Me: Thank you! I’m super excited. I fell in love with Quinn and Kyra as I wrote their story, and I think I fell even more in love after my editor got ahold of them. There are two very powerful personalities in this book, which makes for good writing and (hopefully) even better reading.

Reader: Two powerful personalities, I like that. Okay, tell us about Quinn first.

Me: Besides the fact he’s super sexy (duh!), he’s a little bit of an anti-hero. Quinn’s parents had him young – straight out of high school, actually. When his mother realized she was pregnant, his father did the right thing and married her. Except it wasn’t really the right thing. Lawrence Daniels, you’ll learn in the book, is not exactly the best husband or father figure. In fact, he’s a career criminal who likes to beat up on his wife and verbally abuse his son every chance he gets.

Growing up in that environment, Quinn could have gone either way – follow in dear ole’ dad’s footsteps or rebel against everything he ever stood for. Lucky for us, he opted for choice number two. He worked his ass off and was accepted into the FBI. He’s one of their strongest agents, mostly because he views the world in black and white, or good and bad. There is no gray area for Quinn Daniels. If you break the law, you should be punished, period.

He has a lot of internal angst, though, as a result of his upbringing. He doesn’t have many friends, he avoids relationships at almost all costs, and when he isn’t on the job, he tends to hit the bottle pretty hard, so as to avoid dealing with his demons. Oh, and he volunteers weekly at a church located in his old neighborhood, because the priest there helped him out a lot when he was a kid. But he doesn’t tell anyone he does it, and he gets pretty ticked off when Kyra finds out.

Reader: Doesn’t sound like he’s exactly primed to find love.

Me (laughs): Not really. But it usually happens when you’re least expecting it, right?

Reader: True, true. All right, tell us about Kyra. What makes her special enough to butt heads with Quinn?

Me: Kyra comes from an unpolluted background. Her parents have been married – happily – for thirty-five years. They both have successful careers outside the home, and they have always encouraged Kyra to follow her dreams. A fascination with Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys (yeah, I know they were before her time, but they’re classics!) led to a love of Julie Garwood’s Buchanan-Renard series, which ultimately led Kyra down the path to FBI field agent.

Kyra was lucky enough to be assigned to the regional office in her hometown, Dallas. She threw herself into her work with gusto, and was eventually assigned to a huge Ponzi scheme case that could have been the pinnacle of her career. Meanwhile, she had struck up a relationship with a fellow agent, even though her director frowned upon interoffice affairs. But Kyra thought the relationship was serious, that they would eventually get married and have babies and live happily ever after – like her parents. Except Keith, her boyfriend at the time, cheated on her. To make it worse, he cheated with the perp Kyra was trying to nab. And his cheating ultimately allowed the perp to get away.

Eventually, Kyra gets reassigned to the Detroit office – where Quinn works – because she refuses to give up closing that particular case. In fact, it’s that case that leads she and Quinn to end up working undercover as husband and wife. Except by this point, Kyra has lost all faith in happily ever after, and Quinn, of course, never believed in it at all. So you can imagine the resistance when they start feeling an attraction to one another.

Reader: These two sound like an unlikely couple. And yet, hope springs eternal, right?

Me: My goal in all of my books is to figure out a way for the hero and heroine to find their happily ever after. With everything I put them through, they deserve it.

Reader: One more question, before I let you go to celebrate your release day. What’s your favorite scene in the book?

Me (gnawing on lower lip): What an impossibly hard question. My mind instantly hops to the final scene in the book, but that’s because I’m a sucker for happily ever after, and I adore Quinn and Kyra’s HEA. But I’d rather readers read the book before we discuss the ending. So let’s see…. This is really hard. Okay, the one I keep coming back to is when Quinn finds out Kyra has been hiding something about the case, and he confronts her, and she gets angry – at herself and him. She storms out of the room and heads down to the basement, where they’ve set up a home gym of sorts. The scene that follows was so fun to write… and so steamy to read. Just thinking about it now makes me want to fan myself. When Kyra and Quinn finally succumb, they certainly do it in style.

Reader: Wow. I know I’m curious! If you are too, I’d better give you a few buy links:

Crimson Romance: http://www.crimsonromance.com/contemporary-romance-novels/undercover-heat/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Heat-Tough-Love-Tami-ebook/dp/B00R6TPT90

Google eBooks: https://books.google.com/books?id=smHhBQAAQBAJ&pg=PT1&lpg=PT1&dq=buy+undercover+heat+by+tami+lund&source=bl&ots=AjMsly9rqR&sig=cathISxD41Pj-F2DMd8DkB9SHCs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-LC5VNuFENP8yQTJkoCQDQ&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBw

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/undercover-heat-tami-lund/1120945425?ean=9781440588914

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/undercover-heat-1

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-undercoverheat-1711668-152.html

Oh yeah, and there’s a Rafflecopter giveaway! Three prizes:

* The entire collection of The Resort series (5 e-books)

* $20 gift card to Amazon

* Candy Crush e-book

Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c48fa52711/?

Thank you, dear readers, for stopping by today. If you have any questions, ask in the comments below, and I’ll give you an answer as quickly as I can. And don’t forget to charge that e-reader, so you can start Undercover Heat — today! 

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Tease Me with some Undercover Heat

It’s excerpt time! Since Undercover Heat releases one week from today, I thought you might like a little tease. Give you a sample of what you’ll be unable to put down next week. In the below scene, Kyra and Quinn have just moved into the house they will be sharing as part of an undercover FBI operation. They are pretending to be husband and wife in an effort to bring down a woman who has been running Ponzi schemes for years. The two agents aren’t particularly excited about sharing a house and a case, as you can see from the below interaction.

Enjoy, and remember, Undercover Heat releases on January 19th! You can add it to your Goodreads TBR here, or you can pre-order it here.

Undercover Heat_Cover

“Oh look, there’s our neighbor. Wave, honey.” He plastered a fake smile on his face and wrapped one arm around her shoulders as he waved with his other hand.

A woman stood on the deck in the yard directly behind them, holding a glass of red wine in one hand. She had bleached blond hair styled into a sort of bouffant and wore a red suit with a short, tightly fitted skirt and red stiletto heels. She waved back but made no move to walk across the yard to greet them.

“That the perp who’s been stealing hard-earned dollars from Dallas’s upper echelon? The queen of Ponzi schemes?”

“Yes. And from Detroit’s elite now, it would seem,” Kyra said. She was distracted by the feel of his arm around her shoulders; she didn’t trust Quinn not to hit on her again. “Why are you hugging me?”

“We’re married. Newlyweds. Don’t newlyweds like to hug each other?”

“I suppose,” she grumbled. “Listen, we need to establish some ground rules.”

“Ground rules?”

“Yes. Between us.”

“We need to establish ground rules?”

Was he making fun of her? She wasn’t sure, but she persisted anyway.

“This case, these living arrangements, it’s just the job. Do you understand what I mean?”

Quinn twisted his head and cocked one dark eyebrow. “Aren’t you worried our neighbor can hear you?”

“No. She’s, like, fifty yards away. I’m serious, Quinn. Do you understand what I mean?”

“I’m not sure what you mean specifically, but if you are trying to explain that this is just a case and we are going to be playing house for hopefully a very short period of time, I’m pretty sure I get it.”

“Good. I’m glad we’re on the same page. After Friday night, I admit I was a little worried.” She laughed nervously.

“What happened Friday night?”

“You don’t remember?”

He shrugged. “Saturday morning, I woke up with a woman in my bed and I don’t even remember how she got there.”

Great. He took my advice. For some reason, it irritated her.

“Okay, forget it, then.”

“Not a problem,” Quinn responded, and then he said, “Let’s see if we can get her to come over and say hi.” Before she could ask how he intended to do that, Quinn used the arm around her shoulder to pull her close. He twisted his body so they were suddenly face to face, and then with a lazy, teasing grin, he dipped his head, closed his eyes, and kissed her.

Kyra was so shocked at his behavior, she immediately put her hands against his shoulders and tried to shove him away.

“This isn’t very newlywed-ish of you, baby,” he mumbled against her lips.

She twisted her head to the side. “Stop it,” she said, her voice coming out almost like a hiss.

He stopped trying to kiss her, but he did not release her from his grip. “I’m not much of an expert on the subject, but I’m pretty sure newlyweds like to kiss.”

“They do, but that doesn’t mean you and I have to do it.”

“Aren’t we newlyweds?”

“We’re pretending, you asshole.”

“She’s coming.”

“What?” Kyra gave a small yelp and twisted in Quinn’s arms to watch the neighbor—her case—pick her way across the lawn in $200 heels.

“She’s coming over here because we were kissing?” she said in disbelief.

“Curiosity, I’m sure. Maybe she’s into threesomes.”

Kyra punched his arm.

“Ow,” he complained as he rubbed the offending spot. “Shit, that hurt.”

“Good.”

~~~

Want more? You can get it on January 19th! Not too much longer to wait… I promise – it will be worth it!

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Hey – if you’re already madly in love with my books, consider joining my Street Team. They’re called Tami’s Tarts, and it’s a super cool group of readers/friends. Here’s the signup form.

** Cover Reveal **Undercover Heat **

The Tough Love Series follows the lives of men and women in tough jobs who deserve to find their happily ever after, but often need a little help getting there. The first book in the series is Naked Truth, which was released in June.

 

Naked Truthsmall

 

Jack, from Naked Truth, is an FBI agent, a playboy, a man who is happy tasting the flavor of the month and not staying for breakfast. He’s perfectly content with his life and has no interest in finding his happily ever after. So when he is attracted to Kennedy at his partner’s wedding, he naturally takes the opportunity to seduce her. Now it’s time to focus on the next good-looking woman who comes along, right?

 

Ah, you don’t always get what you expect.

 

Kennedy was burned by her ex-husband—badly. She told everyone he cheated on her, because the truth—that he stole all of her money before disappearing out of her life—is far more embarrassing. For the last three years she’s struggled to pay off her debt, ignoring her libido and refusing to consider allowing another man to get close.

 

A one-night stand with Jack is the perfect way to break her sexual fast—until she discovers that he’s pouring her morning coffee and frying bacon.

 

While Jack goes undercover at a male strip club, the two begin an affair that distracts him from his job and puts their hearts—and Kennedy’s life—in danger. Now there’s only one way Jack can stop this killer, and it involves making that declaration they both swore they didn’t want.

 

On January 19, Crimson Romance will release the second book in this series, Undercover Heat. A year ago, agent Kyra Sanders almost closed the case of her career—almost, but not quite. Her boyfriend and colleague ended up cheating on her with the perp she was chasing, blowing the case and ruining Kyra’s belief in happily ever after. When she’s given a second chance to catch this crook, she’s determined not to let anything interfere.

 

Quinn Daniels is an FBI agent with a hell of a skeleton in his closet: his father was a career criminal. Locked up in federal prison, he still manages to torment Quinn, never letting him forget that he failed as a son and a human being. Hard-drinking, hard-talking Quinn vows to stay on the straight and narrow.

 

But when Kyra and Quinn are assigned to go undercover as a married couple, trouble—and desire—flares. Opposites may attract, but can they keep the heat between them undercover long enough to close their case?

 

Sound interesting? Check out the cover!

 

Undercover Heat_Cover

And while you’re impatiently waiting for Undercover Heat to be released, why not pick up a copy of Naked Truth, to tide you over?

 

Buy link: http://www.crimsonromance.com/contemporary-romance-novels/naked-truth/

 

And don’t forget to add Undercover Heat to your TBR list on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23698442-undercover-heat

 

Meanwhile, want to win an ARC of Undercover Heat, so you can read it before everyone else? Comment below and let me know what you think of the cover. I’ll randomly pick a winner on January 10th!

 

And last but not least, if you’re reading this post because you adore my books and cannot wait for the next release, consider joining my street team, affectionately called Tami’s Tarts. This group of wonderful folk always get the scoop before everyone else. Sign up here.

 

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they’ve overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

 

If you enjoyed one of Tami’s books, please let other readers know by leaving a review on the site from which you bought it, or on Goodreads. Otherwise, how will they know which book to read next?

 

 

 

 

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Marisa Dillon’s Favorite Day of the Year: January First

Instead of listing a bunch of resolutions I won’t keep, I thought I’d feature an author on my blog today. It’s the perfect way to ring in the new year, I think. Why? Because I love meeting new authors and falling in love with their books, and since I’m a reader as well as a writer, I suspect I’m not alone in that feeling. So today you get to meet a new (to me) author! Hopefully, you’ll add her book to your TBR, read it, fall in love, and eagerly look forward to her next release. Enjoy!

*

Happy New Year! Thank you, Tami, for inviting to be a guest on your blog today. January 1st is one of my favorite days of the year. I think of it as a chance to reboot my life. When I’m not writing, I work in sales and marketing, where I’m used to setting and attending goals. Instead of making a lot of resolutions on what to change on New Year’s Day, I’d rather set goals and dream big. And I encourage visitors today, who are either authors or would-be authors, to join me.

I like this idea…

Happy New Year 365

Yes, if you think about setting the goal to write a book in 2015, now is a perfect time to start. Don’t worry about word count, an outline, or character development sheets. Like Nike’s iconic slogan, “Just do it.”

That’s what I did when I set about writing my first manuscript. It started out as an on-line class, and after a year of working on the first draft, I had done something most people only talk about. A first draft.

Marisa_Dillon_author pic

After a contract, and time under a talented editor at Soul Mate Publishing, The Lady of the Garter, my debut novel, was just released on Amazon.

The story is set in 1486, at the end of War of the Roses, when a new king units the Lancastrians and Yorkist to form the legendary House of Tudor. The book opens in a knight’s jousting pavilion in the lower bailey of Warrick Castle. My goal was to write a page turner, a romantic adventure, and fortunately, my reviewers agree.

 

Here’s the overview:

When Henry VII takes the throne, not all are loyal to the new king. Garter knight, Sir James, is charged with bringing dissenters to justice. Determined to fulfill his vows, he’s unprepared for Lady Elena, a girl from his past.

Lady Elena defies her family and disguises herself as a squire to reunite with the man she’s always loved. She might be able to wield a sword, but she still possesses a woman’s heart.

Thrust into a world of danger and family rivalry, James and Elena face the ultimate test.

Can James avenge his father’s death and find passion, or will his Garter oaths hold him to a life of service without love?

 

A sneak peek…

A group of boys, full of more than mischief, nearly knocked her off her perch before she found her knight on the field.

Her breath caught when she eyed the too familiar golden mane of hair. It whipped wildly in the wind. Sitting atop his warhorse in full armor, he did not disappoint. He was everything she’d imagined and remembered. He radiated courage, strength, nobility, and pride. She pitied his opponent.

Close enough to catch his attention with a shout, the temptation passed quickly. Instead, she would admire his handsome features. With a square jaw, a narrow straight nose, and a wicked smile, he represented everything she’d always been attracted to in a man. He was exquisitely made. She’d seen tapestries of the Greek Gods and even they could not compare. Oh yes, and those steel-blue eyes, the same color of the three lions emblazoned on his shield. His black destrier wore matching marks on its ornamented trapper and pawed the ground impatiently, as ready for action as his esteemed rider.

William startled her when he grabbed her by the waist and attempted to pull her off the fence. She resisted, slapping at his hands. No, she didn’t want to take her eyes off her knight. Not yet. Never. She’d waited too long for this moment.

“You there, Squire,” a noble shouted to William above the fray, “who are the knights that take up their arms on the tournament field?”

William let go.

“God’s teeth, didn’t you check the lists?” William answered. “Tis Sir James and Sir Hugh, both Garter knight champions. With King Henry in attendance, will make for a fine competition.”

“No. I just arrived at Warwick Castle from the north,” the man explained. “I ask not about these knights now,” he said, pointing toward the jousting area. “Who was the champion just leaving the field? The victor with the bloodied lance?”

“Sir Nicholas, the king’s cousin,” William answered, then leaned against the railing behind him. “What is the importance?”

“The man’s brutal style of fighting. I thought this tourney was in honor of the king’s marriage. Why the excessive violence?”

Elena could have answered. Her father had warned her about Sir Nicholas Luttrell. Although relatively unknown in Warwickshire, his sordid family history wasn’t. The man lived beyond the law. And now that he was part of the new House of Tudor, uniting the Yorkists and Lancastrians, he made his own decrees. Yet, this newly appointed Earl of Dunster, still lived in obscurity. No one outside the royal family had seen him in years, until today. And even then, he’d been helmeted while on the field.

A trumpet blast interrupted Elena’s thoughts. It also silenced the crowd. Everyone watched as the next competitors prepared to enter the field.

Elena eyed her brother’s friend, Jacob, the third squire who was assigned to James. He would manage the armor and was ready with the lances. She wouldn’t be needed until later, affording her time to watch the match from the sidelines.

She laughed nervously as James struggled to tame his wind-blown mane before covering it with his helmet. Now fully dressed, he took the lance from Jacob. With all the ceremonial decorum completed, the knights’ restless mounts were released.

Elena squeezed her eyes shut, afraid of what was to come. But the sounds of snapping lances and snorting warhorses forced them open again. Damn her curiosity.

2015 Epic Adventures

Adventure is easy from the safety of your couch, when you’re reading a great book, but don’t think it’s just for the fictional characters. Use the inspiration from the books you read to get outside your comfort zone. And let my character, Elena, The Lady of the Garter, be your muse.

Where to find it…

The Lady of the Garter_FINAL Extra

The Lady of the Garter

http://www.amazon.com/The-Lady-Garter-Marisa-Dillon-ebook/dp/B00QP2Q2P4

Where to find Marisa…

http://marisadillon.com

Facebook.com/pages/Marisa-Dillon

Twitter.com/marisadillon

Happy New Year Blank Book

 

Defining #shifters

Hey, so my latest book came out today. If you want to check it out, here’s the link to Amazon and Goodreads. And yes, I’m excited. It’s called Dawning of Light, and it’s the second in the Lightbearer series, following Into the Light, which came out in July. I’m having a party tonight over on Facebook, if you want to stop by to say hi.

The series is based around a group of magical beings called Lightbearers, and the shifters who hate to love them.

Into the Light dawningoflight_Cover

Here’s a question: why shifters? If I decided to create an entirely new magical being, why did I throw shifters into the mix? The answer is simple: shifters are one of my favorite genres to read. So not coincidentally, I also happen to enjoy writing about them. They are sexy, strong, powerful, hot, did I mention sexy? They can be obsessive and overprotective, but usually those potential character flaws tend to ultimately be good for whomever they are obsessing over or protecting. In my reasonably extensive research, I have learned a few things about these seductive alpha beings.

I’ve learned that they all have one thing in common. All shape shifters have the ability to change from human form into…something else. And that, as far as I have been able to determine, is the single aspect that defines every single shifter in every book I’ve ever read or written. Beyond that, well, every author interprets them a little differently. Which is the way it should be, right? We’re talking magic, and magic is defined by the imagination of the person writing it.

Some shifters can only change into the form of one animal. These are typically referred to as were-animals (werewolves, were-bearers, were- you get the picture). Others are able to shift into pretty much any animal, or, as I like to explain in my books, the form of any warm-blooded being. The shifters in the Lightbearer Series can even shift into the form of birds, if they are so inclined. This comes in handy when one wants to escape rapidly and he’s on the second floor or at the top of a cliff (both situations occur in the first book in the Lightbearer series).

Many shifters’ clothing cannot shift with them. The clothing is either shed before the shift or, if the shift must occur with little notice, the clothing is torn to shreds when the body changes and alters, and the shifter must figure out another means of covering his naughty bits when he returns to human form.

The shifters in my books can shift while wearing clothing, and when they return to human form, their clothing returns to their body exactly as it was before the shift. I admit, I made this decision out of convenience. I considering the no-clothing route because, let’s be honest, that makes more sense, from a non-magical standpoint. But I was having a difficult time writing the whole, “Hold on, I have to strip and hide my clothing for later” aspect into the various scenes and plots and sub-plots of the series. So I decided that if magic can make a person change from human to animal, then magic can make that person’s clothes reappear when they return to human form.

Some shifters have the ability to speak to each other telepathically. Some are able to harness other forms of magic, too. Some have glowing eyes. In my Lightbearer Series, the shifters’ eyes glow when they are feeling strong emotions. Anger, frustration, sadness, passion. Even if the shifter is trying to act stoic and passive, the object of his desire, if she is smart enough, can figure out pretty easily that he feels something, if his eyes are glowing. It’s practically a declaration of love.

Or lust.

Some shifters eat only red meat. Actually, the desire to eat red meat might possibly qualify as the second thing all shifters have in common, now that I think about it. Or maybe not. A vegetarian shifter could make for an intriguing storyline.

Many shifters have obsessive, jealous personalities. Like a dog, protecting his bone. Or his house. Or his mate. My shifters have this trait. In fact, it plays heavily into the next couple of books in the series.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few common traits. What other traits do you notice in your favorite books about shifters or weres? Which traits are your favorite?

And if you’re a fan, but haven’t read the Lightbearer Series, I encourage you to give it a try. I believe you won’t be disappointed!

Lightbearers #1 –Into the Light on Amazon and Goodreads (on sale 50% off right now!)

Lightbearers #2 – Dawning of Light on Amazon and Goodreads

Oh yeah, and happy release day to Cecilia and Finn from Dawning of Light! Don’t forget, the party is here.

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Mark Virtue from Tyburn Gets Sassy with the Interviewer

Authors are many things, or maybe it is that we wear many hats. Whatever the appropriate verbiage, this author loves to blog. I especially love to feature other authors on my blog, because I am also a reader, and I personally love to fall in love with new books. I am also one of those readers who believes in the recommendations of her friends. If someone I respect (or at least shares my same reading interests) suggests a book or a new author, I will usually rush right over to Goodreads to add them to my To Be Read List.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), that list seems to be forever growing. Sometimes it’s hard to choose which book to read next. Well, after reading this interview, I can tell you without a doubt that I know which book is next on my TBR list. Mark Virtue is sassy, flirty, and utterly charming. I want more. I cannot wait to read this book. Keep reading this post. I’m sure, by the end, you’ll agree.

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The Rose and Crown. Southwark 1671

I am sitting in the back corner of the Rose and Crown staring into the blackest cup of coffee I have ever seen. It smells like burnt popcorn and it’s so thick you could stand a spoon in it. Starbucks, this is not. Feeling adventurous, I take a cautious sip.

This coffee is more than Turkish; it tastes like mud, ashes, soot, and a little bit like burnt sugar. Really burnt. So burnt that it has become one with the cast-iron pot that burned it. If I drink the whole cup, I will be able to see through time.

I look up when I hear the laughter start.

The laughter is coming from a man standing just beyond my table. From the dimple in his scruffy cheek, I can tell that he’s trying not to laugh harder. He sets two mugs of beer on the table and takes the stool opposite.

I accept one gratefully. “How did you know?”

“Good guess,” he replies with a half-smile that can only be described as disarming.

This has to be Mark. I fight the urge to fix my hair.

Nick Virtue’s older brother is the Master carpenter in these parts. Going on his physique alone, I could have guessed. Well, either that, or he bench-presses baby elephants. For all the women staring at him right now, he’s not exactly handsome. His skin’s a little darker, a bit weathered for a man his age. His dark blonde hair needs a wash, and he hasn’t shaved in a good week. His nose has been broken a few times, but the flattened bridge is strangely charming. He has a look of mischief about him that is intriguing, to say the least.

Before he even finishes his beer, a stunning, curvy blonde sets a second one in front of him and shoots me an icy glare before returning to the bar.

Mark: That’s Bel. She’s one of the Henshawe sisters. (He lowers his voice and wiggles the fingers on his right hand) There are five of them.

Jess: You’re very popular with women. What’s your secret?

Mark: Would you like me to show you?

Jess: (chokes on beer, changes subject) Name your favorite place to seduce someone.

Mark: Anywhere there’s a bed. Or chair. Or floor. Or wall. Once I did it in a cockpit. Not just a clever name, hey? (laughs) Filthy, that was.

Jess: Describe your ideal woman.

Mark: What’s ideal got to do with it? I’m not one to choose favorites. All woman are lovely in different ways, and I like to show my appreciation as often and inventively as possible.

Jess: There are some people who think you fancy Sally. What do you have to say about that?

Mark: Sally is a treat. When Nick told me he fancied a… er, well, an actress, I pictured someone like Nell Gwyn: a shrill-voiced little orange seller with her tits out. Sally was completely unexpected. Gorgeous, yeah, but with this great air of tragedy about her. She’s had a rough past, but she doesn’t talk about that. She wants to help everybody, and has this need to feed people. She can’t help it. I’m not complaining, mind, but she needs to laugh more. So does Nick. They’re perfect for each other, but neither one of them’s figured it out yet. See? Perfect for each other. Kind to a fault, but very stupid.

Jess: No chance of you stealing her away, then?

Mark: And break my brother’s heart? Never. Nick’s a good sort, and he’s never really a had a sweetheart or anything. He takes everything so seriously. At any rate, me and Sally understand each other. One whore always recognizes another…

Jess: What do you mean by that?

Mark: (shrugs) I think you know.

Jess: I hear you’ve been looking for an actress of your own. What’s the story there?

Mark: Not just any actress. My actress. I met her down at the Three Compasses awhile back and I’ve been down to Drury Lane every night this week trying to find her again. Strange thing is, nobody knows her. Do you know where she is?

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tyburn (2)

So what’s this Tyburn book about, anyway? 

Sally Green is about to die.

She sees Death in the streets. She can taste it in her gin. She can feel it in the very walls of the ramshackle brothel where she is kept to satisfy the perversions of the wealthy. She had come to London as a runaway in search of her Cavalier father. Instead, she found Wrath, a sadistic nobleman determined to use her to fulfill a sinister ambition. As the last of her friends are murdered one by one, survival hinges on escape.

Nick Virtue is a tutor with a secret. By night he operates as a highwayman, relieving nobles of their riches to further his brother’s criminal enterprise. It’s a difficult balance at the best of times, and any day that doesn’t end in a noose is a good one. Saving Sally means risking his reputation, and may end up costing him his life.

As a brutal attack throws them together, Sally finds she has been given a second chance. She is torn between the tutor and the highwayman, but she knows she can have neither. Love is an unwanted complication while Wrath haunts the streets. Nick holds the key to Wrath’s identity, and Sally will risk everything to bring him to justice.

Unless the gallows take her first.

Want it? As of December 8th, you can buy it here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tyburn-Southwark-Saga-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00PQV6H9Q/ref=asap_B00PVDV9EW_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417043784&sr=1-1

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com

Who is this author anyway?

Jessica Cale_Author Pic

Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

Want to Stalk Jessica?

Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JessicaCaleWrites

Tumblr: http://authorjessicacale.tumblr.com/

Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale

That’s all folks. Tyburn is available for sale as of December 8th. Pick up your copy today! I know I will….

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Unwrapping Love… For Your Reading Pleasure

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It’s release day. Unwrapping Love, an anthology of 21 holiday-themed short stories, is officially available for purchase, via ebook or legit paperback. Your choice. If you were one of the lucky ones who pre-ordered it, the book is on your kindle right now, waiting for you to power up and get down to the business of reading. If you haven’t purchased it yet, you can do so here. If you want to join the Release Day Party, you can do so here. Free stuff, author takeover, and hot guy pics galore.

Not enough incentive? Okay, let me tell you about my contribution to this amazing anthology. It’s called The Perfect Christmas. Why that title? Well, initially, it’s a tongue-in-cheek title. Anna, the heroine, has, generally speaking, a pretty shitty life. Nothing goes right for her, largely because her older sister is so damn perfect, and Anna just can’t compete. So she learned long ago not to bother.

The Perfect Christmas begins just a few day before Christmas, with Anna’s sister, Jessica, more or less bullying her into babysitting, so that she and her husband can go out – separately, of course. Because that’s what they do.

Anna doesn’t really mind, though, because she utterly adores her two year old niece, and bonus when her brother-in-law’s plans get cancelled, and he ends up staying home and hanging with her and Cora. Oh, did I mention that Anna has a big fat crush on her brother-in-law?

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Once Cora is asleep, things happen, and then more things happen, and… well, I’ll let you read it for yourself.

What you can’t read anywhere else is what happened last Christmas. That particular Christmas is alluded to in the beginning of The Perfect Christmas, so I thought, instead of leaving it to your imagination, I’d actually let you know what happened… Last Christmas. So here it is, the prelude to The Perfect Christmas, one year previous….

PerfectChristmas-A

Anna hated Christmas. Mostly because of the gift-giving and the spending-time-with-family. Which, really, pretty much summed up the holiday. She didn’t even like her family, yet she felt obligated to purchase gifts and force grimace-like smiles when they opened said gifts and pretended to like them.

Usually, she plucked something from the shelves of the pharmacy where she worked. That way, she didn’t have to actually put much effort into it, and when they returned the gifts, it was a painless process, since everyone in her store knew her family. They’d come to expect her mother, shortly after New Year’s, after the crowds thinned, gift receipt and unopened package in hand. She always exchanged it for the same thing, too: vitamins or face cream on which the packaging swore it would make one look ten years younger. Her sister, Jessica, always demanded the cash, and then would scowl at the bills, presumably insulted that Anna had spent so little on her. Her dad was the only one who didn’t make an appearance, but that’s because her mom took care of that responsibility.

Jesse and Cora were the exception. She actually put forth the effort for their gifts. Anna admitted — if only to herself — that she loved to wander the aisles of Toys R’ Us, seeking the perfect gift for her perfect niece.

And then there was Jesse. She didn’t know him well, but she liked him better than anyone else in her family. Cora had been born two years ago this coming spring, and he and Jessica had gotten married pretty much the moment they figured out Jessica was pregnant. She’d met Jesse a few days before the wedding, and they’d not said two words to each other. Instead, she and Jessica had exchanged insults, which, frankly, wasn’t different from any other day of the week.

She’d known him for two years, and she genuinely liked Jesse. if she was perfectly honest with herself, she would admit that it was more than a simple like. But Anna was used to dealing with denial, so she rarely went there, even in her own mind.

Still, she wanted to buy him a gift he would appreciate, something sincere, something that said, You are important to me.

And it was exactly that theory that made the search for his gift so damn hard. Everything was too little or too much. Too personal or not enough. Too … telling of her feelings, feelings she wasn’t even ready to admit to herself, let alone the recipient.

In the end, it was Christmas Eve and she hadn’t yet found whatever the hell she had been looking for, and in an act of utter frustration, she’d snagged a hat from the very place she worked, the exact place she had no intention of buying a gift from. It wasn’t even in the seasonal section. Someone had obviously picked it up, walked around the store and then changed their mind. When she’d grabbed it, it had been stuffed on top of a shampoo bottle; clearly in the wrong place. Feeling desperate, Anna had lifted it off the bottle and strode to the check out register, using her discount and paying cash. She’d forgotten to ask for a gift receipt, but who really cared? She’d been working at this store for years. She’d probably die here, since they had a lousy retirement plan.

****

Jesse unwrapped the black and gray knit cap. “Cool. Thanks, Anna.” He pulled the cap out of the bag, tugged off the tag and stuffed it onto his head. “You bought me a black hat to go with my brown jacket.”

Shit. She hadn’t even thought of that. The color scheme hadn’t even occurred to her. Clearly, she was nothing like her sister. “Sorry,” she mumbled, feeling unaccountably embarrassed. “I can exchange it.”

While her sister and mother made degrading comments about her taste in head attire, Jesse smiled so brightly he could have lit the room without the help of the tree and lamp, and said, “No, it’s fine. Really. I love it.”

Was she imagining the inflection on the word love? Probably. Undoubtedly. Jesse had Jessica, and she was as perfect as it was possible for a human being to be. Anna could dream all she wanted, but the reality was, she would never be good enough for someone like her brother-in-law.

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Intrigued? The Perfect Christmas is part of the Unwrapping Love anthology. It’s available now, exclusively through Amazon. You can download, or buy the real deal, and they’ll ship you a book.

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In the meantime, if you have any questions about the anthology, or the Writing Wenches, ask in the comments below. Otherwise, happy reading!

PS – Stay tuned, because in a few weeks, probably shortly before Christmas, I’ll post the epilogue to The Perfect Christmas, here on my blog. The epilogue was actually supposed to be included in the story, but for one reason or another, my editor and I both decided to nix it. Well, not nix it entirely, just cut it from the anthology. Luckily, I saved the copy to my computer, and I’ll be able to share it with you all, right here. But first, I figure I’ll give you a chance to read the story. THEN you can head back over here to read my super-adorable epilogue.

And in the meantime, how about a contest? There’s a big prize involved. By big, I mean BIG. Check it out here. Good luck. and ’til next time … Read On!

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