Howling Good Hop – Why Write Shifters?

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Welcome to the Howling Good Hop! Be sure to enter our Rafflecopter for a chance to win one of $200 in prizes (all the way at the bottom – so keep reading!).

This is the Lightbearer stop on the Howling Good Hop. Three books in the Lightbearer Series are currently available for your reading pleasure – and Book 1 – Into the Light – is on sale for 99 cents beginning Monday, May 11!

How would you like Book 2 – FREE? Read on, check out my theories and opinions on shifters, and then in the comments, let me know: What do you love to read in a shifter book? That’s it. Give me your opinion (who knows – it could show up in a future book!), and I’ll randomly select FIVE winners on Friday, May 15. Five people will receive a FREE copy of Dawning of Light, Book 2 in the Lightbearer Series. Sound good? Read on!

Oh yeah, and there’s a bunch more free stuff. It’s a blog hop, after all. That means there are all kinds of authors, featuring all kinds of shifter books, and giving away all kinds of stuff. The participating authors are listed at the bottom of this blog, or you can skip ahead here: http://www.thesnarkology.com/howling-good-hop-2015/ 

Now – let’s talk shifters. Here’s the question: why do I write shifters? If I decided to create an entirely new magical being (Lightbearers), 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 (just ask Carley in Light Beyond the Darkness). In my reasonably extensive research, I have learned a few things about these seductive alpha beings.

I’ve learned 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 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 Into the Light).

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 struggled with 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? (Remember – there’s a free read at stake!)

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!

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Into the LightLightbearers #1 –Into the Light 99 cents on Amazon or LSBooks or All Romance – May 11-15!

Lightbearers #2 – Dawning of Light on Amazon or LSBooks or All Romancedawningoflight_Cover

Lightbearer #3 – Light Beyond the Darkness on Amazon or LSBooks or All Romance 

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Now, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter ($200 worth of prize!), and check out the other blogs on this hop, for other cool shifter books AND prizes:

Follow the Howling Good Hop!

1. Ellis Leigh 2. Heather Long Author
3. The Snarkology 4. Anna Lowe Books Blog
5. Brandy Walker Blog 6. Lynne Stevie
7. Lashell Collins 8. Author Crystal Rister
9. Michele Bardsley’s Blog 10. Renee George’s Blah, Blah Blog
11. Kristen Strassel 12. Lissa Matthews Blog
13. Elle Clouse 14. Tabitha Conall
15. Shauna Aura Knight 16. Author K.C. Stewart
17. Beth Caudill – Author Blog 18. Lisa Carlisle
19. Sarah Makela 20. Tami’s Thoughts
21. P.T. Macias  22. Kate Kent
23. Skye Jones Writes 24. Romance Author Amber Ella Monroe
25. Christy Gissendaner 26. The Besitary Parlor
27. Shawntelle Madison 28. Cara Carnes
29. Crystal Dawn Author 30. Bethany Shaw Novels
31. Andrea R. Cooper  32. TF Walsh
33. Lori King 34. Michelle Fox
35. Book Revue 36. Sedona Venez
37. evanleas bookshelf

 

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER CONTEST ($200 worth of prizes!!)

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Who’s the Bad Guy with Victoria Pinder

It’s Mad May, and today I’m featuring a book written by Victoria Pinder. I’ll let you in on a secret: I love, love, love books with a twist. Especially the kind of twist where the reader thinks someone else is the bad guy, when really… Boom! Surprise antagonist. The kind that keeps you reading well past a sane person’s bedtime. Did I mention how much I love books like that?

Borrowing the Doctor is THAT kind of book. First, check out the excerpt. Then, check out the blurb. Then click the buy link. You know you want to. I know I do.

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‘My sister Kate thinks she’s so much better than me. I’m the one Daddy trained to run the fashion empire, not her. I’m the one who found myself a rich guy to marry to ensure we stayed on top, no matter what. All Kate does is patronize me. She’s so stupid. I hate her. She lives in her little condo with her dog and avoids me. I sent her my wedding invitation though, so with luck she’ll come. I need her to get momma’s necklace. It’s in the bank. First I have to get her to the Grand Cayman which I can with this wedding. Second I’ll have to get her to the bank as the security box is in her name. Third I’ll have to get her to give me the necklace. Then I’ll have everything and she’ll have nothing.’

“Stephanie, where are you?”

“Here, my sweet love.”

Eric’s such an idiot. She smiled at him and lifted her shoulders as he came toward her. As he pressed his lips toward her, she sighed. At least he’s good in bed.

“What were you doing?”

“Writing in my diary.”

“Why?”

“Collecting wedding thoughts so I can ensure our day is perfect, my love.”

“My parents can’t come.”

“Why?”

“My sister is missing. My cousins will be there.”

“I sent our invitation to my sister. Part of me wants her to come. Part of me is scared she’ll ruin everything. Eric, please help me find someone who can babysit Kate and keep her out of my hair.”

“I will think of someone, sweetheart.”

He walked out of the room. She rolled her eyes. Eric was a means to an end. She needed his money, for now. She clutched her hands together. Kate Sparrow had to give her what she wanted. Stephanie Sparrow deserved to have it all.

 

 

 

Borrowing_the_Doctor_#3A_copyBorrowing the Doctor by Victoria Pinder

Link: http://amzn.to/1wc1u6X

What’s it about?

Party girl. Art thief. All around bad girl. It’s what all the newspapers call socialite and heiress Kate Sparrow. It’s all untrue. Kate’s been set up and she’s following the orders of the FBI to get the real criminal, her father. She’ll have to put up with her sister, the wedding fiasco, and her own fears that someone is after her, trying to stop her to get what she needs to prove her innocence.

Doctor Daniel Collins joins his brothers on a cruise to the wedding of his young cousin. His cousin begs him to keep a close watch on the bride’s sister, Kate. He’s to keep her from ruining the wedding.

Kate doesn’t trust Daniel’s help in her life, but the man’s interference is blocking a few problems. She lets him. After all, he spent a few years in the military and having a friend like Daniel is nice. But when her fears become true, someone is after her, pretending to be in a relationship with the sexy doctor has its benefits. What she hadn’t planned was opening her heart to trusting him. But if she doesn’t open up, she’s going to lose out on far more than her life, she’d lose out on love.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/VUcbTGD7UnE

 

 

Victoria’s Bio:

Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston then moved to Miami. Eventually, found that writing is her passion.

She always wrote stories to entertain herself. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, but when she sat down to see what she enjoyed doing, writing became obvious.

The Zoastra Affair, Chaperoning Paris, Borrowing the Doctor, and Electing Love, Mything the Throne and Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush will be published in 2014.

Now she is represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency.

Also she’s the Vice President for the Florida Romance Writers.

Victoria’s info, if you wanna stalk her:

Website: http://www.victoriapinder.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriapinder1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/victoriapinder

Blog: http://victoriapinder.com/?cat=6

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8120316.Victoria_Pinder

 

Another Excerpt!

Daniel slid into his seat and away from Eric, but his arms remained tense. His brothers wouldn’t like this plan. He didn’t like this plan. “I’m to babysit the spoiled rich princess and keep her away from the cops and the alcohol, this trip.”

He pressed his lips together. He expected his brothers to have an opinion, but silence greeted his ears.

All eyes went back to the door.

His collar grew warmer. Daniel glanced around to stare in the same direction. He assumed Kate Sparrow had stepped into the club.

His eyes scanned the room, and then the crowds parted. He had his first look. Time might have stopped, and he heard his own heartbeat. Brown hair with a bit of a curl, brown eyes, small frame, unusually large breasts for a woman her size, and an energy that took his breath away. He also noted that Kate’s eyes held a gleam, and Daniel’s mouth fell open. Kate Sparrow was the most beautiful woman he’d seen in a long while.

Beauty meant trouble. He turned back to his beer and refused to stare at her.

The pictures in the papers hadn’t done her justice at all. How did they turn that pretty woman into a viper with a camera? His mind raced. Did she have a Jekyll and Hyde personality that came out at night?

*

 Go ahead, pick it up today. You know you want to. And when you’re done reading it, come on back to my blog. All month, I’m featuring antagonists – those characters we love to hate!

 

 

How to Write an Evil Character with Becky Lower

It’s Mad May, ladies and gentlemen, and that means this blog is all about the antagonists. Those evil characters that are often necessary to the plot of our books. Today, I welcome Becky Lower to my blog, and she’s talking about how one comes up with the idea to use unpleasant characters, and then how one formulates the personality that makes such people so truly horrendous.

Welcome, Becky!

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When I got the idea for a novel using The Pony Express as a backdrop, I knew I wanted to have a girl posing as one of the wiry riders on the trail. But in order for her subterfuge to be believable, she had to have a really compelling reason to adopt such an elaborate cover story. The answer, of course, was her evil Uncle Jack.

I’m not used to writing mean characters. I typically write romances, about two characters who meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. At least, that’s the plan. But sometimes, my characters tell me what to do. In the case of Samantha (aka. Sam), her uncle, with whom she’d lived for two years, along with her aunt, had been abusive to her aunt, and kept leering at Samantha. When her aunt died, Samantha realized her last line of defense against Uncle Jack was gone. Time to escape.

The rest of the story involves Samantha hiding out from Uncle Jack, who is in hot pursuit. He wants her for himself before he sells her to the local bordello. I had no problem writing her fear. That was palpable. What I did struggle with was him and what had happened in his life to make him so vile. I thought of every wicked man I’d ever known and mashed them all together into Uncle Jack. There was no redeeming the man. He was nasty until the very end of the book.

While writing evil characters is not something I do every day, I like stretching my creativity, and hope I’ve created a believable character. Because, unfortunately, evil does lurk around every corner, and I may need to create another similar character in my next book.

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Buy Link:   http://amzn.to/1vZON5F

Becky Lower Author PicAuthor Bio:

Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America.  Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at beckylowerauthor@gmail.com. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com

Social Media Links:

Website: www.beckylowerauthor.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/becky.lower

Twitter: http://twitter.com@BeckyLower1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/authorbeckyl/

Blog: http://beckylowerauthor.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6159227.Becky_Lower

Amazon page: http://amzn.to/1FOy3Sd

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Be sure to check back. All month long, there will be guest authors, each featuring those characters we love to hate!

Virtue’s – er – Lady?

It’s Mad May, folks, and that means it’s all about antagonists, all month long. Today, we’re going back in time, to Restoration London, where highwaymen and harlots reigned supreme.

Okay, maybe they didn’t *technically* reign supreme, but for purposes of this blog, let’s assume. Because today, the author of this supreme series, Jessica Cale, has finagled a special interview with Meg Henshawe, a barmaid with a rather large chip on her shoulder, in the form of the heroine of book two in the Southwark Saga series, Virtue’s Lady.

In this series, the characters spend a great deal of time at The Rose & Crown, an inn run by the Henshawe family. Meg Henshawe is the eldest of the five sisters who work as barmaids there. Widely regarded as the most beautiful woman south of the river, Meg is as popular as she is volatile. As Mark Virtue’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, she is less than thrilled when Lady Jane arrives in Southwark…

I am sitting across a table from Meg Henshawe, feeling a little bit like I’m about to be eaten.

We’re at The Rose and Crown in Southwark, the inn she manages for her parents. The bar is closed for the night and her shift is over, so we have the whole space to ourselves. Meg is twenty-eight, an unmarried mother of three, and up until last week, Mark Virtue’s on-again-off-again girlfriend.

I can see why. Meg is easily the most beautiful and terrifying women I’ve ever seen up close. She’s tall and blonde with a lovely face and the kind of curves that should come with a warning. If she lived in the twenty-first century, she’d easily be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She brings to mind Kate Upton if she was part barracuda. Her presence totally dominates the small space, and she’s glaring at me.

Meg: What?

Jess: Sorry, it’s just that you’re kind of alarming to look at. You’re beautiful.

Meg: (snorts) Piss off.

Jess: Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

Meg: Haven’t got any say in it, have I? You brought me here. Ask and be damned.

Jess: Why don’t you like Jane?

Meg: Are you taking the piss? Jane? Jane?! Mincing about like she knows what it is to live in Southwark. This is my town, my inn, and Mark was mine. I’ve earned every last thing you see in here. I built my reputation, and you might not think much of it, but it’s mine. I looked after Mark for ten years and then Lady Jane Whatsit thinks she can roll out of her carriage one day and just take him from me? She has everything, and she could have any titled bloke she wants, and she’s got to go after mine? Why would I like her?

Jess: Ten years is a long time. Do you love Mark?

Meg: (deadpan) I love parts of him. What? I’ve got to shackle myself to one? Men are all alike. Mark’s better than most, and I do love him. He’s my best mate. Or was, until Jane. Now he’s lost his wits over her and I’m left to rot in this tip. Oh, I’ve got others, make no mistake, but one’s as good as the next. Only good for one thing, they are, and most of them aren’t even good for that.

Jess: What kind of man do you like?

Meg: Oh, no. I know who you are and what you’re doing. You think I’ll warm up to you and tell you all my secrets like my stupid little sister? You ought to write some sense into that one. You think I don’t know what you’re up to, but I bloody do. I’m good for more than waving my tits in blokes’ faces, whatever it is you might think. I’m a clever sort, cleverer than any one of them gives me credit for. You made me the villain of this piece, and what for? You break my nose and you think the prospect of some imaginary man is going to keep me from throwing you out of my bar? (crosses her arms) Bloody fine, I’ll play along. I like boxers. I like ‘em big and I like ‘em dark, if you must know. I am no wilting violet, me, and I want a man who can throw me around a bit, if you catch my meaning. Someone who fancies me for my brains, not just my tits, and somebody who sees that I’m only looking out for my family, and I’m not a bloody villain. Got one of those lying around, have you?

Jess: I might.

Meg: Might you? Why would you do that? You run my name through the mud in this rubbish, and then turn around and write me the perfect man? What are you going to do, give him to my sister?

Jess: Have you read Virtue’s Lady?

Meg: Can’t read much, can I?

Jess: Sorry. You might think you came across badly in this one, but I don’t think you did. You came out alright in the end. I really rather like you, Meg, and I’m not done with you yet. I’d like to properly get inside your head, and see what I can do about that perfect man.

Meg: (stares) You’re mad as a hatter.

Jess: Yes.

Meg: (smiles) I think I like you, too.

You can meet Meg Henshawe and all four of her sisters in Tyburn and Virtue’s Lady, out now!

 

virtuesladyVirtue’s Lady

Author: Jessica Cale

Genre: Historical Romance (Restoration/Enlightenment)

Publisher: Liquid Silver

Release Date: April 13th

From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.

Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.

After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

 

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/virtues-lady-p1008.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Virtues-Lady-Southwark-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00VC6B9SS

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/virtues-lady-jessica-cale/1121713113?ean=9781622102051

All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-virtue039slady-1782182-340.html

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/virtue-s-lady

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/virtues-lady/id983809003?mt=11

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25238694-virtue-s-lady

 

If you haven’t yet, you should read the first book in this series too (and it’s best to read them in order)! 

tyburn (2)Tyburn (The Southwark Saga, Book 1): Notorious harlot Sally Green fights for survival in Restoration London. When a brutal attack throws them together, Sally is torn between the tutor who saves her and the highwayman who keeps her up at night; between new love and an old need for revenge. Winner of the Southern Magic Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 2015.

Shortly after Tyburn released, we were able to grab Mark Virtue (hero from the recently released Virtue’s Lady) for an interview. You can read it here:  CLICK HERE

And then you can pick up Tyburn here:

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/tyburn-p975.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PQV6H9Q

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tyburn-jessica-cale/1120852744?ean=9781622101740

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/tyburn-4

All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tyburn-1695993-340.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tyburn/id947992086?mt=11

 

Want to get to know the author?

Jessica Cale_Author PicJessica 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.

And if you want to stalk Jessica, here you go: 

Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale

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

Tumblr: http://authorjessicacale.tumblr.com

Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/jessicacale

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

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Oh wait – there’s more! How about a (juicy) excerpt? I don’t suppose I mentioned Mark Virtue isn’t exactly… virtuous, did I? Curious? Read this tidbit, and then scroll back up to click the buy link. You know you want to.

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The girl was beautiful.

She had him pinned to the bed. He was helpless beneath her hands. Her long fingers spanned his chest, tracing the line where the muscle dipped and gave way to shoulder. A hint of a smile played on her lips, more than just a little bit wicked. Kiss-crushed and sherry red, they were the sweetest thing he’d ever tasted.

“Like this?” She shifted back onto his hip bones.

She hovered above him like a conquering angel, all of the fearsome beauty of heaven in her laughing eyes, as grey and deadly as any steel. He could see the evidence of her ferocity in the iron poker that still projected from the door behind her head, a temptation as much as a warning.

“Getting there.” He grinned.

His hands rested on the curve of her waist, his rough, tanned skin a stark contrast to her smooth flesh, luminous and pale as the moon.

“More,” she moaned, rocking against him.

The bed slammed noisily against the wall, an insistent rapping that increased in frequency, strangely unconnected to the movements of her hips.

Somewhere in the distance, the sound of a saw.

Mark became aware of the bedclothes tangled around his legs. The stench of the river replaced the scent of her skin. She flickered as she bent over him with a sly smile, her hair falling around him like a curtain of copper silk. He was moments away from a bone-shattering orgasm. Just a little bit longer. She increased her pace, her breath quickening as she neared her peak. Her lips hovered above his, close enough to kiss, but somehow out of reach.

Her hips flickered under his hands and he heard the warble of a flock of geese.

“Jane,” he gasped, reaching out to grasp her as she disappeared, and finding only bed linen beneath his hand.

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Welcome to May Madness

My name is Miguel Santiago, and I’m a Lightbearer. I’m in books 2 and 3 of the series Dawning of Light and Light Beyond the Darkness. I guess I wasn’t good enough to warrant a role in the first book, Into the Light. Whatever. Anyway, my claim to fame is that I’m the most faithful and ardent follower of the Chosen One. No one believes in him as much as I do. No one.

And now he’s dead. He’s been dead for months and I still don’t want to believe it.

Into the Light

dawningoflight_Cover LightBeyondDarkness_Cover

Now it’s May. Spring flowers and all that shit. The prelude to summer. Everybody’s all antsy, ready to spend more time outside, after the long, cold winter. Especially Lightbearers. You see, we pull our magic from the sun, and it wears out over time, so our magic needs to be constantly renewed. Why the hell the first king of the Lightbearers chose to settle in a place like western Michigan, I’ll never understand. What the hell’s wrong with the Bahamas? Or Mexico? Plenty of places to hide in Mexico, if you don’t want other beings to find you.

Like shifters. I hate those bastards. I remember during one of the first meetings I ever went to, the Chosen One told us this harrowing tale about how he was attacked by a shifter, right outside the coterie, and barely escaped alive. That’s why he hates them so much, and why he believes Lightbearers should stay inside our coterie, and we should only ever associate with our own kind.

Well, really, his hatred started when his stupid sister was born. Cecilia Druthers and her belief that everybody’s equal, everybody should be treated the same, and if our females want to defile themselves with animals like shifters, well, that’s okay too.

Bullshit.

It’s not okay. We’re Lightbearers. We have way more magic that a stupid shifter. So they can change form at will. So what? I can create a sword out of thin air. Beat that, you animal.

What pisses me off is they don’t give a shit that we have more magic. They’re still taking all our women anyway. First, the damn princess of the Lightbearers. Of all females who should be boinking a goddamned Lightbearer – she’s the one. If she has a male babe, that kid’s automatically marked as the next king. That’s just the way it is. Talk about freaking responsibility to your people.

Instead, she threw away all our customs and traditions and laws, and hooked up with a shifter. Mated with him. And then the king said it was okay. Not only that, but he freaking declared her unborn babe as the heir to the throne.

What the hell?

And then there’s Cecilia. The Chosen One’s baby sister. Her parents couldn’t handle her, so they pawned her off on the king and queen, so naturally she turned out just like her cousin, the princess. Actually, Cecilia’s worse. She was something like fifteen when she got caught sneaking out of the coterie to go hook up with some human. At least until the princess, Olivia, met that bastard shifter, Tanner Lyons, she had planned to do her duty by her people. Cecilia never cared about duty a day in her life.

And I’m mated to another one of her cousins. Carley. She’s a hot little number, I suppose, if you like ‘em bitter and cold. She’s another one that thinks my Chosen One is wrong. That it’s okay to associate with beings outside the coterie. Humans. Shifters.

That it’s okay to screw them.

Well guess what, mate? It’s not okay. And I’m gonna make sure you know it. You and your shifter lover.

Get ready. I’m comin’ for you.

###

Note from the author: I would like to humbly apologize for any insults Miguel Santiago may have spewed during this post. While it’s true that I created him, my intention was to keep him within the pages of his books. I certainly did not expect he would figure out a way to take over my blog and terrify everyone with his hatred and evil thoughts. If it helps at all, I have no intention of letting him get his way again.

I hope.

At any rate, welcome to Mad May! All month long on my blog, we’ll feature antagonists or heroes and heroines who definitely need a little redeeming before they can truly experience their happily ever after. Because that’s what it’s about, right? Everybody desires an HEA.

Okay, not everybody.

There are some people – in real life and in books – who most definitely do not deserve a happily ever after. Miguel Santiago, I think you’ll agree, is one such person.

Keep checking back. All month long, it’s nothing but antagonists or heroes and heroines who *definitely* need a little redeeming…

 

Shift Happens

Have you ever had a bad day? Like a really, really bad day?

Ellie, the heroine in Shift Happens, is having the grand pappy of bad days. For one, it’s raining. Frizzy hair? Check. For another, a gorgeous billionaire just visited her nail salon. Sounds good, right? See the aforementioned bad hair day. When said billionaire offers to buy her shop, Ellie’s day goes from bad to worse. Two million dollars sounds like a good deal, but the transaction comes to an abrupt halt when the baddies show up and riddle her shop with bullets.

Poor Ellie. Gal can’t catch a break.

Now she’s on the run with a sexy stranger, unsure when she’ll make it back to Atlanta. But there’s always the flip side. Jackson, her unexpected savior, is gorgeous and intent on making her his. His friends aren’t that bad either. Now if they can just find a way to protect Jackson’s invention and stay alive.

Shift Happens is book one in a brand new series, I Heart Shifters. Each installment will be short, hot, and funny as heck. I’m excited about this project, and I hope everyone gets a kick out of Ellie’s antics.

Thank you to Tami for having me today! I’m always pleased to visit new sites, and I hope you can come visit me soon.

 

Shift Happens 

Shift Happens (I Heart Shifters, Book 1)

Christy Gissendaner

 What’s this book about?

Ellie Reynolds runs a nail salon that caters to shifters of all varieties. The proverbial shift hits the fan when billionaire mogul Jackson Lawrence walks in the door and offers Ellie two million dollars to sell her shop. Ellie has no intention of selling out, especially to someone who plans to bulldoze her shop to the ground and replace it with a fast food joint. Their battle of wit and will is brought to a sudden halt when Jackson’s enemies appear, throwing them into a fight for their lives.

Jackson believed he’d left violence behind when he resigned his position with the Blood Wolves, a secret shifter military group, but someone wants his company’s cyber invention and will stop at nothing to get it. He didn’t mean to drag Ellie into his mess, but he’s willing to do anything to protect her and the firewall his friend created…anything except fight his attraction to the outspoken redhead he’s suddenly responsible for. Jackson soon learns Ellie is hotter than he first gave her credit for…like dragon hot…and life is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

Sometimes shift happens when you least expect it.

 Buy Links:

http://www.etopiapress.com/brands/Christy-Gissendaner.html

http://www.amazon.com/Christy-Gissendaner/e/B002BLS3IC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_17?qid=1429574475&sr=8-17

 

Check out this tasty excerpt (see – there’s my Appetizing April reference!): 

At exactly eight forty, Jackson returned to the counter. “According to previously stated policy, your eight thirty appointment is canceled. May I speak with you now?”

She glared at him but finally relented. “Fine. But if Mrs. Sussman shows up, you’re out of here.”

He lifted an eyebrow and nodded. “Fair enough. Your animosity is a bit of a mystery, but I think you’ll be happy once you hear what I have to say.”

His assessment was spot-on. What was it about him that pricked her ire, besides the overwhelming libidinal response? Typically she wasn’t a hateful sort of person, but instinctively she knew she had to be careful around him. He threw her off-balance, and she didn’t like the feeling. “I’m sure you’re used to women falling over themselves to talk to you, but I’m not your typical female.”

He smirked. “I can tell.”

A flush burned her from head to toe at the implication. She wasn’t skinny or particularly beautiful, but damn, couldn’t he show a bit of interest? She had big boobs, after all. What man didn’t like big boobs? Unless he was—

She glanced at him. Nope. Definitely not gay.

Wait. What was she doing? Did she want him to show interest?

Oh God, she did.

“Is there a place we can go to talk?”

She plucked a piece of lint from her smock and flicked it away. “Here’s fine. Say your piece. I’m a busy woman.”

Another smile crossed his face, soul-shattering because this time it was directed at her. “I like you, Ellie Reynolds.”

Something was wrong with her knees. Had to be. They kept giving out on her. Was twenty-five too young to have arthritis? Was it even possible for her to have it? Suddenly she wished she’d paid more attention when her mother taught her about her shifter heritage, if only for medical purposes.

In an effort to maintain control of the conversation, she borrowed one of her Nana’s favorite expressions. “Stop blowing smoke up my ass and get on with it.”

The tolerant light in his eyes extinguished. She wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t seen it herself, but his entire demeanor transformed, becoming the man she recognized on the cover of business and financial magazines, the man who bought and sold property for a living. “I want to buy Polished.”

Shock held her immobile. “What would a savvy businessman like you need with a small-time salon?”

“I have an investment opportunity, but I need your building to complete the transaction. I can’t go into further details. Contract negotiations, you understand.”

Actually she didn’t. She’d bought Polished, scoring a hell of a deal when the previous owner died and the son agreed to take a low-ball offer. “I see. How much are you offering?”

Not that she would consider it, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

“Two million dollars.”

She choked on her spit. “Come again?”

Want more? How about another (sexier) excerpt?

Rain kept up a staccato rhythm on the tin roof, and her supersensitive hearing picked out every drop. She’d never be able to sleep like this, not while her mind was racked by thoughts of Jackson. The situation was laughable. She should be more worried about her safety and instead all she could think about was the fine-looking man in the room across the hall, like the perfect dimples in his cheeks when he smiled really big, or the perfect symmetry of his gorgeous face. And that ass. She could bounce a quarter off that ass.

She groaned as the familiar heat filled the place between her thighs. She needed something to take her mind off Jackson.

Milk. That’s what she needed. A nice, cool glass of milk.

Well, what she really needed was her vibrator, but it was at home, tucked safely away in her drawer under a bundle of handmade scarves that she’d bought and never worn.

Ellie slid out of bed and tugged the hem of the too-short nightgown. She’d picked out a size eight when she was more like a twelve, so Jackson wouldn’t know her true clothing dimensions. When he’d gone to pay for the items she’d chosen, he’d merely lifted an eyebrow but wisely chosen not to say anything. Could she help it if she’d been born with a fondness for sweets? Blame Nana’s genes, not her own lack of will.

Speaking of sweets, cookies would be nice too. She wondered if Jackson had any in the cabinets. He seemed to keep the Montevallo home stocked with foodstuffs since they hadn’t had to stop for groceries.

A few minutes later, with chocolate chip cookies clutched in both hands and a mug of milk hooked around her thumbs, she crept back down the hall toward her room. She bent her head to take a bite of a cookie and lost her grip on the drink. She cursed when the mug fell out of her hands. The milk spilled across her toes and the ceramic shattered when it hit the wooden planks.

“Ellie!” Jackson jerked his bedroom door open and appeared in the doorway, disheveled and entirely too yummy. He wore nothing but boxers and oh geez, he had a six-pack. A perfectly lickable six-pack that made her mouth and sex water. She hoped she wouldn’t drool, although it was a distinct possibility.

“I’m sorry for waking you.”

Jackson ran a hand over his shorn hair. “Fuck. I thought they’d found us.”

“Nope, just the cookie monster.” She held up the cookies in her hands and grimaced. How embarrassing. “Want one?”

He came forward until their toes touched. Hers, milky and chilled. His, warm and dry. She wanted to feel her feet wrapped around his beneath the covers. She wanted to feel everything of his beneath the covers, actually.

His thumb brushed the corner of her lips. “Chocolate,” he explained right before he licked his finger.

Damn her knees. Useless joints that they were. “Umm.”

And damn her larynx for not working properly.

His gaze dropped and she suddenly realized she was in the too-short, too-tight nightgown. Her boobs stretched the cotton material and she didn’t need to look down to know she was nipping. If she turned around, he could probably tell she wasn’t wearing panties. She’d never been so self-conscious before, but never had she been in the presence of a hot-ass canine shifter who was practically naked.

Jackson’s expression turned predatory. His cheeks seemed to hollow out, becoming more pronounced, and his nostrils flared as if he’d caught a whiff of something. Perhaps it was her. The quick shower she’d taken had been hours before. Then again, no panties. Perhaps he smelled her scent. She clamped her thighs tight together and prayed he didn’t laugh. The situation was embarrassing enough without suffering unrequited lust.

“Ellie.” He spoke her name again, but it was low-pitched and soft.

Oh God. She wanted to eat the cookies in his bed. But later. Much, much later. “Yeah?”

“I owe you something.” He slid a hand around her waist and cupped the upper swell of her butt. His fingers spread out in a proprietary manner, as if he was sure of his welcome. “I wanted to wait until all this shit was over, but you’re killing me. I can’t hold out any longer.”

Neither could she. She went up on tiptoe and puckered her lips. He stared at her as he traced the seam of her lips with his index fingers. “I think you misunderstand the type of kiss I want from you.”

About the Author:

Christy Gissendaner is a paranormal and contemporary romance author who believes laughter and love should go hand in hand.

 

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

 

Christy G Author PicTo find out more, please visit http://christygissendaner.webs.com

http://www.twitter.com/christygis

http://www.facebook.com/christygis

http://www.goodreads.com/christygissendaner

Do you love it? I do! Shift Happens has everything I love in a good book: shifters, sex, and humor. Not to mention the promise of more!

Okay, after you’ve gotten yourself hooked on Christy Gissendaner’s latest book, head on back to my blog, as next month is Mad May, and you don’t want to miss all the antagonists we have for you. Love them or hate them, you know you can’t resist them…

In the meantime, happy reading!

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Magic and Food Featuring New Release Light Beyond the Darkness

It’s here, it’s here! Light Beyond the Darkness, Lightbearer #3, is finally available for purchase! And conveniently for this month’s blog theme, Appetizing April, this book happens to be about a chef. Carley and Reid meet in – of all places – a restaurant, where she inadvertently attracts him with her special steak rub. Below is an excerpt from the beginning of the book. This is when Reid sees Carley for the first time… Let me know what you think!

~~~

LightBeyondDarkness_Cover

Her. 

He stopped and stared. Take away the magical sparks dancing over her skin, and he supposed she wasn’t particularly exceptional-looking. In fact, it appeared she was doing her best to downplay whatever positive attributes she might possess. The hair severely pulled away from her face, the lack of makeup, the oversize chef’s coat, all lay proof to his suspicions. He knew nothing of other magical beings, but he knew enough about females in general to know that they tended to play up what they considered their best features, not tone them down.

Despite this, Reid found himself attracted to her, even from halfway across the room, without so much as a word spoken between them.

He’d never considered that he might be attracted to a specific type of being. Until just a few months ago, he would have assumed his type was simply female shifter. Prior to this foray into the human world, he’d never lain with any females other than shifters. Human women were new to him, so he hadn’t yet determined if he desired a specific type of human female. And never in his wildest fantasies had he imagined he would run into a lightbearer and actually wonder, Is this my type?

She recognized his presence while he was still trying to come to terms with the reality of seeing a lightbearer in the flesh, standing a few feet away. The only other time that had happened was last summer, when Quentin Lyons had captured one, and his son then escaped with her. That had ultimately led to Quentin’s death, his pack being dispersed, and the various members being assigned to new, smaller packs. Reid had left before that occurred. He had no wish to learn the ways and rules of a new pack master. Not after what he’d gone through with the last one.

This experience was far different from Reid’s only other experience with a lightbearer. The last one had been a prisoner and had been sentenced to die, because Quentin believed that whoever killed her would inherit her magic. A shifter with magic above and beyond the ability to change forms at will. It was a heady concept.

This lightbearer was—apparently—the head chef at one of Chicago’s most popular restaurants. Living in the human world. He’d noticed no other trace of magic aside from hers, so he suspected she lived there alone, without the protection of others of her own kind. How had it taken Quentin forty years to find one, if they lived among the humans like this? If her steak was as good as Reid suspected it was, he could not fathom that a shifter or two had not stumbled across this particular restaurant before. Shifters loved their red meat, and considering their typically obsessive personalities, they would go to great lengths to try a delicious steak dinner.

At least Reid would.

In the space of a handful of heartbeats, she was surrounded by humans, both female and male, and none with particularly welcoming expressions on their faces.

“Hey, no civilians back here, buddy,” one human sharply announced. She had blue-black hair, heavy dark makeup, and piercings in every visible orifice. She reminded him a little of some of the female shifters he knew.

He was amused by the way she stood slightly in front of the lightbearer, almost as if she expected an attack. But surely not? All magical beings understood one overriding rule: never tell the humans about the magical side of your nature.

The lightbearer had yet to speak, although he could tell by her widened eyes, rapid breathing, and the stench of fear in the air that she knew precisely what he was.

“I only wanted to compliment the chef,” he said, his gaze fixed on the lightbearer.

She lifted a hand and cupped her narrow, smooth neck, as her eyes widened farther and her breathing escalated a notch or two.

“Usually people do that without actually leaving their seats,” the dark-haired human woman said. “And you need to get out of our kitchen. It’s a health-code violation for you to be back here.”

He could care less about anyone’s health except that lightbearer’s. He had no specific code, not anymore. And if there was to be any violating around here…

He stepped forward, extended his hand, and bowed his head slightly, not an act of submission, but an act of acknowledgment. I know you’re afraid. I don’t intend to hurt you. 

She did not accept his gesture. If anything, she shrank away even more.

“Order—oh.” A server hustled through the swinging doors and then stopped short when she spotted Reid standing there. One of the other chefs extended his arm across the stainless-steel counter and snagged the meal ticket from her hand. Then he turned and shoved it at the lightbearer, clearly trying to pull her attention away from Reid.

“We need to get back to work, Carley,” he said. “The orders are starting to back up.”

Carley. Was that the lightbearer’s name? Reid continued to stand there, continued to watch her. Wisps of silver-blonde hair stuck out from under her chef’s hat, which was a tall, white paper contraption that perched at a jaunty angle on her head. While everyone else in the room looked sweaty and bordering on exhaustion, she looked as fresh as a spring breeze.

Magic. Only magic could keep someone looking so damn unaffected amidst the chaos of a popular restaurant kitchen on a Friday evening.

“I’d like to speak to you,” he said, his gaze never wavering. “Alone.”

She shook her head and accepted the ticket that was thrust into her hands. She looked down, read what was scribbled there, and finally spoke to him.

“That isn’t possible,” she said without looking up from the ticket. And then she apparently decided to act as if he wasn’t there, and began issuing orders to the humans, each one scrambling to do as she commanded.

It was fascinating to watch. Until the spunky human woman with the blue-black hair stepped in front of him and stood on her tiptoes so she could get in his face.

“Look, buddy. If you don’t leave our kitchen, we’re going to call the cops. Great meal or not, you don’t belong back here.” She glared at him, not intimidated in the least.

It was almost refreshing. Nearly everyone was intimidated by him, and he rarely bothered to disabuse people of the notion that he might strike them down at any moment. He rather liked the fact that most people—magical or otherwise—were too frightened or nervous to get close to him. He was not fond of personal contact.

“Carley,” he murmured, repeating the name he’d heard the human male say a moment ago. “Did she make my steak?”

“Yeah,” the woman said with obvious impatience. “She makes all the steaks here. It’s one of her specialties. Now, can you go back to your table?”

“What else does she do?”

She gave him a peculiar look. “What do you mean?”

“What other plates? What are her other specialties?”

“Oh.” The human considered his question for a moment. “She makes a mean beef stew,” she decided. “And duck. Amazing duck. And key lime pie. I know it sounds weird, because it seems like such a simple dish, but her key lime pie is just out of this world.”

Duck. He loved duck. “Key lime pie?” he repeated out loud. He didn’t often eat dessert. There usually wasn’t meat in dessert. “Maybe I’ll give it a try,” he decided, and then he asked, “How often does she work?”

“You’re awfully damned obsessed, you know that?”

“So I’ve been told.”

~~~

 Intrigued? If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, I strongly suggest you read them first, as there are several overarching plots that make a lot more sense when you read them in order. Besides, according to the reviews, you’re bound to become addicted! Here’s the book info, in order:

LightbearerSeries4x6

Lightbearer Series by Tami Lund

Into the LiInto the Lightght

dawningoflight_CoverDawning of Light

LightBeyondDarkness_CoverLight Beyond the Darkness

And if you wanna stalk me on social media, here are the ways:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ TSU ~ Pinterest (FYI, there’s a Lightbearer inspiration board!) ~ Newsletter Signup  (I only send one per month)

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back tomorrow, when I feature another author and another yummy recipe on my Appetizing April Blog!

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Gypsies and Scones with Madelyn Hill

Today on my Appetizing April Blog, I’m featuring a brand spanking new book, and a delicious scone recipe. For the Love of a Gypsy released on April 17, 2015, and is Madelyn Hill’s third published book. It’s a historical romance, and, as the title implies, it’s about Gypsies. I for one am fascinated by Gypsies. Does this sound good so far? Keep reading!

FortheLoveofaGypsy400

Can she betray the Gypsy clan who saved her for the love of a stranger?

Martine Petrulengo is stifled by the traditions of her adopted Gypsy clan. They gave her new life when she was left all alone. And now she is expected to marry in order to forge clan allegiances. When she nurses handsome and charming Lord Declan Forrester back to health, she is lured by the seductive idea of life outside of the clan—and the prospect of love with the Irishman.

Can he prove his innocence in order to claim his Gypsy?

Lord Declan Forrester trades prison bars for a loveless marriage in order to save his soul. And now he’s trying to prove his innocence not only as a traitor, but that of his wife’s murder. When the lovely and beguiling Martine saves him, he falls in love for the first time. Yet, the obstacles of his past seem insurmountable.

Martine and Declan must fight tradition, prejudice and the haunting ghosts of their past in order to fight for their love and ensure their future.

Wanna buy it? Click HERE.

 ~~~

How about a tempting recipe from the author? My mouth started watering while I read the ingredients below. I can’t wait to convince my husband to make these scones (yeah – I’m not the cook in my relationship):

Lemon Apricot Scones

scones3-500

• 2 cups all purpose flour

• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots (about 4 1/2 ounces)

• 2 tablespoon grated lemon peel

• 1 1/4 cups whipping cream

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°F

Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Stir in apricots and 1 tablespoon lemon peel. Add whipping cream and stir just until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

Knead gently just until dough holds together. Form dough into 10-inch-diameter, 1/2-inch-thick round. Cut into 12 wedges.

Transfer wedges to large, parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing evenly. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon peel in small bowl. Brush scones with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake scones until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.) Serve scones warm or at room temperature. Recipe Adapted from Epicurious.com (Bon Appetit) 1998

 ~~~

Get to know the author who created both the above book and delicious scones:

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could Madelyn Promo-Photoread and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier! A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children and keep busy cooking, watching their children’s sporting events, and of course reading! 

Social Networking Links:
Thanks for hanging out! Be sure to check back tomorrow for another Appetizing April post. This month, it’s all about food – and books!
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Martine Petrulengo will be wed in less than a month—to a man she has never met.

 

 

 

Lord Declan Forrester is running for his life after his wife is found murdered.

 

 

 

Can she betray the Gypsy clan who saved her and gave her a new life?

 

Martine Petrulengo will be wed in less than a month—to a man she has never met. When her clan rescues an injured lord, she is tempted to betray them and be swept into his loving arms.

 

Lord Declan Forrester trades prison bars for a loveless marriage in order to save his soul. And now he’s trying to prove his innocence not only as a traitor, but that of his wife’s murderer.

 

Together Martine and Declan fight tradition, prejudice, and the ghost of Declan’s past in order to have a future together.

 

 

Can Martine and Declan’s love survive prejudice and the ghost of their past?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Apricot Scones

 

• 2 cups all purpose flour

• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots (about 4 1/2 ounces)

• 2 tablespoon grated lemon peel

• 1 1/4 cups whipping cream

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°F

Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Stir in apricots and 1

tablespoon lemon peel. Add whipping cream and stir just until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

Knead gently just until dough holds together. Form dough into 10-inch-diameter, 1/2-inch-thick round. Cut into 12 wedges.

Transfer wedges to large, parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing evenly. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1

tablespoon lemon peel in small bowl. Brush scones with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake scones until light

golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap in

foil; store at room temperature.) Serve scones warm or at room temperature. Recipe Adapted from Epicurious.com (Bon

Appetit) 1998

Lemon

Apricot

Scones

• 2 cups all purpose flour

• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots (about 4 1/2 ounces)

• 2 tablespoon grated lemon peel

• 1 1/4 cups whipping cream

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°F

Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Stir in apricots and 1

tablespoon lemon peel. Add whipping cream and stir just until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

Knead gently just until dough holds together. Form dough into 10-inch-diameter, 1/2-inch-thick round. Cut into 12 wedges.

Transfer wedges to large, parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing evenly. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1

tablespoon lemon peel in small bowl. Brush scones with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake scones until light

golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap in

foil; store at room temperature.) Serve scones warm or at room temperature. Recipe Adapted from Epicurious.com (Bon

Appetit) 1998

Lemon

Apricot

Scones

• 2 cups all purpose flour

• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots (about 4 1/2 ounces)

• 2 tablespoon grated lemon peel

• 1 1/4 cups whipping cream

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°F

Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Stir in apricots and 1

tablespoon lemon peel. Add whipping cream and stir just until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

Knead gently just until dough holds together. Form dough into 10-inch-diameter, 1/2-inch-thick round. Cut into 12 wedges.

Transfer wedges to large, parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing evenly. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1

tablespoon lemon peel in small bowl. Brush scones with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake scones until light

golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap in

foil; store at room temperature.) Serve scones warm or at room temperature. Recipe Adapted from Epicurious.com (Bon

Appetit) 1998

Appetizing April? Tanner Lyons Is Taking Over Anyway

Here’s the deal: My name is Tanner Lyons, and I’m the hero (which feels awkward to say, by the way) of the first Lightbearer book, Into the Light. The reason I’m taking over my author’s blog is because my book is featured on this thing called Book Bub today, and is crazy-ass discounted at 99 cents for the next few days. Tami made it clear that I’m supposed to talk about food, because apparently her blog is sub-titled Appetizing April this month, and every post is supposed to tie into food or eating.

Okay, so here’s my talk about food: I like to eat it. Preferably meat, although I’ll be honest and tell you that the head chef in the Lightbearer’ s coterie does make some pretty mean vegetable dishes. Still, I’d choose a hefty rare steak over pretty much anything else in the world.

Into the LightGot it? Good. Now that we’ve appeased my author, let’s get something straight: She is not practically giving my book away because she thinks I am worth less than Finn Hennigan, who is featured in the second book, Dawning of Light, or his brother Reid, who is featured in the third book, Light Beyond the Darkness, which is coming out on April 27. The truth is, you’re gonna love my story so much that you’re gonna feel the need to read their stories too. That’s why mine is discounted. Because I’m the pack master, after all.

Shit, I really am a pack master now, aren’t I? I’ve been avoiding this trap for ten years. dawningoflight_CoverThen some hot little Lightbearer who looks like she could never hold her own, yet is stronger than you and me and your entire family put together, comes along and flings my freaking plans over the nearest cliff. (And yes, that was a reference to the cliff in the Lightbearers’ coterie – and there is a point in the story when I want to throw myself over that damn cliff. Except I’m a shifter, so I would just instinctively shift into the shape of a bird and fly instead of crash into the beach at the bottom.)

Olivia Bennett. She’s the princess of the Lightbearers, the only offspring of the king and queen. Oh, did I forget to mention that I didn’t even believe these magical beings existed, until I saw Olivia curled up in the far corner of a prison cell in the basement of my asshole father’s mansion? Yeah, you read that right. My father, the pack master of the largest pack of shifters on the continent, built a freaking prison into the basement of his ridiculously pretentious mansion home. That’s how much of a bastard he is. No, wait, it gets better.

He believes that to kill a Lightbearer is to inherit her magic. Yep. My kind can shift from human form into pretty much any warm-blooded animal form that exists, so therefore we are part of the magical community. But that is the only magic we possess, and that just isn’t good enough for my psycho old man. (Are you sensing a theme here? I really hate the guy. With good reason, I promise.) Quentin Lyons wants the combined magic of shifters and Lightbearers, like that’s going to make him all powerful or some shit. Make him a god, I guess. The man’s seriously fucked up in the head.

LightBeyondDarkness_CoverAs I am his only legitimate offspring, that means I probably am – or will be, eventually – fucked up as well. Which means the last thing in this world I should be doing is rescuing some hapless Lightbearer and helping her get back to her secret, warded home, where all the rest of the Lightbearers live in blissful safety. Because you know what’s going to happen if Olivia and I spend too much time together, right?

I am in so much freaking trouble.

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