Category Archives: writing

Opinionated women write fine romance: meet Dee S. Knight

Please welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Dee S. Knight!

Hello!

We write romances. I’m sure in your books, as in mine, I’d love to have these lessons posted in my heroine’s house somewhere.

I received this list in my inbox years ago and just found them again this afternoon. The list is credited to the Anthony Robbins organization. I don’t know if it’s really from Anthony Robbins, but I do know they’re all good lessons to apply to life.

I was exhorted to forward this to five people or I’d be in trouble. I figure by posting it here I’m doing better than that. =)

The lessons are first. My somewhat snarky responses are in brackets. Maybe these will rub off on a future heroine of mine!

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully. [This does not apply to kicks in the butt or bubble gum in their hair. Only nice things. Keep that in mind!]

 TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other. [As a veteran of over 47 years of marriage, I can vouch for this one. Love isn’t about that initial flutterby in the tummy, it’s about being happy you’re waking up to the same person for the rest of your life. Think about how long you want that to be…]

THREE. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want. [Maxine has another saying that should be tacked onto this: Don’t believe all you think!]

FOUR. When you say, “I love you,” mean it. [When Jack and I were together awhile, he commented on my facile use of the word love. I used to say, “I love that song…dress…car…class…” You get the drift. He impressed on me then that the word “love” is special and should only be used with care. Say what you mean, mean what you say.]

FIVE. When you say, “I’m sorry,” look the person in the eye. [My mom taught me this long ago, and God! Is it ever hard.]

 SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married. [Well, here Tony and I part ways. If Jack and I had been engaged 6 months instead of 9 days, we wouldn’t have gotten married. But generally I’d agree this is good.]

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight. [Yes! But don’t necessarily act on it.]

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone’s dream. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much. [I like this one a lot.]

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely. [I have a friend whose motto is Live! Laugh! Love! And she truly lives those words. How much better can it get?]

TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling. [Well, yeah, okay.]

ELEVEN. Don’t judge people by their relatives. {Lord, no!! At least that’s what my relatives say, lol.]

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly. [Hard for a Virginia girl to think fast.]

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?” [As if this would work with any woman I know. Maybe with a man…]

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk. [I can’t help it, this sounds like I should be cracking open that fortune cookie.]

FIFTEEN. Say “God bless you” when you hear someone sneeze. [Learned it as a child, and still do it, whether I know the person or not, and whether we’re across a restaurant or not.]

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. [Wow, sounds like a coach. Oh, wait, Anthony Robbins is a coach. Play ball!]

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions. [Love this. Wish it hung in every classroom, but I’m sure in this day and age it it would offend someone somewhere along the way.]

EIGHTEEN. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship. [It’s sad when this happens. I don’t make a huge number of friends, so I’d like to keep the ones I have.]

NINETEEN. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. [Not before you spend a little time alone with a quart of Haagen Daz, though.]

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice. [Great, just the tone I want to set for that spunky telemarketer.]

TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone. [Fortunately, I’m one of those people who enjoys having conversations with that witty and wise person, Dee S. Knight. There are enough times when no one else does…]

Thanks for bearing with me through these rules to live by! I’m sure I’d be nominated for sainthood if I’d managed to do all of these through my life. Needless to say, you won’t be seeing a Saint Dee any time in the future! That’s okay. I’d rather write fun erotic romance than be a saint, anyway. Lately, I’ve updated and republished my paranormal erotic romance, Passionate Destiny!

Blurb:

Dr. Margaret Amis-Hollings, professor of women’s studies at a small New Jersey college, is a woman who confidently knows who she is and what she expects of life. Until she loses her teaching position and her well-ordered life gets turned upside down. Then, in a subtle stroke of whimsy, fate tosses her a gift in an historic home and property in Virginia.

Harboring visions of Gone With the Wind, she determines to use River Peace as a temporary reprieve from her troubles. Images of Tara quickly evaporate when she arrives to discover the reality of her inheritance, however.

River Peace has history, grace and style going for it. After only one night, Margaret discovers that it also has a ghost. She’s visited by a male spirit from the time of the War Between the States, who knows how to make a woman feel special. And very loved.

Aaron Belton meets Margaret when she first arrives in Virginia. He’s renowned for historic renovations on a multitude of properties, but he’s got a special place in his heart for River Peace. He and his family believe the property always should have belonged to them. In fact, Aaron will do almost anything to make that happen. When his passion for the house changes to a passion for the house’s owner, Aaron’s as surprised as anyone. Can he gain both, the woman and the house? To do so, he’ll have to face a spectral being.

And his own destiny.

Amazon KU Buy link: https://tinyurl.com/sxy5sfh

Author Dee S. Knight:

A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex.

After a while, Dee split her personality into thirds. She writes as Anne Krist for sweeter romances, and Jenna Stewart for ménage and shifter stories. All three of her personas are found on the Nomad Authors website (www.nomadauthors.com). Fortunately, Dee’s high school sweetheart is the love of her life and husband to all three ladies! Once a month, look for Dee’s Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a selected charity.

Author links:

Website: https://nomadauthors.com

Blog: http://nomadauthors.com/blog

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DeeSKnight

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeeSKnight2018

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/265222.Dee_S_Knight

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B079BGZNDN

Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h8t2y6

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/dee-s-knight-0500749

Excerpt:

She sipped her tea. “Have you ever heard that old poem about the guy in the house who feels something when he goes upstairs? I can’t even remember exactly how it goes.”

He nodded. “I think you mean Antigonish. It’s by Hughes Mearn. ‘As I was going up the stair. I met a man who wasn’t there! He wasn’t there again today! I wish, I wish, he’d stay away.’ Is that the one you mean?” His inflection was perfectly neutral, as was his expression.

Margaret laughed, shaking a little as she laced her fingers around the cup, holding it to warm her hands. “Yes, that’s the one. Is there any topic you don’t know something about?” She sipped, then took a deep breath. “Well, Doctor Belton, you’re going to think I’m over the edge, but that is what’s with the house.” She looked him full in the face.

His expression didn’t change. Not even a hint of smile played across his face. Margaret examined his eyes for…for what? Doubt or belief?

“You mean you’ve seen something.” It was a statement, not a question.

“Yes, I have.”

“Tell me about it.” Still no hint of humor colored his tone. He was treating her as an adult, which is more than she felt.

“I feel so stupid talking about this.” He reached out to take her cup and put it on the table before folding her hands in his.

“I’m not laughing. Tell me.”

Another deep breath. “The first night I was here I smelled pipe tobacco when I went upstairs. I was on the landing, and it was so strong I went back down and checked all the doors. It was gone by the time I got back, so I brushed it off. Then I saw a man where you were standing this morning. At the foot of the steps. He started up, watching me. And again this evening, it was he walking across the lawn toward me, not you.”

There was no need to tell him about the dreams. No need to admit to having made love to this ghost, or whatever it was. He would think she was crazy enough with what she had told him.

“What did he look like?” He tilted his head, looking at her with eyes that sparked with curiosity.

“You believe me?” Incredulous, she squeaked the question. He believed her! His acceptance of her story amazed her, considering she barely believed herself.

“I don’t disbelieve you. And it’s obvious that you think something is going on here. So, tell me.” His thumbs smoothed across her knuckles, an action she found calming.

Relaxing slightly, she answered him. “He looks old fashioned. Not as tall as you are, light blond hair. A beard that badly needs trimming. On the stairs he had on a gray overcoat, like a uniform and he carried a gun.”

“Gun?” Aaron’s voice was sharp, and his brows furrowed in concentration. “What kind of gun? A rifle or shotgun?”

“How would I know? A gun, that’s all. This evening he had that same coat and a hat. His eyes are exactly like yours.” She stopped to examine Aaron’s eyes. “That same dark, intense blue. It’s the only thing similar between you, except…” She felt herself blush and she looked away from Aaron.

“Except what,” he prodded.

“Except for the way you looked at me tonight on the porch. Before you kissed me. Every time I’ve seen him, he’s looked at me just that way. As though he loved me.” Now she met his steadfast gaze, waiting for his response.

Dee S. Knight
Available now, Book 2 of the Good Man series, One Woman Only
An Awareness of Evil in Mystic Desire
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View our books and learn about us on our website

 

Quarantine yields creative outlet for Mass Bay instructor Dr. Ted Eaton

The quarantine times have given many of us the opportunity to try new things we may not have had time for, once upon a time. Author and college professor Edward Eaton, known to colleagues as “Dr. Ted,” has branched out from his regular classes by starting two series of YouTube videos, one on assorted writing topics, and the second on Haiku Reviews.

The idea was based on a suggestion from his provost at Mass Bay Community College, he says, but “they have taken on a life of their own.”

Ted EatonEaton holds a PhD in Theatre History and Literature, and has worked extensively as a theatre director and fight choreographer, most recently for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Theatre Shakespeare Ensemble. He has been a theatre critic, and has a background in playwriting.

The videos on craft are not only directed to his students at the school, but they are for anyone, he says.

“If you are interested in Literature and film as a consumer, it might be nice to understand how the pieces are put together. If your interest in film is deeper or even professional, it might be nice to know that the ‘three-act’ structure is not the only one. So far I have mostly been playing with Aristotle–though there were two other videos that touch on related topics.”

Eaton said he plans to do several more videos on Aristotle, and then move on. “I want to share this information with people who have an interest in theatre and writing and want a good solid overview of the subjects.”

He specifically works through examples people will find it easy to relate to, such as Romeo and Juliet, Star Wars and more.

The Haiku Reviews came to be in specific reaction to other reviews he found online.

“I’ve gone on Youtube to look up movies to see what people think about them only to be stuck with 30 minutes (or more) of commentary. Sometimes it can be interesting, but usually I start yelling ‘Strunk and White!’ at the TV. ‘Get to the point and move on!’”

But it wasn’t just those. “When my kid was little, I would ask him about what he was reading or watching. He would go into such detail that I would get exhausted. At about the same time, I was asking students to write book reviews. Four-fifths of their papers would be synopses. So I started writing and sharing (with students and my boy) a synopsis of a book or a film in the form of a haiku.”

His format of three haikus that cover story, analysis, and judgment is different than others he’s seen. “(Those) reviews included a haiku and then commentary–like a comedian explaining his or her joke. I’m not going to explain my little haiku, unless the pictures I choose help.”

During his Covid-19 quarantine time, he’s also learned “how much fun it can be to play around with PowerPoint.” And he’s excited about the new creative ways he can reach out to readers.

“Absolutely. I had these ideas before. However, without the quarantine, I doubt I would have bothered to start my Youtube videos. Maybe I would have done the Haiku videos, but not for a while.”

His current Haiku videos include The Caine Mutiny, The Hobbit, Amadeus, the giantMagnificent Seven, and more.

Edward (Ted) Eaton has studied and taught at many schools in the States, China, Israel, Oman, and France. He is also an avid SCUBA diver and skier. He currently resides in Boston with his wife Silviya and son Christopher.

Publications include: Young adult series titles ROSI’S CASTLE • ROSI’S COMPANY • ROSI’S TIME, and drama titles ELIZABETH BATHORY • GIANTS FALL • HECTOR AND ACHILLES • Orpheus and Eurydice (2010), all from Dragonfly Publishing.  See all at his Amazon author page.

For more information, check out and subscribe to his YouTube channel, or see Dr. Ted’s website: http://www.edwardeaton.com/Edward_Eaton/Welcome.html

Call of the Dark tells the story of a woman and her dangerous choices

Welcome to Lyndi’s adventurous friend Michelle Miles!!

Hello! I want to thank Lyndi for hosting me here today. I’m excited to talk about my upcoming release, Call of the Dark, which is out in TWO days!

CalloftheDark_Fun

This book has been a long time coming. This book…no, this entire series, hit me hard and fast. I wrote the first draft of the first book by hand in a leather-bound journal (which I still have) in August of 2012. It went through several iterations before it finally made it to the version it is today. Details changed but the overall plot stayed the same. It took a lot of deep, hard editing but it was totally worth it.

Here’s the blurb:

Anna Walker has the unique ability to step into people’s dreams. When a catatonic woman is brought to the hospital where she works, her curiosity overrides her common sense and she “walks” inside the girl’s head.

 Worst mistake ever.

 Now she’s on the radar of a fallen angel, Azriel, and her calm, quiet world is turned upside down. Azriel demands she use her walking talent to find the Horn of Gabriel, one of five Holy Relics, or lose everything dear to her. Even worse? His Heavenly counterpart, a messenger angel, insists on hiring her for the same job.

 Her refusal to help comes at a steep price. When Azriel frames her for murders she didn’t commit, it forces her into the quest for the holy relic. Torn between good and evil, she becomes trapped in her own nightmare when she uncovers a family prophecy claiming she’s the Keeper of the Holy Relics.

 Anna must make the most important decision of her life—accept her duty as Keeper, and the only person who can stop the coming war between Heaven and Hell—or stand back and watch the forces of good and evil destroy mankind.

I have five books planned in the series as well as a few novellas as origin stories. If you pre-order now before release day (May 27), you’ll get a free novella. Find out how by clicking here: https://bit.ly/3chPBcV

I hope you love Anna’s story as much as I do.

Supernatural assassins on the hunt

Arctic Bite
Forgotten Brotherhood Book Two
by N.J. Walters
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Being immortal doesn’t mean you can’t die. It just means you’re damn hard to kill.
When Alexei Medvedev joined the Forgotten Brotherhood—paranormals hired to assassinate other paranormals—he knew it wouldn’t be a cake walk. But his next target is one of Death’s own Reapers gone rogue. For the first time since he started this gig, “damn hard to kill” feels more like “damn near impossible.”
Tracking Cassie Dobbs brings him to a remote bar in small-town Alaska, where this hot-as-hell Reaper is casually serving drinks, as if she doesn’t have a bounty on her head from Death himself. Alexei is dangerously intrigued. Everyone in the Brotherhood knows the first rule: don’t fall for your target.
But Alexei soon has bigger problems to face than an unexpected attraction. They only send assassins after those who deserve to die…or so he’s been made to believe. Now that he’s met Cassie, though, he’s not so sure.
What if everything he’s been told is a lie, and the person he’s been sent to kill is the only one who knows the truth?
Fury Unleashed
Forgotten Brotherhood Book One
Maccus Fury, a fallen angel, is trying hard to keep his sanity. Seems being an assassin might be catching up with him. Now, Heaven, or Hell, has sent a beautiful assassin to kill him. Lovely. She’s pretending to seduce him, and he’s okay with that. She’s smart and snarky—but she has no idea what she’s walked into. And he’s more than peeved that they only sent one person. They’re going to need an army if they want him dead.
Morrigan Quill is one of Hell’s bounty hunters. She sold her soul to keep her sister safe, and now she’s working off her contract by catching bad guys and dragging them back to hell. When Lucifer makes her a new offer––that’s definitely too good to be true—she can’t say no. All she has to do is kill a powerful and crazy-hot fallen angel, who will totally kick her ass in battle.
Good thing he won’t see what’s coming next.
Once upon a time N.J. had the idea that she would like to quit her job at the bookstore, sell everything she owned, leave her hometown, and write romance novels in a place where no one knew her. And she did. Two years later, she went back to the bookstore and her hometown and settled in for another seven years.
One day she gave notice at her job on a Friday morning. On Sunday afternoon, she received a tentative acceptance for her first romance novel and life would never be the same.
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks–all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
$25 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

Meet Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Janet Lane Walters!

Please welcome Lyndi’s adventurous friend Janet Lane Walters! Thnaks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times? What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?

Greetings. I’ve been a writer since the dark ages. What I mean is the time of typewriters and carbon paper. My first short story was published in 1968. First poem in 1972 and my first book in 1972, I continued writing in all areas and then it happened. As the mother of four children, college beckoned and they wanted to go. I returned to work as a nurse and put writing aside.  I now have seven grandchildren from the age of thirty to eleven. Dealing with the emotional states of teenagers and patients seemed enough. I didn’t really stop writing but I mainly jotted ideas for stories. One day I read in the paper about the Hudson Valley Romance Writers’ conference. I went and met some terrific people. I joined and then had to write since part of their meetings was critiquing what people wrote. In 1994, I returned to writing with a sale, aided by Jane Toombs. Then together we discovered electronic publishing and I haven’t looked back since then. I don’t keep track of the books I’ve written. There are a lot.

At present, I live in the Hudson Valley on the west side of the river. In January, my husband died but I don’t live alone. My oldest son and my oldest granddaughter live here and keep me sequestered because of the Covid thing. As well as writing, I’ve done a few other things. For a time I composed music and even heard several pieces played in public. I’m also a student of Astrology and use this to cast my characters. As an obsession, I collect dragons. I have thirty or forty on my desk above the computer. At present, I am cat-less. Robespierre, my familiar and Maine Coon cat is immortalized in my cozy mystery series.

I do have a BA in English with a creative writing focus. I also have a BS in Nursing. Have these helped my career. Perhaps. I just enjoy exploring the worlds of my characters in mystery, contemporary romance, fantasy romance, paranormal romance and young adult fantasy.

Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today? 

My most recent book is Lines of Fire Challenged. This is the second book of a trilogy. Since I have a rather twisted imagination, this series began with my thoughts about vampires. I’m sure lots of readers will disagree with me but vampires leave me as cold as they are. As I was falling asleep one night, I began thinking about what would happen if some people could see the lines of fire on people’s skins and were able to both give and take from these lines and use the power for good. What if someone’s lines were tainted and if they often killed the person whose lines they fed on. Since this is total imagination what I learned in writing it was a lot about forests and a more rural lifestyle. I spent a lot of time reading about ancient cultures and forest living. While writing this book, this was my favorite book but now my new story is the one that’s my favorite.

How would you best describe your books?

I call myself an eclectic writer since I’ve tried most genres except horror. Those I won’t write or read. Medicine both real and also psychically healing are featured in many of my books. I enjoy reading and pulling a fact I can use from reading about ancient healing techniques and ones that seem over the top. There is always a romance except in my YA books but there friendships take the place of romance.

What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

My reading is rather like my writing. Since the first of the year, I’ve read several mysteries, science fiction, fantasy and romances. I’ve had a library card since age 4. An early reader and a late one.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I actually like just about everything about writing. Developing characters, making a plot that works, writing many drafts and revision. I’m not sure when I thought about becoming an author but I decided to write my own nurse romances after a bout with pneumonia and a shopping bag full of nurse romances. I realized most of the people who were writing them at the time knew little about medicine and nursing. What I don’t like is promoting but  I do it.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I belong to the Hudson Valley Chapter of RWA. Used to belong to more but haven’t time to keep up with them all.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

Having music on isn’t my thing, though I would listen if I could hear it. When I’m witing, I enter the tory and all else isn’t heard. I’ve written in hospital waiting rooms and never missed a beat with words. I just zone out.

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

I belong to a critique group that meets at my house. We’ve been around since 1994 with changes in those attending. I find a critique group helps for me at least to make sure the things I’ve slid over are put in during the next revision.

How did you find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?

Since I’ve been writing for a long time, I found one the hard way. This was in the days when publishers wanted the entire mss to consider for publication. This meant sending out copies with postage enough for a return and praying you wouldn’t have to retype the entire mss. The call came in an interesting way. My husband was doing his residency in Psychiatry. The letter came and I called. Since he was in a session and couldn’t be disturbed, I gave this message to the secretary. “Tell him I just sold my first child.” A few minutes later, I received a call from him wondering what had happened. Then I told him.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

At present I’m on deadline. Have until June 1 to finish Tangled Dreams book 6 in the Moon Child series. Personal appearances are not happening these days because of Covid so I sit at home and do social media.

My Places

https://twitter.com/JanetL717

 https://www.facebook.com/janet.l.walters.3?v=wall&story_f

bid=113639528680724

 http://bookswelove.net/

 http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com

https://www.pinterest.com/shadyl717/

Buy Mark

http://bookswelove.net/walters-janet-lane/  You can find most of my books here.

What would you like to tell readers?

If you read a book by any author, consider leaving a review.

Space opera FTW! #mfrwHooks

Probably my favorite subject to read or watch is space opera. For the uninitiated, there is Klingon operanot necessarily any singing–unless you’ve got Klingons in it–but it’s a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. (fromWikipedia)

Star Trek, Star Wars, The Expanse, Doctor Who, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Avatar  and so many more fit into the category. My own humble contributions to the genre include the Horizon Crossover series and Triad, all availabletriad from Dragonfly Publishing.

After five years of silence, the Arkosian space pirates are back to terrorize the sector where Trezanna Len fights to save her Solarii colony, a small group of Terran descendants settled on the planet Induna. To survive, the Solarii need assistance. And soon.

Trezanna could ask for help from the neighboring group called Dragonfleet, but its cruel leader Estrella Drake has been on a rampage to annex Solarii space. Estrella would never agree to an alliance with the Solarii. Or would she?

Excerpt:

When Trezanna had joined the Solarii, Luca Stregone was DragonFleet liaison to the group, back when both groups fought the oppression of the Arkosian pirates, who’d terrorized this sector of the galaxy for thirty years.

The Solarii had banded together on the small planet of Induna, brave individual souls who challenged the despots, gathering members as word of their alliance spread. DragonFleet, always a vicious bunch but even more so under the petulant, tumultuous leadership of Estrella Drake, had clung onto the coattails of the new group. Dissatisfied with the bounds of DragonFleet territory, she’d use any excuse to carve a larger section of the sector for herself, and just as happy to take some of what the Arkosians had, just for spite.

The two groups had fought and won as allies, ousting the pirates in a bloody victory. But the celebration and peace had been short-lived.

Without the constant gnawing of the pirates’ fangs in her side, Estrella instigated bickering within, causing a division in DragonFleet which ultimately spawned the Khimeyr. Luca took nearly two hundred of those unwilling to live under Estrella’s prima donna rule and moved them to Zeta, promising them a new colony, a place to enjoy the free life they had earned.

But apparently that peace had been denied.

mfrw-book-hooks400“Something got him on a scouting mission seventeen months ago, an animal or…” Catava shrugged, her voice devoid of emotion. “He wasn’t the only one. Zeta Colony was never the paradise we’d hoped it would be. Many dreams died there.” The pain that crossed through the woman’s eyes was unmistakable.

TRIAD is  available in ebook, paperback and hardback. at Amazon.comBarnes and Noble.com, most other web sources, and can also be ordered through your local indie bookseller!

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=296859

Myths, monsters and marvels

Welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Alice Renaud!

Social adWe all know what mermaids look like, don’t we? Long hair, seashell bra, fish tail. But mermaids didn’t always look like that. The sirens in The Odyssey who charmed Ulysses with their songs were part-woman, part… bird. Other depictions of mermaids show them with teeth and claws and rather scary. Welsh legends feature beautiful women who live in water but don’t have a fish tail, like the Lady of the Lake who gives King Arthur his sword Excalibur. Welsh folklore is full of aquatic creatures. As well as mermaids and mermen, there are afancs (water monsters, part crocodile, part beaver), mist hags, torrent spectres, and the mysterious Ceffyl Dwr, the Water Horse, who can appear in any body of water – lake, river, even baptismal fonts in churches. The Horse can sometimes take human form and walk on land, like the Scottish Selkie. In horse form he gallops along the shore at night, and if he meets a lone traveller, he offers him a ride on his back… only to throw him off in the marshes.

I grew up listening to and reading tales of such fantastic creatures. One day in Brittany, I saw young men come out of the sea, wearing black wetsuits. I had the idea of shape shifting mermen, who can move between a human and an aquatic form. In their aquatic form my mermen have webbed hands and feet, and a tail… but not a fish tail. They’re one hundred per cent mammal, hot blooded, and beautiful, of course! So the Sea of Love series was born. It follows the lives and loves of four young merfolk as they discover the world of humans… and fall for a human, in defiance of the laws of their people. The Welsh creatures of legends appear in all my stories. The Water Horse features in Music for a Merman, the second book in the series (the books in the series are stand-alone stories and can be read independently). Read the extract below to find out more!

Release your inner mermaidBlurb

Rob Regor knew that humans were trouble. All the shape shifting mermen of the Morvann Islands knew it. And human women were double trouble… especially when they were lying on the road in front of a digger.

Rob has a mission. Go to the mainland. Work as a policeman. Spy on humans. Report back to his father, the head of the Regor Merman Clan. It should be easy. Until he has to arrest Charlie. Rob can’t fight his attraction to the sexy eco-warrior, and it puts him on one hell of a collision course with his family and his Clan. Will he break the rules – or break her heart, and his?

Love ‘em and leave ‘em, that was Charlie’s motto. It had served her well until now. But Rob is different… Can she open up her heart to Rob – when a secret buried in her past surfaces and changes her completely?

Mammals FBBuy Links

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Excerpt

Somehow Charlie felt that one merman, at least, was near. She forced her body into perfect stillness, hoping that the invisible enemy wouldn’t hear the frantic beating of her heart. Unless he had infrared vision, he couldn’t see her any more than she could see him. Maybe he’d walk right past her.

The merman hissed at her out of the darkness. “I can smell you, human.”

A tiny wave lapped over her feet, though there was no breeze. A mysterious voice whispered in her head. The monsters won’t win. Run to the sea. I will protect you.

Maybe she was going mad. But if so, it was a helpful sort of madness. Strength was rising through her body, easing the pressure on her ribs. Wherever the voice had come from, she’d follow its advice. She gripped the stone harder and put her hand behind her back. She had to buy some time, until the damn moon came out and lit her path to freedom.

“What do you want?” she asked.

A suction sound informed her that her enemy was moving through the mud, but he wasn’t coming any closer to her. Maybe he too was waiting for light. Or maybe he was wary of her. The thought comforted her. He was right to be careful. She could be dangerous too.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” the merman said. “I want to help you.”

Charlie almost sniggered. He must think I’m stupid. She’d play along, until she saw an opportunity to escape.

“That’s good,” she said, trying hard not to sound sarcastic. She put on her best “lost little girl” voice. “Can you help me get out of the marsh?”

“Sure!” The merman sounded eager, almost enthusiastic. She heard him move forward, but slowly. “I’ll give you a ride on my back, if you want.”

The voice murmured in Charlie’s head. She couldn’t tell if it was real, or a childhood memory. An old fisherman had told her that story once, when she was holidaying on the Morvann Islands with her parents. And she had read the same story, in the old book she’d found in the police station. The Water Horse offers the unwary traveller a ride on its back, only to throw him off and drown him in the marshes.

Valentine's Day date

 

My Love Affair With Haunted Houses

Welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Robert Herold!

(Author of The Eidola Project)

Haunted Houses and I go way back. I used to set up a haunted house display in my parent’s garage and enlist my brothers and friends to play the roles of various monsters as I, as a mad scientist, led other neighborhood kids through the chamber of horrors. The tour would end with me dissecting a monster in a serio-comic way, removing all manner of things from its abdomen (such as a pop bottle, an old shoe, and a dirty sock). At the conclusion, the creature’s arm would swing out at the other kids, courtesy of a little fishing line, and send the frightened kids running from the haunted garage.

After college, I took a job in a nursing home as I dipped my claws, er, toes, into the writing life. At the nursing home I reprised my earlier passion for haunted houses and got other members of the staff and the management to buy into the idea of putting on a haunted house for the patients. People were encouraged to retrieve a treat from the bottom of a bowl of intestines (OK, it was pasta). There were opportunities for (geriatric) boys to meet ghouls, and gals to hang out with all sorts of unsavory monsters. The conclusion, once again, was me as a mad scientist werewolf (showing my true colors) who would operate on a monster and once again pull out various things from its abdomen (this time it included a bedpan – I’m such a wit). Since I was an adult, I also jazzed it up childhood shtick with beakers of dry ice and colored liquid bubbling away behind me on repurposed bookshelves. The pièce de résistance was me (as the ersatz wolfman/mad scientist) throwing the breaker switch (OK, it was a sponge mop handle) and causing the creature’s eyes to light up. At this point, the creature’s arm would swing out, as before (remember the fishing line trick?) and grab one of the patients.  As I look back on my cavalier sensibilities, I realized I was damn lucky I didn’t cause a heart attack.

When my older son was in kindergarten and first grade I resurrected the haunted house motif, this time for my son’s birthday parties. I used all the same ideas to great success, perhaps too great. After causing one little girl to pee her pants, I realized I had ridden this horror express perhaps a little too far. My forays into this live on only in the nightmares of former kids, now adults.

The haunted house that left the biggest impression on me was as a high school student when I participated in a spooktacular haunted house that was put on by a local rock music station. I helped with the construction, mostly as a gofer, and got to be a werewolf (oh, the joy) once the place opened. This haunted house was not for kids, and had many a frightful room as we repurposed an old home before it was to be torn down. I, as the wolfman, was in a room with Dr. Frankenstein and the monster, and we’d all jump at folks and delight in their screams. Then, toward the end of the evening, in a moment of werewolf abandon, I decided to jump up onto the wall and grab the bars on a window. Much to my chagrin, and pain, the iron bars were actually wooden dowels that broke off and I crashed down onto my werewolf tailbone. I howled in pain. People loved it! I, however, too embarrassed to admit my pain and mistake, limped the three miles home that night instead of begging a ride from someone with wheels. My lesson: One must suffer for one’s art!

Blurb:

It’s 1885 and a drunk and rage-filled Nigel Pickford breaks up a phony medium’s séance. A strange twist of fate soon finds him part of a team investigating the afterlife.

The Eidola Project is an intrepid group of explorers dedicated to bringing the light of science to that which has been feared, misunderstood, and often manipulated by charlatans. They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a sideshow medium, and now a derelict, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses.

Called to the brooding Hutchinson Estate to investigate rumored hauntings, they encounter deadly supernatural forces and a young woman driven to the brink of madness.

Will any of them survive?

Excerpt:

Sarah retrieved the lamp and twisted the peg. The outhouse door swung open on its own, and she gasped.

“Momma?” Sarah asked as she held out her lantern. No. A ruined version of Molly stood in the doorway.

Before her disappearance, people often commented on the sixteen-year-old’s beauty, but in the last twenty-eight days birds pecked out her pretty blue eyes, and maggots now swam in the sockets. Molly’s head hung to the left at an odd angle. Her skin looked mottled with patches of gray, blue, and black. A beetle crawled out of Molly’s half-opened mouth and darted back in.

Sarah’s heart leaped to her throat, and she jumped back. She lost her footing, fell onto the outhouse seat, and dropped the lantern to the floor. She bent to retrieve it; thankful the glass globe did not break. Sarah looked up and saw an empty doorway.

Impossible, she told herself. Must’ve dozed off, had a nightmare, and woke up when I dropped the lamp. Her heart still pounded in her chest, and Sarah took a deep breath to calm herself.

Holding the lamp before her once more, she crept out…

Author Bio:

The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since Robert Herold’s mother refused to allow him, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)

As a child, fresh snow provided him the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with his fingers as far as he could stretch. He would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)

He has pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to him. You could say he was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call, he wrote The Eidola Project, based on a germ of an idea he had as a teenager.

Ultimately, he hopes the book gives you the creeps, and he means that in the best way possible.

 

Contact Links (list as many as you’d like):

Website:  https://robertheroldauthor.com/

Blog:

Email:  email@robertheroldauthor.com

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

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/RobertHerold666

Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48422164-the-eidola-project

BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-eidola-project-by-robert-herold

YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZovJ-MZQ5Y   (17 second animated book trailer!)

Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/robertheroldauthor/

Pintrest:   https://www.pinterest.com/roberttherold/

LinkedIn:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-herold-6675757/

Amazon Author Page:   https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Herold/e/B07YW82TLR

 

Links for Purchase (use as many as you’d like):

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Eidola-Project-Novel-ebook/dp/B07YRB4F99/ref=sr_1_1

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eidola-project-robert-herold/1133990920

Kobo:   https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-eidola-project

Apple iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-eidola-project/id1482589362

Chapters:  https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-eidola-project/9781509224074-item.html

Google Books: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Eidola_Project.htm

 

More about me:

I wanted to be a werewolf as a child, so writing is letting me live out my childhood fantasies! I live in Seattle and have been a middle school history teacher for many years. I also play in local band called Bluetopia. My wife works with homeless women. Our two grown sons live in Portlandia. We have a chihuahua, named Jangles, we inherited from my sister when she passed away. He watches the television with us and barks at any image of an animal or animated creature (including the Mucinex monster)!

I’ve always been fascinated with the horror genre. In addition to wanting to be a werewolf, subscribing to monster magazines, and building all the Universal Monsters models, as a boy I used to construct a haunted house in my family’s garage and invite the other kids in for a scare!

I just received the contract for the second book in the Eidola Project series, currently at the editor, a sequel involving a werewolf (I know, go figure!) called, Moonlight Becomes You. I am also halfway through writing book three, where the team travels cross-country (a big deal in 1885) to solve a series of murders by a deadly shapeshifting creature plaguing the coastal Native Americans in the Washington Territory. It’s entitled Totem of Terror.

Interesting part of the story to research:

I found researching William James’s actual forays into paranormal investigations fascinating. A great resource is The Ghost Hunters—William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death, by Deborah Blum

What inspired the title of the book:

The book is about a team of 19th Century ghosthunters who become ensnared in a deadly investigation of a haunted house. Eidola is a Greek word for ghost, so I thought it fit perfectly.

 Advice for aspiring writers:

Come up with an ending first. It will provide direction and keep you from getting lost half-way. Also, pack the inner critic away in a lock box until you’re done with the rough draft. Having a sense of the whole, however rough, rightly gives you a sense of accomplishment. When editing, only let the critic out for short periods and only if it behaves itself. Work hard to polish your writing, but don’t let it cause you sink into despair or abandon your work. If I can do it, anyone can!

What I do for fun, besides writing:

Reading, watching movies and TV, taking long walks, eating ethnic, going to the theater & concerts, listening and playing music—especially jazz and classical (I play the sax and flute and I’m in a band).

 My favorite quote:

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” G. K. Chesterton, author of the Father Brown mysteries

Awards for The Eidola Project:

  • Currently a semi-finalist in the Chanticleer International Book Awards—Paranormal Category
  • 2nd Place in The Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards
  • 3rd Place in The Grand Opening Awards

The Beltane Balladeer — a free read!

“Don’t you dare!”

My stepmother’s words were the last push that launched me over the edge.

14577443997_64420db5a5_bHalf pirate, half wandering minstrel, Connan Shaunessy sang Irish ballads for the pagan party, his exotic appearance and lilting voice a siren song to my raging 17-year-old libido. He looked like he hadn’t bathed in a week, maybe more. My sense of decorum hadn’t drawn me close enough to determine by smell.

I didn’t really care.

His shabby Jack-o-the-Green coat, black jeans with holes worn through the knees, and his unpolished boots were everything opposite of the life I led, dictated by the Stepmonster.

He finished a set and stumbled off the impromptu stage, a stranger ripe with fascination, cornflower eyes twinkling as he approached me. “Like what ye see, darlin’?” he asked with a wink.

A hot rush filled my face. “Y-you bet,” I stammered, trying to sound cool.

He leaned close and brushed my cheek with his lips, then continued on to the bar. The odor of unwashed man didn’t repel me at all. In fact, it had rather the opposite effect.

That’s when I caught the Stepmonster’s eyes on me. She was pissed, I could tell, and the whispered warning was just loud enough for me to hear. No daughter of mine…

Something released inside me, and I felt hot and cold and old and young and giddy, mostly giddy.

Connan’s eye continued to seek me out the rest of the evening, and I managed to slip him a scrawled invitation to visit me later.

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Enter a caption

Sure enough, he showed up outside my window about two a.m., swaying dangerously as he burst into a lecherous song. The most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me, and I had to cut him off with a glass of ice water to the face before he woke anyone else. Fortunately, my room was on the first floor and I didn’t have to talk him out of drunkenly climbing a rose trellis. I just opened the window and half-dragged him in.

“Hello,” I whispered, my smile unbidden. “Are you my fairy godfather?”

His laugh delighted me. “Dunno ‘bout that, lass, but I can take ye t’ heaven.” He leaned forward and his long arm pulled me to him. He kissed me, a pungent blend of whiskey and smoke, but he didn’t let me go. I think because he couldn’t stand up on his own.

“I—I haven’t…been to heaven before,” I confessed.

It was true. My father was the city’s chief of police. He’d run off every boy who’d even showed an interest. I might have sought out the company of hot girls, just to staunch my youthful desires without suspicion. But men set my blood aflame.

He leaned close to my ear. “Don’t ye be worryin’, darlin’. I know the way.” He shucked off his jacket. “Where’s the loo?”

I pointed to my private bathroom. He lurched in that direction, half closing the door. A long stream of water, then the toilet flushed, and then the shower came on.

My heart kicked over. What if the Stepmonster thought I shouldn’t be showering this time of night?

Half holding my breath, I retreated to the bed, sitting awkwardly on its corner, wondering what I had been thinking. She’d crucify me if…

Apparently fortune was with me. She didn’t appear.

After what seemed an impossibly long time, a well-scrubbed Connan strode out of the bathroom, dripping wet and stark naked, his manhood already manifesting a salute. He tossed me a towel.

“Come meet the Beltane Balladeer,” he said.

It started there and ended a good deal later, sometime just before dawn, when we shared one last searing kiss. I drifted into sleep as the window closed behind him. I’d expected to learn about making love; instead, I learned about the power of lust.

And that, after all, is a lesson well worth learning.

Would You Have Dared This Adventure?

A terrible result of the Civil War was that fighting took the lives of so many young men. Numbers given are that between 620,000 and 750,000 men died in the Civil War, by far the greatest toll of any war in American history. When most of the surviving single men moved west, this left no one for Eastern women to marry. If a woman wanted a husband and children, what was she to do? If a man wanted a wife and family, what was he to do?black-woman-and-child-png-8

This is why there are so many mail-order bride and proxy bride romances. Although mail-order and proxy brides existed before and after this era, they flourished in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

Here is where your challenge comes in: If you were single during this time, what would you have done?

In my ancestry and that of my husband, several women became little more than a live-in, unpaid maid. Would you have wanted to spend the rest of your life as “Aunt” whoever to someone else’s family? Or, would you have dared become a mail-order bride?

In the west the ratio was sometimes 1 woman (who might be married) to 14 men and more men to women near mines. If you wanted a wife and children, what would you do? Would you send for a bride sight-unseen?

Chris Enss’ book Hearts West discusses actual mail-order brides. Some are happy stories, some are frightening. Each is interesting.

Matrimonial agencies supposedly verified the character and intentions of the man and woman before the marriage was arranged. Also available were newspaper-like periodicals filled with ads placed by men who wanted a wife (no verification). If you’ve read some of these, you know they varied from so egotistical they’re comical to so brief no information is supplied.

Imagine yourself a woman traveling by train or—more likely—by stagecoach to meet a prospective groom. You could be single or widowed. More than likely you’d be nearly destitute. If the man you’re going to meet doesn’t suit, you have no funds to repay him for your travel fare and return home. Perhaps you have no home to which you can return. What if he’s a drunk or beats women or is a crook?

Imagine being a single man who longs for a wife and family and sends for a bride. What if she’s a shrew or slovenly and can’t cook or keep house? What if she’s a con artist who plans to remain only long enough to gain access to your savings?

Would you have dared enter a mail-order marriage?

 

Widows Brides and Secret Babies VictoriaAbout The Book

She has to protect her baby . . .

He is desperate for help . . .

Trouble preys on their livelihood . . .

Widow Victoria Bailey is desperate to prevent her in-laws from gaining custody of her eighteen-month-old daughter. If becoming a mail-order bride is her only option, she’ll take the risk. At least on a Texas ranch she’ll have quiet and peace. She doesn’t have time to let the groom know she’s bringing her daughter. Surely no man can object to one perfect little girl.

Widower Greg Hardy is desperate to get help with his home and his children. He needs to be pursuing whoever is rustling his cattle. A mail-order bride seems to be exactly what he needs but should he keep his children a secret? To insure he doesn’t scare off a prospective wife, he omits the fact that he has five children aged from eight months to twelve years old.

Their marriage starts with misunderstanding. They decide to work together to fight against a common foe. Will the fight take a toll on their fragile happiness?

Enjoy An Excerpt

Her head pounded as if a blacksmith hammered his anvil inside. She couldn’t continue in this state of fear. Instead, she had to do something without delay.

“Tell me the matchmaker’s address. I’m too desperate to turn down any chance to leave Atlanta with Regina safely in my care.”

“Fortunately, she lives only about a mile from us.” Diana rose and went to her writing desk. She opened a drawer and took out a sheet of paper.

Referring to a letter she’d removed from an envelope, Diana wrote on the paper then handed it to her. “Here’s the address. You won’t have any trouble finding her house.”

Victoria studied the writing. “I think I know where this is and I’ll go there now. There’s no time to waste. I expect my in-laws back to steal Regina no later than noon tomorrow.”

Diana hugged her briefly. “Godspeed, my friend. If you do leave, promise you’ll let me know your new address.”

“I will because I am leaving for somewhere, Diana. Thank you for your friendship.”

The soft breeze failed to soothe Victoria. She recognized the part of town in which the matchmaker lived. The homes were nicer than hers—though she thought of the house as hers, her in-laws actually owned her home. She found the correct house and was surprised a matchmaker lived there.

The red brick home was built in the Federal style with white columns in front. A small brass plate was attached to the fence pillar. The first line said Mercedes McCormick and the second line read Matches Made In Heaven.

That described what she needed. Her first marriage wasn’t made in heaven but perhaps the next one would be better. She pushed the perambulator up the walk and maneuvered it up the steps to the porch.

“Regina, here we go. I hope we’re not sorry.” She rang the bell.

About The Author

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their two rescued indoor cats and dog as well as providing nourishment outdoors for other critters.

The books she creates in her pink cave have made her a bestselling author and won awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. Her series include the Kincaids, McClintocks, Stone Mountain Texas, Bride Brigade, Texas Time Travel, Texas Caprock Tales, Pearson Grove, and Loving A Rancher as well as numerous single titles and contributions to multi-author sets. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Join her and other readers at Caroline’s Cuties, a Facebook readers group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/277082053015947/ for special excerpts, exchanging ideas, contests, giveaways, recipes, and talking to like-minded people about books and other fun things.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Follow her on BookBub.

To stay up-to-date with her releases and contests, subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here and receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

 

Title: MAIL-ORDER VICTORIA, Widows, Brides and Secret Babies book 7

Author: Caroline Clemmons

Genre: Historical western romance

Heat level: PG

Amazon Universal link: https://mybook.to/Victoria

Amazon US link: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Widows-Brides-Secret-Babies-ebook/dp/B086DFCDRB

Available in e-book, print, and enrolled in KU

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