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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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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.

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 dangers of traveling across a post-plague America #MFRWHooks

In the first book of the Color of Fear series, WINDMILLS, Tzu Lin Kwan leaves her native Hong Kong after a plague aimed at killing the white population sweeps around the world. Her mission: bring quantities of Chinese herbs to her scientist father, who has defected to the US, in hopes of coming up with a cure before it mutates and kills the people of color who are left. Xi San, who has become a vigilante in his native San Francisco, finally admits he has the possibility for another life, and heads to find his friend Eddie in St. Louis. Each of these two heroes gather others along the way.

DESTINATIONS is the story of how Kwan and San meet again on the road, and their tumultuous journey to the new American capital, St. Louis, where thanks to Eddie and KMOX radio, survivors are gathering together to begin again.

Xi San saved the life of a mysterious girl one night in his ravaged San Francisco neighborhood. He can’t get her out of his mind, but believes that she’s lost to him.

Lin Kwan came to America to bring her scientist father Chinese medicinal herbs, hoping to stop the virus that killed most of the world’s Caucasians before it mutates to infect the rest of the world. On her way to finding him, she meets again the man who once saved her, a man she can’t forget.

With a diverse group of fellow travelers, they head for St. Louis, where civilization is being rebuilt. Between them and safety, danger lurks—Gabriel, a self-styled religious leader and white supremacist, who has organized his army from Upper Midwest survivalist and militia followers, determined to take revenge for the white man. But Gabriel isn’t their only enemy. Before they reach their destination, they will battle nature, prejudice and even those hidden among them who wish their destruction.

BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Destinations-Color-Fear-Lyndi-Alexander/dp/1612712649

EXCERPT:

Gabriel loved Iowa. And he loved farmers.
All those descendants of Swedes, Norwegians, English and Germans had left him a literal buffet of gasoline in easy-to access tanks they’d installed to fuel their farm equipment. Back in the days when they were still farming, of course. Since their white skin and pale hair had doomed them, for the most part, they’d left their precious resources for the new generation.
Gabriel was grateful.
The big man made no secret of this in his nightly sermons to his troops.
“We must always remember those who perished from the virus, those who tilled these lands and fed the great nation that was America. They were the real heroes of those times. But they have passed, leaving the banner of greatness for us to carry. And we shall carry it well!”
He was also grateful for the prize he’d discovered in a dusty, leaking barn outside of Sioux City—a 2008 Fleetwood motorhome, loaded. All the bells and whistles. Even a sliding-glass-door shower. Sure, it consumed volumes of gas like a teenage boy scarfing popcorn at a movie, but he could hold meetings on the road and impress people with his preaching.
A couple of the team members had whipped out some paint and made the outside pretty, covered in patriotic red-white-and blue, flags, stars, you name it. Across each side, as big as they could make it, was the logo he’d designed. Angels of Gabriel was painted stylistically atop a long, brassy trumpet and, underneath the instrument, a pair of crossed rifles, to demonstrate their strength.
Sitting in the yard outside the window of the farmhouse he’d commandeered, it was a huge mobile advertisement that said, “Gabriel is here to stay—and he’s coming for you.”
His dark-skinned cook brought in his tray and set it on the cluttered desk in front of him. The thin woman in the flowered apron with the colorful rag tied on her head didn’t look him in the eye.
“Breakfast, sir,” she said.
He surveyed the contents of the worn china plates. Eggs over easy with grits and red-eye gravy, a thick slice of ham from one of the cartons of cans he’d brought along, and fresh applesauce. The warm cinnamon aroma coming from the desk made his stomach growl.
Those Southern nigras always knew how to make the best food; it’s why he’d sent men to search Louisiana to acquire this one. He liked it when she served him herself. It felt just right.

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=296856

Ghosts and other nightly bumps

Have you ever had ghostly interactions? Ever heard unworldly noises like the sounds of mysterious footsteps in a hallway where no one walked, or someone calling your name or interior doors slamming where there was no breeze? I’ve often said I am the least intuitive person I’ve ever known, yet even I have had a kind of mini-event. My husband was in town buying things for a trip he was leaving for the next day. I was at home in our closet, getting things out and ready for him to pack. I very clearly heard the front door open and him call my name. Clear. As. A. Bell. I called out, “I’m in the bedroom!” When he didn’t say anything back or come in, I went to investigate. There was no one there. The door was locked and no one had come in. A year later, while he was living/working in Kansas City and I was still in Virginia, I woke one morning to the aroma of his after shave. He’d been gone for weeks—the sheets had
most definitely been washed. The scent lingered. I was so taken with it that I immediately called him to be sure everything was okay.

These small things are nothing compared to other stories I’ve heard. My mother-in-law said that her father-in-law appeared at the foot of her bed to say that goodbye and that he “loved the boys.” Later that morning they received the message that he had passed during the night. My mom has often heard her aunt saying her name. They were very close so she always takes comfort in it. When she and my aunt shared a place in Dallas, she used to smell pipe tobacco and hear a child laugh. Sometimes at night the lamp beside her chair would go on and off, on and off. She told me that she would say, “Stop that now,” and after a few childish titters the activity stopped. My best friend was driving down a street in the right lane. A car was on her left. As they approached an intersection, she plainly heard a voice say, “Look left!” She stopped immediately. The car to her left did not and was T-boned in the intersection. She told me that she has heard that voice give advice like that several times over the years, and she’s usually saved from something bad.

So…I believe. Not in Casper, no, but in spirits watching over us, playing with us, crossing into our plane. And so does my heroine in Passionate Destiny—after her own experiences in an old Virginia house she’s inherited. She senses, then feels, and finally sees Aaron, a Confederate soldier, both in the house and outdoors. Then she meets Aaron Belton, the contractor who she hires to bring the house into the 21 st century while maintaining its 19 th century character. She doesn’t know the relationship between the two Aarons, but she knows there’s something…something not quite right. With one, she shares a house. With the other she shares a destiny—a very passionate destiny.

Book: Passionate Destiny
Author: Dee S. Knight
Publisher: Nomad Authors Publishing
Release date: March 8, 2020
Buy link: https://tinyurl.com/sxy5sfh
Price: $2.99 (for eBook), $9.99 (for paperback) or KU
Word count: 85,960
Pages: 215

When Margaret Amis-Hollings inherits an old house in Virginia, she never suspects she’d be sharing it with a very loving ghost. Or that her interest would be divided between her spirit lover and the very live man who’s renovating the place. Suddenly her life is intertwined with a soldier from a previous century and with his descendant, Aaron, who has a secret concerning her home. Is it coincidence or the power
of a past love that makes her want to share her life—as well as her destiny—with Aaron?

Excerpt:
He straightened, standing close to the car and effectively blocking her exit. Still looking out the window, Margaret found herself facing his belt buckle, peeking out between the edges of the wool vest he wore.
Involuntarily, she moved her eyes a little lower and saw a bulge in his jeans that startled her with its size. She gulped, feeling herself blush, but couldn’t seem to force her eyes away.

Fantasies assailed her. Was his member really as large as it seemed, based on that bulge? She stopped herself. Member? That was no “member”; that was a cock, plain and simple. And a big one, too. God, how would it be to touch it through his rough jeans? Her hand lifted off her lap before she forced it back. Did he know how to use it? She’d bet he did. Was he married?

Wait a minute, married? Who cared? This was a fantasy.

Her panties were wet, the results of her wayward thoughts, and her nipples scraped hard against her blouse. She licked her lips, imagining his jeans pulled down around his thighs, his huge cock positioned right at her point of entry. He fit perfectly between her legs, as he slid through the moisture that betrayed her seeming disinterest, pushing into her…

She suddenly became aware that he had bent down and was speaking. Mentally shaking herself, she tried to concentrate on his words, at the same time hoping he didn’t have mind reading capabilities.

“…road will narrow, and twist around. County maintenance ends after about a mile, so it deteriorates a little, but you shouldn’t have any trouble in this.” He patted the roof of the Ford sedan she had borrowed from her mother in exchange for her Z4 roadster. “The Rawling place is just about the only thing back that way. You’ll see the sign for River Peace. Go right up the drive and the house is at the top of the rise. Got it?”

“Yes,” she said tersely. She realized she sounded a bit testy, finding it difficult to focus on the directions he had just given rather than the bulge in his jeans. “Sounds simple enough. Uh… Go up the road a couple of miles until it deteriorates and then turn right up the drive.”

He blew out an exasperated breath. “No, turn around and go back toward town. Take the first road to the right. That’s Route 803. From there it’s a couple of miles and you turn right up the drive. Do you need me to lead you?”

“There’s no need to get male about this. Sounds like there are only two turns. I think I can handle that all right, thank you.”

Snap! She glanced over her shoulder at the sound of the pump shutting off, then dug out her wallet as he put the pump handle back in place and screwed the gas cap on. He spoke and waved to the man behind her, who waved back before getting in his car.

“It’s forty-one dollars,” he told her when he came back to her window again. “They’ll take it inside.”

She thrust two twenty-dollar bills and a five at him. “Here. Why do I have to go inside?” He looked at the bills in her hand and laughter lit his eyes. “Why indeed?” he murmured. He took the money and stood to leave.

“Wait!” Margaret called out. “Do you know a man named”—she picked up Ron Gibson’s letter from the seat beside her—”Aaron Belton? He’s supposed to be some sort of carpenter or construction guy or something. In a burg this size I figured everyone would know everyone else.”

Leaning down again, he smiled, and Margaret thought her heart would stop. “Yeah, I know him. What do you want with him?”

“If you don’t mind my saying so, you’re awfully inquisitive. I have business with him, and that’s all you need to know. Do you have any idea how I can reach him? Is he known for good work?”

“Best work you’ll find in four counties. Can’t vouch for anything beyond that. He’s in the phone book.” With that, he straightened and strode off.

She watched him go into the building, then a few minutes later come out and climb in the pickup across the island from her. Her mouth dropped open as he started the engine. When she hit her horn, he merely stuck his arm out the window, waved four dollar bills in the air, and pulled away.

About Dee:
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

Deadly secrets haunt this House

Lyndi welcomes her adventurous friend  Julie Howard today, with her new release House of Seven Spirits! HouseofSevenSpirits_w14284_ib

About the story:

Some secrets are deadly, and ghost-blogger Jillian Winchester and her photographer boyfriend discover it’s true when they set out to investigate an Australian family who disappeared without a trace in the 1880s.

An abandoned sheep station rumored to be haunted by the long-dead Kinsley family is one challenge. The other is the beautiful but deadly Outback.

As Jillian probes deeper into the mystery, one thing becomes clear: She might not make it out of this quest alive.

 

 

Excerpt:

“Don’t go up there,” Mason warned. “The wood’s apt to be rotted in places. The floor may not be safe.”

She glanced over her shoulder at him and hesitated. Her California beach home was eight thousand miles away—a fifteen-hour flight plus a day’s drive along bumpy bleak roads. She hadn’t come this far to only examine the structure’s exterior. Her work required total immersion.

She put a foot on the first step and tested it with her weight. Mason strode around the car and halted just below the porch with arms crossed. “Jillian.”

The last thing she needed was someone hovering, directing her on what she could and couldn’t do. When she worked, the “real” world faded in importance. His uneasy energy interrupted her focus. “I’m fine.”

The stair was solid, at least. Not even a creak greeted her as she advanced onto the veranda. He cleared his throat as she took another step, but said nothing.

Despite the heat, a sudden chill rippled up her bare arms, sending prickles all the way to her neck. For a split second, her world tilted and her senses were overwhelmed. The musty odor of freshly shorn sheep wool, clothes flapping on a line, young voices chattering, the sharp tang of blood. Just as quick, the images dissolved and all was still, dry and lifeless once more. She let go of a deep breath, and a feeling of exhilaration swept through her.

Someone’s here.

****

Bio:

juliehowardpixJulie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime and Spirited Quest series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. Now she edits an online anthology, Potato Soup Journal.

Author Links:

Website: http://juliemhoward.com

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07D6CS4NQ

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/julie-howard?list=author_books

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_JulieMHoward

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18116047.Julie_Howard

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ubgz73p

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/house-of-seven-spirits/id1497768327

Nook: https://bit.ly/39kJRgS

Domin8 by author Stephen B. King, a dark tale of love, sex and redemption

Meet Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Stephen B. King!

Domin8

Release Date 13th of April 2020
Published by The Wild Rose Press

When I first had the idea for this complex story I was in my fifties, in a happy, stable relationship and my children had all grown up. I was a manager for a large car dealership, earning good money and life was good. I had achieved a lifelong goal of signing a contract with a reputable publisher for my first book, Forever Night, and they wanted more from me, so I told my editor, Shannon, of the idea I’d had for a long while about Domin8. She loved it and urged me to write it. Sadly, before I could complete the story, the publisher was bought out by a conglomerate, and the line I was contracted to suddenly, was no more.
Thankfully, through my wonderful publisher The Wild Rose Press, my editor Melanie also loved the story and allowed me to remove it from its self-published status, perform a massive re-write and work with her to publish it.

Dave Barndon is a 50-year-old car dealer who adores his wife of twenty-six years, and his three adult children. The only cloud on the horizon is that while he still desires sex with his wife as much as ever, she no longer does. Dave uses pornography to find release, and through some unusual circumstances becomes fascinated with women who chose to be submissive. Digging deeper into the internet through online chat rooms Dave gets to play with women, but, as he says, cybersex isn’t real, and he yearns for more. He discovers an internet website that specialised in hooking up married people who are looking for NSA dalliances, and Dave thinks he has found Utopia.
Believing Dianne, his wife, has given tacit approval so long as it doesn’t affect their married life, Dave edges deeper into a secret life; fuelled by the internet, until someone starts murdering his lovers and tries to frame him. The police are getting closer and Dave must try to find who has targeted him, and why to stay out of jail. Things take a terrible turn for the worse when Dianne, his alibi for the second murder, is killed while he is in the shower, and Dave is arrested for three murders.
I watched the TV show that sparked Dave’s interest in submissive women which began his trek that ended in disaster. Some would say it is  his fault, yet some other look deeper.
There are so many parallels between Dave and myself in real life, to make Domin8 as authentic as possible, for research only in writing I went online, and visited some of the plethora of dark D/s and dating websites on the internet. Some might find my descriptions of chat session far-fetched; I promise you they are not. As Dave asks the reader: ‘If what I did was so unusual, how come the internet is full of sex sites?’
Domin8 is a total work of fiction (other than my research) and written to entertain and most readers love the story. Of those who read and reviewed only one in ten guessed who the murderer was before he was revealed, and that pleased me no end. The book is a thriller, a dark psychological one maybe, but also a police procedural and a whodunnit.
I hope readers enjoy Domin8 and the story of Dave, his descent into a darker world and his attempt to find redemption for his hedonistic life choices.

Steve

www.stephen-b-king.com

Twitter: @stephenBKing1

Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

Blurb
After his wife loses interest in him, fifty-year-old Dave Barndon turns to the dark side of the Internet and sex chat rooms. There he finds willing partners who are happy to fulfil his needs with no strings attached. But they aren’t the only ones looking to play.
When a woman he had an affair with is murdered he becomes the prime suspect. He thinks his alibi is solid until a second woman is murdered, and then a third. He fights for his freedom and redemption while the body count rises. He must figure out who is framing him and why before the killer strikes again.

 

Buy Links:

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/38NApSu

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xCrMNC

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2Qe0vaI

Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781509230761

An exclusive excerpt:

“I was frustrated and couldn’t find anyone who would treat me how I wanted to be treated. It was boring on normal dates, and the once or twice when I tried to explain to men, they thought I was weird. One of the women at work mentioned the dating site After Dark, which I joined and I hooked up with a couple of Doms, before meeting my Mistress. It was love. I absolutely adore her, and I have been with her ever since. You should try After Dark, Master. It is a good site. And you will meet women like me.”

That was the longest statement she made the entire night. Normally she preferred to speak only when spoken to. “I’ve never heard of it, angel. Tell me more.”

“It is a dating site for people who are looking for a partner to experience different lifestyles. They might be bi, or gay, sadists, masochists, Doms, subs or people into pee games or whatever turns them on whether they are married or single. The good thing is once you meet someone through the site you are expected to go back in and rate them, so others can have a guide as to what you are like. I can tell you will be a great Master, and I am sure in time you would have a lot of women who would want to serve you.”

Chloe was a mine of good information and she told me all about the website which in the future would change my life.

We drove back to her place, where Chloe invited me inside and offered a glass of wine with a smile on her bowed face. I got to undress the beautiful woman that she was. Dianne was on night shift, so I had time and we made love three times during the night. She was superb, reveling in every command I gave her and seeming to enjoy herself the more she submitted. It was a new experience for me, to have someone so willing to please and perform anything I asked. I got home before three, showered and climbed into bed, but couldn’t sleep
because my mind was racing about the night I’d had. I was in total awe of Chloe.

When Di got home in the morning she remarked that I looked tired. I blamed an upset tummy and being a nurse, she was concerned. I told her it was just a bug going around and that several people at work had come down with it.

I felt guilty and hated myself for the  lying, but if she suspected anything at all it was as if she didn’t want to ask, in case she found out something she didn’t like. That was genuinely what I believed at the time.

I had that same feeling with Dianne several times over the next few months. Possibly, she was perceptive, or had an inkling of my infidelity, perhaps not; I don’t know for sure. I suppose if she didn’t know it for a fact, she could convince herself things were fine, and her life would stay the same. On the other hand, if she was certain I was screwing around it would be different and she would have to confront the issue, which she herself had created.

Maybe I am deluding myself in thinking that, but over time, the more I considered it, the more the theory made sense. That helped somewhat with the ultimate guilt that was to come. It’s hard, considering what eventually occurred to look back now and be totally
objective and unemotional. At that time, I had no idea how bad things would turn out, so blindly carried on enjoying my selfish hedonistic lifestyle, because I had been spurned by the woman I chose to spend my life with. Did I over rationalize it? I can’t honestly say. I wish I
knew for a fact, but I never will now.

Dianne didn’t have the emotional make up to play around; sex wasn’t something that was important to her, but it was for me. I know she loved me, and she didn’t want to spend her life with anyone else, or alone. It’s comforting to think now she did suspect me but made
a conscious decision not to pursue it further.

I will take that grain of comfort to my grave.

stevebooks

 

A swashbuckling cat!

Welcome to Lyndi’s adventurous friend, Mary Kit Caelsto!

 

When an anthology call for swashbuckling cats hit my social media feed, I easily imagined a cat with a jaunty hat, a cutlass in one hand, and an eyepatch. Probably not a parrot, though my parrot and the kitties seem to get along well enough. As a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady, pirate cats seemed like the perfect thing to write. And they fit into my magical world very well since I wrote characters that each had their scotia or familiar.

Orains’ story came to me. Not only would he be the sotia of someone who looked for magical artifacts in shipwrecks, but he also had mythology and a mission of his own. The characters arrived fully formed, with this snippet of their story, and this novella pretty much wrote itself.

This story allowed me to expand my world of Musimagium to the high seas and bring the idea of a pirate cat into the modern world. Pirates still exist, and they’re not the ones you hear about occasionally on the news. There are explorers and scientists all looking for sunken treasure and answers to questions. As someone who really enjoys documentaries on the topic, it fascinates me. Add in a cat and an element of magic, not to mention a few pictures of cats in scuba suits, and Nadia and Orains sail on in my imagination.

This story stands alone and I suspect it also won’t be the last we hear of them.

Chasing Neptune’s Cat Blurb

Nadia and her cat Orains pilot the Lilly Princess around the world in search of sunken magical treasure. She’s got a lead on the sunken wreck of the Astrea and its magical cargo. A magical storm conjured by the Samurai, a group of mages with designs of their own on the treasure, pushes them off course. What could have scuttled the entire mission turns fortuitous when they discover the mystical treasure of Neptune’s Cat. And once Orains puts on one of the collars, things may never be the same again.

Book link on my site (with all links and excerpt) :  https://marykitcaelsto.com/blog/book/chasing-neptunes-cat/

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VQYRiT

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48337919-chasing-neptune-s-cat

About The Author

Mary Kit Caelsto never grew out of the phase of being a “horse crazy girl”. Though she’s now over 40, she’s finally fulfilling her dream of writing equestrian books for others who haven’t grown out of being “horse crazy”. She lives in the Ozarks with her four very spoiled and very opinionated horses, as well as a large flock of poultry and enough cats to qualify her as a crazy cat lady. Her husband, though not an equestrian himself, understands and supports all her equestrian dreams.

She’s convinced three of the best things in the world are the smell of a sun warmed horse, the smell of leather tack, and making sure to hug her horses every single day.

 

Picture of the author and “SuperDuck” taken 3/2019. Hair color varies depending on mood.

Website: http://marykitcaelsto.com (Visit and sign up for free stories!)

Patreon: https://patreon.com/marykitcaelsto (Patreons receive free stories. Support starts at $1/month.)

Twitter: http://twitter.com/charmedozarks

Facebook: http://facebook.com/marykitcaelsto

Instagram: http://instagram.com/marykitcaelsto

GoodReads:https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/98579871-mary-caelsto

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/mary-kit-caelsto

Kayelle Allen’s space opera: filled with characters you’ll never forget

Today we welcome Kayelle Allen, who I met on her site, Romance Lives Forever-  reading her story, I see we have a lot in common! I hope you enjoy meeting her and finding out about her books.

 

boc1-2-nik-smile-read450Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you for inviting me! I write Science Fiction and Fantasy, Space Opera, YA, and in the past, have written erotic romance. I’ve moved toward a more PG version of story these days.

I’ve been published since 2004. Believe it or not, no one had ever heard of a Kindle back then. We published eBooks, which people had no idea what to do with. Indie publishing was in its infancy. At that time, people still thought “self-published” meant you weren’t good enough to get a “real book” published. They had no idea the number of years it could take to get a book released, if you could even get someone to read your submission in the first place. Compare that to a turn around of a few months if you are indie.

The publishing business went through a revolution, and some of the biggest publishers from that time are gone. Mostly, they failed to keep up with the changing times and embrace the new technology. I’m a dinosaur in the indie world, but I’ve loved seeing the changes as they occur and applaud the freedom it has given writers. Currently, I am 100% indie published.

What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

I live north of Atlanta, GA in the rural area of the state. No pets, but I have dog-grandbabies if you know what I mean. Married forever, three grown children, five grandchildren. Huge extended family of people I have heart-adopted.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I like coffee, but my doctor doesn’t want me imbibing caffeine, so I drink decaf. My drink of choice while writing is water or a caffeine-free Diet Coke.

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?

I went to college but as far as writing goes, I am self-taught. A lifetime of reading and writing, studying, taking online courses, and polishing my skills has given me a much higher polish than someone with formal education and no experience.

 

boco500

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

The Bringer of Chaos series is currently two books and a short story, but it will be bigger before I’m done with it. I have two more books in mind and another short story. Currently, readers can download the short story, Lights Out, free when they join one of my reader groups. I’ll leave a link at the end. Here’s the blurb for book 1 of the series.

Bringer of Chaos: Origin of Pietas

Exiled to a barren world, the immortal king Pietas must learn to humble himself and ask for help–politely. Without assistance, he might spend an eternity alone, never finding the people he has already died over a thousand times to save.
The problem is, the only source of aid is a human, the very one who caused his exile in the first place.
Immortal. Warrior. Outcast. Traitors took everything. Except his honor.

What inspired you to write this story?

I had written a book about Luc, a popular character in my story universe, and was working on a sequel. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the villain to be the villain. I literally rewrote the entire book nine times. Finally, a friend sat down with me and started asking me questions about my so-called villain. Turns out, Pietas wasn’t a villain at all. I was looking at the wrong aspect of the story altogether. So I decided rather than finish that book, I’d write a short story about the “villain” so I could understand his motivation. Two books later I’m still writing about Pietas. Turned out he was a hero who masqueraded as a villain in order to accomplish a greater purpose. That’s how the entire Bringer of Chaos series was born. I should mention that Pietas is immortal, so he has appeared in books that range thousands of years in date.

What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

I learned that there was a human at the center of the story that I had never considered before. I wrote Six as a convenient walk on part to get the story where it needed to go, but the more I wrote, the more I saw an opportunity to develop Pietas by reflecting him off the human. Six’s origin story is told in Lights Out, the free book I mentioned before.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?

The wry humor. Pietas starts out as a downright jerk in the first part of the story, but as you move through the tale, you start to see that his “jerkness” is part of an act, a shield to guard his heart. He’s honorable and just, opposite of what he perceives humans to be. Until he gets to know Six. And because Six refuses to take life seriously, and Pietas is all about duty and honor, the friendship that develops between them is one hot mess.

Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

I had a lot of one-on-one chats with a friend over this book. She guided my creation of Pietas and Six both. I’m forever grateful for her influence.

How would you best describe your books?

I write space opera with larger than life, unforgettable characters. Read one of my books and you will remember the people you met while you walked in my world.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Space Opera/Science Fiction. I grew up on it. One of my best friends writes historical westerns. She has to often stop and look up a word to see if it was in use back then. I have to stop and look in the lexicon that I created to see if the word I need is one I already created. Like “Imperinet” — the imperial internet in one period of my story world.

To read?

You might laugh, but one of my favorite reads is Regency Romance. I just finished one by Alexa Aston that I absolutely adored. I also read suspenseful stories by authors like Michael Connelly, JD Robb, and Lee Child. I read in my genre too. I want to know what trends are being followed. I plain love any good story.

What do you most like about writing?

World building I think, although when I can figure out how to layer in a character from another book into a new one, I get a kick out of that too. I wrote a lexicon of Felis, the language used by feline-humanoids in my books. There are only a handful of words in any book, but I have nearly forty pages of text I can choose from to create a sentence or phrase when I need one. For example, kahmay t’hahr means “hero of my heart” and it’s a term of endearment.

Least like?

About the writing process? The time it takes. I wish I could dump stories from my head straight into the computer. What a timesaver that would be!

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I was about four or five. My mother loved to write and she was an artist. I learned to write the word cat in school, came home and told my mother that now I could write a story about cats. Fast forward many years, my first book featured a hero who was a HalfKin, a mix of human and feline-humanoid. Didn’t even make the connection until a few years ago.

Do you belong to any writing groups?

I’m in several. I am currently studying Derek Murphy’s Guerrilla Publishing, which includes both writing and marketing, plus I’m the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, a peer-mentoring group for authors. We help each other find promotional opportunities and serve as a sounding board for questions about the writing business. We also promote for our members. It’s 100% volunteer run, so there are no fees.

Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I read the blog posts on Romance University, Save the Cat!, and many others. I’m always up for suggestions on good sites for writers.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing?

It’s listed as Epic, Sweeping, and Movie Trailer Music. Try these groups for size: Really Slow Motion (yep, that’s their name), Audiomachine, Epic North, Future World Music, and (very badly named in my opinion) Two Steps from Hell. Their music is heavenly.

boc1-2-nik-unbreakable450How does it inspire you?

I can tune out words and listen to sweeping music that inspires creativity. Depending on the book, of course. I wrote one book to the tunes of Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Chevelle. Go figure.

Do you belong to a critique group?

I lead the Canton Writer’s Circle, a group that has met for about six years. I’ve published several books while a member here. One of my beta readers is a member, and one of my developmental editors is as well.

What do you find most valuable about the experience?

I get honest feedback. I’m still after six years learning to shut up and listen when my fellow members suggest something. I try not to defend what I wrote. They are not there to tell me what I did wrong, but how I might make it better. Do I always take their advice? No. We joke about taking advice “under advisement” meaning — yeah, no.

Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published?

I have fourteen publications, with a mix of books and short stories. I started out in small press.

How many books did you write before selling one?

My first book was accepted on submission, but I had a friend who guided me on where to go.

How did you find a publisher?

I was recommended to my first publisher by a critique partner (in a different group from the one I’m in now).

How did you receive the Call?

Getting an email asking for the rest of the story was a thrill, believe me. I can remember everything about where I was and what I was doing the moment I got that message.

What are you writing now?

I’m writing A Stolen Heart, which is a full novel set in the Tarthian Empire and features Luc and Pietas (thousands of years after the Bringer of Chaos series). My first published book was At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, and A Stolen Heart is about how the hero of that book ended up being adopted by Luc.

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

I’ll be attending OutlantaCon in Atlanta as a guest next March. I’m there every year and have a lifetime membership. I am planning others as well. Readers can check my schedule on my website.

What would you like to tell readers?

Try one of my books and give my characters a shot. Once you meet them, you’ll be hooked. You can sample any of my books by visiting my website. Each book has a page where you can download a few chapters and check out the story. Plus, if you join one of my reader groups, you get the entire story Lights Out free, plus a starter set of four illustrated books. https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups/ You can unsubscribe at any time.

Can you learn by reading fiction? Author Pamela Cummins thinks so!

Check out this blog post from author Pamela Cummins, who finds value in reading fiction for gaining knowledge—even romance books! Not only can you study human nature, but also learn facts about history, famous people and more. I know this to be true, reading author Kathy Otten’s Western historical romances. I was lucky enough to be part of her critique group , and learned all kinds of things, even how to birth a calf with your own hands!!

 

I’m proud to be one of Pamela’s “favorite authors”– why don’t you jump aboard??

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