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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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View our books and learn about us on our website

 

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

World travels provide background for award-winning fantasy story

Welcome to Lyndi’s adventurous friend Helen C. Johannes!!

When I was in high school, I had a friend who’d never ridden an escalator, never traveled more than 50 miles from home. I couldn’t fathom a life so limited in experiences. Even at the tender age of 16, I’d crossed the United States from coast to coast by car, sailed the Atlantic from NYC to Germany and back, lived in a foreign country and five US states, attended 12 schools, and earned my driver’s license in two states. Most would say I’d already lived an adventure.

Well, I was a military brat, and that was normal. Travel and moving every couple of years was so ingrained that I carried on as an adult, eventually visiting most of the continental US states plus Alaska and Hawaii, and dipping my toes/fingers in both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the Pacific, plus the Caribbean.

After all that traveling, that apparent rootlessness, it’s hardly a surprise my author tagline is Brave men, bold women—hearts in search of home. Or that my characters find themselves on cross-country journeys. Or, ultimately, that what each of them desires is a sense of belonging, be it to a place or a group of people.

perf5.000x8.000.inddMy heroine in LORD OF DRUEMARWIN is on the ultimate journey, leaving behind her family, her culture, even her landscape for the sake of the man she loves. Here’s a snippet.

LORD OF DRUEMARWIN – PAGES FROM THE HEART Winner in Fantasy Romance, Crown of Tolem series

 Tag line: In a world of lies and betrayal, can they trust each other?

Blurb:

Lady Raell can fight, ride, and argue politics as well as her brothers. Only being mistress of her father’s household keeps her in skirts. In Naed, the new Lord of Druemarwin, she has found devotion, a kindred spirit, and a marriage promise. But when a forgotten and unwanted betrothal comes to light, she has no choice but to run.

Amidst sweeping revolution, Naed must rally his people, fend off assassination attempts, and fight against claims he’s a traitor. Then he discovers everything about his lineage and family is a lie. And his beloved belongs to another.

With lives and a kingdom at stake, Raell and Naed must find a way to protect the innocent and save their love.

Excerpt:

“Raell, now is not the time—”

Aye, it wasn’t. They stood in torchlight on an open parapet while assassins stalked them, but this might be her only chance to reach him across that precipice he’d thrown up between them, to secure the future they were meant to share.

“Does my honor mean naught? When weighed with D’nalian honor, is mine lesser because ‘tis a woman’s honor? Or because ‘tis a Tolemak’s honor? Be honest and tell me that.”

The world had gone silent; Raell could hear nothing over the rush of blood in her ears, the terrible heavy beats of her heart while she waited, dizzy with fear, breathless with longing, for the man she loved to respond with a word, a look, even a blink. Even a shift of his gaze she’d take as a sign he’d at least heard, mayhap begun to consider—

“Yes, be honest, Lord Naed,” said a voice she’d heard but once, a voice that raised all the fine hairs on her body and made her innards contract into a cold, tight knot. “Tell us both how much honor means to a bastard who’s betrayed his countrymen and his blood.”

Author Bio:

Helen C. Johannes writes award-winning fantasy romance inspired by the fairy tales she grew up reading and the amazing historical places she’s visited in England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. She writes tales of adventure and romance in fully realized worlds sprung from pure imagination and a lifelong interest in history, culture, and literature. Warriors on horseback, women who refuse to sit idly at home, and passion that cannot be denied or outrun—that’s what readers will find in her books.

 Other books:

The Prince of Val-Feyridge, Crown of Tolem #1

Bloodstone

 Buy Links:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Lord-Druemarwin-Crown-Tolem-Book-ebook/dp/B07YNWLPQ2/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=04D72CQNZKKTGG0RX209

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lord-of-druemarwin-helen-c-johannes/1134375458?ean=2940160729602

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lord-of-druemarwin

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lord-of-Druemarwin-eBook-9781509228560/377758996

Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/lord-of-druemarwin-crown-of-tolem-book-2

Social Media

Blog: https://helencjohannes.blogspot.com/

Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-C-Johannes/e/B003JJDQWS/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031965.Helen_C_Johannes

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-c-johannes

Contact email: helen.c.johannes@gmail.com

Will her fiction become our truth?

Windmills1Today I’m sharing an excerpt from WINDMILLS, the first book in my post-apocalyptic trilogy THE COLOR OF FEAR. This piece gives us insight into Valery Paz, and a glimpse  into her history.

***

Before she stepped over the threshold, Valery Paz patted her two front pockets. The left one held the book she was currently reading, a fantasy story about a modern-day barista and a glass slipper, the right a fully loaded pistol she wasn’t afraid to use.
     Yep, Uncle Dave, you’d be proud of this little Latina. Self-defense: Never leave home without it.
Wary of the street after hearing about Kwan’s encounter with the gang, she set off at a swift pace, spurred on by the damp chill in the air, her well-worn sneakers making hardly a sound. Twenty blocks along Broadway,  then a right turn, then up to the attic of a small house just past Jackson Square, and she’d be home. She could sit by her tiny window and look out over the bay near the Embarcadero.
If she was lucky, and the fog held off, she might catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate.
The bridge still seemed more like another fantasy to her than reality, even though she’d seen it in clear weather, swathed in fog, and in dozens of different states in between.
She hadn’t lived in the city before the Second Holocaust. Then, she’d been the nearest thing to a Valley Girl at Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas, about a hundred miles south of San Francisco, her daily language peppered with southern California slang. She’d been slated to graduate salutatorian of her class, bound for Stanford. The Second Holocaust ended the school year early.
Then it ended a lot of things early.
Her younger brother had died first, but in the twelve months afer the SH, she’d lost her mother and “Uncle” Dave too. Her parents had broken up years before, but her dad had always stopped in when his sales job brought him within shouting distance. It had been maybe a month before the SH when he stopped in before heading to southern California. She hadn’t seen him again.
She’d buried her mother and Dave, then packed a duffel bag with her dearest possessions and those her family had treasured as well. She had to go somewhere,
but where?
People came through town, heading to Colorado or New Mexico, and said San Francisco was at least providing some services to residents. Valery had some very
fond memories of the city by the bay, one visit in particular when she’d gone shopping with her mother as a young adolescent. They’d had warm sourdough bread and
shrimp cocktail from a cart on Fisherman’s Wharf and toured Chinatown, just the two of them. Her mother had bought her a new pair of shoes and a tiny cable car ornament
for their Christmas tree. A magical day.
That’s what made up her mind.

val and san

Xi San and Valery Paz

Six months now since she’d moved here, and she still sought real direction. When she was younger, she’d wanted to be a fashion model. She was tall enough, and when she only let herself eat lettuce—for a week or so—she could be skinny enough. It wasn’t like modeling scouts came through Salinas, though. And Mama wouldn’t take me to the city to try out. Not till I was eighteen.
She muttered, “Well. Now I’m eighteen, Mama. Look at me. Sneaking around the streets after dark like some matón.”
Kwan said the Enforcer had rescued her from the gang. A tendril of wistful thought wound itself around Valery’s heart. When will I have a white knight riding out to save me, huh?
Even as she wished for that person who might be waiting out there, somewhere, she shoved that idea aside.
That’s why I’m better off. I don’t need saving.
Besides, she didn’t intend to stay in San Francisco all her life.
She reached her house without incident and ran up the steps, scanning the street  before she opened the door. Once she was safe inside, she triple-locked it and headed
upstairs to her room, locking the door to the attic as well. She tossed her pea jacket onto her bed, a mattress on the floor she’d dragged up the narrow steps, then lit several
candles. When everything was arranged to her liking, she rummaged through her “pantry,” a cardboard carton of cans and boxes of food she’d collected over the
last few weeks. One can called for her attention, and she took it out, cradling it in her hand. The brilliant orange of the mangoes on the Goya juice can reminded her of the
ambrosial juice awaiting her inside. She could almost taste the sweet tartness on her tongue.
She popped open the top and took a small sip, letting it roll around her mouth like the finest wine. Amazing.
She leaned down to glance out the window before settling in, disappointed that the cool, wet air had brought along a flood of fog that covered the waters of the bay. No bridge-gazing tonight. What else to do?
She plopped down on the worn blue beanbag chair she’d wrestled up the steps the first week she’d arrived. It was just like the one her brother Jimmy’d had, back in the
day. Before…
The loneliness was starting to get to her. She should leave. Comparing the number of survivors in the site of the SH attack, San Diego, and San Francisco, she could extrapolate
the differences between San Francisco and other parts of the country. The farther east you went, the better the chances there would be a healthier population.
Who knew? Maybe they still had fashion runway shows in New York City.
     Si, chica, the models, they are very skinny this year…skin and bones…well, maybe bones without the skin…
A chill ran up her back, the black humor a little too close to truth.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Terrorists launch a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly bioweapon mutates, Tzu Lin Kwan’s father, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to MB910216387help develop a cure. His  only daughter, Lin Kwan, is left behind in Hong Kong with her aunt.
Then Kwan’s father summons her from across the sea to bring him Chinese medicinal herbs. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.
But a Chinese spy is on her trail, determined to kill her and Li Zhong, and when Kwan discovers her father has disappeared, she sets out on a journey to find him and deliver her precious cargo, a quest that she may not survive.
Buy it here!   
Available at online outlets and can be ordered at your local bookstores. First in the series, from Zumaya Publications.  Find out more about the series at the Color of Fear tab above!

 

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

TRIAD gets a special feature!

triadMy space opera TRIAD is the guest of honor in the sci-fi fantasy section of ROMANCE LIVES FOREVER today! Stop by and see what secrets are revealed! https://www.rlfblog.com/lyndi-alexander-011020/?fbclid=IwAR0vCQ8rmhz6OtPWn-Ra-rqxBRx30OF_f4ZOZBmencnI5C5sO1i0ITv-8h4

 

This story is based on an old online RPG I played in, and the characters are near and dear to my heart! This book is offered by Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.

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??

Are you prepared for these futures?

When science becomes a weapon:

Cloning. Accelerated growth of replacement organs. DNA repair. In 2096, all are possible. And forbidden by law. Three people will defy these laws to save the life of eleven-year-old Zelimir, who will die a slow, painful death from a horrifying genetic disease.

Zelimir’s father hires Torver Lockwood and Demetria Greyson to find a cure for his son. Both have a personal stake in this illegal research. A cure may help explain why Torver is able to see into people’s pasts and why Demetria has visions about a violent future.

But, once developed, the solution could be used as a powerful weapon that can target specific genes. With the chance that the cure may fall into the wrong hands and start a new reign of terror, will Torver keep the secret to himself, at the cost of one small life?

SYNERGY by M. D. Benoit
The Mundial Trilogy – Book 1
https://www.zumayapublications.com/store/synergy/

Bio-terrorists release a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly virus mutates, Tzu Shin, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to help develop a cure. His only daughter, Lin Kwan, is left behind in Hong Kong with her aunt.

Then Kwan’s father summons her from across the sea to bring him Chinese medicinal herbs he needs to develop a cure. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.

But a Chinese assassin is on her trail, determined to kill her and Li Zhong, and when Kwan discovers her father has disappeared, she sets out on a journey to find him and deliver her precious cargo, a quest that she may not survive.

WINDMILLS by Lyndi Alexander
The Color of Fear – Book 1
https://www.zumayapublications.com/store/windmills/

Is truth just another version of fiction? Or vice versa?

My reptile shapeshifter romance book A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is featured at author Cara Bristol’s blog this week. Check out the story of how it came to be written, through a real life romance!

Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.

Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.

Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.

When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?

From Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Press.

Buy here: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Degree-Hope-Lyndi-Alexander-ebook/dp/B00IPQWY9G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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