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Tricia O’Malley: Wild Irish Heart (Giveaway)

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Tricia O’Malley will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Wild Irish Heart

It is time…

An ancient book, a power untouched, and a heart unloved lead Keelin O’Brien from her graduate studies in Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland. Determined to unearth the secrets lying hidden in the enchanted waters of the cove, Keelin has little time for a surly Irishman who infuriates her during the day and haunts her fantasies at night.

Inexplicably drawn to the woman who has stepped from his dreams and into his world, Flynn fights a stubborn battle against his increasing attraction for Keelin. Forces unknown have better plans for the two.

Only the secrets of the cove can show Keelin who she really is, the beauty of her mysterious power, and a love that will break the bounds of what she knows.

From New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O’Malley, comes a new romance series set on the rocky shores of Ireland.

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Excerpt

“Have you heard of the famous pirate queen, Grace O’Malley?”

“Of course; she is legendary throughout Ireland. She was notorious for her fierceness in battle. I know she married twice and had several children. She was famous for being ruthless, yet at the same time is credited with preserving much of Gaelic history.”

“Absolutely, and she was a woman that knew her own mind. Did you know that Grainne is the Celtic name for Grace?” Margaret asked. Both Keelin and Margaret’s middle name was Grainne.

“I did not,” Keelin said.

“Almost all of the women of a particular bloodline in Grace’s Cove carry that name. It isn’t because of the town name. It is because our bloodline is that of Grace O’Malley.”

“Shut up.” Keelin was thrilled. She was related to a famous pirate queen? How cool was that?

“Keelin, do not say, ‘Shut up.’”

“Sorry, Mom.”

“Yes, you are a descendant of Grace O’Malley, for whom Grace’s Cove is named. Your grandmother has a direct connection and experiences the effects of it.”

“Of what? I don’t understand. Is ol’ Grandma a pirate or something?” Keelin asked.

Margaret smiled. “No, not quite. Grace was rumored to have powers other than her formidable ones as a pirate queen. Some say magick. Others say a healer. Others point to almost a psychic ability to predict potential threats. It isn’t really known what all surrounded Grace, yet almost all will agree she had a level of power.”

Keelin began to nervously pick at her nails. She pulled at a loose hangnail and winced as blood came to the surface. Without thinking she covered it with her hand and the wound slowly faded.

“The cove itself is rumored to be enchanted. Almost no one will go there. Well, aside from your grandmother. And a few others. I’ve gone there. I never will again.”

About the Author

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_WildIrishHeart copyA New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O’Malley lives in Milwaukee with her husband Josh, and their much doted-upon dogs, Briggs and Blue. On a typical day you will find her lost in the worlds of her making or working with up-and-coming authors. She loves the entrepreneurial life, is strongly resistant to the cubicle-world, and thrives on creating the life that she’s always wanted to live.

The book will be free during the tour.

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Amy McKinley: Hidden (Giveaway)

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One randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

I’ve been asked several times how much research I do when I write and I have this terrible knee-jerk response each time of saying, “None. I make up worlds.” Groan. That’s so not true. I do research, it’s just that it’s fun and I guess I don’t think of it as tedious or a task.

In Hidden, I poured over castles in Ireland, looking for the perfect setting for Trynd Castle, Aiesa and Xavior’s home where they raised Jade and her sisters. I found Klyemore Abby that depicted the style I’d already imagined in my head. I also had to figure out the type of stone typically used in the castle’s structure. That’s a tiny bit of detail, but it all matters in the description to make the world come to life.

Even though my novel is a paranormal romance, there are details within that I had to research, adding depth to the world building for sensory detail and creditability. If they’re in the human realm and I haven’t been to that location, I have to find out the climate, plant life, and even some of the animals. Regardless if everything was included, it gave me enough information so I could build a picture to create a sense of being there.

The next book in the series I researched blacksmiths, something I knew nothing about. Pouring over pictures of weaponry from medieval times and how they were made was fascinating. Imagining her home led me to scour pictures of canopy beds, chairs, and different designs for the stone archways or doors. I’d end up captivated until I realized just how much time I’d spent on it. And the landscape? I want to travel ten times more now than I already had. Someday, I’m hoping to be able to add traveling into my research. For now, I use the Internet, books, or talk to people I know who have been to places or done things I need to learn about.

So yes, I do research and tend to get a little too involved in some of it at times. It’s definitely worthwhile to add depth and make the story come alive.

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About Hidden

Cursed since birth, hunted by gods, and desperate for love—Jade never stood a chance.

Half-demon, half-goddess, Jade’s fate makes her a pawn in an epic battle among the gods. Hidden on Earth with her sisters, she successfully avoids the Oneiroi—the dream gods—bent on her destruction until the prophecy, long dormant, awakens a dark shadow within her.

Roen, a reclusive Worr demon known for his battles against the Oneiroi, is called to protect Jade. Together they must unlock their mysterious connection and find a way to beat back destiny. Can she outsmart the prophecy, change her fate, and find love—even when she learns who is connected to her destruction?

Excerpt

Hades kissed his wife, Persephone, one last time before reluctantly relinquishing her above ground, where her mother impatiently waited.

“Behave while I’m gone, Hades.” Persephone traced a pink-kissed nail along her husband’s dark jawline.

He was loathe to shave too often as the rough stubble against her skin excited her. “Six months is ridiculously long,” he murmured against her lush lips. “Find a way to meet me at the meadow.”

Mischief danced in her eyes as she stepped onto the boat which would ferry her along the River Styx, leading her out of the Underworld. “It’s a date,” she purred, blowing her husband a sultry kiss.

That woman slays me. He watched until she was out of sight. Once his bride was gone, his attention returned to his beloved Underworld and the current state it was in.

Hades leapt onto his chariot. A resounding crack split the air as he commanded his four black horses to lead him past boiling lava pits and stalagmites to the deepest, fiery pits of the abyss—Tartarus.

Creatures scampered out of his way. Fallen angels and demons went about their business—lest they draw his anger—as he thundered past. Tormented screams echoed off cavernous walls and pools of fiery despair. His pulse roared in his veins. He reveled at what he was about to see…

The Fates’ curse had begun.

Reining his steeds to a halt, he dismounted, his black boots crunching on a mixture of bones and jagged pieces of rock. Amidst the prisons, the things of nightmares tortured imprisoned souls.

A laugh rumbled up from his gut and rolled out. He threw back his head then ran his hands through his black hair, freeing it from its tie. Pers wasn’t here right now, due to his brother, Zeus’s, acquiescence to Demeter.

Hades ignored the slow burn in his chest at the thought of his wife being gone for six long months and focused on the game of persecuting his brother instead, for he knew a thing or two about Aiesa’s offspring that Zeus did not.

An ear-splitting scream rent the air, snapping Hades out of his thoughts. New souls.

He knew who sent them. Although he benefitted from so many entering his domain, his brother would not be happy.

What a perfect time to pay Zeus a visit.

About the Author

Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. Her debut novel, Hidden, is the first in the Five Fates Series.

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Barbara Monajem: Lady of the Flames

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About Lady of the Flames

Perfect lady, disgraced lord, traitor, spies, magic with fire, magic with blades and love (of course!).

Magic with is fraught with peril—but so is love.

Lord Fenimore Trent’s uncanny affinity for knives and other sharp blades led to knife fights, duels, and murderous brawls. Five years ago, he faced a choice: marry Andromeda Gibbons, the woman he loved, or find a safe, peaceful use for his blades by opening a furniture shop—an unacceptable occupation for a man of noble birth. The choice made itself when Andromeda turned to another man. The furniture shop prospered, but now Fen’s partner has been accused of treason. In order to root out the real traitor, he may face another unpalatable choice—to resort to the violent use of his blades once again.

Once upon a time, Andromeda Gibbons believed in magic. That belief faded after her mother’s death and vanished completely when Lord Fenimore, the man she loved, spurned her. Five years later, Andromeda has molded herself into a perfect—and perfectly unhappy—lady. When she overhears her haughty betrothed, the Earl of Slough, plotting treason, she flees into the London night—to Fen, the one man she knows she can trust. But taking refuge with Fen proves to mean far more than getting help—it means learning to believe in love, magic, and the real Andromeda once again.

“I love historical romances but add in the paranormal aspect and it is perfect.” 
“It was a quick read for me, mostly because I couldn’t put it down!” 
“A thoroughly enjoyable twist on (a) Regency novel…” 

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…truly a magical Regency romance: 4/5 stars

A lighthearted story of two lovers kept apart for years by an untruth—or was it something else?—until they are both entangled in a dangerous web of espionage and violence that forces them to confront the truth about each other and those around them.

Ms. Monajem’s skill in combining humor and violence (although not graphic) reminds me of Kresley Cole’s in her Immortals After Dark series. And magic too, as Cuff the hobgoblin is one of my favorite secondary characters and he doesn’t speak.

A perfect selection if you are seeking a historical romance with a touch of the whimsical to read at the beach or on the back porch.

Heat Level: a trifle over sweet, but not really steamy.

About the Author

81O8T58bcmL._UX250_Winner of the Holt Medallion, Maggie, Daphne du Maurier, Reviewer’s Choice and Epic awards, Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. When they grew up, she turned to writing for adults, first the Bayou Gavotte paranormal mysteries and then Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa). Some of her Regencies have magic in them and some don’t (except for the magic of love, which is in every story she writes).

Barbara loves to cook, especially soups, and is an avid reader. There are only two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and succeed at knitting socks. She’ll manage the first but doubts she’ll ever accomplish the second. This is not a bid for immortality but merely the dismal truth. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

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Captivated By His Kiss

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cheryl Bolen and USA Today Bestselling Author Bronwen Evans are joined by Barbara Monajem, Collette Cameron, Wendy Vella, Heather Boyd, and Lauren Smith in this exciting collection of regency romances. Be Captivated By His Kiss in these seven emotional stories of second chances, scandalous wagers, and the quest for true love. Lose yourself again and again in beautifully written romance.

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Constance Phillips: The Sunnydale Days Series & more

The Sunnydale Days Series

About All That’s Unspoken (Book 1)

revAllthatsUnspoken-Cphillips-LG copyAfter eight years, Hailey is back in Caseville, Michigan. Just months after her mother’s death, her siblings want to put their father in a nursing home and rent out the family farm. If that wasn’t enough, the prospective tenant is Nate, the high school crush she left behind the day after they acted on their mutual attraction.

After high school, Nate Jenkins planned to leave small town behind, but life dealt him a different hand of cards to play. He’s now back in Caseville, raising his daughter, and running his family’s diner. His daughter’s speech disorder has been improved by therapeutic horse riding and if he can lease the old Lambert farm, he can get her a horse of her own. The only standing in the way is Hailey, the same woman who left him eight years ago without even saying goodbye.

​Can they get over all that’s unspoken between them?

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Also available in the Sweet But Sexy Boxed Set from Turquoise Morning Press AMAZON BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO |IBOOKS | ALL ROMANCE eBOOKS SMASHWORDS |TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS

About All That’s Unclaimed (Book 2)

AllThatsUnclaimed-Cphillips-LG copyBen Crawford is forced to face the ghosts of his past after his mother’s accident and Anna Jenkins’s announcement she’s starting her own stables. Only then does he find the strength to hold on to all he’s left unclaimed.

​Ben Crawford has always believed the professional respect and acceptance he desired couldn’t be found at Sunnydale Farms. There were just too many ghosts residing in his broken home. Only when Anna Jenkins, the one constant at his mother’s therapeutic riding facility, announces she is leaving to start her own stables is Ben forced to grasp hold of all he’s left unclaimed.

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About All That’s Unrealized (Book 3)

AllThatsUnrealized-Cphillips-lg copyIt’s what the doctor ordered for Rhonda Gables, owner of three successful boutiques: four weeks of rest between winning this season’s Retail Project and claiming her prize. Rhonda must decide if being a TV reality show star is worth leaving behind her loved ones, including the increasingly appealing Trevor Collins.

In a month, fashion mogul and reality TV judge Conrad Ryse, of The Retail Project fame, has promised to take Rhonda Gables under his wing and invest in her fledgling career. That’s her grand prize after a winning season on his show. Too bad exhaustion has sent Rhonda out of her city apartment, away from her three successful boutiques, and into her cousin’s guest room for a month of recuperation in her hometown.

She’s on the cusp of everything she’s ever wanted, but what will it cost? Doctor’s orders be damned, she balks at first. But soon Rhonda is both delighted and disconcerted by the attentions of her friend-maybe-lover, Trevor Collins, and the contentment she is surrounded by back home. She must realize all she’s willing to compromise and all her heart truly desires.

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Coming in Dec. 2015

All That’s Unforgiven (Book 4)

Coming in January 2016

All That’s Unforeseen (Book 5)

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About One Lucky Night

Aria Kane, Ana Blaze, Grace Teague, Melinda Dozier, Constance Phillips

online cover copyOne night can change everything…

The crew at Boston’s Brazen Head Pub hasn’t been very lucky in love. Can a mysterious visitor inspire them to look past old hurts and misconceptions and give romance a chance?

One Lucky Night is a collection of five sexy interwoven novelettes by Aria Kane, Grace Teague, Ana Blaze, Constance Phillips, and Melinda Dozier.

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About The Ultimate Catch

catchAsm copyJolanda is willing to do whatever it takes, even face off against the Bering Sea, to raise the money for a balloon payment on her father’s house.

She challenges Keller and wins a bet to get on the recently inherited crab fishing boat, forcing the young captain to buck tradition and superstition.

Will his season be doomed or will he end up with the ultimate catch?

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Paranormal Titles

About Fairyproof

Fairproof-CPhillips-LG copyAfter her parents’ death and an unwanted proposal, fairy Monique seeks refuge in the human world. Her brother has warned her of the dangers, but she believes hiding will be a breeze. She can control any human with a flirtatious smile and an attraction spell. Until she meets Daniel Elliot, the only human who’s immune to both.

Can Monique’s brother find her and bring her home before she falls victim to whoever is killing fairies on the human world?

Will the reason Daniel’s fairyproof be too much for them to overcome?

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About Council Courtship

CourtshipCouncil copyTristan Ipsly knows firsthand how Eero’s ideals have ripped houses apart. More than half of his family was prosecuted for supporting the revolution, the remaining fled to the otherworld, leaving him the lone member of his house, and one of two candidates for the recently vacated Council seat. As a healer who is seated on the repopulation project, he has real solutions to the problems that face them all, but fears he’s been branded a traitor, not worthy of the seat nor to court Quinn.

Quinn Vettore knows that Fairykind is dying. Eero and his revolution have left them a people divided, but she believes tradition and the Canon’s writing are equally to blame. She wants to see the Council fill the vacancy with someone who will be the voice of change. The prime candidate in her mind is the same choice of her heart: Tristan.

Too bad her Grandfather is the one man who stands in the way of both.

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About Resurrecting Harry

ResurrectingHarry-CPhillips-Lg copyHe was the greatest escape artist ever known, but can Harry Houdini escape the grim reaper’s hold to save the only woman he’s ever loved?

In order to save the only woman he’s every loved from self-destruction, Harry puts his afterlife on the line by entering a wager with purgatory’s keeper, Jaden. He gives Harry a younger face and body, and a new name: Erich Welch.

If he wants to keep his new life, he must convince Bess to give up the promise she made to Harry on his death bed and call off the séance she’s scheduled on the anniversary of his death.

Will Erich be able to help Bess over her loss and will any good come from resurrecting Harry?

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About the Author

Author Constance PhillipsConstance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, and four canine kids where she writes contemporary romance novels and paranormal romance novels.

​When not writing stories of finding and rediscovering love, Constance and her husband spend the hours planning a cross-country motorcycle trip for the not-so-distant future…if they can find a sidecar big enough for the pups.

June Mayes: Afterlife or Bust

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June will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Afterlife or Bust

Lizzie is making the best of her life, er afterlife. She’s working hard being a doctor to all things supernatural and for the most part has managed to behave. With her daytime watcher in tow and a very enticing Master Vampire turning up the heat of their romance, things couldn’t be better.

Of course things could get worse and do. Being killed again was not part of Lizzie’s agenda and having to navigate the politics of all things that go bump in the night is just icing on the afterlife cake. But Lizzie has plans. She’s going to make her death worth living and she is going to drag everyone else along kicking and screaming.

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Excerpt

“Nice scrubs,” Frank said, sounding relaxed for the first time all day, er night. I had to give him credit, he wasn’t laughing.

BookCover_AfterlifeOrBust copy“Apparently, these were the only scrubs they could rustle up on short notice,” I muttered, determined not to give any one of the cretins I worked with the satisfaction of losing my temper. I pulled my very recently washed blonde hair into a braid and tossed it back over my shoulder in agitation.

“They’re cute,” Frank said with a big grin. Behind him, Furball was snickering. While the boys may not get along at the best of times, for some reason, when it came to me being the brunt of a cruel joke, they seemed to find camaraderie. I, on the other hand, was not amused.

“They have bunnies all over them,” I pointed out unimpressed, “which I imagine goes down well in a ward with patients under the age of twelve. This, however, is not the pediatric ward.” I tossed a glare toward Elvis and Abbie. Both were engrossed in their paperwork. I was so not buying it. I leaned up against the counter and crossed my arms to sulk.

Frank kept smiling, and I swear he was leaning closer for a kiss. Oh boy. Suddenly he stopped. Squinting, he moved in. Let me clarify, he leaned away from my mouth and closer to examine my top. Talk about disappointed.

“It looks like someone’s drawn on it,” he murmured. He fingered one of the drawings.

I huffed a sigh and picked up my files again, moving toward my next patient. Frank followed. There was no way he was going to let this one drop.

“Do the bunnies have fangs?” he asked incredulously.

About the Author

June Mayes is a Cape Cod born and bred writer who lived in London for 10 years before returning home. She’s a hopeless romantic with a passion for writing all sorts of genre. Her days are spent juggling family life, walking the dog, writing and reading books, more books and even more books!

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Anna Richland: The Second Lie

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Anna will be awarding a set of En Route notecards, gorgeously illustrated by Kate Pocrass (because falling in love with an Immortal Viking is a wild journey!) to a randomly drawn winner (INTERNATIONAL) via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

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About The Second Lie

A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?

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Excerpt

After a long night evading kidnappers and the authorities, Stig and Christina are finally, if temporarily, safe in his secret room in a tunnel under London. Time to clean up.

He reached for the zip at his throat. His shredded dress shirt was in the emergency room, so the steady sixty-three degrees underground was bracing as he pulled his arms out of the overall sleeves.

BookCover_TheSecondLie copy“What are you doing?”

He glanced at her. “Changing.”

“Oh.” She was looking below his neck, not at his face, and while she wasn’t edging closer, she also wasn’t backing away. No man with an ounce of self-awareness could have resisted inflating his chest and checking his posture under her gaze.

Her eyes widened as she took a matching breath, but her outer layer was too baggy for return admiration. He slipped out of his shoes and dawdled shoving the overalls past his hips. Her gaze followed his hands, lingering at his stomach. He knew when she looked at the trail of hair leading lower from his navel, because her eyes were almost as hot as he imagined her touch would be. The need to rush disappeared, replaced by a hunger to see what she would do next. He rested his hands on the waist of his dirty trousers, and his thumb slipped behind the button to rest against his skin. Yes, she saw that too, and her hand clenched. “Fair notice. I’m going to remove these next.”

She remained silent, but a slight head movement seemed to be a nod, so he proceeded. Slowly.

He popped the button and unzipped without taking his eyes off her. She still didn’t move, as frozen as a marble statue, the flickering candlelight making her appear almost as translucent around the edges as the best of Bernini’s nymphs.

Bending to strip off the trousers would break the spell that bound them. He waited for a moment, savoring the silent connection, but a man couldn’t stand there with his fly drooping open if the woman wasn’t going to leap into action. Showing one’s boxers became rather embarrassing after a few minutes.

He glanced down. A chap had to keep a few secrets.

“Oh! I’m sorry.” She turned abruptly to the farthest locker and struggled with the catch. “What’s in here? May I open it?” Her words were rushed, satisfying him that he’d rattled her.

“It’s either that or turn around to see what you see. Which is scarier?” All she’d see was him stepping into a pressed pair of trousers.

About the Author

AuthorPhoto_TheSecondLie copyAnna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.

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Tamara Hoffa: Hers to Bear

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Tamara Hoffa will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Interview with Tamara Hoffa

Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?

Tamara: For me the plot, or at least a portion of the plot usually comes first (unless its part of a series) and then the characters follow. But since, over half of my books are series, I guess the characters came first. Can you say chicken or egg?

Susana: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_HersToBear copyTamara: I am definitely a pantser. I write as I go. I know where the main plot is going, but I don’t do outlines or plotting.

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Tamara: Jenna’s two best friends, Alice and Bev are named after my 2 best friends in real life

Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Tamara: I am working on book 2 in the Animal in Me series, Bear Hearts. It is Martin and Elizabeth’s story and will be quite different from Hers to Bear. Much darker, but I hope will still have a chance to showcase some of the humor that readers found so appealing in Hers to Bear.

Susana: What are you reading now?

Tamara: I read so fast and so much that I will probably have read 10 or 15 books by the time this posts, but I finished The Marriage List by Jean Joachim last night and it was great. I am starting Cowgirl Up by Cheyenne Meadows today. I also recently read Lucas by Susan Fisher-Davis, Accidentally Wolf by Elle Boon and Raleigh Point: Hostage by Victoria Sue all great reads!

Susana: What author or authors have most influenced your writing?

Tamara: I love the writing style of Celia Kyle, Eve Langlais, and Dana Marie Belle. I love how they mix humor with suspense and make it work. I hope I’ve done the same.

Susana: What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?

Tamara: I guess steak would be my favorite food, because I rarely get to eat it. I had gastric by-pass surgery in 2001 and it doesn’t agree with my stomach, so don’t we always want what we can’t have? Least favorite? Liver! I can’t even stand the smell of it cooking! Gah!

Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?

Tamara: I write in multiple genres: military, western contemporary, and now paranormal, and I may stray to others in the future. I write whatever my muse whispers in my ear.

Susana: What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Tamara: What does every writer want to achieve? I’d love to make the New York Times Bestsellers list!

Susana: Describe the “perfect hero.” What makes the “perfect hero” for you?

Tamara: The perfect hero has to be a man of inner strength, loyalty, honor and heart. My perfect hero is the same. To me, it’s all about what’s on the inside. Yes, a nice package is nice to have it wrapped up in, but character is what matters. I do like big men however. LOL.

Susana: What are favorite pastimes?

Tamara: I love to cook, play with my grandsons and, of course, read!

About Hers to Bear

Twenty-five and never been kissed, Jenna Raynes is a beautiful woman with a rubenesque figure often overlooked by men. In the mood for a little honey, the sassy new schoolteacher is stopped in her tracks by one growled word from an alpha bear…“Mine.”

Bern Helms’ inner bear catches the scent of his destined mate. His animal’s desire is drawn to her curves, but Jenna is human, and not lured to him by instinct. Convincing her begins as a sizzling, sweet affair that is soon spoiled by danger. In their small backwater town, nerves are strung taut. Someone is abducting shifter children.

When confronted, Jenna is as protective of her students as a mamma bear. For Bern, all bets are off when the kidnapper’s take Jenna too. Nothing will keep a bear from his mate. The hunters will become the hunted…

Excerpt

“I’ve never had a boyfriend before.”

“I think perhaps then all the men you have met before have been blind and stupid, but I am glad they were because it saves me from having to hunt them down and kill them.” Bern growled.

MediaKit_BookCover_HersToBear copyJenna stopped dead in her tracks and gazed up at him in stunned silence. He was serious. Bern shrugged his shoulders and planted a kiss on the end of her nose. “I cannot help it. I am a jealous man.”

They continued walking in companionable silence and reached Jenna’s house in a few minutes. She unlocked the front door and Bern held her back from entering. “Let me check the house first please.”

He left her standing on the front porch while he took the bags into the house. She saw the lights flip on methodically throughout the rooms and then Bern returned to the porch. “All clear,” he said and pulled her into the house. He attempted to pin her against the wall and kiss her senseless, but Jenna put her hands on his chest and pushed. It was like pushing against a brick wall!

“Oh no you don’t, Mr. Bear. This honeycomb is closed until I get some answers. Get your furry butt to the kitchen and you can talk while I make dinner. I want to know what the hell is going on around here.”

Bern had the good grace to look sheepish. “Yes, ma’am,” he said and strode toward the kitchen, leaving Jenna to follow that delectable and at the moment, not in the least bit furry backside. Oh yum.

Jenna pointed to a kitchen chair. “Sit. Talk.”

About the Author

Tamara Hoffa lives in central Tennessee, with her husband of 30 years, her parents, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She started reading at four years old and has rarely been seen without a book since. At home you will usually find her in “nana’s chair” with her kindle, her laptop or one of her precious, precocious grandsons in her lap. Tamara is an author, an editor, and reviews/promotions coordinator for Secret Cravings Publishing. Tamara is proof positive that it’s never too late to reach for your dreams.

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Renee Bernard: Devil To Pay

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Renee will be giving away $50 B&N or Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

 Interview With Renee Bernard

Renee: Thank you so much for having me, Susana! It’s a thrill to be here. Just a year ago, I would have made it to the settee in the Parlour as a historical romance author but since I’ve recently added paranormal romantic comedy to my bookshelf with my new series, I get to see the Morning Room and leave my corset in my closet to talk about a whole new world of writing for me.

Susana: What advice would you give writers just starting out?

Renee: I think it’s easy to repeat clichés like “follow your heart” and “write the books that you want to write” but I remember all the similar lectures about “building your brand” and “sticking to one genre/note until you are established so you don’t lose traction” and that trend of advice doesn’t ring true either. Each side is a partially accurate view but when you’re starting out, I think it can feel very murky as you find your feet.

I’m about eighteen books into a career and here’s what I would share with a new writer: Brand is no longer about genre so you do get to write the stories you want to, no matter where your muse leads you. But I’m not recommending you create a cult of personality either… What I mean is that more and more, it’s about craft. You have more freedom in this market to explore, to tell new stories and stretch your wings . But that means you also have to make sure that what you’re putting out there is rock solid. Grammar, people. Structure. Style. Formatting. Editing. And Polish. All those boring things it’s easy to gloss over and forget in the heat of battle.

Author Pic_Devil to Pay copyAnd it is a creative battle but you have to make sure that you are well armed with all those old-school tools first. Hitting the publishing button is easy. Taking back a nightmare impression from an amateur rough draft full of errors is really hard. Your craft is your brand. Respect yourself and your writing by taking the time you need to get it right. The rest will follow.

Susana: When was the moment you knew you had to be a writer?

Renee: I think I always dabbled, I was always writing something and was that nerdy kid no one liked because I was excited when the teacher asked us to write a paper and usually asked if it could be longer than assigned. I’d write plays instead of essays for extra credit and practically lived in the library. I knew I wanted to be a writer when two things happened. The first thing was I read a Very Badly written romance and it occurred to me that if that person could jump the barriers and be published, then I might stand a chance. The second thing was 9/11. Suddenly I knew that putting off a dream was just not the way I wanted to live my life anymore. I wasn’t going to wait to try. I took the leap and I never looked back. I would write and I would write Happily-Ever-Afters because the world needs them now more than ever.

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Renee: What’s not in the blurb is that I didn’t just break the rules with my bad boy hero—but I broke the rules about contemporary heroines while I was at it. Personally, as a romance reader, I am a little tired of the wounded woman model. I was tired of lead female characters who had to have baggage, insecurities, previously bad relationships or some secret abuse or horror in their past that was keeping them from love. I think women are getting too used to identifying with a character’s weaknesses to tie in and see themselves in the story or the heroines are so fantastically beyond average we can’t touch them. Why can’t we tie in to our strengths and see that reflected on the page? Why can’t we celebrate the best in ourselves as women in romances and inspire readers to see happiness and true love as something well within their reach?

Why can’t the central female character be whole and healthy? If she’s quirky can it be only because she has a sense of humor and an aversion to plastic personalities? Jayne Hamilton in Devil To Pay breaks the mold because she proves that we can conquer the world without doing gymnastic ninja moves in high-heeled boots, skin-tight cat suits and wielding firearms.

Susana: Describe the “perfect hero”. What about the “perfect hero” for you?

Renee: I think it’s a hold-over from being a historical romance author but I have a soft spot for heroes who are gentlemen. Whether he is alpha-strong or beta-sweet, I think the perfect hero knows how to demonstrate respect for others with an old world approach to boundaries. The perfect hero will put others’ needs before his own, will sacrifice anything for the woman he loves and will protect anyone weaker than himself. He does what’s right whenever he’s given a choice and if he breaks the rules, he’ll win hearts. He’s flawed and three-dimensional enough to pay for his sins and never prone to the easy path.

In Devil To Pay, it turns out that the last guy you’d ever suspect of still being an Angel is the man behind the black onyx desk at Hades Enterprises, LLc and I loved the comic twist of making Lucifer the perfect hero that will make every woman start looking at Angels and Demons in a whole new way.

For me, the perfect hero stays with every reader long after the book closes.

Susana: Is there a writer you idolize? If so, who? What author or authors have most influenced your writing?

Renee: The writer I idolized first and still worship a bit is Laura Kinsale for taking romances to the next level with her story-telling, craft and language. Her writing was a revelation to me because of the depth and layers to her characters. She inspired me to think that romance could be a vehicle for pure magic and that I could express more in stories than I’d ever thought possible. She kicked open doors and probably inspired a new generation of writers to pull up to a keyboard.

Robin Schone was also a tremendous influence when I first started because she tucked me under her wing and mentored me. The courage in her writing was jaw-dropping to me but her steadfast support of friends and fellow artists introduced me to the generosity of the romance writing community and inspires me to try to do everything I can for my fellow writers (both established and aspiring).

The list of authors who’ve impacted me is actually long and I could go on and on… I feel very blessed to have met so many talented writers and I never take for granted the gift of their advice and supportive presence.

Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?

Renee: It’s a ruthless quest. My youngest is finally in kindergarten so my writing schedule has only recently become something resembling a normal workday. I have never been a late night writer and motherhood locked that in as my brain turns to oatmeal after ten from a day of entertaining the girls and trying to keep them both happy, alive and well. School is a godsend but even so, it is still catch as catch can as I provide care for my mother-in-law, juggle domestic duties and try to keep up with my heroic husband who is in constant motion. I write whenever the opportunity exists, escape to a local coffee shop when feasible to get away from some of the noise, take notes on my phone or wherever I am, and dream of becoming a writing hermit in my own tiny house hidden in the forest somewhere…

Even so, the next book Devil May Care will be out in February 2015, then look for Devil of a Job and Devil in the Details before too long. The grass isn’t growing under my feet so I’d better find the time to write or I think I’ll be in trouble with a few readers.

Susana: What is the one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Renee: The secret about never wearing open-toed shoes is already out there but they might be surprised to know that I’m the world’s worst singer of karaoke, ghost comedy clubs at amateur open mike nights to make sure I stay brave and have a fear of fireworks.

Susana: What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Renee: I would love to have more romantic comedy and paranormal romance readers find the new series and earn a place on their bookshelves. I’d love to gain new readers and make sure I’m staying connected to all my friends. In addition to The Eternity Gambit series that Devil To Pay leads off, I have a new historical romance series coming out set in Victorian London, The Duchess Club; a new dystopian series, The Imbalance; and the goal of one or two stand alone novels. I’m determined to write and publish at a better pace so that I can afford to attend more conferences and travel for research and for fun.

It’s a lot to take on but as always, I prefer to reach for the stars if I can and then even if I don’t make it, I know I’m still further along than I was at the start of my journey!

I want to say one thing more about writing romance. In the hierarchy of respected genres, it surprises me to find that romance is so often on the bottom. Authors of children’s books have more street cred. The college I graduated from celebrates graduates turned authors of murder mysteries and dark fiction with tortured characters and invites them to hold conferences about literature and art. But I will never get that invitation, no matter how many times I might hit the NYT bestseller’s list or even the silver screen one day. If I once felt like pouting about that, I’m over it now. Writing takes courage. The only approval you need is a reader’s and at the end of the day, they are your only care.

Some authors claim that they stand alone and don’t care what anyone thinks. That courage escapes me. But in the new year and in every year to come, my only resolution is to never apologize for writing good stories that entertain, characters that linger and following the path ahead wherever it leads into a brave, new world. I love writing romances and I love romance readers. They are the most loyal, intelligent and fun fans a person could pray for and I feel very blessed to be anywhere on their bookshelves!

About Devil To Pay

Cover_DevilToPay copyWorkplace comedy is always fun but when the company in question in H.E.LLc (Hades Enterprises LLc) and your job is being Lucifer, let’s just say, there are some unique challenges beyond Casual Fridays and who keeps taking your lunch out of the break room. Even if Hell really is just a place where evil is tracked and analyzed in endless cubicles-no brimstone and not a human soul in sight-there’s no room for error. This Lucifer (who is the seventh unlucky archangel to get the position behind the black onyx desk) is about to have his entire world rattled when a very sweet and likable mortal woman crosses his path.

After all, angels can’t lie. And when Jayne Hamilton wants to know what he does for a living, all bets are off. Because “dating” isn’t exactly in the cosmic scheme of the Eternity Gambit, but Love… Well, Love is never really off the table.

Now, if Lucifer can just figure out how to win the girl and get himself fired, he’ll be one very very happy angel.

“Filled with sparkling wit and devilish charm, DEVIL TO PAY is a delightful visit to the Shangri-La of Hell!” — Erin Quinn, The Three Fates of Ryan Love, NYT Bestselling Author

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Excerpt

“You’re mental, right?”

“I think if we were having this conversation in a basement decorated with torn out newspaper articles, black-light posters and me drooling about how I have conversations with dogs and wear tinfoil underwear, you might have a case.” Luke deliberately glanced around the room, silently pointing out the lack of “mental” revealed by his beautifully appointed modern office and furnishings. If it weren’t for the black onyx desk, it would be easy to mistake it for an extraordinary executive’s digs. “I think we can rule out insanity—on both sides of this argument.”

“Right, since I’m not the one proclaiming to be the Prince of Darkness,” she said with a touch of sarcasm she couldn’t prevent. After all, even pretending to take him seriously made her consider that she might not be firing on all cylinders. Her hands were shaking, so she pressed them together as firmly as she could. Were crazy people like bees? Could they smell fear?   “Is it possible you’re just a very wealthy man in need of medication?”

“Sure. Anything is possible,” he conceded, his open smile disarming her as he was obviously beginning to genuinely enjoy the debate. “Jayne, I could be an eccentric billionaire intent on impressing you by pretending to be Lucifer.   Stranger things have happened.”

“Name one thing stranger than this.”

“Besides the fashion of the 80’s and people who resemble their dogs?”

“Only Renee Bernard could make dating Satan sexy as sin! Funny, fresh, irreverent and utterly adorable!” – Dakota Cassidy, National Bestselling Author

First book in the new Eternity Gambit series from USA Today bestselling author Renee Bernard. This is a romantic comedy series with an original paranormal twist that defies categorization and turns every notion of Heaven and Hell on its ear.

About the Author

What in the world is a retired Navy chaplain’s daughter doing writing scorching hot historical romances and paranormal romantic comedies and even comic books? Renee Bernard is applying a great education from traveling all over the world to story telling and doing her best to keep her father proud. Truthfully, her father is her number one fan, even though he has sworn never to read a single word of her books (a vow he has kept to this day!) Nothing stops him from telling everyone he knows that his daughter is now a USA Today Bestselling author or from handing out bookmarks on the golf course. Love can make even a minister do strange things!

Renee Bernard is a freelance writer and host of “The Romance Bookmark” on Readers Entertainment, as well as a contributor to Romantic Times BookReviews magazine. Renee currently lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. (Note an interesting proximity to great wineries!)

Devil To Pay is available now online wherever books are sold and is coming soon to Audio! The Eternity Gambit series is a fun departure from her well-known Victorian set historical romances and creates a new world for readers unlike any other. Devil To Pay is the first book in this new series and is gathering up 5-Star reviews and momentum as more readers discover that office politics can hit a whole new level of crazy when you work at Hades Enterprises, LLc (or H.E.LLc).

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Carolyn Wren: Ghosts of Grace Cottage

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Carolyn will be awarding a $50 gift card to winner’s choice of Amazon or Secret Cravings Publishing to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Ghosts of Grace Cottage

Eloisa Waters is creating a new life for herself. After travelling for twelve months, she comes home at Christmas, purchasing a small country cottage in a sleepy English village, despite the fact its previous owner was a recluse, the original owner was supposedly a witch, and it’s now rumored to be haunted!

On the first night in her new home, sensual erotic dreams surprise and delight her. Only these aren’t dreams. The rumors are true. Two handsome Regency ghosts inhabit the cottage, becoming corporeal at night, trapped by a curse, compelled to satisfy every desire of the new owner.

Elly begins to fall in love with Anton and Phillipe, her charming ghostly lovers. But is there more? Can the curse be broken? Or does Elly risk her own soul. As Christmas approaches, and memories surface, how will Elly choose? How can she possibly leave behind the Ghosts of Grace Cottage?

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Excerpt

“You can’t avoid bringing up the subject of Christmas with me. It’s everywhere I look.” She gestured to the fairy lights in the trees and the snowman in the garden next door. “Just because I’m not up to all the festivities this year doesn’t mean everyone else has to suffer.”

Cover_GhostsofGraceCottage copy“I don’t know why you don’t buy a lovely new place with the life insurance money.”

“My folks always wanted a country cottage. Maybe in some ways I’m fulfilling their dream.”

Sally yanked the collar of her coat higher as a chill breeze flew along the quiet country lane. “You know she died there,” she whispered. “The previous owner, I mean.”

“Miss Hardy was ninety-two years old. She had to die somewhere.”

“Doesn’t it freak you out?”

“Nope, from what I hear she had a long and happy life.”

“Really?” Sally shivered. “I don’t know where you get that idea. She was a recluse who wouldn’t let anyone inside the house to do repairs and renovations. That’s why it’s so cheap. Did you hear the rumors? Some people say she used to talk to herself, and strange noises came from inside late at night.” Her voice dropped back to a whisper. “Maybe it’s haunted. I heard another rumor too. They say a witch might have lived here a couple of hundred years ago.”

Elly laughed. “Sal, honey, I think you need to go back to realtor school. Your selling method leaves a lot to be desired.” Her eyes turned once again to the faded beauty of the old home, and her voice was determined. “I want it.”

About the Author

AuthorPic copyI was born in England. My parents loved to travel as my dad spent many years in the navy. By the time I reached the age of 12 we had traveled pretty much around the world on cruise ships.

This sounds fun and exciting unless like me you can get sea sick sitting in a bathtub. Lets just say boats do not feature highly in my books.

I still love to travel, but I use planes. All of my life I have written stories in my head. I would rewrite and add characters to TV shows, edit and change novels I was reading, invent scenarios and scenes to amuse myself on long journeys. But strangely I never wrote any of them down. About three years ago I woke up with a scene so clear in my head I knew I had to put it down on paper. Now, what should I do with this one page of prose? I know, I will email it to some friends. The friends approved, in fact they asked what book it was from. I shyly admitted it was my own work and the reaction was immediate…please write the next bit! I did and I have not stopped writing since.

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Ash Krafton: Words That Bind

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Ash will be awarding a $25 gift card to Amazon or BN as well as a unique handmade book-inspired keychain to a randomly drawn commenter. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Daydreaming in Detail:

Finding inspiration in imagery

I am a very visual person.

Even though I am first and foremost a writer, I have an artistic mind’s eye—I literally watch my stories as they unfold inside my head, and write what I see. Sounds a lot like a delusional condition, but, no worries. It’s just how I write.

MEDIA KIT Author Photo retro smaller copyI always have a notebook on me because I never know when I’ll see something that inspires me. For the same reason, I’m never without my phone (a Nokia with an incredible camera). Anyone looking though my pictures might think they are completely random, what-am-I-missing kinds of shots—but, to me, I see an opportunity for words to sprout.

My characters aren’t flat, 2-d creations. I fantasy cast each my books, using conglomerations of several people to capture the essence of whom I’m writing. I watch and re-watch specific movies because someone or something just resonates with a piece I’m writing. Every detail is important—the sound of their voices, the gestures, the setting…all of it goes into the fabric of my daydreams, my story machine.

Over the last year or so, I have been cultivating my Pinterest pages. Not only is it a scrapbook for every nerdy gem I find (especially for Whovian antics and Cumberbatchery) but also a depository for the images that inspire the tiny details of my stories.

Of particular interest is the page for my current book, Words That Bind. This is a tale of a genie and his social worker—so the settings range from ancient Persia to modern-day Philadelphia. With such a wide scope of settings, you know there is potential for a treasure-trove of imagery…and I started collecting them on Pinterest.

Not only do I have the book’s cover and my publisher’s graphic, I started collecting images of the sights and characters of the story. There are lamps and palaces, tigers and talismans. (My genie doesn’t live in a lamp, exactly, but the imagery of bejeweled ornate treasures definitely feed his characterization. Burns loves shiny things.)

From time to time, I would take a break from writing and just browse pictures, wondering if I’ll find something to add to the story, another glimmering facet on the gemstone. Thanks to other Pinners, I’ll never run out of inspiration, either.

Pinterest isn’t only about my books, either. Countless authors are “pinning” their books, making it a great place to discover not only pictures, but great reads. I have a feeling I’ll be a pinner for life.

What about you? Have you been pulled into the world of Pinterest? If so, share your favorite board with us!

About Words That Bind

Social worker Tam Kerish can’t keep her cool professionalism when steamy client Mr. Burns kindles a desire for more than a client-therapist relationship—so she drops him. However, they discover she’s the talisman to which Burns, an immortal djinn, has been bound since the days of King Solomon…and that makes it difficult.

Ethical guidelines are unequivocal when it comes to personal relationships with clients. However, the djinn has a thawing effect on the usually non-emotive Tam, who begins to feel true emotion whenever he is near. Tam has to make a difficult choice: to stay on the outside, forever looking in…or to turn her back on her entire world, just for the chance to finally experience what it means to fall in love.

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Excerpt

MEDIA KIT WordsThatBind_w9084_750 copy“So. You’ve destroyed a stereotype for me. A genie who lives in a library. Different.”

“When in Rome, no?” He stirred his cup before setting down the spoon with a light clink against the saucer. “Or, I suppose it is more accurate to say when in human form. When I am Burns, I prefer here.”

“Human form.” It didn’t sound right. Who said things like that, and meant it? “Can you change into anything you want? Any shape at all?”

He stretched out his legs and cocked his head, sliding his gaze up and away. “I suppose I could. I’m getting old and set in my ways. There’s this…” He swept his hands down the line of his body.

Her eyes were unable to keep from following, not even when he lingered over his midsection. Even lounging, his shirt was tightly tucked into his beltline. No belly fat there.

He tilted his head and gave her an upper-teeth smile, nibbling gently at his lower lip. “And apparently this form is pleasing to the eye, so I wear it often. But there are others. Tiger, a favorite. Savage and regal and the colors of flames in the night. Fearsome to behold, but very useful when dealing with physical conditions in which a human form may be outmatched. Plus, I can lash my tail.”

His voice took a teasing, conspirator’s tone. “I love my tail. You’d love it too, if you saw it.”

She trained her eyes firmly upon his. No way would she give him the pleasure of checking out his tail.

About the Author

Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction author from northeastern Pennsylvania. Krafton’s first novel, Bleeding Hearts was published in 2012 as part of an urban fantasy trilogy The Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press). An urban fantasy novella, Strangers at the Hell Gate, was published by Wild Rose Press in 2013. Her newest release, Words That Bind, won first place in the HeRA RWA “Show Me the Spark” 2013 competition as well as a Zebulon award in 2014.

Krafton also writes New Adult speculative fiction novels under the pen name AJ Krafton. Upcoming titles include The Heartbeat Thief, Face of the Enemy, and the award-winning Takin’ It Back. She is part of a YA/NA collective known as the Infinite Ink Authors.

In addition to novel-length fiction, Krafton enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned distinctions in various writing competitions. One of her poems was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She’s a proud member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, and Pikes Peak Writers. Krafton also writes for the Query Tracker Blog and the Prose and Cons blog.

She resides with her family in northeast Pennsylvania.

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