Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Interview with Robin Maderich, WHEN THE HEART BRINGS YOU HOME

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?


When the Heart Brings You Home is a collection of three novellas all set in the fictional small town of Connor Falls, Pennsylvania. The commonality between all three stories is the setting and the time of year, which is Christmas. The theme running through the three novellas and, in fact, through all the Connor Falls Christmas Series books is family, friendship, love, all taking place within the same small town. In the first novella, Winter Light, a troubled young girl who keeps running away from home brings the Christmas Spirit back to her harried, busy father and the local bookstore owner, a woman he kissed on a whim years ago. The second, Light the Heart Home, introduces to the reader two sisters who are getting together for Christmas after quite some time part and involves a resolution of their own differences as well as coming to terms with the loss of one’s old love and the welcoming of a possible new one for the other. In the third, Home for the Holidays, a professional woman returns to Connor Falls for the holidays and finds not only a yearning for her roots but an exceptional man. The Connor Falls stories all contain a dose of sweet romance and holiday inspiration.


Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?


I have been published traditionally in the past through Kensington under two pseudonyms, with one standalone novel and a three-novel series. The standalone novel saw translation and publication in the European market. I received copies of the books and was astounded by the disparity in the covers. The cover for the version sold in this country was elegant and lovely, but I think the most artistically beautiful cover was that which was released in Germany. Five novels also written using the same pen name as the three-novel series were published by a small indie press, and my very first book was released many years ago by Warner Books under my own name. However, due to various changes in the publishing world, I decided to publish the Connor Falls Christmas series on my own starting at about the same time the contemporary paranormal suspense series was released by Kensington. I have only released one full-length novel for the Connor Falls Christmas series so far. However, the next is due out during the 2023 holiday season, along with another novella. I publish the Connor Falls Christmas books as Robin Maderich and also self-publish my young adult series using the pen name Jo Allen Ash. 


How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?


The first novel published (by Warner) was not the first novel I had written with an eye to publication. I had an agent at the time, a very lovely lady, and if I am recalling correctly, I think it was only a matter of a few months before she received an offer for that first work, from Pocket Books. Because the offer was for a mid-list release, she suggested I turn it down and continued to shop it around with the intent it be released as a lead title. Instead of that first book getting published (The Forgotten Keep resides in its entirety in a drawer of the guest room dresser and I’m thinking about reworking the book) it led the way to an offer from Warner Books. I was requested by the editor, who loved the style and voice of the work she had seen, to write a romance. I’d never read one, didn’t know what they were all about, and my agent sent me a small carton of romance novels to read. Thus began the romance writing career. My first love was YA and I am happy to have returned to that now, as well. 


Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?


I am not under an active contract, although Kensington has an option for the next book written under my pen name. I am certainly not opposed to working with a traditional publishing house and definitely with Kensington, with whom I have had success and a great relationship, so I will likely write another book for them. If they ultimately turn it down, then I might try to shop it around or publish it on my own. I am currently working on the third book in my YA series and finishing up the Connor Falls Christmas books for next year, both of which are self-publishing ventures. I do enjoy the control and challenge of self-publishing. It is, however, a great deal of work. One is responsible for far more than just writing the novel, which is a huge undertaking in itself. 


What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?


Well, the changes in the publishing world, for one. The gamechanger for me was finding that many publishers now publish digitally first. They can’t be blamed for that. The risks are much less than releasing a book in mass market paperback or hardcover, because contractually those books can be returned by the booksellers, resulting in a loss of profit for the publishing house. The shelf life for a book is notoriously short. A digital copy can be on its “shelf” forever. 


However, for those of us who like meeting the public, discussing their work, signing books for the reader, etc., this presents a problem, even if the books are being released POD (print-on-demand). POD books are non-returnable, so bookstores are unlikely to order them for their shelves. The cost for an author to order their own books through the publisher for the purposes of book signings is also prohibitive, because quite often they are paying more for the book than they will make from sale at the bookstore, because the bookstore, quite rightly, must take their percent from the sale. When self-publishing, you still run into the same issues, but the cost to you for the book (if you have priced it with an eye to the market) still permits you to make a profit because the middle man has been eradicated. There were other factors, as well, but the above was probably the eye-opener that prompted my first research into the benefits of self-publishing. Mind, there are drawbacks, too. Many of them. However, if a writer is willing to work very hard at succeeding, the upside can be worth it. 


What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?


I prefer silence for the actual writing, but I listen to music I associate with the mood of the tale until they become somewhat inseparable so I can get myself right back into the story by turning on that same piece of music at the start of the day’s writing session. I like to write in the morning these days, because that is when my energy level is most conducive to the process. Before a nasty accident I had about four years ago, I could write any time of the day or night. I am hoping that will come back to me some day. I also confess to having to play a game or two of spider solitaire sometimes before I begin. I could say it’s because it limbers up my fingers and gets my mind functioning, but I think I would be lying. 


Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?


For the three-novel series I did for Kensington’s Lyrical Press, an outline of the stories was required. I’ve never been an outliner so that was tough for me. Still, it did streamline the process, which was especially helpful due to the rapid-fire deadlines. However, I do not usually outline when I write. I don’t just float along where the muse takes me, either, though. I have a distinct storyline in my head with a specific beginning and ending, but I don’t prepare a detailed paragraph or chapter outline before putting words on paper/monitor.


What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?


Don’t plow right into it thinking it’s an easy win. Hone your craft and write your best before you consider putting it out there. Your book deserves its best shot so also expect to take time and money to deliver a quality product. Book covers are important, so you may have to pay someone to prepare a decent one for you. A fabulous cover is better, of course. Editing is of the utmost importance, and this will also have to be paid for, unless you know a professional editor who is willing to do it for free. Formatting is important, too, especially if you are going to print. There are rules to putting out a professional-looking print book. You will have costs for copyrighting, for securing an ISBN, for advertising. As easy as it is to throw a book up on Amazon, there are a lot out there that probably weren’t quite ready to see the light of day. Self-publishing should not be viewed as separate from traditional publishing, not in terms of the work needed to be successful. It is far more than writing. You need to wear a business hat, as well, which is something I struggled with for a while. Employ the split-personality technique. One of you is the author, the creator, the imaginative one, while the other is the business-minded one, the publisher looking to release nothing less than the best into the world who must take the reins to ensure this is done. It doesn’t stop there, either. You must continue writing (of course, you must! You’re a writer, after all!) to ensure your readership stays engaged and also grows. But while you are writing your next book, you must also continue to market and promote your prior work(s). So, plan to be busy! And don’t get discouraged. 


Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?


Dogs AND cats. I have both. I also like birds (I had a wonderfully talkative parrot once, named Merlin), and adore mice (but don’t keep them as pets).  I’m a sucker for both chocolate and vanilla. It depends on the medium, I guess. I partake in about three partial cups of coffee a year and even less tea. Talking is good, texting is better, because there’s a certain expediency to texting that can also be performed on the move. If I get into a conversation with someone on the phone, they are usually doing most of the yakking and I’m saying a lot of yes, no, right, and oh really, for a couple of hours. I like talking face-to-face, though, very much. Day or night? Depends on what’s going on. Life is a gift and I’ll take whatever comes no matter the time of day. 


What’s next for you?


Besides the above-mentioned works, I want to again write and illustrate a children’s picture book. I have two in mind, but I’m searching hard for the time to even start them. My first, H is for Home, was written and illustrated after the accident, at a time when I couldn’t manage any more time on the computer than that which I was struggling to give to my former day job. I love the beauty of children’s illustrated books, which presents another problem to me: making sure I don’t fail miserably at that particular goal. I’ll give it my best!


Thanks so much for interviewing me!

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Monday, November 28, 2022

#Excerpt: UNDER THE CLOUD by B.R. Erlank


They call themselves The Settlement Bureau. A faceless, soulless organization coercing individuals with threats to expose their improprieties and vulnerabilities. Inhumanely persistent, they’ve secretly driven hundreds of victims into bankruptcy, despair – and several even to suicide.

But when this organization tries to blackmail IT expert Terry Reynolds, they make a serious mistake. Terry is down on his luck. He is penniless, divorced and in a dead-end job. Yet, the abuse of his personal information stirs Terry out of his lethargy and he fights back. He embarks on a digital game of cat-and-mouse with the cold, calculating minds behind The Settlement Bureau – and in doing so, uncovers a sprawling criminal conspiracy.

Under The Cloud is a chillingly plausible new thriller by B.R. Erlank. With a plot ripped straight from the headlines, advance readers warn, “this book delivers a roller coaster ride right up to the final pages.”


The book will be $0.99 from November 15 - November 22.




Rajiv looked Terry directly in the eyes, “Tell me, how would you use our tools and data to improve the risk management at a bank?”


Terry walked to the window from where he could see the Bank of America pyramid in the fading light. Down below, cars and people were bustling along the street. Lights in various glass towers twinkled in random geometric patterns. Not random, Terry thought, in fact, quite the opposite.


He said, “What if I told you that it is entirely predictable when each light in that apartment complex will be turned on?”


Rajiv made an encouraging gesture. 


“It’s really quite simple. All you need is to cross-reference the identities of the occupants with their smartphone or Fitbit geo data. If you then pulled in data from their car or even air travel, you could get longer-range predictions. Imagine what that could do for security and law enforcement. If anyone doesn’t show up where they’re supposed to be, instantaneous action can be taken. 


“Now imagine the same principles applied to managing banking risk. By analyzing the individual's personal and professional issues, you can update the risk profile in real-time. A car accident, job loss, an expensive health issue in the family, a child having to repeat a year at college. These are all predictors of financial risk. But to date, it simply hasn’t been possible to integrate that data fast enough to be meaningful. Well, now it is – we make it possible.”


Rajiv slowly clapped his hands and said, “Do it exactly like that tonight.”


Terry gaped, “What? Me?”


“You come across fresh, unrehearsed, authentic – that’s exactly what I want for the presentation to the bank.”




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Boris Erlank grew up in Southern Africa. He has lived and worked in places as diverse as Luanda, Cape Town, Singapore and San Francisco. Boris recently gave up his job as Global Privacy Manager with a Fortune 100 company to focus on writing full-time.

He has an extensive background in IT, data privacy and cybersecurity, and has drawn on that experience to craft his latest novel, Under the Cloud. His previous novel, Catch You Later, is a murder mystery set in Cape Town.

Boris lives with his family and two dogs in the foothills of Mount Diablo, east of San Francisco. He likes to cycle and hike. “Those solitary pursuits give me time to dream up the characters and plots for my novels,” he says. Boris also enjoys choir singing, travel, and listening to audiobooks.



Amazon link:







 Petite Ellie Davison had the worst luck when it came to dating. Not wanting to endure any more bad first dates, she swore off dating, that is, until she met the impossibly handsome Jared at her friend's wedding.

Corporate lawyer Jared Castian was not pleased when his Washington firm transferred him to Boston to oversee a complicated merger. He was on the fast track to making partner and had no time to date. When a chance meeting at his friend's wedding paired him with bridesmaid Ellie Davison, he found himself captivated by the pretty brunette. Was Ellie the one that would open his heart to love?

Mistletoe Kisses is a sweet romance novella. 

Reviewers Comments:

4 stars - This was a sweet Christmas story of insta-love with likable characters. Amazon customer

Buy links:

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Interview with C.B. Oresky, THE WARLOCK'S CURSE

Any weird things you do when you’re alone?

I like to practice meditation when I am alone. I guess meditation…or stopping one’s thoughts, is not considered as weird today, as when I started thirty years ago. Back then, if you studied with awake Masters, one was in a cult. 

I find that quieting the mind and stopping one’s thoughts is one of the most difficult things a person can do. But if one can do this, one can be swept up in such heart opening feelings of love and experience such beauty. Most people are not even aware of the possibility of these beautiful inner worlds. 


What is your favorite quote and why?

My favorite quote is from J.R.R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, where Strider, secretly Aragorn the true king of Gondor, appears to be a mere Ranger.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

This quote is for all those that run against the wind and holds a message about ceasing judgement on outer looks alone. From the moment one is born, the busy bees of society are whispering in your ear…how to act, how to be. Many are followers, attracted to the flash…a rolex or bmw gives one a certain status. But what about someone with purpose and inner goodness…all that is beautiful and true, existing without glitter. Someone who wanders their own path, following their own internal calling, may be seen as a fool, but may truly be a queen or king. To be true to one’s own calling involves strength and perseverance in the face of darkness and strife.


Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite author, hands down, is J.R.R. Tolkien. Afterall, he developed the genre of fantasy and inspired generations of writers, myself included. 

The thing I love the most about Tolkien is his artistry with words, how he masterfully paints and vividly illustrates scene after scene of magical worlds where creatures talk and everything from the trees to the mountains seem alive.

Not only that, but as I read his works I feel Tolkien there with me, narrating the wonders and magic of Middle Earth, as he often did, telling these fairytale-like stories to his children before bedtime.

Finally, in both The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, I feel myself part of an epic journey that became a great battle between good and evil. I love his characters, which I became so attached to…to the point that I walked their entire journey alongside them.


What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I believe an author should be as clear and concise as possible. The first lesson I learned was to omit needless words. Readers want to be entertained or to learn something…they want the author to get to the point. 

Finally, using proper grammar and choice of words is important. I love when something is written elegantly – where the choice of words makes a story flow almost like poetry. My teacher pounded the importance of the ssst factor…describing sights, sounds, sensations, and taste to create vivid imagery that keeps the reader engaged. 


Where did you get the idea for this book?

My debut novel all began as a dream… I sailed a white ship on a pristine sea of whispering turquoise waves. The inhabitants of this alien watery world, mystical whales, surrounded my vessel, their eerie voices lifted in song. I made a story out of this…and other magical dreams. 





Clara and Angelica Grace have never met ghosts. They’ve never sailed on a tall ship, ridden wild unicorns, or fought with magical weapons. Instead, the teenage twins have a wretched existence, ignored by their troubled parents in a rundown home and tormented by the town’s snobs.

Everything turns topsy-turvy all of a sudden when discovery of an ancestor’s hidden journal with an odd key to an unknown door leads them into an entirely different realm.

The girls go on a thrilling oceanic voyage to search for mysterious whales, train with a seasoned warrior, and are befriended by a wise Master. But all is not a bouquet of lovely lilies…they are hunted by a cunning warlock and must rid themselves of The Warlock’s Curse.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Fascinated by the works of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, C.B. Oresky began writing her own fantasy novel, The Warlock’s Curse, after dreaming of being whisked off to an alien realm. Besides her debut novel, she has seen four of her short stories published in a small, national literary press: Conceit Magazine. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through the  woods, dancing flamenco, or planting flowers in her garden. She currently lives in a small town in Connecticut with her bodybuilder husband, their exceptionally naughty Scottish terrier and Siamese cat, ten chickens, Mr. Tiggy the hedgehog, and a yard filled with majestic flowers.





Twitter: @cbOresky





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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

#Review: SOME DUKES HAVE ALL THE LUCK by Christina Britton


 4 of 5 stars

Ash Hawkins, Duke of Buckley, believes he's doing his wards a favor by providing for them, but keeping his distance. He has his reasons, but the girls feel abandoned and act out whenever the chance arises. Ash knows he needs help with them, but they've chased away every governess he's hired. Now, he's desperate and will seek a wife and a marriage of convenience. He doesn't want any emotional attachment, but he soon finds out that's easier said than done. Where to find such a woman? Bronwyn's parents have always pushed her to be more conventional, but she loves her research of the natural world. When they threaten to send her to her strict brother's house, an opportunity arises for independence and she seizes it. She agrees to the proposal for a marriage of convenience from Ash. Little do either of them know that simmering passions lay just below the surface. Can they stick to their deal or will they succumb to their growing attraction?

This was a very enjoyable read and I loved that Bronwyn was brilliant throughout the book and was not diminished by marrying Ash. She found a way to reach the girls and draw them out of their shells and even began to include Ash in their interactions. Her parents were over the top cruel and I was happy when they got their comeuppance. I wanted to shake Ash for running away when emotions became messy, but Bronwyn wasn't giving up. She wasn't going to let go of the man she loved and though there was heartache, they finally got their HEA. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

#New FANTASY Release: STONE'S CURSE by Debra L Martin and David W Small



The long-awaited final book in the Witch Stone Prophecy series!

Jeda DeLongo has a bad feeling as he watches his twin daughters Kala and Kara, the infamous children of prophecy, crowned as the Duchess and Countess of Berkshire. His sixth sense has never failed him in the past, and when the king is assassinated during the celebration, the dawning horror that the Kingdom of Tavia is under attack by desert warriors cannot be denied. The new king has declared war, and Jeda, Keisha, and Kara race to Eastford to rescue their gypsy family, but will they arrive in time, or has everyone already perished under the desert onslaught?

Arin, the self-proclaimed Prince of the Desert, has never forgiven the kingdom witch who murdered his father and sister and has vowed revenge. Now he’s done the impossible—united all the desert tribes under his banner. He launches his attack against Tavia with his secret weapon—a Black Coven witch who has learned how to harness the magic of the desert warriors. The only way to stop the witch is for Jeda, Kara, and Kala to unleash the power of the legendary Witch Stone, but will it be enough?

Amazon links:


Jeda grabbed his wife’s hand and led her through the rapidly diminishing crowds in the market's east end where the screams had come from.

“We’ll find her,” Jeda answered over his shoulder, “keep up.”

Jeda dodged a merchant and nearly collided with Franc, one of the other security escorts for today's outing. Franc's distraught face told Jeda everything he needed to know. The three young girls under his protection were not with him. Jeda figured the girls had given Franc the slip to find a little excitement and adventure in the exotic desert city. Unfortunately, it sounded like they found way more than they had bargained for. 

“I don’t know what happened—” Franc began.

“Not now,” Jeda called as he raced past. “The girls are in trouble, and we need to find them.” 

Jeda raced along and soon found himself at the east end of the marketplace. A narrow backstreet ran off to the side, and he heard sounds of scuffling and fighting. He rushed down the alleyway, motioning for Franc and Keisha to follow. The horrific scene they came upon stopped them short. 

One girl was lying against a wall with a blade sticking out of her stomach. Blood leaked through her fingers as she tried to hold the knife in place. She was pale, breathing heavily, and running out of time. Another girl had a nasty gash on her head and was held between two men while a third large guard was wiping blood from his face. The men all wore the uniform of the Palace Guard, and Jeda knew they were in a world of trouble. The gypsies traveling into the city had been warned repeatedly by Jeda and Franc not to trifle with those guards. 

“You’ll all die for this,” the bloody guard said.

Jeda recognized the brute as the same one from the gypsy camp the other night. He shook his head at the irony of the situation.

Of the guards in this city, why do I keep meeting this one?

“Amir,” Jeda called out. “Still trying to get your way with little girls? Can’t get a woman to look your way? Maybe you don’t have the right bigness to satisfy a grown woman.”

Amir whipped his head around at the insult. “You,” he replied, recognizing Jeda from the gypsy camp. He spat a wad of blood on the ground and snarled at Jeda. “You may have won our last meeting, but I was drunk and didn’t have my sword.”

Amir drew an enormous scimitar and began twirling the blade around like he knew how to use it. “This time, there will be a decidedly different outcome. Come little man, and let's see how you fare against an opponent who knows how to fight and kill.”  

 While Jeda taunted the giant, Keisha ran to the bleeding girl on the ground. She immediately drew the blade out and put her hands on the open wound, sending healing magic into the girl. The gushing blood soon became a trickle and then stopped altogether. The young girl moaned and leaned into Keisha's arms. She wasn't bleeding, but she was extremely pale from blood loss.

 The other two guards let go of the second girl and drew their swords. Franc drew his sword and met the two men head-on. The guards were well trained, but Franc was an expert swordsman, and the two men never had a chance. They were both dead in short order.

Jeda, on the other hand, stood his ground while Amir swung his sword around, trying to intimate him. Jeda smiled and shook his head.

“If that’s meant to scare me, then you’ve failed miserably,” Jeda said, staring at him with cold dead eyes. “Unfortunately for you, this will end very differently from the last time. You could still walk after our last meeting, but things will be quite different this time.”

To anyone that knew Jeda, the rage growing in his eyes would give them pause. He tried to keep his seething anger reined in, but when he saw what these men had done to these innocent girls that anger would not, could not be constrained. Jeda had been training for many long months with his sword, but that traditional training left him as his assassin persona surfaced. The transformation gave the giant a moment’s pause but did not stop him.

It should have.

"You're right about that," Amir bellowed, rushing forward with his blade held high. Then, with a speed that belayed that man's size, he swung down on Jeda, and it would have cut him right down his middle if it had connected.

It didn’t.

Much to the amazement of the big man, Jeda had easily sidestepped and waited patiently for the man to recover. Off to the side, Franc watched, wondering what Jeda was up to. He was prepared to assist but knew Jeda well enough to stay out of his way.

Amir swung around and guarded against the expected attack he thought sure would come. The big man smiled back at him when he saw Jeda standing, waiting, with no weapon in his hand.

“So you are like the jackrabbit then,” Amir mocked. “Jumping around until you can run away. Come now, let’s finish this farce. Die like a true man, not a coward.”

Jeda shook his head again and finally drew his knives, not his sword. That gave the big man pause as he wondered what the little man would do with his prick sticks.

“I was considering letting you live,” Jeda replied. "But I've known too many men like you. You'll return to your palace hole, nurse your wounds, and try something like this again. I can not let that happen."

Before Amir could reply, Jeda ran forward, dropped, and skidded on his knees, sliding through the giant's legs. As Amir looked down, shocked, he saw the twin cuts on the inside of the legs and his blood pumping out. With a roar, Amir turned and swung his sword down to where his opponent should be.

But he wasn’t. 

Jeda had slid well out of the way of Amir's blade and stood with his two bloodied blades, ready to face him again. Amir stumbled a step forward, and Jeda saw the moment the guard realized he might be in deep trouble. The guard was facing a cold-blooded killer with a crazed look in his eyes. Amir looked around for an escape. He spotted Keisha and raised his sword to launch it at her. Jeda saw everything in slow motion and immediately threw one of his knives. It penetrated the big man's eye to the hilt, killing him instantly. He dropped to the ground with a look of horror on his face.

“I told you this would end differently,” Jeda said, pulling his knife from the man’s eye and wiping the gore off on the dead man’s tunic.”

Jeda turned to see the shocked look on Franc’s face. No matter how well they knew each other, he had never shown that side to Franc before.

“Remind me never to get on your bad side,” Franc said, staring at the downed giant.

#Review: NEVER RESCUE A ROGUE by Virginia Heath


  4 of 5 stars

Giles Sinclair, the newly elevated Duke of Harpenden, has a serious problem. He's working against time trying to undo and compensate tenants and staff for the wrongs perpetrated by his late father, but his time may be up. A long-lost evil uncle shows up on his doorstep, claiming to have evidence that will upend and destroy the Sinclair family. Diana Merriwell is not one to let sleeping dogs lie so when Giles confides in her "the Dirty Secret" he's recently found out, she's determined to help him out of his current predicament. These two claim to be barely tolerable of each other, but circumstances throw them together and they are finding it hard to resist temptation. Can Giles unravel the mystery and finally be able to declare his feelings before time runs out?

This is the first book I've read in the series, and even though I hadn't read the previous Merriwell's sister story, I could follow along easily enough. Both Giles and Diana are engaging characters, and I loved their caustic banter with each other. I got a little tired of the constant use of "skeleton's rattling" and "hornet's nest kicked" sayings and felt some different wording would have sufficed. The story moved along well, but my favorite character was the butler, Dalton. He was hilarious and added so much depth to the story. After so many twists and turns, Giles and Diana finally got their HEA. I can't wait to read Vee's story.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.

Friday, November 4, 2022

#FREE Nov. 4-6 Regency Romance, DARE TO LOVE A SPY by Debra Elizabeth



Miss Hannah Richardson is enjoying a Season in London. She's not looking for a husband, at least not this Season. She wants to enjoy herself before settling down to married life. All that changes, however, when she sees the Duke of Wetherby. He's tall, dark and impossibly handsome and someone Hannah wants to get to know better.

Camden Darkin, the Duke of Wetherby, is not fond of attending soirees, dinners or balls, but his latest mission for the Crown demands he mingle with the ton. He has vowed not to marry because of his dangerous work and the constant bevy of beauties anxious mothers throw into his path is not tempting him in the least. That is, until he meets Hannah Richardson, a young woman unlike any other he's ever met. Can he learn to love or will his hardened heart rob him of the very thing he needs the most?

Amazon link:

Reviewers Comments:

5 stars "I loved the murder-mystery flair that seemed present and the deliciously tense undertone of the spy network. These points gave lots of flavor to the budding romance and caused lots of conflict well so we ended up with a really meaty story" Unabridged Andra
4 stars "A very well-written book, I highly recommend it for those who love a witty, fast-paced Regency romance." Notes from a Romantic Heart
5 stars "Besides the strong love story plot, there is also a murder mystery plot. I love a good love story, but a murder mystery just added another level and dimension to the story - plus an extra star in this review." Ally, Goodreads reader
5 stars "All in all, Dare to Love a Spy is a charming love story with an intriguing mystery to boot, and I recommend it to any fans of historical romance." Anna, Goodreads reader
4 stars "This story pulled me in from the first digital page and I carried my Kindle all over the house, reading while I cooked, baked cookies, and fed my toddler!" Dawn, Goodreads reader

Camden descended the stairs leading into the garden and kept to the shadows as he moved closer to the couple. He had to make sure that Charles was safe. Just as he was about to turn the corner and spy on them, a sound alerted him that he was not alone in stalking Charles and Lady Sargent. He turned, ready to defend himself and Charles, if necessary, only to be confronted by Miss Richardson. What was she doing in the garden? She could easily foil the opportunity for Charles to get answers from Lady Sargent. He did the only thing he could think of.

He pulled the delectable Miss Richardson into his arms.

Her eyes flashed and she opened her mouth to protest, but before she uttered a sound, his lips captured hers. The kiss was hard and demanding, and when he teased his tongue across her lips, they parted, inviting him in.

He deepened the kiss, and his tongue swept over hers as he explored every inch of her exquisite mouth. He wanted to keep on kissing her all night, but he heard Charles and Lady Sargent whispering as they headed back into the parlor. He reluctantly broke the kiss and set Hannah back on her feet.

She stood dazed, staring at him while she got her bearings back. He was about to apologize for his impetuous kiss when she slapped him hard across the face. “How dare you?” she choked out. “You wicked man.”

Camden rubbed the sting on his cheek. “That’s quite the slap; certainly not something I’m used to. My apologies, Miss Richardson, but tell me this—if you didn’t want me to kiss you, why did you follow me into the garden?”

Hannah’s entire being was burning with indignation, her cheeks a flaming red and her lips swollen from his kiss. She was irresistible. He wanted to kiss her again, but did not relish the idea of another slap. He waited for her answer, but none was forthcoming.

“Just as I thought. You crave wickedness and wanted me to kiss you. Perhaps it would be prudent for you to return to the other guests now. Unless, of course, you’d like me to kiss you again? Is that why you’re still out here in the garden?”

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

#Excerpt:STORMS AND EMBERS by C.D. Britt

Storms and Embers
C.D. Britt
(The Reign of Goddesses, #3)
Publication date: November 1st 2022
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Archon of Zephyr.
Queen of the Goddesses.
A Broken Woman.

Hera has reigned over Olympus and humanity for millennia. Seen as cold, sarcastic, and callous, she uses this to her advantage, keeping everyone, including her sisters, at a distance. It’s a lonely life, but it worked, until the Titans decided that breaking her father out of Tartarus was a good idea. A move that put her and her sisters against the Titans in a battle for their thrones upon Olympus.

Dr. Viktor Alden understands being alone. As a man who has spent his immortal life as a nomad, living with an oath that has kept him from allowing anyone to really know him, he is fascinated by the enigmatic woman who quite literally runs the world. Too bad they have a battle they may not win, or even live through, for him to learn the intricacies that make up the Queen of the Goddesses.

Now, two people who have spent their entire lives distrusting the world must learn to trust each other if they want to survive the upcoming war.

Storms and Embers is the final book in the Reign of Goddesses series.
TW: violence, cursing, adult situations.

Goodreads / Amazon


A horrible scream rent the air, stilling Hera in the middle of the dirt pathway. Before she could move forward, another piercing scream followed on the heels of the first. This time, she knew the voice as it begged their father to stop.

Ignoring her instincts to run in the opposite direction, to find her mother, she ran to the great tree that grew next to her home. She clambered up the tree, her skin scraping on the bark as her limbs climbed from memory.

When she reached the branch that overlooked the window near the hearth, she looked into the house, squinting in the dim light of morning. As she leaned forward, she lost her grip on the branch and barely caught herself. Steadying her hold, Hera held her breath and watched for movement.

She could see a hand, blood streaming from it, grapple with the edge of the window. Black hair and a tear-streaked face entered her view as her sister pulled herself up.


Catching a glimpse of her in the tree, Persephone found her gaze and mouthed, “Run.”

Hera’s heart raced. Run? Run where? To whom? How could she run when something was so, so wrong?

Her sister, her serious and beautiful sister, slumped forward, unconscious. The slight movement of her hair against her mouth from her shallow breaths was the only indication that she was still alive at all.

The fear that crowded her mind was intense, and Hera began to tremble, nearly losing her grip again. All she could see was Persephone not moving and covered in blood. Suddenly, a thump and several screams rang in her ears. Screams she knew would haunt all her days. High screams. Young screams. And deep, wordless shouts of a man’s rage.

It was the silence that followed that punched her into action.

Turning, she scrambled down the tree and ran to the wheat fields where she had left her mother chatting. Her feet pounded the earth as she ran the fastest she’d ever moved, tripping over vines in her haste. She ignored the pain of the rocks digging into her flesh, desperate to get to her mother.

Before she could reach Mother at the end of the path, a large figure emerged from the line of trees ahead of her. A chill ran up Hera’s spine, and she dug her heels into the dirt, pivoting to hide behind a fallen log as she watched her father step out into the road. Her thoughts raced— how had he gotten to the road before her?

Father raised his hand, revealing in his grip a knife dripping with blood. She knew at that moment her sisters were dead.

He rotated slowly, his eyes scanning the tree line.

“Hera, Hera, Hera,” he called out in a sing-song voice. “I saw you running, dearest. I know you are here. Come on out and talk to me.”

Her stomach dropped through to the earth below at his bold lie. She knew her father did not want to talk.

Crouching, she quietly moved to the end of the log, keeping herself as covered as possible by the bracken around her, and the road in sight. Father was on one end and her mother, farther down in the opposite direction. Could Mother see him yet? Would she look over and see Father in this mad state?

Hera knew she was taking a risk getting her mother’s attention, but she had to do something before Father found her.

She backed deeper into the woods, careful not to step on fallen leaves and twigs. Father paced the road, knife still in hand. If she could get closer to her mother…


Dread struck her chest as her father whirled toward the sound with stunning speed, and Hera’s heart raced. She’d been able to get closer to her mother by creeping through the undergrowth, but had she gotten close enough?

It would have to do. As her father started in her direction, Hera burst out into the road.

“Mother!” she cried out, straightening and preparing to run to her. Her mother turned abruptly, her smile faltering as she caught sight of the murderous presence behind Hera.

In a split second, her mother disappeared, only to reappear beside her. Stunned, Hera faltered and blinked at the empty space where her mother had been as she pushed Hera behind her. She fell to her hands and knees as her mother widened her stance, standing like a wall between Hera and her father.

Her mind spun. Her mother’s speed. Her father’s rampage. The sight of her sister’s bloody hand and the sound of their screams. Hera was confused by all of it.

“You swore they were human,” he growled.

Human? Of course, they were human. What else could they be? Was there something about her parents that she and her sisters had not known?

Author Bio:

C.D. Britt began her writing journey when her husband told her she needed to use her excessive imagination to write stories as opposed to creating a daily narrative for him. Ever since she penned her first words, life has been a lot more peaceful for him.

She currently resides in Texas where she has yet to adapt to the heat. Her husband thrives in it, so unfortunately they will not be relocating to colder climates anytime soon.

Their two young children would honestly complain either way.

When she is not in her writing cave (hiding from the sun), she enjoys ignoring the world as much as her children will allow with a good book, music, and vast amounts of coffee (until it’s time for wine).

C.D. Britt is the author of Shadows and Vines and the upcoming book, Sirens and Leviathans.

Both books are part of the Reign of Goddesses series.

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