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Friday, April 29, 2011

The Showboat Affair by Gwyneth Greer


Title: The Showboat Affair
Release Date: April 15, 2011
Author: Judy Nickles writing as Gwyneth Greer
Genre: Contemporary romance/Last Rose of Summer (older lovers)


Blurb: Despite over thirty years in a faithless marriage to wealthy investment broker Rand Kingston, Jean is  shocked when he asks for a divorce. Encouraged by her former housekeeper-turned-best-friend, she determines to rediscover herself as an independent woman and move on with her life. Nick Cameron, prominent attorney and long-time widower, would like to figure in her plans. The opposition of their adult children surprises them. Then, a series of chilling near misses makes them wonder who really is determined to keep them apart—and why. 

Welcome Judy, I'm so thrilled to have you here!  To get started, what is your latest offering? 
My lastest release from The Wild Rose Press is The Showboat Affair.
What is The Showboat Affair all about? 
It’s the story of two lonely people trying to move on with their lives. Nick Cameron is a prominent attorney and long-time widower. When he meets Jean Kingston, he realizes that he is finally ready to love again. However, Jean has just been ‘dumped’ by her husband after thirty-three years, and she isn’t sure exactly what she wants. Inevitably, they fall in love, but their future is complicated by the opposition of Nick’s son, who is also his law partner, and Jean’s daughter, who blames her mother for the divorce and her own unhappy life. Then an unknown enters the mix and threatens Jean’s and Nick’s happiness—and even their lives.
That sounds fascinating. Was there anything in particular that inspired this book, or did your muse come up with it? 
I spent time in Branson, Missouri, and enjoyed the dinner cruise on the showboat, ‘The Branson Belle’. That and a spectacular view of the Chateau on the Lake resort hotel gave me the idea for the book—which spotlights both settings.
Who is your cover artist and how much input do you have in the design?
The wonderful cover artist is Tina Lynn Stout. The Wild Rose Press gives its authors a huge opportunity for input on the covers, including how the characters look, settings, and special objects included in the story. Then the graphic artists take all the information and craft a magnificent cover. I’ve loved all my covers!
If you could co-author a book with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why? 
Oh, I’d love to write with romantic suspense authors like Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Nora Roberts. They have a way of creating a unique blend of characters, setting, and plot, and ramping up the action to mesmerize their readers.
What books are in your TBR pile? 
I’m enjoying doing reviews for an online site called Romancing the Book, so I keep busy with that. I also have the ‘Howdunit’ series on various aspects of criminal investigation since I’m working on a cozy mystery series.
When you begin a new book, do you write it straight through, or do you work on more than one story at a time? 
Usually, one story is all I can handle.
Tell me a little about your back list, and which of these is your own personal favorite? 
My first two books with The Wild Rose Press were Where Is Papa’s Shining Star?  and Finding Papa’s Shining Star. Both are ‘vintage’ romances, the second being a sequel to the first, so I’d have to say they’re both my favorites.
What are you working on at the moment? 
I have a book contracted by Champagne Books which will begin edits in July. I’ve submitted another book to a different publisher and am waiting on the verdict. Meanwhile, as I mentioned, I’m working on a series of six cozy mysteries set in a small Arkansas town.
Thank you for joining me, Judy, if I twist your arm would you give us an excerpt? J
I'm happy to.
   

Excerpt The Showboat Affair

  Nick pulled her closer. “Jeannie, I’m so sorry.”
     “I hated Rand for what he did. For a long time, I wished he’d died instead of my baby.”
     “Shhh, shhh…it’s all right.”
     “I knew what a heartless, selfish bastard he was, and still I stayed with him…let him back into my bed… and I don’t know why. I feel so dirty.”
     “You’re not. You’re not dirty, Jeannie.”
     “You loved Sarah. You were faithful to her. It isn’t fair she died, and I can’t be what she was. You can’t keep on with me and lose your son.”
     “I love you for yourself,” he said, realizing, for now at least, she was past reassurance.
     The red numbers on the clock radio read a quarter to three before Jean cried herself to sleep in his arms. A lifetime of tears, Nick thought. She’s shed a lifetime of tears tonight. He closed his eyes. She’s got to know I understand that kind of loss, and somehow we’ve got to get past it, both of us, and go on. He laid her back on her own pillow and pulled the cover over her shoulders. Someone wants to keep us both imprisoned in our pasts. If we don’t find out who, we’ll never have a future.



Judy Nickles has written since she could hold a pencil. After retirement from teaching, she finally had time to pursue publication. In addition to short stories published online at A Long Story Short and Literary Magic, she has been published in two print anthologies, 'Tis the Season and My First Year in the Classroom, as well as The Storyteller and History Magazine. Two full-length novels, Where is Papa's Shining Star? and its sequel, Finding Papa's Shining Star were released in April by The Wild Rose Press. The Showboat Affair, under the pen name of Gwyneth Greer, will release in 2011.


Besides writing, Judy enjoys genealogical research, reading, travel, and meeting new people. She has two grown sons and two granddaughters.



Friday, April 22, 2011

Echoes and Illusions by Mila Ramos


Title: Echoes and Illusions
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Author: Mila Ramos
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Melange Books

Blurb:

Reel-to-Real:
A curious invitation mystifies acclaimed movie critic Moira Castle as she returns home to face hidden memories and answers she's not ready to hear or feel.
The Seventh Legend:
A children's tune states the key. A children's story holds the clues. Millennium has passed for the justice to be served.
The Watchers:
Watchers are sworn to uphold the Sacred Draleigh Coven. Selene is their Enforcer and Protector. Yet the Coven never prepared her for one thing – Michael.
Smoke and Mirrors:
Ana Fiore and Dakota Hastings are rival doctors vying for Chief of Staff position. Snowed-in at a conference, the doctors must face their pasts and feelings.

Welcome Mila Ramos, I'm so thrilled to have you here!  To get started, what is your latest offering?
 Echoes and Illusions is my latest work out now through Melange Books and I'm very excited about this new release!
What is Echoes and Illusions all about?
 Echoes and Illusions is a compilation of stories with varying paranormal and sci-fi interests.  Each story deals with an echo of the past, present or future and the discovery of truth of that illusion set in place.  For some characters it was their whole life was an illusion while for some it was only a brief moment in which the truth was found. 
That sounds fascinating. Was there anything in particular that inspired this book, or did your muse come up with it?  
For two of the books, it was solely muse inspired. I can still remember doing some work in the lab (I'm a chemist) and the idea just suddenly popped into my mind. I don't remember what I was exactly doing but I do know that I wrote on my notepad every single idea that came forth. When I went home and decoded all the bits and pieces, those two stories to life. 
I really like this cover. Who is your cover artist and how much input did you have in the design?
At Melange Books, there were two artists who dealt with the cover art: A. Bratt and Mae Powers. Truth be told for this cover art I can't remember if I had suggested it or they had come up with it. Mae Powers and I were talking about what I wanted for the cover and we were both looking at the same time for the same thing. Personally, I give Mae all the credit, she and everyone at Melange are wonderful.  
If you could co-author a book with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Now this is a great question! Goodness, in the paranormal genre my ultimate dream would be to co-author a book with Karen Marie Moning. When I first read her book Beyond the Highland Mist, I was taken away by such amazing writing. I remember reading each and every one of her books and still dumbfounded how someone could put together such a great book in the area I dearly loved. 
My other great, I wish I could co-author with is Anais Nin. She was the woman who opened my eyes to a side of writing I had never known existed. It was several years ago when I first discovered her work and the way she expressed herself defied words. Raw, erotic and soulful, she grasped my attention in a singularly unique way I have yet to see many writers of her time accomplish.   
I am also a huge fan of Ms. Moning and I've read all of her books too, beginning with Kiss Of The Highlander. I totally agree with your assessment of her writing. What books are in your TBR pile?
I'm currently re-reading The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning, which I am doing at a delightfully slow pace. I'm hoping, when I get a chance this summer, to finally finish my Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's book for Agent Pendergrast Series, Cemetery Dance. I'm a bit behind in the series but the Agent Pendergrast books always take a bit of time to read.  Each of the books are intense and addictive to read. Usually when I read them I don't sleep for a couple days.
I'll have to check them out. I love suspense. When you begin to write a new book, do you write it straight through, or do you work on more than one story at a time?
Normally I work on more than one story at a time but lately I've been focusing on one particular story. At this moment, I'm heavily editing and expanding a story that I want out very soon.  So as of now, all my efforts are focused on this before I move on to the other stories.
Tell me a little about your back list, and which of these is your own personal favorite?
Let’s see here, I have two stories in the Dark Pleasures and Strange Desires Anthologies out with Melange Books. They are each paranormal romances and great reads. My contemporary romance is a duo story Smoldering Ember and Touch of Fire with Whiskey Creek Press. It’s a part of their Torrid Teasers 44 and set of stories that was one of the fastest I have ever written.
Out of all my stories, Touch of Fire is my personal favorite. The combo stories for Torrid Teasers I wrote in a couple of days, and truth be told, something about that particular story has touched my heart.
What are you working on at the moment?
After the expansion and editing of Prophecy of the Boar, I'm adding a second story to it called Divination. Up next on the list is a toss up. I have been playing with a fairy tale called The Snow Queen, which takes the tale in a completely different direction.  For now the story is slated as another paranormal romance.  If I can get one element down with this story, then I'll be working on a trilogy called, The Dream Walkers, which is the story of three brothers united in one cause, as they aid three descendants marked for death. One murderer is bent on destroying them all.
Thank you for joining me, Mila, if I twist your arm would you give us an excerpt? 
And thank you for having me! Of course I'd love to share an excerpt!  
________________
Reel-to-Real Excerpt
Five years ago, Moira Castle couldn’t tell you her favorite color or the type of food she liked. She couldn’t tell you much about anything personal. All she remembered was waking up in a hospital bed on a cold September morning. Nurses stated she had been found unconscious in the Saintark River and stayed that way for well over three years. The only traces of her former life were a battered journal she had in an old purse and a Celtic wedding band with blue sapphire diamonds forming half the infinity symbol. No other forms of identification were found at the time of recovery. Her life was a blank page but at least she knew her name.
She began searching for the life she once had, but without knowing the starting point, it was hard to see the end. During the time of her coma, nothing in the newspapers or the media showed acknowledgement of recognition. After some time, she gave up and accepted the truth and made way in her new life. She hated the toll the unknown had on her heart. Each search that ended with no answers added new wounds and deeper fears. There were lonely nights ridden with insomnia; she stayed up and watched figures out the window. There were idle fantasies and hopes one of those shadows would materialize into something recognizable but it never happened that way. Vulnerability in its particular malevolent form of solitude tore at the base of her soul. She tried to deny it, she even tried to suppress the loneliness and the pain, but it was useless. Every uncertain emotion of the unknown sent her heart into rages of tears as her mind screamed with grievance. And that is precisely what it was—injustice; it was unfair that her mind couldn’t remember what her heart wished. 
The tears came from the hidden placed inside a woman’s heart that saved fanciful dreams and tucked them away when there was nothing left to believe in. No woman should ever have to feel that in her life.
Those moments she looked down to the glittering, and exotically designed ring on her left hand. Who was it that shared the other half of the infinity ring? What type of man was he? Her only link revealed a past that was as mysterious as the circumstances that had led her to Castle Memorial Hospital. It took some time to officially re-establish herself within society. 
A new last name, social security number, and driver’s license was the first of many steps in the search of familiarity. Adopting the name Castle from the Castle Memorial Hospital, Moira referred to the doctors and nurses, the only people she knew, as her family and friends who had taken care of her. It was through this experience she made friends with Nurse Kasey Newton and Dr. Sean Macat. 
Now, here she was, two years after regaining consciousness, and five years after she severed the ties of her previous life. She was living life as a movie editor in Saintark, Georgia, listening to the rambling of her best friend, Kasey, trying to guess her past.
“I’ve got it, Mo! You were the Queen of Sheba!”
Moira chuckled under her breath as she tried to focus on her work. “Is that the best you can come up with, Kasey?”
“Well you didn’t like the Princess of Wales idea,” her friend commented as she bit into her pizza with gusto.
“The Princess of Wales died genius.”
“Or so they think that’s what really happened. Little did they know she was alive and well, living as a movie editor?”
“Here we go again,” Moira mumbled to herself as she hid a wave of laughter and pushed up her glasses.
“I heard that.”
“So, tell me. How long are we going to play this guessing game?” Moira asked as she continued reading the manuscript before her.
“Until one of my answers is the truth or Matthew McConaughey comes to marry you.”
“He’s a movie star, Kasey.”
“And you’re a script editor, amazing isn’t it?” She smiled wide.
Shaking her head and leaving her friend to her outrageous thinking, Moira continued with her editing. She usually did revisions on the weekends but exploration was on her mind for the following days. She wanted to venture and discover the areas of the town she considered her home. More important matters were on her mind, which geared the exploration, but for now venturing outside of her apartment for leisure instead of work was the goal. As she absent-mindedly twirled her wedding band, once again thoughts of who held the other half of the infinity ring echoed in her mind.


Mila was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  At an early age she learned the valuable secrets books contained. It all started with the Lois Duncan book, “A Gift of Magic.” Mysterious worlds, far away places helped nourish different ideas and concepts of the real world.  It was through this that she discovered a whole new realm of depth. 



The books ranged, and as they did so did her love for different types.  Starting with William Shakespeare, Mila went through all the literary bests; William Blake, Joseph Conrad, Anais Nin, Leo Tolstoy, Ayn Rand, Maya Angelou, Victor Hugo.  Until one day she read a book that changed her life, her first true romance book where characters were real, came to life, and could be the person next door.  From there the world expanded from Nora Roberts, Karen Marie Moning, JR Ward, and beyond. With these authors, her writing took a new turn to role group playing and writing in the paranormal scene.  

Through this, the stories had more vivid ideas and better yet were actually getting heard.
She currently working on her doctorate in Organic Chemistry and resides in Texas, with her husband, family, friends. Her favorite genres are: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Erotica and anything her mind concocts. Crazy and silly as the ideas she sometimes has, her heart is as true as gold and hopes her readers enjoy the stories she writes as much as she loves to write them.
Mila's Links:



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Friday, April 8, 2011

Twice Cursed by Jacqueline Paige




Title: Twice Cursed
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Author: Jacqueline Paige
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press

  
Welcome Jacqueline, I'm so thrilled to have you here!  To get started, what is your latest offering?
Twice Cursed is my most recent release. 

What is Twice Cursed all about?
Rather than ramble on and give away too many details (a bad habit of mine), I’ll just give you the ‘blurb’.

Maddy is the oldest witchling to ever attend the Hidden Cove Academy, having been cursed as a teen; she’s forced to have a solitary life outside of her own magical community.  With her magic so dangerously unpredictable, she rarely takes the chance on mixing with the general public.

From one harmless trip to a museum she finds herself spellbound yet again by an invisible boundary, caused by a three hundred year old curse, dictating that Maddy must stay close to the stunningly sexy Colin.

Being stuck with a tall, dark, incredibly lick-able stranger can’t be all that bad, right? Until they discover if they get too close the spirits bound with the curse will take over their bodies ... at the same time if they’re too far from one another the curse will kill them both.

Will the curse's secrets be unraveled in time or does certain death await them both? 

That sounds like an enjoyable read. Was there anything in particular that inspired this book, or did your muse come up with it?
The idea of writing about a witch whose magic didn’t work quite right came to me out of nowhere, but by the time my muse was done with the plot, I had curses and spirits and things I hadn’t planned at all.

Who is your cover artist and how much input do you have in the design?
Gemini Judson did the cover and I love how she did it!  I sent a list of things that could be used to describe the story and she hit it dead on with the very first idea she sent me.

If you could co-author a book with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I don’t have a particular author in mind exactly, but I would have loved to go back pre-internet and television and work with an author that had to rely on nothing but their own imagination to build worlds and characters.  

Today we have it so easy — if our imagination is floundering around trying to come up with an image we can simply google it (or anything else) and there it is in living color right before our eyes.  My hats off to those writers that had nothing but their own brain power to run on when things weren’t fleshing out the way they wanted. 

What books are in your TBR pile?
I’ve actually tried to cut down my TBR pile – unsuccessfully I might add. I don’t have the time I used to have for reading L between my job and my own writing. The top of my pile though is reserved for those books in series’ that I have to read the day they hit the shelves!  Off the top of my head those authors would be Christine Feehan, Laurell K Hamilton, Cheyenne McCray, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Charlaine Harris and the list goes on and on

When you begin a new book, do you write it straight through, or do you work on more than one story at a time?
When I first started writing I focused on one story at a time. Then my muse took over and the list of plots grew to a much longer list. I still try to work on one at a time, with writing, although I can be editing two or more on the side as I go — but sometimes in the middle of one wip an idea hits and I have to sit down and get it going. It’s this sort of madness that now has me doing re-writes on three books, editing two books and writing two at the same time!

Tell me a little about your back list, and which of these is your own personal favorite?
My first baby would be the Magic Seasons series. Book I – Beltane Magic and Book II – Solstice Heat were both published but presently the entire series is undergoing re-writes to be released in the future. This series was a huge undertaking with so many characters to keep track of it turned into five books filled with magic and mystery that it will always hold a special place in my heart.

I have a few shorter works that I had so much fun with that I may have to take the time to do something short and sassy again in the future. They are Behind the Mask, a Halloween erotic tale of a cursed with at Amira Press. I also did a two part series In Our Dream, a sexy Christmas story involving a cop and undercover cop that is filled with unexpected paranormal elements and From A Dream is the sequel because their story wasn’t finished.  These are both at Amira Press as well.

Most recently I had the first book in the Hidden Senses Trilogy, Mystic Perceptions, released at Class Act Books. This is a paranormal romantic-suspense with murder and psychic abilities.

Shortly after that Salvation was released at Eternal Press. This would be my favorite story about a sexy cursed pirate ghost who finds himself in a new era filled with numerous things he doesn’t quite understand, including a modern woman that both intrigues and frustrates him endlessly.

What are you working on at the moment?
Aside from the re-write I mentioned with Magic Seasons series I am editing two different books— the first in my Animal Trilogy, Heart.

Three women without knowledge of their true heritage...
Three men that have waited for their mate all of their lives...
Hearts and tempers collide with wild passions and animal instincts
in the Animal Trilogy  

And the second book in the Hidden Senses Trilogy, Dream Visions. 
What if you weren't considered normal to the rest of the world? Would you give up everything in your life to help someone, even if it meant starting over again?” 

On the writing table I am working on a first to yet another trilogy – Sisters of Heart, The Witch From Within — a story about a woman that has no idea what her ancestors did to protect their heritage until strange things start happening to her.

The second I’m working on is After the Silence— which was completely unplanned and has been something my muse decided I had to write immediately.  The very first line in the book became the tagline and it’s been exciting for me because it’s nothing like I’ve ever worked on before.

“I was nineteen when the world went crazy - nothing that was would ever be again.”

Thank you for joining me, Jacqueline, if I twist your arm would you give us an excerpt? J
Thanks so much for having me!!! 

EXCERPT: 
“There is just no way to tell you this without you thinking I’m completely insane.” He sat there giving her a puzzled look. “Do you believe in magic, Colin?”
He smirked. “Like a magician?”
Maddy shook her head. “Um, no. Although a few that play at that game of illusions do have special abilities. I’m talking about magical people, who can do spectacular things...”
Colin smirked again. “Like witches?” He chuckled. “Are you an actress; is that what you’re trying to tell me?”
The kettle whistled. Maddy turned to pour it. “No, I’m not an actress. I’m a hereditary witch.” She fiddled with the tea bags, not wanting to turn around and see his expression.
“I see.” He really had no idea what to say to that.
She knew by his tone he was probably plotting on how to leave as soon as possible now. “I’m not sure you do. Have you ever seen someone do something that you just couldn’t ex-plain? Or thought you were seeing things?” She shrugged. “We’re really not supposed to use magic in the general public, but some do, at a terrible risk.” She glanced over to look at him. His look said it all: he thought she was a weirdo.
“Okay. Uh, so is there a reason for telling me this?” Why did the beautiful ones always have to have some sort of mental flaw?
Maddy turned from the cups and crossed her arms over her chest. “Yes, actually I do.” She hesitated for a few seconds. “When we were leaving the museum I thought I felt a trace...that’s kind of a feeling you...my kind get when magic has been used close by or to you...”
“A trace?” He studied her for a moment. “Again, why are you...” He looked like he really wanted to give her a chance. Just in case she wasn’t insane.
She let out a quick breath. “I think something was done to us...the pains hitting, but then leaving just as quickly.”
Colin raised one eyebrow at her and crossed his arms. Now he probably just wanted to go home. “I’m sure there’s a much more...sane explanation for this.”
Sane? Of course he thought she was insane. How did she prove to him she wasn’t some lunatic?

Author Jacqueline Paige

BIO: Jacqueline Paige is a world class multi-tasker. She is a mother to five adventurous and unpredictable children, a cafe manager and a colossal imagination that allows her to step outside of reality into a world of paranormal romance with just a touch of suspense.  Her first book was published in 2009 and since then has published six, with the most recent being the first in her Hidden Senses Trilogy.