Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sample Sunday comes to you from guest author Allison Merritt with her book The Treasure Hunter's Lady

A life-long love of reading turned Allison Merritt into an indie author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.
Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.
The Treasure Hunter's Lady
For years, Romy Farrington traveled at her world-famous archeologist father's side, exploring new lands and uncovering ancient secrets. It was everything she ever wanted, until a near-fatal encounter with hostile natives forced her and her father into a life of retirement in Boston and an undesired advance into proper society.
Everything changes again when she's saved from an accident by a brash Texan in a back alley. Abel Courte may act like a care-free cowboy, but he's harboring a secret—he's searching for the Diamond of Uktena, a legendary jewel that can cure any disease known to man. He needs information Romy's father has in order to get to the jewel. When he traces the origin of the Diamond to Dakota Territory, he sets off to claim the treasure, only to find the archeologist's fiery redheaded daughter stuck to him like a bug in sap.

In a race against time, Romy and Abel must learn to trust each other as they undertake a cross-country journey that will expose them to lands uncharted by white men, a deadly battle against the fearsome creature in possession of the Diamond and a fight to return to civilization where they might make the greatest discovery of all—love


Romy’s eyes locked on Abel's necklace. “What's that around your neck? A fossil of some sort?”
His hand flew to the pendant and stuffed it back down his collar. “Nothing.”
“As someone who's seen a lot of nothing, I can tell you without a doubt it's something. Full of secrets, aren't we, Abel?”
Blue eyes widened then narrowed, as she looked between him and the maps he'd lifted out of the drawer. Her coyness fell away like leaves in the fall. “You're a treasure hunter. You found out that Papa is going to search for the Diamond of Uktena, but you plan to steal it first.”
“Why would I want to steal a—” He gave up the pretense. “First of all, it isn't stealing if it isn't in anyone's possession. Second, I'm not a treasure hunter.”
“It is stealing if you're going to sell a priceless artifact to the highest bidder on the black market.”
Abel frowned. “I don't need a lecture from some little chit whose daddy is the biggest treasure hunter in the world.”
Romy poked a finger into his chest. “Take it back. He's an archeologist and an adventurer. When he finds valuables he turns them over to the proper authorities.”
He pushed her finger away. “I'll bet you a thousand dollars he's not going to do it this time.”
Her eyes narrowed into slits, half-hidden behind a thick fringe of lashes. “You're wrong.”
“It would be the biggest discovery of our time. Of any time. It's no mere gem, no ornament to put on a shelf.”
“I have some knowledge of the Diamond,” she defended.
The admission was too nonchalant. Had mere curiosity led her to follow him?
He patted the fang inside his shirt. “I doubt anyone could put a price on its worth, but there are those willing to try.”
She stared at him dubiously. “Because it's supposed to come from a mythical serpent?”
He debated telling her. It wouldn't benefit Romy to know what he was doing. After tonight it was unlikely he'd see her again.
“Ask your father. He might know more than I do. I have to leave now. I'd appreciate it if you kept our little rendezvous quiet.”
He snatched up the papers, flashed a grin and started for the door. The rustle of skirts alerted him that she was right behind him, but he didn't slow down. Not until a cold metal barrel pressed against the center of his neck.
“Stay where you are.”
Romy's voice was hard and all business. Abel raised his hands. She drew the gun back and came around to face him. The pistol was no little thing, not the type a dainty female would carry for protection. Romy was a woman of many facets, like the fabled Diamond.
“I can't give you the fang.”
“I have the feeling it's an intricate detail in your mission, Mr. Courte.”
He sighed. “I don't know for certain.”
“Tell me what you do know.”
“The fang is solid proof that Uktena exists.”
She frowned. “And who is Uktena exactly?”
“Uktena isn't your typical serpent. Rumor has it that this sparkly rock stuck in its forehead can bring power and riches to whoever wields it. Better still, the Diamond cures illnesses. Any disease you can think of.”

Buy links: 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

This weekend we welcome back Catherine E Chapman with her new release The Beacon Singer

Catherine E. Chapman is a UK-based writer of romantic fiction.  Her novel, 'The Beacon Singer', a contemporary story set in the English Lake District, is available as an e-book from Smashwords, their retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Apple and Sony, and Amazon.

Catherine's writing has been described as literary character fiction and her full-length books could perhaps be categorised as women's fiction rather than romance.  Romantic storylines are, however, central to the plots.

Catherine also writes shorter fiction in the genre of historical romance.  'Brizecombe Hall', a novelette set in England in the late Regency / early Victorian period, is available to download for free from Smashwords and its retailers.  'Danburgh Castle' and 'Rhiannon', both Medieval romances, are available on Amazon.

For news and updates, see Catherine's blog:

and follow her on Twitter:                  @CathEChapman

Excerpt from The Beacon Singer
 After the meal, they went back to his hotel.  They were both slightly drunk but Jane felt pleasantly conscious.  ‘Tonight I’m going to make love to you and I’m going to remember it in the morning,’ she assured Edward.  ‘I shall remember it fondly and without regret.’
‘Oh Jane,’ he said, kissing her tenderly.
‘You never know, I might even remember your name!’
Some time later they were standing beside the bed, he in his underpants and she in black bra and knickers, with stockings and stilettos.  He was marvelling at her and she was enjoying being appreciated.
‘Can I take this off now?’ he said, fiddling with her bra fastening.  He was successful.  ‘Oh Jane!’ he sighed ecstatically at the vision of her.
‘Come on, let me take your pants off.’  She did so and discovered, to her utter delight, that he was a man entirely in proportion.
He then took her pants off.  ‘I’ll keep my shoes and stockings on if you like,’ she said.
‘Janey, you seem to know instinctively what I like,’ Edward pronounced, enraptured.
Since he needed little arousal, she made him lie down, climbed on top of him and got directly down to business.
‘I find, Miss Lake, that you are a consummate professional in every sphere of human endeavour,’ Edward said as he gazed up at Jane admiringly.
‘It’s a very strong work ethic that I’ve inherited from my father,’ she declared.
‘I would like to shake that man’s hand.’
She laughed at him and told him to shut up so that she could concentrate on working her magic.
Minutes later he was telling her that he thought he’d died and gone to heaven.
‘I’m happy to report, old man, that far from it you have just proven yourself to be very much alive.’  She beamed at him and fell down onto his chest.  Enfolded in his arms, she had the most glorious feeling that she was, at long last, loved.
In the morning they were in bed wearing the white bath robes.  They’d been drinking coffee and now Edward sat reading the paper.  Jane was lying against him, with her head on his chest.  She stroked his robe and sometimes put her hand inside it to stroke his skin.  He occasionally bent his head down to kiss her hair.  They didn’t speak.
She loved that he could do other things whilst never entirely forgetting she was there.  It left her scope to be herself yet constantly in his presence.
The way Jane was feeling was difficult to explain.  Eventually she looked up at Edward and said, ‘Ed, you know what you said about feeling you’d died and gone to heaven?’
‘Yes, my darling,’ he replied, looking from the page and into her eyes.
‘It is mutual.’
He smiled and said, ‘Thank you.’
Some time passed in silence, with him continuing to read the Business section.  Then Jane freed herself from his arms and sat back on the bed.  ‘Ed,’ she began authoritatively, ‘put the paper down and make love to me.’  This was the clincher.  Would this self-made American, built on the scale of the former Bankside Power Station, and so affluent he was obliged to answer to nobody, do as he was told?
He did!

© Catherine E. Chapman 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sample Sunday from Drew Ruthin and The Blood of Changes and the author talks about how the story evolved as the character Drew Ruthin took over the story

Drew Ruthin and the Blood of Changes is volume two of The Ruthin Trilogy from author Tessa Stokes.

 Tessa began writing paranormal romance, and urban fantasy after realizing that the stories she wrote always developed some theme that was not able to fit into the contemporary real romance genre. Interested in human behavior, and emotions Tessa is a keen observer of how people behave.
Many of the characters in her books have a base in a real person, although she develops them into composite, and new people, and Tessa tells us that the characters soon take on a life of their own. 
"Characters become real for me and I get to know them. They often dictate where the story is going by their behavior. I like to describe my characters so that readers also know them, and can see them as they read.
In volume one of The Ruthin trilogy we need to know about the magical beings that Devon Ruthin lives amongst, but Devon is the point of interest from which the rest of the story develops. His counterpart Bliss has a greater significance than becoming his love interest, and this is revealed in book three. As it is Devon and Bliss fall in love, and that is a strong romantic theme within the book. Bubbling along under the surface is the romance that will take centre stage towards the end of the book, and the character Drew Ruthin, who is my favorite character, begins to take over the trilogy.
An incorrigible and dangerous vampire, he begins his character journey as a petulant killer, but hints of him being able to change are given so that when in Volume two he is given a new lease of life his journey changes, and we find his deep love for the character Elise takes over.
The men in The Ruthin Trilogy are sexy and compelling, but the women are strong and powerful. When it seems Bliss may have been 'buried' within the plot because of her love for Devon and their established romance volume three will be a surprise.
In Volume two, Drew Ruthin and the Blood of Changes the steamy romance has to be more intense because of the way Drew and Elise love each other. Balthazar Crane the ancient magical being who becomes a focal character brings with him some sizzling love scenes that highlight his  passionate nature, and also the hidden aspects of the way the magical beings have lived in the past.
Throughout the trilogy readers can pick up that these beings have just as many secrets to hide as the vampire community in the books".
Balthazar brings us today's sample Sunday excerpt. It contains adult content and so is suitable for 18 years old and  up, please click on the tab at the top of the blog to read this excerpt.

Drew Ruthin and the Blood of Changes is available on kindle;

Drop by and like the Facebook page.
Tessa can be followed on Twitter

Interviews with Drew Ruthin and Devon Ruthin can still be read on

Saturday, May 5, 2012

This weekend we have a treat from guest author Mia Darien

This weekend we welcome guest author, Mia Darien and her interesting post Beauty and the Geek.

Mia has lived in New England all of her life and knows that no matter where she goes from here, New England is always going to live in her. Presently, she still lives in the land of snow and fast talkers, with her husband, her son and her pets. She writes a bit of everything genre fiction (horror, romance, mystery, fantasy and science fiction) and thinks it sounds like an odd joke: a unicorn, a space monster, and a pair of zombie lovers walk into a murder investigation...

Beauty & the Geek

Anyone who spends any time around the internet has probably heard the term RPG, which stands for Role-Play Game. It's used for many venues, but for me, I started out writing in "fandom" games by email and by message board when I was fifteen. I was already writing my own stories, but this was a far more interactive style of writing. I never wrote for canon characters, so I'm not quite in the usual "fanfic" world, but I did spend a lot of time in the worlds of Star Trek, Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time and Anne McCaffrey's Pern. My characters and plots were always my own, however.

I am proud to say I've been a lifelong geek. I still do my RPG writing as my "hobby" writing, but I write almost entirely in original worlds created just for the game. I have written in worlds of swords and sorcery, paranormal, the old west, out in space, and after the apocalypse.

How has this shaped my writing? In more ways than you might imagine.

It's taught me how to work and write with other people, because I have written with all manners of people with all sorts of ideas and at all sorts of skill levels. Most people might think that this style of writing would attract "bad" writers who couldn't hack it somewhere else, but that's very far from the truth. It attracts people who don't want to spend all their time on the writing path alone, and want to write with likeminded people. I have met some of the most fantastic writers in my games. (Including my husband, who I think is a better writer than I, and who forces me to write more and write better.)

I have had to learn how to plot and write on the fly, and to accommodate unexpected changes. When you're writing with other people, sometimes they do things that you don't see coming and it does no good to throw yourself on the floor and have a tantrum. You just have to learn how to adapt your own ideas and roll with it, or learn the art of compromise.

This style of writing has fueled my imagination. It's taught me the value of other points of views, types of plots and characters, and styles of drama. It's helped me learn how to write different genres, perhaps stories I might not have tried before, and has given me challenges that have helped me grow as a writer.

Sometimes these challenges have been to write a character that I wouldn't usually, for the sake of someone else's plot. I'm forced to work and improvise in a character and plot that's not my own. It's stretched my creativity. Now I'm finding it's very useful in the Character Interviews I do on my site, allowing me to easily slide into the "roles" of In World interviewers in other people's stories.

These days, my writing for publication takes up most of my time, so I'm not role-playing as much as I used to. Still, a lot of my story ideas now have been influenced by stories I've written in my games. Ideas that never took off, or went in a different direction, or themes that I really liked have all resurfaced and been reshaped and written by me for stories I'm putting together today.

People may think of whatever they want of these types of games and of "fanfiction," but the truth of it is that a lot of writers start here or in places like it. It's fun and can help you grow as a writer, push you along the path of creative adolescence into the authorial adult you wish to become.

In the words of Alec Hardison (from TNT's "Leverage"): "Age of the geek, baby."

Live Long and Write!
Mia Darien 2012

Mia's new release Deeper than Skin is historical romance 
It’s 1767.
For three years, the province of GĂ©vaudan, France has lived under the terrifying reign of the Beast. The death count continues to rise.
It is into this Beast’s woods that Constance throws herself, desperate for escape from a life she finds more horrifying than the thought of her province’s monster. What she does not expect to find is a man.
Tristan, the half-masked noble from a neighboring province, is one of many young men come to hunt the creature. The last thing he expects to find is the beautiful Constance, but find her he does.
Can two wounded souls overcome the pain of the past and the trials of the present to find one another, amid a time of terror and blood?
Find the book on,