If the above photo of Killarney, Ireland speaks to your heart, we’re kindred spirits. If you’re reading my Guardians of Erin series, which takes place there, I’ve got good news: I finally finished the fourth and final book, The Spear Alight, and turned it in to my editor. Woohoo!
Amazon still has The Cauldron Stirred, the first book in the series, on sale for 99 cents. The next two–The Stone Awakened and The Sword Unsheathed--are available for free on Booksprout for a limited time.Reviews are much appreciated!
Check out The Stone Awakenedhere!For The Sword Unsheathed, click here!
That’s all the news for the moment. Hope you’re having a good week! 🙂
Welcome back to Medieval Monday! Our “First Kiss” theme continues, and this week, Sherry Ewing is here with To Follow My Heart, the third book in her time travel romance series, The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time.
For those following my excerpt from Return of the Raven, you can find Snippet #12 on Sherry’s blog. Remember, you’ll find links to all the participating authors’ snippets atMedieval Romance Lovers on Facebook. (#MedMonSpring21)
Now, let’s enjoy Sherry’s twelfth snippet:
Her eyes begged him in silence to change his mind, but he could not take the chance of putting her in danger. With one last look at her, he made his way to the door and yanked the offensive portal open before speaking his mind.
After a gut wrenching break up with her fiancé, Jenna Sinclair heads to the coast to do a little soul searching. To say everything is subject to change is putting it mildly. Her world is not only turned upside down, but pretty much torn asunder when she is pulled through a time gate on the beach beneath the Cliff House and transported more than eight hundred years into the past.
Fletcher Monroe, captain of the garrison knights at Berwyck Castle, has wasted too much time pining for a woman who will never be his. When he finally decides to move on with his life and focus on his duties, he is suddenly confronted with a woman who magically appears at his feet. This could either be the best thing that has ever happened to him or another cursed event in a string of many. He soon finds he is wildly attracted to her, but she’s scared to death of him – not a very encouraging beginning.
From the shores of California to twelfth century England and back again, Jenna and Fletcher must find a way to reconcile their two different worlds before Time forever tears them apart.
Welcome back to Medieval Monday! Our “First Kiss” theme continues, and this week, USA Today bestselling author Ruth A. Casie is here with Knight of Runes. Don’t you love the cover?
For those following my excerpt from Return of the Raven, you can find Snippet #11 on Ruth’s blog. Remember, you’ll find links to all the participating authors’ snippets atMedieval Romance Lovers on Facebook. (#MedMonSpring21)
Now, let’s enjoy Ruth’s eleventh snippet:
She stared at him.
“‘Her lips suck forth my soul; see where it flies! Come, give me my soul again.’”
“You surprise me, quoting Christopher Marlowe,” she whispered so softly he could barely hear. “I wouldn’t think you a romantic.”
“It seems there is much about me you don’t know.” He raised one eyebrow with a flourish that made her giggle.
When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he’s intrigued.
Rebeka is no ordinary seventeenth-century woman—she’s travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return to her own time. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what’s killing Arik’s land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.
As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik’s household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.
Say hello to Kimberly Baer! She’s a talented sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press), and her new release, Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal, has received some great reviews. Let’s learn how an unusual house inspired this middle-grade novel. Take it away, Kimberly!
I used to work in the downtown area of a small city. My parking lot was several blocks from my office, so I had a pleasant trek to look forward to twice a day. (Unless it was raining. Or snowing. Or really windy. Or really, really hot. Then it wasn’t so pleasant.) My route included a street with a row of old houses that had been converted into businesses—dental offices, accounting firms, insurance agencies, and the like. Smack-dab in the middle of that row was a single residential house, complete with a front porch swing and a small, grassy yard. For whatever reason, it had never been repurposed as a business.
I used to wonder about the occupants. Why would they choose to live in a business district? Were they as rebellious as their house? What would it be like to grow up there? Eventually, a story took shape. I pictured a pre-teen girl in the starring role. I imagined the challenges she would face growing up with office workers for neighbors instead of families. And at some point I thought, what if her house wasn’t downtown? What if it was in the middle of a shopping mall?
Bingo. That was the twist that launched Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal. I mean, what kid wouldn’t love living in a shopping mall? I thought this would make a really fun setting for a middle-grade mystery novel.
I guess just about anything can spark a story—a daydream, a night dream, a newscast. A person, an experience. And, yes, even a kooky old house that doesn’t fit in with its neighbors!
A little more about Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal:
“A lively, jaunty mystery with a terrific cast of characters.” – Kirkus Reviews
Chloe Lamont doesn’t live in a neighborhood, like most kids. Her house is in the middle of the mall. And now someone is stealing items from her house and using them to vandalize stores. Who is trying to frame her? And how are they getting into the house?
Desperate to catch the real vandal and clear her name, Chloe seeks help from the kids in her Mystery Reading Group at school. While searching for clues, the Mystery Groupers make an astounding discovery. And then things get really crazy…
A peek between the pages:
I hate getting up early, so it’s a blessed relief when Saturday morning rolls around and I get to sleep in.
Then I wake up and find out there’s been another egging.
Mom tells me about it when she comes home at lunchtime. This time Maynard’s Shoes was the victim. A bunch of shoes on display out front got hit. Like last time, the police think the crime took place in the middle of the night.
“How many—” I begin.
“Eight. They used eight eggs.”
We eye each other uneasily. Outside the living room window, a lady says contemptuously, “She acts like she’s the first woman on earth to ever have a baby.”
Mom turns abruptly and heads into the kitchen. I’m right behind her. We park ourselves in front of the refrigerator.
“I bought a new carton on Thursday,” she says, twisting her opal ring around and around on her pinkie. “I haven’t used any eggs at all. If you haven’t either, there should still be a full dozen.”
“I haven’t used any,” I tell her.
She takes a deep breath and tugs open the refrigerator door. She has the grim demeanor of a fourteenth-century villager about to open a vampire’s coffin. She takes out the egg carton and places it on the counter. Gingerly, she lifts the lid.
There are four eggs inside, crowded together at the left end of the carton. The rest of the carton looks starkly empty, like eight tiny bird’s nests emptied of occupants.
“Oh!” Mom clamps a hand over her mouth. “How can this be?”
I can only stare at the carton in silence, dazed by the undeniable truth. Somebody is taking our eggs and using them to attack mall stores. I just don’t know who or how or why.
Mom is looking desperately at me. “Did you drop the carton and maybe break some? It’s okay—I won’t be mad.”
“I didn’t break any eggs. I haven’t touched the carton.”
She paces around the kitchen, taking short, quick steps because it’s a tiny room. “I don’t understand. What’s going on?”
“Somebody’s stealing our eggs,” I say, and that impossible truth sounds even more impossible spoken aloud. “Did you lock all the doors and windows last night? Did you bolt the doors?”
“Of course. Do you still double-check them before you go to bed?”
“Always.” It’s something we’re both paranoid about. The mall is a creepy place at night when nobody’s around. “Were the doors still bolted this morning when you got up?”
“Maybe the person came down the chimney,” I say. “Like some kind of evil Santa Claus.”
She takes a moment to think that over. “That would be difficult, to say the least. Going back up would be even harder. And it doesn’t explain how they got into the mall after hours. Besides, why would somebody break into our house just to steal eggs? If they’re going to go to all the trouble of breaking in, why not steal our computer or my jewelry, or—or—” She gestures toward a jar on the kitchen counter. “—the grocery money?”
Mom always makes sure there’s cash on hand in case I need to run to Shop and Save. The jar is in plain sight. I can see the green bills curled inside, two twenties and a ten.
She’s staring at me expectantly, waiting for more theories about how eight eggs just walked out of our refrigerator. But I’m out of ideas.
“That’s it. No more eggs for us,” my mother says fiercely. “I’m just not going to buy them anymore. If we want eggs, we’ll go out to breakfast.”
“Fine by me,” I say.
She pulls out a chair and plops down at the table. “Jack Caldwell will be saying we’re the prime suspects again. After all, we had opportunity.”
“But not motive,” I say, sitting down across from her. “Maynard’s Shoes isn’t your rival. You don’t sell shoes.” I gnaw at a jagged edge of my thumbnail. “This has happened twice now. Don’t you think we should tell the police?”
“No!” she says immediately. Then, with a sigh, “I don’t know. Maybe.”
“Look, it’s not like we’re guilty,” I remind her. “We’ll just tell the truth and let the police figure things out. That’s what they do.”
A group of teenage girls giggle outside the kitchen window. A relentlessly crying baby goes by. A lady says, “Whatever happened with that friend of yours who found the nest of opossums in her sock drawer?”
Mom is hunched over the table. She says, in a thin voice, “I’m just afraid if the police find out how much you hate living here, they’ll think you’re the one doing the eggings. To get us evicted.”
I’m so flabbergasted, I’m speechless. For a few seconds, anyway. “I can’t believe you would even say that! You think I’m doing the eggings?”
“Not me. But the police might.”
“Oh, so now you’re playing devil’s advocate. Like Jack Caldwell.”
I know what “playing devil’s advocate” means because I looked it up after Jack said it, after Ram tried to say it. It means “taking the opposing viewpoint for the sake of argument.”
“I’m just trying to think like the police. Trying to consider all the possibilities.”
“Oh, yeah?” I stand up, shoving my chair away. “Well, I know I didn’t do the eggings, and you said nobody could have broken into our house. So that leaves you. You must be the guilty party. How’s that for a possibility?”
And I stomp through the living room and storm out the front door.
Welcome back to Medieval Monday! Our “First Kiss” theme continues, and this week, award-winning author Cathy MacRae is here with her recent release, The Highlander’s Pirate Bride. It’s the swashbuckling seventh book in her Hardy Heroines series. If you like pirates, rags-to-riches, and swoon-worthy Highlanders, you’ll love this romance on the high seas.
For those following my excerpt from Return of the Raven, you can find Snippet #10 on Cathy’s blog. Remember, you’ll find links to all the participating authors’ snippets atMedieval Romance Lovers on Facebook. (#MedMonSpring21)
Now, let’s enjoy Cathy’s tenth snippet:
Pedr closed the final distance, his cheek nesting against the top of her head. “Promise ye’ll always fight for those less fortunate than ye,” he murmured, his breath stirring her hair. “Promise ye will always tell me what ye think.”
A strangled chuckle escaped her. “Ye have naught to fear. I dinnae dissemble well. And, my heart will always be with those in need.”
More about The Highlander’s Pirate Bride:
As the pirate The Black MacNeill, Rona MacNeill has stolen more than one English ship to keep her clan from starving. With Yule only days away, will the theft of the wrong ship land her in a hangman’s noose? Or the arms of a Highlander?
Rona MacNeill has done everything she can to help her small, impoverished clan—except marry for money. Her luck seems to lie in stealing ships, not attracting suitors. Only days before Yule, she seeks one last ship with stores to keep her people fed over the long, harsh winter. Too bad her luck has run out.
Pedr MacLean is happy to be the younger (by three minutes) son of Baron MacLean. His days are filled with running the family’s shipping business and sailing the world. His heart belongs to the sea—or so he thinks, until one of his ships is stolen, and the woman responsible turns his world upside down.
Drawn to Rona’s strength and love of the sea, Pedr will agree to her father’s demand—information on the whereabouts of his ship in exchange for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Will Rona find herself caught between a marriage of convenience and a hangman’s noose? Or will she discover something far more compelling?
I’m excited to welcome Jennifer Wilck, a sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press) today! She’s here to talk about her new release, A Reckless Heart, and celebrity crushes. Take it away, Jennifer!
Do you have a favorite celebrity? One who will make you watch whatever they star in, regardless of genre?
As a teenager, it was Tom Selleck. I’d watch him in Magnum, PI and giggle every time he showed up on screen. Considering he was the star of the show, it was frequent.
As an adult, it’s George Clooney. While I don’t giggle over him, I love watching him and listening to him. For my husband, it’s Natalie Portman. He and I have an agreement that if we ever have the opportunity to “be” with either of them, we get a free pass. 🙂 Kidding. Sort of.
And of course, there are celebrities I think of in passing and when I see them on screen I think about how much I enjoy them and whether or not they’d be good inspiration for the heroes of my books—celebrities such as Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch (yes, we are big Marvel fans in my house).
When it comes to the inspiration for my heroines, I’m less clear. For whatever reason, I don’t typically associate the heroine I create with a celebrity who already exists.
However, that wasn’t completely the case for Meg in A Reckless Heart. I’ve joked with friends that the book is a cross between the Kardashians and Beauty & The Beast (I’ve even pitched it that way on Twitter). No, Meg is NOT one of the Kardashians. Nor is she modeled on them. However, as a former society “It-Girl,” she’s been exposed to people like that. She reaped the benefits and suffered the consequences. So when I created her, I imagined what it would be like to be in that world and suddenly thrown out of it.
I think that’s why, ultimately, I like to dream about my celebrity crushes, but when I do, I place them in much more realistic scenarios. I can’t imagine myself living in their stratosphere. Bringing them down to earth is much more manageable.
So tell me, who is your celebrity crush and why? Would you want to inhabit their world, or welcome them into yours?
A little more about A Reckless Heart:
Meg Thurgood, former society girl, took the blame for her friend and paid a steep price. Now all she wants is solitude and a chance to rebuild her life. She thinks she’s found that in an isolated house she rents from a mysterious stranger.
Simon McAlter has hidden in his house on the coast of Maine since a fire left him scarred. A successful landscape architect who conducts his business and teaches his classes remotely, he’s lost his inspiration and is trying to pretend he’s not lonely.
Simon’s new neighbor is more than he bargained for. When he learns Meg’s secret, will he retreat into the shadows or will he learn to see past the surface and trust in Meg’s love?
A peek between the pages:
“Let’s watch a horror movie.” Meg flopped on the couch and wiggled into the soft cushions.
There was a beat of silence before Simon turned away from her and poked at the logs in the fireplace, sending sparks up the chimney. “I’m not a big fan of horror movies.”
She liked horror movies because the monsters were obviously fake. You didn’t have to dig deep, to wonder about anything. It was black and white. Meg’s heart constricted. She hadn’t thought about it from Simon’s perspective. Did he consider himself a monster? Could this amazing man see himself in those movies? Her throat thickened. She wanted to run away and cry. But he’d think she ran from him. With a deep breath, she sorted through the list of her favorites in her mind and threw away several until she thought of the perfect one.
“How about Dracula?” Her voice rasped past the emotion, but she forged ahead. “The old one. It’s totally cheesy, which makes it funny. ‘I vant to suck your blood!’ ” she said with a fake accent.
“Do you?” he asked.
Returning the poker to the rack, he walked toward her, and held out his arm, wrist up. She took it in her hand. His skin was warm beneath her fingers, his pulse steady, and the hair on the other side of his arm was wiry. She stroked her thumb along the inside of his wrist. His breath stuttered. She wondered what he’d do if she kissed him. Desire flooded through her. Never mind him, what would she do?
“Next time,” she said. She was brave, but maybe not that brave, at least not yet.
Slowly, he lowered his arm to his side, but remained close enough his knees brushed hers. His skin was flushed, his eyes ablaze. Heat pulsed between them. After a moment, he stepped away, as if he wasn’t brave enough either. “Do you want popcorn?”
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Welcome back to Medieval Monday! Our “First Kiss” theme continues, and this week, I’m excited to have Barbara Bettis here! We’re featuring a book from her Knights of Destiny series: The Lady of the Forest. I loved this story, and if you like medieval romance, you will too.
For anyone following my excerpt from Return of the Raven, you’ll find Snippet #9 on Barbara’s blog. Remember, there are links to all the participating authors’ snippets atMedieval Romance Lovers on Facebook. (#MedMonSpring21)
Now, let’s enjoy Barbara’s ninth snippet:
Kate froze at Henry’s words and felt the hard shape of his desire wane. Then she realized: She must have landed on his old wounds. She didn’t know whether to feel guilt for lingering on his warm, solid muscles, or offense at his outrageous behavior. Just as he grasped her arms to relieve the pressure of her elbows, she felt him tremble.
I’ve truly hurt him. Her residual desire evaporated, and heat shot through her cheeks, twin brands of shame. She’s acted the wanton, responding to his brief kiss with a hunger that shocked her, and now she’d caused him pain.
Humiliation seared a path in her nose. Catching her lower lip between her teeth, she made to move—and realized just what that rumble meant. He was laughing, the beast.
A little more about The Lady of the Forest:
When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.
Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate’s past catches her.
When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.
N. N. Light has spring fever! It could be all the flowers in bloom or the birds singing in the trees, but whatever the cause, you can enter to win amazing prizes, including a few new releases, autographed print books by bestselling and award-winning authors, audiobook codes plus e-books galore and a couple of Amazon gift cards. I’m one of the authors participating, so you could win an e-copy of Flight of the Raven, the first book in my medieval/time travel romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood.
Go here to see all of the prizes available. Then enter the giveaway here. If there’s a particular prize you’d like to win, be sure to say which one.
Wishing you the best of luck and a beautiful day! 🙂
Calling all readers! Spring has sprung and you’re all invited to N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Spring Break Bookapalooza. 28 books featured plus a chance to win one of the following:
~ $50 Amazon (US) Gift Card (2)
~ $25 Amazon (US) Gift Card
~ $15 Amazon (US) Gift Card
~ $10 Amazon (US) Gift Card
I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My recent release, Return of the Raven, will be featured on April 6th. I even talk about where I’d go on spring break if money were no option and there wasn’t a pandemic sweeping the world. You won’t want to miss it.