Moscow Nights

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author R.W. Buxton and his urban fantasy/paranormal romance novel, Moscow Nights.

Author’s description

Erin is desperate to save Gerry from shadowy forces that would do anything to prevent him from fulfilling the prophecy. But when she arrives, he’s with another woman and the worst thing is it’s Tina, his former partner at the FBI.

Can she convince him the threat is real, and not just to him, but Mary his young daughter.

Halfway around the world ominous figures hiding in the night plan the unthinkable and Gerry is the only one that can stop them. The threat is genuine but will he believe her? Will he believe in the prophecy? 

Erin must face her own past, a past she thought was over. It opens old wounds that send her careening on a path of destruction. Can she overcome them in time to save Gerry or will she lose everything because of a deep-rooted hurt that can’t be healed?

Guest Post

I love to ask other fantasy authors how much vocabulary they created for the book of theirs which I’m featuring. Author R.W. Buxton surprised me with his answer of  “one word.” Read his interesting explanation of why.

This is an easy one… Just one. Day-walker, a person with vampiric powers that aren’t undead and can survive the sun. Although in this book I break the rule, I guess you’ll have to read it to find out how, and why.

In urban fantasy, in general, I don’t see the need for the creation of many new words. After all, it’s set in the world we are all familiar with. A world we can reach out and touch every day. Sure there are fantastical creatures like vampires, werewolves, or ghosts, but they don’t require that many new words. There is one exception to this, and that’s urban fantasy that involves the Fae. For me, these usually cross over into the realm of true fantasy novels. In this sub-genre I find there is a good deal of new vocabulary and of course new worlds, or should I say realms.

Not that the first draft of Capital Thirst, my first novel, didn’t have its fair share of new vocabulary. After I posted that draft to an author critique site, I received overwhelming feedback that it wasn’t necessary and confused the reader. It disheartened me. I worked hard to create that vocabulary to build a mystic vampire world. Not to mention it was my first novel, and I wanted everyone to love it.

After much thought, I decided these other authors were probably right. It wasn’t necessary, and I wanted the book to take place in the real world, albeit one with vampires. So I took it out.

There is clearly a time and place for creating new vocabulary. Science fiction or pure fantasy, for example. But in the end, it just wasn’t necessary for the type of writing I’m doing. Overall, it just confused things.

About the Author

I love a good paranormal read, something about the un-dead haunts the fringes of my mind. Mix in romance, love, loss, and you have a great story.

I voraciously read everything, fiction, and non-fiction but always find myself turning back to the darker stories. I’ve always wanted to write and the dream became a reality with Capital Thirst, and the remainder of the Erin Kingsly novels.

I spend most of my days designing and building websites, but my free time is devoted to my wife, family, and cats. Yes three grown children and three cats. Things can be hectic.

For fun you might find me driving winding roads with the top down or out photographing nature.

Find the Author

Website — RWBuxton.com
Facebook — R.W. Buxton – Home | Facebook
Twitter — RW Buxton Author (@rwBuxtonAuthor) | Twitter
Bookbub — https://www.bookbub.com/authors/r-w-buxton
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19658320.R_W_Buxton
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481089-capital-thirst
Allauthor — https://allauthor.com/author/rwbuxton/

Buy the Book

NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99.

Amazon — https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KXG6CWS
Apple — https://books.apple.com/us/book/moscow-nights/id1527771232
BN — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moscow-nights-rw-buxton/1137483626
Kobo — https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/moscow-nights-7

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

The car roared into the small town. She turned down the main street and headed for the road out of town. Free from the town’s confines, the country road that led to the highway lay ahead of her. She floored the gas pedal. The scream of the engine thudded in her ears. She pushed in the clutch without letting off the gas and crammed the car into a higher gear. The tires chirped as the car surged forward. She calculated in her mind that the drive with traffic took an hour or a little less. She had to do it tonight in record time, less than thirty minutes. Trees blurred past the window. The ramp to the highway now loomed ahead of her. She pressed the brake and downshifted to take the turn. The car slid but held the road. On the highway she could let the car loose. She prayed she would make it in time.

Lights flickered past in a constant succession as she tore down the highway. She glanced at the speedometer. She was nearing 190 kilometers per hour. It wasn’t all the car could do, so she pushed harder. Her head swam with images of Gerry as he faced Dumitru alone. The possibilities of what might happen to Tina.

Thank you!

R.W. Buxton — we appreciate your sharing your book Moscow Nights with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Once Upon A Princess Trio

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Deborah A. Bailey and her three fairy-tale inspired paranormal romance novellas entitled Once Upon A Princess Trio.

Author’s description

Formula for Fairy Tale Love:
1 adventurous Heroine + 1 tortured-but-noble Hero = Happily-Ever-After

For all the innate complications involved in finding the secret to blissful fairy-tale love with shape-shifters, three wise and discerning princesses trust their hearts instead of their eyes and fall in love with the unlikeliest of princes.

“Heart of Stone:” Leesa trespasses into a haunted palace, where she meets a gargoyle. Breaking the spell that cursed him may carry a price steeper than she’s able…or willing…to pay.

“Beauty & the Faun:” Kayla flees an arranged marriage and falls for a faun shifter instead. But how can she ignore her duty by refusing to marry a prince?

“Land of Dreams:” Cicely knows she possesses magical ability. Falling in love with the courageous, self-sacrificing Willem may be the key to her awakening…or may unleash forces that will separate them forever. (Sequel to Heart of Stone)

Box set includes books 1-3 of the Once Upon A Princess paranormal fairy-tale inspired romance novellas.

Using Fairy Tale Elements in the Once Upon A Princess Novellas

I asked author Deborah A. Bailey to tell us how much vocabulary she created for her fantasy worlds in this trio and I got back fascinating information about what guided the creation of her entire worlds. Enjoy her answer.

For my worldbuilding, I considered creating words for the worlds I was writing about. But as it turned out I only ended up creating one word, “Malida.” The reason I created it was because I wanted to use it during a conversation between the hero and heroine in Heart of Stone. Willem, the hero, uses that word to refer to the heroine’s grandmother. The grandmother is a former queen of the province where the story is set. In the aftermath of a war, the heroine, Leesa, and her grandmother are (as far as they know) the only remaining members of the royal family.

When Willem asks Leesa about her grandmother he calls her Malida, which is also a term of endearment. It means “great mother.” For Willem to know that name, he would have to have known more about the family than he’s admitting.

Though I didn’t focus on creating the words and language for those worlds, Since they’re based on fairy tales, I made sure to include certain elements. For instance, I included princesses,  magic, and fantasy creatures. In Heart of Stone Willem is a gargoyle who is under a magical curse. He lives in a deserted palace and he has access to enchantments that were left there by the former inhabitant.

In Beauty and the Faun, the heroine ends up escaping into the Great Forest and it becomes a refuge. Forests are often used fairy tales as places filled with magic and mystery. Satyrs, forest nymphs, centaurs and fauns are among the inhabitants of the Great Forest. Each group has their own culture and behavior that they’re known for. The heroine finds these creatures when she enters the forest, and they show that this is an entirely different world than the one outside.

In Land of Dreams the Great Forest is also included, along with fauns and water nymphs. I added additional magical characters, such as elementals, shifters, and river deities. There’s also a character called the Night Queen who presides over the elementals. While I would’ve loved to have created other words (and languages) for the stories, I made sure to include many fantasy elements and fairy tale touches to set the mood.

About the Author

Deborah A Bailey’s Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance novels include suspense, a bit of mystery and a lot of romantic heat. Her books include the Hathor Legacy science fiction romance series and the Family Pride and Once Upon A Princess shapeshifter paranormal romance series.

Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and have been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun and are included in, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. She’s the author of non-fiction books, and articles for various online publications.

Visit her site https://dbaileycoach.com/brightbooks for more information and subscribe to the newsletter here: https://eepurl.com/bokGdX so you’ll be the first to find out about giveaways, book launches and sneak peeks.

Find the Author

Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/AuthorDeborahB
Twitter — https://www.twitter.com/AuthorDeborahB
Pinterest — https://www.pinterest.com/debstyle3
FaceBook — https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahAB/
Amazon Author Page — https://amazon.com/author/deborahannbailey
Bookbub —  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/deborah-a-bailey

Buy the Book

Buy link (universal book link): https://books2read.com/u/4Dg5xA
Personal Sales page: https://payhip.com/brightbooks

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Heart of Stone:

Leesa headed up the stairs and stopped at the 2nd floor landing. Eduardo and Erokan’s rooms had been on this floor. Dust was everywhere, but otherwise the furnishings were just as they’d been left. Varmont’s bedroom, private study and library were on the 3rd floor. Most likely he would’ve hidden some of his valuables there. She went upstairs to check. The doors to the Duke’s room, study and library were open. But the fourth door was closed. The treasure room, perhaps?

She opened the door and stepped inside. Strangely, this room wasn’t as dusty as the others. The air was heavy with perfume. Across from the door was a folding screen decorated with blue and yellow flowers. Behind it she could make out the base of a claw-foot tub.

To her surprise, the entire room had a feminine feeling, from the huge bed covered with blush pink coverlets and plush furs to the gold-trimmed white furniture. Even the jewel-encrusted skylight above her had its own beauty, reflecting colorful sprinkles of light over the pale stone walls.

A white cabinet with glass doors caught her attention. The shelves held glass bottles of different shapes and sizes. Some had liquids inside, others were empty. What were these? Perfumes? Or maybe potions.

The Duke used magic. Maybe this was where he’d kept his enchantments. Would they be worth anything? Possibly. But just as Leesa reached out to open the cabinet, the door slammed behind her.

Startled, she spun around. She was alone. Who had closed it? Leesa ran to the door and gripped the handle, expecting the door to open as easily as it had when she’d come in. But it didn’t. She pulled and banged on it, but it wouldn’t budge.

She was locked in.

Thank you!

Deborah A. Bailey — we appreciate your sharing Once Upon A Princess Trio with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

What They Want Us To Know

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Shawndra Mcwhorter and her non-fiction inspirational book What They Want Us To Know: Messages of Hope, Meaning and Unity From the Animal Kingdom.

Author’s description

Have you ever wondered what animals would tell us if they could? This book will give you that chance to find out! By being able to receive downloaded messages from wild and domestic animals, Shawndra translates their messages for us. These animals have shared powerful messages of unity, connection and purpose, and steps that each of us are able to take to deepen the connection, find more meaning in our lives, and become the humans that the animals know we can be. You’ll hear messages from 12 different animals on what they want us to know in order to live a more profoundly amazing life. You’ll be given the opportunity to learn ways to be more compassionate, tolerant and heart-centered, to the animals and to each other.

A Guest Post on Balancing Life, Writing and Work

Even though the idea of this book came to me (was given to me?) in 2004, it took until May of 2020 to begin writing it. I really believe that I had to do a lot of healing work on myself in order to be able to ‘meet’ the animals on their level in the higher realms and translate their messages. I can look back now and see so clearly that I was not as open and ready to hear them then, as I am now. I’ve gone through major healing and evolution in the past several years, and it really feels as if one reason was to be able to be fully present and hear these animals clearly and with an open heart.

So while I was working full-time for the State of Washington, I had a side gig as a Reiki Healer. It wasn’t until May of 2020 that I finally found my way into a writing program. Once I found the right program, the right coach, the right publishing opportunity, the book poured out of me. I was still working both my jobs but it was finally the right time. I was able to submit the manuscript to my publisher three months after I started writing and it’s been a whirlwind since. I still work full-time so when I have to have calls with my publisher, social media manager, web site developer or work on my book promotion I make sure to pack my laptop, lunch and hunker down during any breaks during the day. A lot of this work is done at night. I space out my promotional calendar though over months vs days and weeks just knowing I don’t have the time and space for much more than that.

About the Author

Shawndra McWhorter has been an animal communicator since 2000, and is also an Usui and KarunaⓇ Reiki Master, working with humans and animals. Shawndra has helped more than 500 animals and their humans with her communication and healing skills. Shawndra is a past president of Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART), and also serves on the Board of Directors with Kindred Souls Foundation, both 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations dedicated to helping animals. Shawndra began her disaster animal rescue work in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, where she deployed outside of New Orleans, LA to help rescue and care for the animals left behind. She has deployed to Chile, Peru, and to several states in the US volunteering helping animals recover from disasters. Shawndra also volunteered with Wolf Haven International in Tenino, WA for nearly eight years, and is still active in supporting their mission. She is the owner of Sanskrit Healing, using her skills to help humans, animals and the environment find balance. Shawndra has spent most of her life helping others and won an Emmy for a documentary that she directed and edited on illegal aliens in Southern California. Her approach is to educate and help others make mindful, ethical choices based on facts and data. Shawndra currently lives in Washington State with her dog Norman, who survived the EF5 tornado that hit Moore, OK in 2013.

Find the Author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Shawndra-Mcwhorter-Author-106688011143920
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shawndramcwhorter/
Shawndra Mcwhorter – https://shawndramcwhorter.com/

Buy the Book

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/What-They-Want-Us-Know-ebook/dp/B08PJ28NWQ/ref=sr_1_1
Goodreads.com:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56422248-what-they-want-us-to-know
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-they-want-us-to-know-shawndra-mcwhorter/1138596437

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Chapter Nine Norman the Dog

NORMAN IS THE DOG WHO currently shares my life with me, and as you can see, he is adorable! In 2013, an EF5 tornado hit the vicinity of Moore, Oklahoma, causing two billion dollars of damage, including the major destruction of two schools and more than three hundred homes. It also killed twenty-four people. After the disaster, I volunteered with American Humane to help care for the animal survivors in an emergency shelter. I flew out there and was working with the feral cats and cats with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). A few days after I had arrived, they brought in the last of the “tornado dogs” from the Moore Animal Shelter and put them in a quarantine area. The other volunteers working with the dogs spent all day cleaning crates and walking the dogs. Since I certainly wasn’t taking the cats for walks and feral cats wanted nothing to do with any of us, I had extra time, so I offered to help care for these quarantined dogs.

Thank you!

Shawndra Mcwhorter — we appreciate your sharing your book What They Want Us To Know: Messages of Hope, Meaning and Unity From the Animal Kingdom with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Oh Good Now This

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Susan Merson and her women’s literary fiction novel, Oh Good Now This.

Author’s description

Starting over is hard enough but when ghosts decide to hitch a ride into the future—things can get complicated.

Widowed Vivi leaves California for a new start back east landing in a college town near her old friend Vikram, now the local ‘spiritual’ leader and disappointing lover. But the two have old business which leads them to uncovering the ghosts they conjured long before and the ones that are haunting them now.  Vivi reclaims her life, — with the help of a couple different dimensions– saying hi to the ghosts who choose to hang around, and growing a new garden and a new life.

We need eerie music for this!

I am fascinated by characters that undergo a major transformation in a story, so I often ask an author if there is such a metamorphosis in the novel I’m featuring. I asked Susan Merson this, and you’ll see her interesting response below. But here’s the thing.

Sometimes, instead, I ask a different questions and it usually goes like this. “In my books I’ve always had one minor character who insisted on playing a larger role in the story. I’m curious: was there such a character in your novel?”

Guess what? Author Merson answered that questions also, and I didn’t even ask it. Cool, huh? Read on …

I like to think of my new book OH GOOD NOW THIS  as a second time around, coming of age story. I am fascinated by how people survive and live their lives fully, especially after loss and the plain old battles of living day to day.

Amanda is a woman in her 60’s who ends up living near Vivi, my protagonist, on a country road, hidden behind tall pine trees. She craves light and strips the house of all its possessions, heaves her clothes into the dumpster, white washes the walls, and scrapes the floors til they shine. Through the large window in her living room she can see the moon and puts her white mattress and white duvet directly in the path of its glow. She can not bear the weight of any memory, any lover, any remnant of what was and lives a reclusive, solo life until she welcomes a young man into her home. He is visiting the local college for a seminar and she needs the money from his room rental.

And she falls in love with him. His easy loping style, his curiosity, his tease of pleasure at her company. Just his presence in the house inspires her to return to the root of who she was as a young woman and she spends her days painting pine cones and making soup, pretending she does not care when or if he returns.

Of course, he leaves, returning to his own life, but freezing Amanda in this new beginning as a person who sees the world deeply, through an artist’s eye once again. And the love she bears for this man-boy, releases the hold her body had on its poisons. Renewed, refreshed, no blockages to hold them back, the old poisons find their way into her body, creating illness when she was just reclaiming life.

Amanda’s death informs the lives of my other characters in this world. The journey she makes from cynical, rejected trophy wife, to full and faulty artist—this unfolding—surprises everyone. And inspires them, as well.

Amanda was a surprise to me when I was writing the book. She showed up when Vivi needed to see how the choices we make in our own lives can affect us, can make our choice for life or death very real. Vivi insists that life is worth the struggle even though she has seen how giving in to poison can loosen our grips and let hope recede. Amanda shoves Vivi toward choosing life at an important juncture in the story and I am grateful she showed up to let me introduce her.

About the Author

Susan Merson began her career as an actress on and off Broadway, in television and film. Co-founding the LA Writers Bloc in 1985 with award winning writer Jane Anderson, she has mentored writers through the Bloc and through her private and university classes in Playwriting, Life Stories, Writing as a Spiritual Practice, Tarot for Writers and the popular VOICING Series.

Her short fiction has been featured in The Jew in America, Nice Jewish Girls (Penguin), The Worcester Review, the Chicken Soup series and several other online platforms.  As a playwright, her award-winning plays have been performed internationally, including her 8 solo plays featured and used as example in YOUR NAME HERE: An Actor Writers Guide to Solo Performance. (Amazon). Long form fiction available on Amazon is her award-winning blog, WHEN THEY GO AND YOU DO NOT and her first novel DREAMING IN DAYLIGHT.  OH GOOD NOW THIS, her newest novel launches 12/1/21.

She is a tarot reader and counselor, a maker of quilts, clothing and whimsy.  Susan is a humble mother and a proud resident of New York City.

Find the Author

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/susanmersonauthor
WEBSITE: http://www.susanmerson.com

The author has also done a series of five videos regarding the use of Tarot for writers (for more information, visit her website):

TAROT FOR WRITERS #1:  INTRODUCTION
An introduction to using your own intuitive powers to tap into the resonance of Tarot images, packed with archetypes and symbols, to jumpstart inspiration for your artistic projects.
**CORRECTION: The Raziel Tarot Deck is designed by artist Robert Place with commentary by Rachel Pollack. https://youtu.be/LGONsfOayJg

TAROT FOR WRITERS #2: LANDSCAPE
Explore the landscape of story. Entering the world of the card offers visceral clues to the landscape of your writing. https://youtu.be/Mwq9x-I9oQE

TAROT FOR WRITERS #3: CHARACTER
A brief exploration of character and how to find their first basic journey. Look deeply at the character clues in the cards and throw three cards to begin their adventure. https://youtu.be/CuovTNQ5ztk

TAROT FOR WRITERS #4:  WHAT STORY SHOULD I WRITE TODAY
On pulling cards to intuitively discover the story, the genre, the themes and the major turning points of a new story. https://youtu.be/eHm0mVSNaPo

TAROT FOR WRITERS/ #5 TIMELINES AND DEEPER DIVE INTO RELATIONSHIPS
Timelines and going deeper into relationships with pro and antagonists. The more cards you draw the more information you can gather. https://youtu.be/EClPq0e-H70

Buy the Book

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/oh-good-now…/1138532579
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1546617489
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Now-This-Susan…/dp/B08RCXVNTX/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

They have settled into their chairs and Tara is tossing some cards, shuffling them and getting a feel. She flips over three cards.

“Oh, my dear. Some bleak times, past, yes?”

Vivi is startled by this pronouncement. “Well, it’s been a time of change, I’d say.”

“Change?” says Tara. “You betcha. This Tower card is about the whole thing coming crashing down. But it’s in the past position. See here? This is the present,” she shows Vivi the 7 of cups. It’s a picture of a man taking a look at a whole gallery of possibilities. “Look at him”, Tara says. “He’s got lots of things to choose from.”

“Well, that sounds good,” says Vivi tentatively.

“Not bad. Don’t get over infatuated with the possibilities. And the last one… here. The Hermit. Yep.”

“What’s that mean?”

“Oh it’s fine. Just a time to go inside and let things percolate. Inner wisdom and all that. Not a bad sentence!” Tara laughs again. “Now. Anything specific on your mind?” Tara continues to flip cards. “So,” she says. “Who is this guy? This King keeps showing up. King of Cups? He fell out of the deck twice while I was shuffling. “Who is this guy who won’t leave you alone?”

Vivi is mystified. “How did you…?’

“Oh, it’s not magic. The cards just know, that’s all. They pick up what you bring. Who is this guy?”

On a personal note:

I learned to read Tarot Cards at 17 years old, in the first creative writing class I ever took. My English teacher was way ahead of her time!  I agree with Susan Merson that Tarot readings are wonderful for many things, including providing inspiration for an author.

Thank you!

Susan Merson  — we appreciate your sharing your book Oh Good Now This with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

A Summer Wedding at Cross Creek Inn

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Cheryl Holt  and her Contemporary Women’s Fiction novel A Summer Wedding at Cross Creek.

Author’s description

From New York Times bestselling author, Cheryl Holt, comes a sparkling, fast-paced novel about the complexity of family—and all the ways they can drive us crazy.

The lavish Layton-Benjamin wedding promises to be an event to remember, and the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to impress their guests by hosting it at the exclusive Cross Creek Inn, a private mountain retreat tucked away in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. But the bride and groom are from completely different backgrounds, and they’ve only known each other for a few months, so it’s been a ‘hurry-up’ engagement that has everyone worried.

 When the groom arrives late and tempers start to flare, it’s clear the wedding is a minefield that has to be carefully navigated. As parents and friends begin taking bets over whether the happy couple will make it to the altar, secrets are revealed, new loves emerge, and true happiness is finally found.

Book your visit to the Cross Creek Inn! A witty, fun summertime story about family, friendship, and finding out what matters most—that only Cheryl Holt could tell.

From a Caterpillar into a Butterfly

When I got the chance to ask author Cheryl Holt anything, I wanted to know more about her characters and specifically about the ones that make a transition from a caterpillar into a butterfly.

Holt is a very experienced author, and I appreciate her guest post because it also includes her take on when a character shouldn’t show growth.

Read on for her fascinating response.

I have been writing novels for twenty-five years now, so I’ve gotten really good at making sure there’s a good character arc for nearly all of my characters.  I like to have all of their issues resolved at the end so, for example, if a character is unhappy and lonely at the beginning of a novel, she will wind up happy and together with someone at the end.

That said, I’m also renowned for writing characters who are driven and determined to achieve a goal, and those people usually don’t change during the story.  They are typically my villains, but I’m hailed as the “International Queen of Villains”, which means I write some of the best (worst) villains in American fiction.  One of the reasons they’re so fun and infuriating is that they don’t ever alter their behavior.  If my villain is seeking revenge at the beginning of the novel, he’ll still be fussy and stewing at the end—even though he’s been thwarted.  He will never relent, and the book wraps up with him trying to figure out how to restart his plot in a more successful way.  That sort of maddening focus is one of the things that makes a good villain.

In my new novel, A Summer Wedding at Cross Creek Inn, I would have to say that the character who makes the biggest transition in the story is the bride’s sister, Rachel.  In the beginning of the book, Rachel is grouchy, testy, and in a permanent bad mood.  She is the sibling who’s always had a chip on her shoulder, who’s always felt as if the other siblings got a bigger slice of life than she did.  She’s permanently convinced that everyone is luckier and happier than she is—even though she could change her life whenever she’s ready.

She’s her sister’s maid-of-honor, but she’s so unhappy it seems like she might deliberately sabotage the wedding in petty, juvenile ways.  But by the end, she turns out to be a champion to her sister, and in the process, she manages to completely change her life and head off in a new direction.

I think she’s fun, and when her life turns around, readers will be cheering for her.

About the Author

CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author who has published over fifty novels.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer.  She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards.  She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre.  For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance”, and she’s also revered as “The International Queen of Villains.”  She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans.

Find the Author

Visit her website at http://www.cherylholt.com.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialcherylholt/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theCherylHolt
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/36853.Cheryl_Holt

Buy the Book

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QNMMNJW

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding autographed print copies of the book (US ONLY) to 10 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Sharon…

The view out the window of her suite was spectacular, and Sharon was trying to enjoy it.  She was surrounded by thick, verdant woods, and off in the distance, stark mountain peaks rose, seemingly to the stratosphere.  Even though it was mid-July, they were dotted with snow.

She’d never been what might be described as a mountain person.  Being a typical Californian, one who’d been born and raised in Los Angeles, she’d had her auras read and her chakras aligned and her pores opened.  She was a water person, and she lived on the beach in Malibu where she could stare out at the ocean.

Still though, the Colorado scenery was beautiful, and she had to remember that it was and focus on that fact.  It was awfully quiet though, and the silence would take some getting used to.  In Malibu, with its lone highway that was constantly clogged with cars, there was always a hum of traffic.  It was a regular drone that never ended.

She wondered if the serenity and isolation might gradually drive her crazy, but then, she was staying in Colorado for four short days.  She could endure any torment for four days.  Couldn’t she?

On Sunday morning, after Eric and Jennifer departed on their honeymoon, she would head back to California, and the appalling weekend would be over.

As the mother of the groom, she should have been more excited, but she couldn’t muster the necessary enthusiasm.  Initially, she’d decided she wouldn’t attend, but friends had nagged until she’d changed her mind.  So…here she was, but she wasn’t glad about it, and she had to alter her mood, bury her misgivings, and forge on with a positive attitude.

Thank you!

Cheryl Holt — we appreciate your sharing your book A Summer Wedding at Cross Creek with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Love, in Writing

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Elsa Winckler and her romance novel, Love, in Writing.

Author’s description

A hardcore Science Fiction writer and a softhearted romance novelist clash on the sunny South African coast…

Margaret Parker is a hopeless romantic whose fantasies fuel her writing. For Graham Connelly, science fiction is the perfect genre to express his cynical worldview. A chance meeting in a lift leaves them both interested and aroused — with no clue as to the other’s identity.

Margaret has been looking for a face to match her new fictional hero — and Graham’s is it. Graham has been looking for proof that innocence and optimism still exist — and he’s found it in Margaret. But fantasy isn’t reality, and both Margaret and Graham are used to controlling their fictional worlds. Can they step off the pages long enough to find their own happy-ever-after?

Why a Science Fiction Writer?

I write science fiction and fantasy (and love to read it), so when I read the blurb for Elsa Winckler’s Love, in Writing and saw that her cynical hero wrote science fiction — I had to ask why. Here is her response.

Margaret Parker, the heroine in Love, in writing, is a romance writer. She’s kind and nice and she’s holding out for the fairytale and her own hero.

I couldn’t quite decide on the hero – it was looking for someone who would be her exact opposite. But what would he do? What will he be like? And why would she fall in love with him?

A few nights later Graham Connelly woke me up. Drop-dead gorgeous (of course), jaded, cynical about love and life and a science fiction writer.

I’m a die-hard romance reader, but while doing my Honours in English we studied William Gibson’s Neuromancer and although I can’t say I’ve fallen in love with science fiction I did learn to appreciate writing based on alternative possibilities.

Margaret has very particular ideas about what kind of man she wants to be with and it takes her a while to realize although Graham doesn’t fit into any of the molds she’s hanging on to for dear life, he is in fact exactly the kind of hero she’s been looking for.

About the Author

Elsa has been reading love stories for as long as she can remember and when she ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during her English Honours studies, she was hooked for life.

She married her college boyfriend and soul mate and after 45 years, 3 interesting and wonderful children and 4 beautiful grandchildren, they are now fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa.

She likes the heroines in her stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong.  And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous!  Her stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

Find the Author

Website: www.elsawinckler.com
Personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/elsa.winckler
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ElsaWincklerRomanceAuthor?ref_type=bookmark
Twitter: https://twitter.com/elsawinckler @elsawinckler
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6557709.Elsa_Winckler
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/elsa-winckler
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/elsawinckler/
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/elsaw1
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elsaw1/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elsa-winckler-1ab2a42b/

Buy the Book

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PCD16HZ
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-in-writing-3
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-in-writing-winckler-elsa/1138396881
Itunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1542709299

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding copy of a short story to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

Read an Excerpt

Dumbfounded, Graham stared after her, then followed her. He looked down at her, trying to read her face, but she averted her eyes.

“Kissing you, letting you touch me the way you just did…”

She looked up at him, her green eyes reflecting…was it hurt?

“It’s a big deal to me, Graham.” Her eyes were bright with unshed tears. “I want what my parents had. I want the fairy tale. The romance, the love, the wooing, flowers, the forever. And you…” She took a deep breath. “It’s everything you don’t want. Please leave.”

At her words, Graham stepped back quickly. Margaret smiled a sad smile and showed him the door again. He walked out but when he turned around to say goodbye, she’d already closed the door softly behind him and was securing the lock.

Exasperated, Graham pushed his fingers through his hair. Forever. Where the hell had that come from? A fairy tale. And romance and flowers and what did she say? Wooing. Stupid word. Who still used the bloody word? And what the hell did her parents have to do with it? He had just kissed her. People kissed! It was normal, not a train smash. And it was just a kiss, wasn’t it?

But as he stomped down the stairs toward his car, he remembered how soft she’d felt beneath his fingers, how responsive she’d been. He could instantly recall the flowery scent of her perfume, remembered the sound of her breath and he remembered the sight of white lace cupping firm breasts. He groaned out loud.

She was right. He shouldn’t have kissed her. She wanted more, needed more. Hell, he wasn’t so jaded he couldn’t see that. And yes, she was right, it wasn’t what he wanted. He was the last man on earth who should be around Margaret. She deserved someone who would want to provide everything she wanted. He grimaced. He was not a candidate.

Thank you!

Elsa Winckler — we appreciate your sharing your book Love, in Writing with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Gumbeaux Love

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Jax Freyand and her southern women’s fiction novel, Gumbeaux Love.

Author’s description

The adventures of the Gumbeaux Sistahs continues. Five, fiery southern women wage wars against their unique problems using their improbable friendships, hilarious evil-genius schemes, strategy sessions with oh-so-many cocktails, and a shared passion for good gumbo.

Single, Southern artist, Judith Lafferty, casually confesses to her Gumbeaux Sistahs that she is occasionally lonely and would like to fall in love again. Seriously – you’d think she would know to keep her mouth shut around these women by now. The sistahs tackle her problem along with their own with their usual unreasonable, extreme plots and schemes, including a kidnapping, a cupid costume, trying out pick-up lines at the cheese counter, and blind dates from hell. In helping out their friend, the sistahs help each other out as well and bring to light the many flavors of love in all of our lives. Be ready for twists, turns, laugh-out-loud times, and heart-wrenching moments. You’ll be sure to recognize yourself and your best friends in the unstoppable sistahs.

What makes Louisiana Women So Special?

I’ve lived most of my adult life in the south, including nearly seven years in Lafayette Louisiana. So when given the chance to ask author Jax Freyand any question at all, I just had to know what it was she thought was distinctive about Southern women.

To my delight, she answered me specifically about the women of Louisiana. I have to say, I agree with her answer.

Not sure I can speak for all southern women,  but I know Louisiana women! Here’s what I find unique about them:

1.      Attitude – there’s a certain type of openness, impetuousness, and willingness to jump into the party spirit on a moment’s notice that happens to women in Louisiana.  Hand them a second-line handkerchief, and they will grab their own outlandish hats, beads, and boas and go off with total strangers, dancing down the street. It quite normal to the natives, but visitors notice it and are often enticed to move here because of it and many other reasons.

2.      Food – yes, food shows up everywhere in the US when women get together. Pot lucks and parties always turn up macaroni, potato salads, and baked beans. But when Louisiana women get together, Cher! Gumbo with hot French bread, little muffulettas, crawfish pasta, jambalaya, pulled pork po-boys, and bourbon bread pudding are just many of the unique mainstays for that group!

3.      Friendliness – sure there are friendly people all over the world. Thank you, God! But you can count on it in Louisiana. That’s how we were raised.

About the Author

Born in New Orleans, Jax came into this world with a sense of celebration of southern culture, food, family and fun. Translating that celebration into her writing and onto canvas is her true calling. Her colorful art depicts everything from her dancing Gumbeaux Sistahs paintings to her popular line of original Mini paintings of southern icons. Because over 25,000 of the mini paintings have been created and sold into art collections worldwide, Jax holds a world’s record for The Most Original Acrylic Paintings on Canvas by One Artist from the World’s Record Academy.

Jax is also the co-founder of the Women of Infinite Possibilities, an empowering women’s organization started in Covington, LA, where Jax lives today with her loveable, tornado-of-a-pug named Lucy.

The Gumbeaux Sistahs’ series of novels is a work of love for Jax After painting the Sistahs for many years, she finally gives voice to these women characters who have something to say and constantly make Jax laugh when she writes about them.

Find the Author

Website: http://www.gumbeauxsistahs.com/
Jax art and gifts can be seen at www.artbyjax.com.

Buy the Book

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Gumbeaux-Love-Book-Sistahs-novels-ebook/dp/B08GJ9FZX5/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Judith rinsed her juice glass in the kitchen sink just as the doorbell rang.

“Who in the world at this hour?” she thought, shaking her head and glancing at the clock on the wall. “It’s not even eight o’clock.”

She walked to the front door and started to open it, but before she could swing it open all the way, a hand clutching a paper coffee cup shoved its way inside, barely missing her face.

“What?” she yelped. Then she laughed. “Oh no, are you kidding me?” She opened the door to five Gumbeaux Sistahs, including Bea, Helen, Dawn, Lola, and Trinity who stood on her front stoop holding coffee. It was especially a surprise to see Trinity there since she lived across the lake and had a long way to come. But the most unexpected thing of all was Dawn, who stood there looking embarrassed as all get-out, wearing a big, red Cupid costume.

“Not again!” said Judith, rolling her eyes and remembering that this was exactly the way that the sistahs had originally kidnapped her and become her best friends in the world.

Dawn grimaced and said, “I don’t know why I’m always the one who has to wear a stupid costume.”

Thank you!

Jax Freyand — we appreciate your sharing your book Gumbeaux Love with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

 

The Seven Spires

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Russell Archey and his fantasy novel, The Seven Spires.

Author’s description

An incredible high fantasy adventure set in a world based on familiar fairy tales, folklore, and mythology, “The Seven Spires” is an epic story of dragons, magic, conquering evil, and discovering magnificent new places.

 

When a fearsome creature known as Wyvern begins terrorizing Emrallt, one of the seven realms of the continent of Septer, a group of heroes are brought together seemingly by fate to rally against him. A prince, warrior, wizard, and mysterious, sorceress-like sybil try to discover why a common maiden could be the best chance their kingdoms have against Wyvern’s growing forces that threaten to dominate each and every one of the ancient, arcane spires that bind their kingdoms, and world, together.

Making up words

Every fantasy author has to deal with the dual problems of how much vocabulary to create and how to do it. I was curious about Archy’s approach and he was kind enough to provide this interesting answer.

I didn’t create much vocabulary for the world in The Seven Spires, but I did draw on many sources for naming conventions. Since each kingdom and realm in the book is based on different mythological and fairy tale criteria, I tried to stick with conventions from each respective source.

For example, the Red Kingdom is properly known as Edda. This name comes from the Poetic Edda of Norse mythology. Names like Horodir are meant to invoke such Nordic naming conventions, where others like Vidar are directly related to Norse mythology. One of the most dangerous creatures encountered in the book is the monstrous, worm-like jormungandr who dwell in the Jotun Foothills—both named after creatures from the same mythology. The capital city of Edda? Valgrind, otherwise known as one of the gates of Valhalla!

Some naming conventions are meant to tie characters together, such as the three sorceress sisters who have the ‘æ’ symbol in their names to give them a mystical appeal. Other names and titles were built from various words to create something new. The capital of the Diamond Kingdom, Icostraea, is a combination of “icon” and the Greek goddess of justice and purity, Astraea.

Of course, what fantasy story filled with mythology, fairy tales, and folklore would complete without dragons? I wanted to try something unique with the dragons in this setting. Dragons are rare creatures in Septer (itself named after a word for the number seven and bringing to mind a symbol of authority) and they are named after what I’ve always felt are dragon-type archetypes.

Father Dragon is the progenitor of them all, and as such, each other dragon is referred to as a “dragon-child.” Each dragon-child found a home in a separate realm, making seven total of their kind in the world: Father Dragon, Drake, Naga, Serpent, Wyrm, Hydra, and, of course, Wyvern. Despite their rarity and special, unique natures, not all are still alive at the start of the novel…

As you can see, even though I didn’t create any languages or overly unique vocabulary for the novel, many different languages were used to build the world itself. It’s a great big continent out there!

About the Author

Russell Archey has been writing since he was old enough to hold a pencil. His love for narratives, world-building, and story-telling has fed into nearly every aspect of his life: from his video and board game hobbies to pressing his most cherished books onto his unfortunate children (who will, one day, read the Lord of the Rings trilogy whether they like it or not). When he’s not creating new worlds and horrifying things to threaten them with destruction, he’s bringing other author’s fantastic works to life as an audiobook narrator, spending time with his two children, and pressing his dear wife’s eternal patience with his quirky habits.

Find the Author

Website: 5princebooks.com/russellarchey
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/russellarcheyauthor
Twitter: @RSArchey
Instagram: @RussArchey
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55353537-the-seven-spires

Buy the Book

Smashwords : https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1043473
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08J8BS3NT/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

She reached for his leg, wanting to observe the wound. She gently cupped the bandaged appendage in her hand and steadied it with the other. The bandages were caked with blood and made for a sorrowful sight. It was only a few moments, however, before she felt a tingling in her hand. It wasn’t painful or uncomfortable—just a light prickling sensation all along where her skin made contact with the Prince’s wound.

She looked on as the color slowly returned to the Prince’s leg and, eventually, his face. His sweating stopped and his breathing returned to normal. What just happened?

The Maiden began to unwrap the bandages and then suddenly stopped for fear of hurting the Prince or exacerbating his wounds. She looked up quickly to see him slumbering peacefully. She continued to unravel the sticky bandages until they fell away.

The Prince’s shin was covered in the blood from his wrappings. It was difficult to see much at first. Then the Maiden saw…nothing. No wound, nor scar, nor scratch. There was nothing beneath the blood, except for a leg that was as whole and healthy as it had ever been. His wounds had been completely and unquestionably healed by her own hands.

Thank you!

Russell Archey — we appreciate your sharing your book The Seven Spires with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

No More Secrets

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Joanne Guidoccio and her women’s fiction novel,  No More Secrets.

Author’s description

Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling, possibly even toxic secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets—secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, the nieces listen as Angelica travels back six decades to reveal an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.

Inspired by Angelica’s example, the younger women share their “First World” problems and, in the process, set themselves free.

But one heartbreaking secret remains untold…

Joanne Guidoccio shares how the people in her life influenced the characters in this story.

I’m always fascinated by how much an author draws on the people they are close to as they create their characters. Here is Guidoccio’s interesting take on this issue.

Bits and Pieces of Characters

Having lived and taught in different cities throughout the province of Ontario, I have felt free to “borrow” characteristics from friends, former colleagues, and students to create composite characters in my novels.

That was the modus operandi for the first five novels I wrote: Between Land and Sea, The Coming of Arabella, A Season for Killing Blondes, Too Many Women in the Room, and A Different Kind of Reunion.

While writing No More Secrets, I followed a slightly different path.

Angelica Delfino, the protagonist, is also a composite character. But this time, I borrowed from the Italian women of my mother’s generation. And, yes, I did include bits of my mother’s life. Before she died, Mama read an early draft and commented, “I can see myself here, as well as…” and then she mentioned several relatives and close friends.

The three nieces—Velia, Nora, and Teresa—belong to Generation Y. While sketching their characters, I considered former students but also thought back to my own experiences.

Growing up, I was surrounded by several friends and relatives who resembled Velia, the quintessential good Italian girl who followed the script. While I demonstrated some of her self-discipline and motivation for academic achievement, I didn’t marry at an early age, nor did I choose to stay home and raise a family.

Nora, Velia’s polar opposite, is considered the black sheep of the clan. Impulsive and carefree (at times reckless), Nora has taken many risks in her personal and work lives. Her disastrous marriage barely lasted one year. Often described as a Career ADDer, she experimented with several careers before finding her niche as an interior designer. In my late twenties and early thirties, I did go through a brief period of job-hopping.

Like Teresa, the youngest niece, I settled in Guelph, a mid-sized city in south-central Ontario. We are both introverts and teachers at Catholic school boards, but the resemblance ends there. A theology department head, Teresa is more spiritually inclined. Early in the novel, she speaks wistfully about her missionary work–something I admire but could never do.

Bellastrega, aka Lynn Miller, started off as a minor character. Initially, I intended to have Angelica’s psychic companion appear briefly in the first chapter. All that changed after she started invading my dreams. She ended up with her own POV and full control of the epilogue. Her character was inspired by a psychic in Northern Ontario. While I don’t possess psychic abilities, I do share a common interest with Bellastrega. When I retired twelve years ago, I made wellness a priority in my life. Many of Bellastrega’s comments and suggestions could easily have come from me.

About the Author

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio took advantage of early retirement and launched a second act as a writer. Her articles and book reviews have been published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Joanne writes paranormal romances, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario. 

Find the Author

Website – https://joanneguidoccio.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.ca/jguidoccio/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio/
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Joanne-Guidoccio/e/B00FAWJGCG/

Buy the Book

Amazon (US) –  https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX
Amazon (Canada) – https://www.amazon.ca/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX
Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX
Amazon (Australia) – https://www.amazon.com.au/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

“Go,” Kelly said. “Your aunt is dying, and this could be your last opportunity to spend some quality time together.”

“Her oncologist shared good news last week,” Nora said. “Her blood counts have improved, and the cancer hadn’t spread since her last visit. He mumbled something about a miracle.”

“A miracle?” Kelly’s eyes widened. “Has your aunt been seeing a healer?”

“You could say that,” Nora said as her eyes twinkled. “Right after Christmas, she hired a companion who’s been able to transform her life. I don’t know her real name. My mother calls her Bellastrega—beautiful witch.” All recent conversations with Ma had focused on Bellastrega. Relieved not to have to share her own problems, Nora had encouraged her mother to talk about the beautiful witch who had turned all their lives upside down. Nora enjoyed the weekly updates that sounded like soap operas.

“Is she a beautiful witch?”

Nora shrugged. “My mother mentioned her dyed-blonde hair, too-skinny body, and watery eyes. She’s put Zia on a vegan diet and an exercise regimen. At Christmas, Zia needed a walker to get around, but now she’s walking freely. My mother and aunt are convinced that Bellastrega is a witch who’ll end up robbing Angelica and leaving.” Nora had tried to point out that if Bellastrega’s intention was to steal, it would make more sense to let Angelica get weaker.

“She sounds intriguing,” Kelly said. “I’d go just to meet this woman.”

“Hmm. I guess.” Nora was curious and wouldn’t mind sitting and chatting with the woman about wellness. But from Zia Angelica’s email, it sounded like Bellastrega would leave soon after everyone arrived.

“Think of it as an adventure. How many beautiful witches have you met in this lifetime?”

Thank you!

Joanne Guidoccio — we appreciate your sharing information about No More Secrets with us! Best of luck with your book sales, and with all of your future writing.

Georgian Romance Revolt

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Lucinda Elliot and her satirical/dark humor novel Georgian Romance Revolt.

Author’s description

Elaine Long is trapped in the body of the heroine in a warped cyber version of an historical romance. Something has gone drastically wrong, with the characters talking and acting outside the script, and her coachman is exactly like one of the author’s Golden and Reckless hero types.

Worse, the disgraced earl turned highwayman anti-hero – one of the author’s Dark, Mean and Moody hero types, has stolen the heroine’s betrothal ring, which just happens to be Elaine’s escape device.

Elaine, once eager to escape from everyday life and being taken for granted by her part-time boyfriend into this cyber version of her favourite author’s fictional world, isn’t even confident that this story can guarantee a happy ending, even if she does have three or four hero types in it with her…

A darkly comic, fast moving spoof on the tropes of  historical romance from four times BRAG medallion winner Lucinda Elliot.

My Review

This is a funny book. It’s funny in the sense of making you laugh out loud and it’s funny in the sense of being strange and hard to describe. I’ll start with the first.

Georgian romance novels are ripe for satire and Elliot does a fine job taking aim at all the easy targets like handsome heroes with perfect teeth and some of the more difficult ones like chaperones, forced seduction, and social inequities. She tells her story through the eyes of Elaine, a modern, slightly futuristic woman inhabiting the head of a romance novel heroine. Elaine’s take on this partially-sanitized fictional world provides another layer of humor.

But having two women living inside of one body, often fighting for control of it, is also where the story gets odd. Elaine is in eighteenth century England by way of a  virtual reality entertainment system that malfunctions, adding a sci-fi help-I’m-trapped-in-a-video-game subplot. Because even the best of satire is only funny for so long, I began to enjoy the get-me-out-of-here subplot more than the Georgian-romance-gone-wrong story.

Then it starts to get weird. Without giving away too much I’ll just say the 1960’s author of the original novel gets involved along with Stonehenge, reality and maybe multiple dimensions. Then Elaine’s own personal life enters the scene as well.

Balancing all this is quite a feat. I think Elliot pulls it off but by the end I’d have preferred a good bit less of the Georgian romance, and a more thorough resolution of everything else.

The author says in her bio that she loves a good laugh. She certainly provided me with several and for that I am thankful. I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading something different and who enjoys satire.

About the Author

Lucinda Elliot, four times winner of the BRAG medallion for outstanding self published fiction, was born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. When she was growing up, her family lived in various large, isolated old houses in various parts of the UK as they used to renovate such places  in the days before it became fashionable. She lived for many years in London and now lives in Mid Wales with her family.  She loves a laugh above anything.

Find the Author

Visit the Author on her blog at: https://sophieandemile.wordpress.com/
Find her on her Amazon author page at: https://www.amazon.com/Lucinda-Elliot/e/B008YU9B58
Find her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ElliotLucinda
Find her on Goodreads  at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6469356.Lucinda_Elliot

Buy the Book

Buy Georgian Romance Revolt on Amazon. The book will be on sale for $0.99.

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Aurelia wrinkled her well-shaped nose at inside of the carriage. The floor littered with rubbish, including a filthy boot, the broken handle of a dagger, a blood stained handkerchief and wisps of straw left over from the winter.

A false nose lay on the seat. It was as grotesque as that worn by the messenger the day before. To lighten Betty’s mood, Aurelia showed it to her. “They have stolen the idea from Earl Lawless’ band.”

The man guarding her scowled thunderously. “That is a scurvy lie. We never nab their tricks; they does ours.”

“I am happy to hear that you are so scrupulous,” returned Aurelia. “Do not fret, Betty. This is an adventure such as comes to  a few.”

“Then I wish I wasn’t one of them few, Miss Aurelia!” The girl burst into tears, and Aurelia took her hand.