Thursday, 21 August 2008

EDITOR'S WORD



THIS IS A BACK ISSUE. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO BROWSE AND THEN CLICK THIS LINK FOR THE CURRENT ISSUE:


"HELLO EVERYONE!!"

And welcome to the 1st Romance eBooks Newsletter!
Well, Christmas is here! There couldn't be a better time to put your feet up in front of the log fire and indulge yourself in some festive romance stories!
Please, be my guest, and feast upon the New Christmas releases. With direct links to purchasing details, you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home to select the book of your choice.

But first, take a look inside The Romance eBooks Newsletter, because whether you are an author, a publisher, a reviewer, or a reader, there should be something here for everyone. And if you are an aspiring author (or an established one!) now is your chance to shine with the ‘Free Read Short Story’ submission page! With publisher’s always on the lookout for authors, this could be your opportunity to be spotted by the talent scouts!

DON'T FORGET TO ENTER MY PERSONAL COMPETITION ON THE LAST PAGE (CLICK ON COMPETITIONS IN THE MENU TO THE LEFT)

IN THIS ISSUE:

NEW RELEASES

Check out the covers and read the blurbs to some of the new releases of the season. If one takes your fancy, the purchasing links are right at the end of your fingertips!

PUBLISHER SPOTLIGHT

The Publisher Spotlight hosts The Wild Rose Press and their Marketing director, Lisa Dawn. If you fancy submitting a romance story, look no further.

SPECIAL GUEST

Our Special Guest is Harlequin Mills & Boon author, Carol Townend. In this issue, Carol gives us a history lesson on medieval romance. (If only school really was that interesting!) And if knights in shining armour are your idea of a hero, then this author is the one or you!

Catch up on Carol's new and previous releases.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

In the author spotlight, we have a double whammy with Angela Steed and Jenny Gilliam. Angela briefs us on spontaneity and dreams while Jenny gives us some inside info on writing romance novels and her opinion on ‘HEA’ endings.

COVER MODELS

Take a peek at my cover models Mr. Romance 2008, Chris Winters and the lovely Laura Hawkins. They may portray lovers on the book cover, but are they lovers in real life? Read their interview with me and discover the truth.

FREE READ

The Free Read Short Story Submission comes from Rae Lori with Hazy Chestnut Dreams. Here's the blurb: Kids, laundry, dinner, work... Somewhere along the line, Aliya and Mitch lost themselves amidst the chaos of life. One last effort from a gesture of the past may start them back on the right path to romance. There's more to this author than meets the eye! Your positive views and comments are welcome.

Also, in this Newsletter, you'll find Reviews and Competitions. So, please enjoy, and click on the menu to the left for quick viewing. If there’s anything you would like to add, express, or if you’re interested in appearing in the next issue of the ‘Romance eBooks Newsletter’, then contact Debby Allen at romanceebooks@yahoo.co.uk

And remember, the wonderful thing about blogs is the instant communication we can have with each other via comments. So please feel free to join in and check on the conversation from time to time.

Don't forget to check the blog archive for older posts. Just click on the menu to the left.

Best wishes to you all

'Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses' by Debby Allen. Due for release from The Wild Rose Press on December 17th!


http://www.thewildrosepress.com/


'If a Greek Adonis found his way into your Christmas stocking, wouldn't you want to unwrap him?'





'Hibiscus Bay' by Debby Allen. Available from The Wild Rose Press NOW!


http://www.thewildrosepress.com/


'If blue skies, hunky foreign guys and glistening seas float your boat, then you'll love this romp on the beach romance that will leave you searching for your passport to paradise!'

NEW RELEASES

New Christmas Releases

'Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses' by Debby Allen. Available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=148&products_id=1089

BLURB: A man is for life and not just for Christmas – or so the saying goes.When Leah Stamford accepts the offer to spend the festive season in Greece with her co-worker, Marcus Savakis, the last thing she expects to be unwrapping, is him. But after one ouzo too many, and with a voluptuous ex-girlfriend tempting Marcus back into her ample bosom, Leah will stop at nothing to win her colleague’s affections — though seduction isn't one of her talents. Leah's frigidness was the reason she lost her last boyfriend. Now it’s time to prove to herself that she can be daring and sexy.But has she got what it takes to seduce Marcus away from the desires of his ex-girlfriend? And can her timidness compete with this erotic Greek goddess?

ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS by Holly Jacobs
Harlequin American
December 2008,
ISBN-13: 9780373752423
BUY: http://www.eharlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=18089&cid=244
BLURB: When they miss the first PTA meeting of the year, three women who had perfected the art of avoiding PTA jobs find themselves ‘volunteered’ into the Social Planning Committee. Over the coming school year, they not only plan a Thanksgiving Pageant, a Christmas Fair and a Valentine’s Dance, they also all find love...and a deep friendship that will outlast their stint on the committee!Are three people about to get their Christmas wish?When her nephew announces he's going to find his father, Michelle Hamilton never dreams the man's actually going to show up at her door! Only a paternity test will determine whether Daniel McLean has a legitimate claim. But that doesn't stop the much-too-appealing potential dad from throwing Michelle's well-ordered world into upheaval.Daniel is thrilled to discover he might have a son. Now the boy's aunt and legal guardian is making him want even more. And the longer he spends with Michelle, the more Daniel feels he's finally found a place to belong.With the town gearing up for the annual Christmas fair, what better gift could three people give—and receive—than the chance to be a real family?


'Mary's Christmas Wish' by Sheryl Coumans. Available from The Wild Rose Press. Release Date: Dec 3 2008 http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

BLURB: After a life-time spent regretting her decision to give up the her true love, Sister Mary Cantrell faces her impending death alone. When a familiar looking visitor dressed in a Santa Claus suit offers her a chance to go back in time, to relive that life-turning event, she finds the answer she'd been seeking was always there.





'You're all I want for Christmas' by Arleigh Bish. Available from The Wild Rose Press. Release Date: Dec 17 2008 http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

BLURB: When struggling single Mom, Heidi Gentry begins writing to her friend's brother, who is serving in Iraq, she never expected to fall in love with him. To make matters worse he's married, at least she thinks he is. She immediately cuts off communication with him. But Christmas often brings surprises, and a chance encounter with Heidi at the local mall convinces Rick, divorced and back from Iraq, to find out where he stands with the woman who captured his heart with her very first e-mail. With his sister's help, they devise a whacky plan to help everyone get what they want for Christmas this year, even if he has to go undercover to do it

'Almost Home' by Carla Rossi. Available from The Wild Rose Press. Release Date: Dec 03 2008 http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

BLURB: The perfect road trip: 2 strangers, 1 truck, and 1500 miles to fall in love.
Detective Justin Hatcher and Cameron McAlister are in a hurry to leave North Carolina—for totally different reasons. He wants to confront his family about a five-year-old betrayal. She wants to escape the remnants of a failed marriage.
Thrown together as unlikely and unexpected travel partners, their trip is filled with both dramatic and humorous situations along the road. But, with God's constant hand in their journey, can Justin and Cameron discover that…
Yes, you can go home again…especially at Christmastime.


'A Cinderella Christmas' by Stacy Dawn. Available from The Wild Rose Press. Release Date: Dec 10 2008 http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

BLURB: Her mother's ridiculous idea to gift her with 'a man' for Christmas is driving Angie Bellini insane! Every bachelor and his brother in Noelle is asking her to save them a dance at the upcoming wedding of Santa Claus Holloran's daughter. What's a girl to do to keep her sanity and thwart a scheming mother? Date the one man in town her mother despises, of course. Wes O'Connor doesn't like the plan Angie has coerced him into for two reasons: 1) He's still paying for the last time those big brown eyes made him do something stupid and 2) He doesn't want to 'pretend' to date the beautiful baker, he wants the fairytale to turn into a real happily-ever-after. Their ending may not be so happy, though, when they discover they aren't the only players in their little game of make-believe.

New Releases

'Hibiscus Bay' by Debby Allen. Available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=87_118&products_id=743

BLURB: Exhilarating sex with an Arabian millionaire is the last thing Ashleigh Brennan expects after an illicit affair with her boss leaves her unemployed and without dignity. She vows never to be misled by first impressions again—until she meets wealthy, handsome Remmao Kamal. He’s full of passion and eastern promise—but for how long?It’s hard to believe that this wealthy bachelor isn’t married, but his playboy lifestyle aboard his yacht has had its repercussions. After a succession of harbor pickups, his misjudgement of a lover’s intention put his life at risk. Since then, he has been determined to put his womanising days behind him—until Ashleigh walks into his life.Their sexual attraction is immediate and the temptation for Remmao to break his vow of harbor celibacy is as strong as Ashleigh’s desire to protect her heart. But will a one-night stand with no commitments be enough for them?'


'Once Upon a Moscow Night' by Judith McGuiness. Availabile from http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
amazaon. com
and on my website at judithmcguinness. com

ISBN: 9780595492404
Published: iUniverse, Nov-2008

BLURB:Kate Barnes loves all things Russian, so she is thrilled when she finally gets to vacation in Moscow. The last thing that she expects to see while on tour, however, is the charming and wealthy Viktor Cherkasov.When Viktor Cherkasov runs into Kate, it is love at first sight. He has just ten days to overcome the differences between them that threaten their relationship before Kate returns home and he loses her forever.Complicating things is Viktor's son, Alexei. He will stop at nothing to drive Kate and Viktor apart.Can true love really conquer all things?


UNDER MY SKIN by Jenny Gilliam ~ Release date Nov 28th 2008 from Amira Press! http://www.amirapress.com/shop/

BLURB: When coffee shop owner Rachel Crowe overhears her neighbor being murdered, she doesn't think her life can get any more complicated. But when the detective on the case turns out to be the very man she kicked out of her store the night before, she realizes she's wrong.
From the moment Detective Alex Williams laid eyes on the raven-haired owner of his favorite coffee shop, he's been drawn to her. When she becomes the key witness in his homicide investigation, he takes it upon himself to protect her at all costs.
As the killer closes in on Rachel, the couple are thrown into very intimate and dangerous situations. Can Alex convince her to trust him before the killer catches up with them?

Life Begins In Arizona' by Lee Morisson. Available from The Wild Rose Press. http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

BLURB: Claire Stevens, an Emergency Department physician who escaped a violent marriage, is living proof that abuse can happen to anyone. New to Wickenburg, Arizona, she is settling into her home when her ex-husband is released from jail...and finds her. Waking up in the hospital, bruised and battered, she discovers she is married to her neighbor-who happens to be her new boss. At least that's the story people believe.

Jake Cooper is the first man who has stirred Claire's pulse in five years. She finds his charm hard to resist but in hindsight realizes she has emotional scars that are getting in her way. If her fear of relationships doesn't strangle her, her ex-husband, who is out on bail, just might.

DANCING WITH FATE by Hywela Lyn. Available from The Wild Rose Press. http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

BLURB: When Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance, is assigned to revisit the land of Wales, her task seems simple enough. She is unaware there is a hidden agenda. Before she can return to Olympus her path crosses that of the mysterious Myrddin, and her heart is lost.
But Myrddin is promised to another. His mind is set on the dangerous task that lies before him, and the woman he has sworn to save. Nevertheless, he cannot deny the growing attraction between him and the beautiful stranger he meets along the way.
Terpsichore and Myrddin face a deadly force that threatens to part them forever. Is she destined to lose the only man she has ever truly loved? Is there nothing she can do to save him? Finally, when all seems lost, in desperation she finds herself
DANCING WITH FATE.
BUY LINK: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=909


'Before Dawn Breaks' by Rae Lori. Available from Freya's Bower. http://www.freyasbower.com/

BLURB: Alexandra Lyons is a cold, seductive assassin, skilled in the art of killing. Camilla Angelson is a bubbly writer enjoying the quiet life as a recent graduate from college. Both women are the same person. Unfortunately, her former employer, the secret government bureau that hired her, knows this all too well.
Josh Mayer is a former secret service agent looking to pick up the pieces of his life after a messy divorce from a cheating wife and a job of putting his life on the line. Doubling as a restaurateur and an "unofficial" undercover agent, the beautiful female target he is protecting may be the same one he is willing to risk his life and, most of all, his heart to save.
Soon, Josh must put his life on the line to evade an unknown killer that ties them all the way to a money-laundering scheme involving the newest presidential candidate to the White House. Meanwhile, Alexandra's heart is warmed with Josh at her side as she slowly remembers the dark past she left behind.


'The Sea's Embrace' by Angela Steed. Available from http://www.blacklyonpublishing.com/

BLURB: Her heart would guide him home.

Architectural mastermind Katherine Shaw has left her career in the States behind to follow a passion for antiquity to The London Museum for Art and Archeology. During a museum excursion, a controversial relic is pulled from the ocean depths—a relic containing a mystery to which she is inexplicably joined.

His home might claim her life.

Born of the old gods, punished and locked away from love, Derrick has crossed seas of time to find Katherine. Chosen as the guardian of his land’s magic, he knows what Katherine doesn’t: her own mysterious origin and the danger she faces because of it. As they travel together in a place only heard of in legends, enemies and darkness surround them—until an unthinkable decision threatens the very magic that has brought them love.


'His Other Wife' by Margaret Blake. Available from Whiskey Creek Press. http://whiskeycreekpress.com/store/

BLURB: Roxie does not want Saul to discover her secret past. She knows she should have nothing to do with him but she cannot stop herself from being attracted to him. There is Josh to consider too…he needs a strong man in his life and Saul Hetherington is that kind of man. Perhaps her secret will never be revealed…if she is very careful.





'Letting Luce' by Jenny Gilliam. Available from Amira Press. http://www.amirapress.com/shop/

BLURB: When Lucy Hollister tried to drop-kick her personal computer out hersecond-story window, she had no idea it would eventually lead to the seductionof her very hot, very yummy best friend, Rory Carlisle. After all, she’s the queen of passivity, and he’s the reining king of thenon-committed relationship. When a sexy online flirtation leads the couple intosome steamy situations, Rory realizes that his cute best friend is lettingloose—in the best possible way. Can this couple get past old hurts and guarded hearts to embrace the passionatelove that awaits?


'Atonement' by C.R. Moss. Available from Extasy Books. http://www.extasybooks.com/

BLURB: Faith, the oldest sister of the Collins clan, is thankful her sisters are finally home but with their weddings around the corner she’s feeling left out. Escaping her family, she camps on her friend’s property to find solitude and solace, but instead is forced to face herself, her past and the man she distrusts with a passion -- her lifemate, Gaven. Since Faith is the strongest of the Collins triplets, Cor had left her alone. That is, until he found her in the woods and decided it was time to take the final sister. When Gaven leaves her, Cor jumps at the opportunity to take Gaven’s place. Can Gaven save Faith before Cor claims her for his own?

'Breaking the Clouds' by Margaret Blake. Available from Robert Hale Publishing. http://www.halebooks.com/

BLURB: The move to New Zealand has suited Bronwwen for she has a good job and a beautiful home. The only downsideis her lawyer husband Jack, who is drinking too much and obviously unhappy ith the move. What she doesn't need is a visit from her enigmatic cousin, Marged, a woman whom she has little in common. However, it is with Marged's visit that life starts to spin out of control. She learns Jack was fired months ago from his firm, that he has abandoned his apartment in the city, and that most of her money is missing from her bank account. The only person who might know something is Job Tepi but Bronwen is not sure he can trust him...


STARQUEST (ISBN NO:1-60154-355-7) Available from The Wild Rose Press. http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

BLURB: When Jestine Darnell is rescued from her sabotaged starship by the crew of the Destiny her only objective is to complete her mission and keep her promise to save a world from slavery. Love is the last thing on her mind. However, she has not counted on losing her heart to Kerry Marchant the ship’s second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. The completion of her mission has consequences that neither of them could have foreseen.

Enter Dahll Tarron, who becomes involved in a long and dangerous quest to find the Destiny. Fates become intertwined, perils shared, culminating in the realization that sometimes love may be so close that there is a danger it will not be recognized until it is too late…
BUY LINK: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=937


ROSES FOR RACHEL by Dianne Miley. Available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1030

BLURB: Young widow Rachel Santos raises her daughters alone and tries to get past the pain of losing her husband. When she dumps her cheating boyfriend, someone vandalizes her house. Rachel confides in faithful Elliot Truman, but refuses to trust her heart to another man. Then the stalker breaks into her home, and Rachel fears for the safety of her daughters and herself. Will Elliot help protect her children? Who can stop this demented stalker?And will Rachel ever be convinced that some men are worth loving?


A Trail of Love' by Bess McBride. Available from The Wild Rose Press.

Blurb: Kerrie is on the run from a painful past, and she hides in plain sight as a summer employee in the majestic setting of Glacier National Park . Lonely and isolated from the family and friends she left behind, she dreams of the day when a kind and gentle man will say to her: “I fell in love with you the first time I saw you across the room.” Dace Mitchell could be that man! The handsome bear ranger rescues Kerrie from her own foolish behavior--more than once--and she finds herself drawn to him against her will...until she discovers he’s already involved with someone else.When Kerrie begins to get mysterious silent phone calls, it seems the past has caught up to her.Can Dace save her from a violent man who will stop at nothing to have her?
To Buy: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=923&zenid=fda940addb7c2d906daed7e75f4b267f


'A Train Through Time' by Bess McBride. Available from The Wild Rose Press.

Blurb: College teacher Ellie Standish thinks she’s on a sleek modern train heading to a conference on women’s studies in Seattle , but she awakens from a night’s doze to find herself on a bizarre historical train full of late Victorian era reenactors who refuse to come out of character. When the leader of the group—one handsome, green-eyed Robert Chamberlain—finally convinces her the date is indeed 1901, a skeptical Ellie decries any eccentric theories of time travel and presumes she is smack dab in the middle of a very interesting historical dream. She turns the directorial reins of her dream over to one smitten and willing Robert, only to realize that dreams cannot last forever. Someday, she must wake up to reality, though Ellie no longer has any idea what reality is. She only knows that Robert must play an important part in her future. But how can he...if he’s only a figment of her imagination or worse yet...a man who belongs to an era long past?
To Buy: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=931&zenid=fda940addb7c2d906daed7e75f4b267f

PUBLISHER SPOTLIGHT - THE WILD ROSE PRESS

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
http://www.thewilderroses.com/

The Wild Rose Press have been an established publisher for over two years now and publish Romantic Fiction in electronic and paperback formats. Lisa Dawn, Marketing Director of the The Wild Rose Press, speaks to The Romance eBooks Newsletter. Over to you, Lisa...

'Our Sony eBook Reader giveaway begins September 22 and runs through December 15, 2008! Visit the website for details.

The Wild Rose Press and The Wilder Roses offer a large selection of Rose Petals (free stories) from your favorite authors. Just click on Free Reads on the left side website menu. You can take one or take them all.

TWRP publishes romance in all genres.
If you’ve got your heart set on a cowboy? Check out the contemporary stories with western themes and the continuing Wayback Texas series in the Yellow Rose line.

If you love to sigh, cry, to experience the tender tales of the first blush of love we have the Sweetheart Rose line for you.

For the young and young at heart we have the young adult Climbing Roses line.

Mature, experienced heroines, and for those who know love continues on, we have the Last Rose of Summer line.

In books where faith is the cornerstone of love, we carry a wide range of Inspirational romances in our White Rose line.

Like fine wine and good friends, TWRP contemporary, Champagne Rose, love stories will warm your heart.

The spirit that built a nation—the passion that held it together—the love stories you will never forget are found in the American Rose line.

The west is wild and passion burns hotter than the sun at high noon in the western historical romances of the Cactus Rose line.

Read about conquering heroes, high seas adventure, and scandalous gossip in the English Tea Rose line. These historical love stories that will take you back in time.

Recent historical romance of the Vintage Rose line include stories from the roaring twenties, the world wars, and the hippie generation.

Spine tingling suspense and heart pounding passion are found in our Crimson Rose line.

The Faery Rose line is where ghosts, elves and other worldly beings slip through the mist and into your imagination.

Step into a mist-shrouded netherworld where vampires, werewolves and shape-shifters roam at will in the Black Rose line.

Where passion burns, desire rules, and love is only a heartbeat away in the erotic romance Scarlet Rose line. Scarlet Rose also has two continuing series, The Cougar Club – older women/younger men and The Destination Pleasure series – American heroines in exotic locations.

The Wild Rose Press also publishes holiday themed stories. Visit the website today.

TWRP is always open to submissions. See the website for guidelines http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

HARLEQUIN SPECIAL GUEST - CAROL TOWNEND

Meet Harlequin author Carol Townend and learn a thing or two about Medieval Romance.

Born in Harrogate, Carol was educated in Whitby by Anglican nuns within sight of Count Dracula's Whitby Abbey. Her love of ancient and medieval history took her to London University where she read History, and her first novel, set in 11th century England and published by Mills & Boon, won the RNA New Writers' Award. For the last 20 years she has lived near Kew Gardens with her husband and daughter.
Carol has been making up stories since she was a child. Whenever she comes across a tumbledown building, be it castle or cottage, she can't help conjuring up the lives of the people who once lived there.
Her Yorkshire forebears were friendly with the Brontë sisters. Charlotte used to stay at a former family residence, Allerton Hall; Emily painted a glass window panel for a Townend ancestor; and the Townend family tomb can still be seen in front of Haworth Parsonage where Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were written. Perhaps their influence lingers . . .

Recent Book Releases ( UK Paperback with Mills & Boon) by Carol Townend:
The Novice Bride - March 2008
An Honourable Rogue – September 2008
His Captive Lady – due in April 2009

Please note: the above novels have all been released as ebooks. Visit the WH Smiths webpage for more details at http://ebooks.whsmith.co.uk/CarolTownend

These novels take place in early Norman England and France, with the action in The Novice Bride taking place first, in Wessex , England in 1066, shortly after the Norman Conquest.
The hero of The Novice Bride is a Breton knight, Sir Adam Wymark. He has come over with the Norman invaders and is in search of a new life and lands. The heroine, Lady Cecily of Fulford, is an innocent young novice in a convent.

One of the things I enjoy best about writing is the research. It can really inspire. And I don’t just mean the sort of research that is to be found between the pages of history books although that is, of course, invaluable. I’m talking about location, visiting the places in which they are set. Many scenes in the Wessex Weddings mini series take place in and around the city of Winchester . Winchester had been the seat of power for the Saxon princes, it had (and still has) a Cathedral, and several mills, and a Saxon Palace (sadly no longer there). The ancient town is not buried so far beneath the surface; even parts of the old Roman walls are still standing. There is a small museum just off the Cathedral Close where you can find models of Winchester through the ages. Here is a picture of the late eleventh century model of Winchester taken by my husband. The Roman walls enclose it, you can see the River Itchen running past on the right hand side. We visited the water mill which stands on the site of the old city mill. It has been rebuilt several times since the eleventh century, but you can still buy flour there today! The (relatively) large grey area at the bottom left of the model is the area where the Normans pulled down several houses in a Saxon street to clear space for their castle.
Most of the characters in the Wessex Weddings series would have been familiar with these streets.

I went to a convent school, and in the case of this novel I guess that counts as research too! Although I must hasten to add that none of the nuns in the book are anything like the nuns are school.

The Novice Bride cover

INNOCENT BRIDE,
CONQUERING HUSBAND!

BLURB: As a novice, Lady Cecily of Fulford’s knowledge of men is non-existent. But when tragic news bids her home immediately, her only means of escape from the convent is to brazenly offer herself to the enemy…as a bride!

With her fate now in the hands of her husband, Sir Adam Wymark, she battles to protect her family. Suspicions and betrayal are rife, yet their convenient marriage offers Cecily much more than comfort in her knight’s arms…

Wessex Weddings
Normans and Saxons, conflict and desire

An Honorable Rogue Cover

Charmed and Seduced!

BLURB: Benedict Silvester is a rogue and a flirt! His skill as a musician means he is always travelling…and he charms women wherever he goes. Yet he is on a special mission: to accompany Rozenn Kerber to England .

Rose is frustrated with Ben’s frivolous behaviour and annoyed that his wicked smile continually occupies her thoughts for he can never offer the stability she craves. But on their travels, Rose begins to suspect that he may have a serious side, that Ben is more than he appears…

Wessex Weddings
Norman and Saxons, conflict and desire

The action of An Honorable Rogue begins a year later in Brittany in a town called Quimperlé. Here the location research was done on holiday. It was the geography of the town itself which inspired, leading me to set the beginning of the book there. Quimperlé might be small but there’s a lot of history there. It’s an old river port at the junction of two rivers; there’s a dramatically high cliff on one bank, and the swifts scream as they fly overhead. And, yes, in the eleventh century there was a castle at the confluence of the rivers!
Ben and Rose, the hero and heroine of An Honorable Rogue leave Brittany and travel to England . Their boat lands at Bosham. Here is a photo of Bosham Church . Bosham Church was mentioned in the Bayeux Tapestry, and it is close to where the harbour would have been, so Ben and Rose would definitely have seen it, although the tower would not have been quite as tall or as pointy.


His Captive Lady Cover

Blurb: Captured by the Warrior!
Lady Erica had tried to bring peace to her people, so that they could join forces against the Normans . Instead she became captive to the Saxon warrior, Saewulf Brader!

Wulf was, in truth, a Norman captain spying on the enemy. Chaste yet fearless Lady Erica wasn’t part of his plan. Her beauty was as disarming as it was captivating, but Wulf knew that once she discovered his deception, their fragile bond of trust would be destroyed…

Wessex Weddings
Normans and Saxons, conflict and desire

His Captive Lady opens in the freezing fens of East Anglia . Research is not all about places, objects can inspire too. Below is a picture of a bed taken on a research trip to the Anglo Saxon village that has been recreated at West Stowe. It is built into the corner of a thatched house and is very similar to the type of bed that Lady Erica in His Captive Lady might have slept in. When Erica spent the night at the inn with Wulf guarding her, her box-bed would have been smaller.



I love writing medieval romance, it is something I have always dreamed about doing. Sapphire in the Snow was my first novel, and like the more recent ones it is set in the early Norman period. When I started writing, I didn’t know the first thing about publishing. The UK writers’ group, the Romantic Novelists’ Association ( the RNA) was invaluable, and not just for the talks and meetings.

The RNA operates a New Writers’ Scheme. Writers can submit their manuscripts and receive a critique from a published author. Out of those submitted each year, the manuscripts that make it to publication are eligible for the New Writer’s Award. I submitted Sapphire in the Snow and received a critique. It was full of helpful suggestions which I tried to implement, and after working on it the novel was sent to Mills & Boon. To my delight (after more revisions) Sapphire in the Snow was accepted and it went on to win that year’s New Writers’ Award! That was back in 1989. Here is the RNA Link: http://www.rna-uk.org/

Revisions will always be very much part of the writing process. I have just completed some on another novel, but I am superstitious about saying anything about that here! I shall wait until my editor has looked at them. I am not sure whether I have been particularly lucky with my editors or not, but one of the things I like best about writing for Mills & Boon is that the editors do help you realise your vision in the best way. Some revisions can be very challenging - the revisions for An Honourable Rogue were just such revisions. It was incredibly hard work, but also, incredibly satisfying.

For more details, including other articles about the novels, please see my website: http://www.caroltownend.co.uk/ The articles may be found in the News & Reviews section under Author’s Notes.
There is also a selection of reviews to be found on the website. Here is a link to the page on the Pink Heart Society which has reviews of these three novels: http://pinkheartsocietyreviews.blogspot.com/search?q=carol+townend

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTS - ANGELA STEED AND JENNY GILLIAM

Angela Steed


Spontaneity—this is one of my favorite words. Whether reality or fiction, it sums me up perfectly and has carried me into some wild adventures. Sometimes I’ve found myself in trouble because of my lack of planning. Take for one instance, a trip to Florida. I stayed with some scary people that took me out on their pontoon one day and literally threw me in the middle of Lake Orlando where they ever-so graciously told me, as they laughed, to “watch out for the alligators.” I love horror movies, but I’d rather not star in one, thank you very much. So the following day, I went to a guitar shop to pawn off my brand new bass guitar for fifty bucks just so I could get home. That was one of the worst trips I’d ever been on, and honestly, also one of the best.

So now I sit in my comfy computer chair and write stories on the whim. Dreams are where my adventures begin and I let my imagination take over the rest. I believe if every twist and turn is planned out, then there won’t be true adventure to make my heart pound, or leave me breathless wondering how I came up with such a thing. So, yes, spontaneity is definitely one of my favorite words. And without it, my life would be rather boring.

The Sea's Embrace is a new paranormal romance by award winning author Angela Steed.It’ll be released November 1st, 2008 and will be available at Black Lyon Publishing, Amazon. com, Barnes&Noble, Target. com, and your local bookstores.

ISBN: 978-1-934912-09-6
Price: $TBD paperback
Price: $8.00 Ebook (PDF format) (available only at blacklyonpublishing. com mid-October)Pages: TBD paperback
Here’s the blurb:

Her heart would guide him home.

Architectural mastermind Katherine Shaw has left her career in the States behind to follow a passion for antiquity to The London Museum for Art and Archeology. During a museum excursion, a controversial relic is pulled from the ocean depths—a relic containing a mystery to which she is inexplicably joined.

His home might claim her life.

Born of the old gods, punished and locked away from love, Derrick has crossed seas of time to find Katherine. Chosen as the guardian of his land’s magic, he knows what Katherine doesn’t: her own mysterious origin and the danger she faces because of it. As they travel together in a place only heard of in legends, enemies and darkness surround them—until an unthinkable decision threatens the very magic that has brought them love.

Reviews:

"In her wonderfully mystical tale, THE SEA'S EMBRACE, Angela Steed has created a magical world of love and passion, of danger and deception. With a well drawn cast of colorful and unique characters, the story ebbs and flows through an amazing and unpredictable plot that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. The author’s keen attention to small details, blended with her vivid imagination bring the story to life and make it sparkle, and her ability to create tender and eloquent love scenes will delight the heart of any romance reader. I was completely charmed by this story and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance at its pulse pounding best!" -Author M. Jean Pike.

"THE SEA'S EMBRACE is an epic journey that draws the reader deeply and quickly into its spell. This story is truly the magical weave that legend is drawn from and the tale of Katherine and Derrick should be kept and told over and over again. Angela Steed has created a brilliant novel that I will hold close to my heart, and keep in my collection, for as long as there is magic and love in the world." -Author Kimberly Adkins.

More Reviews on the way
1080 Kiss

ISBN: 978-0-9793252-5-0
Price: $14.95
PaperbackPrice: $8.00
Ebook (PDF format)
Pages: 204 paperback

Here is the blurb:
The "God of Snow" has met his match.

He never followed the rules. Vince Evans, professional snowboarder, is a black-haired, green-eyed charmer no woman can tame and no man can match on the slopes. Followed by a flurry of bad publicity and a trail of ex-managers, his Olympic dreams teeter on the brink unless he can orchestrate a career turnaround. And fast.

Her rules were unbendable. After a year-long hiatus, public relations extraordinaire Morgan Price is ready to resume her high-profile job resurrecting musicians fallen from grace. A bad-boy athlete is not the type of client she expects—or wants. But then she sees a side of the “God of Snow” no one has seen before, a side she just might break all the rules of business for.

1080 Kiss reviews:

"Angela Steed's debut release, 1080 Kiss, is an enjoyable, contemporary romance that had me hooked from the first page. It's filled with witty dialogue and attractive characters that make this story a smooth and entertaining read. Steed is an author to be on the lookout for!

Julie
Romance Reader at Heart

"Angela Steed has crafted a shining gem of a contemporary romance novel with characters so believable they could have stepped off the pages at any moment and joined me for a cup of coffee."

Kimberly Adkins

"1080 Kiss is anything but chilly. Morgan and Vince are very realistic characters with problems and pain in their pasts. The story is smooth and refreshing with dialogue that is smart and snappy. The emotions throughout the story are raw and vivid bringing the reader closer to the characters. Ms. Steed's first novel is very well done."
Bonnie Petros
Coffee Time Romance

"I loved this book! I have never read Ms. Angela Steed before, but I will definitely look for her work. This contemporary romance was sensual, but not erotic. It was set in beautiful settings, which were wonderfully pictured for us. And the title—1080 Kiss? I’ll let you read the book to see what that is all about!"

Brenda Talley
The Romance Studio

"Angela Steed has captured the essence of modern, young romance with 1080 Kiss. I could feel the characters, and she left me wanting more of their adventures! A fun, sexy read."

Jenifer McAndrews,
News Anchor WCHS/WVAH TV

"This romance has both light-hearted and heartbreaking scenes that make the characters seem real. Their dialogue carries much of the story. 1080 Kiss is a sensual story that gives the reader a tingly feeling of satisfaction. It is a good book to curl up with and forget the mundane for a little while."

Camellia
Long & Short Reviews


Author Spotlight - Jenny Gilliam

Hi! My name is Jenny Gilliam. I love stories involving the evolution of a man and a woman, the trials and obstacles they must overcome in order to achievewhat I consider essential to any romance novel: the big 'ol HAP (HappilyEver After). That's right, folks. I'm big on the HAPs. It's why I read and write romances. I always know they're going to end up together, no matter what. It doesn't always happen in real life, but in my little fantasyworld, love conquers all (and it should!).

I started my writing career (such as it was) at ten, when I got ahold of my mom's mini-recorder and began spinning romantic tales into the microphone. Of course, they were a milder, more chaste version than my current work, but alas, a romance writer was born. I started my first story at twelve, based on real life events (the boy who I was crushing on big time). In my story, however, he wanted me, not the older sister of my schoolmate.

We got our first computer when I was thirteen, and I moved from pencil and paper to technology. Back in those days, it was Word Perfect, and what a perfectworld it was. I stayed up all night writing, spinning a web of imaginary characters who met and fell in love.

In high school, I joined the newspaper, eventually moving onto editor my senior year. I'd intended to follow in my father's footsteps; getting a degree in journalism to become a reporter. But, it just wasn't enough. As those wily cops say, "Just the facts, ma'am." Well, the facts were too structured for my wandering brain and big heart.

While I wrote continuously for years, I only finished one story. It wasn't until November 2006 that I completed my first novel. My second novel, The Wedding War was, after several rejections, purchased by The Wild Rose Press in January 2008. The Wedding War was released in March 2008. My first novel was then contracted by Amira Press, titled Letting Luce, and released in June 2008. My third novel, The Truth About Roxy, contracted by The Wild Rose Press, is set for release on November 7, 2008. I'm currently at work on my fifth novel, the stand-alone sequel to The Truth About Roxy.

As I reach my goals as an author, I look forward to my future. Remember: Sheer determination trumps wishes any day. Keep at it, believe in yourself, and commit. Don't just follow your dreams; chase them with reckless abandon!


THE WEDDING WAR BLURB: What happens when a fairytale-believing wedding planner and a jaded hot-rodbuilder who thinks love is nothing more than a chemical reaction end up on opposite sides of the aisle at the wedding of her best friend and his brother? A wedding war erupts. Jake Ryan will do just about anything to keep his brother from making the same mistake he made. He’s convinced there won’t be a wedding because he’s out to stop it. Mia Briscoe’s determined this will be the most spectacular wedding she’s ever planned. When she boards the plane for the wedding in SouthCarolina with a thousand ideas for the celebration swirling in her mind, she’s momentarily distracted by the man sitting in her seat. He’s not only drop-dead gorgeous, he’s sexier than sin, and, she quickly learns, arrogant and extremely obnoxious. Hours later, she steps off the plane, all too happy to get away from the man who’s got her hormones and temper in a maelstrom only to learn he’s the best man at the wedding she’s planning. And when she discovers he’s out to break up the happy couple? The battle begins.

Jake and Mia have both suffered deep emotional wounds that prevent them from making lasting connections. And both are baffled by the intense feelings they bring out in each other. Can Mia teach Jake that love is something to cherish and not loathe? And if she can, will he be strong enough to bury his past so they can have a chance at a future together?
LETTING LUCE BLURB: When Lucy Hollister tried to drop-kick her personal computer out her second-story window, she had no idea it would eventually lead to the seductionof her very hot, very yummy best friend, Rory Carlisle.
After all, she’s the queen of passivity, and he’s the reining king of the non-committed relationship. When a sexy online flirtation leads the couple into some steamy situations, Rory realizes that his cute best friend is letting loose—in the best possible way.
Can this couple get past old hurts and guarded hearts to embrace the passionate love that awaits?
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THE TRUTH ABOUT ROXY BLURB: Roxy Palmer is a walking, breathing cliché. And darned tired of it.Working as the assistant librarian in her small, Southern home town, Roxy also anonymously pens the local love column, Ask Paula Rockwell--Thorton, Georgia's answer to Dear Abby.

But when the door leading to Roxy's lifetime dream is slammed in her face by one of the good ol' boys, Roxy brings out the big guns--and turns the genteel town upside down with her racier, feminist, home-wrecking new format.

Paula Rockwell is making Sheriff Noah Kennedy's life crazy. He's got angry husbands lined around the block, demanding the cancellation of the column, fights breaking out and women catching their boyfriends' trucks on fire. If he ever gets his hands on that woman…

But he's got his hands full of Roxy at the moment, and if he ever discovers the truth about Roxy, all hell will break loose.

Jenny Gilliam ~ Spicy Romance with a Dash of Humor

LETTING LUCE, Now Available from Amira Press!
THE WEDDING WAR, Now Available in digital AND print from The Wild Rose Press!
THE TRUTH ABOUT ROXY, Coming November 7, 2008 from The Wild Rose Press!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - CASSIE RYAN

Discover more about Erotic author, Cassie Ryan. Interview exclusive to the ‘Romance eBooks Newsletter’.

1. Hi Cassie and welcome. We’ll begin with the obvious question first – what inspires you to write erotic romance?

Well, I’ve always loved to read any type of romance, and I also loved the super hot books, as long as they had a great plot to go with it. I’ll admit, I’m one of those picky people who like plot with my sex…lol. Authors like Cheyenne McCray, Lora Leigh, and even authors who aren’t considered erotic authors, but who write smoking hot sex scenes like Sabrina Jeffries kept me reading. But one of my critique partners, Brit Blaise, inspired me. She was already published as an erotic romance author, and I kept critiquing her wonderful stories and wanted to try my hand to see if I could steam up the pages, too. I was already published in paranormal romance, and while it was very sensual, it wasn’t erotic. So, I gave it a shot, and that story turned out to be CEREMONY OF SEDUCTION.
2. Fill us in on your latest release. What’s the blurb?

My latest release is called VISION OF SEDUCTION. It’s the second book in my Seduction series. Here’s the blurb: From A Vision Of Passion...

Katelyn Hunt is fascinated with the sexy stranger who has been hanging out at her New Age store for the last week. As a Seer, the sensual power she feels from this man of mystery intrigues--and arouses--her. But only his touch allows her to truly see what it would be like to lie beneath him naked and exposed, experiencing complete sexual surrender. And this vision is just the beginning...

To A World Of Pleasure...

As Prince of an otherworldly clan who use sexual energy as their life-force, Grayson de Klatch has searched far and wide for the Seer who can help save his planet. And when he finally finds Katelyn, he knows he has discovered his future mate. His body craves the sex her body so willingly offers and he aches with the need to make this woman his own...

3. Where can this book be purchased?

You can find it at any brick and mortar bookstore including Barnes and Noble, Borders, Bookmans etc. It should also soon be available as an eBook. It took CEREMONY a few months to come out in eBook after the print release, so I suspect VISION will be the same.

4. Do you have any good reviews? Show us your best one.

I’ve been very blessed to have some great reviews on this book. I have a great cover quote from Cheyenne McCray: “Deliciously wicked and sexy…intensely satisfying!” Which looks terrific on my cover, and Coffee Time Romance gave me a smoking-hot review:

“All I can say is wow, I cannot wait for the next book in this series! Ms. Ryan did it again; writing a book that is every bit as fantastic as the first in this series, Ceremony of Seduction! In Vision of Seduction, she successfully builds on the previous story and even gives the reader clues about the third upcoming book. Katelyn as the lonely woman with a powerful gift who has no use for men except for sex is positively spellbinding. Grayson is her perfect counterpart; a man who is loving, generous, and is someone who can fulfill all of Katelyn’s needs both sexual and emotional. I loved getting to see Tador through Katelyn’s eyes and some of the secrets of her childhood that are revealed in the telling of this story make it that much more special. The lovemaking is hotter than hot and helps to drive this story to its breathtaking conclusion. I cannot recommend this series enough to those who enjoy erotic romance with paranormal elements!”

Regina
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

5. Do you have any other books available or working on at the moment?

CEREMONY OF SEDUCTION, the first book in the series is still available, and TRIANGLE OF SEDUCTION, the third book will be released next summer. Other than those, I do have two new releases under my other pen name, Tina Gerow. Those are VORTEX BLUES and TAKE IT OFF. They aren’t erotic, but they are steamy and lots of fun! As far as what I’m working on, I’m actually in the middle of an Urban Fantasy that will come out under my Tina name. I haven’t sold it yet, but I’m thinking positive! You know, if I write it, they will come…lol!

6. Ok Cassie, I mean Tina … why do you have two pen names?

When Kensington offered me the contract for the Seduction series, my agent actually suggested another pen name for the erotic romances. I’ve very open with readers that I write under two names. It’s more for branding than anything else. If you pick up a Cassie Ryan book you know it will have a white-hot heat level, whereas the Tina Gerow books are sensual, but don’t edge into erotic. A lot of my fans have followed me into my Cassie books, but I do have fans who prefer one pan name or the other because they really love that heat level, but enjoy my author voice.

7. Do your family read your erotic novels?

Yes. I’m very lucky in that my entire family is very supportive of all of my books. Unlike a lot of other authors I know, my family not only reads my erotic romances, but proudly tells everyone they know. And a lot of them even carry a small stash of my bookmarks to hand out.

8. What do you say to the prude statement that ‘all erotic novels are just porn in print?

When I think porn in print, I think Penthouse Forums. Stories that are purely sex with no relationship, no romance, no plot and no real story. They are purely for titillation. Erotic romance novels are full-fledged books with a meaningful romance between the two main characters, an interesting story, a good plot that moves the story along, and also happens to have a very explicit depiction of the sexual relationship between the hero and the heroine, who usually explore their relationship through the sexual act and the emotions build along with that. I think there is a market for both straight porn and erotic books within our culture, and there’s a large fan-base for both to prove it. I know a lot of authors who now jokingly call their erotic romances porn or smut because they aren’t bothered by terms that were originally used as a derogatory descriptor of their work. I think if someone isn’t comfortable with reading that level of sexuality, then these books may not be for them, but if they cling to that statement without really reading one—they should pick one up and try it before deciding. J

9. In the world of fiction, who would play your hero if you were the heroine in an erotic romance novel?

I’m very happy with my real life hero, my husband. So, I definitely wouldn’t mind steaming up the pages with him! And he’s chuckling as I write this telling me that’s not really what you wanted to know, and that he is sooo not doing an altar scene…lol. So, yes I’ll admit, I base a lot of my heroes when I write on Matthew MacFadyen. He’s a very yummy British actor, and if you haven’t seen him in Pride & Prejudice, Death at a Funeral, MI-5 or any of his other work, you should really check him out. But if we’re living in fantasy-land—oh yeah, I could definitely do some steamy pages with Matthew.

10. And finally, where we can find out more about you?

I’m pretty easy to find, and I love to hear from readers. My websites are http://www.cassieryan.com/ and http://www.tinagerow.com/, and my MySpace pages are http://www.myspace.com/cassieryan44 and http://www.myspace.com/tinagerow. Or, if you’d like to meet my wacky and fun critique group, come visit us at http://www.butterscotchmartinigirls.com/

COVER MODELS

LAURA HAWKINS & CHRIS WINTERS

Cover models are the final piece to the jigsaw of your book - let's just say, they bring your characters to life. To me, they are as important as the story, itself. And that's why I took the decision to choose my cover models myself.

I've been lucky that both my books, 'Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses' and 'Hibiscus Bay' have had fantastic covers (and a fantastic cover artist, Nicola Martinez from The Wild Rose Press), but how many of us have been disappointed when we see our final copy, only to think, "that's not my hero or heroine!"

So, I'd like to introduce you to my cover models - Chris Winters, voted Mr. Romance 2008 at the RT Convention and the lovely Laura Hawkins.

I first spotted Chris Winters on myspace. I thought 'this guy has got to be a model' and I was right. After befriending him and supporting him through the Mr. Romance 2008 competition, I asked if he would consider being my cover model for my Christmas release later that year. To my delight, and without any hesitaion, Chris agreed. I then asked if he would consider asking his girlfriend, Laura Hawkins, to pose with him, as she was very similar to the character in my story, and very pretty. How could he refuse?


Laura and I then contacted each other and I arranged the pose with her via email (wonderful technology!). Laura took the whole process so professionally, asking how her hair should be styled and what she should wear. She even brought a new dress for the occasion (which was a grecian style gown that Marcus had brought her character in the story, and it was spot on!) They held tiny glasses of Ouzo (which I believe was water, wink wink) and between them, created a romantic atmosphere that positively beams from them naturally!

I was so pleased with Laura and Chris, as they had tried so hard to perfect exactly what I had asked for and with the help of my fantastic cover artist, Nicola Martinez, I am more than delighted with the final copy.

So, let's meet them properly in an interview below:-

Chris, you’ve recently been crowned Mr. Romance 2008 at the RT convention. That’s quite an achievement!

Thank you! I appreciate the compliments! I’m happy to be a part of the romance ‘history’, if you will. Hopefully, I would like to get my book done as well. I have three I want to accomplish, and yes, one is a romance, but with a very different thrill to it. Actually, it shows how a man can dearly love and miss his woman, and shows the reader the emotion of a man.

Laura, the camera loves you. Have you ever modelled before?

Yes, I’ve been modelling now for about 2 ½ years. Mostly local stuff for fun. I’ve always liked smiling in front of the camera anyway. When Chris and I get together, it’s always fun and surprises. We like to do the cute couple poses with nothing but smiles!

How did you both feel when I asked if you’d be my cover models?

It was quite an honour actually. It’s nice to be an image of love in anyone’s eyes.

It’s clear you both had fun during the photo shoot. Have you ever been cover models before?

Laura: No, actually this is the first for me. It was quite interesting and I got a taste of the ‘modelling’ life. I always admired watching how Chris did it on various sets. It was even more fun for me getting to work with him and just loving and hugging all of him!

Chris: I’m honoured and I am glad to be a part of it. Anytime to express love within photos is the thing for me. I love to convey that thought through photos. There aren’t enough man and woman photos depicting pictures in a romantic state.

Laura, I loved the Grecian style dress you brought specially for the character in the story. Have you worn it since?

Laura: I actually wore it on a date with Chris. He took me out to dinner to my favourite Sushi place and then out to meet friends for dancing.

Chris: HA HA! She looked Yummy!

Chris, as an actor it must be simple for you to step into a character’s shoes. Have you ever been asked to portray a Greek before?

I have to say it was my first. Well, sometimes it can be simple, however, it’s always good to research your character and get a feel to what the view should be about. You gave excellent information on how the direction should be and we went right with it!

Just like my characters, Marcus and Leah, you both love each other very much. What’s your idea of true romance?

Our idea of true romance is being gentle to each other. Learning and grasping for each other when in need and when you want to experience them. Romance is experience, not just doing simple little things. When you experience each other, you get to mix your life into theirs. In addition to this, experience also builds a great friendship and a loving relationship.

Laura, you like to read. What kind of books appeal to you?

I’m a huge romance novel fan as well as a fan of mysteries and pretty much anything that has a good story line.

Chris, you’ve recently moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue your career. How are you settling in?

Actually, to make a long story short, it’s been a little rough here and there. I’ve had quite a few personal experiences that weren’t great, but other than that, the city is great. Laura likes the weather too! I just started doing auditions and I am –trying- to get a shot done for the next Mr. Romance competition brochure. I have not moved into a place yet as I am waiting for a place to be available that I like. I still wake up every day, with a smile.

Finally, I’d like to thank you both once again for bringing Marcus Savakis and Leah Stamford to life in ‘Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses’. Would you ever consider modelling together again?

Laura: Of course! We are our favourite partners!

Chris: Oh yes! Laura is quite a fun partner to work with! (grins)

SHORT STORY - HAZY CHESTNUT DREAMS by Rae Lori

'Hazy Chestnut Dreams'

By Rae Lori

It was the last straw and Aliya Meyers was going to do whatever it took to bring things back to the way they were. The marriage counselor had suggested they record their hopes for the future, just so they were on the same page. She also suggested they write down their intimate fantasies to grasp what they had before their life became total chaos. Both exercises had been a disaster with Aliya and Mitch arguing about who was in control. Naturally it escalated to the finances and the kids. She was tired of the fighting and the tension and she wanted to go back to the ‘can’t keep their hands off each other’ phase when they were first married. She loved the kids, the house and their life but she couldn’t help wishing they were in that old one bedroom home scraping by on leftovers from meals she would make at the start of the week to last them through Friday. It was before things had jetsetted once Mitch got the Executive promotion over his company and ever since then he had been consumed with work to the point that he brought it home with him.
Tonight she had to find a way to bring their marriage back.
Aliya wiped at her brow with the back of her hand before picking up a box. The old attic was in dire need of a cleaning and it had been her project to keep her mind busy while thinking over what she was going to do witch Mitch. She felt lost but she refused to give up.
She pushed the box onto another stack and shoved it back, waiting to hear the smack of it hitting the wall. Instead, it slammed into another box causing it to topple over.
“Great,” she mumbled. “Just fabulous.”
She swiped at her dirt filled jeans and walked over to the back where some cards, trinkets and mementos had fallen to the ground. A folded up dingy, yellowed piece of paper stood out against the dark aged wood floor. She picked up the paper and slowly unfolded it. As she read her own cursive handwriting, a smile crept upon her face.
With her heart fluttering, Aliya turned and rushed down the stairs to the second floor of their home. The kids’ doors were closed and they should be asleep, if they weren’t sneaking their flashlights under the covers to read as she caught them doing before. Mitch was still in his study working before he had to go to bed but she was determined one way or another to get his attention.
Once she stepped into the doorway of his study, she saw him hunched over his desk with one arm curled over a clipboard and the other jotting down notes. He didn’t move from what he was doing even as she cleared her throat.
“Mitch—”
“One moment, honey. I have this last page to do and then I’ll be done.”
She exhaled softly and took the box from under her arm, placing the paper on top. “It’s kind of important.”
“So is this proposal. I want to have it ready to present for tomorrow.”
She didn’t feel like arguing so she nodded slowly and leaned against the wall, waiting. After a moment he looked up and peered over his glasses. His boyish features scrunched up slightly in a frown. His pale face turned slightly red.
“Are you going to stand there and wait for me?”
“If that’s what it’ll take for this to work, yes. I’m not here to get into an argument with you, Mitch, nor am I here to pester. I just want us to start looking at each other again as man and woman. Not Aliya ‘Supermom’ or Mitch ‘Executive Consultant’ but husband and wife. Lovers.”
He slipped his glasses off and placed them on the desk before he folded his hands and leaned back in his office chair. “I’m doing this for us, Aliya. I’m working hard to bring us a good life. If I slip up once on this contract, we lose the deal. I can’t just sit back on my laurels and wait for someone else to do this job for me.”
“I know this contract has been hard on you. You’ve been pretty tense lately and our fighting hasn’t helped the situation.” She walked into the room, holding his gaze. “We used to be a team, remember? Not on opposite sides. We used to cheer each other on and be there when things got tough. We were each other’s ear and shoulder. But lately we’ve been holding feelings and thoughts back from one another which keep escalating and I don’t want to live like that anymore.”
He shrugged. “So what are you saying?”
“I’m saying I want us back on the same team. I want us to be here for each other. I don’t want feel like I’m going through this life alone.”
Mitch’s expression softened. His dark eyes stared up at her as he exhaled softly. “I’m too tired to argue. I just don’t…” He licked his lips and slowly shook his head. “I don’t want to go through this alone either.”
She felt her shoulders settle a little. Finally she was getting to him and she felt as if his walls were coming down.
He stared ahead at the stack of papers, suddenly losing interest. He shrugged and slowly shook his head. “So, what do we do then?”
Aliya walked to him and set the note on his desk. She grabbed his arms and pulled him up to standing position.
“Aliya what—”
“Shh,” she said placing her fingertips against his mouth. “Remember that morning I came to you before second period began in the tenth grade? You were reading outside in the lunch area and I came to you with a note?”
His thin lips raised in a smile. “I do. It was a poem called Hazy Chestnut Dreams.”
She nodded before she began. “I watched you across the room, deep in thought. Pondering your next words.” She slowly began to undo the buttons of his shirt. “The scene is attractive, although I could hardly gather my own thoughts to answer when called upon.” Slowly she ran her palms against the planes of his chest dusted with a dark shadow of hair. “They flash back to you. To your soft spoken words as your brown eyes matched my own.” She allowed the shirt to fall to the floor with a slight whoosh of air and looked up at him. “I see your hands gently tangling the small object between them. Embraced by—”
She stopped as he reached up and pulled free the wrapped kerchief she had tied around her hair. He cast it to the floor and immediately ran his large hands through the gentle strands of her hair. “Embraced by the gentleness,” he said with a smile.
She peered up into his eyes as he reached down to pull the dusty tee shirt over her head. “Your deep walnut eyes enhanced by the distraction from the constant droning. I wonder if I ‘ll ever hold those hands in my own.”
He threaded his hands within hers and held them up between them.
“Someday,” she said softly. “I look into your eyes and see my reality. Or will it all be a dream like it is now?”
Mitch pulled her close to his body, her breasts grazing his bare chest as he caressed her warm dark cheek and held her close. The room was silent except for her words and the sound of his heavy breathing as she felt his heart began to race against hers.
“Cascading thoughts inhibiting my waiting actions. I wonder if you are the same apparition, in my dreams. The same concoction of my dreams. Folded into a chance at obtaining…”
She felt him lean in and gently brush his lips against hers before he consumed her lips with a passion. A moan echoed somewhere in her mind, she wasn’t sure if it was her own or Mitch’s. She didn’t care as she felt his knuckles brush against the sides of her breasts. This was how it was. He hadn’t kissed her like this in years and she could feel the passion and drive behind his motion. The way his lips danced against hers. The feel of his warm heated tongue gently caressing hers as he couldn’t get enough of her. She yearned to taste him even after he moved back and gazed at her once again.
“A dream,” she said barely remembering the words. “Perhaps my celebration confines the unobtainable. Perhaps I’ll never know…” She looked at him, a look of longing and slight sorrow deep within his gaze. “…if I never try.”
He pulled her close into a tight hug and gently cradled her head against his chest. “I’m sorry, baby,” his husky voice brushed against the top of her head. “I don’t want to lose us. How do we fix this? How do we fix us?”
She moved back to look up at him. “If we’re here for each other. I’m not against you, Mitch, I want you to be able to come to me with your problems…just don’t take them out on me. And I promise I’ll do the same. I just want you back.”
“I’m here for you honey. Always. I just have so much pressure and all this weighing on my shoulders. Sometimes I feel like no one understands what I’m going through.”
“I may not understand, but I’ll empathize. And as for the tension.” She allowed her hands to slide down his chest to the buckle of his pants. “I think there’s some ways we can fix that. Maybe adding some bubbles and bath water later.”
A sly grin crept upon his face. “I like the sound of that,” he said sliding his thumbs under her sweats and pulling them down. “Don’t you think we should close the door first? I mean, just in case the kids happen to wander by with a request for a glass of water.”
“I’ll get the door and you get comfortable.”
A groan rumbled in his throat. “Sounds like a plan to me.”
Aliya went to close the door with a smile on her face as she felt they were on their way to finally being home once again.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT RAE LORI:

Rae Lori has written comic book and film related articles throughout her writing career. Writing under various pen names, she has written books, novellas and short stories that run the genre gamut of science fiction, fantasy, short roman noir and paranormal romance and many more waiting to drip onto the page. She has published works with Freya's Bower, Wild Child Publishing and The Wild Rose Press.

A fan of David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock, she also has a love for film, vampires, werewolves and visual storytelling which she couples with the art of the written word to tell her stories. While penning her works, she loves to create artwork and graphic designs as a freelance artist.

Her current release is Before Dawn Breaks, a romantic suspense novel focusing on a former secret service agent turned restaurateur guarding an amnesiac former assassin amidst a government conspiracy. It's a wild action packed, sexy ride!








Here's Rae's website links where you can find out more:

http://www.raelori.com/http://raelori.blogspot.com/

http://www.myspace.com/rachelbeachgirl

Join her mailing list to keep up with new releases!

http://raelori.com/mailinglist

REVIEWS

'Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses' by Debby Allen, available from The Wild Rose Press at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1089

'The office Christmas party can be a recipe for disaster! Free wine at the latest work festivities has left lovely Leah Stamford in the dark… especially about that night and a certain Marcus Savakis. Still, she can brush off office gossip...or can she?It seems this office party kicked off events she never remembered agreeing to. Complicating issues is the inescapable memory lapse, the incriminating tie on her bed, and Marcus, himself.Marcus–cheerful, flippant, handsome and more notably, a co-worker. Is he as good as his word...or is he manipulating her? As soon as she swears off wine forever, there he is, insisting on buying her another. And, what to do about the holidays now? Leah is faced with a conundrum, and the pressure of all the giggly girls in the office doesn’t help.Oh decisions; leap into the big, traditionally Greek Christmas via Marcus' invitation-–or celebrate the holidays most thoroughly alone?Are you kidding? Manipulative or not, you’ll be jumping up and down as she packs her bags--and that is barely the beginning! Never mind the Athenian skyline, the hot mulled cider, the glitter off the wave tops; the whole, mesmerizing Mediterranean world...Because this holiday adventure has barely gotten started! I am desperately censoring myself here, as there is so much more I’d like to mention, but the revelations are half the fun.Do read!4.5 books for this completely charming Christmas romance.Allen got this recipe just perfect: Wonderful characters, delightful descriptions, and exactly the right amount of mistletoe!!'

~ The Long and Short of It Reviews ~

'Hibiscus Bay' by Debby Allen. Available from The Wild Rose Press.
SCORE: Four and a half glasses of Champagne!
REVIEWED BY: Cocktail Reviews:
Ashleigh is on a Mediterranean holiday with her friend Laura. She’s intending to use the break to get over a failed office romance with her boss – a married man. When Laura spots an expensive yacht at a local harbour, Ashleigh only has eyes for the hot guy on board. But while her friend urges her to enjoy a holiday romance, Ashleigh is afraid of being hurt again. Remmao is half Egyptian, half Arab, a wealthy playboy who used to have a woman in every port until a bad experience left him emotionally damaged and extremely cautious. But Ashleigh intrigues him – he’s never had to chase a woman before, and he’s determined to track her down. While both are ready for a physical relationship, their emotions keep getting in the way. Only by learning to let go of the past and trusting one another will they find a future together.
This was a great novella-length read. I loved the underplayed humour, such as Ashleigh’s embarrassment at being caught ogling Remmao on his yacht. I also enjoyed Ashleigh’s first proper conversation with him. It’s cute and breathless, and I liked the sly dig at the romance novel genre of ‘every Egyptian/Arab is a prince’.
Ashleigh is a strong character. I like the fact that she doesn’t hide or sugar-coat the truth of what she did in the past – she admits she was in the wrong with her affair. You can really feel her anger and guilt – and her fear of being hurt so easily again.
Remmao is a true romance hero, but with a modern slant. He’s open about his feelings, and while he encourages Ashleigh to forgive herself and move on, he continues to hold onto his own secret – a lesson he learned a year ago and which still haunts him.
Like a short version of a M&B/Harlequin title, Hibiscus Bay delivers on all fronts with an exotic locale, wealthy foreign hunk, a good dose of angst, enjoyable love scenes and a HEA. Formulaic? Yes, of course. But that’s why I love them so much. I’d recommend this to any fan of the genre.

'Hibiscus Bay' REVIEWED BY: Simply Romance Reviews
GRADE: 'A' REVIEW:
I can honestly say, while reading Hibiscus Bay, I was touched by the beautiful twist of fate for Ashleigh and Remmao. This is the kind of romance we all dream of. Ashleigh's main goal on her vacation was to erase the last three years of her past relationship with Richard (ex-lover/ex-boss and married). She never expected fate to intervene and send her the love she has always dreamed of having. Remmao (dashing and sexy) never had much time for true lasting relationships since he consistently sails around the world. Suddenly, he is locking eyes with Ashleigh after her sunglasses fall onto the deck of his yacht and its' kismet!! Throughout the story, Ashleigh and Remmao find themselves freeing all the emotional pain from the past and learning once again the meaning of trust, promises and love.
Debby Allen captured so many heartwarming emotions of both her characters. The story inspires the reader to wish for Hibiscus Bay and a pair of sunglasses.......wonderful job Debby!! ~ Reviewed by Mireille
TO BUY: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=743

'The Sea's Embrace' by Angela Steed.

"In her wonderfully mystical tale, THE SEA'S EMBRACE, Angela Steed has created a magical world of love and passion, of danger and deception. With a well drawn cast of colorful and unique characters, the story ebbs and flows through an amazing and unpredictable plot that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. The author’s keen attention to small details, blended with her vivid imagination bring the story to life and make it sparkle, and her ability to create tender and eloquent love scenes will delight the heart of any romance reader. I was completely charmed by this story and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance at its pulse pounding best!" -Author M. Jean Pike.

"THE SEA'S EMBRACE is an epic journey that draws the reader deeply and quickly into its spell. This story is truly the magical weave that legend is drawn from and the tale of Katherine and Derrick should be kept and told over and over again. Angela Steed has created a brilliant novel that I will hold close to my heart, and keep in my collection, for as long as there is magic and love in the world." -Author Kimberly Adkins.



Dancing With Fate by Hywela Lyn. Available from The Wild Rpse Press

'Apollo gives his muse Terpsichore/Cora the task of helping Cymru/Wales relearn the joys of life after many battles and heartbreaks. Myrddin the mage comes across Cora bathing in a waterfall and is instantly smitten but he has his betrothed, Gwendolyn, to save. Gwendolyn doesn’t want saving. Seems her father lied to Myrddin, telling him Madog kidnapped her. She went willingly out of love. Finally Cora and Myrddin are free to love. Well, maybe if the gods will only help.
Greek Mythology has rarely been so much fun to read. Hywela Lyn builds an excellent love story even with all the tongue twisting names that add even more fun to the tale.
Such a simple love story made great by the addition of the gods, muses, and Fates with their twists to life. Even the fifth century had some truly honorable men including Myrddin who refuses to give in to the feelings he has for Cora until he finds his Gwendolyn. She was betrothed to him by his family long ago. When she tells her with her own lips and behavior, doting on Madog, he finally believes his quest was in vain.
Terpsichore/Cora fell in lust at first site with Myrddin, loved him more for saving her from the Ellylldan/Goblin fire. Seems her half brother Ares, the god of war, is mad about something and attacks Myrddin. The spear of Ares is not a good thing to have sticking out of your body!
I know it sounds like sick humor but it’s really a hoot when the Fates play games with Terpsichore. Her man lays dying, she’s as serious as death, willing to give up anything to save his life and the Fates are playing her for a sucker. This may be a fantasy but I’ve felt like I was in that kind of situation once or twice or a hundred times myself! I have to recommend this book highly. Not only because I like it so much and it’s excellent entertainment but I just can’t take the chance that the gods might get crazy if I don’t!
Overall rating: 5 hearts


Sensuality rating: Very sensual
Reviewer: Dee DaileySeptember 15, 2008


Before Dawn Breaks by Rae Lori.

'Before Dawn Breaks is an absolute gem of a book.

A fast-paced thriller that, at times, had me on the edge of my seat and shouting at my computer monitor.'

-Black Orchid (5 Flutes)

Reviewer Cocktail Reviews



Starquest by Hywela Lyn.

'Starquest is a fantastical journey about one strong, brave, and independent woman's search for love that will take the reader to places they've never imagined and reveal insights we all know deep inside. I lost myself for hours in her action-packed adventures, and knew that when the book ended, she had indeed succeeded in her quest to find the one true home for her heart.'

- Liana Laverentz, award-winning author of Thin Ice and Jake's Return

'Starquest by Hywela Lyn is a sweet and wonderful book. It is a story of Jess who travels across the galaxy to find the love of her life. An incident happen to her that makes her lost her memories and the man that she loves. She woke up with nightmares and a strong desire to find Destiny and her crew, especially the blue-eyes man who makes her tingles and her hearts ache. But her head hurts every time she tried to remember, and she needs to find Destiny to get the last piece of the missing puzzle in her brain.

Jess made a pact with Dahll to help her with her quest. But she was not aware that he has his own reason to help her. He has a secret, so deep that it can jeopardize their journey and their life. A woman with a mission, a man hunted by a killer, little did they know the journey will test their courage, trust, and most of all, their heart.
This is a wonderfully written book that will keep you on your toes and ended with a big smile on your face. An adventure like no other, this is a book that you don’t want to miss big time.
- Amylove:
http://blog.lyndacoker.net/