Welcome.

Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Who's For Dinner Fridays, and Saturday Sampler.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Who's For Dinner? with Maureen L. Bonatch


Author Maureen Bonatch is here to share with us her idea of a great dinner partner. All right, Maureen. Tell us.

There’s no doubt about it. I’m a great, big scaredy cat.
While growing up I never watched, or read, anything frightening—let alone terrifying. I immersed myself in the wholesome stories of The Little House on the Prairie, or Sweet Valley High, and then slowly weaned into a world of fantasy with the Lord of the Rings series and Madeleine L’Engle.
That was, until I found Stephen. Stephen King, that is.

I refer to him as Stephen to my friends and family, as if we’ve met before and are good friends. In my mind, I’ve known Stephen for what seems like forever. Yet I’ve never had the pleasure of actually meeting him, or having him for dinner.
Although quite different from my usual choice of reading, from the moment I read one of his novels, I was hooked. At dinner I’d explain to my literary idol about how I began devouring his horror stories and begging for seconds more thoroughly than the lovely meal we would enjoy. I’d avoid ordering pie for dessert due to thoughts of his novel, Thinner, written under his pseudonym, emerging in my mind.  
Then I’d ask him about his story, The Stand, and what inspired him to re-release it as an even longer uncut story. The only book I’ve ever read a second time. Technically, it was the new extended version so it wasn’t the same book, but it came close enough for me—a person who has way too long of a TBR list to re-read a book. I’d chuckle and share with him how since the day I hefted that massive tome of a novel, I’ve been unable to look at a crow without thinking of Randall Flagg.
I’d like to listen to his replies and see if his responses sounded as seamless and believable as his unbelievable storylines. Then I’d inquire what promoted him to insist upon a cameo appearance when his novels were made into film, and how it felt to actively participate in one of his stories.
I’d shake my fist in jest, and politely demand he explain his rationale for almost always breaking the unwritten writing rules by infuriating the reader with a cruel ending. Yet it never chased this reader away, but instead left me begging for more.
If the conversation was going well, I’d probe a bit about just how personal Lisey’s Story might be, and if he wrote this envisioning what might happen after his own demise.
As dinner wound down, I’d hint how much I’d love an invite to his writing room, as if it might provide a peek into the recess of his mind and how he successfully inspired me to seek the extraordinary in the world for my own stories.
I’d dip my head and push into line with countless other writers and tell him how his book On Writing inspired me to gather courage and pursue my own writing dreams.
I’m still a wimp. I jump at anything that goes bump in the night. But would I like another ruthless, extraordinary, horror story from Stephen?
Yes, Please. I’ll have second helpings.

About Maureen:
Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Contact Information:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3103486.Maureen_L_Bonatch


Moon, Mist & Magic (Anthology)

Anthology Blurb:
Get ready to be enchanted by mythical beasts, magical creatures, and moonlit nights. Enjoy your favorite author, and perhaps discover someone new, in these five fantastic tales of paranormal romance woven with moon, mist, and magic… ​   

Witch You Were Here, by Maureen L. Bonatch

Lucy is a witch with a successful business righting magical mischief. A call for help from her high-school heartache, Shane, prompts Lucy to manage his magical mayhem herself. No longer a nervous, hormonal, teenager, Lucy takes the case to force an apology and bury her past humiliation. To her surprise, Shane insists he couldn’t forget Lucy—because she hexed him ten years ago. Will Shane and Lucy put their past behind them, or will the spell prove permanent?

Buy Links:



Maureen, what a delightful dinner that would be. If you ever do meet Stephen in person, after you gush like a fangirl, please tell him I really enjoyed his book On Writing, too. Best wishes on your newest release.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Meet Author Linda Nightingale

I'm excited to introduce you to Linda Nightingale, an author, an Authors Helping Authors friend, and a fellow contributor to the Paranormal Romantics blog.


Isn't she lovely? Let's get to know her. Linda, please tell us about yourself.

A born-and-bred wanderer, (actually nothing quite so romantic!), I hail from South Carolina, but have lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston.  I’ve seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

I’ve won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt.   I have two wonderful sons, am a retired legal assistant, member of the Houston Symphony League, and I enjoy events with my car club.  I love to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

Sounds like you've enjoyed the wandering. Where can readers find you?

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LNightingale - @Lnightingale
Web Site:  http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.
Blog:  https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ - Lots of interesting guests & prizes

If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be? 

Follow your heart’s desire, persevere in the face of adversity, and be yourself. Writing is good for the soul and for making time fly and chasing away boredom.

Great advice. Let's talk writing. Are your stories driven by plot or character?  

Definitely character.  I begin with one character whispering in my “ear”, wanting to tell me his/her story.  I sit down and begin to listen.  Gradually as the tale unwinds, other characters join the first one on stage.  I usually try not to force characters to do something they don’t like.

How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?  

I retired in 2014 from a position as a legal assistant at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  I can now set my own schedule, more or less, and write when I feel like it.  The only exception is that I write copy for an agency, and that I do have to write on a schedule.

What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?  

I was once an Executive Assistant for a Circuit Judge in South Carolina.  It was probably the most interesting position in my career, and I loved drafting the orders for the judge’s review.  In my experience, it’s a sure-fire way to distance the story.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with?  

Sinner’s Opera because it is the book of my heart, the first book I wrote (years in the making) and Morgan and Isabeau tell their love story. The new release is a collection of short stories starring Morgan! They can be read in a short time, one-by-one.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work? 

I want my reader to sink beneath the surface of reality, into the book and enjoy their time in my world, then surface as if they’re leaving reality behind.  I am delighted if the reader feels he/she knows and loves the characters and is sorry to leave them.

Tell us about your latest release.



September 9th, The Wild Rose Press releases Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody.  Genre is paranormal with strong romantic elements.  Morgan leads his reader on a journey from Victorian England to the Turks and Caicos to modern-day London.  Rhapsody does cross genres, lacking the single focus love connection required of traditional romance, yet it is about relationships. This book video gives an idea of the selection.

Book Video:
Embed Code:     


Rating:  Spicy
Digital Price:  $3.99
Print Price:  $13.99

Blurb:
The greatest enemy of a vampire is boredom. Four centuries of existence have taught Lord Morgan Gabriel D'Arcy to fear nothing and no one. Humans and their weapons have little chance against his preternatural speed and arcane powers. Vampires are viral mutations of human DNA. Still, the Vampyre code requires secrecy, and he has learned to hide his nature from the world. The lure of mortality, of a life in the sun, puts Morgan again and again at the mercy of calculating human women though they fail to consider his charm and determination into the equation. However, even grooming a future bride from infancy proves to be fraught with heartbreak. And second chances are not always what they seem unless... you are Morgan. Immortality and beauty, aren’t they grand?

“…Morgan…is a tour de force of egotism, wit, sensuality, and talent…” ~Author Toni V. Sweeney
 “Morgan D’Arcy is a class act and the most arresting vampire I’ve ever encountered in literature or films.” ~ Historical and Paranormal Romance Author Beth Trissel

Excerpt:
“Lord D’Arcy?”  A stunning redhead rested a graceful hand on the chair across the table.
I nodded, drinking in her beauty and the tempting fragrance of her blood.  The lines of her dark green dress emphasized her small waist.  The taffeta and velvet gown was elegant and stylish but probably modest in price.  Mischief sparkled in mesmerizing eyes of the palest blue.  I wished that this vision had appeared another time and place.  My intent was to greet and woo a brilliant scientist.  Soon, Dr. Wolfe would arrive.  For that meeting, I must be alone.  I rose, offering a slight bow.   Skirts swishing, she wafted near enough for me to touch.
“My name is Morgan.”  I brushed her gloved fingers to my lips.
She grinned, her enchanting eyes crinkling at the corners.  “I’m Amber Wolfe.”
Shock bled the color from my face.  “Dr. Wolfe?”
My astonishing guest fought a smile, lost the battle and laughed.  Her laughter was deep-throated, foggy, promising hidden delights to all six of my senses.  “It is evident no one saw fit to inform you that Dr. A. Wolfe is, in fact, Dr. Amber Wolfe... a woman.”
“I apologize for staring.  If I appeared rude, I am somewhat stunned.”  I hurried to hold her chair.
She sat very straight, her posture perfect.  “Thank you.”

“I didn’t expect to be greeted by an English lord when I applied for the Andorra position.”  She swirled the red wine in her glass.  “I must say I am more than intrigued.  If my situation at the Institut were such that I could volunteer my services…”
“I’m quite willing to pay.”  I nodded to the Sommelier.  “Pour, please.”
He delivered a new glass, filling it with a wine to compliment the starter.  I wished I could taste the white Bordeaux, but I’d be violently ill.  With my fresh glass, I saluted my savior.  Some god somewhere had answered my prayer.  She gave me a stunning smile, raising her wine stem in acknowledgment.
I returned my untouched beverage to the table.  “I have a few questions, if I may.”
She inclined her head, the mellow light caressing her glossy auburn hair.  Amusement twinkled in her eyes.  Dr. Wolfe was fully aware she had ambushed me, gaining the temporary advantage.
“I’m sure you know this is a dangerous adventure.  Of greater importance, to me, you must keep everything you learn in the strictest confidence.”
She frowned.  “The Institut is, of course, interested in the Andorran tragedy. I’d thought to use my findings in my work.”
“That’s quite impossible.”
“Why does an English nobleman wish to research anthrax?”  She sipped her wine, never breaking eye contact.  “As you say, the mission is perilous.”
“That, and other revelations, will come in time.   If you commit to the position, you will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.”
Amber shouldered back in her chair, crossed her arms, and stared into the distance.  I studied the emotions flitting across her face.  She was more than interested but not thrilled with the need for secrecy.  The whisper of conversation and clink of silverware on china intruded on the sudden quiet as my companion considered the demands of the job.  Her pupils dilated, darkening her eyes.  Deep in thought, she was truly lovely.
She roused, tossing me a coquettish glance.  “You had no idea I’d be a woman, and I didn’t dream my employer would be so handsome, Lord D’Arcy.”

Available at: Amazon  The Wild Rose Press  ARe

Other Reads by Linda Nightingale:

Gemini RisingControversial Dark Fantasy with deep psychological undertones


Thank you, Diane, for having me as a guest on your lovely blog.  I’m really looking forward to the release of Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody because Morgan is among—or simply is—my favorite hero. I hope you enjoyed meeting him in the excerpt.  I never suffer writers block if I’m working on a Morgan story. 

Linda, I'm so glad you joined us today. Morgan sounds really special. I'm glad I got to meet him. Best wishes on this new release.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Our Big Adventure

On Friday, my cohort in crime, Margo Hoornstra, and I climbed into our trusty conveyance (Hubs’ Chevy) and set off for an adventure in the wilds of Northern Michigan. After six hours of battling obstacles along the route (weekend traffic), we arrived at a charming port city on Lake Huron (Alpena). There, we found a comfortable campsite for the night (Best Western).


Why did we embark on this adventure? The Alpena BookFestival. A gathering of authors and readers. On Saturday our hosts, volunteers at the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library, greeted us with enthusiasm, happy to see us. We were guided us to local businesses where we participated in panel discussions on our favorite topics—books and writing. An independent bookstore carried our books and set up tables for us to greet readers and sign our books.


The best part was talking. Talking to readers. Talking to other authors. Talking to the gracious event volunteers. A lovely lady named Patti from Rogers City eagerly gave me ideas for a story that has been percolating in my mind for years and made me excited again about this project. I shared a panel on science fiction with two talented guys (Raymond Brege and John Garavaglia) who write sci-fi graphic novels. What amazing young men! A helpful YA author, Chanda Stafford, made a point of seeking me out to share a tip on self-publishing.

Margo and I participated in three panels together. My favorite was on being a Michigan author. We thoroughly agreed with the other five authors that Michigan is a terrific setting for our stories as well as being such a beautiful state. We aren’t prejudiced or anything. We both agreed the networking was the best part of the all-day event. We shared, we learned, we came away happy.

The organization of the festival was amazing. Margo and I are eager to go back next year.

Returning home, I wished we had one of those self-driving cars. Traffic was heavy, as usual on a Sunday with weekend vacationers returning home. With an easy-to-talk-to passenger, the trip went by quickly. Only after dropping off Margo did it become tiring. Stop-and-go through a lengthy stretch of construction forced me to stay focused but stretched the rest of the trip home by an hour and a half.

Still, I was grateful that I got home safely. Exhausted. So tired I slept twelve hours! And woke up this morning to 965 email messages.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

#8Sunday MISSION TO NEW EARTH #WeWriWa


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday time, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Writers share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

My snippet is from my new sci-fi romance novella MISSION TO NEW EARTH. Sara has diffused a tense situation between 2 team members, Marsh and Tom. She's given the team time off, even though they're due for another simulation. The rest of the team takes off, leaving Sara and Marsh behind.


I strolled up to the man I loved and put my arms around his waist. When I rested my head on his chest, I heard the thud of his heart, normally, a reassuring sound that always made me go weak in the knees, now it beat more rapidly than usual, still agitated
“Hey, guy, everything will be all right. We’re ready--more than ready.”
“I know, it’s just—”
Leaning back in his arms, I reached up and patted his cheek. “Settle down, big boy.” I gave him a long kiss, to which he didn’t respond—still worked up over the latest simulation. Then he gave in, as I knew he would. Not to be smug, but Marsh did like my kisses.

 
This will be my last snippet from Mission to New Earth. Next week: new month, new story. Thanks for all your comments.

The Story:

Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

In 2172, Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four.

Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.


The is the last week for the Giveaway. Don't forget to enter.





Friday, September 23, 2016

Last Day For a Plethora of Free & Discounted Books #SFRBlast

Last Day

Oh, happy day! Five days, actually. Another chance to get free or 99-cent science fiction romance books. I love participating in this promotion. I'm a reader, too. (Like you didn't know that. Hahaha) So I'm going to shop my heart out.

The Pilot (An Outer Rim Novel), on sale for $.99, is the first book in my Outer Rim series about strong women on the frontier of space. This book was so much fun to write. Most of my books are, some more than others. I love the feisty, short, red-headed Celara. More than that, I love the interaction between her and the hard-nose administrator Trevarr. She won't give an inch and neither does he . . . until he needs her help.

Each book in the Outer Rim series is a standalone. You don't have to read them in the order they were written.

Blurb:


Life on the frontier of space is hard enough so when pirates stole Celara d'Enfaden's cargo, she vowed not to be tricked again. Determined to make an example out of indie pilots who disobey orders, Coalition Administrator Trevarr Jovano impounds Celara’s starship and cargo. If he backs down, he’ll lose respect. If she can’t deliver her cargo, she’ll default on her loan and lose her only home—her ship. More important than her ship, though, is her brother. To rescue him from a galactic gangster, she’ll even work with Jovano who is bent on avenging his wife’s murder.

The Pilot is available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, ARe, Smashwords.

Note: as of this morning, iBooks has priced The Pilot at $1.99. I'm working on getting that fixed.

Click on this link to find more books. http://smschmitz.com/promo

I hope you find many terrific books to download. I know I will. I think I'll have to live another fifty years (at least) to read all the books on my Kindle.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Meet Author A.J. Norris

I'm happy to introduce you to a fellow Michigander and an author with a new release. Even though we live in the same state, I met A.J. Norris through the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal RWA online chapter. Let's get this show on the road. 


Welcome, A.J. Tell us about yourself.


I’m from Southeastern Michigan and live with my husband, son, and two Yorkie mixes. I write paranormal romance and romantic suspense. In my spare time, I love to go to the movies and watch my son play baseball.

Where can readers find you?

  
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when a story starting forming in my head and I needed to get it out. That was about five years ago and I’ve been writing ever since. I knew though that I needed help in order to become a better writer, so I joined a couple of critique groups and tried to learn as much as possible through research and just writing my butt off.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I try to write something every day, although that doesn’t always happen. When I’m writing a MS, I will usually put down 1500-2000 words a day. Sometimes more.

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?

I’m a pantser, so I just sit down and start writing. I usually have a main character in mind and put them in a situation and let them tell my how it unfolds. I research as I go along or make a note to look something up later. After I get the first ten thousand or so word down, I loosely outline the ending so I stay on track. I need to have the ending in my sights, otherwise I get lost.

If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?

That’s simple: start writing earlier.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?

My books tend to be somewhat dark with happy endings. I put my heart into every character and I hope that it shows. I love stories about redemption and second chances.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release is the second book in my paranormal romance series called Her Black Heart. The first book, Her Black Wings is where it all began. I recommend readers start with the first book before reading the second because the sub-plots carryover in the second book. However, each book features a different romantic couple.

Although, my Dark Amulet Series is a paranormal romance, some have said it has horror elements. I also try to use situational humor to offset the darker parts.

Her Black Wings Blurb:

Amalya Rivers longs to die and end her lonely existence—but it doesn’t work out that way…

A former runaway turned criminal, Amalya is murdered and thrust into a treacherous world full of red-skinned, horned beasts under the control of the Demon Ruler, Abaddon, instead of enjoying peace and serenity like she hoped. But saving a young child from a certain brutal death in the last moments of her life has earned her a chance at salvation.

Elliott the Redeemer wants no part in saving another soul…

After one too many failures at redeeming lost souls, the nail-biting, self-pitying Elliott has had enough of his work and would prefer to live out his eternity on Earth drowning in bourbon. It doesn’t matter that Amalya has grown black feathered wings signifying the good that still dwells within her. He can’t risk failure again.

Amalya must save someone from her past in order to escape Abaddon’s rule…

She has to prevent the now grown child she saved from committing murder or risk returning to Netherworld with Abaddon for good. She can’t do it alone, though. Amalya needs the help of the angel sent to guide her, but their emerging love might not be enough to convince Elliott she’s worth the risk.

Amalya loves her black wings. She knows she’s meant to be an angel—and she will stop at nothing to prove it…

Her Black Wings Excerpt:

“You can touch them if you want.”
Placing a hand on the cushion at her hip, he leaned down. He ran a palm along one of the top arches of her wings. She closed her eyes and moaned, carried away by the new sensation. His touch felt erotic. What was the deal with that? He seemed to enjoy it as much as she did. Then he stopped, got off the couch, and went to gaze out the sliding glass door.
The angel stared outside. When he didn’t move for five minutes, Amalya became curious to see what he was looking at so intently through the glass. She pulled herself to a sitting position. Straightening out her legs, she placed her bare feet on the putrid yellow carpet. When she took a step toward him, she almost tripped over one of the shoes Aba had given her. She looked around for the other pump. It was missing. Damn; she’d liked them too.
She stood beside him about to take her first glimpse of Earth in ten years. The fact that it had only been a couple of days for them didn’t matter; she was nervous. All she could see was an overcast sky, reminding her of the last moments of her life. She had to step closer to the glass to get a better view. The balcony beyond the door-wall was enclosed with a black wrought iron railing. They were up high, maybe on the top floor of a ten or so story building. She expected to see snow on the ground. Instead, grass covered the courtyard below. What had happened to winter?

Buy Link:




Sunday, September 18, 2016

#WeWriWa #8Sunday ~ Mission to New Earth


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday time, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Writers share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

My snippet is from my new sci-fi romance novella MISSION TO NEW EARTH. Marsh is upset about something, and Sara doesn't have a clue what's wrong. She finally finds out.



“We screwed up again--in RT, it could kill us,” Marsh announced as soon as the five of us joined him, his voice echoing off the hard surfaces of the lav.
“You and your damn RT,” Tom spat out. “Why can’t you just say real time like a normal person?”
Marsh was right to pick the only place that wasn’t monitored. We absolutely didn’t want the directors to think we weren’t a well-functioning team. They could pull us and put in the Shadow Team--our replacements.
“Okay, guys, what did I miss?” With a forced grin, I raised my right hand. “I swear I wasn’t dreaming about a day at the beach during the sim.”


The Story:

Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four. Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

I'm running a Giveaway through the month of September for a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Click on Rafflecopter to enter. 

Be sure to check out the other snippets from the great list of authors here.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

#CoverReveal Timeless by Crystal Collier

TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal



Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016



TIME IS THE ENEMY

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.


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