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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Sampler - MARTINI CLUB 4 - The 1920s

I’d like to present Alicia Dean and friends, sharing a fun new series.
 Before we dive into their stories, the four ladies want to share a fun fact. Take it away, ladies.

Amanda McCabe: Weirdly, since I love history, I am not much into my own genealogy, but a cousin is, and found out we are somehow related to Catherine the Great of Russia.  I found that fascinating (since I love 18th century history).  Who are some of your famous relatives??

Alicia Dean: I am a huge, lifelong Elvis Presley fan, and I blog about him every Friday. Who is your celebrity crush?

Kathy L Wheeler: I am a show hog. And a karaoke freak!

Krysta Scott: I watch too much tv. At least that’s what my friends tell me. But there’s just so much that captures my attention. Some of my personal favorites include Vampire Diaries, Sherlock, Haven, and The Lottery (which got cancelled. Sigh!)

Now here's Alicia to tell you how this series came about.
Martini Club 4 – The 1920s
A few years ago, myself and three of my writer friends—Amanda McCabe, Kathy L Wheeler, and Krysta Scott—began meeting each Friday evening (unless something extremely important kept one of us away, and trust me, it had to be IMPORTANT) for Martinis and various other libations, at the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma. In time, we came to dub our gathering the ‘Martini Club.’ We unwind, vent, chat about writing, laugh, and strengthen an already strong bond of friendship. It’s not only fun, it’s beneficial. As all writers know, no other friend besides a writer friend truly understands us. (We also have an honorary MC member, Cindy Sorenson. Although she is a writer, she declined to write one of the stories, but she has been invaluable as far as brainstorming and beta reading. So, what else could we do…we named a character after her in the series!)

During one of these gatherings, one of us, and I can’t remember who, made an offhand remark about writing stories centered around the Martini Club. The idea blossomed from there, and the ‘Martini Club 4’ series was born. We thought it would be fun to set our first MC4 stories in the 1920’s, but we intend to write more in other decades in the future. During the planning, plotting, and writing, we have had a few weekend retreats that were loads of fun, and some were even productive. J What a joy to do something that I love so much—writing—with a group of ladies that I love so much!

 Left to Right: Krysta Scott, Amanda McCabe, Kathy L Wheeler, Alicia Dean

Without further ado, I’d like to present the four novellas in our Martini Club – The 1920’s series.

 *** Release date is February 26, 2015 and the price at that time will be $2.99 each. If you pre-order, they are only 99 cents each! ***
Please check out and ‘like’ our Facebook page:
The entire series can be found at this link on Amazon:

Rebellious: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Amanda McCabe

Blurb: Can an aristocratic lady melt the cold heart of a Russian gangster? 

Lady Jessica Hatton fled her high-society London debutante life for one of investigative journalism in New York—only to be relegated to the fashion pages. Searching for a juicy story leads her to Club 501, the city's most glamorous speakeasy—and its handsome, mysterious owner, Frank Markov. But his past of war and revolution puts their hearts—and their lives—in danger... 


She dashed away, not stopping until she was on a bus headed for her flat, away from the rarefied world of the Astors, and from the attractive enigma of Frank Markov.  The taste of his kiss lingered on her lips, and her nerves hummed with the excitement and danger of it all.  She had never been kissed at all before, not really! Fumblings in the shrubbery at Hatton Hall could never compare to the dark desires Frank awakened in her.  Was she ready for that yet?
She drifted as if in a dream up the stairs to the flat, and as soon as she opened the door, her orchid-like fantasy bubble popped at the sound of raw, terrified sobbing.
Jessica dropped her hat and bag on the floor and ran into the sitting room, panicked at what she might find.  Charli sat on their threadbare old sofa, her knees drawn up as she cried.  Her spectacles were discarded, and her face was streaked with tears.  She still wore her black silk gown and apron from work, and smelled of sweet scones.  Whenever she started baking a lot, it was a sure sign something was amiss.
“Charli, darling, whatever has happened?” Jessica cried.  She took her friend into her arms, and Charli sobbed against her shoulder.  The whole fantasy scene in Mrs. Astor's summerhouse seemed so very far away.

Amazon buy link: http://amzn.com/B00RICWBC8 

Ruined: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Alicia Dean

Blurb: She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans... 

After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped. 

Former boxer, Vince “The Fist” Taggart dreams of marrying, having a family, and living a quiet, peaceful life. But when a girl he's known since childhood disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza is the key to finding his missing friend. 


Eliza scanned the crowd. Jess was supposed to come in, but so far, Eliza hadn’t seen her. She was feeling slightly abandoned. At least Oscar wasn’t present. Now that he was her employer, she could barely relax when he was at Club 501. She always felt she was on the clock.
Her gaze bounced over a man, then zeroed back. The bloke was looking directly at her. She caught her breath. He was leaning on the bar a few stools down, talking to Charli. He had this…magnetism, some kind of forceful presence that made it impossible to look away.
He was broad, muscular and dressed like a dock worker with brown suspenders over a yellow shirt and a newsboy cap over his dark blond hair, but what caught her attention right off was his smile. His white teeth flashed, and a dimple creased the right side of his face.
Charli moved away, and the man looked up and caught Eliza staring at him. His grin widened. His eyes were so blue—so electrifying, that Eliza could feel their allure even in the dimly lit, smoke bar.

Amazon buy link: http://amzn.com/B00RICLM2I

Reckless: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Kathy L Wheeler

Blurb: Lady Margaret turned Lady Bootlegger… 

Singer Margaret (Meggie) Montley needs money…fast. Her friend is in a dire situation with nowhere to turn. While Meggie is on the brink of stardom, it’s not soon enough to save her friend. 

Harry Dempsey is out to avenge the deaths of his father and brother at the hands of a ruthless gangster. But trouble spirals out of control when Meggie Montley shows up the night he meets his nemesis to settle the score. Saving the impetuous woman from a crime lord might be easier than saving her from her own reckless behavior. 

Excerpt:  Lady Margaret Montley’s fingers went slack against Harry’s and he glanced over. Her forehead rested against the window pane, her chest rose and fell in a slow rhythm. He marveled at her ability to live in the moment. God, how he wished he shared such a gift, because sleep was a gift. One he’d embrace in his life.
Marvin must have realized the same. “Sid is an attractive fellow,” he piped up. “All those soft curls and full lips are enough to turn a man.”
“That’s enough, Marvin.” Harry’s voice had lowered to a growl that bellowed deep.
“You seem awful possessive of this Sid.” He chuckled. “Out cold, is she?”
Harry shook his head, refusing to answer. Harry couldn’t deny it. Meggie was his—for the moment, anyway.

Amazon buy link: http://amzn.com/B00RICW0G0

Contact info: kathy@klwheeler.com

Runaway: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Krysta Scott

Blurb: Can she prove her innocence before more than her dreams are destroyed? 

After escaping an arranged marriage, Lady Charlotte Leighton lands on a new shore, determined to realize her dream of opening her own bakery. But her plans are shattered when her former fiancé follows her to New York. Now, she finds herself in a fight for her freedom. 

Haunted by a string of failures, Detective Felix Noble is determined to solve his latest case. But his efforts to find a murderer are jeopardized by a forbidden attraction to his number one suspect. While he’s certain Charlotte Leighton is keeping secrets, instinct tells him she’s not the murderess he first believed. 

Excerpt: Detective Felix Noble slipped passed the two field officers blocking the entrance into a narrow alleyway. Even though it was four in the afternoon, the sun’s golden rays did nothing to illuminate the corridor. A strong gust of wind as cold as the dead body dumped at the end of the alley pressed against Felix’s back, urging him toward an investigation with flimsy evidence. No wonder they sent him. Another crime. Most likely another dead end. It was too much to hope he’d have enough evidence to solve this one. After the last two unsolved cases, the department was losing faith in him.
He picked his way through crumpled newsprint, discarded boxes, and a foul, unidentifiable ooze. The sour smell of yesterday’s garbage accompanied each breath. He jerked a handkerchief from his pocket, covered his nose, and managed to inhale as little as possible. He strolled to the far end where Redburn jotted notes on a small pad next to the lifeless form.

Amazon buy link: http://amzn.com/B00RIFHGPC

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Introducing LADY OF THE KNIGHT by M.J. Schiller

Okay, folks, you're in for a treat today. M.J. Schiller presents her latest release, LADY OF THE KNIGHT. This is the second book in her Romantic Knights Trilogy. Although it doesn't release until January 27th, right now it's up for pre-order for only 99 cents! What a bargain.  And what a fabulous cover!

Upon release the price will increase to $2.99, so take advantage of this limited time offer. If you love romance and the adventures inherent in space travel, this is the series for you. 

Book One, LEAP INTO THE KNIGHT, is also on sale for 99 cents!


Would she betray the man she loves in order to save his life?

Blurb ~

Sir Darius Lee is a Knight of the High Order.
But when Darius discovers a stranger in his room in the middle of the night, and the intruder turns out to be a beautiful woman, he begins to question how he is meant to live his life.

Princess Megan of Bethyea is being held captive.
But when two knights help her to escape and bring her back to her home planet, she finds the home she knew no longer exists.

When The Council of Twelve questions Darius about his relationship with Maggie, she tries to flee from The Academy of the High Order to prevent him from losing his knighthood.
Will Darius and Orion find Maggie before she leaves Albion? And if they do, how can they face the decision of The Council? And what about the feelings Orion has developed for the princess?

Excerpt ~
He entered a hallway lined with doors on either side. About halfway up a patch of light on the polished wood stretched from one of the doorways and then became slimmer and slimmer, disappearing as the door slid shut. He picked up his pace, but footsteps approached from a side hallway. Ducking into a doorway, he flattened himself against the cold metal, his heart racing. The footsteps echoed loudly on the flooring, but soon became more distant. Daring to stick his head out, he got a glimpse of the back of someone turning onto another corridor. He estimated the spot where he thought the light shone on the floor, then strode to the door, took a deep breath, and punched the keypad.
He was horrorstruck when the door opened. Maggie knelt at the foot of a brass bed facing it with her arms spread wide, electro-cuffed to the bedposts. The ape called Mic brought a whip crashing down on her back. Orion jumped at the sharp crack, wincing. He rushed forward and grabbed the slaver’s arm as he pulled it back for another blow. He ripped the whip from the meaty fist and threw it across the room where it knocked over a lamp. Mic whirled in a rage but was laid low by a single punch to his jaw. He staggered backward into the bed and slid slowly, almost comically, to the floor.
He hurried to her side, kneeling and laying his hands on her bare arms. “I’m so sorry.” He peered over her shoulder to see her exposed lower back and the welt already rising there.
“I’m okay.” She leaned to peer around the side of the bed at Mic’s prone figure. “Wow. I guess it is true. The bigger they are, the harder they do fall.” The corners of her lips turned up, but her eyes watered.
He smiled back, relieved she was safe. For the moment anyhow. He ran his hands along her arms to the electro-cuffs and deactivated them. They fell from her wrists, and she grabbed the bars of the bed to help her to her feet. She sucked in her breath through her teeth, then halted, appearing to gather herself for a few seconds. “I’ve got an idea about how I can get into the slave quarters.”

Links ~

For MJ

Pre-order on Amazon:  http://amzn.com/B00S0GEZNO

Bio ~

MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh! Can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has a twenty-year-old (how did that happen?) and eighteen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Post-Holiday Blues

The tree and decorations are put away for another year. The house looks bare, a lot like the world outside. No leaves on the trees, the shrubs dormant, the snow has melted enough to reveal the brown grass and dirt from the construction next door, the sky is Michigan-in-January gray. I really don’t like this time of year.

In November when the gray skies start, we have holidays to look forward to. In January, what? I guess we can look forward to spring. Spring that won’t be here for another three months. Or longer.

What do we do as we wait for spring to arrive? Hide out in our caves. If it were up to me, I would stay indoors . . . and watch movies. Hah. Bet you thought I was going to say write. That, too. I am working on the third book in the Outer Rim series. But I love my movies and television series. Thanks to accidentally getting Amazon Prime (I forgot to discontinue after the free month), we’ve been able to get old television series. Lately, I’ve been OD’ing on Stargate SG-1. (I didn’t know when I started that there were ten seasons. Holy cow!) I’ve had to “bribe” myself into writing in the morning. The reward is watching TV in the afternoon . . . after Hubs drags me to the fitness club.

Oh, yes. We go out in the snow. We grew up driving in this stuff. Not during blizzards, of course. A great benefit to being retired from regular jobs. We don’t have to join the idiots who forget they need to reduce speed in bad weather. But snow-covered roads don’t stop us. Our little cul-de-sac and parking lots present the biggest challenge. Baby steps, I tell myself as I walk from the car to a store or restaurant. I sure don’t need to fall and break my arm or wrist. How would I write? One handed? Yikes. Better to stay in my cave. If only Hubs didn’t get cabin fever.

Just saw this wonderful picture from George Takei. Perfect.
What do you do in the winter? Hibernate or brave the weather and go about your regular routine?