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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Guest: DIANA RUBINO presents DARK BREW

Diana Rubino is back with a fascinating time travel.


DARK BREW
A time travel romance
Learn from the past or forever be doomed to repeat it.


Accused of her husband’s murder, druid Kylah McKinley travels back through time to her past life in 1324 Ireland and brings the true killer to justice.
Two months of hell change Kylah’s life forever. On her many past life regressions, she returns to 14th century Ireland as Alice Kyteler, a druid moneylender falsely accused of murdering her husband. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another—she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate—they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or forever be doomed to repeat it.  
An interview with Diana about Dark Brew 
Where did the story come from? 
The story took 12 years from start to finish. I’m a longtime member of the Richard III Society, and in the spring of 2004, I read an article in The Ricardian Register by Pamela Butler, about Alice Kyteler, who lived in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1324, and faced witchcraft charges. After her trial and acquittal, she vanished from the annals of history. I couldn't resist writing a book about her. 
How did you decide to make it a paranormal? 
I’m a believer in reincarnation, and I go on paranormal investigations whenever I can. I’ve gone on several past life regressions. Cape Cod has a lot of history and paranormal activity. I’ve been on many ghost walks and ghost hunts there. I wanted to connect Alice in the past with someone in the present, her reincarnation. 
Was Alice Kyteler famous in 14th century Ireland? 
Not at all but she was the richest woman in Kilkenny, and for that reason the villagers hated her, especially the men. They accused her of killing her first husband, but she was acquitted. Then they accused her of killing her fourth husband, John LePoer, with witchcraft, the accusations more absurd than those of the 1692 witch hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts. Chancellor Edward de Burgh arrested Alice because her stepsons claimed she had murdered John by casting a witch’s spell with malefecia…and she used the enchanted skull of a beheaded thief as her cauldron. 
She went to trial and her dear friend Michael Artson had her acquitted, but she vanished into the annals of history. According to legend, she went to England. But no one knows for sure. 
Why did you make it a time travel? 
Because my heroine, Kylah McKinley, is a druid and has done many past life regressions, she knows she’s the reincarnation of Alice. So she has to go back and find out what happened to Alice, because too many weird things are happening to her in this life that parallel Alice’s life. 
Kylah lives on my beloved Cape Cod. She’s a druid, a ghost hunter and owns a new age store in a restored Revolutionary War-era tavern. She was also the target of a hit-and-run. Another hit-and-run crippled her husband Ted. That’s no coincidence—she’s convinced someone’s out to get them both. 
She brews an ancient Druid herb mixture, goes back in time and enters Alice’s life to find out exactly what happened and who killed her husband. 
These two months of hell change her life forever. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another—she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate—they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or she’s doomed to repeat it.  
Have you ever spoken to Pamela Butler, who wrote the article about Alice? 
Yes, we’ve corresponded. She lives in New Mexico, so we’ve never met in person. I asked Pam what inspired her to write about Alice. I’d never heard of Alice until I read her article, “Witchcraft & Heresy. She replied: 
“You asked why I wrote about Alice Kyteler, who preceded Richard by a century-and-a-half. I only wrote it because others on the listserv encouraged me to write about witchcraft, a subject about which I knew very little. I ordered three books from Amazon.com on the subjects of witchcraft, heresy, Satanism, etc. for research reasons. That was my basis, plus I searched the Internet. The Malleus Malleficarum was published in 1487, just two years after Richard's death, so it's almost contemporary. I chanced across Alice in this reading and thought that it was an interesting case. Witch burning was fairly rare in Ireland, and wasn't as bad in England at that time as it had been on the Continent. I wish that the M.M. had never been published; still, the fact that it was published and accepted may reveal the mindset of those times.” 
An excerpt from Dark Brew 
Kylah shut Ted’s den door. She couldn’t bear to look at the spot where he gasped his last breath. His presence, an imposing force, lingered. So did his scent, a blend of tobacco, pine aftershave and manly sweat. Each reminder ripped into her heart like a knife. Especially now with the funeral looming ahead, the eulogies, the mournful organ hymns, the tolling bells . . .
These ceremonies should bring closure, but they’d only prolong the agony of her grief. She wanted to remember him alive for a while longer, wishing she could delay these morbid customs until the hurt subsided.
Throughout the house, his essence echoed his personality: the wine stain on the carpet, the heap of dirty shirts, shorts and socks piled up in the laundry room, the spattered stove, his fingerprints on the microwave. But she couldn’t bring herself to clean any of it up. Painful as these remnants were, they offered a strange comfort. He still lived here.
“I’ll find that murderer, Teddy,” she promised him over and over, wandering from room to empty room, traces of him lurking in every corner. “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure justice is served. Another past life regression isn’t enough anymore. I know what I have to do now. And I promise, it will never, ever happen again—in any future life.”
She inhaled deeply and breathed him in. “Go take a shower, Teddy.” She chuckled through her tears as the doorbell rang. She cringed, breaking out in cold sweat when she saw the black sedan at the curb.
“Not again.” No sense in hiding, so she let the detectives in.
“Mrs. McKinley, we need your permission to do a search and take some of your husband’s possessions from the house,” Nolan said.
“What for?” She met his steely stare. “I looked everywhere and found nothing.”
“Mrs. McKinley, the cupboard door was open, four jars of herbs are missing, and the autopsy showed he died of herb poisoning. Those herbs,” Nolan added for emphasis, as if it had slipped her feeble mind. “Foxglove, mandrake, hemlock—and an as-yet unidentified one,” he read from a notebook. “The M.E. determined it was a lethal dose.”
Sherlock Holmes got nothin’ on him, she thought. 
“Where’s this cupboard, ma’am?” Egan spoke up.
“Right there.” She pointed, its door gaping exactly the way she’d found it that night. Nolan went over to it and peered inside.

“Ma’am, it would be better if you left the house for a half hour or so. Please leave a number where you can be reached,” Egan ordered.

Nolan glanced down the hall. “Where is your bedroom?”

What could they want in the bedroom? “It’s at the top of the stairs on the right. But we didn’t sleep together,” she offered, as if that would faze them. It didn’t.

After giving him her cell number, she got into her car and drove to the beach.

An hour later, she let herself back in and looked around. They’d taken the computer, her case of CDs, her thumb drive, her remaining herb jars, Ted’s notebooks, and left her alone with one horrible fact: This was now a homicide case and she was the prime suspect. 



Purchase Dark Brew


Contact Diana






#RomanticIdea:

Cook an authentic Italian meal, cheese ravioli with marinara sauce, garlic bread, a salad with Italian olive oil, a fine Italian red wine, and a sweet gelato for dessert. Then put on some Sinatra CDs and dance the night away!

My favorite Sinatra album is Come Dance With Me

We always had Sinatra playing in my house when I was growing up. Nearly everyone from Hoboken or anywhere near Hoboken has a Sinatra story; being from Jersey City, I have a Sinatra story: my great grandmother and his mother Dolly were very good friends. Unfortunately I never asked Great Grandma about what she and Dolly talked about but I’ll bet a lot of juicy gossip went around!


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Guest: NANCY GIDEON ~ Rise By Moonlight Book Tour #giveaway #review

It's always a great day when my friend (and mentor) Nancy Gideon releases a new book. I'm excited to have Nancy here and to participate in her book tour for Rise By Moonlight. My review is near the end. Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway.


RISE BY MOONLIGHT
Nancy Gideon
Published: August 3, 2020
Length: 273 Pages
Genres: Paranormal | Romance | Werewolves | Dark Shifter
Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card

Max and Charlotte return for the explosive conclusion of the “By Moonlight” series . . . and the stakes have never been higher!

He’s the Promised One
A Mobster’s attack dog turned legitimate business powerhouse, Max Savoie is the reluctant leader of New Orleans’ shapeshifter clan. They’ve kept to anonymous shadows, working and living unnoticed by the human world until their new Shifter King’s past draws dangerous outsiders who threaten all.

She’s the Protector
A fiercely determined NOPD detective, Charlotte Caissie has sworn to defend her beloved city and her unborn child from both criminals and otherworldly factions at war. While standing boldly at the side of her mate/husband, secrets from the past return to shake the foundation of her beliefs.

They have a Problem
Walking a marital tight rope between opposite worlds, Max and Cee Cee’s paths place truth and trust at odds when outside threats force enemies to become allies. The time to take a stand for their family and their future is at hand. Time to rise together for the survival of all they love!

“Every delicious word on the page exhilarates with a sensuous ferocity. Hopelessly addicted.” – NYT bestselling author, Darynda Jones

Nancy Gideon Speaks

Thanks for jumping aboard my RISE BY MOONLIGHT Blog Tour, Diane!
As you and I both know, one of the best things about helming your own writing ship is being able to steer into any genre port you wish. Paranormal, contemporary, suspense . . . wherever the muse leads us. We’ve both navigated through gales and smooth sailing over the years but the ability to chart our own course makes those occasional choppy waters worthwhile. Meeting exciting new characters, learning about unexpected worlds with their own special customs and beliefs has kept the sense of wonder and excitement at the forefront of our paths.

I never expected a course I chose ten years ago to begin an adventure that would sustain my imagination through fifteen books in my “By Moonlight” world! But it did and it has in many wonderful ways. I’ve been able to mix and mingle with a cast of intriguing and somewhat dangerous characters. I’ve been at their sides for heartbreaking and sexy times.  I discovered loyalty and passion and manic revenge that got me up at 4:30 a.m. to capture those emotions while fresh in heart and mind. I’ve met a wonderful host of readers and writers and bloggers who’ve assisted in my travels, giving encouragement and lodging, even if just for the day.  I’ve been able to dig deeper than I thought possible, stretch farther than some thought wise, have had regrets and triumphs, and wouldn’t have missed a moment of it.

But all journey’s end, as Max and Charlotte’s must. But it’s been a helluva ride thanks to friends and supporters like you.

Now, on to that next adventure . . . after lingering just a bit longer in the embrace of my paranormal NOLA family.

About Nancy Gideon






Nancy Gideon is the award-winning, bestselling author of 68 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix. She’s also published under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings. She recently retired after 20 years as a legal assistant and, when not at the keyboard, feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl. For more information on the author, her books, or the “House of Terriot” and “By Moonlight” series, visit Nancy on the web.





Diane's REVIEW
5 Stars

When I read that Rise by Moonlight was available, I was so invested in the previous books I had to one-click it. OMG, this book kept me on the edge of my seat (or bed, since that's where I read) as I explored the end of a 15-book journey. Caveat: you don't have to read the previous books to enjoy this one, but your experience will be greatly enhanced if you have.

Even in all those previous books, the reader doesn't know everything about Max and Charlotte. Each revealed secret made me gasp. Little did I know as I read on that I would be gasping a lot. Their friends (and fellow shifters) the Terriots play a large part in this story. Their trials require Max and Charlotte's assistance, the same way Max and Charlotte need the Terriots'. With a cast of not-quite thousands, you might think you would get mixed up, esp. if you haven't read the other books. Not so. Ms. Gideon gives the reader just enough info about each character. The world building is fantastic--the shifter clans plus the flavor of New Orleans. If you like paranormal romance, you have to read Rise by Moonlight.




a Rafflecopter giveaway




Wednesday, August 5, 2020

#IWSG: Who Chooses the Genre?


Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

The awesome co-hosts for the August 5 posting of the IWSG are Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!


Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

The form was always a full-length novel. I choose the genre in advance. I started writing in the 1990s. Since romance was so popular then, and I like reading romance, that's what I wrote. Somehow, a mystery always inserted itself into the story. So, my stories became more romantic suspense. After too many rejections to number, I took a break and wrote a science fiction romance for fun. A crazy premise--being kidnapped by aliens by mistake--and I just had fun with it. About that time (early 2000) a friend of a friend started a niche publishing house for fantasy, paranormal, and futuristic romances. She loved my story and bought it. Switched became my first published novel. I've written 6 novels, 1 novella, and am working on my 7th science fiction romance novel.

I also love cozy mysteries. So, I decided to write a cozy mystery series, featuring a female PI. Currently I'm working on the 4th book and my 2nd novella in that series. Remember the romantic suspense? I've published 2 full-length novels in that genre.

In my posts, I often mention my grandchildren, ages 13, 10, 5, and twins 2.5. The older two know about my writing, but since my stories are on the spicy side they aren't reading them yet. So I decided to write an action adventure story for them . . . and any other kid who likes to read space adventures.

As you can see, I choose what I want to write. Should I have stayed in one genre? Maybe. But why? If I don't write what I want, what's the point? I write to make money, but it doesn't pay the bills or exceed my social security. LOL So, if I'm not making a lot of money, I'd better have fun with this crazy career. 

And I do.


Here in Michigan, we're back under a stay-at-home order. With covid on the rise throughout the country, I hope you all are staying safe. Have a great month.

Less than one month left to enter the IWSG Anthology Contest


Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 4500-6000

Genre: Science Fiction

Theme: Dark Matter

Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group. 

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.