Tag Archives: historical romance

Spotlight on Dracula’s Author

CARMEN STEFANESCU IS IN THE HOUSE!

You can snag her latest books for only .99!

Hello, everyone, Carmen Stefanescu here! I’d like to take a moment to thank  Flossie for her support in helping me to promote my newest release –  a paranormal/ light historical/ light romance /light horror – Dracula’s Prodigy, sequel to Dracula’s Mistress.

  1. Welcome to Conjuring the Magic, Carmen! Would you tell us more about your genre and what inspired you to write in it?

Though I read almost all genres in fiction, the one I prefer to write is paranormal.  I’ve always been interested in all the things that go bump in the night – ghosts especially.

A topic that fascinates me is reincarnation, karmic retribution. Perhaps I will myself to believe that there’s something more after  we leave the Earth world.  The hope  and belief that life here is just a step in the ladder of spirituality is the one that makes me write stories like Shadows of the Past and Till Life Do Us Part.

  1. Those same mysterious topics fascinate me as well. Tell us a little about your writing process or habits. What drink do you tend to have by you?

I must admit that I am not so disciplined as many of you are, or as disciplined as I should be. Life gets in the way, or so is the excuse. I write when the  “muse” urges me. There are moments when a sentence, a line in a song, a paragraph in a newspaper triggers the inspiration; when I feel deep in my bones that this is a story worth telling. Coffee is my permanent companion whenever I write. And not only then. Black, no sugar or sweetener, hot.

  1. I’m delighted to find another black coffee fanatic! Carmen, what do you love most about your latest books?

I am glad I managed to tell Vlad’s story, to show what were the social, political, historical circumstances of those times and why he came to be known for eternity as the most evil creature in history – Dracula. As a native of his country my perspective is different. The story is woven with characteristic traditions and customs in Romania, former Walachia.

  1. I’m certainly thrilled you tackled the historical facts and climate around Vlad, known as Dracula. You were born to write that story! I loved Dracula’s Mistress and can’t wait to get into Dracula’s Prodigy. What was hardest for you in writing these?

Dracula’s story was assigned an editor when it was accepted by the publisher – Wild Child Publishing at that time, (they closed doors before the release of the book). She advised me to reduce the number of POVs in the story, though I read a couple of books with multiple POVs. Reluctantly, I took her advice and rewrote 5 POVs! I was sorry to see those characters go, but, in the end, I think she was right.

  1. That was certainly a lot of work, and the end result was worth it. What is the one thing you do every day that most ensures your writing success?

I don’t think I have a one such “wonder”performing activity, sorry  to disappoint you. There are moments when I feel guilty I haven’t written a line that day. Then, I think that writing must be something that gives me pleasure and thus allows me the luxury of not blaming myself.

  1. We’ll move on to tickling our taste buds then. Chips, cake, pie, or cookies?

Chips and cheese pie – Romanian recipe!

  1. Carmen, you have shared pictures of your Romanian cheese pie, and look how delicious. It makes my mouth water. I hope to try it one day. Since you are one who loves history as much as I do, what historical period or person would you most like to visit and why?

I  would like to meet Shakespeare face to face, though I wonder if he’d understand my present-day English.

Or, visit ancient Britain when the Celts lived and meet the Druids and learn from their wisdom.

  1. Great choices! What stories do you have planned for the future?

I am writing  a story intended, like Dracula’s Mistress and Dracula’s Prodigy, as a two parts book. It is the story of a haunted house in Braila, my native town. I finished the first volume already. The parnaormal element – ghosts – and mystery are present, of course.The timeline is not the Middle Ages, but the action takes places during the World War I.

I also am polishing several stories, with a twist, that I wrote along the same time.

World War I–how interesting, Carmen. We’re both tackling new time periods (for us). One I’m working on is set during the Korean War. I loved chatting with you, and thank you so much for taking the time to fill us in. Now let’s take a look at that newest book, Dracula’s Prodigy.

Dracula’s Prodigy    Only .99!
Publisher – City Lights Press
Release date – 27th April 2017

Blurb
Running from the hands of an abusing husband, on the verge of committing suicide, a series of strange events/apparitions make Linda reassess her life. She embarks on a thorough research regarding her unusual ancestor- Vlad, the Impaler, aka Dracula.
Can Linda discover the truth regarding Vlad among the countless malicious stories, exaggerated legends and whispered slander dating back to 15th century? Is he a hero, a brave protector of his hard tried people and country? Or a cruel monster feeding on the blood of those impaled at his order?
And is good-looking Jody really helping Linda regain her trust in men and love, or is he another evil envoy of a past that haunts her and threatens her life?
Dracula’s Prodigy is the sequel to Dracula’s Mistress, and will awe legions of fans of Gothic literature, paranormal and historical fiction.

Thanks, Carmen! I have it on my Kindle ready to read. Readers, snag your copy of Dracula’s Prodigy, and if you haven’t read Dracula’s Mistress, believe me–you’re missing out! Each book is currently a steal for only 99 cents!

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Author on Board: Jennifer Taylor

Excitement is in the air! Fellow Sunshine State Romance Author Jennifer Taylor is visiting today to showcase her second historical romance, Heartbeat of the Moon. Her writing style is lyrical and her characters off the beaten path and compelling. Trust me– you will love her stories. 
JenTaylorHeartbeatoftheMoon1

Heartbeat of the Moon, Book Two of the Rhythm of the Moon Series

Blurb: Superstition sails into King’s Harbour with tales of winged monsters rising from the dead. Midwife Maggie and husband Ian fight for reason and logic when a friend’s nephew disappears from the grave, and the friend’s behavior becomes more animal than man.

As forces and bizarre events around the two lovers threaten their happiness, Maggie faces challenges from her expectant mothers and struggles to understand Ian’s troubling behavior. Ian endeavors to cure his mind’s affliction but fears the slide into insanity may be fatal.

Buy Heartbeat of the Moon:
The Wild Rose Press   
Amazon   
Barnes and Noble   

Excerpt:
Ian glanced her way, finally. “Do you think Josef has lost his wits?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “For we have seen stranger things than this, things I never thought were possible. And it’s as if…”

“What?”

She shook her head. “It is fanciful and silly.”

“Maggie, I have told you before.” He came to her and took her hands. “Nothing you ever say to me will be taken lightly, for every word you utter is like holy writ to me.”

She moved into his embrace, her hands on his bristled cheeks. He was very warm. “The spirit of the holy nun lives in me still.” He nodded. “Something happened today.”

Josef moaned in his sleep. “Let me in. The beast is out there, in the woods, and he comes for us. Where are your weapons? Where is Ana? Has she not arrived? The
beast is coming; do you hear it? No, the floor is sticky with her blood, I slipped in it, I could not help it,” Josef screamed.

“But I just saw her yesterday,” he continued in a voice not his own. “She sold chestnuts in the market. How can this be her, neck laid open? She will not stop
bleeding. Her eyes opened, she snarls.”

And his own voice returned. “No, stop screaming, sister. We must bury her, bury her deep.”

Fear rippled down Maggie’s back.

JenniferTaylorMercyOfTheMoon_w8691_750Mercy of the Moon, Book One of the Rhythm of the Moon Series

Excerpt:

The door swung open, and Mr. Pierce, the singer from the kirkyard, thrust himself into the room. He carried a body in his arms, covered in a cloak. Blue-tinged, slender feet dangled from the tattered, mud-soaked hem.

Samuel stared in slack-jawed shock and backed away. “Why have you brought this body here?”

To Maggie’s astonishment, the body began convulsing in great spasms, and the singer struggled to hold it. The cloak fell off, revealing a shroud-wrapped body, only the face exposed. The eyes, ice blue, stared wide and unblinking and blank with terror.

Sarah’s eyes. Her lips blue, dirt-encrusted eyelashes, cleft chin.

“It cannot be,” Maggie whispered, and shrank back. Coldness enveloped her, as if she had slipped into a frozen lake, cold water surrounding her, and could hear only muffled voices, echoing urgent and sharp. She saw only shapes above the icy water.

“Miss Maggie.” 

A voice, masculine and hoarse, broke through the ice, and she stared into the singer’s eyes. They steadied and warmed, pulled her out of her daze.

“We must move her by the fire and rid her of this shroud,” Ian urged.

She took a deep, shaky breath. Yes. It was Sarah, yet the eyes stared unseeing in a blue-mottled face covered in dirt.

Samuel’s voice escalated in panic. “She was buried, she was dead. I saw her. How can this be?” He turned his head away.

Maggie grabbed him by the shoulders. “Samuel, you must look at her. Somehow it is our Sarah.”

Buy Mercy of the Moon:
The Wild Rose Press

Amazon 

Barnes and Noble

Jen TaylorBio:
Jennifer Taylor spent her childhood running wild on an Idaho mountainside. Although she’s lived across the U.S., she’s still an Idahoan at heart and a notorious potato pusher. She’s been a roofer, a hoofer, a computer data entry operator, and a stay-at-home mom.

She’s dreamt of writing historical romances since reading Wuthering Heights at the tender age of twelve, and is now living her dream of writing love stories set in 18th Century England. She feverishly lobbies for the return of breeches and would love to see her husband of 36 years in a pair.

Jennifer lives in rural Florida with her husband and goofy Great Dane. She is the author of Mercy of the Moon, Book One of the Rhythm of the Moon Series, and the newly released Book Two, Heartbeat of the Moon, published by the Wild Rose Press.

Jennifer’s Hangouts:

Website     Facebook     Twitter

Goodreads     Newsletter    

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Door

DoorAncient 4-5-2016

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog where diverse authors post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. Today our writing prompt is a picture of a marvelously intriguing door. The snippet is from a new historical romance set in the early Georgian period. Please enjoy it and then visit my talented colleagues at Tuesday Tales.

“What a bag of moonshine!” The massive wooden door pounded closed behind her, as she hurried after him toward the stables.

Deafening silence punctuated the sweltering air.

Her determination to keep up with his long stride stirred up little clouds of dust. “That can’t be the reason you’re breaking your promise to Priscilla. I don’t believe for a moment you think she’s better off here with Lady Worthington.”

“I care not. Believe what you will.”

His wintry manner grated her to the bone. “Wait, will you wait?” She grabbed his sleeve and half-stumbled. Drat these over-sized slippers.

He shook her off as if she were a gnat plaguing his precious Hector.

It was too much. She balled her hands into fists and glared at his receding figure. “How could I have thought you tenderhearted? All right, go to your stables, milord centaur. It’s where you belong, with the other beasts.” She clamped a shaking hand over her mouth.

He stopped dead for a long moment and then pivoted, his legs planted wide.

“I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean–”

“You go too far with that venomous tongue.”

Her hands fell to the sides. “Lord Asbury, I don’t know what came over me. You have every right to decide where Priscilla resides. She’s a mere child and I’m…” She backed up a step.

“Too late for a return to polite conversation, Miss Bouchard. You have made your opinion clear. If I didn’t know better, I would swear my precocious niece is tutoring you, rather than the other way round.”

I hope you enjoyed my writing snippet for the picture prompt of a door. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales. Tuesday Tales

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Swallow

Tuesday TalesWelcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog where diverse authors post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today our writing prompt is swallow. Today’s snippet is from a new historical romance set in the early Georgian period. Enjoy it and then please visit my talented colleagues at Tuesday Tales.

She halted mid-stride. The child appeared as pale as a discarded dove’s wing and about as limp. Immediately, she painted a smile on her face and strode forward. It wouldn’t do for Priscilla to mirror her concern. “Cook sent you a delicious supper.” Setting the tray on the low table, she perched on the edge of the bed and lifted the cover off a tureen. Offering forth a spoonful of broth, she schooled her voice into what she hoped was a soothing and encouraging murmur. “This will fortify you.”

“Put it away. It sickens me.”

“You must take some nourishment, little one.”

The small face pinched up. “I’ve seen how Cook makes that, with the fat of fowl—ugh—it’s vile.”

“Never mind the broth then.” She patted the hand clutching and unclutching the blue coverlet and replaced the spoon on the tray. “Some hot tea or a morsel of comfit…”

The child’s attention swept over the offerings, lingering on one particular concoction before casting downward.

Charlotte’s fingers closed around the dainty, stemmed bowl, and she lifted it, inhaling deeply. “Mmm, this apple pudding smells delicious.” She sniffed again. “I do believe Cook has added an extra pinch of cinnamon. She knows how partial you are.”

The petite nose wrinkled, as uncertainty seemed to joust with interest.

The heaviness in her abdomen lifted. The latter would win out—she’d see to it. “Try a swallow. It will put the roses back on your cheeks.”

With a quivering smile, Priscilla sat up an inch straighter. “It does smell nice.”

I hope you enjoyed my historical romance snippet for the writing prompt swallow. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Mirror

Tuesday TalesWelcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog where diverse authors post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today our word prompt is mirror. Today’s snippet is from a new historical romance. Please visit my talented colleagues at Tuesday Tales.

“Ouch!”

“Please hold still, little one. Madam expects you tout de suite.”

The girl stomped a stockinged foot. “Imbecile, you’re pulling my hair!”

A soft sigh escaped her lips, and her eyes closed for a brief moment at the child’s lapse into rudeness. Holding the golden tangle in one hand, she drew the comb through with determination. “If you would make use of your brush more frequently, we would not have this perpetual problem. And did we not speak of the inappropriate tendencies of name calling just yesterday?”

Priscilla’s demanding shrieks subsided to a petulant whine. “I can’t help it. You’re hurting me. And I don’t want to see the odious cousins anyway. They do nothing but prance about and simper when he is around.”

No need to pretend she didn’t know to whom the child referred. “Perhaps his lordship will not be in attendance today.”

She patted down the wayward curls, and Priscilla swung around with a pout, her lacy sleeves billowing. “Of course he will. He has been here every day this week.”

“I thought you liked his company.”

The lips compressed into a rosebud circlet. “When he takes me riding or down to the lake, but not when the cousins are here on parade with all their idiocy. Then I may as well be invisible. Can’t I remain with you?”

Charlotte hid a smile and slid a small ornate mirror from her pocket. She held it up to reflect the shining locks and freshly scrubbed face. “You know better. Besides, look at this perfection. You would deprive your family of your countenance and company? I shall see you afterward. Now slip on your shoes and be gone with you.”

I hope you enjoyed the historical romance snippet for the word prompt mirror. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Meat Pie by Flossie Benton Rogers

 

“Kinsmen:
He greets them gladly
Scans them eagerly,
A man’s companions.”
The Wanderer, Old English Poem

Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today our prompt is a picture of a meat pie. The snippet is from my historical romance featuring a heroine named Audrissa. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Savory aromas from the hearth filled the air, guiding Audrissa toward the gathering in the hall. Her stomach gurgled, reminding her of the long hours since she broke her morning fast. A longing to be back at Old Tildy’s cozy hut swept over her, despite the feast awaiting ahead. Nothing good could come of being summoned to the lord’s table. She tugged at the borrowed gown, tucking a length of the fine fabric beneath the outlying girdle. Too long for her petite height and too rich a garment for a servant, it had to belong to a member of the lord’s family. Either that or a giantess.

The cacophony grew louder, male voices in raucous camaraderie. The smell of ale competed with the succulent feast offerings. Stiffening her backbone, she swept into the great hall and stood immobile.

The old lord must have been on the lookout. He rose, banging a cup on the table. “Quiet, ye blithering churls.” His large frame stooped more than it had when he rode by on one of his noble steeds last Michaelmas, leading the revelers, and his features were ruddy with the effects of ale. He gestured for her to approach, impatience evident in his mannerism. “Ranulf! Where the devil is that nephew of mine?”

She wrinkled her brow. Ranulf. Where had she heard that name before?

The din quietened. An imposing figure emerged from a shadowed corner. “I’m here, old man.”

“Get to the table, ye chancy rascal. Yer to share a trencher with the lass.” He shouted for the serving girl. “Fetch another rabbit pasty for my ne’er do well nephew and his betrothed.”Tuesday Tales

I hope you enjoyed Audrissa’s visit to the lord’s home and the tasty meat pie. Thanks so much for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

GuardianoftheDeep_MED (1)Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

Author on Board: Flossie Benton Rogers Welcomes Mary Morgan

MARY MORGANDragonKnightsAxe_w9181_750Dear readers, you all know I love historical romances with knights and highlanders and am jazzed by authors who write in that genre. Today it’s my honor and pleasure to welcome the lovely Mary Morgan, whose book Dragon Knight’s Axe is heating up the ethers. Mary doles out a touch of fae magic with her writing too, another attribute that’s down my alley. She was kind enough to take time from a busy schedule to answer a few questions and then tell us about Dragon Knight’s Axe.

1. What is your genre and what inspired you to write it?

Paranormal Time-travel Medieval Scottish Romance. I have a love affair with history, and I’ve often told others that I feel displaced within this century. When I was sitting on a boulder in the Scottish Highlands, the Dragon Knights were born. I was surrounded with the rugged landscape and only sheep. It was perfect. Of course, the Fae entered quietly on that evening to put a little dash of magic into the story.

2. Tell us about your writing schedule. (What drink do you always have by you?)

My day starts at 5am. I’m a morning person, so when my feet hit the ground, I’m moving. After breakfast, I spend a few hours with promoting and answering emails. Then, I’m off for a walk, bike ride, or yoga. I’m usually in my writing cave around 11am and work until 5 or 6pm. Sundays are my rest day, but sometimes you’ll find me on the couch with my current work-in-progress and writing in my journal. Ahh…there are no drinks on my desk. I have this fear of spilling something on my computer, and trust me, it has happened.

3. What was hardest for you in writing your latest book?

Pulling apart my characters. I believe they wrote those scenes more than I did. Each time I wanted to re-unite them, they would shake their heads and walk away. It was brutal! But isn’t that what finding love is all about?

4. Chips, chocolate cake, candy bar, or cheesecake?

Definitely chocolate cake! Now, I’m craving chocolate!

5. What stories do you have planned for the future?

I’m in the middle of edits for the fourth book, Dragon Knight’s Shield, which is Angus MacKay’s story—the oldest. I’ve just started the fifth and final book in the Order of the Dragon Knights (title to be revealed later). Then I’ll have a spin-off from the series with the Fenian Warriors.

I’m envious of Mary’s affinity with the wee early hours of the morning. Let’s find out about Dragon Knight’s Axe now.

MARY MORGANDragonKnightsAxe_w9181_750Blurb:

Battled scarred, Dragon Knight, Alastair MacKay, has fled to the seas to separate himself from his powers that are connected to the land. Yet, when he rescues a woman from a slave trader in Ireland, he steps back inadvertently into a world filled with magic—taking on the role of protector and leading him on a journey to confront his greatest fears.

Research assistant, Fiona O’Quinlan loves translating ancient artifacts at Trinity College. When she falls asleep on an archeological dig, she awakens in another time. She soon discovers a Dragon Knight’s relic has been entrusted into her care. Determined to return the artifact to the Great Glen, Fiona is unprepared for the danger ahead—losing her heart and soul to Alastair “Beast” MacKay.

Will their love be strong enough to soothe the beast and heal the man? Or will Death swing its axe, leaving them lost for all eternity?

Excerpt:

He would get the truth out of her. She was now his. Bought and paid for.

His anger simmered just below the surface, and he allowed his eyes to flash with the fire of the dragon. Hearing her gasp, he smiled. Good, little bird. Fear me. Without giving her time to react, he swept her up and dumped her over his left shoulder, and strode to the ship.

He heard her sharp intake of breath, and then she started to pound against his back. “Put…me down,” she demanded.

“Nae.”

She started to kick, and he clenched his jaw in frustration. The little bird had talons. He responded with a smack to her bottom, but instead of removing his hand, he kept it against her soft curves. “I will put ye down when we are on my ship.”

She went completely still, and then she screamed.

Alastair dumped her onto the ground. “For the love of Brigid, did ye have to yell into my ear?”

Fiona rubbed at her bottom and then stood. “You beast,” she spat out at him. Jumping onto a nearby boulder, she looked directly into his eyes. “Don’t you ever touch me like that again.”

Alastair yanked her to his chest by her arms, his face mere inches from hers. “And what are ye going to do?” He watched as her eyes widened in alarm. Blue eyes that reminded him of the sky on warm summer days. Then his gaze traveled down to her lips, red as berries.

Instantly, his beast roared to life. Claim one kiss, Alastair.

“I will slit your throat,” she whispered.

Releasing his hold, his beast laughed, mocking him. He stared at her for a few moments before turning away. Stalking over to the ship, he climbed up the ladder.

****

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Bio:

I am a constant daydreamer and have been told quite often to remove my head from the clouds. Yet, this is where I find the magic to write my stories. Not only do I love to weave a good tale, but I have a voracious appetite for reading. I worked for Borders Books for almost fourteen years. Imagine my delight to be surrounded by so many books, talking to others about them, and getting paid.

Pure bliss!

I have traveled to England, Scotland, Ireland, and France. There are those who know me well when I say, “My heart is in the Highlands.” I believe I have left it there or maybe in Ireland.

When not writing, I enjoy playing in my garden—another place where magic grows. Of course, there is time spent with my family. They are the ones that keep me grounded.

Thanks for spending time with us, Mary.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Audrissa 2-24-2015 by Flossie Benton Rogers

Thor'shammerblackCROPPEDTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today our prompt is the word arm. The snippet is from a paranormal historical romance. The heroine is named Audrissa. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Sup at his lordship’s table? Audrissa swore she’d just been kicked in the stomach by a mule. She turned a horrified gaze on Old Tildy.

That elder’s gnarled hand clamped over thin lips as if to hold back a spate of swear words.

Rap rap rap! The man-at-arms’ voice boomed into the cottage. “Mistress Tewes, if you please, unbar the door. I am ordered to bring the girl.”

Audrissa raised a fist. “Nay! I will not go!”

The soldier’s voice lowered. “I must follow orders. I will split the wood if needed.”

Old Tildy inhaled a shaky breath. “No call for that, sir. Give us but a moment.” She enclosed Audrissa’s hands in her own. “Child, we have no choice. His lordship will not be naysaid. I thought I would have more time to prepare you.”

“Audrissa blinked. “Y-you knew of this? How?”

“Not of certainty, but I feared so. The signs were there.”

All the color had left the elderly woman’s face, and Audrissa worried she would topple over. She twisted her hands out of Old Tildy’s to press a reassuring pat onto the weathered cheek. “There, there, Ma’am. No need to worry. I shall simply…”

The man-at-arms had apparently lost his patience. “Open now, I say, Mistress Tewes!”

Her lips pressed tight, Old Tildy swung around toward the man’s voice as if he were a swarm of dust she would beat down with a broom.

A pang shot through Audrissa’s chest at the thought of harm coming to the woman who had taken her in. Sucking in a deep breath and setting her shoulders into a firm line, she marched the few steps to the door. With a quick upward push, she lifted the bar. She didn’t open her mouth to spew bilious words as she longed to. Instead, she glared at the well-seasoned soldier who stood before them.

He glanced from her to the elderwoman and then back again. Having two women shooting fire at him with their eyes seemed to abash the grizzled old warrior. He dipped his head a quarter of an inch. “Begging your pardon. My name is De’Carle, Lord Ramby’s man. The lord summons you to sup.”

She squared her jaw. “And if I refuse?”

He hesitated only for a moment. “Then I am to…bring you.”

Old Tildy spoke up. “As her guardian, am I not to accompany her?”

One foot twitched. “Nay.”

The woman’s lips tightened even more. “She shall obey the summons, but she must dress and make ready.”

Like a bull, he shook his massive head. “There is no time for that. When the old lord takes something into his head, it must be done of a moment.”

Audrissa glanced down at her plain everyday tunic with the immutable splotch staining the front. An unfortunate remnant of a prior bone casting. “I am to appear at his lordship’s table clad thusly?”

“Aye.”

Audrissa tilted her head, emitting an incredulous grunt that ended in a trickle of a smile. “Then so shall it be. Far be it from me to naysay his lordship.” She turned to her elder. “Never fear, Ma’am, I shall be home before midnight.”

The old woman’s eyes narrowed, and she cast them at the soldier. “Shall she?”

He met her gaze. “So far as I know, she shall.”

Like a lady sashaying into a ballroom, Audrissa stepped from the cottage and onto the dirt path where the soldier’s horse was fastened to a bush. Odin’s balls would frost over before she’d give in to the panic churning in her belly.

The scent of night blooming jasmine flooded her senses. Her gaze lifted to the stars glittering on the horizon. One huge red one seemed to reach out for her. She couldn’t see any good coming from this summons, but she might as well take it as an adventure. Like one of the heroines in the stories Old Tildy told of a winter’s night.

De’Carle took the reins and mounted his steed. With a sinewy arm, he pulled her up behind him. “Hold atight.”

She put one hand to his side.

At a signal from De’Carle, the horse swiveled and ambled forward.

The unaccustomed movement jolted her backside. Hating to do so, she leaned against the old soldier, lessening some of the impact. Sliding a hand down the side of her garment, she traced the outline of an object gartered to her thigh. A sigh of satisfaction mewled from her lips at its slim shape and familiar heft.

She hadn’t come unarmed.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales. Badge for TT - small

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Tuesday Tales: Audrissa 2-17-2015 by Flossie Benton Rogers

Thor'shammerblackCROPPEDTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today our prompt is the word great. The snippet is from a paranormal historical romance with a heroine named Audrissa. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

From a squat solitary candle, tallowy shadows hovered within the hut. With their pulsing dance, they reminded Audrissa of wild chained beasts aching to be untethered. Dusk at the dark of the moon always made her nervous. Biting her lip, she peeked outside the rickety door to make certain no curious village urchins lurked about, spying. Then she closed the door and lowered the bar.

With a threadbare apron tied around her waist, Old Tildy busied herself at the table getting things ready. Her voice came out papery and brittle. “Bring me the chicken, gal.”

Careful not to let the slippery innards slide onto the floor, Audrissa carried the saucer of liver and gizzard and set it down on the clean but weathered table. Her fingers clasping the table’s edge, she waited for the magic. Each time, she learned something new. Maybe soon she’d get to perform the ritual herself. At that thought she couldn’t stop herself from pleading. “Can I toss the bones tonight?”

Old Tildy cackled, her grizzled hair floating like loose wool. Then, cocking her head to one side, she seemed to reconsider. “You turn fifteen with the next moon, don’t you, gal?”

Moths fluttering in her belly, Audrissa nodded. “If your figuring is right, I do.”

“That will be time enough for you to start your casting. Well enough?”

“Yes ma’am, well enough.”

Tilting the saucer, Old Tildy trickled a few drops of the fresh blood into her scrying bowl. She piled the casting bones in her gnarled hands and clasped her hands to her breast, muttering a few foreign sounding words. She inhaled, and with a deep exhale she released the bones. The next minute she shrieked.

Audrissa jumped. “Odin’s toes, what do you see?”

The old woman trembled as she yanked off her apron and covered the scrying bowl. She set her big knife on top. “Hush your swearing, gal. A stranger comes.”

Hoofbeats drummed on the road, louder, and then stopped out front.

Audrissa hurried to stand by Old Tildy.

When the loud knock sounded, they edged together toward the door. Old Tildy called out. “Who is it?”

“Lord Ramby’s man. The lord orders the girl Audrissa to the Great Hall. She is to sup at his table tonight.”

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous Tuesday Talesauthors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Guest: Harper A. Brooks

HIS HAVEN
The Redemption Series: Book One
by Harper A. Brooks

Ignorance isn’t always bliss…

Handsome and diligent Avrum Brenin should have died in the fire with his mother and older brother. Instead, he is saved by the powerful and wealthy immortal, Lord Henri. Placed under his care, Avrum shares in his world of endless splendors. He must do one thing in return—look after Haven, a human and Lord Henri’s newest rescue.
The simple task proves to be more complicated than it seems. Haven is disobedient, ungrateful, and hostile, yet she is beautiful and mystifying at the same time. One night, when Avrum stumbles across Haven barely clothed and bound at the wrists, the world he has trusted in unravels before his eyes. He soon discovers that no one—from Lord Henri and Haven to his closest friend, Lysander—are who they seem to be.
Now faced with the truth, will Avrum choose to surrender to the man who rescued him, or will he have the courage to save the woman who captivated him?

Paranormal/Historical Romance
Heat Level: Sensual

Praise for His Haven:
“His Haven is a fantastic mix of historical and paranormal romance… Action. Romance. A touch of horror. You can’t put this book down.”Cynthia Carole, author of the Cedarville Novella Series
“Exciting and suspenseful… sweet and hot all at the same time. I recommend that anyone that loves books about vampires read this and you won’t regret it.”–Crystal N., Reviewer from SSYL
“Ms. Brooks has started a story of other-worldly magnitude where adventure and secrecy filled the pages. Twist and turns ran amok as the author delivered angst, love, friendship and intrigue.”Evelise, Reviewer from S.E.X. Reviews

Want to read more? Here is an excerpt:
Maybe I can’t do this on my own…
“Help me,” she told him, realizing it was her only real option. “Help me leave… You can help me now. Together, we can get to my father and we―”
His disheartened expression made her stop.
“You can never go back to your father,” he said. “It will be the first place Keagan and Henri will look for you.”
Terror made her mind race and her hands tremble. There had to be a way for her to get out. “You can bring me and my father somewhere safe,” she blurted out in desperation. “Please, there has to be some way. I can’t stay here.”
Avrum’s eyes drifted over her shoulder to where the manor laid quiet and still. He inhaled. “You have been bitten,” he said.
Haven took a slight step back.
“I saw the wounds when I found you,” he replied to her perplexed look. “Your blood is now entangled with Henri’s. For as long as they are together and flowing through his veins, you will be connected to him. He will know where you are, no matter how far.”
She gasped, her hand flying to the place on her chest where the two pierce wounds laid underneath. “How do you know this?”
“It is something we all learn when we are first changed.”
“Have you ever killed?” she asked but then hesitated. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to know the answer to that question.
“No,” he replied. “I have taken blood from humans before, when I was first turned, but I have made sure to never harm any of them. Now, I drink from a stock supply of human and animal blood in the manor cellar.”
The thought of consuming a person’s blood made Haven nauseous. “Can you ever stop? Never drink it again?”
Avrum let out a short laugh. “I have asked the same questions,” he said. “I still have to be reminded that I am no longer like you. I cannot stop the drinking because I am no longer fully alive. The living blood replaces what I have lost during the change.”
“What are you, exactly?”
“We are called vampires.”
She couldn’t speak. She had never heard the name before, but for some reason, it made her voice freeze in the pit of her throat.
“With your blood still coursing through Henri’s veins, you can be tracked. I need to get you back to the manor before he wonders where you are and realizes you’re gone.” Avrum held out a hand to her. She stared at the open palm with wide, fearful eyes. The skin there glistened against the amber lights of the manor windows. It was marked with faint scars. Each one seemed to overlap the others.
“We keep the scars we have earned as humans,” he told her, as if reading her thoughts. “I have many of my own to bear.”
For some reason, his words made the warmth in her chest grow even more and the pains in her body ease. She stretched her own hand out, the raw and marred marks around her wrist standing out against the paleness of her skin.
Avrum offered her a tender smile―a smile that told her that this time she wasn’t alone. “Come back with me,” he told her. “I will protect you with everything I am. I swear it. Please…”
Haven hesitated for a moment, their hands hovering close. In the space between them, all her doubt and fears lingered. Could she really trust him? He was one of them after all. A vampire.
She sucked in icy night air and, taking a step forward, placed her shaking hand in his.

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About the Author

HarperABrooks

Harper A. Brooks lives in a small town on the New Jersey shore and is currently a student on her way to a degree in English and in Secondary Education. Even as a young child, she has always surrounded herself with good literature, so it is no surprise that her love for reading and writing has expanded into all parts of her life. She is a dedicated softball coach, student, teacher, and friend who enjoys writing about fantastical worlds when she believes real life gets too mundane.

Follow Harper A. Brooks at: 

Website http://harperabrooks.wix.com/harperabrooks

Blog http://harperabrooks.wordpress.com/

Facebook www.facebook.com/harperabrooks

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/HarperABrooks

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