Tag Archives: Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Stone

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is stone. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Meg looked up at her husband as they swayed to the music, her eyes gleaming. It was as if Rod had just done something amazing, like flown to the moon and back. A flicker of sensation tickled Hannah’s throat. Maybe she’d have that someday. Her lips twisted. Probably not. Her course was set. Had been since she left Miami. She had gotten herself into a deep hole. Very deep. All she could hope for was the plan to play out in her favor. Then she’d at least have the promise of a living.

She smiled at the returning laughing couple, thankful she could get out of her thoughts. “Looking pretty good out there, kids.”

Meg plopped into a seat and grabbed Hannah’s wrist. “Ooh, watch out. He’s coming your way.” The whisper made it seem like state secrets were at stake.

Rod gave her a look. “Don’t start your match making. Leave the poor guy alone, honey.”

Meg’s leer was wicked. “I’ll have you know I’m not doing a thing, except praying.”

Sure enough Nate approached their table, his eyes riveted on her. “Evenin’, Rod, Meg.” He never looked their way, but held out a hand to Hannah. “Care to cut a rug?”

His deep voice with that little backdoor rasp made her taste honey. She had never had a guy’s voice do that to her.

She placed her fingertips in his hand and stood. “What kind of dancing do you like to do, Nate?”

He let a beat pass, and then another. “Slow.”

It was a good thing she hadn’t worn a sheath dress. He might notice trembling legs or knees that functioned like jelly.

The band cooperated, or maybe he had put a bug in the head man’s ear for a couple of dreamy tunes. He folded her in his arms as if they’d been dancing partners for years.

She could almost believe she belonged there. She gazed up at him. “You’ve got style I never knew about.”

He flipped her hand over. A tiny furrow appeared on his brow. “Nice ring. What kind of stone is that?”

She eyed her fingers. What had she slipped on? “Oh it’s garnet. My birthstone.”

Courtesy Pixabay public domain free photos

His dimple deepened. When the song ended, he kept her within the circle of his arms.

“Oh, did you want to dance another, Nate?”

He drew her closer. His lips brushed against her ear. “I want more than a dance, but you’re not ready for that, Hannah Ross.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt stone. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Author on Board: Joyce M. Holmes

Please welcome fellow author Joyce M. Holmes with her book release from Roane Publishing, Show No Weakness.  What a gorgeous cover, with the blue color and those red letters!

Blurb:

She’s a tenderhearted social worker, looking for her Happy-Ever-After. He’s a distrustful RCMP Corporal who’s sworn off relationships. Factor in a surly teen heading for delinquency, and you have a case of passion and turmoil too explosive to handle.

As a defense mechanism to deal with his guilt and grief over his daughter’s death, Cole Dennison has become an expert at compartmentalizing his feelings. He keeps his personal life private, while making it his professional mission to rescue children in peril.

Joely Sinclair is fiercely protective and openly compassionate. When she meets Cole Dennison, she falls hard. He’s everything she admires in a man, and because she wears her heart on her sleeve, she can’t understand how or why Cole keeps all his emotions to himself.

As much as Cole resents his interest in Joely, with her inquisitive and caring nature, he can’t deny her appeal. Against his better judgment, he becomes involved in both her and her son’s lives. Taylor is in desperate need of a positive male role model, and Cole can’t turn his back on the boy. But when Joely starts talking love, Cole’s inability to commit puts an end to their relationship—until a dangerous situation throws them back together.

When given a second chance at love, will Cole risk letting Joely into his battered heart?

Excerpt:

“By the time I turned sixteen, I was pregnant. I became a child bride at seventeen, married to an adult-sized infant with chest hair, with a real live baby doll to take care of, as well. That marriage was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. Before I hit twenty-one, it was over.” She heard the bitterness in her voice and stopped talking.

“That had to be rough, but isn’t it time to stop beating yourself up about it? At least you had enough sense to get out.”

The compassion, the offer of understanding in his voice almost overwhelmed Joely. She wondered if he’d be as sympathetic if he knew she had left her precious little boy with her alcoholic husband while she worked. And it took four years and a serious injury before she clued in to the fact her toddler didn’t get all his bruises from being overactive and clumsy.

No, Cole had it wrong; she didn’t have a whole lot of sense when she was younger.
He pushed his coffee cup aside and leaned forward in his chair to stare sharply at her. She realized he must be very good at his investigative work. Those dark penetrating eyes would intimidate anyone into telling the truth when they flashed as fiercely as they were right now.

“You’re upset. I didn’t mean to do that,” he apologized. “I wanted to make you feel better.”

“Oh no, hey, I’m not upset with you. I actually appreciate your effort. I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with a man who cared how I felt about myself. Men are usually much more concerned about how I feel about them.”

“You already told me you didn’t like me.” He smiled brilliantly, his eyes crinkling. “Whaddaya say to giving me a chance to change your mind?”

For just a moment, Joely saw beneath the laughing, self-confident grin to the flicker of loneliness in his eyes. He was new to the area, she remembered. He probably didn’t know many people, and here she was monopolizing the conversation. She ignored his question and posed one of her own.

“Why did you choose law enforcement for your career?”

His gaze unexpectedly turned cold. His features revealed no emotion, nothing to indicate why he suddenly shut down. The pause grew a little too long, giving Joely the impression he preferred not to answer.

“I take a lot of satisfaction out of my job, especially working with the kids,” he eventually replied, his voice back to that aggravatingly polite, neutral tone. “But it wasn’t a matter of choice so much as of doing what was expected.”

“Your parents said you had to become a cop?” Joely wanted to keep her mouth shut and let him do the talking, but stunned disbelief made her blurt it out before she could stop herself.

Cole smiled tightly. “My grandfather was a cop, same with my father. As far as they were concerned, there was no other suitable job for a Dennison, and they presumed I’d follow their lead. My mom didn’t get a say; she died when I was five.”

Joely let out an involuntary gasp of sympathy. “Oh, I’m sorry. How sad for you to grow up without a mother.” Not having a father had left a gaping hole in her childhood and even though her mom would’ve never won mother-of-the-year, she’d always given freely of her hugs and kisses. She was important to Joely, and Joely couldn’t imagine growing up without her.

Cole lifted a shoulder casually. “I survived. You don’t miss what you never really had.”

“Yes, you do,” she replied fiercely. “You miss it and you want it terribly. At least I did. I wanted a father more than I wanted anything else. It was the defining reality of my childhood. How can you say you didn’t miss your mother?”

Something hard and acrid flashed in his eyes, and he didn’t acknowledge her words. He pushed out of his chair abruptly. “We should get back to the detachment. Your son’s waited long enough.”

Buy SHOW NO WEAKNESS  

Author Bio:

Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she’s not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.

Author Links:

Website
Facebook 
Twitter 
Amazon Author Page  
Goodreads 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Lake

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is lake. This week I’m leaving the vintage romance for a bit and going back to work on one of my soothing (to me) action packed fantasies. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Helle’s domain was the last place Rhade wanted to visit. When the Goddess of the Underworld summoned, you never knew whether it was for tea and scones or to scourge you bloody. Maybe you’d get out in one piece, or maybe thirteen. The pulse in his throat thudded at the sight of her grim expression.

The tautness of her face indicated disturbing emotions rippling beneath the surface. Flaxen hair framed strong cheekbones. Her wintry gray eyes glittered. In presentation she reminded him of the showcase fountain bearing secret passageway to her palace. An icy lake spurted jets of fire that rose and then crashed in startling and unpredictable abandon.

The Valkyrie's Vigil

Edward Robert Hughes [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Stern soldiers flanked her.

She extended the tips of her fingers. “Warrior.” The provocative scent of Lily of the Valley wafted into his nostrils.

He bowed his head to bestow a respectful kiss. “Divine One, how may I be of service?”

“Come with me.” She swiveled, and a bodyguard advanced beside her. She thrust out a palm. “Halt. You shall remain here.”

The uniformed man appeared bewildered. “But Divine One, your safety is my utmost responsibility. I beg you—”

Her visage turned fearsome. “Stay, I say. I will speak to the warrior in private.”

Beckoning Rhade to follow, she led him beyond the luxurious front rooms, down endless long corridors, and deep into the tunnels circling her cavernous domain. The pathways spiraled and coiled. He doubted even his well-honed sense of direction would save him if she abandoned him here.

What did she have to discuss that her own trusted guard could not hear? A surge of adrenalin sizzled through his body. He had never ventured this far inside Helle’s mysterious netherworld. She appeared to be leading him deep into her innermost sanctum.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt lake and the quick trip to the Underworld. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

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

Tuesday Tales: Writing Number

Have you ever seen a ghost?

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is number. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Hannah cringed at the disbelief on Meg’s face and the eyebrows that were about to take flight. Protest would only fuel the fire. Might as well sing a different number. She pretended to brush grains of sand from her thighs. “To tell the truth, Nate has been on my mind today, but only because of what happened last night.”

Meg lurched up, her eyes wide. “What happened?”

“My resident haint made an appearance.”

“You mean you and Nate actually saw the ghost?”

She shrugged. “No so much saw as saw the effects of.

The teaser was met with a flurry of arm flailing. “Tell me this minute.”

“I had gone up to the attic to look around and straighten…”

“The fortune teller warned you not to go up there.”

“I have to take an inventory for the bank. You know how shoddy the sale papers were.”

“Then you should have waited for Nate to go with you.”

“He was late coming to work. Do you want to know what happened or not?”

At the sight of Meg’s vehement nodding, Hannah continued. “To make a long story short, I hadn’t been up there five minutes when the music started again and the air suddenly smelled like jasmine, and then…” Her playful mood sobered at the memory. She stopped to swallow. “Something, someone touched my arm.”

“Oh, my ever lovin’ God. Old Sarah was right. The ghost is dangerous. What did you do?”

“I ran out to the landing and smack dab into Nate.”

A beatific smile hovered on Meg’s lips, and her voice turned soft. “And Nate comforted you.”

Hannah’s forehead crinkled. “How’d you know?”

“That’s what he would do. Did he investigate?”

“No, I wouldn’t let him. We went downstairs. But he heard the tinkling and smelled the jasmine.”

“Good. I’m glad it’s not just you.”

“You might clear me of hallucinating, but I don’t even want to think about his take on it.”

“You didn’t talk it out?”

Hannah shook her head. “I was a smidge upset, and then Buster came, so no.” She stood up. “Let’s go for another swim before Bryan gets back.”

A few minutes later the fickle ocean had them both laughing. Good natured fun heated her cheeks. The waves stroked her lotion into coconut scented beads. She didn’t care. The beach always took away her troubles, if only for a little while.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt number. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

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

Cover Reveal: Carmen Stefanescu’s Dracula’s Mistress

My online friend from Romania, Carmen Stefanescu, is unveiling a new book cover. Just looking at this splendid  cover and title, I am beside myself with anticipation to read the book! It is a “paranormal historical with a smidgen of romance.” Available at Amazon.

Congratulations to Carmen, and to my readers, cheers & happy reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Vintage Friday: World Book Day

Stories help create a child. THE book that lit the fire on my passion for reading, writing, fairy tales, and mythology is actually a SET of books my parents bought me at age 3—the Young Folks Library. At that time my mother and father worked long hours at their restaurant business, but my paternal grandparents happened to live with us. From these delicious stories of a princess living atop a glass mountain, a girl spitting out diamonds, and a wise woman bestowing a magical invisibility cloak, my Grandmother Flossie read to me every day with dramatic flair.

By my 5th birthday we had lost her. I will always honor her memory and our spirited story times. Thanks to her and this set of books, my imagination, my inner life, and my magic mirror to the mystical were created.

With World Book Day coming soon, do you want to share what book started your passion for reading and writing?

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Book Tour: Mother’s Day Magic

mdmwhitethe-oneNOW A TOP 10 BESTSELLER !

I am pleased to highlight this boxed set featuring multiple authors, including my cyber friend Daisy Banks. 10% of each book sold goes to help stop MS.

 

Mothers Day the one!! MDMBuy from US Amazon.     Buy from UK Amazon.    Buy from Kobo.

Buy from B&N.     Buy from iTunes.  4daisybanksdecemberroses-cover3

My thanks to Flossie Benton Rogers for showcasing the Mother’s Day Magic Boxed Set collection. 
Best wishes,
Daisy Banks

A message from Allyson R. Abbott:
READING TO HELP A CHARITY
I love to buy books as presents. I wanted to find a book that would let my mom know how much I appreciate her. As an author, I decided to write the story to say how much I love her. I told my friend what I had planned to do. Grace, also an author, wanted to do the same. We set out to write our two stories, but Grace suffers with MS and it became so bad she had to stop writing. I sent out an appeal to authors worldwide to write stories for Mother’s Day, and to donate 10% of every book sold to MS. My call was answered by 13 special authors and our Mother’s Day Magic box set was born. Read these beautiful stories and help stop a crippling disease––MS!13 authors

 ************************************************************

Thanks to everyone for stopping by!
Cheers & Happy Reading! Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Romance

 

Paranormal Romance Thursday Tour

Paranormal Romance Tour 7 (1)Featured Book:

CassandraUllrichLoves Intensity Cover

 

 

 

 

Love’s Intensity by Cassandra Ulrich

Blurb:

   Brad loves fast horses, cars, and bikes. Life would be perfect if his stepmother could only mind her own business. Instead, his father hired a longtime friend and her family to work in their home, turning his world into a feudal mess.
   He wants to hate the new arrivals and it doesn’t help that Kressa, daughter of the newcomers, is the most gorgeous girl he’d ever laid eyes on. With a scent that draws him to her, Kressa causes him more internal conflict than he ever dreamed possible. He falls for her so deeply, he tells her a secret he’d never even told his best friends – that he’s training to be a ninja warrior.
    Kressa adores her country and loves hanging out with her many cousins. News of the move to Massachusetts comes as a shock to her. She refuses to be happy in this new place working as a servant for a rich man and his mean son, who had the nerve to be cute. And why does her skin tingle every time her hand brushes against his?
    Despite her efforts, she finds herself desperately longing for a friendship with the one boy who scowls at her. Matters are only made more complicated when his family and hers clash. When he goes on a dangerous mission, she wonders, will he return so she can tell him he’s won her heart or will their families manage to keep them apart?

Excerpt:
   Brad had been standing in the doorway in time to see Kressa fall off the horse. When he had gotten up and walked to the office to grab the key, he found it missing and figured Kressa must have already taken it. Running to the stable, he hoped she was okay setting up her horse for the ride. From the way she was sprawled out on the stable floor, he could tell she had a little difficulty. Brad walked over to Kressa and gave her the boost she needed to sit properly on the saddle.
   “Good job with the saddle,” Brad encouraged Kressa, “but next time you may want to use the stepping stool I got you yesterday. Keep Gentle Rider tied up to this post until you get settled, then you can untie her.” Moving the rake and pitchforks to the far end of the stable, Brad continued, “I have no idea what I would have done if you landed on these. I should have made sure these were properly put way, so the horses wouldn’t knock them over.” He picked up and brought the stepping stool over, placing it near Gentle Rider’s area.
   “I suppose Papa would have had your head too.”
   “Yeah, I’m glad you’re okay.”
   Kressa rode her horse out the stable while Brad got his horse saddled, fed, and watered. After leading Silver Bullet into the yard, he asked Kressa, “Did you give her feed and water?”
****
   Oh, no. Now he’ll be upset. He adores his horses.
   “Sorry, I forgot. I was so eager to ride. I can do it now,” Kressa said, embarrassed that she forgot.
   “No. It’ll take too much effort to get you on your horse again. I’ll go get it.” Kressa noticed Brad did not sound annoyed. He spoke to her in a matter-of-fact tone.
   After feeding and watering her horse, Brad and Kressa galloped around the large grassy area. After riding for a half-hour, Brad pointed to the forest area. “Would you like to go through there and see what’s on the other side?”
   “Yes,” Kressa eagerly responded, “I’ve wanted to know where you go when riding your horse.” Kressa realized too late she had exposed her secret.
   “Have you been watching me? One day, I felt like I was being watched. I thought it might be you, but when I saw you in the dining room, I figured I must have been wrong.”
   Kressa knew she ought to fess up. “It was me. I hid because I didn’t want you to know I was watching.”
   “How did you run upstairs so fast? You didn’t look out of breath.”
   “I held my breath until you moved away. I was exhausted.” Kressa tried to smile while casting her eyes to the ground. Brad laughed heartily.
   “Let’s go,” he said, leading the way through a path in the forest, which had been created by much riding, to the grassy field on the other side.
When Brad and Kressa came out of the tree cover, the sun seemed to shine brighter due to the open space. No shrubs or little trees existed here, only light green short cut grass which reflected the sunlight. They raced the horses around the perimeter a couple times before coming to a stop.
****
   Nina studied Julio while he watched Kressa during her riding lesson. When Brad led Kressa into the forest, Julio turned to Nina and barked, “Where is he taking her? I don’t like that boy. He’s not trustworthy. If he touches my girl…”
   Nina interrupted, “He won’t touch her. He has strict orders from his father.”
   “Nina, he’s a young man with an active libido. I don’t care what his orders are; he can’t be trusted to control what comes naturally. Now, he’s alone with her and under the cover of those trees,” Julio fumed.
   “Julio, Kressa is a smart girl. She knows what we’ve taught her, what we expect. Even if he tried something, she would push him away.”
   But only if she doesn’t want him, Nina. He’s strong, good looking, and the only boy around to talk to. I’m going over there.”
   lease wait a few minutes. If they’re not back, then go, but please don’t hurt him.”
   “You would elevate him over our daughter’s innocence?”
   “No, Julio, of course not. I just don’t want you to do something you can’t return from. I love you.”
   ulio shook his head and moved away from her. He must hate me for bringing him here. What can I do to change his mind?
****
   Brad rode Silver Bullet alongside Kressa and Gentle Rider so the horses faced each other upon his approach. He gazed into Kressa’s eyes, longing to learn something new about the girl who lived in his house. Brad removed his riding glove and reached over to brush Kressa’s hair away from her face so he could touch her cheek. She did not shrink away. His fingertips tingled where her skin met his.
So beautiful. Brad’s heart pumped a little faster and his mind swirled. Does she feel drawn to me too? He shook his head slightly. “We should go back now,” Brad said tenderly, realizing once again that the warmth he felt when he touched Kressa also did something to his heart. It was better not to remain alone. He wondered if Kressa would ever admit whether she experienced any affection toward him. He found her hard to read sometimes.
   Brad pulled on his glove, led the way back through the forest, and headed for the stable. After brushing, feeding, and watering all four horses, Brad and Kressa strolled back to the house. “Great lesson today. I think before long you’ll be able to go out on your own.”
   “Really? That would be great. How many more lessons do I need?” She said eagerly.
   “I would imagine one or two more.”
   They both laughed at the good news. At that moment, Kressa’s dad appeared around some shrubs at the base of the hill. His face held a fiery red glow.
   “Kressa, get to the house right now,” Mr. Morales said grabbing her arm and pushing her toward their apartment. “I don’t know what you were thinking today taking her through those woods, but I don’t like it.”
   “Sir, there’s wide open space to run the horses on the other side of the trees. I wasn’t trying to seduce her,” Brad said, feeling some guilt for touching her cheek earlier.
   Mr. Morales shot Brad a fierce look and took Kressa away. She followed, pleading with her father to let her go and trying to convince him nothing happened. Kressa and her father began speaking in Spanish, so Brad could no longer comprehend what was being said.      Brad headed back to his room in anguish over what he just witnessed. He picked up the handkerchief and rubbed it on his cheek. He was sorry for causing her so much trouble.
   Over the next few hours, Brad spent time on his laptop looking up home schooling rules. He gathered all the information he could and went looking for his father. Brad and his dad needed to do a lot of preparation if Kressa were to start school at home in a week. Finding his father in the office, Brad presented him with the draft for a lesson plan needed. It had to be submitted to the school administration.
   Dinnertime proved tense for Brad, and he didn’t doubt it was for Kressa as well. He avoided looking at her as much as possible, not because he experienced nervousness concerning their interaction earlier in the day, but because he did not want Kressa’s father to take it out on her. She seemed stiff whenever she served Brad a side dish. He knew her reaction was due to her father keeping a close eye on them all evening. Brad wanted to talk to his new friend, but knew it would be better if he waited until morning.

Buy Love’s Intensity:

WildChildPublishing | Amazon | B&N | All Romance ebooks |

Connect with Cassandra:

Website     Blog Site     Facebook
Twitter     Amazon Author Page
Join me right here a week from today for the next segment of the Paranormal Romance Thursday- Tour, featuring author Kimbra Kasch.

Authors in the tour are:

Cassandra Ulrich – http://cassandraulrich.blogspot.com/ 

Kimbra Kasch – http://www.kimbrakasch.com

 Lyndi Lamont http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog

Carmen Stefanescu – http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

M S Kaye – http://booksbymsk.com/

Penny Estelle – www.pennyestelle.blogspot.com

Margo Bond Collins – http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Daisy Banks – https://daisybanks.wordpress.com/

Adrienne Woods – https://woodsadrienne.wordpress.com/

Julie A. D’Arcy http://juliedarcystoryweaver.blogspot.com.au/

N. N. Light http://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

And me – Flossie Benton Rogers – http://flossiebentonrogers.com/blog

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

Flossie Benton Rogers Welcomes Mae Clair

MaeClair Solstice Island FinalAuthor on Board – Mae Clair!

I’m honored to welcome my friend and fellow author Mae Clair here today to share some great news with you about her book Solstice Island. Mae is such an inspiration. You want an enjoyable read filled with mystery and adventure? Take a hint from me– read Solstice Island for an unforgettable experience. This talented author has a unique ability for engaging the reader and  keeping the pages turning. You’ll enjoy all of Mae’s books. Take it away, Mae!

End of Summer Sale: Solstice Island by Mae Clair is FREE 8/31 and 9/1
#cryptidfiction #romance #adventure

I know summer isn’t officially over until the autumnal equinox rolls around mid-September, but by the time the calendar reads August 31, I’m already thinking fall. My husband and I will be closing our pool this coming weekend, Halloween stuff is stocked in most every store I visit, and the days are growing noticeably shorter. I live in the northeast where summer is much, much too short. Blink and it’s easy to miss. I love fall, but I thrive on summer. So…I’m lamenting the demise of my favorite season with an end of summer sale on SOLSTICE ISLAND, my breezy romantic adventure novella.

Why should you read it (other than the fact it’s like a shot of summer wrapped up inside Kindle pages)? I’m glad you asked. 

The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Solstice Island by Mae Clair:

10. You’ll meet a hot charter boat captain trying to live down his family legacy.
9. You’ll encounter a spunky heroine cryptozoologist, determined hot captain should embrace said family legacy and all the baggage that goes with it.
8. You’ll be able to impress your friends with your stunning new knowledge of cryptozoology.
7. You may find yourself struck by the uncontrollable urge to look up blurry images of strange creatures online or go on a cryptid hunt (think Loch Ness, Big Foot, and the Jersey Devil).
6. You’ll learn why you should never ignore a craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream.
5. The next time your boat is attacked by a rampaging sea monster, you’ll know precisely what to do.
4. You’ll be swept up in a tale of romance, adventure, and folklore.
3. You’ll uncover buried treasure, thwart a villain, and discover a new use for a boat oar.
2. As a 72 page novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND makes a quick end of summer read.

And the number one reason you should read SOLSTICE ISLAND:

1. It’s FREE on Amazon August 31 and September 1!

SOLSTICE ISLAND Blurb:

Can an ancient leviathan work magic between a practical man and an idealistic woman?

Rylie Carswell is an amateur cryptozoologist in search of a mythical creature, the Sea Goliath. In order to reach Solstice Island, a location the ancient leviathan is rumored to haunt, she’s forced to hire charter boat captain, Daniel Decatur.

Initially, Daniel wants nothing to do with the trip or the fool woman waving double payment in his face. Convinced she’s yet another loony treasure hunter looking for gold on the remote island, he reluctantly agrees. An embittered neighbor wants to have his charter license yanked, so the extra cash will help him stay afloat.

It doesn’t take long for Daniel to realize Rylie is after the same beast his parents were tracking when they mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. He’s avoided all links to cryptozoology ever since, but the smart and sexy cryptid hunter has him second-guessing his oath and wondering what he’s signed on for.

Warning: A family legacy, glowing plankton and rough waters.

Mae ClairAbout Mae Clair:
Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a kid. As an adult, she stumbled onto the field of cryptozoology and realized there were others like her who loved speculating about weird and wonderful creatures.

Her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair, features a weekly post each Monday where she examines a different myth or urban legend. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who will factor into an upcoming series of novels.

As a writer, she pens tales of romantic mystery flavored with a twist of myth or folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, Mae lives in Pennsylvania. Her passions include cats, history and exploring old graveyards. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Website and Blog
Twitter (@MaeClair1)
Google+
Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads

Download SOLSTICE ISLAND Free from:
Amazon

Add SOLSTICE ISLAND to your Goodreads TBR 

Thank you, Mae, for sharing your book Solstice Island with us! I know everyone will love it as much as I do.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

Author on Board: Flossie Benton Rogers Welcomes Daisy Banks

 

DaisyBanks8-5-2015 HRchristmascarolsWho doesn’t love a summer Christmas? Welcome to Daisy Banks and her Christmas Carols Blog Tour, as we help her celebrate the release of Christmas Carols, to be published by Liquid Silver Books on the 10th of August. Readers can pre-order to enjoy a 20% early bird discount. Take it away, Daisy!

I know readers might think it a little odd to be thinking about Christmas in August but in Victorian England, where my story is set, people were used to starting their Christmas preparations early.

My paternal grandmother knew about the work that went into getting Christmas foods underway in a ‘big’ house. I believe her mother worked for a landed family. My gran made her Christmas puddings in September every year so they could mature to their full flavour by Christmas. I believe it is the level of alcohol in the pudding that helps to preserve it.

I thought if you or your readers might like to try making a Christmas pudding of their own I’d give you a traditional recipe for it. Do be aware this pudding takes time to steam. 

8 oz of butter
8 oz of fresh breadcrumbs, white or whole-wheat.
4 oz of plain flour
Half a teaspoon of mace
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
8 oz of Demerara sugar
4 oz of chopped candied orange peel
2 oz of chopped candied lemon peel
4 oz of glace cherries
8 oz of currents
10 oz of chopped raisins
3 oz of chopped blanched almonds
1 grated carrot
6 small beaten eggs
2 tablespoons of black treacle
A quarter of a pint of brown ale
3 tablespoons of sherry or brandy (Personally I think the brandy is best for the pudding.)

Method
• Grease 4 one pint pudding basins or 2 two pint basins.
• You will need a large mixing bowl for this.
• In a separate dish put butter in a warm place to melt. (If you don’t have your range going full blast, I’d melt the butter in a pan on a gentle hob.
• Add Breadcrumbs to your mixing bowl.
• Sift in flour and spices.
• Mix in sugar.
• Add chopped peel and cherries
• Add currants and sultanas.
• Mix well.
• Add almonds and carrot.
• Mix again
• Stir in the beaten eggs and black treacle. Mix well.
• Add the melted butter, beer and spirits to the mix and stir well.
• Divide mixture equally between your basins.
• Cover tight with greased greaseproof paper and tin foil too.
• Place in a large saucepan. The boiling water must come halfway up the basin. Put saucepan lid on so the pudding will steam.
• Steam your pudding for 3 and a half hours. Never let the water drop below half way in your saucepan. Check often. When you replenish the water use boiling hot water from the kettle so the temperature doesn’t drop.
• The two big puddings take longer to cook if you do them both together, up to 8 hours. (This recipe comes from the time when people boiled their pudding in the copper of hot water they used for doing their laundry.)
• After the cooking time take you pudding out and remove foil and greaseproof. Allow the pudding to cool
• When the pudding is quite cold recover with fresh greased greaseproof paper and foil.
• Store in a cool place.
• When you wish to eat your pudding steam again for one and a half to two hours.

Christmas pudding is eaten at the end of my story Christmas Carols in a celebratory Christmas lunch. Rather like the pudding the romance has bubbled for some time. I hope you enjoy this little extract from the beginning of Christmas Carols.

Excerpt
“Would you care to sit with us for the recital?” Mrs. Clarke asked after the verger took their tickets and they stepped into the church.
She’d rather not. The Clarke’s would wish to converse and she would much rather be quiet, also she wanted to sit in the third pew from the back of the church, as she knew from her attendance at Sunday service the acoustics there were perfect. “I’d planned to sit alone in one of the pews at the back, Mrs. Clarke. I would rather not be a show for people to observe.”
“Then perhaps you’re not ready for public events, Mrs. Broadbrace,” Mr. Clarke said. “I’d hate to see you distressed tonight.”
“This is why I chose to sit alone, sir. I do hope you and Mrs. Clarke enjoy the recital. Good evening to you both.” She turned and made her way to the back of the group of chairs that had been set out, and further back still to the last group of pews where she could sit in the shadows cast by flickering gas lamps. Seated in the gloom she would be almost private from the rest of the audience.
A long time seemed to pass as she kept her gaze on her mud-splashed boots. She’d no wish to look up at any of the crowd of people whose chatter buzzed and hummed.
She hoped no one spoke to her here. Perhaps she shouldn’t have come. Maybe it was too soon. She ought to make do with listening to him play when he rehearsed. Each time she’d heard him as she worked with the flowers it had seemed a rare privilege, almost as though he gave a private rendition for her alone.

Blurb
Stephen Grafton, the blind organist at Holy Trinity Church, is gaining a reputation for his fine playing and compositions. Alice Broadbrace’s initial venture back into society after years in deep mourning brings her to the notice of the talented organist, and he offers her the opportunity to sing a solo carol to his accompaniment. His courage convinces her to find her own, while her charm entices him into thoughts of romance. A difficult walk in a snow storm is only the beginning of Stephen and Alice’s journey to happiness. Enjoy this sweet Victorian tale of talent and love blossoming.

Thanks for reading
Daisy Banks

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Buy Links
Pre-order with Liquid Silver Books. 

Daisy Banks is the author of
Christmas Carols
Marked for Magic
To Eternity
A Perfect Match
Timeless
Valentine Wishes
A Gentleman’s Folly
Your Heart My Soul
Fiona’s Wish
A Matter of Some Scandal

Daisy’s books are available here
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Daisy Banks writes a regular monthly story in the Sexy to Go compilations.

Thanks for visiting, Daisy! I am crazy for vintage recipes and look forward to trying this traditional, old time pudding. Not to mention your book, which sounds soooo romantic!

Cheers & Happy Reading to All!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance