Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

NEW RELEASES

redemChristmas Redemption (Love & Murder Book 5)

by Edie Ramer

Everyone has a secret…

Someone attempted to kill Sylvia last Christmas, but she doesn’t expect it to happen again. She’s heard about the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde from Michigan, but the thrill-seeking murderers have kept to their native state, and Sylvia has other concerns.

The freezing, starving, and frightened cat she found in her garage.

Two couples snowed in the bed-and-breakfast are giving Sylvia and her college professor/screenwriter boyfriend odd vibrations.

And then there are Sylvia’s past misdeeds. She’d like to tell the man she loves the truth about herself … but some people can’t take the truth.

And some secrets can be deadly.

Buy the book: Amazon | Amazon UK | AmazonCA | AmazonAU | BN | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

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Dark Minds 250 hDark Minds (Class 5 Book 3)

by Michelle Diener

The mind is the most powerful weapon of all . . .

Imogen Peters knows she’s a pawn. She’s been abducted from Earth, held prisoner, and abducted again. So when she gets a chance at freedom, she takes it with both hands, not realizing that doing so will turn her from pawn to kingmaker.

Captain Camlar Kalor expected to meet an Earth woman on his current mission, he just thought he’d be meeting her on Larga Ways, under the protection of his Battle Center colleague. Instead, he and Imogen are thrown together as prisoners in the hold of a Class 5 battleship. When he works out she’s not the woman who sparked his mission, but another abductee, Cam realizes his investigation just got a lot more complicated, and the nations of the United Council just took a step closer to war.

Imogen’s out of her depth in this crazy mind game playing out all around her, and she begins to understand her actions will have a massive impact on all the players. But she’s good at mind games. She’s been playing them since she was abducted. Guess they should have left her minding her own business back on Earth…

Buy the book: GoodreadsAmazon

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coopCooper (SEALs of Honor)

by Dale Mayer

The doctor saved Cooper’s life and his sanity – but she stole his heart.

Being a SEAL means everything to Cooper, so when the doctor who saved his life is kidnapped, he’s the first to volunteer for the mission.

Dr. Sasha Childs has devoted her life to helping others – until she finds out her husband is helping himself to her best friend. Disillusioned, she volunteers her medical skills to a Syrian refugee camp crying out for medical aid.

She’s completely unaware that a war is brewing around her – until she’s caught in the middle of it…

Cooper has his hands full rescuing Sasha from foreign hands the first time, but when the war comes home, it becomes damn near impossible to keep her safe a second time.

He’s been blessed with one miracle in his life, now he needs a second one – before the woman he loves becomes a casualty of war…

Buy the book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo

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UNWANTED (an Elemental Assassin novella)

by Jennifer Estep

The New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series continues with a new e-novella–from the point of view of Finnegan Lane, the foster brother of Gin Blanco, and a fan favorite of readers of the series.

The fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bite has left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant.

But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family.

Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes

Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-A-Million | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

99c BOOKS

luckLuck Be a Lady (Tahoe Tessie Mysteries Book 1)

by Gemma Halliday

Tessie King has just inherited the biggest casino in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada: the Royal Palace. What she didn’t bargain for are the problems she’d inherit with it.

Having left Tahoe years ago, the underbelly of the casino trade is a far cry from the art world Tessie is used to. High-stakes cons, inside jobs, wise guys… Tessie quickly realizes she’s in way over her head. And things go from bad to worse when questions start to arise about the nature of her father’s death. Enter FBI agent Devin Ryder, member of the Nevada Organized Crime Task Force. He’s had his eye on the Royal Palace for months, and with the suspicious death of its leader, Ryder now has Tessie squarely in his sights. If Tessie doesn’t want to be running her casino from behind bars, she needs to find out how her father really died, who’s behind it, why, and how to get them into Agent Ryder’s hot little hands before he gets his hands on her. All the while catching a con-man, beating the competition, and running a multi-million dollar business.

Tough job? Fo’get about it. All in a day’s work for this lady luck.

Buy now:

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Guest Post: Jennifer Delamere

Please welcome my good friend Jennifer. Here’s an introduction to her and her writing.

Delamere-author-photoI’ve always loved books (and movies) that could take me away to a different time and place.

Perhaps this is because, as the youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist, I did a lot of traveling early in life. Our family lived in a variety of states from coast to coast before ultimately settling in Savannah, Georgia. My parents instilled in me a love of travel and an excitement for learning that continues to this day.

My college years involved a good stretch of geography too, from two years at the University of Georgia (“How ‘bout them dawgs!”), to Montreal, Canada, where I earned my B.A. in English from McGill University. While I was in Canada I also gained fluency in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports.

After graduation I spent a year in Ottawa, Canada, working at the National Arts Centre, where I enjoyed so many of my favorite things: speaking French (being bilingual was a job requirement); nights of theater, music, and dance (National Arts Centre staff got the unsold tickets for free!); ice skating on the canal in winter; admiring the profusion of tulips blooming everywhere in the spring.

Since then, I’ve traveled throughout the U.S. for work and study, from Oregon to Washington, DC, with stops in the Rocky Mountains and the heart of the Midwest along the way. I’ve always been of the firm belief that just about anyplace is worth visiting if you’ve never been there before.

When I was in high school I discovered the romantic suspense novels of Mary Stewart. I reread them all multiple times. So many of her books were set in fascinating locales like Greece and France, and I believe they forever sealed my conviction that romance and adventure go hand in hand. (The fact that I met my future husband while we were both on an assignment in the Pacific Northwest naturally confirms this.) No mere fangirl, I designed the itinerary of our first trip to southern France largely around locations from Mary Stewart’s Madam, Will You Talk?

lesbeaux_lg templeofdiana_lg Temple of Diana at Nimes, where the hero and heroine meet in Madam, Will You Talk? Les Baux, where the hero and heroine of Madam, Will You Talk? have a precarious encounter.

An avid reader of both classic novels and historical fiction, I also enjoy biographies and histories, mining them for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in my books. Although my current books are set in Victorian England, I’m also a huge Shakespeare fan, and I’m working on a novel set during his lifetime.

I’m also a wannabe screenwriter, having written several contemporary romantic comedies. One of them, set in a Colorado ski resort, was a finalist in Scriptscene’s Romancing the Script contest in 2011. Although the art of screenwriting differs in many ways from novel writing, the goal is the same: to tell a ripping good story.

When not losing myself in my writing projects, I’ve got a “day job” too. I’ve been an editor of educational materials for over a decade, first for continuing medical education programs and currently for public school curriculums.

My husband and I currently reside in North Carolina, where we are active in our local Christian fellowship as Bible students and teachers. Learning the practical keys to Christian living and seeing the victories that come to pass when we believe the promises of God can provide the most wonderful adventures in life.

What adventures might He have prepared for you?

brideI have released three books with Grand Central. My latest is A Bride for the Season.

I’m so happy to announce the sale of my new 3-book series to David Long at Bethany House. The trilogy follows the stories of three orphaned sisters, now young women, who each find a new life—and love—in London. The book is scheduled for release in 2017.

As I love to do in my books, I’ve placed this series against the backdrop of real places and events. The first book, THE CAPTAIN’S DAUGHTER, is set backstage at the original production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta “HMS Pinafore” in 1879.

If you like Pinterest, I’ve made a board here that will give you a “sneak preview”!

Thank you for having me!

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Princess: Pleasure or Pain?

As part of the Cin Wikkid: April Fools For Love book tour, I did a couple posts on the top 5 pleasures and the top 5 problems of being a princess. As you can see, it’s not all fun and games–but the perks might just be worth it!

From last month–my TOP 5 PLEASURES OF BEING A PRINCESS

  1. Sparkly tiara.
  2. Handsome prince. Or an ogre prince, but the key point is, this is your soulmate.
  3. Adventure.
  4. No cooking or cleaning! My personal fave.
  5. Ponies. Matched. Drawing a fancy carriage. ‘Nuff said.

So there are the Perks of Princessdom. But there are two sides to everything (or more!) and that includes princesses.

 

TOP 5 PROBLEMS OF BEING A PRINCESS

Frankly, Kate makes being a princess look easy and fun. But while there are a lot of perks to being a princess, there are quite a few down sides as well.

Here are my top 6 (with a tie for #5).

 

 

  1. Surely the worst thing about being a princess is those back-breaking, oh-so-fragile glass high heels. Or skyscraper heels of any sort. Sure, they’re gorgeous (yes, I may be whimpering a little in yearning at the shoe pictured here), but what is the price of these beauties in chiropractic and podiatry bills?

  2. Enduring long affairs of state (worse if you’re wearing the back-twisters, above). Although I’ve heard there’s champagne at these gigs, always served on silver trays by waitstaff in crisp black and white uniforms. That probably makes these shindigs worthwhile, or at least more tolerable.
  3. Your very own nemesis. For some of the more adventurous princesses, this may qualify as a perk, lol. But from Wicked Stepmothers to Evil Viziers, you’re in the big leagues now, and that means big problems in the form of an Arch Villain.

  4. Being treated like an object. Unfortunately, there is a form of princess who isn’t star of her own story. Most often in this sad reality, “the girl” is fought over by the Hero and Villain like a juicy steak. She’s trotted out only three times—at the beginning as a rescue goal, in the middle to remind everyone what the stakes are, and at the end as a reward. On the plus side, this kind of princess gets to languish a lot and doesn’t have much work to do.
  5. Tying for number five are two of my personal deal-breakers for princess as a career choice. First, you can’t swear. Ever. Only words like sugarplums can drop from royal lips, or the paparazzi or worse, the Princess Censorship League, get hold of it and bam, it’s time to hang up the royal tiara. Second, a princess doesn’t get a choice of where to rule. Sure, some lucky princesses get Hawaii. But what if you are born or marry into the Kingdom of Northern Freezing Extremities? Good luck finding flattering goose-down gowns. And glass high heels on ice? Whole new meaning to the words “royal pain”.

What about you? Would you take up the tiara anyway? Any favorite Princessly problems I’ve missed? Let me know!

CinWikkid3x4.5Cin Wikkid: April Fools For Love

Amazonauk

From award-winning bestselling author Mary Hughes comes a fairytale romance with a twist.
THE WRONGED DAUGHTER
Cinderella hungers to escape from under Widow Wikkid’s grinding thumb. But to snare a plum job at Prince Industries, Cin desperately needs her degree, and she can’t wrap her mind around tax accounting.
Then scarred but sexy Rafe Montoya ignites her imagination with his brilliant tutoring—and, as they work together in his cozy apartment, he sets her body on fire. She thinks he’s the one for her, until he starts pushing her to attend Gideon Prince’s marriage-mart ball.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE
Rafe is really Gideon Prince, head of Prince Industries. He must name his bride by his April first birthday or suffer the loss of his family fortune.
Rumors say he’s still single because women love his money and looks, not him. Is he lonely or just another duplicitous tycoon?
THE GLASS SLIPPER TEST
Hopefuls flock to Prince’s birthday ball, but only the woman who is kind, wise, and generous will win his heart. Is it Cin, or will her stepmother, as she always does, snatch the prize for her own daughters?
And on the night of the ball, when Cin discovers Rafe’s true identity, can she even accept his final test?
Warning: Rags-to-riches fairytale meets the texting generation. Stepsisters who are a blush-brush shy of a full makeup set, and a ball gown built like a tank. Contains material intended for mature audiences. Reader discretion advised.
For anyone who has ever been persecuted or hidden their light under a bushel.

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Science fiction romance

Dark Horse 200I am really thrilled to say that my science fiction romance novel, Dark Horse, just won a Prism Award for Best Futuristic at the San Diego RWA conference last Thursday. And just as excited to say that Dark Minds, the third book in the series, will be out this Friday.

A couple of fellow science fiction romance authors have mentioned that while they were at the conference, they heard from a number of editors that science fiction romance was on the rise, and nothing could make me happier.

Dark Minds 250 hIt’s such a fun genre, especially the sub-genre that I write, space opera, which has all the action, adventure, and romance of Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy and Serenity. There is nothing not to love about it.

How many of you read science fiction romance or space opera? And did you come to it from straight science fiction, or through paranormal romance? And if you haven’t read any yet, what are you waiting for? 🙂

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A summer of SEALs

On Tuesday, the 19th, the 6th book of my series SEALs of Honor is releasing!!

9781928122845

The doctor saved Cooper’s life and his sanity – but she stole his heart.

Being a SEAL means everything to Cooper, so when the doctor who saved his life is kidnapped, he’s the first to volunteer for the mission.

Dr. Sasha Childs has devoted her life to helping others – until she finds out her husband is helping himself to her best friend. Disillusioned, she volunteers her medical skills to a Syrian refugee camp crying out for medical aid.

She’s completely unaware that a war is brewing around her – until she’s caught in the middle of it…

Cooper has his hands full rescuing Sasha from foreign hands the first time, but when the war comes home, it becomes damn near impossible to keep her safe a second time.

He’s been blessed with one miracle in his life, now he needs a second one – before the woman he loves becomes a casualty of war…

It’s on preorder and will release tomorrow! It’s also available in print.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo

To help celebrate, book 5 SEALs of Honor: Shadow is on sale for 99 cents for the entire week!

9781928122906Shadow’s life has been an uphill struggle. No wonder he’s so damn good at dealing with the hard, the difficult, and the dangerous. 

Shadow’s all about being a SEAL. The one world he’s comfortable in. He knows what he can do, when to do it, and how to do it … until he sets off on a mission to rescue Arianna and her family, and his world goes from controlled action to chaos. Who knew women like her existed?

Arianna struggles to deal with the foreign world she’s been plunged into. Kidnappings, beatings, threats. SEALs. The only good thing is the darkest, most dangerous-looking saviour she’s ever met.

And he doesn’t know what to do with her.

Well, she has a good idea, but will they get that chance? Not if the kidnappers have anything to say about it.

Arianna has been marked for extinction, and it’s up to Shadow to save her … before it’s too late and he loses something he had no idea he wanted in the first place … but now he can’t live without. 

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

NEW RELEASES

breathEvery Breath You Take

by Christina Phillips

She’s the one girl this bad boy could never have…

It was only supposed to be a forbidden one night stand with the bad boy she’d never forgotten, but Piper Thomas soon discovers it takes more than sizzling sex to scorch her teenage fantasies. The more he gives, the more she needs…

It’s been five years since Mason Hunter’s brother died, and he’s tried to put the guilt behind him. But when Piper, the girl his brother should’ve married, reappears in his life and offers him the one thing he’s always craved – one steamy night in her arms – he can’t resist.

Piper’s the only woman he’s ever wanted, but how can they have a future together when the past haunts every breath they take?

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

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novelA Novel Death: a Danger Cove Bookshop Mystery (Danger Cove Mysteries Book 10)

by Elle Ashe and Elizabeth Ashby

99¢ for a limited time! 

When Meri Sinclair inherited Dangerous Reads, she didn’t just get a bookshop. She inherited a legacy. It’s Danger Cove’s only bookstore, and her grandmother had made sure that it’s a warm and friendly places for readers of all ages.

Determined to get off on the right foot, Meri has organized a series of author readings, starting off with Cal Montague, a Danger Cove native who grew up to become a solid B-list actor, and his tell-all his memoirs, Tales I Shouldn’t Tell. Only the actor turns out to be a difficult diva, and before the inaugural event can even start, Meri finds the guest of honor in the alley—shot dead. Turns out someone else thought Cal shouldn’t be telling tales, too.

With motive and opportunity, the police have Meri in their sights. To save her business and her own skin, Meri turns to her small staff of part-time employees for help. Along with some assistance from Danger Cove’s hot new veterinarian, Meri, sets out to help the Danger Cove police—whether they appreciate it or not—before the murderer returns for a sequel.

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ukeUkulele Murder ( A Nani Johnson Mystery)
Aloha Lagoon Mysteries book #1

by Leslie Langtry

99¢ for a limited time!

Nani Johnson thought she had it made when she moved from Kansas to the resort town of Aloha Lagoon, Kauai. In spite of her certifiably crazy mom, Nani is determined that nothing will stop her from becoming a ukulele virtuoso! Unfortunately her Julliard training doesn’t help her break into the local music scene due to some heavy competition from the Terrible Trio—three hostile, local musicians. The only work she finds is a few bar mitzvahs and gigs at the kitschy Blue Hawaii Wedding Chapel.

But when one of Nani’s competitors drops dead right after a public feud, Nani becomes the police’s main suspect. A missing murder weapon, mysterious threats, and a heck of a frame-up job all have Nani worrying she’ll be trading in her flowery muumuus for prison orange. Enter hunky local botanist Nick Woodfield, who just might be able to help her clear her name…that is if he doesn’t have secrets of his own. With the bodies stacking up, the danger closing in, and the authorities circling, Nani must track down a killer…before she ends up the latest victim of the Ukulele Murderer!

Buy now:

99c BOOKS

messageMessages From Your Future

by Larry Faulkner

Are you ready to maximize your success, create financial prosperity, and increase your happiness?

Ohio Police commander Larry Faulkner has stepped in with his own stories of success (and misadventure), on his journey to fulfilling his life goals. Messages From Your Future guides you toward generating financial freedom and enjoying an extraordinarily gratifying life in a series of easy to understand steps based on the personal experiences of Larry and those he met along the way. Why not use the hindsight of others to foresee and then sidestep the potential downfalls lurking in your future?

Amazon

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decaDecadent Moon (the complete series)

by Shona Husk

Decadent Moon is a resort where alien species come together for pleasure and business. There are only three rules:
No interspecies hate.
No violence.
No debts.
Enjoy your visit to Decadent Moon.

Lunar Exposure
A bounty hunter on a mission and a socialite with a secret–both of them are hunting the same man. Lust and ambition clash, but to save Decadent Moon they will have to trust each other.

Lunar Reunion
Six years ago they made a mistake. Can they reclaim what they thought lost?

Lunar Dancer
A courier desperate to reclaim her daughter delivers a message to prince masquerading as a dancer, unaware she is delivering the order that will get him killed. Now they must find a way to save him and her daughter.

Amazon | Goodreads

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Guest Blog: Interview with Author Randi Cooley Wilson

Today, I’d like to welcome to Magical Musings Bestselling Author Randi Cooley Wilson! Randi sat down with me and answered some burning questions about her latest release Vernal, A Royal Protector Academy Novel and her writing process.

Vernal-promos-1

MMG: Welcome to Magical Musings, Randi.
RCW: Thanks for having me on today, Maggie.

MMG: Where did you get the inspiration for your series/book?
RCW: Vernal is the first book to release within the Royal Protector Academy trilogy. Really, the readers inspired this book series. I was receiving a lot of requests to continue with my bestselling Revelation Series and after five books, I just felt like that part of the story had ended the way it was meant to. RPA evolved from the readers asking for more and allowed me to write something new and fresh.

MMG: If the apocalypse happened, which of your heroes &/or heroines would you want to have on hand to help you survive and why?
RCW: McKenna from the Revelation Series because she’s tough, thinks on her feet and doesn’t take any whining. I think she would keep me alive – lol.

MMG: Who is the celebrity who inspired the characters in your latest book?
RCW: Sadly, I didn’t use any celebrities as inspiration for Vernal, or the Royal Protector Academy books.

MMG: What genre(s) do you write in & why?
RCW: I write within the paranormal, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance genres. Paranormal romance is one of my favorites to both read and write in because it allows me to explore the unknown, and make the impossible, possible. I love world building and taking readers on a journey that is magical and spellbinding.

MMG: Are there any particular locations you have traveled to that have made it into your novels?
RCW: Yes. London and Paris always play huge parts in my books.

MMG: If you were not writing, what would your profession be?
RCW: In a previous life, I was a Global Brand Marketing Director, but I think I would be an interior designer. I love to design rooms.

MMG: What is your go-to snack or meal when you are on deadline?
RCW: Hummus and chips.

MMG: How many more books do you have planned in the series?
RCW: There will be three books in total for the Royal Protector Academy Novels.

MMG: What would the theme song for this novel be & why?
RCW: Need The Sun To Break by James Bay. This song just encompasses Tristan and Serena’s love story perfectly.

MMG: Do you have any other upcoming releases that readers should know about?  
RCW: I’m currently working on the Dark Soul Series, which is about an ancient demon legend. It follows Prince Stolas (the Prince of Hell), a.k.a. Stone and Hope (an oracle). It’s a demon-focused paranormal romance trilogy so we tend to refer to it as the Demon’s Den. It will be releasing late Fall 2016/Early Winter.

Thanks for being here today. Be sure to check out Randi’s latest release Vernal, A Royal Protector Academy Novel!

Vernal FOR WEBVernal, A Royal Protector Academy Novel by Randi Cooley Wilson

Serena has a bright future etched in stone.
Tristan has a dark past that haunts him.
Together, they have a love that can never be.

Sheltered, and unable to escape her bloodline, Serena St. Michael has spent the last two years training at the Royal Protector Academy. Struggling with a dark past, Tristan Gallagher’s current assignment is to protect a lifetime of secrets. One chance encounter will change everything. Serena must decide if she will follow her heart, forsaking all she’s ever known and risking a future worse than non-existence. Tristan will break every rule to save Serena, even if he can’t keep her. In their world of darkness, one love will ignite an ancient war. When pasts collide with the present, and secrets are revealed, will love be enough? Or will one lie destroy it all?

When you’ve hidden behind a mask for so long, would you reveal yourself for love? Vernal, the first novel in The Royal Protector Academy series is a dangerously exciting and darkly romantic tale that will take your breath away.

Available at: AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, IBOOKS

headshotAbout the Author:

Randi Cooley Wilson is a bestselling author of paranormal, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance books. Randi was born and raised in Massachusetts where she attended Bridgewater State University and graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. After graduation she moved to California where she lived happily bathed in sunshine and warm weather for fifteen years. Randi makes stuff up, devours romance books, drinks lots of wine and coffee, and has a slight addiction to bracelets. She currently resides in Massachusetts with her daughter and husband. Randi loves to hear from readers, you can reach out to her via social media:

Twitter: R_CooleyWilson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorrandicooleywilson
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/RCooleyWilson
www.randicooleywilson.com

Posted in Fantasy Romance, Guest Posts, Maggie's Posts, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Writing Male and Female voices

I started reading a new book by M. C. Beaton entitled There Goes the Bride. It’s a romance mystery. I just starting but it seems different from romances I had read in that the perspective is strongly focused on the external world and doing: he did this, they did that. I am enjoying the book, interested to see where it goes. Then I noticed, in the first chapter at least, the main character could have been a man in my mind, from the style of thinking. 1347567726_4567_bride

Do men and women have different styles of thinking that comes across on the page? If you weren’t told the speaker was a woman, do you think you would know from the nature of what was being said?

If there are archetypal differences between the masculine and feminine frame of mind, I thought, it would be interesting to try to state what those differences would be. So here are my top three writing tips for writing a character that has a distinctly masculine or feminine p.o.v.

#1. The masculine is pushing back against what it doesn’t want to happen. The feminine voice is pulling in more of what it wants.

When your male lead talks about squeaky doors and fences that need fixing it sends a masculine tone because things falling apart from lack of maintenance is to be pushed back against. Interest in safety practices, risk assessment, justice, adherence to building standards all shouts the masculine. The masculine voice is driven to preserve and protect what already exists and push back the boundaries of mortality.

The feminine is pulling in more of what delights the senses. Food, gardening, nature, beautiful architecture and warm relationships all create a feminine atmosphere. Asstock-photo-33292540-sentimentality-mature-old-lady-smelling-yellow-flower does creativity come to think of it, and expressions of gratitude which is a connection to what brings passionate feelings. The feminine is about connection to what you love and taking it into your interior world and feeling the pleasure it brings.

 

#2. The masculine thinks in terms of either/or. The feminine thinks in terms of and/both.

If you want to sound like a guy assume there is a choice to be made: the choice between being a winner or a loser resulting in a competition; the choice between seeing someone as an alley or an enemy; deciding if something is on-track or off-track to maintain focus.

The feminine is like an improv genius responding to life with a “yes, and” attitude. Can my kid sister’s friend join us? Yes, and let’s turn this lunch into a picnic so the kids can go swimming. I wonder what would happen if we opened this door… Fred thinks it was a murder and John insists it could only be an accident and Amy feels it could have been both- a murder accident! The feminine defies logic but it takes you in the unexpected direction necessary to make new discoveries, or truly connect to people.

#3. The masculine voice is externally focused and logical. The feminine voice is internally focused and feelings centred.

The masculine voice has a heads up attitude assessing the external factors and planning the counter moves. It is a very objective frame of mind focused on making progress.

The feminine voice has turned the loci of attention inward and is willing to be guided by that inner voice. Feelings matter, intuition, and a fascination for people who live with a gift of sight. It is a very personal and subjective perspective on the world and a willingness to customize to individual needs. Relationships are what really matters.

Okay, that’s my top three. I have purposely not said male and female because I believe we all have a masculine and a feminine side we can all upon. I think a character is really interesting when they do a shift from one to the other, at least once.

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

NEW RELEASES

The Calamity CafeThe Calamity Café (A Down South Café Mystery)

by Gayle Leeson

First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…

Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.

At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

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fullFull Circle

by Mona Ingram

Bella Thompson has news: she’s pregnant. But before she can tell her boyfriend Jeffrey, he shatters her with the news that he’s going to marry someone else.

Bella is given a choice: Go to Atlanta and give up her child for adoption, or leave town and raise her child on her own. The choice is clear, and she travels to California, where she settles in Santa Monica.

Determined to make her own way in the world and return to Willow Bend on her own terms, Bella puts all her energies into building a successful business with her partner Rafael Vargas. But at what cost?

Follow Bella as she struggles to balance her passion for business with the ultimate prize…love.

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janeJane Austen Girl: Second Chance Romance – Book Three

by Inglath Cooper

A small town contemporary romance about unexpected love and second chances. . .

The very last thing on Grier McAllister’s Someday List is going back to Timbell Creek, Virginia, the town where she grew up. Timbell Creek holds too many bad memories for her, memories finally put to rest with a successful image consultant business in New York City and a hefty therapy bill. When an opportunity to choose a “Jane Austen Girl” for a visiting duke falls in her lap, the only catch that she must be from Grier’s hometown, Grier tells herself she’ll do what she needs to do and then leave it all behind for good.

But Grier doesn’t count on finding that her mother is no longer the person she used to be. She certainly doesn’t plan on falling for an old boyfriend’s really hot brother! And it isn’t long before she begins to realize Timbell Creek is not only a part of who she was, but might be a part of who she is as well.

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seetonPicture Miss Seeton (A Miss Seeton Mystery Book 1

by Heron Carvic

When Miss Seeton walks out of a performance of Carmen and witnesses a real-life stabbing, all she can recall is a shadowy figure. But how could even she have guessed that her latest artistic endeavour is a picture-perfect portrait of the killer? Her caricature, however, puts her in a perilous position, for back at her rustic cottage in Plummergen, she’s fated to be a sitting duck . . . for murder most foul!

Meet Miss Emily D. Seeton
Retired art teacher Miss Seeton steps in where Scotland Yard stumbles. Armed with only her sketch pad and umbrella, she is every inch an eccentric English spinster and the most lovable and unlikely master of detection.

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Guest blog: Gayle Trent on cozy murder mysteries

Gayle&Cooper

Photo courtesy Soho Photography

Today, I’m happy to welcome my author buddy Gayle Trent to Magical Musings. Gayle writes cozy murder mysteries under her own name, as well as Amanda Lee and Gayle Leeson.

Jennifer: Welcome, Gayle! Please tell readers about your new book, The Calamity Café, written under the name Gayle Leeson.

Gayle: Thanks for having me on your blog, Jennifer! In The Calamity Café, Amy Flowers is tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint. Lou Lou Holman inherited the café from her father and delights in bullying her staff. So Amy doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place. When Lou Lou refuses to sell, Amy informs her that she’ll be opening up a café of her own.

Later that evening, Amy gets a call from Lou Lou’s son Pete. Pete says he’s talked his mother into selling the café and asks Amy to come meet with them before she changes her mind. Naturally, when Amy shows up, she’s the only person there other than Lou Lou…who is slumped over her desk dead. [Cue the dramatic music!] 🙂

Jennifer: This is the first book in your Down South Café cozy murder mystery series. Can you tell us a little about the series?

Gayle: I wanted to set the series in a fictional town in Southwest Virginia; and although Winter Garden is fictional, it’s close to some real towns—Abingdon, Bristol, Meadowview—because I wanted to give readers a bit of SWVA flavor.

The series features a number of eclectic characters, including Amy’s great-aunt who has discovered Pinterest and made such boards as People I’ve Outlived and Lord, Have Mercy. One of my wacky characters—Dilly—came about because years ago our family stopped to see a woman who had a litter of cocker spaniel puppies. While conversing with the woman, she told us she had a raccoon who came to her back porch every evening for a biscuit. She’d give him one, and he’d waddle back up into the woods. I mean, that’s the kind of stuff you can’t make up.

I also wanted to feature a few SWVA traditions in the series. For example, in the second book—Silence of the Jams—Amy makes and cans strawberry jam to serve and to sell in the café; and the third book features beekeeping. That book is tentatively titled Honey, it’s Homicide.

The Calamity CafeJennifer: What appeals to you about the cozy murder mystery genre?

Gayle: I like the small town settings. I enjoy letting readers get to know the characters and watch them grow over the course of several books. Exploring relationships between characters—how two characters can be friends but still argue or how a friendship can grow into a romantic relationship—is so much fun. And I think readers enjoy that too.

Captain Moe, of the embroidery series (more on that below), was introduced in book one—The Quick and the Thread—and Marcy wasn’t sure she could trust him. He was a supporting character in several of the books, and their friendship has grown to the point where he’s almost like an uncle to her. In book ten (Better Off Thread, which will be released on December 6, 2016), he’s at the center of the murder investigation.

Jennifer: What inspired you to write the Down South Café series?

Gayle: I thought it would be cool to write a series set basically in my own hometown. There are such beautiful places in SWVA and the surrounding region to explore and introduce to readers. Plus, I enjoy going back to some of those old tried-and-true recipes. My grandmother’s meatloaf recipe is included in The Calamity Café. And there’s an oatmeal pie recipe submitted by one of my readers. Naturally, I had to make and taste-test the pie before putting it into the book, and it was delicious!

Jennifer: You also write under the names Gayle Trent and Amanda Lee. Can you tell us about those books?

Gayle: I write the Daphne Martin cake decorating series under the name Gayle Trent. That series series features a heroine who is starting her life over after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.

The embroidery mystery series, written as Amanda Lee, features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.

Jennifer: What are some of your favorite mystery books/authors and why?

Better Off ThreadGayle: I’ve always enjoyed Mary Higgins Clark—she was one of the first mystery authors I read as an adult. I started with the Nancy Drew books by Caroline Keene, graduated to Victoria Holt, and then read Mary Higgins Clark. She is so adept at plotting. Actually, I think every author I enjoy reading is a master of plot: Jeffrey Deaver, Harlan Coben, Dean Koontz—although Koontz is also a master of characterization. When I read Koontz’s book Watchers and wept for the villain, I realized I was in the presence of greatness! Lol!

Jennifer: Have you always wanted to be a writer? What got you started on your writing journey?

Gayle: I had a college professor tell me I really had a knack for writing. I’d always enjoyed it, but I never realized I was any good or that someone might actually want to read what I’d written. She encouraged me to keep at it, and I did. I can’t say I didn’t question that decision over and over throughout the years. I can’t even keep track of how many manuscripts I threw away after they were rejected!

Jennifer: What’s next for you? What are you working on?

Gayle: I’m currently working on the third book in the Down South Café series, and I’m exploring the possibility of doing a movie lovers’ mystery series wherein the heroine runs a movie memorabilia shop and works for the local theater production company. I think readers who love books, movies, and plays would enjoy having all those elements come together.

MORE ABOUT GAYLE

Gayle Trent lives in Virginia with her family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff (the dog featured in the embroidery mystery series). Gayle also writes as Amanda Lee and Gayle Leeson. Please visit her online at http://www.gayletrent.com. You can also follow Gayle on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

GIVEAWAY TIME

Gayle has generously offered one print copy of her new book, The Calamity Café. The giveaway is open to those 18 and older, U.S. only. To enter, use the form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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