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!

99c BOOKS

515nR3U1bUL._UY250_Dragon Blood Series Collection Books 1-3

Book author:  Lindsay Burrower

Book blurb: A thousand years have passed since a dragon has been seen in the world. Science and technology have replaced magic, which has dwindled until it has become little more than an element of myth and legend.

There are those who still have dragon blood flowing through their veins, distant descendants of the mighty creatures of old. These rare humans have the power to cast magic, the power to heal, and the power to craft alchemical weapons capable of starting wars… or ending them. But they are feared for those powers, and in recent centuries, they have been hunted nearly to extinction.

The few remaining survivors must find a way to change how humanity perceives them or be lost to the world forever.

The Dragon Blood Collection includes three full-length novels of action, magic, and romance:

Balanced on the Blade’s Edge
Deathmaker
Blood Charged

Links to book: Amazon

FF sub-divider

Entranced-+A+Halloween+Box+SetBook author:  Lori Handeland, Edie Ramer, Mary Hughes, Michelle Diener, Dale Mayer, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Elle J Rossi, Leigh Morgan

From NY Times, USA Today and bestselling, award-winning authors. Nine exciting stories of romance and mystery, paranormal and contemporary, magical and mystical, ranging in lengths from novellas to short page-turning stories.

Escape to worlds featuring a vampire in love with a human, a powerful telekinetic, a secret lover, a spirit seer, a master magician, a wizard prince, a paranormal ass-kicker, and more.

This box set special offer is coming to an end soon, so get it now!

AmazonB&NKobo | iBooks

NEW RELEASES

AllThatSparklesWebsiteBook title: All That Sparkles

Book author: Claire Boston

Book blurb: Imogen Fontaine is living every girl’s dream.

She is a fashion designer for her family’s haute couture label, lives in a mansion, has a great circle of friends and is the apple of her father’s eye. Everything is perfect.

Until the day that Christian, the boy at the center of her childhood heartbreak, walks back into her life.

From there her life starts to unravel, as long-kept secrets are revealed. Imogen learns that her past was built on lies and betrayal, shattering the illusion of her perfect existence. She must seek out the truth if she has any hope of forging a new path for herself and discovering true freedom.

But can she convince Christian that there is a place for him in her new life?

Author website

Book recommendations

Clean-Sweep-Cover-SmallBook title: Clean Sweep

Book author: Ilona Andrews

Book Blurb: On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Amazon | B&N

Posted in Friday Finds, Michelle's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Post: Why I Write

Good morning, Magical Musings readers!  I am so excited to welcome author Amy Manemann to the blog today for a couple of reasons. One – I have recently gotten to know her a little in the past year or so via social media and enjoy her personality a lot. Two – I don’t really know much about her as an author so I thought this would be a great way to learn more about her. :)

* * *

Why I Write by Amy Manemann

Amy Manemann Author PicI’m a happy ending kind of girl, which is probably why I enjoy writing romance so much. I love it when my hero gets the heroine in the end, and they all live happily ever after. Who doesn’t? In a world that is often times filled with so much uncertainty, it’s nice to be able to escape into fiction and dream up a happily ever after. It was one of the key reasons I became a writer in the first place. Well, that, and I grew up in the country with two brothers and not many choices for play mates, so using my imagination became a daily routine for me. Needless to say, I’ve been writing stories from a young age.

So, why do I write? Simple. Writing to me is like taking a breath of fresh air. A blank computer screen represents endless possibilities, and it can take you places some people can only dream about. I get a charge out of opening a blank word document and letting the characters take over. And believe me, they do take over. There’s always a story to tell, always new characters wanting to be introduced, and I love being able to bring them to life.

To me, being a writer is so much more than making a buck, or having the ‘prestige’ of being called a published author. It’s about having the opportunity to create a world people want to visit, to introduce characters you consider your best friends, and to bring a spark of light into what otherwise might be someone’s dreary day. It’s having the opportunity to connect with readers and hearing their thoughts on the story, and the overall satisfaction in knowing when they truly enjoyed it. Because at the end of the day, that’s really what it’s all about.

* * *

Thank you, Amy, for joining us today!  I have a couple of questions for you!

Authors – why do you write?

Readers – why do you read?

* * *

Amy Manemann is an International Best Selling Author. She writes sexy and intriguing romantic suspense, contemporary romance (NEW), young adult paranormal romance, and dabbles in children’s books. She resides in her hometown along the Mississippi river with her husband and their two children. When she isn’t plotting her next book, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and diving into a good book. Her newest book, Love on the Slopes, is set to release April 30th.

Amy is a site administrator for the World Literary Café, an online literary community for authors and readers. You can find Amy on her Website, on her Facebook Author TeamFacebook Author Page or on Twitter!

* * *

Love on the Slopes Synopsis:

LoveOnTheSlopes-FINALJessa Hartley is haunted by memories of the night she threw herself at her childhood crush, Dominic DeRenzi – and he turned her away. Years later, Jessa has managed to put the past behind her and climb up the ranks as head instructor of the ski lodge she one day hopes to purchase. Only her plans take a nosedive when the smooth talking Italian shows back up in town. Even worse, he’s planning on purchasing her lodge.

After surviving a disastrous marriage, Dominic DeRenzi returns to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, hoping to make a fresh start for him and his six year old son by purchasing the old ski lodge. Until a chance encounter with Jessa Hartley throws his well laid plans off track. The once innocent girl from his childhood has grown into the beautiful woman he always knew she would become, and he is painfully reminded of the night he overstepped his bounds and kissed her. Then broke her heart by sending her away.

Rekindling the flames of their past isn’t part of the plan, yet Dominic and Jessa soon find they’re helpless to stop the fire that burns brightly between them. He broke her heart the first time he left, but can he make her see this time around he’s here to stay?

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged | 8 Comments

my Virgin blog

tvpA few years ago, a big idea occurred to me.  I know it sounds strange, even to me, but I couldn’t let it go so I decided to write a book on it, taking the title from a Jungian archetype. I was new to taking action on my inspirations and I can see now, somewhat naïve.

“Great,” my brother proclaimed, “you’ll be the Virgin lady!” when I told him the name of my book on story structure, The Virgin’s Promise. I felt like The 40 Year Old Virgin, except I was 50.

Virgin is such an interesting word these days.  My daughters were horrified at the thought of what they would have to say when someone asked the inevitable question – what is the name of your mother’s book? “It is way more embarrassing when you are one, Mom,” my teenager explained.

“Well”, I replied, “I am one, too”.

And I truly meant it.  I had embraced in my heart the original meaning of Virgin.  It is the journey to know your worth, just for being yourself, as in a virgin forest.  I was at a stage in my life where I was struggling to reconnect to my value for just being me as I separated from my husband and spent all my time between child care and nursing my ailing father.  I really wanted that re-awakening to a connection to who I was when I was simply being me.  The first time you know it is quite magical.  I think we need to find it again and again in life.

I wrote my book on this quest to know who you are separate from what everyone else expects or needs you to be, as I was trying to find my way.  I look deeply into that face of the Boticelli Venus and I am sure she is deeply contemplating life.  From the many readers who have responded to me I have learned that we probably all need to connect to that voice inside us that tells us we matters.  We all need a Virgin journey.

I do spend a lot of time explaining the word but I think it is worth reclaiming.  Although it is a lot of work.  People have a strong reaction to the word Virgin.  If anyone out there can think of another word for just such a journey, please share, I would embrace it whole-heartedly.  In the mean time, I am really enjoying exploring the stories of connecting to yourself and finding your place in the world.  I will be writing blogs on the structure of this journey.  I use a lot of movie examples because they tend to be internationally recognized (I live in northern Canada).  I would love to hear about books you know that also center on a Virgin journey – or your own story!  We could be self-proclaimed Virgin’s together!

Posted in Kim's Posts | 7 Comments

Evolving Entertainment or How You Don’t Really Need Cable

Screw You Cable, I have Prime, Playstation, Netflix, Hulu , YouTube…

Gone are the days when the only choices on TV were ABC, NBC, CBS or PBS.  The future of channel surfing looks more like Sony Playstation, Amazon Prime, Netflix.  Where our entertainment was once confined to whatever stations wanted us to see, we are now free to choose what we want to see, where we want to see it and when we want to see it.

Original programming not associated with cable television is winning awards and viewers.  At some point the public is going to realize they can bookmark shows they love, or new shows they learn to love, and drop cable television and it’s often sub-par customer service.

You can argue that, if you pay for Prime, Netflix and Hulu as well as other services then you may as well pay for cable once you add those all up together, but with the amount of new, original programming being created, some of which is winning major awards, it’s time for people to reassess their entertainment options and become empowered.

Places that offer FREE full length movies or TV shows (Many do include commercials though) YouTube.com DailyMotion.com Hulu.com Crackle.com OpenFilm.com Blinkx.com Vimeo.com

Places that offer FREE full length movies or TV shows
(Many do include commercials though)
YouTube.com
DailyMotion.com
Hulu.com
Crackle.com
OpenFilm.com
Blinkx.com
Vimeo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, there’s a lot of free entertainment out there.  DailyMotion.com, Vimeo, Viddler and YouTube are just a few sites that offer shows, including feature films.  Often these are either archives shows, such as the classic Doctor Who episodes which are readily found on Dailymotion.com, or original independent shows and movies on other online videos sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Internet Archives and others.  There is a lot of free entertainment to be had.

The Amazon Consideration Though Amazon’s PRIME subscription service offers streaming video, that’s not all it offers for that price. The $99 annual fee breaks down to $8.25 a month and includes streaming video, music, free shipping and other benefits.

The Amazon Consideration
Though Amazon’s PRIME subscription service offers streaming video, that’s not all it offers for that price.
The $99 annual fee breaks down to $8.25 a month and includes streaming video, music, free shipping and other benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for short form entertainment such as short films, webisodes, trailers and viral videos you have a wide variety of options according to your personal tastes.  Amazon now has Amazon Shorts which include short films, author interviews and the like.  YouTube is a gold mine for viral videos, trailers, music videos and short films.  You can even be specific about the genre you wish to see such as GodTube for Christians, YouTube.com/Booktrailers for readers, HowTo.com for Do-it-Yourself lovers, the list is endless.

The big battle for entertainment lies in new series shows and feature films created for specific companies.  Even Playstation has stated creating original shows for the users of their console and of course Amazon.com has recently won Golden Globe awards for its show Transparent and has myriad of other shows on the horizon.

What You Get For The Money

Let’s do a price break down with a quick look at what you can get for your money.

Netflix pricing starts at $7.99 and goes up to $11.99 per month.  That’s $95.88 to $144.88 per year.

Netflix has award winning, original programming as well.

The Netflix subscription gives you the ability to watch shows and movies on multiple devices is you have the streaming, though the number of devices you can use care limited.

Amazon.com, which owns Amazon Studios has really brought it with their own award winning, original programming.  They have an interesting way of choosing what will be a series.  They create pilots and let their subscribers determine what they’d like to see.  So subscribers get a voice in the type of original programming Amazon creates.

Prime, which is the subscription service for Prime Instant Video where Amazon plays their original shows, established and classic shows and movies is $99 a year.  This breaks down to $8.25 per month.  Amazon does have streaming for non-members, but you pay per video for what you want to watch, though their Amazon Shorts is free for anyone to watch for free.

With Prime there’s no limitation on the number of devices you can use, which is a benefit to the subscription over Netflix.

Amazon provides an at-a-glance page that lets their subscribers know what Amazon has that Netflix does not- See the comparison HERE

PrimevsNetflix

Netflix specializes in streaming video, which many people may feel comfortable in sharing their password and login even though limited private information could be accessed.  Since the only additional charge from Netflix might be a subscription upgrade, if someone were to share their Netflix account information there’s not a huge risk.  A quick call to Netflix confirmed this is the issue.  According to the Netflix representative they found that people were willing to share their Netflix account with several people, so Netflix had to limit the number of devices allowed to stream at one time.

Netflix_device

Amazon doesn’t have that problem, or not on the same level, or so it would seem given that they do not limit the number of devices subscribers can use at one time.  Amazon’s Prime subscription service is very family friendly in this regard.  Each person in your family can watch Prime Instant Video if you allow them to login to your Amazon account.  And therein lays the biggest difference.  Because an Amazon.com account allows someone to purchase pretty much anything on the planet, people are reluctant to share their password and login.  It also would give people access to private information such as items they order, emails from 3rd party sellers direct to your Amazon account and other information people might feel is sensitive.

ScrewYouCable_cost

Hulu, AOL.com, Sony Playstation, Crackle and others are also creating original content and selling either a subscription service or pay-for-play options.

Hulu.com is $7.99 per month and offers current content, classics and movies.  Some of this can be viewed for free, but it’s very limited.  They have original content as well  including The Awesomes, East Los High, The Hotwives of Orlando and Deadbeat among others.

When it comes to online streaming some are offering subscription services and some are pay-per-view.

The other issue to keep in mind is the ease in which you are able to watch a program.  For example, Hulu, DailyMotion and others will interrupt your viewing to show you commercials that you can’t fast forward through.  Often they allow you to click away after only a few seconds, but some force you to watch the entire thing, and some interrupt so often it becomes a chore to sit through the show or movie.

These companies need to make a profit in order to stay in business, how they do it is up to them and people will determine what model works best for their needs.  Sometimes convenience is as important as cost.

ScrewYouCable_years

The future of entertainment continues to evolve.  When you think back to when FOX began, or CNN and all the talk about how it would never work and speculation about when it would fail, you can see nothing has really changed when it comes to speculation in regards to how entertainment is delivered and consumed.  HBO no longer requires a special box to receive it, MTV is no longer just about music and online streaming video continues to grow with more offerings from more, sometimes unexpected, places.

Stay tuned!

Posted in Sheila's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Trope-a-licious

candyheartsRomance tropes—commonly occurring themes, devices, or *gasp* clichés—get a bad rap outside of romance reading circles…and often, even inside of them. I’ll admit, sometimes tropes that are blatantly highlighted in the cover art or title make me cringe. But the tropes themselves, the hooks or the romance premise? If they’re done well and made to feel organic to the characters and the plot, they can add an extra dose of depth and, well, yumminess to the story. Sometimes I love me a good romance trope.

As an author, when I’m coming up with story ideas for a particular set of characters (which I always come up with first), sometimes going “trope shopping” can help spark ideas for my plot. I have a list of tropes and hooks that I’ve gathered over the years, and I often pull it out to see if anything flashes neon lights to me as needing to be added to my story.

Revenge plot line? Amnesia? Pregnancy? Bad boy or girl? Marriage of convenience? Mistaken identity? Secrets?

Just reading through the possibilities makes my storytelling brain kick into gear. And I’ll admit, there are certain tropes that, when alluded to or mentioned outright in the back cover copy, make me choose to buy or read a particular book over another.

My favorites? In no particular order, my 5 Favorite Romance Tropes are:

Reunion—When the hero and heroine were involved in the past and have been apart due to…something. Hopefully something Big and Juicy. Something that can’t be solved with a single conversation. Something that makes them dig deep within and decide that the conflict that was strong enough to pull them apart before is…not strong enough to keep them apart now. The payoff after years of history…good stuff!

Friends to Lovers—If it’s set up well enough that we can believe there’s a good reason these two never got together in the past, then watching two friends cross the line into love that has the power to last for a lifetime is rewarding and scrumptious.

Man in Uniform—Military heroes are my favorite, but I love firefighters as well (which is why I wrote seven of them). Sometimes a good cop story will do it, too. Watching these alpha/macho guys fall for a suitable (or sometimes unsuitable) woman…swoon-worthy.

Friend’s Brother (or Sister)—My favorite is when the crush on the best friend’s brother dates back to adolescence. Watching characters and feelings that evolve from an idealistic teenage crush to lasting adult love, especially if the best friend isn’t all in favor, for some reason gives me shivers. Good ones.

Lone wolf hero (or heroine)—Most lone wolf characters have a tortured past that has caused them to isolate themselves. I love seeing the walls come down at the hands (or other body parts) of the other character, brick by brick. There’s nothing better than a lost soul being saved by love.

So what about you? Are there any tropes that make a book a must-read for you? Cowboys? Opposites attract? Boss/secretary? Jilted bride or groom? Quest? Fake engagement? Anyone have a top 5 to share?

photo credit: “It is not true we have only one life to love, if we can read, we can live as many lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.” ― S.I. Hayakawa via photopin (license)

Posted in Amy K's Posts | 12 Comments

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

Out+Of+RhythmBook title:  Out of Rhythm

Book author:  Shona Husk

Book blurb: They might be one of the hottest up-and-coming bands in Australia, but the members of Selling the Sun have a lot to learn about life, love, sex, and each other.

Coming off a successful Australian tour and prestigious industry award nominations, Gemma Field’s life should be perfect. Instead her parents want her to get a real job, the second album isn’t coming together, and her best friend, Kirsten wants nothing to do with her.

Falling for her best friend was never going to make life easy. After an almost accidental drunken kiss almost six months ago, they aren’t even talking. Gemma can’t even talk about it with anyone – not her family, not her bandmates, not even the one person she used to share everything with. Instead she lives in a space of indecision and pain, and it’s affecting all aspects of her life, including the band.

Kirsten Vincent missed Gemma like crazy, but did she miss her as a friend or as something more? She’s confused and Gemma is hurt, and the consequences of a bad decision will affect more than their personal lives. Will another kiss, a sober kiss, a kiss with intent, do more damage, or could it be the start of something more?

Praise for OUT OF RHYTHM:

With fun, authentic characters, sexual tension that leaves you on tenterhooks, and wonderful world building, Shona Husk is an awesomely talented Australian writer and it’s fantastic to read rock star romances set here at home.
– Kylie Scott, author of the Stage Dive series

Amazon | BN | iBooksKobo

FF sub-divider

513cKPU8+bL._UY250_Book title:  Double Dare: April Fools For Love

Book author:  Jodi Redford

Book blurb: From the moment Graham Barlow and Matt Spencer moved into the bungalow across from hers, Dani Tipton’s willpower has been strung to its limit. Ignoring the hot and heavy fantasies the two hunks inspire on a daily basis is more than any woman’s libido can take. Although temptation beckons, Dani’s determined to be a good role model for her wild, trouble-prone younger sister. Jumping in the sack with either of her sexier-than-sin neighbors sure as hell wouldn’t help her case. But when her sister sets up the ultimate April Fools’ prank, Dani suddenly winds up neck-deep in a compromising position. Literally.

For the last eighteen months, Graham and Matt have been carrying a major case of blue balls for Dani. No matter how hard they flirt or lay on the charm, she’s kept them strictly in the friend’s zone. So when they discover her buck naked in their swimming pool they figure they’re either hallucinating—or have been handed their one shot at rocking Dani’s panties off. Not too difficult to do, seeing how she’s not wearing any. Convincing her to indulge in a little frisky threesome skinny dipping? Easy enough. And the sexy interlude that follows is hot enough to boil the pool water. But when it comes to making their unconventional triad permanent, Matt and Graham issue Dani the biggest dare of all—entrusting them with her heart.

Warning: This M/F/M ménage brings new meaning to getting to know your neighbor. Lusty pool shenanigans and creative uses for hot tub jets. No bathing suit required, but bring an extra towel. Things are bound to get wet.

Link/s to book: Amazon | Amazon UK

SPECIAL OFFERS

Dark+FrostBook title: Dark Frost

Book author: Jennifer Estep:

Book blurb: I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me — again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects — and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me — and I’m in for the fight of my life.

Dark Frost is on sale for $2.51. In fact, all of the Mythos Academy series will be on sale through April. You can check Jennifer Estep’s website for details.

99c BOOKS

51Oqij3OeRL._UY250_Book title: Biting Serendipity: April Fools For Love

Book author: Mary Hughes

Book blurb: Best April Fools joke ever—falling in love.

Serendipity “Sera” Braun wears glasses and a bun to teach during the day, but at night, she adds a breast-plumping vest and dirndl for her job hoisting beer steins at Nieman’s Bar. The big, leather-vest-and-earringed Viking bouncer? He’s bedsheets waiting to get sweaty, but all he does is scowl at her. She’s trying to keep her geriatric stripper of a granny from breaking a hip, but it’s hard when she keeps getting distracted by that sexy, smoky baritone.

Thorvald Thorsson is bitingly lonely—every vampire around him is mating. But his ex-fiancée rejected him as a killjoy (her exact words were he ate rules and s*** misery), so it’s high time Fun Thor comes out to play. No way he’d pair up with the cute but too-serious little schoolmarm who waits tables at the bar.

Sera bridles the wicked, delicious things she’d like to do with the muscular Viking, suppressing herself until she’s a volcano about to blow. Then they are thrown together in a prank war, and all his potent masculinity is focused on her. He makes her burn to let loose, but how can she and still be responsible for Granny and set a good example?

Warning: A terribly lonely vampire, a conflicted schoolmarm with a caged wild side, nosy roommates and the female version of a bromance, not to mention scorching sex, swearing with the **** filled in, a whole town full of busybodies—and the best April Fools joke ever.

This story contains material intended for mature audiences. Reader discretion advised.

Link/s to book: Amazon | Amazon UK

FREE BOOKS

CruxBook title:  Crux (Southern Arcana Book 1)

Book author:  Moira Rogers

Book blurb: Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn’t crack…until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn’t explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past–and her destiny.

Warning: This book contains devious schemes, epic battles, forbidden love between a shapeshifter and a spellcaster, nosy secondary characters, furniture-endangering sex and a woman fighting to choose her own destiny.

Link/s to book: Amazon | Nook | Kobo | ARE

Posted in Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soundtrack Super Twins—Guests Jodi Redford and Selena Illyria

These authors may be multi published, award winning, and best selling, but above all they’re ready for the Garden Gnome Apocalypse! I love their wit on Facebook so I’m especially delighted my friends Jodi and Selena agreed to be my guests today and everyone can enjoy their sparkling (and sometimes just a little naughty *wink*) convo. I asked them to stay PG for this post, and they did! Er, mostly, lol. Please welcome the Super Twins!

Jodi: When the awesomesauce Mary Hughes invited us to blog together, well, we were slightly concerned aliens might have bodysnatched her. It’s always a huge risk allowing me and Selena to cohabitate web space together. Garden gnome armies invade Detroit. Godzilla attacks the Jersey Shore. Exotic male dancers shape-shift into Yetis and make us waffles and bacon.

Selena: Unicorns invade Texas and have a cake decorating contest. Shape-shifting squirrels try and take over the White House to demand the world’s nut supply. Bees try to…wait…wait…they haven’t done anything yet. Whew.

Jodi: Okay, I’m failing to see the problem here.

Selena: Me neither. Does this mean we get pancakes and waffles for life? Cause I could be down with that.

Jodi: As always, you’re the voice of reason, Super Twin. No wonder our brains are so in sync! What? It’s not as terrifying as it seems.

Selena: I am? When did this happen? Oh my god! Someone has taken over my body and me…*shudder* I’m…sane. Make it stop, Super Twin!

Jodi: Oh my God, first the aliens got Mary, and now you too! *prepares my tin foil hat just in case* But on the bright side, at least the aliens will never take our outstanding taste in music from us. Your Musical Monday picks always get a big Thumbs up from me. In fact, several of them have ended up on my book soundtracks. And that’s something we both are a bit fanatical about—soundtracking our books. Is that something you’ve always done?

Selena: Not always. At first I needed quiet but then I couldn’t get in the mood you know? So I had to find a song that would say everything I wanted to say in that scene, only then it turned into more than one song and well…yeah.

Jodi: Same here! Nothing inspires me and gets me rooted into a story like music. My characters have even gotten me to listen to stuff I normally wouldn’t even listen to. *cough* Disco *cough* What’s the craziest or out of the norm song that’s ever inspired you?

Selena: Disco? Whaaaa? Super Twin you did not put on a polyester suit and start singing Stayin Alive did you? I won’t judge, promise.

*Jodi discreetly removes her polyester leisure suit*

Selena: Okay, so it’s weird but I listen to metal or rock to write sex scenes. Like Chevelle’s The Red really gets me in the mood to write sex scenes. Are we still PG? Is this PG?

Jodi: Pretty sure this is as PG as we get! And you think that’s weird? Remember you’re talking to the chick who choreographs love scenes to banjo tunes. But you’ve gotta admit that this cover of Anaconda by Postmodern Jukebox is effin’ outstanding. But I digress. I learn something new about you every day, Super Twin! I mentioned disco, but probably the craziest musical inspiration I ever had was visualizing an entire book world off of the song, Will You Follow Me, by Rob Dougan. That book world eventually became my Thieves of Aurion series. Speaking of inspiring…*drools as I stare at the cover of Selena’s latest Bachelor Auction book.* Your werewolf hero, Brandon, has some seriously inspiring…abs. What? I am so behaving! Just curious, does Brandon have particular song he grooves to? (Hopefully buck naked).

Se: Hmmm, *checks playlist* one song that comes to mind is Kongos- Come With Me Now. You have some seriously HOT men in your Fictional harem. What does Logan like to groove to? Hopefully while cleaning with only an apron on…

Jodi: Weeeellll, Logan has been known to Swiffer his heart out while shaking his money-maker to Howlin’ For You by The Black Keys. I just wish he wouldn’t insist on actually howling along with the song. The neighbors are beginning to complain. But you know what would be SUPER INSPIRING? If Brandon and Logan dance to Christina Aguilera’s Your Body while wearing short shorts!

Selena: Oh! Oh! Yes! *gets the camera ready* We’ll want to use for blackmail…I mean posterity later…yeah.

Jodi: And that’s why we’re Super Twins. *prepares for the garden gnome army*

Click on each of my special guest authors’ name to find out more!

Jodi Redford pens wicked hot tales when not surfing the interwebs for sexy male eye candy, strictly for research purposes, of course.

SevenYearWitch200x300

After this much foreplay, something’s bound to combust.

As head mistress of Beaumont coven house, Clarissa Miles has perfected two things: keeping her sister witches from accidently turning innocent bystanders into toads, and resisting the sexy overtures of her familiar, werewolf Logan Scott.

But her resolve is vanishing—fast. Seven years ago she sold her soul to save her father, and that contract is coming due. The allure of spending her last days indulging in some dirty, naked loving is too tempting to resist.

Logan has patiently ridden out the past seven years, content to do Clarissa’s bidding and ignoring his consuming need to mark her as his. Now that the ban on witch/familiar fraternizing has been lifted, he’s off the leash and ready to launch a full-on sensual assault on her defenses. They’re destined mates, and he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her.

It’s delightfully easy to get her in bed. Get at her heart? Not so much. Especially when a deadly predator stakes its claim on her…and Logan faces a battle not only to win her heart, but save her soul.

Warning: This book contains a villain with more personalities than Sybil, a witch in search of redemption and a dirty-talking werewolf hell-bent on claiming his mate in every wicked, sexy way possible. Spontaneous howling may occur.

See more at Amazon.

Selena Illyria–a multi-published author, part vampire, part pixie who was born with a need to write and enable.

Goal-AMate_BySelenaIllyria-200x300When you meet your true mate, you’ve got to take the shot…

Werewolf Pack Princess Kelly is overwhelmed with her new business, trouble with the rival cat shifters, and trying to ignore the attraction to her best friend’s younger brother. By bidding on Brandon in the Bachelor Auction, she thought she was just doing him a favor, saving him from the craziness. But now that she’s won him, her wolf wants to mark him as her mate, and she’s starting to lose control. So when he whisks her away for his birthday weekend, how can she say no? Every kiss distracts her. Each caress sets her on fire. And every whiff of his scent makes her wolf want to take him where he stands.

As a former hockey player and werewolf, Brandon knows all about being pulled in different directions. And he knows exactly what he’s asking for when he pursues a relationship with the already overwhelmed Kelly. She may be five years older than he is, and the daughter of his pack’s Alpha, and his sister’s best friend and business partner, but none of that matters. There’s only one person he wants to spend his birthday with, and he’s not going to let her refuse. And when Brandon has his eye on the goal, there’s nothing that can stop him…

See more at Amazon.

 

Thanks so much to Jodi and Selena for being my guests today!

What about you? Do you listen to a soundtrack to write or read (or prepare for the Garden Gnome Apocalypse)? What kind?

 

Posted in Erotic Romance, Guest Posts, Mary's Posts, Paranormal Romance | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Life Really is Stranger than Fiction — Guest blog by Darlene Gardner

Darlene Gardner headshot - CopyOn one of the saddest days of her life, my sister was crying while she climbed the stairs to her apartment after a beloved family friend had died of cancer. Suddenly, she heard a familiar voice.

“Don’t worry about me,” our late friend said loudly and clearly. “I’ll be all right.”

The message repeated while my sister unlocked the door and went into her apartment. This was in the days when phone answering machines had tapes. Somehow the tape had rewound to a message our friend had left for my sister weeks before. Somehow the tape had snagged and kept repeating the affirmation.

“I’ll be all right.”

Since then, I’ve been more open-minded.

The same sister, for example, claims to have psychic ability. She says she’s more of a sender than a receiver. The way she explains it, senders can transmit messages through the psychic airwaves. Receivers get the messages.

Once while I was visiting her in Florida, she suggested we go to the drum circle at the beach that celebrates sunset with music and dancing. A Native American woman in a buckskin dress was at the center of the action.

“I can send that woman a message,” my sister said. “I can make her look at me and smile.”

There were maybe two hundred people on the beach. While I might be open minded, I’m not gullible.

“Prove it,” I said.

My sister stared hard at the woman, putting up a finger so I wouldn’t interrupt her concentration. After a few moments, the Native American woman stopped dancing. Her head slowly swiveled one hundred eighty degrees until she looked straight at my sister. Holding eye contact, she smiled.

Now I’m not certain my sister has psychic ability, but I can’t entirely discount it, either. That’s not to say everybody who claims to have power does. Take the palm reader who put a curse on me years ago. This was when I was working as a newspaper features writer. A colleague considering writing a story about the palm reader asked if I’d visit her and give him my opinion.

I thought the palm reader was a fraud. My colleague didn’t do the story. The palm reader cursed me. And I’ve lived pretty happily ever after.

With such strange happenings in my own life, it’s no wonder that psychics play a major part in Dead Ringers, my paranormal mystery serial. A bunch of other weird things are going on in Dead Ringers, not the least of which is body switching.

The first boxed set of the serial is FREE wherever eBooks are sold. You can find retail links for Dead Ringers: Volumes 1-3 on my website at http://www.darlenegardner.com/dead-ringers/vol-1-3/

About Dead Ringers:

Dead Ringers Box Set 123A paranormal mystery serial for young adults on up. All nine 25,000-word volumes now available individually and in boxed sets!

Jade Greene remembers nothing from the time she went missing except a blinding headache and an evil clown with a syringe. Not exactly the stuff to convince others of her sanity.

Nobody at the summer carnival believes Jade was even in danger except her secretive co-worker Max Harper, a stranger she can neither trust nor resist. But things about Max don’t add up. Like why does he turn up wherever Jade is? Why is he so evasive? And why do people around him keep ending up dead?

Only two things are certain: People in town aren’t who they seem. And things for Jade are about to get much, much worse.

About Darlene:

Darlene Gardner left her life as a newspaper sportswriter behind for love and romance. She’s the author of more than 35 books, from single-title romantic comedies to emotionally charged family dramas. She’s also written the paranormal mystery serial Dead Ringers for young adults on up.

Connect with Darlene:
website: www.darlenegardner.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneGardnerBooks
Twitter: @DarleneGardner

QUESTION FOR BLOG READERS: Has anything unexplainable happened to you or someone you know?

Posted in Guest Posts, Zoe's Posts | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Free Comic Book Day coming up on May 2

It seems like every day is some sort of holiday. Of course, you have your biggies, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there is something to celebrate every day. There’s even a National Day Calender where you can keep track of important holidays like Talk Like A Pirate Day (Sept. 19 — Yargh!) and National Cookie Day (Dec. 4 — shouldn’t we celebrate cookies every day?).

But one of my favorite holidays is Free Comic Book Day, which always takes place on the first Saturday in May — May 2 this year.

And it is just what it sounds like. On Free Comic Book Day, participating comic book shops across the United States and around the world give away free comics to kids and adults, host costume contests, and much more. You can see a preview of some of the comics that will be given away during this year’s event over at the Free Comic Book Day website.

Avengers Age of Ultron Free Comic Book Day should be especially fun this year, with the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie coming out on May 1. So why not pick up some comics collections, like Age of Ultron by Brian Michael Bendis, Bryan Hitch, Brandon Peterson, and Carlos Pacheco, shown at left, and learn more about your favorite superheroes and villains? If you don’t read comics, you’re missing out on some great stories and art.

Also, if you’re a fantasy author, get in touch with your local comic book store. Many folks who enjoy comics enjoy fantasy stories in general, and you might find some new readers. I’ll be signing books on May 2 at Mountain Empire Comics in Bristol, Tenn. The store always has a great crowd on Free Comic Book Day, and it’s always fun to chat with folks about superhero movies, TV shows, and more.

Free Comic Book Day is a terrific time to head out to your local comic book store to see what all the superhero fuss is about. Hope everyone enjoys Free Comic Book Day as much as I do. Cheers!

Posted in Jennifer's Posts | Tagged | 4 Comments

Past Lives

What is a past life? A past life is defined as a soul continuing to incarnate on the mortal plane of existence. Scholars, philosophers, and religious clerics have argued the possibility. Even scientists and medical professionals recently have begun shifting away from their staunch anti-reincarnation position. It has been written, “That the souls of men are immortal, and after a period of years they will enter another.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation) Personally, I have always been fascinated by the subject matter and possibility of having experienced other lives. I have even gone so far as to undergo past life regression. While I won’t divulge what I learned personally, some of these philosophies about the soul formed the basis for the development of my latest release, Remember Me, available 4/10/15.

What if you discovered that not only have you lived more than once, but ended up meeting the man or the “soulmate” that you had loved throughout time? What would that do to your belief system about what is possible both with life and with death? Would you be able to walk away from your soulmate or would you fight to keep them in your life? In Remember Me, my heroine is a psychic who works with police forces around the globe helping to solve crimes with her gifts. When she meets the Detective on her latest case, she has a vision of their past lifetime together, and will be forced to wrestle with the possibility of losing the only man she has ever loved to save the lives of five boys.

Here’s a short excerpt from Remember Me

“Come on, let’s go.”

She nodded, and followed Bronx the quarter mile distance back to his house. She trailed him, watching as he pulled his cell phone from his pocket, liking the unheeded view of his backside in jeans.

“Jeff, contact the forensics team in Dilkon and have them meet me here on the double.” He hung up, his long legs eating up the short distance to his house. They didn’t stop until they stepped into his bathroom.

From the medicine cabinet above his sink, he removed antiseptic, peroxide and bandages then switched the faucet on. “Give me your hand.”

She prayed she wouldn’t have a vision when he touched her. Not now, when she was hurt. She extended her injured arm. He unwrapped his shirt from her wrist, tossing it on the counter. She hissed as the air hit the wound and blood seeped.

“Sorry.”

Very gently, with a soapy washcloth, he cleaned the cut, removing the blood from her wrist, yet he only touched her through the washcloth, which saved her from experiencing another past-life vision. She grimaced at the burning sting. Was that the key? That flesh-to-flesh contact made it happen? She tried to remember each place he had touched her. The gash was about three inches long but thankfully not deep enough to need stitches.

“This may hurt a bit,” Bronx murmured and poured hydrogen peroxide over the cut. The cool liquid hit her skin. She hissed at the searing sting. Blinking moisture from her eyes, she focused on his bare chest as a distraction from the white bubbling disinfectant.

“Sorry. Here.” Bronx bent and blew on the peroxide-covered wound as the liquid bubbled white. Her skin tingled, heating her blood, as his warm breath caressed her wrist. Bronx stopped blowing on her cut and stood straight. She watched the play of his muscles as they rippled when he turned, grabbing the antiseptic ointment. He lathered her cut with ointment before applying a bandage.

“Hold this in place for me,” he murmured. She placed her opposite hand on the bandage as he started wrapping up her wrist with gauze to keep the bandage in place. Their fingers tangled on a pass around her wrist. Glancing up at his face, Bronx’s image shifted, becoming Thunder Eagle for a moment.

As soon as their hands parted, his appearance shifted back to Bronx. Fascinated by the switch, she placed her hand upon his bare chest, testing her theory of skin contact. The picture shifted once again and she stared at Thunder Eagle. She did this a few times, putting her uninjured hand in the same spot and experienced the same results.

Bronx chuckled. “Is there something I can help you with?”

Maddie snatched her hand off Bronx’s chest. She glanced in his eyes. This close she noticed the tiny flecks of gold around his pupils. Embarrassed by her actions, her gaze dropped to his lips, which were surrounded by a day’s growth of dark stubble. She looked back up, an apology on the tip of her tongue. His expression had shifted, his brown eyes simmered. The air heated in the small confines of the tiny bathroom. In slow motion, he dipped his head toward her. He stared at her lips like they were a sumptuous feast and he was a starving man.

Her breath caught in her throat as her lips parted in anticipation. His mouth descended a hairsbreadth between his lips and hers. No sound except their twin heartbeats between them sounding like the drumbeat call. Each of them waited for the other to push forward. Maddie surrendered and closed her eyes as she felt her breath mingle with his.

Copyright 2015 *Maggie Mae Gallagher

Have you ever wondered if the saying “you only live once” was true? Or have you considered the possibility of having experienced more than one lifetime?

Remember+Me (1)Remember Me

The Heart Never Forgets…

When world renowned psychic, Madelyn Rose, accepts a missing children’s case on the Navajo Reservation, she believes it is a case she is more than capable of solving. What she never expects is for Detective Bronx Daniels to dredge up images of their shared past life and challenge the foundation of her future. In the wide open spaces of the Arizona desert, Madelyn and Bronx are forced to rely upon each other for survival as they race to save the abducted boys from the will of a madman. But with her life on the line, will Madelyn risk it all for a love that crosses time?

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

mmg

Bestselling Author Maggie Mae Gallagher doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. When she was a kid she acted out her favorite scenes, only better, with her brother and cousin. As a teenager, she wrote reams of poetry, but realized her true love lay with creating characters and stories. A former music and history major, Maggie is a total geek at her core. When she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her two furry felines.

Website/ Facebook/ Twitter

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments