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 RELEASESfertileFertile Ground (S.C.I.U #2)

by B.E. Sanderson

No consent required.

Adam Wyte has been nothing special his entire life, but everyone will remember him once his mission is complete. His diabolical plan to sow his seed and reap sons is so far along, no one can stop him now. And his carefully chosen list of women will help him—whether they want to or not.

Justice is essential.

With the shadow of Jace Douglas’ success hanging over her, Agent Teri Buchanan transferred away from the S.C.I.U. headquarters intent on proving she’s as good as the next woman. And if moving to the Detroit branch also lets her bury the memories of her own attack, even better. When her first assignment means hunting down a serial rapist turned killer, she can’t let her fears interfere with her job. Even if she ends up confronting a need to carry out more justice than she ever received.

Amazon | Goodreads

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pagesThe Pages of the Mind

by Jeffe Kennedy

AN ORPHAN’S THRONE

Magic has broken free over the Twelve Kingdoms. The population is beset by shapeshifters and portents, landscapes that migrate, uncanny allies who are not quite human…and enemies eager to take advantage of the chaos.

Dafne Mailloux is no adventurer—she’s a librarian. But the High Queen trusts Dafne’s ability with languages, her way of winnowing the useful facts from a dusty scroll, and even more important, the subtlety and guile that three decades under the thumb of a tyrant taught her.

Dafne never thought to need those skills again. But she accepts her duty. Until her journey drops her into the arms of a barbarian king. He speaks no tongue she knows but that of power, yet he recognizes his captive as a valuable pawn. Dafne must submit to a wedding of alliance, becoming a prisoner-queen in a court she does not understand. If she is to save herself and her country, she will have to learn to read the heart of a wild stranger. And there are more secrets written there than even Dafne could suspect…

Amazon | BN | iBook | Kobo

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tornTorn

by Cynthia Eden

In New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s latest novel featuring the Last Option Search Team (LOST), one agent’s investigation entices a killer into making her his prey.

PARTNERS…FRIENDS…

Forensic anthropologist Victoria Palmer has always been better with the dead than the living. Shutting down her emotions, she lets few people in. But then Victoria’s latest investigation takes her and agent Wade Monroe to Savannah, Georgia. Handsome, dangerous, and more than ready to play dirty on any case, Wade weakens Victoria’s aloofness with just one glance.

…LOVERS

Wade knows their recent cases have pushed Victoria beyond her limits. But her skills are crucial to finding a college student who went missing five years ago. Victoria is able to determine she was murdered, and that the killer is still on the loose.

And when the vicious murderer targets Victoria, Wade must do everything in his power to protect her…because he refuses to let a woman he loves be torn from him…again.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

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darkDaughter of Darkness

by S.C. Mitchell

“It wouldn’t be the first time I’d been kicked out of heaven.”

After a thousand years in exile, the goddess Nott learned to live without interaction with the other Norse Gods. Hidden away amidst the devastation of a dead heaven, and working to aid the besieged mortals of Midgaard, Nott found peace. The night is her realm, and darkness her best friend. But war finds her. And her grandfather, Loki, wants her at his side, when he conquers Asgaard.

And then there’s Tyr . . .

Visions of the Night Goddess have haunted Tyr’s dreams for a millennium. Unjustly accused, she’d fled Asgaard before he could stop her. Now, circumstances offer him an opportunity to reconnect with the woman who’d walked away from the Golden Realm—the woman who’d eluded him for a thousand years, yet always haunted his dreams. But Nott’s family ties threaten to put the goddess on the other side, in a war that’s blazing across the heavens.

Amazon

99c BOOKS

embersDying Embers (S.C.I.U. #1)

by B.E. Sanderson

Dwelling on the past can be murder.

Emma Sweet looks more like a trophy wife than a killer, but as she watches her cheating husband burn alive in his Mercedes, she knows her trophy life is over. Every man she ever loved hurt her. Now it’s time to hurt them back. As she travels from state to state, crossing a name off her list each time she ends a life, she’s only one step ahead of Agent Douglas. She doesn’t care if she gets caught really, as long as the last name on her list—the first man to break her heart—gets the justice he’s earned before the law catches up with her.

With the memory of a fatal house fire looming over her, no one can blame Jace Douglas for being pyrophobic, but agents with the Serial Crimes Investigation Unit don’t get to pick and choose assignments. When a series of murders all have the same killing signature, she can’t let the flames of her past interfere with the job. Alongside one pushy—and altogether too attractive—detective, she embarks on a cross-country manhunt to catch a killer before another man dies.

Amazon | Goodreads

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repreThe Representative

by  Matt Minor

Following a horrific terrorist attack on the southern border, a handsome, charismatic former rocker and poet, John David (JD) Dothan unexpectedly wins his district in the Texas Legislature.

After the freshman liberal is befriended by an influential colleague, Rep. Ron Martinez, he finds himself sitting on the controversial Select Joint Committee on Immigration Reform with his “first love,” Pro-Life State Senator Rachael Logan. Together, JD and Rachael become the public face of the prestigious committee’s contentious legislation.

But the two are carrying not only the committee’s cause, but a destructive secret out of their mutual pasts’ that could undermine it.

Ever burdened with the stresses of family and business, the poet delves further into his romantic past; even if that past has the potential to undermine his future as a legislator.

With the aid of his sharp but inexperienced Chief of Staff, Tryphena Taylor, he must navigate through a world where nothing is what it appears to be. Through a macabre twist of events that lead to a tumultuous rock bottom, Dothan is pulled not only towards the ugly reality of power, but his own redemption as well.

Amazon 

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Love For All Ages

As a reader, I tend to read different genres and even nonfiction. Sometimes I go on a streak of reading books by one author, but with my Kindle so full of books, that’s happening less often now. Plus, I’m busy writing my own books.

Soon, I’ll be publishing two Love & Murder books, about four weeks apart. The plots and characters are completely different, and so are the ages of the main characters. The first book has a hero and heroine in their late twenties and early thirties. The main couple in the second book is in their fifties. In most romantic suspense and contemporary romance books, the couples tend to be younger, but the need to love and be loved doesn’t stop as we age. And even if we don’t need to love – or even want to love – sometimes love happens anyway.

The movie, The Intern, with Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, and Rene Russo has been playing on HBO recently. In a subplot, De Niro’s character, a widower, is dating Renee Russo. Their romance feels like an afterthought in the movie, but I enjoyed seeing them getting together. I’m pretty sure that other people watching it feel the same way.

Here’s an early scene with De Niro and Russo. Let me know how you feel about reading a romance with an older couple.

 

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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!

FREE BOOKS

warThe Duchess War (The Brothers Sinister)

by Courtney Milan

Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly—so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.

But that is precisely what she gets.

Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he’s up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he’s determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…

kindle | kindle uk | kindle ca | iBooks | nook | nook uk | kobo | google play | smashwords | all romance

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betterBetter Dead Than Wed

by Pamela Frost Dennis

Katy McKenna has had enough near-death experiences and heartache to last a lifetime. Now all she wants to do is get her career back on track, find a nice guy, and live happily-ever-after. But when she hears about a man maliciously exposing innocent young women to HIV, she is compelled to put her plans on hold to stop him.

Meanwhile, Katy’s mother is forced to reveal a shattering childhood trauma that has come back to haunt her; her obnoxious baby sister is moving in, and her scuzzy was-band is stalking her.

And she’s beginning to wonder why every rotten person she has recently heard about has suddenly dropped dead.

Is it divine providence? Or is it murder?

Amazon

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blissBlissed (Misfit Brides Book 1)

by Jamie Farrell

Welcome To Bliss, the Bridal Capital of the Midwest!

Natalie Castellano practically has it all—beauty, brains, and a stellar reputation. Because childbearing hips and exhaustion lines are totally sexy. And knowing when to let go of her family’s failing bridal boutique is smart…right? Plus, who doesn’t want to be that divorced mother in Bliss?

With all she has going for her, it would be selfish to secretly wish for love too. Who needs it? Definitely not Nat. But perhaps she does need to take her wedding dress-obsessed little boy somewhere else for a fresh start.

CJ Blue is on top of the world. At least, he was last week when he stood on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Now, he’s in an empty confessional, hiding from the hullabaloo of a family wedding. Aka the depths of hell.

His meddling relatives want to poke at the deep psychological wounds he supposedly bears from being a twenty-something widower. But he doesn’t want to talk, he doesn’t want to be fussed over, and he certainly doesn’t want another chance to fail at love. He just wants to get through this wedding and back to his adventurous life.

But when a dark-haired, wounded-eyed beauty invades his sanctuary and whispers a secret he was never supposed to know, he gets swept up in her life. Is he brave enough to tackle the adventure of life in Bliss, or will he walk away from the only woman in the world who could offer him love, forgiveness, and a second chance?

Amazon

Book recommendations

proofProof

by Dick Francis

Wine merchant Tony Beach has expertly catered his latest society soiree, but the fun’s over when a team of hit men crash the party…literally. The event leaves Tony with a bitter aftertaste of suspicion—and sets off a mystery that’s an intoxicating blend of deception, intrigue, and murder.

AmazonUS | AmazonUK | Indiebound

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Guest Barbara M. Britton: Just Keep Swimming!

I’m so happy to have debut award-winning author Barbara M. Britton as a guest. She’s an amazing friend and writer, and I’m so eager to read her book, which is on pre-order now! Here’s Barb!

Just Keep Swimming!

barbOne of my favorite Pixar movies is Finding Nemo. I love the carefree nature of Dory—a reef fish—who accompanies a friend on a journey to find his son. Dory keeps swimming into one adventure after another and merrily forgets just about everything. My critique partner and I have adopted Dory’s phrase “Just keep swimming” as our writing mantra.

Occasionally you hear the incredible story of the writer who finishes a book in a month—usually their first story attempt—and it gets a high-powered agent and a “significant deal” with a major publishing house. That is not my story. And it’s not the story told by many faithful writers. My first novel is under my proverbial bed. My second and third novels were “too sweet” for many agents. But I kept on swimming.

By my fourth book, I wrote my passion—a Biblical Romantic Adventure—in the top-selling genre of Biblical Fiction (not!). At the time, I didn’t even know that genre existed. I was teaching chapel to elementary school students and thought my weekly lesson may make an interesting book. After all, God has bestselling storylines. I finished “Providence: Hannah’s Journey” in 2013 and won my first contest. I was on a roll. Or not. Friends, agents, and contest judges loved it, but the manuscript camped out on my computer for another two years. Through Pitch Wars—a terrific mentoring program—an acquiring editor for Pelican Book Group noticed my story. The rest they say is history, a long, winding road history.

Hannah will have her debut in October which is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I chuckle at the date as last October I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer. I had to keep swimming through surgeries and radiation and edits and galleys. The publishing stuff was way more fun than battling cancer and it didn’t come with sunburn.

This June, Dory has a movie of her own, Finding Dory. I love the tag line: an adventure she probably won’t remember. I will remember my publishing journey. Next October I can celebrate my debut release and being a breast cancer survivor all in one month.

What favorite phrases – or songs – help you during tough times?

providence

PROVIDENCE: HANNAH’S JOURNEY is available for pre-order now. 

When the prophet of Israel refuses to heal Hannah’s deformities, her father betroths her to the only man bold enough to wed her—a priest three times her age with numerous children.

Hannah flees Jerusalem to track down the prophet and find out what she needs to do to be healed. On her way to Mahanaim, she is captured by a band of raiders and forced to serve in the household of the commander of the Aramean army who is in need of healing himself.

When Hannah discovers her Hebrew escort, Gilead, has been captured and is being used as sword practice for the Aramean soldiers, Hannah must act fast to save herself and Gilead. But survival may mean finding the prophet of Israel and coaxing him to heal an enemy army commander.

Pre-order this wonderful book!

Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Pelican

Find out more about Barbara at her website.

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Writing is Like a Box…

As part of my Cin Wikkid: April Fools For Love tour, I did an interview where I was asked the question–what is your writing process? It made me realize writing is like a box.

Have you ever folded the flaps of a box together so they interlock? Sometimes I get it right first try, barely bending the corners. Sometimes I wrestle with it forever, breaking the corners and giving myself paper cuts. (If you’re curious, I looked up a video of the process on YouTube. This person makes it look easy!)

That is my writing process, angling and sawing, making character, plot, and emotion all fit.

One flap is a spark of inspiration, something that ignites my imagination. Say, a young cop on her first patrol, interrupting a mugging, managing to subdue the mugger only to be attacked by vampires—only to have the vampires attacked by a bigger, badder vampire. But then she tries to arrest the bigger, badder vampire.

The second flap is character, with the hero or heroine’s goal, motivation and conflict as the skeleton. I’ll usually create a symbol for the hero or heroine for a more concrete handle on their character.

Third flap is theme. It’s usually something I’ve actively struggled with, to make it sing for the reader.

Fourth flap is plot. Hero, heroine, and romance all have the five big turning points of Catalyst, Big Event, Pinch, Crisis, and Climax. Mentally I play with possibilities for each of those fifteen events, trying to picture which will be most in character while creating the richest story. After I create preliminary scenes around those fifteen points, I’ll play with order to spark the most tension.

Then I start folding.

The characters firm up as I go. The plot points often change as I see better ways to make them resonate. Even after the draft is done, editing is another process almost as long as the writing. I tease the flaps into place, making sure they’re tight and square–making sure the story doesn’t get laggy or confused, the beginning and ending grab me, and the middle is a nice rise of tension. Then I go back and pull up the peaks and push down the troughs, making sure action and emotion deliver as much punch as possible.

Authors, what’s your process? Readers, do you like to see the process or is it so much sausage?

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Simply the Best!

Winning the International Digital Award for Best in Suspense for 2015 was an honor – as was working with the other talented authors who won as this bundle came together! This collection is available now for only 99 cents!

Simply the Best: A multi-genre collection of International Digital Award winning romances

 Kindle  Nook  iBooks  Kobo

The novels included in this amazing multi-genre set have all won the International Digital Award! From bestselling and award winning authors —

HAUNTED BY DEATH by Dale Mayer
Suspense Winner
Death haunts anthropologist Meg Pearce… In her last summer before college, an innocent camping trip ended in a friend’s disappearance…and destroyed her life.

ANGEL’S ASSASSIN by Laurel O’Donnell
Historical Winner
Damien is an assassin, a man with a tortured past. Sold into slavery, he is trained to kill. Lady Aurora of Acquitaine is the epitome of purity and goodness. When Damien enters Aurora’s life, tempting her with promises of forbidden lust, he threatens to tear her peaceful world apart.

BE MINE THIS CHRISTMAS NIGHT by L.A. Sartor
Short Contemporary Winner
Children’s author Annie Hamilton’s dream of having a family resurfaces when Cole Evans moves next door with his two young boys during the Christmas season. But the lure of happily-ever-after with the brilliant scientist is overshadowed by the risk that revealing her secret will destroy this chance.

AHUNTER4RESCUE by Cynthia A Clement
Paranormal Winner
A unit of elite alien warriors, known as Hunters, crash lands on earth and their leader is torn between getting his men to safety or protecting the human woman he has bonded with.

THE FINE ART OF KEEPING QUIET by Charity Tahmaseb
Young Adult (Contemporary) Winner
No one expects the girl who has mastered the art of keeping quiet to join the speech team. But Jolia does. When a crush-worthy rival offers to coach her in secret, she can’t say no. But secrets have a price, and this one might cost Jolia everything.

THE MAPMAKER’S WIFE by Kathy L Wheeler
Short Historical Winner
A flippant proposal and an attack on her person finds one young woman married to the mapmaker who only needs someone to take control of his ungovernable child. Feelings quickly shift into something less platonic and when the enemy gains vital secrets, her suspicions land her in jail.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS —

DALE MAYER is a USA Today bestselling author known for her page turning plotlines and heartwarming characters. A prolific writers, she specializes in Romantic Suspense, but also writes thrillers, comedy, and contemporary romances. To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her atwww.dalemayer.com.

LAUREL O’DONNELL is a best selling author and has won numerous awards for her medieval romances, including the International Digital Award and the Holt Medallion Award. You can visit her website at www.laurel-odonnell.com to stay up to date on future releases.

L.A. SARTOR is a bestselling, award-winning author writing novels with a dash—or a lot—of romance. She lives in Colorado with her husband whom she met on a blind date. www.lasartor.com

CYNTHIA A CLEMENT is an award winning author who began writing when she was a teenager. Her novels reflect her love of romance, strong honorable heroes, and suspense intertwined with the intriguing and unexplained. www.cynthiaclement.com/

CHARITY TAHMASEB has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She’s worn both Girl Scout and Army green. These days, she writes fiction (short and long) and works as a technical writer. https://writingwrongs.wordpress.com/

Award winning author KATHY L WHEELER loves travel, fantasy football, NBA and musical theatre. As an avid reader of romance and patron of the theatre, her main sources of inspiration come mostly from an over-active imagination. Kathy writes contemporary and historical romance, from sweet to spicy.http://kathylwheeler.com/


Coming soon…

Shattered, book 9 of the Psychic Vision series and SEALs of Honor: Cooper are coming in June and July! They are up for preorder now. 🙂

[ cover: Psychic Visions - Shattered ]

 [Kindle]  Nook  iBooks  Kobo

[ cover: SEALs of Honor - Cooper ]

 [Kindle]  Nook  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

simplySimply the Best: A multi-genre collection of International Digital Award winning romances

by Dale Mayer, Laurel O’Donnell, L.A. Sartor, Cynthia A. Clement, Charity Tahmaseb, Kathy L. Wheeler

The novels included in this amazing multi-genre set have all won the International Digital Award! From bestselling and award winning authors. Only 99 cents!

HAUNTED BY DEATH by Dale Mayer
Suspense Winner
Death haunts anthropologist Meg Pearce… In her last summer before college, an innocent camping trip ended in a friend’s disappearance…and destroyed her life.

ANGEL’S ASSASSIN by Laurel O’Donnell
Historical Winner
Damien is an assassin, a man with a tortured past. Sold into slavery, he is trained to kill. Lady Aurora of Acquitaine is the epitome of purity and goodness. When Damien enters Aurora’s life, tempting her with promises of forbidden lust, he threatens to tear her peaceful world apart.

BE MINE THIS CHRISTMAS NIGHT by L.A. Sartor
Short Contemporary Winner
Children’s author Annie Hamilton’s dream of having a family resurfaces when Cole Evans moves next door with his two young boys during the Christmas season. But the lure of happily-ever-after with the brilliant scientist is overshadowed by the risk that revealing her secret will destroy this chance.

AHUNTER4RESCUE by Cynthia A Clement
Paranormal Winner
A unit of elite alien warriors, known as Hunters, crash lands on earth and their leader is torn between getting his men to safety or protecting the human woman he has bonded with.

THE FINE ART OF KEEPING QUIET by Charity Tahmaseb
Young Adult (Contemporary) Winner
No one expects the girl who has mastered the art of keeping quiet to join the speech team. But Jolia does. When a crush-worthy rival offers to coach her in secret, she can’t say no. But secrets have a price, and this one might cost Jolia everything.

THE MAPMAKER’S WIFE by Kathy L Wheeler
Short Historical Winner
A flippant proposal and an attack on her person finds one young woman married to the mapmaker who only needs someone to take control of his ungovernable child. Feelings quickly shift into something less platonic and when the enemy gains vital secrets, her suspicions land her in jail.

 Kindle  Nook  iBooks  Kobo

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51qKpd7vY9L._UY250_Sapphire Falls: Going For It (Kindle Worlds Novella)

by Marilyn Brant

Mirabelle Harbor meets Sapphire Falls…

Journalist Trevor Cayne is working on the biggest feature story of his career, and he’s on a road trip from his home in the lakeside Chicago suburb of Mirabelle Harbor to Colorado Springs to get the final details. But a quick stop to see his grandmother in Sapphire Falls threatens to derail his carefully constructed plans. Between Gram and her friends, the weather whims of Mother Nature, and the most stunning redhead he’s ever laid eyes on in his life, he may not make it further than the western edge of Nebraska.

Aspiring singer-songwriter Tina Marie Moran has vowed to leave Sapphire Falls for Nashville after this week’s big fireworks—she’s not even waiting for the Annual Town Festival to come to an end. She’s put her music dreams on hold for long enough and has no intention of postponing her plans yet again, least of all for another potentially untrustworthy man. But between her loving but meddlesome relatives and friends, a broken heart that’s in desperate need of mending, and a handsome stranger who can play her body like a virtuoso lead guitarist, she may find herself engulfed in a new passion that’s as strong as her love of music.

When it comes to their creative lives, both Trevor and Tina Marie know all about GOING FOR IT—but are they willing to put that same drive into what just might be the love of a lifetime?

Amazon

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roadLove on the Road (Whole Lotta Love)

by Sahara Kelly and S.L. Carpenter

Only 99c!

“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. – Jean de la Fontaine”

That quote comes true for Steve Mitchell and Lissa Henderson who are traveling in different directions for different reasons—but end up in a place neither of them expected. Amazing sex…strange experiences…well, sure. Every good road trip should have those. But it’s where they lead that is a surprise. And neither Steve nor Lissa ever imagined their final destination…

Amazon

Book recommendations

portalsPortals: Volume 1

by Lyn Brittan, Marcella Burnard, P.J. Dean, and 7 more authors

Free!

Welcome! You have arrived at a portal to the galaxy.

Enter, and you’ll be introduced by award-winning authors to worlds beyond imagining, with heroes & heroines who dare to take it to the edge and beyond. Count on these adventurers to take their best shot … at their enemies and at romance!

Contains 10 first chapters, with links to purchase any or all of the complete books, should you wish.

Amazon

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circusThe Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Amazon | BN

 

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the meaning of things

I was walking to work last week in my beige pump, touted to be comfortable all day long, imagining ways to inflict pain on the manufacturer. Just when I could see my office tower, and relief on the horizon, my shoe was ripped from my foot and I was sent lurching forward. A much younger woman stopped, panicked concern on her face, to ensure I was OK. This bothered me a lot. I looked down to see the spikey heel of my shoe lodged in the crack between two concrete segments of sidewalk.cobblestone

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.

Is this what that childhood rhyme was referring to? I’d always thought it was about the danger of the crack. Suddenly I wondered if the reference to mother was the important part. When I was young, and in one of those rare moments when I wore heels, an event like this would have looked goofy and somewhat endearing. Maybe the message in this phrase is that age requires more attention to life because there are more consequences to your actions. You can’t live just hoping for the best, muddling through. You have to learn from your experience – that is the gift of age. Place your feet thoughtfully.

I had quite forgotten my painful feet when I arrived at the office. It was really fun to explore the meaning of things. I think this is one of the gifts of writing. Stories can be laced with symbols and echoes of the growth that the protagonist is seeking. Readers can have their unconscious fed with metaphors of meaning and enjoy the delightful awakening as they rise to the surface of consciousness. Such a wonderful personal experience.diamond_PNG6692

I saw a man walking with his dog. ‘Man’s best friend’ popped into my mind. It made me think of the expression Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. What meaning are we to take from this pair of thoughts (I was on a roll now). Women used to store their nest-egg in the form of jewels. They are much more beautiful than a number in the bank. You can benefit from them by wearing them when you don’t need their cash value, and you can travel with them on short notice. There is always a measure of security and independence when you have diamonds. Women value beauty and self care. Men value loyalty. And someone willing to fight by their side.

That’s what those two phrases side by side said to me. What fun to see life as full of meaning. And we can all find our own meaning and be enriched by it. I think this is a really powerful aspect of writing.

How much thought do you give to symbols that hint to the meaning of your protagonist’s journey alongside the furthering of the plot line? I’d love to know the process, do they come to you as you write, do they get laced in afterwords?

Happy writing

Posted in Kim's Posts | 3 Comments

Finding New Books

portals-promoI love finding new-to-me authors, and I use a variety of different methods to do so. I subscribe to a few deal books newsletters, although I have to admit I delete them unread more often than I open them, just because I don’t always have the time.

I also love personal recommendations and always check out the books on MM’s Friday Finds post. There are a few review sites I like–because the reviewer seems to have similar taste to myself–and I am also fine with following the links Amazon sometimes sends me, although I’d say it’s only about 25% of the time that I agree they have sent me a winner.

One thing I’ve never tried before is a sampler. But now I’m involved in a sampler myself, I’m interested in others’ experiences with them.

The idea came about when some of the authors on a science fiction romance group I belong to mentioned they’d seen a sampler for another genre, and that it was something worth exploring for science fiction romance. It was so well received, we’ve ended up with four volumes (divided by heat level) each with ten first chapters from ten different authors in each volume. We consider the samplers a portal for readers to discover the wonderful world of science fiction romance, so the series is called Portals.

The samplers are free, and Portals Volume 1 is already out and available, with each new volume being released at two week intervals.

The great thing about it is that it means readers have nothing to lose, and with each author promoting the volumes, we have the combined weight of forty authors sharing with their established readers, and hopefully helping them find other books in the genre they love.

The first chapter of my science fiction romance, Dark Horse, is in Portals Volume 3, and I’ll let everyone know when it’s out. For now, I’d love to know if you’ve read a sampler before, like the idea, or have simply never come across one before.

Posted in Michelle's Posts | 6 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!

FREE BOOKS

The+Golden+Apple (1)The Golden Apple

by Michelle Diener

THE GOLDEN APPLE IS FREE UNTIL MAY 13TH.

he Golden Apple

Book author:  Michelle Diener

THE GOLDEN APPLE IS FREE UNTIL MAY 13TH.

Kayla’s world has been turned upside-down . . .

Her father has made her the prize in a deadly, impossible tournament, and Kayla has retaliated in the only way she knows how; by choosing her champion beforehand. But taking control of the outcome changes the game completely, and when the real reason behind the strange test becomes apparent, Kayla realizes not just her life, but her entire kingdom is at stake.

Rane’s honor is torn in two…

In order to save his brother, Rane will do whatever he has to–including deceive and betray a princess. He knew nothing about this tournament would be easy, but when it turns into a deeper, far more sinister game, Rane is forced to see it through to the end, or leave his brother at the mercy of their enemy.

Now their fates are entwined, and they must venture into the deep, dark forest together…

Kayla and Rane are bound to one another by an enchantment and Kayla’s actions. But the sorcerer forcing them to do his will may have miscalculated, because no-one comes out of the Great Forest unchanged. No-one.

The Golden Apple is followed by its sequel, THE SILVER PEAR

Amazondivider (1)

vegasVegas to Varanasi (Fortytude Series Book 1)

by Shelly Hickman

Anna has never been the beautiful one; she’s always been the nice one. So when the gorgeous man sitting across the table at a wedding reception remembers her from high school—and quite fondly at that—she’s taken off guard.

Formerly overweight and unpopular, Kiran has never forgotten Anna, the one person who was kind to him when no one else could be bothered, and Anna’s a bit flustered as she slowly comes to grips with his intense attraction for her.

In what feels like a romantic dream come true, all-grown-up, hunky Kiran invites Anna on a trip to Varanasi. But her troubled, whack-a-do ex-boyfriend starts interfering, creating drama at every turn, which begs the question, “Can nice girls really finish first?”

Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks

divider (1)

vampireThe Vampire’s Mail Order Bride (Nocturne Falls Book 1) Kindle Edition

The tourists think it’s all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.

Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.

After seeing her maybe-mobster boss murder a guy, Delaney James assumes a new identity and pretends to be a mail order bride. She finds her groom-to-be living in a town that celebrates Halloween every day. Weird. But not as weird as what she doesn’t know. Her groom-to-be is a 400-year-old vampire.

Hugh Ellingham has only agreed to the arranged set up to make his overbearing grandmother happy. In thirty days, whatever bridezilla shows up at his door will be escorted right back out. His past means love is no longer an option. Not if the woman’s going to have a future. Except he never counted on Delaney and falling in love for real.

Too bad both of them are keeping some mighty big secrets…

by  Lyn Brittan, Marcella Burnard, P.J. Dean & 7 more authors

The first volume of the Portals Project is live and available at all the various online retailers. Readers get a free sampler of first chapters of ten different science fiction romance novels with a medium heat level in Volume 1. The other volumes will be released at two week intervals.

deathofDeath of an Idiot Boss

by Janice Croon

Ever had a boss you’d happily kill?

Somebody beat her to it.

Corporate climber, Kadence MacBride, is smashing the glass ceiling with her size ten pumps, or so she thinks. Not only does she get passed over, her promotion goes to her idiot employee, and he becomes her new boss.

Worst day ever, or so she thinks. Worst doesn’t have a floor, and idiots tend to get themselves killed.

Losing a promotion–bad

Becoming a prime murder suspect–CATASTROPHIC

Police Captain Cooper has hit his own glass ceiling. Solving this case quickly will break him through it, so Cooper doesn’t care what’s true. Since Kadence makes the easiest target, he’s gunning for her.

Long buried secrets from the Civil Rights era seek vengeance from the grave. Kadence has her own secrets to keep.

There are some things you don’t delegate. Adding amateur sleuth to her resume, Kadence sets out to find the real killer. If she fails, she’ll trade her red power suit for an orange jumpsuit.

Amazon

Book recommendations

 

411+vGwYyUL._UY250_Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

by Amy Cuddy

Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation? The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless. Too often we approach our lives’ biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret.

By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves. As Harvard professor Amy Cuddy’s revolutionary book reveals, we don’t need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.

Amy Cuddy has galvanized tens of millions of viewers around the world with her TED talk about “power poses.” Now she presents the enthralling science underlying these and many other fascinating body-mind effects, and teaches us how to use simple techniques to liberate ourselves from fear in high-pressure moments, perform at our best, and connect with and empower others to do the same.

Brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them. Every reader will learn how to approach their biggest challenges with confidence instead of dread, and to leave them with satisfaction instead of regret.

Amazon | iBooks | BN

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