Friday, October 25, 2019

Guest Post: Night of the Owl by Judith Sterling

Today is my guest is Judith Sterling talking about her newest release: Night of the Owl

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Florida but HATED the heat and longed for four seasons.  As soon as possible, I got out and studied in England, Scotland, and Sweden, ending up with an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies.  I also lived in Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket.  Currently, I live in Salem, Massachusetts with my husband (who works at The House of the Seven Gables) and our 15-year-old twin boys.  When not writing, I work at The Witch House, the 17th-century home of witch trials judge Jonathan Corwin.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I love creating detailed outlines for my books, allowing the story to reveal itself to me and then planting information and clues at just the right moments.  The actual writing is also fun, though, and I enjoy editing as I go along.  What I like least is all the promotion and marketing necessary.  It overwhelms me at times!

Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

PhD student Ardyth Nightshade has renounced men and pursues her twentieth-century career with single-minded focus. When fate whisks her to medieval England, she meets her match in a man whose passions mirror her own. Can she sacrifice ambition for a love she never sought?
Hugh, Lord Seacrest confounds all who know him. He refuses to marry without a meeting of minds and hearts, and no lady has even approached his ideal…until Ardyth. But she's an odd one, with unique skills, shocking habits, and total conviction she needs no man. She also harbors secrets, and in the midst of rumors, plots, and murder, trust is fragile.
A woman outside of her time. A man ahead of his. They must take a leap of faith to forge a bond that will shape history.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I’m about to start edits on The Sword Unsheathed, the third book in my YA paranormal fantasy series, Guardians of Erin, and I’m also writing Return of the Raven, the fifth and final book in my medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Whether I’m writing medieval romance or young adult fantasy, all of my books have at least a hint of the paranormal.  The romances take place in northern England; the YAs, in Ireland, for I lost my heart to the British Isles long ago.  My favorite themes include true love, destiny, healing, redemption, time travel, and finding the mystical in the mundane.  My ultimate goal as an author is to make readers happy by whisking them far away from their troubles.


Ardyth looked from one tunnel entrance to the next, and then the next.  The ledge in front of them was substantial.  It ran along the rock wall to the right, all the way to the mouth of the cave, winding around it to continue along the outer cliff.

Again, she pointed.  “Where does that lead?”

“Shouldn’t you be doffing your clothes?”

Her eyes narrowed.  “In other words, you don’t intend to answer my question.”

He grinned.  “Clever, aren’t you?”

She returned his smile.  “I like to think so.”

“If you’re stalling because you cannot swim—”

“Oh, I can swim.”  She could hardly wait to feel the cool water on her skin.

He folded his arms, and his intense, gray eyes held a dare.  “Then show me.”

“Hold this.”  She handed him the folded smock.  Get ready to eat crow, buddy!  Quickly, she removed her boots, hose, and tunics.  When only her thin, white chemise remained, she stole a peek at her skeptical host.  He stared at her bare feet.

She sighed.  “I know.  My feet are hardly attractive.  In fact, I’ve always thought my toes resemble…”

He raised his eyebrows.  “What?”

Astronauts.  But I can’t tell you that.  “Nothing.”

His eyebrows settled again, but the orbs beneath them seemed to glow with a new light.  “I beg to differ with your opinion.  Your feet are quite…lovely.”

She almost laughed, until heat flooded her cheeks.  I’m blushing?  “Thank you,” she muttered.  With an inward groan, she started toward the water.  For crying out loud!  He only complimented your feet.  Your pale, crazy, NASA-evoking feet.  Get a grip!

The ocean breeze caught the hem of her smock as she stepped into the surf.  Foamy water—colder than she would’ve liked—enveloped her feet.  Thank God for the heat of the sun!  But this was the closest she’d come to a bath in days, and she was determined to prove her skills to the man who underestimated her at every turn.  She waded forward, and the brisk, undulating water swallowed her calves, knees, thighs, and hips.

“Lady Ardyth!”

She turned.  Her dry smock in his hands, Hugh stood with feet well apart on the wet sand.

“You needn’t prove your courage further!” he called above the lapping, swishing voice of the sea.  “Come back before—”

“Courage isn’t the point!  Swimming is!”  The level of the surrounding water lowered to her thighs, signaling a coming wave.

She turned just as it crested and dove headfirst into it.  Completely submerged in the chill, rushing water, she headed left and allowed herself to rise to the surface.  She swam freestyle for several strokes, then flipped onto her back and floated with abandon.  After a minute or two, she flipped over, and swam in the opposite direction.  Then she stood with the water at her ribs, waited for the next wave, and indulged in bodysurfing, which carried her with a whoosh back toward shore.

Satisfied, she straightened, knee-deep in the water.  Her wet chemise clung to her frame, and she knew Lord Seacrest was getting a lordly eyeful.  Her nipples were rock-hard from the cold.

She rolled her eyes toward the bright, blue sky.  My kingdom for a bra!  And throw in a pair of underwear, too!  But both articles of clothing were back at Nihtscua and not likely to appear anytime soon.  For the first time since plunging into the surf, she regarded Hugh.

Eyes wide, her dry smock clutched in his hands, he stood as if frozen.  Only his gaze moved, traveling from her breasts to the apex of her thighs.

She pulled the smock away from her flesh as best she could and advanced toward him, stopping an arm’s length away.  “I told you I could swim.”

He blinked.  Then his full, sensual lips curled into a smile.  “Indeed, you did.”


“And what?”

“You’ve doubted me twice already.  Perhaps you owe me an apology.”

His eyes widened, then relaxed.  “Perhaps I do.  Pray…forgive me.”

The words couldn’t have come easily, and the fact he’d said them made her grin.  “I forgive you.  This time.  But I ask respectfully that you not underestimate me again.”

For two seconds, he hesitated.  “╩╝Tis a reasonable request, and I shall endeavor to honor it.”  He gave her a quizzical look.  Then he shook his head and chuckled.  “Is there anything you cannot do?”

She thought for a moment.  “I’ve never ridden aside.  If I’m going to ride something, I spread my legs.”  The instant the words left her mouth, she cringed inside.  Good God.  That came out all wrong!

Humor curved his lips, but his eyes smoldered.  Did his thoughts mirror hers?  He took a step closer, and his masculine aura invaded her personal space.  “Tell me more.”

Friday, October 18, 2019

Guest post: Sinner's Opera by Linda Nightingale

My guest today is Linda Nightingale talking about her latest release: Sinner's Opera

Tell us a little about yourself:

I’m a mother, a grandmother, a horse lover, a car lover, and adore formal gowns. Oh my, I forgot a dreamer, a writer and an author.  I was a legal assistant all my career and once worked for a Circuit Judge in South Carolina—interesting job.  Having bred, trained and showed Andalusians for many years, I’ve seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck towing a horse trailer.  After fourteen years in Texas (I am a big fan of the Lone Star State), I returned to my roots in South Carolina. Also, I’ve lived in England, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Canada, and once upon a time almost moved, lock, stock. and barrel to Norway. Me on the half-shell!
PS, missed big fan of the piano.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I love the writing when my Muse is talking so fast I can’t type quickly enough to get it down.  I dislike reading over galleys a couple of times. I really don’t like the rejection and negative reviews—that sort of thing—because I’m sensitive and my skin is very thin.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

Sinners’ Opera is the first book I wrote and the book of my heart. My editor at The Wild Rose Press, Callie Lynn Wolfe, of the Black Rose line, helped bunches to make it into a good book. Here is the back of the book blurb:

Morgan D'Arcy is an English lord, a classical pianist, and a vampire. He has everything except what he desires most—Isabeau. As the Angel Gabriel he’s steered her life and career choice, preparing her to become Lady D'Arcy. Many forces oppose Morgan's daring plan—not the least of which is Vampyre law.

Isabeau Gervase is a brilliant geneticist Though she no longer believes in angels, she sees a ticket to a Nobel Prize in Gabriel's secrets—secrets that have led her to a startling conclusion. Gabriel isn't human, and she fully intends to identify the species she named the Angel Genome. Morgan is ready to come back into Isabeau's life, but this time as a man not an angel. Will he outsmart his enemies, protect his beloved and escape death himself? For the first time in eternity, the clock is ticking.
What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I’m working on the prequel and sequel to Sinners’ Opera. The prequel is Sinners’ Waltz and tells about Morgan’s (Hero) early life and his becoming a vampire. The sequel continues the story of Sinners’ Opera, and is titled Sinners’ Obsession.  The next of my books in my editor’s queue is Life for Sale, the sequel to Love For Sale, a sci-fi romance about sentient, exactly human-like androids sold to the lonely as loving companions.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?   I love you!


The fortuneteller nodded, smiling.  Isabeau cut the deck, placed three neat stacks in the lamplight and sat back, crossing her arms.  The lantern flame danced hypnotically.  Memories teased the corners of Isabeau’s mind.

“Seeker, begin at the left, turn the top card on each stack face up.”  Shadows contoured Nekeya’s face.  “These are your guides—powerful cards.”

Isabeau flipped the first card—King of Spades.  Another flick of the wrist revealed the Queen of Diamonds.  A peculiar reluctance seized her. She hesitated.  Nekeya plucked the last card from the stack beneath Isabeau’s trembling fingers.

“There he is.”  Nekeya grinned, placing the last card beside the Diamond Queen.  “The Jack of Hearts, a blond, blue-eyed man.”

“Right up your alley.”  Kirsty elbowed Isabeau’s ribs.

“Ah, Miss Isabeau, I too like the blond men.  I had one once.  Back home in Haiti.”  Her eyes closed, capturing a memory.  “A beauty he was but married and never to be mine.”

Isabeau whispered, “I’m sorry.”

Cold fingers tap-danced along her backbone.  Wasn’t Haiti the voodoo island?

Nekeya shrugged, picked up the cards and fanned them in her hand.   “The face cards—King, Queen, Jack—represent people.  On the left, that King of Spades is a black-haired, black-eyed married man or man of authority, a judge or a teacher.  Your light brown hair, fair skin and violet eyes make you the Queen of Diamonds, there in the middle.  Your cards, they run to my hand like this.  The Five of Diamonds,” she laid the card between the Diamond Queen and Jack of Hearts, “represents love.  This one’s a sign of greatness—great love, great achievement.  Here and here,” the cards flew down, “I see marriage and a child.”

“Will she marry the King of Spades?”  Kirsty leaned into the lamplight, whispered aside to Isabeau, “That’s got to be John.”

“That, Kirsty,” Isabeau whispered behind her hand, “is my choice.”

“She won’t marry the Spade King.  He opposes Isabeau and her Jack of Hearts.  He is your enemy.  You must be very watchful of him, for your sake and your husband’s sake—”

Isabeau’s hand shot up.  “Nekeya, I don’t know if she told you—I’m a scientist.”  She shrugged.  “That translates skeptic, sorry.  Read Kirsty’s cards now.”

“Listen to your heart, little one.  It speaks the truth.”  Nekeya lifted Isabeau’s chin, forcing her to meet the dark gaze.  “In your heart, you know you’re on the wrong path.”

That an angel prophesied for me.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

New Release: Reflections of You by Marie Tuhart

New Release from me - Reflections of You came out on 10/14. This is book two in the Club Crave series. Note: the books are short stories under 7k

Game night at Club Crave is heating up...


Engaged couple Paige Thomas and Tanner Adams enjoy a little kink both inside and outside of Club Crave. But lately, Paige has been pulling away from Tanner, and he's determined to discover why before it's too late. Game night at the club fits his plans perfectly to push Paige to her limits to save their relationship.


A bell sounded, and Tanner turned his attention to the stage. Master Jason made his
announcement, and Chris was the first to draw his task for game night.

Then came his turn. Tanner took a deep breath and strode up to the stage. He dipped his hand into the box, pulled out a piece of paper, and opened it. Take your D/s relationship to a new level, respect hard limits, but push those you can. Enjoy yourselves and indulge in your fantasies. Please see a DM for instructions on where you will play.

Tanner turned away from the stage and glanced over at Paige. She was staring at him, her blue eyes wide. Olivia stood slightly behind Paige and stared at him hard, then she pulled the fabric of her dress away from her body and pointed to Paige.

He dipped his head in acknowledgement. He wasn’t exactly sure what Olivia was trying to tell him, but he had a feeling it had to do with the clothing he’d picked for Paige. He took Paige by the hand, led her over to the Dungeon Master, and handed him the task.

The DM read it, stared at them for a moment, then pointed over Tanner’s shoulder. “Room five,” he said.

Paige’s sigh of relief was loud, but Tanner didn’t say anything. Instead, he led her up the stairs. Room five wasn’t one they’d played in before. At the door, he turned the knob, pushed it open, and gestured for Paige to enter.
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