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Cover Reveal: Samantha’s Secret by Bettey Bolte

 

 

Samantha’s Secret
by Betty Bolté
Series: A More Perfect Union, #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: April 21, 2015

 

 

Midwife and healer, Samantha McAlester returns from the front lines to find Charles Towne under British siege and the town’s new doctor at war with its citizens.

Dr. Trent Cunningham intends to build a hospital staffed solely with educated doctors. What he doesn’t need is a raven-haired charlatan spooning out herbs and false promises to his patients, while tempting him at every turn.

Then a mutual friend develops a mysterious infection.  Trenton is stumped.  Samantha suspects the cure but knows treatment will expose her long-guarded secret, risking all she holds dear… including Trenton.

 

“My darling, you look beautiful this evening.” Samantha’s father stopped before her and glanced at her mother. “Don’t you agree?”

“Yes, of course.” Cynthia sipped her wine, cutting off any further comment she may have made.

“Thank you. I’m so pleased that the weather cooperated so we could enjoy the garden tonight.” Samantha let her gaze roam the mingling crowd. “Another week and it will be too chilly to entertain out of doors.”

“Indeed, indeed.” Aaron’s smile faded as he scanned the area, finally focusing on the two-story home. “This house has served us well for many years. It would be hard to find another as fine.”

Samantha darted a look at her father, then noted her mother’s harsh glance and quick squeeze of his arm. “It is a good thing, then, that won’t be necessary. The British will pull out ere long and the town can return to normal.”

“How is Evelyn?” Cynthia asked, abruptly changing the subject. “Pray tell me she is not still crying over that man.”

“It is to be expected she’d grieve the death of the father of her child,” Samantha said, shaking her head, “even if he did treat her abysmally in the end. At one time, she must have felt something for him.”

“Ah, you’re being sought out.” Aaron motioned for her to precede him down the path. “Time for your annual salute. Are you ready?”

She nodded, aware of a sense of relief emanating from her parents, and made her way down the path, her shoes crunching the shells with each step.

Benjamin handed her a flute of sparkling wine when she reached the group of people gathered by the banquet table. She frowned, worry blooming inside. His mouth was pinched as though he fought pain. Not surprising after receiving a gunshot wound to the shoulder that morning when he fought off the last of the renegades with a little help from Amy. She peered closer.

“Benjamin, are you feeling well?” Samantha studied his expression.

“I’m fine, a touch tired after the day’s exertions.” He wiped his hand down his dove gray evening coat then raised his gaze to look over Samantha’s head. “You made it!”

She turned to see who Benjamin greeted and froze, her flute trembling in her fingers, the liquid sloshing within the fragile crystal. Dr. Trenton Cunningham. His sandy blond hair waved back from his open expression, his crystal blue eyes echoing the wide smile revealing even white teeth. Broad shoulders filled the dark blue evening coat he wore, a canary yellow cravat neatly tied at his throat and tucked into an elaborately embroidered waistcoat. Creamy breeches and black leather boots completed his attire. Despite the formality of his clothes, Dr. Trent appeared as though he’d recently arrived on board a ship from some distant port. Fresh and windblown and ready for adventure.

Trent was a gorgeous man, strong and clever, and extraordinarily dangerous to her sense of wellbeing. Her breath hitched and she forced herself to remain still, appear calm, even as her heart raced. This feeling of imbalance and rushing emotions had never happened to her before.

She turned back to face the remaining guests, and raised her glass.

“My friends, we gather this evening as in years past to rejoice in the bounty we’ve realized this year. As our country begins to define our government and create a new society, consider the wise words from the lauded Anna Bradstreet, some called the Tenth Muse back in her day, in her wonderful Meditations, Divine and Moral.”

Trent locked eyes with her, disconcerting her already roiling thoughts. She took a breath and smiled at the gathering.

“She reminded us that, ‘Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.’ Pray keep this thought in mind as the year draws to a close and we face new challenges. Our governor and other state leaders will need our support and God’s guidance.”

Glasses clinked all around her to the accompaniment of “Huzza! Huzza!”

She sipped her wine, the cheer of the moment echoing inside her heart. Scanning the crowd, she watched as others mimicked her actions. All but two of her guests anyway. A chill froze her smile into place.

 

 

 

Book 1: Emily’s Vow

 

Book 2: Amy’s Choice

 

 

Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a Master’s in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Get to know her at http://www.bettybolte.com.

 

   
   
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sale Blitz: Shadows of Fate by Angela Dennis

 

 

Shadows of Fate
by Angela Dennis
Series: Shadow Born, #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 8 2014

 

 

Redemption lies beyond the veil between truth and lies.

After witnessing her husband’s brutal murder, Brenna Baudouin lost control of her Shadow Bearer powers and wreaked havoc on her home world. Her penance: one hundred years policing hordes of supernatural misfits that spilled onto the Earthly plane after a cataclysmic war.

She’s on a routine exorcism run when she learns she’s been assigned a new partner. But there’s something about this Shadow Bearer that sparks her suspicions. Particularly when people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash.

Gray Warlow holds tight to the glamour that allows him to get close to the woman on whom he plans to wreak vengeance for betraying his people. Yet as he skillfully manipulates his way past her distrust, he begins to see her not as the heartless monster he was led to believe, but a strong, vulnerable woman.

As they work to put together the pieces of a killer’s macabre puzzle, an attraction deeper than blood and bone flares between them. And they must reveal their deepest secrets to avoid becoming the final targets.

Warning: A thrill ride of supernatural proportions. Contains violent battle scenes, nail-biting suspense, crazy hot sexual tension, and enough twists and turns to make your head spin.

 

 

Her gaze stretched to the bar. Beneath the glittering liquor bottles and burnt oak, a bottle of Jack in one hand and Grey Goose in the other, stood her target. Dirty blond hair brushed past his eyebrows, the rest tied back in a rubber band. He seemed innocent enough. As he flipped a glass bottle behind his back, muscles rippling on his shirtless body, magic seeped from his skin. It flowed around the women stretched across the bar, their assets on display as well as their lust.

Thankfully, he didn’t get much bang for his buck. This one was weak. Newly possessed, the demon hadn’t had time to gain a strong enough lock on the victim’s body. This shouldn’t take long. The piles of paperwork she had left on her desk might even get done tonight.

She pushed through the crowd, stripping her leather duster off her shoulders as she went. The black corset underneath, paired with tight leather pants, flattered her figure. She turned heads, especially the demon’s. She released the hair tie at the back of her neck. With a quick shake, her burnt copper curls slid down to her waist. She stopped at one of the tiny tables and threw her coat across the barstool.

Eyes closed, she pretended the music was something more aesthetically pleasing as she stepped onto the dance floor, keeping her mark at the forefront of her mind. She felt his eyes on her body as she swayed to the music. Hips gyrating to the heavy beat, she pulled on her glamour to blend in with the other dancers as she let her magic wrap his body. Losing herself in the music, she let him watch her move, feeling his desire amp. His energy vibrated as he made his way through the crowd, his power wild.

His hands draped her hips and he pulled her to him, his magic sliding over her body. Darkness tinged her aura, but she shrugged it off. Dealing with demon magic never got easier, but his wasn’t powerful. Grinning, she wrapped her hand around his neck, pulling him close until her lips brushed his ear. His burning skin jumped against her touch.

They stilled for a moment as the DJ switched tracks. “Think you could get me a drink?” she breathed, brushing a hand down his bare back. “I’m thirsty.” She grinned as he nodded, eager, the demon jumping beneath his skin.

“Anything for you, darlin’.” He wrapped a possessive arm around her waist, moving her toward the bar. “What’s your poison?”

“Whiskey. Straight.”

A grin played on his lips. “My kinda woman.”

Pushing past the other bartender, he grabbed a bottle of Jack and poured her shot. She caught it as it slid across the splintered wooden bar. Tossing it back, she reveled in the slow burn of the liquor. It was an old favorite. Just cause she was working didn’t mean she couldn’t treat herself.

She tossed back a second shot, thankful she didn’t have the ability to get drunk. Giving the demon her best longing look, she leaned forward. “Thanks. I needed that,” she murmured. “What’s your name?”

“Zed.”

Leaning forward, she traced a finger down her cleavage. “Do you think you could give me a ride home, Zed?” she asked. She bit one finger in a nervous gesture, knowing he was buying it. “My friend went home with some guy and left me here. I can wait.”

His eyes flashed, and she knew she had him.

“Sure.” He glanced at the other bartender. “Give me a second. I got off an hour ago.”

Sure you did, she thought.

A few seconds later he was back, pulling on a t-shirt as he walked. The gesture was surprisingly human. With the demon hiding inside, the brimstone dancing in his blood would keep his body uncomfortably hot, eventually burning him alive from the inside out. It may be the middle of winter, but he would never feel the cold.

He held up his keys as she rose to meet him. “My truck’s out back.”

She moved closer, letting him drape an arm over her shoulder. “Let me grab my coat.” The duster was where she had left it. She draped it over her arms as she turned on her psychic link with Xavier. The mage accepted, and Brenna turned to the demon, knowing Xavier was watching through her eyes. At this point, the mark’s lust was so inflamed he wouldn’t notice the slight change of color in her irises.

Wrapping her free arm around Zed’s waist, she led him through the mass of patrons to the exit. As they stepped into the wintry air, she noticed the bikers again. They stood beside their Harleys, watching her warily as she passed. She worried the tension might give her away, but Zed was oblivious.

She led him over the cobblestone to where Xavier waited. As they closed in on the shadows, she could feel Zed’s eagerness spike.

The darkness moved over them, hiding them from prying eyes. Xavier’s power sang in the night, a compass pointing her to the van. Leaving Zed to follow behind, she moved to the gray van and pressed her back against its side. Zed moved toward her, all pretense of humanity stripped away. The graceless stride betrayed his hunger as green scales peeled away his skin and his eyes turned to blood red slits.

Brenna waited until he was on her, scales chaffing the sensitive skin of her face, then she dropped her glamour. The demon jerked back as her magic wrapped around his body, but it was too late. In one swift movement, she pulled the blade strapped to her back free and ripped the already tattered t-shirt away from his chest. Shifting her body weight, she slammed him against the vehicle even as his body mass grew, the demon pushing its way to the surface. One hand held Zed steady, the other slipped beneath his jeans to feel the skin of his hip.

“A little to the left,” the demon growled, body shaking, titillated despite itself.

He shifted his weight and slammed her against the brick wall behind her. His body pressed hard against hers, he ran a scaly tongue across her cheek. “You don’t have to get hostile, darlin’. I don’t mind if you like it rough.”

She let her power surge and kneed him in the crotch. Sparks flew as her spell sent him flying against the van. Keeping him in place with a holding spell, her fingers found the rune carved on his hip. She ripped away the denim as she tried to control the squirming demon.

“A little help?” she called out. She had pulled back the spell. Her full body weight was pressed against the demon, but he was starting to get free. Her magic had to be focused on breaking the possession; she couldn’t waste it restraining Casanova.

She released the demon as Xavier stepped from the shadows and slammed it against the van again. Subdued, the creature glared at them, its red eyes filled with hatred. Another hard slam dazed the creature, but only for a moment.

A flick of her hand and the back of the van opened. Xavier shoved Zed inside. As soon as he was strapped into the harness, Brenna ripped off his jeans. His hips now bare, she was able to see the rune carving, fresh as she had hoped.

Her ceremonial blade pulsed in her hand as she charged it with her energy.

Zed spit at her. The saliva sizzled across the corset, burning a hole in the leather.

Damn. That had been one of her favorites.

“Stuff something in its mouth. I need to concentrate.”

“Deal with it. Even in the harness this thing is a bitch to restrain.” White lines creased Xavier’s eyes, and Brenna worried his injuries were more severe than he let on.

Zed’s fingers began to work the trappings of the harness, but Xavier pulled him back, one arm around his scaly neck. In an explosion of power, Zed pulled free, knocking Xavier into the side of the van. Saliva dripping from his fangs, Zed growled at Brenna, and snapped the other wrist free. Jumping across the van, he pinned Brenna beneath him. Spittle fell from his lips, scorching its way across her skin. She pressed her palm against his face and pushed with all her strength, ignoring her burning flesh. Then, suddenly, he was gone.

Getting to her feet, she saw Xavier had strapped the beast back into the restraints.

“You got it?” Once she started, she wouldn’t be able to help him anymore. All of her energy would go into the exorcism.

“Yeah. Hurry.”

A sharp giggle jarred Brenna’s attention. Looking up, she caught Hilda peering through the glass from the front seat. “If he passes out, I can help.”

“This isn’t a game.”

Zed slammed against his restraints. “I like ghosts. They burn like whiskey going down.”

“Shut up,” Xavier growled.

Tuning them out, Brenna let the words of the exorcism spell spill from her lips. Her hand pressed against the rune on the demon’s hip. The carving glowed and the green light grew until it filled the van.

Zed fought against the restraints. Obscenities, the kind only a demon would know or understand, ricocheted throughout the vehicle.

Xavier stuck a thick leather strap in the demon’s mouth, cutting off his tirade.

Brenna gathered her magic. It pooled through her and into the athame as she sliced the silver blade into the center of the rune. Blood seeped from the wound, spilling over the green light. It exploded with power, slamming Brenna against the van. Xavier fared better, still wrapped around the demon. He was surrounded by a musty green steam that reeked of brimstone.

Continuing the chant, Brenna pulled a pouch of blessed sand from the crevice between her breasts. Throwing a pinch onto the rune, she banished the demon back behind the Veil. Golden steam rose from the wound. It twined around Brenna thick and dense, but she continued to chant even as its foulness tried to seep inside her mouth.

Darkness teased the edges of her vision for a few moments, then the warmth of Xavier’s power wrapped around her body like a shield, pushing out the demonic essence. Time stood still as the final words filled the air. Then, in a flash, the beast was gone.

 

 

 

Trade Paperback available April 7th!

 

 

Book 2: Fading Light

 

Pre-Order Now!
Book 2.5: Piercing the Darkness
 

 

 

Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.

You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com. She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t forget to find her on Twitter to chat.

 

 

 

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Spotlight Tour #ENovAaW Guys and Gals of Murder, Mayhem & Mystery: Stephen Hazlett

Click the banner for the tour schedule.

 

 

Stephen Hazlett

I was born and came of age on the mean city streets of New Jersey. As a young man, I served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, which included a year in Vietnam. After that, I began a career as a computer professional in California’s Silicon Valley.

Since quitting the workaday world to pursue my passion for writing, I’ve authored six novels, a collection of stories, and a memoir, titled The Way I Saw It. I’ve written other books, too, that never saw the light of the published world, when I was young and still learning the craft.

My novels include the three volume City Different mystery series, set in Santa Fe, NM, available individually on Amazon, and recently released as a complete Boxed Set, titled The City Different Series. Separately, the three volumes of the series are City Different, Nina’s Time, and Finding Nina. I’ve also published three other novels of contemporary life, the collection of stories and the memoir mentioned above.

Currently, I divide my time between New Mexico’s Land of Enchantment and Orange County, California, pursuing the craft of a writer of contemporary fiction, mystery/suspense and crime/thrillers.

 

 

Reacher books–My guilty pleasure

Lee Child is the wildly successful author of 19 mystery/suspense thrillers featuring Jack Reacher, an outsized superman of a protagonist, who only goes by the name of Reacher in the books. Collectively, the novels are referred to as Reacher books, and I have read most of them. I call the series my guilty reading pleasure. A guilty pleasure can be defined as, “something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt enjoying it.” I don’t feel guilt when I read Reacher’s incredible exploits, but I sometimes feel I get too much pleasure from them. So let me try to explain.

I began my life as a writer aspiring to write literary novels in the fashion of my artistic heroes: Ernest Hemingway, James Jones, Norman Mailer, Cormac McCarthy, and others. I wanted to be an important writer. But I did have a soft spot for mystery/suspense novels, and after writing several so-called serious books, I decided to try my hand at writing a mystery. That one, City Different, demanded of me a sequel, Nina’s Time. A few years later, a third volume, Finding Nina, happened along, and now, suddenly, I had a series of my own.

Lee Child also writes mystery/suspense novels, but the stylistic differences between his books and mine are vast. I write what I like to think of as literate novels of the genre. My protagonists are ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances–the Internet entrepreneur of City Different, for instance, who suddenly finds himself desperately trying to solve a murder because his wife is the accused murderer, and she has disappeared. And while Lee Child is an excellent writer, who is also very smart and knows how to write page-turning thrillers, he is not what I would call literate. He writes what appeals to his audience, people who like plenty of action and don’t care about having to suspend heavy doses of disbelief, a requirement when reading his books. Child’s protagonist, Reacher, is anything but ordinary. He travels the country alone carrying nothing but a toothbrush. He wears his clothes, usually bought at surplus stores, for three or four days, and when they get dirty, he simply buys more and throws the old ones away. And in the course of his travels, wherever he goes, he naturally finds himself inserted into the midst of action, adventure and romance, all of it rolled into thrilling tales of derring-do.

To say Reacher is outsized is an understatement. He stands six-foot five and weighs in at around 240 pounds, all of it solid muscle. He easily takes on two and three bad guys at a time, and he knows how to fight, clean or dirty, with the fights almost always being no contest. As a former Military Policeman and U.S. Army Major, he knows everything there is to know about every kind of weapon imaginable, including the most exotic military ordinance. He usually outthinks ordinary cops while solving the crimes that generally stump them, and there is always a woman in his adventures, usually described as one of the most beautiful women he has ever seen. In one book, The Affair, there are three, all in a small town in Mississippi, all of them astonishingly beautiful. And of course the beautiful women usually fall for him in the course of his exploits, as he unravels the crime de jour or rescues an old friend who only calls on Reacher because Reacher is the only one who can possibly help.

As I snap up each new edition Lee Child churns out, I like to think of Jack Reacher as Superman’s second cousin, with the mind of Sherlock Holmes and the sex appeal of a rough-hewn rock star. He is truly my guilty reading pleasure.

 

City Different
by Stephen Hazlett

City Different, A Santa Fe Mystery – Volume 1 of the 3 volume City Different Series

Eddie Collins, the CEO of a successful Internet company, has two problems: the dead man found in his Silicon Valley home and the disappearance of his beautiful wife Nina. A bullet hole in the man’s chest needs no explanation. What does is the fact that the police see Nina as the killer. They claim there is evidence that she was the victim’s lover, and that something went wrong between them. Disbelieving, Eddie goes after Nina to prove her innocence. He follows her to the one place he knows she will run to when in trouble, her birthplace of the City Different of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

His search leads him to the home of Helen Rodriguez, Nina’s Aunt Helen and the wealthy widow of an influential New Mexico state senator. At first he believes Helen is his ally in finding Nina and proving her innocence. What he finds, though, eventually leads to what was behind the murder in his California home.

In the meantime, Eddie becomes embroiled in Santa Fe’s modern dilemma—its old ways versus its place in the new west of money and power. His search takes him to the art galleries of Canyon Road and to the places where Santa Fe’s better half congregates. Twice, he is arrested and briefly jailed. His interest becomes piqued by Maribel Orozco, the young, Mexican maid of Helen Rodriguez, and she becomes his confidant. A platonic love interest develops between the two, and as time passes she begins to occupy his thoughts more and more. And he begins to learn fragments of the story behind the murder, involving the embezzlement of millions from his own Internet company. He learns the truth behind his relationship with his wife, Nina, as the tale spins into one of love and lost love, murder and betrayal.

Nina is finally found and arrested, and Eddie is reunited with her in the Santa Fe jail. She reveals her part, though an unwitting one, into the embezzlements, the murder, and the reason she went into hiding. Now that it’s all over, she just wants to go back to the old life she and Eddie had before any of this happened. But Eddie cannot. He finally sees his Nina without the magic glow she’d always carried for him.

 

Nina’s Time
by Stephen Hazlett

 

Nina’s Time – Volume 2 of the 3 volume City Different SeriesThe story begins with the funeral of Helen Rodriguez, one of Santa Fe’s important people. Helen has been murdered, and Santa Fe’s finest attend the funeral to pay their respects and to speculate on who could have killed her. Helen’s beautiful niece, Nina, is there to preside and to be viewed as well, because, even here, men secretly stalk Nina, the way men always have.

Santa Fe Detective Ray Sanchez attends with a different agenda: to discover the whereabouts of Nina’s ex-husband, Eddie Collins. In a bizarre twist to the murder in Volume 1 of the series, it is Eddie who is now a suspect in this murder, and he has now disappeared. Detective Sanchez believes that Nina might know Eddie’s whereabouts. As he questions her, a spark of interest is kindled between he and Nina that develops into a romance as the tale progresses.

When Eddie Collins is finally found, he denies any knowledge of the killing, even though his fingerprints were found in Helen’s car where her body was discovered. The murder weapon, also bearing his prints, turns up, and Eddie is arrested for the murder.

Meanwhile, Nina has her own problems: the once wealthy Helen was not only broke when she died; she was in debt. As Helen’s only living relative, Nina inherits the debt, along with some seemingly worthless land north of town that Helen called Canyon Creek. The land was once promising for development, but it always lacked the one essential ingredient in this semi-arid Southwest: water. Now Nina believes she can revive the development of Canyon Creek with an old dream of Helen’s to pipe water to the land.

Into the mix is Ray Sanchez’s own stalking of Nina, with Nina being more than obliging. A sidelight of this is that he keeps her informed of the case against Eddie, which once seemed strong but is now developing cracks. Nina begins to believe that Eddie may not have been Helen’s killer, but the police have no other suspects and the case against him continues.

When someone makes an attempt on Nina’s life, it seems obvious that Helen’s killer is still out there. She finds a clue among Helen’s old files that leads her to suspect who and what was behind the murder: But there is no real proof of anything, just Nina’s speculation.

She decides to put everything behind her, forget about everything that has happened, and start a new life somewhere else. But there is one more stalking of Nina. Helen’s supposed murderer makes what seems like an attempt on her life. And now he is dead, and Nina is in jail, facing serious jail time. Doubt enters Nina’s mind for the first time. She begins to think that the whole story, starting with the man’s supposed murder of Helen and his stalking of Nina was all in her mind. The big question becomes, will Nina’s life be changed forever by all these strange and seemingly disconnected events that are now seemingly transpiring against her?

 

 

RP Dahlke

I write humorous mysteries about an annoyingly tenacious tall, blonde and beautiful, ex-model turned crop-duster who, to quote Lalla Bains, says: “I’ve been married so many times they oughta revoke my license.” I wanted to give readers a peek at a not so-perfect life of a woman who is not afraid of chipping her manicure because she doesn’t have time for a manicure, what with herding a bunch of recalcitrant pilots and juggling work orders just to keep her father’s flagging business alive.

Beginning with #4 in the series, A Dead Red Alibi, Lalla and her family will reside in South East Arizona where she will divide her time between a fledgling P.I. business with cousin, Pearlie Bains, and volunteering as a team member with  Cochise County Search and Rescue.

I also write a romantic sailing mystery trilogy: A Dangerous Harbor and Hurricane Hole. Coming in 2015: Dead Rise

 

A Dead Red Cadillac
by RP Dahlke


A Dead Red Heart
by R.P. Dahlke

 


 

Abby L. Vandiver

Through her various occupations, Abby discovered her love of writing. She’d always been told she had a gift for telling stories, combining the two, she became an author.

Her debut novel, the mystery/sci-fi, In the Beginning, was an Amazon #1 bestseller, it was written on a whim, packed away, and rediscovered some twelve years later. After publishing it in 2013, Abby decided to make writing a full-time endeavor. She penned three novels since – two stand alone sequels and a historical/women’s fiction novel that she co-wrote under the pen name Kathryn Longino. Abby hopes to publish another historical novel, and a paranormal romance story in 2015.

Abby, a former lawyer and college professor, has a degree in Economics, a masters in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her three wonderful grandchildren.

 

 

In The Beginning
by Abby L. Vandiver

 

At the End of the Line
by Kathryn Longino (AKA Abby L. Vandiver)

 


 

Kerry J. Donovan

Kerry was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-seven years. He has three children and three grandchildren, all of whom live in England and all of whom think he’s nice (strange the way that works out). An absentee granddad, Kerry praises the advent of video conferencing.

I former lives, Kerry has been a furniture designer/cabinet maker, a research scientist, a house restorer, and now spends all.most of his time writing crime thrillers and what he likes to call adventure yarns. He recently topped the Amazon UK bestseller genre list for his paranormal thriller, The Transition of Johnny Swift.

There are currently two book in his DCI Jones Casebook series and a new addition is due out in the New Year.

 

 

The Transition of Johnny Swift
by Kerry J. Donovan

 

The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn
by Kerry J. Donovan

 


 

David Wind

I live and write in a small village about thirty miles upstate of NYC, and share my home with my wife, Bonnie and our dog Alfie, an apricot poodle.

When I began writing in 1980, I had no idea where I was headed. Since then, I’ve published thirty-five novels, thirty-three of them with traditional publishers, but I decided I wanted more freedom than the traditional publishers would allow and began a new phase in my life as an Independent Author.

My first Independent novel Angels In Mourning, was my ‘homage’ to the old time private detective books of the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  I used to love to sneak them from my parents’ night-tables and read them as a young boy.  Angels, is a modern day take on the old style hardboiled detective. Angels In Mourning won the Amazon.com Book of the Month Reader’s Choice Award shortly after it was published.

My most current thriller, The Cured, was written with Terese Ramin.The idea for this Medical Thriller came shortly after the death of a close friend. I couldn’t help but wonder about the medication….

My previous suspense thrillers are The Hyte Maneuver, (a Literary guild alternate selection); As Peace Lay DyingConspiracy of MirrorsAnd Down will Come BabyNow I Lay Me Down To Sleep, and Shadows.

 

 

Angels In Mourning
by David Wind

 

The Cured
by David Wind

 

So what or who is #eNovAaW?

eNovel Authors at Work is a group of indie authors who believe in paying it forward…

We are dedicated to helping one another to understand the challenges facing writers in the digital universe.

Everything we discover will find its way into these pages, to help authors and readers alike to navigate the ever-changing world of books.

Our goal is all about THE BOOK. We help each other to get our books noticed and expand our audiences. Indie Publishing is constantly changing, and we do our best stay informed.

Our members can participate in individual and group promotions.

Whether an author has published one book or ten, success requires diligence, dedication, and focus. We don’t know all the answers, but we are learning who to ask, who to listen to, and how best to use the tools available to sell BOOKS.

While we respect an author’s choice in what he or she writes, we do not promote erotica, gratuitous sex, or violence.

Right here is where you can subscribe to our newsletter (at the top of the sidebar on any page). eNovel Authors will only land in your mailbox when a good book is free 99 cents or a special deal . Now and again we’ll tell you about a new release, a blog hop, or a book we discovered that made us laugh or cry or dream.

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Spotlight Tour #ENovAaW Guys and Gals of Murder, Mayhem & Mystery: David Wind

Click the banner for the tour schedule.

 

 

David Wind

I live and write in a small village about thirty miles upstate of NYC, and share my home with my wife, Bonnie and our dog Alfie, an apricot poodle.

When I began writing in 1980, I had no idea where I was headed. Since then, I’ve published thirty-five novels, thirty-three of them with traditional publishers, but I decided I wanted more freedom than the traditional publishers would allow and began a new phase in my life as an Independent Author.

My first Independent novel Angels In Mourning, was my ‘homage’ to the old time private detective books of the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  I used to love to sneak them from my parents’ night-tables and read them as a young boy.  Angels, is a modern day take on the old style hardboiled detective. Angels In Mourning won the Amazon.com Book of the Month Reader’s Choice Award shortly after it was published.

My most current thriller, The Cured, was written with Terese Ramin.The idea for this Medical Thriller came shortly after the death of a close friend. I couldn’t help but wonder about the medication….

My previous suspense thrillers are The Hyte Maneuver, (a Literary guild alternate selection); As Peace Lay DyingConspiracy of MirrorsAnd Down will Come BabyNow I Lay Me Down To Sleep, and Shadows.

 

 

My favorite (novel) thriller hero to movie thriller hero

Being both a thriller and a science fiction writer, this was a big quandary for me: which level of thriller, of mystery, of suspense did I want to look at? I thought about Blade Runner, (Philip Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep) The pressured against his will Detective Deker, played by Harrison Ford, was great, the movie, not terrible but….  Then I thought of someone else and the answer was easy.

The first Robert Ludlum book I read—too many years ago—was The Chancellor Manuscript and it made me a lifelong fan and reader of Ludlum.  The book blew me away on two levels; as a reader, and as a writer. There were things Ludlum put into this book that made me, as a writer, sit up and take notice.

But translating mystery and thriller novel protagonists to the screen never quite seems to work as well as an original screenplay. Yet, when I saw Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity, I knew they’d hit it right, as far as the part Matt Damon played.

While almost everything about the movie was different from the book, (in fact only the first half hour, the ship’s doctor and the names Jason Bourne and Marie were the same as the book) it made no difference as far as enjoying the movie and being inside Jason Bourne’s head.  For me, that was unusual because if I loved the book, I wanted the movie to have as much semblance to the book as possible.

There is no way to properly translate the Bourne Series to the screen the way it was written, but watching Matt Damon play Jason Bourne was a treat. While Damon is younger than the Bourne was in the book and the time period was changed as well it didn’t matter. If it’s truly possible for an actor to nail a fictional hero, then Damon did just that.  He did what Ludlum did, suspended the disbelief and sucked you right into the story.  He showed his angst, his confusion, the need to get to the bottom of, not just who her was, but how he got there and why.  Ludlum puts levels and levels of misdirection into his stories to keep you on the edge of your chair. The movie wasn’t as highly structured as a Ludlum novel, Damon put those levels into himself, and made you sit on the edge of your seat while you watched him go through his changes.

Damon played the part with every ounce of his talent and only when the movie ended, was the audience able to catch their breath.

That’s what I like in a movie made from a book, the same thing I get when I read and when I write. Having the experience of living within the words, of seeing and hearing and breathing what happens on the pages and becoming part of the world I hold in my hands.

 

Angels In Mourning
by David Wind

Angels In Morning, takes private detective Gabriel Storm from the theatres of Broadway, through the alleys of Hell’s Kitchen to Miami’s ‘Little Cuba’ and onward to the U.S. Senate in his drive to find the killer of his close childhood friend, Scotty Granger, considered to be the best playwright of the modern generation.

Early one morning, Gabe is summoned to his friend’s apartment by the NYPD, and told Scotty Granger has been murdered in a botched burglary attempt—the murder occurs while his newest play is in rehearsal. Unwilling to believe this theory, Gabe begins his own investigation, which centers on the “angels” who have invested in the show and an unknown woman whom Scotty has been seeing.

Working with his friend, Captain Christopher Bolt, the head of the Mayor’s Special Crimes Task Force, Storm follows a warped path of suspects from Scotty Granger’s Angels – the show’s investors – to pimps and prostitutes before descending into the twisted sub-culture of sexual predators and following paths that reach all the way to Washington’s law makers. We discover that Scotty Granger’s sister, Elizabeth, a victim of a predator, was abducted at the age of eight and has never been found: When Scotty became successful, he created an organization to help children abducted by pedophiles or lured from their homes by predators.

The action moves quickly as Storm pursues the illusive killer by using a network of people who are part of the killer’s world. Working both alone and with the FBI, Homeland Security, a mafia connection and the NYPD, Storm navigates the twisted trails and unlikely suspects who populate the story from Wall Street financiers to pimps and gangsters and a U.S. senator, on the road to an unexpected, suspenseful and surprising conclusion.

 

The Cured
by David Wind

 

When over 4000 people world-wide died after taking a cure for cancer, the drug was recalled. But the questions kept coming. Was it contamination? Was it sabotage? Or, was it outright murder by an insane research scientist in retaliation against the pharmaceutical giant he worked for and to avenge the death of his wife?And everyone wanted Doctor Donald Brockman! The lawyers wanted answers; the FDA wanted answers and, Homeland Security wanted the doctor!

When the 911 code flashed across her beeper, Doctor Kira Brockman went cold. The one thing she had been dreading had happened and her life as she knew it had

been changed, and the change was for the worst!

The wrong people had found her father!

She knew she had very little time to get out of the hospital, to find her brother and to run before Homeland Security and the FBI found them, and they were not the only ones: the lawyers who were in the midst of a huge class action suit against the international pharmaceutical manufacturing giant who had sold the cancer cure wanted her and the evidence she had as well as the lethal security team from the drug company who was trying to stop Kira Brockman from disclosing the evidence only she could get—evidence that would save her father—and they would use any means necessary to stop her.

 

Stephen Hazlett

I was born and came of age on the mean city streets of New Jersey. As a young man, I served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, which included a year in Vietnam. After that, I began a career as a computer professional in California’s Silicon Valley.

Since quitting the workaday world to pursue my passion for writing, I’ve authored six novels, a collection of stories, and a memoir, titled The Way I Saw It. I’ve written other books, too, that never saw the light of the published world, when I was young and still learning the craft.

My novels include the three volume City Different mystery series, set in Santa Fe, NM, available individually on Amazon, and recently released as a complete Boxed Set, titled The City Different Series. Separately, the three volumes of the series are City Different, Nina’s Time, and Finding Nina. I’ve also published three other novels of contemporary life, the collection of stories and the memoir mentioned above.

Currently, I divide my time between New Mexico’s Land of Enchantment and Orange County, California, pursuing the craft of a writer of contemporary fiction, mystery/suspense and crime/thrillers.

 

 

City Different
by Stephen Hazlett

 

Nina’s Time
by Stephen Hazlett

 


 

RP Dahlke

I write humorous mysteries about an annoyingly tenacious tall, blonde and beautiful, ex-model turned crop-duster who, to quote Lalla Bains, says: “I’ve been married so many times they oughta revoke my license.” I wanted to give readers a peek at a not so-perfect life of a woman who is not afraid of chipping her manicure because she doesn’t have time for a manicure, what with herding a bunch of recalcitrant pilots and juggling work orders just to keep her father’s flagging business alive.

Beginning with #4 in the series, A Dead Red Alibi, Lalla and her family will reside in South East Arizona where she will divide her time between a fledgling P.I. business with cousin, Pearlie Bains, and volunteering as a team member with  Cochise County Search and Rescue.

I also write a romantic sailing mystery trilogy: A Dangerous Harbor and Hurricane Hole. Coming in 2015: Dead Rise

 

A Dead Red Cadillac
by RP Dahlke


A Dead Red Heart
by R.P. Dahlke

 


 

Abby L. Vandiver

Through her various occupations, Abby discovered her love of writing. She’d always been told she had a gift for telling stories, combining the two, she became an author.

Her debut novel, the mystery/sci-fi, In the Beginning, was an Amazon #1 bestseller, it was written on a whim, packed away, and rediscovered some twelve years later. After publishing it in 2013, Abby decided to make writing a full-time endeavor. She penned three novels since – two stand alone sequels and a historical/women’s fiction novel that she co-wrote under the pen name Kathryn Longino. Abby hopes to publish another historical novel, and a paranormal romance story in 2015.

Abby, a former lawyer and college professor, has a degree in Economics, a masters in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her three wonderful grandchildren.

 

 

In The Beginning
by Abby L. Vandiver

 

At the End of the Line
by Kathryn Longino (AKA Abby L. Vandiver)

 


 

Kerry J. Donovan

Kerry was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-seven years. He has three children and three grandchildren, all of whom live in England and all of whom think he’s nice (strange the way that works out). An absentee granddad, Kerry praises the advent of video conferencing.

I former lives, Kerry has been a furniture designer/cabinet maker, a research scientist, a house restorer, and now spends all.most of his time writing crime thrillers and what he likes to call adventure yarns. He recently topped the Amazon UK bestseller genre list for his paranormal thriller, The Transition of Johnny Swift.

There are currently two book in his DCI Jones Casebook series and a new addition is due out in the New Year.

 

 

The Transition of Johnny Swift
by Kerry J. Donovan

 

The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn
by Kerry J. Donovan

 

So what or who is #eNovAaW?

eNovel Authors at Work is a group of indie authors who believe in paying it forward…

We are dedicated to helping one another to understand the challenges facing writers in the digital universe.

Everything we discover will find its way into these pages, to help authors and readers alike to navigate the ever-changing world of books.

Our goal is all about THE BOOK. We help each other to get our books noticed and expand our audiences. Indie Publishing is constantly changing, and we do our best stay informed.

Our members can participate in individual and group promotions.

Whether an author has published one book or ten, success requires diligence, dedication, and focus. We don’t know all the answers, but we are learning who to ask, who to listen to, and how best to use the tools available to sell BOOKS.

While we respect an author’s choice in what he or she writes, we do not promote erotica, gratuitous sex, or violence.

Right here is where you can subscribe to our newsletter (at the top of the sidebar on any page). eNovel Authors will only land in your mailbox when a good book is free 99 cents or a special deal . Now and again we’ll tell you about a new release, a blog hop, or a book we discovered that made us laugh or cry or dream.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Spotlight Tour #ENovAaW Guys and Gals of Murder, Mayhem & Mystery: Kerry J. Donovan

 

Click the banner for the tour schedule.

 

 

Kerry J. Donovan

Kerry was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-seven years. He has three children and three grandchildren, all of whom live in England and all of whom think he’s nice (strange the way that works out). An absentee granddad, Kerry praises the advent of video conferencing.

I former lives, Kerry has been a furniture designer/cabinet maker, a research scientist, a house restorer, and now spends all.most of his time writing crime thrillers and what he likes to call adventure yarns. He recently topped the Amazon UK bestseller genre list for his paranormal thriller, The Transition of Johnny Swift.

There are currently two book in his DCI Jones Casebook series and a new addition is due out in the New Year.

 

 

Who is my greatest fictional or TV hero?

When I was fourteen, way back in the time before mobile phones, home computers, and the Interweb, a new headmaster took control of our school. He came in with all sorts of radical ideas, one of which was insisting that every pupil visited the library at least once a week. Not only that, but we had to take out a book and read it too.

In our own time.

Over and above our normal school homework.

I mean the cheek of the man.

What self-respecting fourteen-year-old boy wants to spend his free time reading when there are footballs to kick and a cricket bats to wield? Not me, that’s for sure.

Thought I was being so smart by choosing the smallest book in the place—blue of cover and well thumbed. I didn’t even read the title, just plucked it from the shelf, and walked it to the librarian’s desk. She stamped it and I took to the desk. Boy was I miffed when I opened the book to find the tiniest text I’d ever seen. Seventy years old and written by some old fossil called Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s title? Sherlock Holmes – Selected Short Stories.

Read that book cover to cover in about a week. I was blown away by the writing style and the scope of the characters. The stories were a little dated and a tad naive, but wonderful nonetheless. The Sign of Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Speckled Band, all were classics of the criminologists’ art.

I still have the book, bought for 15p at the end of the term. It hasn’t left my side ever since. Need a magnifying glass these days to read the font, but I take it out occasionally to remind myself what a good detective story is all about. That little blue book is one of the reasons I write crime fiction.

A recent BBC series, Sherlock, has ‘rebooted’ Holmes and Watson into a modern setting. It is a testament to Doyle’s writing class that his lead characters, first written well over a century ago, stand the test of time.

This is stunning fiction, trend setting. If only I could write something that extraordinary.

 

The Transition of Johnny Swift
by Kerry J. Donovan

The Transition of Johnny Swift is a psychological thriller in 96,000 words, set in present-day England.

Racing driver, “Fiery” Frank Brazier has a problem. He keeps seeing a grey figure he calls Shadow-man. The silent Shadow-man appears in times of stress, but things are worsening. Frank would seek medical help, but racing drivers aren’t supposed to feel fear, and how would his sponsors react?

The novel opens at the start of the final race of the season. Frank is only one win away from sealing the F2500 Championship and earning a place on a Formula 1 team for next season. When Frank’s blood pumps hard and adrenaline heightens his senses, he sees Shadow-man again, sitting on the nosecone of his car, brooding, still, and silent.

Frank survives a front tyre blowout, wins the race, and is offered a contract with the best team in the Formula 1 Series. The next day, he accompanies his sister, Paula, to London by train, but a senseless act of vandalism results in an horrific rail crash.

When he wakes in hospital three days later, with eyes bandaged, bones broken, and head aching, Frank hears two words that throw him into a world of terror and confusion.

Save her!”

When the doctors remove his eye bandages, Frank sees the owner of the voice—Shadow-man, who repeats the words, “Save her.”

“Save who?”

Paula…

 

The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn
by Kerry J. Donovan

 

An empathetic detective and his Swedish-born colleague hunt for the abductors of a teenage schoolgirl—a police procedural set in England and France.

When their daughter fails to return from school, Hollie Jardine’s parents are terrified. Is she a runaway, or the victim of something more sinister?

Veteran Detective, David Jones, head of the Midlands Police, is tasked to find her. His team soon discovers a link to convicted sex-offender, Ellis Flynn, whom Jones suspects of grooming the naive teenager. A difficult case is made more personal when Jones sees a photo of the missing girl, Hollie Jardine. She is the spitting image of his God-daughter! Jones can’t separate the two in his head.

With Hollie’s chances of survival fading, Jones and his Swedish-born colleague Alexandra Olganski, risk their careers and their lives when they ignore protocol to follow Flynn’s trail across the Channel into France. What they discover in an idyllic backwater will stretch Jones’ detection skills to the limit, and Alex’s loyalty to heartbreak.

As he closes in on the abductor, Jones faces an impossible decision – give himself up or the girl dies—do nothing and the girl dies.

 

 

David Wind

I live and write in a small village about thirty miles upstate of NYC, and share my home with my wife, Bonnie and our dog Alfie, an apricot poodle.

When I began writing in 1980, I had no idea where I was headed. Since then, I’ve published thirty-five novels, thirty-three of them with traditional publishers, but I decided I wanted more freedom than the traditional publishers would allow and began a new phase in my life as an Independent Author.

My first Independent novel Angels In Mourning, was my ‘homage’ to the old time private detective books of the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  I used to love to sneak them from my parents’ night-tables and read them as a young boy.  Angels, is a modern day take on the old style hardboiled detective. Angels In Mourning won the Amazon.com Book of the Month Reader’s Choice Award shortly after it was published.

My most current thriller, The Cured, was written with Terese Ramin.The idea for this Medical Thriller came shortly after the death of a close friend. I couldn’t help but wonder about the medication….

My previous suspense thrillers are The Hyte Maneuver, (a Literary guild alternate selection); As Peace Lay Dying, Conspiracy of Mirrors, And Down will Come Baby, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, and Shadows.

 

 

Angels In Mourning
by David Wind

 

The Cured
by David Wind

 


 

Stephen Hazlett

I was born and came of age on the mean city streets of New Jersey. As a young man, I served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, which included a year in Vietnam. After that, I began a career as a computer professional in California’s Silicon Valley.

Since quitting the workaday world to pursue my passion for writing, I’ve authored six novels, a collection of stories, and a memoir, titled The Way I Saw It. I’ve written other books, too, that never saw the light of the published world, when I was young and still learning the craft.

My novels include the three volume City Different mystery series, set in Santa Fe, NM, available individually on Amazon, and recently released as a complete Boxed Set, titled The City Different Series. Separately, the three volumes of the series are City Different, Nina’s Time, and Finding Nina. I’ve also published three other novels of contemporary life, the collection of stories and the memoir mentioned above.

Currently, I divide my time between New Mexico’s Land of Enchantment and Orange County, California, pursuing the craft of a writer of contemporary fiction, mystery/suspense and crime/thrillers.

 

 

City Different
by Stephen Hazlett

 

Nina’s Time
by Stephen Hazlett

 


 

RP Dahlke

I write humorous mysteries about an annoyingly tenacious tall, blonde and beautiful, ex-model turned crop-duster who, to quote Lalla Bains, says: “I’ve been married so many times they oughta revoke my license.” I wanted to give readers a peek at a not so-perfect life of a woman who is not afraid of chipping her manicure because she doesn’t have time for a manicure, what with herding a bunch of recalcitrant pilots and juggling work orders just to keep her father’s flagging business alive.

Beginning with #4 in the series, A Dead Red Alibi, Lalla and her family will reside in South East Arizona where she will divide her time between a fledgling P.I. business with cousin, Pearlie Bains, and volunteering as a team member with  Cochise County Search and Rescue.

I also write a romantic sailing mystery trilogy: A Dangerous Harbor and Hurricane Hole. Coming in 2015: Dead Rise

 

A Dead Red Cadillac
by RP Dahlke


A Dead Red Heart
by R.P. Dahlke

 


 

Abby L. Vandiver

Through her various occupations, Abby discovered her love of writing. She’d always been told she had a gift for telling stories, combining the two, she became an author.

Her debut novel, the mystery/sci-fi, In the Beginning, was an Amazon #1 bestseller, it was written on a whim, packed away, and rediscovered some twelve years later. After publishing it in 2013, Abby decided to make writing a full-time endeavor. She penned three novels since – two stand alone sequels and a historical/women’s fiction novel that she co-wrote under the pen name Kathryn Longino. Abby hopes to publish another historical novel, and a paranormal romance story in 2015.

Abby, a former lawyer and college professor, has a degree in Economics, a masters in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her three wonderful grandchildren.

 

 

In The Beginning
by Abby L. Vandiver

 

At the End of the Line
by Kathryn Longino (AKA Abby L. Vandiver)

 

So what or who is #eNovAaW?

eNovel Authors at Work is a group of indie authors who believe in paying it forward…

We are dedicated to helping one another to understand the challenges facing writers in the digital universe.

Everything we discover will find its way into these pages, to help authors and readers alike to navigate the ever-changing world of books.

Our goal is all about THE BOOK. We help each other to get our books noticed and expand our audiences. Indie Publishing is constantly changing, and we do our best stay informed.

Our members can participate in individual and group promotions.

Whether an author has published one book or ten, success requires diligence, dedication, and focus. We don’t know all the answers, but we are learning who to ask, who to listen to, and how best to use the tools available to sell BOOKS.

While we respect an author’s choice in what he or she writes, we do not promote erotica, gratuitous sex, or violence.

Right here is where you can subscribe to our newsletter (at the top of the sidebar on any page). eNovel Authors will only land in your mailbox when a good book is free 99 cents or a special deal . Now and again we’ll tell you about a new release, a blog hop, or a book we discovered that made us laugh or cry or dream.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Release Day: Crumpets and Cowpies by Shanna Hatfield

 

Crumpets and Cowpies
by Shanna Hatfield
Series: Baker City Brides, #1
Genre: Historical/Western Romance
Release Date: January 15, 2015

 

 

Rancher Thane Jordan reluctantly travels to England to settle his brother’s estate only to find he’s inherited much more than he could possibly have imagined.

Lady Jemma Bryan has no desire to spend a single minute in Thane Jordan’s insufferable presence much less live under the same roof with the handsome, arrogant American. Forced to choose between poverty or marriage to the man, she finds herself traveling across an ocean and America to reach his ranch in Oregon.

 

“I agree, Weston. The longer we wrangle with this won’t make it any easier.” Thane looked to Jemma and she gave an almost imperceptible nod for him to continue. “I’ve taken into consideration Henry’s wishes, the needs of the children, and what would be most beneficial to all parties involved.”

When Thane paused, Jemma leaned forward, waiting. “And…?”

“I think Weston’s idea holds merit. In the vein of doing what is best for the children, I’m requesting the honor of your hand in marriage, Miss Bryan.”

“You are what?” Jemma rocked back so hard in her chair, it nearly tipped over. A most unladylike grab for the edge of the table is all that kept her upright. “How could I possibly marry you? I don’t love you. I can’t even claim to like you, Mr. Jordan. You are quite possibly the most maddening man I’ve ever met.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, honey. I sure didn’t take one gander at you and fall madly in love. You’re the most opinionated, obstinate, razor-tongued woman I’ve had the misfortune of encountering.” Thane held up a hand to silence her when she opened her mouth in rebuttal. “However, you love my brother’s children with a fierce devotion and I don’t want to take them away from you. What I propose is a marriage of convenience, in name only. Your sterling reputation will remain untarnished. As my wife, I’d provide for you, protect you, and share whatever I have with you. Everything except my bed.”

Jemma drew a deep breath, prepared to lambast him, but Thane’s stoney glare held a warning.

“Before you insult me further or push my patience beyond endurance, I encourage you to think over your next words very carefully. If you need time to consider my offer, I plan to spend the day at Henry’s office, going over his accounts. You can give me your answer this evening.”

Without waiting for her response, Thane rose from the table and strode from the room.

 

 

A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a best-selling author of clean romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.

 



 

 

 

 

 

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Spotlight Tour: #ENovAaW Guys and Gals of Murder, Mayhem & Mystery: RP Dahlke

Click the banner for the tour schedule.

 

 

RP Dahlke

I write humorous mysteries about an annoyingly tenacious tall, blonde and beautiful, ex-model turned crop-duster who, to quote Lalla Bains, says: “I’ve been married so many times they oughta revoke my license.” I wanted to give readers a peek at a not so-perfect life of a woman who is not afraid of chipping her manicure because she doesn’t have time for a manicure, what with herding a bunch of recalcitrant pilots and juggling work orders just to keep her father’s flagging business alive.

Beginning with #4 in the series, A Dead Red Alibi, Lalla and her family will reside in South East Arizona where she will divide her time between a fledgling P.I. business with cousin, Pearlie Bains, and volunteering as a team member with  Cochise County Search and Rescue.

I also write a romantic sailing mystery trilogy: A Dangerous Harbor and Hurricane Hole. Coming in 2015: Dead Rise

 

 

My favorite TV Heroes and Heroines by RP Dahlke

Because I write mysteries with humor, I DVR the T.V. detectives that make me laugh: Monk, The Mentalist, and Elementary are some of my favorites. I think it’s great when an actor finds his, or her, niche in a series. I remember Tony Shaloub as the Italian cabdriver Antonio Scarpacci in the long-running sitcom Wings, with Tim Daly and Steven Weber, and as the face morphing, and still funny, alien in Men in Black. I always thought Simon Baker was a hunk, and I love that his part in The Mentalist allows him to show his great smile. Did you know that Simon Baker is Australian, and Johnny Lee Miller of Elementary is not English. Some viewers complain that he mumbles his lines to cover the fact that he can’t get the accent right. I don’t mind, I just turn up the volume.

As for women sleuths, there hasn’t been anything like Murder She Wrote, on main stream American T.V. since that program went off  the air. I liked Miss Marple on PBS, but then I discovered PBS’s Miss Phryne Fisher played by the gorgeous Essie Davis. She’s a young flapper living in 1920’s Melbourne, Australia. A fashionista (I’d kill for her wardrobe) she carries a pearl handled pistol (my kind of gal), she has funny side-kicks, she’s also funny, smart, and has great romantic escapades.

So, until the television moguls in Hollywood decide to do the Dead Red Mystery series featuring, sassy smart and funny heroines who uncover the killer and along the way find, if not the undying gratitude of the local police, at least a sense of fulfillment in a job well done.

 

A Dead Red Cadillac
by RP Dahlke

1st in The Dead Red Mystery Series

Twice divorced NY model, Lalla Bains, now runs her dad’s Crop-Dusting business in Modesto, California where she’s hoping to dodge the inevitable fortieth birthday party. But when her trophy red ‘58 Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask why a widowed piano teacher, who couldn’t possibly see beyond the hood ornament is found strapped in the driver’s seat. Reeling from an interrogation with local homicide, Lalla is determined to extricate herself as a suspect in this strange murder case. Unfortunately, drug running pilots, a cross-dressing convict, a crazy Chihuahua, and the dead woman’s hunky nephew throw enough road blocks to keep Lalla neck deep in an investigation that links her family to a twenty-year old murder only she can solve.

 

A Dead Red Heart
by R.P. Dahlke

 

#2 in this popular humorous mystery series featuring Aero Ag pilot Lalla BainsWhen a homeless Vet litters her beloved red Cadillac with poetry scrawled on paper snowflakes, Lalla decides to confront him. But that doesn’t mean she wants the man to drop dead at her feet—with a pair of blue handled scissors sticking out of his chest.

With nothing but the man’s last words for the police to go on, Lalla decides that someone needs to be on the side of this misunderstood vet, and that person will be the exasperating, pushy, tenacious, Ms. Lalla Bains. But digging into the man’s past will only unravel a more potent question: What would you do if the love of your life lost their chance for a heart transplant because the donor organ went to a convicted felon?

 

Abby L. Vandiver

Through her various occupations, Abby discovered her love of writing. She’d always been told she had a gift for telling stories, combining the two, she became an author.

Her debut novel, the mystery/sci-fi, In the Beginning, was an Amazon #1 bestseller, it was written on a whim, packed away, and rediscovered some twelve years later. After publishing it in 2013, Abby decided to make writing a full-time endeavor. She penned three novels since – two stand alone sequels and a historical/women’s fiction novel that she co-wrote under the pen name Kathryn Longino. Abby hopes to publish another historical novel, and a paranormal romance story in 2015.

Abby, a former lawyer and college professor, has a degree in Economics, a masters in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her three wonderful grandchildren.

 

 

In The Beginning
by Abby L. Vandiver

 

At the End of the Line
by Kathryn Longino (AKA Abby L. Vandiver)

 

Kerry J. Donovan

Kerry was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-seven years. He has three children and three grandchildren, all of whom live in England and all of whom think he’s nice (strange the way that works out). An absentee granddad, Kerry praises the advent of video conferencing.

I former lives, Kerry has been a furniture designer/cabinet maker, a research scientist, a house restorer, and now spends all.most of his time writing crime thrillers and what he likes to call adventure yarns. He recently topped the Amazon UK bestseller genre list for his paranormal thriller, The Transition of Johnny Swift.

There are currently two book in his DCI Jones Casebook series and a new addition is due out in the New Year.

 

 

The Transition of Johnny Swift
by Kerry J. Donovan

 

The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn
by Kerry J. Donovan

 


 

David Wind

I live and write in a small village about thirty miles upstate of NYC, and share my home with my wife, Bonnie and our dog Alfie, an apricot poodle.

When I began writing in 1980, I had no idea where I was headed. Since then, I’ve published thirty-five novels, thirty-three of them with traditional publishers, but I decided I wanted more freedom than the traditional publishers would allow and began a new phase in my life as an Independent Author.

My first Independent novel Angels In Mourning, was my ‘homage’ to the old time private detective books of the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  I used to love to sneak them from my parents’ night-tables and read them as a young boy.  Angels, is a modern day take on the old style hardboiled detective. Angels In Mourning won the Amazon.com Book of the Month Reader’s Choice Award shortly after it was published.

My most current thriller, The Cured, was written with Terese Ramin.The idea for this Medical Thriller came shortly after the death of a close friend. I couldn’t help but wonder about the medication….

My previous suspense thrillers are The Hyte Maneuver, (a Literary guild alternate selection); As Peace Lay Dying, Conspiracy of Mirrors, And Down will Come Baby, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, and Shadows.

 

 

Angels In Mourning
by David Wind

 

The Cured
by David Wind

 


 

Stephen Hazlett

I was born and came of age on the mean city streets of New Jersey. As a young man, I served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, which included a year in Vietnam. After that, I began a career as a computer professional in California’s Silicon Valley.

Since quitting the workaday world to pursue my passion for writing, I’ve authored six novels, a collection of stories, and a memoir, titled The Way I Saw It. I’ve written other books, too, that never saw the light of the published world, when I was young and still learning the craft.

My novels include the three volume City Different mystery series, set in Santa Fe, NM, available individually on Amazon, and recently released as a complete Boxed Set, titled The City Different Series. Separately, the three volumes of the series are City Different, Nina’s Time, and Finding Nina. I’ve also published three other novels of contemporary life, the collection of stories and the memoir mentioned above.

Currently, I divide my time between New Mexico’s Land of Enchantment and Orange County, California, pursuing the craft of a writer of contemporary fiction, mystery/suspense and crime/thrillers.

 

 

City Different
by Stephen Hazlett

 

Nina’s Time
by Stephen Hazlett

 


 

So what or who is #eNovAaW?

eNovel Authors at Work is a group of indie authors who believe in paying it forward…

We are dedicated to helping one another to understand the challenges facing writers in the digital universe.

Everything we discover will find its way into these pages, to help authors and readers alike to navigate the ever-changing world of books.

Our goal is all about THE BOOK. We help each other to get our books noticed and expand our audiences. Indie Publishing is constantly changing, and we do our best stay informed.

Our members can participate in individual and group promotions.

Whether an author has published one book or ten, success requires diligence, dedication, and focus. We don’t know all the answers, but we are learning who to ask, who to listen to, and how best to use the tools available to sell BOOKS.

While we respect an author’s choice in what he or she writes, we do not promote erotica, gratuitous sex, or violence.

Right here is where you can subscribe to our newsletter (at the top of the sidebar on any page). eNovel Authors will only land in your mailbox when a good book is free 99 cents or a special deal . Now and again we’ll tell you about a new release, a blog hop, or a book we discovered that made us laugh or cry or dream.

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Release Day: Captivated by his Kiss

 

Captivated by his Kiss
by Cheryl Bolen, Bronwen Evans, Barbara Montajem,

Collette Cameron, Wendy Vella, Heather Boyd,

and Lauren Smith

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Release Date: January 12, 2015

 

 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cheryl Bolen and USA Today Bestselling Author Bronwen Evans are joined by Barbara Monajem, Collette Cameron, Wendy Vella, Heather Boyd, and Lauren Smith in this exciting collection of short regency romances. Be CAPTIVATED BY HIS KISS in these seven emotional stories of second chances, scandalous wagers, and the quest for true love. Lose yourself again and again in beautifully written romance.

Cheryl Bolen ~ His Lordship’s Vow
Bronwen Evans ~ To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone
Barbara Monajem ~ The Christmas Knot
Collette Cameron ~ Bride of Falcon
Wendy Vella ~ Christmas Wishes
Heather Boyd ~ Miss Watson’s First Scandal
Lauren Smith ~ The Duelist’s Seduction

HIS LORDSHIP’S VOW by Cheryl Bolen

Bereft of beauty as well as fortune, the exceedingly plain Miss Jane Featherstone has failed to attract any suitor during her three Seasons. Rather than be a burden to her brother and his obnoxious wife, Miss Featherstone vows to accept the first man who asks—even though she’s always worshipped a lord who’s far above her touch. . .

Lord Slade must marry an heiress in order to honor the deathbed vow he made to his father, and he needs Miss Featherstone’s help in wooing her beautiful cousin. After her initial anger, Miss Featherstone agrees to his scheme, telling him she’s doing so because she admires his Parliamentary record of humanitarian legislation and his reverence for truth. But the more he’s with the two cousins, the more attracted he becomes to Miss Featherstone. What’s a man of his word to do? Break a vow to a beloved father—or follow his heart with Miss Featherstone?

TO WAGER THE MARQUIS OF WOLVERSTONE by Bronwen Evans

Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is renowned for his cynical demeanor. It’s rumored that long ago, a beautiful woman broke his heart. Now he lives life for pleasure. That is, until the beautiful, as she is deceitful, Contessa Orsini re-enters his life with a wager he cannot resist.

THE CHRISTMAS KNOT by Barbara Monajem

Widowed and destitute, Edwina White takes a position as governess in a remote village in the north of England—in a haunted house. She’s so desperate that she’ll take anything, and besides, she doesn’t believe in ghosts. Little does she know that her new employer is the seducer who lied and deceived her many years ago.

Sir Richard Ballister inherited an estate with a ghost and a curse, and every governess he hires leaves within a week. Finally, a woman desperate enough to stay arrives on his doorstep—but she’s the seductress who dropped him many years earlier for a richer man.

The last thing Richard and Edwina want is to work together, but they have no choice. Can they overcome the bitterness of the past in time to unravel a centuries-old knot and end the Christmas curse?

BRIDE OF FALCON by Collette Cameron

After five Seasons, Ivonne Wimpleton has accepted she’s a haute ton undesirable. Always a bit ungraceful, her suitors are men desperate to get their hands on her marriage settlement. Guarded and aloof, she’s resigned herself to spinsterhood. She doesn’t mind her fate, since Chancy Faulkenhurst—known as Chance to his friends and the man who once held her heart—left for India years ago without an explanation.

When Ivonne’s father, Viscount Wimpleton, refuses Chance’s request for her hand in marriage, he transfers to the East India Troops. Chance’s dreams of making Ivonne his wife are soundly dashed. Ignoring her letters, he closes the door on his heart and Ivonne and remains in India.

Six years later, severely injured during a battle, Chance returns to England physically and emotionally scarred. His love for Ivonne remains just as strong. When he learns due to a whim of Prinny’s she must choose one of the despots whose offered for her hand, Chance is determined that none should have her but him. Except, not only is she infuriated he made no effort to contact her, in Chance’s absence, his father arranged a marriage for him and fully expects Chance to honor the agreement.

CHRISTMAS WISHES by Wendy Vella

Past experiences have taught Miss Hero Appleby to distrust noblemen, especially self-indulgent rakes like Lord Caruthers. However she was desperate for money to support the orphans in her care this Christmas, so it is to him she must go. Perhaps it had been wrong of her to point out his many faults so boldly, but the man had reeked of last nights over indulgences, and that coupled with his indolent lifestyle, drove her to distraction and all thoughts of lady-like behaviour disappeared in his infuriating presence.

Max didn’t remember much of his first meeting with the annoying Miss Appleby, thanks to the after effects of one good drink too many. But he vaguely recalled he’d promised her something, just to get her out of his house so he could suffer in peace. Unfortunately peaceful was the last word to describe her as he found out the next day. She was unlike any woman he knew – opinionated and rude certainly, but she worked selflessly to provide for children that were not even of her blood. Max had believed himself incapable of emotion yet Hero was making him feel things that he had believed were long dead. Could his long forgotten Christmas wish really come true?

MISS WATSON’S FIRST SCANDAL by Heather Boyd

Overworked London banker David Hawke has two goals for his week in the seaside town of Brighton: one, recover an overdue debt from a good friend and neighbor and two, relax for the remaining holiday without any further distractions. When his friend’s impulsive younger sister barges into his home to beg his aid, he’s drawn deeper into her life and scrambling to keep their relationship on a professional level.

Abigail Watson may be considered too young to have the cares of the world on her shoulders but her brother is in financial trouble and she’s desperate to help him recover. Despite the impropriety, she appeals to the bachelor next door for an extension on the debt and his help to secure her brother a wealthy wife. However, matchmaking never runs smoothly and falling in love is something neither one counted on.

THE DUELIST’S SEDUCTION by Lauren Smith

Helen Banks is going to die. There is no other option: either fight a duel in her twin brother’s place or see him die. But Helen never counted on the man she was to duel with being the same man she admired from afar for so long, Gareth Fairfax, a wealthy lord and the man sworn to exact his payment from the Banks twins through any means.

When Gareth discovers his opponent is a woman and more importantly, the sister of the man he means to kill, he demands satisfaction of some kind. He gives her two choices. She can return to his estate and become his mistress, or he can send her home and settle the matter with her brother by finishing the duel. Helen, unable to ignore the secret longing she’s had for Gareth, decides to accept his proposal and go with him back to his estate, thankful that her desire for him also saves her brother’s life.

Helen accepts the devil’s bargain and agrees to stay with Gareth, at his beck and call, putting more than her innocence in danger as Gareth begins his slow seduction. With each passing hour, she sees the tortured heart of a man who’d once loved and lost. Helen fears she may lose her own heart to him, and believing she can never lay claim to his heart. But as they challenge the limits of their passion and the sensual delight they find in each other’s arms, they may find that love is within their reach.

 

 

CHERYL BOLEN

Since her first book was published to acclaim by Harlequin Historical in 1998, Cheryl Bolen has written more than 20 books, mostly historical romances. Several of her books have won Best Historical awards, and she’s been a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Connect with Cheryl

BRONWEN EVANS

USA Today Bestselling Author Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes.

Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin won the RomCon Readers’ Crown Best Historical 2012, and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. Her first self-published novella, To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield, was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 201,2 and a finalist in the RomCon Readers’ Crown Best Historical 2013. Her first contemporary released December 2012, The Reluctant Wife, won the RomCon Readers’ Crown Best Category 2013.

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BARBARA MONAJEM

Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. After dabbling in neighborhood musicals and teen melodrama, she published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she’s writing for grownups. Her Bayou Gavotte series of paranormal mystery and romance takes place near New Orleans and features hereditary vampires, a Native American telepathic rock star, and other characters with paranormal abilities. She also writes sexy Regency romances with bold, passionate heroes, spirited, adventurous heroines, and the occasional touch of magic. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

Connect with Barbara

COLLETTE CAMERON

Award winning, Amazon best-selling author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series and Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish historicals and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five mini dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

Connect with Collette
WENDY VELLA
Wendy Vella is a lover of all things romantic. Her novels are sensual with just a touch of wicked and set in the often intriguing backdrop Regency England. Writing is something she has always found time for; and penned her first novel at eighteen, though she is adamant it will never make an appearance further than the closet in which it currently resides.
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HEATHER BOYD
Bestselling historical author Heather Boyd believes every character she creates deserves their own happily-ever-after, no matter how much trouble she puts them through. With that goal in mind, she writes sizzling regency romance stories that skirt the boundaries of propriety to keep readers enthralled until the wee hours of the morning. Heather has published over twenty novels and shorter works. She lives north of Sydney, Australia, and does her best to wrangle her testosterone-fuelled family (including cat Morpheus) into submission.
Connect with Heather
LAUREN SMITH
Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets—a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.
Connect with Lauren

 

 

 

 

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Blog Tour – Stages of Desire by Julia Tagan

 

 

Stages of Desire
by Julia Tagan
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Release Date: January 5, 2015

 

 

To be or not to be—in love…

As a ward of the Duchess of Dorset, Harriet can hardly expect more from a match than the ringing endorsement of “from what I’ve heard, the man is financially secure and his teeth are quite regular.” After all, she’s only the lowly daughter of traveling actors, not the actual daughter of the duchess.

William Talbot, Earl of Abingdon is set to marry the duchess’s daughter. After his elder brother’s scandalous death, his family’s reputation is paramount, and he’ll allow nothing to damage it again. But when Harriet disappears to save her father from debtor’s prison, the scandal threatens William and his intended’s family.

The simple task of fetching the duchess’s runaway ward turns complicated when Harriet insists on traveling with her father’s acting company. William’s forced to tag along, and finds himself entranced. The stage transforms Harriet into a free-spirited, captivating beauty. But someone’s been sabotaging the theater company, and instead of facing scandal, William and Harriet discover a threat not only to their growing passion, but to their lives…

 

 

 

 

Julia Tagan lives with her husband and goldendoodle in New York City. A journalist by training, she enjoys weaving actual events and notorious individuals into her historical romances. Her favorite activities include walking her dog in Central Park, scouring farmers’ markets for the perfect tomato, and traveling to foreign cities in search of inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Donna June Cooper’s More Than Magic Book Blitz

 

More Than Magic
by Donna June Cooper
Series: Books of the Kindling, #1

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Cover Designer: Kanaxa

Genre: Contemporary Romance with a touch of Magic
Release Date: February 4, 2014

 

 

A malignant secret could turn her mountain sanctuary into their tomb.

DEA agent Nick McKenzie is sure magic exists—a dangerous drug called Smoky Mountain Magic that’s wreaking havoc on the streets of Atlanta. He’s also sure that locating and eliminating the source could mean his death.

When he arrives undercover on Woodruff Mountain, the beautiful owner’s anxious attempts to scare him off tell him something’s afoot, and it’s not her secret patch of a rare, ancient species of ginseng.
As her dream of seeking medicinal plants in the Amazon fades into the distance, Grace Woodruff struggles to come to terms with an inherited magical gift she didn’t want, and searches desperately for the meaning behind her late grandfather’s final, cryptic message.

The last thing she needs underfoot is a handsome, enigmatic writer recovering from a recent illness. Until an accidental touch unleashes a stunning mystical force and Grace senses the wrath of a malicious blight at the heart of the mountain. Now she must choose between her need to hide her gift from the world…and her desire to save Nick’s life.

Warning: This book contains a fiery redhead whose magic cannot be contained and a handsome DEA agent whose final case might give him a second chance at life.

 

 

“So—Granny Lily?” he asked again.Grace took a deep breath. “Granny Lily was a healer—an Appalachian Granny Woman. A witch.”

“Witch?” he paused a moment, digesting the word. “You’re kidding, right?”

Grace shook her head and started walking away from the cemetery and back into the meadow. “Granny Witches weren’t witches in the sense we think of today. They were the midwives and healers of the community. For folks isolated up in these mountains with no medical care, they were the doctors.”

Nick followed behind, taking a quick sip of his champagne. “Witch doctor?”

She grinned at him. “Well, yes. In the sense that a witch doctor is the healer in their community. The shaman. The expert in herbal medicine.”

“Witch doctor,” he repeated.

“It’s a tradition that’s passed down in families. In this case from mother to daughter to granddaughter. One woman per generation,” Grace went on. “Some claim it goes back to ancient times.”

Nick stopped. “So, are you—”

She faced him. “What?”

“A witch?”

Nick watched Grace smile and hold out her glass. “Hang on to this for me.”

Nick stared at it for a moment, wondering why she didn’t just answer “no”. Then he took it carefully, holding the bottle under his arm.

Shaking out the blanket, Grace laid it on the grass and knelt down, holding her hands up for her glass and the bottle, which he handed over.

“Sit,” she said smiling up at him. “Pretend it’s a picnic.”

As if on cue, Pooka ran to see what they were up to. When he realized no food was involved, he resumed scouting the edges of the meadow.

Nick paused, wondering if he should make a dash for his SUV and get off this mountain while he still could. But something made him sit.

“So,” he took a deep breath, as if he was about to set foot on some strange new world he didn’t understand. “Witch?”

She twisted sideways, managing to sit gracefully on the blanket without spilling a drop of champagne. He was beginning to wonder if she had faked being tipsy.

“Remember, I said not in the ‘double, double toil and trouble’ kind of way.”

“So, no cauldrons or eye-of-newt things going on?”

“Well, actually, the old cauldron you see in the front yard of a lot of Southern homes used to mean there was a Granny Witch in the house, but—”

“Don’t you have one of those in your garden? Full of flowers?”

She smiled. “You noticed! Yes. Like that. But no evil spells or hexes.”

“So you are a witch?”

“Well, no. I was talking about Granny Lily. I’m—” She stopped, suddenly thoughtful.

“So, you’re not a witch?”

“You know, I’m not sure.”

Nick frowned and drained the rest of his champagne, holding out his glass. She poured it full and sat the bottle on the ground beside the blanket.

“I would think you would notice something like that,” he said. Of course she’s a witch McKenzie, she’s had you under her spell since she met you.

“Look, I probably shouldn’t have used that word. People don’t know about the Granny Witch tradition at all, and they automatically think black cats and broomsticks and pointy hats. It was mostly about herbal medicine and midwifery.”

“Can you deliver a baby?” he asked.

“Well, certainly.”

“And you practice herbal medicine.”

“Yes.”

“Sounds like you’re qualified. Maybe over qualified.”

“It’s not that simple. Some of them did divination and water dowsing. It’s a tradition requiring training and practice. The Granny Witch passes down all her lore to her designated successor and teaches her everything she knows.”

Grace looked off toward the cemetery and he followed her gaze. The headstones were just distant shapes in the moonlight.

“So your mother— No, that’s your father’s side of the family.”

“Exactly. And anyway, the tradition stopped with Granny Lily. She quit practicing and didn’t pass it on to any other female relative.”

“But you said she’s been wandering into your dreams. Does she wander anywhere else?” He looked around them at the silvered meadow and the dark trees, but nothing seemed menacing—just the opposite.

“No. Only in my rather intense dreams. And I’m honestly not sure what she’s trying to tell me.”

He tried to figure out where she was going with all this. Maybe it was the wine. “Well, it sounds like it might be a good thing for your bottom line. You could get additional business these days just by saying you were the descendant of a shaman or medicine woman. I wouldn’t use the word ‘witch’ though, even if they don’t burn them anymore.”

“Why did you say that?” she asked in a sharp tone. In the moonlight, her eyes shimmered green and her pale face was almost translucent, surrounded by flyaway tendrils of dark red. She might be a witch, but she was the most captivating witch he had ever seen.

“What? What did I say?”

“About burning?”

“Well, they used to— Didn’t they? I mean—”

“That was in a completely different culture. Here the Granny Witch was essential in the community. The people of these mountains were nothing like that. Granny Lily was burned accidentally.”

“She was— What?”

Grace picked up the bottle and poured her glass full, then downed it without ceremony and was about to pour another.

“Whoa. Slow down there.” He took the bottle and her glass gently and set them both in the grass. “Now, what’s this about burning? Your granny was burned?”

Grace let out a long breath. “Great-great-great. And yes. Accidentally. In a fire.”

“She wasn’t killed though. The headstone said—”

“No. Badly burned. Disfigured. She lived a long life.”

“A very long life, if I read the stone right.” He connected some dots and took a guess. “This was the fire that started that feud you were talking about, with your neighbors.”

“Yes. But it was an accident. A bunch of Taggarts and other people were gathered outside the cabin and things got out of hand. One of the Taggarts threw a rock at my Grandpa Zach. It broke a window, and knocked over an oil lamp onto Granny Lily’s dress.”

“An oil lamp.”

“It was terrible. It didn’t destroy the cabin, but she was horribly burned. Everyone thought she wouldn’t make it, but she recovered. Only, after that, she was rarely seen by anyone outside of the family. And when she was, she was covered head to toe, even wearing gloves on the hottest summer days. We have a family portrait with her in it, but only half of her face is showing.”

“That is tragic. What started the rock throwing?”

“A misunderstanding.”

“About?”

“A patient.”

“Someone died?”

“No. Someone lived.”

 

 

Book 1: More Than Magic

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CA ~ Amazon AU

 

Book 2: Mostly Magic

 

Pre-Order Book 3: Making Magic

 

 

When she’s not being dragged down the sidewalk by her Jack Russell (if you know Jacks, you understand), Donna June Cooper is belly dancing (shiny!), reading (three books at once), writing (of course!) or complaining about the heat (no matter the temperature). A child of the Appalachians who was transplanted to Texas by her Italian husband, Donna returns to her mountain roots as often as possible, and takes her readers with her in her Books of the Kindling.

 

 

 

 

 

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