Archive for the 'Paranormal Romance' Category
Monday, May 20th, 2013
Join me in welcoming Amber Belldene to Highlighted Author.
Amber Belldene grew up on the Florida panhandle, swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book.
As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons—an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days.
Amber is an Episcopal Priest and student of religion. She believes stories are the best way to explore human truths. Some people think it is strange for a minister to write romance, but it is perfectly natural to her, because the human desire for love is at the heart of every romance novel and God made people with that longing. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.
Bites are an inconvenient bliss, exiled vampires are wasting away, and the fate of their kind depends on the perfect PR campaign.
When public relations pro Zoey Porter arrives at an enchanting California winery, she discovers her sexy new client is the almost one-night stand she can’t forget. After her husband’s suicide, Zoey has vowed never to risk her heart again. But can she walk away from the intriguing winemaker a second time?
Driven from Croatia by his ancient foes, vampire Andre Maras has finally made a blood-like wine to cure his fellow refugees. Now he needs Zoey’s PR expertise to reach them. After his wife’s death, Andre has a vow of his own—never to risk another painful blood bond. And one taste of the tempting Zoey would bind him to her eternally.
Get your copy of Blood Vine at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Vine-ebook/dp/B00AXREPM4/
You can find Amber Belldene at her website: www.amberbelldene.com
Monday, May 6th, 2013
Join me in welcoming Catherine E. McLean to Highlighted Author.
Catherine E. McLean is a multi-published author of Women’s Starscape Fiction. She enjoys a story where characters are like real people facing real dilemmas, where their journeys are among the stars and solar systems, and where there’s always a satisfying ending.
Her background is in journalism, editing, and creative writing. She’s also a writing instructor and workshop speaker (both online and in person—www.WritersCheatSheets.com). She was awarded Pennwriters 2010 Meritorious Service Award and is a member of Amazons, Broad Universe, Romance Writers of America, and the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of RWA.
She lives in rural Western Pennsylvania in a rambling old farmhouse with her husband.
Welcome, Catherine. Please tell us more about yourself and your featured book.
In the interest of brevity, I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a long-time 4-H leader, a horsewoman (Morgan Sport Horses), and I enjoy sewing clothing and costumes. I’m also a good amateur photographer—my favorite subjects are flowers and nature.
As to my writing? I wrote my first short story in third grade, but writing was never more than something I did as a hobby. Yet, writing played a role in the jobs I held, first as a secretary, then as a freelance journalist. All of those on-the-job skills made it easy to transition into an author who sold articles and short stories.
And then, as fate would have it, I signed the contract with Soul Mate Publishing for my first novel, KARMA AND MAYHEM, on February 14, 2012, Valentine’s Day, and the book was published in September.
Nearly every story I write has romance, or a romantic element, in it. And there are, for me, two premises for that romance. The first is a Chinese proverb that says: “A great lover is not one who romances to different women every night. A great lover is one who romances one woman for a lifetime.” In essence, the heroes I write about have to arrive at that conclusion when they find their soul mate.
As for my heroines, they follow a different adage—that love isn’t love until you let it go and it comes back to you. In KARMA AND MAYHEM, Janay battles with her feelings for Tienan, but she also believes love is worth the heartache and that love is more powerful than death.
So, writing a romance becomes a challenge. It means making sure the situations the hero and heroine face are realistic, believable, and compelling enough that the two must stay together, fight the attraction that assails them, and fall in love.
Which often means asking questions like: why these two people? How are they opposites (after all opposites attract)? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What does she lack that he has? What does he have that she lacks? What are their core values? Their “sins?” Their virtues? And most of all, what do they fear that is a fear worse than death?
And then there is the premise of the story. In the case of KARMA AND MAYHEM, the premise was: what would happen if a man had two souls? Which led to: who would the second soul belong to and what would keep that soul from transcending to heaven (or hell)?
Well, obviously, anyone with two souls would have karma issues, and that led me to thinking about reincarnation and “enlightenment,” particularly because romance and love can be very enlightening.
For Tienan, the hero of KARMA AND MAYHEM, a warlock of Hautonne society, a man with a powerful symbiote-veed that gives him extraordinary powers, that enlightenment was to forgo his biases against Janay, a mere citizen, a “common” woman.
But Janay is not a common woman. She’s gutsy, opinionated. And she has preconceived notions about rich men and warlocks like Tienan. She also must battle the prejudices of her upbringing and the Incident in the Valley of Rathe.
By the end of the book, Janay and Tienan fall in love while thwarting witches and demons. Only the story isn’t over yet because Rowen, who is Tienan’s brother, is to have his own story and a love who will understand the trauma he experienced in KARMA AND MAYHEM.
KARMA AND MAYHEM is a quick-paced story that has received 4.5 star reviews and a Night Owl Top Pick Review.
“I thought this book was a wonderful work of fiction. The off world setting and mysteries kept the story interesting. And the subplot of an Ancient Japanese Samurai warrior and weapons gave the book a total new prospective from what I usually read. Ms. McLean has a smooth hand in weaving plots together and characters to make for an enjoyable book. I enjoyed the interaction between the characters in the book but my favorite were Janay and Tienan. These two characters where strong without being mean but soft and believable when needed in the story. Hopefully some of the other characters will get their own books if our author decides to continue to another book. I really enjoyed this book and I am sure you would too if you read romance or paranormal books.” – Lisa Jung, The Night Owl Reviews Team, 3/18/2013
KARMA AND MAYHEM
He’s a warlock with two souls and karma issues. She’s mayhem personified.
Tienan is a warlock and a lawman determined to solve a series of diabolical murders. An incident in his youth gave him a terror of death and made him fear his birthright soul, an energy symbiote called a veed which gives Tienan extraordinary skills. Hosting that veed has also contributed to Tienan’s failed relationships with women and convinced him true love doesn’t exist.
Janay is an ex-militia woman down on her luck who is haunted by personal demons, and real ones. When she rescues Tienan’s brother, Tienan considers her a gutsy but semi-deranged commando. She’s audacious and unconventional, but with all she’s been through in her life, it rankles that she still believes in true love.
So can Tienan accept and trust in his love for Janay, embrace the power needed to wield an Executioner’s Katana, and defeat a triad of murderous witches intent on immortality?
I have no means; I make Docility my means.
—The Samurai Creed
Janay rose out of the fog of slumber so deep, so peaceful that she hated to surface, but the jostling and undulating of the mattress beneath her sent pain radiating from her rebuilt hip. Was she on a troop carrier? Opening her eyes, she beheld a black velvet canopy draped over the ebony wood posters of a medieval-sized bed.
Where was she?
Panting grunts were followed by hot breath on her lower belly. The terror of rape lightninged through her, and she faintly whispered, “Poke!” The dirk didn’t come into her hand, but the jostling stopped.
“Trond!” a male voice said.
She lowered her gaze to find Poke’s hilt protruding from a mass of long dark brown hair that semi-veiled a man’s face. Poke’s blade tip held steady against the man’s Adam’s apple. The man was on all fours, fully dressed in a midnight-blue turtleneck and matching knit pants, the uniform of a Guardian of the Law.
“It’s okay,” the irate man said. “I’m dressing you. Putting clothes on you, not off. Tell your screwy dagger to back off.”
There was something familiar about the voice. “Why are you dressing me?”
“We’re going to the hospital. Thought you’d prefer wearing something instead of being nude.”
Hospital! She elbow-ratchet herself up. “No hospital. Poke!”
The blade was instantly in her palm. She grasped the dirk, twisted her wrist and arm, then rapped Poke’s hilt to the side of the man’s head.
“Ow!” He reared back from the blow and rocked onto his heels. He swore unintelligible words and rubbed his injury. “Put that thing away.”
She held Poke tighter and scooted backward, wincing from the pain of her protesting hip and feeling a twitch where the tormantrata had clawed her back. She soon came up against the solid, carved dragon relief on the headboard. Sitting up, she felt the coolness of fabric against her skin. She wore black silk pajamas. Men’s pajamas. And skom, the man glaring at her looked familiar. Such dark features . . . the shadow of a beard . . . Tienan? Yes. His name was Tienan and he was—he was—? The GOOL!
She quickly panned the room from right to left. Black walls. Ebony enameled furniture, Japanese styling. Lighting fixtures hidden behind crown molding. Short black velvet curtains covering high windows above a desk-computer terminal. In the corner, an upholstered black velvet, wingback chair. Everything deathly dark. Demon warlock dark.
Poke wiggled out of her hand and vanished.
Why had the blade abandoned her? She glanced about the room again. Quiet. As restful as night . . . Maybe Poke thought she wasn’t in danger anymore? “This place could use some color.” Had she just said that?
Tienan stared at her. In his stony-gray eyes, patience warred with uncertainty. “I rest better in the heart of darkness.”
Get your copy at Soul Mate Publishing: https://www.soulmatepublishing.com/karma-and-mayhem or other e-book outlets.
Catherine is holding a Spring Summer Giveaway at her website! Hop over and be sure to enter to win!
Connect with Catherine E. McLean!
KARMA AND MAYHEM BLOG: http://karmaandmayhem.blogspot.com
Monday, April 29th, 2013
Join me in welcoming Jean Murray to Highlighted Author.
Author Jean Murray brings a wonderful new spin to the paranormal world with her Egyptian Underworld gods. She broke ground in the paranormal romance genre with Soul Reborn and now continues the Key to the Cursed journey with Soul Awakened.
In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.
I’m thrilled to present both these outstanding books this week as Jean has agreed to a series feature. Enjoy!
Key to the Cursed Series
By Jean Murray
BOOK I: Soul Reborn
“Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.”
What they’re saying:
“The Carrigan sisters are worthy heroines and the promise of continuing tales is welcome.”—Romantic Times (RT) Book Reviews (Sept2011) - 4/4.5 stars/Scorcher
“The first book in the “Key to the Cursed” series was absolutely phenomenal. Anything that deals with old world deities and is written well always hooks me from the get go. This was definitely an excellent book to begin a new series.”—Night Owl Reviews: Reviewer’s Top PICK/ 5 Stars (Abigail, Feb2013)
“This is the first book in the series by Jean Murray and I want to start off by saying I was blown away by this book and I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series. This book had elements that would satisfy not only fans of paranormal romance but also urban fantasy fans as it combined Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, the walking dead, betrayal, and the world at peril against the backdrop of a hot and passionate romance.”—Bitten by Paranormal Romance – 5/5 Alpha Howls, Hot
More reviews on Goodreads.
THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD.
Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.
DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED.
Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.
Movement flickered in the deep shadows.
Asar stilled. Midnight skin blending into the night, he slipped easily into the gloom of the New York City streets and waited.
The human heat signature he hunted lingered in the air like a fine French perfume. He was not surprised when a trio of pale-skinned, red-eyed revens zoned in on the same body heat. The undead craved the flesh of their once previous form.
It was not the human’s flesh Asar desired.
Saddled by his own hunger that burned like fire in his chest, he raced toward the haunting scent, anxious to claim the prey before the revens. He was not about to give up such a delicious soul to those ravenous cannibals.
Still too far away, he exploded with a shot of preternatural speed on the slippery, uneven pavement. Surefooted, he hurtled a foul dumpster and sprinted around the brick building. Hunger fueled his every step. He fully expected to hear a scream from the human victim before he reached the alley, but the air remained still.
He slid to a stop on the wet asphalt. The three revens he had sensed lay decapitated on the polluted street. Gaping chest wounds indicated the hearts had been destroyed.
Fragments of shimmering light illuminated the gray, decaying flesh, rising into the night air. Normally, he would have absorbed the shifting souls, but revens were tainted and doomed never to reach the afterlife. The undead were truly dead.
Where was the human?
The sound of shattering glass resonated from above, followed by a shower of diamond shards. Asar evaporated into the shadows against the cold brick of the building and narrowly avoided the carcass of a headless reven plummeting from the upper window. The body hit the pavement like a side of meat slammed onto a butcher’s countertop. Dark, putrid shrapnel of blood and bone spattered across the roadway. The reven’s head soon followed, bounced off the cement with a loud crack and rolled slowly down the sidewalk before coming to rest inches from his foot.
He did not give it a second look. Through the shattered second story window, he caught a glimpse of glowing green eyes and the flash of silver.
His body grew taut with anticipation. The humans he typically encountered at night were criminals and opportunists looting stores or transporting illegal goods — the unsavory dredges of humankind. No one else dared to be outdoors for fear of becoming a reven’s next meal.
The criminals were easy enough prey, overconfident with their modern weapons, but this opponent utilized a more ancient form of deliverance. The reven kills were calculated and completed with the precision and stealth of a skilled assassin. This hunter was no doubt getting paid top dollar for this kind of suicide mission.
The revelation made his chest burn hotter with dark need. His prey would not go down easily. The harder the fight, the more living energy he could absorb from the human’s soul.
He looked upward. The night sky was waning to lighter shades of blue. He had only an hour of darkness left before the horizon split open with the sun’s rays. He would like nothing more than to draw out the fight for his own perverse pleasure, but he had to end it soon or face the wrath of his ancient curse.
A pain he would sooner avoid.
A loud crash of metal against stone around the corner interrupted his reverie. He launched forward out of the shadows, unconcerned with revealing his location, and did not waste any time turning onto the dimly lit street.
Only to find it empty.
Asar scanned quickly around the perimeter while turning slowly in a circle. The hunter did not have enough time to scale a building or sprint down the long block. His prey had to be a short distance from here. He walked forward, following the heat trail that vanished in the middle of the street.
“Where did you go?” Asar turned, looking for some exit the hunter could have used. The pavement shifted slightly under his foot. Looking down, he rotated his foot to the right. NY City Water & Sewer.
So, his prey had gone underground to draw him into a more cramped battle. Little did the hunter know, Asar would be the only victor in this game of cat and mouse.
He would leave with the man’s soul.
Into the darkness of the small tunnel, he followed the exaggerated heat trail in the confined space. He heard the faint breathing and pounding of a human heart. Here kitty, kitty. The hunter was foolish enough to make a stand, but not for long. He followed the arresting scent, anxious to fill his hollow emptiness. Only a few more steps and then he’d see his prize—
His gaze shifted over a female with long blonde hair whose curvy hips were loaded with an arsenal of weapons. In her hand, she clasped a long, intricately carved blade—a blade she pointed directly at him.
Asar swallowed against the sudden constriction in his throat.
Not a hunter.
Energy rippled off her skin like streamers of bright sunlight. Her powerful essence of life called to him, the very energy that fed his unquenchable hunger. All he had to do was touch her silky skin or lips to devour the luscious beauty. He had already taken a few steps toward her when he stopped.
Another sensation of hunger distracted his senses. One he had not felt in very long time, nor cared to feel again. His hardened arousal was inconvenient, considering the moment.
An inconvenience he was willing to explore a little before he dined on her soul. Heat radiated off her skin, a sharp contrast to his own cold, dead body. His skin began to burn, even at this distance. A welcome, but deadly flame. Despite this threat, he drew in like a moth to a flame. Warm, soft and most importantly, alive.
Get your copy here:
BOOK II: Soul Awakened
What they’re saying:
“I know other readers are going to love this series as much as I do. Get settled in for a thrilling paranormal tale.”—Night Owl Reviews: Reviewer’s Top PICK/ 5 Stars (Abigail, Feb2013)
“I don’t know where to begin to describe the absolutely marvelous job that the author does in not only creating a wonderful world with so much depth and detail, but a story line the has the mystery and intrigue that will keep you glued to the pages.”—Bitten by Paranormal Romance, Ollie (Feb2013): 5/5 Alpha Howls, Hot
More reviews on Goodreads.
LOVE FOR BLOOD OR HONOR
Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.
HAUNTED BY SINS OF THE PAST
Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most—his Parvana. His butterfly.
A familiar refuge of horror.
Black and desolate like his soul, the darkness draped the landscape of Bakari’s world. His prison for how long? He could gage only by his hunger, an unbearable pain burning through his chest and eating away what little of his soul remained. The darkness consumed everything, but his insanity.
The onyx obscurity wavered into shades of grey. Bright sunlight danced and flickered in the barren corners of his mind beyond his reach. Bolts of lightning ripped across his skin and mind and tore at the fine fabric of his consciousness. The sheets of darkness fell like ash and scattered into the cold abyss.
His mind retreated—fearful. He had been tricked before only to suffer at the sadistic hands of his captor. The next arc struck harder and deeper. The white inferno fried what tendrils of his coma remained. In the wake of his agony, the soft caress of a human soul and the scent of sweet honeysuckle penetrated his skin. The very element that fed his power—living energy.
Like water for a dying man, the human’s energy trickled but did not satisfy his ravenous hunger. His chest clenched into a ball of fire, ignited by the minuscule energy he absorbed into his soul.
The vitality extinguished as quickly as it came. Left barren and wanting, rage consumed him. The goddess Kepi would pay for this new level of depravity. To have living nourishment so close, but denied to feed his dark hunger, was a torture like no other.
The walls of his wooden crypt pressed in upon him. He struggled to move an arm or leg, but the spell of his paralysis was unyielding. He screamed but not a word past his lips. In his mind he thrashed against the invisible bonds, willing himself to break free.
He had not reacted this way since the fateful day of his confinement to his tomb. During his imprisonment he had withdrawn into himself. Numb to the world. His only safeguard against the goddess and the oppressive confines of his prison. Those thoughts of Kepi worsened his agony and current insanity.
Silently screaming, cold tears slipped out of the corners of his closed eyes and trickled down into his hair. He called out to the merciful gods to save him, but in all this time none were answered. His despair suffocated whatever hope he may have left.
Bakari, a soft melody of a voice broke through the chaos in his mind. Ease your pain. She will come to you again. Hold your will, young god. She will set you free.
Get your copy here:
Want more Jean? Here’s where you can find her:Website: www.jean-murray.com Blog: www.wickedromance.wordpress.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJeanMurray Twitter: http://twitter.com/wickedromance Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5103113.Jean_Murray
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Join me in welcoming Delilah Devlin to Highlighted Author.
Delilah Devlin is an award-winning author of erotic romance with a rapidly expanding reputation for writing edgy stories with complex characters. Ms. Devlin has published over a hundred stories in multiple sub-genres and lengths with Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Kensington, Kindle, Running Press, and Samhain Publishing. In January 2013, she added Montlake Romance to her list of publishers when Shattered Souls released!
Until recently, Delilah lived in South Texas at the intersection of two dry creeks, surrounded by sexy cowboys in Wranglers. These days, she’s missing the wide-open skies and starry nights but loving her dark forest in Central Arkansas, with its eccentric characters and isolation—the better to feed her hungry muse!
For Delilah, the greatest sin is driving between the lines, because it’s comfortable and safe. Her personal journey has taken her through one war and many countries, cultures, jobs, and relationships to bring her to the place where she is now—writing sexy adventures that hold more than a kernel of autobiography and often share a common thread of self-discovery and transformation.
Whether creating dark, erotically-charged paranormal worlds or richly descriptive historical stories that ring with authenticity, Delilah Devlin “pens in uncharted territory that will leave the readers breathless and hungering for more…” (Paranormal Reviews)
What they’re saying:
“SHATTERED SOULS shocked me with its exhilarating story line and its magical world of Witches, Wraiths and Demons. Ms. Devlin wrote an intriguing urban fantasy with just the right balance of romance, nail-biting scenes and well-developed characters. She really got me hooked from the beginning until the end.” ~ 5 Feathers and Top Pick, Under The Covers
“An intriguing paranormal tale that combines romantic suspense with a mesmerizing tale of otherworldly beings.” ~Top Pick, Night Owl Reviews
Caitlyn O’Connell had it all: a career with the Memphis PD, a passionate marriage, and the satisfaction that her work made a difference in the world. But she also had a secret, a supernatural “gift” that cost her everything. Now she scrapes by as a private investigator, taking cases the cops won’t touch and counting down the minutes until happy hour.
But when Sam Pierce, her former partner and estranged ex-husband, comes to her for help with a bizarre murder case, Cait can’t say no. And not just because Sam is still as irresistibly sexy as he was on the day they met. Something sinister—and demonic—is terrorizing Memphis, leaving a bloody trail of bodies and clues only Cait can read. Together she and Sam will venture into a dark world of magic and unholy terror, hunting a killer who will lead them to the brink of reality as they know it—and back into the thrall of their stormy past. Steamy and suspenseful, Shattered Souls is the pulse-quickening new offering from fan favorite romance author Delilah Devlin.
Mama was making a spell again.
The little girl squirmed on her chair at the kitchen table and tried not to think about needing to pee. Mama wanted her to be quiet so she wouldn’t lose her train. Though what trains had to do with spells, the girl didn’t have a clue. Mama always said things that didn’t make sense. Must be because she was a jip-see. Daddy blamed all the strange things that happened in their house on account of her being jip-see.
Pink blossoms dropped into the heart-shaped flannel pouch, one by one.
Her mama’s eyebrows straightened, and her eyes got the faraway look. “One to silence darksome words. Let only gladsome thoughts be heard. Two to bring peace to this child’s mind—“
“That’s me, right, Mama?”
Dark brows wrinkled. “Yes, Caitydid, pay attention now. This is important.”
Another pretty pink blossom floated into the bag.
“Is it really from a dragon?” The little girl bit her lip because she’d done it again. Spoken when she was supposed to be dreaming about what it would be like if the spell worked.
Her mother plucked a blossom from the bowl in front of her. “The flower is a snapdragon, but only because it looks like a dragon’s head, sweetheart. See?” She held up another furled flower for the girl to study.
The little girl stared at the blossom, disappointment tugging her mouth downward. The curled bloom did indeed form a shape. But looking at the flower was a lot like lying in the grass with her mama watching the clouds float across the sky and trying to imagine animals and things when all she saw were white puffy clouds.
A flower was just a flower. How were pretty petals going to help her sleep?
“Now, are you done interrupting me?”
The little girl nodded, summoning a smile to please her mother. Then something shrieked behind her and she jumped. She clamped together her thighs and swung her feet, trying to ease the urgency. “Make them go away,” she wailed, slamming both hands over her ears—even though she knew that never worked.
Her mother’s sad, brown gaze settled on the girl for a long, unblinking moment. Then she pulled down the girl’s small hands and placed them in her lap. She leaned close, bracketing her cheeks between warm palms. “Don’t be afraid, baby. The bad voices will disappear. Only the good will remain.”
The little girl licked a tear from the side of her mouth. “But I want them all to go away, Mama.”
“Sweetheart, I can’t steal away a gift. I can only give you protection, for a time. Do you remember the words?”
The little girl nodded.
“Say them with me.” Mama’s warm hands fell away, and she dropped another blossom into the bag.
The little girl picked up the chant, closing her eyes and thinking as hard as she could about a time when she wouldn’t hear the eerie cries.
“One to silence darksome words.
Let only gladsome thoughts be heard.
Two to bring peace to this child’s mind,
Until her own strengths, she doth find.
Three to banish Wraith’s cruel rage.
Spirits harmless by thy wisdom sage.
Four to balance and turn the Wheel.
Rightful Change shall soothe and heal.
I call to thee, O dragon bright.
Lend us now your ancient might—”
Hands gripped Caitlin O’Connell’s shoulders and shook her. “Get up, dammit.”
The gruff voice was familiar. Felt right, hearing it in her bedroom—for all of two seconds. Then she pried open her eyes, wincing at the overhead light, and stared at Samuel Pierce.
Same taut expression, same hard body. Brown hair cut short, freshly shaved, and not a crease in his pale dress shirt or dark trousers. A silk tie ringed his strong neck. Strong lines bracketed his mouth, the corners turned down.
He didn’t seem particularly happy to be here. Which was sort of sad. Once upon a time, he’d sworn there was nowhere else he wanted to be more.
“How’d you get in?” she muttered. Was he aware his thumbs caressed her shoulders? She glanced down, then back up again.
Sam looked down at his hands, let go of her shoulders, and straightened. With his gaze still on hers, he raked a hand through his hair and sighed.
Now all six-foot-two inches of his sturdy frame loomed, bristling with ill-concealed impatience.
“Damn, Caitlyn, you still have a spare key on top of the door frame. I told you it wasn’t a good idea a long time ago. Anyone can let himself in.”
“Only person ever used it was you,” she grumbled, rubbing a hand over her eyes. “What time’s it?”
“Time to get your ass out of bed.”
“I don’t work on your schedule anymore.” She glanced at the clock on her nightstand and pulled on a scowl that would have had a lesser man backing up. “It’s eight-fucking-o’clock. Whatever it is can wait.”
“Sweetheart, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. Your choice.”
“Always preferred it hard,” she purred, but the sound was a little too raspy for sexy.
“Cut the crap, Cait.” His gaze lifted to the ceiling and his jaw tightened, a muscle flexing along the hard line.
When his eyes locked on her again, for just a moment, something warm but haunted shone in the blue depths.
She stared back, wishing he still loved her. But hey, wishes were like elbows, everybody had ’em. Cait hoped she hadn’t drooled, but knew she had bed-head, and dark mascara likely rimmed her lower lids. Just great. First time she’d seen Sam alone in months and he had the advantage.
“How much did you have to drink last night?” he asked quietly.
“What do you care?” she said thickly, hiding her face with her arm. “Enough. Slept good.” A faint staticky whisper sounded inside her head, and her hand shot out for the glass on her nightstand.
The glass slid out of her fingers before she had a chance to grab tight. “No way, babe. I need you sober.”
Now she was pissed. Her head began to pound. She came up on her elbows. “I’m not your partner anymore. Not a cop. And I don’t get out of bed before noon.”
With a quick move, he peeled away the sheet covering her.
“Agh.” She fell back to free an arm to stop him, not sure what he’d see, but hoping that at least her underwear was clean.
But he was fast, and the room spun.
She opened her mouth to deliver another complaint when she was yanked upright by a grip on her upper arm. “Sam, what the hell do you—”
A grunt sounded as he pulled her over his shoulder and stomped toward the bathroom.
Upside down, her stomach lurched. “Stop moving. I’m gonna throw up.”
He came to a halt at her shower, rustled the curtain, and turned on the faucets. Then he dumped her on the tiled floor under a spray of cold water.
The water made her jump. She sputtered, cursing, and pushed back her hair to scowl up at him. “Why are you doing this?”
“Get washed up.” Sam’s lips twisted in disgust. “You’re coming downtown with me.”
Sitting in the bottom of the stall, she firmed her lips, ready to tell him to go to hell.
His stark, angry expression halted her.
“I need you.”
Just those three words were all it took. She sighed, put her face into the water, and let it sluice over her before gathering her armor around her and giving him a glare. “Do you mind?”
A look came over his face, but before she had a chance to put a name to it, he turned away and stalked back to the bedroom. The sounds of drawers slamming told her he wasn’t letting her off.
“What’s this about?” she shouted, beginning to shiver. With a jerk, she pulled her sodden t-shirt over her head and tossed it outside the stall. Her underwear followed, and she slid up the tiled wall to turn on the hot water.
“Just hurry it up. I don’t have all day to wait on you to get your head straight.”
Cait turned her face into the spray again, closing her eyes as the water warmed, and she swayed. Her legs stiffened, catching her before she slid to the floor again. If she passed out now, he’d just shove her into her clothes wet.
She’d seen him this mad a time or two. Quiet fury made his movements jerk. His face became a tight, scary mask. She loved that look… when it wasn’t directed at her.
Must be something big for him to be in such a foul mood, but what did he want with her? The way he acted, she wondered why he hadn’t slapped on cuffs. He treated her the same way he did scumbag suspects.
Still, he hadn’t Mirandized her. Maybe he just needed her expert opinion, which set her stomach roiling even more. The only area of police work where she’d had a specialized skill set was the “full moon” cases.
Trying to remedy the dehydration that would keep her head muzzy for hours, she opened her mouth and drank down the warm water. She’d really needed that gulp of scotch before she got out of bed, but she didn’t think he’d buy that she needed it to think.
The curtain flew back. Sam reached in, turned off the faucets, and tossed her a towel, his frowning gaze sweeping her body only briefly. “Five minutes. Your clothes are on the bed. I’ll be in the car. Don’t make me come back in here.”
She watched the stiff set of his shoulders and wondered if seeing her naked again after all this time had bothered him. Seeing him fully clothed set all her dormant hormones firing, even if they were swimming in alcohol.
Cait sighed and blotted her body with the towel. If he’d been even the least bit nicer, she might have asked him to join her for old times’ sake. However, she guessed they both needed to hold on tight to their anger or they’d never get through the day.
Anger was the deepest emotion either one of them could risk. Anything else would hurt too damn much.
Get your copy of Shattered Souls here: http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Souls-Caitlyn-OConnell-ebook/dp/B009EWCLK2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0
Connect with Delilah. Here’s where you can find her:
Monday, December 17th, 2012
Join me in welcoming Tony-Paul de Vissage to Highlighted Author.
Tony-Paul de Vissage is a multi-published Author of vampire books which include Vampires Are Forever, Last Vampire Standing, and The Night Man Cometh, along with several published short stories. His first movie memory is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter, on television, and being scared sleepless—that may explain a lifelong interest in vampires.
This was further inspired when the author ran across a band of transplanted Transylvanian vampires who were sightseeing in the South. Thinking nosferatu were getting a bad press and in need of some favorable publicity, he decided to do what he could to change that attitude through his writing. Though it may be argued his efforts have probably done the opposite, no vamp has complained…yet.
Tony-Paul is with us this week, sharing his new release, Dark God Descending.
Welcome, Tony-Paul. Please tell us about your new release.
It’s a staple late night horror movies dating back decades…the lost city in the jungle, stumbled upon by a safari of scientists…they carry away some object precious to the inhabitants. In doing so, they bring a curse upon themselves in particular and Mankind in general as the embodiment of the sacred object, itself mindless except for the desire for revenge, brings the wrath of the gods upon the wrongdoers. The hero struggles to save his friends, perhaps return the sacred object to its home. In modern versions, there’s probably nudity and gratuitous sex. Various minor characters are killed off the inevitable happy ending is flashed upon the screen. Cue the credits.
Dark God Descending follows this formula to a certain degree. There’s a lost city, the city of Nikte-Uaxac, a Mayan civilization existing deep in the Yucatan. A sacred object is stolen from the city and the evildoers are punished, but there the similarity ends. The sacred object is the Emperor himself and it is he who exacts revenge upon his kidnappers. Semris II is no mindless hulking mummy or an animated enchanted dagger or an invisible but deadly plague. He’s an intelligent, articulate, supernatural being–a demon godling who simply wishes to return to his people. Aided by Tuck, the human charged with guarding him, he manages to escape, and thus begins an adventure for both demon and mortal.
All Tucker Upchurch wants is to get his degree in paleontology and marry his girl. Going with Professor Rand Westcott on his latest expedition will do just that. What Tuck gets instead is the adventure of a lifetime as he becomes the friend of a creature who shouldn’t exist, the son of the Mayan god of Death. In his attempt to aid Semris in returning to Nikte-Uaxac, Tuck will lose the thing he loves the most and gain something more precious. Semris will witness the depth of human cruelty as well as human love. Both will be forever changed by what happens. They will becomes brothers, each shedding his blood for the other, as they struggle to protect Nikte-Uaxac from the invasion of the Twenty-first Century. And the villain? He gets what he deserves, and, at the same time, what he most desires, and the irony of it all is terrible but fitting.
Dark God Descending is the story of two men, separated by thousands of years, thrown together by unbelievable circumstance; it is the story of their friendship and what is involved in accepting the events Fate has dealt them.
Dark God Descending
Tuck walked over to the cage.
Oh, God, did that last shot kill him? As far as he could tell, Semris hadn’t moved.
When he saw the slow rise and fall of the bare chest, he felt abrupt relief. He also saw the golden amulet, recognizing it as the twin of the one that had started all this unpleasantness in the first place.
The fruit hadn’t been touched, was rapidly darkening, the sweet, overripe smell permeating the cellar, attracting flies. How the Hell did they get in here, anyway? Several big bluebottles were buzzing around inside the cell, hovering over the peaches, a couple crawling along the edges of the plate. One was floating in the water glass, wings fluttering and making little splashes.
Tuck knelt and opened the little flap, reaching inside to remove the glass. As he reached back in for the plate, it happened. so fast he didn’t even realize Semris had moved until he felt the iron grip upon his wrist, saw the fangs drop and the dark head covering his hand.
He screamed as twin razor slashes struck through his wrist…knowing no one could hear, struggled desperately to get away. Frantic, disbelieving thoughts whirling through his mind. Oh, God, this is why he didn’t eat the fruit. He’s a vampire! Sweet Jesus, he’s going to kill me! Help someone, help me! Why should they? I didn’t help him.
The pain went away, his arm numb from wrist to fingertips.
He knelt there on the floor, watching the pale body crouched so near he could have reached out and touched his shoulder…his bare, wingless shoulder.Where did his wings go? What happened to them? All he could do was watch those shoulders heave with the strength of each deep swallow, feeling his life ebb away, and a vague surprise that it didn’t hurt at all.
Eyes rolling up, Tuck gave a little sigh and collapsed against the bars. He was barely conscious as he saw Semris raise his head and release his arm. In spite of being only slightly aware, he felt a stab of surprise as the quiet voice whispered, “Gracias. Gracias por su sangre.”
He’s thanking me? Thanking me for letting him kill me? With an effort, he made himself withdraw his wounded arm, cradling it against his chest with his other hand. Forcing his eyes open, he stared at his wrist, fighting the wave of blackness floating before his eyes.
There was no bloody ripped-away flesh as he’d imagined, only four deep punctures. Two of the five little veins had been pierced, but the wounds were clean and already clotting. Tuck forced himself to take a deep breath, then let it out, and repeated the procedure. Keep breathing! Don’t pass out. He might decide to have a second helping.
“I took too much. I am sorry. I was too hungry.”
There was such concern in Semris’ voice that Tuck found himself replying, “That’s all right. I-if I’d known, I… Oh, God, what am I saying?” He fell silent, feeling a bout of hysteria galloping toward him.
Something was thrust into his hand. One of the peaches. Semris’ hand, between the bars, holding it out to him. “Aqui. Come. Pronto.”
So he took the peach and bit into it, choking slightly as the rich, sweet juice slid down his throat, but forced himself to keep chewing and swallowing. As the fruit sugar hit his stomach, he began to feel better.
“That was good.” With a sigh, he tossed the peach pit aside.
Through the bars, hands helped him to his feet. He leaned against the door, hanging onto it to keep his balance as dizziness flooded back.
“Again, I am sorry. He looked up, meeting Semris’ eyes, startled at the concern in them. “It has been so long since I have had the living wine.”
Living wine…what a beautiful way to describe it. Tuck still felt a little groggy, wondered if he was now under the vampire thrall. He decided to find out. “Am I your minion now?”
“Why would you think that?” Semris sounded genuinely puzzled.
“Well, you’ve taken my blood. Generally, when a vampire–”
“Vampiro! Donde?” Semris looked around quickly, arms crossing over his throat in a protective gesture.
“You.” Tuck answered, feeling he’d made a mistake. “Aren’t you a vampire?”
“Of course not!” The answer was disdainful that Tuck might mistake him for such a vile creature. “I am a Dark Lord. Un demonio.” The pale chin lifted proudly. “Los vampiros are creatures accursed.”
Tuck thought that over. “And you’re not.”
“No.” Semris shook his head, the dark hair swinging. “I am not.”
Tuck realized he must be feeling better, to be able to marvel at the absurdity of this conversation.
Dark God Descending will be available at Class Act Books December 15, 2012.
Want more Tony-Paul? Here’s where you can find him:
Author website: http://www.tony-paul.com Twitter: @tpvissage Facebook: www.facebook.com/tonypaul.devissage MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/505918625 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5117438.Tony_Paul_de_Vissage
Monday, July 16th, 2012
Join me in welcoming Kate Lutter to Highlighted Author
Kate Lutter believes she was born to write. She wrote her first novel when she was in eighth grade, but then almost burned her house down when she tried to incinerate her story in the garbage can because she couldn’t get the plot to turn out right. Now, many years later, she lives in NJ with her husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spends her days writing contemporary paranormal romances, traveling the world, and hanging out with her four wild sisters. She is happy to report that her debut novel, Wild Point Island, the first in a series, has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. She is busy writing the sequel and her weekly travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with Chuck, which features her very snarky and rascally almost famous cat.
Welcome, Kate. Please tell us how Wild Point Island came to be.
I blame my husband for my addiction to vampire-like heroes.
He was the one who suggested I watch the hot new HBO show True Blood, and, of course, I was hooked immediately. The attraction between Bill, the 173 year-old vampire and Sookie, the small town waitress who could hear people’s thoughts was mesmerizing. They seemed destined to be together and yet doomed to failure. And everywhere I turned that year, people—mostly women—were talking about Sookie and Bill and Eric, the other vampire who lusted after Sookie. Every woman I knew seemed to be in one of two camps: the Bill fans or the Eric fans.
Suddenly, vampires had become the new hero in novels.
Was it their super human strength or their old world charm or their bad boy past?
For me, the vampire as hero was perfect because when a woman hooks up with a vampire, there’s little or no hope of a future—which means instant conflict. Sorry, I’m a writer. But in the case of True Blood, the relationship between Bill and Sookie—that destined to be together part—also spoke to me.
I was schooled in the Michael Hauge screenwriting philosophy. Hauge, a famous Hollywood scriptwriter, travels the country preaching that what solidifies a romance between a hero and a heroine is more than just physical attraction; it’s the reader’s belief that the hero and heroine are made for each other. That belief hinges on the moment when the hero and the heroine can see each other for who they really are.
In True Blood, Bill warns Sookie that she can never have a relationship with a human man because her ability to hear his thoughts will always get in the way. Then you see the scene when Sookie feels a perfect peace with Bill, and you know he’s right. For Sookie, she’s one of the few humans who can see Bill as a man, separate from his vampire persona, someone who’s still capable of love.
As a writer, I was immediately inspired to come up with a storyline that was as compelling for my novel Wild Point Island. But I wanted to invent a new kind of life form, a life form that had some of the same features as a vampire but one who wouldn’t have the same need to kill their victims and drink their blood. I’m a bit squeamish that way.
I called my new life form a revenant, which means one who comes back from a long journey or from the dead. And then I needed to create a 400 year-old backstory, rooted in an actual event—what historians refer to as The Lost Colony of Roanoke—the greatest mystery in American history.
But let me explain.
In 1587 English colonists settled on the Island of Roanoke, off the coast of North Carolina. Then the mother ship sailed to England for supplies, leaving about 100 colonists behind. When she returned, the entire colony had disappeared. Most historians believed that the colonists died of starvation or drought or were massacred by the native population, but a few historians speculated that the colonists may have relocated somewhere else.
That’s the theory I followed. I created a mythical island—Wild Point Island—and decided that the colonists went there, then survived by eating a local plant called Euphorbia Candelabra, a plant which transformed them physiologically into another life form and granted them immortality, but at a price—they were confined to the island and needed to continue eating the plant, the Euphorbia Candelabra, to survive.
I wanted to write a story about two people who fall in love but can’t be together. Even though Ella, my heroine, has developed a magic elixir so revenants can now leave the island, Simon, my hero, who is a revenant, can’t leave Wild Point Island without the ruling Council’s permission. If he helps Ella, my heroine, who is half revenant and half human, rescue her father, he’ll sabotage his own chances of leaving the island and being with Ella.
Ella has the same problem as Sookie. She lives among humans, but she’s had to hide her true identity all her life. This secret has made it difficult for her to find love. When she returns to Wild Point Island and meets Simon, she can finally be herself because he sees her for who she is. Likewise, when others doubt Simon’s intentions, Ella sees him as someone who can be trusted.
With little or no hope for a future, Ella can only be successful if she is willing to accept who she is and reach for the future she desires.
Wild Point Island was fun to write, and as Ella explains to Simon at the end of the story, “We were drawn to Wild Point Island, as if called by sirens, entrapped, and realized too late that there was no escaping our fate.”
Ella and Simon, even today, live a sheltered life. This is the only photo of Simon that has surfaced. He is onboard a boat, off shore from Wild Point Island. I love this photo because it captures the raw energy of the man.
Wild Point Island
Banished from Wild Point Island as a child, Ella Pattenson, a half human-half revenant, has managed to hide her true identity as a descendent of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Thought to have perished, the settlers survived but were transformed into revenants–immortal beings who live forever as long as they remain on the island.
Now, Ella must return to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment and a soon to be unspeakable death. Her only hope is to trust a seductive revenant who seems to have ties to the corrupt High Council. Simon Viccars is sexy and like no man she’s ever met. But he’s been trapped on the island for 400 years and is willing to do almost anything for his freedom.
With the forces of the island conspiring against her, Ella must risk her father, her heart, and her life on love.
Despite what he believed, I never had a relationship where I felt so bound to someone and yet so constrained in behavior. Sitting so close to him on the beach, hidden from view, wanting to hold him, I hesitated. So I’m not sure how what happened, happened next. What kept us apart—the suspicions, the fact that time had elapsed and we felt a bit like strangers meeting again—all of it abruptly dissipated like so much fog when the sun shines through.
His strong yet gentle grasp pulled me toward him, and he held me close, wrapping his arms around my shoulders. I felt in the urgency of his grip how much he’d missed me, and remembered again the dream he’d arranged for me, how cautious he’d been only days before. But dreams could not satisfy me now, no matter how real they seemed.
We pulled apart, but our eyes met. I leaned in and pressed my lips against his, chaste at first, to taste him, to spur his reaction. But that tentative reaching out soon exploded into the confirmation I’d been waiting for. Our desires cascaded in upon each other. I wanted more of him, and soon lost awareness of the cold surf, which melted against our heat. The roughness of the sea also faded into the distance. The spray of salt water was forgotten.
I couldn’t catch my breath. I didn’t want to think of the future or eternity. Only feel sweet sensations as he kissed me harder and harder.
Helpless to resist this love-making, I was the sand being thrown about by the waves around me. Soaked with a longing for him.
His kisses grew stronger, and I wanted all of them.
“Ella,” he groaned, sweeping the stray strands of hair out of my eyes.
I reached up to touch his face, to trace the outline of his strong jaw. Desire flickered in his eyes, a wildness mirroring my own needs, and I wanted to lose myself in that need, in that desire. I wanted him as I had wanted no other, knew for the first time in my life I had the potential for loving someone who knew me for who I really was.
It was intoxicating.
“Can you take me now?” I asked. “Here. Show me what I have to do.”
Indecision flickered across his face. I saw it. A look of a man who walked a tight rope and risked falling to the depths below.
“Ella.” His voice floundered in his own deep emotion.
But I reached over to pull him closer, and he tumbled on top of me. The weight of his body anchored me to the ground. Within seconds, my back was pressed against the sandy floor. His eyes grew hooded as his lips played against my mouth. Teasing. Caressing.
Suddenly, the kisses changed. Slow and carefully placed, I felt a heaviness to them that made me ache where I had felt warm and riled up before.
Aching to be with him in that way that I knew was forbidden to us.
But what did I care.
He was kissing me, and I began kissing him back, as if I had been doing this all my life, as if I were some kind of expert, allowing the pooling warmth in my stomach to find release. His hands burrowed under my sweater, nudging, rubbing against my breasts, which swelled to his touch.
The feel of his skin against my skin pushed me to a boldness I had not known until now, and I reached my hand below the belt of his pants, dared now to touch where I knew he wanted me to touch.
“Simon.” I whispered his name into the air, so sure that he was the one. Knowing as we wrestled together on the sand, in this sweetest of lovemaking, that I had a fire in me that he had set. He was the man I had been waiting for. This was the moment–
I felt resistance. Simon seemed to be struggling for control.
Over me. Over himself.
“Enough.” His voice, raw and edgy, strained against the sea that roared in the background.
Still breathing heavily, he released his hold on me, and pushed himself to a seated position.
My heart pounded.
“Have I done something wrong? Tell me,” I demanded.
“Then why are you stopping?”
“We cannot be together, not now. I was wrong to even start.”
“Wrong? But I thought… ” I struggled to sit up, to face him, to put my own thoughts in order. When two people wanted to be together, how could there be something wrong? “Don’t you want to be with me?”
His gaze traveled down my body. I felt his stare, the desire in it. “Yes. I want to be with you.”
“Then–” I touched his arm. I needed to understand what could possibly be strong enough to hold him back.
“What I want has already been decided. You must decide what it is you want…” His voice softened. “… to do with your life.”
A chill coursed down my spine. And even though my flesh was still warm from his touch, I pulled my sweater down to cover myself, not because I was ashamed, but without his closeness, the early evening breeze now felt cold and damp. I guessed what he was saying, but I didn’t want to think about the future. Not here, not now.
“I want you to make love to me, Simon.”
“The Council forbids it,” he said.
“I don’t care about the Council. They have no say in what’s between us.”
He faced me then, and his finger touched my lips. “I could take you, Ella. Now. But it would not be the honorable thing to do.”
My fists clenched. I didn’t understand.
“I made a choice when I saved you from your uncle’s dangerous game. It was not difficult because I wanted you, Ella. But it was my choice. The moment our spirits fused, everything changed. Until you are sure I am what you want, I cannot take you. Until you are sure this island can be your home, I cannot give into my passions. My world is not like your world. There is no formal ceremony of commitment. There is the fusion and then there is consummation. When that occurs, you will be bound to me forever. There can be no turning back.”
Get your own copy here:
Here’s where you can find Kate:
Monday, June 11th, 2012
Join me in welcoming Jerome Peterson to Highlighted Author.
Jerome Peterson was born in Rockford, Illinois, on May 16, 1957. He attended a Catholic grade school, Lincoln Junior High, and graduated from East Senior High in 1975. He started writing poetry while in high school. The day after graduation, Jerome traveled extensively throughout the western United States both by vehicle and by thumb. During this time, he learned to play guitar. Listening to music inspired him to write lyrics for songs and recorded ten original songs in a professional studio, but also has experience as a street musician. Jerome has worked a wide variety of jobs, ranging from newspaper carrier to pastor, and has lived across the US from Oregon to Mississippi.
In early 2000, Jerome wrote his first unpublished novel. Soon to follow were numerous poems and short stories. In 2007, Jerome started writing articles for local newspapers and newsletters such as The Union Democrat, The Sierra Mountain Times, Amador Community News, The Stanislaus Connection, and the Health Resource Guide. He has also had some of his poems published in the Rattlesnake Review, a publication out of Sacramento. He now has four books published, Thumb Flagging, The Haunting of Andrew Sharpai, The Mind Is Sorry The Body Suffers: Collected Poems And Drawings, and Leaving Family Behind.
He has been married since 1979, is the father of two, and grandfather to five. Jerome currently lives in Sonora, California, with his wife, Carolyn, and a dog named Mcgee.
Hello. My name is Jerome Peterson. I am 55 years old and have been married for 33 years to my wife, Carolyn. I am an author. I have seriously been writing fiction for 12 years. I write suspense and poetry. I have four books published; three are novels; one is poetry. My novels are adventure/suspense; paranormal/suspense; historical/suspense. Currently, I am writing my next novel which is a sequel to Leaving Family Behind.
What they’re saying:
“Leaving Family Behind by Jerome Peterson was a novel of astounding beauty and power, a moving saga about families, relationships, and the boundaries of love… Peterson’s narrative power sweeps you into a past rich and alive with people and culture. The many different nationalities of immigrants alone on the ship that the main characters encounter are vibrant and sustaining enough to stay with you long after the book is done.
In short, I highly recommend this book. Jerome Peterson has given us a refreshing new novel with beautiful writing that is unique and descriptive.”—Janine Williams
“Jerome Peterson stands out with one wonderful novel after another . . . he gives us heroes to root for, characters who stay with us long after we close the book, and ever and always, vivid prose alive on the page.”—Bill Manville, Columnist of the New York Daily News
“I was entranced . . . This is a great read and I highly recommend it.” Darya Crockett, Coastal Editing
Leaving Family Behind
From Lithuania to Philadelphia, Leaving Family Behind tells of two immigrants’ historical journey in the early 1900s. It is a story where Jonas and Evelina Violettskus will stop at nothing in pursuit of their individual dreams.
Evelina rebels when her older brother forces her to abandon her goal to be a pianist, so he can accomplish his own dream of purchasing farmland in America. Thus begins a bitter sibling rivalry that affects their epic odyssey of self-discovery.
Jonas expects Evelina to leave home and country behind, travel thousands of miles through Eastern Europe, and then cross the Atlantic Ocean with a smile on her face and gratefulness in her heart. When she doesn’t react this way, their feud begins. Dreams are important and can guide us in life. But when dreams clash, are they worth the risk of hurting loved ones and causing bitterness that could last forever?
Irena led Evelina into the packed drawing room. An immediate hush fell upon the elegantly dressed crowd. Many women wore feathered hats that fluffed as proud as peacocks. The men wore woolen suits, shiny shoes, and dangling gold chains that were attached to watches hidden in vest pockets. Evelina wore the white dress her teacher had previously bought her. She felt just as elegant. Marija nearly broke into tears when the wealthy group applauded because of her daughter. She could not help but think of how glad she was for standing up to Petras when Evelina first revealed her dream of being a pianist. A tear did escape down her cheek, as her girl bowed before the eager crowd.
Once Evelina touched the ivory keys, all anxiety left her. That unexplainable phenomenon of impulses between brain, soul, and fingers emerged on the scene, producing a paradox of soothing the raging beast and exciting the shy prude. The crowd was unable to distinguish between the young woman and instrument, for they were one.
Page 180 & 181
Steaming into the Upper Bay with less than a mile to go the captain of the Amerika laid on the ship’s horn. Its blast echoed throughout the bay on the New York side as well as the New Jersey side, frightening a flock of plump pigeons, yet alerting the multitudes of seagulls. A score of gulls picked up speed and brought attention by circling numerous times around the head of the Statue of Liberty. Many passengers witnessed this phenomenon, but it was Jeanne who was the first to holler out, “Look everybody; there is the Statue of Liberty!”
This fact brought a pandemonium of frenzy. To these people the statue was everything good and true with liberty and justice for all. The statue was lady liberty and a mother beyond all mothers. She was rich with comfort, strong with security, and a doorway to neverland for those who dared to follow their dream. People were fainting and falling here and there into the arms of one another and straight down to the deck. The rich men, however, made toasts in the restaurant and at the bar for a splendid voyage, while rich women commented to no one in particular by saying, “Oh, really.”
Get your copy of Leaving Family Behind at Amazon.
Want more Jerome? Here’s where you can find him:
Author site: www.jeromejohnpeterson.com
Monday, May 28th, 2012
From the time Highlighted Author opened its doors, I’ve had the opportunity to feature some amazing authors from around the world. It’s been a wonderful experience for me to meet and work with these dedicated people, many of whom I continue to work with in the writing industry. Some I have the honor to call friends.
You may not know that when I began Highlighted Author, it started out as a small blog on Blogger. It quickly moved to its own domain here at HighlightedAuthor.com.
This week, I’d like to go back and revisit those who believed in Highlighted Author from the beginning. Meet the first ten Highlighted Author authors.
Sunday, February 6th, 2011
Please join me in welcoming S.R. Claridge to Highlighted author. First off, tell us a little about yourself, Susan. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, met my husband at the University of Missouri, Columbia where I got my BA in Psychology. We married shortly after graduation and moved to Los Angeles, then to Boulder, [...]
Monday, January 31st, 2011
Today I’m proud to welcome, Sandra Cox, a fellow Class Act Books author to Highlighted Author. Thank you so much for joining us, Sandra. First of all, I’d like to thank Charlene for hosting me today. Thanks, Charlene! Today, I’d like to chat briefly about Crossover YAs. How many of you are familiar with the term? [...]
Monday, January 24th, 2011
Please join me and welcome Marsha A. Moore to Highlighted Author. Let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself. I live near Tampa, having moved here from Toledo, Ohio, officially during the summer of 2009. I stayed the previous winter helping my mother get settled into her house in a neighboring community. Who [...]
Monday, January 17th, 2011
Join me in welcoming Toni V. Sweeney to Highlighted Author. Toni’s writing career began during an extended convalescence following an automobile accident. Since her recovery, she has survived hurricanes in the south, tornados and snow-covered winters in the Mid-eastern United States, and earthquakes, and forest fires in California. She has been associated with the South [...]
Monday, January 10th, 2011
Join me in welcoming Linda Rettstatt to Highlighted Author. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself? I grew up in Brownsville, a small town in southwestern Pennsylvania. My first job after high school was working as a clerk for the local newspaper. The news editor knew I wanted to write and, when a [...]
Monday, January 3rd, 2011
I’m excited to welcome Anastasia V. Pergakis to Highlighted Author today. She is a wonderful friend and critique partner. Honestly, I don’t think her creativity ever stops. But I won’t take all her time away by doing the talking. I’ll let you meet her yourselves. Welcome Anastasia! Thanks for having me Charlene! It’s an [...]
Monday, December 27th, 2010
I’m pleased to welcome Rochelle Weber to Highlighted Author today. Welcome, Rochelle. Tell us about your latest book. Rock Crazy was just contracted by MuseItUp Publishing. Katie McGowan is a spoiled brat with bi-polar disorder, and she doesn’t always take her meds. Her husband, Scott, is growing tired of her mood swings and violent tantrums. [...]
Monday, December 20th, 2010
Please join me in welcoming Rachel D. Thompson to Highlighted Author. Welcome, Rachel. I’ll turn the time over to you to tell us a bit about yourself and your book. It’s great to be featured on Charlene’s blog today, and to have Tied to a Demon listed on her Great Reads page. I’ve been writing [...]
Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Join me in welcoming Michelle Davidson Argyle to Highlighted Author Thanks for being with us, Michelle. First of all, tell us a little about yourself. I started writing when I was ten years old and I’ve never stopped! I’ve always wanted to write novels for a living and I’m finally getting to the point [...]
Monday, November 8th, 2010
Please join me in welcoming Dorothy Cox to Highlighted Author. Welcome, Dorothy. Please tell us about yourself and your featured book. I’m a 23 year old college student who just happened to write a book. I don’t really consider myself an author. I’m a student, a wife, a lab tech, and occasionally I write [...]
Sunday, February 26th, 2012
Please welcome Charlene A. Wilson to Highlighted Author.
I was born in Florida, and with a father that loved to wonder the states, I’ve lived all over this country. The waves of the oceans on each coast have wash over my feet. I’ve stepped across the borders to the north and south. But, we finally settled in a small community in Arkansas where nature sings all around me, from the birds in the countless trees to the cows in the fields across the way. (Yeah, they call it lowing. I call it singing). I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters, a fuzzy dog named KooJo, and a gray cat, Chester. I still imagine friends in far-away places. Now, though, I write them down and share them with others.
I was labelled a writer when I was 16. I would write short stories about dreams I had and shared them with my friends. For a time there I even wrote short plays that my youth group acted out for family and friends. I guess I’ll never know what everyone really thought about the productions, but we had so much fun and I’m sure our parents were just happy to have something to keep their kids occupied and out of trouble. Lol. I’ve since been published through Class Act Books.
One of the short story favourites was called Misty Moon. I was shocked when a few years ago I ran into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen since my youth. Honestly, I didn’t remember her, until she reminded me that she was a friend of a friend. She had been invited to a church youth function and evidently on the way (it was an hour drive to the dance), I shared my stories…as usual. Well, she was all smiles and told me she remembered Misty Moon and actually told the story to her children at story time before bed. I was floored and a little shy about it all. She asked if I still wrote and, of course, I had to tell her about my published work.
I took all the creative writing courses I could in high school and college. One of the exercises that stood out was to imagine myself in the middle of an orange. I was to write about my experiences inside that orange—what scents would dominate the air, the textures, how it would look from that perspective, how it would affect my actions. I’ve used that exercise of viewing things outside of my own situations to get into the worlds I’ve created and the psyche of my characters.
Several of my stories come from dreams I’ve had: Scenes, settings, plots… And many of the attitudes and personalities woven into the characters are taken from those I worked with while serving as a Deputy at a large detention center. You can find it all in those places. Kindness, bigotry, spirituality, opportunism; the variety of personal outlooks is amazing.
Lord Dressen’s character from Cornerstone Deep Echoes, book two in my Chronicles of Shilo Manor series, was very easy for me to write. He’s the villain of the story. Though, he does have his reasons for doing the things he does. Then, don’t we all. Life is just complicated. I don’t believe anyone is all good or completely bad.
Cole, the hero of the story, is pretty tarnished himself. He’s led by his heart, and with that trait, he makes some decisions that really should have been made with a level head. But he’s such a romantic soul. And when Mianna speaks in her unique poetic way, he’s just gone. He loves Mianna with his whole being—would do anything to keep her safe…and his. But Lord Dressen is determined to win her over one way or the other…to the point of obsession.
Really, these characters made it clear how they wanted their stories told. Comments, quirks, personalities, they all came to light as the scenes unfolded. I hope you fall in love with them as much as I have.
Cornerstone Deep Echoes was just released February 15th. So, I’m traveling the web celebrating with a virtual book tour and offering weekly giveaways and a grand prize at the end of it all. All the details can be found at the series site,ShiloManor.com. You can enter there for your chance to win or leave a comment here to be included in the drawing!
I’ve had the chance to be interviewed on BlogTalk radio and had such a good time jabbering about the series. You’re welcome to listen in…
Interview with Giovanni on Gelati’s Scoop
Interview with Donna Brown on BBCN
And can I blush as I share some praise?
What they’re saying:
Series Review: (Chronicles of Shilo Manor)
“Cornerstone Deep is without a doubt the best paranormal romance book I’d read in 2012. It’s a classic love story with beautiful prose meets modern-day fantasy meets popular paranormal culture with a twist… Even better than the A+ cast of characters is the fantasy world in which the author sets the story.
In Book 2, Cornerstone Deep Echoes, Ms. Wilson takes the plot and the characters to a whole other level… I cannot wait to read the third book in the series; Cornerstone Deep Destiny!!!
I’m sure you’ve all guessed this…overall I give the Chronicles of Shilo Manor 5 coffins! This is one new author you want to keep your eye on!”—JD Brown, VWW Book Club
“This is a well-written world, with a cast of characters that bring it to life. Cole is the bad boy, the one that tugs at your heart, but makes so many mistakes. His brothers are a great foil to his personality, both well written as well with stories of their own. Anna is a fun and feisty young woman, also looking for love, but with her will taken from her, making her an entirely different character. Cornerstone Deep is fast-paced and hard to put down. I look for Ms. Wilson to follow this up with stories on each of the brothers. I would enjoy reading more about this fascinating family.”—The Romance Review
“This is an exciting, suspenseful tale that isn’t so much about magic, though there’s plenty of that floating around, than it is about true love and how its essence may live from century to century, recognizable only to the two beings to whom it has happened. The dialogue is snappy and amusing and the narration never lags. It appears the Wizards of Shilo Manor are in for some more adventures, and I, for one, will look forward to them”—The Book Review
“Everyone is looking for that one true love, that one that completes us. In short, our soul mate. Using the belief of reincarnation and a paranormal aspect, Wilson brings us this beautiful love story in Cornerstone Deep…
A delightful fantasy world with a beautiful love story. Who wouldn’t like to read that?”—Gothic Mom’s Book Review
Here’s a peek at Cornerstone Deep Echoes…
Cornerstone Deep Echoes
Mianna’s return heals Cole’s soul and he promises to follow her for the rest of his existence. But the past isn’t what he believes. The fight for her has only begun.
Lord Dressen’s obsession grows as unexpected knowledge is revealed. His search for Mianna has spanned six life times and he won’t give up now. The courts stand behind him. Power pulses through his veins. Determination peeks and not even Cole Shilo can stop him. He will win his prize.
Struggling to stay ahead, Cole’s anger explodes. Nothing is sacred when it comes to keeping his love—not even covenants made with gods. But, through all his efforts, lofty or damned, the truth remains. Will echoes of another life cause him to fail?
~ * ~
“Every breath you take is a song to my soul.”
Cornerstone Deep Echoes
Exhaustion racked Cole’s body. He squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath to cleanse his lungs. The harm he’d caused Anna pulsed through his fatigued mind in fits of memory—distorted flashes that reminded him of the deceit, broken covenants, and ethereal anger. Pressing his palms onto his brow, his head sank deeper into the pillow. Did his actions really cost her soul six life times?
He dragged a hand down his face and blew air through his pursed lips. He’d bound her soul and even with his formidable skill with spells, he was unable to undo his wrong. Whatever cost Arylin saw fit to impose, he was grateful for the intervention. Only the Goddess of Love, with her boundless benevolence, would have found a way for them to continue their souls’ progression.
The God of Life’s fury rang in his ears as scenes of the night before haunted him. “You have defiled that which is sacred. No Meridian shall cause my child’s death without promise of rebirth. Griffin, I demand justice!”
His gaze returned to his love at his side and he listened to the sweet sound of her steady breathing. Strands of sleep-messed hair fluttered along the pillow each time she exhaled. Griffin, as God of Conformance, had every right to end him when Taravaughn called for justice. Surely, that was the desired punishment. To sentence him to serve her for the rest of her natural life only echoed Cole’s heart’s intent from the start.
As the morning sun’s light inched up the comforter’s patchwork pattern, he hitched his knee around her legs, forming his body to hers. For Arylin to return Anna’s soul to a previous life blessed them both beyond his dreams. It freed the binding and… He buried his face in her long waves and the scent of roses filled him. He had Mianna back.
“Mianna.” His whisper warmed his lips as it pooled against her neck.
She stirred and he pressed a kiss to her shoulder. “Cole.” Her sleepy eyes fluttered open but closed as if her lids were too heavy. “Have you been awake long?”
He smiled as the sound of her voice dispelled his mind’s troubles. “A while. How are you feeling?”
Her hand lifted and she brushed his long hair with her fingers before resting it at her side. “So tired. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired.” Her soft voice turned to a mumble. “You couldn’t have given me a better wedding gift but,” she drew a deep breath, “what did it do to me? What does Unsigh mean?”
Cole blinked to the side. She doesn’t know what Unsigh means? He lifted his head to peer at her cherubic face. Did she say wedding gift? Realization flushed his senses. Arylin returned her memory to our wedding night. We truly are starting our life together over.
He pulled the comforter up to her chin and wrapped his arm around her waist. “Unsigh means one heart, my love. It joins our passion when you create the symbol and utter the spell. It’s an enchantment only you can call on.”
“Oh,” she breathed. “It’s amazing…really. It’s just…I’m so…” As she drifted back into sleep, Cole’s brow furrowed. Mianna’s spell had never caused her fatigue, not even when her soul called upon it in Anna’s lifetime.
A spray of sun’s rays pitched across his face as they hit the wide dresser mirror. With a scowl, he squinted at the glare and twitched his hand at the window. The crepe sheers whipped closed followed by a thick swish from the burgundy drapes. The room plunged into darkness. As his eyes adjusted, dim light from the vanity area competed with the beams’ peek through the gaps around the window coverings. He sighed and sat up, resting his arm on his knee.
Perhaps it was everything she’d been through and she just needed rest. She’d experienced more trauma in the last week than he had in the last twenty-five hundred years. Her life as Anna had hardly been easy—abandonment, loss, and then manipulated by a man whose attention she’d refused. He raked a hand over his scalp. Then to nearly lose her life while they tried to unbind her soul, only to be saved by grace at the price of six life times’ progression…
Cole gazed over at the petite form beside him. He shook his head and brushed the dark hair from her face. How could Anna’s features be so similar to Mianna’s? The gentle slope of her nose, the curve of her bowtie lips. He tilted his head and gently stroked her cheek with his finger. Or was it the love he held in his heart that colored his view? A smile blossomed from his lips and he leaned to her, touching his brow to hers. His black hair fell to the pillow like a sheet of satin, deepening the shadows. No matter the reason. He had her back. And he vowed to never lose her again.
~ * ~
A satisfied grin tugged at Lord Dressen’s lips as he looked out over the gathered noblemen. Low voices filled the stately hall. Marble bracing columns led way to the arched beams in the domed ceiling. Sunbeams poured through the twelve-foot windows, filling the space with a yellow haze. The gold that framed the life-sized portraits along the walls appeared to glow, accenting their subjects.
The turn-out was as hoped. He had the majority of the Grand Marshals’ court in attendance and every member seemed dedicated to support him. His heavy brow furrowed and he lifted his chin. Cole Shilo, you’ll pay for taking Anna from me.
The dull rumble of conversation subsided as he stepped to Officiator’s stand and took his chair at the center of the table. He nodded to the two uniformed gentlemen who stood guard at the entrance and they stepped out, closing the doors behind them.
Lord Carrington tugged at his vest as he strode up the center aisle. A more trusted friend he’d never had. The tall man moved with trained temperance. An admirable trait; grace under pressure. Taking his place at Dressen’s side, he leaned to him with a hushed voice. “Ninety-nine are in attendance. Lord Standish’s men are the only ones not to sign in.”
“We can do without them. What are twenty-two votes against ninety-nine?”
Carrington nodded and ran a hand along his tailored beard. “One concern I feel I must voice, Kyle.” He looked at his friend and his brown eyes twitched. “Standish may not hold the court’s majority, but he’s a strong believer in tradition. The men here control a vote, but many of their wives and family are faithful to the Gods, including my own. They practice religious rites and that encompasses the Shilos as Sentinels. If this isn’t handled with care it could become nasty.”
Dressen sighed and he glanced at the portraits that lined the room. Every Grand Marshal that had held a senior position was portrayed. His gaze gravitated to the depiction of Sylis Shilo at the center of the hall. The founder seemed to watch his every move—his coal hair, onyx eyes, and square features set firm. Dressen sneered. A wizard surrounded by noblemen.
“Sentinels.” He scoffed. “They’re aliens. Nothing more. And their own laws protect us from their dimension’s powers. What superior race agrees to such an arrangement? They’re weak. Their kind has no place on Terra.”
“Never-the-less, the faithful could rise up to protect them.” Carrington looked down at his cufflink as he straightened the gold piece. “And I’ll be frank. Even though I see nothing wrong with how you achieved your goal with the girl, many will see it otherwise. Having the wizards bend her will as a servant was one thing, but calling for total compliance pushed the agreement’s intention.”
Dressen scowled. “The Wizards of Shilo Manor accepted my bid as any other. She broke the law and she was harvested. With the new curfew in play, she was no different from the homeless.” He softened his voice. “It was the only way to get her past the idea that my standing separated us. Once she joined the household, she admitted she wanted to be with me all along. She told me she loved me. Always had. She was happy.”
He looked at his comrade and his narrow features leered. “Cole Shilo’s desire to have her took her from me.” He pointed a finger to accentuate his view. “I know he has her up at that manor.”
Lord Carrington cocked his head. “We have no jurisdiction within the walls of the Sentinel’s home.”
“You just deal with the charges.”
“The only real proof we have is the vision you shared from that night she disappeared, Kyle. And that’s another issue. You were only able to share it by way of the magical means Cole Shilo gifted you.” His friend quirked his cheek. “There’s talk of a loss of integrity at the expense of…”
“A thief?” A growl rumbled in Dressen’s throat as his blood seethed.
“A Sentinel, Kyle. You have to view this from these men’s perspective. I know you’re not religious, but religion is going to play a large part in what they decide.”
“Then use their beliefs against them. Look into the covenants the wizards have made. Their long lives will show something. In two thousand years, no man can live without error.”
Carrington ran a finger under his collar as if it suddenly became too small. “I’ll make the assignment. But how do you expect to get to the girl if she’s up there?”
A crooked smile crept its way to Dressen’s lips. “I’ll find a way. You just start by calling them in for questioning and I’ll do the rest.”
Cornerstone Deep Echoes is available in paperback and e-formats. (But here’s a quick link).
And I would love you to join me on the web!
Author site: http://CharleneAWilson.com
Monday, July 4th, 2011
Join me in welcoming Elizabeth Mueller to Highlighted Author.
I am a mother of four, fun-loving kids who are supportive in my writing goals. I’m rather excited that summer vacation is here, I love playing in the park with my kids, taking them to the movies, and most of all, sleeping in! I love cherries and ice cream and chocolate, but also spinach and steamed broccoli and books. Yes, I do love books—I ingest them quickly, but love to write them even more.
What other dreams have I longed for other than being a stay-at-home mom? A published author! It’s come to no surprise to my husband that I’ve finally achieved my publishing dream. I’ve been writing our entire years of marriage and beyond. I grew up getting lost in the magical world of my imagination; it helped me deal with the not so great circumstances that a child shouldn’t have to face. I’ve noticed a theme in my writing: enduring failure, but struggling for triumph.
I love to write whatever steals my imagination. Fantasy is the first genre I started with. I branched off into urban fantasy, historical, contemporary, and paranormal. I love romance, so there is definitely an element of that in my work.
I try to write every second I get, but ever since TreasureLine Books picked up Darkspell, I’ve been busier than ever. I’ve been working hard in getting my name out there, though I’ve had internet presence since 2009.
Darkspell is a YA Paranormal Romance, and releases fall of 2011. It is my aspiration to share my writing journey with readers, and writers alike.
Let’s keep in touch! Please drop by and say hi!
My website: http://www.authorelizabethmueller.com/
Winter Sky believes she is everything ordinary . . . until she is kissed by Alex Stormhold. As seer of Stormhold Coven, Alex is sworn to be Winter’s protector against the darkness that hunts her. Violently thrust into a magical realm she always thought impossible, she stumbles upon a disturbing secret of her own. Will love prove thicker than magic?
Alex reached out and took my hands. A spark of magic passed between us. I didn’t resist and his gaze deepened. Another wave tore through me and I felt his powerful drive to protect me and the desire to share the rest of his life with me. I could see forever, eternity was wide and deep.
I would never be alone again.
Having tasted Alex so strongly, so close, so dear, left me empty; a starving sensation that could only be filled by him. I had no idea he felt so intensely for me. His love washed away all doubt from me.
I leaned into Alex as my world spun fast on a crooked axis. I breathed him in. I was intoxicated with his burning hold, I was so alive. Every sound was louder, the wind richer as it flowed through me. I was so free, so alive, so untainted by any wicked thing. I closed my eyes, shivering with desire, and imagined the breeze encircling us; bringing us to our feet and drawing us closer like a child’s ribbon.
Just as I opened my eyes, he whispered, “Listen, Winter. Listen to me.”
He brought me to him and gently pressed my face to his heart. It was a wild thing, trapped and yearning to be free. My blood sang and my eyes drifted closed. It felt as if my feet lifted from the ground. One hand was soft in my hair as he caressed my back with the other.
“How have you come by such magic? Such power to control? Can I come into your world? Can you teach me?” I trembled, savoring every sensation.
Pre-order your copy of Darkspell Here.
Elizabeth is celebrating the fall release of Darkspell by having a launch party with her July blog tour. She will be giving away a special prize each week:
Week 1: Nox Arcana’s Shadow of the Raven
Week 2: Canvas Wall Scroll Tapestry: 12″x17″
Week 3: Dragons Sculpture Bookends 4″x5″x8″
Week 4: 13″ tall Dark Shadows Lamp
For details on how you could win, click here!
Follow her around blog tour this July. Here’s where she’ll be appearing:
July 1 Lauracea
July 4 Highlighted Author
July 5 S.B. Niccum
July 7 Writing In The Crosshairs
July 8 A Storybook World
July 11 Alex J. Cavanaugh
July 12 Unicorn Bell
July 13 Tristin Pinkston
July 14 Susan Says
July 18 Shoveling In A Jo Storm
July 19 No Thoughts 2 Small
July 20 Reflections On Writing
July 23 Mommy Mormon Writers
July 25 J.D. Brown
July 27 & 28 Anastasia V. Pergakis
July 29 Michele Ashman Bell
July 30 The Scribblers Cove