Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Satisfy Your Senses

Erotica author Lizzie T. Leaf is here to tease at least two of your senses. So tempt away, Lizzie, the kitchen is all yours!

I love to make this easy treat for a cozy Saturday night when I want to snuggle with my wonderful husband and share some personal time.

More Twix
Photo by Mister GC
1 cup (2 sticks) (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (85 grams) powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups (250 grams) all purpose flour
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 300oF (150C) and place rack in center of oven.

With an electric mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add egg and beat until combined.

Beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together.

Refrigerate the dough until firm.

Roll out the dough or press onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, turning the baking sheet front-to-back half-way through baking.

Caramel Filling
3 - 5.5 ounce bags (15.5 ounces total) soft caramels or make your own
2 tbsp. milk or cream
1 tsp. butter
dash salt (opt)

Place your caramels, milk and salt in a microwaveable bowl and nuke for 1 minute at a time, stopping to stir, until melted, 3-4minutes.

If you're using homemade caramels, you can reduce the amount of milk and microwave time. If you’re using hard caramels, increase the milk.

Pour caramel over the baked cookie.

Once the caramel has set, cut into whatever size pieces you desire. For best results, chill them in the freezer to firm up before dipping.

Chocolate Topping
12 ounces (240 grams) milk chocolate, cut into fairly uniform pieces
1 tsp. non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening or butter

Place chocolate in a small saucepan set on medium heat. Be sure to stir the chocolate as you carefully melt it. Adjust temp so your chocolate does not burn.

Add shortening or butter to help make the chocolate thinner for dipping as needed.

Dip the bars in the tempered chocolate and place on waxed or parchment paper to set.

Do not attempt to move your Twix bars before they’re set or they're liable to come apart.

Once they've set, you're ready to share and enjoy! For best results, store in the fridge.

Here's a brief intro to my vampire story that is guaranteed to warm your chilly spring nights.

Socialite Deb Stein lives a life of luxury until she takes the hunk dressed as a vampire to her bed. When she wakes up one of the living dead, she’s pissed-off. To complicate matters more, she has to find a new identity since everyone thinks she's dead. Plus, if she’s dead, she can’t touch her trust fund, and that means she has to work! How can someone who has never held a job find one?

And her social life is in the tank. Her new friends are a street guy called Rat and fellow strippers at the dive where she works. If she ever sees Aaron Lowell again, she’ll put a stake in his heart.

Aaron Lowell feels guilty he took his mentor’s advice and left town after taking the sexy socialite into the undead world. Concerned, he returns to check on her and discovers she’s become a stripper—and not a very happy one when she sees him. But she’s still hot, and he can’t stay away from her, even if their meetings are explosive.

Can two vampires move beyond anger, combined with a strong sexual attraction, to find the kind of love they both crave?


To read excerpts from other books by Lizzie T. Leaf please click onto Amazon.

Lizzie T. Leaf loved books since she opened her first one. Her dream was to write them herself. Lost in the hectic day to day world of family, job, laundry and housework, writing became a distant memory. When the twinkling ember did spark, it was usually doused by someone demanding their share of her time.

Lizzie's life went full circle. The desire to put the stories that continued to play in her head on paper emerged stronger than ever, and at a time when there was someone who encouraged. Now she lives her dream.

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

See all of Lizzie's book on Amazon.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Do Authors Manipulate Readers?

by Vonnie Hughes

You bet they do! Authors know what buttons to push.

By ‘what buttons to push’ I mean what buttons do authors use to manipulate (yep, being honest) their readers’ emotions, to get them on side with the characters in their books. For example, perhaps the author creates unlikeable, evil antagonists and emphasizes the sterling qualities of his protagonists.

The most obvious ploy is the ticking clock. It not only lends urgency but it yanks the reader along at a rush, keeping him intrigued.

Then there’s characterization. Of course in this dynamic world, what worked ten years ago may not have the same appeal in 2014. The innocent 1960s virgin, so prevalent in romances of that time, would drive a reader from 2014 to drink. We are much more cynical, well-informed and downright demanding than we were then. Historically though, some classics retain their appeal because they are much more than the sum of their characters’ emotions. To Kill A Mockingbird’s racial tensions are still not outmoded today, and that lazy description of the syrupy south’s inbred attitudes is not far from the truth in some out-of-the-way places. And that is why books like these are classics. They endure not just because of the characters in the books but because of the settings and historical attitudes. And Harper Lee manipulated the readers’ emotions. Think of the way she pushes Scout’s lack of desire to be a ‘lady’ so that the reader is on Scout’s side.

Perhaps today’s writers manipulate the readers in more subtle ways. What of Dick Francis’s heroes who are often of the working class up against a criminal upper class or just up against class bigotry where he is on the outside looking in? Dick Francis does that so well that even if the protagonist is not your usual Everyman, the reader is still very much on his side. That’s right. The modern protagonist need not be a perfect hero as he has been in novels and movies of the past. Some have patchy backgrounds and they’ve made mistakes.

There’s Lee Child’s Jack Reacher who thrums a string in every male heart. They all want to be Jack with his freedom and lack of possessions but with an innate sense of responsibility. And of course Jack has been in the military and knows how to handle himself in vicious situations. Every man’s dream. There are a lot of wannabe Jacks out there. And Lee knows how to manipulate those readers.

Tami Hoag’s heroines are believably imperfect. They make mistakes and have hang-ups that readers can empathise with and they frequently have to form alliances with people they don’t trust. There’s that little brush of reality that lends credence to the stories.

So…empathy and sympathy are the buttons. And the harder those buttons are pushed by authors and movie makers, the more a reader/viewer becomes invested in the characters. We need to see how the protagonists get themselves out of a bind, or if the evil antagonists get their come-uppance. And the best books of all are where you know darned well that the author is pushing your buttons, but you just don’t care. The book is so good!


Here is a short tease from Vonnie's latest romantic suspense for you.

Who can you trust if you can’t trust your own mother? Through the clammy fog, Celie Francis hears the chilling message. “I know who you are, Celie. I know where you live.” And in the terrifying aftermath she reconnects with her dysfunctional family in ways she had never imagined.

Abused and abandoned as a child, Célie Francis knows better than to trust anyone. But after she witnesses a murder, she's placed in the Unit "New Zealand's witness protection program" where she's expected to trust strangers with her life.

It's psychologist Brand Turner's job to ease witnesses into their new identities, not to protect them, but Célie stirs feelings in him that are far from professional. When it appears someone is leaking critical information that could endanger Célie, Brand will do anything to protect her. But first he has to convince her to trust him.

Adrift in a frightening world, Célie would like to believe the handsome psychologist is everything he seems, but as witnesses are murdered and danger swirls around them, Célie must decide "can she trust Brand with her life? 

Please click a vendor's name to read more from Lethal Refuge The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Vonnie Hughes is a multi-published author in both Regency books and contemporary suspense. She loves the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code. And with suspense she has free rein to explore forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind. Like many writers, some days she hates the whole process, but somehow she just cannot let it go.

Vonnie was born in New Zealand, but she and her husband now live happily in Australia. If you visit Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand be sure to stroll through the Japanese Garden. These is a bronze plaque engraved with a haiku describing the peacefulness of that environment. The poem was written by Vonnie.

All of Vonnie’s books are available on The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Top 10 Foods to Improve Your Memory

by Sara Daniel

Most of us are probably not going to end up with amnesia so severe our memory of the past ten months is completely wiped out as happened to my heroine Gwen in A Bride Worth Fighting For. However, if you’re anything like me, you walk into a room intending to do something, which had to be important since you went there with a purpose. But now you’re standing inside the doorway with no earthly idea what you walked all the way across the house to do.

Or you’re all ready to run some errands…if you could just find where you left your darn car keys. Really, how far away could they have disappeared in the two hours since you last drove the car??? Clearly, it’s time to address the problem. And the problem is not the keys.

Below are ten foods which have been scientifically proven to deliver health benefits to your brain—improving memory, focus and concentration. So, let’s start eating!

Photo by Ambro
1. Blueberries – All berries are good options, but blueberries are the superhero food choice! Blueberries protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and premature aging.

2. Salmon – Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function.

3. Broccoli – Broccoli has nutrients for healthy blood flow, protection against free radicals, and removes heavy metals that can damage the brain.

4. Beans/Legumes – These excellent sources of complex carbs and fiber provide a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes. They are also packed with folate, a B vitamin critical to brain function.

5. Avocados – Although high in fat, the avocado is a monounsaturated fat, which promotes healthy blood flow to the brain. Their antioxidants protect the brain from free radical damage. They also contain potassium and vitamin K, which protect the brain from the risk of stroke.

6. Pomegranates – Either the seeds or the juice will do, protecting the brain from free radicals with their strong antioxidants.

7. Sunflower Seeds – These, along with other seeds, are packed with protein, omega fatty acids, B vitamins, and tryptophan, which the brain uses to boost mood and combat depression.

8. Whole grains – If you’ve ever bought whole grain bread, the advertising on the package probably shouted that whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease. And if your heart’s healthy, that’s good news for your brain.

Photo by adamr
9. Almonds and other nuts – Nuts are extremely good for the brain and nervous system. High levels of vitamin E protect against dementia and cognitive decline by protecting the brain against free radicals and improving brain power.

10. Chocolate – Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has strong antioxidants and can improve concentration and focus. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, putting you in a good mood.

Now, excuse me while I munch on some chocolate-covered almonds and look for my car keys!

Here is a peek at the latest Wiccan Haus release from Sara Daniel.

If she remembers the past, they won’t have a future.

Gwen Fairfax awakens in a hospital, deluged by stabbing head pain and unable to remember anything about her past, especially the man who claims to be her fiancé. A trip to the Wiccan Haus is her only hope to discover the woman she used to be, understand her mysterious dreams about a resort, and fall in love with the man she’s supposed to marry.

To stop his stepmother’s land development schemes from ruining the natural habitat he’s dedicated his life to preserving, Tucker Wilde is willing to do anything, even pretend to be engaged to the woman his brother left at the altar. But he isn’t prepared for the sweet, vulnerable woman to tempt him at every turn until he longs to give in to the temptation.

The more Gwen gets to know Tucker, the more she’s certain he’s a man worth remembering. But if the Wiccan Haus heals her memory, he’ll have to fight to keep his bride.

“This week is for you, Gwen, not me.”

She shook her head as they stepped into the elevator. “It’s for both of us. Just because you’re helping me get my memory back doesn’t mean you should have any less of a vacation.”

If he wasn’t enjoying himself, why would he want to share his life with her? Up until dinner, his complete focus had been on her, but his eyes didn’t shine when he looked at her the way they did when he talked about his conservation efforts.

Just because they were engaged didn’t mean their relationship had been perfect before she’d lost her memory. By paying attention to what he loved, she could strengthen their bond or discover if they were right for each other at all.

As the elevator crawled upward, she glanced at him, unable to believe he wasn’t right for her. Not only was she comfortable with him, their chemistry compounded with every passing moment. The real question was if she fit with him, but she didn’t know herself well enough to answer.

The elevator doors opened, and Tucker placed his palm against her back as they exited. A few steps later, they stopped in front of her room. “This is you,” he said.

“Yeah.” Now what? She had no idea how to wrap up the evening and no past experience to fall back on. “Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee?”

He raised an eyebrow. “Is that a euphemism for something else?”

Oh gosh. She might not have a memory, but she understood what she’d implied. She forced a laugh to cover her embarrassment and deflect the sex offer she definitely wasn’t ready for him to take her up on. “Apparently, you’ve gotten engaged to a clichéd and trite woman. I fell asleep so fast earlier, I didn’t notice if the room had a coffee pot.”

His lips twitched. “I would never get engaged to a cliché. Don’t sell yourself short.”

She rubbed her temples. If he’d been attracted to something unique and special about her, she’d like a clue what that thing might be. She enjoyed getting reacquainted with him, but getting to know herself proved far more unsettling. “Okay, no coffee and no euphemistic coffee. Uh, good night?”

“A goodnight kiss?” he suggested.

She dropped her gaze to his full pink lips. How many times had those lips kissed hers before? She wanted to remember, but she couldn’t handle the intimacy of a full, deep kiss when who she was remained elusive.

Rising on her tiptoes, she brushed her lips over his cheek, scratchy with his customary beard stubble. The touch warmed her, inviting her to linger and explore his face. Instead, she pulled away.

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Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She battles a serious NASCAR addiction, was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels, and loses her car keys several times a day.

Learn more about Sara on her website and blog. Subscribe to Sara’s newsletter.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Navy Seal + Top-Secret Scientist = GREAT Storyline

Gifted author Rhea Rhodan writes award-winning novels and has a new one that is romantic suspense with a fantasy twist. This book is one you definitely want to read.

When fantasy and reality collide, only love can be believed.

Shattered by a brutal attack and forced to flee, painfully withdrawn Dr. Prudence Marsh buries her emotions under numbing logic. For years, her escapes to a fantasy world created to survive her hellish past have been nothing more than a guilty pleasure. But when the host of the safe house turns out to be a dead ringer for her dream warrior, she fears she’s lost her precious mind along with everything else.

Ex-SEAL Max Delaney has been known to dabble in a hot, delicious mess—or two, or three. He has no idea how to handle a cold, sour one. Blackmailed into babysitting Dr. Marsh in his hidden bunker while she finishes a top-secret project sucks. Until he falls for her. Then it blows. Every clue Max unravels buys him more questions. Every step forward lands him two steps back, flat on his ass.

Demons past, present, and future haunt Max and Prudence as they stumble along the twisting path to love. Merciless enemies and shifting alliances drive both to desperate measures, tumbling them over the border between shadow and substance—where each must choose what, and whom, to believe.


Preoccupied with the effort of facing the day and shoring up her defenses, she didn’t see him until it was too late.

He stood at the sink in the kitchenette, wearing only a pair of denims. Thick, tousled, black locks curled at his neck. The overhead light glistened on his damp skin, defining the well-developed muscles of his shoulders and back. She gulped as her gaze fell lower, taking in the way the tight, worn jeans that hugged his equally muscular posterior and thighs. Delane. She squeaked, and he turned toward her.

One good look at his bare torso sent her screaming back into the bedroom as fast as her long, clumsy legs would carry her. She slammed the door and leaned on it, fighting to remain standing. Brutus jumped off the bed, barking fiercely.

“Hey, are you okay? What’s wrong? Dr. Marsh?” She could barely hear him over the din.

Her heart thudded and skittered. Oh, gods of OtherWhere, he really was Delane, every stunning inch of him—including the wide, jagged scar low on his abdomen.

“Dr. Marsh?”

Prudence counted out a deep inhalation, then an equally long exhalation.

Better. She couldn’t possibly be in OtherWhere; it didn’t exist. Any resemblance had to be purely coincidental or imaginary. She didn’t have her glasses on. The stress of the last three days had affected her mental stability. Yes, that must be it.

Blessed, cool logic seeped in, enabling her to collect enough composure to raise her voice to a volume sufficient to penetrate the door. “I am fine. I was simply unprepared to encounter a half-naked man on my way to the washroom. While I am perfectly willing to make some concessions in light of the imposition of my presence, such displays are wholly unacceptable. Kindly finish attiring yourself and notify me when you have done so. I shall thank you to confine your nudity to your private quarters for the duration of my stay.”

A rolling chuckle leaked through to her ears, and she understood he not only found her ugly, but laughable as well. The thought burned her carefully built wall to ashes in seconds. Tears came; the wherewithal to stop them had already been spent. Managing to strangle a sob offered a small satisfaction.

She slid down and rested her back against the door with her knees pulled up to her chin. Brutus licked her face and whined. She hushed him with a hug. He curled up with her there on the floor, an anchor in her storm of grief.

The inner weight lightened as the tears ran their course, lending a degree of relief—until she caught a glimpse of her red, puffy eyes in the mirror over the chest of drawers. She was as helpless in the wave of terror gripping her body as she’d been to prevent the tears. That the fear was irrational, a vestige of her childhood; that there would be no punishment, didn’t make it any less real or more manageable.

No matter. A display of vulnerability was as dangerous now as it had ever been. Among her earliest lessons had been those that taught her not to supply ammunition to be used against her later.

Thankfully, cool water would aid in effacing the evidence, as would her glasses, provided she could reach the washroom undisturbed. Rather than honor her request, Mr. Delaney may have chosen to further amuse himself at her expense.

The prospect of additional humiliation galled to a greater degree than it ought to. After all, Esmeralda’s desire for Prince Delane’s regard belonged in OtherWhere, with the prince who desired her in return, not here with Dr. Prudence Marsh for a man who considered her a freak.

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Rhea Rhodan lives in Minnetonka, Minnesota and has been telling herself stories since long before she could write. She attended the University of Minnesota with a focus on Journalism, then Brown Institute for Broadcast Journalism. After many adventures, misadventures, and a couple of short marriages, she found the love of her life in Regensburg, Germany, and has been living happily ever after since.

She journaled her adventures, but didn't combine her writing and story-telling until several years ago. At that time one of the stories grabbed her by the throat and shook her like a rag doll until she gave in and wrote it. Having tasted freedom, her muse refuses to return to the confines of her head, and has successfully turned the tables, keeping her at the keyboard to appease it.

Her stories always had a twist of magic or a touch of the paranormal. Why the romance? Because she believes in happy endings, and helping people imagine them.

Learn more about Rhea Rhodan on her website. Stay connected with Rhea on Facebook, and her Goodreads Author Page.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


by Sharon Ledwith

Actually, I’m one-quarter Irish thanks to my maternal grandmother, Grandma Foster, but that never stopped me from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! So, sit down, take a load off, and pour yourself a pint of green ale. Aye, here’s to Saint Paddy, banisher of snakes, and founder of monasteries and churches! Now, while you’re waiting for your corn beef and cabbage dinner to boil, have a gander at these six amazing places to visit if you ever get a chance to venture over to the Emerald Isle, suggested to me by our own Dominique Eastwick.

Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

Renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, is the only World Heritage site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries.


Constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now recognized to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries my be laid to rest.

Kilmainham Gaol Prison in Dublin

Built in 1792, it is Ireland's most famous disused prison. It held throughout the years many famous Nationalists and Republicans in members of the Society of United Irishmen (1798), Young Irelanders (c1840s), Fenians and Land agitators, Parnell, Davitt. The leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were executed here. The prison was closed in 1924. This building gives a good insight into the history of Irish Republicanism.

Dublin Castle

(doing Kilmainhaim Gaol first helps with the history) Originally built in the 13th century on a site previously settled by the Vikings it functioned as a military fortress, a prison, treasury, courts of law and the seat of English Administration in Ireland for 700 years. Rebuilt in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Dublin Castle is now used for important State receptions and Presidential Inaugurations.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's top Visitor attractions and are a designated UNESCO Geo Park.

The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South.

The Cliffs of Moher take their name from a ruined promontory fort “Mothar” which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower.

And I saved the best for last…

Guinness Storehouse

The best view of the city and Ireland’s number one visitor attraction. Go figure! The home of the world famous GUINNESS® brand, this historical building is central to Dublin’s and Ireland’s heritage, and has been continually updated to create a blend of fascinating industrial tradition with a contemporary edge. Oh yeah, and you’re also invited to pour your own perfect pint. Cheers!

Now, before you go check on your corn beef and cabbage, please raise your frosty glass high to toast Saint Patrick and Ireland with me: May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night.


Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Mirror World Publishing, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books.

Monday, March 14, 2016

To Edit or Not to Edit...That is the Question

by Marci Boudreaux

Or at least it is when re-releasing an old book.

When Musa Publishing closed in March 2015, they took a few of my beloved books with them. Several I put right back up as self-published releases, but I held tight onto Unforgettable You—my first release as Marci Boudreaux.

Why? Because in my heart, I knew I could do so much more with that book.

Not just the romance, but the relationship between the widowed heroine and her mother-in-law.

Carrie and Doreen share a special kind of affection—a woman who is hanging on to the last piece of her deceased husband and his mother, who is suffering from dementia and often confuses Carrie as her own flesh and blood, rather than her relation by marriage.

Doreen's illness creates situations throughout the book that I wanted to examine further. Knowing this, I held onto Unforgettable You, hesitant to release it back into the world.

I'm lucky to have an amazing (and incredibly patient!) editor who worked with me to flesh this out a bit more, give more life to Carrie and Doreen's relationship, and make certain that Carrie and Will have the depth that they deserve.

So, for me, it definitely as a "to edit" situation. When Unforgettable You re-released on March 4, there was subtle changes to the book—nothing that will alter the overall storyline—but definitely changes that enhance it.

Here's a short introduction to the book of my heart.

When life throws a widowed innkeeper and a world-famous movie star together they share an unexpected romance. But is their love strong enough to survive their real lives?

Desperate to keep her ailing mother-in-law, Doreen, in the woman’s home, Carrie Gable agrees to board a handful of Hollywood’s most elite actors at the manor. Despite her resentment of the demands being placed upon her, she can’t help but be taken in by actor Will Walker.

Will, in a last-ditch effort to save his career, has agreed to a project he has no interest in. The more time he spends with his egotistical co-stars, the more drawn he is to Carrie. Long nights spent talking about the paths their lives have taken make him realize he’d rather have a simpler life, but his ties to L.A. aren’t as willing to let him go.

With the temptation of stardom pulling Will in one direction and the need to care for Doreen tugging Carrie in another, the couple struggle to hold onto the happiness they were missing until finding each other.


As a teen, Marci Boudreaux skipped over young adult books and jumped right into the world of romance novels. She's never left. Marci lives with her husband, two kiddos, and their numerous pets. Until recently, she was a freelance writer appearing monthly in a variety of local magazines. She now focuses on writing and her work as a content editor.

Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn't like when she does that in real life.

Learn more about Marci Boudreaux on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Magic and Mystery Equal a Chilling Tale

Introducing Nothing But Echoes, the latest suspense novel from creative Anne Montgomery. I hope you enjoy this book as much I did.

The past and present collide when a tenacious reporter seeks information on an eleventh century magician...and uncovers more than she bargained for.

In 1939, archaeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate bead work, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine hundred years earlier, was a magician.

Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archaeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

The man screamed again. The kwewu never paused. The animal tore at the one causing the pain. Massive jaws clamped down on the woman’s upper arm, breaking skin as the wolf dragged her to the dirt floor.

Badger dropped his hold on the man’s injured arm, and for a moment stood rooted in place, unable to move, unsure of what he was seeing. A giant white wolf—was the creature animal or spirit? Then he saw the arrow sticking from the creature’s side and knew it was of flesh, blood, and bone. Kaya’s screams drove Badger toward the animal, which now had her pinned to the floor. Bloody saliva dripped onto the healer’s face as she tried to push the creature away. An awful growl rose in the animal’s throat.

“Ahhkk!” The sound emanating from Badger was almost as terrifying as the rage of the wolf. The animal turned toward this new threat, a human who stood close to her master. The kwewu leaped away from the woman on the floor into Badger’s outstretched arms. The big man tucked in his chin, protecting his throat, and squeezed with every ounce of strength in his massive arms. The wolf writhed, scratching his naked torso with her nails, and caught the lobe of his right ear in her teeth. A crimson river streamed down Badger’s neck as he crushed the beast to his chest.

The kwewu cried out, but that was not the reason Badger relaxed his grip.
“No! No!” The blue-eyed man yelled. “Down!” Holding his injured arm, he tried to stand, but wobbled back onto the bed.

Badger again tightened his grip on the wolf, fully intending to crush the thing to death. Strangely, the animal had gone limp. Still, its eyes were open. Then the animal looked at the blue-eyed man and began to whimper.

Badger knitted his brow, unsure of what to do next. Kaya sat up, holding the wound on her upper arm, blood seeping between her fingers. Seeing the damage the wolf inflicted, the blood smearing Kaya’s face, Badger intensified his hold on the animal.

Deer Runner suddenly appeared in the doorway with two other hunters. He leveled an obsidian-tipped arrow at the wolf.

“Drop the animal, Badger! I cannot shoot. Get out of the way!”

The big man turned with the creature in his arms then let the wolf fall to the ground.

“No! Please do not kill her!” The blue-eyed man cried in a language only he understood. He righted himself and staggered, falling down and covering the kwewu with his body. The wolf heaved with exhaustion, breath coming in ragged gasps as he buried his face in her bloodied white fur.

Deer Runner drew the arrow back as the group of villagers swelled at the doorway.

Sarah Book Publishing

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


Not only is Emma Lane an accomplished Regency author, she is also a marvelous cook. Settle back and enjoy Emma's two treats in one, her delicious Chocolate Raspberry Parfait and a peek at her latest book Tutored by a Duke which is now available for pre-sale. March 18 is the official debut. And I can't wait to get my copy!

Okay, Emma, the kitchen is all your. Work your magic!

Hi Everyone! This dessert is easy, but elegant. Chocolate pudding made the day before is layered with marinated raspberries and whipped cream. This recipe serves one, so repeat the process for each guest.

Chocolate Raspberry Parfait with Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry
Chocolate pudding
Fresh raspberries
Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry or rum
Whipped cream

Marinate eleven raspberries in a small cup with three tablespoons cream sherry. Let stand an hour at least.

Carefully layer in a parfait goblet in the following order:
A healthy dollop of chocolate pudding
Place 5 marinated raspberries on top of pudding
Spoon on whipped cream
Layer second chocolate pudding (gently, do not stir)
Add 5 more marinated raspberries
Cover raspberries with whipped cream
On last layer of whipped cream, dribble sparingly, the left over sherry marinade

Place one raspberry on top and serve or chill for later. If the layers tend to run a bit, don't worry. Just looks more decorative and creative.

Now while your dessert is chilling, I want you to search deep into your memories. Can you recall an incident where your mother told you distinctly NOT to do that thing or you’d be sorry? Of course, you did it anyway, and she was exactly right. Mothers were always on our side, but it took a bit more age and wisdom to figure it out.

One stands out for me. My mom told me emphatically NOT to buy that expensive, pale pink bathing suit. I thought it sophisticated and made just for me. Surely I knew best.

I spent the rest of the summer wearing my old one. That beautiful pink suit, when wet, was a see-through which the boys loved a bit too much. Mom never said a word, but I remembered her advice every time I squeezed into my old suit. To this day, there’s a fellow who gets a gleam in his eye at the class reunions and reminds me of ‘the pink suit’ episode. Glad I figured prominently in his teen fantasies. Not.

Tutored by a Duke is a Regency Romance with a sweet rating. The story is a hilarious romp as the younger set struggles to find their places in society.

Elisabeth is a lively young lady ripe for adventure. She’s lived the sheltered life of the privileged during the Regency era of the 1800’s and is on the cusp of entering society when she joins her older sister at a house party. On the enormous estate in the spreading mansion of a duke, she mistakes her host for the fat squire down the road. Thus begins an adventure which is against all her training. She knows her mother would not approve. Was that half the intrigue of meeting a stranger in private?

The handsome but incognito Richard Hawlester, Duke of Roderick, weary of toad-eating house guests, engages in a serious flirtation with young Elisabeth Barrows, who is primed for an exciting adventure. Mistaking the fat squire for the duke, she holds her secret relationship with a man known only as Richard, Nobel Rescuer, close to a tender heart while discovering love for the first time.

Elisabeth’s trust seems irrevocably lost when the duke’s actual identity is revealed. Realizing his mistake, Roderick begins an earnest, dangerous, and often hilarious campaign to convince her of his love. Elisabeth ponders whether true love can overcome the loss of trust between two people, even as danger presents in the guise of a vile, undesirable suitor, while a wicked assassin makes an attempt on the life of the duke. Trust broken can never be regained, or can it?

What does one wear to a secret assignation?” she wondered, smoothing her gown. When her maid entered the room, Elisabeth dismissed her with the same excuse of a headache. She actually made ready to put her head on her pillow until the maid left. She laughed quietly to herself and felt somewhat guilty. It was almost impossible to stay still with her heart thumping hard in her chest. After waiting for what seemed to be hours but was in reality mere minutes, she sat up and smoothed her hair, despairing of the wisps of curls that always escaped her efforts to tame them.

The guests were gathered in the front parlor, but she peeked carefully out the door just in case. She would make her way by the back stairs, which she hoped would lead her to the garden. Quickly she descended and stepped, as she suspected, directly into the beginnings of the garden. Statues of various gods loomed whitely in the twilight. The tinkle of running water alerted her of the nearness of a small frog pond. She knew her way from there and walked confidently forward. She almost screamed when an arm reached out and encircled her waist.

“Shhh…little one. It is only I, Richard, your Noble Rescuer.” He laughed softly and rubbed his face gently in her hair as he held her close. She twisted around to look up into his eyes but could not read his thoughts in the dim light. He released her and caught her hand, pulling her gently with him around the hedge and back to that private floral bower, borrowed once more from their host.

At his urging, she settled on a white garden bench which nestled against a flowering vine. Heady night fragrances enveloped her as she looked up into the handsome face of her friend. He gazed back at her but then paced a step or two back.

“I have things to say, sweetness. Please do not be upset when I use words I know are improper. Let us be two different people for tonight. What say you?” He stepped closer, but still did not join her on the bench.

Elisabeth waited for what she knew not. She was content to be this close to one for whom she had such feelings. She nodded. Why did she trust him so implicitly? She only knew she did. Perhaps it was because she enjoyed an enchanted night in a magic room with a handsome man who called her pet names. This was not real life, but she could not give up the thought that magic existed, especially for those who were in love. Surrounding her was a fairy garden which glowed with moonlight under the watchful eyes of stone guardians. Perhaps they came to life when the sunlight faded?

She inhaled sharply and clasped her hands together in her lap when he settled himself on the bench, their shoulders touching. His unique scent wrapped around her, causing her head to spin with excitement. As he turned toward her, he reached out with his arm, first touching her shoulder with his hand, and then folding around it. She did not stop herself from leaning toward him, although briefly she did try. The prickling of her conscience was like a buzzing, annoying gnat she could easily dismiss. Elisabeth was mesmerized by an intoxicating spell she never wanted to end. Richard leaned closer pulling her gently forward.

Amazon - Wild Rose Publishing

Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes under several pen-names. She lives with her patient husband on several acres outside a typical American village in Western New York. Her day job is working with flowers at her son’s plant nursery. Look for information about writing and plants on her new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma's face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, March 07, 2016

From Across the Pond

Meet David Russell, a muti-talented man who is one of the rare male erotica authors. David is visiting today all the way from the United Kingdom and has agreed to a brief interview. So, let's get to it!

Hi David, thanks for dropping in. What prompted you to write erotica?
A close woman friend wrote a powerful work in this area, which catalyzed me.

What heat level are your books?
They run between two and three.

How do you answer people who gasp when they learn you write erotica?
I try not to laugh and say one should be open-minded and oppose prejudice.

When you sit down at your keyboard, what motivates you to write?
I imagine myself participating in the scenes I am describing.

Now that’s very interesting so I have to ask, do you practice what you write?
I do to a limited extent, but not nearly as much as I’d like to.

LOL I think we need to steer this interview along another line. What or who inspires your storylines?
Okay, we'll be serious again. Some real life people, some literary models, some film and video models.

How do you promote your work?
I contact review sites, and do review exchanges with other writers.

What is a typical David day?
A morning and afternoon of dreary secretarial work; freedom to be creative in the evenings.

Do you have a writing quirk and if so, what is it?
I make myself do at least 100 words per effort, to sustain continuity.

What is the hardest thing for you to conquer when you write a new story?
The feeling that someone else has done it before, and perhaps better.

Do you work to an outline or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Always the latter; there has to be room for the speculative imagination.

What is more important: characters or plot?
Definitely characters; plots are my weak point.

Aside from writing, what is your favorite activity?
Music; I am a singer-songwriter, and have many tracks on YouTube under Dave Russell.

Thanks for coming out, David.
My pleasure, Sloane, and thank you!

Here is a little from David latest release that I think you will enjoy.

Dreamtime Sensuality Anthology
Many a dream can be realized with a little forethought. The characters in this quartet of stories are intelligent, sensitive and literary. They are also supremely voyeuristic and open-minded. Their intelligence is counterbalanced by inhibitions, which they can only lose by premeditated seduction scenarios, which relate intimately to their professional, creative and cultural lives. The great effort each couple puts into arranging a scenario seems to enhance the quality of the experience. A great source of inspiration for this and other works has been the novel The Girl Beneath the Lion by André Pieyre de Mandiargues.

Seductive Semaphore: Fashion Designer Bethesda and journalist Hector live opposite each other, with windows facing. They make initial contact through visible, provocative gestures. Soon afterwards, they get direct contact when Hector assists Bethesda with her folio. She invites him round to model for some of her fashion creations, and proceeds to seduce him. The seduction continues with a ritual visit to a sports centre, and then to a beach. They leave it open as to whether their relationship could ever become long-term.
The Heroine and the Author: Dreamer Hecate discovers she has a terminal illness. She wants to make the most of the time she has left by being celebrated in literature as a charismatic, legendary figure. She meets Ferdinand, a ghost writer, who is happy to undertake this massive project with her. In the process, She gets an idea of his physique through jogging and the fitness centre. Then there is a seduction scene inspired by the literary models of Sappho and Donne. Being ‘open-minded’, they make a pact for each one to go and have a sexual adventure – his hetero, hers lesbian. Their relationship is enhanced by this extra dimension.

Dreamtime Sensuality: Romona, highly literary and highly inhibited, goes to an exotic island location. She deeply desires a passionate encounter. At the Pension where she stays, she meets Stefano, who fulfils her requirements exactly. The proprietress of the Pension picks up on Romona’s shyness, and gives her reassurance, including some practice in the art of kissing. Romona orchestrates an elaborate beach seduction scenario, and they are both fulfilled. They never meet again, but their exchange of emails and text messages goes on indefinitely.

Dancing with Danger: Verona is a Scriptwriter and Gareth an archaeologist. They both have ‘retreats’ near the coast, and discover their common interests. Verona contrives a half-seduction on a deserted beach, wearing 18th century retro gear – related to their common interests. After some further encounters, they give each other a ‘dare’ to go and have a really risky encounter with someone really dodgy. Gareth finds a young woman on the run. Verona has a rapturous encounter with someone who gets hauled in by the police, suspected of terrorism. She uses her charm on the interrogating police officer to extricate herself. So Verona and Gareth both meet up again, to tell their respective tales.

EXCERPT from Seductive Semaphore
Hecate read some verses of Sappho, which she felt totally appropriate to his slender grace, so nearly androgynous. She quoted a phrase demanding his fixed, concentrated stare into her eyes. The eye contact was clinched Hecate’s introduction was a quote from her.

Ferdinand responded to the prompt; he knew what he had to do—gradually, at intervals, he removed his garments one by one as she breathily read the hypnotic, seductive phrases.

His garments came off with ease and grace, he obviously had some long-repressed desire to do this. At last, he stood before her, beautiful, naked, and slender. Somehow, his spirit prevailed over his earlier reticence, he shed his shyness with his clothing. Since she saw him in trunks, Hecate anticipated this moment with such relish. If the pool had been empty when they were there, she would have taken them off there, or in the shower. Perhaps something could happen, or even be premeditated in the future, on a deserted beach, secluded amid the dunes.

She handed him a volume of the collected poems of John Donne. “Now, I think you know which one I want you to read me. Hmm…while we’ve been working together, I bet you’ve had some reveries of me undressing, you undressing me.”

“I have to admit that is so and I know which poem you mean, it’s Elegy Nineteen—To His Mistress Going to Bed.

“We really are on the same wavelength darling. I had learned of that poem as a young girl, with a desperate desire one day to enact it. Every word of it struck home as I disrobed alone, for years I yearned for that lovely partner to give me those instructions live.”

Ferdinand beamed, then quoted from near the end of the poem referring to the poet’s nakedness at the beginning of the action. Then he proceeded to read, with his lovely, hypnotic voice.

He really made Hecate’s girdle feel like Saturn’s rings As she undid her sash and cast it down, she felt her abdomen was bathed in heavenly light, visible only to spiritual eyes.

The request to remove her ‘breastplate’ gave her an etheric shudder. Taking off the brooch at the top of her dress felt like casting away a shield, affirming that strife and combat had been replaced by love.

In response to the exhortation to unlace, she felt deliciously nervous as her fingers twitched on her zips and buttons.

As the gown went off following the next command, Hecate felt she had emerged from a perennial cocoon, that she was the sun liberated from the constricting veils of night.

As for a ‘coronet’, Hecate was only wearing a slide, but removing it certainly helped her locks flow freely.

It was great to feel liberated from footwear; earlier on her high heels had felt so sexy. But now her stockinged feet tingled with electric desire.

With her underwear, admittedly she found nylon, calico, and silk sexier than linen, but the word, so sensually uttered, really relevant. (from The Heroine and the Author – Story 2)

Divine Destinies - Manic Readers - - Barnes & Noble - Smashwords

David Russell lives in the UK and is a writer of poetry, literary criticism, speculative fiction and romance. His main poetry collection is Prickling Counterpoints (1998) and he has also had poems published in online International Times. Two of his important speculative works are High Wired On (2002) and Rock Bottom (2005). He also has a translation of Spanish epic La Araucana, Amazon 2013. David's romances books include: Self’s Blossom, Explorations, Further Explorations, Therapy Rapture, Darlene, and An Ecstatic Rendezvous. All his romances are published by Extasy (Devine Destinies).

David is also a singer-songwriter/guitarist. His CD albums include Bacteria Shrapnel and Kaleidoscope Concentrate. Many tracks on You Tube, under ‘Dave Russell.’

Learn more about David Russell on his blog.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Dinner the St. Patrick's Day Way

Presenting the traditional St. Patrick's Day meal most North Americans will enjoy with a cold Harp Lager, Guinness Stout, Killian's Irish Red Lager, or Smithwicks Ale. But here's a newsflash, Boyo, except for the beer you'll never find corned beef served anyway on the Old Sod. That's right. Our Irish brethren look at us in amazement, but that's never stopped us Yanks from creating traditions. So pour another wee dram and let's get cooking.

Corned Beef
Bakery Rye Bread
Horseradish Sauce
Irish Beer and plenty of it

Corned Beef
1 5lb. corned beef brisket*
2 med. onions, peeled and quartered
4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 bottles of beer
water to cover

Preheat oven to 300 F°.

Place beef in a Dutch oven. Add remaining ingredients, including spice packet that comes with the beef.

Bring to a boil on stovetop. Place in oven and roast for 3 hours or until meat is fork tender.

*Don't stint on the beef. It cooks down to approximately half. I learned this lesson the hard way.

Here's a tip from my butcher Raoul. Always buy corned beef flat cut. It has less fat than the point. Therefore you get more meat for your money.

6 med. red potatoes, peeled and quartered
6 carrots, scraped and cut into 2" pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 2" pieces
1 med. green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
1 cup corned beef cooking liquid

You can prep all the veggies and store in a large container covered by cold water until you're ready to cook them. Refrigerate so vegetables remain crisp.

Place veggies in a large pot. Stir in corned beef cooking liquid. Add water to cover vegetables by 2 inches. Cover pot. Set cooking temp at medium. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat so the pot doesn't cook over, but maintain a soft boil. Cook about 30 minutes or until veggies are fork tender.

Horseradish Sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. fresh chives, snipped short

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir well.

Transfer to a serving dish, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dea Ithe!