Rss

Announcing a New Release: Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire


Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire just came out and it sounds like a wonderful read. Here’s its blurb—
Humans created the Ultras, a genetically enhanced race, to defend mankind. Instead, Ultras became their greatest threat. With the help of traitors, humans captured half a million of the immortal warriors.

Exiled to an alien world with no tech, no tools, and no resources, their leader, Pietas, must protect his people, find food and shelter and unite them. But before he can, he must regain command from a ruthless adversary he’s fought for centuries–his brutal, merciless father.

Ultras are immortal, and no matter how they die, they come back. Reviving after death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Some wounds heal instantly and a few take time, but battered and broken trust? Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever.

Genre: Science Fiction with romantic elements
Rating: PG13 for violence, no profanity or explicit content


Cover artist Brumae
DeviantArt https://brumae-art.deviantart.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Brumae

http://amzn.to/2zBIbP7

And here’s its excerpt–
In this excerpt, Pietas and the search party sent to find him have become lost and have walked for hours. When he realizes they’re near a summit that will allow him to see the valley they searched for, he heads for it. Joss, the telepath and warrior he loves tries to keep him from going, insisting she has a better vantage point. Pietas suspects a trick.

“Joss. The truth this time. What are you hiding?”
While she studied him, he remained motionless. The gentle prod of her mind against his shields reminded him she’d seen his thoughts despite his best efforts. Or perhaps she’d allowed him to be aware. In the past, he’d noticed such intrusion during training but never outside it.
“Pietas, if you want to see the caldera from this point, I can’t stop you, but once you see what’s out there, you can never unsee it. I’d like to spare you the devastation until you’ve had a chance to see the good side. If I take you in through the pass you can appreciate the true beauty of this place first. Maybe think of a way we can make it work here. Survive.”
Devastation.
According to Joss, half a million of his people lay in helpless cryosleep within lifepods on the other side of that hill. Over three thousand pods had been damaged beyond saving. The frozen immortals within them had shattered like spun glass.
A short hike above, the summit waited. In two short minutes he could see for himself. “How long would your route take us?”
“Less than a half hour.”
Once more, the short distance to the actual summit drew his attention. How many steps?
“Pi?” Six nudged him. “Is that even a blink in the life of an immortal?”
“No, ghost, it’s not.” How grateful he was for this man. “Besides, I’m patient.”
His sister scoffed. “You?” Turning to the twins, she pointed at Pietas. “That is not my brother.”
No, he was not. He was far better. His sister could see the change. Why would she not accept it? Resisting the urge to respond with cynicism, Pietas shut his mouth.
He gestured toward the route Joss wanted to take. “Let’s go your way.”
“Thank you for listening to me.” Joss took Pietas by the hand, reached up, and dragged a fingertip down the cleft in his chin. “This place is stunning. I hate that so much of it will be spoiled by our being here.”
“Why? Has Mother released environmental impact studies?”
“No, she–” More than anything, the look Joss sent his way resembled pity. “You’ll see. Not far now.”
“You’ve been saying ‘not far’ for hours. Did I not teach you to mark trails?”
“I’m sorry, Pietas. It won’t happen again.”
Oh, but it would. She wouldn’t meant to, but it would. He’d tried for centuries to teach her how to find her way, to no avail. He kissed her cheek and drew her into his arms, savoring her warmth against his body.
“Joss.” He placed his mouth near her ear. “You couldn’t find your way out of a round room with one door.”
She jerked up her head and looked at him, her eyes wide.
He drew a fingertip down her cheek and out across her full lower lip. “And I adore you for it.”

I was fortunate enough to get to talk with Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire’s author, Kayelle Allen. Here’s what she had to say.

How would you describe Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire in only three words?
Immortal, Angst, Heartbroken

Do you listen to music while you write? What are some tunes on your playlist?
I do. While writing this book I listened to numerous songs by the group Really Slow Motion. You’d be amazed how many major films they have done movie trailer music for. As an example, they did Beauty and the Beast, Justice League, Jurassic World, The Mountain Between Us, and Blade Runner 2045. Visit their website or YouTube channel to hear them. Website http://www.reallyslowmotion.com/ YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/reallyslowmotion Their epic music inspired most of the passages in Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire.

What scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire was the most fun to write?
Any time I wrote Pietas and his not-quite-human friend, Six. These guys banter with one another constantly. But my favorite scene is where Pietas’s mother misinterprets their friendship and tries to play matchmaker. Awkward! I laughed out loud writing that.

How did the book come to be? What was your inspiration to write the book?
Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire is the sequel to Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas. The first book brought the immortal Pietas and Six together, first as enemies, then as grudging companions, and finally as friends. In this book, Pietas reunites with a former lover, the beautiful warrior and master telepath, Joss. Pietas has been in numerous other books, and I always wanted to know what made him tick. I’ve been finding out as I write this series.

What do you hope readers take away from your work?
Pietas has a blind spot when it comes to certain people. His trust in them is absolute. While the book reveals that trust is necessary, it also shows how violating it can break a heart and destroy a life. Anyone who’s ever had a broken heart will relate to this book.

What are you reading right now?
I usually read writing craft books and novels, picking up one or the other as I have time or need information / relaxation. I’m about to start a new Michael Connelly book. He’s a wonderful storyteller. I’m halfway through Creating Character Arcs by KM Weiland.

What writing advice would you give a fellow author?
Don’t give up. No one can take away your dream but you. Keep going and keep working. Learn the craft.

How long did it take you to write this book?
On one hand, years. I have thought about this character since I was 18. On the other hand, about 6 months once I sat down and wrote the words: chapter one.

Quick Draw:
Jeans or sweats? Sweats all the way
Coffee or Tea? Coffee hot, tea cold
Chocolate or Chips? Chocolate, darker the better
Boxers, briefs or commando? You mean on guys? Commando, baby. LOL
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate

Celebrating Dangerously Dark

 

One of the most awesome story-tellers I know is celebrating her new release Dangerously Dark. It is a too-die-for paranormal romance that I, for one, loved. Read the excerpt and I’m betting you’ll agree.

Quinn tossed the note on the coffee table and wrapped one hand around the warm ceramic mug, absently petting Wolfgang with the other. Dusk took over beyond the wall of windows, made darker by the blizzard. Falling snow hid the skirting tree line. Wind howled at the house corners and turned treetops into jerking puppets. The perfect meltdown location. No phones, no people, no problem.

The lamp flickered and died, leaving her with only the dancing firelight, not that she minded. The power had lasted longer than she expected. Stoked fire, hot cider, and now she had a great excuse to procrastinate reading unhelpful flyers. She sipped her drink and wriggled back on the couch.

Wolfgang launched off her lap, kicking papers everywhere and sloshing her drink.

“Bad cat!”

He scurried into the kitchen, out of sight. A distinct thud followed, which meant Wolfgang was up to no good.

“I should’ve sent you off to the Nameless One.” Quinn shoved the remaining flyers aside and nabbed the flashlight from the end table. “You’d make an amazing hat, and there’d be enough fur left to make a stole, the perfect ensemble to compliment her plastic face.”

She flicked on the flashlight and shuffled into the kitchen, ignoring how the light made all the shadows twist and scuttle on the walls and ceiling. Broken bones might bother her, but the dark never had.

Wolfgang expectantly stood at the back door. He meowed, high and plaintive. Nothing looked out of place. Whatever had made the thud wasn’t in the kitchen. Maybe the wind had blown a loose branch against the house.

“What, you’re a snow leopard now? There’s no fancy feline feast waiting out there for you.”

Wolfgang rubbed his cheek against the doorframe, circled, and meowed again.

Thud. The entire door shook.

Quinn jumped. That was no branch. All the horror movies she loved to watch and ridicule flashed to mind, a lot less funny now. Alone in the woods. Killer storm. No electricity. No connection to the outside world.

Wolfgang’s purr rumbled, and he slid his face over the jamb again. The noise hadn’t spooked him even a little, and animals always sensed evil. Wolfgang had had no problem detecting it in Molly.

She squared her shoulders. No one would be roaming around in a blizzard. An animal had probably knocked the trashcan into the door, and a quick look would ease any worry. At the first glimpse of fur or fang—or red, glowing eyes—she’d go for the door slam.
Pushing Wolfgang back with one foot, she cracked open the door. Wind exploded in, ripping the doorknob from her grip and firing snow and ice into her eyes. The door banged into the wall, and the storm’s full force rushed inside. Quinn scrambled for the knob and stopped, frozen by more than the sudden blast of cold.

A man filled the entryway from threshold to frame, dark as the nightfall behind him. Steam drifted from his bare head. Frost coated his short, sable hair, and even in the flashlight beam, his complexion held an unhealthy blue-gray hue. One hand was anchored to the doorpost in a white-knuckled grip. The other brandished a wicked as sin knife.

She shone the light on his face, and her stomach roller-coastered. Her demon. The one who’d haunted her nightmares years ago and then abruptly bailed, never to return. No matter what face he wore, his death-black, abysmal eyes were unforgettable.
Or were her delusions returning with a vengeance?

“Get out of my way.” His chest heaved, and he lurched forward, the knife pointed at her. His guttural words erased any suspicion that he might be another hallucination. He was too present, too solid to be anything but real.

Merde. He was real.

Want to know what plot is like? Here’s the blurb.

Some call him Purgatory’s Missing Prince. Demon Master. Overlord of Shadows. Only one woman may call him hers.

A master of dreams, a failure at life…

After another botched career attempt, Quinn Carmichael escapes to a remote lodge for a weekend recharge, needing respite…especially from the nightmares that haunt even her days. When a wounded, sexy-as-sin stranger faceplants unconscious on her kitchen floor, there’s something disturbingly familiar about him—as in he’s the boy from her childhood dreams. Mr. Dark, Dangerous, and Diabolical may be the key to unlocking the mysteries of her past and future, and Quinn isn’t about to let the opportunity—or him—escape without a fight.

His time is running out…

Known as Purgatory’s Missing Prince, Zaire’s existence has been one of endless pain, torture, and loss. Resigned to his fate, his final goal is simple—rescue his nephew before succumbing to the deadly darkness inside him. But when a fateful misstep brings him face-to-face with the one woman who could have saved him once upon a dream—the one woman he treasures above all else—he battles to keep his distance before he destroys her, too. But he would gladly sell his soul for just one taste.

Love draws them together, destiny will tear them apart

With ruthless enemies closing in, Quinn and Zaire must fight to save each other and those they care for before it’s too late—even if it means they’re doomed to live apart forever.

Buy Links:

Amazon * Apple * Barnes & Noble * Google Play * Kobo * Add to Goodreads

I was so impressed with her writing I had to get some insights in how she writes. She graciously answered some questions.

1. How would you describe Dangerously Dark in only three words?
Well, that’s no easy task! Dreamy, sensual, exciting.

2. What scene from Dangerously Dark was the most fun to write?
I really, really enjoyed the first time Zaire and Quinn meet in her dream as adults. He’s used to controlling the dream, expects her to be a damsel in distress, and she’s not having it. At all.

3. How do you balance moving forward with your current work in progress and developing new ideas?
It’s tough! Through trial and error, I’ve figured out that I’m not one of those people who can write multiple projects at a time, so I have to force myself to hunker down and finish what I’m working on before jumping into the next new and exciting idea. But whenever an idea hits, I write it down right away so I don’t forget.

4. Where do you get your ideas or inspiration?
Everywhere and nowhere.  Sometimes I’m inspired by people and events in my world, and sometimes those ideas just show up unexpectedly, such as in dreams or random thoughts. I don’t question it!

5. How did come to be? What was your inspiration to write the book?
The inspiration to write Dangerously Dark stemmed from the first in the series, Wonderfully Wicked (which originated from a dream I had). Zaire showed up while I was writing Beautifully Burned, and I knew I’d be writing his story. I always love the anti-hero and *whispers* Zaire’s my favorite V’alkara so far. Shhhh.

6. What do you hope readers take away from your work?
Overall, the theme of my books are that no matter how broken you are or the mistakes you’ve made along the way, you’re valuable and worthy of love and acceptance.

7. What are you reading right now?
I’m reading the second book in Katherine Harbour’s Night and Nothing novels, Briar Queen. These books are YA Gothic romance deliciousness with tons of Celtic and fairy lore. Lots of adventure, hot and scary fairies, and YA love. I’ve totally fallen for this series.

8. What writing advice would you give a fellow author?
Persistence is everything. Keep writing, keep improving, and never compare yourself to other writers. Your journey is your own.

9. How long did it take you to write this book?
I’m a snail writer! While some writers somehow (by some dark magic, I think) pump out several books a year, I’m lucky if I finish one and draft one in that time. I do work full-time, too, so that’s my excuse. I like to believe it’s more about good writing than the volume of writing.

Quick Draw:
Jeans or sweats? Do yoga pants count as sweats?
Coffee or Tea? Sugar free iced mocha with almond milk. That counts as coffee, right?
Chocolate or Chips? Silly question. Chocolate. 
Boxers, briefs or commando? Boxers all the way!
Chocolate or vanilla? Ditto to silly question.
Anything else you’d like to share with us? I’ll stick with the quote…”The less you reveal, the more people wonder”. Or maybe some things are better left unknown. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hell House- A Goodreads Review

Hell HouseHell House by Richard Matheson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hell House is a classic horror story. A dying billionaire offers a group of damaged people oodles to prove there’s life-after-death. To do so, the group visits the infamous Belasco House, which has corrupted and destroyed its previous guests. It starts working on its visitors immediately—playing on their deepest needs and insecurities.

Dr. Lionel Barrett is the group’s leader and biggest skeptic. He’s determined not to believe any of the phenomena he witnesses. He’s a crippled physicist who has an interest in parapsychology, a bunch of cool-science gadgets and a clingy wife named Edith. Edith is shy, repressed, sexually frustrated and pretty much afraid of everything. Two mediums accompany the couple. Florence Tanner, who is a former starlet turned-spiritualist and minister. She’s convinced that she can rid the house of its evil. Benjamin Franklin Fischer is the sole survivor from the previous Belasco house party. He was a teenager at the time and it pretty much wrecked his life. Now a forty-something ne’er-do-well, he’s determined not to get suckered into caring about the other guests or letting the house get to him again. He remains aloof and disinterested, but soon the brutal mystery behind the ghostly manifestations draws him in along with everyone else.

Within hours of entering the house, the malevolent spirit of Emeric Belasco and perhaps a legion of his ghostly victims terrorize his new guests. They should leave, but they don’t. Then, they can’t, and you can probably guess what happens next— more creepy encounters, and some blood-chilling scenes. Hauntings reveal the house’s history and people die horribly. What kept me from rating this book as an awesome five was that I didn’t like any of the characters and they didn’t seem to like themselves. Still, the final confrontation was a satisfying surprise.

I like how the terror inflicted on the guests synced up with their personalities and fears and how well planned the entire haunted-house experience was. If you like psychological horror and carefully-plotted mysteries, this is a tale for you.

View all my reviews

Celebrating a Book Fair

My author friends and I had a wonderful time at the Renaissance Theater’s book fair. Here are some of special moments.

David Thome, Jennifer Trethewey, Tricia Quinnies, Barbara Britton, Nicolette Pierce, Bobbi Groover Molly Maka, Anne Kenny, Mary Hughes

Waiting for theater goers

Anne Kenny, Mary Hughes
Mia Jo Celeste, Barbara Britton

Jennifer Trethewey and her awesome WisRWA cookies

Simple Facebook Party Games

So… you’re having a Facebook Party and you’re looking for games to play. In my experience, simpler games work the best.
Here are some suggestions that are easy to do.

1. Name games- Research sites that will change names to vampires, DJs, mobsters, etc. Direct guest to one that fits a theme in your novel and have them post their “new” moniker to the rest of the party-goers. Here are some of my favorite game names.

2. Picture Comparing -Show images of something from your novel and have people vote on these—sexy male, cutest dog, scariest place or dude that looks most like my novel’s hero, or even pet that is most likely to be adopted by my heroine. You can find some great pictures at these sites:

3. Plan a simple quiz about a subject from your novel. I’ve done historical trivia, zombie names, zombie types and monsters from horror films.

4. Picture Posting- You can ask players to post images of their pets, of their favorite heroes or their most romantic place. (Generally, I find people prefer that I find the pictures and they comment on them, but you could try this.)

5. Questions about your book like: who would play the hero/ heroine if the novel were a movie?

6. Or invite questions about your next book.

7. Picture Questions- Find pictures that relate to your book at sites like creativecommons.org and ask questions like is this how you picture my hero’s apartment, brother-in-law or office or car? Why? Why not?

Remember when you plan your games to decide if you’re going to have a winner, how you’ll determine who wins and how you’ll award prizes. Will it be first responder? Funniest responder? Random selection? Everyone? Announce the rules to the players. Since my prizes are small tokens most players don’t care how I award the prizes, but I don’t want anyone to leave unhappy and you don’t either.
Have fun with your party. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but with a little you can enjoy hosting as much as your guests enjoy attending.

Strange the Dreamer-A Goodreads Review

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Strange the Dreamer
The brothers told Lazlo Strange he’d come in the wagon load of war orphans. He grows up with nothing except for his dreams about a mythical city called Weep, based on the stories an old monk shares with him. Sent to deliver manuscripts to the library, he stumbles upon a neglected vault of fairy tales and he stays. The library-staff apprentices him and the more he reads, the more convinced he is that his destiny is linked to the far-off and forbidden city and then one day, a caravan arrives from Weep—this is Lazlo’s chance—if only he’s brave enough to put himself forward.

But the city of Weep has its own tragedies. For 200 years, its people were slaves to the evil godlike overlords. Fifteen years ago, Eril-Fane, called the Godslayer, lead a revolt and the gods died, but Weep is still haunted. Its people are desperate for cure and Eril-Fane has come in search saviors.

At the same time, Sarai, one of the five god-spawn children, who escaped death, uses her god-gift of invading sleepers’ dreams to make Weep’s population fear the angel citadel where the god-spawn hide. As a child, she enjoyed inflicting nightmares. Now, at seventeen, after spending so much time in others’ minds, she has questions and regrets. She enters Lazlo’s dream and, unlike any other dreamer she’s ever known, he sees her.

The world building is rich and enchanting, but the characters made me fall in love with the story. Life has been unfair to Lazlo, yet he’s kind, gentle and genuinely wants to help others. All the characters are deep, complex and conflicted and their interactions including the love story and those who seek revenge compelled me to keep turning pages.

If you read fantasy to be captivated by a story, this is a book for you.

Just so you know, I borrowed this book from my library’s digital consortium and I loved it so much, I had to buy my own copy.

View all my reviews

Down and Dirty Tips for Hosting a Successful Facebook Party

Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

When my new release came out this spring, my friends told me, “You must have a Facebook party.”

I freaked. I didn’t know what to do and my party was scheduled for hours and hours, so I did some research on line and gathered other authors’ advice. I attended a few parties. Then I had my own. Thanks to other authors’ wonderful suggestions, my party was a success. Right away, I liked the process, and I really enjoyed doing take-overs, where you as an author are a guest host at another author’s party.

For the last few months I’ve been a frequent guest and fellow host at Facebook events, and as a kind of payback, I’d love to share what I’ve learned.

  1. Pick a time and date. Decide how long you want your party. In my experience, an hour is a long time when you’re hosting a party, so be wary of 24 hour parties. Pick a manageable length and host it at a time your diehard fans can attend. Next, decide if you’re hosting alone or if you want to invite other authors to “take over” part of your party time.

I like the “take over” option. If other authors “take over” they’ll invite their friends and fans, and you’ll likely have a broader audience. Also, it’s fun to check out what others do and to get to make comments and just be a party goer.

  1. Invite lots of people, but make sure you have a core group of diehard fans or friends, people who will absolutely participate. This will encourage lurkers to join and make your party more fun.
  2. Ask one of those super loyal friends to show up physically (come to your home) and sit with you (on another computer) as your assistant. That person can watch the feed and make sure you didn’t miss your guests’ comments.
  3. Prepare your script and your pictures in advance, so that you’ll only have to copy and paste them into the Facebook post. You will need a picture or a post which could be a question, a comment, a game or an info-bit about your book every 3-5 minutes.
  4. Expect some dead time, some moments that you’re confused and some snafus. It’s okay to be human. Just try to roll with the unexpected and know that guests will likely enjoy the party even if it’s not perfect.
  5. Make special banners, pictures or teasers for your party. Canva.com or Pic College or Adobe Spark are free programs that can help you. Also, you can look for already-made humorous gifs and cartoons on line at sites like memegenerator.net. Try to give credit for the images you use.
  6. Let guests ask questions and try to answer them all.
  7. Try to acknowledge comments and likes even if you need to scroll back in your feed again and again to do so.
  8. Remember to hit refresh, so you can see current activity and comments.
  9. Offer prizes, but remember they don’t have to be huge cash amounts and before you offer them, plan how you will award them and how you’ll get them to your winners. Announce or contact your winners as soon as you can. You may have to ask for e-mail addresses or give badges that can be attached to Facebook messages. Some party hosts give physical prizes. Budget for postage costs and collect mailing addresses if you plan to do this.
  10. Plan some games. Soon I’ll post my suggestions for Facebook games.

I hope your Facebook parties are successful. Let me know, and if you need suggestions or another author to do a takeover, feel free to e-mail me. miaATmiacelesteDOTcom

A Scot in the Dark-A Goodreads Review

A Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel #2)A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Miss Lillian Hargrove, the heroine, fell in love with the wrong guy. He tricked her into posing nude. In a short month or so, all of London will view Lilly in the buff. She’s ruined, which becomes a problem for her guardian—Alec, the Scottish Duke of Warnick. He didn’t even know he’d inherited a ward, but to do his duty and because he’s a compassionate guy, a gentle, but misunderstood giant, he comes to London to settle things. That’s when everything gets interesting. The characters are likable, funny and vulnerable, both have lots of baggage—the perfect recipe for a romance that is an emotional roller-coaster. The many twists and turns lead to a satisfying conclusion that surprised me.
If you love romance, I’m betting you’ll love this story.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure and an Interview with Kris Bock

When I read The Mad Monk’s Treasure, I knew it was a novel I had to add to my to-read list and I wanted to learn more about its author, so I interviewed her.

How would you describe ­­­The Mad Monk’s Treasure in only three words?

Female Indiana Jones

Do you listen to music while you write? What are some tunes on your playlist?

I use voice recognition software, and it makes enough mistakes without music playing in the background.

How did ­­­The Mad Monk’s Treasure come to be? What was your inspiration to write the book?

I’d been writing for middle grade children for some years as Chris Eboch. But I’d been reading a lot of romantic suspense, and I wanted to try something different. I love adventure stories and treasure hunting, and I love spending time outdoors here in New Mexico. The Mad Monk’s Treasure is based on a “real” legend. The lost Victorio Peak treasure may or may not still be waiting in New Mexico, but in my novel, two spunky friends find it with the help of a sexy love interest and a feisty orange cat.

What do you hope readers take away from your work?

Most of all, I want people to have fun. If reading it gives them a mini vacation, that’s perfect. If it inspires people to get outside, and maybe believe they can have a little adventure of their own, even better.

What are you reading right now?

A Brother Cadfael mystery by Ellis Peters.

What writing advice would you give a fellow author?

It’s a tough business, and it can crush a writer’s spirit, so remember to have fun – if you’re not enjoying yourself, what’s the point?

Quick Draw:

Jeans or sweats?

Sweats around the house. Jeans for “formal” occasions.

Coffee or Tea?

Definitely tea.

Chocolate or Chips?

Yes please.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

The Mad Monk’s Treasure is free at all e-book retailers, so why not try it? If you like it, please leave a review and check out my other novels.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure
“Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel.”

 

“Like Nancy Drew for grownups.”

 

A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert….

 

photo courtesy of martina-misar-tummeltshammer-

 

The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the greatest of treasure-hunting legends, filled with riches from a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, bandits, and an Apache Chief.

 

Erin, a shy history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost cave. She’s ready for adventure, but when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she knows she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, a hero or an enemy?

 

Erin heads into the New Mexico wilderness with her brainy best friend Camie and a feisty orange cat, Tiger. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to sudden storms. Meanwhile, dangerous men are on Erin’s trail, determined snatch the treasure from her grasp. How far will Erin go to find the treasure and discover what she’s really made of? And will Drew be there to help her in the end?

 

“The story has it all—action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship….”

 

“The action never stopped …. It was adventure and romance at its best.”

 

“I couldn’t put this book down. You’ll love it.”

 

This book was originally published under the title Rattled.

 

Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will enjoy these stories of love in the wild, from an award-winning author.

 

The Mad Monk’s Treasure Excerpt:

 

Among all the legends, all the fact and fiction, one story stood out. The Victorio Peak legend had it all. A Franciscan priest and a swindler. Torture, murder, a government cover-up. Where was the truth, among all the stories? Erin wanted to find out. Over time, and with Camie’s encouragement, she’d started to take the treasure hunt more seriously. It wasn’t so much for the treasure itself, which would most likely belong to the government or the landowners. But it would make her reputation, open up new job opportunities – change her life in ways she hardly dared dream.

 

She touched the book gently. The pages were falling out; she didn’t want to risk carrying it around. Instead, Erin snapped a picture of the petroglyphs with her phone. That would be enough to show Camie for now.

 

The timing was perfect; she just had to turn in grades and field a few tearful last-minute requests for extensions, and she’d be done for the semester. What better way to spend the summer, than hunting for buried treasure?

 

Erin shook her head. Who would’ve thought that she, the quiet, studious girl who’d spent her entire adult life in academia in one way or another, would be planning such an adventure?

 

Erin wheeled the bike around the front of her house and mounted. At the corner, she paused and looked both ways. The long frontage road was dangerously narrow, with a cement wall on one side and a ditch on the other. Fortunately, traffic was normally light, and at this time of day the road lay empty. Erin pushed off, still grinning from her find. She rode on the right side, by the ditch, instead of facing traffic, because it was too frightening to ride alongside the wall when a car passed.

 

She’d gone a block when she heard the hum of a car engine as it pulled out from a side street behind her. She rode along the very edge of the pavement, even though the car would have plenty of room to pass her without oncoming traffic.

 

Erin glanced over her shoulder. The black SUV twenty feet behind her hadn’t bothered to pull out into the road at all. Jerk. When would drivers learn to share the road with bicyclists? Erin pulled onto the two-foot wide gravel strip between the pavement and the ditch. She couldn’t stop without risking a skid, but she slowed so the SUV could pass.

 

The engine roared. Erin glanced back again.

 

Black metal bore down on her. Her heart lurched and the bike wobbled. This guy was crazy! She whipped her gaze forward, rose up in the seat, and pumped the pedals with all her power, skimming along inches from the ditch. He was just trying to scare her. She’d get his license plate and—

 

She felt the bumper hit her back tire. The bike seemed to leap into the air, and she went flying. The dried mud and weeds of the ditch seemed to rise up to meet her.

 

She didn’t even have time to scream.

 

Get the book free at these ebook retailers:

 

Kris Bock’s Amazon page

Barnes & Noble

Apple iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

 

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods.

 

The Southwest Treasure Hunters novels follow strong characters hunting for long-lost treasures in the dramatic and deadly southwestern desert. Each stands alone.

 

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Find, follow, or friend the author:

Kris Bock website

Kris Bock on GoodReads

Kris Bock on Facebook

Kris Bock on Twitter

Kris Bock on Pinterest

Linda McLaughlin Shares Her Holiday in Gold Country and Her Latest Release-Lily and the Gambler

Linda is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the blog post to subscribe to her email list for five chances to win!

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Mia!

I’m thrilled to talk a little about researching my latest release, Lily and the Gambler, a Western romance set in the California Gold Country.

 

My husband and I toured the area twice some years ago and I fell in love with it. Gold Country is best enjoyed by driving State Highway 49. We started at the southern end, in Mariposa, and drove north to Sacramento, and then Grass Valley and Nevada City, where my book is set Valley in September 1868. I recall scribbling descriptions of the scenery as we drove along.

 

She watched mile after mile of open spaces pass by, all bathed in brilliant sunlight. In the distance, clusters of dark green trees dotted a hillside, standing out in contrast to the lighter yellow-green of the grass. Wispy white clouds, without a hint of rain in them, streaked the sky, separating shades of blue ranging from pale turquoise to bright azure.

 

We made the trip twice, first strictly as a vacation, though I kept thinking how I’d like to set a book in the area. The second was a research trip for me, if not for my DH. At one point, he threatened to divorce me if I dragged him through one more mining museum!

A lot of the old Victorian homes have been turned into bed and breakfasts, and we took advantage of that to stay in some lovely old homes.

California Columbia carriage in a real old Western Gold Rush Town in USA

Interesting stops along the way include:

Sonora, a lovely little town that hosts the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. For the kid in all of us.

Columbia State Historic Park, the best preserved Gold Rush town.

Angels Camp, where Mark Twain heard a story on which he based his short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

Placerville, formerly nicknamed Hangtown for the zeal of its law enforcement.

 

And my favorite, Grass Valley, a charming town with the attraction of having the wonderful Empire Mine State Historic Park, a fascinating glimpse into the lives of 19th century miners.

If you’re up this way, do take a side trip to Sacramento, the state capital, with its charming Old Sacramento historic area, and the amazing California State Railroad Museum. This is one of my all-time favorite museums. It was fun to climb aboard the old trains and imagine a different time.

Grass Valley was especially interesting to me because of the large Cornish population in the 19th century. This area had deep gold veins that couldn’t be panned. The Cornish miners were encouraged to come because of their experience in the tin mines of Cornwall, which were petering out. To this day, the Cornish pasty is a local treat, and the city still celebrates a Cornish Christmas.

Lily and the Gambler by Linda McLaughlin

 

Blurb: Respectability is in the eye of the beholder, or so Lily hopes. After her lover’s death she pretends to be his widow and travels to California to marry a mine owner. Then she meets King Callaway, a charming gambler. King knows he’s found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to take a chance on a foot-loose card sharp? Only Lady Luck knows for sure…

On sale this summer for 99 cents at:

Amazon Kindle US: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01MYMEKMD/

BN/Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lily-and-the-gambler-linda-mclaughlin/1125157205

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lily-and-the-gambler

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/728787

 

 

Excerpt:

“Do you tell fortunes, too?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. Is the lady interested?”

“Perhaps,” she said, aware he was flirting with her again and annoyed with herself because she was enjoying it. “There should be a deck of cards here somewhere.”

“No cards required. Just let me see your palm.”

Unable to stop herself, Lily stripped off her gloves and let him take her hand. He held it in his left hand, and with his right index finger, traced the lines on her palm. Shivers ran up her arm at each caressing touch. His scent, a mixture of bay rum, male musk, and a faint hint of tobacco, overwhelmed her.

“What do you see?” she asked, her voice suddenly breathless.

“Health and long life.”

“What, no handsome stranger?” she joked.

He raised his head and stared into her eyes. “Oh, yes, I see romance ahead for you. With a dark haired fellow. But he isn’t a stranger.”

For what seemed an age, she stared into his green-gold eyes while her pulse quickened and warmth stole through her veins. It would be so easy to surrender to the feelings he evoked.

“I also see a fork in the road ahead,” he added softly. “You have a decision to make. A very important decision.”

She snatched her hand away, knowing she couldn’t afford to be distracted by him. It wasn’t as if he had made her any promises. “I think you need to practice your fortune-telling skills, Mr. Callaway.”

He chuckled. “There’s something else I’d like to practice.” Cupping her chin, he stared at her, his eyes full of half promises. “Oh, hell, I may get my face slapped for this, but…” His hand moved to the back of her neck as he lowered his head and captured her lips in a kiss that stole her breath away.

For a moment, she closed her eyes and gave herself up to the kiss. Then a door slammed somewhere in the house, reminding her of where they were. She pushed him away. “How dare you?” she hissed.

He gave her a lazy grin. “What’s that old saying? Nothing ventured, nothing gained?”

“I think you’d best be going.”

He paused at front door, turned and held her gaze for a moment, then left.

She sighed and leaned against the doorjamb. What had she been thinking to let him kiss her, however briefly?

Author bio:

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history, so it’s only natural that she sets most of her books in the past. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California.

 

How to show Linda some #AuthorLove:

Follow her Blog (sign up in the footer area): https://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/

Like her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LindaMcLaughlinAuthor

Follow her at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/lindamclaughlin

Follow her at Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

 

Linda’s Rafflecopter Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway