September 30, 2013

Historical: Gentleman's Folly | Interview @DaisyBanks12 #RLFblog

A Gentleman's Folly
Daisy Banks, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, A Gentleman's Folly.
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
ISBN: 978-1-62210-041-5
Cover artist: Valarie Tibbs
Length: 75,000
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: A marriage of convenience brings unexpected consequences: love, betrayal, and a hope for happiness.
Blurb:
Katherine Bescell, courtesan and member of a secret order, thinks the offer of a marriage in name only to Charles Leverret, heir to a large fortune, will solve all her woes.
Charles Leverret believes his hired wife will ensure his inheritance. He might even enjoy her company if she'll let him anywhere near her. Charmed by his bride, Charles breaks their original bargain and falls in love. Betrayed by a trusted lawyer who withholds Katherine's promised fee, Charles struggles against evil chance to persuade Katherine his love is real.
Lust and love, truth and trust, each makes demands on them both, but though Charles has captured her heart, Katherine can't bring herself to admit they belong together.
Masked and robed in the rites in the West Wycombe Caves where only truth is told, Charles makes his stand to claim the woman he adores.
Buy links:
Liquid Silver Books http://bit.ly/1eXJOcx
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Katherine Bescell is a courtesan, she is twenty one.
Charles Henry Leverret is a gentleman and therefore has no set occupation. He is rather good at cards. Charles is twenty five.
Today is the release day of my story and I must say I enjoyed every minute of writing 'A Gentleman's Folly' and hope readers will enjoy the story too. This is my first full length historical romance and has given me chance to hone my research skills to create an 18th century back-drop to the story of this couple. From my initial visit to the West Wycombe caves that prompted the idea of the story, to all the research into the 18th century, visits to venues with 18th century decor or furniture to help me get a feel for the period, this story has evolved and grown.

Excerpt:

Katherine made her way up to the open church door where the clergyman and Mr. Charles Leverret stood.
"Mr. Knox, my bride, Katherine Bes... Katherine," he mumbled.
He swayed unsteadily on his feet as they walked into the small nave. He was unshaven and his neck-cloth wrinkled and barely tied.
He's good for nothing!
She held her courage tight. "Good morning to you, Mr. Knox. My name is Katherine Julia Bescell."
Leverret leaned down so far, peering narrow-eyed, that she put out a hand to steady him in case he might fall. The elaborate, heavily embroidered, brocaded blue coat could not be more offensive stained with wine as it was. When, at the cleric's word, Charles fumbled in his pocket and placed a ring on the book, Katherine saw the white lace of his cuff was purpled too. She shrank from the prospect of his touch and glanced back at Chloe, whose horrified expression brought tears to her eyes.
There had been no scent of wine, cheap gin, or the stink of putrid perfume when they met. Not for a second had she thought him such a man.
She'd tried to dismiss the tales Chloe had told of his gambling debts and the wenching with the strumpets from Vauxhall Gardens to the drabs from the inns on the riverfront. But the other follies that Chloe had related just last night made Katherine fearful. Leverret had been lucky to escape a charge of murder at merely nineteen. He had dueled three times since, and he always won. Few gentlemen would call him friend or accept his invitation to the card table after his first few months in London. Had he improved in the years since? Sir Francis had seemed to doubt it. Somehow she'd make sure Charles Leverret got his inheritance and she received the agreed sum, even if she had to fight with every bone in her body for it. She peeked up.
Leverret's dark eyes were so narrowed by lack of sleep or drink she wondered if he could see anything at all.
Mr. Knox spoke the first words of the ceremony. Rather like a racing horse, the clergyman got into a rhythm, and he charged on. The only pause came when he spoke her name. Sir Francis, lips pressed tight together, squeezed her hand before he placed it in Leverret's.
Charles lisped and mumbled his way through his vows, hardly waiting the time to hear hers, and before her senses ceased to reel, he crammed the token on her finger, and Mr. Knox announced them wed.
Leverret, swaying like a reed in a storm, bent to kiss her at the clergyman's command, but she tilted her face so the stink of his drink-laden lips found only her cheek. Nowhere in their agreement had she given permission for him to kiss her, and despite his handsome, dark features, she'd have none of the sodden rogue today.
Once they'd signed the clergyman's book, they walked down the path, her hand on his arm. Twice Leverret stumbled, once almost shoving her to the ground lurching as he did. They were greeted with cheers, wails, and sighs from the onlooking assembly.
"Farewell, my Charlie," one of the women screeched and swooned away, thrashing into the arms of her friends.
Katherine yanked on his deep cuff to get his attention as he gawped, smiling at the commotion the woman caused. "Get us out of this caterwauling rabble, sir."
He swept off his hat and bowed, more theater than good manners. "Certainly, my bride. Fare thee well, my dear friends, I go to a better world," he called like a convicted felon before handing her clumsily into a hired closed-coach.
She waved farewell to Chloe, Mr. Knox, who gawped open-mouthed at his busy churchyard and didn't respond to her, and a stern-faced Sir Francis, who glowered toward her husband. The coachman stowed her valise with a thump, and Charles half stumbled up into the coach. He gave a small laugh as he fumbled before he managed to yank the door closed and then sat with a grin.
Despite the reek from his wine-soaked coat, she stood and tugged the window up to shut out the yowls from the swarm crowding about.
The coach lurched forward, and her stomach churned. Leverret lounged opposite her. Eyes closed, he nodded with his hat and white wig askew. Before they'd gone a half-mile and lost the most persistent yells of those following, his head lolled, and jaw slack, he slept.
She took the slender wedding band from her finger and bit it. The sharp metallic taste proved it brass, not gold. Vaguely disappointed, she shook her head. She could have been touched he'd bothered with such a trifle had it been genuine, but the ring was a mere part of the sham and meant nothing to either of them. She searched in her petticoats for one of her pockets and dropped the offending item inside, took out her small vinaigrette, and sniffed. The soothing vapor brought back memories of more pleasant moments.
Leverret gave a loud, expansive snore.
This would be the last disgraceful day of his conniving she'd endure.
Folding her hands on her ribbon-trimmed stomacher, she rested her head against the thinly padded seat back and closed her eyes as the coach lurched and bounced along. Her bridal morn had not been the sort most women would dream possible. But, no matter how ridiculous, the morning's indignity brought her a step closer to a fortune, enough to make her quite independent for life.
"Brass ring indeed, Charles Henry Leverret. I'll turn you into a man of some merit before I'm done with you."

Interview

What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
Promotional work. Though I do find it a challenge in many ways I am more focused on promoting my stories than I was when I first began writing.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love letting ideas flow and develop. I enjoy having my own private cinema in my head as I see scenes unfold. I enjoy letting a story grow and discovering the resolution to the problems my characters face.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I'd tell myself to take up writing sooner. I wrote as a child and a teenager but stopped when I became a teacher and didn't write for some years. I'd also tell me to travel more.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
I don't think of writing as work because it is something I love doing. I write every day I possibly can. I have spent more time on promotional work this last few months but I try to keep a big chunk of my day for writing.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I don't get stressed when writing, or in edits as I enjoy the process. I do find the promotional work can be stressful. At one time blogging made me feel physically ill. I've cured myself of that, mostly.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Not usually, though events involving them have sometimes sparked ideas. There is one phrase I use in A Gentleman's Folly a good friend will recognize when she reads the story.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I have been a teacher of special needs students. I once worked in a Newspaper office. As a student I worked a holiday job in a pharmacy. I've been a bar maid too but was useless at pouring Guinness from the tap.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I'd recommend A Gentleman's Folly because it is fun as well as a romance.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
This is very hard to pin down to one moment. The birth of my boys has to rank the top. I am very proud of both my sons. I was very proud of myself when I passed my driving test and when I gained my degree.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
I would visit one of the islands in the Maldives. I would take my husband. I'd pack my laptop, my passport, medication, purse, toiletries, my favorite perfume, swimwear, shorts and tops, my favorite evening gown, three or four sarongs and some sandals. I usually travel light and as I know where everything is I could easily be ready in an hour.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Some years ago I had a holiday in St. Lucia, while there I visited a geothermal pool fed by a waterfall. My husband and I swam together in the warm water and it has to be the most romantic swim of my life. That memory stays with me as something very beautiful and I have used it several times in my stories. I would love to return to the island some day and enjoy another swim in the pool and a catamaran trip around the bay.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
I was at a family party with my husband. We had a lovely evening and drank champagne while watching fireworks as the new century begin.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
If I am stuck somewhere with nothing to read I think of story ideas or think of how my latest story can progress. I'm not often bored but if I am waiting for an appointment or something like that I let my mind wonder.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
I would choose to be the same color as bluebells.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with – I don't love pizza I'd rather have a pasty and a pint.
I'm always ready for a trip to somewhere I've not been before.
When I'm alone, I talk to myself a great deal.
You'd never be able to tell, but I once danced the Cancan in front of a large audience.
If I had a halo it would be crooked.
If I could fly like I can in my dreams I'd do it every day.
I can never stick to a shopping list because all the savory snacks lure me to buy them.

Previous Books

Your Heart My Soul with Liquid Silver Books
Timeless with Lyrical Press
Fiona's Wish with Lyrical Press
A Matter of Some Scandal with Lyrical Press.

Books Coming Soon

I have a short story in the First Frost anthology with Lyrical Press.
I am awaiting a reply from Liquid Silver Books about my latest submission to them.
Hopefully the sequel to Timeless will be accepted by Lyrical Press.

Find Me Here


September 27, 2013

Paranormal: An Interview with Dracula by @traceyhkitts #RLFblog #vampires

Dracula In the Flesh 
An Interview with Dracula
By Tracey H. Kitts
As he walks into the room, I feel my heart flutter and my breath catches in my throat. For a moment I am unable to speak. I simply stare at him, taking in his beauty. He is everything I always imagined he would be. He fills both the room and my senses. As he sits in the chair facing me, I take a deep breath and try to steady my nerves.
"Good evening, Vlad. I've waited a long time to meet you, face to face."
"Good evening, Tracey."
My name sounds strange falling from his lips. His accent gives it an exotic sound.
"Are you ready for our interview?" I ask.
"Please, proceed."
I clear my throat, unsure of how exactly I should go about this. Finally, I decide to just go for it.
"What is it like to be immortal?" I ask.
He sighs, as if he carries the weight of the world. "I once thought it was a curse. To be immortal is to watch all that you love fade away while you remain, unchanged." He pauses. "No, that is not true. You are changed, you only look the same."
"You mentioned looking the same. Do you have a reflection?"
His smile is sad. "Until I am reunited with the other half of my soul, I shall have to take your word for how I look."
He looks magnificent, but I don't say that. "Do you have any vulnerabilities?" I ask.
"Sunlight weakens me, but it does not kill me. All of my kind can be harmed by silver in particular." He moves forward in his chair. "Does it surprise you to know that I can be injured by most any weapon?"
"Actually, yes. So, you can be killed then?"
"Not easily, but yes. It is possible."
"How did you become … what you are?"
He looks at the floor and for a moment I regret my question.
"My love was stolen from me. I became cursed while trying to bring her back from the dead."
"I'm sorry. If you had known the consequences of your actions, would you have made the same choice?"
Once again his smile is bittersweet. "There was never any other choice," he says softly.
"There are so many rumors and legends about you. Do you have any special powers or abilities?"
"I have power over the storm and the beasts of the field. I can run with the wolves, float on the mists, and soar into the night sky."
"That's amazing. Why do you drink blood?"
"Because I gave every last drop of mine in a ritual designed to bring my love back to me."
"You mean Mina? You gave all your blood for her?"
"Yes. There is nothing I would not give for her. I seek in death that which was taken from me in life."
"Have you ever considered walking away and letting Mina have a normal life?" I ask, wondering if my final question is too personal.
He runs a hand through his dark hair and sits back. "I have. I have wondered if I am being selfish, if she would be better off not knowing. But then I remember what it felt like to hold her and I cannot accept that this is true. I gave my blood and part of my immortal soul so that she might live again. I plan to see this through, no matter the cost."
Before I can apologize (because I'm afraid I hurt him somehow) a shadow passes over the room. The candles flicker and in an instant, he is gone. 

Blurb:

Jonathan Harker, a young English lawyer, is traveling to Castle Dracula in order to finalize a real estate transaction. He has been personally requested by Count Dracula. What Jonathan doesn't realize is that Dracula's interests do not lie with him, but with his beautiful fiancée, Mina.
As soon as he saw her face, Dracula knew the ritual was a success. After all these long years, his love has returned to him. However, many things (such as Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker) stand in the way of their happiness. Sure, he could kill them all and take what he wants. However, his greatest desire is not to possess Mina, but to love her and have her return his love.
Therefore, Dracula's fate and the fate of those closest to her lie in Mina's hands. She has dreamed of him all her life. But what will she do when she learns her dark prince is real? What will happen when she knows him, not as a dream, but in the flesh?
WARNING: This book contains graphic violence, and graphic sex. This is NOT a romance novel, although there is a romance involved. This is Erotic Horror and might offend some readers.

Buy links:


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September 26, 2013

Cover Love: Naked Rebel @anitaphilmar #RLFblog

Naked Rebel 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is Naked Rebel by Anita Philmar.
A spy that prefers to work alone, Nick Royster's assignment is turned upside down when his superiors sends him a personal companion. Not appreciating the need to watch someone else's back, he attends a dinner of Salsar's inner group. Only to learn he has to sacrifice Rane to get the information he needs to end the war.
Rane knows the important of winning. Her family was slaughtered by Salsar, this is her homeland and she plans to do whatever it takes to win her peoples' freedom.
With everything on the line, can these two have any future together or does love and war equal heartache?
Want to feel more? Read Anita Philmar

Buy links

Find Me Here

Get daily ideas as to how to keep the romance alive http://anitaphilmar.wordpress.com/


September 23, 2013

Always Time for 'Another Cup of Coffee' @JennyKaneAuthor #RLFblog

Another Cup of Coffee 
It's Always Time for 'Another Cup of Coffee'- just ask Jenny Kane!
Many thanks to Kayelle for inviting me to the brilliant Romance Lives Forever site today, to share a little of the background to my latest novel, Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, Sept 2013)- my very first novel under the name Jenny Kane.
Okay- I admit it, I have a serious coffee shop habit! I am addicted- not just to the coffee itself- but to the cafes themselves. I just love them- all of them! I love to watch the people around me, to smile at strangers to see how they respond, to wrap my hands around a coffee mug and inhale the aroma of the drink within. For me, there is something very soothing about them, whether they are jammed packed and noisy, or as quiet as the proverbial grave, with myself being the only one in residence. I simply feel at home in coffee shops.
It won't surprise you to learn then, that every novel I have written took shape in various coffee shops. It seemed totally natural to me therefore, that when I came to creating my first non-erotic novel, to make coffee shops the main places of meeting and discussion for the main characters.

Blurb:

Thirteen years ago Amy Crane ran away from everyone and everything she knew, ending up in an unfamiliar city with no obvious past and no idea of her future. Now, though, that past has just arrived on her doorstep, in the shape of an old music cassette that Amy hasn't seen since she was at university.
Digging out her long-neglected Walkman, Amy listens to the lyrics that soundtracked her student days. As long-buried memories are wrenched from the places in her mind where she's kept them safely locked away for over a decade, Amy is suddenly tired of hiding.
It's time to confront everything about her life. Time to find all the friends she left behind in England, when her heart got broken and the life she was building for herself was shattered. Time to make sense of all the feelings she's been bottling up for all this time. And most of all, it's time to discover why Jack has sent her tape back to her now, after all these years…
With her mantra, 'New life, New job, New home', playing on a continuous loop in her head, Amy gears herself up with yet another bucket-sized cup of coffee, as she goes forth to lay the ghost of first love to rest...
The coffee shop that features most within Another Cup of Coffee is called Pickwicks, a tucked away cafe run by the ever bubbly Peggy, and her husband Scott. It is here that, newly arrived in London from Scotland, Amy is to find a refuge from her troubles, a temporary job, a possible future, and a potential friend in Kit- a woman who spends her days sat in the corner of Pickwicks writing erotic stories for an American Internet company...

Excerpt

"Jack, it's me again. I'm sorry if I upset you. You caught me by surprise, that's all. I've spoken to Rob. Please call me. Coffee sometime?"
Kit left a third message on Jack's voicemail as she trudged thoughtfully towards Pickwicks. Since Rob had told her Amy was Jack's ex, and then Phil had mentioned an Amy, Kit hadn't been able to shake the feeling that she'd wandered into the plot of a third-class soap opera. It had to be her. The same name, new in town, and fresh from Scotland. How clear did it need to be for God's sake?
Kit hadn't mentioned to Phil that his client could be one of Jack's other exes; she hadn't even asked him what this Amy was like. Kit felt uncomfortable as she negotiated her way through the busy streets, as if she was keeping secrets from her husband, but she wasn't sure why.
"Coffee's coming," Peggy called out as Kit pushed open the café door.
Inhaling the comforting aroma of freshly-ground beans and baking cakes, Kit headed towards her table as if it was a place of sanctuary, "Thanks, I need it."
"What's up? The smut not pouring forth from the pen?" Peggy winked theatrically as she finished checking the till.
"That's it; tell the world what I do for a living why don't you!" Kit spoke rather more sharply than she had intended.
"Hey?"
"Sorry Peg. Lot on my mind." She smiled with gratitude as Peggy brought her over a cup of coffee so large that it could have doubled as a soup bowl. "You're so good to me, petal."
"And am I rewarded? No!" Peggy put her hand to her forehead in mock despair.
"Actually, you are. Here." Kit passed her a couple of pages with five hundred words of carefully constructed thrills neatly typed onto it.
"What's this?"
"You inspired it, so it seems only right that you own a copy, but for God's sake don't flash it about; my publisher would not appreciate you getting an advanced copy."
"Wow," Peggy scanned the first paragraph, "I'm surprised the paper isn't singed around the edges. You wait till Scott reads this!"
"Yes, well, I'd rather not know."
"You're amazing. How can you be so prudish and yet write this stuff?"
"I've always been complicated, honey. Now, be a good little waitress and go yonder to serve that poor woman by the window, she's been sat waiting for her pot of tea for ages."
As she watched Peggy zip toward her new customer, her mobile announced the arrival of a text.
What Rob say?
Kit read Jack's message with a mixture of relief and foreboding. She really didn't want to land Rob in the doghouse. On the other hand …
Told me someone called Amy was in town.
Kit pressed Send and sat looking at her phone, willing Jack to respond, yet full of apprehension as to what his reply might contain.
When Peggy arrived back at her table an hour later with a fresh top up of coffee, Kit realised that she'd been staring into space and hadn't written a thing. Depeche Mode's words, reach out and touch me, were still whizzing around her head, but she couldn't decide what to do with them. Some sort of bondage and punishment story seemed obvious, and fitted in nicely with the rather vague story request she'd received from Pearls early that morning, but where to set it? It was time to call in a second opinion and ignore the lack of activity on her phone.
"Peggy, help!"
"You bellowed, your writer-ship." Peggy put down the cake tongs and moved towards Kit.
"I'm stuck."
"Oh, great. What is it this time?" Peggy pulled out a chair and sat down, rubbing her hands together as her head trotted through a selection of her own highly charged fantasies with which to assist her friend. She spoke with relish, "You stuck on a character's name, or can't you think of what unspeakable things they should do to each other?"
"Sometimes I wonder why it's not you writing and me serving coffee." Kit lay down her pen. "I need a location to work from. I can't picture anywhere suitable in my head."
"Where have you used recently?"
"Here for one. I've got something drafted set in a bookshop, and last week I had a go at the bus station."
Peggy nodded, running possible situations through her mind, "What sort of story?"
"Bondage, probably with some punishment, but not too heavy. Nothing forced. Lines from Personal Jesus keep running through my head."
"Cool. I'll have a think." Returning to the counter to collect some cheese on toast, Peggy delivered it swiftly to another regular, and returned to Kit with a wicked expression across her face.
"How about the snooker club?"
"What the hell has snooker got to do with being desperate for someone to reach out to touch you?"
"Think snooker tables, balls and rope. Oh hang on. It's for the US, right? Better make it a pool table."
Kit's eye brows rose, "Bit clichéd?"
Raising her eyebrows suggestively, Peggy answered, "Don't knock it till you've tried it."
Not for the first time, Kit looked at her friend with incredulity, "Why do I get the feeling I don't want to know?"
Jenny Kane
Peggy laughed, and with a curtsey said, "More cake, madam?" ...

Buy links:

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Find Jenny's darker side, Kay Jaybee, on her erotica website http://kayjaybee.me.uk

September 21, 2013

Contemporary: San Diego or Bust @VickiBatman #RLFblog

San Diego or Bust 
Welcome back to Romance Lives Forever, Vicki Batman. How about an excerpt from your book, San Diego or Bust.

Excerpt:

My boyfriend is a dirt wad. I just decided.
With a humpf, I dragged my pink tote up the narrow aisle to the plane's exit, accidentally banging it into the seats along the way. The relieving notion of being back home in Sommerville caused the tension in my chest to fade a smidgen.
A quick peek to the exit told me where Davis, my boyfriend, stood waiting for the okay from the ground crew to head out. His glance my way didn't look at all pleasant. Similar to one wrapped in disappointment with a downward tilt of his mouth.
I didn't care much. I just decided.
The words creep, jerk, moron, and "why in the hell am I still dating him??" jumbled my thoughts around. My heart pounded as anxiety ratcheted inside me again.
Maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I should not put up with him anymore.
The deepest part of me knew I shouldn't be with Davis Griffith Swansea, III any longer. I was just in denial. Over the past year, I'd had brief, momentary twinges of dumping him; then, he'd go and do something incredibly romantic like bring me Godiva chocolates—"I know how you love these." Or buy me a new book by my favorite author—"I happened to see this today." Or whisk me off to an intimate dinner à deux at the latest and greatest bistro--"I know you'll like this place."
My head had gone stupid.

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About the Author

Like some of her characters, award-winning author Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general "do anything gal" at a financial services firm--the list is endless.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, AND MUSEITUP PUBLISHING. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.
Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

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September 20, 2013

Nautical Superstitions: Twelfth Sun @MaeClair1 #RLFblog #mystery

Twelfth Sun 
Welcome to Romance Lives Forever, Mae Clair. Let's talk about your book, Twelfth Sun. Tell us about the superstitions on which you based the concept of the story.
Whether it's ghost ships, sea lore, or whispered tales of phantom winds and water sprites, I've always been intrigued by the murky depths of the sea. From ancient times to present, the underwater world has harbored creatures serene and foul.
But what of the brave men and women who attempt to tame the sea or exist within its dominion? Even today, sailors are a superstitious lot, many of their beliefs retained from an earlier age when water haunts and sea serpents were commonly recognized and feared.
While writing Twelfth Sun, a novel which centers around the treasure hunt for a maritime artifact, I had the occasion to sort through a host of nautical superstitions. I reference a few in the book, but much of the research I did was strictly for fun. Here are some of my favorites:
1.      Untying knots in a rope bring favorable winds.
2.      Knitting hair into the toe of a sailor's sock will bring him back to you.
3.      If a sailor dreams of a horse, it is an omen of high seas.
4.      Disaster will follow if you step onboard a vessel with your left foot first.
5.      A ship's bell will always ring when it is wrecked.
6.      If St. Elmo's Fire appears around a sailor's head, he will die within a day.
7.      Never rename a ship, for it is bad luck.
8.      A ship's name ending in "a" is unlucky.
9.      The feather of a wren will protect a sailor from death by shipwreck.
10. Death comes with an ebb tide and birth with a rising tide.
11. Gulls harbor the souls of sailors lost at sea.
12. Nail a shark's tail to the bow of a ship and it will ward off other sharks.
13. Black traveling bags are bad luck for a seaman.
14. A silver coin placed under the masthead ensures a successful voyage. Pouring wine on the deck also brings good luck.
If you enjoyed these, I invite you to read my romantic mystery, Twelfth Sun, involving an older woman and younger man caught up in a scavenger hunt staged by a reclusive billionaire at a lavish seaside mansion:
Blurb:
Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life. She has a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. As a favor to her uncle, she agrees to team up with his marine archeologist friend to validate and retrieve a nineteenth-century journal, reputedly that of a passenger aboard the doomed schooner Twelfth Sun. Finding a hunky twenty-five-year-old coming out of the shower in her hotel room wasn't part of the deal, but it's hard to complain…
Dr. Elijah Cross is cocky and he knows it. He enjoys trading barbs with the lovely Reagan. Barbs, and some innuendo. He can tell she'd rather get back home to her business than stick around for the extended treasure hunt they've been talked into, but he's fine with the situation. At least, until the "clues" start getting personal.
Reagan finds Dr. Gorgeous is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in a series of clues which mean more to Elijah than he'll explain, several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart.
WARNING: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance.
Short Excerpt:
"My dad's father was part gypsy. Besides, the sea is in my blood." Elijah turned onto his side, locking his good leg over hers, holding her in place. Pushing up on one elbow, he stared down at her, abruptly serious. "Did you know a good marine archaeologist could spend his entire life studying a single wreck and never be bored? Never feel the need to move onto something else?" He stroked her cheek, brushing her hair aside. "That's what I want to do with you, Reagan. I want to spend my days and nights learning about you. Everything about you. What you think. The way you smell…" He leaned forward, inhaling the light scent of the honeysuckle oil she'd used in her bath.
Ping! Warning claxons flared in her head. Elijah, playful and teasing she could control. Elijah, serious and romantic meant trouble.
"The way you feel." His fingers tracked down her arm and hooked into the flimsy belt holding her robe shut. "The way you taste." His mouth closed over hers at precisely the moment he tugged open her robe.

Buy links:

Author Bio

Mae Clair
Mae Clair opened a Pandora's Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. She snagged the tail of a comet, hitched a ride, and discovered her writer's Muse on the journey.
Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Mae is also the author of the time travel / paranormal novel, Weathering Rock. Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at www.MaeClair.com

Find Me Here

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468716.Mae_Clair

September 19, 2013

Romantic Suspense: Last Straw @NiaSimone4 #RLFblog #NYC #giveaway

The Last Straw 
Nia Simone, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, The Last Straw by Nia Simone.
Genre: Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover artist: Angela Anderson
Length: 45 pages
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: He's good at playing a part. She's good at catching a fake. Can they trust enough to give love another chance?
Blurb:
Ally Tobin left New York after one too many bad dates, determined to rebuild a stable life and career as a private investigator in Silicon Valley. But when the man she knew as one name walks into her office with another, will her curiosity once again lead her to risk her heart?
The last thing Special Agent Jared Green needs is "security risk" stamped on the resume of his latest undercover identity. Especially by the woman his job forced him to leave in New York without any explanation. She may threaten his cover, but it's his heart on the line.
He's good at playing a part. She's good at catching a fake. Can they trust enough to give love another chance?
Buy links: FREE TODAY!
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Ally Tobin, 32, private investigator
Jared Green, 32, FBI special agent
Buy links: FREE TODAY!
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Ally Tobin, 32, private investigator
Jared Green, 32, FBI special agent

Excerpt:

He sauntered through the door, a white, button- down shirt tucked into belted khakis. When his dark gaze found her, he stopped. Stared. Her throat dried and a rustling motion stirred in her abdomen.
"Hi. I'm Darren Ray."
Keep your cool, she commanded herself, standing and reaching across the desk. His hand was rough.
She yanked her hand back and waved at the chair. "Please, have a seat." He waited for her to sit before settling in the visitor's chair. "So, Darren, according to this, you're being considered for a programmer position in the IT department. Tell me about your background."
A professional mask settled over his features. "As you can see on my résumé, I have several years of consulting experience."
"Tell me something about your experience as a mechanic." Working on his prized old Mustang had been a favorite hobby.
The corner of his mouth twitched. "What do you mean? That's not in my résumé."
"You don't have the hands of a programmer. More of a mechanic." Oh, his hands.
"Okay, you got me." He was going to confess. This should be good. "When I'm not programming computers I'm working on my car."
"And what were you doing in New York City?"
He reached across her desk for a piece of paper, plucked a pen from its stand and scrawled something. When she took the note their fingers brushed. Meet me for dinner at Pico's at 7. I'll explain everything. Can't talk here.

Interview

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Spending time with my characters in their world and lives.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
Workaholic.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I spend a lot of time on my Facebook profile and email commiserating with other writers, sharing goals, or just talking about the weather.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Yes. Then it gets cut, unless I get permission. If it's recognizable.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
When I started writing fiction seriously, I was a technical writer. It was my second career and I did both for a long time.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
Romance by other authors, all across the spectrum, from sweet to erotic to historical to fantasy/paranormal. Poetry, memoirs, and "mainstream" fiction.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
When a friend of mine who was dying told me that the letter I wrote to her meant so much to her she wanted to have it laminated on her desk for her children to inherit. I thought if I never wrote anything else that I had achieved something worthwhile because my words reached her and made her understand what she meant to me.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
My husband, passport, jeans, sneakers, t-shirt, sweater, my Nook, purse (with money and credit cards!), phone, my laptop and my toiletries. Portugal.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
On the beach in Half Moon Bay with my husband, friends and dog.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Read!
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with artichoke hearts, olives and tomatoes.
I'm always ready for having lunch with a friend.
When I'm alone, I am reading, writing and talking to people on the Internet.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm a good singer. *wink*
If I had a halo it would be a hand-me down from someone better who loved me anyway.
If I could heal I'd make everyone I love better.
I can never be blonde because it doesn't go with my coloring.

Previous Books

The Last Straw is my debut story.

Find Me Here


September 17, 2013

Regency: Seduction of Lady Phoebe @EllaQuinnAuthor #RLFblog

Seduction of Lady Phoebe
Ella Quinn, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe.
Genre: Regency
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Cover artist: Kensington
Length: 101,623 words
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline:
Blurb: Polite society has its rules for marriage. But for Ella Quinn's eligible bachelors, their brides will show them that rules are for the weak of heart…
Phoebe Stanhope is not a typical Lady. As feisty as she is quick witted, no one can catch her, especially when she is driving her dashing phaeton with its perfectly matched horses. And unlike her peers, experience has guarded her against a growing list of would-be suitors. But when she encounters Marcus Finley, what she fears most burns deep within his blue-eyed gaze…
For Lord Marcus, the spark of recognition is but a moment in the love he has held these many years. Now that he's returned to England, all the happiness he desires rests on Lady Phoebe never finding out that he was the one who turned her heart so cold and distant. He must work fast to gain the advantage—to convince her what she wants is exactly what she denies—but in order to seduce her into his arms, he must be willing to give up more than he can control…

Buy links:

What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Lady Phoebe Stanhope, three and twenty, lady
Lord Marcus Finley, eight and twenty, gentleman

Excerpt:

Marcus Finley arrived at the White Horse Inn with his friend Robert, Viscount Beaumont, who had reserved rooms there. Marcus found chambers across the street at the Red Unicorn. They met later to dine in a private parlor Marcus hired.
"Quite good ordinary they have here." Robert sat back in his chair, crossing one highly polished boot over the other. "The brandy is as good as any I've had. Must be French, though I don't wish to know how the landlord came by it."
Marcus grinned. "Yes, it's very good and probably smuggled."
Silence fell for a few moments, then Robert sat straight up in his chair. "Marcus, my boy, I saw the most beautiful gal I've ever seen in my life at the White Horse."
Marcus lounged in his chair, lifting a brow in inquiry. Robert was known to be a favorite with the many disenchanted matrons of the ton.
"And where did you find this paragon of nature?" Marcus asked in a languid drawl. "In the tap?"
"No, no, my boy, not a game-pullet. Not at all. She was a lady."
Marcus raised his quizzing glass and regarded his friend more closely. "Married?"
"No. Put that thing away, you know I don't like it. Besides, there's nothing wrong with me. She is a well-bred, unmarried lady. Beautiful, I tell you. Tiny. Has a good figure, quite a neat ankle, and the most gorgeous gold-red hair. Perfect in every way."
Marcus's fingers tightened around his glass. Robert's conquests were legend, but they didn't extend to well-bred innocents. A terrifying thought began to fill Marcus's mind. It couldn't be Phoebe. She was at Cranbourne Place.
He fought to keep his face calm, his gaze focused on his friend. "Who is this lady, do you know?"
"Yes, got my groom to ask one of the ostlers. Stupid fellows, those ostlers, giving out that kind of information," Lord Beaumont ruminated, definitely on the go. "Yes, now that I think on it, I believe I shall have a word with the landlord. The servants ought not be giving that sort of thing out."
Marcus tapped his fingers on the table. "Her name, Robert?"
"Her name?" Marcus repeated and waved an impatient hand to encourage his friend to continue.
"Oh, yes," Robert finally said. "Lady Phoebe Stanhope. Heard of her of course. Never seen her before. Don't, as a rule, attend those types of events. Not much for the Grand Strut you know. Must avoid the matchmaking mamas. M'grandmother's been after me to marry. Lady Phoebe is a devilish good-looking gal. I may have to make a push."
Marcus fumed. Lady Phoebe. His Vision. Friends or no, he would be damned if he'd let Robert anywhere near her.

Interview

What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I work on my social media platform. When I first started all I did was write. By the time it dawned on me that I needed to get involved in social media, I'd written four books. So during the time I was working with my agent's assistant learning to edit, I took a class and began building my platform.
What websites do you visit daily?
I try to support other authors, and visit many websites on a daily basis. I regularly visit Writers in the Storm, for interesting writing tips and Rakes and Rascals, for new historical releases.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
LOL. All the head-hopping I did when I first wrote it, and continuing to exercise. I gained a lot of weight that first year.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Telling my characters' stories and the research. I love learning new things.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
Each morning, I catch up on email, Twitter and Facebook. Then in the afternoon I write. I would love to write first thing, but I can't think until the other stuff is out of the way. Of course, that gives me an incentive to get off Facebook.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
Mostly historical romance, though I still enjoy spy stories.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I actually have a couple of people who don't read romance that are going to Read the Seduction of Lady Phoebe. I recommend the first one, because it's the start of the series and introduces the characters.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
A ski holiday in Austria. I love being on the mountain, and we have very good friends in the area we frequent.
What good book have you read recently?
Miranda Neville's The Ruin of a Rake.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
We were in London wishing we'd gone to Edinburgh instead.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Apple green.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with Gorgonzola cheese, spinach and mushrooms.
I'm always ready for time with my husband.
When I'm alone, I write, read, and take walks.
You'd never be able to tell, but I love riding on the back of my husband's Harley.
If I had a halo it would be just a bit crooked.
If I could twitch my nose like Samantha I'd be the happiest person on earth.
I can never jump out of a plane because no one will let me.
Ella Quinn

Books Coming Soon

The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh – November 4th
The Temptation of Lady Serena – January 14th
Desiring Lady Caro – April 2014

Contest

One person who comments and says they want the book, will receive a digital copy of The Seduction of Lady Phoebe.

Find Me Here



September 16, 2013

Modern Western: Deep in my Heart @pawf1067 #RLFblog #cowboys

Deep in my Heart 
Cowboys. Strong woman. Texas sunsets. Family Dynasties. Tex-Mex food. Cowboys.
It's all here in the new series set in the Texas Hill Country. It begins with the oldest son, Caleb Davis, a widower, single dad, and retired Air-Force veteran whose past has come back to strike at his family.
Enter Dr. Jocelyn Promise, a girl Davis barely noticed in high school but one he can't keep his eyes off now. When she saves his daughter, Caleb finds there's a whole lot more to Jocelyn than he ever gave her credit for and sparks fly higher than fireworks on the Fourth of July. Of course, you won't have to wait until then to get the book. It'll be out September 30th, 2013.

In this excerpt, Caleb and his daughter Riley give Jocelyn a tour of Tuscany, Texas, the town she's returned to after fifteen years.

A large playground caught her eye. "Speaking of a park, what is that? Is that the river?"
"Playground! Yay!" Riley clapped her hands.
Caleb pulled over in front of a large oak tree with a yellow ribbon around it. The playground sat to the right of the truck.
"Since we have so many folks here have family in from San Antonio and Austin, we decided to extend the river stretch down to the middle of town and add some more family friendly areas."
She heard the click of his seatbelt and he moved closer to her. The citrus of his cologne lingered around her and she felt her body tingle.
Oh, don't you dare go there, Jocelyn. Dreaming is one thing, but realistically?
"We added a couple of playgrounds and over there will be several picnic tables and a pier on either side for fishing."
"That's amazing."
His arm extended across her as he pointed. "Over there, we're putting in a bridge. In mid-May we're stocking the river so during Memorial Day weekend it might get more families down here. We're thinking of making it an event, you know, bring the kids. Teach them to fish."
With him so closer to her, her heart rate jumped up and she nervously tapped her foot on the floorboard. "Maybe you could give out patches to the scout groups for helping with the event or for learning to fish."
"Not a bad idea. I know the scouts are always looking for community service projects."
She watched a young girl and her mother feed the ducks. It made her heart ache. "My mom and I used to come here, do that."
"Ducks! Gee-sss!" Riley squealed. "I count."
"What about..." Turning her head, Jocelyn realized Caleb's lips were only a few inches away. She could smell the mint of his breath and she involuntarily sighed. "Uhm..."
"Okay Riley," he smirked as he stared into Jocelyn's eyes. "How many geese do you see?"
As his daughter counted in the back, Caleb seemed to strip away any defenses Jocelyn thought she had.
He looked at her lips. "Your eyes are incredible."
"O-kay." Jocelyn had to concentrate not to lean forward to touch her mouth to his.
"Really amazing."
He's right there and his lips are so full, so luscious, so close.
And far too tempting to pass up.

Find Me Here


September 15, 2013

Cover Love: Swoon @rolynnanderson #RLFblog #paranormal

Swoon 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is Swoon by Rolynn Anderson.

Her dead clients won't rest in peace.
When the dead tell tales, Jan Solvang's first reaction is to RUN! But then she gets caught up in their mysteries.
Jan's a boutique funeral planner, new to risk, hired to bury a missing woman and memorialize an infamous man. Yet when she digs for clues to write their eulogies, she disturbs f
amily secrets and unmasks killers.
Roman Keller, hard-driving documentary writer, is in complete control of his life and his stories, until he falls for Jan, a woman who trusts her dog, her faint-dreams, and her instincts more than she trusts him.
Can they make the sacrifices necessary to cement their relationship or will the mayhem caused by the dead ruin their second chance at love?
"Don't miss Swoon by Rolynn Anderson! If you like an interesting cast of characters, a heavy dose of mystery and a lot of fabulous surprises, you'll be happily turning pages late into the night.ˮ
~ Brenda Novak, NYT and USA Bestselling Author of When Lightning Strikes

Buy links:


Find Me Here


September 14, 2013

Publisher Week: Day 7 JMS Books Submissions #RLFblog #author @JMSbooksllc

This is Publisher Week at Romance Lives Forever. Three publishers will be featured, each during one special week. Those publishers are Boroughs Publishing Group in February, Liquid Silver Books in June, and JMS Books LLC in September.
JMS Books 

JMS Books LLC — Call For Submissions
As a show of thanks, I would like to offer a special promotional code to readers of your blog to use THIS WEEK ONLY while we're visiting.
To save 40% off your order, visit http://www.jms-books.com and enter the code RLFblog (just like that) during checkout. The code is good for one use per customer, and expires on September 15, 2013. So check out our site and save on our books today!
***
JMS Books LLC is a small electronic press specializing in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender fiction, including erotic romance, romance, and young adult.
Our ideal word count between 16,000 and 70,000 words. We accept shorter/longer works, but we prefer erotic OR sweet romance involving LGBT characters within this range.
Authors earn 50% of net royalties on all electronic and print sales from our website and distributors. Royalties are paid quarterly no later than 60 days after the end of the quarter.
***

Publishing With Us:

We are a non-subsidiary, non-vanity press. Our contracts are for exclusive electronic and print rights.
ALL stories are published in e-book format. Any story over 30,000 words is eligible to be published in paperback if sales goals are met within six months of release. Print publication is not guaranteed.
Authors may combine multiple short stories published with us into print anthologies.
Young adult submissions over 30,000 words in length will be published in paperback the same month as the e-book is published. No sales goals must be met first for this genre.
***

What We Accept:

The King's Secret 
JMS Books LLC accepts gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender fiction, including erotic romance, romance, and young adult. Stories must be between 5,000 and 90,000 words in length. We do not accept stories outside this range.
All submissions must contain a romantic element. Explicit erotic content is preferred.
We are looking for Gay / Lesbian / Bisexual / Transgender stories in the following genres:
·         Bdsm
·         Contemporary
·         Erotic Romance
·         Fantasy
·         Historical
·         Interracial
·         Ménage à Trois (or More)
·         Military/War
·         Mystery/Thriller
·         Paranormal
·         Science Fiction
·         Sweet Romance (No Sex)
·         Western
·         Young Adult
***

What We Don't Accept:

Our tastes are broad, but we don't accept the following:
·         Anthologies
·         Erotica without a romantic subplot ("stroke stories" or "PWP")
·         General Fiction
·         Heterosexual erotic romance
·         Literary Fiction
·         Memoirs (real or fictionalized)
·         Nonfiction
·         Poetry
·         Stories without a romantic element
***

To Submit:

Beyond Clockwork
Visit our site at http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=page_2 for full details on how to format your manuscript for submission.
We do not accept previously published (including self-published) work, multiple
submissions, or simultaneous submissions. We responds to all emails in less than 2 business days. If we like the story and request the full manuscript, our turnaround time is less than 1 week.
***

Holiday Submissions:

For the month of December, we are looking for holiday-themed stories:
·         Must be Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender
·         Between 10,000 and 55,000 words
·         Must contain a romantic plot
·         Must revolve around a winter holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid, Yule, etc)
Stories may be any subgenre (contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, etc). Erotic content is encouraged but not required; however, we aren't looking for stroke stories. Stories MUST BE a romance at heart.
We are not looking for young adult holiday stories at this time.
The Dragon 
Follow the submission policy outlined on our website at http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=page_2.
DEADLINE: All holiday stories must be submitted no later than October 15, 2013. Any
stories sent in after this date are not guaranteed to be released in December.
***

Some of our upcoming titles include:

September 15:
The Dragon by Terry O'Reilly
Gay Historical Erotic Romance
September 22:
Maybe I'll Tell You
a Bedtime Story
The King's Secret by Wayne Mansfield
Gay Fantasy Erotic Romance
September 29:
Beyond Clockwork by Jennifer Cierra
Gay Fantasy Erotic Romance
Maybe I'll Tell You a Bedtime Story by Claudine Lanthenay
Lesbian Erotic Romance

Find Us Here

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