May 31, 2014

Meet the heroine of Battlesong, a Medieval Romance @historicalAllie #RLFblog #historicalromance

Battlesong
First I have to thank Kayelle for the opportunity to talk about my heroines. Authors love to write heroes who are sexy, handsome, rich, real dream material and describe them in word and picture. Heroines kinda get lost. So I want to spend some time talking about the women who people my books.
First though, let me tell you a bit about me. Yesterday, my DH and I celebrated our 54 years together as a married couple. So, I think you can say I'm definitely a romantic. I married my best friend, so that may be why we are still together. Poor guy as had a lot to put up with over the years, but since I think we both classify as Alpha individuals (yes, Alpha's can be romantic too) it's a miracle we are still together and more in love today than on the day I walked down the aisle on my father's arm to say "I will".
With that kind of background how could I not write romance novels. But, why on earth would I want to do something like that. After all, I was living a romance. For one thing, I've always liked to be busy. For another, like so many other authors, I read a book I didn't like, a romance, and decided then and there I could do better. I had never thought about writing a novel, but why not? I'd already tried a whole lot of other things over the years. But why write a historical romance. I loved to read them, I liked history and I loved research. It all went together.
I told Kayelle I wanted to offer a sketch of my current heroine but the more I thought about it, I realized out of all twenty-one of my heroines, I have a few favorites but top of the list might be Laren. so let me tell you about her.
With each of my heroines I tried to give them a strong backbone. That's got to be the Alpha in me. I don't think any of them are whippy, they don't cry much if at all, and they all make mistakes, but then don't we all.
As I looked back over my heroines, a couple do stand out. Sara from 'A Treasure for Sara' is one I really liked. However, I still think Laren of 'Battlesong' might be my favorite. With Laren I tried to write a heroine with a miserable childhood, but a woman who develops into the kind of woman I hope every woman can become, although my Laren sometimes acts before she thinks. She learns to stand on her own two feet and uses her intelligence to get her out of one tight situation after another, she is a woman of great compassion, a woman willing to do what has to be done, no matter the consequences. She also has a lot of fire and at times wants to pound the hero on the head. Not that I blame her. I wanted to pound him in the head a few time too.
Laren is the heroine of the second of the song series, four medieval romances about one family, although each is a stand alone book. Laren lives in the 13th century, even though she behaves much like a 21st century gal.
However, now that I have finished the last song book, I just may have to add Catherine, the heroine in the book coming in July, to my list of favorites. Catherine, now a widow, had a wonderful childhood, a rotten marriage, and is fighting a father who wants her married again. My hero has a real battle on his hands with this woman. She doesn't trust men and has become one bossy babe. If you decide to see for yourself which of my heroines you like, I'd love to hear from you. In the meantime, I'm working with a young woman who had a happy childhood but has been discarded by her titled husband. (I moved back to the 19th century in this one.) She's a real fighter, this one. I just may have to add her to my favorite list, too.
Lovesong 

About the Book

Title Battlesong
Genre Medieval Romance
Author Name Allison Knight
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13
Their marriage begins with a lie. Tricked into wedding young Laren Blair, the daughter of a Scottish laird, Arthur ap Brynn Ffrydd, an English baron, abandons her at his keep. When he finally returns six years later she has won the affection of his people but all he sees are the changes she has made. Their battles begin.
She fears her life will be as miserable with Arthur as it was with her cruel father. He envisions losing his property to her Scottish clan. As they learn to tolerate each other, desire draws them together. When Laren is kidnaped and Arthur is wounded in battle they realize they love each other. Reunited, can their love withstand the strain of another lie?

Excerpt

Battlesong, Medieval Romance, Rating pg13. by Allison Knight
Laren tensed when someone knocked on the door to her chamber.
Nay, it was too soon.
"Come," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
As the door swung open, she moved deeper into the furs, praying she could somehow disappear.
Arthur ap Brynn Ffrydd glanced around the room. Ach, he was a handsome brute. His light brown hair hung to his shoulder, curling against his surcoat. Deep brown eyes gazed at her and she read his annoyance. Why did he have to appear so—so manly?
"What kind of room is this in which to greet a bridegroom? Where are your attendants?" His rich, husky voice echoed through the small chamber. He glared at the small space she called her own. Could he see her?
"'Tis too small. Why are you not in a chamber suitable for a bride?"
She opened her mouth to say something and could not. His look made something inside her cringe with fear, but also stirred strange feelings of warmth. What would happen when he realized she was not his intended bride? Surely, her
A Treasure for Sara 
father had doomed them all to death.
He stepped into the room and walked to the cot, shedding his surcoat.
"You are not the woman I saw in the bailey."
He had seen Nairna. He knew!
"Nay, I am not," she whispered, afraid of what would happen next.
"Who are you?"
"I am Laren, daughter of Laird Blair, half sister to Nairna."
"Where is my bride?" His tone was hostile and Laren wondered if she should pray for a quick and merciful death.
"I am the woman you wed."
He glared at her. "The king of England made a contract with your father. I was to wed a woman named Nairna."
Laren cringed. How was she to explain? She could not say to this man he had been mistaken. Not with his fierce countenance and fearsome brown eyes.
"You must look at the marriage contract you signed with my father. My name is the name of your bride."
He said nothing and spun out of the room. After a moment, she heard the plank drop over the opening.
Someone had been witness to his leaving for once again, she was locked in this chamber. What would happen now, for he must know he had been tricked?

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May 30, 2014

Character Sketch Cayden from Legacy of Buchanan's Crossing @MusaPublishing #RLFblog #paranormalromance

Legacy of Buchanan's Crossing 
Genre: Fantasy Romance, Contemporary Romance
Author Name: Rhea Rhodan
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
What price will destiny demand?
Warding the Crossing has always been Cayden Sinclair's destiny. With her beloved Gran growing weaker, it's time the little witch took her place. Juggling substantial curves for her frame and an inconvenient inability to control her power has always been a serious challenge. But not until discovering her fated Keeper is the extremely hot, tragically clean-cut insomniac who's ignored her for months, does she truly fear failing her legacy.
Now that he's finally on the road to the top with an offer from a big developer, Clint MacAllen can't allow his struggling construction company to be threatened by a vicious nightmare, or his inexplicable attraction to a goth clerk working the graveyard shift at HandiMart—no matter how potent they are.
J. Milton Developments has its own agenda for Buchanan's Crossing, and they'll spill blood to get it.

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About the Character

Name: Cayden Sinclair
Age: 27
Gender: female
Birthplace: Boston, MA
Profession: convenience store clerk, fencing instructor, steampunk engineer, antique collector/dealer.
Ethnicity/Species (if not human): Witch
Describe his/her body build, skin tone, height and weight. Include any unique features such as dimples, freckles, or scars: 5'0" (not including custom platform roller blades); 140 lbs. on a bad day; super-pale skin; hazel eyes; improbably red, curly hair with about half the locks randomly died black; tat of her special oak tree at Buchanan's Crossing—its top branches just below her breasts, the roots curling around her upper thighs.
Who is the significant other in your character's life?
Clint MacAllen.
How does your heroine dress?
Cayden prefers a blend of pseudo-Victorian goth clothing (some of which are authentic antiques) and leather.
How educated is this character? Is she book smart, self-taught, widely-experienced?
Having been expelled from nearly every Ivy League college on the East Coast (and an equal number of prep schools), she's well-educated but has no degree.
What does she have a knack for doing?
Fusion—from her wardrobe, to the names she chooses for things, to steampunk engineering.
How do others perceive your character based upon looks? How true is this assumption? Does your character care about those assumptions?
Cayden is only self-conscious about her weight when it comes to Clint, yet remains as unapologetic about it as she is about her affection for goth or being a witch.
If someone from your character's past showed up, who would she most want it to be, and why? OR who would she most NOT want it to be, and why?
She has no patience for her mother, who's always made her feel like an enormous disappointment.
What inner doubt causes your character the most difficulty?
She's deeply afraid the Crossing won't accept her as the next Warder.
When (if) she lies or is upset, what gives him away?
When Cayden becomes upset or overly excited ;>), she loses control of her magic.
Why do you have a hard time trusting Clint?
He's way too hot and all-American to be genuinely interested in a woman like me.
Who's your best friend?
My crow, Nevermore. I don't care for his colorful language, but he's the best friend and familiar a woman or a witch could ask for.

About Your Writer: Questions for your character to answer about you.

When your writer is writing about you, what do you think makes your writer the most happy?
My confidence and sense of style.
What makes your writer the most sad?
How I grew up.
Why do you think your writer loves to write?
I think, rather than loving to write, Rhea HAS to write in order to remain sane.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your writer? Thank you for saving Clint for me rather than some Barbie-type who'd never have been able to save him from himself.

Contest

I will give a$10 GC to random commenter. Please leave e-mail addy so I can find you!

- Rhea

Author Bio

Rhea Rhodan resides in Minnetonka, Minnesota and has been telling herself stories since long before she could write. She attended the University of Minnesota with a focus on Journalism, then Brown Institute for Broadcast Journalism. After many adventures, misadventures, and a couple of short marriages, she found the love of her life in Regensburg, Germany, and has been living happily ever after since.
She journaled those adventures extensively (some might say rabidly) beginning in middle school, but didn't combine her writing and story-telling until several years ago, when one of the stories grabbed her by the throat and shook her like a rag doll until she gave in and wrote it. Having tasted freedom, her muse refuses to return to the confines of her head, and has successfully turned the tables, keeping her at the keyboard to appease it.
Her stories always had a twist of magic or a touch of the paranormal. Why the romance? Because she believes in happy endings, and helping people imagine them inspires them to create the magic in finding their own.

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May 29, 2014

Grace Marshall's Executive Decision Tour @GM_Romance #RLFblog #erotic

An Executive Decision 
Thanks so much for having me over on Romance Lives Forever for day 4 of The Executive Decisions Blog Tour.

An Executive Decision, Because It's Complicated

Instead of thinking of erotica and romance as genres, I prefer to think of them as psychology in story form. The longer I write stories, the more I believe that it really is all about sex, just like Freud said. We humans are designed to live in relationship with other humans, and that gets messy and complicated. First there's chemistry and romance and sex, then we're off and running with a story that has all the best things and all the worst things and all the archetypal things that make us human. All those messy complicated, chemistry-riddled human things may point us in the direction of that most convoluted of paths to the much-coveted Happily Ever After we all long for, but there's a lot more involved in actually getting there. There's all the neuroses, all the niggles, all the fears, frustrations and personal baggage that we all have to overcome on the way. And the more sexy and complicated and messy it gets on the route to that Happy Ever After, the bigger the pay-off at the end
I originally wrote An Executive Decision as a very naughty novella called Learning the Business. The story was based on what might happen if there really was an Executive Sex Clause between a CEO and his second in command. The theory is that it would improve productivity, enhance creativity and reduce stress if busy executives had a source of stress-free, no-strings attached sex available when they needed it. But what began as just an erotic romp became a much deeper look into the lives of two complicated, complex characters, Ellison Thorne and his ambitious protégé, Dee Henning. Both Dee and Ellis are people so into their work that they have no time for sex. Both are people who are a bit dense where relationships are concerned. Both are people who feel safe keeping others at arm's length. And their story wasn't played out in a vacuum. There are family members, ex lovers, bumbling -- if well-meaning – friends. There are disgruntled colleagues, there is sabotage, and the threat of environmental crime.
When a series of events drives the two into each other's arms, the fireworks begins, and the Executive Sex Clause, which started out as a joke, ends up to be a whole lot more.
As what started out to be a short erotic tryst grew to be a full-length novel and then into a trilogy, I realized that it wasn't the kinky Sex Clause that drove the story, but rather Dee and Ellis with all their quirks and foibles. They were so much more than just two people having lots of sex in the work place, so much more that a man and a woman falling in love. Throw in the comedy of errors that ends up letting the Sex Clause cat out of the bag and that's where things get messy and delicious.
Though my alter-ego, K D Grace, writes very steamy erotica, she's a romantic at heart. And though I happily and unabashedly write romance, I like my romance served hot – very hot. I never close the bedroom doors because I think the pursuit of that relationship deserves to be rewarded in a very carnal way. Whether I'm writing as K D Grace or Grace Marshall, there will always be lots of sex because sex is as much a part of who we are as walking upright and having big brains. In fact having big brains makes the sex a helluva lot more interesting. It's no longer just about procreation. It's about magic and recreation and le Petit Mort and rebirth and fireworks and blow your mind, feel-good, and break your heart feel-terrible. Simply put, it's complicated just like our big brains and our need for relationship.

An Executive Decision

Overworked CEO Ellison Thorne has no time for sex, let alone romance. The only answer, at least where his retiring business partner Beverly is concerned, is a no-strings sex clause in her replacement's contract, designed to make Ellis' busy life easier – and hotter. But she's joking, right?
When Dee Henning takes over Beverly's job, sparks fly between her and Ellis, but work takes priority in driven Dee's life too. Can one night of passion in a Paris hotel room prove Beverly's Sex Clause is their secret to success in the boardroom and the bedroom, and what will happen if that private clause becomes public knowledge?
Available from:

About K D Grace/Grace Marshall

Grace and KD both believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody's happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she's not writing, Grace is veg gardening. When she's not gardening, she's walking. She walks her stories, and she's serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.
Grace and KD have erotica published with SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and others.
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K D's critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Heatwave trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue's Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available. She was nominated for ETO's Best Erotic Author 2013 and 2014.
Grace Marshall's sizzling hot romance novels, An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition are published by Xcite Books.

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May 28, 2014

Kryssie Fortune: Sex, Sacrifice, and Stupidity @KryssieFortune #RLFblog #paranormalromance

Giving it Up for the Gods 
Have you ever thought some gods are too stupid to live? Not all of them of course. Saturn's not bad, and his close-lipped friend, Jase, is a stunner.
Sorry, I should introduce myself. I'm Lindy Lou Majors, Country and Western singer and siren extraordinaire. You know us sirens are the sexiest females on the planet, so I won't bore you with that. We have a bit of a history with self-seeking gods of course.
First Juno cheated us out of our birthright, and then Neptune demanded an annual virgin sacrifice. I mean, some gods like yucky dead stuff and have animals sacrificed in their name. Artimis, the Goddess of the Hunt, always wanted game killed in her honor. Me, I'd hear the game birds sing, not have their innards spread out all over the place.
The Greeks offered up pigs to their Gods. Like to like I suppose, but they didn't think of it like that. They even poured water on the pigs head until it bowed, then they claimed it had nodded and agreed to the sacrifice. Those poor pigs hadn't a clue what they were in for.
Once someone split piggy's throat, his killer spread his entrails--especially his liver--out to see if the Gods accepted the sacrifice. It gets pretty hot in Greece, so I bet they made a quick decision. Just imagine the stench of rotting liver, beside people were usually hungry. They couldn't wait to dig in to the post sacrifice feast.
Each to their own I suppose, but us sirens have this problem with Neptune. A few centuries back, he got hit with a curse, and that wicked sorceress, Circe, saved him. Now he's the Greek-god version of the green man. He needs an annual sacrifice to renew his youth. He doesn't want meat. He wants virgin blood, and his sacrifice of choice is a siren.
Neptune's a kinky old sod He has his henchmen strip his victims then tether them--legs and arms wide open--across his altar. I mean a little light bondage can be good, but Neptune takes things too far.
Each year the sirens draw lots to see which unfortunate virgin he'll screw that summer. That's another reason why sirens spread themselves around. Anything's better than letting Neptune screw them. No way am I letting that stinky old man touch me. I mean, would you?
Now me, I'm the dumb virgin that dreamed of giving up to her one perfect man. I really wanted to find my soul mate. Then Neptune abandoned the ballot this year and named me for his sacrifice. I'm the clock now. I've got forty-eight hours to give it up, or Neptune will take me by force. Suddenly, I've got a great deal of sympathy for all those ancient Greek pigs and game birds.
So what with stupid Greeks killing innocent animals, and stupid me keeping my legs crossed too long, you'd think we'd cornered the all the stupid stuff. Only Neptune wins the really big stupid prize. When he named me, he's changed the ritual, and that changes Circes spell. Apparently, if I'm still a virgin on midsummer's day, whoever screws me first gets a hit of supernatural powers. Not that it matters, because I'm going to give it up before then.

About the Book

Not only angels fall.
Convicted of a crime he didn't commit, the warrior god Janus plummeted from the heights of Olympus to the depths of the Underworld. After centuries of pain and torment, he finally clawed his way free. He'll never forgive the gods who condemned him, or the sirens for their part in his downfall.
Each summer, to celebrate the Feast of Neptunealia, Neptune demands a virgin sacrifice. And his sacrifice of choice is a siren.
Sirens are strong, sassy, and sexy.
Lindy's siren heritage makes her fierce, lusty, and curious but she dreams of loving one man forever. She won't give her heart--or her virginity--to a short lived mortal she might accidentally break in bed. When Neptune demands her as his sacrifice, she's determined to give her virginity to anybody except him.
Janus, or Jase as he calls himself now, rescues Lindy from Neptune's mermen. He's the one man she's eager to bed. The clock's ticking. Lindy has forty-eight hours to seduce the siren-hating Jase and win his heart. That or Neptune will find her and take her against her will.

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May 27, 2014

Are you dreaming yet? Dreams and Nightmares Tour with @Danita_Minnis #RLFblog

Dreams and Nightmares Anthology 
Welcome to the Dreams and Nightmares Anthology Blog Hop! We are celebrating the release of our anthology with fabulous gifts for you. Each author featured in the anthology is giving away a copy of one of their books. But that's not all. The Grand Prize is a signed print copy of The Dreams and Nightmares Anthology!
Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win and hop along to the next blog for more chances to win!
Publisher: CMV

About the Anthology

Dreams and nightmares are like twilight; that misty place between fantasy and reality.
When your mind takes you on an adventure you didn't sign up for and you become someone or something else, it can be delectable, terrifying, or both.
Dreaming of that sexy bad boy who seems out of reach? Be careful what you wish for, sometimes dreams really do come true. If you have the time, we have the past life to seduce you. Whether your fantasy is a lustful mermaid, an irresistible incubus, a vampiric predator, or an insatiable ghost hold on tight. You are on the most erotic ride of your life.
When your desires blend so thoroughly with the truth that you don't know the difference, that's when romance is but a dream.

Adderley's Bride, by Danita Minnis

Sofie is a singer, baker and a serious planner. When she finds her rocker boyfriend up against the wall in a vocal booth with a back-up singer, her five-year plan for a home and family is dubbed over like a bad music track.
Gray, a lusty ghost who acts like she is his long-dead fiancée invades her dreams and works her body over, night and after night. It isn't long before Sofie's plans include her beguiling lover, a ghost man with a plan of his own; be with me. Nice plan if you call that living...
Dreams and Nightmares Tour

Excerpt

In the reflection of the glass, she caught a movement behind her. A tall man stared at her from the soft forest glow in the room. Against the backdrop of the green leaves in the wallpaper, there was an impression of short, dark hair and sharp angular features before his light eyes bore into hers. They glowed with such intensity that she could not look away. It was an effort to fight the pull but she managed to jerk her eyes away from the window.
She jumped up and the tray and bowl of stew clanged to the floor. "How did you get in here?"
The spot on the throw rug in front of the bed where she'd just seen the man was empty.
As her eyes scanned every corner of the room, she grabbed the heavy silver tray and brandished it before her like a battle-axe. She was alone in her room. The crackling fire was the only other sound in her brain besides her racing heartbeat.
Adrenaline pumping through her veins made her rigid. She held the tray out before her stiffly as she crept towards the bedroom door. The wall sconce at the center of the hall was still on. She could see clear across to the staircase landing but the opposite side of the hall leading to the other wing was in darkness.
Stepping out of her room, she was hit with a blast of cold air that whistled around the empty corridors. She didn't have her slippers on and hopped from one foot to the next. It was forty degrees tonight and it felt like she was standing on an ice block. Belatedly, she realized she was making so much noise in her agitation that whoever was in the house could certainly hear her fumbling around. She returned to her room for the slippers.
Back in the hall, she stood quietly listening. But it wasn't so much what she could hear as it was what she could feel. The hair on the back of her neck prickled. There was an expectant energy in the air, and she waited.
'Beautiful Sofie...'
Dreams and Nightmares Authors 
The words wafted on the breeze, swept through the corridor and curled past her ear in an intimate caress. They were seductive, hypnotic and somehow calmed her fears. Lowering the tray, she closed her eyes and leaned toward the caress.
Startled by her reaction to this phenomenon, she blinked her eyes open. She couldn't let her guard down, no matter who he was. She didn't know him.
Didn't know who?
She shook sense into her head. She didn't know anyone in Wynter Hollow, much less a 'him.' Realizing the ridiculous direction of her thoughts was no comfort. As she stood there, the feeling that someone was with her grew stronger.
"Where are you?" Her voice was shaking with a strange anticipation and she stepped forward.

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Contest

Enter this giveaway by visiting the author's blog. Here's the link.

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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Danita-Minnis/e/B008EAB4Q2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

May 26, 2014

Character Sketch: Jake from Protection @linda_rettstatt #RLFblog #suspense

Protection 

About the Book

Title Protection
Genre Romantic Suspense
Author Linda Rettstatt
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13
Jake Garber is a new man after being placed in the witness protection program pending a Federal child-trafficking case in which he's a witness. Shannon Chase is the identity stolen by a young woman escaping her past to protect her child. A foggy night, a hairpin turn, and a car crash throw Jake and Shannon into one another's lives where each struggles to protect a secret.

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About the Character

Name: Jake Garber
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Birthplace: New York State
Profession: Carpenter
Ethnicity/Species (if not human):
Describe his/her body build, skin tone, height and weight. Include any unique features such as dimples, freckles, or scars: Jake is tall and lean, with dark brown hair that creeps over his shirt collar. He is tanned from working outdoors.
Who is the significant other in your character's life?
Shannon Chase – a woman who literally crashed into his life along with her three month old daughter.
What special skills does your character rely on?
Jake learned carpentry from his father and grandfather and relies on those skills now to support himself.
What does he have a knack for doing?
Taking care of other people.
Does this character see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?
His once well-defined views on morality are challenged and shift because of his forced exile into witness protection and his growing attraction to Shannon.
If someone from your character's past showed up, who would he most want it to be, and why? OR who would he most NOT want it to be, and why?
He would not be happy to see Lou Crowley--the former priest who is now trying to kill him.
Can your hero keep a secret? If not, why not? If yes, why?
Jake is a walking secret. In his former life as Father Steve Avery, he became a key witness in a child-trafficking case. With two of the suspects still on the loose, Father Steve was placed in witness protection, living now as Jake Garber in the Pacific Northwest.
What inner doubt causes your character the most difficulty?
After having Shannon Chase and her baby come into his life, Jake is seriously doubting his original call to the priesthood. He struggles with his feelings of betrayal by the Church and his sense of belonging with Shannon and Bailey.
What is your character's biggest need at the beginning of the story?
Jake needs to protect his identity while trying to help Shannon and her infant daughter, Bailey. He risks letting this woman into his home and his heart.
What is your hero's biggest hopes and dreams?
He begins to realize a longing for his own family, something he can never have if he returns to the priesthood when the Federal case is resolved.
What is your hero's breaking point?
When he begins to doubt that Shannon has been honest with him.
Who in his life has the power to hurt this character the most? Why?
Shannon. Because he has fallen in love with her.

Bonus: Questions for you to ask your character.

Jake, what is your favorite meal?
Give me a nice thick steak, medium rare and an ice cold beer and I'm happy.
When you went into the Witness Protection Program, you had to take on a new line of work. You chose carpentry. Why?
My grandfather was a master carpenter. And woodworking is my dad's hobby. I learned from them and enjoy creating things that will mean something to people for generations to come.
What drives you in life?
The desire to do something meaningful, something that makes a difference.

About Your Writer: Questions for your character to answer about you.

Why do you think your writer chose to write about you?
Well, it's not every day you meet a priest in the witness protection program. I guess my story intrigued her. That along with the varied possibilities of how everything could turn out.
What do you wish your writer had not told others about you?
That I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to weaponry. I rely on my Louisville Slugger for self-defense.
Was there anything your writer discovered about you that was a surprise to one or both of you?
Yep. We were both surprised by the intensity of my attraction to Shannon.
When your writer is writing about you, what do you think makes your writer the most happy?
She just loved digging into my emotions. Someone should tell her us guys aren't too fond of that. And she just couldn't keep her nose out of the relationship I have with Shannon. She was gleefully determined to get the two of us together.
What makes your writer the most sad?
Even though my story has a happy ending, I know Linda was sad to write those last two words. I think she enjoyed being in my company. (Maybe I'll have to whisper another story line in her ear some day.)
Why do you think your writer loves to write?
She's a story teller, that's for sure. She seemed to thoroughly enjoy dragging the fine details of my life and my struggles out of me. If she weren't a writer, she'd make a pretty good therapist. Or a sadist, since she managed to put me into a few heart-stopping situations.

About the Author

Linda Rettstatt likes to know what makes people tick and she loves a good story. This combination fuels her passion for creating stories that capture your mind and touch your heart. Her writing garnered the 2012 EPIC eBook Award in Mainstream Fiction for her novel Love, Sam. Linda grew up in SW Pennsylvania and suffers a bout of homesickness every October when she thinks of the fall leaves and trails at her beloved Ohiopyle State Park. She now lives in NW Mississippi with her cat, Binky, who only allows her to share the apartment because she brings home the Fancy Feast.

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May 25, 2014

Wolf in Gucci Loafers by Tara Lain @taralain #RLFblog #LGBT Romance

Wolf in Gucci Loafers 
Hi everyone. Tara Lain here. I'm so delighted to be here at RLF today! This is an exciting week, because my new release, Wolf in Gucci Loafers, came out recently. One of the first things people tell me when they hear about the book is that they love the title which delights me because I love creating titles. Maybe it's because my day job is in advertising and for years I've had to come up with headlines. Headlines are a lot like titles. They have to encapsulate something essential about the book while attracting readers and getting them to pay attention. Wolf in Gucci Loafers is like that. Right off, you know that this book is probably paranormal, right? My hero is a wealthy, aristocratic, half human/half werewolf who is also gay and pretty flamboyant. He's kind of a Zorro character in that he pretends to be a lot more effete than he is. In truth, he's a bit of a bad ass, while maintaining his love of fashion and fast electric cars. I tried to create a title that suggested a bit of this "mood" of the book. A bit playful and a little mysterious. Below, I've posted a nibble from Wolf in Gucci Loafers. I hope you enjoy it.

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Socialite Lindsey Vanessen wants someone to love who will love him back—an impossibility for a gay, half-human, half-werewolf. Too aggressive for humans, too gay for wolves, and needing to protect the pack from human discovery, Lindsey tries to content himself with life as a successful businessman. But when someone starts kidnapping members of wealthy families, Lindsey meets tough cop Seth Zakowsy—the hunky embodiment of everything Lindsey wants but can't have.
Seth has never been attracted to flamboyant men. What would the guys in the department think of Lindsey? But intrigue turns to lust when he discovers Lindsey's biting, snarling passion more than matches his dominant side. It might mean a chance at love for a cop in black leather and a wolf in Gucci loafers.

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she's now somewhere around book 21. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say "Yes"!

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May 24, 2014

Cover Love: 25 Years Ago Today @stacyjuba #RLFblog #mystery

25 Years Ago Today 
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 Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba.

Genre Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13

Blurb

Should we dig for the truth when Pandora's Box is a coffin of buried secrets? Kris Langley has always been obsessed with murder. She blames herself for the violent death of her cousin when they were kids and has let guilt invade every corner of her existence. Now an editorial assistant and obit writer, Kris stumbles across an unsolved murder while compiling "25 Years Ago Today" items from the microfilm. Determined to solve the case and atone for the death of her cousin, Kris immerses herself in the mystery of what happened to Diana Ferguson, a talented artist who expressed herself through haunting paintings of Greek mythology.
Not only does Kris face resistance from her family and her managing editor, she also clashes with Diana's suspicious nephew, Eric Soares – until neither she nor Eric can deny the chemistry flaring between them. She soon learns that old news never leaves the morgue and that yesterday's headline is tomorrow's danger, for finding out the truth about that night twenty-five years ago may shatter Kris's present, costing her love, her career, and ultimately, her life.

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May 23, 2014

Cover Love: Wolves Pawn @pjmaclayne #RLFblog #ShifterRomance

Wolves Pawn 
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 Wolves Pawn by PJ MacLayne

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author Name: P.J. MacLayne
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13
Dot McKenzie is a lone wolf-shifter on the run, using everything available to her to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. When she is offered a chance for friendship and safety with the Fairwood pack, she accepts.
Gavin Fairwood, reluctant heir for Fairwood pack leadership, is content to let life happen while he waits. Old longings surface when he appoints himself as Dot's protector and becomes more than a friend.
Dot goes into hiding again when her presence puts the pack and her new friends at risk. When old enemies threaten the destruction of the Fairwood pack, it will take the combined efforts of Dot and Gavin to save it. But can anything save their love and Dot's life when she becomes a pawn in a pack leader's deadly game?

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May 22, 2014

What Kind of Woman Does an Alpha Love? @samcheever #RLFblog

Tall Dark and Apocalyptic 
USA TODAY Best Selling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume. Here's her take on Alpha Males.
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As the rabid sales of romances with strong alpha males show, women LOVE a strong and sexy alpha hero. But what about the alpha’s woman, doesn’t she have to be special too? I believe she does! Not necessarily in the way you might be thinking. An alpha’s mate doesn’t have to be the most beautiful woman in the world, but she’s beautiful to him. She’s not always model slim, without blemish, stronger or smarter than every other woman he knows, but the traits she does have speak directly to him. I think that’s what makes reading about alpha males so much fun! We can easily put ourselves in the role of the lucky alpha mate, imagining that our alpha would find us the sexiest, most tantalizing, and most deliciously infuriating woman he knows.
So, what kind of woman draws an Alpha male? I’m sure the answer to this question is as varied as the men who pursue them. But for the purposes of a great romance novel, there have to be certain parameters. I submit that the following list would suffice:
First of all, she has to be smart enough to find ways around his bossy, dominant personality. This means she has to be a pro at making him think it was his idea to do whatever it was she fully intended to do in the first place--even when it’s the exact opposite of what he actually wanted her to do.
Secondly, she has to be able to take care of herself during all those times she ignores him and goes off to take care of business by herself.
Thirdly, she needs to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep her man safe, because he’s gonna go marching off to sacrifice himself at the drop of a hat if he thinks it will save her...or some elderly person somewhere...or a child...or a puppy...a kitten... You get the drift.
And last, but definitely not least, she needs to have a healthy sexual appetite to keep her man happy. Because we all know the alpha male is hotter than a wood-burning stove in the desert and harder than the wood it burns. He has all that sexual energy that needs to be spent somewhere. (queue wildly waggling eyebrows)
Okay, that last thing isn’t really too difficult. I mean, who wouldn’t be ready to hit the mattresses if an alpha male crooked a finger in her direction? Which reminds me of one more, kind of important, trait a potential alpha mate needs to have. She can’t be too stupid to live.
Because if she does say no when he crooks his finger. She’s definitely TSTL.
Just sayin’!
A grand passion in an apocalyptic world. A love beyond reason and without boundaries.
He’s a warrior, a bounty hunter in a world turned upside down. She’s a target, a creature of dark magic. His job is simple. Kill the target. Her goal is more complex. She must stay alive until she finds and destroys the source of death magic staining the twenty worlds. But the passion burning within them may be their undoing. It’s going to take an apocalyptic will to overcome the distraction their bodies are creating...and not lose themselves in the process.

About the Book

Title Tall, Dark, and Apocalyptic
Genre Paranormal Romance
Author Sam Cheever
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R

Excerpt

The man was impossible! Yeira fought to hold her emotions in check as his lips and tongue performed a delicious invasion, teasing an unsettling amount of heat and responsiveness from her. She longed to step away...to run away...from the things he was doing to her body. Not just the building passion of the kiss they shared, but the warmth and tightness his touch was creating between her legs...the knot of need twisting inside her belly.
Worse, even as her mind told her she should get away from him, her traitorous body moved closer. Her breasts pressed against the broad planes of his chest, her nipples tender against the fabric of her shirt.
Her sexual core clenched under the building heat, her magic-entrapped hands fought to reach him. Not to push him away, but to drag him closer. Suddenly the energy binding her arms loosened and she fell forward, her hands twining in the cool lapels of his leather coat, twisting there to pull him near.
Their kiss deepened, hunger raging as tongues lashed and teeth clashed. A low sound of lust throbbed at the base of Yeira’s throat. She was horrified by the sound but unable to stop it from escaping in a deep moan.
The hunter responded by spreading his hand over her buttocks, pressing her closer, until she couldn’t ignore the huge, hard ridge beneath his leather battle pants. His heated breath fanned her face, his taste pure ambrosia on her tongue. She inhaled his addictive scent--a mix of clean sweat and leather--and her pussy pulsed with exquisite expectation.
She wanted him.
Needed him.
She’d denied it to herself from the very beginning--ignored the way his presence pulled at her and the way his sexy gaze raked her with fire. They were enemies, opponents in an epic war, but when they shared the same space lust exploded between them, an impossible-to-resist attraction wrapping her in a fiery embrace.
Slowly, as his hands found the bottom of her shirt and slipped underneath, skimming gently calloused heat over her nerve-drenched skin, Yeira felt the first stirrings of fear.
They couldn’t do what they were doing! She couldn’t do it. Their path was ugly, the war they were about to engage in dangerous and difficult. If they had feelings for each other--
Yeira shoved against his chest, pushing him back just enough to break the kiss and not much more.
He held her lower half against a solid erection, his big hands a warm wall against her back, and frowned down at her. “What is it, Yeira?”
She dragged a hand over her swollen lips. Her breath heaved in and out of her chest. The place between her legs where she wanted him most throbbed with desire. She shook her head, pushing backward.
He finally released her but the inferno of his dark blue gaze held her, like a moth to flame, compelling her to answer.
“I can’t do this. We...can’t do this.”
The hunter scrubbed a hand over his jaw, looking angry. She wasn’t sure if he was mad at her or himself. “You’re right. I apologize. It won’t happen again.” He turned away and stalked toward the distant line of hills.
Yeira stood rooted to the spot, watching him go. Regret was a sour taste in her mouth. She’d done the right thing. She knew she had.
But that didn’t make the loss of his addictive touch any easier to take.

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May 21, 2014

Character Interview Mira-nell from Wayfarer's Road @jfbowdancer #RLFblog #Fantasy

The Wayfarer's Road 

Interview with Mira-nell

Tell us about yourself, please.
I am Mira-nell and am almost four summers old though Mother says I am threee. I travel with her on the Wayfarer's Road. Folk think I'm strange, but I know more than most.
What is it that you want, but cannot have? Authors call this the conflict of the story.
I want to stop wandering. I long for a family and children to play with.
What's your internal limitation? Meaning, what is it about you that makes it so you cannot do what it is you need to do during this story? I am too small! My mother wants me to learn her bowdancer ways but there is too much of the world to explore. I just do not want to do it always from the Wayfarer's Road. Cannot interesting folk come to us?
What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty? I wonder if I will grow old on this road and be as lonely as my mother is. She does not tell me her heart hurts, but I see it.
What's your external complication? In the story world your author created, explain what it is you fear most.  There are mean folk on this road. Mother thinks I am too young to understand, but I know how they look at me and at her. I am afraid that one day she will be gone and I will be alone on this road.
Tell us about your significant other, that person who makes living worthwhile. My mother, Jan-nell, loves me most, but we have met a magical bardsinger on this road who tells the best stories. But he is not as grown up as mother and me.
What would that person say about you? Mother says I am quick-witted and so does Khrin, the bardsinger. He makes me laugh.
What is your family like? There has only been Mother and me. Khrin says we are family but Mother says we are not. I do not understand that. But I would like to live with Khrin. He cannot keep me as safe as Mother does, but he tries.
What special skills do you rely on? Mother has taught me much about wild foods on the Wayfarer's Road. I observe what herbs she uses to heal people in the towns and farms and to help new mothers bring babes into the world. I have not seen a birth yet, but I have heard many. I think people show who they are and what they intend, not by words but by the look of their eyes or the way they move.
If someone from your past showed up, who would you NOT want it to be, and why? Mother tells me good things about my father—how quick-witted he was and that is why I am so. She tries not to tell me bad things, but I overheard her speak to Khrin about him. I would not wish to meet him on the Wayfarer's Road. I do not think he is a good man.

Are you happy with the way your story ended? Why or why not? I am gloriously happy. About the Writer

But folks will have to find out for themselves.
You have the length of a tweet (140 characters) to describe yourself as a writer. Let's see what you can do. I come from a long line of liars and storytellers, and I have an avid curiosity. I collect odd facts and experiences and tie them together in intuitive leaps with words.
Why do you write?
I'm a retired freelance journalist. I made a living by writing other people's stories. I felt it was time to write my own—and not stories about me, but stories from my imagination.
What do you want to write next?
I am currently writing, Legacy, the last book of the Ruins Trilogy, my archaeology romance thriller set. Then I have a paranormal series I want to write about a Tennessee herb woman who goes to North Dakota to battle unusual beasties.
Are any sequels planned for this book?
The Wayfarer's Road, where Mira-nell first appears, is the second book in The Bowdancer Saga. The first three books (The Bowdancer, The Wayfarer's Road, and Warrior Women) are being re-issued by my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing, to join The Lost Song Trilogy, books 4-6 of the series. They will all be under one roof this summer. Later, I plan on three more books—one that continues Jan-nell's life and one each for her children. (Yes, I did say children.) The entire Bowdancer Saga follows Jan-nell's life from her village on the plains and out into the wide world as she searches for meaning and belonging.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your readers? I appreciate every person who has read (and those especially who have reviewed my books). An author will write because she (or he) must. But those stories might as well be hidden in a cave in some dark corner of the earth if they are not discovered and read. Only then do they come alive.

About the Author

Janie Franz comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Honed by the frigid Northern Plains and the high desert of New Mexico, as well as a degree in anthropology, her writing skill and curiosity generated thousands of feature and cover articles over a vast range of topics for numerous regional, national, and international publications.
She co-wrote two books with Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox (The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book), and self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It's a Business, Stupid!
She is a professional speaker and occasionally reviews books, CDs, and concerts. Previously, she ran her own online music publication, Refrain Magazine, and was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor.
The fifth book of her Bowdancer Saga, Refrain (the second book in The Lost Song Trilogy), was a Top Ten Finisher for Best Science-Fiction and Fantasy Novel in the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2013.

About the Book

Title The Wayfarer's Road, Book Two of The Bowdancer Saga
Genre Fantasy
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Healer Jan-nell and her precocious daughter meet a handsome wandering bard, carrying secrets and the hope of belonging.
The Bowdancer Saga continues in The Wayfarer's Road. Healer Jan-nell, now a woman traveling alone with her precocious young daughter on the Wayfarer's Road, meets a handsome wandering bard. But he is carrying his own secrets along with the priceless chance at hope for her and her child to belong.

Excerpt

The stranger stepped a bit further into the room and pulled back the wet hood of her sodden, brown cloak, revealing a delicate, fair face. A thick chestnut braid curved across one suede-covered shoulder like a docile snake.
"It is the changing moon," her soft voice answered. She untied the laces of her cloak and pulled the cloth free from her other shoulder, revealing the black curls of a child of three summers against her thigh-length tunic. The girl's little arms wrapped protectively around the woman's brown leggings.
The traveler shook the water from her cloak and asked, "Might I have a dry bed, sir?"
The innkeeper's eyes narrowed. "We be not offering beds to women alone. This be a respectable place."
"I am not alone," the woman answered, smoothing the child's curls from off her face. "Would you deny a child a dry blanket?"
The innkeeper frowned. "Good woman, if that indeed be what you are, it is not seemly to be housed here without your man."
"I take care of myself," she said and struck her great staff against the floor for emphasis, ignoring the customers' mumbled responses.

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Reviews
"There are few things more pleasant, after doing battle with the real world, than to sit down in the company of a talented storyteller and allow yourself to be carried away into another world. Janie Franz's rustic tale, "The Wayfarer's Road," book #2 of the Bowdancer Saga, does just that. There is great comfort immersing yourself in a mystical world not your own, and Ms. Franz is an excellent guide. The tale of the bowdancer Jan-nell, her precocious daughter, Mira-nell, and the mysterious troubadour Khrin, draws the reader in and holds him/her closely until the end. I look forward to the next in the series."— Doren Grey, author of the Dick Hardesty mystery series and the new paranormal Elliott Smith mystery series.
"Set amid a clash of cultures and gender, Janie Franz paints an enchanting story of creating alternative families. When three outcasts – a woman warrior, her precocious daughter, and a gay troubadour – are inexorably drawn together to escape the brutality of men on the Wayfarer's road, a journey begins that will sweep the reader along with them. These memorable characters and their passage to something beyond themselves will stay with you a long time." — Alan Chin, author of Island Song and The Lonely War.
"A charming tale of love and acceptance. The Wayfarer's Road reminds us that the things we seek are sometimes found in the unlikeliest of places." – Stuart Clark, author of Project U.L.F and Project U.L.F: Reacquisition.
"There is richness to this story. The richness of the tale is evident in the author's detailed plant knowledge which is effectively displayed in almost every major scene in the story. The richness of the tale is evident in the emotional journey of Jan-nelle and Khrin as they find that dream of happiness and home that everyone wants in life and they both want for Mira-nell. It is a rich tale that I found satisfying and I think you will too." -- Justine, Ebookaddictreviews.com
Janie Franz
"Fully enamored with The Bowdancer, the first book of this saga, I looked forward to reviewing The Wayfarer's Road with great anticipation. Once more, author Janie Franz did not disappoint. Not in the least. Her writing, characters and plot are exquisite…..While Jan-nell, Mira-nell and Khrin couldn't be more different, they complement each other well and, in a short span of time, they learn they are not so different after all. Aside from a life deeply rooted in song (but for young Mira-nell whose only interest to learn is on an as-needed basis), each is misunderstood, longs for belonging, and only cautiously trusts the other.
With childhood innocence, curiosity and honesty that cuts to the quick of social construct, young Mira-nell is instrumental in teaching Jan-nell and Khrin to question the comfort of their ingrained perceptions, including those of sexual orientation…..Khrin's intentions and Jan-nell's ponderance of their possibility reveals that one must honestly assess inner desire and realize that there are no rules of engagement but for those imposed upon us. If the interaction between these complex characters seems eerily confusing, the author is simply asking us, in a not-so-subtle way, to challenge the comfort of our own limiting assumptions." Kim Clune, The Pagan and the Pen Book Reviews
"Though this is a short novel, it is packed with adventure, suspense, and even romance. Janie Franz has created a society that could be anywhere and any time in a society before technology. She delineates the character of her main characters, digging deep into their own pasts to give us a true picture of each person. Away from her village, Jan-nell is a different person and I enjoyed meeting this new one who is a mother and must scrounge for food at times. She is feisty, but she can take care of herself too…. What I liked most about this book is the relationship between Jan-nell and Khrin. As they gradually become friendlier and friendlier the two of them get into giant scrapes, but as they travel The Wayfarer's Road they get closer and closer to their own goals. And as the story unfolds there is no way to know what the ending will be. I just enjoyed traveling the road with Jan-nell, Khrin, and Mira-nell. After reading this I feel like I truly know these people. With a straightforward yet slightly old fashioned way of writing and vocabulary, this book speeds along in the world that Janie Franz has created in The Bowdancer Saga. If you are looking for a way to escape from the modern world where you are constantly connected, reading The Wayfarer's Road will bring you to a time when traveling was fraught with danger and communication required face to face interaction." Barbara Ehrentreu, Barbara's Meanderings, author of If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor.

List of other books

The Bowdancer (Book One of the Bowdancer Saga)
Warrior Women (Book Two of the Bowdancer Saga) (coming this summer)
Verses (first book of The Lost Song Trilogy, Book Four of the Bowdancer Saga)
Refrain (second book of The Lost Song Trilogy, Book Five of the Bowdancer Saga)
Coda (third book of The Lost Song Trilogy, Book 6 of the Bowdancer Saga)
Discovery (Book One of the Ruins Trilogy)
Artifacts (Book Two of the Ruins Trilogy)
Sugar Magnolia
The Premier
The Neighbor

Books coming soon

Warrior Women (Book Two of the Bowdancer Saga) (coming this summer)
Legacy (Book Three of the Ruins Trilogy--work in progress)

Contest

A lucky reader will receive a copy of The Wayfarer's Road in whichever format you require: PDF, epub, or kindle. Just post a comment and I'll select one reader at random. Feel free to read about my books or connect with me at any of the links below.

Author Social Media

Blog (to read about my favorite hot authors): http://desireandcraving.blogspot.com/?zx=a58c7d1dc0587f08
Blog (to read about my favorite authors): http://janiefranz.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Janie-Franz/e/B00IT45VYY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
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