Thursday, June 27, 2013

In the Spotlight...Amy Mullen

I'd like to welcome fellow Astraea Press author Amy Mullen and A Stormy Knight to my blog


About The Author:

Amy Mullen is a freelance writer and romance author living in Corning, NY, with her husband, Patrick, two children, Rayna and Haylen, and an orange cat named Steve. Her first novel is a medieval romance titled “A Stormy Knight.”

Amy has been writing about love both lost and regained since she was old enough to have her first broken heart. Her love of history and her intermittent jaunts into amateur genealogy led her to a love affair with writing historical fiction. When not writing, she snaps pictures, enjoys the company of her children, and when time allows, loves to bury her nose in a good book






Tag:

Will his love burn brighter than his need for revenge?


Book Back Blurb:

In twelfth century England, Gemma de Vere and Nicholas de Reymes find love at a young age. Too naïve to truly understand what is happening, their fledgling relationship is torn apart by political games and scheming minds. Nicholas and his family disappear into the night and Gemma is left with a shattered heart.

Seven years later, Gemma still harbors a broken heart, and retreats into a life in which she will not be foolish enough to fall in love again. Mysterious deaths and accidents begin to plague those living within the walls of Blackstone Castle, and her father falls ill. She has no choice but to seek the assistance of King Henry.

Help arrives in the form of her childhood love, the handsome and imposing Nicholas, who is now a fierce and loyal knight bent on revenge. The pain and anguish he feels over the fate of his family casts Gemma as his enemy. To him, she represents all the misfortune in his life as he tries to keep her at arm’s length and far away from his heart.

Their journey towards truth is riddled with treachery and danger from an unlikely source. Will they find their way back to each other, or will his need for revenge outweigh the love he feels in her arms?


Excerpt:

"You defy me," he said as he spun around to face her, "and you do it at every opportunity. You have caused me great pain, and I will have no more of it. You lead my men astray and cause them to be weak. I cannot be lord with you undermining my authority within these walls!"
Gemma steadied her voice, her only option clear, "I shall leave then. I will go to my uncle in Wales. We shall remain married. There is nothing that can change that, so your hold on this land is secure. 'Tis all you care for. I once loved it here, but living with a man who does not know how to trust me is too much to bear."
"You are my wife, like it or hate it, and you will do as you are told! You will stay out of my way, and you will not step foot outside of the keep until I say so." His entire body was tense, his voice harsh.
"Nay," she said while lifting her chin, "I shall leave. What you do not know, Nicholas de Reymes, is that I love you."
He froze as she spoke but did not say anything.
"And because of that love" she continued, tears falling in earnest, "I can no longer abide this life. For the second time, loving you has been a mistake. My feelings betray me, and they anger you. I will be gone before I cause you more pain. I will take Isabel with me, and my father can come when he is up to travel. All I ask is you treat him well in my absence."
"You will do no such thing!" he said. "It makes no sense, and I will not have you telling me what you are going to do. You are my wife, and you will do as I say. I will keep you safe, and I cannot do that if you are not here."
            "'Tis not up to you," she said, her voice low, "and you will not stop me. I love you, but I must be stronger than love. I realize now you feel I am the cause of all pain here. 'Tis only right I lift the burden and leave so all who reside here are safe." She abruptly left the room, unable to face him for a moment longer.


Buy Links:






Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Blast with Elaine Cantrell

Please join me in welcoming Elaine Cantrell and The Enchanted to my blog today!







Blurb:

Forced by his father into a marriage he didn’t want, Prince Alan soon finds that his bride isn’t the sweet, submissive creature he expected. Morgane has the heart of a dragon and beauty beyond compare, but she isn’t thrilled about the marriage either. When black treachery threatens the kingdom, Morgane and Alan embark on a perilous journey that has an excellent chance of ending in failure and death for them and all their people.


Excerpt:


Morgane advanced on her enemy with deadly purpose.

"No!" Alan roared. "She has a knife."

Morgane tried to retreat, but it was too late. Aili's knife caught her in her thigh. Blood spurted as if from a fountain. Renweard was closer to her than Alan. His sword rose. Aili breathed her last as Morgane swayed and slipped to the floor.

Alan ran across the room and cradled her in his arms. In seconds he was coated with blood. "ʺWe must stop the bleeding!" he cried. "Where are the healers?"

ʺI will find one." Renweard left the room at a run with King Bowdyn right behind him.

Morgane's eyes fluttered open. "Your arms around me. No heaven can compare.ʺ

Alan pressed a kiss to her hair. "I love you, my brave Morgane."

Morgane sighed. "I could not let you face this battle alone.ʺ


Author’s Note:

After spending most of the last ten years writing contemporary romance, I decided it was time for a change. So in the spring of 2012 I wrote my first romantic fantasy, The Enchanted. Several challenges immediately presented themselves. First, I knew that I didn't want the fantasy to overpower the romance which meant I'd have to balance my world building details with the romantic elements.

Challenge two was finding characters who'd fit into my newly created world. I didn't want plastic, stereotypical characters. I wanted real people with warts and human imperfections, people whose lives and problems would draw you in and make you care about them.

My third challenge was to craft a plot that included fantasy elements, yet at the same time allowed my characters to be in charge of their own destiny and in the process grow and change.

I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I enjoyed the experience so much I have another fantasy/sci fi romance in the wings waiting for December and its turn at publication. Given my new love affair with fantasy romance, will I write contemporary romance again? I sure will. I'm working on one right now, and I just love it. It will be my first full length romantic comedy.


Author Links:

The Enchanted is sold at most online retail outlets.

Reviews:

A sweet story, easy read, fairytale/fantasy/romance 5 stars. 
                                                  
Teresa Cypher on Amazon
A wonderful story that has swept into my heart. I will be remembering this one for a long time and reading it again.
                                                  
Tifferz Book Reviews on Goodreads

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Help me celebrate the birthday of J. Andersen's At What Cost

During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side. While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. But an easy decision becomes difficult when Maggie’s aunt discovers her secret and sets out on a mission to stop the abortion, putting a kink in Maggie’s plan. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel. *Young Adult RONE finalist award and the USA Best Book Award finalist in Youth Issues * Special Note: At What Cost can be purchased for 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for this week only! Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Astraea Press | Kobo | Smashwords | Audible “You’re pregnant?” It was a harsh half statement, half question punctuated with clenched teeth. “Wha—?” Maggie was too shocked to realize what had happened, but when she looked back to where she stood, she spotted a sheepish looking Lauren mouthing the words, “I’m sorry.” “Ugh.” “Well, are you?” His grip on her tightened. “Justin, you’re hurting my arm.” He let go and motioned for her to sit with a quick thrust of his hand toward the table, but his eyes revealed his anger. He was furious, but then she saw a hint of fear hidden behind his golden irises. In those moments, she was five years old again, the day she’d broken her mother’s favorite vase. Her mother had loomed over her, drilling her for information. Pointed and yelled. This time, it was Justin. “Are you, or aren’t you?” His eyes crinkled, his brow furrowed, and a deep crease appeared on his forehead. Trying to control his reactions proved to be impossible, and soon, his leg bounced under the table, and he wiped the nervous sweat on his palms off on his jeans. This still wasn’t the place to talk. The cement walls of the school were beginning to feel like a jail cell; anywhere she went, Maggie felt trapped. “Can we talk about this after school?” Maggie said, trying to be assertive. His knuckles turned white as he clenched his fists. “No, we can’t. If you’re pregnant, I need to know.” This wasn’t how she had pictured it. She was supposed to plan the conversation and the place. Definitely not in the corner of the cafeteria with people walking by who might hear her secret, a secret she hadn’t decided how to handle. Thank you so much, Lauren! Justin grabbed her wrists from across the table. “Maggie, it’s a simple yes or no question. Are. You. Pregnant?” She could feel the rage rolling off him in waves, and she knew stalling was not an option. “Yes.” The silence grew louder, and Justin didn’t move. He stared at her, his eyes shifting across her eyes in a quick staccato. She didn’t know she could feel so uncomfortable, so she tried to ease that discomfort by looking away. When she met his gaze again, he glared at her, not saying a word. He never spoke. Not when he let go of her wrists, not when he got up from the seat across from her, not when he left the room. Not a single word.
Author Info: Jessie Andersen lives in a small town in Western New York with her husband and three kids. A former English teacher, she now spends her time writing while the kids are at school and the baby is sleeping. She volunteers at the local library and sings in the church band. You can find information about her books at her website, and you can follow her blogs at her personal blog and her book blog. You can also follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Finding Inspiration...

I don't know about other authors and where they find inspiration for their wonderful works of art but I find mine in every day places such as television or a song.

My first release, Whiskey Whispers of the Past, was inspired by the song, "That's Why I'm Here" by Kenny Chesney. The song is sang from the point of view of an alcoholic who is in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. It talks of losing every thing because of the demons he faces. The song became the inspiration for the male lead in Whiskey Whispers of the Past, Chance Daniels. Chance is a recovering alcoholic who moved from big city Los Angeles the small town Jonerstown, looking for a new start.

The female lead in my second, soon-to-be-released, book, Love Flourishes, was inspired by a character from an episode of CSI called "You've Got Male." She is a bit of an introvert who doesn't leave her house. She order from the internet and eats delivery food. This inspired Melinda "Mindy" Caldwell. She's an agoraphobic who hasn't left her house in more years than she cares to count.


The career of the female lead and her sister in my contracted story, Conflicted Jewel, comes from my stint as a jewelry salesperson, both costume and fine. I love jewelry and it seemed logical to have my characters doing something I loved. Sage and her sister, Brynne, run a small, family owned jewelry shop in Jonerstown, Pennsylvania.

My point is, inspiration is all around me. I can find it in every day activities or from past experiences. I have a notebook where I jot down my many story ideas. Some may never come to life but you just never know.

Thanks for stopping by and have a fantabulous day!

Lynn