Snow Jewel- New Release

Title: Snow Jewel
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Series: The Jewel Chronicles, bk 2
Release Date: June 30, 2018
Cover Designer: Soxsational Cover Art
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All other links: books2read.com/snow-jewel

A princess on the run, an ex-slave returning home. Together they must battle prejudice and superstition if their love is to survive.

When Princess Milenda arrives at Isvärld, a land of snow and ice, she’s hoping for a quiet life with her new husband, Jaali. What she gets is anything but.

Even though happy he’s returned, Jaali’s people can’t see past the color of Milenda’s skin, a color she shares with the hated Mabaya Warriors who have been stealing and selling their children into slavery for centuries.

Freya, a goddess of the icy kingdom, tasked with protecting the princess and her man, doesn’t seem trustworthy, and their only true ally is Milenda’s flying lizard, Mjusi. But even the mutsi is acting strangely.

Will their love for each other and Milenda’s special gifts protect them from the dangers around them or will they meet their doom in the one place that promised them safe harbor?

Snow Jewel is the second book in The Jewel Chronicles. A unique interracial romance set against a breathtaking fantasy world with complex characters and twists at every turn. Let Snow Jewel take you to another world.

SJKiss

 

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The Jewel Chronicles 

Desert Jewel

book 1

on sale for 99c

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Author of We Will Always Have the Closet, Desert Jewel, and Loved You Always, Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

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Heart’s Prey-The Journey

I’ve been an introvert all my life. Sometimes I feel that in spite of all my travelling, my life experiences, my education I’ve never been quite part of the whole. I’ve always felt much like an outcast of sorts, always on the outside looking in. Always afraid of voicing my strong opinions and beliefs, but feeling them deeply within my heart nevertheless.

All my novels reflect that in one form or another. But none so vividly as Heart’s Prey.

The world of Heart’s Prey is a world divided by prejudice, where society is parceled out between castes. When that world is attacked by monsters of their own creation, life as they know is crushed. My characters come from different castes and must somehow ignore the fact that they were brainwashed into hating each other and unite in order to survive.

As the plot develops the reader comes to find out that even within the castes there are divisions, prejudice, and cruelty. Nothing is what it seemed to be.They come to discover that the woman from a privileged caste was not very privileged after all, that she had been subjected to terrible things at the hands of her own people because of flaws in their system. They come to find out that in the end they were all outcasts and that if they are to survive, they must destroy those barriers of suspicion and fear, and learn to build a society that doesn’t judge, divide, or punish  those who are different.

I’m very passionate about this book, my only self-pub so far, and its message. I love the characters and the way they stick together even when faced with the horrors of the genetically-engineered creatures loose in their ravished world.

I’d love to hear from you and find out what you thought of my book.

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Blurb

The world Jia and Cees knew no longer exists. Amidst chaos and terror, they find each other and fall in love—a love that goes against all castes’s rules. As their civilization is ravaged by genetically-altered beasts, the caste system relied upon for ages crumbles. The privileged and wealthy are just as vulnerable to the onslaught as are the disadvantaged.

Faced with impossible odds and unsettling secrets about their society, Jia and Cees must decide which part of their dying world to take with them and what they should leave behind. As they travel in search of a safe haven, they face unspeakable horrors, which shake deep-rooted beliefs and their old way of life.

Will they look past prejudice and centuries-old traditions to join forces against annihilation? Or will they give in to society’s pressure and fight alone?

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BIO

Natalina wrote her first romance at the age of 13 in collaboration with her best friend, Susana. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes. She’s the author of seven romance novels that reflect the amazing diversity of humankind and the universal power of love.

After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she’s taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

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The Vocabulary of Sex

Caution- This post contains words that may be considered offensive.

As readers and writers we know how powerful words can be. Words can make you happy or extremely miserable. Words can melt your heart or freeze it. As a linguist I may have an even more acute awareness of how powerful words can be and how we all should be more careful about how we use them.

I’m a romance writer, but I must confess I am not exactly in love with most of the romance novels being published today. I have a few favorites and I hope to find a few more as I read through the thousands of romances out there–both indie or traditionally published. For some time I thought the reason why I didn’t like many of the romances–including some written by very popular authors–was because a lot of them center their plot around sex scenes. But recently I came to realize that I was wrong. It is not the often overwhelming quantity of sex the characters in many novels are having, but the words used to express it.

Portrait of shocked pin-up girl

My current read is a dystopian romance written in collaboration between two pretty successful and popular romance writers. I came across it accidentally when I was desperately seeking other adult dystopian romances like my latest, Heart’s Prey (most of them are targeted at young adults). After I read the blurb, I was truly intrigued by the premises for the plot and decided to read it.

But let me back up a little bit. I am from an older generation (and no, I’m not geriatric quite yet) and a different culture. I was brought up to believe that words hold meaning and connotations, and that there are certain words you should never use unless totally necessary. Enter words like fuck, dick, pussy and others that are commonly used in today’s romance novels when describing a sex scene. These are all words I have–as many others of my generation and background–associated with a non-romantic sexual act. Maybe a one-night stand, or having sex just because well, it feels good. Or worse, associated with sexual assault. Being a feminist–no, it’s not a dirty word and I have never burned my bras or hated men because of their gender–I also connect those words with men talking about women as purely sexual objects, a word totally devoid of sentiment.

Let me make it clear that I do not endorse the ridiculous language used in romances twenty years ago or more when describing sex or the parts of the body involved in it. But if you are going to describe a woman’s or man’s genitals I much prefer–as clinical as they may sound–to read the words penis or vagina than pussy or dick. To me those words have nothing to do with love-making and everything to do with reducing the other person to a sex object.

Beautiful pair lays in a bed

I have given up on many romances because I just couldn’t stand the way the author used those words. It made me not respect or like the characters, and if I don’t like the characters I lose my interest in the story. In my current read, which is riddled with all of the above words and more, and has sex on almost every chapter, the words are not stopping me from reading and enjoying it. Why? Because so far (I’m about 70% through the book and I hope it doesn’t disappoint me because it’s a great speculative story) the use of such language is totally appropriate; it is part of the world building. In a world where people have sex just to have babies and where love is a thing of the past, it makes perfect sense that words like love-making get replaced with emotionless words.

Communication-Quotes-Transparent-Images

I agonize over sex scenes in my own books. Not because I’m a prude, but because I want to describe those moments in a way that shows how the couple feels about each other on a higher level than just the physical. In other words, I want them to make love, not fuck each other.

Have I ever used the above mentioned words? Yes, I have when it was appropriate, when I wanted to emphasize the way a character felt at that moment or when showing disrespect for another. I have used them when I was “building” a character’s personality or wanted to infuse the moment or situation in anger or hate.

I predict, as a linguist, that those words will lose most of their pernicious connotations in a few years. In fact it’s already happening. The twenty-or thirty somethings of today pepper their everyday conversations with them and obviously see nothing wrong with that. I’m not criticizing, just pointing out a fact. Language changes and evolves, with words taking on or losing meanings over time. That’s just the way it goes. However at this moment we are in a sort of overlapping of generations that view these words in very different ways, making it difficult for me to read and enjoy a romance that reeks of unhealthy relationships as I’m sure a younger one will read books like mine and think of them as not romantic, maybe even insipid.

Obviously there isn’t an easy answer for this, but tell me: where do you stand on this subject (no judgement) and do you think this is a generational thing or a passing trend?

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For a good laugh check out this Buzzfeed list of sexual words you probably didn’t know existed.

 

The Colonel and the Bee-New Release

The Colonel and the Bee

by Patrick Canning

New Release

Patrick blurb

 

  • Publisher: Evolved Publishing LLC; 1 edition (June 1, 2018)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2018

 

Blurb

A peculiar explorer and downtrodden acrobat span the globe on a building-sized hot air balloon, in search of a precious artifact and the murderous treasure hunter who seeks it.

Beatrix, a spirited but abused acrobat in a traveling circus, seeks more than her prison-like employment offers. More than anything, she wants to know her place in the world of the halcyon 19th century, a time when the last dark corners of the map were being sketched out and travel still possessed a kind of magic.

One night in Switzerland, the mysterious Colonel James Bacchus attends Beatrix’s show. This larger-than-life English gentleman, reputed to have a voracious appetite for female conquests, is most notable for traveling the world in a four-story hot air balloon called The Ox.

Beatrix flees that night to join the Colonel, and the two of them make a narrow escape—Beatrix from her abusive ringleader, the Colonel from a freshly-made cuckold. Beatrix, feeling the Colonel may have the answers to her problems, pledges to help him catch the criminal he seeks in exchange for passage on his magnificent balloon.

The criminal seeks a precious figurine, The Blue Star Sphinx, but he’s not alone. The Sphinx’s immense value has also drawn the attention of the world’s most deadly treasure hunters. A murder in Antwerp begins a path of mystery that leads all the way to the most isolated island on Earth.

What dangers await the Colonel and the acrobat?

 

Patrick

BIO

Patrick Canning was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Illinois, now live in California with his dog HANK, practicing the alchemy of writing: coffee turns into words, words turn into money, money turns back into coffee. Repeat until dead.

Patrick spends as much time as possible turning coffee into collections of words that look like books, shorts, and screenplays. Most of his stories attempt to look for the meaning of life in an adventurous way, and often employ humor, important since the search usually doesn’t turn up much. He is scared to use semi colons and rarely puts his seat back on airplanes.

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Whole Lotta Frogs-Review

WHOLE LOTTA FROGS
RELEASE BLITZ
AUTHOR: SAMATHA HARRIS
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 19, 2018
COVER DESIGNER: T.E. BLACK DESIGNS

REVIEW

I was offered an ARC from the author with no expectations of a review, but I had to write a review for this one. I finished last night (I was up very late because I couldn’t put it down) and Samatha Harris did not disappoint me.

Whole Lotta Frogs is funny, sweet, and hot without going overboard with sex. The characters are flawed but very likable . By the end I felt I knew Len and Ellis as well or better than some of my own friends.

Harris’ use of blog posts in between chapters is brilliant. The blogs were believable and fun to read while giving Len (the FMC) and the plot more depth.

I’ve been known to collect quotes from books I liked and I collected quite a few from this one.  “…but you love me, Lennox. The only one who doesn’t believe it is you.” and “Wishes are like prayers fueled by hope and desire.” are just a couple of them.

Those of you who have followed me for a while know I love funny and this romance didn’t let me down–it had me laughing through the pages up to the very end.

Five enthusiastic stars for A Whole Lotta Frogs!!

My name is Lennox Brooks and I’ll admit, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I don’t take the big risks, I cover my insecurities with snark, I’ve shown my crazy a few more times then I would’ve liked, and I’ve been trying, and failing at love pretty much since I first grew tits. 
Weirdos, Mama’s boys, the over-coiffed, and underwhelming, I’ve been out with them all, just read my blog. I’ve got horror stories that would curl your toes and singe your nose hairs, but none of them compare to the toad who started it all, Ellis Walker.
He was the boy next door, the charming, infuriatingly gorgeous one who broke my heart and disappeared without a trace. Now he’s back and determined to throw my life into chaos, dredging up painful memories just when things were getting good.
But the thing is there are always two sides to every story.
I’ve spent the better part of my life hating him for everything he put me through, but without that resentment clouding my judgment how will I ever resist him?
Love is complicated, appearances are deceiving, and sometimes you have to kiss a whole lotta frogs before finding your prince.

I stepped into an enormous bowl made of trampolines. Bright neon-green padding ran in a grid-like pattern across the entire arena, separating each trampoline into its own little rectangle. The springy black fabric covered every available surface, including the walls.

I stepped down into the closest square, giving it a test bounce, and smiled. It doesn’t matter how old you get. It’s impossible not to smile when bouncing on a trampoline.

We had the entire bowl to ourselves. I could still hear the music and the screaming, but it sounded distant and not nearly as deafening.

Ellis bounced back and forth from square to square, the squeaking of the springs mixed with my own tentative steps.

“Is this part of your plan?” I asked.

Ellis stopped jumping and rested his hands on his hips to catch his breath. “I could’ve gone with the cliché dinner and movie, but I figured you could use a little bit of fun.”

I laughed. “You’re right. I could use some fun. I’ve been a little stressed since this guy from my past came back into my life and won’t leave me alone.”

Ellis shrugged. “Maybe he likes you.”

I laughed and jumped to another square. “He thinks he does.”

“Trust me, Len. He knows.”

“Okay, so what’s next? Or was your grand plan to make me work out against my will.”

Ellis held up one finger and disappeared through the curtain of netting, only to reappear with a bag of bright red balls.

“What is that?”

“I was thinking about what you said about me torturing you when we were younger. I was a punk kid trying to get the attention of the girl he liked, but I get how it may not have felt that way to you.” He dropped the bag at my feet and turned it upside down, emptying six rubber balls at my feet. “This is your chance to get me back.”

Ellis made his way to the other side of the bowl and opened his arms. “Let me have it, Len. All I ask is that you don’t aim for the face.”

“You want me to hit you?”

“If you’re ever going to give us a chance, you need to let go of the past, and if this is what it takes to get you to forgive me then so be it. I’m willing to take the hit.”

I picked up a ball, testing the weight in my hands and eyeing him as he stood, arms wide open, feet spread apart, muscles tense and prepared for impact.

I wanted to hit him. I really did. But I am an adult, and adults don’t solve problems by hurling rubber projectiles.

“I can’t,” I said. “This is childish.”

“You scared?” he asked that trademark smirk of his spread wide across his face.

“I’m not scared. This is stupid.”

“I agree, but continuing to punish me for the mistakes I made as a kid is also pretty stupid.”

Anger welled inside of me and I drew back, hurling the ball as hard as I could toward his chest. The ball hit its target with a loud thud and bounced away.

Victory swelled inside my chest.

“See?” Ellis said. “Feeling a little vindicated, aren’t you?”

“Shut up,” I said, hurling the next ball toward him.

 

Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid. 
 
Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.
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Coming Soon- Dean Mayes’s The Artisan Heart

 THE ARTISAN HEART

by DEAN MAYES

Featuring a strong female lead, THE ARTISAN HEART captures the essence of small town romance by bypassing the norms of gender roles, and beautifully portrays a second chance at love, all snuggled in the valley of a picturesque Australian mountain village.

Artisan

BLURB

 Hayden Luschcombe is a brilliant pediatrician living in Adelaide with his wife, an ambitious event planner. His life consists of soul-wrenching days at the hospital and tedious evenings attending his wife’s lavish parties.
When a betrayal coincides with a traumatic confrontation, Hayden flees. His destination is Walhalla, nestled in Australia’s southern mountains. With his city life in ruins, he stays, and picks up the pieces of his life by fixing up the home his parents left behind.
A chance encounter with a deaf young girl introduces Hayden to Isabelle Sampi, a struggling artisan baker. While single-handedly raising her daughter and trying to resurrect a bakery, Isabelle has no time for matters of the heart. Yet the presence of the handsome doctor challenges her resolve. Hayden, protective of his own fractured heart, finds something that awakens dormant feelings of his own.
As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future.

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BIO

 The author of three novels and an Intensive Care Nurse, Dean Mayes returns to his romantic roots with a heart warming story about starting over and rediscovering love, set in the former gold mining town of Walhalla, Australia where he spent much of his own childhood.

PUB DATE SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

PRAISE FOR DEAN MAYES

“Mayes’s characters inspire sympathy, and I kept reading to learn more about them.” ~ San Francisco Book Review (Gifts of the Peramangk)

“Dean Mayes clearly cares deeply about his characters, and his dedication to them shines through. I highly recommend this tale.” ~ Long and Short Reviews (Gifts of the Peramangk)

“…a great read that was fascinating medically and had great character development…” ~ Manhattan Book Review (The Recipient)

Central Avenue Publishing 

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The Not-So Glamorous Life of a Writer

Yesterday I had my second signing at a Barnes & Noble here in Northern Virginia. I have been trying to get them to let me have one at a local branch but the district manager won’t return my emails. A writer friend was able to get three other branches in the area to hold multi-authors signings and I managed to snag two of those.

The first one was kind of a sleepy event. Not many people visiting the gigantic store but somehow we all managed to sell books and interact with many people. The second one was held in a wealthier part of Northern Virginia and the place was teeming with humans. The four of us got pretty excited. If we had a good turnout in a sleepy branch, here we should make a killing, so to speak.

Ashburn BN signing

Here’s how it really went:

  • Several kids came to ask for our candy.
  • Several people refused to accept free swag.
  • One very nice aspiring  author asked us for some guidance in the publishing world.
  • An older lady came and asked each of us if we used the F-word in our books (I use it very sparingly and only because it was pointed out to me that my characters are too proper, lol). Once she found out that pretty much all of us did in one way or another, she asked us why did you use such an offensive word. She didn’t buy anything.
  • When I offered them my FREE postcards, they almost always took the one advertising an event I’ll be participating in but which holds absolutely no information about me or my  books.
  • A very kind older man came to talk to us and had us all laughing with his jokes. He didn’t buy anything but thanked us for all the work we do (he used to  work for one of the Big Five)
  • Lots of people entered the raffle to win books from all of us, but most of them didn’t buy anything.
  • We heard a lot of, “I don’t read romance” (totally understandable. It’s not for everybody, of course).
  • People thought we were the information desk and came to ask us about items in the store.
  • We left the event with about $6 each for one book sold from each one of us.
  • I sold a M/M paranormal romance book to a lady who told me she didn’t read romance at all.

Moral of the story: don’t judge an event by how posh the neighborhood is. Buying power and romance doesn’t always jive, apparently.

The Haar- A poem by Leslie Spilman

Today I bring you a poem written by a friend of mine. I met Leslie when I lived in Scotland many years ago and we’ve been friends (however separated by an ocean) ever since. She lives in a gorgeous cottage on a cliff on the eastern coast of Scotland and often experiences the beautiful, almost mystical weather event called the Haar (sea fog).

Here’s a poem she wrote some time back about the Haar. Thank you for letting me share it, Leslie.

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The Haar

Wraiths of sea mist
drift through my open door
like visitors
from the past.

Wrapping their cold fingers
around my hands as I write
reminding me
they were here.

I see them flit past
silently… silently…
on their way back
and through eternity.

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All I Want by Megan Lowe-New Release

All I Want

Title: All I Want
Series: Rocking Racers #5
Author: Megan Lowe
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Sports/MM Romance

Release Date: June 2, 2018
Blurb
He’s all I ever wanted, but what I could never have
Bishop Royal is a sleaze. He’s a cheat, a copycat, a bastard. He knows what you think of him and he doesn’t care. All he cares about is his best friend, Jake.

Jake Ellis has loved Bishop Royal for sixteen years. He’s been by his side
through everything: deaths, hardships, and triumphs.
When Bishop’s life is pulled out from underneath him, he figures with nothing left
to lose, it’s time to tell Jake how he feels.

Under pressure to be the picture-perfect boyfriend and his father’s perfect son, will
Bishop fold or go after the only thing he’s ever truly wanted?
Purchase Links
99c for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Also Available
Books 1-4 are Contemporary Sports/MF Romance
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Author Bio
Megan Lowe is a lost journalism graduate who after many
painful years searching for a job in that field, decided if she couldn’t write
news stories, she would start listening to the characters whispering stories to
her and decided to write them down.  She writes primarily New
Adult/Contemporary Romance stories with Sport and Music themes. She is based on
the Gold Coast but her heart belongs to New York City. When she’s not writing
she’s either curled up with a good book, travelling or screaming at the TV
willing her sporting teams to pull out the win.
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