Just Imagine

Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Love Does Not Come Easily to the Cursed. Soul of a Viking. #timetravelromance



Hello all! It's finally time for Tait and Lauren to have their tale told. She was an especially interesting character to write about considering how uptight she is. But Tait was a great counterpart and several moments had me chuckling. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Happy reading!  

Description


Lauren refuses to believe that her sisters traveled back in time to tenth-century Scandinavia. Cybil must be off doing one thing or another. And what of Samantha? She returned then vanished again with a bunch of uncivilized ruffians who called themselves Vikings. While thankful the crude men finally left, she’s now caught in an unusual situation. No matter how hard she tries, she cannot step foot outside her Winter Harbor chalet.

Desperate to return to the twenty-first century and figure out why he and Lauren were cursed by a Nidstang, Tait Sigdir struggles with what feels like half a soul. But that’s not all. When he finally returns to the future, he realizes how troubling things really are. Though drawn to Shannon, he can’t seem to stay away from her sister, Lauren. Hard to believe considering how difficult she is to be around. Even for a flirt like him. Yet if he’s not near her, he becomes uncharacteristically sullen.

Caught in an unraveling hex that steers them closer to the enemy, Tait and Lauren are forced on an adventure that tests them in more ways than one. Friendship emerges. Passion ignites. Even so, love does not come so easily to those who are cursed. As it turns out, they must manage through a whirlwind of unfortunate events that will either bring them together or drive them further apart.



Excerpt


“Who goes there?” came an all-too-familiar voice from the door.

Lauren sighed and called out. “It is none of your concern, Tait.”

Evidently, he thought differently because seconds later he entered, a frown on his face as his eyes swept around the lodge. “I heard a man in here.”

“It was just Einar,” she began, her words trailing off as she gestured towards him only to find he’d vanished.

Tait’s brows slammed together. “Einar? I do not know that name.”

“He was just right here,” she murmured, glancing at the rear door. “He must have slipped out the back.”

“Nobody has come or gone since your sisters left,” Tait said, troubled.

“I can assure you they did. A woman then a man. Einar.” She folded her hands in front of her and focused on the bigger problem. “You had no right to barge in here. Please leave.”

“Actually I had every right.” He continued eying the place looking for Einar. “This is my lodge, woman.”

His lodge? How unfortunate. “My name is Lauren.”

Tait shrugged as an annoying grin tugged at his lips. Apparently, he was done searching out another man. He gestured at the water.  “You will bathe then join your sisters in the main lodge, yes?”

“That was the plan, yes,” she allowed.

“Then please,” he headed for the corner table, “do not let me disturb you.”

She frowned as he filled a mug with what appeared to be ale.  “What are you doing?”

He gave the mug a pointed look. “Drinking.”

“Then please do so outside.”

“But this is my lodge.”

“Then I will need another lodge.”

“No.” Tait shook his head. “I can only be so far away from you and will sleep nowhere but here.”

Her eyes widened. “We are not sleeping in the same room.”

“We will if we have to.” He gestured at the tub again. “Right now you do not need to worry about sleeping but bathing.”

Lauren inhaled deeply and remained calm. “As much as you would probably enjoy it, I am not bathing with you here.”

“Well, I am not leaving because whether or not I saw anyone enter, I heard a man in here. So I will not leave you alone.” He considered her before he murmured something and a tall screen appeared in front of the tub. “There. Now I will not be tempted by you, woman.” He removed his fur, plunked down and narrowed his eyes at her when she narrowed her eyes on him. “Now I can focus my thoughts on Shannon.”

Lauren ignored her strong reaction to his words and smoothed her expression. Regardless, there was no controlling the flare of defiance that screamed inside her. A defiance that had her doing the last thing she intended. Something she found extremely appalling and would never normally do. Something she would judge harshly if she saw another woman do it. Especially one who was married.

She tested his resolve about Shannon as she held his eyes and took her time stripping down before she sauntered around the screen and got into the tub.



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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Passion. Adventure. Even Hel Herself. Fury of a Viking. #timetravel



Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2017 is starting off well. As usual, I’m keeping busy. Lots of exciting things happening. Several of my titles will be available in audio this year. Also, a family tree is now available for not only the MacLomain Clan but their Viking Ancestors. Soon I’ll be adding description links to the characters so that you can learn more about them.

I wanted to take a moment to thank all my devoted readers for continuing to follow my MacLomain adventures. You’re the reason I continue to write, and my characters are brought to life. To show my appreciation, I’ll be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to a random subscriber every time I release a newsletter. So if you haven’t had a chance to sign up yet, be sure to join my mailing list.

I have another release coming April 17th. Available for pre-order now. So be sure to scoop up your copy of Fury of a Viking, Book Four in The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin.

Here’s what you can expect…


Shannon usually prefers the dead to the living. But then running a funeral parlor offers a different perspective. Peace and escape. Or at least it did until the day she’s summoned by her sister to their Winter Harbor Chalet in Maine. Now she knows the truth. The veil between worlds is far thinner than she thought. In fact, it’s so thin she can’t prevent her and her daughter, Emily, from slipping back in time.

Of dragon blood, Matthew Sigdir has suffered more loss than most. A wife. Sister. Now, because of a vicious enemy, possibly his son, Håkon. Infuriated, determined to find his child, he heads north over unforgiving land. What he doesn’t expect is a twenty-first century little girl and her beautiful mother, Shannon, to join him on his quest. Nor does he expect Hel to show them favor. And there’s no turning away Loki’s daughter when she offers help. Now they have to navigate not only through the elements of a wicked Scandinavian winter but Helheim itself, the underworld of the dead.

While they travel, Matthew and Shannon are forced to face their pasts. What they left behind and all that haunts them. As they do, old wounds heal. Hope grows. Love sparks. Through it all, Emily leads them ever closer to Håkon. She’s the key. But is it already too late? Will they make it in time to save Matthew's son? Or is the enemy already one step ahead of them? 



Saturday, January 7, 2017

New Viking Romance Boxed Set! Warriors of Odin. #readwarriorsofodin




Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2017 has treated you well so far. If you love Vikings and are looking for some new reading material, look no further. Warriors of Odin Boxed Set is now available. Only .99 cents and FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!

Five Viking Romances that promise passion, adventure, and all things Viking. Welcome to Warriors of Odin, a collection of five fabulous Viking tales from some of the top authors in historical romance. Visit a world where the men from the north ride the waves in search of conquest, passion, and power. This bundle includes:

Kingdom by the Sea by Kathryn Le Veque: A Viking raider and a warrior maiden square off in this exciting novella of king's gold, tall tales, romance, and reincarnation.

The Rover Defiant by Anna Markland: Torstein's bravery has earned him his freedom, but the Viking nobility will never forgive or forget he was once a slave. The high-born woman he loves has too much pride to give herself to a former thrall.

Shieldmaiden's Revenge by Emma Prince: Madrena burns hot for revenge against the man who attacked her village and shattered her life five years ago. When a dark-haired stranger named Rúnin washes ashore in her village, he promises to be her guide in exchange for his freedom, but when the fires of desire rival those for vengeance, will the fierce shieldmaiden choose love over war?

Love's Fury by Violetta Rand: Duty, passion, revenge, and seduction create the spellbinding tale of Konal the Red and his conquest, Silvia.

Rise of a Viking by Sky Purington: Hearts are tested and lives forever changed when a modern-day woman is swept back in time to tenth-century Scandinavia. Now a Viking set to inherit the throne must battle a powerful enemy to protect not only her but his people. 

Limited time offer so be sure to scoop up your copy at Amazon

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Yuletide Time Travel Romance. A Viking Holiday-The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors' Kin.



Season’s Greetings! I hope everyone is enjoying a fabulous holiday season so far. I'm thrilled to announce Sean and Svala's holiday novella is finally available. It was interesting writing a festive story around a Christian and a Pagan, but love most certainly found a way. Not to say it was easy! But then nothing about Svala really is. Nonetheless, it was a fun ride and I hope you enjoy!  

Be sure to join A Viking Holiday on book tour for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.. Find out more details about everything below!

Description


Having time travelers in your life isn’t always easy. Given that he’s said goodbye to several of them over the past few years, Sean O’Conner knows that better than most. Now his best friend Megan has returned from tenth-century Scandinavia to modern day Maine. Not only has she aged over twenty-five years, she hasn’t traveled through time alone. Her troublesome daughter Svala is with her. 

Of dragon blood and proud to be Viking, Svala Sigdir has no use for the twenty-first century and makes it evident to all around her. Even so, she will protect her mother at all cost. Meanwhile, she needs a man. Sean to be exact. Despite his aversion, she is determined to make him hers. 

Svala might be after him, but Sean wants nothing to do with her. At least that’s what he tells himself as the holidays arrive and he struggles to keep peace in what’s become a battleground instead of a festive Winter Harbor home. At his wit’s end, he finally calls on an old friend’s help. Or so he had hoped. Cast beneath the spell of a powerful Scottish wizard determined to protect his Viking Ancestors, Sean and Svala go on an unexpected yuletide journey. As it turns out, there’s only one way to break free from the spell. A life-altering choice that might very well cost Sean both his sanity and his heart.


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Excerpt


Svala wrapped her fur cloak around her shoulders and started to breeze past them as she eyed his crew mate. “So you’re New England’s finest, are you?”

“Naw.” Nick chuckled and nodded at Sean. “Most ladies think he is.”

“Hmm, I’m not sure about that,” she said before she started down the hallway.

“I don’t think so.” Sean grabbed her wrist and stopped her. “Nick, go make sure none of the guys head this way. Tell them I’m catching a rat or something.”

Svala winked. “Or a dragon.” 

“Where you gonna hide her, Cap?” Nick kept grinning. “She don’t look like the type of woman who’ll keep hidden if she’s decided otherwise.”

Svala cocked a grin at Nick. “I think I like you.”

“I know I like you, beautiful,” he returned.

“Just make sure no one heads this way, Nick,” Sean reiterated. “And I’ll make sure Svala stays hidden.”

“I betcha will.” Nick chuckled as Sean pulled her toward the meager sleeping quarters. 

“I am not staying down here.” Svala started to fight him. “I want to be on deck. I want to help you fish.”

“Hell, no.” Sean grabbed her before she could bolt in the opposite direction. “My men won’t be able to concentrate on work with you around.”

Her eyes met his. “Then you must not lead them well if they are so easily distracted.”

It felt as if the narrow hallway only grew smaller as her eyes pinned his…as he remembered with vivid clarity how she’d felt against him last night. “You know damn well the effect you have on men.”

“I did not dress in modern day clothes.” She pulled the cloak off her shoulders. “See, I am dressed like a Viking again.”

His eyes fell to the fur-trimmed, leather tunic. To her unmistakable curves. He swallowed and tore his eyes away. “What difference does it make? You’re still trouble.”

“Only when I dress like a modern-day woman, yes?” Svala cocked her head. “That is why you fought for me last night, is it not? Because you desired me in those clothes?” She frowned. “Now I am not wearing them. You will not desire me so they won’t either. There will be no trouble. You will not be ashamed of yourself.”

Sean had no idea what to make of her logic. “I’m not ashamed of myself.” But he had been when he overreacted last night. “And trust me, sweetheart, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. You’re gonna distract my men.”

She didn’t press closer, but her words made the hallway seem even narrower as she murmured, “Am I distracting you now, Sean? Is that why you seem so convinced?”

When they hit a small swell, he braced his hand against the wall beside her head and bit back desire. “Just do as I ask, Svala. I don’t need any trouble, okay? Not with my men.” He ground his jaw. “This is my livelihood. Please don’t screw it up.”

Shockingly enough, Svala looked as though he’d slapped her. “That’s not why I’m here, Sean…” She trailed off, clearly upset before she gathered herself. “I just wanted to see you fish.”

“Commercial fishing isn’t like normal fishing.” He shook his head. “There’s not much to see, really.”

Except when the nets came up. That feeling of excitement and expectation before they found out how big a load they’d caught. 

He had no idea what to make of the look on her face. She was vulnerable in a way he’d never seen her. “I’m sorry,” he murmured, not sure what to say, still confused about why she hadn’t already traveled back in time. “Maybe I can take you out fishing another time?”

“Maybe,” she said softly, her eyes alarmingly gentle as she stepped close. “So how are you going to keep me entertained while you hide me away?”

Ah, there she was. The little Viking he knew so well. Except this time he wasn’t stepping away.

Something about having her on one of his boats, on his turf, on the high sea…was different. Somehow, though it was on his territory, they had found common ground. The sway of a ship. The pulse of the ocean beneath them. 

“Sean,” she whispered, clearly sensing a crack in the wall he’d kept between them. Slowly, inch by inch, she unzipped his jacket. “If I understand things correctly, you aren’t needed for hours yet. Why don’t we use that time in a pleasurable way, yes?”


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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Paranormal and Suspense. Highway Thirteen to Manhattan by Kourtney Heintz.



Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Kourtney Heintz, author of Highway Thirteen to Manhattan, Book Two in The Six Train to Wisconsin Series.

Genre: Paranormal and Suspense

Publisher: Aurea Blue Press

Date of Publication: 11/1/2016

ISBN: 978-0989132688

Number of pages: 420
Word Count: 94,000

Cover Artist: Creative Paramita

Book Description 


His secrets almost killed her. Her secrets may destroy them both.

Kai is recovering from a near-death experience when she realizes something isn’t right. Her body is healing, but her mind no longer feels quite like her own. Her telepathic powers are changing, too. She can’t trust herself. The darkness growing inside of her pushes her to use her telepathy as a weapon.

Oliver clings to the hope that he can save their marriage, even though he was the one who put her life in jeopardy. As his wife slips further and further away from him, he becomes increasingly obsessed with bringing the man who ruined his life to justice.

The sequel to The Six Train to Wisconsin is a genre-defying tale of love and consequences. Once again, award-winning author Kourtney Heintz seamlessly weaves suspense and paranormal intrigue into a real-world setting, creating characters rich in emotional and psychological complexity.

Amazon    BN    Kobo    iTunes

"Family secrets, paranormal suspense, and romance collide in Heintz's fascinatingly original tale. A compelling read that will keep you guessing and haunt you long after the last page is turned." -Gretchen Archer, USA Today Bestselling author of the Davis Way Crime Capers

Tour Giveaway! 5 signed copies shipping to anywhere in the world AND Kourtney’s Giveaway open from October 1-December 1 - prizes include naming a character in her next book, Butternut gift basket, and a $50 Amazon gift card. Enter on her Facebook page: http://gvwy.io/bwh02f9
  


Grab Book One for Free October 1- December 1
 The Six Train to Wisconsin



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Let’s Interview…


How did you come up with the title?

For me, love is a journey, never a destination. So my title is meant to be thematic and hint at the difficult journey my characters will take.

Since this is a sequel, I tried to build off of the initial title in terms of style and theme. In the first book, The Six Train to Wisconsin, my characters live in Manhattan near the 6 subway line and use it to get to work every day. Obviously, that subway line doesn’t run to Wisconsin so the title was meant to convey how difficult their journey was.

In Highway Thirteen to Manhattan, Kai and Oliver are dealing with the aftermath of everything that happened at the end of the first book. Highway 13 is a state highway that runs through Butternut, but does not leave the state of Wisconsin. However, in this book, circumstances cause both Oliver and Kai to return to Manhattan. It isn’t an easy journey for either of them.

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

When I was picking the location for my story, I wanted to give my characters a “fish out of water” experience. Since they were city dwellers, moving to another city wouldn’t do it. Plus that wouldn’t help Kai’s telepathic issues, which are caused by too many people being too close to her. I decided on a small town in the Midwest. I searched my atlas and I found Butternut. It fit all the requirements of my story and I adored the name. When I went to visit, I fell in love with the town and its people.

If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

Right now, it felt like we were wandering through the graveyard of our love and neither of us was courageous enough to admit it.

Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

The book cover features my main characters, Kai and Oliver.  There is a huge disconnect between them in this story, which is why they aren’t facing each other. Oliver and Kai must deal with the aftermath of her abduction and his lies. And they’re forced to confront the consequences of Kai’s own sins of omission. There is incredible tension and uncertainty between them. My cover designer came up with this concept based off the back cover summary and my notes on the emotions and conflict in the book. I think she nailed it! 

Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.

There is a scene at Brennan’s Green Brier with Oliver and his high school sweetheart Michaela. I spent a night at the bar, trying to capture all the details of what it was like there, so I could write this scene. I repeatedly peppered Terry Brennan, whose family owns the bar, with questions to make sure I got it right. I really love all the details about the bar’s history and I wanted to give Oliver a tie to that bar, so I worked that into the opening with Oliver and Dan reminiscing about old times there. It’s just one of my favorite scenes in the book—I smile every time I read it.

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

I’m a big fan of mystery and suspense. I’ve never written a story that didn’t contain elements of both. I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal. I can’t seem to write fiction without something paranormal at its core. But it’s not about genre for me. I always set out to tell a good story.  I love to get inside my characters’ minds and explore their true motives and deepest emotions, which contributes a more literary flavor to my writing in this series. I tend to cross genres so there’s not much I wouldn’t try. I have an idea for a paranormal romance and a sci-fi suspense both milling about in my head.

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

I do. This is the second book in a limited series, The Six Train to Wisconsin Series. I see it as four books to tell Oliver and Kai’s story, so there are two more on the horizon.

I also have a YA time travel mystery series, The Unbelievables, written under my pen name K.C. Tansley. The first book was about a girl who accidentally time traveled to solve a murder and break a curse. The second book continues her adventures and will be out next summer. I see it as  a 6-7 book series.

CHAPTER 1

Kai

Like most daughters, I loved my parents, but right now, I wanted them anywhere but here. Hospitals are always hard, but my parents managed to make it harder. My head was already pounding from all the thoughts and emotions coming at me. Not just from the patients and their families and the doctors and the nurses, but also from my mother and father. Instead of shielding their thoughts and trying to make it better for me, they let their emotions crash into me.

My mind wasn’t strong enough for all this. Neither was my body. Tubes eviscerated my right hand. A giant bruise blossomed beside the newest IV line. A cast wrapped around my left wrist. My broken pinky finger had been set and taped to my ring finger. The back of my head was held together with stitches. Beneath the blanket, my body was covered in bruises.

I didn’t feel any physical pain because of the medications the doctors pumped into me. They said I needed it to recover, but it made my body feel like it wasn’t mine. And the steady drip of opiates didn’t just steal my physical pain; it left me unable to form the psychic shield I needed to protect myself from the misery swirling around me.

Mom sat in the chair closest to my bed. She wore one of her flowing peasant blouses and faded jeans. Her hair was pulled back in a messy bun, and light brown strands slipped loose to hang around her face. The corners of her hazel eyes were pinched with worry.

Her hand hovered over my arm, unsure where to touch me—if she should touch me. Finally, she laid her hand gently on my thigh. “You just need to rest here for a few more days.”

She was wrong. I needed to get out of here. Away from all these thoughts as soon as possible. “I want to go home.”

Mom shook her head. “You need to let the doctors help you.” Like they did last time.

Her thoughts slammed into my brain. She thought hospitalization was the solution to everything.

“Please. Look at what’s happened to you. You can’t go home until you’re better,” she said. I can’t lose you. I won’t let that happen.

I didn’t know how to reassure her. Yes, I’d almost died, but being here was hurting me more than it was healing me. I swallowed all the words I wanted to say and hoped for Caleb to come back soon. My brother would know how to talk to Mom, how to make her understand.

The doctor came in to check on me and Mom’s agonizing fear rose up. Don’t let her have brain damage.

Dad patted Mom’s shoulder. He looked like an older, surfer version of Caleb. Both were tall and muscular with curly blond hair. Dad’s hair was a darker blond streaked with platinum from decades in the sun and salt water. His eyes were greener than Caleb’s, but like Caleb’s, they were rimmed with purple bruises. When Dad smiled, sun lines radiated from his eyes and cut across his cheeks. But I hadn’t seen them since he’d arrived at my bedside. Instead, waves of exhaustion rolled off him and rippled over me, right before I heard his thoughts. I can’t go through this again, watching you slip away.

My younger sister Naomi lounged in the chair in the corner as far from me as she could get. She had Mom’s light brown hair and thin frame and Dad’s green eyes and height. She looked nothing like me and only distantly related to Caleb. Her long legs looped over the armrest as she flipped through a magazine. Thanks for ruining Christmas break. I’d rather be anywhere but here.

I felt the same way.

At least Oliver was gone for the moment. Mom had convinced him to go home, take a shower, maybe even sleep. I couldn’t bear his guilt; it was so thick it choked me.

Oliver. My husband. God. I’d never loved and hated someone so much at the same time. I still couldn’t believe he’d called my parents. He knew how bad they were at handling me. How could he have thought that having my family here would be good for me?

Bitterness frosted my thoughts. I was in a hospital, bruised and battered. I’d almost died. That’s what Caleb had said. He was the only one willing to tell me the truth. Oliver had said it was bad, but he wouldn’t say how bad. He couldn’t bear to admit what happened to me.

About the Author 



Kourtney Heintz is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Six Train to Wisconsin (2013), the first book in The Six Train to Wisconsin series. She also writes bestselling young adult novels under the pseudonym K.C. Tansley. Heintz is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Heintz has given writing workshops and author talks at libraries, museums, universities, high schools, conventions, wineries, non-profits organizations, and writing conferences. She has been featured in the Republican American of Waterbury, Connecticut; on WTNH’s CT Style; and on the radio show, Everything Internet.

Kourtney resides in Connecticut with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and three quirky golden retrievers. Years of working on Wall Street provided the perfect backdrop for her imagination to run amok at night, envisioning a world where out-of-control telepathy and buried secrets collide.

You can find out more about Kourtney and her books at: http://kourtneyheintz.com