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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Historical Romance. Scent of the Soul by Julie Doherty.



Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Julie Doherty, author of Scent of the Soul, a Historical Romance.

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Date of Publication:  February 11, 2015

ISBN:  978-1-61935-705-1
ASIN: B00SZ0SKUE

Number of pages: 288
Word Count:  91,000

Cover Artist: Leah Suttle

Book Description


In twelfth century Scotland, it took a half-Gael with a Viking name to restore the clans to their rightful lands. Once an exile, Somerled the Mighty now dominates the west. He’s making alliances, expanding his territory, and proposing marriage to the Manx princess.

It’s a bad time to fall for Breagha, a torc-wearing slave with a supernatural sense of smell.

Somerled resists the intense attraction to a woman who offers no political gain, and he won’t have a mistress making demands on him while he’s negotiating a marriage his people need. Besides, Breagha belongs to a rival king, one whose fresh alliance Somerled can’t afford to lose.

It’s when Breagha vanishes that Somerled realizes just how much he needs her. He abandons his marriage plans to search for her, unprepared for the evil lurking in the shadowy recesses of Ireland—a lustful demon who will stop at nothing to keep Breagha for himself.

Book Trailer  




Available at   Amazon    Amazon UK    Amazon Canada

Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of the following: 10 bars of soap open to US Shipping or one of five Kindle Gift Copies of  Scent of the Soul.

Let’s Interview!


What inspired you to write this book?

It was a combination of things. The first occurred at a gas station while I was waiting in line to pay. A man stepped into line behind me, and I felt this unbelievable energy emanating from him. It was really bizarre, because he was not the sort of guy I’d ever notice. In fact, if I met him in an alley, I’d probably run the other way, but as he stood behind me, I could feel the heat of him against my back. It’s been about twenty years since that happened, and I’ve never forgotten the power of it. I’ve often wondered why I found him so magnetic. There was nothing sexual about it—just a magnetic pull, like I already knew him somehow. Were we soul mates in a past life? Were our lives somehow meant to connect? I’ll never find out, because I paid for my gas and ran out of there like my pants were on fire. It’s crazy, I know, but it led to the question: what would happen if someone bumped into a soul mate from a past life? Would we recognize him/her? How?

It wasn’t until later that I decided to write a novel featuring reuniting soul mates. I was researching my ancestry at the time, and I came across Somerled of Argyll. Although much of his story has been lost to time, we know he was a hero long before Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. In fact, he’s the progenitor of many of the Highland clans so popular in fiction today. Without him, those clans may have disappeared altogether, since it was Somerled who wrenched Scottish lands from the hands of the Vikings. He’s also credited with inventing the moveable stern rudder, which changed the way men sailed. If that’s not enough to earn a spot in a novel, what is?

I combined the “soul mate recognition” spark with Somerled, threw in a little supernatural scenting ability, and SCENT OF THE SOUL was born. Readers will recognize the “gas station event” in the scene where Somerled appears behind Breagha in the slave corner.

How did you come up with the title?

My female character recognizes Somerled by scent, so SCENT OF THE SOUL made perfect sense.

If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Somerled, but I’d want more than an hour. As for why, well, heh heh.

Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

Somerled has risen from obscurity in western Scotland. He plans to cement his position as a man of considerable wealth and influence by marrying the Manx princess, but when he meets Breagha, a slave with a supernatural sense of smell, she turns his world upside-down. He resists the intense attraction, knowing Breagha offers no political gain, and he can’t have a mistress making demands on him while he’s negotiating a marriage his people need. Besides, Breagha belongs to a rival king, one whose fresh alliance Somerled can’t afford to lose.

Somerled thinks he has time to decide between power and love. What he doesn’t know is someone else wants Breagha, too—someone who will stop at nothing to keep her for himself.

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

Somerled was a twelfth century warrior king with a vast fleet. It seemed only fitting to feature a longship, since he owned many of them. The cover image hints of a voyage to some mysterious place, which is pretty much what happens in the novel. We journey with Somerled, not to a place, but to himself  . . . and to fulfillment.

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

I finished a second novel called SCATTERED SEEDS. This story features Ulster-Scots Edward and Henry McConnell, who flee impoverished, eighteenth century Ireland with the one valuable thing they still own—a torc that once belonged to Somerled of Argyll, their ancestor. Unfortunately, they arrive in Philadelphia at the outset of the French and Indian War.

Currently, I am writing my third novel, which sees one of Somerled’s present-day descendants unearthing a torc on her Pennsylvania farm. Curious about its origins, she travels to Scotland to investigate, where she’ll find more than she bargained for.

What sort of personality does your hero have?

Somerled is a passionate and driven man with a wicked temper and an inferiority complex due to past insults and his mother’s Norse blood.

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

I loved writing the scene where Peader the monk is cooking turnips over an open flame because I was furious at someone in real life that day. The monk paid the price, unfortunately.

Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

Believe it or not, my car. It’s the only place I can find complete privacy.

Thank you so much for the spotlight and interview. I know how much time blogging takes. I truly appreciate your dedication and willingness to share my work.

My pleasure, Julie. Wishing you much success. Scent of the Soul sounds like an amazing read.

Excerpt


As Godred’s oarsmen shoved off from the jetty, Somerled wondered if there was any man less suitable to deliver a marriage proposal. Godred of Dublin was coarse, marginally Christian—indeed, marginally sane—and easily riled. Nevertheless, King Olaf liked him, and for that reason alone, Somerled had selected him as his envoy.

“No side trips,” Somerled shouted before Godred was too far away to hear. “Ye have three places to go and that’s it: the Isle of Man, your clan, and back here.” Godred was prone to unscheduled detours.

Unless bad weather or the scent of easy plunder pulled Godred and his thirty oarsmen off course, Somerled would have Olaf’s answer in a few days. If Olaf agreed to the marriage, Somerled would add a wife to the items decorating his new castle at Finlaggan and eventually, the Isle of Man to his expanding area of influence.

The nobles would respect him then. Half-breed or not.

Behind him, a door squealed on one of the two guardhouses standing sentinel over the Sound of Islay. The small building spat out Hakon, his chief guard, another man of Dublin birth and temperament. Hakon strode the length of the jetty to join him. “I have every confidence the Norns will weave Godred a successful journey, my lord king,” he said, his words puffing white clouds above his tawny sheepskin cape.

“If your goddesses have woven anything, it’s an unfortunate headwind,” Somerled said. “Godred is forced to tack.” He closed his cloak and secured it at his throat with a brooch he once plucked from a Viking who no longer needed it. “The wind promises hail. My proposal will be delayed.”

“Aye, likely,” Hakon said, his hair and beard whipping into copper clouds, “but it will hasten Olaf’s reply. Do not despair, my lord. Ragnhilde will marry ye soon enough.”

Despair? Somerled stifled a laugh. Did Hakon think he had feelings for a lassie he had never met? He was about to tease his guard about being a romantic when Hakon stiffened.

“Another ship,” Hakon said, looking past Somerled’s shoulder.

Somerled spun around to inspect the northwestern waters of the channel separating Jura and Islay—the jewel of the Hebrides and the island that served as the seat of his burgeoning kingdom. “Where?” he asked, squinting.

Hakon thrust a finger toward the fog bank blanketing the horizon. “There, at the promontory, in that pale blue strip of water. See it?”

At first, Somerled saw nothing but swooping terns and ranks of swells. Then, an unadorned sail appeared. It crested on a wave, dipped low, and vanished.

“Should I sound the horn?” Hakon asked.

Somerled raked his fingers through the coarse, wheaten mess slapping at his eyes and held it at his nape while he considered his response. Behind them, the signal tower on Ben Vicar was smoke-free. Across the sound, the towers on the frosty Paps of Jura were likewise unlit, although clouds partially obscured their peaks. The Paps had a commanding view. If a signal fire blazed anywhere, the men stationed there would have seen it and lit their own.

“My lord king, should I sound the horn?” Hakon impatiently palmed the battle horn dangling at his broad chest.

Men began to gather on the jetty.

“Let us wait. It is only one ship, and it looks to be a trader. The signal fires would blaze by now if it were someone worthy of our concern.” Somerled glanced back at the mud and thatch cottages shouldering against one another. At their doors, the bows of half his impressive fleet rested on the shoreline, a sandy slip extending well into the distance. The rest of his ships sheltered at the far side of Islay, in Loch Indaal. A signal fire would deploy them quickly and, perhaps, needlessly.

“Alert the village. Have Cormac ready Dragon’s Claw,” he said, “but send only the nyvaigs for now.” The nyvaigs were smaller, but no less deadly. They would be out and back quickly.

Hakon sprinted through the gathering crowd and past the guardhouses. He leapt over a pile of rocks with surprising agility for a man of his years and size. In no time, specialized warriors and oarsmen were boarding the boats. A pony thundered inland, its rider instructed to warn, not panic, the people of Finlaggan.

Though Somerled carried his mighty sword, he had dressed for warmth, not battle. His mail shirt, aketon, and helmet hung in his bedchamber, two miles away in Finlaggan. He singled out a boy in the crowd. “Lad, find me a helmet and a shield, and be quick about it.”

The boy shot like an arrow toward the cottages.

Somerled held his breath as he watched the nyvaigs head out. At the first flash of steel, he would blow the battle horn. His men would light the towers and he would board Dragon’s Claw. The foreigner would be sorry he entered the Sound of Islay.

The ship’s features were barely discernible, but he could see that its high prow lacked a figurehead. He was trying to identify the banner fluttering on its masthead when the ship’s sail dropped and scattered gulls like chaff in the wind. His heart hammered against his chest as he waited for the foreign vessel to sprout oars; it didn’t. It stalled—a sign its crew had dropped anchor.

Dragon’s Claw bobbed next to him at the jetty, her top rail lined with colorful shields and her benches holding sixty-four of his savage warriors. Cormac gripped the tiller, but he would move aside when Somerled barked the order to do so. He would serve as his own shipmaster in the face of an enemy.

Low and curvy with a dragon’s head exhaling oaken flames from her prow, Dragon’s Claw was his favorite vessel, not because she was new or particularly seaworthy, but because he had wrenched her from the last Viking to leave his father’s lands.

The memory of that battle warmed him and occupied his thoughts while the nyvaigs swarmed around the foreigner. Then, they swung about, furled their sails, and rowed for home like many-legged insects skittering on the water’s surface.

When the boats reached the beach, Hakon jumped from his nyvaig and jogged through ankle-deep water, apparently too impatient to wait for his men to haul the vessel’s keel onto the sand. “Well, my lord king,” he said, “it seems to be the day for marriage proposals. It is an envoy from Moray, who comes at the behest of Malcolm. He asks to speak with ye regarding Bethoc.”

“Malcolm MacHeth . . . the Malcolm MacHeth . . . wants my sister?”

He had met Malcolm MacHeth only once, at King David’s court, on a night spoiled by ill-bred lassies who had mocked his foreign garb and speech. Malcolm, a bastard nephew of the Scots king, had observed his humiliation and pretended not to notice.

Yet here was Malcolm of Moray, a claimant to the Scottish throne and a known rebel, seeking Bethoc’s hand in marriage. Tainted bloodline or not, Somerled was apparently worthy of notice now.

 About the Author




Something magical happened in the musty basement of Julie Doherty’s local courthouse. She went there intending to research her ancestry, not lose herself in a wealth of stories, but the ghosts of yesteryear drew her into the past and would not let her go. The trail left by her ancestors in those yellowing documents led her from rural Pennsylvania to the Celtic countries, where her love of all things Irish/Scottish blossomed into outright passion.

She became particularly interested in Somerled, self-styled "King of Argyll" and progenitor of the Lords of the Isles. In 1164, he led a fleet of 164 galleys up the River Clyde in an all-or-nothing attempt to overthrow the Scottish crown. What would lead a man of his advanced years to do such a thing?

Of course, history records he did so because the king demanded forfeiture of his lands. But the writer in Julie wondered ...what if he did it for the love of a woman?

Those early ponderings led to SCENT OF THE SOUL, Julie’s first novel, coming soon from Soul Mate Publishing.

Readers will notice a common theme throughout Julie’s books: star-crossed lovers. This is something she knows a bit about, since during one of her trips to Ireland, she fell in love with an Irishman. The ensuing immigration battle took four long years to win. With only fleeting visits, Skype chats, and emails to sustain her love, Julie poured her heartache into her writing, where it nourished the emotional depth of her characters.

Julie is a member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, Central PA Romance Writers, The Longship Company, Perry County Council of the Arts, and Clan Donald USA. When not writing, she enjoys antiquing, shooting longbow, traveling, and cooking over an open fire at her cabin. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, who sounds a lot like her characters.





Saturday, April 4, 2015

Time for More Passion in 9th Century Scandinavia. Viking Claim-The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors.



Happy Spring! It’s been a brutal winter here in New England but the snow is finally melting and it won’t be long before everything starts turning green again. Likely because it’s been so frigid in my neck of the woods, I made sure to travel back not to winter but summer when ‘visiting’ ninth century Scandinavia.

Though the Viking King and Kol were around plenty, this time it was all about Raknar. The more serious of the brothers, I loved further exploring his backstory. What made him a little rough around the edges. This is the first time I’ve written a hero that’s not only a hardened warrior but a sexy single father who adores his son. And how exactly was a man like that going to work out with strong-minded, emotionally unavailable New Yorker, Veronica? Better than I ever would’ve anticipated. Naturally, the physical attraction is there but they form a bond that ultimately helps them overcome old wounds.

This is definitely one of my more serious tales but it suited this couple and in the end, they were one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. So if you’re ready, I give you the next story in The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors…Viking Claim.

Blurb


Veronica tries to cope with losing her sister but is drawn to everything that seemingly took Megan away. A magical stone. Rune staves. A Viking king. The far distant past. It all seems too impossible to believe. Until she slides down a snow swept hill near Maine’s, Raven’s Nest cliffs straight into a reality she never could have imagined.

Of dragon blood and brother to the king, Raknar Sigdir ‘the hunter’ is determined to welcome any woman from the future if it means he can conquer anew for his people. For those he cares about most. However, Veronica, the irresistible woman thrust back in time, soon has his mind less on loot and more on all the things he forgot about himself.

Honor. Decency. Pride. The ability to love.

A pact with the seers hangs in the balance when a ninth century Viking gives in to his heart to protect a modern day woman from a sworn, powerful enemy…his former wife. Rash actions mean an uncertain outcome. A new fate unfolds. An ultimatum is given. A claim must be made. Now all that lies ahead is a challenge that might very well mean the loss of an unparalleled passion found across time. 


Excerpt


Raknar was heading in her direction.

Though tempted to take a healthy swig from her skin, she didn’t. Instead, Veronica stood up straighter and waited for him to approach. Believe it or not, she’d never seen him look quite as intent as he did at this moment. As if the devil was coming for her soul, but he’d get there faster. Purposeful, focused, he strode up to her. Before she could say a word, he yanked her against him.

Not a kiss.

Not quite.

But so very close.

Eyes nearly shut; his mouth hovered centimeters from hers, his hot breath a whisper over her lips. It was as if they were reliving that moment when he first pulled her down onto the Drakkar longship. Save now they were far closer, unparalleled need pulsating and palpable between them, like a living, breathing thing.

“Raknar,” she whispered before she could stop herself.

Her eyes slid shut. His lips came closer, hovered, rested against hers but didn’t move. Nothing existed but the feel of him against her. A renewed fire, a blatant want that had been there since the moment they first laid eyes on one another.

A shiver raced through her.

Lightning fast, he dug one hand into her hair and the other around the side of her neck. Still they didn’t move. Lips close. Breath mingling. Heat didn’t just flare but roared between them, an untouchable element made to mock, to accentuate the place both fought but needed so very much.

Somehow they were better at this. Wanting but not taking. Needing but avoiding. Pushing but not going all the way. Yet they had that in common. An unwillingness to scale the walls they’d erected.

His lips moved away and his cheek pressed against hers, his whisper close to her ear. “Come. Dance with me, woman.”

In any century.

Raknar gave her no chance to respond before they moved closer to the fire and she was in his arms, her body swaying slowly against his. Veronica dropped the skin of mead, not interested in her drink as she floated, lost. Just like she’d been that first night. Gone within his arms.

Gone within him.

Though it only felt like moments, the night drifted away. The planet turned. The stars moved. Vikings laughed, danced, partied, sang, but never once did Raknar let her go. They moved, touched, but never kissed. His hands drifted over her body not lewdly but worshiping, as though he memorized her every curve, every line that made up her form.


Viking Heart


Coming June 4th
Available for pre-order.

Amber is heartbroken. Supposedly because of a pact made between three ninth century Viking brothers and Mt. Galdhøpiggen’s seers, her sisters have vanished into the distant past. Struggling with grief, she leans on her part-time fling Sean until even he is torn away. Or so it seems.

Of dragon blood and brother to the king, Kol Sigdir ‘the lucky’ has been determined to avoid his fate since the moment he promised himself, sight unseen, to a woman from the future. He adores all women and it’s no easy thing knowing he has to eventually pledge his heart to just one…until he meets Amber. A spirited artist and musician, she captivates him. When she offers him a soul-deep glimpse at what was missing from his life, he soon wonders how he will ever be able to let her go.

As Kol and Amber grow closer, they face multiple threats. Eager for revenge, King Alrek declares war. To make matters worse, he has an ally nobody could have anticipated. One determined to see everything come to an end.

Hearts struggle, rip apart, and then are rebuilt when the laws of time are tossed aside. A thousand years means nothing when two star-crossed souls are meant to connect. Even so, will the strength of love be enough to withstand a powerful enemy and bridge a gap across time already closed?




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Friday, March 27, 2015

An Angel. A Demon. Sinful Seduction. Three Wishes by Debra Dunbar.



Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Debra Dunbar, author of Three Wishes, a Paranormal Romance.
 
Publisher: Anessa Books 
Date of Publication: March 7, 2015 
ISBN: 978-1505671193
ASIN: B00RKE5608 
Number of pages: 229
Word Count: 79,000 
Cover Artist: Phatpuppy Art 

Book Description


Dar helped his foster sister become the ruler of Hel, and helped her free the enslaved humans from the elves. It’s about time he helped himself – to a fun week of mayhem in the Windy City. Collapsing a few buildings and corrupting politicians is an ideal vacation for a demon in Chicago, but Dar didn’t count on a beautiful angel sabotaging his fun and putting him to work.

Asta is an angelic enforcer, scanning for demons in her assigned territory and sending them to an early grave. Unfortunately, the latest trespasser from Hel has diplomatic immunity - but immunity doesn’t mean she can’t coerce him into helping her track and dispatch the powerful demon that’s been cycling in and out of her radar for the last few days.

Demons are the sworn enemies of every angel, but Asta must learn to trust Dar or the dark presence that is growing in Chicago will spread - and this particular enemy has the skills and knowledge to send human civilization back to the dark ages.

She has one week left as an enforcer before she returns to her heavenly home – one week to catch an elusive monster, and one week to safeguard her heart from the demon who is determined to seduce her to sin.

Available at  Amazon     iTunes    BN

Let’s Interview!


What inspired you to write this book?

My books feature demons and angels and I’ve dealt with summoning in other novels.  I began to think of this as a moral dilemma for the angels – the summoned demons aren’t here through their own actions.  How can an angel condemn one to death when he/she was dragged here through a human’s magic?

That dilemma of delivering preemptive justice was the perfect situation for my angel and her very unusual demon counterpart.

How did you come up with the title?

The villain in this book is a genie in a bottle – a demon who was summoned from Hel six hundred years ago and trapped inside a vessel until he performs his contracted service.  All it takes for him to be released is for the human currently owning the bottle to make three wishes.

And you can imagine how pissed off he’s going to be after being stuck in a bottle for six hundred years.

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

I grew up in Northern Indiana an hour away from Chicago.  It is such an amazing city – the museums, the diverse neighborhoods 

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

“I get the feeling you’re going to smash my face in or rip one of my arms off.  No sense in getting my clothes all bloody.  You should probably get naked too, although I think those pants are beyond salvage.  Pity.  I like the way they hug your ass.”

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

I’m working on the first draft of Sins of the Flesh, which is book 2 in my Half Breed Series.  The heroine is a half-succubus/half-elf, and her love interest is an incubus.  Yes, there’s a lot of sex in these novels!

Sins of the Flesh takes place in Maui where Amber is meeting Irix after having been separated from him for six months.  Their reunion turns to more than sex on the beach when a farmer performs a fertility ritual with dire consequences.

Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in.

The main Imp Series is available in audio, and the first in the series – A Demon Bound – is currently in the process of German translation.

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

So far everything I’ve written straddles the urban fantasy/paranormal romance/dark fantasy lines.  The constants in my writing so far have been dark humor and paranormal elements.  I’ve thought of branching into horror, but that’s probably it. 

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

I love writing series and series spin-offs!  The Imp Series has six out of the ten books already published, and there are currently three stand-alone spin-off novels (of which Three Wishes is one).  I also have a spin-off series about a half succubus – the Half Breed series.  

Excerpt


Stupid revolving doors.  What idiot thought these things were a good method of entering a building? She stood watching as the door made its circuitous route. Could she time it so she actually managed to get in between the sections?  The last time, she’d been knocked backwards onto the pavement. 

That wouldn’t be a graceful entrance given her current dress and sky-high stilettos.

“Need help?”

She recognized his voice even before the faint energy trickled across her skin with its siren song.  How did he do that?  Thank Aaru all demons weren’t as stealthy as Dar, or her job would be nearly impossible. As she turned, she realized that with her heels, she towered over him.  In flats, she was the same height as the demon, but the shoes she loved so much put Dar’s chin right at her bosom — a fact he’d quickly realized and had taken advantage of.

“Want me to get the door for you?” he asked her breasts.

“Did you make reservations?  Otherwise we can skip the revolving door and just head over to Taco Bell.”

The demon chuckled and brushed a curl from her bare shoulder, his fingers lingering against her neck while his eyes explored the skin north of her cleavage.  “Of course I made reservations.  I didn’t want you to give me any excuse to not eat tonight.”

“I swore I’d play your game tonight as long as you help me catch the other demon. I’ll eat anything you put in front of me.” 

Why did that cause the demon to nearly fall over laughing?  Did he have something in particular he wanted her to eat, the thought of which was giving him such amusement? 

Oh.  Yeah, that probably wasn’t the best thing for her to say given his proclivity toward the sin of lust.

Wiping his eyes, still chuckling, Dar strode forward, stopping the revolving door to the angry protests of those trapped inside.  “Then let us dine, my angel.”

Asta took a deep breath and walked past him, putting her palms on the front of the glass as she’d seen the humans do.  Hopefully he wouldn’t bump her out as he had the other evening.  With these shoes on, she’d probably land face-first on the plush carpet.

“Ready?”

She should have known he’d squeeze into the tiny space behind her, pressing the full length of his form against her back and rear.  Asta tried to scoot forward, only to find herself sandwiched between the demon and the glass.  The humans yelled at them to move, but Dar held still, his body warm and powerful.

“Maybe we should just stay here a while.” His hips shifted and Asta felt something stir to life, hard and firm against her buttocks. 

She’d told him no sex, but rubbing against her in the doorway wasn’t off limits.  And it was most definitely brought with it welcome sensations.  “We need to move,” Asta said with regret.  She tried to push the door forward,

“I love pissing them off,” he whispered against her hair.  “So much anger over such a minor inconvenience.  The gifts of Aaru seem to have turned them into a bunch of minor demons, don’t you agree?”

It did seem a fair comparison at the moment, but Asta hadn’t squandered her century here.  She’d seen sparks of divinity in the human race, and no demon was going to convince her otherwise.

She shifted to look at him over her shoulder, rubbing herself along his body in the process.  Oh stars, this felt good.  If only those darned humans weren’t causing such a racket. “You’re being inconsiderate.” Her voice was breathless. “They have a right to be angry. And they’re still very early in their evolution.  Give them another ten-thousand years or so, and I think you’ll find they’re more angelic.”

About the Author



After majoring in English with a concentration in Medieval Literature and Folklore studies, Debra promptly sold out to the corporate world, occasionally writing marketing copy and op/ed articles for a local city paper. By day, she designs compensation programs, after dark she stuffs her nose into obscure mythology, and feverishly writes her novels. A DEMON BOUND is her debut novel.

Debra lives on a farm in Maryland with Sweetie, three sons, and a Noah's ark of four legged family members. She drives an old PT Cruiser, couldn't carry a tune if you duct taped it to her back, and enjoys an occasional cosmopolitan (heavy on the vodka). On a good day, she jogs and horseback rides, hopefully managing to keep the horse between herself and the ground. Her only known super power is 'Identify Roadkill'.





Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Shapeshifting Wolves Battle for Life and Love. Desert Moon by Anna Lowe.



Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Anna Lowe, author of Desert Moon, Book One in The Wolves of Twin Moon Ranch.

Genre: PNR 
Publisher: Twin Moon Press
Date of Publication: March 4, 2015 
ASIN: B00TEEHDPS 
Number of pages: 133
Word Count: 38,800 (roughly 40k) 
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

Book Description


Lana Dixon knows well enough to steer clear of alpha males, but Ty Hawthorne is as impossible to avoid as the sizzling Arizona sun. Her inner wolf just won’t give up on the alpha who’s tall, dark, and more than a little dangerous. One midnight romp under the full moon is enough for Lana to know she’ll risk her life for him — but what about her pride?

Ty puts duty above everything — even the overwhelming instinct that says Lana’s the one. She’s the Juliet to his Romeo: forbidden. And with a pack of poaching rogues closing in, it’s hardly the time to yield to his desires. Or is love just what this lonely alpha needs to set his spirit free?

There’s more than meets the eye on Twin Moon Ranch, home to a pack of shapeshifting wolves willing to battle for life and love.

Available at Amazon

Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win 3 ebook copies Desert Moon.

Let’s Interview!


How did you come up with the title?

The title comes right out of the setting and the story. There's something magical about the desert at night, and a full moon brings out the impulsive and unpredictable side in all of us. It's a perfect place to throw a destined mates together – just let them try to resist the temptation! (And they do try, silly things.) 

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

I wanted a strong, moody location that could act as a character in itself and immediately knew Arizona would be the perfect setting for my dark and dangerous series. I come from the East Coast (like the heroine of Book 1, Lana) but I fell in love with Arizona the minute I arrived there for a job on a ranch. That special place quickly inspired the Twin Moon Ranch of the books, from the gateway to the dining hall with its massive stone fireplace, in addition to the overall ranch layout and the overall issues that influence the ranch management (land and water rights, environmental issues, etc). It didn't take long for my imagination to sprinkle werewolves and hot alpha heroes into a place I love and make it even better!

Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

Desert Moon is a second chance love story between a thorny Romeo and his stubborn Juliet.

Lana Dixon knows well enough to steer clear of alpha males, but Ty Hawthorne is as impossible to avoid as the sizzling Arizona sun. Her inner wolf just won’t give up on the alpha who’s tall, dark, and more than a little dangerous. One midnight romp under the full moon is enough for Lana to know she’ll risk her life for him — but what about her pride? 

Ty puts duty above everything — even the overwhelming instinct that says Lana’s the one. She’s the Juliet to his Romeo: forbidden. And with a pack of poaching rogues closing in, it’s hardly the time to yield to his desires. Or is love just what this lonely alpha needs to set his spirit free?


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

This is one of my favorite scenes, when Ty and Lana talk for the first time in the ranch's dining hall, where everyone shares meals a couple of times a week:

                “Hi, she mumbled, her eyes meeting his. The blue hues of her irises were so varied and vivid, he could swear they were swirling and changing as he looked on.

                “Hi,” he said. Well, he tried to. His lips moved but the sound didn’t quite make it out. He struggled to remember where he was and why.

                Right, dessert. He reached for a piece of pie exactly when Lana did. Their hands froze halfway to the platter, both wavering over the key lime pie. The last slice.

                “Cody!” He cursed his brother under his breath.

                Lana pulled back. “You take it.”

                “No, you.”

                Her eyes narrowed at him. Crap. He hadn’t meant for it to come out as an order, but she was already gritting her teeth.

                “No, you,” she ground out.

                “I’m good.” He tried taking the edge off his voice, but he was badly out of practice.

                Lana studied him so closely he would swear she could see into his childhood memories. Her nostrils flared, and he saw her catch a breath and hold it. Then she slowly exhaled and turned to the platter, scooping the last piece onto the last plate. She forked it roughly in half and held it between them with icy determination.

                “We’ll share,” she growled.

                The alpha in him both bristled and admired her pluck. The wolf licked his lips — and not for the pie.

                Her eyes flickered, focusing on something in his. He noticed an outer edge of green in her eyes that he’d missed before, like the foam that slid off the crests of waves.

                “Trouble today?” she asked, keeping her voice down.

                Trouble? So she’d noticed the meeting. “No trouble,” he insisted.

                She snorted. “I do that, too.”

                “Do what?”

                “Pretend.”

                Ty blinked. “I don’t pretend.”

                “Then what’s the trouble?” She took a bite of pie and licked a smudge of cream off her lips.

                A breath caught in his throat, and a word slipped past his lips before he could catch it. “Rogues.”

                Her face hardened as some dark memory rocketed through her eyes. “Confirmed report?”

                “Not yet, but…”

                She nodded, letting him trail off. In an absent movement, her right arm rubbed briefly over her left, where a wicked scar trailed out of her sleeve.

                “Trouble?” he murmured, eyes on the scar. For a shifter to scar, it must have been bad.

                She yanked the sleeve down. “No trouble.”

                I do that, too, he wanted to say. Pretend. His gut warmed with something strangely close to pride. This East Coast wolf wasn’t just sassy; she was tough, too.


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

I loves putting the “hero” back into heroine and letting location ignite a passionate romance, whether that's in my dark and dangerous werewolf series or the exotic and exciting travel and adventure romances I will release starting in July. In all cases, I like creating a heroine who is independent, intelligent, and imperfect – a woman who’s doing just fine on her own. But give her a good man – not to mention a chance to overcome her own inhibitions – and she’ll never turn down the chance for adventure, nor shy away from danger.

Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

I love variety, so I write a bit of everything. The Twin Moon Ranch stories are all long novellas (about 40,000 words each) while my travel romances are short novels, and the adventure romances are fast-paced novellas of 30,000 words. In between, I love writing short stories that show couples living their Happily Ever After – whether that's Lana bringing Ty home to meet her parents in Desert Wolf, or a marriage proposal up a New Zealand mountaintop between the hero and heroine of Island Fantasies (a travel romance set on a tropical island near Bora Bora). As a reader, I like variety too: sometimes I prefer a long saga, other times a weekend read, and sometimes just a quick escape into a world and characters I love.

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

Desert Moon is the first of the Twin Moon Ranch series. Book 1 focuses on Ty, the ruling alpha's oldest son – a man whose life is heavy in responsibility and light on privilege. In Book 2, Desert Blood, his brother Cody gets center stage. The brothers are opposites: if Ty is a thundercloud, Cody is a ray of sunshine, and his life is the other way around: heavy on privilege but light on responsibility. Cody yearns to be trusted with more – and gets his chance when his destined mate Heather comes along, on the run from vampires. Book 3 is about Kyle, a cop turned shapeshifter in a biker brawl who was taken in by Twin Moon Ranch. He's still not quite settled into pack life until childhood buddy Stefanie comes along and gives him something to believe in again. Books 4 and 5 are about Ty and Cody's sisters, and you'll love them, too. All the story have different villains and different outside conflicts, such as land rights, inter-pack rivalries, and rogue incursions. And all end in sweet epilogues (I just can't resist those).

The adventure romance series I'm writing right now is set around a group of six cousins who inherit their grandfather's sailboat, Serendipity. The grandfather's last wish was for each set of siblings to reconnect by going sailing together in the Caribbean. In Uncharted Waters, responsible Seth is sailing among the gorgeous reefs of Belize with his party-boy brother Tobin when he meets Julie, an archaeologist on the run. In Uncharted Territory, Tobin gets his second chance at the woman who turned him down at the altar six years before. Now Cara is stuck in a remote Panamanian village, and Tobin's the only one who can get her out. The question is, will she let him back into her life? The series continues with Tobin and Seth's cousins as they get their turn to sail the boat, two at a time. The sailboat lives up to its name as it brings each cousin to true love through serendipito 

Excerpt


“One of Tyrone’s boys is coming to get us,” Jean said, looking up and down the road.

                Lana looked too, gnawing her lip. It figured the kid would be late. While the two older women stood in the shade of a bus stop, catching up on twelve years of news, she paced. Out into the piercing sun, then back into the muted shade. Out and back, out and back again, each footfall a step into the past, then a determined about-face into the future. She tried to numb her senses, but they kept darting around, tasting the arid flavor of this place, listening to its emptiness. Everything felt so familiar, yet so strange, like visiting a childhood home after someone else had moved in.

                That was the strange part. Arizona had never been her home and it never would be. She’d only visited once before. She went stiff at the memory, as if the old emotions might creep up and carry her away. Emotions like hope and love and unexpected passion, blazing bright. She’d been so young and impressionable back then — only twenty, and that was the problem. Too young to know better than to fall in love with a vague scent in the hills. For a while, she’d even imagined the scent came with a man.

                But it had been a siren song at best, and it had ruined her. There was no man, no promise, only a ceaseless whisper that stirred her during the day and haunted her at night. And now she was back again, right in the thick of it: the heat, the dust, the lying air.

                “Oh, there he is,” Jean called.

                A faded Jeep Wagoneer pulled up to the curb and creaked to a stop. From what Jean had said, Lana had been expecting the driver to be a newly licensed teen — a kid delighted for any excuse to get out on four wheels. The type with narrow shoulders, a pocked complexion, and gangly limbs.

                She was not expecting this.

                Lana gaped as the “boy” emerged from the car with a smooth, easy step. Evidently the state of Arizona was now issuing driver’s licenses to rugged, six-foot-two slabs of muscle and raw power. Authority bristled off him in waves, as if he were facing an entire platoon and  not just a couple of guests. Dark. Sensual. More than a little dangerous. This was their ride?

                “Hello, sweetie.” Old Jean gave him a cheery peck on the cheek. The gesture made Lana’s inner wolf hiss so fiercely that she wobbled and took a step back. Since when did a man affect her like that?

                Since right now, apparently.

                But why? She didn’t want or need a man in her life, especially one who was so…so…alpha.

                And yet every molecule in her body was screaming Mine!  

About the Author



Anna Lowe loves putting the "hero" back into heroine and letting location ignite a passionate romance. She likes a heroine who is independent, intelligent, and imperfect — a woman who's doing just fine on her own. But give the heroine a good man (not to mention a chance to overcome her own inhibitions) and she'll never turn down the chance for adventure, nor shy away from danger.

Anna is a middle school teacher who divides her time between coastal Maine and a village in view of the Austrian Alps. She loves dogs, sports, and travel — and letting those inspire her fiction.

Once upon a time, she was a long-distance triathlete and soccer player. Nowadays, she finds her balance with yoga, writing, and family time with her husband and young children. On any given weekend, you might find her hiking in the mountains or hunched over her laptop, working on her latest story. Either way, the day will end with a chunk of dark chocolate and a good read.