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.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hywela Lyn chats about Children of the Mist

Welcome to Paranormal Romance Month. It’s my pleasure to have talented romance author, Hywela Lyn visit (AKA- Lyn). This week she’ll be chatting about her latest release, Children of the Mist. As always, there’s a contest! Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Children of the Mist and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.

Children of the Mist

Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love:

Long ago Tamarith fell for a man she knew she could never have, and she is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by the handsome young stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own.

Vidarh seeks only to find his purpose in life and to win the regard of his father. Thrown together by circumstances, then parted by an evil greater than they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely woman who captivates him, before it is too late? Will he overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy their planet - and will they find the happiness they both seek,or are they fated to live their lives alone?

SKY: Welcome Lyn. Having you visit is fantastic, thank you!

LYN:. Hello Sky, I’m thrilled to be here today, and thank you so much for inviting me

SKY: I’ve had the extreme pleasure of reading, Children of the Mist. It is exceptional! Sequel to Starquest, you didn’t let me down with this story. Honestly, I’ve read a few futuristic novels and can tell you truthfully, none touched this! Let’s lift off correctly…tell me in one sentence, what is the biggest dilemma facing your hero and heroine in this story?

LYN: Oh, thank you so much Sky, what a lovely thing to say, especially coming from such a talented writer of fantasy as yourself.. Hmm one sentence... not easy for someone as verbose as me, but I’ll try:

Tamarith believes she will never love anyone else, but when fighting an enemy more dangerous than anything they’ve faced before, she and Vidarh realize each is incomplete without the other.

SKY: Your heroine, Tamarith, realizes that a long lost love is just that…lost─at least when it comes to love. She can’t help but notice another. His physic powers supersede hers. Let’s chisel away at that concept. Can you share with us a bit of her power? Perhaps a bit of how it compares with his? How do sparks fly in the midst of such powers?

LYN: Niflheim is inhabited by colonists from Earth with varying powers of ESP. Tamarith is a talented telepath and empath, with telekinetic powers as well, and is able to communicate telepathically for greater distances than any of her peers. However, she has not yet realized her full potential. In addition to telepathy and telekinesis, Vidarh is also able to teleport. He has developed his skills to a high degree, despite lack of encouragement from his family. He senses that Tamarith is nursing a broken heart, and that if he could only reach her, he could help her develop the latent powers she has not yet discovered. First though, he has to get past the barrier Tamarith has built to protect herself from being hurt again, as well as fighting his growing attraction to her.

Even when only their minds have met, and they have not seen each other physically, Tamarith is able to communicate telepathically far more easily than the other members of her family, and she is the one to guide him through the underground caverns to the other side of the mountains on his journey to Gladsheim, where the inhabitants of Niflheim are gathering.:

You don't have far to go. I will keep sending you the directions. You should be near the river now.

Yes. I hear it up ahead.

Be careful. We had heavier than usual snowstorms last winter. With the coming of spring, the melting snow and ice has swelled the volume of water.

Vidarh made his way along the tunnel, partly guided by his telepathic link with Tamarith, and partly by his own senses. Eventually it widened out into a large cave, through which the underground river roared as it cut its way through the mountain.

On the shingle of the boulder-strewn shore, several small boats bobbed against their moorings. After ensuring his pack was securely fastened around his waist, he climbed into one, and lashed the torch to the prow. He cast off, and took up the paddle. The river bore the craft along at a tremendous rate and it needed all his skill and attention to save the craft from dashing against the rocks. He'd heard about the fabled river of Mimir, but this was not the tranquil stream of his imagination.

The walls still reflected a phosphorescent glow. Vidarh noticed several gigantic, human-like statues on the banks as he passed, but had no time to contemplate or admire them. Rounding a bend, he came upon a wall of water ahead, cascading from the roof in a fury of white froth. The torrent boiled and raced. He gritted his teeth as he headed into the maelstrom.

There was no way he could control the boat's frantic motions as it heaved and bucked like an unbroken colt. He threw down the paddle, gripped the sides of the vessel, and sent a desperate message through the ether.

Tamarith, I'm in trouble. Please—send me images of your location, quickly. I need to know what it looks like where you are.

The raging current tossed the boat around with relentless fury. All Vidarh's attention focussed on maintaining contact with Tamarith, and even his finely-tuned powers could not prevent the craft from capsizing. Gasping as he hit the icy flood, he struck out with his arms in desperation, and tried to keep the watery demons from pulling him under.

Tamarith!

Into his head came a shimmering picture of mountains and a snowy plain beyond, like the one he had recently crossed. A path before the mouth of a cave wound down the declivity to the plain. He closed his eyes and forced himself to concentrate on the image, while trying to keep his head above the water.

SKY: Great excerpt! Your hero, Vidarh is hot! Sorry, did I say that out loud? Hey, it’s the truth. Plagued by multiple issues─ finding his true purpose in life, winning the regard of his father, facing a threat to his planet─ he’s thrown together with Tamarith. The attraction sizzles on the pages. To speak here about Vidarh is one thing. I want more. Share with us, Lyn. We want to see Vidarh through your eyes.

LYN: Ooh, now let me see. Tall and muscular, Vidarh is used to hard, physical work on his family’s farm, although that is not where he feels his true vocation lies. He has strong features, with a smile that looks a little crooked, which is one of the things that draws Tamarith to him. Actually, the the way I see him physically, is exactly the way Tamarith sees him the morning after his arrival at the settlement of Gladsheim:

Tamarith stopped and gazed for a moment across the water. The G-type sun, now fully risen, caused the lake to shimmer like a veil of golden silk, with scarcely a ripple disturbing its calm. The pastel-colored walls of the graceful buildings on the shore reflected the glow of both suns. In the distance, the mountains encircling the settlement reached high into the cerulean sky. The swirling mist that hid their summits was as much a part of Niflheim as the earth upon which she and Vidarh stood.

She sensed his mind discreetly touch hers and realized he was staring at her keenly. She turned back to face him, returning his questioning glance and studying him in turn. Taller than average, and broad-shouldered, today he wore a sleeveless, belted leather shirt over thick breeches, with long, icecat-wool lined boots. His upper arms were well muscled, his skin tanned as if he were used to working outdoors. His curly, dark auburn hair, kept away from his face with a plain leather band, reached almost to his shoulders. It caught the sun's rays and gleamed like the polished dark red wood of the trees that flanked the feet of the mountains.

She took in his clear, hazel eyes, with their friendly twinkle, the long, straight nose, strong jaw line and smiling mouth. He would have been fighting off the local unattached young women if the situation they found themselves in were not so serious.

Courageous and determined, and something of a loner, Vidarh is also very sensitive to other people’s feelings. He is capable of leadership, but is also able to work with others and willing to take directions, and do whatever is necessary to overcome the perils ahead. He has a gentle, caring nature and is desperate to win his father’s approval. In the end he realizes that ultimately he needs to do what he feels is right for himself, even if that takes him in a totally different direction to the one he originally believed was his destiny.

Tamarith and Vidarh have been dancing around each other , trying to avoid their growing feelings for each other, each believing their love is hopeless. In this excerpt they’ve been through a lot together and are standing outside, with Tamarith’s pet icecat, Malmooth.

Vidarh attempted to dispel the awkwardness between them. I don't think you realize how gifted you are. I'm sure there are things you could teach me, as well. We could learn from each other.

Tamarith dropped her guard, just a little, but enough for him to feel the loneliness and uncertainty in her. He reached down to pet Malmooth and tried to think of a way to tell Tamarith how he felt about her. His fingers brushed against hers. The power that surged through him was like nothing he had ever experienced before. The last time they had touched hands was in Loki's Chasm, when they were both in deadly danger and their thoughts needed to be concentrated on one thing, teleporting themselves to safety.

This was different.

They looked at each other in shock. She tried to draw away her hand, but he tightened his fingers around it, and raised it to his lips. He felt her tremble from head to toe, like a captured bird.

He looked at her in awe. This lovely woman had saved his life. She'd fearlessly fought a powerful alien, yet she trembled at his touch. He drew a deep breath and it took all his willpower to refrain from crushing her to him. He ached to kiss her, to quench the fire that coursed through his body. He pulled her toward him, and placing his hand beneath her face, gently lifted her chin, compelling her to look at him. His eyes locked on hers, and he forced himself to keep control, not to rush, not to frighten her away before he had chance to tell her what he needed her to know.

SKY: Another fantastic excerpt! I’ve come across few authors who can pull one into a setting as well as you did in both Starquest and Children of the Mist. Your flare for description is flawless and admirable. Show everyone what I’m talking about. Share one scene from Children of the Mist that you feel put the rest to shame.

LYN: Oh, thank you Sky, you make me blush! I drew a lot on my experience of riding in the Welsh mountains for the settings of this story, although there aren’t any glaciers in Wales, but also did a lot of research on the geology and geography of Scandinavia . I don’t know about ‘putting the rest to shame,’ but I really enjoyed writing this particular scene:

They were able to gallop across the narrow stretch of plain before the mountains and gain precious time. As the veils of mist drifted off the lower ground, they found themselves in bright sunshine. Nidhogg's Glacier lay before them, glowing in various shades of blue against brilliant white.

Skirting the huge ice mass, they hugged the base of the mountains. Here, the reed-choked grassland, littered with crumbled stone and rocky outcrops where the glacier had eaten into the ground on its endless journey, forced them to slow to a walk.

At last, they reached the narrow, twisting trail that would lead them across the mountain range. They made slow progress up the track, looking back at the blue and white of the glacier, gleaming in the sunlight and contrasting markedly with the rock's blackness, as they made the gradual climb above it. Black rock and white snow were all that lay ahead, although here and there the colour of the rocks changed to green or red as if splashed with a gigantic paintbrush.

At times, the trail petered out altogether and Vidarh, leading the way, was thankful the ponies were so sure-footed. He had spent days at a time in these mountains. Each twist and turn, each pinnacle of rock or small, misshapen tree somehow maintaining a tenuous hold on the unfriendly surface, was familiar to him.

SKY: Beautifully written. Thank you. I hate that we’re running out of time. A hundred extra questions couldn’t nearly dive into this book. But, I’m sure everyone is wondering…what’s next on your agenda? What are you writing now?

LYN: Well, I’ve started a third story in what will has now, hopefully, become a trilogy! This one is a little different to the other two in many ways, and features another main character from ‘Starquest’, whose story I felt should be told. There are some new characters as well as ‘guest appearances’ from a few familiar names, but the main story concerns just two people - doing their darndest to avoid their ‘happy ever after’ and trying to deny any attraction between them!

SKY: Thank you so much for visiting and sharing Children of the Mist with us, Lyn. It was a treat!

LYN: It’s been a real honour and a thrill to be here, Sky, thank you so much for having me.

Watch a book trailer for Children of the Mist…


video

STARQUEST, LASR (4 1/2 BOOKS)

"The lovely, lovely descriptions never slow the action, but manage still to convey emotion and carry the narration forward. This is an incredibly original tale, and for all the science fiction trappings is truly a classic quest for love, and the romance, which at first seems very much at the periphery, will become not only a primary motivation, but the chief joy of the tale. Adventure may be the main motif, but the heartwarming side will be a surprising bonus." Read full review here.

'Snapdragon'
LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS

CHILDREN OF THE MIST

(LASR 5 star plus - Best Book Review)

"This book is wonderful! There are few books that hold my interest to the point where I can't bear to put it down, but Children of the Mist is most certainly at the top of this list. The attraction between Tamarith and Vidarh is beautifully written. The involvement of telepathy would appear to make it easier for them to share their feelings, but this isn't the case. If anything telepathy makes it harder as they hide their minds from one another. This puts their lives in danger more than once...

...Well done Hywela Lyn. I haven't read the first book in this series, but you can be sure I'm going to buy it as soon as I can. This is the type of book I love to read." Read complete review here.

DANCING WITH FATE

"Hywela Lyn has packed enough adventure into Dancing with Fate to rival a full length novel. I am a huge fan of stories of Camelot and the famed King Arthur and Merlin so I was especially intrigued by the connection between those tales and this book. What a fascinating and creative take on the origins of Merlin we find in Dancing with Fate.

The love story of Terpsichore and Myrddin is quite touching. Especially in light of the obstacles in their path that include a past betrothal, an angry god, a legend yet to occur, and goblin fire. As if this wasn’t enough, we have the addition of the tricky Fates who can twist anything around, which makes it rather difficult for Terpsichore to strike a particular bargain she so desperately needs.

Hywela Lyn’s addition to the Song of the Muses series is a wonderful fantasy to read when you have the urge to pass some time with a good book. I have not read anything else by this author, but I enjoyed Dancing with Fate Pass enough that I am considering adding more works by the author to my collection. " Read full review here.

© Kelley A. Hartsell, June 2009.

And the great reviews don’t end there. To read more click here.

Visit Lyn at her Website

Interested in checking out a great blogspot with tantalizing topics? Join Lyn at her Blog.

Purchase a copy of Children of the Mist. Click here.

Don’t forget to leave a comment by Friday, April 2nd, 12 PM EST for a chance to win a copy of Children of the Mist and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press!

Cheers
~Sky

Winner of Sheri Lewis Wohl's, Bridge of Souls

I’d like to once more thank Sheri Lewis Wohl for visiting this past week. Bridge of Souls sounds truly wonderful. It’s definitely on my ‘to read list’! It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for. Contest winner announcement time. Drum roll please…and the winner is Carol L. Congratulations! You’ve won a free copy of Bridge of Souls and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press. Please contact me at skypurington@live.com to collect your prize.

Be sure to pop back in tomorrow as I welcome author Hywela Lyn to Paranormal Romance Month!

Cheers
~Sky

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sheri Lewis Wohl chats about Bridge of Souls

Welcome to Paranormal Romance Month! This week it’s my pleasure to interview Sheri Lewis Wohl about her latest release, Bridge of Souls. Be sure to leave a comment to win a free copy of Bridge of Souls and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press!

Bridge of Souls

Adrian Meade is on the run from her rich, powerful, and vengeful ex-husband, so she creates a new identity as Anna Koch to keep herself safe. Tired of running, she has no sooner put down temporary roots in Spokane, Washington, than she finds herself in the midst of an unexpected romance with her landlord, Jason “Bigs” Bigelow, and also confronted with the century-old mystery of a missing boy. Full of dark secrets, she keeps Bigs at arm’s length until their fiery passion becomes too great to deny. Love, lies, and a ghost complicate Adrian’s life even more than it already is. As secrets begin to crack and mysteries begin to unravel, the line between the past and the present fades. Can Bigs keep her safe from an evil that transcends time or will he lose the one woman who has finally healed his heart?

SKY: A warm welcome, Sheri. Great to have you!

SHERI: Hi Sky. Thanks for having me here today. I’m excited to spend a little time with you and your readers.

SKY: Wow! I can tell already that Bridge of Souls is my kind of read. When did the idea for this story take root? Was there a defining moment?

SHERI: There’s a brick school well over a hundred years old near where we live and it’s intrigued me for years. I’ve always wondered what stories it could tell and every time I’d drive by my imagination would run wild. I’ve also always been a fan of dark, gothic tales with danger, mystery and ghosts. So one day I’m driving by the school, the sky is dark, a little starts to fall and I think…hey, what if…and the story was born.

SKY: I couldn’t help but smile…what a name your hero has─ Jason “Bigs” Bigelow. Love it! Who is he? What makes him tick? I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say, “Can I meet him?” Please, take us inside the pages of Bridge of Souls and make our mouths water for ‘Bigs!’

SHERI: Besides being married to an ex-cop, I’ve spent almost 20 years in the judiciary and hence have come to know many different law enforcement officers. Bigs is a bit of my husband as well as touches of the Deputy Marshals, DEA and FBI agents I see every day. Stir it all together and voila, a tough, sharp and handsome hero is born: a man who might have been taken down but was never taken out. He’s still handsome, smart and motivated scars and all.

Here’s a little peek at Bigs when Adrian comes knocking early one morning with muffins and lattes:

Back out in the hallway at Bigs’ apartment, she knocked hard. He could still be in bed and a thoughtful tenant might just wait until later in the day. However, she wasn’t even going to pretend to be a thoughtful and patient tenant. She was impatient, excited, and wanted a little company. His company to be exact.

Bending down, she picked up the lattes and muffins while she waited for him to answer her not-so-subtle summons. When he opened the door a long minute later she almost dropped the lattes. As some of her younger students would have exclaimed, Yo! She’d seen her share of bare chests but my oh my, what a bare chest Jason Bigelow possessed. With flannel pants slung lazily on slim hips and his feet bare, it didn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out he just got out of bed. He wore the disheveled look well. Very well.

“I’m so sorry.” Her heart raced, reminding her of those teenage years when a boy did nothing more than look at her and it would send a flush up her cheeks. How she hoped her face didn’t mirror her hormonal reactions at the moment. Wouldn’t that be just dandy?

Damn him, there was that smile again. He was going to have to tone it down or she’d be taking an unusual number of cool showers.

SKY: Very nice! Adrian Meade─ AKA Anna Koch─ is a heroine well worth talking about. Tell us…if she could share what it’s like to be on the run, what would she say?

SHERI: For the well-educated Adrian, life on the run turns out to be more difficult than she anticipated. Though she knew it would be different, she didn’t realize how lonely and isolated it would make her. She didn’t realize how looking over her shoulder would wear down her spirit. By the time she makes her way to Spokane, strong as she is, Adrian is growing weary. Here’s a little peek early on at the toll running away takes on her. She and Bigs are sitting out on the front steps:

He gave her a sideways glance and liked the way the sun made her burnished brown hair shine. “What brings you out bright and early?”

“I couldn’t sleep and was pretty anxious to get moved in. I don’t have a coffee maker, or even dishes for that matter, so I took a walk down to the grocery store. Guess I didn’t think things through all the way.”

He believed the part about no sleep. She was a woman with a quiet, yet decided beauty about her, marred today by deep dark circles around her eyes. Demons or anticipation? He hoped it was anticipation, though the dusky purple of the marks made him believe it wasn’t. He knew about demons. He didn’t wish them on anybody, particularly not a beautiful, graceful tenant who made his heart beat faster than he would admit to anyone. But walk down to the store? That was taking things a little far. What was she, a health nut?

“Good God woman, the store’s at least two miles down the road.”

“Just a good morning stretch.”

“You keep doing things like that, you’re gonna make me look like a slug.”

SKY: I’d love to crawl inside the pages of Bridge of Souls and look around at what you consider the best location in this story. Give us a sense of the setting. What was the one location you knew had to be inside this novel?

SHERI: Besides the school up on the prairie, there are two other locations I had to include. One is the Monroe Street Bridge in downtown Spokane because it has an incredible view of the Spokane River falls. When you see it every day like I do, you tend not to see it any more. But, when you take a moment to stop, it hits you how absolutely incredible the falls really are. I wanted to show that in the book. The second location is Coeur d’Alene, our Idaho neighbor. Coeur d’Alene is so lovely that I just wanted to get a glimpse of it in the book as well.

SKY: Almost out of time. As I’m sure everyone is curious, what’s next for you, Sheri? Have you any upcoming releases? Anything you’re working on now?

SHERI: I have two new releases in the near future. Souls of Sorrow will be coming out from the Black Rose Line at The Wild Rose Press. It’s a story of reunited love, forgiveness and hope. There are demons, ghosts and a psychic. Oh, and don’t forget passion. The second release doesn’t have a single paranormal element---gasp! Dirty Deeds is a romantic suspense coming out from Liquid Silver Books. You’ll meet Louise “Louie” Russell a bail enforcement agent who takes great offense at being called a bounty hunter, and Paul McDonald a former NHL star and current hockey coach. There’s murder, mystery and yes…love!

SKY: This has been great! Thank you so much for joining me this week, Sheri.

SHERI: Loved being here Sky and thank you for having me.

Visit Sheri at her Website.

Purchase Bridge of Souls. Click here.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bridge of Souls and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press!

~Sky

Winner of Denyse Bridger's, Hidden in the Mist

What a spectacular week! I’d like to once more thank Denyse Bridger for visiting and chatting about her latest release, Hidden in the Mist. It sounds like such a super read. I'm sure you're all wondering who won the contest. I won't keep you waiting a second longer! The lucky winner of one free copy of Hidden in the Mist and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press is Mindy! Congratulations! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com to collect your prize.

Be sure to swing back in tomorrow as I welcome Sheri Lewis Wohl to Paranormal Romance Month.

Best Regards,
~Sky

Friday, March 12, 2010

Denyse Bridger Chats About Hidden in the Mist

Welcome to Paranormal Romance Month! This week I’ve the pleasure of interviewing Denyse Bridger about her latest release, Hidden in the Mist. As always, there’s a contest involved. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Hidden in the Mist and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press!

HIDDEN IN THE MIST

The misty evening air of a Winter in Venice cloaks many things…. some passionate lovers hoping for stolen moments….. others merely the cutthroats and thieves that plague any city filled with the wealth of visitors and citizens of palaces….. But what else lies hidden in the mist? The voice of an angel lures…. each perfect note beckons and promises untold pleasures…. until, finally, a broken heart succumbs to desire…. and Fate weaves a new thread into the tapestry that is the mystery of life itself…. or more…

SKY: Welcome, Denysé. Thanks so much for visiting this week!

DENYSE: Thank you for having me here as your guest, Sky! I’m looking forward to meeting your readers, and will be around to answer any questions folks might want to ask! We’ll even give away a copy of the book over the next day or two!

SKY: Fantastic! Erotic and mysterious, Hidden in the Mist tempts the curious mind. Tell me, what inspired this story?

DENYSE: This story was inspired by two things, as the dedication on it implies. Ezio is a photographer, and he sent me an incredible photo that he’d taken while he was in Venice one week. He just happened to be at the right place and snapped this shot. The moment I saw it, my mind kicked into story mode. Riccardo is my friend Riccardo Foresi, who is an Italian singer, and I was listening to some of his music while looking at the photo, and all of a sudden, voice and image coalesced and I had a story screaming at my brain. Took almost no time to write it, and I continued to listen to Riccardo while I wrote, and placed the photo on the file until it was ready to submit. Anyone who wants to hear the voice, check it out. Click HERE – and I can also supply the image if anyone’s curious.

SKY: In my opinion, Venice is one of the most beautiful and romantic places on Earth. I well remember the charming old world ambience unique to an evening in Italy. Allow us to crawl inside the pages of Hidden in the Mist. Was there a particular scene in Venice you adored writing about? One tidbit of tantalizing setting you feel rose above all others?

DENYSE: The scene I loved most was the walk along the Grand Canal, with the mist swirling and the ice fog making shapes and atmosphere that I hope I conveyed to some reasonable extent. I can’t imagine a more beautiful place in the world than Venice on a cool Winter evening.... There is also the moment when the heroine finally comes face to face with the mysterious man who’s been calling out to her psyche. Cool stuff that... LOL

SKY: Your alluring heroine captivates me. I sense, though she’s vulnerable, great courage lies within her heart. Would you agree? Disagree? Elaborate. Tell us a little bit about her!

DENYSE: There is a fine line between the allure of madness and the sensuality of love and passion experienced from a distance, but obsessive in its hunger... She has been both victim and survivor, and it’s made her a little crazy, but determined to end the insanity she feels in her head, on way or another. I think with this heroine, I tested that line and let her cross back and forth as the mood needed. This is part of the scene where you meet her walking along the canal, intent on finally confronting the object of her desire:

Somewhere ahead of her, hidden in the mist, was the end of her journey. She pulled her cape closer in an effort to block the insidious damp of the fog. That cloying wetness rising from the murky waters was intent on seeping into her bones, chilling her inside and out. Or was it her reason for walking in the night that was really creating the ice in her veins? The dress she’d chosen offered beauty but no warmth, and that paradox had not escaped the part of her mind that still thought in rational terms.

Shuddering, her heartbeat pounding a frantic beat in her ears, she hastened her footsteps, heading unerringly for the theatre at the end of this pathway. He’d be there still, despite the lateness of the hour. She wondered if he ever left the place?

A sound caught her attention in the eerie stillness of the gloomy atmosphere. She whirled, straining to discern what was in shadows that were nothing more than shifting grey with the ambling clouds of fog that coiled around her. She sensed something, a presence. Or was it merely the product of her conscience? The shade of her escalating terror coming to haunt her footsteps?

Impatiently, she turned on her heel and began walking at a more rapid pace, praying fervently that she wouldn’t miss finding him. Less than five minutes later, she stood at the rear entrance to the massive theatre. It was rivalled by few other buildings, even in the majestic city of Venice, and she was suddenly horrified by what was in her heart and her mind. Deeper still, there was a different knowledge disrupting her calm; low in her body an awareness as old as time itself was waking and craving.

Music drifted from inside the spacious theatre, spilling outward to agitate the quietude of the night. The perfect, yet fragile notes were quickly swallowed by the dense mist, as though it, too, wanted to silence the beauty within the vast stone walls. His voice was that of an angel, soft, sensually crooning, each exquisite word of the song a definition of the emotion it spoke to… an evocative seduction that was both hypnotic and heart-breaking.

I love you

She wasn’t certain if she’d spoken the words, or simply cried them from her soul and sent them spinning into the vortex of the churning vapour that was reaching up from the canal with greater intensity now. She turned her back to the building and leaned against the cold, damp stone, a sob of utter anguish choking her as she fought the pain that was threatening to make her abandon her purpose. Could she really do this?

She did love him. Every moment of the day it consumed her to the point of madness, and drove her quietly to despair each night she spent alone, aching for him.

SKY: Something tells me your hero is going to knock me off my feet. I’ll bet he’s incredible. Fess up. Is he as hot as he sounds?

DENYSE: Well, the hero tends to be my favourite character, too, so he also tends to be alpha and powerful in most stories. In this one, I wanted to create the question of whether he is ghost, vampire, or some otherworldly combination. I want you to still wonder what he is at the end of it, because then you can let your imagination decide what you like best. As to how hot he is – the two men who inspired this story are the embodiment of “romance heroes” in looks and charm, so yeah, he’s hot!! Here’s the “first glimpse” of him from the heroine’s eyes:

The sound of his voice, the silvery sweet notes of the piano he played, they enveloped her now, a lover’s embrace that wrapped around her and warmed her through the chill that clung to her cloak. She stumbled toward the angelic serenade, her heart lightened as though it had grown wings. She climbed an endless flight of stairs, drawn upward, into the highest reaches of the ageless theatre.

He continued to sing, the lyrical, lilting Italian words caressing her spirit and pulling her closer to him. When she finally stepped into the chamber where he was, she stared in wonder. The room was lit with what appeared to be a thousand candles, their soft glow reflecting off the polished wooden floor and throwing frenetic shadows everywhere. Seated at the piano was a slender man, dressed all in black. His hair was dark, and the hands that whispered over the keys of the instrument were long-fingered and elegant. Hands shaped for making love in any form he chose.

He played the last notes of the mesmerizing song and slowly turned to look at her. His dark eyes glittered, flames dancing wildly in their ebony depths, and he held out his hand to draw her forward. She went to him and dropped to her knees, head bowed, tears streaking her face as she let the hood of her cape fall to hide her shame.

“You came to end my life. Why?”

“I cannot bear the pain of not knowing you.”

“But you do know me. I am part of you.”

SKY: Oh, I loved that. Great job, Denyse. He sounds fabulous! I won’t keep you too much longer. You’ve enjoyed a very successful writing career. Over 400 publications. Incredible! I see you dabble in many genres. Most impressive. What’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming releases you’d like to tell us about?

DENYSE: I can’t stay with one genre exclusively, it bores me to death and I’m sure it would bore readers to tears. I love to mix things together and jump in with styles that aren’t always expected. I did a set of two stories that were set in Victorian England at the time of the Ripper murders – they’re among my best books – and they are erotic romances with a mystery theme, and a violent murder at their core. The hero of those two tales, Michael Devane, is one of the best heroes I have ever created.

My next book is a non-erotic title due out from Hearts On Fire Books, March 1st. It’s a full-length novel called “Shades of Death” and is part thriller, part vampires, and a touch of romance in the intrigue. Dara England did a superb cover for me, and here’s the blurb:

SHADES OF DEATH: Available March 1st

Deep within the ageless Carpathian Mountains, an ancient evil wakes. Imprisoned many centuries ago, the creature has waited, patiently, for the one destined to grant her freedom.

Arienne Lereaux has studied the preternatural menace called "vampyre" for most of her life. She is an expert in the field. Loosely affiliated with a secretive organization called The Institute of Paranormal Research and Investigation, she turns to them when she unearths what may be the first representation of the vampyre ever to exist.

The enigmatic and attractive Head of the Institute, Adam Raven, has spent a lifetime tracking the clues left by his mother's disappearance in the mountains of Romania nearly twenty years past. When Arienne arrives at the secluded island headquarters of the Institute, he wonders if she holds the key to finding his lost mother. But before too many days pass, the city of Vancouver is rocked by a series of grisly murders. As it races to find the culprit, the Institute faces an evil unlike any it has encountered before...

In the middle of their hunt, another branch of their network is making a scientific breakthrough in genetically heightened telepathy. The team responsible may soon hold a weapon that will have world powers at their door—until their lead scientist vanishes after leaving Toronto to consult Raven and his people. Ancient myth is suddenly not myth, and evil may take many guises before the Institute can restore the delicate balance that was destroyed the night Arienne stumbled into a remote castle in the mountains half a world away…

SKY: It’s been super having you visit, Denysé. Thanks so much for sharing!

DENYSE: Thank YOU so much, Sky. It’s been my pleasure, really. So, to your readers, please ask any questions and I’ll be happy to answer, and we’ll pull a name from the comments in a day or so and send you a copy of “Hidden In The Mist” to read, ok? Blessings to everyone, always!

Denysé

Purchase Hidden in the Mist. Click here.

Visit Denyse at her Website

BLOOD WINE AND PALE ROSES

5 cups: Denysé M. Bridger has written a heartfelt story of love and emotional healing. Sean will tug at your heartstrings. His loneliness will creep into your heart the way the sun creeps up on a new day!

Coffee Time Romance

THE HUNT

Rating 4 ½ : The Hunt is a sizzling dark and erotic love story between two ambitious vampires. The sex scenes are so scorching that I could not put the book down until I got to the last page. Denysé M. Bridger blazes a fiery tale that will surely leave you breathless.

Reviewer: Tee, May 2004 Reviews

MIRAGE

5 Cups: Technically, there are four main characters in this tale, John Smythe and his assistant Kristy, Karen Wheeler and police detective, Peter King. Kristy is a wonderful character smart, strong, and ambitious. When she falls in love, she falls completely. Even when John is being accused of horrible things, she remains loyal and confident in her love. The love scenes between her and John are steamy and plentiful. The story itself is a pleasure.

Within these pages, you will find danger and intrigue, mystery, along with lots of sizzling and sultry sex. Considering the book is only a mere 98 pages, the fact you can find all that inside tells you a lot. The story is well written and nicely delivered at a pace crisp enough to hold the reader’s attention without being hurried. My first by Ms. Bridger and it will definitely become the first of many!

Johnna Flores, Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

Don’t forget. For a chance to win a free copy of Hidden in the Mist and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press you must leave a comment by 12 PM EST on March 19th!

~Sky

Isabel Roman- Contest Winner

I’d like to once more thank Isabel Roman for joining me this past week. Dark Desires of the Druids IV: Temptations and Treachery sounds like such a super read! No doubt everyone is curious who won the contest. I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Congratulations, Susan Macatee, you won a free copy of Dark Desires of the Druids IV: Temptations and Treachery and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com to collect your prize.

Be sure to swing in tomorrow as I welcome award winning author Denyse Bridger to Paranormal Romance Month!

~Sky

Friday, March 5, 2010

Paranormal Romance Month- Isabel Roman

Welcome to Paranormal Romance Month! This week I have the pleasure of welcoming author, Isabel Roman. Isabel will be chatting about her latest release, Dark Desires of the Druids IV: Temptations and Treachery. As is the way at this blog, there’s a contest involved. What do you need to do to win a free copy of Dark Desires of the Druids IV: Temptations and Treachery and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press? Simple. Leave a comment!

Dark Desires of the Druids IV: Temptations and Treachery

Lady Isadore Harrington is a well-bred English lady. She’s traveled the world in search of magickal artifacts to help her people and has seen the best and worst of humanity. But she’s never taken time for herself—never done just for herself. Going to Philadelphia as the magicker emissary between England and the Americas, she intends to rectify that.

Then she meets James Blackthorne. Tall, handsome, witty, commanding, he brings out feelings in her she’s always wanted to experience but never has. He makes her want him, makes her forget all else but him. Virginal, but far from naïve, Isadore is tempted to experience everything James has to offer. Cautious by nature, she offers her body to him and discovers all her sexual desires fulfilled.

But the magicker world is far from safe, and Isadore is threatened from many who are jealous and distrustful. Temptations abound, but treachery is never far behind.

SKY: Welcome, Isabel. Thanks for joining me this week!

ISABEL: Thank you, Sky for inviting me! I’m thrilled to be here.

SKY: Dark Desires of the Druids IV: Temptations and Treachery sounds sensational. I’m a huge fan of series and know first hand they can be a little tricky to pen. Each story must somehow relate to the other yet remain unique. What common thread ties this series together? What made this story different from the others?

ISABEL: What ties the series together, my verse. Druids hide amongst society, but maintain their own network and connection around the world. Temptations and Treachery has one of the magickers traveling to Philadelphia from England with the sole purpose of establishing a stronger connection between the English and American magickers. Also, the heroine in this story, Lady Isadore Harrington, is a recurring secondary character in the previous three stories.

As for different, the stories follow how these Magickers search for their past, navigate upper crust society, fall in love, and try not to get killed. They know tidbits, little pieces of their past, but every day discover more—an artifact, the meaning of a rune, the location to their repository of knowledge.

SKY: Fascinating! I see you’re a history buff. That’s super! Dark Desires of the Druids: Temptations and Treachery takes place in late nineteenth century, Philadelphia. Tell me, what inspired you to choose this city in this time period? Could you take us inside the story a bit─let us see what it looked like? What it felt like to be there?

ISABEL: I’m from the east coast, and Philadelphia is one of the larger underused cities from the era. It’s a city of stark contrast. Unlike New York City, which was larger, but had more of a melting pot mentality, Philadelphia still retained a very narrow class distinction, pride in its colonial past, and yet slowly crawled toward the future. I wanted to use that to my advantage.

Temptations and Treachery takes place amongst the upper echelon of Philadelphia society, but my characters are hidden in plain sight. They socialize like any other normal rich Philadelphian, and yet conduct Magicker business with each other behind closed doors.

A metropolitan city of the time, all the modern conveniences of 1884 were available, from the telegraph to the telephone, to a new fangled thing to the department store. Strawbridge & Clothier was the first of its kind, offering a wide variety of ready-to-wear clothes at affordable prices in one location, 8th and Market streets.

“It’s a shame your arrival coincides with so many of our problems,” Terese said.

Isadore nodded as she shopped in a huge store called Strawbridge & Clothier. Located on Market Street, and the place to shop in Philadelphia, crowds lined the aisles. Isadore had to admit, for being pre-made, the store had exceptional quality.

“I hope I can be of help to James and the council while I’m here.” Isadore rubbed her forehead and hoped only a headache and not another vision bothered her. “Morgana,” she continued, “has become a great friend. I know these occurrences will disturb her.”

Something changed in Terese. So subtle and slow Isadore almost missed it, but there. Unable to pinpoint what changed, it nagged at the back of her mind. Morgana considered Terese a close acquaintance and valuable asset to magicker society. Did Terese not feel the same?

SKY: Lady Isadore Harrington strikes me as worldly and driven. Selfless, it’s never about her─until now. I’d love a bit more insight into her character. Is there a point in the story you feel she really lit up the pages?

ISABEL: Throughout the entire series, her character evolved, from a very proper young lady with a deep sense of duty to realize life is meant to be lived and not from the outside looking in. While retaining that sense of duty, she experiences events through the eyes of her friends as the series progresses, and those events mold and change her opinions.

As Isadore travels to Philadelphia, things have begun to happen to her. She’s unsure how to handle all of these experiences. Her hesitation changes into proactive behavior. I’d say her turning point, where she really comes into her own, is when she realizes not only love for the first time, but passion. She takes the initiative in that passion, to feel that, and evolves not only as a woman, but as a magicker and especially a member of her society, she rises to the occasion.

Realization─ she’s a hypocrite.

She wanted to run, wanted to leave this city whether or not they’d discovered the man behind the mayhem. She wanted to go back to England and her life there.

She didn’t do rash, she just didn’t. Hadn’t she said that? Hadn’t she known rushing into this affair, this engagement was a mistake.

Glancing at her ring, she watched it sparkle in the sunlight. Yanking it off, she crossed to the desk before she could change her mind, and tossed it onto the top. It landed on another letter to Raven.

Raven who did make rash decisions, who jumped into things without thinking them all the way through, without knowing what the end result would be, what all the consequences would be. Raven, who had an affair with a man she then fell in love with. It turned out well. For her. Everything turned out well for Raven, though they’d both hadn’t believed that when her affair with Malcolm surfaced.

“I’m such a hypocrite.”

The words were loud in the room, echoing back to her thunderously. She proclaimed to be a Druid, yet allowed British society to influence her. She knew what she was doing when she slept with James. Had done so on purpose to do the rash, the impulsive.

“I didn’t judge Raven when she slept with Malcolm,” she said to the ring as it sparkled at her. “I was afraid she’d get hurt, that things would go badly for she and Gareth, but I didn’t judge her. Not the way,” she continued, staring now at the closed door, “I did James.”

SKY: It’s hero time! James Blackthorne sounds delicious. Wet our appetites for him. Make us want him as much as Lady Isadore does!

ISABEL: I had a review for the second book, Sex & Subterfuge where she said she could usually pick out one character she really liked. This time she picked three, and James Blackthorne was among them. I admit, he threatened to take over the story with his sarcastic remarks and whitty thoughts, so when I realized poor Isadore needed her story told, I HAD to pair her up with James. It was all too perfect. The man left behind, who now had to take charge of both the family business and the magickers left behind in America. He has so much on his plate, there’s no room for anything or anyone else.

He has an on again off again relationship with a fellow magicker, but he keeps it going because it’s his only connection to an outside world. If not for her, his entire life would be work, magickers, work, magickers. But then Isadore enteres his life and nothing else matters but her. As any man in love is willing to do, he’ll give up everything for her.

He’s opiniatied and caustic, but he’s always the valiant protector of those he loves and that which he believes in. Oh, he has his missteps, but he soon sees the right path and corrects himself. He is, believe it or not, lol, a modern day action hero.
Excerpt...

The soil symbolizes their journey back to the earth which bore them,” she whispered.

Takoda bowed to her and began his own chant. She didn’t understand the words, but knew they were his own way of sending them into the afterlife.

Isadore stepped away, leaving the shaman to his rite. James watched her, and now a different kind of magick rolled through her. Sexual, intense, need that blanked her mind from a single touch. She could feel the anger and frustration coming off him, but he said nothing as he led her into his study.

Only in the privacy of the study did he release her. Isadore felt the loss keenly, and tried not to show it. He’d straighten in here, picking papers off the floor, tossing broken chairs and torn cushions into the hallway. Again, the curtains hung straight and untouched on the windows, mute testimony to the planned destruction.

“You shouldn’t have been involved in that.” He nodded to the back where Takoda still watched over the fire. James shook his head, hands clenched at his sides.

“James,” she said, crossing the room to him. She cupped his check and smiled up at him. “It’s all right. I won’t tell you what I’ve already dealt with in England, but as a magicker, it needs to be done.”

He didn’t seem appeased. Nor did he retreat from her, and she took that as a good sign. He caught her hand, held it tight.

“You shouldn’t have had to do it again.”

He was a stubborn man, Isadore thought, but she liked that. With a small chuckle, she allowed him that. She’d ignore any attempt to limit her involvement in his world, but considering the night he’d had, for the moment, Isadore would allow him to think he could dictate to her.

“Don’t worry about it,” she whispered, and stepped closer.

Tugging his hand, she urged him down so she could kiss him. James resisted, held back, she could feel it, taste it. Winding her fingers through his short hair, Isadore pulled him to her, slipped her tongue between his lips.

The change in him was instant.

His hands tangled in her hair, holding her still as his lips plundered hers. Bruised her mouth, drew her even closer. A lone doubt echoed in her mind, but when he picked her up against him, all thought fled. Isadore acted on impulse, letting instinct take over.

She pushed back his vest, unbuttoned his shirt. With fingers that trembled only slightly, she touched his bare skin and an electric shock went through her. Gasping, she pulled back.

James held her steady as his lips trailed down her neck, skimmed across the tops of her breasts. Her dress this eve was daringly low cut, and his hands lifted her breasts from their corseted confines to kiss the heavy globes. Isadore forgot how to breathe.

SKY: Scrumptious excerpt! I won’t keep you too much longer. You already have quite a few stories published. Congratulations! What are you working on now? What can we expect next?

ISABEL: I’m anticipating good news regarding my Druids series come summer, but aside from that, I’m working on my first long contemporary in quite a while. It’s a paranormal contemporary romantic suspense with a ghost from 1773, a teacup, and a paranormal detective agency. I’m working on edits for that now before sending it out.

I have three more projects planned out, the first is a new paranormal historical series set in the 1860s amongst the espionage world. Second is a 1920s gritty detective romantic pulp. And third is a late 18th century historical where I’m toying with whether to add in a paranormal aspect or not. The jury is still out on that, however.

SKY: It sounds like you're keeping busy! It’s been fantastic having you visit, Isabel. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

ISABEL: Thank you, Sky! It’s been great being here, thanks for the invite. I’d like to return the favor and invite you to my blog one Friday to talk about The King’s Druidess. I love that story!

SKY: I’d love to, thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed, The King’s Druidess!

Reviews for Dark Desires of the Druids IV: Temptations and Treachery

5 Cherries from Whipped Cream Reviews

Excerpt: In this fourth book in the Druids series, Isabel Roman takes us back to Philadelphia of the late 1800’s. The characters are superb and complex. Isadore is a strong woman, much like all of the heroines in Ms. Roman’s Druid books. But unlike the others, Isadore is an innocent. Read the whole review here.

4 Nymphs from Literary Nymphs

Excerpt: Isabel Roman has done a wonderful job of telling of the treachery by the characters that felt they needed the control. There is a joint effort of the council to staunch the problems that arose so they could try to live peacefully. I am hopeful that this is not the last in this series, and I am looking forward to the other books written by this author. Read the whole review here.

4 Cups of Coffee from Coffee Time Romance

Excerpt: Passion, jealousy, greed, power and many more corruptible feelings are all present in this story. The bottom line of the story is that ultimate power corrupts and the author explored the idea that maybe no one person should hold the knowledge of such power. The storyline moves very well and drew me into the plot right away. Worth reading for someone who loves the mythical world of magic. Read the whole review here.

Visit Isabel’s Website.

Don’t forget to leave a comment by Friday, March 12th 12 PM EST for a chance to win a copy of Dark Desires of the Druids IV: Temptations and Treachery and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.

~Sky

Skhye Moncrief's, Forbidden Eternity- Contest Winner

What a super week! I’d like to thank Skhye Moncrief for popping over and chatting about her latest release, Forbidden Eternity. It’s that time again. A contest winner must be announced! Drum roll please….congratulations, Judy, you won! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com
to collect your prize, a free copy of Forbidden Eternity and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.

Be sure to swing back in tomorrow as I welcome author Isabel Roman to Paranormal Romance Month!

~Sky