Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Feeling chatty?

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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Urban Fantasy. The Reaper Series by Lisa Medley.



 Today it’s my pleasure to feature The Reaper Series. So sit back, relax and check out some great Urban Fantasy's.

Reap and Repent
The Reaper Series
Book 1
Lisa Medley

Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Publisher: Big Cedar 
Date of Publication: March 3, 2015 
ISBN: 978-0-9908856-2-7
ASIN: B00TJFIOFK 
Number of pages: 328
Word Count: 84k 

Cover Artist: Sweet and Spicy Designs


Book Description


They see death. Can they share a life?

Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.


                  
Reap and Redeem
The Reaper Series
Book 2
Lisa Medley

Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Publisher: Big Cedar 
Date of Publication: March 10, 2015 
ISBN: 978-0-9908856-4-1
ASIN: B00UKBZO7S 
Number of pages: 326
Word Count: 80k 

Cover Artist: Sweet and Spicy Designs

Book Description


He’s a reaper who has given up on saving souls. Will a dying woman be his salvation?

After a century of enslavement to pure evil, Kylen Larson is finally free. But he’s long past caring. The only woman he ever loved is dead, and he’s tormented by memories of the horrors his demon parasite forced him to commit. Now, he lives for nothing more than hunting down the infernal creatures invading Meridian, Arkansas, and destroying them.

Olivia Evans is in the final stages of cancer when Kylen accidentally saves her from demonic possession. When he rescues this innocent soul, Kylen rediscovers his mission—and his heart. All he wants is to help Olivia stay alive. He’ll just have to fight off an invasion from Hell first…


          
Reap and Reveal
The Reaper Series
Book 3
Lisa Medley

Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Publisher: Big Cedar 
Date of Publication: April 5, 2015 
ISBN: 978-0-9908856-6-5
ASIN: B00VB4VFJY 
Number of pages: 302
Word Count: 78k 


Book Description


By day he saves lives in the city he loves. Can he save souls too?

Nate is an EMT, a witch and a newly inducted member of the Reaper Authority Force. What he's not is a reaper. With unexplained abilities, his true nature lies somewhere in between the angels, demons and reapers he finds himself involved with. When he's paired with the reaper Maeve, he struggles to find his place in the rising war to save the souls of Meridian and the world.

Maeve has tried to hide her reaper handicap--her toxic reaper energy--from her colleagues. But when she's possessed by a fallen angel and forced to poach souls for Hell, her greatest weakness might be the only thing that saves her.

Nate uses his growing powers and his innate magic to find Maeve. He'll do whatever it takes to save her, revealing more than he ever imagined in the process.


About the Author




Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now she writes about them, because monsters need love too.

She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.

She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.








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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